Must Have '09

  • Modern Warfare 2 - Pre-ordered through GameStop
  • Assassin's Creed II - Pre-ordered through GameStop
  • God of War collection - Pre-ordered through Amazon.com 
  • Uncharted 2 - Pre-ordered through Amazon.com 
  • Demon's Souls - Pre-ordered through Amazon.com 
  • Fallout 3 DLC - Still need to purchase
  • Borderlands - No pre-order necessary; most likely just pick it up from Best Buy
  • Dragon Age: Origins - Pick up from Best Buy
  • The Saboteur - Pick up from Best Buy
  • Brutal Legend - Pick up from Best Buy
 
*edited to update game status
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Insomnia Sucks

Yeah. I don't know what it is but lately I just haven't been tired enough to go to bed. It's pissing my girlfriend off 'cause she thinks I'm specifically avoiding her and that's not the issue at all: I'm just not tired! Ugh....
 
In other news I'm happy to report two of my latest platinum trophies for the games Resident Evil 5 (my review) & Fallout 3 (review-in-progress). 
 
I'm also equally dreading and anticipating next month as it begins the holiday onslaught for games. I'm really looking forward to Demon's Souls and Uncharted 2. Not to mention the GoW collection dropping which ups the graphics to 720p and includes trophy support for BOTH games...and that's just the start of it. Oh yeah, and starting next week the DLC for Fallout 3 finally arrives as well....
 
I really need a job....

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RE5 Initial Impressions

As promised I am sitting down right now to give my first impressions of this seemingly "controversial" game. I say controversial because it has been getting mixed emotions from the gaming community. Some people love it and think it's great, and others are bemoaning the fact that it's not the ground breaking, innovative gem that RE4 apparently was.

Let me first start out with this (perhaps) shameful fact: I have never beaten an RE game. In fact, I have not even played one except the very first game when it came out...way back in 1997. I'll give you a moment to let that soak in. Yeah. Really. And even at that it wasn't for too long. So I am in many ways a "virgin" to the whole RE franchise. It is with this in mind that perhaps my feelings may come across more sincere since I am not a biased fanboy with an agenda to hate or love this game.

So yesterday I hopped online with my best-friend and we played for several hours finally leaving off at the start of chapter four. I'll say this much: The game takes some getting used to for sure, especially control-wise. My friend and I were having a time with the control scheme on the account that it is so slow to react to the zombies sprinting after you. This problem wouldn't be so bad had Capcom taken steps to mitigate this by implementing better controls designed for a shooting game since, let's not deny it, this is basically a third person shooter with a sprinkle of its horror roots. Why they decided to stick with such an archaic control scheme (standing still every time I shoot? Really?!) that may have worked with the original RE game twelve years ago, but in the subsequent years has evolved. My contention is if you're going to take the series in a new direction then I think you're obligated to bring along a more evolved control scheme as well. This is akin to the American Civil War where the technology of war had advanced leaps and bounds over the outdated Napoleonic tactics. The decision to stick with such a rigid scheme is cause for diversion for this game. Some people have no problem with these tank controls, and others (like myself) wish they made the controls reflect the nature of the game and not so much the spirit of the game.

That is my main complaint with this game. With that out of the way it is time to move on to the graphics which are absolutely beautiful. This is one damn fine looking game. I've read some reviews that said the PS3 version suffers from a dip in the frame rate when there are lots of zombies on screen, but honestly I couldn't really tell. There wasn't enough time for me to notice because I was too engrossed with staying alive. Whatever the case my friend and I didn't experience any game interrupting problems as far as the frame rate is concerned.

I'm not going to really comment on the story either since I wasn't particularly paying attention to that aspect either. Not to mention there's quite a convulted back story to go along with the game and I'm not sure I would be any better off if I consciously tried to understand it.

Which brings me to the co-op portion. Definitely a great experience if you have another brain behind the controller. I haven't tried playing it alone with the A.I. yet but from what I've heard it's not too shabby. So once I beat the game I'll probably go back through on a solo run.

But my friend and I had some fun playing last night. There were definitely those heated moments where we got our own Rambo streak and went off on our own. But on the whole it's a lot of fun having someone to experience the game along with you, and the amount of dependence the game forces on you to act as a team with covering each other and watching each other's backs, and (a lot) of the time saving each other's asses from being mauled. My friend told me during the course of our playing that it reminded him a lot of Army of Two. I haven't played that game either, but he told me it had strong correlations as far as the buddy-buddy game mechanic goes.

So that's what I have to say so far. I have to say I've enjoyed the game so far. I also regret paying as much as I did for the C.E. of the game, but live and learn. The game is by no means horrible as some people are making it out to be. As I've said I'm an RE virgin when it comes to playing the games so I can honestly say I wasn't let down by Capcom's decision to take the series in a new direction. The only thing I gripe about is they should've remembered to bring along some updated controls as well. Look forward to my review which I plan to write immediately after I finish the game with my friend.

G'night!

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Check This Out

http://ujiosblog.blogspot.com/

It's my official blogging homepage. Also a good place to read up on non-gaming issues that don't really fit well at a gaming site. I've got two entries so far with much more to come in the future. Forgot to add you don't need to be a registered user in order to comment for my blogs there.
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RE5 CE...Yeah, I got it

So after much debate I decided to pick up the CE of RE5. Moreso for the fact that my best-friend in FL. is also picking it up and this is yet one more game we can play together on PS3. Burnout Paradise was starting to get old. Oh yeah, excuse the glare of my dork self in the first pic. Plastic shrink wrap is so teh shiny!






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"Hard Boiled" & "Stranglehold"


So I finally got around to watching this movie after finding the collector's edition for PS3 for only $17.99 this past week. Now I should mention that I did previously rent Stranglehold a long time ago from GameFly. Honestly I wasn't that impressed, and it came off as simply a mediocre run 'n' gun game. Needless to say I got bored rather quickly. But like I said I found the CE for $17.99 and decided to give the game another shot (pun intended haha! I so funy!)

Anyway, I decided to watch the movie before (again) jumping right into the game. I figured "Well maybe after watching the movie and getting familiar with the character I can appreciate the game more." Mmmmeh...after watching the movie I can honestly say that I don't feel any differently than I did before watching. And I really have to contend the "greatest action flick" tag that is associated with this movie as well. Maybe it's because this is 2009 and the movie came out in 1992, but it definitely hasn't aged gracefully. I felt the movie ran a bit too long - like thirty mintues too long. The finale/climax was just prematurely dragged out, and I remember looking at the clock (several times) wondering when it was going to end which is never a good sign. Bear in mind I viewed this movie with an open-mind and willingness to like it, but it's really nothing special. It starts out great and has a decent story, but it really takes too long to wrap everything up and ends up damaging the overall experience. This is especially compounded when you already know what's going to happen concerning the good cop/bad guy scenario.

So since the movie was so long last night I wasn't really up to launching straight into the game afterwards. So that's what I did today and honestly knowing what I do about the movie and backstory the game experience hasn't changed that much either. Granted it's a tad more fun (just a tad) knowing the backstory, but not much. I still feel this is a mindless shooting gallery with a slo-mo game mechanic that hit its popularity back when Max Payne did it way back in 2001.

So those are my thoughts.
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Curious Case


And no it has nothing to do with Benjamin Button. I'm talking about something; a weird "habit," if you will, that I have concerning video games. Namely I am the only person I know that will buy a game when it comes out, bring it home and NOT play it. Sometimes for months at a time that purchased game will sit neatly on my shelf unmolested with the original plastic shrink wrap still secured around it. Although some times I break form and actually remove the shrink wrap so the game is technically "open" but I still won't play it.

Why is this? What would prompt someone to go out and buy a brand new video game only to return home and not play it until months later? You got me! I can't explain why I practice this behavior or how it even manifested itself in to being. But now it has become commonplace; almost a natural tendency. And this strange behavior is not restricted to this generation alone, oh no. I have many last gen games which remain unplayed, and a handful that are STILL unopened. Here's a quick list just to exemplify how deep rooted this problem is with me:

Last Gen:
Xbox
  1. Silent Hill 4: The Room - Bought pre-owned; never played
  2. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - Bought brand new; never opened; still shrink wrapped. Although I have played it because my best-friend bought it as well.
PS2
  1. Devil May Cry - Bought pre-owned; never played
  2. Shadow Hearts 3 - Bought pre-owned; never played
  3. Grandia III - Bought pre-owned; never played
  4. Yakuza 2 - Bought brand new when it came out; still shrink wrapped; never played
  5. Yakuza - Bought pre-owned; never played
  6. Baroque - Bought pre-owned; never played
  7. Persona 3 FES - Bought pre-owned; never played
  8. Bully - Bought brand new when it came out; still shrink wrapped; never played
  9. Kingdom Hearts 2 - Bought pre-owned; never played
  10. Dark Cloud - Bought pre-owned; never played
  11. Grandia - Bought pre-owned; never played
  12. Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec - Bought pre-owned; never played
  13. Jak & Daxter The Precursor Legacy - Bought pre-owned; never played
  14. Jak & Daxter II - Bought pre-owned; never played
  15. Jak 3 - Bought pre-owned; never played
  16. Manhunt 2 - Bought brand new when it came out; still shrink wrapped; never played
  17. Resident Evil 4 - Bought pre-owned; never played
  18. Silent Hill 3 - Bought pre-owned; never played
  19. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - Bought pre-owned; never played
  20. Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven - Bought pre-owned; never played
  21. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - Bought pre-owned; never played
Current Gen:
PS3
  1. Resistance 2 CE - Bought brand new when it came out; never played
  2. Valkyria Chronicles - Bought pre-owned; never played
  3. Half-Life 2: Orange Box - Bought pre-owned; never played
  4. Mercenaries 2 - Bought brand new when it came out; never played
  5. Silent Hill: Homecoming - Bought brand new when it came out; never played
  6. Metal Gear Solid 4 CE - Bought brand new when it came out; never played
  7. Saint's Row 2 CE - Bought brand new; never played
PSP
  1. Brave Story - Bought pre-owned; never played
  2. Metal Gear Ac!d 2 - Bought pre-owned; never played
So as you can see why do I even bother buying new games when I obviously have a back catalog as large as that? I don't know. Call it compulsive buying. Call it denial because I keep telling myself that I'll sit down and finally play all these games...some day! Call it plain stupidity. I really don't know. I just find it funny because I've never met anyone that does this. Now in all fairness I don't buy as many games as I used to simply because I'm really not that impressed with a lot of games this generation. Not to mention I don't have a job right now.  But one of my new year's resolutions was that I wasn't going to buy many games any more due in part to this massive list of already owned and unplayed games. I guess the whole point of this blog is to ask do you know anybody in your social life that is afflicted with this same habit? Because I would really like to know if other people practice this as well or if I'm unique and one of a kind =) Thanks.
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This & That

So it's been a while since my last blog. I've mainly been keeping busy with life, and I've hardly had any time to game. Well, I take that last part back just a little. With all the hype recently regarding GoW3 I decided to replay GoW and GoW2. So far I beat (again) GoW and, interesting observation, it didn't seem that hard even though I was playing on the second to hardest difficulty since I was playing on my PS3 and all my previous save files are on my PS2. Anyway the game, for the most part, was extremely easy and it didn't take me very long to get to the end.  I've beaten the game before but this time it just seemed to go by so much faster. But that's as far as I have gotten since the end fight against Ares is literally beating my ass, and I am unable to defeat him because I can't seem to get the timing down with his attacks. So I moved on to GoW2 and I'm currently making my way through it again as well. And that's truly all the gaming I've done. Between school, girlfriend, bills, homework, etc. there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything, you know?

I've also been taking advantage of the extremely bizarre weather we've been experiencing in Colorado for this winter. Chalk it up to global warming or just a very, very tame winter, but the weather has been absolutely beautiful for the majority of the time. This upcoming week they forecasted temps to be in the 70s(!), and March is supposedly this state's snowiest month! Go fig. It's been this way since winter began with very mild temps and clear skies and very few snow days. I'm not complaining, mind you, as I said earlier I've been taking advantage of this great weather by riding my motorcycle every chance I get. I mostly ride it to school but even when I get out I just ride around for a couple hours or until my ass gets sore; whichever occurs first. Spring break is this month as well and I'm seriously considering taking a trip back down to FL. to visit with friends and family.

There's been a lot of news concerning the PSP in the form of new games being announced, as well as speculation and rumors that Sony is working on a "UMD-less" PSP2, at least according to Dave Perry. Good news is I'm glad to hear that there are some great games coming to the PSP. Among those are Assassin's Creed, Rock Band, a Persona remake, and potentially another God of War title. The PSP is finally getting some much overdue love. However, I am not so thrilled to hear about a PSP2 rumored to be in the works simply because the PSP itself has always been a great system it was just never fully capitalized on by Sony (IMHO). And the fact that it may ditch the UMD format altogether has me wondering how it will be compatible with past games that did come on a UMD if at all. I would be interested in a PSP2 if I was confident that it would support all the games I own now, but I highly doubt that will be an option and I'm certainly not going to re-buy games by download that I already own on UMD simply for the PSP2. I really have no idea what's going on and that's why I hate rumors and hearsay.

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Saving: The Newest Game I'm Playing

So I've decided to make a new year's resolution after all, and it came to me in part because of the failing economy right now. But I have decided to save $100 a week for (hopefully) the rest of the year. Seeing as how this is just the last week of January and I already have $220 saved that leaves me with $180 to make up for this month. The majority of this money will be from the tips I make as a delivery driver. I figure if I can really stick with this plan I'll have a nice chunk of change at the end of the year that I can then turn into a CD or something.

Of course this all sounds easier said than done to save $100 a week before you factor in bills, living expenses, etc. that get in the way. All it means is that I'll really have to cut down on small expenditures like eating out, etc. Although if I may take a moment to blow my own horn on that front: As far as frivolous spending I really haven't been doing that at all since the year started. Christmas time I admit I splurged a little, but since then I haven't really bought any games, movies or CDs. The bulk of my spending has really come from dining out or going to the movies. I am also going to get rid of Gamefly which is an added expense. Not only that but their service has really been going down the drain the past several months, and my list of greviances is large enough to the point where they are more trouble than they're worth. So that'll save me $16 and change every month as well. I won't be renewing subscriptions to any magazines, and as soon as Spring gets here I plan to hold garage sales to get rid of a lot of crap that is just clutter and taking up space.

Yes sir. This is a personal challenge I am undertaking because I've matured to the point where I realize that a lot of this "stuff" I thought was so important is just crap and a money pit. Nobody cares that I have over 1000 DVDs. Yeah, it's impressive, but at the end of the day I'd rather have the money I spent buying those DVDs than the DVDs themselves. It's just not worth it. I'll still continue playing games and having fun, but as far as new purchases or even buying used games I'm not going to for a long time. I still have games from last generation that I haven't even opened yet (I'm not shitting you). I still have Bully for PS2 wrapped in its original packaging. I have TONS of games that I bought (some new some used) for PS2 that I've never even played yet. So why am I worrying about buying more games when I have so many just sitting on my shelf unplayed?

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