D3R1N / Member

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D3R1N Blog

Mass Effect review up and more.

Without any further adieu, I present you with my newest review for Mass Effect! Not that anyone had been or ever will be waiting to read any one of my reviews, but I just finished my first playthrough, and by GOD is it one of the best games I've ever played in my 10+ years of gaming. The story's flawless in every sense of the word, not to mention the stunning visuals and top-notch voice acting. Sadly, the vehicular combat does manage to fall a bit flat compared to the on-foot portions of the game. No worries though, as I did mange to acquire a majority of the achievements I was aiming to get my hands on for my first playthrough.

In other news, I'm still trying to find a job somewhere around my school after being fired and laid-off from my two previous jobs. I've applied to both Best Buy and Circuit City so far, with the intention of eventually applying for a position at F.Y.E. and every restaurant within 25 miles of here. Needless to say, I'm sick of having to essentially throw away much-earned items I've acquired over the years by selling them on eBay for roughly one-quarter of what I initially bought the items for. In other words, I can't get a break. Lucky for me, school's going okay so far in terms of both the amount of work I have to do and the courses themselves, and I've FINALLY started playing Assassin's Creed, so I'll let you know how that turns out sometime in the near future. Hmm, well, that about it does for today I suppose. Take care.

What I've been up to, though I doubt anyone actually cares.

As the topic once again implies, I've been up to quite a lot lately, most of which I didn't exactly benefit from in any shape or form. Needless to say, these activities have in fact kept me from GS for roughly a month and a half, but not to worry... (drum roll) I'm back! With this in mind, I have once again been transformed into a World of Warcraft zombie, playing the damned game every waking minute of every day without any regard for my physical or social well-being. It was all worth it in the long run though (skip this part if you're not a WoW person), as I managed to acquire full season 1 arena gear for my 70 Warrior in conjunction with an extensive array of other PvP goodies including the season 1 axe and so forth. Sadly, I won't actually get to use said gear much as I'm heading back to school tomorrow for our second and final semester of the year. Fantastic.

In other gaming-related news, I recently won Assassin's Creed on eBay for roughly $40 - approximately $25 or so cheaper than if I were to get it from, you know, an actual retailer. Since the game hasn't actually arrived yet, I ventured to my local EB in a pseudo fit of rage to purchase another game, Mass Effect, which has been leaving me pleasantly surprised every time I finish up another session with it. The story's surprisingly intriguing and some of the gameplay mechanics are just plain ridiculous (in a extremely good way of course). Aside from that, I figured I'd actually take myself up on the offer I made to... myself... and start writing reviews for the games I've played and finished recently. I figured this would be a good thing to do, seeing as I managed to leave one job and get fired from another (don't ask). Granted, I will have a lot of schoolwork to do, but without an (almost) steady source of income, I'm undoubtedly going to have to be wary of what I spend in terms of money and of course how I spend it. Well, that's about it for now I suppose, take care everyone and feel free to comment on whatever you'd like.

To leave or not to leave? That is the question...

At the risk of sounding redundant, I'm a little shocked and appalled at how Jeff was fired over stating his honest opinion on a game that he was assigned to review. In terms of GameSpot as a whole, I think that's just shallow and very, very selfish. Granted, it's really CNET that made the decision based on Eidos apparently pulling (or at least threatening to) their ad campaign, which would obviously result in CNET receiving a substantially smaller paycheck. Oh well, I guess it all comes down to people doing what they have to do, despite who's in it for what, i.e. the true gaming aspect of this particular site and so forth. All in all, such an issue has further given me a reason to leave GameSpot altogether, what with their new rating system being total and utter bull$#!t and the thousands upon thousands of "DURRR, WHAT GAMES SHOULD I GET DOODZ?" threads LITTERING the forums ever since I first signed up. I guess only time will tell at this point.

In other news, I recently signed myself up for GameFly, which to my surprise, is a very good service. The first game I had out, sadly, was TimeShift. The word "sadly" comes into play for a variety of reasons: the game lacks a coherent story and tolerable voice acting, and above all, it's excruciatingly repetitive. Needless to say I sent it back within a couple of days, hoping to receive Assassin's Creed in return; the next game in my "Game Q." Nope, they ended up having to send me Stranglehold instead, which so far has proven to be exceptionally entertaining despite its apparent short duration. It can get a tad repetitive at times, but it's still fun nonetheless. Expect a full review from me when I finish it, immediately followed by a review for every other game I manage to finish over the course of the next month or so; I'll be on my winter break (from school), so my life will basically consist of working, snowboarding, and video games. That's about it for now I guess, so take care everyone and feel free to comment on whatever you'd like.

Guitar Hero III adventure.

First off, I'm retarded. I'll tell you why. I preordered GHIII for PS2, right, figuring that paying $50 for a game rather than $100 for a 360 bundle would be smart. Nope, it wasn't. Not only did I do the whole wait-outside-until-midnight deal, but when I took the game home and popped it into my PS2, I was surprised to see absolutely horrific graphics that just took me out of the game entirely. With this in mind, I returned the game to the store this afternoon... wait, scratch that, TRADED IT IN towards the 360 version and a used Xplorer guitar. This purchase ended up costing me another $58 and change, meaning all in all I spent well over $100 and want to die. I happen to receive discounts at this particular GameStop though because I work there, but that still doesn't change the fact that I ended up spending more than what I had to in the first place. Ugh.

As for the game itself, I'm happy to let you know that it's without a doubt the best entry in the series. A majority of the songs are in fact original recordings, and I've been playing it nonstop, despite the fact that I have an immense amount of homework to do. I mean, I totally would've done some of it by this point if one of the textbooks I use wasn't missing the 30 pages I need for one of my assignments. Go figure. Anyways, that's about it for now, I guess I'm gonna go try and complete GHIII on Hard before my roommate gets back; I don't want him hoggin' it like a bastard. Take care everyone.

Halo 3 multiplayer and VF5 demo impressions.

So over the course of a four-day break I had from school recently, I managed to find/exploit a 48-hour free Xbox Live trial that'd originally come packaged with Crackdown way back when I bought it (and beat the whole damn thing in 2 days). Needless to say, I activated it as soon as possible and started playing Halo 3 online for the first time. I ended up getting in about 45 games or so, all of which were NOT ranked. I figured out soon enough that all of the good players play more ranked matches than anything, and I just felt more compelled to trounce the less gifted players in the social playlists. Of course, I came across my fair share of annoying pre-pubescent 9-year-olds and the stereotypical trash-talking... everyone else that's characteristic of pretty much any online game. All in all, I finished the weekend with many a win under my belt, AND I managed to obtain the UNSC Spartan achievement! Don't clap, I'm not that proud of myself as I still kinda, you know... suck.

In between my being tired of Halo and wanting to ultimately play more of it shortly thereafter for absolutely no reason, I managed to take some time to download the Virtua Fighter 5 demo. I started it up and was immediately pleased with the ear-piercing sound effects characteristic of every VF title in existance; something I love more than life itself. The graphics are a huge step above VF4 obviously for the PS2, and I was very pleased with how smooth the character animations are and the character modeling in general. Each environment is beautifully crafted as well, with a sort of DoA touch to them, what with their being somewhat destructible upon a character smacking hard against something. The trademark difficulty of the series seemed to be there as well; something I noticed upon sampling the game's Arcade mode within the demo. As a matter of fact, the only thing I wasn't too fond of was the oiled-up half-midget wrestler character. He should be shot dead based on principle alone. What principle this is exactly, I've yet to find out for myself.

Aside from my recent gaming endeavors, I've been working (contently) at a Gamestop located near my school. It's nice, despite what others may already think of EB and Gamestop, as I literally get paid to stand around and talk about video games for upwards of 3 hours at a time. Granted, I get around to alphabetizing the used game bins and whatnot eventually, but for the most part, I answer stupid questions and discuss upcoming titles with the managers. The only sad part about it is that they're using me for the whole "seasonal help" thing, what with Christmas being somewhat around the corner and every video game store in the world being exceptionally mobbed. Well, I suppose that's it for now, take care everyone and feel free to leave comments, blah, blah, blah.

Conan (demo) impressions.

So, out of boredom, I decided to take the liberty of downloading the Conan demo for the 360. Judging from what I've heard from a few friends and a couple of co-workers, it's supposed to either be: A) The next coming of Christ in the form of a video game featuring a half-naked barbarian or B) Meh/bad. Where do I stand? No idea (yet). All I can say as of now is that the game feels like more of a God of War knock-off than anything, with a few dashes of PoP thrown in for good measure. I mean I like that sort of stuff, but come on, get original. The combat gets boring and relatively old fast, but I'm assuming once you get the hang of the game's combo system, that'll change for the better.

To compensate for said flaw, Conan seems to sport a hefty amount of blood and gore, good visuals, and decent voice acting. Again, more of what you'd see in the ol' GoW, but then again you can never really go wrong implementing this kind of stuff in any game. Conan even doubles as a professional wrestler! Who knew? No one, I take it. Anyways, I also found something a tad off with the blocking aspect of the combat system; allowing me to get into Conan's defensive stance but not out until I got wailed on by an angry horde. Hopefully they'll polish this up in the final version, eh?

All in all, piledriving enemies in order to make their heads explode on impact doesn't really get old, but it can be easily seen by most people the other mechanics that've been shared by so many other games (over and over and over again). So the question is, am I gonna buy it? Maybe. Is this a lie? You betcha, but this isn't because I hated it; it's just a precautionary measure so that I won't have to dish out $60 to beat a mediocre game in a single day... again.

New review posted (and more)!

OOOOOH A NEW BLOG POST! How exciting, right? Anyways, I just recently exchanged my copy of Skate for Halo 3, without paying a dime. How did I do such a thing, you ask? Well, I originally bought Skate, not knowing how good Halo 3 was actually going to be. Lucky for me, one of my local GameStops gave me a new DISPLAY copy of the game, meaning that I could essentially return it within 30 days for my money back, or any day for that matter considering the game they gave me was already out of its packaging. Needless to say I beat Skate within a few days and brought it back to the store, saying I haven't even touched the game since I picked it up and would like to exchange it for Halo 3. DONE, haha. Worked like a charm it did, although it'd be pretty hard to get away with it again I'm sure. Anyways, make sure you guys check out my review for Skate that I just posted a few minutes ago and rate it if you can! Thanks in advance and take care everyone.

P.S. Halo 3 isn't THAT good. Don't get me wrong, the multiplayer's great, but the single player campaign does nothing but confuse the $#!^ out of me much like it always has. I also managed to find the ending very... VERY unsatisfying.

Beat BioShock... Now what?

Well, I beat BioShock today, and I think it's safe to say that it's easily one of the most innovative and just flat-out best games I've ever played. Sadly, I got the slightly unfulfilling ending, but luckily my friend got the "good" one and told me all about it. I'm still gonna play it again to get it myself (I'm stubborn). Anyways, I'm now in a bit of a bind, mainly due to the fact that I can't figure out what to play and finish next. I mean I GUESS I could finish off God of War II, but I'm nearly at the end of that too. Ugh. Any suggestions?

Back to school = no more WoW.

So, as the topic clearly states, I'm now back at school for another fun-filled semester of not eating properly and too much time spent inside crowded classrooms. Needless to say, I'm unable to play WoW despite the fact I was just starting to get back into it over the summer. Luckily I picked up BioShock for my 360, one of the best games I've ever played I reckon. This apparently doesn't stop it from making said 360 seize up after I'd been playing for a relatively long amount of time, especially when I haven't saved my game recently. Bravo. And I thought technical issues were only present with the PC version, i.e. making computers actually explode and so forth. Oh well.

In other news, I plan on attempting to get a job at a local EB Games or GameStop just off campus, as there's no reason for me to return home at all for the next few months until Winter break. This means more money for all the upcoming titles I really wanna pick up AND discounts on pretty much all of them. These include Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, and so on. Wish me luck! Take care everyone.