Disappointed, Angry, and Confused

As the title states I am disappointed, angry, and confused. I became inactive two (or was it three?) months ago because I was gaming like a fiend as I burned through my pile of shame AKA my massive backlog of games. Day turned to night and back into day again as the weeks went by without me noticing. Feeling burned out with only four games left in the stack, I logged in for the first time in ages last Saturday and felt like I was walking into a shit storm. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? I am so overwhelmed and confused. 
Who are all these new people? Where did they come from?I feel like I don't know anyone here anymore. When did this new staff member appear? I like him and Giant Bomb could use more people like him producing written content for the site.  
What is the deal with this quest system? It is so fucking broken it's not even funny. Why didn't the guys upstairs come up with something to streamline the wiki and make it easier to navigate before implementing this quest system? There is no point in having multiple pages for the same thing. I don't care if it's both a character, an object, and a concept. Make one page and tag the thing in question as being what it is and have a section of the page devoted to each one. For example, a section on the character with that name, a section on the concept of that name, and a section on the object of that name all on the same page. It would make the wiki so much cleaner! Doing things the way they are now is stupid, redundant, and above all else makes navigating the wiki harder than it needs to be and turns the quest system from being something fun into something that is a frustrating mess! 
How did Linkyshinks get banned? The fact that this happened baffles me to no end. He was one of the most respected members of the community here and one of the biggest contributors to the site. Hell, he was posting news articles to things in the forums sometimes days before the Giant Bomb crew covered it. What did they do ban him because they were sick of competing with him over being first with the news, or something? The fact that he is no longer here really saddens me as my two primary motivating factors to come here and log in were his posts and Symphony's blogs. Now it seems the only reason I have to come here is her blogs, which put all other written content on this site to shame after seeing her "5 Things Anime Haters Get Wrong" article. The Giant Bomb crew needs to learn a thing or two from her regarding how to produce quality written content. That or add her to the payroll, because her articles make theirs look like something scribbled onto paper by a child in primary school. 
Giant Bomb has always had it's ups and downs, but overall it has always been going up. At least that's how I've felt it's been. I am disappointed in Giant Bomb now as it doesn't feel like up is the direction this place is headed in anymore with the way things have changed. As one of the people who has been following Jeff and the crew since the early GameSpot days this makes me angry as I do care about them, this site, and feel an investment here. Yet, above all else, right now I am confused as to why I even bothered to log back in.


An Update of Sorts

This is an update for my friends and followers here on Giant Bomb. 
As you know, I haven't been on in about a month. I apologize for this. My absence is due to a combination of things. Well, more like three things. I haven't been too motivated to participate here. I now have a bookcase of games, which I am calling the bookcase of shame. It's a bookcase full of games I have purchased going back to the mid 90's that I am yet to play. I have begun to make my way through it, but there are all these other great games coming out right now too, which complicates matters. In short, I have been gaming. I've also been busting my ass with work, because in a few months I'm going across the pond to England where I hope to enjoy a real basket of fish and chips with an authentic pint, the company of real people who I can actually converse with, and the company of some lovely real women. So there you have it. That's what I have been up to. I apologize again to my friends for the absence. I don't know when I'll return to active participation since I have a lot on my plate. If anyone wants to get a hold of me the best way would be through Xbox Live, or leave a note on my wall here. Okay, now I have to get back to work. Keep yer stick on the ice Giant Bomb.


From Familiar to Foreign

So two days ago I caved in. Despite GameStop trying to screw me when I went back for the 360 and my statement that I wouldn't buy another 360, I bought another one. Upon getting it home and out of the box, the first thing that hit me is it's different  now than it was before. It's a lot different than before. It's black instead of white. The plug for the grey power brick is now two pronged instead of three pronged. It uses less energy. It comes with 120gb hard drive. It has an HDMI slot. It is quieter when spinning the discs, but emits a constant WHURRR WHUR WHURRRRRRR when on. I guess it wants me to know it's on in case I am blind and can't see it loading on my TV. There is a crap ton more stuff on Xbox Live and Live Marketplace. The controller goes through batters like mad and finally the thing that makes me madder than a hornet is the fact that the component cable has been discontinued. In the component cables place comes a composite cable, which delivers far inferior picture quality and feels like a slap in the face. When I discovered this I ranted. I raved. I cursed. I questioned if Microsoft was serious about the whole HD thing. I went and bought a rechargeable battery pack and VGA adapter.
After getting my new black brick connected via VGA to my TV, setting up the system, recovering my Gamer Tag, and fiddling with the resolution I murdered my old Joanna Dark avatar. This was a mistake. What followed as I attempted to create Cerza (me) as an avatar was a confusing maze of menus containing hundreds of items that are either all the same, but with a different palette, or just plain stupid in the case of the hats and accessories. I will admit though, there is something about a fedora that screams classy and I am strangely attracted to that light saber. I want that light saber. It's a light saber and it's 400 points. I didn't cave in and buy it, but I wanted to. Maybe I'll get it later.
After two and a half hours of searching through menus, the avatar store, and being disappointed that there is no cigarette accessory I finished making my avatar and found myself back at the dash. I'm not going to lie. It's been a year and a half since I was on the 360's dash and I couldn't navigate it. In my attempt to maneuver it A.D.D. took over. I began to wander every nook and cranny of the 360 and Live as I relearned it. I wandered and was amazed at how something that had once been so familiar to me could now be so foreign. I sifted through menus and looked at things for another two and a half hours. As I became reacquainted, I was amazed at how much more stuff there was than before. I was amazed at how much more quality stuff there was than before. I was amazed at how much I had been missing by staying on the PS3. I wondered how I had lived without it. I wondered why I'd ever left the 360 in the first place.


Does This Make Me a Bad Person?

Dear Giant Bomb,
I said I'd be damned if I ever bought another 360 that wasn't a redesign that fixed all the systems hardware problems. However, today I came across a really sweet deal, or what I perceive to be a really sweet deal. It seems GameStop is selling 360 Elites in some kind of promotion that ends the day after tomorrow. As the clerk explained it to me, how it works is you buy an Elite and get $50 off the sticker price reducing it to $249.99 and get a $50 gift card to use toward your next GameStop purchase. Now I went through 3 360's in 2 years and already have a 120gb hard drive from my previous stint with the 360. I know the Elite comes with one and I don't need 2 of these hard drives.  The clerk told me I could trade my old one in for $50 store credit, which would mean either another $50 off the system, or another $50 to use towards games on my next purchase. In short I could get an Elite that comes with Pure and Lego Batman for $199.99, or $249.99 and then have either $50, or $100 left over to spent on games depending on how I decide to allocate the $50 from the 120gb hard drive trade in. What keeps me from taking advantage of it is what I said about buying another 360 earlier. If I take advantage of this deal does that make me a bad person? Also, is this deal as sweet as I think it is?
Yours Truly,


Update 102: The Giant List

Here's the list titles I got in exchange for last weeks paycheck. I'm posting it since I just realized that some you may be wondering what I got and to state that no I did not blow over $350 on those four games. So without further adeu...

The List:

Tomb Raider Legend
Tomb Raider Anniversary
John Woo's Strangle Hold
Blue Dragon
Eternal Sonata
Enchanted Arms
Phantasy Star Universe
Virtua Fighter 5
Dead or Alive 4
Far Cry Instincts Predator
The Simpson's Game
Ace Combat 6
Forza 2


Update 102

Slow day at work and me left unsupervised equals new blog update. HELLO GIANT BOMB!!!

Well I finished Tales of Vesparia a few days after my last post. The game falls pretty flat on it's face in the final act with the cliche'd events in the story and sloppy translation. Honestly that part of the game shows they were on a deadline and were just desperately trying to get it out the door. Overall I walked away from the experience very satisfied and still feel it is the best Tales game in the series and one of the best JRPG's ever.

I have also purchased a great many new games for very neglected Xbox 360, because Tales got me hooked on points and achievements. Actually, I purchased over $350 worth of 360 games... they are all the titles that came out these past four years that I missed while I was addicted to WOW. Among my aquisitions are Call of Duty 2, which I played through in 10 hours and liked, but was sad it offered nothing new, and Call of Duty 3, which is good overall, but very buggy and unpolished. Inifinity Ward didn't make CoD 3 and it shows. I don't know if I'll bother finishing it.

I also picked up Kameo, which is a flipping amazing game, but a little heavy on the kiddie side of things and super easy. In fact, despite how good it is I find it to be so easy that it's boring to play. This is another one that I am half way through and I don't know if I'll bother to finish.

The last title I got that I have played is King Kong: The Official Game to the movie to Peter Jacksons far to big and long and convoluted title. The game is both jaw droppingly gorgious and bad. It's an interesting combination. The visuals and events you see are simply beautiful. However, the game play consists of the same three or four puzzles over and over and over again, with a shitty chase level spliced inbetween where you get to play as Kong and fight with the games camera. Spear grub, throw near giant millipede, bat, scorpion, or spiders  to draw them into the open, shoot the bastards when they are out in the open, rinse and repeat. Or, do that while looking for fire, or looking for the fucking door levers. It's like Populus, but with nice graphics and all from a first person perspective. There are 500 levels and they are all the same.

I took King Kong back and exchanged it for Hitman Blood Money, which I am told is a much better game and hope to start by this weekend.


Update 101

So I haven't been too active here the past few weeks, month, months.... and there is a perfectly good reason for this I assure you. I replaced my 360 finally and picked up Tales of Vesperia on a whim as I did it. The game has devoured my life and I love it to death. The graphics are beautiful! It's like playing an animated film. The cast, characterization, story and everything are totally top notch. I simply can't put it down. At nearly 60 hours I'm 2/3 of the way through an am loving every minute of it. I've played all of the Tales games and have to say this one is hands down the best in the series, and one of the best JRPG's ever made. I fully expect my play time to go up another 20-40 hours before I am done playing through it. Then the cycle will repeat again in the games New Game + mode. If you have a 360 and a thirst for this sort of thing, you have no excuse to not have this in your library.

I've also been playing the Warhammer Online beta. In a word, I am dissappointed. The game is buggier and much more restrictrive now than it was in preview weekend, and taking away the freedom takes away the fun. At least it does for me. In these online worlds that perport allowing you to go where ever and do whatever and be whatever I want to do just that. Not go where ever, be whatever, and do whatever so long as I stay on my limited side of the sandbox.

I also finally picked up Call of Duty 4 last night and beat it in a single sitting as my Xbox Live Profile can attest to. I gotta say that is one hell of a game and I am sorry I waited this long to pick it up. I waited, because after hearing that the single player is only 4 hours long I thought "no 4 hour game is worth $65." After all that is $13.75 per hour of entertainment. Oh how I was wrong! After beating the game I walked away nothing short of totally satisfied.


Hello Giant Bomb!

Hello Giant Bomb! My name is Cerza, no, no the pleasure is all mine I assure you. I have been gaming since the last days of the arcades. The first console I ever actually owned was the SNES, which I bought back on 2/22/1992 with the money I won by betting that the Redskins would beat the Bills in the Superbowl, and they did. GO WASHINGTON!!! Anywho, I bought the system because my cousins and friends said I couldn't mooch off theirs any longer. I am a writer and accrued accountant, and value games with a good script. I have had the pleasure of gaming on every system to date with the exception of the Jaguar. My main genre of choice is the RPG, and my main platform of choice is the PC. However, I am not a fanboy and do game on various consoles fairly regularly. Check out my collection to see a list of the titles I currently own. You will usually find me lurking about the forums, since that's where I like to be. Oh, one more thing. I am a crusty old gamer who values innovation, and people who do things differently. So don't get upset if you read that I am lashing out against "the next greatest thing," because chances are I've seen "the next greatest thing" before, and I've seen it done better. Feel free to add me if you want to. I accept all friend requests.

Like so many others on this site, I too hail from Gamespot, though I am also active at 1up and Honest Gamers as well. I left Gamespot in disgust when Jeff was let go and have been following him ever since, because Jeff is awesome. I found out about Giant Bomb from the blog Jeff had before Giant Bomb was up in blog form. I must say I am really impressed with the site so far and would like to give everyone working at Giant Bomb a huge virtual pat on the back. The site is awesome great job guys. I can't wait to see what comes next!