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5:43 PM on 06.21.2008

Mirror's Edge fan trailer, made by yours truly

So this is a fan trailer I made for Mirror's Edge. Since there is only one trailer out for the game, it is basically a re-edit for that trailer. When more media is released for the game, I'll make a second version. I basically made this version to see if the song fit the game. The song is "1,000,000" by Nine Inch Nails. I threw this together pretty quickly, so it isn't that great. I'll make a better one once more media is released. Anyway, here it is. Watch it if you want to.

[embed]91720:12459[/embed]   read

12:19 PM on 06.13.2008

Game of the year is here!

While browsing GameTrailers today, I found a trailer for an upcoming game that looks better
than GTA IV and MGS4, combined! You might be asking yourself, how come I haven't heard of
this game? I don't have an answer for that question. All I know is Dtoid better review this
game. Ready to see the game? Okay, here it is.


YAY! A bicycle simulator. Awesome! I'm so excited.

Seriously now, a bike simulator? I mean come on. While I will say the bikers do look good,
everything else looks ridiculous. How about the crowd getting out of the way while you are
biking. Exciting! If I ever played this game, I'd do the same thing I do with NASCAR games:
get in the lead, then turn around and cause the biggest crash ever.

[embed]90523:12260[/embed]   read

11:08 AM on 06.13.2008

GTA IV & Assassin's Creed: Similar Games?

I know what you might be thinking to yourself, how is one of the best games of 2008
similar to the most over-hyped game of 2007? One is extremely sci-fi, the other is a crime
game. One is extremely well received, the other had mixed reviews. Just looking at them at
the very basic level, they are not very similar at all. But if you dig deeper, you will find that
the two games are pretty similar.

Last night I was listening to The Podcastle. It has turned into one of my favorite podcasts
on the Internet. Anyway, Jim Sterling and Wardox were talking about GTA IV. I remember
Wardox made the comment "GTA IV is just a broken game." I thought about that for a
while, and I remembered that I heard that before about a game, but I couldn't remember.
Then it hit me. Thats what everyone was saying about Assassin's Creed. The more I
thought about it, I realized that GTA IV and Assassin's Creed have similar problems with
their gameplay, yet GTA IV received significantly higher review scores than Assassin's
Creed. Right GTA IV has a Metacritic score of 98, while Assassin's Creed has a score of 81.
While 81 is not a low score at all, I really do believe that it is better than that. But I think
the biggest difference of score is with IGN. They have GTA IV a 10/10, while giving
Assassin's Creed a 7.7/10. Lets look at the similarities these games possess.

Repetitive Gameplay

This is one area that Assassin's Creed got blasted for. Everyone was complaining about
repetitive gameplay. Same investigation missions, traveling on a horse got boring, sword
fights were the same. But a quick Google search shows that many people feel that GTA IV
is pretty repetitive. Even in the GameTrailers review they mention that each mission has
some guy telling you to go kill someone. And if you think about it, the missions in GTA IV
are pretty much the same. Drive somewhere, get into a firefight, drive back, rinse, repeat.
GTA IV has side missions, like stealing cars for Stevie, or hunting down the pigeons in the
city. But Assassin's Creed has things like this to, like finding flags...thats about it. But each
game has their own way of breaking up the action between missions. I think this is an area
where the games are similar, but GTA IV is let off easier than Assassin's Creed.


Both GTA IV and Assassin's Creed are filled with glitches. I really don't hold it against either
development team for said glitches. I understood that for both teams, it was the first time
they were using a brand new engine for a huge game. When working with any engine for
a sandbox game, there are going to be glitches. Now if both games were FPS where there
was one path for each level, then I would be upset about glitches. People do get upset over
the glitches with GTA IV, but not as much as Assassin's Creed did. Anyone who started
bitching about glitches basically stopped playing the game. Assassin's Creed does have
some big glitches, like falling through the level. I haven't run into many glitches in GTA IV,
but there are plenty of them. Once again, GTA IV is let off easier than Assassin's Creed.


You might ask yourself, "why the hell are you comparing the stories?" Because I feel both
of these games have some of the best storylines ever in a game. I think the story for both
games is one of the best parts of the game. Assassin's Creed had an awesome, sci-fi story
behind its medieval setting. I really liked the ending boss in Assassin's Creed, and I thought
the last cinematic was done really well. I can't wait for Assassin's Creed 2. I just hope you
play as the guy in the future now. Make it all Bourne-like. GTA IV has a great crime drama
storyline mixed with humor. GTA IV reminds me of the movie Snatch. Both have colorful
characters, involve crimes and drugs, and has wonderful dialogue. If GTA IV was a movie,
it would definitely be considered one of the best crime movies of all time. For each game, I
think this is the area where they both shine.

Don't get me wrong, I think that GTA IV is a better game then Assassin's Creed. But the
reason I wrote this blog post was each of these games possess similar problems, yet GTA
IV is one of the highest rated games ever, and Assassin's Creed is just pushed under the
bed. I'm a big fan of Assassin's Creed, and it makes me upset to see a game like GTA IV
that is similar in some areas be praised in the same areas that Assassin's Creed was
blasted for. So my question to Dtoiders is, do you think that GTA IV got a high score
because it is a really good game, or because it has Grand Theft Auto in the title. Think
about what I have said.   read

7:26 PM on 06.10.2008

New FIFA '09 details surface.

For being an American, I'm a pretty big fan of soccer. Along with that, I've really enjoyed
the FIFA series on this generation of consoles. I like how they reworked the engine to have
better ball physics and great animations. While FIFA '08 had its flaws, it was still pretty
good, and the quality of the FIFA games is catching up to the PES series.

Recently, EA Sports started showing off some of the upcoming '09 sports games, but they
haven't shown much of FIFA '09 yet. So I used my awesome internet skills (Google) and I
was able to dig up a little information on FIFA '09.

First off, the game has an improved AI system. What EA has given each player an area
around them that they watch. Depending on the situations, their behaviors will change. It is
supposed to be a lot more realistic than '08. Also, your teammates are smarter off the ball.
So no more of passing to an area where a player should be, but he doesn't get the pass.

They have also fixed the responsiveness of the game. This means that they game will
recognize the input from the controller a lot better than in the past. The game will feel more
fluid because of this.

EA also reworked the physics of collisions. In the past, the games never took into account
the strength and the weight of the to players that were battling for a ball. Now that has all
changed. Players that are stronger will go down less. Also, collisions are specific to different
areas of the body. So if a player gets hit in the leg while it is planted, there is a good
chance he will go down, and maybe be injured. The player with the ball will also be able to
dodge tackles now. This makes for more realistic gameplay.

Some more features include:

- Improved graphics and lighting system. There will also be a fully implemented weather
system that can and will affect the conditions on the pitch. If you watched the UEFA
Champions League final, you will know that weather can change a lot about a soccer match.
- Ability to tinker with formations and how your team plays. According to EA, there are
thousands of different combinations of different factors, like defensive style, offensive style,
if you want your team organized or running freely, etc. They say it changes a lot about the
way FIFA is played.
- Referees on the field, finally. Also, there are dugouts where the subs and coaches sit.
They have unique animations for the sidelines, like subs warming up before going in.
- More teams and stadiums.
- Interactive celebrations, like the ones from UEFA Euro 2008.

Two magazines from the UK have features on FIFA '09. Here are scans from OPM UK.

OPM UK Page 1
OPM UK Page 2
OPM UK Page 3
OPM UK Page 4

The new issue of PSM3 had a cover story about FIFA '09. On the cover it says "EA's latest
silences its sternest critic...yes, us." PSM3 usually favors the PES series, but they were very
pleased with early builds of FIFA '09.

I'm really excited for FIFA '09. From early reports, journalists are saying this could be the
best FIFA game yet. The official site went live today, and there
should be a trailer and screenshots for the game soon. FIFA '09 comes out in late
September, with a demo probably in late August to early September. For all you FIFA fans
out there, are you excited for this new version of FIFA?   read

6:00 PM on 05.17.2008

Killzone 2 walkthrough impressions

In case you haven't checked GameTrailers recently, they have three new videos of Killzone 2. It is a developer walkthrough at a recent Sony press event. After E3 '05, I think everyone has been paying attention to this game. I think one of the main reasons many people are watching this game closely is to see if it comes close to what was shown at E3 '05. After a less than averaging showing last year, I think that the game is actually shaping up pretty nicely. I don't think it is going to the best FPS ever like many people are making it out to be, but I think that it might turn out better than the first one.




Things I like:

- Graphics look nice. I like the dark, grey look it is going for. It has sort of a Gears style of art, but a little more grainy I think.

- The gunplay looks pretty fun. And that is the most important thing with a FPS. While I do prefer the 360 controller for shooters, it doesn't take that much time to get used to the PS3 controller.

- I like how Guerrilla Games didn't include a cover system, but more of a lean-and-peek system. It keeps you in the first person view the entire time. While most shooters don't include a cover system, it is the new trend in this generation. I like it when shooters don't include a cover system because I feel it makes it more realistic. You have to find your own cover and get behind it, not press X when the prompt comes on the screen.

- The wide open environments look great. They have also implemented a pretty good particle system, as well as a physics engine. The animation is spotty in some areas, but I think that it will smooth out with time.

Things I didn't like:

- The AI needs a lot of improvement. While they do maneuver around the battlefield, I didn't notice them trying to flank you or really pose a threat. Sure they shoot at you, but most of the time they were just standing in the open, or popping in and out of cover. I wish that someone would develop an AI system that doesn't include an enemy just staying in cover, and you just aim at them until they pop their head out. The AI for your teammates look like any other shooter. I don't like how when they are behind cover, it looks like they are just relaxing there.

- The developer mentions their attention to detail, and the game does have great detail. But there are some things that I think they need to work on. For example, when the main character reloads the assault rifle, it looks like those two clips taped together have unlimited ammo. I would like to see the character throw the clips away after both of them have been depleted. Also, when you heal a teammate, he just pops back up. It would be nice to have a healing animation, but again, its a minor detail that I'm sure they can fix before the game ships.

- Sixaxis bullshit. It is cool that they are trying to incorporate the Sixaxis functionality, but I think it is just a nuisance. And plus it looked like their was a crazy amount of lag from when you turn the controller to when your character moves.

Overall I think that this game may live up to the hype. I'm looking at getting a PS3 soon, so I'm definitely going to be paying more attention to the game now. It won't be the Halo killer, or make people stop playing Call of Duty 4, but it looks like it may be a good addition to your game library. Here is a tip for Guerrilla: If you want a game to meet expectations, don't show a CGI trailer for your first video of the game.   read

2:50 PM on 05.04.2008

EA disappoints me

Over the past few years, it seems like EA is the company in the gaming industry to bash.
While they used to be king of the gaming industry, they have fallen due to poor company
management and releasing average games. As of late, I started to gain a little more
respect for EA. They have a few new IPs they are working on, and they have released
some decent games for this generation of consoles. I thought Army of Two was decent, and
Dead Space looks like an interesting game. But I lost all integrity for them when I watched
this video.


In case you don't know what the video is, or you just don't feel like watching it, it is a trailer
for Madden 09. In the trailer, it features the New England Patriots playing against the
(edit) New York Giants (sorry, not a big football fan), a rematch of the recent Super Bowl.
And if you have played Madden in the
past, you will realize that this new version looks exactly like the previous ones. This is why
EA disappoints me.

I'm not a big sports gamer at all. I did enjoy MVP Baseball '05. The way you could manage
your teams was great fun, and it was the perfect mix of arcade and simulation that made
the game a little realistic, but not as boring as the real sport. I also enjoy the FIFA series,
and the new FIFA games are actually pretty good. I'm not a big Madden fan. I've only
owned one version of Madden, the 2005 version with Ray Lewis on the front. But this video
makes me mad, and I'll tell you why.

If you watch the video, you will notice that the only thing it looks like they changed was the
presentation. There doesn't seem to be any improvement to the animation, AI, or graphics.
I'm really upset about this. Don't get me wrong, they have made some improvements. The
new lighting system looks pretty neat, and so do the stadiums. But that doesn't really
matter when the gameplay on the field isn't that great. I think the thing I'm most upset with
is the animation. There are plenty of games that show dynamic animations can work, not
pre-scripted animations. I'm talking about GTA IV, Force Unleashed, and the new Indiana
Jones game coming out. Euphoria is the future of physics and animation, and I wish EA
would realize that. I don't think they realize how big of an opportunity it would be to get a
license for Euphoria. Not only would they be able to cut down on the number of animations
they would have to program, but the game would look a lot more realistic. The main reason
I want to try the football game Backbreaker is to see the tackling. It looks awesome.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Madden football. While Madden is the biggest
selling game, it definitely is not the best. It is disappointing to know that a company like EA
can put little effort into a game and make a ton of money. I'm not saying EA has slacked
off for the past year, but I know they could improve the game in many more ways then
they do every year. It disappoints me as a gamer and as someone who wants to make
games someday. But hey, as long as people are buying Madden, EA doesn't care, right?
Well I wish they would care. I can only hope they are working on a tackling system similar
to Euphoria. That would be neat. Otherwise, I don't think Madden will ever be truly
phenomenal. Come on Peter Moore, challenge your developers!   read

12:29 PM on 04.02.2008

Non-Gaming Review: "H.A.A.R.P"

Yesterday, the popular European band Muse released their second live DVD, "H.A.A.R.P," in
North America. It features a live show that they performed last June at Wembley Stadium
in London. If you have never heard of Muse, you are not alone. While they are
extremely popular in Europe, they have yet to break into the mainstream music in America
(which is a good thing). But after watching "H.A.A.R.P" numerous times already, I have to
say that this band should be respected by everyone worldwide, regardless of your genre

Muse starts off the concert with the widely popular song "Knights of Cydonia," which you will
recognize if you have played Guitar Hero III. It is a powerful way to start the concert, and
gets you in the mood to listen to rocking music for the entire concert, which lasts close to
100 minutes. After "Knights," they play another one of their more popular songs,
"Hysteria." I find it kind of interesting that Muse starts their concert with two of their well
known songs instead of saving them for the end of the concert. But thats why Muse is like
no other band.

You also get the sense that Muse is a very different band by their stage layout. It is
probably one of the most incredible designs I've seen. They have a kickass screen behind
the band that has some of the coolest visualizers I've seen. They are rich in color, and the
patterns flying around are amazing. One thing that I really enjoyed watching was during the
song "Blackout" they have these balloons suspended in the air with acrobats hanging off the
bottom of them, doing tricks in the air. It is a real neat stunt that goes on during the song.

Here I was going to list some of my favorite tracks off the DVD, but after looking at the
tracklist, I realized that the list was going to contain every song on the DVD. So here is the
tracklist of the DVD. If you are not interested in the set list, continue reading.

1. "Knights of Cydonia"
2. "Hysteria"
3. "Supermassive Blackhole"
4. "Map of the Problematique"
5. "Butterflies & Hurricanes"
6. "Hoodoo"
7. "Apocalypse Please"
8. "Feeling Good"
9. "Invincible"
10. "Starlight"
11. "Improv."
12. "Time is Running Out"
13. "New Born"
14. "Soldier's Poem"
15. "Unintended"
16. "Blackout"
17. "Plug In Baby"
18. "Stockholm Syndrome"
19. "Take a Bow"

Here is an image of their set-up. In the back, you can see the balloons they use for the
stunt during the song "Blackout."

I have only one gripe with the DVD. They did not play one of my favorite songs, "Assassin."
Other than that, this DVD is incredible. If you enjoy Muse, concert DVDs, or just music in
general, you owe it to yourself to check out this DVD. Even if you don't buy it, you owe it to
yourself to check out a few of the songs on YouTube, or in a few weeks,
will be operational where you can download individual video files to your computer. I
definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for something new, or for a cool video
to watch on a boring night. Did anyone else buy "H.A.A.R.P"? If you did, what do you think
of it?   read

12:28 PM on 12.30.2007

Best Buy sale

Just thought I would let you guys know that Best Buy is having a sale on a lot of Xbox 360
games. I just picked up Assassin's Creed for $40. I also saw The Orange Box and Tony
Hawk's Proving ground for $40. There are other games on there that are cheaper than the
normal price. I can't get the bbcode to work to make a link, so just copy and paste the below
=y&nrp=15&sc=gameToySP&sp=-bestsellingsort+skuid&usc=abcat0700000   read

10:52 AM on 12.27.2007

Non-gaming review: Sweeney Todd

While growing up, I always felt kind of separated from my siblings. We all got along great,
but my siblings loved musicals. Being the nerd in the family, I didn't really care for
musicals. I didn't mind watching them, but if I had the choice, I probably would not watch a
three hour stage production. So when my brother asked me if I wanted to tag along to see
"Sweeney Todd," I was a little hesitant at first. After watching the movie, I can tell you that
this is a film that should be loved by both musical buffs, and just movie lovers.

The movie starts off with a ship heading towards a London pier. We see Anthony (Jamie
Campbell Bower) singing about how great of a city London is. Joining Anthony is Sweeney
Todd (Johnny Depp), singing about how all the scum of the earth come to a city, named
London. After the song, Anthony asks Todd why he hates London so much. We learn that
Sweeney Todd used to be named Benjamin Barker, a successful barber whose barber shop
was above Mrs. Lovett's meat pie shop. He was also married to one of the most beautiful
woman in London. But Sweeney Todd was not the only person who noticed that his wife,
Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), was beautiful. The corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) also
notices, and banishes Sweeney Todd from the city on false charges. After unsuccessful
attempts to get Lucy to fall in love with him, Judge Turpin decides to make Sweeney Todd's
daughter his ward.

After arriving back in London, Sweeney Todd meets Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) in
her meat pie shop. She tells Sweeney that her meat pies are the worst in London, and she
knows it. But since times are tough, she can't afford fresh meat. While Sweeney and Mrs.
Lovett converse, she realizes that Sweeney is actually Benjamin Barker, and tells him that
Lucy had poisoned herself after he was banished. After he finds this out, he is enraged, and
wants to get revenge on the entire city. To do so, opens his barber shop back up, and while
giving men a shave he cuts the throats of customers. Because fresh meat is so hard to
come by, and Sweeney must do something with the bodies, he builds a trap door that sends
the bodies down to the basement, and Mrs. Lovett uses the meat from the dead bodies as
the filling for her pies. Sweeney's ultimate goal is to get revenge on Judge Turpin, but
before he can get his hands on Judge Turpin, Mr. Todd goes on a killing spree to suppress
his anger. Meanwhile, Anthony is trying to get Sweeney's daughter, Johanna (Jane Wisener)
out of the custody of Judge Turpin, and wants to take her away on a ship.

Overall the story is very intriguing. Going into the movie, the only thing I knew was
Sweeney Todd killed people and Mrs. Lovett used the dead bodies as filling for her meat
pies. But the movie does a great job of setting up the story, and it moves at a decent pace.
There are a few moments where the movie drags, but it only does so to set up another
violent or up-beat scene.

Being a musical, the music is probably the most important part. While the movie isn't
chalked full of professional singers, the actors do a great job of singing. The performances
by Depp and Carter are great. While they aren't the best singers, they aren't the worst
either. I think it gives it a more realistic feel to the movie by not having professional
singers. It made the movie more interesting as well. The musical also features great songs.
My personal favorite is "Epiphany." I think it is Depp's best performance in the movie, plus
it is basically the beginning of his killing spree. I don't think that anyone will be disappointed
by the musical performances by the actors.

Being a movie directed by Tim Burton, the film features some great filmography. The first
thing that you will notice about the film is that it is a very dark movie. There are a lot of
brown, black, and grey everywhere. It definitely adds to the story, since the story is pretty
depressing. There is a few times during the film where Burton adds bright colors to the
scene. One is when Mrs. Lovett is having a dream about marrying Sweeney Todd. It is a
beautiful shot when Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett are walking on an ocean walk. The ocean is
bright blue, the sky is bright, and all the colors are brought out. It is a really neat scene.
Another area where color is abundant is during the killings. The blood effect that is in the
movie is a brighter red. And trust me, there is a lot of blood. For being a musical, "Sweeney
Todd" is one of the most gruesome movies I have ever seen. Not only is there an abundant
of blood, but Burton does not censor anything when Sweeney is cutting the throat of his
victims. The camera is very close to the neck, and you see everything. This is no movie to
take children to. But there is something about the killings that make them interesting. I'm
not a violent man, but I did not find the killings over the top, they looked gruesome, like
they should. But this is about a man getting revenge on his enemies, so you are kind of
glad to see these evil men get killed, even though Sweeney Todd is kind of evil himself.

Final Thoughts
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street" is an excellent movie that should not
be missed by many, if you have the stomach for it. Tim Burton does a great job bringing
the musical to the big screen. You are never confused by the plot, there is action, romance,
comedy, everything you could want from a movie. Plus the musical numbers are
outstanding. This is a great weekend movie, and I suggest everyone who enjoys musicals
or movies to go see "Sweeney Todd." I give it 3.5 Dtoid heads out of 4

4:30 PM on 12.24.2007

New Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway video

On an Italian video game site, they have a new gameplay video up for the upcoming Brothers in Arms game. I'm really looking forward to the game, and if you are too, you should watch this video. It shows a lot of gameplay from a mission. This game looks promising. I'm not big on WWII games, but I've enjoyed the first two Brothers in Arms, and I'm really looking forward to this.   read

12:46 PM on 12.12.2007

Is anyone else keeping an eye on Turning Point?

For some reason, every new trailer that comes out for Turning Point makes me what to play
it. When I learned that Spark Unlimited was making the game, I forgot about it because the
Call of Duty games on the last gen consoles were absolute crap. But after reading more about
the story and seeing more trailers, I think that I might have to keep an eye on this game. I
think the reason that I am interested in the game is because I have deep affection for the
game Freedom Fighters. Turning Point kind of has the same story, but expands on the
occupation of America. While the graphics aren't really anything to write home about, they do
an adequate job of making it look like New York City. Check out the new trailer if you have
not done so yet.

What are your guys thoughts? Anyone else keeping an eye on it, or do you just think it looks
like crap?
[embed]59158:5789[/embed]   read

10:20 AM on 12.07.2007

Like serial Rockstar, I want GTA IV now!

Well, like you all know, there was a new GTA IV trailer that came out yesterday. I think it is funny that we get all excited about a new trailer. But yeah, even more of the game was shown. I'm incredibly excited for this game now. The thing that I liked the most was the first shots of the Euphoria engine at work. It is freakin' incredible. Just the way that the NPCs react when hit are just incredible; they look so realistic. But yeah, thats all I wanted to say; Euphoria rocks, and so will this game.   read

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