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9:34 AM on 03.05.2010

Microsoft Drops Some Reperations For Original Xbox Players

As most everybody knows by now, support for original xbox is getting cut on april 15. Knowing this for a while, I decided to dust off my copy of halo 2 and reminisce of simpler times. Looks like it paid off too! If you happened to play halo 2 or any other original classic xbox games recently, Check your email. I'm not sure if this will apply to everyone, but yesterday morning I received an email stating:

"On April 15, 2010, we will discontinue the Xbox LIVE service for original Xbox games playable on Xbox v1 and Xbox 360. In our continuing efforts to evolve the service, we need to make changes to the LIVE service that are not compatible with original Xbox v1 games.
What does this change mean for you?
• It does not affect your ability to play original Xbox v1 games offline, but does remove LIVE connectivity and support for online multiplayer, leader boards, and other online features of these games.
• We realize that you are an avid Halo 2 fan. Unfortunately, with this change, you will not be able to play Halo 2 on Xbox LIVE going forward.
• Although it is difficult to say goodbye to Halo 2, the Halo franchise continues as the benchmark for multiplayer gaming in this generation with Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and soon Halo: Reach. On the Xbox 360, you will continue to have access to the LIVE service where you can enjoy hundreds of other LIVE-enabled games.
When will this change take effect?
• April 15, 2010.
What is Xbox LIVE doing for me?
• To thank you for being a loyal Xbox LIVE customer, we are giving you a free, three-month LIVE Gold membership and 400 Microsoft Points for you to use as you choose on Xbox LIVE.
• In addition, because you've been so loyal to Halo, we are inviting you to participate in the exclusive Halo: Reach Beta.
How do I get these offers?
• You will receive a token for 400 MS points. Check your Xbox LIVE account messages on the console. These points can be used for 365 days after you activate your token.
• We are extending your Gold membership by three months automatically. The extension will be directly reflected in your LIVE account.
• Finally, as the beta gets closer, you will receive an e-mail containing the code granting you access to the exclusive Halo: Reach Beta.
Thank you for being a loyal Xbox LIVE member. Please visit if you have any questions or for more information.
The Xbox LIVE Team"

400 Free points? Three Free Months? A Free Reach Beta invite (I already own odst, but thanks anyway! Maybe I'll give that to one of my less fortunate friends.)

On one hand, they really didn't have to give players anything, but hey, it's a nice gesture I suppose considering they are cutting some services from paying members. I'm sure cutting them is more price efficient and Beneficial for them, but oh well, can't help but be a tiny bit bummed by that.   read

6:42 AM on 11.20.2009

No More Heroes: Paradise: Nintendo Can't Get A Break.

So chances are, if you own a Wii, you may own a copy of No More Heroes seeing how it's one of best games in the console's very limited repertoire. But it would seem that Nintendo just can't hold a title exclusively all that long. To me this is very reminiscent of Resident Evil 4. What was supposedly a "Nintendo Exclusive" ended up having a porting party the first chance Capcom got. "Exclusive titles" for Nintendo basically only last about a year or so before they are no longer so.

Even Third Party games from the N64 are getting ported to the 360, that's how far it's been taken.

Why yes, I know this is a business and companies are simply trying to make sure the game they spent countless hours making and polishing gets the maximum amount of exposure all while making that dolla dolla bill. And honestly, who doesn't love Suda 51?

But I can't help to feel bad for Nintendo. They get a good, mature audience oriented original title only to have it be ported. Something Wii owners can no longer hold close to them to tout their system. Now even games developed to take advantage of the motion sensor are getting moved to other platforms. It's almost to the point where only first party titles are exclusive to the Wii now. And often times, the Wii gets left out (for obvious reasons) in cross platform titles or they get their own watered down version of it.

It's really warms my heart to see something such as No More Heroes get the attention it deserves, I love everything about it. The story, characters, dialogue, music, etc. But I don't always like to see the line blur on matters on this. Sometimes I wish Nintendo would get a little bit more support from Third Party Developers. Nintendo has been around for them.....but not always the other way around. If a game is cross platform, why would anyone go out to buy a different console instead of using the ones they already own, especially in this economy?

And with the PS3 having a motion sensing controller and the Project Natal on the 360 (which Suda 51 has expressed a deep interest in) one could bet that more motion sensor based projects will be moved over to these systems who already have a well established online community and much more powerful systems, leaving the Wii stranded.

A little pride in a brand and product would be nice to see for a change.

But will I buy No More Heroes Paradise? You bet your ass that I will. I'm a sucker for the creations of Suda 51 and it's a game so nice, I'll buy it twice. ....................T_T   read

8:49 AM on 05.01.2008

GTA IV's Newest Superhero/Psychopath: Ratman!?

Maybe you've heard talk about it.
Mainly that's all anyone has been hearing about it.

So I come home after school yesterday, of course and I go to play GTA IV. My older bro comes in and tells me that one of his friends last night was playing GTA IV When his car broke down. He decided to take a back alley on his search for a new ride. As he was walking down there, apparently a creature that looked like as a human rat. It had a rat head, and rat body, but shaped like a person, like Splinter From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It leapt out and killed him. He was caught with no time to react and was killed instantly, only left to think....."WTF?" He is supposedly incredibly fast and tough to kill as well. He was spotted around the area where you begin the game. A specific location mentioned was Algonquin. He's been supposedly spotted both in the single player and online multiplayer

Of course I thought to myself "yeah, and Big foot was in San Andreas and Star Craft Ghost is really going to be released." And "Pics or it didn't happen." Albeit, it sure does sound like a load of BS. There's no denying that

But then I considered, "What if this time, this is just more than Forum myths?"
From the sound of this, there's a chance that it's legit. Sure a little farfetched, but who knows?

Apparently There's talk of him on the radio and new in Liberty City. About some Psycho killer on the loose who targets people mainly at night. Although, I've never actually heard any mention of him in the game thus far, So I cannot support this claim.
And apparently the Guide book says something about being "It's a superhero that runs around killing criminals. Think Batman, but at the lower end of the gene pool." I'll have to give the Guide Book a quick skim first chance I get.

Now we know that Rockstar always finds some extras to throw in there.
I'm sure you've already heard talk about a chained up heart in the statue of Happiness.
But still, people should have pics to back up their claims.
I'm sure the forums will be yammering about this in the upcoming days. Some stories, true maybe, but then all the false claims to accompany it.

I've heard some skeptical stories such as him picking up a car that someone was in with a hooker until the hooker fell out, then he picked her up and said "Mina" and ran off into the night, or that he says something like "If you tell anyone I'll F***ing kill you!!!!!" Along with threatening Michelle's life. There's plenty more storys as in, following someone down an alley, then he dissapears and Ratman pops out, perhaps that someone being Ratman. Or following rats down an alley and he'll show up

Mhm, sure...I call shenanigans.
Well, if any of you happen to stumble upon this or any proof of this, Would you kindly tell me and expose the truth?
I still say Pics or it didn't happen   read

10:11 AM on 02.20.2008

Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

After Getting the mile high achievement in Call Of Duty 4 and tearing through some rock band, I think I should get back to bloggin'.

Warning: There are science terms that were probably made up.
As you may of heard, recently the University Of Michigan has created what they claim
“It is the highest-intensity laser that has been shown.”

For such a strong laser, it only uses about 20 joules, less than the 8,000 joules stored in a tic tac. The energy that is squeezed into this area (about a hundred times thinner than a human hair)

In English:
If you held a giant magnifying glass in space and focused all of the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, the ray would approach the intensity of the new laser beam.

"Such intense beams could help scientists develop better proton and electron beams for radiation treatment of cancer, among other applications."

Aww, how noble right? I was thinking we use it for something else.....

We're one step closer to achieving the construction of a Death Star!
Think about it, with a Death Star in our arsenal, we would be unstoppable!

I know what you're thinking. What good is a death star if it blows up the planet on which we live on? Well, turn down its intensity? Or we could move next door...

It could also replace the Call of Duty 4's Air Strike. Better get inside before it hits!

Think of all its benefits....

North Korea + Cuba + China=

Slightly Evil? Maybe. But Communism needs to go, forever.
For this Death Star, as long as we cover those exhaust vents, put the force field generator on a more secure location and learn how to search a ship for hiding crew members, every thing should be peachy.
In case of a take over or invasion, from space pirates or communists or whoever else may attempt to, we can simply detonate the Halo ring world.
It's a win win situation.

Any other benefits? You betcha sweet bippy there are!


10:35 AM on 02.04.2008

Over The Years and Through the Woods: Video Game Movies, who still thinks’ it's a good idea?

Who here has been disappointed by a movie based on a game? Raise your hands. Yeah, I thought so...

Over the Years we have seen countless film adaptations of games ranging from almost mediocre to EPIC FAIL. They come in every type and genre: Mario, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Final Fantasy, Blood Rayne and the list goes on.

They all have one thing in common...THEY SUCK. Granted that only Resident Evil and Final Fantasy have been able to produce a decent film adaptation, but besides that, they're all sad versions of the games we love.

Also, most of these films make you think of this guy...

Possibly the most hated person in gaming since Jack Thompson and Tipper gore. He has been responsible for some of the biggest abominations in movies based on games. A cold wind and shudder is brought on every time his name is attached to one of these projects. Especially that he continues to get work and money for projects like Far cry. Anyone else feel that cold wind again?

The media still portrays games as for kids and not a big part of entertainment, but can we blame them when we have nothing good to show for it with what we display in a different type of entertainment format? The only people I've ever seen enjoy these films are well the ill-informed and cinematards or those who've never touched one of the games that the movie is “based on." In my Media Arts 2 (film) class, I sit snuggly on the couch while I watch my favorite teacher teach the class (not a bad gig eh?). But he started the class as he does every year, by having the students bring in a list of their top ten favorite movies of all time. (In which later you see how it has changed from your gained knowledge of film.) As the class started, it was all normal with the usual films showing up on the lists (300, Sin City, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir dogs, Casablanca. All the great films of course) then I heard as one student read from their list. "Silent Hill" was in their top ten of favorite movies of all time.

Me and my fellow gamers/media arts 2 students in the class couldn't help but laugh and wonder "Are they serious? Favorite film of ALL TIME!? I lost a little bit of hope for humanity. Whether or not they heard our outrage and laughter, I do not know. But the point stands. Movies based on games and AFI top 100 greatest films of all time don't mix.

What I wonder though is why? Is it really that hard to make a movie based on a game? Will it ever live up to the game? I mean, the story and plot material is already laid out there for shouldn't be this hard. We either end up getting a half assed retelling, rehashed version of the game's story with plot changes, a terrible original story or one that falls in between with a plot tie in.

But let’s say it’s a perfect adaptation of the game's story with plot, story and characters 100% true to the game and intact, then what? Will it be goodthen? Well, I say, an extant.

One main reason films can't seem to make a good game based movie is the lack of user interactivity. This is where the games thrive and the movie flops. How can this key feature be duplicated or replaced in a film? Can it?

Well I don't know about you fine reader, but I'm pretty much done with video game movies. It's sad when the title is the only real selling point of a film and people are tricked into seeing it because of the title. I'm about ready to call this subject a loss cause.   read

10:12 AM on 01.29.2008

What is and what should never be: This Fight is Finished.

Perhaps it is a little to soon to issue a rebuttal, but someone needs to throw in the towel for this one. Some excellent points were brought up (See Previous Blog) which I will address now with these closing statements. Then lets all agree to stop arguing about it, okay?

Lets face it Halo was one of, if not the reason that people decided to buy Xboxes. It gave Gave them a good/great game, that was easy enough for beginners and deep enough for the Hardxcore. It started a phenomenon which included (but not limited to) merchandise, machinema, novels, etc. Are any of these things new? Well no, but it did bring these things into the public light. The first time I ever played Halo: Combat Evolved was at a friends house and I took a liking to it. Not only was the multiplayer fun, but the campaign was epic and had a good length and pace. Except for the flood, there is no amount of nostalgia to ever make me enjoy fighting the flood, ever. After I finished the campaign through legendary and played it through many times more, I played it so much that nothing but the multiplayer to explore. Sure, the majority of the matches usually came down to pistols, grenades, vehicles MA5B+ melee repeat, but there was always a certain...lets say...novelty to it. I'm pretty sure that’s not the right word. For some of us, it was our first time LANing. But you have to admit that it must of done something right to get the hardxcore gaming crowd into it. Holding tourneys, numerous fan sites. It was quite the experience.

Then the next thing out of our mouths was " When’s Halo 2 coming out?". So we waited and waited and waited, dealt with some delays and waited some more. We kept Halo: Combat Evolved spinning in our disc drives for years before the sequel dropped. Then the day came, everyone skipped school and their jobs to snuggle up on the couch with their new friend Halo 2. And what came of this? Did it live up to the hype? Well, no, it sure didn't. The campaign for one, on the third mission, they drop you in the role of the Arbiter...such a let down. Playing as an elite, A character that for years we were taught to hate and appose by any means necessary. Are we supposed to sympathize with him and the covenant? Hell no. Nobody really liked this character or cared for him. Then on top of that, the Campaign took a nose dive after the first few missions. Was there suppose to be an ending that bungie forgot to put in? What happened to the demo level they showed at E3? That might have been fun. Why did they spend all that time on it just to churn out a generic-esque campaign?

The multiplayer? Sure it was great. Matchmaking was done real well. Besides some glitches and hacks which most of were addressed. It was solid. It featured some of the finest and most innovative maps that the series has ever seen. The custom games were fun and while of course, you would get tired of after a while. You would always come back to it. Although LANing is almost always superior, personally I had quite a good time on LIVE with it, playing friends who I don't get to see often. My friends and I would stay up till five or six in the morning playing, until we were so tired and after the effects of the pizza and mountain dew wore off, we could no longer keep our eyelids open and we let our xbox/xbox 360's come to a halt. God I miss those days, it reminds me that I need to play like that more often. Things stayed that way for a while, until the Halo 3 beta dropped, it propelled sale for Crackdown and built up the hype machine yet again. Was it fun? Hella fun. Maybe it's because most of us felt that this is what Halo 2's multiplayer should have been. It made me realize how much I missed the assault rifle too.

Then Halo 3 finally came out....and here we are. We finished a lackluster fight. The campaign still was lacking as we hoped it wouldn't have been. The multiplayer was much improved over Halo 2's, with less glitches and feeling more balanced. One thing worse than Halo 2 LIVE was that the matchmaking system, while well thought out and as good as it is, takes a lot longer to get you into a match. With more options, game types, custom games to keep you entertained, most of us were quite satisfied with it, all though I must admit that I feel that Forge is kind of uninteresting, especially when so many of us had hoped for a map editor.

And what has changed in the series since Halo: Combat Evolved? Honestly, not a much of anything. The campaign in the series overall always gives you the feeling that its trying to live up to the original, but it just can't and probably never will. Its just missing that original epicness and whatever sense of originality that the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign contained.

The multiplayer hasn't really been changed since the original, we saw weapons and vehicles come and go, power ups, special items, clans and so on. But basically nothing has really changed. But if it isn't broke don't fix it I guess. I mean people have been playing the same version of Counter-Strike for eight some years, regardless of different versions they have released. They just love it. That why we keep playing something regardless of its lack of change. Either it’s your style and you keep playing it or you find something more suited to you. No one is hiding the fact that the Halo series has had a real drought and a lack of innovation and originality since the original. Improved graphics, controls, slight weapon/vehicle and character changes only count for so much.

Call of Duty
Call of Duty started out as seemingly another WWII shooter, back when Medal of Honor was on the decline. Around this time, Call of Duty was able to differentiate from the WWII with multiple story lines and perspectives, no longer just U.S. vs. Nazi Germany. The use of believable, life like characters and scripted events added to it greatly. The multiplayer was fun and started to catch on.

Then many of us eagerly waited for Call of Duty 2. In the mean time though, we had some good expansion packs but also a couple bad, generic feeling console only versions. Then the 360 launched and Call of Duty 2. It was like a fresh breath of air in the WWII FPS genre. It kept us busy for quite some time with an epic Campaign and multiplayer that was still as fun as the original if not better. Then Call of duty 3 came out and kind of came and went. Developed by a different studio, it just lacked the excitement and events of Call of duty 2. It felt like nothing much had changed from the previous ones. Vehicles were more integrated and graphics were improved, but added nothing to the game. The interactive in game cut scenes felt uninteresting, especially when resident Evil Four had done already and so much better. The increase of the amount of people in a miltiplayer match was kind of nice, but it wasn't really different from Call of Duty 2. It suffered from "Haloitis" is a good way to sum it up.

Then here we are, Call of Duty 4. It exceeded many of our expectations. Especially with the departure from WWII. Many were skeptical that is, until we got it for our selves. The campaign, while perhaps a little short, was gripping and epic till the end. The multiplayer, well that’s really the center of all of the arguments. It perfectly closed the line between a realistic and arcade-esque First person Shooter. The match making system, despite its occasional mismatches, was really well thought and carried out. I found myself in a lobby and in a match in less than thirty seconds, something Halo 3 needs to improve on. the perk system and weapon upgrade system are quite balanced and doesn't leave any with a greater advantage over another opponent. I haven't really encountered any "power weapons" while playing. And unlike in Halo, your individual style and preferences don't really harm you. You earn all of your equipment and perks so there aren't any weapon hogs or people running around the map, desperately looking for a weapon that can keep up with another. These systems allow you to completely tailor it to your style and help this game stand out among others. The boot camp and challenges give you something to do besides your normal match types to try for. I personally am excited for what’s next in the series, hopefully they can improve upon this formula.

In conclusion, both of these games are great and excel in their fields, doing what they do best. They're both fun and thats what games should be about FUN. Not debating and arguing over what one of these two completely games are better. It’s much like comparing apples and oranges. Go have fun with these games instead of patrolling message boards to find a fan of one or the other for the sole purpose of telling how wrong they are and how craptastic their game selection is. I have equal love for both of these games so I'll never side with one over the other. Sometimes I need a tactical shooter and sometimes I need a Sci-fi one. May this argument cease to exists from here on out. Just go play your game of choice and enjoy it already, sheesh.   read

10:44 AM on 01.28.2008

What is and what should never be.

As you know, gaming has it many debates on which is better. Resident Evil vs. Silent Hill. Quake vs. Doom. The Legend Of Zelda vs. Final Fantasy. Soul Calibur vs. Dead or Alive. And so on and so forth, but lately there has been one argument that to me doesn't make too much sense. I'm talking about Halo 3 vs. Call of Duty 4.

As soon as Call of Duty 4 was released, I saw many Halo enthusiasts instantly drop the game and start playing Call of Duty 4. They claim that they see no reason to ever go back to Halo 3 after they made the bandwagon jump to Call of Duty 4, but why?

I mean sure, everyone has their preferences, but why did all of a sudden Halo 3 get shunned? My friend Brian, who keep in mind, originally bought a 360 so he could get Halo 3, was one of the first people to abandon it once Call Of Duty 4 came around. My point is, I'm not sure why these games decided to get grouped together for the purpose of arguing over.

They are very different games. Call Of Duty 4 is your tactical, ultra realistic "shoot you in the pinky toe and die because the vibrations carry through your bodily fluids and which in turn rupture your vital organs" And Halo 3 is your ,sci-fi, far from real "die from a laser which can go through an over shield and 4 inches of metal. They are two completely different games, sharing only the fact that they are First Person Shooters and huge titles, among other miscellaneous similarities.

So why then have gamers been at each other’s neck about this issue? How I see things, this debate shouldn't really be going on, but yet it is. Why not argue over games with the same style and genre? Arguing over Counter-Strike vs. Call of Duty 4 and Unreal Tournament vs. Halo 3 would make a lot more sense now wouldn't it? Those are arguments I could get into. Perhaps its because the Halo series have been blown out of proportion by media coverage and not to mention an underwhelming sequel, while Call of Duty 4 almost came out of nowhere, with only COD fans eargerly anticipating it. Now word of mouth has caught on about the game and its spreading.

I don't know about you, but I have enough love for Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3. I have to admit that lately I have been more into Call of Duty 4, especially on LIVE, but that’s because Call of Duty 4 doesn't allow split screen LANing or split screen via LIVE. A feature that Halo has had since Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. My Friends and I can LAN Halo 3 any time we want. So Call of Duty 4 takes precedence on live immediately.

And do you really want to play either Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3 exclusively? Well recently my friend Brian, who was so against ever playing Halo 3 again, has started playing Halo 3 again. Shocking isn't it? Well not really. That’s the main issue that gets me with the Halo or Call of Duty zealots. When I ask them if they'll ever go back to Halo, they always swear that they'll never touch it again. These are the same people who weeks later you see on your friends list with "online in Halo 3" under their name. They come back they ALWAYS come back.

I think the majority of us need to use our time better and split it between more games. Sure, I might catch some flack for saying this, but I have enough love for both of these games. And besides, All Call of Duty 4 and no Halo 3 makes Samson a dull boy.   read

9:07 AM on 01.25.2008

First Post/Dial up Dial out

Ok well, this is my first post as you can see.
And I thought I would start with something some of us have to deal with constantly and needless to say, it grinds our gears. Out of all the issues that bother us Gamers: game ratings, Anti gaming laws and those naerdowell politicians who try to stop games from getting into the hands of gamers. There is one problem that annoys us so constantly. That problem is Dial-up. Yeah thats right dial up.

These people are easy to spot because we are the ones who always have friends download music for us and are subjected to only playing on live at their friend's house. You'll see them in social slayer matches, not even necessarily on the same team either, which is always annoying. It usually has matches ending with people saying "This is why I hate social slayer". But then again, can you blame them? What other options are there?

Chances are, if they don't have high speed its because its not available in their area and well, Satellite internet just frankly sucks. Most of them aren't willing to pickup a 1 month card because they will seldomly use it. Or If they do have a year subscription card, they won't use it until they have live at their home (like me). Personally, I will buy a month subscription card so I'm not stuck in social slayer or using someone elses profile, because everyone hates that and I can have my own stats and use a headset.

But the one thing that bothers me the most about these internet service providers is that they are more concerened with putting limits on your bandwidth and patroling the internet when they should be focusing on expanding their service and making it available to a greater number of people.

Why is it that America keeps going down in rank for availability and bandwidth while third world countries are having a greater coverage area? Not to mention our lack of 3G service areas. Sure we have a bigger area to cover but come on, its not like we live out in the middle of nowhere. When people are willing to pay for overpriced services, is it really too much to ask for them to step up the bandwidth and not put limits on it? Is it too much to ask for them not to determine what sites we should and should not go to? Is a little service just too much to ask for?   read

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