Cerza / Member

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Cerza Blog

Hello... Goodbye...

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So I was finally able to eek out some free time and thought I'd stop by here to say hello to all my friends that I haven't talked with in over a month. Much to my dismay, the first thing I see upon loading the site is the story about Jeff Gerstmann. It seems the Sh!t has really hit the fan here, and this is just the thing I have been looking for.

I am not out to get anyone or anything like that. It's just that when Greg Kasavin left for EA a year ago, I felt it was a little strange, sudden, and that there was more to the story than met the eye. It also hurt a lot, because Greg was sort of a role model for me and someone I really looked up to. He was the reason I finally made an account here and became active after lurking about the site for years. Then there was Jeff. I never liked him as much as Greg. I down righted hated his reviews most of the time, but he could be quite funny on occasion. Oh, and there is no denying that with Greg they made up Gamespots image. Don't get me wrong, there has always been a great team of professionals here at Gamespot to make it the place it has become known for, but in terms of image, as a long time Gamespotter I can tell you that the image has always been Greg and Jeff. When Greg left there was only Jeff, and now Jeff is gone. So now I feel like "who is there now?"

That's not the reason I'm leaving though. The reason I am leaving is because of why and how Jeff's employment of over a decade was terminated, which was the result of pressure from an advertiser. I was aware that Jeff gave Kane and Lynch a bad review when his review went live. I was also made aware by other people who had played the game and reviewed it that it wasn't too good. What Jeff did with that review was step on the toes on Gamespots new upper management. The new upper management that has no clue how to handle gaming journalism and editoral. That management was stupid in the interest of making big money and made promises to the advertisers they couldn't keep. Then, when Jeff put his review up he stepped on upper managements toes by making them look really stupid in the eyes of the advertisers. He showed the advertisers that the new upper management couldn't keep the promises they made, which pissed them off. Long story short, corporate politics come into play, things trickle down, and Jeff gets the boot for doing his job, and being the tough cynical reviewer he is, and delivering an honest review, which is completely and totally wrong in my eyes.

Now, understand that it's not Jeff being fired that has me upset here. What has me upset is everything that took place behind the scenes and led up to the firing. It's dishonest and just plain wrong. I like the community aspect of this place. I've made a lot of friends here and had a lot of good times over the years. However, Gamespot is a news site, not a social networking site. If I wanted social networking I would be on MySpace, or Facebook, or something like that. What I come here for is the news, reviews, and editorials. The community aspect stuff is just a nice bonus that I partake in on the side, sort of like a delicious side dish you get when ordering a full meal at a restaurant. You eat it and it's good, and you eat the main dish you ordered and it's good. You have a good meal and are happy you came to the restaurant and spent your money. Likewise, if the side dish is bad you don't eat it, but if the main meal is good you are also satisfied. However, if the main dish you ordered is bad then you aren't going to be happy even if the side dish is good. You're going to send it all back to the kitchen, complain, and go some place else and not come back. That's what I'm doing here. I'm sending the main dish I ordered back to the kitchen.

Gamespot lost all credibility in my eyes over this, because it shows their scores are up for sale through advertising. "How do you wanted your game scored? Oh, well how much are you willing to pay? I'm sorry that isn't nearly enough. That much will only get you a 6.5 or 7.0 at best." I can't in good conscience go to and partake in a site that has that for it's business practices. I'm sorry. They claim to be dedicated to giving unbiased news, reviews, etc. Yet, what they are giving everyone is anything but unbiased, and now that people see that it makes people, such as myself, who have listened to Gamespot, followed them, and had faith in them over the years feel pretty stupid. When I come to a news site, such as Gamespot, I want unbiased accurate news, previews, and reviews. Gamespot just showed me and everyone else that that isn't what they have been giving. I come here for a grilled strip steak, and they are giving me fried chicken wings. I'm sorry, but that's not what I ordered!

Gamespot isn't the site they used to be. The Gamespot I knew, fell in love with and joined is gone. Now it's time for me to move on. At least I can say with great pride that my own indie video game review site won't be guilty of this sort of travesty when it finally goes live in 2008. Yes that's right. MY OWN video game review site. That is the project I mentioned getting involved in a few months back, but truth be told it is something I started up and have been working on on the side for a couple years now. Greg K leaving and Gamespot redoing it's review criteria gave my system a real kick start and made me make it a priority. Now with what has happened here and to Jeff it's beyond a priority. So look for Brutally Honest Gamers in 2008. We will be looking for you.

So long my friends. May fame and fortune find each of you one the road ahead.

-Will Ferrel aka Cerza

Hello Gamespot! Yes, I'm still alive...

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I just want to drop a line to all my friends here at Gamespot to let them know I am still alive and well, and no I haven't forgotten about you all. I picked up a second job, because my main one has been ungodly slow, and this project I have gotten involved in is a whole third job in itself. Needless to say, I have either been too dog tired at the end of the day to do anything, or I just haven't had the time to get on Gamespot.

I did pick up Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for the DS and The Orange Box for the PC while I was running errands for work the other day. I haven't had time to open them yet and try them out, but I hear they are really good. So, needless to say I am excited, because everything else coming out this holiday season has been a total let down, including Halo 3, which I beat in 5 hours two saturday nights ago and the multiplayer doesn't impress me at all. $65 dollars for a five hour game with last years multiplayer? Yea, I don't feel it was good buy. Half Life 2 Episode 1 and Half Life Blue Shift both offer the same short rehash Halo 3 does, but the difference is they are only $10 so I don't feel like I really wastd my money on them, unlike Halo 3.

So, what has everyone else been up to? I dunno when the next time I'll be on is, but I hope it will be soon. :)

Where Has All The Excitement Gone?

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Is this happening to anyone else recently? 4th quarter is here, and with it so is the avalanche of highly anticipated holiday titles, but I don't find myself getting excited about any of them. Sure I pre-ordered Crysis and Halo 3 months ago, along with Bioshock, Stranglehold, Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata, Guild Wars Eye of the North and a bunch of other titles, but I'm just not jumping for joy to finally be getting my hands on them. I know I should be happy, but I'm just not.

I returned my copy of Bioshock, as soon as I found out it had SecuROM on it, because SecuROM is just as evil as Starforce, and I refuse to have that crap on my computer. I know I am missing out on a timeless gaming narrative, and sure I could pick it up off Steam, or get the 360 version. However, my issues with Steam's security aside, to me downloading the game defeats the purpose in getting it. I might as well just pirate it. I want a physical copy, you know? I want something tangible for my money so I'll have something that will take up more shelf space in my library, and I won't feel like I am just wasting my hard earned cash. I could get that with the 360 version, and from what I am told the 360 version is very, very, very good. It's just as good as the PC version in fact. However, my problem with the 360 is that almost every game available for it is also available on another platform, be it PS3, or PC, or whatever. Furthermore, on those other platforms I can ultimately get more out of it, be it better graphics, mods, or what-have-you. When Microsoft was touting the 360 before it launched, they said the games would be on HDDVD. However, it has been almost two years since the system launched, and not a single Xbox 360 game has been released on HDDVD. The system doesn't even come with an HDDVD drive! All Xbox 360 games are on standard DVD 9's. Yet, Microsoft charges as much for them as SONY does for their PS3 games. The only difference is that PS3 games are on Bluray, which means they have better graphics and sound both now and in the future. You can't mod on the 360 like you can on the PC, because Microsoft doesn't allow it unless it goes through them, and once it does they want you to charge for it. Why should I buy Bioshock for the 360, or any game for the 360, when I am ultimately paying more for less?

I canceled my pre-orders for Eternal Sonata and Blue Dragon, because they just look bland, clichéd, and unexciting. They look like PS2 JRPG's carried over to a next gen platform. Why should I spend $60 for them when they received less than rave reviews in Japan, and are receiving less than rave reviews now that they are coming out here? I could spend $50 for something on the PS2 with the same graphics, albeit slightly grainier, and have a better gaming experience.

This leaves me with Guild Wars Eye of the North, Halo 3, and Stranglehold. All three of which I am debating over whether I really want. I did the preview event for Guild Wars last Friday. I devoted the whole day to it, and it took me about seven hours to complete. However, if I had to describe the event to you in one word that word would be disappointing. I don't know why I felt let down playing it. Perhaps I got too caught up in Arena.net's marketing jargon and expected too much. What I played was really good. The only problem is that I already own all three of the stand alone Guild Wars games and have played through them, which made what I experienced last Friday feel like I had done it before. More importantly, it had been done before just as good if not better. The new areas, heroes, enemies and so on are cool, but I just can't get excited about them. Plus, now that the Mesmer class is getting AOE hexes I feel like I can't get excited, because it makes me question the games balance among other things.

The big problem here though is that it's not fresh, or at least it doesn't feel fresh. That goes for everything that is coming out this holiday season. Bungie didn't change the mechanics of Halo again for Halo 3. So, when I once again don the guise of Master Chief, as many other gamers will do, and set out to save Earth by blowing tiny little aliens to itty bitty bits, I know what to expect in the game thanks to the last Halo game, a game I despised. The only difference is that the graphics will be better, the assault rifle will be back, there are few new weapons and gizmos, and there will be new corridors to crawl and blast up.

The demo for Stranglehold did nothing for me. It felt like another average shooter that looked good three years ago, but looks dated now. Crysis won't be anything special when it lands either. It too will be just another shooter. After all that's all Farcry was, no offense to you Crysis and Farcry fans. The only thing that will make Crysis stand out from the crowd is the technical aspects of the game, such as the graphics, which are undeniably a marvel to look at and years ahead of their time.

Even the innovative Wii has me let down. What do I want another Metroid Prime game for, or another Smash Bros., or another Mario? I have multiple copies of those titles already, which go back to each series birth, five, ten, and twenty years ago. Nintendo promised something different and interesting with this console, but aside from Wii Fit, all I see is more of the same crap they have been dishing out for the past ten years or more. Companies and developers need to start doing things differently if they want to keep this industry alive, because right now it's stagnating like it did in the early 80's, and my money is staying in my wallet.

Maybe I'm getting too old for video games. After all, I have been playing them for almost twenty years now. Maybe I'm just burned out. Maybe I'm just grumpy. Maybe I'm too cynical. Maybe I'm this. Maybe I'm that. What I'm not though, is a sucker, and I see no point in spending more money on what I already have. I also see no point in spending money on something that I will ultimately get less out of when I can buy it for less on a different platform and get more out of it there. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to cancel my pre-orders.

Glitchspot: I Have a Theory

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Well, as all of us long time Gamespot users know, unlike the mostly solid reviews Gamespot produces, the site itself isn't so solid. In fact it's quite flimsy with holes of random sizes scattered about seemingly at random, much like a piece of cheese. We users fall through them. Our stuff falls through them, and heck, sometimes even other stuff falls through them much to our disdain. Where did my emblem go? Welcome to Glitchspot. Where did my review go? Welcome to Glitchspot. Why aren't the text boxes working? Why can't I log in? Why can't I post. Again, welcome to Glitchspot. If this doesn't sound familiar to you, rest assured, in time it will.

I have a theory on why Gamespot is this way. I think it has something to do with the annoying advertisements Gamespot whores itself out to, and then has plastered all over its body ruining our browsing, posting, and overall experience. I don't know why this is. I've just noticed over time that when certain types of advertisements appear, so do certain glitches. To be more sepecific, it's the same glitches that are appearing each time with each advertisement. For instance, every time that stupid three box Sprite commerical loads on the main page, none of the boxes I should be able to type into work on the site and I can't log in. When we had that ESP guy in the towel prancing around our online gaming home, aside from his chest hair, I noticed my emblems vanished at random, and only came back once the site loaded without me having to see his half naked manliness. Call me crazy, or maybe it's just a coincidence, but this is what I've been able to figure out so far. If it is a coincidence, well, then I guess it's back the drawing board.

I'm Better!

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Well, I just wanted to let everyone know that no I am not dead, so you can stop fighting over my things. I am better. Thanks to everyone for the get well comments. I appreciate em :).

I'm gonna be on the down low here at Gamespot for a while though for a couple reasons. The most obvious reason is the quarter four landslide of titles started today even though we are still only in quarter three. So, I have games, games, games to play. By the way, if you own a PS2 get down to your local game retailer and pick up up Persona 3 NOW!!! You owe it to yourself as a PS2 owner to play this game and have it in your library. It's a fantastic title and comes with what would normally be considered a collectors package all for the normal retail price of $50. Go get it NOW! Lest I send this little fellow to hunt you down in my stead. Sure he looks cute and cuddly, but I assure you he will do things to you most awful. Oh, Madden '08 is great too by the way. I did the whole midnight madness thing last night and got a copy for the Wii. I am loving it. I can't get enough, and I don't even like sports games.

However, I digress. The other two reasons I won't be as active are because my brother leaves to go back to Uni next friday. So, obviously I want to spend as much time with him as possible before he goes, because once he leaves I know I won't see him again until December when his semester is over. The last reason I won't be as active is because, well, I can't say. I'm not allowed to talk about it yet. However, all I will say is that I have gotten involved in a project in the gaming industry side of things and I am very excited about it. The people I am working with are a very awsome, unique, and talented bunch and I feel privileged to be allowed to be among them. Don't worry guys and gals. I'll be posting all information I can about the project once the nondisclosure agreement has been lifted.

Last thing I wanna say, and I say this with great shame, is that I have started playing GW and WOW again. Well, I never really left GW, but with the EoTN coming in a few weeks I figured it was time to end my hiatus and get back in the swing of things. As for WOW, well, I have no excuses, and that's the bottom line. I saw the Litch King trailer and it made me want to play again so I came back. I am rebuilding my rogue on the Earthenring server, Alliance side, even though real players play Horde. Hit me up if you want to play, or duel in Goldshire or something.

I Has a Flavor

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Well I saw The Simpsons Movie on opening night, and it was awsome. That's all I'm going to say about the film, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. The place was packed more than I had ever seen it. There was a line of people, who had already purchased their tickets, out the door and around the block waiting to get in and see this thing. Fortunately for me my best mate decided to get there a couple hours early and get me and my brothers tickets for us, as well as a good spot in line. Every single seat in the theatre was filled and laughing with everyone else was a surprisingly good time. I say this because I usually hate being among large crowds, or with a lot of other people, when I see a movie, because the more people there are, the greater the likely hood of there being a bunch of jerks in the showing with you that ruin it.

Everything has it's downside though, and now I am at home sicker than a dog. I don't know what I have, but I assure you it isn't pretty. There is stuff rolling around in my head, my nose has turned into a waterfall, and everything tastes funny. Even I taste funny, and I don't taste like anything at all, not even chicken! Thus, I suppose you could say that this experience has taught me that:

.

For those of you with AOL, or who can't see the image, click here.

Hmmm, I was going to write about something else too. Something about fever dreams, console wars, and being in those war camps you see in the film Gladiator, but I forget what it is now. I need to go lay down. I'll be back when the room stops spinning.

Sarcastic Gamer

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I don't know how many of you know about sarcasticgamer.com, but a friend of mind stumbled on it earlier today and sent it my way. Needless to say, I love it and give those guys a 10 for creativity. Most of what they say is true, but a lot isn't. So take their stuff with a grain of salt if you decide to check them out.

Their Wii Fit parody is quite good, and so is their Microsoft Surface Parody. My other favorite is their "How you Kill Your Brand" Parody, which is directed at SONY and all the mistakes they have made with the PS3.

I would embed these videos for everyone if I could figure out how. Gamespot's blog coding is wierd. If anyone does know how to embed videos in your blog, please tell me.

Ready, aim, aim, aim, aiiiiiimmm, FIRE!!!

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So my labtop had a little incident last night. While I was surfing msn it started emitting a high pitch screaming noise followed by a snap, crackle, pop noise that repeated for several seconds. Now, I don't eat rice crispies, and didn't have any food around, so I knew this wasn't good. Next, I noticed some smoke and then an aroma most foul proceeded to rape my nostrils. My fingers nearly melted when I touched my little machine and I quickly recoiled in horror. My labtop and it's battery charging pack had over heated and set them selves on fire.

Why? For what purpose? I've only had the little bugger for three years, and I've taken care of him as best I could. Was life really so bad? Was I really so hard? I never demanded much, beyond the photoshopping, word processing, game playing, and occasional MMO private server running. Why did you do it labtop? Why couldn't you think about my feelings too? It's not all about you, and never has been. It's only been mostly about you. Suicide wasn't the answer. Don't they teach you kids anything in school anymore?

Now I am only left with that big stinky desktop. Sure he has a more powerful graphics card than you did, but in every other way he is inferior. Now I have to wait two weeks for HP to send me a new unit, and even when I get it things won't be the same.

Where Did My Turkey Go?

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So I got a surprise when I logged in a few minutes ago, my turkey emblem is gone! Now, usually I don't care about emblems. I think they are pretty stupid for the most part, just like Xbox LIVE achievements and achievement points. However, I do care when something that is mine is taken away. Like I said I normally don't care about emblems. If you are going to give me an emblem fine, but don't take away once you have given it to me! Once you give an emblem to someone it's theirs. DO NOT TAKE IT AWAY! Now I am angry. I don't know what the turkey means. I don't know where it went, but I want it back.

Also, I finally posted my review for Gears of War and Final Fantasy X. You can find them in the my reviews section of my profile. I docked Gears because the single player game is crap in my opinion. It's story is practically absent and the script that barely holds it together is laughably poor, which ultimately left me unsatisifed. Hence, why I rated it good and not great or superb like everyone else has. I loved Final Fantasy X though, and I can't wait to start Final Fantasy X-2 this weekend, even though I know it's not as good.

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