• So I hear you’re bored.

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I’m sure all of you out there have them.  Those games that you WANT to play but for some reason never have.  Time, money, other games, we all have our reasons.  So as I found myself in the market for something to play, Xbox live reminded me:  Darksiders!  Now, Darksiders is not an XBLA game.  It was a full retail game that now is now available as a download for $19.99.  Taking a shot with it has convinced me of two things.  First is that I am ready for the digital download age.  Not only did I not have to go out to a store and buy something, or want it NOW but have to wait for an order to reach my house, but also the game is just there right on my hard drive.  The super lazy part of me even enjoys that I don’t have to get up and change the discs in my Xbox (Do I want to play Rock Band or Need for Speed….well Rock Band is already in there, let’s play that!).  The second thing is that Darksiders is a game I should have taken a look at earlier, because as it turns out, this is a solid action/adventure game.  It’s not game of the year material by any means, but especially for $20, it’s well worth playing.

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Playstation 3: Right now even Nintendo has more online services

Nice Logo, I think I'll take it

I own both an Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  I have no preference in the eternal console fanboy war.  In fact I always kind of considered them equal, maybe even the PS3 coming out ahead because of its ability to play blurays and its FREE online services.  Xbox live is definitely the slicker system as far as presentation, but not having to pay Sony kind of made up for the lack of bells and whistles on the PSN.  However, as most of you reading this probably know by now, the Playstation network was hacked into and taken down as a result on April 20th.  This is posting on May 4th and the PSN is STILL dead to the world.  Not being able to play any games online (including the MMO ONLINE ONLY DC Universe) would be bad enough, but the question remains of whether or not the hacker(s?) obtained user credit card information.  While Sony is a victim of a crime in this situation, the surprising lack of timely information and concrete answers is of great concern to me both as a gaming enthusiast and a consumer.  To me it says that while Sony wants to be at the technological forefront in terms of horsepower, how people use and interact with the technology seems to be lost on them.

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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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XBLA 2: I’ve lost that shining feeling

Has your wallet been stolen by ninjas?  Are you not a bad enough dude to get it back?  It might be time to hit up Xbox Live for your next game.  There’s a lot of gems and a lot of junk in the Xbox Live system though, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start digitally buying Microsoft points.  This week we’ll touch on Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgement and Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space, since both of these games are kinda short for a full post each.  I guess this is the second installment of Xbox Live Adventures.  If you missed the first one, check it out here.

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The cactuar syndrome paradox

As I see it, it’s all about the easy XP.

Ever since Microsoft announced earlier this week that the price for an Xbox Live gold membership would be jumping up by $10 a year, the internet has been filled with angry notes, blogs and comments from long time fans, casual gamers and trolls about how completely and unequivocally awful this is.

But, I hear you shout at your computer because either you or I am crazy, that’s what the internet is there for, isn’t it?  To give random people a chance to complain and raise hell about the injustices of the world.  We’re making ourselves heard the only way we can.  The management at Microsoft is reading our rage, man.  They know.

So what?

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Starcraft 2: Playing Nice with Others

Blizzards insanely large RTS took forever to come out and had quite a history to live up too.  The plot of Starcraft was all well and good but the reason the series is still relevant today is the fact that the game is well balanced enough to basically be a professional sport, and actually IS in Korea.  To say that Starcraft 2 had some high expectations is quite the understatement.  How’s it stack up?

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Limbo lives up to its moniker

Microsoft’s first offering in the now annual summer of arcade is different than expected.  It is not the type of game I would think Microsoft would want to put out as the head of a large scale promotion, but here it is.  What does Limbo bring to the table?  A striking art style, solid platforming, some tricky puzzles, and a remarkable amount of violence.

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