Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Saints Row 2

Yahtzee's back this week to review Saints Row 2 on this "Lazy Thursday" today. Even though I've never played the first game before, his comparison of it to GTA4 gives me some small interest towards it. You'll see what I mean when you check it out.

NSFW below, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Leaving some space for Dead Space

After summoning up all my courage to start the game, I finally played a little bit of Dead Space over the weekend. To be honest, the game wasn't as scary as I had initially pictured it in my head, partly because I was playing it in the afternoon while there was still daylight. Of course, I've only completed past the first chapter and halfway through the second before my head got popped off like a lego head...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Basically, my mindset when I started the game was that I'm stuck in a haunted house, and I need to get the fuck out. Incidentally, this is exactly how I behave in a real-life haunted house at those amusement parks and such - once I'm inside, I'm already looking for a way out. Like a haunted house, there are certain scenes and rooms that you'll encounter where often times you can do nothing but witness the demise of survivors right before your very eyes.

Then there's the common flickering lights scare, the "was that a shadow that just passed by in front of my eyes" moment, and the obligatory lead-pipe-dropping-in-the-distance. And this is all within the small amount of time I spent playing it at my friend's place.

While I've categorized this game high on the "fear" factor, so far it's not as mind-jarring as I anticipated. Having said that, I'm willing to cough up the money to see it through to the end, even perhaps through the Halloween holiday to beef up the scare factor. And that's something that will be a first in my book.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Officially disacknowledging "TGIF," starting "WTF"

I'm sick and tired of the ol' "TGIF" saying. It brings about ancient memories of a string of 1980s sitcoms and an unsavory restaurant chain, and frankly, it's pretty worn out.

So from this point onward, I'm personally declaring Fridays as "WTF," or "Wait 'Til Friday."

What? What did you think I meant?

Anyways, I'll reserve these days to posting something game-related that makes me scream "WTF," which will remind me to post it on Friday.

Clever, huh?

To commemorate this event, let's discuss about the virtual murder of a Maple Story character that resulted in a real life arrest.


Basically, after a woman in Tokyo realized she was suddenly divorced by her husband, she proceeds to hack into his Maple Story account and kill (essentially, delete) his character. While no actual blood was shed, the woman still faces charges for hacking into a computer and manipulating data, up to 5 years in prison or a fine up to $5000.

Okay, I understand the hatred. I understand the urge to hurt, even toward a virtual character. But couldn't she have done so without illegally hacking into an account? She could have done something more egotistically hurtful like putting something humiliating on eBay, or something to that caliber.

At least, if you hack into someone's account, don't leave virtual fingerprints behind. She could've played dumb and pretended to not know anything about technology. As a woman, she could've at least gotten away with that.

Seriously, WTF?? (the other "WTF")

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Game Over: Art of the Gamer Generation

If you're an avid gamer and live around the San Francisco area, I urge you to check out the "Game Over: Art of the Gamer Generation" exhibit at the Giant Robot store on Haight street. Free to the public, the gallery showcases videogame-themed art pieces from local artists ranging from the games of our youth to video game violence.

If you want to check out the exhibit in person, it's open until October 29th. Also, most of the pieces there can be purchased, as it is art after all, so if you don't see a piece there, you can check out all the pieces of art at their site.

Since I last was there, more pieces have been sold, so check out the rest while you still can!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Silent Hill Homecoming

It's "Lazy Wednesday" again, and Yahtzee's in the Halloween mood with his review on Silent Hill Homecoming. I, on the other hand, haven't really played any Silent Hill game. Just the fact you're in the dark with just a handy pocket flashlight to guide you is scary enough for me.

NSFW, and an extra funny bit after the review!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dead Space and scary games

I don't do horror movies. Period.

Can't stand the visualization of blood and gore right before my eyes as I watch helplessly while victim after victim the killer hacks his way through the flick.

And yet, I don't mind it quite so much when it's on another medium like, say, a video game. Does that make me somewhat a hypocrite? Meh, I don't know.

I bring this up since it's nearing Halloween, and that Dead Space (which recently came out) is actually getting pretty decent reviews, as well as getting some thumbs up from my bro and bro-in-law. But it's here where the problem lies - can I endure playing a decent game and overcome the genre of fear that envelopes it?

That's not to say I've never played any game that scared the shit outta me. I've played a couple Resident Evil games, shot my way through House of the Dead, and have actively and thoroughly completed through Eternal Darkness 3 times to get the absolute true ending. Even when I started playing Eternal Darkness for the first time, I intentionally played it at night with all the lights turned off. So why do I hesitate this time?

Essentially, survival horror has evolved to a level of fear that taps on paranoia's door. It's not enough to scare you with horrible monsters and stuff, but to scare you more by what is not seen. Sorta like how you can detect monsters via static radio in Silent Hill (yet another game I haven't played for this reason).

And reviews from other sites have not been very helpful in easing the fear factor. The game's meant to be scary, I understand, and Dead Space does just that. I just want to make sure I don't die from a heart attack before I finish the game.

While I'm at it, I haven't even played through Resident Evil 4 and Bioshock as well, both of which have had very good reviews. In fact, I own RE4, but haven't had the time to pop it in. Well, if there was ever a time to really get into these games, what better time than the scaring season to do it, eh?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky

Yes, I'm a full week behind on posts.

Yes, I know viewing this blog every day since last week has killed you a little inside.

Can you stop sobbing for one second?


Anyways, to make it up to you, I'm gonna get back on the ball with the whole posts thing and all. Some personal events have occurred during that week, and I think most of that has subsided now, which is good for both of us.

Now, to finally kick of another "Lazy Wednesday," here's Yahtzee's review of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky. I haven't even heard of the game and already I find typing its title to be a pain in the ass. Fortunately, Yahtzee here seems to agree the same way with the gameplay.

Clearly and cleverly NSFW below!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Kicking off another "Lazy Wednesday" is Yahtzee's regretful review of the Wii version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Frankly, Star War games have never gave me the same appeal as do the movies, and I always feel that there's some unbalanced gameplay in each game. There's never a time where you equally use all your force powers; it's one thing to use the force to raise a small object and chuck it towards your enemy, but completely another thing when you just lift the enemy and toss him.

Enjoy the video. I forgot if it's NSFW or not, though.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Other Nintendo announcements besides DSi

While the announcement of a third version of the ever-popular DS Lite is still on our minds, let's not forget the other announcement of games that have been swept under the news radar. Let's review, shall we?

Punchout!! (Wii, tentative release date: Winter 2008 or later)

A game that has, no doubt, been on the minds of players since the Wii was released, Punchout will finally see a Wii installment later this year. All I can say is, bone up on those Wii Boxing/Wii Fit workouts, cuz you're gonna need them to really take down the likes of King Hippo and Bald Bull.

Sin and Punishment 2 (Wii, tentative release date: Winter 2008 or later)

The first installment of this rail shooter never saw the light of day in the US until not too long ago on the Virtual Console, to which it has received much belated praise. And to see a game like this suddenly get a sequel is quite a feat of fans and gaming. I guess those cameos in Super Smash Bros Brawl weren't just for show, eh?

Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii, release date: November 16)

The one game that my wife is looking fowards to, Animal Crossing for the Wii is one of the last few titles that are highly anticipated for the Wii, and this installment will not disappoint. The introduction of Wii Speak, venturing away from the town to the city, DS uploads from Animal Crossing: Wide World to the Wii version, online interactivity? Next to Pokemon, Animal Crossing will be a hit upon release.

Mario & Luigi RPG 3 (DS, tentative release date: 2009)

What does Nintendo do to these games that make them so damn addicting?? I've played through the first two games with such a vigor and passion that I'm just absolutely excited for the third installment. And now that there's no GBA slot on the new DS, you guys better play the first game while you still can.

Rhythm Heaven (Rhythm Tengoku Gold, DS, tentative release date: 2009)

Until recently, I haven't played either the GBA or DS game and was not aware of how purely awesome this music game was. After several dance-pad iterations and guitar and rock-band controls, it's nice to buckle down to something much more simpler and way more amusing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Nintendo DSi and other news

Late news is better than no news, and I think this news is just good overall.

First off, Nintendo announces their new hardware, the Nintendo DSi. Only slightly longer than its DS Lite cousin, the new model ditches the GBA slot on the bottom, while adding in two new cameras (one by the mic, the other outside), music capabilities, an SD card slot, and slightly larger display screens.

In all honesty, I'm relieved that the new model is not drastically different than the previous model. But when will Nintendo release a true successor to its popular, money-making portable hardware? For the most part, I believe my DS Lite may be good to retire shortly after its late 2009 launch, so I'd be happy to purchase the new model and play with its new features.

In addition to the new hardware, there was the game lineup for the rest of the year, as well as addressing storage space issues with the Wii. But probably the most interesting news to come out of the press conference was the news that a US Club Nintendo will be finally established. Hopefully, the US version will release some wicked awesome items that even the Japanese will soon be envious of obtaining. But there's a lot to live up to already, so the US has a lot of work on their hands.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Mercenaries 2

Might as well be "Lazy first three days of the week," since I've been lacking until today. Yeah, the weekend wasn't particularly kind to me, and while I would have like to posted something, I got either too tired or too lazy to do so. There would be apologies, but I'm not very there.

Plus, figuring that my browser's fucking with my video playback, I nearly had a cow when I couldn't watch my weekly Zero Punctuation. Had to resort to using *shudder* Windows Explorer to play it. This week's victim is Mercenaries 2, which could might as well be "another game I've never played" 2, since I never even batted an eye at the first game. Nonetheless, Yahtzee's wit and mockery prevail to irk all kinds of laughter and smiles at the game's misfortune to ever having been made.

Blah blah NSFW blah blah.