Neon Noir

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0pxLT_Lexs

Been playing The Last of Us. I like the combat encounters. The ones that involve the survivors. They're intense and dynamic ballets of swift brutality featuring drop in and out of stealth and smooth transitions from death dealt at range to close and personal brawls. There isn't much depth to the melee, it's pretty much 'MASH SQUARE WRECK THAT MOTHER****KER'S DAY', but that doesn't stop the satisfaction that results from planting a bat into another guy's face.   

So now that we have a clear example of what to do, I am praying to the invisible sky wizard that we'll get something that gives us something similar to this style of combat, but with a different aesthetic. More 80s if you're looking for suggestions Industry. Basically just take the combat from The Last of Us, Hotline Miami it up a bit. Then you're gonna wanna plagiarize the movie Drive's style and aesthetics. So, essentially I'd like a minimalist fairy-tale neon noir crime action thriller thing. I would love that actually. That way I don't have to play through an hour of scavanaging a whole lot of bull**** and tip toeing past technically not zombies to get the the good part. 

excuse the poor writing i am tired. 

 

PS. I am not saying I didn't like the scavanging in The Last of Us, I enjoyed exploring the world, but, let's be real, on replays that part sucks.

 

Thoughts unnecessarily posted on the Internet

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1AM. Can't get to sleep. Thought I'd express my thoughts on the new generation of vidya games to deter the onset of boredom.

Here we go again with the new generation of consoles, which means it's time to start thinking about which ****ing console I'd like to invest in.

Starting with the Wii U...

I've actually made this decision already. I'm getting it. 

Yeah, I had a change of heart regarding the Wii U. I don't fully understand why, considering all they announced at their conference was bull****.  That 3D Mario game everyone was excited to see? Well it's Super Mario 3D World, a game that undeniably falls under the 'same old ****' categorey. I've read all the previews and watched all the gameplay, so I'm pretty much an expert on the game and, therefore, I am qualified to let you know that it adds absolutely nothing fresh to series. This is conservative Nintendo in full force, banking as hard as humanly possible on nostalgia.

The nostalgia manipulation doesn't end there. Nintendo then exictedly informs everyone that they have Retro working on yet another ****ing side scroller Donkey Kong game. Ugh. I know what you're saying, "**** you dude, DKC is awesome", and I agree. Trust me, I do, but come the **** on, these are the guys that brought us METROID PRIME.  Put them in charge of a project more in line with that. Please, for the love of God. 

But, wow, for some reason all this still managed to look way more attractive to me than the shit that Sony and Microsoft were peddling: self-serious cinematic ultra-violence. There isn't anything about those games that I object to, I mean, my favorite sound effect is the headshot in Gears of War, but I've spent an entire generation blowing the brains out of countless mooks, and, well, it's time for a breath of fresh air. I feel like I'm suffocating under all this grimdark violence. 

So, the Wii U is my fresh air, but I'm going to do the smart thing and hold off until Nintendo realizes they are out of their minds with THAT pricing. 

Also, I didn't own a Wii for the most of it's cycle, so it'll be nice to be able to go back and play SMG2, Skyward Sword, etc.

HVROsTU.jpg

Xbox One

This is the console all my friends will be getting, and that makes it difficult for me to say no. But, ****, I kind of have to as long as it is priced at FIVE HUNDRED ****ING DOLLARS. The thing isn't even as powerful as the PS4 and they're going to justify the $100 price gap with Kinect? I don't even want that pos.  

Despite all that, Microsoft's line up actually does spark some interest in me, and I guess that's the most important thing right. Ryse looks pretty god damn awful, but on the other hand, Sunset Overdrive looks COOL AS ****.  Phil Spencer has also heavily implied they'll be giving us more Crackdown, which would be nice as long as they don't pull another Crackdown 2.

I'm annoyed about the weaker hardware though, and I need to see how it'll compare to the other platforms. If there is a huge gulf in visuals, the ability to play multiplayer with my favorite people in the world will look much less attractive compared to building a new computer, especially considering my two most anticipated games are visually intensive multiplats: The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077.  I know, it's completely irrational of me, but trust me when I say that I am powerless against my graphics whorism. 

Oh and, hey, Microsoft, you should totally make another Banjo Kazooie, except this time don't make it a ****ing lego game, make it a Banjo Kazooie game. Don't be stupid.

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PS4

Sony's first party line up has never really held my interest. Killzone, God of War, Infamous, I'd classify under 'borefest'.  Uncharted, while fun, I've had my fill of. Everything else is just way too forgetable for me to even remember. About the only (soon-to-be) series I'd miss is The Last of Us, but even that game is just way too movie-like to have any lasting value to me. What I mean by that is, I played through it once and while the combat against humans is dope, you're effortlessly sneaking past zombies, scavanging shit, and engaging in predetermined conversations for so much of the
game that all replay value is lost.

Anyways, went a little off-topic there, I am still interested in seeing the new IPs Sony has in store unless they're it's just more linear story driven games. My interest in that is waning and these developers should cater to my interests way more often. Moar open world yo, you got the linear stuff covered.

zHc6eb6.jpg

Finally we have the PC.

So, the thing about PC gaming is: I'm not into any PC exclusives, I don't care for mods, and the indie games I do want to play don't require high end hardware. The main draw for me is better image quality/graphics, the fact that it is an open platform, near infinite backwards compatibility, better sales, Gaben, and keyboard/mouse for FPS. Considering that, I'm not exactly sure whether it's worth it or not to build a new PC. Consoles are much more conveinent, less expensive and they tend to have more exclusives I'm into. Sorry PC, Rome Total War and Dota 2 are not included in "The Things I Like". But, it's hard to say when I look at the aforementioned positives of the platform. 

iu4FI90xXYLy8.gif

So it comes down to PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Rational me says go with the Xbox One because that's what my friends are going with and that is fairly important to me. Unfortunately, the Xbox One version of The Witcher 3 won't exhibit the smae level of unfiltered beauty the PC version will, but it'll run it. Can't say the same about XBO exclusives for PC. 

In conclusion: **** my friends for choosing Xbox One and for being unwavering in their devotion to getting one. I'm going to bed. 

Remedy why are u breaking my heart

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Still making exclusives for Microsoft? This is weak okay. Couldn't have made my decision between PS4 and Xbox easy could you?  I mean the last time this happened, you guys did pull through with a PC version (a year and a half later), but, still, the uncertainty of it all takes a heavy toll on my heart.

And you know, this dilemma is especially difficult cause Microsoft has reached peak levels of evilness lately. CD Keys. Checking in every 24 hours to make sure nobody is breaking the law. Spying on people with Kinect (Not that I actually believe this, but it seems to be a real fear amoung the more paranoid members of the gaming collective).

E3 is a week though. Let's see what Microsoft brings to the table.

 

****ing Microsoft

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I recently decided to try out a Windows 8 trial, because why not. And well, surprise, I don't like it. Largely because it's so incohesive. It basically forces you to work between two completely different interfaces. Metro and Desktop. Now, Metro, I have to say, works pretty well on touch screens, but on the desktop, it's clumsy. It's also a total ****ing eyesore. I don't know what they were thinking when they put this mess together.   

doU0wI6.png

Look at that. It's not like Microsoft's previous attempts at UI have been any better, but jeez, they never looked this bad. Now, to be fair, I did choose the ugliest mess of a Start Screen I could find in google image search, but, after experimenting with Decor 8, it really doesn't get much better than this. The only thing I'm a fan of is the font they used.

To sum it up, my experience with Win 8 felt cold.  Microsoft should scrap the Metro interface on desktop and basically do what this one designer did, because it looks infinitely better and more useable than what we got:

rXa0KDX.jpg

 

The only thing that has really been keeping me tied to Microsoft is PC gaming.  I don't really have a choice here.  We'll see where Valve gets with Linux, but I'm not really too optimistic.

I'll either stick with Win 7, or get a Mac and go back to console gaming.  

/rant

 

Max, Dearest of All my Friends.

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Wow. It has been a while since I've done one of these. I'm not really all that active on Gamespot anymore, am I? Max Payne 3 Finished Max Payne 3 tonight, and while it didn't capture the same feel as the Remedy games (which was expected. It's not a Remedy game, it's a Rockstar game), I loved it. This game captures the essence of the bullet-time fuelled gunplay flawlessly. Fantastic controls, responsive movement and shooting, beautiful animations and great art direction.  I really do miss the Remedy touch though. This game doesn't really have the same charm or sense of humor. It takes itself a little more seriously, and doesn't really toe the line between self-serious and parody like the previous titles did. That said, Max is still Max, and while his monologues aren't as flowery or elegant as they used to be, he is still the Max we know and love. Rockstar did do a great job with the story and writing, but I miss Lake's style.  Oh, one more complaint. Cutscenes. This game frequently takes the reins from the player. To an irritating degree actually. Can't even open a single f***ing door without it being accompanied by a cutscene longer then the actual gameplay leading up to it. Almost everything that doesn't involve the player shooting up a room of dudes is displayed in a cutscene, and if a scene leads straight into a shootout the game has a habit of putting you at a s***ty disadvantage in placement. This kind of destroys replayability, because it creates such segmented gameplay that you don't really get a chance to appreciate the mechanics fully. This game is begging for a horde mode. I could use some completely uninterrupted bullet-time goodness.  Other Games I'm going to try to keep this short, but i feel compelled to cover all the games I've played since I last wrote a blog. Which was about a year ago.

Deus Ex Human Revolution - Loved it. 4/5

Rage - This game is perfection when it comes to the most important part of a shooter: The gunplay and AI. It melds these two elements together so perfectly and the encounters you'll have in this game are jaw droppingly good. Everything else sucks. 3/5 Skyrim - At surface level, Skyrim looks like an expansive ocean of possibility but when you jump in, you find out pretty quick that it's only about an inch deep. I had fun exploring Skyrim, Bethesda has always been great at world building, but 3/4ths of the game is killin' dudes and the combat design is bad. It's really bad. I want to love these games, but the whole jack of all trades master of none thing isn't working for me. 2/5 Gears of War 3 - Over the years the Gears formula has become stale in my eyes. There are some very cool, very memorable moments but when it comes down to the moment to moment gameplay I found that I was bored. You haul your refrigerator sized ass from battle arena to battle arena pumping a few oceans worth of bullets into mindless spongy bad guys along the way. It's a monotone experience. Save a few unique encounters, I never felt engaged by the enemies I was facing and, outside of the deliciously awesome finishers, the act of killing isn't nearly as satisfying as it should be. That said, the Multiplayer side of things is excellent. And while, the amount of bull**** I was exposed to awakens a level of anger I did not know I was capable of, it's still fun. 3/5 LA Noire - This is a weird one. I think LA Noire is pretty terrible in the execution of it's formula, It has a lot of problems, but for some reason I'm able to completely overlook all the terribleness because each case manages to catch my interest and makes me care about it. ???/5 Mass Effect 3 - Pretty alright. 3/5 DIIAABBLLOOO I'm thinking, that maybe, Diablo III isn't my kind of game. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, I really enjoyed playing through the game with my buddies, but as I move onto to my third playthrough on the Hell difficulty the game the fun is slowly draining away and is being replaced by frustration and tedium. This image really explains everything.  Makes me want to drive my fist through my f***ing monitor. E3 Next Week  It's that time of year again! Prepare yourselves for disappointment and hilarity! Things I'm looking forward to: Gears of War Judgement - You might be saying, "yo, alex, didn't you just get done saying that Gears of Wars gameplay is stale". Yeh, I did, but I share the same attitude towards the Halo games, and the disappointment there hasn't stopped me from purchasing the next installment in hopes that I'll like it. But seriously, I'm interested because People Can Fly is developing, and there are rumors of the game having more freedom and player choice. If I remember correctly, after Gears released, CliffyB was banging on and on about how linearity is something he wish he cut down on in Gears 3, and players . So, I have hope that this game reflects his latest feelings on game design.

Here's his quote on this: "My favorite games lately are the ones when you come into a hallway and you are like, Oh, how did that dungeon instance turn out for you? Oh, well I went in as a mage and I did this or I snuck entirely through that one, or, I havent even seen that, where is that. As opposed to, Yes, I came around the exact same corner, and I saw the exact same tower fall, and I saw the exact same experience. And if you look at it from a production standpoint, the fancy falling tower in the scripted experience is actually much more expensive but it yields far less of the actual gameplay."

And I agree with him completely. There is still room for games that model themselves after roller coaster rides, but I'm far more interested in the games that allow me to have a bit of freedom in my course of action.

Crysis 3 - So, Cevat is saying they're going back to their roots with this, so I'm interested to see if this is true. I want them to prove it with this gameplay demo, and I'll be really disappointed if they try to show of some scripted set piece they crafted.  Tomb Raider - Again, please don't show us a ****ing set piece like you did last year, show us this exploratory, HUB based gameplay you keep talking about. I want to see platforming and tomb raiding, not Lara shooting fools in the face with a hand cannon whilst running across an exploding bridge.  Dishonored - This is probably my most anticipated game of Fall. Thief and Deus Ex mashed together and accompanied by some incredible art design. EMERGENT GAMEPLAY YO.   Unreal Engine 4 - This isn't a game, but I love beautiful graphics. They're important to me.

Thief IV - After seeing what Eidos Montreal did with Deus Ex HR, I'm really excited to see this.

New IPs - lol.

I'll probably throw another blog up here once E3 is over, or all the major conferences have aired. Also, looking forward to the GUFU irc madness during the conferences!

Well, I see that Gamespot's HTML formatting is still screwed up beyond belief.

Total Messages Read: 16480858

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I'm not proud of that number by the way. :] Way too much time spend at GS over the years. It's been about 4? Yeh, almost 4 years. I'm actually the Number 1 user to join from 2008 according to these guys. What an accomplishment! huh? Maybe someone's surpassed me by now, I don't know. I don't post as much as I used to.

Bioshock Infinite

Here's the E3 demo, if you haven't watched it, watch it. It's really cool, but I have a lot of questions about the player's involement. What if the SongBird sees you at the beginning of the demo? What if you "euthanize" the horse? What if you don't save the Postman? How does this affect the narrative? It's unfortunate that the actions available to the player are broadcasted so blatantly though. I understand the possible reason for it though. Gamers are so conditioned by not being able to influence 'story' scenes, that most probably wouldn't even realize it is a posibility. They say "Oh, this is a story section, sit and watch time". It's unusual to be able to effect scenes like that. I admit, I'd probably be one of those players. Then one day I'd shoot the horse and it would blow my ****ing mind. I'm greatful though. It'll be awesome to see the impact it has on the story, but the impact on the player won't be nearly as strong if the game spoon feeds it to you.

Dishonored

Bit of background if you haven't heard of this yet. Dishonored is a first person stealth/action-adventure game. Essentially the plot follows this guy who has been framed/wrongly accused of assasinating the Empress of the game world. You escape prison aided by rebels, gain some magical powers and you're off to get your revenge.

I guess the idea is that the world is shaped or affected by your actions. Not through dialogue choices, but through gameplay. The impression I got from reading the Game Informer article is that the levels are designed similiarly to Crysis. Linear in nature, but very open ended. You're thrown into a level that revolves around eliminating a specific target, but how you go about that is up to you. Of course, you've got some tools and abilities to help you out, like being able to slow down time, teleport short distances, run at superhuman speeds, double jump, slide, and summon a swarm of rats (note: powers can be used in combination for interesting results). By the way, your primirary weapons are a sword and a crossbow.

Sounds like something I'd enjoy, right?

Battlefeild 3

Thank you Alpha testers, for shrugging off EA's threats of legal action to provide me with high quality BF3 videos!

It's not all that exciting to be honest. The Support dude has traded his Medpacks for Ammo pouches, leaving it upto the Assault dude to revive his fallen bros in the heat of battle and now you have a body this time around, instead of the usual camera ducked tape to a gun with dismembered arms. You know what to expect guys.


Vacation

Well, 2 more days until the United States of Amurica will allow me to soak my insides with alcohol legally. Like everyone else, I've been drinking since the age of 14, but it'll be nice to hang out with friends at the bar. I don't have anything too exciting planned for that day, but the following week I'll be heading down to Menifee, CA with some pals to go visit some other pals. It's a 9 hour car ride, so we're going to have figure out ways to 1. Keep ourselves entertained, and 2. Keep the driver awake. Our idea is to make songs in garage band with hella bass wobbles. Entertaining and hard to fall asleep to. :]

FemShep

The guys over at Bioware are asking Mass Effect fans to vote on their favorite Female Shepard concept. Most of them seem to share a pretty noticable resemblance to Natalie Portman. Hmm. I choose numba 5. She's like Samus with that blonde hair. She appears to be in the lead according to the fb poll too. If she wins, I might replay ME series as femshep. Which design do you think is the best?

Megaman Legends 3 Canceled

Oh well. Looks like Megaman is finally dead. Capcom has zero Megaman games in development right now. I can't say I'm that sad, over the past 10 years there have been a grand total of TWO Megaman games worth playing, Megaman 9 and 10. I need to do a Megaman Marathon soon (Megaman 1-10 + Megaman X1-3, you know, the good ones).

Hope everyone else is having a nice summer. Enjoy it, because it's coming to an end!

Take care,

Alex

For British Eyes Only

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The fireworks aren't all that exciting this year, and I'm bored, so uh, new blog.

What i've been watching:

Bold = Movies I really liked. Red = Must see.


Arrested Development
- Why do all my favorite shows always get cancelled?

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Swingers
Revenge of the Nerds
Hackers
Chasing Amy
Duck You Sucker
Phantoms - Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms yo!
Pulp Fiction
The Crow
Midnight Run
Bronson
Art School Confidential
The Gauntlet
The Lost Boys

Poltergiest
Exit Through the Gift Shop
HellBoy
This is Spinal Tap
Hot Tub Time Machine

The Science of Sleep
They Live
Tremors
Tales from the Hood
Weekend at Bernies II
Demolition Man
Contact
Highlander
Wet Hot American Summer
Batman The Movie
The Fly
Surf Nazis Must Die - lol.
Bad Boys


Currently watching Dollhouse.

Almost related, she plays a part in Arrested Development.


What I've been playing:

The Witcher 2 - I can't get enough of this game. I've just started my 3rd playthrough, and I'm probably going to experiment with different choices. This time i'm going to play on the Hard difficulty, and go a bit deeper into the level and alchemy system. I'm thinking of mainly taking the swordsman skill tree. Then going into the Alchemy tree to get 2 Impreg, which gives me 35% boost to my mutagens. I'll basically be unstoppable force of violence if I use a ton of Greater Critical Mutagens. I can't remember the last time nerded out on an RPG this much. I think it might have been the FFXII. I spent many hours programing my party members with the Gambit system.

Portal 2 - Surprise! It's more Portal, and it's great. Better than the first in almost every way. Also, it has one of the best scenes I've ever seen in a game. Sends chills down my spine everytime. Well now who's the boss? Who's the boss? It's ME! I still haven'thad the chance to play the Coop campaign though, I need to find a coop buddy. By the way, the soundtrack is free for download on the Portal 2 website, go check it out!

Crysis 2 - Directx 11 really makes a difference here, the game is stunning, especially with the new particle effects and reflections. Also, they've released the Sandbox 3 now, i'm trying to look into how I can modify the N2. My plans are:

-Enable sprinting in all directions, and enable sprinting while reloading.
-Holding the shift while reloading increases reload speed.
-Increase sprint speed by 100% to 200%.
-Decrease the hold duration for power melee and power throw.
-Decrease power melee and power throw energy consumption by 80%.
-Make Air Stomp and Air Friction default powers.
-I'll make everything else up as I go.

This is my first time using a game editor like this, so I'm just working with the basics, building a replica of my town from Animal Crossing. It's been relatively easy so far, but I don't know how difficult it'll be to change the conditions of the suit. I'm sure someone will mod the old suit mechanics in anyways.

All box art should be 100% painting. No ingame or CGI renders, that looks bad 90% of the time.


E3 2011

Uhh, so what did E3 bring us this year? More Halo. More Gears. More Uncharted. More Battlefield 3 Singleplayer footage that nobody gives a **** about outside of how good it looks. Prey 2 looked kind of cool, reminded me a lot of Star Wars Bounty Hunter, but less ****ty. We also got a quick peek at Bioshock Infinite, a game i've been excited about for awhile now. They're showing the full demo on the 7th of July, so i'll give more impressions then. Far Cry 3 also looks cool, more about that below. The new Tomb Raider was shown, but the demo took place in the very beginning of the game and was chock-full of quick time events and Lara moaning. Alright, so, E3 2011 wasn't all that exciting. Umm, only 347 days till E3 2012!!!!!



Far Cry 3

I never played Far Cry 2 for one simple reason: It looks like ****. Call me a graphics whore, but FC2 has some of the blandest most unappealing looking visuals I've ever seen. Everything looks like it is made out of plastic. The grass. The guns. The trees. The dirt. The Water. Your arms. And it's not high quality plastic either, it's cheap "Kids Meal Toy" teir. I hate it.

Thankfully Far Cry 3 fixes that, so I'm looking forward to it. The whole Far Cry theme has always been very appealing to me, and I think the narrative director of Far Cry 3 put it best "The core to this fantasy is that I don't have any resources, I'm on my own, it's the 'man alone' fantasy, right? I need to survive through my own wit, talent, skills - my actions will determine if I live or die. That feeling is core to why this context is so fun," That is exactly what I'm looking for and I hope they achieve this feeling. If not there is always the new Tomb Raider. To throw around some buzz words: dynamic, emergent gameplay. I've always loved the plan out your approach gameplay, and then having to adjust, or improvise, if things don't go according to plan.

I've lost count of how many times Ubisoft has let me down though. C'mon Ubisoft, pull it off this time? Please. Oh, by the way, give us a bows. After picking up Team Fortress 2 and messing around with the Huntsman Bow, I have a bow and arrow fetish. Tomb Raider is going to have one, so you should too.

Metro Last Light

I never played the first Metro game, Metro 2033. From what I understand it's a post-apoc shooter set in Russia, like STALKER, but it is more like Half Life 2 in design? I dunno. Maybe if it goes on sale during the Steam Summer Sale I'll buy it. Anyways, Last Light looks really nice, graphically. I love this shot:

and this one:

Bastion


Bastion is an interesting title. It's an isometric action RPG being developed by Supergaint Games. The cool thing about it is it's narrator. The way you play effects what the narrator will...narrate. He literally narrators what you are doing. Hopefully that doesn't become downright obnoxious after 10 minutes.


Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

I feel like i've been waiting forever for this game. It's finally coming out this summer exclusively for XBLA. Microsoft seems to scoop up all indie games I'm looking forward to. :



Team Fortress 2!

This is free now. I need people to play this with, who's down?

That's it.

Alex

The Witcher 2 Stream :]

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Song of the Blog
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZBkO1LAlhI

The Witcher 2!

Before last week most of my friends had never heard of The Witcher. Can't really blame them, they're console gamers, mainly into competitive multiplayer. Ever since my hype fueled anticipation for the sequel started brewing last month, they've gotten some exposure to it. They're pretty interested, but unfortunately none of them have good enough computers to play it. So, they suggested that I stream the game on Justin.tv. Sure, why not, I'll do that. But only the prologue. I don't want to ruin the entire game for them, incase it finds it's way to consoles someday.

If anyone is interested, you should stop by and check it out at: http://www.justin.tv/sleepingbeauty31

The stream will probably be up at midnight PST on the 17th. You might need a JTV account, because I've flagged my channel for 18 or older.

By the way, the name of my account is a bit of an inside joke. I fell asleep a couple times while playing Halo 3/Gears 2 online to earn it.


It's been kind of a long while.

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Hey, so yeh, It's been a while since i've written one of these. Not because i've been super busy or anything, I just don'thave the motivation right now. All my Gamespot buddies have either been banned, or just don't show their face around here anymore. Kinda lonely lol. So, it's pretty much a "why bother" ordeal. But, hey, I'm extra bored today, so why not.

21

My friend's birthday is next month, the 22nd. It'll be his 21st, and I'd love to go, but he lives down in Menifee, this small town in the desert outskirts of LA. That's not really the problem though, the problem is my Statistics final is scheduled the 24th. I mean, I could go, we could leave on the 23rd and be back in San Francisco the same day, just in time for my final, but...am I really going to trust myself to study over that weekend? Hmm.

I'll have to put some thought into it. There would be time for study, but I don't think the conditions will be ideal for it. We'll I guess i'll have to see how confident I am with the materials when that time comes.

Coding some CSS

My console gaming pals (only gaming pals actually; no one plays on PC around here :|) are pretty into the competitive gaming scene on Gears, Halo and Modern Warfare. So much so that they've set up a clan. Since I know HTML, CSS, and whatever, they asked me to design and code a website for them. That's basically what i've been doing in my free time recently.

I don't have the website ready to show anyone, but I do have a work-in-progress logo i've been doing. Feel free to let me know if my design complete ****, that'll only lead to improvement and a hurt ego. They've already kind of decided that they want this general design, so it's not like I can completely redo it without them being upset. I had about 6 or 7 for them to choose from, and they choose this one.

Protip: Never show your clients the logo you don't want them to pick, because 9 out of 10 times, they'll pick that logo.


Also, I really need to buy all the Adobe programs, I've been living off the trial versions for 2 years now.

New Puter

Built myself a new computer last month. :] The building process went a lot smoother than I expected, but then when it came time to install the drivers everything went to ****. For some reason my ethernet port would NOT work. Drivers were installed, light was on, everything. I dunno, Computers are straight up headache fuel.

Eventually it fixed itself or something, i dunno, and I booted Crysis up to see how it ran like everyone does with their freshly upgraded and built PCs (it ran beautifully). I don't know the specs specifically, I kind of forgot all the excess details but it's an AMD Something II X4 955, MSI 560 Ti, 4GB RAM, and some other boring crap. I'm pretty happy with it.

Alright, enough of real life.

Gears 3

Yup, got into the Gears 3 beta! It's pretty much Gears, cept it actually works. They finally gave us those dedicated servers we wanted so bad and the outcome is zero lag. In the back of my mind though, I can't help but think that it has made the game kind of boring. The learning curve has taken a nose dive now that you don't have to adjust to lag and poor netcode. Funny/stupid I know.

Still, it's a lot of fun, though they're gonna have to balance that retro lancer and sawn-off shotgun a bit better. Looking forward to the full release ofc!



Crysis 2

I'm not going to write a formal review about this, because, umm, I've played way way way too much Crysis/Warhead/2, and i'm pretty tired of it right now. All i'm going to say is I really enjoyed it, it is an awesome game. Sure, there were some disappointing aspects (levels aren't as large as C1, though that was expected from anyone
with a rational mind). I don't really have a prefrence between Crysis and Crysis 2 though. They each have their strengths and weakness.

Unfortunately they share the weakness of the Aliens not being as fun to fight as humans. You lose that predator aspect when fighting Aliens. Not sure how they're going to shoe-horn human enemies into Crysis 3. Let's just hope C3 is being made for next-gen consoles. That way we might see a return of the super huge/destructible environments of awesomeness. A greater balance between urban and rural environments would be awesome as well.

Oh, and good to hear DX11, an editor and SDK are going to be released this summer. Might try and learn some CE3 and build some levels. :]



BF3

There's not much else I can say about this game. It's going to be awesome and I can't wait for it. lol. Jalalabad better make a return. Where else am I gonna snipe people to death? Definitely not Karkand, because I hate that map.



Alright, I think that's about all I have to say. Maybe I'll do another blog soon, but I need to find some new games to be into, I feel like I talk about the same ones over and over again whenever i do one of these.

Sleep...

by on

...is for the weak.

I'm kind of tired right now. I wasn't when I started writing this, and it shows. You can see each section getting smaller and smaller as you scroll down. For some reason I always write the introduction part last. No real reason why. Started school back up about a week ago, pretty thrilled about that. This semester there seems to be even more old people who don't have a clue as to what they're doing on the computers.

Before the break ended, I had been watching a lot Netflix movies. Hella of them. Mostly with friends, so we were just kind of picking whatever and going in with zero expectations. A lot of them were good in the 'it's so bad it's good' kind of way. Like Van Damme's Time Cop. You're gonna have to turn your brain off completely if you want to watch it. It makes no sense.

The list is pretty long i'm not going to give my impressions, but i'll bold the ones I really liked.

  • Candyman
  • Hellraiser
  • Star Wars Trilogy
  • Time Cop
  • Commando
  • The Gauntlet
  • Poltergeist
  • Friday the 13th
  • The Lost Boys
  • Shrooms
  • Black Christmas
  • Trick r Treat
  • I'm Still Here
  • The Keep
  • The Good, The Bad, and The Weird
  • Darkon
  • Christmas Story
  • Hot Shots Part Deux
  • Centurion
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Aliens
  • Restrepo
  • Mars Attacks!
  • RoboCop
  • RoboCop 2
  • RoboCop 3
  • Predator 2
  • Art School Confidential
  • The Evil Dead
  • Die Hard 2
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Robinhood Men in Tights
  • Interview with a Vampire
  • The Beach
  • Ponyo
  • Apocalypse Now
  • The Quick and the Dead

WLM11

I was told not to download Windows Live Messenger 11, but I did anyways. I should have listened. It looks a lot sleeker, but umm, they removed my drawing tool, and made everything confusing and weird to navigate. I actually don't even know if they even added anything. If they did, I haven't used it yet.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo

Thought i'd post my impressions of the Crysis 2 MP demo that Crytek/EA just released. Right now it's exclusive to the 360, but they announced yesterday it'll make its way to the PC sometime soon.

Anyways, after downloading the demo, I booted it up and was greeted by menu music that can only be described as epic. I checked out the menus for a bit and then decided to jump into a game. Since I was in the beta a couple months back I didn't have much trouble getting used to the controls and doing relatively well in my first match. Last match I played I got the most head shots and groin shots; I felt somewhat accomplished.

Little bit about the demo: There's two maps, Skyline and Pier 17. The later being the better of the two. Both maps do a great job of showing off the verticality Crytek's been talking up the past year, as well as making it relevant to the gameplay. Leaping around the map traversing the environment all flows really well, and it's one of the best aspects of the MP. Especially when you leap off the top of the map and use some poor guy below to break your fall. Makes for a satisfying kill.

I already talked about the nanosuit a couple blogs ago, and I don't really feel like repeating myself. It makes you run fast, jump high, protects you from bullets and turns you invisible, etc. It's really imparative that you use your suit functions and manage your energy effectively, because it plays a vital role in your survival. If you don't you'll be getting a maximum ass kicking. It adds a nice layer of thoughtfulness to the gameplay. There are a couple things about the nanosuit that are disappointing. Speed mode is a bit gimped, you don't move as fast so you can't pull of as long of jumps as you could with the original Nanosuit.

There's been some whining about the controls, but I haven't really had a problem with them. Yeh, there is definitely a bit of a delay on the jump, and I do agree they should change that. Everything else feels nice and responsive though, and there is a nice sense of weight and momentum as you move around. The only major complaint I have is the one hit melee kills, because well, sometimes you'll get one or two guys running around punching people in the face the whole match. It is ridiculous that a single punch can kill someone decked out in a Nanosuit.

So yeh, Crysis 2 Multiplayer is incredibly fun. I really enjoy the gameplay flow of changing between Rambo and Predator as well as the easy at which you can traverse the environment. It's all very exhilerating. Looking forward to the PC demo, so I can see how it runs on my PC. Hopefully some of you will join me in the PC demo.

If you want more info on Crysis 2 you can check out this info thread i've been slowly compiling over the past 2 months. Posted in System Wars, because they get the most traffic and discussion.



Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm is stupid. There is no debating it's extreme level of stupid. At the same time there's no debating just how much fun this game is. I don't really know what else to tell you. The demo only features about 10 minutes of gameplay, but it's highly replayable due to the scoring system and leader boards. So here's the thing about Bulletstorm if you didn't know, you're thrown into a playground filled with enemies, environmental hazards, and a bunch of ridiculous weapons. It's up to you to use all these to your advantage; killing your enemies as creatively as possible. The more creative, the more points you get...and that's about as indepth as i'm going to go because i'm feeling pretty lazy right now (watch this video). A friend and I have been going at it on the leaderboards constantly trying to one up each other over the past couple days. Though, today I've been sitting comfortably at the top of my friendslist leadboards with 15750 points.

Oh, and for those of you that think games like Bulletstorm are detrimental to the industry because they 'do nothing but further the juvinille stigma video games have attatched them', just shut up and play the damn game. Quit worrying about what people who aren't even interested in this medium are thinking. If you don't like games like this, fine, I don't care, but to say it devalues video games as a whole is beyond silly. There is a wide variety of games and Bulletstorm is just one of them. If someone chooses to ignore that, that's their own problem. It's no different than the Commando, True Lies or Expendables of the movie industry. Yeh, these things aren't artistic masterpieces, but they're still fun to experience. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Anyways, Bulletstorm is the kind of over the top stupid I love (though I don't find the colorful dialogue or characters funny at all, but I don't really care). Definitely a day 1 purchase!




Amnesia

Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and Amnesia scares people. I'd compare playing this game to exploring my grandparents basement with my cousin at the age of six. Definitely play it if you get the chance, it's a unique and fresh experience. Can't think of anything else to say right now, maybe i'll do a formal review some other time though.



Battlefield 3 is unvieling at GDC

Battlefield 3. GDC 2011. Feb 28th.

So i've been playing Bad Company 2 on PC recently (got it for cheap during the Steam Sale), and i've got to say, the 4 c1ass system is growing on me. It's the good type of streamlined.

There's one thing they have to fix for BF3 though. They made RPGing people way too much fun in Bad Company 2. They need to tone down the fun on that because it's kind of annoying getting shot with an RPG from 3 feet away and seeing your killer walk away unscathed.

Well, i'm looking forward to the reveal. Have been for a couple years now, it's about time.




Recommend me some mods

Everyone is always telling me how great mods are, but i've only ever found a few that were any good. I tried looking up mods for some games the other day. I was hoping to see some new quests/missions or whatever, but instead, all I'm seeing are a bunch of mods focused on prettier haircuts, bigger boobs, nude models, hawter sex scenes and the list goes on. This mostly applies to Dragon Age, because Bioware fans sit right above fantatical anime fans on the weird scale.

Dead Space 2

Dunno if i've told you guys this, but sometimes I get to go to EA to test some games. That part I can't talk about cause of the whole Non-Disclosure Agreement thing. What I can say is they give me free a EA game for playing their game and talking to them about it. Good thing they called me in to test the day after Dead Space 2 was released, because otherwise I wasn't gonna get this game.

I've only played for around 3 hours, i'm already decked out in cool, with my Security armor and arsenal of heavy weaponry. I just finished this one area where you have to fight these enemies that are...basically velociraptors. It's intense. Kind of like Jurassic Park...infact you get an achievement after that part titled 'Clever Girl'. Cookies if you get the refrence, then again, I don't know how you couldn't. Unless you've never seen Jurassic Park.

But yeh, other than that, it's what you'd expect, nothing new here besides a couple weapons and few enemies. They don't really change the gameplay dynamic. That said, it's a solid game so far and has some fun moments. Not gonna bother writing anymore until I finish the game.




Left 4 Dead Sales

Thought that this article was interesting. It's actually pretty old, but it was recently brought to my attention again.

"Then, he showed how that combination of service and smarter pricing allowed the company to run experiments and make a lot more money -- competing quite successfully against piracy. The most stunning example: last weekend, the company ran an experiment with the game Left 4 Dead. It heavily discounted the price, and sales shot up 3,000%. And this wasn't just a case of building off a small base. The sales over the weekend were more than when the game launched.

In fact, it looks like a big part of the
problem facing the industry is that they charge way too much for their products. Here are the numbers Newell shared from Valve's experiments with "sale" pricing:

  • 10% off = 35% increase in sales (real dollars, not units shipped)
  • 25% off = 245% increase in sales
  • 50% off = 320% increase in sales
  • 75% off = 1470% increase in sales

Newell then says when they decrease the price by 75%, they are making 15% more than when they were charging at full price"

Recently, the Amnesia devs, Frictional Games, found a lot of success from this during the steam sale. Which I suggest you read about here.

This stuff kind of speaks for itself, and I'm actually really tired right now, it's 1am and I'm about to pass out, so I have nothing to add...maybe next time. :]

Alex

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