Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh Noes Its The End of Everything.

Chumps. Idiots. Morons.
People who go to such elaborate lengths to critique things that are utterly melted if you do any research into the topic drive me insane.
My favorite example of sport's commentators who never fucking understand the concept of hindsight. They bemoan players for making the wrong choice and then draw over the play what that player SHOULD have done given how everything happened. Too fucking bad if that player had made a different move, EVERYONE ELSE WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENT FUCKING MOVE! Sure some might still do the same, but nothing occurs in a damn void, and assuming that things do only imply you cannot comprehend the interconnectedness of decisions. Chaos Theory might be taking it too far but if you pass instead of shoot, I'm sure you had a decent reason for it. Maybe you could have scored. Maybe the goalie was already protecting the area you were planning on aiming for and werent in a position to shoot somewhere else (this is hockey talk).

Where this meshes into gaming, is the idiocy of some blogs crying foul because the big guns (IGN, Gamespot, 1Up and all those magazines) get little things called Exclusive Reviews. Like a fucking Exclusive instantly means your blowing the developers and all their publishing buddies, and therefore your credility (they actually say the ethics of the entire business are at risk, but that is such complete and utter garbage. Ethics? Please) is instantly shot for said review. IGN gave GTA IV a 10.0 and hence they therefore must be on the take, or have compromised their integrity as a "distinguished" fucking press outlet.
Tragic thing is that if you read into the words of said review, they talk about the game, they say (paraphrased obviously) "yes, it is getting a 10, but thats not because its perfect, but because this is the example that every game should strive for, a game that pushes boundaries and shows others where they will going."
The thing is all anyone is looking at is the review's score. 10/10. Whoop dee fucking doo. Like that means shit. 
Secondly, A REVIEW IS FUCKING SUBJECTIVE! Who gives a shit what someone else said? A music reviewer could call the latest Jay-Zee album god's gift to music, and I would still ignore it and call it crap. Not because it's bad music. Its not my kind of taste in music. GTA IV is probably a very good game. I'll pick it up today/tommorrow or something. But I have no illusions that opinions are more than that.
Although traditionally gaming reviews are quite objective in nature as well. If the game simply doesnt fucking work, it flat out is a bad game. This is why movie reviews work so well. Very rarely does a special effect shot in a movie not appear. The movie will play in your VCR if you put it in it. But often times the mechanics of a game will simply fail.
Luckily the good, big budget games are pushing to the point where games, more and more of them, can be reviewed far more subjetively than in the past.

In terms of full disclosure I would like to add that I am a regular at IGN, i rarely comment on the site itself, and have only submitted to their mailbag feature once. Overall however i trust IGN for my gaming news, previews, and reviews. Why? Because I understand the reviewers there, I know of their personalities and the games they like, so I understand where they are coming from. I myself have no ties with anyone in the gaming world, nor am I connected in anyway shape or form to the industry. I am simply a fan of gaming, commenting on shit as I see it. I have no desire to get an exclusives myself, nor do I have any desire to get first hand comments from developers or publishers on specific topics. I'll call things as I see them, and nothing more.

I'm tired now. So this will wrap it up.
Everyone calm down. Whether or not reviews are corrupt means jackshit in the grand scheme of gaming. If one place becomes corrupt, another entity will simply take its place. People for the most part do not rely on reviews for purchasing a game. Otherwise there is no fucking way Wiiplay would be the bestseller that it is. Just chill. And find a place that you can relate to for reliable information.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They Be Crazy For The Plumber.

Mario Kart Wii... Its seems fun, i wouldnt know, but it appears to be selling quite well.
That was the indication I got at my work anyways.

GTA 4, is closer now. Mawahahaha.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

They Just Dont Get It

Most people can skip this if they dont want a rant about gaming and society.
Tragically they just dont get it. Sometimes its understandable. Mostly its ignorance. Largely I try to pay it no attention. But that kind of shit builds up in you. And every so often you tend to lash out.
I thought I had moved beyond this. I supposed it was because I had assumed I simply grown up. And largely I have. Sorta. But ignorance persists, even greater, and now it acts like a cancer. Eating at me from the last spot I had ever wanted it to. Although I suppose in hind sight it isnt much of a shock.
I am of course speaking about negative associations that go along with gaming. It is something that I have struggled with for most of my intelligent life. I enjoy gaming, and for the most part, all I enjoy is gaming. Oh I dabble in the numerous other facets of "life" I know about most of history, understand a considerable chunk of the knowledge that exists on the scientific, I read and watch all things that geek culture relates to, but gaming is what I devote my time to. And I am proud to be a gaming geek.
If only others around me understood. But they dont. They expect me to move past it, to simply fall in line with the others in society. That I should expect what other people expect. Oh sure they dont mind that I game, but since I'm not out talking to "real" people, I must be devoid of some miraculous substance that only occurs in person to person communication.
I'm not sure what to say to those who think I'm on a socially doomed path. I probably am. With THEIR society. However I have no concern for that, we all see society before our eyes daily, it functions more or less "efficiently" but I see no need to participate in it.
I like gaming. Alot. And I'm sick of being looked down on for it, I dislike being seen as a degenerate. I dont want much, just respect, and the courtesy to be left alone if they dont agree with my opinions.

Onto a brighter topic (sorta, anyways) GTA 4 is out very soon. It's getting rather crazy reviews *cough* 10/10s *cough*... so i suppose I'll check it out and put some impressions and such after I've tried it out.

I've been playing more of R6 Vegas 2, and while it has gotten better than my initial impressions, I think I've just about had enough.
The guns arent quite balanced, but when you get into a good evenly skilled match its usually quite fun.

Also I wanted to talk about Operation Darkness.
It's a title by Atlus, who always makes the same sort of unique games that never get alot of buzz but are quite often very good.
The game is a tactical strategy game with RPG elements. So its like Fire-Emblem, if that means anything to you. Except the game is set in WWII, and your squad is tasked with the assassination of one Adolf Hitler. No small task in itself. Especially once you realize the game is set in an alternate timeline where the Nazis are secretly Vampires and the Americans have Werewolves. More or less the game plays out like a crazy strategy game that happens to be set in a weird setting.
I enjoyed what i played of the demo and hope to try it some more. The interface could use some work (very hard to control camera, and picking out enemy soldiers from scenery can be tough) but it is passable.
It comes out in June, so I'm hoping it will be my indie game of the summer.
That'll do for now. Ciao.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What A Nice Birthday Gift

Soul Calibur 4 for my birthday. Awesomeness. My favorite fighter returns, with Star Wars characters too.

In other news I'm still trying to get into Vegas 2, but the multiplayer still doesnt feel right. Especially any of the objective games. Deathmatch however flows just fine, and its clear thats what the maps were meant to be played with. I just cant shake the feeling however that the game would be much better with a mouse and keyboard.
This was proven correct when i got Vegas 1, for my PC and can quite easily dominate it. Keyboard + Mouse = my friends. Gamepad = evil little toy for little boys.
Nah thats too harsh. Gamepads are awesome for action games, they just really suck for RTS and FPS games. Therefore leave them on PC. Tragically ever since Halo proved you could have 'fun' in a console shooter it seems the new home of FPS is the console, even with the tragically gimped control scheme.
Oh well.
I'll play through Vegas a bit more, mostly just want to rank up... anything else is sorta beside the point.
GTA 4 comes out soon though, so Vegas has until then.
Also, Wii Fit in May, which I am actually super excited for, just because I'm a whore for charts and graphs of progress over time. That shit turns me on. Seriously, it does, which concerns me greatly. But more important than my lack of proper turn-ons, is that Wii Fit can probably mesh into my gaming life quite easily. A half-hour or so a day is all you really need I've heard. And it seems 'fun', whereby I mean that the game is more fun than going to a gym and having some muscle bound heartthrob yell at you till you do the damn reps. (alternatively it's a smoking hot woman whom thoroughly trounces any manliness that remains.) Suffice it to say, I'll take a Wii Fit right away. Granted There is borderline no way in hell that Wii Fit will drastically alter my BMI (body mass index, you imbeciles) but there is more to it than that. Like balance. Which I've always thought was
awesome, but of late I've come to realize that while my balance may be awesome, it also
seems to be some mutant creature thing that defies all logic.
Well thats all for now.
Classes are pretty much done, Finals next week, then my Spring Class a week after that. It goes until June, then 2 months of work, and I'm on to my final year. Graduate and then...
Well, I'll cross that bridge this time next year.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Formalities be Damned!

I cant be bothered to write formal reviews, I'll write about games and talk about them, you'll get my impressions and that'll have to do. Because the formality of a game review for a blog I'm writing seems questionable at best. Well to me anyways.
So Devil May Cry 4, no review coming. EVER!!! The last post covered it quite well and I believe that will do. If you enjoy stylized frenetic difficulty based games, then you should definately give it a spin.
N+: Quirky adorable platform puzzler-ish that is so fucking hard you will need to buy new controllers. Awesome sound effects too. Visuals are bare but surprisingly 
Awesome physics are what make the game. So yep. Its like $10, and it's easy 
to play a few 
levels at a time. Your call. Quite hard to beat the later stuff however. Multi-player is hilarious though.
Las Vegas 2: Its a fairly competent "tactical" shooter. Its not really tactical and the PVP, multiplayer is mediocre at best, but I want to talk about that more in depth in a moment.
I had not played the first and hadnt played a Rainbow Six game since the first came out 10 years ago or something, so the story made no sense whatsoever. Overall though the Singleplayer was enjoyable, fun sequences, good challenge, could have used a coupla better placements of checkpoints. And making you rely on teammates is good, but then suddenly pulling them out and dropping you in a place where simply seeing your opponents is a challenge, and expecting survival is a joke at best. Luckily Co-Op play countered that quite well. But still, it shouldnt be forced to simply beat a level. However the rest of game was good enough that it is still a very good game.
Overall if you have a buddy to play with, definately get it. If not... well you might just wanna rent it.

Okay but playing multiplayer for Vegas was brutal. Simply because the maps are complete and utter crap. CoD4 suffered for the exact same thing. Halo 2 & 3 as well.
I should clarify that however. All of the game mentioned have awesome deathmatch/team deathmatch levels. But These games also have many different modes of play that are much "better" (imo) than decade old deathmatches. Tragically the maps are never made with this in mind, (sometimes downloadable content is made with alternate modes in mind but they are sold seperately and thus dont count in an original purchase decision) so you get deathmatch levels that are being forced to run objective based play. Which you should never do. Objective based play needs objective based map design. This is considerably harder, Team Fortress shipped with 6 maps. But they are infinately superior maps specifically because they were created for one purpose (you might counter that cp_well can be played as ctf_well, but ctf_well doesnt work as good as the capture point it was originally built for, and i think simply furthers my argument that levels should not be jack-of-all-trades).
Basically to summarize the point I want deathmatch levels for playing deathmatches, and objective based levels for playing objective based modes. None of this lazy level designing that says make 8-14 maps that can play every game type and call it a night.
Now i understand that maps take lots of time to make, believe I tried my hands at such things back in my Counter-Strike days. But having a single map that exists solely for one gameplay type is an infinately more enjoyable level than one level that can play every gameplay type ever conceived. 
My other gripe is the recycling of singleplayer levels for multiplayer matches. Thats really just topnotch slack on the multi-player level design team. Sure its technically efficient use of a limited number of resources, but usually those levels are no right being there.
The ideal i have in my mind is of course based on the original multi-player king.
Unreal Tournament. That game comes withn over 40 maps, mostly deathmatch, but many also specifically objective based, many solely capture the flag, many solely domination, many solely assault (when we had it). Although Unreal tournament was a game built to be multiplayer, largely eschewing its 
singleplayer completely.
So guess I'm saying that I like my multi-player games to be built around multiplayer. None of this add it on later. 

Also work sucks. Especially managers. Burn in Hell you shitty shitty horrible person.