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bmassarani Blog

Games that get better with age (like a month)

A month later I still find myself playing MVC3 and still really enjoying it. Yet I gave MVC3 an 8.5 and Halo Reach (which I stopped playing after getting all the achievements) a 10. Does that make me a Halo fanboy... god I hope not. I do my best to remain unbiased in my reviews. However, I will admit that when it comes to consoles I am all Xbox over the PS3. Why? I just like the experience on the 360 more. With the Xbox coming out earlier than the PS3 I had a lot of friends jump to the Microsoft side of the fence. Plus the dashboard, Xbox Live, friend achievement tracking, all really help the experience. Whereas the PS3 just ran behind the times. I use my PS3 regularly... as a Blu Ray player, but I own all of 3 games for the system (SF4, Metal Gear 4, and BlazBlue) mainly because the special editions of the game come with Blu Ray specific extras.

But back to the task at hand. What makes MVC3 a game that I come back to time-after-time especially after I initially had negative feelings about the game. Well I admit that the negative feelings all center around the roster. It just really hurt going from a 60+ character roster and waiting 11 years for a 32 character roster which cut out a good amount of fan favorites. While the roster does hit on a good amount of often forgotten characters, and references a lot of favorites through ending cut scenes, I really just miss the feeling of being overwhelmed with my character selection options. Though here I am, a month later, and every time I sit down with my spare time to play a game I find myself going back to MVC3. It's quick, it's fun, and it's easy. Not easy like I can kick the crap out of the game on the hardest difficulty levels. But when I jump on to play (whether it's online or off) chaining combos together is fun and effortless. The game makes you feel like a pro after putting only a handful of hours in, while SF4 takes a lot of dedication (and patience when you are getting your but handed to you online).

Which brings me back to Halo Reach. Now it was Bungie that said they wanted to focus on 5 minutes of a game and then make that repeatedly fun to play. And I played the crap out of Halo Reach when it came out, and for some subsequent time afterwards. As of writing this I haven't picked up the defiant map pack. But I played Halo with friends until I got all the achievements. I played it enough to where beating the game on Legendary alone was not that terrible of a challenge. So why the disparity in ratings and why do I want to play MVC3 more than Halo?

I think it breaks down to a couple of points:

1. While Halo is great - there are just so damn many FPS games out there that I really lose interest in playing them quickly

2. MVC3 can be 15 minutes of fun, or it can be hours of fun. Whereas Halo is more like potato chips... you can't play just one match.

Well that was a good waste of 10 minutes and this whole post started because I am always checking every couple of weeks to try and find out what characters are going to be added to MVC3 next.

Here is my ideal list of characters... what's yours?

1. Dr. Octopus
2. Mr. Sinister
3. Gambit
4. Ghost Rider
5. Nick Fury (the original, not the Samuel L lookalike)
6. Punisher
7. Morbius
8. Apocalypse
9. Havok
10. Arch Angel
11. Spiderman
12. Carnage
13. Thor
14. Captain America
15. Iron Man
16. Wolverine
17. Phoenix
18. Daredevil
19. Kingpin
20. Hulk
21. Magneto
22. Elektra
23. Super Skrull
24. Fin Fang Foom (if they can make Amaterasu work, why not?)
25. Deadpool

1. Crimson Viper
2. Ryu
3. Chun Li
4. Batsu
5. Megaman
6. Arthur
7. Haggar
8. Strider
9. Hsien – Ko
10. Morrigan
11. J. Talbain
12. Felicia
13. Vega
14. Adon
15. Dante
16. Ken (you'd have to focus more on his dragon punch, kicks, and air attacks, like MVC2)
17. Astaroth
18. Dr. Wiley
19. Zero
20. Amaterasu
21. Wesker
22. Chris Redfield
23. Jill Valentine (but the RE2 duds anyone that can kill zombies in a skirt and tube top is OK with me. Plus I don't like the crazy Jill)
24. Tyrant
25. Viewtiful Joe

Streamlining RPGs: Good or Bad?

Maybe it's a sign of the times, the world's need for immediate gratification, but I'm now interested to see what is going to happen with RPGs now that some developers are removing chunks of previously genre defining game play. Will "streamlining" RPGs become a future trend to make the RPG market more appealing, or will it be a passing fad? I have to admit that I am interested to see how FFXIII is going to feel now that town exploration and post-battle healing has been removed.

My first experience with "streamlining" was with Mass Effect 2. After ME1's horrible inventory management system, limiting weapons and armor down to a couple of specific types and choosing your upgrades sounded awesome. For me, I liked the idea. Now don't get me wrong, there are certain games where I like a lot of inventory management (Borderlands) or expect inventory management (Dragon Age Origins). But in ME2's heavily story and action driven game play, I fully appreciated not having to spend a lot of time in an item management screen. Now if they could only go back and fix the mind-numbing planet scanning.


My Guitar Hero: Metallica Tack List

So in my GH Metallica review I commented that there are definetly some choice Met songs that were left out. Here is my Metallica track list:




The Shortest Straw

The Frayed Ends of Sanity

That Was Just Your Life

The Day That Never Comes

My Apocalypse

Whiskey In the Jar

Die, Die My Darling


The Four Horseman


Seek and Destroy

King Nothing

Hero of the Day

Master Of Puppets


Sad But True

Wherever I May Roam

The God That Failed


The Memory Remains

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Fade To Black

Creeping Death

The Call Of Ktulu

No Leaf Clover


Additional Bands

Motorhead - Stone Dead Forever

Deep Purple - Highway Star

Diamond Head - Am I Evil?

Megadeth - 99 Ways to Die

Machine Head - Halo

The Sword - Iron Swan

Mastodon - Blood and Thunder

Iron Maiden - Killers

Mercyful Fate - Evil

Judas Priest - Electric Eye

Anthrax - Caught in a Mosh

Danzig - Twist of Cain

Alice in Chains - Rooster

Alice Cooper - I'm 18

System of a Down - Toxicity

Lynyrd Skynyrd - That Smell

Bob Seger - Her Strut

Slayer - Angel of Death

Black Sabbath - Supernaut

Dethklok - Thunderhorse

Oh, Street Fighter

There are always going to be a certain handful of games that will remind me of my childhood. The first will be Wing Commander 3 (on PC of course), and the second will be Street Fighter 2 (in the arcade of course). The problem with me and Street Fighter is that even though I love the series, and have invested a good amount of quarters (and time), I suck. Yet for some reason, no matter how bad I get whupped online, I still keep coming back for more.

Normally I try to hold off on picking up fighting games on consoles. Inevitably they drop in price, making it a lot more palpable to purchase them when I will only play them for a couple of weeks then move on. But I can't wait for Tuesday... thank you Capcom. With the release of Street Fighter 2 HD super-duper-extra-long-name released on XBL Capcom did exactly what they needed to do to get me dying for SF 4. The refreshed graphics and solid game play really got me reliving my old school quarter days back in the arcades. I even stuck with SF2 long enough to get the 100 win achievement and the win a match with every character achievement (twice!).

Now, as I said earlier, I suck at Street Fighter. So I definetly did the "jump kick followed by sweep" move a lot. But now I have pledged to actually learn the game. And when I say learn the game, I mean not only play Ken. Heck, I even ordered one of the arcade sticks to really get that "arcade feel" back.

Well, 2/17, here I come. With an arcade stick, a determined mind, and a sincere effort to rock out with ALL characters.

The Value of Games

I don't believe it, I'm blogging...

I just forced myself to take a break from Fallout 3, which I have been playing for an extremely long time, because I was finally overwhelmed. I know it's weird; I stopped playing because my brain simply said, "self, its time to take a break." What prompted this? The level 20 explorer perk that reveals all the locations on the Fallout 3 world map. When an INSANE amount of locations popped up I simply had to walk away and take a breather.

This leads me to this blog and why I am writing it, the value of games. When I was a kid I got video games twice a year. One on my birthday (November) and one on Christmas (December, Duh), so that was 10 months out of the year that I didn't have something new to play. As soon as it was time for me to get a job I tried to work for Babbage's, but no luck. A couple of years later I landed a long gig with EB Games, and bought all the games I wanted to with my hard-earned money.

Now in my time of game playing, I have played a lot of crap. I have also played a lot of promising games that would have been great if I waited for their eventual clearance bin price. So nowadays, the question that always comes to my mind is, "should I buy now, or should I wait." It is my personal belief that if you pay $2 per hour of play time, then you have made a good investment (hence the reason I was a HUGE RPG fan back in the day). I mean let's face it, you pay (back then) $50 bucks for a game and you only get 5-6 hours out of it you felt cheated. Now when that gets bumped up to $25 hours, not only do you feel like you were compensated for your time, but most of the time it forces the game to be better to keep your attention.

Now I will be the first to say that I don't mind repetitive games as long as they are fun. Ninety-Nine Nights was a good bargain bin find, Amped 3 I still find myself playing every so often for 30 minutes, and I am not even going to go into the amount of time I have spent on the multi-player sections of Halo 3 and Gears 1. I still say that one of my favorite games is Final Fantasy 8 (calm down FF7 fan boys) because I put 80 hours into and loved it. This fact now brings me to right here, right now. Fallout 3, 60+ hours in and I thought I was doing everything that could be done to hold off the inevitable end. Then I go and decide to see what locations I might have missed...and BOOM it looks like the entire world map got chicken pocks.

So what am I saying? Fallout 3 is a good game (it now ranks within my top 5 of all time), yes. But I am also saying thanks to Bethesda. Not only have they produced an amazing game, but they have made it WELL worth my money. Now I am not trying to make this a ramble fest about how awesome Fallout 3 is, but compare it to Halo 3 WITHOUT MULTI-PLAYER. I always resisted playing games online because I feared it would detract from the single-player experience... I am just glad to see that there are some games out there that still focus on story and bang for the buck.