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My Top Three Video Game Related Books

Video games consume a good portion of my free time. If I’m not playing video games I’m watching someone else play them on twitch.tv, or watching/listening to a podcast. I also read about them. Magazines and gaming websites are a great way to keep up with the video game news, but a lot of times these forms of media do not get to the details that my gaming obsessed mind craves. Therefore, I look to other avenues to satiate my gaming needs. So, I turn to video game books. Books focused on gaming have been able to answer a lot of questions, or questions I did not know I had until I started reading these books. I love reading, and I love video games. It would only make sense I start reading books based on games. After reading a couple of books on gaming I thought I’d share some of my favorite books with others.

3. Console Wars by Blake J. Harris

This is a book that befits the atmosphere of this website (or at least the System Wars forum). After years of debating, posting inflammatory pics, and trolling on System Wars I took a break from it. I still visit the site every once in a while. I yearn to hear about what my fellow gamers were arguing about by lurking on the System wars forum. But, what I really craved was concrete facts and information to help me decide on what is my favorite console. I did some research and found a book called Console Wars. It doesn’t really answer my question of today as to what the best system there is out there, but it did give an entertaining story while learning about the history of the early 90’s console wars.

As I was reading this book I was expecting to get a two sided view of Nintendo and Sega. The book focuses more on the underdog, Sega, in this book. Although the book does focus on Nintendo’s side of the battlefield I would suggest taking a look at the book called “Super Mario” if you want to learn more about Nintendo.

Since I was a kid in the 90’s and have actually lived through the Nintendo vs. Sega console war, and was admittedly a Nintendo fanboy, I thought I knew much about it. This book taught me a lot about how Sega’s marketing team strategized cleverly to outdo Nintendo in the gaming industry back then. What also made this book such an entertaining read was how the Nintendo and Sega execs got really dirty in their tactics to outdo each other. If you’re the least bit curious about the background of the 90’s console war this is a must read. There is a movie based on this book coming out too.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This is most definitely my favorite fictional video game book. I don’t think there are too many out there since video games are still such a nascent medium which is finally starting to become mainstream. What caught my attention the most about this book is how relatable it is to life in the web space. There are a lot of 80’s references in this book, and some of them I did not get or had to look up to understand, but everything else such as the online gaming community really kept me interested in this book.

The author of this book knows his audience very well, and knew how to target it to. Even if you’re not into video games it has a story that just about anyone can relate to. The story focuses mainly on online relationships. It also has many surprises you can look forward to. If you’re into dystopian science-fiction, video games, and 80’s pop culture do yourself a favor and give this book a read.

1. Masters of Doom by David Kushner

I’m more into reading fiction than reading non-fiction. I thought Ready Player One would have been my favorite video game centric book. After actually dwelling on what my favorite video game books are I came to the conclusion that Masters of Doom is the best video game book I’ve ever read.

Last generation of video games (X Box 360, Wii, PlayStation 3) was dominated by first person shooters (FPS). I can understand the fascination with FPS myself since I was obsessed with Goldeneye 007 in my childhood. JRPGs abated my obsession with FPS, but never entirely. I love the Halo’s, Killzones, and Battlefields. I wanted to know where and how FPS became so popular amongst gaming culture especially here in the United States. Curious about the history of the FPS I did some research, and came up with the book called Masters of Doom.

I’ve known about Doom, but I never knew how much of an affect it had on video game media, and how it pioneered FPS. The book focuses mainly on the two Johns: John Carmack, and John Romero. What made the read so interesting was how the John’s were polar opposites. One was an impulsive troublemaker, and the other was what you’d expect working for in a video game company, a highly intelligent obsessed geek. Read the book to find out which description belongs to which John.

The book also details how Doom, and other games such as Wolfenstein changed the way the world looks at video games. If you’re into first persons, or just video games you owe it to yourself to learn about two of the greatest video game developers in gaming history.

Honorable Mentions: Jacked, Super Mario, Reality Is Broken

F*** Stacks I Want The Old Way Of Sorting Back!

I just recently finished a game, and when I finish a game I come to this website to look through my list of games to see what games I want to via my personal games collection list. Right now I want to look through the list of 3DS games I have. It's not as easy as it use to be like when I was able to sort my list by platforms. Now I have to browse through hundreds of my games to see which 3DS game I want to play next. The old way was much better. Do you feel me on this my fellow gamespotters?

Disasters Waiting To Happen... In Gaming

Disasters Waiting To Happen… In Gaming

Some gamers can’t wait till their most anticipated games come out so that they can put countless hours into them. But, some gamers like me do not have hours upon hours to put into gaming. That’s probably why now a days I’m not too thrilled about a lot of the upcoming games. I have to be very choosy as to which games to play. And also there aren’t that many games that appeal to me nowadays. What is an underwhelmed gamer such as I to do in this situation? Ah, I know! Look for upcoming video games that seem to have impending doom written all over them. I have compiled a list of upcoming games that have caught my interest, and will keep me entertained until something that I actually want to see released comes up in the news.

Watch Dogs (Wii U Version)

When I first saw the trailer for this game at E3 I wasn’t too impressed with it. Nothing seems to be innovative about it. It’s another open world game, but this time you get to control the environment via an iPhone looking gizmo. It really gets the imagination going since it makes us wonder what could be done with future iPhones. This will sell. The graphics look sleek and smooth especially with the rain effects. But, that was just one trailer.

Months later there are releases of some photos for the X Box One and PS4 versions that look like a downgrade. The internet went in the uproar, and hilarity ensued. I could not stop laughing as my eyes wandered across the screen looking at the muddy looking textures. I wasn’t very interested in this game until this moment, but then came the Wii U version of Watch Dogs.

At first I almost died from laughter, but something ended my mirth as I realized that people cannot afford an X Box One and PS4 are stuck with this ugly version of the game. I felt bad for Wii U owners, well, maybe not the ones, like me, who have a PS4 and/or X Box One and will have a choice.

The X Box 360 and PS3 versions are probably going to look just as bad. But, why pick on the Wii U version? That’s because the Wii U version is going to try and force that cumbersome touchpad into the gameplay. The X Box One, X Box 360, PS3, and PS4 versions all have similar controls based on the controllers’ designs. The Wii U Watch Dogs version will stand out as very flawed in controls. The 360 and PS3 versions will be shitty, not quite as shitty. Basically it’s like being asked which pile of shit will smell the worst.

Driveclub

Gamers get very hyped for racing games when those games are being released near the beginning of the generation because there isn’t much to choose from and it really shows how powerful the new consoles can be. Driveclub was looking immaculate.

The Gran Turismo franchise looked like it had some more competition other than Forza. I don’t care much for car games unless they have a standout gameplay mechanic that makes it very interesting and addictive like “kudos” in Project Gotham Racing, or an arcade racer like Mario Kart. Although Driveclub looks on par with Forza and Gran Turismo it seems like it might be just as boring as those two franchises.

The developers of Driveclub highly emphasize the “social” aspect of the game. What I had guessed was there would probably a lot of car collecting and showing off. As I delve further into the game information across the net I found out that there is a team aspect where gamers can meet up and race against each other in teams. Doesn’t seem like nothing much to fear, right? Well, I was wrong.

Driveclub was sent back to the “drawing board”, and has been delayed into October of this year. I haven’t heard about a game being sent back to have such a huge revamp sine NBA Elite 11, and that game was cancelled because of how much a fiasco it was going to be.

Evolution Studios has made a lot of successful games for Sony, and I’m hoping Driveclub doesn’t tarnish its reputation. I, personally, have never enjoyed their games like MotorStorm that much, but many fans of the game have no problem overlooking the shoddy controls. I don’t want them to be disappointed. I’m considerate.

Destiny

I love the Halo franchise and I love ones behind it, Bungie. When I heard this team broke away from Microsoft I was sadden that they were no longer making Halo games, as I was with Halo 4 being made by 343 Studios. Halo 4 wasn’t bad, but it was too grim and serious, and obviously did not have the lighthearted Bungie touch. They kind of went away from that with Halo Reach, but that’s for something to write about in another blog.

I was anticipating for months to find out what their next big project was going to be. They changed console gaming with original Halo making first person shooters more mainstream. Thus I’d expect Bungie to make do with newest IP by innovating again.

Destiny is the name of this game that will hopefully do what Halo did for FPS by changing the game. Activision has given Bungie a $500 million dollar budget for Destiny. This game will have to be bigger than the Halo franchise, and even the reigning king of first person shooters, Call of Duty, to make a profit.

I’m expecting this game to fail because it seems Bungie doesn’t know which market it wants to attract with Destiny. They don’t want to call it an MMORPG or a first person shooter, but it looks like a combination of both. And it’s sad to see Bungie leave Microsoft Studios for Activision because they’re sick of working on Halo. Activision is going to do same thing with Bungie trying to rehash the life out of Destiny until they finally make back the money that was put into it.

That’s enough pessimism from me. I’ll probably have more upcoming games with a bleak looking future to write about in another blog, but for now I’ll continue scouring the internet, magazines, podcasts, etc. to find games that I might want to buy.

Urge To Buy A Vita Has Slightly Risen

For many years I have been waiting patiently for developers to release games on the Playstation Vita that I would be interested in. There have been a few indie games that caught my eye, and I'd like to support them, but I could just buy most of these indie games for my PC instead. I don't need to fork over some cash for a Vita for them. But, there are two games I really want for the Vita right now: DaganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, and Ys Memories of Celceta that I can't get anywhere else. I must have these games. I can hold out and wait for the inevitable price drops. I've been doing this for years for other games, and I can certainly do it for the Vita.

I'd like to have at least five more games that would be worth buying for the Vita. It would be nice to see Kojima Productions release Metal Gear game on the platform. The PSP had some awesome Metal Gear games. Even the Metal Gear Ac!d games were great. Could we see a Metal Gear Ac!d 3? No one on Earth wants to see a game like that, but me. I'd probably go out and buy a Vita right now if that game were to be put into production this instant. That's one more Vita adopter, and Sony, you need all sales you can get for this platform.

I'm back with ramblings

Hi, followers, and random readers. I would be surprised if many or if any read this blog anymore. I don't keep it up to date as much as I use to, but I think I'm going to get back to updating and gaming. Probably not as much gaming as I use to do, but I want to at least to keep up dating this blog frequently. I like writing, and this is a good place to reignite that spark for writing once again.

I have a bunch of blog ideas on iPhone stored somewhere, but I haven't had the energy to write. With that said that would probably give a hint that I don't have a lot of energy to play video games either. Although, I often do work 50+ hours a week I still feel I have a bit of free time on my hands. I don't have a wife and kids. Therefore I have time to myself. I don't see that changing in at least the immediate future.

This doesn't mean I don't have a passion for gaming still. When I'm lazily laying around I'm either reading, and watching streams about video games. Gamespot use to hold most of my attention it comes to gaming, but Twitch.TV has stole me away from here. Not completely since I am back, and lurking checking out blogs and System Wars again. See you around. ;)

Testing out this new blog

This blog entry is to test out to see if I can copy and paste from word. I doubt I can knowing Gamespot. That would be too easy and simple, huh? But, let’s see if this will work. If it does you can expect lots more blog entries from me because I like being able to write drafts in word.

I'm not too excited for Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V has been released this week, and there's no escaping the press. I'm reading on the internet, hearing on the news,  and from word of mouth from even people who don't play video games that the game is selling very well. But, I still cannot get hyped for this game. I've played every Grand Theft Auto there is, and I usually would buy the games at or around launch time, but probably not GTA V.

There are a few reasons why I haven't decided to put down some cash for this game yet. I have just bought Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn, and I'm trying very hard to find time to get into this game. I'm loving it. I also want to make time for my backlog of games. I don't know how I'm going to do this. I'll have to find some way to use time management cleverly.

Another reason is I was kind of hoping GTA V would have been released for the next gen consoles. I was surprised and a bit disappointed when I heard about the announcement for GTA V for current gen. Rockstar could have probably done a lot more with GTA V had it been made for this upcoming generation of consoles. I was going by the pattern of GTAs being released each gen. Grand Theft Auto III was for one generation, and GTA IV for this current generation. I wasn't expecting the sucessor of GTA IV to be in this generation.

I will eventually buy this game. I often wait for the price of games to go down not only because it's cheaper, but because it helps me slow down the increasing of my insurmountable backlog of video games. Grand Theft Auto V looks like a great video game with the new idea of having three protagonists in one game. That alone makes me want to play it, but, as of right now I will wait.

I'm shocked: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

FFXIV ARR

It's about two weeks after the release of FFXIV: ARR, and I'm stuck here without a copy of this game. After the fiasco of FFXIV I thought ARR would make MMORPG gamers lose all hope, and even the hardcore Final Fantasy fanboys. Therefore, I was going to take my time, wait for reviews to pop up all over the internet, and also hear word of mouth from the early adopters of ARR, and then make my decision. I haven't seen any reviews of this game yet, but I'm hearing that ARR has improved greatly from the original FFXIV based on what players have to say.

I've been watching streams on Twitch.TV, and browsing forums that are related to ARR trying to decide if I should get this game or not. And after hours of stream watching I've decided I want this game, and I want it now. But, there's a huge problem. The game is doing so well despite the bad afterstaste Square Enix has from the original FFXIV. Square Enix f*cked up so badly last time that they didn't even think ARR would be doing this well. It's doing so well that the servers can't contain all the subscribers so they had to stop selling copies of ARR.

Now I'm without a copy of ARR, and I wait for Square Enix to allow me to purchase the game again. I don't pre-order games unless it's a rare game I know is going to be hard to find. I never did expect a Final Fantasy game to ever be in scarcity. I've tried amazon, called seven different gamestops to see if they had them in stock, and even thought about using ebay.com. I don't really trust ebay.com, though. I got a counterfeit game from one of the sellers, and someone tried to buy something with my debit card. But, I think it's best if I wait it out. It's been tough these past few days, but I'm going to have deal with it.

Are Wish List Bad?

Years ago when I first started shopping online I would say I'd never use a wish list. It sounds really stupid, and it will just make me spend more money that I probably shouldn't be spending. Besides why do I need to be reminded what to buy. If I'm forgetting what I wanted then it probably wasn't important to me and I'm better off without it anyhow. Well, that was back when I was in high school and college, and I was poor, and was only working part time. I am now financially independent with a full time job and another job. My progress in employment has allowed me a pretty good disposable income, and now I have more of a luxury to spend.

I have a bookmark section set for online stores, but I only have a wish list for one of those sites, and that is amazon.com. Sometimes I do use wish lists on other sites, but I usually end up clearing it after some contemplation a few days on my next purchase. My reasons for amazon.com's wish list so I can patiently wait for the prices to drop on video games, or to make sure the games don't go up in price after becoming rare.

In that sense having a wish list is a good thing. I can be a smart shopper, and save money by keeping on the wish list from time to time. It is also good for other things like waiting for availability on the next gen consoles coming out in a couple of months, and Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn which I've been dying to play.

I've been afraid of wish lists since I first started shopping online. I always feared I turn into this compulsive shopper, but my fears have been abated and I've never went to far when it came to spending. Or maybe it has, but I have never gone broke from spending online. However, I actually have forgotten about stuff I want to buy because of wish list. Sometimes I don't remember what I want to buy until I look at one of my wish list. Therefore, in conclusion, I don't think wish list are bad. At least not for me.

Will I remain after the Gamespot changes?

I've been coming across gamespotters vehemently expressing their anger of the upcoming changes coming to this wonderful site, and I'm a little perterbured myself by the news. I don't have much of a problem with unions being taken away. The ones that I have been invited to, and have joined don't remain active. Even the really popular ones. They're not as active as the regular forums. Though it is nice to diverge from the generalized System Wars, Off topic, and General Gaming Discussion forums and branch off into more narrowed down topics in unions it doesn't seem like it's worth keeping them around on this site to Gamespot apparently.

I did like the atheist union. It was nice to hear about other atheists stories about how they dealt with the common church goers because, sadly, it is a rarity to run into fellow atheist, even more sadly, in the year 2013. But, that's for another potential blog entry maybe. 

Don't get me wrong. I am not glad to see the unions go. As much as I don't care for them I do care that a lot of the gamespotters are annoyed by this. Once these unions go I'm sure there will be a lot of others will be leaving as well. Less gamespotters  here the less people to read my awesome blog. ;)

I am also kind of annoyed about is the erasing of my hard earned level I've attained after coming here for close to a decade. Now I'll be looked as a newbie! I've blogged and battled ferociously in the System Wars, and now I'm being demoted to level 1 or whatever they're going to call it.

With that said I don't think I'll be leaving Gamespot anytime soon. I plan to get back into blogging more often, as I'm starting to fit more time in not just for gaming, but also learning more about one of my favorite pastimes. I want to welcome the changes for this site. Hopefully this site won't remain such a buggy mess as it has been since day one. Looking forward to more gaamespotting on this site. See you around.