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Reaching The End?

Reaching The End

As I said in the beginning of my last blog entry, for the past year or so I've had a nasty habit of writing blog entries and either posting them and quickly deleting them afterwards, or just not even posting them. There's a good reason for this, and one of those "undiscovered" entries exposes why that's the way things have been (kind of). This entry reflects the way I feel now more than ever before. Yet it still doesn't do my current feelings complete justice, and so I will simply use this year-old rant as a reflection and foundation for discussion of my much more profound feelings.

Note: This is a really long entry and it's only going to have a few stupid pictures (I still have to keep up a certain tradition).

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I'm Finished

Well, I'm finally finished with another semester of college. Overall, I feel pretty good about this one, but I must admit, I did a half-assed job on the exams. I'm hoping that doesn't take my grades down too much. Anyway, I haven't really spent a lot of time at GS lately, mainly because I've been way too busy, but there's also another thing stopping me… I'm tired of this place.

Note: This is a rant that's been a long time in the making, so it is naturally all over the place with no sense of direction whatsoever, and I honestly don't care about this **** anymore, but it's fun to type it because I used to care. I'm not directing this at anyone specifically; I'm just making numerous, irrational generalizations based on my past experiences with these forums. It's true, yet sarcastic – I guess it's up to you to figure it out.

Here I am, a level 60 poster… I should be celebrating right? But, really, let me be honest, this forum "achievement" is just a sad reminder of how much time I've wasted here arguing with people who are just as equally stubborn as myself. I don't regret blogging or being a part of any unions or any of the conversations I've had with you folks (you know who you are), but most of my time was spent in places like System Wars and Off-Topic. Needless to say, that wasn't time well spent.

After saying that, you might find it odd that all of my most recent posts are in System Wars rather than the places I actually like talking in (The Drunken PC Snobs Union, among others). Honestly, I don't know why I started posting there again (I was bored), but I've noticed something about that place; something that I've noticed before, but this time it was much more profound. The people there are afraid of opinions.

Before you respond with a link to the "Internet: Serious Business" gif. I'd like to say that I know the place is a "joke" – I was ******* around with my latest posts, so obviously I'm not taking it seriously (these days). That said, I can just tell that a lot of people there do take it seriously contrary to what they'll claim. If people there didn't take it seriously then there wouldn't be countless threads with endless arguments. I don't care what you say; it is not a "joke" when you spend hours of your life debating the complexities of a videogame's quality. I know this because I was a dumb-**** loser who used to do that stuff for countless hours. It's only a joke if you can let the "argument" go, and most people can't do that in System Wars, so if you ask me they are in denial when they say it's just a "joke". Thankfully, I can "let it go" these days.

Ok, back to the point… the people of System Wars are afraid of opinions, and that's why it's a boring place. If I say "PC gaming is the best platform", they'll just say "well that's your opinion". Of course, it's my opinion you stu… wonderful-super-intelligent-master-debater! What's wrong with you? Is there something wrong with having an opinion? Well, I know I'm right about everything, so I guess my opinions are facts, but still… opinions make the world interesting. Without them, we would all share the same thoughts and feelings. Why would you want to live in a world like that?


These days, the very essence of that place is being a "manticore" an "unbiased" owner of all systems. It's the fact that you own all systems which supposedly makes you "unbiased". Maybe you'll show your preferences, but when someone says something mean about a system, you have to defend it – even if you secretly think it sucks. For example, someone will say, "the Wii is a horrible system, that offers virtually nothing to the hardcore gamer" and as a manitcore you'll have to defend it by saying, "Wow, you're such a fanboy!" You owned that ****** good didn't you! Except you failed to ask yourself the question, what is it in this statement that makes this person one of those stupid "fanboys"? They didn't really say anything positive, just a bunch of negative stuff about the Wii. So does that really make them a fan of something or just some person who doesn't like the Wii? By the way, for those of you who didn't know, I think the Wii sucks.

Then there's the Off-Topic forum. In that place you have to post pseudo-intellectual crap to get "respect" or at least a response from someone. Either that or you have to make some sort of "witty comment" (I've had some fun conversations this way, but most of them are dull). You have to do the "college" thing and go against the grain, even if you don't truly believe in what it is that you're arguing. As long as it's edgy, it's good – it's intellectually "stimulating". Following this philosophy, you get a bunch wonderful threads with a bunch of wonderful people justifying pedophilia (I've seriously seen a thread like this in OT). They say, "I'm no pedophile, but I'd be fine with my children being around one, even if their interaction gets physical because I took a philosophy cIass and Plato said it was ok". Really? For some strange reason I seriously doubt you'd be alright with that, you stu… intellectually-superior-master-of-off-topic-debate-who-cannot-be-reasoned-with.

I can debate you for weeks and we'll still never agree! Aren't I skilled?

And that's what is universal among all forums, or so I think. Among the good people there are a bunch of pretentious bastards who destroy all the fun. They can't be reasoned with; they can't have fun. Their sole intention is to make infinite arguments. Sadly, I was one of these people, but I'm not that way anymore. I like to provoke people, yes, but now I don't do it to annoy people, I do it to get them out of the typical serious conversation that they participate in every time.

Really, the whole point of this entry is that I'm tired of people being false. People should stop lying to themselves and just be who they really are. Stop all this dog-crap about looking smart and start posting what you really think, or if you are" joking" be "serious" about it and don't freak out when someone disagrees with your "joke". The Wii sucks, that's my opinion, Halo's story is worse than Serious Sam's, that's obviously a joke, the sad part is, some can't figure it out. I can't be the annoyingly sarcastic ****** ****** I want to be because that'll get me banned and I can't be brutally honest without the risk of hurting others feelings, so I don't see the point in posting in this place. It feels so damn restricted.

All this stuff said, you and I both know that I'll post here again. I want to come back and create some killer blog entries, but for the moment, I can't form any opinions because I don't care enough. Maybe it's because I've avoided ****-mounds like System Wars that I can't be inspired to write about anything game related that's actually interesting. I don't know if you noticed, but my past few blog entries (except the most recent one) were totally uninspired, and that really sums up how I feel about posting on GS. I don't have any gaming-related inspiration anymore.

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The End?

Honestly, as I look back, I realize that I've always had a strange connection to this place. I know, as bad as things are, I don't have to justify my absence. But this has always been a place where I can expose—to a degree—my feelings that I would otherwise feel uncomfortable discussing with people I truly know. I hope I'm not coming off as pretentious in dedicating a long entry to my "leaving" or whatever it is because I'm really doing it because I feel that I still owe my GS friends something. I can't just leave... I have to say goodbye in some way.

As I find myself moving on in life, I find that I must also leave this place. I have been a part of GS for almost 7 years, and during that time, I've made some good friends as well as some enemies. But the one thing that drove me here in the first place is now a drifting interest of mine. I've hit an extreme low, and in this moment, I've come to some serious realizations… my view of the world has changed greatly in such a short period of time.

The fact is, I don't care about videogame debates anymore, or so I'd like to think. And if I do care, well then that's an even greater justification for me to leave. I know I should never set things in stone because that "stone" normally gets broken whenever things get better, but I truly feel that this is the end. I haven't been posting, and whenever I do it is because I need a distraction from all of the **** that I'm facing – I rarely post here because I'm actually passionate about gaming, or so I feel.

The real reason why I feel like it's time to move on is not some stupid forum drama; I don't think I'll ever get banned for my ridiculous comments because they're just so obviously ridiculous. The real reason for leaving (or whatever) is because for the past four years I've been drifting away from gaming. And now, more than ever, my passion for videogames is at an all time low. In looking at this old rant, I realize the reason why I didn't post it. I didn't post it because posting here is actually one of the things that killed gaming for me. Writing blog entries has always been good. Maybe this is strange (since I don't truly know anyone here), but I have a lot of respect for the users who joined in with my ideas; maybe, we didn't agree all the time, but you made things fun (and you made my connection to GS powerful enough to make me feel confortable in posting stuff like this). However, I have 23618 posts and I've read 16572495 messages, and I know that way more than half of those were spent, outside of my blog, arguing about videogames and analyzing every little detail of a game before its release. Rather than focusing on why I love games, over the years I've focused on what I don't like about them.

I'm still going to play games, I think I just don't want to talk about them anymore. Postive or negative, I'm tired of it.

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I don't exactly know how things are going to "end" for me, but what I do know is that my current lifestyIe is changing, and it is changing soon. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to kill some of my interests; in fact, I've already started this process. Perhaps this is going to be "for the better," but the ambiguity of my near future removes that sense of hope. Right now I'm facing two scenarios, each with multiple "routes" attached. One of these "scenarios" is really a doomsday scenario… even if it plays out the best way possible my dreams will be shattered. The other scenario is the one I'm hoping for, but even so, the multiple "routes" mentioned earlier eliminate any sense of security, and so, either way, I can't help but feel like **** right now. The fact that I've been hit by non-stop emotional haymakers doesn't help this situation. Things have just been worse and worse for me since Thanksgiving; I had hopes that my spring semester of college would bring me ease of mind, but like I said… things just keep getting worse. I know I'll probably get some sense of relief once the changes are made, but the current "worsening" motif of my life still lingers in my mind – I can't help but think that after saying to myself that "things couldn't possibly get worse" that they actually will get worse, since that's what has been happening to me. I am reaching hopelessness – I'm not there yet, but I'm close.

Strangely, amidst all of this emotional weakness, I've actually become the most physically strong/powerful I've ever been. I defeated that dumb-**** doctor who told me that I'd never be able to lift the way I did before; the one who said I'd need some fancy operation and treated me like a lab rat rather than a human being. I wanted to celebrate this, and in ways, I have, but in the end, I find that this physical success cannot exceed the power of mental ecstasy. It may supplement enjoyment of life, but alone, it can only get you so far. Each time I face a hardship, I use my lifting as an escape, but in knowing that this is my "escape," I am inevitably reminded that no matter how hard I try, there is no escape; not matter what I do, in the end, I must face my problems head-on.

Throughout the years, I've created a prison for myself. Since I am the creator of this prison, I know how to escape, but for some dumb-**** reason, I choose not to. And the scary thing is, I've never been so pissed off in my entire life – I am so ******* mad at myself, it's ridiculous. Yet regardless of this intense anger, I take no action. I choose to stay behind my self-designed bars – I haven't changed.

Perhaps this is the price I pay for hiding in my prison. Things are going to change – it's inevitable. I know it. I'm afraid of it, but life must go on regardless of how hard things get. And so, it's time for me to change. I am not gonna say that I'm "going" to change because after writing this, I will already be different.

Now I can rely on two quotes to get me through these problems. The first one is from Dune. As nerdy as it may seem, it's actually a damn fine quote, and something that I will adhere by:

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain"

I don't know what this other quote is from, but it's good nonetheless:

"A strong man will break the chains that hold him; experience is the binding that molds him"

After posting this, I AM a "strong man"!

Balls to the Wall!!!!!!

I'm getting sick and tired of looking at that same old blog entry whenever I click on my profile, so I'm just gonna post this in its place... I've been typing some blogs up, but for some reason I just decide to delete them shortly after, this is one of those entries...

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I know… with a title like that some sort of immature sexual reference is imminent! Especially when you see the last image! But I don't give a ****!

A while ago, I got injured weight lifting; it got so bad that I couldn't even open a door without feeling an insane amount of pain shoot up my arm. My knees weren't any good either, since I "injured" them the year before (crappy form does this to you!). Eventually I saw a doctor and they said I'd never be able to lift weights the way I used to ever again, and they said if physical therapy didn't work I'd need to pay $4,000 for some sort of experimental operation since my insurance conveniently didn't pay for it.

Doctors are annoying...

This was the sort of thing that will define you as a person. I had two choices, buy into the BS that the doctor fed me, or I could get back under a bar and start pressing and squatting some weight! Of course, I chose the latter. As far as I was concerned I wouldn't let this doctor tell me what I am capable and incapable of – he treated me like some sort of lab subject (I think he even called me "the subject" to his assistant), so why the hell should I have listened to him? I thought "He doesn't know me". However, I did follow one of his recommendations because it made sense – I sought physical "therapy".

Since the injury, I hadn't touched a barbell, dumbbell or anything of the sort for three months; I didn't do any cardio or lower body workouts either because of the previous "injury" in my knees. I also got myself a nice pot belly in the process (it wasn't that bad, but certainly a step back for my physic) – chips, pizza, soda, and cheeseburgers, in excess, will do that to you. So going into physical "therapy" I was totally out of shape. The first workout kicked my ass, and I thought it was too much for my body to handle, but after going to physical therapy a few more times I soon discovered that my body was capable of much more than I had previously thought. My visit there, however, was short lived since they didn't really give a crap about me. They were always paying attention to their other clients and had unenthusiastic helpers whom I seriously felt like decapitating with my fist – it was becoming a waste of money since I had learned that lifting was actually my way out of injury and not something I should avoid.

It feels good to do this stuff again.

So I set off to recover on my own. I did as the physical therapist recommended 2 sets of 15 for almost everything. At first I could barely bench press 135 lbs 15 times. I knew I had lost strength over those three months, but not that much! But I soon realized that it was probably more of a mental thing than a physical thing since I did 205 x 15 a few weeks later. During the next few months I worked insanely hard. I gave it everything I got; the workouts lasted nearly 2 hours each time since I'd do heavy farmer's walks and other carries after. Through this returning process, I also got a new mentality, the "balls to the wall" mentality I was referring to with my title.

One of my good old weightlifting buddies weighs 165 and can do insane amounts of weight with everything he does. I thought, he must be crazy trying that stuff, but I learned that it wasn't insanity that was responsible for his power, but confidence and determination. I used to think that I my heart took me beyond most people, but somewhere down the road I must have lost my determination, and with that my power. By a simple observation, I learned something that seems very obvious, but it really isn't to some people. If you don't try things they won't ever get done. If I don't take risks and push myself to my limits then I won't get anywhere.

My diet hasn't been very good.

And so here I am today, I've regained and in some cases exceeded most of my former muscle mass, I ran 6 miles during my "vacation" and now run 4 miles twice a week, although I'm not as powerful as before, my mind is certainly much stronger and I only get a hint of pain every now-and-then in my joints. Oh and I do a 20 minute stretching routine without a Kinect game to help me, imagine that! As far as I'm concerned, I've exceeded my former capabilities. Now it's time for me to get off my ass and get a job to start making some more money. Oh and it's also time for me loose that pot belly – that's why I've started running 4 miles twice a week in addition to my lifting, all I have to do now is stop eating extra ****.

Honestly, I don't know why I typed all this up for my GS blog. I guess it's just that going "balls to the wall" was something important that I had lost and now found, and writing it down just makes it all more real to me. Of course not everything is going good, my ******* gaming PC died, AGAIN!!! So I need to get that fixed.

Here's a link to the song Balls to the Wall by Accept.

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What is this ****!? It sure does stink.

Note: This issue is so important, so controversial and complex that only I can address it appropriately.

So during my typical commute to college I was talking to my brother about the current state of vidoegames, and the subject of "grinding for xp" arose... such a vital subject, is it not? Anyway, to the point... we all know that you can find this monotonous styIe of gameplay in MMOs, but now it's making its way into FPS games, and that's not a good thing if you ask me.

Well, maybe I'm overstating the current prevalence of grinding for experience in FPS games, but with the insane popularity of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it is a foreseeable staple in Multiplayer FPS' to come. So, before you go "Smokey stop being a little Nostradamus groupie!" please listen to what I have to say... this is all based on the possibility that Call of Duty styIe multiplayer mechanics will become the norm in future multiplayer games.

Wow! That guy is such a bad-ass!

Do you remember the days when we could all be lazy ***** and have access to all the weapons in a game from the very start of multiplayer? Sure, we would have to go through the insanely difficult task of finding weapons and picking them up, but we didn't actually have to dedicate countless hours of our valuable time in order to get a fair chance against those losers who would play the game 24/7.

Sometimes I'm too damn lazy to unlock the stupid weapons.

This is the problem I have with games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, they force lazy *****, such as myself, to work for my guns! Now, this "work" isn't particularly hard, but videogames aren't about work. Games are about fun. You really need to ask yourself the question, does this... "leveling"... truly make the experience better? Sure it sucks you in, it makes you feel like you have to play the game constantly, otherwise, one of those nerds might get the upper hand. But does it really make the experience FUN!?

No.

At least not in my opinion. A good multiplayer experience gets you hooked, not on cheap gimmicks, but great gameplay mechanics. For example, look at Quake Live. Quake is all about fast movement, accuracy, and prediction. These things get my adrenaline pumping. On the other hand, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn't really about skill. Sure there is some skill involved, but the main focus is on the time you spent grinding. It's only until after you have all the guns that you can finally relax and play the game the "way it's meant to be played". But after achieving this goal you have to ask yourself, do you really desearve it? Or did you just have different priorities which gave you the advantage?

Now look at Counterstrike. Although this game may be a bit contradictory to my previous statements, it still provides a good example of how the "working" for your guns thing can actually enhance the experience. The grinding in this game is kept to a minimum since you buy weapons rather than unlock them, and your money does not accumulate in each server you join - it resets. The game rewards you for being good, not for how many hours you sat in the game spraying-and-praying until you got the airstrike, which - in excess - inevitably unlocks the P90 for even more spraying-and-praying. Counterstrike rewards the player for being skilled, and if you suck... well, you have to wait up to 4 minutes before you can get back into the action. There are no risks and rewards associated with the Call of Duty sytIe multiplayer, only rewards, and for that reason I cannot enjoy it as much as others.

Honestly, I haven't read much about Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2, so I don't know if there are now risks involved, but even if there are, I doubt that they are severe... they wan't this game to be as successful as World of Warcraft, and the only way they can accomplish this mission is to get people addicted to the grind.

Do you remember the days when you could pick up more than 2 guns at a time; do you also remember the time when your health couldn't regenerate out of the blue... ah nevermind, but you get my point - don't you? Popular games have a heavy influence on what comes next, and grinding in FPS games just so happens to be one of those influences that doesn't attract me.

I guess it's human nature to grind, just like I do every day in my commute to college, but grinding is a *****, and there is no need to have that ***** nagging at you while you're trying to have fun.

Sorry for the harsh language and imagery, but I really can't stand all this grinding for experience stuff!

Rising from my grave...

Lame picture, I know.

I just looked at my GS level and it's 55 "Rise from your grave;" I thought that would make a fitting title for this entry because it's been a long time since I've done anything with my blog. Essentially, I just want to write about my thoughts on e3. No, I did not go, but I did watch those press conference things, so I guess I still have some basis for discussion. I hope that people are still willing to read and discuss the topics within; otherwise, I just wasted my time typing this damn thing. :(

After watching these things for the past few years you learn what to expect, and that's a lot of talk about boring statistics and a ton of lackluster surprises, but every now and then there are some legitimately shocking announcements. Unfortunately, nothing really surprised me this year, but there were still some good looking games amongst the plethora of extremely ***** looking ones.

I was originally going to start this entry off by explaining my feelings about every single press conference, but then I just decided for the sake of my always-dwindling sanity, I should make a "list" of the good and bad things that happened. Right now, I have no need to be all doomy and gloomy, so I'll begin with the good things about e3.

The good things...

Probably the most important aspect of e3 is the games themselves, and there were many quality titles this year, so I was not disappointed in that area. My personal favorite is AVP3, just because I love the movies that the franchise is based on, and the past games are amazing too. The stuff Rebellion revealed at e3 did not disappoint. It looks like the series has evolved a bit in it's gameplay and it has most certainly evolved in visuals. If Rebellion does everything right with the Marine campaign then this game will certainly join my short list of truly terrifying games. Perhaps the only complaint I had with the gameplay footage was the trophy kills. Although they looked impressive, I could see them becoming redundant rather quickly unless they increase the number of brutal death animations.


Another game that ranks high on my list is Brutal Legend. I'm getting a bit tired of all the depressing/serious games, so having a funny game like this should be refreshing. Not only does the game look fun to play, but the concept is awesome as well; a whole world based in metal music, gotta love that. So yeah, Brutal Legend is certainly high on my list of games to buy.

The new Splinter Cell game also caught my eye. The action looks good, and it has some interesting concepts; however, despite these positive elements I'm still rather disappointed with the direction of the game. It looks more like a Hitman game than a Splinter Cell game. In the original games, stealth and realism where emphasized, but the demonstration for Splinter Cell: Conviction gave me the impression that it is now a cartoony, action game. It looks like the intense stealth action of the originals is replaced by shooting-based action. Stealth looks like an option rather than a necessity in this game. Even though this is disappointing, the game still looks enjoyable, so I will definitely be renting this game when it comes out.

Finally, I'd like to mention Bayonetta. This game looks fantastic. Not only does it have a unique styIe, but the action looks insanely fast paced too. Further increasing the awesomeness of this game is the fact that the people who make the Devil May Cry series are involved.


Other games I would include if I wasn't so damn lazy:


Alan Wake

Borderlands

Dragon Age: Origins

God of War 3

Mass Effect 2

Uncharted 2

some other games I can't think of at the moment

The last thing on my "list" of goodness at e3 is Sony's motion control demonstration. Although the presenters were not very good, the visual presentation itself was great. The main difference between Sony's demonstration and MS' Natal is the fact that they showed better applications for the device. Sure, painting is fun, but talking to little boys... I'm not so sure about that. Sony actually showed how their motion control could be used for shooting games, sword fighting games, horror games (use the controller as a flashlight with realistic shadowing), and many other things. The vibe I got from Natal was that it was going to turn the Xbox 360 into a better-looking Wii, and that's something I'm not interested in. If they showed impressive applications for the device then I would certainly place it on the list of good things.


Now it's time to move on to the list of bad things at e3. I'm not going to talk about many games here, instead I'm going to talk about the new innovations each company brought to the table. Since Microsoft's show came first, it is only logical that I start there.

The bad things...

As I mentioned before, Project Natal is something that I'm not interested in, at least not yet. Don't get me wrong, this is a great concept, but the presentation was seriously lacking, and I think the implementation would not be very good for so called "hardcore" games. My favorite part of the presentation was when Peter Molyneux came out with his usual "this is the greatest thing ever" BS. He claims that science fiction books and movies never envisioned something like this, but anyone who has seen a crappy movie about virtual reality would know that his statement is full of crap. Also, the Milo presentation would have been impressive, if I believed it. The problem I have with this is that it seemed far too programmed to be real. Maybe, Milo really was reacting to what was being said to him, but I guarantee you, he wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between a fish being drawn on his paper or the word's **** you. I bet he would have still said, "that's a nice fish" regardless of what you drew or wrote on the paper. The voice recognition is promising, but at the moment, I seriously doubt that we will be having a legitimate conversation with any of our favorite videogame characters. Furthermore, there are mixed reports on whether or not the Milo demonstration is real, so until I see it for my own eyes, I will remain skeptical.

Is it just me or does this guy look like a (you can fill in the word).

I'm only going to put one game on my bad list, but there are more which deserve to be there. The game that made it onto my bad list is Halo: Reach. Now this might be a good game, but I was expecting something new from Bungie. I know that they are more than capable of making good games outside of the Halo universe, so I don't know why they need to continue with Halo (other than money). I'm pretty sure that Microsoft is already working on Halo 4, therefore, I don't feel that a sixth Halo game is really necessary. A new ip would have been far more interesting.

Probably the worst part about e3 was Nintendo's press conference because as usual they fail horribly to get me interested in buying a Wii. They did reveal a few interesting games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and a new Metroid Game, but ultimately these things were overshadowed by colossal piles of ****. Mainly, I'm talking about the Wii Vitality Sensor. No offense to anyone who is interested in this, but it's probably the dumbest thing I've seen in a long time. Even though it is ridiculously stupid, and its relevance is almost non-existent, I still got a good laugh watching the person talk about it. To add insult to injury, they made a stupid speech about how they are trying to attract "Maybe" gamers. I have no problem with this, but in Nintendo's process of getting the "Maybe" gamers, they've turned away a lot of what they call "Core" gamers. For example, I can't find any decent FPS or RPG games on the Wii. I don't see how they can talk about reaching the biggest audience possible, when there is an absence of FPS games. Didn't Call of Duty 4 reach around 14 million sales (counting all platforms)? That is a lot of people, and many of those people aren't satisfied with what the Wii has to offer. Nintendo, you can try to get soccer moms and grannies to play your games all you want, but you should know that in the process "Core" gamers are losing interest in your system. There's no reason why you guys can't balance things out. How about you stop making **** like Cooking Mama for a while, and start making something new that interests people who have been gaming for a long time.

I can't wait to use my Wii Vitality Sensor!

Well maybe Nintendo isn't as dumb as the next thing, downloadable content. I understand the fact that this lets the developers make more money from their product, but really, a lot of this newer DLC seems like a joke to me. The prime example of stupid DLC is found with Rockband: Beetles. Guess what! If you buy the Xbox 360 version then you get to buy an extra song a few weeks later! Not only is this DLC small in size, but really this is the dumbest deal ever. Only an idiot would think that they couldn't add this song in real quickly before release, and that's where DLC is annoying the hell out of me. I'm fine with DLC that adds many things to the games (basically small expansion packs), but when they pull stupid **** like this, that's when it annoys me. I don't like it when they make you pay for crap that could easily be put in before the game is released. Another annoying element of DLC is the exclusivity. I don't have a problem with this, but I know people who don't own both a Xbox 360 and a PS3, so they can't get the full experience from their game when there is actually something worth downloading. That's pretty stupid if you ask me. I know this is how business works, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Overall, I thought e3 was good. It returned to its old format with booth babes and all of that nice stuff, and it was far more interesting than last time. I could have gone into more detail about the games I liked and disliked, but in the end, I felt that it wasn't necessary. Anyone who watched the show knew about the games that made the most impact, and the games that fell flat on their faces, so it would have been like beating a dead horse.

Other stuff you don't need to know...

The main reason why I've stopped blogging is that I'm focusing on more important things in life. I'm finally getting into a real University this fall (it's about damn time), and I'm finally going to get a job that I'll enjoy (hopefully). Before I didn't have much to do, but now I'm doing all kinds of things, so I don't have the time to do an entry every week. However, despite my lack of dedication, I still want to keep this thing alive. I have a few entries in mind, but I don't think I'll be finished writing any of them anytime soon. In addition to blog entries, I'm still working on a few videos which I'll post on Youtube. One of the videos is going to be a contemplation of many FPS games (both old and new), and the other is my fourth weight lifting video. This time I'll have my brother and some of my friends lifting; it should be a lot more interesting then the other videos. I'm going to try really hard to make these videos good and lengthy, so it'll probably be a long time before I finish any of them, but I think the finished product will be worth the wait (not that anyone will actually wait :lol: ).

I guess I'll end this entry with a metal song just because that was sort of like a tradition back when I was doing this every week. The song I've chosen is D.N.R. by Testament. The reason why I chose this song over some others is that I just recently saw them live and I thought this song kicked ass.

My gameplay videos...

I was looking through one of my old harddrives and I stumbled upon some old gameplay videos that I made a few years ago. I decided to post them on youtube just for the hell of it and I thought I should just post them here too...

Counter-Strike Source

Battlefield 2

Day of Defeat Source

Doom 3

Painkiller

I also decided to post another weightlifting video...

Weightlifting Movie

I'm planning to make some more gameplay videos in the future and I'm sure they will be a lot more interesting. So please watch these if you like and feel free to leave comments on GS or youtube. 8)

My big games of 2009

Diablo 3 (PC)

Now this might be a bit of a stretch, but one can still hope that Blizzard releases Diablo 3 in 2009. The Diablo franchise is one of my all time favorites. I love hacking and slashing away at endless hordes of skeletons and zombies. I love collecting the loot after intense battles, and I love going through the creepy dungeons with my friends. In simplest terms, I love Diablo! And although there have been countless imitators throughout the past eight years, Blizzard is the single developer who is most capable of producing a new and improved Hack-n-Slash RPG formula. A formula that is familiar to veteran Diablo players, but also fresh enough to keep them interested. In addition to potentially great gameplay, Diablo 3 also features some fantastic visuals and knowing Blizzard, the game will run well on old and new PCs.

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty (PC)

Starcraft 2 follows in the footsteps of what many gamers consider the greatest RTS of all time. Starcraft is the legendary RTS game that stole countless hours of PC gamers' spare time and the fact that many people play the game to this day is a testament to its stellar quality. No, I did not play Starcraft online very often, so I will probably get my ass kicked when I play Starcraft 2 online, but I did enjoy the singleplayer component of Starcraft. And I am looking forward to playing through the Terran campaign. I wish that Blizzard would not split the game into three, but as long as the campaign is lengthy, I will be satisfied. Also, despite of the fact that I will get my ass kicked online, I look forward to experiencing that element as well.

Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War 2 (PC)

Anyone who played the original Dawn of War knows that it is one of the most intense RTS games on the planet! Instead of focusing on base building, Dawn of War places the focus on brutal close-quarters combat. The necessity of capturing vital control points throughout the maps places additional emphasis on the action. Dawn of War 2 plans to take the action packed gameplay established by the original and create an even more intense experience. This time the base building is almost non-existent, and the player must use advanced tactics to succeed. The addition of cover alone is major enhancement to the Dawn of War experience and I am certain that Relic has more surprises planned for Dawn of War 2.

Deus Ex 3 (PC)

Deus Ex is my favorite game; therefore, my expectations for a quality prequel are unbelievably high. Deus Ex: Invisible War was not a horrible game, but it failed to capture what made Deus Ex great. So, I expect Deus Ex 3 to emulate Deus Ex and possibly surpass it in terms of quality. Of course, this will not be an easy task and some of the gameplay elements, which were reveled last year, have me worried. The stealth no longer being focused on shadows, but cover, is one of the most questionable gameplay elements. The Augmented people vs. normal people story element sounds intriguing, and the visuals look fantastic, so regardless of these questionable aspects, I remain optimistic about Deus Ex 3. Currently, there is not a whole lot of information on the game and judging it before I know more could be a big mistake.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)

The first F.E.A.R. game featured a series of intense battles, which played out in close-quarters environments. The brutal AI and the highly destructive environments enhanced the ferocity of these battles. Perhaps the only problem with F.E.A.R was the lack of environmental variety. F.E.A.R. 2 seeks to fix this problem and bring vast improvements to the level destruction and AI. F.E.A.R. was also a lot of fun to play online, so I am obviously looking forward to playing both the singleplayer and the multiplayer in F.E.A.R. 2.

Metro 2033 (PC)

Metro 2033 is a story based first person shooter that takes place in a post apocalyptic Russia. The developers aim to create an incredibly immersive singleplayer experience. Limiting the HUD and creating convincing animations for their mutated beasts are just a few of the methods they intend to use to create a grand singleplayer game. Also, many of the people involved with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are involved with this game, so I know that it has a lot of potential. I just hope that it is released without countless bugs and endless delays.

Empire: Total War (PC)

The Total War series has been consistently fantastic ever since it started with Shogun. Empire: Total War takes this award-winning formula and makes ample additions to it. For the first time, naval battles will be playable in the Total War series. The developers also intend to release a cooperative campaign in the future. When you mix these additions with a new era and amazing graphics, I cannot help, but be excited about this game.

Killzone 2 (PS3)

Killzone 2 is one of those games that I am looking forward to playing, but at the same time, I am cautious in my expectations. Many people touted Killzone as a Halo killer, but it failed miserably. On the other hand, many people thought that Killzone 2 would not be able to imitate the original trailer in visual quality. Although Killzone 2 does not look as good as the original "gameplay" CGI trailer, it does look pretty damn good. I do not expect Killzone 2 to surpass Halo in influence, but I do believe that it will be a quality title.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC)

I am not a big fan of squad-based games; however, the fact that this game takes place in my favorite movie universe makes my resistance futile. Aliens vs. Predator was an amazing first person shooter game back in the day. It had amazing atmosphere and the qualities of both alien species provided a truly unique and at times, frightening experience. Most of the scares in AVP came from fighting the Alien species as a marine. So, although the Predator is missing from Colonial Marines, the same vile, wall-crawling, jaw extending, alien is in this game. I want Colonial Marines to freak me out, and from the looks of it, this game might just do that.

Duke Nukem Forever (PC)

For some strange reason this game always makes it onto my lists of games that I am looking forward to playing. Yes, 3D Realms announced it more than ten years ago, but I remain hopeful. How could I not hope for a next-generation Duke Nukem experience? Playing as the ultimate alien ass kicker is so damn fun and it would be amazing to play as Duke in a new and more up-to-date experience.

I know the list is longer because I always forget something, but these are the titles that I am looking forward to playing the most. 2009 looks like a fantastic year for PC gaming and I cannot wait to play these games!

How was your 2008 gaming experience?

Although it seems like 2008 may have been a good year for gaming, it was only a decent year for me. I did not buy many games this year, and of the games I played nothing was spectacular with the exception of Metal Gear Solid 4. No, I have not played Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, Crysis: Warhead, and many other games that people claim to be good. I guess you could say that I was unable to get into gaming this year. An explanation for this lack of interest could be that most of the big titles that people seem to love are not appealing to me anymore.

My lack of interest started somewhere around the end of 2007. All of the games that I anticipated were disappointments rather than totally ******* awesome like I expected them to be. Sure, my expectations may have been set too high that year, but out of all the potentially awesome games that came out, I was unable to find a single game that lasted me into 2008. Also, I read countless tales from the PC boards (among others) about how some game was the second coming of Christ and formed purchasing decisions based off of these personal testimonies rather than relying on my personal instincts that told me to stay away. Obviously, the betrayal of my instincts only led to further disappointment.

This year I decided to take a conservative approach to games. In most cases, I relied on my instincts rather than others' opinions of games. I did not buy a game unless I absolutely wanted to play it the day that it came out. This approach has served me well. As I mentioned before, I had a lot of fun with Metal Gear Solid 4; however, this year was not without its disappointments. Gears of War 2 was a big let down.

The first few days that I was playing Gears of War 2, I was talking about it in a very positive tone. But, after playing the game for more than a month, I can now tell you that it is not as amazing as I previously believed. I think this "over enjoyment" is bound to happen to us at one point in time and it is not limited to just games. Sometimes you buy something and you are not willing to face up to the fact that it is not as good as you expected and you end up overstating your enjoyment. Anyway, I would like to go into depth explaining why Gears of War 2 just doesn't do it for me. First, I will start with my opinion of the single player.

I was happy with Gears 2 for a while, then I realized I shouldn't be too happy.

Gears of War 2 is not a horrible game, just over-hyped and ultimately more of an expansion pack rather than an actual sequel. The single player component (I played it cooperatively) has received some major improvements. For example, the increase in the number of enemies you fight at one time and the large environments greatly supplement the action and pacing of the game. The action in general is just balls to the wall insane when you compare it to the rather slow-paced original. The problem is that with this insanity comes an unbelievably easy game. I can think of only one moment where the game challenged me on "Hardcore" difficulty. In contrast, Gears of War provided plenty of challenge the first time through and even more of a challenge on insane. No, I do not expect my games to be too challenging otherwise they are not fun, just annoying as hell. But I expect to die a few times and I did not die a whole lot in Gears 2. Along with the great pacing, Gears 2 receives a boost in visuals. The graphics in general are not ten times as superior as the visuals in the original, but I loved the environments in this game. The underground Locust architecture was especially grand. The problem with Gears of War 2 and the presentation of the visuals is that it never goes the distance. Meaning, although the architecture of the underground caverns is impressive, the direction of the visuals never captures me and causes me to say "wow, that's totally original and disgusting!" When given the brutality of the game, I expected something more reminiscent of hell; instead, Epic gave me something too humane for my tastes. So, although the visuals are impressive, none of them totally blew me away.

Gears of War did not feature a particularly memorable story and neither does Gears of War 2. Gears of War 2 tries hard to make a meaningful storyline through emphasis on characters and fails miserably. The characters in Gears of War were over-the-top macho men, so when the characters start to show emotions out of the blue it does not fit well. I remember hearing Dom's first "emotional" lines in Gears of War 2 and laughing. I am not suggesting that they should be stone cold killers, but there should be an apparent catalyst for the abrupt increase in emotion. Perhaps the death of an important character would have been more fitting, either that or an intense battle that ultimately results in retreat rather than victory. Dom only mentioned his wife once or twice in Gears of War, so asking me to care about this obscure relationship between two boring characters is asking too much. And since a large portion of the storyline focuses on this relationship and the search for Maria the story fails for me. Gears of War 2 also introduces some new, potentially interesting, characters, but their relevance to the story is short lived. Even though the original characters are not very interesting, they are more interesting than before, so I guess Epic is taking a step in the right direction. Still, I believe that they would have been far more successful with a great introduction sequence.

The love story between Dom and Maria is only a part of the story. The light-mass bomb failed and now the humans must rely on their last standing stronghold for survival. Like in Gears of War, this portion of the storyline drives the action and the characters face numerous sequences, which imitate great action movies. The problem I had with these action sequences is that I never felt intimidated by them. As I mentioned before, the difficulty in this game does not provide a challenge. So, having a giant worm thing attack me may sound crazy, but I never felt threatened; therefore, the intensity was non-existent. The presentation of these sequences could have been a lot better too. Epic had the right ideas, but they never executed them properly.

I do not want to ramble on and on about Gears of War 2, so I will move on to the multiplayer. Simply put, the multiplayer in Gears of War 2 is broken. If you have been reading about this game or playing it, then you are probably aware of these problems. Weird shotgun, long waits in match making (now improved, but not perfect), annoying flash grenades, people quitting after getting their asses kicked so you cannot rank up, and the list goes on. I have been talking with my brother about this game and we agree, Epic added too much things that do not fit the gameplay well. We actually went back and played Gears of War online and it was a lot better. The design of the maps and balancing of the weapons fits the gameplay perfectly in my opinion. Gears of War 2 screws everything up. Along with the standard multiplayer experience, there is a new game mode called Horde. A lot of people say that Horde mode alone is worth the $60, but I disagree. In Horde mode, you fight endless hordes of enemies with up to five friends online. Yes, this mode is very fun at first, but eventually it wares off. If Epic took the time to design maps specifically for Horde mode than it would have been a lot better. Imagine fighting tons of enemies in a much wider and more appropriate battlefield. Maps specifically designed for Horde mode would also allow the bigger enemies such as the Brumak into madness. Once again, Epic has the right idea, but the execution is weak.

Ultimately, Gears of War 2 feels more like an expansion pack rather than a sequel. I have talked about sequels not needing to reinvent the wheel every time, but I feel that the evolution from Gears of War to Gears of War 2 is almost not substantial enough to justify its label as a sequel. Maybe the pace of the game was too fast and it caused me to feel that the experience was over in a blink of an eye. Whatever the case is, I do not feel that Gears of War 2 had as big of an impact as the original.

Ok, that's enough with Gears 2. Now it is time for my game of the year! Metal Gear Solid 4 receives that award. This game is not perfect and I feel that I may have watched it more than played it, but in the end I was greatly entertained and that is what matters the most. On a side note, I just started to play Dead Space and I like that game a lot, so I'm not sure if MGS4 is set in stone, but for now it is my game of the year.

So, what do I expect to see in 2009? Well, lately my interest in PC gaming has diminished, but 2009 seems like the year to change my lack of interest. Assuming my PC will run the games that I want to play, it looks like a golden year for PC gaming. I do not follow games in depth anymore, so my expectations are not going to be set too high like they were in 2007. However, games like FEAR 2, Dawn of War 2, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 (please!), and Empire: Total War among countless others have all gotten my attention. My instincts tell me that these games are going to be solid titles. Now I can only hope that they deliver experiences that are notably superior to the originals. As for my Xbox 360, I do not expect to use it often next year. I cannot think of any Xbox 360 games to look forward to, and the PS3 looks like it is catching up in terms of quality. Hopefully games like Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2 deliver the goods.

Anyway, I'm finished with this topic for now. I hope you folks had a great Christmas, holiday, day, whatever. And how was your year as far as gaming goes? Was it the best year ever or just decent like mine?

20,000 posts and the road ahead...

Well I finally hit the 20,000 post mark a few days ago. It took me 3 years (maybe a little more or less) to reach 10,000 posts, and only 1 year to reach 20,000. Durring that first 10k I posted mostly at System Wars. Looking back, I now know that it was a big waste of my time and I'm glad that I left that place because it can really cloud your mind. After leaving System Wars I decided to post in Off-Topic, the PC Board, maintain my blog, and post in the few unions that interest me. The rest is history...

Participating in that "war" is futile.

A few weeks ago I was seriously considering not coming here anymore. With college and other things going on in my life it doesn't feel like the best way to spend my free time. Although I do spend a lot less time here than I did when I visited System Wars and I still do a lot of things outside of GS, it still feels like I'm here way too often. That said, I obviously decided to keep coming here.

The road ahead looks clear, but as with most things in life I really don't know how it's going to turn out. I do know that I am still going to keep posting blog entries whenever I feel like it, I'm going to post in all of the unions that I like, I'm going to finish my role in The Pixel Gallery (possibly continue with the next issue), and maybe I'll post in the PC and OT boards here and there. I'm going to do what I have essentailly been doing for my most recent 10k posts, but I am certainly not going to be coming here as often as before. I can't do it anymore.

_______________________________________________________________________

I need to feel like Rocky again!

So that's that. Now onto something else that has been on my mind within the past few weeks. Ever since September started I haven't been running at all. During the spring and summer I was running, jogging, or walking every day. Now I'm not doing anything. No I haven't gotten fatter; I have still been lifting weights as usual, but I really need to step it up and start getting into the whole cardio thing again. Believe it or not, I enjoy doing cardio because it constantly motivates me to take myself beyond my percieved limits. Weight Lifting does that too, but without cardio I don't feel that the equation is complete. So yeah, I really need to start running again.

Look at this nice, random, picture.

Anyway, I know this blog entry is kind of random, but whatever... Just felt like posting something.

A new Deus Ex 3 preview brings up more questions than answers.

It was early in the morning a few days ago, and I went to n4g.com. I stumbled upon a news article (link) about a Deus Ex 3 preview in PC Zone Magazine. Obviously being the fan of Deus Ex that I am, I was happy to see some news come up on this game; however, after reading the article I don't know what to think right now.

Unfortunately the screenshots and concept art scans are no longer available, but I saw them and I thought that they looked great.

Deus Ex 3 is going to be a prequel to Deus Ex, where you play the role of some guy who works at a top secret augmentation lab. One day a black-ops team comes in and slaughters your co-workers and the conspiracy, what ever it is, unfolds from there. I always said that it would be interesting if Deus Ex had a prequel where you play as Paul Denton, but that is not who you will be playing as in Deus Ex 3. They say that there will be a deep story with multiple layers and that sounds great, but some of the other information raises some questions about the game (I'll get to those questions later).

I wonder if the cool inventory system will remain...

First of all there is auto-heal in this game, much like the auto-heal that has been popularized in big-time shooters like Halo and Call of Duty 4. In the original Deus Ex game there was an augment that allowed your body to repair itself at an accelerated rate, but your health didn't just regenerate out of thin air like it does in these new games. You had to have that augment in you in order to utilize it and it depleted your Bio-Energy. I'm wondering how the auto-heal system will work in Deus Ex 3. Personally I want a good explanation as to why the player will be able to auto-heal and I also hope that this doesn't make the game too much of a shooter. Another aspect that has me sceptical was the statement that Deus Ex 3's stealth system is, "no longer based on shadows, but cover." Now that's fine and dandy, but why can't the player use a combination of both shadows and cover to remain undetected? That statement is too general so I'll wait until more info comes out before I judge it, but like the auto-heal it brings up some questions about what the game will be like.

I have been talking about these questions for some time now, so how about I ask them right now...

Will Deus Ex 3 be a 3rd person shooter? The use of cover raises this question. In a first person shooter, the player can find their own cover without the assistance of a cover system. Maybe it will be like Rainbow Six Vegas and be a combination of First Person and Third Person gameplay.

Deus Ex 2 was a major disappointment, hopefully Deus Ex 3 will not follow in its footsteps.

Is this just going to be a straight up shooter, or will the player have a say in the game and how the story unfolds? Well auto-heal points in the direction of it being a shooter, also the details on how the player participates in the story are far too vague to determine whether or not the game will have dialogue options, among some other forms of communications like the original and sequel did. I don't want Deus Ex 3 to be a pure FPS that has its story play out in a bunch of non-interactive cutscenes.

I have some more questions, but I'll just stop there because I'm tired. :P

I want Deus Ex 3 to be a game of choices, a game with a great story, and great gameplay. (doesn't everyone want this :lol: )

Anyway that's what has been on my mind for the past few days.

The Drunken PC Snobs Union

So yesterday Rk-mara, artur, fatshodan, JnWycliffe, and I came up with an idea of a union for PC games and off-topic discussion. It all started when fatshodan said that it would be a good idea if we made a union for all the "cool people" on the PC boards and eventually the idea lead to the creation of a user created board. We later decided that a UCB was too limiting, so the idea of making an actual union came into the spotlight.

The first thing we needed was a name. We went through various titles like PC Gamer Elite, something a bit different, PC snobs, The Drunken Elite PC snobs, but we finally made a decisoin based on a combination of three of the titles. Obviously the name we chose was The Drunken PC Snobs.

This is what a drunken PC snob looks like. :o

We all know that PC Gamers are elitists and console gamers are always a friendly bunch who do not feel any superiority over each other and as a result we decided to make union that targeted the "elite" of PC gaming. The Drunken PC Snobs is a sanctuary for the uber-elitists on the PC boards because sometimes we can't handle the ignorance of others and we need to escape! In all seriousness the real purpose is to have a place with laid-back conversations related to PC gaming and other things that are unrelated to gaming. This place is sort of like an exclusive club, not everyone can get into the union, but if you are a cool user who makes good posts then you will probably be considered. Our goal isn't to become very big, it is to have a close community.

Sorry Obama people, this picture just fits too good. :P

Now if you are interested, tell me and I'll see what I can do. You don't have to drink alcohol in order to become a member, but you do have to be a PC Gamer at heart.