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Mogg's blog

7:57 AM on 09.17.2008

We gamers should appreciate our Golden Shower of videogames (a quasi-response to Nintendoll)

There has been some discussion around here about the over all state of the video game industry. Specifically the quality of the current videogame scene. Nintendoll posted an excellent piece explaining her view on why it would be a mistake to call the current era the golden age. Her piece was a reaction to an article by Sean Sands posted on the escapist website. (steve sands is a co-founder of, I highly recommend their weekly podcast) While I agree with Sands that we are in a golden age of gaming, I agree with Nintendoll that his piece wasn't very persuasive. I thought he missed a lot of major points, so i'll try to add them.


No matter what your favorite type of game or preferred genre you will be able to find games that meet your needs. I'm the type of gamer who enjoys a wide range of game types so its overwhelming keeping up with all the choices and play all the great releases. Just this week there are 4 excellent games released I want to play, Rock Band 2, Crysis Warhead, Dragon Quest IV, and Star Wars TFU. All different types of games and all appear to be quality experiences (maybe not SW:TFU, but I'll save judgment until I play it). This isn't a rare thing. Nearly every week there are more choices of great games.

This influx of great games doesn't even take into account the other ways a gamer can get to the games they want to play. If you aren't interested in the new big AAA titles, you can get online and find a game to meet your needs. You can download new and old games from Steam. You can find a wide range of titles on XBLA or PSN. If you thought games peaked with the NES or SNES, you can download dozens of those games from the virtual console. If you are cheap you can find hours of great gaming online for free with websites like

If you are a gamer and you can't find a game to meet your needs you obviously aren't looking.


What good are choices if you are choosing from a bunch of mediocre titles. Luckily the games we get to play have taken great strides in the area of gameplay and how we interact with the game.

Some improvements have just been perfecting traditional gameplay. The actual gameplay of FPS's isn't all that different from FPS of the past, but its better. Now we can interact with the environment which creates a new level of immersion. The AI is much smarter. No longer are we faced with just waves of enemies and monster closets, the AI can start to react to the environment and use tactics. As the devs continue to improve these details it creates a deeper and more realistic experience.

Game developers have also improved how we interact with our games. There are interfaces modifications, like with the Wii and DS. When utilized well, these interfaces improve the gaming experience. Try playing Boom Blox on the wii. A really fun game that couldn't be possible without the Wii interface. But we are also given more input too in customization and story. While I think the one area of games that still is in its infancy is the branching story paths, we are still given freedom with-in the games. An example is Mass Effect. The player gets to choose not only the appearance of their character, but how they interact with others and the how they proceed through the story. It allows the player to tailor the game to their specific preferences.


Gamer's are connected like never before to to each other, to information about gamers, and even to the game developers. In the past the best and possibly only way to get info about games was magazines. Now we have numerous websites, podcasts, and tv shows to get info along with the magazines. We have access to information instantly. We can get dozens of reviews of a game before its even released. Soon after a game is released we can find out other gamers' opinion of the game. We have unprecedented levels of info about the games currently released and yet to be released.

We are also able to discuss our opinions and thoughts with other gamers and even the game journalists. The obvious example is this blog here. We are allowed to write about anything we want and a great website like destructoid hosts it and allows others access to it for free. I read blogs here from people all over the world with opinions on every type of game. Plus we can get more instant feedback with message boards and forums. Sure they can be a mixed bag, but its nice to have post a question or comment about a game and have other gamers respond with-in seconds or minutes. Even the game journalists interact with the community. Before this was done in the "letters" section of a magazine. Now they participate in forums and respond to gamers' questions on podcasts.

Gamers are even able to communicate with and influence the people who actually make the games. Good developers listen to their fans and evaluate the feedback. We are actually getting updates to games and new versions of gamers that cater to our desires as a community.

Its also easier to experience actual gaming with others. Every console has extensive online gaming options. People join guilds and spends hours with thousands of other gamers in MMO's. no longer are people forced to game alone.


I could write about this non-stop, but I actually want people to read it. I would have also liked to respond directly to some of Nintendoll's points, but that will have to wait.

In the end, I think that this current generation of video games and the video game community is the best yet. If its not the golden age, I can't wait to see what's coming that could be better.   read

4:30 PM on 09.13.2008

Feel the Hatred: Driving Stages in FPS's

I really enjoy a good First Person Shooter. Its fun to run around and shoot people or monsters. I enjoy trying different weapons, fragging dudes, and sneaking around. What I don't like are driving games. I don't play them. Why must FPS developers push them on me?

I hate driving levels in fps's. They are at best unnecessary and usually infuriating. I suppose developers put them in the games as a change of pace, but why do they need to change the pace? If you make a good fps with smart AI, I don't want the pace changed. I bought the game to shoot things, not to fly a helicopter or drive a car.

Plus the driving controls and levels usually feel tacked on and gimmicky. Everyone knows the developers will spend most of their resources on the core gameplay and neglect the driving level. So you are stuck with a level that feels like a chore. Even if they do make the controls work well, I'm still forced to learn a whole new control scheme after I finally feel like I'm starting to master the fps controls. Once I do get a handle on the driving controls, the level is over and I'll never need them again.

There are a few FPS games where the driving isn't completely obtrusive, like Half-life 2, but those are few and far between. Most are like crysis, where I come dangerously close to giving up on the game because of the driving levels. Why the fuck am I wasting my time dog fighting with aliens in a fps?

Developers if you want to change the pace of your games, please don't make me drive. Make a level like "Death From Above" from Call of Duty 4. It was fun and different, but it didn't make the player learn a completely different game. And developers, don't forget, your audience buys fps's to shoot things, not drive things.

KAH-BOOM   read

7:45 AM on 09.09.2008

SPORE: First impressions

When a new big title is on the horizon, I become a hype and media whore. I read all the previews and sift through the message boards reading everything I can about the upcoming game. As Spore approached I began seeing some different criticisms. Usually I ignore this stuff as trolling or bullshit, but I gave this a little more attention. The game had been released over seas before north america and had leaked online, so people had played it. The main criticism that was repeated was a lack of depth in the gameplay (besides the bitching about the DRM). I bought my copy on sunday and have played for the past few days. I only got to the Space stage yesterday and have played about 2 hours into it so these opinions could change.


I can't say I was a huge fan of the cell stage. you just swim around eating stuff. Its there to give you a basic primer on how the creature will progress and how the mission structure works, and its effective for that. It looks cool. The graphics are colorful. The gameplay was kind of boring though. Luckily its short so I quickly progressed.


This is where the game starts to give you some freedom. You throw some legs and a mouth on your creature and then you leave the primordial ooze and head out on land. Here you only do a few things. You meet new creatures and try and kill them or befriend them. You look for body parts laying around. You upgrade your creature. That's about it.

I was a herbivore so I didn't fight much, except in self- defense. I would progress mainly by impressing and befriending other creatures. You do this with a simon says type game. They do one of 4 actions and then you copy it, until a bar fills up and they are impressed. You can fail if your skill in the actions is too low and the bar doesn't fill up fast enough.
Its pretty stupid.

As you find or earn new parts and dna points you can upgrade or change you creature. You get a lot of freedom. sometimes too much. The way I expected this to work was as you reached milestones you could, modify your character, but some of your previous decisions couldn't be changed. It doesn't work like that. Whenever you want to change your character you choose to mate. Then you can change whatever you want. So I could be a green duck with no arms, and just change to a blue walrus with 4 arms. No restrictions. A strange design choice.


Next you progress to the tribal stage. Before you entire the tribal stage, you will have the last opportunity to modify the base look of your creature. Once you move forward you are locked in. This stage is a very simplistic RTS style game. The only resource is food and you interact with other tribes in one of two ways. You can make friends with them through gifts or performances or you can attack them. The only personalization options you have in this stage is to put some clothes and decorations on your creature. Once you destroy or befriend enough other tribes you enter the civ stage.


If you are the creative type and couldn't get enough of the creature creator, then you will love the civ stage. You get access to a handful of creators all as deep and fun if not more so than the creature creator. You get to design different types of buildings and air, land, and sea vehicles. The stage begins by you creating your city hall. I probably spent more time during this stage in the creators than I did actually playing.

The gameplay here is still real basic. You take over other civs either through economic, religious, or military might. It might sound like there is variety, but there isn't. All three methods work the same. You send your religious/economic/military vehicles to another civ and bombard them with propaganda/trade/bombs, until they are defeated. Its disappointing because I wanted all the time I spent creating my buildings and vehicles to have a purpose, but its just superficial.


I am early on in the space stage. I've play a few hours. So far it seems to have a lot of promise. The tutorial missions took longer than any entire previous stage. It seems much deeper than the previous stages, but still shallow compared to the average pc strategy games. Things seem more varied, but It could just be because I have experienced everything yet.


Spore is not a particularly good game. I am really enjoying it though. Its a unique feeling to have so much control over the appearance and development (at least superficially) of your creature and the world. You will come up with so much stuff that you never could have imagined. You will then encounter other's people stuff which is so different from yours it amazing you were both using the same tools to create them.

The gameplay elements are Spore weakest points. If you don't have interest in the creative aspects of spore, you will most likely get bored of this game very quickly. Its disappointing and I hoped that the breadth of gameplay would match the creative options. It doesn't.

If you loved the creature creator, then you will likely enjoy spore. You have access to many other creators, all that give you such amazing freedom. Its just a shame that most of that freedom only applies to the appearance and not to how the game actually plays.

I'm hoping the space stage scratches the gamer itch for me, so i could recommend Spore to anyone, but until I get confirmation of that, I would only recommend it people who are interested in ground-breaking creative tools built around a fisher-price strategy game.   read

12:15 PM on 09.03.2008

Feel the Hatred: HATERS

We are in a golden age of gaming. No matter your preference there is a wide selection of games to meet your desires. Games have made amazing advances in story telling, graphics, realistic physics, and game play mechanics while at the same time increasing the breadth of options so there are choices for hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and anyone in between. Despite our cornucopia of spoils it seems that no one is happy.

Gamers seem to hate on everything and anything. Some gamers are just curmudgeon who seem to only get joy out of hating. (See Y0j1mb0's blog HERE) Other gamers seem to have certain aspects of gaming they just find unacceptable. What it all comes down to though are people who feel the need to prove their superiority.


Some gamers find the recent expansion of the casual gaming market to be offensive. This is a topic I have previously addressed here. These haters have an extreme superiority complex. They were into gaming first and they only play the best games so everyone else who doesn't play games like they do is inferior. These people need to let it go. Casual gaming doesn't prevent you from gaming and the only people impressed with your act are other hardcore gaming snobs.


I never understood why certain gamers feel the need to latch onto a single console or company. They define their gaming self based on the console they prefer, like they are rooting for a sports team. They love one system and therefore every other system sucks. Its like if another system is acknowledged to be have strengths, then its a personal insult to them. These people need to grow up. (This is double for pc game snobs)


Anyone who has ever visited a game message board is familiar with these wastes of space. They only live to trash what others like and to evoke a reaction. They attack the new popular games because only they are smart enough to see the faults in something that others don't. No matter how minuscule the fault, it overrides anything good about the game. My favorite where the trolls who complain that you couldn't see the main character's feet in BioShock. Here is my reaction: STFU


These are the idiots who critique every review of a game. If the review doesn't praise the game like they want, the reviewer is an moron. If the review praises a game they don't like, then the reviewer has been bought off. They don't understand the point of reviews, which is to give an opinion. All they want is something that confirms their opinion. They rarely actually read the review and just look at the score. This group also includes the people who thinks every AAA title deserves at least a 9.5 and, on the other end, people who don't think any game should get a perfect score. That last part really pisses me off. What's the point of having a scoring system that goes up to 10 if its impossible for game to get a 10? Reviews are relative. A 10 means its as good as video games get, not that it doesn't have anything that could have been improved.


We all know these assholes. The idiots who preys on the fears of the uninformed. They preach that games are evil and are corrupting the youth. Their tactics include blowing things out of proportion, lying about game content, and scapegoating. Instead of nuance dissection of games or really looking for causes of social ills they just turn to an easy answer. These people hate freedom.   read

4:01 PM on 09.02.2008

A Mercenaries 2 Review, Moggystyle

I was a big fan of the first Mercenaries. It was one of the best open world games of the last generation. Since it was based around a military conflict, it had a more open world and bigger weapons than other open world games of its time. If you hoped that Mercenaries would evolve into the next gen like GTA you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a game with the same strengths as the first, but with more destruction, then this is a game you should pick up.

Mercs 2 is set in Venezuela and revolves around a political coup. A man who hired you, uses you to take over the country and then tries to kill you instead of paying. You are set on revenge and work with different factions to smoke out the guy who back stabbed you. There is an oil company looking to protect it profits, a leftist rebel group that is trying to gain control of the country, Rastafarian pirates who smuggle and profit from the black market, and later the Chinese and Americans who intervene in the conflict. The story is thin but it doesn't matter. It's serves its purpose of keeping you moving and giving you reasons for your destruction.

(you play as one of 3 mercs)

Mercenaries 2 has a lot of issues. You will see glitches, bugs, completely unrealistic action, really stupid AI, janky animations, and a lot of pop-in. Motorcycles don't tip over. I drove a motorcycle full speed into an oncoming motorcycle and we just bounced off each other. Neither of us crashed. It is possible to get knocked off a motorcycle, but the motorcycle will always remain standing. Since you are often running around in the country side and through mountains you will encounter foliage and trees. If you are in a car you can tear right through them. If you are on foot they slow you down. Its like trying to run through mud. If you are driving a jeep with a guy standing in the back on a gun, he won't fall off. You can barrel roll down the side of a mountain and when you stop he will still be standing there.

(This bike will never not be standing)

One of the worst glitches is the RPG buildings. Many of your missions will be to secure an outpost. Basically a faction will hire you to clear out an encampment so the faction can take it over. These include buildings full of guys with RPG's. However these guys can't leave the building. They just pop out the windows and shoot at you. The only way to get rid of them is to destroy the building. The animation for these guys is terrible. It looks like they are just morphing out of the side of the building, like a building with a bunch of torsos growing out of it.

I didn't run into any game breaking problems, but there was a few times the game would mess-up and I had to restart to fix it. For example, when you are close to death everything starts moving in slow motion including the sound. Once the sound stuck, so even though I was fine, the sound was still in slow-motion.

You will experience this close to death mode constantly. When you are severely injured you will be knocked down to 2 health. Its easy to get knock from full health to 2, but difficult to get from 2 to death. Your energy regenerates automatically. Often you will be in a big firefight get knocked down to 2 and then you run behind cover so your health can come back. Even if you jump out of a helicopter hundreds of feet off the ground, when you land (often on your feet) you will just be knocked down to 2 health.

The graphics are uneven. Somethings are impressive other things look last gen. Its a mixed bag, but overall they were acceptable. For every crappy texture there is an awesome explosion. And that is what this game is about. When you start out your access to weapons and airstrikes is limited. This can be frustrating since you have probably seen all the coverage of the destruction. As you move through the game however you will be calling in artillery strikes, a handful of different bombing missions, and a nuke. Its all very impressive. You will level entire city blocks. To prevent you from exploiting the airstikes, many goals wills have Anti-Air defenses. You have to take these out before you can call in an air strike.

(you will see things like this a lot)

Despite all its problems, the game does do a lot right. The combat is satisfying. The world is huge and varied. There are a ton of vehicles use, including boats, tanks, helicopters, jet skis, and jeeps. You can hijack tanks and helicopters. Tanks are hijacked by killing the gunner and then pressing a button to starts a QTE hijack game. To keep this from being repetitive each type of tank requires different buttons to press and has a varied animation. You use your grapple to hijack helicopters. You latch on the helicopter, pull yourself up, and then do the QTE game. It never gets old. In shooters usually helicopters are dreaded. In mercs 2 you will want the enemy to bring in helicopters so you can jack them.

(running up the barrel to hijack it)

Besides the main missions each factions will have side quests for you. They all have 10 High Value Targets (HTV's) for you to capture and 13 buildings they want destroyed. There are also collectibles. Through the game there are fuel, bombs, and money to collect. You need fuel for airstrikes and for supply drops. The bombs will give you free airstikes. You locate these and call in your helicopter pilot to pick them up. These can regenerate. There are also car parts to find. You have a mechanic and as you find more parts she can build you new specialized vehicles, like a motorcycle with rocket launchers.

The game also includes online co-op. In co-op you can complete missions or goals in the host's game or just cause random destruction. Its works well with little to no lag. Another benefit is if one of the players dies, the other will have about a minute to revive them. A couple of the missions are difficult and another merc with you can make all the difference.
In the end, the gameplay of Mercs 2 feels more last gen than next. That said its still a ton a fun

(this is more fun with others)

Mercs 2 feels more like a last gen game than a current gen game, but what it does it does well. If you can accept it for its faults and don't expect the kind of evolution you saw with GTA4, you can have a whole lot of fun with this game. So while this game isn't a Terminator 2 or Predator, its a solid Running man. Its cheesy, unrealistic, and unpolished, but its the best kind of junk food there is.

SCORE: 8.0   read

10:55 AM on 08.28.2008

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Previously I have posted about my addiction to buying video games. I always am in pursuit of something new. you can read about that here is you like.

Part of that post talks about my anticipation for Mercs 2. I've really been looking forward to this game (for years!). I loved the first and can't wait to raise hell in the second. As I'm surfing the internets looking for reviews, scanning the message boards, I began thinking: Why do I get excited for a new upcoming game?

(is it really finally here?!)

I doesn't make much sense. I have plenty of games to play that are most likely of equal or superior quality to mercs 2. But there is something about a game that is just beyond reach that is so enticing. It's as if I imagine that this new and upcoming game will stimulate my senses and provide a gaming experience I have previously been denied. I don't understand it. Its like video game kavorka.

(also has kavorka, at least with the whites)

I heard that siren's song and it began to mess with my mind.

Maybe a store near you will break the street date, she said.

I thought, no way, that never happens, plus i can wait a few more days.

It could be your lucky day, she said. you live near a few stores, why not stop on your way home.

Well, i would only take a few mins. why not, I thought.

So I stop by Kmart on my way home. I figured that sinking ship is most likely to place the game out early. I walk around the electronics area, looking and hoping. I see nothing. Well, I do see something, Just not Mercs 2.

I am now the proud owner of both Burnout Paradise and Warhawk. I'm sure they will get a lot of play once 8/31 roll around. DAMN IT   read

2:19 PM on 08.26.2008

Why I like Playing With Myself

"You don't wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel. "

There has been a trend in video games towards more multiplayer and co-op gameplay. I don't like it. The trend is okay, but I'm not a fan of those types of games. With the exceptions of sports games or rock band, I would prefer to play most games alone. Here are a few reasons why.

1) Single player games tend to have better and more developed stories. I enjoy a good narrative. Video games are a unique medium because the story has to be built around and intertwined in the gameplay. The playable characters tend to be key to the narrative and therefore the the point in which the story and gameplay intersect. As you add more playable character this becomes more complicated and more difficult to pull-off effectively.

2) I'm not very good at games. I'm not bad. I can beat most games on the normal difficulty. In regards to most games I could best be described as competent. I also play a wide range of games and purchase new games regularly. So I rarely focus on one game and really develop my skills. This makes most online multiplayer games frustrating. It seems like many of the people playing halo 3 or CoD 4 online play those games ALOT. Basically I'm a sitting duck. That's not fun.

3) My IRL friends are worse than I. I don't have a lot of gamer friends. Most of my friends have moved on to things like careers, wives, and kids. I only have one or two friends that play games competently and unfortunately our schedules don't often match up, so its difficult to get regular gaming sessions in. In my youth, especially college, I probably played multiplayer games more than solo. Now, If I even wanted to play through a game co-op with someone in person, I probably couldn't do that.

4) I'm a control freak. I want to go at my pace. If I want to explore an area in detail, I don't want someone to give me shit about. If I want to get to the next area quickly, I don't want a slow poke getting in my way. This wasn't really a problem when me and my friends were "Bad Dudes" just punching our way through a level. Now it can be.

(me and my friend)

(this is the average depth of the narrative in co-op games)

I'm glad there are so many options for smart solo gamers like myself and the masses of drooling multiplayer gamers out there. I'm not saying one type is better than the other, just stating my preference. It does make me concerned though that I may miss out on some games, like Left 4 Dead. Hopefully Valve and other developers don't leave this rebel behind.   read

8:28 AM on 08.25.2008

Some Hilarious stuff and a little about my weekend.

I wanted to share a hilarious gem I stumbled across this weekend. Some of you may be familiar with this, I'm not sure. It's from an old 1up yours podcast on 04/18/2008. It's Shawn Elliot discussing a crazy and hilarious role-playing GTA San Andreas mod experience. If you never heard this I highly recommend you check it out.

you can go here and download the podcast from 4/18/2008

what works best for me is to go here:

click on "listen to the latest podcast" for 1up yours and then choose the 4/18/2008 show in the podcast player. The hilarity starts about 2 mins in. it starts a little slow but quickly unwinds into insanity. Its about 10 mins long.

This weekend I actually went back and tried to play a game I haven't finished. I started playing Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, again. My first time through, I got distracted from the game about half way through. It was a few months ago, so I started over. Plus the trophies now. I'm not big on the gamerscore or trophies, but if its there I'll see what I can do with it. I had a hell of time downloading the trophies patch for Uncharted though. After 10 tries over 20 mins, I finally figured out I had to delete my game saves to get it to download. Its a good game and I really enjoy the combat.

I also downloaded a few game off of steam. Beyond Good and Evil was on sale on steam for $5. I always wanted to play that. I don't have a gamepad for my pc though. I like it so far, but it can be frustrating trying to control it with the mouse and keyboard

Finally, I was playing a little bit of Track Mania Nations. Its a free driving game. I downloaded it from Steam. Its a cool little game. Its really easy to control, the graphics are solid, and the gameplay is addictive. I'm not big on driving games, but I could see myself playing this in small bites for awhile. I was just messing around on some of the included tracks. It has a track editor and a lot of customization. I haven't gotten into to those yet.

Anyway, hope you all have a good start to the week.   read

8:18 AM on 08.21.2008

Why is Sony so Sexist?

I have a penis. I use it everyday. So I'm usually on the beneficial end of sexism. However, I do have a mother and a sister so I am not insensitive to the suffering sexism can cause on the women of the world. Recently there was some controversy about the upcoming PSN game "Fat Princess". It was even reported on the news, which means its at least as important as a piano playing cat. When I first heard about claims of sexism against Sony because of Fat Princess, I didn't think much of it. Its just a game with funny premise. A clever take on the princess saving cliché. However when I explored a little further I came to a stunning realization. Sony has a history of Sexism!

It all became clear after Sony announced that the character from littlebigplanet could be the new PS3 mascot. Although the character appears to be asexual, he is called sackBOY. He is male. Even if you dress it up in girl's clothes, its still a sackboy. Its not enough to identify it as a male, but they have to included a reference to male genitalia in the name? SACK-BOY. How would people react if they called him Scrotum-Man? I think they would be as appalled as I am. Sony is letting the world know that there system is for males. You can use it to play with your sackboy.

(a quick helpful tip: make sure your google search filter is on when searching for images of "sackboy")

Sony didn't waste any time letting potential PS3 owners know who their system was for. The best launch game was Resistance: Fall of MAN. I have played this game. I really enjoyed it until I realized the subtle propaganda being pushed on me. In the game it appears that all of humanity is being attacked. But based on the title, the defeat of Men is the only thing that is noteworthy. Plus the game has this woman narrator who just sings the praises of the main character. "Nathan Hale is so strong and amazing." "Nathan Hale can save us all" "I wish I could be barefoot and pregnant for Nathan Hale". It's not just the MAN part of the title that is sexist. It's the entire thing. Resistance:Fall of Man, basically is another way of stating Resisting our world view that woman are inferior means the end of all that is good for males. it's disturbing

Some people may respond by pointing out sony published heavenly sword. After all, it stars a strong female protagonist kicking butt. But look at this picture of the box cover:

It's a half naked attractive woman. Clearly intended to be a sex object. Just check out that look in her eyes. So sultry. You know you want it. Such a bad girl........Sorry. to get back to the point, (she is hot though), The female character is being sold on her goodies. Plus they use the word "heavenly" in the title. That is a chick word. They couldn't use a strong aggressive word like BRUTAL sword. It had to be a word that highlights the sex of the character. She is a woman so her sword is so heavenly. It's sad.

Anyway. I think I've made my point. This is clearly a disturbing pattern. I hope I've brought a little enlightenment to Destructoid. In conclusion, I'm looking forward to Fat Princess, Resistance 2, and LBP.   read

5:35 PM on 08.20.2008

Squandered Potential: Achievements

When I joined the ranks of Xbox 360 owners I was excited about achievements. A way to track game skill and progress of every gamer seemed like a great and natural evolution. Gamers could finally wear their feats of gaming like a badge of honor. Unfortunately, lack of creativity, the desire to artificially extend game play, and laziness sank the potential Achievements once had.

I view a quality achievement as one that rewards game skill, encourages a player to experience part of the gameplay they might have missed, and enhances the overall game experience. Rarely do achievements do any of these things.

Many achievements are just random tedious tasks that have nothing to do with the game or gameplay. Often these are collection quests. Collecting 100 pieces of shit that only requires one to take the time to search everywhere is not an accomplishment. Its boring. The only skills it rewards is OCD or the inability to afford another game. The army doesn't give medals for peeling 1000 potatoes and developers shouldn't give points for running around collecting crap.

Often developers do this to extend gameplay. "you can finish the story in 10 hours, but it will take you 50 to find all the shit we've randomly placed in the environment. That's 60 hours of gameplay!" i don't think so. They might as well give an achievement for jumping up and down in one place for an hour. Its about as fun and takes the same amount of skill.

Other times achievements might be well intentioned, but the developers don't think them through. It might take some skill for a gamer to get 100 kills with a pistol in an online shooter, but It's rarely a good gaming strategy. Don't the developers know that many gamers put achievements above all else. That means I'm trying to do what I can for my team to win the match and some asshat is running around with only a pistol trying to get an achievement. It ruins the experience for everyone else.

I like achievements that encourage a gamer to experience all a game has to offer by encouraging them to try all the game modes or styles of gameplay, but granting achievement for a gamer doing basic things is just lazy. Play an online mode. POINTS! Create a character. POINTS. Pause the game: POINTS. Put the game in your xbox. POINTS.

Its just lazy and doesn't reward skill. I wish I got a bonus at work for turning on my computer or eating a donut.

I hope developer pull their heads out their collective ass and stop this shit. I have no faith they will


9:27 AM on 08.19.2008

Is there something wrong with me?

I consider myself to be opened minded when it comes to all forms of media. As long as something is quality, I will enjoy it. I like mindless comedy movies and art house drama films. I enjoy a good fps, a classic jrpg, the latest sports games, deep strategy games, and casual puzzlers. If it's well done, I usually can appreciate it. However, I'm sure we've all had the experience of getting our hands on the latest well reviewed game or on the classic game you never got around to playing and it sucked, or at least was mediocre. It's these moments I question my sanity, tastes, and judgment. Is there something wrong with me or is everyone else wrong? I don't think there is anything wrong with me, but what are the chances that everyone else got is wrong? It doesn't add up! WTF IS GOING ON? sorry. anyway, I'm going to highlight a few of these experiences I've had. It should be noted that, unlike some people who just enjoy trashing the latest popular game, I've given these games a chance and tried to enjoy them. Oblivion I started out loving this game for the first few hours. It had a huge open world, seemingly limitless opportunities, and captain picard. Then I tried the combat. well this kind of sucks. Then I explored the same dungeon (not literally) a few times. Sweet, I got some loot. wait I can't carry it all?! wtf is that? Well at least I leveled up. I don't seem stronger. oh I have to sleep first. well I still don't seem stronger. this is about the time I took the game out. This is the game everyone was talking about sinking 100+ hours into? What is wrong with them? or is it me? Castlevania: Symphony of the Night The first time I played this one was on xbla. I've heard so many good things about it. It's like metroid, but with vampires! I will say it wasn't a bad a game and I probably missed a lot, but there was nothing that made me want to look for more. So much backtracking. I felt like a rat in a maze of hype. I like metroid games. But this sir, is no metroid game. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Maybe it's because I never played a previous R&C game or maybe it was just overrated because most of the games on the PS3 at the time this was release were either trash or ports, but I find this game to be above average but not great. The graphics were amazing. The characters were relatively interesting. But the combat and gameplay just didn't hold my interest. kill a bunch of stuff with overpowered guns, collect all the shit they drop, repeat. Plus I never felt that the controls were intuitive. again, not a bad game, but did i miss something? wtf? anyway, those are a few examples off the top of my head. I'm looking forward to everyone sharing their own. that way I know I'm not alone, because I'll know that we all feel at times like we are know what i mean   read

8:35 AM on 08.18.2008

The first step is admitting you have a problem

let me tell you when I realized I hit rock bottom.

I purchased Civilization Revolution the day it was released. In early July. I've always been a civ fan and knew this game would likely have a good amount of replayability. I also hoped that this game would take up a lot of my gaming time until Mercs 2 was released, a game i'm really looking forward to. This is a reasonable hope. I'm a professional with a full time job. I have social engagements scheduled. Surely an expansive strategy game with solid online could fill the gaming need for a few weeks.

I don't know who I was trying to fool.

I've lost count how many games I've purchased since I picked up civ rev. Maybe 8 or 10. and its still weeks until Mercs 2. so what went wrong?

I am addicting to buying video games. I own countless games I've never completed and some I've never even played. Not finishing a game would be understandable if I didn't enjoy the gameplay or the story, but most of the unfinished games I've really enjoyed. So why do I do it? Why do I always need something new and fresh? Why is that game on the store shelf so attractive even though I have a handful of beauties at home? Why am I'm trolling through store flyers and on amazon and ebay looking for a great deal on games?

I need help. I suspect I am not the only one. Please lend me a hand in overcoming this affliction.

Now i'm off to circuit city to buy "Order Up!" for the Wii. It's on sale for $30, how can I pass that up?!


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