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xsonicchaos Blog

I fumbled.

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The horror!...

I do not greet well the day of PC cleaning. I'm always trying to find excuses to leave the work for another day. Sometimes I find myself enjoying the slow and finical dusting, and the sight of clean hardware in the end is most rewarding. But did I have to do this today after a few hours of sleep and a cranky morning? I only drank a cup of coffee and off to get done with it. The dust was choking and about 2 inches thick. Signs of a dirty past month perhaps? This was not going to be one of those enjoyable days, yet still the more tired I was, the thorough I became. This was about to be my masterpiece, my best cleaning yet. Tired, sweaty and nervous, I smelled the fresh scent as I screwed tight the last screw. Fit for another month... or maybe longer this time around. Yes, exhausted but so confident. My hands take a tight grip on the case and lift myself to set up... AH!! Someone shot me in the back! it must have been a 50 caliber. No, no, I'm still alive and a computer in my arms. Everything is okay. Two steps and I can sense the case turning in my palms, slips and in my eye it glides slowly towards the ground. "Well, there it goes" says my brain already resigned, instead my hands are fumbling to catch it before it reaches its doom. It wasn't time for a slow motion "nnnnnnooooooo" until my PC was plastic-face-front broken on the ground. I stood there for a whole minute, watching the wreck, before I could lift it up and shake it near my ear. Yep, there was surely a surprise inside. Lady luck fortuned me this time, it was only the processor cooler that broke out of its slot, together with the socket. Curse you, AMD and your cheap plastic sockets! Until I'll buy another cheap socket I have to keep the case on the side, but it's all functional, and that's a good thing, that's very good.

But the plastic face, oh God, the face, it's in pieces! Buy another case? Nothing some glue won't fix. Glue is cheaper than a case. There, it's done. Pasted together like a broken vase. Well, at least I can practice my inventiveness and will transform this ugly beast into a handsome action piece. With a few draws of my trusty marker, the cracks will look like scars and metal patches. ... Oh, the horror!...

The way we love games

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 draw-game-happy-heart-love-sad-Favim.com

 We are gamers. It is in our nature -- as humans  -- to learn and develop skills through ludic activities, right from our early childhood to the future of our lives, wherever that may take us. Were we playing purposefully with our hands and feet even before we were born or were we preparing for our emergence in life? What about the times we played with our brothers, sisters or with our friends and we got all competitive? Did we love the game more than the people that are close to us? Was it that important for us to win and prove that we are better than them? For us it was, for all of us, even for our brothers, sisters or our friends. Our genes tell us it was important, our parents agree, the society agrees too, as long as things don't escalate too much. That never meant we didn't love them. And we loved to play. We played all kinds of games with family and friends, from hide-and-seek, charades and board games to video games and sports, helping with our social skills, enhancing our ability to communicate with others, sharpening our dexterity and focus, bonding with our loved ones.

Then there's someone you like very much. During your first kiss, have you thought of a game? Of course not, that'd be weird. Anyway, you both walk slowly in the park, holding your hands, making small talk, debating politics or just enjoying a silent day, and barely noticing your fingers started playing their own game. You realize you love the one that's near to you and decided to spend your life playing that game together, your own little game, while watching small ones become competitive at their own. Living lives, playing games and loving it.

And sometimes we play alone. It's not sad, the world is still around us, but we all need our alone time once in a while, or it's a single-player campaign. We also love online multiplayer or local co-op video games and, technically, we don't play those alone. Yeah, let's just dive into video games. We can play other games, like sports, cards or board games, but we are gamers and we love video games more than any other games. However, games are not humans, they're just data written on a hard disk, but that doesn't make them hard to love. Either casual,  hardcore gamers or everything in between, we are passionate about gaming just as a philatelist is passionate about stamps or how a painter sees his art. Either creator or collector, we play games because we love to, not just as a mere hobby, but as a passion.

 We also despise games. As for the industry, we hate it for what it has become. We grew with it -- the ones who did -- and see it grow, with our help, growing slowly from a sweet child that many "grown-ups" dismissed before as having any kind of future or mocking its airs of art. We gave it our whole love, watched it bloom and slowly forgetting about us, as it adorned itself with jewels and pearls, the dower we happily left it. And we understood. That's exactly what we wanted, wasn't it? But now, it claims for more, much more than we can bare, and still we bare, because we have to. What else should we do? It's like the celebrity child of an old dying man, a man that knows his child is actually a prostitute in disguise. Is it okay to hate the industry for what we made it become? Somewhere, along this time, we must have made something wrong, making it believe that it's okay to be materialistic and selfish, without even knowing that we made ourselves believe the same. Is it okay to hate Clementine for growing up to be more like (the early, arrogant, finicky, wise-cracking) Lara Croft, instead of Elizabeth, in the harsh world she's living? But instead of thinking of the gaming industry as our child, we should relate to it as the entity that governs our gaming world, a world that we helped build by paying our taxes regularly (well there might have been some embezzlement here and there), while helping the small local businesses grow as well. The industry is more a home to developers and publishers, the ones that founded their companies and create/publish the games that we love, the games that we hate and the games that don't appeal to us. We are here only to discover them and find the one that deserves all our dedication.

 Besides the games that harmed us in a way or another, made us fall for them, only to take all our money and leave us with a shallow heart, or the games we choose to hate just because we feel like doing so without any specific reasons, besides these games are the ones that we care about. As any collector, I can only assume that physical copies are the ones that we care about the most, because the caring becomes physical too. Once in a while, you need to clean the dust on the shelf. What did you thought? The first games that we ever played are always the greatest in our hearts, just like our first crush. They might not be as pretty as they were back then, but it's fun to meet again once in a while and catch up. Franchises don't count here, Super Mario Galaxy is more like the grand-grand-grand-nephew of Super Mario Brothers.

 Moving forward, you find yourself seeing more and more pretty games that you'd like to play, but you can't have them all, because you might not be able to afford them all or that expensive console everyone talks about. Who knows? One of those games could be the one that you can play over and over again without ever getting bored, holding it forever in you library. Maybe you passed that game by the retailer's shelf, maybe you smiled at it and move on or maybe you will never even know that game ever existed, the game that could make you proud and happy to be a gamer.  But you're a gamer and you have to play games, many times over. Some games are just too needy or too greedy, they always ask you for more after playing it once, coming back with more content and disappointing new endings, with season passes and downloadable content, expensive outfits, guns, skills and even experience points (really?). You say no or you say yes, it doesn't matter. They're here to stay. Once you played that game, even if you let it go afterwards, it'll always be a part of your life. You should now be wiser, more mature in choosing your next purchase and if you're not, don't worry, we'll all get there someday.

 And one day, we find the game we were always looking for, the game that we can finally answer to our friends and the whole community when we're asked about: this is my favorite game. It may have been that first trailer, that first leaked artwork or it may have been that you finally decided to find out what's all the fuss about. And it was perfect. It has the most beautiful atmosphere, the most charismatic and lovable characters, amazing voice acting, original and stupendous story and the most polished and engaging game play; the game you always wanted to play, the game you could come back to every time you need to know why you are a gamer and why you play games with that passion. It won't probably age well, knowing how graphics are always pushing the boundaries of polygons to achieve photorealism, but you also know that this game will be yours for as long as you want it to be.

A Good Day to Die Hard Review and why I hate movie theaters

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Ah, the good ol' days when Bruce Willis was younger and his constant smug was more than tolerated. It is true that Willis is one of the few mokeys in Hollywood that's actually trained in the art of entertaining other monkeys, but it's not funny anymore. You can't just giggle every frikin time a reference pops up in the dialogue. By the way, the dialogue is a clichee extravaganza. It's like they ripped every page from a boring book and banged it with a hammer over the keyboard. Anyway...

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Here's an image that describes the whole movie.

Watching a premiere in my country is apparently like watching fireworks in some hobo's a**. My girlfriend wanted to go to a movie and we had only too choices: Hansel und Grettel.... or the latest entry in the Dies Hard franchise. Yeah. Of course I couldn't have expected a great movie after the whole milking of the series and Willis is obviously having lots of fun througout the movie to even care. He's not even the main protagonist anymore. Remember Indiana Jones and te Crystal thingy? Remember how we all wished deep inside that we could sneak behing Shia LeBoots and snap his neck? No? Just me? Nevertheless, It's like that in A God Day to ah, to damn with it, we'll just call it Die Hard 5. Only worse. You can barely see John McLane from behind his son's eagerness to fill in the shoes. No, really. There's even a scene at the end that I won't spoil where it becomes obvious.

Let me first get comfy, because I feel like I went way ahead of myself. Once I sat down in the chair, I realise there's a tall bloke in front of me that's blocking half the screen. Why is there every time I go to see a movie there's a tall guy making out with his tall girlfriend in front of me? Is this a conspiracy like the one where they strategically place a baby in the plane? "Excuse me, kind sir!", I said to him in a monotone and polite voice, "could you please lower thyself a bit so I can read the subtitles? Thank you for thy benevolence!". He seemed like he agreed, but just nudged a bit and started making out with the lady next to him. "Hey, friendo!", insisted I, "how about you make a little bit more effort? I know you're a big fellow and I may be puny, but how about we switch places and I'll wear a porcupine as a hat?" Never had problems with him for the rest of the movie. And what is it with young people and poity hairdo? Gel is useful when your hair makes you look like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, but stop recreating battle scenes from Lord of the Rings on your head if you plan on going to the theater. I can't even imagine how awkward it must have been for Mr T.

On with the movie. It's a Die Hard movie on par with the latest action flicks starring Steven Seagull, that wrestling guy and Dolph Lundgren. The plot starts simple enough, with McLane going in Russia to... well, they don't tell you at the start, although it wouldn't be a spoiler if you've watched any trailer, but let's go with the flow. It looks like something tragic has happened and McLane takes a vacation to Russia. Russia... And that's Willis' line for the rest of the movie, "I'm in vacation", like a parrot in a cage. Oh yeah, and "Remember when uncle Harry touched you in that special place..." no one cares. I have not come here to watch "alas, poor Yorrick, I knew him", don't fool yourselves. Those awful boring bonding moments between McLane and his son (oops spoiler alert) are obviou fillers for the lack of money for more bad CGI. So yeah, it turns out McLane actually travels to Moscow after being informed that his son is in some kind of trouble and he tries to help. Well, I would have never doubt it, but as it turns out later, that very first scene in the movie is a huge plot hole. There's nothing to be spoiled here as the whole plot has been covered in the trailer. So here's how it goes...

Four minutes in and there's a huge explosion. Wait, let's start this again: random stuff happening and no one gets it, singing russian taxi driver, LOUD NOISES, plot hole, shenanigans. Also be prepared to be twisted like a twisted twist on a drunk spinning twister. Here's homework: before going to see the movie, write on a napkin whatever you think it will happen in it. U psychic yet? No, well get a load of this: remember how McLane suddenly became a professional truck racer in the last movie? Now he's doing drifts with a truck while avoiding rockets and slaloming through incoming traffic. And no one was impressed, more so when he eventually couldn't get the achievement he was after and landed face front on the asphalt. It was clear the accident turned his brains into mush when he started waving his extremities at cars in the middle of the road asking to steal them. This might work in 'murica with a badge over your head like in Sims, but I will give credit to the film makers for the realism of this scene. After acquiring another vehicle to drive on conveniently placed ramps over busses, trucks and other people's expensive goods, McLane catches up with his son and his weird russian grandpa Vania or what's his name and saves them from an unknown fate. If you really care to know, the whole chasing sequence ends with a picture of a photoshopped brick.

The things is, how it turns out, McLane's son is not a common crook, but some kind of new age spy or something (covered in the trailer) and the old russian guy holds some secret file about someone important that's somehow involved in the Chernobyl disaster. But it's deeply hidden in the a** of Pripyat, in a radioactive bank's deposit box that can only be opened with a weird twisted key hidden in somewhere only the old guy knows about and the bad guy wants the file so he can burn it. What? So here we go to get the damn key. There's a scene in an elevator where the old russian guy notices how McLane seems like he's done this before. We all sat there in silence as they sat there in silence and I could see Willis' smug in all its mightiness waiting for the next stupid f**ing one liner. I never saw it coming right from Johnny Jr's mouths: "I could have done it better" he said. You f**ing retarded prick Weren't you the one hiding behind a pair of dirty briefs a couple of minutes ago while your father went all Rambo on the most dumbest platoon of special forces? Because I recall how McLane landed in the middle of one lame Christmas party a long time ago, barefooted on broken glass, with a lighter, a pop gun and his undershirt and still managed to take the terrorists out one by one, while going up and down inside a skyscraper. But now the writers got so lazy they created a scene where one pushes a button and a bunch of bad guy drop like flies. That's not a metaphor, it really happens in the movie. It was then when I said to myself that I should step up, yell like my hands are on fire "f**k this f**king movie" and walk out like I own the place. But I was too afraid that people will judge me and toss me in the naughty corner for being such a ponce and thus I sat there through the whole movie, cringing and cursing silently, hoping that someone will hear me and kick me out. It never did happen. We must sit in our chairs and enjoy the spectacle just like overeducated chimpanzees with top hats watch gorillas performing can-can. And once in a while they throw bananas at the public just like saying "here's your gunfights and here's your explosion, that's why you came here, you w**ker and stop your whining". I read a review about this movie somewhere and the bulls**ter was praising the heck out of it in such an overly realistic manner, he couldn't understand it: "everyone in the audience was cheering at the end, we all clapped and whistled at the wonderful acting and it was a delight seeing people dancing on the chairs and tossing feces at each other." That's bollocks. My experience was totally different, as in everyone mumbling in a successive manner, shacking heads in disappointment, just like Bruce Willis acted this whole movie pretending to be that "son, I am disappoint" meme.

You can stop here if you're still eager to see the movie for the first time, but I have to SPOIL some of the plot in the next part. So here's your SPOILER ALERT!

The whole story that occurs after McLane first encounters his son in Moscow is loosely based on the fact that McLane delays his son's perfect escape plan for about 10 seconds. As it turns out in the end, the really bad guy was always the old creepy russian they insist on carrying around. You see, the old man only pretends to be the good guy, while in fact he was trying to trick the bad guy into getting him where he wants. And after a whole hour (I guess) of driving from Moskow all the way to Pripyat, Ukrain, it turns out there was no file, but in fact there's some kind of Solomon's tomb inside the bank that only old man Vidia new about in which he hid a lot of nuclear material. It also turns out these terrorists have come up with some kind of gas that has the ability to teleport radiation to another dimension. And here's the wild part: this old guy is so bad that after he shoots a worse person point blank in the face, he unloads the entire clip in his corpse. But here come the McLanes to the rescue of the world. Remember the time when Allan Rickman tried to fool John into thinking he's just a victim? They do. How awesome was that scene, right!? And Allan Rickman? Forget about it! No, but they do the same thing in this movie and they even try to pull it twice. The first time, meh. But the second time it's when they meet again with the old man not knowing he's the actual mastermind, the old guy starts coughing and leaning on the crates like he's suddenly been struck by the coughing syndrome. A two year old kid would have thrown poop at the screen. Of course, McLane senior realizes that he's crooked and thus the end battle starts. But there was an army when they came, and now there are only three people: the old man, his dastardly daughter and a naked guy that looks like Dwayne Johnson. I prefer to call him Dwayne Johnson. "Ah" I said to myself, "there are going to be some headbutts in this movie". But there were none. In fact, Dwayne dies like a sissy girl in a ball of gas fire. And I can tell you for sure that's not how the combustion dynamics of gas fire behaves. I have an academic diploma in such matters, you see.

The thing is, to keep this as short as I can, the old guy planned this whole thing from the beginning of the movie (even longer, 1986 presumably), but wagering all on the random encounter of McLane and his son when McLane f**ked up his son's plan by 10 or so seconds. Okay, let's say that's not important, but then how come McLane has found out about his son if he was an undercover CIA agent all the time. But as it has been proven, the CIA are just a bunch of amateur w**kers. And then there's the last scene with the helicopter when ooh, aah, beautiful splosions!

The awkward DMC demo

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Contains a lot of cussing, not my own fault!

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Please don't take it personal. I've got nothing against your initial impressions on this game. Let me tell you what it made me feel like. I'll start with all the bad things and end with the good stuff, so you leave here in a somewhat better mood. There are no spoilers here and if you haven't played the demo yet or you just can't, I hope this might give y'all some ideas of what it's all about.

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The characters. Dante. Remember how he was a smug and always acted like a douche in the past games? That never bothered me a bit. This time, Dante is such a lame show off of a bad ass character wannabe, you wouldn't know wheter to hate or feel bad for him. First, Tim Phillips is the actor behind his voice and look-alike (I think), David de Lautour plays Virgil and Sage Mears is a girl named Kat. You guys should google them, or better not. These are the most annoying cast of voice actors in a game ever. And the dialogues are just plain awfull. Let's just say the story isn't exactly highly cerebral and the guys that wrote it probably took themselves too serious. But that's not the bad part, I'll return to this point in the "good" paragraph. The worst things ever that made me cringe are the idiotic dialogues "complimented" by these Jersey Shore-like actors. Let me give you some examples, I'll do my best to recreate the scene:

Demon (has a name but don't want to spoil): "Who are you?" (so far so good)

Dante: "I'm your prom date, you ugly sack of shet!" (like that, with "e", try spelling it)

Demon: "WHO THE F**K ARE YOUUUUUUUU!?" (exactly how the writers wrote it in the subtitles, plus or minus a "U") *the demon pukes green vomit all over the place*

Dante *jiggles around like a jackass*: "You missed. My name, by the way, is Dante."

Demon: "Dante? Son of Sparda? And Eva the whoooorrrreeee" (4 "o", 4 "r" and 4 "e", swear to God that these are the subtitles) *also lots of vomit*

Dante *bows like a sissy girl*: "Yep. But you can call me Dante the demon killer. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"

Demon *rubs face*: "You want to kill me? You can't kill me! I'm twelve hundred years old!"

Dante: "You don't look a day over twelve thousand."

Demon *gets angry*: F**k You!"

Dante: F**k You!"

Demon *oh, it's on now*: F**K YOUUUUUU..." *vomits all around*

*dubstep on as the battle starts*

I s**t you not, that's an actual dialogue from the DMC demo. One of the worst, I have to admit, but even the best coversations or monologues have this feel to them as they were written by a bunch of twelve old kids on drugs. Kat is a hooded misterious chick that walks like a tease on the middle of the street, but doesn't want to attract the atention of ominous presences that supposedly watch from the shadows of technology. Her voice is unbearable. I don't know the entire context, but it was looking like Kat and Dante were on a date and they felt the urge to take a stroll. But then Dante slaps the can of soda from a fat guy's hand on the account that "It will kill you" and all Hell breaks loose. Literally!

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And here we start with the good part of the game. The actual gameplay is okay. If you're wondering, I played on a PS3. There are a few great combinations of buttons that deliver awesome combat moves and series of combos. The Ivory and Ebony guns are here as well and very usefull, but feel just a bit underpowered. Also, Dante has his sword, Rebellion, that does a great deal of pain. But after you get the feel on the Arbiter (Devil mode) and Osiris (Angel mode) scythes, you rarely use Rebellion. The difficulty is nothing but a change in enemy toughness, and after you finish any of the 3 difficulty settings (Human, Devil hunter, Nephilim) you unlock a hardcore mode named Son of Sparda. Every higher difficulty takes longer to beat enemies, but if you learn to evade and dodge, you'll be okay even on the hardest setting. I have not tried Son of Sparda difficulty yet, but I can bet it's not that hard. The boss is awfull: jump when attacks, change platform when pukes, mash buttons, use the Arbiter to defeat. That's it. At it's core, it's still a Devil May Cry game, no one can argue with that. The gameplay is exactly the same as the previous game, but with a chase cam. The artwork is something special. In the end, I could get into it and I bet there's a lot of diversity throughout the game and story, even challenge, but so far what let me down are the awkward characters with their Hannah Montana dialogues and voices that fully captures the image of today's "yolo" generation. I'm not that old myself, but sometimes I think that after this earth is scorched and some alien archeologists come to this planet and discover The Hills, Honey Boo Boo and DMC in some bunker next to some teenage skelletons, they'll most certainly ask themselves "dafuq was wrong with this species?"

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If you like the game, buy it!

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What is piracy? Why does it exist? And why should we care? Well, none of this matters because we all know the facts. I, like you all, don't give a damn about other people's bussinesses and the reasons behind statistics. The most important question then should be "why am I writing this?". Ranting. Yes, I sometimes get tired of ranting that I have to rant about it.

The fact is, people don't want to pay for something they can get for free. Like video games, PC mostly, but there's no shortage in the console department. Money is a problem for most of us and hard earned cash is best spend wise. Gaming is not what is used to be, that's for sure. We're not buying games just for kids or for the whole family anymore, we're buying them for the whole gaming community. Don't get me wrong, the game is yours, the case with the disc inside or the digital download you paid for is yours until you lose it.... or torch it. But every product we buy today has a huge impact on what the future of that product will look like. Indeed, this is how it has been working for decades inthe gaming industry. Or has it? No, there was passion and innovation back when developers actually cared about their creation, about what gamers think of the game they made. After some time, developers started shifting towards pure marketing, gaming became nothing else but bussiness, no passion, little innovation. I can't pin a date when that started happening, but I guess piracy has a role to play in it.

Is it the intrusive protection that some publishers insist to implement in their releases that has a repeling effect on gamers? I remember some Atari 2600 cartridges had some sort of protection that required inserting a code from the manual, from a specific page and line on that page. That was annoying. But wait, persistent online authentication? limited install activations?? software tampering??? Wait what? The game turns you into a bird if it's detected as being pirated? That's rich! But no, as much as we would want, no DRM has that much of a damage over a game that it's better downloading it from a torrent site. Some pirated versions actually make more damage than any DRM. Blizzard has an efficient enough protection, but online authentications became the nicest of them all. I've come to grow fond of Uplay, Origin and Steam after bashing the hell out of them.

Steam has probably the best digital protection out there and it's a great platform to buy games from. Even if you're a hardcore collector like me. I prefer a solid case with a disc inside, especially if it has a figurine or some other goodies. But Steam has your back if you don't mind digital purchases. You've got everything in one place: an incredible amount of demos, you get them day one, a great interface, mindblowing deals and even free games once in a while. Not to mention the awesome comunity and social interactivity. Also achievements. There's a lot to say about Steam and it's alternative to cracks, but we're getting off track. Steam should remain a subject for some other time. GFWL sucks though.

Yes, it's a capture of my Steam and look at that great deal

Anyway, if you act like a priest and tell gamers about the sin that is piracy, they'll start feeling reprimanded. My personal issue is not the stollen intelectual property -- that's someone else's job --, but I have the feeling that we're losing much more than money on game nowadays. Honestly, great quality games come fewer and fewer as the time passes. And it's not that good games take time, Duke Nukem Forever has proven that is not the problem. The problem is that publishers give their product a value, even if that value is subjective from one individual to another. Some don't think a game deserves 60 bucks and will download the game for free. I think publishers accepted this fate and took advantage of this: make a 4 hour campaign and an unlimited multiplayer mode, also just a small upgrade to the graphical engine if it's a sequel. It takes little effort and less money release the game in this form and later update it in the form of downloadable contents for which the same customers will gladly pay. Flawless marketing strategy. You'd think the gaming industry didn't get here because of piracy, but because we buy every crappy game that gets released. There's nothing more false. Why wouldn't you make a better product if your previous product sold like hot bread? How many of you heard of City Interactive and how many of you that heard of them actually bought and played a game from them? How many even bothered to download a pirated copy of their games? Those are bad games.

Publishers prefer consoles because of their native protection, although second-hand games has become an issue as well. As you can see, every sold game counts. Console games are expensive, while PC games are cheaper. Even bad porting seems like a marketing strategy. Why buy a bad PC port of GTA IV at $49.99, when you can buy the real thang for $60?

We can't all buy games that come out in a month, some even get released the same week, but that's the beauty of it. I've made a list of games that I have to buy. I had to leave behind a lot of good games for other and of course I'm behind in some areas in contrast to the GameSpot staff and most of you guys, but I'll get there. In fact, now that I think of it, I have a lot of games that I've barely touched. So I leave you guys with a few questions: is it worth buying a game? isn't it great playing a deathmatch without cheaters? isn't it great playing online? aren't Steam achievements incredibly awesome?

Is Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol inspired by Alpha Protocol?

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"Well, movies inspired from games... that's plain crazy!" Okay, i get your sarcasm, but have you seen MI: Ghost Protocol with that guy Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) and his merry band of spies? Have you played Alpha Protocol, with that guy Mike Thorton (not Thornthon) and his merry band of... handlers. Of course it's all about spies and Alpha Protocol itself might have been inspired from Mission Impossible and James Bond movies, not to mention the soundtrack, but bear with me.

Let's ignore the Protocol part of the name, but hold on to your pants.

Alpha Protocol takes the action over 5 countries, without the Greece intermission: Saudi Arabia, Italy, Russia, Taiwan and an undisclosed location, but we can all asume it is either somewhere in the US or even Greece.

MI:Ghost Protocol takes place in the same amount of countries: Hungary, Russia, Dubai, India and USA.

You know how Michael Thornton is disavowed after the last mission in Saudi Arabia goes somehow wrong, like bombs raining from the sky. Yeah, it's like that also in MI:Ghost Protocol when the IMF is completely disavowed and the Ghost protocol is instated upon the whole team after the mission in Moskow goes to fudge, as in a nuclear f***ing bomb blows under the damn Kremlin.

Let's see. In both stories, there might be a person in the team that might be a mole or traitor, but ends up they kinda meant well. Also the character Kurt Hendricks (portraited by Michael Nyqvist) from MI:Ghost Protocol, who's a bada** grizzled spy himself, seems to me very similar to the character Conrad Marburg, in looks and backstory.

Want more? A main part of the movie takes place in and outside of the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai, one of the tallest buildings in the world and an important landmark in this country. In Alpha Protocol, one of the most important missions in the game takes Thorton to the Grand Hotel in Taipei, a real landmark in Taiwan. Only without the pointless and dangerous climbing with glass suckers outside the almost 3000 ft tall building. "You're not gonna make it!"

Sand storm in Ghost Protocol, sand storm in Alpha Protocol, but without the awesome car chase. I would also add the huge amount of gadgets and explosions, but those are vital to the spy genre, not admitted as evidence. There were also many other similarities between the two, but i can't remember more.

So what do you think? Coincidence? Absolutely.

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Let's talk about the upcoming Mass Effect movie

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So, according to the Mass Effect Wiki, this is hapening. One live action feature film with living, breathing actors, a whole lot of props and huge amount of cgi, special fx and all that s**t. To go on about this, please understand that I might have to take on a few elements regarding the game with the same name, therefore prepare for some SPOILERS!! For you guys that already played Mass Effect, that shouldn't be an issue.

This movie is set to be epic, legendary! Because Legendary Pictures are in charge of this project, in alliance with Warner Brothers. Great film producers such as Thomas Tull (The Dark Knight, Inception, 300, Clash of the Titans, Watchmen and many more), John Jashni (The Hangover, Clash of the Titans, The Town, Jonah Hex, Poseidon, Sucker Punch, Wrath of the Titans and so on) and Avi Arad (Spider-Man movies, X-Men movies, Iron Man movies, Ghost Rider movies, The Incredible Hulk, Blade movies, Fantastic 4 movies and lots of other graphic novel based movies). Also, Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk and Casey Hudson from BioWare are keeping a close eye on this from the executive producer chair.

Serious bizniz...

First time we've heard about this news, there were some rumors that the movie will not and can not be based on Comm. Shepard's adventures, because of the choices players can make in the game series and thus changing the story in unique ways. And the producers talked about the idea of an origin story of Shepard up until he took command of the Normandy from Anderson. Or up until the start of the first game. Good idea, but... still there are some choices in balance here. Is commander shepard a male or female character? Let's all agree that the most iconic Shepard is the standard male with the great, incredible voice of Mark Meer. Don't get me wrong, i'm not misogynistic, ask anyone about Shepard and they will point you to Mark Vanderloo's mug, with scar over his forehead and all that. But let's not stop here. If you'd think that choosing where you where born in the game affects just the points in your "karma", well you'd be wrong. The only way we know about Shepard's mother, Hannah, is if he was a spacer, meaning he's parrents were Alliance military. Also, the psychological profile is one important feature to take in consideration: where Shepard fought, what he did during that fight and how he got out. It's not that simple to think those are not important. Even his first name might rise up some upset brows.

On some other news we've all heard that this might be the story of Commander Anderson as the chief of the first Alliance Normandy right up until Shepard takes the wheel. Nice try, but we all know everyone wants Shepard in the movie adaptation. Let's just hope he's not going to be played by Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans. I'm getting sick of those lunatics.

The big thing is the movie is in pre-production already and the production team gave away the news: Mass Effect feature film will take place in the first game's story, with Commander Shepard as the leading character. No news about cast though.

But let me tell you my opinion and please take it as it is. Let's disregard the fact that the movie will be a lot shorter than the game, obviously. By the way, the screenwriting adaptation stuff will be done by Mark Protosevich, who also worked on the screenplays of I Am Legend, the new Thor movie, The Cell and Poseidon, amongst many other great movies. I bet that Shepard will most probably be pure Paragon, maybe with a hint of Renegade. Because that's what a protagonist of this caliber in a Hollywood movie has to look like. We can't all expect Frank Castles runing rogue in the space, now do we!? I think he will be orphan earthborn, just to loosen up the cast or to make his story more dramatic, and a war hero, for best Paragon effect. Also, who's going to be his romantic interest? Liara or Ashley? There's a 50/50 chance up to this line. But taking in consideration that Ashley is at some point kinda expandable, tragic and sad, but true, the odds go up for Liara by 10 points and another 10 points because she is a very, very imporant character in the whole franchise.

But there are some things I can't even decide. What other choices would Shepard make in the movie? Will he save Ashley or Kaidan on Virmire? What about the Genophage and Wrex? Or what would Shepard save during the Citadel battle: the Council or the Alliance fleet? Aside from those, I'm so curious about he cast and the looks of the aliens and how the whole thing will look like, lens flares an all. As for Shepard, I'm betting for Matthew Fox as the best fit, as Shepard is not Shepard without Mark Meer's voice and Matthew Fox has a great similar voice. And hard breathing....

Hugh Laurie in the... house

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I am very thrilled about starting this blog, first of all. My native language is not english, so please give me some slack :) . That's the second of all, i guess.

I recently discovered on the internet, of course, a trailer featuring superstar actor and novelist Hugh Laurie, also known as Dr. Gregory House from... well, House tv series. The trailer was not about a new movie, nor another sequel to Stuart Little where Hugh Laurie played Stuarts' adopting father. It was not about the next season in House universe and it was not about a new funny book. It was a music trailer, more like a videoclip of his new single album "You Don't Know My Mind". We all seen his performance in an episode of House M.D. as Hugh sings along at a karaoke bar along with his friends, Chase and Foreman, but who would have thought he'll go further and take it serious. And, as a fan, i'm also thrilled about his new single and i'm hoping to hear for more.

And if you think: "what this has to do with games?", well, if you didn't know by now, there's also a House M.D. game for pc and some handheld consoles. It's some kind of hidden object game that i couldn't play for very long because it sucked too much, but you should totaly try it....

So, here's a live performance of Hughs' single, hope you like it:

[video=cHw7wmOo5bMPsjDX]