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Hey Dudebros, I'm Crackity Jones (Addison L.)

I co-host Pocketoid and I make word words on here. Some of my favorite games include: Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros., Animal Crossing, Shadows of the Colossus, and Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask.

COME BE MY FRIEND NOW.


Me on that one dead social networking site

Me on last.fm

Sometimes I tweet

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If you don't follow me on Twitter then you probably don't know that I've been streaming games on Monday nights on Twitch recently. Or you may just not know who I am. I've done No More Room In Hell, Binding of Isaac, Saints Row IV, Pokemon and others but now I'm at a loss for what my new playthrough should be. 

Below is a list of the games I'm considering, if you'd like you can vote on which one you would like to see me play by leaving a comment below or liking another members comment. Game with the most votes wins! Unfortunately, I can't commit to one specific time right now due to work but I have been consistent in streaming at some point on Monday evenings. Watch my twitter for updates. 

Banjo and Kazooie

Banjo Tooie

Pokemon (any game gen 1-5 randomized playthrough) 

Mirror's Edge

Beyond Good and Evil 

Oddworld: Strangers Wrath

FEAR

Bastion

Darksiders

Legend of Grimrock

Psychonauts

Zeno Clash

Or suggest something else and if it's cheap enough or if I already have it it could win!

Thanks for taking the time to vote and watch, I really appreciate it guys! See you tomorrow night!








Microsoft fucked up their Xbox reveal, we get it already. But what would it take from their E3 presentation to win gamers like myself and many others back? Well, it's gonna take a lot for me but it is far from impossible. They just have to change their way of thinking. Think more as the consumer and less as the corporation.



Firstly, and yes I realize this is highly unlikely, make Xbox Live free! You know why I game on my PC for the most part? Well, there's a lot of reasons but a big one is that I don't have to pay a fee to access a function of the game I already pay for. It wouldn't even be all that bad if you weren't bombarded with ads on the dash. I'm not a rich man, I'm going to save money where I can, and one of those places is not paying for XBL. And don't even get me started on having to pay for XBL to access Netflix, a service that I already pay a monthly fee for.

One of the biggest complaints about the Xbox One reveal was that there were barely any video games shown off for this video game console. It's pretty obvious that Microsoft needs to show off a ton of exclusives at their conference next week, and I'm sure they will I just doubt I'll be interested in many of them. I pray that I'm wrong though. There have been a ton of rumors circulating over the last few weeks of what games will be announced: Halo 5, Mirrors Edge 2, Fable IV, etc. But the one that really entices me is Banjo and Kazooie 3 which is rumored to be called, Banjo and Kazooie in Grunty Land. If they really do announce this it will be one more step in the right direction, for me at least, but they will still have some work to do.

For instance, it is rare (pun intended) for a single game to spur a console purchase. Microsoft will have to obtain some more IPs (hopefully new ones) that interest me. I'm not a teenager anymore, I can't survive off of Gears of War and Halo alone. I would love to see Microsoft take some more risks and showcase a new colorful and bizarre looking game. Sony does it, why can't Microsoft.

Another big complaint from the community has been that the Xbox focuses too much on other forms of media. This complaint is more of a minor one for me but a complaint nonetheless. What is the Xbox? You and I might say it's a video game console but Microsoft says it's a media center. And that's fine by me, I just wish they would spend a little less time on those aspects and less money as well, maybe we could see it go somewhere else (LIKE THE GAMES). I know they want me to consume all my media through their box but I'm not going to, most people aren't.



When I want to watch a movie or TV show sure, I might watch it on my Xbox. Looking something up online, that's when I will pull out my phone or tablet. Why? Because that device serves the purpose more swiftly and more accurately. Want to listen to that new Daft Punk album? Well I'm headed to my stereo to either throw on the LP or play it from my computer (which is attached to my stereo). Football sunday? Well, uh, I'm just gonna go grind in Monster Hunter or something.

The DRM debacle is another massive gripe being echoed throughout the community. This one is still a little hard to discuss since Microsoft has been less than clear about what sort of DRM their system will feature but it's safe to say that it will have some sort of DRM. As Jim as stated many times this sort of action taken by Microsoft is consumer abuse. I just don't understand why it's ok to charge me $60 for a game and then put a set of restraints on myself and my newly purchased product. When I buy a book I can loan it out, when I buy a car I can have more than one person enjoy it at a time, why shouldn't I be able to do the same with my video game? I see this as a huge distrust being shown by Microsoft. I don't need to be told how to enjoy my games.

If Microsoft is determined to make this console life cycle all about digital products then they should take a lesson from one of their biggest rivals, Valve. There is a reason everyone loves Steam and Gaben, it's because it's not entirely about the money (don't get me wrong, a lot of it is just not all of it). Valve makes quality games, they take their time and they treat their customers fairly. Hell, they treat them beyond fair. If Microsoft priced their digital products in a fashion akin to Steam I would be very intrigued. It also wouldn't hurt if they had a weekly list of titles on sale, sale meaning 33% off and up.


I know we've all been pretty hard on Microsoft lately but I think they needed it. I think this is what parents often refer to as "tough love". I love you big guy, but I've fallen out of love something fierce and I just want back in. I'm telling you the secrets it's just up to you if you want to take the risks. Xbox, go home and get your shit together.  











One of my favorite things about playing video games is that they can really make you feel like a kid again. A few days back I finished Costume Quest; that game is the ultimate example of making you feel like a kid again. Costume Quest was a downloadable title created by Tim Schafer and his Double Fine studio. You play as Reynold (or his sister Wren, if you swing that way) on Halloween, you and your sister are new to the neighborhood and your mother tells you to go trick or treating around the neighborhood and make friends. Whichever sibling you're not playing as is dressed as a big piece of candy corn while you're dressed as a robot.

Monsters begin invading your town and taking all the candy they can find, including your sibling. You and the new friends you make a long they way use your costumes to turn into gigantic, over the top versions of whatever it is that you are dressed as to fight the monsters and rescue your sibling. Along the way you will use your different costume's abilities to solve minor problems and get new friends to help you save your sibling.

One of the best parts of this game is the writing, honestly if the writing wasn't so great this game might be kind of boring. There's no voice acting but all the characters have something important or witty to say. Even little details about the world are written well; there's a part of the game that finds you trick or treating in the local mall and all the stores are named something humorous, like “Husky Toddler”.



The whole idea of the game is pretty fantastic as well, when you're a kid on Halloween and you dress up as your favorite whatever or whomever you totally believe that you're that person! So the idea of transforming into these out of this world versions of robots, knights and ninjas is very appealing to the part of our brains that miss being a kid and enjoy reclaiming that feeling again even if for a short time. It's akin to the same feeling that you might get while watching a cartoon or a Pixar movie. Gives you the warm fuzzies.

The game isn't all that long, which is expected since it's a downloadable title, you can probably have it finished within 4-5 hours. Oh, but what a wonderful 4-5 hours it will be! It's a pretty basic RPG with a little customizable section involving battle stamps. You will also be collecting cards of candy that parody Garbage Pail Kids cards. Those aren't really the reasons to play this game though, it's all about the story and the dialogue between characters. The whole game is just so damn charming. If this game doesn't warm your heart and make you chuckle, then you probably need to loosen up.



Needless to say, I absolutely loved this game and really wish they would make a sequel or more games like it. I know it seems like I keep writing blogs about that but I really do feel that way! (Although, I am totally looking forward to Skyrim and Saints Row The Third!) I also have to wonder if this formula could work for any other holidays. I could see a Costume Quest sequel revolving around Easter or Valentines Day working pretty well. Have you guys played it? What did you think of it? Do you think it could work well with other holidays?

Check out the trailer why don'tcha?!
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Seriously, what the hell has happened to this industry? What is the first feeling you think of when you think of video games? The correct answer is of course fun. Video games used to be all about having fun, didn't need to make sense, didn't need to be serious, didn't matter if the game was hard or easy, didn't matter if it had multiplayer or not. It just needed to be fun.



Life as an adult can be very stressful and demanding, we all need an escape. We require some sort of escape pretty much on a daily basis. Everyone has their own thing they escape into, often times multiple things. Some people watch TV, some play music, some create things, others play video games. When I get home from work and/or school and I've had a long day I don't always want to play a gritty realistic looking shooter that is filled to the brim with action and brown landscapes.

I do like playing those types of games as well, but I'd much rather play something more relaxing, or something super over the top. It seems like back in the SNES era games just didn't take themselves all that seriously. People never really demanded a game have multiplayer, we had no online pass system to deal with and original ips had a chance at surviving. People played games to have fun. I believe people still play games to have fun but that they're looking for slightly different experiences. The most popular of those seeming to be the one where they are a big manly man and shoot all the things.

I recently played through Gears of War 3 with a friend, we had a lot of fun, but I found the story and characters to be kind of generic and boring, not to mention stupid. We blasted through the game and had our laughs and had our fun but when I was done all I wanted was some color and freedom. This is why I love games like Minecraft and Katamari. They aren't linear brown wastelands filled with enemies, they're about fun and freedom, and while they may not have the best graphics they're still pleasant to look at.


(image taken from Games Radar)

Why are we as gamers so serious now? Is it because we don't feel that we're being taken seriously? Do we have such a desire to be considered an art form that we are trying to copy film? Video games aren't films, they never will be. I think we all need to understand and accept that. They aren't films for a reason, it just doesn't work the same. It's fine to have an action packed, cinematic feeling game but do we really need so many? I of course realize that most of this is controlled by the publishers and the people pulling the strings behind the industry, but if we just bought less of all the generic brown games and more of the fun original colorful games, maybe we'd see more of them.

The future is looking bright though. We have Saints Row The Third on it's way to being released, and if you haven't been following it just know that it is exactly what I think video games need. It is completely over the top, makes no apologies, doesn't take itself seriously and is just plain ridiculous. It has a good amount of hype behind it and is being marketed well, so hopefully you all will buy it and we can start seeing some more games that are more about having fun and less about playing a movie we've all already seen.


(See, now doesn't that look nice?)
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When you're a gamer that can't get access to high speed internet, it changes things. The biggest thing obviously being that I can't play online, download DLC, access streaming apps or any of those fancy schmancy things being integrated into gaming systems nowadays. So this whole concept of integrating all these new functions into my system don't really affect me at all. Or do they? Even though I can't access any of these extra features, what happens when all those extra features gain more attention than the games for said machine?

Living with out high speed internet is bad enough, but now that so many games are coming out that have game ending bugs in them that require a patch to fix it'd become even worse. You know what happens when I encounter a bug like that? I'M SCREWED. I do from time to time take my systems to a friends house, but thats pretty rare. It's just such a huge pain in the ass to drag them all around town, and then set them back up. It goes without saying that I don't have a Netflix account or premium accounts for any other streaming app like Spotify or Hulu.


(I figured my c-blog should have a picture, so here's Godzilla)

Even though I don't use any of those extra apps on my console, I do fear a future where they take up too much of the lime light, instead of the games I wanna play on my GAME console. I understand why companies would go for this, all the extra features and apps draw in a bigger market that they can sell their product to. I can't really blame them for wanting to do that. It is scary though to think that if things keep following the trends that we've been seeing we could not be seeing many new original games, or even not as many games as we see now. Will we still be seeing games like Okami and Last Guardian in 10 years? It seems doubtful.

Imagine an E3 conference in 10 years where Microsoft is introducing their latest Xbox. “The Xbox 1080 has it all! You can stream every TV channel known to man, listen to your entire music library, shop on amazon and eBay, text it to turn your lights off, and it'll clean your room!! Oh and uh … we have a halo for it … we might release another game this year too … meh.” It's a scary idea, and obviously that example was way over the top. As long as people keep buying games we'll still have games released. I think the real question is though, will we be seeing less games in the future due to so much integration in our systems? Will we still see new series? It's hard to say, we all know how much people like change (they don't).

But maybe things aren't that bad? Look at PCs, they have tons of features and third party apps and some of the most original games to ever be made. Console games do better most of the time than PC games, but most people have a computer. If the PC market can survive why couldn't consoles? Would consoles require some sort of Steam service to be able to stick around? Would it need to be cloud based service? I'm not sure but it'll be interesting to see what all the next consoles do and don't do.








The annual Tokyo Game Show has came and gone. Many things were announced and even more things weren't announced. It seems an awful lot of people ended up being kind of pissed off at Nintendo though. Everyone appeared to be saying that Nintendo wasn't announcing anything interesting. Then there was the accusation that they were forgetting the hardcore gamer, this wasn't anything new though of course. Then there was nubbageddeon. That sparked a whole new level of hate from gamers.




The biggest problem in all of this I think is that people forget this isn't E3. In case you all forgot the show is called TOKYO Game Show. See how all the presentations were done in Japanese and not English? Thats because TGS is mainly for Japanese gamers, most of the games you were not interested in will never see the shelves in the US. They're presenting Japanese games for Japanese gamers, some of which may come to America. I just find it so odd that so many gamers were getting upset at Nintendo for not announcing things for the US, seems a little selfish guys.

I honestly didn't think the presentation was bad at all. I will say I do have a little bias seeing as I've been a Nintendo fan all my life, but even if I wasn't I think I'd still say it didn't go as bad as some seem to think it did. While the presentation wasn't anything mind blowing, it had it's moments. We saw a lot on the new Mario Kart, loads of new information and screens/videos for Skyward Sword, we had a new Fire Emblem game announced, Mario Tennis 3DS, Monster Hunter Tri G, that new Square RPG with a ridiculous title, and Monster Hunter 4. Thats not even mentioning all the other games that were announced that were much more Japanese oriented.

One thing I think people need to understand is, every time Nintendo has a conference it doesn't mean were going to see a new Zelda/Metroid/Mario game. Nintendo has their fingers in a lot of pies, we shouldn't expect to see new big name games so soon. It's my personal belief that a lot of this anger and expectations come back to the idea that so many gamers have this unearned sense of entitlement. So many gamers feel like they're owed something, and when they don't get exactly what they want they throw a big online hissy fit.




I'm not here to just kiss Nintendo's ass though. When you really love something you should start finding faults with it. Nintendo has plenty of faults. While I don't find the second nub to be that big a deal, I do find it annoying. It has become perfectly clear that the 3DS was not ready for release, theres tons of things that point to it (studios saying they didn't have enough time to add features, the price drop, the lack of games, the second nub itself, launching without an eshop, ect.). The fact that Nintendo released the system when it wasn't ready yet, just so they could please their investors is kind of infuriating.

As a business move I totally can understand why they made the decision, however, think about it Nintendo, Where does your money come from? It comes from people buying your games, if you drive away your market one step at a time there won't be anyone to buy your games anymore. Another problem Nintendo obviously has is that they have two drastically different markets to play to, you have the East (Japanese gamers) and you have the West (American gamers). Both markets like different kinds of games and it can be pretty challenging for companies like Sony and Nintendo to play to that.

The last problem I think Nintendo has right now is that they're so damn Japanese and out of touch with the rest of the world. They seem genuinely surprised when gamers want to play games online, or when they really want a messaging system on something like the 3DS. I think really need to sit down and look at what they're doing in the way of researching what gamers want and what to do to make their consumers happy again.

All this being said, I do still love Nintendo, they're gonna have to do a whole lot more than all this to drive me away. Right now I think theres a lot to be mad at Nintendo for but theres also plenty of things to make you still love them. I love you Nintendo, but you are far from perfect. So do any of you feel the same as me? Any counter points? What Nintendo game can you not wait for?
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