November 29, 2005

4 Day Weekend, cable problems and Morrowind

In light of the whole 360 shortage fiasco, my Thanksgiving weekend was spent playing regular old X-Box, instead of the nice new copies of Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty 2 which are in my possession.

Then, to add salt to the wound, when Comcast shows up on Saturday to finally hook up my cable and internet, the guy tells me that the construction workers that remodeled the apartment apparently cut the cable connection, plastered over it and put new molding there, so he did not have access to the cables he needed. So, no cable, no internet and no 360 for my much anticipated 4-day weekend. Joy!

I’ve taken a slight break from Ninja Gaiden Black. Since I’m playing through the game on hard now, if I didn’t take this break I foresaw broken controllers in my future. I tried playing Jade Empire, but for some reason, I wasn’t feeling it. Since I hadn’t played the game in almost a week I was finding it really hard to get back into it. Surprisingly, this same thing happened to me with Bioware’s previous game, KotoR. I stopped playing it for a while and really didn’t get the urge to pick it up again for months. This is strange because with Jade Empire (much like KotoR), when I’m into it you can’t pry the controller from my hands.

So, that pretty much left me with no games to play. I glanced through my game collection for something I hadn’t played in a while and one game caught my eye. Elder Scrolls: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition (long ass title!!). I bought this game over a year ago when it went down in price to $19.99 (I think it’s $9.99 now) and never really played it for more than a day. I had read all about it and I was always intrigued, so I had decided to buy it. I was never able to get into it since the game starts off pretty slow and it can be very overwhelming to a newcomer.

Since I had no 360 and one of the 360 titles I am most looking forward to is Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I decided to give this game another shot.

Man, this game is fantastic. Sure, it takes about 20 freakin’ minutes to load up, but its level of freedom and depth is unmatched by any other game I have ever played.

The main thing you need when starting out is patience. Lots of patience. When it begins you are one weak, pathetic bastard. I was getting my ass kicked by rats, crabs, and pretty much any enemy I would come across. And since combat appears to be in real-time but the outcome is completely based on your stats and your enemy’s stats, it can get frustrating when your swing you sword at an opponent, or level arrows right at their chest, but you don’t hit them because your combat skills are too low. But one of the best aspects of the game is building your character from a pathetic fool to a total bad-ass. Although, keep in mind, that will take a VERY long time.

But what makes this game so great? The graphics are dated, the frame-rate takes a hit most of the time, the game tends to freeze every now and then for a few seconds and if you need to load a previous save, get ready for that 20 minute load screen again (for the record, it’s not really 20 minutes, it is more like three, but that’s still a long ass time!). But, this game is so ambitious and open ended, it overcomes all that.

Do you know how Fable was touted as being this amazingly open-ended RPG where you could do pretty much anything and go anywhere you wanted? Well, turns out it wasn’t. The funny thing is Morrowind was already all that and more.

When you’re starting a new game, you can customize your character to a surprising degree. You choose a race, birth sign, and character class. If you’re not sure which class to choose you can answer a few questions and have the game choose the best one for you based on your answers. Or you can create your own class, choosing the properties you want from all the different ones. Once the game starts you can then basically, well, do anything you want. The game will give you a letter and package to deliver to someone in a far off town and that is the only thing pushing the main narrative forward. You may decide to quickly deliver the package or just explore and find your own quests. Like I said, it can be overwhelming for newcomers because the game does not hold your hand and force down a certain path. All you have to go by is your journal, which you use to keep track of important events, conversations and quests as they come up, but it is up to you decide what you want to do and when.

One of the most impressive aspects of the game is that practically every item you see in the game world can be interacted with. The pen or paper on the desk, the cup, spoon or plate on the table, the bottles or jugs on the shelves, everything can be picked up, taken, stolen, and everything has a weight and value. Of course if you get caught stealing you will need to pay a fine or go to jail. But that’s only if you’re caught. A moral player can play the game never stealing a thing. Or, like me, you can join the Thieves Guild and steal until you can’t carry anything else. Speaking of Guilds, there are many to join and they are a great way to advance your character and get quests.

The game world of Morrowind consists of one giant continent that you can traverse however you want. You have to physically walk everywhere and it could take you an hour to walk from one side to the other. Luckily, the game offers some quick transportation from the main cities and towns in the form of Stilt Riders - big, ugly, insect looking creatures that transport you from location to location - or if you’re a member of the mage’s guild you can use their teleportation portals.

You can buy or find countless weapons and armor, some magical, some valuable and expensive, yet all of which show the wear of time after a while. So that nice sharp long sword won’t be so nice and sharp after slaying 100 foes and that new armor will have a few chinks in it after absorbing all that melee combat damage (the wear and tear isn’t visual though, but a meter next to each item lets you know its condition). These items can be repaired at a blacksmith for a price, or, if your character is proficient in it, you can repair them yourself if you have the proper tools to save some cash. The game gives you countless options. Savvy magic users can create their own spells, aspiring chemist can create their own potions using the game’s huge array of various plant life, animal remains, ingredients, etc. Experimenting with alchemy can yield surprising results.

Scattered throughout the world you’ll also come across hundreds of books, which you can actually read page by page. Granted, most are only a few pages long, but this just goes to show you just how insanely deep this game is. Some books even raise your character’s skills depending on the subject of the book.

Your character has a health bar, magic bar and a fatigue bar. The fatigue bar goes down whenever your character exerts himself, such as during combat or when sprinting, jumping or swimming. How much weight your character is carrying also comes into to play, since carrying close to your limit not only drains your fatigue bar faster, it also makes you move slower.

The game world changes from day to night and there is random weather, such as rain, thunder and fog. Depending on your race and affiliation, NPC characters will treat you different. NPC’s that like you will give you more information and offer you better rates when purchasing items or training. There are also Vampires and Werewolves in the game and if you get infected by those you become one two. You can try to have the curse lifted, but if you don’t within a certain amount of time, you are doomed to stay a vampire or werewolf forever, forced to feed on the blood of others. I haven’t had this happen to me yet since I’ve only been playing for a few days. And there are still many, many other things in the game I have not mentioned or even seen yet.

Of course, it is not perfect. Aside from the long load times and game freezes, there are a few questionable design choices. For a game that is so realistic and detailed, I find it funny that you can walk into anyone’s home and just wander around freely, going upstairs unsupervised and the owner of the house will not care or follow you. I also find it annoying that if you are caught stealing, when the guards confiscate your stolen goods they take ALL your stolen goods. Even stuff you might have stolen weeks ago in some town miles away. They should have no way of knowing what items are stolen, except for the ones you were caught taking at the moment.

Anyway, I’ve probably only put in 15 hours in a game that has well over 100+ of gameplay. Seeing just how amazing this game is, I really can’t wait for Oblivion. Like, I REALLY can’t wait. Since it looks like I won’t be playing a 360 anytime soon, I’m glad I discovered this game to keep me entertained. I only wish I would have realized just how cool this game is sooner.

November 24, 2005


360 Search Begins

As Tanis stated, I too was looking forward to finally playing Perfect Dark Zero in coop mode this weekend. I waited at two stores early in the morning prior to openning not releazing that the store managers had already passed out vouchers for the all the 360's they had in stock. I was majorly disappointed. But now the hunt begins, I will, I must have a 360 before x-mas... I will not waste two long weekends in a row Christmas and New Years not playing. I will keep you updated on my search here on the West coast and Tanis on his east coast search.

November 23, 2005

Empty Handed

So, anyone who read my previous post knows that I was supposed to get a 360 this past Sunday. Key word being “was”. Of course as it turns out (because nothing can ever go as planned), my so-called “hook-up” wasn’t, well, much of a hook-up.

I will not bore anyone with the details, but lets just say that I went from having a 360 Premium Package available on Sunday, to having to settle for a Core Package on Tuesday. And I refuse to waste my money on a Core package (I still think this was a stupid move by Microsoft).

So, much like Powerpuff, I am left with no 360. Disappointed does not even come close to describing how I felt. Enraged was more like it.

Here’s my problem. A month or so back, I was completely content with the idea of getting a 360 in December/January, whenever I could find one. I wasn’t really in a rush. Then this “hook-up” comes along and starts putting fantasies in my head of me getting one at launch. That’s when the excitement started to build. To a fever pitch I might add. So, now that I was so sure that I was going to get one, I am no longer fine with getting one on Dec/Jan. I want one now dammit!!!

I also have a shiny copy of Perfect Dark Zero in my possession. As well as Call of Duty 2. Staring at those game boxes and not being able to play them is not the easiest thing in the world.

It’s funny, Powerpuff and I were already talking about how we were going to be playing some co-op Perfect Dark this weekend. There’s some saying about not counting your chickens before they hatch, or some shit, that I am sure is applicable here. Fucking chickens.

November 21, 2005


Ok I finally gave in, while passing a Target I stepped in walking briskly to the electronics trying hard not to look like a geek with a stamp on my forehead "I NEED 360 RIGHT NOW". I search for a 360 kiosk only to be disappointed, then I see they do have around 10 360 game titles. Then I spot her she is on the cover beckoning to me, Joanna Dark, do I resist and what until I have an actual machine or do I justify getting it now, hey what happens if they run out !!!!! You know what I did, I walked out of Target with a copy of Perfect Dark Zero. But, I will not be talking photos of it to post on this blog or any web site, uhummm (losers!!!!!)
I will let you know what happens tomorrow if I even make an attempt of obtaining one of few 360 jewels.
Powerpuff signing out, I love you Joanna, I mean honey you know I love you, Joanna is just a game, a play thing.

November 17, 2005


Well here we are a few days before Microsoft launches its next gen console. Beating Sony and Nintendo to the punch. Let me take you back to E3 2001, I was working with Tanis, that's right we both worked together at one time. We were excited about E3 and the revealing of Halo and the Xbox. He sat in my office as we downloaded the video of Halo. We were instantly blown away at the level of detail and atmosphere of that opening sequence landing on the beach of the ring world of Halo, watching Master Chief kick alien butt. Tanis being a big Nintendo fan was also impressed with Microsoft first attempt into the gaming world. I could not wait until November to get a hold of an xbox. Fast forward to E3 2005. This time around Microsoft chooses to release a sneak peak of the 360 at an X Gen MTV event. Which ended up being a huge bust for Microsoft. Perfect Dark supposedly the Halo for the xbox360 launch, was a total failure. I won't go back over the history, we all know what happened. E3 05 for Microsoft left gamers with more questions than answers. Compared to the 2001 launch, Microsoft instead of improving upon there 2001 launch fell very short of their goal. People were all raving about Playstation 3 and the famous Killzone video. Since that time Sony has yet to capitalize or create further momentum for the Play Station 3. With no in game video for any of its games and rumors of an 2007 launch, this has given Microsoft the advantage it was hoping for. The bottom line is, has all this competition and posturing from Sony and Microsoft been helpful in creating games that we gamers have been longing for. So far I have to say the answer is no, not yet. Tanis has mentioned this before and I agree, Microsoft launching a year before Sony and Nintendo should not even be attempted if they are not ready. Clearly Microsoft is not ready, the current reviews of launch games should make Ballard wince. The 360 games revealed at E3 proves this point most of those that wowed us Gears of War etc. will not be released until 2006. Mean while Microsoft will still sell millions of consoles before Sony and Nintendo because they have both been no shows. With a launch dates of some where in late 2006 or even 2007 gamers are no longer willing to wait. With quality games 360 games in the middle of development, and being released prior to Nintendo and Sony console launches, it appears Microsoft has accomplished exactly what it set out to do. But, then why do I feel like we gamers have been royally given the shaft? If we want these companies to take notice and realize we the consumers are in control, they we need to stand up and put our money where our mouths are and not purchase mediocre launch games, we deserve better we have made xbox what it is today because of high quality games like Halo. I certainly hope Sony and Nintendo have taken notice of the mistakes made by Microsoft and get back to the business of making great games.

360 Thoughts

Well, the 360 launch is rapidly approaching and the first batch of 360 game reviews have surfaced on the net.

It appears as if every game is in the 7 to 8 range. Not bad, but no one is getting blown away by this supposed “next generation” of gaming. The tone of all the reviews are the same. The games are nice, they obviously look better, but not by as much as one would like. In the case of games that are out for current gen systems (Gun, Need for Speed, Tony Hawk, Madden and NBA 2k6), they play the same - maybe a hair better - and just sport a new coat of paint to catch the gamer’s eye. I can’t say I am not disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm I’m reading in these reviews. After all, the next gen jump isn’t going to be cheap.

The few games that have been designed specifically for the next generation (Call of Duty 2, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Gears of War) look nicer, but most of those have been pushed back. Kameo and Perfect Dark don’t fall into that list because they both started out as current gen games and I’m sure are not fully taking advantage of the 360 hardware (although Kameo has been getting decent reviews).

It appears as if sports gamers are getting the biggest shaft. So far, all the sports titles appear to be direct ports of the current games with beefed up graphics. This Q&A session with Visual Concepts over at Operation Sports confirms that developers had very little time to get these launch games ready. It is no surprise that the results so far have been underwhelming.

Of all these titles, I am most disappointed about Madden. Obviously right? I only wrote the largest blog post in history about this subject a few months back. The IGN review only made it worse. That review has got to be the most pathetic, non-informative, preview-regurgitated garbage ever written. There is zero content in that review. It doesn't answer any questions about the game or how it plays, except to reassure my fears that is plays exactly like the current Madden, complete with all its shortcomings. New engine built from the ground up? That's right. Built from the ground up to emulate the current engine exactly, except with "pretty graphics". It is almost as if the reviewer was avoiding talking about the gameplay because if he did, the final score couldn't be justified. Is this what we have to look forward to in next gen football for the next five years? Based on EA's track record with game engines and the lack of competition, I'd bet the farm on it. Or is Madden 360 just another victim, as are all the launch games, of a developer doing what they can with what was given to them. Microsoft after all deliver final development kits extremely late, forcing developers to patch togther these launch titles in a mere couple of months. I have really been on Madden’s case, especially after seeing all those screenshots and movies of NBA 2k6. Turns out, 2k6 isn’t the revolution I was expecting. The player models are amazing, but the rest of the game is virtually unchanged. It even has the same menus as the current gen version. Worse of all, only the player and court graphics received a face lift, the coach and fan models remained the same. At least we know Madden’s menus look pretty slick and it is using totally new player, fan and coach models. So, it seems unfair for me to pick on Madden when it appears all the launch games are suffering from the same issues. One thing that the other games didn’t do though, is remove features already in the game. No challenges, no create-a-player, no mini camps, no owner mode, no superstar mode. I don’t mind the lack of owner or superstar, but the others seem like pretty big loses. I will reserve final judgment on the game until I play it. I gotta admit, right after I read the IGN review I was fuming and was ready to come on here and thrash Madden to death. Powerpuff beat me to it, but I echoed his pain. I guess in hindsight, seeing that this appears to be the norm for launch games so far, dare I say it, it looks like Madden might have faired better than some of the other sports franchises. Am I still disappointed? Oh, absolutely. Am I going to get the game? I’m not sure. But I will let this one slide.

I blame Microsoft and what appears to be a hasty launch. It is obvious developers were not given enough time with the hardware to put together the games they wanted. But I will say this. If Madden 2007 (and this goes for all sports franchises) does not come out swinging and totally blowing us away with vastly improved visuals, gameplay and innovations, I won’t hold back, because there will be ZERO excuses for them to fall back on.

Anyway, I have a hook-up and I will be picking up my 360 this Sunday. I know I’ll be coming home with a copy of Call o Duty 2. Depending on the reviews for Perfect Dark or Condemned, that might be the only game I come home with. Madden 360? Tough call. I’m curious to see how others will score the game (Gamespot, TeamXbox). Maybe it is better that I don’t get it. With the expectations I have for next gen football games, playing the same old Madden - regardless if the graphics are amazing (which I really haven’t seen anything myself to suggest that) - I will probably just be disappointed and depressed.

I’ll be sure to post my impressions on the 360 ASAP. Probably won’t be on Sunday unfortunately, since I still don’t have internet at home (I’m getting it on the 26th. Honest!!). But I’ll be giving Powerpuff a call with my thoughts. Maybe he can post my quick impressions.

Anyway, here’s hoping for the best. I’ll continue to chime in as more 360 reviews show up.

November 15, 2005

Jade Empire

On Friday I passed by Best Buy and picked up a copy of Jade Empire. It was only $19.99, and since this was a game I always meant to play, I figured what the hell.

I’m about 10 hours into the game and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but I’m amazed at some of the review scores this game received when it came out. 9.9 from IGN. 9.7 from TeamXbox. The game is good, but those are some pretty high scores. This game is basically Knights of the Old Republic set in a fictional Asian-style universe and with real-time combat. But, KotoR was absolutely fantastic, so that’s not really a knock against this game. It is just that after KotoR, Jade Empire might be a little too similar. We have the same long and constant load times, same conversation system (which is very good, but flawed), and the same good/evil game mechanic, which again ultimately feels extremely shallow and cosmetic since the game basically plays the same regardless of which path you chose: the open palm or closed fist. Disappointing.

The graphics are far better than KotoR, but this is also tied with one of the game's biggest flaws. As with KotoR, the environments are completely un-interactive. You have a set pathway you may walk through but there are invisible walls everywhere. The environments feel like Resident Evil’s prerendered ones. They look nice, but you’re basically walking through invisible hallways. Areas you think you can go to are not accessible and so the whole world begins to feel extremely artificial after a while.

The gameplay can be pretty predictable and repetitive as well. You go to a new area, you talk to everyone to get info and quests, then you leave the town and enter the combat segments, followed by more conversations, rinse, repeat. Standard RPG fare, but it is getting dated.

And yet, even with its overly simplistic design, I cannot stop playing. Something compels me to keep going . It’s the same addictive quality all RPG’s share. I enjoy powering up my character. I want to see that next section and there is never a moment when I actually want to stop playing. After all is said and done the game is just fun to play. I don’t think I can play another game using this mechanic though. I never played KotoR 2, but after playing the original and now Jade Empire, the engine is getting a bit tiresome, so I don’t think I would be able to play another full game using it unless major changes are done.

So, Jade Empire is a very solid RPG, which would be fantastic if it didn’t play so similar to KotoR. I haven’t finished it yet, so I don’t want to give it a final score, but so far it is looking like a solid 8.

EA sells out its Fans

Ok they took away all the features that made Madden a better game !!!! Nevermind the graphics we willl put that to the side... This is sad, what we feared apparently has happened. I hope next year that put all those features back and make serious upgrades to the graphics. But like you said this is it we are stuck with this games engine for the next 5 years.... This sucks !!!!! EA's take is screw the fans that mad Madden what it is today, lets dumb down the game in order to attract new people to Madden. Which is stupid no one is forced to play Owner or Franchise modes, no one is forced to play the mini-camp games. This is something that could have been kept. But no EA will add these features in the coming years to suggest hey look we improving the game, BULL !!! We see right through you EA. Nothing will change unless people don't purchase the game and send a ton of emails to EA complaining. EA understands only one thing, $$$$$$$$. Reviews such as IGN's are just not helping the cause. Thanks for nothing, IGN... Hmmmm what is that smell, I think it smells like selling out to EA.

November 10, 2005


Everyone join me in wishing Tanis A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!

Halo 2 in 720p!

What I consider to be some pretty fantastic news was announced yesterday as Bungie - in celebration of Halo 2's 1st year anniversay - revealed that both Halo: CE and Halo 2 will be backwards compatible with X-Box 360 right out of the box and will run both games in wide screen, in 720p, and feature full scene anti-aliasing!!!!

I hope this is the standard for all backward compatible X-Box games. I can't wait to see Halo 2 running in glorious 720p!!! For those that want to see if the jump from 480p to 720p is really much of a difference, go look at MVP 2005. The jump in resolution is immediately noticable.

And for those out there who have yet to take the plunge into the HD realm, I understand. While HD sets have gone down in price, it is still a hefty wad of cash you have to pony up. But for anyone playing a 360 on a 4:3 non-HD display, trust me, you are only seeing half of what the games are capable of looking like.

OXM and stuff . . .

I finally received the latest copy of OXM. I have been eagerly anticipating this issue for the video demo it has on Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for 360.

Quick impressions of the video. First of all, I don’t think the video was showing the 360 version of the game. It looked to be the PC version, ‘cause it definitely appeared as if the on-screen cursor was being manipulated by a mouse instead of an analog stick. The video is broken up into sections. The Introduction shows the beginning of the game, which has your character locked in his jail cell as the king and his guards barge in to use a secret pathway that happens to be right in your cell. The graphics look pretty spectacular. The textures and lighting really have a next-gen look. The physics are also impressive, as the character manipulates some hanging chains and bones that are scattered on the cell floor, they all react with convincing real world physics. Another video shows off the game’s forest environments. These virtual forests look fantastic and are by far the most impressive graphical aspect of the game. Individual leaves and blades of grass sway in the wind and are affected by the realtime weather of the game. There is a video devoted to stealth and another about the game’s advance A.I. The NPC characters all follow their own individual 24/7 schedules. They sleep when they are tired, eat when they are hungry, and do different things when they are bored. The A.I. video showed a lady taking target practice with a bow and arrow. When she realized she sucked at it, she walked toward the desk and drank a potion that improves accuracy and then she couldn’t miss. She ate and slept and even reprimand her dog who was being noisy. All these actions were dictated by her A.I. and were not preinstructed actions according to the developers. Pretty impressive stuff if you ask me.

However, there was one problem I had with the game. Graphically, as I stated, the textures, lighting, character models and physics come together to create a pretty impressive visual feast, but the animation has some problems. The NPC characters tend to walk a bit stiff and robotic and combat does not look fluid or realistic at all. It is understandable, considering the way the game is played, but it was the one glaring flaw I saw from the video. I’m sure it is completely unnoticeable to the player who is caught up in the heat of battle though. The effect is also enhanced because the visuals look so amazing that the awkwardness of some of the animation stand out even more.

But overall, I gotta say I came away impressed. This is one of my most anticipated 360 games. I’m worried though that with its complicated A.I. system and the fact that it is such an open ended game, that it will be extremely buggy when shipped. It’ll almost surely require a few patches. Man, I never thought I’d be saying that about console games.

As far as playable demos, the disc has a few of them. Most notable I guess could be Castlevania: Curse of Darness. Now, I don’t know if it is because I have been playing Ninja Gaiden Black for a month now, but the Castlevania demo was god awful. And I mean awful!!! The graphics were pathetic (I thought Konami had more talented programmers than these?) And the gameplay was extremely shallow and boring. I was bored after two minutes of play. Really, this game was bad. I hate to judge games based on demos because I’ve seen many demos that don’t do justice to the finished product, but man, go play Ninja Gaiden and tell me if that game doesn’t run cirles around this Castlevania crap. And I love Castlevania!!! Symphony of the Night is one of the greatest games ever!!!

The Spartan: Total Warrior demo was also kinda blah. Kindom Under Fire: Heroes was boring. Heroes of the Pacific - a flight sim - was actually pretty cool. I have yet to play the other demos, I’ll probably get to them tonight. I really want to try the Without Warning demo, because the magazine ripped the game a new a-hole by giving it a 1.5 review score, calling it one of the worst X-Box games ever. Shame, it has a cool premise and concept.

I’m curious, if there is anybody out there that has the retail version of Castlevania:Curse of Darkness, let me know your thoughts. Because based on the demo, all those 7's I see the game getting in magazines and websites seems high to me.

On a different note, tomorrow is my birthday and I’m staying home all day and will be bumming out. I’ll play some more Ninja Gaiden (I’m by that Alma-bitch-of-a-boss again, only on hard this time. Arrgghh!!!), and I’m trying the time attack mode in SotC. That should keep me entertained for a while. I might watch the Episode III dvd too. Not sure.

November 09, 2005

Best Ending Ever?

I beat Shadow of the Colossus the other day. That final Colossus was a pain in my ass!!! I kept getting thrown off and having to climb up again (which was a long process), but ultimately it was a satisfying battle. What followed was one of the most rewarding endings I have seen in a long, long time. Maybe even ever.

About 95% of the games out there have really disappointing, lackluster endings that leave you wanting more after devoting a large amount of time to beating said game. SotC’s ending certainly does not disappoint for feel lackluster in any way. It wholly satisfies. First, it has got to the longest ending I have ever seen. There is nothing worse than reaching the end of the game, watching a 10 second cinematic and then seeing the credits roll. No, this ending must have been a good 15 minutes long, complete with additional playable sections (which unfortunately are mostly cosmetic since you cannot change the outcome, but cool just the same) and continues even after the credits roll. Why don’t more developers devote time to a game’s ending? They almost always seem tacked on, as if they were an afterthought. Halo 2? C’mon now, that game was incomplete. No way the developers intended that game to end so abruptly. They just ran out of time. Ninja Gaiden Black? After how freakin’ hard the game was, I wanted something a little more rewarding. I am sitting here trying to think of other game endings which were good and I’m having a hard time remembering any. Do you know why? Because they all sucked!!! I can clearly remember Ico’s ending, a game I beat 5 years ago. Why? Because it was awesome!!! Yet, I just finished beating Far Cry Instincts not too long ago and can’t really remember its ending. Something about jumping into a helicopter. Big f’ing deal.

So, come on developers. Don’t get lazy, plan ahead, and take a look at Ico and SotC as examples. A game’s ending matters!!! Reward the player for seeing a game to the end. Unfortunately, I think things will get worse before they improve. With the popularity of on-line play, developers are devoting huge amounts of time to that aspect of a game. Single player games - while in no danger of going the way of the dodo yet - will begin to decline, both in quantity and quality. I don’t think gaming will ever become completely multiplayer (man, that would suck), but I do think that as more and more people get into on-line gaming and developers continue to focus on that aspect, we’re going to get more poorly implemented or tacked on single-player campaigns, and unfortunately, more poorly conceived, short, boring game endings.

November 04, 2005

Who the Hell is Powerpuff !!!

Yeah I am still around... Xbox broke like 2 months ago. Tanis thinks it was a cleaver conspiracy on my part, to get the lovely wife to purchase me a new 360. Hmmm we will never know, but apparently it worked, the wife has agreed to purchase one for our combined Christmas and birthday gift, my sons birthday is also in December. It has been rough not being able to pick up that xbox controller. Though I do on occasion sleep with the controller.... Just please don't let any one know about this is a secret between me and you ;). My love for gaming continues though my lack of time for it seems to decrease for it on a daily basis. My son who is a freshman in high school has asked me regarding colleges that have a video game design school. Fortunately for me our States University does have a program. A boy after my own heart !!!
Any way I am still around, look for me online in the near future on xbox live for the 360. Look me up you know the name.

Powerpuff; I am otta here