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diablobasher Blog

Play the freakin game!

I have realised.

Or rather, suddenly been forced to acknowledge, the fact that I not only buy too many games, but sooooo many of them are played for a short amount of time before being put away in favor of the next shiny thing.

Suffice it to say, my attention span must have suffered somewhere along the lines, as i used to not be able to look at another game until i had finished the current batch.

So, in an attempt to widen my experience of genres and gameplay styles, I will be picking at random, a list of games which i have either never finished, or never played. From that list, i will be taking votes on which one i should commit to playing in it's entirety, and posting a full review for.

Look out for an update sometime soon witha shortlist of games.

Video Games are evil! TV would never harm my child!

Just take a moment to read something quite shocking.

Several weeks ago (I planned to write this much earlier) a child, girl aged 4, was found in her own bedroom, hanged. By a hairband

While a lot of ignorant people will continue to blame video games for their dead, maimed, or emotionally scarred children, I feel this incident underlines a very poignant fact.

Children are influenced by what they see. Of course they are, it takes a total moron to deny this fact.

Yet people deny this fact continually, both inside and outside of the gaming community. Outside it tends to be parents complaining that the gaming industry is purposefully targeting their children with media that will turn them into suicidal maniacs. Whereas inside the gaming community, equally ignorant viewpoints are thrown around, claiming that video games do not influence children, and that parental guidance, or lack thereof is what influences them.

While both of these sides may be well meaning, those arguments are flat out wrong. It is a stone cold fact that children will imitate what they see, it's their sole purpose in life, to learn so that when they reach an appropriatte age, they have learned all the appropriatte social and physical skills to progress in life.

Unfortunately, with parents attention turning more and more towards careers, or other things, educating and caring for their children takes a back seat a lot of the time. So children, who innocently, know no better, will imitate what they see.

In this case, a girl hangs herself, because she saw it on a cartoon. Her grandmother told her not to do it. Which was a moronic thing to do. Drawing attention to something, whether positive or negative, makes it more interesting. Not explaining WHY you shouldn't do it leads the child to wonder, and to imitate, to learn. She learned she had rubbish parents.

What does this mean?

In my mind, this is cold hard proof, that parents are more to blame than ever for their childrens behavioural problems. However, never one to see a problem in just one light, i feel this also highlights the blame that IS to be put on the industry. Not the developers, but the sales end of the stick. Age ratings should be enforced. Unconstitutional? I dont care. Do it. It's for the children, but it has to work both ways, parents need to spend more time with children, and to educate them with common sense.

Otherwise, anyone who's seen the film Idiocracy will know what's coming.

I want something for nothing! Gimme!

Ok. My apologies for not posting my Game of the Year awards. But two reasons stand out on this issue, firstly, everyone else pretty much said everything i could have wanted to, but in more detail and better articulated. Secondly, my WoW addiction has kicked itself back into top gear.

Before i continue on what will be another rant post (You've had fair warning :) WoW Ranting to follow) i will comment on some of Gamespots awards. I must say i am surprised, and delighted to see Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 beating out Mass Effect, Eternal Sonata and The Witcher.

I am also glad to see S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl winning the appropriatte award for setting and atmosphere. Surprised, but all for The Orange Box picking up it's fair share of awards. And i am most satisfied that Halo 3 didn't win anything. Not even most improved sequal, which was a surprise given Halo 2.

Anyhoo. On with the show, so they say.

Something which has been preying on my mind more and more lately, is the sheer amount of people who not only want Something for Nothing, but that they feel they not only deserve, but have the right to this.

As a slight precursor for those are are not aquainted with the ins and outs of World of Warcraft.

Each player has the ability to learn 2 'proffesions' These are either gathering, or crafting. Usually you take one of each, and use the gathering to produce the materials to help you level your crafting. But of course, given the nature of a player driven economy, there are lots of items that cross the realms, such as leather occasionally needed by Blacksmiths, or tailors etc.

One of thse proffesions is Enchanting. Instead of having a gathering proffesion linked to it, instead you get the ability to break down magical items into components to allow you to make other items more powerful. These items come in 3 forms, essences, dusts, and the very valuable Shards.

The downside to this, is that you must effectively 'lose' money, as you dont have as much loot to sell after a dungeon because you break them down for the components to raise your skill in enchanting.

Why am i telling you this? Well, because lately i have noticed an icnreasing trend. Shards are very valuable, and used in large numbers for the best and most powerful enchants. So naturally, people want them either to use, or to sell for profit. But thats part of the few upsides of being an enchanter right? The ability to break down the loot you dont need, to sell as the slightly more valuable shard.

Not according to those who want Somthing for Nothing.

Common practice when with a group in World of Warcraft when some valuable loot drops is to roll for it. Whereby, if you do not need the item, IE it's for your class, or better than your current equipment. Then you all roll 'greed' on a 100 sided die, and whoever wins, gets the item to sell/do with as they please.

Now, as most of these items are bound to you when you pick them up, and can only be sold to a vencor, they are worth a flat rate of whatever the store will pay for it. However, enchanters have one more option with this soulbound gear. Disenchanting it for the shards, most boss dropped items will give you a single shard.

Recently i have noticed however that, greedy as people are, they no longer want the flat vendor rate. No, they want the ever increasing Shard value. So it has apparently become common practice (Although i have only seen it a few times, much to my horror and dismay) That if an enchanter is in the group, they will instead give the item to him, and once it has been broken down, instead roll for the shard.

This is where my blood starts to boil.

Hold on a moment? You already have 2 proffesions, and all the associated benefits (Mining ore, or making weapons, or whatever it is you do) Why should you get the benefit of my proffesion as well as your own? That's not fair at all. I've put a lot of time, and money into being able to disenchant such powerful items. You have not. So surely if i greed an item, it's mine to do with as i please? I won it fair and square.

You want something for nothing huh? Oh i see, it doesnt work both ways though? I'm not allowed to roll for that nice gem you just mined out of the ground, but you want my shard?

Nice.

Add this to the fact that a lot of people who raise alt enchanters, are very. Very. Lazy. So you quite frequently see people in the various trade areas shouting thingsa like "I will perform any enchantment you want, for free, so long as you provide all the materials"

So of course, materials have become a lucrative trade to say the least, wich most shards popping in at about 4-8 gold each.

However, for the honest enchanter who just wants to make the same amount of cash as every other proffession (That's, quite a bit of cash.) It's nigh on impossible, you have4 choices.

1. Do it for free like everyone else, and hope someones nice enough to tip you.

2. Farm the materials yourself, and sell the enchantmentsat LESS than you could get by selling those materials individually.

3. Power lvl to 70, join a 40man raiding guild who doesnt have an enchanter, and hit the big raid dungeons as often as possible to get the really rare enchantments that might actually sell for a profit.

4. Ignore it, and continue making a meagre amount of money on disenchanting your loot (Remember, just because a shard sells for 8g, doesnt mean im making 8. As i have to lose 5g worth of loot before i pull a shard, at least.)

So i ask you. Am i just being a grumpy old loser, who wants to keep everything to himself? (Or worse, as i have been called by people to whom i would not give free stuff) Or do you agree, the benefits of a proffesion i have worked hard to learn should be my own?

I'd like some opinions on this one, as i am at a loss as to whether or not i'm just being a jerk and can't see it. Or if the culture of I Want Something For Nothing really has spread this far.

Lost in Time!

Ok, it's 2 'times' of the year at once, and i dont kno which way to look.

It's Award Time, and it's Christmas (Insert other religion hollday here so as not to look like an ignorant jerk) Time.

Now not being much of a person for.... 'Christmas Spirit' I have decided my efforts are best put towards Award Season Spirit!

So happy Award Season everybody, and when i can tear myself away from World of Warcraft (Damn 60+ is more fun than -60) and Working, i will be giving out some rather special awards.

Only kidding, there's nothing special about them!

Here's a sneak preview. I love Bioshock ;)

Unable to connect? Rawrg!

Thanks Blizzard.

I want to be able to play World of Warcraft before i go to work.

Not have you break it, and then fix it just in time for other people to be able to play it while im stuck at work.

Where does my $20 a month go?

In other, perhaps more important news (Although only marginally) Rockstar has managed to overturn the Manhunt 2 ban, and will be releasing in the UK soon! You may not care for the game itself, i sure as heck dont. But this is certainly a decent blow against nanny state overwatch, and against the BBFC for taking it upon itself to make our decisions for us.

Hopefully they will not have the audacity to try that again for another few years.

Long live freedom of choice.

Free! Free! For Free!!!

You hear that Bethesda?

Say it with me now.

F-R-E-E

Take 2 put out it's Bioshock DLC today (For us in the UK at least) and with aprehension i thought "Ugh. Fine, i'll see how much it costs."

Which is the wrong attitude to be taking towards DLC, but an attitude caused by the relentless cash grubbing of companies like Microsoft and Bethesda (Microsoft indirectly sometimes, as they would not permit Epic to put out free content for a time)

To my shock, and glee. The DLC put out by Take 2 for Bioshock was free!

Not only have they fixed the Widescreen issue (Dont think it was an issue? Bite me. I do.) But they have given you 4 new plasmids/gene tonics to play with, available at your local gatherers garden, as well as another achievement. 100 points worth of hulkingly big Brass Balls. With those babies swinging, people will know you are good at Bioshock, unlike the previous offering, in which you could wrench yourself through the game with reckless abandon and still get the achievement.

This content pack is not only free, but it's free. And it's a fantastic excuse to play through the game again, sure, 4 more abilities aren't going to add any significant replay value, but, it gives you something else to look at while playing through the game a second time to clean up any achievements you missed the first time, and grow some Brass Balls.

Now, some might ask. "Yo! Whatup with all the cynicism?" Well, sure, it's a small content pack, one which by all accounts, should not merit payment at all. But y'know what, after Bethesda charged people for HORSE ARMOR, and PEOPLE BOUGHT IT. I've the right to be cynical. (Not to mention the shenanigans Epic pulled with the extra PC content that i should, by all rights, be playing on my 360, and as i have said before, i WILL play the content, but i WILL NOT pay for it. Call me a pirate if you want, but i paid ffull price for the game, i want the WHOLE game.)

And in a non gaming related post, my guitar playing is coming along nicely, well, as nicely as it can in a couple days worth of playing. I'm a little confused as to what i should be doing practice wise and how it will help (The major disadvantage of learning by myself and not hiring a teacher) so i have been practicing riffs i like from songs i like. The easier ones being Immigrant Song, Highway to Hell, Paranoid and The Trooper.

While it's a lot of fun (Fun being the major factor, and the reason i play Guitar Hero. And also the reason i've not even thought about Guitar Hero since i bought the guitar, let alone bothered to play it) I feel it may be in my best interests to at least consult a teacher, otherwise i feel i will end up practicing certain riffs and songs, while having no knowledge at all about playing the guitar.

For now however i've put in a subscription for Total Guitar magazine, as a friend of mine recomended it very highly.

EDITNESS!!!!

Street Fighter IV, in full 3d with the stylized graphics of the trailer. Not sure i like this revelation, but as long as it plays amazingly well, then i will have to put up with it.

In other news, i just bought the biggest torch i've ever seen. So big in fact, the box doesnt call it a torch, it calls it a "Halogen Spotlight" and woah man, how it fits that description. Not only is it rechargeable (Came with both plug and car adapters) it's 5million candle power, and as big as a portabl TV. It puts out the same power as my standard household room lightbulbs, it's amazing. Irrelevent, completely, but it's the manliest torch i've ever seen, so i had to buy it.

Move along, nothing to see here...

Well, with the website (Officially) continuing as if nothing ever happened, i figured that after the general shock of it had passed, it was time for me to do the same.

Not from the website, as was my original intention, but just in general.

While i will miss Jeff, and his crazy antics, and will definately miss being able to respect Gamespots information, i feel this is still the best website to obtain information regarding features, release dates etc, although i can no longer rely on it for technical information such as bugs/faults with games, as mentioning those might be deemed too 'negative' for a games image.

So i have decided to go on ahead with something i've been meaning to do properly for ages now, learn to play the Guitar.

I've had a crummy old acoustic for a good while now, and while i've strummed a few chords and practiced very ocasionally, i've made no real progress so to speak, i put half of that down to lazyness, a bit down to time constraints, and the final part down to the fact that the music im into just doesnt sound good on an acoustic.

So, i went on down to my local independant music store, and purchased myself a... *reads packaging* ESP F-10 Pack. With my christmas bonus.

I'm told the guitar is of no great quality compared to some of the more expensive ones, but for a beginner, and what you get for the £200 ($400) is a reasonable deal. That and the guitar itself has a nice angled shape to it, giving it a bit of a 'Metal!' feel to it.

You get the basics, some picks, a small amp, carrycase etc etc. And i picked up some 'LRN2PlayNOOB!!" style DVDs and some chord books etc as well.

And i plan (Things dont always go to plan! :P) To devote at least a half hour a day to learning to play, even if it's not serious, it gives me something to relax, as i found that lately, i havent been playing games to relax, i've been playing them either for points, or because im bored. And while they are fun, i think i've over saturated my brain, especially this month what with about 15 games having been released that i intend to play through.

So rock on people!

Faith comes and goes.

After having thought long and hard about all this (You all know what i'm talking about by now) i have come to the conclusion that i have simply lost faith.

Gamespot has long been, for me, the ONLY website to visit (with the exception maybe of Gamefaqs) as i found others to be, boring, fanboyish, lacking in editorial quality, badly designed, hard to navigate, etc, and have terrible communities.

I don't want to go to any of those sites, but i can no longer frequent a site that has the foul stink of corruption all over it.

So i find myself losing my faith in the entire industry, i find myself questioning what i want to do from this point on. If this is the way the industry is going, do i really want to be a games developer?

Quite honestly, i just don't know anymore. Ever since i layed hands on a controller, i have known the only thing i could do with my life would be to put all my creative efforts into video games, my sole purpose in life, i could invisage no other paths to take, not other careers i wanted to so much as look at.

But now, my mind drifts aimlessly, no longer sure of what it wants. All thanks to Josh Larson, and being hit in the face with the baseball bat of realisation, i new the industry was corrupt, every industry is corrupt, that is a fact of life. But this whole debacle has hit me, hard.

My usual hateful babble is not going to help here, instead i find that even this blog post, much like myself now seems to be floating aimlessly as it struggles to get to a point.

I don't know what to do. Am i overreacting? Probably. Will i get over it? again, probably. But right now, i just want to sit in the corner and do something decidedly emo in nature.

I will be keeping eye on news, and devouring any scraps of confirmed news that i can, but i no longer consider myself a gamespot patron.

Jeff Gerstmann. We will miss you.

While certain users will not miss Jeff, i am completely outraged at the firing of one of the best and most honest reviewers on the internet.

This is an absolute breach of everything gamespot has ever stood for over the years, that advertising money is so important to them they can breach their objectivity to keep it.

Since Greg had left a log time ago, and Jeff is now gone, i have no reason to visit this site.

I am absolutely seething right now, so much so i wont bother to write a long rant about how Jeff's review of Kane and Lynch got him fired because Eidos didnt like the 'tone' of it.

I will now go away and debate whether or not to ever return to Gamespot.

Super Mario... Galaxy!

Whoever would've though that Mario would make the trip into space? And survive it no less.

But he didn't just survive it, oh no, in true Mario style, it was an absolute triumph.

Super Mario Galaxy is, in my opinion THE game every Wii owner must not only have, but play to death. After his abysmal outing in Sunshine, Mario is back in an even weirder and whackier adventure, but this one is much much better.

Not only does it have the gravity bending, mind tricking awesomeness of puzzles present in games like mercury or portal, but it has the perfect balance of challenge and ease of play that Mario is known for, while maintaining a humerous, yet detailed world that is suitable for the entire family.

I have since, in fact, been removed by my family from the Wii, not, as you would expect because i'm using the big TV and they can't watch it, but because they too want to experience the awesomeness of Super Mario Galaxy.

Forget Twiglett Princess, this is the game that not only showcases the true power of the Wii graphically (Slightly above that of the original Xbox, as was touted by nintendo from the begining, not simple a redesigned gamecube) but really shows other developers that this is how Wii games should be made. It is by far, the best game for the Wii right now, and most likely for some time to come.

And to think, i was dubious about Mario's adventures in space being a little too whacky for the italian plumber.

The only downside however, is it's a little on the short side, however that seems to apply to everything these days, but if you want to get everything out of the game, there is a hefty amount of challenge which can more than double the games length depending on your skill.

So go on developers, stop feeding Wii Owners crappy PS2 ports, and show us you can be bothered to make custom shaders for the Wii, Wii will appreciate it. Your sales department will as well.

In other news, Super Mario Galaxy is better than the following games i aquired this week, all of which are still awesome however.

Assasins Creed (Special Edition! Whoop!. Even if it's a lame one that i would not reccoment to others)

Call of Duty 4 (Again Special Edition, this one was more worthwhile however)

Now i'm hoping to finish these games before the arrival of Mass Effect, Kane and Lynch and Guitar Hero 3 on friday.

That is is my WoW addiction will allow me, lvl 49 now and pushing on 50, getting ready for the Burning Crusade (A little late, i know) which will be here tommorow morning.