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brandon1028 Blog

Spring Break

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I finally have a little bit of free time with nothing to do except for the five page research paper looming over my head.......Chances are it won't be touched until Sunday Night when I start to panic trying to get it done. Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. But until then, I can spend alot of time gaming that I didn't have in recent weeks. So with that, I say goodbye for now. Looking forward to writing more reviews. The next is Madden NFL 12 and here's a preview.

"For the past few years the game has been criticized for making little to no improvements with each passing year. While subtle changes have been made with this installment as well as some new modes, is it all enough to make this game worth playing?"

I'll Be Back Next Week

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Its all starting to slow down for me. While its not all over yet, there's definitely less than before. So now I'll finally be able to get back to what I love and that's gaming. SEE YA SOON!!! :)

Too Much to Do

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No, I'm not dead just really busy. The work is really piling up but its starting to show signs of slowing down. Once that point comes, I'll finally be able to get back to the gaming I love so much.

Gamer Shark Review: Mario Kart 7

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Release- 10/4/11

Platforms- 3DS

Gamespot Score- 8.0

Mario Kart has finally made its 3DS debut and now its time to pick the game apart and breakdown everything you need to know if you want to pick up this potential 3DS blockbuster. I'll just start by praising the game for its amazing graphics that really enhance the game experience especially with the 3D turned on but its still pretty impressive without 3D.
So up to this point, there hasn't been much to speak of in terms of the 3DS lineup aside from a few stand outs. Well now, this has officially become one of them. Mario Kart 7 does almost everything right which means that if you own a 3DS, there is no reason to not have this in your collection.
I'll start with the gameplay. What we have here is basically the same Mario Kart formula that has worked for years with several interesting tweaks to the game. One of the most fun to play around with is the parasail that attaches to your car at specific points to give the driver a small boost as well as to breeze over the other cars. One less significant feature is underwater racing. There is no problem with this feature but its just too insignificant and has no influence on gameplay at all.
Next up are the track and character options for you to choose from. Like in any Mario Kart, you start with a few tracks with new tracks becoming available through playing the game. There are multiple championships to play for all with the perks of unlocking new things. The cups contain a combination of favorite tracks as well as some pretty creative new tracks. My favorites were the two tracks themed off of Wii Sports Resort. Now the character options have also been enhanced. When you choose your character, you are taken to a screen where you can choose all of the features of your kart like the body, wheels, and sail which can be changed upon unlocking new features.
In my opinion, multiplayer leaves a bit to be desired. Although I do like that you can play online without the need for friend codes, I've been more tempted to simply play with the AI. Now this may just be me since I've always been a bit of an isolationist when it comes to gaming. Spotpass is also utilized. You can receive ghost data of other players that you can race against. This is something I really like because it gives you a chance to see just what you're capable of against real players without actually having other real players.
FINAL BITE: Mario Kart 7 takes everything gamers loved about any other Mario Kart experience along with all of the advantages of the 3DS technology and many other new features.
Gamer Shark Score: 8.25/10

Happy Day For Myself

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If you 've seen my blog header, you'll know what this means. 21-17 GIANTS. Super Bowl Champs. Couldn't have dreamt it up any better for my team.

Top 5 PS1 Games

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I was playing my PS3 the other day, more specifically the PS1 c lassics. This got me thinking about all of the games I grew up with that got me into gaming in the first place. Hereare the top 5 games of that console.

5- Medievil

This game holds a special place in my heart as the first real game out of my age group since the games I played at the time were all E rated. And I never looked back. I loved the atmosphere of the game. It was like nothing I'd played at that point and it was a bit of a shock to the system but regardless I was hooked from the start as this 5 year old died repeatedly trying to swing a sword at these scary zombies. I have gone back and played the game right since.

4- Spyro The Dragon

The game that started my second favorite franchise. Spyro the Dragon takes the honor of being the first video game I ever played. Not just on the PS1 but in general. I will always be greatful to this franchise for throwing me into the gaming fray.

3- Crash Bash

This was the game me and my friends would play together for hours straight. I had been a Bandicoot fan since my first experience with video games that can be seen later on the list and this one was just so much fun to play that I will always remember it.

2-Spyro Year of the Dragon

What can I say about this game. It was the first time I had ever worked so hard to be a completionist and find every egg and gem to truly beat the game. Aside from this, this was the game in the series with the best story and level variations. I was also very fond of so many minigames to play throughout as well as all of the new characters.

1- Crash Bandicoot WARPED

Like I said, my favorite franchise of all time and it was truly proven with the third installment and by far the best of the PS1 era. This was the second game I ever played after Spyro. I still remember unboxing my system at 5 years old and getting Spyro and this game and having the best time playing it. Aside from what I played first, this game qwill always hold that special spot in my heart as the highlight of my time with the PS1.

I hope you liked my trip down memory lane. So what did all of you like best from the PS1?

Gamer Shark Review: Batman Arkham City

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Release- 10/18/11

Platforms- 360, PS3, PC

Gamespot Score- 9.0 (Editor's Choice)

When Batman Arkham Asylum was released a few years ago, fans of the comic book franchise had a newly acquired love for video games. The game received amazing reviews from both critics and gamers alike and found itself in the talks of several game of the year awards. Now that a few years have past since the first game, Batman Arkham City has jumped onto the scene in an effort to pick up the pieces of the last game as well as expand the universe for the player.
I'll start this review off by talking about the basic story. Bruce Wayne, while protesting the newly built super prison known as Arkham City, is arrested by TYGER guards who are the elite task force of the city. Wayne is then taken to Hugo Strange who is the main authority in Arkham City. Strange knows that Wayne is Batman which explains why he was arrested and now Strange throws Wayne into the prison containment where he can no longer be a problem. (yeah right). Wayne quickly shows what he is capable of when he demolishes some of the Penguin's thugs as well as get a few shots at the Penguin himself. This gives Bruce Wayne the opportunity to get his bearings and call in a very helpful drop from Alfred. Now BATMAN can suit up and the battle for Arkham City can begin.
Aside from all other aspects of the game, the controls and combat are what really shine to the player. The freeflow system has been greatly improved and makes those larger amounts of enemies you'll face seem like the easiest thing in the world. This technology has come so far since it was first introduced and the Batman video game franchise can now hold its place in the history books for being the innovator of freeflow combat. That's how impressive it is. Aside from the awesome combat, the many gadgets are easy to use with the d-pad interface that pauses the game while you browse the selection. I also like the RPG elements that have you spending the experience points earned in battle on various upgrades to your character and gadgets. Just make the Batman that suits you best.
Another thing I really like is the environment that can be navigated freely with minimal concern for the main objective. One major change from Arkham Asylum are the several side missions that span the course of the game. The missions involve some of your favorite ****c villains from years past. I assume the goal of this besides just expanding the game is to make these characters feel important to your experience in a less mandatory way rather than shoving them all down the player's throat in an overcrowded story. It works out perfectly as you complete a side task, then work on some of the story, then in turn opens the next part of the side mission. One of my favorite side missions takes up almost the whole game and has you answering random ringing payphones. On the other end is the psychotic Mr. Zsasz who threatens to kill several hostages if you don't play his game and listen to him go on and on about his life on the phone. But what he doesn't know is that while he is talking, Batman is triangulating the signal so he can save the hostages. Just be patient because you'll have to answer the phone quite a few times to get a lock on the location of the signal.
That's about all you'll need to know before taking the plunge into perhaps the best game of the year (in my opinion please don't sue me).
FINAL BITE- Batman Arkham City has all of the ingredients a game needs to be the best. Story, gameplay, and overall enjoyment all come together in one spectacular package.
Gamer Shark Score- 10/10 (I'm serious, it was that good.)
freeflow combat

NFL Championship Weekend

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So this Sunday is perhaps the most exciting weekend in the NFL at this point in the season. The championship games this Sunday will decide who will be going to the Superbowl. So who's gonna step up and make legends of themselves. Lets run down the matchups. We have the Baltimore Ravens at the New England Patriots and the New York Giants at the San Francisco 49er's. I'll start with the early game.

Baltimore Ravens New England Patriots

ravens patriots

This is a very interesting matchup. The Patriots are well known for their offense while the Ravens are known for their very frightening defense. If you remember, a few years ago, the Patriots were embarassed by the Ravens in the Wild Card Round. In my opinion this game is a toss up. The outcome will depend on either the arm of Tom Brady or the power of the Raven's offensive line. My Outcome: New England will win it in a close one by just a little more than a field goal.

New York Giants San Francisco 49er's


Another interesting matchup. In my opinion this one will come down to which defense decides to show up and which one chokes under the pressure. Eli Manning will have to make sure he hits all of those elusive recievers like Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks while Alex Smith will have to belet off the leash a little and be allowed to make plays like he did in the divisional round. That run for a touchdown proved that he is enough of an athlete to make things happen out there and he's got the recievers around him to work similar magic. This game will most likely come down to the battle of the pass rushes and which team can negate those big plays. The outcome: Giants are too hot to slow down now but it will stay close with maybe a touchdown difference in favor of New York.

A Little Help From Friends

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So I've got a shiny new Blogspot page and I figured I'd get some use out of it. So I took advantage of the poll feature. The poll is regarding what I should review next. The choices: Batman Arkham City, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, Mario Kart 7, Madden NFL 12. So tell me what you think on the poll on the side of the page here: for the help

Gamer Shark Review: Modern Warfare 3

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Video Review at:

Release- 11/8/11

Platforms- 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS

Gamespot Score- 8.5

We're back everyone. After a pretty long break, the Gamer Shark is back with all new reviews and we'll be starting off the new year of reviewing with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. I'll start this new season by saying that I have a brand new blog dedicated to Gamer Shark Productions. This will be where all of my videos will go as well as on youtube. So about Modern Warfare 3, I'll be honest with you. I haven't played a shooter this fun and enjoyable in a long time, perhaps not since my favorite game of all time, Bioshock. This game follows the usual COD formula, simple objective campaign along with groundbreaking multiplayer that made the sun not shine in many homes.
For starters, the campaign was much better than I expected. From a game like this you'd expect nothing more than complete focus on multiplayer. So imagine how surprised I was when I spent hours longer on the story than I did on team deathmatch. The story takes place throughout several countries with several military forces. Each mission has you taking the role of a soldier from these countries fighting for their governments and the good of the people. These soldiers range from a special US task force to a disavowed British special forces unit. These missions transition seamlessly between one another so it feels more like a coherent series of events rather than just one after the other. In short, don't overlook this as just some distraction from multiplayer.
Spec-Ops is returning from the previous installment of Modern Warfare. Its basically several objective based missions that have you and an optional partner working together to complete it. To be completely honest, I don't really enjoy this part of the game. I just feel like its not needed when you have such a solid campaign and multiplayer.
Now why is it that most people play military shooters? They play it for the multiplayer and frankly, I love this feature too. This is the part of this game that I'll stay up until 3AM for. In fact I've done just that 4 times since I got the game. The multiplayer is just like you'd remember. Join a match of your choosing and take care of business to rank up and unlock new things. What's new about this is that the weapons you use rank up just like you do and through these ranks, they unlock new attachments and perks. Another returning feature are killstreaks and deathstreaks which essentially give you special rewards for gaining a certain number of kills or deaths.
FINAL BITE- Modern Warfare 3 is by far one of the best shooters I've played in a long time and can easily dominate your lives yet you won't even care since you'll be having so much fun.
Gamer Shark Score- 9/10