Impression of the Halo: Reach story

*SPOILER ALERT * 

So because of my efforts, Halo:Combat Evolved can finally happen. It was released in September 14th, 2010 but I finally got around to completing it today, great. But they done goof'd! My friend loved the story, having a soft spot for the Halo lore from 1 onwards and told me that I will choke up and get all emotional with the characters. But then why did I not give a shit about anyone apart from myself? 
 
Noble Team, a group consisting of super soldiers, Spartans, with me as the new guy known as 6 and other guys who I don't give a shit about. We investigate some communication thing, to find out it was the god damn Covenant. They seem to be the only enemies ever so really I was just watching till I spot a grunt or something. Shit started hitting the fan because, if you know the story, Reach was like the planet where the main human military force and last surviving colony was and everyone else was being killed off by the god damn Covenant. Now it was up to Noble Team to do whatever the hell they could to fight the invasion and save humanity. 
 
One of the main problems I noticed was that my team were pretty much the cookie cutter super soldiers I expected them to be. What I mean by this is that they did their job, they followed the book and were very straight forward like soldiers are portrayed to be. Now when a member died, or sacrifice their life to keep you going, I'm sure that they wanted you to think "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Instead I couldn't really give a shit about these people who sacrificed their lives or were killed, they were so one dimensional and plain that it was more like "Oh, they just died in their line of duty, doing their job straight to death... I'll keep going I guess." 
 
My friend hyped up each sacrifice, the ending, obviously with each moment tugging at his heart strings. But once I finally saw the ending, I realised that I already did something like this before but it had more of an impact on me than Noble 6's sacrifice. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core for the PSP. For those who know and those who don't, I won't say what happened but beat around the bush. That game's ending was CRAZY. I mean I played Final Fantasy VII on the PS1 and I knew briefly the story, but the way that game grabbed you, made you give a shit about what was happening, your main character Zack and your friends and what you were fighting for. By the end, I was in that fight and made it my duty to not fall. Still, me and everyone else who played that game had to ultimately bite the bullet at some point and that got me. That really got me, I was so angry at Shinra, sad for Aerith and understood why Cloud was such a moody emo bastard and how fucked up his life actually is after finding out the "truth". That's what I wanted out of Halo: Reach but I never got, instead team mate after team mate died for me and pushed me along for my duty, not for me. 
 
Apart from that, the game played fine, the controls were real good with the added armour abilities making combat more fun, traversing on foot much quicker and adding more tactical strategies to the A.I. and online players. I generally prefer the Halo controls and combat to Call of Duty's aim and shoot, because there isn't a lag in when I fire my gun and the bullet travelling to the target I was aiming at, it feels very 1:1 and when you get a head shot, you definitely feel like you got an instant head shot. The mission involving space combat was very fun and felt like a much needed break after an intense session of FPS, though it would of been nice to maybe include it again to break up another part but the story didn't require Noble 6 to space dog fight again. My only issue is that I wish the story had more heart and that these Spartans bled a little more personality, even though they're super soldiers for combat, to make me feel their honour and fight with that.
2 Comments

Are HD updates really that great?

Sup broads and brahs, Katajero here with another thought. I don't feel good about seeing HD remakes of our classic games nowadays. What I don't mean is that Sony or whatever company is wasting time on bringing these game to this age, but more of the sense that is for the people who haven't played these old school games, that all it takes for them to play it is if it was cleaned up in HD, with it's frame rate bumped up to 30fps or 60fps running super smooth?  
 
_*WARNING* THIS IS A BIT OF A RANT, maybe a "1995-onward" fanboy rant_
 
Now I own a wide variety of games for different consoles, ranging from the PS1 and PS2 to N64 and Gamecube among other console titles. I loved these games back in the day, and I still enjoy them now. Being 20 years old, I have the power of buying whatever I want with the money I earn, so I can go back and get a lot of titles I used to own as well as games I didn't get a chance to try out. Examples being most of the PS2 Final Fantasy titles, the Metal Gear Solid series, Prince of Persia, Kingdom Hearts, Metroid Prime or the Gamecube Resident Evil titles. All these games I just mentioned, I never played before when they were released, but I can play them in their native modes on their respective consoles. There were many problems with game titles of their time, like how in Goldeneye on the N64 you could confront epic lag by blowing shit up excessively, Shadow of the Colossus with it's slight jaggy look and frame rate. or Final Fantasy VII with it's sharp ass polygon characters with no mouths or hands, but I could play them then and I can still play them now. 
 
NOW! My point is that people, SPECIFICALLY PS3 users, end up buying the HD updated versions of these great great titles for their console. God of War 1 and 2 are running at fast frame rates, clean ass visuals and trophy support. Shadow of the Colossus is a highly wanted title for the HD collection and will receive the same makeover as the rest of the games, but to me that's not the same game. You're not playing Shadow of the Colossus as intended by the developers, working with what they had and putting their blood, sweat and tears into such an amazing PS2 title that took advantage of the hardware, while being limited was still amazing for what they could do with it. That's why I bought a 60gb PS3 that can play PS2 games, so I can play these PS2 games in their entirety to this day, as it was supposed to be. 
 
A friend recently said that he wanted Konami to release a HD Metal Gear Solid update collection on the PS3, including the Gamecube remake Twin Snakes. That sent me in a fanboy rage, where I stated that Twin Snakes specifically can't leave the Gamecube, as to me it felt like everyone shitted on that particular console in comparison to the Xbox and PS2, but then here came this developer who showed that even a GC title can shine. Resident Evil 4 is an example of this too. It could be fanboy-ism, but to me I feel like playing these HD updated versions will make new gamers unaware of the times in the past, of how games used to be. Graphics don't make the game, but people still disagree with that comment to this day. 
 
Some titles I didn't really mind, because it allows me to experience them more conveniently, which is the counter argument to my statement. A lot of titles are getting shrunk for the PSP, Nintendo DS or even the GBA, with enhanced features such as the early FF titles before VII with it's updated new sprites, or games like Persona 3 losing it's exploration before a dungeon. But maybe what I'd like to see for some of the games is a HD remake, instead of a HD update. Remakes to me have the same heart as their original counterparts, with the people doing the job putting their effort into bringing it to todays age. Super Street Fighter II HD Remix with it's drawn characters, stages and remixed music, Bionic Commando Rearmed, with it's gorgeous visuals and amazing soundtrack, even Serious Sam HD with such a clean looking shiny. I know in some senses I may even have contradicted myself, but sometimes nostalgia plays hard in some of us gamers. 
 
-Katajero

12 Comments

You just can't game with anyone online!

Hey y'all, I'm Katajero. I like to game, but when I'm not gaming I tend to think a lot about little quirky to big things. I'm a quiet dreamer who thinks a lot about games, theories and opinions and then finally express my ideas in a huge ejaculation... to my best friend and my cousin. This is one thing I've thought about that isn't really innovating, but may answer why it just isn't fun to game with certain people online or in split screen. 
 
I've noticed a trend with certain people, you can game with some just fine, and some gaming sessions with others are less than desired. But why you say?! Or who cares! I do of course, I'm the type of online gamer where if I'm not having fun or enjoying it, I'll feel very disconnected from the game and end up turning off the console much earlier. Now I realise why, and a good example is youtuber BlueXephos. You see, you can either go online to just play the game, and that's fine really. Call of Duty, go online, get lots of kills, win your objectives and then bugger off. Same with Halo, Battlefield, The Conduit, Monster Hunter, Uncharted, WoW etc. Then you got people that play it a little silly almost, they start roleplaying in the game, take on the character or act the stereotype. 
 
THESE are the people that make gaming fun, the role players. Now I don't mean where you absolutely talk like the character, say what he's got to say, act accordingly. What I actually mean is when you play Battlefield or Halo, you end up saying movie quotes, helping each other out and genuinely having a great time because you're bouncing off your friends a lot. Now this is where BlueXephos comes in, also known as Yogscast. They usually play games together, anything that may have multiplayer in it, mainly they play a lot of WoW and Minecraft together as well as doing quest maps and playing along to the story. Listen to them during their videos. Genuinely having fun instead of getting stressed out all the time.  This is really what gaming is supposed to be, rather than a Call of Duty mentality where you "JUST PLAY THE GAME, GET THE MOST KILLS, KILL KILL KILL, AW SHIT RUN RUN KILL, WOOOOOOOOOOOO SICK SHOT BRAH!" Which isn't bad by any means, that's how I usually play games when I'm on my own online, or just on Call of Duty,  you really can't goof around on the online multiplayer, well apart from Zombies.
 
So there you go, promote that tinge of role playing, don't just play the game, enjoy yourself and have fun! You playing Halo? Grab a chopper and tell everyone to "get to the chopper!" Monster Hunter? Complete a quest, hear the dramatic win music and say "Let's go home... and be family men..." Street Fighter? Pick Sagat, say "They call him... the king" and end up losing. Call of Duty? Watch Platoon and yell "TAKE THE PAIN! TAKE IT!" Halo:Reach? Crouch above your friend, staying silent on his radar... then leap onto him from above, hold that melee button and scream "BOOM SHAKALAKA!"  
         

 Be nice you assholes!       
Quick Edit: I kind of went off on one, but I forgot to mention something vital that was supposed to be right at the beginning of this post. THIS ISN'T TOTALLY AIMED AT EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET. I intially wrote this about a close friend of mine, within a gaming circle of me, my cousin, him and his brother. The whole concept of this blog was supposed to be about how some friends, no matter how much of a good friend they are, you just can't game with them all the time. Granted they'll loosen up sometimes, but not all the time.
6 Comments

Comic! Monster Hunter Tri

Yeah basically I thought in my free time, I might as well do something. But I'm a hardcore noob, so I suck at comics. AH WELL!  Practice makes perfect.

 Monster Hunter Tri's Wii Speak feature definitely feels tacked on.
1 Comments

Split/Second: The Action Movie Game!

I'm glad to find out where my Xbox Live Gold Membership money is going to, as I just finished a first run through of the Split/Second demo which arrived on the Xbox 360 today. It looks like the same demo they've been using for the E3 footage and most of the videos online.
 
Now this game is based on getting points for your power plays to use for thwarting the other racers. Power plays can range from simple attacks such as a helicopter hovering, when triggered will drop an explosive crate and hopefully affect someone unlucky enough to either receive it head first or be near it to feel the impact of the explosion. They can also be much bigger, resulting in bringing down aeroplanes to buildings for widespread damage or route altering attacks. They range from Level 1 to Level 3, of course 3 being the bigger and more powerful of the power plays. If you're a guy who thinks, "With all these power plays, I'd at least want a reason as to HOW I CAN DO THEM? It's not realistic unless it's explained to me" then you shouldn't really play video games. Well basically, just think of a reality TV show where they throw you into their created city and terrains and everything is rigged, with you holding the detonator for the various traps and route altering explosives.
 
Let me start and say, MY GOD. This game is amazing to watch and play. The sense of speed and action go hand in hand and gives you a total movie experience. You know what I mean, like when the main protagonist needs to escape from danger in a car and all hell is breaking loose around him. After all it is a reality TV show experience, so you'll notice from the get go that the camera follows you with a swerve here and there, let's call it "cinematic style" for now. This is further shown by the edges of the screen, with what looks like the edges of the lenses, probably to further say "Yo, you're looking through a camera, reality TV ho ho!" Graphically... I can't say since this is only just the demo, I mean we all saw God of War 3's demo and final game comparison didn't we? But with the nice hot summer look going on, sort of reminds me of California (I've never been, but I sure seens it on them danfangle television boxes!) Basically, it's a nice looking game, with blurs here and there in for the right situations and that sense of going fast.

Continuing on the notion of the "movie feeling" in the game at certain points, mine happened on my final lap when pretty much everyone had enough bars for power plays. Such an "epic" situation arose twice, firstly as I drove I noticed a skyscraper building blowing up in the back. As it fell, my eyes were fixed on it going down hitting the road in front of me, forcing me to follow a new route. The second moment was actually quite humorous, as I drove on the airstrip, I noticed a plane slowly falling down, until I thought, "Wait a minute... that plane is actually going to crash into the ground... no wait... it's going to fall on me! EVASIVE MANOEUVRE!" Sadly it crushed me but I ended up 1st thanks to some super quick cornering and Level 1 power plays. 
 
As they say, you can't play a game just based on one aspect of the game play, so it's good to say that the driving is actually really solid as well. Cornering was perfect to master and drifting was beneficial. Manoeuvring around explosions and terrain deformation was difficult yet possible. With Maybe a certain other video game can look to this to learn how to make their cornering and drifting more beneficial than hugging the walls... (Hint Hint Blur).
 
As a racing game, it's quite solid, but with the power plays, it raises the innovation within making a racing game more fun rather than a gruelling process of constantly being hit all the time and not allowing any catch up for players behind. I can't wait to get my hands on the final version and see the other tracks and power play moments. Maybe even play it online with my friends and drop aeroplanes on them too. POWERPLAY, DROP A PLANE ON YO' ASS SON!    

2 Comments

Marvel Vs Capcom 2? I wish I could love you...

 Hi my name is Katajero and I'm a fighter

I seriously don't know why, after being introduced to them after I got my first SNES, I started on Street Fighter 2, then moved onto Turbo, then Mortal Kombat 2, then finally Killer Instinct. Something about those fighting games remain in my mind to this day and I just love the complexity of the fights, from the tactical approaches to the hidden mind battles against your opponent. This generation, my mainly played fighting games have been Street Fighter 4, Tekken 6 and Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. 
 
Being such a serious fighting game fan, I obviously have played through the ages of fighting games, when I had a PS1 I had many mixes of Street Fighter I couldn't wrap my head around. First of all was the weird and different but fascinating Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and it's far away brother sequel, Street Fighter EX2 Plus, then the super fast Alpha/Zero series. I also got a chance to play other fighters like Tekken to Tekken 3, sadly on other peoples consoles. Around the Xbox age I managed to snag a copy of Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike as well as visit the old school age and play Soul Calibur and N64's Fighters Destiny. 
 
There's one game, that I wish I could love, just because of the huge community and love for this game, but I cannot. That game is... Marvel VS Capcom 2! WHY NOT? I mean sure... it boasts butt loads of characters, all from both the Marvel and Capcom universe! And sure...  it's jazz soundtrack is different but after hearing it for a while you'll love it! And also... sure it's gameplay is a little broken too, well whoopidoo... yeah. I just can't dig that game, no matter how much I tried! I hate the soundtrack with a passion, it just doesn't sound cool to me, not saying jazz sucks, just MvC 2 jazz isn't my... taste. I dig the character selection, again the idea of these Marvel characters and these Capcom character is a dream come true to many, but to be "pro" at MvC2 also requires you to be cheap, and select these "God tier" characters just to stand a chance. You know who I'm talking about, god damn Magneto, Cable, Storm, Doom... there's more but the rage is slowly filling up. This "broken" mechanic that the game touts as amazing and "fun" is really separating the crowd that are:
a) Trying to get into the game 
b) Just pro at it 
  
I love Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, it has more polish, the depth of the fighting mechanic is both easy to learn and quite deep, with so many set ups and combos, making it perfect for people who want to get into it and those seasoned fighters who want to try out something new in this generation. I don't have to spam the same thing over and over just because it's the only thing that can be done with the characters, if you were fighting someone and they somehow got you into an infinite combo where you're just being juggled by an uppercut again and again, I would throw my control down, swear at the game for being broken and go play a game with mechanics that aren't as dirty as low quick kicks in Tekken. Infact MvC2 is the Eddy Gordo of the fighting genre, with it's barrage of O and X.
 
It sounds like I'm hating on MvC2 for not being "noob friendly", but we were all "noobs" at one point. Seeing the tournament play of MvC2 just shows how much of a mess it is, how am I supposed to get that good, what tactic is there other than just being plain aggressive and over-powering your opponent with no option to fight back and a blitz storm of constant attacks, no matter how cheap they may look, it's pro apparently! NO! You just exploited the mechanics of an already broken game and shown us why the game shouldn't of been sold as a broken game in the first place! 
6 Comments

The tiny little state of the FPS scene

Well this blog post has a reason behind it, after my previous one mentioning that I was going to go buy lots and lots of games and a new console (which I'll talk about later, fret not!), I decided to stick my video game journalistic dreams into the cogs of people at Gamestation in my local home town. Also it's the tiny state... because it may be a big deal, or not at all.
 
I was talking about Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with the staff, mentioning that I'm one of the people that had been switched as soon as I played it. The staff agreed with me saying they made the switch too and are now sick and tired of Call of Duty:MW2. But I heard something more interesting, after bashing Modern Warfare 2 with some customers and the staff, something which I never knew or thought of before! EEEEE! 
 
One of the staff guys I was talking to mentioned that at the time, a lot of people came to buy Battlefield:Bad Company 2 on release day. That's good news, I liked the sound of that. But around half of that number that came to buy it came in and traded it back. What? WHAT?! Wait that makes sense. Okay! So yeah, they must of not liked the fact that the shooting was better in Bad Company 2, that they can't do their jumping 360 no scoping sniper shots and just lone wolf it everywhere. It makes sense, I felt Modern Warfare 2 had a very arcadey feel to it, but it was acceptable! For a while... But no, apparently, it's the fact that BC2 required you to work as a team, that the open maps requires that, yet people didn't work in teams at all once online. People often join matches where other players don't work with the squad they're in. In fact, you could say that's a huge plus M.A.G. has over Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare 2, the fact that MAG forces you in teams, then forces you in a squad within that team, then gives you extra points for doing what your team is designated to do, forcing that team to work together for the extra points! IT MAKES SENSE! 
 
But wait Katajero! What about COD then? Well... in that you could work as a team somehow, by relaying on your headset where people are... or not, a lot of people do fine on their own, doing the Mr. Lone Wolf, constantly darting around the map looking for meat. People may like it, after all, it's easy to kill people, but people feel satisfied with that. Bad Company 2, you have to sometimes unload half a clip into the enemy, or maybe they're just playing it wrong? :O
 
Ultimately, it sounded like for a PS3 owner, they were either:
"COD -> BF" 
"COD -> BF -> COD" 
"BF -> M.A.G." 
 
That's what I got from the end of the conversation. For 360 owners... 
"COD -> BF2" 
"COD -> BF2 -> COD"  
 
At the end of the god damn day... I bought Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PS3, I know 2 friends on my list who would play it with me, so I'm fine for a small squad of 3 or the rare chance we bump into someone else with a headset. Now if only some PS3 players actually hustled their asses and bought a headset... :P

7 Comments

First blog of... games?!

  I figure I should nail down some easy quests, so I was going to write something random or super short. I guess I'll try a stab at writing something more thrilling than "LAWL EAZY QUEST!" 
 
Today is a revelation, or revolution, whatever today is an important day! I've owned a PS3 and a Xbox 360 for a long time now, but I never seem to buy any decent games for it. Like the exclusives that come out, for example I never bought God of War 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, I haven't played Mass Effect 1 or 2... yeah I'm a terrible gamer. But today marks the day where I get serious and support this consoles! Now that my... ahem... "money" has come in, I'm going to do the honourable thing and catch up on what's hot with the PS3 and Xbox 360! :D 
 
Funnily enough, I've also got plans to pick up a Nintendo Wii. Yeah I know, "WHAT YOU HAVEN'T GOT ONE YET?!" Well hold your horses Murdoch, I bought the Wii on it's release date in the UK, day one purchase! But after a year I traded it in for an Xbox 360... seen as though there weren't any really good games near the release date. But now that the Motionplus is out which does what Nintendidn't do on day 1... urgh gimmicks... ¬_¬ 
 
But now there are decent games! Super Smash Bros Brawl is great to play with friends, RPG's are hitting the Wii now, Motionplus games are out like Red Steel 2 as well as many sport titles and of course there's Tatsunoko vs Capcom in the UK, adding onto that many other great titles... So yeah, you see why I want a Wii now, then I'll have all the consoles for this generation, and I'll have the games that represent them finally! 
 
I figure I'll get Mass Effect 1 and 2, Gears of War 1 and 2 and anything else I might spot for the Xbox 360. PS3 wise... I might pick up BF:Bad Company 2, possibly Killzone 2 and other than that... maybe Metal Gear Solid 4 seen as though I haven't finished that... though I got MGS2 and MGS3 sitting on my shelf right now, which haven't yet been played... For the Wii I figure I'll go first with what I love, No More Heroes! (No More Heroes 2 is not out in the UK yet... WTF!?) Red Steel 2, Wii Sports Resort (hey don't be giving me that glare... I just want the Motion Plus, that is all), Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, MAYBE House of the Dead:Overkill (I love the humour, plus playing it with friends makes it way more humorous) and finally... POSSIBLY The Conduit, you know... seen as though they PERFECTED THE CONTROLS FOR A BLAND FPS, but I might aswell experience them damn controls... and that's it! I'll obviously look at the Wiiware too, some hot titles here and there. 
 
That concludes my first post! Hopefully I'll pick up a capture card too, and start reviewing games! It's the dream. Now give me my damn quest completion!

2 Comments