All About Mesagoji
I guess that's all there is to say!
Naww I might as well carry on. Gears Of War 2's on the way, as if anyone thought it wouldn't be. It'll be a whole two years since Emergence Day and its been two years too long. Looking at the trailer it would seem they're going to implement a sparring-chainsaws mechanic into the sequel. We've all been victim to wandering round a corner into a chainsaw ready foe, perhaps with our own chainsaw at the ready to dispatch them, and the winner has been judged by connection speed alone. This new mechanic could help even things out, but will it be down to a button mashing fest? Even if it is that still isn't faster-connection-proof. Perhaps some kind of "press these buttons in order faster than the next guy" would require a touch more skill on the gamepad, eliminating the connection issue unless both players somehow got the same time. In which case tough luck, let the connection final decide the victor.
I'm sure Epic are working it out. Sooner or later though, we have to accept that it's not their job to compensate for the world's connection quality. Still if they're implementing this mechanic (which I'm assuming at this stage) I'm sure the idea is to improve people's chances of getting a fair fight.
The thing which I'm more worried about is the story. Gears Of War didn't have the great story I think they've been shouting about. When "Kim" died in Gears, I think they expected players to be saying "Noooo! Kim! Aww gonna kill you now RAAM you SOB!" etc blah blah. The way that scene was staged came across as a moment you were meant to care about. Fact is I simply didn't. Kim wasn't given enough opportunity to come across as someone to give a damn about. So the moment was wasted. Hell I think we all felt worse for Carmine.
My point being that I'm worried Epic'll miss the mark on story execution. I know it's just an action game to most, but get a killer story in there, told well, and ... well... look at Portal, Bioshock, Call Of Duty 4. Stories matter. Execution of stories matter. They took a mini game (Portal) a game with no multiplayer (Bioshock) and on of the shortest campaigns around (CoD4) and pushed them above all others. Why? Gameplay absolutely. Graphics & Mechanics of course! But just as much as these things I remember finding a behind the scenes part of Portal. Perhaps a part of the world I wasn't meant to see. The scratchings on the wall, lies about cake and spare radios. They were great story telling mechanics. The sort of things I really want to see in Gears, which I believe would push it past all misconceptions of "that chainsaw shooter".
Still, just running my mouth off Its been a while since my last post. Also my Xbox got the three red rings again. Got it picked up today. Fair play to Microsoft they do deal with this issue very professionally. I expect the 360 to be back within the next two weeks. This'll be my third, how many are you on?
Also I don't suppose you remember what game you were playing when it did happen? I wonder if there's a connection. The first time I got it I was playing Halo 2. This time is was when I first loaded Undertow. It seems so random when it happens... but also, my previous Xbox360 got the 3RedRings around this same time last year... perhaps something in the atmosphere? The cold? All I know is my Atari 2600 Jr still works and that things hella old. Don't build 'em like they used to eh?
While I'm not one to jump on bandwagons, it wouldn't be right not to mention a feeling of disappointment over recent events. At this present moment in time there's been little explaination as to why Jeff Gerstmann has apparently been fired, and with the internet being as knee-jerk as it is it'll probably take a while for the truth to come through. Never the less, this is just one more paragraph of support for Jeff. The only reason I keep returning to Gamespot are because of the personalities. I've seen the site loose its .co.uk domain years ago, only to get it back, and in 2005 got to see one of the most exciting E3s ever. Still, what made it great were the team! They just made stuff entertaining, a great mix of people.
Reviews are ten a penny on the net. Hell, even I've written some! So Gamespot to me isn't about getting the be all and end all mark out of ten score. I just really care what the writers think, I feel like I'm getting a mate's opinion aswell as a professional one. I like the fact they point out game flaws, I enjoy the differences in opinion. I love knowing that I'm listing to real people's opinions, and not the all too streamlined, overly scripted crap abundant on so many other sites. Tell it like it is! It's not unprofessional to point out something which bugs you personally, so long as you realise it's your personal opinion, and don't let it taint the review. Gamespot nails this. It's Aaron Thomas's videos of around the studio, the guys running around live shows and giving us tours of the big events, and of course Jeff's points report.
Aaaaanyway, rant rant rant. Basically it's the characters which attract me to this site. Press releases are gonna be the same on every site, at least Gamespot offered some characters is all. Staff can always be replaced without little being noticed... but personalities, characters, personal opinions? Not so much.
However I feel I'd be doing the great team behind Gamespot a disservice if all I used their site for what to moan, or try to sound profound. We're here for games, and while we've lost faith in Cnet, that doesn't make it a since to praise some nicer sides of the industry. Case in point: Valve. I bought The Orange Box for my 360 recently and it's a riot. I felt a bit of sucker at first considering I already own Half-Life 2 and Ep:1 already, but my PC's getting on and I felt like playing it on my 32" TV, woo! Bottom line? Portal is GENUINELY as awsome as everyone's saying... which is kinda why you don't need to take my word for it. I've not got to play TF2 yet (too lazy to wait for servers to fill... and I'm still a Gears Of War freak) but good ol' Valve have put in some interesting commentaries to tide me over. HL2 Episode 2 is very much more of the same, but manages to be excellent as ever thanks for sheer brilliant design and great characters. Now I'm just making my way back through each game trying to get a couple of points, but even a second time round Half-Life 2 rocks.
In other news I managed to get a Wii, so hopefully there'll be some Mario Galaxy around here soon. Oh! If you're looking for one check this site out - http://www.wiipreorder.co.uk/ - it may take a while but they do know when the stock is in. I had to check it every day four two weeks until I happened upon Game selling bundles. Don't loose faith, just keep checking!
That's about it really. It may be a little futile trying to be cheery in light of everything, but while I've never met any of the guys and gals behind Gamespot, I'm sure the last thing they'd want us to be doing right now is holding our heads in our hands, and not playing games.
Roger Ebert made his views clear on why games can't be classed as 'art'. However looking at Bioshock, I think the games industry just gained one hugely compelling counter-argument. If many of the drab, lack-luster films we're bombarded with over the summer months can be called art, then Bioshock sure as hell can as well.
Is art such that it makes you think? Makes you feel different emotions? Stirs your innermost feelings and makes you swell up with joy or sadness? Then why do video games, perhaps because of their interactive nature, fall short of the title? Games are becoming, if they're not so already, an art form. They offer an escape from reality, and force you mind to think and accept things unlike any other medium.
As the story tellers play a greater role in modern game design, and developers dare to invent ever more intriguing new worlds and architecture, video games, and technologies in general offer the only true evolution for art as a concept.
Also to be quite frank, if an unmade bed, or a cow cut in half can be called 'art', then you'll excuse me while I chainsaw someone in half, and call it the same
My Recent Reviews
Carmageddon rocked, but was originally banned in the UK until the pedestrians were replaced with zombies. A year or two later it was re-released in its entirety. I love the voice-over in this trailer! Also for a real retro-trip watch Death Race 2000.
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