Showing 1 - 10 of 45 posts found matching keyword: video games

It was about this time of the month in November when I started playing Fallout 4. November! That means I've been playing the same game for three full months now. One quarter of a year. I might be setting some kind of personal record. Honestly, I can't remember any game taking up so much of my time since Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas, and I didn't even like that one that much. Do I like Fallout 4 better? I'm not sure.

Without a doubt, Fallout 4 has more than its share of flaws. There are several quests in my queue that I can never resolve because they are bugged. (Sorry, robotic captain of the U.S.S. Constitution. If you're counting on me to get that navigation array working, you'll never set sail again.) Wearing an upgraded suit of X-01 power armor is the equivalent of the in-game god mode. (Ha! Your energy weapons merely tickle, silly synth!) Worst of all, companions are incredibly stupid and aren't any more able to detect land mines than I am. (Legs. Who needs em?) And yet I keep playing.

I don't think I'm addicted. I haven't had a single Fallout 4 dream, the usual cue that I'm too invested in something. I have no personal attachment to my player avatar, the "Sole Survivor" who I've named Nate Danger. I certainly don't enjoy seeing the collapse of human civilization. So why am I still playing?

I think the reason is because I enjoy exploring. After hundreds of hours, there are still places I haven't visited. Even places I've been two or three times or more can be entertaining anew when I'm searching for new approaches to killing the same old enemies. Yes, I recognize the irony that while I'm enjoying exploring a virtual environment, I'm really never leaving my couch. But how much of the world do you really see when you read a book? And no one would argue that watching television is any better.

So thanks, Fallout 4. For an imperfect game about the apocalypse, you're all right. Now bring on the DLC!

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A gentle reminder:

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We're back on Kickstarter.com, out to crowd-fund another game with your money.

Shameless self promotion

If the name Larry Elmore doesn't ring a bell or you don't know what SnarfQuest is, I recommend that you read our info at Kickstarter before you give us your money. But either way, you're still going to slip us a fin, right? Aw, come on, be a sport!

(If it makes a difference, I wrote the game scenario and dialogue, built the game website, designed all 2D artwork for both digital and print promotion, and even composed the entire Kickstarter page. I'm working hard for your money!)

Support your local Kickstarter today!

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June is Superman Month at Wriphe.com!

And what good timing it is this year, as June will see the relaunch of the DC Comics line. Again!

See, in the just completed Convergence, the DC Multiverse destroyed 30 years ago in Crisis on Infinite Earths was restored off-panel at the story's climax with the help of Superman's foe Brainiac. If that sentence sounded like gibberish to you, congratulations. Only DC Comics doesn't seem to recognize that.

Even his hair is wrong

So this is the new Superman? In the All-New, All-Different DC Universe of 2015, Superman now dresses like I do! (Minus the blood. Plus about 200 pounds of muscle.)

I know I bitch a lot about a lot of things, but I really want my super heroes to dress the part. It doesn't necessarily have to be spandex (although I do like my skin-tight costumes), but that is not a costume. It's an endcap at Hot Topic.

Oh well. I haven't bought a Superman comic since the New 52 reboot. No reason to start now. There are plenty of other places to get my Superman fix where he doesn't look like a total tool. All I ask is for some bright inspiring colors, like you see in movies.

Seriously, the hair is still wrong

Really? Who knew that Kryptonians had the muted color vision of dogs? Well, uh, I'm sure I can find Superman in costume in video games, where Superman can demonstrate his impossible powers unfettered by wires and expensive visual effects.

How fucking hard is it to get a spit-curl right?

What the hell is this, Iron Man? Since when did Superman need armored abs, damn it!

Fine. America, you can keep your Roid Rage Superman. If you need me, I'll be reading my 1989 copies of Action Comics Weekly in the basement. At least that Superman had the good sense to wear his underwear on the outside.

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I've finally passed 50,000 Gamerscore on the Xbox 360. (I'm at 50,074, to be precise.) It rolled over On Sunday as I was playing Just Cause 2, a game I'm not in love with but seem unable to stop playing. (Ninety hours and counting!)

Having a score of 50k most likely means that I play far too many games. I only started acquiring Gamerscore in 2009, which means I average about 10,000 Gamerscore per year. Is that a lot? Back in 2011, the average gamer had better than 11,000. I can't find a more recent count, but it's probably gone up significantly since then. There is at least one 1,000,000 Gamerscore gamer now, and he alone has to be pulling the average up a bit.

I'm not going to say that I never play games with the intention of increasing my Gamerscore, but knowing that I can score some Gamerpoints has certainly kept me interested in some titles long after the fun had expired. Not Just Cause 2, though. I don't know what's up with that game. Helping the CIA start a civil war in Indonesia never gets old.

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Did I mention that I no longer have Charter cable? They decided to go "all digital," which for them was just an excuse to require us to pay an additional rental fee (minimum charge: $8) for new set-top boxes for every television we wanted to use. So the CRT television in my room became a large paperweight overnight.

I couldn't stand having no TV in my room while I code, so I bought a new one just for Chromecasting. All I needed was something small with an HDMI input. Sigmac may not be a name brand, but the price was right. I'm happy with everything about the television except for one thing: the picture on the box.

I'm sure this is a licensed image (he said sarcastically).

Maybe I watch too much football, but that is clearly Terrell Owens (#81) stiff-arming Ray Lewis (#52). Given that T.O. was only a hero for the Eagles for one season, this picture must have been created in 2004/2005. (T.O. destroyed his own career with the help of super-agent Drew Rosenhaus the following year.) Maybe I play too many video games, but that makes it obvious that this must have been a promotional image for the ESPN NFL 2K5 video game (which used Terrell Owens as its cover model).

Ray Lewis will stab whoever took this picture.

If you look closely at the box, you might notice that Sigmac has erased the "ESPN," "Riddell," and NFL team names, but they didn't really do anything about the "Sega" logo, the "Wilson" logo on the ball, or the NFL shield on the jerseys. Did anyone approve the use of this image? If skipping out on licensing fees is what kept the price so low, I guess won't tell anyone.

(Footnote: 2005 was the last year that Sega produced its NFL 2K5 game. The game was a huge hit, both critically and financially. Some say that Sega cancelled the franchise because competitor Electronic Arts signed an exclusive contract for naming rights with the NFL, but most of us know that the real reason was Terrell Owens' appearance on the game's cover. So in one season, Terrell Owens managed to scuttle his own career, the Eagles chances of returning to the Super Bowl, and an entire video game franchise. That's an impressive hat trick.)

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Back in October, I swore I would never play another Ubisoft game ever again. I report to you today that I am a liar. I just finished Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and I think that it is among my most satisfying gaming experiences of recent years.

I bought it not realizing it was an Ubisoft game, and in hindsight, I'm very, very glad I did. I'm not sure this lets Ubisoft off the hook for my other, unsatisfying experiences with their products, but it certainly makes me eat my words that "I will never buy one of [Ubisoft's] games again."

I just thought I should make that clear.

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Christmas came early this year.

If you'll excuse me, I have a date with some prostitutes and a baseball bat

I'm going to be busy for awhile.

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A few years ago (2008 or 2009), I played Assassin's Creed on the Xbox 360. The experience was so unsatisfying (repetitive play, no closure to the story) that I vowed to never again play anything in the Assassin's Creed family of games (of which there have now been 15!) or anything produced by the Ubisoft studio. (Ubisoft had already been on thin ice with me after butchering a handful of Batman games and the sequels to Prince of Persia.)

Fast forward to this past summer when Microsoft began their "Games with Gold" program, giving free games to Xbox Live Gold Members each month. I feel compelled to play those games in order to maximize the return on my Xbox Live subscription. You can probably see where this is going. One of the free games was Assassin's Creed II.

Despite my misgivings, I downloaded the game and played it for awhile. It's more of the same. A fun set of mechanics stretched a little too thin and covered with a varnish of moronic conspiracy theory hogwash. Enjoyable enough for the price I paid. (I also get a kick out of the fact that this French-produced video game slanders Italians as a sex-obsessed bunch of hypocrites. It's good to know that American game developers aren't the only ones with xenophobic and sexist tendencies.)

I'd played the game for maybe 20 hours and was looking forward to some potential story closure in the near future. Maybe the hours invested years ago on Assassin's Creed would be payed off. (Would Kristen Bell and the murderous protagonist ever get it on?) Then, for no apparent reason, the game deleted my save file. Poof. All gone. Like it never even existed. No closure for Walter.

Fool me twice, shame on me, I suppose, but that was the last straw, Ubisoft. I will never buy one of your games again. I'm sure you don't care about just one gamer like me, but I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing this for me, to remind me the next time I even consider buying one of your games that it won't be worth the cost. Your games are just one more hassle I don't need in my life.

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I just finished playing Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. To say the game was a little buggy is an insult to bugs. Batman fell through the floor, Robin got caught on stair railings, citizens walked on air, Lego pips spawned out of place... there was no shortage of small problems. Fortunately, there was this guy to make it all worth playing:

You will believe a Lego can fly

The game gives you access to Superman relatively early, and it becomes quickly apparent that the game designers consider Batman and Superman not to be in the same Super Hero weight class. Batman has a car; Superman flies. Batman has a batarang; Superman has freeze breath. Batman has a stealth suit; Superman burns things with his eyes. Superman even builds Lego constructs at super speed! Game, set, and match to Superman.

At first I felt bad for Batman, made a second-class citizen in his own game. Eventually the game takes away Superman's powers (with Lego Kryptonite!) and forces a weakened Superman to do things that only Superman can do, like prop up damaged buildings and knock giant robots out of the sky. This leaves you to play as Batman doing what Batman does best, beating up Lego Joker henchmen. Hooray?

Next time, I suggest they cut out the dead weight and give Superman his own Lego game. I'm sure Lego Batman has better things to do with his time than play second fiddle, anyway.

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To be continued...

 

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