Wednesday, September 29, 2010

7 Games This Year

So for the rest of this year I am screwed, I am going to have a geek attack. Here are some of the games that I am looking forward to so much I think I may die from anticipation.

1.Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 10/5
I have never really been a fan of Castlevania, but I have also never given it a chance and this series is generally associated with some of the biggest fanboys ever, just an opinion of course. After seeing some game play this game looks like similar to a God of War game set in the Castlevania universe, this makes Mr. TTB very happy.

2.Kirby Epic Yarn 10/17
I loved Kirby 64 and played it tons. I enjoy the classic feel that the Kirby series has brought to the table. I got to play Epic Yarn and the changes they made added a whole new aspect to the game hidden areas, ripping yarn enemies to pieces, a secret fantasy of mine, made the childish look of the game fade and all I wanted to do was find all the damn buttons I could and shove them into Kirby's non-existent pink pockets.

3.Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 10/26
I absolutely loved the first in this series, except for the achievement glitch that I encountered, and the game play that I saw made certain parts of my pants tighten. With a new targeting system and a beefed up physics engine this game will bring hours of force harnessing murder to my home.

4.Fable III 10/26
FABLE MAKES ME HAPPY! ( I am a little concerned about the subtracting of RPG elements)

5.Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 11/16
I already posted about the game play and the reasons that I am looking forward to this game so suffice it to say, the game ran wonderfully.

6.Assassin's Creed Brotherhood 11/16
This series has done nothing but improve and this one looks to improve even more and that makes me happy. I have been an Ubisoft since Prince of Persia and in my opinion Assassin's Creed is the modern day Prince of Persia. I enjoy stealth killing and even the occasional large group of guards that must be dispatched by my blade.

7.Donkey Kong Country Returns 11/21
My dad and I played all of the Donkey Kong games and with the exception of 3 they were all great and again getting my hands on this one and actually playing co-op with a co-worker made me severely anticipate this game. My girlfriend and I will definitely have hours of fun with the offline co-op that is slowly dissipating in this world of gaming.

These are just a handful of the titles that I am looking forward to the most there are many more that are on my radar, but these are the ones that made The List.
(My lists will all be in sevens... Don't ask.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First Impression: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

I had the opportunity to play the upcoming installment of the Need for Speed series. I have been a fan of the NFS series since the original Hot Pursuit, but it was Underground and Underground 2 that won my heart. Most Wanted wasn't horrible but it was not an Underground. So when I had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Hot Pursuit I was very excited as I'm sure you can understand.

There were only two cars to select from, I chose the Ferrari. The individual running the demo told me that to get a shirt I had to beat 1:50 on the only race that was available.

I'm sure you are as curious as I was, I asked him if they had any intentions of making a new Underground. His response was simply, "It took 9 years for us to make another Hot Pursuit. You've only been waiting 5 or 6 years for another Underground, so who knows."

Well anyways, back to the demo. The graphics were amazing and the handling was amazing, there was even a more realistic drift mechanic. I also had the use of some power-ups a turbo system, aside from NOS, and the ability to drop a spike strip ahead of you to slow your opponents. I actually finished the demo at 1:42 so lucky me I got a shirt woohoo!

Overall I am looking forward to this game, it is definitely the closest I am getting to another Underground anytime soon. I still stand behind my feeling that there will never be a game better that the original T.I. "24" Lil' Jon "Get Low" blasting Need for Speed Underground.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Fable II

Yet again I'm reviewing and older game but that's what I want to do so shut up, haha just kidding. Overall I enjoyed the experience of Fable II, but as always I will use my meticulous nature for evil, finding little things worng with the game.

The story was okay, but by no means outstanding, it jumped around and was fairly predictable at every turn. The characters lacked personality and had that generic Molyneux feel along with the always present cheeky humor. Oh, and not to mention the ending was very anti-climatic, I wont ruin it for you but damn, I've never felt less heroic.

I HATE THE DOG MECHANIC!!!! I think that is all I need to say about that.

I would say the biggest thing that held this game back was the little gold line that lead you to the next objective. You know what Molyneux, I understand that you feel Americans are idiots but we don't ALL need a little line telling us where to go, and oh yea some of us even like to explore freely, I know crazy huh. I actually thought of the golden line as a little brother running around in front of you and the second you try to do something else he goes, "Hey this way, are you gonna go this way hey hey hey hey. Let's go please. Can we go this way, I wanna free the slaves. Hey let's go make a general moral choice that has no feel of reality and there is no gray area."

Well that little rant leads me to my next complaint, the Morality System. This system had a "yes" or "no" feeling where there is no other option. No opportunity to make a decision that you may make in real life, you are either holy or evil and in my travels I have seen very few people be either of these extremes. This really takes away from the game, in my opinion, and don't get me wrong its not just this game that does it nearly all games in this generation have a Morality System and they all do the same "yes" or "no".

One more thing that I will complain about is the amount of glitches in the game. They overran the game making some areas super annoying and almost made me put down the controller. Sparrow can fight giant trolls and slay banshees but a little rock or the edge of a flight of stairs will stop him dead in his tracks. Edges stuck out like boulders in this game. Well back to the glitches, I've seen people, enemies, and even my dog disappear. The enemy one was the most obnoxious because I couldn't complete an objective due to an enemy getting stuck in a rock.

Ok, to the good parts, I enjoyed the battle system and at times I did enjoy the story. It kept me playing even though I found multiple things wrong with it and I was genuinely pleased when it was over. I even found myself thinking of playing through another time and being evil. I have a lot easier time telling people what I didn't like than telling them what I did so. I LIKED DA FABLE II GAME IT MAKE ME SMILE!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review: Madden NFL 2011

I am on an EA Sports strike I will not buy any of their games new, mainly because of the whole online registration awesomeness that they think is a good idea, and generally I don't play Madden anyways, always more of an NCAA guy, but I heard that this one was really good so I thought I'd give it a try.

This year's Madden is by far the best that I've ever played, due to the attributes that I will discuss now. Streamed lined running, balance passing, and new play calling system makes this Madden the best for any level of fan.

The sprint button has been removed and more emphasis has been put on the use of the right stick. This gives the player more control and also makes finding holes a necessity. This also creates a new level of realism that was missing in previous Maddens.

The passing game is neither too easy nor too hard. You don't feel that every pass thrown is caught and also don't feel that you are only chance at getting yards is running. I saw very few unrealistic catches and unfair drops. The receivers caught when they should and dropped when they should.

The new play calling system picks plays for you and allows you to listen to your offensive and defensive coaches via headset. If you're not good at defense like I am, this automatic play system balances the game. The offensive play calling can be frustrating at times, but overall the A.I. is decent. If you are one of those people who wants to look at the entire playbook, you can turn this feature off. But for me, it made me feel more like I was the QB or the defensive captain.

In closing, EA Sports stepped up their game in response to natural motion and 505 games attempted competition. They finally listened to the consumer and made necessary changes.

As a side note, they added a physics engine to the tackle engine. These things make the game very good, but it still lost its luster for me after a season or two.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Poop and Games. Related?

So I'm sure the title of this post has raised an eyebrow or two, but I do have a legitimate concern. In the near four years that I have worked for The Company, I have been involved in and observed two instances of feces on the premises, not in or around the toilet but on the sales floor. Let me explain.

-Epic Number One-
An associate was opening the store when a peck came at the window, the associate informed the early riser that we did not open until ten.
The customer said, "My NCAA is defective I need another copy."
The associate said, "Come back at ten with your receipt and we will take care of you."
The customer left, only to return 15 minutes later pecking at the glass. The associate yet again went to the glass and the customer asked. "Do I need the receipt, I reserved it."
"If you reserved it we will be able to look it up in the computer, just come back at ten."

So when the customer came into the store after ten the associate knew what to do, he got another copy of the game and began the transaction, looking up the customers info. Once the transaction was near completed the customer placed his defective game on the counter in a bag. After the transaction was finished and the customer left the associate pulled the game out of the bag and realized that it was covered in doo doo, poop, feces, shit, and dookie, yes all of them at once. The associate was appalled and was nearly scarred for life.

Even though the resolution of the situation is irrelevant some of you may still like to know. Our higher management decided that the customer would be allowed to pick up his fully paid copy of Madden but his business would no longer be welcome. When the customer returned to pick up his Madden, your's truly was the associate to inform him of the situation.

"Sir this will be the last game you can purchase here."
"What do you mean?"
"After the NCAA incident, your business is no longer welcome here."
"Aw man whatever, that guy's a bitch, I told him I dropped it in the bathroom at Wal-Mart."
After this statement he rode off into the sunset never to be seen again.

Epic Number 2 (haha number two...ahem... excuse me)

A mother was pre-ordering two DSi systems for her two children, five and seven approximately, halfway through the transaction the eldest child says, "Mommy I have to use the bathroom."
Her response, "Well you'll have to wait I'm almost finished here."

Fifteen minutes later, they exit the store, but not without saying goodbye. The oldest child apparently couldn't hold it. He left his own little signature, a trail of doo doo leading to the exit of the location.  I was lucky enough to be chosen to clean this mess.

I am a little confused by all this poop, maybe I am just lucky to have these experiences to share and that's what I'm doing, sharing them with you. I hope you have found this entertaining if not humorous, well ok if you were grossed out I guess I feel pretty good about that as well.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Soapbox Friday: Grand Theft Auto IV

So, Grand Theft Auto IV yea, I realize this is way late, but hey I didn't have a blog then and I do now so here it is. In my personal opinion GTA IV is one of the most over rated games of all time. Don't get me wrong if you love gritty realism, a poor driving mechanic, and being annoyed by your NPC cousin, then by all means GTA IV is the game for you. You may be thinking to yourself, " man that's all a little harsh Mr. TTB." Well I disagree, this game was hyped so much as the best Grand Theft Auto ever, and that it may be, that's not my point. I own the game and I invested a handful of time into it, no I didn't beat it, if you follow me or read regularly you will see that I buy a lot and finish few. The characters are mediocre at best and in most cases Rockstar's attempt to be edgy and to see how many mothers they can piss off. Before it is said, I do not have a personal vendetta against Rockstar and i am not a prude in any sense of the word, I just hate when customers are fed games that they are TOLD are ground breaking and they aren't. When playing this game i found myself bored and actually a little depressed, the game was very realistic and I felt that I was actually an immigrant trying to make it on the mean streets. There is only one problem with this, it was too real, I get enough gritty depression in that one game that we all play, gamer or not, the big L, Life. This game was not for me, but that doesn't mean it isn't for anyone, if you have had everything in your life given to you, haven't had to work for anything, have never had a down day, then this game will bring real life to you.

Just to prove that I am not completely biased, Saint's Row 2, This game felt like a game, it was not depressing and it was by no means realistic. The characters were juiced up ridiculous egos that we wish we could possess and exhibit in real life. Again the driving mechanic is unrealistic at best and the story is a little short, but Volition did a very good job in appealing to the things that gamers see as fun, nudity, senseless killing and of course fast driving with no real consequence. Saint's Row 2 is a game not an interactive walk down a street in Depressionville.

Well thanks for listening/reading my rant and I promise not all of my posts will be so... confrontational, if you will.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Butcher Knife + Playstation 3 = Instatutionalism

Working retail is always fun, but on occasion it is extremely enjoyable. This enjoyment is driven by the colorful and often entertaining patrons that enter our fine establishments. One of those individuals will be discussed in this post.

A couple approaches the counter, carrying a child, " We need a new PS3."

After this initial statement the general banter ensues, new used blah blah blah. They make their decision, which is not relevant to the story, and as the system is being scanned and bagged, the female asks, " Do you take broken systems?"

As the associate begins to answer she says, "Wait never mind you won't take it."

The associate looks at her questioningly, her response, "I took a butcher knife to it to get the game out."

As all gazes are cast upon her, "What, I couldn't find my screwdriver."

Not Actual System

I genuinely hope she meant the tool and not the drink, because this individual drinking while wielding a butcher knife makes Depends a product for me. I think it worries me most because apparently in this household there are no better utensils suited for destroying a beautiful piece of machinery, no crowbar, no hammer, no flame thrower... nothing. That still isn't the most disturbing point in all this, THEY HAVE A CHILD. This poor child will forever be confused, using a pencil to spread peanut-butter, writing with butter knives, using a stiletto heel as a hammer. Who knows what damage could be done if these types of poor utensil decisions are made every day. There isn't any amount of institutionalism that will fix this disorder.