Thursday, December 27, 2007

GTA IV in March?

Just in time for my birthday - I wasn't planning on posting anything until after the new year but after I saw this reservation card in Target today I couldn't help myself. Me and the boy were walking around enjoying our post-Christmas time off. While he was picking up an iTunes gift card, I naturally wandered over to the game section. I saw this reservation card in the 360 and PS3 sections (ooh, it also comes with a free console wrap with purchase!). The date was a little surprising, everything I've heard up to this point was leading to an April release. I am now even more excited about this upcoming March which besides containing my birthday, spring break and the fun of gambling in the NCAA tournament will now include a 24-hour GTA IV marathon.
Other Random Crap - If you haven't tried out a wireless headset yet because you weren't really into paying out $100 or more for it, I have some good news. Yesterday I picked up a fine pair at Radio Shack that was on sale for $30. They're the store brand, currently $10 off and work great. I can't believe I went this long without a set. I can now hear every single background noise that I've been missing because I couldn't always blast the volume. I guess the sound of explosions and rifle fire at 3am wakes people up and makes them grumpy bears. But now I can turn the volume up to 11! Of course in 10 years I'll be as deaf as Pete Townsend but at least my wife is happy...I recently reacquired Crackdown. If anyone is interested in playing some co-op let me know, I still haven't earned the co-op Achievements yet.

Monday, December 24, 2007

2007: What a Year!

Doesn't get much better than this - Before I take a little time off for the holidays, I had to take a look back at the amazing year that was 2007. Personally, I'm not really the type to take time to reflect on everything I've done, its a little hokey, but after taking some time to think about it, I realized this year has been an incredible one. In 2007 I snagged some big interviews as OXM's Fran Reyes, PSM's Chris Slate, ESRB President Patricia Vance, and X-Play's Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb appeared on the blog. In the summer I attended my first E3 as a gaming journalist and set a personal record for most posts in a month and most times I've yelled at a digital camera. In October I got to go on a Zero-G flight and Game 4 of the World Series (those are more personal than game related but I just wanted to brag). And to top it all off, last month I got my first assignment for a national gaming magazine. To quote the great thespian Keanu Reeves...whoa!
So what's up for 2008? I have no freakin' clue. I had no idea that 2007 would be so great, but I do have some goals for next year. 1. Get consistent freelance work from OXM and use that to get even more work in the industry. 2. Head out to LA for another E3 tour of duty in July and give even better coverage than before. 3. Start up the Coloradojoe podcast with my brother and Eli again, it was a lot of fun to do and I miss doing it. I think I can actually get some industry people to come on this time. 4. Do more interviews, which I really enjoy. Some people I'd like to talk with, that I sincerely think I'd have a shot at, are 2K's Ken Levine, EGM's Dan Hsu, Kotaku's Brian Crecente, and Geoff Keighley. Since I got my start as a writer in sports, I'd also love to get some interviews with pro athletes talking videogames. 5. Visit Sony Online Entertainment in Denver and take a tour of their offices. I've been meaning to do this since E3 when one of the PR reps invited me to come take a look. I plan on taking him up on his offer. 6. Building some kind of community on the blog. I have no real notion on how to start this but I've always wanted this blog to be more interactive than it is, I just don't know how to go about doing it. LAN parties? Clan parties? Monthly beerfests? If you have any ideas, let me know. 7. Add more content on different subjects. Again, something else I don't know how to do but having a section on this blog about other topics (fantasy football, music, sports, pop culture) would be nice. Or maybe Eli and I will finally get around to starting our own website, an idea we've been tossing around for months. 8. More contests. XBLA downloads, games, gift cards...I can see giving stuff like that away. 9. Play GTA IV for 24 hours straight. I'm very devoted to my all time favorite franchise.
I hope all of you have a happy and safe holiday and thanks for reading the ramblings of a small town game writer. The almost 30,000 hits this nonadvertised site received this year is the fuel that keeps me working hard and trying to improve.
See you in 2008!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't You...Forget About Me

Yeah, that's right, another 80's song for the title of a post. Just be greatful there's not a Simple Minds pic above - I was very tempted to do a Best Of or some kind of Year In Review but after the horrendous VGA's and the no-I-didn't-even-know-it-was-on G4TV end of the year awards I figured there wasn't any point. Why beat a very dead horse? Instead I wanted to slurp some games that came out this earlier this year but due to the late release of some gaming heavy weights, have pretty much been ignored. The good thing about the titles I'm about to list is that you can now get them on the cheap, so if you're still shopping for a gamer or want to recommend an inexpensive title someone can pick up for you, these little gems will do the job.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PSP) March - I'm a huge fan of the GRAW series. I love the game play, really enjoy the control I have of the squad, and the game presentation is top notch. The multiplayer was a blast too. GRAW 2 also came out pretty quick after its very successful predecessor, always nice.
The Darkness (Xbox 360, PS3) June - This game is just flat out weird and I mean that in the best way possible. Kooky storyline, weird superpowers, gun play, Nazi's...this game had it all in one bizarre package. Its great game that was completely overlooked.
Call of Juarez (Xbox 360, PC) June - I love videogames set in the old west. This started with the Konami arcade classic Sunset Riders which I used to play with a bunch of frat brothers in college. Today the western market remains pretty much untapped so when a game like Call of Juarez comes along I'm pretty stoked. An interesting two-character storyline, nice graphics, corny-to-the-point-of-funny dialogue and some sweet shooting mechanics make this title worth your time.
Crackdown (Xbox 360) February - Crackdown sold big, mostly because it was the last chance people had to participate in the Halo 3 beta (doesn't that seem like 2 years ago?), but beneath the H3 beta sticker on the cover was a great game on its own. Playing a cop with super powers in a corrupt city was like playing GTA on steroids. I played this title a ton the first half of the year. In fact, according to my Xbox 360's blog on, its my second most played game this year, right after Halo 3. Mmm...I traded this game in months ago. I'm feeling a little nostalgic, I think I need to call Fritz at GameCrazy and see if he has any used copies.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Final Countdown

Now you have that crappy song by Europe in your head, ha! - I'm sure you're all enjoying this picture of 80's one hit wonder Europe. Long live the man-perm! The reason I bring up their classic is because you only have 7 more shopping days until Christmas. That's right, all of you slackers out there better get in gear. Since you more than likely have a gamer in your family, I've written up a holiday gaming guide covering all the major systems for you to reference as you shop. If this looks oddly familiar, don't be alarmed, I actually wrote this a few weeks ago and it ran in the Indy the first week of December. Since then I've had a chance to spend more time with the games I recommended and a few others I hadn't played retail versions of yet. What you see below is word for word what was in the paper but I threw in some additional comments in italics.
Game On! - There has never been a better time to be a videogame enthusiast. Right now, gaming fans are enjoying the industry’s Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and Blue Period all at once. Not only are the games better than ever, but gaming is a big business rivaling music, TV and movies as its $1.1 billion sales in software and hardware in October alone will attest. Chances are you’re either a gamer or know someone who is - and why wouldn’t you be? From kids just learning to read to blue haired, little old ladies and everyone in between, there is literally something for everybody.
The holiday season is when companies flood the market with their best titles and this year the choices are better then ever. But how do you decide which games are worth your hard earned dollar this Christmas? That’s easy, check out the handy dandy gift guide below for the must haves for every noteworthy platform. Games are categorized by system, age level and ESRB ratings for your convenience.
Xbox 360
Mass Effect (M) - If you have a television, you probably couldn’t help but notice that a little game called Halo 3 came out in September. It was sold everywhere (even at 7-Eleven’s!) and had almost as much hype surrounding it as The Bee Movie. Halo 3 is certainly a must have, but don’t ignore Mass Effect, the incredible role playing game that’s an Xbox 360 exclusive. Gamers create their own human character and explore the universe as a soldier commanding the crew of the SSV Normandy. An engrossing plot, beautiful graphics, deep game play, an open-ended environment, and the chance to make critical choices that affect the story arc make Mass Effect a sci-fi, choose-your-own-adventure classic. You need this game, you want this game, and your life will be shallow and meaningless without it.
For Kids: Viva Piñata: Party Animals (E) – This is a great game for kids to play together, with a wide variety of mini-games and races.
For Family: Rock Band (T) – If you ever wanted to start your own version of the Partridge Family with plastic musical instruments, this is your chance. The full edition comes with a drum kit, guitar and a mic.
For Adults: Halo 3 (M) – There’s plenty of other quality candidates on the 360 for adults (Bioshock, Call of Duty 4, The Orange Box, Assassin’s Creed) but if you own a 360, you absolutely have to have Halo 3. Kind of like how everyone in America was issued Frampton Comes Alive in the 1970’s.
- If I had to write this over again, I'd have to seriously consider replacing Mass Effect with Assassin's Creed or Halo 3. The game is just soooo big, its almost overwhelming. If I finish this game before GTA IV is released I'll be amazed. That and I picked a horrible class type. Stay away from Vanguard's, they suck. I also wish I could've given more love to Rock Band but space restraints prevented me from slurping it too hard. And finally, I wasn't terribly impressed by my early peek at SceneIt but I've been pleasantly surprised by the final version. Its alot of fun.
Nintendo Wii
Super Mario Galaxy (E) – One of the most recognizable and beloved characters in videogame history is Mario, the plumber with the embarrassingly clichéd Italian accent. Even a beauty pageant contest would recognize him. Mario has carried Nintendo for ages and does it again this year with Super Mario Galaxy. Mario is in a 3-D space universe, chasing Bowser down in order to save his dear Princess Peach. Stunning environments, cool new power ups, and a fun two player co-op, join the always guaranteed to be addictive game play.
For Kids: Mario Party 8 (E) – Nobody does games for kids like Nintendo and this party game (with Mario of course) can be enjoyed by up to four people.
For Family: Smarty Pants (E) – A fun trivia game with 20,000 questions the whole family can take part in.
For Adults: Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (M) – The great survival horror franchise has a different look on the cute, little Wii but its just as creepy.
- I'm pretty satisfied with what I have here. Super Mario Galaxy is fantastic.
PlayStation 3
Uncharted Drake’s Fortune (T) – The PS3 has taken even more of a public beating than Britney Spears and both deserve it. It has few console exclusives (of the games below only Ratchet and Clank is PS3 only), its online service pales in comparison to the Xbox 360’s despite being free, and just like Britney it isn’t kid friendly. Despite all of that, the PS3 just needs a few games to call its own and its back in business. Uncharted Drake’s Fortune is a step in the right direction. This stunning title where gamers control Nathan Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, plays like an up to date version of Tomb Raider minus the busty brunette.
For Kids: Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction (E 10+) – This humorous game is the fifth in the franchise and is still going strong.
For Family: The Simpsons Game (T) – Funniest. Game. Ever.
For Adults: Assassin’s Creed (M) – A refreshingly different take on a common gaming theme – killing people.
- The PS3 was tough, there's just not many must-have exclusives and the family/kid selection for it are abysmal. I again would have to consider replacing Uncharted with Assassin's Creed but, just like with the 360, was trying to stay console exclusive. Out of the big three, the PS3 easily has the weakest lineup and I really wanted to rag on it in the article I wrote but didn't have the space.
Other Systems
Still haven’t chosen a side in the console war? No problem, there are still some sweet options for you too. If you’re a PC, PS2, DS or PSP owner the industry still cares about you. Everybody else? You’re screwed.
PC: Crysis (M) – There are plenty of great options for PC gamers (Tabula Rasa, World in Conflict) but this alien invasion game set in 2020 is the best.
PlayStation 2: Guitar Hero 3 (T) – If you don’t have a next-gen console don’t worry, you can still play this great game on the PS2.
Nintendo DS: The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass (E) – Grab your tights and play the first Zelda game on the DS.
PlayStation Portable: Manhunt 2 (M) – If you’re looking for a handheld game where you can kick guys in the groin (and who isn’t) this controversial title is for you.
- Eli gave me some direction with the PC section, thanks bro. I would have loved to have recommended more DS games (Mario Party, Contra 4, CoD4) know the drill by now.
More crap - Sensible World of Soccer (800MS points) and Tempest (400MS points) come out on XBLA this Wednesday..."Comedian" Patton Oswalt seems to agree with my take on the VGA's, and he was a presenter. Check out his myspace page...If you were checking out the latest OXM for my short Tiger DC piece don't bother, its in the issue that comes out next month.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Where to Buy Games

Customer service blows nowadays. Nobody who works retail gives a crap about the customer anymore, they just watch the clock and want you out of their hair as soon as possible, making you feel like you're intruding on their time when they're supposed to be doing their job. Worse yet, it doesn't seem to matter what kind of place you go to, nobody really seems to know anything about the product they're selling. Cars, applicances, electronics, name it, the people who sell can only spout out what they've been told or read in a brochure.
So when you finally find a place with great customer service and an intelligent staff, you remember it. Or at least I do and become a client forever. I've had the same mechanic for years, always go to the same guy if I have problems with my computer, go to the same music shop for new equipment and repairs, and naturally, go only two places when I want a videogame. Lucky for you I'm willing to share the two best places in town to get games, but if you don't live in Colorado Springs you're on your own.
My Favorite Store for New Games: GameCrazy (Academy and Palmer Park) - Best Buy, Circuit City, Target and Wal-Mart have nothing on this store when it comes to new games. The staff is knowledgeable and my man Fritz especially (pictured up top) knows his stuff. Antony is a great guy too. Whenvever I need to buy a game that for some reason didn't get mailed to me (stupid Ubisoft and Eidos!) I come here. If there's a midnight release for a game that I just can't wait for, I come here. If I'm looking for a great place to get some real value for a trade-in, I come here. If I just want to shoot the breeze with some other guys who are just as into games as I am, I come here. In fact, everytime I come into this GameCrazy I'm usually there for at least 30 minutes just hanging out and talking games with the staff or other gamers who are just looking around. You can't find that at a chain store. This is the place I go to for new games, I can't remember the last time I bought a new game from anywhere else.
My Favorite Store for Classic Games: Video Game Exchange (Platte and Union) - You've probably driven by this store and thought nothing of it, until you notice the 3ft ceramic Mario standing outside. I love walking in this store, its like stepping back in time. You name the classic console and its in this store - N64, Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast, PS1' name it, you can find it and games for it here. This summer when I was feeling nostalgic for my high school days I came in and bought an NES along with Mike Tyson's Punchout and Super Mario (I'm going to be grabbing Zelda sometime soon). I was so happy with my purchase that I came in later and bought a SNES to relive my college glory years when I dominated my frat in NHL '94 and Madden '94. I also picked up one of the greatest games of all-time, Empire Strikes Back. Its a great store, and even though I don't go into it very often, its easily the best place in town to get your retro game on.
So there you have it, the best stores in town for any type of game you're looking for. Don't bother going anywhere else.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Spike TV Video Game Awards Suck

And I hope they burn in hell! - The Video Game Awards were on Sunday night. Did you watch? Didn't think so and I know why. I know I'm ruining any chance of ever appearing on the Spike TV Video Game Awards but I could care less, its a crap show. So I guess I'm officially saying goodbye to my dream of presenting an award onstage while wasted with a cast member of Jackass.
The show does nothing but perpetuate the myth that all gamers are teenage virgins with no social skills, which I found strange because gamings biggest demographic are men in the 25-40 year old age group. So what exactly do the Video Game Awards bring to the table? A show loaded with celebs who probably have no clue how to turn a console on (except for those 2 guys from Chuck) but are on the show just for the sake of making the fanboys in the front row scream and make a futile attempt to draw ratings? Check. A ton of women in little to no clothes to once again reinforce the lamest joke in the gaming book that gamers are nerds who can't get laid? Check. A stream of lame gaming jokes that only a non-gamer might find even slightly amusing (have you heard about the Red Ring of Death)? Check. Award categories of a questionable nature (say hello to the Most Addictive Game Fueled by Dew winner!)? Check. What a joke!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm for anything that helps to bring gaming some well deserved attention. Its certainly lacking in the respect department when compared to movies, music and TV despite being just as big a business and in many ways, way more entertaining. I hate to sound like Rodney Dangerfield, but gaming just doesn't get enough respect. Most people who aren't familiar with the industry still treat gaming like toys and overlook its importance. I'm also very much for the video game industry having its own award show, and because of that I have to give Spike TV some props for having the stones to take it on. My problem is how they go about it...with no respect for the industry. It seems like whoever puts together this show isn't a gamer, but just slams a bunch of things together that they think gamers would enjoy seeing.
Gamers are funny people with a great sense of humor and the ability to be self-deprecating, so that has to be a part of any kind of program catered around gaming. But when it reaches down to the lowest common denominator for a joke or as a pathetic attempt to bring in an audience, it goes away from what the heart of what gaming is - pure fun. If we want to present ourselves as a viable form of entertainment and not as a novelty, we have to let the best sides of gaming come to the forefront, not the worst. The creative geniuses who make and develop games (while shy as hell) should be the ones at the forefront getting the attention and being lauded upon. Not Tila Tequila. Steven Speilberg, Martin Scorcese, James Cameron, George Lucas, Joss Whedon, and JJ Abrams are just a few of the people behind some of the greatest TV shows and films, gamings versions of those guys should be heralded as well.
Until we start treating our own industry with the respect it deserves, no one else will either.
Other random stuff on a snowy Tuesday - Three new maps (Foundry, Rats Nest, Standoff) hit Xbox Live today for download on Halo 3. They sell for a hefty 800 MS points, but if you're not a diehard you might decide to wait until Spring you can download them for free...Yesterday 2K announced that spring will see the release of Don King Presents: Prizefighter on the Wii, DS and 360. King's gift for self promotion was evident in the press release.
"In all my years working in professional boxing, I have never seen anything come as close to recreating the thrill, the intensity, the courage and the spectacle of the sport," said legendary boxing promoter Don King. "Don King Presents: Prizefighter is more than a game -- it is a glimpse at what life is like in and out of the ring for these incredible athletes."
Here's hoping the game offers some Lucious Sweet type moments where you can bribe punching bags to take falls and bribe judges.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Three Headed Monster

The past couple of weeks I've been in gaming heaven with the three headed monster of Rock Band, Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed taking up almost all of my time. Sure I played a little NCAA 2K8 (for the points) and some Tiger Woods '08 (for a downloadable content review for OXM) but nothing has been more fun then rotating the big three through my 360.
The great thing about this unusual menage a trios is they all offer something completely different. If I feel like being social, Rock Band is there. If I feel like playing a sci-fi choose your own adventure with some hot human-on-alien action, Mass Effect is ready. And when I'm having a stressful day and I want to stab someone in their virtual groin, Assassin's Creed is where I go. When I get tired of one, I move on to another and with no big releases on the horizon I'm glad I have more than one game to keep me busy.
To be perfectly honest, I have to admit that of the three I'm enjoying Assassin's Creed the most and I'm surprised. When I saw it at E3 it was a big disappointment. The story didn't sound interesting and the game play felt unfinished, but now I can't get enough of it. The twist on the storyline was completely unexpected, the controls are unique to the genre and require skill but its done in such a way that it feels like a natural build up, and the game is absolutely stunning. Best of all, Creed is just a different type of game, you can't compare it to anything else out there. The 360 is littered with endless shooters and sports titles and this game doesn't fit either, not in its game play or its one of a kind setting. Sadly with Halo 3, CoD4, Mass Effect and Rock Band getting so much love, Assassin's Creed will fly under the radar just like the equally good BioShock. Don't let that happen, this game deserves your time.
So what are you playing right now? Let me know.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Most Important TV Event in the History of Videogames

At least that's what the subject line of the email said - Some PR rep sent me the press release below. It goes without saying that this rep has a gift for hyperbole, but I guess she did her job and got my attention.
The Most Important TV Event in the History of Video Games to Air Exclusively on DIRECTV’s Channel 101 - Top Teams from Around the World Compete in the Championship Gaming Series World Final for the Coveted Dew Trophy and $1,000,000 Prize Purse. DIRECTV, the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, is making sports history once again with the exclusive live broadcast of the inaugural Championship Gaming Series (CGS) World Final. The competition will take place December 6-14 at the Sony Studios in Los Angeles where more than 100 of the world’s top professional gamers will compete for the league’s first-ever World Champion title and a share of the $1,000,000 prize purse. All the action will be captured live and in HD on DIRECTV’s original entertainment channel, The 101, starting December 6 at 10pm ET.
The CGS World Final will be the first-ever international gaming event to present all the action live, as it happens, allowing fans at home to experience the match-ups like any other sport. The groundbreaking coverage will commence with the start of CGS World Final on December 6 and broadcast three hours of single elimination competitions each night leading up to the championship game on December 14.
The playoffs will feature the top CGS teams from around the world as they compete in PC and console based games. Valve’s Counter-Strike: Source and EA’s FIFA 2007 are the official PC games for CGS while Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 4 (DOA4) and Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) from Microsoft Game Studios will be played on Xbox 360. Each round of the World Final is single elimination and the last team standing will receive the coveted Dew Trophy as well as $500,000 in prize money.
CGS World Final event schedule is as follows:
December 6: CGS World Final press conference December 6: First round day 1 December 7: First round day 2 December 10: Quarterfinals day 1 December 11: Quarterfinals day 2 December 13: Semifinals & Itagaki Challenge December 14: Final
Xbox Live Update - If you turned on your 360 today you were greeted with the fall update. Rejoice in the new family timer, Microsoft's attempt to appeal to those ridiculous family watchdog groups who spend more time worried about games they never play while they let their kids watch Saw III. Other new features? A few orginal Xbox games are available for download, as are free themes and picture packs for them (no puchase necessary), some organizational changes and the new friends list features....and that's about it. Nothing really groundbreaking. I do like the options now available on friends lists. I was talking to my brother this afternoon while he was at work and asked him who the people were on his friends list to see if I wanted to send an invite to any of his buddies I know. Gamers can now also make adjustments to their bio where they can add their name, where they live and a short quote. Again, not really anything earth shattering but at least MS takes the time to continuously fine tune its already great online service.
Well its about damn time - Finally some Bioshock DC! Considering how competitive the gaming market is, Bioshock finally adding some downloadable content almost 4 months after its release is a shame. Its such a great game, it needed this plasmid shot in the arm 2 months ago. At least its free for both PC and 360 gamers. Below is a list of the new content, also included is a new widescreen feature option.
Four Plasmids and Gene Tonics:
- Sonic Boom: Hurls creatures and objects back with a blast of force
- EVE saver: Enables Plasmids to use less EVE
- Vending Expert: Reduces prices in the vending machines
- Machine Buster: Increases the amount of damage players deal to cameras, bots and turrets
Achievements (exclusive to Xbox 360):
Gain 100 points for “Brass Balls,” by beating BioShock on the “hard” difficulty setting without dying

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Breaking Up (with the PS3) Is Hard To Do

Dear PS3,
Hey, how ya doing? Its been awhile since we've talked hasn't it? Yeah, things have been a little off since we got together a year ago and that's why I'm writing this letter. I should have written this months ago but like the old saying goes, breaking up is hard to do. That's right PS3, I'm sorry to say it but I'm just not that into you.
Its not that I didn't try. When we first met it was so exciting. You were so beautiful and curvy. You even smelled nice. You came with some baggage (that crappy Talladega Nights movie) but I quickly got over it and we started to have some fun together. Sadly, the fun didn't last. There just wasn't that much to you and I quickly lost interest. I kept looking for something for us to have in common but lets face it, there wasn't much I couldn't get from you that I couldn't get from someone else that was better or much cheaper. I know that's a horrible thing to hear but I just want to be honest. I was looking for something unique and special and you're not it. You just don't stand out and I can't wait until your online service or Solid Snake finally show up to save us because that probably won't be enough. Look, I'm sure there are others who will find you attractive but I have to move on. In fact, I already have.
Before I started seeing you I was spending alot of time with the Xbox 360 and there are no signs of that stopping. Sixy (that's my pet name for her, isn't it cute?) and I have had our share of problems (there was this one instance with these red rings that I thought would be the end of us) but we've worked things out and its been great. Then last year, around the time I met you, I met yet another console called Wii. She's a cute little thing and has kind of become a little sister to the 360. As you can see PS3, I have a nice little family here. A console for me and a console for the kids and wife, there just isn't a place for you. I know I've had a long history with you and your family so don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all you've done for me. But the fact of the matter is relationships are a two way street. I'm willing to give you my time and money but if you have nothing to offer in return why keep you around? So I'm letting you go and saying goodbye. I know the holiday season is a tough time for this kind of news but I need your trade in value for some new games and an HD-DVD player. I know what you're thinking, "you're dumping me for an HD-DVD player?!? Aren't you the guy who wrote about not choosing sides yet?!?". You're right, I might end up with this generations Betamax but I've already switched it on more times this week than I've switched you on in the past 6 months. And don't forget it was 1/3 of your price and I got some games too, so there.
I wish you well PS3, give me a call when you turn 4. Maybe then we'll have something in common again.
Best wishes,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Grand Theft Auto IV Cover Art

Frickin' Sweet - The official cover art for GTA IV was unveiled on Rockstar's website today and I'm (in a Deter voice) happy as a little girl. Motorcycles, helicopters, tootsie pops, sniper rifles, car chases, cell phone conversations? Sign me up! I'm most excited about the gondala ride. I wonder how much it costs.
Rockstar will be dropping a third trailer for GTA IV on December 4th and I can't wait. If all the love I've been giving the Halo series makes you cringe, just wait until you see the tongue bath I give GTA IV when it comes out. The Grand Theft Auto franchise is my personal all-time fav.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rock Band First Impressions

Rock Me Amadeus - I love the new game Rock Band so much I started my own Rock Band band. This is a picture of us above, I'm second from the right. Don't let the pic on this blog fool you, I look much different with a beard and without my glasses. I've been told my group looks a little like some band called the Foo Fighters but its completely coincidental. My band is called Death Blossom and I rock the mic. Not because I can actually sing but because I can't play the guitar nearly as well as my son and when it comes to the drums I'm about as coordinated as an elephant on ice skates. So far my band has only been playing in Boston but we recently got a van so I'm hoping we can branch out.
Rock Band is an amazing game. Sure I occassionally feel like a dufus banging on plastic musical instruments and playing in my own virtual Partridge Family band but I could care less. I'm having way too much fun playing with my son (and with others online) to feel embarrassed by what I look like. And that's what makes this game so much better than the Guitar Hero series, which is saying a lot. There's just so much more to do because there are more instruments, and the co-op mode is way more enjoyable. Rock Band is not only for die-hard rhythm game rockers, its also a great party game. If I can talk my wife and daughter into it, anybody will try it. Its just one of those games that has a high curiosity factor and draws people in. But my favorite thing about the game is the music. Guitar Hero offers some great tunes but they're all covers, almost all of the songs in Rock Band are originals. Throw in all of the downloads available (including the aforementioned Foo Fighters) and gamers can have quite a nice variety of songs to jam to.
If you've been leery of jumping into the rhythm game genre, I can't really say I blame you because I never got into it myself until now. But if you decide to give Rock Band a shot I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Random Crap on a 'Heroes' Monday - Classic space shooter Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe are available as a joint download this Wednesday for 400 MS points...the Xbox Dashboard update on December 4 will allow you to look up the friends of your friends ala Facebook and MySpace. I actually tried this when Xbox Live was first available so I'm kind of glad this is finally going to happen. Still, even though you can control the access to your friends list its a little Big Brotherish in a way...And finally...I forgot where I saw THIS today but as a Star Wars geek I thought it was kinda funny.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mass Effect Achievement Points

My December dance card is full - With the newly released Rock Band, Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed taking up all of my gaming time, Call of Duty 4 is offically out of the rotation. I just don't have time for it. The only reason Halo 3 will get any love is if I want to shoot people online, otherwise its going to be collecting dust as well. Can you blame me? These three games are awesome. Assassin's Creed lives up to its initial promise, Mass Effect is the crack of video games and Rock Band blows Guitar Hero III off the stage. Best of all, none of these games is a first person shooter. I've already posted the points for Rock Band and Assassin's Creed so here are the Achievement Points for crack-like Mass Effect.
1. Medal of Honor - Complete 1 Mass Effect Playthrough on any setting. 100 points
2. Medal of Heroism - Complete Feros. 25 points
3. Distinguished Service Medal - Complete Eden Prime. 25 points
4. Council Legion of Merit - Complete Virmire. 25 points
5. Honorarium of Corporate Service - Complete Noveria. 25 points
6. Long Service Medal - Complete 2 Mass Effect Playthroughs on any setting. 25 points
7. Distinguished Combat Medal - Complete 1 Mass Effect playthrough on the Hardcore difficulty setting. Do not change the setting.. 25 points
8. Medal of Valor - Complete 1 Mass Effect playthrough on the Insanity difficulty setting. Do not change the setting..50 points
9. Pistol Expert - Register 150 Pistol Kills. 10 points
10. Shotgun Expert - Register 150 Shotgun Kills. 15 points
11. Assault Rifle Expert - Register 150 Assault Rifle Kills. 15 points
12. Sniper Expert - Register 150 Sniper Rifle Kills. 15 points
13. Lift Mastery - Use biotic Lift 75 times. 15 points
14. Throw Mastery - Use biotic Throw 75 times. 15 points
15. Warp Mastery - Use biotic Warp 75 times. 15 points
16. Singularity Mastery - Use biotic Singularity 75 times. 15 points
17. Barrier Mastery - Use biotic Barrier 75 times. 15 points
18. Stasis Mastery - Use biotic Stasis 75 times. 15 points
19. Damping Specialist - Use Damping Field 75 times. 15 points
20. AI Hacking SpecialistUse AI Hacking 75 times. 15 points
21. Overload Specialist - Use Shield Overload 75 times. 15 points
22. Sabotage Specialist - Use Sabotage 75 times. 15 points
23. First Aid Specialist - Use medi-gel 150 times. 15 points
24. Neural Shock Specialist - Use Neural Shock 75 times. 15 points
25. Scholar - Find all primary Alien: Council Races, Extinct Races and Non-Council Races codex entries. 25 points
26. Completionist - Complete the majority of the game. 25 points
27. Tactician - Complete playthrough with shield damage greater than health damage. 25 points
28. Medal of Exploration - Land on an uncharted world. 50 points
29. RichExceed 1,000,000 Credits . 25 points
30. Dog of War - Register 150 organic enemy kills. 25 points
31. Geth Hunter - Register 250 synthetic enemy kills. 25 points
32. Soldier Ally - Complete the majority of the game with the Alliance soldier squad member. 20 points
33. Sentinel Ally - Complete the majority of the game with the Alliance sentinel squad member. 20 points
34. Krogan Ally - Complete the majority of the game with the krogan squad member. 20 points
35. Turian Ally - Complete the majority of the game with the turian squad member. 20 points
36. Quarian Ally - Complete the majority of the game with the quarian squad member. 20 points
37. Asari AllyComplete the majority of the game with the asari squad member. 20 points
38. Power Gamer - Reach 50th level with one character. 20 points
39. Extreme Power Gamer - Reach 60th level with one character. 50 points
40. Renegade - Accumulate 75% of total Renegade points. 15 points
41. Paragon - Accumulate 75% of total Paragon points. 15 points
42. Paramour - Complete any romance subplot. 10 points
43. Spectre Inductee - Become a Spectre. 15 points
44. Charismatic - Use Charm or Intimidate to resolve an impossible situation. 10 points
45. Search and Rescue - Locate Dr. T'soni in the Artemis Tau cluster. 10 points

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things to be Thankful For

A Quick Post Before I Take a Thanksgiving Hiatus - As a gamer, how can you not be thankful for the bounty we've received this fall. Best. Gaming. Year. Ever. Bioshock, Uncharted Drake's Fortune, Super Mario Galaxy, Crysis, Tabula Rasa, World in Conflict, Madden, Guitar Hero III, Call of Duty 4, Rock Band, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed (fastest selling new IP in 5 years) and Halo 3 are just a few of the great titles that have all come out in the past few months to give gamers an embarrassing array of choices.
If that's not enough for you, I have even more good news. Today IGN broke the news today that Ubisoft Montreal is working on Rainbow Six Vegas 2, set to be released in March 2008. Sweet! But wait there's more! Halo 3 fans will get to download three new multiplayer maps on December 11 as part of the Heroic Map Pack for 800 Microsoft Points. If that's a little rich for you, save your money and wait until Spring when its free because thats when the next map pack will be released. Oh yeah, and in an interview posted on this site, Crytek boss Cevat Yerli confirmed PC standout Crysis will be a trilogy. Cool! Its a great time to be a gamer.

Quick Thoughts on Kane and Lynch: Dead Men - I wrapped up Kane and Lynch yesterday and I trade it in with mixed feelings. The game was thoroughly enjoyable and I had some fun with it (only 6 days but who's counting) but it left me a little disappointed. After getting used to the slightly off game controls, it was easy to get into the bad guy role of Kane. He's not a lovable villian, in fact he's a giant douche, but sometimes its fun to be an ass and Eidos did a great job of making a self-centered jerk fun to play with. The unique multi-player, the wide variety of environments, sidekick Lynch's lack of anything resembling mental stability and the chance to do some crazy missions straight out of the movies was great. However, the wonky controls (taking cover happended randomly, no way to switch camera perspective, horrible weapon targeting) and the Forest Gump IQ of the AI made the game feel too loose and way too easy. Kane and Lynch is certainly worthy of your time and I'd normally recommend a game this fun as a decent buy, but with so many other better choices out there its not worth it. This game screams Rent Me!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Review: Call of Duty 4

Intense. That's the best word to describe Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the new shooter from Infinity Ward that takes the CoD franchise out of the 1940's and into the modern era. The firefights are sweat inducing, the sniping missions will have gamers holding their breath along with the main character and the storyline is Hollywood worthy. The game presentation is first rate with excellent voice acting and sound effects, and the touch-your-TV-to-see-if-its-real graphics are absolutely stunning. CoD 4 is a great game, a definite must own...but.
Throughout the game I kept thinking that there was something missing but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. When under fire, I kept trying to slam against the wall for cover and shoot from my hidden position like in Gears of War. I kept thinking that I sure wish I was doing more of the leading and less of the following like in Rainbow Six Vegas. I kept thinking during multi-player matches that it wasn't as nearly as fun as online Halo 3. That's when I started to realize that when compared against these three games, the flaws of CoD 4 become more obvious. The single-player campaign is way too short, the multi-player mode is fun but doesn't offer anything you can't find in other games, and the controls are relatively simplistic.
The FPS market is a crowded one, so its impossible not to compare one against another and I just couldn't help but think of Halo, RB6 and Gears while playing CoD4, and because of that it took away from some of my enjoyment of the game. Once you're able to do something in another comparably good game (command the men in your unit, fire from cover, have an incredible online experience) if you can't get that from a new title, it takes away some of its luster and unfortunately that's the effect previous shooters have on CoD 4. Without a doubt the game is a blast, but when it comes to ranking available FPS games worthy of spending your money on, Call of Duty 4 comes in fourth place.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, DS
Price: $29.99 - $69.99
You take the good: Intense gameplay, great presentation
You take the bad: Woefully short single-player campaign, overly simplistic gameplay
And then you have, the grade: B+

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get Carcassonne Now

No not that Carcassonne - This is the city of Carcassonne, France. Its a fortified town in the Languedoc region. It is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona") – though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate—is of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored from 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
Or at least that's what it said on Wikipedia. The more relevant Carcassonne (at least for us non-white flag waving, gaming Americans) is the free Xbox Live Arcade game that you should be downloading right now. You only have a day left to download it, so save yourself 800 Microsoft Points and get at it.
Other random crap on a "The Office" Thursday - A PGR4 update, which will provide four new MP tournaments, will be available tomorrow...Early Kane & Lynch impression - Its okay. The control scheme is a little off, Kane moves way too stiff, shooting is incredibly wonky. I don't think I'll like this game as much as I had hoped...Early Assassin's Creed impression - very fun, the moves Altair can pull off are numerous and cool. Storyline much better than I thought. I think I'll like this much more than I anticipated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Xbox Live Turns 5

Two posts in one day?!? - That's right but don't get too excited, this is for 360 owners only. November 15 marks the 5-year anniversary of Xbox Live and Microsoft decided to throw itself a little party with a number of nice offerings.
For 48 hours starting at 12:01 EST on November 15, gamers can get a free download of the XBL title Carcassonne (pronounced Carc-ASS-onne, make sure to put the EMphaSIS on the right SYLable). Microsoft will also give gamers who have been with Xbox Live since its inception (2002) 500 free Microsoft Points. What would you spend those points on? Funny you should ask. Maybe on Halo, Fable, Psychonauts, or Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. These 4 original Xbox titles are the first of what are sure to be many games from the first system that will be available as downloads on Xbox Live Arcade. These games will be available on December 4, right after gamers complete the Xbox 360 firmware update that also includes new parental-control options (say hello to the Family Timer son!). The Xbox Originals will sell for 1200 MS points ($15, a little steep if you ask me) but as of right now any other details regarding online support or Achievement Points is unknown.

Kane and Lynch Achievements

What's the deal with all of these Achievement posts? - Glad you asked. I've been dragging my feet a bit so I could spend as much time with Call of Duty 4 before I give my take. And to be honest, I've also been zipping my way through The Simpsons Game so I can beat it and be done with it (the longer I played it, the worse it got, the game play is just atrocious). Look for a post on CoD4 in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are the AP's for a game I can't wait to get my hands on. The multiplayer for it sounds very intriguing (players work together on a job against cop AI, if you die you become a cop...its kind of complicated). Kane and Lynch comes out tomorrow, as does Assassins Creed.
1. Sun Tzu - Let your crew do the dirty work. 20 points
2. Fragile Alliance - Complete the first level in co-op. 10 points
3. No Going Back Now - Go to the point of no return in co-op. 30 points
4. End of the Road - Complete the game in co-op. 50 points
5. Impact - Escape from death row. 20 points
6. Damned if you do - Let them burn. 20 points
7. Damned if you don't - No rest for the wicked. 30 points
8. Iron Flower - Complete the game on hard. 50 points
9. Crowd Control - Surgical precision in the nightclub. 30 points
10. Have Gun, Will Travel Part I - Travel into the Rising Sun. 20 points
11. Have Gun, Will Travel Part II - Counter-revolution. 20 points
12. Have Gun, Will Travel Part III - The Beginning of the End. 20 points
13. Behemoth - Stop the roaring beast. 10 points
14. Pushblade Symphony - Points for getting up close and personal. 20 points
15. Frag Out - 5 with one fragmentation grenade. 20 points
16. Headmaster - 47 headshots. 10 points
17. By the Grace of.. - Lynch puts them out of their misery. 10 points
18. Boomstick - Shotgun messiah. 20 points
19. Return to Sender - Throw back enemy grenades. 10 points
20. Teflon - Avoid damage on a level. 20 points
21. Bulletproof - Avoid using adrenaline on a level. 10 points
22. Revenge Part I - Silencing the silent one. 20 points
23. Revenge Part IV - Shouldn't have gotten personal. 20 points
24. Revenge Part V - Glad it got personal. 30 points
25. Hindsight - Get that bird out of the sky. 10 points
26. Berserkopath - Make the most of Lynch's condition. 30 points
27. Bullseye - Lynch reacts fast at the Exchange. 20 points
28. Family Member - Complete a Fragile Alliance session. 5 points
29. Some - Escape with $50,000 from a Fragile Alliance heist. 5 points
30. A Lot - Escape with $1,500,000 from a Fragile Alliance heist. 15 points
31. Sweet Revenge - Get personal revenge in Fragile Alliance. 5 points
32. Crime Buster - Kill 10 traitors in Fragile Alliance. 10 points
33. Double Trouble - Kill 2 traitors in a Fragile Alliance round. 25 points
34. Never Give Up - Get 3 personal revenge kills in a Fragile Alliance session. 30 points
35. The Cleaner - Get 30 personal revenge kills in Fragile Alliance. 30 points
36. Mr. PopularityKill 100 traitors in Fragile Alliance. 35 points
37. Cash Addict - Help to get all the money out in a Fragile Alliance round. 25 points
38. Most Wanted - Escape with $150,000,000 from Fragile Alliance heists. 50 points
39. Mercenary - Complete one session in each Fragile Alliance scenario. 15 points
40. Mr. Play-It-Straight - Win 50 rounds of Fragile Alliance as a merc. 50 points
41. 50 to Won - Win 50 rounds of Fragile Alliance. 25 points
42. Veteran - Complete 200 Fragile Alliance sessions. 35 points
43. Rush Hour - Escape in all rounds of a Fragile Alliance session. 15 points
44. Perfect Split- All players split the money equally from a Fragile Alliance heist. 25 points
45. Celebrity - Play as Lynch in Fragile Alliance. 0 points
46. True Elite - Play as Kane in Fragile Alliance. 0 points
47. Revenge Part II & III - Who's the old timer now?. 20 points

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rock Band Achievement Points

Guitar Hero? Never heard of it? - Activision's rhythm game is nice but gamers can expect Rock Band to make you forget all about it. Drums, guitar, vocals, and bass?!? Sign me up. Here are the Achievement Points for it.
1. Breakthrough Act - Unlock a Big Club in Solo Tour on Easy, Medium, Hard or Expert. 10 points
2. Hot Artist - Unlock a Theater in Solo Tour on Easy, Medium, Hard or Expert. 10 points
3. Top Artist - Unlock an Arena in Solo Tour on Medium, Hard or Expert. 10 points
4. String Shredder - Finish Guitar Solo Tour on Easy. 20 points
5. Fret RipperFinish - Guitar Solo Tour on Medium. 30 points
6. Axe AssassinFinish - Guitar Solo Tour on Hard. 40 points
7. Lord of the Strings - Finish Guitar Solo Tour on Expert. 50 points
8. Rhythm Rocker - Finish Drum Solo Tour on Easy. 20 points
9. Groove Technician - Finish Drum Solo Tour on Medium. 30 points
10. Heavy Hitter - Finish Drum Solo Tour on Hard. 40 points
11. AN-I-MAL!!! - Finish Drum Solo Tour on Expert. 50 points
12. Howler - Finish Vocal Solo Tour on Easy. 20 points
13. Screamer - Finish Vocal Solo Tour on Medium. 30 points
14. Crooner - Finish Vocal Solo Tour on Hard. 40 points
15. Virtuoso - Finish Vocal Solo Tour on Expert. 50 points
16. Got Wheels - Unlock the Van in Band World Tour. 20 points
17. Open Road - Unlock the Bus in Band World Tour. 20 points
18. Jet Setter - Unlock the Jet in Band World Tour. 20 points
19. One Million - FansReach 1 million fans in Band World Tour. 10 points
20. Hall of Fame - InducteeFinish the Hall of Fame Induction in Band World Tour. 100 points
21. Vinyl Artist - Finish the Endless Setlist in Band World Tour on Medium. 10 points
22. Gold Artist - Finish the Endless Setlist in Band World Tour on Hard. 20 points
23. Platinum Artist - Finish the Endless Setlist in Band World Tour on Expert. 25 points
24. Big In London - Finish the last remaining gig in London (Band World Tour). 10 points
25. Big In Paris - Finish the last remaining gig in Paris (Band World Tour). 10 points
26. Big In Amsterdam - Finish the last remaining gig in Amsterdam (Band World Tour). 10 points
27. Big In Berlin - Finish the last remaining gig in Berlin (Band World Tour). 10 points
28. Big In Stockholm - Finish the last remaining gig in Stockholm (Band World Tour). 10 points
29. Big In Rome - Finish the last remaining gig in Rome (Band World Tour). 10 points
30. Big In Boston - Finish the last remaining gig in Boston (Band World Tour). 10 points
31. Big In NYC - Finish the last remaining gig in New York (Band World Tour). 10 points
32. Big In Chicago - Finish the last remaining gig in Chicago (Band World Tour). 10 points
33. Big In LA - Finish the last remaining gig in Los Angeles (Band World Tour). 10 points
34. Big In Seattle - Finish the last remaining gig in Seattle (Band World Tour). 10 points
35. Big In San Francisco - Finish the last remaining gig in San Francisco (Band World Tour). 10 points
36. Big In Japan - Finish the last remaining gig in Tokyo (Band World Tour). 10 points
37. Big In Sydney - Finish the last remaining gig in Sydney (Band World Tour). 10 points
38. Big In Reykjavik - Finish the last remaining gig in Reykjavik (Band World Tour). 10 points
39. Big In Rio de Janeiro - Finish the last remaining gig in Rio de Janeiro (Band World Tour). 10 points
40. Big In Moscow - Finish the last remaining gig in Moscow (Band World Tour). 10 points
41. Tug of War Champ - Win 20 Tug of War ranked matches. 30 points
42. Tug of War Streak - Win 5 Tug of War ranked matches in a row. 20 points
43. Score Duel Champ - Win 20 Score Duel ranked matches. 30 points
44. Score Duel Streak - Win 5 Score Duel ranked matches in a row. 20 points
45. Killer Performance - Five Star a song on Easy, Medium, Hard or Expert. 10 points
46. Flawless Groove - Score 100% notes hit as bassist, up-strums only, on Expert. 10 points
47. Flawless Drumming - Score 100% notes hit as a drummer on Expert. 10 points
48. Flawless Fretwork - Score 100% notes hit as a guitarist on Expert. 10 points
49. Flawless Singing - Score a 100% rating as a vocalist on Expert. 10 points
50. Riding on Coattails - Play with a "Platinum Artist". 5 points

Monday, November 05, 2007

Greetings Starfighter!

Coming soon to a theatre near you? Is it 1984 yet? - Before I get into something else, I have to help spread the word about The Last Starfighter videogame. That's right, some creative genius is replicating the game from the 1984 movie that was aired on HBO about 4000 times during the summer of 1985. I loved it! The guys from Rogue Synapse, who also made a game that was featured in the movie Tron, are working on the arcade cabinet that helped get Alex Rogan into the Star League. Head to my favorite gaming website for a fuller story and links.

Wait a minute! Did the Wiimote and a 360 controller have baby? - No, but I understand your confusion. My 7-year old daughter said the same thing. This is the controller for SceneIt? Lights, Camera, Action on the Xbox 360. I took a picture of it with a Schrutebuck so you would have a frame of reference for its size. I saw Angelina Jolie do something similar in The Bone Collector. For the uninitiated, SceneIt is a popular boardgame that combines trivia from films or specific franchises (Harry Potter, Disney, Lord of the Rings, etc.) into trivia questions and is played on a board and with a DVD. Think of it as a modern, pop culture version of Trivial Pursuit. I got an early copy of it on Saturday and used my kids and wife as guinea pigs over the weekend to see if it was family friendly. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking.


'A casual game on the 360? Give me a break! If I want casual gaming I'll turn on my Wii. This is the 360! I need to shoot something!'


Don't worry, the 360's not going soft. There are still plenty of tangos, aliens and terrorists to shoot in other titles but lets be honest; the 360 is seriously lacking in the casual games department which helps attract women and kids - a big reason why the Wii has been so successful. At Casa de Terrones, whenever I play its usually me alone, or sometimes with my brother and occassionally my son. My wife enjoys the newly released Tetris Splash and that's it. My daughter? She's forced to go upstairs and play with her Hess trucks.


Saturday the gang and I got together for three games. I played a two-person game with my daughter and (in a Borat voice) crushed her. Seven-year olds know nothing about cinema these days. Then I played two games with the whole clan and proceeded to wipe the floor with them as well. My knowledge of pop culture and useless information finally came in handy.


During our game time we came across most of the 21 different puzzle types but rarely had a chance to use the Buzzer, the big botton on the top of the controller. This is where the person who hits the button first gets to answer first, Jeopardy-style. That was disappointing but having a wide variety of question types was nice. Most of the questions were independently timed, meaning everyone got to answer, and the faster we answered the more points we earned. Its very similar to the trivia games played in bars like Bennigans, except once you choose your answer you can't change it. The game boasts 1800 questions never used before in a SceneIt game but despite that we still came across some repeats. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the title but the rest of my family had other opinions.


The 13-year old boy - I liked it. I didn't know a lot of the answers because it was mostly for adults. It was fun but definetely an adult thing.


The 7-year old girl - It was okay. It was supposed to be for adults so I didn't know any of the answers. The questions were from movies me and Connor had never heard of but adults have.


The wife - The questions were difficult and for $60 they should offer a lot more features, its really basic. They should let you change your answers and let you hide your answers (once an answer was chosen by a player it was shown onscreen and the cheating was so rampant, my wife put tin foil over the answers). They should have different levels of difficulty, give you clues to the answers as the timer runs and make it more kid friendly.


Me - Couldn't have said it better myself. We have the regular SceneIt boardgame, the Disney version, that was only about $25 and the family enjoys it a lot more. That doesn't mean this game is a bust however, it still has potential. The new controller is pretty cool and very ergonomic for casual gamers like my wife and daughter. I'd like to see it used in other casual games. Also, its not like this game wouldn't have been much more fun if I was playing with my wife and another couple or if I had some adult family members over. As its currently packaged, its for adults only but could still be fun (especially after a few beers). I could easily see myself playing this game with my pop culture addicted siblings. When the downloadable content comes out, I'm sure this game will reach a wider audience - but that's the sticking point. Microsoft is going to have to give the downloads away for this to be a success because there's no way they can get families to pay $5 - $10 on top of the $60 pricetag like it does for some other games, nobody will go for it.


So is this game worth your time and money? Not if you plan on playing it with kids, at least not right now. But if you're the type of person who has friends or family over frequently who like to play board or card games, this might be a nice change of pace.


Friday, November 02, 2007

The Simpsons Game: First Impressions

Now I know why doves cry - America's favorite fat, bald, idiot (no, not Dr. Phil) may rule TV but his video game lineage is a big disappointment. The Simpsons gaming history has been so bad it makes the Resident Evil movie trilogy look like a Ken Burns award winning documentary. But when I got a peek at the newest Simpsons offering at E3 I was stoked. The graphics looked great, it had some hilarious one-liners and a bunch of inside jokes that both gamers and Simpsons fans would appreciate. In fact the game more or less looked like one long episode that cracked on gaming while liberally throwing out Simpsons quotes. That's the good news.
The bad news? The game play...(sad sigh)...stinks. That's right, the fatal weakness of every Simpsons title ever made strikes this game as well. D'oh! Keep in mind this is a first impression after only completing the first 2 levels since getting the game yesterday, but damn if those usual flaws weren't glaring. All the great things I mentioned above are certainly there and will probably hold off Simpsons die-hards, but even those of us with encyclopedic knowledge of the show will get tired of the repetitive gameplay, unimaginative levels and storyline that lacks any resemblance of brilliance of a typical episode. Even the Bart and Homer Butterfinger commercials have more depth.
Don't get me wrong, this game will sell like hotcakes because there are so many fans who love the show and the game does have a few redeemable qualities. There is a lot of original, funny dialogue all done by the cast. The game is easily the best looking Simpsons game ever and despite its flaws, its still the best Simpsons game ever. But does any of that really matter? No, not when the gameplay is so weak. Channeling my inner Comic Book Guy I have to say The Simpsons game is...Rental. Title. Only.
Iron helps us play - Anybody interested in Mutant Storm Empire on Xbox Live Arcade? Tell me who Lisa's favorite substitute teacher was and I'll email you the code for this game.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wonderful World Series

There are times when its flat out amazing to be a sports fan, but surprisingly these times are rare. A championship is an elusive mistress and because of that almost every sports season ends in disappointment. Our favorite teams can't win a title every year and truth be told, its for the best. No one appreciates anything that comes easy and part of being a fan comes from that bond you share with the team and other fans and that is only built through joint failures...and the occassional triumph. As a non-participant, sports fans typically have to enjoy those triumphs and victories at home in front of the TV, or if you're lucky enough to live in the same place as your favorite team, at the celebration parade. When the Broncos won their first Super Bowl in 1998 I was in the same predicament as most fans, I was sitting on my butt in Denver watching it at home. Then the following day, myself and 100,000 of my closest friends joined the team in the parade through downtown. The experience was one of a kind. Everybody was giddy, it was like Christmas Day for 100,000 5-year olds. It wasn't the same as being in San Diego for the game, but how often does someone get a chance to watch their favorite team win a championship? Probably once in a lifetime if they're lucky. Last night I was lucky. This long time Red Sox fan was able to watch his team win the World Series. What a night! Below is my running diary complete with free grainy pictures from a $5 disposable camera!
Pre-game - My brother-in-law Dan and two buddies flew in Saturday from the East Coast for Game 5. We agreed to get together in LoDo before hand, mostly so I could rub it in that he'd flown out here for nothing. We hooked up at a bar just south of Coors called the Public House or Pubic Hose or something like that to have a couple of beers and grab a bite to eat. Once in town we found a place to park (only $30, I was shocked it was so low) and headed toward the bar. Right away I was struck by how many Sox fans there were. I knew Red Sox Nation traveled well but it seemed like every 4th person was wearing Sox gear. That's when my wife reminded me that hardly anybody that lives in Colorado is actually from Colorado. It was also my first of many reminders that this is really a football town, not a baseball town. When I go to Broncos games I see fans with visiting jerseys but not in these numbers.
We meet up with Dan and his crew and they seemed to have picked the right spot. The Pats game is on a huge TV and there are Sox fans all over the place. This is a great opportunity for me to catch up on my fantasy football team (I have Tom Brady in both of my leagues, its nice to be me right now) and give Dan a hard time. Let me tell you a little bit about Dannyboy. I already mentioned the Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby voice but to top it off, he looks just like Ron Livingston from Office Space. Not only that but he went to an all boys Catholic school from Kindergarten to high school. He is a smart asses dream but today I feel sorry for him. He's much more of a diehard fan than I am and he knows tonight is the last game. Do I think about giving him my ticket? For about 5 seconds and then I remember what a selfish guy I am. He leaves Tuesday so him and the guys had talked about going to the Broncos/Packers game. Might as well see some sporting event while he's in town.

We tearfully leave Dan and make our way to Coors. I had picked up my tickets from a guy on craigslist, only paying $250 a ticket (trying getting into the Super Bowl for that) but every time I buy a ticket from a person and not the corporate machine TicketMaster I get a little worried. When I bought them, I looked them over and they sure looked real but with technology the way it is, you never know. Thankfully they actually were real and we started our long walk up to the third deck in right field.

Ahhh! My legs are burning! Who knew that when you're fat and out of shape that exercising would be painful. I think I need a beer and some nachos to ease my pain. We get to our seats early because the wife and I are so excited. The view is great and the weather is fantastic, its almost hot and now I feel the urge to tease the wife about bringing gloves, a hat, two sweaters, warm socks and a potbellied stove. Naturally I carried all of this in a backpack like a sherpa while she carried her small purse. Who said chivalry was dead?

The pre-game activities have started. There was about 5 "first pitches", the National Anthem sung by Tricia Yearwood and the chance to see the world's biggest Amercian flag but the highlight was Alex Rodriguez. The league was giving out its annual Hank Aaron award given to each league's best hitter. Hammerin' Hank received a standing O from the crowd and was on hand to present it to Prince Fielder and A-Fraud. Prince was cheered but A-Fraud, who for some lame reason wasn't there, was soundly booed. Even Rockies fans know what an ass he is, which he would prove again later by having his agent announce during the World Series that he would file for free agency.
1st inning - The Sox are off to a great start. Ellsbury doubles, Pedroia grounds out but Papi drives him home, 1-0 Sox. As a fan in enemy territory, I'm looking around for other Red Sox fans. My brother (a Rockies fan) had me convinced that I shouldn't dress in Sox gear because I would catch hell. Evidently when he when to game 3 of the Rocks/Phillies series, him and his buddies were riding visiting fans mercilessly. Big difference tonight as the Rockies are on the verge of elimination, there are a ton of Sox fans here and I'm not in my early 20's. Most drunk 20 year olds pick on other drunk 20 year olds, not old guys like me, and even if they did, I've seen enough Jean Claude Van Damme movies that I can handle myself in a fight.
Innings 2-4 - Both pitchers have settled in and we're in a pretty boring stretch. So boring in fact that I'm noticing little things about Coors Field that drive me absolutely nuts. While their sound system is great and the music is enjoyable (its like being in a giant techno club), they treat their fans like morons. First by passing out those ridiculous hankeys/faceclothes/I-surrender-towels as you walk through the gate. I've seen these at other stadiums but didn't expect to ever see them in Colorado. Aren't we smarter fans than that? Isn't clapping and cheering enough? To make matters worse, the scoreboard guy doesn't think fans can think for themselves so he has to tell everyone when to "Wave Those Towels". Its embarrassing. There is also never a quiet moment. I know baseball can be kind of dull, but do we need music blaring between every pitching change, inning break, every at-bat, and sometimes even between pitches? Its an insult to a fans intelligence that they feel the need to fill every waking second of non-playing time.
Innings 5 thru top of the 8th - Everytime the Rockies seem to get close, the Sox seem to have an answer. The Sox score in the 5th and 7th, Hawpe hits a HR in the bottom of the 7th then Kielty hits a pinch hit homer to make it 4-1 Sox. The air has been sucked right out of the crowd.
As the Sox pull away I notice a few more annoying things, most notably the female Rockies fan behind me. Not only does she have a voice only Fran Drescher could appreciate but she gives every single Rockies player an annoying nickname. Hawpe was Hoppy, Holliday was Matty, Spilborghs was Spilly. The worst nicknames were Tulo for Tulowitzki (appropriate for how he was hitting) and pitcher Aaron Cook who she called Cookie. Cookie? Are you serious? If you're going to be nicknamed after a food, it should be something manly like hambone or t-bone or something, not something soft and sweet like a cookie. By the way, "Spilly's" at-bat music is atrocious, its "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani. That's right, Spilly has a chick song to pump him up before every at-bat. Check these masculine, inspiring lyrics.
"I must apologize for acting stank and treating you this wayCause I've been acting like sour milk all on the floor. It's your fault you didn't shut the refrigeratorMaybe that's the reason I've been acting so cold"
"If I could escapeAnd re-create a place that's my own world. And I could be your favorite girl. Forever, perfectly togetherAnd tell me boy, now wouldn't that be sweet
Why not just play, "Why can't we be friends?" by War? On the plus side, its great to watch a game without the annoying drone of Joe Buck or the moronic Tim McCarver. Every baseball fans collective IQ drops 10 points when those guys are announcing. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan should be calling every game on TV.
Bottom of the 8th thru top of the 9th - Damn! Okajima gives up a two run homer to Atkins, but I can't say I'm surprised. He was looking a little worn yesterday and his fastball, which is normally in the mid-90's, is in the upper 80's tonight. His homer has made it 4-3 and for the first time during this series I'm just a wee bit concerned. Papelbon is coming out but he's been getting a lot of work as well. If the Rockies win tonight, they'll have a big mental boost not just from winning a close game but from beating our stud closer. That and who would close the game after Beckett gets tired in game 5? Definitely not the overworked Okajima or Paps and if Eric Gagne came out, the game would be a certain loss. I don't want this series to go back to Boston.
Thankfully this isn't an issue as Paps comes in and gets the final two outs. The Mrs and I pack up our potbellied stove and head down to the first level, we want to be as close as we can when the game ends.
.Bottom of the 9th through Postgame - We miss the entire top of the 9th as the three Sox batters are all dispatched fairly quickly and it takes us forever to get to the opposite side of the stadium. Its been awhile since I've been at Coors and compared to Fenway, this place is the size of a football stadium. Once we get to the lower level behind home plate, we find a ton of Sox fans. Strangely enough I don't spot Ben Affleck but I do see Mike "Boogie" Malin from Big Brother 2 and Big Brother: All-Stars. He's the mooner on the pic above. Sadly this first class citizen was wearing a Red Sox jersey. My wife is baffled that I would recognize a reality show celeb from a program I don't even watch, so I remind her that one of my gifts is knowing more useless information than anyone on the planet.
The crowd makes it really tough to see. We're not only behind a bunch of Sox fans but we're behind a gaggle of photographers with cameras that have lenses so big they could count the hairs in Paps nose. First Rockie up grounds out, I'm feeling pretty good. Second guy scares the crap out of me with a long shot that I initially thought was out of the park, but Ellsbury catches at the warning track. The need for a defibrillator has passed. With two outs, the final batter strikes out and the surrounding crowd goes nuts! Everybody is jumping up and down and we all breathe a sigh of relief.

After the Rockies fans have cleared out, the Red Sox fans work their way down and there are plenty of us. Looking around, there had to be close to 10,000 Sox fans cheering and standing on seats along the first and third base lines. The players are holed up in the locker room as the press and the players family and friends wait for them to emerge. After about 15 minutes the players start to come out. Mike Lowell, Scorsese power brows and all, comes out first hoisting the MVP trophy and makes his way over to his two hybrid cars. The crowd starts chanting "Re-Sign Lowell!" and "Don't Sign A-Rod!". Other players start coming out with the biggest cheers going out to Schilling ("One More Year!"), who was chugging a beer and waving to the crowd, and David Ortiz. Game 4 winner Jon Lester comes out with the trophy over his head and the crowd roars. I tried in vain to take pictures with my crappy disposable camera but people keep getting in the way.
Other random stuff I saw - Matsuzaka came out and was immediately pounced on by about 50 members of the Japanese press corps, sucks to be him. GM Theo Epstein is hugging everybody and looks ridiculously young, great to be him. Soon-to-be-traded Coco Crisp has the craziest hat hair I've ever seen. Josh Beckett was walking around with some babe, another country singer perhaps? Dustin Pedroia, only 24, has a bald spot and is the spitting image of Giovanni Ribisi.
We stay for about 45 minutes but its getting late and the crowd is starting to thin. I really wanted to see Papelbon do a World Series version of his Riverdance impression but its time to go. Its been an amazing night and the Mrs and I head to our car in awe of the whole experience. We've seen and done a lot of great things together but getting to see the final game of a Red Sox World Series win takes the cake.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm waiting!!!

Yawn! - That's my feeling last night while turning on my TV to get my game on. I look at a stack of recently released games and can't decide which mediocre title to sink my teeth into. Halo 3? I can't believe I'm typing this but I've burned myself out on it. I've already logged a ton of time in multiplayer and with my brother in Australia (long story) I have no one to trudge through co-op with. PGR 4? Solid title, don't get me wrong, but something about it isn't quite right. It just doesn't have the allure of its predecessor and can't keep my attention. After those two titles the stack starts to look worse, filled with time killers or Achievement Point-only titles. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, NBA 2K8, NBA Live 08, NHL 2K8, NHL Live 2K8, Stranglehold, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, FIFA 08, Skate, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Blue Dragon, Lair. I'm supposed to get excited about these games? This leads me to another question - has the gaming industry lost its creativity?
As gaming searches for household recognition along the lines of the big three (music, TV and movies) its shooting itself in the foot with tons of lackluster titles. For every Halo 3, there seems to be 50 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Hard Evidence games. This is exactly what makes the movie industry such a bore. The last time I saw a movie was in August, and I love movies. Am I missing out on a good flick? Yeah, probably. Gone Baby Gone looks pretty good and so does We Own the Night but I won't see them, I've been burned too many times that I won't take a chance. Gaming has put me in the same boat. There are so many releases every month its almost impossible to pick the game that's worth my time and money. Plowing through the games listed above just leaves me with a "Ehh, I guess I can play this game but I'll probably be left wanting" feeling. Who wants to be left feeling like that? I want to feel excited about a game, not blah.
So what's the solution? Believe it or not, fewer games. Every week about 10-20 games are released across every format. ATTENTION GAME PUBLISHERS AND DEVELOPERS: Cut that in half and focus on the quality of games, not the quanitity. Every gamer knows you guys need to make a buck, it makes sense, but if this mess isn't cleaned up quick gaming won't rival movies, TV and music - it'll be its neglected half step-brother left to clean up after your mess while singing to birds and mice, hoping Princess Charming will recognize what a good guy he is despite being a poor schlub with third-hand clothes who drives a 1976 Chrysler Cordoba.
Another possible solution? One console to rule them all. That's right, at some point, gamers need one clearcut choice. There are just way too many formats. Its a mess for everyone in the industry (multiple formats to program for which is a bigger problem than anyone will admit, console exclusivity or no console exclusivity, varying release dates and content, simplifying games for hand helds, way too many suits to keep happy, etc., etc.) but most importantly its a pain in the ass for gamers. Imagine if music came in other forms besides CD's. You can make an argument that digital music is a different form, and in many ways it is, but it works with digital music not against it. I can take my CD and put it on my digital music player. I can't take my 360 game and play it on my PS3. The iPod's dominance of digital music makes it more streamlined. This isn't the case with games.
The Blu-ray/HD debate is another example. Consumers aren't willing to commit to either right now because it just doesn't make sense, even the movie studios switch sides. In the meantime Sony and Toshiba blow tons of money waiting for a new movie format no one is ready for or in a hurry to sink money into. In fact, the whole experience might be so frustrating that consumers might not accept either. Say hello to the new Betamax player! Why not take all of that time and energy and join forces to make one console? As you would expect money is the answer to that question, but a day when Nintendo and Sony hook up and make one console and force Microsoft out of the business might be what's best for gamers.
No more rhymes now I mean it! - Just in time for Christmas, it appears the long awaited Xbox 360 Pro Bundle with Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Forza 2 is now available. There has been no official announcement from Microsoft but multiple online sources have stated they have seen it in stores.
Anybody want a peanut? - Or Cracker Jacks for that matter? Somehow, someway the gods continue to smile upon me as I managed to acquire 2 tickets to Sunday's World Series game four. The Mrs. and I are heading up Sunday afternoon and meeting up with my brother-in-law Dan before the game. Dannyboy is from Peabody, MA and talks just like Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby. He and 2 other friends have tickets for game five, and I'll be busting his chops about flying out here for nothing if the Sox win game 3 today. In my efforts to expand this blog into "Gaming with some other stuff", look for a post with pics sometime Monday on the game 4 experience.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Achievement Point Game of the Month

Yeah yeah I know. I've been negligent again. And again I apologize. Just like everybody else in Colorado, I was one of the guys left disappointed with the Colorado Rockies website not just on Monday, but on Tuesday as well. The fact that their site crashed on Monday is an absolute embarrassment. This is the World Series for crying out loud, how can you not be ready for that? Assaulted by an unknown party? Yeah right. Somebody screwed up and they're just covering their ass but I guess it didn't matter. With 8.5 million people trying to get as few tickets that were available I knew my chances weren't good. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I'd love to go to a World Series game but after checking out what the prices are online I'm priced right out of it.
Back to my original point. One of the greatest things about the 360 are Achievement Points, rewards for working your way through a game. For some games (like the FIFA series) the points are tough to get. But for others, they give up points like Lindsay Lohan gives up...well, I think you know where I'm going. For those of us who are addicted to Achievement Points, finding a game with easy points is great. We're stat padders, plain and simple. We're the gaming version of Tom Brady against the Dolphins in the 4th quarter.
This months AP Game of the Month is the recently released Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Like most easy AP games, this title is pretty much rental only. Even for a Spidey junkie like myself, its just a little too juvenile. The graphics are just okay, the game play is action-filled but pretty harmless and repetitive. In fact, it would save me time to give my 7-year old this game and let her play it for me. Maybe I'll tie it into her allowance as an incentive or something.
The points are wrapped up into a nice 12 Achievement bow, most given up by completing the games paltry 5 levels. The rest you can get by just playing through the game or upgrading characters after you've beaten it. The levels, while few, are divided into four sections and take only about 30 minutes to complete. The most annoying part is looking for the collectibles in every level, which can sometimes be well hidden. You don't get the Achievements without them but if you're looking for an easy 1000 points, this game is worth a look. Below is the list of Achievements for Spider-Man: Friend or Foe.
1. Tokyo Complete - Find all collectibles, find all secrets, and defeat all bosses in this location. 125 points
2. Tangaroa Island Complete - Find all collectibles, find all secrets, and defeat all bosses in this location. 125 points
3. Egypt Complete - Find all collectibles, find all secrets, and defeat all bosses in this location. 125 points
4. Transylvania Complete - Find all collectibles, find all secrets, and defeat all bosses in this location. 125 points
5. Nepal Complete - Find all collectibles, find all secrets, and defeat all bosses in this location. 125 points
6. Lightning Strikes - Obtain a Hit Chain higher than 15. 25 points
7. Combo Meter Master - Fill the Combo Meter all the way to Level 4. 25 points
8. Our Powers Combined - Initiate a Hero Strike Power-Up. 25 points
9. Web Slinger - Fully upgrade Web Line with all available Modifications. 75 points
10. Arachnid Artillery - Fully upgrade Web Shoot with all available Abilities and Mods. 75 points
11. All Tied Up - Fully upgrade Web Stun with all available Abilities and Mods. 75 points
12. Fury's Fourteen - All characters are fully upgraded with all Attacks and Attributes. 75 points

Thursday, October 18, 2007

PC Guy vs. Console Guy

Eli tries to pick a fight - In case you missed it, Eli and I continue our Siskel & Ebert, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Spy vs Spy, Democrat vs. Republican, Ecks vs Sever debate/feud.
Eli's reply
How many times in one week do I have to school you?! ;)
Yes the Broncos suck (the Rams suck much worse however)...
Indeed they do. However, they have a legit excuse, as opposed to the Donkey Flops. The Rams starting QB, RB, 2 WRs and 3 of the 5 starting O-linemen are hurt and/or out for the season. And that's just on Offense. Um... Cutler (he of the non-manly voice doing what should be a manly voice over radio commercial) suddenly has "I can't find MY guy" syndrome. And thank you for bashing your so called defense. Good lord.
The Rockies? Absolutely unreal.
Incredible! As a baseball fan, you gotta love seeing this kinda thing from a small market, out of nowhere team. Especially when the Spankees went down in flames without putting up any fight. BEAUTIFUL! Again, if your any kind of baseball fan, ya gotta be happy for Helton. I said it weeks ago... and as much as I hate the overused moniker, if there was ANY "Team of Destiny" - we're watching it in the Rockies.
I'm a Red Sox fan...
I like the Sox too, but after last nights drubbing by the Injuns... things look very bleak for the ole Bostonians.
Eli cracks me up with his Halo 3 hate, I've never seen a bigger H3 hater in my life.
Not really. I gave the original Halo a glowing 9 out of 10 score (officially, in public - it was one of my first reviews for GameDaily). And that was the PC version, which everyone (including deaf, dumb and blind people) said was worse then the way k001 k0nz013 version. I absolutely LOVED it. I do hate Microsuck though. The port job of Broken Halo 2 (which again took forever) to the PC and coincidently to the craptacular Vistadodaday OS was HORRIBLE. The graphics were puke, the online matching was puke. I didn't finish it and have actually removed it from my PC. I still have the original Halo installed though. As for Broken Halo 3... I won't bother with it if/when it gets ported to the PC. Unless of course I'm forced to review it.
UT3 is the king of online shooters? Maybe for you but the stats for Halo say otherwise...
Your gaming ignorance is startling. Of course Halo will have higher stats dofus boy. Halo 3 is complete. UT3 is a beta demo. Plus, stats are easier to track on k0nz01es, there's only one "server" per say. UT3 doesn't use a Hitlerain "pay for usage" online service. It's free. It's always been free for PC gaming ('cept for MMOs, which is an entirely different beast). Online numbers are statistics... and as EVERYONE with even a modicum of brains (i.e., anyone who attended a college other then DU) knows that stats can/do say whatever you want them to.
And since you brought it up... this article about how video gaming is on the rise with kids, and that PC gaming is their choice should rattle the foundations of k0nz013 folks everywhere:
There were demos of Tabula Rasa and Time Shift at E3 and they really did look amazing but I just can't get into MMO's, they're just too much work...
Um, first... Time Shift isn't an MMO. Secondly, the door you just through open for me is big enough to drive an entire convoy of Mack Truck diesels through it. There you have it peeps... straight form the donkey's mouth: PC games are "too much work" for lowly k0nz0l3 gamers to grasp. And THAT'S the reason why there will always be a rift between the groups - PC gamers are smarter then k0nz013 gamers. Period. End of story. Game over. Thanks for playing. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Is it because... I think its a combination of all of those things, but mostly the last one. We are now a nation of instant history and short term memory.
BINGO! Couldn't agree with you more. It's this way for EVERYTHING. I was just making conversation. Seriously though... Halo 3 has been out what - a few weeks? Guess what the pimpin whore machine is already revving up for? Grand Theft Auto IV. The lifeless corpse of Master Chef (er, Chief) isn't even cold yet and the grindhouse wheels of the Advertising Juggernaut are churning on. That's insane!
Now its my turn to teach
Allow me to retort
The Rams starting QB, RB, 2 WRs and 3 of the 5 starting O-linemen are hurt and/or out for the season. And that's just on Offense...
blah, blah blah. Who cares? Just like a Rams fan to make excuses. Your team sucks, the reason doesn't matter.
Your gaming ignorance is startling. Of course Halo will have higher stats dofus boy. Halo 3 is complete. UT3 is a beta demo. Plus, stats are easier to track on k0nz01es, there's only one "server" per say. UT3 doesn't use a Hitlerain "pay for usage" online service. It's free. It's always been free for PC gaming...
I know its a demo, but that won't matter. The number for H3 will blow your precious UT3 out of the water. How can it be king of something when only a fraction of the people will use it compared to Halo 3. As usual, your missing the point. And I may pay $50 a year for XBL (actually I don't, they send me free cards every year) but at least I don't have to drop a few hundred bucks every year to update my PC so it can run these "free online" games.
Time Shift isn't an MMO...I didn't say it was, I said I saw it at E3 and it looked great, my comment about MMO's was unrelated. My bag for not writing a clear enough sentence.
I gave the original Halo a glowing 9 out of 10 score (officially, in public - it was one of my first reviews for GameDaily) AND this article about how video gaming is on the rise with kids, and that PC gaming is their choice should rattle the foundations of k0nz013 folks everywhere:
Once again you're site dropping for your corporate master
PC games are "too much work" for lowly k0nz0l3 gamers to grasp. And THAT'S the reason why there will always be a rift between the groups - PC gamers are smarter then k0nz013 gamers. Period. End of story. Game over. Thanks for playing. Move along. Nothing to see here...
Wow! Once again your elitist PC gamer snobbery rears its ugly head. PC gamers aren't smarter, they're just more rude and obnoxious. Aside from politicians, I've never seen a more dogmatic group of people than PC gamers. You guys would fight a console gamer over the color of the sky because you're always right. A caustic, holier than thou response from a PC gamer? Never expected that. Must be nice to sit on your PC throne and make judgements from on high. I, the lowly console gamer, bow down to your all-encompassing knowledge on PC AND console games despite the fact that you are a self admitted PC lover who doesn't even own a console. Your lack of tolerance is inspiring.