If you call a zombie a walker, you're being pretentious

First and foremost, I haven't played many games from 2012, but The Walking Dead is without a doubt, my favorite game of the year. It is one of the few games that actually had me care about the characters, the decisions I made, and made me tense at certain points in the game where I actually winced.

Now I don't keep up with the show, when I certainly should be (I'm working on it), but I started reading the comics long before either the game or tv show came out. And from what I had played in the game, it captures what the comic is doing perfectly. This isn't some run-of-the-mill zombie story. It's not all about action and gore (but there is still plenty of that). It's a game about your decisions and consequences. Did you say the right thing at the time? Did you save the right person? and so on.

Going from your normal, average, everyday lives, to living in the horror that is a zombie apocalypse takes its toll on everybody physically and psychologically After playing and finishing the game in less than a day (I was that addicted), it makes me rethink the whole, 'I wonder if I could survive in a zombie apocalypse'. Even with all the "zombie survival" guides and movies, I really don't think I would last very long.

The thing I really love about The Walking Dead isn't that it's not about getting from point A to point B, but more about how your decisions affect future outcomes. How it is going to affect the people around you, what they think of you, and if they will support you. Rather than the game being just a story, it takes it to another level where it feels like this is what will probably happen if any of this ever happened in real life.

Of all the episodes, 4 was probably the worst of the 5. I didn't really feel like anything interesting was happening up until the very end. The best of the episodes probably either has to go to episode 2 or 5.

2 was one of my favorites, mainly because I didn't catch on to what the St. John family was up to until after I had came back from the bandit camp with I think Andy. 5 was another favorite because I loved how Telltale brought it all the way back to episode 2 and the station wagon. I didn't see that coming at all, and I loved it.

Another great thing about the game is the timing you have when it comes to making choices. Do I side with Kenny, who's been my right hand man since episode 1, or do I side with Lilly who is going crazier by the second? Carley though had me bummed out the most. When Lily had shot her, I was devestated and the fact that Ben survived and was not helpful at all throughout the rest of the game, made me annoyed that I made the wrong decisions when discussing who was giving supplies to the bandits.

Also let's face it, most kids in most video games are pretty much useless. Clementine and Duck though break that mold. I don't like most kids in real life and in video games, but I actually found myself caring for her and wanting her to be safe. There were times, like when I killed Andy in the barn in front of her in episode 2 that I found myself to regret but it gives you a chance to tell her why you did it. I made that decision because I wanted her to be safe. I didn't want her dying, that's why episodes 2 and 5 are so good to me. It was because the game gave me this sense of purpose to actually care about someone other than myself, even if they weren't real.

Because of the timing you have in making your choices, it gives me more than enough reason to go back and see how things will play out differently if I saved Shawn instead of Duck, or took food from station wagon, even though Clementine says we shouldn't steal. Little things like that, will probably change the entire game for me in my next couple of play throughs.

Overall, I can't get enough of the game. It makes me want to go back for more, finish my Walking Dead Compendium, and start watching the show. There is little that the game does wrong, and I can't wait to go back for more.

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Oh sweet, sweet Amanda or Emma. Whatever you prefer to call her.

*Just in case, I'm just going to add a spoiler warning*

This blog post ins't going to be some review but somewhere behind that, I just don't know what to call it. Anyway, I just beat Sleeping Dogs and while it isn't a perfect game, it is quite fun. There are things it does right. The story is interesting and keeps you entertained. And the fact that it is slightly based off of real life, it brings you into a new world. It kind of felt like like The Departed, but rather than being in the mob, you're a Triad gangster. Combat was fairly iffy, on the other hand. It's nowhere near as good as what it could have been. When it worked, it was great, but when it didn't it got frustrating. That isn't to say that fighting wasn't hard, because honestly, "boss" fights were just as easy as normal fights against your average thug.

My biggest dislike though of the entire game is the whole relationship system. Now I get that it isn't for everybody, but in the case of Sleeping Dogs, it felt like an after thought. It didn't add anything to the game, so why even bother? Don't get me wrong, it was nice having shrines, cameras, lock boxes, and statues show up on the map for easy retrieval, but doesn't that sort of take away from the whole finding hidden (emphasis on hidden) collectibles? Now GTA4 also had a relationship system. You could hang out with girlfriends and friends, do random activities on top of doing storyline missions. I'm also not saying hanging out with virtual friends in a video game is for everyone, but every now and again, playing pool against Little Jacob, going to a strip club with Brucie, or having "hot coffee" with Michelle/Karen was a little fun if not interesting.

In Sleeping Dogs, relationships are one-off's. Once you hang out with Emma Stone, that's it. She never appears again. Now I'm all for making Wei look like a badass who can get with anyone, but it would have been nice having there be someone there who is trying to understand his struggle, but can't because he can't tell them what he is going through. Rather than having Wei go through random bits of auditory flashbacks after going to sleep after key missions, they could have given him a meaningful relationship with one of the many girls they had him hook-up with. It adds a little more depth to a character who is a bad-ass (which is up for argument).

So if you haven't read in-between the lines yet, this blog post is pretty much how I want to have a relationship with Emma Stone since I can't have one with her in real life.

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My biggest FIFA 13 problem

So FIFA 13 came out over a month ago, and yet again, another year, I am addicted. I know most gamers, aren't into sports games, but this is the one that I cannot get enough of. I don't know what it is about the game, but just like in real life, its virtual counterpart is mesmerizing and beautiful. I do like how this year EA Sports decided to go for a more unpredictable and realistic nature that occurs on any given matchday. But this isn't a problem for me. It's the fact that EA decided to overhaul their career mode.

Overall, the career mode has improved in ways. Little things like being able to edit your virtual pro is a huge addition as well as making more transfers more realistic are great. But where the issue lies is now I only get two options in Career mode and it's either play as a (virtual) pro or a manager. Unlike FIFA 11 and 12, there is no outside option to create your pro and make whatever edits you'd like for new career modes you may want to play.

On top of that I don't even have the option of being a player manager this year 'round. I loved being able to call the shots as a manager whilst playing as my virtual pro.

When I first put in the game, the first thing I looked for was creating your VP and then start playing a player manager for Liverpool. This was not to be found this year though. So I went with what I thought was the next best thing which was entering career mode and seeing what options they had and to my chagrin it was only play as a (virtual) pro or manager. There was, dumbfounded and a little irritated, but I moved on and made my pro. After creating my pro, I get into the game and it was pretty cool seeing how I can request a transfer if I don't like how the manager is running things or a loan if I want to get some experience and playing time for another team. That was a great addition to career mode, no doubt. But seeing as how I like to control an entire team, it made me even more irritated that in every game, regardless of how my pro played (in this case, I was getting about a rating of 9 every match), I got subbed.

That just doesn't make sense to me. In real life, no manager would ever replace a player playing well unless fitness or injury was the issue. Granted since this was the start of my career, I understood that I would be subbed in as my stamina was not all that great at the time. As time passed and I was completing more accomplishments for my pro, I gained a rating of 86 in stamina. Compared to other players, I am in the above average bracket considering that I am also an attacking midfielder. Next to my teammates, they are either a couple of points behind me or much lower than me, yet they are playing an entire simulated 90 minutes while here I am getting subbed in around the 55-60 minute mark.

After doing some research, I have come to find out that just controlling your pro rather than the entire team, brings about a whole new dynamic. Now my pro is never getting subbed out, and if he is, it is very rare. It's usually only in the case of injury.

After playing over 150 games in a month, it baffles me that FIFA 13 hasn't be able to balance this issue out. On top of that, why even overhaul a fairly simple and awesome feature from past games? I loved being able to create on pro and if for one career I can make him a midfielder and in another I can make him a goalie without having to start from scratch every time. As much as I love playing FIFA, I have a short attention span with career modes. I love jumping around, from one team to the next and having my pro still be decent regardless of what position I changed him to.

In FIFA 12, I worked my butt off trying to get enough accomplishments to make one of the best players I could at any given position. I don't want to have to do another 1,000 passes as a defender just to bring my passing up 1 point as I have already done so with my current midfielder. I don't want to have to try and poach another 110 (why 110, and not 100) goals as a forward, even though I have notched up over that amount to bring up my finishing by another point.

My only guess as to FIFA changing the mode is that they found that it was easy for people to create or alter teams/formations, etc., so people could easily boost their VP's. Seeing as how that could be an issue, why does it matter to them anyway? It's only speeding up the process and it only will make those who play in online clubs more competitive. The opposite isn't going to happen. If anything, FC Barcelona vs. Liverpool FC in my case, is more of a turnoff than anything. Try making online mode a bit more fair, before changing career modes. Don't get me wrong I love a good underdog story, but when a majority of the people playing online, play as thee best team in the world, that gets a bit annoying. But I digress.

I know even more die hard FIFA fans may disagree with me, but I am a lazy FIFA player. I like playing the way I play. I have no qualms about it. It is how I am able to enjoy the game to it's fullest. If FIFA keeps the same concept up for 14, I may stop playing the game or try PES or just move on from sports games all together. Who knows what the future holds, but EA, and those specifically working on future FIFA games, please bring back the original Virtual Pro modes we had in FIFA's 11 and 12.

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