Monday, April 7, 2008

Because I Was Told To

I have not purchased a video game since I bought Call of Duty 4. There hasn't been anything interesting enough to me to warrant a purchase. So I've been playing World of Warcraft. I'll talk about that a little bit.

World of Warcraft plays well. It should after three years of fine tuning. They even allow you to install mods to your interface. I use several of those. The only problem is the same problem you get any time you have millions of people involved: idiots. There are several kinds of idiots involved. Most of them are the same idiots in any online game: griefers, liars, incompetent people. When you get into an MMO, however, you get new varieties of moron.

1. Gimmes. These people, who are perfect strangers, expect you to give them gold, run them through an instance or otherwise babysit them while you could be doing something productive, like questing or killing Alliance characters. They usually whine or call you a fag when you say no.
2. People who still think Chuck Norris and Mr T. jokes are still funny. They're not. Period. I've heard them all and nobody is going to love you for posting them in trade chat.
3. Know-it-all talent spec experts. These guys have already formed an opinion about how you should play the game and you are just dead wrong. Period. They will communicate this to you at their earliest convenience from their mother's basement, you know, after they do the dishes and take out the garbage.
4. Battleground AFKers. This is a kind of Gimme. They will enter a battleground and, instead of helping take flags and what-not, surf the web or watch some TV. I don't know what they're really doing and I don't care. I just want them to pull their weight. Help me cap the flag or something. Maybe throw out a heal or two.
5. Ninja Looters. These are guys who wait for you to kill all the enemies in the vicinity of a treasure chest or mining node or quest item, then walk up and grab it. That's just lazy.
6. Spammers. These are people who advertise powerleveling and gold selling services by either standing in the middle of the capitol cities or sending you a message personally. I always report them. These services have been linked to account theft. They are also are the people responsible for trial accounts being so limited, since that's how they get around being banned repeatedly. They just download another trial version of the game.

There are more of them. I just can't remember all of them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Video Game Industry Must Think I'm Rich.

Every year about this time every game company puts out its best games almost simultaneously. What the fuck? Where were these great games in July or August? I seem to remember having a little extra cash at the time. I could be wrong. Maybe there's no such thing as "extra cash". I'm gonna list off some of the games on the radar and in most cases why I won't buy most of them.

Guitar Hero III: I know a lot of people are really excited about this game. I'm not. Just not my thing. I love music. I'm glad they've got so many great songs on this edition of the game. Like most people who are actually going to buy the game, I kept pretty close tabs on what songs were going into the game. I just don't like the format. It's just another rhythm game, but with a guitar shaped controller instead of a dance pad.

Assassin's Creed: Don't care. Might play Ninja Gaiden 2.

Call of Duty 4: It looks awesome, and having played in the beta, I can say the game plays really well. The ranking system and the unlockable weapons and perks are great. Probably gonna pick it up.

Mass Effect: This game looks awesome. It's put together by Bioware, one of the best game companies out there. It will be a great game. It's how they're putting the game out that bothers me. It is designed to be a trilogy. That means no matter how quickly you finish the first release, it could be years before the next installment. Also, Bioware was recently acquired by EA games, the evil empire. I wouldn't be surprised if the other two games were a rushed mess when they finally release.

Conan: Why even bother?

PGR4: I only buy racing games to play with my friends who play racing games. No dice here.

So it's looking pretty much like COD4 and maybe Mass Effect. If I forgot any games, and I know I did, it's probably because I don't care enough to remember them. Hell, I still haven't touched Half Life 2 and I've barely touched Team Fortress 2. I'm still playing World of Warcraft. I've got more games than I can complete right now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Crankheads Are Idiots

If you are high on meth right now, I should probably go ahead and tell you there are no pretty pictures on this blog. Nothing is shiny or addictive here.

Okay, I think that should be enough to send away any crankheads. They don't have much patience for the written word.

Back on topic, or rather, finally on topic.
I stick by my title. It's a fact. Aside from the incredible addictiveness of the drug, there are the ingredients. Lithium strips from batteries. Anhydrous ammonia(a fertilizer). Starting fluid. So they're inhaling battery acid, fertilizer and upper cylinder lubricant every time they smoke this crap, which was probably put together by some other half-crazed dope head in a makeshift labratory in a rental house, abandoned house or better yet: a moving vehicle of some kind. These morons are driving around a mobile shabbily constructed lab while another moron is in the back producing toxic, explosive gases with what are now highly unstable chemicals all the while hoping nobody smells it and reports it to the authorities. When the police raid a house where a lab is or used to be, they basically condemn the building until the owners strip the interior down to the frame and rebuild it. A special team has to be hired to remove the now hazardous materials from the house. When they smoke this stuff it makes them nervous and paranoid. The battery acid will try to exit the body through the pores in their skin. This results in sores all over their bodies. They barely eat. They stop sleeping. Their teeth rot out. They lose weight to the point where they look like a walking skeleton. They sell the scabs from their sores and their urine to other addicts which is then ingested so they can get high.

If you have a relative or loved one on this garbage, the best thing you can do for them is report them to the police.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Innovation?" Whatever.

"Innovation" is a word that's been thrown around a lot latelyin the video games biz. Innovation is supposed to be something new or creative. I'm not seeing it. I'll go through a few things that have been called innovative lately.

Shadowrun. Not innovative. This game built up a good deal of hype because of how "new" and "different" it was. If this game intrigues you and you haven't played it yet, I can save you sixty dollars. This game has two game types. One is a single life neutral flag. The other is the same thing, except there's nowhere to take the flag. You cannot change any game options. You will play first to six rounds. You will play neutral flag. Some things you could maybe bring up are the different races you can play and the weapon and magic purchases at the beginning of the round. What this boils down to is a class system like dozens of other games have and the weapon and item purchasing from Perfect Dark Zero. In fact, this game plays so much like PDZ that it seems to me like the game uses the same game engine. Movement and shooting is all the same. I played in the beta for Shadowrun.It had two maps and all of the races were available. If you get the retail version of this game, you get better lighting, one new magic spell and five or six more maps than the beta. And no campaign mode. Also don't expect this thing to be anything like the RPG it's supposedly based on. Nothing new there either.

Nintendo Wii. Not even close to innovative. Two words: Power Glove. I didn't like the idea for this 20 years ago. Why is it any better now? I prefer my video games to require some kind of precision. If you can flail your arms wildly about, you can play anything in Wii sports. This is just a gimmick. The Wiimote is so clunky for games that aren't designed specifically for the system that they sell a real controller that plugs into it for their Arca... I mean Virtual console games. This means less third party support because most game companies don't want to spend the extra money to put in motion controls for one out of two systems. Most companies making games for this system just tack on some awkward kind of motion controls. They don't care. With the awful drought of quality games for the Wii, you'll buy anything with Wii stamped on the box. If you buy a Wii, all you have to look forward to is a Mario game, a couple new sports games with Mario in them and the new Smash Brothers with, that's right, Mario. If you like Mario, you're set. You could've gotten the new Zelda game for the Gamecube.

That's right. I spoke poorly of the Wii. I don't care how many units they've shipped. It's still a glorified Gamecube. They could have made a unit that plugs into the bottom of the Gamecube with a sensor bar and wifi and exactly matched the functionality and graphics of the Wii for fifty dollars. You know why they didn't do that? Because they killed the Gamecube, just like they're killing the Wii. Just wait. They'll make a real console in a couple of years.

Lastly I'd just like to say that to be innovative, don't you have to be doing something that's never been done before?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Halo 3

Halo 3 is one of the most highly anticipated video games ever. We've been waiting for almost three years now. It's going to sell millions of copies on the first day. I am chomping at the bit to play it. The brief taste I had in the beta only made me want it more. Now I sit here and I wait. I wait for the ultimate application for the Xbox 360. The one game that will surpass every first person shooter I've ever played. That's a long list. I've played a lot of shooters. I'm starting to have some doubts, though.

Explosives. When I'm playing Halo 2, I have to worry about relatively few explosions. There are 2 kinds of grenades, 1 rocket launcher and the brute shot. In Halo 3 there are 3(possibly 4) types of grenades, 2 rocket launchers, the Spartan laser, the trip mine, the shield drainer, the brute shot and the banshee now fires a rocket in muliplayer. Counting vehicles Halo 3 doubles the explosions of Halo 2. I'm not even counting the Brute Hammer, which explodes on contact in Halo 2 and is rumored to be playable in 3. Lots of explosions. I can't even count how many times in Halo 2 I was killed by an explosion out of nowhere. In Halo 3, It's going to be far worse. If you add in the fact that you can change the amount of grenades of each type you can carry in the customs menu up to six and the rumored fourth grenade type the player can potentially carry 24 grenades and two different rocket launchers. That's nuts.

Rumored map editor. This can be a double edged sword. In Halo 2 you had a bunch of maps, but you played them all so much, you knew every nook and every cranny of every map. In Halo 3, if you have a map editor somedbody will always be laying new maps on you. "Hey, guys, wanna check out my new map?" Get used to hearing that. It may be said a lot. Look what it does for FarCry. In FacCry what killed the gamed for a lot of people was having to download a map every time they played. FarCry now is just basically an arthouse style game where people just exchange maps and look around at eachother's creations. I can see this happening in Halo 3. On the other hand, the controls and the way the weapons work in Halo 3 are far smoother and the game is so much easier to play, that this might not happen.

On the other hand, there are a bunch of things in Halo 3 that I really enjoy. The game has unrivaled customizability. You can change just about anything from the customs menu, if the beta is any indicator. A certain friend of mine will not be allowed to host a game. Ever. The saved films thing is going to be awesome. You can save your ultimate victory or your friend's utter humiliation for posterity. The assault rifle is back, thank God. Spawning with an SMG for three years really casts the assault rifle in a charming, even romantic light. The customizable armor is just awesome. That will not only help me look cool while I'm getting my ass kicked. I'll also be easily identifiable to my teammates. And if they do the four player co-op, I will cry tears of pure joy.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I bet you can't tell me which one of these people is crazier.

One of them lives in a fantasy world where you can lay the blame for every mass murder in our society at the feet of video games. He has been twice asked by a court official to undergo a psychological evaluation. Given this bit of information, you would think he understood that some people are just crazy. He refers to himself in the third person in open correspondence, which may be a lawyer thing, but I think he's just nuts.

The other one is Michael Jackson. Pedofilia. Swinging babies out over balconies. Nuf said.

Friday, July 6, 2007

First post.

I work at an auto parts store in West Tennessee. I consider my job to be on the front line in the continuous battle against the ignorance that rural America seems to thrive upon. It's not exactly a proactive kind of thing. I'm just trying to hold my precarious grip on sanity in an effort to not kill my neighbors. The house next door to me is a rental house. It has been host to more inbreds than I care to think about. Honest to God inbreds. One of them simply could not grasp the concept of numbers. I've sold the man parts before. If you tell the poor guy his part costs $5.99, he's as likely to lay down a twenty as he is to lay down fifty cents. When they lived there, the two weeks before and after the 4th of July they would shoot off fireworks all day and most of the night.

My main hobby is video games, which I primarily play on my Xbox 360. It's got 95% of the video game worth playing on it. I also own a PS2, a DS and several older systems. I don't see any point in paying $600 for a PS3. It only has one game on it currently, that I would consider playing. I genuinely feel sorry for the portion of the gaming community that purchased a PS3 in the last 9 or so months since its release. I believe it's a technically outstanding system. It's the lack of software and support, not to mention competitive price that hurts it so badly. It seems like every time you surf the internet lately Sony has stuck it's foot neck-deep in its mouth. I know things will probably start to turn around gradually in a few months, but I think the damage is done. Sony loyalists will stick by their gargantuan baby till the world ends, but in the end that won't be enough. Sony just needs to get their heads out of their asses and make it a gaming system, not just a blu-ray platform that plays a couple games. We need the competition for Xbox and Wii. It's how we get good video games. Several times in the past a game company has attained dominance in the video games industry and every time it has almost resulted in the complete collapse of that industry.