May 27, 2005

Advent Rising

Ok, I am getting more and more excited about Advent Rising, yet, more and more worried at the same time. This game looks like it has all the elements to be fantastic!!! It has a great sci-fi storyline, vibrant graphics, and a tremendous cinematic feel.

But with a release date of May 31st, why no announcement of the game going gold yet? Why no hands on impressions from E3?

If this game ends up being a bust I will be very, very, VERY disappointed.

Hey Majesco, it looks like you’ve spent some time and effort on this game. You have it planned as a trilogy, so PLEASE make sure this first one if good. If you need to delay it again, then delay it, but don’t release a mediocre game.

May 25, 2005

E3 2005: Overall Impressions

E3 is over. The smoke has cleared, gamers worldwide are resting their eyes from staring at their computer monitors for days, journalists are catching up on sleep and giving their eardrums some much needed quiet time and game developers are going back to their 15 hour days, trying to get these games ready for release.

So, after taking in all the sights and sounds of this past week, who came out as the clear cut winner of the show? Which game stood out as the next must have title? Which games have me salivating for more? You know what? I have no idea.

This E3 was a strange one. The week started out with a bang. No, make that an atomic explosion. Sony unveiled the PS3 in their Pre-E3 Press Conference, showing not only the system, but some pretty amazing videos and tech demos. The specs indicate that the system might be twice as powerful as the X-Box 360. It will use blu-rays discs, be able to display 1080p resolution, have a removable hard-drive, be backward compatible all the way to the PS1, and have bluetooth wireless controllers. Pretty impressive. But most impressive were the games shown. Fight Night Round 3 looked fantastic. They’re finally bringing back Warhawk!!! MotorStorm looked chaotic, fast-paced, and fun - not to mention insanely gorgeous. And then there was Killzone. The demo that would ruin every other game in the show for me. At first, nobody knew if what they were witnessing was real. We all knew that the PS3 was powerful, but this was far beyond what anyone was expecting. In hindsight, after all the drool has been cleaned off my shirt, my jaw is almost fully healed after hitting the floor and my senses are back to their usual skeptical self, we realize that the Killzone (and Motorstorm) footage was not real. Sure, the PS3 is powerful, but in the end we really have no concrete gameplay footage, no hands on with any of the games, just some really pretty videos of what the games "might" look like and a lot of promises that they’ll be amazing.

Microsoft followed with a lackluster presentation, since the system was already unveiled the previous week in the MTV debacle. Nothing new was shown, in fact, something was missing. Perfect Dark Zero - Microsoft’s killer app in Halo’s absence - was a no show. Why? Could it be that the game is not looking as hot as expected? From the 5 seconds they showed on MTV that is a viable conclusion. I’ve heard countless reports of the game being shown behind closed doors and that it is looking a lot better. But why hide it? If this is your "Halo" and you say it is coming along nicely and the MTV build was old and not reflective of how the game looks now, why the secrecy? Microsoft’s saving grace was Gears of War. Here is a game that has "next gen" written all over it. It looks simply amazing. The story sounds intriguing and if the gameplay is solid (and they fix the horrible, horrible frame-rate) then you have yourself a system seller. Too bad it won’t be available for launch, missing that window by quite a few months.

On the Nintendo front, I have no idea what the big N is doing. They announced the Revolution, showed the system and claimed that it will be about three times as powerful as the Gamecube. Which means that it will be dead last in processing power come the next generation. You have to applaud Nintendo for sticking to their guns. They’re still only creating gaming machines, in an age where a console is expected to be able to run a magnitude of media operations and be the center of an entertainment center. "It’s all about the games." Look, I’ve bought every Nintendo console since the NES, I love them as a developer, they truly are pioneers when it comes to gaming. Now, that being said, I see Nintendo going the way of the dodo very soon. It pains me to say it, but I do. Maybe the Revolution will retail for $150, maybe developers will be able to churn out games for minimal cost, maybe it can survive on the strength of its first-party games alone. Maybe. But doubtful. For all their innovation, Nintendo fails to evolve with the times. They held on to cartridges as long as they could and it hurt them. Bad. I don’t think they can survive another generation in 3rd place. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I don’t see many 3rd parties knocking on Nintendo’s door. But then again, that’s nothing new.

After last year’s E3, I came away with a long list of games that blew me away: Halo 2, Advent Rising, God of War, Metal Gear Solid III: Snake Eater, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Resident Evil 4, Gran Turismo 5, Half-Life 2, Doom III, Conker, ESPN NFL 2K5, Mercenarries, the list goes on and on. I didn’t come away with such a large list this year. It seemed like most games this year were only shown on video and were not playable. What happened to Black? They only showed it behind closed doors last year and after a full year, they still don’t show the game to the public. I hear it looks great, but all I have to go on are a few screen shots. Show the game people!!!! Madden 2006? The only next gen screens/videos are the same mediocre ones they’ve been showing since the commercial aired. Hands on impressions (again behind closed doors only) state that the game looks far superior and that the detail in the players and stadiums is amazing. Sure. Okay. SHOW THE GAME!!!! But, we all know why EA is only showing next gen Madden behind closed doors. They’re not stupid. They want fans to buy the PS2, X-Box and Gamecube versions of 2006, which will probably be out in August. They'll sell millions of copies like always. Then, starting in October, just before the 360's launch, they’ll finally show us what next gen Madden really looks like. People will freak out. "Wow, it looks so much better than the crap they were showing before!" All the fans that bought 2006 already will still want this better version. They'll buy it up in droves. Now EA has sold millions of copies of both the current gen, as well as the next gen Madden, which are only a few months apart. If EA shows Madden on the 360 now, then a lot of the people who would by the current gen version might just wait the couple of months to get the newer version. Makes sense from a business standpoint. God I hate you EA.

My short list of notable games from the show are:

(Note: I had to look at all the following games a second time to really get an impression because after watching the Killzone demo I thought every game in the show looked like crap. After coming to my senses, I was able to see that some of these games actually looked pretty damn nice)

Ghost Recon III (360)
This was one of the first 360 games I saw. The graphics look great, with very fluid, realistic animations. The new HUD looks slick and the game is supposed to take place in one large virtual city. There will be no mission briefing screens to break-up the action, everything will unfold continuously, making for a seamless gameplay experience. At least, I hope so. This one is looking hot.

Shadows of the Colossus (PS2)
I’m a HUGE Ico fan, so this game is high on my list. I’d buy anything from these guys. This game could be about a rabbit looking for ranch dressing and I’d still get it. But anyway, the game looks great. The graphical style is reminiscent of Ico, which is A-ok in my book. Sign me up!

Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)
Ask Powerpuff and he’ll tell you that I’m a Nintendo fanboy. So, needless to say, I’ll be purchasing Twilight Princess the day it is released. Orcarina of Time is still my favorite game of all time, and after my initial shock at Wind Waker’s new look, I thought it was a fantastic game and its visuals are some of the most impressive on any console. From the Twilight Princess movies I saw this title looks like it might try to challenge OoT as the greatest Zelda ever. We’ll see what happens.

King Kong (360)
Saw some video of this game and the jungle environments looked fantastic! Its mix of first-person action, mixed with 3rd person "you are Kong" segments can prove to be a winning formula. Plus, this game is being created by the guy behind Beyond Good and Evil, so things are looking very good!

Dark Sector (360/PS3)
Saw the seven minute trailer for this game and although it was basically just one long cinematic (done in real-time though), I still came away impressed. I would have liked to have seen some gameplay, but the sci-fi/stealth vibe this game has going for it looks like a good choice. The lighting effects were great, the main character’s suit looks phenomenal and the sound was very atmospheric. I know Powerpuff is siked for this one. :p

There were other games that looked pretty good, but nothing jumped out and grabbed me like last year. Like Powerpuff said, this E3 was about the next gen systems. But since almost none of the next gen games were playable, we were left with a lot of looping video reels and trailers to give us an "idea" of what to expect. The next gen systems stole the thunder away from the current gen games, but since the next gen games were practically vaporware, it created a sort of Catch-22 in which no one won. After the dust settled, we were left with X-Box, PS2 and Gamecube games which looked as good as they’ll ever look, but our eyes were already spoiled by what’s on the horizon. It’s a shame. I was not an advocate of Microsoft releasing their next system this year. I felt there was still some untapped potential on the current systems. Games like Doom III, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Gran Turismo 4, God of War and Resident Evil 4 prove that these systems can still "wow". But it’s too late now. There’s no turning back. After seeing some of what the next gen has to offer, suddenly, RE4's textures aren’t looking quite as sharp, GT4's environments look a bit iffy and Chaos Theory’s lighting is looking just ok. Now, the next gen can’t come soon enough. The potential that is there waiting to be tapped is scary. These systems have - truly for the first time - the power to let developers create games with almost no barriers. We’ll see what they do with this power. Hopefully, not everyone will try to use 80% of the system to power the graphics engine. Hopefully, this new power will be used to open up new gameplay opportunities never before possible. We’ll see.

Next year’s E3 should be one for the ages.

May 19, 2005


The boys at Bungie and the Unreal 3 guys looking at killzone2 you know they were some serious butT puckering going on and seat shifting, and saying oh crap !!!!!! And the game is not getting released for another year !!!!!!!!!!! All of them saying over and over its not real its not real, it cant be real, no way this is not in game real time…ok I hope its not real, oh god don’t let it be real !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stars Wars Episode III FINALLY !!!!

LUKE !!!! I am your Daddy

May 18, 2005

Video Game as Art

As my friend Tanis says video game is art, here is someone that agrees

E3 DAY 1

Ok, This E3, hands down is about the next gen consoles.., xbox, ps2, and gamcube games, who freaking cares, we want our next gen games and we want them now !!!!!! Sony or should I say Killzone ruined the rest of E3 for me, after watching that Killzone video, regardless if its pre-rendered or not, you know Sony will have to make this game close to what it showed the world.... After Killzone everything pales in comparison. Every screen shot and video I look at gets automatically compared to Killzone..... And so far I haven been quite disappointed with xbox 360 other than Gears of War. Unfortunately the PS3 posts have been pretty limited. The Playstation 3 so far is the clear winner of the next gen consoles, I just can't wait to see some in game play !!!!! Kudos to G4 for asking tough questions, they did an interview with Microsoft's J Allard and asked him why no Perfect Dark Zero and why little showing of Perfect Dark on the MTV special, he also asked him why the xbox360 games are really not looking nextgen... Allards answer was that game makers to develop games for E3, I was like yeah !!!!!!!!! Um hello, but this the place to show the world what you got..It appears as though Microsoft still doesn't get what E3 is about.. Clearly the G4 team has declared Playstation 3 winner... Oh and where the heck is Next Gen Madden ??? hmmm could it be another perfect dark blunder,weak graphics ?? EA who eliminated all the competition by purchasing all the NFL team and player names and images. Will it be that EA can put out a crappy Football game because no one else can make one. Come on EA lets see it, quit hiding...
MY SONY HDTV Playstation 3 games to be played here...

E3 quick impressions

Ok, to reiterate what powerpuff has said, E3 is in full swing and Sony’s been making HUGE waves with their official announcement of PS3. Some of the games/demos they’ve shown have been simply amazing. Killzone has left me floored, MotorStorm looks too good to be true, Fight Night Round 3 looks insane, and some of those tech demos are unreal.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been fairly quiet. 360 games aren’t looking quite that impressive anymore after seeing what PS3 has to offer. Granted, whether those PS3 demos are in real-time or anywhere close to what the final product will be is still up in the air, but the fact that they were shown is enough to get us doubting 360's power (compared to PS3 of course, because there is no arguing whether the 360 is a powerful piece of equipment. It is. But compared to PS3?)

Killzone has me salivating, contemplating, doubting, wishing, and frustrated all at once. Is it real? Can it be? But how? Too good to be true. We’re not at that level yet . . . or are we? Sony, answer me dammit!!!! Don’t leave us wondering for months!!!!

P.S. - Umm, where’s Perfect Dark Zero? Wasn’t this Microsoft’s Ace? Oh that’s right, I saw what it looked like on the MTV special (sort of at least) and after seeing Killzone . . . good call Microsoft, you shouldn’t be showing that game off quite yet.

May 17, 2005


After visiting IGN most of the day, the games that have really caught my attention are
Killzone, Unreal Tournament 2007, Gears of War, Motorsports and Dark Sector, sorry Perfect Dark but where the hell are you ???

What are you most excited about for this E3 2005?

XBOX360 v. PS3

At this point which one should I get.... I don't know, I see that the PS3 is capable of using the new unreal engine and run it smooth.... Its too early right now I think at the end of this E3 I hope Microsoft and Sony can convince me which will provide the most bang for the buck, how do you gamers feel, post your opinions !!!

Playstation 3 KILLZONE

Woke up 5:00 am flew downstairs to the pc to see what new info was posted on the PS3.. I quickly found that Killzone had a video..... I turned it on and began watching and could not believe what I was seeing, the level of detail the movement, the textures, flying over a war ravaged city, you see the remenants of buildings broken and destruction of war all around, one of the transports flying a head of you takes a direct hit from a ground to air missle you the the smoke stream behind it and as it strikes the transport causing it to spin out of control and explode on impact into a building.... this is just the first 20 seconds of Killzone.. Words cant describe what I am seeing, the only game that comes close to the atomoshpere of this game is Call of Duty, but its ten times better, the graphics, the explosions, the chaos leaves you tense, Imagine Saving Private Ryan the first twenty charging up the beach and you get the feeling I am trying to convey... This looks, sounds, and acts, like a next gen game should !!!!!!!!! I kept saying to me self please let this be in game, please it has to be in game graphics.... I was so exicited after viewing this, then reality began to set in, they never mentioned or tried to prove this was a real time in game Killzone demo..... My hopes were quickly dashed, I quickly became angry at Sony for giving us the ulitmate tease without giving us a hint of promise they would deliver..... So now like the rest of the gamers around the world I have to sit wait and hope, that the next 3 days Sony will deliver on its promise... Lets hope they do for our sake....

Playstation 3

I was at work watching the clock all day long waiting for the Sony press conference to begin so we could finally received news about the Playstation 3, mind you I have only owned the first playstation and I am big fan of xbox, and I was curious to see what Sony had up its sleeve. I search every half hour trying to see if any information would be leaked all day... Finally with 5 minutes left on the job there is a post about the technical specs of the PS3 I was blown away at what they created.... I liked the way the Bose styled PS3 looked, the controller is funky shaped like a boom a rang, but hopefully its comfortable and works well. I like what I was reading; blue tooth controllers, Bluray DVD player with an upgrade for a DVD burner and larger hard drive. Wifi ready, and the ability to surf the internet and video chat... But gaming is what we care most about. I wanted to see what this cell technology could do, enough Hype let me see some games..... They teased us with a shot of Killzone, the screen shots blew me away..I was already thinking xbox360 who, Sony hands down won the style and technical side of the war against Microsoft !!!! Let the games begin !!!!!!!!

May 15, 2005

Why even bother?

Ok, I’ve recovered from my comatose state and am finally able to jot down my thoughts on the MTV “unveiling” of the X-Box 360. And just what might those thoughts be?

Why even bother wasting the resources, man power, effort and electron beams needed to broadcast such a lackluster, uneventful pile of rubbish.

In ½ an hour we probably saw 40 seconds of the actual system and a total of 25 seconds of game footage. And that’s with the “first ever Perfect Dark Zero deathmatch”, the biggest farce I have ever seen on tv.

I should have known. Hell, I did know. I had my reservations about the show, which I posted here earlier . . . yet somehow my hope that Microsoft would come through blinded me. I quickly knew I was in trouble when some unknown girl struts up to the center platform, pulls the 360 out of a bag and then the crazy editing and camera movement kicks in.

Here’s a thought for the editing/camera guys: if you actually focus the camera on what it is you’re trying to show, maybe the viewers can actually take it in. As Powerpuff mentioned, instead of the absolutely useless bit on pimping your X-Box, how about focusing on the reason people are watching - the 360 - and go over its features. Open the DVD tray. Show the back of the system. Give us some freakin’ specs for Pete’s sake!! No, we get none of the above. But we get to see The Killers perform. Yeah! Gamer’s rejoice!

Then, there was the Perfect Dark Zero deathmatch. I don’t even know what to say, except to reiterate my original thought of this post. Why even bother? If I want to see a bunch of people’s reactions while they are playing a game, I can go to my local arcade and stare at strangers. For all we know they could have been playing Counter Strike, or Halo 2, or freakin’ Pac-Man, since in a stroke of brilliance they decided that there was no need to show the actual game they were playing. So again, I must ask . . . why even bother?

From what I managed to see of the games they showed, I was most impressed by NBA 2K6, Ghost Recon 3 and Gears of War.

Tony Hawk and Tiger Woods looked like they were running on a regular X-Box. Very disappointing. Need for Speed looked great, although it was hard to tell if the graphics were real-time or a cinematic (maybe that’s a compliment to the game).

Lastly, one game I was very interested in seeing, Madden, continued to disappoint. I thought that the Next Gen Madden commercial was very, very, disappointing, and the footage shown in this unveiling continued the trend. I was hoping Madden’s visuals in this Next Generation would start to blur the lines of reality and gaming. As it’s looking so far, the player models look nothing like actual humans, and the lighting and textures still don’t seem to try to mimic reality. After seeing the amazing NBA 2K6 video, Madden’s visuals look far, far behind. Here’s hoping that this is all very early footage and that the actual game will blow me away.

So, I guess we’ll have to wait until E3 to get some real answers. Here’s hoping for the best!!! Can’t wait, next week is going to be VERY exciting!!!

Tanis out.

May 12, 2005

Ok, just got done viewing or not viewing the xbox360 on MTV.... WHAT THE HELL !!!!!! That was not even a tease..... PIMP MY XBOX ????? you have to be kidding me.... They fly all the way to the UK to reveal Perfect Dark Zero from Rare, and they show maybe 35 seconds of game play the entire time at Rare including the death match.... Lets talk about the Death Match of watching people play, ummmmm hello camera man show the freaking game, I dont care of who is holding the controller, show us the game !!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to stay it wasnt even enough for me to want more, Microsoft you need to at least give me a little taste, so I will want some more. It was like wanting and waiting for a 16oz t bone steak and they only show the steak knife and the empty plate !!!! Guess we have to wait a week for E3, THANKS FOR NOTHING, MTV AND MR. GATES...

X-Box 360 unveiling tonight!

Tonight is the big unveiling of the X-Box 360 on MTV @ 9:30pm. I am pretty siked, although I have to wonder: why MTV? I just hope that the show focuses on what’s important here . . . the X-Box 360!!! Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that this event is going to bring painful memories of the absolutely horrendous Spike TV Videogame Awards. You know what I mean, the spotlight will be on the celebrities attending, the musical acts performing and as a side note we’ll be lucky to see 10 minutes worth of content devoted to actual video games.

You know . . . I don’t like where this whole "video games being a bigger business than Hollywood" thing is heading. Because where it’s heading is an ugly, ugly place. Lets hope I’m wrong.

Ok, that’s a rant for another time. Lets just hope that the show is at least watchable.

My virgin experience

Well, my virgin X-Box Live experience wasn’t as castrating as my buddy Powerpuff’s was, but it definitely was a wake up call. I’ve been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and consider myself a pretty dedicated gamer. I take pride in "thinking" that I can play at a higher level than a good percentage of the gamers out there. Of course, a large percentage of gamers today are casual gamers who play to kill some time and enjoy the pretty visuals and don’t really appreciate the true art of gaming. They can find enjoyment in a game such as Narc, but they take one look at a gem like Ico and they just don’t "get" it. Anyway, now that I’ve alienated and insulted probably 75% of the gamers out there, back to my first X-Box Live experience.

I was one of the millions waiting in line at midnight to pick up my shiny new copy of Halo 2. I squealed like a girl when I got my hands on the shiny tin case of the Collector’s Edition and I sat doe-eyed in the dark upon firing it up for the first time. Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and I had beaten the game on Legendary, I was at the top of my game....except I had not played on Live yet. What can I say, I had no DSL at home.

Along with my lack of DSL, I was also short on friends who are gamers who live in close proximity to me to enjoy the great multiplayer aspects of the game. So once I finally made the trek over to my friend’s house to try it out on Live for the first time, although I was a master at taking down multiple Elites on Legendary, I was about to find out that those skills will do you little good when playing on Live.

The first game starts and my heart is racing a million miles a minute. We’re playing team capture the flag on Zanzibar...and I realize I barely know this map. Hell, I barely know any of the multiplayer maps. I proceed to get my ass handed to me. Over and over again. What’s wrong? What happened to my skillz!!! I’ll tell you what happened, they are ABSOLUTELY USELESS IN MULTIPLAYER!!! Live requires an entirely different approach to the that apparently the 12 year old girl that abused my buddy has and I lack!! After a few games I realize that I am in over my head. I need to regroup. I need to learn the maps, the weapon placements, the secret pathways....everything, before I continue watching my Spartan’s character model get tossed around the map, body limp and contorted as it slams into a wall 20 feet away after getting blown away by the rocket launcher (which I couldn’t find for the life of me) for the 13th time in a row.

So, my tips to any Halo 2 Live newbie out there are:

1 - Expect to encounter cheaters. Lots and lots of cheaters.

2 - For the love of God, play PLENTY of multiplayer with your friends before you take the plunge into the chaotic fragfest that is Live

3 - Record yourself saying every cuss word you know, then play it back repeatedly while you sleep to prepare you for what you will hear once you start playing on-line.

4 - And lastly, be prepared to lose to high-pitched, pre-adolescents who sport more skills than you could attain in a lifetime.

Peace out.

May 11, 2005

Xbox Live Oh The Pain

Ok this the moment I finally been waiting for. I owned an xbox since the first day of launch. 4 years later I finally signed up for my xbox live account. The question of which game to play first was not an issue. Halo 2 was the game. For my first ever Halo 2 game on live I choose a head to head match. I sit there waiting for the game to load. The match begins I quickly realize I am way in over my head, the person wants to dish out pain and I am its only target !!! I die quickly and often and manage to respawn, in a few moments I am again left staring at the respawn clock ticking down. I manage to get a couple of kills in the life long 5 minute match. As the clocks sounds the end of the match I begin to hear the crackle of voice over my headphones. To my horror its the sound of what appears to be a 12 old girl, who begins to tell me good game, I am frozen in time thinking if I should even respond or should I run and get my 11 year old son to speak instead of me. I swallow my pride and answer her, she gives me the good game exaltations (because she beat my ass), and then begins to tell me she doesn't play that often, like that is suppose to make me feel better. If you have figured how I got the title for this blog, now you know.. Man that hurt....