Friday, June 03, 2011

Swatting: The end of the online feel-good story

Over the last couple of years, I've read stories about how playing games online has prevented somebody from committing suicide, prevented a potential high school shooting, and stuff like that.

These are wonderful stories about how, despite being sequestered in our living rooms in front of the TV, gaming can also be considered part of society. These are our friends we're playing with, even if we've never met them. Even if you're just playing random strangers, as happens quite often, you still have that connection from the game that you all love playing. It's this kind of camaraderie that triggers things like the above stories.

I know there have been negative stories of online abuse as well, but those can happen with any online presence and are not restricted to gaming. Thus, they're not often talked about when online gaming is discussed.

But perhaps that may be ending.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Some weird and cool L.A. Noire Stuff

I've been playing the hell out of L.A. Noire since it came out, and I've been having a lot of fun with it. The review will be coming at some point, though at the rate I'm writing reviews, I'm not sure when.

Anyway, everybody and their grandmother has been doing an L.A. Noire blog, so I'm not going to rehash all of that (my review will do that...ha!).

But I did want to highlight some interesting and weird occurrences that have happened while I've been playing it.

Keep in mind that I have just reached the second case of the Arson desk, so I'm almost done with the story, though I do have a lot of collectibles to find and cases to re-do in order to get 5 stars (damned vehicle damage).

Sorry for the absence!!!

Unfortunately, I've been very remiss on posting to this blog in...oh, wow, over a month!

I will do my best to not have that happen again. I have some great games to review, and some "eh" games to review.

And I think, to keep things flowing, I may also do video game news and commentary posting here as well.

Don't worry. The labels will reflect that.

So, again, my apologies (if you're a regular reader, which I think is just Fred over there in Topeka, Kansas).

In the meantime, enjoy the L.A. Noire post that's going up soon!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Storytelling in video games - why it may never reach the level of books/movies

Whenever the topic of "video games as art" comes up (and don't worry, I'm not really going there, as I hate that discussion), one of the aspects used to prove how games have become art is the expanded storytelling that many modern games have. Games these days can tell some wonderful stories. Just take Mass Effect, for instance.

That being said, there is one aspect of video game stories that, I believe, will forever keep video games on a lesser level compared to books/movies, at least as far as storytelling goes. That is the ability of the player to choose in what order the story unfolds.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Assassin's Creed - Brotherhood

A good assassin's job never ends, does it?

That's what poor old Ezio Auditore, hero of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 2, must be thinking as the latest game in the franchise begins. Dubbed Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the game continues Ezio's exploits as he takes the Assassins' eternal war against the Templars to the city of Rome.

At the end of the previous game (SPOILER), he let the current pope, Rodrigo Borgia, live after a visitation from the goddess Minerva (END SPOILER).

In return for that, Rodrigo's son, Cesare, leads an army to the Auditore mansion and destroys it, forcing the Auditores to run. Ezio is determined to end the Borgias' reign and heads to Rome to make things right. In the modern day, Desmond and a small group of Assassins head to the Auditore ruins to set up shop away from the Templars who stormed their warehouse at the end of the last game. Desmond has to return to the Animus to re-live Ezio's life and discover just what happened in the past.

Fans of Assassin's Creed 2 will find a lot to like in Brotherhood, as it keeps most of the wonderful things about that game, as well as adding some new wrinkles as well.

Don't mess with us

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Don't Know Jack is on the iPhone/iPad!

I'm already a big fan of the latest incarnation of the hot trivia game called You Don't Know Jack.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was coming to the mobile world! Yes, this game is now on the iPhone/iPad, and it loses nothing in the translation.

At least as far as quality goes. There are a few things missing from it otherwise. Most egregious is multi-player. There is no multiplayer whatsoever, though hopefully that will be added to future versions of it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review - Fallout: New Vegas

A return to the post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout universe is always welcome. Fallout 3 was such a phenomenal game that people were waiting anxiously for Fallout: New Vegas as soon as it was announced. While such enthusiasm was dampened a little when it was revealed that Bethesda was only publishing the game, and that Obsidian would be making it, people were still generally looking forward to it. I know I was.

Which is why I was saddened when it didn't grip me like the previous game did.

The basic premise of the game is that you're a courier who's been betrayed and gunned down in the wasteland outside the brightly-lit city of New Vegas, which largely survived the apocalypse. You're retrieved by a robot named Victor, and nursed back to health by a good doctor in the town of Goodsprings. Thus begins a quest to find out who had you murdered, and what you were carrying in that package that you were killed for. Along the way, you'll be caught in a 3-way conflict between the New California Republic, Caesar's Legions, and the mysterious Mr. House, who seems to run New Vegas.