Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh My...

Rock Band 2 might have to take the back seat to this.
I've heard rumors of an NA October release

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Okay, so as Brendan Fraser would say, here we go again. One thing before I start though, I could bring up R2, GoW2, GoW3, Fable 2, and Fallout 3 here, but I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna bring up R2, GoW2, GoW3, Fable 2, and Fallout 3 because if you followed E3 at all, those were probably the biggest games this year so you already know about 'em. I'm gonna go at least a notch or two down and find some of the smaller games I want to play, at least until I get to LBP.


The first public showing of Madworld was at GDC this year, and there wasn't any new info at E3 from what I can tell, but there was a new video. The premise sounds pretty cheesy; a group called The Organization takes over a city and holds a life or death contest in the streets. The gameplay looks pretty fun, assuming the wii gestures aren't overused.

Crysis Warhead

At the other end of the visual spectrum is Crysis Warhead. Kind of a standalone expansion pack, it looks like it allows for the developers to put in what didn't make the cut for the original Crysis. In any case, they're apparently advertising it as "Crysis: The Lost Levels" and that sounds pretty good to me.

Little Big Planet

Alright, so Little Big Planet may not be a smaller game out there on the show floor, but I want to give Little Big Planet this years spore award for still not being out and looking awesome last year. Enemies have been shown this year, as well as how to make them. Also there was music management, which they thankfully are going to include. I don't have much to say about this game really, other than I still want to play it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

E3 2008

As a mere hobbyist blogger, and without any amount of actual money to go, I declined the ESA's generous (non-existant) offer to go down to L.A. this Year and traverse E3. Of course with such devices known to me and select few others (the internet) I was able to virtually roam the West hall without the annoyances of consuming a coach plane ticket. In any case, here are a few games that caught my eye this year.

Prince of Persia
This is the best looking game of E3 to me. Of course there are graphically superior games in a technical sense (if you haven't done so yet, check out Far Cry 2), but nothing quite caught my eye like Prince of Persia. It's hued like a Final Fantasy game, but cel-shaded and uber-detailed.

If it actually turns out to be Okami meets Ico, well, that would be a hell of a game.

Fat Princess

We may have seen PoP in the months preceding July, but Fat Princess is, I think, newly announced out of L.A. It's a multiplayer game based aroud capturing the other side's princess while defending your own, a.k.a. capture the flag. The differentiating factor here is that in most ctf games you can't fatten up your flag(and slow down those trying to take it) by feeding it sweets found around the map. Another difference between Fat Princess and most capture the flag games is that it's not a first-person shooter. The game uses an isometric view, and the character classes and gameplay seem to complement it well. Swordsmen are basic soldiers, who can pick up various weapons and are your frontline attacker and defenders. Priest heal allies and can buff swordsmen a la TF2, while mages use magic offensively against multiple enemies. The builder harvests resources around the map to create more buildings and defensive structures. In fact, he has a tech tree to do this, eventually leading to offensive weapons like catapults. All that in a 16 on 16 game sounds like hysteria.

I Am Alive

I Am Alive is set in Chicago after some as yet unknown disaster. Not much is known at all about this title, other than I want to play it. The only downside to this game so far is that the main character kinda looks like create-a-wrestler guy.

Hopefully there'll be more later this week.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sounds Like...

I've been on a strange new music kick in the last month or so. Just today I discovered a site called the sixty one dot com which has a bunch of new stuff, though I'm not really sure yet how the site works. It has random rpg elements where you can level yourself up and bands can do the same. There's also achievements? It does allow you to stream and buy drm-free music from the artists, of which most seem to be independent. A band I heard about a few days ago through twitter is Apes and Androids. They are a very strange band and kinda hard to classify. Think The Avalanches, but with a more psychadelic atmosphere and tight vocals. Not quite an everyday listen, but very good nevertheless.

The Sixtyone has been playing music for me for the last hour and it's actually amazing that new artists are still this active and good without much motivation. I just heard something that could be a folk song from a european countryside and before that a two minute techno song. Two minutes! It's like they're not on drugs or something. And before that something that makes me think of an Austrian circus. All this played as well as the Violent Femmes cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." And now something pure pop rock. I think this is officially my favorite new website. Yeah, it's probably two years old by now, but still.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Really Fast Nightlife

Ok, so I'm likely behind the times on this but I've just discovered a band called Vampire Weekend. They are classified as "indie rock" and I guess that's right. I would classify them as "taking a walk in the park on a summer day" music. Super simple and super hippie "belongs in a Wes Anderson movie" stuff but I'm quite enamored with it. I may just find a park later today to walk around in.

In news-type stuff, it looks like there's going to be a ballot initiative this November to put some money into a California high speed railway. So far it looks like it's not finalized, but the plan is to start with the "spine" track running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It may at this point include another one or two stops (possibly San Jose) before phase two expands to San Diego and Sacramento. In the end there will be 800 miles of track laid down. The proposed train system will run at 220 miles per hour, and the high speed rail's website estimates a two hour and twenty-one minute trip from San Jose to LA. If we vote for it, nearly ten billion in taxes will go towards the rail, with thirty billion coming from other sources. Once built it will sustain itself and generate up to one billion dollars a year. By 2030 there will be an annual capacity of 117 million people.

Here's to hoping the measure passes this November.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


WHOA i like to write. top 3 coming soon

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hello? ...anyone?

I am going to start writing again. My goal is going to be twice a week. For now all I have to say is even if you're only play the first ten songs in rockband, it's still amazing. Also, Veronica Belmont may be a superstar one day if she wants to. That's all for now, I should've nodded off hours ago.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I fail at remembering the games I grew up on. There'll be a new post coming soon, but until then, see the latest media attack on videogame violence.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Counterfitt's pick #7 - GTA San Andreas

Since you've already talked about this game I guess I don't have anything else to say... oh wait, this game is massive. Finding something else to say shouldn't be very hard.

Lets start with the soundtrack. The GTA3 series has some of the best music (not composed for that game) around, with San Andreas being a particularly high point. There are ten different music stations with music ranging from The Ohio Players to Public Enemy to Soundgarden to some techno or reggae band you'd likely know if you were into those genres. Each station is based on one you might've heard during the mid-to-early nineties so it's almost certain to be a trip down memory lane for anyone who plays. And of course, the djs only help to fill such a memory. The greatest of these for me was the host of Radio X, the alternative rock station. While completely satirizing the people who appear on such a station, she managed to say almost exactly the lines used by the host of local alternative station The X 103.9 while cutting to, in some cases, the same music (Mother by Danzig as an example).

One of the cool features added to San Andreas is the gang wars minigame. The object is to claim turf by entering a enemy controlled area and taking out a few waves of bad guys. The larger the area of your gang's influence, the bigger the monetary payoff you receive. Every so often your territory will be attacked and you have to chase off the enemy gangs to continue earning revenue.

You've talked about the open world already, Dave, but of course that's the biggest draw to this game. Anything from jumping out of airplanes to gambling to pissing off the cops and outrunning them and the freedom to explore the entire tri-city area is what makes this games so great.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Counterfitt's pick #8 - SimCity 2000

Ok, so maybe sc2k isn't the best version of SimCity. Perhaps the third and fourth iterations have improved over this one in different ways, but guess what- I barely played those where as I spent the entire nineties playing 2000. Through the nineties, "sandbox gameplay" was associated with SimCity 2000 the way it's been associated with the Grand Theft Auto series and its clones in recent times.

The game is a city building simulator, the only one really. The object of the game, if you can call it that, is to attract people to your city while keeping citizens happy and the budget balanced. The fact of the matter is that the object of the game is to play around and do whatever you want. It's actually quite revolutionary for a videogame- at least it was when the first one came out. Think about it, how many non-Will Wright created games can you think of that don't have any goals. It becomes like a bunch of army men or a doll house. There's a general theme and from there you make your own fun.

Another great thing about 2000 is its one of (if not the) first games to come out with a development kit of sorts. The SimCity Urban Renewal Kit allowed you to create your own buildings and alter the way your cities looked as a result. It was rudimentary and hard to edit, but it still opened my mind to the possibilities of game design and creation.

SimCity 2000 is possibly the most influential game of my childhood.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Counterfitt's pick #9 - Final Fantasy Tactics

With a top ten list like this it's hard to say something new about any game, and I really have to acknowledge it with this game. Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical rpg as good as they get. Until recently this was a very hard game to get a hold of, commonly selling for upwards of $100 on ebay. Just recently a port has been delivered to fans via psp, allowing more people to play and the rest to understand the convoluted plot. The English translation was a distractingly negative point in an otherwise shining idea of a game. In fact the world of Ivalice the game is placed in is said to be spelled four different ways throughout the story.

Of course, the story and translation must fall to the side when the subject of gameplay arises. If you are not an expert, you will find yourself grinding levels and abilities, or facing the game over screen regularly. Using familiar ff character classes, a turn-based grid-based combat is the core of tactics. As you level up characters' classes, new classes become available and a big part of the game becomes training your characters in hopes of finding a new class. Of course, if you've played console games during the past ten years, you already know this.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Counterfitt's pick #10 - Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

Often overlooked in the past because of it's childish premise and graphic style, it seems that this time around the word is out that Pokemon is the real deal. It's a solid rock/paper/scissors rpg with small but competent improvements with each iteration. There's really not a big difference between the latest iteration and the first two games back in '97. With the ds there's finally a wifi connection for internet battles and touch screen for a different and well done interface; past that it's more of the same- collecting pokemon, leveling them up, and taking the best to fight the evil (if a bit incompetent) team rocket and the elite four pokemon trainers.

This is as addicting a game as you can find. There's rarely a moment in the beginning where you can avoid thinking that well known, "just one more _____," though it does get a bit repetitive later when the map is largely explored. There are some 120 more creatures added to the tally, bringing the total to over 500. Everything in this game is well balanced and even difficult, if you're rushing through the map. The nice thing is, less than a year later I'm ready to play through it again. It's a good thing when my biggest concern with a game is that I want more of it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First Runner Up: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Of course, it's hard to decide which of this now dead franchise is the greatest. I can say that I've put more hours into the first installment than all of the others combined. The thing is, the tony hawk series starts as a streamlined, well crafted game and ends up as a bulky, over-saturated poorly designed game; somewhere in there they started to add moves, set pieces, and design elements just because they could and not because they're fun. By thps3, the moves added and combos allowed had completely changed the way the game had played before it started to go downhill(no pun intended).

Second Runner Up: Rock Band

It's hard to tell at this early stage where a game will stand ten or twenty years from now, but I'm willing to cast my ballot early for this one.
It seems that after 2 years, the mainstream has finally caught on to Guitar Hero and how great it is. This creates a great opening for Rock Band to come in and take over the multiplayer space that Guitar Hero never can. Rock Band has succeeded in creating a new genre of game.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top 10 video games of all time, ready go!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

This is also a test ^^ ROLF get it?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First! lol

Test post. Blah blah blah.

The End.