Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not much lately...

It's been awhile since my last post, it's been a mixture of lazyness and the holidays. I really did want to post at least once a day, something I still need to work on.

A few updates; I have decided to cancel EQ2, resubbed to WoW, am taking a short break from WAR till I buy a gamecard, and just waiting for LOTRO get arrive in the mail so I can fire that up as well!

Both me and the wife are on vacation which is nice because we rarely have the same days off any more. It's been a great holiday season so far with the family, hopefully everyone else has had a great holiday season as well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leveling Guide for EQ2.

Massively has a great article on a comprehensive leveling guide for EQ2. I have been looking for something like this for a long while, and it seems I was just looking in the wrong place. The guide is for everything level 1-80, and even comes in a pdf file as well!

More Dawn of War II footage.

Shacknews has a video with three minutes of gameplay footage from the new Dawn of War II game, and holy crap I can't wait. Check out the video here, it's pretty sweet!

Trying to understand the economy!

Gamespot has an article on how EA is expected to do another round of layoffs, to which I say why? Before any one answers that, let me at least explain why I am asking.

It seems that all this year developers and publishers have been laying off some of it's workforce, but it's not all that uncommon in the gaming industry. But even with the tough times, it seemed that the gaming industry was above the current crisis. But with regards to EA, they have published some successful titles this year; Spore, Dead Space, Warhammer Online, Red Alert 3 just to name a few. So why more cut backs then?

Well the end of the article states that EA is also scaling back its SKU count. So I guess to answer my own question, it seems that EA expanded to quickly, released crap like Mirror's Edge or unfinished product like Warhammer Online, and realised they had way more projects in the works than they could support. So the down sizing of IP's is the main reason it would seem to the next round of lay offs, which is very unfortunate.

There's not much that hasn't been affected by the economic crisis this year. But maybe in the long term the gaming industry will gain from all this, maybe companies like EA will realize that having a lot of SKU's is not what makes you successful, but maybe having fewer high quality SKU's will make a company successful, and profitable. I think we would all benefit from that.

Star Wars: The Old Republic video.

Today Bioware released a video doc on their new Star Wars MMO, so here it is.

A couple of observations, the lighting is awesome, sabre fights look great, not to sure about the art design yet. But I am looking forward to this game for sure. Hear that sound, that's the sound of the couple of gamers that are still playing Star Wars Galaxies thinking it might actually one day get good again!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That time of the year again!

That's right, it's time for the Game of the Year picks that every gaming website and publication known to man do every year. The time of year when games that have been only released for only a little over a month get nominated, and even win!

I came across this article at 1up about how Fable 2 has won X-Play's 2008 GotY award. Excuse me?!? You're kidding right, Fable 2?!? Yes, Fable 2 is much better than the first Fable, but most of the games on X-Play's list are far better than Fable 2.

I hated Gears of War, thought it was highly overrated and dull, but loved Gears 2, thought Epic did a wonderful job, how does that not get GotY. GTA IV and MGS 4 both get perfect scores in many reviews, but apparently not good enough to get GotY. So what about Fallout 3, it came out just about the same time as Fable 2, and even received higher scores on average, but I guess since you can't get married and you dog companion doesn't find every useless piece of crap buried in the ground it doesn't get to be GotY.

Fable 2 is an excellent game, and I would highly recommend that everyone play it. But it's not nearly as good as Fallout 3 or Gears of War 2, and to a degree even GTA IV. As a side note, I hate everything Metal Gear, so no one should ever play any MGS game, it's the worst gaming franchise ever.

I firmly believe that if Fable wasn't such a flying bag of poo, then Fable 2 would only have been received as maybe a mediocre game. I'm sorry, but having to get a job and being able to get married and have kids is not my idea of fun, I already have both of those in real life, do I need to emulate real life in a game that I am playing to get away from real life?

For those of you who voted for or think that Fable 2 should be GotY, I need you to do something for me- hold out your left arm, make a fist with your left hand, then try to make your fist go through your face. Do that repeatedly till you fall over bleeding, and that should let you know how much I think about Fable 2 getting GotY.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fallout 3 Funkified

I saw this video at Shacknews and thought it was awesome!! Be warned, it is a little on the long side, but still entertaining none-the-less.

New Dawn of War II Trailer

I can't wait, the game looks great!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Same game, different thoughts.

I happen to be doing my usual web surfing today, and while at GameSpot I saw that there was a review for the new Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir expansion, and that it received a score of 6.0, ouch. I don't want to get into the debate on whether scores for reviews are good or bad, but I personally like something that indicates the tone of the review before I read it, if it's a number or a letter it doesn't matter to me.

So the low score already tells me the tone for the review, that it is going to be negative in nature, and it didn't disappoint. Once I finished the read, I began to recall seeing something on the interwebs that the first few reviews for the game were favorable. And so I went to GameRankings.com and pulled up NWN2:SoZ, and sure enough there were two other reviews and both had much higher scores for the game.

The first review was from 1up and they game the game a B+, the next review was from IGN and they gave the game an 8.3. So why do I care about all this, because I have been looking forward to Storm of Zehir since it was announced and I had a knee jerk reaction to the GameSpot review when I initially read it. So I sought vindication by looking for some positive reviews so that I justify my feelings that the game is good no matter what they say.

Then my mind began to recall something that I saw in a Zero Punctuation video about not letting others opinions of a game influence you if you enjoy the game, which made me realise why I read reviews in the first place, to gain some knowledge! I have personally written two reviews, Age of Conan and Warhammer online, and they do come off as a bit on the negative side, but I do make mention that I did enjoy playing both games. I tried hard to present the facts both good and bad about the games, but the negative tone was because I felt that there were issues that both games had that were glossed over in the early reviews, one reason why I chose to do a review almost two months after release.

The reviews that I enjoy reading are ones that present the facts about a game, both good and bad. I really get annoyed with reviews that focus on what the game is, the back story, what the author did in one level that made the game so great for them, and finish up with little information on things like how the gameplay is, framerate, graphics, sound, multiplayer features, and even bugs and what not. I feel that GameSpot is one of if not the best online review site out there, and most of the time the reviews they have are informative mixed with personal play experiences, and I like that. I have always felt that if a review has a score, that is the opinion of the reviewer, and should be taken as such.

So the bottom line is that all three reviews presented some of the same facts, but it would seem that one person was expecting something completely different than what they played, and that I should not have taken the review personally just because I was looking forward to the game.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Starting December strong!

I have really been slacking on posting to the blog lately. That can mostly be attributed to the poor time management skills that I have! I had every intention of posting up a day by day recap of my awesome vacation, and the first one I have had in over three years. So I will recap it in one sentence then; I slept very little like a moron, played alot of games, had two Thanksgiving meals, and I neglected my blog. Honestly it wasn't much more interesting than that.

I played a whole heck of alot of Fallout 3, and I am loving it, my personal game of the year for the PC!! Something I really need to do is take some screens and chronical my adventures in the capital wasteland for all to see.

I have mentioned that I joined the Casualties of War guild for Warhammer Online, well they have now branched out to WoW as well. I also picked up the new EQ2 expansion the other day, so I am now running three MMO's at the moment, something I plan to do for at least a little while, but eventually I am going to have to cancel one eventually.

Speaking of EQ2 expansions, Shadow of Odyssey is giving my PC all sorts of problems. For some reason the game has issues with launching, I will get a black screen, then the game will minimize to the desktop and stops responding, extremely frustrating. Nothing like spending forty dollars on the game and fifteen dollars to reactivate the account, only to have the game become unplayable at times to make one feel like they wasted money.

Well, thus ends the first post on the first day of the last month of the year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So you think you can contribute, eh?

Saw this today about the contribution system in WAR. Just more evidence the the system is flawed.

I personally have had issues with the contribution system since beta, and I am surprised that Mythic has not addressed the issues that many players have with the contribution system.

Vacation time, woot!!

Well today is the beginning of my five day vacation. How did I manage that you ask? Pretty easily actually, I normally have Monday and Tuesday off, Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I had asked for Friday off a few weeks ago, and I was able to con, I mean talk a co-worker to cover for me on Wednesday. How sweet is that!

So I am pretty much going to kick back and relax, enjoy the time off and watch hockey and football, and play as many games as I can!

I do want to play WAR this week as I am really enjoying my Chosen character, but I do need to create an Order career too. Of course there's NHL 09 I can play as well, but I think I am going to concentrate mostly on Fallout 3. I still have an active WoW account, but I've had little motivation to go and play the game.

There are other Xbox and PC games I have that need to be played, but who am I kidding, I know I am not going to get to them anytime soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Devine Intervention?

Well, looks like my goal of posting at least once per day will not be met this month, oh well. I really should pay more attention to this blog in case someone actually reads this!!

The heavy metal patch for WAR was released on Tuesday, but without the combat changes I was looking for. I was disappointed, but it's understandable that Mythic wants to do right by this and not screw things up. But lately I have been feeling torn about which MMO's I am going to play. I currently have a sub to WoW, and I did buy Wrath, and of course I have a sub to WAR as well.

But I have been thinking of giving LOTRO or EQ2 another run, but I still want to play WAR, and I don't want to feel like I wasted money on Wrath....argh! So after much debate with myself, and not being happy about the WAR patch, I figured I would play out my WoW sub, cancel WAR, and just forget about MMO's for awhile.

So on Tuesday night I log into my account on WAR, see that the next payment is due on the 19th, and I cancel my account. Well, two days later I'm doing my normal blog reading, I come across Ysharros and JoBildo's blog and find that Casualties of War now has open recruiting for WAR.

Well isn't that just great. I cancel my account, and the one thing that I know I would stay for, people to play with, finally happens. For some strange reason, I decided to fire up WAR while at work after reading that (yes, I get to play games at work, muuuahahahah), and wouldn't you know it, the account is still active. What I figured out is that the account renewed on Tuesday, but wasn't billed till Wednesday. We what luck is that, I tell myself.

So I naturally apply for membership to CoW, thinking that if I get to join then I'll stick with WAR for awhile, cause I was having fun and I would like to play more of it. Lucky for me I get accepted to the guild, and now all I need to do is get in touch with a GM and get my characters a guild invite.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WAR review.

I am happy to announce that the wonderful people at GameSquad.com have published my review for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. You can read it here.

This is my second review, and I hope do be able to do more in the future. The review is two months after release, so I'm sure that most people have already decided whether or not they are going to buy the game. But I decided to take my time and experience what I can and then write about the game without being caught up in the early hysteria that can happen when a game is released.

A little disapointment here, a bit of unsatisfaction there...

I was really looking forward to the beginning part of the week with two big updates coming, the Heavy Metal 1.05 patch for WAR and the NXE for the 360. But I have to say that I am a tad disappointed with both.

The new 1.05 patch for WAR was more than a couple week event, it was suppose to have some changes to careers that I was very interested in. So imagine my surprise when I read that the career changes did not make the patch, all the while as the patch is downloading. Mythic has decided to delay the career content in order to do further testing to make sure they get it right, and that's not a bad thing. The new Heavy Metal event stuff is cool, and I am always for content, but I really had my heart set on the new combat update stuff.

So next comes the NXE. Like an idiot, I stayed up way too late to get the new update so I am just a tad tired at this moment. I was looking forward to the new look, but I was really excited that my resolution for my 19" monitor will finally be supported. I have been running my res at 1360x768 and it worked, but I was itching to play games at 1440x900. So I fire up a game, and right away I noticed small black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, WTF!?!? So if I run a rez that is not native to the monitor, then it's full screen??

So to sum things up, it was a very disappointing day yesterday for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Soylent Green is people!!

I really couldn't think of a good title for this post, but it works, lol.

When is choice a bad thing? When there are too many choices, and I am specifically talking about gaming.

I've been playing WAR since day one, and I am still enjoying the game a lot. But, I noticed yesterday that for one reason or another I had not logged into WAR in almost a week. That got me thinking that if I don't have an overwhelming feeling to log into the game, then is there any reason to keep on paying for a subscription?

Another reason for this line of thinking is because the other night I was at Gamestop to exchange my red ringed 360, and made an impulse buy of WotLK. I did resub my WoW account because I wanted to try out the new talents in the 3.0 patch, but I was not looking forward to playing Wrath at all.

I couldn't help but feel a little guilty about the purchase because I was also thinking about getting the new EQ2 or the LOTRO expansion instead. And now I feel that I have to play some WoW at least till my sub runs out in order to feel like I didn't waste my money buying Wrath.

But what about WAR? Well, I still like the game, and I am having a blast with my Black Orc. I prefer a deeper PvE experience, and WAR is lacking a bit of that. But on the flip side, I really enjoy the PvP that WAR has, a lot more then I did with WoW.

I just can't start dabbling in MMO's again. With my time being split between family, work, the 360 and other PC games I want to play, I can only give attention to one, maybe two MMO's now a days, but that might be pushing it. I know my wife would like me to just pick a game and stick with it!

On a side note, you know you have a cool wife who can identify which MMO you are playing just by watching me without me telling her, I love that!

So, my WAR sub ends tomorrow, so I have all day today to make up my mind if I am going to continue playing WAR, move on to another game, or even just take another break from all MMO's for awhile.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gears of War 2.

It's no secret that I did not like the first Gears of War. I thought it was highly overrated.

So when GoW2 was announced, I figured it would be this over hyped piece of garbage. Well, not quite so.

As it turns out, I had the chance to play through the campaign coop with a friend, and I had a great time.

The graphics are better and more colorful than the GoW, there are some additions to the gameplay that work great, and you get a better sense of just how epic the war really is in this game. And I really like the changes to the multiplayer, no more rolling shotgun one hit kills anymore.

My only real complaint about the game is that the difficulty can border on the impossible at times. And I though that Epic tried too hard to give the game a story.

But I want everyone to know that I was wrong about GoW2, it's a great game and I would recommend it to everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Console Goodness.

Well, I had a three day weekend, and I spent 90% of my gameplaying time on the 360. First up was a heavy dose of Gears of War 2, a game that I have not been waiting for. But, a friend of mine talked me into getting it, and I'm glad I did.

We spent the better part of three nights playing through the game coop on hardcore. One thing I noticed was that the game starts off much easier than the first, but Acts IV & V get extremely hard. I was also glad that multiplayer was changed some. No more rolling shotgun one hit kills, but the match making needs to be looked at. I will admit that I enjoyed Gears 2.

The other game I played when not doing Gears coop was NHL 09. I was able to participate in a large number of club games, and had a blast. I did play goalie for two games and got rocked. I know I'm better than that, but I think lack of play with nervousness did me in.

I was able to get a bit of time in with Fallout 3, but not much. I have been focusing my time trying to complete the survival guide chain quest, and right now I am on my way to River City., wish me luck!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some random stuff...

Since I don't really have anything to talk about in depth, I thought I would just throw out some random thoughts.

I am in the process of finishing up my review of Warhammer Online. It has taken me way too long to finish it, but, the extra time does allow me to play the game longer and get a better feel for it.

Speaking of MMO's, I am thinking that I really need to just choose one MMO to play, and stop dabbling. I recently resubbed to WoW, and even though I am having fun now, I am just not looking forward to WotLK, not one bit. I am however thinking of reserving the Moria expansion for LOTRO and even doing the lifetime subscription. That way I can play as little or as much as I would like, and not worry about feeling like I am wasting $15 a month. So do I stick with WAR? I or how about going back to CoH, that game is pretty awesome, and it's not fantasy based!

I completed Fable 2 last week. That game started off so great, but turned into a series of time sinks with a shallow main story. The game is much better than the first Fable, and I would recommend it to everyone who likes action-rpgs. My two main complaints would be with the ranged combat and the short and disappointing story. As I played the game, I felt that the game was punishing me for trying to play as a ranged combat focused player. It seems that focusing in either melee or will and using ranged periodically is the way the game was built. Also, the two important parts of the story, the spire and the ending, are two of the worst examples of story telling ever!! The spire was bad enough, but the final confrontation is extremely disappointing.

Fallout 3 is AWESOME!!

And finally, I am looking forward to the new Call of Duty game for the PC, finally I can get back to fragging my buddies online.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No words...

Foul play not suspected in missing Barrie teen case

As a parent of two, this truly saddens me to the point of tears.

A win for America!

Last nights election for Obama as president has been seen as a win for America. And that the nation has changed, and that America will been seen in a different light from now on.

Or so I am lead to believe. For the record, I voted McCain, and my feelings about Obama have nothing to do with his color. But I will say that it is sad that it has taken this long for a person that is not white to win the Presidency, and hopefully I will be alive to witness the first woman to be elected as President.

I am personally fearful now that the Democrats hold all three branches and have little in the way of opposition to push through their liberal agendas. All I can hope for is that there are still some old school Dems in the House and Senate that are not too keen on the new Presidents way of doing things.

I'm afraid that the time when someone ran for President because they felt that they could make a change for the better for America is long gone, that died out after FDR left the White House. Maybe Obama will change that, maybe he will deliver on what he has promised. I will wait and see.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fable 2 is done!

Well, I just finished Fable 2, or rather the main story about 30mins ago. And not to spoil anything, but the ending is crap. In fact, the more I played, the more I was becoming more annoyed with the game itself.

The controls are unresponsive at times, most of the game itself is a huge time sink to mask the terribly short story, and using firearms in aimed mode is very frustrating. The game was great for awhile, but it really looses its appeal around half way through.

I'm glad that I completed the game, but I would have to say that I am disappointed with the game as a whole.

A little bit of WoW.

I finally decided last night to re-sub to WoW. Some of my friends have decided that WAR is not for them and have gone back to WoW. I've been interested in the new 3.0 patch content since reading about many months ago, but I am just not all that interested in WotLK right now.

the thought of grinding my lvl 70's to lvl 80 is just something that I am not looking forward to, no matter what the content is. The first expansion should not have raised the level cap, and been more focused on adding content to the 'old world' instead. But, it doesn't really matter now does it.

But I did have fun last night. I respecced to Prot for my warrior since I was the one needed to tank last night in the group. Prot is something that I have very little knowledge of, but I do know that I has alot of fun doing it.

As of now though, I still like WAR, and I really like my Black Orc. Who knows, maybe I'll just cancel both my MMO's and just play the Witcher Enhanced version that I bought recently!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fable 2 thoughts!

Fable 2 has turned out to be the great game that I thought it was going to be. So much so that I have had to delay my play time of Fallout 3! This game is so much better than the first, graphics are great, fighting is wonderful, more things to do, and coop multiplayer that isn't great but it's there.

My only concern is that the story itself is rather short. There are a good number of other things to do in the game, but to me a lot of them feel like time sinks in order to mask the shortness of the actual game. Like the fact that I can get a job in the game, what's the point of that? I have job in real life, why would I want to work in a game that I am playing to relax! And the whole marriage thing too, at least being married in real life isn't as tedious as in the game.

But in all, this is a great game that everyone should play!

Empire:Total War event!

On Oct. 24th, I was able to go to San Francisco to an event for Empire:Total War. This was the first event I have had the opportunity to attend, and it was a blast. I met Mark and Kieran from Creative Assembly, and they were fantastic.

If you are at all interested, you can check out the info from the event here.

What was really cool was after the event, we were treated to a real live naval battle sail event, on the ships themselves! Being the smart guy that I am, I made sure to bring my camera and take a few pictures of the sail event.

These are just a few of the shots that I took at the event. It was a great day out on the bay, sunny, cool, and nice and windy, perfect for some naval maneuvers!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fallout 3 midnight launch on Monday!

Earlier today I received a phone call from Gamestop letting me know that they are going to be doing a midnight launch for Fallout 3 on Monday night!

So I will be heading over there tomorrow night around 10pm to wait in line for my copy. I actually preordered the collectors edition for the PC, but I could only find a pic of the Xbox version really quick.

Guess I better play some games tonight and tomorrow before I get my copy, cause I have a feeling that I will be a bit busy after Monday night!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some randomness...

Since I haven't posted much lately, I thought I would just throw some thoughts together into one post...

I have been playing Dead Space on the Xbox 360 for the past few days, and it's much better than I thought it would be. I thought it looked like crap after reading about it and seeing some screenshots, and because it's made by EA, but I was wrong, it's actually very good. It's what System Shock would be like if you removed all the rpg, added some really nice graphics, and changed the game from a fps into a Resident Evil clone. But it works, and I am having alot of fun.

I'm hoping to get some time in with Fable 2 before I lose more time when Fallout 3 is released on the 28th.

I haven't played alot of Warhammer lately, but I have been having alot of fun with my Black Orc running scenarios while questing, which is what I thought you are suppose to do. Seems to be some dislike for scenarios floating around the blogosphere lately. Two things really that bothersome, players just camping out in the warcamps, and the amount of xp gained in a scenario has become the new grind to gain rank, both take away from open world RvR. I agree that something needs to be done to encourage players to do more ORvR. But I have noticed that my enjoyment has increased alot when I began to que up more scenarios while questing. Problem is that scenarios give out too much xp and questing gives out too little, that's why I try to mix both in during a game session.

The new Star Wars MMO was finally made official, really looking forward to that. Here's hoping that SWG will finally be able to be put to rest and taken out of it's misery.

Max Payne movie is not nearly as bad as critics say it is, but it's not a good movie either. How can you make a movie out of an action game, but take out all the action?

The World Series started, not really interested, the Raiders beat the Jets on Sunday, surprise surprise, and the Sabres are undefeated, woot!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tired of NHL 09 online!

Last night had to be the worst time I have ever had playing some pick-up online team play in NHL 09. I play defense, I like playing defense, and I think I am pretty good at playing defence. I was a little rusty last night I will admit, I haven't played a game in about a week. But the verbal abuse I received last night was completely uncalled for.

Really I am just tired of the online aspect of NHL 09 now. I love the human factor with online play, but either there are no more team players, or I just have the worst luck in playing games with asshats who don't know how to play hockey as a team.

Here's how the night went; look for a game for almost ten minutes, finally get in one. Endure verbal assault on how to play hockey from a moron who only likes to hang on the other teams blue line so he can get the pass and make a crappy deke and turn the puck over, we lose 0-3.

Next game starts better, is better except for the elitist short power forward who is a massive puck hog. I turn the puck over once in front of the net which results in a score for the other team, it happens. Have to hear about more about how I need to play my position. Of course no mention of the many block shots I had, or the four assists. And we won this game 7-2!

Still, I press on and try one more game, and it freezes on me just before the end of the first period. Just the motivation I needed to end the night and go to bed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Early Max Payne impressions.

Early reviews for the new Max Payne movie are in. And to no ones surprise I think, the critics hate it. Seriously, is any one shocked about this.
Of the three reviews that are currently out, only the review by Variety is even worth reading. It at least had some comments on what was wrong with the movie. After reading all three reviews, I got the feeling that none of the film critics have ever played a Max Payne game, a shame really. The central theme from the reviews seem to be that the script is bad.
Well I will be going to see this on on Sunday, and I'll give my thoughts on the movie afterwards. I tend to enjoy game to movie adaptations, and I'm a huge fan of the Max Payne games, so I might be a little biased, we shall see.

Warhammer Online one month later...sort of.

For many people, yesterday marked the one month anniversary of playing WAR. I was one of the unfortunate ones that did preorder the game, but was unable to get a beta and head start key from a certain retailer, **coughGamestop blowscough**.

I have spent a good amount of time looking around the blogosphere for comments and concerns both positive and negative on the state of the game one month after launch. Just like everything else in the world, you have those who love the game, and those that think the game is worthless, but everyone agrees that there some areas that need some fixing.

One major concern is the popularity of the scenarios, and the lack of open world RvR because of them, and that the game is grindtastic without said scenarios. The reason why these scenarios are so popular is because it is easier and quicker to gain rank then it is to do questing. The unfortunate side effect is that there tends to be little PvP in the RvR lakes in the game.

There have been many comments on what can be done to remedy the situation in order to move players away from the scenarios and into the RvR lakes. Mythic has taken notice and has taken a few steps in the right direction with the Experience Enhancements that they have introduced in the past week, and only time will tell if it works.

My main concern for WAR is the shallow PvE content in the game. I can only comment on what I've played, but what I have played hasn't been all that great. There are other factors as to why scenarios are so popular than just gaining rank, like the rewards you can earn and the amount of travel it takes to get to and around a RvR lake. But if the PvE was more satisfying, then I think you would see more players out running around and possible doing more open world RvR like Mythic wants.

I personally like the game, but I really enjoy PvE questing, and with the uninspired PvE content, WAR is not keeping my interest like I was hoping it would.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fable: The Lost Chapters

With Fable 2 just around the corner, I thought I would revisit Fable for the original Xbox. Not that it's going to be necessary but I wanted to see how the original compares the number two when it does come out later this month.

I am having alot more fun this time around than I did the first time I played Fable, but that might be because I was playing the PC version with it's awful control setup. One thing I have noticed is that Fable does not run to well at all on a 360 when hooked up to my monitor. And the higher resolution really distorts some of the games graphics as well.

So I should be done with this in time to try Fable 2 for a week till Fallout 3 is released a week later! Until then, I leave you with this oldie but goodie.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WAAAGH Journal 3

Lately I have been having a bit of the blahs with WAR. Is is a bad game? By no means, so then what is it then? I think it's the thin PvE content and that the Order are not as interesting to play as the Destruction side.

I have come to the conclusion that Mythic did not want two parts to their game, a PvP side and a PvE side like WoW. Instead, it seems that you will need to have a decent mix of PvE and RvR, and in particular Scenarios in order to rank up and gear up as well. That's not a bad thing at all, but it does take me out of my comfort zone and requires me to change my play style some.

I was very resistant to the idea of having to PvP because the PvE is lacking, and so far the two classes that I had tried that with was no fun for me. So last night I decided to try a couple of new classes, the Dwarven Ironbreaker and Engineer.

The Ironbreaker is a tank in every way, low damaging attacks with lots of hit points high resistance to enemy damage means taking down a mob is slow, but I can take on multiple mobs at one time. I did enjoy the Ironbreaker some, and was able to get to rank 4 last night before moving on to another class. I am really interested in trying out a tank class in the scenarios.

So then I moved on to the Engineer. The Engineer is a ranged dps class with a pet, but not just any pet, but a gun turret! I had an absolute blast with Snorkle the Engineer, so much so that I joined several scenarios while out questing. I was able to reach rank 6 last night, and am currently doing Dwarven chapter 2 PQ's.

There are some other Order classes that I want to try out, but I think that I might have found the class I am going to stick with for awhile. I do plan on playing some classes on the Destruction side some more, I do enjoy the Black Orc, and the Witch and Disciple of Kaine seems really cool as well. But maybe, just maybe I have found the cure for my 'meh' blues with WAR!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Too Human, a hidden gem?

I fired up Too Human again last night and actually tried some multiplayer, and I forgot just how much I liked this game. Yes there are some things about the game that suck, but I find it to be a great game that is very much underrated. So Today I was looking around TooHuman.net, and came across this video from a few guys at GamePro who seem to enjoy the game.

I will admit that I was initially turned off from the game because of the scores that I saw online. But once I saw the game being played at a friends house, I knew I had to have it. I really enjoy this game, and think it does not get the credit it deserves.

EDIT: Ugh, well it seems that the video is not working, which is unfortunate, oh well.

WAAAGH Journal 2

Well, my second journal update still finds me with little to post about. I have hardly touched my Shadow Warrior, leveled my Warrior Priest to rank 8, and created a few Dustruction characters on a new server to try them out.

I did do some adventuring last night with my Warrior Priest. Started doing a chapter 4 public quest in Norsca. Eventually joined a group that was also doing the same quest. Once that was done, we moved to the chapter 5 PQ where I found myself dead on more than a few occasions. Seeing as how the mobs where rank 11 and higher, I found myself having little fun, so I joined the Nordenwatch scenario.

My experience there was even less fun. I got my virtual butt handed to me on a plate. So much so that I was actually looking back on my time with the Shadow Warrior more fondly. Alot has to do with the fact that there were alot of rank 10 and 11 Destruction players in the scenario, but that was little consolation.

WAR uses only three archetypes, Tank, DPS and hybrid Healer, with DPS broken into melee and ranged. After a bit of play time with both realms, I began to notice that the classes from both realms played very similar to one another. Well I decided to look into this, and found this at the Hammer Wiki.

-Mirror career is a career within a realm (either realm of Order or Destruction) that has a similar gameplay mechanic to a career from the opposite faction. The mirror careers are created in order to maintain balance among the factions, and also to give the players with certain gameplay preferences a choice between Order and Destruction, not forcing them to forego the preferred realm in order to get the desired gameplay.Mirror careers are also called Pairs or Paired careers.

It's great that I was able to pick up on the fact that the classes, or careers, played similar, not so great that they actually do.

October 21st could live in infamy!

Well Gamespot has an article on the impending LucasArts-Bioware announcement taking place on October 21st in San Francisco, only a few short miles away from me! As of now, everything points to a new Star Wars MMO based in the KOTOR timeline, heck, even the cover of the invites seem to reveal that!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New Star Wars MMO to be announced soon!!

Shacknews has a link to an article over at CVG saying that the new Star Wars MMO from BioWare will be officially announced by the end of the month. You may remember that at E3 this year EA CEO John Riccitiello confirmed in a casual under the radar sort of way that BioWare was indeed working on a Star Wars MMO. Not much has been said since then. Check out the Shacknews info here.

All I can say is, ABOUT DAMN TIME!!

War against used game sales!

It would seem that some game developers have come up with a way to try and stem the tide of used game sales with exclusive content. Basically a game will come with a code that can be used to access exclusive content for that game, the key is that the code has a one time use only, meaning that you can't go to your local game store and buy a used copy to get the exclusive content. That is of course if the code has already been used.

It's an interesting idea, and one that I fully support. You can check out the full article at Shacknews.

Altdorf is free!!!

Well, it would appear that the information about Chaos taking over Altdorf wasn't completely true, or rather the were not completely known.

Here is a response from EA that I found over on Tobold's blog about the situation;

I think your concern is completely valid and I don't fault your original blog post. I'm not here to tell you that you are wrong. Like I said, I wanted to give you more information about your concerns.

As you correctly stated, there was a bug, since fixed, that incorrectly set the postern doors in the fortress so that players from both Realms could access the inner Fortress. This allowed them to circumvent many of the fortress defenses with a smaller force than usually necessary and do it much quicker than would normally be possible.

On top of that issue, the time required for players to capture the two fortresses had been incorrectly set to 36 hours. It is now correctly set at 12 hours. This gave those same players three times the normal time allotted to achieve their goal of capturing both fortresses. This also means that without a fairly massive force, players may be able to take one fortress with a 3:00 AM raid, but not both. Instead they will have to play into the day and the chances of a successful player defense rise with every hour that passes.

On Karak Eight Peaks, Altdorf was put into a contested state and Destruction was able to initially win this stage of the fight. However, the same forces that so "easily" defeated the fortresses were unable to defeat the Bright Wizard College and Sigmar Temple Public Quests. These quests gate access to the King, so Destruction never fully captured Altdorf. Because they could not accomplish this goal, the City was held a brief time while the Destruction players attempted, several times, to successfully complete the City Public Quest, having given up on the other Public Quests. At this point, the forces of Order gladly re-entered the City and pushed out the remaining Destruction forces.

The end result of this was that while a small dedicated group was able to make use of two incorrect settings in our game to get to Altdorf, they were unable to accomplish anything meaningful once inside the City. Now that Fortresses have been corrected to work as designed, it would take a much larger force much longer to get to Altdorf.

You have to keep in mind that a City capture is a long multi-stage process that requires all of the following elements (I will use Aldorf as my example).

1) You must capture two fortresses in Tier IV within 12 hours of each other. To gain access to a fortress you must seize and hold the neutral Tier IV zone and your opponent's zone in two separate racial pairings. Once you lock down one racial pairing, you only have 60 minutes to capture its fortress. Should you fail, then that racial pairing reverts back to a neutral state and you must begin anew.

2) You must then fight in contested Altdorf and gain control much like you would in a zone. There are two Battle Objectives, a Public Quest and opposing players you must contend with in order to accomplish this.

3) Should you accomplish the first two tasks, the opposing realm is ejected from the city. At this point you have one hour to cement your hold on the city. You must complete the Temple of Sigmar and Bright Wizard College Public Quests within the next hour. If you manage this feat within one hour, you then lock down the city for 24 hours and unlock the King. If you fail, then you have one hour before the city is re-opened to opposing Realm players.

4) If you defeat the King, then you can unequivocally say that you captured Altdorf.

It's certainly possible that a massive well-organized force operating in the dead of night could seize and hold a Capital City over the course of a great many hours. Then again, if you organize a fairly large fighting force and utilize good strategy and timing to strike quickly and effectively, you should be rewarded for that behavior.

I would be happy to answer any follow-up questions you have. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to elaborate on the City capture.

It's great to see a quick response from EA, and that it truly is an epic task to take an opposing factions capital city!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chaos take Altdorf, end is near!!

While reading Tobold's blog, I saw this post from today about how the forces of Chaos have already laid siege and taken the city of Altdorf, the Order capital city. For those who don't know, capital city sieges are suppose to be the uber end game content for Warhammer Online. I appears that a group of about 30 Chaos around 15 minutes to accomplish something that Mythic stated would take months.

You can read more on siege here. Personally this gives me an uneasy feeling. If the end game is that easy, then what is the point to playing till the end? I am not an end game type of player, but WAR is different. You're not raiding to get the coolest stuff, you're doing Realm vs Realm combat, fighting for your faction to the death!! If all it takes is a few minutes work, then it doesn't have the appeal that I thought it did.

Here's hoping the Mythic works on this quickly.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WAAAGH Journal 1

I figured it was time for me to start my gameplay journal of Warhammer Online. Unfortunately this journal won't be very informative because I have been playing now for almost two weeks.

My first character that I created was a High Elf Shadow Warrior. I have reached Rank 12 and progressed to the Tier 2 area, and am looking forward to trying the Tier 2 scenarios. One good thing Mythic did was allow all races having access to other races scenarios, the best update thus far!

I mentioned it before, but WAR just is not grabbing me like WoW did or CoH did. But then I decided to try a few of the other classes in the game, one of them being the Warrior Priest, and that's when I began to feel the hook that I have been looking for.

I just am not having all that much fun with the Shadow Warrior. Rank progression seems to slow, the PQ's tend to be too difficult and not very fun, if I get spit on chances are I will die, and I'm not all that thrilled about all the running around back and forth to do quests then turn them in. It could be like that in all areas, but it eats alot of time having to travel around like that, and it breaks up the flow when trying to play.

But I am having alot of fun with the game, so not all is bad. Hey, check out my WAR sigs!!


Well now...

Sheesh, no posts for over a week, ouch. I had a four day weekend that went from Sat-Tues, and seeing as how I do most of my blogging at work I wasn't there to do any blogging at all. I prefer to do my blogging at work because there I have at times a large block of free time to dedicate to reading bloggs and posting. There are just too many distractions at home for me to take dedicated gaming time to do.

Add the fact that I've been playing alot of 360 and Warhammer Online, and, I just re-installed Civ IV, and one could see where all the blogging time has gone!

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 Massively.com 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 Chess.com 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.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Late to the next Gen party.

So I've spent the last hour or so searching the web for ideas on how to keep my Xbox 360 cooler. Why you may ask, well, we just had a nasty bit of a heat wave here in the Bay Area, and I happen to live on the third floor, so it gets a bit toasty at times.
Another reason would be that I am on my second 360 as the first one did the dreaded red ring of death, and my year warranty from Gamestop is about to expire. And as I was going through my minds eye as to possible places to put my 360, I began to remember my first 360 and the events that lead up to getting that particular machine. Disclaimer-Not super interesting, but possibly!

So back in the day when I was working for a certain video game retailer, I traded in my PSOne to upgrade to this new hard to get and overly price system called the PS2. In fact, I actually worked the midnight launch for the PS2!

So time goes by, and I learn that buying the PS2 was a wonderful idea. As the system began to mature, the games became better and better, and all was right with the world.

So a couple of years go by, it's now the fall of 2001, and Nintendo and Microsoft plan to launch their systems. I did not pre-order my Xbox, but I was still able to get one on launch night thanks to an awesome friend.

So now I have my Xbox, and things are even better. Personally I believe that the Xbox was a better machine than the PS2, but having both was awesome. PS2 had a nice library of games already, and the stuff coming for the Xbox looked amazing. Unfortunately the Xbox had some really crappy games come out in the first year of release, and when you have a small library of games, it seems that there is nothing but bad games. Eventually things got better, and I enjoyed my two consoles.

Well then it seems that Sony wants to release a new system, and so Microsoft and Nintendo decide it's time for them as well. Ok, I'm really happy about that, but let's wait and see, might be ok. That is till the price was announced for the systems and the games! There was no way that I was about to fork over $60 for a game and the hundreds of dollars for a console that may or may not play my old games.

So launch comes and goes for the next-gen consoles, and I'm still happy with my PS2 and my Xbox, and besides I am mainly a PC gamer as it is. Then something amazing happened. I was watching G4's coverage of E3 one day, and this new game from Epic Games called Gears of War was being shown, and I was so amazed at what I saw, and that's when I knew I wanted a Xbox 360.
More time goes by, and my buddy is on me about getting the 360 when fate would have it, the Xbox 360 Elite is announced. Lucky for me my friend is an early adopter, and he sells me his 360, welcoming me to the next-gen era!

I's be the noob!!

Being the noob that I am in the blogging scene, I quickly get overwhelmed at times when doing blog stuff. I prefer to do all my blogging from work because I find myself with large blocks of free time sitting behind my computer. So to keep myself entertained, I browse through various blogs and try to come up with something at least somewhat interesting for my own blog.

When I'm at home and it's my day off, I'll give a quick look at some of the blogs that I like, but I try to use that time playing games and chasing after my son who is having a blast crawling all over the place getting into trouble.

What I am finding is that there alot of blogs out there, and I can get a bit overwhelmed at times when trying to read through as many as I can. Add the fact that sometimes I spend way too much time trying to post something on my blog, and the sudden urge to run and hide in a dark corner over comes me.

But, enough of my noobness for today. Maybe I just need some coffee...

Friday, August 29, 2008

One of them days...

Ever have one of those days? You know, a day that starts off rough, and only gets worse?
Well my manager had one of them days today. First, the morning started busy at work, then he had a run in with a stubborn thick-headed customer. A few hours later the power in the building goes out- FOR TWO HOURS AND NO AC!!
Once the power returns, his laptop wouldn't boot up, and tales 20min to sweet talk it on. Next comes the crappy accounting software we use here, that has massive issues, meaning he's here an hour after his shift ends. And just when he thinks he can go home, the small tire on his cart that he pulls when riding his bike to work is flat, and he has to leave that here.
Let me tell ya, it was one of those days.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

[MINI REVIEW] Battlefield: Bad Company

Something I would like to use this blog for is posting my thoughts on some of the games that I have had the opportunity to play through. So with that, welcome to something I like to call [MINI REVIEW]. In this the first of many reviews, I take a look at Battlefield: Bad Company from developer DICE.

Battlefield: Bad Company, or BFBD, puts you in the roll of one Private Preston Marlowe of B-Company, affectionately known as Bad Company because the Army has decided to fill it's ranks with insubordinate troublemakers whose only roll is to be on the front lines as cannon fodder, thus making them expendable.

If you are at all interested in knowing the story, then I suggest that you watch Kelly's Heroes or the more recent We Three Kings. The story itself is highly unoriginal and your squad mates are typical stereotypes, but that really is secondary to the interactions between your squad mates and the various other peoples that you will meet in the game. The voice acting is top notch, and is easily one of the funniest games you will play ever.

BFBD runs on the new Frostbite DX Engine created by DICE. The Frostbite Engine allows for some highly detailed environments, character models, even weapons and vehicles. The most talked about feature of the new engine is the destructible environments. According to DICE, environments are 90 percent destructible, meaning any structure can be demolished down to its foundation. Got an enemy taking pot shots at you from the second floor of a building, blow a hole in it and flush him out. Need to get to an objective, but want to avoid running out in the open in town, blow some holes in the walls and create an alternate path. Blowing stuff up in BFBD never gets old, but be warned, your enemy can take advantage of the destructible environments just as you can.

There are seven chapters in the game to complete, and each chapter is fairly lengthy depending on the difficulty you choose. Unfortunately each chapter follows the same formula more or less. You begin each level heading to your objective, run into combat, defeat the enemies, and the game auto saves. Now just continue that same process multiple times till you complete the chapter. The nice thing is that each chapter takes place in a different area with different goals and challenges so you don't get that 'been there done that' feeling.

I was fortunate enough to participate in a marketing survey for BFBD towards the end of last year, and it's nice to see that two of the features that were brought up in the survey made their way into the game, sprinting and melee attacks. Sprinting seems to make the screen shake and your footsteps louder with marginal increase in speed, and you'll find that you will be using melee to knock down fences. Again, nice to see both in the game, just seems that they are poorly implemented.

Another bad implementation is the games A.I, both for enemies and your squad, it's poor at best. Half the time your squad mates will stand around during a firefight, the other half they will shoot at nothing during a firefight. Sure, they can kill stuff, but that is the exception and not the norm. The enemy has an uncanny knack for finding you and shooting you and only you. It's as though I am the only one wearing camo with florescent green in them.

And this leads me to my next frustration, having to do EVERYTHING! You will find that you will have to lead your group by the hand from one objective to another, if you don't go, they don't either. You will also need to pilot the helicopter, drive the vehicles, man the turrets, call in the air strikes, get the tanker truck, you name it. Why have squad mates if all they can do is tell jokes and call out enemies. The short comings of the A.I. become almost too much to bear in the last chapter during the last battle. I not only had to take out a helicopter that only shot at me, but the endless waves of foot soldiers as well that also seem to only see me.

I unfortunately did not play enough of the multiplayer to get an good opinion on. In my little play time online, I felt that the game had some balancing issues. But again, I only played for a few hours, but it was enough to learn that I wasn't going to care for it much.

All in all, BFBD is a fun, light hearted run and gun adventure. The graphics are beautiful and full of detail, the destructible environments are alot of fun, and really add to the gameplay. The games A.I. needs a new engine, and the multiplayer was a bit unbalanced, but it is definitely worth checking out.

Max Payne 3, can it be?!?!

I was happen to find an article at Shacknews with information that the new Max Payne game is indeed in development at this time.

Here's what the article had to say:

A new entry in the long-dormant Max Payne series and a new PlayStation 3 exclusive are both in development at internal Rockstar studios, going by the latest batch of rumors from print magazine EGM and sister website 1UP.
Max Payne 3 is apparently is development up at Rockstar Toronto, the studio responsible for the movie-inspired beat 'em up The Warriors. Considering the
upcoming movie, a new game in the action-heavy shooting series would come as little surprise, though studio owner Take-Two has remained tight-lipped.
Originally created by Remedy Entertainment, the first Max Payne debuted in 2001. Publisher Take-Two then purchased the property from Remedy and producer 3D Realms in 2002, with a Remedy-developed sequel following in 2003.

Thank you Shacknews for making my day that much better! I am a huge fan of the Max Payne games and believe them to be two of the better games I've had the pleasure of playing, so I'm a little excited at the thought of a new entry in the Max Payne series.

You can read the whole article at Shacknews.com.