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Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I am playing

I am overwhelmed with games at the moment and I cannot afford to buy all the games I want neither. It is...well...overwhelming.

Currently I am playing Batman Arkham City. I borrowed it from a friend. It is a much better game than the first one. I didn't like the first one. Too small and too repetitive for me. This one is more open world and HUGE. I am loving it. I love the side missions of Catwoman. I will go into it more later. I need to hurry and finish it so I can return it.

Battlefield 3: I bought it but hubby took it over and I never got to play more than 5 minutes of it. It looks good so far.

Modern Warfare 3: The veteran campaign has not disappointed me. It's hard. Very hard. I like it. People are saying it's a 4 hour trip but I think they are playing on easy. I am 7 hours in and not quite done. I am not a terrible player either. I am pretty damn good. It's quite the challenge. I have only dabbled in multiplayer. I already feel so far behind I am not even sure it's worth playing. I am a level 7 and everyone I get in a game with are 40s and above.

Well those are the big 3 I have right now. I will revisit them when I am further along.

I am a Modern Warfare 3 widow

I am a gamer myself and I love my games. I own my own copy of Modern Warfare 3 as well as my own Xbox 360. However, I feel I must be missing something because I just cannot ignore the life around me when I play like my husband can.

Modern Warfare 3 was released a mere 3 days ago and it has become the mistress under my nose. He started his vacation the same day it was released. It was supposed to start the day after but a fortuitous event gave him an extra day. Since then he has been sitting in front of the downstairs television stomping, yelling, and cursing. You cannot talk to him, he will not hear you. You cannot get an answer, just a monosyllabic grunt. You can try to talk to him between matches but you there just isn't enough time to get a decent response. What is it about this game that turns him into an angry lump that doesn't seem to effect me?

I have a "honey do" list that he and I put together of things he was going to get done while on vacation. Winter is coming and there are things that have to be done before it snows. I now have my serious doubts it will get done. I left for work last night and I don't think he even noticed I was gone until I called him 30 minutes later to let him know I would be home early. I felt it was only right to warn him so he could put his "mistress" back in the game case before I got home.

Certainly there are football widows that will understand what I am talking about. That thing our spouses get passionate about, so passionate that everything else fades into the background. I am so pretty sure that there are husbands or boyfriends complaining about the same thing. However, I am puzzled by the fact it can effect some gamers and not others. Is there a subliminal message embedded in the multiplayer that only effects some people? Let me put it in perspective, he is a level 50 and I am a level 7.

I am thinking of having him bronzed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zombie Prom and Fallout 3

I have been playing Fallout 3 again. I mean I needed to finish it anyway and I am hooked. It really is an amazing game. I even like the DLC. I have spent many hours on it and I am just now getting to the second DLC pack. Everyone I know is playing Batman Arkham City and Battlefield 3, both games I do not own at this time, so why not indulge in a little single player.

I can't get enough Fallout and I really do hope the plans for a Fallout 4 do not fall through. Oh and no multiplayer please.

Tonight I am headed to a Zombie Prom. Not sure what it entails but there are zombies and someone there to do my zombie make up. I am game. I'll have to let everyone know.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mass Effect 3 has disappointed me

I have been very vocal about my love for the Mass Effect series. I loved everything about it. It had a great story. The story would customize itself based on your playing and decisions. You got to transfer your save to the next game in the series and what you did in game one effected game two. I mean it was fantastic.

Now they have gone and did the unthinkable...multiplayer. Why? I mean seriously, why? Mass Effect is a fantastic SINGLE PLAYER game. Why slap a multiplayer on it and say "look how cool we made your game."

I heard the multiplayer rumors about a year ago and was contacted directly by one of the guys working on Mass Effect 3. He said he promised they would not ruin the game I loved so much and yet, that is what they have done. Players worked hard to create their own stories and universes in Mass Effect and now they are asking us to let other people in. I didn't want that. It will ruin the experience. Part of the appeal was the fact that everything I did in the game, every person I spoke to or killed, had some effect on what would happen in the future. Now I have to rely on other people to help me shape the third installment? I do not want that. This is my universe and I don't want anyone else in it. I mean, I managed the impossible in Mass Effect 2...I kept both Jack's and Miranda's loyalty. I have heard that is pretty difficult to accomplish, yet I did it. Why would I want the unknown element of some idiot online to help dictate whether or not I get to defeat the Reapers in Mass Effect 3.

So far the multiplayer reads like a combination of Call of Duty and Gears of War 3. You have 4 player co-op (CoD zombies) to help defeat waves of enemies (CoD zombies, GoW horde) and in process you will earn credits you can use to upgrade your weapons and equipment (CoD Black Ops). Multiplayer will effect your regular game too and somehow play into your ability, or lack of, to defeat the Reapers. I own those 2 games already and if I wanted to play them, I would. I needed Mass Effect for that much needed break from online multiplayer.

Anyone who has played a game that has a decision based element to and and co-op knows the risks. Let's take Fable 2 for example. We were all excited by the drop in/out co-op until people would join and start killing innocents, making your "good" game go "bad" and making the Fable worls fear you. It would make you lock your game down so people couldn't join. It was a pain and you know it.

Now we are being asked to do the same thing, then to add insult to injury, you will need to have EA's infamous online pass to play. Of course buying the game new means you'll get it in copy or at least it had better, but if you get it used or have more than one console and account, you'll have to shell out $10 to play. I think they just added multiplayer so they could charge this little fee. Next thing we will see is the "Season Pass" for however much money so we can get the first however many DLC packs for a discount price. If the internet can give an idea of how people feel about this, I am not the only person that isn't happy. Most Mass Effect fans are very upset.

I am so disappointed in the direction Mass Effect has gone that I am tempted to give up my Collector's Edition and not play Mass Effect 3. I am starting to think that single player games are dying out due to the almighty dollar. The big developers like EA have forgotten to listen to the players and what the players want because they feel that adding multiplayer will bring in more buyers and they'll make more money. News flash, those die hard FPS players that didn't like nor play Mass Effect before, aren't going to play it now.

Oh and thanks for lying to me and ruining my game. It doesn't matter how good the multiplayer turns out to be, you ruined the essence of my game, the single player experience.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs' passing

As everyone knows, the nerd world lost one of it's greatest yesterday, Steve Jobs. Now I could have an entire blog post listing everything he ever did or invented but that isn't what I am after.

Steve Jobs was one of the 2 greatest visionaries in the tech world. I consider Bill Gates the other one. Love or hate Apple products, you still have to give Steve props for everything he accomplished.

Without him, our technological world would be entirely different. He wanted technology to be innovative and accessible. He achieved that so many times over. I can remember when I was in 6th grade, learning a basic programming language on an Apple computer. There was a van full of them that would travel from school to school because schools just didn't have the budgets back them for computer labs. This was long before the Mac too. Yes I am dating myself. Just pretend I am 20-something.

The tech world will be a darker place without Steve Jobs lighting it up. I don't know that there is anyone that is "up and coming" that will be able to take his place and be as imaginative has he was.

He was an amazing man and the world will miss him.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gears of War 3

I have finally finished the campaign and all I can say is, well done! The final battle is way more epic than the less than stellar boss battle in Gears of War 2 and much harder than Raam in Gears 1.

I love the new characters especially Sam. The dialogue that they scripted between her and Baird is awesomely funny. Plus she is sarcastic and I am afraid to admit it, but I am the same way. She just appealed to me. There are lots of loose ends that are tied up and a couple of sad moments but the story is engaging and I found myself not wanting to stop playing because I had to see what happened next.

Graphics are much improved. They paid more attention to the backgrounds this time too so the environments are richer and more detailed.

Multiplayer...well I have never been a fan but they have some modes to do like. Beast Mode is my favorite. You get to be the locusts and you have to kill all the humans within a certain time limit. Managed to get together with some friends and beat all 12 waves on Insane. I am pretty proud of that. Of course Horde Mode is always fun. I like Warzone. It's like Team Deathmatch but you only get one life. King of The Hill is another one I like. Wingman is only fun if you are with friends or someone that is talking. My wingman died right off the bat and left me to fend off the others by myself. Capture the Leader is basically getting to the enemy leader and holding them hostage until the timer counts down. Then you kill them and your team wins.

Of course Team Death Match is there and I am still not a huge fan. I'll try it again and see what happens. Execution is difficult. You have to kill with an execution and you get 1 life.

This version of Gears has something new, tons of weapon skins and I mean tons. They have everything from rainbows and lightning. The problem with it is, you have to buy them. If you're on Xbox Live and you want every single skin, it's going to cost you 3600 points. To put it in perspective, it's $50 for 4000 points. They also have a "season pass." It's 2400 points and will get you the first 4 DLC packs. Now Gears DLC is notoriously expensive and they have said buying the season pass will save you 33% in the long run.

All and all, this game did not disappoint me and I definitely think it is worth picking up especially if you played the other 2 and want to know how the story ends.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some news

I am trying a new venture and have started writing for www.sfx-360.com as a junior staff writer. It's definitely a nerve wracking experience for me since I do not consider myself a writer. I am just a person that has stuff to say about the things that go in her head and around her person. They seem to see something in my blog they liked so here I am.

So far I have done a press release and I finished an article about 2 porn-stars starting an adult webcam service you can watch while they play video games, topless. It was something that was going to go here because I didn't know if sfx-360 would be interested in something rather inflammatory but they did.

I will still be blogging, so don't worry. I will have Gears 3 in my hands next week and I am sure I'll have something to say about it.

Please feel free to look over the sfx-360 site. They do more than just games.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What makes you "hot?"

So I was at work last night and there was a maintenance crew there consisting for 4 guys. I think only one of them was barely over 30. They were discussing the new Gears of War 3 game and how excited they were it was coming out.

Of course as soon as they noticed me, they stopped talking about games like they were embarrassed. To alleviate this, I told them how excited I was it was coming out and how I was a huge gamer too. They started chatting me up a bit and talking about how cool it was I played games too and not just flash games but real games. As I was leaving the theater they were working in, I overheard one guy say that "a girl is instantly hot if she plays video games."

I am instantly hot just based on the fact I can stick a grenade to your head in a game? That is kind of cool. However, I don't think that rule would apply if I was 600lbs and have warts all over my body. Plus, if this were a true statement, I wouldn't have to put up with being called fat, ugly or slutty when I am playing online. Men are not logical creatures apparently.

This got me thinking about the definition of the word hot. My husband will tell you the fact I play video games (and am pretty good at them), drink good beer and am decidedly attractive (in his opinion) makes me hot. He also thinks I am pretty intelligent and have a strong personality (not sure this is a compliment) so at least there is some substance there. We've been married 18 years so it must work, right? Some men will say a hot woman looks like a Barbie and likes to be a trophy or likes to do girlie things, like shop. I will confess I am a tomboy at heart and used to play G.I Joe/He-Man with the boys. As well as old school D&D. I even have 20-sided fuzzy dice hanging from my rear view mirror.

I am rambling but bear with me, I worked last night and haven't had much sleep. Basically I was wondering why couldn't being considered "hot" be as simple as playing video games. Why does being hot have to be complicated and involve so many requirements? My need for a guy to be hot is pretty simple, respect. I must have his respect and he must have mine. I cannot be with someone I cannot respect.

I wonder if those guys would think I was just as "hot" if they knew I was nearing 39 years old. I do not look my age and I am pretty proud of that fact. Girls, stay out of the tanning booths, it ages you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dead Island

I will be the first to admit that the first trailer released for Dead Island made my jaw drop. It was poignant and truly heart wrenching. However, I was on the fence about the game itself.

I was worried it would be too much like Dead Rising. I apologize to all the Dead Rising fans out there but I found that game grinding and boring. Plus I detest timed missions. When I play a game I like to explore everything not get jammed into a linear experience contained within a 15 minute time limit. Plus, I thought the story was weak.

So back to Dead Island, I confess I love the game. It reminds me of Fallout meets Left 4 Dead with a little Borderlands sprinkled in. It is a zombie hack-n-slash RPG or that is the best way to describe it. The fighting mechanics remind me of Fallout 3 and the whole zombie experience, Left 4 Dead. The Borderlands aspect comes in with the co-op and the weapons. You have missions to complete like Fallout and Borderlands.

You can play as one of four characters, each with their own back story and strengths. You are on a resort island and the island has become infected with...something. You are immune to turning into a zombie but you can die. If you do die, you lose some money and respawn near the area you died. You get to find mods and create new weapons. I am fond of anything that shocks.

Now the overall gameplay is pretty sweet though I find I use my kick almost endlessly to keep zombies form touching me. Plus it doesn't use stamina like weapons do. If you have zero stamina, you cannot swing a weapon leaving you open to attack. You can pick up med kits but to use them you must use an equip slot, reducing the number of weapons you can have ready to use. Energy drinks, snacks and fruit are lying around but you use them as soon as you pick them up. No collecting.

Now for my beefs, there are some coding issues within the game. I have had missions chosen and couldn't get the NPC to talk to me that I was supposed to be talking to. I was required to exit and reload my game to get it to work. It happened a second time yesterday but I haven't had a chance to reload it to see if it's working now. I had to go to work.

The other issue is throwing weapons. If you throw a weapon at a zombie, when it dies you can go pick it up...in theory. However, if that zombie happens to die and land in a bush, you are out of luck. Your weapon is gone forever. It doesn't seem possible you can't get a weapon out of a bush but there you have it. Of course there are graphical issues and weird little glitches (I got stuck on a railing and couldn't move) but those can hardly be unexpected.

Co-op is smooth when people join and exit but again, it could be better. The people joining the game cannot see the mission map so the host has to lead everyone. The only way to close your game is from the main menu. You cannot just change your setting while in game even though there is an options menu with it listed. It would be nice if you could open and close your game as you needed to without exiting completely. Fable 2 managed to do this so it's not an impossible request.

Also, the cut scenes and dialogue isn't coded for each character and only 1 player. All cut scenes feature all four characters and the character I am playing as (Xian) is female but dialogue often refers to me as male. Then there are respawn issues. I have been killed and then respawned right in the middle of a mob of zombies or right next to a Thug/Suicide/Ram zombies and have been killed again instantaneously. This gets very frustrating since you lose money each time you die and you need money to repair you melee weapons, upgrade weapons and create weapons.

You will also have human enemies as well as zombies to contend with. Humans have guns. Guns kill. You've been warned. Guns are actually easy to find, ammo is not. You can only carry a limited amount of ammo with you, say 50 rounds for a pistol. Be careful with your ammo.

All that aside, this is a game worth picking up and playing. Though you really should get a friend to play with you, at least once you hit level 23. I am getting my rear end kicked by zombies. I don't think there is a game out there where I am have died so often. I think I actually screamed out in frustration at one point yesterday because of an escort mission. I'd get killed, I'd respawn and then then person I was escorting would get killed so I'd have to reload from the last checkpoint.

This game can be long or short depending on how you play it. If you want to do all the side missions, you will be playing for awhile. Some parts of the main story require you to complete side missions so be prepared for that.

Confessions of a married gamer

I am going to take my blog into a little different direction since games are few and far between some months. Yes, you'll still be able to read all my opinions on the games that I buy but I am going to add some personal stuff in here. Nothing too personal and nothing too serious, just fun things I think about when I am working at night.

Now I do have 5 children and 3 of them are female. It was taken for granted the boys would be gamers since society says boys play games. However, I made sure to teach my girls to appreciate games and gamers even if they didn't play themselves. Both my girls do play a bit, one more than the other but whomever they decide to spend their futures with will be happy they at least understand gaming. I can't stand girls (yes there are some guys but we'll focus on females here) that sit and pout because their husband or boyfriend is playing a video game and not spending every free second paying attention to them and catering to their every whim. She expects him to give her free time to do things she likes whether he likes it or not but heaven forbid he wants the same thing. I have had friends whose wives had said they had to sell their gaming set ups. Seriously? She should sell her shoes then.

I labor under the idea that if you can't beat them, join them. This goes for gaming too. I was never into FPS games until my husband became obsessed with Halo 3 and Call of Duty. I finally got tired of waiting for my turn at the Xbox and joined him on Halo 3. I didn't throw a tantrum, I didn't pout and I didn't cry. I put on my big girl pants and dealt with it. Now I like FPS games and have my own Xbox (I still don't like to wait my turn).

Being a married gamer has its advantages too. I have been married 18 years now. People often ask me what our secret is since we were married extremely young. By all accounts we should be divorced already. Well let me let you in on a little secret...video games. We play together. We will sit and watch each other play games and offer advice or help solve problems. We are a team in games and this helps us be a team in life and if he pisses me off, I can sneak into his Call of Duty game and kill him repeatedly. That always makes me feel better. It's true. I admit it. I do that. Nothing helps you get over anger faster than headshots on the person you are mad at. I never go to bed angry. I confess I mute him when he is being a whiny baby about being killed.

Because we have 5 kids, we do not get to go out much. So gaming is our date. So that means we date practically every day. We do have our own interests like he skateboards and I do counted thread embroidery but we do like to spend time together. I confess we are the "cool" parents and my kids love and hate that. They can't complain about us to their friends when they are mad because their friends want us to be their parents but they do love the fact their friends think we are cool.

I confess I love the fact that because I play video games, men are jealous of my husband. They are always asking him how he got me to start playing. He has to tell them he didn't get me to start playing, I was already playing when he met me. I do offer these poor souls advice on how to get their girls interested in gaming but until we stop looking at video games and a "guys only" club, it will be difficult. This is why I took such pains with my daughters and gaming.

Now don't get the wrong idea about us, we are not a fat couple sitting on the couch, eating chips and being slovenly. We are active and tidy. We are responsible and reliable. I am proud of the fact after 5 kids I still maintain a size 4-6 pant. That isn't easy to do but I will confess I'd rather play a game than go for a jog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dead Island

I did have my husband pick this game up for me today and I did spend an hour playing it but unfortunately, I have the flu and cannot sit here and type my blog entry.

I'll try tomorrow if I am feeling better. Been sick about 5 days now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Long break

Well I am getting into the groove of being a night owl and the kids will be back in school soon. Well most of them have already gone back but I still have 1 more to go.

The summer is a terrible season for video games too. Not much is released and definitely not much I am interested in playing. Though I did pick up The Baconing from Hothead Games. You can download it from the XBL arcade. This is the third installment of the DeathSpank games and totally worth the 1200 points. This one is harder to play that's for sure. I have died several times already. You cannot beat the humor in the series. Very adult and double entendre.

Other than that, I am waiting for Dead Island to release September 6th. I am also getting that nifty Star Wars Xbox.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Working nights

I am working nights and it's really kicking my rear end. I work 4-5 days a week from 12:30am to 4:30am. I feel like I spend all my time trying to sleep now. It will get better but my blog has been suffering for it.

I have played more of Bastion and I am in love. I really recommend downloading this one. It feels good to play an old style dungeon crawler and to have the comedic narration makes it even more worth it.

From Dust is really making my brain hurt. I mean it. I am a smart cookie but this game has me scratching my head sometimes. You have to be able to solve problems by looking at things from the least obvious ways.

I downloaded Fancy Pants Adventure for the younger kids. This is a flash game turned XBL arcade game. It's simple and silly. You are a stick figure looking for your kidnapped sister. You get to wear pants. It's a side scroller. You can have up to 4 people playing split screen so it's definitely a family game. It was on sale for 400 points so it was cheap and worth 400 points. It's not a spectacular game at all but it is a good, easy family game.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Borderlands 2, Bastion, From Dust and more

The big announcement today was the official word from the powers that be that there will be a Borderlands 2. Now Borderlands was a game people seemed to either like or hate. There didn't seem to be a middle ground. Personally, I liked it and I can't wait to play another one. I played the hell out of the first one. Hopefully they keep the same graphics style since that is what made the game unique and added to the experience of playing. It will be out "the new fiscal year" so that means 2012. I am willing to bet it will be around Christmas.

The Xbox Arcade has gotten some really cool games this summer. Yes, some are available for the PS3 as well.

Bastion is a "dungeon crawler" type of game that reminds me of older system games like Sword of Vermilion and Soul Blazer. Typical story, you are a hero in a ruined world and you must rebuild it. They did away with the complicated items menus and whatnot, making it a very easy game to pick up and play even if you don't like RPG/Adveture games. The graphics are lovely and cartoon-y but the best part, the game narrates EVERYTHING you do in a comical way. You see a fountain, you drink and the game says "everyone gets thirsty sometimes."

From Dust is also on both platforms. This one reminds me of a Civilization games but simplified. You are the Breath and you must help the people make villages and create the world. You will have timed missions and you can fail. Trust me, my village was wiped out by a tidal wave because I didn't get them to where they needed to be (to learn repeal water) fast enough. It will make you think and you will need to be good at problem solving. It's addictive though. There are subtitles since the game seems to be narrated in an African dialect. I don't know if it is in fact a real dialect but that is what it sounds like to me.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a gorgeous game. I really mean that, gorgeous. It is a side scrolling, artistically genius, puzzle adventure. In all reality, there really isn't a true category for this game. It's wonderful. You are a ship and you will find artifacts, build tools and try to save your planet/world. Again, you will have to think and each tool can be used to solve a variety of puzzle types. There will be boss battles too. Who said boss battles were a thing of the past?

All three of these games have demos you can download and try before you buy.

L.A. Noire is a game I am still playing and trying to finish. Now that I have played more of it, the more I love it. The cases are getting longer and harder to get 100% correct. I am about halfway through the 95 cars I need to find and I just discovered I have hidden shields to look for too. Add to that film reels and street crimes, and I have a ton of work to do still. The stories are engrossing and I like the methodical pace of the game. Still have the driving mechanics. Sorry but I do. I have said it before, I am not a fan of racing games so I find overly sensitive driving controls frustrating especially during the chases. Your siren is pretty much pointless since even if you have it on some dumb car will cross your path or stop in front of you causing you to crash or lose momentum, thus losing the car you were chasing. It's a pain.

I played an older game last night, that belongs to my daughter. I was running on 3 hours of sleep and needed something simple to play since I was overtired and couldn't sleep. Working nights sucks sometimes. Anyway, it was Bayonetta. Bayonetta is a button masher, fighting game like Devil May Cry with a thinner story and strippers. Okay she's supposed to be a witch but come on, we all know she is really a pole dancer for her day job. This game was written by men, for men. I found myself laughing and shaking my head. It's fun to play, for something really simple, but do we need the moaning when her clothes get sliced, the stripper dances/walks and suggestive taunts? Plus she looks a lot like Sarah Palin, which I find truly disturbing. The game is truly ridiculous.

My new goal is getting one of the Star Wars Limited Edition Xbox 360s. Sick I know but I have to have it. I grew up on Star Wars, the original 3...the good movies, and this just speaks to my little geek heart. I'll have to trade in my Kinect since it comes with one but I really need this system.

Now I had last night off, so I got some sleep. Need to do some laundry and get on and play something. Hard part is what to choose?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

L.A. Noire

I finally picked up L.A. Noire. I am cheap, actually I am the mother of 5 and usually broke, but I got a nice deal on this copy.

So far, I really, really like it. Rockstar finally made a game I like. I am not a fan of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption felt like GTA with horses. Do not get angry because I said that because it is just my opinion. Red Dead felt like they just slapped a western theme over GTA.

At any rate, I really like L.A. Noire. It is a slow paced game and very methodical. You really have to pay attention to the actions of the characters in the game and every decision you make has a bearing on the story and ending. If you restart a mission, subtle changes happen. Anything from the clothing NPCs are wearing to conversations going on around you.

You are a police officer and eventually become a detective. You find clues and questions people to solve various crimes throughout 1940s Hollywoodland. Rockstar did their research! As a California transplant, I have driven the streets they show in the game and they nailed it.

There are other side things to do like find 95 cars, movie reels and newspapers. It is pretty open world in the sense you can drive to any place you want to. There is a linear storyline though. I still am not a fan of Rockstar's driving mechanics and they have not changed at all for the driving in this game.

The thing that really impressed me was the facial animations. I haven't seen a game that has been able to capture the subtleties of eyebrow movements, forehead wrinkling, and other small facial nuances the way Rockstar has. The mouths moves when speaking and the shape of the mouths when forming the words is absolutely stunning.

You have the option to wear different suits and there is even an option to play the game in black and white, noire style.

If you are looking for a GTA/Red Dead style, fast paced shoot'em up, this is not the game for you. If you want a game that will absorb you and make you use your mind, pick this up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bulletstorm!

YES! Thank you EA for your wonderful Insider Deals. I was able to pick this up for $16 and free shipping.

I haven't played much yet but what I have done is just plain, psychotic fun. They did try for a campaign and that was cute but frankly, the game is all about killing and being creative about it. I don't think anyone cares about the story.

I need to pick up the 2 DLC packs for multiplayer. What I have played is pretty simple. You and 3 other people try to reach a certain number of points in a round, try to get that bonus kill type too, to move on to the next round.

There are 5 difficulties and profanity, lots of profanity. The dialogue is hysterical and makes you want to hear more even if the story is weak. Again, though, this is NOT a story driven game so it doesn't effect the game at all.

I need to get Shadows of the Damned too. I wish I could find an epic deal on that one.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alice: Madness Returns

My best guy friend from California is visiting right now and he brought me a surprise, Alice: Madness Returns. He knew I had been wanting it but had been on the fence about buying since the reviews of it have been in the 6-6.5/10 range.

Well let me just say, I am glad he did. I don't think the game has been reviewed fairly by the gaming industry at all. I have seen reviews whining about the graphics but to me, the way the graphics are designed lends itself to the twisted nursery rhyme aspect of the game. Basically, I think they are artistic and I think that was lost on some people, sort of like how the graphics in Borderlands was lost on some players. People griped and moaned they were sub-par but honestly, they were perfect for the game and were artistically the way the designer wanted them. The voice acting is good as well. I am not going to say these people are up for Oscars but it's better than a majority of games. Cheshire Cat's voice practically purrs.

The controls can be difficult and don't respond as well as I would like. Having to hit LT and A to get an umbrella out to deflect a fireball can easily end up being A to jump instead because the 2 buttons were not hit at the same time. That does get old. I like the fact I can dodge (RB) and it actually works. The pepper grinder could be easier to aim, or I should say quicker to aim but maybe I have become spoiled by auto aim.

The game play is challenging, even frustratingly so with some boss battles. Yes, you read that right, boss battles. I just read an article about how games don't have boss battles anymore. Really? Maybe they should try playing this. In true, old school gaming fashion, the enemies get harder and there are boss battles. Those bosses eventually become routine enemies and replaced by bigger, badder, harder bosses.

It is a hack-and-slash, platformer but the story is rich and there are many small things to accomplish so you don't get bored. I probably played about 10-12 hours today and I haven't even finished Chapter 2, so it is A long-ish game. You can read Alice's "medical record" and get the backstory as to what exactly happened to Alice.

This Alice follows Lewis Carrol's story more and not the Disney-fied version. It's dark and so is the humor. You will bounce between Wonderland and England, as Alice tries to regain what she has lost, her memory.

Now I am far from being finished but so far the one thing that I have learned to thoroughly dislike about this game is timed switches. Trust me, after trying the same switch 6-10 times you'll want to chuck your controller through the TV too. I am playing on normal and I can't even begin to imagine trying to finished this game on Hard or Nightmare. Normal is completely challenging.

I downloaded my copy of the original Alice compliments of EA and it made me happy. There was the game I remember playing. They cleaned up the graphics but you can tell it's an older PC game. It seems to have ported well to console though and I recommend playing it.

All and all, though I don't think this game is a 10 or even an 8 (more like a 7-7.5) I think it's great game all and all. It's worth buying and playing. So go grab a copy of Alice.

This isn't the first time I have disagreed with the "gaming media experts" and it won't be the last I am sure. I still think Modern Warfare 2 was totally overrated.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I know I have been quiet *Zed's Alchemy*

I have been so terribly busy lately and I haven't had time to breathe, mush less blog. Even my Twitter feed has been quiet. Don't worry though, I am still alive.

All the kids are out of school for the summer and they all have so much they need to do. I have to get my 2nd oldest ready for her first semester in college. My 13 yr old is in marching band and boy scouts and I still have to finish the paperwork for the 4 yr old to start kindergarten in the fall. Don't worry, he'll be 5 by then. My oldest, 20, is off the Florida in a couple of weeks and I am having a birthday party for the 1 yr old today. Whew!

New maps for Call of Duty come out on Tuesday and I am excited. Has anyone noticed that Firing Range is coming up more than normal? I swear I played about 20 rounds on it. It's the new Nuketown. It's fun until it's all you get. Treyarch released an update too that "nerfed" the Famas. I have noticed subtle differences when I use it, such as it bounces a little more and is less accurate. Other people don't seem to have been effected by the update at all. I, for one, have learned to love my Comando.

I found a new addiction too. It's a mobile game called Zed's Alchemy. Who knew something so simple could be so consuming. It's free and everyone should have it. Basically, you start with 4 elements; fire, water, earth and air. You can can combine those elements to create new ones. The you can combine those with the original ones or new ones to create more. So far some of my favorite ones are sushi, Twilight Saga, snail and Plankton. Yes THE Plankton. It's ridiculously fun. Though I do think I should be able to combine clock and lightning to get DeLorean. Might have to suggest that to the creators.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Overwhelming E3

I had to get some actual work done, so I have finally finished gleaning what I wanted from E3.

The new Wii U looks interesting but it was confirmed today that it will not play DVDs nor Bluray. Nintendo has said they feel everyone has enough DVD and Bluray players so it's not needed. Frankly, they should have asked me about that. I get questions almost daily at work asking if the Wii plays DVDs or Bluray. People want one system that does it all. I own a PS3 for that reason. They should have put it in there. I know they don't want to because it'll keep the final cost down but, I still think it's a mistake.

Alice: Madness Returns released with really bad reviews about the gameplay. I didn't pick it up yet because of that. I think I'll wait a little bit and see what comes of it. I haven't heard if the story was good or not. They didn't like the graphics and game style though. Bummer.

Uncharted 3 looks epic as does Mass Effect 3. These are on my must buy list and I have money down on ME3 already. I am going to pick up the recently announced collector's edition. I could kick myself for not getting the collector's edition for ME2. If anyone has one lying around, feel free to send ti to me. You can keep the game. I want everything else, unused. *cheesy smile*

Gears of War 3 was all over the buzz of E3 and while I will get this, I am not a fan of the multiplayer so I didn't care about that. I want to play the story and see the conclusion.

Star Wars: The Old Republic looks amazing as well. I haven't been much into the Star Wars games (like Force Unleashed) but this drew my attention. I will have to watch this one closely.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim is another one that might get me to play a game I am not into. I tried to play Morrowind and Oblivion but I couldn't get into it. Maps were too large, graphics sub par and I spent most of my time wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out where the hell I was supposed to be going. Skyrim looks gorgeous. They fixed the ugly graphics and changed up the mechanics.

Still interested in Bioshock Infinite. After the disappointment that was Bioshock 2, I am looking forward to leaving Rapture.

Halo 4? Ummmm yeah. 343i is putting this next Halo game together and the fanboys are dancing with glee. I think I'll take a pass on this one. I wasn't impressed with Reach, I know that's blasphemy, but I wasn't. It just seemed like a retooling of Halo 3. ODST was fine but not what I was expecting. Graphics weren't that great. Now Bungie isn't even doing it and I have no interest.

Speaking of Bungie, they have a new super secret something called Bungie Aerospace. They haven't said what it is but it's coming. Most think it's their new game franchise.

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword will be bought, even if it's just tradition to do so. I can always expect something solid from a Zelda game.

Sony Vita, the new PSP. I'll probably wait a bit on this like I did with the PSP. Nothing makes me scream I MUST HAVE IT.

I have gotten back into Borderlands. I really like the comic books graphics and I wish they'd put something out again, similar, not necessarily a sequel. I like the fact the enemies get harder as you rank up, a second playthrough mode that is on par with your skills and weapons that actually do get better with you. The characters are memorable and fun. Actually I wish they'd release a full Moxxi outfit for XBLA avatars and not just the hat. I'd so buy it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

E3 is dropping the news

I have been gleaning information on all the announcements on E3 but I know I haven't seen it all yet. I have been busy today but a few things that caught my eye are:

Mass Effect 3 collector's edition announced and Kinect voice controls? Okay, now how cool is that! I can tell my squad where to go rather than fiddling with the controls and praying they go where I want them to or do what I did and completely ignore that aspect of the game. The collector's edition will be $79.99 and the game comes out March 6, 2012. There will be downloadables, art book, comic book and N7 patch. Bioware loves to give the goodies! I could kick myself for not getting the collector's edition of Mass Effect 2. I would have loved Reaper Armor.

Modern Warefare 3 gameplay trailer. Well, I am still on the fence here. I am glad they clarified all the rumors of Elite (I still won't be buying it) but the trailer did not impress me. I'll wait for more.

Battlefield 3: looking good. I am truly excited about this one. Find the trailer and watch.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim: I am not a fangirl of Elder Scrolls but this looks gorgeous. I think they finally worked out the wonky graphics. Again, I'll be watching this.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sony's Welcome Back package is up

Sony is true to their word and have brought up the Welcome Back Package. This means 2 free PS3 games, 2 free PSP games, 30 days of Playstation Plus, 3 free movie rentals and 100 items for Playstation Home.

I admit it, I downloaded Infamous and just spent the better part of 5 hours playing it. I love it. Now I never bought it because it looked too much like other games that I didn't care for. Dang it. Now I am going to have to look into getting Infamous 2. The controls are pretty solid once I got used to the controls on PS3 as opposed to Xbox 360.

The storyline is playing out well and keeps me wanting to play to find out what exactly is going on. It took me a minute or two to figure out how the upgrades work but I have it now. The environments are rich and I don't feel like I am contained in a linear format at all. Add to all this things to collect and side missions, you get hours of gameplay.

I messed around a bit with Dead Nation as well. I like the game's simplicity. You have guns, you kill zombies and try to get to the check point. It has multiplayer but I haven't tried it yet.


Hubby has his own PSN account and downloaded the other 2 games we didn't have and it wasn't Little Big Planet. Whatever the other two were, I'll play them in the future and see if I like them. We have the PSP games too so I'll have to give those a nose. However, someone lost my PSP charger. I need to find it so I can play it. I also need some memory sticks.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Double dipping my wallet? Shame on you Activision!

I just read an article that confirms that Activision is going to offer a 'subscription based service' for Call of Duty called 'Elite.' Details are sketchy on exactly what you will get if you are Elite but they murmured something about map packs and extras.

So let me get this straight...if you are a Modern Warfare 3 player on the Xbox Live service, you not only get to pay for Xbox Live but now you get to pay for Elite too if you want access to maps and better weapons? Seriously? This also seems to mean that if you do not pay for the Elite service you will be handicapped in the game by your inferior weapons and load out options. So basically, pay or be completely annihilated until you finally get a decent load out but you still can't have the other maps. PS3 users won't feel the pain as much since the PSN is free and it should be back up by the November release. (I still love you Sony)

Of course Activision is quick to point out that multiplayer will still be free. Wow. Just wow. They haven't said how much it will cost but hey, will it really be worth it to pay $60 a yr for XBL and then this monthly fee? They aren't "worried about a pushback from gamers." They should be.

I was on the fence about buying this game as it was, now I am thinking I am definitely going to skip this mess. Let me recommend Battlefield 3 as an option. The Battlefield games are pretty solid and tons of fun to play. Oh and it hasn't announced a subscription fee.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 information has been taking over the internet. The excitement over the release date being announced amused me. Really? Were we really surprised that it will be released around Veteran's Day this year? I mean hasn't every other COD game been released around Veteran's Day...every year or did I miss something. I knew 8 months ago it when it was being released. I guess I should have told the industry and not kept it a secret. So this will be the first edition for Sledgehammer and Raven. It supposed to be picking up the storyline right were Modern Warfare 2 left off.

I will be honest, I am not sure how I feel about this one. Modern Warfare 2 was such a complete and total letdown for me. The campaign was short, easy and mediocre. The story left me unfulfilled and I was kind of bored. Play it on Veteran you say? I did. Still too easy. Then the multiplayer was such a failure and it took Infinity Ward forever to fix it. I never made it past the first prestige and left it to play Battlefield Bad Company 2. Usually we try to buy 2 copies of the COD games at release so the husband and I can play together but I think I am going to wait. I'll order one copy and if it doesn't turn out to be a waste of money, I'll grab another copy. No I do not split screen if I do not have to. I am stingy. I like having my whole TV to myself. Hey, I am nice enough to give the husband the TV in the living room and I play in the bedroom. He gets the bigger TV.

Bits and pieces

Some random things I have seen across the 'net today since I have been way too swamped with work to actually play. Okay I snuck in some rounds of Bejeweled Blitz while trying to get the baby to sleep last night. That doesn't count!

Let's start with Alice. My friends over at SFX-360 posted some video of the new Alice: Madness Returns gameplay. I will agree with them that it does look like Dante's Inferno meets Devil May Cry but I have high hopes it will be much better. I do have a soft spot for Alice since playing the first one on the PC many moons ago. I admit I like odd games as well as dark ones. If you can combine them both, I am a very happy girl. My fear is that transitioning a PC game to console like this, especially one as old as Alice, might take away from of immersive experience of the original. Of course I am still getting it and I will totally be downloading the free copy of the original Alice from EA. The frosting on a very tasty cake.

I checked out some extended gameplay of Dead Island as well. It's first person, ala Left 4 Dead, and there will be missions. The missions seem to be received in a similar fashion as the Fallout ones. Basically you find someone to talk to and you get a mission from them. I can't tell if you can choose to do them or not, or if it is more linear and you are required to do all the missions. Granted, I tend to do all missions anyway but it's nice to have a choice. Again, this is a game that is on my radar and I look forward to seeing more. Probably will at E3.

E3? Yes, E3 is right around the corner and I will be glued to the 'net and my TV gleaning as much information as I can about everything I find important. I will be watching for the Wii 2 announcement too. The rumor of a "pad" based controller has my intrigued. Please E3 give me more information on Uncharted 3 and Mass Effect 3.

Portal 2 is due for some DLC I hear. Of course it's "due out this summer" but that could be Valve time and not real people time. I hope the PSN is back up and running completely before then for my PS3 brethren. The DLC will be FREE!

So speaking of Uncharted 3, let's talk about the movie. Fans, our prayers have been answered...Mark Wahlberg is out as Nathan Drake. I think he is a talented actor but just not right for the part. Now where is Nathan Fillion? He is the ultimate Nathan Drake. David O. Russel is also out as director and though he is a gifted director, the family dynamic comments really turn me off. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect a movie to be exactly like the game I love but I do expect the movie to stay true the the game characters and feel. I hope they don't get THAT director that is infamous for his rotten game movies.

There is going to be a new Deathspank game and a new 'Splosion Man as well. Okay it'll be Ms.'Splosion Man but you get the idea. The Deathspank games are quirky and fun. The humor is decidedly adult and he is definitely the clueless hero. They aren't easy games though. They will challenge you. Trust me. I am stuck right now. Stupid giant monsters that kill me. 'Splosion Man is just simple fun with a character that seems like he's had too much sugar. It'll work your brain and offer some frustration.

I really think people should check out the arcade games on the consoles. Sure there are hundreds and many aren't worth downloading but there really are some gems that are worth spending the money or points for. Most have demos so you can try before you buy.

The PSN is partially up now. The store was still not open as of a couple of days ago. Hopefully it will be up soon. I am standing behind Sony and I think they have handled everything well. They have offered information and the welcome back package is impressive. I hope they recover and people will not abandon them. The PS3 is a great system and now that they retooled Home, it's a much better experience as well. I have been having fun visiting the different areas and earning free junk for my apartment and avatar.

The newest trending gaming seems to be the F2P games. F2P is free to play for those that might no know. This is supposed to offer a way for people to play online multiplayer games for free with the option to spend money for better items or upgrades in the game. This appears like a great idea on the surface and it might be in some games but in others, it is a nightmare for those that choose to not pay. Let's take Battlefield. I jumped into their F2P game and wow, if you don't buy the upgrades, you don't even have a chance. You will be mowed down by people that have bought the best of everything. I couldn't even get out of my team's spawn and didn't stay alive for more than a couple of seconds. Needless to say, I haven't really been back. I don't mind a challenge or some frustration but I hate not having fun. There is a point when frustration stops being fun.
I have recently discovered that people actually read this blog. I knew Blake did, but there are others. I am flattered and thank you very much for plowing through my ramblings. I don't consider myself an expert by any means. I am just a gamer sharing my hobby and passion. Please keep reading and feel free to point me to other games you think I might like or should try out.