brandon1028 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
106 395 166

brandon1028 Blog

Anybody Still Here

I haven't been here in over a year but since there has been a break in my schedule I wanted to see if anyone still used this the way they did a year ago and if there would be a reason to stay on here. I want to see if there is still a community here that I could interact with.

Gamer Shark Review: Bioshock Infinite

GSR

Release- 3/26/13

Platforms- 360, PS3, PC, VITA, MAC

Gamespot Score-9.0

Let me preface this by saying that without this game there was a good chance that up until a few months ago I may never have played video games frequently again.  Thanks to this game I found a renewed passion in this industry.  Think about that kind of power for just one game and tell me whether or not its worth  at least a rent.  But once you rent it, you may never be able to return it so be warned.

Booker Dewitt owes money to the wrong people.  After years of military service as well as a questionable role as a Pinkerton agent where he did things he wasn't proud of, he landed hard in the bottle and compiled massive gambling debts.  All seemed lost until a man came to him with a proposition.  Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.  Booker is enlisted to go to a mysterious city in the clouds to retrieve this girl and bring her back in exchange for his debt.  This girl is Elizabeth and there is a little more to her than meets the eye youll unravel this story yourself as you play.  This one will surprise you if youve managed to avoid spoilers up until this point (Bravo if you did).Some have been confused but if you let it process you'll be impressed at the level of thought that went into this games story.

In terms of gameplay this game one does not drift too far from previous games but there are a few major distinctions.  One that may or may not dissapoint is the use of only two guns at a time.  These guns include the essentials like the pistol and shotgun with a few outside the box ideas like the volleygun.  My personal favorite was the carbine with either the sniper rifle or the hand cannon.  Although I personally prefered having the full arsenal on me at any given time like in the past.  However the use of vigors (plasmids) has been upgraded to two interchangeable on the battlefield and the rest at your disposal to be swapped in and out.  While on the topic of those I quite liked the selection of these that the player had although there are a few that I found little need to use mainly the return to sender that acted as a bullet shield that launched them back.  If thats your thing then go for it its just not mine.  I also found little need for this games variation of electro bolt in favor of the others.  And possession just seemed like a hassle.  I would rather have had more offensive vigors equipped.  My favorite combo was Murder of Crows and Devils Kiss used one after the other especially by setting traps around the field.

The enemies you'll face vary greatly throughout your time with the game.  They add a feeling of uncertainty which gives the game a bigger fear of the unexpected that many gamers crave.  I liked that each type of enemy was immune to the powers they used.  The firemen were immune to Devils Kiss, the Crows were immune to Murder of Crows, and the Handymen and Motorized Patriots were immune to electricity unless wet.  It is this type of gameplay that has players getting creative with their methods especially with the numerous powers at your disposal.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the use of music in this game.  Aside from the score which was amazing I might add, the use of real world songs from times after the game takes place was interesting.  They were used to demonstrate the use of parallel universes that are a big part of the game.  And it was pretty cool hearing real songs in the game.

There aren't enough nice things I can say about this game.  It is the type of thought provoking experience that brings up the discussion of video games being art and gives me great pride to be a gamer.  If you haven't tried it yet I high lt recommend that you do so.

My Rating-10/10




Inner Confidence

This may be the most random and non game related blog I'll ever make.  But this seems like something that deserves to be shared.  I recently had to tell someone something that they really didn't want to hear and it had the potential to greatly change our relationship.  It had to be done because this person was making so many bad decisions and it all could be blamed on alcohol.  I had to convince this person that their drinking was hurting others but anyone who knows me knows that I tend to shy away from conflict and shrink in the moment.  Nobody could have expected me to make the move and confront this person.  This is where the title of this blog comes into play.  The circumstances were so serious that I had to do something.  The courage that I thought I didn't have was suddenly inside me and I truely hope our conversation sunk in.  The point of this is that I believe everyone has this confidence inside them that will always show itself when you need it most so don't shy away from a serious moment because you think you can't do it.  I really hope this doesn't bum anyone out and that it can maybe help someone find this inner confidence.  I'll get back to games soon I promise.

The Best and Worst Gaming AI

The game of choice in recent weeks has been Bioshock Infinite and one of the more impressive features has been the companion AI.  That got me thinking about some of the past artificail intelligence in video games and how some have been so impressive while others have been down right annoying.  

The first that comes to mind would have to be Navi from Ocarina of Time.  This might not be considered an AI because it doesn't actually assist in your quest other than to point things out.  If it does count, it's just soooooo bad.  Why won't it just stop alking to me.  I often ask myself throughout my game.  If it would just shut up it might be bearable.

The next that comes to mind is Sheva from Resident Evil 5.  She was more useful than Navi but then again she was also more of a hinderance on my progress.  I found myself repeatedly yelling "get out of my way!" at the tv screen as she blocked shot after shot so yeah, put her on the list of worst.

AI isn't all bad as Left 4 Dead can attest to.  While I don't necessarily prefer it, the single player mode is quite easy to play through on lower difficulties and the AI proved to be very helpful.  I liked not having to worry about friendly fire from them like I do with people.  It got to the point where they acted basically as bodyguards for me as an individual player.  They protected each other as well as me leaving me with nothing to do but fight for myself.

That brings us to the new kid in town, Bioshock Infinite.  Elizabeth is one of the more impressive AI companions I've played with.  The survivors in Left 4 Dead don't bring me ammo when I need it most and they still take damage when I shoot them.  I can honestly say that Irrational Games has cracked the code for companion characters with this one and other companies should take notice.

So how about you.  What are your best and worst gaming AI's?

Music Shark Review: AC/DC Live at River Plate (Album)

banner

Release: 11/19/12
Platforms: CD, iTunes
Gamespot Score: Not a game
In honor of my favorite band finally being a part of iTunes, how about a review of the new album version of the DVD Live at River Plate. As far as Im aware this album was released to correspond the iTunes catalog so I can think of no better way to welcome the band that this.

AC/DC Live at River Plate was filmed in December 2009 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the bands most recent Black Ice world tour. I have to say that when the original DVD for this concert was released, I was a little disappointed that there was no corresponding album that I could listen to anytime. I loved the show so much that I would have loved be able to listen to it away from a DVD player. So you can pretty much imagine how excited I was when I go onto iTunes not only to find the entire catalog but also something brand new that I had been anticipating.

The setlist is as follows:
1. Rock N Roll Train
2. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be
3. Back In Black
4. Big Jack
5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
6. Shot Down In Flames
7. Thunderstruck
8. Black Ice
9. The Jack
10. Hells Bells
11. Shoot To Thrill
12. War Machine
13. Dog Eat Dog
14. You Shook Me All Night Long
15. T.N.T.6. Whole Lotta Rosie
17. Let There Be Rock
18. Highway To Hell
19. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
All of the classics are here so that the people new to the music will get a good feel for it but they also included a few of the best tracks from the new album for the diehard fans to enjoy.

Ill make this brief because there really isnt that much to say other than the fact that AC/DC is awesome. This concert is the perfect example of how bands dont weaken with age since the band is better than ever and are still selling out massive arenas. So Ill leave you with this, if youre a fan of rock or just good music in general, pick this up and start banging your head against the wall.

Score: 10/10

App Shark Review: AC/DC Pinball Rocks

ASR

Release- 11/7/11

Platforms- IPhone, IPod Touch, IPad

Gamespot Score- N/A


There is alot of fun to be had with this app, especially for fans of the band. AC/DC Pinball Rocks is exactly what it sounds like, it Rocks for an app.....but not without its flaws and general annoyances.

The game is easy to play, just touch either side of the screen to move the pinball arms and rack up points by hitting the obstacles on the board that consist of all the different symbols of AC/DCs music including Hells Bells, the Cannon, and TNT. The game stands out from other pinball games with its use of music. You get to enjoy some of the biggest hits from the band as you play, although I dont really like that there are no vocals included in the song so while the instrumentals sound amazing, there feels like something is missing.

Putting all of this aside, there is one huge problem that I have with this game, that is that it cost $2.99 to buy from the app store. I felt that this was ridiculous and the only reason I tolerated it was because I love the band and I had some extra cash but under any other circumstances, I would never pay that for a game of pinball.

So Ill leave you with this, we have a very fun app here that can be even more fun if you love AC/DC as much as I do, but only if you feel like the price tag was worth it.

Final Bite- 7/10


Gamer Shark Review: Bioshock

headerheader

I am honestly shocked that Ive never got around to review this game. I dont know if I didnt have time or forgot or what but now its time to tell you all about perhaps one of my top five games of all time, BIOSHOCK.

Release- 8/21/07

Platforms- 360, PS3, PC

Gamespot Score- 9.0


Ill start off by explaining the plot of Bioshock. Jacks plane crashes mysteriously in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1950. Upon breaching the waters surface, he finds a lighthouse that for some strange reason is placed right in the middle of the ocean which by the way does not happen normally. He swims to this lighthouse where he is greeted by a very high class and artistic interior with an enormous banner stating, No Gods or Kings, Only Man. Then Jack makes the decision to enter a pod in the center of the room that brings him deep down into the depths of the ocean. A video presentation in the pod explains how Andrew Ryan refused to be chained down by common government and wanted to create his own that would not hold its citizens back with the shackles of law and morality. To bring this vision to life, Andrew Ryan created RAPTURE. The city where people would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small. It seemed like a good idea until Jack realizes just what happens when there is nothing to stop the advancement of science. The people of Rapture have been mutated through genetic modifications. They have been changed into nothing more than barbaric monsters. Now Jack must rely on the help of these same gene modifications as well as the few people not completely insane if he hopes to escape.

Your character has access to all kinds of gene mutations and weapons that will help you survive. These gene mods can be found all around the environment challenging you to find them all. You can also buy some of these upgrades by spending ADAM, which is a substance that can be obtained from the Little Sisters who are the little girls roaming around under the protection of the giant metal bodyguards, BIG DADDY. In order to get the Adam from her you must first deal with him. This can lead to some very exciting moments that allow you to get creative with your battle strategy. When you beat him, you have a decision to make that can later shape the game. Will you kill the child for maximum Adam or save her and receive a smaller amount. The choice is yours. Once you have access to Adam, you can buy plasmids, active powers that you use in combat, or Tonics, passive abilities that help you in a less obvious way but still vital. Since there are so many of these, you may only have so many at any given time. This is where your specific play style comes in handy. Will you focus on making your character very stealthy or will you focus on sheer brute force for your character.

There is one aspect of this game that in fact takes away from the experience that I have to warn you about. You have the ability to take pictures of enemies in return for advantages over them. The problem is that this process is the most painstaking and annoying process in video games. There I said it. I cant help but feel that if this didn't exist, the game would be perfect. It just feels like the developers were sitting in a room and said, We have something really special here. Lets fix that.

Its not that research ruins the game because it doesn't. Bioshock is still one of the most fun and exciting games I've ever played and if you haven't played it yet, I strongly advise you to give it a try.

Up Next

I went back today and looked at all of the blogs I've done in the past. It was then I discovered that I never wrote a review for Bioshock which I find so hard to believe since it was my favorite game of all time so I can't believe I've never covered it here. So with that, now is the best time to correct that and review it.

My Almost Birthday

I'm gonna be 18 years old this upcoming Sunday. Iplan on doing absolutely nothing until then which is why I'm doing homework now rather than later. Saturday is the day I do nothing at all. Then I hope to spend Sunday at Gramma's house and Six Flags provided we don't blow away in the storm. Just thought I'd check in before my birthday. See Ya Later.