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7:17 AM on 09.24.2009

Amazon's Golden Box Deals 9/24/09

Every few hours Amazon will be unveiling a new game for sale with a respectable discount. You can take a look at the page right here:

Our hints to each game so far:

6AM - Gozer was very big in Sumeria.
9AM - Dracula rises again!
1PM - Pyramid Head welcomes you home.
4PM - Zombies eat brains.
7PM - Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

38 minutes or so remain until the next reveal. Happy hunting!   read

3:48 PM on 05.05.2009

Other Worlds Than These: Azeroth

I can say in all seriousness that World of Warcraft has changed my life. About five years ago I moved from New York to Florida, where I had no friends and my sister lived an hour and a half away. I began to play the game in mid 2005, a time in my life where I was full of anger and depressed from being utterly alone in a new place. Swords and sorcery in mysterious and dangerous lands may sound like the kind of thing seven year olds play pretend in the back yard, but to me World of Warcraft was more than just a game. Azeroth became more of a home to me than home was.

Before playing World of Warcraft Iíd never touched an MMO or any previous installments in the Warcraft series. When I played my first character, an Undead Warrior, I was amazed that the people around me were actually played by human beings. The immense size of the world and the sheer number of people in it was awe inspiring to say the least, and I would spend hours just wandering around to look at the scenery.

My problems at school, my lack of friends, and the loneliness of a move to a state I found unfriendly at best seemed to melt away when I stepped into the skin of Naboonta, Orc Warrior. Every quest, no matter how mundane or heroic, helped me feel important and confident in a time when I felt neither in reality. The vast world was open to seemingly unlimited possibilities and full of things to do any time I wanted. Friends were only a /whisper away and the ever-bustling streets of Orgrimmar were a stark contrast to the place I lived where all doors closed at 11 PM sharp.

Even after I switched schools, made real friends, and had a couple girlfriends, World of Warcraft was still prominent in my life. Teenage angst seemed like something that happened to other people Ė I was busy slaying dragons, demons, ancient forces of darkness, and evil gods that threatened the world I loved more than the one I really lived in.

Four years later Iím still an avid WoW player. Though Iíve changed dramatically as a person and learned to prioritize work, school, and a physical social life, the part of me that loves the magical world of Azeroth is still very strong. Say what you will about MMOs being soul eaters or endless grinds; I wouldnít trade a single second of any minute I spent playing World of Warcraft away. Iíve played other MMOs and liked them well enough, and Iím always open to new experiences, but I always come back to World of Warcraft in the end. If the day should come that I really quit the game and leave Azeroth once and for all I will always look back on the days and nights I played and smile at my treasured memories.

From Naboonta and I both, thanks for reading.   read

1:19 PM on 08.05.2008

My Adventure to Big Lots (8/4)

In the past I’ve raved about how awesome Big Lots is. It’s easy to find a decent movie and a PC game or two for five dollars or less a pop, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to say you can go in the joint with a ten and walk out with a drink, some candy, and a new game to play, with enough bills left in your wallet for a small lunch at Taco Bell. Here are a couple photos of me with my new treasures from yesterday’s excursion to Big Lots.

Now, I’ve heard this game is mediocre at best and tantamount to buying a train ticket to Shittytown at worst, but for four dollars I think I can be okay with that.

Thief: The Dark Project? For four dollars you say?

Mmmmmmm, taste that stealth-action flavor.


Not pictured: A box of sour gummi worms the size of my forearm (one dollar), the 1989 version of Phantom of the Opera (three dollars), and a Mrs. Fields Chipwhich ice cream sandwich (one dollar, twenty-five cents; eaten). If you ever find yourself near a Big Lots, I can‚Äôt recommend enough that you go in and take a look at the movie/games section. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to sift through a pile of shit to find a diamond at a price so low the only way to find it cheaper is theft.   read

3:53 PM on 07.12.2008

Rumortoid: Studio behind Hellgate: London closes, loses I.P.

Sneaking under the radar in the hustle and bustle of E3 coverage, Flagship Studios has supposedly closed its doors, laid off all employees, and surrendered full control of both Hellgate: London and Mythos to co-I.P. owner HanbitSoft. No official announcement has been made yet, however, and Flagship denies it all. What this means for Hellgate and Mythos players, if anything, remains to be seen.

Source:   read

3:36 PM on 05.06.2008

Z-View Review Double Header: The Last Stand 1 & 2

Do you like zombies? Do you like flash games? If youíve answered yes to either or both of these questions but havenít played The Last Stand, Iíve got one more question: What are you waiting for?

The body count only gets higher.

In The Last Stand you play a nameless protagonist who has built himself a fortified defense zone amidst a hell of zombies. Survive the night with your quick, accurate trigger finger and repair your barrier or search for weapons and survivors while the daylight lasts. When the sun goes down again the land belongs to the ravenous deadÖ

Find them, use them, stay alive.

Fortunately, our protagonist is anything but helpless. Though you will begin the game with nothing but a 9mm handgun, you can search for more powerful armaments during the day. While he is every bit as deadly accurate as you are against the unliving hordes, finding more powerful weapons is crucial to the protagonistís survival, and he employs weapons such as the AK-47 and the iconic chainsaw to fight for his life until help can arrive.
The game never feels like a slog or overwhelmingly difficult, and there is something to be said for the pure satisfaction I feel when a zombieís head explodes like a ripe melon being struck with a sledgehammer. Balancing your daylight hours is essential to beating the game. On your own you can only repair 5 points of the barricadeís health per hour, and it will take you much longer to find weaponry than if you had allies. With a little thought put into it youíll be cutting a bloody swathe through the living dead in no time and loving every second of it. The game is a triumph, and Iím tempted to say it simply doesnít get any better than this. I would, however, be wrong; thereís a sequel.

Oh yes, there will be blood.

Having thought the danger was over, the protagonist is rescued by the army and carried from his safe zone by helicopter. But someone on board has been bitten, and the helicopter crashes in Glendale, a small city. Months go by, and the radio announces a last-ditch evacuation effort taking place in distant Union City. Forty days are all you can spare before the ships and planes depart. After thatÖ well, letís not think about it. Your journey to Union City and true survival begins.

New to The Last Stand 2 are traps you can find scattered throughout each map. Propane gas tanks, bear traps, and landmines may be placed in front of your barricade as you select your weapons for the night, aiding you in your fight for survival. I donít feel they make or break the game, as the difficulty seems to be on par with the original, but they can be handy when you need that extra punch to get rid of a dense crowd.

Search for allies, supplies, and weapons anywhere you think you can find them.

Just like in The Last Stand, you will allot your twelve daylight hours towards repairing your barricade, searching for weapons, and looking for survivors as you see fit. Each town or city is different, however. Some provide a stronger barricade than others as you fend for your life at night while others have more supplies than guns or survivors. This adds a bit of variety to the game and further serves to keep it from outstaying its welcome.

Itís a race against time! Union City or bust!

With a time limit in mind and ravenous hordes of the living dead around every corner, youíll be hard pressed not to feel the pressure mounting as the days tick by and you inch ever closer to Union City. If you liked the concept of the first game but found it monotonous, The Last Stand 2 will not do much to dissuade you from being bored to tears. If you enjoyed shooting zombies in their rotting faces with a wide variety of guns and managing your time wisely between evenings, the sequel has this in spades with new additions that add to the experience.   read

5:23 PM on 04.29.2008

Gaming's guilty pleasures: Limitless Customization

Having sat and watched this monthís monthly musings come and go, I realized something was missing. Of all the guilty pleasures we indulge in, where were the endless fields of numbers? The almost slavish devotion to Excel Spreadsheet-esque layer menus? Surely I cannot be the only robot who spends countless amounts of time pouring over menu after menu of data and fielding the steel engines of mass destruction that are the fruits of his labor. Let us examine the following.

Yes, yes!

Front Mission, a series that began on the Super Nintendo and continues to this day on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS, is the first example that comes to mind for this sort of thing. The virtually limitless customization a player can pour into each and every Wanzer Ė giant mecha designed to be the absolute cutting edge in warfare Ė is simply breathtaking, and I can say without a doubt Iíve spent at least a third as much time building the mechs Iíd play with as I did actually playing with them.


A similar sort of game, though real-time instead of Front Missionís turn-based combat, can be found in Armored Core. If playing a giant robot that gets to tear other giant robots to pieces and stomp all over tanks wasnít enough for you, Armored Core lets you detail exactly what sort of shooting, slashing, jet packing, exploding mayhem you want to unleash upon your foes. Mount your choice of flamethrowers, missile launchers, laser cannons, sniper rifles, beam swords, and machine guns on a body of your design standing (or hovering) proud on the legs youíve chosen and unleash the chaos your specifications have determined.

If you liked Fable, Knights of the Old Republic, and Elder Scrolls for letting you choose whether your character was good or evil, but havenít experienced the sheer bliss of piloting your perfectly honed, custom-built-from-the-ground-up death machine in epic battles against others of its kin, youíre depriving yourself of something wonderful. I cannot help but be as giddy as a school girl in Sex Ed when I win a hard-fought battle and find myself with more cash to spend on new parts. Can you?   read

6:08 PM on 03.14.2008

Not my Turning Point gaming Rig

Before I get into it, I'd like to say the minute I read the rules of the contest this idea popped into my head. Having seen Thornn's method in winning the Velocity Micro giveaway, I realized the road to victory wasn't straight and simple, but twisted and full of self-images taken while naked. Thankfully (or sadly, depending on how much you enjoyed that sort of thing) my entry involves no pictures of me naked, but I had another idea.

I spent a few days working on this, between finding sufficiently terrible music to assault you with (it's a well known fact every good Myspace has wretched music somewhere on the page) and bombarding my friends with "does this sound emo enough?" to reach my goal. So give it a click and tell me what you think of my computer's tortured soul.

Afterthought: Since I'm not quite sure whether or not descriptions about how inferior he feels count as a "description" of my machine, the specs are below.

Intel Celeron 3.2GHz
186 GB hard drive
CD/DVD reader, writer
nVidia 6800 GS
plain black and white case

PS: Turn your volume down before looking at the page, the song on there is seriously horrible. You can easily find and pause it along the left side, but please don't let it drive you away. If I didn't go the whole nine yards in making this the most awesome shitstack of a Myspace imaginable I'd be compromising the idea. Thanks.   read

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