Do you remember the original Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo? Well a team of developers have went through the process of porting the game so that it would work on the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. The results are a staggeringly proficient version of a 16 bit game, operating on an 8 bit platform. Check out the videos below:
Do you remember the original Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo? Well a team of developers have went through the process of porting the game so that it would work on the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. The results are a staggeringly proficient version of a 16 bit game, operating on an 8 bit platform. Check out the videos below:
I've been following Fable since it was the itch in Peter Molyneux's pants known as Project Ego. I listened as promises were made and let down when they were broken. I learned to blame myself for unjustifiably putting unreleased video games on a pedestal and how to keep my expectations low until I actually play the game. I don't blame Fable for that, nor Molyneux.
It was a valuable learning experience. When Fable was finally released, though not as grand as promised, it was still an incredibly fun game. I play few games more than once, and it was one that I played for 30 hours the first time and the second, I put the controller down after 60 hours; I didn't even complete the story.
Fable is not the kind of game that is strongly story driven, nor is the player writing the story through their actions. It's a large world excelling more at sandbox gameplay than RPG or adventure. It's more fun farting in front of a crowd or enticing woman on woman action than strictly adhering to the beaten path. After almost 8 years of hype later, starting a time well before Fable was released in 2004, Fable II is much closer to Molyneux's originally advertised vision.
It might be hard to imagine by reading my posts that I always play the good role when I go through a game. I have a very stringent moral compass in real life and it forcibly reflects itself in my gameplay. Curse my parents for teaching me right and wrong. In the back of my mind, I want the in game parents to cry their digital selves to sleep at virtual night because some asshole(me) rode through town and killed everything under 4 feet tall. That's only in the back of my mind though.
Let's get down to brass tax. The story is the weakest part of the game and I knew that going in. It's not bad by any means but rather incredibly generic. Fable II's story compared to some other RPGs is like Magic Stars to Lucky Charms. Which in some cases is better than the original. Some of those Japanese RPGs have no fucking idea how to tell a story without it being delivered like a high school algebra class... taught by a woman...
Regardless, you have a requisite tragedy, followed by the discovery of hereto unknown special abilities, building up with a cross-country voyage, and culminating in revenge. The difference between this story and so many others, is at least in this story you don't have to be Mister(or Missus) fancy-pants-epitome-of-righteousness. You can be an insatiably evil dirty prick, guilty of greater atrocities than the man you are trying to deliver justice.
I'll level with you on this, I haven't played the entire story yet and I have no idea when I will. As I mentioned previously, Fable II excels at sandbox gameplay and if you play only the story, you're playing the game wrong. I had the privilege of knowing how to play the game before I even put it in my system. If you want a detailed story review, go somewhere else.
This review is based on roughly 15 hours of farting, hip thrusting, bandit killing, gambling, using my female character to make female NPCs fall in love with her, searching for prostitutes, dirty digital lesbian sex, swimming around lakes, looking for demon doors, kicking chickens, and many many other enjoyable time wasters.
Not to suck Molyneux's dick much harder(he still owes me a reach around for Black & White), there's a lot of good in this game. You are encouraged to use the revamped expression system in earnest because your character never talks, much like Link. Your dog is a clever instrument added to the game. He adds little to my emotional attachment(I'm emotionally challenged) but his contribution to exploration and general questing in invaluable. I've been looking to get him a piece of ass too and if anybody knows where I can do that please leave a comment.
Games like Grand Theft Auto get all the press when it comes to corrupting the overly impressionable youth. In my opinion, Fable offers a greater variety of debauchery and sin and I love it. When my pregnant fiancée walks in the room and gives me shit because I have condoms in my inventory and says something to the effect of "it's a little late for that," I know I have a winner on my hands.
The combat is a point in Fable's favor. A lot of the bullshit that comes with RPGs is missing. There's no mana or will bar, no turn based combat, no inventory micromanaging, no where-the-hell-did-my-sword-go weapon degradation, and no bullet or arrow count. It's just good old fashioned fighting game style button mashing, some with timing and aiming, and doesn't take a 60 minute video, online course, and practice workbook to understand, let alone master.
The graphics are good. Albeit the art direction is fairly stylized, but the rain and snow, as well as the building and character models, look good. It isn't the prettiest or most detailed game, but it certainly looks better than that beastly woman eying you from the end of the bar begging to have your illegitimate child because you drank a bottle of whiskey and bought a 75 cent truck stop vending machine condom.
You don't have the ability to alter your appearance à la character creator style, but you get a plethora of clothing options and a halo or horns for being good or evil. You'll also scar if you suck at fighting. That is actually a step up from the first Fable, which seemed to scar my character for being born.
It's a little too easy to make evil decisions. For instance, I was on a mission where a man was looting a carriage wreck and I thought, "well I'm Johnny Law around these parts" so I killed him. This was an evil act when personally, I thought it was avenging the dead or defending their honor.
Money is very easy to make, but unlike in Grand Theft Auto IV, it actually has value in Fable. I would have preferred money from questing like in the good old days instead of playing mini-games. Most characters are shallow but I can't blame the game too much for that because, let's all take a deep breath, close our eyes, and choke down some reality for a second, they're all part of a computer program(gasps).
I'll slightly complain about the RPG leveling system in that it's too simple. It has linear progression for each skill you choose, which is more accessible, but I lean more towards the lattice upgrade approach. It's not like that approach is RPG standard or even featured in Fable but is it too much to ask, for example, if I have a fire spell and a level-whatever sword attack, since I have both, to be able to shove a flaming level-whatever sword attack up someone's ass? I can light them up and then cut them down but I can't light them up while cutting them down.
Your dog, in my case his name is Mr. Kensington, and several other characters will disappear into buildings and the terrain like some kind of Albion acid trip. The loading between areas takes enough time to remind me I'm wasting away in front of my television, and the map is a pile of shit. Icons on the map are too small to really tell what you're looking for and they played a very personal and dirty prank on me by making them color coded(I'm colorblind).
I haven't had the opportunity to play online co-op but I have played local co-op and this is my one glaring piece of advice to you, don't play it. You have no control over the camera and it's your worst enemy. I know this is supposed to be an experience in collaboration, but you shouldn't have to work in tandem to move the camera into a position just so you can see what's on the road ahead. If I'm playing a game with someone in the room, alcohol is involved, and trying to work together to see the road is a needlessly complicated drunken task.
The story doesn't mean shit to me and it shouldn't mean anything to you. The combat is quick, easy, and fun. There are a few graphical hitches but that doesn't stop it from looking pretty. There are a lot of foul things to do, or not, and overall it's an enjoyable experience. The game is fun.
As with all reviews, whether mine or someone else's, this is fairly biased. I enjoyed Fable and naturally I really enjoyed Fable II. Each system has its share of exclusive titles, some more than others, and this is an Xbox 360 exclusive. If you own the system, you should own this game.
Armor Games has been hit by hard times. To save money they have decided not to program in color. Just kidding. Or am I???
Shift is a puzzle/action type game. Your little man must navigate his way through a maze of black and white. About the third level of the tutorial, you'll figure the designer must have been smoking something! The writing's backwards and there is no way to get to your goal. Stupid game... But wait, just press the shift key and all will be revealed. The shift will switch your little man from one color to another, flipping him over in the process. Now you can happily continue on your way. Just watch out for those spikes. They provide the only color in the game when you fall on them.
Armor Games has graced us with 2 sequels to this game, cleverly titled Shift 2 and Shift 3. It's a fun, quick game... guaranteed to make you think a little. But not so much you get a headache. Give it a try.
Mega Man 9 is the part of Capcom's new strategy to revive old school franchises. In a classic return to form, Mega Man 9 channeled the days of eight bit graphics and ass poundingly high levels of difficulty, finally releasing a true successor to Mega Man 2.
Hidden secrets and Easter Eggs where staples of the 8 bit era and it looks like Mega Man 9 has one of it's own. Yesterday afternoon in Capcom's own forums, Senior Community Manager Seth Killian left a series of cryptic posts detailing a single undiscovered secret, still at large:
"There's only one undiscovered Mega Man 9 secret that I know about...
...I'm not revealing it here just yet. And go nuts--I don't predict anyone will discover this one for quite a while yet..." -- Seth Killian
He went on to clarify that this was not the already released Protoman or Fakeman DLC, which leaves me puzzled. I still haven't had the time to finish the game, so I am throwing this out to you guys: What do you think this secret might be?
It's nearly November, and that means two things; 1) it's high time I figure out what I'm going to get for my family and friends for Christmas, and 2) it's high time I tell them what I want for Christmas. I've never been good at asking for anything for Christmas - usually I want big ticket items that I just don't feel good asking for, so this year I've decided to change it around a little bit. A few small price items, a couple medium items, and then one big item. So, for everyone that loves me (or is interested in what a geek like me might want), here goes!
Zune Pass - 1 Month
Quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to me with regards to music since learning how to play the guitar to pick up girls, the Zune Pass has allowed me to download more music than I'll ever even care to listen to. Sure, it's laced with DRM, won't allow me to burn it to a CD and I can only store it on a maximum of three computers (pretty easy since I only have one), but it really is a heck of a racket. I'm no investment banker, but $15 for unlimited albums is better than $15 for one album - I think. The Zune Pass could theoretically go on the 3-month list since it's $44.97 for that, but since there is no price break, it still boils down to $14.99.
Logitech S-510 Replacement Receiver
Yes, my receiver is broken and I don't want to drop the $15 to get it replaced, but that doesn't mean I can't ask Grandma to get it for me!
This list is all video games, which makes sense, seeing as how this is a gamer blog:
Dead Space - Xbox 360 - EA - Metascore 89
I don't like scary movies because they are either lame or too gory. However, I like violent and scary video games even though I can only play them for 30 minutes at a time because my heart beats too heavy and I fear having a heart attack. Dead Space might do that and that makes me excited.
Far Cry 2 - PC - UbiSoft - Metascore 88
Are you serious?! 50 square kilometers of free-roaming environment? Flame throwers with wind-impact physics on the burning African Serengeti? It's like MMORPG size in an FPS - and the story doesn't suck like it did in the original. Sing me up!
Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 - Microsoft - Release Date 11/7/2008
Even though I never actually played all the way through the original, I did beat the final boss on the hardest difficulty (you're welcome, Graybill HD). The multiplayer vs. mode never really grabbed me, but who doesn't love a little coop romp...
Left 4 Dead - PC and Xbox 360 - EA - Release Date 11/18/2008
...And speaking of coop, who doesn't absolutely love the idea of 4-player coop vs. a zombie hoard?! I mean, seriously?! This is probably the best concept for a video game since the Counter-Strike Zombie Mod was invented - brraaaaaaiiiiinnssss!! Why do I list both PC and Xbox 360, you ask? Well, if you must ask that, I would direct you to another website that might have an easier time understanding. Everyone else would understand that a game with this multiplayer potential must be experienced with both communities of friends, and that's why I'll take two for Christmas, kthxbai.
Unfortunately there isn't anything that fits in this range. Looks like it'll be a skimpy Christmas this year, as far as tech goes - I'm sure I'll get a lot of way cool socks and underwear to play with!
These are the big-ticket items that, should I end up with them, I'll be completely stoked, but feel ultimately guilty that I probably got the giver a mess of Elmer's and pretzels with red and green glitter shaped like O, Tannenbaum:
Guitar Hero: World Tour - Xbox 360 - Activision - Metascore 87
Me and three friends take on the world to become Rock Gawds. 'Nuff said!
Rock Band 2 - Xbox 360 - MTV Games - Metascore 92
See above - either one would be fine with me!
This would go great with my Zune Pass, and since I can load up my tunes on up to 3 devices, I'd be able to take this one with me when I work out and not have to worry about HDD shock.
This one might be a bit far-fetched, but a new receiver would definitely give me the kick in the pants to get a new surround sound setup! I've been dealing with a Logitech Z-680 that has been repurposed as my home theater setup which was great when I was in college, but the left channel is dead at the amp, and it's time to move on to something a little nicer! So, Santa, if you could please, I've tried to be good this year - hook it up!
There you have it! If I had my way, that's only $1360 + tax and S/H, so not too bad a Christmas (okay, seriously, it was a $100 limit growing up, and now it's much lower).
Gamers around the nation, I hope you are as disappointed as I am in the natural elements that we so strongly seek to avoid by staying inside. Tonight, intense rain temporarily delayed the Phillies winning their first World Series since 1980, having lost the World Series back in 1993. The last Phillies World Championship came in a win against, of all teams, the Kansas City Royals, who at the time were in their 11th year as an organization. Guess what, Tampa Bay is an 11th year organization. My prediction: Phillies win in either this postponed game or the next one, when they return to Tampa.
It's sad that the game was delayed tonight. Surprisingly, unseasonably cold temperatures in Philadelphia could end up causing snow tomorrow. Do you think they could play baseball in that, especially considering they seemed to want to keep playing through the rain? That would certainly make for an interesting game to watch!
In other news, I wrap up a big presentation tomorrow. I told Grundy that I would be nearing the purchase of a 360 after this presentation. So it's true that I have been looking. Instead of reporting to you about something random (besides the World Series), I want your suggestions on what to purchase with my new 360 system. Should I get Madden or Rock Band? This Fallout 3 game looks like fun, but would I be better off getting Gears of War 2? Should I just get one of the other seemingly endless games that our blog has posted reviews on since we came up and running? The decision is yours!
Let me know Gamers. Not only will your input be important for me, but it will allow me to continue providing you with quality information. It may also be important for gamers who are seeking to expand their repertoire to hear things from us, the normal-joe bloggers. So step it up gamers. Let me know how to become one of you again. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be swapping bullets over an intense battle of Call of Duty 4 (or am I already behind the times?).
Game on Gamers!
Square Enix and Disney Fans rejoiced together when it was announced that Kingdom Heart: Birth by Sleep would be coming to the PlayStation Portable. Unfortunately, other than a few screenshots from Tokyo Game Show, there has been very little information on the status of the game.
At TGS, select members of the press where able to get limited hands-on time with the game, but none of that was supposed to be videotaped. Undeterred, some intrepid soul managed to sneak out with footage anyway! Check out the video below.
So is it everything you expected? I know I can't wait to get my hands on it. Now the trick is getting Square Enix to confirm an actual release date! I can assume that it will be someday between now and when hell freezes over, but other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
Welcome to a new weekly column here at Thoughts of a Random Gamer. Each Monday, I will highlight one of the games being released the following Tuesday.
This week's big release is the long overdue Fallout 3. For those of you who are wondering what happened to Fallout and Fallout 2, you missed a major point in gaming history. Fallout was released in 1997 by Interplay, with Fallout 2 being released the following year. These bird's-eye-view RPGs were set in America after a nuclear war with China. They were known for their vast open ended story lines, over the top gore and violence, and dark, yet hilarious humor.
Fallout 3 is coming 10 years after the release of Fallout 2, and boy has it been a long 10 years. The gaming industry is a very different place. Bethesda, the creators of the much praised "Elder Scrolls" series, has taken over development for the long since dissolved Black Isle Studios. No longer will Fallout be conveyed in a bird's-eye-view, but in a third person and far more three dimensional view. No longer is it acceptable for a game to allow the murder of children. However, the key elements remain. Dark humor, ridiculously violent gore and the iconic Pip-boy will still be present.
Will Fallout 3 revive a long lost series, or will it turn out to be another failed attempt? We will all have to find out tomorrow. Until then, here is a short message from the boys over at the Vault-Tec.
From a scientific point of view, it seems like Wii Fit would do very little to help one actually get in better shape. Never missing an opportunity to lampoon a worthy target, the guys over at SarcasticGamer have whipped up a hilarious parody trailer, making fun of this fact. It is good to see this media darling getting knocked down a peg or two. I can honestly say that this is one of the most best parodies I have seen in a long time. Check out the video below:
Last week, as you might have noticed, we decided to try something a little different with the publication schedule. Our new format involved every contributor taking one day and making it their own. The fresh infusion of original content has been amazing! Also, this has freed me up to do a little more on the news front, leading to some pretty significant scoops including the Halo 3 Mythbusters videos and Friday's leaked Gears of War 2 boss battle.
Needless to say, this approach has been extremely successful and has given us a significant bump in audience. While this may mean you may be hearing from me a little less, it means you will be able to hear more from the rest of the team. I can speak for the whole team when I say that we are thrilled with these new developments and look forward to more advancements in the future.
Moving into the new week you can look forward the Greedy Raven debuting his new Release of the Week segment, in which he will provide insightful analysis into one of the weeks upcoming releases. On Tuesday we can once again look forward to another Random Thought from the Gameless Gamer. You can also look forward to Andygoes, who debuting a new segment on Wednesday. As always we will have a Damnit Game of the Week, followed by Jimmy The Greek's review of Fable 2, and my review of Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. Breaking news will be appearing periodically, so check back often.
Thanks for all of the support. Have a Great Week!!!
Anticipation for Gears of War 2 has reached a fever pitch. Details of the game have been leaking out right and left! Among the leaked material is a video featuring one of the game's new bosses. The boss is a octopus-like creature straight out of the very bowels of hell. This is like nothing you would have ever seen in the original Gears of War! Check out the video below:
Once again I venture into the tired genre known as World War II shooters. If you count my time in the Call of Duty: World at War Beta, my entire weeks worth of gaming has consisted of World War II and plastic guitars. I am sure you can take a guess at which I am enjoying more... Irregardless, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway has been receiving some pretty favorable reviews, so I figured I might as well check out what all the fuss was about.
For the third installment in the Brothers in Arms series, you are once again placed in the shoes of Staff Sargent, Matt Baker. This time around, you are in control of more members of the 101st Airborne Division, surging toward victory in Operation Market Garden. Complete with flashbacks and hallucinations, you will be forced to relive some Baker's most painful memories from the war, while still acting as a strong leader to the rest of your team.
So far, the story of the game has been told through cinematic cutscenes that bookend the beginning and end of each mission. This establishes a very linear mission structure, that thus far has driven the game towards mediocrity, instead of the promise that it has shown in the past. Baker's strong bond with his men, also seems to have suffered in this installment. The development time was instead focused on adding a tangible destructibility to the environments.
Sure, maybe one of my regiments are pinned down from an opposing force. What motivation do I have to save those characters? When these men are left to die, I feel nothing, because I know at the end of the mission that they will respawn and be right back to normal. Personally I believe that this was definitely the wrong decision to make. Instead, the focus should have been on making you want to save these people, because they are your brothers... your brothers in arms. Yes, that screeching sound you're hearing is a rambling paragraph, coming full circle.
Though most things have stayed the same in the Brothers in Arms universe, the most recent installment pushes for a level of violence and realism that had been nonexistent in the past. Under most circumstances, it would not be odd to see a decapitation, loss of a limb and ridiculous splatter effect, all from the same cutscene. I can only assume that the developer went over the top in an effort to drive home the realities of the cost of war.
If you are still interested in the game, stay tunes for the full review coming soon.
In the meantime, check out the trailer for Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway below:
As you have seen by now, damn near anything is possible in LittleBigPlanet. Here is another example of creativity at its best, as a user has recreated the entire concept demo of Mirror's Edge, using only the tools available in LittleBigPlanet. Check out the video below and be amazed:
I can't wait until the game is officially available for sale! The floodgates of outstanding content will be wide open. The real question is, will you be able to find the gems that are hiding in everyone else's crappy levels? What do you think?
Web comics. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say web comics are shit. There are a few out there that aren't too bad, but just because they're popular doesn't mean they're good. XKCD gives me a chuckle every couple of months or so. The drawing is absolute shit and it isn't funny even when it is overly verbose. I'm an instant gratification type of person, and if I have to read a short story comprised of 500 words or more, with pictures drawn by a kindergartner, just to get to the punchline, I'm not going to read the motherfucker. Thus bringing me to the first reason why I hate Digg. When I first started visiting Digg, roughly two years ago, it was world and technology news with a handful of videos and pictures to keep it fresh. The news are articles are fine, good writers know how to write a thesis statement in 50 words or less and by that paragraph alone, I know if I want to read the rest of the article.
Now web comics are cropping up on every other Digg page and the entire comic is longer than most major news stories. I'm not saying all web comics are long, I'm saying most web comics are shit. A note to any aspiring web comics who might be reading this, stop, just don't. If you still feel the need to continue, don't take arbitrary references from geek culture and try to mash them together like a Frankenstein of a joke.
Pro Barack Obama. I have nothing against the man that I don't already have against everybody, but is it really necessary to front page every Barack Obama story in triplicate? By now if you haven't decided who you're going to vote for, I don't want you to. Just stay home and leave voting up to the rest of us. Even if you are still on the fence, I'm more inclined to believe the cynical culture that resides on Digg would be put off by seeing so much blatant propaganda. I was a Ron Paul supporter before he hit big on Digg and simply seeing his name everywhere brought out the skeptic in me. I can only pray this Obama flood will stop after the election.
Anti John McCain. We, as an allegedly educated populace, prefer no mud slinging in our campaigns. Dirt on one candidate may sway some, but for the most part I don't think people connect with negativity on that level. If this is the case, why do we have to praise one and automatically hate the other? It's clear Obama is the Digg favored candidate. McCain and I don't share the same ideals but I respect the man. He's obviously done something right to get where he is and his time as a POW should earn him a minimum amount of respect. Never fail, on the front page of Digg, there are just as many anti McCain stories as there are pro Obama. This post might get front page action if I claim McCain killed a Vietnamese prostitute and Obama resuscitated a puppy with mouth-to-mouth, no matter whether I have viable sources or not.
The Decision engine. The previous three points lead me to this one. If it's a webcomic, it jumps on the express train to the front page? Pro Obama? Get on that train. Anti McCain? There's a seat for you up front. Anti Obama, pro McCain, whoa, whoa, whoa. Sorry but you have to wait for your ride with the rest of the retards who take the short bus to hell. If it comes from Cracked, front page. Chicago Tribune? Front page. The motherfucking Huffington Post, of all "news" agencies, its got several spots on the front page. Read every front page story for a week, and you will be able to crack the decision engine.
The ads. I completely understand why a website needs to be ad driven. How the hell else are you supposed to make a living off a free service? What I don't like are the ads that are on Digg. When I think of the average digger, according to some psychological phenomenon, I typically think of myself... but fatter and geekier... and smellier. Well now that I say it like that, I guess the ads are perfect, many are for overly expensive trendy clothing, cars, and weight loss programs, oh and Barack Obama. Whether ads are needed or not I still hate them.
The community. Reading the comments on most items gives me a general idea of the mentality of the average digger. They're "new age" self loving trolls with nothing better to do than scour the internet all day and make salty anonymous comments about other people's opinions. They're the kind of person who is so vain they will take a screen shot of a thread they posted on, host it on tinypic or flickr, and then submit it with the title "What I Love About Digg." They are the people who submit the stories I've already bitched about corrupting the decision engine.
I used to love Digg, but they're trying to hard to be more than what they became popular for. A wise man once said, "Don't try to do everything or you'll fail. Just try to do one thing better than everybody else and you'll succeed." Digg, that is my advice to you.
Since most of the games posted have been my suggestions, I decided to take this post on a weekly basis. On to the madness!
For those of you who were alive (and not high on hair spray) in the 80's, this is a game for you. Brought to you by Armor Games (and this bored Grad Student) is Argent Burst. Modeled after Missile Commander, this game has a fairly simple premise, protect your freakin' squares! This game won't win any awards for graphics becuase it's basically a bunch of squares and lines. You do get missiles fired at you later on, which tend to blow your little squares to smithereens. The overdrive mode is a little trippy color wise.
If you're looking for a quick game to play when your boss isn't looking or are trying to relive your big hair days, try Argent Burst!
Succumbing to the pressure of a black and white society, I will be implementing a rating system in all the reviews I write from now on. This is not necessarily a system that will be enforced across all of Random Gamer but for the people who need a number to determine if they should buy a game, this will be helpful instrument when reading my reviews. To me this is an exercise in conformity. To fit into mainstream, sometimes you have to sacrifice certain artistic liberties. Damn the proverbial man.
The system will be the typical real valued 1-10.
1: Why the hell did I buy this buggy, choppy, broken piece of shit? I'm going to set it ablaze in a garbage can.
5: Meh, not worth buying and sometimes not even worth renting.
10: I might run out and buy another copy just in case I'm too lazy to walk across the room to get the copy I bought first.
I've never played a game that was a 1 and no games deserve a 10. The closest to a 1 I've bought and played is Spiderman 3, which is probably closer to a 5, and the closest to a 10 is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That should give you a good idea of my quality threshold. Remember, if a game is a 10, you wouldn't need to play anything else ever and if it's a 1, why didn't you do your research first and avoid wasting the money on it in the first place?
Nearly everyone is familiar with the Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters. Some industrious gamers have decided to take matters into their own hands, going through and testing numerous myths associated with Bungie's Halo 3. They have managed to produce 5 episodes worth of mythbusting goodness and the video evidence leaves nothing to doubt. Check out each the five episodes below:
Here is to more Mythbusting in the future!
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare made the welcome change of extracting the franchise from the endless rut of World War II and moved it into the 21 century. When Treyarch announced that they where moving the game back into the trenches of Normandy, fans where left stunned. It seemed to make no sense why this was happening. I must admit that I was definitely skeptical going in, but tried not to let my preconceived notions get in the way.
After securing some hands on time with the multiplayer beta, I can assure fans Call of Duty 4, that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Based on the Call of Duty 4 game engine, everything looks crisp and and detailed. Combine that with a rock solid framerate of sixty frames per second, and you have a recipe for a guaranteed success. All of the trademarks of the franchise have made a triumphant return, while adding in the variety that COD 4 was lacking.
The multiplayer gameplay feels like Call Of Duty 4, with a vintage skin. Aesthetic, feel and control have remained the same, while still customizing the game enough to give the impression of an entirely new game. Most importantly, it looks as if Treyarch has distilled what makes World War II games compelling and chose to emphasize that through the gameplay.
With locations straight out of the history book, you can't help but feel like you are in the middle of a conflict that is something far more that just you. This is further amplified when you are thrown into a gametype that teamwork is the key. Communication is now more inporant than ever, becuase of the introduction of the new powerup, attack dogs. Seemly out of nowhere, those diabolical bastards will attack you, unless your teammates have your back. If this communction is not there, you are almost guaranteed defeat.
Also making the transition for Call of Duty 4 is the leveling up and perk system. Even though this component works identically to how it has operated in the past, the weapons have obviously seen a significant change. As you could expect, all weapons are authentic to the period of World War II and lack benefit of the power assist weapons found in the last game.
All in all, so far the multiplayer has delivered solid gameplay that is a perfect balance of the new and the old. We will have a full review when the game hits retail in mid November.
Check out the trailer for Call of Duty: World at War below:
Looking back, it has been a long long time since anyone has posted a movie review, so I have decided to do just that. Oddly enough, it ends up being a game anyway, Max Payne. The flick is a decent shoot-em-up, although I must admit that I never really got involved in it. I guess that I was more of a Hitman kind of guy.
Max Payne starts out looking like a nice, crisp, somewhat old fashioned cop movie. Slightly overexposed film gives the appearance like there are more grays in everything which helps to contrast the dark office spaces of the cops. To go along with the noir feel, as in any crime drama, you can expect to see serious heat packed on both hips.
Max is working as a detective/secretary for unsolved murders. Basically, he just files paperwork for all the cases that the station cannot solve. While working these other cases, he spends his time searching for clues to his own wife's murder, which occurred a number of years beforehand. The whole movie is based on him trying to find the third man involved in her murder. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to develop into anything worth watching.
It's hard go into too much detail on the plot, without destroying the story for all of you who have not watched it yet. To keep it spoiler proof, Payne discovers that a bunch of the criminals he is searching for are tripped out on some sort of narcotic. This drug is known to lead to intense hallucinations of Valkyrie that fly around, destroying people. Interesting enough, the drug is called Valkyr. Also, each criminal has of a tattoo of a Valkyrie on their wrist. What could this all mean?
The trail goes from hot to cold , literally, but I don't dare say more on that. Just know that it heats up again for a crazy gun fight at the end of the movie that, as many movies these days do, overplays the slow motion gun dodging sequences brought about by the Matrix. Have they not been overused enough yet?
I would agree with most critics out there in only giving Max Payne about 2.5 stars out of 5. It's not anywhere near the type of movie it could have been. There were too many things left hanging at the end, with no evident desire for a sequel. It should also be noted that there are numerous characters that appear in the film, but do not add anything to the plot.
Go see it if you really enjoyed the game. However, know that it doesn't have much to do with the game besides the name and the guns. You may be better off to save your 8 to 10 dollars and wait until it hits DVD for home consumption.
Game on Gamers!
Thanks to the glory of the internets, Far Cry 2 footage is hitting us early! If you can't wait a few more hours, maybe this gameplay footage can wet your whistle. Turn up your headphones and Check out the video below...
Be sure to pick this one up when it hits store shelves at midnight!
One of the most anticipated games being released for the holiday season has been recalled. LittleBigPlanet, a game expected to help move consoles for the struggling Playstation 3, has been recalled and delayed because "one of the background music tracks that was licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an." The game will now be shipped sometime during the following week.
For all of those keeping track at home, this means that the following two things are true:
1) Brutally murdering thousands of people in horrific fashion: OK in a video game
2) Quoting the Qur'an: Not OK
Is Sony implying that quoting the Qur'an is more evil then mass murder?
Also note that the entire premise of the game is the ease of user generated content. That means that we can all expect a flurry of Qur'an related content to be uploaded within hours of the game being released.
Midway through last week marked the the three month anniversary of this little experiment. The site was originally started as a way for friends to stay in touch with each other and has since blossomed into so much more than that. It has been a tremendous blessing to see the support that we have gotten from our friends, as well as the whole community. We look forward to continuing in the our pursuit of excellence going forward.
This week you can look forward to a first impressions look at both Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway and Call of Duty: World at War for the Xbox 360. We will get to hear from PriestBeast with more Random Thoughts From the Gameless Gamer, Jimmy the Greek will take aim at one of my favorite aggregate sites in his weekly What I Hate About... article, and GreedyRaven with an exclusive LittleBigEditorial. After a long posting break, you can look forward to a new Damnit Game of the Week courtesy of Reluctant_Gamer.
There are more developments in store in the coming days, so stay tuned.
Have a great week!
Resistance 2 is one of the most anticipated games of this year. The beta recently opened to the general public and videos of the gameplay are beginning to trickle out. One such leaked video features the new cooperative aspects of the game. Check the video below:
A reader just posted their coop clip into the comments section, so here is another video! It is over 15 minutes worth of Resistance 2 coop hotness, so try not to get too excited. Enjoy the video below:
Thanks for the input readers. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.
DICE has been touting Battlefield: Bad Company, as the game that finally brings a solid single player campaign to the Battlefield franchise. Alongside the new Single Player mode, the game also showcases DICE's new Frostbite game engine. Many have said that this could be a winning combination, continuing the trend of excellent games in the Battlefield franchise. Is this game another spot on headshot, or is it dead on arrival?
Imagine being placed in a scenario that is so volatile that very military you serve has turned its back on you. In Battlefield: Bad Company, the player is place into the shoes of the game's protagonist, Preston Marlowe, who along with the rest of the members of the military's Bad Company, have been trust into the thick of civil unrest. Bad Company is not just any regiment in the army, it is the group of officers that have been so disobedient, distrustful and downright disrespectful, that they are now viewed as expendable bodies, at the mercy of the US Military. As the story does, the men of Bad Company have inadvertently infiltrated a non-existent middle eastern nation, in the search of Gold.
Gold you say? Yes, you see, one side of the political uprising is backed by a group of mercenaries. These mercenaries are know for the fact that they do not deal in cash, they are paid in solid bars of gold. Knowing that they are already on shaky ground with the military, the men of Bad Company decide to go AWOL, in search of money, fame and the pieces of ass that only bricks of gold can buy. This search for money leads them on a long winding journey, with about as many twists and double crosses as an Agatha Christie novel.
Though the subject matter of the plot is rather dark and sometimes downright depressing, the other members of the squad act as a buffer, injecting humor into otherwise crappy situations. For their first time out, DICE has managed to capture the essence and individuality of each character. The personality shines through as one of the true successes of the game. While progressing through the game, there is a genuine bond that is formed, drawing you further into the story, the despite its outlandish nature.
The biggest thing that Battlefield: Bad Comapny has going for it, is the technology going on under the hood. The Frostbite Engine's trademark is the ability for developers to design a completely destructible environment. Can't find the door or exit? A grenade launcher can also act as an automatic door creator. One grenade at the base of the wall, and and you have your own door. Though this is an interesting development and key component to the game design, there are some obvious faults that show up, the more you play the game. A huge issue is the fact that contrary to popular belief, not everything is destructible. This led to several situations where the enemy would hole up behind an indestructible item like a doorway or chimney and everything would turn into the same scenario seen in a standard first person shooter for the last decade.
Knowing the solid track record of multiplayer in the Battlefield series, many would expect this to be one of the best online games available. Sadly, this is far from the case. The two meager online offerings left me wanting much more. Even something like a traditional deathmatch would have been nice, but was notably absent. Game modes instead chose to focus on the teamwork aspect of the game. This can be fun when you are playing with friends, but when attempting to play it with strangers, has a tendency to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Battlefield: Bad Company is not going to win any awards for an innovative story, but the destructible environments make this a must play for anyone who is looking to experience a new twist on the tired First Person Shooter formula. As long as you avoid the multiplayer, there will be enough action for a great weekend of fun. It is definitely worth a look.
Below is a trailer for Battlefield: Bad Company, featuring a special cameo:
This post has been festering inside me like a microwavable burrito. It was bound to burst out of one of my orifices sooner or later. Let me first qualify my capability to write it. I played Halo, I traded half my Xbox games for Halo 2, I bought Crackdown for the beta, and waited in line for three hours and took a day off work for Halo 3.
The gaming community. I play very few games online. The game I play online the most is Halo 3. It can be a fun alcohol fueled experience. The biggest thing to note about my previous statement is the word "can." I don't remember the last time I had fun the entire time I played online.
If it's not a racist douche, it's a 12 year old screeching with their cracking pubescent voice about how they just got a double kill. I love mothers, do I ever, and I don't mind people snapping off momma jokes, but none of them are original anymore. I love good insults but the vast majority of the people who play this game should be castrated to save the world from the horror of their offspring.
My final complaint about the online community is when it comes to women. Not women playing the game but the majority male reaction to finding a woman playing online. It's like dropping a Cheetos in a room full of hungry rats. They all cling to her, whether it's to belittle or hit on and in the end it's just very pitiful.
Fanboys. A steaming pile of horse shit has at least one person who will look at it and see nothing but gold. They can look past the fact it's shit and see... I don't know, something other than fecal matter. Such is the case with Halo. Who in their right mind would look at the games and concept and see no faults? If you guessed fanboys you'd be correct. The same people who dream of being sodomized by Master Chief, or want to be Spartans when they grow up.
Clearly I like the games otherwise I wouldn't continue to play them, but I am by no means one of its fanboys. I can see so many of the games' faults. Example: if a man can survive falling 500+ miles from space to the earth's surface, I imagine a bullet has to feel like a rain drop. Bungie took a page out of Captain America's book and made Master Chief some kind of super soldier. How is it that he can jump the regulation height of a basketball hoop, but he runs like he's in the Special Olympics?
The campaign. The major draw of Halo is the online play. The campaign lasts 15 hours at most and if not for achievements, isn't worth playing through more than once. It's seems like an unnecessary addition to the game. Specifically in Halo 3, I got so pissed at the constant interruptions from Gravemind and Cortana that I was ready to throw the controller through the TV. In Halo 2 the ending comes out of nowhere and gives the player campaign blue balls. Have you ever heard of a penguin blow job? It's just like each installment in the Halo story. It pulls your pants down to your ankles and starts rubbing you down. Just when you think you're going to get the mouth and some real satisfaction, it steals your billfold and runs away while you're stuck waddling after. Finally, in Halo: Combat Evolved the level designs, though good, were used over and over. I understand you have to battle your way into a complex, but sure as shit you had to run through each one backwards in a salty attempt to lengthen gameplay.
MMORPG like online fervor. Since the meat of the games are multiplayer, I can understand how that is the main draw. What I don't understand is how people can play multiplayer constantly with the only reward being a higher online rank. Are they playing to get the highest rank possible and maybe, as in a snowball's chance in hell maybe, get an MLG contract? I have no idea but, much like with so many other people and things, I don't understand it and therefore do not like it. It doesn't have an RPG element to make the monotonous grind seem like anything more than a waste of time.
Multiplayer map packs, themes, gamer pictures. It has been "perfected" by other games and though technically started on PCs, the microtransaction has thrived on the console since the release of the Halo 2 map packs. I'm not against significant game expansion packs. What I am against is charging for something that adds no real value to a game. Let me elaborate, lets say a new map pack is released for $10 or whatever. In order to play on the new map you have to go to a specific variant. This variant only includes maps from the map packs and not everybody has them, so you're limited by how you can play them and who you're playing them with. On top of that most map packs include a "reimagining" of previous maps that adds little to the overall design other than updated graphics.
Cheaters. I had a crack like addiction to Halo 2 for a time and that ended very abruptly when every other match I played was against a cheater. I'm sure everybody knows what I mean when I say "standby." You're running around the map and all of a sudden you're stuck in the blue screen and shortly after you return, you realize the bomb is planted, flag scored, or all your teammates are dead. No more than a minute later, the exact same thing happens again, and again until the match is over. Who remembers the modded Xboxs? You'd go into a match with a modder and all of a sudden you see somebody jump the height of the map, sprint past you at lightening speed, or fire a BR like its an AK-47.
The modded Xbox problem is mostly taken care of with the 360 but there is still the problem with standby. It's seems Walmart is selling internet connections these days. When you go into a match with someone who has a Walmart brand connection, everybody has to suffer by magically moving 10 feet without touching the controller, or being in a fight to have the opponent disappear and reappear behind you. The worst part of crappy connections in Halo 3 is when you go into the standby screen, you bet your ass you're going to be respawned well away from where you were and will die as a result.
My wife was flushed full of memories when she re-discovered Defend Your Castle, last weekend. I was then bombarded with stories of the many hours she had spent playing this game, while trying to avoid doing her homework for High School classes. Yeah, it is probably near a decade old, but it still has a hook that keep you entertained for hours.
The goal of the game is an simple as the name sounds, you have to defend your castle from attacking stick figures. While they may not seem menacing, those nasty little bastards can do a number to your walls if they manage to sneak by your defenses. You have a variety of different attacks and power-ups at your disposal, but none are more deadly or entertaining then just grabbing onto the attacker and vaulting them miles into the air, only to watch them plummet to their death.
Though mildly disturbing, there is a sick gratification to be gained from seeing hundreds of dead and bloodied stick figure corpses, strewn across the battlefield. Just try not to get to involved. I hear flash game homicide is a precursor for workplace violence. At least that is what my boss said...
As always, amuse yourself at your own risk.
Hello Gamers, and welcome to an important day in the presentation of Random Thoughts. Today, October 15th is Blog Action Day 2008 and this years focus is poverty.
Some sick bastard has decided that LittleBigPlanet was too cute and cuddly for their liking. They have used the immense freedom that the game allows, to create a fully functional couple having sex, complete with thrusting action. All I can say when I see things like this is, "With great power, comes great responsibility." Check out the video below, if you dare...
It has been a couple of years since EA's first brilliant foray into the next generation of consoles, when they released Fight Night Round 3 for the Xbox 360. After such an amazing first time out, you would think that they would continue with their winning formula, but once again the logic of Electronic Arts boggles the mind. The brain trust at EA decided to instead make a cartoon based boxing game, in the same vain as the Dreamcast's Ready to Rumble franchise. So Last night, with great hesitation and tons of malice, I dug into Facebreaker for the Xbox 360.
Just as I had guessed, my first inclination about the game was absolutely correct. Facebreaker is nothing more than a direct Ready to Rumble clone. Everything from the flashy boxer introductions to the over the top presentation, just reeked of recycled game design. About the only thing the game was missing was Jimmy Buffer's beautiful, "Lets Get Ready To Rumble!" being bellowed in a pitch that turns heads around the globe. Unfortunately this is about the only thing the game had going for it.
I was so frustrated by this game that I have decided that I would not waste your time, previewing it any further. If you want more information, check out our original Hands-On from last month. Andygoes did a good job of summing up almost all my feelings, in his piece.
The full review will be coming soon. I just keep telling myself that bad games are like tearing off a band aid...
Check out the trailer for Facebreakers below:
Now that the LittleBigPlanet Beta has come to an end, I thought that it would be appropriate to reflect on my favorite user-created level. Some ingenious soul took the time to meticulously recreate an interactive environment inspired by the PS2 classic, Shadow of the Colossus. This is an exercise in detail on an epic scale, that is worth applauding. Check out the video below:
I would never have the patience necessary to design a level like this. How about you?
It is once again the time of year for sports games to make their grand entrance, reproduce like bunnies, and then disappear to the bottom of bargain bins, never to be seen or heard from again. In the tried and true tradition of milking sports franchises for all they are worth, EA Sports introduces Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09, available on every console known to man. Will this year's game match up with the past or fall victim to its own legacy?
After only a few minutes of gameplay, it became painfully evident that this was very much a clone of last years game, with a few new features slapped on to help warrant a new year number and sixty dollar sticker price. Further proving that EA is running out of new and original ideas, the marque feature of '09 is the inclusion of Tiger Wood's performance coach, Hank Haney, as your personal trainer. Haney will be appear at major junctions in the career mode, providing tips and drills that will help improve your character attributes. I know that he is supposed to be helpful, but so far I have only seen him as a hindrance to the progression of career.
To me, the most useful new feature was the inclusion of a Club Tuner mode. In past games I always had issues with a hook to my shoot, but after going in to get my clubs tuned, suddenly I became a God among mere men! Everything shot I took was more responsive, getting better distances, and exhibiting pinpoint accuracy. Never had I felt like I was in complete control of my destiny, until now. I will see if these improvements continue to help my game, or hold me back as my career goes on.
The theme of EA's '09 sports series seems to be, "The games are so easy, even your retarded parents can play." Following in the trend started with the Madden IQ in Madden '09, Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 features a newly christened 'Dynamic Skill' system. Each round can have a positive or negative impact on your skills and abilities. Moves like this drive me up a wall, because not only does it limit the full potential of the ass-whooping I can administer, but it cripples the incentive for players to get better. Hopefully EA will be able to find a happy medium either by patch or in next years edition.
Despite my complaints, Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 has quickly climbed to the top of my 'Must Play' games list. You can look forward to a full review, hopefully sometime late next week.
Below is a trailer for Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09:
This last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Homecoming Weekend festivities at my Alma mater. It was great to get to be able to see both family and friends, as numerous nostalgic alumnus converged on a tiny Iowa town. The Homecoming football game was a nail bitter that came down to the last minute and a half. In the end the good guys prevailed, scoring the go ahead touchdown, to stave of defeat for the first time this season. PriestBeast and I even had the chance to return to our roots, playing tuba in the Pep Band, after over six months of inactivity.
As you can imagine, the circumstances this weekend where the reason for the lack of huge updates late in the week. Fortunately enough, Jimmy the Greek and PreistBeast came to the rescue with a Review of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and another installment of the "Random Thoughts From The Gameless Gamer." We hope to continue our streak of excellence, as we move into the new week.
There are several new pieces that you can look forward to this week, including first impressions of both Tiger Wood PGA Tour '09 and Facebreaker, and last weeks promised Battlefield: Bad Company Review (sorry the weekend crept up on me!) From the rest of the team you can expect to hear from Jimmy the Greek with a "What I Hate About..." article staring a staple Xbox franchise, another look into the twisted mind of PriestBeast in a third installment of "Random Thoughts From The Gameless Gamer," and other surprises that will develop as the week goes on. Who knows? If there is time, you may even see a little bit of breaking news. So stay tuned, because the unexpected is bound to happen.
Have a great week.
After shifting development studios and almost a decade in programming purgatory, Fallout 3 has finally went gold for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms.
Development on the original Fallout 3 began at Interplay early in 2000, only to have the rights to the franchise purchased by Bethesda in 2004. Recently they had encountered issues getting the game classified in both the UK and Australia, but it looks like those issues are in the past now.
Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced today that its highly anticipated title, Fallout® 3, has gone gold and will be available on store shelves and online in North America on October 28, in Europe and Australia on October 30, and in the UK on October 31. Developed at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® – Fallout 3 is slated for release on the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows. -- Press Release
I can hardly wait to get my hands on this bad boy. The real question is, are you finally ready to leave Vault 101?
Check out the trailer for Fallout 3 below: