The New and the ImprovedWelcome, one and all! As you may have already noticed, I’ve put a little more work into some banners and things than I have previously. Nothing is by any means set in stone; I’m kinda just messing around. The design is in flux, so this could look totally different next week. Maybe not though, as I kind of like it. We’ll see. As far as what’s on the docket for today, I’ll let you know what I think of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, and share some gaming site statistics!
Also, I want to mention right up front how awesome fellow GB user Origina1Penguin is. I was one of three winners in his most recent contest and will be receiving a copy of Brutal Legend for the 360! I’ve never played it and I’m super excited to do just that, despite the moderate amount of hate the game received after release. You’re seriously awesome, dude. How great is this community? There are so many people here that give, give and give some more. They’re giving their time and knowledge to the amazing wiki, they’re giving their always-interesting thoughts to the forums, and sometimes they give real-life stuff! I should probably mention Vito as he’s been running his own giveaway for quite some time now (just check his blogs). Of course there was a large surge of giveaways from all sorts of users a few months ago as well. Awesome work, gang.
I Have the NeedMan, Shift 2: Unleashed is coming out soon, and I just got around to playing the well-reviewed, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. I was a fan of the original Hot Pursuit games back in the day. That fact coupled with Criterion’s development abilities has made for a truly fun NFS game. It’s been awhile since I could honestly make that claim. The choice to play police or racer missions is a pretty interesting alternative to a real story. It works pretty well.
I started off alternating back and forth between racer and cop. After about an hour though, I settled into doing police missions exclusively. I was just finding the chase dynamic to be a lot of fun. I kept chasing and chasing. Busting fools quickly became addicting and I didn’t like doing those time trial races anymore. I just wanted to bust dudes. If there’s one blatant fault to the game, it’s the time trial stuff where you can’t hit walls. Maybe I’m just terrible, but those are hard, and not in a fun way. It just annoys the crap outta me when I nick a wall and it costs me a couple of precious seconds. I rarely scored a gold on those; usually silver. But sure enough, a Hot Pursuit or an Interceptor mission would pop up eventually and give me that bustin’ fix. Some of the abilities such as spike strips and helicopters seem kind of weak at first, but they become a lot more useful and fun when they’re upgraded to level three. So I just kept bustin’ dudes and didn’t stop until I saw the credits roll. I was surprised that it came so quickly, but of course I hadn’t touched the majority of the racer challenges.
Jumping over to do some racer challenges hasn’t proved to be too rewarding, though. It can be fun when you’re in a chase, but again, when there’s no busting involved, it’s just not as fun. There are the standard races where no cops are involved. It’s just a standard racing game at that point, and kinda boring. You can’t even use any abilities against the other racers. You can imagine my disappointment after spending so much time chasing guys down and deploying roadblocks and spike strips. Not being able to do that now in certain cases just seems lame. I didn’t come to this game just to race. I’m still not very far into the racer side of things, so maybe the number of vanilla races diminishes as you advance. I’ll keep playing and see where it goes.
I have to mention the Autolog; brilliant idea. It really adds a nice layer of competition on top of what's always traditionally there. Sure, you can win a race by several seconds, but if you're not first place amongst your friends, then you ain't nothin'! I have a few Giant Bombers on my friend list, but nobody seemed to show up as much for my "time to beat" as BjornTheUnicorn and Nat3TheGreat13. We must have similar skill levels because their names were always popping up. Every time the end of a race came around and I didn't beat their scores, it just made me want to go back and try again. I only did that a few times before I ultimately stopped after realizing I would never beat this game if I played that way. I like this idea of constant competition amongst friends. I's been done before in games like Shadow Complex, or Trials HD, but it's implemented really well here in NFS. I hope this concept continues to live on and evolve. Great game.
Giant Bomb vs. the WorldI was just stumbling and bumbling around the internet a couple of days ago when I came across a page that lists the top 15 video game websites in terms of monthly visitors. As we all should be able to predict, Giant Bomb made the list! However, our favorite gaming site isn’t exactly gunning for the top spot just yet. Somehow a few old and crusty websites are beating out The Bomb. Surely it’ll just be a few more years before the Bomb Crew blows up so huge that they all decide to run for president. Of course in turn that would lead to backstabbing and betrayal as they each battle for majority approval, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, it’s an interesting list, so let’s take a look-see.
|Website In Question||Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|1.) Yahoo! Games||22,000,000|
|13.) Giant Bomb||1,600,000|
As you can see, Giant Bomb is being beat out by such weak sites as CheatCC and GameSpy. When Cheat Code Central is more than doubling the monthly views of the best gaming site on the web, then there’s a problem. Did you guys even know that CheatCC still existed? I was a bit shocked to find that it not only still exists, but gets good traffic. Kind of unbelievable. I’m glad Destructoid’s traffic is lower. I have an admittedly unfair disliking of that site. It’s unfair because I’ve only been to it a couple of times and hardly read anything while on it. I just don’t get a good vibe from Destructoid though. Maybe it’s because they gave Deadly Premonition a perfect score. Don’t get me wrong, I love Deadly Premonition--I’ve beaten it multiple times--but come on. That game has glaring issues. But now I’m getting off topic.
As you can see, Yahoo! Games is tog dog. It’s lame, yet understandable. It’s a mainstream online video game site where you can jump on and play some dumb flash games (At least as I understand it). I’d maybe argue that the Yahoo! site doesn’t even really qualify as a gaming site, but it doesn’t really matter since Gamespot is the real top dog. Gamespot and GameFAQs are technically one and the same, and their views add up to 32.5 million; much higher than anyone else. I don’t necessarily have a beef with Gamespot, but they’re hardly deserving of that much traffic. I guess that’s what happens when you own and redirect from the address, “Videogames.com”.
Anyway, here’s to Giant Bomb’s continued growth. I’m sure this site will just get bigger and bigger. Hopefully it can do so without losing what makes it great. What makes Giant Bomb great is, of course, the fact that it’s filled with awesome users like yourself! That's the truth.
Wrap-It-Up BoxOnly a couple of topics this week, but I think they were long enough. I want to mention for a second the events taking place in Libya. I've been watching the news via BBC's live stream off and on since early yesterday, and this is just a mess. On the eve of the 8th anniversary of the Iraq war and here the U.S. is, getting involved in another conflict. It's hard to be too angry about it though after hearing some reactions from the Libyan people and learning more about what colonel Gaddafi has been doing. They interviewed a man yesterday that was in the thick of everything and yet he still was supportive of the missile strikes taking place. Uggh. I just hope this all ends soon. There was just the disaster in Japan and now we have to worry about Libya.
Anyway, I’ve been pondering the idea of adding a regular gaming news section to the ole blog. It would be three or four top headlines in gaming for the week. I could just talk a bit about a topic and move on to another. I’ve found that there’s often no need to have a separate section dedicated to each small piece of news, so maybe this would be a good solution. It was in the initial plan to talk about more news-y stuff, after all. I’ll give that a go next week. Until then, keep on keepin’ on ladies and gents.
Oh, and, Can I Get A Headband?!
Love from Rip City,