Anime is for jerks...

...and assholes.

Let me preface this by saying that I've watched a lot anime in my day. A lot of it was good.... and a lot more of it was not good, but still I wasted thousands of hours watching various anime shows and movies. So with that, I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about anime (or at least I used to think that - I'm not so sure anymore), and all I can say is that it just gets worse and worse each year. Maybe my tastes are becoming more refined (read: better) as I get older, maybe Japan is just so full of cliche shit up it's own ass that it's a miracle to get anything out that's both original AND good anymore. Most current anime is boring, predictable, and so fucking incredibly cliche that I can tell you how an entire season will turn out just by the cover art, description and the number of episodes. That or it's just plain creepy. Japan, please lay off the sister-love. Please!

Even my darling studio BONES, which I thought could do no wrong, has been continuously failing me recently. Don't you even try to tell me I'm wrong. I saw Heroman. I suffered through Star Driver. I endured the soul crushing monotony that is Gosick. YOU'RE DEAD TO ME BONES!

The "Winter" anime lineup has just launched and oh boy, is it a shit-filled bag of dog vomit. You can peruse the list bellow or click here for a larger version, but I warn you; don't go in with high hopes. Naturally there's the usual sports anime shit. This season seems to be another Prince of Tennis (another one? Really?) and some soccer bullshit. Then we have the shitty slice-of-life crap (that can only be aimed at young teenage girls - I can't imagine anyone else watching that crap) and the shitty ojousama and her butler/maids type shit for the masochist/lolicon perverts. Of course we also have the harem school-life shit for your regular perverts (or perhaps they're just trying to catch a larger crosssection of perverts? I dunno...) though they seem to be mixing it up with some space pirate maids... but they're more maid than pirate. Furthermore there's the usual shitty shounen action anime, though this year's Brave10 seems to be particularly awful (like I couldn't even stand to watch the 1:30-minute-long trailer bad).

Finally we move on to my least favorite of all the categories: mecha. It wouldn't be Japan if there wasn't a new Gundam out (I won't even bother here) but this is where it gets interesting. We've got Aquarion EVOL or some such bullshit, Senhime Zeshou Symphogear (what an original name marketing department!) and Rinne no Lagrane. Now I think that the last one's description sums up my thoughts better than anything I could write myself so I'll just paste it here:

"Madoka is a 17-year-old who loves her hometown and likes to help people in trouble. She rides a robot called Vox in her jersey wear and fights against aliens."

*sigh*

Goddammit!

At this point a normal person would want to commit suicide, but alas there is a glimmer of hope that anime is not dead yet! And it's name is Nisemonogatari. You probably don't know this but it's a sequel to one of my favorite anime, Bakemonogatari (also related to the excellent Katanagatari). To put it simply, Bakemono came out a while ago and it was a completely new breath of fresh air. Not only was is incredibly stunning from a visual perspective, but everything about it was unique and interesting, down to the non sequitur dialogue and the non-linear editing and cuts. Hell, most of the show is just banter between two characters, but their personalities are so engaging and so entertaining that it's just a joy to watch. It reminds me of the good old days when I used to sit down in front of my TV with a sushi bento box, grab some chopsticks, turn on some anime and pretend I was in Japan.

My mouth literally dropped when I saw that name on the list. So I scurried as fast as I can and watched the first episode, and that warm, fuzzy feeling was back once again. For one I'm so glad that visual aesthetic is back. Even the opening scene is stunning:

The characters I love were back, and so was the banter. Granted it's not perfect. For example the main character's compulsion to "lick and touch" a young preschooler girl still activates my "Stranger Danger" detector, but I guess you gotta take the good in with the bad.

Even so, I'm more excited about watching anime now than I have been for a while, and I find myself eagerly counting the days until the next Saturday night so I can get my fix. Lets hope the feeling lasts.

267 Comments

Defecating Downer: Part 1st

This is a series of blogs where I take a dump on popular opinions. Be it games, movies or music, nothing is safe from the torrent of shit I command. Also, no animals were harmed in the making of this because I'm not a fucking savage, you dick!

Foreword

As the inaugural blog in the series, I just want to thank everyone for the support and love. I wouldn't be here if you all weren't such fucking dickheads that didn't know the backside of an ass from a good product. I don't blame you for having shitty opinions, but that doesn't mean that I can't make fun of you for it. As such, we might as well start things with bang. Our topic today shall be none other than Giant Bomb's 2011 GOTY (fuck you Brad!) aka The Elder Scrolls V: The Final Frontier Skyrim.

The monkeys have been on an exclusive diet of cabbage and eggplant (lots of fiber) and their arms are well-rested and ready to fling. Their eyes are thirsty for some Dovahkiin blood. Just look at them!

"Hey guys, what's going on over her... oh."

So you can probably tell I just saw Rise of The Planet of the Apes. Great film and so many great scenes. Like this one:

Melted Snickers bar or dog poop? You decide.

Ok, I'll stop now.

Why Your Shit Stinks

I previously blogged a bit about why I dislike Skyrim. To sum it up, it was the lack of storytelling, or rather the poor job that Bethesda does when it attempts to tell you a story. I've thought about it a bit more so I have a few more points to make about this.

As I was playing Skyrim last week, I stumbled on to a great example of exactly what bothers me about the storytelling. I was minding my own business, stealing mammoth cheese and catching butterflies (shut up) when I stumbled on to a house in the middle of nowhere. Inside this house I found a dead man, what I presume to be the owner, on his bed. There was a skillbook and some potatoes, but nothing of much value. However what bothered me was not the lack of loot, but the lack of explanation. Who was this man? Why was he killed? The game did absolutely nothing to explain this to me. Not a scrap of parchment or a bloody note. Nothing. The entire house completely lacked any significance.

I hate using the term "immersion" but, for a lack of better word, I'll make an exception here. This is where immersion breaks for me. It's like that house was a giant "Fuck you" from Bethesda. A time sink, a waste of time. It's entire existence lacks any justification except for some change in scenery.

For my second example I'd like to use the "Bioware method" as a counterpoint. Rather I'll use Mass Effect, Dragon Age and SWOTOR since those are the most recent Bioware games I've played, though this should apply to all (or most) of their other games as well. Lets talk companions. Rather the completely shitty and fucking useless companions in Skyrim (I'm looking at you Lydia!).

In a Bioware game, you have companions that travel with you and provide supporting dialogue, develop your and their character and generally provide lots of entertainment and a feeling of camaraderie. In Skyrim you have a mostly mute companion that occasionally curses while in combat and has the brain of a 2-year-old poodle that had a part of it's brain removed after a terrible car accident on 34th and 2nd. Even pathfinding seems to be an incredibly difficult task for them.

But lets leave the AI problems alone. That's not what makes me upset. What makes me upset is the complete fucking lack of any characterization of your companions. You have three basic options (Follow, Stay, Go Away) and that's it. They don't pipe-in to make comments during important story (lol) sequences. And they certainly don't seem to mind when you murder and entire village of farmers and leave their naked, bloody corpses on the street while their children run around playing hide-and-seek (Ok, seriously why can't I fucking kill kids Bethesda? They're so annoying! Also I'm pretty sure that's some form of discrimination. Just saying).

In an entire game world with thousands on NPCs and miles of terrain, I've never felt more alone.

I realize that my views on the storytelling are subjective and that some people enjoy that type of stuff (people also enjoy watching fat ladies step on rotten eggs, if you catch my drift), but there's an even bigger and more fundamental problem with the game: combat.

der Kampf

In a game where you spent 40-60% percent of your time in combat, it's fucking inexcusable to have such a shitty fighting system. It's bad, oh boy is it bad. In Failout 3 (original, I know) fighting consisted of running real close to an enemy, pressing the VATS button and aiming for the head, then backing away while you wait for your action points to recharge so you can do it again. I can't believe Bethesda managed to make a combat system that's even more boring, but they did.

First of all, lets get this straight. First Person Combat in any game sucks.

Chronicles of Riddick?

You betcha. All the cool parts involved you sneaking behind someone and initiating a canned animation kill. The face-to-face combat was a joke.

Condemned?

Also terrible. Your weapons constantly breaking did not help. At all.

Mirror's Edge?

LOL!

Dead Island?

Sure the Analog combat may seem like a good idea of paper, but anytime you fight more than one enemy, the entire thing just falls apart. Also those kicking animations are just ugh.

Quite frankly Skyrim never really had a shot in the first place. But what pisses me off is that they have the whole 3rd person perspective at the touch of a button, but somehow they managed to make that an even worse experience. We're talking "I'd rather get testicular cancer than play this crap" bad here. None of your swings feel like they have any weight to them and you never really know if your hit has connected. Furthermore the entire "heavy attack" bullshit is just that, bullshit! Canned killing animations seem to activate at random and enemies just tend to rush at you like mindless drones. Never thought I'd say this but I'd kill for a QTE in that game...

It's awful. It's boring. Worst of all it's not fun. Skyrim fails at the one reason games exist.

_______________________________________________________________________

So where are we left here? A game where the main gameplay mechanic is awful, boring and tedious combined with a poor storyline, undeveloped characters and a horrible sense of isolation. You may love it. You may think it's the best game you've ever played. But you're wrong. And ugly. And your breath stinks. And that's that.

Tune in next time where I rip Bastion a new one! <3

18 Comments

Hitlerchu's 2011 Top 10 GOTY Listmania: Now with more meat!

Nazi Dave is watching you. 

I played a lot of games this year.... A lot of fucking games. Even so, there's still some huge releases I couldn't cram in, which is why you won't see Dead Space 2, SR3, The Witcher 2 (waiting on the 360 version), MW3, Rayman Origins, Red Faction: Armageddon, LBP2, and the MGS and Ico/SOTC HD Collections here. Still, it's been a great year and this has been excruciating to pick only 10 games. Also I really dropped the ball when it came to XBLA/PSN games. I mean I bought stuff like ITSP, Might and Magic and Pixeljunk Shooter 2 but I never actually played them. 
 
Also some props to the ones that didn't make the cut: Mortal Kombat 9, Skyrim, L.A. Noire, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine and Shadows of the Damned. I still love you! 

 But before we start, there's 2 special categories: 

   

Biggest Disappointment of the Year:   

.     
What the fuck Guerrilla? Seriously what the fuck? How do you go from KZ2, the greatest FPS of this generation, to that steaming pile of shit you call a sequel? Not only did you completely fuck up the campaign, but you also boned the MP with the new spawn system. 
 

2011's 2010 GOTY: 

I picked this up in March and oh boy! I've probably put in over 300 hours already. Not only is this game incredibly addicting, but the sheer amount of options is staggering. I can easily see myself playing for another 300 hours without the slightest hint of boredom showing up. 
 
 
 

 

My Personal 2011 GOTY:

1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

It's not often that I feel like a game was made just for me. Be it the amazing art direction, the polished stealth gameplay, the cool weapons, the fun bosses and the genuinely interesting story, it feels like something specifically tailored to my tastes and sensibilities. I stayed up for 3 days straight until I finished it because I couldn't put the controller down. I love this game. Hell, I even renamed my wifi network to Sarif Industries!

 

The Rest:

2. Batman: Arkham City

It's Batman. Punching a shark. In the face. 'Nuff said.

3. inFamous 2

By far my favorite open-world game. The powers are just a joy to use and moving around the city can inspire an euphoria-like effect in me. A marked improvement in every area from Infamous 1, I literally bashed a PS3 with a hammer to get my disk back because I wanted to play more. Collecting blast shards has never been more fun!

4. Gears of War 3

This game really came out of left field for me. I've had a lukewarm reception to the previous two (too much dudebro), so I almost didn't pick it up (thanks for pushing me to get it Afro, you magnificent bastard!) but I'm really glad I did. Not only was the campaign really fucking good, but the multiplayer and Horde 2.0 are an absolute blast! My only regret is that I haven't had the time to play more of it online.

5. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Uncharted 3 is better than Uncharted 2. It just is. Not only did Naughty Dog take all the criticisms from the previous game to heart, but the multiplayer has recieved a complete overhaul. So you may ask, why not put it higher? Sadly it came out at a really bad time for me so I just haven't had the chance to play as much of it as I'd like. Also the aiming thing soured my experience a bit. Still, this game has the best flashback in any game ever and don't you forget it!

6. Portal 2

I don't like Valve games. There's just something about them that feels... empty. Soulless. Barren. Well, at least that's what I thought until I played Portal 2. While I enjoyed the first one, I wasn't in love with it, but this one is so much bigger and better. And you know what, it's goddamn hilarious. This one is for my man, Cave Johnson.

7. Dark Souls

It's cause I hate myself.

8. Battlefield 3

I liked Bad Company. I liked Bad Company 2 even more. So consider me shocked when I booted BF3's campaign and found it to be... awful. No, it honestly is the worst FPS SP I've played this year and I finished Homefront. The scripting, the level design, the AI, it's complete shit! I'll go as far as saying that I hate the SP. Which is what makes the MP shines even more, because it's the sole reason why this game is on my list. It's just so fun, so crazy, so... Battlefield!

9. Crysis 2

I didn't particularly care for the first Crysis. It had some fundamental gameplay issues I just couldn't look past. So I was pleasantly surprised when I started C2. The suit powers were fun to use, the combat scenarios were compelling and the story was presented in a nice way. The pretty graphics didn't hurt either. The shooting mechanics still need a bit of tweaking, but it was still an enjoyable romp through New York.

 10. Dragon Age II

I have a love/hate relationship with DA2. I want it to be better, oh god I want it to be better so bad! And it wouldn't take much really, just a couple of new dungeon maps and a different ending. But as much as I hate to admit it, I still enjoyed my time with it. The new artstyle and combat are much appreciated changes and the dialogue trees are still as fun as they ever were in DAO. I put in 65 hours in the game and all it's DLC and I still want more! 

20 Comments

Storytelling In Video Games. Or Why I Dislike Skyrim

Jeff Cannata (two N's one T) from Weekend Confirmed (or from TRS if you're one of those people) was talking about what type of gamer he was and that got me thinking about what kind of gamer I am. Now if you know me, you'd know that I frown upon thinking of any sort, but just like masturbating, you gotta get the poison out once in a while. This thinking led me down a dark, deep and sometimes horny path of self-discovery and I'm here to talk about this enlightenment (I use the term loosely since I'm too lazy to open a thesaurus and find the actual word I'm looking for). 
 
One thing that has bugged me for a few years is the love and admiration people give to the Elder Scrolls games. As much as I tried, I just couldn't get into them, which is weird since they have all the elements that are up my alley. Sure, there are little things here and there that nagged me (like the atrocious amount of bugs) but the root of the issue lied somewhere else. Forward to this morning when I was listening to the Irrational Interviews between Ken Levine and Guillermo del Toro when it finally hit me: it's the storytelling. If you haven't listened to the interviews already, I highly suggest you do so here because they're quite fascinating. The thing that struck a nerve was when Guillermo (or should I call him Toro? Guilly? Mr. T?) said that when he played game and a cutscene happened, he skipped it because he was playing a game and he wanted to play not watch. He doesn't want games to take control from him in order to tell a story.
 
This is the crux of my problem. Perhaps it stems from my intense childish love of books (started reading when I was 4 and haven't stopped since) but I'd rather be told a story than craft one on  my own. This is party because I know that whatever I create in the 20-30 hours I pour into a game will be inferior to the story someone spent months or years writing. Furthermore, it sounds like more work than it's worth the trouble and if I'm one thing above all others, it's being goddamn lazy!  

It's like -40 outside. How is he not cold? 
So lets bring this full circle and talk about Skyrim. After all that's the only reason you're here. I know it, you know it, even your mom knows it (tell her I said hi). My problem with Skyrim is a fundamental one. Because it's so broad and it tries to give you so much choice, it looses out on the one thing that matters to me the most: great storytelling. Sure you may say you have had great stories like punching a dragon to death with your bare fists or dumping 10,00 cheese wheels from a mountain peak, but those aren't really stories. No, they are experiences. The stories Skyrim does tell are the ones in it's quests; the Companions, the Thief's Guild, the Stormcloak rebellion and the rise of the Dovahkiin. Yet none of these are engaging or deep enough for me. I simply can't get attached to a voiceless character or the supporting cast of characters around him. The terrible, in-game cutscenes and bad scripting don't help either. It all just feels soulless. 
 
You may be asking yourself: "Were you dropped on your head as a baby? Why the hell are you playing games for the stories?" And yes, I was, but most people don't like to mention it, you asshole. But that's neither here nor there. I will use the Witcher 2 as an example here. As another sword and sorcery game, I think it's a direct opposite to Skyrim. You play as Geralt of Rivia, a named character with an established origin and personality. Although his journey is heavily influenced by the choices you make as a player, it's ultimately still his journey, not yours. As such, I can connect to the character a lot more. Not to mention that the storytelling in general is much better, the side characters are more likable and have a greater presence and the story itself feels like it has more impact and gravity. A large part of that is because of the cinematics and the fact that you have a larger investment in the world and characters.    
A man with a past... and lots of amnesia. Like a lot.     
 I'm not trying to degrade Skyrim. It's a well-made game with a lot of great things going for it and some epic, epic music. It's just not for me. That said, I still enjoy fisting dragons, but it's a shallow fun rather than the deep emotional experiences I expect from my RPGs
 
A second point I want to make is an appeal for cutscenes. I've never understood the negativity cutscenes get from the gaming crowd. There's the infamous MGS4 example. You know what? I enjoyed every goddamn second of those cutscenes (plus you can make Rose's boobs jiggle so there's that). Not only do they offer you a break and help with the pacing, but goddamn it some are just fucking awesome to watch! My thumbs will not fall off if I set down the controller for five minutes! Plus I'll take a full cutscene over a QTE any day of the week. It makes me sad that the industry is trying to move away from them and into more "interactive" storytelling. 
*shake shake shake* 
 In short, Skyrim sucks, screw the Jews and I've got free candy for your kids in my van. ;)
39 Comments

Vita: Growing out of old sensibilities

I've been having conversations about this for some time now, and with more details becoming more and more concrete about the Vita, it's time to put all this into some orderly fashion. 
 
The public opinion about the Vita has been largely lukewarm. It's not the only one either. The 3DS has not exactly received a welcoming response, with disappointing sales forcing Nintendo to slash it's price 6 months after launch. Portable gaming as a whole seems to be on the chopping block. This isn't the same market that it was 6 years ago when the PSP and the DS launched. With the advent of smartphones, the appeal for portable gaming has lost a lot of appeal.  
 
In fact many wonder if we even need dedicated portable gaming systems anymore. The numbers do not lie. Casual gaming on such systems is down by 29% for the last two years. I can't say I blame them either. There's many reasons why people rather play on their phones than having to lug another device around. Then there's the price of the software. I think Penny Arcade put it best actually: 

It's simple mathematics
So the question that we arrive is simple: Why do I need to buy a Vita when my phone is perfectly capable of sustaining my crave of gaming on the go?
 
A good question, but there's one mistake you're making when you ask that. You assume that the Vita is a direct competitor to your phone. I can't fault you for that either, it's how we've been educated to think since the launch of the original Gameboy. But that was then and this is now, and now we can thank Apple for throwing a monkey wrench into the equation. 
The game changer 
 When I first saw the iPad announcement I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. A year and $600 later and I can't imagine living without one anymore. Tablets have not only created a new category in portable gadget market but have also altered our perception as to what we want in a portable experience. 
 
It's this new-found perception that we should be using when thinking about the Vita. It's not a phone competitor. It doesn't want you to lug it around everywhere. No, think of it more like a tablet. It's big enough that you can't carry it around in your pocket, yet still portable enough so it's not burdensome like a laptop. But although it may fall in a similar category, it's not really a tablet. Sure, it has some built-in apps like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and Flickr, but it's still a closed platform and I doubt Sony will ever unleash the floodgates and let people develop apps for it themselves a la iOS/Android. Certainly not after the entire PSP piracy issue.        
 
I believe that given the right marketing focus, the Vita could be the usher an evolution of portable gaming as we know it. Then again we're talking about Sony here, so chances are just as high that it will crash and burn. Ultimately it will all come down to the software. If you build it, they will come. 
10 Comments

Are you a thief?

Because I sure am. 
 
I've always wondered why games go out of their way to give us "moral" choices and then turn a blind eye when it comes to looting every single piece of crap you can find. It doesn't matter if you got it from a broken pot or a locked safe, you are virtually stealing, and yet the most a player gets is a slap on the wrist. Hell, more often than not we are encouraged to do it through incentives like upgrades and rare items.

You go to bed, I'll just take a look around... 
The first thing I do when I enter a house or a similar building in a game is search around for anything I can take. I blame this habit largely on the Legend of Zelda. It's the game that established a "if I see it , it belongs to me" mindset that I've had in games ever since. It doesn't matter if it's a rupee, a piece of heart or even an old shoe or a piece of string, I want it all! And god forbid if you have a locked chest on the second floor.
No Mordin, I haven't seen your wallet. I swear!
I played Mass Effect 2 as a Paragon. I was a pillar for humanity, a shining beacon for all the universe to admire. I'd find your lost space cat while shooting space pirates in the face without breaking a sweat. Yet I cracked every single safe, I hacked every locked door and pilfered every cabinet of valuables. And through it all, my peculiar habit of taking things that don't belong to me never seemed to bother anyone. In fact I was encouraged by receiving money, upgrades and replica spaceships. 
 
The closest I ever got to being punished for my nimble fingers was in Fallout 3, but that did not stop me from breaking into a woman's house, taking all of her possessions and selling them back to her before blowing her up with a portable nuclear launcher. 
Lock me in, Chief! I'm a menace to society. 
So what I'm saying is that I'm tired of being a thief. I'm tired of looking through every inch of 12 identical houses and hacking 25 identical chests for items and collectibles. If you want to immerse me in a game, treat me like you'd treat a human being who just broke in your house and is going through your fridge. Don't let me take stuff that doesn't belong to me without lasting consequences!
 
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I saw some pots that need breaking.
8 Comments

Why I am a Console gamer

Inspired by risingphoenix.

I know there's a lot of PC gamers here. It's part of the reason why I've chosen to write this blog. I want to shit all over you, your values, your ideals, your dreams and hopes, and even your WASD-tattoo-covered hands. Also I'm bored.

So it here it goes.

A is for Apple

Ease of use.

This is the main reason I will never call myself a PC gamer (even though I play a decent amount of Starcraft 2). You buy a 360 or a PS3, you plug it in, then put in the game and you're good to go. No messing with drivers, no scouring through forums trying to figure out why you see red scanlines on all the wall textures, no worrying whether the game will run on your ATI card because it was optimized for Nvidia hardware. It just works. Granted there are always outliers (as with all things in life), but more often than not I just don't want to deal with that headache.

Plus I'm lazy.

B is for Batman

Controls.

Gamepads are better. They just are. While it's true that you can get much more precise movements out of a mouse, the thing that kills that combo are the WASD keys. What was once a makeshift solution at best has somehow become the definitive way to control PC games and frankly that blows my mind. I just can't comprehend it. Why on Earth would anyone use them when given the choice?

I don't believe I need to list the benefits of proper gaming controllers that were designed with the sole purpose of playing games, so I won't. Instead lets talk about why KBM is bad.

  • Analog Stick for camera control = Good
  • Analog Stick for movement = Excellent
  • Mouse for camera control = Excellent
  • WASD keys for movement = Bad

Lets do some maths: Good+Excellent > Bad+Excellent

Anyone with a a few working brain cells would ask "Why not just use a controller with a PC then?" The answer is twofold. One is, of course, multiplayer. The second is a bit trickier. If we can thank Games for Windows for one thing, its standardizing the controller layout in PC games. However not all games are created equal and as such you're never entirely sure of how the gamepad will work (especially in menus). I guess this also ties to the less fussing around point I made earlier.

So, to review, gamepads > KBM when it comes to games.

C is for Cunt

Game selection.

Console manufacturers want you to buy their stuff. It's why they spend millions of dollars developing and securing exclusives. It's also why those exclusives are generally much better than anything on the PC front (again, outliers). Now, PC gaming is known for it's indie and mod scene. I, however, don't care much for indie games or mods. Most are usually one-trick ponies that have a single "innovative" idea or artstyle and it usually gets old fast, especially when you start seeing all the shortcomings of the other aspects. At best they're novel for a couple of minutes, but more often than not, they fall short of even that.

What I'm basically saying is that I'd rather play a game that was made by 200 people over the course of 2-3 years than one made by a single dude in his garage that took him 5 years of blood, sweat and tears. Sure he has heart but at the end of the day I'm playing because I want to be entertained, not feel sorry for some dude I've never met.

Interesting idea, poor execution

D is for Daggerfall Dave

Price.

A PS3 is $250 and comes with everything you need to play (sans an HDMI cable but that's like $4). A 360 is $200 but you also need to pay $60 for Live if you want full functionality. Even if you build your own PC, it's still a fair share more.

People love to give the "The hardware may be more but the games are cheaper. OMG Steam sales!" argument. I respectively disagree. Yes, you can get games for $2.50 during Steam sales but they're usually the aforementioned crappy indie kind. If you want the AAA stuff, it's usually going to cost you the same as on consoles. Not to mention that Amazon has it's fair share of sales (and $20 credits) and then there's whole used-game business if you swing that way.

So there you go, some of the reasons why I like consoles better. I didn't go much into the performance side of things because it's something that doesn't really matter to me (especially when it comes to framerate and screen tearing).

You don't have to agree with me, hell it's more interesting if you don't, but keep it civil people! If not for me, then do it for the children. Those poor, defenseless children. All they ever wanted was to live and love... and live... and love... but mainly live...

211 Comments

Deus Ex: HR - A MGS4 Love Story

*SPOILERS GALORE!* You have been warned

.

The dudes at Eidos Montreal must have played a lot of MGS4. Like a LOT of MGS4. After finishing Human Revolution, I was shocked and pleased at how close it comes to Kojima's darling. Lets take a look at some of the similarities between the two.

I call him... Jensnake
  • Stealth action gameplay with lots of optional shooting
  • Crazy conspiracies about giant computers that control people
  • Genetically-engineered protagonists
  • Box robots vs Cow robots
  • The Illuminati vs The Philosophers
  • One-on-one boss battles with cybernetic mercenaries
  • Cigarettes
  • Crazy robot appendages vs crazy octo-camo suits
  • Weapon upgrade systems
  • Computer whiz sidekicks (Otacon vs Pritchard)

Granted, there's till plenty of differences. MGS4 is chock-full of crazy Japanese craziness (final boss fight anyone?), where Deus Ex has more western sensibilities. However both are truly excellent and I hope they inspire even more games in that genre.

Edit: Let's not forget that one of the achievements references Foxhound.

28 Comments

Guiding My Way Through L.A. Noire

I've learned two things about myself while playing L.A. Noire.

1. I'm so OCD that I have to get the best scenario in a game - no matter how many times it requires me to restart a checkpoint or mission.

2. I'm a very bad detective.

So I restarted the game from the beginning because I lost my save file thinking it would be a breeze to make up the cases I had previously completed. How foolish I was... Here I am 14 hours later and still not even to the halfway point. Mind you I've only done 3 sidecases and most of the driving was done by my partner. Yet I'm still on the homicide desk and it doesn't look like I'll finish it anytime soon. So where did all that time go? Well, to put it bluntly - my compulsiveness. I'm just not capable of finishing a case without getting all of the questions right. At one point I literally found myself restarting the same investigation 7 or 8 times because I couldn't get one of the questions right.

Cole Phelps. Badge twelve-forty-seven

Being a human, I choose not to admit it's my fault, but instead I'll blame the game. Some of the logic used in the cases can get very... fuzzy. This is especially apparent when it comes to lies. When you select "Lie" you have to back it up with evidence using the clues. Normally it's obvious which one to use, but sometimes it's so vague and there's so many answers that could work that it just becomes a process of trial and elimination until you stumble upon the right one. Herein lies my frustration.

It's important to know how to properly strangle a woman

Therefore in the interest of time and my receding hairline, I've decided to commit a great taboo. I've started using a guide while playing the game. In all the decades I've spent as a gamer, this is the first time I've had to resort to such drastic measures (naturally I don't count using an outside Pokedex for the pokemon games) during my first playthrough of a game. On one hand I hate myself for it, but on the other I really don't want to spend 3 hours repeating the same investigation over and over and over and over again because I picked "Doubt" instead of "Lie."

I can only hope that ultimately this doesn't reduce the impact of the story too much when I finally finish the damn thing.

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@#$%^& SON OF A @#$%!

FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!

My 80GB PS3 is dead. FUCK! And my Infamous 2 disk is stuck inside. Along with my saves for it, MK, LA Noire, Portal 2 and god knows what else. I really want to punch someone right now.

Anyone know any tricks to get out the disk?

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