Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blogging 4 Dead

I would post more, but honestly, I have no time. But here's the thing about that: I do theoretically have time. I just fill it up. I'm either catching up on TV shows (like Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica) or playing Left 4 Dead all night. And I must say, every night, almost all night, me and a group of kids ply Left 4 Dead together. This sadly does not include Nate because Nate has an actual life and has been mostly playing Fallout 3 these days, but never the less, from hours as early as 8 PM to as late as 4 AM, you'll find me gaming in Left 4 Dead. Of course, this means I sleep until about noon every day and then I'm grouchy for a little while upon waking up, but still... totally worth it (and I don't care how much I have to "grow up" right now with a job and responsibilities, nothing will ever make me give up my late night gaming sessions).

Now, while I will never ever stray from the thought that Fallout 3 was the best game of last year (much to Nathan's own chagrin), I will say that the predictions I made when I put it in my number 2 spot are entirely accurate. I play this game so much that it has since become to first and only game to be installed on my hard drive. I never saw the point of installing a game until now, but now I fully understand the validation. You have no idea how annoying it is to be playing this game for several hours, have a glorious dominating victory in a game, and then your game freezes when going back to the menu. I can sometimes hear the disc spinning in the XBOX, and it was at that point that I realized maybe I'm playing it enough to justify an install.

This game provides such a unique experience. I must say, after playing with the same group of guys last night, I really have no interest in playing with all random people now. It's so much better only playing with the same guys. We are by no means a "clan" (although, in one absolutely hilarious night, we did face a clan member of xUWNx, which I will talk more about later), but rather a group of guys who all know each other and like to play with and against each other. It provides much more amusement having over 7 friends who are all available for gaming. Never have I ever felt such a sense of camaraderie in any game. Now, I will admit, there is a point in every game where I do make a gun for the safe house and leave my team mates to die if necessary, but that's a last second/split second judgment call. One of the guys I play with usually always goes back to save people, and I've seen him get annihilated before due to this. It's the zombie apocalypse, man - I want to survive. That, and at least I get us a good amount of points every round (someone described my gaming as "clutch." I'd say that this is rather accurate). However, as long as we are traveling, I will turn around and do my best to save everyone I can. This is really only because I'm playing with my friends to begin with. If I was playing with random people, I can assure you that I would not care and would only save them if it was convenient for me. I might just say something like, "Learn to play the game!" and run off. But not to my gaming friends! Oh no. I will run the distance, shotguns a-blazing, just to separate them from a nasty smoker or hunter. It's also made me a constant reviewer of XBOX gamers. There are certain things you can do in the game as the infected that are based around glitches and make the gameplay very cheap and unfair. Every time a team does this against my team (unless we know the people), I go and give every player negative reviews and make them avoided players). So good job, Valve. You've made me into a team player (somewhat). Now give us new levels to play Versus on, and I'll be happy.

The final thing I'd like to say about Left 4 Dead is that it brings a great amount of sheer hilarity. I'll offer up two examples. The first is that one night, me and 3 of my friends were in a lobby. This kid joins named xUWNx FOUL, and we all instinctively laugh at him. He, of course, attacks me, and begins spouting of anti-Semitic slurs (if you don't know already, my gamertag is Jewnado, as in a tornado of Jewish hatred). He begins to rant and rave about how much better he is at the game than me and us, so I begin the game. Needless to say, we absolutely dominate, to the point where, in the finale, the other team just gives up and kills each other. Back in the lobby, Mr. FOUL gets a barrage of insults, such as, "Why don't you take your game back to GameStop and trade it in for a Wii and Party Babyz?" Of course he gets apologetic and begins saying, "Well, maybe if I had a better team..." No. You're just a horrible horrible player, and now you're on ignore. The second example is similar. My friends and I played against a team that ultimately gave up in the end, and killed each other. Everyone left but one player and his guest, and we laughed at him similarly in the lobby after the game. The thing was he didn't have a microphone at first, so after a few minutes of insults, he finally put one in and revealed himself to be a 13/14 year old boy. It was about 4:00 AM at this point, so we began saying things like, "Hey, did you remember to do your reading for English class? The Great Gatsby isn't going to read itself!" He finally said, and I quote, "Listen, gay guys, why don't you stop sucking each others dicks and start the game?" This is hilarious on two levels. The first level is "gay guys" - he didn't use any of the millions of slurs, he said gay and guys together in his sentence, and I just lost it. The second level is that he was such a bad player his team mates shot him and quit the game, and he wanted to play us again ... with no new team mates. No one had joined the lobby. It was 4:00 AM! So, instead of playing the game, I leaned over to my bookshelf, grabbed my copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American classic, and said, "Ok, are you ready?" When he replied, "Yes," I then began to read The Great Gatsby outloud to him and all my friends in the room. I made it through six pages of the novel before he quit. SIX PAGES. After he quit, we invited him back in the room, at which point I read another whole page before he just turned off the XBOX and the rest of us, laughing, went to bed. There is much debate as to why the kid stayed in the room as long as he did. Some speculate that he really did need to read the book for class, but I like to think that I just have a great speaking voice (which I do). And as much as I love Fallout 3, the one thing it will never have is an opportunity for me to read The Great Gatsby to an angry child.

So good job, Valve. I fully commend you on another job well done. You consistently make online games with endless replayability, and at that you absolutely stand out among the other game publishers. Here's to awaiting the patch that finally gives us new levels to play. Now, it's about noon, meaning it's still day, meaning I have to get out and do all those things that I do in the day time that allow me to be up all night killing the infected, so I bid you a fond adieu until my next entry.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fallout 3

Today I will make my triumphant return to the wasteland and while that is good news it does leave me with something sad to say: "I will not be making a post proper today." This is all I can offer you. I'll see you on the other side.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gaming from the Cloud

This is a two-fold entry of sorts seeing as it will be about two different topics. Why you ask? My answer to you is that these topics of conversation these days do no merit posts of their own.

The first topic of the day is the comments recently made by Aaron Greenburg on the size increase of your Xbox LIVE Friends list. He said, “It’s definitely something we’re looking at expanding and, as this social network grows, we’ve absolutely heard the pleas for that. It’s on the list. (Via Platform Nation)” While I personally do not need this increase I have heard it talked about for the past two or so years. I know that it was a common request when the updates to the console were released biannually and I think that if they could finally figure out a way to do party chat then they could figure out a way to bump up that friends list cap (which currently stands at one-hundred).

Now I personally do not care about this feature upgrade because I am constantly weeding out people whom I’ve added but never have played with beyond that one initial time (the time that you liked playing with that person enough so you added them but now they are never on at the same time anymore). There are definitely mainstays on my friends list but until I blow up in the blogosphere I am betting that I will not care about the size of my friends list. How about you? Do you need the friends list increase?

The second and more interesting topic on hand is this. From the floor of CES there are talks about gaming from the cloud. Let me first explain what this could mean. This could mean that one could play a game with the highest of specs from say an iPhone or a crappy PC. I have not fully wrapped my head around this but I think that this is long off. Please click the link above for a better description.

This topic has me thinking (through a completely rationale thought process) about a “one console” future and it is a little unnerving. We need the “big three” to keep competing so that we can have all of these innovations (Avatars, Mii's, Home, etc). I like being a 360 Fanboy and Fanboyism will be threatened if there are no specs required to run a game. Every system will be able to run that game. It will be MADNESS! Okay enough of that, I have worked myself into a tizzy. I am just thinking worst case scenario and I would be willing to bet that the big three will be around for years to come. Thoughts?

Again that is all the rambling I have for you so return back soon for more of my clever and witty diatribe.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Game Diary: Futile Attempts to Play EVERYTHING

Seeing as there has not been a glut of news to talk about I will talk about the glut of games that I still have to finish at least once. This “list” of games that I still have to play does not even include the games that I have consistently been playing which are Left 4 Dead and Gears of War 2.

I haven’t touched Gears’ multiplayer mainly because I just cannot get into a game. Horde has been enough to keep me playing. Left 4 Dead is keeping me from playing Fallout 3. I’ll cite a specific instance: The other day I had at least four hours to devote to get back into the Wasteland but I ended up playing versus mode in L4D with friends. It was the most fun I have had with the game so far and I personally think that is saying something for me.

I feel like I have about 40 hours left to go in Fallout but that is just a rough estimation. This is the biggest game that I need to complete and after that I might be “on track” for the new games coming out in 2009. I want to be able to go back to Fable 2 when the DLC comes out but I do not think I’ll have beaten Fallout. I am also interested in playing “The Lost and Damned” DLC because I honestly think I’ll enjoy the return to Liberty City.

I am on a ticking timeline until Halo Wars comes out which will undoubtedly take up a lot of my time and will because one of my go to multiplayer games of choice. I have until March 3rd to feel as if I have played all of the holiday games sufficiently.

The annoying part of this is that I haven’t touched three games that I would like to play to completion: Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space, and Prince of Persia. I feel like at least one of these games is going to be forgotten for a while and I will bet that it will be Dead Space. Perhaps I could borrow that game from my little brother next time I visit my parent’s house. I am sure that would include trading one of my games for a temporary period of time, an idea I am not too keen on.

Honestly I am hoping for a slow gaming summer so that I can catch up because I just do not see how it is feasible otherwise.

It might sound like I am complaining about all of the games that I have to play but that is not the case. I just wish the publishers would space their games out so a person could actually give their game a shot.

As a last note I have not even touched my DS since I have been playing games again. I think portable gaming does go through spurts.

Next: Perhaps a blog entry that is somewhat news related.