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Review Time - GL:TAS

Haven't been very active on this site lately, and I consider that to be a real shame. It just seems so lifeless around here nowadays...the unions I visited in the past are dead, I can only post in forums if I go to Gamefaqs, and not many people at all commented on my last few blogs. As such, I don't know how many people will end up reading this new review, but I feel compelled to post it anyway. It's kind of short, I know, but if I tried to make it any longer I might end up posting spoilers or giving away too many details in general. Without further rambling, here you are:

GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TV SHOW)

RTEmagicC_Green-Lantern-The-Animated-Ser

This is...this is something special to me. On the one hand, it seems as if it should be easy to describe the series because of how I feel about it, but on the other hand I want to be very careful to do it justice and avoid any serious spoilers. I suppose I should start from the beginning. Aside from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series' and a few movies, I didn't know much about Green Lantern and wasn't too interested in the character. I decided to watch this series mostly because I was bored of my other shows and because I knew it was supposed to be good based on the fan reaction to the news of it being ended alongside Young Justice.

My initial impression of the series wasn't great. I didn't care for the CGI animation and the plot was off to a slow and generic start in the first episode, but it was good enough to keep me engaged and make me want to see more. I guess it could have been due to the fact that the episodes are all part of a continuous story and they lead into one another most of the time. I can't remember at exactly what point it occured, but eventually I realized that I was becoming hooked to this show. I think it was probably around midway through the first part of the season. The characters began developing rapidly, the story fell into a groove, and the action was balanced. It's safe to say that when I was finished with the first two discs of the collection, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the final pair. Since neither Netflix or my library had them, I bought them from Amazon.com. That's something I very rarely do. In fact, I'd never even done it for a TV show...only movies.

I believe that one of the biggest draws to the series, for me, is the excellent way they developed the recurring characters while introducing side characters who deeply affect them and a progressing plot that really displays how one thing connects to another and explores the mindset of GL and his crew. I had a hunch very early on that I would come to really like Aya, for example, and as I saw the character develop and change throughout the series that hunch was definitely confirmed. Another thing I absolutely love about the show is how it incorporates some of the other Lantern Corps into the story. I don't know about anyone else, but I really get tired of seeing Sinestro as the villain and the old concept of green will versus yellow fear. That doesn't happen in GL:TAS, and for that I am grateful. The first part of the season focuses on the Red Lantern Corps as the main villains, and it works very well simply because it's unique and fresh. I won't spoil who they are, but the other Lantern Corps make appearances later on and it was a real treat for someone like me who never read the comics and thus had no other way to be familiar with them.

I breezed through the second part of the season in only two days after getting the discs because I was unable to pace myself any better, and by the time it was all over I desperately didn't want it to end. This is a series that could have kept me interested for like eight seasons, but instead it was canned after only one season and 26 episodes. Forget Hollywood and their mangled mess of a GL movie; if you want to experience GL in the way I believe he should truly be portrayed (an intergalactic, superpowered marine who patrols space with his crew and fights various enemies including other Lantern Corps) then this is the show for you. This may very well be my favorite DC show of all time, and that's not easy to say at all.

CHARACTERS: 5/5
PLOT: 5/5
OVERALL RATING: 5/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can't recommend this series enough to anybody who is a fan of DC characters at all...heck, even if you aren't, you still might enjoy it. Watch it and find out.

In brightest day,
in blackest night,
No Teen Titans Go! shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship Cartoon Network's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!!!

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Final Update

Hello to everyone who still bothers to read my incredibly infrequent and choppy blogs, lol. I just wanted to make a quick update about my most anticipated game of 2013, which is the new fighting game from NetherRealm Studios titled Injustice: Gods Among Us. I've mentioned the game with detail in a couple past blogs so I won't spend much time covering old ground, and instead I'll just delve into the newest information we've received recently. The game is shaping up to be an awesome experience for any fans of either fighting games in general or DC Comics characters. Enjoy.

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NEWEST CONFIRMED CHARACTERS

Initially, NRS showed off an early build of the game with 24 character slots on the screen. They stated that the final number might be different, but now it has been confirmed that the full game will indeed contain 24 characters with more to be added through DLC. The most recently announced characters can be seen here:

Doomsday - Trailer
Raven - Trailer
Black Adam - Trailer
Killer Frost - Picture
Ares - Picture

The confirmed, full roster is below:

Superman
Batman
Wonder Woman
The Flash
The Joker
Harley Quinn
Solomon Grundy
Hawkgirl
Green Arrow
Catwoman
Deathstroke
Bane
Lex Luthor
Shazam (Captain Marvel)
Black Adam
Ares
Killer Frost
Green Lantern
Sinestro
Doomsday
Raven
Aquaman
Cyborg
Nightwing

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DLC SEASON PASS ANNOUNCED

It was revealed a short while ago that a season pass will be available for the game on the release date (April 16). This pass will be $14.99 and include 4 DLC characters for the price of 3, as well as bonus Flashpoint costumes for Aquaman, Deathstroke, and Wonder Woman. Based on the full-body versions of the shadowy character renders that were shown, there is a very good chance that Martian Manhunter will be the first DLC character revealed.

Injustice-Seasons-Pass-240x225.jpg

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DEMO RELEASE DATE AND OTHER RANDOM NEWS

It was revealed today by Ed Boon from NRS on his Twitter account that there will be a demo released on April 2nd. It will include Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor playable in the Gotham City arena. S.T.A.R. Labs challenge missions were also recently shown in several videos, and it was confirmed that there will be 240 missions in total (10 per character). Some will be mini-games and others will be fights with unique twists, such as a battle where Two-Face stands in the background and flips his coin to decide who he will randomly shoot, or a battle between Raven and her father, Trigon, who is not a fighter in any other mode of the game. Each event will have 3 optional objectives to complete, such as taking no damage in a fight or winning without blocking. Earning stars for completing these objectives and the events themselves will earn XP and other rewards like alternate costumes.

Currently, the full selection of pre-order bonus offers are these:

Gamestop - Red Son Pack including 20 extra S.T.A.R. Labs missions and 3 bonus costumes
Walmart - Arkham City Pack including 3 bonus costumes, and a free copy of MK vs DC Universe
Best Buy/Amazon EU - Blackest Night Pack including 1 bonus costume and a bonus Zombies Mode
Amazon - $10 promotional credit and a free digital comic for Kindle

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That does it for now. I've still been rather busy with college and my activity here has been low, as usual. But I refuse to leave this site entirely because I've spent too mcuh time in my life here to give up now, lol...eventually I might even rank up to level 64 after being on 63 now for like over a year. I've been playing Tomb Raider and it's a fun game, though it can't match the Uncharted series in my mind. I would estimate that I'm probably a little less than halfway through the story, so I can't judge it with all fairness yet, and I haven't touched the multiplayer portion of the game (don't plan to until I beat the campaign). I also haven't yet played my free copy of Quantum Conundrum, but I will eventually.

Thanks for reading, please comment, and God bless.

Update + Injustice Info

Where do I even begin? I guess I should start by addressing the elephant in the room, which is the fact that I haven't posted a blog in like 5 months. There's a variety of reasons for that and I can explain a few in a moment when I give some updates regarding what I've been doing lately, but the biggest reason is simply that I haven't used this site much recently. My favorite unions are pretty much dead and many of my friends are either gone or almost completely inactive. I stick around to talk to a few people and check in on a few boards from time to time, but I've been spending far more time on deviantART. If you wish to contact me there, leave your ID in a comment for this blog and I can add you as a friend. You can still always send me a PM here however, because I do drop in at least once or twice every day if I can. Anyway, here are just a few general updates to get you up to speed on what's been happening with me:

1. Played through and got a Platinum in Assassin's Creed 3, and it's definitely my GOTY for 2012. For some reason there are a ton of people bashing the game, but I don't understand why. The story is deep, the action is intense, the combat is satisfying, the maps are huge, and overall the experience could be summed up by just calling it "epic". A few glitches and some frustrating optional objectives keep the game from being perfect, but I would still give it around a 9/10.

2. Played through and beat Assassin's Creed 2 very recently. My dad played through AC1, and afterwards when I said he should play my copy of AC3 next, he said that he wanted to play through the series in order and so he bought the PSN version of the AC2 Deluxe Edition. I took advantage of the opportunity and downloaded it to my system as well. Previously I had been wary of playing the middle three AC games because of some content I didn't care for, but in the end it turned out to be minor stuff like several of my friends had told me, though right off the bat it was clear that AC2 had more F-bombs than AC1 or AC3, lol. Overall I give AC2 about an 8.5/10 and for many of the same reasons I gave a similar score to AC3. Both games feel rather different and they're both good in their own ways. I'm looking forward to playing AC:Brotherhood next.

3. I started attending a couple community college clas$es early in January. I'm taking English Comp and College Algebra. Since I had been previously homeschooled all my life, it was a big leap for me, but so far it's going okay. I surprisingly have a lot of work for just these two clas$es that I attend for just two days every week though, lol. I'm glad my parents haven't made me get a job yet so that I can focus exclusively on doing well with school for a while. I need to get A's in both these clas$es and in a few others to allow me to stand a chance at getting into the program I was eyeing, namely either Radiography or Radiation Therapy.

Hmm...I had actually expected to type more in the updates section, but I can't come up with anything. :P I guess I'll move on to the next section of this blog.

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INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US - THE NEWEST INFO

As you might remember, I made up a blog a while ago detailing almost all the info I could gather about the upcoming fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us. It's being developed by NetherRealm Studios, which is the same team that brought you the reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise not too long ago. Injustice will feature over-the-top action with famous DC heroes and villains, and unlike with the MK series, the developers are foregoing blood and gore and are aiming for a T rating. Below I will list all the new info I can think of that's been released since when I made that first blog about the game. I hope you enjoy.

NEW TRAILERS:

Story Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l27-3NJqpiA
Lex Luthor Reveal Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4-PpUxBwQE
Deathstroke Reveal Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVDqpsXAgLI

CONFIRMED CHARACTERS:

Superman
Batman
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Solomon Grundy
The Joker
Harley Quinn
Catwoman
Cyborg
Nightwing
Green Arrow
Deathstroke
Lex Luthor
Bane
Green Lantern

TEASED/RUMORED CHARACTERS:

Raven (shown in a fight stance in a screenshot of the game)
Hawkgirl (shown briefly in the story trailer as part of a cutscene)
Black Adam (hinted at by Ed Boon from NRS on Twitter)
Shazam/Captain Marvel
Aquaman (unofficially confirmed by a website's preview of the game)

Ares
Doomsday
Zatanna
Martian Manhunter
Captain Cold
Swamp Thing

UPCOMING INFO:

Since Ed Boon has previously stated that not all characters in the game will be playable, people still must be skeptical when they see teased characters. Hawkgirl and Raven are pretty much locked in for being in the game because they've both been spotted in the game, but that doesn't necessarily make them playable. According to the Injustice Facebook page, a new video will be releasing today (Monday the 4th) and it will include gameplay from a character that hasn't been revealed yet if I'm not mistaken, so definitely keep an eye out for that.

PRE-ORDER BONUSES:

Currently only two pre-order bonuses are available. If you order the game from Gamestop, you will get the Red Son DLC Pack. It will include 20 additional story missions and three alternate costumes (one for Superman, one for Wonder Woman, and one for Solomon Grundy). It will follow the story of what would have happened had Superman's rocket ship crash-landed in the Soviet Union instead of Kansas. The other pre-order bonus, which was just revealed a couple days ago, is from Walmart. If you order from them, you will get the Arkham City Costumes DLC Pack, which includes the Arkham City versions of Batman, The Joker, and Catwoman. And even though it is not technically a pre-order bonus, you can get the New 52 Costumes DLC Pack by purchasing either the Battle Edition ($150) or the Collector's Edition ($99) of the game. My advice is to wait a little longer to make sure that no other stores such as Best Buy will announce any better offers. When MK was released, I heard that a bonus offer was announced one week before the game's release date.

NEW GAMEPLAY INFORMATION:

It has been announced that Injustice will feature an online practice mode, allowing two players to connect with each other to sharpen their skills or just mess around and have fun. A new feature of being able to tag specific moves in the pause menu and have them displayed permanently on the screen during a fight has also been revealed, and some mini-games will occur during the course of the game's story mode to break up the repetition of fight, cutscene, fight, cutscene, etc. The story itself will be slightly longer than what was in MK. Another big reveal is that players will have the option of using two different control setups, including the original d-pad method used in MK games or the d-pad method used in other fighting games like Street Fighter.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

I'm pretty psyched for this game, if you can't tell, haha. The premise of Superman losing control and becoming sort of a dictator after The Joker attacks Metropolis in a major way is very interesting, and I'm sure it will be cool to see how the heroes and villains react to this and form alliances of their own. Having Kevin Conroy as Batman will be awesome, and I'm really excited to see some more alternate costumes for all the characters. Generally speaking, they can give a lot of replay value to games like this, for me at least. I'm keeping my hopes up that Raven will be playable and possibly revealed soon in a trailer of her own, and I'll definitely be pre-ordering the game once I make sure of where I want to buy it.

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Thanks for reading, God bless, and please comment.

Story I read about Einstein...

Science

"Let me explain the problem science has with religion." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely '


'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

'Yes'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'

'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one...'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student falters. 'From God.'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything,then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace. The room is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'

'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '

'Yes.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The room is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so... So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?' Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course there is. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'


The professor sat down.


The student was
Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein wrote a book titled 'God vs. Science' in 1921.....

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My comment? EINSTEIN PWNAGE! :P Anyway, kudos if you read through the entire thing. It's always annoying when smug professors try to embarrass their students like this, so it's nice to see the tables turned, whether you agree with Einstein or not. Leave a comment if you wish, and God bless.

Super Preview of Injustice: Gods Among Us

I'm always a little fearful about doing blogs such as this. First of all, there's always the chance that I'll miss some obscure scrap of information which will nag at my mind later on and remind me of how the blog didn't even accomplish its own purpose. On the other hand, even if I do collect all the info on this game and make it all into a great read, I'm sure that new info will roll up right around the corner and make this thing quickly obsolete. But for the sake of the fact that I simply want to write this, I'm ignoring these worries and am about to present you with a total and complete preview for Injustice: Gods Among Us. This will be a one-stop-shop where you can read everything there is to (currently) know about the upcoming fighting game from NetherRealm Studios, the people who made Mortal Kombat. Enjoy.

Note: Gamespot's ridiculous site glitches have messed up most of the text a bit, so it might be bigger than usual. >_>

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The Premise -

Unfortunately, there isn't much known about the plot of the game just yet. All we have confirmed is that a variety of superheroes will be beating the daylights out of each other in some very iconic DC arenas. However, I did happen to read a product description from a website which states that the battle will be fought between Superman and his allies against Batman and his rebels. I'm not quite sure what would cause Batman to rebel against ol' Supes, but presuming that his forces are going to be the bad guys in this scenario, I expect the plot will have to be pretty deep to explain it all. I look forward to seeing how NR could turn an iron-willed hero such as Batman against his usual allies without resorting to something cheesy and stereotypical, such as mind control or "THE RAGE ARGARGAFLASHAFLAS!!1!1" from Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. But then again...I could be totally wrong, and Superman and his forces could be the bad ones, though that would still require just about the same amount of explanation. OR I suppose it's also possible that neither side is obviously good nor evil, which I personally think would be the best option.

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The Characters -

Confirmed characters so far include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Solomon Grundy, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Cyborg, and Catwoman. The full roster is going to include about 20 characters as far as we know, with a very high chance for DLC additions in the future. In one way or another, Ed Boon (Creative Director at NR) has hinted at the inclusion of both Joker and Hal Jordan's Green Lantern. For the former, he was actually asked about it in an interview, and heavily implied that Joker will be in. For the latter, his hint was more subtle...he posted a picture on a social network of a Green Lantern doll, haha. It's not much to go on, but given the fact that I'm sure he knows that his fans are wanting him to give more Injustice info, it could very well be a sign.

All characters in the game are going to be split into two categories, which are "Gadget" and "Power". These terms are used loosely though, and I predict that we'll probably see a third category pop up for "Agility" at some point, because it's difficult to lump characters such as The Flash into either category. Gadget-based characters like Batman will interact differently with the environments than power-based characters will. For example, let's say there's a car in a particular arena. Superman will be able to pick up the car and smash it on top of his opponent, whereas a character like Batman would be able to grab his opponent and slam his/her head into the car instead. More agile characters like Nightwing are able to vault off of the car to attack or gain a better position in the battle. Each character will also have the ability to activate a super-attack after they build up enough of their attack bar.

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The Presentation -

Mortal Kombat games are known for their excessive violence and gore, their heavy amounts of bloodshed, and their gruesome fatalities. So predictably, some of the very first questions that NR received about Injustice were things like "Will there be fatalities? How bloody is it?". Ed Boon quickly silenced these folks as best as he could by confirming that there won't be any fatalities in Injustice, nor will there be any excessive, bloody gore. Instead, NR is working to make this game more about over-the-top blockbuster action and cinematic quality. They're also working to make the game very easy for fighting game newbs to pick up and play, and still have a good time with their favorite DC characters. Attacks are based on just three buttons for high, middle, and low moves, and there is one character specific button which activates the special ability of whatever character you're using. This is good news for those of us who can't dive deep enough into any fighting game to learn the best combos and the perfect timing necessary to take advantage of every little quirk in the system. However, NR is also working to make the game deep enough to satisfy the more hardcore fighting fans as well, albeit with a slightly less complicated formula than other titles.

In terms of visuals, the developers are providing their own tweaks to each character's appearance and outfits. Batman, for example, reminds me of a more armored version of Christian Bale's Batman in the Christopher Nolan films, though based on what I've heard, he should be easier to understand if he ever says "You'll be in a padded cell forever". And given what NR did in terms of providing alternate outfit options to characters in their latest Mortal Kombat game, I think we can definitely expect to see alternate costumes available for the heroes and villains of Injustice. But to be brutally honest now, I just hope that Warner Bros wouldn't allow them to make any overly-slutty outfits for the female characters, because unfortunately NR has that habit. Fingers crossed about that.

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The Footage -

Enough with the talking for now, I'm going to show you all some clips of the game, and in some cases I'll point out where we could find possible hints from NR. The interviews aren't really in order of date, so...yeah, just make do, haha.

Announcement Trailer
Nightwing and Cyborg Reveal Trailer
Superman Vs The Flash Gameplay
Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Solomon Grundy Super-Moves
Interview 1
Interview 2

Now, for the info about the vids that you might not know. Firstly, Batman's super-move is no longer the lame one that you can see in the video showcasing those moves. His updated move can be seen at about the 0:37 second mark of the Nightwing and Cyborg trailer. Nextly, in the first interview at about 6:20, you can hear Ed Boon questioned about the inclusion of the Joker. He pretty much confirms that he will be in the game. And finally, in the second interview at about the 0:55 second mark, the guy from NR begins talking about the characters in the game and when he starts to list them, he very slightly stumbles at the end when he begins to say "A..." and then cuts himself short. Some people take this as a slip that he was about to reveal a character beginning with "A" such as Aquaman, but honestly I think it's a long stretch to say that.

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Final Thoughts -

I've never really been a big fan of fighting games. I enjoyed the cartoony nature of Mortal Kombat Trilogy on my PS1 back in the day, and also the occasional round of Street Fighter 2, but other than that, the genre was largely off my radar. MK Vs DC didn't really change that, although I enjoyed it. I'm really anxious for Injustice: Gods Among Us, though, and mainly I think it's because NR is finally moving away from the old formula of their MK games and making something fresh, and it just happens to be almost exactly the game that I would choose to make if I was them. We still have quite a while to go before release day, given that NR has only given us a window of the year 2013, but I expect that it should at least arrive in the first half of the year. Until then, I'll be revisiting MK Vs DC to quench my desires and keeping an eye out for any new announcements.

I hope you're enjoyed the read and perhaps found something helpful. And if not...well I appreciate the fact that you still read it, and I hope you appreciate all the effort I put into it, including the fact that I had to fight against the awful glitches of this site all the way through. Thanks for reading, please comment, and God bless.

Upcoming Big Ones

So lately I've been avoiding writing any blogs. Mostly it's because Gamespot's site "updates" and glitches are ticking me off, but it's also because I didn't many notable things to say. But now I do, and so here I am. For starters, I'll admit that I didn't pay very close attention to E3 this year. I tuned in every so often to see what was happening, but nothing too interesting caught my eye. Dishonored looks to be off my radar now after seeing the gameplay footage and being a little underwhelmed, and I also confirmed that The Last of Us is also not going to be my sort of game. I didn't happen to see Sly 4 at all, so I can't comment on that. However, I have a few games that I do want to talk about right now, so here they are:

Assassin's Creed 3

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You excited for AC3? A lot of people are, but until recently, I wasn't one of them. I played the original Assassin's Creed and had fun with it, though as most people admit, it was a repetitive game. I skipped the other games in the series simply because I didn't like some of the content that was included. But now, after seeing the brand new setting and new mechanics of AC3, I'm all over it. I'm going to withhold a pre-order at least until I get more ESRB info on the game's content, but as of now I definitely want this game. Connor seems like a very interesting new assassin, and everything simply looks so fluid and expansive in terms of content and exploration. I'm not quite sure how historically accurate the game will be, but by the looks of it I think it will capture the feeling of the time period and the emotion of both sides in the battle. Can't wait for more info on this one.

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pUhraVG7Ow

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Injustice: Gods Among Us

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This is yet another game that has me very excited, despite the extremely limited info that we have on it. I passed on buying the latest Mortal Kombat game because I'm not really a fan of such gruesome violence to the extent that several more modern MK games offer, but you can't deny that the combat mechanics and reception of the games themselves are solid. Injustice is being developed by Netherrealm Studios, but they're stated that it will be its own unique game and won't necessarily have the features that were in Mortal Kombat. When Ed Boon's team handled MK vs DC Universe a few years ago, the result was a fun and rather simple game. Hopefully this one will be better able to offer diversity and more robust fighting mechanics, as well as a large roster of DC heroes and villains.

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMkTQSbE6Bc

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Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

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So...Lego characters are going to have actual dialogue in a Lego video game? Sounds good to me. I got Lego Batman as a gift last Christmas, and I enjoy playing it every now and then, but I find it to be a bit too linear and limited to have much lasting value. Hopefully with larger environments, more characters, a better story and actual talking, LB2: DC Super Heroes will fix those issues and deliver the sprawling Lego DC game we all would like it to be. With a large focus on Batman, of course. ;)

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLWvimLUlAc

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted

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I'm really on the fence about this one. I really liked the original Most Wanted, with its incredily cheesy story and open world police pursuits. It seems as if the open world pursuits are back at least, but not the story. From what I saw at E3, it looks like Hot Pursuit with open world racing and chasing instead of events taking place on tracks. Do we all really need to pay $60 for that, especially when all the actual gameplay seems so similar to a game we all got in 2010? It feels a little bit like trying to decide whether or not to get the latest yearly sports game in Madden or FIFA or some other series. Do the improvements warrant the price tag? Time will tell, but I will at least be watching this one as well.

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Imb_hTVmw

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Well that's pretty much it for me. I'll give a few more update notes below before closing out this blog...

1 - Finished the complete series of the 90's TV show Birds of Prey. It's a live-action show about The Huntress, daughter of Batman and Catwoman, and how she works with Oracle and a young girl named Dinah to protect the city of New Gotham. Overall I'd give it a 6.5/10. Some episodes were good, and some just seemed extremely lame. The main villain of the series is Harley Quinn, though her only major role is in the very last two-part episode.

2 - Watched Justice League: Doom. Seemed very predictable, and the amount of jumping between characters in fight scenes seemed to lesson the action in my opinion. I'd give it about a 7/10, and that's mainly because I'm such a fan of Kevin Conroy, lol.

3 - Finished watching the complete Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series'. Unlimited was slightly better, but they were both excellent and well worth watching. I give a 9.3/10 to them both as a whole.

4 - I've now beaten the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC for Batman: Arkham City 5 times. I really enjoy how it's just the right length if you want a taste of Batman in a story format, and though I was disappointed at the lack of free-roaming ability for Robin even within just the Steel Mill, it's still worth the $10 price and a lot of fun. Just hearing a moody Batman talking to himself in his head is a memorable experience. For me, anyway.

Thanks for reading, please comment, and God bless.

Important Notice to All

I don't want to do this, but it seems as if Gamespot has taken its self-destructive habits to an all-new low. As I said before, the site essentially ruined its forums by splitting them away from the Gamefaqs community, however I was able to cope with it by limiting the amount of forums I visited through using my "favorite boards" tab to access shared forums just like before. But now it appears that I can no longer do even that, because topics in the forums I frequently visit are labeled as "read only" and I am instructed by Gamespot to leave the site and go use Gamefaqs if I want to make posts. I assume that I don't need to rant about how irritated I am. So as it stands, I will likely not be using any of the forums I visit on a regular basis. This applies to everything...so I want to say that I'm very sorry about this to all my good friends from several forums where I have been active for very long periods of time. You can certainly still contact me through PM messages as long as Gamespot can bring itself to keep that feature functional, but I just don't have much desire to use Gamefaqs at all. I checked out the site again for the first time in a while and found that I could change the skin of the pages to match the dark theme that I have here at Gamespot, which is very cool, but I still don't like the forums and the layout of the pages themselves. I will use the site if I really need access to forums I suppose, but for now, I plan to limit my activity to visiting just a few unions here at Gamespot, seeing as how I don't care for the Gamespot-only forums either. Man, this really sucks. I can hardly believe it's all happening on my favorite site.

Also, I want to point out that I am certainly not a fan of the new commenting system. Most of the "upgrades" are pointless, and there is no reason to "follow" conversations or receive emails about replies to your little comments. Seriously, this isn't supposed to be Twitter or Facebook. It's just...a fail. -_-

Thanks for reading, God bless, and please comment (if you can stand the new format).

Dear Gamespot

My friend,

Back when I first joined you, I found you only because you were affiliated with TV.com, and so I gave you a visit. I liked you. You were fun, and you had nice forums with a decent community. I enjoyed chatting and debating with others about my favorite games, and maintaining my profile, and ranking up. You quickly became my favorite website and I visited you every day, like I still do now. But over time, I have noticed that you are no longer the same. You are still great, don't get me wrong...but you're different, and in some ways, I fear it is not for the better. You changed the layout of many webpages, for example. My profile page looks nothing like it did when I first joined. When I go to check my updates, I have to do it only through a certain button, because otherwise I will be redirected to Fuse. Why? When I see the symbol of a letter on the top right of my screen, I naturally assume I have mail, so I scroll over to it to see how many messages I have, only to find that I have zero messages, and instead have updates. Why do you taunt me like this? Why do you use the same symbol for updates as for mail? It's stupid, to put it bluntly.

I put up with these minor changes for a while, and also put up with the fact that many features failed to work correctly while they were being updated, sometimes for rather long periods of time. I wasn't happy about it, but since I care so much about you, I let it slide. But recently, you have decided to split with our good friend Gamefaqs. I never knew him very well, but I am sure he isn't happy about it. You decided to try to make your own forums and have them separate from the ones at Gamefaqs, and I just can't wrap my head around why you're doing it. Isn't it better to share and combine our communities? Why are you trying to isolate yourselves? I mean, I understand that Gamefaqs isn't exactly known for having a lot of polite members on its forums, but I still believe that a split is a very bad choice. Now people will have to visit two different forums just to ask a question, in order to ensure that they will get a good response. And if they don't like the split, like me, they will have to use complicated methods to access forums so that they will still be shared. And they won't be able to make new topics or post by using anything other than "Quick Reply".

Recently I have had to scale back my visits around your site to simply going in and out of a few unions, and checking in on a small grouping of forums that is in my favorites list. This really is a shame, because I used to really have fun browsing different forums for my entire collection of games, and seeing what I could find, and with whom I could start some gaming conversations. But still, I let it slide, and gave nary a complaint to you about it, because of how much I still like you. Recently however, you have hit me with yet another obstacle in the path of our continued comradery...your PM system is having regular sessions of glitching. First you took away many of the fun factors I enjoyed from your site in regards to forums and ease-of-use, and now you are attacking my inbox, the feature I probably use most of all? This I cannot overlook, and thus I am showing you this letter. For about a week now, my inbox has been hit with occasional glitches, rendering it useless for periods of time during the day. It doesn't seem to happen regularly, so I don't understand how it could be any sort of maintenance. But every now and then, it says "internal servor error 500", or something along that line, and I am unable to even view my messages, or open the mailbox at all. I have been forced into finding another website my friend uses and being active there now, just so that I can message her. How hard is it to keep a simple inbox from glicthing, my friend?

I want you to know that I still like you, and I am writing this because I care. I won't leave you, but I want you to really consider everything I have said. Your recent actions have put a strain on our relationship, and that makes me uncomfortable. I hope you will decide to pur forth an effort to return to being the same great site I came to know over six years ago. I don't want you to completely go back in time, because of course I do like and appreciate some of the ways you have improved yourself for me and all the other members here, but I find that many of the improvements have come at costs of which many people are unhappy that they must pay. If you wish to respond to this letter, I reccomend leaving a comment, because sending something to my mailbox...might not work.

Sincerely,
RedHawk4

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Ahem...yeah, so, that happened. :P I was bored. Anyways, I really have been noticing a lot of problems here at Gamespot lately, and it's been ticking me off. As I mentioned in the letter, the most recent one is the PM system glitching. How hard is it to keep a darn mailbox functional?! Yeesh. Using this site is beginning to feel more...like this.

On another topic, I haven't written a blog in quite a while. I've had nothing really inspire me to do so. I've been playing a lot of Battlefield 3, and trying to get all the kit unlocks and eventually reach the top rank. I think I'm up to 42 right now. I've also still been playing Batman: Arkham City, mostly just for fun and mostly just the combat challenge maps. I want to go ahead and congratulate my friend, supclayton, for getting all the DLC trophies for the game. Quite an accomplishment, and something I probably won't do because I would like to keep whatever sanity I have left, haha. And of course, I've still been playing Journey. If you're reading this and you haven't checked it out for yourself yet, you are missing out, my friend.

For my next blog, whenever that happens to be, I am considering making a list of all the games that I will likely add to my collection in the somewhat-near future, and describing what I know about each title so far. Sound good, or not? Spout off about it in a comment, if you please. I know I've done stuff like that before, so it could be rather familiar territory, and thus I may scrap the idea.

And now, for just a few other updates:

1 - I saw "The Hunger Games" a while ago. Never read the books before, and I had never even heard of the books before this movie was released, but after the previews and all the positive reviews and box office success, I decided to check it out. Oddly enough, my grandfather wanted to see it with me. It was a good movie, though it was much slower than I anticipated it to be. The pace and feel reminded me of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Overall the movie was good, and I would give it a 4/5 I suppose, if I were to rate it in someplace like Netflix.

2 - Finished watching the first season of "Justice League", the animated series. The first episodes were weird but did a good job of introducing the main characters, the next episodes were really good, and the episodes near the end of the season...were not so good. I got the first disc of the second season from Netlfix, but it arrived cracked and broken, and so I have to wait for a replacement. Can anybody who knows please tell me if I need to wait and watch all the seasons before I watch Justice League: Doom?

3 - I saw "Tintin" also, on DVD. Pretty good movie overall, and much of it actually reminded me of Uncharted 3, haha. Lots of action and a good (but predictable) story and villain. I was surprised at all the alcohol and drunkenness in what is obviously supposed to be a kids movie, though I suppose the message from it was good. I would rate the movie a 4/5 on Netflix as well.

4 - The first DLC pack for Modern Warfare 3 is finally arriving on PS3, after Activision made us wait all this time! Woohoo! Now I can officially announce that, just like the DLC packs for Modern Warfare 2, I...won't be buying it. >_> Just give me Black Ops 2, Activision.

Well, that does it for this blog. Not as exciting as my others, but hopefully you found it to be at least mildly amusing. Thanks for reading, please comment, and God bless.

Begin Your Journey

In this blog, I want to talk to you all about a very special new downloadable game for the Playstation Network. Journey is the most recent game from ThatGameCompany, which many of you might recognize, as I do, from their previous PSN game, Flower; it was a very imaginative game that actually managed to make good use of the motion control in your Dualshock 3 controller, and the idea of freely directing the wind to blow around flower petals in beautiful environments was quite fun and relaxing. And so with the announcement of Journey, I was moderately excited for another similar experience. When Gamespot gave away beta keys, I jumped on the chance to take one, and while I had a good time with the beta, I had some mixed reactions. The developers still seemed to want to make motion control a part of this game, but tilting a controller to change the camera in a third-person adventure game is a lot different than it was in Flower, and it just didn't feel right. I was pleasantly surprised when the beta was patched and the developers added the ability to control the camera with the right analog stick as well, and I once again found myself interested.

Fast-forward to just a few days ago, when Journey was getting ready to release. I had largely forgotten about it and only remembered because of the ads I saw. I remembered having a fun time with the beta and since I was wanting a new game that could distract me from the constant action and intensity of Battlefield 3, I really thought about buying it. Then I saw the ad in the PSN Store that stated if I pre-order it, I could get an "exclusive" dynamic theme. Well, that tiny little extra pushed me over the edge (because I'm gullible I suppose), and I'm very glad that it did.

For starters, Journey costs $15 and is about a 2-3 hour game in terms of actual content and the amount of time you choose to spend exploring the levels as you play. So you could roughly say that it's about $5 per hour for this single-player experience, not counting the replay value. Call of Duty games are full titles with campaigns, multiplayer, and co-op...but if you strip it down to just the solo experience, it's still $60 for about 6-8 hours, and so it could be nearly $10 per hour if that's all you want to play. It's not the best comparison, but it's worth considering.

Now, to the actual meat of this game, and try to stick with me here. You play as a red-robed figure in the desert, with a dark face and skinny legs and no particular gender, though the figure does appear to be a little feminine. You have no name, and you begin the game sitting in the sand, gazing up at a shimmering mountain peak in the distance. The game gives you no narrative and only a basic instruction of the controls for the first few minutes, though it's very obvious that the mountain is your goal. And once you leave the top of the first sand hill, your quest begins. This is a very difficult thing for me to describe, because so much of the appeal of Journey is discovering it for yourself, in your own interpretation. Essentially the gameplay consists of you progressing through different areas of this mystical world, and as you try to forge a path into each new area, you'll need to likely do some light platforming. You'll also want to explore in order to find hidden glyphs, history messages (which convey a bit of the backstory about the quest and area), and other secret items. You can collect pieces of fabric which will increase the length of your character's scarf as well, and the longer your scarf happens to be, the more boost you can get by pressing the X button. This boost allows you to lift into the air and glide with your cloak, which allows you to reach new areas and also allows for faster travel. You'll need to recharge your scarf by collecting new fabric every time you use some of your supply, however, though there is a way to earn the ability to have a self-recharging scarf, if you're willing to put forth the time and effort exploring in order to get it.

There are two different ways that you can play Journey, and each offers its own feel. If you choose to play offline, you will travel alone, isolated in the environment and dependant only on yourself. ThatGameCompany has done a truly remarkable job at making you really relate to your character in these situations, and you might even start to feel a bit lonely out there by yourself after a while. I recommend to all newcomers that they play through Journey totally solo their first time, to genuinely experence this level of emotion. Afterwards, I recommend going back and playing while signed in online. You won't automatically be given a partner or anything like that. Instead, you will continue along the Journey exactly the same way you did before, but this time, you might eventually encounter another player. If you choose to do so, you can pair together on the trek, or you can separate and continue on alone. You can't see their PSN ID, you can't communicate in-game or with a headset, and the only way you can interact with them is by pressing circle to "chirp" a musical note. This is actually a very brilliant move by the developers, because this level of anonymous co-op fits in absolutely perfectly with the natural emotions of this game. When you meet another wanderer in the desert after plodding along alone for a while, what is your natural instinct? You'll probably want to walk beside them for a while, see what they do, and join them. This really does allow the players to choose whether or not they want to make a friend or help out somebody else, and it feels right. One other very interesting aspect of playing with a buddy is that when you get close together, almost to the point where you are touching, you cloaks will glow and both you you will recharge energy. Not only is this very helpful in terms of gameplay, but it does a wonderous job of giving you a metaphor about the power of having somebody else by your side.

When I first played Journey, I did it offline. I played through the main quest in about two and a half hours I'd say, and I enjoyed it a lot. The sense of isolation, the mystery, the relaxing pace, the beautiful art, the enchanting music...it all combined to be a very memorable experience, even though I was somewhat confused by the whole backstory and the ending. Overall I actually enjoyed it more than Flower, though both are very good games. Getting online to play the second time, I decided that I wanted to hunt for the hidden items and perhaps try to get a few of the trophies, even though there is no Platinum to work towards. It wasn't too long before I met my first partner, and at the beginning, he wanted to stay close to my side. I let him lead for a while, then he let me lead. When he saw that I pretty much didn't know where I was going because I was wandering around and trying to locate glyphs, he broke away for a bit. Then we joined up again, and then broke away. I wasn't too concerned about it, and continued along my way. Eventually I entered a stage near the end of a chapter in the quest, and I saw another person. They looked at me for a bit, and we chirped a few times. I turned around to check out an area for any secrets, and when I checked back, they were gone. Again, I wasn't too phased. I was just about to initiate the end-of-the-chapter cutscene when I see yet another new player floating down on my side. This player was different, for they were wearing a white robe.

Now, because I had browsed the forums for a while before going online, I knew what that meant:they were pretty much an expert at the game (I don't want to spoil how they got the cloak). I chirped a few times to show that I was excited to see them, because I was really hoping that they could help me find some glyphs so that I wouldn't have to aimlessly walk around for hours upon hours, not that I wouldn't have done it anyway. They stood still and chirped back at me a few times, and we traded a few short musical notes together. Then they began moving back away from me, and they glided up by some ruins on the edge of the wall in the area. I followed suit, and sure enough they were showing me where a glyph was hidden. I chirped out a "thank you" and collected it, and we initiated the cutscene together. Afterwards, we continued along the game side-by-side. I let them take the lead, and stuck right behind for the most part. They gracefully showed me the best path through each area, and lead me to every hidden item that could be found. They also stopped and waited for me if I got hung up behind, so that they could recharge my scarf for me. As we got into the final section of the quest, I was extremely grateful for all that they had shown me. After all, this person already knew all the in-game secrets, and had no reason to find them again other than to help me out, and I was a complete stranger they met in the desert! As we slowly plodded along near the final section, I was sticking very close, and we were almost hugging each other as we walked together.

Suddenly I saw them stop, and then sit down. I was surprised, and I also stopped to see what they were doing. After a few seconds, I witnessed my faithful and kind partner vanish before my eyes. I was stunned, left standing alone with the wind blasting in my face and rippling my cloak. Slowly and sadly, I resumed walking forward, pressing on to the finish on what was now a solitary trip. After a few more moments, the game displayed a message saying that I wasn't connected online anymore, and then after a a short bit, I got a message saying that I had been disconnected from PSN. Apparently, all that had happened was that my internet had gone out. After all, it was about 3:45 AM. But what really hit me was the level of emotion that I felt. I actually felt sad that I had lost my partner along the way, so close to the end, when we had shared such a great bond over thelength of the adventure. I realized that along the way I had made a friend, and now they had left me alone (or rather, my internet had caused them to leave me). What other game had ever replicated that deep level of care in me for a person I had never even met before? The answer is none. No other game ever has. Finising the game alone and seeing the final dramatic cutscenes by myself was fun, just like it was the first time when I had been offline, but it seemed...more empty. Bittersweet.

I have spent a bit more time with Journey since that story I just related occured. I have acquired that same white cloak for myself, and have found almost all the in-game secrets. I don't have all the trophies yet though, and I'm not sure if I'll go for them. On the surface, Journey feels more like a traditional video game than Flower did. But that is simply not the truth. Journey is a deep, beautiful, emotional adventure that rivals some of the better animated films out there which try to accomplish the same thing. The difference between Journey and one of those movies, though, is that you are directly involved in this quest, and other people can be as well. Journey isn't for everyone...if you don't like slow games, stay away from it. If you like to be entertained with pulse-pounding action when you play as opposed to being relaxed and letting yourself become emotionally immersed in a gaming experience, then by all means, pass on this one. But if you want to play a game that can pull at your heart, calm your mind, and dazzle you with beautiful sights and sounds, I strongly encourage you to check out this game. Part visual art, part musical art, part exploration game, one full quest. One full journey.

Thanks for reading and for enduring the length. Please comment and God bless.

My Top 7 Co-op Games

Everyone enjoys a good single-player gaming experience, right? Well maybe not those who are addicted to MMOs. But the average console gamer certainly likes to be able to sit down on a couch/chair/bed/floor and immerse themselves in a game, without a companion there to annoyingly remind them that they're not in fact a character in the game world, but are indeed just a person sitting on a couch/chair/bed/floor and pressing buttons. But some games work well with two players. Some games can be just as immersive and just as fun when you have a friend tagging along with you, and it can provide a great way to spend time with those that you either like or tolerate. So without further rambling, here's my rundown of my favorite co-op games that I own:

#7 - LittleBigPlanet

This is an odd choice for the list, considering that I have not actually played LBP in co-op yet. However, the structure of the game means that I don't have to in order to judge how fun it could be. Solo play and co-op play are part of the same experience in LBP, meaning that you could play through the entire game by yourself, or you could also ask a friend to come along for th ride with you. Certain parts of levels are reserved for only two players, and they are completely optional and not required for you to be able to pass the finish line. They provide a good incentive for those people who played through the level alone to come back and retry it, this time with a LittleBigBuddy. So based on my experience with the game playing solo, I know that having another player there would be just as fun, if not more. If you're looking for a casual, easy-to-play co-op experience, LBP is a great choice.

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#6 - Golden Axe

I'm going to be quite honest...Golden Axe is a rather difficult game when you're playing solo, and in my opinion, it gets even harder when you decide to play it with a friend. However, if you both have the right attitude, it can be a lot of fun. The accidental hits on your partner, the lines like "hey you messed up my pattern!", and the increased difficulty of the enemies must all be taken in stride and with a mindset of fun. If you won't be able to stand your partner accidentaly killing you, you may want to avoid co-op here. But hacking and slashing your way through the waves of enemies and eventually teaming up to take down Death Bringer is a very cool experience, and one that should not be missed if you can rope a friend into the mix with you.

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#5 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2-3

Both MW2 and MW3 have an excellent variety of SpecOps missions to satisfy those who are not content with simply the campaign or with multiplayer. You can complete many of these missions alone, although most of the time, it's obvious that they were designed for two players, because of the fact that playing alone can be a real pain in the neck. The game certainly doesn't take it easy on you when you lack a partner, so before going for the record scores, get a buddy. I should also note that in MW3, there is Survival co-op, which pits you and a partner against infinite waves of enemies until you both bite the virtual dust. It's fun, but poorly designed because the difficulty on all the maps is set and not able to be adjusted. This means that some of the maps are always set to easy difficulty, and some are always set to insane difficulty, and you can't switch it. Still, if you want a good FPS co-op game that you can easily pick up and play with a friend, without worrying about following a story setup or anything like that, check out the MW games.

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#4 - Streets of Rage (Series)

The SOR series sort of falls into the same category as what I said about Golden Axe, except for the fact that you can play and enjoy all three SOR games, because unlike Golden Axe, the sequels aren't completely awful. Stll, you'll likely have to deal with your teammate causing you more grief than help, and you'll definitely have an easier time if you decide to play through the game by yourself. But flipping your partner in the air and setting them up for a flying kick attack is obviously unique to co-op play, and if you and a friend want to take on a greater challenge in SOR together, then there's no reason to consider not doing it. Battling to take out Mr. X before your friend does can be tons of fun.

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#3 - Battlefield 3

I actually just finished playing through all of the six BF3 co-op missions with a good friend of mine tonight, and I have to say that despite the ridiculously weak story that the developers tried to throw into the mode, the missions were very fun, although certain sections can be tedious if you and your buddy decide to try for all the PSN trophies that you can get. It's basically standard fare for an FPC co-op experience...you and your friend progress through the mission, listing to orders and completing the objectives. If your buddy goes down, you can revive him if you have the time. The missions have a nice variety between normal ground combat, a few vehicle sections (including one helicopter mission), some stealth gameplay, and some sniper gameplay. If you want some co-op war action with a friend, look no further. My biggest complaint is actually that the missions are rather short.

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#2 - Portal 2

This is clearly the most unique co-op experience on this list. Not only do you have to fully depend on your partner most of the time, but the entire setup of the mode seems to insist that you need to play it with a close friend, and not with a random player. In fact, the game seems to go to a great length to hide the matchmaking feature for co-op, and also gives you a warning when you go to use it, saying that playing with a friend is much more reasonable. And I absolutely agree. Playing with a random person would be more of a chore and excercise in patience than anything else, especially if you have to constantly lead the way in solving all the puzzles. If you have a good friend who will either join you online or join you in person, I highly recommend playing this game together. It combines great puzzles with a great story, great humor, and great sense of companionship.

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#1 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

To begin with the top pick, I do own Uncharted 3. I simply feel that Uncharted 2 is better, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the difficulty in UC2's co-op mode is easier than the difficulty in UC3, even when it's ramped up to its fullest. Enemy types are simpler, easier to spot, and not as hard to bring down with actual team tactics. Also, there are much better options in UC2. For example, you can choose to set up a private match where you only play Survival, or only play Gold Rush, or only play Siege, etc. In UC3, you can't do this...you are only able to play a standard mode which mixes all three of those variations into arena battles. Both games have adventure co-op, but I only played through all the missions in UC2, because I essentially gave up on UC3 altogether after a short time had passed since completing the story mode. Adventure missions are fun and difficult, challenging players to work together and accomplish a certain goal. Arena co-op is generally where the meat is though, and playing with up to two other friends as you battle it out to stay alive and rack up kills is immensely fun, and really doesn't get old. As such, UC2 is my pick for the best co-op game in this list, and if you haven't ever tried it...you should. It's that simple.

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That does it for this blog, and I hope you have enjoyed the read. Before I end though, I'd like to make a few additional update notes...

1) I watched "Spirited Away" last night after my friend dylan417 recommended it very highly in his blog. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and overall I would give it a 4/5 on Netflix based on its creativity and the fact that it's very hard not to fall in love with Chihiro as a character.

2) For all who read this blog and also own or are planning to buyBattlefield 3, you can go to www.actofvalor.com/bf3/ to catch a trailer for the upcoming movie and also collect 5 free dogtags that you can use in the game.

3) When I purchased my slim PS3 late last year, I also got a voucher code for 30 free days of Playstation Plus. I noticed that in the fine print on the card, it said I would automatically be given a regular subscription and charged for it after the free period had expired. And so rather than deal with all that hassle, I haven't ever used the code, and I still have it. It expires on the 30th of this month, so if anybody would like it, I will be willing to send it to you either through PSN or through a private message here at Gamespot. I'll give it to the first person who asks me. Just beware of this as well...if you buy something like DLC that is exclusive to PSN Plus users, it MIGHT vanish once you get rid of the membership after the free period expires. I would recommend only using the trial period to download free items that are exclusive to PSN Plus, or to purchase items that are available to both PSN Plus users and standard users.

Once again, thanks for reading and please comment. God bless you all.