Gaming have always been a part of my life in some facit or another. I started with the Atari and moved on to the Nintendo and eventually Gameboy. The NES was a prize and I remember the hours I spent playing Super Mario Bros. 3 trying to find that whistle. Now of course the game can be completed in like 30 minutes, but I digress. Today, I am a proude Xbox 360 owner. However, I do try and branch out to the other systems when I am able. Currently, I am switching between Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, and the occassional Rock Band 2 jam sessions with friends.
Aside from games I also heavily enjoy movies and writing. I am working on my English Masters in the non-digital world in hopes of becoming a better and hopefully someday more highly published writer. I'll probably post some of my stuff up on here occassionally to get the opinions of the crowds. Until then, I have provided a few lists of my favorites, enjoy!
10 Favorite Games in no particular order just to name a few:
2) Turok Rage Wars
3) The Halo Series
4) Zelda: Ocarina of Time
5) Fallout 3
6) Psyops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
7) Donkey Kong Country
8) Mortal Kombat series
9) Resident Evil series
10) Soul Reaver series
I am also an avid movie lover and tend to stay up to date on the latest movie news and releases. 10 Favorite Movies in no particular order:
2) Donnie Darko
3) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
4) Friday the 13th series
5) Fifth Element
6) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
7) Fight Club
8) Final Fantasy VII
9) Hot Fuzz
10) The Princess Bride
I do like animated movies and films including of course anime. So in no particular order my favorite animated films and shows:
2) Afro Samurai
4) Justice League
6) Venture Bros.
7) Family Guy
10) The Boondocks
I also read comics here is what I currently have on the rack:
1) Moon Knight
3) Friday the 13th
4) Punisher: War Journal
I am an all around nerd and enjoy a variety of different mediums and forums.
Recenlty, the Ninja Blade demo was released on the Xbox 360 network and I had the unfortunate luck of playing this dreadful ga...I mean demo. I realize that demos are not always an accurate reproduction of what the final game will be but this demo irratated me so much I just had to say something.
Ninja Blade is the story of a ninja [ if you couldn't figure that out from the title], and the thing that seperates this ninja from all other ninjas is that he has several weapons, or blades, strapped to his back [again, look at the title its right there]. The demo starts out revealing with some hard to read caption cause I don't own an HD TV that some worm thing is running amok in Japan. Then a quick video clip shows our usual ninja and game cliches: the moody ninja, the desposable ninjas, the quiet yet prophetic master, our main character, and the random street hip black ninja who flies the plane [racist much]. Game should have just been called driving Miss. Ninja. So here is where the lack of fun begins:
Our hero with his cache of weapons dives out of the plane and on the way down the player is given quicktime button presses that act as a tutorial for slashing up enemies as he falls. I know this seems cool at first and even I was fooled, but then once you fail to push the button in the correct time or push the wrong button the game freezes and acts Prince of Persian esque by rewinding to right before you have to do the button press. Now, this idea seems alright at first. I feel as if I am a part of the movie cinematic in some way, which does blend into the game quite well, but then after repeated issues this gets old and fast. The coolness factor quickly wore off and I managed to land. I thought well this isn't to bad of an issue and maybe it just happens occassionally. But oh wait it gets worse.
Now its time for the actual hack n' slash game play that I looke forward too. The game starts you off with several weapons operated by the d-pad. I do not know if you start off with these weapons in the actual game or its just a way for the demo to get you interested. Anyway, you have weapons, your magic (ninpo), your dash attack, and your combos. All of which work together in total original gameplay. Of course I am being sarcastic here.
No the weapons: 1 big sword, 1 regular sword, 1 nunchuck thing, 1 throwy blade thing, all made a debut in Ninja Gaiden. Dash attack was a feature of Shinobi for the PS2, and Ninpo is featured in Ninja Gaiden and I think Shinobi as well. I figured the game was just trying to be over the top, I mean the title is so creative after all, that I tried to let this go. After all you do have one unique thing, "ninja vision," which basically acts as a hint button for enemy and boss battles. The one huge flaw in this area is the combo or fight system, or rather the whole point of the game.
The controls are sluggish and seem to have no effect on the enemies. I loved Ninja Gaiden because of the fast action and I had the same love of Shinobi for the same reason. Both of those two games did not always take themselves as seriously, but even during their serious moments still managed to provide good game play. Ninja Blade has none of this and when I finally reach the boss of this demo, a giant spider, after several quick button presses which grew more and more annoying I was treated to a lame fight with this spider. I basically ran up to the spider and chopped its legs off. The action of this was hurt by a lack luster and un challenging strategy: hit spider with giant sword, run away with dash attack, and repeat. There is a little bit more here but you get the idea...oh and then during this you have to mash some buttons per the request. The real idiotic part of this battle was when the spider changed positions and produced some type of tiny claw thing. The spider would shoot out some fire balls, to which I would just walk around the screen or wait in the corner until it was finished. Then I would walk up to the spider and jump and swing at this use less claw thing. This part took forever and seemed uncordinated and unfocused. Eventually, I got bored and prayed for the end. When the game does end you are treated to an interesting cinematic that again you must participate in by pushing the right buttons at the right time. Unfortunately, this cool segment is marred by the rest of the game/demo.
In short, I hope this post/review, which is probably a waste of time just like Ninja Blade, saves you from making the same mistake I made when I chose to play incestual ninja offspring that is Ninja "Blade".
With Watchmen set to debut in just a few days it is not surprising that the game has just made its debut on the XBLA. PS3 fans will get a chance to enjoy the game on the PSN network very soon as well. I read the review provided by the Destructoid crew and I must admit that I am in complete disagreement with them. While I feel the game is a typical brawler it also offers some quick and smooth game play. And, for just $20.00 the Watchmen game is a great deal when compared with the crap found on the XBLA system.
Pros: The game has decent graphics for its $20 value. If you take the time to look at Rorschach's face you will even see it melt and change. I was plesently surprised about the detail in the levels as well. The fire actually resembles fire and the mood of the graphic novel is captured perfectly by the setting, voice over, and comic book cut screens. If you are a fan of the graphic novel or merely looking for a decent arcade game to destract you until something else comes out then I wholly recommend this game. The brawling mechanics are decent as well and I felt as if my characters had weight to them. The "oh cool" moments are definitly plenty in this game and watching Rorschach snap someone's arm or pummel them in the crouch is worth it.
Cons: The game is repitious and hordes or nameless villains constantly attach without provication. However, if you know the storyline of book or even grasp the setting of the game then you realize that these nameless villains very much fit. At the same time I do think putting a decent named villain from the book would not have been to difficult here and there. I will also say that though I like the combo system it does not seem all that necessary. Often times combos take to long to use when I could just as easily throw an enemy or rip their face off, metaphroically of course.
So in short I think the game has some high replay value but is not meant to be taken as the usual game. The game is $20 for a reason and will wet the appetite of a fan or again give the XBLA system a decent game until something else is available.
I realize the great game debate is just as over done and tense as the one done on abortion. Everyone has a comment most of which are misleading and ignorant of the facts *cough* Jack Thompson. Yet no matter what the issue continues and now even more so with the release of Grand Theft Auto: Lost and the Damned.
I realize there is already a post on the issue but I want to focus more on Lost and Damned's full frontal nudity, God Forbid, and on the entire debate itself. First off, does any one remember a game called XXX-BMX.
The game tried to combine to cool things: BMX and full-frontal female nudity. Players could do BMX tricks and earn money to spend at a strip club. The game would then show actual strip club footage allowing the player to immerse themselves in the same grungy world of drunken and sexual debauchery without having to leave the home. Almost like what most people do on a typical Friday night with internet porn and a bottle of lotion. The game also allowed the player to create a topless female character to ride around the course with. Now maybe I am wrong on some the details. I never got to play the game myself, not because I did not want to, but because the game is awful. And I am not speaking of the moralistic implications of the game I mean the game just sucks, maybe literally who knows. The game mechanics were awful and a gamer soon found that it was better to watch real porn while playing a Matt Hoffman BMX game then to buy XXX-BMX. I bring up this game because lets face, there is no real controversy of the game. However, as soon as a penis is shown in a good game, a popular game, and even a media frenzy worthy game tempers flare.
Lets face the videogame debate did not start over nudity but violence. Violence had always been an issue going way back before Mortal Kombat. Then of course Mortal Kombat made the scene, a game that featured unrealistic blood but awesome fatalities and people, parents and old people, freaked. And understandably so. Mortal Kombat was an arcade game and had no restrictions to a younger audience who were only a quarter away from shoving a sword up someone's ass. [Blogger Note: Scorpion actually did this to me in Mortal Kombat Armagedon. I had been fighting him over and over again trying to beat him when all of a sudden performs a fatality on me by spinning me around, bending me over, shoving a sword up my character's ass, and then removing said sword with pieces of my body attached. This is why Scorpion is both a dick and awesome.] Still when the rating system took over, and companies like Gamestop and Toys 'R Us started to adhere to the ratings and require proof of age or adult consensus to purchase or rent games the debate should have ended there.
But it didn't...
No. The gamer debate continued. School shootings didn't help, but at the same time school shootings should not have been a factor. I could understand if we were in the world of virutal reality that is portrayed in Metal Gear Solid 4 but we are not. Have you ever fired a gun? Well, I will tell you from first hand experience that it is difficult at first. I do not care how much Halo I had played but when I went to a firing range for the first time I ended up with a bruised shoulder and bullet casing burn on my wrist. Oh, and at no point did a say you know in Halo he holds the gun like this and then *poof* oh my god I am a natural shot. Not even close. You know what makes kids commit acts of violence: parental neglect, constant bullying, inadequate school systems, loss of reality, and general craziness (oh Damien "Its all for you.").
Now I do think games can spurn violence when for example a person plays a game to long and loses their sense on reality. I will not hate on the WoW people but I have read far more issues about Everquest then WoW anyway. And still, in these instances the person's choice to play the game, or the parents letting the child play the game still comes down to choice. The game did not force anyone to commit acts of violence someone made a choice to do so. And no, a game cannot suggest committing acts of violence otherwise movies and books can do the same thing.
I do not care how much prostitute killing is done in a game, as long as the game is being played by the person the game is intended then there should be no debate. If a 12 or 16 year old child is playing GTA then most likely the parents bought that game for that child. So in essence yes, "Blame the parents." I realize kids make their own choices but this does not excuse parental choice. If most parents would take half the time the need to spend with them instead of being consumed by their own BS then the kid would probably turn out alright and the world would not be burdened with the passive agressive Millenium students we have today whose only recourse when dealing with a situation is to run to mom and dad because they were never taught how to deal with problems on their own. Or maybe parents should just cut the cord and let their kids grow a little as individuals and next time your kid gets beat up for picking a fight or bullying another kid you should tell that kid tough, deal with it cause you made the decision that lead to this instead of trying to sue the other kid or the kid's family. Now all this comes from a non-parent some I'm sure someone will have an issue.
In short, GTA: Lost and the Damned is intended for 17 or 18 year olds and up. The game even comes with a nice little mature content warning on it. The game is not made for kids nor it is intended for kids. And if the person playing cannot handle the nudity or violence then turn the game off and find another one to play. Go play Flower. The only violence in that game is [SPOILER] when at some point the game lightening develops the ability to electrocute flower petals. Still a great game though. I will admit that occassionally people will not check the rating of a game and will then sell that game to a kid. After all I witnessed an adult cashier at a Gamestop tell a parent that GTA was to violent only to go and suggest God of War. Luckily, I as the voice of reason spoke up and said, "Doesn't that game have an orgy mini-game? Sorry 13 year old kid you will have to find another way for your balls to drop, so off you run go play some Naruto."
I think the whole vidoegame argument exist because parents, or even just adults in general do not play videogames for the most part and as such this new thing or even thing that captures their child's attention so easily scares them. At the same time parents, who work hard to suppor their families, like the digital babysitter for what it is. Better then having little Johnny get hit by a car or smoking crack out in suburbia hell. Again though, and it does not take much, would not let your kid watch an R-rated movie without your guidence. So why would you let the kid play an R-rated game. It just does not make sense. Besides, games are not just for kids, even though most people act like kids when they play them, the games are for a wide range of ages, for people of all genders, sexual orientation, religions, races, etc. Games have the potential to provide enjoyment for just about anyone or to allow just about anyone to be offended, which I think is trully grand. Equality.
Now lets get back to something that really matters like the console war.
I believe a few weeks ago there was a tech blog about that mentioned the Jawbone headset. Well I found a commercial for it. I'm not sure if its been posted already but the thing is hilarious and features the usual thing nerds like which is asian women and violence. So, enjoy:
This year alone so the outpour of many videogame sequels. I myself have been busy playing Fallout 3, Rockband 2, and Gears of War 2. However, in playing these great games with the anticipation of more great games such as Bioshock 2 I am left to remember those games whose sequels never saw the light of day.
Remebered to some as that game Orson Scott Card wrote Advent Rising told the story of a man on a quest to save something from some aliens with use of powers now copied in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock. Advent Rising ultimately failed due to the many glitches that plagued it. I remember one friend reporting that everytime he went to target a creature for the purpose of firing his rocket launcher his character would immediately target his feet and proceed to blow them off. I think the game even promised a million dollar prize for anyone who found the online hidden objects. This prize was recounted when the game failed to meet quota and videogame company that produced it went under.
However, despite the glitches I really enjoyed this game. Sure it was frustrating at times, but it was also fun and it had a great story to go along with it. The story had a choice factor that altered the ending of the game. You chose either to save the main characters girlfriend or brother. And which over person you choose changed your final boss at the end of the game. I will admit that Orson Scott Card is a great writer and the games story really compelled me to go on even when the games frustrating glitches were enough to throw the controler through the television. Unfortunately, the game ends with your character dumped in the middle of a snow planet in waite for the next instalment of this three game triology. Since the company went under the game was never finished.
PsyOps: The Mindgate Conspiracy
This game is probably one of my all time favorite Xbox games and the mere thought of it prompts me to fond memories and a prayer that Mircrosoft will make it backwards compatible. In the game you are infiltrating a Cobra like headquarters where the generals of the installation each have their own unique mind powers such as telekenisis, pryrokenisis, and the ability to take over people's bodies just to name a few. The reasons for infiltrating this terrorist complex are not fully explained and the main character in learning about his different abilities is also trying to remember his mission. Since he's infiltrating a place with telepaths they made him forget.
The core of the gameplay involves using your different powers which involve livitating things, setting them on fire, taking them over, etc. along with gun play to make your way through the many levels of the game. Though I enjoyed the Force Unleashed I think it pales in comparision with this game. Some people will argue Second Sight was a better game, but those people can get their heads out of their asses. Anyway, the game was fun. The creators gave the bad guys load of catchy dialouge to sputter as you kill them in a variety of ways such as electrocution, being flattened after being thrown into a compressor, or my personal favorite taking over an enemy solider and then making them commit suicide with their own weapon. Some of the dialouge includes, "Its my first day," and "But its my birthday."
Now the game eneded on a cliff hanger with the main character remembering everything. Unfortunately the company went bankrupt or something and the games sequel was never finished. This is really sad cause I felt the game had so much potential. By playing the game you could unlock an Arcade mode and you could earn new costumes such as that of a clown or charred solider. The game also had one of the most interesting co-op experiences were one friend would control the movement and sight of the character along with the characters ability to fight, while the other person controled all the powers and firearms. I know this would seem frustrating but I had a lot of fun with it.
Lets face it I don't need to talk about this game everyone has been waiting for it and hopefully it will be out soon, and by soon I mean within the next decade or so. Still I felt it needed to be mentioned.
Pokemon: Red and Blue
Now I think I should also mention games that need to stop with the sequels. First and foremost is Pokemon. When Pokemon first came out for the Gameboy in the either Red or Blue edition I jumped on the chance to acquire this game. I started with Blue and picked Bulbasaur as my first Pokemon. I love the game and eventually acquired Red so that I could trade between the two games. Someone recently sent me a link to a game that acts like a direct sequel to this game where you played as Ash's son. Anyway, my point being I loved the first game but I hated all teh other sequels that came after. I felt like the franchise was being milked for all it was worth. I don't even know what their up to now, steele and platinum or something.
Dragonball Z games
I've been playing Dragonball Z: Burst Limite recently. I enjoy the game and it brings me back to the days of trying to play the SNES versions of the game. However, in playing this game I was forced to think of all the other crappy games that came before it. I love DBZ and to this day I still think fondly of the series even though they should have stopped after the Cell Saga. Like the show the games have just gone to far. They need to make a decision. Have a game with every character like Mortal Kombat did, make sure the game is good, and then just leave it alone.
On a side note the image above is for an MMORPG that is supposed to come to 360 at some point in which you can pick a human, namek, or sayian character and then go from there. Not sure how accurate the info is, but the game sounds cool if they don't screw it up. Got the info. from here: http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26152241&page=0&prev_button=1
Thats all I have for now if any one else has anything to add please do I'm sure there are some more sequels out there that should be buried.