Tasty Treats for All
Not only is it delicious, it's good for you too!
***May or May Not Contain Spoilers - This is My Opinion***
If you've seen the latest Halo 3 Ads on TV or XBL there is one thing that looks certain...Master Chief dies. Both of the released Believe ads give us the subtle hints that Master Chief will take his life or will be killed in order to save humanity. While the actual way in which he perishes is questionable but I think that the guys at Bungie want to officially close the book on the Halo storyline by taking out the star from the game.
The First Ad, Museum, has the soldier talking about how they knew Master Chief would keep fight, his eyes give the impression that MC died to save everyone. The Model/Exhibit Ad ends with Master Chief holding onto a Grenade, as he himself, is being held in the air. The glowing bomb shows, or at least gives off the impression that he's going to explode or use the grenade to take out his captors.
Chances are we'll see another advert later this week, or early next week just before the game is officially released.
The guys at Bungie love to play with our heads, everyone will remember ilovebees.com, so this could be another great marketing ploy to have us think one way then go on a tangent and reveal something totally different.
While I don't like this idea, it's too common in movies to have a hero die, especially in American movies. If they do decide to take him out, they are doing this so that people won't ask for another sequel. While they will be making a quasi-prequel with Halo Wars, I really do believe that Master Chief's storyline will be complete.
I finally got my Hard-Copy of Warhawk a couple of days ago and I started to play it last night when I came to two simple conclusions:
1) This is a great game
2) I suck
The graphics for an online game as goregous. When I saw initial previews of this game, the graphics didn't seem to live up to the hype of HD gaming. While this won't win awards, it still looks really good from any view-point. When you fly an Warhawk and swoop down towards the ground, you can see just how nice the environments are. The sound is good, but nothing worth writing home about, but I do like the orchestra music that sometimes adds to the atmosphere of the situations you are in. The Gameplay is top-notch; I love the idea of being able to play in Fly, Drive or Run, essentially playing the game you want to play. Overall, this is a really enjoyable game. Once I play a bit more, I will write a review of the game.
The problem though for me with this game, isn't the game, but me. I don't know if I am naturally not good at shooters or that I just have enough of a social life that I can't sit and play for extended hours on games. I've played WarHawk for about 2-4 hours now since I got the game on Monday and in most games I've played (looking at the 30 minute limit) I usually only get about 1-2 kills to my 5-8 deaths. In my eyes, that's a pretty bad ratio of Kills : Deaths, considering how other people manage to kill so many more times than I do. Does this hinder my play experience? Not really, I'm still enjoying myself, but watching myself die, time and time again and not realizing why my missiles aren't killing the opposition I begin to wonder if it's my poor playing skills or just that people around the world have a lot of free time on their hands to focus hours upon hours of videogame playing.
If you're on the PSN network and you see StrathconaFC getting own'd, you can say 'hey, I know that guy...he sucks!'
I was out of country last week running a Half-Marathon in Virginia Beach and I missed out on a crap-load of demos. This weekend I download as many as I could (Tiger Woods, NBA Live and Stranglehold for PS3 and NHL 08, NBA Live and Skate for 360) and of the demos, the one that impressed me the most was the Skate Demo. I used to love Tony Hawk, but after THUG2 my interest faded. While the idea of American Wasteland was interesting on paper, it just didn't garner enough interest for me to pick-it-up and play while Project 8's demo was good, the game again did not make me want to pick it up. I downloaded the Skate demo because I wanted to see how EA would make a Skateboarding game and I am quite impressed with what they did.
While I did not play the demo in HD, I still think the game looked great. The first 'level' was perfect in introducing a person to the controls of the game. Even with playing the demo for a bit, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially when you attemp to ollie onto grinds or over stuff. It can be difficult at first, but it really adds to the realism of the game. The colision detection is pretty spot on and I even like the rag-doll physics. If you fall onto a ledge or a barrier, your body reacts properly. The sound is also pretty nice and the soundtrack, in typical EA fashion will be hit or miss depending on the player.
The game has already gotten some decent reviews, and from what I played, I agree that this is should be a great title. Hopefully this will force the guys at Neversoft to wake-up and finally produce a Tony Hawk title that changes the genre as TH3 did back in 2001.
I know I'm running behind schedule as so many people have done their top 5 games right after E3, I wanted to wait until I read and saw more. BioShock was my number one because it looked good; after playing the demo, I was certain of that pick. With it now in my possession, I can look at the next five games that I am really interested in getting before Dec 31st. This list is going to be very different than other people's, I am sure of it.
My Top 5 Games
5) FIFA Soccer 2008 - 360 - I know this shouldn't be on the list, but I've played every EA Soccer title released in North America since FIFA 98:RTWC and a year without FIFA is like a day without food for me. I wasn't too impressed with the Next-Gen FIFA 07, but it did show potential. FIFA 08 looks like it could be a really good title, but this could slip off the list if the demo doesn't live-up to my own high expectations.
4) Heavenly Sword - PS3 - I knew absolutely nothing about this game until I played the demo. I am always sceptical of SCEA games since you never know what your going to get. Sometimes you'll get gems like God of War and most Platformers, but then you'll be hit by some mediocre titles like The Getaway and Killzone. After playing the demo, I am convinced that this game should be pretty good, and once more is known, could be a must-own title the PS3 really needs.
3) Halo 3 - 360 - No need to really explain myself here. Played the first two, loved them, so it's only a given to play the 3rd one. I did not get the chance to try the Beta, but I'm more looking to playing the single-player and hopefully seeing the story come to a strong come to a conclusion
2) Rock Band - 360 - Back when I owned a GameCube I bought Donkey Conga because I love percussions; the reason why I want Rock Band is so I can play Drums. Having never being able to afford or allowed to own a Drum Set, this is the best alternative now that I live on my own. What will be interesting is trying to be Phil Collins by singing and drumming at the same time. Could be interesting.
1) Echochrome - PSP - After falling in love with BioShock, the game that has garnered the most interest by me has to be this simple looking game that looks absolutely amazing. If you haven't seen any YouTube clips of the game, you owe it to your self to download the 93 second trailer and watch how this game plays. It's a pure Puzzle game that looks simplisitic but could potentially offer so much replay. If the DS had the processing and 3D power, this game would be on that system but thankfully it will be available to PSP and PS3 owners later this year. The only concern I have is that could the simplisticity of this game make it boring. Only time will tell
Honorable Mention goes to Assassin's Creed which looks amazing but a demo is needed. The Same goes for Skate, which will need a demo for me to garner my interest. WarHawk should be interesting, but I'll hold off until reviews come out and the certainity that any online Bugs (if any) are taken care of.
Of the game that are already out I still need to pick up God of War 2 and to finish a crap load of games (BioShock being the newest additions to that list). Hopefully I will find the time to play the many, many games still on my plate.
That is all.
I know it's stil learly in the year but with the release of BioShock and the upcoming releases of highly anticipated games, I began to think about the year 2001. Looking at Video Games, a lot of people will probably state that the year 2001 was the best year for console videogames. Just take a look at the games that came out that year to critical acclaim: Twisted Metal: Black (PS2), Super Smash Bros Melee (GC), Phantasy Star Online (DC), Final Fantasy X (PS2), Max Payne (Xbox), Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2), MGS2:SoL (PS2), Halo (Xbox), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PS2) and of course Grand Theft Auto 3 (PS2) all of which were part of GS's Best of 2001 Top 10 list (http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/video/bestof_2001/index.html). I played and/or owned each game on this list and in fact, I still own a couple (FFX, GT3, MGS2, Halo and GTAIII).
This year could contend quite well with that list. We already have a contendor of Game of The Year with God of War 2; BioShock will be a finalist when it's released in a few days, then add Halo 3, Mass Effect, Heavenly Sword, Rock Band, Metroid 3 just to name few and you can see that this year could be a hallmark for the consumer with plenty of quality games to choose from.
Every year we have great games, but when you look at 2001, you had 10 games that could be enjoyed by all, and from all the major console systems include a Dreamcast title on that list no-less. It may only be August, but when we know what is expected before Christmas, you have to feel good; and for someone who's Christmas is in January, I can't wait to gift myself some wonderful titles.
Own a DS? Have 20 bucks (25+tax in Canada)? Then you really need to buy Picross DS. I only got the game on Saturday and I must be playing it more than any game I've purchased in the past 6 months. I was playing Forza2, FFIII and RE4 but they're all on the back-burner as a simple game involving grids and numbers has taken over my livelihood. If I could play the game while working out, I think I'd spend every free moment I had with it.
I already wrote a review for it, which youshould check out, but the jist of it is: BUY PICROSS DS!!!
While it's sad that we won't have the joys controlling Niko this Winter, fret not, it just means there will be more to play in March. But I think what people might need to consider is did maybe Microsoft have something to do with this. What other big title(s) is coming out in early 2008: Metal Gear Solid4 and Killzone 2...both PS3 exclusive. Microsoft doesn't have anything big/marque for the beginning of the year and now they do. GTA IV has exclusive content with the the 360 and it may sway gamers to buy the game for that system rather than Sony's. Also, now when people go to the store and see those three titles, which one will they sway towards: GTA IV or MGS4? This could be an interesting tactic if true (just my thought).
Even with this longer delay, it won't matter for gamers who are antcipating the game; we're going to buy it regardless if it coms out tomorrow, next month or next year. It just means having to wait a little be longer find that special someone.
Incase you can't read the title: Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda Beograd) defeated Levadia Tallinn of Estonia 1:0 tonight in Belgrade. The match is part of the Home-and-Away 2nd Round Qualification for the Champions League. Red Star took the lead with an Ognjen Koroman long-range shot in the 35-minute. There were many possiblities to increase the scoreline but the club will have to settle for the slender lead going to Tallinn.
If Red Star advance, they will find out who they play on Friday when UEFA makes the potential draws for the 3rd Round. Red Star are hoping to return to the Champions League. The last time they were they took part in the group/main stage of the tournament of Champions was in 1992 when they were defending champions. That year, they played all 6 of their matches away from Belgrade thanks to the UN sanctions placed on the country during the Civil War that consumed most of the 1990s.
I think everyone has played a game and while playing it thought to themselves 'I think this would be fun in real life'. You've played MS Flight Simulator and you later looked into see if you could afford flying lessons. You've played a racing game and you then want to go race your car or attend a race in person. For me this has happened on two occasions and both involved sports.
I wasn't big on the sport of Golf when I was younger. I couldn't see how that could be labeled as a sport until I played a Golf Game and started to really enjoy the strategy involved. The game was Mario Golf on my GBC and while it is not the best way to start my interest, it did allow me to go out and purchase Tiger Wood's Golf and then I bought my first set of golf clubs that set me back 3 bills. Unfortunately, none of my friends are into the sport, so going to the course is a bit of a challenge; thankfully the driving range is always a great place to spend an hour.
The other sport that really increased in interest was Rugby. I watched the sport on television when the World Cup was on; I thought the sport was really interesting and challenging but I did not know the rules of the sport. I rented Rugby 06 and thankfully the tutorial was so good that I manage learn a lot more about Rugby Union and now am anxious to see the World Cup later in September. I even went to an ex-girlfriend to a professional Rugby match last summer and it was just as good as I had hoped.
I guess this omission of being influence by videogames could bite someone in the butt, but in my case, this is a good influence and I am glad to say that I am a fan of golf thanks to Mario Golf and Tiger Woods.
I've been waiting to re-purchase an Xbox360 and while the new Warranty deal is nice it's not that big of a concern for me since I usually have good luck with systems and take good care. I've actually been waiting for an incentive to buy a system. Meaning, I'm waiting for some free games.
Here in Canada, it's common for big box stores to offer a free game or two with the system. Xbox has done quite a few in the past: GRAW, Call of Duty 3 and Xbox Live Arcade Vol. 1. The most recent offer is the system (Premium) with Forza 2, a great deal any way you look at considering the System and Game separately would be over $560Cdn while the Bundle is only $500. What is now even cooler is that Future Shop is offering a deal to remember:
For 499.99 + taxes you can purchase the Forza2 Xbox360 Bundle and for free get: Crackdown, Hitman: Blood Money and World Series of Poker. FOUR games for essentially nothing. Forza is great, Crackdown is fun, Hitman is good and World Series of Poker is Poker. It's 4 games from four different genres so you know you're not going wrong. Even if there is a game you don't really like/want, the fact that there are three other games offered is still good. Also, considering the individual purchase of these games would equal over $120cdn, you're not losing any way you look at.
If you live in or near Canada I strongly recommend you take up this offer. I know I plan on going sometime today or during the weekend to pick up this deal.
After our poor, 2nd team performance against England which was marred by Racism and Clashes, the Serbian U-21 team has reached the finals of the 2007 U-21 European tourament with a convincing 2:0 win over Belgium. With The Netherlands beating England in a thrilling 13:12 Penalty shoot-out, it sets up what should be a great final.
Serbia as Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro has not had success against the Orange Army that is Holland. In 1998, we lost to them in the 2nd round of France 98 (2:1) then two years later in Euro 2000 we were humiliated in the Quarter-finals against Holland, that time the score was 6:1 for Holland. Then last year, in Germany we lost to them yet again, only this time 1:0. We would love it at this point to beat the Dutch, but it won't be easy considering they are the host nation. Even if we fail to win, it's our 2nd final in 4 years and we were never pipped to reach this far, so it's an accomplishment any way you look at it.
If you live in Canada, TSN will be showing the match at 2:30pm EST/ 11:30 PST on Saturday; I strongly suggest you watch it.
I need your help.
I've been living in Van-City (Vancouver) for nearly six months and during that time I've been using a Motorola RAZR with a Pay-As-Go Plan with Virgin Mobile. While it's not bad, it's not the greatest phone and service in the world. I'm looking to upgrade but I want to get a really cool phone. Recently, I was really impressed with the SideKick but unfortunately the SideKick is not available in Canada with any provider since BlackBerry and RIM have exclusive rights in the country. I'm liking the BlackBerry Pearl and wanted to hear from others who might be able to suggest a good phone. The iPhone is out of the question as it won't be made available in Canada at launch and I don't want a phone that will die in 3 hours.
In the past I've been very satisified with Ericcson phones (having had 3 in the past).
Please let me know what you'd suggest, either from what you own or what you've read/seen
Just want to boast about my country advancing to the Semi-Finals of the 2007 European Under-21 Tournament in Holland. We started off the tournament with a win against heavy favorites Italy 1:0 then today we defeated The Czech Republic 1:0 in injury time to take our group that also contains England.
By advancing to the semis, we qualify for next year's Olympics. I can't be more happy for the team and the country
Another Sports Blog
If you are a hound-dog, I strongly suggest you watch on Thursday the French Open Semi-Final match between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic. I have to say this will be the best-looking Tennis match ever these two are probably the best looking Tennis Players in the world. Everyone knows about Sharapova, but you need to check out 19-year Ana Ivanovic from Serbia. She is absolutely adorable. As a fellow Serb, I secretly hope she's single so I can nab her.
Make sure you check her out on wikipedia and watch Thursday's semi-final. The other semi-final has Justine Henin against Jelena Jankovic. Not so hot, but maybe hot for some.
Unless you follow Soccer/Football you probably didn't hear about the incident in Denmark where a fan ran onto the pitch and tried to strike the referee. While he swunk, his attempt was stopped by a Danish player before harm could be done. The referee stopped the game with only a minute left in regular time. The match was between Sweden and Denmark; while the Swedes took an early 0:3 lead, Denmark managed to tie the match. In the 87th minute a Danish Player was sent off and the ref awarded a penalty and that's how the match ended.
Now UEFA will have to get together to decide the fate of the match. Technically, this should be a no-brainer. UEFA should fine the team (Denmark) heavily and the match should be considered a 0:3 win for Sweden. For World Cup Qualifying Turkey was fined heavily for incidents between Switzerland that occured after a match, and this occured during a match. The Governing Body needs to put heavy penalities on a situation like this, regardless of which country it was. If this occured in an Non-EU nation, you know the penalty would be harsh and would have already been announced.
If Denmark only walk about with a small fine and having to play their only one match behind closed doors, then UEFA is garbage. Stay tuned for more
If you haven't noticed, a lot of my posts are sports-related. I love sports and I love to talk about them and this time my focus is the NBA Playoffs.
This year's playoffs have been a bit of a disapointment. Yes it's nice that there were upsets (Golden State) but it did also show that the league does have it's problems when marquee teams don't go far enough. The league really needs to adopt the NHL Playoff format and scrap the brackets. In the West, the two highest seeded teams should not have faced off against each other in the 2nd round (#2 Phoenix v #3 San Antonio) while giving Utah (#4) the easier route with Golden State (#8). the best match-up ended up occuring too early and the West Final with San Antonio v Utah was nothing special.
In the East, you're more likely to have 'upsets'. This time, New Jersey (#6) took care of Toronto (#3); while yes an upset, Toronto were new-comers to the playoffs and the lack of experienced showed. The rest of the series ended up correct: Detroit took care of Orlando while Cleveland had it easy against Washington (sans Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas). The only series that should have been more of a tight contest, again failed to live up to the billing with Chicago running the floor against Miami.
The rest of the East played out accordingly and we had a #1 Detroit v a #2 Cleveland. You have the dominating Detroit Pistons trying to becomes the first dynasty of the 21st century against the next face of the NBA, LeBron James. I honestly did not see Cleveland winning this series based on inexperience. Like Jordan, I expected a progressive route to the finals for Lebron. First year, just get to the playoffs; year 2, reach far, but just miss out' year 3, reach the finals.
While a Cleveland v San Antonio final is more marketable than a Detroit v San Antonio final, it is clear that Cleveland unless the magic is still there will have a tough time against The Spurs. The experience that San Antonio should be the difference; but the league will probably want to have Cleveland win it because of revenue.
Hopefully the series is a classic, because this year's playoffs have been far from it.
I really thought when I bought my PS3 I would be using it either to play games or to watch BluRay films. Instead of using it for those two, my primary use for my PS3 is helping out the Folding@Home project. I have had my console for just over 2 weeks and I have already completed 30 Work Units.
I need Sony to start releasing some quality titles. I don't mind playing my PS2 games (having just finished God of War 1 and almost done The Warriors) but I want some good PS3 titles to play.
It's taken a while but it finally starts tonight...game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. While it is stupid that the playoffs end in June, this final should be one of the most impressive in recent years. You have one team that loves to score (Ottawa) with a team that has two future Hall of Fame Defensemen (Pronger and Niedermayer). If you are not a hockey fan, I strongly suggest you check out a game (either on Versus, NBC or CBC) and just watch this series as a neutral fan will fall in love with the sport.
While I will be cheering for Ottawa, I can be certain that there will be some exciting hockey. No on in Eastern Canada outside of Sen's fans will be cheering for the Nation's Captial, but I hope others around the world will. We might be a young team, but these players deserve this. Ottawa while only being around 15 years, has been the most consistent Canadian team in the past decade, reaching the playoffs in 9 straight trips. While Montreal and Toronto have more history, it's just that, history. The time is now, and it's now time for the Sens to lift that cup.
Toronto Maple Leaf fans might be whinning that Ottawa couldn't reach this far had they played them in the playoffs. Ottawa has a history of being horrible against Toronto in the playoffs, but the problem is...it's tough to play a team that can't reach the playoffs (Toronto has missed out on the playoffs in two straight seasons).
Then you have the Canadian sports fans who are cheering against Ottawa because of the fact that they are a young team, yet Tampa has a Stanley Cup and they began at the same time as Ottawa, Florida and Anaheim have reached the finals in the past and they are younger than Ottawa and in non-hockey markets.
I am an emotional person and I am not afraid to show that emotion in public. When I get angry, people know it and when I'm happy people can clearly see it.
When it comes to sports, there is where I am most emotional and if it's on the field or in the stands, I let me emotions take over.
I was born in Ottawa and while I no longer live there, I still have fond memories of the city and most of all I am a huge Sens Fan. I have been to so many games in my life and for me they are a team, even with its short history, I cheer with great pride. When I play either NHL or NHL2K, I always use them and I know the team from all angles.
If you don't follow hockey, then let me refresh you briefly. The Ottawa Senators on Saturday, defeated the Buffalo Sabres in Overtime to clinch the Eastern Conference Title and earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. Of all the Canadian teams, Ottawa has been the most consistent of them all in the past 10 years, have reached the playoffs in nine straight seasons, but outside of the President Trophy (best league record) and reaching Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, this is now the furthest the club has reached. In the past, the team, with all its talents has had a tough time going far in the playoffs but this season, when the pressure was no where to be found, they did more than enough to beat some of the tougher teams in Pittsburgh (Sydney Crosby), New Jersey (Brodeur) and now Buffalo (Briere, Drury and Milller).
When Daniel Alfredsson scored the overtime winner, I actually began to shed tears of joy. I was so happy to see my team finally reach this point. While it still isn't the summit, just reaching this point is a gift you would never throw away. Regardless of who Ottawa faces, be it Anaheim or Detroit in the Finals, Ottawa will be the underdog and it's absolutely perfect, because when there is no pressure on Ottawa, they play their best hockey.
It felt so good on Saturday to see the team do what they did and if you're not a hockey fan, you should be. The sport is not covered well in the United States and a sport that is that is so great to watch should be appreciated even more so by those who love sports in general.
In my Now Playing section of my games collection I have that I am currently playing Guitar Hero 2. While I do not have a 360 at this moment, I have been playing the game a lot...but at Best Buy. I don't know about anyone else, but it's next to impossible to find a copy of the game in the city of Vancouver and since I do not have a 360, I play the game at the store. While this isn't technically a bad thing, it is when you're spending your lunch breaks trying to top your own score on The Beast and Harlott by Avenged Sevenfold. I've played that song on Medium so much, I think I know the chords by heart. My score playing right-handed is just over 160,000 and hitting 98% of the notes; not bad considering I am a lefty.
If there is one game I want more than anything right now is Guitar Hero 2. I loved the game on the PS2 and the 360 version is the way it should be played. Hopefully the PS3 version will come out sooner rather than later and they'll make enough copies that you don't have to hunt for one.