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6:45 AM on 03.10.2010

East Coast Blues

I am often tempted to start my own gaming publication.

I think I'd keep it feature focused, with a strong opinion section and maybe only a smattering of reviews when big or interesting stuff comes along. I'd look for writers with the sort of integrity that aspire to, and of course, I'd base it on the East Coast.

This is just a pipe dream of course. I know very well that I have neither the necessary skills or patience to launch and maintain a successful, profitable venture like that and for the most part I am content with being the guy that works for the skilled, patient people. That said, it does sincerely suck that virtually no major gaming publications are based on the East Coast.

Writing about video games is something I love, but generally speaking it is a career path in which I know that I can only go so far because most every big publication is based out in California. This isn't so much an issue when it comes to freelance work; distance hasn't kept me from writing on article by article basis for GamesRadar, IGN and UGO, but it makes it all but impossible for me to ever really contemplate finding that dream staff position where I go to work each day surrounded by gamers and nerds. Point in case, GameSpot has Guide Editor position open I'd just love to apply for.

Why not just move? I am young after all, and if I really want something I should pursue it, yes?

Well, as idealistic as I'd like to be, life, or namely the recession has kind of squeezed all of that out of me. To move you need money and I have none. Moreover, I already have the constant nagging of student loans bills, car bills, hell, just life bills to pay and as much as I'd like to chase a pipe dream across the great American landscape, it's just not something I can do without bankrupting my wife and I, potentially all for nothing.

And beyond that, there is just the simple fact that I would hate the West Coast. I live in Vermont, was born in Canada and generally am more comfortable with a bit of a chill in the air. How do you think I would fair in LA or San Fransisco? Heat aside, I hate hippies and if South Park is any indicator, I'd be waist deep in trendy, hemp-wearing folk who look down on my Saturn Vue and smell their own farts. Beyond those reasons I have family and friends here, and I generally don't make friends easily.

It's not that I don't understand the reasoning behind the location of most publications. The gaming industry generally has a lot of predisposition toward that area, and I imagine it's rather convenient to just be there considering that E3 happens there every year. That said, for all us poor shmoes out here in New England, a few more opportunities would be nice. We have kick ass maple syrup in Vermont, if anyone's interested!

Anyone? No? Fine, I'll just have to wait until Game Informer has an opening, Minnessota isn't that far away at least.   read


2:25 PM on 03.04.2010

Top 10 Games of my Life, Part 4: God of War

(Be forwarned: My most emo, self-indulgent post to date)

Unemployment is like a broken quick time event. You wake up each day and follow the onscreen instructions but no matter how many times you mash the appropriate button it never seems to register. You sit there waiting for your reward but all the work and worry seems to be for naught.

What sucks is that it really was not supposed to be this way, not for me at least. Trust me, I know how foolish a sentiment that is. I myself have criticized people in the past for thinking that way. “I'll never be robbed!” “I'll never be raped!” “I'll never get into an accident because texting while drunk and stoned and driving in the snow!” But honestly, I did think my chances of finding some sort of permanent work. I mean, for the most part I'm a straight arrow. I am the very definition of a square. I rarely drink and hardly ever to excess. All through college I was in a monogamous long term relationship that eventually resulted in a marriage. I worked hard, got decent grades. I may not have been the cream of the crop but I can definitely say I was smarter than a lot of the people that spent their undergraduate years screwing around.



And yet here I sit, nine months later and as far as I can tell a lot of those people are working somewhere, whereas every job I've applied and interviewed for has been a no. I can't pinpoint anything I'm doing wrong and my resume isn't all that shabby, so all I can figure it to be is bad luck.

The funny thing is that by the end of college I had grown into a bit of an existentialist. I fully believed that to achieve my goals in life all I needed was the skill and will to achieve my goals, which for their part, were not overly ambitious. All I want is a job so my wife and I can afford to get our place, maybe a video game here and there and then someday it would be nice to write a book if I could muster the talent. I've since learned that skill and will are nothing if no one will hire your, and as much as I hate it I am forced to leave my present life in the hands of those strangers who can say yay or nay to me as a prospective employee.

I despise not having control of my life. Again, I know that sounds stupid because what with all the requisites of modern living, no one really has control over their life. We all have to deal with bills, laws and those damned obligations to visit our far off loved ones every now and then. I suppose all I miss is the illusion of control, because at least when I'm working I have the money to pretend I have a handle on the day to day crap that makes up life.



I suppose that's why I'm looking forward to God of War III so much. I've always loved the series. After all, what is there not to love about butchering your way through hordes of mythological characters? That said, with my recent difficulties it has been nice at times to have outlets of escape where in I can at least pretend that I can shape the world, rather than world shaping me.

Because really that is what serves as the very heart of Kratos' character. As much as he might sometimes resemble a massive, goatee sporting toddler throwing fatal tantrums at times, he essentially just the ultimate, violent existentialist. Nothing, not even the gods themselves can control him because he simply refuses to be beaten. If an obstacle stands in his path he just smashes through it. If he dislikes the decisions of an authority figure he sticks them with the Blades of Chaos and that's that.

I am not a particularly violent man, but sometimes I envy that sort of power and attitude, fictional as they may be. A part of me really wishes that my sheer force of will (and bulging pectorals of course) were enough to stop the world from jerking myself and my wife around. You don't want to hire me, well I'll just have to decapitate you now won't I?



But alas, I'm just a man, muddling his way through life hoping that tomorrow will be the day that my button mashing pays off and I finally land a job. In the mean time I'll just have to settle for ripping of Helios' head. God I can't wait for that game.   read


11:58 PM on 02.27.2010

God of War Clones: A Couple Worth Playing (And one to Avoid)

God of War III is going to rock, just as every God of War game prior has rocked. I would dare say that I haven't been this excited for a video game since Ocarina of Time when I was a wee lad of ten (that story later). Now, with such a major game coming up, many often like to do a bit of pre-release prep. I myself played through all the Metal Gear games prior to the release of Guns of the Patriots. That said, what are you to do once Kratos' previous adventures have expired? The answer is simple, take on the clones.

It's become a bit of a cliché to call a game a "God of War clone," but nonetheless there are more than a few games that deserve the moniker. On the one hand, they're often cheap imitations, nowhere near as good as the real deal. On the other, even if they're not half as good as God of War, that's still better than most games. Having some experience with a couple such clones, I'd like to offer a bit of insight into their finer points. Imitation is after all, the best form of flattery.

Heavenly Sword



Honestly, I flinch a bit when people call Heavenly Sword a clone. It's as much of a clone of God of War as God of War is of Devil May Cry. Essentially, it has similar action and some similar weapons and therefore is branded by some as a rip-off. Truth be told, Heavenly Sword is radically different from God of War in a lot of ways. That said, as it's generally reputed to be a clone, I'll include it; it gives me a bit more material to write about.

Heavenly Sword does a lot right and even better than God of War. The combat is fast-paced, simple yet challenging, and fun. The story is one of the best I've ever played in a game, being both compact and complex. The voice acting perfomances alone are worth the price of admission, with Golem himself (Andy Serkis) producing one of the best villains I've encountered in King Bohan. In short, it's a well produced game.

If only it lasted longer. Heavenly Sword is at best, six hours long, with no small bit of that being taken up by cut scenes. There are no extra modes, no online play, just the short story mode. Now I love Heavenly Sword. It is a great, underrated game, but I will be the first to admit that it was no worth the sixty bucks I paid when I first bought it. While the combat is great, you never really get much of a chance to use it, leaving the you with a constant feeling of what could have been if developers Ninja Theory had only extended the action just a bit longer.

Conan



I love Conan the Barbarian. Next to Terminator 2, it's my favorite Ahnold flick, and I wrote my bachelor's thesis on the existential nature of Robert E. Howard's creation. Conan the game does little justice to the film or the literature, but it is a fun action game. Now Conan absolutely deserves its clone rep. The first time I played it there was no learning curve involved. I already knew the controls by heart from playing God of War. Button for button, the control scheme is almost identical. Light attack, square. Heavy attack, triangle. Grab with circle and jump with X. Conan even has the obligatory nudity.

On the merits of how well it copies God of War alone, Conan is fun. That said, it also does a few things of its own that I feel actually improve on the Kratos experience. The parry system is quite good. By blocking an opponent's attack at the right moment, it is possible to execute a short quick-time attack that will instantly kill your opponent. Furthermore, Conan's combo system was an improvement on God of War's. Where combos were largely optional in God of War, they are a necessity in Conan. Some enemies can't be taken down with standard attacks. Moreover, the skill tree branches off depending on what fighting style you like. Conan allows you to pick up the weapons of dead opponents making it possible to dual wield, use two handed weapons, or a sword and shield should you desire.

What Conan lacks, like Heavenly Sword is length. The game took me about seven to eight hours to topple the first time I played it. Aesthetically, the game is also lacking. At best, the graphics are adequate for the year it was released. At worst, it looked like a late PS2 game. Story wise too, there isn't much, which is annoying considering the breadth of material available. I'm still waiting for the Conan game that tackles each of Robert E. Howard's short stories episodically. This game simply doesn't have much going on plot wise, and even goes so far as to alter one of Conan's key characteristics, his hate of magic.

Clones to Avoid:

Viking: Battle for Asgard



I had high hopes for Viking. I had read some not so kind reviews of other GoW clones and still enjoyed them. Viking on the other hand plays exactly like what it is, an incomplete mess. Initially, it seems pretty cool. The combat is relatively solid -copying GoW of course- and the open world atmosphere seems promising. That said, the game is just dull. You go on boring missions to free equally boring vikings -how do you screw up vikings?- and then fight in huge battles that you literally cannot lose.

If you see it resting on the Used game shelf, ignore it. It may be cheap, but sometimes there is a reason for that.   read


12:59 PM on 02.20.2010

Weekday Release Dates

Now I understand that a lot of people work weekends. That said, what with the weekend generally being a time when a lot of folk have at least a day or so off, I can't help but wonder why in the hell publishers have to release games in the middle of the week.

Point in case: Heavy Rain.

I am excited for this game, not just because it will be cool, but because it's a game my wife and I will likely enjoy playing together. That said, it launches in NA on a Tuesday meaning that I need to find time to get out of work and go grab it from GameStop. What does that mean? Skipping the gym. I'm going to skip running on the track to go and buy a video game. All I need is a Baconator and a coke and I'm the epitomy of the fat ass American.

I know I shouldn't be complaining. There are, after all more dire problems in the world like AIDS, hunger and war, but those are big things that I being the puny, insignificant mortal that I am, have little power over. This is a small thing and therefore more tangible.

Moreover, I could very well just pick it up with my wife after work. But then we're both hungry, and that makes us cranky and well, the loving just isn't is as good if you're thinking about hotdogs the whole time. Well, maybe it would be for her; I've never asked. The point is, stick to weekend releases please. You won't please everyone, but I'm betting it would make more of us happy. Or at just me, and that's all that matters, right?

Oh and here's looking at you Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III. Pricks.   read


6:14 PM on 02.14.2010

"Blue streak speeds by, Sonic the Hedgehog..."

(Bonus points if you know which of the two Sonic cartoons the title of this post references. Hint: They both had the same name.)

Up until 2009 I had never played a singe Sonic game all the way through. In fact, the only Sonic game I have beaten is Sonic 2 and that wasn't even on a Genesis. I pwned Robotnick (not Egmman, damn you!) on my PSP. That said, in terms of the games I've loved Sonic still claims a legitimate place on my list.



Growing up a Nintendo fanboy, I had one early moment of lapsed faith. I absolutely fell in love with Sonic the Hedgehog. It's something you can blame on the fact that my main gaming system up until 1996 was an NES and that every other boy I knew had a Genesis. I would visit them on occasion and always, always they would show it off to me. The console would come to life, the classic, 16-bit Sega logo blazing across the screen and then, unless we were playing Mortal Kombat Sonic the Hedgehog would appear and leave me green with envy.

I wanted a SNES too, no doubt. My uncle Keith had one and without fail whenever we'd visit him I would hunker down with A Link to the Past and play it joyously until the grown-ups stopped talking, but every kid I knew had a Genesis and truth be told, Sega's marketing worked. Sonic was a way cooler character than Mario or Link.

Not being able to play the game, I became enamored with the franchise through other methods. One day, while visiting the grocery store I came across a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. My parent's bought if for me and I quickly began collecting them. My first subscription was to Sonic the Hedgehog, the comic. Moreover, I fell in love with the cartoon show. No, not the crappy one but rather the cool, edgier, dark one where the world had fallen under Robotnik's cackling thumb. Emboldened by these well fleshed out visions of the game, I yearned for a Sonic game more and more.



When I actually got one, it was a sad disappontment.

One Christmas, I received a Game Gear accompanied by none other than Sonic 2. I was thrilled! I was ecstatic. The game kicked my ass!

If you've never played Sonic 2 on the Game Gear (which I imagine many haven't) the boss of level 2 is about the hardest thing on earth. You wouldn't think it, considering it's basically just a pair of pincers but the damned thing bested me every single time and being but a wee lad at the time my patience soon ran out. With time I grew tired of my Game Gear, and opted to sell it.



The mythos of Sonic remained strong with me though. In my mind the Game Gear version of Sonic 2 was little more than a bastardization of the real deal, which lived on the Genesis. It was a game that lived in my dreams until one fateful event would all but destroy my love of Sonic for years to come.

It's a shallow thing to blame all your problems on your parents, but damn it Mom, why did you have to tell me that the Sonic from the cartoon was voiced by Erkel? I don't know why, but somehow it just demystified the entire franchise to me. Whenever I would sit, watching my favorite hedgehog foil one of Robotnik's schemes, read a comic book, or yes, even catch a chance to play the game, my mind would just wander to that suspender wearing, pocket protecting nerd from Family Matters. It was an ailment that would affect me for years to come.

An ailment would sadly resolve itself after the best of Sonic had already passed. It heartens me a little to know that with the announcement of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 that I may yet have a chance to experience a classic styled Sonic at its release, rather than past the twilight years of its gaming domination.   read


11:03 PM on 01.08.2010

Wing Commander IV, SMT: Strange Journey and Other Pointless Tidibits

So things are going pretty well right now on my gaming front.

As my wife has been devouring mass quantities of Dragon Age, my PS3 has been a bit unavailable in recent weeks. That said, this has allowed me some more time to play my handhelds, or more namely, my PSP. There haven't been many PSP releases of interest to me in a while. That said, I'm loving the thing simply because of its usefulness as a retro gaming machine. The expanding library of PS1 classics available via the PSN has given me an opportunity to visit many of the games I missed out during my days of dogmatic N64 fanboyism. Most notably, I've finally been blessed with the opportunity to play Wing Commander IV. I'll admit I was a bit nervous about buying it. The PS1 version is well noted as being inferior, and the moreover even with some between myself and its initial release date, I couldn't find much info on how well it controlled on the PSP. I love the thing, but damn would some more buttons (and a joystick of course) come in handy. That said, I took a chance and have been playing it just fine. The game's Advanced 2 control setting seemed the best fit to me, and though it can still be a bit awkward from time to time, overall I love the game.

Some other awesome portable news. I was recently confirmed to be doing UGO's review of SMT: Strange Journey and just received word from Atlus today that I will be getting a debug in the mail probably some time next week. I don't this to seem like bragging (well, maybe a little bit), but I'm really stoked to be doing this game. Nothing like a good, dark sci-fi JRPG to preoccupy a few months.

Hmm, what else...well...I just saw Avatar with my wife, it was great and I highly recommend it to anyone with a hankering for a good flick. Beyond that not too much going on! I really want to buy Castlevania: Adventure Rebirth, but have thus far remained strong in my will to resist the urge to spend money.

RESIST!!!!   read


5:59 PM on 12.26.2009

Dumbest Demon's Soul Death EVER!

I, like most everyone else who plays it, die a lot in Demon's Soul. Sometimes I die in stupid ways, as do many others. I actually enjoy activating blood stains just to watch some hapless fool hop off a cliff over and over again. That said, of all the stupid deaths I have seen and yes, partaken in, I think I topped them last night.

I was in a bit of a lengthy play session. It was about 3 in the morning and I had been playing since around 11. At about 1:30 my PS3 informed me that my controller's battery was running low. No biggy, I'd get to it in a minute. An hour and a half later I hadn't.

I approached a low level baddie. It was the sort that I usually eat for breakfast. In short, he shouldn't have been a threat at all. I approached him, readying my sword trigger and then at the last second my character stopped. I pushed the analog stick forward, but there was no response. My battery had died.

For a moment I just watched haplessly as said monster approached my armored, recently revived character. I watched as the first blow landed. Then I frantically began searching for my USB cord. I dug through the cord drawer, tearing through the tangle within until finally I find it caught between some old composite cables.

Yanking it out of the mix, I plugged it into my controller. Glancing up, I saw my character's health dip closer to oblivion. I crammed the USB cord into my PS3 and, with my controller reactivated readied myself to fight....just in time to see my character die.

I can only imagine the quizzical looks my bloodstain probably inspired. May this be a lesson, plug in your damn controller.   read


9:14 PM on 12.25.2009

Top 10 Games of my Life, Part 5: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

I love Star Wars. I wouldn't call myself a fanboy but I nonetheless grew up watching and re-watching the films to the point that when given a minor bit of the score I can identify the scene it originated from. I know, that's child's play compared to what some folk can do, but it's always been something I've been proud of.

While there are any myriad of reasons to like the original trilogy over the prequel films, the thing that generally irked me about them was the general lack of good spaceship action. Sure, we had the battle over Naboo in Phantom Menace but that was kind of marred by a baby faced Anakin Skywalker yelling “Whoa!” every six seconds. Attack of the Clones had a bit as well but nowhere near enough and when it comes toRevenge of the Sith, I have two words that describe the epic fail of that sequence “buzz bots.”



What I loved about the ship to ship, fighter to fighter action of the first three films was really the hopelessness that often followed the rebels wherever they went. It was all pure space opera, so of course the good won eventually no matter the odds, but generally watching the trench run and the Battle of Endor I always just loved how those X-Wings, no matter how cool they may have been, were always outnumbered by oodles and oodles of Tie Fighters. You always got the sense that the people who did survive these firefights generally did so by the seats of their pants. It was an experience I always wanted to opportunity to partake in, virtually speaking of course.

While for many, the defining opportunity for this would come in the form of the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games, mine would be Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. While I cannot remember quite how I came into possession of the game -I have a gnawing feeling it involved my brother Nick- I can recall with real clarity just how much I played the game. For a time, I literally lived Rogue Squadron. I played every level more times than I could count. I earned every medal, unlocked every ship and level. Essentially, I made the game my bitch, and then some.



In Rogue Squadron I found all that I had been looking for. The chance to fly the starships of my dreams. The chance to re-enact some of my favorite movie moments and most of all the opportunity to do so without be blown all to hell. Truth be told, I had the opportunity to play X-Wing around the same time as Rogue Squadron and though I enjoyed it, my young self was turned off by the fact that death was far more common than victory. I liked to fancy myself a skilled gamer back then. In reality I was pretty average and still am today. Rogue Squadron was a bit more arcade and therefore suited me a bit better.

Which wasn't to say the damned thing wasn't hard. I can't count the number of times early on that I would choke at the last second. The Imperials always seemed to be one step ahead of me, blasting the evacuation shuttle out of the sky in The Search for the Nonnah or destroying the damned AT-PTs in Escape from Fest. The latter was one of the most frustrating missions I've encountered in any game, especially when I was trying to earn a gold medal in every mission. No, Rogue Squadron was difficult, it just wasn't quite as hard.



What's funny, is that looking back at Rogue Squadron the things I remember the most are the things that annoyed me. Aside from the aforementioned cheapness of some missions (damn you Escape from Fest!), there are a lot of small details that always bothered me. I hated how none of the missions really took place in space. You were always, always skimming some planet or moon. Even the stage dealing with the Death Star completed ignored all the preliminary action and just focused entirely on its own weird take on the trench run. It didn't ruin the game by any means, but my favorite memories of Star Wars was the pure chaos of the space battles. Fighters weaving between mammoth warships pounding away at each other. The intense dogfights between determined Rebel pilots and their evil Imperial foes. Rogue Squadron very much captured the hit and run nature of the Rebellion's actions, but never really encapsulated that feeling of epic engagement. Other games would capture that later on, Battle for Naboo and the later Rogue Squadron sequels, but the original game kind of failed in that respect.

There were other minor qualms. I despised the inclusion of missile launcher turrets. I never recalled seeing them in any of the Star Wars films and saw their inclusion Rogue Squadron as an awful turn from canon. The fact that they killed me more than anything else in the game, of course had no bearing on my feelings toward them.

That said, for the most part Rogue Squadron was everything I had ever dreamt of in a Star Wars games and remains today as one of those remarkable titles that more than a decade later remains infinitely playable. As the Star Wars universe veers more and more toward the prequels in focus, I love to look back on that game as part of a time of innocence, where Star Wars meant Darth Vader and not Anakin Pusswalk...I mean Skywalker. Ah, those were the days.   read


10:23 PM on 12.24.2009

Late Night Grinding

I know, I know. The title for this could very well be sexual innuendo, but despite the possible connotations I'm unfortunately referring to RPGs.

The past few weeks have been kind to my PSP. Resident 2 and 3 have both been favorites, though I'm finding 3 to be a bit less enjoyable than I remembered it. I suppose that in the face of the greatness that is 2, it couldn't help but pale.

Better yet however, I recently picked up Final Fantasy VIII and tonight took my first steps into really delving into it again.

I love Final Fantasy VIII. It's easily one of my all time favorite games. So much so, that if I can ever manage to get that Top 10 Games of My Life list going again you can guarantee it will earn a spot. Despite my love of the game however, I can admit that the first few hours are a bit hard to get into. A part of this is because the game just picks up more as you go on. More than this however is the fact that at the beginning of the game you're at the bottom tear of potential strength, which of course calls for some grinding.

Grinding in FFVIII is some of the dullest out there. I love the game, but I can admit that the Draw system is flawed to the core. Naysayers will of course point out the fact that you needn't draw to get all the spells you need, but honestly in the first few hours it is a bit of a necessity, and it sucks.

Luckily, actually having a woman to play around has given me something to distract myself with while I perform this thankless task. For one, my wife has become completed enamored with Dragon Age. I loved the game, but she loves it more. She just finished her first play through and is working on two more consecutively. Part of the reason I've been playing my PSP so much lately is actually because she's been hogging the PS3.

So I get to watch her do that and chat about the game. The fact that she's naked while we do this only sweetens the deal. You'd be amazed how much a little nudity can elevate even the most menial of tasks.

Any who, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. By my watch the day will finally be hear in about 26 minutes. Thank God we can get it over with and finally be done with the damned holiday.

Yeah, I'm a scrooge.   read


8:15 PM on 12.03.2009

Nemesis

I just read on N4G that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis will be hitting the PSN this week. While I'm certainly giddy about the prospect of more classic zombie killing a part of me isn't nearly as excited about it as I was for Resident Evil 2.

This shouldn't be too surprising. My love for RE2 has been well documented, on this very blog in fact and though I enjoyed Nemesis when I first played it, it didn't ring classic quite the same way. There were some gameplay issues. Where Resident Evil 2 struck a fine balance between action and puzzles, Nemesis was far more skewed toward shoot em up sensibilities.



Moreover, the game's story wasn't up to the par of the second. While I enjoyed Jill Valentine's second chapter in the franchise and loved being able to revisit Raccoon City in the midst of its zombie apocalypse, it just never resonated with me quite the same way as the second which when it comes to narrative marks was superb.

The part of it that I disliked the most however was the game's representation of Jill was just distracting. Were we really expected to believe she, a trained special forces operative, would venture out into a zombie infested city wearing a mini-skirt and a tube top? Really? I know that Capcom was just trying to sex her up to compete with the other emerging bimbos of the era but this was just a bit too ridiculous.



I'm not saying RE3 was at all a bad game and I'm looking forward to downloading it to my PSP when it becomes available. It did a lot of things right, including giving us one of the most terrifying baddies ever to hit a video game, the titular Nemesis. I just never developed the same sort of endearment toward it that I did with Resident Evil 2.

But I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth! Hooray for more good Resident Evil!   read


4:24 PM on 11.27.2009

Sony Owes Me One

Recently, a friend of mine began considering buying a console. While I have no idealistic preference toward either the Xbox 360 or PS3, I do use a PS3 as my primary gaming system, but if someone were to drop a 360 in my lap I wouldn't toss it away in disgust. With the PS3 as my console though I wanted my friend to buy a PS3. As such I wrote a long list of reasons why he should invest in Sony's black box. Some of the numbers were more along the lines of guesstimations, especially concerning the costs of upgrading a 360, but for the most part I think everything's relatively close to the truth.

Well, Sony owes me one because after reading my list, my friend decided to go PS3! I thought I'd share the list with y'all. Enjoy...or if you're a 360 fanboy hate it. Whatever floats your boat!

****

I said I would do it! Several reasons you should invest in a PS3 if the opportunity arises.

1. Cost Effectiveness: The cheapest PS3 on the market currently runs for 300. That is 100 more than the Xbox 360, but it also includes: free online, built in wi-fi, streaming Netflix and a blu-ray player. None of which is standard and in some cases even available for the Xbox 360. In fact, buying an Xbox 360 will cost an additional 50 dollars a year to play online. As well, things like memory upgrades and even wi-fi adapters are much more expensive for the 360. Find yourself in need of more memory (which you probably won't), the PS3 can use almost any hard drive from you common laptop. The 360 requires expensive HDs made specially for the console. In fact, with necessary accessories, the 360's 200 dollar price point generally runs closer to 350. Buying a PS3 used would save you even more. Currently Amazon lists a used 80 GB version for 224 bucks. Not too shabby!

2. Games: Granted the 360 has a lot of great games. But outside of titles like Halo, the PS3 shares much of the same library and has a growing library of exclusives that have often been found superior by critics at large. This includes: Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Little Big Planet, inFamous Ratchet and Clank, Demon's Soul, Uncharted and Resistance: Fall of Man In addition to this, the PS3 also has access to a growing library of classic titles from the PS1.

Here's a few samples to wet you appetite:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kiby2RBvFeE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnbKOboT5wQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljq6MXgPiSU

3. Durability: The PS3 is a durable piece oft technology. Point in case, I've been using mine for games and movies almost nonstop since the summer of 06 and it's still running strong. I have more evidence then that though! According to Gamespot, (http://www.gamespot.com/news/6216691.html) the 360s failure rate stands at 23.7% more than twice that of the PS3 10%. Microsoft has invested millions in trying to fix the problem but it still persists to a lesser degree today.

4. Friends: This one should be a no brainer :)! By choosing a PS3, you'll be able to play fellows like myself online. Fancy a fragfest, just give Bob a call and we could team up or go against each other. Even better, let's say you feel like a little Rock Band action but it's a hassle for us to cart all the equipment over to your place. Just pop in your own copy and we can play together online!

Not to mention that my extensive library of games would be at your disposal. This includes:
Resistance: Fall of Man
Resistance 2
Heavenly Sword
Conan
The Darkness
Metal Gear Solid 4
Mercenaries 2
Dead Space
Rock Band
Rock Band 2
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Killzone 2
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Overlord: Raising Hell
Demon's Soul
Dragon Age: Origins
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Fallout 3
Valkyria Chronicles
inFamous

I'm pretty sure there are more but I can't remember them all and the light in the basement is burnt out.

In short Gil, if you ever find yourself considering current game consoles, I urge you to invest in a PS3. I could use someone besides , homophobic teenagers to shoot online.

-Bob   read


5:57 PM on 11.24.2009

Personal updates (D.A. Origins, Resi. Evil 2, and Top 10s)

So, life goes well for this Vermonter. Gaming wise they rarely get better. The last few weeks have been incredible. I've been playing Dragon Age almost every night with my wife watching eagerly. She won't fess up to it but she kind of has a virtual crush on Alistair. She enjoys his goofy awkwardness which makes sense as that's one of the reasons she married me.

I swear at this point she probably knows more about the game than I do. She had me start a third game yesterday just because she had read the City Elf opening was really good. It was, for the record. I really do love the dark tone of this game. Very George R.R. Martin in some places, which is good as I love his brand of adult fantasy and lord knows he's never going to finish the Song of Fire and Ice series.

Resident Evil 2 finally hitting the PSN also made me very happy. I sincerely love this game. It wouldn't have made my Top 10 Games of My Life list if I didn't. I'm finding as I play through it that despite some clunky controls, it still holds up remarkably well. The graphics can be a bit dated, but it's harder to notice some of the flaws when you're playing it on your PSP. The smaller screen really helps to make things look a bit less pixelated in my experience. It's just easily the best game in the series. Great story. Great gameplay. Great horror.

I will say that I'm a bit stalled on my Top 10 list. I keep intending to write more, but stuff gets in the way, it seems. Moreover, some of the entries I intend to write are seeming less interesting to me as time goes by. That could just be me being a lazy writer. I am notorious for starting fiction stories and then tapering off as I get bored and I suspect I'm doing the same here. I'll just have to play through the pain and get one done. I'll shoot for this weekend!

Oh and while I did swear off using Destructoid as a platform for pimping out my games writing. I just started writing the game's column at Orson Scott Card's online literary magazine the Intergalactic Medicine Show. Give it a gander if you please!

Alright then! Not much else going on and the misses and I have a date to go watch Die Hard with some friends! Later folks!   read


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