Some thoughts on Kane and Lynch. Contains some spoilers.

I played through Kane and Lynch back when it first came out.  I heard the various reviews and took a chance on the game.  In the end I really enjoyed playing it despite the flaws in the gameplay.  I really was taken in by the two characters and the things they are forced to do during the course of the game.  I even went as far as buying the game a second time on the PC (I played it on the 360 the first time I played it.)  Even on the second time playing I really really liked the overall experience.  But I wonder why I'm in the minority when it comes to this game.  Other games with just as many problems have been more popular with people but I have thoughts as far as that's concerned.  I think the overall dislike of this game comes from the two main characters.  In most games you get a hero someone out to do good, save someone or save the world.  Some games offer the anti-hero a person forced into the act of good or changing the way they do things due to a betrayal.  In Kane and Lynch you play as one of two just down right evil people.  Two men that live outside the law and are willing to kill anyone that gets in their way to accomplish their goals.  You would think by the end of their journey they would have some kind of redemption or a change of heart but no that doesn't happen.  Many innocent people die by the hands of Kane and Lynch and they do not bat an eye.  Lot's was said about the "No Russian" level in Modern Warfare 2 but this game had basiclly the same thing in the bank level where the player playing as Lynch kills all the hostages during a psychotic episode.  In this way I think people would have a hard time relating to these two because most people aren't going to go out and do the things these two do.  But while Lynch is just straight up crazy Kane is a man that's made the choice to do what he does, killing stealing and just living on the other side of the law.  One thing that sets Kane apart from Lynch and many of his comrades is the fact that Kane is a coward someone who buckles and backs down at the first sign of being outnumbered or if the situation will end in his defeat he just lays down and accepts it.  I'm thinking of the part when the 7 confront him with his wife and daughter.  When they're all there Kane is ready to let them kill him but when all but those two leave he beats the Mute to death with a shovel and kills the guys in the dump truck, if the situation changes he will quickly make an about face and fight back.  When pushed he can resort to striking at his enemies to get revenge.  This is shown in the prison level of the game.  But if it couldn't be done under the mask of a riot I personally don't think he would of gone through with the attempt to get an ex partner out of jail.  In the end Kane loses the only thing that matters to him, his daughter but only through his own actions which I would say ties him to Lynch as Lynch was responsible for the death of his wife but that was by his own hand.  I know I'm talking about this stuff like it could of gone any other way as the game doesn't let you decide to not go to the prison or any other big choices but it's just one of those stories where I like to play around with in my head and imagine how it could of gone.  I never thought this one would get a sequel and I'm glad it is because personally I love the two characters and want to see more of what they can do.  This overall isn't really a lot but I just wanted to share some thoughts.

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All of a sudden, monsters! (Lots of spoilers for various games.)

I'll start off with saying this, I'm going to spoil some games here.  The first Far Cry and both Uncharted games are top on my list.  I guess by reading the title and this first couple of lines has spoiled something already but I can't help it.   
 
Anyway, most games have a clear cut setting and purpose to the game.  You're in this area or environment and you're going to be killing this certain enemy or whatever.  Now some games can take a twist and throw you in a completely different direction and it's for the better.  The first Doom comes to mind as a game that did this well.  You're in a marine base fighting soldiers and some demons but by the end you're wading through Hell killing what I guess is suppose to be the devil.  While Doom isn't know for it's story telling it was the first game that came to mind when I was thinking about games that did this change.  But really there isn't a whole lot of games that do what I'm about to say.  This thing I hate so much I usually refer to as "All of a sudden, monster."   
 
First up Far Cry.  I liked Far Cry I played it when it first came out and I thought it was a good FPS.  Controls felt great and for the time it was an amazing looking game.  You spend a big chunk of time going through the jungle killing soldiers not the most original thing but it was fun.  Now it's been awhile sense playing this but I don't remember a big setup for what happens about halfway through or more towards the end of the game but it happens.  All of a sudden you have to fight monsters, these mutated super soldiers things gone wrong.  (It totaly hints at these monsters.  I just loaded the game again and it shows them to you in the opening cinematic, I still hate that they're in the game)  It completely ruined the game for me.  I don't remeber if this was a twist I knew about going into the game but it still ruined the game for me.  I killed one or two of these things and then closed the game and uninslalled it.  I thought it was the dumbest thing I'd ever seen. 
 
Then a few years later I played a little game called Uncharted (This all applies to Uncharted 2 as well), you're Nathan Drake in the jungle hunting treasure and smoking dudes along the way.  Now I know this was never brought up before it happened but BAM!  You're fighting zombie monster Nazis out of nowhere near the end of the game and it makes no damn sense.  I was so close to the end of Uncharted when this crap happened I finished the game but in the end I thought it made the game just seem stupid.  Uncharted 2 does the same gimmick but with these blue guys with bows and the same thing that makes these blue men powerful making the final boss just cheap and not fun to fight at all.   
 
Another game from Crytek was Crysis and this game did the here are some monsters in the form of aliens but they were hinted at very early on and not just thrown at you with no rhyme or reason.   
  
Now why does this bother me?  For one if it doesn't match with the story it's just unneeded.  In the case of the two Uncharted games it just wasn't needed, ever.  They would of been better games without all that supernatural out of left field crap.  But my one big time complaint with this happening is the game is never balanced for it.  The whole way through these three games the challenge is fair and the guys can be taken down with your guns easily.  The monsters appear and they are always way to powerful.  In Far Cry after I killed a couple of the Trigen monsters I was completely out of ammo with none in site and more of those things in my way.  Same thing in Uncharted 2 fighting the blue dudes.  I know they're all suppose to be monsters and have poweres but half of an AK-47 magazine to somethings head should kill it, or how about you put the needed ammo around as you fight them.  It's just ends up frustrating me, not at the challenge I like a good fair balanced challenge but when it's plainly broken it's just not right.  What got me thinking about this stuff is I'm considering firing up the first Far Cry to try and finish it but having to deal with those blasted Trigens makes me not want to bother.  I did finish both Uncharted games but in the end I thought the stories were crap even though I love the characters and how they interact with each other.  I don't want to get into that right now so I'll end this here.

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Deep Thoughts on Hard Games and a mini review of Arkham Asylum

 
I'm a person who likes to play his video games on the hardest setting possible.  I'm a person who likes to play his games on the hardest setting possible the first time through a game.  I'm big on games giving me a challenge.  I like it when I'm just so angry at a game I want to snap the game in half and swear off playing games forever.  The feeling of relief when you see "Checkpoint" reached after an extremely tough section is pure bliss.  I'm one who tends to get through games very quickly, ususally I can finish an average game in a few days a week at most.  I don't get much of a challenge out of most games.  The COD games on Veteran are a favorite of mine becuse they are ball bustingly hard, well except for Modern Warfare 2 that's a joke on Veteran.  Two games that come to mind that had Hardest modes that felt just right were Gears of War 2 and Halo 3.  Gears 2 was a steady challenge through out the whole game.  I had some trouble when you're riding the rigs to go dig into the planet and you have to shoot the Reavers down but besides that a very balanced experience.  Sniper rifle in hand I plowed into Gears 2 with a mission to beat it on Insane by myself and I succeeded.  Halo 3 was a similar experience for me a steady pace of challenge that I enjoyed all the way to the end, except for the "Cortana" level.  It's just a broken mess of never ending Flood spawning that just rapes you every chance you get.  I had to just run to each checkpoint and hope they triggered without me dieing, again another game done solo without any co-op on Legendary.  Back to the Call of Duty games, COD 4 is one of the hardest games I've ever played.  It was a two week struggle to get through it on Veteran.  The Ferris Wheel outside of Chernobyl, The level Heat where you run down the hill and No Fighting in the War Room were torture.  Not to leave out on of the biggest screw yous in the history of gaming, The Mile High Club.  MHC was a 5 day ordeal of me trying for an hour getting so mad I wanted to put my hand through the wall then playing multiplayer for awhile then trying for an hour.  Now I'm not one to get super excited to a point that it shows often when I beat that plane I was jumping up and down in excitement and yelling how awesome I was because I did it.  My roommate at the time knocked on my bedroom door to see if I was okay.   
 
Another hard game that I played recently was Demon's Souls a great game that came out last year for the PS3.  It's a action RPG that has a huge learning curve due to the difficulty, the game makes you earn your progress you feel a sense of accomplishment when you progress.  No check points you die and it's back to the beginning of the level and you lose all your souls (money) and you don't get back any items you may have used in the coarse of the level before you died.  I went into this game expecting hell and I got it, at first.  Once you get a feel for the combat and how everything works Demon's Souls actually isn't that hard of a game.  Still enjoyable for the hardness but not as will breaking as people make it out to be. 

 
The games of today do not have the overall difficulty of game of the past.  The thing games from the past had going for them especially the NES game were most of them were kind of broken.  Enemies would respawn if you left the area of the screen they were on or they would endlessly respawn due to a glitch.  Some of these game featured the dreaded knock back, Castlevania and the Ninja Gaiden games come to mind.  You get hit and the character would fly back in an arc to land usually in a pit.  While usually cheap this mechanic added some extra challenge to these old school games but in the end it was just frustrating to watch your dude fall to his death over and over again.   
 
A series that was pretty much very tough but well balanced about itself was the Mega Man series.  I mean Mega Man, Mega Man not all the off shoots and side games and all that jazz just the main series.  Even through they were tough if you knew what you were doing the games were very beatable.  Even the spawn of hell that is Mega Man 9, it's hard but all you have to do is memorize the levels but trying to jump into a single space pit off of a moving platform that is flying over said pit and not hitting all the instant death spikes that surround said pit is a pain in the ass the rest of the game is beatable with as I said memorization.  I remember not having a lot of trouble with Mega Man 2 but I've heard people talk about how hard it is.  It's been a long time sense I've played Mega Man 2 so I wonder if age has caught up to me on that game with my old man reflexes I wonder if it would be to hard to play now?  I think I need to download it on the Wii and give it a shot to see if I can still beat it.   
 
One more game to talk about here and that's Batman: Arkham Asylum.  I popped that game in picked hard and away I went.  It's one game I regret playing on the hardest mode right out of the gate because I think it hurt my overall enjoyment of the game.  Now I wasn't a big fan of the game overall.  I thought the story was weak and all the boss encounters were just dumb.  Even the Scarecrow parts I had heard were so cool were just kind of a let down.  But playing it on hard was brutal because I had no idea how the combat worked.  I know on the lower settings they give you clues on when to hot the button to fight but I think the reason for that is the combat is just straight broken.  I would love a pair of the rose colored glasses reviewers were wearing when they played this game because it's not a great game, I don't even know if it's a good game.  The amount of collectable sets in it rival Donley King 64 which was overkill.  It's the best Batman game ever made but that's like saying this is the best tasting turd I've ever eaten, in the end it's still crap.

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My gaming History part the Second!

  
With part two of this I'm going to talk about the later stages of gaming.  Pretty much all the machines that have come out since the game format has gone disc based.  I'm not going to go into as much detail about these systems because I didn't spend a lot of time with each one.  The main reason was a got my first real PC Between my SNES and my PS1.  After I got my hands on a real PC I pretty much forgot about console games.  I had many years of PC gaming to catch up on so I spent my days playing through dirt cheap old PC games.  Old Sierra games, Some of the early FPS games, whatever I could get.  The PC in question was a Packard Bell, 75hz Pentium with a whopping 4 MEGS of RAM and at the time a massive 1.2 gigabyte hard drive.  I ended up upgrading the ram to 8 MEGS (OMG!) so I could run Quake a little better.  I had played lots of PC games at friends houses but never owned one myself.  I would say at that time Quake was the most important game I'd played because it introduced me to online play.  I would sit up at nights and play Quake over my super fast 56k modem, it ran like mud but I had a blast.  That turned into an obsession with Red Alert online later in the year.  But eventually the hard drive in that PC died and I was unable to afford to replace it so my PC gaming went into hibernation.   
 
I got the PS1 the year it came out but it only got a little love as I was playing the PC.  Resident Evil 1 and 2 were the stand out titles for me.  My absolute favorite game on the PS1 was Castlevania Symphony of the Night, definately in my top ten of all time it was so good.  Taking the best parts about Castlevania and adding what I loved about Metroid but anyone reading this already knows that.  I played Final Fantasy which I'm sure anyone with a PS1 at the time played that one.  Speaking of Square at that time this was when they started to release more than FInal Fantasy games in the US.  Einhander was one of those games.  With my love of Shmups be it verticle scrolling or sidescrolling this game was near perfection for that genre.  Everything about it melded together in a way that was just borderline perfection.  With all the PS1 classics being released on the PS3 I'm sad this has not been put on the PSN yet.  Freaking Final Fantasy 8 is on there and it wasn't that good a game.  But I digress, basicly I played all the big name games on it but some of the lesser known titles slipped by due to my PC gaming. 
 
  
With a new job at this time I picked up a Japanese Dreamcast with Soul Caliber and Sonic Adventure.  I didn't have a lot of import games for the Dreamcast but I did get the US release when it came out.  I had Ready 2 Rumble and Blue Stinger which was okay but had some really bad crap about it gameplay wise.  Everything in life grinded to a hault when I picked up Phantasy Star Online.  That was like crack, I was addicted like you wouldn't believe.   I was only getting a couple hours of sleep a night because I stayed up so late just playing that game grinding for the next rare item.  After my addiction to PSO came to a close I decided I wanted to try a real MMO.  With my new PC which I had played Half Life and other games of that time on I decided to play Everquest.  I couldn't get into it.  I was looking for something closer to PSO but Everquest was a more complicated game.  The first Dungeon Siege was a game on the PC I really enjoyed I blew through it in a three day weekend with very little sleep.  I think in those 3 days I only slept about 5 hours.   
 
I eventually got a PS2/Gamecube/Xbox but this was a generation I passed by for the most part.  I played GTA 3 on the PS2, KOTOR on the Xbox and Metroid Prime on the Gamecube and not much else.  I ended up getting Star Wars Galaxies when it launched and the next year was spent playing that.  I love Star Wars and this game while not being really Star Wars-ey was just enough to scratch that Star Wars itch.  I really enjoyed the game and I was not a fan of the giant overhaul they did to it over time.  The only two breaks I took from playing it were to play KOTOR and Jedi Academy.  After I stopped playing SWG I played a couple different games on the consoles I owned but one by one those were sold to upgrade PC parts.  Eventually I got into World of Warcraft and that was it, I don't need to go into detail about this but it was more consuming than SWG.  It would be the only thing I played for 2-3 years.   
 
So now I sit here typing on my PC, with a PS3, a 360 and a Wii sitting next to my TV.  I haven't played the Wii in months, Madworld was the last game I played on that.  I've been through some games on the 360 but the RROD crap has burned me on the system, I'm on my fourth 360.  The PS3 is my go to console for the moment but if the game is on the PC I play it on that.  Because no matter what I own or what I play I will really be a PC gamer for life.  It's just what I enjoy the most but I like all the platforms out there for some reason or another and that's really all I have to say about that. 
 
So that's a brief history of my gaming stuff.  I glossed over some stuff but I'm pretty sure I hit the important parts.  I just wanted to share some things about how I've enjoyed the hobby I've had for almost my entire life.

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A little about my gaming history. Part 1


I've been playing video games along time, most of my life.  I was probably about 3 or 4 when I played my first video game.  It was either Robotron or Defender, a 7-11 down the street from the family home had both of those machines in it.  I had to be held up by my dad so I could reach the machine to play it and I was hooked.  I did a good amount of my playing at the 7-11 for awhile until we got the Atari 2600.  We got one of those I believe right after it came out I can't remember exactly.  I played the living hell out of that thing.  My dad and I would play Combat for hours it was probably the most played game on that system.  But then tragedy struck, the 2600's insides fried and it stopped working but to my extreme dissapointment it would not be replaced.  Sometime passed and I had no actual system in the house.  Arcades would be hit on occasion but I was hungry for more.  Eventually I was given a Colecovision which I was quite fond of.  It had one of my favorite games ever on it, Frenzy.  Frenzy was a sequel to Bezerk and followed the basic same formula of that game.  I kind of gloss over this section because I was really young and I don't remember a lot of the games I had for these systems, Combat and Frenzy for me were the stand outs on the respective machines.  This is probably how I handle each section, talk about the systems I got in order and you can assume I had the big games for each.  Then I'll mention one or two games that I think not a lot of people played or are just special to me.
 
Then came the NES, one of the greatest things ever made.  I had played Super Mario Bros. in the arcade in one of those Nintendo arcade cabinets.  It was SMB and I think Hogan's Alley again in a 7-11.  I got the NES with ROB the Robot and the Zapper.  That came with Gyromite and Duck Hunt.  I also was given SMB and The Legend of Zelda.  SMB I was familiar with having played it in the arcades and at a firend's house.  But Zelda, holy crap I was floored by it.  You could save, a game that was so big you had to quit and come back to it later.  I didn't have any experience with PC games at this time so the whole idea of saving was strange and wonderful to me.  Basicly I had all the big NES games.  All the Mario games, both Zeldas, Mega Man, and Metroid plus tons of others.  Metroid was another game that just completely blew me away.  It was so impressive to me I would probably have to say it's my all time favorite NES game.  Another game on the NES that I don't think a whole lot of people have heard of is The Guardian Legend.  It was a top shooter combined with a Zelda type exploring sections.  You would play as a spaceship and blast your way into a base then as you explored as a female robot you'd unlock ways to bosses and those were fought in the top down space shooter stages.  Just a fantastic game.  The NES kept me happy for a long time.  I was still working well into the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube era until it gave up the ghost and stopped working while I was playing Castlevania 3. 
 
Backing up again.  The next system to join my NES was a Turbo Graphx 16.  I chose between this and a Genesis.  Some may say I made a mistake but I quite enjoyed  my TG16.  One of the features I really liked were the controllers having built in turbo buttons.  The TG16 had a lot of really good games and I miss having it because I'd love to rock some of these games again.  Blazing Lazers was one of these.  A very good verticle shooter.  One thing I really dig about schmups are the ones that have crazy rediculous weapons and this had them in spades.  You be a screen clearing power house just destroying everything in your path.  It wasn't a bullet hell type shooter but it could be kind of crazy.  Another favorite of mine was Neutopia, which was a complete Zelda ripoff but it was a fantastic Zelda ripoff.  So good to me that I think if they had just called it Zelda something it would of been a classic game spoken in the same sentence as Zelda 1 and 3.  I also had the CD add on for the TG16.  There was a game on the CD format call JB Harold Murder Club.  It was basicly a slide show that had a detective story along with it.  You were trying to solve a murder but it was done like this.  You'd go to a location a picture of a person would pop up and you'd ask them questions and show them evidence.  If you did things right you'd eventually find the killer.  If you screwed up you could know yourself who the killer was but not be able to prove it because you asked a qrong question somewhere and you would need to start over.  It took me forever to beat that game, I would site there yelling at the TV, "I know who did it!"  to no avail because I screwed up somewhere.  The game that made me so glad to have a TG16CD was Y's Book 1&2.  At the time I was big on RPG's so this was right up my alley.  It also had talking instead of just text screens.  I was floored by this, you could hear the characters, amazing.  It was an overhead view run around kill stuff kind of like Hydlide but really good.  It's on the Wii Virtual Console if you've never played or you can check out a few Lets Plays on Youtube. 
  
Next up is what I consider the all time greatest console of al time.  I still play games today but really it's kind of like just going through the motions because there will never be a machine that had the range and amazing number of good quality games on it.  What could I be talking about?  The freaking Super Nintendo.  Damn, it was amazing.  Super Mario World, Zelda 3, Final Fantasy 2 (4) and 3 (6), Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Home verions of Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 2, Star Fox, Contra 3.  The list goes on and on.  Out of all the games on the SNES Final Fantasy 3 (6) was probably played the most except for Street Fighter 2.  When I got Street Fighter 2 at home it was a wrap I mastered every character knew all the ends and outs it was crazy.  I'm sure I'm leaving some games out but that's only because there was so many excellent games theyre just rushing through my head right now and I can't just seem to single out titles.  But if you had a SNES you know what I mean, you may not agree with my statement about it being the best but I just think it's where games peaked and we're probably going downhill now.  Very, very slowly but I think there may be a decline. 
 
I had a 3DO sometime after the SNES but the games I had were crap and that system was a waste of money.  One game on the machine was called D&D Slayer.  It was a first person action RPG.  I've heard it was on the PC and called Dungeon Hack but I haven't looked into it.  It was a fun game and I spent some time playing it but in the end the 3DO was crap and I'm sorry I ever had one.  It's really the only "failed" console I ever owned.  I saw a Jaguar in a Kaybee toys for 20 bucks one time and I was going to grab it but I didn't have 20 on me and I never went back.  I never had a CDI, a 32x, Virtual Boy or any other I may be leaving out.   
 
After this I had a Genesis that I picked up for cheap.  Not a lot to say about it.  I know it was great but I got it late in it's life cycle and I didn't own a lot of games for it.  I had played a bunch at friends which Phantasy Star 2 was the stand out.  Of the games I owned I really liked Rocket Knight Adventures and Strider.  My favorite game on the system was Gunstar Heroes, a Contra clone that was so much more fun.   I don't think I need to say anything more about it.  I'm not dogging the Genesis by not going into more detail but it wasn't that important of a system to me.  I grew up a Nintendo kid and didn't own any Sega Consoles for a long length of time.  I had a Saturn for a bit but it was awhile after it came out.  I still have my Dreamcast but I'll get into that later.  But I am listening to Genesis the band as I type this so I think that's cool. 
 

I'm going to call this part one right now.  I'm getting tired and I don't know if I can just save this as a draft or not.  I'll either do a part 2 tomorrow or edit this and finish.
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Falling out of Love with a Game


This is something we all as gamers are probably guilty of at one time or another.  You get the hot new release, a sleeper hit, or just a straight up bad game.  You get home pop it in and you just freaking love it.  You call a friend or two, send out messages on Xbox Live/PSN, post on a message board, "Hey you all need to check this out it's fantastic!"  Well then some time goes by, it can be hours or days any time frame, you start to see the flaws, or you're just not that into the game anymore.  Someone will ask you, "Why aren't you playing such and such anymore?"  You tell them you don't really care for it and you gave up on said game.  It's not a bad thing lots of times you try anything new and you're all about it but as that euphoria wears off you're not that into it anymore. 
 
I've done this a good number of times.  I play a lot of games, I mean a lot.  I always have something waiting for me when I finish whatever I'm currently on.  The last one I did this with was Red Faction Guerrilla.  I was blown away by the demo and went and managed to talk the guy at the Best Buy into selling it to me a say early.  I went home fired it up and I was in gaming heaven.  Capping dudes and blowing the hell out of buildings it was so good.  Then I started to notice some of the small things that would keep me from loving this game forever.  The overall combat was one thing.  Mason is a fragile man, a few bullets and he's down.  I've read online that I wasn't playing it right that I needed to be more like a Guerrilla soldier and that I can understand.  I just couldn't get behind that concept sneaking around in what didn't really seem to be set up like a stealth game.  The driving really bothered me too, it never seems consistant.  When I was just driving around it was tight and responsive but then I would take on of those timed race side missions and it seemed like the controls just fell apart and the vehicles would slide all over the roads.  But this is a just an example of this happening to me, I have another game to write about and that is Halo 2. 
 
Halo 2 is I think the best example of this happening on a very large scale.  When it first came out everyone loved Halo 2, if they were playing online or plowing through the campaign everyone was hooked, me included.  Then as a little time went on the campaign didn't really hold up, why would they make a game where you don't play as the main protagonist through half of it?  People want to play as the main dude not his sidekick (Metal Gear Solid 2) why leave the Master Chief out?  It didn't really help the story, what little of it there was and I think hurt the series as a whole.  The weak way they handled the cliff hanger ending didn't help either, kind of like we know you'll buy the next one no matter what and we don't really feeling like finishing this story so guess what we'll get you next time.  While I'm at this duel wielding in Halo 2 isn't an innovation plenty of games before it had it just like items in Halo 3 it had been done before quit patting yourselves on the back for it Bungee didn't come up with the idea.  Now a little on Multiplayer, the backbone of the Halo 2 hype!  You can play on Xbox Live!  Yay for us!  Well from the beginning people were complaining that the maps from Halo 1 were not included, well guess what?  I think if a company puts out a new game and all the people playng can talk about is how they want the old maps you made a crap multiplayer experience.  I had fun playing Halo 2 online but Bungee should of just updated Halo 1 with all it's superior multiplayer maps added some new ones and called it Halo 2 multiplayer.  Even with Halo 3 people still want the Halo 1 maps.  "Oh!  But we're giving you this map that's kind of like this map from the first one!"  No one wants that give us the maps we want not your idea of what we want.  I'm not really trying to review Halo 2 but just share some thoughts on the few examples I gave.  It was called the best original Xbox game by a few gaming sites and publications and I've seen it on some lists of the biggest dissapointments of all time, so which is it?  See one's feelings at the beginning won't always be the same down the road.  Before you think I'm just bashing the Halo series because I'm aware that's how this could come across, I like the Halo games.  Halo 3 is probably my favorite I played through it 5 times I liked it so much.   
 
Think about it next time you look at your collection or think of past games you've played.  Do you feel the same about a game a year after you play it?  A month?  A day? 
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Sniper Perch Groupies and a General Rant on Sniping in Online FPS


Ah yes the Sniper Perch Groupies (SPG) we all know them we all love (hate) them.  Now this may not be a term you're familiar with but you know the definition.  Let's say you're playing a shooter online.  It can be Halo, COD, even Gears of War.  Really just any shooter with an online mode.  You find yourself a nice sniper perch.  You start racking up kills you're feeling good then all of a sudden you notice something on the side of the screen.  You turn thinking it'a an enemy but no!  It's a team mate.  Not just any team mate mind you, another sniper!  Now you would think it wouldn't be a really big deal said sniper may just be taking cover before moving on or may not notice you crouched behind cover smokin' dudes with your rifle.  Most of the time it's someone that has come to steal your spot.  They see you doing well with a nicely placed sniper perch and they want some of your kills.  This isn't something that really happens wth the well known sniper spots on maps.  Usually they always have a few snipers running around them no matter what.  It always seems to happen when you find that perfect spot and you're dug in so well the enemy can't get to you.  This is a phenomena I've witnessed from the beginning of sniping in online FPS games. 
 
I remember when sniping in FPS wasn't sniping it was camping the first online FPS I played was the first Quake over a 56k modem and it was great.  Yeah it had campers but it was fun.  I liked to run around and rocket people to death and all that crazy stuff, I was never into the whole camping thing.  But one thing I've always had a thing for was the idea of the hitman sniper either in movies, books or whatever.  Golgo-13 was a favorite of mine.  When I first heard about FPS getting real sniper rifles I was intrigued.  I wanted to try them out to see if I could be like the assassins in the media I was consuming back then.  Now I can't remember what was the first online FPS to have a sniper rifle but the first I got into was either Counter Strike or Unreal Tournament.  But they weren't the pinacle of my idea of what a FPS sniper should be able to do.  Counter Strike had some good sniping spots in maps but nothing that screamed sniper hiding spots.  Unreal Tournament had a few maps with good perches but you could get rocketed out of them no problem.  When Battlefield 1942 came out I thought it would be a snipers dream and to a point it was.  You had huge maps to run around in and hide to do your work.  I was really enjoying the freedom this game gave to the FPS sniper but then they came.  This was the first game were I really saw the SPG in it's purest form.  Sure the game had dedicated sniper spots watch towers and things of that nature.  What I didn't care for is you'd spend a good chunk of time getting to a great spot.  Jumping off a jeep to get somewhere higher up then you could go normally or how some people would try and snipe from the aircraft carrier on Wake Island.  Okay you spent all this time to get to a perch and someone comes along to be your buddy and hang out with you.  Then all they do is draw attention to your spot.  You're crounched down or prone, hidden from view and this person may be standing up in full view just unloading in the direction of the enemy drawing all kinds of attention and then eventually grenades.  What's worse is when other people you team come to your spot and it's like a party in sniper town that one well placed grenade can clear out.  I'm not saying, "Hey this is my spot and my spot alone!"  Far from it, I'm just saying if someone is in the sniper perch let them be at least until they die and if you're running around basicly waving a flag at the other side causing the well placed sniper to die vacate that spot and let the original squater have his or her spot.   
 
Another thing I've noticed is the amount of times snipers will go back to a place to snipe no matter how many times they get killed in that exact same place.  If you go to a spot only to get shot or grenaded the only people you're helping are the other team, just stop.  One thing I've read and seen when it comes to real life snipers is you take your shot then you relocate, hit or miss.  This can be applied to games as well.  I understand that not every game and the amount of snipers in most games doesn't really allow for this but it's a useful tactic when used right.  Especially in the Battlefield games and I could see it being useful in MAG. 
 
Now that leads me into what made me want to write this blog entry.  I've been playing MAG the last couple days and I've been having a lot of fun with it.  But not with the sniping.  I don't really snipe anymore in online FPS.  I always try out the sniping class/weapons in any game but I just stay away from it mainly because of the reasons I've stated above and what I'll mention in a bit.  I decided to try the sniper class out in MAG and it started out well.  I had a really nice setup and I was tagging guys left and right on the Valor suppression map.  Stay crouched, shoot someone to death then go prone to hide.  They had no idea where I was at until some doofus decided to come stand right next me and fire into the crowd of enemies.  Then another sniper comes up and tries to wedge himself between me and my sandbag barrier.  I told them both in so many words to go away they were screwing up my for lack of a better word flow.  No response but the enemy took care of that with a few rockets fired out way.  The way these two were standing I couldn't get away and I was dead.  Another thing I saw last night was almost just as dumb.  We were playing Sabotage, attacking Raven on their map.  For those who don't know sabotage is like a control point type game.  Well our spawn was in an area where you couldn't really see the Raven base but we had seven snipers in and around the spawn and they weren't hitting anything because they couldnt see anything.  Every now and then a Raven guy or two would come around and knife them all and we ended up loosing that match.  Someone I was playing commented on the fact that a good chunk of our people were sniping in a forward attack game type, I had to agree with him it was crap. 
 
One thing I want to make clear I'm not trying to tell anyone how to play their games.  Everyone plays to have fun and one person's idea of fun isn't the same as someone elses but I just wanted to get this off my chest.
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