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cm Katarn's blog

10:00 PM on 04.07.2010

To Bioware

I appreciate what you're doing with the Bioware Bazaar. I really do. Giving stuff away to your fans is great. I don't agree with how you're doing it however. I wasn't able to take the time to check twitter every forty-five minutes and it feels like I have no chance of winning any of the auctions because of that. Hell, I haven't even been able to enter a bid since most of the opening bids are more tokens than I was able to accrue. I know this coming idea is just giving stuff away for nothing, but hey, you kind of already are. Why not let people use their earned tokens in your store? Even if it's something small, at least I'll get to use my points.   read

6:15 PM on 04.03.2010

DRM and the conspiracy to ruin PC gaming

Considering how upset people are getting about all of the DRM problems going on right now, I'm surprised nobody has gone this direction.

PC Gamers have spoken out for years now about problems with PC gaming. Piracy this, different specifications that. Perhaps DRM is their way of pushing everybody to consoles.

Have you ever gotten tired of doing something, so you decided to half-ass it? I used to hate working at the information desk when I worked at my local bookstore. One day I decided that I would put all of my effort into other aspects of my job, and only do what I had to when I was at the information desk. Eventually, I was taken off of the rotation and put into play in other areas of the store.

Now here come PC publishers. they complain about high development costs because they have to make a game that works on x amount of computers. Couple that with a customer base that will find any excuse to pay less, if at all and you have problems. How are they supposed to turn a profit? Blizzard found a way, but that profit model doesn't work for most games.

It almost feels like Ubisoft is looking at PC gaming as an investment in console gaming. Assassins Creed was just a test model. EA caught on and is running the same scheme now. Why buy this game and have all of the possible problems, when you can buy a "trouble free" version on the console?

PC gamers, get used to it. I would expect more of the same when it comes to Splinter Cell. Not necessarily the DRM problem, but it will have issues (what game doesn't) but I am willing to bet good money that the console version will run much smoother.

Watch out for R.U.S.E. as well.   read

6:10 PM on 08.26.2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review


Final score-44/50

Whoa. That shit was tight. Like, "not even legal" tight. I enjoyed Prototype. I liked X-MEN Origins: Wolverine. They had NOTHING on this, From start to finish, this game had my full attention. Mark Hamill is a KING... Graphics like Bioshock and gameplay like Splinter Cell make this a MUST PLAY.

Graphics- Batman was graphically and atmospherically very similar to Bioshock. Everywhere you went, it felt as if you were somewhere that used to be magnificent, but over time the deluson of the populace has deteriorated it into its current state. In Batman's case that state is anarchy. Everything looked sharp, with very minimal oddities in the environmental design.

Gameplay- Think Splinter Cell and you have a pretty good idea of what this game is like. Not like Double Agent though. Screw that. I'm talking about good old fashioned Chaos Theory gameplay. However, it isn't level based. It is an open world exploratory take on that style of gameplay. At any time you can choose to go investigate explore or maim another part of the island. The gadgets break up the monotony of taking out henchmen. You could very easily walk up and just beat each one to a pulp. Thats boring and repetitive though. Why don't I....

1. String him up from a gargoyle?
2. Blow a piece of wall up while he's standing next to it?
3. Blow out the floor from underneath him?
4. Knock over three of the four of them in one Batarng toss and glide kick the fourth?
5. Bat-grapple him to me?

The environments make all of these possible, and increase the ability to go back and play it through a dozen times, differently each time. The game also has a variety of optional puzzles, riddles, and exploration based experience bonuses. There are also a few spots that will throw your mind in a blender. At one point I went from being pissed, to confused, to laughing hysterically in the span of twenty seconds. The only part they could have improved upon would be adding in more villains. Understandably, they didn't. You can only use so many in one game and still keep a focus on the individuals. There were minimal environmental collisions (getting stuck on corners) and nothing in serious combat situations. Every now and then I would Glide Kick somebody from a gargoyle and get caught on the railing next to them, but nothing serious.

Story- Great story. In case you don't already know, the game starts out like this...

Batman has just apprehended Joker after another failed(?) scheme. You arrive at Arkham wary of Joker as he was much easier to capture this time. You escort him along with security into the depths of Arkham Asylum. Once inside, he escapes. This was all a ploy to get you INTO Arkham. He and Harley are in control of the Asylum and its security systems and have released most all of the prisoners. Now... Come get us...

The story contains several of Batman's most FEARED (see what I did there? :) ) adversaries. Including Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Bane. You come across references to most every other villain as well if you know where to look.

Audio- Wow. Just Wow. Mark Hamill has always been The Joker in my mind. (Luke Skywalker as well, but let's stay focused) What is the Award they give out for best voice-work in an entertainment software title? He should get one. His role as The Joker was done supremely well. Whether he is talking directly to Batman or to one of his own henchman, Joker's voice will send chills up your spine. Thinking about it, Everyone did a great job with the voices, even the henchmen.

Replayability- This was, I thought, the only weak point in the title. Sure there are Riddler challenges to go after, but once you have them all (You can easily find them all) there is very little reason to go through the story again. You can approach areas with a different style, but the story doesn't change AT ALL. The challenge rooms help this as well as giving you ideas as to how best handle situations in the game and showing off the flowing combat style of the game.

Accessibility- Batman is not hard to pick up and play. You know that saying we all hate "Easy to pick up, difficult to master"? Well, Batman is that. Anyone can pick it up and beat some henchmen into the ground, but a master can do it without being seen. The master can also do it to Six henchmen in under a minute. If you've played stealth based games before like Splinter Cell or even Metal Gear Solid, this is right up your alley.   read

7:06 PM on 08.19.2009

I suck at games: Because my teammates suck.

You know it's true. How many times have you thought you were winning a match only to look at the score and realize that your team had half the opponents score. "WTF?! I have 15 kills and 3 deaths!" Then, you look at the breakdown and see that two of your teammates have 2 kills and 12 deaths each.

It's sad that I have to call out people for their shortcomings in videogames, but I feel it needs to be done. It happens too often that my team is dragged down by people who aren't deliberately "griefing", they just truly are no good. Or maybe they are. Maybe they just had a bad game. Honestly though, they stay in to the next round and repeat. If I ever have a round where I don't have a 2 to 1 KDR I do not stick in the lobby after the round is over. I tell my friends good night and try again the next day.

This is why I rarely roll on any game unless I am on with my unofficial clan. I don't think we've ever lost a round when there have been four or more of us on at one time. When we have five, we have numerous win streaks of more than 50 rounds.

Faith in your teammates is something that games are now encouraging in all multiplayer rounds it seems. It is very rare that one person is able to carry a team. Everybody has to do their part to win, and it seems that some people are not up to the task. So why do they stay? Is it because they enjoy it? Or is it because they just don't care?

I'm inclined to think it's the latter. I have berated the slackers on my team numerous times and have found a fairly common response to my rants. "You care about this game too much."

Of course I f*cking do!!!!! That's why I'm playing! I'm trying to win! Why would you play competitive multiplayer with a minimal intent of actually winning? Is it just me? Is this approach to competitive multiplayer beyond the comprehension of anybody else?   read

4:06 PM on 08.19.2009

My gaming Set-up.

This is Vera. My fiance and I named her after Jayne's gun from Firefly. It is a Samsung 67 inch DLP.

Set up for when I play Rock Band.

Most of my gaming and music collection.

A close up of my 360 games.

Gamecube, Playstation 2, and PS3.

My collector's editions. Oh, and my Halo Zune.

Our movie and TV series collection.

A close up of my HD-DVD and Blu-Ray collection.   read

3:42 AM on 10.17.2007

Gamecube is officially done.

Gamestop has decided to stop replenishing new Gamecube games in its stores. All stores have been told to convert their "New" Gamecube games to "Used" skus. I knew it would happen eventually, but this soon? How long until it happens to XBox? How long until Gamestop stops carrying those games altogether?   read

4:12 AM on 09.17.2007

Legendary dimensions... kinda

In case any of you were wondering, the Legendary version of Halo 3 is pretty big.

Basically, stack THREE XBOX360 console boxes on top of each other. Face/ass not head/foot! That is the size of TWO Legendary versions. I should have pics to verify in... 48 hours.   read

3:38 AM on 09.17.2007

What is happening @DTOID on 9/18?

Ron Workman and Hamza CTZ Aziz are gonna show us why he is really called "AssRicky"? (Azereki)

7 day countdown for Halo 3?

3 Year countdown for Halo 0?

Another iteration in the now moral imperative of aesthetics? (it means DTOID will get a facelift morons... Go play Bioshock)   read

1:09 AM on 09.11.2007

Halo Fanboy and his quest for quality Halo 3 Marketing. Making EB Games look better.

Check out my window display for Halo 3!!! This is all (with exception of the box art) marketing that was to be thrown out months ago, but I saved it and "voila"!

{okay I realize that the pic isn't showing, give me a few...}   read

4:07 AM on 09.09.2007

High School Musical in stores on 11/7. Yes, Vanessa Hudgens will be wearing clothes.

For those that care.

Maybe a hot coffee mod? :/   read

12:30 AM on 09.07.2007

New Halo 3 footage!!!

If you're bored and looking fr some new Halo 3 fotage go to youtube and type in "Epsilon Halo" The first video that should come up is one showing

A. The Hornet, and it is sweet!!!

B. The Gravity Hammer in action, DO WANT!!!

C. The Brute Chopper, teh sexy beast of an alien Harley

D. A totally awesome part of the early campaign with NO SPOILERS!!! At least none that I noticed...

Go watch it before the Bungie Ninjas destroy it!!!

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

There!!! Gawd Azereki!

I would like to take this time to remind all readers that cm Katarn can not be harassed if anything he says may be later referred to as inaccurate.   read

2:53 AM on 09.06.2007

Longer Development Times?

The PS3 is harder to program for.

Who believes it? I WANT to! However, something keeps nagging at me and telling me that it's not completely accurate...

It would explain however

1. Why most games developed for multiplatform release (I mean 360/PS3) are released on the 360 first.

2. Why games that are released for multiple platforms at the same time run so much better on the 360.

3. Why Specifically GTA:IV was pushed back (Part of Rockstars contract with Sony basically says that it can't release GTA:IV on the 360 prior to it's release on the ps3).

4. Why most of the "Exclusives" so far seem to be either rushed to market OR not even complete titles (Warhawk, although I've heard it's fun, you can't play it offline).

I'm not going to lie. I love my 360 and think that MS has done a fine job (outside of hardware issues) with the console. I do HONESTLY WANT competition between MS and Sony. How is Sony going to get people to buy games for their consoles when they can't get them to market at the same time as the 360 titles?   read

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