Call of Duty: The End of a Love Affair

 I consider myself a Call of Duty fan. I've been playing the franchise for years; since the very first when it was released in 2003. I remember seeing my dad walk in with the EB Games bag, and hunching over his shoulder, eyeing the download bar.

Things have changed though for the franchise, and for me since that fateful download reached its end. No longer am I at the end of Elementary School; and no longer is Call of Duty a game that I tell my friends about at the lunch table, with expressions of blankness greeting my excitement. Both the franchise and I have matured, some for the better, and some for the worse.

I am entering my final year of High School, and my tastes in many things have changed, but my choice of games seems to have remained the same. I still to this day defend that Banjo Kazooie was better than Super Mario 64, and I look on with weariness at the Battlefield games, thinking that the Call of Duty games were superior. But with the release of Modern Warfare 2, my mind frame was jolted, and not for the better.

The original Modern Warfare game was a shock to nearly everyone; including me. The leap that the franchise had taken was a large one, moving away from the

comfortable World War II environment that it had stayed for so long, and moving into the modern era. Its release in the same year as Halo 3, caused my friends and I to engage in long and frivolous debates, some of which we walked away from swearing under our breaths with our fists clenched. I was the lone defender of Call of Duty at the time; as I picked it up the day it came out, and only looked at my friends list to see everyone but myself playing Halo. It seemed like everyone soon found out about the gospel that I had been preaching; but as groups of gamers soon converged on what I thought as ‘my’ game, it morphed into something that was foreign to me.

The first few months were great; as I had my entire friend base willing to play at a whim. But as the months past, and my kill and hour count only went up, my weariness for the game and the community began to wane. It seemed like before Modern Warfare; the community wasn’t filled with the infamous idiots that had plagued other communities. Sure, you would run across the occasional jerk, but that occasional jerk soon made up the entire community, and it reached a point that I had to unplug my microphone entirely just to get passed the bigots and enjoy the game. While this group of players seems to make up the entire Xbox Live Community, I never felt the makeup of the Call of Duty fan base be made up entirely of it.

Two years later; the latest addition in the franchise was added, and with it came the end of my Call of Duty love affair. The bigots were there in full force, but it seems that with the success of the franchise, Infinity Ward lost the love factor that they put into all their previous games. The campaign was just ‘there’; lost in a convoluted story that had so many twists and turns that it left the successful formula back at the third plot twist and didn’t look back. The multiplayer scene though, lost its way for different reasons. The game was ripped apart by the community—and still is—with a new exploit being found what seems like every day; ruining the game. Whether it was the dual shotguns, or the multiple care packages, to what is now god-like grenade and rocket launchers, the bigots and idiots can no longer be avoided by just unplugging the headset, as they’ve infiltrated the gameplay itself.

There are some things that I will not change for me, whether it is the defense of that loveable bear and his bird in a backpack, or the fact that I will continue to wear Red Sox pajama pants: there is another that cannot be taken away. That being the magic that the first games in the Call of Duty franchise created for me. The memories of my father and I playing the game together will always be there, no matter how loud a bigot calls me a racial or sexual epitaph. With Respawn Studios, I hope Vince and Jason can remake that magic once again; even if it’s under a different name. My love affair with Call of Duty has reached its end, but with the end of one, comes the beginning of another.

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Five Games That I Want to Play

 

Basically the games I'm looking forward to coming out in the next year, 'hopefully.'

-Brutal Legend. I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced mainly because it's the game coming after the masterpiece that was Psyconauts, and Tim Schafer is great. Also, I wanted to support this game to keep Double Fine alive and to give a finger to Activison. On a side note, I'm going to laugh at all those who laughed and posted negative notes when I said this would be a great game.

-Alan Wake. Not much of this game has been shown, but so far it looks really interesting, Max Payne 2 was a great game, and I have trust in the developer that they will not pull a Too Human, by working on a game for years and have it just be 'meh.' The story is the main grab here, but I also want to meddle with the light aspects, and how they affect your foes.

-Fable III. I loved Fable II, and I hope that Fable III continues with excellence that has been following this franchise. Nothing excpet a few concept pictures have been shown, but I'm already stoked for this game.

-Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have never played an MMO before, and I think this is the best place to start off. Bioware has made ecellent games, especially KOTOR. Just the expanded story alone will make me want to play this, but they also seem to not be falling into the same pitfalls that Galaxies fell into by making every cl@ss unique and interesting to play.

-Mass Effect 2. I liked the first Mass Effect a lot, but there were a ton of serious problems in it. Whether it be game breaking glitches, hiccups in the framerate, pop in, or long load times, I still had fun with the game, despite numerous issues. With Mass Effect 2 it looks like they are both fixing those problems and making the overall game better. My only wish is that Bioware will hurry up

That's my list, and I think it's pretty good. So what five game's are you stoked for?  
Note: Thanks Mike for the idea.
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Mega Uber Update

Wow, when was the last time since I did a real blog? Months, years, decades? Nah, probably just a couple months, but I've still been around, and actually writing something meaningful and pressing the 'New Blog Post' button is a hard task. Anyway, I have done, and played a lot in the last few months so lets get things started, in bullets! : P
-School finished nearly a month ago now, and I must say that I enjoyed my sophomore year in High School. Sure, CAPT tests sucked (Basically the Regional tests but for Connecticut) and my course load was somewhat hard, but I finished the year with a 3.7 GPA. Plus, I got a 98 on my Biology Final, which is always great.

-Got Tom Clancy's Double Agent from Goozex, and played it for about a week, and then sold it once more. The game itself was enjoyable, but the Splinter Cell series has fallen from that mystique, and I'm glad that Ubisoft is giving the series a face lift. But I seriously hope and wish that the multiplayer and co-op from Caos Therory will be in the new installment. Plus, I'm with Vinny on the bet that Night Vision goggles will be worn by Sam Fisher in the next game.

-Got Mirrors Edge from Goozex, and once again, I agree with Vinny from this week's Bombcast. The game is really short, and the time that I spent with it were mostly of frustration from my wanting of the achievement in which you do not use one gun in the game. I lost most of the thoughts of originality when I played it, as if the game videos could suffice for actually playing the game. Kind of regret getting it.

-Got NHL 09 from Goozex. I seriously thought this would be the game that would get me to playing sports games. That thought was false though, as my problem with all sports games came up, I fucking suck at them. I see myself as a good gamer, someone who can pick up a game, and play, but I seriously just can not play sports games. With NHL 09, I could not get a single goal, with the shooting system driving me mad. I tried every position on the ice, but it did not help, I finally just said, 'Eh, fuck this' and put the game back in it's case, never to be played again, and to always be there, so that I never buy another sports game, ever again.

-Got Battlefield 1943, and guess what, it's a Battlefield game. I loved Battlefield 2 on the PC, and wasted a good year on that game, but with this, I got hooked again, and then stopped playing once I got all the achievements. I enjoyed my time with the game, but to have fun in it, it requires that you have friends playing with you. I got the game day one, slogged through the problems with the servers, and now that they're fixed, I barley play it anymore.

-Got Secret of Monkey Island SE, which is amazing. My first real point and click game, and I loved every minute of it. The writing was brilliant, and the puzzles were tons of fun to figure out. I liked the fact that the hint system was in there, so I did not have to get out of the game and go to a FAQ, but the problem that arose was that it was hard not to just figure the puzzles out on my own, as it was so easy just to press the 'X' button. The graphics looked great, and Ioved the feature of going back to the old art style, but some the art looked a little wonky in the modern day version espeically that of Guy Brush. Still though a great game, and have played it twice, and got all the achievements out of it.

-And most recently, I bought Splosion Man. Splosion Man has been on my radar for sometime now, and 'WOW' was I right about this game. It's a unique and great platformer that has a great sense of humour. I finished the first third of the levels, and I have enjoyed my time thouroughly with it. The achievements seem to be a little hard, especially finding all the cakes in the multiplayer, but if anyone want's to go through it with me, hit me up. Splosion is highly reccomeneded.

-For my AP US History class, I have to read three books over the summer. Right now I'm on the biggest book called the Glorious Cause, which is basically a history textbook, with a page count of 758 pages. Its a very slow read, and at times downright boring. I find myself twice now, just skipping a chapter as I knew that the information was trivial, and just decided to move on. Now, it is slowly getting better, as the Boston Masacre  was just dicussed, meaning that the war is slowly approaching. The other books are around two hundred pages each, meaning I can finish them in less then a week.

That's about it so far with my summer. I just sold Resident Evil 5 over Goozex, and am getting Bionic Commando and Star Wars Republic Commando in the mail too soon. Have a great summer, and I will be doing another update before September and school starts. I promise.
-Dan

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The Orphan's Stupid as Hell Twist

To those going to see the Orphan, you are retarded, but alas, I would not click this link as it talks about the 'twist' that happens in this movie to explain why this little girl is so fucked up. Honestly, this movie should be a comedy with that bright idea in the script.

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Understanding a Librarian

As I sit here in my school library, avoiding the blocking system that my school has enabled on gaming websites, that are apparently worse than the shit you can find on Youtube. Although, I already have this annoyance, I have the continued, anoying voice that is uttered by the librarian. From what I can tell, she likes nothing more than the word, "SHHHH!" 

Now a librarian has classically been known to be 'The Keeper of the Books." The person who makes sure that no single sound can be heard in an area payed for by taxpayer money. Sure, talking loudly or playing music is fair game to tell someone to be quiet, but quietly whispering to a person sitting next to you does not constitute a; "SHHH!" 

 This librarian that I'm forced to deal with is the definition of ignorant and irratating. Whatever I do, she yells at me. Once, I was typing to loud, and she told me I will be kicked out if I continue with the "Loud Clacking," as she put it. I doubt the woman has any other goal in life but to annoy the living shit out of people. 

To add to my frustration, I have two idiots sitting behind me, continuing to talk loudly about Fantasy Baseball, as I am trying to type this. Oh, and there goes the "SHHH!" once more.

Librarians=Goal purpose in life is to annoy the living shit of others in an area where books are commonly stored. 

 Put that in the dictionary Webster.

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Best TV Edit Ever!

So we all know Snakes on a Plane was a terribly awesome movie, and it had a lot of swears, boobs, and penis before it got munched off by a snake, but remember that great line from Samuel L. Jackson? Well listen to the edit of it:

  

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Battlefield Heroes Impressions

So around two weeks ago EA sent me the Battlefield Hero's beta key, probably for the fact that I'm running Windows XP 64 Bit, which most people don't have, but that's beside the point. For the last two weeks have been dabbling in it, and have created some presumptions in my mind about the final game.

The first thing that caught my eye were the graphics. After spending countless hours inside TF2 servers, I have come to the idea that they are not just a rip off it. Instead it's almost like I'm in a Pixar esk world where everything has outlines, but are colored in. The best metophorical thing that I can compare it to is Leonardo Davinci's coloring book.

Graphics aside, the gameplay is also different from past Battlefield games. The first such difference is the fact that you can customize your character with different clothes. The downside to this is that you have to use points entitled, 'Battle Points,' or something similar, that you get by putting your credit card into the EA service. It's quite annoying having to spend around three dollars to dress up my character as a ninja, but on the flip side it's a free game, and at least it's just for clothes, and not any gameplay changing items. Also, the game is a lot faster than an average game of Battlefield 2. Unlike BF2 games' which could go on for upwards of an hour, games in Battlefield Heroes are around ten to fifteen minutes. Finally, there are only three cl@sses which are, Spy, Heavy, and Soldier. All three have their own distinct gameplay types, like Team Fortress 2, and add a diversity to the game. And don't worry Battlefield fanatics, planes, tanks, and cars are still in this version of the game, with a disapointing loss of the helicopters.

Battlefield Heroes seems to be a complete 360 from Battlefield 2 which was completly serious in it's "War is serious" tone. Instead with Heroes, it's all about goofing around. You have numerous actions that allow your character to do movments that even made my fifty year old, Battlefield 2 Hardened, father laugh. Heroes seems to be a great game for the fact that it's 'free,' allowing for disapointments like the lack of a server list, and the quick games to be pushed aside for the fact that, who doesn't like free things?

Definitely check Battlefield Heroes when it comes out in a couple of months.

Note: People have been asking about the matchmaking, it's just matchmaking, skill of players are not factored into it.

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My Wii Buddy

Ha good one Gamestop. I was actually about ready to buy it too.

One thing I find extremely funny though is the ESRB details:
Alcohol Reference
Blood and Gore
Crude Humor
Drug Reference
Intense Violence
Language
Mature Sexual Themes
Partial Nudity
Suggestive Themes
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RE5, My Thoughts

So I beat Resident Evil 5 last night, and I have some mixed impressions on it.
-The graphics in this game are just plain amazing. Especially in the first three chapters, and the final boss fight. Simply stunning. The cutscenes are also fabulous, especially the eye movements.
-Story is not bad. Okay, this is a Resident Evil game, and really, having a story that somewhat makes sense is an accomplishment. Unlike Resident Evil 4, the story does not differ from the original story line, and mixes with both the original games, and Resident Evil 4. The dialog  is pretty crappy though, and though it's a series tradition, what really annoyed me is when Chris said to the final boss, "Do you get your dialog from comic book villains?" Making your dialog bad for the sake of being bad is not ok in my book, and there weren't even really funny lines.
-The gameplay is ok. I am fine with most of the stop and shoot gameplay as it fits the mood, and the AI is designed to work with this mechanic. The problem I have with this is the addition of the cover mechanics. They're absolute crap, and just don't work well. When you put in cover mechanics, I can compare to Gears of War or other games that use them correctly.
-The AI is ok. Sheva is fine throughout the game, until the last few sections. There, she never would run to save me, would use the lightning rod instead of the pistol, and at the end boss fight, the first part near the plane, would just constantly miss with the RPG. The enemy AI in the game is pretty good, but I hate the fact that they gave the enemies guns near the end of the game. Way to ruin the game for me Capcom.
-The first three levels were awesome, the last three, not so much. I loved the first half of Resident Evil, this includes the first part of the temple area were you're pulling the levers, but when you get into the factory areas, it just is not fun. Stick with the setting Capcom, make it look like Africa, not just some random factory. The hate for the last levels is also probably due to the addition of the crappy cover mechanics. Though the last boss fight lifted my spirits for sure.
-In all, I thought Resident Evil 5 was a good game. There are some things that stop this game from being amazing like Resident Evil 4, but I definitely am going to go back, play it many more times to come.
4 out of 5

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My Most Anticapated Game of 2009

So a friend recently asked me what my most anticipated game of this year was going to be, and I really don't know, until just a few moments ago until I remembered what it really is. The soundtrack alone looks to make this game amazing. And to Spencer, Fuck Yeah.

  

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