I'm playing "Super Busy Hospital 2", where you take care of all the characters hurt in all the other video games. Now leave me alone. I need to concentrate. I'm performing surgery on a man that's been shot in the head 57 times.

Thanks very much!

Category: By Adam
This post will (un)officially end this blog's run, barring any future change of plans. Up until now, this blog's posts have been created for marking purposes for the blog class I'm taking at UWO. I, as before, will keep writing about games, but I'll be doing it at my original blog, adam @ work. As I mentioned I've got some reviews in the works, some video reviews planned and of course plenty of news to go into, and of course now I've acquired a playstation 3 as well, and I've got the full spectrum of current-gen consoles covered. I've also still got some PR companies sending me review copies of games to dive into. So, I'll have a lot of writing to do this summer.

Thus if you have enjoyed my writing, or enjoyed my take on games or the resulting discussion, I highly encourage you to join me. This weekend I'm going to start by posting my review of Wanted: Weapons of Fate. After that, who knows.

Be seeing you,

- Adam

Sony just doesn't get it

Category: By Adam
I like to think I have a pretty well-tuned BS detector. Which is probably BS because rereading that sentence makes it go off. Which leads to a circular paradox that I don't want to think about anymore, but besides that, this chart Sony released to the press a few months ago is just a little bit too much. It's just a side-by-side of current gen consoles, with Sony attempting to show which of them is a better deal.

This chart made my detector go off red alert style. Not only does it attempt to capitalize on facts that are not really relevant (Xbox 360's have all had hdmi output for over a year now, and I promise any you find on a retail shelf today will have hdmi), and skewed facts (like how the wii has "no available" hard drive, yet it does have internal storage and you can swap out SD cards and potentially have more combined storage than either the Ps3 OR the 360, if you so wished), but it's just plain douchebaggery in principle. Why waste time knocking down other companies' products when yours are good enough to stand on their own? It makes your company look unprofessional and generally filled with gigantic ponces. Apple does this as well.

This is yet another move in a long game of moves that makes me really detest Sony. I love my Ps3 more than any of my other consoles, it really is a solid, well put-together machine. But stuff like this, stuff like backwards compatibility being removed, stuff like the pushing of products for their own sake when they can't stand alone... it ticks me off how many terrible decisions they make. Their marketing and PR people are completely clueless. With the right team behind it this machine should sell itself, it's easily the best one for people like me but I'd never know it until I owned it, so Sony should really get some better people to market this thing.

Stupid AI

Category: By Adam
Today penny arcade posted the comic on the right. It got me thinking about enemy AI in games like this, and how often it holds true. Now, in this instance it was referring to the new Wanted: Weapons of Fate game, which, in all likelihood, I will be reviewing considerably soon (though maybe not TOO soon, as I'm told the game is pretty short, so I'll be waiting for the prices to drop a bit). But I started to consider henchmen's attitudes toward explosive objects in general, or rather, henchmen in general.

I was re-watching season five of 24 recently, and noticed henchmen acting in the same way on an airstrip; taking cover behind a large tanker from kiefer sutherland, of all people, meaning of course they are doomed to fail, their knowledge of this possibly aiding their decision as to where to take cover. But why do all henchmen do this? Explosive objects are something of an eye-catcher in a firefight, least it should be to someone who can actually operate a firearm, and after watching a dozen or so of your colleagues in Wanted get blown out of airplane doors because a nearby fire extinguiser forced the door open you'd think they would get the idea to avoid those general areas. Yet they continue to do so with admirable gusto.

Some games and movies actually pit you against more intellegent AI enemies. FEAR, for example, has a really in depth AI that'll restructure, pin you down and flank you based on their numbers, weapons, and other things like that. But is that nearly as fun as having them all gather around the nearest explosive crate? Both have their own kind of appeal... players who like the strategy, and players who like the spectacle. Who's to say you can't have both? Maybe you can, and having dudes take cover behind buckets of gasoline is a little unimaginative. I'm not entirely sure. Sound off if you have a different take on it!

Microsoft sucks.

Category: , , By Adam
I've been told by my friends that I'm going to become an Apple person some day, regardless of how much hate I spew about that company. Today I think they're right.

I was configuring my router this afternoon, nothing special. Wanted to boost its security up to WPA2 encryption. So I set it up, then went through the process of configuring all my comptuers and consoles to match up with it. Within seconds my Wii and my Ps3 were set up with the new encryption and got up to their usual awesome connection speeds. When I tried this stunt with my 360, I realized it wouldn't even recognize my router any more. What the hell?

Upon a little more research I found out that the 360 does not support WPA2 encryption with their wireless adaptor. You read that right: Microsoft's game console, and the wireless adapter that comes with a 100$ canadian price point, does not support a newer, more secure wireless encryption that both Nintendo and Sony's game consoles do. THE NINTENDO WII can support WPA2, which I believe was patched in after its release through a console update, not to mention it and the Ps3's wireless networking is built right into the console and isn't 100 dollars extra.

Microsoft's insufferable decisions like that are making me more and more upset with how they play right through their user base for their money... because as well you know, they have no real dedication to that user base, since it's so established and so stupidly huge. This afternoon I explained to my mother why she couldn't open a .docx attachment on her older computer. After installing office 2007 on her machine and telling her about the new format being very finnickity with older versions of office, she expressed annoyance. The plugins that microsoft offers for users of earlier versions break frequently at best and straight up don't work at worst, from what I've heard. Which only seems to indicate it's another way microsoft will take your money; you're so used to office you'll just have to buy office 2007 and give them 200-400 dollars for it.

With all this and a recent spaz I had over Vista's inability to network in any way ever, I just think I have reached the end of my rope. Come this summer once I have more disposable income I may end up doing something quite drastic... a new Macbook definitely looks like a good start...

In any case, bringing this all back to games, Microsoft... you know, the makers of the most used OS in existance today... haven't made their game console compatible with a newer, more secure wireless format that literally ALL their game division related competition has taken care of before they have. When are these people going to get it? This will be what kills them one day. If they don't care for and support the user base through ALL their divisions, they're going to lose them to companies like apple and nintendo that show they actually give a damn, and on top of that, actually put out good products.

This is not about games: The end (of print/tv/radio)

Category: By Adam
Even after the class ends I might make "TINAG" a regular blog feature. I somewhat enjoy providing commentary on other web-related issues that isn't game-related. Might be made up of movie reviews, internet business... we'll see what crops up in the world during the next year, and see how the section takes shape.

In any case, this week the topic is CBC's "The End" series, providing commentary on the web causing the elimination of various forms of media, including print, radio, and television. I'm not entirely sure it's so much an elimination, but an integration, of these mediums that is taking place. The line is blurring between them even today; radio, for example, is available in many forms on the internet, allowing users to stream stations featuring their preferred genre or type of audio entertainment. Talk shows and mixes can also take the form of audio podcasts, that can be downloaded and enjoyed at leisure. Because of how flexible and customizable internet radio options are, digital radios will not necessarily eliminate that particular medium but extend it.

Similar arguments can be made for print, as many/most news companies publish their stories on the internet in addition to publishing them in their papers. TV broadcasters also make episodes of their own featured shows exclusively available on their own websites (not taking into account piracy, obviously), along with episode guides, summaries, and a bunch of additional meta information you wouldn't be able to gather from the program itself.

What we're seeing isn't so much an elimination of these forms of media as an evolution, extension, and/or an integration of it.

Cloud (video game) computing?

Category: By Adam
As many MIT-studying kids will know, cloud computing is THE FUTURE, or at least an interesting concept that's being deployed in a few places in terms of the internets. I'm not making much sense here, so let me break it down for you: cloud computing refers to the concept of entirely server-side applications being run, data being stored, etc. everything taking place remotely, while a simple stream and/or interface is shown to the user over the internet. They can access the servers from anywhere with an internet connection and use those applications and access their data. Many of Google's apps like google docs, Amazon's shopping system, etc. are examples of this kind of stuff.

Now this new conceptual game device called OnLive tries to bring the cloud computing concept into the gaming realm. That is, you'd get a small device like the one in the picture. It'll just connect to your television, and you'll hook in up to four controllers/headsets through bluetooth. Then the device sends and recieves information from a remote server farm. So essentially, the game is running on the remote server, and it's just sending back a basic video feed of what's going on.

This pretty much eliminates the need for an expensive client-side game console. The games would also all be server side, so you'd basically just be buying access to particular games. The unit that you'd have to buy would be relatively inexpensive and not very cumbersome, and easy to move around.

The problem lies with your dependancy on the remote servers. If you can't get a connection or they're down for whatever reason, you can't even turn the "console" on. Many game consoles these days aren't connected to the internet at all, and requiring it wouldn't be for everyone. Also, there would be a considerable amount of lag involved from your control input to seeing the action on the server, which is also considerably dependant on a decent and consistant connection to the server, which isn't always possible. Even at the best of times control would seem pretty clunky, but maybe that's just because I'm pretty intense with my games.

So I don't know how well this would fly with people, what do you think?

Why Animal Crossing doesn't fly (with me)

Category: By Adam
I'm sad to report that my Wii has been sitting and gathering dust for the last couple months, especially with the arrival of the Ps3, and some review titles for the 360. Recently I decided to pull out Animal Crossing again to give it another whirl, put some cash into a new house, that sort of thing.

Upon entering the town, I found it overrun with weeds. Garbage and dropped objects littered the landscape, and people's homes. Everyone I talked to was incredibly upset, reminding me that I hadn't visited/played in over two months. Tom Nook was upset that I wasn't repaying him for his recent renovation work he'd done.

I realized with this that I hate a game that penalizes the player for not playing the game often enough. I know it may work on some people, but on me it doesn't encourage me to play more, it encourages me to play less. I don't want to have to run around town cleaning up shop and blow off 1.5-2 hours just to restore the status quo before I start playing again. It hardly makes sense that everything goes to hell when I leave anyway... plenty of creatures live in that town besides me, and I'm the only one responsible for its well being?

It's disappointing that a decently-made game like this one pulls a tactic like this. The only time it doesn't matter is when it's played consistantly, and I guess for real fans of the game that isn't really a problem. But for someone like me that may have to put the game down for a couple months at a time for school, work, or other games in between, it's too much of a penalty to punish me for every single hour of gametime I didn't spend playing this.

Max Payne 3?

Category: , By Adam
Not sure how/when this was announced but a good friend of mine Sam Jeffery alerted me to the existance of this splashpage that rockstar put up. Looks like rumours are actually true this time and that a third Max Payne game is on the way.

The first Max Payne came out in 2001 for the PC, starring a NYC cop hardened by the deaths of his family and hunting and gunning down those responsible for it. As generic and gritty as a noir film could deliver, it was also one of the first games to provide the player with slow motion bullet-time gameplay, allowing for slow jumps through the air while launching bullets and explosives every which way. It also told its intermediate story (which was shockingly extensive for a shooter) through graphic novel-style comics narrated by decently talented voice actors.

Max Payne 2 followed and delivered more of the same but better. The story twisted and turned into a noir type love story this time, with all the characters of the last returning somehow.

Now the third one... I'm not sure what to think of. The splashpage contains an old, grizzled Max Payne. With a beard. And wrinkles??

I just finished playing Metal Gear Solid 4 (which, coincidentally, I might do a video review of for the class, that or LittleBigPlanet) which reminds me a lot of what Max Payne might be; a torn up veteran called back into action for this reason or another, and has to undergo ridiculous circumstances in the fight but the force of his old grizzled will is what keeps him pushing his frail broken body all the way through to the end. I wouldn't mind another game like that (MGS4 certainly kept me hooked emotionally until the finish) but is this sort of story/theme getting tired? ...Well maybe that's the wrong question, it's tired all right but are YOU tired of it, or rather, are people tired of it, despite how much it happens.

Either way, Max Payne 3 is going to hit the 360 and the Ps3 and probably the PC too this winter.

New Dexter game

Category: By Adam
Any fans of the Dexter TV show will get a kick out of this. The crew at Giant Bomb were the first to post this trailer (that hit my eyes, they didn't break this or anything). Sorry that there's a massive gap between my intro and the embedded video, their embedding is ... slightly broken. Their page for the video is here if you'd like to check it out over there, or if this doesn't work for some reason.


David Perry at TED

Category: By Adam

I feel sort of lame, not only for pointing to a TED talk, but for pointing to a TED talk that was pointed to me by of of my MIT professors. It's here on their server if the embedding isn't working out (and I'm not sure how well it'll go), but it's a really interesting and thought provoking talk about the state and the future of games. I had some thoughts about the statistics he presented in particular, and I'll end up writing a response later this week.


Category: , By Adam

For the sake of experimentation, once I put my first true blu(ray) ps3 game into the console to fire it up, the name on the front of the disc was burnout paradise. An excellent choice to be sure, but once it got into the intro screen I froze, realizing: wow, I can't take any picture for my license photo without a camera.

Now of course I had no playstation camera and my other usb cameras are too wired into my setup to yank out, so in the name of science and discovery I plugged my xbox 360's live vision camera into the ps3. Almost instantly it fired right up. No hassle, no fuss, nothing.

Now you might say "well Adam, it's a simple plug and play usb camera, what's the big deal". And you'd be right, it's not a big deal. Yet this kind of compatibility would never be pushed by either of these companies. But I can just swap my camera back and forth between the systems and save big.

Not sure if you'd be crazy enough to buy even one camera for your gaming console, but even if you do, make sure it's just one you buy. ...Though I'll be more impressed if I can play games like eye of judgement with the xbox camera. This requires FURTHER SCIENCE!

Never say never: new (old) ps3!

Category: By Adam
While this is more a personal post than anything that'll be of any benefit to anyone else, I snagged myself a Ps3 today with the help of Shawn, a friend from work. Found a good used one on eBay, and it's an older 60gig model, which means older Ps2/Ps1 games will work in it, it has a card reader, and a bunch of other useful things they took out of newer Ps3 models for no freaking reason. If you've talked video games with me recently you'll know all about my struggle to get my hands on a good older ps3 like this on the cheap(er), and I finally managed that this last week, making shawn my total hero.

So, coming up next is a review of the Wanted: Weapons of Fate demo that was released on it recently. I'm also checking out some exclusive downloadables just because I can, including Pixeljunk's eden and Nobi Nobi Boy for sure, possibly flower, flOw, and more in the near future. So keep an eye on your RSS feed (and hit that wavy warbly button in the top right if you haven't subscribed yet) and you'll hear all about some games that are definitely worth your Ps3 related time.

This is not about games: Watchmen

Category: By Adam
I've heard too many random reviews of Watchmen not to speak up about it a little bit. I think the major problem is I loved the film for what it was (having read the book before seeing it). The negative critisism I hear, though, doesn't usually find any consistant pattern. I've heard some people say it didn't include enough elements from the novel, while others say it included too many and was too long. Some say that the bone-snapping action was too over-the-top even for the story, while others complained that there was too much drama padding out the story.

Because I can't find any sort of consensus as to why it isn't so great, I can only conclude that expectations were just set way too high for this movie.

People are, either way, going to like or hate this movie for different reasons, as people do with any movie. But I think part of the problem was this movie was set up to be a massive epic, and the other part was moviegoers didn't know what they were getting into, or rather, what to expect from this film. Plenty haven't read the story, and those that did have very particular ideas about it. Something like the Dark Knight, on the other hand, was set up to be epic and people knew exactly what to expect, and they ended up getting it and then some.

So I think Watchmen's chief failing is it's lack of clarity, which is the fault of both the filmmakers and the filmgoers. It's still an excellent movie, I think you just need to know what kind of movie you're going to see... as most movies are quite clear about what they are; action, romance, drama. This movie is a strange hybrid of all of those, and has its own sort of style, and if you're not prepared for it then you'll leave confused.

This is not about games: YouTube introduction response

Category: By Adam

With the movement of many of our daily practices to digital means, the movement of our viewing and consumption of video was inevitable. What wasn't nearly as predictable was the way that the internet-faring public responded to the new medium.

"An anthropological introduction to YouTube" demonstrates this shift using a few examples; among them, the collective numa numa and soulja boy videos, video blogging, and the different dynamics and social changes that have resulted from youtube's introduction. Online video had been previously possible, but not in such an accessible format.

I found it fascinating how other parts of online culture migrated onto Youtube, and not only established themselves there but made use of the visuals to bring people seemingly closer together. Social communities can exist on blog sites, or social networking sites like facebook, but can't quite achieve the feeling closeness that youtube can provide, or at least, could not provide it until after its introduction. Posting video-recorded opinions and having them responded to in the same fashion actively simulates a face to face conversation, albeit one with a time delay. But until then, expressing oneself and interacting with others hadn't been quite so fluid.

Midway: Either restructuring, or MK is out

Category: By Adam
Story picked up from Giant Bomb. Midway, on the path to bankruptcy, is offering it's upper-level execs some incentive to turn things around for some fat bonuses. Here are the terms:
  1. Milestone: Entry into a publishing/distribution agreement for Midway’s new “Wheelman” game (apparently already accomplished), performance by Midway entitling it to gross proceeds of $6 million under the agreement by March 1, 2009, and actual receipt of those proceeds. Bonus Amount: $497,500.
  2. Milestone: Either (i) execution of an asset purchase agreement for the sale of Midway’s Mortal Kombat franchise assets or (ii) submission by Midway of a plan of reorganization to continue as a going concern. Bonus Amount: $1,292,500.
  3. Milestone: The earlier to occur of (i) confirmation of a plan of reorganization or liquidation or (ii) closing of a sale of Midway’s Mortal Kombat franchise assets. Bonus Amount: $1,965,000.
The second two points sort of point to the same conclusion: either they're going to restructure their company to a significant extent, or they need to sell their mortal kombat franchise and float on the cash from that transaction until things are back in order. Now, Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann asks the question of "what is midway without mortal kombat"? And I think I'd have to agree. The last Midway game I can think of that would have reached that kind of audience was Unreal Tournament 3, and I know that didn't sell nearly as well as they were hoping it would. It seems like reiterations of older franchises like that one just don't sell in the same way that they used to...

As for the first milestone, Ubisoft had picked up publishing Wheelman, so it looks like that one was taken care of (whether or not it happened in time, I'm not sure). Either way, I'm hoping they pick up their game, because the company that was responsible for Gauntlet: Dark Legacy sure is worth protecting to me.

Review: Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2

Category: By Adam
If you're not familiar with the dual-stick shooter, then, well, there's really nothing to it. Let me break it down for you. There's two sticks, and you shoot things.

To break it down a little better than that, the left analog stick controls the movement of your character/vehicle, and the right stick controls the direction in which it's shooting. So your attacks and movement direction are totally independant of each other, making for some interesting tactics when you're taking down swarms of enemies flying at you. And swarms are exactly what come at you in retro evolved 2, in the form of miscellanious geometrical shapes. Each shape will behave differently... some just chill out where they are, some snake around the screen, and some chase you religiously - but run away from your shots. Some break apart when you hit them, some are surrounded by regenerating forcefields you have to break through, and others yet suck in surrounding objects and explode into frenzied particles - the list goes on.

The game itself never gets too complicated: you have to shoot these guys. But some modes might have you moving from one safe zone to another in order to keep shooting them, others might send them at you in waves. One favourite of mine is the sequence, that gives you different patterns of enemies in, well, a sequence. I've never made it to the end of the 20-stage sequence, but I've gotten really close...

More than anything I think retro evolved 2 proves you don't need a complicated game in order to give players an immersive experience. The simplicity of it is so addicting you can't help but be drawn into the frenzy.

Review: Crush

Category: By Adam
Every once in a while I'll try to feature a game that isn't as well known, maybe didn't get as much popularity as I thought it should have, and do a quick rundown of it on the site. Crush is one of those games that falls off most people's radars because it's not an A-grade title, it's exclusively for a handheld system, and it's a puzzle game (and with the exception of something like puzzle quest, those don't see the kind of acclaim I think they should sometimes).

In Crush, your main character is suffering from insomnia, so in order to cure this your doctor feels it would be a good idea to strap him into a machine that lets him delve into his own psyche to weed out the problem and get rid of it. Your main goals include gathering up your marbles (which you've lost, obviously), destroying the "bugs" in your brain, and making it through all the various segments of your mind. It's a platforming game, but the coolest feature is the ability to "crush" the world from 3d into 2d. This lets you do things like reach platforms that were otherwise unreachable, or see and do things in a new perspective. For example, a platform thirty feet up would be out of your grasp, but moving the camera above you and "crushing" the world would put that platform right next to you.

The game implements this mechanic in really cool and inventive ways, and since you can definitely pick the game up for 10 dollars tops, and own a PSP you definitely owe it to yourself to check it out.

Coming soon is a review of Halo Wars, which MGS (microsoft game studios, not metal geaaar) was kind enough to send me a review copy of. It'll be up later this week. In the meantime, Geometry Wars 2 still forthcoming.

Review: F.E.A.R. 2

Category: By Adam
Yeah, I do have to add a dot after every letter. That's how they roll on the box art.

So there was a delay with this review going up after I got it. Not because it's a game packed with many hours of play, no, pretty much the opposite... this game can be blown through in five or six hours. No, midterms are what kept me from posting. Also, reading week and a break from all things school.

As FEAR 2 suggests, there was in fact a FEAR 1, and it was a really good game. It was very new and fresh on the scene by comparison. Well, it was a shooter among lots of other shooters, but it added a hybrid of horror and action that I really got into.

FEAR 2 isn't too much different... well, the story is different, and the characters are a bit smarter and the guns are better, but it's the same feel of gameplay, just, much improved over the last one. You can grab pretty much anything in the environment and tip it over to make cover, enemies are smarter and flank much better, and there's enough variety in your foes to make it varied whenever it's in "shoot dudes" mode. In "scary" mode you're getting chased by a little girl and monsters you can't fight and all sorts of business, that creates a pretty excellent atmosphere.

Basically I really dug it, and you should definitely start with the first one if you haven't yet, but very worth your while.

More zombies n' stuff

Category: , By Adam
In keeping with the recent "shooting dead things" kick I've seemed to go on, a couple new bits of news will hit the blog this week. First of all, I grabbed a copy of FEAR 2 before its street date of... today, actually. I've almost played the campaign through and will mess around in the multiplayer once ... I get around to it. Review on that is forthcoming. So is a brief stint on Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2, actually.

For now, zombie news: a new Left 4 Dead pack is on its way out for the 360 and the PC, for the price of free. Free is a great price, one I've always been willing to pay for cool new stuff. Anyway, the pack will have a new game mode, two new VS campaigns (the two that weren't finished for the retail release of the game), and ... that's it. Well, at least it's free. Survival sounds like a cool premise, though; four people in a small map, holding out as long as they can against endless swarms of zombies. Longest time survived wins. That's pretty neat, and it'll happen on 12 different maps... probably fashioned out of the current campaign maps, but. We'll see about that.

Next post will NOT be about shooting zombies! I mean it!

Dead Rising 2 Confirmed

Category: By Adam
Kotaku just informed me that Capcom announced that trailer we just saw in that last post is entirely legitimate. They released some screenshots and other press info about the game because of that, including the fact that it'll be multiplatform (?!) and that it will be set in Las Vegas.

This leaves me feeling a bit sad. I'm sure they were planning on announcing this at E3. Getting this announcement early is sort of like opening a christmas gift early - it's still awesome but damn, you should have waited until the 25th to open it! That's the way it WORKS! Now the magic is all ruined.

Dead Rising 2 Trailer (?)

Category: By Adam

I know it's a bit early to be celebrating over this, but... this new trailer has sprung up all over the interwebs recently (credits to Kotaku). It looks a little bit too legitimate and professional to be a fake...

And if it's not, that means more dead rising. Which means a Zombie game, which looks like it's set in Vegas, featuring a human hamster ball vs Zombies. A game I'm sure we've all fantasized about, and Capcom is forward thinking enough to make a reality.

Mass Effect 2 goes Multiplatform

Category: , , By Adam
Fans of this BioWare (who is great, because they're a Canadian developer, by the way) space-type RPG will be... possibly dismayed to hear that Mass Effect 2 is no longer exclusive to the Xbox 360. It'll be released on the Playstation 3 as well as the PC when it does come out. It might contain one of those "timed exclusive" deals, where the 360 will get an earlier release than the other platforms, but either way, Ps3 owners will have a great new game to play when it does come out.

Mass Effect 2 won't be out until about a year from now, but. Big news is big news.

Review: The Incredible Hulk

Category: By Adam
The best part about this game, literally, is the start screen. The start screen is a very overlooked part of most video games. Usually a splashpage of some kind, or a zoomed out sweeping view of some landscape, is fair game, complimented by random music from the soundtrack and the start/load/options/etc buttons plopped hastily on top. This game is not much different, but the start screen has the camera placed at the end of a dark alley, overlooking a street. You constantly see people running back and forth in panic, see tanks drive one way and get tossed back the other, and watch as random passers-by make it halfway to the other side before noticing something off screen and saying "...what the hell!?" and running back the way they came.

This amused me for several minutes, which is unfortunate because the game did not even manage that much. The last Hulk game, Ultimate Destruction, made the Hulk what he should be: large, green, angry, and just plain fun. One mechanic involved Hulk flattening a bus to use as a surfboard through the streets of New York. If that's not award-winning gameplay gold then I don't know what is.

This game tries to copy Ultimate Destruction but fails miserably as only Sega can. It rips off some gameplay mechanics that Ultimate Destruction had, but doesn't implement them right. The game's audio sounds like it was recorded at the other end of a long wind tunnel, and Hulk punching a hole in a building sounds more like an upset toddler knocking over a set of mega-blox, which would have made for a much more intersting story than all the sidequests this game gives out.

In summary this game fails in every way at what it tries to do, and ends up being another in a long line of movie-games that just don't cut it. Go play ultimate destruction (a game that came out four years ago and yet is everything this game should have been).

Embedded video

Category: By Adam

According to my best judgment, there should be an embedded trailer for the new Wanted video game... ...perfect.

So, in Wanted, you play an assassin with some sacred birthright... the film it's based on is very satirical and funny. The game draws action from all the best parts of the movie - if you want to go into bullet time, make shots that curve around corners and obstacles, and block enemy bullets by shooting them down with your own bullets, Wanted has got your back.

Make sure you watch the trailer in high quality.

Starcraft 101

Category: By Adam
Kotaku posted a recent bit about a new course being offered centered around the strategy and cold hard numbers behind... Starcraft?

UC Berkeley is offering this totally awesome class... well, I guess it's awesomeness is yet to be seen, but the outline sure looks good. As a pretty devoted fan of Starcraft I know there's an insane amount of depth to the strategy behind the game, more than enough to fill a term's worth of study on. But, earning credit for it...?

Well, its tournament scene is taken pretty seriously, and good players can more than earn themselves a living from tournament winnings. Like any other sport, reaching that sort of level takes insane amounts of dedication, and inevitably won't pan out for everyone. The mere fact that such a course that offers that kind of strategic planning is available, though, I think is a step in a really neat direction.

Resi Evil 5 demo Out This Week

Category: , By Adam
Remember that one really great zombie game where you fight zombies? Why Adam, that could apply to every zombie game ever, you say. Well, that is correct. But I did say "really great" zombie game, and the title has Resident Evil 5 in it, so get with the program.

Those who want to take a quick spin through the new game to see how it handles (hint: pretty much like the last one but better), can check it out this Thursday on Xbox Live, on the 29th. Word on the street is that a Ps3 demo will be out by next Monday too, but yet to confirm that for sure.

The game follows your friend and mine chris redfield into the african desert to murder zombies. Oh, and there's a plot or something, too. I think.

Spore - new galactic adventures

Category: , By Adam
I loved Spore when it came out. Refreshing, intuitive, and for all ages (yes, I actually enjoy when a game manages to do that and still have me like playing it). This new expansion will add a lot more depth to the space stage of the game (as if it didn't actually have enough depth already).

The most massive change is basically how planets work. In the original game, you could fly from planet to planet, from star to star, around the galaxy. You could fly all the way down to the planetary level and interact with creatures and buildings and things while in your ship, but you couldn't actually land on the planet. Well, in this expansion that's exactly what you'll do: land on the planet and explore it. A lot more detail has been added to each planet, and a whole new "adventure creator" will allow your spacefaring creature to take on challenges or missions on the planets that are fully customizable and sharable through the Spore universe like the rest of their content. You can customize the terrain, climate, infrastructure, and all sorts of other business on your planets, then create missions and associated goals, like interacting with or killing creatures, collecting things, exploring terrain, and a lot more.

This expansion seems very LittleBigPlanet-ish to me. Essentially you're creating custom Spore levels to share and challenge other players. Which is, to put it in short, a completely badass idea.

There's also a lot more equipment for spacefaring creatures that can be attached in the outfit section of the game, from jump-jets (letting them make large leaps over terrain, for example) to special stealth helmets (that let you cloak) to great big laser guns (duh). The size and amount of these objects will obviously affect how well they perform, and you only have a certain number of outfit points to spend on these things so balance is always important, unless you want to make a creature MADE OF GUNS that just shoots anything in a five mile radius. And you know what? If that's the way you want to do it, Spore has totally got your back.

The creation tools look robust enough that you could construct a really fun and interesting story if you put a lot of time into the creation bit. The editing tools are just as dynamic as the rest of the game, so if you have Spore or are even sort of interested in it, you can get stoked up for Galactic Adventures' release this Spring.

This is not about games: OUTFOXED review

Category: By Adam
In viewing any kind of journalistic media, from print to screen, regardless of how the story's being reported, people will always read into the story in their own way. Some people are inherently biased, and that shows in their own writing or talking, but others have a lot less bias. In either case, it's really important to be critical of the story and critical of the journalists telling the story, and leave enough leeway to draw your own conclusions.

This is the crux of why I can't get behind Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism as much as I probably should. It tells a story of the slanted, biased journalism and the tactics they use to spin stories the way they want. As an MIT student, though, I can attest to the fact that all journalism is not without some inherent bias. Fox News is simply the extreme end of this spectrum, with regulations and practices that no other news company would even consider employing.

This bias, along with their general lack of professionalism, is more than enough reason for this movie to exist, but I think it serves as more of a warning than anything. For those who don't think so much about bias in journalism, I think this serves as an extreme example, and will make you think twice about the news you consume, and about who it comes from and how it's told. In the end that's what is most important; being critical of what you're being told and drawing your own conclusions.

That's probably best done by getting news from multiple, varied sources and then discussing it with friends and family and whatnot. As for Fox, I personally find them pretty insufferable, so I don't go to them for news broadcasts, and anyone else who feels the same should do the same. But that doesn't mean there isn't some truth buried beneath the mountains of garbage they pile onto it, and if that's what viewers prefer, then more power to them.

The first wii

Category: By Adam
With Obama's inauguration yesterday, I can't help but write about it somehow. One way to make this a gaming post is to talk about the new president in video games, or rather, what he plays. He got his kids a Wii for christmas last year, and that means a Wii is heading with the family to the white house, and will be connected to the first television (and yes, they actually call it that).

Obama enjoys Wii bowling, and is surely no good at it in real life. According to him. Also, his Mii looks totally awesome.

Mini mirror's edge

Category: , By Adam
This flash game is pretty awesome. It's still in beta form and it's only being developed by one guy, but it looks like it'll be a highly addicting flash platformer that's pretty faithful to the original game.

If you want to help him do some debugging by playing through and checking for physics-based bugs, you can get on the forums and let him know and help him improve the game. In my own youth I somehow never managed to be an actual all-out game tester for anyone ever... that would have been a relatively great job, though, you'd think. More pocket change for playing games and discovering errors? Please.

(EDIT: I read that again and it looks sarcastic. I mean YES please. Really.)

Then again, some companies play test their games a lot more hardcore than others. Valve is one example. They play test the everloving crap out of their games, they get all their friends and family to test the games for years to notice trends and fix as many bugs and quirks conceivably possible in their games. This is hardly efficient but it sure makes for a limited amount of polished product in the end.

Anyway, go play the flash Mirror's Edge game and do some playtesting of your own.

Brand new template

Category: , , By Adam
Check out the new template now that it's done. Looks like a blog now, more or less. Not too shabby.

In case you haven't heard, Guitar Hero is kind of a big deal. Already spinoffs like the Aerosmith and "Rock the 80's" expansions have hit shelves as fan service slash money grab pursuits. Now we have Guitar Hero: Beetles edition, which is more or less confirmed. It isn't a guitar hero game, per se, but it uses the same guitars and everything. It just allows them to sell the game as a separate product and grab an extra thirty, forty bucks from our collective pockets, as opposed to offering their songs as downloadable content for current Guitar hero players.

So, if you're a massive Beetles fan, this is one to look out for, but be ready to lose a few bucks over your passion. Then again, video game players have to put up with this frequently enough, I suppose.


Category: , , By Adam

Today, Paul Sham's World of Warcraft Paladin reached level 74. Those interested can check out his complete stats.

In more relevant news (sorry Paul), fans of horror games have something to look forward to this week, as a demo version of FEAR 2 hits the internets, as evidenced by FEAR 2's official blog. The Ps3 and 360 versions will hit on the 22nd of this week, while the PC version is due out shortly after at a nondescript time.

The full game hits shelves for the PC, Ps3, and Xbox 360 on February 10th.

Hello world

By Adam
That's right. You heard me. I said hello world.