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GaussGoat Blog

Back from the dead - Classic Game Review

Hello to all in my tiny clan of review followers,

I hope everyone has been having a great year so far. Apologies for the extended absence; I am alive and still playing games.

For some reason, I haven't had a burning desire to put reviews down on paper. I think I was getting to the point mentally where I felt like I had to spend a huge amount of time with a game to review it... not sure why I was at that point, but I'm over it :D

For your reading pleasure, I've thrown up a short review on the arcade classic, Blazing Lazers. Have fun!

http://www.gamespot.com/tg16/action/gunhed/player_review.html?id=666154

Happy New Year - Your 360 is dead

So I planned a quiet evening at home for New Year's Eve, and my 360 decided that it would be an excellent time to kick the bucket... sigh.

The good news is that Microsoft's repair site looks good; they even had my serial number pre-loaded.

I hope to God that I get a new one this time, as the one that just croaked was a refurb replacement.

Gaussgoat's handy-dandy Left 4 Dead survival tip #1 - Tank the Tank

We all know and love the mega-sized zombie known as "The Tank", but we're not too keen on his ability to run through a hail of bullets and smash us into bloody pieces. I would like to offer you a solution, in the form of the humble propane tank.

Scattered around the L4D levels, we find things like gas cans, pipe bombs, molotovs, etc. Sure, some of these things can be used on the Tank, but the pipe-bomb is a waste of a fantastic horde killer, and the Molotov basically just pisses him off AND lights you on fire as he smashes you into tiny pieces. The gas cans also are not a big help for this reason. Which leaves us with Mr. Propane, your friend and savior.

Sure, it is veeeeery tempting to use the propane tank against mobs of zombie and blow the hell out of them, but you're wasting an invaluable weapon in doing so. The propane tank can be carried practically anywhere, and using the fire button will chuck it across a pretty good distance. Anything standing next to the tank when it explodes will take a tremendous shot, as long as the detonation is right on top of the target.

So the next time you see the tank, chuck the propane tank in front of him, wait for him to run next to it, then blow the hell out of him. He probably will not die (particularly at higher difficulties), but he will take a nice chunk of damage and go down easier. As always, the best thing to do is concentrate fire as much as possible, with all team members lacing the hell out of him. If there are normal infected around, chuck a pipe bomb and get them the hell out of the way and concentrate on the big guy.

As a final tip, be sure to use elevation and small corridors whenever possible against the Tank. While he can smash into places, getting him on the other side of a window or small frame can be a god-send.

Hope this helps you survive yeah another foray through infected territory.

Engage!

Unless you've been living in a soundproof box for the past 40 years or so, you may have heard of a little thing called "Star Trek." Now, whether or not you just rolled your eyes at the first sentence of this post, bear with me and keep reading for a minute as I extol Star Trek Online.

Ever since the words "Star Trek" and "Massive Multiplayer" were uttered in a sentence together for the first time, my brain has been hooked on the idea of a Trek MMO. No, it is not because I am a huge fan of the show (which I am) or even because I think the setting is cool (which it is) but because I can simply not think of a Intellectual Property that is better suited to this genre.

Trek has innumerable elements going for it that create the perfect MMO world... exploration, pre-built alliances, cooperation, diverse alien races, differing locales, a focus on overcoming obstacles in various methods that don't always (but sometimes) involved blowing things to pieces, and a constantly growing world. Add to this the massive Star Trek fanbase, and you're left with a staggering level of pre-built goodness that can be exploited.

Of course, hopes are only one piece of the pie, as anyone who watched Perpetual's core breach (sorry, couldn't resist) can attest to. A good team is needed, and I for one am ecstatic that Cryptic scooped up the Trek license. Their initial work looks amazing, and their presentation at this year's Star Trek convention in August was awesome.

I know the game is a ways off, but anyone who has even the slightest interest in the science fiction genre should check this game out. Star Trek online could be one of the most immersive and driven game worlds ever created, and I for one will be there to see it happen.

"Energize!"

Batarangs and MK

I'm sure that there are some out there feeling more than a little nervous about the upcoming DC vs MK game, but so far everything I have seen looks pretty awesome.

E3 brought a few gameplay reels to the surface, and the new "test your might" in-game mode looks AWESOME. The sight of Batman smashing Sonya through several walls made me a happy man... :D

Like Marvel vs Capcom before it, look for this title to breathe new-life into both franchises if it kicks-ass. The Marvel/Capcom alliance lasted for several games, and made for some great gameplay, so hopefully this one follows suit.

Guitar Hero World Tour

Game Informer (the magazine) had a great cover story on this game last month. It looks pretty awesome... I gotta say. I have no idea what Rock Band/Harmonix has up their sleeve for a sequel, but they will have some very serious competition. Some highlights:

-) GHWT will be a full band game, just like Rock Band.

-) They are promising big changes to the drums. The drums have 5 contact points (3 heads and 2 cymbals) and have velocity sensitive pads. They have said that each head has 4 different sounds based on speed of impact, so you can lightly tap or wail away. They have also said the drums are quieter (the material) so that they don't thwak as loud and distract the other players.

-) They are promising improvements to the guitar. There may be some kind of new free****mechanic or other control option, but they are being very hush hush about it until it is patented/liscensed.

-) They are brining in a new "world tour" mode a la rockband, where they promise that you won't get stuck hearing the same songs over and over. They have also stated that your avatar can play 4 insturments, (ie switch between instruments), and that difficulty can be changed mid-venue if you get stuck. It also sounds like multi-player will be present in the tour mode.

-) The character editor is improved, a la rockband, but goes deeper and matches Neversoft's previous entries with facial construction, warping, tatoos, etc.

-) You can make your own guitars by combining bodies, necks, fret boards, etc.

-) **One of the really big new features is the music studio. You will be able to create songs in multiple ways, allowing players to create a massive base of music. The article didn't say anything about people sharing created tunes, but you figure that would make sense. This would, obviously, create a near limitless amount of tunes for the game.

All in all, I was really blown away by what they are working on. While GH3 was not my favorite, Neversoft has been making games for a long time and knows how to be competitive. Hopefully the game will be insanely awesome.

I will, in all likelihood, get this game when it comes out, as I am crazy about Rock Band and would love to see some significant improvements like they are talking about. It is supposed to be coming in Q4 of this year.

Ikaruuggaaaa!!

So I took some time off from Mass Effect and took a quick forray into the land of Ikaruga this weekend.

For thos who don't know, Ikaruga is the infamous shooter which was originally available on the Japanese Dreamcast, was finally brought to the states on the Game Cube, and finally makes another appearance on the X360.

The game is amazing, and yet very simple to understand. Your ship can flip between being white or black, and your weapons change accordingly. Enemies come in two flavors... white and black. While your ship matches their color, their shots can't penetrate your shields, and actually charge up your missle launchers. However, you do more damage to targets of the opposite color.

The end result is an amazing example of arcade action, level design, and sheer-awesomeness. 2 players going at the same time can accomplish some fairly staggering feats, and the game is so beautiful and involving that I almost never get tired of it.

If you own a 360, please, please download the trial and give it a shot... you won't be dissapointed.