Bungie, I salute you!
- Sep 15, 2010 8:33 am GMT
- 9 Comments
Today I just received in my hot little hands Halo Reach Limited Edition. And let me also say it's my first new Xbox game purchased considering I had that machine for over nine months and only have one pre-owned game called Army of Two (for which I add wasn't a good game). Being a Halo fan I was pretty happy to what this collector's edition will offer me as I know for a fact it gives me some new maps and gear however my main reason was Halsey's journal.
Then I opened the journal.
And I was totally speechless.
This journal is nothing I have expected in my wildest dreams as I was expecting a couple of pages of dribbling. Bungie (the developers) had made this journal very personal to the game as its extremely detailed filled with articles, sketches and even pamphlets like newspaper articles all coupled up in a bubble wrap casing.
Again holy crap!
Now my main purpose for this blog is for starters praise Bungie for their magnificent effort of providing me the Limited Edition and secondly asking you the reader what do you expect from a game.
If you have been tracking me, you'll probably notice I groan a lot about how games are getting simplified and cheap. The way I see is that they (the developers) are trying to pump out games with little substance to hopefully make a quick buck or two. Yet on the other hand you have these draconian DRMs (yes I'm looking at you Ubi soft) trying to protect their intellectual properties (IP) to minimise piracy. I really cannot blame them as after all people are making these games and they need to earn cash like you and me to live.
However I feel that maybe they don't understand what gamers really want. For me what I want is more than just the game. I want aworld full of interesting people and locations. However when I shut down my PC or console, I want my experience to continue in other forms of the media. Other words I wish not to be restricted to load up the game to enter the game. After all we are all living in the digital media so use it. There is still the media of music, television, the internet or simply a novel to read.
Coming back to Halo, Bungie has perfected utilising other forms of the media to enrich their world. They have novels (The Fall of Reach for example), short films, soundtracks and now the journal that arrived with the limited edition. Now I'm not restricted to just the game as I can go beyond the keyboard/controller. I can refer to the journal for updates whilst playing the game (physical), read one of their novels whilst travelling to work, listen to their soundtrack and of course (with fingers crossed) watching their up and coming swell movie.
The beauty of utilising all of these forms of communication is that not one form of communication can effectively tell their story. The game is designed for controlled action (i.e. the player), the novels enriching the storyline in a leisurely pace and the movies for a quick fix. If you combined all of these medias your five senses (yet I'm not sure about the smell though) will be enriched with goodness.
Thankfully other games have done this as well. Some examples are Dead Space (with their 'choose-your-own-adventure' online game, a pretty lousy movie and so forth), Dragon Age: Origins (novels, soundtracks, a cool cloth map in the collector's editionand a wonderful yet active online community) and just to throw in a surprise one for you, Her Interactive. They are the developers for the Nancy Drew games so of course you have novels yet for me the highlight is their forums. Their forums have a weekly quiz (interactive), a post for reviews and a section where you try to guess Nancy's next adventure as at the end of every game Nancy provides a hint for her next destination.
Yet there are some that simply failed like Sacred 2 collector's edition (tattoos) the plastic water bottle (Far Cry 2) - I guess when I'm playing Far Cry 2 I can drink straight out of that bottle aye?!? And lastly Uwe Boll.
So what tickles your fancy?
15% Violence Fight Azghouls (cause I'm soo violent).
October: The Secret Month of WRPG's
- Sep 14, 2010 9:42 am GMT
- 104 Comments
How many of you realize (care) that there is going to be a large WRPG released every week in the month of October? Starting out with Two Worlds 2, then Arcania: Gothic 4 over to Fallout: New Vegas and ending with Fable 3. The second half seems to be outshining the first half when it comes to the hype train but let me tell you why you might not want to dismiss the first couple releases.
Two Worlds II: 10/5/2010 (PC, PS3, 360)
Why you probably don't care: Two Worlds 1 was a mess. Terrible voice work, bad dialogue, and a frame rate that would make a captain of one of 'The Deadliest Catch's' ships nauseous with its jerky motion. Anything the game did good was over shadowed by the things it did really bad. Like eyeing the hot woman across the bar only to realize later on she has a penis it was that kind of disappointment that was in store for you. You can brag to your friends that it had it's good moments but then all they have to do is mention the bad part and your house of cards comes crashing down.
Why you should care: Well for starters the game looks pretty good with previews not mentioning anything about an unstable frame rate, unnatural combat movements and frequent loading times. The game looks very similar to Oblivion but with a much more diverse landscape as seen in the pictures below that derive some architectural design from the orient.
Something tells me we're not in Cyrodiil anymore.
Also Two Worlds II is being written by actual writers, not developers and artists which should launch the dialogue past the mix of old world English and semi modern vernacular. Mayhap you won't want to punch yourself in the ear drums after 4 or 5 conversations.
The crafting system is back and it is being enhanced so that you can dye your clothes and create spells. When thinking of all the things magic can do, did you ever think of casting a spread of fireballs that can engulf your foe in flames and then summon insects from the pits of Hell from the flames? It's like herpes and pubic lice all rolled into one.
Wussy little dragons, not just for weak end bosses anymore.
But seriously, after playing Oblivion and seeing that you were either a high level guy covered in green crystals or dark pointy armor and all your foes had the same fashion sense...That's something not to worry about in TW2 because if you like that suit of armor that you found when you were level 2, if you find crafting items to strengthen that armor then it will last you until you are level 50.
So if you want a game with competing factions to appease, more creative quests and monsters than Oblivion,character creation system where you can create a Necromantic Ranger likeI did then on October 4th there may be a game for you.
Arcania: Gothic 4 10/12/2010 (PC, 360) *PS3 version comes out March 2011
Why you probably don't care: The previous Gothic games were PC only so if you've just played console games then you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you are a PC game you understand that the Gothic series is The Elder Scrolls series' somewhat smarter but uglier and more unstable little step brother who has frequent breakdowns and craps his pants.
Why you should care (maybe): As the conductor of this hype train I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that I'm hitting every stop on this ride in order. Nope I'll probably going straight from Two Worlds 2 to New Vegas.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil anymore...notice no loading to go into a town?
You see this Gothic game concerns me in some ways. The first three Gothic games were developed by a German Company called Piranha Bytes and for a legal reason, they aren't allowed to work on Gothic games anymore so they ran off and did Risen. The Gothic series was then handed over to Spellbound, a developer that is world renowned for their smashing Desperado games. Actually I lied. I never heard of them or their games and when I looked up Desperados there's no Antonio Banderas on the cover so I know the games suck. (Just kidding, I would never use Antonio Banderas as a bar for quality, now his slick ebon locks fully rendered…I digress)
Anyways previews of Arcania are mentioning that the combat is actually decent now. Instead of creating a character in the previous Gothic games only to walk up to the first creature in the game, which was usually a boar, and quickly getting your ass handed to you as you stiffly poke at it with all the dueling finesse as a drunk one legged corpse itthe preview statesthe character moves around much more fluidly. This saddens me because the last three games I've run like a girl from the first few creatures in the game and now I won't be able to carry the tradition as the first creature in the game is a mole and the previewer was actually able to kill it. Maybe boar ass-kicking will follow shortly.
Did I make it seem like boars are tough? Well Goblins are like bipedal boars with pointy objects that hang out in groups.
A couple of the other positive things were that the game has very few actual load screens, the world is pretty large and encourages exploration. Other than that it's been pretty quiet on the actual role playing aspects.
Well the previous games were played because of the amount of freedom in the game. There were a bunch of competing factions in the game so most quests had numerous ways to solve them, from slashing everything that gets in your way, to dialogue and sometimes good old fashioned cat burglary. Once you got the item you wanted in a quest you can usually go back to the quest giver and say "Here's your plate you wanted sire, now can I go outside and wash your carriage and maybe warm your slippers for you?" or "15 gold? Pshhh. How about I go outside and aggravate a boar which is known to have this game's poor AI and let it follow me in this room where I will jump on a table, laughing while I watch it raise piggish hell as it kills everyone in this room."
Oh God! There are these things too. Flying boars with tails that are sharp
Like I mentioned before. Two Worlds 2 and New Vegas have a lot more info out about them so I'm not sure if Gothic 4 is ready to make its stop on this hype train or if it's not turning out the way the game was supposed to but I'll be keeping my eyes on this one.
Fallout: New Vegas 10/19/2010 (PC, PS3, 360)
Why you probably don't care: Either you believe that Fallout 3 was Oblivion with guns, you think Fallout 3 should have been a 2d isometric game developed by a groupof people that don't exist anymore or you bought Alpha Protocol and Knights of the Old Republic 2.
Why you should care: Well if it can't be 2d isometric game made by the team that doesn't exist anymore it should be at least made by a team that has a bunch of the more widely known members of the team that doesn't exist. Also if you've only played Kotor 2 and Alpha Protocol then get a gaming PC and pick up Neverwinter Nights 2 and the Mask of the Betrayer expansion.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil...with guns anymore...Okay that was the last one.
If those reasons aren't that good then how about the tweaks they've made to the game?
Iron Sights, Improved camera angle on V.A.T.S., Melee weapons have special attacks in V.A.T.S., Hardcore mode that takes into account dehydration, ammo weight and injuries, A new command wheel for giving companions commands, traits are back which give characters bonuses at the cost of a weakness, more use of random items found throughout the wastes that can improve weapons/armor, an improved faction system and even though this isn't confirmed it I believe it will have a better story, characters and dialogue.
Cowboy, gangster and a golf club sporting hero on a onesy? How bad ass can you get?
This is the game I'm looking forward to most this year and since I don't need to spoil the game on my own hype train I'm keeping this blurb pretty short. Support Obisidian, Buy New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III when it comes out!
Fable 3 10/26/2010 (360) *PC version TBD
Why you probably don't care: Peter Molyneux
Why you should care: Now I could have fun with this one. Peter M. has been known to run his mouth off so if I were to say the game sports 256 player multiplayer, A touch system of interaction in which you physically interact with characters, a create a game feature, a system where your weapons level up as much as you use them and you can sell them online, the ability to link the game's bank account to your real life bank account which translates Fable 3's in game money to a real world $1 for every 49,999 gold and a system that your character gets more powerful with the amount of followers and not exp...some of you might believe it.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil anymore. Yes I just Molyneux'd all of you!
Rightly so because some of those things are actually in the game. Namely the weapon thing, the touch system and the things about the followers. Also the co-op portion is supposed to be the actual characters not some generic henchmen when a friend or you join someone else's game and the game promises more tough morality choices not only during yourrise to king but also once you get the power of being on the throne.
Now Lionhead is saying that this game isn't an RPG and a lot or previewers are saying that the RPG aspects found in the previous games are even more streamlined and it has even stated that this is an RPG for people that don't like a challenges of today's RPG's. RPG or not, I enjoy the world of Albion for its quirkiness and the ability to fart in people's faces while my dog urinates on their sister's corpse.
Female Avatars, now with 400% less testicles.
So the game is broken up into The Road To Rule and then there's the game that takes place after you ascend the throne. I've never been able to translate the way Lionhead games actually work outand keep me entertained in words so I'll just say that I'm interested in this game.
Disclaimer: as these are WRPG's I am not responsible for any graphical pop in, quest ending bugs, random crashes/freezing, horrible voice acting, lack of options to make your characer a male but look like a girl, so much freedom that you don't know where to go next so the game bores you, main characters with no personality because you don't know how to actually role play in a role playing game, the onslaught of DLC where by the end of it all you'll have paid $148 for a single game or loss of free time.
Let Me Spin You A Tale Of My Minecraft Journey
- Sep 11, 2010 6:53 am GMT
- 98 Comments
This will be a long blog.
TL;DR version: There's this game and it's amazing. Have you heard of it? (Stop here if you can't handle text!)
Well, it's called Minecraft. It's been buzzing about the PC gaming blogs for a while, and I'd say for good measure - it's one of the most creative and fun packed games I've played this side of Audiosurf. I may have to amend a "favorite games ever" list I PM-ed to a curious Gamespotter because of this one.
(PIC: I made this comic because I am funny and I like to express my funny in drawings.)
I will attempt to do this game justice in words. I will not succeed. You can play the C1assic mode for free on the Minecraft website, which I strongly suggest trying. You should make an account too.
Fire up the C1assic mode and you'll find yourself in a randomly created landscape. The 3D world looks eight-bit in tone but it's standard FPS controls. You have an inventory of blocks that you can switch among and place with the right mouse button; the left mouse button destroys blocks. You can create structures, fool around with the world, and play multiplayer (if you can get it working - we couldn't).
You will find this fun. The world is big and enjoyable to explore. The blocks are fun to place and mess with. You will probably make blocky text with obscene words or pictures in them, which is probably more fun than it deserves to be. And then you will start to find that the fun ends eventually, and the novelty wears off.
Fear not. For 10 pounts or 13 dollars, you can have the development version of the game, called Minecraft Alpha. Don't worry, it's pretty stable, and as the game progresses in development the game will still be available to your account. The development is heavy and features get added weekly. They download when you start the game up. It works in Windows, Mac and Linux. It requires Java, just like the C1assic mode, and if you wanted to you could make the system requirements fairly low.
In the Alpha, you spawn in a randomly made world yet again, but this time, it's bigger. A lot bigger. You travel and there's always more to see. In fact, the game's new world size is now about as big it ever needs to be (roughly eight times the surface area of the Earth) and all of it is not only randomly generated, but randomly generated well.
(PIC: I went to the tallest mountain I had nearby my home and planted lots of dirt so I could see very far. All for you guys.)
Yes, you will see things you will not believe to be random. Waterfalls, cascading about in beautiful faux-eight-bit glory. Caves that go on for miles and hold many a monster guarding treasure. Floating hunks of architecture that you can climb and see a view so magnificent that draw distance has been ruined for any other game in the future - they can't beat this.
Another difference is that you no longer have a ton of blocks right away. Rather, you must hunt and find them. In the beginning, you will be punching dirt with your bare hands to harvest it, but as you colect and discover more materials you will find more complex materials, some that need tools to be extracted from the ground or wall. You can combine and craft these items to make tools, decorations, torches, armor or weapons.
But time is a factor. Because everytime the sun goes down, the monsters spawn. And the monsters are more powerful than you. They are harder. They are better. They are faster. They are stronger. They have a ton of hit points. They're not especially smart, but without resources, you cannot win with intellect alone. So for the first few nights, you must go about building yourself a homebase to return to, so that you can cover everything in dirt and hide from the monsters, peeking out every so often to see if night has passed. (The game's difficulty can be customized. Normal is what I am describing. Peaceful has no monsters at all; easy has a few, and hard has a ton everywhere.)
When you die, you lose all of your materials that you've collected and return to the very first spawn point you were created at, so it's usually a good idea to keep your base well stocked with resources and easy to find in relation to the spawn point. You can make blocky little chests to put your blocky little offerings inside of. You will probably die in the beginning, before you understand how the monsters and the world works. Unless you play too cautiously, when in that case the game will be a very slow and plodding affair that you probably won't enjoy very much. Risks are a part of the game.
When day breaks, it's time to explore for treasure; usually this means hunting down the next resource you want for the next item to make your travel easier. This is a game about travel; you want to have tools to make travel easier because exploring this world is fun. So you go out and find some ore and mine that for a while, and return and craft your new tools while the monsters lurk in the night. Surprises are everywhere, though, so don't expect a smooth sail every day. And when you eventually become strong enough, you can battle the monsters and continue your adventures in the nighttime.
My friend described this game best: "I'm finding all of these things, but it's more fun because I actually want to, not because the game is telling me I have to."
Keep in mind that while Minecraft is solid and stable, it's updated a lot. So secrets get added, new modes are planned (including an adventure mode that's more like an RPG) and new blocks, new monsters, new world structures, etc. Last Friday the developer added a compass that can point you the the direction of your spawn point so that you can find your way back home, for example. Furthermore, wWhat has been spoken of here is not set in stone and things may change in the future, and I look forward to it. There's a lot of potential here. Multiplayer mode is the priority, apparently, which sounds amazing.
My first game I didn't realize I needed a home base, so I started out and explored. Night fell, and monsters spawned. I went to a very tall mountain that luckily didn't have many monsters for some reason. I watched the monsters move about while looking at how the game dealt with the day/night cycle (hint: it gets REALLY dark). I almost got into a fight with a spider but I accidentally fell off some cliffs and it didn't bother to follow. I moved on during the day and found some lava oozing from side of a mountain, which I started to manipulate by building an island inside of. It was fun for a while, but I was careless and I fell in and died. I respawned and was killed by monsters almost immediately.
I realized that I was playing more in the way I was playing the C1assic version, which wouldn't work. So I deleted that and made a new world. I spawned on a beach that was tapering off of a large mountain with a huge cave in it, with a nice little grassy peninsula nearby the beachfront that had some mildly lowered terrain.
I went to work, harvesting dirt for a minute or two. Then I went over to the lowered peninsula and forced a choke point by the water by removing some of the land mass. Then I dug out some of the plain and then built a roof out of the dirt. It wasn't quite dark yet, so I explored the immediate area and collected wood from trees. There was one especially large tree that gave me nearly 30 blocks of wood!
Then I went back into my little hut house and went to work. By using the Minecraft wiki and the crafting window I created a building bench, which allows you to build more complex items. Usually you have to make patterns in a 2x2 square grid, but the advanced bench gives you a 3x3 grid for cooler loot.
(PIC: The sun rises and the monsters get set on fire. My face is peeking out of my home.)
Day came. I went outside and used leftover dirt as well as some sand (which is mostly useless because it actually follows the laws of gravity, unlike dirt - lolwut?) and made a very large tower above my house so that if I got lost I could find it again. I wanted to stay up there until the monsters were gone the next next night, but I fell off and died.
It was still night when I respawned, and I was wigging out because there were monsters on the loose, so I darted over to my house - which I had forgot to close up with dirt - and there was some sort of zombie thing inside of my living room! I whacked it with a chunk of dirt until it died, but I had lost a lot of health so I closed up the house and hid until day came.
I realized that the water separating the spawn point and my house was an issue to cross at night, so I made a very skinny bridge that I could cross easily but no AI could traverse. Then I harvested more materials, hid at night, and then went on the hunt for stone and coal.
Coal was important because with some wood and some coal you can make torches, which I needed for not only my house, but for the surrounding area so I could see at night. Also, to explore the huge cave nearby, I would need some fire to light my way. I used my toolbench to make a wooden pickaxe, which wasn't very good but would work for moment. I went over to the mountain the cave was built and hacked at the stone until my wooden pickaxe broke, and then I returned home, made a stone pickaxe, went back to the mountain and hacked at the stone until I struck coal.
I harvested as much of the coal as I could, made a bunch of torches and, because I had created an almost perfect little platform in the face of the mountain, planted the torch as a guide. Its dim light cast into the darkness. I returned home as the sun was setting, and boxed myself in for the night.
I turned my attention to my house, which was wasn't very homely. I started to dig, and I made a basement. I accidentally opened my house to water twice, but I was able to plug the holes and the water drained out. I kept on digging and then accidentally found a cave.
Cave might be an understatement. I cound a catacomb, a vast maze that was breathtaking to behold. I explored it for a bit and then left, afraid I was going to find monsters. So I went upstairs, made a pickaxe, a sword, and a dozen torches, and descended.
There were audio cues of monsters, but I didn't see any. I slipped over to the waterfall and looked down into it to see if there was anything, and then I turned and HOLY BUCKETS MONSTER. It exploded and I died, my items scattered across the cave floor.
I went back to go get them. I was still in the safety of the torches' light, so I looked around and then hopped up to safety...and then fell. Stupid me.
It was dark. Small rustles could be heard echoing from the caves' depths. How deep was it, I wondered. And how do I get out? I found a few chunks of stone and hopped up them like stairs, and followed the path that wound around the area that I had placed my torches before.
A sound. Something's there. I froze, my sword at the ready. Nothing.
I saw that I was close to the area that was safe. I just needed to hollow out this stone so that I could jump cleanly toward the flattened area by the waterfall. I did, took a running jump, and KABOOM! A monster exploded to the left, clipping my health and throwing me from my position right to the safe area. I almost had a heart attack, so I breathed carefully and walked back up to my house, careful to shut the way behind me with dirt.
Thus, my first few hours of Minecraft.
My friend's world had lots of snow. I hear that was an issue with his planning and strategies. He also had a ton of basements in his lair, though my terrifying cave beat his.
I took more pictures and uploaded them to Gamespot. I might take some more pictures later.
The Top 10 Bands Who Deserve Their Own Rock Band or Guitar Hero Game
- Aug 20, 2010 5:39 pm GMT
- 344 Comments
With a new Guitar Hero game set to release on September 28, 2010, and Rock Band 3 slated to drop on October 26, 2010, it would seem the music genre, after being relatively quiet this year, is poised to try and make a comeback. In June, when Green Day Rock Band was released, there was quite a bit of debate about whether Green Day deserved its own full on Rock Band game. No one really questioned that The Beatles deserved one and no one really complained about Metallica getting a GH game of its own. With the Warriors of Rock set-list now released, I started to wonder what other bands out there deserve their own RB or GH game. I came up with my Top 10.
A caveat here: In compiling this list, I took a long look at what is already out there for many bands as far as DLC are concerned. In doing so, many worthy bands were eliminated from consideration. For instance, many have said Nirvana deserves their own game. But, probably 75% of their music has already been released through DLC. Even if a compilation was made, such as Guitar Hero Grunge, and you used Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, a ton of those bands music is already out there. The same can be said for bands like The Foo Fighters, Queen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and The Who. Also, some of the newer but popular acts, like Linkin Park, Muse, or The Offspring don't really have enough out there to justify a full game. I figure you need at least 30-40 songs to put on a disc to pull a full game off without pulling a GH Van Halen type of scenario where you have great Van Halen songs mixed in with a bunch of stuff that makes little sense. The one band/person I left off that might be really worthy is Jimi Hendrix. Obviously, he is one of the all time great guitarists. But, when Axis Bold as Live was released as DLC, it probably made it so that you could not get away with a full Hendrix game. Maybe if they put some Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani on there and really delved deep into their libraries, then you would have a true Guitar Hero game. There are other close calls, such as Nine Inch Nails, KORN, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, or Social Distortion that could possibly be considered as well.
With that as a disclaimer, here is my Top 10 (in reverse order):
10. The Doors- With the introduction of the keyboard peripheral in RB3, a Doors game is now quite plausible. Right now the only Doors title really out there is "Love Me Two Times" and that is a pretty sad representation for one of the best voices in rock history, Jim Morrison. There are some really great songs that would be fun to play, such as "Break on Through", "Light My Fire", "LA Woman", "Back Door Man", "Roadhouse Blues", etc. A Doors game would also be fun if the story mode was wrapped around the life of Jim Morrison. Rising to the top only to spiral into an avalanche of drugs, booze, and women, is certainly going to run the risk of an M rating, but I think music games need to embrace the M rating anyway. The Doors are #10 on my list.
9. AC/DC- Yes, I know there was an entire Live track pack of AC/DC released. But, I always had issues with this. For one, you could only get the track pack from Wal-Mart and it has never been released as DLC. I, for one, do not relish the thought of going into Wal-Mart for my gaming needs. Second, while the track pack is excellent, a lot of the songs aren't up to par when compared to the studio versions. Songs like "Dirty Deeds", "You Shook Me", "Hells Bells", "Highway to Hell". Etc, are OK as far as the Live versions go, but the studio versions are probablybetter. "For Those About To Rock" is another one. Plus, there are some really great AC/DC songs MIA. Songs like "Problem Child", "Let Me Put My Love Into You", "It's a Long Way To The Top", "Who Made Who", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", etc., are missing and would be fun to play. And, let's be honest here guys…who doesn't want to play "Big Balls" with their friends. OK…that came out sounding weird, but you get the point. AC/DC is #9 on my list.
8. KISS- A KISS RB or GH game has a ton of potential. If it is set up like Beatles or Green Day RB, you can chronicle the history of one of rock's most iconic bands through the past 30+ years. It would start with the early makeup days, then go through their unmasked phase, the return to their makeup, super-heroish roots. KISS has always had great stage sets and I can see Harmonix or Neversoft having fun here. From a skill level, KISS songs are probably not the most challenging, but there is some great music out there, nonetheless, that we have not had a chance to play yet. Many of KISS's biggest hits are already out there ("Rock & Roll All Nite", "Detroit Rock City", "Love Gun", etc) but lots of others are missing. For instance, "Hotter Than Hell", "Deuce", "Heavens On Fire", "Tears Are Falling", "God Gave Rock And Roll", "Black Diamond", and many others, combined with the real "story" potential of a KISS based game, put KISS #8 on my list.
7. Black Sabbath/ Ozzy Osbourne- True, Sabbath and Ozzy are not one and the same. But, a game based on the Ozzy led Black Sabbath that would then segue into Ozzy's career really makes sense. Pretty much all the Black Sabbath songs we have seen so far, such as "NIB", "Paranoid", and "War Pigs" have been cover versions and not the originals. We have not had a chance to play "Iron Man" as a full band as it has not been revisited since the original GH. Other great Sabbath songs are missing, such as "Snowblind", "The Wizard", "Changes" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". You could even through in "The Mob Rules" from the Ronnie James Dio days just for good measure. But, when the game transitioned to Ozzy's solo career, there is some real potential here. OK, yes, "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" were on GH World Tour. But beyond that, it's like an abyss. There is nothing from "Diary of a Madman" out there. No "Over The Mountain", "Flying High Again", "You Can't Kill Rock & Roll", etc. Other solid titles like "Shot In The Dark" are missing. "Bark At The Moon" was sort of redone for GH Smash Hits. But, there is a lot of great music from Black Sabbath and Ozzy that could be used to create a solid RB or GH title. Black Sabbath and Ozzy get the #7 spot on my list.
6. Pink Floyd- There are 3 bands in my Top 10 who have absolutely nothing out on either RB or GH and if you are a fan of the genre, it's quasi criminal that these bands have nada out there. Pink Floyd is the first of these bands. Now, Pink Floyd does not appeal to everyone and I know that. But, an album like "The Wall" needs to be released either as DLC or as part of a full on Pink Floyd game. Beyond that, songs like "Money", "Brain Damage"and "Wish You Were Here" are all worthy of inclusion in a RB or GH game. Beyond that, the presentation of a Pink Floyd game would be a lot of fun. If you have ever seen the movie version of "The Wall" you can relate to what I mean. Even some of Floyd's later stuff, such as "Learning to Fly" is worthy of release. Pink Floyd is one of those enigmatic bands that defined what rock was all about in the late 70's and early 80's and for this reason, Pink Floyd draws the #6 spot on my list.
5. R.E.M.- Here is another tremendous band woefully underrepresented in either GH or RB. Basically, you have "The One I Love", "Losing My Religion" and "Orange Crush" and a couple of other songs that are not nearly as well known. But, where is "Radio Free Europe" or "It's the End Of The World" or "Stand" or even "Hurt"? R.E.M is one of those bands that has been around forever and has released a ton of great material, but not much of it has been put out yet. Their library is deep enough, and diverse enough, to warrant a full game and I, for one, would welcome a R.E.M. based GH or RB game. R.E.M. is #5 on my list.
4. The Rolling Stones- During the era when The Beatles were rising to super stardom, the one band mentioned in the same breath as The Fab Four were The Rolling Stones. For over 40 years, The Stones have been belting out quality songs. On the virtual stage, we have only received a smattering of their offerings. We have gotten a few Live versions of hits like "Satisfaction", and "Under My Thumb" . "Paint it Black" was on GH3 and "Honkey Tonk Woman" was released for Band Hero. Beyond that, there is not much. Notably absent are great songs like "Start Me Up", "Get off of My Cloud", "Beast of Burden", "Hang Fire", "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown", "Time Is On My Side", and "Ruby Tuesday", just to name a few. The Stones have more than enough material to justify a full RB or GH game and if it even loosely follows The Beatles or Green Day RB format, it would be a very worthy title to add to your library. The Rolling Stones are #4 on my list.
3. Rush- Many of us have been asking for a full game version of Canada's finest export since ice hockey. The prog rock trio, from a musical standpoint, is as solid as they come, despite Geddy Lee's less than spectacular vocals. Neil Peart is generally regarded as one of the greatest drummers ever. What Geddy lacks in vocals, he makes up for on the bass guitar. And Alex Lifeson is no slouch on guitar. There has been some Rush released so far. Notably, all of "Moving Pictures" is available as DLC. "The Trees" is on RB2. Vault versions of "Working Man" are available. But, wow, is there a ton of great music that has not seen the light of day as of yet. None of "Fly By Night" has been released. "2112" is coming out for Warriors of Rock, but the entire "B" side of that album is still unaccounted for. Then there are songs like "Xanadu", "Freewill", "La Villa Strangiato" and just about anything else off of "A Farewell To Kings", "Permanent Waves" or "Hemispheres" that are worthy of being released. RB3's keyboard peripheral opens up songs like "Subdivisions", "Distant Early Warning", or even "Big Money". Even Rush's more recent songs would be interesting and fun to play. Rush has been around for 30 years now and their songs offer a real musical challenge. Rush absolutely needs to have their own game and they are #3 on my list.
2. U2- Here is the second band that has nothing on RB or GH yet and this is truly a travesty. U2 has been making great music since the early 80's and none of it is available. Just think of what we are missing: "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Pride", "Where The Streets Have No Name", "With or Without You", "One", "It's a Beautiful Day", "Sweetest Thing"…I could go on for a very long time. Bono is a tremendous singer and U2's music has a melodic quality balanced nicely by some technically challenging sections and songs. Their songs are catchy, poppy, and yet they still know how to rock. Many people I have talked to always ask me when U2 will be available for RB or GH. I sincerely hope the answer to that is soon. U2 is #2 on my list.
1. Led Zeppelin- It's hard to argue against Led Zeppelin for the #1 spot. These guys pretty much made hard rock and heavy metal an accepted part of the musical landscape and none of their music is available yet. Musically, Led Zep is as solid a group as you will find. Robert Plant could sing; Jimmy Page…c'mon now…how many people play guitar with a violin bow? John Paul Jones…a great name for a great bassist. And John Bonham is one of those rare drummers who you can compare to Neil Peart. The songs we are missing just make me want to cringe: "Good Times, Bad Times", "Rock and Roll", "Heartbreaker", "Immigrant Song", "Houses of the Holy", "Communication Breakdown", "All of My Love", "Kashmir", "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and, of course, the song regarded by many as the greatest song in rock history, "Stairway To Heaven". There are so many others. A Led Zeppelin RB or GH makes so much sense it is rather scary. No band out there had as much influence on rock music as Led Zeppelin. They are #1 on the list and I know many of you will concur with me on this one.
So, there you have it. Ten bands that you could easily justify as being worthy of having their own Rock Band or Guitar Hero games. If nothing else, we should get a bunch more DLC from any of them. Many of us complain that there is no innovation left in the music genre. That may be true. But, perhaps if the music being released was better and more worthy of what many of us think of when we think of rock, huge innovations might not be necessary. In the end, when Lady Ga Ga has more material available on Rock Band or Guitar Hero then Led Zeppelin…well something is just very, very wrong with that picture.
of Art and Crysis
- Aug 7, 2010 2:01 am GMT
- 70 Comments
When I first watched James Cameron's Avatar earlier this year, there were two things that struck me as incredible: the movie was an absolute spectacle to behold, and Sigourney Weaver wasn't more of a badass than her fellow marines for a change. But that's not what I'm here to talk about in this latest here editorial. Avatar, especially when watched with them special 3D glasses, was a technical marvel (and an excellent headache inducer) – it created the most believable-yet-unreal environments ever seen in a movie, but it was not its technical prowess that impressed me most – it was the artistic vision, or, more correctly, the visionary art design, of the movie's Pandora. The movie has the most advanced special effects ever seen in a movie, but it's when you see the oversized smurfs running through bizarre glowing plants that your breath really gets taken away.
Ellen Ripley. Way more badass than Dwayne Hicks.
Same goes for 2007's Crysis, which is still, three years later, the prettiest game of all time. The game has phenomenal special effects and countless other technical traits that earned it numerous awards and enormous attention, but truth be told, I found the game's most impressive moment to be when Nomad ran to the light and into that delightfully bizarre alien ship, where the verdant island setting gave way to the otherworldly, disorienting environment where gravity and architecture played with your senses while stealthy shimmering aliens tried to bite you in the buttocks.
Which is why, if you ask me, 2007's prettiest game really is Crysis. As for that year's most beautiful game? That one definitely goes to BioShock. I may sound like a crazy fool here, for BioShock suffered from low-resolution textures and very small environments that sometimes failed to astonish on a technical level. But as they say, real beauty comes from the inside, and if you look at the bowels of BioShock's graphics, you'll find one thing – an absolutely flabbergasting artistic direction that makes this strange underwater metropolis one of the most brutally beautiful game worlds ever created, so much so that it makes Crysis look, as pretty as it is, quite mundane.
As an artist myself, I tend to look at photorealism with a smidgen of disdain. If it is photo-realism that I wish to create, why not just go ahead and use a camera? I find a strange artistic vision to be the most valuable treasure an artist can have (I do not mean in any way that a photographer is not an artist). And, just as I'd much rather behold a completely twisted, surreal painting over another breathtaking portrait, I'd rather revisit Max Payne 2's playhouse than, say, Modern Warfare's dull enemy bases and F.E.A.R.'s sleepy office buildings.
BioShock, along with other games, displayed environments that weren't as technically marvelous as those of others, but its look had a soul, a heart, and a vision. It's just like how Mikael Åkerfeldt's incredible delicacte leads and emotional touches steal your consciousness more than any of Yngwie Melmsteen's highly technical, lightning-fast licks. I believe it's through the heart, soul and vision of an artist that a really memorable piece is conceived.
BioShock. A truly memorable game world.
Let me not be misunderstood – the advances in technology that have been achieved over the last five years or so are quite significant and extremely impressive, and I do prefer a sharp texture and delightful animations over a blurry texture and stiff animations. It's just that I believe that, the better the technology, the more of a tool it can be in bringing a unique artistic direction to fruition. Take Janelle McKain's Enigma. It is the perfect example of how to create a piece of art that is amazing on both a technical and artistic level, on paper. If you take a close look at Painkiller, you'll find the perfect example of this in a game. Back in 2004, it was one of the top-five prettiest games out there, and each of its environments (and its fantastic enemies) had its own unique look and details, and it's within these little details that I found a reason to think this game was so gorgeous.
Painkiller. Excellent textures, excellent animations, excellent models, absolutely spectacular game world(s).
Yet, when a game displays a striking world that is artistically strong, a lack of technological superiority is easily forgiven. Take for example, well, just about each and every level in 2005's Psychonauts. The game had, by no means, any superb lighting effects, highly detailed character models or stunning textures, but it did have character. It had its own look, its own atmosphere, presented by Schafer and co's bright minds, which also seem to prefer art to technology.
At times, those arts can even make up for monotonous gameplay. I will use a more recent example, being UbiSoft's Prince of Persia. The repetitive exploration and slow combat weren't always enjoyable, and after six hours or so of gameplay, the game began to feel like watching Citizen Cane (say what you may, this movie was a snorefest). This is all sheer opinion, though, and I'm definitely not knocking UbiSoft for making a lacking game, even though I sort of am. Once the novelty has run its course, we were left with an unlikeable protagonist whose occasional sitcom humor and unnecessary attitude inspired nothing more than a gawk from me, good (if repetitive) boss fights and one remarkable… erase that… fabulous game world. Everything about it was incredible – the distant windmill, the floating halls, the machinery grounds, the enemy designs, the beautiful healing of corrupted lands – everything about this game's environments was pure brilliance, so much so that it softened the blow of the game's lackluster gameplay.
Prince of Persia. Lackluster gameplay made up for by deliriously artistic environments.
While I can count quite a few things that are more important to a game than graphics (gameplay and sound being the most shining examples) I can really appreciate a graphically proficient game. After all, it's way more fun to watch Nazis crumble into glowing bits and dust than seeing an alien marine immediately disintegrate into blocky pieces, and it's even more fun to behold a spectacle made available only thanks to a very creative mind than see the same old (meticulously detailed, amazing-looking) Russian base, countryside or tropical island. Am I saying that I'm looking forward to Bulletstorm's weird new planet more than Crysis 2's NYC? You betcha. Unique art is precious, and no powerhouse game engine in the world can replace that.
A Long Goodbye
- Jul 15, 2010 4:01 pm GMT
- 167 Comments
First, let me tell you what I have to tell you: Tomorrow, Friday, July 16 will be my last day at GameSpot. I've decided to resign my post and have accepted a job elsewhere in the industry.
Whew. OK, now let me tell you what I want you to know.
I screwed over a friend to get a job at GameSpot. Well, sort of. It's not like I stole his wife or something really terrible. But getting this gig back in 2004 meant that I had to leave a job that had been graciously offered to me by a long-time friend. At the time, I was working for his start-up company and, before that, I had spent the previous couple of months struggling as that most tired of clichés: an unemployed writer.
When my friend offered me the job, he was doing me a real favor, and I had no qualms about taking the job he offered, even though it wasn't what I really wanted to be doing. For many years, I had harbored a fantasy of writing about games full-time. Earlier in my career, I had covered the industry tangentially for a couple of magazines in Atlanta and, once I moved out to the Bay Area in 1998, I wrote for small sports gaming sites, some of it paid, most of it for no money at all.
Do what you do, after all, even if it means work for free. That's what I kept telling myself.
Dotcom gigs came and went and eventually I was hired by my buddy. About a month later, I saw an ad on Craigslist (if memory serves) for a sports editor position at GameSpot. Because I had spent the majority of my free time playing, talking, and writing about sports games, I figured I'd give it a shot. So I turned my resume and application in, never realistically thinking that anything would come out of it.
Then Greg Kasavin called me.
To be completely honest: I didn't know Greg by name alone (though, in hindsight, I should have) and it took several moments for my brain to register what was happening during that phone call: Greg was calling me. Greg worked for GameSpot. GameSpot (and Greg) had seen my resume and they were interested in meeting me in person.
I remember jumping up and down a lot. And then calling my wife, while jumping up and down a lot.
Not long after the phone call and the jumping, I came to the GameSpot offices for the interview. I clearly remember sitting with former GameSpot editor Bob Colayco and talking about NCAA Football 2004 (probably my all-time favorite entry in my favorite sports videogame series) for what must have been 20 minutes or more. It occurred to me: Here I was talking about my favorite thing in the world, as part of a job interview. What a surreal and utterly enjoyable experience! At that moment, the idea of any obligation to my friend and my then-current job went out the window. This was, after all, what I wanted to do for a living for the foreseeable future.
Do what you do, after all, even if it means you have to step on a few toes. That's what I told myself.
In hindsight, any guilt I felt at the time for screwing over my friend was completely unwarranted. For my part, I've been able to spend the past six years working a dream job, traveling the world, and acting like an idiot on camera. And for his, my buddy made a ton of money from his business, subsequently retired, and has spent the past few months sailing solo around the world. So, you know, things have a way of working out.
And things have a way of changing. Thus my decision to leave GameSpot for another opportunity. I'm not ready to announce my future plans yet--I'll wait until I'm settled in at my new position first--but I will say that the new job probably won't come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows me and my gaming preferences. I can also say that I cannot wait to get started.
There are so many things I'd like to say before I sign off but, in essence, they all boil down to gratitude. I'm thankful for GameSpot taking a chance on me back in 2004 and for allowing me an astonishing level of professional freedom in the six years since. Even in a job that is fun to begin with, I've always felt like I was getting away with murder--being allowed to cover exactly what I was passionate about, create incredible stuff from scratch, and basically make GameSpot a personal playground. My output hasn't been perfect but it's always been from the heart.
I'm thankful to every single person I've worked with here at GameSpot--past and present--all of whom have made an impression on me. Being surrounded by people who are smarter than you is an opportunity, and you're a fool if you don't take advantage of it. For the past six years, I've been lucky enough to be surrounded by the industry's best and I've learned and grown much in the process. Special thanks go to GameSpot's illustrious editor in chief Ricardo Torres, who has been a wonderful mentor and friend, and whose belief in me has been thoroughly inspiring.
Thanks also to my family, especially my wife Karen. She doesn't play games--I vividly remember the time I begged her on bent knee to play one hour's worth of World of Warcraft with me, her mouth agape at the outright, unrelenting nerdity she had agreed to--but she knows that they are at my root. As a result, she's put up with my long hours, frequent travel, and enthusiastic rambling with all the patience and love you could ever hope for.
I'd also like to thank you, the GameSpot user. You folks are the reason we get up for work early and go to bed late. You're the reason we obsess over every word in the reviews we write, and pray for inspired moments when on camera. You're the audience we get to be silly in front of, the folks we strive to entertain and enlighten, and the people we want to please the most.
The thing is, we're just alike. We are all driven by a lifelong passion for games--us GameSpot editors are just privileged enough to be able to have a wonderful platform upon which we can share that passion. That platform and your presence here are never taken for granted and is always appreciated.
Finally, I'll leave you with some advice. Over the years, I've been asked many times for thoughts on how to get into the games industry. Beyond the nuts and bolts you've probably heard before--learn how to write and write fast; learn how to spell; have some respect for grammar--the larger issue for me has always about persistence. My path to GameSpot was full of stops, starts, and unexpected turns. Whether working at companies I knew would fail, writing for free, or quitting a job that had been offered to me as a favor, I've always tried to keep my eyes on the ultimate goal. I wouldn't have had my long, strange trip to and through GameSpot any other way.
Do what you do, after all, even if nobody is listening. Because someday, they might.
Thanks and see you around.
Video Games as an Art Form - My Argument
- Jul 13, 2010 6:32 pm GMT
- 179 Comments
I have been a huge supporter of gameinformer magazine for a number of years now. I appreciate the enjoyment that they have given readers over the last 208 issues. I usually just read the articles, letters, reviews etc. and then catalog them on my bookshelf. However, issue 208 changed that. They asked "If you could pick one game to make the case for video games as an art form, what game would it be?" as the Question of The Month. This question really hit home, because I currently attend the International Academy of Design and Technology and am working on my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Game Design. While the English classes at this school are pretty much the same as others, we are often given "debate" style questions to write anddiscussthat deal with either the Game Design program or the Fashion Design Program (the other big program at my school). This question has come up in class on a few occasions.
As a 20+ year gamer and passionate artist, I personally find it difficult to see how video games can not be seen as an art-style. If you go back before computerized graphics and Photoshop, you will see game cases that have some ridiculous art as well as some amazing works.
Amazing work of Art!
Of course, theargumentis that its not art, but rather just entertainment like watching T.V. or playing cards. I have been asked to give an example of my argument several times and my answer has always been the same.
Okami. This game is not just about a mystical dog that goes around in a paintbrush world and kills bad guys, this is a legend that has been told long before electronics were in existence. Some of the most beautiful works of cIassical Japanese art comes in the form of telling thisfascinatingstory. These stories spring out creativity in every form of art, from Music, beautiful artwork, theatrical performances and dances, to other stories altogether. In this case it springs a video game. A video game where you not only live out the legend of Amaterasu and how she saved a land from darkness, but you also do this in the sumi-e artistic styIe which is very popular in Japanese culture.
Players experience all of this with a controller in their hand, and at their own pace. The most amazing part about this is that there are not only plenty of games that put players in the grips of an actual true event, but also puts them in situations that are based on true events. There are also thousands of fictional stories out there that are just waiting for you to experience.
Video games are novels that are more than just read. They are legends that are not just told, they are experienced. Video games are proving grounds that you have what it takes to make your sports team better than they could ever be. Video games let you take your not-so-good MLB team that you love (Seattle Mariners in my case), play as them, and eventually witness them win the World Series. Video games place you in the drivers seat of a 2 million dollar race car, hand you the keys, and tell you "good luck!". They place you in the grips of a world at war and let you be the greatest patriotic hero ever to one side, and become the most feared and powerful enemy to the other. Video games place you into your worst nightmare with three of your closest friends, hand you a couple of weapons, a handful of rounds, and simply tell you to "shoot em in the head" before turning an entire world the undead against you. Video games let you stomp, kick, throw, burn, knock around, and just plain humiliate hundreds of enemies all over a magical world, just to rescue a princess that you truly love. They place you in the boots of a god that has been betrayed, hand you weapons of unimaginable power, and give you a chance to have your vengeance. They let you experience a story of an outlaw of the west and his struggles with trying to turn his life around for the ones he loves.
With all of this being said, how can you not see video games as an art form? How can one be so blinded with their own beliefs of art that they cannot even accept a new median of art? You cannot be angry with them, just pity them. They are missing out on some of the most amazing stories to ever be told. They are missing out on some fascinating and breathtaking experiences that would have them talking about it for a long time. They are missing the chance to witness a massive bridge built to span the gap between children and adults. To bring people from all over the world together with a common goal to work towards. Where people are not judged by color, race, religion, origin, location, language, or financial status, but by something truly important, teamwork.
In my personal opinion, video games are not only an art form, but an art creator. They make us thinkers and doers. They make us laugh, sing, dance, happy, angry, and even cry at times.
This is what makes video games an art form.
The Worst Moments of E3
- Jul 5, 2010 7:49 am GMT
- 202 Comments
The best time of the year for gamers, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, has finally come to end. After the end of E3, bloggers everywhere record their impressions. I thought about writing an E3 impressions blog, but I got to thinking—What's a way I can work my thoughts into something a tad less run-of-the-mill. So, instead of saying Microsoft's conference was okay, Nintendo's totally stole the show, and Sony's was a gloat-fest, I've complied two top ten lists—The best and worst of E3. Since people tend to be way more interested in negative things then positive, let's go with the worst moments first.
#10: Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time
Seriously, Ubisoft? Really? As if your reputation for shovelware isn't bad enough, you're going to pump out yet another Rabbids game. After all the mediocre reviews and reception I think it's clear that we don't want these stupid rabid bunnies! We don't care! And besides. This will be the fifth game in the series. Give it a rest.
#9: Kinect Nintendo Rip-Offs
Kinect Sports? Kinectimals? Surely most everyone sees the blatant title rip-offs here. Now, don't take me wrong. I'm not saying Microsoft doesn't have the right to do a sports game or a virtual pet game because Nintendo already has, but seriously. You could really do some work on thinking up some titles that are a little more original. After basically saying that the Wii just doesn't cut it, and that your new technology will change the face of the motion gaming market, are you even going to try and get people to take you seriously?
#8: Joel McHale
If you're going to choose someone to represent your entire company at E3, it's probably a good idea not to choose a celebrity. Especially when you're Ubisoft. All I know is that I felt very uncomfortable whenever this man talked. His jokes were uber-corny, and I seriously doubt he really knows much about games.
"Wait...Where's my duffel bag?"
#7: Sony's Lack of Announcements
As forshadowed at the beginning of this article, I thought Sony's conference was nothing more than a big, "Look at me!" Instead of trying to pull out shockers like the other companies, Sony spent their time either showing us games we already know about or bragging about how cool they are. I saw about three or four montages with catchy music and games that are already released or we already know about. Most of the demos were of games we know about already. I especially loved it when Jack Tretton stated that 2010 would be remembered as the year that Sony brought 3D to the gaming front. Yeah. Right. Not to say, that is, that Sony didn't have its moments. The Killzone 3 demo was breathtaking, Sorcery looked interesting, and hearing GlaDOS's voice brought a smile to my face, but when you really look at the conference, we saw next to nothing new.
#6: Wii Party
Nintendo conference, in my opinion, was a smash hit. It was great announcement after great announcement. And then, to put a little bit of a damper on the action, came this game. Wii Party. It's a party game that, like all the titles in the "Wii" series, is Mii-focused. The game not only looked generic and not very fun from the trailer, but there's bigger irony to be found here. Mario Party! Hello! Nintendo? Yes, you're making a rip-off of your own series. I would expect a third-party to make a Mario Party clone, but Nintendo themselves?! I love Mario Party—why not just make the ninth game? Stupid move, Nintendo.
#5: Battle Tag
I think everyone was surprised when supermodels came out doing backflips and somersaults while firing toy guns that made terrible sound effects during the Ubisoft conference. It was clear to me in a couple seconds this was some sort of laser tag game, but I couldn't imagine how this was a video game. Ubisoft tried to pass it off as a video game that you could play in real life, but most of us just sat there either laughing or with our faces buried in our hands (like me). This might do okay on the toy market, and the kiddies might buy it, but please. If us teens/adults are going to play a gun-based game outside, we're going to be playing something like paintball or airsoft—we're not going to run around in clunky vests and a gun that looks like it's straight off the set of the original Lost in Space.
In the words of Kevin Butler: "Pew! Pew!"
#4: Kevin Butler/Marcus Rivers
Firstly, let me outwardly state that I despise Kevin Butler. To the core. I don't think his mega-bashing of Nintendo and Microsoft in Sony's commercials is funny, and I didn't think he was anymore funny during the conference. He didn't really do much insulting of other companies during his canned speech, but another cheesy character for Sony's TV Spots made his appearance around the same time. Sony's new "Meet Marcus" ads are their new way of marketing the PSP on the television front. Instead of normal ads simply stating what the PSP is capable of and shooting out some cool games, the idiots that run Sony's marketing committee decided it'd be hilarious if they hired a sassy, 10-year-old, wanna-be gangsta, that walks around playing PSP wherever he goes; flaunting it as something to effect of, "the only system for gamers serious about games." First of all, two words. Bull. Crap. Listen Sony, the PSP is cool and everything, I own one, I like it a lot. But we all know that the DS has you beat hands-down, or is at least neck-and-neck. This isn't some fanboy raving—look at the stats! Gamespot alone has rated fifteen DS game a 9.0 an higher, while only nine PSP games can state this. IGN gives twenty-nine DS games 9.0 or higher, and 31 PSP games the same honor. It can be stated then, that the DS is either better or just as good as the PSP. You're a liar, Marcus Rivers. A dirty liar.
"This campaign is whack, man!"
#3: Video Kinect Demo
It was a neat concept. Kinect could be used for a new-fangled video chat in which you could watch movies and videos together, check news, etc. Cool features like skeleton tracking were thrown in to make it seem extra cool. What better way to present the new tech by getting some lady and her twin sister to do a scripted conversation. SCRIPTED. I think Tim Harding said it best in the 2PStart Live! Postmortem E3 Podcast in which he said this quote in relation to the scripted conversation: "Yeah, why do they need a script?! Have they never spoken before, are they, like, reuniting these twins separated at birth? They never knew each other existed and they're like, 'Hey do you mind doing this video for us at E3?'" He's got it right. Why couldn't they just make it cool and natural and have them talk and joke around normally. They could show off the video function in a normal way and not have to crack any corny jokes about The Last Airbender and Gamerscores. Lesson learned? Scripted conversations, unless done by professionals, generally don't work.
I love this one because it's one big fail made up by a few other fails. Ubisoft had a few fails at their conference, but this one pretty much takes the cake. Firstly, a red-head hippie walks up to Joel McHale and introduces his new game called Innergy. This guy is clearly a weirdo, and starts going on about how his new game can help you relieve stress anytime, anywhere, etc. Then he whips out the gimmick you'll need to use to play the game. The Wii Vitality Sensor…Oh, oh wait that's not the Vitality Sensor. So now that Ubisoft has created their own rip-off of tech originally introduced by Nintendo, Mr. Hippie continues. His game will alleviate stress by letting you make a bubble with a face go up and down, and up and down…And up. And down. Over and over again by breathing in and out. Not only is the game's concept a big "lolwut?" but the gameplay shown looked something like Woodstock. Why, Ubisoft?
"Follow me...Into total submission!"
#1: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Demo
I love Nintendo. I grew up with them. I used to be a radical follower who hated every other company. Nowadays, Nintendo seems to be the underdog of E3. Since many gamers these days consist of mindless FPS fanboys who are loyal either to Sony or Microsoft and their FPS offerings, Nintendo is typically laughed at—at E3, as well as throughout the year, and called a company who's no longer good for anything but making casual gaming. Any intelligent gamer knows that Nintendo's still got it. So every year I hope and pray Nintendo will have an excellent conference. Not just for my sake, but for the reputation of Nintendo. When Nintendo, started off the conference by announcing the new Zelda game, a smile crossed my face…Which slowly faded away. It was like a nightmare. A long, terrible nightmare. I watched in utter horror as Link's sword snapped from one position to another in an uncontrollable spasm. I watched in utter horror as Miyamoto couldn't control the new beetle item correctly enough to show what he wanted to. I watched in utter horror as Miyamoto couldn't even demo the bow and arrow. All I could think of was the crazed fanboys and Sony/Microsoft prejudiced sites and blogs that would absolutely tear into Nintendo and shred them to bits for their failure. I knew that this was obviously a sensor bar issue (I have my suspicions of sabotage), and I knew the finished product would be quality, but I knew that this one failure would be a laughing stock among Nintendo haters everywhere.
"Miyamoto-san, I saw Kevin Butler over here earlier..."
So there you have it. Keep in mind this is totally my opinion. I'm interested in knowing what you guys agree with and disagree with on this list. What would you have added or taken away? Comment, and be heard! Peace.
-NintendoNautEDIT: Something that many of the commenters are saying has come to my attention, and I would like to clear something up. Just because I thought the Zelda mess-up at E3 was terrible, I realize the game played well at the booths, and I don't doubt Nintendo can make the game a quality product. I tried to make clear in the article that I knew the game would turn out good in the end, but that apparently wasn't so. Thank you.
Annoying Aspects of Gaming: FPS edition
- Jul 2, 2010 8:21 pm GMT
- 220 Comments
In gaming there are always little things that annoy us. In this editorial I am going to take you through what is annoying to me and probably annoying to you in First Person Shooters. FPS's are indeed one of the most popular genres of gaming producing games like: Halo Combat Evolved, Killzone 2, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye 007, Metroid Prime, Medal of Honor and among the most recent popular of fans, Call of Duty. Not only is this genre also my favorite it's probably yours as well. Lets begin shall we?
Instant Health packs
This is probably the most humorous of all the little things that annoy me in shooters. That little itty bitty health pack that fixes you up like you just took a trip to the hospital. Did you get hit by a grenade launcher? Its all good, just drink this canteen from Medal of Honor and that giant hole in your leg is gone! Not only is this tottaly not realistic, its just flat out hilarious. Like they all say about B-games "It is so bad, its awesome."
Games like Medal of Honor, Project Snowblind, Goldeneye 007 and so forth live by this "All healing pack" method. These shooters mainly have this little annoyences because these games have the health bar present. That little bar that goes down until it is empty, or well in other words, youre dead.
The main reason this annoys me is because its so unrealistic and silly. Yes the game wouldn't be the same if they took it out but bare with me. Cant they at least show the guy drinking it or show him bandaging himself or herself?
Quick get to shore! That canteen up therewill save your life!
That one enemy that magically pops out of no where
Yes, I know you have all been through this extremely annoying aspect; the magicical alien, soldier, giant bug, or behemoth that magically just appears right behind you and kills you. This annoyance not only makes you not want to play, it just flat out ruins an experience for you making you feel you were cheated.
This little annoyance has occurred in most games such as; Call of Duty Modern Warfare, at times Killzone 2, the recent release of Singularity and the game with the most occurring annoyance Wolfenstein. These games are awesome, there is no lieng about that, its just the fact they sometimes make you feel cheated and unfair that brings down the amazing aspects of the game.
This annoyance really hits hard when you didn't save at a checkpoint and you die by the magical little enemy killing; thus ruining all that you worked for. Of course if you think about it, it is my fault, but still that is just flat out unfair.
It's to bad that enemy up ahead will be behind me in two seconds
Horrible voice acting
Of course this annoyance pertains to all genres but none more than shooters. If cortana from Halo was played by a truly horrible actress it would defiantly water down the experience. The fact FPS's are so tense is a main reason this annoyance defiantly pertains most to this genre. If you are in the middle of a firefight and your captain tells you to "keep firing!" and it sounds like he put on a fake Australian accent it will almost certainly ruin the intensity for you. This happened to me while playing Raven Squad, yes that game with possibly the worst voice acting ever. So incredibly bad in fact, I returned it 2 days after I borrowed it from my friend for the PC. The fact every time I shot and killed a target my character would yell "Man down!" Then in between missions it was unbearable as well, this game is just a true definition of horrible voice acting. Oh! I don't want to forget, the most hilarious and annoying part, every time the enemy shoots at you, he says "They're shooting me!" No duh man.
This annoyance is also present in Rogue Warrior, the most dirty mouthed game I have ever played, every time I shot my weapon he would cuss and say something tottaly obscene. This can be annoying at times, but in other times it is actually quite entertaining and hilarious.
But still overall, this annoyance defiantly can ruin an experience.
Sorry I cant hear you! My ears are bleeding from this games voice acting!
Guns that look powerful, but sadly are not
Not only is this annoying, it is a flat out tease. If a gun looks big and mighty and powerful it should be, right!? This is the ultimate tease for anyone who loves causing mass mayhem. This little annoyance occurred for me multiple times while I was playing Fallout 3, although this is a RPG it is part FPS as well, some guns I used looked giant and devastating. These guns sadly just didn't add up, they were punt in destruction and the ammo of the weapon lasted 2 seconds. Also when I would play Time splitters 2, some guns would look huge and put a grin on your face knowing it would blow everything up. Well it sadly didn't work out that way.
This annoyance is very aggravating and sometime makes you also feel like the devolpers were just trying to tick you off.
Too bad this gun isnt powerful, well wait, it might be.
Those are some of the things that annoy me, if you have anything to add please do so below, but remember friends, do it kindly. Thank you for reading as always.
Master Chief's Intervention - T's True Videogame Story (56K)
- Jun 28, 2010 8:41 pm GMT
- 117 Comments
Things were different with Master Chief after the funeral. He was not the same. We all felt like when that 360 was shipped off, so was a piece of Chief's soul.
He turned away from us and turned to the drugs and alcohol.
He frequently passed out at the bar. Things were out of control.
He became completely distant. We all got him a new Xbox 360, but they did not get along at all.
We were all too afraid to approach him, except for Marcus. Marcus Fenix stood up to some real badasses in his day, so we asked him to go try and get Chief out of his funk. Unfortunately, that too went a little different than we expected....
....actually, it went the complete opposite of what we were hoping.
Luckily, someone was keeping watch.
After hearing the news, I decided to get everyone together.
We didn't know what to do? No no one could come up with anything. Then one person finally spoke up.
It actually wasn't the greatest of ideas, but since no one else had a suggestion we went with it.
I wanted to surprise Chief, so I came along.
As usual, Master Chief got all emotional. He is such a softy.
So now things are right in the world once again. Master Chief got to play Halo 3 once again, but has since quit playing it and has been playing Gears of War 2 with Fenix until Halo: Reach releases.
So that's it guys. Hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time.
(A drawing I did of myself soon after waking up)
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