My name is Dallas, I live in the Chattanooga area, I'm 35, and I'm a stay-at-home caregiver for my spouse. As far as my gaming background goes, I have been gaming from the wee age of three years old. I started with the Intellivision at the advice of my pediatrician in order to help control my hyperactivity and ADD. Of course, back then, it wasn't really called "ADD". But, whatever you want to call it, the doctor's advice worked as I learned to sit still and gaming improved my concentration considerably.
Over the years I have, at one point or another, owned every console and handheld to hit the market. Now, prior to 2010, I had all three current generation consoles and both handhelds.
I am not a games journalist. At one point in my life, I wanted to be. I love gaming, reading, and writing so it seemed like a good fit. But, given the state of games journalism today, I would much rather be a gamer that writes about games. That's it. That is all I am and all I have the desire to be. As such, you can expect me to be honest about any topic I post here. If I think something is crap, I will tell you that I think it's crap and why I feel that way. I won't try to persuade you to agree with my opinions, I will just present them. When I review a title, you can be sure that I've played the hell out of it. Perhaps I've "beaten" it, if not then I've at least logged a good amount of time on it.
Also, regarding reviews, you will not find scores here. I will tell you about the game, give my impressions of it, and try to do so in a way that conveys my feelings about it. If I had fun with it or not, the problems it might have, or any outstanding features (good or bad) it might have. If you want a score, there are thousands of other places to see one. If you want to read someone's impression of a title you're curious about in hopes of learning if you'd like to experience it for yourself, you'll find that here. At the end of each review I do, I will tell you if I think it's worth a rental or a buy along with why I feel that way. Many of you rent games as they're expensive and not many people can afford to buy every title they want to play. I hope to help that sometimes difficult decision along.
Allow me to talk a bit about milking the consumer. This will be focused on the Xbox 360, as it's the current console that I own but the others are just as guilty of it in their own ways. What is milking the consumer? Well, quite simply, it is designing your product in such a way that the consumer is paying more for your products than they should.
As I stated. I recently received my new 360 as a gift. For it, I am grateful. I received the 4GB version and as I already knew, I would need a hard drive as soon as possible because 4GB isn't even close to enough storage space. I also have my console set up on a 22 inch 1080p monitor with HDMI and I use a headset for my sound. So, I also knew up front that I would need the adapter. My question is, why? Why do I need a $20 adapter in order to run my video through HDMI yet my sound through a headset? Why is the 320GB HDD $130 when other drives with the same storage space are half that price? The answer is, because they can.
There is no good reason for this to be over $100.
It's our own fault, as consumers, that we allow this sort of money bleeding to happen. But Bearded, you might say, they didn't force you to buy those things. Your 360 was perfectly functional without them. Yes, yes it was. To a point. 4GB of space is nothing. Anyone that has a 360 already knows that. It fills up fast. With Borderlands 2's content, I now have less than a gig left. Not even enough to download a demo. So, no, a hard drive IS needed. I just ordered one, but I didn't buy Microsoft's brand. I ordered mine from Newegg. 320GB for $69.99. Half the price of Microsoft's with the same functionality. The same can be said for that adapter. It's not needed and there are work-arounds but why should we have to jump through hoops for something we should have provided to us to start with?
This streams things like Netflix without paying an extra monthly fee.
Look at Xbox Live. Charging for your online service? Fine, if you're giving me my money's worth. Trying to force people into paying through various underhanded means? Not good. Why do I have to have a Gold account to watch Netflix or Hulu Plus? I'm already paying for them, why do I need to pay again for something I already pay for? It's a very bad practice and it's one that we've let happen.
I shouldn't need this.
How do we stop such things? We stop buying them. If enough consumers stop letting themselves be milked by these means, then it will force a change. As I said, the big three are all guilty of this sort of behavior in their own ways. Even individual game companies do it through micro-transactions. It has to stop.