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Matt Galvin's blog

2:59 PM on 06.17.2010



Ever wanted to go to E3? The biggest gaming expo in the world! Instead of showing a bunch of footage of games you can find on IGN I decided to try to do something different. Instead I wanted to give you (the viewer) the feeling of going to this convention and having fun. Also tons of footage of new games like Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Twisted Metal, Sony Move, Microsoft Kinetic, Nintendo 3DS, Zelda, Donkey Kong and MORE!   read

3:21 AM on 05.11.2010

NMGB: Gaming News for 5/10/10

No More Game Blogs is back for another weekly update on the shit that went down in gaming this week. We talk about the new Assassin Creed multiplayer game, Little Big Planet 2, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Call Of Duty Black Ops coop and more! THIS IS A HECK OF AN EPISODE DON'T MISS OUT!
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3:08 AM on 05.11.2010

NMGB: Gaming News for 5/01/10

Another action packed video filled with gaming info goodness. Feel free to write and let me know what else you would like to see. If anyone has letters I'll also read them :)

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4:51 PM on 05.04.2010

NMGB: Videogame News for the Week 4/26/2010

Again a little late but some awesome video game news!

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4:47 PM on 05.04.2010

NMGB: News for the Week 4/19/2010

This ones late but has some good news!
[embed]172841:29589[/embed]   read

6:22 PM on 04.15.2010

NMGB: News of (last) The Week 4/09/2010

Alright, so this was supposed to come out last week but YouTube was down. So a week late but here it is...I'm going to start doing these every week. They will be posted every Saturday, have better audio, will have more enthusiasm and be shorter. I did a pilot for this a few months back and it was mediocre..this is still mediocre. But! It's getting where I want it. So here it is, consider this officially episode one of No More Game Blogs News of The Week for 4/09/2010.


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6:15 PM on 04.15.2010

How to Understand Game Reviews and Game Reviewers

So my friend IMed me the other day. It went something like this:

Friend: You gave God of War 3 a 5/5?

Me: Yeap. It's good.

Friend: But it's not a 5/5 game more like a 4/5.

Me: I agree with that. It's not perfect, but for what it set out to do, it succeeded. GOW3 is an action/adventure/hack and slash/sequel to God of War. It did deliver as an action game and sequel to that francise, it did everything it promised. I think it totally did.

Friend: But you gave Heavy Rain a 3/5. So you're saying God of War 3 is a better game then Heavy Rain?

Me: Well, yes and no. Heavy Rain, for what it set out to do, failed more than what God of War 3 set out to do. Heavy Rain wanted to be the future of gaming: an interactive drama. It was very pretentious and tried a little too hard to be a modern adult video game movie. Only it copied tons of other better movies, and games are initially different then movies for a reason. Heavy Rain tried to be snobby and forget that, it wasn't much of a game from a gameplay stand point. The characters and story were extremely cliché, not just for videogames, but they were copied and pasted from movies. Meanwhile God of War 3 knew what it was, the sequel to God of War. One of the most visceral, over-the-top action games, which is all GoW3 had to do. It made even more epic moments, setpieces (aka events), improved the combat a little, and it had mind blowing graphics. For its own set goals God of War 3 delivered what it said to do. While Heavy Rain failed to be a deep interactive story driven drama. While maybe taking more chances and aiming higher than God of War 3; it ultimately failed at what it set out to do.

Friend: Ok, but technically you still gave Heavy Rain a 3 and GoW3 a 5.

Me: Sigh.

So, I'm going to try to write some pointers to help people understand game reviews. When reading or writing reviews try to keep these bullet points (you know I mean business when I do bullet points) in mind.

1. Reviews should be written without bias, or at least try to, as much as you can. If you love the God of War games, you should try to separate your fanboyness and be objective. Is this a good game? Is it well made? Polished? Fun? Etc. I think the bigger sites sometimes review games like fanboys. OMG MODERN WARFARE 2!!!! Instant 10/10.

To me nothing with a six hour single player can be 10/10. Sure maybe the multiplayer is the main attraction, but Modern Warfare 2 includes single so you have to rate the whole package. I would say even if the Multiplayer is a 10, the game would equal a 9.5. So clearly its harder for people to put their personal bias aside if they love a franchise. Also here's the crazy catch 22, you really can't. No matter how hard you try, people are human and you can never fully 100% give up your bias. You can be objective but in the end of the day, your going to have your own opinions built in.

I mean, If I love first person shooters and I'm not a fan of Real Time Strategy games. Then no matter what, most of the time, I'll probably rate a first person game higher than an RTS game. Just because I like them more and I probably had more fun with it. So, by understanding that no matter what review you read, you're reading something with someone's bias, you might not get so mad at them when they don't agree with your bias. In other words, their view of games, the franchise, the system and their experience with it. Obviously, if someone loves Fantasy games they're probably going to love something like The Witcher a lot more then someone that someone who loves Steam Punk would most likely love Bioshock. A Star Wars fan is going to give The Force Unleashed a lot higher score then it probably ever deserves. Because they bring their own experience with it; fighting with Darth Vader (no matter how poorly conceived) is a lot better to them than it is to someone who has no interest in the Star Wars universe.

2. People only read reviews for a couple of reasons. The first type (which is probably the least common),is people who haven't played or are only remotely interested in a game. They read reviews to help them decide. The next type of person is the person who reads review to decide between two games, with only enough money to buy one.

I think most common, however, is the people who already know if they're going to buy a big francise game. Halo, God of War, Modern Warfare, GTA ... The fans of these games pretty much are already going to buy this game good or bad. They're not going to wait for a review of it, because they are huge fans and can't wait. These people only want to read reviews because they either want to boo or cheer anyone that agrees or disagrees with them. In other words, to see if their favourite gaming site agrees or disagrees with their thoughts.

Or the other reason people who already own the game read the games reviews is to validate their sixty dollar purchase. They want you to love Final Fantasy 13, well because it's sixty bucks and they want it validated. Fanboys also just want more of said game so they get mad at any negatives, bad light or scores given to their favorite game series. They want everyone to love it so they get more of it. These people are also sometimes so in love with a series or game that they can not even see the real flaws in a game. They can't get rid of their bias. Is FF13 a bad game? No, not at all. It's pretty fun, and I'm enjoying it. Can you love it or have a good time with it? Absolutely, the game has a lot going for it. Is FF13 perfect? Hell to the F no. The game is seriously flawed, with terrible pacing, terrible story telling (not a terrible story - just the way they tell the story is pretty awful) and annoying characters. It's so over-told and confusing they have to make you read data logs and recap it every time you reload your game.

These Final Fantasy fans will argue they love the story, think the way it's told is great. Or they love the extremely slow start of the game. The thing is, they probably do love it and have a great time with it. But the thing they seem to not realize is the majority of people won't. And as mean as it sounds, they're wrong. You can call something blue even though it's green but it doesn't make you right. You can do it, it's your opinion and so what if the majority of people disagree? You can have your opinion ... it's just that it's wrong from a factual standpoint. So if you can separate your biased love for Final Fantasy you can be like, ok I love this game. I think its fun, but I see where all these other people are having problems.

3. The biggest problem I see is people try to compare all games. You can't really compare different types of games. My friend comparing God of War 3 to Heavy Rain is like me comparing 300 to the movie Seven. They're so different ... and I mean you could technically compare anything to anything else. This toast is better then God of War 3, well maybe it is to you ... but why the hell are you comparing toast to GoW3?

Even better imagine me comparing the movie The Hangover with Schindler's List. Now, while one can easily say “Schindler's List is a better film”, they're just not even in the same category. One is a comedy while the other is a serious drama. This applies to games, you can't say that because Spyro the Dragon got a higher score then Twisted Metal, Spyro is a better game. It's not, one is a action car game, the other is about a magical dragon. They both, at the time, did what they set out to do in their own category. It really depends on your cup of tea.

So if Modern Warfare gets a 10 and Infamous gets a 8 or 7 at most site this does not mean one is better. One is a first person military shooter with amazing multiplayer people love, one is a open world super hero sand box game. Personally I liked Infamous better than Modern Warfare ... but I wouldn't say Infamous is better then Modern Warfare. They're two different games.

4. The main thing to realize about game reviews is again they are written by people, not robots. Individual taste and choice will always play a part. You, however just need to try to put your bias aside and judge the game for what it is. Also in the end who cares, if you have fun playing Heavenly Sword and everyone else on earth tells you it's awful, so what? You'rein the minority , but you still had fun and really in the end that's all that matter. I love Hotel Dusk, but if somebody gives the game a 7, I'm not going to flame them. It will always be a ten in my book no matter what, but i understand that people's opinions differ.   read

4:59 AM on 03.05.2010

Heavy Rain Review: Jim Sterling was kinda right..kinda wrong.

(Extremely light spoilers, nothing "Heavy"...get what I did there:)

Heavy Rain is basically Seven the videogame. A crazy serial killer, every character is flawed, a horrible city filled with despair, that's always raining, and the big crazy twist at the end. It plays short of like an old school adventure game with a modern twist. The graphics in the game are phenomenal and besides the first two hours the game is never boring. As you start the game its pretty intense, thrilling even as you barely escape dangerous citation almost get killed or shot. It's only once you fail do you realize you can't die and really don't have a lot of input. In fact you really can only die in about 5 different places in the game. The rest of the time the game gives you the illusion you can fail but really you can't. Sure, some times you can veer off the path, but no matter what you end up going the same direction everyone else that plays the game goes. Only the endings and a couple of little details change. Once you realize this the whole “a game with millions of decisions” becomes a game where only a couple of decisions matter.

David Cage, the creator of the game has said he created Heavy Rain because he wanted to strike emotion and he wanted gamers to cry... he pretty much failed. But on one side, I really loved Heavy Rain. I mean a modern day film noir “mature” videogame.. err, I mean interactive drama for adults! What's not to like? The reason I love Heavy Rain is because it's different. Though some reviewers argue that a game trying to be different isn't always good and shouldn't be reward for “trying to be different”. In fact recently Jim Sterling wrote a review for the game Jim Sterling criticized Heavy rain for its lack of gameplay, lack of actual decisions and lack of a decent story. He also cited a recent article he wrote which claims that a games that try to be different or artsy should not be rewarded if its a bad game. He said in his Indi Game article that just trying hard to be indie, artsy or different should not be rewarded if they play like crap. I agree that these indi games should not play like crap but I disagreed with his statements about games that stray from the normal, more on that later. The reason I bring up Jim's review is because of what happened. The crazy part is days after he awarded the game a 7/10 (not a bad score just not a perfect score, mind you) he received death threats. “I hope you die and your family burns in hell Jim Sterling”. Fallowed by tons of troll comments about him being over weight. Wow, thats a strong thing to say to anyone over a game review. I would maybe understand a troll doing it if say it was an extremely bias unfair review like a 2/10 but I mean 7/10 is pretty fair. Not perfect but it surly doesn't mean the game sucks 7 is pretty good. The thing people need to understand is reviews are just peoples opinions. Hopefully the writer tries to put his or her biases aside and review the game based on its merits. It seems that Jim didn't enjoy the game but still gave it a pretty high score for what it was. This of course was not enough for the ps3 fanboys and warranted death threats.

It's funny, I'm a huge fan of Heavy rain and have been looking forward to the game for years. Heavy Rain has been hyped for years. Since the PS3 first announced and started debuting trailers and showing what the system was capable of. The most startling and bizarre trailer was women with realistic facial animation who talks to the camera then points a gun at you and then herself. That and it was all in game animation. I was hooked, and was extremely excited to hear that Heavy Rain was the follow up game to Quantic Dream first game Indigo Prophecy. Not a direct sequel or anything, mind you, but basically the spiritual successor. Same style of gameplay and storytelling. So as I really enjoyed Indigo Prophecy (even though the last half is a little Matrixy for my taste) I was looking forward to the their next game. After playing it though I can tell you the game is good, but not great and 7/10 is a pretty accurate game score. Again trying to put your biases aside, even if you loved Heavy Rain. You have to admit, if your reviewing it basing it on its own merits the game really is a 7/10 game. Let me explain.

First off Heavy Rain is barely a game. This was to be expected after playing indigo Prophecy but Heavy Rain feels like you have even less control over decisions. If you never played Indio Prophecy, the closest thing I can say is the game that Heavy Rain is most similar to is Dragons Lair. You do have some section where you walk around and get clues like an adventure game but for the most part it's Q.T.E “Quick Time Events” you'd experience in games like God of War. You watch a cutscenes and at key moments must hit buttons displayed on the screen. If you successfully hit the button your character is rewarded and the film continues, if you miss your character is punished....only thats the problem you really aren't punished in Heavy rain. Originally Heavy Rain was billed as a game with millions of decisions, in fact the game was so unique there is no retry or continue screen, if your character dies you are supposed to just continue playing as a different character and let it change the course of the game. Only this is a lie, very few parts of the game can your character actually die, in fact two of the five playable characters cant die no matter what you do. The game gives the illusion that you will be punished for what you do..let me give you some examples from the game (don't worry these spoil nothing) at one point your main character is forced by the killer to make his way through an electric maze. You may opt not to go through this maze and go through a door labeled coward or be brave and make your way through the maze. I being the brave soul that I am, opted to go straight through the maze of death.. only to get lost and loose. Once I lost the game automatically forces my character to go out the coward door....only thats it. The game continues to the next exact chapter I would have made it to if I had made it through the maze. Another example is a character has to wipe finger prints off a crime scene or he will be framed for a crime he didn't commit. I missed a couple of prints and was taken to the station only to be released seconds later and boom off to the next chapter. The point is for a game that is supposed to be about decision you really don't make any until the last couple chapters. Once the games lead girl Madison goes to the creepy apt owners house your characters can die in a couple spots...but beyond that they can't.

Heavy Rain is also supposed to be the future of games, an interactive drama. The problem is for a game that is all about letting you walk around a house, take a piss, open a closet, stare out a window you really are taken out because of the games limited play. Displaying game controller icons over everything you do, shaking your controller to brush your teeth or moving the joystick in a half circle to wipe a baby's butt; I can't help but feel this is taking you out not pulling you in. Your not doing any of these actions simply hitting button icons on a screen like dance dance revolution. David Cage wants us to identify with these characters. He even wants us to get close to the characters and see their day to day lives and activites like their work, eating, taking a shower and even pissing. So he gives us control over a lot of actions small or big. The problem is that reproducing an everyday movement with a joystick is nothing like doing it for real. So, in the end, we're being asked to substitute pressing a button to open a door like we do in normal games, pressing up on a joystick...both are still fake inputs to playing a video-game..only in a normal game you don't have a icon flashing on your screen. In a normal game you press the joystick up to walk, here you hold r2 and steer your character like a tank, again this feel less intuitive then most games.

Sadly the worst part of Heavy Rain is not the limited control you have over your characters or decisions its the sloppy storytelling. Without going to far into the story, I can tell you its just the entire game takes story lines, characters and everything else from other movies that did it better. The biggest similarity is obviously the movie Seven, throw in some of the Saw series, a touch of fight club, Memento, Al Pacino from Heat, the strange waiter from the Shining. The movie references go on and on only they're not homages meant to a nod to cinema, their directly copy and pasted and it feels like plagiarism rather then inspired. There worst part is once you finish the game, as you backtrack the story in your head, you realize tons of it makes zero sense. Their are so many plot holes in Heavy Rain and things that are ignored or go unexplained in the end that it almost is enough to get extremely mad. I could forgive this if I cared about the characters, Mass Effect 2 overall story wasn't good but its characters were so well developed that it didn't hurt the game that much. But the here the characters are also extremely one-dimensional. Characters fall in love not because its natural or bible but forced. Kids die and are in danger but again they're so stereotypical that you really don't find them believable. Nothing feels organic, and characters often say one thing, do another, then go against everything they set up as a character motivation earlier. The acting is also extremely spotty in places as the game was made in France and it shows because a lot of the voice actors have strange accents. You can tell with a lot of these actors that english is not their native language.

For everything Heavy Rain does wrong it still does a lot of things right. I applaud Sony for making what should be an independent game a triple AAA game with a huge budget. They took a risk and a lot of things really worked out. The game is never boring, often exciting, just poorly developed gameplay, characters and story bring it all down from being the classic it could have been.   read

5:19 AM on 02.28.2010

I Want Mass Effect 3 NOW and gay sex?

(Warning this article has spoilers about the end of Mass Effect 2)

I just beat Mass Effect 2 and all I can say is WOW! Bioware really outdid themselves this time. Bravo! I started Mass Effect 2 kind of disappointed; thinking they had streamlined too much and it was missing some of the charm and story of Mass Effect 1. But by the end, I released that Mass Effect 2 is a better game then 1 by a mile. It just takes a while to get going but once you start collecting all your team mates and doing all the loyalty missions; the game really starts being fun and throwing cool decisions at you. The ending was also very powerful, you need to get to know your team and do their loyal missions to get through the last suicide misson. You need them to be the strongest they can be to make it through with them alive. Also without talking to them your ship wont be strong enough to tackle the last mission. Basically its like real life, you start with these strangers, who don't get along and by the end your a family. You know each other, you like each other, your die for each other. It really pulls the whole team dynamic off. More so than I think I've ever played a game. If you don't know your team, you wont know who to send out to do what and people will die. Real consequences in a game, you don't see that much. Usually its just the game over screen; "Oh, No! I have to restart!", nope this time. You fucked up..your friend, lover, or strongest team mate could be dead if you don't know them well enough.

I traveled everywhere in Mass Effect 2, mined every planet, did every side quest. I upgraded every weapon, ship part, team mate. basically I 101 percented that game, made it my bitch...I rarely do that for games and it's a testament to how good Mass Effect 2 is. Now that I've gushed all over Mass Effect 2, I want to talk about what I want fixed and or included in Mass Effect 3.

1.Keep the same team.

At first, I was kinda pissed off that only a couple of team mates from Mass 1 came back to do more then a cameo in 2. But then I met the new cast of characters and ended up liking them even more. The crazy scientist, the bad ass assassin, the super hot loyalist. Yep by the end of the game I really didn't want anyone to die...unlike the first game where I couldn't care less what happened to Ashley or Kadian. So let's stick with these guys this time...Luke didn't get a new team every Star Wars..Hans in all 3. The other thing is we spent so much time recruiting and getting these guys loyal in Mass 2 (in fact thats pretty much the whole game, see .3) that I really don't want to do that all over agin in 3. At the very least keep Crazy scientist guy...Mordin I liked him.

2. More R.P.G

I have no problem with the improved combat. I really like the fact that you upgrade a weapon, or get a new one everyone gets it. Or you upgrade a biotect strength or defense everyone gets it. I don't miss the cluttered inventory of Mass 1 either...but still Mass Effect is such a deep game with its story and dialogue choices, that it seems strange the game is just a straight forward shooter (ok its a little deepr with the pause and use a power, but still). I would like maybe more tactical command of my team mates, maybe something like flanking (See Brother Of Arms.). Maybe a simply inventory or more polished streamlined Dibalo-like gear. I don't want to go to my captain room every time I get a helmit on the battle feild I want to put it on right then and there. I most defiantly want an economy built in the game aka I want to be able to sell guns and the abundance of element zero I mined and have little else for. Trade that shit in for money!! BUY MORE GUNS!

3. Back to the main story line..or a real sense of danger.

The collector thing was kind a big event, and provided some sense of emergency. Ok, we have to hurry recruit this team and save the galaxy..but I find it strange then that I'm saving peoples cats, getting them fake id, helping krogans with their love life...when I'm supposed to be saving the Galaxy. It's fine that this games story took a backseat to the individual stories of your teams. In fact, 95% of this game story is talking to your team, doing their loyalty missions and learning about them...the other 5% is saving the world from the Collectors. I think thats fine...but only this time around. Heck, most games rush over character development. So it's refreshing to play a game that focus primarly on fleshing out it's characters. Only character that was ignored in this game was it's main storyline. So in Mass 3 I want the main story to play a more dominant part, I still love character development and background but lets tone it down a bit in 3.

4. Better Level Design

Mass 1 had some huge locations like the Citadel and the Noveria (which didn't need to be that big). Mass 2 had these small little bite sized more detailed locations...I'm fine with that. But what I wasn't fine with was the bland combat levels, they seemed to be copy and paste areas with not much detail. A wall safe, some cover, move forward. I would have liked more scripted events and small little details to make these levels feel as alive as the non-combat areas.

5. Gay Sex (bet you didn't see this one coming)

The thing I love about Mass Effect is you craft your own experience. If you want to play as a chick and go after can do so. If you want to be a guy and sleep with alien chicks you can do so. If you want to be a lesbian or a gay can't. It's strange to me that in a game that is so opened minded about letting you make the decisions, good or bad; about what you want to do (literally), doesn't allow you to be gay. The first Mass Effect you could have lesbian 2 you can have a lesbian quickly but you can't have any real relationships with girls. Why is it ok to have sex with a whole another species of fish men but not another woman? So even though I'm a straight guy and if they had allowed gay sex in Mass 2 I still would have tried to bang Miranda (the bitch is hot) I want the option there for my non-straight gaming friends.

6. More controversial than 5.....MULTIPLAYER!!

Here's the thing, Mass effect is your story, your decisions. The inclusion of Multiplayer just seems like it would ruin the game. Heres how I would do it....1. CO-OP: where another player and you both have to agree on the major decisions or compromise. Think of the fun it would be for you and a friend to fight over who to save. Or which side to join...or best fight... the love interest. The other way you could handle multiplayer is 2. Demon soul style: where you go through single player, but can watch fragments of how others have done it, and others can join in and help you beat some of the harder quests. Wiki Demon soul to understand this concept :)

7. Tougher choices

I want Mass Effect 3 to have the toughest choices you ever made. Blow up a planet, get forced to shoot a team mate in the head or kill your lover. Decide to fight with a side, Cerberus, the Alliance, the Geth and then go kill the other side..I want real drama and real tough choices.

And finaly My biggest "want" for Mass 3.

8. Release all 3 games on the PS3.

I have every system and I love my Xbox360. But there are some PS3 fanboys that will never trade sides and get to experience the amaziness that is Mass Effect. I say "fuck it" then and put the game on their system so they can..this game is so good I think all the different fan boys should put down their pitchforks and realize everyone should be playing this's that damn good. Hell, if they could figure out a way to get it on the Wii I say go for it.   read

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