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What Does GTA Online Mean For The Future Of Gaming?

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GTA Online is now open for the world to wreak havoc with friends, complete jobs with total strangers, and just have a crazy-fun time with the open-world of San Andreas open to everyone. Unfortunately, the majority of players, including myself, can't even experience it. If you're like me, you're being slapped with an alert screen countless times stating that you can't connect to the servers, or the server are offline. I've been experiencing these problems for the past 3 days, and I even lost count of how many characters I lost and had to re-make in the process because of it.

You'd think after making over a billion dollars within the first 3 days of GTA V's release, Rockstar Games would be expecting something like this to happen, and decide to upgrade the servers before GTA Online's launch this past Tuesday. A Beta wouldn't have hurt them either, but now its out and we must deal with the problems until they're fixed; hopefully by tomorrow. With a history of online only games like Diablo 3, SimCity, and now GTA Online having somewhat similar problems resulting in players not being able to play the game at all, what does this mean for the future of gaming and the coming of more online only games?

Is this something developers can even fix? Should we start expecting similar situations for future online only games coming to the next generation? What happens when Ubisoft's next gen title, The Division, finally launches and only a handful of lucky players get to connect to the game's servers on day one leaving the other possible millions of players sitting at a screen telling them they can't connect? What if their other next gen title, The Crew, loses player data due to the game's cloud servers not saving properly? These are some of the things developers and consumers should think about. I'm personally all for online only experiences, but only if they're solid ones.

There's not much more I can say on the matter because I haven't had many similar experiences. However, I do want to get more input on the subject from you guys who've been in a similar situation to what's been going on with GTA Online. What are your opinions on the matter? Do you think this is something that can't be avoided and must happen for the developers to have an idea of what their servers can handle? How do you think this can be fixed, if it can be fixed.

P.S. I love you :)

What We'd Do For The American Dream - Grand Theft Auto V Review

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I was forced to run deep into the mountains thanks to the roar of mountain lions leading me to a dozen of dead bodies that were the result of a gang war for a case of 25,000 dollars that I obviously took for myself. From there, I came accross a woman who's pink muscle car was just stolen with no hope but me to retrieve it until the sound of police sirens and dirty threats gave me no choice but to dive head first into the sea. When finally reaching the shore, I stole one of the many bicycles that belonged to a group of guys drinking and conversing around a bonfire giving me another chance to reach my destination before sundown. Upon arriving at my destination, I was greeted by carbine bullets and loud soldiers who felt it was neccesary to send a military chopper after me that shortly crashed to the ground, because of a missile that ricocheted off me and back to them allowing me to flee in one piece and completing the task needed to pull of the heist of a lifetime. This was just one of the many crazy adventures that can only be experienced on Grand Theft Auto V.

Grand Theft Auto V is a commentary of the American dream told through a satire of contemporary America and its culture. Players are brought back to the beautiful San Andreas with a story that stole my vehicle, took me on the ride of a lifetime in that same vehicle, and refused to let me out. For the first time ever in the GTA franchise, Grand Theft Auto V tells the tale of 3 characters with explosive personalities brought together by fate fighting their own battles while trying to achieve the same goal. Franklin, a young man taking every opportunity he gets to leave his gangster lifestyle behind in the expense of his friends and family feeling abandoned for the life of decadence. Michael, a struggling family man miserably living the American dream depending on the reasurrance of a therapist to maintain his composure in this life that he has yet to fully adjust to after so many years. Finally, we have Trevor; an egoscentric sociopathic murderous man-child whose actions make for the perfect satire of what the player does, says, and thinks while playing a Grand Theft Auto game. These 3 characters together create a riveting and exciting narrative making sure that Grand Theft Auto V feels like a new experience while holding onto what we love from the GTA franchise.

This time around, San Andreas is a genuine re-imagining of California with life spewing from every street corner, boardwalk, mountain trails, and even the deep blue sea. Rockstar Games has created a believable and living world of unbelievable scope that sometimes made me feel like I was playing a game of many worlds. From the city of Los Santos populated by the rich and over privileged to the desert mountains filled with wild life and mysteries waiting to be discovered. Rockstar has proven that the current gen hardware still has enough juice left to squeeze out a beautifully detailed world filled with unique environments and living creatures. It would be in anyones best interest to explore and discover what this world has waiting to be found. I was surprised by the fact that the entire world remained generated at all times with only minor texture pop-ups and frame drops that I only experienced enough times to count on one hand.

Player choice plays a big part in Grand Theft Auto V showing that Rockstar Games still understand the "play how you want" theme of the open-world sandbox genre. Grand Theft Auto V's diverse set of missions allow the game to never become repetitive while constantly introducing new mechanics. The new and best part of these missions are the game's heist missions. Heists require planning, preparation, and most of all decision making. These heists can be completed in multiple ways and can always play out differently depending on the plan chosen and the people hired to assist you on the job. A new addition to the franchise are random events, and Strangers & Freak missions. The random events can happen at any time surprisingly popping up on the map adding a little extra to the game while the Strangers & Freaks missions vary between the 3 main characters offering unique experiences for each character. Upon completing a mission you'll be given a score based off of how well you've done, and the sub-objectives completed within the mission that end up rewarding the player with a bronze, silver, or gold medal based off your score percentage. If you're finding yourself having trouble or wanting to just see what happens next in these characters lives you can skip missions after failing them 3 times. Having the option to replay any of the game's main & side missions allow the player to test out different outcomes, and a chance to achieve the highest score percentage possible.

If you've ever played a Grand Theft Auto game then you'll have an idea of what to expect in this one. GTA wouldn't be the same without it's unique selection of music and comedic radio talk shows. Though I didn't have a problem flipping through stations in the previous games, switching between radio stations is never a hassle thanks to the new selection wheel. Grand Theft Auto V's original orchestrated soundtrack also give off these strong 80's vibes that fit perfectly with the game's cinematic set pieces during the story mode. You of course have your vehicles ranging from cars, planes, motorcycles, the returning bicycles, and new to the franchise, submarines that are used to venture the ocean. The driving mechanics have been greatly improved and now handle much better especially when using Franklin's special ability that slows down time while driving giving the player more control over the vehicle. This ability really comes in handy during high speed chases and races. You also have your weapons of choice that can now be switched on the fly thanks to the game's new weapon selection wheel allowing players to access the game's entire arsenal at once making switching weapons fun and intuitive. When purchasing weapons from an Ammu-Nation shop, you're given the option to customize these weapons with scopes, extended mags, silencers, skins and even a useless flashlight that was only useful a couple of times throughout the story mode. The fact that these attachments effect the weapon's attributes, it gave the game's shooting mechanics a little more depth than what we're used to seeing in a GTA game. Grand Theft Auto V offers the option of choosing between the classic GTA auto-aim or free aim mode that took some time getting used to, but felt great when I finally had it down popping heads left and right with Michael's ability to perform a bullet time similar to Max Payne, and Trevor's ability to go into a rampage mode where taking damage isn't an option. The more you perform the normal tasks of driving around the city, taking advantage of the shooting ranges, running or swimming, flying planes, and constantly using your abilities, the character's stats will grow making it easier to perform these day-by-day actions the more you use them.

If you've never seen any of the game's gameplay before this review then you'd probably be wondering how someone would switch between the 3 characters. By holding down on the left d-pad button, time will slow down immensely allowing you to switch between the 3 main characters quick and easy, similar to choosing a radio station or weapon. No matter where the other characters are located on the map, you can switch to them in a matter of seconds. When a character is not being used, they're out living their lives doing what you'd expect from them on a normal day, or not. There were times when I'd switch to Trevor only to find him drunk on a roof naked or yelling at pedestrians, then switching to Franklin while he was teaching his dog Chop some new tricks. Seeing them continue their lives when not in use further immersed me making me believe in these characters and their lives. Each character's personality made me want to play as these characters differently in unique ways just to fit their lifestyles. Trevor for example, compliments my wreckless play-style crashing into coming traffic like bumper cars, and justifies the insane rampages I go on with the cops for 20 minutes straight accross San Andreas.

The customization we loved and adored in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and missed in GTA IV has returned. Your character's clothing and looks are fully customizable to an extent that doesn't go as far as GTA: San Andreas, but much more than GTA IV offering a wide selection of clothing and hair options available to match your personal preference. Vehicle customization has also made a return allowing you to fully customize your car's aesthetic looks, as well as installing new parts to make your car much faster and easier to handle.

The cell phone is back, but before your bad memories of cousins and bowling return, I'm happy to say that the cell phone is put to much better use in Grand Theft Auto V. Your cell phone is mostly implemented during the story mode to contact other characters and set off bombs from time to time. The internet can now be accessed at any given time through your phone allowing you to surf the web discovering some of the most humorous and asinine websites where you can "stalk" friends and companies, fill an application to join a cult, purchase any type of vehicle, and also invest in the stock market that is affected by the player's every action, like going around running over pedestrians, and destroying vehicles to see your insurance stocks rise in price. If you find yourself wanting to make some extra cash outside of the stock market, you can purchase some of the local businesses unique to each character that will earn them thousands of dollars on a weekly basis but must be protected on certain occasions, like being robbed and having to take down the thief in order to retrieve your earnings.

A problem I had with the previous GTA game was that there wasn't much to do post-game other than going on annoying dates and playing darts. I was pleased to see so many activities available for me to take part in straight from the beginning of the game to even after completing the story mode. Tennis, deep sea diving, yoga, and off-road racing are only some of the many activities Grand Theft Auto V's San Andreas is filled with. These activites are fully fleshed out especially tennis and golf making some of them feel like their own games which isn't a bad thing at all, if you ask me.

Grand Theft Auto V is a highly ambitious game that has set a new standard for the open-world genre. Never have I played a game to completion after having it exceed my expectations and it continue to do so as I put in extra hours into discovering new locations, civilizations, and the game's hidden features. Grand Theft Auto V has killed most, if not all hype I had for the coming of the next generation consoles this Fall and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't alone. Even though GTA V's narrative loses track during mid-game, this is a story that requires you to read between the lines, and not take the game at face value, or you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice missing out on a much deeper and meaningful message.

Sometimes, Strings Need To Be Pulled (Puppeteer Review)

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There are very rare instances when a game aimed to please every demographic does exactly that. Puppeteer is the perfect example bringing me back to my childhood days that reminded me of games such as Dynamite Headdy on the Sega Genesis, and even movies like James and The Giant Peach. You're probably thinking from first glance that this game is for children or someone who's just trying to feed the kid at heart, but you'll be surprised by just how much deeper Puppeteer truly is.

Puppeteer starts players off taking control of a young boy Kutaro who's soul was stolen by the evil Moon Bear King and trapped his spirit in a wooden puppet body. After allowing the witch who runs the king's kitchen guide Kutaro, he finds himself in a situation where he is falsely accused of stealing the magical scissors known as the Calibrus and pretty much gets a bounty on his head. Head? Heads? Heads. Now that the legendary Calibrus has chosen Kutaro to be the wielder of this powerful weapon, he with the help of some of the friendly faces he meets along the way must collect all of the moon stone shards to stop the Moon Bear King from stealing the children of earth's souls while trying to retrieve his own in the process.

The first thing that stuck out to me was how beautiful this game is. Each level has a unique theme and is complimented by it's dark atmosphere and beautiful level design with colors that pop out at you, but this isn't what made Puppeteer so appealing to me in the first place. Its the game's authentic puppet and theatrical style. Playing this game made me feel as if I was with an actual audience as we laughed, gasped, and laughed some more together while watching an actual puppet show. Puppeteer did an excellent job making me believe I was part of a show with a huge and unique cast of characters complimenting the game's charming story-telling narrative. It was such a pleasure to experience the characters of this game break their own walls as the audience reacted to Kutaro's every move making me feel like I was the star of the show pulling the strings all along. I was surprised to see how a silent character like Kutaro conveys his actions showing more soul than most character's dialogue in other games.

The game's world map, if you can call it that is broken up into 7 acts on the moon with 3 levels in each act called "curtains" that take around 20 minutes to complete. Each level begins with a still image and a narrator explaining where the tale is taking our little puppet warrior next and the troubles that await him. Every curtain has its own story to it while continuing what happened last with an elevating level design that never stopped surprising me. Each curtain ends with a boss fight that requires the player to use the tools that have been given to them leading up to an epic quick time event. After a couple of acts you start to notice a pattern with not only the levels themselves but the type of bosses Kutaro faces. You'll start to notice that most of these bosses and level segments feel the same, but the game's presentation and level design prevent these two from feeling repetitive. Picture books are rewarded to the player upon completing an act giving a little insight on some of the act's main characters and their dark backgrounds.

Early in the game, Kutaro's majestic blades are introduced as more than just a weapon, but a key tool in the game's intuitive platforming and puzzle-solving mechanics. Players are also introduced to another unique ability that allows Kutaro to aquire and use a multitude of puppet heads. The 4 main hero heads that give Kutaro the abilities to shield himself from attacks, toss bombs, use a grappling hook, and perform a wrestling slam add layers to the game's mechanics but never made it too complex and even made    the smallest accomplishments feel rewarding. I really appreciated the fact that game actually required me to use these powers constantly after acquiring them instead of making them feel like nice options that were just there to be there. Other than the 4 main hero heads, you'll come accross about 100 other heads that feel more cosmetic than anything. Not only do the 3 heads equipped substitute a health bar, but these heads can also be used during levels to earn some extra moon sparkles that only exist to give the player an abundance of lives, but when you have the corresponding head needed at a certain point in a level, you can unlock hidden bonus stages that gave off some strong Donkey Kong Country vibes and pathways that usually make a level easier than it already is. By the end of the game I had a little over 70 lives that practically show how easy the game is, but I personally didn't mind that the game was so easy because I became so invested in the story that I was looking forward to the next area of this mysterious moon Kutaro's tale would take me.

I believe this is a game that every PlayStation 3 owner should experience, but if you're looking for a challenging platformer, Puppeteer isn't it. What Puppeteer is though is a game that I believe will appeal to the platformer lovers that don't mind having a dark toned story with a narrator who likes to break the fourth wall and a cast of charismatic characters that will make them forgive the fact that our little hero doesn't speak at all.

Hyper Light Drifter: Why Haven't I Heard Of This Game?!

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Kickstarter is known for letting anyone from any part of the world fund ambitious, innovative, and even some crappy projects. Once in a while you come accross these projects that instantly stick with you. As soon as you see it you just go "oh my God. I get it. I want this. Why haven't I seen this before?". I'm sure you're all wondering what the hell I'm talking about and who is the awesome looking dude at the top.

This character is known as a drifter in a game that is currently known as Hyper Light Drifter. Hyper Light Drifter is a 2d 16-bit Action RPG homage to the classic 8 and 16-bit lovers out there inspired by A Link To The Past and Diablo. Players take control of a drifter who's goal is to collect  forgotten knowledge, lost technologies, and broken histories with a insatiable illness that continuosly haunts him as he travels through the lands of Buried Time  hoping to discover a way to cure this disease.

This game looks absolutely beautiful and the soundtrack really compliments the dark tone and 16-bit art style. The developer, Heart Machine, looks to make sure the game is intuitive and easy to pick for players, but making sure the game's hard to master. This makes me believe the combat will become much more deeper while progressing through the game with each new weapon and ability introduced to the player.

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 Hyper Light Drifter has currently reached their initial goal of $27,000.00 and has already surpassed $100,000.00 in only 2 days. As of now, it is only being developed for PC, but with a stretch goal of $220,000.00 we can possibly have this wonderous game on the PlayStation 4 and Vita. The project still has 28 days left to reach its stretch goals but every dollar helps the chance of this game becoming bigger and better. Heart Machine plans to have the game launch sometime in 2014 with a beta becoming available to backers a couple of months before launch. I'll have a link in every image that will take you to the Kickstarter page if you find yourself interested in this project and would like to see more. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely backing this up and am really looking forward to the chance at playing this on both my PS Vita and future PlayStation 4.

P.S. I luh you.

Hyper Light Drifer: Why Haven't I Heard Of This Game?!

by on

9966ed679c84b8d97846724643acc29e_large.g

Kickstarter is known for letting anyone from any part of the world fund ambitious, innovative, and even some crappy projects. Once in a while you come accross these projects that instantly stick with you. As soon as you see it you just go "oh my God. I get it. I want this. Why haven't I seen this before?". I'm sure you're all wondering what the hell I'm talking about and who is the awesome looking dude at the top.

This character is known as a drifter in a game that is currently known as Hyper Light Drifter. Hyper Light Drifter is a 2d 16-bit Action RPG homage to the classic 8 and 16-bit lovers out there inspired by A Link To The Past and Diablo. Players take control of a drifter who's goal is to collect  forgotten knowledge, lost technologies, and broken histories with a insatiable illness that continuosly haunts him as he travels through the lands of Buried Time  hoping to discover a way to cure this disease.

This game looks absolutely beautiful and the soundtrack really compliments the dark tone and 16-bit art style. The developer, Heart Machine, looks to make sure the game is intuitive and easy to pick for players, but making sure the game's hard to master. This makes me believe the combat will become much more deeper while progressing through the game with each new weapon and ability introduced to the player.

420b35d90bc2dbc1ddc6209f1a71b731_large.j

 Hyper Light Drifter has currently reached their initial goal of $27,000.00 and has already surpassed $100,000.00 in only 2 days. As of now, it is only being developed for PC, but with a stretch goal of $220,000.00 we can possibly have this wonderous game on the PlayStation 4 and Vita. The project still has 28 days left to reach its stretch goals but every dollar helps the chance of this game becoming bigger and better. Heart Machine plans to have the game launch sometime in 2014 with a beta becoming available to backers a couple of months before launch. I'll have a link in every image that will take you to the Kickstarter page if you find yourself interested in this project and would like to see more. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely backing this up and am really looking forward to the chance at playing this on both my PS Vita and future PlayStation 4.

P.S. I luh you.

WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB (My Saints Row IV Review)

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How do I explain the whacky satire of a game that we call Saints Row IV. The game filled with some of the most humurous and fun characters in a sandbox game? Maybe the game filled with so much to do with the intention of letting the player just have fun and laugh at the game's parodies? Or maybe the game that reminds us that games don't always have to tell a captivating story because all we need is this city and the green light to go out there and just. Have. Fun. Lets just go with all of the above because that is exactly what Saints Row IV is all about.

Saints Row IV picks up years after the events of Saints Row The Third, and since then the Saints aren't just another gang who run a city, they run the United States of America. The boss, you, are put in a powerful position as the President until the White House is invaded by an alien race called the Zin that are lead by the alien warlord Zinyak. The Zin have chosen to abduct the best of the human race including the boss and sending him to a virtual reality 50's sitcom until finding a way out of that situation and into another. Now being thrown into a simulated Steelport, you find out that the rest of the Saints have also been abducted and the only way to save them is to enter their virtual nightmares with the help of the genius Kinzie and use the advantages of this virtual world to defeat Zinyak and save the human race. Not the kind of story you expected, huh? Who am I kidding? This is Saints Row IV! What else should have we expected?

I hope you enjoyed the craziness that was Saints Row The Third because when you multiply that by a hundred you have Saints Row IV taking the franchise to a whole new level. Saints Row IV expands on the humor and fun factor that it's predecessor introduced to the genre. At first glance many would probably think that this is Saints Row The Third with a couple of new features that could have been DLC, but rest assured, playing this game proved to me that this game is an actual sequel and not just a re-skin even though it doesn't look the best graphically compared to the last game. Saints Row IV introduces super powers showing us a new side of the Saints Row franchise we never knew could possibly exist. Early in the game players are introduced to these powers like super speed and jump, and the ability to blast natural elements like ice. Clusters are scattered on the Steelport rooftops that are used to upgrade your character's powers and the money you earn can be used to upgrade your characters abilities. I'm not going to lie, Crackdown comparisons are inevitable, but I wouldn't call that a bad thing since I personally enjoyed Crackdown. A handful of the main story missions will put your character in situations that take away your powers but I was okay with this since it gave me the time to really experiment with the insane arsenal Saints Row IV has to offer. Seriously, a dub-step gun? Who in the world other than Volition would have thought of a gun that drops a dub-step beat that stops what everyone is doing and forces them and their vehicles to dance to the beat. These weapons can also be customized with different styles and skins to match your rampage mood.

With the power to leap over buildings and run faster than cars I started to wonder what was the point of vehicles anymore. Yeah, they're still there just incase you forget while mowing down vehicles as your blue streak is left in the path of your super speed running. I can literally count how many times I've driven a vehicle during my playtime because I never found a reason outside of the times I was required to drive a vehicle. Vehicle customization is still in but I'm not going to sugar coat it, I only used it once for my review, but if you're into customizing your cars, you'll have some options for your own personal styles. Just don't expect a ton of options. The lack of customization also brings up the lack of character customizations. Saints Row 1 and 2 featured some of the best character options, but this was trimmed down in Saints Row The Third, and Saints Row IV followed suit. We have the goofy outfits and awesome super hero suits but I was still left wanting to do more with my character.

Aside the main story missions, you can complete the famous Saints Row side mission activites that can unlock new weapons, upgrades and even a super powered gang member upon completion. Theres nothing like flying through the air after getting hit by on coming traffic or trying to assassinate a toilet and a question mark. Each side mission has a bronze, silver, and gold ranking depending on your score during these missions but they're not difficult at all if only completing them is your goal.

Saints Row IV proves that you can still have a fun and comedic game without it coming off as corny or adolescent. It was such a pleasure to play and I can definitely see myself constantly coming back to play this whenever I need a game to just relax and powerhouse a walking can of soda.

A Life Without Video Games in 2013

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From time to time I think of depressing things like "what if I get home and my brothers ate all the Cap 'N Crunch?", and "God, I hope we're not getting robbed; no one is picking up their phone.". The one that always gets to me though is when I think about how much my life would change if I ever lost the ability to use my hands having everything I know and am used to be taken away from me after so long. Not only would I not be able to give high fives or use chopsticks, like I ever knew how to use them anyway, but I wouldn't be able to do what I love the most. Play video games.

I've been gaming all my life. I still remember playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES until my little brother decided to be a smeef and trip over the cables resulting in the NES falling off a dresser and making my older brother and I some sad pups. This was just the beginning of my destiny thanks to my father who now doesn't support our gaming lifestyle even though he's the one who introduced us to this world. Thanks, Dad! My Mom on the other hand was always the one to have our backs when it comes to gaming. Always telling my father to leave the boys alone, let them play, and even the occassional lie: "they used their own money to buy that.". God, I don't know if my pops was that gullible or just liked seeing us happy when the feeling wasn't a hundred percent mutual.

From all this blabbling you can kind of see how big gaming is in my life and how much it would mean for something like that to just totally not be an option for me anymore. I mean, I can still watch others play, but sometimes I HATE watching people play especially when they contine to make mistakes over and over again and you just want to snatch the controller away from them but don't want to be known as that asshole who thinks he's better than everyone. Well, sometimes I don't mind it. Anyway, it sometimes brings a tear to my eye when thinking of this kind of stuff. You know, not being able to play games just in case you forgot what I'm talking about here.

Not being able to save anymore princesses from evil turtles, argue with the kids calling ME a "kid" after taking out their entire team in a online match, or feeling the sweat from my fingers drip down the controller as I try to sneak past infected humans with "beautiful flowers" growing out of their skulls would blow the largest amount of beef the human mind could ever fathom. Life wouldn't be the same without video games. I'm a part of video games the same way video games are a part of me. I can't even explain the meaning of what I just said but if you're a gamer, you understand it without an explanation. Video games have become a second language to me. I'll admit it, that one probably makes no sense unless you hear how my cousins and I communicate, sometimes. Some of you may be thinking: "but Abner! You can learn some new hobbies like bird watching, or watching birds, or have birds watch you!" and if you're that person, get out. Go. Now.

I'm about to make this quick since I have to take the dogs out before they irrevocably shit this place into oblivion. Lets just take a millisecond to think of how our lives would be if video games were just one day not there for us, or were no longer an option for us due to an accident or something. I don't want to end this blog all depressing and shit though, so I'll just end it with some of the send offs you may know. "Thats all folks!" "Until next time!" "Brap Brap" "BEYOND!" *fist bump* "and all that bullshit".

P.S. I luh you.

The Call of Duty Effect

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The latest Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal trailers have been going around the internet these past two days, and as I watched these trailers, my body started to fill up with hype. Canine companion?! Hype. Did that bus just fall a second after the explosion?! Hype. The player in the trailer is getting kills back to back, so that means I should be able to do that too! Hype. These thoughts and more were flowing through my head during the video and I couldn't help but think why am I getting so hyped for this? This same thing has happened to me with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and after a month I stopped playing. Not only because I was good one day and bad for two weeks, but it started to feel like I tricked myself into finding reason to purchase the game. I think about this all the time and now I catch myself wanting to actually purchase Call of Duty: Ghosts for the PlayStation 4 and its getting harder and harder to know exactly why.

I think I've come up with a possible theory on why this happens to me. For now, I'll just call it the Call of Duty effect. Each iteration in the franchise seems like a copy and paste game to many people, but many will say if it ain't broke don't fix it, and I do agree with that to an extent. Each Call of Duty makes me think this is it. This is the one I've been waiting for. This time it will be different. Try to understand where I'm coming from, though. I'm not saying different to the point where it's not the same game anymore, but different where the experience feels fresh again. These trailers do something close to that but its never the graphics or the new campaign itself that brings these revelations to mind. Its always the small things; the new sleek UI, a couple of new perks, weapons, kill streaks, maps and more. I've noticed that I would get hyped over the smallest addition to a Call of Duty game even though that hype goes away faster than the game sells 1 million copies. I always tell myself that this is going to be the one that changes everything until I actually get my hands on it for a week and realize that its the same game with a recoated paint job with a new flame vinyl strip. Let me stop all this blabbling and get to what I'm trying to say.

What this franchise lacks is innovation. Innovation to give us a new experience with a game everyone is already used to. I may be asking for much, but I'm only one person. The smallest addition that may seem innovative in the sequel is something games have already been doing for years. So when I see Black Ops 2 taking place in the future, it put this false justification I was looking for to give myself a reason to purchase the game. I saw it as an innovation to the franchise and I wanted to experience that. It obviously wasn't new in the gaming industry because plenty of games have done this but as soon as I saw some of that futuristic weaponry, I was hooked. I had to get it because it was something new, right? Well after completing the campaign and playing hours of multiplayer with friends and family I've realized that these new additions didn't keep me hooked and I'm pretty sure these new additions aren't the reason millions of people still play it.

This makes me wonder if I'll actually hold on to my copy of Ghosts for longer than a month or will it just be like the other CoD games I've purchased that ended up in a local GameStop. This in no way is to offend any fans of the Call of Duty franchise, because I personally think it's a solid FPS, and that it achieves its goal with flying colors. Millions of people love it and millions of people hate it but theres no such thing as something making everyone happy.

It seems like I'm experiencing the Call of Duty Effect and I'm not totally sure what to do or why I'm even taking the time to write all of this. I don't know if I'm alone on this one but I'd love some outside insight on this and know if anyone has experienced what I'm trying to explain.

Sony's Making All The Right Moves

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By now, everyone knows how the beginning of the PlayStation 3's life cycle started out; it wasn't pretty. Today, the PlayStation 3 is selling extremely well and is home to this generations best console exclusives like the latest AAA title, The Last of Us. While the PS3 still has a ton of life left with great exclusives on the way, the PS4 is up next and it's bringing all the right things with it. After this year's E3, Sony has been on a roll with announcement after announcement, and I'm just going to be listing some of the moves Sony is doing right.

The DualShock 4

Gamers (not all) felt that the DualShock 3 controller was uncomfortable or favored the Xbox 360's controller due to the ergonomics that made the controller feel better in their hands. I for one didn't mind the DS3 controller but understood the points from other gamers who did find it uncomforting for their hands. Sony has been listening and have made some changes to the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4. According to the many who had the opportunity to hold the new DualShock 4, the new controller is much bigger in the areas that sit in the palms and is a big step up from the DualShock 3. It also features a touchpad on the top of the controller allowing developers to create new gameplay mechanics and is an addition that can possibly allow the player to experience something new in future games.

Party Chat

I know this isn't new for people who've played/own an Xbox 360, but this is definitely a step in the right direction for the PlayStation 4. With Party chat, players will have the option to chat with others online while playing different games. This may not sound appealing for the people who don't like to speak online at all, but for the people who enjoy talking to friends and family while playing different games, this is a big addition.

Streaming & PVR Features

I wouldn't be surprised if this feature doesn't "wow" you, but for someone like myself that's starting to record gameplay and get into the YouTube scene, this is exciting. Being able to stream what I'm playing is a pretty cool feature and I've already had friends tell me that they'll be using this feature to watch me play certain games. Players can easily start recording their gameplay footage by pressing the "Share" button on the DualShock 4 controller, and this feature allows gamers to record up to 15 minutes of gameplay with the option of editing and uploading these clips. How much we can edit our game clips is another story and has yet to be thoroughly explained.

DAT 8GB GDDR5

If you've been keeping up with the PlayStation 4's specs, I don't even need to express what this means but for the people who don't know, all I can say is that this is good. This is really good. (Read last sentence as Nacho from Nacho Libre)

Indie Support & Self Publishing

This is no doubt one of their biggest "rights" that they're doing. They've already showed how much they love indie titles by offering awesome indie titles on PSN. If these past few years are anything to go by, not embracing the indie scene would be detrimental for anyone that refuses to wake up and notice these are the people that will be bringing some of the best titles next gen. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that indie games are becoming bigger and bigger and will soon consume a large part of the market, so Sony showing support for these devs is pretty huge. Sony is also allowing these developers to self publish their games on the PlayStation Network meaning that they're not required to pay large amounts of money to get a big name (or small) publisher to help them get their games on consoles. These indie developers will not be charged to put their content on PSN and will receive most (if not all) profits from their game based off of the information we have so far. Of course, the most beneficial point to this is we, the gamers, get more unique games to play on our home console(s).

Humble Sony

I have no doubt that the first couple of years for Sony this gen leveled their head to the ground forcing them to rethink their strategy in order to recover and not make the same mistakes they've made early this gen. Sony is in a really good place, right now, but this doesn't mean it should get to their head. I'm really digging the humble Sony and really hope to see them continue to be humble throughout the next generation. With the perfect price point, exclusives and more, there's no reason why the PlayStation 4 WON'T do well this holiday season. Keep doing what you're doing Sony because we love it, and we love you. For now.

My first video review - The Last of Us

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Hey, guys. I finally got the chance to post my first ever video review, and luckily it's my review for The Last of Us. I would greatly appreciate it if you guys checked it out and subscribe if you enjoyed it. My channel will have more game related segments coming so make sure to be a part of it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK--hGBF2XE

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