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Archive for the ‘Flippin’ Video Games’ Category

The PS4 presentation at E3 blew everyone away. They did so by allowing everyone but Kaz Hirai to run the show, and by basically doing the opposite of what Microsoft did with the XBox One.

THE GOOD

  • Does not require an online connection. Unless you want a Plus account and multiplayer.
  • Will allow you trade your old DISK games in, or give them to your friends, etc.
  • The camera is not always on, unlike the Kinect.
  • Price is $100 cheaper than the XBox One ($399).
  • Great game line-up. Destiny and Elder Scrolls win.

THE BAD

  • Cloud-based and streaming gaming. Have we not learned from the first PSN hack?
  • Still going to try to push the Vita on us. I DON’T WANT YOUR GOD DAMN VITA.
  • The UStream button. So now instead of a few unpolished Let’s Play videos, there will be thousands that my friends make. Oh God.
  • Still no backwards compatibility.

But that’s what I got out of the E3 presentation. Sony is trying hard to redeem themselves, and they should after the shitty PS3 debacle. It’s great to be the underdog, because you can then do anything cheaper and more expansive, and look like the God damn king. My question to most people is – are you excited about the PS4 because of what it is, or because it’s not the XBox One? Because if the second answer is part of it, you need to slow the fuck down.

Here’s my advice for future console makers – stop trying to incorporate PC features such as social media into your machines. The PC will always have the edge in that arena, and we don’t use our consoles to send Facebook/Twitter posts. So stop it.

Sony’s got the momentum and the drive, but can they keep it up? Only time will tell.

*And fuck Bungie – they are so good at making gaming drugs.

 

 

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Yeah, work is killing me. Literally. 4 nights on, 3 nights off, and then 3 nights on and four nights off. Repeat.

The biggest news is that we made it. Iron Man Mode has made it to December, and I’m finishing up the season with a play-through of the indie game called DEFCON. Nothing like a little Global Thermal Nuclear War for Chershmersh.

Next year, I plan to tackle even more ridiculous, horrible games. I am starting off with Magical Diary, which is a Japanese Life Simulation game about a girl going through magical school with all the drama and romance and bleh of a Japanese Life/Dating Sim game. Seriously – it hurts me phyiscally to play that game. Just about as much as playing Hatoful Boyfriend (someone else should so play that game for Iron Man Mode, because it’s unGodly weird) and Kanon. I have no idea what I’m going to play for the rest of 2013, but your suggestions are welcome! Just make sure it fits the idea of Iron Man Mode and that it’s terribly painful for someone like me to play.

Have a great holiday, in case I don’t post again until 2013. Love you guys.

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As I have reported before, I am writing a few gaming blogs about my adventures playing video games for Iron Man Mode. For those of you who are new to my blog* (from recent events bringing you here), I wanted to just say that Iron Man Mode is playing a video game at the hardest level until you die, and then your blog stops. It’s all for charity – we make no money doing this thing. We easily met our $500 goal in four months, and are now shooting for the $1000 goal before December. We’re more than halfway there, so if you want to give us a small boost, we’ll be more than happy to blather on about you and show you our appreciation.

Recently, I’ve been focusing on playing City of Heroes, but I think I’m about to take the death there and have to move on. I’ve been scrounging around for other games to play, and I think once Wasteland 2 is more of a concrete thing with a concrete date, I’ll play the original Wasteland on Iron Man Mode. But what to do in the meantime? It wasn’t long before a friend of mine bugged me enough to get my attention on IM and tell me about Project Zomboid.

The game itself intrigues me, mostly because it’s a WIP (work-in-progress) Indie game that has a lot of potential. If you look at all the versions since their initial release (1.5), you’ll see the map gets bigger and the environments get more complex. For instance, you can turn interior lights on and off in newer versions, and at a random date a week or so later, the power goes off. So now your fridges and lights don’t work anymore, forcing you to rely on batteries, flashlights and canned food. Doing noisy things brings tons of zombies – so you need to rely less on shotguns and more on baseball bats to kill stragglers. NPCs can help you or hinder you, depending on their randomly determined stats.

It’s an awesome Iron Man Mode game. Here’s the part of the game’s description that describes why it’s the best IMM game ever:

Well the surviving for years isn’t really what this game is about. Here we’re telling the story of your death, not your triumphant survival against all odds.

The game starts with you within the confines of a quarantined city. The outside world still oblivious to the truth of what is happening, but this will change. Once they are hit by the apocalypse, those other people will be much more able to deal with the zombie threat. With time to prepare for the situation, or to flee for the frozen tundra where the Zomboids would merely freeze. They may survive. But you are inside the confines of a quarantine, squeezed in with a million zombies, and there’s no getting out. You’re fucked, if you pardon the language.

Like Dwarf Fortress, the community of which has a motto which is ‘It’s fun to lose’, what we’re offering here isn’t a game where your characters goal is to save the world, find a cure or flee to the promised land.

The goal here is purely to have the most unique and remarkable adventure leading up to your eventual and inevitable demise. One that you can tell your PZ playing mates about, or could chronicle in a blog diary, or record on youtube, or draw a web comic of. A unique and deep story of your final experiences that others will find engaging and enjoy hearing or reading about. So you’re destined to die. Pessimistic and bleak? Perhaps, but what we’re looking to accomplish here is to strip the formal ‘main quest chasing’ mentality of playing the game.

And there’s no save game feature. You start and play until you die (you can pause, so maybe you’ll leave it paused overnight or something), or until you quit because you can’t sit there anymore. Dont’ worry – you’re more likely to die, because the game is really out to kill you dead. And there’s so many ways to DIE in this game (zombies, fire, falling, starving, going nuts, etc).

The only downside to this is that while version 1.5 (which is available on the site) runs instantly on whatever machine you are using, if you decide to download and use the later versions (2.0-RC1 is awesomely complex, but you need to find it on the forum), you need to perform Java gymnastics to get it to work. First of all, it uses the 32 bit Java 7 update. For those of you not using Windows 7 (like me), you have to alter all sorts of files (such as getting rid of the x86 in the Java access command). And then – depending on your memory type and size, you need to tweek the rmr/xmx values in the .bat files. Which is a tweak and try type deal. Once you get it working though … yeah, you turn into a zombie just playing the damn game for hours.

So as soon as Zeke decides we need to start another round of something (probably as soon as my Star Trek Online sessions end), you’ll see my Zomboid run-through pop up. As an added bonus, I’m not only going to play the game ONCE, but TWICE. Once in version 1.5, and once in 2.0 R. This way, you can see my characters die twice, and hopefully in different ways both times. The map is HUGE in 2.0 R versions, which will lend for more exploration and room to dodge zombies.

So keep an eye on Iron Man Mode.com. I’ll be running for my life.

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* My number of RSS followers went from 56 to 82, and the number of hits per day has risen to over a hundred. I thank the whole twitter debacle and Penny Arcade. LOL

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A good friend of ours that we met at PAX 2008 – Gil Ruta – recently brought another charity to my attention. Gil is an interesting person – he works for Nintendo USA. We met him in line to play Rock Band 2 before it was released to the public. We played a lot of RB2 over XBL with him and his friends for months afterwards. I’ve played a few games with him here and there. He’ s one of my more active Facebook friends. His group is the Northwest Classic Games Enthusiasts, and their Seattle Retro Gaming Expo (or SRGE) happened over the weekend.

Gil does a LOT of gaming. So their charity was no surprise to me. What was a surprise to me was that they played a large scale Steel Battalion game at the Expo. That’s impressive – I remember playing a million years ago on the older XBox platform at a friend’s house. The controller was a massive thing and really brought you into the game. Nothing like today’s Kinect version of Steel Battalion, which has a bazillion bugs and doesn’t track your movements very well at all. He’s trying to act as Champion of the Wii-U. I don’t know if I’m going to buy another Wii just for the special controller dealie (although it keeps looking cooler and cooler with every developer who shows their game on it).

Kudos to Gil, though. His charity is for Camp Kesem. Summer kid camp for cancer families and survivors.

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This isn’t going to be an educational post on the mechanics of a grenade launcher and how to use said weapon. It’s more of a discussion about how I’ve observed recent trends in gaming vs the grenade launcher.

And the reason I’m having this discussion is because – in Battlefield – I’m abusing the Hell out of the grenade launcher, and so is everyone else.

They should just call the grenade launcher in Battlefield the “wall wonder device.” Two main ways the WWD is used in most of the games I play –

1. To blow out the walls of a building until it collapses, or until the area is undefendable (because of no cover).
2. To kill campers who cluster around objectives/in corners/behind tanks.

The third thing I see happening (and this is where the abuse comes in) is dudes using the grenade launcher to kill single targets. It doesn’t help that the main class that gets access to the grenade launcher is also the class that gets the ammo reload pack. To be honest, I have tried to use my gun more often than my grenade launcher, because that’s how it should be, and I can save my grenades for wiping out n00b clusters.

But that’s not how it’s going to be, because now we’re in a war of escalation. Grenades trump everything (save a well-placed rocket, but those take longer to reload). It’s like every other confrontation is a game of Dodge ‘nade. The sun is blackened as the air is filled with grenades, and if anyone could survive that, we’d be fighting in the shade. Tossed grenades … launched grenades … it doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s almost a sure-kill weapon makes it the weapon of choice.

It’s insane, really. They should just rename Battlefield Bad Company 2 to Battlefield Grenade Company 2, or Battlefield 3 to Battlegrenade 3000. My normal, successful tactic in both of those games is find cover, throw down an ammo pack, switch to grenade launcher, fire grenades, throw hand grenades while my grenade launcher ammo restocks. Repeat. At least the days of Call of Duty’s Nazis yelling “GRENADA!” are no longer around.

That used to drive me NUTS!

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So today the systems were down and we were totally without anything to do. My buddy Kevin is a pretty rad guy, and after awhile, I noticed that he and four other guys had disappeared. I walked around the smoking area, the break room and then past the meeting rooms. I found them sitting around the meeting table in room 401A. Each was armed with a laptop. The main projector was on.

They were playing this.

“How the fuck did you manage to convince Amy to let you do this?” I asked him, “Hmmm, or does she KNOW you are doing this?”

They paused the game. Kevin shrugged.

I watched them play through the siege scenario, protecting their station … thing. It was quite amusing, and they were all having a lot of fun. They died, of course. It helped that the meeting room’s projector was linked up to the wireless network so they could just hijack it to run their main screen. I tried the engineering station, and it wasn’t extremely hard. The weapons station looks kinda complicated. I kept getting conflicting requests from helm and weapons for more power, while the captain kept telling me to boost our shields. Holy crap, guys, we only have so much power to go around!

Great game, if you have six machines and a large main viewscreen to spare. Otherwise, I don’t think I could ever do this at home (although doing it ONLINE would be awesome – we’ll just pretend we’re all at stations in other parts of the ship and we’d have to have a separate main screen window for each PC).

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So, my interview is finally up at No Prisoners No Mercy.

It was a lot of fun to talk the Sisters and I really enjoyed the topics of discussion. It was a privilage to be showcased as “someone important” from Iron Man Mode and in the name of the Child’s Play charity.  You should listen to more than my show, though – they do an awesome job of talking to a lot of industry professionals and covering news topics.

I have to admit, I cringed a lot while listening to myself nerd out about everything. You can laugh at the monkey while you listen and I won’t blame you at all. LOL

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