Resident Evil Launch Party

March 21, 2009 at 3:22 am (Uncategorized)

My brother and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Resident Evil pre-launch party. Reps from Capcom and Microsoft attended and it was quite spectacular seeing the people who made the game breeze through it like Albert Wesker was their bitch. Most importantly, We got a copy of the game and it is everything you could possibly imagine a Resident Evil game to be: tons of unlockables, fabulous boss battles, and a large repitoire of weapons, including a grenade launcher that hold 6 diferent kinds of rounds. There will be a more thorough review of the game after a few more playthroughs.

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Thank you SA Studios for throwing one hell of a party.

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Late Night W/ Jimmy Fallon

March 3, 2009 at 9:18 am (TV)

Oh, how we miss you Conan!

It’s only been one episode and Jimmy Fallon is unbearable.  I suppose we’ve been spoiled with a talk show host with actual wit and originality for the past decade and a half but if Jimmy Fallon is the best replacement for Conan that NBC can come up with, the execs there must want the station to go under.

Nobody liked Jimmy Fallon when he was on SNL.  I can’t believe The Roots agreed to be the house band for such a douchebag.  Licking something for $10 as being a 10 minute sketch on a late night talk show??  This guy’s show needs to be cancelled within a week.

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Killzone 2

March 3, 2009 at 3:07 am (Gaming)

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Story: B+

Without trying to spoil anything about the story of Killzone 2, this time, the ISA forces of Earth are taking the fight to the Hellgeist as a returned favor for the Hellgeist’s invasion of Earth in Killzone 1. While the concept of the story is nice, it is plagued with nearly constant F bombs and one liners stolen from various sci-fi movies. The intro sequence is breathtaking though, and it actually gets you pretty pumped up to go out and shoot some “red-eyes”. And isn’t that the point of a story? To get you revved up and itching to see what happens next? So, not a perfect score, but still pretty good.

Gameplay: A-

There is a lot going right with this title. Enemy AI is smart and vicious and will advance on your position, use cover fire, and flanking techniques to flush you out from behind cover. Speaking of cover….I’m not a huge fan of the cover system, but it is better than no cover at all. The problem I have is that while behind cover, I still feel very exposed to incoming enemy fire….but again, it’s better than nothing. The running in this game is excellent though. You can run for quite a long time without needing to rest, and when you do need to stop, the stamina bar replenishes really quickly, making using the knife a lot of fun. The flamethrower is a LOT of fun to use and watch bad guys roast, and so is the exploding dartgun, but a lot of the other guns feel like a variation of the same machine gun, just with a different sight attached.

Sound/Graphics: A

This is easily the best looking shooter on the PS3 at this point in time. This is also one of the first shooters I’ve seen where as soon as an enemy dies, they don’t just go completely ragdoll limp and fall down, which is a little sadistic to enjoy, but the detail of the deaths is pretty impressive. Gunfire, explosions, and voices are on point and add an immersive element to gameplay.

Value: A-

The campaign is fairly long and there is some replay value if you are going for trophies. The online play is really what I like about the game, with the many game modes and maps available, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had playing online.

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Street Fighter 4

March 3, 2009 at 2:02 am (Gaming)

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Story: B

There isn’t really a deep storytelling element here, but there never really was in any of the previous installments. However, each character does have a specific intro movie, end movie, and rival to face which at least gives the illusion of there being something of a story behind this fighter. In all seriousness, fighters don’t need storylines to keep us engaged, just action, and for that reason, Street Fighter 4 gets some leniency points.

Gameplay: A

Controls are responsive and smooth, moves are easily executed, and there is a surprising level of depth to the gameplay not seen in most fighters. The only problem I had with the arcade mode was with the difficulty settings. The easy modes are definitely very very easy, but there is really little difference between playing on medium or up, Seth is still going to rock you with cheap moves. Other than that minimal complaint about difficulty settings, CAPCOM really hit a home run with this game.

Sound/Graphics: A+

Visually this game is stunning. The colors and textures are beautiful and really lend a new stylishness to the characters. What really stood out to me were the facial expressions when someone was charging up to unleash an ultra attack, your opponent gets this look on their face like it might be time for a fresh set of underpants. Sound effects are right where the should be. Bone-crunching effects for when hits are landed, and all the “HADOUKEN”‘s you can handle.

Value: A+

If you can get your hands on a used copy, by all means, go for it. But don’t be discouraged when there aren’t any within reasonable driving distance. This game has nearly endless replay value between unlocking characters, costumes, personal actions (taunts), and a whole assortment of ways to customize your online profile, there is a lot to do in this game. The online battles are really a lot of fun, and a nice way to “educate” your friends without blowing through all your laundry money. Training levels offer gamers who want to take their game to the next level the opportunity to do so by learning the impressively difficult and equally devastating combos. A bit pricey at 60 bucks, but well worth it.

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March 2, 2009 at 7:47 am (Gaming)

While working for a company which will remain unnamed, where supposedly the more you traded, the more you saved, I got a lot of the same questions every day, but one stands out among the rest like Yao Ming in the third grade.

“Can you recommend something that is inexpensive, but still fun?”

Which brings me to this list of great games for a great value, which for simplicity sake we will sort by console.

For the Wii:

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  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  • Trauma Center (Both versions are good, but true blood you can play 2 players)
  • Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
  • Excite Truck

Avoid games like:

  • Dragon Quest 7
  • Monster Jam
  • ANYTHING based on a movie or tv show (Except Lego, those can be fun)

Playstation 2:

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  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Digital Devil Saga
  • Metal Gear Collection
  • Devil May Cry 1 and 3 (i didn’t much care for part 2)
  • Zone of the Enders 1 and 2

Playstation 3:

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  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma
  • Metel Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • Uncharted: Drakes Fortune
  • Burnout Paradise

and a few to avoid:

  • Vampire Rain: Altered Species
  • Socom: Confrontation
  • Conan

Xbox 360:

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  • Dead Rising
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Gears of War
  • Mass Effect
  • Ninja Gaiden II

The best rule of thumb when buying a game (aside from reading reviews) is to avoid anything that is based on a movie or tv show since most of those titles are rushed through production in order to launch at or around the same time as the movie.  Another biggie is to stay away from the cheapo wii games.  They may draw you in with the skinny pricetag, but I promise you will almost always be left disappointed.

Don’t take this list as the “know all, end all” bible of gaming recommendations, because it is most certainly not.  There are lots of other games that are multi-platform that are really good bang for your buck games, the list is just so endless that it probably demands a post unto itself (maybe later this week).  The lists above are just a guide to a few games that you may or may not have tried, but definitely deserve some attention.

Later – T

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Resident Evil 5 coming soon

March 2, 2009 at 3:47 am (Gaming)

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Oh man, I can’t wait. CAPCOM’s Resident Evil 5 comes out in less than two weeks and just from playing the demo, I may be neglecting my priorities for the week following its release. Co-op zombie massacre (although i guess they’re not actually zombies in this one), a new inventory system where you can exchange items with your companion, boss battles, blood, and braaaaaaaains (i know i know, they’re not actually zombies, but let me dream).

Ive heard mixed opinions on the game from different people,the biggest being that they don’t like the control setup and they feel like this is just going to be resident evil 4 with improved graphics. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I won’t say that anyone out there is wrong for not liking the control scheme, but since everyone is entitled to their own opinion, here is mine. The controls DO take a little getting used to, and I think what put some people off was that the demo didn’t give you enough time to learn and get comfortable with the controls the first time though before the s***storm of infected start breaking down the doors. I personally like the controls and I think they lend themself well to what ultimately is meant to be a co-op/online game. The quick hud of the inventory allows players to swap ammo, herbs, and grenades to make them a more efficient killing duo, and that to me was a brilliant addition to this franchise.

The one thing I still find myself wishing for is a character that can move while aiming, even a slow walk would be nice so we could go around corners without being ambushed. I can see why the developers chose not to do this, and bear with me, here…..it makes the game better. That’s right, static aiming makes the game better, for three reasons. One, it builds suspense because as those infected close in on you and begin to surround you, the panic starts to set in a little, which is what the survival horror genre is all about right? Two, it levels the playing field. Moving around like a first person shooter would make taking down these unarmed infected seem far too easy. And three, this is vintage resident evil. Not a single game in the franchise has let you strafe or walk while aiming, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

All I’m saying to those of you out there who would say nasty things about this game is….wait. Reserve your judgments until AFTER the full version has been released, but until then, keep an open mind. I for one can’t wait to sink my teeth into this title (pun intended).

-T

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace

December 2, 2008 at 7:19 am (Gaming)

James Bond: Quantum of Solace

Story: N/A

It’s the two Daniel Craig Bond movies. Not much in the creativity department but they did use the actual voices from the flicks and thankfully fast forwarded through the poker game in Casino Royale.

Gameplay: B

This was a surprisingly good aspect of the game. It combines first person shooter engine of Call of Duty 4 with a cover system similar to Uncharted or Rainbow Six. The melee combat and boss battles were pretty weak however, consisting of button combinations and no real creativity allowed on the player’s end.

The difficulty settings are probably the biggest fault of this game: It’s just way too easy with the cover system making you practically invulnerable. Even on 007 mode enemies are easily taken out if there is decent cover around.

The multiplayer was an unexpected treat. There are wide varieties of modes and challenges. Guns and gadgets are plentiful and able to be customized. Also, they made melee attacks normal for the online play. The golden gun in this version of Bond is a real bad ass: it’s essentially a rapid firing grenade launching revolver. The only downside of it is the reload time (had to make it a little bit fair didn’t they?)

Sound/Graphics: C+

Nothing spectacular, it’s the soundtrack of James Bond: you either love it or hate it, or just think it’s okay.  Graphically, it was decent, not mindblowing, though there are good explosion effects when shooting at propane/gas tanks.

Value: C

It’s not really worth the price of a new PS3 game, but if you have the chance to play or rent it (or the price drops to 20/30), it is surprisingly decent for a game based on a movie. The multiplayer gives it quite a bit of replay value if you do end up liking it and buying it.

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