Friday, December 31, 2010

Kinect, First Impressions

Since E3 Microsoft has been teasing gamers with their Kinect peripheral. Me, being skeptical as always, I never really felt that Kinect could be a success and that the motion tracking might not be precise enough.

Over the past few days I had some time to sit down or rather stand up and give this Kinect thing a shot. This first game I played was Kinect Adventures, there isn't too much I can really say about this game other than it is the standard "shovelware" that is bundled with the peripheral. They are generally short mini games, the only mini game that I liked was the racing game. Although it was very odd to be driving with an imaginary steering wheel it was an entertaining game nevertheless.

I proceeded to play the Dance Central demo because I was curious to see what all the hype was about. It seems like I have seen quite a few game reviews raving about this game so my curiosity got the better of me. To put it simply, Dance Central is the best thing that Kinect has going for it, that in itself is a good thing as well as a bad thing. This means that it will sell a great number of units but some gamers may be be weary of investing in the Kinect for only one good game. Dance Central is genuinely fun, even for those who aren't experienced dancers. I think it is probably the best dance game ever created; as much as I love Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Central still takes the Cake. The thing that separates Dance Central from the rest is that it can actually teach the player how to dance, dances that can be used in real world applications.

Kinect met my expectations in terms of games and exceeded my expectations when it comes down to the motion tracking. Dance Central was great and all but I fear that not many games will be as great as it is thus possibly ruling out Kinect as a viable investment in the eyes of many gamers. Lets just hope the developers have a few tricks up their sleeves and create innovative software that will produce a completely new and enjoyable gaming experience.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flower...The Best Demo I Have Played To Date

Now that my exam period is finally over, I have had some time to hop on PSN between my Christmas shopping runs. I saw a demo on PSN that caught my eye, it was Flower. I decided to give it a shot since I was playing FlOw on my computer earlier and I have heard good things about Flower.

This demo was what I expected an more! I had a general idea that this game would have an interesting art style, which I loved. In a day and age where I mostly play FPS' that are very deficient in the colour department, I enjoyed playing a game that is relatively bright with a vivid colour palate.

The gameplay is what surprised me, like FlOw the simplicity in the gameplay is what makes it so entertaining, but I found this game almost relaxing to play. I haven't played a game like this before where I am being entertained and relaxed at the same time; I guess I have become accustomed to the high stress games of today. What I also enjoyed was the length of the demo, it was a lot longer than I expected, so that was a nice touch.

With all that being said, I am definitely buying this game in the near future; it seems like it will be money well spent.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Assassins Creed: Brotherhood Has Surprised Me!

A couple weekends ago purely by chance I had the opportunity to play Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (ACB), I have always been skeptical about the online component of the game. It just seemed like a gimmick when they announced it.

So I decided to play this game with and open mind, the single player is pretty much same AC gameplay that I have seen before so I got right into the multiplayer. All I can tell you is that I had one hell of a time playing online. I enjoyed it very much, I liked the variety of games modes available. Notably, I had a great time playing the standard "free for all" mode where it is every man/women for themselves.

What I really liked about this game was that it has an online experience like no other game I have played before. I found it refreshing to play something online that was not your standard shooter, racing or sports game. One of the more memorable moments I had was when I was being pursed in the streets of Rome by an assassin and was running through the crowds and jumped into a pile of hay and finally evaded my pursuer. I found it just as thrilling when I was chasing my target through the streets and it felt so rewarding to get the points for the assassination because it is a task that is not as simple pointing and shoot in an FPS, it seems like the work you put pays off. I liked the fact that I was able to avoid getting assassinate in ways other than simply running away, like hiding in hay, blending in a crowd or simply sitting on a bench minding your own business.

Overall, I had a great gaming experience in the brief period that I played ACB. I was what I had been looking for, something fresh, something new and above all, something outside of the box.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Is Going To Be One Long Gaming Generation

Today I just remembered about four years ago I waited in the cold and rain for hours to be one of the first people to get my hands on one of those fat black shiny boxes we call the PS3. Fours years, how time flies, its crazy and nearly four years for the Wii and five for the Xbox 360. Then I started thinking to myself, this gaming generation should be coming to a close...but the end is no where in sight.

This generation is different from the last due to the colossal investments Sony and Microsoft made when they were developing their consoles. These companies need to make their money back at the very least and they would enjoy making a profit as well. This is why Playstation Move and Kinect were created, to extend the consoles life cycles so that the consoles this generation can be profitable.

But what about the Wii you might ask. Well the Wii has been somewhat of a wild card this generation, I never suspected that I would become half as popular as it currently is. I think that Nintendo will just milk the Wii for everything its got and swim in their sea of money. I mean it would be nice if Nintendo introduced a "next-gen" incarnation of the Wii with HD visuals, a hard drive; you know all the basics that a next-gen console has. A console that would cater more to the hardcore gamers like me, none of this casual gaming nonsense. To me it is logical since Nintendo would theoretically would have a head start in the latest generation of gaming (I still consider the Wii as previous generation technology).

But this is all just wishful thinking, it seems like we are in the long haul for this one. With a gaming generation with an end no where in sight, I feel like my launch Day PS3 was worth every dollar.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

So Many Sequals, So Little Time...

Like many of you know, Call of Duty: Black Ops (COD7) was released recently and it got me thinking. I really don't like how COD games are released every year like it's some kind of sports game and I feel like this diminishes the video games quality.

I feel that COD games have been getting progressively worse after COD 4, it seems like the developers can get away with creating games that fail to impress me while maintaining record sales numbers. If they wanted to, the developers could release a half-assed game and still make a mint off of it due to the fact that the consumers are sheep, purchasing the game because its track record and being somewhat "loyal" to the franchise. Honestly, if a new game is released every year, even with 2 alternating developer teams (each team creates a game every 2 years) I feel that the developers are more inclined to minimize the improvements in each installment to allow them to save time. For example, I still fell like the last 2 COD games look like crap compared to games like Killzone 3 and Crysis 2. It's like the more recent games in the COD franchise hardly look better than COD 4 which was released quite some time ago.

What I'm trying to say is that the COD games look and feel dated and the developers don't really have any incentive to make huge improvements in each new COD because they would not be able to crank out COD games annually and be swimming cash like they are as we speak. So hopefully at some point the developers will space out the launches of these games, put more effort into them. I want a game that has more atmosphere, you know more stuff going on in the background and weather that sort of thing. I want better visuals(significantly better) because the games look like an attractive woman that didn't age very well. Above all, I a damn single player experience!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Have Beef With Online Multiplayer

Over the years I have realized there can be a divide between gamers who only want to play online multi-player games (mp) and those who only care about single player (sp). Personally, sp is far more important to me than mp, that being said I do enjoy mp games.

The thing is when it comes down to developing games, both a sp and mp experience is not always necessary. Often I find when the decision is made to add an mp component to an sp game, the mp can detract from the overall experience and vice versa. Like sometimes it will just feel half-assed and unnecessary. Prime example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (COD6), it honestly had the shortest sp I have ever played in this gaming generation; it took me around 5 hours to complete it. I found, the plot extremely convoluted and it was not conveyed properly, the game could at least had some decent cutscenes to enhance the experience slightly. It just seemed that they developers devoted all their efforts to creating the mp because most people who purchase COD buy it for the mp. Well why couldn't COD6 just be like MAG or Warhawk, where the games are mp only and cost less than the average retail price for a game. It seems to make to me, but that's just me.

These days it seems like developers are going through this "Me Too" phase where every game must have a mp component and most of the time ends up hurting the sp. I know there is a huge market for mp games but there is no point of trying to appeal to both sp and mp players if the game quality will end up suffering.

This is my beef, if the developers want to make a game with both sp and mp, they need do it right. They need to divide their efforts equally between the sp and mp components of the game. If not, make the game sp or mp only, it would save them money and more importantly it would save the consumer money.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gran Turismo 5.......The Wait Is Almost Over

Well guys this one is going to be short because this is only speculation. I have been seeing increased amounts of people talking about Gran Turismo 5's(GT5) launch date closing in. And apparently the creator of the franchise announced that the discs were being stamped yesterday.

This news is getting my hopes up, quite a bit actually. The thing is this game has been pushed back so long that I am always skeptical of announcements regarding the progress of GT5. I remember playing the first demo of GT5 back in December of 2006, pretty much 4 years ago, when I bought my PS3 I was under the impression that GT5 would be released soon after I purchased my PS3. So you can see where my skepticism comes from but the news that came out yesterday is still very promising. So I am crossing my fingers for this game to be released in December before Christmas, mainly because I will probably make a deal with Santa Clause to get me a copy. Also, if GT5 is released during the holidays it will help Sony a great deal by nullifying the Xbox 360's leads in overall units sold. So hopefully, they are actually cranking out these games like they have said, because we all have been waiting an eternity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halo Reach, Why Can't Your Campaign Be Epic?

I have been waiting for Reach for quite some time now and last weekend I had tbe opportunith to play it. Don't get me wrong the campaign was not bad, I thought the plot was engaging and the ending left me satisfied. I just like the gameplay was missing something.

Compared to the dramatic cutscenes the gameplay seemed a bit lackluster, it was just the usual Halo. I know if it ain't broke don't fix it but the games in the Halo series just fell like carbon copies of each other. One thing that vexes me is that it feels like Reach has barely anything happening on screen, compare it to the Killzone 3 beta and Crysis 2 and it makes me feel like Bungie could have done a lot more, to make the experience more engaging.

I know that it is difficult to bring something new and fresh to the table, especially in the super saturated first person shooter market. But the developers invest all this time and money on these games, so i would expect a little bit more.One example I always go back to is the weather effects in Killzone 2, which are even in the multi-player component of the game, it sets the very dark mood of the game and besides the effects look great and ads some realism. Well what I wanted the most was to get that feeling of scale, you know like in Shadow of the Colossus or God of War 3, something to make me take a step back and admire the epicness (yeah I know I made that word up but you guys get the gist of it), I just felt Reach was missing that and it left me unsatisfied.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit....(Sigh)

After an eventful Halloween weekend I decide to wind down by downloading the latest Need For Speed (NFS) demo. I was surprised to see the file, size it was around a gig and a half. So I was expecting this demo to be decently long.

I think that was just wishful thinking.There are 2 playable races, one as a cop and one as the street racer. The catch is you can only play the street racer if you convince a friend to download the demo, shenanigans I say! Did I mention I had to create and EA account? Yeah, I had to make an account just to play the demo. So that made me slightly vexed right off the bat.

I appreciate that the developers are getting back to the roots of the NFS series since the older installments before Underground were far superior to the more recent NFS games, so kudos for them. The only thing is, the demo did not seem nearly as entertaining as the last NFS Hot Pursuit. Sadly, the handling seemed pretty bad when I was driving the Nissan 370Z cop car, it was just so hard to drive with the analogue sticks. It was so bad, it was reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto 4. Not to mention the gameplay mechanic involving stopping the racers is a little lackluster,all you have to is hit the car you are chasing until their "health bar" is depleted. I wish it were more like it was in the last NFS Hot pursuit where you actually had to physically had to stop the racer not just rear end their car until it magically just stops when their health reaches 0. Unfortunately for the game it is not very pretty, I know visuals are not everything but when old games like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue look better it annoys me.

With all these negatives, the only positive I could find is that driving high performance exotic cars beats driving a modded civic any day. That being said, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives, so it only seems logical for me to pass on this one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Really Wish I Could Be A Part of The Killzone 3 Beta

So I hope you guys missed me, these damn midterms have been giving me hell. But in between studying I could not help but look at all the Killzone 3 (KZ3) videos pouring in.

It happens that the KZ3 beta is up now so a bunch of multiplayer videos are being uploaded. I've watched as many videos as possible (with the little free time that I have) and look for the improvements in the game. Just from low quality Youtube videos I can tell the visuals of the game have been improved because so many things are going on at once during the game and things like snowflakes look great. I also like the new weapons like the triple barreled shotgun and I am glad that they brought back the suppressed SMG from the first Killzone game. But the things that have me most excited for KZ3 are the jetpacks and the mech suits, they just ad a whole new dynamic to the game and I hope they are balanced properly so things don't get out of hand. One thing I would like to address to all the people who think that KZ3 is becoming like Call of Duty(COD)because of the new air strike ability in KZ3, stop your whining! I am pretty sure that only the tactician can use this ability and it has such a small blast radius than the ones in COD that it won't be overpowered, on top of that the maps in KZ3 don't seem as small and as cluttered as the maps in COD.

Well it looks like Guerrilla Games has made me a little less skeptical about KZ3, it looks even prettier than the previous installment in the series and the multiplayer looks like it's shaping up to be something great. I truly envy the people who have the opportunity to be a part of the beta because I cannot wait to play this game. Seems like I will have to wait until KZ3 launches next year, so lets just hope that Santa Clause puts a nice big EB Games gift card in my stocking this year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vanquish, This Game May Have Some Potential...

A couple days ago I was watching some videos on YouTube and the Vanquish demo was announced in one of the many I watched. So me being curious as usual, I had to try it out. I proceeded to download the demo and waited anxiously. Finally it was installed on my HDD (hard disk drive), I started them game, took a quick glance at the control scheme and got right into the demo.

I immediately noticed how bright and refined the visuals were, Vanquish is a pretty game when you are playing it. Sometimes I would just stop and look around the area due to the amount of detail. But as you all may know looks aren't everything.

Regarding the gameplay, I had some minor difficulties getting used to the cover system and jumping over obstacles when the time came to push forward. But as I continued to play I got the hang of this gameplay mechanic and things started going more smoothly. Although the demo was short I got to face a couple different kind of enemy units and there was a big boss battle at the end. I must say I really enjoyed the pacing of the demo as well how fast paced the gameplay is.

The demo was short but sweet, this game seems like it has some potential for being pretty decent and I could like to know more about the plot in the campaign. As Michael Pachter noted before on Vanquish is not very likely to get the marketing push it needs to move a lot of units. If this game is not marketed well it would be a shame and could possibly face the same fate as Beyond Good and Evil.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finally Found An Addicting Iphone Game!

In one of my older posts I was trashing most of the Iphone games because they simply could not satisfy my needs as a gamer. Well I finally found one game that can keep me occupied for more than a few minutes.

I have become attached to the game called Stick Wars, yeah I said it Stick Wars it's a game concept that has been around for ages. The gameplay is simple and straight forward, all you do is defend your wall from the stick people by launching across the screen simply with the swipe of a finger. After each game you can get an array of upgrades to help defending you wall a little bit easier.

Some of you may ask "why Stick Wars?" Well it seems that I got the game purely out of nostalgia, I used to play a game similar to Stick Wars on the PC several years ago and I like the gameplay mechanic. So one day about a year ago I decided to download the demo version of the game. I really enjoyed the demo and was disappointed that it was so short. So I decided to purchase the full version for 99 cents (slightly more since it was converted into Canadian dollars). Well I have been playing the game pretty frequently ever since. Last week, I played it for almost an hour ( why study for exams when you have Stick Wars right?). The funny thing is, I can't seem to understand why I am not bored of the game yet. So there you have it, I was proven wrong, not all of the Iphone games suck, that was just a crude generalization on my part because I feel that Stick Wars is a great game.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Am I the Only One Not Excited for Test Drive Unlimited 2?

A little while ago one of my friends was all excited to show me the new trailer for Test Drive Unlimited 2. So I preceded to watch the trailer with no preconceived ideas about the game.

It did not take me very long to realize that I was not really liking the way the looked. It was pretty much a sandbox game and as many of probably already know, sandbox games and I do not go very well together. So I wasn't surprised that my friend is hyped about this game because he loves sandbox games, especially Grand Theft Auto. After discovering that this game was pretty much the genre of game that I lost interest relatively quickly.

In the video it seemed that the game was more about customizing completely irrelevant things, like your characters clothes and house than actually driving cars. The game looked essentially like a Playstation Home, which was a big disappointment. I don't know if it's just me but I buy a racing game to race not to make my avatar look pretty. I don't get why the game is trying to be something it's not, it's called Test Drive for crying out loud, as in driving cars not selecting some new skinny jeans and a polo shirt. This has lead me to the conclusion that I am simply going to walk by Test Drive Unlimited 2 when if it's in my local EB games because I feel that it really isn't worth my time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Think it's Time for Nintendo to Make a New IP

Nintendo has been a part of the gaming industry for quite a bit of time now and the thing that really bugs me about Nintendo is the fact that all their "killer aps" are sequels.

I don't know if it's just me but the vast majority of the best selling and acclaimed first party games on the Wii are sequels of previous games that that have been around for what seems like an eternity. There is only so much Zelda, Mario and Metriod I can take. I would really like the Nintendo developers to try something fresh and out of the box like Heavy Rain.

Ir's nice to see that the third party developers are trying to make cool new IP's on the Wii. A good example of this is Epic Mickey, it has an intriguing gameplay mechanic and it has Disney characters so if the game does not turn out to be all that great it will still sell pretty well since it caters to a pretty large audience on the Wii. But it seems like the developers of Epic Mickey are trying hard to make a great game that is geared towards both the casual and hardcore gamer audiences. I just hope that at some point in the Wii`s life cycle, Nintendo will step up and produce a genuinely great new IP on the Wii, because I`m really getting tired of sequels these days and I would a reason to play the Wii again.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It Looks Like Gran Turismo 5 Is Probably The Prettiest Game Ever

I am currently in university so when I am not in class I try to take some time to catch up with the whole gaming scene. Recently I have been turning my attention to Gran Turismo 5 (GT5), I kind of forgot about this game because GT5 Prologue has been out for a while and the full version GT5 has been in development for an eternity.

As I was sifting through some GT5 videos on Youtube I was noticing how beautifully GT5 is shaping up. Just the amount of detail in the game is astonishing. I saw a clip of night time driving, from the in car view, with the rain on and I must say I was completely blown away it practically looked real. The level of photo realism in this game still boggles my mind. I was worried that the developers of the game would only focus on making the cars look pretty and half ass the tracks. But I was totally wrong from seeing song recent footage from the game. It has got me so excited that I'm really wish that I had the money for the steering wheel and pedals for this game. I played GT5 Prologue in a racing seat with the pedals and the steering wheel and it really made the driving simulator experience all the more better.

As I always do I will continue on the hype train until the games release. I wonder if can bribe Santa Claus this year, so I can wake up to a Steering wheel and pedals in my stocking.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Playstation Network Cards, Handy Little Things Aren't They

Since I recently got internet up in my new place I have been contemplating weather or not I should purchase some games on the Playstation Network (PSN). Finally, yesterday I decided to take the plunge.

So drove to the nearest mall, located the EB games/Gamestop and to my surprise they were out of PSN cards and had been for a month! So the cashier directed me to a drug store in the mall and to my surprise the drug store had plenty of PSN cards. I found that pretty funny, the cards were so tucked away, no wonder nobody had bought them. So I went ahead and purchased a $20 card and went directly to my place. I spent most about $18 and I decided to buy Crash Bandicoot Warped and Final Fantasy 7, both classics in my book. Currently I am plowing my way through both games, since I would like to finish them before my course work load picks up some more.

I remember the days without PSN cards, it was horrible since I don't have a credit card ( I applied for one but it's taking an eternity for me to get it) so getting my "hands" on some downloadable PS1 games was looking pretty grim. Now that time has past and I can enjoy all the old stuff that I grew up with. One thing the I like in particular about the PSN cards is the fact one PSN dollar translated to one dollar in the real world. I find things like the Xbox live points system can get a little messy. Once a new currency is introduced (ie. points) it can get difficult to keep track of what how much actual money you are spending or it becomes difficult to determine the worth of a game. This is just the way that I feel, it's kind of like going to Dave and Busters or Chuckie Cheeses and you buy a ton of points/coins for a pre-determined amount of money. But the catch is that you are probably in the mind set of spend coins not money, thus not really keeping track of the actually dollar amount your are spending to get X amount of tickets to win a crappy little prize. I guess you can tell by my little rant that I spent lots of my childhood money at these kind of places only to get lackluster prizes.

So for now I'm going to be using PSN cards, I might as keep using them when I get a credit card since it will help keep my spending in check. It still blows my mind how wonderful these little pieces of plastic called PSN cards are.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm Just Putting it Out There, Crash Team Racing Beats Mario Kart Any Day

As a child I used to have a Playstation (PS1) as many of you probably know and I enjoyed it very much. It was probably the main reason I have been feeding Sony all this money of the years.

One of the main reasons I loved my PS1 so much was because of all it's racing games, in my eyes they were far superior to those on the N64. Probably my favorite racing game next to Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit was Crash Team Racing (CTR). I always preferred CTR to Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Kart for some reason. It may b due to the fact that the Crash Bandicoot games were my favorite platforming games at the time, so that may create a little bias. But I think there is more to it, in my opinion the power ups and the tracks were far superior to the N64 racers. On the other hand it comes down to personal preference because Diddy Kong Racing was not my cup of tea due to the fact that it was not only kart racing. Regarding Mario Kart, I just didn't like the tracks all that much. So many people have disagreed with me but my arguments stands; PS1 had the best racing games in that generation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Resistance 3, Finally Announced!

Yeah I know, I'm a little late to the party ( not having internet can do that) but I came across the Resistance 3 (R3) live action trailer and it got me very excited.

We all knew it was coming, R3 was bound to be announced pretty soon since Resistance 2 (R2) was released quite a while back. Besides the cliffhanger ending in R2 has had me waiting for news on R3 for quite some time, finally something has turned up. Although the trailer is just teasing us due to the fact that it's live action, it was very good it seemed like it could have been a movie trailer for a thriller or a horror film. I am just a little disappointed because the trailer did not show anything about the story. I am really impatient and I love the plot in the Resistance trilogy ( I hang around on the forums a lot), so any little tid bit of information regarding the plot would have been nice. The only thing that the trailer kind of mentioned is that the game will take place in New York but we all knew that because the title of R3 that was leaked a while back showed a silhouette of New York in the letters. but I guess that is the point of making a teaser trailer, it's a tease (man I really hate teases!).

I guess the trailer is better than nothing and has got me pumped about another game. I'm just praying that it doesn't come out early next year because I am not going to be able to buy all the game coming out in the winter nor would I have the time to play them all.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FanExpo 2010, Good Times...

In Toronto there is an annual convention called FanExpo and it's all about anime, comic books and video games. This year I decided to go again for the second time this past weekend.

I was very surprised when I got in line for the expo over the weekend, the line was absolutely massive. It seemed like the expo had a much more people attending this year. Aside from me sifting through a few Amazing Spiderman comics that I was looking to purchase I spent a lot of time watching people playing a bunch of new games that were being demonstrate (the lines to test out the games were extremely long and I didn't have enough time to try them out unfortunately, so spectating was the only way to go). First there was Kinect for the Xbox 360 and Move for the Playstation 3. Now that I was able to see these new peripherals in person, it solidified my preconceived opinions. They just seem like a gimmick that Sony and Microsoft devised to try and take a bite out of Nintendo's market share. Also, the players looked equally as ridiculous if not more (especially while playing Kinect) when they were playing some of the games. So that gave me a pretty good laugh. Gran Turismo 5 in 3D was also playable in a racing seat and steering wheel, I really wish that I got a change to try out some 3D gaming but people just hogged that game like it was the last time they would ever play it. The one game that got me really hyped up was seeing Halo Reach being played, graphically it is greatly improved compared to Halo 3 and slightly better than ODST. The new weapons and gameplay mechanics looked pretty cool too, so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Reach when it is released. Regardless of my current opinions of the motion controllers I will still give them a shot when they have promising games.

Aside from that I managed to pick a little item that I have always wanted. Yes, it is a Buster sword from Final Fantasy 7 and yes I am extremely nerdy for buying one but hey it is still awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Call Me Superficial But I Like Games With Good Graphics

Whenever I go surfing around on the internet looking for new gameplay videos, I usually seem to evaluate the games visuals and not the gameplay mechanics. I'm thinking that it is a first impression thing but when I think about it when I play a new game with crappy graphics, I feel that it takes away from the game.

Yes, you can call me shallow but hey I don't think many people enjoy playing "ugly" games. Like when ever I play Killzone 2 I am still amazed by the graphics after all this time. This is why I wish I could play Crysis on some kind of high performance gaming computer to actually see the games full visual potential. I know, I know; graphics are not everything but I feel that visuals are a significant part of gaming. Besides years from now I would rather play some photo-realistic games over the old stuff any day. The way I look at it games can be like women, sometimes the look great but deep down they are horrible or they may not look so good on the outside but it's what is on the inside that really counts. Well with that said, I am just hoping that Killzone 3 and Crysis 2 will be the Adriana Lima of video games.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

For Some Reason I Love to Run Through Games

For as long I can remember I always end up beat the single player component of games relatively quickly. I guess it's like when you are reading a good book or watching a really good TV show and you just can't stop reading or watching.

The First time that I can recall running through a game was when I was between the ages of 8 and 10. One of my good friends, my sister and I all sat down together and decided to play Rayman 2 on the PS1, it turns out that we ended up tearing through that game in under 7 hours. Ever since then I have been running through games when ever I have the time.

Another example of the is when I play the Halo games I have beaten all of them in one sitting and even on the legendary difficulty sometimes. I think I feel like I am doing a time trial or something whenever I play a single player game, maybe I am trying to relive the time when I first hammered through Rayman 2. Who, knows? One thing is for sure though, developers better start making games longer so I can't beat all of them in 1 day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Call Me Nerdy But I Seem to Get IntoThe Universe That a Game Creates

I am currently reading the last two books in the Halo series and it got me thinking, I really get stuck in the universe that a game creates. I always feel the need to delve into the extra tidbit of the back story of a game, always looking for new details.

Halo is one example of this since I enjoy reading the books, they provide some good background and they are entertaining reads. Also, I have read the Resistance book "Resistance:The Gathering Storm", for the same reasons why I read the Halo books (also one of the Halo authors wrote the Resistance book). I spend have spent a lot of time on the forum and all the topics that have read helped clear up a lot things that I wasn't sure about or small things that I missed.

It happens that there is going to be an annual gaming/comic book convention in Toronto and I am going to attend it again this year. When I went last summer I got to play God of War 3 and Ratchet and Clank before they were released and I liked that little perk. This is very nerdy I know but I was contemplating buying a Keyblade that I saw. Yes I am a pretty big Kingdom Hearts fan and they had the Lion Heart Keyblade for sale but by the time I had seen it I had run out of money due to me buying up a bunch of Amazing Spider-man comic books. So hopefully I will have enough money to purchase a Keyblade next weekend if they have them but I also have to put some money aside for the Deadmau5 concert in October. I really hope that I don't have to choose between the concert and the Keyblade, I guess I'm just going to have to wait and see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Right Now I Feel Like There is a Drought...

I usually feel this way almost every summer, there is a drought when it comes to good games. I feels like it has been such a long time since a good game has been released.

The most recent console game that I actually enjoyed was God of War 3 and that came out ages ago. So I have been neglecting my PS3 for extended periods of time this summer. Sadly it has been collecting dust and I just use it to watch Blu Ray movies these days. Why did all the good games have to come out so early on in the year, I wish their released were a bit more spread out so I wouldn't be experiencing this boredom; this drought.

The only game that I keeping me from being bored out of my mind is Starcraft 2 but honestly 1 good game for the whole summer, this is just ridiculous. It seems like every game I try to play is just trash. I tried to give Final Fantasy 13 a chance but it was so bad that I could only get a few hours in, it was that painful. Basically it looks like I'm going to borrow my mothers' eReader for a long while now so I can finish the Halo series so I get onto the Halo Reach hype train.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some Games Are Just Too Damn Hard!

Have you ever played a game so difficult that you want to rip all your hair, because I have and it's not fun at all. Some times games are so hard they are just plain stressful and tedious.

So let's start with Ninja Gaiden, back in 2007 I decided to pick up Ninja Gaiden for my PS3 because it looked pretty cool since I think ninjas are pretty awesome. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into because I played the demo of the first level that I downloaded from PSN and I knew that the game would be difficult. I was able to beat that level on the hardest difficulty and decided that I would be able to handle the full game and I went down to my local game store and picked it up. Unfortunately I was very wrong, I tried to play through the game on the second easiest difficulty and it was probably one of the most frustrating experiences in my life (well besides trying to teach myself calculus). Each time I played the game I was either tempted to rip my hair out or chuck my Six-axis controller into my TV. Eventually I gave up after I fought a particular boss battle. This is what went down, I fought the boss drained all its health but I had almost no health as well, as the boss died and fell to the ground it touched me and I died. After a great deal of time, effort and "x" amount of tries to beat this boss I was so enraged that I was probably cursing at the game for a few minutes. Shortly after I sold that game, never again would I endure such torture.

A few years before that little episode with Ninja Gaiden, back when the PS2 was the it console I bought the Wolverine's Revenge game that came out when X-men 2 was released. The difference between this game and Ninja Gaiden is that in Ninja Gaiden you can actually move forward in the game although it is very hard but in Wolverine's Revenge a lot of parts actually seemed physically impossible. I remember I was playing this game on the normal difficulty and I got to a the first boss I think and it was so impossibly hard that I had to go onto the internet to look up cheats to beat this boss. So I got all the cheats ready including, the most useful one was me being "invincible". It seemed like that fight should have been a piece of cake, once again I was mistaken the boss was still able to kill me by somehow throwing me into a pit full of spikes so easily. So much for invincibility my twelve year old self thought, that game got sold so quickly.

Now when I hear a game is ludicrously difficult, I don't even attempt to try them anymore. I don't think it's worth all the the time and stress, I don't even think it's worth the ego boost to say I could beat Ninja Gaiden on hard, especially since I would have Hulk smashed a few TV's in the process.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Is Counter-Strike Like Crack?

As a child I used to play a lot of video games a lot more than I do now. I remember when I was first introduced to the FPS genre when I was about 9. The first FPS and PC game that I ever played was Counter-Strike (CS).

At the time my PC was not very good and I had Dial-up for my internet (which my parents restricted me from using as a child, I rarely used my home computer), so I would go to internet cafes with my friends and we would play CS for hours on end, It was probably one of the best games I had ever played.

Fast forward a few years, I was in the 8th grade. Me and 3 of my friends decided to band together and rent a server so we could be admins on CS and create a clan. It ended up costing us each $8 a month so it seemed reasonable. This is where my CS addiction began. My friends and I created our clan and learned the ropes of being admins. Those were good times but I quickly became obsessed with the game, I would play for 8, 10, 12 hours a day. Playing the same maps over and over again trying to hone my skills, it became routine and gradually worsened. I invested so much time into that game that it was getting ridiculous. For what? I really don't know; maybe to say I was better than my friends. Eventually, my mother had enough, she put her foot down and banned me from playing CS for a couple weeks and when I was able to play it again I was only allowed to play for a couple hours at a time.

Now That I think about it, I probably had a little taste of what gaming addiction. It was like a drug, I couldn't stop myself from playing...Well, I am glad that I haven't experienced anything like my CS addiction ever since I stopped playing that game back in the 9th grade.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Never Realized How Much Vista Sucks, Until Now

As many of you may know, I decided to take the plunge last week and pick up Starcraft 2(SC2). But what you probably don't know is that my almost 2 year old Sony Vaio laptop is running Vista.

I knew from the get go that Vista was not nearly as good as Windows Xp, since it was pretty slow when I made the transition from Xp to Vista (very painful transition). When I thought it couldn't get any worse, worse than being pretty slow and frequent crashing; my purchase of SC2 showed me the dismal nature of this OS. Let's not forget my laptop has 3 gigs of RAM which would seem sufficient (in my eyes at least) to run SC2 smoothly on at least the lowest settings. Boy was I in for a surprise, it seems like Vista loves to eat up RAM like the obese glutton of an OS that it is. This is ridiculous! It can barely run SC2 on the lowest settings ( the graphics are comparable to a Nintendo DS game, and that is not acceptable considering my laptop was almost 2K last year). Don't even get me started on me attempting to run SC2 on medium settings. It was so slow that I could watch a sloth do a 100 meter race before the damn game would have loaded. A message indicating that I am slowing down the game pops up so frequently that it's starting to get annoying. I feared that trying medium settings would melt my computer due to the incompetence of Vista. I really do loath this OS, especially when it comes to playing games. Buying SC2 is my way of getting back into the PC gaming scene but Vista is like a rash constantly pissing me off. Why couldn't Microsoft just update Xp instead of making Vista and Windows 7. Seriously how can an OS that is over half a decade old be better than present day OS, it just boggles my mind. Just the thought of me running SC2 on Windows Xp and 3 gigs of RAM makes me feel all warn and fuzzy inside but then I am slowly brought back to the reality of the crappiest OS I have ever used, this pathetic OS we call Vista.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ok, I Take Back What I Said About Crysis 2

While I was surfing the internet the other day, I stumbled upon some recent gameplay footage from Crysis 2. I must say, I was simply blown away.

This is what leads me to take back what I initially said when I was comparing the first Crysis 2 trailer to the Killzone 2 gameplay footage. In the new footage, Crysis 2 looks more polished and the scale of the maps are incredible. The attention to detail in Crysis2 as well as the physics are probably the best if have seen on a console. This leads me to believe that some of the aspects of Crysis 2 that I criticized in my earlier blog have been improved significantly. Even the character models and the weapon models look so much better. This game looks almost like CGI and is very easy on the eyes. So there you have it, I have excepted my false claims and I am not more excited to see how the end product of Crysis 2 turns out. It seems like the console versions Crysis 2 may even stand a chance against the PC version and have visuals that are nearly as good; well only if you have a beast of a computer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pokemon, The Only Reason to Buy a Gameboy...

Don't judge me but I have been playing Pokemon for over a decade now on my Gameboy colour (GBC). I know, I know people have told me to upgrade my handheld in the past but I have been content for a long while.

The main reason why I still play my GBC is because of Pokemon, I think it was one of the greatest games ever. Initially I had Pokemon Red Version but sadly I lost it several years ago. Soon after I got Pokemon Gold Version and I haven't looked back since. It's funny because that is the only game I have for my GBC but don't care, it's just that good. I have realized that Pokemon games are a good enough reason to buy a Gameboy. The game has all the elements I like, having some side missions so the game is not too linear, turn based combat and grind, lots and lots of grind. So when the 3DS comes out I will probably retire my GBC and make the shift into the "next gen" handheld scene, by now you could probably guess what game will be the first I will purchase.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Should I Bother Wasting My Time With Final Fantasy 13?

Basically my friend and I decided to trade games temporarily to save on money (times are hard, it's still a recession), so I gave him my God of War 3 and he gave me his Final Fantasy 13(FF13).

I must say FF13, is one of the most painful games to play. I am only a few hours into it but it is very difficult to force myself to go on. It almost seems like a chore to play. The plot is boring and generic, the characters are not likable at all (Hope pisses me off every time he opens his mouth). Those are some of the minor things that annoy me about this game mainly because gameplay is the most important part.

One saying that is very true, especially when it comes to games is "if it aint broke don't fix it". This saying explains how I feel about the gameplay and gameplay mechanics in FF13. First of all it is one of the most linear games I have played in a while and I know that I have said that I don't mind linearity in platforming games but in RPG's it's a totally different ball game. I want to be able to explore and do side missions and have a larger area to do my grinding, I can't walk in a straight line for the whole game, especially in an RPG. It puzzles me why the developers have made this game so linear. More importantly, I really hate how you can only control the party leader, why can't I control the rest of my party? I just find it stupid. It really grinds my gears that Square Enix tries to make the gameplay more simple by making it more complicated. With all the auto battling and paradigm shifts and nonsense, it seems like there is a tutorial every couple of minutes in this game. If they truly want to move away from turn base combat why don't they make the battle system more similar to the system in Kingdom Hearts. If not, just go back to traditional turn based combat because these new systems that they develop are getting progressively worse. I have realized this is a general trend with Final Fantasy games after FF10. The series itself has been getting progressively worse , so I am not surprised FF13 is one of the worst RPG's I have played in a long time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So I Played Starcraft for the First Time...

So last week I decided to give Starcraft 2 a try, mind you this was my first time ever playing Starcraft or an RTS game in general. For lack of better words I think it is awesome.

I liked it so much that I decided to buy a copy of it a couple days ago (this is why I haven't made a blog post recently). Essentially, the game has consumed most of my time due to the highly addictive nature of the game. Although I discovered that I truly am a poor RTS player I still enjoy Starcraft regardless. I cannot wait to get better so I can play against my friends online. I guess it will be a while before I will play online, mainly because I'm such a noob and my friends have had played the original Starcraft for year. So, it looks like I'm going to get back playing some Starcraft 2, to satisfy my craving for this new genre of game I have recently discovered.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is a 3DS!

Well I know the 3DS won't be coming out for Christmas but hey it would be a nice move on Nintendo's part. But seeing a how any incarnation of the DS sells like hotcakes, essentially Nintendo can sell this handheld when ever they want.

Basically I have not been a part of the handheld market so several years now; the last handheld I bought was a gameboy colour back in the late 90's. I never had that much intrest in hand helds until now, I just find it awesome that we will be able to see 3D without the use of those goofy glasses. On top of that the 3DS can apparently take 3D pictures and who wouldn't want to see their pictures in 3D. With respect to the games on the 3DS, this is sad I know but I want to play those Kingdom Hearts(KH) games that are exclusive to the DS (I really need my KH fix, it has been way too many years now). Another reason that has lead me to consider purchasing this handheld, is one of my guilty pleasures; which is Pokemon (it is so addictive). So it looks like I am going to have to save up my penies or hope that Santa Clause will be generous this year (and yes I think Santa Clause can make a late delivery in 2011).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is it Just Me or Was The Nintendo 64 Controller Absolute Garbage?

Don't get me wrong I loved the games on the N64 especially Golden Eye since it was pretty much the pioneer of current generation FPS's but the N64 controller was completely horrible.

I think Nintendo really has problems with their controlers the Gamecube controller was pretty bad, it the button layout sucked and the buttons were very oddly shaped. But the N64 controller was far worse than the Gamecube controller in my eyes because I feel that the controller itself had an extremely strange shape. Which in turn made it very awkward to hold, thus making it very very difficult for me to play games effectively. I think since the controller had such a wierd shape the way the buttons were grouped suffered making it difficult to do certain tasks in a game with these controllers. As much as I did love Golden Eye on the N64 the controller made the game suffer by producing a clunky and awkward control scheme.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No Matter How Hard I Try I Can Never Own a Sports Game

Over the years I was never able to get into sports games, I have never even owned one. Most of my friends think I am crazy or are thoroughly disappointed when they realize that my game collection does not contain a single sports game.

To be honest, I feel that sports games are not as entertaining nor as rewarding as other gaming genres because it is more rewarding to go get off the couch and play the actual sport itself. Maybe sports games are designed for people who play sports but will never be satisfied with their personal skills on the court thus playing with an NBA team makes them feel better. I don't think I will ever know since the only sport that I really play is paintball and I am pretty good at it. More importantly a paintball video game would not give me the same rush of adrenaline that I get on the field when I have to be contantly making split second decisions. Maybe that's it? Maybe sports games just don't give me the same rush and excitement that I get when I am actually physically exerting myself, coordinating strategies and plays with real people in real time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Final Fantasy 14 Better Not Be $60!

Well since it seems like Final Fantasy Versus 13 will never see the light of day, I am looking forward to trying out Final Fantasy 14 (FF14). I am currently working my way through Final Fantasy 13 (FF13) and I am not liking it very much at this point in time (mind you I am only a couple hours in). Since FF14 is going to be an MMO it would be a nice change since it will give the player more freedom than in FF13 (it's an RPG, your supposed be able to set things up more freely to suit your style of play). FF14 would be the first MMO that I would have played if I do decided to pick it up.

I have one concern, since FF14 is an MMO I am sure there will be a monthly subscription fee, my concern is that Square Enix annoying as they are will give this game the full retail price of $60. If this happens which I do not doubt for a second I will probably reconsider picking this game up because the cost of playing would add up very quickly due to the full retail price. More importantly if the subscription fee is some ridiculous sum of money, count me out Square Enix. I do not know why I still have faith in this developer. I guess I am waiting for them to deliver another great game like Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy 10, so far I have been thoroughly disappointed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stop Making DLC! I Don't Enough Money to Buy All of It!

It seems like every game has DLC (Down loadable content) these days. Sometimes DLC can be acceptable in certain games but common DLC in single player campaigns, that is just wrong!

Honestly I don't mind DLC in the online components of games as long as the DLC does not throw off the balancing in the game. For example map packs in a first person shooter like Killzone 2 or Call of Duty, those are completely fine, they just help extend the replay value of the game which is what the gamers want. But some games like Assassins Creed 2 having parts of the campaign missing, which have to be purchased as DLC is completely unacceptable! Personally I like to Know that when I drop $70 (taxes in Canada do not help game prices at all) on a game I am getting a full game that has a decent length and quality, especially concerning single player games since it seems like single player campaigns are getting shorter and shorter these days. In the future I don't want to be constantly doing micro-transactions for my games, because that will just allow the developers to potentially rip us off and I am pretty sure nobody wants to be spending $100 on a game due to DLC that is necessary to complete the gaming experience.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Me and Sandbox Games Just Don't Mix

I tried and tried and tried, now matter how many sandbox games I play I can never really get into them. I have never finished a single sandbox game before and I feel like I am the only person on earth who doesn't like this genre of games.

It seems like I cannot more than 10-12 hours into any sandbox game. No matter which ones I have played, Need For Speed Most Wanted, GTA4 or Mercenaries to name a few and they just don't seem to entertain me for that long. Don't get me wrong I find the idea of sandbox games and how they have their own worlds created from the ground up and all the little details that make up these worlds. But I feel like I need more linearity in a game. When I say linearity, I am not talking about a game as linear as a side scrolling platformer but a game with a clear and solid objective that I am driven to complete. When I play sandbox game I don't feel like I have a sense of direction, I can only go around and meddle in a sandbox for so long. This is why sandbox games don't tickle my fancy, they make me feel like I am not accomplishing anything because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kingdom Hearts 3, Where Are You?

So yesterday I made a little trip to downtown Toronto to watch a bit of the Honda Indy which was an enjoyable but very loud experience ( ear plugs are a must!). While I was down there I visited many comic book stores and in every single one of those stores I saw sets of Kingdom Hearts action figures. The sight of the action figures made me realize that sadly we have been without a console version of Kingdom Hearts for a few years now.

Damn you Square Enix! Damn you! Why can't you spend your time delivering content that the fans instead of creating mediocre installments to the hypocritically named Final Fantasy series. It seems like Square Enix just feels like doing their own thing lately considering they tease us with Final Fantasy 7 and do not deliver, they teased us with announcing Final Fantasy Versus 13; yet nothing has turned up. Now with the Kingdom Hearts series, seriously I do not want to buy a Nintendo DS and/or a PSP to play the latest games in the series that I and many other love so much. All I want is a full length console game, something to end the series nicely, all I want I Kingdom Hearts 3 but I have a feeling it won't be coming. So, Square Enix if you are not going to make any of these games that I mentioned earlier, get off your ass now and make a game that is worth my time and money!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Call Me Lazy But I'm Not Getting Off of My Couch

With the Xbox 360 and PS3 motion control peripherals launch date closing in, I began to think. This whole idea of motion control is cool and all but aside from the games potentially all being horrible failures I realized I am so lazy that I will not get off my couch to play games.

I know I am a couch potato, but honestly I play games when I am relaxing, I don't want to be flailing my arms around like a lunatic during my down time. This is my main reason why my gaming time consists of a few simple things: Me, a couch and some kind of high fat snack with a high salt content. As you can tell I am not a very active person, I loath cardiovascular activity in any shape or form and have to force myself to do it or be pressured by my friends. So breaking a sweat during my gaming time is not going to happen (well maybe due to me playing a highly tense and horrific game). So there you have it, this one of my main reasons why I am so against this whole motion control movement; I don't like the fact that it is required to stand up or move around my living room like a lunatic. Call me lazy but keep in mind I doubt most gamers will get off their asses to play some mini golf.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Do Iphone Games Suck?

Pretty much everyone I know owns and itouch or an iphone these days and they are always playing these ridiculous games from the app store. I know, I shouldn't judge because I own an itouch as well and I do play the games from time to time. The thing about the games that annoys me is the fact that the fun factor from the games is incredibly brief.

Personally, the only games I play are Tap Tap Revenge or Word Warp. I feel that they are somewhat entertaining but I only really play them when I am waiting in line at the doctors office or when I'm bored out of my mind sitting on a subway train. I can't seem to figure out why there is no lasting appeal to the games. Maybe the ones I play are really repetitive and have nothing new to offer me gameplay wise. Why can't the be games on the iphone be like the Pokemon games on the gameboy, which can last for hours and hours and would keep me occupied and would be thoroughly entertaining. I am just tired of playing all these short mini games lately, considering I need something that can occupy me for at least an hour at a time. I want to be able to enjoy the games, I would assume that in this day and age an iphone or itouch would have the capacity to allow us to play games that are decently long. Maybe I need to get out more and search around in the app store, maybe I will find something that will please me. Until I find something I am not installing anymore games on my itouch, they are just a waste of space.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Game Soundtracks: They Complete the Experience

When I play my games I appreciate having an all around entertaining experience and there are several components to this kind of experience in my eyes. There are the visuals, the gameplay and the soundtrack to name a few. I am going to focus on the soundtrack because I feel it is an integral part of the whole gaming experience.

In my eyes video games are just like movies in the sense that if it lacks a good soundtrack it will be difficult to be successful. It is like watching a horror movie on mute, so a good soundtrack can help make a better game. I personally love music, pretty much every genre possible and I believe that good music will always have a place in video games. For example Little Big Planet on the PS3 had a great soundtrack, as well as Halo 3: ODST which probably had the best soundtrack in the whole Halo series.In addition, God of War 3 had a soundtrack, that made the game even more epic and added to the experience. But I must say by far Need for Speed 3: Hot pursuit had one of the best game soundtracks. The soundtrack of this game was mostly electronic music which was perfect for a racing game, and I even think this game introduced me to electronic music; which has become the genre that I listen to most.

When a game has a great soundtrack, it completely changes the experience of a game that lacks a decent soundtrack. I feel that good soundtracks complements the game very well and makes the player more involved in the game since it sets the whole mood of the game, thus making a great soundtrack essential to a great gaming experience.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Always Was a Gamer, Always Will Be a Gamer

Like many of you out there I started to play video games very frequently as a child. I fell that since I grew up always playing games and that I continue to now, that I will always be a gamer.

I am not sure if many people the same way as I do but I you do, now that gaming is mainstream society does not look down on older gamers and classify them as strange or antisocial. Essentially, society has accepted gamers that are 30+ years old. This makes me happy since playing video games probably will always be a part of my life even if I don't get to play as much as I used to. As long as the games in the future are innovative, entertaining and unique I going to keep on gaming.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Build Quality of Consoles, What Happened?

I am not sure if it is just me being paranoid but it seems like this generation of consoles do not have as good build quality as last generation.

About 8 years ago I decided to save up some of my paper route money buy a PS2. Now 8 years later that old dust filled console is still kicking. I don't think consoles from this generation will be able to withstand the test of time like my PS2 did. But look at what happened to the Xbox 360 this generation, almost all my friends who own a 360 has had it die on them at least once, in the short periods of time that they owned them. The 360 has only been out for 5 years and they have been crapping out from day one due to the red ring of death. By my standards that is just unacceptable. I know that Microsoft wanted to beat the launch of the PS3 so the launched the 360 a year before Sony could launch their $600 piece of machinery. Unfortunately Microsoft's plan backfired due to the high failure rates of their console. Even my first PS3 crapped out on me (mind you I bought mine on launch day); the USB ports were faulty and I had to send it in to be repaired but now PS3's are suffering from the yellow light of death. Although the failure rate of PS3's are not as high as the 360, they seem relatively high. The manufacturers really need to get their act together for the next generation of gaming, since these consoles are such a big investment these days. Sadly, I doubt that happening; they just don't make the consoles like they used to.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Farmville: The Rise of the Facebook games!

Okay well I'm going to blog about something a little different this time around. One of the perks of being a University student is having the freedom of managing your own schedule. Naturally, me being a gamer I spent most of my time playing games instead of studying (which I regret oh so dearly) but this past school year something different happened that I would have never expected. One day I logged onto my Facebook account and I was inundated with requests to join this Facebook game called Farmville.

I decided there would be no harm in giving this simple Facebook game a try, right? I am a little embarrassed to admit this but for about a month or two Farmville consumed my "gaming life". This game became my guilty pleasure unfortunately, it was so addictive I could not help it. I took me a couple days to figure out why Farmville was so highly addictive. My hypothesis is that Farmville is kind of like an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game), and like MMO's Farmville contained the major component of that game that is know as "grind". Essentially grind or grinding in video games is bassically spending your pretty much time doing nothing but leveling up you character in the game constantly, always striving to reach the next level so you can unlock some new item or ability. This is why Farmville is so addictive and has its players slaving away, grinding. But for what, to be honest I really don't know.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit: It is back!

So it seems that the folks at EA are finally getting their act together and brought in a decent developer to create the next game in the Need for Speed series (NFS). I was very glad to here that the developer Criterion would make the new NFS, they have a pretty good track record but that is not the most exciting part about this news.
During E3 this year Criterion stated that they are going to replicate the experience we all loved and missed from the first NFS Hot Pursuit games. This means no more silly riced up Civics or Fast and Furious inspired street races and back stories, but rather driving high performance super and hyper cars on the a track trying to out run and outwit the cops and their oh so effective spike strips. I was very surprised by this announcement, I couldn't believe it EA finally decided to publish a potentially good NFS game, probably the first good one in years. I have waited to long for this to happen, the last great NFS was Hot Pursuit 2 on the PS2 and Xbox. That game was good fun, but lately all the recent games in the series seemed they were made solely to please Fast and the Furious fans, that is why I have bought an NFS game in years. But now I am happy that this new Hot Pursuit, will change all of that and we will have another excellent racing game that will allow us to kick back and have a good nostalgic feeling.

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