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The Future Begins

As discussed in my first blog entry on this account "A Fresh Start", I have finally completed the process of transferring all the contributions and information possible from my old TheSergeant account to this one.

While I cannot say for certain if I will be able to post any more game reviews in the near or even distant future, I plan to continue avidly following GameSpot's reviews, their coverage of industry events, their feature articles, and their excellent gaming news journalism.

So, as we bid a final farewell to 2012; here's to many more years of great gaming!


Who Ya Gonna Call?

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 20 June 2009 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

It's been a while since my last blog post. Nobody's fault really; things get busy and other priorities take precedence. C'est la vie. However, the momentous event that occurred a few days ago was so special to me that it required some kind of commentary on my behalf.

Back when it was first announced that a new Ghostbusters game was in the works, I was thrilled beyond words. The Ghostbusters were my childhood heroes. I watched the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series growing up and loved the first film - even though it scared the crap out of me when I first saw it at age three. The second film was just as exciting and to this day, I refuse to make any decisions as to which of the two is better.

Anyway, as the game went through its production dramas I was filled with hope and despair in equal measures as it was delayed, re-vamped, dropped by Activision, then recovered by Atari. When the final release date was announced as June 16, 2009, I knew there was a God. Not only was the game of my dreams finally coming out, but it was going to be released on my birthday!

I would have preferred to make this post on the release date itself, unfortunately, I was out of town at the time and without internet access. My sister picked up the game as a birthday present though and had it waiting for me when I got back. I just finished the single player campaign yesterday and felt utterly fulfilled. It had its strong points and weak points, just like every game does, but nothing can compare to the feeling of living the adventure with your childhood heroes.

When someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!

Twenty Gun Salute

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 1 September 2007 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

I've been putting off reviewing for a long time now. I finally decided, one boring afternoon, to get my ass in gear and get some of the games I had the most opinions on out of the way. Seeing as how I've recently hit Level 20 here on GameSpot, I figured this would be as good a time as any to post them and celebrate. Before you can ask, no, I didn't review twenty games in one afternoon. I'm only human.

That said, I was able to write about four adventure games I really enjoyed playing. My reviews of The Longest Journey, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Syberia, and Syberia II are available via the links provided. If you're interested, go ahead and take a look. Feel free to leave any comments you might have on them here in this Journal entry.

In other news, this past summer was a great chance for me to catch up on some games I either hadn't played yet or hadn't finished yet. A chance I blew terribly, deciding to get in as many hours at work as possible instead. Ah well, c'est la vie. I also decided against getting a Nintendo Wii for the moment. Partially for financial reasons and partially because I just don't have the time anymore to game like I used to. My PC gives me more than enough gaming opportunities as it is for the moment so unless my family decides that they're all interested in getting a Wii and are willing to chip in evenly for one, its off my list for the foreseeable future.

I've been looking at this upcoming Fall's game line-up and I realized that I'll need all those work hours just to have some money left over if I get all the ones that have caught my eye! I've already bought BioShock and even though my computer can only play it on its lowest settings, I can see why it had all the hype. There are a lot of other great titles coming out, but rather than buy them right off the bat, I have another idea.

The new college semester is coming up in a few days, which means I'll have maybe a few hours per week - if I'm lucky - to get any gaming in. Therefore, what I'm going to try to do is devote those hours to playing/finishing all the games on my Now Playing list before I even think about getting a new one. I have a feeling this will be a hard goal to live up to, but I suppose all the worthwhile ones are. I figure, why should I buy a new game when there are so many that I already have which I never finished?

Well, that's the plan anyway. We'll see how it turns out in practice.


Everything turns, turns, turns, turns...

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 26 March 2007 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

I know, I know; it's been nearly a full year since my last Journal post. College has a bad habit of doing that to people. It has also severely limited the amount of free time I used to be able to commit to gaming so, unfortunately, there will be no new game reviews from me just yet. Perhaps once the summer rolls around I'll be able to do some catching up. In the meantime, I'd like to spend this entry discussing general gaming topics.

For the longest time I've been primarily a PC gamer. When I was younger I had one of the old, bulky black & white (or more accurately, green & green) Nintendo GameBoy handhelds and I would go over to friends' houses to play their Playstations or Nintentos with them when I felt the desire to try out a particular console game they had. Nothing selfish, I just didn't have an unlimited supply of disposable income to spend on more than one gaming platform - so I chose the PC. Recently though, I've been tempted to get the new Nintendo Wii. Besides the obvious pros of its innovative control system, relatively low cost, and "fun for the whole family" demographic, what sold it for me was a combination of the addictive fun even its most simple games have as well as its online content. Potentially, this one system combines the games of the NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube (and possibly even the GameBoy and GBA later on) into one über Nintendo system. That added to the good chance I could get my family hooked on Wii Sports increases the desirability tenfold. However, whether or not I'll actually act on this desire has yet to be determined. As I've mentioned, I'm a student, so budget always enters into the equation.

Since I'm on the topic of platforms, I want to briefly mention the Playstaion 3. I say briefly because I have no desire to incite a fanboy flame war. Simply put; I dislike the PS3 as it currently exists because it cannot support itself. I will readily admit it is the most graphically powerful platform out there right now, I've played some demos on it and was blown away by how fantastic they looked. However, this boon is dulled by a multitude of factors. 1) Yes, it is the only platform that supports Blu-Ray right now, but there is next to nothing available on Blu-Ray yet. That will certainly change in a few years, provided Blu-Ray wins its market war against HD DVD and doesn't go the way of Betamax. 2) It is currently the most expensive platform available, and Sony is still losing money on each purchase. Add to that the price of a new HD-capable television if you don't want to waste all that raw GPU power. While I admire Sony's attempt to make the PS3 more appealing to consumers by lowering its price tag, how long can this possibly last before they really slip into the financial red? 3) Its release titles were less than glorious. Certainly nothing that generated the same hype as Gears of War or The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess....hmm, I'm going on longer than I wanted to on this topic. Let me summarize: the PS3 is a powerful system, but it won't be the best until there is enough media out there in the form of Blu-Ray disks and a decent collection of games to support it; and until manufacturing costs drop enough for Sony to make a profit on the system while keeping the price tag competitive at the same time.

There, now that I have the platform debates out of the way, let's move on.

While I've had a chance to play a couple of recent PC games like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Supreme Commander, I haven't put in enough time on any of them to write anything comprehensive. They're great games in their own right, but they also each deserve a fully thought-out review in order to do them justice. I try to avoid recommending or not recommending games without giving my reasons first. I've also had a chance to go through some older games that have been on my wish list for a while but I just never got around to buying or playing for whatever reasons. Primary among these is the Syberia adventure series. Hopefully I'll have reviews written for Syberia and Syberia II as well as The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall with my next Journal entry...whenever that is.

I'll finish off with a commentary on GDC 2007 and the ever-irksome Jack Thompson. I was impressed overall with this year's Games Developer Conference, thanks mainly to GameSpot's excellent online coverage of the event. Many of the keynote lectures covered very interesting topics as well as gave tasty previews of some of my most anticipated games like Portal, Fable II, and Mass Effect (the last two I desperately hope get PC versions). However, there was more flash and awe to the proceedings this year, which makes me wonder if they're trying to turn the GDC into the new E3. Only time will tell.

Jack Thompson is once again making the news...which is all he is good for anymore. He's certainly lost his humour factor - at least with me - and instead just comes off as a sad, desperate, ignorant man trying to draw attention to himself since he's no longer supported by anyone who matters. The language used in his countersuit to Take-Two's opening statement is simply disgraceful at best and criminally hateful at worst. It also constantly amazes me how he has the gall to keep bringing up September 11th to support his positions as well as accuse his opponents of being extremist. As much as I hate to use childish terms; I guess it takes one to know one. On the bright side, maybe we're all better off having him as the "foremost crusader" against video games, violent or otherwise, instead of someone who might actually be taken seriously.

Its funny, I began by stating how little time I have these days, and now this turns out to be my longest Journal entry yet. In any case, it was nice to get some of these issues out of the way. Now I can shut up and get to the damn reviews already!


Summer Freedom

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 11 July 2006 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

Ah summer; bright sunlight, warm weather, people everywhere enjoying the simple thrills of being outdoors. What better time to coop myself up indoors and catch up on some gaming?

Haha, that aside, summer seems to be the only time my schedule approaches anything resembling steady. So I will be neglecting the outdoors a couple of days per week to try and make my stack of "games to play" a little smaller before the Fall rush.

On a more familiar note; I was recently introduced to the game The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall. While I have not written reviews for either of them on GameSpot yet, I have to recommend them for anyone who shares my love of a great story. Ragnar Tørnquist, the series' writer/director, is easily the most epic storyteller I have come across in gaming to date.

That covers just about everything for now. Cheers!

Birthday Triple Feature

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 16 June 2005 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

Yup, today's my 21st birthday. To be honest, I'm not as aware of my birthdays now as I was as a kid, but I look forward to spending the evening with my buddies and drinking the night away.

Now if only they were buying....

Ah well, heh. Anyway, I recently wrote three new game reviews featuring the Age of Empires trilogy, hence the triple feature. If you're interested, you can read my reviews of Age of Empires, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, and Age of Empires III

That's all I have for now. In closing I'll just comment on how this last week has been hilarious in terms of gaming news. Uwe Boll's "boxing challenge" had me shaking my head, and this news headline just made me laugh out loud!


Quick Update

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 21 April 2006 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

I finally got around to reviewing a few of the games I've played in the past. Unfortunately, my real life responsibilities combined with my gaming commitments don't allow me the free time to write reviews as often as I had hoped to.

Still, it's a start, and I encourage anyone who's interested to read my reviews of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy and Civilization II if you have the time. Feel free to leave a comment as well, feedback is a great way for me to refine my skills.

Cheers for now.

So it Begins...

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 23 October 2005 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

The time has finally come where my regular attendance and general contributions to the GameSpot community have given me the right to review the games I've played! Before I do though, I'd like to point out that it is impossible for anyone to have a neutral opinion - we all have preferences that make us unique and whether were aware of it or not, those preferences guide our opinions. So if I'm going to review games, it's only fair to make my biases clear ahead of time.

When it comes to what I look for in a game above all else, it has to be the story. Other people may look for things like the graphic quality, the gameplay mechanics, or so on but I prefer a game that has a well-written and thought out story to tell. The kind of story that pulls the player into the game and makes them keep playing just to see what happens next. There have been times where I've been able to overlook the not-up-to-par mechanics of a game just because the story was told so well.

Now, I'm not saying I completely overlook the other aspects of games to concentrate on the story. There are some games that have a good tale to tell, but can't do it without the right visuals to set the mood, or a great musical score to guide the player's emotional state. There are other games I've played that had the potential to be on par with a major motion picture in terms of their story, but fell short because they didn't engage the player visually or were too riddled with bugs at release to be worth wasting time on.

I think that should give you a rough idea of where I'm coming from. Now, as I start looking through my collection and decide which games to review first, I hope I'll be able to add new insight through my reviews that others may not have considered before.

Point of Origin

**DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on 16 May 2004 under the username TheSergeant. I have since closed that account in favour of my current one and re-posted my earlier contributions with minor spelling and informational edits.**

This is my first entry into the GameSpot journal system, so I might as well start with my roots in gaming.

I was introduced to the world of computer technology when I was just a kid; my parents owned what was considered to be a PC of the time (mid 1980s) which was made up of a Commodore 1702 monitor, an Atari 800 XL keyboard/CPU, and an Indus GT 5¼ inch floppy disk drive. I'm happy to say that I held onto that system and it's still in good working order. I have fond memories of playing games like Choplifter and Pitfall when I was growing up, and kicking my dad's butt at Joust. The games of those days were pretty simple and their graphics couldn't begin to compare to today's, but anyone who gamed at the time can tell you it was more than enough to keep us occupied and enthralled.

It wasn't until about 1994 that I was introduced to the Microsoft operating systems. My family bought a humble computer that ran Windows 3.1. It was mainly used by my dad for work, but I still enjoyed being able to play Solitaire and Minesweeper when I could. 1998 was the year I bought my first "modern" computer game; Sid Meier's Civilization II. By then our family computer was an Intel Pentium II running Windows 95; I had first played Civ II in a store on one of their display computers and I soon picked up my own copy because every time my family went to that store from then on, I would make a beeline for for the Civ II computer. While RPGs may be my genre of choice these days, I still have a place in my heart for the strategy games that ushered me into the world of PC gaming.

Skipping a few minor events, we arrive at today where I can honestly say I'm a full-fledged gamer. I own over eighty PC games at the date of this post but I've played well over a hundred, not including any pre-Windows games. While I did receive an orginal GameBoy for Christmas when I was a kid, I never owned a console system until I was in my late teens and even then it was only ever used casually. The PC is my gaming home.

I just recently became active in the GameSpot community, though I have been a basic member for some time now. I hope to eventually pass level six so I can start writing reviews to some of the games I have played and felt strongly about. Other than that, I'm just looking forward to the future and seeing what amazing advances will be made in both PCs and gaming.

A Fresh Start

On 16 January 2004 I decided to create a basic user account on GameSpot, who's news and reviews I had been following for some time at that point. The opinions expressed by the GameSpot staff were (and still are) well balanced and tended to value the same aspects of games and gaming I did. However, I was still relatively new to the gaming community as it existed online in 2004 and had yet to settle on a handle that would be my video game "identity". So, not knowing how long-standing my account would become, I decided on the username TheSergeant because, basically, it sounded pretty cool. Since that time, I've developed a handle which I use across various game spaces: KalevD. Unfortunately, the option to rename my GameSpot account was unavailable unless there were privacy concerns in the username itself. So, after some consideration, I decided to bite the bullet and create a new account. Over the next while I will be updating this KalevD account with all the information and contributions I can take from my TheSergeant account. This will include games lists, ratings, and reviews. In the case of transferred reviews, I will cite my old account as the original writer in a disclaimer. Once done I will contact the GameSpot admin to have TheSergeant account closed. Despite the loss of certain milestones such as my previous user account level and event-specific GameSpot emblems, at least now there will be no disconnect between my gaming identity and my GameSpot identity. As it should be.