RAGE is making me do just that.
It’ll have to wait. I guess I’ll just move along and go back to smaller reviews.
It will induce a certain emotion in you. A very. Very. Angry one.
Alright, let’s get down to business. I haven’t been here in a long time, so I need to catch up before I get going. So let’s pick a few topics.
Industry Hacking: This is a lot of controversy because a number of groups (Primarily Lulzsec now) are targeting videogame headquarters and trying to steal personal information. At the beginning, I didn’t even really care that much because I’ve never owned a credit card, and most, if not all transactions I’ve ever made outside of Steam were made with preloaded gift cards. But even I’m rethinking my security options on a lot of sites. It’s a lot of work to get a new password into the mix for me, because I can never remember the damned thing. This is either a clever ploy to get people to become more secure with their information (With the side effect of massive paranoia), or someone really REALLY doesn’t like videogames, implying that Lulzsec was founded by Jack Thompson.
Duke Nukem Forever: It’s a game alright. I liked it. You should decide for yourself whether or not you do. Any review of this game is asking for a flamewar.
E3: I almost had the opportunity to go to E3. I was taking a trip to California for the week and I only missed out on a connection getting me a pass by about ten hours. But I didn’t. So I went to Video Games Live instead.
Anyways, The Wii U and the Sony Vita. I’m interested, but not enough to shell out my hard-earned cash yet. But if this is the direction we’re going with our consoles, I’d say Nintendo better offer some damned insurance or screen protectors with that controller.
TF2 Updates: Meet the Medic, TF2 is free to play forever, New weapons, game ruined forever. These are the four primary points of the update, according to the fanbase, which is now significantly larger. I get a kick out of people asking for their money back. That’s not how retail sales work, silly. I’m sorry, but bringing in new people can only improve TF2. Sure, you’ll have to deal with people asking questions, and probably more griefers than usual, but the amount of new blood to the system will be a breath of fresh air (And a pool of money) to the series. Also, think of how many of those item developers are going to get good cash for their work now.
Alright, now on to what I’ve been doing.
Catching up on the Assassin’s Creed series:I’m in the middle of II right now, and boy am I having fun. I thought the first game was strong in its own right, but damn! The second one blows it out of the water. I guess I understand why Ezio has so many fangirls now. One issue though, and I want to know if any of you have had this problem: The sound system for II stutters like a beater engine on crack.
And on the subject of sneaky games: I need to fully play through the Thief games, seeing as how I’ve only ever played through about a fifth of one game. Also, finish Hitman: Blood Money.
Nerding out over Skyrim: Don’t really need to tell you about this, but the more I see about Skyrim, the better.
Being disappointed about lack of AAA Co-op titles: Bulletstorm, Red Faction: Armegeddon. Their “Co-op” Is basically PvE in a single map. Haven’t tried Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, yet, and Terrarria is proving to be fun as hell when you get five or six people in it. It gets a bit tiring though in the early stages of a character. But those content updates, mm-mmm. What bugs me about the games with Onslaught-style co-op is that they look like they’re a simple mod away from having Story co-op. But usually the devs close the code up tighter than a tick’s asshole because they’re afraid of cheating or something.
Slowly wanting to see more about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: This is my friend’s fault. He got me into the series. Moving on.
Wondering if Horror games will ever be good again: And if I’ll ever finish Frictional’s series of said games. I keep running out of pants, though.
Being a lucky idiot in New Vegas: It’s a Gamebryo game. Despite all of the engine’s many flaws, they’re still good games and close to my heart. Also, my character is LITERALLY the luckiest idiot.
Alright, so I’ll try to be a bit more responsible with providing all twelve…well, probably down to one and the spambot…of you with new content as things happen. Until then, Happy Summer!
After a few months hard labor, I finally have enough cash set aside to purchase an iPhone!
Well, not really. I bought a Ipod Touch, henceforth referred to as “Touchi”.
I’ve had a good week to sample a large variety of apps and games, and I’ve gotta say: It’s the most convenient platform.
That said, it’s not without its inconveniences. Let’s just start with the general stuff and then move on to game specific examples.
We’ll start with the pros. The screen is nice and big, it’s very responsive, and it feels nice when its clean (I have to keep a cloth handy at all times because my fingers always seem to be dirtying the thing up). On top of that, I am still finding new games for agreeable prices (Free) every day I use it. Furthermore, the device itself allows for playing your own music over a lot of games, which I just think is a good feature.
Those are the good features of the system’s gaming capabilities. For the non-gaming stuff, go somewhere else.
The general cons of the system are minimal, but enough to piss me off. The biggest issue I have is control. Now, for games where the controls are just tap here, or rub here, it’s great. It’s when they put a control pad on the screen that I get pissed off. It just doesn’t work. My fingers move, and without the physical touching of an actual button, I have no idea whether or not my next press will swing my sword, take a step, or do fuck all. Thankfully, very few games I’m interested in use this. However, there’s one, and we’ll get to it later.
Ads. Now, I don’t mind free games for the price of having an ad bar here or there, but Words With Friends (A scrabble-like app, with a free, ad-supported version, and a paid, adless version) commits a grievous sin. It pops up with an ad after EVERY MOVE. Now, this is okay, when you pop a move every five minutes or so. But when you and your friend are playing together, it is the word-game equivalent of reloading your gun and finding out that you have to click “Next” on a pop up to chamber up the next round.
The last thing that gets on my nerves is that every other game has its own game-account system. There’s gamecenter, which comes default on the app, and many games use it to keep track of scores, achievements, etc. I would be fine with that, were it the only one. Instead, every game I download wants to be the next Xbox live with their little friends system and achievement tracking. Only NOBODY’S GOING TO USE THAT SHIT. I skip it every time, and then I find out that some features are denied to me unless I sign up? And then every time I want to log into said feature, I need to re-enter my name and password? Come on! I’m sure this will probably fall under nitpicking, but still! If you’re going to do something like that, at least make it a one-and-done feature, like I make an account and then other games just see “Oh, this guy’s touch has an account with us!”.
Okay, now that I’ve vented, let’s talk games.
First, the big one. Everyone’s talking about Angry Birds. Why? It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the raving that it gets from an outside perspective, right? Well let me ask you something. You ever spend a couple hours playing a random browser game just because it was there and you were bored? That’s Angry Birds. You factor in portability, and the fact that more games come out every couple months, and you’ve got a recipe for success at ninety-nine cents a pop.
It’s your standard physics-catapult-tower-knock-down game, and there really isn’t much to say about it, other than you’ll understand why everyone keeps playing it once you play it for yourself.
Next is a bunch of games by a particular company. Optime Software seems to like making simple games that everyone plays, all for free. I originally downloaded a Sudoku app from them, and I spent a good couple hours messing with it before I decided to check out “Other Games” from the menu. Hoo boy. They have all the games I like to play. You have your few standard board games, chess, checkers, four-in-a-row. Games you play with someone else (I discovered their handiness when waiting with a family member for another family member). Then you have pen-and-paper games, like tic-tac-toe (Naughts and Crosses, for the only British member of our audience, you know who you are), box-in (At least that’s what I called it, they called it dots. Kudos, because I love this game.), hangman, too. They have hearts and war (Another kudos for that), some card games, and then a few other games you’ll have played elsewhere. Frankly, their games are free, mostly ad-free, and they’re the games you’ll play when you’ve got a bored sibling handy, or if you ever burn yourself out on everything else. So I recommend their lineup.
Next is a game I’ve only just started playing, but I love it to bits because it was exactly what I was expecting. WildFrontier is an RPG, and RPGs on the app store are a very mixed bag. I can never tell whether I’m getting a mobile MMO, a final fantasy knockoff, or some town-building sim when I see “Role Playing Game” in the description. This little game was what I wanted, and what I got was a mishmash of Zelda and your typical single-player MMORPG (Complete with little townsfolk and their golden “!”s). You run around on a field, swing your sword, kill bad guys, grab their innards (I haven’t seen an inventory limit yet), and return their bits to people for rewards. It’s short, fun, and you can pick it up and put it down at any time, really. One gripe about it, though. In-app purchases. I came across a store in it, and it sells things you NEED, like swords, and first-aid-kits, and they didn’t really appear to be high-class, either. But they were charging NINETY NINE BLOODY CENTS for each item! When I can buy a whole damn game with that kind of money, it boggles the mind how they can get away with it!
Other than that, there are a few physics puzzlers, a tilt-maze that kept me amused for an hour, lots of remade flash games, and tap tap tappity tap taps galore.
Let me say this. If you’ve been putting off your purchase of an iPhone or iPod Touch for reasons that you think you won’t use it a lot outside of music, put those fears out of your head. There is and will always be a handful of apps for you to amuse yourself with for hours on end. Enjoy.
(Now where’s my money, Steve Jobs?)
I am determined to finish it before I review it.
In the mean time, check out my barely coherent train of internet thought at http://rawrderpandblarg.tumblr.com
Okay, a few weeks ago, my aunt bought a copy of Wheel of Fortune (for the Wii, they missed an opportunity for a good pun there), and gave it to me for the family to play. Now, I like sharing games, but this was just plain hell.
To start, I had to hook up the Wii in the living room, a prospect that’s normally a minor annoyance turned to a fullblown migraine while having to do it with an audience. Of course, there was only two wiimotes, as well (I’d recently sold the third to buy a game), so that split the five players (Me, My brother, my nephew, my dad, my mom) into groups that nobody seemed to think was mathematically correct. We ended up settling my brother, nephew, father on one team, and me and my mother on the other.
Half of my family wears glasses, me included. My brother NEEDS them, but won’t get them. Haven’t a clue about my nephew’s eyes. So my dad tries to start the game from his chair with the wiimote, spends a solid ten minutes doing so, before giving it up to my brother. He takes only slightly longer than anyone who’d played more than one game on the system would. After wrangling with the Mii selections, which were just plain confusing, for all involved, we start the game with our teams.
(No loss intended)
Putting me and my mother on the same team against the others was like putting Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer on the same team against a group of retired croquet players. Of course, this led to squabbles after we ended up 30K+ higher than them on the scoreboard. The game played exactly like you’d expect a Wheel of Fortune Wii game to. You spin with the wiimote, and pick letters, etc etc. I mean, if it’s what you’re looking for, go no further. But don’t play with idiotic siblings. I can’t tell you how many times my brother warranted death threats from me. And then he goes and makes the “Wah-mbulance” siren.
Family hates each other.
God I hate them all.
Seriously, though. Family board games work out fine. But you try to get them to all play a videogame, and it’s like you just suggested we take the family vacation to Gitmo. With accurate results after we play.
You know, the gamer mindset is truly a wondrous thing. Of course, there are a few archetypes.
- The Winner: Gotta get the points, rack up kills, top the scoreboard, etc etc. These guys keep a few select games forever.
- The Player: Enjoys the game for what it is, taking in the story, the scenery, and probably the kind to trade their game back in and buy another, repeat ad infinitum.
- The deviant: These guys love to bend and push the rules of the game. They find more joy in peeling the engine’s skin off and picking at its innards. They move on when they do. Hackers can fall into this category.
All gamers possess elements of all of these. It’s not uncommon to fluctuate from game to game, as well.
The reason I bring this up is because between the three of these, I can’t relax when I play a game. There is always a part of me that will get wrapped up in it. Emotion, curiosity, or just plain competitiveness can and WILL ruin games for me. Not ruin them to unplayability, but ruin the point that it is a GAME. A game meant for fun.
The biggest example of games that are cathartic for me are sandbox games. I can enjoy myself for hours on end in one. Eventually, I get wrapped into the story, and then it becomes an exercise. I can’t begin to describe how many countless hours I’ve lost to the GTA series, but those hours were fun. I’ve probably lost less than ten to the story, and I never completed any of them.
Another example of a game I used to relax with was Half-Life 2. I would just give myself buddha mode, turn the sound down, and put some music on. it would turn into a ballet of bullets for me, and I’d love every moment. Stability issues aside, Smod increased this. Sadly, I can’t seem to bring myself to enjoy the series. Everything source-related has kind of burned me out. I don’t even have the Left4Deads installed anymore, I haven’t touched Team Fortress 2 in probably about a month.
Games have a mysterious habit of drawing me in or pushing me out. I can never just relax in my little comfort zone. If it draws me too far in, I can’t relax because I become mentally invested in the game. Too far out, and I just don’t want to play it.
Oblivion is a game that I can still enjoy. Well, I THINK I can. Jericho and the blog might have damaged that. Or, for all I know, they might have preserved it. I’ll have to wait until I muster the will to play to find out.
Even games meant to relax me, like Chime, have a hard time doing so.
It just seems that gaming is starting to curse me a little bit.
So tell me, what games relax you, and how do they do it?