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4:04 PM on 01.18.2008

Shortbits 3; or why we should learn to love the atomic sheep

[I would encode... if it wasn't in HD! Muhahahahahahaha]

If you have never heard of Shortbits, then you are missing out. Shortbits is basically Robot Chicken in Gmod but with about half really-old jokes. Thankfully the execution only breaths new life into the jokes of our past. Enjoy!   read

1:02 PM on 01.16.2008

RaidenX - best flash Shmup evar? -and- 100 bucks for Ikaruga new!?!

After listening to Retroforce Go I remembered a flash shmup on the Newground's top 50 list a few years ago. It was RaidenX, a Flash remake of the Raiden IIS series... I believe that is all I have to say.
Check it out.


100 bucks for Ikaruga? Seriously?

I know it is $50 used and I will probably get one of those but really? That's more expensive than Rez, which is arguably wanted more than Ikaruga!   read

6:31 PM on 11.28.2007

Mass Effect Review: You already know the score

Mass Effect, as you may or may not know, is a game from the creators of KOTOR, Bioware. They have always been one of the top RPG makers of this and last gen; probably because of their determination to make a living world for the players to explore freely. Mass Effect is no different, but so much better.

Eyecandy: Might as well start with what gave this game massive hype in the first place. For one thing, the graphics are a hit and a miss. The aliens look drop dead delicious, but only because they are made up. The advantage of making aliens look good is that they can be shaded anyway they want and move anyway they want, while humans are humans and seen everyday by everyone. In cutscenes when you have a conversation with Wrex, you take in his CGI-quality armor and amazingly detailed face. Then it switches back to you, the ugly clumsy human whose pores absorb light or release light from whoknowswhere.

A downside to not having pre-rendered cutscenes is that when you zoom way close up to any curved object, the polygons jump out to say hi. Luckily, these cutscenes make up for it by having seamless transitions when you choose your line to say so you still feel like you are playing the game and not supposed to sit back and enjoy; more on that topic in Gameplay.

Story: The story here is that the humans are greedy and some robots are ransacking the Milky Way. Of course, you have to save it. How you do that is up to you, though. Infact, you could just put the controller down and not even attempt to save the galaxy. Possibly go play Super Mario Galaxy instead, but that would be silly and not worth the sixty bucks you spent on the game. You wont want to put the controller down, though, if you are easily persuaded by people who aren't real. It's hard to explain the story and why it is so good without spoiling it, so maybe watch Star Wars to get the gist of it. You on a ship go save galaxy.

Pew Pew section: Combat is satisfying, but this is the first game I have ever played where I wished that the action would end so I can go talk. The combat feels somewhat familiar to KOTOR; you pause the game to choose your attack and your teammate's. The difference this time is that you can't switch between characters so you choose the power they use from a wheel. You can have it set so you team use their powers automatically - and this is recommended - but you will still have to choose what they do to satisfy your needs. Gunplay works like a dumbed-down Gears of War, but on easier difficulty levels you can just ignore the cover system and charge with your shotgun. This is also recommended because Mass Effect is all about conversing with the locals, not shootin things.

The conversation system is simple: before the NPC finishes speaking a wheel comes up with multiple responses. But instead of having an exact quote, it shows the basic gist of what you are going to say. For example, after you have hot sweaty alien lesbo sex, one of the dialog things you can choose from is "Let's go again!"; what you actually say is "Ready for Round two?" For the most part this works out, but sometimes you choose something that sounds harmless then your character sounds like a complete dick wad saying it. This is annoying when you feel like you should be polite towards the NPC... like the council that runs the whole galaxy. That's a great idea; piss off the people who can have you thrown into dark space at their whim.

Overall: Mass Effect combines a bunch of elements in gaming and pulls it off well. A huge improvement would be to let us still play after the credits roll. With being such a short game (took me 14 hours first time through), letting me complete my exploration and side missions would be so satisfying. Also, I want to see my blue baby, damn it!

4 out of 5

NSFW   read

9:16 PM on 09.15.2007

Games That Are Art (Hint: all of them)

I am tired of hearing questions like "Could you give three examples of games that are art?" For, you see, all games are art. Every last one of them. Space Invaders is art, the creators were just limited by the hardware. People saying things like "Ico is art, so games are therefore art" are making the argument slide the wrong way. That is like saying "Mona Lisa is art, so therefore visual arts is art." There are three kinds of art: visual, performing, and interactive (I am not sure if literature is technically art...). Also, everything in a game is art: Programmers create logical art (realism); the animators make art (movies); and of course for 3D games the modelers make art (sculpture).

But are all games art, like "don't click this button"? If this is art:
Then those games count as art. Not all art has to be good, remember?

(Alright, so maybe splatter painting isn't that bad, but I just think that they require minimum color theory skill, like crappy Flash games require minimum programming skill)   read

6:35 PM on 09.14.2007

What games should've been (now with proper spelling!)

Let's get on with it, shall we?

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: An acton game with a lot of social interaction. I was surprised how much more immersing this title was compared to the earlier MP's. The social aspect kept me playing till the end, but the moments of silence really bored me. I wished that more people would chat it up with me as I blasted space pirates. Also, some puzzles were just plain unnecessary. Swap a few of those puzzles with intense waves upon waves of enemies and I would be one happy camper.

Ninja Gaiden: A fast paced stealth game. Besides being one of the hardest games ever, Ninja Gaiden sometimes focused on the ninja skills like running on water and moving nimbly, but with all the hacking and slashing those skills are useless and unnecessary. In a pure stealth game, though, those skills could be put to good use.

Freedom Fighters: GRAW clone before GRAW. Freedom Fighters was fun and all, but required only the skill to gather ammo and go around corners. The manual aiming sucked, and the automatic lock-on was okay. But now think about it (if you played it) with a GRAW setup. That would just be sooo much, like, better.

Phantasy Star Universe Online: Free (subscription wise). Sure, if you ever played the demo for it you know that it is really repetitive, but if it took after Guild Wars I would be all over it. And so would the other thousands playing the demo.   read

5:00 PM on 08.26.2007

What games should of been

Ever play a game and say to yourself "Aw gee, I wish this game was..."? I know I sure have. A lot of games lately seem to be lacking something. Some of them are games we all have played and loved, and some ones that we wish were great. So due to my boredom, here are what a handful of games should have been.

Zelda Series: An action-rpg. Forget what the series did for the the gaming industry, and forget how much you enjoyed the countless Zelda games. Now think of Hyrule as a top down Morrowind. Cool, eh? Maybe not for you, but definitely for me.

Bioshock: A book. Seriously. Okay game (I think of it as Dark Messiah of Might and Magic with guns), but I stayed and beat it for the story. Just replace some action with some inner monologue and add more characters. Think about it, the ending might actually be good.

Gears of War: Halo. This totally unoriginal, linear, boring, repetitive game would be much more fun with large open areas and a lot more enemies on screen for you to chainsaw. Multiplayer could stay the same, though.

World of Warcraft: An action-rpg. @%$& invisible dice, and #@*$ spiders who apparently don't always have legs to spare you. I see those legs, damn it, and I am going to cut them off if I please! Imagine raids with people flying through the air, slahing wild, and going all WWE on critters as if they were having a seizure. I want.

Battlefield series: Planetside, minus being an MMO. Just give Battlefield one server for every 400 players, a few continents per map, and rounds that never ever end. Mmmmm.

Vampire Rain: Good. So many problems with it, including some gameplay mechanics, but it is a stealth game with vampires so it should of been good.

Madden NFL 2008: Fast paced stealth action rpg. No explanation needed.   read

8:33 AM on 08.21.2007

Goodbye, cruel world

I always knew this day would come. I was never sure when, though. Hell, it might even be temporary. But alas, I am done with Azeroth. My subscription ran out the 18th, yet I didn't notice 'till the 20th. On that fateful day, I came to the conclusion: "F*%& Azeroth, I am going to play Day of Defeat."

So far, going back to my FPS roots have be eye opening to what I missed so much. Last week I played WoW and logged off 10 minutes later. As I was building up my Leatherworking skills, I realized: now that most of Azeroth is open to me, this is kinda repetitive and not fun. I don't like many things in WoW anymore. Repetitive instances, those damn quests, and striving for a better avatar bore me to death. But I do like working as a team to kill those damn Nazi a-holes.

But will I ever get back into WoW, or MMORPGs for that matter? Maybe. But for now, here's for the memories.


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