As a child of the 20th century, I had three parents - a kind father, a loving mother, and an all-knowing television set. This triune of almighty nuturers gave me the tools that I need to succeed in the real world as an adult ... and a very poor sense of what I remember as being great when it was actually completely terrible.
Anyone that's seen a single cigarette burn in the corner of a Resident Evil film frame knows that Hollywood's capacity to take a property and turn it into a marketable but utterly ridiculous reinterpretation of itself is literally limitless. Seriously, did anyone think that Resident Evil could get any more idiotic? This is a series that established itself with that amazing original live action intro. You know the one.
But sure enough, shows have been made, and we watched them. Ladies and gentlemen, strap yourself in and get ready for a trip down the nightmare that is ...
Continue reading "TOP 10: Video Game TV Shows"
I classify myself as a completionist gamer (or a loner as
suggests). I'm obsessed with exploring every nook and cranny of a games world to find all those hidden items and details that aren't required to finish.
In the age of achievements, it's obvious there's a bunch out there like me with the same agenda. And now that it's pretty much mandatory for all games to have a percentage meter that measures how much you've discovered, every game includes "hidden packages" or unrequired collectibles to discover and give us that satisfaction that we've conquered a game and every thing it had to offer.
In today's top 10 I list 5 great and 5 terrible examples of these hidden packages.
Continue reading "TOP 10: Hidden Packages"
I like dogs.
I love dogs! Man's best friend, when properly trained, is a joy to behold. They're fun to pet and play with and just generally have a great time with. Certain cowriters will tell you that dogs are better not seen or heard unless they're on a dinner plate. I'm not all about that.
Pets with any kind of genuine usability are something of a rarity in games, and as someone who enjoys dogs (and many other animals, mind!), I'm always appreciative of those rare occasions where someone took the time to implement a pup with any degree of reliability. I'm not
taking about games where you play as the dog - or at least, not games where you play with the dog as a main player character. I'm not talking about pet sims like Nintendogs
, either - those dedicate themselves exclusively to raising a pet, which is sorta not my point. My point is that it's cool to see that extra touch where someone could've made another person, or a tutorial, or a super power, and instead implemented a dog. As such, this also doesn't count vanity pets that just follow you around with any particular purpose other than just ... being a dog that happens to follow you.
What're some of the best? Well, gosh, I'm glad you asked.
Continue reading "TOP 10: Pet Dogs"
There's been a lot revealed this week at E3. A lot of surprises, a few disappointments. A lot of flashy trailers and a few embarassing live-playthrough moments. But the moment that really stood out to me was Ice-T's appearance at Microsoft's press conference alongside known insane person
. While no one can deny the success of the Gears series, Cliffy B's press appearances always have a Dane Cook-type aura of shame and degeneracy to them, and it was unfortunate to see someone like one of the prestigious cast members from Law and Order: SVU
bring himself down to the level of appearing on stage with this maniac. To be honest, I'm more disgruntled because my brain has already classified Ice-T as a Modern Warfare loving celebrity and it confuses my turgid little brain to think about celebrities as people that have more than one interest at a time. If you, like me, dear reader, prefer your celebs in one-dimensional, digestible portions, then perhaps you'll join me on an exercise in hypothesis, an embarkation into a list of the top ten more appropriate Gears of War 3 co-presenters than Ice T.
Continue reading "TOP 10: More Appropriate Gears of War 3 Presenters"
We've reached a point in gaming where it seems nothing is impossible. Quality is now judged on elements like story, visuals, and replayability. But not too long ago, all it took was a single gimmick or gameplay mechanic to impress gamers. Things viewed as standard features today were once considered revolutions, like guns that reload, enemies that hide behind cover and...
This top 10 honors games that never got the credit they deserved. Whether it was creating a new feature that we take for granted today or simply being too ahead of their time, these games left a permanent mark on the industry without recognition.
Continue reading "Top 10: Unsung Pioneers of Gaming"
Video game design always walks a line between linear and open-ended gameplay. Given identical constraints, budget, time, and manpower, a linear game will give you tighter, more heavily scripted situations with more opportunities for unique moments of gameplay interaction - Modern Warfare (+2) is probably the Grand Poobah of this method of creation - like a movie, you have a script (or at least, an outline) of where the player is going to be on literally a minute to minute basis, and you can use your wiles and wits to set up situations based on that information that you wouldn't otherwise be able to.
On the other hand, open-ended gameplay is highly tauted - particularly by "hardcore" gamers as more immersive and more satisfying, but - again, given the equal constraints above - often leads to larger worlds with many options, but with fewer options on a situation to situation basis. This isn't due to any laziness or lack of want by designers, it's pure math - the total number of interactions that the player can get into, often in an extremely unpredictable order, can lead to an exponential fuckton of situations which can be a nightmare to try to anticipate, test, and tune. Oblivion and Fallout 3 are great examples of nonlinear gameplay done well - the player has a pretty simple set of interactions and freedom to run around the world, doing things in a fairly non-sequential order, if they really feel like it.
Both have their time and place. The best games use a combination of the two. Today's top ten talks about how the two techniques sometimes come together in a surprising fashion: boss fights!
Continue reading "TOP 10: SKIPPABLE BOSSES"
trailer for the new Clash of the Titans
Sometimes writers try just a little too hard to create a character that's "bad ass". They use cheap tactics, extreme makeovers, and guitar solos to spoon feed you their ultra cool creation. What results is the opposite of what they intended and while simpletons fall for their tricks, you and I know better. Think John Cena or the
So in honor of these failed attempts at selling us "awesome", here's my salute to ten force-fed, bad ass characters.
Continue reading "Top 10: Force-Fed Badasses"