zgreenwell / Member

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zgreenwell Blog

GoW3, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain and Noby Noby Boy.

Having a PS3 again is like reconnecting with an old friend. Its fun to learn what was going on in the Playstation world over the past 5 months. Of course its all mostly the same, but there were quite a few key titles that I thought I might never get to try. It just so happens that three of the games I wanted to try all have demos. So, I downloaded all of them.

First, God of War 3. Let, me first inform everyone that I never played the first two, and if it weren't for the hype surrounding this title I wouldn't care about it at all. Anyway, the game doesn't do anything for me. I have a hard time distinguishing it from all the GoW knockoffs that have been released over the past few years. To me, this seemed like a very good looking generic action game. Despite the fact that this might be THE generic action game to buy, it doesn't thrill me. I have no intention of owning it and don't care to experience the full game.

Next, Heavy Rain. I really really wanted to give this a try. What I was expecting was something similar to CSI only in a video game. That is almost exactly what it is. The game is less about choices and more about experiencing a story first hand. It is done really well. The thing that surprised me most was the way you walk. It almost felt like old Resident Evil. That isn't a downside though. I fully expect to play through this game. I will probably only rent it though.

The last game is Uncharted 2. I wasn't sure about this after the first few minutes into the demo, but by the time I had completed it this title became a must buy for me. The graphics and voice acting are some of the best I've seen in a video game. The game plays like a Tomb Raider with butter smooth controls and more action. The shooting almost feels like it is out of Gears of War, but unlike Gears you can sneak around finding better vantage points or performing stealth kills. Its way awesome and I can see why so many people were excited about it at the end of last year.

So, thats my impressions of these top PS3 demos. In addition I also downloaded Noby Noby Boy. In my opinion Noby Noby is everything Flow wanted to be and failed at. Its fun and relaxing to mess around in you small sandbox. There are no objectives, besides trophies (if you want), but I don't have trouble thinking up new ways to experiment and waste time in the game. My 3 year old thinks it is awesome as well. So, I'm pretty happy with it.

PS3 Linux is a waste of time.

A couple blogs ago I talked about fixin PS3s. I finally got the one I bought working again. I ended up with a copy of Modern Warfare 2 for free. Since I don't like the game, and have it on 360 anyway, I traded it for Resistance 2. Some would say I traded down, but I think they are very wrong.

Anyway, because I am a nerd, I decided to try installing Linux on the PS3. I succeeded, but I am entirely unimpressed. I don't understand how anyone would consider this a value added feature and am somewhat glad Sony took it out in recent models. The reason it sucks is because even the most recent versions of Unbuntu can not take advantage of the multi-core architecture of the cell. They also can only use about 20 MBs of the already pathetic 256 MBs of system RAM. Its slow, pointless, and buggy. For the $299 price of the PS3 you could build a very nice Ubuntu based Mini ITX computer that has HDMI out.Anyway, I'm throughly unimpressed and would encourage everyone who's ever been curious that PS3 linux suxs and is a complete waste of time.

On another note, I'm on PS3 again. PSN name is "zgreenwell" and I still mostly just play Fat Princess.

Beat DA:O on hard. Yes, I'm a hypocrite.

Despite thoroughly not enjoying my first interactions with Dragon Age Origins, I've given the game more than a second chance. Not only do I own it on both the 360 and PC, but now, having just completed the PC version on Hard, I've officially completed it on both as well. While I'm still not going to take back any of the negative things I said before, they're all still true, like any RPG once you learn the system and secrets the game gets much easier. It also helps if you have the super weapons and armor from the game's DLC.

Obviously I don't hold the game in such negative opinion anymore, but I think that is because I discovered the true beauty of the game. First of all, there is nothing wrong with playing the game on normal or easy, and doing so allows you to complete the game much faster. I like to pride myself on being a true gamer and enjoying a challange, but I don't have the time or patience to replay a section 20 times over. Sure beating the game on the harder modes is possible, but why bother if it is just frustrating? Second, DA:O is a great game to have an on-again off-again relationship with. My first time I tried to sprint through, but it didn't work. The best was to play the game is to take it a little at a time. By taking a step back you can ignore the stupid parts of the story and just play through leisurely. What both of these points are saying is that Dragon Age Origins is a serious game that I enjoyed most by not taking it seriously.

Now, do I try it on Insane...? Maybe, maybe not, but I would like to play through again and be as evil as possible and try to kill everyone including all possible team-mates. They all have it coming I think.

No torrents at Panera

Panera Bread, or St. Louis Bread if you live near their hometown, gives free Wi-Fi and I love using it. I use it a lot... A LOT! Apparently, if you use it too much they shut you off. I found that out the hard way. Moral of the story, shut off uTorrent when using a free Wi-Fi connection. I'd like to say I learned my lesson, but I'll probably try it again... I'm a rebel.

Fixing PS3s isn't cheap or easy.

Having had success fixing the Xbox 360, I thought I would try my hand on PS3. Well, I have a broken PS3 and I'm trying to fix it. Right now, I can tell you that the PS3 is a much bigger pain to fix than the 360. The most common problems are all with the Blu-Ray drive. Any replacement parts are very expensive. After talking with a few more people in the area I'm seeing that PS3 drive problems are quite common and Sony charges $150 to fix them after a year. Hopefully I can get this down and make some cash fixing them, but it is not nearly as easy or cheap as the 360 repairs.

xx RROD FEAR ME! xx

My friend's 360 died with the dreaded RROD. It was out of warranty so he gave it to me to try and fix it and I did!

I AM THE GIVER OF LIFE! YOUR XBOX WILL RISE FROM THE DEAD AND SERVE ME!

Its not that hard actually. While none of you live close enough for it to be practical for me to fix yours, I can give you some simple instructions on how to get it working again should you need it.

Mass Effect 2

Well, not only have I played it, but I've survived the suicide mission. While ME2 does live up to my expectations, it isn't the world shaking title that ME1 was. The combat is improved and the side missions are far more enjoyable. Still, the reason I love Mass Effect is because of the story, and while other people might have differing opinions, Mass Effect 2 does not live up to the story of the original. I wouldn't go so far as to call it bad, but the original Mass Effect redefined what people thought of video game story telling. This game is happy to just be one in the crowd of Sci-Fi stories.

The story feels a little thrown together from the beginning. In what I believe to be an attempt at believability, the writers created the most unbelievable introduction. I know it must have been difficult to come up with a situation the would have put either the Paragon people loving Shepard or the distrusting mission focused Renegade Shepard in the same spot. What they managed to come up with might be acceptable for some people, but personally, I hate it.

Once everything gets going the story is considerably easier to accept. You spend your time trying to form a team of specially trained operatives to take with you on one more suicide mission to stop the Reapers. Collecting team members makes up half of the main missions, while getting those team members loyal makes up the other half. Since their are ten possible team members, this process ends up being considerably longer and more involved than the story of ME1.

Some things still irk me though. One major one is that if you play Renegade, like I do, your character slowly become more and more disfigured until you end up looking like a frikk'n terminator. If you play Paragon your facial scars heal on their own. So, while glowing red eyes and patchy metal skin might be cool while you're shooting people who are in your way, or maybe throwing them out windows, it looks absolutely stupid while you're holding normal conversations. Since normal conversations make up the vast majority of the game, it will get to the point where its intolerable. Eventually you can get rid of your scars, but you have to upgrade the Medical Facilities and it is pretty expensive. For a game that prides itself with the added customization, you would think they would make this scaring optional as well. Besides me not wanting all of it (some of it is alright) who's to say that I don't want the scars playing Paragon? Its just stupid.

Another issue I had personally was with Liara T'soni. She's back in some regard, they have her working with the Shadow Broker. Really, its just one more weak point in the story. I would have liked to have continued our relationship from the previous game. However, the writers decided that would not be possible, so our interactions came down to her telling me about her current work and that she's too busy to even consider being with me again... ever. In fact, none of the love interest from the first game can be recruited or have a continued relationship. The objective is to push you into a relationship with one of your new options, but the way its done feels harsh, limiting, and outright unpleasant.

Obviously I'm being very nit-picky though. If I hadn't been such a freak about the first Mass Effect, none of this stuff would bother me. The game is very enjoyable with tons of content and some nice new Characters. The combat is 100% better and the game feels more action packed, but yet still familiar. You'll make some more tough choices and see the results of the choices you made earlier in ME1. I can't say this game blew my mind like ME1 did, but its hard to top something so original. I can say that I enjoyed the many sleepless hours I spent playing the game over the past 3 days and will probably pick it up again at some point.

... Now to begin the long wait for ME3. Anyone seen any new info? :P

My Most Anticipated Game

Mass Effect 2 comes out in a week and I can't wait! I've got my preorder paid and my ME1 character ready to load. I don't know if it is healthy or not, but I'm pretty sure my heart-rate was jumping while looking up all the preview information I could find today. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a video game before in my life! Normally I don't think hype helps when it comes to the actual enjoyment of a game, but for some reason I feel like it would be impossible for Mass Effect 2 to not meet my high expectations, because honestly, I just want to know what happens!

While I might be setting myself up for a huge disappointment, yes I am aware that ME2 will likely end with somewhat of a cliff hanger, I still can't help but be excited! So, even if this hype is bad for me and ruining my chances at enjoying the game, I'm counting down the minutes until it is released and will try to beat it the same day. That latter part likely isn't going to happen, but it wont be for a lack of effort I assure you. When I do finish, I already plan to play through it again.

Windows Experience Index

WEI

For those of you who don't know, your windows experience index is a vista/windows 7 feature that helps you locate bottlenecks and help you determine what games you can play. Apparently my computer either has no bottlenecks, or the entire thing is a bottleneck, depending on how you look at it.

Killzone 2

If you don't follow me too closely or haven't followed me for long, you probably wouldn't know that I rented Killzone 2 from gamefly what seems like ages ago and I also played the heck out of it while I had it. You might also not know, or just not remember, the I recently sold my PS3 because of lack of use. Well, watching the gamespot awards reminded me of one thing, I really liked Killzone 2.

So anyway, that isn't what this blog is about. I got some games for Christmas. Keep in mind that only the first one on this list was actually bought for me, so if it seems like I don't appreciate them much, it isn't offending anyone.

1. Lips: Number One Hits

I love the original Lips and this is like buying a 40 song expansion for it. New features make star power easier to activate and makes the game evaluate you a little more harshly. Avatar support for all songs is a big plus, especially since you can play all the songs form the original too. My 3 year old sings the song on this game, he doesn't score well, but it is so cute.

2. New Super Mario Brothers Wii

I beat this game in a day without continuing. I was running around with 20 lives while my siblings jumped in and out, each having to continue 7-11 or more times. I went back to get some more of the coins and unlock the bonus levels, but really I don't care much now. It was fun for the 10 hours or so I spent playing it.

3. Mario Kart Wii

I don't really like this game much. Blue Shells... they suck. Really, I don't understand why families got so hyped over the game. Plastic wheel maybe?

4. Sims 3

I was going to buy this for my family, but someone else did so I got to play it for free on the super nice computer I built for them. Unfortunately, I have no understanding of what makes the game appealing. I like making Sims, but I hate having to control them. Thankfully, my siblings love it, and my little Sim creations can raise themselves in the town unattended.

So anyway, after Christmas what game is eating up most of my time? SHADOWRUN! Best. Game. Ever.