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Weapon Of Massive Consumption

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Song of the Day:

Lily Allen - The Fear

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don't care about clever I don't care about funny
I want loads of clothes and ****loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
'Cuz everyone knows that's how you get famous
I'll look at the sun and I'll look in the mirror
I'm on the right track yeah I'm on to a winner

Life's about film stars and less about mothers
It's all about fast cars and cussing each other
But it doesn't matter cause I'm packing plastic
and that's what makes my life so ****ing fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
and its not my fault it's how I'm programmed to function
I'll look at the sun and I'll look in the mirror
I'm on the right track yeah we're on to a winner

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I'm killing them all on my own little mission
Now I'm not a saint but I'm not a sinner
Now everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner

I don't know what's right and what's real anymore
I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
'Cause I'm being taken over by the fear

Oooh Babe, Don't Say It's The End Of The Road

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I decided to resign my role as a GameSpot moderator just less than a month away from my 2-year anniversary. Dear Lord, has it really been that long? I've been contemplating such a move for weeks, perhaps months now, but I wanted to be sure that this is something I really want to do. I didn't want to make a rash decision. I've thought this through and I feel I made the right decision.

First off, I want to thank the GameSpot staff (old and new) and the moderator team for this opportunity. I still fondly remember exactly how I felt when I got the nod. It felt good to be recognized - even if it's just on an Internet forum. I am proud to have been a part of a great game website and a great moderator team and I'm especially proud to have been one of the very few foreigners picked for the position. I really feel that I contributed a lot in these 2 years and that I helped make some important decisions towards making these boards a better place to post for everyone.

However, both the times and the people change. I have changed and GameSpot has certainly changed as well. There are quite a few reasons why I've decided to step down, but the most important one is that my heart simply isn't in it anymore. It's become a chore and I simply want to be a regular user again without having to worry about other people's conduct, moderations, the Terms of Use and stuff. It's time to hand down the torch to the new guys. My battery simply ran out.

Also, there's no escaping the fact that this isn't the same GameSpot as it was when I started posting here and it isn't the same GameSpot as it was when I became a mod. GameSpot endured a massive exodus of key people in a very short time span - this goes back to Greg, Rich, Bob and Carrie leaving to persue other opportunities as well as all the hoopla surrounding Jeff's departure which triggered departures of Alex, Jason, Ryan and others. Basically, almost everyone who made up GameSpot is gone now replaced with new people whom I don't really know. People coming and going is natural, but in GameSpot's case, the extremely short period of time in which a lot of people left make it wholly unnatural and difficult to adjust to. The constant re-shuffling of the staff internally doesn't help much either.

I decided to stick around when GameSpot needed support the most out of sheer respect I had for the staff, but now that the transition phase is behind us, I feel it's time to close this particular chapter of my personal GameSpot history. Just to be totally clear, I am not leaving GameSpot, just resigning my moderator position.

In Love With A View

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Top 5 most beautiful screenshots I took over the past few years (click for full size view):

Solace (Mass Effect)

Sunset (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)

Lake (The Witcher)

Liberty (Grand Theft Auto IV)

Umbrella (Crysis)

For Now And Ever

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There can only be so many truly exquisite games. Games that represent all you want from gaming, games that are the pinnacles of their respective genres, games that are resistant to that harsh test we know as time, games that evoke a smile and many fond memories.

As you may or may not know, in my case, the number of games in that category was six. Yes, you heard that right. Was. As in, you know, past tense. I have decided to induct a seventh title into an extremely exclusive posh crowd. Excited yet? Here it is, the seventh game I deemed worthy of a 10:

I've had a huge battle inside my head for about a year now concerning the status of The Orange Box. Is it a game comprised of several different components that still create a rather consistent whole? Just a compilation and each title should stand on its own? How the hell do you rate it? Throughout the past year, I've argued both cases with people in the forums - but like I said, the main argument was the one in my head.

Well, I finally decided that it is not a game on its own since all of its components proved that they can and do stand all on their own. Not only that, but they do so brilliantly. Half-Life 2: Episode Two is an awesome installment to the best FPS series of all time, Portal is a unique, innovative and hilarious masterpiece and Team Fortress 2...Team Fortress 2 owns.

It is a multiplayer game that made a rabid, anti-social single-player gamer not only give it a look, not just try it out, not just like it, not just have fun with it - but introduced him to a completely different gaming experience. Seriously, I don't care about multiplayer. You'll never convince me to even try a session of Counter-Strike, Call of Duty or Gears of War. I just don't give a ****. Team Fortress 2 on the other hand, had it all - a wonderful art-styIe, awesome characters, insane amounts of polish and balance and--and this is what it truly excels at--teamwork. The cIasses gave loads of gameplay variety, the goal-oriented teamwork paved the way for awesome battle scenarios and the fantastic community provided a bottomless amount of maps, mods, servers and everything in-between.

I love this game.

I Got Your Back

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I've been playing a whole bunch of Left 4 Dead. I love it. And that's just the demo. I have the game pre-purchased and pre-loaded on Steam, all I have to wait is for Valve to unlock it. I haven't been this blown away by a game since last year's Team Fortress 2 and I really don't consider myself a multiplayer gamer at all. Ordinary deathmatches just don't keep my attention for long. So what is it about Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead that I cannot get enough of? In a word - teamwork.

Both games demand heavy effort from each player to do what's best for the team, not yourself. A team of average players playing as a team will steamroll a team of superb players with no teamwork in Team Fortress 2. Every. Single. Time. In Left 4 Dead you can be the best player on Earth, but sooner or later you're going to get pounced on by a Hunter, rolled in by a Smoker or instantly incapacitated by a Witch and no amount of skill will help you if you haven't got a buddy to get you up.

Deathmatch can be fun, but it doesn't even come close to the feeling of being on a real team in a game where 'team' isn't just a catchphrase - but rather the entire point. So yeah, if you're a single-player guy like myself who just can't get into multiplayer whether it's Counter-Strike or Halo, I urge you to try these games. You may find that you've been trying out the wrong kind of multiplayer.

Reflections: September/October

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Welcome to another edition of my feature where I'll round up the games/music/movies I've been indulging in for the past month. Let's just get right into it.

Games

I haven't played Team Fortress 2 in a while now, but I'm sure I played it in September at least a few times.

 

 

 

Played a whole lot of this in September. 55 hours, in fact. Still plan to go back to it someday. [Screens]

 

 

 

  • Crysis
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Crytek

Replayed Crysis on my new rig, maxed out. I had an even better time with it than last year since it looked better, but more importantly, ran smooth as butter.

 

 

 

This is the first thing I popped into my new Xbox 360. Big fan of the series, in fact, this is basically the only fighting game I could ever really get into. Accessible yet deep. Also, hot chicks. Unlocked all the characters, now it's time for the costumes. I will say that Alpha-152 is pathetic and the requirement to unlock the unlockable characters' costumes is insane. Beating Alpha 2 out of 3 times with Nicole? Yeah, right. Not gonna happen. And whose bright idea was it to remove the easy difficulty?

 

I'm in the middle of the Career mode - level 20-something. It's a great game with loads of modes, cars and stuff, but really there's barely any progression from the original game. 90% of the tracks are recycled and they even managed to remove Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo leaving New York as the only city track. As much as I am enjoying the game (and it is delightfully addictive like its predecessor), I still cannot escape the feeling that minimal effort went into this which is extremely disappointing.

 

That's it for this edition. Hope you guys enjoyed it. If you haven't already, check out these games, leave comments, and take it easy. This is UpInFlames, signing off.

Flames Is Live

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I haven't posted here in quite a while. I've been pretty busy, but I've also lost interest in blogging and I've kind of neglected that aspect of the site - both my blog and my friends. Well, here's a little update.

A lot has been happening on the gaming front. I built a new PC and I finally bought an Xbox 360 following the latest European price cut. So far I have four games (Dead or Alive 4, Forza Motorsport 2, Halo 3 and Viva Pinata) and I'm ordering up Fable II off Amazon as soon as it becomes available (tomorrow, I think).

Most of the time I'll be a Silver Live user, but I do have two months of free Gold codes which I'll activate in about a week and a half since I have a two-week vacation coming up which will be spent resting and playing games.

Take care guys and see you on Live.

Reflections: August 2008

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Welcome to another edition of my feature where I'll round up the games/music/movies I've been indulging in for the past month. Let's just get right into it.

Games

Didn't play all that much this month. Just put in several hours a couple of times a week at best. Barely played the new mode and maps, only unlocked a few Heavy achievements. What does this mean? Am I getting tired of Team Fortress 2? I don't think so really, but it's been 10 months already, it's only natural that my activity has diminished somewhat.

  • Mass Effect
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: BioWare

Mass Effect is a great game that I thoroughly enjoyed. It definitely has its issues and faults - even major disappointments, but still a great game. Definitely a promising start for the series, if BioWare takes it in the right direction, it could grow into something truly spectacular. I took a crapload of screenshots (some are really, really nice), check them out. [Screens]

  • Eets
  • Publisher: Klei Entertainment
  • Developer: Klei Entertainment

Eets is a really cool puzzle game in the vein of Lemmings in that you cannot control the character itself, but you use items and the environment to guide him to the required goal. The puzzles are fun and inventive and the game sports a wonderful art-styIe. It's available on Steam and Live Arcade. I've uploaded a gameplay video/walkthrough on one puzzle. [Puzzle]

Movies

  • Death Proof
  • Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
  • Starring: Kurt Russell
  • 2007

Death Proof is a fantastic movie in which Tarantino once again reinvents himself this time using the concept of a grindhouse movie. Eight hot chicks, one hot rod and an awesome soundtrack make up a movie that oozes with styIe and delights at every turn.

Rating: 9

That's it for this edition. Hope you guys enjoyed it. If you haven't already, check out these games, check out the movies, leave comments, and take it easy. This is UpInFlames, signing off.

Hang Up The Chick Habit

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Last night I saw Death Proof. It's a fantastic movie because Tarantino just doesn't do any other kind, but admittedly it caught me completely off guard. Death Proof was advertised as a grindhouse feature about a mad killer of the road played by Kurt Russell. Sure, there's some of that in there, but that's not what this movie is really about - Death Proof is a chick flick! However, since this is Tarantino, it's a chick flick you'll enjoy as well - hell, you'll probably enjoy it a lot more than your girlfriend. But there's no escaping the fact that this movie is about chicks - really cool chicks at that. They drink, do crazy stuff and actually have something interesting to say.

It really is incredible to see Tarantino completely reinvent himself time after time while still remaining true to his overall writing/directing styIe. You can totally recognize his writing, but it's not like he took Vincent Vega's and Jules Winnfield's lines and applied them to women. Ok, there's some of that in there which is cool as hell by the way, but for the most part, this is written for chicks in mind. Not women, not girls, not females - but chicks. Hang it up, daddy.