Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Zelda

Game Reviews has a short and interesting article about the Legend of Zelda games. Specifically, this is the first year this decade with no new Zelda released. Worth a check.

No Zelda this year for the first time decade

Back to AC

So I started Animal Crossing: City Folk and am obsessed with it. Anyone who has it, let's meet up. I have peaches, cherries, oranges and pears.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Prince of Persia skins

I just beat Prince of Persia for the 360 and found it incredible. Of course there are things in it that I dislike but overall it was amazing. I can't wait for more from this game.

To let you know, in case you missed it somehow, you can change the skins that both the Prince and Elika have. So you can make them look different. There are 4 skins for each of them, and you start out with one each. I thought I would tell you how to get the others.

The Prince:
The Prince - You start with it.
Sands of Time - This is the Prince from the sands of time game. To get it you must go into "Extras" at the main menu and then hit Y for the pre-order thing. Input 52585854 and you should unlock him.
Prototype - Collect all 1 001 orbs. Only available on the PC version.

Elika - You start with it.
Farah - This is Farah from the sands of time game -- not the donkey. To get it you must go into "Extras" at the main menu and then hit Y for the pre-order thing. Input 52585854 and you should unlock her.
Prototype: - Collect all 1 001 orbs. Only available on the PC version.

I haven't gotten the Prototype skins yet and I'm not sure I will be going for every single orb, but there you are. Comment if you have any questions or concerns.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Have a good Christmas everyone! If Christmas isn't your thing, have a good whatever you do then!

I'll try to post regularly about any of the games I get and how I feel about them.

Geekmas is upon us

I know that's an incredibly dumb term.

Anyway, something you should know is that Castle Crashers is getting patched in about three hours. Yes. I said it. Patched. That means we can finally play it online! Yes! I'm so happy! So far this Christmas has started off great. If anyone wants to play some of the old game tomorrow, hook me up.

Also, to add to the holiday time, Doctor Octoroc has made an 8-Bit Techno album based on Christmas tunes. You can find it here. He titles it: 8-Bit Jesus. Some tracks I find noteworthy are The Legend of Noel and Have Yourself a Final Little Fantasy. The best part about all these songs is that they use the music you find in the game to compose the Christmas jingle. So you will hear only notes used in The Legend of Zelda when hearing The Legend of Noel.

Now for something not holiday themed, however it fits in with 8-Bit Techno. I've known about 8-Bit Peoples for a while now and I don't really know why I didn't show you guys more of it. This site has some of my favorite 8-Bit Techno I've ever heard as it is so deep and well put together. I would post some of my favorite albums and songs, but I can't quite remember and all my music has been erased when my computer crashed.

Have a great holiday everyone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 2008 VGA Awards

So people who know me know I love video games. And they'll know that video games and the news and industry surrounding them are like blood to me. So as I have done for the last three years now, I tuned into Spike TV's Video Game Awards. This year - 2008, this sixth annual - was awful.

Now you are probably very confused as to why I would say this. "But Sean, it's about video games!" My problem with it was that it was talking the stereotype of "gamer" a bit too far. I will start off by saying it was a much better idea to have Jack Black as a host over Samuel L. Jackson. However, I don't like how we as "people who play video games" are to be thought of as chubby men in underwear all day. I know it was a joke, but with the decrease of the 'hardcore gamer' and 'casual gamer' differences moving along quickly, it kind of gets rid of the point.

What's else? This. That in its entirety is quite true. I'm so tired of having companies use attractive women to make us care about their product. The fact that she made up a gamertag was even worse. I'm also getting tired of the stereotype of 'women don't play video games.' We all know that that is no longer true. Nintendo makes a killing proving that stereotype wrong daily.

I also don't see how the announcement of a Gears of War 2 map pack was the BIG SURPRISE! Especially since this game Isn't even a month old yet - which brings up the argument whether it is a fair add on, or a lousy and rude marketing strategy (but that's for another day).

In the end, I didn't even finish the entirety of the show. I'm glad that I didn't because I didn't need to hear and see anymore announcements that will be on Kotaku by the end of the night. Also, did they really need two hours for about thirty minutes of actual game awards?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crap of 2008?

Here is Wired's article of The 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2008. Some of the games I agree with -- like Mario Kart Wii -- but some I just can't see -- like The Prince of Persia and Dead Space. What do you guys think? Should some of these games actually be up there? If not, which ones should?


Giant Bomb has put up it's Christmas wish list for this year. It made me think of what I want, and what you guys want.

I looking to get The Prince of Persia, Chrono Trigger and Tales of Symphonia 2 - to name a couple things - this year. What are you guys asking for?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I've been busy with stuff! Like buying video games! These ones:

  • Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
  • The Prince of Persia
  • Rock Band: AC/DC Track Pack
  • Scene It?
  • Tales of Vesperia

Monday, December 1, 2008

Jumping Christmas!

Review: Midnight Club: Los Angeles - 7

Midnight Club: Los Angeles has the feel and look of most arcade style racing games, but is brought down by its difficulty and various flawed game play elements. The overall look and set up of the game is nice and works for this style of game, but it doesn’t fit well when placed together with the extreme difficulty. It has a lot of stuff going for it but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

Midnight Club: LA uses the concept of an open world for you to drive around in and find racers to take on. An open world means that you have an entire city to drive through and the races that you take part in are set up in certain areas /streets of the city. For example, this same concept is found in games like Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Most Wanted. This game requires you to open your map and select your next opponent, then drive and find them. At times, you will be able to race your opponent to the start line which adds a bit more to the experience. Though, this game doesn’t really require an open world setting for it; the style of venue doesn’t really add much to the game. The city doesn’t have many notable land marks, so you won’t be able to remember how the city is laid out. What makes it weirder is that even though it’s an open world, during the races you still have check points to meet. So you can’t find your own way to the finish line. But you can still drive off the path, which can cause you to fall far behind and adds to the game difficulty.

The game play in Midnight Club: LA also is feels off. Because it isn’t a simulation racer (a style of driving game where the car’s mechanics replicate driving a care in real life), it focus’s on the concept of “hold down the accelerator and dodge obstacles.” This kind of game play is found in the Need for Speed and Burnout games. What this game falters on with this control style is that it focus’s too much on this. In most games with this style of racing, the break button is still needed during some sharp turns or to help avoid an obstacle. Unlike those, Midnight Club: LA doesn’t use the brake button at all. In fact, using it will cause you to slow down so much at a turn, that you will easily have your opponent(s) pull ahead. This makes you have to always worry about whether you are going to fast or not when reaching a turn and hoping you have enough room between you and the guy behind you to use the brake. Not being able to use the brake button much can make driving in between cars and taking sharp turns very difficult.

On the other hand, the game awards you with new “Special Abilities” the further you go through the game. These can be anything from slowing down time so you can manoeuvre better for a few seconds or even causing an opponent to break down for a bit. These help out quite a bit during a race; slowing down time when you realise you need to make a sharp turn immediately can really save your life. The addition of these abilities are good and fun to use and ease the pressure of the game difficulty. They allow for more thought and strategy to be used in the race and gives you more diversity to the way you handle the tracks.

This brings us to the difficulty of the game, which is very high. With a lot of racing games, not having a super clean run can cost you the race. This aspect is quite frequent in Midnight Club: LA. What makes this even worse is that the opponents will hardly ever crash into anything or overshoot a turn. Your opponent(s) always knows exactly how fast they should be going and the best route to the finish. This causes you to always need to be on your toes. No matter how far back your opponent is, one wrong turn or collision can still cost you first place.

To add to the difficulty, they set you up with four different levels of challenge to play. Green is easiest, yellow is medium, orange is hard, and red is hardest. For the majority of the time I spent with the game, I was playing either green or a few yellow runs. Green became quite easy for me once I upgraded my car as much as I could, but I was still only winning by a few short seconds. Yellow was the level I had to play at to have a challenge and yet still have some chance of winning. Normally you’d be able to keep replaying the races so that way you can memorize some of the hard sections and practise it – not in this game. Each time you do the race again, after losing, it changes the track. You’re still doing the same race, but now you’re driving through a different set up. This makes any chance of trying to practise at the areas you screwed up at impossible and greatly increases the game’s difficulty. Not being able to memorize key turns and the layout of the race tracks can really annoy you.

If you do get tired of the computer players, you can take your driving online. The game allows for up to sixteen players racing at once with various different game modes. Besides the standard racing modes you can play types such as Keep Away, the player must hold onto a flag for as long as they can; as well as Stockpile, the player must collect as many flags as they can. The online also adds a couple more special abilities for you to use against your opponents.

One of the nicest things about Midnight Club: LA is the graphics and the way it presents itself. Everything looks real nice and shiny wherever you go. The car crashes aren’t as good as what we’ve seen in games like Motorstorm or Burnout Paradise though since your car will never blow up. However, it does a good job of making your car look like trash if you get banged up enough. The city of Los Angeles in which you play also looks great and has a day and night cycle. The city’s weather can even change from sunny to cloudy to even start to rain on you while you race. So you will never have to race in only one type of setting/weather pattern.

The music in Midnight Club: LA is also good and diverse. You can select different genres in which to play depending on your music taste. The best part about the music in the game is that it allows you to make a Favourites Playlist. This lets you choose which songs specifically you like the most or want to listen to. The inclusion of this is great since listening to music you can’t stand and getting frustrated at the game are not a good combination.

Overall, Midnight Club: LA is a very nice looking game that just gets frustrating after a short while of playing. The game play and difficulty make it a real hard to stick with. However, if you can get past the tedious beginning, it fixes some of these issues when you start getting the better cars and superior tune ups. The game presents itself very nicely and can get extremely fun when racing online. Though it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre and doesn’t stand out as a better racing game against some of the current contenders on the market. It does a good job of looking sharp, but can be hard to get into and if you really want the best racing experience, you’ll look somewhere else.

Overall: 7/10