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

It's time again...

Well it's been almost two weeks since my last post, but I did beat Battlefield: Bad Company, purchased and beat The Bourne Conspiracy, and headed up to Antioch to spend some time with a friend playing xbox and relaxing for a few days.

I did put down a pre-order for NHL 09 for the Xbox 360 as well as Warhammer Online for the PC, can't wait!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's a conspiracy I tell ya!

Last night a friend of mine brought to my attention that the Too Human demo is up for download on Xbox Live. Well, as I was browsing for that game, I noticed that there was a demo for The Bourne Conspiracy. So I went ahead and downloaded both of those while playing some Hitman.

So in my little free time remaining before work today, I thought I would give Bourne Conspiracy a quick try, and I'm glad I did. The demo blew my mind, it was awesome. The gun play isn't all that great, and the small bit of driving didn't do much for me, but the fisticuffs is what I loved, truly amazing.

Looks like I'll be heading to the store sometime soon!

I am the Silent Assassin!

Well, I have finished Hitman: Blood Money on easy, normal and professional, I decided to skip elite to see just how hard the game truly is. I have completed most of the achievements as well, just need to play thru now on elite difficulty.

This is by far the best Hitman game in the franchise! Even after playing thru the game three times already, I still am looking forward to a fourth play-thru, a sign of a great game in my eyes.

I will admit that I am wanting to play something else now, but I think I can handle one more time thru! I personally believe that there is very little wrong with this game technically, but there are a few things that do annoy me. Collectible weapons can not be upgraded, so what is the point of collecting them? Some times enemies can be a bit to perceptive, but I guess the game would be a little too easy if you could stealth kill them all. And the X360 version has the longest load time of any game every created, ugh.

Still, this is one of the best games for the Xbox 360, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Agent 47 is on the loose!

So last week I finally started playing through Hitman: Bloodmoney for the Xbox 360. I don't know what I was waiting for, this game is awesome! I have gotten a number of achievements already, and completed the game on easy and normal, and I still find myself wanting to play even more.

So the obvious thing to do is continue to play more till I get bored right? Well as I write this, I am having a heated discussion with myself about weather I should go and buy the new Madden 09, or hold off because I still want to play more Hitman.

See, I want the new Madden, but if I buy it tonight, will I even play it? But I'm thinking that I will hold off till I have completed Hitman 100%.

A tad bit quiet lately...

I've been unable to post anything for the past few days, mainly because I like to post when at work since that is when I have more time. But for the past few days I've been training a new employee at work, so just no time. And posting at work allows me more time to play games at home!!

Well I had the fortunate pleasure of having a hard drive go bad on Friday.So after countless months of trying to convince myself to just go buy a new one anyways, I went down to Fry's and bought myself a new Maxtor 500gb Sata II hard drive. So after installing windows, I preceded to install almost all of my game that I own, just for fun! Am I really going to actually play all those games, most likely not. But I would like to play through some stuff before I get NHL 09 on the Xbox and then WAR in Sept., but we shall see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blog thoughts...

So when I thought about writing a blog, my wife asked me why. Well, my first answer was that I have been reading some other blogs, and I liked how some people would use the blog to update their progress through a game they are currently playing, and I thought that would be cool to do. But of course after I set up the blog, I go and cancel all my MMO subs, so I guess I will have to get a bit creative for game play updates!

My second answer to the question was, why the heck not! See I often have a bit of free time on my hands while at work, kind of like now. So instead of talking randomly out loud to myself, I can just type it in blog form, and thus feel as though I have accomplished something with my day!

Well, yesterday was my birthday. All in all it was a good b-day, went out to dinner, bought a few movies and a new hard drive for my computer. The only unfortunate part is that I had to work, which normally I ask for off. But we are training a new employee who should be ready to work on her own in a few weeks. Till then, it's more six day work weeks, argh!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

MMO no more...

Well, I am still suffering from a bit of the gamers funk. I have an idea about what I want to play on the Xbox, but when I get home from work, I still stare at the monitor for way to long.

So I decided that I am going to cancel my MMO subs for now. My thought is that by not having any real game commitments will give me peace of mind that I can at least play through some of the backlog of games I have now. At least till WAR comes out that is!

Madden 09 comes out next week, so I might actually pick that one up, as well as NHL 09 in September. Both games are looking pretty good from the articles that I've read so far.

Monday, August 4, 2008

‘Diablo III’ Designer Turns Tables, Judges Fans’ Screenshots

MTV Multiplayer has an article about how some Diablo III fans are not happy with the art direction of the new game. And yes, I was surprised too that MTV had a gaming website!

The common complaint seems that the game looks to bright, that it looks like World of Warcraft. Personally I think that all the edited screenshots look like crap, D3 looks great the way it is. The article is a good read, has screenshots for comparison along with an interview with a few of the artist that are working on the game. Check it out here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Focus man, focus!

Now that I am done with the Conan review, and have sworn off purchasing a new game till Warhammer Online, I find myself with some extra time to catch up on some games that I've had for ages.

For the past few months, I've been in a gaming funk. I have this bad habit of buying a new game, and then leaving it on the shelf for weeks, months, or even years before I even touch it. So needless to say, I have a stack of PC and 360 games sitting on my shelf at home, waiting for the gentle touch of Jayedub! And so for months, I've been trying to decide what to play, should I play the game I just bought, or how about that game I bought a year ago instead, argh.

To make matters worse, I am an MMO addict, and I have a tendancy to play multiple MMO's at the same time. Seeing as how I have to pay to play these games, I feel obligated to focus more attention on those first. So what ends up happening is that I sit in front of my computer for a few hours staring at the desktop trying to talk myself into playing something.

So I decided that I've come down with the comon ailment of not-ableis to focusitis. So, I decided to focus on my ever growing stack of 360 games.

Now I have come to the realization that my life is not going to be any different if I don't play these games. And that I shouldn't let the pressure of having tons of unplayed games get me down. Also, I just need to be more content with what I have, play what I have, and just buy something that I know I will play.

But, before I came to that conclusion, I began my quest a few months ago with a game called Overlord for the 360. I'll have that and more in part two!

Age of Conan Review

Well I've done it, I have finally written another review. Sure, it comes about ten months after my first try at a review, but that's alright.This review is for the MMO Age of Conan, you can find it here. I want to thank the good people at for helping me with the review as well as posting it on their site.

The game has plenty of issues, but I still find myself enjoying the game. I feel guilty about that because it's not really that good of a game. It's not WoW or EQ2, both are much better games with far more content, but I want to play AoC.I think it boils down to a few reasons; the graphics are pretty, I love the combat, and it's a low fantasy setting unlike the two games I mentioned earlier. You won't find any elves or dwarfs running around here.

Maybe I'll go back to Lord of the Rings Online...