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2:23 PM on 12.31.2009

My 10 Favorite games of this Decade

Without a doubt, this has been the best decade for Video Gaming Yet, everyone has their favorites, allow me to tell you mine. Narrowing my list down to ten was not easy, but this is as final as its going to get, here's hoping next decade is even better.

10. Left 4 Dead
"Grabbin' Pills"

Valve. 2008. (PC/XBOX 360)
My dreams come true, cooperative zombie killing. Probably the most re-playable game I've encountered, this game taught me a valuable lesson: Shooting Zombies in the face rarely, if ever, gets old. I also love the personality this game has, from the protagonists, to the funky music you get every time you reach a safe room. In fact, I'll be right back, I'm just going to change my ringtone...

9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
"All you had to do was follow the damn train CJ!"

Rockstar North. 2004. (PS2/XBOX)
I played this so much, I made it to Max health, jumping from planes without a parachute and surviving to steal some hotdogs then a car has never felt so great. This game knows hat it is, it's not realistic, its just fun, the scale is also impressive, with the ability to drive or fly every vehicle you come across.

8. No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M's Way
"You ever swallow a lit cigar?"

Monolith. 2002. (PC)
This is a hilarious game very few people have played, it fulfilled two of my fantasies: being a secret agent and being a woman. Wait, forget about that last part. Anyway, it more than exceeded my expectations and though no one seems to agrees with me, I prefer this one to the original. Great enemies, decent locations, a fun story and a wide array of weapons and gadgets, including a banana.

7. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

Free Radical Design. 2005. (PS2/XBOX/Gamecube)
Jumping through time to save the future, who knew that such a cliche sounding FPS could be so fantastic, one of my favorite adventures. With a genuinely funny main character and a brilliant cast of characters, Time-hopping has never been so epic.

6. Psychonauts
"So this is it... the mental world."

Double Fine. 2005. (PS2/XBOX/PC)
Psychic summer-camp is amazing, I have never laughed so much with a game, I keep coming back for more of this game's wonderful humour and characters. What a world, and brains, and worlds in brains.

5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
"That's the way to tell the meatbags master! Charging blasters, this should be fun."

BioWare. 2003. (XBOX/PC)
Sorry Tie Fighter and Jedi Knight, this is still the best Star Wars game I have ever played, heck, I think this showed me that I really love RPG's. Some fantastic world, a well crafted story and a (Mostly) decent cast of characters. This game gave birth to HK-47, there was no way it could have been left of this list.

4. Halo
"Slow down, you're losin' me!"

Bungie. 2001. (XBOX/PC)
Countless hours were spent with my friend here, the Warthog is my favorite vehicle bar none, this game prompted me to get an Xbox, my first home console I had to myself. I actually enjoy Halo for the story, the colorful enemies, the flawless transition from First person to vehicle driving and lastly... Cortana, who knew AI's could be so hot?

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
"How the hell am I supposed to take down a Hel-loooooo!"

Naughty Dog. 2009. (PS3)
Ha, oh Nathan Drake, you showed me that Protagonists can be funny and serious, this is the most fast paced, stunning ride I have ever been on, everything about this game, from the graphics to the game-play is pure greatness.

2. Valkyria Chronicles
"Squad 7... MOVE OUT!"

Sega. 2008. (PS3)
This game intrigued me so much, I bought a PS3 for it. No regrets, it has such a touching story that shows fighting is more than shooting faceless bad guys, the squad is your family. This is one of the few games that has me looking forward to the cutscenes. It also makes me happy by making me feel like a tactical genius. Every potential squad mate (There's over 50 of them) has a unique personality.

1. The Longest Journey
"Life should carry a big yellow caution-sticker. It's certain to kill you sooner or later."

Funcom. 2000. (PC)
I have yet to find a game that topples this. It may have seemed long and dull when I was playing through it for the first time, but by the end, I was in love this the world(s) in this game. It also stars one of my favorite Protagonists, April Ryan. This has to be one of the best games to look back on, because you look back on one hell of a journey.   read

10:52 AM on 12.29.2009

My Top 10 Favorite Playable Guys in Gaming.

Now I like playing a pure killing machine as much as the next guy, but sometimes I enjoy playing someone I can relate to.
When you're asked who you like playing as, you immediately think of the most badass warrior you can, Kratos, Master Chief, Doom Guy. But guys in video games aren't just killing machines. Certain games have evolved beyond that, giving the player characters who you can relate to, characters who can even hold a relationship.
RPG's have plenty of these, but sometimes, I don't want to build a character, or choose how they progress, sometimes it's nice to just be a ready made character who develops on their own.

Here's ten guys that will fuck your shit up, fight for freedom or another miscellaneous cause and still have time to fall in love.

10. The Prince
From Prince of Persia
Let's start this list with the Prince. Now, this may be controversial, but I actually like this Prince, he's lighthearted, always has a witty comment or two and is just looking for his donkey. But beneath that, he is actually a caring hero in disguise, and he throws away the world for what he cares about most.
Badass Rating: 7/10. He easily dispatches the best of the corrupted warriors.
Love interest?: Elika

9. Chris Redfield
From Resident Evil (5)
Zombies, Majini, creatures from nightmares, Chris here will take 'em town. Always honest and trustworthy to a partner, Chris will fight to make the world a safer place.
Badass Rating: 8/10. When the boulder doesn't move, he punches it into submission.
Love interest?: Jill Valentine?

8. Frank West
From Dead Rising
Let's just say that 53,000 zombies VS Frank isn't a fair match- to the zombies. While I would hide in abasement during a zombie outbreak, Frank goes looking for survivors and the photojournalist in him uncovers a massive conspiracy. This is one guy you want to stick next too.
Badass Rating: 9/10. He smashed through thousands of zombies with his bare hands.
Love interest?: Isabella

7. Max Payne
From Max Payne (2)
What appears to be a 'shoot first', pill addicted man is actually a poor tormented soul. Luckily he meets his match in Mona Sax. Max is one of the better heroes because he does what many can't; he forgives himself for his family's death at the end of The Fall Of Max Payne. This man fights for what he believes in.
Badass Rating: 8/10. Kills hundreds of mobs (In slow motion) and shows Vlad who's boss.
Love interest?: Mona Sax

6. Ezio Auditore da Firenze
From Assassin's Creed 2
A young member of the Florentine Nobility and the second son of Giovanni Auditore, an Assassin. This guy packs all of Leanado Davinci's inventions and more. Duel wielding hidden blades? check. Flying machine? Check. Gun? Check. His 10 year quest to avenge his family is undertaken and completed with nothing short of pure skill.
Badass Rating:8/10. Not one, but two hidden blades. 'Nuff said.
Love interest?: Let's just say he's a ladies man.

5. Welkin Gunther
From Valkyria Chonicles
Commander of Squad 7 of the Militia, Welkin takes after his late father, who was an expert in tactics and warfare. Welkin is a loving squad commander, who genuinely cares for his squad, no matter what they think of him.
Badass Rating: 5/10. Full of good ideas, though rarely goes into foot combat himself.
Love interest?: Alicia Melchiott

4. Sergent Cortez
From TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
A space marine with style. Cortez battles the evil timesplitters through time and space, helping other heroes along the way. Cortez is an experienced fighter. If anything disagrees with him, he'll blow it the fuck up. Also unintentionally hilarious.
Badass Rating: 8/10. Restores time to it's original state while killing every foe imaginable.
Love interest?: Anya

3. Kyle Katarn
From Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Born a farmer, trained a Stormtrooper, worked as a mercenary and a Rebel agent, self-taught as a Jedi Knight. He's a crack shot, can use the Force and a lightsaber to obliterate anything which stands in his way.
Badass Rating: 8/10. 'To know the light, you must see the dark'. Those poor stormtroopers...
Love interest?: Jann Ors

2. Nathan Drake
From Uncharted: Among Thieves
A treasure hunter of sorts, Nate is a witty protagonist who manages unbelievable feats. You could send an army to thwart him, but he'll still keep coming. Dedicated and caring, this guy knows when to call it quits, until someone drags him back into it.
Badass Rating: 9/10. I swear this guy is indestructible, he survives a gunshot from a cutscene.
Love interest?: Elena Fisher

1. Manny Calavera
From Grim Fandango
Quite the unusual game protagonist, because he's already dead. Manny owes the powers that be some community service, so he acts as a travel agent to the recently deceased. Manny himself eventually goes on the 4 year journey of the soul, discovering a huge conspiracy of No.9 tickets on the way. Manny thwarts Hector's plan and helps return the tickets to all the good souls who deserve them, getting himself one in the process. Manny is kind-hearted, resourceful and always ready to give a helping hand.
Badass Rating: 5/10. Manny's more of a smooth talker,he still sprouts Hector though.
Love interest?: Mercedes "Meche" Colomar

So there you have it. There are a lot more characters which didn't make my top ten, but they still exist, which is what counts. Here's hoping for far more to come. Keep in mind that these aren't the universally chosen best characters, they're just my favorite.

I dare you to name your favorite.   read

3:09 AM on 10.28.2009

My journey through Video Game history.

From Halo to Homeworld.

"Were you on Halo last Night?"
No, I was gripped on Homeworld.

This is a story of my journey through Video Game history. How I got from Gears of War to Grim Fandango.

My first console was an Xbox, the 5th game I played on said Xbox was Halo. Now I was too poor to get a N64 or even a Playstation, or anything that preceded it. I made do with my dad's computer, playing snake, battle zone and asteroids. Soon I was owning my own games, such as Age of empires and Rogue Squadron. But after that it was just playing demo's.

Years and years later, I got an Xbox for a present, recommended by a friend. Let me tell you, an Xbox is not a bad first console to have. Gradually, I grew apart from the old PC and went into shooters for the Xbox.

From Fable to Freespace.

This trend continued into the next generation, when I got an Xbox 360. A year and a half into that, I began to experiment, playing with genres which I would have never of dreamed of trying out; I did this because, my funds for games had quickly depleted and I grew bored of what I had, me! Growing bored of games! Who could have ever imagined... They just all seemed the same somehow, I yearned for something different, but I wasn't quite sure what, so I started trying out Platformers, Survival Horror, Racing, pretty much everything but sports games (It's a long story/ rant for another time). I began looking at previous generation games again. This was the turning point.

From Gears of War to Grim Fandango.

While dreadful at some of these genres, I kept at it and began to improve, then I started going back. Completing old games I never gave a second look. I completed Jet Set Radio Future after a 6 year Hiatus. I started buying old, old games for my laptop, this was when I realized what I had missed. I got seriously into adventure games, I'm still not very good at them, but I'm so in love with them I don't care, I got into Tomb Raider, a series I avoided like the plague due to some bad experiences of nausea and getting lost a long time ago. I kept going back, it was like a guilty pleasure. Everything was a new experience a new adventure.
There are so many gems that I have discovered, namely:
Grim Fandango, Homeworld ,The Longest Journey, System Shock 2, No One lives forever, American Mcgee's Alice, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Beyond Good & Evil, Psychonauts, Starcraft...

I'd better stop there, The list could go on and on and on. Now just think, I never would have played any of these if it weren't for me getting past my prejudice of old games and 'Bad Graphics'.

Some things I have noticed is that games are no longer made by gamers for gamers, by geeks for geeks; no, they are now made by companies for the consumer. Yes, graphics and gameplay have improved, but for the most part, things have become massively simple and less... I'm not quite sure how to say, it's like some magic spark is gone.

From BioShock to Broken sword.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, never write off a genre or game. Hate Halo? why not go back and try it again? Scared shitless of strategy games? Take another stab at one (With cheats enabled). Now I'm not a pro gamer, a lot of the games I have mentioned, I used cheats or a walkthrough for, but they all opened my mind up. Gaming isn't just whatever you play, gaming is much more vast. When you are unable to go forward (Due to funds or boredom or anything) then go back, keep looking back. Heck, have a stroll on Wikipedia for a few minutes, pick a title or blurb which peaks your interest. If only I could see my younger self's naive attitude towards gaming, I'd most likely point and laugh, then get the hell out of there before I fuck up the space/time continuum or something.

From Assassin's Creed to American Mcgee's Alice.

I could have gone the other way, but I'm glad my curiosity made me into the Video Gamer I am today. I guess I have a unique perspective, by going backwards instead of forwards, I can see the technological progression, but I'm not wowed or jaded by it. So, are these old games better than today's? Actually, yes, a lot of them hold up to today's standards easily. Now has never been a better time to look at older classics.

So do me a favor. For every new game you get, acquire an old one, just one. You never know, you may surprise yourself. Games have grown from a hobby, to a part of my life.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a fairly new PS3, time to see what PS1 games I've missed.

From Mass Effect to Fear Effect?   read

4:15 PM on 10.27.2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review. I KILL YOU DRAKE!!

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
For Playstation 3

I'll say it now, this is one of the best games I have ever played. Although it's not without its flaws, it overshadows them with a superb single player campaign and a solid multiplayer.

If I were asked to describe it, I would call it a Tomb Raider meets Gears of War meets Indiana Jones. But that wouldn't do I justice, this is uncharted. While it does nothing new or revolutionary, it raises the bar so high, you'd need a step ladder just to see it.

Gameplay is the standard platforming, shooting and shimmying with the occasional puzzle (The notebook makes a welcome return, this time with the ability to flip pages at will, there's some quite fancy stuff here). Stealth kills are back and as great as ever, Hand-to-hand combat is simpler but equally satisfying and the variety of weapons has increased. Friendly and Hostile AI has improved, your groupies will now join the gunfight with you and do some mountain climbing by your side, and the baddies will kill you not matter what (guns not working? they will throw grenades, that not working? they'll send RPG's and snipers at you, stopping in one place will get you killed. What I would like to pick up on is the seamless blur between cutscene and gameplay: there were several moments when I didn't realize that the cutscene had ended and I had control of Drake again, while not a term I am particularly fond of, this really is a cinematic experience.

Story is a thing which many people don't deem important, but I beg to differ, while the story doesn't seem like much at first, it creates an amazing background for Drake to adventure on. The humour in this game is fantastic, I haven't laughed so hard at some jokes since Psychonauts, this is in part, thanks to the characters; Nate is as great as ever, a fantastic protagonist, Elena took a level in Badass since the first game and others like Tenzin, Chloe and Flynn make this one fantastic cast of characters, some of the interactions seem perfectly realistic and funny at the same time. So you have this Roller-coaster of an adventure, with fantastic characters, great humour, brilliant levels and they all come together to form a nice complete package.

Graphics are pretty good, one of the best looking games released, a few set pieces will leave you in awe. The attention to detail on the characters is absolutely stunning. The art direction had a lot of love and labor put in it, as is evident by the unlockable concept art.

Whoops, wrong screenshot.

The music score can only be described as Uncharted 2.0. It uses similar themes to Drake's Fortune, but ramps it up by a lot, going side by side with the intensity happening on screen. The dialogue is well written and spoken as well, it really helps these characters seem real, some quite flawless and memorable performances here.


The Multiplayer component is well thought out, with a huge variety of modes, including Co-op, this should keep players busy for a while. While not as good as the single-player, the multi-player is a worthwhile addition.

In summery: Better than Tomb Raider? Yes. Better than Gears of War? Yes. Better than Indiana Jones? Equal. Is it a worthy sequel? Hell Yes. Is it worth getting a PS3 for? I would say yes, it is much better than it looks, screens and trailers do not do this game justice.

Well, that's too much praise for me to handle, so here are some cons:
--Some gunfights are trial and error, I have heard that death horn hundreds of times, it becomes practice to perfect a strategy again and again and again until it works, it's even worse on the higher difficulties, What I'm saying is, there is less skill involved than blind luck and trail and error.
--The eyes: Good god, why are they so shiny? Yes, the graphics are nice, but everyone has a layer of vaseline over their eyes, it's the only thing keeping the characters in the uncanny valley.
--Platforming is incredibly simple, this makes a lot of it just seem like filler.
--Multiplayer can take an age to connect sometimes.
--Few minor bugs (Game freezing, falling through walls etc. Note that these are a rarity, happening only once or twice.)

Overall Score:

9 Crazy Drakes out of 10   read

12:21 PM on 10.09.2009

Top 10 PC exclusive games OF ALL TIME!!

Here it is, my list of the greatest PC exclusive games of all time. Exclusive, as in, you can only play it on a computer. You won't agree with everything, but you can agree with the fact that, as long as computers have these games, PC gaming will live on.

10. American Mcgee's Alice
Third Person Action-Adventure Platforming Horror Game
Released on October 6, 2000.
Developed by Rogue Entertainment
Published by Electronic Arts

Based in the Alice in Wonderland universe, Alice is the only survivor after her house burns down. Admitted to a Metal Asylum for 10 years, The White Rabbit calls for Alice to help restore wonderland, but Alice has grown up and so has Wonderland.I'll be honest here, the gameplay isn't the best, but the real gem here is the atmosphere, it really feels like you're in a twisted version of wonderland, every classic character has changed into twisted versions of themselves. It really feels like Alice is fighting for her sanity back. This is how you do a mature game with gore (Slicing the Royal Card Guards in half never gets old). Friends become enemies, toys become weapons and the Queen of Hearts wants you dead; not a pretty scenario, but a damn good one. This is a must-have PC experience, there really is nothing quite like it.

"But I don't want to be among mad people!"
"You can't help that... we're all mad here..."

9. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines
First Person/ Third Person Horror Action Role-Playing Game
Released November 19, 2004.
Developed by Troika Games
Published by Activision

Based on the Vampire Masquerade/ World of Darkness universe, you go deep into the world of Vampire Clans and Supernaturals foes. Released as a buggy mess, but fan restoration patches have fixed everything and more, it really shines as a fantastic game now. Gameplay can be what you want, you can choose to be stealthy, use a variety of melee weapons, go in guns blazing or just suck the blood out of every living thing. Atmosphere is also a huge factor here, visiting such places as Santa Monica, Hollywood and Chinatown, each place is distinctive and has its own nightlife, the quests are plentiful and the cast of characters are always interesting (Including a certain Schizophrenic vampire known as Jeanette). Sometimes put next to the Deus Ex for a great First person Role-playing world, this is truly a must play.

8. No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way
First Person Shooter (With Light RPG elements)
Released September 30, 2002.
Developed by Monolith Productions
Published by Sierra Entertainment

A sequel to No One Lives Forever, A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way goes even deeper into the world of spy warfare and the fight against the criminal organization H.A.R.M.How perfect can FPS controls be? Well NOLF 2 does pretty well. A variety of weapons and even greater variety of gadgets are used to fight all sorts of guards, soldiers and Ninjas. You can play how you want, whether stealth is your thing or run and gunning, but the best is a mix of the two. The locations are really fantastic and the missions are just as fun. Intel documents and completing objectives give you experience which can be sued to upgrade you accuracy, speed, ammo capacity, armor and so on. A really fun and well thought out game, NOLF and it's sequel deserve to be played by every self-respecting PC gamer.

7. PlaneScape: Torment
Role-Playing Game
Released December 12, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Black Isle Studios.
Published by Interplay

Based in an variation of the Dungeons & Dragons Universe, this game takes storytelling to a whole new level.It's difficult to keep this description short and sweet, but here goes: Torment is a fantastic story of a man who is immortal, with the classic D&D gameplay and a fantastic set of companions to choose from, this is one immersive game. This game puts up one hell of a fight in the Gameplay Vs Story debate. No matter how into RPG's you are, you owe it to yourself to give this a shot.

6. Freespace 2
First Person Space Combat Simulator
Released September 30, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Voltition, Inc.
Published by Interplay Entertainment

A sequel to Descent: Freespace, this is the greatest Space Sim of all time.The scale of this game is huge, you giant warships hundreds of kilometers long. Even 10 years after the game's release, nothing has matched the scale and intensity here, and with the way gaming is going, I'm pretty sure nothing ever will. If you have never played this, you must, dust off that Joystick and take to the skies pilot! Whoever is sitting on the rights the the Freespace franchise is sitting on a fortune.

5. Homeworld
Real-time Strategy/ Tactics Space Simulation
Released September 28, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Relic Entertainment
Published by Seirra Entertainment

An original universe, and the tale of a journey home, this is the best singleplayer RTS of all time. Best known for it engrossing story which could match RPG's and incredible soundtrack, Homeworld is Space Strategy done right. If you've ever played this, you'll agree when I say that this game has some incredible moments, if you havn't played this, then acquire a copy and play it, then come back, it really is worth it. One of the best concepts here is the 'Persistant Fleet', any ships that survive a mission, are carried into the next one and so forth, none of this "Build my base and research tech which I've done before in every single mission" nonsense. One of my favorite stories ever told, just some people trying to get home (With a load of twists and turns on the way).

" burning"

4. Deus Ex
First Person Action Role-Playing Game
Released September 27, 2000
Developed by Ion Storm Inc.
Published by Eidos Interactive

Deus Ex... Yeah.

3. Grim Fandango
Graphic Adventure Game
Released October 20, 1998 (**11 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by by LucasArts
Published by LucasArts

The most unique setting I have ever come across, a mix of Aztec architecture and Film Noir in the land of the dead, this is truly incredible. Okay, so you play as Manny, a travel agent who guides souls to eternal rest, but only the rich can get a fast ticket to heaven, everyone else has to take a four year journey of the soul to get there. This game is often mistaken for a point n' click, but you control Manny with the keyboard, this makes it a unique adventure game as you literally do need to manually walk around, but no complaints there! I'm so in love with this world, especially Rubacava. If you want a fast insight into Tim Shafers genius writing, then look no further, this is one of the best stories ever told, in one of the best worlds ever created. Amazing. That's all I can say.

"As a rule, I never touch anything more sophisticated and delicate than myself."

2. System Shock 2
First Person Survival Horror Role-Playing Game
Released August 11, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Irrational Games/ Looking Glass Studios
Published by Electronic Arts

Have you played Dead Space? if so, then do what I did and have a look at this baby, it blows every other Survival Horror I've played out of the water, that's not nostalgia speaking, I only completed this a month ago and I'm still thinking about it. A tense atmosphere of being stuck on a Spaceship alone with only one friend (Well... I'll get to that). To quote The Many (The bad guy/thing(s)) "Your weapons fail, your ammo runs low, all you have is your hatred and your... Individuality". The weapons you find need constant maintenance or they Jam, ammo is used up all too quickly, every crew-member you come across has been killed or has committed suicide and your only friend against The Many is SHODAN... their creator. I'm going to say that SHODAN is the greater evil, and you have to help her, so she can help you, it's the buddy-movie from hell: He’s an amnesiac cybernetic soldier who doesn’t know what to do! She’s a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence dominatrix who’s lost all her power! They Fight The Many!. But having a villain as a friend who is constantly calling you an insect, makes you feel small, small aboard a huge ship, with all kind of nasties right around every corner wanting you dead., this creates one hell of an experience. This game is truly amazing. (I went from BioShock to this... and this blows BioShock out of the water, no pun intended). A Must play, This is probably the best experience I have ever had in First Person.

"With only a few short years of evolution, they've (The Many) been able to conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation. Where were we after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, single-celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it."

1. The Longest Journey
Adventure Game
Released November 19, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed byy Funcom
Published by Funcom

Okay, I'm most likely bias about number one, it will always hold a special place in my heart as the first adventure game I completed, I replay it every year. This is the best adventure I have ever been on, an epic adventure between two worlds, a story to save the 'Balance' between magic and science. While it seems like your standard Point n' Click affair, the story is just beyond words, the main character, April, is just so complete. This game made me get up an hour earlier than my alarm, just so I could get some play time before college. No other game has managed that. The story, the characters, the art, the dialogue, the puzzles (sans one) the worlds; everything about it just blends together to create the best experience I have ever had the pleasure of... experiencing. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. The Longest Journey.

“Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where.”

And that, my friends, is the top 10 most amazing games the PC has to offer. I could have extended the list to 20, but I painfully narrowed it down to 10. All these games get a 9-10/10 score in my books.

Other Trivia:
*Crysis was No.14 on my list.
*Half-Life was not exclusive to PC.
*1999 was a Year of PC games Made of Win.
*All these games can be played on low end machines and Laptops.
*SHODAN is the best villain ever conceived.
*Minesweeper is no longer exclusive.
*I jizzed in my pants after making this list.   read

11:10 AM on 09.24.2009

Your Squad Is Your Weapon: The Valkyria Chonicles of Squad 7 (Plus Recap)

Sorry for the massive break, I wanted to have a look at one last squad, but I lacked the game and console. So I bought a PS3 to play Valkyria Chronicles. Yes, you heard that right. As this is the last YSIYW (Unless there's demand for more). I'll go into even more detail than before. What's the Plural of Valkria anyway, Valkrians or Valkyrur? Anyway, here we go.

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Gallian Militia Squad 7 from Valkyria Chronicles

About Squad 7:
When Imperial forces launch an attack on the Gallia, the gallian Militia was called together and formed several squads. Squad 7 was formed for Welkin to command. Initially members of the squad questioned Welkin's qualifications to be a commander due lack of combat experience. However, he quickly earns their trust and loyalty with his tactical genius. Together they fight in order to drive the Imperial forces out of Gallia and fight for the freedom of all of Gallia and all that they hold dear against the seemingly invincible forces of the Empire.

There are quite a few members that can be chosen (Over 50 in fact), but only around 10 go on any given mission. The most amazing thing is, the incredibly large cast of potential characters, and all of them are unique, they have potential abilities of their own. For example, if they are with someone they like or alone, their abilities are enhanced, some people like standing in the forest, others have a pure hatred for tanks, some even have kamikaze bonuses if they are near death. There are no generic grunts here is squad 7!

The Main Members are:

* Lieutenant Welkin Gunther (Squad 7 Commander/ Tank Commander)
The game's male lead. A twenty-two year old university student before the Imperial invasion, Welkin's intelligence and determination earned him the commanding position over Gallia's Squad 7 after he joins the Militia. His university major, Animal Sociology, gives him an extensive knowledge of Gallia's native flora and fauna and serves as a basis for his military strategies. I often think of Welkin as the Father of Squad 7

* Sergeant Alicia Melchiott (Scout)
Plays opposite Welkin as the game's heroine. A nineteen year old who wishes to be a successful baker, Alicia became a soldier after being swept up in the chaos of the Imperial invasion of Gallia. Righteous and reliable, Alicia loves helping others, and slowly grows fond of Welkin. Alicia is the Mother

* Isara Gunther (Tank Pilot)
Welkin's sixteen-year-old adopted sister who cares greatly for her comrades. The two are not siblings by birth, as she was taken in by the Gunthers at a young age; however, Isara is extremely devoted to Welkin. She drives and maintains the unique tank, Edelweiss, that her biological father, Theimer, designed in the First Europan War but was too expensive to mass-produce. Continuing her father's legacy, Isara is a true prodigy when it comes to mechanics. The shawl she wears signifies that she is a member of the Darcsens, a race of people persecuted for their ancestors' role in the near destruction of the continent. Isara is the daughter

* Brigitte "Rosie" Stark (Shock Trooper)
Twenty-seven years old, Brigitte was formerly a bar singer who used the stage name "Rosie", and now prefers to be called as such. As a part of the core members of Squad 7, she acts as its signature shocktrooper. Though she may seem overbearing at times, she is a capable front-line commander whose tough talk motivates others during battle. Her prejudice against the Darcsens puts her at odds with Isara and Zaka, though she eventually grows to overcome this. Rosie is the Sister

* Largo Potter (Anti-Tank Lancer)
A gruff, thirty-six year old veteran of the First Europan War and Squad 7's main anti-tank Lancer. Values experience above all else on the battlefield, but grows to appreciate Welkin after his strategies prove successful. Beyond his tough exterior, he holds a special appreciation for the power of vegetables from the time spent on his father's farm in his childhood. Largo is the Grandfather

* Zaka (Tank Commander)
Zaka, a local leader of the Darcsens, was held in an Imperial work camp where he and his people were forced to work in the dangerous ragnite mines and factories under brutal conditions imposed by Gregor. The thirty-three year old proves instrumental in helping Squad 7 in the Fouzen raid as an inside contact. Joining the group shortly after the battle, he commands the Shamrock, a customized version of Gallia's main battle tank. His easygoing demeanor hides the oppression he has experienced all his life. I don't know, Zaka's like that weird Uncle you have who tries to be cool

Moment of Awesome:
(Minor Spoilers)These guys have two, first its ramming their way head on into the Empires much, much larger Army, in a hope to push them back (Which they do) and Defeating Selvaria in the heart of the Empire's Base.

Why I think they are Badass:
At first, they just seemed like a rag-tag bunch of misfits called to arms to defend they country, but as the war progresses, they all show their worth, they all have things they want to do after the war, and they will fight for their freedom, for they love their country, but what's more, they share a bond, Squad 7 is a family, they are there for each other, and that is why they win.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
Without any real friendly AI it's hard to say, I mean, they can shoot at a target you are shooting at if you are in range, but beyond that, you control every one of them, apart from the Odd AI scripted moment. This isn't a bad thing though, because controlling them directly is just like them obeying your exact orders.

Possibly my favorite squad yet, sure they are much larger than some four-man squads, but considering that they aren't super heroes and are up against an army, but even one of them can win a skirmish. They only get stronger. Not only are they fighting for their lives, they are fighting for their country, in fact, they are fighting for the very future of everyone they know. Its more than surviving for this Squad, at times, the weight of the world is on their shoulders. The fact that the majority (Everyone but the main cast) can die permanently in battle (With their own death animation and last words, enough to make you tear up) make them seem real, you have to be careful, or you won't get them back (I lost my favorite sniper and sacrificed my most used shocktrooper to save everyone else). Thankfully the team Medic can be called if you go next to the almost dead troop. This meant, for some cases with me, that I would postpone a major objective just because I wanted to get them home alive. It wasn't even necessary to continue, but the game made me want to, it made me care.

This game is fantastic and well worth the PS3 asking price, Valkyria Chronicles helped remind me why I continue to play games and Squad 7 reminded me that even in the darkest hour, it's your friends and family that will get you through it.

Team Rating: 96%

Now for the Recap:

The Republic Commando's

The Gears of War

Use Brute Force

Those Left 4 Dead

An Elite Force

I see Rainbows

Next time, there will be a poll to decide the ultimate squad. I'll be matching them up Two at a time. Keep an eye on the Community Blogs and Forums!   read

5:29 AM on 09.09.2009

Your Squad is your Weapon: I see Rainbows

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Rainbow Six from Rainbow Six Vegas

About Rainbow Six:
Rainbow Six as an international counter-terrorism operation hosted by NATO and funded by money funneled through the U.S. Department of the Interior. The name Rainbow Six refers the many different nationalities that make up the team.

There are quite a few members; different people for each game, but this is the main team in Vegas.
*Logan Keller (Leader)
*Michael Walters (Demolition Expert)
*Jung Park (Electronics Expert)

Moment of Awesome:
Shooting Irena Morales, then heading to the top of the dam and casually destroying the missile, another day in the job.

Why I think they are Badass:
Have you seen they're credentials? No, neither have I, but I'm sure they have very good ones. The actions they do speak for themselves though. They run through Vegas, decimating every single terrorist force they come too, never needing back up, and it's just three of them! Three! Impressive stuff.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
Not too bad, it helps that you can revive them, it doesn't help when they get shot and die before you can get to them. Luckily you can order them to go places and breach a room from one side, while you breach it from another. Team work is important here, if by team work you mean 'Ordering them guys to walk into the line of fire'.

A really down to earth team, no real witty comments or humorous lines, just work, work, work, they don't even stop to play slot machines, heck, they had ample opportunity. I guess its nice to be with a team which is professional, even if they don't make me smile. At least they're damn good at shooting terrorists... thousands of them.

Team Rating: 81%   read

6:40 AM on 09.07.2009

Your Squad is your Weapon: An Elite Force

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

The Hazard Team from Elite Force 2

Left to Right: Chell, Korban, Telsia, Munroe, Jurot, Chang and Gonzales

About The Hazard Team:
As part of a special unit aboard the USS Voyager, the Hazard Team is designed protect the ship from hostile encounters. Eventually picked up by Captain Picard, The Hazard Team deals with missions too dangerous for regular security personnel.

There are quite a few members, but only 3-4 go on any given mission.
*Lieutenant Alexander Munro
*Ensign Telsia Murphy
*Ensign Chell
*Ensign Austin Chang
*Ensign Juliet Jurot

*Ensign Korban
*Lieutenant Gonzalez

Moment of Awesome:
Setting Phasers to kill and blowing up the Borg sphere which captured Voyager in the first Level.

Why I think they are Badass:
They aren't called the Hazard Team for nothing. Easily dispatching the Borg and even more nasties from outer space, they don't give the enemy a chance. Plus, they don't even need their whole team, as long as they are grouped in pairs or more, you can count on them getting the job done.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
They don't get stuck in walls... how's that? Okay, okay; So you basically have to do all the work, they can kill the odd enemy or two, but it is a lot harder without them. They don't go and get themselves killed, but then again... In the first Elite force, they could die, or get injured and have to be beamed back, depending on the mission, but here in the sequel, they are slightly better.

These guys are great, you can just feel part of the team, when they get broken up, it just hurts inside. They are all colourful, each with very distinct personalities, especially Chell and it doesn't matter who you get stuck with, because they're all great.

Team Rating: 82%   read

5:44 AM on 09.06.2009

Your Squad is your Weapon: Those Left for Dead

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

The Survivors from Left 4 Dead

About The Survivors:
Francis is a loud cocky Biker who hates everything, Louis is a systems analyst who thinks positive, Bill is a Vietnam war veteran and Zoey is a College dropout geeks dream. Together, they fight for survival against the zombie apocalypse.


Moment of Awesome:
Personally, I think fighting their way through the possible heart of the infection, Mercy Hospital, to escape the roof via helicopter, destroying a whole manner of nasty infected and surviving, is pretty awesome.

Why I think they are Badass:
This can vary for everyone, but I think that killing Tanks which can throw cars, witches which will shred you alive and thousands of other zombies and still managing to escape is badass.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
AI wise, they suck, in fact the only thing they are good at doing is killing special infected you can't see. Player wise, not much better. Aha, only kidding, players generally are a lot more competent but it is still a struggle for survival, no other game needs as much teamwork and coordination than Expert on Left 4 Dead.

Four (relatively) normal people immune to a virus which turns everyone into Zombies, outnumbered, but not outgunned, this unlikely bunch has tons of personality, conversations and they know they must work together. They have each others backs, for sure. Although they are not military trained (you could argue for Bill), a difference from the other teams I've had a look at, they are very competent and work more as a team than most Military squads.

Team Rating: 85%   read

3:06 AM on 09.05.2009

Your Squad is your Weapon: Use Brute Force

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Brute Force from Brute Force

About Brute Force:
The major colonies and some alien races are governed by what is known as the Confederation Republic (usually referred to as the "Confed") . They patrol borders, protect their people, and keep watch on hostile alien races. Brute Force are a team of elite operatives who work for the Confed. A new, hostile alien force is beginning to attack the fringes of the Republic. The squad is thus sent out to the frontlines to confront this enemy.

*Tex (Beserker) Heavy Weapons
*Brutus (Spirit of Vengar) Warrior
*Hawk (Stealth) Scout
*Flint (Advanced Targeting) Sniper

Moment of Awesome:
Hawk ordering Tex and Brutus to 'Do things quietly'. Tex, holding Two large Gattling guns replying "Right... Quietly". Hilarity Ensues.

Why I think they are Badass:
All of them have special abilities, ranging from Badass (Brutus's Spirit of Vengar ability) to useful (Hawk's Stealth ability) to handy (Flint's Double Zoom) and then crazy (Tex's Beserker 'Hold two Heavy guns and destroy everything' ability) Together they are a force to be reckoned with.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
They all die... a lot. Luckily, they can be cloned, as long as you have enough money. This alone keeps them going, they don't work great as a team unless you specifically order them to, Brutus is the only one who can survive alone, as his health regenerates.

As the tag line goes 'Dangerous Alone, Deadly Together'. That is true, I just wish the AI was more independent, but you can't have everything. A fun unique team. The ability to switch characters on the fly is great as they all have useful abilities, they would be much better if they could combine their strengths more strategically though.

Team Rating: 80%   read

3:48 AM on 09.04.2009

Your Squad Is Your Weapon: The Gears of War

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Delta Squad from Gears of War

About Delta Squad:
Delta Squad is a team of four Gears,the group obtains the "resonator", a device that will map the underground caverns which the Locust inhabit and later deploy the Lightmass Bomb. The Team receives their Orders from Anya Stroud, the dispatch girl for Delta Squad.

*Marcus Fenix
*Dominic Santiago
*Augustus Cole (a.k.a 'The Cole Train')
*Damon Baird

Moment of Awesome:
Hijacking some enemy reavers and riding them all the way back to Jacinto. Then Sinking their last defense just to kill some locust.

Why I think they are Badass:
First of all, They all have Chainsaw Bayonets... In fact, I rest my case.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
They aren't too great to be honest, if you get downed, you can kiss your ass goodbye, they often get killed in situations where it is impossible to get to them and they bleed out really quickly, still, I'd rather have them at my side than nothing at all, I guess they are good distractions at least. Luckily they still remember how to use the chainsaw bayonet.

These guys are Bros, when Marcus greeted Cole by bumping their Lancers, I raised my fist in triumph. They work well together in crazy fights, the Freakin' chainsaw the enemy, that gets +5 in anyone's book (Except maybe Pacifists) and they're not afraid to go deep deep down into enemy territory. You won't find a more gruff and manly squad anywhere but here. These guys get the job done.

Team Rating: 87%   read

6:06 AM on 09.03.2009

Your Squad is your Weapon: The Republic Commandos

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Delta Squad from Star Wars: Republic Commando

About Delta Squad:
Delta Squad was an elite clone commando squad that carried out demanding missions for the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Part of Zero Five Commando, the unit played instrumental roles in the Battle of Geonosis as well as in the lead up to the Battle of Kashyyyk. Consisting of four commandos, Delta Squad received their orders from CC-01/425, a clone advisor.

* RC-1138 (Boss) C.Q.B.
* RC-1140 (Fixer) Slicer
* RC-1207 (Sev) Sniper
* RC-1262 (Scorch) Demolitions Expert

Moment of Awesome:
Fighting their way through the hangars of droids in a derelict ship, blowing every one of them up before making their way to the bridge and shooting the Separatist Droid control ship.

Why I think they are Badass:
Every member has a distinct personality and all of them are capable of saving your butt. Even if you get shot down, they will keep on fighting and revive you. Even against incredible odds, the team succeeds in halting Droid armies and Trandoshan Slavers. And not a Jedi in sight to steal their thunder. Efficient, Deadly and Awesome, this is Delta Squad.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
They die as much as the player does, in fact, its really even, for every time I have to revive them, they revive me and keep me going, they listen to orders well and generally do nothing stupid... apart from get shot. One time, I got shot down by 4 Super Battle Droids and only Fixer was left, I ordered him to revive me, He did just that, of course he got downed right after, but I managed to get everyone up and running again, thanks to just one of my squad-mates.

Let's be honest here, Delta Squad makes the game, its about an elite squad of commando's in dangerous scenarios, there isn't much more story than that, the gameplay is good, the AI is pretty competent and the weapons are good to use. I have replayed Republic Commando, Eight times and I'm not bored or annoyed of the squad at all, they are brilliant.

Team Rating: 92%   read

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