Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gaming Diary May 30, 2009 - No Longer PC Exclusive

Since my "big" purchase of a brand new (well, not BRAND new, but new to me) Xbox 360 I have been completely immersed in the 360 gaming world. I've downloaded tons of game demos trying to get my hands, eyes and ears on as many games as possible. Some of the first games I picked up were Mass Effect, Madden '08 (for the girlfriend, not a big fan of sports games), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Braid, Peggle and Left 4 Dead. I've played at least a little bit of all of them, with the exception of Madden.

Upon the urging of Nate, I tried out Mass Effect for a little bit. I didn't get all that far before I died. I'm still trying to adjust to the world of buttons and joysticks. The PC mouse and WASD combo is so easy compared to a console controller, but I'm getting used to it. I actually am starting to prefer it for some games. Anyway, I started up Mass Effect, but didn't get all that far. Same situation with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. I like both games, but I'll definitely need to invest more time before I make a final decision on them. I have been investing a lot of time in Peggle, which I actually initially wasn't a big fan of. I checked out the Peggle demo on my PC and played it a few times on flight paths to WoW and it never did really grabbed me, but now playing it on the 360 is different. I'm totally drawn into it and have made it relatively far (well, at least for me) in a short period of time.

One game I haven't played much, but am loving is Braid. It's not even the gameplay yet that I love (as I really haven't gotten that far), it's the visuals and the music. The music reminds me a lot of Firefly. I would honestly just open up the game just to listen to the music. I'm not really sure what it is about it, but I just think it's beautiful. The game so far has been enjoyable, although it's probably going to wreck my brain a good amount. I tend to fail pretty hard at puzzle-type games and often resort to the good ol' internet to help me along. I'm going to try as best as I can to figure things out on my own, but we'll see how it goes.

The highlight of my 360 gaming experience thus far has to be Left 4 Dead. I got some campaign and survival gaming in last night with friends and absolutely loved it. The best part was, I even got my girlfriend (who tends to avoid gaming in general other then sports games) into the action. So much so that she said she wanted to play again today!

It was definitely worth the money to get the 360. It's providing a significantly more enjoyable multiplayer gaming then my PC ever did. It's difficult to find friends that PC game these days. I suppose we are sort of a dying breed of sorts, with the exception of PC exclusive games like World of Warcraft. Most gamers have become more involved in the console gaming community then the PC. It was awesome to be able to sit down and play with my friends, friends I don't typically get a chance to see all but a few times a year. Honestly, I think if Left 4 Dead was the only game I owned on the 360 it would still be worth the investment for the enjoyment I got out of it.

Now, I praise and praise and praise my new 360 gaming experience, HOWEVER, I still am at heart a PC gamer. I feel like the 360 will hold most of my casual gaming. Stuff that I'm not sitting down for hours for. Stuff I can just jump in and jump out of. I don't see my 360 ever being my "hardcore" gaming device. I still love my PC and still intend to use that as my main gaming "console." World of Warcraft will always have my heart and with Blizzard coming out with Starcraft II and Diablo III in the future I will definitely be investing a lot of time into my PC. I think the 360 will be my casual gaming and multiplayer gaming console while my PC will remain as my intense gaming and single player system. I currently own COD4 and COD5 for my PC with no intention of buying it for the 360. I'm not big into multiplayer on either of the games, but do love the single player aspects.

Other then 360 gaming throughout the last week I have been investing a bit of time into WoW. I got a few hours of WoW action in this morning. I'm currently level 61 working my way up to 62. Leveling is somewhat of a slow process for me since I really only play on the weekends. Today I ventured into Outland (a level 60-70 zone for the non-WoWing individuals) for the second time. My first time traveling to Outland was with the first character I ever made; Walker, a Tauren warrior. I didn't spend too much time in Outland then and honestly, it bored me a little, but I'm finding this time around to be more enjoyable. Blizzard has definitely made leveling significantly easier then the first time around. I anticipate at this pace I'll be making level 80 by sometime at the end of the summer. That's slow, I realize, but I just can't invest hours upon hours into the game like I could in college when I had significantly more free time. I'll probably just end up leveling a new character once I reach 80 anyway and then I'll just start the whole process all over again.

Oh, and I wrote all of this entry outside enjoying the beautiful weather with my laptop and headphones on. Oh to be a geek!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Brutal Legend Cinematic

I do not want anyone to think that I am making the mistake of not showing this game some of my love (I know it has been a while), the developer, Double Fine, did after all, make my favorite game of all time - Psychonauts.

This cinematic was great; it had me chuckling and looking forward to a game that I can just love for being fun, witty, charming, and hilarious.

New Mass Effect 2 Trailer

Last night on GameTrailers TV Geoff Keighly spoiled some of E3's fun and showed the E3 trailer for Mass Effect 2. I wonder how much they (Spike) had to pay for that.

More relavent to the trailer is the fact that it looks like Commander Shepard is not dead. Not really a huge surprise but I would of course like to know the details of why he might have been dead or why he is still alive.

Hopefully there is more to be said about Mass Effect 2 come June 2-4. Come back here to check because you know that I will have something to say about it.

Sorry about the obnoxious GameTrailers window that breaks this site.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Game Diary - May 28, 2009: Mass Effect... again.

For the past couple of days I have been on a strict regimen of Citadel space flights. You got it, I have been playing Mass Effect once again.

I started this playthrough about a month or so ago but in the past two days alone I have made significantly more progress than when I initially started playing the game for what I believe to be my fourth time.

It is as spectacular as I can remember and even on the fourth playthrough I am finding new dialogue tree options. I loaded the game onto my hard drive for less pop in and no loads while walking (not that these things really bothered me to begin with) and the difference is quite noticeable.

Kara purchased the game... finally, and I am eager to hear her thoughts. You should be as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Zune HD Revealed

Let me start off by saying that we all know that I am a pretty adamant supporter of the iPhone. What you probably do not know is that I have wanted a Zune for a while now.

While my iPhone serves its purpose as a general all-purpose device I have been on the lookout for a new media-only device. Naturaly since it [the Zune] is a Microsoft product I have a soft spot in my heart for it.

The most exciting part of Microsoft's Press Release that isn't the Zune HD is the change of branding from the 'Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace' to the 'Zune Marketplace'. This excitement comes with the hope that you will be able to use your Zune Pass to download songs directly to one's Xbox (it might give me a reason to buy a Zune Pass). I also do not doubt that the videos that you download will work across the bridge between the Zune and the Xbox.

Now for the Zune HD itself. It will be the first media player with an HD video-out output, it will have HD Radio, built in Wi-Fi (naturally), and a pretty exciting OLED touch screen technology. I think Microsoft just sold me a media player and now the only thing that I can hope for is decent storage capacity.

Update: The songs portion of the Zune Marketplace is not coming to Xbox LIVE is will only be called Zune Video. Boo Hisss...

[Via Joystiq]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Game Diary - May 26, 2009: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Seeing as I have been away all weekend the only thing that I have been updating frequently is my Twitter page. Despite not being near a computer that I could update this blog on I still managed to get in a lot of gaming this weekend nonetheless.

Most of the gaming this past weekend was nonconventional, at least it was for myself. I did bring my 360 (and Left 4 Dead) with me to Kara's house this weekend but I was primarily playing Mario Kart Wii. Since I had five other people to play this game (not at one time) with it ended up being really entertaining (so much so that I have been reinvigorated on the idea of purchasing a Wii in the future). Still though, if I end up owning a Wii and Mario Kart, I do not think that I would take it so far as to go online to play the game. With the Wii it just feels better playing in the same room as everybody else. This is probably why most folk's Wiis end up collecting dust: people just cannot have people over often enough.

I played very little of Guitar Hero 3, also on the Wii, but in doing so I got to play a few of the unlockable tracks that I had wanted to play when the game originally came out.

I did also play some Left 4 Dead with Kara and Martin. I got to finally touch upon Survival Mode but sadly it was not a good experience because all of the people we got stuck playing with were "epic douchebags" and ending up shooting us/each other and the longest we survived was one time for about two minutes.

Other than that not much else has been played but I am looking forward to finally playing Beyond Good and Evil.

Monday MUpdate: On a Tuesday

Due to Memorial Day, I took off all of my duties yesterday and slept in. I rolled around for hours doing nothing but watching movie and getting some personal work done. And since last updating, have I once played a video game? Not really, no. I saw Nate on Friday and we played Rock Band and Guitar Hero II for all of five minutes, and I once again tried to tackle "Jordan" but lost at the 50% mark like I always do. So I don't have much to say.

...or do I?

While most of my friends know this, I figure this is something 100% worthwhile to write about for an entry as the general gaming public who make up our readers don't know this: on Thursday, as I drove between Massachusetts and New Jersey, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. Even though I was "watching" Two Guys and A Girl off my laptop, I decided I was in a good mood so I would pick up the phone.

"Hello?" I said.
"Hi, is this Matthew?" said a voice on the other end.
"Why, yes it is! How can I help you?"
"Do you remember entering a contest on IGN a while back to go to E3?"
"Well, I'm calling to congratulate you on being the winner!"
"..........Get outta town!!"

You see, right when I got my new fancy desk job, I started surfing several websites on a regular basis:,,, and One day, IGN had a contest to be a guest editor at E3. I entered it casually as I often do most prizes, figuring that I probably wouldn't win but if I did, Nate and I could go. And then I promptly forgot about it. And then I got a call telling me that I won! I'm not going to lie - I feel like the cat's pajamas. After finishing my conversation with the woman on the phone (who reminded me of GLaDOS in that she wouldn't say I could bring a friend but that I could bring a "travel companion," and I wanted to ask if it was ok if I brought a box with hearts on it but didn't want to be rude), I immediately called Nate over and over until he picked up at work so I could scream the good news into his ear.

And now, Nate and I will be going to E3. We fly out June 2nd and spend all day June 3rd on the Expo floor, me working for IGN and Nate having the time of his life running around and meeting videogame people. Expect long articles from Nate about how much he loves me followed by all the things we will see at E3. I'm excited to play games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Bioshock 2, Brutal Legend, Beatles Rock Band, Mass Effect 2, and DJ Hero. "DJ Hero?" you ask, confused. Yes, DJ Hero, because honestly, it looks kinda fun, and I want to play it without buying it. I'm also hoping to see something exciting from Valve. Oh, the week is going so slow!

So that's it for me. I'm currently making lists of things to bring, and by that I'm deciding what graphic novels I should go out and buy to read on the plane. I probably won't be bringing my laptop to LA because I don't want to risk losing it, but I may get a Twitter account so I can update it as I go about playing games and doing things. At the very least, Nate will be doing that, so expect next week to be fun and exciting for everyone.

See you at E3!

PC Gaming Diary #4 - No PC Gaming This Weekend!

Ahhhh, three day weekends are so glorious. This weekend I took a bit of a break from the PC gaming world since I had friends in town (one of which was Nate). Instead, lots of time was spent playing Mario Kart on the Wii and Left 4 Dead on the 360. My roommate owns a Wii (which she never plays) and my friend Whitney was nice enough to bring her copy of Mario Kart as well as two extra controllers for the weekend and Nate was nice enough to bring his Xbox and Left 4 Dead with him. Lots and lots and lots of time was put into Mario Kart, mostly Nate and Martin playing solo and unlocking various levels we could play in multiplayer. After the weekend, I concluded that it might be fun to buy Mario Kart for my roommate's Wii even though if she moves, I won't have the console anymore. But it was really enjoyable and definitely a game worth having for any Wii owners if they have people over. I really do enjoy the Wii and the games that come with it. The only downside is that most of the time they are really only enjoyable games if you have a decent number of people over, which I don't typically have. I think if I ever came across $250+ and wanted to waste it on something, it would be a Wii, but I don't really know if it's worth saving up for or spending money I could spend on something else knowing I wouldn't be playing it all that often.

We also got in a few rounds of Left 4 Dead. I actually own the game for PC, but have never ventured into multiplayer on the PC because I have this inherent fear of playing against/with people I don't know. I recognize (and witnessed this weekend) that a lot of online gamers are epic douchebags, so I try and avoid that at all costs. It's hard being a PC gamer these days because we are somewhat of an endangered species...well, maybe not quite that extent, but most mainstream gamers prefer consoles and you're hard pressed to find too many people to multiplayer game with on the PC and unfortunately I know none (except for people that play WoW) so the biggest draw to a console for me is the multiplayer aspect and being able to play games with friends (especially since so many of mine do not live very close). So, with that being said...I am making the jump to becoming a console gamer. Okay, maybe I'm not entirely making the jump considering my PC will always be my gaming "console" of choice, but I will be purchasing a Xbox 360 today at lunch. I was lucky enough to find a month old pro system on Craig's List for $160 and I swooped that deal up. Hopefully the deal doesn't go sour and I get scammed in the process as it will most likely sway from making a 360 purchase on CL ever again. So hopefully in the future you will see more then just "PC Gaming" entries from me.

One last note, I have been planning a couple entries for the Bioshock 2 multiplayer as well as Borderlands, but I haven't gotten around to it. I'm going to make it a priority this week to post those entries as I feel as both of them are not getting enough attention as they deserve.

Modern Warfare 2 Reveal Trailer

Since I was away from the computer all weekend this is all I have to show you for the time being. I am sure that you have already seen it but you should just watch it again and take it in.

I am happy to see that this story looks like it is going to pick up right after the last one and looks to be just as epic and just as groundbreaking. If you weren't looking forward to it with the teaser trailer are you looking forward to it now?

P.S. - Kara has some excellent news for all of you let us hope that she tells you later today.