Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking the week off...

Hey guys.

If you're just wondering why there wasn't any post yesterday, it's because I'm pretty busy this week. So, I'm taking a short week off from posting to collect my thoughts, my articles, and my mind. Be back next week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

That car chase scene? Yeah, that was all me.

Until I've finished the first three Metal Gear Solid games (more than halfway through the third installment), free demos have been the only other source of quick entertainment on my PS3. I just love how something that is clearly only a small portion of the actual game can create hours of enjoyment, without any of the guilt that you actually paid for it. One of these was Stuntman Ignition.

I've never played any of the previous installments, but often heard of how they were constricted mini-games of following commands and nailing tricks and jumps to a T, as well as all the negative press about all the trial-and-error and repetition that goes into each game. There's much truth in this, as I experienced first hand last night when struggling to hitting all the tricks in one "scene" without striking out on too many missed attempts. In that half hour, I must have restarted the game 25-30 times before I got a complete run out of it, all the while slightly frustrated and peeved at every missed turn or jump.

But in the end, the real payoff is when you select that "instant replay" option. From there, you get to see a movie-like clip of yourself literally doing your own stunts. Thing that sounded asinine when the director tells you to perform them, like the small "hit the jeep" call while you're turning suddenly becomes wicked cool when you see it as a movie. "Holy crap, that car just knicked that jeep and knocked the guy off while he was turning! Awesome!!"

I couldn't help but play that replay 4-5 times after that. After all, it's a demo, so no record of this was being saved to my system anyways.And just recently, I saw the game in the bargain bin. To be the star of your own movies at a cheap price is something I'd pay for!

I understand that most people don't like the constant trial-and-error method that this game constantly pushes onto its players, but to have a final output comprised entirely of your own control gives you a satisfaction knowing that you did all that, without the risk of losing life and limb.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: The Age of Conan

Today's "Lazy Wednesday" has Yahtzee reviewing the Age of Conan PC game. Like Yahtzee, I don't know enough about the Conan story to really relate to the game, nor justify a purchase to check it out. So what does Yahtzee do? He reviews it anyway! Enjoy the NSFW below!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maintaining game focus and not being lost in the sea of monotony

With the variety of games that come out every week, it's no surprise that people never finish these games at all. So to really commit oneself to see a game through to the end means you have to sacrifice playing many other games in your library or on release. Some may shrug the challenge off with blind courage and boast that they can multi-task many games at once, but more often than naught will only half-ass all attempted games. I was once one of these people, but not anymore.

I dunno...maybe it's the short attention span people tend to exhibit when a ton of great games comes out, or maybe it's the relatively short jolt of excitement one aspect of a game's gameplay gives us that makes us wonder whether or not we'll enjoy doing this for another 20-30 hours.

Or maybe the games are becoming more and more bland that we've become numb to anything that appears to be remotely similar to each other in every possible way.

Chalk it up to me becoming an older and wiser gamer, but for my leisure time I've only got room for a couple of games at once. If that's the case, might as well finish them while I'm focused...right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Alone in the Dark

Chalk this up to the even more lazy "Lazy Wednesdays," but here's this week's Zero Punctuation reviewing the latest Alone in the Dark game.

I was one of the few who played the earlier incarnations of the game before it became all dark and "Uwe Boll"-like, in particular Alone in the Dark 3. Personally, that was a good game with a fair amount of puzzle solving and action only when appropriate. You know what killed the series, right? They forgot the lantern.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

These are games, not daytime soap operas...

"Loyalty" is too strong a word to use among gamers. Way too strong. Sure, people have their followings and groups where they can discuss their favorite all-time games, or discuss new tactics to bring to the online front for the next big FPS game...but being "loyal" to games or gamers? That's just pushing it to a dangerously-dedicated level.

Let's take Mega Man 9 from Capcom, for example. This is a game that seems to have mixed receptions on not only what platforms it is being released at (last I reported, it was WiiWare exclusive, but in fact it's for all three console platforms - don't feel like making a third post about incorrect news), but on its use of retro graphics for a completely new game. First of all, you have the console "loyalists" who believe that the game should have been for all consoles from the start (when it was initially announced for WiiWare only), deeming it unfair to others who do not have a Wii. Secondly, you have people crying about its graphics, feeling that it should look all nice and shiny if it's a completely new game.

Then, more recently, SquareEnix announces that Final Fantasy XIII will now be released on the XBox 360 as well. Again, console "loyalists" cried foul, saying that it should be exclusive to just one system instead of going multi-platform. Others felt that SquareEnix "betrayed" (yet another strong word) their fans by "selling out" to Microsoft and their monopolistic demands. Some fanboys (normally a term I want to dissolve, but in this case highly appropriate) have openly expressed their frustration and hatred toward this bit of news, up to the extent of boycotting their products.

But...won't you guys be still playing these games when they come out?

In my quest to become an ideal gamer, becoming unbiased towards any console system is a constant exercise in self-discipline. Way back in August 2007 when I started this blog, I didn't own a PS3 or XBox 360, but I never said I absolutely abhorred them; I just never saw any games I was intensely interested to warrant a purchase. Recently, I purchased a PS3 because I wanted to acquire Disgaea 3, which would come out later this year, as well as dive into Metal Gear Solid 4. I didn't get the system so I could watch Blu-Rays, or play my MP3s on it - I got it for the games, and I think that reason got lost somewhere in this generation of video game consoles.

I admit, most of my posts over the months have been on Wii titles, but that's only because I found most of their games highly entertaining - as should any gamer would agree. Over the months, my queue has increased towards more DS and PSP games, and now the PS3 - all of which have been game-driven. If I were a "console-whore," I would've wasted money on all systems, with no games to really justify my empty wallet - and no games would not make me a happy gamer. There's a reason why I called my blog Gameritis, y'know...

To those complaining about Mega Man 9: Capcom distinctly said the retro style was for its fans. If you don't like it, then you're obviously not in that category, so don't get the game.

To those complaining about FF XIII being released on XBox 350 as well: The game is still coming out on PS3. It shouldn't matter to you that they're also releasing on another console. I'd be more angry if the game actually moved from PS3 to 360. Then I'd be pissed. And to everyone that keeps saying "What if Zelda were on the 360?" - SquareEnix is not a console system developer, so that argument has no pull.

To people from both arguing parties: You can't deny the fact that by catering to a larger audience, company profits are more likely to increase. In other words, Capcom and SquareEnix like money. Don't you?

If you guys play the games regardless of all the video game politics, isn't that all that matters? There is no "loyalty," no "betrayal," and even no "hardcore" among players. Just a lot of gamers who enjoy playing games.

And if you don't like it? Well, you can always turn off your console.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 2...finished!

In my quest to finish all things Metal Gear Solid before popping open my own copy of Metal Gear Solid 4, here's a late "finished" stamp for Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. I actually finished the game a week ago, but am finally reporting it now. Needless to say, there's a remarkable improvement in graphics and gameplay, and the intro is one to put into the books. While I didn't go shoot-everything-off-the-shelves nuts over the back-then-revolutionary interaction with inanimate objects, the different weapons and modes of play made playing the game all the more pleasant to progress through the story.

Since then, I've begun my third quest before the fourth installment, and already I've taken a couple of things for granted. For one, there's no cone of vision, leaving me to only rely on my own two eyes. Second, the camera's now free-roaming and not the fixed overhead view. This not only makes my view spin 360 degrees, but turns my stomach as well.

I believe Metal Gear Solid 3 will be my most challenging endeavor yet, but at the same time is the final hump to roll over before I'm fully up to date.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Lego Indiana Jones

The second review is on Lego Indiana Jones, with a bonus review on the latest Indiana Jones movie. While I still haven't seen the movie, the review is spoiler free, so you guys that still haven't watched the movie can see it with no issues. NSFW onward!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: web comics

Because of the messed up schedule this week, today will be "Lazy Friday" with 2 Zero Punctuations today. The first seems to be aimed at web comics, with a few choice indirect jabs at certain artists. Must've been a personal thing, because there are a ton of other games that need reviewing. Oh well, NSFW below!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back from AX!

Hey guys!

Technically speaking, I returned Monday, but needed the extra time to unwind. Now that I have, I can say that the convention was eventful for all the unintentional reasons. The only real Guest of Honor I was interested in was Solid Snake's voice, David Hayter. Although I didn't get his autograph, I still got a chance to talk to him and take a picture as well. I also got to get Disgaea character designer Harada Takehito's autograph, though. I also even surprisingly met up with VGCats creator Scott Ramsomair and got his autograph as well. Hell, even Dan Goodsell from Mister Toast was there as well!

I'll post up some pictures and more later this week, but for now, I need to get back to my regular rhetoric.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gone to AX...

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts this week, but I forgot to mention that I'm currently staffing at AX this year. Regular posts will resume normal scheduling after next Tuesday, so come back next week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

UPDATE - MegaMan 9 confirmed ONLY for WiiWare

Boy, someone at Capcom needs to get their PR straightened up. Now they're staying it's only for WiiWare, not for all three consoles. Doesn't matter to me, since I'll be eagerly waiting with my Wii.

But what I don't get are the people that are bitching that it's only for WiiWare. If you're complaining, then either you don't have a Wii to care, or you believe that you can't live without awards and achievements. Can't people be happy just for the mere fact that it's a brand-new game coming out to reflect the fans of the series? What happened to playing the game and not caring where it is? This is almost as silly as the Bioshock PS3 talk or the Resident Evil 4 porting. Grow up, people!