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Dark-Messenger Blog

E3 and Comic-Con 2012

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Yeah yeah yeah, I'm really late on this, but after a couple weeks of setbacks, I'm finally ready to get this blog out! I decided to combine both E3 and Comic-Con 2012.

E3

First up we have the X-Box 360; from watching their conference there are a few things that caught my eye. Halo 4 looks interesting, and while the first two games hold a special place in my heart, I never play 3 outside of a couple of multiplayer matches. Splinter Cell Blacklist's voice recognition seems alright, but the new gameplay elements looks more interesting; hopefully they are since the developers are looking to be going for a more action packed Splinter Cell. Madden 13 kinects features makes sense, but who knows how well it'll play out when you're deep in the game. I know it's a long stretch, but the Xbox smart glass reminds me of the WII Us controller just a little bit. Tomb Raider keeps looking better and better, I just hope the wait is worth it. Resident Evil 6 looks to be even more action oriented than the previous installments, and I hope it is.

From the Playstation conference, Beyond looks like it could be something special, and the story has my interest. Though no actually gameplay was seen, but if it's anything like Heavy Rain, then we already know what to expect. Playstation All-Stars looks like its going to be awesome. Of course it's going to get the Super Smash Bros. comparison, but who cares! It's a good idea. Assassin's Creed has become one of my favorite franchises, so of course AC III and Liberation for the PS Vita is on my must buy list. FarCry 3 is really shaping up as it looks; I know a lot of people thought that the second game was a letdown, but the third game might get it right. God Of War: Ascension is another game on my radar; loved the first two, still have to play the third and possibly the PSP games. The Last of Us looks like a real interesting concept, one of those post-apocalypse movies that's in a game form.

The Nintendo conference finally unveils more about the Wii U. I never had the pleasure of playing any of the Pikmin games, maybe I'll get my chance with Pikmin 3. Nevermind, they just said they wont have much time to talk about the Wii U, because that makes a lot of sense. Looks like Nintendo decided that the Wii U can support two gamepads, that's a plus. The New Super Mario Bros. U doesn't look too unique, but it's a Mario game after all. Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition makes awesome use of the gamepad, I might have to but the game, again. Looks like a very nice collection of games are headed for the Wii U, and gore! New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, SO MUCH GOLD! Awesome, Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon for the 3DS; never got to play the Gamecube version, so now Ill get that chance. Of course we need our zombie game with ZombiU; I'm really loving all the things they're doing with the gamepad, I hope it lives up to the hype.

On the Comic-Con side of things, Hitman Absolution looks like the Hitman game we all know and love with some new features. I thought Transformers: War for Cybertron was a very good game, and its sequel, Fall of Cybertron looks to be picking up right where the first game left off. Injustice: God Among Us has the look and feel of the Mortal Kombat reboot game and DC vs. MK; but that's to be expected since it's being developed by the same company more or less, but I'm going to definitely keep my eye on the game. Eh, there were more games on display, but they really didn't catch my eye.

- DM

To PSP Or Not To Be

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I (finally) bought a PSP over the weekend. Yeah I know that I could have gotten with the times and picked up the PS Vita, but at the moment I'm really not sold on the PS Vita, and at that price I could have gotten a PS3. Right now I have Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. I haven't gotten too in-depth yet because I want to finish Shenmue for the Dreamcast first (and find a way to play Shenmue II) and I've been downloading and playing a lot of demos from the Playstation store.

I figured that if I like the PSP a lot then it'd be a good idea to start building its library, and with the demos I can try before I buy. Right now it's a fun handheld, no regrets yet with the purchase. I've spent too much time on a 3DS because I catch myself trying to turn on the 3D on the PSP :lol:

The Dream(cast) Lives On

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I still have a fully working Sega Dreamcast that has been gathering dust in my closet. Out of sheer boredom I decided to boot it up for old time's sake. I only have a few games; A demo disc, Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Ready 2 Rumble, Power Stone, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (though I have no idea how I ended up with that game). Not much of a collection and one of the reasons I didn't get a lot of play out of the console. There were still a bunch of games I always wanted to play, but figured that it was out of the question due to the games getting lost in the sands of time. But as it turns out I was sitting on a goldmine the entire time.
Without going into too much details, I'm finally getting a chance to play the games I never had the chance otherwise. Now that I have that chance, I'm already taking full advantage of it.; I already completed Resident Evil: Code Veronica with Shenmue on deck. While others are playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3, I'm content with Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
Another victory in my sights is finally browsing the web on the Dreamcast. Yes, I know that I'm already online with my PC and doing so on dial up with the Dreamcast is foolish, BUT I've been trying to go online with the Dreamcast for the past thirteen years, and at this point I just want to see if that's still possible or if it was ever possible. I had a breakthrough the other day before hitting another barrier, but I'm getting closer. -DM

Won A GameSpot Contest

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Remember during Comic-Con this year GameSpot was running different contests that you could enter and win? Well I won an Alex Ross autographed sketchbook that was up for grabs in one of the contests. Alex Ross is my favorite comic book artist, so winning this autographed sketchbook really brighten my day!

Hard Copy Or Not To Hard Copy

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So for the past couple of weeks I've been contemplating whether or not I should start buying PC games digitally or stick to hardcopies. To be more specific, there's this client named Steam that you can download for free and use the program to purchase a variety of different PC games they have available from their library. Some of these games include Devil May Cry 4, the F.E.A.R. series, the Assassin's Creed series, the Call Of Duty series, just to name a few. But for those hardcore PC gamers, I'm sure all of this is just redundant. The company responsible for Steam is Valve Corporation; they're best known for the Half-Life and Portal series, and Team Fortress 2. The only reason I even I have Steam now is because Team Fortress 2 went free to play a couple of weeks ago. I've been hearing a lot about TF2 so I figured this was my chance to see what all the fuss is about. Turns out it's not a bad multiplayer game. I also took the opportunity to catch up on the Half-Life series by playing Half-Life 2, episode one and episode two. But Steam got me thinking on how convenient it is to simply buy a game off Steam and install them at your leisure. But there's the issue of having to have a constant internet connection in order to play your game. There is an offline mode with Steam, but I read stories of how it fails and is not reliable a lot of the times. Not to mention downtimes that would prevent you from playing your games. Maybe I'll just stick to actually buying a physical copy for the foreseeable future. Oh, I finally got around to playing and beating Chrono Trigger. I'm thinking that Chrono Cross will be the next game I finally get around to playing. -DM

Post E3 '11 Fallout

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Alright, now that E3 2011 has come and gone and most of the dust has settled, I think it's time for me to give my feedback on what I took away from the event. Granted I won't cover everything, just the basics and what caught my eye. E3 kicked off with Modern Warfare 3 gameplay footage. They showed off some underwater and boat gameplay, pretty much the same as the other MW games, but I do like the story and is interested in the other new gadgets they might have in store for us. The next game displayed was the Tomb Raider reboot. Surprisingly, my first taste of the Tomb Raider games came from Anniversary, but that was enough for me to become an instant fan of the series (plan on playing Underworld in the near future). The reboot is a dark and gritty retelling of Lara's origins and what made her into the survivalist she is today. From the trailer and gameplay footage they showed, you could really tell that they plan on pushing Lara to the limit and breaking her down time and time again. The developers even opted not to have a model this time around and even decided not to dress Lara as a "pin up model" but rather make her down to Earth and more human. I have to say, I wasn't at all "wow'd" or impressed with Microsoft's presentation. They were really heavy handed with Kinect this year. I didn't care for the voice commands that seem really artificial and forced just to integrate Kinect into the game, or the on-rail games they showed. I really don't care for on-rail game unless they're in an arcade, even with the Star Wars game they demonstrated having to yell "LIGHTSABER ON!" to turn the lightsaber on just seems silly, but there are a few moves you're able to do, like dashing forward just by leaning forward and jumps and dodge flips just by jumping to the back and side. Kinect did seem more geared towards the younger crowd; they even had kids do demonstrations of different children's games. And now we're in for a new Halo Trilogy and a remake of the first Halo game. The first Halo game holds a special place in my heart, but I can't say that it'll be enough to sway me into buying a 360. While I didn't like most of the Kinect demos, I do think that this could be baby steps in actually getting full immersion of virtual reality gaming once the technology advances in the future. I would consider where we're at now as growing pains. The importance of Sony's presentation was the Playstation Vita (Latin for Life), the successor to the PSP. The two games they showed off were Uncharted and Street Fighter X Tekken. Graphic wise it looked nearly on par with the PS3, but I haven't had the chance yet to delve into the hardware of the machine. The PS Vita also has two different versions, one with 3G ($299) and the other without 3G ($249). When Sony announced that AT&T would be the exclusive carrier, there were a hilarious amount of groans and boos in the audience. Personally I don't want to have to pay for 3G monthly, on top of the price of the handheld itself and the games, so I might have to settle for the cheaper version. Not only is the Vita backwards compatible with the all PSP games available on the PlayStation Network, but it also boasts two analog sticks and augmented reality capabilities. Personally I like to have a physical copy of the game, so I might get a PSP instead and hold off on getting the Vita. Another bomb Sony dropped on us was that they're coming out with their own brand of Playstation 3D Televisions. Why this is newsworthy is because through the use of the 3D glasses, two players could be looking at the same screen but seeing two completely different set of images, solving the age old problem of screen looking. I could explain how this is possible, but just chalk it up to magic. Nintendo, Nintendo, Nintendo. Wii U? The name Wii took a while to be forgiven, but WII U? It seems like you spent all your energy into making the new console with nothing left to come up with a decent name. And on top of that they put on the focus on the new controller instead of the actual machine, which caused a lot of confusion during the presentation. But that aside, it looks like Nintendo caved and decided to actually beef up the hardware side of their console, instead of relying on solely on the gameplay experience. Because no matter how great a game Nintendo makes, there's always the naysayers who only focus on graphics and hardware. This time Nintendo is going for the hardcore gamers instead of the casual side of things. Nintendo seems to (finally) have the backing of third party developers, with such games as Batman Arkham City, Darksiders II and possibly Battlefield 3 to be released for the new console. But the problem with that is by the time of the release date for the WII U, those games will already be dated and most of the revenue will be divided among the PS3 and 360. But hopefully the third party support will still be strong and flowing for the Wii U at the point of release, because I feel like the reason they announced a new console this early is to get actual third party support from big name developers. The Wii U has backwards compatibility with all the Wii games Wii Remotes and classic controllers, so that's good news for us Wii owners. The controller reminds me a lot of the Dreamcast controller and the VMU, but of course a much, much better version. The controller does look a big beefy, but that's still to be seen. One feature of the controller aside from having a 6.2 inch touchscreen is how most of the HUD will be on the touchscreen of the controller, leaving only the action on the TV. But the big news was that you could actually switch from the TV or the controller to play the game. For example, if you were playing a Mario game on the TV and someone wanted to watch TV, you could instead play the Mario game on the controller while the other person freely watched TV. This is something that I can't wait to try out and see if it's all it's cracked up to be. The Wii U is allegedly said to be significantly more powerful than the PS3 and 360. That may not even matter since there's a greater chance that Sony and/or Microsoft could announce their new machine at next year's E3. Nintendo took a risk showing their hand this early, but there is a growing trend of everyone following in Nintendo's steps; first the Kinect then the Playstation Move, could we see another trend with touchscreen controllers next year? -DM

Never Ending Console War (Eve of E3 '11)

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With E3 2011 upon us, I've been thinking what surprises we're in store for. It's rumored that Nintendo will introduce their new console; it's being called the Nintendo Stream, but with Nintendo you can't trust their codenames. I only gotten my Wii a few months ago and I love it, but it still stings knowing how far behind I am with consoles. I've been getting my gaming fix by becoming a bit of a PC gamer over the last couple of years. I wish that more third party developers would have put more stock into the Wii, hopefully they'll do that with the next Nintendo console. I'm really hoping Sony and Microsoft doesn't drop similar bombs and announce new consoles, however there are reports of Sony announcing a new handheld. The new handheld is said to almost be on par with the PS3 in terms of graphics, but I'll take that with a grain of salt. The new handheld doesn't bother me as much, seeing how there are only a handful of games I would like to play for the PSP. I was big on the 3DS for a while, but I've been reading mixed reports on the supposed 3D effects and graphics. The lineup of games however, sounds promising. I've been thinking of getting another console, I'm leaning more towards the PS3. The 360 and PS3 are pretty even in my view, so it comes down to first party games and individual specifications. The PS3 can double as a Blu-ray player and has the Uncharted series and Metal Gear Solid 4, that really sold me on the PS3; I really didn't see anything for the 360 that could really sway me otherwise. I'm not too big on online multi-playing games, so that really didn't factor into my decision. To be fair the only couple of games I've been wanting to play are Final Fantasy XIII and as mentioned MGS4. Told you I'm far behind the curve. -DM

Rebirth Of Sorts

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Helllllllllo everyone! It's been a long time since I last posted a blog. Well to start off, my old desktop quit on me, so I was forced to work twice as hard in my studies here at college. But now I have a newly built kickass desktop. Missed coming to Gamespot daily and keeping up with the gaming world, but hopfully one day I'll be helping to create video games. Oh! Looks like there's a new Captain America! No no, Steve Rogers is still dead and buried, but now his former sidekick, Bucky a.k.a Winter Soldier has decided to carry the Captain America Mantle:

The drawing above (copyright of Marvel) was drawn by my idol, Alex Ross. Pretty sweet design I would think, though it will take some to get use to Caps wielding a gun and knife.

Right now I can't wait for Spring Break. Though I'll be stuck in my dorm catching up on reading and project, it'll be a well deserved break, I'll have Call Of Duty 4 and F.E.A.R. to keep me busy. Now, only if my any of my Gamespot buddies would remember me...

See You Space Cowboy...

Summer Break

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Hey everyone, I completed my first year of college, now I'm just relaxing at home.  I'm looking for a job, but I'm not having any luck so far.  Hmm, Oh I beat San Andreas, so I'm caught up with all three GTAs, and I have Marvel Ultimate Alliance now under my belt.  Eh, that's all I have for now, see ya at the next upgrade :D

New Gfx Card

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WOOOOO! Finally got a new graphics card, meaning I can play nearly all the games I want. Sweeeeeet. Hmm, I'll start with with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Check out the difference before and after I installed the card:

 

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