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Sad Reflections.

5 May

This was a post from the tail end of 2009 on the old blog. I’m still going through the entries that didn’t import well, and I’m posting one or two of them a day just to have them up. I should mention that I’ve been debating getting back into Call of Duty since I still do have the occasional hankering to dole out some ass kicking. I should, and most likely will, just pick Left 4 Dead 2 (or Left 5 Dead, as my girlfriend calls it) back up again. That series is amazing, and I should be playing it more often. Anyways, with that caveat out of the way, enjoy.

It’s 5am, and as I sit here, fresh off a couple of hours attempting to subjugate my people in Tropico 3, I happened to come across this post by Michael Abbott over at Brainy Gamer. It’s worth a read. But, sadly, it made me think about what the Call of Duty franchise has ultimately become: a five-second thrill rehashed ad-nauseum. My first confession should be that I’m not nearly as big a multiplayer competitor as I used to be. Turn back the clock just a couple of years and you’d be likely to find me playing a lot more Halo 3. But nowadays, I simply can’t do it. The experience of standard multiplayer has become so stale and uninteresting to me that the thought of entering a match doesn’t usually cross my mind at all. I need something more out of games at this point, and a game like Modern Warfare 2 just doesn’t cut it.

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The "Airport Level" and Other Musings in Modern Warfare 2 or, What’s the Big Deal?

25 Nov

So a friend spontaneously brought over his copy of Modern Warfare 2 tonight, and I played it for a couple of hours or so. I must say, my initial impression of the game doesn’t do it any favors. You can say I’m just hating all you want, but I honestly haven’t found the experience rewarding enough to warrant a purchase up to this point. For clarity’s sake, I just finished the “Wolverines” mission, and I’m playing on Veteran difficulty (which I do for all CoD games).

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Life Will Find a Way.

14 Nov

Well, I just finished Jurassic: The Hunted. It’s a short game; it couldn’t have taken me much more than 4 hours to complete. Despite its length, I left satisfied with the experience, and what I’d like to see now is a similar game with a little more time and money thrown behind it. And if that ever happens, it will need a LOT more marketing than this game got.

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"That’s a Navy Seal campfire if I ever saw one."

10 Nov

The quote I used for my title is uttered by the main character….Dwayne? Chris?….I don’t know his name, but that was the first thing that came to his mind when he saw burnt ash and smoke coming from the ground. Fucking A – you can’t make ’em like a Navy Seal. Someone’s skull is probably at the base of that campfire. My brain is now capable of thinking like Dutch in Predator.

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Killzone 2’s Controls Are Fixed!!!!!

2 Jul

Yea, this is old news. I just thought I’d share this bit of information for those who didn’t know. I knew about it since the patch went live, but I was waiting for the opportunity to pick it up again cheap used. I already bought it once, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to give Guerrilla my money TWICE. Anyways, the controls are totally fixed now, and I’m having a fucking blast with the game. I’m not done with it yet, and I’m not going to review it since we already have an ass-load of Killzone 2 shit up on the blog. I’ll only say that my happiness level has increased immensely with this much-needed fix, and now I’m definitely going to finish the game. Kudos do Guerrilla for not being total douches and owning up to the fact that they fucked up. That’s something I can’t say for every company.

Conduit Impressions

26 Jun
The following was written by a contributor from the old blog, Markus. I’m currently the only one with posting access, so I have to go back to each thing not written by me and put these little disclaimers up. It’s a fun time. So, enjoy…
Let’s get this right out of the way. There are sooooo many other FPS games with similar plots. There are sooooo may other FPS games that offer a robust multiplayer mode. The Level design won’t blow you away….hallway….open room….bad guys…shoot….repeat over and over. Many games in the genre also look a lot better than what you will get with Wii’s “The Conduit”, however this little gem boasts one of the most immersive customizable control schemes you have ever played on any system……….period.

I have spent about three hours with the campaign mode so far and it has been an absolute joy to play. There is a huge learning curve while you get use to the motion controls, but once you do…’ll be pulling off head shots and chucking grenades with relative ease. The big hook in the game is the aforementioned control scheme. Moving a little too slow….change it…don’t like where the re-load button is….change it. For the most part, there is no control layout that is set in stone. I’ve never had such a good time tweaking my controller options in a video game until now. When you are in the menu screen making adjustments you basically stay in the game while taking no damage from enemies. This allows you customize on the fly and should be THE standard for any FPS in the future to follow.

Before the Wii came out, people were anticipating the very thing that High Voltage has created with “The Conduit.” An immersive FPS built from the ground up with the Wii waggle in mind. They have proved that it can be done……..and done beautifully I might add. Now I still love my standard controller, however it’s nice to have something different on the menu when I’m craving that type of experience. If the Wii is your only console… is simply a no-brainer purchase.

I totally praise High Voltage for what they have accomplished. Now I will admit they did sacrifice things like enemy a.i. and interesting levels, but their focus on making the controls truly exceptional outweigh the shortcomings. Future projects from this developer are already making this Wii owner totally giddy with excitement.

My take on Killzone 2, a.k.a. "It’s Not Fucking Halo So Who Gives a Shit!!!11!!1!! Noob!!1!!"

3 Mar

My first impression of Killzone 2 was pretty much the same as my colleague’s – that of utter amazement at the sheer badassery of it all. Everything about the presentation, from the graphics to sound design – the overall immersion – is fantastic. I color myself a pretty well-versed console FPS player, so I think I know a good shooter when I see one. And Killzone 2 definitely looks the part. But once I really dug my heels into the game, all my initial amazement slowly grinded to a halt, and it became more of a chore to play than a wonder to behold.

Don’t think I’m not aware of the situation; I’m in the minority here, and that’s fine. I don’t feel like I should be forced to love a game just because its Metacritic average is 94 (I don’t know Killzone 2’s numbers, but whatever), or because everyone says you have to play it or you’re an idiot. Point of fact, I’m not an idiot, and that’s exactly the reason why I traded this game in after two days of playing it. Like I said earlier, when I first popped the game in the disc loader (it’s not a tray, so…), I was floored by what I was experiencing. Graphics, and more specifically, graphics in an FPS, go a long way toward pulling you into the moment. Explosions rock the screen, bullets whiz by your head, comrades-in-arms are screaming for help, and a flood of evil Nazi-esque baddies are storming your position. It’s fucking intense, to say the least. I was intently focused on everything going on around me, because, well, the game demanded I do so. “Look at me!!!” it screamed, and sure enough, I watched with a smile on my face and an itchy trigger finger.

But as the game progressed, more and more I found myself cursing under my breath at the movements of my character. The simple act of aiming at someone was getting cumbersome and, quite frankly, obnoxious. It’s not the slow movement speed that bothers me; if that was the case, I could just turn the sensitivity up and be happy. No – because in Killzone 2, you feel like a real person holding a real weapon. I get that, and I actually like it. The problem comes when I want to move and shoot at the same time. It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t played it, but there is a swaying effect that occurs whenever you look around in any direction. The reticle is not instantly responsive to your input, which makes quickly and accurately aiming at an enemy an ordeal in itself. I said the general slow running speed didn’t bother me, but add to that the imprecise aiming, and it gets real shitty, real fast. I felt like I was playing under the influence; like I had somehow lost a step or two. It wasn’t fun anymore, so I stopped playing. Simple as that.

And no, the fact that I play Halo 3 does not have anything to do with my distaste for Killzone 2. I’ve also played Far Cry 2, Mirror’s Edge, Bioshock, Half-Life 2, Timeshift, Shellshock 2, Resistance, Call of Duty 2 & 4, F.E.A.R. & F.E.A.R. 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Rainbow Six: Vegas & Vegas 2, Prey, and Call of Juarez – and that’s just the FPS games from this generation. I judge every game on its own merits, and I think Killzone 2 has many in its favor, actually. Just not the one that makes me want to play it. Does that make me a 360 fanboy? Am I lauding the mechanics of one game over another? No, I’m not. I’m simply saying that if the main character of Killzone 2 was to take a breathalyzer test before firing his weapon, he would fail. And I, for one, can’t kill anyone unless I’m sober (ed: that’s a dirty lie).

Killzone 2: quite simply….baaadaaaaassss!

3 Mar

Another piece written by Markus from the old blog:

I do not profess to be some some sort of expert gaming guru. My years of reading Game Informer on the shitter or checking the latest 1UP post does not qualify me to tell you about about pop-in, grain, or anything else you techno-wannabe-whores out there may want to hear about. I’m just your average joe gamer, but I know video game bliss when I play it! In the couple of hours I have spent with it, KZ2 has smashed me in the balls with the fun hammer and all I can say is…….more please!

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Killzone 2 Demo Impressions: A Very Short, Very Sweet Example of PS3 Development Perfection

7 Feb

The following was written by a contributor on the old blog:

It happens by simple chance that I had the privilege of playing through the official Killzone 2 demo (several times). After having a rather pointless conversation about arcade sticks for Street Fighter IV with a local GameStop rep, he ended up offering me one of the download codes for Killzone 2 preorders, with the great exception that he didn’t make me preorder. Free Killzone 2 demo? Sure, why not!

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Oldies but Goodies – Breakdown (Xbox)

24 Jan

If you consider yourself a fan of, or even an expert in the FPS genre, then you’ve probably played Breakdown. If not, allow me to take you back a few years into the last generation of consoles, when Namco released this little gem on the original Xbox. The thing that makes Breakdown worth looking back on is the pioneering combat it featured — namely, the hand-to-hand fighting. I may be wrong, but I can’t think of anything that had it before this game, and while it probably shows its age in some areas, it should still be praised for trying something new with the genre and leading the way for future games to use and improve on the formula.

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