August 28, 2011

ROMs Are An Eye Opening Experience

For the better part of my long fascination with video games and entertainment, very few monumental changes have occurred in that time-frame.

The first time I booted up Super Mario Bros. (actually, I wanted to shoot ducks first with my plastic light-gun) and the first time I saw the shitty Super Mario Bros. movie with John Leguizamo (sp?), all of these instances changed my gaming lifestyle forever.

Each gamer has had his or her own set path of these game-changing events.  For me, it was the first time I was engrossed in a game of Left 4 Dead that I started to fear and care for my buddies playing the survivor characters, it was the first frantic chainsaw duel in the Gears series, and it was my first paradigm shift in Final Fantasy XIII (also the first time I played a Final Fantasy game).  You could also throw in the purchase of my brand new, bigger, 1080p high definition TV (after living with a 32 inch TV from 9 years ago), but that only really counts as seeing the games in a new and better way.

After all of these great moments in my gaming life, and I think I'm on the verge of another one of those game changing events.

August 19, 2011

Gearbox Community Day 2011: The Party That Was 15 Years In The Making

A couple of weeks ago – okay, it was a long time ago - (June 11th, 2011), Gearbox Software invited all of its fans in the Dallas, Texas area to come on down to the Palladium ballroom and enjoy panels and gameplay demos from their wide range of upcoming and released titles.  It was a similar format I had seen in the past at Quakecon, with developers, artists, and engineers all taking the stage to answer questions and give video gamers’ an inside look at the titles they make for us to play.

Community Day was just packed with fans.  I had no idea there would be that many people in line at 9am on a hot Texas Saturday.  Sure, I can understand the draw of QuakeCon with its huge Bring Your Own Computer LAN party and plush atmosphere of the Hilton Anatole hotel.  This was at a glorified Texas bar.  It was just a few short steps away from the stereotypical honky-tonk bar with a mechanical bull.

Coldplay Rips Off Super Mario Bros.

Normally when we see the band name Coldplay we think of the overly effeminate dudes in touch with their “sensitive sides” and make fun of them (trust me, it’s okay for you to make fun of them, they deserve it).  I just want to yell at them, "Hey man, how about you listen to something more manly; it will put hair on your chest!"

Coldplay has become the gay-er version of bands in the same line as Nickelback and Creed, only with some added musical street cred.  You really shouldn’t like any of these bands unless you’re a 18 year old girl with a vagina, or you’re trying to get into said 18-yr old girl’s vagina (we gotta keep it legal here people).

”Yeah, Viva La Vida is my new favorite song of their newer stuff, but I really like the earlier Parachutes album better….it’s more “indie” and unheard of. Ya know, like, before they went "mainstream".”

Here is a Youtube video clearly showing that Coldplay straight out ripped off the familiar Mario “Star Invincibility” theme to make their Viva La Vida song more catchy and recognizable....but subliminally.  You don't know where you heard it before, and why you like it; you just do.

[via Today's Biggest Thing]

P.S. Yes.  I am that dude that likes a few newer Coldplay songs but likes Parachutes better.

Review: Beyond Good and Evil HD

Eight years have passed since we last saw Beyond Good and Evil in our original Xbox or PS2 disc trays.  It’s been that long, but Ubisoft is giving fans of the original a chance to experience one of the best and most underrated games ever.  I can see why though:  it features a female protagonist, a pig companion and passive gameplay with not a whole lot of combat.  She takes pictures of weird new animals and shit?  Yeah, not exactly on par with some of the other Xbox games that was released around this time (*cough* Halo *cough*).

But what Beyond Good and Evil lacks in combat and fighting grit, it makes up for with its engaging open world, its story and its characters.  The game was ahead of its time in these aspects.

My Very First GT Racing Wheel

Not having had a gaming racing wheel before, I decided with the lowered price of the Logitech GT Wheel that this was a good deal to go with my recent purchase of Gran Turismo 5.  What I found after hooking it up to my PS3 is pure, unadulterated video gaming bliss…..

To give you a little back story to my thought process, I think it is retarded to buy gaming accessories to play one game (Rock Band aside).  Wii tennis rackets, golf putters, and baseball bats to fit the Wii controller into will never find their way into my gaming cabinet.  It’s flat-out retarded and wasted plastic from Indonesia.  You shouldn’t need that extra $1.99 piece of shit plastic bat to make you think you’re in Wrigley Field hitting a home run.  Does that even happen, ever? No, it doesn’t.  These are purely instruments for pain as you swing your arms around wildly with the family you love close by.  No thanks.  I somewhat “like” my family.

Motion Sickness Can Stop A Gamer Cold

I’d like to think I have a strong stomach.  I do in a way.  I can handle impaling, suicide, maiming, killing, blood, gore, and things that would make a 6-year old have bad dreams and run to mommy.  I can also handle fast things like roller coasters, thrill rides, scary spook houses, and Halloween themed rides to make your stomach turn, not to mention all of the disgusting internet videos out there.  But one thing that combines both of those things I apparently can’t handle is Dead Space: Extraction.  It’s apparently too shaky and too spooky for this grown-ass man.

My Most Overrated and Underrated Video Games

Go into any Best Buy or GameStop and you’ll realize gamers have a lot of choices to put into their disc tray.  From 75-hour long Japanese RPGs to Bejeweled, the array of titles out there for us to enjoy is mind-boggling.  How do you know which one is right for you?  Do you take the opinion of your friends and what they think?  What about all of the many video game blogs on the internet?  Most of them hype the shit out of one thing or the other, and frankly, I’m sick of hearing about one and not the other.  Here’s my pick for most overrated video game known to man, and then my most underrated video game:

I Want A Shadows Of The Empire HD Remake

Every Star Wars fan (okay, maybe not the ones who love the “original” trilogy better) already know about the expanded universe in books, comics, TV series, and all sorts of other forms of media.  The list of these books has grown tremendously over the years with their popularity, and it’s up to fans to pick and choose which part of the Star Wars saga they want to read about.  Most fans like to read about events that happen in between or just before the movies.  Others like to hear about what happens after the cute and cuddly Ewoks (with their barbaric weapons) take down the most technologically advanced group in Star Wars history:  the Empire.  Maybe next time the Empire shouldn’t have based their entire storm trooper technology on cheap white plastic.

How To Create A European PSN Account

Very often I read about video game news or demos and content that come to the European Playstation Network that we just don’t get over here in the hamburger-filled USA.  It doesn’t happen very often mind you, because most of it comes to the states a day or two later, but if you’re like me and you’re impatient, you have to get that content as soon as it comes out. 

One way to do that is to create a completely separate account for the European Playstation Network.  How do you do that you might ask? Read on to get all of the juicy goodness of those fish and chip eating motherfuckers.

How The 3DS Screen Works

The Nintendo 3DS was unveiled for E3 2010 and turned out to be the surprise hit for both Matt and I.  We were sort of underwhelmed at the Nintendo press conference from a distance, but later when we got actual hands-on time with the pocket handheld, it quickly changed our minds.

The ability to show a 3D image on a flat 2D screen without clunky 3D glasses was just incredible.  No need for battery powered 3D glasses, no hassle in trying to sync them with the screen, and no clunky headgear to give you headaches over time - your eyes are the only tools you need to create the 3D image.

August 15, 2011

Betas Exclude Their Fanbase

What is a BETA?  What does that term even mean?

Let’s read from Webster’s dictionary:  A beta is an unfinished project (usually software) that will eventually make its way into production.  By definition a beta test is a trial of machinery, software, or other products in the final stages of its development, carried out by a party unconnected with its development (in the video game industry it’s usually different).

That’s the definition in the dictionary.

To gamers though, it means it’s a chance to get our grubby little hands on the new kick-ass game that will consume our lives in less than a few months:  the new game in town that is set to blow our socks off later.

Video game betas are a fucking awesome thing.  It’s like being able to watch a movie you’re pumped up about or read the next book in the series before everyone else does (minus a few scenes).  It’s a cool experience that we as gamers get to take a part of, because I can’t think of too many other industries that use the beta test with the open public.  Does the car industry let you try out the all-new 2012 car prototype?  Hell to the fuck no.

Alcohol: The Real Gamer Fuel

For me, drinking and video games go hand in hand on a Friday and Saturday night.  We've all done it at some point.  It starts as a seed in our younger years when we drink juice boxes before the next level of Sonic loads up.  We graduate later in life to sodas and Soft-n-Chewy Chips Ahoy before taking on that next passenger in Crazy Taxi.  Then it blossoms from the sugar high to the adult beverage.

So as an “adult” (I use that term loosely when referring to myself) we carry the torch into alcoholic beverages; mixing them in with our next-gen video games.  Drinking and gaming can be fun, or it can totally fuck up your game save forever.

Who Doesn't Want To Have Sex With An Orc?

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan on re-posting a few of my featured articles from my old site Loot Ninja.  These aren't time sensitive, so they'll be prevalent now, and later on.  So to kick this process off, I figured I'd start with the only real "news" I had.  Now I know some of you really tapped into the gaming world probably already know about this, but for those of you that don't - read on.

August 12, 2011

I'm Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired......

Man, I really should come back around here more often. I promised to try and update this shit every week or so, but I've really slacked off on that promise. I honestly had no idea how troublesome, painful, and mind-boggingly intense buying a house is.

"Okay, here's a form that says that you won't rent the house your buying out to a homeless person, kill them, shit down their neck and dump their body in the back yard. And this form? This is the form that says you won't rent out the house to a homeless person, stab them and leave them for dead. It's kind of the same deal, but we couldn't put it on the same form as the killing, shitting, and dumping the body in the back yard form. Also, on that form, could you initial here? That's just saying that the excrement on the body an option."