I'm Josh, and this is my assuredly amazing blog that everyone should read. I'm the proud owner of both a PS3 and an Xbox 360, along with a broken PSP 3000. I also do some PC gaming but that mostly consists of buying games on steam that I don't have the capability of actually playing. My favorite thing to do on this blog is write reviews, but I also have the occasional rant. Enjoy Bitches.
Games I'm currently playing Tales of Xillia(PS3)
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX(PS3)
On my instant queue Sherlock
Books I'm reading Alex Rider:Point Blanc
Alex Rider:Skeleton Key
Various Strategy Guides
Podcasts I follow Giant Bombcast
Epic Battle Cry
The Comedy Button
Adam Carolla Show
Various this year collections
Daves of Thunder
Songs I'm currently obsessing over Portions For Foxes
Life Is Beautiful
Don't Let Me Down(Slowly)
Kinda Outta Luck
Some of my favorite games (in no particular order) Final Fantasy 10
Metal Gear Solid 2:Sons of Liberty
Gears of War
Xenosaga Ep. 1:Der Wille Zer Macht
Dragon Ball Z:Budokai 3
Resident Evil 4
Mass Effect 2
Living in Vegas and being under 21 is basically the same as living on a tropical but not knowing how to swim. Thankfully, IPL came along and gave me the opportunity to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING INTERESTING. After enjoying myself on Friday, I forced myself to work Saturday and miss out on the celebration. It was during the time I regretted not calling out that I had the idea to make a cosplay gallery. So I called my friends still at the event and asked them to get some pics for me to throw this gallery together. So, without further ado, here is a selection of some of the great cosplay of IPL !
First, we have a little set-up. A few picks of the venue to set the tone.....
To kick things off, we have a cosplay of Ahri from League of Legends.
Now a beautiful group shot featuring Nurse Akali, Ahri, and Elise
Next up, Taric and Dr. Mundo!
The Tommy-gun wielding Mafia Miss Fortune!
Seems like Miss Fortune is very popular, but I'll always love Dat' Ashe.
A wild Ezreal appears!
Headmistress Fiora dealing out the punishment.
The always stylish Vayne
Group Shot of Talon, Teemo, Katarina, and Battle Bunny Riven.
Bonus pic of Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw
Bonus pic the second of me with Jessica Nigri
What event would be complete without the swag?
Finally, we have a meme pic I made of my friend Roger. Included just to piss him off.
If you take a look at that video, you'll see the Police Protection Pack. Offered as a pre-order incentive to gamestop customers. (at least in the US) Based on that video, I and many others dropped down money at gamestop. As it turns out, that ad was a blatant lie. What you actually get in the game is one mission that is about 2 minutes long where you get driven around by a cop while you shoot vehicles chasing you. That's it. You don't get to use the armor, gun, or car in free roam. Also there are no exclusive police upgrades at all. It's just one 2 minute mission. I couldn't believe it when I played it. So I took to gamefaqs to see if this was the case with everyone else, or if I just missed something. I was directed to this link on the games official forums.
In it, a community manager for the game states that as we suspected, you don't get to use anything that was promised to you. All you get is the mission. I'm legitimately outraged that they would make a trailer showing you using the items in the open world, but give you nothing promised. Plus despite the fact that the trailer says "exclusive police upgrades" there are none in the DLC.
Now they say they're looking into letting people use the DLC they way they clearly showed in the promo video, but it's not a sure thing. They haven't mentioned anything about the upgrades yet, so that's a wait and see.
The Dtoid show recently made an episode about the best games that have come out in the first half of 2012. After watching the episode I got a flash of genius and decided to copy them but in text form. However, in an effort to be less blatantly ďinspired,Ē I will only list games that werenít mentioned on the show. So here is my list of the best games of 2012 (so far).
Alan Wakeís American Nightmare
Seemingly forgotten as soon as it came out, American Nightmare took the janky combat of Alan Wake and refined it into an arcade worthy action game. Story took second place to the gameplay, a twist most fans didnít see coming. After the somber Twin Peaks-esque original, most fans expected more atmosphere and less monsters. For me, this turn was for the better, and gave the game a smoothness its predecessor lacked. Weapons and ammo were plentiful, and enemies attacked in large waves. Despite the focus on gameplay, the story was a more than competent time travel tale that showed Alan Wakes struggle to triumph over his evil alter ego, Mister Scratch. An improvement in almost all sectors, American Nightmare is the sequel Alan Wake needed.
The Walking Dead
Telltale struck gold once again with its latest licensed adventure series, The walking Dead (note this is based purely on episode 1). Separating itself from the television show and comic series, The Walking Dead game takes an almost completely original cast on a journey to survive through the first few days of a zombie apocalypse. While there are a few action scenes here and there, most of the game is focused on the interaction between the main characters, and how people co-exist in a world full of zombies. Itís surprisingly interesting to navigate the social waters in a world that is essentially over. Choices come fast and furious, often with timers in tow, making sure that you canít wait to work out the best option; you just have to go with your gut feeling. Tough choices are the rule here, not the exception. Zombie games are a dime a dozen these days, but this one stands out. At 5 bucks, itís a steal.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Future Soldier walks a fine line between being too streamlined and too tactical. Fans of the series lament the direction this game has taken the franchise, but I personally love it. It takes out a lot of the things that slowed down the pace, and replaced them with an easy mark and shoot style system. It also throws in a lot of toys to help you along the way, including my favorite weapon of 2012, the Warhound. Warhound is essentially a Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell, a small mobile tank with tremendous firepower. Unlike the Tachikomas, you have complete control over Warhound, and it is the most empowered Iíve felt playing a game. Even though you only get it for one level, its glorious fiery destruction raining death missiles are so awesome, you canít help but smile as you wipe out enough people to populate a small town. Aside from that, the game usually has a strong focus on remaining stealthy via active camo, and the level design does a great job of making you feel like a badass invisible soldier. The only downside is the extremely stupid plot; youíd be better off just skipping the cut scenes here, even if youíre a story person like me.
Tales of Graces f
Finally we get to my favorite game of the year so far, Tales of Graces f. Like many others, I feel like Iím losing my love for JRPGs. Still, I got caught in the trailers and ended up pre-ordering the game, not knowing if I could really get invested in another RPG epic. I was completely taken in from hour one. The game had that RPG feeling Iíd been missing for the last few years. The characters drilled themselves into my mind the same way Cloud and company caught my eye over 10 years ago. It was love at first sight, and I ended up spending over 130 hours on the game, going for the platinum trophy. The combat system focused on switching between 2 different sets of skills while managing a point system that limited you from endless combos, but gave you enough to experiment. While the story was pretty generic, the characters had a soul I feel many games lately have lacked. The dialogue was funny at the right moments and sad when it was appropriate. A modern day JRPG classic, this will most definitely be on my GOTY list, if not the winner. Iíll leave you with this line, one of my favorites from one of the many great skits peppered throughout the game.
Now available for the Apple II, Commodore 64, and Amiga!
Spring is soon coming to a close, and summer is nigh upon us. Summer is traditionally a bad time for the videogame industry. Most game companies seem to avoid the summer like the plague, instead opting to crowd the autumn season with the yearís hottest titles. There are, however, a few games that decide to brave the molten heat of summer to keep those disc drives spinning. Without further ado, here are my games of the summer.
Lollipop Chainsaw (06/12)
Coming in just before the official start of summer, Lollipop Chainsaw is a game about a chainsaw wielding teenage cheerleader who slices zombies into rainbows. The fact that this is an accurate description of the game makes me incredibly excited. After tons of serious games about the zombie apocalypse, a proper parody has been created at the hands of gaming mastermind Suda 51. All signs point to a hit in the humor compartment, but not much is really known about the gameplay. Regardless I will pick this up day one along with all the other people who love the idea of a hot chick hacking and slashing zombies.
Spec Ops: The Line (06/26)
Now hereís a game with a troubled history. Announced way back in December 2009, Spec Ops has seemingly gone through a complete redesign. Having been in the closed beta that started in late July 2010, I can personally say the game was horrible. Not long after said beta, the publisher went silent about the game, and nothing was shown about the game for almost a whole year. It seemed like it would go the way of the dodo and never see the light of day. Now the game is only about a month away, and has a demo out on the 360 marketplace. After my horrible beta experience, I wasnít too hot on the game, but then developer interviews started coming out that really piqued my interest. They described an Apocalypse Now-esque experience that showed the dark brutality of war. They expressed that they wanted the subtitle of ďThe Line,Ē to mean something to players. Curious, I decided to take a look at the demo to sate said curiosity. While the demo didnít blow me away, it showed the game to be a solid shooter with a focus on the characters that comprise your squad. I can now safely say that this game is on my list for this summer.
Persona 4 Arena (08/07)
I have a weird relationship with fighting games. I tend to get very hyped up when I see the next big title on the horizon, and then when I play them I usually give up after a few days of hardcore gaming. The problem is I donít quite have the patience to deal with the many hours of practice and losses it takes to get reasonably good at most fighting games. All my friends kick my ass repeatedly and I end up just taking the voyeurism route and watching tournament streams. The only fighting game I ever really got into and became good enough to win against my friends consistently was DBZ: Budokai 3, and that was almost 6 years ago. Iíve tried SSF4, UMvC3, MK9, and Tekken 6, and gave up on all of them not long after I picked them up. Now is the time to repeat that cycle with Persona 4: Arena. Iím hoping that my love of the Persona series might keep me playing long enough to become a competent player. That and Chie is a playable character.
Borderlands 2 (09/18)
Sneaking in just before cut-off date for summer comes the juggernaut of the bunch. Borderlands 2 is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Following up the surprise hit of the original, number 2 is ramping up to be a much bigger and much more streamlined game. I canít help but get excited about finding more guns and killing more skags. Iím definitely going to pick the Siren to keep up with my tradition of playing female characters if possible, and level the shit out of her. I already have a group of friends ready to take the fight back to Pandora. LOOT!
The Best of the Rest
There are quite a few games not on this list that I think deserve mentioning. The reason they arenít on the main list is because theyíre not quite day one purchases for me, but I still plan on playing them down the line.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (6/26)
Anarchy Reigns (07/03)
Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (07/03)
The Last Story (07/10)
Darksiders 2 (08/14)
Sleeping Dogs (08/14)
Far Cry 3 (09/04)
With summer rapidly approaching and temperatures rapidly rising, spring will soon come to an end. To mark the occasion Iíve decided to write a little wrap up of my spring as it relates to gaming. Tomorrow I will (hopefully) have up a companion blog talking about the games of the summer. For now, though, I would like to delve into my recent past and astound you with the games I played this spring.
Mass Effect 3
Weíll start with a game that wasnít technically released in spring, but was certainly relevant come March 20th. I played this game non-stop the week of release. By the time I came out on the other side of the tunnel I immediately went to the internet to see how the rest of the populace felt about the game, in particular the ending. I wrote a blog around that time expressing my abject hatred and borderline rage about where Bioware decided to take the franchise, so in terms of this blog Iíll leave my feelings about that particular subject on the on the cutting room floor. In other news, the rest of the game was incredibly rewarding. The shooting was tight and the choices made throughout the game left me contemplating my choices long after I put the controller down. I canít think of a better way to kick off spring.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Hot off the heels of Mass Effect 3 came what many fans feel was a huge disappointment for the Resident Evil franchise. Raccoon City, for me, wasnít the failure many people labeled it as. I got more than a few hours of enjoyment playing through the campaign and a small amount of multiplayer with 3 of my closest friends. The only slight disappointment for me was the lack of interaction with legacy characters from the previous games, that, and the obviously cut content that Capcom later sold as DLC. At least this time it wasnít on the disc!
Tales of Graces f
At this point in time, I was ready to get my JRPG on. Tales games are always on my radar, and this was the first new game to come to the west since Vesperia. When I first started the game I was very lukewarm on the whole thing, but it soon stuck itís talons in me. I was obsessed with this game throughout the month of April, and 140 hours later I had obtained my first platinum trophy.
I had heard of this game a long time ago, but never even thought about it since. Then one day I was at GameStop and saw a used copy of this game for only $8.99, and it was well worth it. Even though there is virtually no chance that I will finish this game, I have gotten more than enough entertainment out of it. Itís a WW2 strategy game that has werewolves fighting Nazi vampires and skeletons. If thatís not enough to get you interested, just look at the image above. Itís a werewolf punching Hitler!
I know Iím late to this party, but Iím glad I finally picked this game up. Battlefield 3 is a game of extreme highs and lows. One minute you might be taking down a helicopter by ramming it with a jet, the next you might get spawn killed by an enemy sniper from across the map. I rage a lot when Iím playing multiplayer games, but this game just shakes me to the core sometimes. Iíll probably still be playing this game throughout the summer, at least until I snap the disc in half in a fit of Hulk-like rage.
Left 4 Dead 2
One of my best friends recently gave me this game as a gift, and I always enjoy free shit. This isnít my first experience with the game, but itís definitely my most lengthy. I must have played the game for 4 hours just trying to beat Dark Carnival on Expert with my friend who bought me the game. Even though we died multiple times and never actually got past the last chapter, I enjoyed my time with the game immensely. Also did you know thereís new DLC coming on the 360? I must say thatís pretty impressive for a 3 year old game.
Last but not least for the retail roundup is a little gem known as Prototype 2. I just started this game yesterday and I must say Iím surprised at how good this game turned out to be. The controls are a little loose and the game is incredibly easy, but it is some of the most visceral fun Iíve had in a game. Iím not too far and Iíve already torn up hundreds of Blackwatch troopers and got my tentacles into multiple helicopters and their pilots. Iím not sure how well the game sold, but I hope it turns out to be a success.
The best of the rest
In terms of downloadable games, two stood out to me among the pack. The first game up is Telltaleís The Walking Dead. This game came out of nowhere and blew me away. As my first Telltale game, Iím not sure how representative the game is of their other works, but I can say I really want to play Back to the Future now. The choices you make in the game are truly compelling, and the whole scene at the motel was great. Pick this up if youíre in any way interested.
The other game is one that became a phenomenon for the second time; Minecraft. Not being much of a PC gamer the XBLA version is my first experience with the game. I was instantly sucked in when I first started playing the game, mining my ass off for just a little more iron ore. Then about 10 hours later I lost the my initial drive and ended up just going for achievements, then once that was done I stopped playing altogether. From what Iíve seen and heard the PC version is vastly superior, but I doubt Iíll ever play it.