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Play House of the Dead Overkill!

Hello all - it's been a while.

As my title implies, this blog is a passionate plea to the audience of 3 or so GameSpotters who read this to play House of the Dead Overkill. In the flood of recent high profile releases like Street Fighter IV and Killzone 2 (and Resident Evil coming soon), this game has definitely flown under the radar. Like many hardcore Wii fans, I had been dissapointed that there had been no good "core" games in a while for the system. However, this one definitely fits the bill of a hardcore game. While HotD:OK isn't for everybody, with its over the top violence and language, its grindhouse aesthetic certainly has an undeniable charm. It's as good as a light gun shooter gets in the gameplay department too, with plenty of zombies to shoot and guns to use. One thing that keeps the gameplay interesting is its combo system, which encourages you to chain together a lot of kills. You earn more points this way and it in turn helps you to earn more money to buy more guns and also unlock content in the game. To any hardcore gamer who reads this: buy this game and support the good hardcore stuff that is out there. We are also getting Mad World soon this month, which will be another one to look forward to.

Peace out, folks.

The Guru is rearmed

Or should I say armed? Though I was privy to playing most of the classic NES games back when I was a kid, I allowed Bionic Commando to slip by. I actually did rent the game, but, as a kid with little patience, was not very adept at its no-jump-and-use-the-bionic-arm-instead mechanic and gave up on it pretty fast.

That is why I am glad Capcom and Grin decided to bring it back in an updated form on XBL Arcade. First there was the awesome Braid last week and now BC:Rearmed! I have been thoroughly enjoying it so far. Being a much more experienced gamer at this point, the bionic arm mechanic did not take too long to catch on to. I look forward to plowing through it and preparing myself for the sequel that is coming out later this fall (I think?), which equally looks awesome. If you buy Rearmed, be sure to check out the exclusive trailer for the new game that is in the "Database" section of Rearmed.

Gears of Summer

I have been all about the "Gears" this summer. It began back in June with the release of Metal Gear Solid 4. Man, I was hurting bad to get that game and it certainly lived up to the hype. Awesome gameplay + great storytelling = MGS4 and I loved every minute of it.

I had a break in July and now after E3, I'm hyped about another game with "Gear" in the title: Gears of War 2. After seeing the awesome demo displayed by Cliff B. at the Microsoft press conference and multiple times after that on Gamespot and G4's coverage, I am easily as excited about GOW2 as I was a few months ago for MGS4. Every bit of the game looks absolutely stinkin' amazing. I'm especially glad to hear that they are further trying to balance out the multiplayer portion of the game, because I am so sick of people cheating the system online in GOW 1. In order to prepare for the upcoming GOW 2 release, I've been going back and working on beating GOW 1 on insane mode. That is a feat I never bothered with back when I first got the game. I have completed everything up to the battle with General RAAM and I must say that that has been a doozie so far. I found a cheap way to beat him on YouTube, but I just don't feel right doing it any other way than the proper way, which is with plenty of longshots with active reload bonuses and torque bow shots. Anyways, did I mention I'm jacked about GOW 2?

Who else is psyched about GOW 2?

UPDATE: I beat General RAAM last night. It ended up only taking me two tries the second time around. I guess it just takes a little practice and determination. Now November 7th needs to hurry up and get here ASAP!

Also, on another note. I have been playing Braid (I always want to call it Baird - I still have Gears in my head!). It is as sweet as everyone has been saying. A bunch of the puzzles are mind-bending as all get out, but I love the challenge. I highly recommend it to platforming/puzzle fans.

PS3 Acquired...MGS4 is now almost in my grasp...

I was able to get my hands on a PS3 thanks to the money I got for graduation. I picked up Uncharted: Drake's Fortune with it. I have already beat it and I must say that it was a really fun game. Definitely worth the money, even if it didn't last that long.

Now I can finally get my hands on Metal Gear Solid 4 next week. I preordered it like a month and a half ago, when they first announced the limited edition. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS GAME!!! The first Metal Gear Solid is hands down one of my favorite games of all time. The gaming experience it offered was amazing at the time (it still holds up well today) and gives me those warm-fuzzies whenever I think about it. Metal Gear games and Resident Evil games are the only games that basically force me to buy a console (I bought a Playstation and Gamecube for Resident Evil and the REmake and a Playstation 2 and now PS3 for Metal Gear games). Man, I cannot wait to give Solid Snake another spin. June 12th, hurry up and get here!!!!!!

Metal Gear Fever

Man, oh man am I getting Metal Gear fever as of late. The impending release of MGS4 in June has me foaming at the mouth to play Snake's latest (and last?) adventure. The only problem is, I don't have a Playstation 3. It's the only current-gen console I haven't purchased yet. Do I really need to list the reasons why? Anyways, barring a few games that interest me like Heavenly Sword and Uncharted, I now have a reason to buy this 'ol clunker of a console. The Blu-ray support doesn't hurt either. What I am probably going to do is go ahead and buy the game (limited edition, of course - too many Metal Gear goodies to pass up) and get a PS3 later. I am not in a place at the moment where I can get a PS3 easily, but at least I could get the limited edition game before it is sucked up off of the shelves.

Once I finish up grad. school this semester - and graduate (joy!) - I think I'm going to go back and play all the MGS games. Even if I can't play number four in June, at least I'll be ready for whenever I do get a PS3 (maybe December, if I'm lucky). Adios.

Agreed - Best Halftime Show Ever.

I was perusing DrFish62's blog the other day and came across this. It is the Univeristy of Califorinia at Berkley's marching band performing classic video game tunes, including those found in Tetris, Mortal Kombat, Legend of Zelda, and Mario Bros. Being a marching band alum myself from my college, I must say that this is the coolest show I have ever seen. I am so jealous that my band director in college never made up a show like this (though I can't say I didn't try suggesting it to him - I did two years in a row and gave him some of the ideas I saw in UC-Berkley's band!). You will see Tetris blocks stacking up neatly, a Super Smash Bros. brawl, and Mario hitting ? blocks, among other things. I agree Dr.Fish62 - best halftime show ever.

The Whole Gerstmann thing...

It should come to no surprise what this blog is about if you have been to Gamespot, or really any gaming-related site for that matter, in the past two days - Jeff G.'s firing of course. If you do need a refresher, check Douglas Buffone's excellent, unbiased account of the story. I do not have anything new to add to the plate - pretty much everything has been said. I am just writing this to echo the general sentiments of the gaming community over this dissapointing loss to Gamespot and the matters behind it. I still am reserving my final judgment until I hear a little bit more, but whether he was fired over unhappy advertisers or not, it is still a big hit to Gamespot. I really do love this site. I've been a Total Access subscriber since it was an option and it has been a tremendous gaming resource for me and the best on the web, in my opinion. I really hope that all of the rumors of the advertising pressure do not pan out, but if they do, then I will have to give some thought to joining the legions of members that have already left. Time will tell...

Welcome to next-gen, me!

Well, I finally stepped into the next-gen foray with the XBox360 I got for Christmas from my wife.  As with my DS, I had been patiently waiting to get a next-gen (I guess I should say current-gen now) system.  I was about one step away from waiting in line to get a Wii the night before it launched back in November, but declined at the last second because I learned that most of the launch games I was interested in were not that good (yes, that excludes Twilight Princess - I've just never been big on that franchise).  Other than the Wii, I really had no desire to buy any of the other current consoles (PS3 and 360), but had a revelation that the Xbox actually had built up quite a good library of games a year after its launch.  So, I decided to venture forward with the 360 and got one for Christmas, plus 5 games (Gears of War, Dead Rising, FEAR, Perfect Dark Zero, and GRAW)!  I have had limited playing time so far and only got to play PDZ, but it is very promising.  I'm kind of holding out to play it too much more because my wife and I are looking to finally get an LCD HDTV and I want to experience the games in all their hi-def glory.  Anyways, all this to say that I'm pleased so far with my "current-gen" investment and look forward to what is to come. 

On a side note, hope all who read this are doing well and had a good Christmas and have a happy new year!

Brain Age - just what I needed!

About a month ago, I acquired a little spending money and decided to get a game for my DS with it.  As I was at my local Wal-Mart (usually I go to a hobby shop like EBGames, but just happend to be in Wally World this day), I scanned the DS aisle and found nothing I wanted at first glance.  Brain Age, in particular, was a game I was not dying to get, considering the fact that it was "edutainment," which doesn't exactly get me as excited as say some good action/adventure title.  However, I had heard a lot of good things about Brain Age and on a whim decided to settle for the game considering there was nothing else I wanted available at Wal-Mart (no Meteos- argghhh) and it had a value price.  Little did I know that when I started playing this game, it would become as addictive and mentally stimulating as it was......yes, I said addictive and mentally stimulating, which are two descriptive terms that aren't usually associated with one another.  Since I have been out of divinity school all summer, putting my nose in the books has been the last thing I have wanted to do and instead, I have gamed a lot.  Needless to say, my mind had gone to mush (though I had lightning fast hand-eye coordination as a result!).  Brain Age changed all that, though.  Ever since I started playing the game, I have really felt like my mind has been getting some necessary love and care.  It really does "exercise" your brain, as it claims to do.  The minigames are all things that would seem dead-boring, like doing simple calculations and reading things aloud, but it ends up becoming addictive to beat your best time and set new records.  Also, trying to acquire a better brain age everyday becomes addictive as well (and difficult - I won't even mention my age at the moment!).  I really recommend this game to everyone, even if you think edutainment sounds about as fun as reading a 500-page school textbook from beginning to end in one sitting.  With school set to start in a week for me, I'm glad that I'll be going in with a "buff" brain.  Now I feel a little more prepared to do all that reading we divinity school students do regularly.  As Mario would say, it is "just what I needed!"  :D

Gaming maladies

I got my DS Lite the day it came out a few weeks ago and have played it devotedly up until the past few days.  Why have I stopped playing, you ask?  Because my wrists have become painfully stiff and if I play any more, I fear I could worsen this condition.  This brings me to the point of this blog entry: frequent gaming produces some unfortunate problems with the human body, like blurred vision, stiff wrists and fingers, and, though not as important, bleached-white skin, among others.  These aforementioned side effects seem to affect me the most.  I have had to take a few days off from gaming several times because my eyes were red and my vision blurred or my wrists and fingers were hurting pretty badly.  Why does my beloved hobby have to do this to me?  Granted, when I have 2-3 hour long gaming sessions at a given time, I'm only asking for some pain, but man, I'm only 23 and already showing signs of age!  Argghhhhhhh.....does anyone else have these problems or am I a gaming anomaly?
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