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Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year

I just realized I didn't wish everyone a Happy New Year last year, I feel kinda bad for not doing that, but at least this time I am. In about three hours it will be time for me to ring in the New Year, and I find it hard to believe that 2011 is about done. Time sure does fly, and a lot has happened to me in the last year. A lot of it good, and a lot of it bad, but I'm not going to dwell on those past failure, I'm going to look forward to the future, and hope it brings good things for me.

Although this new year isn't just about good things happening for me, I hope this new year brings good things for everyone on Gamespot, but for some reason I have a feeling it will. :)

Happy New Year's everyone! :D

Wishing Everyone A Merry Christmas

It's that time of year once again, and it's hard to believe its already here, but whatever the case, I'd like to take the time and wish everyone on Gamespot a very Merry Christmas. I'd ramble on about how Christmas is suppose to be the time of the year where you spend quality time with your family and appreciate them, but you already know that, and don't need to hear it the millionth time from someone, so I'll just leave it at that. :P

Anyway, enjoy the holidays and I hope everyone gets what they want for Christmas even if you don't get gifts or celebrate it. :)

Another Year And Growing Older

Today is December 19, and on this exact day in 1986 I was born. Twenty-five years later, and I never thought I'd be here posting a blog about it, but then again things in life are never set in stone, but I'm glad to be here on Gamespot because that means you're obligated to wish me a happy birthday, and give me presents. Okay, okay I kid about the last part, but a happy birthday is just as good. :P

I wish I had more to write, but then again a short blog is good since it means less to read, and not so long comments. I'm about to go pick up my own cake since my parents are too busy at the moment to pick it up for me, but I really don't mind picking it up. I have yet to receive any gifts from my family, but then again they're probably waiting until later to surprise me, I wonder what they got me? Probably not a lot since my birthday is pretty close to Christmas. Anyway enough of my rambling, I'm just going to enjoy my birthday to its fullest! :D

Sonic having a little bonding time with himself. :P

Where Art Thou, Mac?

It's been close to a month since I last blogged and I'm sure some of you have been wondering where in the hell have I been. Honestly I've been around Gamespot, it's just I've been either too busy to write a blog or just lazy, but mostly busy. You know the saying of when it rains, it pours? Well, that's what has happened to me in the last few weeks. Everything was moving along nicely in college, but all of a sudden our professor got the bright idea to load us up with homework and labs to do after class, and damn, I didn't realize just how much time they can take up, but thankfully that will be ending soon since next Wednesday is my last day of college for the fall semester, and then it's time to kick back and celebrate the holidays! :D

One of the other reasons I haven't blogged in a while is the fact that I've been playing a lot of games, and you know all those first impressions I gave on Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and Skyrim? Well, let's just say the games met more than my expectations, and I'm currently spending time between all three trying to platinum them. I've already beaten Arkham City, and Uncharted 3's main stories, and I'm just trying to collect what's left on the trophies in them. Skyrim on the other hand has been a major time consumer. I've put in about 40 or more hours on the game, and I still haven't even touched the main story. Well, I'm about halfway through it now, and it's getting a lot more interesting. I definitely have to say the plot is much more interesting than Oblivion's was.

There's also one other game I never mentioned that I got a few days after Uncharted 3, and before Skyrim, it was Sonic Generations. Originally I had skipped over it in favor of Uncharted 3, but after a few days, I started to feel bad since as you all know I'm a fan of Sonic and usually never miss out on his games, but in the last few years I skipped a lot of his games because generally they were bad, but after talking to Thug2Wasteland, he convinced me to give the game a chance and so I bought it, and I have to say, I was not disappointed by the game, it's everything Sonic fans wanted in a 3D Sonic game without crappy load times, and unnecessary characters. It's short, but it's still worth the money for fans of Sonic.

Things at home right now are in turmoil thanks to construction happening at our house, and it ended up making me lose my room since my parents needed my room for my brother, so I've had to live out in the living room, and it sucks! No privacy whatsoever, and worst of all, I can't play my games as I usually do. It's starting to get on my nerves, but things are looking up though as once this construction is done, I'll have my brother's old room which is much larger than my old room, and on top of that, I've got a few new things I have purchased that will make my new room much better than my older room. :D

I'm been meaning to get back to blog since the end of November and it feels good to finally post an update. I'll try to post a few more blogs in December, and I'll definitely see you all in the boards and unions like usual.

Funny picture to close out this blog:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim First Impressions

Only eleven days into the month of November and already we've been hit by so many big game releases, and one of the biggest this month, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released today, and just like with the other big titles of this year, it's had a lot of hype behind it. Does it live up to the hype, in a word, yes Skyrim does live up to its hype, and takes some more, I dare say this is one of the most engrossing single player games of this year, and may even challenge Arkham City as my game of the year, but we'll save that for later.

Thankfully Skyrim had a midnight launch last night, so I braved the somewhat cold weather along with many other people to get my copy of the game. While I was waiting for the midnight launch, I talked to quite a few people, and we all agreed upon one thing, and that was how many people were in line for the game. It's amazing how an RPG got that much hype, and it made us afraid that the game wouldn't be good, but most of the other people told us it will be worth it. I definitely have to agree with them since the game is everything I expected out of an Elder Scrolls game.

I'm not going to talk about the being of the game since I don't want to spoil it for people that haven't played the game, but let's just say the introduction of Skyrim is tons better than the introduction to Oblivion, it does a good job of building up the suspense, and it also teaches you the basics of combat, and how to use the controllers, but for people that have played Oblivion, the control scheme is quite similar, so you won't be that lost. What makes the Elder Scrolls so much better than Oblivion is the fact that the combat feels so much more natural, and the enemies definitely seem more responsive than they were in Oblivion. There's a lot of improvements that I could list, but let's just say it makes the game that much more enjoyable.

The graphics have definitely improved in the last few years since Oblivion, and the draw distance is quite amazing in Skyrim. You can see a lot of details in the game, and each town you go to is quite unique, although I haven't been to every place just yet, but from what I've seen it's great. Although sometimes you still get the occasional pop up texture here and there, and the ever famous person stuck in the door or wall glitch, but I can easily overlook these small glitches since the game is engrossing as I've said so far. If you're looking for a great single player RPG than look no further than Skyrim. You'll be glad that you did since you're getting more than your money's worth in this game.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception First Impressions

November is already upon us, and today marks the release of one of Sony's flagship titles, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. There's also been a lot of hype surrounding Drake's Deception, and mostly it lives up to the hype, but unlike Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Drake's Deception feels awfully familiar in some areas, but still it's an overall solid game, and fans of the previous entries will definitely love it, just like me. :D

Unlike Arkham City there was no midnight launch for Drake's Deception, so I had to wait until this morning to get my hands on it, and after spending a few hours with the main story, I will say that the main story doesn't disappoint, it's full of plot twists, and the amazing writing that Uncharted is known for, but like I mentioned earlier, there's a few areas of Drake's Deception that feels very familiar which isn't a bad thing, but they're not as exciting as they were in Among Thieves.

I'm not going to spoil what happens so far in the game, but let's just say it even made my mouth drop at some of the stuff Nathan is willing to go through this time around to find treasure, and the main villain definitely has more of a personality this time around. She maybe female, but she's no pushover. I still love the voice acting, and Nolan North brings us A game to Nathan still, and you can't forget about Victor "Goddamn" Sullivan, he's still as awesome as ever with his awesome one liners to Nate and his talks of woman, it never gets old. :P

I haven't been able to try out the multiplayer yet, but I've heard its still as great as ever, and I can't wait to play some matches online once I do get there, and I hope to put my creepy crawler kickback to good use as well. For now I'm off to go play some more Uncharted 3, and for those of you that have bought the game, I'm sure you're enjoying it. For those of you that haven't bought the game, I'm sure it's somewhere down the line right? :D

Camp Horror: Movies To Watch For Halloween #5

Over the month of October I've featured a few films I've deemed worthy of watching on Halloween night, but the problem with them has been, they've been single films, and not multiple films, but that changes with this blog. I'm going to mention quite a few films in this blog, and what better genre of horror films to mention than zombie films? You know zombies right? The undead rising from the graves, trying to eat the living and setting up for the end of the world. Over the years there's been quite a few zombie films, but these ones in particular stand out in my mind as some of the best zombie flicks out there, starting with none another than the original zombie film itself:

Night Of The Living Dead

The first and original zombie film, George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead turned quite a few heads when it was first released back in 1969. It was a different type of film for the time, since it dealt with something never really explored much, and the shocking content it presented with undead people eating the flesh of the living. So people were very much put off by the content of the film, and wanted the film banned, but over the years, the original Night Of The Living Dead gained cult following and it was even deemed by the Library Of Congress as culturally significant, pretty good for a zombie film, but it didn't stop there:

Dawn Of The Dead

While Night Of The Living Dead relied more on it's atmospheric nature, Dawn Of The Dead relied more on gore and blood, and thanks to make-up effects artist Tom Savini, the film was considered a success, and it topped what the original did, but it also caused some uproar because of it's gory content, and by 1978 standards, it was pretty gory. There was a lot of zombies eating people, head shots to zombies and ripping of body parts, and even today, it's still quite damn gory, but in a funny way since you can tell it's fake, but the Dead movies didn't stop there:

Day Of The Dead

1985 saw the release of Day Of The Dead which followed Night and Dawn, but unlike those two films, Day Of The Dead wasn't as successful as it's previous films. It's still considered by a lot to be a great addition to the Dead trilogy, and I have to agree, the story maybe a little weaker, but it's still fun to watch and the make-up effects, once again provided by Tom Savini are still great and hold up by today's standards, but let's not forget there's more than just Romero zombie films, like this one for instance:

Probably one of the more well known non Romero zombie films, Return Of The Living Dead added in more humor to the zombie film genre while keeping the gore and violence that made them wildly popular, and unlike Romero's films, Return was a little more on the gory side since it showed the zombies biting into the skulls of their victims and eating the actual brains, it grossed some people out, but thankfully the dark humor in the film does help balance out the gore factor. It should also be noted that Return had the uniqueness that the zombies couldn't be killed even by shooting them through the brain, or even cutting them up, and they also kept their intelligence, making them that much more dangerous than Romero's zombies, but it wasn't the most violent zombie film around, that belongs too:

Dead Alive (aka Brain Dead)

Who would have ever thought that before The Lord Of The Rings that Peter Jackson would direct one of the goriest films of all time, Dead Alive, also known as Brain Dead in other countries. I really can't explain what this film is about, but I can tell you it's damn violent. It makes any other zombie film look like a Disney film, it's that violent. There was a couple of scenes in the movie that almost made me want to throw up because it's that sick, but despite that, the humor is well done, and it helps to balance out some of the more violent scenes in the film, definitely stay away from this film if you've got a weak stomach, and of course the zombie films don't stop there, there's a supposed more realistic approach to them:

28 Days Later

28 Days Later takes the usual zombie film, and takes a unique approach to them, instead of the usual biting the zombies do to infect their victims, 28 Days Later states that do to a rage virus that was inside of some lab monkeys, they escape thanks to activists, and from there the monkeys infect the whole of London and most of England, but what makes this film scary is the fact that the zombies in the film really aren't zombies at all, they're people who lost their intelligence thanks to this rage virus and all they have to live on is their basic instincts, and they make for dangerous foes because they can run and not shamble like most zombies, but unlike the Return zombies, they can be killed in normal ways. It was truly something different at the time, and too bad the sequel wasn't as good.

With all this blood and gore, most zombie films would usually put most people off, but there's one zombie film in particular that anyone can watch thanks its funny nature, and in general just being an awesome film:

Shaun Of The Dead

Making its second appearance in a Halloween blog, you guys may remember Shaun Of The Dead as being featured in my top five favorite horror films, and it still stands as one of my favorites albeit, its got more comedy than zombie horror which makes it a watchable film for most everyone. I really don't need to explain why it's such an enjoyable film, but if you're looking for a more tame zombie film with some humor, check out Shaun Of The Dead, it's definitely worth the watch. :D

Batman: Arkham City Impressions

Today marks the release of one of the most anticipated titles of this holiday season, Batman: Arkham City. There's been a lot of hype surrounding the game, and many reviewers have given the game a perfect score, or at least close to perfect, but does the game really deserve all its praise, especially from the fans? Well, I spend a few hours with the game last night and this morning, and I can safely say the game does deserve all the praise it's getting, it's possibly the best game I've played all this year, and definitely gets my pick for game of the year so far.

Of course before getting my hands on the game, I went to my local Gamestop's midnight release for the game, and they had a few things going on including the full game you could play before the release of the game, but I stayed away from that since I didn't want to spoil things for myself, and besides I wanted to wait until I got home to play the game. Anyway, like with the Mortal Kombat midnight release, they raffled off a few prizes and the best one they were giving away was a standee of Batman, but unfortunately I didn't win it, but I did manage to win a poster and a card for three tracks to download from the soundtrack, it was nice and I'm definitely thinking about framing the Batman Arkham City poster since it's a nice one. :D

So I got home and popped in the game, and of course being the PS3 version, it had to install some of the game to the hard drive, and it didn't take too long thankfully. In no time I was zooming around Arkham City kicking some bad guy butt, and searching out side missions to do within Arkham City. This game is huge! When they said this game was going to be much larger than Arkham Asylum, they weren't lying. The map of Arkham City is at least five times bigger than Arkham City, and thankfully the game isn't all that hard to navigate thanks to helpful mission marks. It reminds me a lot of Assassin's Creed, but with a Batman twist. The combat is flawless as always and those of you that have played Arkham Asylum know what to expect.

The side missions and the extra content with Catwoman help to make this one of the best games of this year, and I don't know if there's a game that can beat right now. You'd think with all this praise, I'd actually have something to complain about within the game, but seriously Rocksteady Studios did an amazing job with the game, and I have no other choice but to award the game a perfect 10, it's almost flawless in every way, but the boss fights are a little easy, yet I can overlook that for the amount of amazing content in the game, it's a must buy for fans of Batman, and even if you're not a fan of The Dark Knight.

I'm not ashamed to admit I bought the strategy guide so I can get 100 percent in the game.

Camp Horror: Movies To Watch For Halloween #4

Another day, and it's time to add another film to my list of horror movies to watch for Halloween. This countdown has been missing something and I really can't put my finger on it, but I know there's something it needs in terms of a good humor, and horror related movie. I'd recommend Army Of Darkness, but that already appeared on my top favorite films, and I can't mention The Evil Dead since that was mentioned in my Halloween blogs of last year, but wait! There's still on in the Evil Dead franchise I have yet to mention:

Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn

Where as the first Evil Dead was a straight horror film, Evil Dead II changes up the formula a little bit by adding in some dark comedy which helps to differ the film from the other entries, and this definitely helps the film as it can stand on its own merits, and a lot of people consider Evil Dead II to be the best of the trilogy, but in my own opinion I still prefer the original Evil Dead because of it's shock content and genuine scariness, but that's not to say Evil Dead II isn't full of scary moments, it has its share of scary moments and shocking violence.

The story of Evil Dead II is unique because for the first twenty minutes of the film, it tells of what happened in the original Evil Dead, and it may confuse some people, but from what I heard it was due to the fact that Sam Raimi didn't hold the rights to the first film, and decided to film some of the scenes from the first film so people could know what was going on, and despite this short coming, it doesn't detract from the film and soon enough Ash is at it again having to defend a group of people from Deadites once again, and this also marks the film where Ash gets his trademark chainsaw arm and sawed off shotgun, it's also where we see the smart ass side of Ash starting to show itself, but it's towards the end of the film. You gotta love Ash and his one liners, they're just too awesome.

As I stated the film despite having some comedy within it is still considered a horror film because the Deadites show up once again at the cabin and cause trouble for Ash, and his friends. The gore hasn't been toned down whatsoever, there's still plenty of bloodshed and fountains of gushing blood to fulfill the blood lust of everyone. Although Evil Dead II didn't make me jump as much as the original, it's still got a few great surprise scenes that will definitely get the more unaware people. I should know since the film made my sister jump a few times especially when a certain Deadite showed up right behind one of the characters. I also gotta give the film credit for creating some of the best one liners in a film, including Ash's groovy. :P

I really hold the Evil Dead films in high regard not because of their scare factor, but because of the main character, Ash Williams and the way Bruce Campbell portrays him, he was made for this role, and I'm glad unlike most other horror films, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell won't allow any remakes since no one can fit the bill of Ash Williams. That part will always belong to Bruce Campbell and him alone! Anyway, I definitely recommend Evil Dead II because it's a great sequel to the original and it also produced some of the best one liners from Ash besides Army Of Darkness. As always, if you're a little sensitive to blood and gore, it's best to avoid this movie since there's a good amount, but if you're looking for a good horror comedy, check it out, it's worth the watch. :D

Evil Deer Head! :P

Camp Horror: Movies To Watch For Halloween #3

We're back with yet another installment of Camp Horror, and what do I have in store this time around? So far I've taken a look at alien creatures and vampires, but this time around we're taking a look at something a little bit more paranormal. Now the paranormal is a very popular medium for Hollywood to turn out crappy Paranormal Activity movies, but even those movies don't stack up to this cult classic, it's also what you get when you base in on one of Stephen King's best novels:

The Shining

From the twisted mind of Stephen King and the directing brilliant of Stanley Kubrick, you get one of the most twisted movies ever produced, but it's also one of the best psychological horror movies out, it's very akin to Psycho, but with a much more serious tone and double the scare factor. There's no one moment where the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and Jack Nicholson in the main role as Jack Torrance added to the movie's overall appeal. The movie is also very much like Halloween where it doesn't rely so much on blood and violent to get it's point across, but it's more psychological, so it's more watchable than some of the other horror films out there. I'd also like to add that Jack Nicholson's performance in the film was outstanding, probably one of his best.

The movie tells the story of Jack Torrance, a writer who's having a hard time trying to come up with his next novel, so he uses a job as a winter caretaker to his advantage hoping the solitude of the place will give him the necessary inspiration to write his novel, but what he and his family don't know is the fact that the hotel is haunted and eventually everything starts to go south until Jack himself becomes possessed by the ghosts in the hotel and wants to kill his wife and son.

Most of the time movies based on novels aren't all that good, but The Shining was able to rise above that and prove that movies based on novels can succeed, and I think it was also due in part to Stanley Kubrick who knew Stephen King's books very well, and let's not forget, he also had quite some experience working on films including his much talked about A Clockwork Orange. If you don't know about anything about The Shining, there's a good chance you've seen the famous axe door chopping scene parodied numerous times in other films and television as well as the line "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" these two things alone make The Shining famous, and if you haven't seen the film, shame on you for not seeing it.

As with the other films I've recommended on my list, The Shining is not a film for everyone since it's genuinely scary in a lot of parts, hell, I even found myself jumping a few times especially towards the end of the film and the ever famous axe chopping door scene made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up. If you're not a fan of scary movies especially ones that involves psychological, it's best to avoid this one, but for those of you that want a good thrilling film without that much blood, The Shining is a great film to watch. Just be prepared to jump out of your seat a few times throughout the film. :P