currently playing: Warhammer online
Dragon Quest IV
Rock Band 2
Little Big Planet
Gears of War 2
Favorite Games: BioShock
FF III (US)
tecmo super bowl
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Star Wars KOTOR
Mario Kart (64)
Tony Hawk 3
TV Shows you should watch: The Wire (best tv show of all-time)
Freaks and Geeks
Favorite Movies Star Wars Trilogy
Children of Men
We live in an age were no one understand they are boring. the internet has allowed everyone to voice their opinion and present themselves to the world. While this has many benefits, it also has just as many negatives. the largest being that no one seems to understand they aren't very interesting. I understand that so i'm not going to pretend i am remarkable because I can afford $40 for broadband.
We are here because we share a common interest, video games, so I am going to focus on that. how i got here in terms of video games.
My first video game memories are playing my parent's Atari 2600 Man, I loved that thing. I don't know if it was just because it was so cutting edge or because I was just a stupid little kid, but I would play any game on that thing for hours. I read lists of the all-time worst games and many include some of the favorites from my youth. I would play E.T. non-stop. I didn't mind that it took me 20 tries to get out of a pit because that was all I had and all there was. I would fly around as superman (while wearing my superman underoos) across nonsense backgrounds and enjoy every minute.
In elementary school I finally upgraded to the NES. I wasn't an early adapter. My NES came with the power pad. But that was the beginning of the end. From that point on I was hooked. My dad would often take me to the video store to rent NES games. that was before the days of blockbuster, so we would go to the local mom and pop rental place. That was also the day before the internet, so it was much harder to get info about games to know which were worth playing. I would hunt through the isle reading the back of every box and looking at the pictures. As a kid your sense of time is skewed but it had to take me at least a half hour to choose a game. I would narrow it down to a few and feel the pressure as my dad told me to hurry up. I still didn't have the discriminating taste I would later develop so I was usually happy with my selection.
About the time of the super nintendo, I started to develop a video game palette, which was great timing because that's when games really came into their prime. Games evolved in terms of story telling, gameplay mechanics, and even multiplayer. As a youth I was also an avid reader and this is the time that games started to match the ability of a good book to whisk a curious youth into strange new worlds. FFIII can hold its own against any classic children's book.
Around this time blockbuster and hollywood video stores began to open. My father worked for the fire department which qualified him for a discount at the local hollywood video. Anytime we would rent a movie or game we would get another rental free. no limits. everytime. my god that was amazing. it doubled the amount of games I could rent! I feel like I played everything back then. this was also the time when home systems began to match some of the arcade games. Me and my friends would rent bomberman for the snes, not to play bomberman, but to get the 4 player adapter that came with it. then we would use that and play 4 player NBA jam until the sun came up.
At this time games didn't have street dates. I would call the video store to find out when they expected a new game and then call them every 2 hours from the day the they estimated the game to come in until it actually arrived. thank god caller ID wasn't prevalent then because the guy at the game store wouldn't have answered my calls the week Street fighter II came out.
By the time the N64 was released I was in high school and had a part time job at a nationwide retailer. As I mentioned above, games didn't have street dates and neither did consoles. I was working the day the first shipments of N64's came in. I called my parents begging them to front me the money (hey, i got a 10% discount). That was some advanced stuff. And the controller was so crazy for the time.
My nintendo 64 took me into college. I don't remember much about that for some reason, but i'm pretty sure If i spent the amount of time studying as I did playing mario kart, goldeneye, mario golf, and fifi soccer, I'd have about 4 graduate degrees.
After a long time in school (I did get one graduate degree) I'm now an employed and have disposable income. As a result I have an 360, ps3, Wii, ps2, and DS. I really think we are in a golden age of gaming and games have taken similar evolutionary step as they did between the NES and SNES.
I hope to become an active member of the destructoid community. I've been reading the blogs for months and hope i can live up to the standard you all have set. If you read all this I appreciate it. If not, I'll understand. It's probably not as interesting as I think it is.
I recently posted a blog explaining how awesome the Little Big Planet level creator is. I also wrote about how crappy the level search system is. It's impossible to get people to play a level without shameless promotion, so here we are.
If you are lucky enough to have Little Big Planet, i request you give my level a shot. Its called "bless the creator" my psn id is "IUMogg". I just tried to make a level that fun, its not too tough and not too long. Plus you can win a few items. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I don't have the capacity to take video or pictures of my level or i would add them. (or if i do have the capacity I don't know how to do it)
If you comment on this blog on on Little Big Planet, I'll check out your levels too. enjoy
I grew up in the midwest in a quasi-rural area. Not far from my house where cornfields, lakes, and woods. Part of the benefit of living there was the ability to make the wild my toys. Me and my friends used to go to the lake and catch turtles or go the the window wells around my house and catch toads.
a window well toad village.
After you catch the toads there were only a few things to do with them: scare the neighborhood girls with the toads (which was often worse for us because after you hold a toad for a few mins they pee on you), put the toads in a box like a pet, or, my favorite, build a maze/obstacle course for the toads in the sandbox. Usually the toads weren't really into it, so the they wouldn't try to get through the maze. I would get bored and flood the maze with the garden hose.
I wouldn't really drown the toads. Even though they don't live in water, toads can swim. So i would have had to hold the toad underwater to drown it and I'm not a psycho, so that never happened. They were always returned to their window wells.
Littlebigplanet touches me in my toad maze building place. The creator for this game is incredible. I have been messing around with it since the game was released putting dozens of hours into it and I'm still constantly discover new tricks and ways to use the tools. I haven't even published a level yet.
Publishing a level though is not as attractive as it should be. LittleBigPlanet has a HORRIBLE search system. It really depresses me. I spend some time (often at work) on various video game message boards. The Little Big Planet boards are usually full of people trying to promote their levels because there is no other way to get others to find and play your levels besides sharing them with people on your friends list. The search system is so bad, that I will search for levels based on the actual level name or the level creator's playstation ID and sometimes I still can't find them.
I find this so sad. It takes along time to make even a decent level. Like many many hours. People create these levels and want to share them so they publish them and get like 5 people that actual try it. So If you play Little Big Planet I ask that you support these people and try their levels. If we want to encourage people to make levels we need them to feel like its worth it. They won't feel its worthwhile if they spend hours making a level that no one will play them. Also, if we give them feedback it can improve their creator skills which will only make them better creators.
[This blogger does not condone animal abuse --Ed.]
As someone who didn’t play much of the first Fable on the original Xbox I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Fable 2. I didn’t really follow the development of Fable 2 much (besides reading or listening to interviews with the game’s creator Peter Molyneux, which are always entertaining). However, after the delay of LittleBigPlanet, I had $60 burning up my pocket and no game to spend it on. I decided to give Fable 2 a try after reading some positive preliminary reviews and I’m glad I did.
So I fire up the game with few expectations, a rare experience for me. The only things I knew were that teh game was set in a fantasy world, that the lead character had a dog companion, and that part of the core game play is based on the player’s actions influencing the game world. The first thing I notice is the beautiful art style and that my character is a child. The game’s world feels like a mix of The Legend of Zelda and a Tim Burton movie. It’s charming and colorful, but at the same time a little bit creepy. At the start of the game the player chooses to be a male or female and then is off to live the life of a homeless child. I choose a boy then I’m out on the streets living the hard knock life with my older sister.
At the start of of the game a traveling salesman comes to town and among his wares is an alleged magical music box. Suddenly a random gypsy woman in a robe tells me and my sister that we must buy the music box which costs five gold. So I get my first quest, earn five gold. Gold is earned by doing odd jobs around the town. This is also the first time the player is given some choices.
The choices are clear cut early on. For example one of my quests was to collect 5 arrest warrants that the sheriff had lost. After I collect all of them and am on the way to deliver them to the sheriff, a criminal stops me and offers me gold to give them to him instead. He only offered the same amount of gold as the sheriff, but he would save me the walk, so I turn them over. Little did I know I was dooming the town to gangster rule.
After I finished getting the gold, the story develops a little more with some spoilerish events and then the plot jumps ahead ten or so years. I’m now a man and it’s just me and my dog off to be a hero (or villain). There are some more tutorial types quests to get me used to the combat then I’m off to the town. When I arrive I discover that turning the warrants over to the criminal got the sheriff fired (since losing them didn’t) and the criminals took over part of the town. It was like a scene out of Back to the Future 2 when Marty returns to the present only to discover an alternate reality where the world is a crime ridden cesspool. It was my first taste of my actions effecting the world around me.
Early on I also got my first taste of the combat. The combat uses one button for different types of attacks. One button performs a melee attack, another performs a long range attack with a gun or crossbow, and a third uses magic. It’s simplistic, but a lot of fun and well executed. I believe that after you gain more skills it will become more dynamic, but even early on it was enjoyable. One particular aspect I liked was the absence of a traditional “magic meter”. The player does not have magic points that are expended when they use magic. You can use all the magic you want and the only thing holding you back is the time it takes to cast a spell.
After combat my character absorbed some experience orbs ala Devil May Cry, which could then be used to upgrade one of the three combat types; Magic, Melee, and Range. I was only able to scratch the surface and unlock a blocking move and a lightning spell, but I was enticed by the lengthy list of potential upgrades.
fable 2 3
Another way that Fable 2 ditches the traditional formula is the lack of dying. After your enemies drain you of energy you are just knocked out for a second. You resurrect with a scar and some lost experience and that’s it. It reminded me of the death system in Bioshock. It reduces the challenge but keeps the player immersed in the world.
As I explore the world, my dog starts barking and running around. I follow and he leads me to treasure. It appears my dog has a nose for gold. The dog will sniff out treasure chests and spots where i can dig to find goodies. This treasure sniffing ability can also be upgraded by finding training books. I can also interact with my dog by giving him praise or scolding him. These interactions are the same as how I interact with citizens.
This is the weakest part of the game so far. The player isn’t able to talk. Instead I interact with NPC’s by doing non-verbal actions such as dancing or farting. These interactions are split into different categories like “social” or “flirt”. The whole system feels like a poor imitation of The Sims.
Overall, Fable 2 has been a blast to play. I've become quite evil. I've wiped out entire villages. I've murdered many police men (and only got community service!). I've offered my wife up to be a human sacrifice. I've taken assassination missions. What scares me is that I never made the conscious choice to take the evil path. It just kind of happened.
the combat has developed well and is still a blast to play. In fact its my favorite part of the game. Its simple yet i still feel like I haven't mastered it. There is some depth.
Anyway, I recommend this game so far.
If you get a chance check out my other blog. you can read this article and a bunch of others.
Before itâ€™s release World of Goo wasnâ€™t even on my radar. For the most part I keep myself informed of happenings in the video game industry and I know when all the new releases are scheduled to come out. Off the top of my head, I could probably tell you the release dates for most of the AAA title coming out this fall. Yet some how this indie title, available on the PC or through Wii Ware, never caught my attention. I almost missed it and that would have been a shame.
The World of Goo is the brain child of a few guys at 2D Boy, an independent game developer, and in the first hour of play it oozed charm and charisma on top of an additively simple yet satisfying gameplay mechanic. World of Goo is best described as a puzzle game. The format is standard; each level has a goal that must be completed to move on. The goal usually centers around using your goo balls to reach a pipe so the other goo balls can escape through it.
Using the goo provided effectively is where the challenge comes in. The game eased me in and within a few minutes I felt completely comfortable with the gameâ€™s simple gameplay mechanics. In a level you have a certain number of Goo balls which can be connected to other goo balls to assemble structures. Take a look at this visual as it will help you understand my explanation.
In the picture the goo ball on the top with the white lines connecting to it is the one the player is holding. All you do is click on a goo ball and move it near the existing structure. The white lines show where the connections will form once you unclick the goo ball. So all you do is move it into place, let go, and it connects.
Strategy becomes imperative to overcome the games physics based puzzles. The goo ball towers and chains the player builds arenâ€™t completely solid. The connections have a rubbery feel to them. They arenâ€™t flimsy, but as you build your structure up or sideways it will start to bend and sway from the pressure. Push it too far and it will break or tip over. Also, unused goo balls crawl around on the structure. Their position and weight as they crawl around the structure can cause problems when they change the structures center of gravity.
The levels center around using the goo balls to create a structure that allows the unused goo balls crawling around on the structure to reach an exit pipe. There is a goal of a certain number or type of goo balls you have to get to the pipe to pass the level. This means you often have to be efficient with how you use the goo balls. Goo balls that are part of the structure canâ€™t exit through the pipe. You will want to reinforce your structure in every way you can, but to do so will leave you with not enough goo balls left to get to the exit pipe. It creates an brilliant tension of dangling on the edge of a cliff while trying to get your goo to the edge without falling over.
There are also puzzle elements beside just dealing with the perils of gravity. Often the levels will have obstacles and traps that you must work around. There are different types of goo balls with different properties.
The presentation in World of Goo is fantastic. The graphics arenâ€™t cutting edge and high-resolution, but they always managed to appear polished and stylish. Within minutes of firing up the game I was charmed and knew the creators of this game had a vision that stayed consistent throughout the entire development process.
This game is brilliant. Each new level offered new challenges while building on what I had experienced previously. It never felt repetitive. Also the levels are fairly short. Most can probably be completed in 5-10 minutes. This is a game I could see myself killing a half hour with when I have a little but of spare time, but more likely I will put aside large chunks of time to spend with it. Each level also has a challenge, on top of the regular goals of the level. I can see this adding a lot of replay value. The challenge is usually to beat the level in a certain number of turns or with-in a certain time. I havenâ€™t tried them yet, but Iâ€™m the type who would find them maddeningly addictive. In the end, it scares me that I could have missed this game. Itâ€™s too good to miss.
I was really looking forward to Spore. It had so much promise and appeared to ready to revolutionize pc games. Then it was released. I played through it once and haven't it touch it since.
Spore definitely has its bright points. The two most important are the creation tools and the way others' creations are imported into the game. They are unprecedented. However the most important aspect failed, the gameplay. The game wasn't fun to play. It was simplistic and shallow.
I fear LittleBigPlanet will do the same thing. I'm sure LittleBigPlanet will be a media darling, just like Spore. The journalist circle jerk has already begun weeks before its release. It appears to have amazing creative tools and being able to import others' level are a key aspect of the game. However I don't know if the gameplay will hold up.
So far I've seen many videos of the gameplay and it seems to be standard platform fare. How long will jumping, dodging, and pulling things remain interesting? I hope that the gameplay will be deeper that it appears, but if it is not LittleBigPlanet join Spore gathering dust on my shelf a week after its release.
I'm not an MMO player. Well at least I wasn't. I played WoW and Star Wars Galaxies for a few months. That is the extent of my MMO experience. I wanted to get into an MMO and thought it would be cool to get in at the ground floor so I picked up Warhammer online. After leveling my Warrior Priest to level 10, these are my first impressions.
A WARRIOR PRIEST
Warhammer is great so far because there is so much to do. On my way to level ten, I would guess that less than a quarter of my XP is from quests. Or at lest traditional quests where you get an objective from an NPC, complete it and return to the NPC for XP. In Warhammer those types of quests have been interesting distractions. Instead i've been engaging in the Public Quests, Scenarios, and contested areas.
First the Public Quests. Each area has a War Story with chapters. In the opening area for the Empire, I started near Chapter one. (makes sense) Each area is split up into about 3 Chapters. With-in each chapter area there are public quests. Public quests are recurring scripted events that anyone can participate in. They usually have a story that goes along. The Public quests also have three parts. The first part will be killing a large amount of lower level enemies, the second fewer tougher enemies, and the third part a boss type enemy. Often each part has a time limit, so if you don't meet the objective then the quest will start over. This all takes place with-in a contained area.
One Public quest i participated in was set on a farm. The farmers had become possessed by tainted crops. The first part of the quest was to kill a certain amount of possessed farmers. the second part was to burn wagons full of the crops (while fighting off tougher enemies) and the last was to kill the warlock that possessed them. The public quests are difficult without a larger group. Depending on the quest and the levels you usually need at least 5 to 10 players.
The motivation to participate in the Public quests is Influence points. Each Chapter area has an influence meter with three levels. As you participate in the quests you get regular XP and influence points. At each influence level in each chapter you get a prize. the first level is usually some kind of buffing or healing potion, while the 2nd and third are armor, weapons, or accessories. Most of it is useful stuff. Also at the end of each Public Quest is a loot drop. Only part of the group that participate gets loot. There is a dice roll and depending on how much you contributed you get a bonus for your dice roll. Usually the top 4 or 5 get a loot bag. If you get a loot bag you will get the choice of one of six or so items out of the bag.
The Public Quests are a blast and a brilliant addition to the Game and mmo's. The best part is you don't have to worry about finding people and getting into a group to do and instance. You just show up and everyone is working together and making progress.
Warhammer is about a struggle between good and evil, called Order and Chaos. the areas are built around this. There are contested areas that border the lands of the two factions. In the contested areas are specific landmarks each faction tries to control. If you enter a contested area you are automatically flagged for pvp (on a normal server). If your side captures a landmark, the other side can't attempt to capture it for 15 mins. There is a meter on the top of the screen that indicates which faction in control on the most areas. If your faction gets an advantage, it provides minor advantages to all members of that faction (like extra %5 influence points gained, etc).
There are also scenarios, which are pvp. These are individual battles that are separate from the main world. To enter one you click a button and you enter a queue. soon after, you enter this separate battleground. The ones I played are set up with three control areas. Your team gets points the more areas they control. The first team to 500 points wins. After wards you just appear in the main world wherever you were when you entered.
Whenever you participate in any pvp you earn Renown points. These are special type of experience that can only be gained from pvp. you have two levels, your normal level, and your renown level. they are independent. Renown leveling provides separate bonuses from the normal xp. so far most of the renown levels have allowed me to increase stats of my choosing.
Overall I've had a blast with this game. There are so many ways to advance it keeps things interesting. I would warn those who are going to try the game. I found the first few levels to be a little slow, but after that the game really took off.
also, I obviously have only experienced a tiny amount of the content and only with one class. Keep that in mind. But with that qualifier, So I far I highly recommend you join the WAR.