Monday, January 31, 2011

Sony PSP 2 - Pie in the Sky?

With Sony's official announcement of the PSP 2...or NGP, or whatever you want to call it, we're finally seeing a feature list. But still no pricing to speak of. Today's Penny Arcade strip made a very good point. (Click for big)

Maybe they are afraid. I mean, it's not going to be cheap. We know this. Let's take a look at the features for a second.

ARM Cortex A9 Quad core processor
Multi-touch OLED display
Multi-touch panel on the rear
3G capability
GPS antenna
Six axis motion sensing
Wifi and bluetooth
2 cameras, front and rear

If this thing comes in under $500 I will consider it a fucking miracle. I can't help but feel bad for Sony sometimes. Have they really learned nothing? The DS and the Wii were much less powerful, and Nintendo soundly kicked their ass on both fronts. $500-$600 for a console was just too much for most people, and Nintendo has proven that you don't need incredibly powerful hardware to produce a system that people will want to buy.

Not to mention they are going up against the iphone/pad/pod/scrod which share many of these features. I think for people that already own one of these, unless the PSP 2 can provide a radically different experience, it's going to remain a ridiculously expensive game machine.

I mean, I already have a PSP. It can play movies, and music, and browse the internet. But who cares, I have an ipod for that. Unless they revamp PSP minis in a big way, I don't see it competing with the app store either. Why would I want to pay double for my Angry Birds?

I hope the PSP 2 comes in at a realistic pricepoint, because I really do want to see it succeed. It sounds like a fantastic piece of hardware and an incredibly ambitious project. I just think sometimes they are too ambitious for their on good. Hey guys, maybe start a bit, a PSP with 2 analogue sticks? Just sayin'.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dead Space 2 - Multiplayer Boogaloo

If you've been reading the reviews of Dead Space 2 on some of the major sites, you have probably gotten a pretty bad impression of the multiplayer. I found IGN's review to be exceptionally retarded (What else is new?). Anyway I am going to set the record straight.

After logging a few hours, I am still really enjoying it. I know what you're thinking, "Bloo a bloo of course you like it, you are gay for dead space!" Well to those people I say, go eat a penis pie. I have bought plenty of games fully intending to like them, only to end up very disappoint. I know a turd when I smells one, and I'm not just out to justify my purchases or my own fanboy-ism. You can take that to the bank! The blood bank.

So anyway, multiplayer. Basically one team plays as the humans and tries to complete multiple objectives while the other team plays as the necromorphs and tries to stop them. The humans are armed with assault rifles and their choice of secondary weapon from the main game. You really need to work together because many of the objectives require transporting a component or arming a bomb, which is almost impossible to do by yourself. Even so, humans are quite strong and in a 1 on 1 fight with a necro they will almost always win.

"Wah wah necros are so underpowered!" is what a lot of people are saying. Well these people should stop eating fucking paint chips for a minute and learn how to play the game. The key to doing well as a necromorph is strategy. Know that you are disposable. You're going to die, a lot. This is not Call of Duty. Your goal is not to get 1000 million kills and stroke your e-penis all day. You are there to impede the progress of the humans for as long as possible to keep them from getting their objective.

"Hurf durf how is that fun?" You ask. Well it's basically a license to be a complete dick. Gang up on humans, gank them from behind, jump on their heads and rip their guts out. Wait till a human runs by, then jump out of a vent and attack. Use your execution attacks to immobilize them while your team mates rip them to pieces. The twist for necros is that the more powerful types take longer to respawn. So if the humans are just about to arm the bomb, for fuck sake don't wait 7 seconds to spawn as a spitter. Spawn as an evil baby and jump on their back!

So while it might be great fun, I'll be the first to say it isn't perfect. For one, there really needs to be more of a tutorial. Even I found it pretty confusing at first, and in this age of spoonfeeding morons everything, I can see why a lot of people just dismissed it right off the bat. Also the unlock system is pretty weak. Many of the unlocks are stuff like "Do more melee damage" or "Increased range attack". I know every game now has to have some contrived exp system like CoD, but it seems stupid to make people who've played longer straight up more powerful.

I have various other small complaints, like lack of maps (There are only 5) and no way to mute people in-game. But overall I am still really enjoying it. The mechanics are sound and the gameplay is fast and furious. It's not the deepest multiplayer experience, but what's the point of giving people tons of maps and options when all they want to do is play with AK74u on Nuketown...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Demo Day

Since Dead Space is a game best enjoyed at night with all the lights off, I decided to spend my free time today checking out a couple of recent demos on xbox live. Notably, Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm.

Crysis 2

This is the multiplayer demo for the upcoming game. I never played the first Crysis because my computer is a piece of poop, so this game wasn't really on my radar at all. What I played so far left me impressed and curious as to what the full game will offer.

The first thing I noticed is that the graphics and effects look quite good. Everything runs at a reasonable framerate and I didn't notice much lag when I was playing. The guns had a good feel to them and movement was very fluid. You can sprint, slide, pull yourself onto things and one class even has the ability to jump in the air and do a ground-pound attack.

One neat mechanic the game has is the ability to activate shields or cloaking at any time. You can essentially switch between stealth and tank mode whenever you need to, as long as your suit has enough power. I thought this was a really good way of mixing up the combat. It's a shame that's pretty much all there is though, because otherwise it heavily rips off CoD.

All the things you've come to expect from a military FPS are present. Leveling system, weapon loadouts with different attachments, emblems, perks, custom classes. Maybe the full game will offer more in the way of different modes, but once I figured out how everything worked it was business as usual. Fun and satisfying, if not exactly ground-breaking. One feature I loved was the option to press Y and instantly mute everyone in the lobby. Every new game needs to have this, now!


I've been cautiously optimistic about this game since I saw the first videos of it. The graphics are excellent and the gameplay is as fast and fluid as you could hope for. The demo only gives you one tiny portion of one level, but it is fun while it lasts.

It plays more like an old school arcade FPS, like Quake or Unreal Tournament. You can grab guys with your electric whip and fling them into the air for some cool combos or kick them in the butt with your giant boot. You are encouraged to chain as many unique combos together as possible for a higher score multiplier. How novel!

Unfortunately that is pretty much where my enjoyment of the game ends. The character designs are pretty bland, and the story looks bad but not in a funny way. They are also trying to go for a Duke Nukem sort of in your face attitude. Only it fails badly. I found it grating, even before the demo was over. The only word I can think of to describe it is "Daikatana".

It even says something like "This game isn't going to buy itself, dick tits!" Ha ha, so witty! If only this game was half as clever as it thinks it is. I think what annoys me the most is that people will say "It's not a poorly written shit-fest, it's a parody of those kind of games!" Well if there's one thing I learned from Airplane, it's that parodies should still be funny and interesting. The writing in this game is neither. And don't call me Shirley!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dead Space 2 First Impressions

Well it has finally arrived. January 25th, my most anticipated day of the year. Praise our lord and savior jesus christ! I picked up my pre-order of Dead Space 2 after work today and sat on my duff for a few hours, killing necro-dongs with my man Isaac Clarke just like old times. So how is it? Read on brave soldier and find out!

First off, if you look at any review sites at all you know this game is hot. How hot? Precisely shit hot. I had very unrealistic expectations for this game, and for the most part it delivers on them. Everything you loved about Dead Space is here. The classic weapons are back, with some sweet new ones. Aiming them is much easier now thanks to the new reticule. The game definitely has more action right off the bat, but trust me it is still as pant-shittingly scary as the first. The graphics and sound are fantastic, like we all expected. So do I have any complaints? You know it!

First, I think it's stupid that EA makes you type in a code just to play online. I know it's their retarded anti-used game thing but it still sucks. Then you have to download a 110mb file to play online, not even a patch. Stop annoying me in the game I already paid for!

Second, while I was as eager as anyone to get back to shootin' thangs, the game starts off much too abruptly. You get a short cutscene of Isaac talking to a guy then BLAM, ACTION! I understand wanting to up the pace a bit, but it was too jarring. I wanted to see what Isaac is like now that he talks, and how fucked up he is from the first game. I can't care about this character unless you guys give me a reason to. That's part of what makes a great horror story, when you really care about the main character and want them to survive. They said they wanted to make this game more like the movie Aliens compared Alien, but maybe they forgot that the action doesn't even start in Aliens till like an hour into the movie. The rest is all build-up and characterization.

The whole Dead Space universe has some pretty interesting back story. Instead of reading text logs or buying the tie-in comics/movies, I'd like if I could experience more of it in the actual game. The only exposition I've had so far is another girl yapping at me over my comm link every 5 minutes. I thought Isaac was supposed to be more in-charge this time around? Also, it's pretty impossible to pay attention to someone blabbing in your ear when there could be zombies around every corner.

Anyway, I have heard it's a pretty long game, so maybe it will shake things up a bit later on. The gameplay and the atmosphere are still excellent, so that's what counts I guess. One thing I recommend is playing on the Survivalist difficulty. Anything lower is just way too easy. A horror game is no fun if you don't actually die on occasion. Besides, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the death animations. They are straight up nasty!

Well, that's it for now I guess. Overall I am very satisfied with the game, despite those few things. If you like games that are good, you should buy this game because it's also good! Stay tuned for a multiplayer review!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Duke Nukem Old vs New


I know it's hard to top the original. It just so perfectly captures everything that Duke is about. Big guns, violence and 90's attitude (or 'tude as we called it). But I dunno, the new one really doesn't do anything for me.

Doesn't help that the perspective is all fucked up. We are looking up at him I guess? Then why is everything behind him straight on? Or maybe he's laying on his back? Then he must be crushing the lady behind him. You'd think after all these years they could come up with something a little better.

New PSP 2 Details

*Fan rendering. This is not real!

According to this article, the new PSP is going to feature 3G wireless and a touch screen. Move over iphone! Oh wait, they also reported that it won't be able to make phone calls...Move over ipod touch! A game development studio with a PSP2 in house confirms that the hand-held is "quite powerful". Whatever that means. Hopefully somewhere between PS2 and PS3 quality.

Expect an official announcement with all the details around the 27th. I'm predicting it will cost $300 at launch. Any more than that and they will really be shooting themselves in the foot. Then again, they did release the PSP Go...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monster Hunter for Beginners

With Monster Hunter Freedom 3 set to release here in the next couple of months (I've been playing the shit out of the japanese version), it's going to be a perfect time for a lot of people who have never played a MH game to get on board. Consequently, if you haven't played Freedom Unite yet it's probably a great time to pick it up for cheap.

There are tons of in-depth guides out there, but if you're like me you'd rather play games than sift through all the shitty gamefaqs posts. So here are a few pointers to help you get started. These are pretty much universal for the PSP games, though I can't comment on the Wii or PS2 version.

1. Forget everything you know about button mashing. This is a third-person action game, but it's no God of War. Don't press a button without thinking about it first. It's really easy to get caught in long combo animations, and this will get you killed.

2. Pick Sword and Shield to start with. Just trust me on this one. You get tons of mobility, blocking and some good combos. Big weapons are so slow that it will be super frustrating to start with them if you're used to button mashing.

3. Patience, patience, patience. Especially when fighting a new monster, hang back and wait till they do an attack, then run in and get a couple hits and roll out. Fights in this game always take forever the first few times. It's better to take your time then get beat to shit and spend half the time trying to heal.

4. The camera sucks, get used to it.

5. Plant power seeds on your farm and fertilize them with dung. They sell for like 150 each and will get you a shit ton of money. Then just buy herbs from the main vendor. There is a travelling vendor that sells blue mushrooms sometimes. When he does, buy as many as you possibly can, combine with herbs and your health potion needs are taken care of.

6. Concentrate on one armor set at a time. Each piece will have a set of attributes that when they add up to 10 in any column they will activate that skill. Some skills like sharpness are super useful, and some are just awful. The names tell you nothing, so you will need to consult a guide to find out what they do. Find a set with skills you like first of all, you can always upgrade the defense with jewels.

7. Don't upgrade a weapon unless you're going to actually use it. Getting materials can be a pain in the ass. Don't waste them. Some weapons have very weird upgrade paths. I suggest looking up a guide because you could end up stuck on a shitty path and wasting materials.

8. Using items takes forever. Yes it is a total pain in the dick. Don't get cocky and think you have time to use one when the monster is distracted. Wait till the monster is stunned, or stand on the other side of a stone pillar. Move to the next area to heal, sharpen and get stamina back. Paintball the monster in case it runs off.

9. Chance favors the prepared. Bring literally everything you might need. A full load of potions, super potions, food, whetstones, paintballs, traps, bombs, etc. If it's a super hard fight bring honey, herbs and blue mushrooms so you can make more potions if you run out.

10. Don't give up. Just when you think you're doing good this game has a habit of drop-kicking you right in the testicles. It's frustrating to get your ass pounded straight into the ground the first time you fight some bullshit retarded monster. But it is such a great feeling when you finally kill that bastard and make his organs into a nice new hat. There's monster hunter in a nutshell...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Secret Weapons - Pelican Dual Triggers

If there is one complaint I have always had about the PS3 controller, it's that the triggers suck dongs. My greasy fingers slide off of them and they hurt after playing racing games for a while. Well it seems like someone at Pelican heard my nasal whining and came up with these.

They clip onto the L2 and R2 triggers and make them feel like actual, you know, triggers. It's so sad that we have to resort to this, but whatever. They were 5 bucks at my local EB Games. That might seem a bit silly for 2 tiny pieces of plastic, but such is the capitalist society we live in.

They snap on easily and don't hinder the motion of the buttons at all. Right away I noticed a huge difference. I got a different model that extends even farther than the ones shown here. Almost a bit too far, but they keep my fingers from ever slipping or getting uncomfortable. If you're unsure what to get, I'd probably get the shorter ones shown below.

Overall this is an awesome product and I would definitely recommend to anyone with a PS3. Even if you've gotten used to Sony's crappy triggers and lie to yourself saying they feel good, you should try these and be amazed at the difference it makes.

*Not actually guaranteed

Isaac in Dragon Age 2?

And I thought the Dragon Age armor in Mass Effect 2 was goofy. Not like it's the first time Isaac has been in another game though. Dude gets around more than yo mamma!

(Probably the only reason for anyone to own Dante's Inferno)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Robert Bowling is a Chode, Surprising No One.

With the recent defeat of the PS3's security opening up the console to all kinds of hackers, Infinity Ward saw an opportunity to shed all responsibilities and jumped on it like a fat man upon a ham sandwich.

In this article on VG247, Bowling blames the cheating in CoD 4 and Modern warfare 2 on the just recently hacked PS3 security, completely ignoring the fact that a bevy of glitches, hacks and cheats have been present since day one. Not only on PS3, we've run into our fair share on 360 as well. But, you know, nice try Bob. A for effort!

Gotta love this quote from the article.

“Regretfully, Call of Duty games are receiving the bulk of the hackers’ attention, due to its high player counts and popularity."*

*Also, most people who play CoD are giant nards to begin with. -Ed.

Who knew Thor was such a Smack Talker

Dead Space 2 Commercial

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Best Game of 2010

How can a game the changes the way you shit not be considered a classic?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Jurassic Park Game

According to this article on Gameinformer, Telltale Games is working on a Jurassic Park adventure game that serves as a direct sequel to the first movie. HOLY CRAP IN A CAN BATMAN! 'scuse my caps, but that is the best news I have heard so far this year.

I can only hope the Collector's Edition comes with a shaving cream can full of dinosaur embryos.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Know Your Guild Mates


As anyone who has played MMOs for a while will tell you, there are certain archetypes that inhabit the strange ecosystem within every guild. These are all 100% based on real people and my experiences with MMOs. Mega props to Jaison for the art work. Without farther ado, let's get to Know Your Guild Mates™!

The Noob


The Noob is different from players who are just new to the game in that he completely refuses to learn how to play, and lacks any understanding of the game mechanics. He will screw things up at any opportunity and waste many hours of careful planning. Although he is a huge source of frustration, he is usually kept around because he is also very amusing and generally pleasant to talk to. He is the guild's unoffical mascot.

The Racist


The Racist is a fairly productive member of the guild. He shows up on time, plays his part well and follows instructions. He would be a fine addition if not for his tendency to start spouting racial epithets on pretty much every occasion. Because of this he doesn't tend to be welcome in any guild for very long.

The Girl


The Girl is the rarest guild member, due to some kind of Highlander clause there can be only one in a guild at any given time. The girl can be old or young, skinny or fat, or any combination. It doesn't matter.

The girl's defining characteristic is her vagina. Her vagina grants her special privileges among the other guild members such as: free gold or items, invites to every event, and first pick of the loot. In return she is forced to tolerate sexual advances, declarations of undying love, and general sexist comments or rude behavior from other guild members.

The Alpha Nerd


The Alpha Nerd is almost always found in a leadership role. He runs things with ruthless efficiency and systematically sucks the fun out of every event. He can usually be found bitching people out over ventrillo or making awkward advances toward The Girl in party chat. He is a complete pushover in real life, but rules his virtual world with an iron fist. He knows everything about this game and will make you aware of it at every opportunity.

The Creep


The Creep is unremarkable except for his tendency to come out of nowhere and say the creepiest things for no reason. Nobody knows how he got into the guild or why he is still there. Makes The Girl extremely uncomfortable at all times. If left unchecked, his creepiness escalates over time. Usually culminates in one or more guild members filing a restraining order in real life.

The Crotchspawn


The Crotchspawn is only a guild member because of an older brother or friend. He is generally unliked by everyone because of his foul mouth and spoiled attitude. He knows swear words and sexual terms that don't even officially exist yet. The guild eagerly awaits the day his brother leaves so they can kick his snotty ass to the curb.

Some Cosplay is Good