Tag: Video Games

Why I Don’t Play New Releases

Posted by – March 25, 2010

Video Games: Why waste good technology on science and medicine?

Video Games: Why waste good technology on science and medicine?

In my previous post Finally, I’m Back In Business I mentioned that I planned on doing video game reviews, and to not expect new releases.  I thought I’d take the time to explain why that is, as many people may not think like I do.

Cost

Assuming you buy a game fairly new (within the first few months) and don’t opt for the collectors edition you’re looking at about $60.  That’s a lot of money to drop on just one game, especially when you haven’t played it.

You might buy a game like Dragon Age: Origins and end up with potentially a hundred hours of gameplay.  Or you mgiht end up with Halo 3 ODST which is only 5 hours long.  One would have a good cost per hour, the other would be dreadfully low.  Even if you attempt to avoid short games, or poor games, how can you be sure?  Most gaming sites and magazines almost feel rigged.   If a publisher advertises in a magazine, then they seem less harsh on them, because the last thing they’d want to do is lose a big name publisher like EA or Activision.

If you wait awhile, you might be able to score a platinum hits edition of a game, which would bring down the price to $20.   Or even better, buy a good copy of it used and save even more.  That means for every ONE new release you buy, you could potentially buy THREE or more releases.  It’s really a no-brainer.

Bugs

When the wife and I pre-ordered Fable 2, we were excited.  We had played Fable Pub games for hours, raking in money and items to use for the game.  However only a few shot hours into the game, I ran into what is called “The Abbot Glitch” which made it so I had to start a new character and follow precise instructions to avoid this glitch again.  Meaning all my time I spent in the pub games was a complete waste as it was now unrecoverable.

To make things worse, I ran into more glitches that were rather annoying and prevented me from playing the game the way I wanted to, which is pretty bad considering that’s the whole experience they were trying to sell in the Fable franchise (choice!).

If I had waited a few months, I would have played this game with all it’s patches and thus avoided all the pain I endured.  And considering how many game developers are pushing games out before they are fully done or tested it’s not like Fable 2 was an exception by any means.

Annoying Multiplayer Experiences

I think everyone who has ever played on Xbox Live has run into hordes of screaming pre-teens who do nothing but use profanity, suck at the game, or simply team kill and become a nuisance.  They tend to get their parents to buy them new releases, especially in long-franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty, etc.  If you give them a few months to move on to the next big release, you will usually come across some good players who genuinely like the game, and still play, or new people such as yourself who picked up the game on sale.

Of course, this isn’t really possible if you have friends that HAVE TO play new releases, and if you don’t get it at the same time, you miss out.  If this is the case, I’d say to find some new friends, or simply stop caring and have fun on your own terms, not theirs.

That just about sums up my thoughts on new releases.  I personally don’t really notice a difference, the games don’t get any worse, only better.  You also tend to avoid the bad releases that tend to get good reviews due to fanboyism.  I’d like to hear what others think though, can you think of a reason why I would want to play titles hot off the press?

Review: Angry Video Game Nerd

Posted by – May 19, 2009

ANgry Video Game Nerd Logo

Angry Video Game Nerd Logo

That’s right I’ve decided to tackle some web series videos just for fun, and also to give credit to the good ones.  Truth be told though, I find it hard to write a review for a bad series, so expect only good ones.  I also have plans for reviewing some oldschool movies, as I have renewed interest in them in part because of the fellow I’m going to talk about here.

Alright, so if you aren’t aware of the Angry Video Game Nerd (now referred to as  AVGN) it’s a character created by a James Rolfe who reviews old nostalgic games (good and bad) and tends to get angry and make up curse words.  It might not be for everyone though as not only does the nostalgia have to be there to enjoy the videos, but the excessive swearing by the character can be a bit much.

James Rolfe fighting alongside "Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 B.C 4.0 Beta" in The Wizard & Super Mario Bros 3

James Rolfe fighting alongside "Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 B.C 4.0 Beta" in The Wizard & Super Mario Bros 3.

If you were like me, you were one of the lucky ones who grew up with Atari, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Sega Genesis, and all those other great consoles of yesteryear.  I also remember renting many of the titles that I see the AVGN review, and not only does he call it like how I remember, but it also shocks me how not-well these games hold up to today’s standards.

The special effects, and cameos of many characters such as Spider-Man, Jason Voorhees, or even Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 B.C 4.0 Beta make the episodes quite varied, even if it is just to expand the video length as some games are just too horrible and bland to keep it interesting.  One thing I’d like to see is a side-by-side video of the pre-production and post-production to see how the effects are done.  I assume it’s pretty basic effects in place, but a few other webseries I follow have done this for the fans, and I loved it.

James also does a lot of reviews of old (and recently some newer films, but only when they are sequels to an epic series such as the new Star Trek movie or the newer Star Wars movies).  However these are done under his film production company “Cinemassacre” and are NOT the AVGN character.  Which are definitely worth a look perhaps more-so than the AVGN.

So really, if you’re a fan of gaming or remember playing the old SNES and NES or almost any of the older systems (he has pretty much EVERYTHING) I think you’d really enjoy his videos.   My only real fault I find in James Rolfe’s website a bit hard to navigate for videos, as some have images you click on, others have links to different versions, and some are interweaved in a comment about something else.  It’s a minor nitpick which can easily be resolved by using the rss feed.

You can find James’ Work at:

http://www.cinemassacre.com/

Cinemasssacre’s RSS Feed:

http://www.cinemassacre.com/new/?feed=rss2

Here’s a few random videos for a taste of the AVGN and Cinemassacre reviews:

Review: Dead Space (Xbox 360)

Posted by – March 31, 2009

Dead Space Box Art

Dead Space Box Art

First off I should state that I’m not generally one to play the survival horror genre, although I have played and thoroughly enjoyed many of them such as System Shock 1&2.  I’ve also completed the game twice within short succession in order to write this review.

The general outline is that you are an engineer named Issac (named after Isaac Asimov) who is sent to a mining ship with a small crew to fix their communications systems as the ship went into radio silence and hasn’t responded to any forms of communication.  You then become stranded on this ship, and you notice that there are creatures lurking about (called Necromorphs) that want to kill you, and turn you into one of them.

Space zombies!  Yes, I know almost every space horror game has these now but considering how much polish EA put into Dead Space, it’s really not an issue.  It doesn’t seem like an old idea.  And the different forms that you find all over the ship make it a lot more interesting than fighting the same 3 enemy models over and over.  A big part of this is the fact that you have to attack the limbs.  Use your Plasma Cutter to hack the legs off, so they crawl towards you, then blow their head and arms off with the line cutter.  It’s quite fun, and also creepy because you can fire blindly into their chest and cut their legs off, but they’ll still scramble across the floor trying to kill you.

Although I can’t really say I was scared by this game (although the 2nd playthrough was surprisingly more spooky for some reason) but it did have some elements that made it spooky.  Take for instance the main religion of the game universe Unitology.  There are people in the game that WANT this all to happen, as it’s part of what should happen according to their idea of God’s Divine Plan(TM).  This personally filled me with frustration because these people don’t know what they’re doing sentencing these people to their deaths in the name of a fictional character.  Sort of like the frustration I have in the real world, where all these wars are started over which religion is more peaceful as they try to bring about the end of the world.

The lack of ammo in the harder difficulties definitely made me walk a little slower, and swear a bit more when I get jumped by three or four baddies as I fire wildly into the mass of limbs.  This definitely helped set the mood and made for a better gaming experience overall.  So if you want to get the most out of the story, don’t hesitate to bump up to a higher difficulty level on your first playthrough.

Overall I have to say I’m quite impressed with the game.  It was more than I expected and although I play’d it twice in a row I didn’t find it difficult to do so at all.  I’d advise you to at least give this game a shot, and if your into the survival horror genre you’re going to definately want to play the hell out of this one.

Review: Portal

Posted by – January 8, 2008

I have finally finished Portal which is one of the five games included in Half-Life 2’s Orange Box. If you haven’t picked up a copy, I strongly urge you to either buy it, or at very least rent it. It’s unlike any game you have played and has quite unusual gameplay that makes for a very entertaining experience.

For those of you unaware of the plotline it goes as follows:

You awake to find yourself in a room, a computer talking to you stating that you have been selected to run through some tests. Once the tests are completed you will be bathed, then there will be cake. You are then given a gun, that allows you to shoot an entrance and exit portal, and you proceed to solve increasingly complex puzzle rooms.
Pretty simple, and although the plotline is not very deep and you can guess that everything doesn’t go quite as planned, it makes for a very memorable game. Who doesn’t like delicious cake after all?

One of my favorite parts of this game however is the end credits. I feel that the way they display them and give a sort of epilogue at the same time is genius to say the least, and what makes it even more awesome, is that it’s all expressed in song. It really shows Valve had fun making this release.

I have included a video of the end credits, however it does contain spoilers, and although I don’t feel that they ruin the gameplay experience at all as the plot is so transparent, you may want to decide to play through the game to see them, as it’ll probably make them seem that much better.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.