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brandon1028 Blog

Gaming Update

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All is well on the gaming front here.  I may not have many games to play but between tackling 1999 mode of Bioshock Infinite and the countless hours I am still spending on Animal Crossing, the time is passing until I can get some new games.  I've made some progress in the Animal Crossing world.  I've paid off my house, found every fossil, and got the shop to the highest level of upgrade.  Does that prove I have no life?  I think so.  The hours spent in that game is enough to last a typical gamer a lifetime.  ;)

Gamer Shark Review: Bioshock Infinite

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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

Send Help Please!

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I started playing it a few weeks ago after preordering it when it was first announced many months ago and now it is finally here.  But there is a serious problem.  It cannot be put down.  It's as though it is controlling my mind.  I'm talking of course about Animal Crossing New Leaf which is consuming the precious hours of my life as I spend that time digging up fossils, watering flowers, and cultivating my town.  If anyone reads this I need to find a cure for this addictive plague.  

All of that said I will now tell you that this is perhaps the best game in the series.  I plan on getting back to reviews soon and this is towards the top of the list so I'll go back to playing now as I try to form an educated opinion.

Inner Confidence

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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

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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?

My Future in Gaming

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I know its been months since I've been here and I don't even know if the the people I followed are here anymore.  My passion for gaming had widdled down so much in the recent months due to so many complications in my life that I won't go into detail about.  But a fire has been lit inside me the past few weeks and you can thank Bioshock Infinite.  This is why I've loved video games my whole life and I cna easily call it the best game of this generation.  I had lost all faith in this business but if something like this can be created, then I have to be a part of it.  I hope to continue to be a part of this community for a long time.  My passion is back and I'm excited for what comes next for gaming.

The Last Few Weeks

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#1 Stomach Virus for 4 days

#2 Flu not long after that for 3 days

#3 Respiratory Infection for another 4 days

Could have been worse. I got some time off school but then again , I have twice as much to do now. So was it worth it? Nah....That is all

Gamer Shark Review: Assassin's Creed III

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Release- 10/30/12

Platforms- 360, PS3, WiiU, PC

Gamespot Score- 8.5

Assassins Creed caught the attention of the gaming world with its unique style and use of actual historical events and people in an effort to plunge the player into a franchise that would be nominated for countless awards and honors. The franchise has enjoyed much success and acclaim with gameplay spanning Renaissance Italy as the characters Altaire and Ezio with the latest installment reaching out to a time period a little closer to home as Conner taking part in the revolutionary war. The biggest question now in whether or not this installment can live up to the success of games past.

The story of AC3 has you playing as Connor, a Native American who must learn the ways of the assassins and go up against a dangerous enemy called the Templars which happen to include his father. Oh yeah, and there's that other guy Desmond that you kind of forget about until it's mandatory to play as him. At least that's what I thought coming into this game based on my experience with the others. That is not the case though and Desmond finally feels like a part of the story in a way that has not been effective in the past.

Before I tell you about all lf the amazingly awesome aspects of this game, I need to tell you this first. I have never been so frustrated while playing a video game in years. I'll go into greater detail later. I've also never been less interested in completing side missions. It was just more interesting to me to flow through the story. Now the reason this game was so frustrating was for one reason. Parts of it have you trying to become incognito in order to proceed or to complete objectives. The problem is that the enemies in the game have a ridiculous awareness of their surroundings that I rarely see in games. They will spot you from a mile away and won't give up the chase until there is no trace of you. Even hiding is not enough sometimes since they now search things like the piles of hay and will discover you. I also have to make it known that the boat combat is really not that good and it had my frustrations rising as I spent alot of time just turning the ship to line up a shot. Now that all of this is out in the open, I'll move on to all the amazing aspects of this game.

One of the highlights of AC3 is the combat system. I can think of nothing more fun that sneaking up on someone and jamming my wrist blade into them when they least expect it. But I'm the type of gamer who likes to charge into a fight and start swinging my weapon so I like to know that I have that option which I do. I can just as easily stab people to their face and turn their weapons around on them.

In short, Assassins Creed III provided a great gaming experience that was capable of completely sucking in the player to the point of feeling like part of history. But be warned, youll end up just breezing through the story with no attention being paid to anything else since there never came a need to acknowledge them. But hey, that may be your thing.

Score- 8/10

Happy Holidays and New Stuff

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So I made it through another holiday and now that its all said and done, let me show you what I got.....

Itunes Gift Card

Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Gamestop Gift Card (bought Assassins Creed 3 and Jak and Daxter Collection on PS3)

Best Buy Gift Card (bought some CD's and movies)

jacket and Pajamas

Some Remote Controlled Flying Thingys

So how did all of your holidays go? And by the way, reviews coming soon of the new games.

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

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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