hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


MaxVest's blog

3:27 PM on 12.27.2008

My New Job As A Chicken Sexer -- Not What I Thought It Would Be

That is the last time I fail to read the job description before applying.   read

5:28 PM on 12.11.2008

Impressions: Playstation Home

Some quick first thoughts on PlayStation Home, almost completely in boring text:

- I was prepared to hate it, but it's not bad. Not great, but it has some potential.

- Load times aren't as bad as I was led to believe.

- The character creator suffers from Sims-itis, which causes any character you create to vaguely resemble Peter Weller.

- TTHI (Time To Homophobic Insult): 20 seconds. By some kid with a user name based on Red Bull. I'm so glad BrAwNdo0869 didn't weigh in on my sexuality.

- They're going to have to figure out how to allow voice communication with friends only. Right now you can "call" your friends, but I essentially want everyone muted who I don't know. Sounds like a community of people moaning through damp paper towel tubes.

- Why are games unplayable when occupied by someone else in the arcade and bowling alley? That's just stupid. Online should be better than real life when it comes to waiting in line.

- On that note, just as in real life, don't talk to me when I'm playing a rousing game of Breakout on a virtual arcade machine. You shouldn't see text bubbles pop up when you are doing something in fullscreen mode, like playing a game or watching a movie.

Verdict: B
A promising start, with no clear reason to spend much time on it now beyond the novelty aspect, but with intriguing possibilities.

And remember: It wouldn't be the internet if we didn't start chiming in with ways to improve software that's 90 minutes old.   read

8:35 PM on 09.18.2008

Feel the Hatred: Game Blogs (Stealin Ma Game Time)

I've never been what you'd call a heavy gamer. Sure, there was that time I neglected to ask beforehand what exactly my official duties would be as The Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion Boy of the Year (BOTY) 1994. But even as a fatass I didn't game a lot. Just an hour here or there, with an occasional marathon thrown in for obsessive measure.

And then I started reading game blogs. Joystiq, Kotaku, GoNintendo, stuff like that. Without making excuses for my behavior, I was young, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But a funny thing happened on the way to the internets: the more time I spent reading about games, the less time I spent playing games. Then came Destructoid, and the problems really started.

Actual size.

At first I thought it was just a coincidence, but my condition persisted -- nay, worsened. Fearing for my health, I consulted a physician. He determined that I had bloggus interruptus -- literally, video game blogs were taking away time that I previously would have budgeted for games. Then I found out he wasn't a doctor at all, in direct contradiction of the handwritten cardboard sign he was holding when I encountered him by chance under a nearby overpass*.

But the diagnosis was uncannily accurate. Could it be that my addiction to gaming blogs (such as this one) was cutting into my precious game time? So I decided to conduct an experiment. I decided to wait until an expansive, free update for one of my favorite games of this generation, Burnout Paradise, landed. Adding motorcycles and night/day cycles to a happy mindless sandbox centered around seeing how high you could launch off a ramp the compacted metal cube that had recently been a car? Can't. Miss.

Launch it good.

The evening of the experiment approached, and I awaited the results with sweaty palms. Would I join in an online frenzy of adrenaline-fueled destruction that I had been advocating? Or would I spend yet another freakishly short hour reading about games, and the gamers who game them?

Dear gentlegamers, you have been agents of SCIENCE this evening. This blog confirms my sad condition. Robot Father, forgive me, for I have blogged and read blogs, and I have not gamed as I should.

He also does Bar Mitzvahs.

And yet, dear reader, ask: what of yourself? Have you been reading this game blog when you should have been gaming? I am too complicit in this crime to sit in judgment. But perhaps you should be tested for bloggus interruptus. Dusty console? More than one video game blog open in your tabs? A video game blog bookmarked where there was no bookmark before? A double-digit leaderboard rank? These are but a few warning signs.

It could happen to you.

Not the military conscription, just the accusatory pointing.

*I have lodged a complaint with the American Medical Association concerning "Dr." Fielgud, and I urge you to be aware that should you run into him, he is most assuredly not the one who makes you feel all right.   read

12:54 PM on 07.16.2008

E3 takes advice from Nintendo, caters to casual journalists

If you're like me -- and there's no real reason not to be* -- you have an uncontrollable addiction to Google News. And like flowers blooming after a fresh spring rain, or mushrooms popping up from a fresh bovine deposit of fertilizer, conferences like E3 have a way of infiltrating the typically non-game news media.

Case in point: Sony's new price cut for the PS3!!! At least according to the casual journalists. Since Sony announced that the new PS3 would have the exact same functionality as the 40GB version, but with a larger hard drive, I would label this a hard drive upgrade rather than a price cut.

ZipZoomFly tells me the price difference between a 40GB 2.5" drive and a 80GB 2.5" drive is $11, so I'm not exactly in the throes of gratitude yet. Then again, the new system will include the DS3, which adds $5 of value, and WILL NOT include Spiderman 3 on Blu-ray, which adds at least $15 of value. Maybe $20.

Does the average casual journalist understand the loss of features like USB ports, backwards-compatibility, and card readers? Not any more than the average casual gamer understands the difference between the Japan version of Final Fight's Poison and the North American version (hint: penis).

So in the end, I declare the casual journalist to be the true winner of E3. After all, if politics has taught us anything, being right is all well and good, but being able to repeat something misleading over and over to an audience who really doesn't care to check it out is even better.

*except for the uncontrollable addiction to Google News, which can be treated with a prescription shampoo and a tiny comb.   read

12:37 PM on 06.02.2008

Christian Bale's Wii Fit Diary

Hey, guys, I found Christian Bale's Wii Fit diary. I just copy-pasta'd it below.


Week One
Age: 34
Height: 6′1
BMI: 25.14 (Overweight)
Weight: 190.2 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 41

Hmmm... CB here. Just saw this picture online, and I can't say I'm exactly looking my best. But I saw that new Wii Fit game, so I'm going to give it a try. I'm writing this Wii Fit diary to keep myself honest. Here goes!

Week Two
Age: 34
Height: 6′1
BMI: 23.96 (Normal weight)
Weight: 182.3 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 32

Wow! I have to say this really works. The shaving minigame was awesome, and my jaw is much more defined as a result. I've also noticed an increased tendency to go shirtless, which is an unexpected side effect. I can't help but think that I can still get a little more definition in my abs, though. Thanks for all your support, and the great feedback I've gotten on this project. - CB

Week Three
Age: 34
Height: 6′1
BMI: 23.27 (Normal weight)
Weight: 176.5 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 23

Well, I'm pleased as punch. Not only can I see increased definition in my abs, but I'm comfortable going pantsless now too. Sometimes I have to cover my eyes so I don't get distracted by my own beauty. And to top it off, my Wii Fit age keeps getting lower and lower! I've only been spending half an hour a day, but I think I'm going to up my time and shoot for an hour a day next week. - CB

Week Four
Age: 34
Height: 6′1
BMI: 16.21 (Oh shit)
Weight: 122.7 pounds
Wii Fit Age: -14

Maybe an hour a day was too much. While I still think I look really good, I may have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I guess that's the downside of losing weight! Also, I think one of my kidneys failed. I'll cut back to 45 minutes a day and let you know how that goes next week. I've got that whole Batman movie premiere coming up, and I'm a little nervous about looking fat. The camera adds 80 lbs, you know. - CB out.

[Note -- Bale's diary hasn't been updated in a while, but he must be really busy with all this movie stuff coming up. I'll let you know if I see an update.]   read

10:13 AM on 06.02.2008

If You Love It, Change It - Imagine: Babyz

[Title is in no way a diaper joke]

Imagine: Babyz for the Nintendo DS is a great game*, full of baby-type activities**, but even GOTY*** material can be improved on. For example, many of the DS hardware features could have been put to better use.

I said NO SLEEPING!!! Insolent whelp!!!

First, stylus controls. It's a little-known fact that the DS touch screen is pressure sensitive. So, just like in real life, you can discipline your infant with the appropriate amount of physical force. I'm not advocating child abuse, please don't get me wrong. But are you going to let that one-year-old talk back to you? Whatever you do, however, never shake a baby. The game doesn't have tilt functionality, so you just risk damaging your DS. Maybe in the sequel.

I hope you like bubbles, because it's the cheapest toy I could find

Second, microphone utilization. Right now, you use the microphone to blow virtual bubbles. Lame. You should be doing what everyone else with a baby and a voice is doing: yelling at your kid in the grocery store. You could also name your baby a la Nintendogs. And just real life, the more you say your child's name, the less responsive the child would be to it. "Morgan. Morgan. No. Morgan! Over here. Morgan. Morgan, honey. Listen to Mommy. Morgan! MORGAN! NO. PUT IT DOWN MORGAN."

"That baby is a little too chubby. I don't like fat people."

Third, wireless functionality. The great thing about having a baby is that everybody knows how to raise it better than you -- so why not give them the chance? You can invite up to 15 friends either locally or online, and they can use emoticons to express disapproval, superiority, disgust, reprobation, contempt, scorn, unease, and disdain in real time. They can also use voice chat to gossip to each other about the bad job you're doing, but don't worry -- you'll be able to hear it too!

These are but a handful of the ways that I think I can help make this franchise better. Ubisoft, I hope you're listening. As someone who has fathered many, many, children, yet has never stayed around long enough for them to be able to learn my name, I've probably got more experience with all sorts of babies (and their mamas) than anyone since Eazy-E.

* said Ubisoft PR Rep Laura Davis
** I'm just assuming.
*** Game Other Than Yaris   read

6:17 PM on 05.13.2008

Some helpful game-making tips for Dr. Boa

Is there such a thing as too much experience? I think so. 15 years is a long time to be making games, Dr. Boa (M.D. or Ph.D.?), and I think you need my help. Hillary Clinton has decided to embrace the opinions of the least educated and informed white people in the country, because she knows -- as do I -- that it is sometimes possible to know too much.

With that in mind, here are some guidelines for the good Doctor:

1a) You cannot make a game cool by TRYING to make it cool...

Confused? I sure as hell am. Here's an example: I downloaded the Haze demo the other day. You begin the game by materializing in a wooded battlefield with proto-space marines fearlessly yelling glib one-liners in your ear. The game was instantly NOT COOL, because it was trying so hard to be.

1b) ... unless that game is not at all cool to begin with.

Imagine the same scenario as above, except that the game you are playing is Harvest Moon. Instantly awesome. That game is so far from cool that faking coolness actually makes it cool. It's ironic, in a post-hipsterian way.

2) Mascots are so over, unless they are freaky, tragic, desperate mascots.

If the bloody juice from a hamburger named Generation X leaked all over the hamburger bun called Generation Y, I would be that soggy bun. We do not like anything unless it is ironic. Even irony has to be ironic. Thankfully, this rule stops after one application, so as to avoid an infinite loop of irony, which would be totally ironic. This is despite the fact that most of use "irony" when we really mean "sarcasm," which is... you get the point. If you try to cash in on the fond memories of our youth by reusing them, watch Clerks a half-dozen times first.

3) There are never enough weapons.

Science Fact: I have never played a game and quit in panic and confusion because there were too many ways to blow something up. *Note: This in no way justifies the Klobb; there are limits to how many gimped weapons you can throw in for the sole purpose of punishing a player. Even if you make a rifle that both pops and fires freshly-popped popcorn, I promise you I will use it at least once. And nobody will ever fault you for ripping off the best weapons from other franchises. Go ahead. Throw in the BFG, with a less lawsuitable name.

4) Pay a LOT of attention to your frames per second.

I don't understand exactly how this works, but more frames = more better. You could also try using the same amount of frames but fewer seconds, which should work mathematically somehow. If your competitor has more frames than you, then you might as well just pack it in and call it a day, 'cause brother, there's NO coming back from that trip.

5) Gamers have the attention spans of something with a short

[url=http://wwI wonder what Doogie Howser would have looked like with breasts[/NARP]

In this day of demos and trailers, I am willing to give a game about 60 seconds to get good. It doesn't mean I have to master it in those 60 seconds, but I should see or experience something that makes me want to play 60 more. And after a few good minutes, the player is invested, and the game-maker can coast a little bit. Lesson: put the crappy parts midway through. Ideally you'll be designing a game without any crappy parts, but apart from Tetris, that hasn't been achieved. This means the sooner you let me blow the everloving shit out of something, or do some ridiculous stunt, or engage in some really heavy-duty typing (MUD / MUSH / Mavis Beacon Does Dallas), the sooner I will love you forever and unquestioningly purchase your products until I die. That's called Brand Loyalty, and also Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

I hope you appreciate my position as someone who knows virtually nothing about making a game, and not really all that much about playing them either. But just as someone may not be a hardcore sex offender, but rather a casual sex offender, I like to think of myself as part of the group of "HardCasual Core Gamers" that developers are so desperately seeking. You're welcome in advance.   read

4:30 PM on 05.07.2008

MGS Podtoid: I too am not a voice actor but I play one on TV

Free stuff. It's great. Especially when you don't pay for it.

To catch you up, Reverend Anthony is giving away the Metal Gear Solid Essential Collection for saying something mean to Chad [link].

So basically, if you're the type of person who doesn't mind kicking a puppy riding a dolphin with a rainbow prosthetic tail, you'll have no problem entering this contest, which ends soon (?). Here are my entries; feel free to mock them as I lace up my puppy cleats.


Snake has a message from DARPA.


Psycho Mantis doesn't like Wii friend codes.


Just imagine Michael Winslow doing them. It makes the pain go away.

My undying thanks and love to itemforty for graciously providing his internets when mine made me go sleep on the couch.   read

1:51 PM on 04.29.2008

Why I Will Not Be Buying GTA IV: All Lies Edition

There are five reasons why I will not be buying GTA IV.

1. Niko Bellic is ethnic, and I am extremely uncomfortable playing as a swarthy foreign character.

There's a reason they're called immigrants...

I'm assuming we're all white here. You couldn't have found this website without knowing how to access the secret white people internet. If you're not white, then please return this stolen laptop to its rightful (white) owner.

It's unclear to me exactly what ethnicity Niko is, but he's darker than the back of a standard index card, which is my cut-off point for acquaintances. My fear is that the game might lead me to accidentally project myself into other non-white characters in real life. Perhaps at the next yacht club party, I might imagine what type of depressing hovel the caterer goes home to, the subsequent distaste rendering me unable to finish my vodka martini. No thank you, Rockstar. Let your heart bleed somewhere else.

2. The game degrades women, whereas I prefer to force women to degrade other women.

Yes, that's right. Now harder, with the other pillow!

I'm also assuming we're all men here, or at least people who like to degrade women. But what really steams my vegetables is when a company tries to take the power to degrade women away from me, and instead puts it directly in the game. I find this emasculating, and frankly, insulting. As noted above, there's nothing better than forcing women to degrade other women -- it's like going to the Oppression Ice Cream Shop and getting a free scoop of Heavenly Humiliation on top of my Passionfruit Powerlessness.

3. The open-sandbox approach promotes only sporadic violence instead of continuous violence.

I'm sorry Mr. Weathers, from now on I will only stop to reload.

When you give people the option to commit in-game violence, you are also giving them the option not to commit in-game violence. This is unacceptable. Listen, I paid* my hard-earned cash for a murder simulator, not a dating sim or bowling game. I'm already upset enough that fishing games artificially limit the amount of cruelty you can inflict on your bait and catch. There are millions of kids living cushy lives in the suburbs who will never know what it is like to take part in a street gang knife fight, or to kill a man solely out of boredom. If we teach them these things, we can reduce those numbers to a few hundred thousand children, all of whom are battle-ready.

*But see point 5.

4. It's popular, therefore it sucks.

... 6.7

I found this argument in an indie music publication, and it was also numbered four, so it seemed to fit here.

5. I plan to steal the game.

Just as I stole this image.

If Rockstar's game is as effective as everyone says at pulling me into a world of criminal activity, then the natural result is for me to become a criminal, and therefore the game will cause me to steal it. If Rockstar fails at making a game good enough to turn me into a criminal, I see no reason to reward them by purchasing the game. Since neither approach nets Rockstar any of my money, there's no reason to pay. But just to give Rockstar the benefit of the doubt, I'll try to ease into the criminal mindset with a simple smash-and-grab before settling into Liberty City.   read

12:50 PM on 04.02.2008

Unfair games -- does anyone still make them?

I must rant on the topic of game unfairness. I recently dug my NES out of the basement and brought it home. My girlfriend and I have been co-oping our way through the Tengen version of Gauntlet [link]. That game is a bitch. But it's more than that. That game is simply unfair to the player in a way that I haven't seen in my recent game experiences. Some examples:

- There is a 1 in 32 chance that when you start the game, none of your passwords will work when you re-enter them. If your password starts with the letter A, it won't work even though the game provided it to you. (Thanks, Bill Thomas, for being insane enough to crack the password system)

- You get to a new level and all of a sudden there's invisible stuff. Invisible stun panels. A few levels later, invisible walls. Then invisible enemies -- it's like the developers were talking about how to make the game more challenging, and some guy said "Why don't we start making everything INVISIBLE!!!"

It's not as fun as it looks.

- At least one of the four characters (Warrior) is probably incapable of completing the game. Playing with this character is like playing Super Mario Bros. using only the A button. Perhaps it is possible, but suicide is a more likely outcome.

- There are several levels where you just have to give up and reset the game. Move the wrong block into a narrow corridor? Reset. And learn to like it.

Question mark denotes where you begin to wonder why you started playing.

- Some of the levels have dozens of exits, but only one will take you to the next level. The others will either take you back to the beginning of the level, or in an even more dickish move, return you to a previous level. Keep in mind that your life continually depletes at the same rate as the game timer, even if you're not getting hit.

- You have to get eight separate parts of a password to beat the game; otherwise you die instantly when you enter the final room. The eight password components are hidden in timed rooms that you are likely to bypass if you play the game in a straightforward manner, and once passed, you cannot backtrack to most of these rooms. Reset. If you miss the first room, get all the others, and make it to level 99, you get to start over. Not just reset and try again from the last password save, but start from scratch.

- So you did all that, you got to the end, and you beat the underwhelming end boss. Head for the exit and -- you die. First, you have to go past the exit and go get some ugly crystal thing that looks like a glitchy enemy, and which you've probably forgotten about by now. THEN you can exit and win.

No, thank you for playing.

I've been trying to think about recent games that are this unabashedly hostile to the player, and I can't come up with any. Do they still make games where not just the enemies, but the developers themselves are against you?

I think the reason for this is that Gauntlet was the consummate quarter-sucker back in the halcyon arcade days of yore. Beating Gauntlet in the arcade cost a hell of a lot more than beating, say, Time Crisis. Imagine four players shoveling quarters into this mechanical hellspawn programmed solely to be an unrelenting, rule-changing jerk. The cost of this one collective act of defiance may have exceeded the purchase price of the console version of the game. And that doesn't even include the price of practice.

Gauntlet speedrun by someone who makes me question my worth as a human.

Today, it can cost just as much to beat the easiest game as it does to beat the most difficult. Not only that, when we buy a game, we expect to be able to finish it. Sure, maybe not on hard mode, but we expect a reasonable shot at seeing the end credits. Completing a game is no longer an act of defiance against a hostile studio of programmer foes bent on our defeat. We just view it in terms of getting our money's worth; any less would be an insult.

Hey. I may be hard, but I'm fair.

Do we gamers lose anything by this mindset? Is that why achievements are so popular -- because beating a game is no longer achievement enough? And if a developer made an unfair -- or, to use my favorite term, "cheap" -- game, would people still buy it?   read

11:01 AM on 03.27.2008

Summa Departs From EG / GGL

So, if you hadn't heard [link], former Destructoid Editor-In-Chief Robert Summa was let go from his position at Epileptic Gaming [link] (owned by the Global Gaming League [GGL]).

Apparently it was part of a restructuring, and there were other casualties. I don't really have strong feelings about the issue, just figured I'd post the news here first to spare him a total hazing. I mean, the guy did just lose his job, and that sucks unconditionally.

Perhaps, but necessarily, career advice

Not being an avid fan of GGL or Epileptic Gaming, which I will charitably describe as the hardest-trying videogames show on the web, I do want to say that I hope he lands on his feet. If it weren't for Summa, I wouldn't have escaped the clutches of that other place to land in the warm embrace of Destructoid, and all you wonderful people. Well, actually I have A LIST of people here who suck, but I'll PM you separately if you're on THE LIST.

Why are all the images I'm finding affiliated with GayGamer?

PS3 out, man. We had some times. Good luck.   read

10:40 AM on 03.19.2008

An Urgent Plea for a Video Games-Based Economy

Times are tough, especially in the States. People are worried about inflation, about prices going up but income staying the same. They're looking for answers.

Not an artist's rendition, but carefully-plotted data.

Here is the answer: We must move to a video games-based economy. Look at the following data:

Average Cost of new house: $91,600
Average Monthly Rent: $420
Average Price for new car: $10,4000
1 gallon of gas: $0.91
Movie Ticket: $4.11
US Postage Stamp: $0.24
Dozen Eggs: $0.65
Average Console Video Game: $55

Average Cost of new house: $205,000 (+225%)
Average Monthly Rent: $900.00 (+215%)
Average Price for new car: $28,400.00 (+273%)
1 gallon of gas: $3.20 (+351%)
Movie Ticket: $6.88 (+167%)
US Postage Stamp: $0.41 (+171%)
Dozen Eggs: $2.16 (+332%)
Average Console Video Game: $55 (no change)

Clearly, the only inflation-proof currency in the United States is the noble video game. In fact, with more pixels than ever before at the same prices, today's video games represent the best hope for a stable economy.

Note the upward trend. This is science that means things are good.

In fact, if the truth be told, video games have not always been as stable as they are now. I've heard reports of voodoo economics at video game retailers in days past:

Phantasy Star IV: $80
FFIII: $80
International Superstar Soccer 64: $75
ChronoTrigger: $65.
Final Fantasy II: $60 - $70.
Metroid: $65
Pilotwings: $60
Mario Paint: $60
Super Mario 64: $60
Rambo: $50 (yes, but it was Rambo)

What say you? Under the traditional dollar-based economy, a new NES Advantage would cost $120. Let us take the plunge into a new Gilded Era of video game economics where the money flows like water effects, and there is a console -- nay, three consoles -- in every entertainment center!


Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -