Yes, I know there are new items in the sanctuary shop, Jasper.

 

I finished Fable over the holidays. While I can appreciate the Fable series and as much as I liked Fable I and II, Fable III left me hollow and sad upon completion. Even while I was playing Fable III I felt disconnected from the world and I couldn't really understand why. Below is a short yet mildly descriptive list of the main reasons I have come to accept as to why such a game I had high expectations for let me down.  I am very aware that this has been discussed before by many review sites and blogs but to really experience it for yourself is another thing entirely. I suppose I just need to vent a little. Bear with me here, people.
 
 
  • Lack of a 2D Interactive menu - A go-to, of sorts, so I can get what I need and get back to the game quickly instead of searching for it as if on a quest to access my own loot.  
 

 
"Sire, must you speak of what has already been spoken of?"

 
Now, I understand that Molyneux expressed that he wanted to do away with the standard 2D menu but really he just hid my available options in a 3D environment that I had to search for. Yes, I understand that he wanted to keep the immersion level throughout every aspect of the game even when accessing your inventory but after a while it felt like work. I eventually started using the "hot key" buttons to immediately warp myself throughout my chambers but even then I was still left wondering what the point of all this was. 

  
Who needs 2D based Menus? 
 
           
 In retrospect, perhaps having all your available items in a 3D environment wasn't to keep the player immersed after all. I mean, who are we fooling here? What would be the difference between having a magical place where your items are accessible in different chambers or if they were accessible in a categorized format much like the previous two installments, however clunky the menu layout was? I suppose with the latter being implemented there wouldn't be a creative way to consistently try to up-sell the player.... which brings me to my next observation... 
 

• Jasper says, "Sir, There are new items in the sanctuary shop". 

 
"Jasper! I'm ready to fulfill my destiny. Huh? New items... what?" 
 
 
I am aware that this has been brought up for discussion on many occasions within small and large gaming enthusiast clusters everywhere but this really took me out of the game on more than one occasion. At first, it didn't seem so bad because there were free items available but then the situation got out of hand when Jasper kept informing me that there were new items every other time I would warp to my chambers. Like a knucklehead, I would go check only to be disappointed to find out that not only were they the same items that were available from the last time I looked but they were items I felt I should earn in-game. Not with Microsoft points.   
 
 "Sir, you now can purchase your clothing. Gone are the days of actually having to work for it through adventure. HA!"
 
"What happened to earning your clothing, hair pieces and armor during your adventures?" I said to myself while drinking my boba tea. (Yes, I drink boba tea when reflecting on my gaming experiences.) It's an obvious cash-in approach but I truly feel,  since it doesn't really impact the outcome of the game, that it should be something I could purchase through the Live marketplace outside of my in-game experience if I feel so inclined to do so and not given a hard sell by the one character that I have been placed into the position to trust. Also, with items being up on display, much like the all the other pieces of your collected inventory, I found it difficult to discern exactly what they really were, having to rely on the text description to inform me of what it was I was looking at. Based on how I was interacting with the items displayed implementing  2D based menu system would have been much more convenient. 
  

• In-game cut-scenes, character development and story pacing 

 
"Wait. I'm to now be an ambiguous character?" 
 
From the start of the game I instantly saw ghosting and muddy animation when characters would walk and take action during in-game cut-scenes. It was quite distracting and I was surprised this issue made it through game testing. I initially thought it was my TV settings so I turned off all motion and smoothing applications but it had no effect. At the suggestion of an associate I even cleaned out my cache which made no difference whatsoever. I finally just had to deal with it but that's not anything I should have to do when it comes to a game like this.    
 
No, this is not a test. This is motion blurry. 
 
The character development of the game was very shallow. I never got attached to any characters that died off because there wasn't any opportunity to build a relationship with them on my own through my character. The game established the relationship and after that, fate was decided through the story line. This is where some of the disconnect came from, not just from the supporting characters, but also from my character because my choices really made no difference to the overall outcome therefore my actions never really had a reaction. It was artificial. I felt I was being humored.  
 
Perhaps I was already taken out of the game due to being offered items on a constant basis that were available for purchase every time I went into my chambers. Or, perhaps it was that I felt the story was a cliff notes version of what it was supposed to be. The story moved very fast and while it did its best to establish some history and background to all the characters involved it really just did not draw me in at all. Pacing became an issue once I became king as I had no true idea as to how many days the "darkness" would appear. Sure, it stated I had 365 days at first but once a major decision was made 45 - 60 days disappeared. It was hard to gauge how much time I really had.  
 

"Welcome to Tony-ville, sir. Anything and everything you touched is or soon will be owned by his majesty."

My approach to raise money in order to save Albion was to buy up all the real estate and put all the money made into the treasury while choosing all "good" King decisions for the people. That failed miserably. Before I knew it I ended up with somewhere around 3 - 4 million dollars in the hole thus "darkness" took over all of Albion leaving a handful (the cowards too afraid to fight off the blight most likely) of people to enjoy what had now become Tony-ville. Even with all the extra missions and Demon doors to help with the funding it just wasn't enough. I was initially set up for failure.  What game does that to one's emotions? This game does. 
 

"My Lady, did you know there were new items available in the sanctuary?"

  In the end, the positives I got out of Fable III's gaming experience was that the writing was very clever and funny. That's it. I truly wanted and expected more but was only disappointed because I really wanted to like this game. The series has always had a charm to it that I could appreciate. Apparently, my disappointment was so much so that I had to come out of retirement in order to write a blog about it. In fact, I ended up so disappointed in it that I had a knee-jerk reaction upon hearing a friend of mine had just purchased the Collector's Edition. One that I never thought I would ever say. Ever. 
 
"Take it back." 
 
Has there ever been a game you were really wanting to like and had a similar experience with that just left you disappointed?
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Greatest Gaming Surprise You Have Had The Pleasure Of Playing?

I'm really only about 7 hours in. I'm loving every moment of it. I didn't really know what to expect when I bought it. I only heard that it was quirky and didn't take itself too seriously. My expectations weren't really that high and I know the game didn't come out with a lot of fanfare. I actually was not aware of it until a friend mentioned it to me. I saw it on sale on Amazon for only $14.99 and I thought to myself, "What is there to lose?" so I purchased it.

I am very glad I did. This game brings in some very interesting characters, most notably the main character. The graphics aren't all that but oddly enough that adds to the charm of this game. I also find myself laughing at the one-liners, corny jokes and rough animations. The gameplay, though kind of rough, is reminiscent of Resident Evil 4 which is fine but when it all comes down to it the game gives me a unique experience as a whole. I don't want to really give to much away as far story and characters because I want those that have any small amount of interest in this game to give it a try.

Want an idea of what this game is? See simple equation below.

Think: + + + + =

 

 

Even at its release price $19.99 it is a steal. I am glad I picked up the game but moreover I am glad it is providing me with a great gaming experience I just did not expect.

I'm not looking for this to become a Deadly Premonition entry but more about you guys having any games that you just never expected to be a great experience but delivered in a unique way. I'm curious to hear if others have so that I may try them out myself. I, and I am sure many others, would love to hear about it.

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Am I getting too old for this shit?

Yeah it's been a while. A long while. Honestly, I have been too busy trying to be an adult that I am held captive in the confines of that prison. Kills creativity, ya know?   

 I have gotten back into playing Warcraft III online, not the main game mind you but the user created stuff like Footies and Defense Of The Ancients(Dota). 

Anyway, I thought the Xbox Live community was bad as far as the gamers and how they treat people, especially people new to the games, but they are nothing compared to the Battlenet community- which I am thinking is now an extension of the World of Warcraft community.

About five years ago I played a lot of the user created maps on Battlenet and actually gained some notoriety as a Footies specialist. Those that were new and not experienced would get obliterated and that was that. No real major bad-mouthing. Sure, you had some jerks but, they too, got dealt with accordingly. What strikes me is the increased new amount of jerks and elitist attitude that has grown in that same culture I enjoyed so much of back then.

The lingo is even different. Even when asking about some of the terminology all I get is "You're an idiot" or the ever-popular "Noob" . Wait... hasn't the word noob flown it's course already? Hell, its even gone through two separate spellings- Newb and Noob.

Nevertheless, it's more disheartening than it is infuriating to see the once semi self-respecting Battlenet culture has now given rise to this monolith of filth and negativity.

Maybe it was always there and I am just getting too old to tolerate it. But, I think it's very telling of where everything else is going to be heading, too. No doubt... right into the shitter.

33 Comments

Quick Halo Wars Demo Impressions.



I just finished the Halo Wars demo. The demo, overall, is really polished. It was definitely something I could get into. I liked the ease of which you could select your units. The demo was easy but it also allowed me to take in all that was going on without feeling overwhelmed or rushed.

Was there any mention of co-op or team play online at all? That would be really cool if there was. I don't really see a problem with there being any slow-down regarding the unit battles. While there is a lot going, I think the graphics are conservative yet clean and won't put too much strain on the hardware. Of course, I could be dead wrong but this game isn't a graphics beast and it definitely doesn't need to be. It gets the job done.

I think the cut scenes look fantastic and if the pacing of the demo was any indication of what the pacing of the final release is going to be then I will be pleased. While I like gameplay as much as the next guy, I also like my whole experience broken up with a good story line. It gives me a lot more motivation to get to the next stage.

I will definitely purchase Halo Wars when it comes out.
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Does it make me a "casual" just because I want this...

video game based on a movie?


I don't know about you guys but I am really excited about this game. I am pretty sure that this is the newly released trailer for it. 

Ghostbusters Live Trailer


With voice acting from all the origianl actors, except Rick Moranis, and witty dialogue I think this a definite buy for any Ghostbuster fan. I am glad the game finally got picked up by a publisher. What is so odd is that I am not one to buy video games based off movies but this one I can't help myself. It probably has to do with me being a Bill Murray fan. Do you find yourself in the same situation?

Anyways, I thought I would share with you guys the trailer just in case haven't seen it.

Images from the CG Trailer:

Wii Images:

Random Ghostbusters Cartoon Image:

Here are some impressions of the Ghostbuster game.

kotaku impression report

Some excerpts of what was um... "impressioned"...

The running dialog (written largely by Dan Aykroyd) between Egon and Raymond (and sometimes Winston from what I saw in the Library level) keeps you up to date on what you're supposed to be doing, where you're supposed to be going and what's going on in the story. This makes for a seamless gameplay experience as well as a hilarious movie/game. When asked to describe Ghostbusters in terms of genre, the Terminal Reality guys said: "Third person action comedy."

When you go down in Ghostbusters, one of your teammates can revive you if they're still on their feet and nearby. But if all three or four of you go down, it's game over and you load back at the last checkpoint.

The ghost-capturing was tricky to master at first. You've got to target the ghost, start shooting your proton ray at it and once it's in your grips, mash a button or trigger (depending on whether it's the PS3 or 360) to send a blast its way and stun it.

...the game lets you skip the static cut scenes. So instead of watching Egon argue with Raymond about not touching the book, I got to listen to them do it in real time while I positioned myself in the best part of the room for book-stand blasting.

The game is out this June. There will be about 50 Trophies/Achievements, spread out between multi- and single-player; and you can count on a demo – although nobody seems quite sure when. Expect it to sync up with the 25th anniversary Blu-Ray release of Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game is designed to be easy to learn (straightforward, at least), difficult to master (thanks to weapon upgrades and dominant strategies), and always – always – fun to play because it's Ghostbusters. Really, Acti-Blizzard doesn't know what they're missing.

This game sounds pretty solid based on these impressions. I'm really eager to jump into this game now, unfortuantely, we have to wait. Forever.

*kick a rock*

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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Blog O' Hype!

Coming out soon during the final stretch of life for the PS2 is a continuation to a series that captured the attention of many RPG players looking for something new and fresh. Persona 3 came onto the scene with style, flash and some new, very interesting elements to the JRPG genre.

Decemeber 9th, 2008 we will see Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 released and hopefully build upon the success of its predessor. I, for one, am very eager for this game. Persona 3 was a very welcome surprise and, based on what I have seen so far, Persona 4 looks to have expanded on it immensely. Here is my attempt at letting you guys in on my excitement and hopefully inform those that are unaware of this nice lttle gem.

Seeing as all the huge mega, big budget, AAA games that are coming out this year are all stacked during this time period, I felt this thread was necessary.

 

Developer: Atlus

Pubisher: Atlus

Platform: Playstation 2

Release date: 12.09.0

Click here for Trailer


::SYNOPSIS::

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, known in Japan as Persona 4 (ペルソナ4, Perusona 4?), is a console role-playing game developed and published by Atlus for Sony's PlayStation 2, and chronologically the sixth installment in the Persona series. Instead of the city locales of previous games in the series, Persona 4 takes place in a fictional Japanese countryside. It features a weather forecast system with events happening on misty days to replace the moon phase system (with events happening on full moons in Persona 3) implemented in the previous games. Its story is a suspenseful countryside murder mystery with multiple twists and turns in the plot. The North American package of the game will be released with a "Visual Data" book (most likely a collection of concept art) and a CD with selected music from the game, very much like Persona 3's North American release.

Persona 4 takes place in the same universe as Persona 3 in a rural town named Inaba. (If you want more info then wait for the game or go to Wikipedia)

 

 


::MUSIC::

The soundtrack was mainly composed by Shoji Meguro with 4 tracks composed by Atsushi Kitajoh (known for his soundtrack for Trauma Center: New Blood) and 3 tracks by Ryota Kozuka (1 composition and 2 arrangements). It was released as a 2-disc Original Soundtrack on July 23, 2008 by Aniplex. While Persona 3 had a more modern ****and design, Persona 4 features a more retro one.

The soundtrack will also be available in the North American release.

((Tony's note)): I really enjoyed the music to the last game. Honestly, it completely took me off guard with the different layers and the fusion of the beats that presented a really, fresh clean feeling - for lack of a better way to describe it.I am really eager to see what is i store for this latest installment.

In two weeks, we will see if this game delivers like the previous installments have but during that time I can only just sit back, take in the screen shots, look at some trailers and hang out with fellow video game enthusiasts, such as yourseves, and discuss the excitement of a game that applies what works while pushing the RPG genre forward.

Now with that said, am I the only one excited about this game?

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The Five. [[Quick Blog]]

  1. I finished Castlevania - Symphony of the Night. It was fun and I had a good time. Ugh... sounds like I just got done with a night of debauchery. Seriously, I did enjoy the game. Halfway through I started understanding the game a lot more. If I were to play another Castlevania game, I don't think I would find myself so lost as I did this first time around. I compare it to playing a Suikoden or Final Fantasy game. After playing the first or second in the series you know how the world is and you have some understanding of the world you are in therefore finding your way around or having an understanding of how the game is delivered to you prior to playing will make it much easier to play. ---Thanks Gigs, with the heads up on the sword ---
  2. My fiancee' apparently was made fun of in school about looking like Tia Carrera and takes it as an insult. I remained silent at the notion and kicked a rock.
  3. I wish I could finish Lost Odyssey but I have no 360 in the household to get the game going. My 360 won't play any 360 games and the one that I borrowed(my father's) is getting fixed as we speak. If James beats this game before me then... I'll end up kicking two rocks.
  4. I have been playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI(PS2) and I am sort of liking it but it is definitely hard, even on beginner. My father would be really good at this game.
  5. I plan on making another video but I have yet to really solidify on how I will package it. Too many ideas popping around in my head. In the meantime, you can see a video that a friend of mine did. It's kind of like a music video but with video games. I always enjoy them.
      
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