TD's Happy Wonder Bloggy Emporium of Fantasmicalicity
Guess what happened today! I bought Fallout 3 for my PS3, one of the games that was the reason I bought the ******* system for and, to my surprise...
MY SYSTEM ******* BROKE!
IT WON'T READ ******* DISCS AND NOW I HAVE TO CALL UP THE ******* STORE I BOUGHT IT FROM AND ASK IF THEY REPAIR SYSTEMS BECAUSE THEY REPAIR GAMES. IF THEY CAN'T THEN I'LL HAVE TO CALL UP SONY AND BRING IT TO THEM FOR A $200 REPAIR JOB!
Throughout my time on Gamespot, I've seen plenty of user-created reviews. Some were fantastic while others were...Well, less desirable. With the latter becoming more frequent nowadays, I think its about time someone wrote a guide on how to write a decent and well thought out review:
1. Do NOT reference the Gamespot score
Quite possibly one of the most annoying mistakes in most user reviews, complaining about the score being either too high or low (although low is the most frequent) anywhere in the review will make the entire thing sound like a crack at the Gamespot reviewer more than an analytical response to a video game.If at all possible, try to indirectly reference the Gamespot score at most so it will not seem as obvious to the reader.
What not to do: I can't believe Gamespot gave [game name] a [GS score]! They're so biased and horrible!!!!!
What you should do: Despite [negative/positive] critical response, [game name] is an [enjoyable/excruciating] experience.
2. Avoid frequent use of simple language
Using the same grammar that is expected in writing notes down is not a good method to convince the reader that you have a high amount of intelligence and, as a result, have a legitimate opinion. A few elaborate words peppered in does a review a world of good and will more than likely grab the reader's interest more than using everyday language throughout your work. If your mental dictionary is not all that great, simply grab a thesaurus and replace some words every couple sentences to spice things up.
What not to do: I think I like this game because it is interesting and has good graphics.
What you should do: [game name] provides an excellent visual presentation coupled with intuitive elements.
3. Double-check your punctuation
I'll admit it, I've been guilty of this plenty of times. What seems to happen the most in user reviews, regardless of overall quality, is the abuse of commas. Maybe this stems from instances where the writer has to stop and think about what to write next (which is the case for me) but it also comes from not double-checking the work. One helpful thing to do is to read over any sentences you may think has a few undesirable marks and see if it makes sense to have a pause where the comma is.
What not to do: Well, in my opinion, this game is, awesome.
What you should do: In my opinion, this game is awesome.
4. Back up your information
Any respectable writer knows that picking out aspects of a game to either praise or belittle needs to have some evidence to back up the claim.Obviously, providing a video is not an option but being able to describe a situation in which the claim applies is sufficient. Simply stating one thing about the game with nothing to confirm its validity will sound like rambling.
What not to do: The controls are clunky.
What you should do: The controls feel clunky in certain situations. For example, when there is an enemy behind the player it is nearly impossible to turn around in time.
5. Avoid using "you", "I", or other personal pronouns
The use of such words can significantly decrease the quality of a review. However, the absolute worst of them all is "you." Using the word over and over (or even a few times) will make the review be less about what the writer thought an more of what the reader should perceive the game to be. Maybe it is not as big of a deal when used in the last few sentences but even then "you" can be replaced with better words.
What not to do: I enjoyed this game, and you should buy it too.
What you should do: [game name] is an enjoyable experience that is easy to recommend to anyone.
6. No referencing other sites
While not in most reviews, a few around Gamespot have had instances where an external site was mentioned to back up information or used for promotion. Doing so will make the writer seem like an adbot to the reader.
What not to do: [site name] agrees with me that [game name] is awesome!
What you should do: Omit
7. Stay on topic
Wandering off into other subjects in a review is never a good thing. Doing so distracts the reader from the reviewer's point and will most likely result in a few "not helpful" marks from fellow users. Revision of the work is crucial to avoiding rambling.
What not to do: [game name] kind of reminds me of [other game name]. Speaking of which [ramble about other game]...
What you should do: [game name] is similar to [other game name] but with several exceptions, such as [examples and then more about reviewed game].
8. No referencing other users
As with the Gamespot score, referencing other users will make it seem like a personal attack on another person rather than a game review. Not only does this make the review's point weak, it might also land the writer in hot water if the user(s) being blasted report the review and get it taken down. Once again, talking about it indirectly (other than omitting the part entirely) is the best course of action.
What not to do: [other user's name] is so wrong! Don't listen to him!
What you should do: Although some reviewers may not feel as [great/disappointed] about [game name], it is [enjoyable/horrible] from a personal perspective.
9. No advertising
I doubt this needs further explanation with the TOU and all telling it quite well. Still, some users sneak in a little advertising reference for whatever reason they have. No matter how discreet it may be, it will still drag the quality of the review down a few notches or may even result in deletion.
What not to do: Visit [advertisement] for more info on this great game!!!!1
What you should do: Omit
10. Have a healthy length
Now that steps 1-9 have (hopefully) been applied to the review, its time to check on the length of the work. If a review is only one paragraph long, the information will have to be the work of a genius to be as valid as a paper with roughly 5-7 paragraphs of 5-6 mildly long sentences a piece. However, having a review that would take up 10 pages on a Word document is not a good idea either. Having an incredibly long paper might impress some users who are intimidated by length but the content needs to be compact and detailed in order to win over most people who browse the Gamespot user reviews. Look over the review and see if there's anything that can be shortened, lengthened, or elaborated on further before clicking the "Submit" button. Lastly, and most importantly, avoid making a wall of text at all costs.
What not to do: One-paragraph review with 5 sentences
What you should do: 5-7 paragraphs with 5-6 mid-length sentences per paragraph
No referencing the GS score, avoid frequently using simple language, double-check the punctuation, back up the information, avoid personal pronouns such as "you", no referencing other review sites, stay on topic, don't blast other users, no ads, and have a decent length.
NOW GET TO WORK!
PS3, a used 40GB one to be specific. Also, I bought a used copy of Metal Gear Solid 4 for it and beat it a couple days back.
The ending of MGS4 is...well, how can I put this lightly...
IT TOTALLY BLEW MY ******* MIND!!!!
When it comes to a wireless connection, I'm up excrement creek without a paddle but instead a straw to drink in the pungent connection failure each time I try to enter the Playstation Store. However, my university has quite a fast wireless connection but, sadly, I don't live there so I only have a window of 30 minutes-an hour to make use of the connection. After downloading a much-needed system update roughly a week ago (jumping two entire versions up), I discovered an option to go directly to the Playstation Store. Needless to say, it got my attention and I sgned up the next chance I got: two days ago. Since then, I downloaded these:
- Ape Quest: Starter Pack
- Resistance: Retribution (Demo)
- Flatout: Head On (Demo)
- Bionic Commando theme
- PSN theme
- Mideval: Regeneration wallpaper
Total price: $0.00
Ape Quest is a very, very addictive game. There's a bundle for the full game for $20 but I'm a little short on cash and I can't afford it. However, I'll try my best to get it when the opportunity presents itself.
Resistance: Retribution, from what the demo gives, is an alright game save for the immense difficulty plus the trial-and-error kind of way the whole thing goes by.
Flatout: Head On is a decent game judging from the demo. However, I'd rather buy a Burnout game instead.
Lastly, the themes are pretty awesome.
The only thing that I found wrong with PSN is that the library for PSone games is fairly weak. Sure, the Crash Bandicoot trilogy is present but there's no Metal Gear Solid or Silent Hill to really grab my attention. With a copy of the original Silent Hill going for a minimum of $50, I think the general PSN price tag of $7 would be a vast improvement. And before you say it: Yes, I know there's going to be a remake of it for the PSP but I'd rather have the enjoyment of having the original version on a portable system.
In any case, PSN is alright for easy-access to select games but the library could use some beefing up.
So its April Fools and I have nothing to do. Hmm, a blog post sounds good about now! How about something with some comedic qualities like a list of jokes and whatnot to commemorate this fine day?
Instead of some happy-go-lucky material, lets spend April Fool's Day by counting off 10 of the most pants-wetting, sleep-depriving, horrifying moments I have ever experienced in my tenure as a video game enthusiast!
8. The Worst Kind of Zombie (Cold Fear)
Coast Guard vs. Russian, wrench weilding zombie runners
A fairly generic horror title of the previous generation, Cold Fear didn't do too much to stand out amongst the more publicized titles like Resident Evil 4, which this game borrowed heavily from. However, Cold Fear was a little different in respect to scariness. While it emulated the control scheme of its inspiration, the method of horror was more prevelant. Case in point: fast zombies. Really fast zombies. Seriously, these guys didn't simply stop about six feet in front of you and trudge the remaining distance to smack you up like in RE4, they just ran at you like madmen and beat you to death with the nearest blunt object they could find. Not surprisingly, the entire game was frustratingly hard due to the random spawning of enemies and their sheer tenacity. What's worse is only a head shot will kill the common enemies so conserving ammo is a must when dealing with such small targets.
In any case, the most horrifying moments are mainly in large, empty areas since those sprinters could come at you from nowhere. The lack of music made it much worse since you were in creaky structures that preyed on your nerves more often than...Well, I can't really come up with an analogy for that one that doesn't involve something I can't say here...
Come to think of it, it doesn't help make it any less scary when they're screaming in Russian at you...
7. I...err, what now? (Katamari Damacy)
Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Why, TD my boy! Surely this cannot be a game of absolute horror!" First off, stop talking like that. Second, did you see the picture above this text? Did you? Deary me, the King is more disturbing than the Burger King in almost every way. Okay, maybe this game wouldn't be freaky for anyone under the age of 7 or anyone who knows what flavor a Pink Floyd concert is but for everyone else (at least me), this game is terrifyingly confusing. While its intent isn't to be a horror game, it manages to provide enough insanely psychotic material to merit a few head scratches and shivers.
If that didn't freak you out, you probably know that a Pink Floyd solo tastes orange.
6. What The- (Doom 3)
Actually; Fat, semi-shirtless zombies are the most terrifying of all
More of a traditional "BOO!" scare game than an action game, Doom 3 is what you get when you combine the old-school FPS, a dash of Resident Evil scare tactics, and a pinch of satanic iconography. An amazing game for its time, this particular installment of the Doom series boasted some of (arguably the best) graphics to grace the Xbox, all while keeping the frame rate intact.
What made Doom 3 terrifying was not the enemies but the environment itself. Having its scares borrow heavily on atmosphere, the lights on Mars City would flicker on and off constantly, steam would spew out from busted pipes, and wall panels would occasionally fall out of place and crash onto the floor for no reason. Even with such primitive methods, the entire experience is a series of nervous walks through long, dark hallways with nothing but a flashlight and your sense of danger standing between you and an eternity in hell. However, the only thing keeping this one from topping the list is that, once the experience is over, its easy to shrug off the scares and move on with your normal, demon-free life.
On a side note: Doom 3 earns some special recognition for being the only game that manages to be scary even when invincibility is turned on.
I just wish they put the flashlight on all the weapons. Then again, it wouldn't have been nearly as scary...
5. Your next vacation spot! (Half-Life 2)
Too much alka-seltzer?
Oh boy, oh boy! Ravenholm is easily the most entertaining part of the modern cIassic Half-Life 2. What sets Ravenholm apart from the other locales is that it seems to be devoid of life at first. The level begins in a seemingly abandoned ghost town with a few corpses scattered about the small buildings. A little while later, you discover that the town has been overrun by headcrabs. Okay, no big deal right? Actually...Its a little worse than you might believe. Not only are there the garden-variety headcrabs that do a snip of damage, there are also the toxic varitey which instantly delpete your health to a single point upon contact! Trust me, the very sight of those nasty little creeps is enough to make any battle-hardened man shriek in terror.
4. I'm freakin' out, man! (Eternal Darkness)
I'm fairly certain what's going on here is very wrong
A true gem from the previous console generation, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for Nintendo's little purple box provided a kind of madness that nobody else seems to emulate these days. Focusing more on fooling the player into thinking the game is buggy (a-la Psycho Mantis), it was one of the few games that would actually cause a genuine freak-out. Admittedly, these freak-outs were mainly when the game did something cruel like tricking you into thinking all your files are being deleted or having an invisible enemy suddenly kill you but these moments were some of the greatest mind tricks of all time.
3. Jaws Redux (Resident Evil)
It likes to cuddle
The Resident Evil series is best known for taking the "BOO!" scare tactic in video games and taking it to the mainstream. Sure, there's been other titles like Alone in the Dark and Clock Tower that utilized this method but Resident Evil is the most well-known. This prime example comes from the REmake, a Gamecube redo of the originial Playstation title. The REmake is a do-over in almost every sense of the word: providing the same scares (as well as a few fresh ones), horrible voice acting quality, and; with the exception of the 180-degree turn addtition, the same clunky controls. The graphical update was astounding for any console from Gamecube's generation and the spirit of the original remained intact.
Anyway, one of the most notable moments comes from the zombie sharks. Yes, that's right: Freakin'. Zombie. Sharks. The concept alone is terrifying enough to induce shivering in anyone frond of the water but REmake kicked it up a notch and sicked a few on us when we weren't looking.
Don't go in the T-virus infected water.
2. Losing Your Head (The Suffering 2)
Bangity bang bang!
Midway has a talent for producing some really gory material. However, they decided to combine both their niche of gore and experiments in psychological horror with the Suffering series. The first installment was an interesting blend of run-n-gun action, "BOO!" scares, and psychological warfare that made it stand out from similar titles like Doom 3.
What the sequel, Ties that Bind, did to stand out even more was to add the most psychologically disturbing things they could think of and combine them every now and then through the experience to create a psychological horror/action game that's like a combination between Silent Hill and Manhunt. What's most notable about this sequel is that it had so many disturbing elements that I'm surprised it avoided the deadly AO rating. Particularly, this little cutscene from about halfway through the game:
As if the guy with his head blown off wasn't enough, they just had to have a baby crying in the background. *shivers*
1. The Crying Child (Silent Hill 3)
Pic unrelated (sort of)
We all know the Silent Hill series has a knack for producing some of the most traumatizing images in all of video game history. Whether it be our dear pal Pyramid Head violating monsters or enemies whose situations they symbolize will make you want to scrub your eyeballs with laundry detergent, there's plenty of seat-darkening things to be had in each installment (except Origins). However, it takes something truly terrifying to have something invisible that will make you want to shut off the game and curl in the fetal position for a good hour or two.
In Silent Hill 3, Heather has to fight through a series of bloated, disgusting abominations straight from the nether regions of human thought to both survive and reveal her own haunting past. In keeping with Silent Hill tradition, the experience is riddled with disturbing images, confusing situations, and some grade-A psychological warfare that will undoubtebly make those with less-than-ironclad stomachs wet themselves and run in circles screaming like little schoolgirls (although its perfectly understandable if you do).
Of all the spooky moments in Silent Hill 3, one piece near the end of the game stands out as the peak of skull-digging headplay. I did find it after digging through some obscure videos and found a good-quality capture of it...Just because I love you so much.
Bosses are pretty much a requirement for games ever since the dawn of man. Some tower over us for intimidation and some are nasty little brutes that whittle us down to size. However, there's a third type of boss that we all dread: The annoying ones. When I say annoying, I don't only mean "difficult" or "stupid attitude". No, I mainly mean "What in the world were the programmers thinking when they tacked this confusing monstrosity to the level!?" (although difficulty would be a little bit of a factor). I've faced my share of moronic bosses, and here's the five to end them all:
5. Talos (Sudeki)
The last person you want to see at Burning Man
Starting off the list is Talos, the final boss from the ill-fated Xbox title Sudeki. Truth be told, not much is seen of him until the last half of the game and he doesn't play a major role until the very last few bits of the story. Not much of a final boss as far as the story goes, I know but the amount of challenge he presented was absolutely ridiculous. First off, if you read my review I said that the entire game had a roller coaster of a difficulty curve. Every encounter had a completely random difficulty since the same monsters you tore apart pull a Russian Reverse and start taking you out to the back of the tool shed and mercilessly beat you with a rubber hose. Talos was the absolute peak of the difficulty (although it was a little fair since he was the final boss) and he's nearly impossible to beat! For the first few minutes of the battle (which you are alone in), he activates all the possible power-ups he can give himself and relentlessly comes after you with strikes so fast that messing up one or two times with blocking will result in a steel-clawed enema. The bad thing is that blocking against Talos' attacks are next to impossible because of the speed and accuracy of his strikes. Not only did this part cause me to nearly toss my controller at the TV, the whole battle made me quit the game in fear that I would toss the whole console out the window.
4. Solus (Breakdown)
Venom + Sephiroth = this dude
Unlike Sudeki, Breakdown was a decent game. Sure, its concept of ultra-realism was annoying but it made for a unique experience that not many games care to imitate for some reason. Wait, that reason must be Solus! Solus was the seemingly-invincible super fighter that constantly menaced Derrick like some creepy stalker that can snap you in half. Eventually, you do get to smash him into oblivion with your bare hands, but what Solus does to prevent you from progressing is downright unfair at times. In the early bit of the game, Solus takes on the role of a boss that you need to escape from rather than fight. The concept isn't new, but the means of getting away from him are so damn annoying to meet that it made me yell at the screen a few times. For example, there's one time where you have to turn a bunch of valves to open a door. Its easier said than done since it takes Derrick far too much time to turn the valves, resulting in a few well-places blows to the back courtesy of Solus. Later in the game, you eventually confront Solus for a final battle and do him in but the only issue is that your HUD is gone. That's right, the HUD is absent for the entire last half of the game! That's frustrating enough by itself but tack Solus onto that and its a recipe for rage.
3. Peccato (Phantom Dust)
That's no moon...
Again, here's another game that's decent overall but has some annoying bosses. The most notable is Peccato, a Death Star look-alike that floats around and seems impossible to damage.On the first try, I did the usual routine of firing the laser at it at a long distance and whittling down its health in hopes of getting a quick and clean victory. However, each shot that hit was blocked by an impenetrable barrier. After about 2 minutes of failing to do any damage whatsoever, I switched to other attacks and they had about the same effect. I redid the battle after a few deaths and found out that I had to hit the big red eyes on its side and front. I aimed for it but NOTHING WORKED! Apparently, the whole shield was being random, turning all my attempts into a futile game of whack-a-mole with lasers. I had to experiment on each try before I finally put it out of its misery. Needless to say, swearing was abundant during each attempt.
2. Lucifer (Painkiller: Hell Wars)
Even more annoying than the Biblical kind
Wow, Why do good games have such annoying bosses!? In Painkiller (aka Serious Sam with a lot more blood), all the bosses are ludicrously massive and powerful. Of all the massive demons that are faced, Lucifer (who is also the final boss) is by far the most annoying boss to appear on an FPS. Lucifer kind of reminds me of that super robot in Krazy Ivan that appears only after you kill a certain amount of enemies and fights you for a short period of time...Only a lot more frustrating. To fight Lucifer, you first have to kill a certain amount of invisible demons. When all that's said and done, Lucifer shows up out of nowhere and starts hurling massive meteors at your head for a couple minutes. All the player has to do is push them back at Lucifer until he's bludgeoned to death. Simple, right? Well...Not really. What makes Lucifer annoying is that he's able to completely regenerate his health after getting hit with a boulder, making him seemingly invincible. In fact, I haven't figured out how to kill him short of having cat-like reflexes and somehow managing to hurl multiple boulders at him in one go. I literally spent a full hour fighting him and I didn't win! Ugh...
1. Yiazmat (Final Fantasy XII)
Like being punched in the face repeatedly, only less fun.
Yiazmat is the most unique boss on the list not only for the outlandish amount of time it takes to beat it, but also that its the only optional boss. Yes, you face Yiazmat after defeating all of the other hunting marks (including a cheap copy of this one) and travelling to a massive coliseum. As awesome as this battle may look, Yiazmat is one of the bosses I'm completely convinced that, if you manage to defeat it, you have no life. On my first try with this video game endurance test, I began fighting it on a boring Saturday at 7:00 am. By the time I gave up, it was...3:00 pm...Yeah...Guess how much health I took away from him in the process! 75%? 80%? 90%!? No, it was only 10%. No, I'm not kidding. According to an online strategy guide, Yiazmat has roughly 50 MILLION HP! Sadly, my puny party could only get in about 10,000 per hit and most of the time was spent healing up from the massive damage Yiazmat unloaded onto the faces of my characters on an almost constant basis. So, did I simply run away and lived to fight another day? Well, no. Fleeing the battle will result in Yiazmat casting an guaranteed instant kill spell on at least one member of your party. Given that only one man was left alive: Game Over. I'm perfectly fine with never beating that abomination.
I've decided to temporarily break my vow of cheapness and get one of the current-gen consoles!
But there's a problem...
I have a dilemma here: I can't decide what console to get. Of course, each console has its benefits and vices but they're equal enough to have me in a mental deadlock. However, I thought about it extensively and weighed the pros and cons of each choice:
Well, this one's pretty popular among those I know. The power of it is pretty much equal to that of Sony's black monolith and the features it boasts are impressive. However, I honestly have no need for online play or content so its a tough buy. Still, there's only a $200 price tag to the cheapest one. Even so, there's always the possibility of the infamous "Red Ring of Death" rearing its ugly head at any time and turning it into a paperweight. On a down note, the selection of games is almost identical to the Playstation 3 and the exclusives (Halo 3, Viva Pinata, etc.) do little to catch my attention.
- Decent price
- Excellent graphics
- Fairly popular
- Can play (some) of my Xbox games
- "Red Ring of Death" possible
- No need for Xbox Live
- Selection almost identical to Playstation 3
- Exclusive titles aren't all interesting
Now this is one that really piques my interest. The $192 price tag is a turn-on right from the get go and it seems like a fantastic tool for getting some much-needed exercise. I've tried Wii Sports before with my buddy's console and a few other people, so I have some experience with how fun it is. However, I tried Call of Duty: World at War on it one time and my character was frantically looking around like a squirrel hepped-up on 50 cups of coffee due to both the sensitivity of the turning and my shaky aim. Still, there's a fair amount of fun titles aside from FPS's and some games to promote exercise would be welcome. Its a good system that I bet I could get anyone to play, so that's another plus.
Also, the Wi-Fi capability of the system might let me use the internet or let me download games without having to search stores. I say "might" only because I appear to live in an area where Wi-Fi dare not tread. Maybe the Wii is able to pick up Wi-Fi signals that are further away but I'm fairly sure that no connections would pop up if I tried.
- Cheap price tag
- Good exercise
- Fun for everyone
- Unique experience
- Can play Gamecube games
- Wi-Fi available
- FPS games are hard to play
- Game selection is poor compared to other consoles
- Great, but inferior graphics
- Probably won't access Wi-Fi hotspot
Hmmm, this doesn't look good. The price tag is about $400 (but there are a few places that have it for $300) and I really don't have that kind of money. To be honest, I'd have to sell off a large chunk of my games to make up for the hefty tag. However, the game selection is right up my alley with games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Also, its a Blu Ray player so I'd be getting more than a simple game console. I honestly want to get this console solely for MGS 4 but its just so pricey! Ugh...
- Superb game choice
- Excellent graphics
- Plays Blu Ray
- Can play my Playstation 2 games
- Very pricey
- Can't play my Playstation 1 games
- Probably have to sell a lot of games to meet price
So, there you have it: three consoles and only enough money for a single one. I'm not sure which one to lean to and suggestions are encouraged. Maybe if you're advice is strong enough, I might just lean your way.
I will now start a useless trend throughout this entire site that will exercise the principle of talking in code in your blog header. What this means is that you need to make a word that has a beginning letter that, when all the words are combined, makes its own word(s). Anyone who reads this blog is encouraged to do so.
If you haven't figured it out yet, my blog title is "BORING BLOG" if you only read the caps.
Now get out there and perpetuate this useless fad I just made up! DO IT!
Now that I have your attention, I would like to show you the purchase I made recently (for $7!):
Beck - Guero
- Que Onda Guero
- Black Tambourine
- Earthquake Weather
- Hell Yes
- Broken Drum
- Go It Alone
- Farewell Ride
- Rental Car
- Emergency Exit
Meh, this one's a give and take. On one hand, you have the strange, upbeat (bur sometimes gloomy), and entertaining songs like E-Pro, Que Onda Guero, Rental Car, Farewell Ride, and Hell Yes; but on the other hand, there are some songs that seem to drag on forever and go nowhere like Girl, Missing, and Earthquake wather. The rest of the songs are alright. Other than that, Guero, as a whole, is a very good CD.
Yes, I saw them perform live at the Oneida Casino yesterday and it was awesome! They did all their cIassics like the hitckhiking scene, Mexican Americans, and Earache My Eye. By the way, Cheech was in a pink tutu and had Mickey Mouse ears on...Yeah, I won't be sleeping for a few weeks now. There were a few other acts they did that...Well, I can't describe them here because of Gamespot's censorship standards.
Old dudes dressed in disturbing ways aside, I got a few things from the show. Specifically, I bought 3 small buttons to put on my jacket (total $3):
- Black button with "Dave's Not Here, Man." on it
- "Cheech and Chong For President"
- "Cheech and Chong Light Up America and Canada" (tour name)
The only bad thing was that I had a little bit of a cold when I went and there was smokers in every direction after the show! I swear there was a visible mist of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. Good thing the exits were so close to the stage, otherwise I would've hurled!
All in all, it was a great performance.
Ugh, I'm not on that hot streak of awesome games anymore. With two games breaking up my long-standing string of good purchases (Sudeki and Advent Rising), I can now say that I should look before I leap from now on. If you care to look at the Review section of my profile, you'll see my review of the first mistake: Sudeki. I swear, I've never made such a horrible purchase in my life! The thing was $15 and it felt like a game where someone would pay ME to play the ******* thing!
Please stay tuned for my review of Advent Rising (whenever I get around to it). If you thought Sudeki was bad, Advent Rising will make you want to claw your eyes out.
Found both of these for a total of $9!
Beck - Mellow Gold
- Pay No Mind (Snoozer)
- ****** With My Head (Mountain Dew Rock)
- Whiskeyclone, Hotel City 1997
- Soul Suckin' Jerk
- Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)
- Sweet Sunshine
- Steal My Body Home
- Nitemare Hippy Girl
- Analog Odyssey (Hidden Track)
Wow, what can I say about this one...Well, it sure is different than anything I've ever purchased before. I guess the best way to describe the genre is pop/grunge/blues that switches between the three genres each song (and sometimes during a couple songs). To be honest, this has to be another one of my top albums now since its so strange, yet it manages to sound so magnificent. This was definitely worth my money and I can't believe I got it for such a low price! I bought this one for Loser alone but it turned out to be filled with excellent songs.
Beck - Odelay
- Devil's Haircut
- Lord Only Knows
- The New Pollution
- Where It's At
- High 5 (Rock the Catskills)
Hmmm, sadly this isn't nearly as good as Mellow Gold. In fact, this album is an entirely different genre (and Beck is known for mixing it up with each release) but I guess this one just doesn't appeal to me as much. I think it sounds like some kind of pop/techno album with a tiny hint of Alternative peppered into each song. Meh, most of the songs sounded boring to me but they're all well done and the price for it was reasonable. Overall, nothing remarkable to say about this one.
Now that I've spent over 100 hours with each system, I would like to compare the two handhelds and see which one is superior. Both systems will be graded on an A-F scale that goes like this:
- A = No noticable flaws
- B = Very few flaws
- C = Some flaws
- D = Plenty of flaws
- F = Horrible
The PSP runs for a pretty penny new. I bought it used for about $140 and I think the new systems run for anywhere from $160-200 depending on if you're getting a game bundle or not. Also, you have to buy a memory unit if you want to save any of your games, so that runs up for another $20 for a decent 1GB unit. Still, a 1GB memory unit goes a very long way and stores a massive amount of data. Also, the games run for about $40 new but the Greatest Hits games run for anywhere from $5-19.
I have to say, the PSP isn't very durable. Since the discs are read on the back of the system, I was nervous about wrapping my hands entirely around the thing in fear of messing up the game and instead had to tightly grip the tiny spaces on each side. What's worse is that the screen is so exposed that scratching is nearly impossible to avoid. Also, the little nub stick on the left side doesn't seem to respond well to direction since it sometimes makes going in a straight line a pain. On the other hand, the buttons show no signs of wear and they all respond well, even after marathon sessions.
This is where the PSP both its highest and lowest points. On the bad side, the battery lasts about 4 hours fully charged and the charger is a massive bundle of cords that gets tangled up all the time. On the good side, you get the option of nudging the power switch slightly, which then saves exactly where you left off, creating a pause that can last for as long as you want. Such a feature makes up for the short battery life and then some.
The PSP has a wonderful selection of titles that suit my taste. Whether it be Metal Gear Solid, Daxter, Grand Theft Auto, or even Castlevania; the PSP does not dissapoint for the most part. As for the physical appearance of the discs, they seem to be very durable and fragile at the same time. Sure, the discs are played through a protective case that prevents scratching but storing and removing the discs from their boxes can sometimes be a test of patience for the unfamiliar.
Wow, the PSP is a whole lot more than a gaming system! In fact, it has:
- Skype (phone)
- Internet browser
- Internet radio
- RSS channel
- Music downloads
The range of things you can do with this thing is amazing! However, trying to find an access point is a real pain in the hindquarters and I rarely get a connection where I am.
The PSP is best suited when you're in for a marginally long trip, but its also grat just to play it at home. The games are awesome, the extras are awesome, but the durability of the system itself and the life of the battery are troubling.
- Cost B
- Toughness D
- Battery C
- Games A
- Extras A
Final Grade: B+
Well, the DS is very good at being cost-effective. You don't have to buy any memory units and the games run up for $40 at most. The system itself is very cost-effective at less than $150 on average. Its not surprising since Nintendo has presented itself as the cheapest brand on the market in everything they do.
The durability of the outside is amazing. It feels hard as a rock and protects the screen from all sorts of wear and tear. Even on the inside, the material feels so tough that it could withstand a punch from Jackie Chan! What's better is that I don't have to worry about messing up the games since their loaded so high up on the system that you'd never notice where they were. However, I did almost accidentally eject the DS games when I gripped the system incorrectly. The screens themselves are surprisingly resistant to scratching, even when things that would scratch the PSP screen are tested on it. This is the toughest system I've played since my NES, and that's saying something.
The battery life is undoubtebly long for the DS. In fact, I think it can last for about 12-14 hours fully charged! It gives you a nice heads-up when it runs low on power by making the battery indicator birght red (as opposed to the PSP's method of having the tiny green dot blink). The charger is compact and rarely knots up. However, the time it takes to charge the battery seems like an eternity.
Sadly, this is where the DS loses most of its luster. The selection is decent in some areas (puzzles and RPGs) but it falls flat on its face in almost every other genre. Sure, GBA games can be played, but that's entirely beyond the point I'm trying to make. The touch screen is used in a gimmicky sort of way from the games I've played on it but there was one title that used it effectively: Viewtiful Joe. The new games coming out for the DS nowadays are the same old kid-oriented stuff that doesn't grab my interest. On the bright side, the little cards the games come in are very tough and easy to store in their boxes. Still, the selection of games is a major turn-off.
Well, there's not much to say about the extras. It has Wi-Fi that's easy to get a signal with, but its strictly for gaming or chatting. PictoChat is an interesting concept and allows you to talk to people by drawing up stuff and sending it to them but I've never seen anyone on it. Ever. Other than the Wi-Fi features, you get to program the clock, put in your birthday, and...Well...Okay, the PSP can do anything the DS can in extras (except PictoChat) and there's nothing noteworthy to talk about.
When all is said and done, it really boils down to your taste in games. For me, I'm not fond of kid-oriented games to the degree the DS puts out. However, the battery life is excellent and its the toughest handheld I've ever played. If you're not into a whole lot of extra features and want a system that is geared toward RPGs and puzzle games, you'd most likely pick this one.
- Cost A
- Toughness A
- Battery A
- Games F
- Extras D
Final Grade: B
So, there you have it. The PSP is slightly better than the DS, in my opinion. To be honest, neither system is obviously superior to the other in all the fields but they're not exactly equal either. The deciding factor is taste.
Oh boy, is it ever moronic how Zack dies. Sure, its not a good ending for him since he was killed just before entering Midgar to visit his lover Aerith after he'd promised to come back but still.
You've got a SOLDIER 1st-class who can survive.....
Getting set on fire, having a massive ball of explosives explode in his face, getting hit with a massive beam of "holy **** light" that gets shot from the FREAKIN' MOON, getting sliced up, shot, stabbed, shocked, frozen, and just about any other kind of punishment you can think of. How can he die, you ask?
He gets shot. Yeah, I can't fathom how stupid that is either. Yeah, you had to fight a lot of Shinra troops but they were so easy that I only got hit a handful of times and the attacks didn't effect me that much anyway. To make things even more baffling, you'd think that a situation like this would effect a battle-hardened person who can defeat hundreds (even thousands) of enemies, hold his own against Sephiroth, and save the ******* world from a steroided-up Genesis to get a little boost of adrenaline to make mincemeat of Shinra troops, right?
Instead, he swings that massive sword around like a little girl and fights what appears to be invincible troops that can withstand hundreds of thousands of points of damage and then gets shot. What the **** was in those bullets!?SILVER!?!? Are all SOLDIER operatives werewolves!? AHHHHHHHHHHRGHAAAHARHR!!
It seems like the developers were working and they all of a sudden thought "Oh no, the deadline is coming up and we don't have an ending! Uhhh...hmmmm...errr...He got shot and died. Yeah." And yes, I do know that the ending was referenced in the PS1 Final Fantasy VI but that's no excuse for boneheaded storytelling. You know, the fact that they made the mistake of including such a reference in the PS1 Final Fantasy VII only makes it worse because they pre-emptively made a cop out story years before it was released.
If you ask me, Zack deserved it for not getting his act together.
RIP, you knucklehead.
Butthole Surfers - ElectricLarryLand
- Cough Syrup
- Ulcer Breakout
- Jingle of a Dog's Collar
- TV Star
- My Brother's Wife
- Ah Ha
- The Lord is a Monkey
- Let's Talk About Cars
Woah, this has to be the strangest album I own now. Every single song is completely unique, so I can't really pin down what genre they are overall. Birds is a typical quick alternative song, Pepper is kind of like a stoner/Beck-esque song, Thermador is a mix of a hard rock and blues, Jingle of a Dog's Collar is a...Well, kind of a slow alternative song? Anyway, TV Star sounds like a 1950s acoustic love song, My Brother's Wife is a completely insane song that might be able to be grouped in with Rob Zombie (but that's uncertain). Ah Ha is a Sex Pistols-styIe punk song with fast lyrics and a fast beat throughout all the instruments, The Lord is a Monkey has to be a joke song for the mindless banter and disturbing imagery, Let's Talk About Cars has two people speaking to each other in French (And no, I can't understand a word they're saying) with the band quietly playing the background, L.A. sounds like another alternative track, and Space is best described as a Pink Floyd-styIe song with its slow intro and mildly fast ending.
Overall: A very, very good album. Definitely one of my favorites of all time! Apparently, the people who bought it for me had to look online to get a copy, but it was well worth it.
2. $100 spending money, which led to me purchasing Crisis Core, Infected, Daxter, GTA: Liberty City Stories, and a night on the glorious town of Green Bay with a couple of my pals (I covered for gas money and food).
3. 2 pairs of jeans.
4. Fleece pajamas.
5. A can of corn (family joke gift to me every year).
6. Some candy (Chocolate-covered cherries, lifesaver gummies, etc.)
7. The Onion: Our Dumb World (atlas)
Now, some users may have noticed that I have an anime character in my avatar. For some users who know me well enough, its a shocker that I've done this since I've been noted to have a distaste for anime in general. Well, I checked out this series called FLCL and I have to say that its a step above any animated show I've ever seen (with the exception of Ren & Stimpy).
So there, I've opened my mind to anime and I found something I liked.
Okay, so I've given up all hope of having a Metal Gear game for the DS. As a result, I sold my DS and all the games for it (as well as a few other games that I don't play anymore) and got enough money for:
- A used God of War PSP
- 1 GB memory stick
- Manhunt 2
- Prince of Persioa: Revelations
- Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (waiting for it to be mailed)
Yeah, I made the mistake of getting Portable Ops Plus (it doesn't contain the original game) and I returned it to the place I bought it at. Thankfully, the clerk was understanding enough to see that I made a genuine mistake and gave me my money back. So I searched around for the original version at every single used game store in Green Bay. Sadly, it was nowhere to be found. As a last resortt, I went to Gamestop's site and saw that they had some used copies of the original game for $18! I ordered it on Sunday and since the shipping takes about 4 business days, I should get it somewhere around the 26th.
All and all, I've been missing out on a lot of good games. It has Grand Theft Auto, Katamari, and some original titles that seem to be a whole lot more fun than any DS game I've ever played. The only complaint I have is that the battery runs out of juice a lot faster than the DS but that's only a minor gripe considering the awesome games I can get.