Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Fear of Finishing

March 12, 2012

I’m having a bad problem at the moment and it’s something I’ve had issues with in the past but not like this before.  I don’t seem to want to finish any game I’m playing.  It’s not because I think any of them are particularly bad but its more out of seeing these interesting stories come to a close.  I noticed it after playing Mass Effect 3 for a while and found myself not wanting to do the very first mission because I knew that was the first step into what (way down the line) would be the endgame.  Sounds silly doesn’t it?  I thought so to but I’m having the same problem with no less than 4 other titles at the moment (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3 Dark Souls and The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword).  I felt the same reluctance to finish Skyrim a few months ago and took a long break from it before I came back and wrapped up every major quest.  I’m sure this will pass and I’ll finish all of these games eventually,  I just have to take it one game at a time.  I probably shouldn’t even speak on the copy of Batman: Arkham City that’s still in it’s shrink wrap from Christmas.

With all that aside, the 4 hours of Mass Effect 3 that I’ve played have been pretty phenomenal.  All those characters coming back to together to fight the Reapers is super compelling to me and I’ll be a little sad when it’s all over.  I went ahead and purchased the “From Ashes” DLC that has most Mass Effect fans up in arms.  I don’t feel as wronged as some from Bioware about the whole situation but I don’t often buy into day one DLC or most DLC period.  I just know that I liked Mass Effect 2 and awful lot and if I had to pay an extra 10 bucks for a little bit more story, then they got me hook, line and sinker.  I guess that just makes me part of the problem but like I said, I don’t buy into anything that’s not on the disc too ofter.  At least that’s what I tell myself to keep from feeling like a complete consumer whore.

Steam Box?

March 4, 2012

This rumor going around of a Valve created console has really piqued my interest.  I’ve been wanting to get a new PC for a while now so I could experience some great PC games through steam for a while.  My only major concern would be how they would have the controls setup.  Would it be a typical joystick or would they include some kind of (hopefully wireless) keyboard and mouse.  I imagine if they wanted the full catalog of Steam games they would have to go mouse and keyboard but who knows at this point.  Either way I’m really excited about the idea and how it does come to fruition.

It’s Been a Long Time…

March 1, 2012

Haven’t done one of these in a while, here goes nothing!

I’ve been looking into a lot of old PC RPGs here lately and have been wondering what it would take for a deep and long RPG with and old school PC aesthetic to show up on something like a Xbox Live Arcade.  It probably takes way more work than I can even fathom but I’d love to see considering I missed all games of this type.

I picked up Bulletstorm recently and it reminds me of an old 8-bit action game (but with way more dick tits).  Run, Gun and don’t stop for anything.

Mass Effect 3 comes out next week and I could not be more psyched for it’s release.  If I can get off this laziness kick I’ve been on, I’ll hopefully have a lot to say about it come this time next week.

I’ve moved into a house since my last post and have way more space than I did in my apartment.  This new found space has afforded me a “man-cave”.  I have occupied this space with an old CRT television and a PS2, Gamecube, Xbox and a Dreamcast (that doesn’t seem to work unfortunately).  I really want to get an arcade cabinet or pinball machine for the room but living out here in the sticks of NC, its hard to find anybody who sells them especially at an affordable price.

My girlfriend really wants the new SSX game and I’ll probably get it for her this weekend.  I want lie, I’m excited to play it myself to but I really do miss the over-the-top track design of SSX Tricky.  I guess that’s the trade off for having a game with 153 drops versus like 10.

I still have a game in the shrink wrap that I got for Christmas last year, please forgive me Batman: Arkham City.

I put 110 hours in Skyrim and got every achievement on the 360 version.  It’s safe to say that it’s been one of my favorite gaming experiences in a long time.  I’m really looking forward to the DLC that Bethesda has planned for it.

Fez needs to hurry up and come out.

Even though it’s not in the shrink wrap, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword might as well be for as much as I’ve played it.  I’m still in the first dungeon and have found a unique situation where outside interferences keep me from playing a certain game.  You see my new house is awfully cold and I have a few heaters in my living room.  I know from past experience (with the last Zelda game on the Wii actually) that the Wii remote and these heaters to not work well together.

My bosses at work today decided it would be a good team building experience to ask everyone what they wanted to be when they grow up.  When my turn came along I didn’t answer right away and someone yelled out “Video Game Designer” and I said sure.  The truth is I don’t really want to make video games,  I’m not really bursting with ideas for new concepts or how to make existing ones better and I’m fine with being a consumer of games.  I’m going to share a secret here about what I really want to do involving video games and hope it comes to fruition one day.

I really want to open up my own little video game themed cafe/old game store/book store/arcade/bar.  Sounds complicated I know but the basic idea would be a little store that sells used older games,books about games and old strategy guides. It would also have a little cafe that sells video game themed drinks and pastries.  Also off in one corner there would be a collection of old arcade and pinball machines and at night the video game themed cocktails would come out.  All this while video game soundtracks play lightly in the background all day.  It sounds like a lot to put into one place, I know but I think all these things would mesh well together into a cool spot for people who love the medium to come by and relax from time to time.

It’s been a stupid long time since I’ve posted and I’m gonna try and not do that anymore.  I’ve got a few ideas to spice things up and some ideas for some new blogs, more on that later.

A Little Bit of Sunshine

March 11, 2011

It’s a dreary, cloudy day here in my part of NC.  A good day to spend inside, relax and perhaps record a podcast?  That’s right, I’m gonna give it my best shot and try to compose some coherent thoughts together for a nice recording.  I haven’t been posting a lot lately and it’s been for multiple reasons.  I haven’t had too much on my mind to write a blog post about and my keyboard on my laptop is becoming harder and harder to write a web address into Chrome, let alone an entire post.  To top that off, everytime I had a good idea to write about my girlfriends mac is nowhere to be found.  But I have it today and hopefully I can get some backed up thoughts out.

Going Back Home Again

February 13, 2011

You can’t go back home again, or so I was lead to believe.  I recently saw a very fine example of this with my girlfriend trying to relive her anime days by watching Outlaw Star through the wonders of Netflix.  I think we watched all of 2 episodes and called it a day.  But even after witnessing that nostalgia-gone-wrong display, I find myself starting up a new game of Final Fantasy IX and thinking very hard of starting one in VIII as well.  Why you ask?  I really don’t have a clue, I just have a really strong desire to play these games at the moment.  We’ll see how long it lasts, knowing that my tastes in games has changed since these games were released and how much my patience has worn then of some of the staples that make a Final Fantasy game.  But for right now all I see is good times and weird ass storylines.  And random battles, maybe this won’t be as great as I thought.

Revisiting

January 17, 2011

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve just had so many games to play and so little time to play them!  Also I was real sick for about a week there after Christmas and could barely get up to go to the bathroom, let alone write anything.  For those curious about the Christmas gaming haul, the list is as follows: Fable 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Rock Band 3 and Donkey Kong Country Returns.  Very impressive if you ask me, I am still very much a spoiled young child.

The only 3 games I can really give a firm comment on so far is Black Ops, Fable 3 and Rock Band 3.  Black Ops is everything I hoped it would be, and I’m doing much better in my online escapades than I every dared hoped for in Modern Warfare 2.  I’m definitely gonna devote more time to it when I get all the story driven games out of the way.  Fable 3 was fun up until the end.  What a horrible way to end the game.  The only good thing I can say about it is, at least it was over quick.  And for Rock Band 3 all I have to say is I am in love with the Pro Keys.  That is the best thing they could have done to the music game genre.

Now the main thing I wanted to write about in this post was something that I’ve seen a lot more ofter here recently, and that’s revisited environments in newer games that were featured in older games.  This trend is featured in 2 of the games I’ve been playing recently, Fable 3 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.  It’s more prominent Brotherhood with the developers lifting the villa straight out of Assassin’s Creed 2 and aging it about 500 years.  It’s more subtle in Fable 3 with parts of Bowerstone Market and Millfields looking very much like areas in Fable 2 but are not exact replications.

This isn’t something that I thought I would like as much as I do.  Most gaming sequels are all about brand new environments, characters and items.  It’s all about keeping things new and shiny and I bought right into that like everyone else.  But there really is something to be said for having a common environmental thread throughout a story driven gaming franchise.  All of the Assassin’s Creed games feel less detached from one another and they each have areas that are common to consecutive games.  You have the Animus room in the Abstergo building featured in all of 1 and at the beginning of 2.  And then you have Ezio’s villa from 2 being the base of operations of Desmund in Brotherhood.  It’s a great and simple way to keep the worlds from feeling unrelated and being just another game sequel.

I’ve been having trouble coming up with other examples of this in the games I’ve played.  The most obvious one that comes to mind is 1-1 from Super Mario Bros..  It’s been featured in different ways in more games than I can remember, but with Mario not being much of a story driven franchise it starts to lose it’s meaning.  The only other really good example I could come up with is the Normandy from Mass Effect 2.  The layout was exactly like the 1st Normandy but it was close enough to make me and Shepard feel right at home in our new ship courtesy of Cerberus.  Another cool but quick one is the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess.  The location of the Temple isn’t the same as in the Ocarina of Time, but the first room and music are pretty spot on.  That is until you open a secret door and dive into an entire dungeon locked deep within the temple. I’ve heard tale of being able to revisit Liberty City in GTA: San Andreas but being that I never played that game I can’t say if that counts for sure.  And while I’ve never played any of them, I’m sure all of the episodic adventure games that Telltale has been putting out have shared an environment or 2.

With so many of today’s games being announced as trilogies, having cliffhanger endings or just have the forgone conclusion that they’ll have a sequel sometime in the future,  I think keeping an idea like this in mind is key.  I feel like every game’s attempt to make everything brand spanking new with each sequel, you can start to loose sight of the big picture that the series is trying to show.  Simple things like common areas can help game developers tell a more cohesive story from one game to the next and may even ease gamers into sequels that might have new mechanics or gameplay elements.

25 Games of Christmas: Part 5

December 24, 2010

Now we approach the final 5 games of the 25 games of Christmas.  This has been a really fun thing to write.  I enjoy waxing nostalgia on video games and Christmas, so these series of posts fit me like a glove.  These last 5 games are games that probably have the strongest tie to Christmas for me.  They are titles that, when mentioned, instantly remind of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Rotting my brain at great cost to my parents and Santa Clause.

5. Twisted Metal

The year I got my Playstaton was the year I would finally catch up on all the games I had read about and missed out on.  Twisted Metal was definitely at the top of that list.  I can remember being enamored by the oddly shaped box and the crazy looking flame-headed clown on the cover.  I had to have this crazy looking game.  I kinda knew what I was getting into prior to playing it and I loved playing the battle mode in Mario Kart, so I was pretty stoked to get it from my brother that year.  The game seemed perfectly fit for a Christmas present for an 11 year old boy.  Stupid over the top characters? Check. Corny metal soundtrack? Check. Meaningless carnage and destruction? Check. And best of all, the game even had some Chistmas themed levels!  This game provided the bulk of the multi-player fun with my friend down the street that Christmas break.  Looking back though, I probably should have just asked for Twisted Metal 2 since it was about the same price at the time.

4: Vectorman

Vectorman was a rare occurrence when I didn’t know much about the game I was asking for Christmas.  I still wanted it more than any other game that year.  Something about the modern looking green robot hero and the shiny cardboard box at the Sears display case really attracted me.  You can really see the excitement on my face on our video tape of that Christmas Eve.  I couldn’t hardly contain myself to finally open this game, and find out what Vectorman was all about.  Turns out what Vectorman was all about, isn’t all that memorable.  The game was a good looking, decent action game.  I think the coolest thing about it for me at the time was that the final boss was inside a giant tornado.

3. Super Mario Bros./Duckhunt

Now we’re reaching back, way back.  All the way back to the beginning when this little obsession of mine started.  I don’t remember much about my first encounter with a video game.  What I do remember is images, pieces of a moment in time.  I can remember our old wood panel, 13 channel 80’s television hooked up on the hearth that morning.  We had the new NES hooked up on the floor beside as me and my brother (possibly my sister) marveled at this new Mario thing.  I can also remember the start up display before each level having a picture of little Mario with the flower power colors of red and white.  Something that we all know as simple impossible, but for many years after I searched for a way to play that game that would validate my odd memory of it.  I don’t have much to say about Mario besides the fact that this was the game that started it all for me (and many other children of the 80s).

2. Wii Sports

For one Christmas Eve, I lived a Nintendo commercial.  I was so pumped about this new motion controller technology that I pretty much bored everyone who came in my path with information on the Wii.  That included my family and by Christmas Eve, I had them in quite a fervor to play this new fangled contraction as well.  Immediately after opening presents, we tore open the Wii box and hooked it up to the television.  There aren’t many Christmas’ that are as memorable as this one.  We spent many hours bowling, boxing and playing golf with the weirdest gaming console I had ever come in contact with.  I also had to drag the console to whatever other Christmas gathering I was going to that year, so that others could experience in the sheer bliss that was playing Wii Sports for the first time.  I played so much Wii sports in the little span of time that I could go the rest of my life without ever touching it again.

1: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This is the granddaddy of all Christmas presents.  I was hyped up for Ocarina of Time about 3 Christmases before I finally got it.  I can remember in the Spring I told my mom that the only thing I wanted for my birthday that year was a promise that she would get me The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Christmas that year after it came out.  She said no and that I was crazy.  That didn’t stop her from pre-ordering me the game from Electronics Boutique.  I was so psyched to finally play Ocarina of Time.  I had followed this game for years up to this point, the hype meter was completely off the chart.  A few days before Christmas break that year a friend of mine found the manual for the game at the gym in school.  She gave it to me because she knew what a complete and utter nerd I was.  I spent the better part of the next week pouring over the manual and taking in every scrap of information about the game.  I was fully prepared for everything the game threw at me the moment I hit the power button.  This game was such a monumental event for me, I hooked my Nintendo 64 on the TV downstairs so my whole family could watch.  This magnificent game had to be witnessed by all in my young mind.  I can remember my dad watching me play on Christmas day and looking slightly annoyed.  He asked me what this game was about, what was I doing in it.  I told him that I was an elf named Link and I had to save the world from the evil Ganon and free Princess Zelda.  He then asked me why I was running around this small village.  I told him that I had to complete this series of things for this woman in town to get a bottle.  He then asked me what getting a bottle had to do with saving the world.  I didn’t have an answer for him them but I think if he asked me now I would reply with “EVERYTHING”.

And that concludes my long exhaustive list on how freaking spoiled rotten I was as a child.  I used to be sort of ashamed of this face, but now I embrace it and wouldn’t have replaced it for anyone else’ childhood.  I hope anyone that is reading this has a very Merry Christmas and that its filled with things that truly spoil you as well.