First off, Happy New Year!
And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and all that (fully aware of how late I am) as well.
Moving on, just because I've been neglecting my GameSpot blog, I have been writing over at The Mind of Game and GUFUyourself as you should already know and, of course, this is a collection of my most recent works, so check them out why don't you!
I dont tend to enjoy games that are artsy for the sake of being artsy. Ive played a few of those. You know the type. Games that go out of their way to be art. As much as I support the games as art argument, I dont feel games should try to be art, just being art is enough.
Ill admit, as I sat down in front of my television, DualShock 3 in hand, I was prepared to hate Journey. Id heard conflicting reports on forums from people who had played the game. Some called it one of the best gaming experiences theyd ever had while others derided it for being only about two hours (which it is) and the equivalent of push forward to win the game. I thought I would fall into the second camp. But once I loaded the game, I kept repeating to myself, Have an open mind.
As if it was that simple.
So I plunged into my first playthrough of Journey, having budgeted the necessary two hours, leaned back slightly in my chair and telling myself to have an open mind, unsure if I actually would.
But I did.
Parental Discretion is Advised
Killzone. The Halo killer. The game that was supposed to be Sonys big exclusive franchise that would make us all forget about Halo. Well, that didnt happen, since the first game in the series turned out to be quite the mediocre game, at best. One has to question what Sonys motive was for even making a sequel to it. Maybe they thought the developers could fix their mistakes from the first time around and deliver the game the original Killzone shouldve been.
Well, that didnt happen. What we got was a textbook example of style over substance, a game that looks good in videos but is absolutely terrible in practice. Killzone 2 hardly does anything right, and if youll bear with me, Ill explain why.
Following the end of one trilogy, we have the beginning of another. For four long years, the Master Chief and his AI companion, Cortana, have been stranded in space, separated from humanity and everything they know. But not for much longer, as theres a new threat looming on the horizon and the Master Chief is pulled from his impromptu retirement back into the fray once again. But this time, instead of Bungie, the creators of the Halo franchise at the helm, theres a new kid behind the wheel. 343 Industries, the new studio dedicated to all things Halo since Bungie partnered up with Activision, has the chance to prove they have what it takes to handle one of the most recognizable and critically acclaimed franchises in gaming.
In the modern hip-hop industry, pretty much any rapper who wants to make it has to start at the bottom with a few mixtapes and move up to independently released pseudo albums. Kendrick Lamar has done both. The problem with this is the inherent risk of building hype the artist cant live up to with their first full studio album. J. Cole had this problem and I would argue Curren$y did as well. While their first major label studio albums were certainly good, thats all they were, neither great nor exceptional like their mixtapes/independent albums were.
Kendrick Lamar was in a similar position for me. I loved his mixtapes and his independently released Section.80 and Overly Dedicated albums as well as the Kendrick Lamar EP and they all come highly recommended for anyone looking to add a bit of new West Coast flavor to their rotation. But the problem was, at least for me, they were too good. I was left to wonder whether or not his first studio effort, good kid, m.A.A.d city could measure up. Fortunately, Kendrick has proven that he can not only measure up to the bar set by his previous efforts but propel the bar into orbit.
The annual Horizon festival has returned to Colorado, its siren song luring lovers and racers of cars the world over. For three days, racers take to the streets of Colorado to show off their talents and compete for a coveted spot in the Horizon finals. While some games like Need for Speed have eschewed the Underground racing culture seen (or parodied) in the Fast and Furious films and Project Gotham Racing has taken to going for balls out style and flash merged with civilized circuit races, Forza Horizon is a little of everything, plopping you in an open world and letting you explore, serenaded by Avicii and his contemporaries.
Okay, maybe serenaded was a poor choice of words
And I've kept up with a couple editorials, which you can view below
Listen, I just dont think this is working out. I wanted to believe things could work between us, that we could make something out of a bad situation. But I was wrong. Maybe I was naïve to think things would turn around in just two years. Maybe I was just too optimistic for my own good. Maybe. Whatever the case, I now know that I was sadly mistaken.
Lions, Im sorry, but I think we need to see other people.
One of the reasons I buy Blu-Ray discs is for the combo packs that include the Blu-Ray copy, the throwaway special features Blu-Ray which I never end up watching, the DVD for my mother and father who dont yet own Blu-Ray players (or HDTVs for that matter) and a digital copy I can watch on my PC, iPhone, laptop, whichever suits my fancy on a given day.
But lately, some movies, particularly those produced by Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers have been shipping with Ultraviolet Digital Copies, which I considered rather benign at first but now hate with a fiery passion. Why? Not because Ultraviolet is inherently bad and the promise of being able to stream my movies from the cloud any time I like (and near a suitably quick wi-fi hotspot) certainly has merit but it comes with a cost that Im not too fond of paying. The cost of freedom.
And that's all I'll link for now. If you want more frequent updates, you know where to go!
Also check out Musical Musings. I post there too!
Oh yeah, GUFUyourself has forums too. You should totally join!