Review – Sins of a Solar Empire

Real Time Strategy games have been somewhat dormant in the past few years. The big expectation, of course, is that Starcraft 2 will re-energize the genre and spawn another wave of imitators. The 4X genre, on the other hand, has been bolstered by Galactic Civilization 2 and is being “dumbed down” for the widely anticipated Civilization Revolutions, due out in June. Speaking of Civ, Beyond the Sword, while excellent, is horribly buggy and has been heavily neglected and unsupported by Firaxis. Seriously, Firaxis, you guys are sell-out assholes, and I will continue to call you out until you patch BTS properly instead of cashing in on Civ Rev.… Read the rest

Review – Transformers the Game

Before you get all doe-y eyed for the great video games that have come out in the past two months, and start swallowing the industry’s mandate that we can only have decent games around the pinnacle event of a religion that totally hates video games, lets take a minute and remember how fucking terrible the rest of 2007 was for video games. Starting with Transformers the Game.

Transformers the Movie was the cinematic equivalent of going to a space zoo and jumping into a pit of laser equipped alligators and beating them down with your cock. While on fire. While the Teen Girl Squad cheers you on.… Read the rest

Retrospectives – Metal Gear Solid series part 1

Because this is a discussion of the game series there will be significant spoilers. Read and weep.

I have a strange relationship with MGS. If you take away a few enhanced releases, I have played (or am playing) just about everything MGS related, from the mainline trilogy to Twin Snakes and even the Game Boy Color game. Something tells me I’ll have finished MGS4 within four months of release, even if I have no PS3. I seem to be an absolute whore for Kojima. And yet, I’m not sure I entirely love MGS. In fact, I know I don’t.

The only game in the series that I would consider truly brilliant is 3.… Read the rest

Review – Crysis

Taking First Person Shooters to a New Level of Suck

After a long day of working, it’s nice to come home, jump on my computer, and blow the living daylights out of people, monsters, hookers, you name it. For me, playing an FPS after a day of work is akin to getting an Oreo Cookie Blizzard on a hot day; it just feels right. I don’t have to think, I don’t have to care about hurting people, I just shoot and all of my stress melts away. As blood sprays across the digital walls and bodies drop, mangled and lifeless to the floor, I grin and become new again.… Read the rest

Diary of a Guitar Hero Loser

Guitar Loser

Recently I wrote of my relative experience in the area of playing the video games and how it related to my ability to enjoy Halo 3. My cocksure countenance and, frankly, fairly insulting prose garnered a respectable number of responses whose general flavor I would describe as mired in absolute and laser-focused ire. Ire mired, as it were.

It is now weeks later and I own Guitar hero 3. I purchased the Wii version because I thought that plugging my Wii-mote into the Les Paul would somehow be more awesome than gaining achievements or playing friends online with less than thirty layers of fucking moon cryptography between myself and those people Nintendo just assumes are trolling the Wii-nternets looking for kids to say nasty things to.… Read the rest

Review – Halo 3 campaign

You kids like your Halo. I’ve read, in scores and multitudes, that it’s the bee’s knees, really. All manner of laud, pomp and, indeed, circumstance was made at the Halo 3 launch.

Just here in Chicago, in fact, like, a billion total nut-job game dweebs sat for hours both inside and out of any number of gaming venues through the eve of release just to snag a copy at midnight-plus-one. This is, I presume, because they were all of them mistaken; thinking, perhaps, that there was some sort of limited supply of the new nectar and that this wait would somehow result in an assurance that they get the rare and beautiful flower which, to be sure, couldn’t simply be stamped out by the billions for pennies at the press.… Read the rest

Will Blizzard get blown out the airlock?

Everyone is quivering with anticipation at Blizzard’s upcoming “major” announcement. They have been hiring MMO developers, and they have a terribly neglected (but still hugely popular, especially in Asia) franchise in Starcraft.

Although an RTS Starcraft 2 might be desired by some, Blizzard has no choice in this matter but to go MMO. First, the revenue opportunities of even a mediocre (by Blizzard standards) MMO are far superior to a blockbuster RTS– a fact most likely first and foremost on Blizzard’s parent company, Vivendi’s, mind. Now that Blizzard has established itself as such a cash-cow, they will be held to those standards until they fail (capitalism is great…just ask the USSR).… Read the rest

Review – Second Sight

I’ve come to believe strongly in a particular rule taught to me by wiser gamers. The rule states that “if a game wants to entice me, to keep me playing, then it cannot assume I have nothing better to do than to play video games.” It’s hard phrase to describe exactly what the phrase means, but it pertains to certain bad things modern games like to do. Sometimes they’re done to artificially lengthen playtime, sometimes they’re done to help introduce new players. Sometimes it is to enhance the cinematic nature of the game, or to keep things “realistic.” Whether they are done because of a current trend, or to try to overcome a particular design hurdle, these additions hurt more than they help.… Read the rest

Review – Onimusha Warlords

Back where my folks live in Pennsylvania, local cable picks up Channel 63 of New Jersey. Despite being a local, American owned station, Channel 63 fills all of its time slots with shows and commercials from Japan and Korea. This, of course, means that at any given hour you can find all kinds of ridiculous Samurai drama.

These shows are always the same; the men are loud and gruff, the women soft and gentle. The costumes are cheap, flamboyant, or in the case in which a demon is present, both (this is most of the time). The plots are ridiculous, with characters running around in the most awkward and confused ways regardless of what is going on.… Read the rest

The cost of gaming (or not gaming)

This New Year’s, I’ll be in London. My vacation promises to be sweet, but something struck me earlier today. Does it count as regicide if the royal family is merely allowed to keep their castle for show? If you accidentally run down the Queen whilst driving the wrong way (which would be her fault in the first place for allowing people to drive on the left side of the street) does it count as vehicular regicide?

 

Also, if I didn’t go to England, I could afford a PS3. You must be saying, “What are you, a fucking idiot? The point of life is to experience new things, see new places, run over queens.… Read the rest