Playstation All-Stars, How?

Dear Playstation All-Stars,

How do you have this game without Crash Bandicoot? I know you don't have the license, but why put this out before you nail down the coot?

Sincerely,

Everyone that bought a Playstation 1

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**spoilers** Walking Dead Episode 3

Played Tell Tales The Walking Dead episode 3 this weekend. There were some shocking things that happened in this episode. Yet I kind of feel that this episode was a down note and revealed the game behind the story.

This episode starts with Lee and Kenny walking through town searching for more supplies. Kenny climbs up a familiar ladder to get into the supply store, but when Lee tries to go up the ladder breaks. So you are left with a little puzzle to help Lee get up. When you finally figure that out there is a sequence with a girl stumbling out of a nearby building with walkers all over her. Lee lifts his rifle to help her. Then the situation gets more dire when you see that she is bitten. Kenny is asking, "what the heck you think you're doing?" Lee responds, "we should put her out of her misery." When Kenny replies, "no, that will attract the walkers." So you as the player are left with the choice to either shoot her or not.

I chose to not shoot her, because well... she's going to die anyways. And she is helping a lot of people out by distracting the zombies.

After you get the supplies and get passed the inevitable walkers that nearly kill you, you are back at the motel and into an argument between Lilly and Kenny (the dude that killed her father). They are arguing about whether the group should leave the Motel bunker that they seem to have been living at for a little while now. Kenny has the RV all suped up and ready to roll (I'm surprised they didn't put a Dale Earnhardt sticker on the side of that RV). So they start screaming and going on and you take sides with one or the other until it finally breaks away.

You walk out of Lilly's room and Carley (or Doug, if you went that route) says that she wants to talk to you. At this point your left with the freedom of your character to walk around and talk to all the different members of the group scattered around the area. You talk to Clementine and she is doing something with leaves and paper. You talk to Ben and he is being a pimple-faced teenager. Kenny and Katjaa are insistent on moving on and that Lilly is a nut job.

When you talk to Carley she gets all flirtatious and you say stupid things back to her. Then she gets serious and urges you to tell the others that you are a murderer. Of course you're all like... "chill woman, JESUS!" But you can decide whether or not you agree with her. This opens up the option to start conversations with other group members about the truth of your past. Here I decided to only tell Kenny since Lilly already knows and Kenny is really the only other leader of the group. There is more thought that went into that decision but it's tedious to type.

After the group pow-wow when you get back to the Motel you are also confronted by Lilly about a traitor in the midst of the group. Lilly is claiming that someone is stealing supplies... "the good stuff." Seeing as Lilly has become a crazy person, my first reaction was taking her less than serious. But she is insistent and this is a pretty common Walking Dead trope.

So I begin snooping around to find clues that will lead me to the traitor... this all leads me to find supplies stuffed in a bag, stuffed in an air-vent outside of our wall. After I take the supplies from the vent and report back to Lilly all hell breaks loose. The bandits have our group on the ground with guns at their heads. Lee tries to make a plan with Lilly and she goes off to the roof to snipe these a-holes. Lee (you) are then left to negotiate with these guys. So I try to calm the situation and within two conversation points Lilly has sniped the first dude. Then you are then left with saving everyone else with your marksman skills.

This is where it starts to unravel for me. Tell Tale puts in some good old jenky 3rd person cover shooting. I'm not coming to this game for this. I mean it was pretty easy (yet floaty) to aim, but there's no place for this in an adventure game. Well, there is no place for it if it is just slapped into the game without any real mechanic behind it. I got no good experience out of the shooting in the part of the game.

So you shoot through some bandits and zombies, then the gang hits the road. And Lilly is still heated about the stealing of "our" goods. Then Kenny (without his high-beams on) hits a walker and the RV is pulled to the side of the road. Kenny gets out of the car to scrape the walker from the bottom of the vehicle and Lee, Lilly, Carley, and Ben step out of the RV for a proper chat. Lilly is pointing fingers and intensely blaming Carley for being the traitor and sneaking meds to the bandits. Carley is more or less telling her to "Fuck off." Ben meanwhile is about to wet himself. And Lee (you) are trying to get a handle on the situation. Then when you think you have a wrap on things and you are about to get back into the mobile home, Lilly up and shoots Carley square in the face.

It's a shock. Obviously Lilly had some deep seeding issues with Carley. I don't really understand why it happens because there is no real evidence pointed towards either perpetrator. I guess Lilly was just really threatened by Carley. But at this point I feel more it was because Carley/Doug would be too hard to branch out past this episode. Yep, that's it.

You (Lee) as a sane person leave the face-shooter behind.

...On the road again. Katjaa and Kenny urge you to come to the front of the RV. Here they reveal to you that Duck has been bit. At this point, I already know how this is going to play out. But we trudge on and straight into a train blocking the road.

The group stops here to get the train moving. Lee (you) investigate the area and create conversations with others until you can get out of this area. While going around the area you meet a new character, Chuck. He's a booze-loving hobo keeping his home on this train.

You eventually solve the small puzzles and get the locomotive in motion. Now you are again confronted with the Duck situation. You confront Kenny and try to talk some sense into him. I ended up fighting him, well I let him beat me up. Then eventually he came to the realization that there is no hope for his son. Kenny then stops the train and you can offer to shoot his son. I did offer and let the family go off and say goodbye to Duck. Then, of course, you hear a commotion and run to the scene. You tread upon the scene of Katjaa offing herself, Duck still alive, and Kenny in total dismay. And I go ahead and shoot Duck in the head and bring Kenny back to the train.

Now back on the train you are again in one of the those moments where you have to talk to everyone to move the story along. Chuck (the newly added hobo... HOBO UNLOCKED) has no qualms in telling you how to handle Clementine. Again, this just feels like a thrown together way of your character to finally face the fact of teaching Clem how to survive/shoot and get her hair cut.

Then to change things up... you run into a roadblock. There is a tanker hanging in the way of the train tracks. And since you've lost so many people due to death in this game... we have some more new characters.

At this point of the episode I can really just see the gameyness of The Walking Dead that I have not felt in previous episodes. I feel as if they keep going to the same bag of tricks. They are going to shock you with someone dying then after that they need to add more characters so you have plenty of people to talk to. I wish at the third episode you could start to get in deeper with characters. The only character that you have any sense of connection with at this point is your 9-year old companion. I really enjoy the relationship with Clem, but I feel that lacking from all the other characters. Kenny has been around the longest. In previous episodes the center of his character was protecting his family. Now with his family gone he is glum (understandably), but I would hope to see a more dramatic reaction to the loss of his core. Maybe they will advance that character. I don't know. I kind of fully expect for him to be killed in the next episode so that they don't have to develop him any further.

I love these games. This episode just seemed like a down note. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by the next episode, but to me it seems that the deadlines for these games are killing the fleshing out of characters and stories at this point. Sometimes the easiest thing to do would be to kill off characters so that past choices do not affect the future games any more. It's seems that bringing in new characters keep the overall group at a shallow depth.

This episode just fell flat for me. I hope that the Tell Tale guys bring it with the next two episodes.

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Vent Sesh

My blog. My rules. So I'm going to do a little bit of venting into the world wide web. No one will care about it, but I'll feel better about it somehow.

I just happened upon Gamespot while perusing the internets for some info on my favorite subject of video games. I haven't been on Gamespot in a long while because most of their content is rather generic, but recently they've been taking strides into individualizing their brand. Sooooo, here I am. I played some of the Torchlight II demo last night so when I saw there was a video review up, I couldn't help but look at it.

The video was done by long time Gamespot editor Carolyn Petit. I've realized for a while that Carolyn was going through a transition into being a female, but this was the first time I had seen (under the video) Gamespot recognize her as a... her. So the next step I take is to search the internet for some news on this. And I got to type into the Googles, Carolyn Petit, and it brought up a past forum post here on Giant Bomb.

I was happy to see that the user that made the topic talked about giving props to Gamespot for putting Carolyn out their to represent for a community not often seen in the Video Game realm (probably shouldn't have capitalized that). But then reading responses I was pleased by some and others while respectful in their demeanor brought light on a defense to the "props" of promoting a minority to a public that is full of a majority of white males.

I get that a lot of Caucasian males have evolved into the acceptance of the LGBT community. We have come a long way from where the mindset was about five years ago. So good job... I'm proud of this GB and larger gaming community for that (seriously). But I think that if you are not part of a minority you don't understand the struggles that these individuals and groups go through and have previously gone through. So why can't we give props to a website/company who obviously judges their employees strictly on their ability to do a job. It would be easy for Gamespot to sweep Carolyn under the rug or put her more behind the scenes but they treat her as they treat all other editors, which is the best thing they can do. Maybe those of you her are open minded and don't care about what she does or who she chooses to be don't care one way or the other. But from my experiences on XBox Live and other gaming communities their are still closed minded people out there. Maybe they are twelve year olds who have not been exposed to this sort of thing, but isn't that even more reason to praise Gamespot for exposing these young kids to the reality of the immense differences in peoples' lifestyles.

I will say that I am very passionate about this subject, because I happen to be both gay and a lady. So being a lifelong gamer I have been in situations where I've been treated differently as a girl and I've been in situations that I've heard extremely hateful words as a lesbian.

Thank you to those that are open minded. I hope you keep acceptance in your heart for all the kind people around you. I just ask that maybe you think before you slam down the props. I still live in a world that I fear telling co-workers or potential employers that I sleep with a woman, because they might treat me differently. I still live in a state that does not recognize a relationship that I've been in for 4+ years. I still live in a world that if I were in a different country I could be killed for showing affection to my girlfriend.

Thank you if you read all of this.

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Sunday September 23, 2012

I have a weird weekend schedule because I work in a restaurant, but we always get Sunday off so I try to make that my video game day. It is also football day and I happen to like that too despite the more nerdy things about me. But the Eagles got embarrassed and my fantasy team lost so no point in spending time on that.

I played more NHL 13 Pro Mode. I'm starting my Pro in the CHL and building him up from there. Last year I made my Pro a lot more balanced and this year I'm just putting all my points towards his wrist shot. Pro Mode is definitely the Mode that I use most in the NHL franchise. I think it is because of the character building. I also don't want to spend money on making a virtual Hockey Ultimate Team. You don't have to spend money on those teams, but it's hard to be an elite team without doing that. So my Pro has a pretty sick wrist shot already and soon enough I'll have it so that every time he looks at the goal he scores.

I also stayed up Saturday night playing more Mark of the Ninja. **slight spoilers ahead******* I am towards the last parts of the game and I got the ability to transport myself to another point on the screen. I must say that the creators of the game really came up with creative ways to make their gameplay interesting. There are dozens of ways to get past levels undetected and silently killing foes.

And I've nearly got all my achievements for this game as well. I must say it is well worth the $20 of my hard earned money that I gave up for this game. And I plan to replay it to get 100%. I enjoy every second of being a "Ninja"... heavily tatted.

Started to download the demo of Torchlight II. I'll test that out this week, see how it is, then eventually buy it.

I love this time of year. There is always something to play.

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Start A Blog Achievement Unlocked

Well, I am basically do this because I like to earn the achievements on this site, but let me tell you a little something too.

I'm really intrigued by Borderlands II. I did not play the original game, but this FPS/RPG genre seems to be right up my alley. So, I am not sure why I missed it the first time around. Perhaps I'm one of those gamers that is lured in by the sequel tag. I think it's mostly because it is the beginning of the video game season and this game just looks great. I'm sad that I missed out on the original, but I'm sure I can pick up with this one and not be too far behind the curve.

Until I gather the funds for Borderlands II, I have been playing NHL 13 and Mark of the Ninja. Two very different games. I'm not huge into sports games, but I am a giant hockey fan. I cannot play hockey or choose not to, so I find satisfaction in creating a pro in NHL 13 and achieving legend status. I dominated in NHL 12 and this years new real physics are throwing me off. I have to like account for friction,momentum, and force (WTF). So I'm getting the hang of it. It is a lot more realistic and I'm getting some more flashy moves down. And slowly I will become greater than Gretzky.

Mark of the Ninja is a game I picked up solely on the buzz that I've been hearing about it. I love stealthy games, because you have to think and map out a plan a little bit. Which is funny because I'm the girl in Halo that runs out guns a blazing and throwing grenades everywhere, but... when in Rome. So I think what I like most about this game is the art style. I love the clean cut flash animationy, Saturday morning cartooness of it all. The cut scenes are really well done. I also am a big fan of the achievements and the ability to reload a checkpoint if you mess up and oops I killed a guard too loudly. The gameplay is solid. I don't think that I've played anything quite like it. I've heard comparisons to Shenobi, but that is a game that I've never played. All I can really say to sum this up is, I would recommend Mark of the Ninja to any gamer. It is just a joy to play.

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