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12:51 PM on 09.20.2012

No need to call dibs on Gaige: Gaige and I are BFFs



Friends, Dtoid, Cbloggers, lend me your ears! Is a man entitled to another man's life? Or perhaps, a man chooses and a slave obeys. My fellow brethren, are your relationships consensual? Gaige and I disagree. Unlike you barbarians, Gaige and I formed a mutual friendship. She even asked me to tell everyone why she is awesome and how we met. She would love to be friends with you all. As a good friend, I will talk about how awesome my BFF Gaige is.



Gaige is fresh as Bel-Air

While the other vault hunters are great and all, they still follow the same archetypes of Siren, Soldier, Brute, and Mercenary. As a Mechromancer, Gaige breaks this mold. Now Gaige didn't tell me anymore details of how she will be different; she wants to be as mysterious as Zero. But, c'mon! Just look at her punk fatigues. Speaking of looks...



Gaige's style combines the best of the vault hunters

Gaige told me, “Why limit yourself to one look? Why not have it all?” Red hair like Lilith. Goggles like Mordecai. Bandage like Salvador. Punk rock like the legendary vault hunter Pippy Longstocking. Also, don't tell her I said this: Axton is turbs jelly of her D347-TP robot. Turrets are fantastic, but Mechs are amazing! Axton and I even agree that...



Gaige + D347-TP = Big O Relationship

Gaige and I bonded on the mutual love of Mecha, such as Big O and Iron Giant. Her relationship with D347-TP is the typical "big robot and kid" friendship. I mean who wouldn't want to have a big awesome robot on their side? Just imagine the skill tree inspired by Mecha lore. For all we know, there could be a perk where D347-TP will bend stuff for Gaige. Glob, imagine the carnage a bending robot can do in the Borderlands universe.

Now everyone is probably wondering how Gaige and I met. So let me tell you the story all about...

How my life got flipped...

… turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there. I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.

In west Philadelphia born and raised on the playground where I spent most of my days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, and all shooting some b-ball outside of the school. When a couple of guys, they were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my mom got scared and said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air!"

I whistled for a cab and when it came near, the License plate said "fresh" and had a dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought nah, forget it, yo homes to Bel-Air!

I pulled up to a house about seven or eight and I yelled to the cabby "Yo, homes smell you later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

  read


9:00 PM on 07.23.2012

Weekend Project: Drop Ball and Petit Computer




For those of you who are unfamiliar with Drop Ball, Drop Ball is an “extremely addictive, high intensity game designed for people everywhere.” Needless to say, there's not that many Drop Ball video games. So when I was trying out Petit Computer, a DsiWare application where one can write programs in BASIC, I started to think what video game I should make. Maybe I'll adapt Drop Ball into a video game.



Overview

While this isn't an in-depth guide on how to use Petit Computer or how to create an amazing video game, anyone can try following along on how to made a Drop Ball video game.

What I used:
-Petit Computer
-GIMP
-PTCUtilities

My Drop Ball rules:
1. While in squatting position, grab the ball using your butt.
2. Stand upright without releasing the ball.
3. Only when full upright standing position, drop the ball to score a point.
4. Repeat without breaking your streak.

My basic outline:
1. Graphics
2. Programming
3. Sound
4. Testing



Graphics




The graphics were very simple. I only drew nine sprites:
-Player standing
-Player crouching
-Player squatting
-Player victory stand
-Player crouching left
-Player crouching right
-Alternate Player squatting
-Alternate Player victory stand

Each player sprite was 64x64 pixels and the ball sprite was 16x16. Using GIMP, Petit Computer's built-in sprite editor, and copy-paste, I drew each sprite. I imported it into Petit Computer using PTCUtilities.





Programming Preparation

Before I started programming, I designed an outline what had to be done.

1. When a button is pressed, the corresponding action and animation must be drawn on screen.
The game controls:
L Trigger: Drops left leg (Player crouch left)
R Trigger: Drops right leg (Player crouch right)
L+R: Crouch (Player crouching)
Touch Screen: Butt Grab
L+R+Touch: Ball Grab (Player squatting)
2. A player scores a point on each successful ball drop (following Drop Ball rules).
3. A player loses the game with a failed ball drop (dropping the ball too soon).



What I programmed




BASICally, I wrote an main loop that checks if a button is pressed during a frame (1/60th of a second). If the button is pressed, the display is refreshed to update the player score, player sprite, and ball sprite. Once the ball is grabbed, an additional check is added when the player drops the ball. When the player drops the ball standing, the score is incremented. When the player drops the ball in the wrong position, the loop stops running (game ends).



Sound




Sound design is very easy to do in Petit Computer by using the built-in sound effect and music library. The BGMPLAY command allows multi-track music, and the BEEP command can change the pitch of a sound effect. I decided to add sound effects for each butt grab and ball drop. Additionally, I played around to create a “ONE POINT!” sound, imitating voice. To top it off, I added BG music during the game play.



Testing (And adding some finesse to it)




Test, test, test. The majority of my work is testing the game and fixing its errors. This is where I add some finesse to the game. For example, what makes a video game “a video game”? A title screen. A how-to demo. A game over screen. This is also the time to try to make the game even more enjoyable. I added some jokes during the demo video. I decided that secret achievements made the game much more re-playable, and I added the ability to save the high score and unlocked achievements.



My result




DROP BALL. Yeah, well it is a game. What I learned is video games are a lot of work. Even for simple ones. Below are the QR codes to play and test DROP BALL. Hit this link for a larger resolution.


  read


11:46 AM on 06.22.2012

So my Lollipop Chainsaw swag box came into the mail today...




Aww yeah! A couple of things caught my eye while going through the box...

[Warning: Blurry pictures galore!]




The Nick's Head keychain is pretty awesome. But, I am thinking twice now about the

symbolism of carrying it around.




The head is almost the exact size of the head in the print.





You probably can't read the Nutrition Facts of the lollipop. But, the serving size is 1/9 of it. Serving calories are 60 cal. Total carbs is 15 grams.12 grams of sugar. So that's a total of 540 calories and 108 grams of sugar. How does Juliet NOT have diabetes?





:O

Well I'm speechless.

Much thanks to Dtoid for the giveaway!   read


10:08 PM on 08.21.2011

Handhelds: Multiplayer Fun In My Pants



It's a no brainer that handhelds offer great single player experiences. But one may overlook the fact that handhelds have provided unique multiplayer experiences that is unmatched on home consoles. Let's look at some examples:


Tetris: Head-to-Head

The Game Boy's killer app was packed with the link cable. This allows players to face off to see who can last the longest in the game of Tetris. What's awesome about this is simultaneous multiplayer on separate screens. Most console games at time didn't really offer that option. It was pretty satisfying and intense playing face-to-face with your friends.


Pokemon: Multiplayer Collect-a-thon

Pokemon offered a nice twist on portable multiplayer. In addition to head-to-head battles, this game has a trading mechanic that forces completionists to make friends who have the pokemon they want. Personal note: I've became a local playground legend by being "that kid with the 100 lvl. Mew."


Advance Wars: Hot Potato

This game holds a special place in my heart for providing quick multiplayer fun with friends who didn't even own a Game Boy Advance. A main issue with handheld multiplayer is not everyone owns the same game, a link cable, or a handheld. The solution? Have a game mode where you just pass the handheld around taking turns. It might not be the first game to provide alternating multiplayer. But, being a turn-based strategy game makes this style of multiplayer work so well.
On an unrelated note: Advance Wars was among the few handheld games that provided linked multiplayer with one game cart.


Warioware: Dual-Player

One of the best parts of a Warioware game is unlocking a dual-player mini-game/souvenir. For those unfamiliar, players share one handheld system with one player sharing the L-trigger and the other player sharing the R-trigger. It doesn't sound fun unless you actually try it. However, the quirkiness of this multiplayer style just works with the quirkiness of Warioware.


The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures: Marriage between consoles and handhelds

Some may think that the Gamecube/GBA connectivity was a failure. They might have overlooked the fact Wii/DS and PS3/PSP connectivity are pretty common in this generation of games. While the Dreamcast/VMU may have played with this idea, Nintendo pushed this idea (They even had a press conference dedicated to GC/GBA connectivity). I could talk about how awesome the GC version of Pac-Man, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, or even Animal Crossing. But, GC/GBA connectivity really shined in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. What I especially like about this game was being allowed to explore indoors without forcing all players to be inside. The GBA screen is used when players are off-screen. This mechanic is played with when players have to split up in later levels.


Now and the Future:

It's fun to see the evolution of handheld multiplayer. These days handheld rely on wireless connections instead of link cables. Not to mention, players don't need to be in the same room anymore to play multiplayer. Some may argue online handheld multiplayer is diminishing the experience. However, unlike console and local multiplayer, handhelds aren't abandoning the old style of local play.

With the release of the 3DS and PSVita this year and knowing how these handhelds will connect to their respective home console, handheld multiplayer will get better and better. Especially if handheld/console connectivity catches on in the future, gamers may see more varied, unique multiplayer experiences with their handheld. Hell, multiplayer may be what will save handhelds from dying off.   read


8:11 PM on 08.11.2011

Do you use screen protectors for your handheld consoles?


Screen protectors! Something that always runs through my mind when I buy a new handheld. During every honeymoon cycle of buying a new handheld, I believed that I wanted my new toy to be always in mint condition. I always ended up buying some.

But every time (and I swear every time!) I bought one for my handheld, I always go to a few stages before giving up on it.

Stage 1: Optimistic

"Yeah, this is going to be perfect!" I said as I slowly apply the screen protector on my screen.

"Oh no! Air bubbles!"


Stage 2: Fumble like a madman!

I say to myself, "IT HAS TO BE PERFECT!" as I slowly tear off the screen!

"Whoops!"

"Ahh dust! Must clean it with a cloth..."

(Cloth manages to put more dust on the screen)


I start to hyperventilate.

Stage 3: Applied

"Cool", I say to myself. But why does it look a bit off? I really don't like having a fake screen on my screen. I can see the edges. It's really bothering me...

Stage 4: Fumble to remove it!

"AHH THIS IS TACKY! It looks so unnatural"

Minutes later.


Legit story. A Pi trophy fell on it. While trying to get a screen protector off. Somehow.

Stage 5:


I always change my mind about screen protectors. I mean I spend a good amount of time when trying to apply a screen protector to a handheld. But in the end, I ask myself, "What's the point? There's gonna be a time where I don't touch this handheld for a month."

But, I'm really curious. Do you use screen protectors?   read


2:32 PM on 07.25.2011

Motion Control: It Was Always Here



Let's point the obvious here: motion control is here to stay. Considering it played a vital role in this video game generation and has continue to make money, it's not really surprising. However, there are a huge number of detractors who refuses to celebrate this type of gaming. People who refuse to acknowledge that motion control games can be enjoyable as their "superior" traditional video games. It is understandable if someone like non-motion controlled games more in their opinion. But, it is pretty disappointing to find that some gamers want motion controlled gaming to disappear. They state that motion control is harming our industry. They state reasons such as motion control games are shovelware, casual gaming sucks, game developers are wasting their time with it, etc. The main issue here is people do not realize that motion control has always been a part of video games.



Brief History in Motion Control

Light Guns!


Le Stick!


Powerglove!


Sega Activator!


Rhythm gaming!


Motion Control Arcade Cabinets!


Motion Control Cartridges!


Cameras!


The Average Video Game Controller!



Wait... WHAT? Here in lies why I don't understand all the hate for motion control. My crazy idea is that a traditional controller is not all that different from a motion controller. Why? Can anyone give an exact definition of a motion controller? It's apparent that there's no exact shape or form of a motion controller since it can look like anything. There's no specific body part that a motion controller have to sense since some controllers sense legs, arms, or the whole human body. Most gamers would agree that a motion controller is vaguely described as a "non-traditional way to interact with games where the player uses specific body motions."

That definition is too general. The only thing that separates a non-motion controller and a motion controller is the idea that traditional controllers should look like this.








Anyone see an issue here? Well all these "traditional" controllers are different from each other. Some have more buttons. Some have less joysticks. Clearly, they are all different. (Obviously, due to different manufacturers). Nevertheless, they are considered "normal" compared to motion controller.

The problem with declaring these controllers are "traditional" is similar to finding a clear definition of a motion controller. There is no clear mindset of what a video game controller should look like. People cannot say that traditional controllers should have dual joysticks because dual joysticks recently became popular last generation. The same with shoulder/trigger buttons. The same with deciding how many buttons a controller should have or what shape it should look like. The only thing that all gamers agree that a controller should do is it needs to help them interact with whatever is on the screen.




Look at the video game Pong. The controller for this game is basically a dial which is called the "paddle" Reminds anyone of anything? Yes, it is a metaphor for a ping pong paddle. But, there's more to that. Players uses their wrist when using the paddle in Pong to control their hits. The same way a ping pong player uses their wrists to control their hits. Does that make the Pong paddle a motion controller? The same idea could be applied to joystick. It makes sense to use it to control a plane.


Or even a professional wrestler.


Or even a skateboard. (Probably not)

The idea here is emulation. Emulation is an essential idea in video games. As previously stated, a controller should help users interact with whatever is on the screen. This goes along with the concept of human-computer interaction. Basically, the video game controller needs to be receptive to whatever the gamer wants. The main goal of the video game controller is to seamlessly make players become engulfed in a virtual world. The more a controller satisfy this need, the more gamers become satisfied.
This is what motion control improves upon.

It's common for users to mimic real world actions on a motion controller. As primitive this idea may be, it works. Motion control helps increase usability in video games by making it easier to understand how to interact with the game. This may sound unusual, but the general public did not know how a video game controller works.

Common idea what the mainstream sees when people play games

That is until motion controlled gaming happened. Motion controllers exploit this idea. Yes, motion control had played a role increasing casual gaming audience. Yes, video game developers are still experimenting in motion control because it makes money. Yes, some developers make crappy games to cash in on this craze. But, a huge number of gamers are happy with simple motion controls for their video games. Just think for every unhappy "hardcore" gamer who despises motion control, there's a huge group of "casual" gamers who are happy that they can enjoy a video game. Motion controls had made tons of people satisfied.

As the video game industry evolves, so does the concept of emulation. While graphics become more and more realistic, the next logical step on improving emulation is how real the controls can be. Motion controls plays a key role in improving emulation. It is not an exact solution. It will not replace the so-called "traditional" controller. However, it will become a norm that a "traditional" controller meets. Since motion control is appearing in more video games, it will not be surprising that one day motion control will become a traditional aspect of video games. It should be considering the industry been playing with this idea since video games were created. People need to accept that motion controls will always be a part of video games.   read


3:23 PM on 07.15.2011

Bring it back: The Movies



Like any other experienced video gamer, I like to reminisce on video games of the past. Especially, the ones that never caught on. Games like Advent Rising, Seaman, and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. Every gamer probably played a video game where they thought, "Man, I really enjoyed this game. Hopefully, it will get a sequel." And these games never do.

There are many reasons why these games never become a franchise. Reasons may be the game being overlooked, hated by the critics, too niche for anyone to play, or stuck in development hell. Some of these games are lucky enough to have a cult following (I'm looking at you Beyond Good & Evil). While most of these games are ignored until someone mentions it.

And I'm going to mention these games. I am going to replay them (or play them for the first time) and provide a dossier on the video game. At the end of these posts, I will reach a subjective verdict on if this particular video game should be brought back or be forever ignored in a bargain bin.

This week, I explored Peter Molyneux's The Movies.



The Movies, Lionhead Studios
Released 2005 (PC/Mac)

The Movies is a game where players are in charge of a movie studio. Players have "full control" in designing movies, financing their studio, and taking care of their movie stars.

Comparable to: Game Dev Story, Tycoon simulators, Machinima tools

History
-Started production in 2001
-Announced during E3 2002
-Generated tons of buzz during development
-4 years development
-Had Online Community where one can upload movies, lasted until 2008
-Canceled on PS2, XBOX, Gamecube
-Released expansion pack The Movies: Stunts and Effects in 2006
-Mac version won a BAFTA award for Best Simulation Game

The Ugly
A very steep learning curve. The game tries it best to teach you the basics and hold your hand throughout the game. However, there are too many undocumented features. This results in trial and error in discovering new ways to shoot and edit movies. It's common for the first movies players make to be horrible.

The Simulation aspect of the game falls flat on its face. It can be too overwhelming for beginners trying to balance the needs of everyone on the studio lots, creating a movie, and trying to improve the quality of your studio. The most frustrating thing are the movie stars. One moment they are happy, the next moment they threaten to walk out and quit. They are inconsistent with their needs and become over-exaggerated caricature of real life movie stars.

The Bad
Once players have successful movies, successful movie stars, and unlocked most of the stuff, the simulation aspect of the game becomes irrelevant. Scriptwriters can be ignored once you can write your own scripts. Needs of your employees diminished once you unlock perks from movie awards. In hindsight, it is good thing since one can devote more time on the movie making aspect.

Speaking of time, The Movies will take a lot of it. Once you dive into the advanced movie making features, it might take a whole day to complete one movie. It is a double-edged sword: the time it takes to created a decent movie and the sophisticated movie tools.

The Good
The reward of a finished product. It feels so good watching movies that you created yourself. Even the bad ones.

The depth of the movie maker. Players can design your movies with a variety of scenes, sets, and costumes. The Movies will even let one do post production on their movies: adding dialogue (with lip syncing), sound effects, and music.

The online community. Well, what's left of it. I remember the Lionhead Studio's site being a decent online community where one can share their movies, share their actors, and download new tools. The community is not even dead yet. There are countless mod sites that gives players more tools in designing your dream machinima movie.

The Verdict
Surprisingly, The Movies does not feel outdated. Other than the graphics and simulation aspect, the movie maker impresses and the online community (at that time) rivals any online video game community of today. The advanced movie making capabilities alone makes this game worthwhile to anyone who wants to experiment in designing machinima.

Bring it back!

Sure, Peter Molyneux could make all these Fable games. But, it will be so nice if we have an updated version of The Movies. Especially, if they improve the movie studio simulation and add create modes for objects and scenes. Suffice to say, one might just have to content with the video recording tools in some modern games.   read


12:54 PM on 01.22.2011

2010 Sucked: It Was Not a Leap Year



Let's say a guy walks up to you at a bar and randomly show you a 2010 video game that you never played.
He asks, “Hey, does this game rocks or sucks?”
If you don’t get creeped out and say, “I haven’t played it yet.”
Congratulations, you passed the test!

I always wonder how people can judge a whole year in video games by playing only a small sample of games that have been released in that year. Some may argue that they played the “standout” video games of that year and can tell by those games alone if the year was a golden time for video games. I am of two minds here. While I agree that these universally-acclaimed games represent the year’s best of the best, I think we need to remember what other games have been released during that year to determine if that year in video games rocked or sucked.

Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption are arguably the best games that were released in 2010. I say arguably because I believe that people reading this right now will argue against it. This is actually what I want to see from gamers. I especially want people to argue that these two games weren't as good as their favorite 2010 game. It gives me a satisfaction that some gamers haven't forgotten that there were other amazing games that came out in 2010. Now let’s look at those other great, but not perfect, 2010 games that an average gamer may have been forgotten.



Bayonetta (360, PS3)
Released: January

What is it?
It is a stylish and crazy action game made by Platinum Games.
Why is it great?
It has a female action protagonist that can wear shotgun boots. Eat your heart out, Samus.
Why it may have been forgotten?
This game came out so early in the year and then it was blocked out of our memories once Mass Effect 2 came out.

Bioshock 2 (360, PS3, PC)
Released: February

What is it?
It is a sequel to 2007's Bioshock that gives you a view of Rapture in the eyes of a Big Daddy.
Why is it great?
We get to revisit the great city Rapture again. Some problems of the combat have been fixed and it added a satisfying multiplayer component.
Why it may have been forgotten?
Did Bioshock really need a sequel? Some even felt that it wasn’t awesome as the first one.

Mega Man 10 (Wiiware, PSN, XBLA)
Released: March

What is it?
It is another 8-bit addition to the Mega Man franchise.
Why is it great?
It delivered more of what was great about Mega Man 9 and it has SHEEP MAN.
Why it may have been forgotten?
It delivered more of what we already had in Mega Man 9.



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (360, PC)
Released: April

What is it?
It is another installment to the fantastic stealth-action Splinter Cell franchise.
Why is it great?
Great gameplay. Great Co-op. Great online. Fantastic presentation.
Why it may have been forgotten?
This really came out this year? Yes, I’m pretty sure everyone forgot this game exists and that it came out this year. I honestly have no idea why.

3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
Released: May

What is it?
A 3D retro styled Action-Adventure game that is reminiscent of Legend of Zelda games.
Why is it great?
Like January’s Darksiders, it gives a warm, fuzzy feeling of a Zelda game on an HD console.
Why it may have been forgotten?
I’m sorry what? I’m playing RDR. I may play it after I play Alan Wake though. *continues playing RDR*

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (Wii)
Released: June

What is it?
A long awaited sequel to a cult favorite N64 game.
Why is it great?
Nintendo cares enough to bring this Treasure-developed game to the West.
Why it may have been forgotten?
It’s a cult franchise for a reason.



Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (NDS)
Released: July

What is it?
A new installment in the beloved Dragon Quest Franchise.
Why is it great?
One of the most addicting JRPGs with interesting multiplayer and customizable options.
Why it may have been forgotten?
You probably have a copy of it and erased all the memories you have of it sucking your summer up.

Valkyria Chronicles II (PSP)
Released: August

What is it?
A sequel to a great PS3 Tactical RPG.
Why is it great?
Now only did it improve on the ideas of its predecessor. It now can be played anywhere you like.
Why it may have been forgotten?
It also improved on the idea of not being appealing to the average gamer by being on the PSP.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (NDS)
Released: September

What is it?
An adventure puzzle game that was finally translated for the Western audience.
Why is it great?
More mind twisting puzzles with TIME TRAVEL introduced in the plot.
Why it may have been forgotten?
Halo: Reach and Dead Rising 2 is out! *throws DS in trash*



Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3)
Released: October

What is it?
An action adventure game that retells the story of Journey to the West.
Why is it great?
This is probably one of the most surprising games to come out last year.
Why it may have been forgotten?
The response of the average gamer: This game can’t be that good… right? Why should I even try a demo of it?

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (NDS)
Released: November

What is it?
A third title in the Golden Sun franchise.
Why is it great?
It exists.
Why it may have been forgotten?
Wait, it’s out? NOW!?

Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam (PC, 360, PS3)
Released: December

What is it?
An expansion to the great Battlefield: Bad Company 2 that was also released in 2010.
Why is it great?
It gives players another reason to revisit the fun of Bad Company 2's multiplayer.
Why you may been forgotten?
COD:BLOPS




Now these aren’t the only 2010 games that people forgot exist. Read the following list:
Darksiders, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Global Agenda, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep, Dante’s Inferno, MLB 10: The Show, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Infinte Space, Bit.Trip Runner, Red Steel 2, Just Cause 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Warioware D.I.Y., Monster Hunter Tri, Trauma Team, Alan Wake, Blur, ModNation Racers, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Toy Story 3: The Video Game, Transformers: War for Cybertron, Singularity, Persona 3 Portable, DeathSpank, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Ivy the Kiwi?, Mafia II, Samurai Warriors 3, Dead Rising 2, NBA Jam, Super Scribblenauts, Bit.Trip Fate, Rock Band 3, GoldenEye 007, Def Jam Rapstar, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, The Sly Collection, Gran Turismo 5

And there is much more. But whose fault is it that people overlook how many decent titles that were released in 2010? Time. There is only 365 days in a year, 366 in a leap year. The year 2010 was not fortunate to give us an extra day to maybe play game we may have overlooked. Even if there was a leap year, no one can play all these games in a year. I’m estimating there were over 500 games released this year and that isn’t counting the number of games that have been released in the mobile phone market.

However, that is the beauty of time. The amount of time to the number of great 2010 video games ratio gives us that feeling of overwhelming. In my opinion, if I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of great games that came in a year that makes me forget the greatness of Enslaved, Singularity, and Valkyria Chronicles II as well as the abominations of Kane & Lynch 2 and Naughty Bear, I say it was an outstanding year in video games. Furthermore, I am glad to know that time is on my side to make these overlooked games cheaper and maybe available on other platforms.

Now did 2010 rocked or sucked in video games? I would say that the year sucked in giving us too many great games with so little time to play it. But, overall, 2010 rocked because of the large number of great games it gave us.   read


1:40 AM on 04.01.2010

Real-life alternative: How Pokemon can obviously work in real life.




Everyone knows and wants to know that Pokemon is 100% REAL LIFE.
People like President Barack Obama and Mayor Mike Haggar were famously know as Pokemon masters before they headed off into their political careers. But, that's a story for another day.
What I have here is the world's only known document, simply known as "Pets", that proves
once and FOR ALL, that Pokemonz are 4REALz. And we all know that one book can change
the course of human kind.

Summary from the back of the book:
“Pets” is about a boy living in an alternative future where the world has just recovered from a world war fought on animal rights. Humans are now considered to be the “superior” species of the planet, while the other animal species are inferior. The government had begun a program where young children are trained to be generals of an army of animals. These “pets” are animal subordinates of the child and are used in against other generals.

It is the distant future, the year 2000. The world is very different. Ever since the extermination of the PETA nation of the early 90’s, there have been many changes. One notable change is that there are no “salads”. “Salads” are the food of those communist animal lovers. “Salads” have been replaced by the meat-friendly “malads”, an all meat dish served with milk dressing. Salads were banned by the world because vegetables are used to celebrate the day when the world had defeated the PETA menace. Most importantly, the biggest change was that there are no more animal sympathizers. No more vegetarians to burden us carnivores. Yes, carnivorous humans are the supreme species of this planet.


ILLEGAL!



Every ten year old child begins their journey to become an adult when they are given their first “pet” as a birthday present. “Pets” are animals trained to be subordinates of their child master. The concept of “pets” was created by our leader, the Great Maurice. Maurice, the general of the Meat Alliance in World War III, developed a strategy to defeat the PETA nation. Maurice trained his army to use animals to destroy those meat haters. The pets defeated PETA and helped prevent a biochemical terrorist attack on the Meat Alliance’s supply of food. After the end of WWIII, the Meat Alliance broke up into four nations. Maurice became the president of one of the nations, the Carnivore Union. As our leader, Maurice passed the Pet Child Initiative Act of ’96. The Act created a law where every child of the age of ten is given a pet to start the child’s training for the CU army. The goal of the pet bill was to build up our nation’s army in preparation of a pet attack from one of the enemy nations.

It has been a couple of years since I received my first pet. My first pet was one of the Panda species. Pandas are vile creatures, so tough to train. I had to inflict the harshest punishment in order for it to obey me. I remembered the first time I saw that pet. Its bubbly eyes show signs of love. It gave me a huge panda hug when I first approached it. I knew I had to kill its growing fondness for me. A master cannot love his pet. The pet cannot have a secure attachment for its master. Love is weakness. Security is weakness. I knew if I had to create a strong pet army, I had to prevent the animals from loving me.





I incarcerated the pet in a “patacage” “Patacages” are cages used to capture animals for the child’s pet army. It is also used as a prison cell for the animal. After I locked that animal in its cage, I abandoned it. I deprived the panda of essential nourishment necessary for survival. I basically made it fend for itself. When I did return to my panda, it had changed. No welcoming hug, no bubbly eyes. What I saw in its eyes was contempt; it knew I had abandoned it. I had finally killed its love for me. I had awoken its vicious nature. This was the first step to a strong army.

The purpose of a pet army is for child generals to practice their military tactics against other generals in order to show one’s superiority as a carnivore. Generals who win their battles are chosen to join the CU army. It is a simple concept to teach the idea of survival of the fittest.





What happens to the inferior child who loses a battle? I have never lost a battle. However, I have heard stories that if the losing participant is lucky enough, the person can retreat before the entire person’s pet army is killed. The unlucky ones are “captured” by the winner. “Captured” meaning the person is knocked out and dragged into the patacage. Patacages are not just for capturing animals. It provides a secondary purpose of transforming the loser into one of the inferior animal species. The loser joins the pet army of the winner.

I have caught and transformed ten people into animals. My favorite animal I caught is a former obese boy. The patacage transformed that little obese boy into a huge gorilla. The gorilla was the perfect comrade for my panda. It provided sheer strength and power, usually too overbearing for any opponent I came across to.

I should stop this senseless daydreaming. My mind is wandering off because I’ve been walking on a battlefield for several days. When I look down on the ground, I notice how this battlefield used to be once an open field infested with green grass. Fields became artificial due to the passage of the Naturalization of Our Environment Act of ’98. All grass in the world was disintegrated to deprive animals of their habitat. The grass was replaced by chrome tiles. “Battlefields”, as the government now calls it, protected the land from being destroyed by any natural disaster. Trees were also cut down and replaced with friendly carbon dioxide-oxygen towers. The goal of the act was successful in making the environment safe for humans.


LIKE THIS BUT ON LAND!



A wild pigeon appeared as I walked towards the end of the battlefield. For practice, I let out my panda to fight the pigeon. I ordered the panda to munch on the pigeon’s wings to effectively disable the pigeon from flying. Blood spills on the chrome battlefield, sending a signal that it was wounded. I then grabbed the pigeon by its throat and threw it in its patacage.

What use is a pigeon that does not fly? I went in search for the nearest city. I needed to find the local heath center. Health centers are used by generals to repair their broken pets. These centers provided recovery from intense battles, injecting animals with pain medication and replacing missing limbs with robotic ones. Not all pets survive battles, even with the center’s best care. I have lost the majority of my army in battling.

Arriving in a foreign city is a typical practice of generals. In every city, I always see the families and their young children playing around. Ah, to remember the childhood joy of being with family and friends. It’s a shame that they are missing out in the joy of preparing for the nation’s army. Young children do not realize the joy of having a pet mutilate an opponent’s pet. What an adrenaline rush!

I came across the local health center. As I entered the door, I see all the amateur pet generals. My attention was drawn towards an inferior.
“Turtle!” cried the kid “Please tell me my turtle is all right.”
“I’m sorry, but you have to wait like all the others,” said the nurse.
“But—,”squealed the child.
The nurse yelled, “Back of the line!”
I quietly waited for my turn to see the nurse. It was sickening to see a general grovel for the care of a pet. If a pet dies, it dies. Mourning the death of an animal is a sign of weakness.
“Next!” screeched the nurse.
“Please repair the broken wings of my pigeon.”
“What type of replacement wings would you like to be installed on the pigeon?” the nurse asked.
I proposed, “Could you install titanium wings?”
“Affirmative. The installment will cost $10,” stated the nurse.
The installment took ten whole minutes. I observed the operation. The nurse ripped the pigeon’s wings off and tightly bolted the wing-shaped titanium plates into the pigeon’s joints. I heard the pigeon crying. The pigeon needed the metal to be a serious threat on the battlefield. It would provide the pigeon another weapon besides its beak.


PIC IS UNRELATED!



As I left the health center, I saw a young girl feeding her pets some plants! Plants!
“Little girl. What are you feeding to your animals?” I asked.
The girl said, “Salads. My pets are herbivores.”
“What!”
Salads! Are you serious? Salads are banned in the world! I cannot believe that this girl is breaking the law.
“My deer and ladybug love to eat—“
“So what? Just force your animals to eat meat!”
Blasphemy. I cannot process the idea of feeding pets plants. Meat is the only way for animals to get stronger and build muscle. It is ridiculous to see that girl caring and loving her pets. Absurd!
I asked the child, “Do you love your pets?”
“Of course! I love my pets!”
“Are you kidding me? Loving a pet softens the animal on the battlefield.”
“No!” screamed the girl, “Love builds a stronger bond. It doesn’t hurt to care for your pets. I believe that a general and his pets should have care for one another. I believe that humans and animals can be friendly towards each other.”
I was speechless. I was so disgusted by her stupid little face. I wanted to smash her face on the health center’s wall, spilling her blood all over the chrome floor. It would have made me a hero to the Carnivore Union if I killed this girl.

“What is your name, little girl?”
“Artemis.”
“Well, Artemis. My name is Ares. I challenge you to a battle.”
I knew I had to teach this little punk a lesson. To believe humans and animals can be friendly towards each other is heresy. It goes against what our nation fought for in WWIII. She was speaking “environmentally friendly”. It would be my duty as a carnivore to defeat this animal lover.
“Alright, if you insist,” she said.
She had three pets and I had three pets. It seemed to be a fair battle. I felt confident enough in my experience and excessive training.

We walked onto the battlefield. A standard battle has pets face off one-on-one. I start the battle off by releasing my gorilla. You have to start strong in battles. Artemis releases her ladybug on the battlefield.
“Ha! You think your ladybug stands a chance against my gorilla?!” I exclaimed
What a novice! My gorilla squishes her ladybug. It was an easy defeat.
“I’m sorry, ladybug,” she whispered.
She then releases a crab into the field. Absurd! She has nothing but weak pets.
I yelled, “Prepare to die!”
I ordered my gorilla to charge at the crab. The crab suddenly jumps! I had never seen a crab jump so high. It lands on my gorilla’s face and starts to pinch it.
“Shake it off!”
Blood splatters on the chrome floor. A loud thump follows. I was shocked.
“Gorilla!” I screamed.
The crab somehow drilled into my gorilla’s brain. It mutilated his eyes out and entered the eye sockets
to pinch the brain. Unbelievable.

I hated that gorilla. How could it let a measly crab defeat him? No matter. I release my newly repaired pigeon into the sky.
I yelled, “Pigeon! Go and dive into the crab.”
The pigeon dived, beak first, onto the crab, putting a dent to its armor. I then ordered the bird to attack the crab with its titanium wings. The crab suddenly stops moving. It was defeated. What a relief!
“No! Crab!” she screamed.
It was now two against one. She let out her final pet: her precious deer. I ordered the pigeon to dive once again. But, it didn’t listen. Damn! That’s the problem with new pets. They are always disobeying their masters. I haven’t had enough time to train it.
“Go ram into the pigeon. Crush him!” she told her deer.
The deer runs and rams the pigeon against the oxygen tower. The bird is now dead, splattered against
the tower. This battle is intense! I let out my final pet: my panda.

My panda had never let me down. It always survived in battles and saved me from being captured. I knew I was going to win this battle with it. No chance my panda will lose to a deer. I had even fed my panda deer meat.
I said to the panda, “Go eat the deer!”
The panda rushes. It gives the deer a big panda hug and starts to devour the deer on its side. I see some of the deer’s intestines fly out.
“No!” she yelled, “Deer! Go and kick him.”
The deer then struggle to escape the Panda’s hug. It scratches the Panda’s face with its antlers. It then back kicks the Panda. The Panda was stunned.
I ordered the Panda to go and headbutt the deer. The Panda knocks it unconscious. It was the beginning of the end.
“Any last words, Artemis.”
She whispered, “I love you, Deer.”
I screamed, “Exterminate!”
The Panda jumps belly first. A loud noise followed by silence.
“Unbelievable.”
The deer had rolled over to avoid the Panda. I couldn’t believe it. My panda stood up, giving a strong stare at the deer. It was a faceoff.
“I had a great time battling you,” she said.
Her deer then charged.
“I had a great time defeating you,” I said.
The panda then charged.
Blood once again splattered on the chrome floor. My panda was dead. The deer’s antlers had gone through the Panda’s throat.
I stood there, motionless, thinking about how a little girl defeated me. My excessive training. My pets’ strict diet. My pets. They were nothing.

I asked her, “How did you win?”
She said, “Love!”
“No. I don’t believe you!”
I ran. I ran away from her to prevent my capture. The deer then rammed me and I landed into a cage. It was Artemis’s patacage.
“You will learn to love,” she said.
I was transformed into a rabbit. My new master was Artemis.
“Oh you’re so cute!” she screamed.
She proceeded to hug me. It felt weird. Is this love? I love this. Maybe I was wrong. I began to feel a bond with my new owner. Is this the bond Artemis was talking about? I guess… I was wrong. Love is not weakness. Love is strength.

  read


12:40 PM on 02.07.2010

Tecmo Super Bowl simulation will be more exciting than the actual Super Bowl...

So I'm gonna predict that my simulation of the Super Bowl on Tecmo Super Bowl (Buck's Updated Playoff rosters) will be more exciting than the actual American Football Championship game!

The First Half
[embed]162844:27214[/embed]

Bulletpoints on the first half:
-Saints dominate
-Colts' only touchdown is at the end of the half
-Chad Simpson gets injured
-Exciting Halftime show

The Second Half
[embed]162844:27215[/embed]

Bulletpoints on the last half:
-Overtime baby!
-Colts comeback
-I still hate NFL overtime
-Yet Another Colt injury
-Tasty Turnovers

So Tecmo Super Bowl predicted that Colts win in OT, 31-28.   read


2:25 PM on 01.05.2010

Why hello thar... look what my Rock Band 2 challenges told me to play...

So it's been awhile since I played Rock Band 2. So I decided hmm... why not today?
Well... let's just say I got some new local challenges I have never seen before...



Yeah... that's impossible. Beatles songs shouldn't even be in this tier Maybe I should look at another tier.



Okay, now you're just being ridiculous. Why why why?! Does it look like I wanna play Guitar Hero? If I did, why would I load up Rock Band?



Well... that's slightly better. But I don't even have the whole album. I guess I'll just play the '60s challenge.

Wait a minute... that would include that album!

Disclaimer: Please don't get any nasty idea that these are possible on a normal Rock Band 2 game. Those are just RB2 custom/unofficial imported songs. This post was only make some laughs and talk about what I'm currently playing.

Anyways... it's nice that RB 2 treats every song the same way. I just wonder what's their algorithm to decide which challenge to put where.   read


2:33 PM on 01.04.2010

In the Eyes of a Gamer: The Hurt Locker is a Perfect Bomberman/Minesweeper movie


Did anyone see The Hurt Locker? Damn, that was one fantastic movie. It's probably one of my favorite movie of 2009. As a movie lover, it was a pretty good Iraq War movie. But, when I saw Jeremy Renner's character in the EOD bombsuit, I couldn't help but think, "Man, this reminds me of Bomberman!"

I gonna tell you why, as a gamer, I think The Hurt Locker is the perfect Bomberman (and also Minesweeper) movie.
*SPOILERS AHEAD*



The Bombsuit

When I saw the bombsuit, I thought, "That looks like the Bomberman suit!" Apparently, when I first played Bomberman, my two year old brain didn't realize his suit is based on that.

Sure, it's not white. Maybe because it's based on the Green Bomberman.

The Danger of approaching and disarming bombs
The Hurt Locker had really good suspenseful sequences. Will he die in an glorious explosion or not?
It's the same intense feeling when playing Bomberman. Will you explode from that bomb you planted a second ago? Well, The Hurt Locker is more like reverse Bomberman since you're the guy who disarms bombs, instead of planting them. That's why I feel Minesweeper relates to the disarming parts of The Hurt Locker.

I mean there's a time limit. One wrong move and it's KABLAMO! It has that life or death feeling when you play a game of Minesweeper. Not to mention that CollegeHumor Minesweeper movie trailer is somewhat similar to The Hurt Locker. And you just know that if that guy played Minesweeper... he would be the best!

The Ending

Well, I'll try not to delve into total spoilers. But, the ending of The Hurt Locker, you see that Sgt. James goes to another tour of duty, tying it with the overall theme that War is a drug. How does this relate to Bomberman and Minesweeper? It's because these games are addicting and fun. Sgt. James just like Bomberman love dealing with bombs and being in constant danger. You can just imagine Bomberman being in that grocery scene, not knowing what cereal to buy. Bomberman and Sgt. James share that need to be in the battlefield. The ending also explains each sequel of Bomberman: it's just another tour of duty. Or why you play Minesweeper: you're bored.

Logical Dissent
[embed]159526:26301[/embed]
This is where my rational part of my brain tells you why The Hurt Locker would be a horrible Bomberman adaptation, it's just coincidence, or missing connections. There are parts of the movie where it doesn't deal with bombs such as the friendly fire scene (well... that could be an analogy to exploding your friends in multiplayer). Or the sniper shootout? Or when he goes rouge agent? Maybe it is just some similarities. I mean there can't be Louies and Robots and then keep it as a realistic movie.

Regardless, I hope that when you see this movie, the first time, the second time, or whatever, you try to see for yourself.

INB4HAWPdoesabombermanepisode   read





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