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2:46 AM on 12.11.2007

How to rate The Orange Box

This is a bit of a puzzle I've been thinking over when I saw the list of top 10 games released this year. I saw The Orange Box rated near the top on a few lists, and that got me thinking. How can you rate The Orange Box? If you think about it, it's basicaly rateing 5 games. Half Life 2, Ep. 1 and 2, Portal, and Team Fortress Two. Why are they lumping all the games together?

The more cynical part of me is saying that's because they don't want more than one game to take over the lists, like having Portal, TF2 and Episode 2 all on a top ten list. I think you have to break up the games though. I mean, by saying that The Orange Box is number 2 on the top ten list, you're saying that Half Life 2 is also number two. How does that make sense? I mean, could'nt I bundle, say, Crappy Game X in with Awesome Game Y into Boxed Set Z, and then say that Crappy game X is number 2 on the list of games?   read

5:58 AM on 11.06.2007

Game Idea - A MMOFPS with Metagame features

I just had an idea, or more of a question. I was wondering why, in most of the MMOs out there, the player is more or less their own army. What they do has little effect on the rest of the game world, and nothing can make any big changes. This brought me to my idea. A MMO that's a FPS.

Here's the basic idea. It's basicaly a WWII sim at it's core. When you start, you pick a side, and that's it. No class, no charater, just part of one of the 5(?) armies. Each side has benifits and downsides, but that comes into importance later on. Now, here's the intresting part, at least to my eyes. When you start, you "Spawn" at a drop point as a basic grunt. As you progress, you level up, get better weapons and whatnot, same as always. But the kicker is this. If you die? You're dead. End of story, all that XP is gone, that great sniper rifle, someone else has it now, and you start over. Or, Almost over. And here is where the depth comes in. When you're not playing, you have the option to have a program running in the background, lets call it "Home Front" or whatever. The point is, that program is what gives you a leg back up from when you look around that corner too soon. It runs and generates points at a constant speed. Lets say you bite it, and you want to get back in the game, but you also want a better gun and better accuracy. You spend X points, and you spawn as a level 4 instead of a level 1. Of course, the points generate slowly, so it's not wise to go running in guns blazing, cause you'll soon be back to low end grunt.

This same idea goes for the missions and whatnot. The program also generates points for the whole war effort, not just you. So you can build an extra battleship for that big push, or make a weapon factory to reduce the cost of better guns and so on. However, these need to be defended. If you funnel all your money into more factories, the enemy can just waltz over and bomb the heck out of it. And that brings me to, what I think, is the coolest part. In real warfare, you don't have a little map with a glowing star that says "Bomb Here" you have to find the place, signal where it is, and so on.

Idealy there would be no missions. Just things you have to do. If you're getting clobbered by the new rocket launcher, better find where it's being made and destroy the factory. How you may ask? First, you need to find out where it is, maybe by accident, or by actually looking for info. Then you have to bomb it with a air strike. And that's when all the peices start to come together. You don't HAVE to mark the building with colored smoke, but it'd help a lot, so you have to get to the factory, set off the smoke, and get out before the bombs hit. And in the sky, you'll be looking for the smoke while dodgeing AA, enemy fighters and whatnot.

So anywho, that's my rough game idea. What do ya think?   read

2:25 AM on 10.18.2007

Mainstream News Boggles the Mind Again

There's a new article on Yahoo news that caught my eye. It said, How to get your girl (or guy) into games. The first thing that struck me, perhaps a bit unfairly, was they added the "(or guy)" in there. Admitingly, there probably are guys out there who don't play games, and their girlfriends do, and I may be going out on a limb here, but I think they're the extreme minority.

Anywho, the article is a very odd read, and it reads like the person who wrote it only had the most basic idea of what games were out there. It comes in 3 parts, the 360, the Wii and the PS3. The parts are rather puzzling, as the choices in games don't really have much in rhyme or reason, save a "witty" comment by the author.

The 360 list is the most puzzling, simply because there are better games out there to start a non-gamer on. They pick "Puzzle Quest" as the starter, and then, in a move that makes no sense, they jump froma 2D color-matching game to "Crackdown" a sandbox 3D free-roaming type of game. They defend this choice by saying that it's easy, and therefore will build up the confidence of your SO. While i can see that, Crackdown is a bit of a jump. Why not something simpler? But then again, I'm not a highly paid article writer, so what do I know? The list finishes off with, of course, Halo 3. This is the most confusing choice for me as there are tons of games out there to refine your skills before dropping you into the "lively" (to quote Yahtzee) playerbase of Xbox Live. The Co-op does help with Halo, but there are better ones all around.   read

12:06 PM on 10.11.2007

What If? A bit of mind-bending...

Sometimes, when I'm thinking of things to do besides study, I start thinking about what if scenarios. Not big complicated ones like "What if Hitler got into art school." or "What if bla bla bla" I tend to think more simply, and not I've thought up a rather interesting thing. What if Microsoft never got into the console arena? This may seem a bit simple, but I think that it may have some interesting views on Microsoft's impact. BTW, this may come off Fanboyish, but I'll try my best to remain objective.

1. Online play. (Aka, being swore at by people half as old as you)
This may/will be very debatable, but to the best of my knowledge, which, admittingly isn't very much, the PS2 and the GameCube were not very big players in the online market. I'm not saying that there were none, but before Xbox Live the main online place was PC gameing. Now however, all 3 consoles are set up to always be online, and online multiplayer is pretty much expected. This could, of course, also have to do with the fact that more people are getting high speed Internet and more stable connections, heh, as it's rather hard to play a fast paced game over dial-up.

2. Hard Drive (Aka, Death to memory cards!)
I am not a fan of memory cards in any form for consoles, I always found it ridiculous when I bought my first PS1 and PS2 that i had to pay an extra 30 bucks for a memory card, something that I thought should be build in, or at least come with the console. I mean, if you can't save, what's the point? But The Xbox had a built in hard drive, which I thought was the best idea since toast. That also enabled the games to have updates, which again, can be seen as a bonus or a sign that video game devs, wich previously had to have their games 100% or have to do a recall or something, could be a bit more lax in quality control. (KOTOR anyone?)

3. FPS (Aka, If it doesn't make normal people vomit, it's not fast enough)
This is probably a area that I'm going to get taken to task for, but for the life of me, I can't remember that many FPS on the PS2 and GameCube. There were a few, to be certain, but not nearly as many as there are now for the systems. This could be a reaction to Halo, or a reaction to the online portions of the games that I've mentioned earlier.

Anywho, that's my little list of things that may of been diffrent had Microsoft not jumped into the console ring. Enjoy!   read

6:27 AM on 10.04.2007

Where are my Adventure games?

There is something very wrong with the state of gaming. I speak, of course, of the terrible lack of adventure gaming that has plagued us since, ohh...I'd say the 90's. Some of my favorite games, Monkey Island, Space Quest, Sam and Max, anything like that, they're all gone. Sure, we've had a few, the new Sam and few 3D games, but nothing that really stands out. I'm trying to figure out why this is, and maybe it's because I still play Space Quest 1, the original version, but I just don't think the new adventure games are that great. I've never played the new Sam and Mex, so I can't comment on that, but the other ones I've played, Blarg...I'm welcome to be proven wrong though, cause I'd LOVE to play some good new adventure games. There have been some great efforts from the fans, what with the free adventure game engine, which has staved off the total madness from lack of adventure. I just don't know WHY developers don't make adventure games anymore. And don't give me that "Action/Adventure" nonsense, If you can't use a rubber chicken with a pulley inside on a rope, if you'll forgive the incredibly nerdy analogy, then it's not really an adventure game. Fetch missions does not an adventure game make, as they say.   read

6:25 AM on 10.03.2007

Size Matters, A very late discussion on the DS

As I have a tendency to write whatever is rolling though the jittery isles of my mind, Today I was thinking about the DS. Everyone pretty much knows that it prints money, but i was wondering why. Sure it has good games, but I was thinking there may be another reason it dominated the PSP. If you look at it purely on paper, the PSP is the better choice. Movies, music and games, all in one piece of hardware, nice screen size and some good games. Heck, one of my friends got a PSP after playing Lumines on mine, so that does say something. However, the DS sells much better and people seem to like it a great deal more than the PSP (Again just my observations, bla bla your results may vary)

I was thinking about this and I think I hit on something that may have been discussed before, but what the heck, I'm talking about it now. I'm pretty sure anyone reading this has either a DS or a PSP, so you may be able to get a visual aid out of this. The DS is about 5 inches by 2.5 inches, and the PSP is about 7x3. Two inches longer and just half a inch wider may not seem like much, but try a little experment. Grab your DS or your PSP and slide it into your pocket. I've noticed that the DS fits nicely, with only a bit of annoiance when you move around and sit, while the PSP is more difficult to carry. I'm not sure if this means much, but as long as I had a PSP, I never had it in my pocket, it was either in a cargo pocket or a backpack, and failing that, back at home.

It seems to me that while the size of it was obviously not the total factor, the original Game Boy was a massive brick and that sold tons, I think it may of been a factor, as people found it hard to carry around, it got less public viewing, and as such, less word of mouth. And that ends my random rambleing. Enjoy.   read

9:53 AM on 09.29.2007

Bioshock, as played by a non-gamer

While I realize that this blog may be a bit behind the times, I figured it may be interesting reading any who. I'm currently abroad for school, and as such haven't had a chance to play Bioshock, Halo 3, and several other games that'll be coming out in the next few months. I did order Bioshock, Collectors edition because I'm a magpie, and collectors editions call out to me.

Anywho, I'm not going to get a chance to play it for a good 2 months, so a few weeks ago I told my dad to fire up the 360 and give Bioshock a go. I normally play games with my dad, mainly Halo or other FPS or Co-op games. I figured while he may not be the best at Halo, he can hold his own in the single player campaign, so it may be fun to play, if it can overcome his ADD.

He finaly did start playing it, and apparently really enjoyed it. He said that he had been staying up until 2 AM playing, and was really freaked out by the game. He even asked me the link for a game hint site so he could get past a hard part. He stopped playing it recently, saying it was just too hard for him, which I could see, if you play game like my dad, e.g. fire at everything that moves, and aim as an afterthought, a game like Bioshock which requires you to conserve ammo would rapidly become very difficult. One other thing that struck me was that he kept referring to the Splicers as "Corpses" which I assume meant that he thought they were zombies of some kind.

To wrap things up, he said it was a very pretty game, fun to play, and very scary, but he had difficulty when he played it like he played Halo.   read

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