Archive for August, 2011

As far back as the NES days, Castlevania has been known for 2 things — Shitty graphics, and side scrolling action. The newest Castlevania game takes both and throws them out a window.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, like most newer games based on a classic franchise has decided to move from a side scroller format, to a 3D roaming setting. This gives the player more freedom, and gives them a sense of discovery while traversing and exploring their new surroundings. Plus, it’s kind of expected nowadays.

On top of the new roaming setting, the game series got injected with an extra dose of kick-ass graphics, that rival most games currently out.

Let me be blunt, and address the elephant in the room. Yes, C:LoS is a clone of the God of War game series. In fact, someone not really paying attention to what you are playing, could be forgiven for thinking it was God of War III. So, if you hate the God of War games, I am pretty sure you will hate this game. It’s kind of a given.

There are a few issues I have with this game. The first, and the biggest is the difficulty of the game. Instead of gradually increasing in difficulty, allowing you to get comfortable with the controls, C:LoS just decides to let it rip! Thankfully the first boss is easy, but since he’s a tutorial boss, that’s to be expected! After that, your next boss is fairly simple, and not too much of a complaint. The third boss however, is a gigantic pain in the ass! Now, for people who have played God of War, it might be simple, but you’ve had three fucking games to adjust to those gameplay mechanics. It’s like the developers just expected people to have already played GoW, and they feel they don’t need to slowly train you.

Controls of the game, again, an almost exact copy of GoW, so if you are used to it, you will do fine. For me though, I had an issue with the camera controls, or lack there of. This particular issue pissed me off in the GoW games as well. If I want to turn my camera around and look behind my character, I should damn well be allowed to!

Don’t get me wrong, im not saying it’s shit! It has Patrick Stewart doing the fucking voice in there, how could anyone say anything bad about it? That’s like bad mouthing the entire Enterprise crew!

What I am saying however, is that the game wasn’t that enjoyable for me. Some people will love the game to know end. In fact some people do! Like this guy, who apparently loves it so much he decided to become the main character Gabriel Belmont. Creepy? Sure! However, he clearly loves this fucking game!

Also, on the upside, the GoW games are insanely popular, and are playstation exclusives, which means Xbox only owners never had the honor to experience this ground breaking game series. So, since C:LoS is multi-platform, Xbox owners now get a chance to experience something similar to GoW.

World of Warcraft

Image via Wikipedia

MMORPGs are going Free to Play left and right! Recently Age of Conan went free to play, and even more recently City of Heroes announced it too was going free to play. Hell, there’s even talk of sony’s newest MMORPG DC Universe Online going free to play!

For good reason too! Free to Play means bigger money! Lots more people try it and get hooked on it, and end up becoming a premium member, or at the very least spend money to upgrade their character. Me for instance, I am not a big fan of monthly fees, because I am a casual gamer. What would take most MMO gamers an afternoon to accomplish, it takes me about a week. So, it makes more sense for me to slowly buy the newer content for me, as I progress up to the point to access it.

So, it’s a given! Tons of MMORPGs are going Free to Play. In fact most of them. What about World of Warcraft you ask? YES! It already has gone Free to Play – Well, Kind of anyway.

Ok, it hasn’t gone Free to Play.

What it has done however is adopt a limited Free to Play model to take the place of a 10 day trial. Now, you can play the game, and get a good feel for the game, because instead of just 10 days, you can play your character up to level 20, for free! Then, if you want to continue past level 20, just upgrade your account.

Why would World of Warcraft do this though? I mean, WoW is the MMORPG juggernaut right? The King of the hill! Other MMORPGs have to bow down to its greatness right? I mean, I will be honest and upfront here. Even I can’t deny that WoW is the most popular MMORPG on the market, and I detest WoW! Seriously, I really can’t stand the game. I used to enjoy it, and subscribed for a good many years, but then realised that the game never changed. Even the new content was the same old crap with a different name or color.

So, with it being so popular why adopt this new limited f2p/free trial model? I couldn’t say with any certainty. In fact, the only ones who really probably know are the bigwigs in charge of WoW. I can however take a wild guess.

You see, last October World of Warcraft had a staggering 12 million users. However as of January, the amount of subscribers was 11.1 million. Do the math people. In less than a year, World of Warcraft lost 1 million subscribers. So, it’s not really all that surprising that they would introduce a similar strategy to see if they could boost their numbers back up.

Will it work? Probably! As I said, I am not a fan of the game, but it’s a good beginners MMORPG. It’s not overly technical, so it’s easy to get yourself set up and gaming, even if you know nothing about gaming. So, yeah, it will probably increase their numbers! These people will try the game, get hooked, and not want to lose their spiffy level 20 character.

The big question is, will the increased numbers last? Probably not! The game has been around a long time! It’s teetering at the moment, and all it will take is one really good MMORPG to come along and give it that little nudge to push it off its throne. The upcoming Starwars MMORPG looks like it might have the power for that final nudge, however only time will tell.

As usual, I could be wrong about all of this, but I don’t think so!

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for a while, then you have no doubt heard of the “Mockbuster” and in case you have in fact been using a hallowed out chunk of granite as your abode, allow me to explain.

The “Mockbuster” is basically a B-grade movie that cashes in, by riding the coat-tails of bigger blockbusters! These Mockbusters, often “Borrow” plot elements and a similar name to their source material.  So, in essence, they just rip off good movies, and try to trick you into watching it, by making you think you are about to watch the “Good one”, only to find that instead of watching transformers, yer watching freedom fighters hiding under a bridge battling badly rendered robots(So badly rendered that one could be forgiven if they thought these models were originally ran on a PSOne game console) that turn into, pretty much anything imaginable.

Ok, now that Mockbusters are explained, I want to state that normally I don’t have an issue with Mockbusters. In fact, I find most of them to be quite enjoyable, but in all fairness, I am a huge fan of B-rated movies, and consider Plan 9 From Outer Space to be one of the best movies ever created! Though, a few Mockbuster titles do come close to beating it for the number one position.

Let’s be honest here folks, most people aren’t going to be fooled by a Mockbuster title. If you can’t tell the difference between AVH: Aliens Vs Hunter, and AVP: Aliens Vs Predator, then you probably shouldn’t be watching the real one, since those iconic characters apparently don’t mean shit to you. Same applies to Transmorphers and Transformers.

Now, I’m not saying that anyone who gets suckered by a Mockbuster is a dumb shit. In fact, some Mockbusters are titled quite sneakily! For instance The Terminators and Universal Soldiers. One would be forgiven for mistaking them for their source material. The names are quite similar, so it’s a given that probably more than one person has fallen victim to this particular switch and bait.

I am also not saying that I am so perfect, that I haven’t been tricked into watching one, because I have! Now, While I enjoy Mockbusters and B-Rated movies, I don’t enjoy them so much when I am sitting down, expecting one thing, and instead getting something completely different, which has happened to me exactly twice.

The first time, I waltzed into Blockbuster video and picked up H.G. Wells: War of the Worlds, when what I meant to get was the Tom Cruise movie “War of the Worlds”. However, I ended up with a C. Thomas Howell rip-off version, which oddly enough turned out to be better than the Tom Cruise version. If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend it.

By the way, I firmly believe that C. Thomas Howell has been in more Mockbusters than any other actor. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

As I mentioned before, I have been suckered by a Mockbuster twice, the second and most recent time, and by recent I mean this afternoon, I went out to get my Mail, and saw Netflix had delivered my newest batch of must see movies. I popped them open, and found myself holding a Mockbuster! Apparently, instead of adding BATTLE: Los Angeles to my queue, I ended up adding Battle for Los Angeles!

Obviously, I hopped onto the computer, logged into Netflix and quickly added the right movie to my queue.

So, yeah, anyway, remember to double-check what movies you rent or you might get suckered.

There was a game released on the Playstation 2, Called Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I am sure you have heard of it, because it was insanely popular. It was so popular that Disney felt basing a movie on it would be the bee’s knees.

Years pass, and sequels are spawned. The Playstation 3 begins cranking out playstation 2 compilations. It’s no wonder that one of these compilations is the Prince of Persia Trilogy.

People who have never played the games before are given a chance to play these classic stories, in HD, stereoscopic 3D and with Trophies.

One of those people who are experiencing the game for the first time, is me. See, I was never really into platformers back in the PS2 days, in fact the only types of games I would even consider playing were RPGs. As you can imagine, I missed out on playing many great titles.

As time passed, my tastes in games expanded, and now I pretty much enjoy every video game genre imaginable. Except most sports games and all rhythm games. Those suck. I have tried them, and I despise them.

So tonight, I began playing Prince of Persia and the Sands of Time, and I have to admit, I didn’t like it all! In fact, I would go so far as to say it sucks. Not just sucks, but suck much ass!

It’s not that I don’t enjoy platformer games. I love them! In fact the Uncharted game series, is one of my top favorite series! I also love Assassins Creed Ezio Trilogy, I enjoy God of War and Tomb Raider. In fact, I love most platformer games! So, it came as quite a shock when I discovered that I detested PoP:SoT.

I know many people love the game, and most people will say how it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. To them I say, you really need to try a new brand of sliced bread.

So, what do I dislike about the game? So many things! To begin, with the story is very poor. It doesn’t reach out and grab me, and make me want to keep playing to see what happens next. Which is a bad thing, considering the controls feel clumsy and awkward. Usually, even when a game has crappy gameplay, if the story is good, I will keep playing, because I don’t want to be left hanging.

This wasn’t the case with PoP:SoT. In fact, I quit playing less than 2 hours into the game, and have no intention of looking back, or trying the next two installments of the POP trilogy.

You know, just because it’s 3 in the morning, and you think nobody is probably out walking or driving about, does not give you the right to zipping down residential streets as fast as your little souped up rocket-car can go!

Why bother? Seriously, what’s the point? It’s fucking three in the morning! Everyplace is closed, and if you were supposed to meet someone somewhere, yer probably already fucking late! So, go the speed limit! Be nice to the people who live in the area, and be nice to your car!

I’m not kidding either, those speedy’s piss me off to no end. Almost makes me want to dawn a latex suit and mask, and call myself the Scarlet Speedbump, then devote my life to fighting speed-limit injustices.

As Junior Brown once sung, “If you want to race, then get on a racetrack!”

A friend of the family recently passed away. She wasn’t that old, in fact she was even younger than my mother. On top of that, as far as we knew, she was healthy! At least she seemed to be. Sure, she would get sick, but who doesn’t?

This has got me worried, for a few reasons. The first being that it has got me thinking about death, and as I have said multiple times, Death scares the shit out of me! Not the pain of dying, but just the end. Mainly, because I don’t believe in god or heaven. So, when I die, I know that everything ends. I cease to exist. Everything that was me, becomes wiped from the world. In time, people will even forget I existed. That scares me.

However, even scarier than the thought of me dying, is the thought of my mother dying. My mother and I are close. Sure we don’t always get along, and yeah, we have our fights. However, at the end of the day, she’s my mother and I love her with every ounce of my being. She’s always been there for me, and sacrificed to ensure that I had everything I needed or even wanted.

If she dies, I don’t know what I will do, or how I will react. Now that I am older, I want the chance to repay her for all she has done and sacrificed. I want the chance, to show her I love her. Sure, I tell her that I love her, but words can be spoken by anyone. I want to show her, and I don’t think I’ll ever have enough time to show her how much I love her, and how much she means to me.

So, that’s got me down, and on top of that. There’s no way to predict death. It could come knocking on anyones door, at any time. If you think, that because you eat healthy and exercise on daily basis, that you are safe, and guaranteed a long fulfilling life, then you are wrong! I have known people MUCH healthier, and younger than me who passed away. People who I thought would outlive me by YEARS.

Fact of the matter is, Death can strike anywhere at anytime. The unhealthy, The Healthy, The Young, The Old, The smart, The Dumb, The rich and The Poor. Death just doesn’t give a shit, and honestly that’s some scary shit, and I am not ashamed to admit that it frightens me to my core.