Gigastormz / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
359 140 195

Gigastormz Blog

What's this? A Podcast appears!

by on

Saturday I recorded my first episode as a new co-host of the United Gamedom Podcast, along with fellow gamers, Denis (aka NeoJedi from Canada) and Darren (Darrogamer06 from Northern Ireland). This is the 4th episode of the podcast and the plan is to record one at least every two weeks, but sometimes every week (depending on scheduling). You may download the episode here:

http://ia601209.us.archive.org/16/items/UnitedGamedomPodcastEpisode4/UnitedGamedomEpisode4.mp3

You may leave comments or questions about the episode here or follow me on Twitter at GigastormZ. Please let us know what you think! Sound quality, length, topics, anything is open to constructive criticism or suggestion. I will post a link to each episode here, but you can also follow the official Twitter feed to listen to the podcast the instant it is uploaded @UnitedGamedomPodcast

It's been awhile

by on

This place has changed. What is this Fuse thing? Oh look, my videos are still here.

Sony E3 2010 Media Briefing

by on

Sony's Press Conference was the last of the big 3, and they had the best chance to wow everyone since they already knew what Microsoft and Nintendo presented. How did they do? Would they focus on Playstation Move as much as Microsoft focused on Kinect? Or would they focus on GAMES as much as Nintendo did? Read on!

3D - The show started off with Sony selling their 3D technology to us. At this point it is still just a gimmick to me. I am not buying a new TV anytime soon and I certainly don't want to have to wear glasses to see the 3D effects. I will be excited about 3D technology when it actually WORKS, and when they develop it so I don't need to be wearing glasses and sitting directly in front of the TV. The only 3D movie I've seen with this "new technology" is Avatar and I didn't think the 3D was impressive enough that I want all my TV/Movie/Games to be in 3D.

Killzone 3 - Isn't this a little early for another Killzone sequel? I couldn't get into Killzone 2. I don't know if it was the controls or what, but I certainly didn't think it was a Halo killer. The game looks ok, I guess, but doesn't really appeal to me.

Playstation Move - Once again, I am not a fan of motion controls, but I will say that the Move seems to be more precise than the Wii.

Sorcery - This is a game developed for Playstation Move. Sort of like Harry Potter I guess, but with a cartoony style (like Fable). The motion controls seemed to work quite well (and no wireless interference here! Seriously, what the hell Nintendo?). Looks kinda neat.

Tiger Woods - Game developed using Playstation Move. No thanks. I fast-forwarded through this part.

Heroes on the Move - Another Playstation Move game. I've never played any of the games these characters are in (Sly, Jak, Ratchet, Daxter, etc.) but I can see fans of those games enjoying this game.

Kevin Butler - at this point Kevin Butler came out on stage to talk about.....um.......nothing, really. He was just cracking jokes and marketing the Playstation to the audience. Sony sure has a good marketing campaign with this dude. He's good. LOL (If you don't know who he is, he is the blond guy in the shirt and tie you see on the most recent Playstation television commercials.)

PSP - Sony seems to admit that the PSP sucks. Or at least that they haven't been pushing it much in the US, if at all. They debuted a new marketing campaign here. Maybe if there were better games on the PSP I would play it more.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta - Another God of War game on PSP. Seems to be a prequel. I would love to play it, but I'd rather have dual joysticks. Having to press 2 buttons to dodge (instead of moving the right analog stick) is a pain in the ass.

PSP Montage - some good stuff in there but I can't remember it all, sorry!

Playstation Home - I have no interest in Home, but it is cool how they recreated their E3 booth in Home.

LittleBigPlanet 2 - I have no interest in this game, but it is cool how you can make more types of games, other than just a platformer. I'd rather be playing games than creating them though.

Playstation Plus - $49.99 per year. Similar to Xbox Live. You get free games, DLC and early access to demos and betas. You only own the stuff as long as you continue to pay your subscription. Bah!

Medal of Honor - No interest, sorry.

Dead Space 2 - The first game was easily my game of the year of 2008, so I'm eagerly anticipating playing the sequel. I don't understand what's up with the helicopter though. Is he fighting humans now too? And why is Isaac still using mining tools as weapons when there's apparently this big man-made city? I think I will be buying this on PS3 this time (or in addition to the 360 version) so I can get the Dead Space Extraction game, remade for PS3.

Portal 2! - WHAT?! GLaDOS!! SWEET! Gabe Newell of Valve walks out on stage despite his repeated statements that Playstation sucks. I wonder what changed his mind?? Portal 2 will be coming to PS3! Very cool and very unexpected. Now if only we could get Half-Life 2 Episode 3 sometime this decade!

Final Fantasy XIV - It's another MMO. No thanks

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - I suppose I should try one of these games at some point. They showed off the multiplayer portion a bit here.

Metal Gear Solid Rising - it was not shown, but they did mention this game as coming to the PS3. I wonder if Konami has some deal where they release it on 360 first?

Gran Turismo 5 - FINALLY! November 2nd is the release date. I'm not sure if I will be buying this right away. Forza has really taken over as the premier simulation racing game. GT5 looks gorgeous though! Oh, and it will be in 3D.

Infamous 2 - The dude has ice powers now too? And he has hair? Or is it a different dude? I haven't played the 1st game aside from the demo. Couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll rent it at some point.

Twisted Metal - Sony closed out the show by recreating Sweet Tooth's Ice Cream Van and driving it on stage, with a big dude dressed up as Sweet Tooth! OMFG Twisted Metal on PS3!! Twisted Metal 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. I literally cannot wait to try this game out. It looks like they are really focusing on the multiplayer, and there are helicopters now?? Wow. I was not expecting this. David Jaffe is a liar!! He said the new game he is working on is NOT Twisted Metal and he said that the new game he IS working on is NOT going to be shown at E3 this year. Bastard! lol This was the end of the show and they certainly ended it with style.

Overall, Sony had a very good Press Conference this year. Several new game announcements, some of which were only shown in video montages, and a couple shockers (which is why I look forward to these press conferences each year). They did spend quite a lot of time talking about 3D and motion controls, which I am not interested in at this point. It is really hard to say who "won" E3 this year in terms of the press conferences, but it is very close between Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft was a distant 3rd (hell, the EA and Ubisoft press conferences may have been better, but I have not watched those yet).

Nintendo E3 2010 Media Briefing

by on

The following has been reposted from my GiantBomb.com profile:

Nintendo most assuredly pleased its fanboys this year, as they announced a whole slew of games at their press conference. It was a nice change of pace compared to past years when they focused heavily on the casual gamer. Thankfully that was cut to a minimum this time. What follows are my thoughts on the highlights of the Nintendo 2010 E3 Press Conference:

Zelda: Skyward Sword - The first game announcement today was certainly a big one. The graphics look to be about the same quality as the Twilight Princess but the big difference is the control scheme. You control Link's sword with a Wiimote and Link's shield with the Nunchuk. The concept is neat, but I can see myself getting tired really quick from constantly moving my arms around. The controls in the on stage demo were not working correctly. Wii Motion Plus is supposed to be "1-to-1" control, but that was not the case here. Why blame the control issues on wireless interference? People are going to be using wireless devices constantly at home when they are playing the game next year. Can we expect the same wireless interference then? Control issues aside, the game will please all Zelda fans. There are some new items as well, such as a remote controlled beetle that can be used to pick up and drop items, and a whip (which seems pretty cool!). I don't consider myself much of a Zelda fan, but I will certainly try the game given the opportunity.

Mario Sports Mix - Two things I dislike most in video games: Mario and sports games. No thanks.

Wii Party - Yay! More crappy mini-game collections. Aren't there enough of these already?

Just Dance - No thanks. I can't dance.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn - I enjoyed the first 2 games (but never finished the 2nd). The graphics on this one look pretty awful. One of the big appeals of the first 2 Golden Sun games was the impressive graphics and detailed monster summons (similar to Final Fantasy games). This one has monster summons but they don't look that good in 3D. Worth a rental at least.

Goldeneye 007 remake - It's not the same without Pierce Brosnan. Not a fan of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. I wonder how the original Goldeneye holds up today? The biggest appeal was the 4 player split screen deathmatch because that was one of the only games (if not the first game) that supported 4 player split screen. Now that we can play games online, split screen is a thing of the past. Seems exactly like the N64 original, only with better graphics and textures. We'll see how this game turns out. I know a lot of people have been clamoring for a new Goldeneye game.

Disney Epic Mickey - Seems pretty interesting. I really like the visual style of the game, especially that side scrolling level based on the Steamboat Willie cartoon. It literally looked like you were playing the cartoon itself. I wonder if any characters from Song of the South will be found in the "wasteland" they mentioned in the on-stage demo? I'm guessing NO since that is to controversial to even release on DVD.

Kirby's Epic Yarn - The style of this game is extremely unique. Its like everything is made out of yarn and the textures are so accurate that the yarn looks real! It looks as if they made an 8-bit game for the NES, but updated with today's graphics. I can't say this is a game for me, but it certainly looks beautiful.

Dragon Quest IX - I know its popular but I've never gotten into the DQ series. The only one I've ever played and finished is Dragon Warrior and that was a LONG time ago. The multiplayer stuff in DQIX sounds cool, but I am rarely (if ever) around people with their DS's turned on. This feature is extremely popular in Japan since everyone plays DS (and PSP) on the trains to work/home/school. I will probably give this a rental at the very least.

Metroid: Other M - The gameplay looks to be fantastic. Sort of a mix of classic style gameplay and the 1st person views of the Metroid Prime series. The only thing I'm not so keen on is the story and unknown human characters that have been shown in past trailers.

Donkey Kong Country Returns - Never been a fan of Donkey Kong. Never ever played a Donkey Kong game and do not desire to. Don't like the character and don't like monkeys/apes/gorillas, etc. This is another game that looks like it could have been made in the 90s on SNES. Very classic look to it.

Nintendo 3DS - There isn't much to say about this until you experience the 3D yourself and I have NO idea how that is. I have heard it is pretty impressive, but we'll see. The bottom screen is a touch screen, just like the DS now, but the top is a larger 3.5" widescreen and it has the 3D effect. There is a slider on the side that lets you adjust the intensity of the 3D. You can even turn off the 3D effect completely. There is also an analog nub on the left side, which seems to be similar to the analog nub on the PSP. That's about all I know at this point. Will need to read up on this, but I am excited to try it out.

Kid Icarus Uprising - To go along with the 3DS, Nintendo announced a game developed exclusively for the new handheld system, a new Kid Icarus game! I've never played the original Kid Icarus game, but this game seems pretty cool. I really like the style of the characters, and the game looks much, MUCH better than 3D (polygons I mean) games running on the original DS.

Nintendogs & Cats (3DS) - Yay! I'm more of a cat person myself.

Iwata announcements - at this point Iwata announced several game studios that are developing games for the new 3DS system. I didn't catch them all because of the **** Nintendo fanboys at the press conference that wouldn't shut up. Dear Nintendo Fanboys: shut up and let me listen to Iwata speak! I did hear a new Kingdom Hearts game is coming and a new Resident Evil game (sweet!).

At the very end, Nintendo released a torrent of booth babes that had 3DS systems chained to their waists so that everyone in the audience could try them out (since there is no way to show off the 3D effects on-stage). I've heard a few comments from people that were there, and the 3DS seems quite impressive. I'll reserve judgment until I try it for myself.

Overall, Nintendo had a much better press conference this year than in the past several years. It seems that Microsoft took the Nintendo role this time around, and focused on their casual family-centric games using the Kinect gimmick. And Nintendo took the Microsoft route and announced exclusive game after exclusive game. Personally, I'm really only looking forward to Nintendo 3DS and Kid Icarus

Microsoft 2010 E3 Media Briefing

by on

The following blog has been reposted from my GiantBomb.com profile:

Unlike most people on my Twitter feed or in my friends list on GameSpot/GiantBomb, I actually have to WORK during the day this week. So this blog is a little outdated. Since I was not able to watch the Microsoft Press Conference live (and instead had to imagine everything while reading various tweets when it was live), I recorded the broadcast on Spike TV and watched it when I got home from work. Here are MY thoughts on the Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference:

Call of Duty: Black Ops: "Meh" Not interested, next please!

Metal Gear Rising: Looks pretty cool! Seems like it could be a brawler?

Next some dude comes out on stage and introduces the next segment of the show. He says that from now on that the rest of the games are Exclusive to Xbox 360. So that means Metal Gear Rising is on PS3 as well??

Next up is Gears of War 3: I look forward to playing 4 player co-op, but I can't say I'm too excited about Gears at the moment. On a side note, some of that fake banter between the 4 players "playing live" on stage was just awful (that would be a sign of things to come for the rest of the show).

Fable III: Looks ok, I guess. Not excited at all at this point.

Codename Kingdoms by Crytek. Another God of War rip-off game? Or is it 300 the video game? No idea.

Halo Reach: Ok most of this trailer was completely boring...that is until the player hops in a space fighter that is launched into outer space to continue the battle up there, and you control the spaceship? WHAT?! That sounds cool, but I can't say that I'm a fan of space flying games (like Colony Wars). The problem I have with space flight games, is that there is no horizon line and it gets very disorientating. I feel like the ship is never moving forward, just spinning around in one spot. If it's done right, than the space combat could be really fun.

And this essentially is the end of Microsoft's Press Conference as far as I'm concerned. The rest of the show is about "Kinect," Microsoft's attempt at copying the Wii, "but better." I don't want to use my "hands" to control the Xbox. I also don't want to lose my voice talking to my Xbox.

VideoKinect: If I were watching this live, my tweet would have been, "god this fake banter between the two chicks is so **** boring." So does this make the 360 Vision Camera obsolete now? I guess so. Looks like we have an even more advanced way for pervs to show their junk to people on camera.

ESPN3: ESPN news and sports games on my 360. Big deal. If I were watching this live, my tweet would have been, "it seems like the people in the audience could care less about this sh**."

Kudo Tsunada segments (have no idea how to spell his name and I don't **** care): Kudo sounded bored the entire time. My fiancee walked into the room during this segment and said "this dude is creepy. He needs a haircut." LMAO! The forced interaction between all the people playing the various Kinect games is so, so bad (and fake).

Kinectimals? Seems like Nintendogs but more interactive, and you can have a pet Tiger or Cheetah! Is this the result of that Natal "Milo" tech demo? I wonder if Nintendo would put Love Plus on this (or whoever developed that game). If so, the Otaku freaks that think the 2D characters are their girlfriends will REALLY think the on screen characters are their girlfriends (or wives in some cases). I wonder how the character on screen would react when an Otaku spanks his monkey? LOL Um, yeah, no thanks.

Kinect Sports? The track & field segment they "demo'ed" on stage looked no different than Track & Field on the NES with that floor mat device that you ran in place on. Some of those other sporting events they showed would be better experienced in real life. No thanks. I hardly play my Wii as it is. I don't need more motion control sh**.

Kinect Joy Ride (and Forza on Kinect): like Mario Kart on the Wii but with no steering wheel. I don't understand how that will work since there is no force feedback when you are just holding your hands in front of you "pretending" to hold onto a wheel.

At this point I fast-forwarded thru the Your Shape Fitness Evolved part. **** that sh**.

Harmonix revealed a dancing game in the same vein of Rock Band, Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. No thank you.

Then they showed a Star Wars game using Kinect. It looked pretty lame to me.

Finally, the new Xbox Slim was revealed. I won't be buying one until my 360 red rings again. Looks ok though. The 250 GB hard drive is nice. Don't care about built in Wi-Fi (but I personally know that some people do). It will be available for sale this later this week I think? Only the people in attendence ALL got one for free! It's just like **** Opra. AND YOU GET ONE AND YOU GET ONE AND YOU GET ONE!! I wonder if Sony will give away free PSP2s today? I think that was the end of the show, but the Press Conference went a bit long and my DVR stopped recording at this point.

Overall, the Microsoft Press Conference was extremely disappointing. There isn't really one game (or one thing that was announced) that I'm really excited about. Metal Gear Rising was probably the coolest thing shown, but it seems like that will be on PS3 as well. Usually, there is an extremely big announcement at the end of a press conference, but there wasn't much one this time (unless I missed it, if so please let me know). The Xbox 360 slim is nice and all, but everyone knew it was coming. Sony and Nintendo don't have to try very hard to top Microsoft this year.

Most Anticipated Games of 2010

by on

In no particular order....

Bayonetta – I've been interested in this ever since the first footage was shown. I played the demo at PAX (and the Japanese demo on PS3 recently) and I love everything about it. It's like Devil May Cry but completely over the top.

Mass Effect 2 – I loved the first game and the more I hear about this the more I want to play it! I've been avoiding all the preview coverage coming out so I am not spoiled in the least when I play it next month, but the few things I have seen/heard sound very interesting.

Dark Void – Initially I had no interest in this game, but after playing it at PAX this year, I am dying to play more of it. It is cool how easy you can go from flight controls to standard 3rd person shooter controls in an instant. I loved just flying around doing barrel rolls, flips and turns. The demo was timed so I couldn't play with it as much as I wanted, but it made me want to play it more!

BioShock 2 – The first game was my 2007 game of the year, so I am anxious to see how this one will turn out. My expectations are rather low since Ken Levine is not involved with the sequel, and they seem to be pushing multiplayer.

Dead Space 2 – the first game was my 2008 game of the year and it has become one of my favorite games of all time. I can't wait to see what happens to Isaac, but I hope they don't concentrate on the multiplayer too much.

Dante's Inferno – the time I spent with it at PAX was enjoyable (even got yelled at by a PR person for selecting a level they couldn't show yet! Lol) and the demo that was recently released on PS3 was very good as well. This seems to be a better God of War clone than Darksiders - very disappointing showing at PAX in my opinion.

Dead Rising 2 – I love the idea of the first game, but I do not like the save system. That is the main reason I never finished it. I felt like I did not have any time to just **** around killing zombies with all the crazy weapons you can find in the mall. Looking forward to see what's different this time around.

FFXIII – I've still barely played FF 12 since I'm not a fan of the MMO combat system, but this game seems to return to Final Fantasy's roots with a combat system similar to Active Time Battle. Looking forward to this but I hear the Japanese version that was just released is very linear…

Fallout New Vegas – don't know anything about it but I loved Fallout 3! If it wasn't for Dead Space, Fallout 3 would have been my Game of the Year in 2008.

Transformers: War for Cybertron – Transformers is my number one hobby above all things, even video games. This looks to be the first good G1-style game released EVER in America. The game takes place on Cybertron before the Transformers ever crashed on Earth. The designs are not the same as the original characters from the 80s, but they are very similar in style. The most important thing is that they do not look like those pieces of **** in the Michael Bay movies.

Alan Wake – At first I had no interest in this game, but after seeing the trailer at E3, I can say that I am very excited to check it out. The lighting effects look amazing!!

DC Universe online – I'm hoping this will be like DC's version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance. As long as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are in it, I'm on board.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – If this is supposed to be like KOTOR III like BioWare has claimed, then I have a feeling I'll be playing this for a LONG time. The first KOTOR was one of my top 10 favorite games of all time, so my expectations for this game are extremely high.

God of War III – I played the demo at PAX, but it was very disappointing. Mainly because there was a very short time limit and I didn't get that far. I look forward to spending more time with the demo that was included on the District 9 DVD. God of War has become one of my favorite game franchises so I can not wait to play this game.

Diablo III – I have no idea if this is coming out next year or not, but I played it at PAX and it was fantastic. I would buy a brand new PC for this game if I had to in order to play it!

Tatsunoko vs Capcom – I played this game at PAX and I had a lot of fun with it. I was surprised how easily I defeated 2 different people I played against. I hardly play fighting games anymore, and when I do, I do not use a joystick (like they had setup at PAX). I really like the style of this game and the lineup. I can't wait to defeat everyone with Tekkaman Blade!!

Most Disappointing Games of 2009

by on

Uncharted 2: Drake's Fortune (PS3) – This game is on many Game of the Year lists this year. While I can see why many people love this game, I do not share the same opinion. At times this game was great, but most of the time it was frustrating. I did not like the Gears of War style cover combat system. I felt like there was way too much combat and not enough Tomb Raider style exploring and puzzle solving. I did not play the first game so I guess I wasn't sure what to expect, but I assumed there would be more platforming and puzzle solving. I was constantly messing around with picking up weapons and grenades because I'd run out of ammo so quickly. Also when I'd want to pick up ammo, often times I'd end up picking up another weapon I did not want instead since it was so close to the ammo on the ground. What happens is that I'd be messing around with what weapons I was carrying (or running out of ammo having to search for some) while I was being shot at constantly. I died around 122 times in this game. Yeah, that is not fun at all. The best part of the game, by far, in my opinion, was the Train "chase" level. That totally felt like a movie (like those commercials claim). To sum up my opinion of this game, "frustrating."

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 – The first MUA is one of the best comic book games ever made, so my hopes were pretty high for this sequel. Unfortunately they decided to base the story on the Marvel Comics Civil War storyline (which I absolutely hate) and Raven didn't make the game this time because they were busy with the lackluster Wolfenstein. Besides the story, the gameplay is actually worse in the sequel. It seems like things were taken out of the game, rather than adding to it. The RPG aspects of the first game were greatly reduced this time around. You have less powers to choose from, and less items to equip. The boss selection is lame (most you have never heard of) and level design is boring at best. The playable characters are also disappointing (the DLC seems to have the best selection). Overall, very disappointing and the only redeeming factor is the co-op.

Scribblenauts – The hype for this game was massive and the simple idea behind the game is extremely innovative. However, the control interface pretty much ruins everything. If you could control your dude with the Dpad instead of the touch screen, that would fix everything. I have more fun just messing around in the start screen, thinking of weird **** to bring to life and seeing what happens when I interact with it.

Brutal Legend – I'm a big metalhead so I thought for sure I'd love this game from the moment I started playing it. I briefly played the demo at PAX and the demo that was released on XBLA before the game came out. I had a lot of fun with the demos, but the full game started disappointing me the moment I finished the demo areas. I honestly had no interest in playing it again and I haven't touched it since. The open world aspect and the RTS stuff is just odd and doesn't mix well with what the first part of the game felt like. I'll go back to it at some point, I'm sure, but not anytime soon…

Dead Space Extraction – I very briefly played this at PAX and then I rented the game and played the first chapter. The graphics suck when compared to the original Dead Space. The rail shooter gameplay basically ruins the vibe Dead Space had going for it. You no longer have that cool interface where there are no menus or HUD on screen and they are just part of your suit. Now you have a big, bright box with your ammo and equipment listed on it and a targeting icon taking up the screen. You also can't stop and look at your surroundings for more than like 10 seconds. Picking up ammo and items becomes a pain in the ass cause you only have, like, 2 seconds as your dude walks by and if you miss picking the item up, you can't go back and get it (since you are on rails and can't control the movement of your character, only the aiming of your weapons). I would be interested in the story and how it plays out, but I dislike the gameplay so much I will probably never play this game again.

Games I wish I could have played in 2009

by on

Modern Warfare 2 – The main reason I haven't played this game is that it has been on "very long wait" on Gamefly ever since it was released. I never got the chance to try the multiplayer in the first Modern Warfare, so I am really looking forward to checking this out. I enjoyed the single player portion of the first game, and I imagine that won't be any worse in this one. I really hope there is no weird glitch in the multiplayer that kicks me out no matter who I try and play with. I wonder if that ever got fixed from the first game?

Torchlight – I've really only played the Demo and I only recently purchased the full game (on sale for $4.99 on Steam!!). I love games like Baldur's Gate, Champions of Norrath, and Diablo so I naturally enjoy this game very much. Plus it's from the original developers of Diablo so that's almost a guarantee it'll be good.

Plants vs Zombies – I never got around to buying this game, mainly cause I had heard it would be ported to Xbox Live Arcade at some point. I'm not much of a PC gamer and will really only play a game on PC unless I absolutely have to. I played the demo on PC and enjoyed it enough to buy it. Please port it soon!!

2009 Game of the Year Nominees

by on

2009 has come and gone with the blink of an eye, and saw a slew of quality releases over the course of the year. While there are several Game of the Year candidates that I did not get the chance to play, there were several games that I enjoyed this year. This is the third year I have created a list like this. Mass Effect was a close second to BioShock in 2007, but last year Dead Space, by far, was my favorite game of 2008. This year is not as easy of a decision for me. While there were a lot of quality games, there is not one game that stands out above the others. What follows is a list of games that I have nominated for my personal Game of the Year award.

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360) – This game is on a lot of Game of the Year lists, and deservedly so. This is most likely the best Batman game to come out since Batman on the NES in 1989. The graphics, voice acting and level design stand out to me. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill were absolutely spot on, as usual, in their respective roles as Batman and Joker. When the combat system worked like it was supposed to, it was beautiful. Often times though, your combo string would be interrupted (especially when encountering the larger enemies) and you'd lose that thrill of taking on multiple dudes in one big combo string (and the feel of being Batman). The comic book nerd in me doesn't like the inclusion of certain villains (way too many Scarecrow encounters, Croc and Bane are too similar) and the combat system was wonky at times, but overall I had a great time with this game. Every time I unlocked a new character Bio I'd wonder, "Why isn't [insert villain's name here] in the game??" Hopefully we'll get to see some of the more iconic characters in the sequel; Mr Freeze, Man-Bat, Clayface, Penguin, Riddler (in person this time).

Borderlands (Xbox 360) – This game is basically a First Person Shooter version of a game like Diablo, Baldur's Gate or Champions of Norrath. A very loot heavy game. You are constantly obtaining new and bad ass weapons; trying to figure out what to use next. The biggest problem this game has is that the story is almost non-existent. You're just some dude (or dudette) trying to find some legendary vault of treasure. That's basically it. I hear the DLC is much more story focused, but I have yet to play it. Another smaller issue is that you only have so much room to keep the countless number of the awesome weapons you will find. Eventually you get 42 slots to hold stuff, but even that isn't enough!! I hear the next DLC pack contains a bank that lets you hold more items, but I bet even THAT won't be big enough! I really wish I had tried the co-op in this game, because I'm sure I'd love it. Overall, I enjoyed every minute of it and I can never put it down when I'm playing it.

Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360) – Oh Dragon Age, how I miss thee. I could write an entire blog post just about Dragon Age and my issue with it. I have not yet finished the game, even though this was hands down the most enjoyable single player game I've played all year. I was about 43 hours into the game, probably about 75% complete, and somehow my save file got corrupted. Not just one save file, but all 4 of them!! I had been saving the game regularly, at 30 minute or less intervals, and somehow every single save file was corrupted. BioWare & EA have been informed of this problem but do not seem to even acknowledge the fact that this issue exists. To my knowledge, nothing has been done about it, and there are so many different glitches in this game that no one has figured out what actually causes the game to corrupt save files. Because of this fact, I refuse to play the 360 version ever again, until this problem can be fixed or it can be confirmed what causes the issue.

Other than that, I was loving every second of the game. This is a surprise for me because I was not looking forward to its release. All the preview footage I had seen did not interest me in the least, but I bought the game mainly for the armor you can use in Mass Effect (and because I like BioWare games so I had hope that this would be good). The dialogue, the story, the voice acting, and the combat are all fantastic. The only issues I have are the glitches, and then the graphics absolutely SUCK on 360! Oblivion looks 5 times better and that's been out how long now? 3, 4 years?? Overall, I love this game and I'm dying to play it again. I just don't want 43 hours to go down the drain again and lose all my progress. I'd play the PC version but I don't think my PC can handle it.

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 (Xbox 360) – I'm a big Gundam fan and this game easily the best Gundam game I've ever played. I know it isn't a great game in terms of gameplay, control, sound, etc. but the Gundam fan in me loves playing out famous battles from the course of the anime series, sequels and countless alternate universes.

Forza 3 (Xbox 360) – Forza has become what Gran Turismo used to be for Simulation racing. Its innovative assists help any player feel like they can drive a race car just as well as the pros. The rewind feature is a welcomed addition, but I fear it can be used too often and takes a lot of skill out of the game. However it is greatly appreciated when you are racing a 10 lap+ race that takes a half an hour (or more) and you screw up in the last seconds to lose the race. The design of the menu system and the community areas are greatly improved and easy to use. Overall, this is the best Forza game to date and Polyphony Digital has extremely tough competition whenever they finally release GT5.

Ghostbusters (Xbox 360) – A video game sequel to one of my favorite movie franchises of all time, this game did not fail to deliver. I felt like I was playing the third Ghostbusters movie and it was awesome. The only negative thing I have to say about this game is the AI. I played the story through all the way once, on the hardest difficulty. The achievement whore in me decided this was the best way to go. There are some technical issues with your fellow Ghostbusters' AI that make this difficulty setting almost unplayable in spots. Your teammates will die (almost constantly on later levels) and you are forced to either fend for yourself, or run over to them to revive them, usually dying in the processes. There is a point towards the very end of the game that seems impossible to pass because of this issue. Other than that, I enjoyed playing as a Rookie Ghostbuster and saving the world once again. Sometimes I'd just have fun messing around with the Proton Pack, shooting everything in sight just to hear and see the iconic sound and visual effects the proton stream makes in the movies. This game is definitely a top contender for Game of the Year.

Peggle (Xbox Live Arcade) – Normally I'm not a fan of puzzle games, but the pinball/pachinko style of this game is a hell of a lot of fun. Great game to waste some time, but tough to complete all the challenges.

Red Faction: Guerrilla (Xbox 360) – When I first heard that this was going to be an open world game instead of a straight up First Person Shooter, I was worried, but the game turned out solid overall. It did get a bit repetitive and the story wasn't much, but I enjoyed it. I had a hell of a lot of fun taking down buildings with nothing but a sledgehammer, but it would have been nice if there were more variety to the structures I was demolishing. Most of them were basically the same. The difficulty was a bit off as well. I think I ended up switching to easy later on and just enjoyed the game without worrying about dying constantly. Oh, and it needs more walker mechs! Those things were fun as hell to run around killing people and smashing buildings with. Easily the best part of the game for me!

Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) – The sequel to one of the best Resident Evil games ever made, and it does not disappoint; however, not in the way you'd expect. As an action game, it is absolutely fantastic and fun as hell. As a survival horror game, it fails miserably. I played through this game cooperatively with my friend James, several times, and we had a total blast each and every time. This is the definition of co-op gaming in my opinion. However it's hard to come to terms with this game as it is so different than the previous main series Resident Evil games. I think you just have to treat it as an action game and nothing more, if you try to think of it as a Resident Evil game, you will not like it. I think I had the most fun playing this game more than any others this year. (Almost forgot, the QTEs in this game PISS ME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Shadow Complex (Xbox Live Arcade) – The best XBLA game I've played this year is Shadow Complex. I'm a huge fan of Castlevania:Symphony of the Night (and the games that followed on the handheld systems) and this game feels like a fresh take on the grid map system. The 2.5D effects are great, and the story helps drive you to finish the game and figure out what the hell is going on. The puzzles are fun to solve, the combat is great (especially melee!) and the platforming works well (jetpack FTW!).

Suikoden Teirkreis (DS) – a rather simple version of the Suikoden combat system and story, but overall I enjoyed it. It never gets old growing your personal army and recruiting all 108 Stars of Destiny!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Xbox 360) – At first I thought this would be nothing but another God of War style rip-off, but it's actually a hell of a lot of fun. It also suffers the stereotype of "bad movie games." However, I think this game is much better than the movie! It is also very violent and bloody; definitely not for the faint of heart. I have no problem with the violence though. I love nothing more than to decapitate, disembowel, and literally tear the enemies to shreds. This is what a dude with 3 Adamantium claws in each hand should do. I think the only thing I didn't like about this game is the Quick Time Events. I hate QTES!!!

Backlog

by on

With all the great new games coming out these days, it's hard to sit down and play the older games from past generations (or hell, even from this one) when most of my gaming time is spent on the latest and greatest thing. Plus it doesn't help I have other interests besides games, and of course work always gets in the way. What follows is a list of all the games I own that I have either: A) never finished, B) never started playing or C) never even opened. As I write this introductory paragraph, I imagine the list is pretty massive as I am always picking up new games and continually just placing them on the shelf. Are you ready?

Microsoft Xbox:

  • · Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (never finished it)
  • · Black (still sealed)
  • · Blood Omen 2 (never finished it)
  • · BloodRayne 2 (still sealed; rented it a long time ago once)
  • · Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (never started it)
  • · Conker: Live & Reloaded (never started it)
  • · Crimson Sea (hardly played it)
  • · Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge (never started it)
  • · Fable (never played it)
  • · Far Cry Instincts (never played it)
  • · Midtown Madness 3 (hardly played it)
  • · Ninja Gaiden (can't beat first boss; way too **** hard)
  • · Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (barely started it)
  • · Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (never played it)
  • · Project Gotham Racing (never finished)
  • · Project Gotham Racing 2 (never finished)
  • · The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (never played it)
  • · Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (never played it)
  • · Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (never played it)
  • · Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow (never played it)
  • · Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (never played it)
  • · Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (barely started it)


Microsoft Xbox 360:

  • · Big Bumpin' (hardly touched it)
  • · Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (still sealed)
  • · Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (still sealed)
  • · Condemned 2: Bloodshot (only finished 1st level)
  • · Crackdown (never finished it)
  • · Dead Rising (I hate the damned time system, never finished it)
  • · Devil May Cry 4 (still sealed)
  • · Eternal Sonata (still sealed; I want the PS3 version instead)
  • · Far Cry 2 (still sealed)
  • · F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (still sealed)
  • · Guitar Hero III (still sealed)
  • · Hitman: Blood Money (only finished 1st level)
  • · Lost Planet (only finished 1st level)
  • · Need for Speed Carbon (still sealed)
  • · Operation Darkness (still sealed)
  • · Pocketbike Racer (barely touched it)
  • · Project Gotham Racing 4 (still sealed)
  • · Ridge Racer 6 (never finished)
  • · Rumble Roses XX (barely touched it)
  • · Silent Hill: Homecoming (still sealed)
  • · Sneak King (never finished)
  • · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault of Dark Athena (still sealed)
  • · WarTech: Senko no Ronde (still sealed)


Nintendo (NES):

  • · After Burner (don't think I ever finished it)
  • · Batman the Video Game (I could never beat the Joker at the end)
  • · Batman: Return of the Joker (don't think I ever finished it)
  • · Castlevania (never got to Dracula)
  • · Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (never played it)
  • · Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (never finished it)
  • · Ducktales (never finished it)
  • · Gyruss (never beat it; but got damn close!!)
  • · Ninja Gaiden (never finished it)
  • · Ninja Gaiden II (never finished it)
  • · Snake Rattle 'n Roll (never finished it)
  • · Street Fighter 2010 (never played it)
  • · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (never finished it)
  • · Who Framed Roger Rabbit (never finished it)


Super Nintendo (SNES):

  • · Breath of Fire (never started it)
  • · Lemmings (never finished it)
  • · Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (never finished it)
  • · Secret of Mana (barely started it)
  • · Super R-Type (never finished it)
  • · U.N. Squadron (never finished it)
  • · Xardion (barely started it)


Nintendo 64:

  • · Ridge Racer 64 (barely started it)
  • · Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (never finished it)


Nintendo GameCube:

  • · Fire emblem: Path of Radiance (quit when I found out I missed something, I think. Was pretty close to the end too)
  • · Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (barely touched it)
  • · The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (never finished but got really far)
  • · Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (still sealed)
  • · Pikmin (never finished)
  • · Pikmin 2 (never finished)
  • · Viewtiful Joe (never finished)


Nintendo Wii:

  • · No More Heroes (never finished)
  • · The Munchables (barely touched it)


Nintendo GameBoy Advance (GBA):

  • · Breath of Fire II (never finished it)
  • · Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (never finished it)
  • · Drill Dozer (never started it, I like the rumble pack though)
  • · Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (never finished FFII)
  • · Final Fantasy IV Advance (never finished it)
  • · Final Fantasy V Advance (still sealed)
  • · Golden Sun (got stuck, but was pretty far)
  • · Golden Sun: The Lost Age (never started it)
  • · Gunstar Super Heroes (never started it)
  • · Justice League Heroes: The Flash (never started it)
  • · Mega Man Zero 4 (never finished it)
  • · Pokemon: FireRed (never finished it)
  • · Sonic Advance (never finished it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen D (never played it)
  • · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (never finished it)
  • · X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse (never finished it)


Nintendo DS:

  • · Advance Wars: Dual Strike (hardly played it)
  • · Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (never played it)
  • · Bangai-O Spirits (never played it)
  • · Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (barely started it)
  • · Final Fantasy III (never played it)
  • · Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (never finished it, too much side stuff!)
  • · Front Mission (never played it)
  • · Luminous Arc (never finished it but got damn far)
  • · Luminous Arc 2 (never played it)
  • · Lunar: Dragon Song (still sealed)
  • · Magical Starsign (never played it)
  • · Metroid Prime Pinball (never finished it)
  • · Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (never played it)
  • · Scribblenauts (never finished it)
  • · Sonic Rush (never finished it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen K (just started it)
  • · Trauma Center: Under the Knife (never finished it)


Sega Genesis:

  • · Castlevania: Bloodlines (I think I finished this, but I'm not entirely sure)
  • · RoboCop vs The Terminator (never finished it)
  • · Uncharted Waters (never played it)


Sega Dreamcast:

  • · Phantasy Star Online (never singe player portion)
  • · Sonic Adventure (never finished it)
  • · Sonic Adventure 2 (never finished it)


Sony Playstation:

  • · Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (never played it)
  • · Breath of Fire IV (I think I finished this but I'm not entirely sure. Either way my save file is long gone!)
  • · Descent (I know I've gotten pretty far but I don't think I've ever finished it)
  • · Final Doom (never started it)
  • · Final Fantasy Anthology (never finished FFV)
  • · Final Fantasy Chronicles (never finished FFIV)
  • · Front Mission 3 (I think I finished it, but I'm not sure. Either way I played the hell out of it)
  • · Galerians (still sealed)
  • · Resident Evil: Director's Cut (never finished it)
  • · Syphon Filter 2 (still sealed)
  • · Syphon Filter 3 (still sealed)


Sony Playstation 2:

  • · A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode (never finished it)
  • · A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode 2 (never played it)
  • · Art of Fighting Anthology (still sealed)
  • · Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (never started it; rented it once)
  • · Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (never played it)
  • · Burnout Dominator (never finished it)
  • · Capcom ****cs Collection 1 & 2 (I'd like to know someone that's finished ALL the games on these)
  • · Contra: Shattered Soldier (never beat it)
  • · Dark Cloud (hardly played it)
  • · Devil May Cry (Never made it past the 2nd boss)
  • · Dragon Quest VIII (still sealed)
  • · Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Vol 1 (still sealed)
  • · Final Fantasy XII (started but didn't get far)
  • · Front Mission 4 (still sealed)
  • · God Hand (only played a little bit)
  • · Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (still sealed)
  • · Growlanser: Heritage of War (still sealed)
  • · Guitar Hero (unlocked most songs, never finished though)
  • · King of Fighers: Maximum Impact (never got far)
  • · King of Fighters 2006 (still sealed)
  • · King of Fighters XI (never played it)
  • · La Pucelle: Tactics (never played it)
  • · Makai Kingdom (never played it)
  • · Mega Man Anniversary Collection (never finished any of em)
  • · Mega Man X Collection (only finished MMX)
  • · Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (not finished yet but working on it!)
  • · Metal Slug Anthology (never finished a Metal Slug game before)
  • · Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs Zeon (never played it)
  • · MS Saga: A New Dawn (never finished but been meaning to)
  • · Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (never finished it)
  • · NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (never played it)
  • · Odin Sphere (barely touched it)
  • · Phantom Brave (barely touched it)
  • · Real Robot Regiment (never played it)
  • · Sega Genesis Collection (still sealed)
  • · Sengoku Basara (never played it; but finished Devil Kings)
  • · Shadow of the Colossus (still sealed)
  • · Silent Hill 2 (never finished it)
  • · Silent Hill 3 (still sealed)
  • · Simple 2000 Series Vol 101: The Oneechanpon (barely played it)
  • · SoulCalibur III (still sealed)
  • · Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (never finished it)
  • · Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity (never finished it)
  • · Suikoden IV (still sealed)
  • · Suikoden Tactics (still sealed)
  • · Super Robot Taisen: Scramble Commander (never played it)
  • · Sunrise World War (never played it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen Alpha 2 (never played it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen Alpha 3 (barely started it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen Impact (never played it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen MX (never played it)
  • · Tales of Legendia (still sealed)
  • · Transformers (never finished it)
  • · Transformers Tataki (never finished it)
  • · Trapt (still sealed)
  • · Twisted Metal: Head On-Extra Twisted Edition (never finished it)
  • · Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (still sealed)


Sony Playstation 3:

  • · Folklore (never started it)
  • · Metal Gear Solid 4 (still sealed)
  • · PixelJunk Monsters (never finished it)
  • · SoulCalibur IV (still sealed)
  • · Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom (never finished it)


Sony Playstation Portable (PSP):

  • · Brave Story: New Traveler (never finished it)
  • · Burnout Legends (never finished it)
  • · Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (only played it enough to unlock Symphony of the Night)
  • · Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (maybe half way through. Got bored with the side stuff)
  • · Daxter (came with my PSP, have no interest in it)
  • · Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (never played it)
  • · Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (still sealed)
  • · Gradius Collection (hardly played it)
  • · Gundam: Battle Tactics (hardly played it)
  • · Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (still sealed)
  • · Infected (never finished it, and never wanted to)
  • · Jeanne d'Arc (never finished it)
  • · LocoRoco (hardly played it)
  • · Marvel Ultimate Alliance (never started this version)
  • · Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (never played it)
  • · Pursuit Force (never finished it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen A Portable (never played it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen MX Portable (never played it)
  • · Ultimate Ghosts N Goblins (still sealed)
  • · Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (still sealed)
  • · Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command (never started it)
  • · X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (never played this version)


PC:

  • · Age of Mythology (never played it)
  • · Alien Vs Predator (never got far)
  • · Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (hardly played it)
  • · Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun & Tiberian Sun: Firestorm (Never finished it)
  • · Diablo (hardly played it)
  • · Diablo II and Lord of Destruction expansion (hardly played it)
  • · Disciples II: Rise of the Elves GOLD (still sealed)
  • · Emperor: Battle for Dune (hardly started it)
  • · Fallout and Fallout 2 (never started; I doubt the disc I have even works on Windows XP LOL)
  • · Guild Wars and all Expansions (can you even finish this game?)
  • · Half-Life (never finished it; got stuck in sewers on PS2 version)
  • · Hexen: Beyond Heretic (hardly played it)
  • · Icewind Dale II (never started it)
  • · Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns (hardly played it)
  • · Lineage II (still sealed; once again, can you even finish this game?)
  • · Neverwinter Nights: Diamond pack (hardly played it)
  • · RF Online (still sealed; servers have been shut down L)
  • · Rise of Nations: Gold Edition (never started it)
  • · Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends (still sealed)
  • · SimCity 3000 Unlimited (can you even finish this game?)
  • · Starcraft (never finished it)
  • · The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (never played it)
  • · The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria (still sealed; freebie at PAX)
  • · Titan Quest Gold Edition (still sealed)
  • · Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (still sealed)
  • · Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Platinum Edition (still sealed)
  • · Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Soulstorm (still sealed)


WonderSwan:

  • · Final Fantasy II (still sealed)
  • · Makai Toushi SaGa (still sealed)
  • · Rhyme Rider Kerorican (still sealed)
  • · Super Robot Taisen Compact (never played it)
  • · Super Robot Taisen Compact 2 (never played it)
  • · Terrors 2 (still sealed)

Wow, that is a lot. As I look over this list, I see several games I would be ok with selling off as well as several games that I simply must play as soon as possible (Metal Gear Solid 4, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Dragon Quest VIII, Secret of Mana). Feel free to post your comments on the games that I have never played or are still sealed. I'll do my best to explain why I haven't played these games. Also, go ahead and post your backlog list if you have one. Now if you'll excuse me, I have several games I need to get back to playing. None of which are on this list! LOL