Portal…Free?!

•May 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So there has been some rumors going round the halls the everybody’s favorite FPS puzzle adventure, Portal, is going to be free for a limited time. Well I’ve made it my duty to tell you that yes, Valve really made it free. Normally this would exclude a large amount of people with the Mac interface, but Valve thought a head once again by making Portal available for the Mac for the first ever.  Hurry though, because this 70 award-winning game is only available until May 24th.  Now excuse me, for I’m going to spend the next few days beating the hell outta this game.

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Assassins Creed 2

•January 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Year everyone! Hope your holidays were good.  I haven’t been on due to holiday relate delays but I hope this review of Assassins Creed 2 makes up for the missed time.

For fans of the first game, I’m going to assume you already purchased the game beat the crap out of it.  If you have played, beat, and liked the first game, I only have a few things to say.  Think about the first game, take out all of the super annoying parts and now your thinking about Assassins Creed 2.

So story time.  You play Desmond who lives in the year 20XX or something, I wasnt really listening, and now you escaped all those bastards from the science lab.  Your going to train to be an awesome assassin but in order to do that you need to use the memories from new guy Enzio, whos father and brothers are murdered.  Enzio travels Renaissance Italy to get revenge from those who wronged him, while Desmond locates clues locked in his memories that we left from Subject 16.  Needless to say that this game left as many unaswered quetions as it answered ones.  I don’t want to say to much about the story cause it was actually quite excellent and kept me up playing the freaking game for hours on end.

Gameplay is what we’re really here to talk about.  I don’t have a lot of complaints about the game, but for a game thats about stealthy assassins killing off key figures during the Reaissance, you spend  a large amount of time fighting off gaurds.  I did like the free-running aspect where anything and everything can be scaled.  There are the bits where Enzio will blindly leap 10 stories straight down in the direction he’s facing rather than the direction your facing, which can be unbelievably FUCKING frustrating.  The weapon selection is vast, but pointless as once you have a better weapon there is no reason to use the others and the combat is both simple and challanging.

In the end, all that matters is that you get a gun.  No joke, you get a fucking gun which, while to slow to use in combat, can be used at all other times.  Once I got the gun, I found that other weapons beyond the sword were pointless as I could just shoot eveybody.

With an ingaging story, challanging gameplay, wonderful sand-box environment, and plenty of collection side-quests, Assassins Creed is most definetly a a good buy.

Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker

•December 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently acquired myself a Nintendo Game Cube.  Do you remember those suckers? The point is that I’ve been replaying some old titles and I decided to talk about some the better ones.  Lets begin with one of my favorite games, the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was a 2003 addition to the Zelda series and follows closely to the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask in gameplay and appearance.  The game does have some controversy over the cel-shade graphics used, which gives the game a rather cartoon-like look.  The game also spends a large portion of time on the sea, as the location is a series of islands surrounded by vast ocean.  Link spends much of the game on the ocean sailing to new places and fighting on the sea.  While a lot of people felt this mechanic was boring and a giant pain, I rather enjoyed the sailing.  I’ll even go as far to say that I liked Wind Waker even more than Ocarina of Time.

As far as story goes, you almost have the usual Zelda set up.  The Hero Link (or whatever you named him), lives on Outset Island with his Grandmother and his sister.  On his birthday, the beginning of the game, his sister has been kidnapped by a giant bird and Link sets out with some pirates to save her.  He gets to the evil Forbidden Fortress where he meets an evil figure before being defeated and thrown out.  He then learns that the figure is Ganon and he has returned to destroy the world.  Link sets out with the talking ship named The King of Red Lions and learns to control the wind useing the baton, the Wind Waker.  For those who are faimliar with the Ocarina of Time story will soon reconginse sevral of the items Link must conllect in order  to defeat Ganon.

If you own either a Game Cube or a Wii, then I suggest getting this game if you don’t already own it.  Wind Waker is fun, original and a great addition to the Zelda series.

Freeman’s Mind

•November 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Fans of the Half-Life series have always wondered as to what Gordon Freeman, our most lovable mute, is thinking during his time in Black Mesa.  Well the good folks at Machinima have taken a funny stab at the whole thing.  Here is an inside look into Freeman’s Mind

So far there has been 22 episodes and I fully suggest watching them all.  Their short, funny, and great for when you need a five minuet break.  I also heard that they will be moving on to Half-Life 2 and the subsequent games after that, which will hopfully be as good as this.

Also, if your into Garry’s Mod videos, I also suggest watching Half-Life: Full Life Consequences.

Epic Mickey

•November 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving to all of the readers.  And here is a helpful word of advice

Anyways, down to brass tacks…

So if you haven’t seen this picture yet, this is a concept art for an upcoming gamed called Epic Mickey.  While at first glance, I thought this whole thing was a joke, but a recent article in Game Informant made me look into this a bit more.  Turns out that Epic Mickey isn’t some joke art or a desperate Disney attempt to reach out to older crowds with a darker Mickey.  Well it IS a bit of the last one, but it’s much more of an attempt to rework Mickey as a character.

Basic story goes a such.  Mickey was not Walt’s first creation, but instead his older brother Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was.  Well the story goes that the wizard Yen Sid (oh, I see what you did there) created a miniature world for all of the forgotten creations and Oswald is the first resident.  Well early on, Mickey accidentally spilt paint on the model and poisoned the world with a dark creature called the Phantom Blob.  Years later, after Mickey had become incredibly successful, he is pulled into the dark world and must set things right with a magic paint brush… sort of.

You actually don’t have to set things right. Your actual goal is to escape the dark world and can do this in a number of ways.  Using paint allows you to create platforms and such, while thinner will destroy things.  The idea is that you can choose to be a Hero and save people, or choose to be the Scrapper and destroy everything that keeps your from your path.  Or you can remain neutral and just be a Wastlander.  These things are not choices, but the games reaction to the things the player does.  They will affect even Mickey’s basic pose and how people will react around him.

This game is really starting to look epic and I’m honestly considering picking this up when it releases.  However, you already know much about Disney’s mastery of the muck-ups, it’s only a matter of time.

Original Left 4 Dead

•November 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So all this Left 4 Dead 2 as left me looking up more and more about the story and characters.  Along this time I came across some of the original concept art, story and monsters of the original game play.  I’m posting some of the originals here along with the concepts.

I think the original Louis totally looks like Micheal from the Lost series.  The idea was the the characters have spent quite a bit of time in the infection, giving them this weathered look.  However, this was scrapped for the now current characters to make them look like everyday people that you can see on the street.  Also, notice that Francis is a bit overweight in their original designs.  This explains why in the current game, when Francis shoots Louis, Louis will sometimes say “Go ahead, do it again fat man!”.  In the beta game, Francis and Zoey had a far closer relationship, but this was scrapped because it was to distracting in the game.  While I really like these original characters designs, I think their current set up is far more entertaining.  However, there is one character that I wish had stayed in the game.

This fellow here is the Screamer.  He was set to be a special infected with abosolutly no attacks due to the straight jacket he was wrapped in.  However, what he was designed to due was wander aimlessly while laughing .  When he would notice the survivors, he would take off running and try to hide and it would be up to the survivors to track him down and kill him.  If successfully hidden, he would let out a piercing scream that will attract the horde.  However, the testers thought the Screamer was to hard to locate and could blend to well into a crowd of zombies, making it to hard to avoid the horde.  He was scrapped and the Boomer was given his bile attack as a replacement.

As you have guessed, the Boomer didn’t have his bile attack, but instead would only explode and cause damage to the survivors.  Another intereting set up is the smoker.  The Smoker was originally set to create smoke screens and then pull a survivor out from the group.  He later was given a sort of smoke explosion where he can use smoke to push survivors away from itself.  I have a video from a beta game play that shows the original characters in action along with a smokers original smoke push back attack.  Because the video refuses to embed, here is a link to the site.  Old Smoker video.

I wish that I had the opportunity to have played the beta, but I think Valve made the right choice in the current games.  However, I do wish that Screamer was still around though.  I need more zombies to kill…

Left 4 Dead 2

•November 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sorry for the late update guys, but I’ve been a bit distracted by something that can only be described as “aswesome”.  Yes, Left 4 Dead 2 has hit shelves as of the 18th and it is truly epic.  Honestly, I don’t think a friend of mine has left his room since the game came out.

L4D2 is very similar to the original Left 4 Dead in terms of game play, but there are now several additions that in my opinion make a great game absolutely amazing.  While the 4 survivors aren’t really related in anyway before, there is a lot more back story on the Infection and how the rest of the world are dealing with it.  The games campaigns also feature an arching storyline, meaning there is reason to why the survivors are in their current location, like how a helicopter saves the 4 in Dark Carnival, but in opening conversation of the next campaign, The Swamp, Rochelle mentions how Nick shot the piloet when he turned into a zombie.  The game takes place in southern United States, about 1 week after the events of the first and 3 weeks after the start of the infection.  The 4 survivors travel from Savannah, Georgia and ending in New Orleans, Lousianna.

The new characters are not just rehashes of the orginal 4, but instead bring a lot of new personality to the game.  Coach, while similar to Bill with his age and knee injury, is know for is constant need to read every sign the survivors pass.  Yes, he even does this during game play and not just during the safehouse beginnings.  Ellis is loves everything and loves to tell stories, especially about his friend Keith.  However, he doesn’t seem to reconginze the most important times to tell stories and will often be cut off by Nick saying, “Ellis? Is now the best time?”.  Nick is the pessemist of the group and has a hard time trusting the others.  He is thought to have some criminal dealings, including knowing that brains can wash out of his white suit.  Rochelle is much more firendly with the others, including Nick who doesn’t seem to get along with the others to well.

There are also 3 new special infected on top the original 5.  The new special infected have a more specific purpose than the original Hunter, Smoker and Boomer, as the new 3 are meant to break up the survivors and force them apart.  The Charger is basically an underdeveloped tank.  It will charge the survivors and will pick one up to begin pummeling them into the ground.  The Spitter will launch acid onto the ground, which survivors will take large amounts of damage from standing in it.  The Jockey is a nasty new infected, as the Jockey will leap onto a survivors back and “ride” them into harms way.  The Jockey can run into fires or witches with a survivor, make them incredibly hard to fight against.  The other special infected have had some appearance makes overs too.

If  your a fan of Left 4 Dead then you’re probably already playing L4D2.  If not, pick it up quick.  The new campains, the challenging enemies and expansive maps make the game one of the best this year.