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4:56 PM on 02.24.2012

Where Have You Been Zwoooosh? And Poor Hiring Decisions

Jeez this has been a while hasnít it? Itís like a coming home party, dealing with mixed emotions and general confusion as well a strange feeling in my nether regions about that one cousin. Wait what? But anyway let me open up my saying: Oh how I hate being so busy all the time. But I have found myself free for one single day and I shall use this time productively writing utterly poor words for you people instead of working on that lousy essay for school. Or going on an adventure to my local strip club to see Starlet.

So I got a job. Actually as a writer at Gaming Bus and itís an interesting experience. Yes thatís right, Iím in da garme jurnalizm industry with fellow user cnshards and they thought my Kindergarden level of english was rather impressive to see in a 17 year old. Can't blame them really all be told, I'm constantly impressed with it myself. After having the position for about 2-3 weeks now, I have a new found respect for the writers here on Destructoid who post high quality pieces at such a high rate. Itís admirable thatís for sure. The best part however is that I now know how things work behind the scene and itís interesting to say the least. Joining a small team of writers who have been working together for a while now has been a great experience and as I continue learning the ropes, Iíd like to see what comes of it. But know this, a newfound respect has been infused into my very soul for the writers here.



I have trouble listening sometimes. Now I donít mean I have some kind of attention deficit problem, its just that when someone decides to warn me about something, I take it with a grain of salt and think ďoh it canít be that badĒ. Well Iím sorry to all my friends who said that the final year of high school is hard and I ignored with very little effort. You guys were right and if youíre ready to forgive me, Iíd like to buy you a nice big cup of coffee. Or maybe even a house if you write up all my major assignments for me. Itís rare I find myself with much free time anymore and as each day goes by, I am faintly forgetting what the sun looks like and the feeling of heat and wind on my skin. And I used to love the sunÖ

However enough of my boring life and onto those games that we all sometimes play yeah? After purchasing Skyrim recently, Iíve been putting heavy hours into it as of late. As someone who has never really been a fan of fantasy themed games, I really enjoy Skyrim and all its little hooks, bugs and crannies. I havenít been this immersed in an RPG since Fallout 3, which remains one of my favorite games of all time. There is just so much to do, itís almost overwhelming at the best of times, something thatís a sentiment echoed by thousands now. Iím also attempting to do a rerun of Mass Effect 2 in preparation of Mass Effect 3 coming in a week or so. It is easily my most anticipated game of the year and why shouldnít it be? Its got those pewpewpew Ďs in full force as well as space ships that make that weird sound the Star Wars drones make, you know the one Iím talking about.


Pewpewfuckingpew!

I miss playing with the PS3 FNF group. Due to different timezones, shoddy internet connection (yeah fuck you Telstra, you assholes), work, school work and wellÖ This:


He knows what he wants and he ain't sharing shit. Also I just noticed he looks awfully dirty and sad. And after everything I do for him! Ergh

Itís been a hard time trying to find time to join in on a game of Battlefield 3 or anything else for that matter. Also I just realized I could have used this time writing thisÖ Mess of a thing to actually join in on playing FNF tonight. FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Well enough my inane rambling, Iím going outside to smell the roses or something rather corny like that. Hereís hoping I have more time soon to write and comment on all the wonderful blogs on this dear site.   read


8:54 AM on 01.26.2012

Location: History Is Our Playgroud

Sometimes playing a game where the location is a replica of a real life place is what I need. Sure, there are times I want to escape from the world and go and traverse the galaxy with other alien races on my big pimping space ship or perhaps even run around in an underwater metropolis armed with a super powered wrench. Video games provide a multitude of ways to immerse oneself or cause general havoc. For me however, the games that generally suck me in more than any other are games with locations that are a duplication of some real world location. The only problem with this is that developers tend to reuse the same environments over and over again, with New York and the Middle East being the two most glaring examples that come to mind. One might say that weíve run out of real life places to base a video game on which is a total load of rubbish, but let's say for arguments sake that this is true, there is no reason why we couldnít use a different time period to explore a different, unique location we havenít seen before. Assassinís Creed II was one such game to me and the city of Venice in particular, remains one of the most memorable locations in a video game that Iíve played today.



The feeling of slowly becoming an assassin and feeling your improving at the gameplay as the game progresses whilst at the same time Ezio becomes more experienced himself is something none of the other games in the series was able to capture. This was amplified further by the fact that the story was the most epic of the series as we follow Ezio from his youth in Florence to the beautiful location of Venice as he rises up to the rank of Master Assassin. Yes, the original Assassin Creed had the same travelling aspect but I guess between the locations themselves not quite capturing my interest as well Italy did, coupled with the repetitive, uninspiring gameplay turned me off in truly valuing the detail and amount of work put into the location. Venice in particular is the most beautiful and immersive cities to me, not only in Assassinís Creed II but any game based on a real setting. My preference of Venice also stems from the fact that Iíve always wanted to travel there at some point in my life once I can afford it.

All the small tidbit facts on the landmarks, the countless view points and collectibles I devoured while enjoying myself because I enjoyed traversing the city and enjoying the unique opportunity to explore a city in a fashion I could not possible replicate in real life. Venice is the only location in the franchise that I read all the small tidbit facts for the landmarks within the game. The way the canalís were seamlessly added to a renaissance modeled town astounded me at the time and although each city has a different vibe and history from one another, it is Venice that is by far the most different and special in my mind. Plus after successfully assassinating your target in a badass fashion, followed by leading the guards to a rooftop, only to stop, turn around and face the guards briefly before diving down into the canals, evading capture once again is something that is incredibly satisfying to do.



At the time, I was currently studying the renaissance time period in history class, specifically how it influenced Italy and the rest of Europe architecture, art and all that jazz. Easiest marks I have ever earned to this day and another reason I appreciate and took note of how much work went into designing the city. Say whatever you want about Ubisoft and their business practices, shoddy DRM and their dynamite attempt at impersonating Activision by milking their franchises, they have created a series built upon some of histories most interesting locales that we might never have gotten to experience otherwise.

Am I gushing? Probably, but very few games have given me an opportunity to get a taste and experience a city that one day I would like to visit myself. The boost in my history mark also didnít hurt its chances in being memorable for me. I agree with most that the series as whole could use some serious shaking up, how an actual stealth system hasnít been added in a game where youíre an assassin is crazy to me but I for one canít question the amount of work that went into Venice, my favorite video game location.   read


7:50 AM on 01.07.2012

Multiplayer Stereotypes: Let's Classify Them

Saying that almost everyone on this dear website has had some experience playing an online multiplayer game wouldnít be a stretch. There are millions of people that make up these online games and similar to reality itself, there seems to be certain stereotypes that players fall into. Only recently had I noticed this and I took it upon myself to look deeper into the matter. After drawing up numerous tables, graphs and crunching the figures, I have come across 4 common but no less dangerous, annoying (or hilarious in some cases) stereotypes that match up perfectly with characters from popular television shows. Coincidence? I think not. Spread the word folks, it may save somebodies life.

The Jeff Winger



Appearing seemingly uninterested and too ďcoolĒ to care, we all are divided between hating him and wishing we were him. With the ego the size of his forehead, the scary part is he can be half as good as he thinks he is. Deep down however he yearns for the approval of others and when staring into the face of defeat, donít be surprised if you see him step up to take on the leader role that has fallen into his lap and snatch victory.

The Barney Stinson



He may be one of your most loyal friends in the world or someone you have never met, this doesnít change the fact he has a weakness and for this particular character, itís women. You just played 14 rounds of your favorite FPS together? Boom and heís gone before you can blink your eyelids and starts flirting with the new person in the lobby who sounds just slightly feminine. (Beware; they do come in charming and disturbing variants.)

The Patrick Stars



How could anyone be this stupid? Youíre not entirely sure and it doesnít honestly matter. Although itís annoying you canít stay mad cause somehowÖ Someway you just picture this little kid with the biggest smile, struggling to understand what the online instruction ďPress the circleĒ means while running around in circles, maybe trying to shoot down The Jetsonís, who knows. Fair warning, if you care about winning; avoid this player at all costs.

The Coyote



If for one second you outplay this guy, you will regret it. He becomes beyond obsessed and forgets all about the objective and does everything in his power to take you down. Team killing. Elaborate traps. Suicide runs. Nothing is out of the question as long as he gets his target in the end. It is hilarious to witness, and even funnier if youíre able to outwit him constantly as he becomes more desperate.

These were just 4 stereotypes I came up with a incredibly sleep deprived brain so go ahead and add any more that you can come up with in the comments below! Even better, what type of player are you?   read


4:55 PM on 12.27.2011

Popping My Cherry: Wait, What Is He Doing To My Face?

Iím not sure how Iíve even managed to last so long without it happening to me. Deep down I knew that I couldnít be called a honest to god gamer until it did and trust me, I have done some truly awful, awful things to many people I care about just so they had a reason to do it. Iím not proud of it but itís the truth. I have seen things that canít be unseen due to the chasing of this obsession. And then it happened. On the merriest day of the year to boot. This year in fact and by god, it was glorious. Iím talking about some good olí teabagging.



Let that sink in. I, a gamer of many years, has only recently been exposed to another avatars crutch. I wish I could tell you how Iíve avoided it for how long, I really do but I canít. You see, after a long, brilliant family get together for Christmas, I found myself in a particularly good mood and unable to get to sleep, so I chose to play some Battlefield 3. All was normal; I was playing terrible as per usual, unable to hit any target that wasnít any further than 3 feet in front of me until my second last match of the night. After beginning to hit my stride I was abruptly shut down by a young man in a tank. After belittling the person and his/her mother, I began to watch the kill cam. I was confused as he approached my unmoving body, as quite a few of my teammates were around the corner and were sure to quickly come to inspect my sudden death. The character, a Recon to be specific, stopped right above my head and paused for a moment and as if the person on the other side of the screen was able to control the camera, the soulless eyes of the soldier met mine. It was at this point he began crouching repeatedly on my head. Moving up and down in a mesmerizing fashion. I dropped the controller and my jaw simultaneously. I was both amazed and disgusted at the same time. After all these years it had finally happened! Someone had finally popped my cherry and tea bagged me and let me tell you, it was better than I could have ever imagined. I began laughing whole-heartedly and I vowed that I would soon get my revenge. Unfortunately I never got that opportunity as he left the server shortly after. I feel I should thank him/her for finally bringing me up to date with the worlds ability to taunt each other and if I could go back, I wish I had taken note of the PSN name of my assailant so we could become best friends for life or something.

This event, although probably annoying to most and I can see how it could lose itís novelty quickly, was something that brought a smile to my face and is surely one moment Iíll remember for a very long time. My question is do any of you remember the first time you were tea bagged or even just humiliated in a humorous (or rage inducing) fashion that has stuck with you ever since?

Also, as is the spirit of the holiday, Iíd like to say a few things about this community. I havenít been here all that long and there are many people who I still havenít gotten to know well or who havenít gotten to know me either but despite this, I have never felt so welcomed to a group of individuals so quickly before. Not only was I welcomed, but also the members who make up this community are some of the funniest people Iíve had the privilege to read from. This extends to my initial experience with FNF. Although I was the new guy and didnít know anybody, I quickly felt comfortable to speak and even say a pathetic joke every now and then, a testimony to how amazing this community is as Iím generally very shy around new people. So thank you Destructoid and let me tell you this, I can honestly say that I want to get to know every single on of you much better next year. Letís make it happen. Together.

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9:13 AM on 12.19.2011

Hard Difficulty? B-B... But It Doesn't Fit Here

You know those type of people that almost always play on the hard difficulty on a game, just so they can boast about how much larger their e-penis is bigger than us mere mortals? Now I donít have an issue with people who play on the hardest difficulty, heck I like to play on it most of the time myself, but sometimes I have to wonder why there is even a hard difficulty in certain games where it just doesnít fit. Iím talking about games where youíre supposed to be THE badass, the toughest S.O.B who ever ruled the land who doesnít give a crap about anyone else. It may just be me, but in these types of games, I can never play on the hardest difficulty.



This is for a simple reason really. It takes away from that feeling of being the strongest, biggest character in the world, something I sure as hell never experience in the real world because wellÖ Wearing a toga and dual wielding axes never goes down well with your parents. Embarrassing family reunions aside, when I have attempted to play on the hardest difficulty, my badass of a character with all the power in the world quickly becomes a cowardly little pre-pubescent girl and itís this disempowering of the player that turns me away.

One recent example that comes straight to my mind is Infamous 2. You play as Cole, better known by the citizens of Empire City and New Marais as the ďElectric ManĒ. You are presented as an extremely powerful conduit with the ability to save a city or destroy it on a whim. This holds up on the normal difficulty, as your attacks do enough damage to make you appear somewhat superhuman, whilst not taking an excessive amount of damage. After completing the game, I decided to play again on the hard difficulty. This changed everything. No longer was I able to fight with some flair and finesse, using all my powers at once, instead the game became a cover-based shooter, and a poor one at that. The melee was deemed useless as two or if Iím lucky three shots would kill me. Cole had morphed from Rambo to that Private from that one movie. You know, the one that hides in the barracks and starts crying immediately after the bullets start flying? Yeah, that one. I then quickly changed the difficultly back to normal and continued on my merry way.


Exactly 0.0374 seconds before Cole ran away with his tail between his legs on hard difficulty

God of War III is another example of a character that is presented with such brute power, but is a character that quickly becomes incredibly weak when outside of the normal difficulty. It is entirely possible that I am just utterly terrible at this game and it probably is true, Iíve seen it. I sucked. There are some games that actually benefit from playing on the hardest difficulty, at least in my eyes. These are generally games where you play as a character who is fighting against the odds and is the underdog who has to rise and beat insurmountable odds. This added challenge, if implemented well, I believe makes the eventual success that much grander and is why I sometimes prefer to play on the hardest difficulty.

I donít want the option to play on the hardest difficulty in certain games to be taken out. That would be beyond ridiculous and only serve to alienate a whole audience of customers. I may just be the weird one who goes against the grain; it wouldnít be the first time. Iím only interested to find out if Iím the only one who follows some kind of rule as to whether to play on hard difficulty or not, whether that be due to genre, preferences or how changing the difficulty affects gameplay or any other reason that someone might have.   read


4:01 PM on 12.14.2011

The Final Cut Scene

We all know what it is. Itís what we essentially came for isnít it? Itís in place so that the story can be wrapped up in a nice, tidy, neat bow or as the current trend of sequels being released also indicate, ending on somewhat of a cliffhanger, leaving us with more questions then answers. It is the end goal of the all the previous hours work, unraveling the story and experiencing all the games qualities, both good and bad. Now I donít aim to critique how good or bad the final cut scene is in todayís games or how predictable and clichťd it may have come across as. Iím purely here to highlight an ending cut scene that I genuinely canít get sick of. It comes from a game I recently completed for the 5th time, that the in-game stats state that Iíve played over 30 hours of, whilst barely touching the online segment of the game. Thatís right, a primarily single player game, at least for me and a game that still today, remains one of my favorite games of all time. And that game is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.




I think itís obvious that I will be talking about the ending of Uncharted 2 so here is a SPOILER WARNING.

Now I will be the first to admit that the ending is about as clichťd as they come and thatís because itís an ending popularized not only in games, but film as well. From misleading the players into believing that the funeral was for Elena to the overly happy tone the game ended on with Drake and Elena seemingly beginning a relationship together, itís all rather expected. While some may have an issue with this, I do not. Why is that? Because itís exactly what I wanted. After playing for 8 or so hours, I had built such a tight bond with these characters that I could only want the best for them, the best ending obtainable. A lot of credit has to be given to Naughty Dog and their ability to tell a story that compels players while also creating likeable characters. However its not the fact that the ending was what I wanted that makes this cut scene really hit home for me. Itís in the final dialogue and interaction between Drake and Elena.

Iíll be completely honest; Iím not exactly sure why this cut scene stands above others in my mind. The fact only after watching the cut scene 5 times until I realised I it was somehow significant to me proves that even more so. It could be because I consider the interaction between Nate and Elena to be one of the most human interactions between two characters that Iíve ever witnessed in a video game. I wouldnít be surprised at all if it wasnít scripted and was purely improvised by the voice actors. Sure, I might be seeing something that isnít there and I may be the only one who truly finds this scene special. It may even be because the playful bickering and bantering between the two characters reminds me of how my previous and current relationships have been like and that relatable factor is something I am drawn to instinctively and seeing two characters happily together cracking the same lame jokes I do makes me feel validated in a weird way. Or it might be because Drake and I share the same first name and Elena is a stunner and a win for the team is a win for the team, who really knows.


That looks and feels so familiar to me.

I think we all have that one game where the final cut scene stuck with us and is regarded as a personal favorite. It may have gone or exactly how you wanted or been a surprise twist you never saw coming. This was one such cut scene that stuck with me and at least in my opinion, did not falter in its execution in the slightest.   read


6:20 PM on 12.12.2011

A (Re)Introduction Of Sorts

Iím sorry and you know I am. I thought I could be unlike any teenager before me and be able to balance my time between a hectic school schedule and writing for your wonderful site, however I proved to be everything that is wrong with my generation. You deserve better and I promise to devote more time to you this time around. Iíve changed. Iím better with longer words or should I say, I am better equipped to elongate my phrases eloquently. I can also grow patchy stubble on my chin, Iím everything you could ever want. Itís not like I saw anyone else while I was gone, I still visited everyday but just couldnít muster up the ability to write anything substantial. But enough about that, Iím back now guys. WaitÖ You donít know me? You donít remember those long summer afternoons where I would stroke your hair for hours upon hours? Fair enough I suppose, I only stuck around for a month or so before leaving without a whisper. That peace and quiet you grew to love and desire is now over. Not without a fight however.


YES I FORGOT MY BLOODY PASSWORD. After 7 attempts, I just went ahead and reset it

So this past year has been something crazy and Iím just glad its coming to an end. Just looking at it briefly, itís hard to believe I managed to stay sane. I moved out of my mothers and into my dadís permanently due to personal reasons, I was told I wonít make a comeback to sport (YeahÖ Iím a sports fan, please take me seriously) because of my knee injury and I broke up with my girlfriend of almost two years which until recently I still wasnít completely over. Wasnít all though bad, actually it was a pretty good year, especially when it came to videogames.


Note: Picture above does not show one game I am even remotely talking about

Thatís one thing I donít understand about the industry though. People all over the internet seems to lament and bitch about how the industry is a mess and how the old days used to be far better. Now I wonít even pretend like Iím even old enough to have experienced the ďbetterĒ days but I donít see how the industry could have been any better then it is now. Sure, there are a shit ton of sequels nowadays, and a lack of true innovative AAA titles but the rising in popularity in the indie scene generally makes it a moot point, as they arenít afraid to experiment. I also canít deny that companies like EA, Activision and Ubisoft are trying everything they can to ruin it apparently, with online passes, disk-locked DLC, punishing actual paying customers with pointless DRM practices and other shifty business plans but when it comes down to it, look at the amount of truly great games that have come out in the last few months. I still have yet to purchase Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Skyrim and AssCreed Revelations, 4 games Iíve been waiting eagerly for all year. Just look at the entire year as a whole, almost every genre has had a successful game released and I canít help but think that people are going to bitch either way because they need something to do.

Back to the main point however, I am back and plan on staying long after I've worn out my welcome. Iíve recently purchased a headset so I could play with you lovely people on Friday nights (Saturday midday over here) once I get my hands on Battlefield and Uncharted. Let's reap the benefits of a relationship together Dtoid.   read


5:23 AM on 05.03.2011

P2 Press Start: A New Player

When I saw the topic for this monthly musing, I knew immediately what I would talk about. It was a game I was told was ďforbiddenĒ to play unless she was there and is a game we both thoroughly enjoyed. A game that let us have fun together after a long day of school, a game me and my sister could laugh about. The game Iím talking about is...



Yeah. Lego Star Wars. It all started one random weekend a quite a few years ago now, my sister and I were just at home when an advertisement came on the television for a new game called Lego Star Wars. Now before this, my sister had no interest in video games at all. She didnít care about them or have the courtesy to fake interest in them for me. That bitch... Anyway moving on, afterwards my sister really wanted to play it so that same day the whole family went to the local video game shop to pick it up. She told me she wanted to carry it in the bag from the store to the car and she read the manual all the way home. When we got home she asked me to give her a rundown of how the controller works and what button does what and then we were on our way.

We helped each other with the puzzles. When she was low on life, I would defend her. When I was cornered by multiple enemies, she would spring from behind and save me. We had each others back. Any free afternoon after school we would play the game. If I had a bad day or if she was in a bad mood, the first thing we would ask each other is ďDo you want to play?Ē and our faces would light up. It provided us happy times together when things were getting us down and something we knew would always be there to cheer us up.



It wasnít all good news though. Sometimes I would get annoyed at how inexperienced she was at games compared to myself and she would get annoyed at how I would run ahead of her all the time. At one point we just stopped playing about 20 minutes away from the end because of these disagreements. We were still close and all but we ran out of motivation to finish the game for many weeks. We both had too much pride just to ask if the other would like to play again. Then one day I came home from a friendís house and found her sitting on the couch, controller in hand with the other one lying next to her with the game paused. We finished the game that day and loved the whole trip to the end.

This was her first experiance with a video game in her life and she loved it. Ever since then we have played many different games together, from Portal 2 and Killzone 3 to Lego Star Wars 2 and Borderlands, we have played heaps of co-op games together. The first Lego Star Wars game started a new part of our friendship and created an interest we both could enjoy together. Now Iím always on the lookout for the new game with a great co-op experience we could play together. She is my player 2.

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7:32 PM on 04.29.2011

Aaamaazing: That First Night With The New Generation

It was one late night in 2002 and much more younger, charming version of myself was at home waiting impatiently for his mother to come back home. It was starting to get late for the young boy, his eyes getting weary as time ticked by. I had school tomorrow but I didnít care, I had to experience it as soon as I could. 30 minutes later, who would have thought I would be rubbing my eyes vigorously, have my jaw unhinged with my chin touching the floor, managing only to say ďItís Aaamaazing...Ē This was the faithful day I got my PS2, catching up with the current generation and it is here I found myself truly captivated and mystified, thinking to myself ďIt couldnít get any better than this.Ē



I unwrapped it out of its box as quickly as I could possibly with my small, eager fingers and set it all up. Small note: This is the night I learned all I ever would need about setting up a gaming system, ainít no way my parents were helping me on this mission. Soon, I was ready to go. I put in the one game my mother bought for me and waited for it load. I was not ready for what I was about to see.



The Getaway. After watching the opening cut scene a shiver had already gone down my spine. The visuals looked amazing, the story was captivating and I couldnít believe any of it. I stayed up almost all night just soaking in every detail I could. It was such a massive step ahead of the current games I was playing on my still functioning PS1. It even garnered recognition from my mum, commenting on how good the games were starting to look. All I could do was just smile and nod. It was possibly the best first game I could have got that showed the new power of some crazy, magic crafting machine. I loved the story, the dialogue and the gameplay. In my mind the game had no faults whatsoever. Sure I was naive at the time but it sure felt like it back then and looking back on it now, I donít blame myself. I had been sucked into the gritty streets of London and no one could get me out of it. I felt compelled to fix Mark Hammondís life and help him get his child back at all costs. It was like he was a real person to me and he needed my help immediately, everything else could wait. Together, we could be the hero.



I didnít feel this though when I got a PS3. Maybe being older it was more difficult to amaze me at first glance. Maybe the jump from generation to generation just wasnít the same. Sure later on I learned to appreciate and love my PS3 more so than I ever did for my PS2 but that feeling I got that one fateful night when a little black machine entered my life, I never experienced it again.

A week later I had completed the game. Twice. And I still wanted more. I looked for all the secrets the game had in store for me. I had grown to love every character and their quirks. Find all the secret cars and learn the map of the world better then my own neighbourhood. I couldnít get enough of the game. It was at this point that I began thinking where games could eventually go. How fluid can the gameplay get? How gripping will the story telling become in games? Will we ever reach the pinnacle where story, gameplay and graphics mesh perfectly together to create the best experience possible? At this brief moment on a cool winter night, I thought that we definitely could get there and it was only a matter of time. I was Aaamaazed.   read


6:06 AM on 02.20.2011

Zwoooosh's Ramblings: Picking Up The Crumbs

So it seems that the new thing to do around these parts is random thoughts blogs so I thought I might give it a shot. So I welcome you to my cosy mind, I know its quiet empty and lonely but trust me, some stuff will show up sooner or lately. A couch perhaps.



Now, I have been missing lately from Destructoid and it, itís sucked to be honest. With going back to school, getting back into the swing of things and actually waking up before 9 oíclock, itís been difficult. Being in Year 11 now, someone could have told me that shit gets real\. Especially at my school *shudder*. Which reminds me that for a certain subject, in this case TOK (Theory of Knowledge, I know, donít even get me started) where part of our assessment is to start a blog on edublogs and write one post per week. Essentially, it is a blog to give our thoughts on issues in the world today, in the news or thatís important to us that we would like to discuss. It is for some of us, especially myself to take 100% seriously but one must soldier on. Itís quite a different and demanding task and is a reason Iíve been missing lately. Also Valentineís Day!!

Anyone that has known me for more than 5 minutes knows I am a massive Lupe Fiasco fan. His music is what I believe to be real hip-hop/rap in a world where music about drugs, money and women is all the rage. For obvious reasons I am psyched but in some way worried about his new album Lasers dropping next month. His latest album has had a rough history trying to be released, from his recording company refusing to promote it because he wouldnít make more ďpopĒ records, him trying to get bought out of his contract, a petition and eventually a protest for this album. However from the singles that have been released thus far, it is apparent that the record company has changed his music and thatís something I hate to see. The whole situation is an eye opener for me about how the music industry works and itís disappointing to see it for what it really is. A business.



Anyway enough about that, on to the gaming am I right? I recently completed Arkham Asylum. Twice. And I have to say, it really is as good as everyone said it was and I cannot wait for the sequel. The combat, the voice acting, the sound effects, everything was top notch. I am now waiting for my copy of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 2 to show up to my door. Not too bad of a list of games to work through the next few months. Which reminds me, how many good games are going to come out this year? Like SHIIIII.... There is so many Iím interested in picking up, I may as well just throw in the towel on the whole education thing. Crysis 2, Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 and Homefront among many others? What to do, what to do? Also, super excited about Dead Island after seeing the trailer which has been circling the internet for the last few days. OHHH I also should be getting a mic sooner or later and am really looking forward to joining you guys in the ps3 FNF despite the fact it happens at about 10:00am on a Saturday here in Australia. Stupid time zone differences.



A topic I wanted to throw my 2 cents in about quickly is the whole argument about piracy that has been raging on lately. Now if you had of asked me a year or so ago about it, I would have said ďYeah sure whatever, I mean how much harm can it really do to any industry? Whether it be music, movies or video games.Ē But after opening my eyes, maturing and growing some form of facial hair, Iíve seen the amount of money it robs the industry of, the affect it has had on both the DS and PSP and to an extent, the PC and Iím going to have to stand on the side that is against all forms of it. No excuse in my book can justify pirating, whether it be testing or whatever. It is a problem that needs to be contained some way, but it is known that piracy will never be completely wiped out.

This has gone on long enough so itís time to finish up. This was fun to write so I may look into writing another one sometime. Hope to see you guys on a Friday night soon.   read


7:50 AM on 01.21.2011

2010 Sucked: Owwww... My Wallet

So apparently 2010 sucked? Clearly I didnít get the memo. I thought 2010 was a great year for gamers. There were great AAA titles as well as fantastic indie games. There was new, quality releases for all genres on all systems. Need proof? Well thereís: Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Limbo, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Meat Boy, Halo Reach, Fallout New Vegas, Gran Turismo 5, Kirbyís Epic Yarn, StarCraft 2, God Of War III, Assassinís Creed: Brotherhood and for obvious reasons, Deadly Premonition among many others. Essentially what Iím getting at here is that there was something for everyone. Except there is only one problem with this and thatís...


Oh noes

Yes thatís right, the dreaded empty wallet. A problem that seems to plague most people more than once in their life and which loves to strike at the worst possible moment. Now there are ways to combat this mistake and make the hobby of gaming as a whole, much cheaper. Some use Gamefly, others rent from their local video library, others play demoís made available on PSN/XBOX Live and some purchase games online. With a year so full of games that I eagerly anticipated, there were going to be some I just couldnít get due to another game coming out at a similar time or just being flat out broke. So I apologize Bayonetta, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. I really wanted to play all of you, I mean it but things just didnít work out. I have a forever growing backlog due to so many good games coming out in waves, I mean I have just got around to playing Arkham Asylum so cut me some slack.



What makes matters worse is when you make the incorrect choice and choose the far inferior game and it disappoints you. That game than seems even worse because youíd imagine the other game would be like Heaven compared to what you're playing. Trading the game in is a viable option of course but for some reason it's a concept I can't embrace. I'm the classic hoarder unfortunately. For some unknown reason, I feel I'll regret letting the game go, no matter how much I despised it and that there's absolutely no chance I'll play it again. Getting back on topic, picking the game that you will most likely enjoy the most for your money is a tough thing to learn, made harder because gaming is not the cheapest hobby to have. Oh if only...


Sigh...

To me 2010 didnít suck at all. If the biggest problem in your opinion is that there are too many good quality titles out there to choose from, well that sounds like the best problem one could have. In a year that saw not only the usual AAA titles vying for GOTY but also Indie titles, every genre having quality titles released and each platform having great games, I would have to say that 2010 was a great year and hereís hoping 2011 can be even better.   read


6:23 PM on 01.14.2011

Open World Games: When Is It Going To be Enough?

Open world games. They are a dime a dozen nowadays, all varying in sizes. As the generations have gone on, Open world games seem to be the genre that has been the most expanded upon. They have not only become bigger and wider, they have become more populated and dense. My question is when is it going to be enough? How big do we want the worlds we are playing in?



I remember years ago, when I first played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, how I marvelled at the sheer size of the world. It wasnít uncommon to find myself just driving around the numerous areas, actually enjoying the large area provided. Add in the large amount of activities at the playerís disposal and you couldnít blame yourself for not following the story missions. A lot of people did criticize that a lot of San Andreas was just open bushland with very few buildings but I felt that it gave the game a much needed diversity. Fast forward a few years to now and we find that not only have the land masses grown exponentially, Just Cause 2 being my case, but they have become a lot more populated and dense. A further emphasis has now been put on growing upwards, to provide a more interactive environment for the gamer.

Now this is all good and I like the direction that the developers are taking but my only concern is, when will the gaming world be just too big for us, and how big is that? A problem that already plagues quite a few open world games are the long travelling distances to start the next mission, so if the world becomes bigger, well the problem isnít going to go away. It is practically a consensus that gamers get bored and lose attention quite quickly if they have to travel large distances between each mission, but this may just be me. Another factor is that the large size may just confuse the gamer, making them unsure how to get to their objective. Sure this could be fixed with a map added to the HUD in game but it isnít the same as the true feeling of learning the layout of the terrain and knowing how to get places without a map. The GPS system that was incorporated into Grand Theft Auto IV was a very good idea, but it compromised how much I learned the layout of the land and I became to dependent on it. I don't want to have to rely on a map or GPS to get me where I want to go. But then again this could be just the whole ďnot asking for directionsĒ stereotype that affects all men.



So what would I rather? I would rather that the industry uses generally the same sized games that are used now, but continues to put further emphasis on expanding the world in other ways. By this I mean that a larger amount of buildings become accessible, the world is more populated and dense by NPCís and that these same NPCís have a life. They go to work, they eat lunch and they travel back home in the afternoon. That a more lively and real place that we could visit is created. Also what ever happened to all the side activities we could do? Slowly the industry has seen these things been cut out and to some people, it doesn't bother them because they are just pointless trivial things you don't need in a game and the gamer may never use anyway. Sure this may be the case to some people and yet, I still don't see the harm in adding those random activities to the world. It can't hurt could it? Keeping the game world roughly the same size it has achieved, while expanding on the overall feeling of a real world is the best direction. Despite this, I canít help myself and wonder, could one day a game be created that is roughly the same size as earth?   read


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