Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gametrailers.com - Deca Sports - Wii - Review

It actually looks like this game might be fun, with a lot of people for about 2 hours.

Thoughts and Opinions 5-26-2008

Ah, finally back to actually talking and writing about video games. For the past several days, my entire energy has been focused on working on the Distributed Failure TV intro. I am almost done. I have to only ad Kush's “Go” picture, ad the title along with shots of Rob and myself, and place in the wording such as “On Today's show” or what not. I am going to have two different endings just in case. One will be a generic one so that if Rob is the only one on the show, then he can do the generic intro. I will also have the modified title. If we have the time, I can quickly throw together the topics that we will talk about, the videos that we will play, and even if we have special guests they can be included. I believe that this will make the show a whole lot better looking. The intro may be a little long (1:03 by my counter), but it is definitely worth it. Rob saw the almost finished version and the words that he said made me feel good; “Holy shit”. Hopefully that is a good “Holy shit” and not a bad “Holy Shit”.

Well, this Thursday will mark one month since Grand Theft Auto IV has been out and that is when I will release the endings to the game. It will probably be in the 20 minute range because, in typical GTA fashion, the endings are never that long. One of the endings is a cut version because my dumb ass was hiding behind a car and I launched an RPG and it hit the car. Not smart. The good thing is that it is not that noticeable. When the downloadable content comes out, I will see what it is before investing more money into it.

I was looking through Destructoid.com a couple of days ago and came up to this article: If you love it, Change it: Mega Man. This article was cool in the fact that it gave good advice on how to improve the games from Capcom. One of the suggestions is to allow the user to combine weapons. I think that is would have been cool to combine the Metal Blades with the Air Tornados to have several Metal Blades spin in the air just like the boss fight with Air Man. You would have one hell of an unstoppable attack in your hands. It has been 20 years since that little blue bomber came out:

(God that box art sucked). The years have not been good to the bomber, and I hope that Capcom can resurrect him and give him the respect that he deserves.

Note: I want to play the PSP versions of Mega Man and Mega Man X so bad.

The above videos are the Metal Gear retrospectives parts 1 through 3 from Gametrailers.com. When Gametrailers comes out with a new retrospective; I sit back and watch them. Their 13 part series on Final Fantasy was very, very entertaining. The last part (3) was dealing with MGS 2: SoL (Shit Out of Luck?) and it was great. While there is no way in hell (right now) that I could ever do anything like that, there is something that is brewing in my mind and I think that is is “Essential” that I take my time on it. It is something that the whole DF crew could do and we could have some fun with it.

Well, it is about that time that I leave this web and go and work at my 2nd job. I hope you guys (and ladies...'cause I love the ladies) have a good one and I will be back sometime in the future.

Currently playing: Final Fantasy V (PS1)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Made My Decision...: My Review of Grand Theft Auto IV

Welcome back to Liberty City. And for Niko Bellic, it is his first time there. He gets lured to America from his cousin, Roman, with the promise of riches beyond his belief and getting laid by the ladies. Unfortunately, that does not happen. Roman lives in a shitty apartment, Niko drives a taxi, and Roman owes gambling debts to a Russian goon. Thus, begins Niko's climb through Eastern European mobs. Along the way, you discover that Niko wanted to move to Liberty City to find two men that he was in the military with. They were witness to an entire village, Niko's hometown, getting slaughtered. Niko wants to know what happened.
This story is, by far, that best story that the GTA series has produced. You feel for Niko. Niko does not do this for money (Tommy Vercetti), he does not do this for his neighborhood (CJ), he does this for his friends and family. The story is weaved so well that you feel sorry for every wrong that Niko has to do. A cast of characters surrounding Niko is brilliantly portrayed. No A-list Hollywood voices. No porn directors who have shark fetishes. The story climaxes with three simple words, Make Your Decision.... No game has made me put the controller down and ponder what to do next. Top notch story is the best way to describe it.
The graphics are a site to behold. GTA's have been known to have a story, surrounded by a living breathing city. The city is breath taking. People move about in their lives. Neon signs pop up. Traffic is heavy during rush hours. Rockstar North took 3 years to make this game and it shows. They brought in new engines to create the look of the characters as well as a new physics engine for the vehicles. The facial features of the characters are a sight to behold. When someone is showing emotion, you would know about it without even hearing them. The cars are great as well. No longer are you stuck with vehicles that act like video game cars. These cars act, drive, and get damage like real cars. When you hit a pole with the front right side, the front right side is the one that gets damaged. There is a slight problem with pop up. Mostly, it happens when you go inside a building and the game has not thrown the interiors in yet. Not that bad at all. Go to the beach and you can watch people complete Yoga poses. A funny thing that you can do is when you shoot people. Shoot a person in the leg, they can walk right. Shoot then in the stomach and they double over. Shoot them in the head and... The graphics make this city seem like it is alive.
Niko is still like all the characters in past GTA games, but with some new approaches. He controls very well. A new cover system is in place so that Niko can hide and take cover when he is being shot at. You are able to disengage the auto lock so that the game can feel more like a FPS. You are also able to go hand-to-hand combat with people and that is a welcome relief. The other GTA have not been known to have the best cover system and this does a very good job of it. The driving mechanics can take some time to get use to. With the new car physics engine, the cars act more like what they are suppose to in real life. Once you get the handling down, you should be fine.
The sound in this game is top notch. There are no big names in this game, but that is for the better. It would have detered you from the real star, the game. Everybody is voiced perfect. From Niko, to the steroid-juiced Brucie, to the person on the side of the road (I LOVE Eddie Low). When in the car, you have your choices of several stations. Lazlow is back with his Integrity 2.0, a blatant rip-off of Howard Stern. On The Vibe, you can listen to Swiss Beats and Kanye West. There is Weazel news breaks when you complete something big, like a bank heist. The pedestrian all sound different. There was only one time that I heard someone say the same, and that was because they sounded like Bobcat Goldthwait. All minor sounds sound like they are suppose to.
This game is a blast to play. Anytime, during the game, you can go into multi player from your cell phone. There is anything that you can want from a multi player match in there; team deathmatch, capturing enemy territory, and even three missions. I would have like there to be more than those three story-type missions, but I'm not a multi player type of person, so I will live. In the single player, there is so much that you can do that I will forget some things. You can play darts, bowl, shoot pool, go to a comedy club with real comedians, race, even get drunk. The hidden packages are now pigeons that you have to shoot. The missions themselves are relatively easy. There was only one mission that I had to sit back and slowly figure out how to do this and get out alive. This city is alive and it can even get you to not worry about the story.
Overall, this is the game to own. It took 1000 people 3 years with a budget of 100 million dollars to make and it shows. This does deserve to be regarded as the greatest game ever made. Sorry, Link fanboys.

Grade: A+

Phil'N Rob-d moment: I can honestly say, there is nothing in this game that I felt cheated about.

Hints: You have a choice midway through the game when you can kill one of two people. Kill the right one and change clothes in his penthouse. One of the sets of clothing is the same outfit that Claude wore in Grand Theft Auto 3.

And, of course, the Gametrailers.com review:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Distributed Failure TV Episode 35: Phil's Prince Obsession

In this lovely edition, Phil "tries" to make fun of the Prince of Persia movie, Rob loves Elebits, and Rob tries to play Metal Gear Solid 3 for a 3rd time (at least he ain't Phil with RE4):

Gamestop weekly ad (5-23-2008 to 5-29-2008)

Sorry about being so damn late with the ad:

Friday, May 2, 2008

GTA IV thoughts

As the first week of being able to play Grand Theft Auto IV (legally) winds down, I thought I would bring some of my thoughts about what GTA IV means now.
Ladies and Gentlemen, games are now mainstream. I know, I know, some people have been saying that gaming has already been mainstream for a while now. Well, with a game of this magnitude coming out the same week that a highly-touted movie comes out and now one remembers what the movie is, that is saying something. Last year did not count because Halo 3 was a far superior game and The Heartbreak Kid was another Ben Stiller “Oh look at how stupid I can get” movie. I cannot remember hearing a single thing about Iron Man since the game came out. Will gaming be a top tier form of entertainment, I doubt it. If people such as Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon (member of the Film Actors Guild) would embrace gaming, then I would say so. Until then, it is in line with actors that do not pay top tier. Sort of like an actor that would guest spot on a TV series. If you get my drift.
People are saying that this is the greatest game ever. It is. Just as GTA III revolutionized the open world sandbox type of game, GTA IV brought in a Hollywood type of feel to it. They also brought in a Hollywood type of budget and a Hollywood time line. Rockstar spent around 100 million dollars on this game (I actually typed movie in there first) and it took 3 ½ years to make it with thousands working on it. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because people are saying that every game will be compared to this game and I pray to God that it is not. For every Iron Man, there is a Juno. Most gaming studios do not have the time or money to put in for a game as great as this. I know it will be difficult to imagine post- GTA IV games, but there will be and we cannot compare them. Now if a major gaming studio such as Sony or Electronic Arts or even Activision/Blizzard would try it, then they better damn sure make a good one. Let me ask you a question. Would you believe Rockstar would be floating right now if GTA IV sucked? Think about it.
Okay, people are now bashing GTA IV for the graphic nature of it. They are saying that there is sex, violence, and general horrific behavior in the game. First of all, I am going to say this to all those that complain about the game and haven't even played it. FUCK YOU. If you want to talk to me about the violence and the sex of it all, then play the game. If you don't, then don't fucking talk to me. There is violence and horrific behavior all around this world and I will be damned if it is blamed on gaming. Just this week in Austria, a man was found to have trapped his daughter in the basement for 24 years and repeatedly raped her and fathered 7 children with her. Why isn't anyone blaming gaming for this? Oh, I know. BECAUSE THE TWO OF THEM DO NOT FUCKING CONNECT. So why are you blaming gaming for the ills of society? There were two incidents that I new of involving criminal acts surrounding GTA IV. There were multiple attacks on people during Black Friday this past November. When people find the ills of society, they find the hot button issue and place it there. This era is gaming. People need to stop blaming other things and blame the parties responsible. Rockstar did not put mace into that San Diego man's hand. Rockstar did not put the knife into the hands of the man who stabbed another on in line in London. What could have been done was maybe the parents should have known that the San Diego kid was a douche and tried to do something about it. Maybe some of the London man's friends should have known he was going to do something stupid and they tried to stop it. DON'T BLAME GAMES. Blame yourself. You, I, and everyone is the reason why the world is falling apart, not an imaginary world.