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5:02 PM on 07.22.2009

I, The Author: A Wake Island Rambo

So many "Battlefield moments." I posted one earlier, but I feel like this trumps that one by, um, a lot.

We'd cornered the Japanese to just one more post on Wake Island--the houses near the airfield--so it became a pretty nasty hotspot. I'd been spending my time messing around with planes to get better at them, but one of the Japs decided to man an anti-air gun so I really had no choice but to bail out right over their last post (which I probably would've done in a minute anyway).

The buildings were already devastated from an air raid earlier, so as I parachuted down, I could see two guys near the flag where a building used to be. I tried to use my grenade launcher on them, but missed and they ran for cover by one of the only buildings left with walls. As I landed, they peppered me with gunfire and I was almost dead, so I fired off another grenade and ran to the other side of the wall.

They both came around the corner with a vengeance, but I fired my last grenade, killing one of them, and thankfully, the game automatically switched me back to my rifle so I could fire a shot into the other guy. Had I not run out of grenades right then, I probably would've been stuck reloading and died.

At this point, I'm pretty pleased with myself. I hop over some rubble to the flag where someone had left a jeep, but there's a sniper by the anti-air gun (probably the same guy who tried to shoot me down), so I crouch behind the jeep and try to take potshots at him, hoping one gets lucky. I must've hit him, because he went for cover, and just as he did, another Japanese soldier started firing at me with his pistol from my right. I assume that he must have just spawned, since that dude came from nowhere.

I turn, still crouching, and fire off my last couple rounds, missing completely because he scared the piss out of me. He pulls out his sword and charges me, and I've got to tell you, they nailed the look of a charging Japanese soldier with his sword out. That is not a fun sight. I panic because I've got to reload, so still crouching, I tap for my bayonet and gut him at the very last second possible.

I breathed a sigh of relief and stood up just as the glorious red, white, and blue made it to the top. I grabbed the jeep and a bunch of allies spawned in, one of them manning the turret for me. I floored it on the way to the sniper from earlier, sitting in the middle of the road like an idiot just before the crest of the hill. He tries to snipe me but keeps missing so I ram his face into my grill like roadkill.

And just as I'm about to celebrate, an enemy tank rolls over the hill. I get halfway through saying, "oh shit" before it blows me to hell.

Probably the best multiplayer encounter I've had in a long time. Totally worth $15 just for that.   read

2:30 AM on 07.22.2009

I, The Author: Paratroopers Over Iwo Jima

One of my favorite things to do in Battlefield 1943, and in my opinion the only thing planes have proven consistently good for, is quickly getting behind enemy lines, bailing out and parachuting to the flag so you can take it before they realize what the hell is going on. Mind you, this tactic doesn't always work. Occasionally some enemies will spot you and then you're just a floating duck as you gently waft down to them.

Now, I've used this tactic often enough thus far that I can deal with a few grunt soldiers. I just aim carefully and take 'em out before I even touch ground. I'll bet I probably look pretty majestic as I do so. But the worst is when you attract the attention of enemies with vehicles.

So I'm playing Iwo Jima for the fourth time in a row and it's getting a little stale so I switch from my mainstay rifleman class and go scout for awhile. I spawn in on our aircraft carrier and mess around while waiting for a plane, almost managing to snipe a guy on the island. Of course, the moment the first plane arrives, as if on cue, another teammate spawns in and takes it. Great.

Eventually another one appears and I immediately fly to Mount Suribachi and bail out. I look below me and there's a tank about to drive away when it sees me and starts to move closer. I panic and toss all my explosives below me. The tank drives right on top of them and just sits there, patiently waiting for me to land. I can just see the guy at his controller, a haughty smile on his face, thinking he's going to get an easy kill.

I set off the explosives, his tank blows the hell up, and I land on the charred remains of his dignity, laughing. Just as the beautiful American flag is raised and I've captured the point for my team, a message comes in from the guy: "fuk you fukin noob."

Crazier things have happened to me playing 1943, and most of this happened in only like ten seconds, but still remains one of my fondest gaming memories in a while.   read

1:35 PM on 06.18.2009

Difficulty Issues: The inFAMOUS Review

So if you've read Destructoid's inFAMOUS review, you know that the main complaint they had with the game was in the difficulty. They say that because Cole is so vulnerable, the enemies so vicious, and the game overall so tough that it just didn't feel like a "superhero" game.

Well, my response to this, after having played inFAMOUS once on Medium and once on Hard, (good first, evil second), is that this complaint simply isn't valid.

I say that because the game doesn't allow you to. It counters that in too many ways. inFAMOUS doesn't make you restart from the beginning to play on a lower difficulty. You can swap on the fly, at any time. If you're having trouble with a mission, drop the difficulty down, then put it back up afterward if you feel like it. And this game is the most forgiving in terms of checkpoints that I think I've ever played.

Conrad mentions playing on Hard in his review, which strikes me as a little weird. You're playing the game on its hardest difficulty setting and then complaining that it's just too hard? Isn't that the point of hard mode?

Reading through Jim's review in particular is frustrating because you can just tell that he had a vision of what he wanted the game to be beforehand and just never strayed from that. He expected it to be "all about kicking ass, lifting cars and scaling buildings in a single bound," which is not inFAMOUS. So why look at it like that? inFAMOUS, from day one, was proposed as a "what if?" game all about getting superpowers in the real world.

As in, at least somewhat grounded in reality.

So no, Cole can't take a bullet to the eye like Superman, but Cole isn't Superman. He's got limitations.

And rather than just recognizing that they weren't having any fun playing on the difficulty they were playing at (I presume Medium) and dropping the difficulty down so that they could play with more reckless abandon and feel more like a typical superhero, not one of the three reviewers mentions doing anything of the sort.

And yet they all absolutely nail inFAMOUS to the wall for being too hard.

As for some of their other complaints, like the NPCs being unlikable, enemies shooting you from too far away, numerous glitches, etc... I can totally get behind those. Yeah, I hated Zeke the whole way through the game and Trish was more of a bitch than I could handle. Enemies seem way too precise and I encountered my fair share of glitches. But you know what? None of that shit mattered.

inFAMOUS was still totally awesome throughout. I personally felt like it was balanced really fucking well. It's Cole's origin story, so I didn't really expect him to be all-powerful from the outset. Even Batman started off being unable to handle a small group of thugs efficiently. He started off sloppy. Really sloppy.

But if I had gone into it totally wanting nothing less than for Cole to be able to bounce bullets off his eyeball and found that I was annoyed that he couldn't, I'd probably just have swallowed my Gamer Pride, dropped the difficulty level down, and had a totally awesome time instead of plodding through totally unsatisfied.

That's what I did with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I got about 1/4 of the way through that game and realized that I wasn't having fun because the enemies were taking an illogical amount of bullets for dudes in t-shirts, so I restarted the game on Easy and had a hell of a lot more fun.

The Destructoid reviewers all brought their inFAMOUS experience down by going in with unfair expectations, and when the game tried to meet them halfway, they refused, depriving themselves of a really good time and rating the game lower than it honestly deserves. For God's sake, Conrad closes his review by saying he had enough fun to start playing through it a second time but still can't recommend a purchase.

Whatever, Destructoid. Whatever.   read

11:49 AM on 06.15.2009

The Voice of Reason: inFAMOUS > Prototype

While Mr. Sterling is certainly a brave man for choosing to play devil's advocate, the choice between inFAMOUS and Prototype is obvious. Therefore, I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Sterling's rampant disregard for logic. Consider this a public service announcement to help undo the damage Mr. Sterling has done to the gaming industry.

Here's why inFAMOUS is blatantly better than Prototype:

1. Better graphics = better games:

Any true gamer knows that a game isn't good unless it looks good, too. While inFAMOUS is a stunning beauty that justifies a trailer like this, Prototype teases players with an amazing opening CG cut scene and then drops them into a world of bland textures that pop in sporadically. That's false advertising, and frankly, it's disgusting.

Coincidentally, this point also illustrates why Killzone 2 is the best game ever and why the Wii is a total failure.

2. Cole has a gruffer voice:

If The Dark Knight proved anything, it's that you can't be taken seriously these days unless you're so damn manly that people can barely make out what you're saying. And let's face it: Alex Mercer sounds like a damn Girl Scout next to Cole McGrath.

3. Moral choices are all the rage:

While inFAMOUS embraces the Future of Gaming with its bold moral choices, Prototype stubbornly adheres to archaic game design and consequently has set the entire gaming industry back a generation. Perhaps two.

This is the year 2009, Prototype. Get with the times.

Cole is a modern, complex figure with real depth who forces players to actually face the consequences of their actions. Contrast Cole with Alex, a one-dimensional character no more complex than a child throwing a tantrum or Kirby with a gun, and it's easy to see why inFAMOUS is a superior game.

4. Hoodies are lame:

Cole spends most of his time murdering hoodie-wearing douchebags. Alex Mercer is a hoodie-wearing douchebag. Cole can kill Alex Mercer.

It's just logic.

5. Navigating Empire City actually takes skill:

Alex Mercer feels like he was made for your mom or dog to play as. "Just hold down the win button and watch him go!" Any real gamer that doesn't want a game to just play itself should agree with me that playing as Cole is far and away a better experience. You could accidentally sit on your controller and achieve the same prowess with Alex as an experienced player with hours of practice. Cole actually requires you use buttons to navigate the world.

While all I'd need to have Alex climb the most challenging structure in Prototype is a piece of tape, I'd at the very least need one of those drinking bird things to keep tapping X over and over for Cole.

6. Alex Mercer likes hentai porn:

And it makes me uncomfortable.

7. inFAMOUS was out first:

Prototype is obviously just a quick cash-in trying to capitalize on inFAMOUS' success. Having seen how well-received inFAMOUS was last month, it's pretty clear that Radical Entertainment just scrapped together some stuff last minute and threw it as quickly as they could onto store shelves.

8. Metacritic says so:

Ultimately, this is the only point that matters. As of writing this blog, inFAMOUS has kept an astounding rating of 85 on Metacritic while Prototype can barely hang on to a laughable 84 rating. Can it be any more clear than that?

Obviously, Mr. Sterling was either paid in cash or dropped as a baby to have written an article as brazenly retarded as that one. inFAMOUS is clearly the better game, and if you disagree, you can go die in a goddamn forest fire.   read

5:29 PM on 08.06.2008

Reviewing the Future: Qore Episode 03

Like an idiot, I bought an annual subscription of Qore the moment I could. "It only makes sense," I thought. "I'll be buying all the episodes anyway, so at least I'll get Calling All Cars out of it!"

Well, past self, you're a fucking moron. I never play Calling All Cars anymore, and Qore only ever covers games no one cares about unless they're delivering old information about games we do care about. Their Resistance 2 coverage offered nothing new, but their Naruto coverage was chock full of stuff I didn't know, or want to know. It's Naruto. Enough said.

PlayStation.Blog just announced what'll be in tomorrow's episode of Qore, so I decided, why bother waiting to review it when judging the future is just so much more fun?

DC Universe Online

Let's face it. Something is going to go wrong. They're trying to build up hype for this, but to me, it just looks like they're going to over-promise and under-deliver. As for the content Qore is going to give us on this, yeah, I wouldn't expect much beyond telling you what the game sets out to do and some concept art by Jim Lee, which could be cool.

NBA 09

Yep. It's still basketball.

Lego Batman: The Video Game

Is the subtitle really necessary? Is there a Lego Batman: The Romance Novel that I don't know about? Well, this is probably going to be the most interesting part of Qore, but I doubt they'll talk about gameplay that much since it hasn't really changed since the first Lego Star Wars, and instead just talk about the characters and suits.

Personally, I'm not really a Lego _____ game fan, but hey, I can see the appeal. Those cut scenes are damn funny. I wouldn't mind a Lego movie.

Baja: Edge of Control

Dude, with this game, Pure, and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift all coming out within a couple months of each other, they've lost their appeal. I might pick up Motorstorm, but Baja just looks like such a ripoff. I expect the Qore coverage to do nothing but confirm this.

New Downloadable Content

This is the only reason to buy this month's episode: Resistance 2 beta. But that's not going to be coming out for awhile and there will be other ways to get in, so... Hey, it also comes with a Qore theme! Which I'm sure will be a totally cool design unlike the PSN and Home themes![/sarcasm]

Don't Hit L2

Every month they tell us not to hit L2, so, naturally, we do. What we're greeted with is the same lame mini-game every time. It's literally simplified Pong. And it looks like Qore Episode 03 carries on that tradition. It's more like "don't BOTHER hitting L2."

Qore is such wasted potential. All it's given me is themes I never use and $24.99 worth of regret.   read

7:12 PM on 08.05.2008

Kratos Sackboy = WIN

Holy shit.

PlayStation.Blog just announced some preorder bonuses for LittleBigPlanet, and they're all lame, except for one. THE KRATOS SACKBOY.

Screw the Nariko one; she's just a poor man's (or girl's actually) Kratos. The change purse has a cool graffiti design, but it's still a freaking change purse. The sticker book is like... dude. I'm not five years old. And the mini guide is just a throwaway.

All I need to know now is which store I preorder from to get it.   read

6:55 PM on 08.05.2008

Spider-Man 3 is the worst movie in the history of movies. [NVGR]

This is from my main blog.

I decided to take a break from PixelJunk Eden to watch Spider-Man 3 again.

What the hell was I thinking?

Let's rewind back to May 4, 2007, the day a piece of me died.

Spider-Man was awesome. Spider-Man 2 was awesome. The trailers for Spider-Man 3 have been badass, and now I'm sitting in the theater at the premiere with a row of my friends. I'm fucking giddy. This must be what heaven feels like.

Then the movie started.

One hundred and thirty-nine excruciating minutes later and the credits began to roll, but no one stood up to leave. The whole theater just sat there in complete silence. No one looked anyone else in the eyes, and it was painfully obvious why: they had just been sodomized.

Eventually I stood up and did the only thing I could do. I took my friend's straw, stabbed my eyes out, and then jammed it into my throat to end my misery.

If only.

No, finally a guy near the front stood up and said "Spider-Man 3 is the worst movie in the history of movies," and walked out. Everyone else began to follow him, but I just sat there wondering, what the hell happened? They must have known how bad that was when they were filming it. Obviously there is no god.

Fast forward to ten minutes ago. A friend left his copy of Spider-Man 3 here and I thought I'd give it another shot, that maybe I'd just had unrealistic expectations before and enough time had passed. How wrong I was.

Let's do a quick countdown of the three worst things about Spider-Man 3:

3. Topher Grace

I like Topher Grace. I do. He was funny on That 70s Show and he was even pretty good in that one movie with Dennis Quaid. But Topher Grace had no business playing Venom. He's super skinny and he's not scary at all.

Before the Venom transformation, he was decent when contrasted with Tobey Maguire's embarrassing performance, but once he donned the black, it was a train wreck. He tried to make the role funny with clever quips and corny jokes like holding up Mary Jane and saying "my spidey sense is tingling... if you know what I mean."

What an awful casting job.

2. Worst Ending Ever

At the end of the movie, Venom dies in a cheesy explosion, Harry dies from being exposed to too many cliches, and Spider-Man and Sandman have a heart to heart about how much their lives suck until they both start crying, Spider-Man forgives him, and Sandman literally just flies away into the sunrise.


So Sandman is still an escaped convict wanted for murdering Peter Parker's uncle, robbing a bank and a security van, causing millions of dollars in property damage, at the very least endangering the lives of countless citizens if not killing many, and attempting to kill Spider-Man, but that's all okay because his daughter is dying? Bullshit.


This is Spider-Man, not Dr. Phil. Wipe your tears and go kick his ass.

1. Peter Parker

It was impossible to like Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3. He went from being a self-absorbed jackass to a total pussy to an insane person who, in the span of two minutes, goes from playing the piano and dancing in a jazz club to hitting women in the face, and finally back to being a pussy.

In Spider-Man 2, you could sympathize with the guy. His girl is engaged to someone else, his job sucks, he's failing his classes, his aunt finds out he was indirectly responsible for her husband's death, his best friend wants Spider-Man dead, he's losing his powers, and the city he's sacrificing it all to protect still hates him. Not to mention the dude with four mechanical arms trying to kill him.

But the reason why you cared was because he was a good, likeable person, and so you rooted for him. You wanted him to triumph. Had he been smacking Mary Jane around, dancing on tables and flipping his hair, you would've just been like, "whatever, man; he deserves it. Eff that guy." So by the end of Spider-Man 3, I wanted nothing more than Peter Parker's head on a pike. How could I not?

What I'm trying to say with all of this is that The Dark Knight was mind-blowingly awesome. But if Christian Bale starts singing and jumping in front of American flags in Batman 3, people will die.

I'm a man of my word.   read

12:47 AM on 08.01.2008

PixelJunk Eden: The First Hour - Liveblog (Explicit)

This is from my main blog.

Out of sheer laziness, rather than type up anything new, I'm just going to type up the recordings I made as I played. It's more entertaining to write, so hopefully it's more entertaining to read as well. Tell me if you like it. Here you go:

0 Minutes In: I've never done drugs, but the PS3's menu background for this game is tripping me out.

5 Minutes In: Why can't I throw my silk out like Spider-Man as I fall? Dude, not cool. Maybe I'll get used to it as I go.

6 Minutes In: Nope. I should be able to Spider-Man my way around. Developers, patch that shit in.

10 Minutes In: Okay, this is pretty fun. Got my first Spectra...thing; kind of unhappy that it just booted me out back to the level select after that though. Would've been nice to explore more.

11 Minutes In: Garden 02 is awesome. Great music, loving the red background here. If there's a garden in Eden specifically designed for hot, hot lovemaking, this must be it.

14 Minutes In: Still not happy with it booting me out to the hub world once I get one of those Spectra things. Besides, who named those anyway? Wasn't that the evil organization in the old James Bond movies?

18 Minutes In: I've already got to backtrack to old levels? Lame.

20 Minutes In: Never mind. They're still fun.

24 Minutes In: Wow. I was about to grab a second Spectra to end the level and some little bitch comes out of nowhere and knocks me down to the bottom. So not cool.

26 Minutes In: OH MY GOD. He did it again. What is your problem, bro? I haven't done anything to you. In most games, yeah, I understand why dudes are attacking me. You though... totally unprovoked. And now time ran out. I have to start over. Awesome.

32 Minutes In: That's it. Gloves are coming off. I'm going to find your family and use my silk strand of justice on them.

33 Minutes In: Holy shit; I can kill those things? I did not know that. That was easy. Well, now that I'm completely unopposed, I can just mosey on up to the next Spectra. Ha!

34 Minutes In: Okay, you had friends. No matter, because I freaking ninja'd past them. What now, bitches?

36 Minutes In: I think it's going to become annoying having to trek up all these plants every time I want to go to the next level, especially since they get farther and farther away each time.

40 Minutes In: These enemies are insane. If I don't completely destroy them the first time, they just reform their remaining bits and fly off, then come back at the worst possible moments once I've forgotten about them. Jesus. I can just imagine them cackling and twirling their mustaches as they tie my girlfriend to some train tracks.

47 Minutes In: I really hate this time limit. Why do games even have time limits anymore? It didn't work in echochrome and it doesn't work here. Just give me a mode where I can explore a level freely. Rez got that perfect; it had a mode where you were invincible and could just play without any fear of dying.

56 Minutes In: All right, well, I'm done for now. This game really seems like it's meant to be played in short bursts considering that you have to replay the same levels over and over and they take longer each time you play them.   read

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