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Call Of Duty 4 and Making People Think.

This post contains spoilers, but Infinity Ward has released enough footage from the scenes in the game which I'll talk about that if any experience is "spoiled" by reading my post, they live in a cave.

Like all Call of Duty games COD4 shifts perspectives between several soldiers, one of whom is US Marine Paul Jackson. In one level, you are entering a pretty messy situation, trying to locate and capture the enemy head-honcho, all the while having full knowledge that a nuke is in the area.

After harrowing gun battles and a heroic rescue of a downed pilot, you ship off to safety, only to view a nuclear explosion in the distance as the shockwave hits the helicopter, causing a tailspin and eventually crashing.
The screen turns black. It is silent as the screen shifts towards the loading screen, an aerial view of what had just happened. The view comes back down to Jackson, barely able to move. We must crawl out of the helicopter to see the decimated city, only to drop to the ground below to his death.
His death.
At the next loading screen is a list of the casualties from the explosion, with Paul Jackson's name highlighted in green. The scrolling list pauses and clarifies Paul's position in it, then just moves on with unrelenting monotony.

As gamers we use the word "Death" and all its variants pretty loosely. Because of that, the characters we control are so far removed from us that their sometimes gruesome death is merely annoying. So when this moment happened, I sure as hell was glad for the silence. I needed some time to think.

I really have to give it to Infinity Ward for this sole moment in the game. They could've made the same tired old story with random assortments of heroic (read: shooting lots of evil dudes) moments but they didn't. They made us care for the characters before we knew we did. And the only time we made that connection is when one of them dies.

After Paul goes towards the light (literally, the screen fades to a blinding white light when he dies) comes the part that is just downright disturbing, the list of casualties. Yes, it's fictional. Yes, none of these people actually died. But that's not the point. They aren't trying to trick you, but rather put some of these moving images into context. While that was personal for you, there's an ever growing list of people who unfortunately had the same fate, and an ever growing list of families American flags are sent to.

It's a moment that probably won't be usurped by any other gaming moment anytime soon. It truly moved me in a way I wasn't expecting, and made me more emotional that I thought I could be while playing a video game. I couldn't give a damn what happens to the likes of Gordon Freeman, Master Chief or any other FPS protagonist. And after playing COD 4, I must ask, could any of you?

The Uncharted Demo...

Is something that I've been yearning for, and that is a game to be the kind of game Tomb Raider wants to be. The realistic(ish) gun-toting platforming title that has enough moxy and quirk to make a lasting impression with just 20 minutes of gameplay.

I've been excited about this game for a while, but until now I never really knew why. From a distance it looked so generic and meh, you know? But now I understand and appreciate what hype has been brought to it.

The attention to detail is something that I really enjoy. Drake has a slew of animations that really make the character feel like a person, an object in a real world. As bullets whiz by, he ducks his head. He leaps with such of a struggle that it looks and feels like he's really trying, and not just making it some standard jump motion that you messed up.

The A.I. is adequate with some bright spots, although we'll see what they do with the other enemies in the game. For example if you shot but barely miss a baddie, he'll react, duck to cover and come on the other side. They also move with an amateur style, flaling about, so it makes it quite challenging to hit them.

It's also pretty.

I wasn't expecting much from this demo, but at the same timeI was definately anxious to try it out. After a few go-arounds I can confidently say I am buying this game, lest it is criminally short *Cough heavenly sword* which would make such an experience moot to purchase. Otherwise, it's a rental.

You look at E3 differently when you're PS3 is broken

Last week, my PS3 died on me for unknown reasons. Luckily warranties exist, and I soon won't be without one for much longer.

But now as E3 comes and I frantically watch and download gratuitous amounts of video previews, I feel a little different now that I currently don't have the system that those games are on. It's a strange feeling, really. You see all these games that won't come out anytime soon, but yet it drives you to play the games you already have. You feel motivated to go back and appreciate what came before as you try to funnel your inescapable anticipation.

However, I cannot. With a bricked PS3, my games just sit there, looking depressed. Super Stardust HD waits in cyberspace for me to download it again, like a jilted lover.

Poeticisms aside, because of mitigating circumstances, this year's E3 is less like a personified wish-list and more like the two weeks before Christmas when you've already seen the presents in the basement, because you sneaked down there at 2 A.M. because you're a terrible person.

PS3 problems aside, E3 was definitely one to instill enthusiasm back into the gaming community, no matter who you are. It's good that smack dab in the middle of the notorious summer slump that games go through, we have this to whet our appetites, and to keep the faith among the ranks. Reports of Core Gamers dwindling be damned, we're still here

Why doesn't the 360 have Folding@home?

It seems to be completely illogical. There's no incentive other than good press, there's no consequence except a better image.

For those that are completely out of the loop, folding @ home is a free download service where ou use your computer or PS3 to share in the immese computer power it takes to virtually fold proteins in order to figure out what makes them abnormal and cause several diseases.

So why in Gods green earth isn't MS putting it out on the 360 live service?
Simple: They must be pro-death. Which is an interesting strategy, banking on the fact that people will want to grieve and play 360 at the same time. But wouldn't an increase in death cause a decrease on potential 360 buyers?

I just don't see the reason...

PS3 Impressions thusfar

After a week with my PS3, I've had some good things to think about it. Here's my judgement

The good:
-The XMB is simple and easy to use, they did a good job porting the PSP interface.
-The online gameplay is so streamlined after I set up an account. Very straightforward and very well done, especially with resistance because I prefer lobby systems and not automatic matchmaking when it comes to custom games, something that I really dislike about a lot of 360 online titles.
-PS Store a breeze to use.
-I've always loved my dualshock, and the Sixaxis really improves on it with the more sensitive joysticks and trigger-like L2 and R2 buttons, even if they are hard to use for Capcom vs. SNK 2.
-Even though the game list is short, I'm very happy with the lineup.

The Bad
-Background downloading and a way to access some of the XMB features without quiting the game is a MUST that the PS3 has yet to use.
-We nee better utilisation of the motion sensing, even though I love how it's used in Resistance.
-More free demos that Live gets that we don't get.

I'm sure I will be pleased with everything in the next couple months, because it's an investment in entertainment, not a quick impulse buy. Sure, I could buy a Wii and a hell of a lot of games for the same price, but what's the point if nothing looks like it would be fun for a short while and with little online play?

Got the PS3!!!!!

Reviews and actual impressions will come soon, but right now I have homework to do, and I also have to pretend that my roommate complaining about everything in Resistance isn't annoying me.

I talk to a fanboy.

I'd first like to start off that I try not to be a fanboy. I feel that one should give appreciation where it's deserved and be honest even if it means bashing your favorite. That being said, let me tell you this gem of a story.
So I was at work, minding my own business when this kid asked for a stapler. Upon giving it to him he noticed I was no the GS forums and quickly proceeded to ask me what console I affiliate myself with. After saying the PS3 he cringed.
He then asked me what I think of it, and when I told him I didn't have it, his eyes lit up as if I was a tribal cannibal agreeing to be converted by his holy wisdom. He quickly told me three things. 1. That MGS4 is rumored to go to the 360; 2. DMC4 will come to the 360, and that 3. GTHD won't come out...ever.
Now I was either going to laugh in his face or take it in stride. I did the latter, which was very difficult. He then tried to argue with me about how the PSN is garbage and XBL is far superior in every way. This was half true, and so I decided to argue against the fanboy half of him.
Me - So why do you pay for it?
Him - Well you get all these awesome features, like messaging, friends lists, demos, fee downloads and the ability to buy stuff online through it.
Me - But all you pay for is the ability to play online and the occasional exclusive content. So shouldn't all those features you listed be the stuff you pay for and not the other way around?
Silence
Him - Uhhhh....I guess, but I have to get to my work What I hate about people like this fanboy is that they fail to realize why competition exsists, and so they believe that if the PS3 fails, the 360 will be amazing. What no one ever answers is why they want it to fail? Do they want MS to attempt another monopoly in order to consistently come out with mediocre products (I'm looking at you Windows 98-present) only to be surpassed by Apple?
Fanboys need to stop exsisting. It's ok to have preferences and to believe in them, but to argue against others on th sole basis that it isn't yours isn't called being a gamer, it's called being a facist.

2 weeks untill the reckoning

If any of you know me, you'll know that I've been doing my best to get the word out on the PS3. So you might be wondering why I don't have oneas of yet.

Mostly, it's money.

I don't mind the price, I just don't have the money for it. But thanks to my job, that won't be the case in two weeks. Today, I just got three week's work of pay. And anyone who's ever had a job will know how much that first big check feels like Christmas.

So here's what I plan to get:
It.
+1 (at least) controller
Memory Card Adapter
Resistance
Fight Night
Oblivion
Motorstorm
Debating on:
F.E.A.R. (My roommate has it, but is that enough?)

Games I still haven't bought yet:
Okami
Shadow of the Colossus
Bully

Any other suggestions for games or peripherals that are coming out in march?

I also accidentally broke my friend's SNES, but evidently there' brand new ones on Amazon for $60. Isn't that insane? If it is in mint condition I don't know if I want to give it to her. I might just keep it and give it to my grand children and say "If you don't play this you don't love me."

Super Bowl Aftermath

It's tough being in Chicago.

No one talks football. Hell, no one talks. The bitter cold doesn't do much except remind us how bad we did two days ago. Like many I'm dissapointed, but unlike many I'm blaming more that just the criticized Grossman. Don't forget that he's a great quarterback in between the fumbles and the inno's. Sure, he's a wild card, but half the time we didn't even see what he would do because the offensive line fell apart. Whoever decided on the pass play on 2nd and 1, effectively destroying what litle momentum we had in the 2nd quarter wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. The defense was so terrible that Urlacher was screaming his head off, the entire time.

And thanks Devin Hester. That whole "run the punt return in for a touchdown, thereby influencing the Colts to never give you a chance again" really helped.

Now I get a wave of "at least we won the NFC." Eff that.

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