Online Gaming: It’s not you, it’s me!

BEHOLD. The powerful tool of multiplayer gaming in 1994.

Remember the time when multiplayer gaming was an enormous hassle?  I recall renting a SNES multitap adapter ; a magical device that let four controllers be connected to one system.  Fire up some Super Bomberman, get some friends to bring their controllers, and the fun would last for hours.  Sure it might SOUND crazy for you and two buddies to drive to a friend’s house, whose not even home, and accost his mother to borrow a gamecube controller, but back before the internet was an important part of any console (except the Wii because Nintendo set sail for fail on that one) these were the kinds of things that had to happen to truly experience a game with friends.  The present day is a different beast of course.  Friends lists are one of the most important features on Xbox or PS3.  However, even more so, the ability to just randomly jump into a game and shoot strangers in the ass, then virtually teabag them, is to me still a relatively new, strange, and completely horrifying experience.  The ability to connect to the masses to play games is for me not quite as an awesome prospect as it probably should be.  I wonder:  am I the problem or is everybody else?

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Call of Duty: Black Ops OR How Activision prints money

So ok, everybody hates Activision, we get it.  They’ve gouged us on map packs, probably screwed over original Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward, and are generally just a giant corporation hell on bent on making money at the expense of the little guy.  Since Call of Duty is so huge we have the expected backlash of “oh it’s a terrible game only morons buy it”!  But let us be honest for a second, dear readers.  If Call of Duty, as a game, truly sucked, it would not sell over 5.6 million copies on the first day it was released.  Yes, you read that right.  Treyarch, who was kind of the “off-year” CoD developer and most recently made the precursor to Modern Warfare 2, World at War, had the helm for Black Ops.  Considering the state of Infinity Ward at the moment, Treyarch has suddenly been thrust into the alpha dog position for the biggest franchise in gaming.  So, how did they do?  Forgetting all the money and hype and myriad of opinions about the idea of Call of Duty, we do have a game in front of us here.  Treyarch hasn’t done anything drastically different but they deliver a very slickly produced game that delivers on its promises.  An engaging single player, absolutely insanely large multiplayer, and even the return of ZOMBIE MODE (ooooooo scary) make Black Ops an excellent addition to ye olde game library.

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The Hype Machine Rolls on

I was on the phone with Tophat recently when he made an accurate observation.

“Elrood, the amount of hype for Halo Reach is insane.  Even if it was the best game ever, there is no possible way it could live up to all the publicity it’s getting,” he said.

“Tophat, we’ve known each other since fourth grade, why did you call me Elrood?”, I responded.

“I have forgotten your real name! Please help!”, he yelled.

Tophat being insane aside, he has a point.

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Mass Effect: a novel idea

So, I made a mistake. I’ll be the first to admit it.
I completely forgot to check out the second Mass Effect novel before I played the second game. I have a feeling it seriously hampered my ability to enjoy it.
Ascension is sort of an odd book. It doesn’t really pick up the main Mass Effect storyline where Revelation left off, but then again, that’s what the game was for. But it also doesn’t pick up where the first game left off. Continue reading

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