Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Game Alert: Goodbye Ensemble Edition!

Though I own all and played through most of the three Halo games on both the X-Box and the X-Box 360, I have never been a big fan of the series. Sure they are fun and involving but the Halo universe is just a bit too comical and hardly compelling to me. Halo Wars is a must have for me though because it is the last work from the now defunct Ensemble Studios. I have always been a fan of their works, my favorite being Age of Mythology. It was that masterpiece that made me truly enjoy strategy games even though I have played Command & Conquer way before it existed. I am sure that I will be playing this game more than any other games bearing the Halo brand name. It's never too late to say "goodbye" and this purchase is my farewell to Ensemble Studios - Let's hope that the new companies that emerged from former Ensemble staff members will produce more incredible games in the future. This Limited Edition release includes the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3, an "Honor Guard" Wraith Tank unit, a graphic novel, and a pretty but geeky Spirit of Fire Patch.

I would have liked to see Age of Mythology II but this will have to do.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Command & Conquer 3: Registration OK

Electronic Arts may get a lot of flack for their obtrusive industry-domination methodologies and Digital Rights Management implementation missteps but at the end of the day, they have always done the right thing. It may have taken them more than a month based on the complaints I found on EA's official forum but the online registration server for Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is active again. Registration of a game is usually not that important but as I found out recently, it's a necessity for C&C3 if you want to play the game online. It's great to know that the EA Support Team were telling me the truth with their estimation of when the problem would be fixed. Now, if they can back away from mandating Internet connection to play Command & Conquer 4, I am sure that they will be loved again by the masses.

EA did it again. I am glad I didn't have to wait a whole month though.

I was hoping that many people would still flock the CC3 server because of
their disappointments in the crazy DRM and the much simplified gameplay of CC4.

Heroes of Newerth: Jerk-O-Rama!

With the open beta for Heroes of Newerth just less than a day away, a patch has been released to change the looks of the game's menu as well as other in-game interfaces. Everything definitely look more streamlined now with slick looking menus and faster setup for online play. There is even a new tutorial option for those who are unfamiliar with the game. But one very important feature seems to have been removed from the game: the "Local Play" option. This option used to be placed on the main menu but it was greyed out throughout the period of the closed beta. Now, the option cannot even be seen anywhere which may mean that it will not even be available in the game's final form. This may not be a terrible setback, as long as the game would allow us to set matches against bots - something that is still not available at this time. If bot-matches are disabled when everything is set and ready, I know that I will not be paying for this game: not even the promise of at least 12 additional heroes on top of the current 60 would convince me otherwise.

Nice menu, now give me my bots.

Scary Game Cover: Petz Rescues

Okay, we have all seen terrible cover arts for video game cases. They are pretty common and can happen to both big triple-A games as well as low-budget independent games. But to see a truly horrific one that can actually hurt you really deep inside and threaten to take away your sanity is rare. Whenever I find one, I will write about it on this site so that I would not be the only person who had to suffer from the madness of a Scary Game Cover!

This time around, we will witness the horror of a set of game covers for an entire game series! We all should always love mother nature. We are all born from the earth so there is definitely no shame involved when it comes to loving plant life or our animal kins... But how far should that love go? If you ask that question to those responsible for these Pet Rescue game covers, the answer is this: that love should go very, very far indeed.

The Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for the new age.
You two better watch out: There's a voyeur dolphin nearby...

Careful there nurse. I think that Panda is looking for more than just a physical check.

Mr. Petz Rescue Ranger knows that the way to a Koala's heart is through his stomach.

Hey, weren't you with the Panda earlier?
Whoa there Mr. Elephant! I think you're getting the wrong idea...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Heroes of Newerth: Open Beta!

For those who haven't been able to get a beta key for Heroes of Newerth, there's great news for you! The open beta will commence in two days! You can check out the details from the official site. This is not that exciting enough of a news for me though because the official release date for the game is up still in the air - let's just hope it's going to be soon after the open beta. S2 Games must have really deep pockets for them to be able to sustain this game's beta phase for this long... I still want my single player or versus A.I. mode, which of course will not be included with the upcoming open beta so that people have to play on the online server. I doubt that the open beta will lead to a more balanced and friendlier community because there are more Defence of the Ancients jerks out there who still haven't jumped on the game yet. Having the single player option in the final release - or eventually, finding like-minded people to play with - will make the rotten people that flood the community more tolerable because you don't have to be stuck playing with them whenever you want some HoN action. For those mature, responsible gamers out there who are going to jump on this open beta, I wish I could say something like "Get ready for the most addicting and intense game of your life!" because I am more obligated to warn you with the following: "Get ready to encounter THE rudest people you will ever meet in your whole entire life!"

Your portal to the world of a-holes -I mean- Newerth!

Games Played 03/22/2010 - 03/28/2010

- 03/22/2010 -
Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3
Final Fantasy XII - PlayStation 2
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
SingStar - PlayStation 3

- 03/23/2010 -
Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3
Supreme Commander 2 - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC

- 03/24/2010 -
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - PC
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC

- 03/25/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC
The Witcher - PC

- 03/26/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justic for All - NDS
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo Kazooie - X-Box 360
Titan Quest - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC

- 03/27/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Starcraft II Beta - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC

- 03/28/2010 -
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising - PC

A Light-Hearted Achievement Whore Story

Well, well, well. Just when I thought that all the achievement whoring would not show up on my doorstep anymore, I now fully realize when it comes to "chie-ho", it's really never over until it is over. Besides, we are still in March and this is in fact the official Achievement/Trophy Whore Month. Though my anecdotes involving these sad individuals are normally filled with anguish, disbelief, and desperation, this particular tale is a little bit different. Well, the desperation to whore for achievements is still a big part of the story but at least I got a really big laugh out of the whole thing.

So I logged on to my Steam account earlier this evening and I noticed that someone had invited me to become a Steam friend. Since your Steam account name is not necessarily your X-Box Live gamertag, I was sure that the person who invited me was this cool guy I just met a couple of days ago on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Chaos Rising. I really, really enjoy playing this game with this guy because he doesn't give a damn about achievements and the only reason why we play is to experience all the different facet of the games without worrying about whether or not we would be awarded with that silly popping noise when we are done with a session of play. So I accepted the invite and left my Steam account online while I was writing the previous entry for this site. Then, I noticed that my "new friend" was online so I sent him a message asking him if he would like me to join in on a game of Last Stand. He responded with a no and said that he wanted to play campaign instead because he needed to unlock some achievements. My blood ran cold when I saw that message of course because after playing that game for two days with this guy, that was the first time he made a "chie-ho" reference. I responded hesitantly with an "Okay..." and with that, he proceeded to explain that he needed 16 co-op missions from the original campaign and 6 co-op missions from Chaos Rising. At this point, I was totally confused but since the guy had been such a great chap, I thought that I would at least humor him with a mission before telling him that I had to go to sleep. Then, the guy proceeded to ask me for my X-Box Live account name. I was a bit "hurt" because I thought that he should know me by then but I quickly concluded that perhaps he never really cared who he was playing with before. So, I gave him my gamertag and told him that I was already on his friend's list.

When I finished with my article, I told him that I would be online soon. When I got to the game, I saw that the friend I have been playing with was already online, playing Last Stand and there was a new friend invite on my dashboard from the guy whose gamertag matched the Steam user name whom I had been talking to earlier. I almost died of laughter when I realized that I had mistaken the "chie-ho"for my pure gamer buddy! I quickly joined the Last Stand game with my friend and sent an apology message to the "chie-ho". That is right... An apology message. I stated that I had truly mistaken him for someone else and since I had made a commitment with a friend to play Last Stand, I would have to play a co-op campaign with him another time - which should translate to "never" of course!

A Last Stand run with friends is "chaotic good"!

Okay, that was definitely a hilarious form of "chie-ho" encounter. I just hope that with the passing of March, I will not have to directly deal with these people anymore.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just Cause 2: DirectX 10 Just 'Cuz?

The Personal Computer version of the recently released Just Cause 2 is the second DirectX 10 exclusive game which means that the game can only be played on Windows Vista and Windows 7. The first game that made that bold move was Valve's Shattered Horizon back in November of last year. The real question here is this: Why was Just Cause 2 released without XP support when the game is not even a PC exclusive and was released on both the PlayStation 3 and the X-Box 360? Those two consoles currently cannot run the graphical magicks and visual gymnastics that DirectX 10 could muster.

I bet they could sell a lot more of this game if it was XP-compatible.

It is apparent that there are other forces at work here - that Microsoft is perhaps moving in for the kill when it comes to encouraging exclusive DirectX 10 development of PC games. It is a fact that the level of graphical quality that can be accomplished via DirectX 10 is leaps and bounds beyond DirectX 9 but it could have been made possible on the XP if Vista never existed. It's a matter of equipping the latest and supposedly greatest operating system with features that are not available in the past releases. Though I plan to make that jump to Windows 7 in the future, I see no reason for the rush, especially with the disrespect XP users are shown via this kind of DirectX 10 implementation. Though I have seen Vista/Windows 7 owners jumping up and down in joy by this DirectX 10 exclusivity move - people tend to forget that not everyone upgrades to a new OS when the previous OS still works great - I surely hope that this will not be a trend in PC gaming for a long time to come. It doesn't hurt to allow XP gamers to experience a game with limited graphical prowess only to be amazed by what they are missing once they upgrade to Vista and beyond by enabling that game to run on both versions of DirectX because many games have done exactly that - Heck, they can even go as far as adding an option to play the game with Direct X 11 while they are on it.

The Game-Gazillion Curse

The pleasure and pain of owning too many games... It's great to have a ridiculous selection of games to choose from but at the same time, I am only one person who has to split up his time playing all of these games that I am definitely interested in. Though there are no real personal ramifications to this dilemma, there are some truly terrible impacts it has on the fabric of video gaming timeline and spatial continuity.

It's all about shifting your perspectives for the sake of self-accommodation.

You see, the video gaming experience can be time-restrictive for it to be current and relevant within the scope of its collective existence as a whole. I am specifically talking about popular games and online-heavy games. Let me use Final Fantasy XIII as the example of popular games. This game is one of the hottest releases this year and though it is heavily discussed currently, its popularity will wain over the next couple of months until it becomes just a mark of history in gaming. At that point in the future, the discussion about the game is more referentially historical and there is definitely something lost in the relevancy and details due to the ebb and flow of time. Thus playing the game outside of the frame of its current wake takes away some of the chrono-social cohesiveness of the experience but it never takes away its meaning in the individual, self-discovery sense no matter how limited that may or may not be.

This brings me to the second point that has more impact on a more catastrophic level and that is the implications of time-restraints in online-heavy games. I am not talking about massively-multiplayer online role playing games here though they can fit within this discussion at their eventual ends. I am mainly talking about non-MMO games that rely on a thriving online community to retain its gameplay longevity. A good example of this is Chromehounds on the X-Box 360. If one is not fast enough to jump on the glorious mech-battle bandwagon when the game first came out in 2006, there is absolutely no reason to play the game anymore these days because there is no no one playing the game online these days... Unless you have a friend who is craving for a match, the game became obsolete with the passing of time. This means that the impacted game has no meaning anymore in its true contextual nature even though at an individual level, a function can still be placed upon it no matter how frail the definition of that may or may not be.

"What was the start of all this?"

Though the game has somewhat of an active online community, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for the Personal Computer was what brought me into this whole discussion in the first place. Here's a game that I was thrilled about when it first arrived on the gaming scene back in 2007 and I purchased it soon after its release but I never had it installed nor played until... 2 weeks ago! For someone who has an actively growing Game Library, this is bound to happen. As a matter of fact, I noticed several unwrapped PC games yesterday while I was just looking over my game collection. Though I made sure that I test out my every single one of my console games when I get them home, apparently, that has not been the case with my PC games - something that I definitely need to improve on. After I installed CC3, I was able to play the campaign just fine but the online portion of it is locked because I have never registered the game since I have just started to play it recently. Just my luck though, the registration server for the game is down! Apparently, it has been like that for the past month with Electronic Arts being very slow to fix it. I am sure the recently released Command & Conquer 4 had a lot to do with the sudden inability to get new people to jump on the CC3 online server. I have contacted the support team in regards to the matter and they claim that they are currently working on it and that it should be up and running in the next several days. I will update this article by then and hopefully, the result will be a positive one. [Update Note: The problem was solved!]

"When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?"

For someone who wants to experience the many wonders of video gaming, especially in its currently over-saturated form, it has always been a challenge to keep myself from drowning underneath its increasingly fluctuating current. For every game I wanted to experience, another game is left untouched indefinitely and with every game missing from the Game Library, its another potentially enriching experience lost. I am able to maintain a personal balance of it all but if there is anything I wish I have at this point in my gaming life is not more time to go through them all but rather, someone else to share these riches with sitting right here next to me while I do my best to make video gaming a big part of my life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Achievement Whores vs. Trophy Whores

Let's end this official achievement/trophy whore (ATW) month with something a little special: Have you ever noticed that there are actually two kinds of "task unlockers" in gaming and they are both distinctively associated to the two gaming platforms that had made popular this whole notion that you only complete a game when you have completed some random tasks assigned by the developer? If you still actively game on a Nintendo console/handheld or a Personal Computer, you would understand that you play game to have fun and that the life of a game is not locked to completing tasks that are mostly not related to the overall experience of you playing that game. After the continuous ATW assaults that I have experienced this month, I decided to look into the situation a little more closely to really understand the cognitive process behind this shameless but truly intriguing phenomenon in modern video gaming.

Ms. GTA IV whore says, "Hmmm... Tastes like a mix of achievements & trophies."

After about two weeks' worth of analysis, interviews, and observations of more than a dozen of these ATWs, I was able to conclude the following: The differences between the achievement system on the X-Box 360 and the trophy system on the PlayStation 3 have indeed created two different mutations of the same addictive behavior even though the goal for both is similar: to obtain the "best" AT counts as quickly as possible:

X-Box 360 Achievement Whore Attributes:
1) They tend to buy or rent a lot more games to whore on. This includes buying really, really bad games. When those games go on sale, they ravage those games like vultures. You can see that they only bought or rented those games just for the achievements by seeing how all the achievements for each game were unlocked in a day or two. The last dates of play for those games will also be the same dates when the last achievement for each game was achieved.
2) They prey on easy achievements and their focus is not necessary the 1000 points "completion" for each game, but the actual score that each achievement can bring to their total.
3) Though most people who do so are not achievement whores, most achievement whores would place themselves in the "Recreation" zone of the X-Box Live community for some odd reason.
4) They are more at ease to achievement boost with total strangers.
5) They normally don't mind being called achievement whores. As a matter of fact, they take that as an achievement on its own right.

PlayStation 3 Trophy Whore Attributes:
1) They are normally very selective about the games that they buy or rent thus they own less games than your typical 360 achievement whore but this is mainly due to their need to unlock Platinum trophies because those yielded a significantly larger boost to their trophy level.
2) They like to brag about their Platinum trophies and their trophy levels. It generally does take more hard work to level up their online profiles than it is to get more achievement points on the X-Box 360, so they normally think of themselves as "superior" or "skilled" and associate themselves as elitists instead of just your typical trophy whores that they really are.
3) They usually trophy-boost with the people they know so that they don't tarnish their "elitist" reputation.
4) They are mostly "closeted" trophy whores because they found justification that "skill" is necessary to level up their online profiles when all that is really needed is persistence.

More fascinating is that I found ATW who own both consoles would normally gravitate towards only one or the other console to whore on. Conversations with these individuals revealed that they prefer one of the "task unlocker" system over the other because they feel more rewarded doing them on just one of the consoles. I guess it makes sense that you have to enjoy the whoring while you are at it... You will be able to see a monumental difference between their achievement scores and their trophy levels. They buy or rent games more heavily on one console over the other, even when that console's versions of the games are inferior compared to the other. Instead of using their ability to invest on the best possible version of a game because they own both systems, their decision to get the game is determined by their lust to further increase their AT collections.

This whole process of delving into the minds of ATW has been an enlightening experience. I am sure that I am barely scratching the surface here and I think that this is an area that deserves much more research in the future. Achievements and trophies have scarred the gaming landscape and their influences will not stop. However, they will spread easily like STDs. Still, I think there is definitely hope in the whole situation because their overwhelming habit-altering effects can indeed be tamed, as exemplified by Steam. I have a feeling that even Nintendo will create a similar "achievement/trophy" system in their next gaming console. I just hope that they have enough smarts to ensure that their "task unlocker" will not stray people from playing games to actually play those games instead of playing games to satisfy their need to obtain illusory rewards that further shorten the lives of those games.

Friday, March 26, 2010

GFWL Spring Sale Ends with a Fart

Microsoft's Games for Windows Live March Sale for the Personal Computer ended with this weekend's $4.99 offering of Viva Pinata. The sale event started off strong with Batman: Arkham Asylum late last month but then it never really offered anything remotely substantial afterwards. Bioshock 2 plus its expansion was featured with a bonus Microsoft Points credit but I wasn't impressed: the price should have been cut in half. I was really hoping that Dirt 2 would make the list but it didn't. Viva Pinata is a great game but because the sequel is scuh a tremednous improvement over the original, there is no reason why anyone should buy this first iteration of this complex pet simulation. So the sale didn't just end with a whimper... It ended with a fart.

What smells worse than the silent-but-deadly gas? A bad sale offer.
Who in their right mind would buy this? Those who don't know about the sequel.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wii Netflix

Netflix's video stream will soon be available on the Nintendo Wii! There is absolutely no reason why I would ever stream movies to the Wii when I can watch them in higher definition on my Personal Computer, the PlayStation 3, or the X-Box 360 but I am still going to order the free disc anyway so that I can make a comparison on how the service differs on the Wii compared to those other platforms. Those with a qualifying Netflix subscription will be able to reserve the disc by clicking here. There is no set date on when the service will start but Netflix is claiming that it will be available "this Spring". I still don't see any reason why a DVD is needed to enable the video stream because they could have made the software available for download on the Wii Shop Channel. I bet that Microsoft has a lot to do with Netflix's odd PS3/Wii implementations.

But didn't Nintendo claim that the Wii should only be used to play video games?
That was the justification they used to deny the Wii the ability to read movie DVDs.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Game Room: The PC Discrimination

The "Game Room" application for Microsoft's Live service is now available for both the X-Box 360 and the Personal Computer. I opted to download the program to my PC but it looks like I may end up installing it on my X-Box 360 and keeping it there instead.

It's somewhat of a silly concept but it works.

So what is this Game Room all about? Developed by Krome Studios, it is a free to download portal to a virtual arcade where you can access classic arcade games that are available for purchase. It's not quite like the PlayStation Home where you can move about the game room freely. Instead, the interface of moving around the space is quick and simple where you just move from one point to another without having to manipulate your character in 3D space. It is cool however that you can customize the big arcade plaza to your liking using a wide selection of themes and items - which I am sure will open up the opportunities for Microsoft to sell more of these junks in the future. You can only download two arcade "Game Packs" at the moment for a total of 15 classic arcade games and they contain several notable Konami and Atari titles. You can test out these games but you will have to buy them to be able to place them into your virtual arcade. Achievement whores should rejoice because this application comes with the ability to unlock achievements and there seems to be some sort of coin system that will encourage you to invite your friends to play at your virtual arcade.

Now here's what's wrong with the PC version of the Game Room. If you have an X-Box 360 avatar, you will not be able to use your customized avatar here. Instead, you must choose from a selection of generic avatars at the beginning of the process. The Game Room could have been the bridge that finally connects the X-Box 360's avatar system with Games for Windows Live but since the Live service is free to PC gamers, I suppose Microsoft is not going to make much of an effort into making that a reality. I am guessing that you can see your friends' avatars walking about the virtual arcade on the X-Box 360 because they are certainly missing from my current Game Room on the PC.

Who the heck is this guy? That thing is not my kimono-wearing X-Box Live avatar!

PS3 Game Cases: A Spine-Tingling Tale

I was re-organizing my PlayStation 3 game cases today when I was reminded of the ugly banner redesign for the newer cases after the release of the Slim model of the console. Now, the spines of the cases look horribly mismatched. It was a ridiculously idiotic decision to change the banner design during the lifetime of a console, well at least to those who are obsessive compulsive like me. Realistically though, I don't think the change brought about anything positive to the brand name and if anything, it only brought the inconsistency on people's display racks. I suppose I can stack the newer cases together but doing that will ruin the alphabetical continuity of my arrangements. I am really wishing that the download-only distribution for games will arrive soon so that I don't have be bothered by these things anymore.

Thanks for the headache, Sony. Thanks a lot!

The beauty of consistency. The PS3 game cases deserve this too.

Well, at least it doesn't look as bad as the Personal Computer game cases.

Is it Nintendo 3DS or 3D-BS?

Earlier this week, Nintendo revealed that they have a new handheld system in the works that should be released sometime later this year or in early 2011. It's currently referred to as the "Nintendo 3DS" and it's going to feature 3D graphics without the need for 3D glasses. I am a big supporter of Nintendo but I think that they are just rushing out too many "new" handhelds one after the other. I mean, some people made the assumption that you have to keep upgrading components in Personal Computer gaming all the time to keep up with new games (which is untrue) but that negative fantasy pales in comparison to the factual frequency in which Nintendo upgrade their handheld gaming devices. The 3D innovation hopefully will not lead to more "casual" games and it shouldn't because it should only impact the presentation of the video images instead of altering the aesthetics of the gameplay. The eventual popularity of this device may lead to television manufacturers abandoning the bad designs of 3D-capable displays that mandate the use of 3D glasses: if 3D is to dominate the future of video displays, it has to happen without the crutch of the glasses. Still, I think that Nintendo's greed got ahead of them this time because this announcement and perhaps even the development of this 3D handheld came a bit too early. I am sure that I am not the only person interested in the upcoming Nintendo DSi XL and with the "3DS" having backwards compatibility with all the previous DS and DSi titles, there is absolutely no reason what so ever to invest in the XL.

Size isn't everything... When there is a new handheld waiting just around the corner!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Games Alert: Strategy Sequels Edition!

I received my copies of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising and Supreme Commander 2 for he Personal Computer today. Interestingly, it only took me a about one minute to install Chaos Rising. Apparently, that big fat patch I received for the first Dawn of War II included the entire Chaos Rising content instead of just the additional units for the multiplayer modes. I heard a lot of disparaging things about Supreme Commander 2 which is probably why the game is being bundled with a $15 credit at Many people have said that the game has been over-simplified both in its gameplay and graphics. With the first game being overbearing strategically and requiring a monster PC to run properly (well, during the time of its release that is), the new approach would probably do the game some good but I shall see for myself soon enough.

They are looking over the game room, getting ready to take over my time and space.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fallout 3 GFWL: Cheated Once Again

This week, all of the downloadable contents for Fallout 3 will be sold for half the price on the X-Box Live Marketplace. Unfortunately, this offer does not extend to those who own the Personal Computer version of the game. This is the second time that Microsoft has done this to those who play the game on the PC. The PC version utilizes the Games for Windows Live client, so there is really no reason why this offer shouldn't be extended there. I would certainly love to get 4 of the expansions but there is no way that I can justify paying $40 for them when I can buy the "Game of the Year" edition for almost the same price. As a matter of fact, each of them should be sold cheaper than 400 Microsoft Points because the availability of that "all-in-one" package. Microsoft need to stop treating GFWL like a redheaded stepchild if they want to gain more support from both the developers and us gamers.

Double standard, Microsoft-style.

Games Played 03/15/2010 - 03/21/2010

- 03/15/2010 -
Heroes of Might & Magic V - PC
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3

- 03/16/2010 -
God of War III - PlayStation 3

- 03/17/2010 -
Dragon Age: Origins - PC
God of War III - PlayStation 3

- 03/18/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo Kazooie - X-Box 360

- 03/19/2010 -
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo Kazooie - X-Box 360
Starcraft II Beta - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC

- 03/20/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
God of War III - PlayStation 3
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC

- 03/21/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
God of War III - PlayStation 3

Sunday, March 21, 2010

God of War III: Lazy Hard

I just completed a "Normal" mode play through of God of War III just a couple of minutes ago. The game is certainly not my favorite out of all the GoW games but it is definitely worth playing. It took me around 9 hours to complete the adventure but there are still other contents in the game that I would like to get into before I write a final analysis on the game. The first thing that I did as soon as the game ended was I restarted a new game under the "Chaos (Very Hard)" difficulty. I was very disappointed to find out that the game is going for the lazy approach again when it comes to scaling up the difficulty level: the only difference between the modes are how much damage you would incur from enemy attacks. Thus, I would probably just skip playing the higher difficulty levels at this time. I have never been a fan of difficulty options - developers need to have a strong confidence in their vision of what the perfect difficulty balance for their games should be. If they still want to enable difficulty selection, they should at least add better enemy intelligence or gameplay alterations that are not available in the easier difficulty settings.

I thought Kratos had godly strength. So why would he die after two hits from a boss?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bad DLC: Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

I really love Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (with Banjo Kazooie) for the X-Box 360 and this high level of admiration compelled me into visiting the X-Box Live Marketplace earlier today. I have heard rumors that new downloadable characters, courses, and music were supposed to be in the works for the game so I had my fingers crossed when I visited the page, wishing for a miracle to happen. Instead, all that was there was this awful DLC:

Sega says, "Let's destroy our own game!"

Rated 1 and a half star by the X-Box Live community (don't tell me that somebody actually rated this content with more than 1 star), this offensive "Unlock All Characters & Tracks" add on is being sold for $5. One of the motivators for one to keep playing the game is to keep earning points to unlock the game's many characters and courses so buying this content would really ruin the player's experience of the game. Unlocking everything doesn't take that long and the only people that I could think of who would actually buy this are achievement whores who needed some assistance in their quest for achievement quickies.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Game Alert: God of War III Effect Edition!

So what do video game stores do to Dante's Inferno now that God of War III has been released just a week ago? 1) They can hike the price back up again to $59.99 from the usual $49.99 that I have seen it being sold for at the same online store for the last two weeks leading up to GoWIII's release in hope that people would be willing to pay anything to play a similar game, or 2) They can severely slash the price down in hope that it could be cleared off the shelf before people get sick and tired of the GoWIII formula. Well, my favorite retail store did the second thing so here I am with my copy of Dante's Inferno for the PlayStation 3. I did like the demo of the game and I am sure that I will enjoy this game a bit more than GoWIII itself - to be honest, GoWIII is actually a bit boring but maybe because I have only played the first 3 hours of the game. I will see Kratos to his conclusion first though before I jump into this game.

Divine Edition? But I want the dirty rotten unholy edition!

ModNation Racer: A Creepy Disposition

ModNation Racers is an enticing title because of its "Race.Create.Share!" mentality. It's easy to think of the game as the Mario Kart version of LittleBigPlanet and since both of these titles are extremely popular, ModNation Racers seems guaranteed to head towards a huge success when it is released for the PlayStation 3 on May 25th of this year. Now, the game is offering bonuses for those who pre-order it from select retailers and online stores.

What did you do to my iconic PS3 characters?

The first thing I did when I first saw the above ad before throwing up last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast all over my lap was said "Yucks". Though I find the game to be full of creative potentials, the character art-style in ModNation was never that endearing to me and the odd treatments they did on these characters are just preposterous! The dwarf Kratos looks extremely disturbing, the miniature Ratchet looks like a rejected blow-up doll, while that "X-Box 360 Avatar" fellow to the right doesn't even look remotely close to the PS3 celebrity he is supposed to look like: Nathan Drake! These characters are definitely the creepiest video-gaming image I have seen thus far this year... Yes, they even top the dildo-wand, I mean the PlayStation Move. To learn more about the pre-order bonus and re-regurgitate your stomach contents, feel free to visit the official ModNation Racer website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heroes of Newerth: I Want My Single Player!

Heroes of Newerth... How you have been in beta for almost an eternity with no signs of a solid release date in sight. How you have captured the attention of close to two million people who have registered on your beta forum. How you have 40,000+ people playing the game online at any given time. How you keep reminding me to pay $30 to pre-order the game every time I log on to your website and your game client...

Just release the darn game already. I will buy it just for the local gameplay option!

$30 is not a lot of money for a full title these days and paying that kind of cash for HoN is a sound investment... that is if I was paying for the final public release. Why am I complaining about this when I have the ability to play the game for free? Well, I have mentioned in my previous HoN discourses that the game's online community is not the game's best aspect even though the game in itself is extremely addicting and fun. I think that it is time for S2 Games to unlock the ability for people to play against A.I. opponents. At this time, that option is not available and the only way you can gain a good experience playing the game is to jump into an online game and hope that you are lucky enough to not be teamed up with the typical arrogant jerks that flood the game's population. I understand that the reason why the player vs. A.I. mode is locked is so that people can really stress test the server by fighting against each other but S2 Games should at least allow players to team up with other online players to fight against computer controlled opponents. Also, instead of offering up silly things like a "unique chat name color" or the "ability to taunt in-game", why not offer the single player offline mode to those who pre-order the game? If they did, I know that I will be out of $30 immediately but before then, the abusive community is certainly not worth my money... nor my free time.

Don't Discourage the Noobs!

Epilepsy warnings in video game: sometimes they are hidden in the game manuals, sometimes they steal the spotlight as the first thing that pops up on the screen before the start of the games being played. It is apparent that developers are only required to slap the warning inside the instruction manuals because if not, we will always see it being displayed before the start of a game. Nintendo, due to its history with being directly associated with a death by video gaming induced epilepsy, really takes a strong stance to advocate healthy video gaming by showing a brief warning every time the Nintendo Wii is being turned on before you can even get to the channel selection screen. The warning that shows up on the Wii refers gamers to check out the instruction manual to read up on the "dangers" of gaming. That has not been the case with games on the PlayStation 3 until I saw this when I boot up God of War III:

Why the sudden decision to tame down the warning?

If an epilepsy warning would be displayed before the start of a game on the PlayStation 3, I normally expect to see something similar to the one below:

The warning that precedes the title screen of last month's Heavy Rain.

GoWIII is a darling of the PlayStation 3 and I am sure that Sony is hoping to gain an increase in the sale of its console units. It would be damaging for them to not introduce the threat of epilepsy to their new customers but wouldn't it be discouraging to allow their customers be so hyped up about GoWIII and the console - especially if they were new to the gaming scene - only to be greeted by a cryptic warning that the same game and system that they had paid a lot of money for may forcibly induce seizure on them? Maybe this reasoning would explain that even though Nintendo are trying to avoid potential lawsuits from the casual gamer moms and pops, they chose to place a generic warning instead since it would further shield them from potential liability while avoiding unnecessary fear in their core consumer base. We all know that ignorant parents out there would freak out like there is no tomorrow if they actually read the epilepsy warning like how they would freak out about violent video games without knowing about the ESRB ratings. Perhaps the funniest thing to me about this whole thing is that there is no real necessity to plague the screen with such warning in the first place: it did not appear in-game on the recently released Final Fantasy XIII. It is ironic that epilepsy warnings are not shown when you first turn on the television or before the start of a movie in the theaters because these kinds of epileptic episodes can be induced by those sources as well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You'll Lose Your Poise Laughing

I have only written about something non-gaming related on this site once and it was such a long time ago. Well, I cannot help but share this random little ad-clicking adventure from late last night. I was chatting with a friend on my yahoo email when I saw a click-able ad on the top right hand corner of the screen. It featured pictures of a number of historical women and all of them looked like Whoopie Goldberg. I am not the type of guy who would click on random ads on the net but at first, I thought that these women were not really Whoopie and that the person who was responsible for the ad stole her face and photoshopped them onto the different characters... So I just had to click on the ad without even reading on what it said.

Curiosity kills the cat... Unless you have a sense of humor.

When I got to the uh... "1 in 3 Like Me" page, I found out that those characters were indeed played by Whoopie and after a bit of perusing, I was able to find out about the actual message of the site which is uh, not necessarily meant for men. Okay, I am sure that the condition specified on the page may be a serious issue for those who do experience it but - forgive me - I was just dying of laughter watching the vignettes of Whoopie transforming from one historical/mythical figure to the next and talking about "the spritz". If you are a guy and you have the courage to receive a knowledge that should otherwise be left unknown, feel free to visit the page. It may be a bit yucky but Whoopie's performance was truly... incredible despite the uncomfortable subject matter. If you are a woman, well, I think the product being advertised here may actually be something that you have been looking for if the statistics being played out to maximum effect here is really factual.

Oh my galaxy... Eve Whoopie is so freaking hilarious!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Game Alert: Bumped Up to 1080i Edition!

My copy of God of War III is here! I have heard reports that the game's graphics in this final retail form look much better compared to the E3 demo that was released on the PlayStation Network Store. While I don't doubt that claim (Update Note: After playing it for an hour, I can say for certain that the graphics are definitely more impressive than what I have seen before in the demo), I am disappointed to see on the back of the game case that the game only supports up to 1080i. At this point, I am beginning to suspect that only games with simplified graphics will ever receive the 1080p treatment on this console like a lot of the small releases being sold at the PSN Store. I suppose that it's better that they are being truthful about the situation. They could just claim that everything is running at native 1080p when the graphics are merely being upscaled to that resolution like how things are on the X-Box 360.

The cover art is boring compared to the prequels on the PlayStation 2.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March is Indeed Achievement Whore Month!

Alright, first the whoring of Culdcept Saga on the X-Box 360, then came the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 trophy desperation on the PlayStation 3... Now, it's time for another trophy whore attack and this time, this guy is not even on my friend list! It's official, there's definitely something in the air this month that is causing achievement/trophy whores to act so callously. Perhaps they are sensing that the end of the world is coming and they feel that they need to unlock as many achievements/trophies as they possible can before that happens?

March 2010 will forever haunt my memories.

I received a friend invite from a stranger who is asking me to visit his SingStar online profile on the PlayStation 3 because, as he explains it, he needs 200 visitors to unlock a trophy for the game. Oh my galaxy. I don't know if I should be violently outraged by this harrassment or if I should feel sorry for the guy. So he browsed other people's SingStar profiles from the community page and then spammed out hundreds of messages just so that he could unlock a trophy? At the end of the message, he made one final attempt to steer me, his potential victim, into doing his biddings by claiming that he had given me 5 star ratings on my video uploads. Pathetic!

Trophies will not make you feel like a number one... Will they ever learn?

Games Played 03/08/2010 - 03/14/2010

- 03/08/2010 -
Endless Ocean: Blue World - Wii
Heroes of Newerth Beta - PC

- 03/09/2010 -
Endless Ocean: Blue World - Wii
ESPGaluda II Black Label - X-Box 360
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3

- 03/10/2010 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations - NDS
Starcraft II Beta - PC

- 03/11/2010 -
Deadly Premonition - X-Box 360
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Heroes of Newerth Beta - PC
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations - NDS
Neo Geo Battle Coliseum - PlayStation 2

- 03/12/2010 -
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - PC
Deadly Premonition - X-Box 360
ESPGaluda II Black Label - X-Box 360

- 03/13/2010 -
ESPGaluda II: Black Label - X-Box 360
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
Spore - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC

- 03/14/2010 -
Metal Slug Anthology - PlayStation 2
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations - NDS
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo Kazooie - X-Box 360
Titan Quest - PC
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Titan Quest's Amazing Community

I reinstalled Titan Quest on my Personal Computer today and I hope to continue playing the game again soon with a friend of mine. I checked the multi-player server and saw that there are still a lot of people playing this game online and they are not just high level players seeking for the best drops, there are many low level players as well. I can't really determined if they are just new to the game - you can buy the game + the Immortal Throne expansionfor $19.99 or less these days - or experienced players making new characters to level up. For a game that was originally released in 2006, it's an amazing feat and Titan Quest's staying power is indicative of it the best Diablo-clone in the market. With Diablo III still in the works with no sign of its definite arrival in sight, Titan Quest's community will probably be busy and engaged for a little whole longer.

Not a lot of online multiplayer game can remain this active for this long.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

FFXIII: Is Microsoft Trying Too Hard?

I may not watch television much but during several recent sessions of watching recorded shows, I have only seen the X-Box 360 commercial for Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII. I am almost certain that Microsoft is the one advertising the product because there is no indication whatsoever that the game is also out on the PlayStation 3 and the commercial would end with the special edition game + console bundle that is available for the X-Box 360. I am not sure if a PlayStation 3 version of the commercial existed but I am flabbergasted by this because if people are truly interested in the game, shouldn't they be informed about the choice that they are about to make? It is clear though that the commercial is aimed at those who still haven't adopted the 360 or the PS3 and I am sure that by closely associating the two brands together, those less informed about gaming in general may believe that the game only exists on the 360.

No custom faceplate nor specialized skin for the console.
It's a lazy bundle designed to cash in on the franchise with minimal efforts.

Still, all is fair in love and war so if more people ended up buying the game on the 360, the blame can only be placed on Sony for failing to react to Microsoft's heavy FFXIII campaigning. What is worse than the one-side FFXIII TV ad are the reviews by popular game critics. I don't read reviews in full because they almost always contain spoilers but for FFXIII, I was very curious to see how the X-Box 360 version's graphics would be criticized compared to the PS3 version and I must say that a lot of game sites didn't even bother discussing the difference between the two consoles, granting both versions with the same review score. Is this due to Microsoft's insistence or do these popular critics just love taking sides instead of telling the truth? I believe the latter but just remember this: whether you are able to get the game on the PlayStation 3 or not, everyone deserve to know the difference between the two versions. Kudos to those writers who champion the truth but if no mentions of discrepancies were evident in a review about the 360 version of the game, that's a sign that the reviewer just cannot be trusted.

Chaos Sorcerer Hotness

When I logged on to Steam today, I was greeted by a pretty big patch for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - the hefty download was apparently to prepare the game for its expansion, Chaos Rising, that was released just two days ago. When I started the game and selected the Last Stand mode that I just discovered about last month, there were two new characters that the players could choose from. These new additions are locked of course and they can only be playable once you have installed the game's expansion. I hope that maybe there's more meat added to this mode as well. I am really looking forward to picking up Chaos Rising.

That is one awesome looking character.

What is This? Achievement Whore Week?

This must be a seasonal thing that I am not aware of because there's too much achievement whoring around me in just a week's time. Last night, I received a message from someone on my PlayStation 3 friend's list begging for everyone on his friend's list to join him in a multi-player session of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 because he needs to get a trophy called Et tu, Brute where apparently you have to knife your friend a certain number of times in the game to unlock it. What kind of ridiculous trophy is this? The name for it - a reference to the death of Julius Caesar - is definitely perfect but the impact on the gameplay? Zero. I can see competitive friends achieving the trophy by accident after many sessions of gameplay but boosting for this kind of thing is a definite sign of trophy whoring. He proceeded to state in his message that he would let us knife him too in the process. Even if I had the game, my answer to him would be the same: "No thanks. Go knife someone else."

Friend-knifing + trophy-whoring = Someone who can't be saved.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Night of the Achievement Whores

I have encountered many failures when it comes to finding a X-Box Live friend who would want to play Culdcept Saga with me. I have been meaning to write about this new incident that happened last week but I thought that I would give it a rest for several days so that I could write about it more intelligently and with minimal emotional outrage.

Earlier this week, I got a message from someone on my friend's list whom I haven't played with in a while asking me if I would be interested in playing a 2 vs. 2 alliance match on Culdcept Saga. I am sure you have guessed it - I said yes immediately and soon after, I received a party and game invite. Apparently, it was me and my friend against these two strangers but I was okay with that. I knew at that point that those strangers were just looking for another win to add to their "win count" achievement but whatever, I just wanted to play the game after being away from it for so long. It was evident during the game that the two opponents we were battling knew each other really well with their decks being very supportive of each other's strategy. Losing was imminent but I played the game with smarts and I never regret playing with skills in a desperate battle. Here's what got to me though: my friend wouldn't listen to a single advise that I provided him during the battle - the other team pretty much talked to each other throughout the whole game. So, I sent my friend a message about going into a different chat to talk about strategies in which he responded negatively to. He stated that doing that would be practically pointless. After that, I pretty much just let the rest of the game played out with my team losing of course. Here's the more disturbing part: With every stupid move my friend made, I could hear the other team members chuckling and they were making snide comments to each other which didn't seem to bother my friend because sometimes he would chuckle along with them.

When the battle ended, all of a sudden an achievement-unlocked icon popped up on my screen and then I heard some hurrahs and cheers from the other ends of the mic - Apparently, everyone received this achievement that was unlocked with a single play of a 2 vs. 2 match. In other words, the only reason why the other 3 were playing the game was because they wanted to unlock that achievement! The strangers also got a bonus of keeping their win count towards another achievement that they were apparently working on. All of them then started a discussion about trying other things to unlock other achievements and I left them to their musings and celebrations. I have never cared about achievements (and trophies) ever since their introduction on the X-Box 360 and this is one of the reason why I think that it's a bane to gaming: It makes people play a game not to really play the game but instead, they play the game to get this "reward" that really doesn't add to anything in the game. In-game achievements where unlocking it would unlock other features in a game is what should be implemented in video games instead of this faux accomplishment phenomenon. I think I am done with looking for a Culdcept Saga buddy. I will not be looking for one anymore and just let nature takes it course - maybe I'll meet him/her/them in the future but then again maybe not but I really don't care at this point.

Who cares about fun when there's an achievement to unlock!
Some of the game's achievements are related to unlocking bonus costumes
for your Cepter, which is explained in-game. People should work on those.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The L.G. Likes PlayStation Move

Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony revealed their new motion controller for the PlayStation 3, now officially named Wii-mote Version 2, I mean the PlayStation Move. The controller still retains the basic phallic look from last year's E3 but with all the buttons in place, it's easy to see where the inspiration for this controller originates from. The tech behind it is definitely more solid that what Nintendo has already made available to consumers all these years. The most attractive part of the new controller for me is the PlayStation Eye camera integration - I really like how the controller can transform into many different things on screen with you moving it around in your hand. Using a camera to track the controller's movement should yield more accuracy as well versus the infrared implementation for the Wii-mote. This new device, of course, should never ever replace the conventional DualShock 3 controller even though it may work really well with first person shooters, with character movements accomplished via the "sub-controller" and the aiming done via the dildo - I mean - the PS Move. I am definitely more excited about the PS Move than Microsoft's "Natal" and its "whole-body as controller" setup that almost guarantees extreme body pain and injury in the first couple of weeks of its release. I think that it is preferable to actually hold something physical in your hand because it is just a bit more realistic to do so. Let's just hope that these ventures into motion-based gaming controls will not lead to the video gaming apocalypse known as "The Era of Casual Gamer Dominance".

It comes with a wrist-strap... Oh my. I smell a lawsuit coming.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Games Alert!

I have added three more titles to my Game Library today. First, Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations for the Nintendo DS. I love the courtroom drama of the Ace Attorney series and it would be interesting to see if this game is going to be as good as the previous entries because it's more focused on crime scene investigations versus the courtroom battles. Miles Edgeworth is not my favorite character in the series - Detective Gunshoe always gets my vote - but I am sure he will do a fine job as the main character in this game.

I also picked up Brutal Legend for PlayStation 3. I enjoyed the game's demo and its beautiful art style. I am not into heavy metal at all and I always find Jack Black extremely annoying but those things don't deter me from the interesting premise of the game. Lastly, I finally picked up Deadly Premonition for the X-Box 360. This budget title retails at $19.99 and it's supposed to be a weird combination of Shenmue + Silent Hill of sorts. I had a discussion about the game with my friend in Japan last week who told me that the Japanese version, entitled Red Seeds Profile, was released at the regular full retail price (around US$70) there. He said it's a popular game and he was surprised that the game is priced at such a low price here. I owe him an impression of the game to help him determine if the game is worth paying for at the regular retail price in Japan.

Update Note: My friend just picked up Deadly Premonition today as well! It's such a special game that no one is able to resist the urge to get it!

No, this doesn't mean that Final Fantasy XIII is no longer holding my attention.
Is that Gumshoe on the cover of Ace Attorney Investigations? Right on!

OnLive... Going Live!

OnLive has announced that it is going to start its revolutionary "video streaming-based" gaming subscription service starting June 17th of this year with a monthly subscription fee of $14.95. A pre-registration offer has been made available for those who just can't wait to sign up for the service and the first qualified 25,000 users will receive the first 3-months of the service free of charge. I have been beta testing the service for quite some time now and I have made a solid decision on whether or not I would be subscribing to OnLive: I am respectful to the agreement that I have made in regards to my participation in the beta testing of the service - I am thankful of being given the privilege to experience this new gaming innovation - so I will not discuss my impressions of the service at this time. I do hope that we will soon get more details on the state of ownership of games purchased via the service when one opts out of the monthly subscription: this is an important piece of information that should be revealed way ahead of launch.

Success or failure? We will know in about 3 months.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Game Alert: It's Not Really Final Edition!

I received my copy of Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 3 today and have played around an hour of the game. The opening narrative is a bit underwhelming in that Final Fantasy XII kind of way: In other words, other than one emotional scene, everything feels a bit detached. Things are sure to pick up, at least I would hope so, but one thing I must say is that the character models outside of the full motion videos are quite amazing. I am still disappointed with the hair though: they don't look as nice as they did in the promotional "in-game" screenshots. If FFXIII was exclusive to the PS3, it would have been a definitely system seller but perhaps God of War III will be up for that task next week.

Lightning seems to be a pretty cool character so far.

Meanwhile on Microsoft land, FFXIII is enjoying the spotlight.
I really recommend getting that PS3 that you have been wanting for a
while and play this game there. Do not play the inferior X-Box 360 port.

Ubisoft is Proud but I'm Not Buying

Since the Personal Computer version of Assassin's Creed II that was just released today still sports the new digital rights management protection that mandates players to stay connected to Ubisoft's sever, I have decided to get the console version of the game. I was really looking forward to playing the game with better graphics but Ubisoft definitely crossed the line here: even though they have tamed the DRM somewhat where you can continue playing the game at the exact spot when you lost connection to the server instead of from your last save point. Ubisoft also promised that a patch will be released to enable offline play of the game if the server is retired in the future. I support developers' DRM use because they have every right to protect their investments: people like to cry foul and claim that people will still pirate games even with DRM implementation but those same people are probably pirates anyway. I mean, yeah, people pirate games - and people steal outside of video games - but that doesn't mean that developers shouldn't try! It's like saying you shouldn't lock-up nor install a security system for your house because there will always be thieves out there. Funny how no one playing the current gen consoles complains much about this when firmwares are being periodically released to specifically brick modded console units. There are wild rumors running rampant all over the Internet that Ubisoft's new DRM has been cracked. The authentication server was definitely attacked with 5% of the players unable to connect to Ubisoft's server. The problem was fixed and Ubisoft was quick to address popular gaming websites that claimed ACII was cracked that despite the rumors, those who downloaded the pirated copy will not be happy with their big fat download because it will not work. Whether the truth lies with the pirates or with Ubisoft, this is not something to be proud of... for either parties! To me, locking contents and/or multi-player functionalities like what Microsoft is doing with Games for Windows Live and what Electronic Arts did with Mass Effect 2 is definitely the way to go with PC DRMs.

This is how the retail cover for the game should look like:
Why didn't Ubisoft go GFWL with the X-Box 360 version already available?

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Game Alert: Free Wii Speak Edition!

I went to a retail electronic store today and picked up Endless Ocean: Blue World for the Nintendo Wii. I have written about my aquaphobia before and there were some parts to the first Endless Ocean on the Wii that scared me to death. So why would I purchase this game? It's because I love nature and I especially like fish. I may never, ever dive into the ocean to swim with them in real life because I would probably die out of fright if I were to do that. I like watching fish through the glass of an aquarium of any size but I cannot view them from the top - doing that would cause me to hyperventilate. I consider games like this one to be a way for me to face my fear in hope that things would get better in regards to how I perceive open water in the future.

I hope there are more songs from Hayley Westenra in there...

By the way, if you still do not own a Wii Speak - I got mine when I purchased Animal Crossing: City Folk - you should not pass up on this game. Both the game onlyand the game + Wii Speak bundleare priced similarly at $29.99. Very strange! Stranger still is that the standalone Wii Speak is usually sold for $29.99! So you are getting a Wii Speak plus a free game when you pick up the bundle! Then you can chat with your friends on the Wii's chat channel! It may be silly for me to own two Wii Speak units but I would be dumb to pay the same price for the game and getting less for it.