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Hey. If you are reading this then that means you have found my blog. It's not hard to miss though, but it's nice to see that someone is reading it. Not much to go on than what I've written over there.
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I also try not to spoil any game. No matter if it's old or new.

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Stealthmaster has evolved into Blinking Pixels

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No one likes buying sixty-dollar games that will only last six hours or less. You get the game and beat it that day. Some people would not mind the six-hour game because it is something that they do in their spare time, and depending on their lifestyle, they might not get a lot of time. So getting short game gives them a chance to finish a game. I fall on the latter; I can complete a game in one day. When I finished Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, it took me about eight hours or so to complete it. I was playing all day and I enjoyed most of it. The ships section is a series low. To some people it can take a week or a month to complete a game like that. To make sure that consumers are getting more bang for their buck, developers would include a multiplayer aspect of the game. Some games thrive on single player, some game excel at multiplayer. The main reason I see why multiplayer is added into the games is that the single player has very little replay value. I can play games multiple times, but having that incentive to continue playing makes it that much better. It is why Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the best games of this generation.


BEFORE THE HATE


You can sink hours into the game’s multiplayer, but the multiplayer has to be good enough to go through all that. There is a reason by Battlefield and Call of Duty is as big as they are when it comes to multiplayer. The developers, Dice and Infinity Ward/Treyarch respectively, take their time to perfect what they had created. As they are working long hours into the night, making great multiplayer experiences other developers look at that success and try to put a multiplayer component where it does not belong. Tomb Raider and God of War Ascension come to mind. Tomb Raider is one of the most underrated games of this year. God of War Ascension was one of the most disappointing and it was clear that most of the staff was focusing their time with the multiplayer than the single player. Tomb Raider had the opposite; it had a great single player while the multiplayer is mediocre. If there was more focus on the single player of God of War Ascension, then I felt like it can sit beside the original trilogy as one of the best action games around.


Some games does not need multiplayer, but other games do. The Call of Duty has been a juggernaut since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. Apart from having a fun single player, Modern Warfare had a great multiplayer. Since then the primary focus on the Call of Duty franchise is its multiplayer. The same could be said about Battlefield. They had their big multiplayer brake in 2004 from Battlefield 2 for the PC. Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo are some of the biggest multiplayer games of this generation.


SOLO OR WITH A FRIEND


Next month will mark the arrival of the new systems, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and there will be a new line up of games to play. The Division, Destiny, and Deep Down will be multiplayer only; I can only hope that they will do what Borderlands and Left 4 Dead did allow for solo play. They should have offline modes where you can play whenever you feel like. No matter if you are online or not. The rocky start of Grand Theft Auto Online showed us that online will take a hit with that many people playing. It can be so bad that you cannot play it or worse losing your character progression and never getting it back. With everyone trying to play the new game, even if it is solo, every online only game is going to have a rough start. Even MMOs like World of Warcraft and Everquest had rough moments, even more so when expansion packs came out.


If games had single player the player can learn the game without fear of doing something that will upset a teammate. Alternatively, if the severs are down they can still play the game. If you are like me and do not play online, you can still have all the fun on single player mode. I played Co-Op on Borderlands 2 and had a lot of fun with it, which same feeling of fun was still there for the single player. I would not want to pay seventy for a game that might not work sometimes. At least with single player offline, I can play whenever I feel like it. As the years go by, I can see that there is going to be many games coming out that will have online only. I hope that single player games will not and co-exist with each other. With Grand Theft Auto V grossing a billion dollars and the excitement over Kingdom Hearts III, I do not think single player modes will die out.
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I think it is safe to say that everyone wants a Darkwing Duck game, and why not? The setting alone has the potential to be good. You have likely heard this version before, but a Darkwing Duck game that plays like the Batman Arkham series. This would be excellent, but the thing with Darkwing Duck is that he is not much of a fighter. What would it take to make a great Darkwing Duck game? With the success of DuckTales remastered, I think it would be smart to release a remake of the NES game first. This would set up Darkwing Duck to those that did not grow up watching the show. Then, if successful, I think it would be time to tackle the big objective of a great game. Make St. Canard open world. The world of St. Canard is big in itself. In the center of St. Canard has towering buildings that the entire area will see. This would allow for some great missions. If it were up to me, the start of the game would start small. The S.H.U.S.H organization has a new invention that would detect crime happing at that exact moment. This would allow Darkwing Duck to go the crime scene to try to stop the crime or investigate what happened. This would allow for puzzles for Darkwing to solve. He will use the gadgets he made at his disposal; this is where the Arkham influence would kick in.



I AM THE STORY THAT GOES NOWHERE

My story would be that the Fearsome Five would steal S.H.U.S.H’s invention and Darkwing has to stop them before using this device for their own schemes. Each of the Fearsome Five will have missions that are based on that villain. Megavolt will have missions based on the power of the City, The Liquidator would deal with the water and shops, Quackerjack would deal with the objects mostly toys, Bushroot will deal with the plants. Negaduck will overview all of the schemes. This is until the real Negaduck comes to town. I have heard that one of the episodes that was being planned was the Galvanized Negaduck would come and Darkwing and Negaduck would force to work together. This would be an excellent episode and this would come in the start of the game. The Fearsome Five will not be the only villains in the game. A side story will have Steelbeak and Taurus Bulba team up to try to stop Darkwing Duck.



I AM THE VOICE THAT HAUNTS YOUR DREAMS

Because of the nature of the show, the game will not be as violent as the Arkham games, but it will have some action in it. What comes to mind is Stranger’s Wrath. You go around the open world St. Canard and you tag up criminals. Instead of getting money for each criminal you capture, you will get fame. The harder to catch a criminal, the better the fame. The downside is that if you do damage to the city, the less fame you will get. Darkwing Duck’s need of fame has always been a driving force of why he dons a mask. This will not be a game where you need X amount of fame to go to a story mission, but the better the fame, the easier the story missions will be. Considering that he also has Gosalyn and Launchpad at his side, this could lead to some co-op. While having a playable Launchpad could be a bit tricky, he could be a side character that gives you items via palate drops. Gosalyn could easily be Quiverwing Quack and that would be the co-op missions. 



I AM DARKWING DUCK

I do not want this to be dark and moody like in the Arkham games. The reason why Arkham games works like that because it fits with the tone of Batman. In Darkwing Duck, I would like a more colorful world. The hardest part about this game is getting the voices. I would love to see everyone come back as his or her respective roles, assuming they are still alive. The one thing that must happen is that Jim Cummings must return as Darkwing Duck and Negaduck.

What I want out of a Darkwing Duck game is something that is fun and stays true to the original series.
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GO CRAZY

You cannot go all crazy without reason. If you do, then all that insanity you have planned goes out the window is it becomes repetitive. Thankfully for Saints Row IV, the crazy antics this game has is fully within reason. After wrapping up a story line from Saints Row The Third, The leader of the Saints becomes President of the United States. As he heads to the Press Lounge to clean up a mess about something he or she said, aliens attack the White House. The alien leader Zinyak kidnaps the President and his or her staff that includes Shaundie, Kenzie, Pierce, Ben King, Vice President Keith David, and a few others. While the story and the situations you a put in are over the top, it is told rather well. All these characters are fleshed out.


The Sweetest Dream Will Never Do


I was honestly surprised how well the story is played out. Saints Row The Third had an OK story, but it was not fully realized. Here in Saints Row IV not only is it realized, but it feels like it even wraps up events that happened in the first two games. I would delve into the loyalty missions, but I do not want to ruin the surprise. While the story is surprisingly good, the game play is why we play these games, and it is a good thing that Saints Row IV plays is great. Saints Row IV drops you off in a virtual Steelport and after some tinkering from Kinzie; you will eventually get super powers. They include super speeds, gliding, fire attacks, and even buff.

GO WILD

These new powers does come with a price, when having your super speed up to max levels, crossing a bridge will cause the frame rate to drop, but only for a couple of seconds. The most annoying thing is that the game will freeze on you a few times. Sometimes the menu will not even load, and you would need to do a hard reset on your system of choice. As annoying as these issues are, it did not stop me from enjoying Saints Row IV. I hope that Volition, the creators of the series, will look into fixing on most of these problems.

Saints Row IV took me nearly 40 hours to do complete. That includes the activities, the challenges, and the missions. The missions can range from main, loyalty, and side. The Side missions are just the activities with context. You do a series of activities and you will unlock things like weapons and better abilities. Most of these activities are fun to do.


You Can Be A Guy Or Girl.


If you played Saints Row before, then you know that mixing your own playlist over Saints Row IV's radio stations is back. Gliding around with Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing is something I did not know I want. As simple and easy as it is, it is one of my favorite moments of gaming this year. I went with songs I know and like. Biz Markie, OutKast, Presidents of the United States, and even Haddaway was in my playlist. The best part is that you do not even need a car to listen to the soundtrack. Which is good because once you get your super sprint ability, the vehicles becomes useless. Once you max out the super sprint ability, you can knock them away causing them to explode.

The same goes for weapons. Except for a few story missions, the weapon I used the most was the Dubstep Gun. It may be a joke, but once you max it out, it is no laughing matter. You can beat most of the game with this one weapon alone. Different skins bring in different tracks. The default track was the one I used. Every gun has a different skin, and the coolest thing about it that a few ties into movies including Aliens and No Country For Old Men. There is even a powerful, hidden gun related to Men in Black.

HAVE FUN

The big question however. Should you buy it? I would say yes, but not yet. There is 40 hours of content here, but the main story itself is not that long and there is no carry over. You cannot transport your past skill into a new game. This means you would have to find all the clusters all over again if you want to get the most out of your abilities, and there is over 1000 clusters spread throughout Steelport. 

If you do end up buying it, please buy it new. While it is perfectly fine to have games like The Last of Us, we all need to remember why we play games to begin with; Fun. It is not perfect, but it is an entertaining game. While most studios want to be serious and be like movies, they seem to forget that movies can be dumb fun also.
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The next generation of consoles is looming nearer and nearer, and it feels that there is a shift on what defines Next Gen. Back then, next gen was about hardware and what the systems can do. Now, it is about what this new batch of consoles can do besides gaming. Sony and Microsoft are trying to take the TV landscape. While PlayStation 4 is primarily a game console, they did announce at this year’s E3 that the Sony TV Division, which produces shows like Breaking Bad and Justified, is making shows that they think the gamer would like. It will be up to the fans to decide on which shows continue on or not. Amazon did something like this earlier this year. The PlayStation 4 will have some aspects of TV, but it is nothing, so far, compared to what Microsoft is planning with Xbox One. You can switch apps at the touch of a button. You can have a TV show, a game, and some other apps running at the same time and switch them on the fly. They have even reached a multimillion-dollar deal with the NFL to have a more rich and enhanced way to pertecapte for Fantasy Football. A good portion of the Xbox One’s reveal was about Sports and TV. Most gamers, of at least of what I have seen, hates or does not care about all that. What they do care about are the games. Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have a solid line up of games. From Quantum Break to The Order: 1886. From Sunset Overdrive to InFamous: Second Son. Both systems have games that show a lot of promise. 

NEXT GEN NOW

This does raise a question on what makes next gen next gen. Is it having a more immersed experience like what Microsoft is trying to do with the Kinect? Or is it the social features that Sony is doing with the PlayStation 4. Maybe the hardware design and graphics do it. To me this is what next gen is to me:



On the current gen consoles, Grand Theft Auto 5 is what I would like to see Next Gen do. Have this vast world with many activities to do. The two games I can think of that does something like this is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Destiny. While Destiny does have a MMO type feel to it, it does have the vast worlds to explore. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is trying to have more things to do and have a much bigger map that Skyrim. I have not seen much on all three games, just what they released, they do look better than most Next Gen games. Especially Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. They seem to take a scope of a world and expand upon it. While most developers are going to try to the push for high-end 1080p HD graphics and 60 Frames per Second, to me the most important thing is gameplay. No amount of HD graphics and high steady frame rate is going to save you if your game is not good. Recently there was a rumor that the PlayStation 4 needs 3.5GB for the Operating System. Since then an unknown developer has said that this was false and there are indeed games that are using 6GB of the system currently in development.

BITS TO BITS

In its 30-year history since the launch of the original Nintendo, there has been a massive jump of hardware specs. I am not going to claim I know anything about hardware specs. I have no idea what makes DDR3 and GDDR5 so different. Nevertheless, from the past I always used memory as bits. The 8 bits of the original Nintendo, to the 128 bits of PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 3 had 256 bits. This is how I see tech. If Sony and Microsoft had stuck with a somewhat tradition, we would have 512 bit for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Instead, Sony and Microsoft jumped it up to 8GB. It is very possible to say that they needed those gigs to make graphics better. Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, and Halo 4 all still look stunning in this 256-bit console generation. Even frame rate did its job in 256 bit. It is true that not every game does 60FPS, but games like Call of Duty and Ratchet & Clank showed that it could be done. To me, what make next gen next gen are the vast worlds developers are creating. As for Next Gen games, Destiny is already doing this.

IT'S SIMPLE

If developers can make a game with 1080p graphics and a rock solid 60fps, that is great. As long as the game does not chug as it does in Blight Town in Dark Souls, I do not care if it is 1080p or 720, 60fps or 30. I only care about if the games are good. I guess what I want most of all is what I have always wanted. Good games that in each generation becomes bigger and bigger as long as they still retain all the fun that I had when I first played them when I was young. Just a fun, vast experience is what I want. It is all that I will ever need.







BlinkingPixels
10:47 PM on 06.21.2013

I am being hunting down like a dog. I have one Molotov cocktail, and a few rounds left of my hunting rifle. I am running out of supplies with no help in sight. I hid behind a few boxes from my attackers and I see two guards coming up in front of me. I ready my Molotov and as they enter the burn radius, I throw the Molotov, and I watch them as they scream in burning agony. Then, I see another guard, so I got my hunting rifle ready and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. This three-kill streak was over and done in less than ten seconds, and I thought how mean that was. It was downright cruel in a way, but in the world of The Last of Us, this is normal.
 
The Last of Us is Naughty Dog’s newest masterpiece where you play as a smuggler named Joel. It has been twenty years since an outbreak nearly wiped away all of humanity, and it is up to you to smuggle a little girl named Ellie across country. The danger is always nearby, either by infected or the hunters something is always out to get you. While the events that play out is nothing new, The Last of Us, like the Uncharted series, takes something we know and spin it in a way we haven't seen before. It can get cliché at times, but Naughty Dog somehow makes them better. From the heartbreaking opening to the downer ending, Naughty Dog has made one of the best stories told in this generation of consoles. It is right up there with Alan Wake, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and even Uncharted 2.
 
 
the ambush sequences is one of gamings greatest moments

The slow-paced story does not matter much if the gameplay is terrible. Thankfully, Naughty Dog has gone their way to insure that you are having a great time with The Last of Us. Much like the story, the gameplay is slow and methodical. A battle against hunters in an abandon bookstore can last a good while. Sneaking around and taking people out one by one. It is refreshing to know that the gun is for emergencies only. Most games today have the gun as an extension of themselves, but for The Last of Us, it is a tool to survive. There are scenes in the game that was there because it is a Video Game, and does not add much. These moments are random and spread throughout the game. Most of them work in the within the world, while some does not.
 
You will play as Joel in The Last of Us, but the real star of the game is Ashley Johnson as Ellie. Ellie will stand tall alongside Alyx Vance and Elizabeth as one of the most helpful AI partner in games. If she sees you in danger, she will either throw a brick or stab someone in the back. This gives you time to counter attack and finish the attacker off. Depending on how you dispose of your enemies, Ellie will always have something to say. Sometimes she will repeat herself, and other times she will not. The more violent your actions, the more shocked she is. Ellie is a real flesh out character that most live action movies barely touch. This is helped by a world-class script and phenomenal acting which includes Troy Baker as Joel and Anne Wersching as Tess.
 

Ellie WILL hate the things you do

As the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is looming near, we will look at The Last of Us at awe. Compare this game to an early PlayStation 3 game and it is tenfold. From Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune to The Last of Us, no other developer has maxed out the power of the PlayStation 3. Each facial expression has meaning and each object has weight. If Naughty Dog can push this hard to develop for machine, there is no telling what they have next for their PlayStation 4 debut.
 
The one thing that will make players question whether or not to continue is the level of violence The Last of Us has. Make no mistake this is a brutal game. Each infected you kill, each hunter you gun down. They all have different feelings behind them. Killing an infected feels different from killing a hunter. There is weight there that no game has. You can sneak past the hunters, but most of the time, you have no choice. Torture, rape, and suicide plays a role in this dark, dark tale and once you think it cannot get any darker, it does. Naughty Dog should be applauded for taking such a big risk on making a mature story that does not hold the players hands, and cover their eyes in the cruel world they created. We NEED games like this. To add to the 15 hour story, there are unlockables and a new game plus mode to keep you coming back. Great games like Tomb Raider, Uncharted 3, and Bioshock Infinite does not have replay value and they are crippled because of it. The Last of Us gives us costumes for Ellie and Joel, production art, and an interesting, if slightly flawed, multiplayer to let us keep you coming back. Nothing says awesome than having Ellie where a Jak and Daxter shirt covered in blood. This is a game that should not be missed.








WATCH AND PLAY
 
The dust has settled, the talk has quieted down, and the Xbox One is real. It has been over 48 hours since the reveal of Microsoft’s new console and the new system has a ton of bells and whistles. Xbox One will allow you to watch TV, go to the internet using Internet Explorer, use Skype, enhanced your Fantasy Football League, and play games. It would make sense that Microsoft would want to use this time to show off the TV aspect of the system instead at E3. Their TV sections at their E3 conferences these past few years have always been boring. Except for the “Doctor Who” specials each month and “Whose Line is it Anyways” Cable is useless to me until August when Breaking Bad returns. Either way, this was something that Microsoft has been pushing forward to every year, or now they are pushing it all the way. It was not always been about the TV shows; EA came up and showed something they always do, EA Sports. They came up, talked about the future of EA Sports and left. They did show a video, but none of it was game play, and they did not say that it was running on in-game engine. After EA Sports left, Microsoft Game Studios announced Remedy’s new game, Quantum Break. Not much was shown, but what was shown it seems to be running on an enhanced Alan Wake engine. Very little was shown, and yet it was what I wanted to know more about. Microsoft then showed off Forza Motorsport 5. They showed a bit of the game using in-game engine this time, but much like Quantum Brake, nothing much was shown. They did announce that they would have 15 exclusives to the Xbox One with eight new IPs. This part of the entire thing made me happy. I am sure they will show what those new IPs is at E3.


I am interested in this one...
 
Then they started to repeat themselves. They went back to talking about TV and that Steven Spielberg will produce an exclusive TV series for Xbox One called, Halo: The Television Series. Then they went back to Sports and announced that they have an exclusive deal with the NFL. The Halo TV series and the NFL deal could have easily been shown during those first talks about TV and Sports. Now it seems they were just repeating themselves. Time wasted. Then they ended the conference with a look at Call of Duty: Ghosts. Even if they did not release that Mask trailer a few weeks back, we knew this was to be shown at a Microsoft event. Despite showing so much, they showed so little of the game play. A trailer was there, but no game play. I guess they are saving that one also for E3. Without warning or a Goodbye, the conference ended. The knee jerk reaction was the lack of games shown. To me this was NOT a good way to show off a new gaming console, but seeing that this is part one of two conference I would have easily let all this slide. I may not like it, but at least they let all that TV junk out of the way to show the real things at E3. It was after the conference that everything began to spin out of control. I did not help that Microsoft is not giving straight answers. Kinect will be required and you still need a cable box to use the cable box aspect of the Xbox One. That is NOTHING compared to what has been talked about.
 
OFFLINE REVIEWS
 
First is the Used Game Fee. The very thought about this makes my skin crawl. I love reviewing games and I do it as much often as I can, but contrary to what Microsoft believes I rent games. I do not get a lot of money so if I am planning to review something, I rent it, and assuming Red box has it. With having a PS3, the Red box PS3 section is awful. Do not think I do not want to review Metro: Last Light because I am not interested in it. I am, and would love to review it, but Red box is terrible at that kind of thing. If there were a Used Game Fee now I would have never got to review Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite. Would I buy them instead? Yes, I would. However, it does not work like that. There is a store opening soon, do not know when exactly, so as soon as it opens, I am going to try to get a job there. Any money I end up getting will be used for this website. Making review and preview videos will cost a lot of money. This includes my own laptop, a game capture card, the new game consoles like the Wii-U and the PlayStation 4, and more. Nothing cheap. Therefore, unless it is a game I want, I am going to have to rent them. According to Critical Path, IF I get a game to review from a publisher, there is a very high chance that I would need to send the game back after I’m done review them, fair and understandable, but with this new fee, it might be better just to buy the game itself, and it would render that disk useless because it will be tied to MY account. It is a lose/lose for everyone. The Used Game Fee is a terrible thing for people who want to write and make video reviews for a living. Something as simple as bringing a game to a friend’s house should not be so difficult, this comes to the next major problem.
 


I like the controller...
 
There will be times I know for a fact where I will not have internet. What happens during those times? I play games, and a lot of them. The last time I was out of Internet for a while, I played Borderlands 2 nonstop. So much so that I completed most of the side missions under a few days. The new Xbox One checking for Internet is just solving the issue of internet dropouts. Once every 24 hours, Xbox One will have to check to see if you are still online, if not the system will block you out rendering the system useless. You cannot even watch a Blu-Ray movie. This is showing that Xbox One controls me, not the other way around, as it should. I should own the Xbox and base my life around it. I should be in control. Not Xbox One. If I cannot play online, then it becomes a paperweight. Contrary to beliefs, not everyone in America has proper internet, some may have internet, but just enough to get by. Some does not have internet at all. The first time I used the internet was in 1999, I did not become embraced by it until 2006. Not even Japan, the Land of the Future, has proper Internet. Having DRM on anything is a recipe for disaster, just look at EA and Blizzard on SimCity and Diablo 3. The worst thing about these issues is Microsoft’s lack of clarity. I sincerely hope that this is just a big misunderstanding, and they do not intend to do either of these things.
 
THE DIMMING LIGHT
 

Not everything is terrible. From what was shown, the games themselves look nice. There is not enough to base the games on looks alone, but from a glance, they look good enough. I really like the new controller. I would like to get my hands on it and feel the new D-Pad and the new vibrations on the triggers, those seems like it would make games feel more real. To me 18 new exclusives for a console is damn exciting, while it may be so, we do not know what those games will be. We need to see them first before we start celebrating. The Kinect to me is a wild card. On one hand, seeing it work could have the potential to do some good. Not great, but good enough that it will not be a burden to use. However, in the other hand, having that Big Brother feel is not good at all. I hope that MPAA patent is too stupid to be real. I hope it is like that Sony ad where it stops games long enough to show an ad. They have it, but do not intend to use it. The Xbox One has massive hurdles to go through to get me to want one. The DRM Lite and Used Game Fee should have never have happened, and if Microsoft is truly smart, they would drop it completely. If they do not, then I can see a sinking ship before the knot is loose.