Just recently went to the Insomniac Games Community event. They showed off alot of Resistance 3 stuff. It was a real blast. The event was located in Hollywood at the Egyptian Theater. That game definitely looks really good. They brought back the weapon wheel(I dont remember if Resistance 2 had that), the atmosphere looks really awesome. The cool thing is in the narrative, I guess you're like some kind of village of survivors? And there's this big freaking ship off in the horizon, and this ship causes the weather to flunctuate so in the beginning you'll see this crazy dust storm like hurricane weather. You'll see stop signs constantly flipping and flapping on the ground. There's definitely an awesome "oh crap I'm freaking doomed" feel to the game. They redesigned some of the weapons if not all. They definitely showcased the magnum heavily throughout the event for some reason. It really feels like a road trip through post apocalypse America. They also showed some Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, and talked how they redid the formula for that game. It looks pretty fun... That's all I can really say about it. It really reminds me heavily of Xmen Legends or Marvel Ultimate Alliance but no RPG aspects. Well that's all I can really say about that event. There is alittle more to what I said but honestly my brain can't process all that crap into words. But I'll have some pictures loaded up soon.
So upon my recent purchase of Dragon Age 2, I've noticed a slight trend within the present. Bioware makes awesome games let's nip this in the bun right now... BUT! It seems with their sequels they manage to improve on major areas and take a step back in alot of smaller areas. Now this is just a spur of the moment thing I'm doing so bare with me if I'm factually wrong. Mass Effect series did see dramatic changes in it's sequel along the lines of combat, stream lining UI, squad mate interactivity(if that's the right word for it) and a more epic cinematic feel when it came to the story. But, along with fixing old issues, we see new issues... Some of the little step backs I would see in the sequel would be the actual feeling of the universe of Mass Effect at first felt grand and open then it's sequel felt more closed off and smaller. The Citadel didn't seem quite big enough as much as the universe always claims it to be this enormous space station/port. Exploring other planets on side missions felt almost point A to point B in many cases. RPG mechanics also felt less RPG in ME2 compared to ME1. I completely agree that ME1's talent points felt almost worthless when you put your 1 point to make a .2 difference in a biotic recast or damage % in weapons training but all the points did make some kind of difference toward the end game and the RPG felt very RPG in that game. ME2 had something going for itself but, it did feel like a third person shooter at it's core. Hell crouching went away! Crouching! And one big step back to me and probably thousands of people... Is probably the terminator reaper you fight at the end... Not too imaginative guys. But ME2 is a solid step up from ME1 in soooo many ways, but it seems Bioware has this complete weird habit of making weird step backs on numerous small things.
In Dragon Age games we see alot of improvements with action yet again, stream lining UI and the like but we come up short on numerous small things that would of been to Dragon Age 2's favor. Again we see the world of Dragon Age feel smaller compared to the original game. In Dragon Age: Origins you venture throughout Ferelden and alot of the zones feel quite big. Whereas in the sequel you just venture throughout Kirkwall. Kirkwall is exclaimed to be huge but you never feel that overwhelming feeling like your a small fish in a big bowl. Some RPG aspects take a dive as well, it's debatable whether it's for the better or not but you cant really customize your companion's armor or how they look, all you can change is their weapons and accessories. Speaking of companions you also seem to lose some narrative focus when it comes to your allies. In the first Dragon Age you could always tell Sten "Hey niglet what's with you" and engage into some unique dialogue, but in Dragon Age 2 you cant seem to interact with your compani ons at all to get to k n ow them as you would in Mass Effect 1, 2, and DA: Origins. Alot of content seems recylcled as well you see the same steps in the same order in the same style. Ultimately it seems Bioware has this unique talent of letting abunch of small things hit the backburner. Though they always seem to deliver a great experience. Though they can talk out of their ass from time to time.
Alright so I've been doing some stuff! Lets run through the---wait... wait... I think that's trademark phrase... Let me just tell you!
So I've been playing abunch of Mass Effect. I just finished the third book, and I gotta say. I've never really read a book and felt excited. This book really did it for me, it's pace was quick, it was filled with numerous action situations that I felt were detailed really well. They introduce a new character to the Mass Effect universe named Kai Leng; he's a human of asian descent and has similar if not exactly the same training as Shepard and he's sided with CERBERUS. Oooh. I think he could possibly be a antagonist for Mass Effect 3. In the previous books they seem to connect a character to the actual games it seems rather effectively and hints at a plot to the next game entry. For example, I think the first Mass Effect novel "Revelations"(I'm fairly sure that was the title) introduced Saren Arterius(sp?). The plot was loosely talked about in Mass Effect 1, it's about the situation when Anderson was going to be considered as a canidate for the Spectre and why Anderson and Saren have some kind of vendetta against each other. The second book "Ascension" introduces the Collectors although not DIRECTLY involved, they were mentioned about collecting strange transactions. Like for example I believe they wanted like 4 left handed human biotics that were a certain age. Along in second novel the "Illusive Man" was introduced and he ended up being in the second game. Keep in mind the writer for the novels is also the writer for the games(I'm 98% sure on this). In the third book "Mass Effect 'Retribution'" It brings back Anderson, Kahlee Sanders(a scientist that was introduced in the first book, that seems to be the main character of all the novels) and Paul Grayson (a character introduced in the second book who worked for Cerberus but broke away from them). Basically the novel starts off with Grayson hiding from the Illusive Man in Omega Station working for Aria as a high level merc. What interesting is they brought Aria into the story and you learn something about Aria that I dont wanna spoil that I thought was f*ckin' crazy. Illusive Man has finally tracked Grayson down and sent his best agent to find him, Kai Leng. Kai Leng scouts him out while Grayson is out doing a job with some of Arias merc band and eventually follows him around and figures where he's staying. Also worth noting Grayson isn't using his real name with Aria for obvious reasons, thought I should put that out there. Eventually Kai Leng sets up an attack and kidnaps Grayson starting havoc in Omega. During the chaos Grayson sends some hurtful data about Cerberus to Kahlee Sanders. Also attached is a automated message signifying if she got the message, he's probably dead. Anyhow Kai Leng captures Grayson, and Aria investigates her station and finds out somehow Cerberus was invovled. Illusive Man didn't really capture Grayson for revenge, but as a experiment. Illusive Man wanted to use Reaper technology he found in the Collector Station pass the Omega 4 Relay on Grayson to figure out how to deal with the Reaper threat. So Kahlee being the woman that she is doesn't believe that Grayson could POSSIBLY be dead, granted he's not but still! So she involves Ambassador Anderson, YES! Ambassador Anderson. Let me say that one more time: AMBASSADOR ANDERSON! I think they really took a liberty here in the book to say he's just an Ambassador, although they dont really touch on saying if he "was" on the council or not; Or if Udina was a Council member. So she passes on the information to Anderson and they find out the cerberus data implicates alot of people and facilities, so they send alot of strike forces and fuck up the Illusive Man's experiment. Grayson busts out with Reaper technology still in him but thing is, Grayson isn't so Grayson anymore. He's being indoctrinated, he's kinda taken Saren's place as the avatar of the Reapers. I wont go too far into the plot, (most of this takes place in the first hundred or so pages) but afterwards you see Illusive Man and Aria exchange a few words with each other which I found very very interesting and I wonder if they will touch more on this in the third Mass Effect installment of the game series. Needless to say everyone needs to chase him down, Cerberus sent Kai Leng to destroy him, Aria has been propositioned/manipulated into killing Grayson by the Illusive Man, and Kahlee is trying to save/get/speak with Grayson. I especially loved the innner dialogue that Grayson sorta has with himself while observing what the Reapers are doing with his body and what they're thinking. The character Kai Leng also seems very interesting, although he IS lackey but he seems to be a very clever one. I'am curious to see if he develops some more in books or in Mass Effect 3. If you're a reader, big Mass Effect buff, or just plain like Science fiction novels, I say pick this book/bookseries up, it's very good and it's one of the few books that actually put me in a giggle and made me felt shock and awe.
I've also got around to playing the new add-on for Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker. Oh man, I swear that DLC was probably more exciting than the original game. You still get it through an email through Cerberus network which was kinda like a drag, I would've liked to talk to Illusive Man or someone about the information then going to Liara with the information. Anyhow, I loved how it starts off with a crime scene kinda feeling like, a detective murder mystery vibe, and the few characters it introduces such as the asari Spectre, Tela Vasir. Liara as a party member was awesome, the new biotic power you can learn is Stasis, I'd imagine it'd be useful if you're a biotic character. The set pieces were really nice and continueing your relationship with Liara was definetly satisfying. My only complaint with this DLC being an actual "bridging to ME3" DLC is that it's a tad short. I mean I was satisfied with the 2 and a half hours, but I honestly was hoping and thinking it was going to be about 5 hours. I do believe Bioware did state that they do have another bridging DLC on the way with the surviving human. I'm definetly looking forward to that, but honestly I got some cool ideas for more side DLC. I think they should go back to Tuchanka. They should have the Urdnot clan leader send you a message, and there should be some crazy situation with the clans trying to remove the guy out of power and that specific leader should bust a Liara and join your squad and you kick some ass. Oh man ,Wrex and Garrus tearing it up again. That sounds so good! So after I did all this DLC and novel madness I made a new character on Mass Effect 1, a renegade male Shepard. I might do another paragon and make it a lady Shepard, but man... Mass Effect 1 is not as approachable as Mass Effect 2. Still a charming game, I enjoy it, but some of the sidequests, like the Geth invasion one, aren't so nice to do. So much work involved, it takes like I think two hours to do it. But the main story is still pretty good.
I've also been playing some Halo stuff, friend gave me his extra copy of Halo 3, so I officially own that. Borrowed Halo 3 ODST, and actually finished playing Halo3 and ran through ODST. Gotta say, I'm not the biggest Halo fan, but I really enjoyed ODST. it's got a really different vibe then Halo 1-3 has. Granted those are good maybe even great single player campaigns to go through, but I find myself kinda getting lost in the whole mess of the narrative. Also the characters weren't as compelling as some of the ODST group is. I found they kinda effectively flushed that out better than Halo 1-3. In a span of three games to make you interested in some of the characters in Halo 1-3 you dont really feel anything for half of them, Johnson and Master Chief are just badasses, not much to muster up from that, you like 'em but you cant really make them more interesting, they did make Chief a tad more interesting in the third game though. I find the Arbiter very interesting he's probably my favorite character in the main series so far, plus he's voiced by Keith David.
But yeah, played and beat ODST but I also played a mess of Halo Reach at a friends pad. Hands down, my favorite Halo game. Graphics are superb, love how the remodeled the Elites. They made Spartans more humanized in Reach. For example, during dialogues they remove their helmets, seems dumb but Master Chief doesn't remove his helmet and he's a Spartan. I kinda like how they did that in Reach, also kinda carried the ODST approach with narrative which I appreciated, good character development, simple'ish plot, lot less convoluted than the Halo 2 and 3, very hard to keep up for me I always kept asking my friend when we played co-op like "Hey why is this happening? Why are we here?" Loved the kind of impossible situation you're in throughout the game, I find it kinda unique to put a main character into a losing situation, somewhat like Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core, we ALL KNEW ZACK WAS GOING TO DIE! Gameplay is alittle different, like the abilities you can equip such as sprint, armor lock up, and drop shield. Cool stuff. I just tried alittle online stuff with it at my friends house as well, I definately like the "Invasion" mode, it's like Elites vs. Spartans. You got different objectives, so it's not just "Go kill each other". I honestly never really clicked with the online Hal o competitive play because I thought it was stale. bunch of white Master Chief's killing each other and the occasional Arbiter. So Invasion seems to start off with defend multiple points, fall back and protect something, alright this thing was opened or breached, then protect a core. You can capture this core then take it to a ship or a drop off point where the attacking team could win the round. Defintely like it, it switches things up. I definetly want to pick that game up for my 360 soon, but I gotta get my moneys together. Also like to say Kat the spartan, my favorite character in the game lol.
So yeah. Good stuff ahead, replaying some other stuff, will probably elaborate on that later, and probably talk some smack about Final Fantasy XIV beta experience and throw up some pictures. Hopefully can get some newer games as well, had a job interview at Food 4 Less, feeling some good things about it I'm hoping to hear form them, so I can talk about more relevant games and my thoughts on them. And maybe set up some games with fellow readers. 'till next time.
Edit: for some reason the image is cut halfway in the blog page but you can probably just select it and view it. Going to be like that until I find a way to fix it. Edit#2: Fixed. But some spacing issues that I dont feel like fixing.
I have few thoughts and gripes about this idea. I'am a avid Whiskey Media user, but this paid service is straight up... Not necessary, not planned well, and high over priced. And this probably wont be a very long post.
Unless I get to talk to anyone from the Whiskey Media crew whenever I need something I dont think this 50 dollar price tag is worth it, and I mean any member at any time for any reason. Yes I'm talking about you Sara Lima, I would love to just bug you for dumb reasons. Sure you add HD videos, but I can watch HD videos, trailers, interviews (other people mind you) somewhere else entirely. But I dont go out of my way to seek out these things. I kinda like the chill "not so serious" environment that is Whiskey Media. It doesn't have that stale stagnant 100 workers do abunch of articles throughout the day, there's kind of a "intimate" fan relationship between the user base and it's workerbees at Whiskey. Again, 50 bucks on a gaming entertainment and news? Seriously?! I dont think so. This isn't Xbox Live or Playstation Network Plus, what services can you add to the Whiskey website to justify 50 bucks? Multipass(Kinda cool), HD videos(whatever), a custom shirt? DUDE You would make more money just making a Whiskey Shop. I'd so throw down money for a Giantbomb shirt, hoodie, maybe even beanie or hat. I dont understand who came up with this. And whoever made a brilliant plan to take the Giant Bombcast,WHICH IS FREE RIGHT NOW,(I see you learned something from Sony Whiskey)fuck with the formula, shorten it, and release the second hour later.. Like... a week later? C'mon.. Seriously? I wouldn't mind ads being here on the site, because that's easy to deal with. But to try to pimp some paid service at a rediculously high price. I can't imagine the Whiskey guys believing this will be successful, I'm sure you'll get people to pay it, but I'm also sure this will scare away users to find other means of entertainment. I honestly think this subscription plan should be rethought out, if not thrown intot he garbage bin. I think a Whiskey Shop would be much better. I also find it strange that, I believe it was like last week the Giantbomb crew just speculated about how XBL could justify they're price hike up to another 10 dollars and then they announce this paid service. I think this is slightly poetic in a very negative way. If Whiskey has have to HAVE a paid service, I'd recomend something more realistic, 15 or maybe 20 dollars a year sounds more fair. Because HD trailers, interviews, podcasts can be found elsewhere. I dont know who pays for a podcast. Yeah the sites will get prettier thats nice, but again. People can find this stuff elsewhere. I feel like I'm going in circles so I'll leave this topic with one thing. As my friend put it so elegantly, It's like people paying for porn, it doesn't happen. Take that for what you will. I'm no way stating I'm leaving the site and you guys are sell outs, but please just rethink the whole business model. Think about it "Whiskey Shop"!
Anyhow that's all the ranting I got about Whiskey paid services. More stuff coming up in a few days or a week. Screenshots of FFXIV, more talk about that, and what I've been doing with VIDEO GAMES! Who knows maybe I'll get personal.
So basically I got alot of time on my hands, so I think I need to kill some time and make use of my internet. I'll prolly actually start using this blog feature here at GB to possibly review some stuff because I really need to practice my writing skills since I fucked up my fall registration with college and now have to wait for spring semester. Especially since I think I myself am's a terrible's writers I think... but I dunno maybe if I write about stuff I enjoy I'm good at it. We'll see.
Initial Impressions: Final Fantasy XIV Beta
Anyways first order of business!(Note:I think I fucked up that first paragraph format now it's all aligned weird. Oh well I'm learning) I got into the FFXIV open beta! First impressions of that MMO is very solid and different. The narrative is definetly there which I like, and it's tons more interesting than FFXI to me at the get-go. The character creation is pretty cool, it throws alot of info at you at first in my opinion. There's the FFXI equivalent races and since I dont have the knack to memorize they're names I'm going to just call them by their FFXI terms so don't come at me with pitchforks because I got it wrong lol. There's the humans/hume, Elezen, midgetpeople called Lalafell/taru, Roegadyn/galka, Miqoete/mithra. What's interesting is... You pick a race and it just doesn't end there, you have to pick a type of origin of that race. For example: I picked Elezen(Elvaan as I would call them cause of my long stint in playing FFXI), they have two types of Elezens. There's the tree hugging hippis that live in the forest and they're tanned, they're called "Wildwood"; They also have the "Duskwright" which are the more sinister looking, pale, stronger, live in caves types. The difference between them what I know is that the Duskwright(which I picked) have slightly stronger physical attributes whereas I think the Wildwood are more magey or rogue/thief type people... not sure... needs further investigating. After you pick your race you got your standard hair/face/characteristics menus that allow you to customize your character, it's definetly alot more customizable than FFXI ever was. In FFXI you just picked like 9 males or 9 females as a character model and called it day ... Oh and you could change their hair color. The character creator does seem to promise you wont get the same result with players too often, I havn't really seen players that look my duder, but honestly who would of made the guy I made... he came out soooooo pale... it really bothers me but I guess I gotta deal with it. Once you finish up with appearences you pick a sign to be born under using moon and sun rotations, but if you dont like your sign guess what!? THATS RIGHT! You can pick your sign either way! What purpose these guardian signs serve I have no idea, but it seemed very Oblivion style to me that sign business. I believe it may have something to do with some of the gameplay guardian invokes which I can get into later, but not right now cause I dont want to get too off track more so than I'am right now. So we got... Race, appearences, sign, OH! Now you pick a job! Disciples of War, Magic, Land, and Hand. So since I'm a male between the ages of 16-25 I'm with the majority here and want to just bash things heads in so I picked Disciples of War. But guess what! You're not just a Disciple of War(DW)! You got five other jobs to pick! See what I mean that it throws alot at you? I literally spent like... close to an hour making my character because I care ;). So there's Marauder, Archer, Pugilist, Gladiator, and Lancer. I picked Marauder which reminded me of a Warrior from FFXI with a two handed axe. NOW after all this mess I believe you finally get to pick one of three nations you can start out in; Gridania - a foresty, tranquil city which I havn't seen much of, Limsa - pirate ran castle like fortress that seems very industrialed(This is what I picked and I'll talk about my own misadventures in a future post) and Uldah - a desert like... place... here's concept art for it ( http://angryweb.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Uldah_FINAL.png). And now you got your character and ready to go.
After you've made your character in FFXIV you're immediately thrown into a cutscene and arrive into some kind of sticky situation which gives you a real kick in the nads and yelling to you: YES that is your character and in a MMO and guess what? YOU ARE PART OF THE STORY *GASP*! In my playthrough as I said I made a duskwright Elezen from the pirate ran city Limsa! I don't know if the story starts off the same everytime you pick that nation, but I started on a boat(I'M ON A BOAT MUTHA FUCKA) sitting in the bar area on the floor and I hear a mysterious voice, so I follow this voice outside of the boat on deck immediately following danger. After being saved from catlady or Miqoete person, a big Roegaldyn(fatties or galka) begins yelling some jibberish and I help them fight some monsters on deck. These first 10 mins really captivated me about this MMO the cinematics looked beautiful and I run a pretty weak machine. After clearing the deck the storm the dark and stormy night was clashing and out of the deep blue a giant Sea Serpent emerges and hops over the boat and end cutscene. Afterwards the scene shifts to the public hub that I picked and this is where the MMO nature starts to set in, you talk to npc's and they get you started on your journeys.
Now I feel I've rambled on enough that this post is kinda dragging on about the whole FFXIV experience I will probably talk more about it in future blog post with in the near future as I continue my beta misadventures with my friends. I'll discuss more about mechanics story instances. I will say the game is certainly different then the current MMO genre, where everyone seems to kinda copy the World of Warcraft formula and slap together and market it as a original product. I however don't find that particular MMO too interesting. This really seems to focus on narrative and your journey through the world rather than get to the maximium level cap and start doing raids. It's beautiful, it's HD, it's JMMORPG.. Also the music is kinda good... Just sayin'..
So yeah I'm reading the latest Mass Effect book series and if you guys were to learn anything about me, I'm not a book reader. I have books, novels, but I honestly dont go out of my way to read stuff. But this is Mass Effect we're talking about! I'm interested in anything Mass Effect! You got a coffee mug with the N7 logo on it I'm so going to hunt you down and steal it from you! Anyways, the book... Mass Effect Retribution is definetly a interesting piece of the ME series. Books don't tend to grab me but this book really keeps on me toes and I dont ever get that way with books where I'm itching for more. I kinda want to review the book, if I cant get a decent blurb out about it, I'll probably make a blog post and type something out after I finish reading it and tell you my thoughts and whether I reccomend it to you the Mass Effect fan or just your everyday casual reader. =D
As far as real life stuff goes I dont wanna sound too depressing but I got nothing really going on. I've just been playing games to keep my mind off things and hanging out with friends. So I'll just talk about how I found a new interest in the Nintendo Wii. Since the new Metroid game came out, Metroid: Other M, I can honestly say there's enough games out that I'm interested in to actually justify purchasing that silly silly silly system, but being the broke hobo that I'am; I went to my friends house and beat a couple games on his Wii >_>. I played a whole mess of No More Heroes 1 and 2, and holy crap Suda 51 is great japanese developer. These games have the simplest fucking mechanic and it's just... Lock on, mash A, and wave your Wii mote in the designated direction to perform the kill move and it's extremely satisfying slashing a ebay bought lightsaber downward on a opponent. The humour is purposefully awkward and strange in a Japanese way, and as Ryan Davis from Giantbomb would say, that is a Japanese-ass Japanese game! I myself cant connect with how Japanese games are scripted out, it's way too awkward and what they percieve as comedy I dont find entertaining at all, but this game literally throws that particular thing in a extreme way and it becomes very entertaining.
So yeah, not a bad first real blog post. I'll probably post something maybe weekly? Or Bi-weekly? I dont know depends whats going on..