Call of Duty is the alpha dog. Every other first person shooter is trying to capture the insane sales numbers. I remember when I saw the advertisements for Battlefield 2 as it was released way back when….oh well it was almost exactly a year ago (damn games come out fast now!). The commercials basically showed it as trying to be Call of Duty, and I quickly dismissed it as I didn’t really need two of the exact same game, and I already had a large group friends neck-deep into Modern Warfare 2. However, I recently had the urge to play a good FPS I hadn’t tried before. So on the basis of solid reviews throughout and it being twenty dollars cheaper than newly released game, I grabbed Battlefield 2. To my surprise it is not just a Call of Duty clone, although it has that feeling at points. It contains a single player offering that I thought is better than anything CoD has given us recently, and a much different multiplayer experience. I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse than CoD in that respect, but it’s most assuredly not a clone. These things combine make me question whether I should be getting MW3 or Battlefield 3 first come this holiday season…..I’m nerdy enough that I’ll probably end up getting them both eventually.
I thought Fallout 3 was a great game. I played it for sixty something hours. I played the main quest through in its entirety. I spent hours just roaming the countryside looking for interesting things, of which there were many. I used internet faqs and YouTube videos to find the bobble head dolls so I could get an achievement. So naturally, when Fallout: New Vegas was announced, I was psyched. New adventurers to be had in the fallout universe? In Las Vegas? Sign me up! It was a release day purchase for me. I played New Vegas a little over an hour on that first night…..and haven’t touched it again since. So what happened? I realized something when I turned on the game for the first time and got to the main menu. The menu was the EXACT same one as Fallout 3. I was about to play the same game. The characters were different, the story was different, I’m not saying there were no changes. I just realized while staring at the main menu that while I had enjoyed playing Fallout 3 I just wasn’t interested in playing more of the same. Now this isn’t true for every series. I’ve played all the Call of Duty’s, all the Assassin’s Creed games, both Bioshocks, both Gears of War, Halo 3 and Halo Reach. I am not championing myself as too cool for sequels. They have their place. I’m just growing concerned that developers might be cashing in, literally most of the time, on brand names at an amazingly high rate recently. I’m growing even MORE concerned that we, as gamers, only have ourselves to blame.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: Activision, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Bioshock, blizzcon, Call of Duty, creative ideas, Fallout New Vegas, Gears of War, Halo Reach, heavy rain, Modern Warfare 3, Nintendo, original IP, Plants vs Zombies, Project Cafe, Super Meat Boy, too many sequels, ubisoft, World of Warcraft | Leave a Comment »
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?
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: black ops, bomberman, Call of Duty, Crysis 2, cute pandas, fps, friends list, MMO, Multiplayer gaming, multitap, Nintendo, online gaming, PS3, RTS, starcraft 2, voice chat, World of Warcraft, Xbox | 4 Comments »
I own the first Crysis but I never got very far with it. The traditional question of “will it run Crysis” is the benchmark for how powerful a computer is for a good reason. My computer could RUN Crysis but the frame rate and graphics setting were mid range at best. To be honest though, and this will anger many an uber nerd, the lack of an excellent control scheme is what turned me off the most. I’ll freely admit that maybe I’m just terrible, but managing the five or so state of suit powers never came that quickly to me. Coupled with me being sad that I knew the game could look better and I just moved on. Crysis 2 promised to solve both of those problems before I even purchased the game. Early buzz had it as the best looking game ever released on a console. And I’m intimately familiar with an Xbox 360 controller (not in the way you think, pervs). Crysis 2 is not a perfect game by any means, but it’s a breath of fresh air in many ways amid the Call of Duty themed world we gamers live in now. CoD is a fine game, but anybody looking for some variety in their gaming should think about Crysis 2. The nanosuit gets a nomination for item of the year in gaming (I’m gonna have to write that down and have an award…).
Filed under: Games | Tagged: Alcatraz, armor mode, best looking console game, Call of Duty, CELL, Ceph, cloak, Crysis 2, crysis 2 review, Dr. Eliot Gould, fantastic feats of awesome, Lockhart, nanosuit, prophet, stealth, stealth kill | 2 Comments »
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.
Filed under: Games | Tagged: Activision, Alex Mason, alternate history, attack dogs, Bay of Pigs, black ops, Call of Duty, Call of Duty Black Ops, Castro, CoD, conspiracy theory, Cuba, death machine, Elrood, Infinity Ward, Kennedy, Kennedy assassination, killstreak, map pack, Nixon, PS3, PSN, rat tunnel, Treyarch, Uncharted 2, VC, Victor Reznov, Vietnam, wager matches, xbox live, Xbox360, Zombie Mode | Leave a Comment »
I’ve never had a meaningful relationship with the Halo franchise. Having never owned an original Xbox, I missed out on the universe Bungie has painstakingly crafted over the last ten odd years. I played Halo and Halo 2 multiplayer via friends over the years, but never in a serious way and I never did more than one or two campaign missions. I picked up Halo 3 because at the time I had just purchased my 360 and was looking for stuff to play. I enjoyed the game, but felt like I was missing something story wise having not played the first two, so I played through it once, messed with the multiplayer for a few hours, then shelved it. I share this information because I feel like reviewing a Halo game is a difficult proposition for somebody like me. There are fanatics (Zealots if you will….I know enough to drop lame puns in this article!) that will enter a state of lunacy at the slightest criticism of their beloved franchise, but honestly, they are probably not reading many reviews anyway, they’re playing the game. So take this review from a specific perspective: Is Halo Reach worth buying as a game on its own, aside from all the hype and fanboyism? The answer is yes, but the game is not flawless as many tout it to be.
Filed under: Games | Tagged: banshee, Bungie, Call of Duty, cosmetic, Covenant, credits, Elrood, elrood64, fall of reach, fanboy, firefight, Halo, Halo 2, Halo Reach, ign, kortana, Master Chief, modern warfare 2, multiplayer, noble six, noble team, ODST, spartan, warthog, Xbox 360, xp | 1 Comment »
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.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: Activision, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, avatar, black ops, Blizzard, Call of Duty, casual games, Elrood, Enosh, Fallout New Vegas, game sales, Halo, Halo Reach, hype, kevin butler, madden, mafia 2, marketing, Master Chief, nba finals, new orleans, npd numbers, sci-fi, starcraft 2, super mario galaxy, tophat, wii sports | 1 Comment »
Okay, I suppose I’ll get this out there early, since I know how the first person shooter crowd usually goes. I am bad at Modern Warfare 2. It’s the truth, plain and simple. On XBox Live I am no xXDarkAssassinXx, NoobPwner49, or SniperSaurusRex. Though, come to think of it, that last one it pretty awesome. How would the dinosaur use a sniper rifle with its tiny, ineffectual dino-claws? Also, what would a dinosaur even need to assassinate in the first place? Hmmm. (more…)
Filed under: Games | Tagged: Activision, afghan, blow up space, Call of Duty, Captain Price, explode, first person shooter, fps, Ghost, Infinity Ward, Modern Warefare 2, Modern Warfare, multiplayer, PS3, Roach, Shepard, snipersaurus rex, Soap, tophat, Xbox 360 | 1 Comment »