Sunday, March 13, 2011

Random Disorganized Stuff

This blog brought to you by people with no lives

          The lapse between my blogs are getting pretty wide now, isn’t it. it’s partly because my xbox is broken and as such I haven’t been playing many new games, and partly because I’ve been sucked into the world of MMOs. MMORPG is an abbreviation for a genre of videogames known as massively multiplayer online role playing game, one of the most famous/infamous of this genre of game is World of Warcraft. Known by everyone, whether you play games or not, World of Warcraft has made a significant impact on the perception of gamers as well as the way MMOs were built. The MMO that I’m currently playing is Lord of the Rings Online, which is doubly nerdy, because it combines two things that nerds enjoy-Videogames and Lord of the Rings. In an MMORPG you start off at level 1, almost powerless, then set off on your journey to gain more power. The world that you play in is populated by other people around the world so being courteous is an important virtue, you don’t want internet hate gangs on you. As you progress the enemies you fight get progressively more powerful, but so do you. The higher in level you get the more skills you have at your disposal, the better equipment you have to raise stats and make you more efficient. Eventually you’ll hit a level cap, the current level limit, and that’s what is referred to as end-game. People who are crazy dedicate hours to farming items so that they can get just one piece of equipment, one of the reasons why WoW has such a negative view.
Imagine this, but with other people
In LoTRO all of this is true, except that the end game is sort of lacking and as such it’s starting to lose grip of me and I’ve gotten back into TF2 (Team Fortress 2) a little. In LoTRO you start off as a normal hero, protecting the boundaries of your respective homeland, (Ered Luin for Dwarves and Elves, Bree-Land for Humans, and Shire for the hobbitses). However fate has called upon you to do more than just protect your homeland, and soon the storyline has you going around all of Eriador to assist the rangers in the protection from the armies of Angmar (I understand how hardcore this sounds). While you do this you also take on quests from various areas so that you can level up and gain more strength. The community of LoTRO is a very nice, friendly, and casual one so there’s not a lot of trolls in the game.
But enough about MMO’s and LoTRO, I’ll probably write a more in depth blog on LoTRO specifically now that I’ve laid out the basis for MMO’s later. In other more relevant news of gaming I recently finished Dead Space 2 at a friend’s house, and damn, it’s a real fine game. The graphics are top notch and the sound effects live up to the standards of the first game. The storyline is great, and serves as a great addition to the world that Visceral Game studios has set up. The satisfaction that you get stomping on the necromorphs is still there, with plenty of jump scares. The atmosphere is once again great, however this is more of an action game now than it is a horror game. Dead Space 2 is probably one of the best ways I could’ve started out the year of 2011 with.
I’m still waiting on getting my xbox fixed to start Brotherhood, but I can’t wait until that happens. Also I can't wait until the Source Code comes out, from the sounds of previews as well as the trailers they've put out it's looking like an impressive film. In terms of music I’ve been going back on some of the older music that I started out with, such as Green Day. Dookie and American Idiot are probably two of my favorite albums and the top two albums for Green Day. American Idiot in particular I can listen to over and over again, it’s a great album. Also since I’m in GSO I’m constantly exposed to classical music, and one song in particular has stuck with me. Here it is, and I hope everyone has a great rest of the week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Game of the Year 2010 (Yes I know I'm late to the Party)

First off I'd like to mention the fact that I had written this about a month ago, and yet never posted it because I kept juggling my options and was too lazy to find pictures for this. However I'd have to post this sooner or later so here are my Games of the Year 2010.

With 2010 over with, it's time to reflect back on the year and remember all the good times we had. As with all things media there will always be top 10 lists for the year, best of lists and the like. So here's my top 10 for the year. Keep in mind that my main platform is an Xbox 360, and the other exclusive games I only have the time to play when I'm at a friend's house, so it might be a little skewed. Also as a result of my Xbox 360 breaking in early October some games could not be included in this list including; Fallout New Vegas, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (although what little I've played of it it's pretty impressive), Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (and from what I've heard from other people is a really fun game), and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (which I am buying the moment my 360 gets fixed). Without further ado here's my top games of 2010.

10. Call of Duty Black Ops
Everyone everywhere knows what Call of Duty. Whether or not they know the history behind it or the fact that there are two developers who alternate years is questionable, however most people everywhere know what Call of Duty is. Heck, my friend's dad who doesn't even play videogames asked him if he wanted Black ops. For no reason. Call of Duty Black Ops was like a roller coaster ride, once it started going it was a crazy experience from start to finish, although the ending felt unnecessary. Multiplayer is the same as ever, you either love it or hate it.
9. Rock Band 3
When it comes to music games Rock Band is my go to game. It has a wide variety of songs as well as great continued support from Harmonix. With this new iteration I'm scratching my head at what the genre can offer next. With DLC support, you can get all the songs you need online, and Harmonix has just perfected the music game genre, everything in Rock Band 3 works solidly.
8. Heavy Rain
A game that shot for the stars and missed by only a few feet. Heavy Rain did so many things right and had amazing graphics as well as a pretty amazing story, the gameplay and story got more intense as you went along. One thing that pulled back the game's potential was some of the loose ends that felt unnecessary. The characters felt believable although the voice acting was downright horrible at times. Heavy Rain's innovative gameplay and the movielike feel to it made it one of the most unique experiences of the year. JASON
7. Super Meat Boy
I love this game. The game hates me. It's real cute. It also has lots of charm. Buy it, it's only $15
6. Limbo
The game sets so much atmosphere with just it's black and white colors, as well as the art direction and the sounds (or lack thereof). With lots of puzzles almost on the level of Braid (but not quite) Limbo was a great downloadable game that lagged slightly at the end. Also spiders suck.
5. Civilization 5
Civilization 5 brings a level of friendliness to the series, it's more accessable now for most people to jump in and get adjusted to the mechanics of the games. It still has that just one more turn mentality to it which will keep you up late at night trying to get revenge on Gandhi (who nuked your capitol). It's brought together all the great stuff about the past Civilization games and added a level of approachability to it.
4. God of War III
God of War has always been one of those games that I've enjoyed a lot. With crazy fast action, lots of gore, as well as a good use of the Greek mythology, God of War has always been a blast to play. GoW III brought some of the most intense actions, most satisfying boss fights, and was one of the best looking games this year. Great finish to the God of War series.
3. Halo: Reach
I will admit that I love Halo. With Reach Bungie has perfected the type of game they made, that distinct Halo feel. The campaign is amazing and the multiplayer and forge mode is all that you could ask for. The ending was also great, and Bungie sure sent off Halo with a blast.

2. Red Dead Redemption
Thank you Rockstar for making yet another amazing game. I was hyped beyond reason for this game and yet Rockstar still managed to exceed them. From the amazing characters that you meet from the start of your journey to the end, Red Dead Redemption is a masterpiece work of storytelling. John Marston is a sympathetic character who you can root for, and you can feel the pain in his journey as you follow along. Also the last couple of endings (there are 3 points where it felt like the game was going to end), were simply the most amazing moments of gaming this year. The ending was so satisfying it's hard to put into words, and Red Dead Redemption managed to pull off something not many developers could do. 

1. Mass Effect 2
At first this seemed like the obvious choice, however as I thought about it more it became a very close contest between this and Red Dead Redemption. However my love for Mass Effect 2 cannot be overstated. Although the story isn't as great as the first game the characters were the star of the game. Each character brought with them a unique characteristic and baggage which always made it interesting to go back and talk to them and learn more about their back stories. The loyalty missions were just amazing and the interrupt system is genius in its simplicity and how much more awesome it makes the dialogue sections become. The rich fiction of the Mass Effect universe is expanded and the series has one of the most realized universes out there. Add to this the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC as well as all of the Cerberus Network DLC and you’ve got my Game of the Year 2010.

To close this out I'll send you off with my "favorite" game song of the year.