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Officially 10 Year Anniversary

So today marks the 10 yrs since I've been apart of Gamespot. (Not totally true as it's when I had my new account after the transition to the current set up). I had a previous blog mentioning ten of my favorite games from the past ten years while being apart of Gamespot. I'm not going to go through that again. This particular blog is more for reflection. Seems like yesterday I was checking on the new games for the PS2 while this new system named "XBOX" was just starting to get its feet underneath it. There has been a lot of changes from different people that used to be here to people like Synthia that has made this place pretty enjoyable, at least for me. I look forward to another ten years here. Salute!

10 years at GameSpot


So on August 20th, I'll celebrate 10 years of being a part of GameSpot. *Disclaimer, like many people here, it was a lot longer than that just when the whole conversion thing took place then.* I remember the site being originally videogames.com where GS just talked videogames. The site was not great but it was definitely the best place to check out previews and reviews of games. It was a pretty awesome place for the late 90's. That being said, I thought about all the games I've played during that time and have come up with the top 10 games that I enjoyed from the time of GS as it is now up until today. It was very hard but here goes:

10. Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2) - Release date March 28, 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Kingdom Hearts. It caught me off guard with just how good it was given it had Disney characters in it. KH2 built on the first game and did even more. For it being a PS2 game, the graphics where gorgeous. Fighting the camera became a chore but overall, Kingdom Hearts 2 was an absolute delight. I was able to accomplish everything in the game (which today would result in a platinum trophy and such) and it didn't feel like a complete chore to do it. I can remember scavenging for XP play replaying the Beauty and the Beasty stage by killing the enemies there. KH2 was a lot of fun.

9. America's Army/Special Forces (PC) - Release date August 28, 2002
America's Army was a pretty fun first person shooter. The realism that was displayed worked well in this game. I spent well over 1,000 total hours played on this game. Hospital (perhaps the best map in any FPS since some of the N64 Goldeneye maps) made this game what it was – a game that you can pick up and learn but also that threw in a bit of realism that made you think about how you would take out the other team. Plus, it was completely free. Can't beat that.

8. Half-Life 2 (PC) – Release date November 16, 2004
Following up to a pretty good game in its own right, Half-Life 2 launched with extreme hype and but did it not disappoint. I think I must have spent like 20 minutes at the beginning of the game just picking random things up and tossing them. The graphics were absolutely stunning and the physics were amazing. The creepy old dude bugged me out though…

7. Grand Theft Auto IV (360) – Release date April 29, 2008
GTA III paved the way for how sandbox shooters are made today. It did a lot of things differently but in a good way. Enter GTA IV. I spent numerous late nights playing this game (even though I had to work the next day). Graphics were good, gameplay was great but something else made this game awesome…you actually cared what happen to Niko. Here's what I mean: towards the end of the game there is a mission where you either go kill someone or take the money. Might not seem like much at the time but it causes a significant outcome on the game….you either take the money and your cousin dies or you kill the guy (name escapes me right now) and your new wife is gunned down, be it accidently. One of the first sandbox type of game that I can remember where it essentially branches in one way or the other depending on what you decide to do. At the time, I thought it was very thrilling and engaging.

6. Infamous (PS3) – Release date May 26, 2009
This game shocked me (no pun intended) by just how good it was. I wasn't expecting to even play it much less complete it. It didn't seem like the type of game I could get into. Boy was I wrong. Outside of the tedious side quests, I found the game to be very exciting. Also, Infamous was the first PS3 game where I got a platinum trophy.

5. Mass Effect Series (360) – Multiple
I couldn't pick just one game out of the series because they are all so very good so I decided to just say all of them. One of the funniest things I can remember about these games is the hoopla that came about form Mass Effect 1's "sex scene". Makes me chuckle every time I think about it. Anyway, the RPG element of the series was a pretty nice touch. But the story….amazing. I became quite invested in how things turned out to the point that I recently started Mass Effect 2 over just so that I can make sure everyone survives before I play Mass Effect 3 again.

4. Battlefield 2 (PC) – Release June 21, 2005
BF2…what can I say about this game?? I spent something like 1400 hours playing this game. This game was so much fun, especially the patch that brought about infantry only maps. Awesome, awesome game.

3. Blackhawk Down (PC) – Release date March 23, 2003
BHD's single player….was a disaster. Extremely boring and glitchy. However, that is not why this game is so high on my list. The multiplayer was...astonishing. I consistently played this game for a good 4-5 years. The maps were incredible and the fast past action made this game extremely enjoyable. This game was great because it didn't try to be anything more than it was.

2. God of War 2 (PS2) – Release date March 13, 2007
I did not play the first God of War prior to picking up GoW2. I was a little lost in regards to the story initially but got the gist of it after playing through it for a while. But man, I loved this game from the start. Fighting the big statue at the beginning of the game got me hooked.

1. Uncharted 2 (PS3) – Release date November 9, 2009
There are not many words to describe just how much I loved this game. I've never been a big action type of person. I've most played FPS and RPG games such as Final Fantasy. However, the hype of this game got me to check it out…and man am I thankful I did. This game was extremely well done. I actually stopped playing games such as Fallout 3 and Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare 2 to play this game exclusively. Great, great game.

So this is my list of ten games from the past ten years. I know people will definitely disagree with me because I didn't mention games like Halo, Zelda, Call of Duty, etc. It was a very hard list but these are the ten games I had the most fun with and that took up most of my time.

It's been a great ten years here at GameSpot. I look forward to another great ten with an amazing site just for us videogame fans.

How to Tell if a Game is Good...

There are often games that are released that were severally hyped only to fall with a loud thud. XIII comes to mind. Anyway, do you know how you can tell if a game is good enough even through the hype and nonsense? When you are through playing it - beat it, achieve everything thing you can, etc., you find yourself still having the urge to play. There are games out there that people simply play to get the achievements/trophies and then they are done with it. However, a game that is so good, so much fun, you find yourself wanting to play through the single or multiplayer again just because you enjoy it that much.

There are three games that I consider in this upper-echelon of greatness: Final Fantasy VI(FF III here), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Castlevania:Symphony of the Night. These three games are so good that after all these years, they are extremely enjoyable to play. Dated graphics and game play cannot keep these games from being games that you can keep playing even after you have beaten them. I'm not sure if any of the games today have such games that are worthy of being in this tier of greatness. Don't get me wrong. There are tons of good games that are out there. But are there any that you can truly say that after you get that last achievement point or platinum trophy, you will want to go back and play through the single player just because you enjoy the game? Maybe that is another problem with games today that need to be touched on.........Interesting.

The Mods and Staff of Gamespot

E3 is now over. We saw some pretty good stuff from the three "big-boys" that is coming out in the next year or so. There is a lot of stuff I am excited. However, during this weekend long event, I noticed a few things that I want to make aware of on my little blog. The moderators and staff members do a lot of things for us regular folks that go unnoticed - or at least it isn't brought to light often enough. I know they have spent long hours over this past week making sure that we get the content that we so desire from the publishers without nary a thank you. The time spent away from friends and family simply to provide us, the reader, with insightful information about anything videogame related is very appreciative at least from me. I would like to thank each and every person who has manned the forums, provided a link to information about a game, console, etc., and to anyone who has taken the time to write an article, review, or preview of a product. Thank you for spending the time to do all those things without complaining about it. Thank you for putting up with the redundant queries from users who do not search before making a thread. Thank you. I know it isn't much but I truly want to thank each and every moderator, admin, and staff member of Gamespot.

So, if you see a mod or staff member just say thank you for providing us with this site. Sure it's their "job" but they deserve kudos...just because.

Rushing out a game = Bad Business

I recently purchased MLB 09:Road to the Show for the PS3. I liked the 08 version and thought that 09 would improve upon what MLB 08 did well and expand it. While MLB 09 is not a terrible game, it seems rushed with a lot of obvious glitches and missteps that can be easily patched. I am currently stuck on September 19th in my RTTS player because the game will crash each time I sim to my next game. Why do developers take the Microsoft approach; release the product even though it is not completely finished or polished and just patch it later? In this time of turmoil and economic downfall, buying a game has become some what of a luxury. Not everyone wants to buy a game only to have to download a patch to make it playable. That, in itself, shows that developers are more interested in getting the game released instead of taking their time to make sure that glitches and short comings are thoroughly invested to make the most enjoyable game possible. Is that really too hard to ask?

Chrono Cross vs Chrono Trigger

Am I the only one on this planet who thinks Chrono Cross for the PS one was better than Chrono Trigger for the SNES? CT was a good game, don't get me wrong, but I think I would rather play CC over CT any day of the week.  The face that you can play through the game as many times as you want on the same character, taking the abilities, magic, etc., from your previous chartacter and starting a new game with the same person is just great to me.  I hope they put Chrono Cross on PSN because I can't seem to find my copy of CC, for some reason.  That game was really, really good.


The multiple personalities of the PS3

Ever since the Playstation 3 was released back in November of 06, there has been many variations of the system. Beginning with the 20 GB all the way up to 80 Gb, Sony has spit out more SKU's than a supermarket checkout. However, has any of that actually helped the PS3? The 20 and 60 gig version started it all when it was first released. It had a few games that were "playable" but overall, it was met with a surrounding.....meh. So, Sony decided to introduce the 80 gig with more slots and backwards compatibility. The 40 gig was later released but with a few missing components, with the major issue being no backward compatibility and no card reader slots. Now that they have gotten into the console wars with Nintendo and Microsoft, they finally decided to stop making excuses and release the dual rumble controller 3, which is essentially the same controller from the PS2 except it is now wireless. The Six axis thing was....well that is another story for another time.

With the in-pending release of Metal Gear Solid 4, Sony has decided to release yet another SKU, which so happens is the one I will be purchasing. This bundle is the 80GB version and comes with a Dual shock controller, backwards capabilities, and MGS4 for 499 USD. It is weird that Sony has made so many bundles available. They recently released the GTA IV bundle with the 80 gig PS3 to Europe but decided against such a thing here in the States. Baffling to me.

There are rumors that Sony is working on a 120-160 GB PS3 system. I'm not sure why given the fact that any hard drive can work in the ps3 so there are systems that have 300-500 GB HDD in them. But then again, those are just rumors.

I wonder what SKU is next up for Sony.