I'm a science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writer by trade, but aside from writing, video games are my biggest passion. I also write over at Gamer Limit.
The first console my brothers and I ever got was an SNES for Christmas one year. Since then, we've owned an N64, Playstation, PS2, and an Xbox 360. I got a Gameboy Color one year for Christmas, but my brothers are more into handheld gaming than me. Every time they upgrade to the latest system I get their hand-me-downs. That's how I obtained my GBA and my two DS's. Handheld gaming for some reason doesn't interest me even though I know there are great games out there. The first console I've ever been the exclusive owner of is my PS3. The first games I ever played were Super Mario World, F-Zero, 7th Saga (which I've written about), and Out of This World.
My favorite genres are RPGs (Western or Japanese), FPS, action/adventure, and RTS (even though I suck at them).
Fair warning, this is a little bit of self-promotion. I'll leave it up to you to decide how shameless it is. I wrote a little freelance piece on Suite101 about getting into Black Ops' multiplayer modes. It's really for beginners, so I'm not sure how relevant it will be to the Destructoid community. Either way, I have to spread the word about my article. If you want to check it out, please do and I will be your friend forever. If you don't want to, that's cool too. It just means I won't invite you to my birthday party.
Hey fellow Dtoiders. Yes, this post will be shameless. Yes, it will be full of self-promotion. But it also should be really really really cool. (Or maybe just one really).
One of the screenplays I co-authored, "The Kult," is being produced by Gharial Productions and is getting ready to start shooting at the end of September. It's a horror/thriller film about a detective on the hunt for a serial killer. It's based on the novel by UK author Shaun Jeffrey.
Anyway the official poster is now up on the movie's website. We're doing a little promotion where we want you to download it, use Photoshop, and make your own/remix it. Send it back to us and we'll display the best ones on the site.
(Don't worry almost done here!)
Head over to the site for more info about the movie: The Kult
I've also attached the poster here. Hopefully it's not too big.
My Xbox 360 is a secondary console at best. I donít deny that my primary console is my PS3 followed by the PS2 backwards capabilities on my PS3. Then comes a whole host of retro consoles: GBA, SNES, PS1 etc. In fact my Xbox hasnít been turned on in over 4 months. In fact I own one game for it Ė Lost Odyssey.
Why? My answer: teh bias.
Why you so lonely Mr. White Box?
I like the PS3ís line up, and when given Iím given the choice between getting a game for either the PS3 or the 360, Iíll get the PS3 version. Itís not because the graphics are better, or that I think Blu-Ray is a better format.
Woo! No multiple discs! Haha. No.
No my bias in favor of Sonyís black beauty o Blu-Ray comes more from Micosoftís business practices than any characteristic inherent in Sonyís console. First off thereís the Red Ring of Death. My 360 used to belong to my family. It red ringed and instead of getting it fixed my brothers (like the good consumers they are) decided to con my dad into getting them a new one while the broken one sat in the corner. I convinced them to give it to me and I took it upon myself to get it fixed Ė after it lay dormant for over a year.
While Microsoft did fix my console, it was a bit of a hassle. While I applaud their customer service for fixing it for free even though the warranty was expired, it shouldnít have broken in the first place. Microsoftís shoddy manufacturing created this problem.
When I got the 360 back, Microsoft, thinking they were being nice (and trying to keep my business) gave me a card good for 6 month Xbox Live Gold membership. The card has sat in my desk drawer since I got the console back from Microsoft. See I know if I use it, I will have a limited amount of time to enjoy the fruits of online gaming. As soon as those 6 months run out, my online fun will vanish. PSN gives me free online gaming, and while their service is not as robust as XBL, free trumps pretty much everything in my mind. Iím poor. I canít afford to pay the fees to keep an XBL account. I want to be able to enjoy all my console has to offer without paying an unnecessary subscription fee.
There are 360 exclusive games I want to play, but many of them require XBL Gold accounts to play online. Iím sorry Mr. White Box but I canít swing that right now. Maybe somedayÖ Until then Iíll keep my biases intact.
TriplZer0ís Personal July Recap
Welcome one, welcome all to my personal recap for the month of July! This is where Iíll talk about games played during the month, thoughts about said games, and any other useless information I think you guys would want to know. Itís a few days early but oh well. If big things happen between now and the end of the month, Iíll write an addendum. So come with me as I take a look back at month number 7.
July sucked. Hereís why.
Videogaming Related Reasons
As stated here Ė Julyís problems began when my PS3 and FFXIII had a little bit of a disagreement. Namely the JRPG was kind of a dick and said, ďNope sorry, donít want to work on your console.Ē
Hereís the rest of that story. After testing my save file on my brotherís system Ė I drove specifically down to San Diego to do it, and it worked Ė it was suggested that I replace my consoleís laser. Since Sony wanted $150 just to look at my console, I decided the laser would be cheaper. I replaced it, no problem.
FFXIII still froze at the same spot. Thatís fine. Fuck that game anyway. I shelved it and moved on to Ratchet & Clank Ė A Crack In Time. Damn fun game. Everything was going fineÖuntil my game froze so badly that I had to use the power switch to turn off the system.
Kind of like this, but with a PS3.
Hereís the ultimate icing on the shit cake that is July: when I turned it back on, my PS3 wouldnít play PS3 games anymore. It doesnít recognize that a disc is in there. PS2 games work just fine. TriplZer0 used Technical Wizardry! It wasnít very effective. My only hope is that I can fix the problem by putting the old laser back in. Otherwise I am royally boned. I wonít be able to afford a replacement system for a long time and the closest holiday where a replacement might be a viable present (or something) is Christmas.
Non Videogaming Related Reasons
In late June my girlfriend and I moved in to an apartment in Temecula Ė a city about a 20 minutes to a half hour north of where we used to live in North County San Diego. The apartmentís great and my workís been going fine.
No the reason Iím listing this is that while we were moving in, I went to park in our designated space, I hit the front left part of my car on a metal pole that held up the roof above the parking spaces. My bumper will need to be replaced Ė not a big deal because thatís plastic. But the metal side panel near my door shifted just enough that itíll need to replaced too. The carís driveable but I just found out that the crash also messed with the electrical components somehow. The back left window will roll down just fine but wonít roll back up. I canít put it back up by hand. So itíll just have to stay that way until I can get around to using my insurance to get my car fixed.
Okay thatís enough bitching and moaning. On to the games!
With the Playstation essentially just a black brick on my TV stand, Iíve used this as an opportunity to play some of the retro games thatíve been part of my backlog.
Games I Played/Am Playing
Bahamut Lagoon Ė SNES (rom) Ė A pretty fun SRPG with dragons. Nonsensical story about Holy Dragons and a door to a new era. Not quite sure I followed it. Also some very strange jokes with homosexual undertones between the main character and an old man character. Weird, but I can dig it.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kongís Double Trouble Ė GBA Ė Itís a port of the SNES game but with some additions. Iím about 70% through the game right now. The mini-games are some kind of pointless additions. The juryís still out on the new music for some of the stages. And the new world Pacifica felt a little uninspired. Plus all beating the boss gets you is a Bonus Token. Felt a little throwaway to me. Itís still a fun game though and am enjoying it. The SNES version is still superior.
So thatís my recap for July. I would have played a lot more games if not for the console troubles. I still have a bunch of games from Goozex waiting for me: God of War Collection, BlazBlue Calamity Trigger, Legend of Dragoon, Sly 2, Sly 3, Red Dead Redemption, and Darksiders because I want to replay it on Hard to get the Platinum trophy.
Destructoid Community, Iím pissed. Sit with me for a moment and let me tell you why.
Iím not pissed because of this review. Iím not pissed because of the new battle system and the ridiculously named Paradigm Shifts. Iím not pissed at the overwrought story where the words Pulse, FalíCie, and líCie are mentioned every 3.8 seconds.
No Dtoid, Iím pissed because this game fucked up my PS3.
I got the game about a month ago. College was ending and I had time before I started working full time to play video games. I put about 22 hours into the game and was in Chapter 9. From what Iíve been told, either faceitiously Ė ďFFXIII is like food poisoning; it gets better after 24 hoursĒ or seriously -- ďAround Chapter 11 the game really opens upĒ Ė I was getting to the good parts.
I battled through a slightly annoying section and was treated to one of the gameís many in-game rendered cut scenes, except something was off. When the scene ended the screen faded to black. Instead of coming back to a new scene, it stayed that way. No sound, no picture, nothing. My PS3 was frozen. I had to manually reset it.
Thinking this to be an isolated incident I tried again the next day. I tried to get past that one cut scene 4 separate times. Froze in the same spot every time. Naturally, I contacted Square Enix. Their first reply to my email was to just copy and paste the stuff on their support website. When I contacted them again they told me I was within the 90 day warranty period but really unless I could replicate the results on another system I was shit outta luck. They suggested using a video game retailerís display system. Iím sure GameStop would let me if I asked nicely. RightÖ
I donít have a portable HD that my system recognizes (PS3 only takes FAT 32) so I canít transfer my saved data and I canít play for another 22 hours at a Game Stop.
I decided to contact Amazon. Even though the disc wasnít scratched maybe mine was defective. They paid me to send my copy back to them and sent me a new one with one day shipping. Armed with a brand new disc I loaded my file. The game froze again. Same spot.
ďIt has to be my system!Ē I said to myself. Feeling like I was making progress I contacted Sony. They were much nicer than Square and told me to call their Customer Support. I spoke to a nice woman for 20 minutes and we went through some steps including restoring factory defaults and restoring the file system. Nothing worked. My game still froze at the same spot for the 7th time now.
I received a tip from an absolutely legitimate source (that I promised would remain anonymous) that suggested I contact Square Enix again because it may be that my problem is not an isolated incident.
Iím waiting on an email reply from Square Enix. This just pisses me off because the whole thing makes no sense. I havenít had any other problems with FFXIII until then. Nor have I had any with my system and itís the 80 GB model that I got as a present in 2007.
All I want to do is finish FFXIII because aside from this super irritating issue, I like the game. Itís just a damn shame that universe and the video game gods (or devils) donít want me to play it.
To sum up because this is reaching tl;dr status: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
The Real World. What is it exactly? Is it the place outside of video games where we live and breathe? Or is it, as people talking to recent college grads are fond of saying, the world outside of college Ė the world of work, mortgages, health insurance, raising a family? I donít know, but gaming is my escape from it.
A week ago today I graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in English. I had to sit outside in the sweltering Southern California heat for hours and listen to speeches from the President of the University, one of the Deans, the student speaker. All of them kept mentioning the ďreal worldĒ and how proud they are of us and how we are going to do great things in it.
Of course it sounds clichť and trite because it is. Graduating college is one of the most bittersweet things Iíve ever experienced. On the one hand, Iím excited to be done with school probably forever because Iím not going to grad school. But on the other hand I made some abso-fucking-lutely awesome friends and I know itís going to be a long time before I get a chance to see them again.
I think gaming was the way all of us coped with the fact that we were moving on to new places in our lives where miles would separate us. At my school they offer a May Term Ė a one month term where you take one class for about 3-4 hours a day roughly 4 days a week. Essentially itís an excuse to just hang out and party. This yearís May Term was especially poignant because we knew it would be our last. Howíd we spend it? Playing Halo 3 together.
My friends and I donít have similar tastes in games. One of them is fanatically participating in the SC2 beta, another only plays games every now and then, while the other one prefers PC games over console games. But the one thing we always could agree on was Halo. Every day it seems Iíd get a text or call. Super short little things. ďHey man, wanna hang out? Play Halo?Ē ďYeah.Ē
It was so simple. Play Halo (or the Reach beta while it was open). Drink beer. And to be honest these Halo sessions were some of the most fun I had in the entire 4 years I spent at Redlands. Does that make me a loser? Hell no. Not in my mind. Gaming was our escape from the weight hanging over our collective heads. We knew weíd all be moving away, but it didnít matter. Those rounds calling ourselves a Mongoose gang on Valhalla, or trying to win the Betrayal Game, pushed everything aside.
Like Hellís Angels, but with space marines.
Technology is amazing. Because of it we can keep in touch easier than ever. Because of it we can stave off joining the real world, the working world, by ignoring it for a brief stint in a virtual one.
Iím going to miss it.
Obligatory pics me my friends and I (the Halo group)