Posts Tagged ‘playstation’

E3: Where Console Rumors Go To Die

April 17, 2012

It’s that time again, gamers. With E3 just around the corner, it’s no surprise there are so many rumors floating around within the community. With talk of new additions to our favorite franchises, to totally new [exclusive] titles – E3 is definitely the queen bee when it comes to game gossip, and putting the rumors to rest. Every year we see new titles and other additions to our current generation, but it’s been nearly seven years since we’ve had a “console war”. This year marks the first in seven that we’ve started to really hear some next-gen console rumors, and it’s only a little suspicious that it all starts a few months before E3 is set to open its doors.

My favorite part of console rumors, is fan created images of their ideas!

Many people feel it’s “too soon” for next-gen, saying that our current gen is more than capable of going strong for many more years what with DLC and downloadable games from new studios giving our current-gen more staying power. Others argue it’s been seven years and that’s the longest we’ve gone between a console war, and that we are due for “next” next-gen, so to speak. My personal opinion? I don’t necessarily think we need next-gen within the purported year they are speculating, but I think now is a good time to start “thinking” about new consoles. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005, with the Wii and Playstation3 released a year later in November, and for some this feels like eons ago while for others it feels like only yesterday. I do feel that with the addition of DLC and online capabilities, that it makes sense to put more time between new consoles. Ultimately, companies want to make money. Even with the inevitability of new consoles, how many people would be able to realistically afford it? If they plan to push the technology of new consoles to the limit with expansive hard-drives and pricey memory, how many people would even be able to afford the launch price? One of the rumors going around is the consideration of doing away with disc drives, and proceeding with games just being downloadable. If that is the case, the price inflation of adding a larger hard drive alone would be caustic, not to mention not being able to play any of your previous consoles games that you’ve already paid for. Also, what if the competing console keeps their disc-drive as incentive to buy their console instead? Would that sway you? While Steam is successful in their download only set up, I feel that success is based largely on the fact they cater to a PC audience. While more downloadable options is never a bad idea, going solely downloadable could prove to be detrimental. Why not just get a high-performance PC, then? In defense to our current generation of consoles, I feel more people would rather play a game that gives an overall fantastic and provoking experience over a game that just delivers gimmicks and impressive graphics. So why the rush to next-gen? I feel we have so much opportunity with our current systems. That isn’t to say that I don’t get excited at the thought of new systems, the very idea of new games or technology within this industry makes my heart flutter. As a matter of fact, I was at E3 in 2005 when our current gen was at its peak right before release!

As E3 approaches, the collective imaginations and hopes of gamers are running rampant with just what possibilities lie in wait just around the corner. For a lot of gamers, E3 absolutely feels like the pinnacle event of their year, with overwhelming announcements and insights to the gaming industry, a plethora of informative press conferences and the honor to go hands-on with unreleased games and technology. This E3 will no doubt give us some solid perspective on what to expect in our gaming future.

Journey to the center of my heart.

April 5, 2012

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While it is debated whether or not that video games could be considered art, games like ThatGameCompany’s “Journey” put up quite a visually stunning fight. While the main campaign is considered relatively short in comparison to most games, it effortlessly delivers a more thought-provoking and emotional connection throughout. Journey is unique in its simplicity. You play as a caped figure waking without memory in a desert, and the controls are basic; you can run, jump and “glide”. By tapping the circle button you can “chirp” and if you hold the circle button down, upon release you let out a larger, louder chirp which displays your characters unique symbol. These chirps allow you to communicate with what appear to be tapestry, and tapestry creatures which can seemingly aid you in your adventure. You can openly explore the world at your leisure, discovering archaic drawings that slowly paint a picture of your lost civilization, and collecting glowing glyphs that allow you to grow your scarf which enables you to glide higher and for a longer duration. With no memory or distinct direction within the game, you are simply shown your destination – a bright light at the top of a very distant mountain. Your destination is nearly always in view, acting as both a map and a monument of motivation.

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The true beauty of this game lies not within the gorgeous landscapes or beautiful real-time lighting that turns something as simple as sand into glittering gold – but within the online experience. While on your journey you can run into other anonymous online players. You can only differentiate each player by their unique symbol when they chirp. This lack of direct communication makes for a compellingly sincere experience. Some players rather journey alone, while other experienced players will gladly show you the way, and some new players will look to you for help. The magic of playing with another adventurer, is that every single experience is different. You will come up with different systems of communicating with one another through chirps and jumps, some players will protect you and ultimately some players will tragically lose their way, leaving you with an poignant sense of loss. You can very easily play through the game in one sitting, which some people mistake as a possible weakness in a game – but not with Journey. Every play-through is so extraordinarily different and emotionally compelling, giving this game a true sense of fortitude among other current blockbuster games.

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As a whole, Journey soars and sings beautifully with a perfect combination of an emotionally thought provoking story, radiant graphics, expansive and engrossing levels and sweet and simple mechanics. You are carried through all of this by a whimsical soundtrack composed by award winning Austin Wintory, who also composed the soundtrack on ThatGameCompany’s other hit, fl0w. I believe Journey is a perfect example of “video games as art”. It softly argues so many compelling ideals: life, death, loss, loneliness, companionship, and identity. Journey truly shines light and showcases what a fantastic industry the video game market is. This game truly is all about the journey, and not the destination.

Top Ten: Video Games

April 3, 2012

This list took me an unreasonable amount of time to put together, and was incredibly difficult. I have played so many games, and so many have impressed me for different reasons. To make myself feel better I have included a long list of honorable mentions. Godspeed getting through this! In no particular order:

10. Mystic Quest

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This game is technically part of the Final Fantasy universe, which amazes me now as an adult. Mystic Quest is a simple, fundamental RPG. You explore 4 different Element based worlds, defeating 4 bosses and retrieving an elemental crystal from them in hopes of fulfilling the Knights Prophecy. This game provided my first solid memory of a “true” boss fight. The final boss fight took me about 45 minutes; I had to use potions liberally and timely, I had to divide certain tasks between myself and the second player under my control, and my palms were sweaty and my tiny child brain was fried by the end of it all. It was truly the greatest. While this RPG may seem Juvenile in comparison to other great SNES RPGS of it’s time ( Secret of Mana, Earthbound ) it hit the spot for me.

Favorite Part: Meeting Phoebe and exploring with her.
Least Favorite: The last boss fight and his “mirror” attack. Just – stop! STOP. FUCKING STOPPPPPP.

9. Jet Grind Radio

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I worked a shitty summer job one summer vacation during High School, and most the money went to video games and anime. No shame. I bought a Dreamcast, and with it I bought Jet Grind Radio. I’ll admit I bought it because of the flashy cover and obscure game premise – but I am glad i did. The game-play is unique, combining skating physics and exploration, and the ability to perform dancing/spray painting combos. What a genius idea. It just works. The controls were easy to grasp almost immediately while guided by an array of eclectic music by DJ Professor K, the DJ for the radio station that all the “Rudies” listen to. Another fantastic feature was being able to create your own personal graffiti. My friends and I got really creative and…uh, juvenile with that feature. With expansive skating environments and the music being the heartbeat of the game, the replay value of this game alive and well for me.

Favorite Part: Hitching rides by grabbing onto cars
Least Favorite: Not enough levels for my liking.

8. Little Big Planet

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If you can dream it, you can ultimately create it in the world of Little Big Planet. This imaginative platform may be short on the campaign side of things, but the million of user created online levels more than makes up for that. Collecting stickers, props and costumes becomes an integral part of the adventure. Playing this game co-op is never NOT hilarious. The more people you play with, the more chaotic. I tend to panic and grab onto the nearest Sackboy and drag them down with me.  I’ve played this game for an embarrassing amount of hours, and picking up another player and throwing them is still just as funny as when I did it the first time. While living in The Tester loft, we had a 4 player Little Big Planet game going – and I am pretty sure we were all laughing so hard that we were crying.

Favorite Part: Playing with a friend(s)
Least Favorite: Needs more collectables! MORE CLOTHES.

7. Infamous 2

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I tend to like “sandbox” style games for the freedom and ease of game-play, and Infamous 2 is my favorite one. It also doesn’t hurt that Cole is a handsome bike messenger – that is my bias speaking as a fellow cyclist. I remember watching the opening scene for the first time and trying to figure out what bike it was that Cole was riding. He also has several bike related tattoos, and as a bike nerd that appeals to me. I enjoyed the modern day setting of this game, and the idea that some people contain a “conduit” gene within them. The story of this game different and impressive, and I found myself enjoying and caring about every single mission. I have played this game both as a “good guy” and a “bad guy” – and what is remarkable to me is I didn’t enjoy one more than the other, as they both bring a lot of difference and excitement to the game. I knew I was going to love this game immediately when it throws you right into the excitement immediately by starting you off with a “boss” fight. With the addition of user made missions and the ability to upgrade and acquire new powers, this game has me wanting to ride a Tandem bicycle with Cole himself.

Favorite Part: Throwing cars at everything/everyone
Least Favorite: The boss fight with the Hive lord in the swamp. Ouch.

6. Braid

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This game is so impressive to me I almost don’t know what to say about it.  It’s truly one of those titles that you need to experience to fully understand. I feel this way about Journey, as well. It’s a puzzle platformer with stunning art and music, a thought provoking story with difficult but fulfilling game-play aspect. You can control various aspects of time throughout different relating levels. While frustrating, I have never wanted to understand and play a game so fully. The various time-manipulations in the game along side the romantic yet dark story, and the twist at the end….uhg. Just play this title. Please. Whatever you do. You can download it for both Playstation and Xbox – even PC! Do yourself the favor. If you hate it, just go back in time and pretend it never happened.

Favorite Part: Putting the puzzle pieces of the story together.
Least Favorite: The headaches I got while trying to figure some of the puzzles out. 6 bottles of Advil later…

5. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

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I know the “fan favorite” of the franchise tends to be Ocarina of Time – but Wind Wakers sincerity and cel-shading won me over hard and fast. As much as I love Ocarina of Time, it was a true battle of nostalgia and over-all experience. Wind Waker won because it was so much different than what everyone was expecting, yet still stayed close to the true Legend of Zelda formula. I valued the simplistic whimsy of the cel-shading and the sense of wonder sailing around the map gave me. Link and Tetra, who is later revealed to be Zelda, have a fun relationship throughout the game. The last fight with Ganon is hands-down my favorite of any Zelda game in the franchise, ending my adventure on a fantastic note – no pun intended.

Favorite Part: Discovering and exploring the Tower of the Gods.
Least Favorite: Tingle. You are the Jar-Jar Binks of the Zelda universe.

4. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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I had this game on both Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. My little brother (co-op partner) and I would play this game for hours, until our parents had to literally pry the controllers out of our hands, or shove a hot pocket in our mouth to prevent starvation. We would go into full on gamer tunnel vision with this shit. You could play this game 1player, but it wasn’t nearly as fun. Working as a team to save cheerleaders, tourists and even dogs from a plethora of B-movie horror stereotypes was way more fun than it should of been. Armed with comical weapons such as squirt guns, and cans of soda – the sheer campy-ness of this game was damn near perfect. With over 50 levels to survive, becoming more and more challenging – the replay value on this game is probably one of the best in my opinion. Every level was so different and unique in it’s difficulty, making it hard to get bored. I loved this game so wholeheartedly, the only time I’d take a break from it, was to try and recreate its iconic music in Mario Paint!

Favorite Part: Drinking potions and Hulking out.
Least Favorite: The “Giant Baby” level. Oh god. Just let me get through this level..

3. Metal Gear Solid

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Oh, Solid Snake. How I love thee. I could write Shakespearean sonnets about how much I love this game and the entire series. My dad picked this game up for me while on his way home from work one day, after I had showed him a review in a issue of EGM. I immediately took it to my room and got down to it. Holy motherfuckin’ shit. What the fuck. Within the first 5 minutes I was enthralled. Fantastic music, engaging intro and controls that made sense. The excitement I felt when the Genome Soldiers could notice and track my foot-prints was incredible. Never in my life was I so excited to spend so much time in a game, waiting, hiding, sneaking, planning – This game was engrossing right from the beginning. Collecting weapons became a thrill. Putting the story together piece-by-piece was all I could think about in my Junior High classes. The characters were all dynamic, that you even found yourself sympathizing with them. I’d listen to the OST on my CD player on my way to school, planning my course of action for when I returned home and back to the game. After relentlessly trying to save Meryl, to my confrontation with Liquid – no game has ever had a hold on me like Metal Gear Solid did. I love all the others in the series, and hope that Kojima never relinquishes creative input into the series. I wear my FoxHound patch proudly.

Favorite Part: The fight with Revolver Ocelot. He’s awesome.
Least Favorite: Mashing that O button to save Meryl.

2. Final Fantasy 9

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One of my favorite RPGs and easily my favorite Final Fantasy. As a person who is primarily driven by story and experience within games, this delivered and exceeded my expectations. With a colorful and moving cast of characters set in a sprawling and whimsical fantasy Utopia, the essence of this game is self discovery and innocence. I have played this game in full multiple times and at different ages. It touched me and taught me something different every play through. This is rare for a game to touch me so continually. From the unique character story arcs, to the battle system, to the music – this RPG is near perfection to me. In fact, it truly is perfection. I can listen to the Final Fantasy IX OST and it immediately takes me back to all those familiar places that were to me, more like home than the house I was playing the game in.

Favorite Part: When Garnet reinvents herself by cutting her hair, and embracing uncertainty and adventure.
Least Favorite: The uncooperative “Trance” system could of been a little better.

1. Journey

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I have so many feelings towards this game that if I could marry it – I probably would. Despite it being a short, downloadable title for PS3, it contains more emotion and delivers a much more fulfilling experience than a lot of titles I’ve played. The heart of this game lies within the anonymity of the online play. Through your Journey, you come across other players. You can not communicate directly with them, but you can “chirp” to them, displaying your unique symbol. Some players may not be interested in going through the game with you, while others will depend on you, and sometimes lose their way. You can tell new players by their robes, the more you play, the more elaborate the pattern on your robe will become. You can even achieve a white robe. You can help new players with their Journey by holding their hands, so to speak. Every Journey is different. I met a player at the very start of the game, we chirped to show appreciation and concern and eventually completed the entire Journey together. Before walking through the final light, we stopped and stood next to each other for a minute. My partner then drew a large heart in the sand with their feet, by running the pattern around me. I have never been so mentally and emotionally stimulated by a game experience. This game truly is all about the Journey, and not the destination.

Favorite Part: Guiding new players to glowing glyphs and helping them grow their scarf.
Least Favorite: Acknowledging that a player you were helping has lost their way.

Honorable Mentions!

Portal

Ikaruga

Twisted Metal

Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3

Resident Evil 2

Battlefield 3

Donkey Kong Country

Final Fantasy Tactics

World of Warcraft

Diablo 2

Half Life

Chrono Cross

Skies of Arcadia

Mass Effect 2

Uncharted Series

Metal Slug

BioShock

God of War 2

Ultima Online

Marvel vs Capcom

Things I Love Thursday!

October 27, 2011

1. Playstation: I’ve always been an avid gamer, and recently i’ve been throwing myself back in, deep, by revisiting classics. I love the Playstation Network for allowing me such an array of classic games for download. I’m currently revisiting FF7, FF8, FF9 and Ninja Gaiden. So good! Also, for the past three months I have been trying out for The Tester. The competition has made its way towards the end, and it’s been a really eventful ride – so you may or may not see me on this coming season! Stay tuned! If I dont update next Thursday – then you’ll know for sure!

2. Dr. Pepper Chapstick: This stuff taste like shit, really. Not like Dr. Pepper at all. I mean, sort of, but regardless, I keep buying it for nostalgic reasons, since I used to buy it with my allowance as a kid. I love it, for sure, and recently thy started making it with “a hint of color”. Oooh la la.

3. Marceline: I gave this hot B’ her own post a while ago, but she deserves to be thrown in again since I’ll probably be dressing up as her for Halloween. She is my favorite Adventure Time character ( next to Jake ) and I wish so badly that I had a replica of her Axe Bass. She’s as smooth and as badass as her bass. Truth.

4. Dunkin Donuts Iced-Coffee: Even though I consider myself a bit of a coffee connoisseur, I still have always preferred Dunkin Donuts. Call me a sell-out, I dont give a shit. This stuff is delicious, and where else can I get a Tuna Salad Sandwich and a pumpkin muffin? Come on.

5. Cold Weather Music: There are a lot of bands and songs that I directly equate with the coming on of colder weather. The short list is Modest Mouse, The Faint, Cursive, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Dashboard and Postal Service. Now is the time when this music best hits me, and I play it on repeat. I wait all year for this feeling, and it can not be topped. Ever.

6. Purple Hair: I have really been digging purple hair lately; There is no real reason to prompt this. I think I have been toying with the idea of going lighter the past  year or two, but not wanting to stay my natural color of blonde. The idea of light purple hair really entices me, because its lighter, one of my favorite colors, and relatively cartoony, but I have been holding off because my boy has expressed disinterest. Who knows, though, the dye has been ordered and delivered, so anything could happen.

7. Cat-Eye Sunglasses: I usually wear prescription glasses which doesn’t leave me a lot of time to wear Sunglasses, but, since i’ve been wearing contacts lately, I’ve gone Sunglass shopping. I didnt like anything I tried on – but then I found a pair of Cat-eye shaped glasses and I am convinced they are the only shape for me, and will never wear another type. I feel these look great on anyone, and Target of all places has a great selection.

8. Cider: Beer doesn’t agree with me so well, because I have a pretty severe allergy to gluten, so I have been drinking cider recently. Which is both delicious and fitting of the season. My favorite will always be Strongbow, but, Woodchuck makes a few delicious varieties that my tummy and I appreciate. If you’re a big beer drinker, but you find yourself puffy or waking up sluggish after drinking, try drinking cider instead!

 

Testing, 1…2.

December 20, 2010

I am trying to figure out how to get my blog posts to automatically post to my tumblr. I am usually bad with this sort of stuff. This is just a random test post to see if i’ve got it, and to sort of tell you to please look at my tumblr. if you have one, add me. i follow every new follower. i post namely nerd shit, science shit, bike shit and tattoo shit. surprise, surprise.

 

Here is an pretty intriguing picture for your time:

 

Here is a bizarre but true story for your time:

I went to see Black Swan tonight, and before the last finale dance started, this couple who had been talking and giggling at ever sexy scene ( i.e the whole movie ) were being loud, so I turned around to ask them to PLEASE stop talking. In short, the couple were a pair of BODYBUILDING gay dudes – easily 3-4 times my size. One guy freaks out instantly and SLAPS THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I can not make this shit up. This is my life. I didnt get to see the last ten minutes, but, up until that the movie was griping and flawless. Go see it! Just dont get slapped by giant men because the cops cant do shit.