Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So I took a day off yesterday and was determined to play some vidjeo games. The result? Well taken from my Xbox 360's blog:

Jer1ko rocked out with 4,550 points. That is a profit of 200 points over last time! He played Tales of Vesperia adding 2 achievements, Too Human picking up 3 achievements, Gears of War picking up 4 achievements, and afterwards, there were some awkward stares and silence... you know how it is.

I swear, I planned on playing Too Human for like an hour, it ended up stretching to 3 hours. I can't say I really enjoyed it either. I found I enjoyed the item looting and constantly re-equipping my character.

The one thing they really did right was the equipment...I really love games that change the appearance of your character...especially when the character models are as ugly as this games.



What really baffles me about the sheer horror that is the Too Human character models is remembering good looking PS2 games like Final Fantasy XII. The character models are obviously inferior from a polygon/realism standpoint...sort off. But smart designers use the technology and don't let it use them. The in-game cut-scene models in FFXII are animated, were lip-synched and looked amazing. Too Human tries the Uncanny Valley approach and fails miserably, the models are atrocious in close-ups and it happens all the time in the game.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So I am pulling myself away from other games for the most part to play through and finish The Last Remnant. Aside from a few nights stints on Rock Band 2 I am being fairly successful. Why am I forcing myself to play the game? Well I am writing a review of it for BlogCritics and I have a policy of finishing games before reviewing them.

I have to say that the game has so many neat hooks, it is a crying shame it does it's best to make you not want to explore them.

-There is a mining activity that nets you materials to customize/build weapons
-Many, many guild quests encourage you to hunt down certain types of monsters or buidl certain party types.
-Side quests are available in Taverns to net you rewards and new experiences.

The issue is that the broken game system, encounter issues, constant loads and texture draw in annoyances make you not want to do any of these things. For example, I got a quest to help this old guy find a sword. Instead of letting you choose when to look for the man, the game instantly transports you to the area. You then have to make your way to where he is (with no hints). On the way the monsters are visible, but try to attack you on sight, even if they are drastically overmatched. I really wanted to bypass all encounters as they were easy and netted no value, but the creatures always followed and attacked me.

Then when you battle the constant loads and texture issues make it a real chore. To top it off the current battle I HAVE to face to advance the story is incredibly difficult so I have to grind and level up...some games it is fun to grind...this one, not so much.

Ah well, back to it tonight...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So I am a huge Prince fan, I have mentioned this before.

Prince has recently launched a New Site that has me very excited. First it looks a lot like the old NPGMusic club site and he has promised the following:
-Listen to new tracks
-Buy concert tickets and music
-Watch videos and exclusive content

The most exciting part of all this, to me at least, is the buy concert tickets bullet point. Do my dreams of another tour appear to be coming true?

Also Prince has publicly said to the LA Times:

Prince will release not one, but three albums in the new year. He's in final negotiations with "a major retailer" to distribute the music in physical form, and a highly interactive website will also provide an opportunity to buy.

Woot! Three albums! I really hope they are stellar like 3121 and not average like the recent Planet Earth release. I will give some thoughts once they are released. Seems like 2009 will be a good year to be a Prince fan. One question, what is with the graphics on the new Prince site? Looks like the cover of a Scientology magazine...not sure what The Man is thinking.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It is mine! Bwahahahahaaaaaa!



I was determined to get the game before March when Pearl Jam's Seminal album, Ten, is released for the game. But a combination of gift certificates and a sale made the game mine.

Having experienced Rock Band 1 I am very happy with the minor changes to the drums and guitar. They just feel better...especially the guitar...and look at it, the think is AWESOME!

Anywho, my son wanted the first band to be called Rocker Prince, so that is who I am. I will be rocking out tonight...oh yes!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

So my amazing brother (who got my son the coolest night vision goggles...more on that later) always gives me an EB games gift certificate for Christmas/Birthday. He wants to get me a game but knows I am weak and pathetic and rather then chancing a double buy prefers to let me pick.

I was in EB Games today and was trying to choose between Prince of Persia and Valkyria Chronicles. The Prince one, and even though I was trying to get it on the PS3, there was a Used Xbox 360 copy which shaved 14 bucks off the price. SOLD! I have wanted this game since I saw the initial screenshots, but this trailer sold me on it:



Having gottent the game I have to say I really, really like it. It is absolutely beatiful, little to no load times (love streaming graphics) and the action is so smooth and amazing. Elika is a really great partner, often refusing help, assisting you with jumps, saving your life and is a really engaging character. Her voice is amazing and perfect, Kari Wahlgreen, who we can safely say is an accomplished voice actress, makes Elika a compelling character. The Prince on the other hand talks and acts that a 21st century person, which is jarring, and while I love the Drake character the voice actor, Matt Mullins, is just a wrong fit for the Prince.

So there I was loving the game and it Freezes...dead. I am afraid to restart the X360 in fear of having to refind the 40+ light spheres from the first level.

I love the game and will play it to death, but lets hope the freezing is not a normal thing.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Games, games, games!

I love 'em, I am addicted to 'em, I buy and get more then I can play.

This year I was very lucky both to myself via great sales and from some great friends. I have a much larger library now and even less time to play then before.


Gears of War - Yes the original, I cannot believe this was a launch title for the X360, it looks amazing, has innovative features and is an adrenaline fueled amazing ride. There are some annoying issues with the cover system and I really dislike the chunky character models (they look great, everyone simply looks like they are suffering from Roid rage).


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Wow, this game looks absolutely incredible. The textures, environments and effects are universally great. Cinematics are wonderful, voice work is great, the game? A little bland. It plays exactly like last gens Revenge of the Sith from a combat and upgrade methodology, more innovation would have been appreciated.


Devil May Cry 4 - Helluva lot of fun. It looks great, stylish, amazing action and wonderful production values. Haven't played much, but the game is really fun and the addition of the devil arm is really neat as far as combos go.


Resistance 2 - Woot, this game is awesome...great graphics, engaging story, amazing multiplayer, this game has it all. Loving every minute of it and no frustrations or negatives to speak of as of yet.


Too Human - Really, really fun actually. The graphics are really rough at times, but the gameplay is fast paced and very fun. I really love the customization options and oodles of equipment, I am a customization whore so I love equipping something and then seeing it in action. The main character is so ugly though that I chose the class with a helmet so I wouldn't see him...


Viking: Battle for Asgard - Deeper then I thought and the graphics are really, really good. You talk, customize, take missions and kill in really satisfying ways. It is mindless fun in the vein of the Conan game, but that is really good sometimes.


The Last Remnant - Really fun despite itself. I like the designs, the world and the combat system, it is strategic and fairly deep. The horrible programming, bad texture draw in and ridiculous loading times (and frequent!) will put off many players which is unfortunate. I probably would have given in as well, but I am reviewing it so I have to keep trying.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hiatus is over!

Seriously, too busy with family, new games and Blu-rays to post updates. Back to normal starting today.

On a non-gaming related front I recently watched the Top Gear North Pole special and boy was it fantastic.

The goal was to see if they could make Arctic exploration easy by using the absolutely amazing Toyota Hilux Arctic truck. If you are fans of the show you would know the older...umm.. softer gentlemen Jeremy Clarkson and James May drove the truck and the younger, fitter Richard Hammond tried to beat them using conventional methods (dogsled, skiing).

The episode was amazing with both sides facing enormous challenges, sleep deprivation, biting cold and hardships during the long trek. Don't assume the truck wins as they faced nearly impenetrable ice boulder fields and melting patches in the Arctic Sea.

Seriously find this episode and watch it, during the show a friend asked if I would do this kind of thing and the answer was immediately YES! This would have been an adventure of a lifetime and even though everyone was miserable, in bad temper and near dementia with exhaustion you know they will talk about this for the rest of their lives.