Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Game Not Over, Man?

I would so totally buy a DS just to play this game. Nothing appears to be official yet, so I shouldn't get too excited. After all, the console/PC version of Aliens: Colonial Marines was canned a while back. Hopefully, it's just gone dormant, waiting for the right moment to burst forth...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Control Issues

Both official and off-brand versions of the Nintendo 64 controller just plain suck. Comfort and ergonomics are the most outwardly visible issue. I still can't figure out why there would be three prongs for two hands.

When you actually play games with it, there are two results. Either it's perfectly fine (Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Super Smash Bros.) or painfully awkward (every other game).

First person shooters have always been... interesting on the N64. Everybody knows and loves Goldeneye and are familiar with the control scheme. By default, all movement with the exception of strafe comes from the analog stick. Looking up or down and strafe are controlled by the C buttons to the right of the analog stick. This is conducive to the run-and-gun gameplay of Goldeneye's multiplayer, but Train God help you if you need to stop and hold the right shoulder button to precision aim.

Perfect Dark uses the same setup, with just a bit more control over weapon select. Other games, such as the Turok series and Quake II, use the C buttons for forward, back, and strafe, while the analog stick aims the camera. After getting used to this scheme, I have found it to be superior to the default Goldeneye style.

True, movement is not as fluid or precise when buttons are used. But the ability to free aim overshadows this disadvantage. To my delight, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Quake can be modified to use this system, complete with inversion. Turning the sensitivity to maximum (if possible) is just as useful for this old schoolery as it is for modern console games.

Now, in Perfect Dark multiplayer, I stand a slightly better chance of getting headshots on those pesky AI bots. However, with both thumbs working in concert for movement, one has to be diverted to hit the A or B buttons to reload or switch weapons. If the rumors of Perfect Dark coming out on Xbox Live Arcade are true, this won't be a problem.

If that ever happens, I will cry tears of joy, just like I did when Metroid music was played at Video Games Live earlier this year. Hey, I'm a sensitive guy. Especially in my thumbs after playing N64.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Turok 2: S*** of Evil

Finally, a chance to relax after a taxing first week at my new job. What's a long holiday weekend without beer, junk food, and video games? Except that a particular video game - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil - spoiled my mood with it's insane difficulty and horrible framerates. But worst of all is the level design. When you need an FAQ to beat every level in the game, the developers screwed up somewhere.

Turok 2 has gorgeous graphics and tons of cool guns. But when the bullets/plasma/explody arrows start flying, the framerate drops are blinding. Things are better if you disable the high res mode, going sans-expansion pak. With the expansion pak, T2 looks like it comes close to a PC resolution.

Maybe I'll just stick to my favorite N64 games this summer; Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, Battle for Naboo. Quake was ok, Quake II was crap, Turok fun for a while. I reserve the stinkiest of stinkeyes, however, for Super Mario 64. What's not to love about sending a short, tubby Italian plumber to his death? Not worth my time, or the $3 I paid for it.

Ocarina of Time, Daddy's back, baby! It's been too long...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


...And now he's here to fuck us!

This leaked footage of Valve's next installment in the "Meet the Team" series is one of the longest, goriest, most vulgar to date... which makes it the best.

Friday, May 15, 2009

FYI It's Sniper and Spy (Updates)!

I don't have the time or energy for a write-up on this. My internet connection at my new apartment is terrible, I'm tired, and pigs will fly when Valve gets the TF2 Xbox 360 update.

But, in case you've missed it, there's some good stuff coming out for the PC. Behold!

Wave goodbye yer freetime, PC wankers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Super Smash Fortress

Why? Why do you combine two of my favorite games and tease me like that? It's like Master Hand is playing with my heartstrings. Kudos to the creator, you just caused widespread nergasms on the Internet.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pefect Dark on XBLA Confirmed?

Please Note: The source site is considered reliable with possible connections to Rare. Do not take this to mean that this news is 100% confirmed.

According to a post on Rare-Extreme, Rare has confirmed the long-standing rumor that they are working on the classic N64 shooter, Perfect Dark. This is really only question of when, after their release of Banjo Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo Tooie. Rare would be unwise to not release one of the greatest shooters of all time on XBLA. The very thought of playing this game with usable control sticks (let's be honest, the N64 controller was never user-friendly) will make it all the more enjoyable.
Here's the low-down from the post found here:
There have been plenty rumors about Perfect Dark coming soon for XBLA... well... we can confirm that Perfect Dark is indeed on it's way to XBLA. This is not a rumor, it's coming! Not just that, there is a very large announcement coming from Rare soon (ahem in line with E3). We last heard that it wasn't known if they would go ahead and make this announcement but as time progressed, it looks as though it's all systems go. Expect a major surprise from Rare this June.
More major surprises? Yeah... just get me Perfect Dark on XBLA, and then we'll see if I still care Rare's other announcements.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now you see it...

Through a technical oversight, the spiffy new-ish graphics that were added to the site were not visible to the rest of the world. Now all ya'll can see it. I'd like to say I'm a magician, but I'm really just bad at teh internets. You should find your visits to the site much cooler and bluer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Survivor’s Guide to Etiquette, Part I

If Miss Manners became an Infected in Left 4 Dead, she would no doubt teach you some etiquette before gnawing your face off. Every online game has basic behavioral guidelines to ensure a fun, fair experience for everyone. However, Left 4 Dead has a few more nuances due to its close-knit, team-based gameplay. Here are ten essential rules (no particular order of importance) that every Survivor should keep in mind the next time he or she goes zombie hunting with their posse.

1. Sit Reps: Frequently tell your team what your status is. Are you lagging behind with common Infected slowing you down? Your team should know so they can slow down and lend a hand. Getting Smoked or Pounced during a Boomer-induced horde may not be evident to your blinded teammates, so speak up.

2. Don’t Go it Alone: Whether you’re looking for goodies or just sprinting ahead, do not go anywhere without at least one other Survivor. You can bet that your teammates will be pissed when you get attacked when you’re all alone and it takes them a minute to get to you.

3. All at Once unto the Breach: Changes in landscape like ledges, holes, and ladders should always be traversed by everyone at the same time. The last person to jump down may get incapacitated, and the team will be helpless to save him or her.

4. Fire in the Hole: Coordinate with your team who has what type of grenade and when they should use it. Always declare your intent to use the weapon before throwing it: this prevents two grenades going out at the same time.

5. Unfriendly Fire: Practice begets discipline. Discipline begets accuracy. Accuracy begets not grazing your teammates with buckshot. Friendly fire will happen, but you can reduce it by making every shot count. Pay and spray only works in particularly heavy hordes and if there’s a Boss Infected right in front of you.

If you get into a heavy horde firefight, get you back up against a wall and move as little as possible. Wandering around in front of your teammates is likely to get you shot. In real life, you don’t dash in front of someone with a loaded gun and finger on the trigger. Keep your lines of fire open and your teammates in good health.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Broken Steel

Let's just hope that "Broken Steel" isn't as broken as "The Pitt." Get it? Because "The Pitt" was a glitchy piece of junk? I've never played the end of "Fallout 3", so this new ending will be my only experience of "closure". Most of all, I'm looking forward to the level cap raise.

"Broken Steel" will be available for download May 5.

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