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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.