Bioshock has blown my mind

Laugh all you want, but I've just completed Bioshock.
Go ahead, laugh! Poke fun, get it all out of your system now!
You done? Good!

No Gods or Kings, only man.
So anyway, I rented it last Friday morning, and finished it by Saturday night. It was THAT GOOD.
Not recently have I been so pulled in by a games atmosphere. Rapture and it's spliced up inhabitants sucked me in like a vacuum and even now, my mind still echoes Andrew Ryan quotes. There was just something so inadvertently perfect about the game: it was able to take a gripping story, fill it with meaningful and coherent characters, and wrap all of this up in the prettiest art-deco package I've ever seen. 2K Boston.... I think I'm in love!

I could rattle on and on about how awesome it is, but good lord, I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times by now! So I'll just say this: best FPS I've played this year. Sorry Resistance 2, but you just can't beat a Big Daddy!



Of course I was playing a PS3 port of the game, but it is a damn perfect port!
The PS3 isn't a second hand system though, Sony has some heavy hitters on the market now, and some on the way (Killzone 2, god of war 3, etc). Little Big Planet is this year's exclusive gem, and I'm adoring every moment I spend with this incredible masterpiece. This game is so intelligently designed universities should teach a course from it. Media Molecule is truly an expert developer!
At first, I thought that designing levels would be boring, but I was dead wrong! Creating your own content is a blast, and I can easily pour hours into the process. If I'm feeling lazy, I can hop on PSN and play some other user levels, some of which are incredibly good. All in all, a great package and easily worth the 60 clams.

Other than that, I've been busy with school and with friends, but I never forget to wind down from time to time and get in some quality gaming. We all need a release, eh? As for the future, I'm currently hyped about that new Prince of Persia, and after I finish my college apps I'll be ordering myself a copy. If I've still got time, I'll also rent Valkyria Chronicles. Can't wait!

4 Comments

Let's get it on!

It's alright now- dry your tears, Efrucht is here!


It's been a while I since I visited GB.... months, I would say. I return to see that the sight has really picked up, I think I will stick around this time. Plus, I need something to listen to, and I can't have the Giantbombcast without the Giantbomb!

AND SOOOOO.....


I'm very busy with senior year, but I always manage to fit in time for gaming. In the morning my friend and I clash blades in Soul Calibur 4 a.k.a. the best fighting game ever. I usually main Kilik but Zasalamel has been my choice lately. He's a solid character but his lows are so slow I'm afraid to use them. His air juggle makes up for it, but even that attack feels weak, especially considering the ferocity of that giant scythe of his, that thing should be ripping up enemies not moving them about so he can give them a hug. regardless, if you ever get pinned against the side of a ring, his RO options can save your life.
Don't insult his mother

I also started playing Uncharted..... this game will not get finished for another year or so, because SC4 takes up all of my time now, and when Resistance 2 hits shelves Uncharted will cease to exist for me until I've wrung out every drop of content from Insomniac's masterpiece.

Then, LittleBigPlanet will come out.... *head asplodes*
My social life will officially be gone!

Anywaaaay,
Fellow GBers, it's good to be back! If you wanna play some SC4, let me know. I'm no pro, but hopefully you're not either! ;-P













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MS should buy Sony's gaming division?! WHAT!?

(I posted this in the forums, but it was so long that I thought I'm better off saving it in the form of a blog as well)

According to this CNET article:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10007014-17.html

The article basically says that MS should buy Sony's game division if it ever wants to compete with Nintendo.

The gaming division is still an important component in Sony's broad strategy, but it's simply not as important as it once was. With huge losses that may or may not turn to profits, Sony is in an awkward position. Should it simply wait and see what happens or should it go to Microsoft now and see if the company is interested?

And why wouldn't it be? By acquiring Sony's games division, Microsoft effectively eliminates the major competitor in its space and can increase its presence overseas -- a major sticking point for the company.

Wow, CNET.... Just wow. I've never read an article this ignorant before.

It is this attitude in gaming that really bothers me. Why do some MS fans feel that MS should use it's deep pockets to buy exclusivity for multiplats and to steal away everything from Sony? To some people, like me, the PS3 was a deeply thought out investment. To hear people saying that MS should use monopoly tactics fills me with RAGE, because they are basically saying "Screw everyone who has a PS3! As long as I get the games and they don't!" Then they stick out their tongue and go off to pop their collars and get drunk and drive.... I'm joking.  >_>

Regardless, their whole position is infantile. It would be awesome if more games were multiplatform, I think everyone should be able to play as many games as possible. Certainly, that is in the best interest of the developers. And it used to be this way during the times when there were two main systems dominating the market. No matter which you chose, you had a HUGE library to choose from and many developers put games on both, at the same time even *gasp*. When I hear about all these timed exclusives and other BS, I wonder if MS's monopolizing tactics that screwed over the PC industry will end up screwing over the game industry in the same way. Linux is better than windows in every conceivable way, but because MS monopolized the gaming industry using it's deep pockets, OpenGL and Linux struggle to get any sort of gaming support. You are naive to think that MS will not do the same with the console gaming industry.

Despite my own angst about Microsoft trying to ruin my gaming experience, this article is just plain incorrect. Sony's gaming division is alive and well. No, the PS3 is not selling as well as they had hoped. So what? That's what happens when something is that expensive, and the PS2 is still a viable gaming platform. The XBOX and GC are not, so fans of those companies were forced to upgrade, unlike PS2 owners. That is why the PS3 does not sell well in N. America. I say, just give it time.

Or.... why not just play the games. If devs made games for the sake of artistic expression, we would be much better off. Sadly, the trends show a decrease in creativity in the industry. For every shining gem, we got hundreds of generic action games, and it is really deppressing.

How to make a marketable action game:

  1. License the Unreal Engine. Normal-map everything to hell and back.
  2. Add generic buff character with generic buff attitude
  3. Add generic bad guy. Just copy and paste from any other game, nobody will care. Even if AI sucks. Nobody will care. Multiplayer is all that matters.
  4. Make sure your texture artists paint in greyscale. Remember, real life is Grey and brown. Color is just communist propaganda!!!
  5. If the main character is African American, make sure he says racially offensive things like "dawg" and "b****" in every sentence. it's called comedy.... So what if nobody finds it funny. >_>
  6. Don't worry about plot. Multiplayer is all that matters.
  7. Don't worry about single player campaign length. MP is all that matters.
  8. Don't worry about sales. MP player is all that matters.
  9. Don't worry about global warming and children starving in Africa. Multiplayer is all that matters.
  10. Repeat step 10
  11. ???
  12. PROFIT

A quick look at these games can reveal to you that the developers were in this solely for the money. No art, no labor of passion and self-expression. No creativity. Money. That's all things are about now and I'm glad that Nintendo is still around to prove to the world that ingenuity sells better than generic action. 2008's Mario Galaxy should have proved to the world that games can be about fun and inventiveness, and still sell well. Still we get games day after day that look like they were made by perverted teenage boys or serial killers. This is what happens when a monopoly is beginning to occur. As one system gets outrageous market share, devs realize whatever they put on it will sell well regardless of quality. This is offset by having different consoles to choose from. More competition means better games for all of us gamers.

To make a long story short, this article is stupid, and the writer needs to get off his high horse and realize how ludicrous his statements are.....

/rant

6 Comments

The happenings of efrucht (AMAZING READ!)

This will be my first general purpose blog! HOW EXCITING!

Soul Calibur IV


That Kilik is a pretty cool guy, he brakes ppl with his staff and doesn't afraid of anything.
I have been having a blast with SCIV for the PS3. What an awesome fighting game! It has a decent amount of characters, most of which are pretty fun to use. The visuals are the best I have ever seen in a game, and that is no exaggeration! Overall, a thrilling experience and well worth my hard earned cash. Online play is my favorite part of the new deal, providing my character with lots of fresh meat to smack about with his Bo staff (that's right, Kilik owns all). My ranked match record is pretty good, but not great. My win percentage is almost 60%. Like I said, not great, but not bad either. I am a poor blocker, but I'm training myself to respond faster, so I can whoop my smug little brother.


Upcoming PS3 Games


Soon those jaws will be gnawing away at my social life!
I can't wait until October! The PS3 will get 3 outstanding games: Little Big Planet, Project Origin, and Resistance 2. I will rent them all first, because frankly video games are way to expensive to make impulse buys. I hope to beat Project Origin via rental, because in all honesty LBP and R2 will probably have much better multplayer, and that is the only reason to buy a game (unless the SP is really long, like in Oblivion). R2 is a big "maybe" for me. I'm not too interested in it, but if it turns out to be pretty good I'll check it out. LBP is my favorite of the bunch.
On a side note, Fallout 3 looks to be pretty good, but I don't think I'll pick it up. Rental, most likely. Games like this, I'm worried about relying on hype, because MGS4 was supposed to be great, but after buying it I felt it was underwhelming and ultimately a waste of my $60. I don't want to make that mistake again. If I had rented it like I usually do, things would have worked out much better. I am also excited about Killzone 2, but I think that the hype surrounding the game is ultimately detrimental. People will begin to get unrealistic expectations, and when the game is finally released, people will be dissatisfied no matter how good it actually is!


Upcoming 360 Games


Looking forward to Gears of War 2, and playing it at my friend's house when it launches. That's really all I can say about it.

Upcoming Wii Games


Hopefully the game is more exciting than the song :P
Madworld seems to be shaping up quite nicely. I think that violence and mayhem will be a breath of fresh air for most Wii owners that are craving a more adult experience, but can't afford a PS3 or 360. I'm keeping my eye on this one!

Life in General


As much as I hate to admit it, summer is almost over. As school approaches, I need to devote more time to brushing up on my studies, and finishing my summer work. So, it with great pain and sorrow that I will force myself to not play video games until all my work is complete. It's not as bad as it sounds, and I have to do the work anyway so why wait until the last minute and drive myself crazy?

/Blog


Thanks for reading!

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I would like spots for platform usernames

A spot for our PSN name, Gamertag, Wii friend code, brawl friend, code, etc. Similar to Lists, where we can make custom ones, and they display in huge print so it can't be missed! Also, perhaps a way to display PSN and Live cards? Maybe even Steam?

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Console niches, and why MS needs to watch out for Sony

Every console fills a niche (spot or occupation) in the gaming world.
Think back to last gen, when the PS2 filled the "variety console" niche. The Gamecube never had a chance. In order to be successful, the Gamecube should have taken the variety console niche, but it couldn't because the PS2 already had that position, and nothing could knock it out of that spot.
Then came the XBOX. Which, like the Gamecube, was only marginally successful, stopped dead in its tracks by the PS2. This was the food chain of the last generation of consoles, with the PS2 occupying the "all-in-one" gaming niche that made it the ideal choice for both developers and gamers.

This generation, things are different. The Wii has fleshed out its very own niche: the casual niche, and NOTHING will unseat it. It has no competition. Congrats to Nintendo! The "variety console" niche is still being occupied by the PS2, thanks to incredible planning by Sony.
So that leaves the other gaming niche, the "hardcore" niche.
The 360 filled this spot with alarming speed, but for some reason it did not dig in. Microsoft made several big mistakes that kept the 360 from wholly occupying the hardcore niche (you already know what they are), and that is why MS should be scared about what is happening now. The PS3 is gaining momentum on the 360 at such an alarming rate that the 360's position is quickly becoming harder and harder to defend. With Sony planning to keep PS3 support for ten years, you have to stop and wonder, what will happen when the PS3 eventually unseats the 360? The prospects don't look good.

When Microsoft releases their next console,  they may find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Both the PS3 and the Wii will have the gaming niches completely filled, and any console Microsoft releases will be successful under only one condition: it creates a new niche for itself to fill.
They could create a new niche in the way that the Wii did, by creating a radical new control interface or some new way to play games that consumers will find irresistible.

If MS does dump 360 support withing the next couple years, 360 owners might have to buy a new console, while the PS3 fans will still be enjoying theirs. The new console would not get a lot of gaming support, because everyone would be developing for the PS3 and Wii.
Don't worry, because as I said there is a flip side. If MS successfully creates their own niche, then things will get very interesting, but in a good way! They will not have to worry about competition, because they will have the niche all their own.
Looking at current MS trends, it is easy to see where Microsoft is making mistakes. They have copied the Mii's from Nintendo, have several drafts for a Wii-mote like controller, and still charge for XBOX Live, despite having no rational justification to do so. By copying the Wii they are attempting to invade Nintendo's niche, and there is absolutely no way the Wii will be beaten. By charging for Live, Microsoft shows that they view a gamer as nothing more than a tool. If Sony and Nintendo also feel this way about gamers, then they hide it very well.

Anyway, lets wrap this up....
For the time being, the 360 is a decent piece of gaming hardware taht is both satisfying and well received. As time goes on, expect this to change drastically. As Blu-ray becomes the new game-storage standard, and developers are able to fully utilize the power of the cell,  the PS3's massive life cycle is brought to a reality, and Microsoft will need to make some big decisions. If it makes the wrong ones, it will no longer remain a competitor in the gaming arena.

Sony and Nintendo are no fools to the market, they invented it.



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Soul Calibur IV!

I hate to say it, but I'm hyped for a fighting game...
I'm torn between renting this game first or just straight-out buying it! I have played the Gamecube version of Soul Calibur three and had a blast, so I know I will love this one!
I desperately need a fighting game (even though I am terrible at them!), so I will be checking out this game when it comes out tomorrow in the U.S.! If you are getting this game too, message me so we can play together!

EDIT: I ordered it, should be coming in the mail any day now....

Vader?! In MY Soul Calibur?!
I like the new design, very edgy.


That's one mean dude!
This doesn't seem like a fair fight!
What a pretty locale! Vacation destination.... or BLOODY BATTLEFIELD? You decide.

4 Comments

HowTo: RCA to Headphones Converter

This little How To will show you how to "plug your headphones" into your video game console, so to speak. This is great for people who have relatives in the house, or who need greater immersion in their games. It will also save you lots of money on a fancy sound system, too. Before reading on, make sure you are using RCA cords with your console, not any of the other cords, or it might not work ( I haven't tried it with those). Lets begin!
You can pick up all of these parts from your local Electronics store, all of it for under $5.

  1. The first things you will need are two RCA "female to female" adapters.
  2. 1. The "female to female RCA adapters" are also called "RCA Barrel Adapters"
    Next, you need a RCA Audio to Headphone Converter. If the headphone part is male, then you need to go to step 3. If it is female, you are done!
  3. Finnaly, you will need a female to female Headphone converter.
  4. 3. Female to female headphone converter, or barrel converter
    2. The RCA Audio to Headphone Jack
    Now, plug all of the components together. They will only fit together one way, so your job is cut out for you! Observe the completed converter photo.
Alternative: You can sum it down to two parts by using part 3, and this type of RCA Audio converter. There are actually alot of different combinations you can use, so don't be afraid to dredge your knick knack draw, you never know- you may have everything you need right there!
The completed converter! Enjoy!










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Pixeljunk Eden....trippy...man!

I downloaded the PixelJunk Eden Demo off of PSN the other day...
Friends, this game is like crack.
Scratch that, this game is crack. It's digital crack.

Craaaazy....
The purpose of the game is to collect these things (don't remember the name) and make it to the top of the screen.
Your little character can swing from leaf to leaf with a silk string. On paper, it sounds pretty lame. In reality, it is a ton of unexplainable fun, and incredibly addicting!
I would yap more about it, but there is no need.... If you have a PS3, download the demo NOW. That wasn't a suggestion, that was an ORDER!
Enjoy!


1 Comments

Avatar: Sozin's Comet

*spoilers*
I just saw the finale for Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Avatar has maintained a level of quality and story-telling excellence that few other animated series can compete with. In many ways I am satisfied with the finale, and at the same time I feel slight pangs of sorrow because the storyline has been brought to an end, yet there is so much left to be told. Part of me wants to see another series in the same universe, but the other part of me knows that milking the series is an ill-advised course for a show of this caliber. If they could maintain the breadth of vision and superb quality, then I would implore them to make more, but under closer scrutiny, anyone can see that the major loose ends have been tied up. Now that Aang has full control of the Avatar state, he is virtually unbeatable.

The Avatar art style is top-notch
There will never be a "bad guy" that poses any sort of significant threat to someone as powerful as the Avatar, and with that, the Avatar Aang story arc comes to a fitting and humble end.

As usual the fight scenes were excellent. Avatar has always been a breath of fresh air to people who loath the pathetic fight sequences of most animes, which employ lots of smoke clouds and 2-frame cutting animations. The combat in Avatar is well planned and well executed, but that is the standard for the series, so it should come as no surprise. What did take me by surprise is the way the finale had a "just another episode" feeling, and that naturally left me with the notion that something will be coming after it. As I stated before, this isn't the case (as far as we know).

I also am wondering what they did with Azula. They didn't show her in the prison, and we know she wasn't executed. They certainly couldn't keep her around while they are rebuilding the world, she is a brat and has sufficiently lost her marbles. Unless Aang removed her fire bending, too. Then they could keep her around without her posing a risk to the reconstruction.

So.... With this, I say goodbye to Avatar: The Last Airbender... for now. Who can say what the future holds? I just hope it doesn't include Shymalan massacring my favorite series with his poor directing skills.


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