Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm still a PC gamer right?

Today in many random thoughts, I realized that I have not been playing on the PC a whole lot over the last few months.
What made me think of this was the fact that I am not as addicted to WAR as I was hoping that I would be. Those of you who have played MMOs, and WoW in particular, know what I am talking about. Monday was my day off, and instead of pounding out some levels in WAR, I instead spent most of the day playing through The Force Unleashed.
I think it all started back when I began a quest to play through as many of my X360 and PC games that I haven't even touched. But I realized that I did not have much of an interest in many of the PC titles that I had, but I did want to play my X360 games.
One thing I do know is that I tend to cycle playing on the PC and the console, have for many years. But things are a bit different these days, I am not buying as many new PC games as I had in the past, and I had a huge back log of console games just sitting on my shelf.
But I'm hoping that will change soon with games like Fallout 3, Red Alert 3 and Dawn of War II coming soon.

Recent NHL 09 stuff

I've been playing quite alot of NHL 09 lately. So much so that I have been neglecting Warhammer Online. OTP is alot of fun most nights, but only if you get on a decent team. I'm not looking to win every game, but it can suck being on a team with puck hogs who play little defense.

BAP is becoming frustrating, my goalie is now 5-25-0 with a GAA of just over 3.00. I get the feeling that EA did put in some sort of 'catch up logic' in the game. Last night I was playing the Peoria River Rats, the St. Louis Blues AHL team, and my team was dominating the puck in their zone most the night. Well, it gets about half way thru the 3rd period with the score tied 1-1, when suddenly the River Rats made two quick scores from almost impossible angles, and I lost 1-3.

This wasn't a one time thing either, it happens on a fairly consistent basis, which is beginning to drive me nuts! Oh well, I'm sure I'll get better over time!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WAR discussion on Gamespot.

I came across this video on GameSpot today about Warhammer Online, and what the initial impressions are after playing the game for the first week. Watch the video because it is interesting, then I will let you know what stood out to me from what was said.

So, not bad right? I agree. But the thing that caught my attention the most was when the subject of doing a review came up. So 35 hours of gameplay is required officially by GameStop before doing a review, and Kevin VanOrd did around 90 hours of gameplay before posting his review of Age of Conan. That right there sent the red flags up for me. Why you might ask, well why don't you watch his review of AoC and then I will tell you what bothers me.

My problem is that AoC is huge pile of poo. Don't get me wrong, I like the game. The combat is very innovative and satisfying, the visuals are fantastic, the soundtrack is great, and the game features the best starting 20 levels that I've ever played. But that's all it has. The PvP is mediocre, bugs are every where, quest dialog is great but the quests themselves border on the mundane, and the game lacks any real content to retain any long term interest.

So why do I have a problem with what Kevin said? It's the fact that he played 90 hours of a game in less than two weeks after the game was released, and claims that it could be the greatest online rpg ever to come out, of course with a few bug fixes and content updates.

90 hours? Are you serious? Right now WAR is much better than AoC is, so if he gave AoC an 8.5, then I guess WAR will be the next best thing since sliced bread. To be fair, many early reviews gave high scores and high praises as well. I could see myself playing AoC 90 hours and still realizing that the game is a half finished over hyped mess that was released way too early.

What scares me is that WAR will be the greatest online rpg to ever come out, till Wrath of the Lich King comes out, then that will be till the next big thing comes out. My suggestion, never claim that a game will be the greatest ever with some fixing!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I came across an article on about the top 10 things we want in the new KOTOR MMO. The article had a link to the original article from IGN, you can check it out here.

I don't have any issues with the list itself, because they are all great suggestions. My problem is that there seems to be this hope of a game that is massively in scope with features of a single player game, basically mixing what was great about Star Wars Galaxies and mixing it with KOTOR.

The more time passes without an official announcement, the more speculation there will be along with more pressure on Bioware to make the next holy grail in Star Wars MMO gaming.

I would love to see the new Star Wars MMO with the skill based system like Galaxies had, but I just don't think we will see anything that original again.

First night of WAAAGHHH!

I was able to log in to WAR last night, but only for around 30 mins, just long enough to create a few characters and look around a bit. I wanted to play more, but I had a few shows to watch on DVR, and I was still in the process of tweaking my computer after re-installing windows the other night.

But, hopefully I can get some quality WAR time in this weekend. We shall see, I went today and exchanged my defective NHL 09 disc, so hopefully I can get some hockey on too!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well, it's Sept. 18th, and you know what that means? Warhammer Online is officially launched. The servers are up and it's time to get to war. It would seem that the game is a big hit, because there are a half dozen servers with some rather large que times to log in. But Mythic has been quick to respond by creating some new servers and transferring characters to them in hopes to lighten the load!! I am looking forward to logging on tonight, seeing as how I can't play my NHL 09 at this moment, ergh!!


So, I've been playing alot of NHL 09 lately that's no secret. But recently I ran into a problem, the game freezes my Xbox. And, it only seems to happen while playing online.
So I did some investigation, which means I jumped on to the EA Sports forums, and found myself a nice multi paged thread detailing all the problems that customers who bought the game are having.
What seems to be the main problem so far is the Disc Read Error that people are getting. And wouldn't you know it, that happened to me last night! And, from what I have gathered, the problem doesn't go away even if you purchase a new copy of the game.
What I am thinking is that there is something possibly wrong with the discs themselves. But I have no way of knowing that, and as of now, no one from EA has commented on the matter either!!
Could the best hockey game evaar be mired in issues that make it less than what it is?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

House season 5 begins!

The fifth season of House M.D. began last night, and frankly it was a great beginning to the new season. I was a bit skeptical of the direction the show was going to go last season, but it worked. And the two part season finale in my mind where the two best episodes for the show.
I'm interested in how the whole House-Wilson relationship aspect of the show is going to pan out. There was a rumor that there was a possible Cutty-House love relationship, which I really hope never happens. Every year inevitably there comes a time when you think that maybe House will develop some sort of heart if you will and actually stop hating the human race, but no it never happens. This might be the year that something to that effect might happen. A little compassion and caring would be great, but not so much that he loses his edge that makes him House.

Some NHL 09 vs NHL 2k9 thoughts.

Well, it was bound to happen sometime, giving NHL 2k9 a shot to see just how much of a difference there is. One thing to know, I have spent just about all my gaming time the past seven days playing NHL 09, I have only played NHL 2k9 today for about two and a half hours.

I'm not going to get into a very long post on what is exactly different or my likes and dislikes with either game, but it must be know that I have been looking forward to NHL 09 for some time now, but I do try to be as objective as possible when comparing games.

Gameplay wise the two games couldn't be farther apart. In NHL 09, the game plays deliberately slower, the skills stick works great and the game itself has become much more simulation based. In 2k9, the game plays way to fast, some of the controls including their version of the skills stick are very sluggish, and the game has an overall arcade feel.

The 2k9 graphics are just plain bad. The player models are bad, the player faces are bad, it's just bad. But with that said, the arenas look great and there no noticeable slowdown in the game at all. On the flip slide, NHL 09 player models look wonderful, Skater animations and goalie animations look wonderful, but there is a very noticeable frame rate hit at various times in the game.

Without making a long post even longer, NHL 09 is so far a very good game and really does revolutionize the genre, where NHL 2k9 has added very little and really seems to have taken a step backwards.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amature hockey career begins!!

Well, it's no secret that I have been waiting for NHL 09 for awhile now. Well, I've had the pleasure to spend a few days with the game, and all I can say is that it's awesome!

I decided that I wanted to try my hand at playing a goalie in the new Be a Pro Mode. Well, it five tries, but I got my first win 2-1. But all is not well for Jai Dredd, coach has informed me that I am not performing as well as he had hoped, so he is cutting down my starts till I improve, totally awesome on many fronts!

Online things are not so bad. It did take me about 20mins before I found the correct online lobby that would allow me to play my be a pro online, very aggravating. The first game I played, I ended up playing Right Defense, and since then I decided to be a defensemen. I was able to notch my first two goals last night, which was a rush. But I have to really work on my positioning and my D awareness.

All in all, I am having a blast. I figure this will be the only game I will be playing till WAR launches in the 18th!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random thoughts from over the weekend.

Well, I played quit a bit of NCAA Football 09 and some Madden 09, got most of the achievements for both which is always nice. This year there seems to be a big difference in gameplay between the two. Last year not so much, but this year I was a bit taken back by the differences. That's not a bad thing at all, but after playing a boat load of college football, making the move to the pro game was a slap in the face, kinda kinda like real life I guess.

This weekend was also the beginning of the WAR beta, and let me tell you I am having alot of fun. Or should I say had. I have decided that after playing for about 5-6 hours, the game is pretty good and I am excited to play it, so I didn't want to get to far into the game, only to have to re-do the same thing again when the game actually launches.

The game looks great, it ran smooth, love the interface, the public quests are a blast, the RvR was alot of fun. My only concern is that some things are being implemented at the last minute, like guild banks, and the lag was almost too much to endure at times.

But it looks like most if not all of my still waiting to be played games are going to be put on the back burner with the release of NHL 09 today. Man I really hope this game is everything I hope it is.

So it was kickoff weekend for the NFL, so I decided to take Sunday off to watch some football. The Dolphins-Jets game was actually a good game, I was really pulling for Pennington to get one on the Jets, oh well. Because I live in the Bay Area, I was forced to watch the Niners-Cardinals game, not very exciting, Niners are going to be bad and finally get rid of one of the most overrated coaches ever.

The Sunday night game of the Bears-Colts was a big surprise. I for one did not think Chicago would win, at least in Indy. But I guess it show just how important playing in the preseason is, Manning did not play one game, and it really showed.

Packers-Vikings was a good game, but almost ruined because Kornheiser couldn't stop comparing Favre to Rodgers. And what's there to say about the Raiders-Broncos game, little hope for the Raiders. Just to think, I was offered tickets to go see this game, but couldn't make it. Some day my blessed silver and black will be dominate again, someday...

Hockey time is almost here!

I can't wait, my preorder for NHL 09 is sitting, waiting for me to pick up and play it! So do I try to mess around with the be a pro mode first, or go straight for the EAS Hockey league? It's just too bad that this and WAR had to come out the same month, I still have some games waiting to be played, and now it looks like I will be playing nothing else.

More studio closings...

I read yesterday about how Microsoft is closing down Ensemble Studios once they are finished working on Halo Wars for the Xbox 360. This seems to have been an unfortunate trend these last few months as more and more companies are downsizing or completely shutting down all together.

I wasn't really into Age of Mythology or Age of Empires III, but Age of Empires II: Age of Kings was the game that got me into the RTS genre. AoEII will forever have a special place in my heart because of the influence it had on me.

I think the bigger issue in my mind is why an industry that makes more money than the movie or music industry has these kind of issues. Take Flagship Studios for example, recently they laid off everyone, then there was the whole dispute about who owned the IP and what not. Now I thought Hellgate London was a pile of poo, but was it such a disaster that it really caused the studio to close down?

Flagship is by no means the only studio to have a hugely hyped game tank upon release, but they are the most recent to have been closed down because of it. There is so much money that is tied up in the making of these games now a days that there seems to be more pressure on developers to make a great game. So is it a bad game that is the cause?

Well, I've been rambling and totally lost my main train of thought while trying to type this at work and a really busy day. My point is that studios are closing, downsizing, or being gobbled up by much bigger studios. The gaming industry is highly competitive, hard to get into, extremely popular, and yet studios are still closing down, why?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Online gaming, chess style!

Recently I was reading a blog called The Rook's Bailey which is focused heavily on the game of chess. Now chess is one of those games that I learned to play as a child. Not well mind you, but enough to know what the name of the pieces are and what their function is for the most part.

Well, being inspired by the blog, I decided to register at to learn more about the game as well as play some online chess matches. To me chess is the ultimate strategy game, and so my hope is that as I am learning the game of chess, I will be able to apply that knowledge to other areas of my gaming.

But seriously, online chess, who'd a known!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Having too much fun with Too Human!

I might have said this already, but I completed Hitman Blood Money, then went on to complete Battlefield Bad Company, then The Bourne Conspiracy, and then now Too Human. Right now I am working my way through Crash of the Titans and some Tiger Woods 07.
But as for Too Human, I am not sure as to why the review scores for that game have be what they are. They seem to be all over the board ranging from abysmal to wonderful. Personally I think the game is very good. It lacks the RP from the rpg, the skill trees seem a bit worthless, and the camera is at times completely horrid. But I am really enjoying the game despite some of the issues.
I am considering doing a full review of this game, but we'll see.

Is it time for Waaaaaagh?!?

Well, the 7th is almost here, and that means that it's about time for the Warhammer Online open beta to begin. I am excited, and have been looking forward to giving this a try. There are no shortage of articles and blogs about WAR, so there's plenty of info out there. The game itself is set to release on Sept. 18th, so that is not a very long open beta, which does have me concerned. But, most of I have read on various blogs indicates that the game is well polished, so let's hope the open beta will confirm that!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NHL 09 Demo!

I have been waiting in anticipation for the new NHL 09 game ever since reading an article about the game a few months back on Gamespot. Since then, there has been alot more info out on the game, including the be a pro mode and the new online gameplay, both have me wetting my pants in excitement.

Well the demo for the Xbox 360 version went up today, and naturally I had to download it and give the game a try. All I can say is that I am still excited for this game, in fact, I can't remember being this excited about a console game in awhile.