Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shift 2 Impressions

Crap in a can, Batman. This game sure did sneak up on us didn't it? No, just me? Fffrrrt whatever. I sunk a couple hours into the career mode so far and my impressions are thus.

From all the trailers you'd probably think this is a crazy arcade racer with smashes and cars flying everywhere. Well april fools, Dwayne Wayne! This is actually very much a simulation game, for better or for worse. You'll spend your entire play time trying not to get into spectacular crashes.

One review I read called the game a car-based survival horror. Basically that's exactly what it is. The only word I can think of to describe it is tense. You can feel your car constantly fighting for traction, and the tiniest slip up will send you straight into a wall at 200 mph. You feel the crashes right in your gut. They are unpleasant enough that you'll want to avoid them when possible. Which is just as good because one crash will pretty much end your race. When it's not trying to kill you, the AI is usually consistent enough that it's very difficult to make up time on them.

This is really annoying because even with assists on, it's very easy to crash. Why they didn't rip off Grid's rewind feature like Forza did, I'll never know. Every racing game ever from now on should be forced to include this. I found myself restarting races way too often because some dickbutt clipped my bumper on the last turn.

That reminds me, I know all these tracks are based on real race courses. But they were designed with real human drivers in mind, who are concerned with things like not dying. Listen up game developers because here's some free advice. For the love of fucking God Jesus and Yoda, do NOT EVER by ANY circumstances start a race with a straightaway into a sharp corner. YOU HEAR ME? It never fails that the retarded buttshits at the back will plow straight into the cars in front EVERY god damned time. And if any of you ever ram my car online I swear to god I will come to your house and beat you to death with a tennis racket.

Anyway the customization options in the game are huge, and I wish I wasn't such a moron because then maybe I could tune my car to not handle like a washtub on an ice field. Not only can you tune and upgrade what's under the hood, you can also purchase body and 'works' kits that make your car look more bad-ass.

So far I am enjoying this game and even with the stupid AI, the racing is fun and rewarding enough that I want to keep getting better and 'tricking my wheels' as the kids say. Stay tuned for a full review.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interstate 76

Does anybody else remember this game? It had the car shooting action of Twisted metal with a funky 70's vibe and graphics out of a Dire Straits video. Only in the 90's, man...

Sucker Punch Review

First off, I know it's a movie. But I challenge you to find a review that doesn't mention video game, or gamers, or 'adolescent male fantasy' in the first paragraph. For all purposes, it's a video game...or at least a more serious story masquerading as one. So I say, deal with it Jaison!

Let me start by saying I was really excited for this movie. Does that make me a tard? Maybe, it's probably too late for that. From the trailers you can get a good idea of exactly how this story goes down. Girl gets committed to an asylum by her evil step-father, uses her imagination as a refuge and formulates an escape plan. Also hot chicks fighting giant samurai, nazi zombies and evil robots. You know, typical video game stuff.

I know a lot of people rolled their eyes at the concept. I can't really blame them. It does look pretty ridiculous (read: stupid). But it also looked over the top, fun and crazy. Sometimes that's just the kind of movie you want to see. I can appreciate the taste of a filet mignon, but sometimes a man just wants to fucking eat a taco. I can respect a movie that knows what it is and plays to it's strengths, no matter what they may be. What I can't stand is movies that have pretensions, or forget just exactly what they're supposed to be about.

Unfortunately Sucker Punch is one of those movies. The film starts off with a slick, stylish and gut wrenching opening as the main character Baby Doll (God I hate that name) winds up in the asylum due to be lobotomized in 5 days. But then, there is an incredibly jarring shift and suddenly everything changes to a creepy burlesque house. This is inside her mind, but it's also where 90% of the movie takes place. Every time she dances, it shifts to the crazy action sequences we see in the trailers. There are 4 in all, and though they look spectacular they aren't nearly long enough and feel completely disconnected from everything.

I understand the whole concept of people being the hero in their own mind, and how our imagination is our refuge. But the thing is, it doesn't feel like her imagination at all. At no point do we ever learn why she imagines all this crazy shit, or why she is such a good dancer. In fact we don't learn anything about any of the main characters. The characters are so paper thin that they don't evoke much emotion at all. In a straight-up, balls-to-the-wall cheesy action movie I can forgive that. But this movie seems to have other ambitions, which it fails to deliver on.

Then of course there's the sexism argument. Is this movie misogynist fantasy, or empowering to women? Well, neither really. There's lots of revealing clothing, but no nudity. The girls also manage to kick a lot of ass, and work together to defeat the bad guy. There are many far more sexist movies out right now, like every frat boy party comedy in the last decade. That said, it certainly doesn't do women any favors. Outside of the action sequences the girls spend the whole movie getting beat up, killed or generally harassed by disgusting men. I guess the message is that men can be assholes. I don't even know why Zack Snyder felt that was a point that needed to be reiterated.

In the end this movie was long, uncomfortable and ultimately unsatisfying on any level. It does deal with some heavy themes, but it wields them with all the grace of a fiddler crab coated in crisco. I wish I could recommend it for the action sequences alone, but you're better off watching them on youtube and saving your money.

Shift 2 Launch Tomorrow

Hur a dur dur can't wait!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mega-holics Anonymous

If you or a loved one exhibit serious symptoms of hoarding all the power-ups in Mega Man, you're not alone. Please, call our toll free number at 1-800-OCD-FUDGE. Help is just an E tank away.

Motorstorm Apocalypse Review

If there's two things I like, it's nachos and Ben Stiller. But that's irrelevant for now. If there's two other things I like, it's arcade racing and post-apocalyptic scenarios. So naturally the new Motorstorm had my name all over it. Take the last 2 Motorstorm games, throw in tornadoes, earthquakes, crazed vagrants and helicopters shooting missiles at you. That's Apocalypse in a nutshell.

The game takes place after the world ends, and people decide to race around the destroyed cities in monster trucks and muscle cars. What could possibly go wrong? Anyway the premise works, and the tracks are quite the spectacle. You're driving down the side of a collapsing skyscraper when a helicopter appears and starts shooting missiles at you. Then it blows a hole in the ground exposing a tunnel, so you escape into it, only the tunnel is full of crazy hobos hurling molotovs at you. You punch the throttle and they're flying up on your windshield screaming. It truly is a wonderful sight.

The game plays something like Split Second meets Burnout, with the huge variety of vehicles and route choices that Motorstorm is known for. What really sets it apart from it's predecessors though is it's inclusion of a story mode. Is that a good thing? It could have been. The game starts you off with a tutorial level (It's a racing game, do we really need that?) which does a good job of introducing you to the setting. After that, things start to go down hill.

You start off as a rookie driver, then play as a pro, and later a legend. In between each race there's an "animated" cutscene, and I use that term with trepidation because it's just the kind of awful looking cardboard cutout style you see in motion comics. The main problem with these cutscenes is just that they are fucking terrible. I tried to watch a whole one once, but failed. It's like brain poison. The writing and voice acting are just so offensively stupid. I honestly wish they hadn't even bothered. Luckily they are easy to skip through. So, yay for that I guess.

So overall how do I feel about it? I think there are two F-words to describe this game. Fun and frustration. When everything clicks, this game is a hoot. It's beautiful and exhilarating. Unfortunately that doesn't happen as often as it should. For one thing, the environments are very cluttered. There are pointy bits of debris and fallen buildings everywhere. It makes things visually confusing but worst of all it's far too easy to get snagged on a tiny bit of geometry and crash. This is compounded by the second biggest flaw. The AI is pretty bullshit. So any mistakes you make are usually punished harshly.

As you may recall, the handling in the Motorstorm series has always been shitty. This has been slightly improved in Apocalypse, but it still feels like you need to slow down way too much to navigate corners. The AI doesn't have this problem and will scoot by you with ease. Because of that, I only find myself able to play the game in small bursts. Far too often I lose races because of some bullshit like a monster truck speeding by my motorbike at the last second without even using any boost.

I think this game could have been something really special, like Ben Stiller eating a big old plate of nachos. But instead it's a just very good game that pauses to kick you in the junk every so often just so you don't start having too much fun. In the end, I guess I'm ok with that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's So True


I can't be the only one, can I?

The Virtual Boy is Back

Keith makes it cool again...for the first time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Manual Memorandum

With EA joining the list of companies no longer printing manuals for their games, I'd just like to give a salute to the manuals of old. I remember the days when PC games all came in giant boxes and had a manual the size of a phone book.

Not only that, but many of them required you to keep this massive thing on hand because their anti-piracy measure usually required you to turn to a certain page and type in a key word to start the game. Besides explaining how to actually install and play the game, lots of manuals had a ton of backstory and lore about the game's universe, which was nice and made you feel like you were getting something more for your money.

I even remember taking my Diablo manual to school to read during reading period sometimes. Yeah, I got beat up a lot as a kid.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The King of Crazy

By now many people have experienced Heavy Rain's unique take on interactive fiction, but not very many know about Quantic Dream's earlier attempt, Indigo Prophecy. Jaison and I have frequent disagreements over how stupid the plot twist at the end of Heavy Rain is (He's wrong, it's very stupid) but I think we can both agree that it doesn't come close to this.

The Incredible Story of Id Software

Learn how a couple of nerds created some of the greatest video games of all time. It's a bit long, but an absolute must watch if you have any interest in the video game industry. This is why you should always support the little guys.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crysis 2 Impressions

With all the games coming out this spring, I admit that Crysis 2 almost slid under my radar. I played the multiplayer beta a while back, and was impressed but not blown away. Well now the game is finally here, can it possibly live up to my non-existent expectations? (Answer: probably!)

Let me start this by saying that I never played the first Crysis. Unfortunately my computer is a little less powerful than a solar powered calculator, so I didn't even bother trying. From what I heard though it was a beautiful game with really impressive physics and a story that left something to be desired. So does Crysis 2 bring some of this magic to consoles?

Well, yes and no. The game looks great. Not mind-blowing but some of the effects look amazing in their own right. The resolution is a little fuzzier then what you'd probably get on the PC, but it's by no means bad. The physics are also toned down a bit from what you'd expect. You can't blow up walls or barriers. But you can use or pick up just about every small object in any level. Most things like cars or dumpsters that are too big to lift can be power-kicked. I know it's a small touch, but it goes a long way in making it feel like a more believable world. Picking up a guy and saying "Remember when I said I'd kill you last?...I lied.", then chucking him off an overpass never gets old.

What the game lacks in the horsepower department, it makes up for in other ways. For one thing, the writing is actually...good! I know, I never thought I'd say that. I mean, it's not Shakespeare. But it keeps the story moving along and gives you a compelling reason to keep fighting. Your character is the standard mute soldier protagonist, but the dialog and radio chatter you hear along the way raises a lot of interesting questions and kept me playing to find out more. If I had one complaint it would be that they throw too much at you all at once in the beginning. Maybe if I had played Crysis 1 I'd have a better idea what was happening, but for the first hour or so I was pretty confused.

Where Crysis 2 really shines is gameplay though. This is not another CoD clone. It's hard to get a good feel for what it's like just watching gameplay videos, but Crysis 2 is much more like a PC shooter than anything else I've played on a console. It usually gives you a point you need to get to, but how you choose to do it is up to you. Your nano-suit has all kinds of options for you to use. The 2 main ones are stealth and armor. You can cloak and sneak up on guys for a stealth kill, or put up your shields and go in like Rambo. Your suit has a tactical visor that you can use to scope out the area, mark enemies on your radar and plan your attack. It also has a thermal vision option. All your powers use energy that recharges over time, so you have to balance how much you use each one. My favorite thing to do is cloak and turn on thermal vision, then I stalk enemies like the predator from that movie whose name I don't recall.

There is a good variety of weapons from your standard SMG and rifles to the more exotic (and my favorite), the microwave gun. Each weapon can be customized by adding silencers, scopes or attachments by holding down select (or back). If you tap select (or back), you can customize your suit's other abilities like air stomp, motion tracking, or enhanced armor. It's a system that manages to be very robust but doesn't overwhelm you or bog down the gameplay.

So from this I guess you can gather that I like this game. Well good for you, smart guy. It was a very pleasant surprise, and turned out to be just the kind of game I have been jonesing for lately. If you're looking for something different than your typical corridor shooter, then you should definitely check out Crysis 2.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Secret Weapons - CoD Pro Gaming Glasses

It all makes sense now. No wonder we'll never become uber pro at Black Ops, Jaison. We lack the officially sanctioned gaming optics. For the low price of $80 you too can buy mad gaming skills AND look like a complete tool. Although I have to admit I'm not really sure what's pro about making everything look yellow.

But just maybe....

My Dad's Favorite Commercial

This one cracks him up.

Massive Improvements

Oh how far we've come.

I Knew it All Along


Brink Has Something For Everyone

This guy is kind of a tool but Brink still looks awesome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Happened to Cheat Codes?

I mean, I know they're pretty much gone. And I can probably hazard a guess as to why. But still, cheating in video games was a big part of my childhood. I still remember the codes for God mode and infinite ammo in Doom (IDDQD and IDKFA, respectively).

Even if a game didn't have official codes, there was always Game Genie. Aside from allowing you to beat games that otherwise were impossible, they also allowed you to mess around and do crazy things that extended your enjoyment of the game much longer. I don't predict cheat codes ever making a return, but I would love to see them in more games again some day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You Maniacs, You Blew it Up!!!

Damn You, Damn You All to Hell!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hilarious Video Game Jokes

I hope you upgraded your hit points, because these jokes are going to attack your funny bone for massive damage. Check out a few of these gems.

Q: Which video game character really sucks?
A: Kirby

Q: What is Zelda's favorite breakfast side dish?
A: A sausage Link.

Q: What is Tomb Raider's favorite lunch?
A: Croft macaroni and cheese.

Q: What do you call a Nintendo Wii in France?
A: A Nintendo Yes.

Q: What is a toilet's favorite game?
A: Call of doodie

Q: What did the WWF Wrestler say to the video game controller?
A: Are you ready to rumble pack?!

Q: What was Bomberman arrested for?
A: Indecent Explosure.

Become a Shotgun Pro

Good advice for Black Ops. Just swap Steady Aim and Ninja (Seriously, NINJA?!) for Sleight of Hand and Hacker. Enjoy epic pwnage.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our True Calling

Every Fatality You'd Ever Want to See..and Many More You Don't

Game Fudge Draws Pokemon

In honor of the new Pokemon Black and White today I drew some of the new pokemons. I don't own the game so I looked them up online. These are some of the laziest ones yet!

Where's Mario when you need him?

Ever see an ice cream that could take a bite out of YOU?

Special attack: Shit cannon!

It's like he even knows how much he sucks.

This one looks like a butt with a vagina.

Good to see Whoopi Goldberg is still getting work.

It's like magikarp's younger retarded brother.

Fuck it guys, let's just make this one a dog.

Zero Punctuation Reviews Bulletstorm

I was going to do a review of Bulletstorm. But now I guess I don't have to. I don't always agree with Yahtzee, but this time he pretty much nailed what I was feeling.

Team Fortress has Hats

In case you didn't know that.

Why DOOM is Awesome

Here is a great article examining some of the key differences between a classic FPS like DOOM and many of today's shooters. The author makes some very good points, and much of it I had never considered before.

One thing that's bothered me about cover-based shooters from the beginning is lack of "skill" involved. Enemies all have instant hitting weapons and your character moves like cold molasses. So you can't run around and dodge or really use the environment to your advantage. It pretty much boils down to: Duck behind a wall, wait for enemies to expose themselves, poke your head out and fire while absorbing bullets. Duck back and wait for health to regen. Throw in a grenade for good measure.

I'll always have a love for classic "twitch" shooters, even though they seem to be somewhat of a rarity these days. There will always be something fun about dodging fireballs and rockets while trying manage health, armor and ammo for your good guns. I think Painkiller was the last game I played that did a good job of this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet Jesus Mechs

So here is a trailer for Hawken, a gorgeous looking indie game about mech combat.

YES YES THIS IS WHAT I WANT! Please take all of my money!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Demo Dayz

With so many unfinished games in my backlog, on my day off I did the only logical thing I could think of....Play demos of more games!! Yes I am a tard, thanks for asking. Anyway the 2 demos I played were Beyond Good and Evil HD and Torchlight on XBLA.

Beyond Good and Evil HD

I guess everyone pretty much knows the story behind this one by now. Ubisoft makes a good game for the previous console generation, it gets lots of praise but sells like deep fried AIDS. It dies, goes away and is never heard from again. Until thousands of whiney nerds write internet petitions or whatever it is they do, and here we are.

I never played it the first time around, so I was going into this blind yet cautiously optimistic. The game starts you at the very beginning, and lets you play a good 20 minutes or so into the story. It's enough to get a good taste of what the game has to offer.

And what it has to offer is pretty fun. It throws you into combat almost immediately, which maybe wasn't a good choice. The combat is decent, but not mind-blowing. God of War this is not. It gets the job done but I wasn't hungry for more. After that you get introduced to all the characters and the story starts to build. This is what I really enjoyed. It's certainly not without it's problems. The voice acting is kinda bad at times and the animation can be stiff, but it gets the point across just fine.

So what makes this game stand out? Honestly I can't really explain it. It just a video game. And I don't mean that in a bad way. It doesn't try to be something it's not. The characters and the world they inhabit is interesting enough that I really wanted to see what would happen next. There are no jarring transitions or awkward gameplay shifts. Everything flows very smoothly, and it left me wanting more.


I guess the only thing you need to ask yourself about this game is "Do I like Diablo?" If you answered yes then you will probably like this game. If you've never played Diablo but like collecting awesome loot and killing hordes of monsters with little or no story to tie it all together, then this might be for you.

I like all those things, but as you may remember what I liked best about Diablo was the story and the atmosphere. Torchlight seems pretty lacking in both respects. The music and sounds seem almost ripped straight from Diablo, as do the gameplay and classes. But it just looks and feels a little too cartoony for my taste.

I really enjoyed playing through the first dungeon in the demo. It's another demo that gives you a really good feel for what the full game will bring. So props for that I guess. But by the end I wasn't really sure I wanted to play any more. With some kind of co-op or online play this would be a must-buy, but as a single-player experience I don't think I could justify paying full price. I will likely pick it up if it goes on sale though.

Black Ops Stats

(Click for big)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I think it would be easier to make an actual NES Game

8-bit Lego Stop-Motion

Secret Weapons - XIM3

If you grew up playing PC shooters like I did, then you probably still can't quite get a handle on the whole idea of playing them with a controller. No matter what Jaison says, keyboard and mouse will always be more precise. That's just how it goes my friend.

Anyway, for people like us (non-freaks) who would love to use a keyboard and mouse to play on xbox 360, now you can. Thanks to the XIM3. What is it? Basically a little dongle that plugs into your 360 and translates the signals from your mouse and kb into controller inputs.

I know this isn't a new thing by any means. There have been devices like this before. What makes this one unique is how it translates the inputs. Here's a quote from their website.

Through Smart Translators, XIM3 is able to provide unparalleled mouse precision unachievable by any other gaming adapter available. The problem is simple: when the mouse moves, equivalent reticle movement on the screen should occur (i.e. 1-to-1 movement). This is the obvious result that all PC-gamers expect. But, before the creation of Smart Translators, was not possible on consoles. Every console shooter has its own unique look mechanic that governs how the game controls and feels to the gamer. Every game is different as they all have different stick dead-zones and geometries, variable sensitivity and acceleration regions, asymmetric sensitivity, non-linear movement, and more. Be cautious of any console mouse adapter that claims “PC-feel” without talking about how it solves all these challenges.

So yeah, it's a little more complex. Personally I would love one of these. I think it would make a world of difference for me. The problem though is with playing online. It's pretty much cheating. As much as I'd love to argue otherwise, it seems like a huge advantage. As little as I give a shit what people on XBL think of me, I'd still feel like a gigantic douche using one of these to win. The fact that it costs $150 doesn't help any...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Call of Duty Rage

Last night we were playing Black Ops and some asshole stole my crate that had dogs inside. I was not amused.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

DLC And It's Implementation

I was reading the latest Video Game Article over at and I thought it made some really good points. I often find the implementation of DLC in today's story-based games to be a little awkward at best, and down-right annoying at worst.

I look at a good game the same way as a book or movie. I experience it with all it's strengths and faults as a complete unit. Once I am done I am usually content to let it rest. I'm not a fan of beating a dead horse, and trying to shoehorn more content into a narrative after the fact can hurt the experience. You don't generally see authors selling an extra chapter that was cut from their book, or movies selling their deleted scenes one by one. In cases where stuff like this does happen in other media, it's usually shitty anyway.

DLC for other types of games doesn't bother me that much, though it can be frustrating knowing that you aren't getting the full product from the start. Day 1 and on-disc DLC are 2 things that can die in a fucking fire. I know developers and publishers have the right to make a couple bucks. But the fact that I am already paying them 60, and still not getting the complete package, is pretty insulting.

And don't get me started on games like Burnout Paradise and Bad Company 2 where I have to download a couple of gigs worth of DLC I can't even use just to play online. I only have 20 gigabytes to work with you assholes!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Custom DS Cases

If I have one weakness (Besides red kryptonite) it's that I like decorating my stuff way too much. One time at Toys R Us I found this neat clear DS case that came with a bunch of transformers inserts. I even printed a few of my own including this Scott Pilgrim one. I had a Seinfeld one made too but can't locate a picture of it.

Good Writing in a Military FPS?

The other night Jaison and I were discussing the under-rated gem that is Battlefield Bad Company's single player campaign. Sure it was basically Kelly's Heroes with a dash of Three Kings, but dammit, it was funny!

This was in part because characters all played off each other very well. Even though the jokes sometimes fell flat, there was enough charisma that you wanted to see what trouble the boys in Bad Company would get into next. The game never took itself too seriously with it's upbeat, jazzy soundtrack and snarky dialog. This is exactly the kind of self-awareness that I love to see in games.

I was really disappointed that they managed to cock up so badly with BC 2 and lose all the personality the first game had going for it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Twister for the New Millenium

We Dare is a new game by Ubisoft that uses the Wii or PS3 Move to prompt people into awkward sexual positions in the hopes that someones better judgment will be lost. Then again just playing this thing probably confirms it's already happened.

Be warned though, it's only coming out in Europe and Australia. Cause North Americans are prudes and can't handle juvenile sex unless it's coupled with senseless violence.