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Showing posts from 2009

Gran Turismo PSP Review + A Note

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(All images from Gamespot.com) Announced a few years ago and released October 1, 2009, "Gran Turismo 4 Mobile" finally sees a release on the PSP this year simply titled "Gran Turismo." (But for clarity's sake, I'll call it GTPSP.)The first thing to remember about this release is an important one: it's not meant to be an 8-hour epic journey through time and space. Many people have complained about the lack of a Career Mode when the bulk of the game is really all you need. It's more a game to be played from Point A to Point B, something to do when waiting for something or someone. It would be frustrating to spend your time completing race after race to upgrade your car as you do in previous versions, thus the upgrade system has been removed also.
GTPSP feels like it's own entry into the series, design-wise the menus make it feel as though it's a whole game on it's own without ever losing touch of the Gran Turismo spirit. With over 800 cars a…

Little Big Planet PSP demo impressions

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(Since this is just a demo impressions article, don't expect this to be a review of the full game. I'm merely skimming over the basics. If you're more curious about the game, try it out for yourself.)

An infectiously catchy song, physics puzzles that won't stress you out, and the ever-lovable Sackboy come to the PSP. But don't doubt the power of this handheld game: it's equal only to it's big brother console version that has made Game of the Year status.

When you first start the demo it installs a small bit of game data to the memory stick, a profile, etc. Meaning once you purchase the full game, you'll have access to your created costumes, unlocked stickers and items, and (more than likely) one level already complete. After a few playthroughs you should be able to find 100% of the items.


Gift of the Grab is the demo level, featuring an Australian Outback style. The mood is easy-going and with no time limit you're welcome to explore things and try out …

Control Freak: DLC and You

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(Welcome to the newest part of this blog. The part where I can openly RAGE about something that's bugging me within the gaming world. This is NOT a light-hearted expression of what I think, or a See-It-From-My-Point-of-View blog like the Random Blogs. This is me, yelling at you, yelling at the companies, yelling at the games, yelling at a wall about what's being done wrong.)(Or what's being done right but I still hate it anyway.)

As the inaugural blog for Control Freak, I think it's best I start with a particular topic that strikes many gamers as unfair: DLC, or Downloadable Content for those not in the know.

DLC is what is offered over a console'sInternet service as part of the ever-expanding experience. The type of DLC ranges from menu themes, new level maps, new cars, new songs, new costumes, new characters, new game modes, new game chapters, harder difficulties... basically anything that can be added to a game these days to make your life a living hell -- I mean …

Random Blog #3: Remembering the DC

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Oh, What Dream(cast)s May Come.
Not my article, just thought I'd point this out to everyone. It's on Retrojunk and is a pretty good read.
It's hard to believe that on 9-9-09 it will have been 10 years since one of the greatest and most under-appreciated consoles was released. I'm glad I found one last year, a few months ago on an episode of Yahoo's Playback, it turns out the DC is much sought after these days.

And wait... wha? What's THIS? A new Dreamcast?
Nah, it was just a rumor. Though it would be a nice surprise: a 10th anniversary edition with DVD playback, USB support, and HD compatibility. That's just my mind thinking though.

Random Fact: Dreamcast games are STILL being made today by homebrew game makers. Since the Dreamcast was built using Windows CE, it's always been easy for people to create games, burn them to discs, and play them on a Dreamcast. All DC game releases these days are done through the internet, most require payment while a few are fr…

Random Blog #2: Why all the hate?

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When Tony Hawk's Ride was first announced, the masses silently booed, which rose to an audible "Durr... wut r dey thinkng? We dun need no mo' periferrals...."
I for one wanted Tony Hawk to go back to the arcade roots, be different from skate. Return us to what the series once was.

And now it has. It just took me a few months to realize it.

The skateboard peripheral that it introduces has been done before. Example 1:


I'm sure plenty of you have seen this piece of carbon in an arcade before. It's Sega's Top Skater. During the demo it'll spew out random phrases such as "Radical!" "Awesome!" and other phrases that died with the early 90's. It was a straightforward, downhill-style game (and ironically, a Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam on the Wii and DS are of the same style. But that's another part of this situation I don't want to get into.)

And speaking of arcades, Tony Hawk's first game, believe it or not, was in the ar…

Control Freak: VIDEO GAMES ARE NOT BABYSITTERS!!

(To my Facebook readers: you can see this actual blog post at bigmercenary.blogspot.com. It's my personal blog about video game reviews, issues, my thoughts, etc. Plus things like Tech News. I have it tied in to Facebook so that's why you're all seeing this. Discussions are ALWAYS welcome whether on the blog or on Facebook.)

Let's say a 13 year old kid walks into a gun store and wants to buy a rifle and some ammo, they're not going to let him. But if that kid walks into Wal-Mart and wants to buys an M-rated game, they probably won't bat an eyelid.

Why is that?

The gun store employees are trained (not to mention have enough common sense I hope) to not sell weapons to minors. But the employee turnout in Wal-Mart is so astronomical that they won't care who they're selling the game to (because they probably won't be there next month). Neither will the head honchos of this place because it's just money to them. I've been carded every time in the …

A Second Look @ Jumper: Griffin's Story

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*All images are from Gamespot.com*

A simple quick cash-in title with not enough inside to believe you're actually playing a game. Button-mashing games are few and far between. Some, like God of War (don't hate, you know it's true), are well done and offer some depth to go along with mindlessly killing things. Others, such as Jumper: Griffin's Story, leave you scratching your head, wondering if what you just played was a game at all.


Kung-Fu epic this is not.
The first thing to remember is that the game is based on a single character, Griffin, from the movie Jumper. He can be summed up as David Rice's counterpart. Where Rice is calm and unknowing, Griffin is cunning, always watching his back for the Paladin's. This doesn't translate very well for the game since you'll find yourself often being slapped by several enemies at once. The combat can be frustrating at times but the action is steady enough not to let you down (in other words B+ concept, D- executio…

A Second Look @... (UPDATED)

I'm going to start doing a short blog series about looking back at games you might have not paid attention to... or games that I like and so did a lot of people. Either way it's going to happen. It won't a very long series because I don't have thousands of games in my collection, but with what I bring to you all I hope you can still enjoy it.
I'm going to start off with Lumines, mainly on the PSP, but if you own another version its pretty much the same. Just warning you ahead of time.
So here's the thing I want you all to help me with: find the game anyway you can and play it. Then you'll know where I'm coming from with my review of it. I want you all to tell me your experiences, what you liked, what you didn't like, etc. But please, nothing like "Dis game iz da suckkkkkj." If you can't show intelligence, you're not worthy of my time.

It's not going to happen this week since I don't have a decent amount of time to come up wi…

E3, and a quick note about the console "war."

I'm not going to do the other E3 blogs. I don't have the time or the patience to listen to the Sony or the Nintendo guys ramble on about numbers while mindless fanboys laugh at the other console's failures in the comments.

As a matter of fact: I once read a quote on Gamespot saying (and I know I'm misquoting here): "don't try to win the console war, reap the benefits of each." The statement is true.

If you like a console with a 10-year life cycle, major graphics, etc.: Get a PS3.
Like the old-school or like having gaming parties with your friends? Get a Wii.
Like it here and now with millions of people to play with? Get a 360.

It's beyond pointless to argue the faults of each like many people do. When you talk about the successes, then it becomes understandable.

Keep Playing.

E3 - Microsoft

*UPDATE*
I know I reported only on the games that I was interested in, but that's because that was all I was seeing. I'm getting the chance now to see the conference in it's entirety. Now I get the chance to speak about a lot more.

The Beatles Rock Band has an impressive amount of songs, a nice opening video, and... a really small guitar. I'm not sure who played the brown one, but it doesn't look right. Other than that, any fan of The Beatles will love this game.

They skipped charts and rates and the crowd applauded. lol

Modern Warfare 2, impressive of course. Do I really have to say anything beyond that? It's Modern freakin Warfare 2.

Final Fantasy XIII blah blah blah. I REALLY don't care for this series. Fast Forward >>

Shadow Complex: a throwback to the old Metroid-style sidescroller.

If they've learned anything from the first game, then Crackdown 2 should be bigger, badder, and more badass than the first. Apparently now you get to fight superzombies …

Random Blog #1

SO I'm trying to get into the Twelve Sky 2 closed beta right now, I'm downloading it as I'm typing. I played the first game for a total of 2 days, was incredibly bored and unimpressed so I got rid of it. It's usually these Free-to-Play MMO's that get a lot of flak from me. Most of them follow the same general formula: Oriental background, PvP is expert-player level ONLY, and most of them have characters where you play as a kid (where are the parents?).
I've tried out a few more MMO's, one being RAN Online, a game from the Philippines. Pretty good up until the point where you realize there are over 100 levels. Around level 30 is when you start to think it's impossible.(Don't ask me for a link, I can't find any real site.)
Perfect World was one that I was going to try out, but I never could find the time to download it. One friend says it's almost as good as World of Warcraft, meanwhile the internet says it's crap. I don't know who to be…

Game Reviews

Believe it or not I've been reviewing games for quite some time now.
Oh, you do believe it. Okay then.
Then I shouldn't have to tell you that all my game reviews are on Gamespot, do I?
HA! Got you there.
Anyway, head over to my Gamespot account and check out all my reviews. I just started rewriting them yesterday and it's going to be a while before I'm done. I'd say BMW M3 Challenge is the best place to start off at. I did that one back in November and so far it's the most professional sounding review I've done.
I've gotten some really low agreements on a few of them so I've decided I should rewrite the ones that are painful to read. I'm trying a non-passive (if that can be the phrase) tone without referencing myself throughout the review.

Read and enjoy.

Keep Playing.

Control Freak: Just my thoughts on Nintendo

(Posted this one on Jan 1, 09.)

It's just me thinking all this, and I could most certainly be wrong, but everyone has their own opinions and these are mine. Because, honestly, it's not like you get enough of other people's opinions when you're online. *sarcasm* Whether or not you agree with them, I don't care. These are just thoughts that have been going through my mind for a while now.
Point 1: Nintendo has not abandoned their core audience. I can hear the haters shouting already but let me get to the second part of this opinion: their core audience is in Japan. All the shovel-ware games like WiiMusic, Hula Wii, and the like are aimed at little kids in Japan. Here in America they're also aimed at the young as well as those who have never picked up a controller in their lives. Which leads to Point 2.
Point 2: "They've abandoned the hardcore audience." This depends on your definition of "hardcore." One example could be those who really g…

Random Blog: The Future of Gaming

(I wrote this back in July 08. Thought I'd give you all something to read since the original blog I was working on was deleted thanks to having to reformat my computer.)

Something that's been on my mind for a few months now has been, as the title states, where is gaming going in the future?
This generation has taken the leap to high definition. In the last generation we saw DVD players/CD recorders added to video game systems. The generation before that had CD players even before the Sony Playstation was introduced (think 3DO). We can even connect two of the current consoles to our computers and easily transfer music and videos. And the Xbox 360 has us playing against others using a PC.

So where's the next gen going to take us?

Are we going to see a blending between consoles? Playstation 4 players alongside the next Xbox players alongside PC players?
Are we going to see newer CD-type players? CD burners on the consoles? And how much are we going to need before we realize it…

Video Game Videos

Random Blog: N-Gage: What could have been

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When the N-Gage was announced in ’03, there was very little buzz around it. Gamers were unsure of what they thought of a gaming telephone, and anyone who wasn’t a gamer sure as hell wasn’t going to buy one. Well of course not, it looked like a freakin’ taco.
Recently Nokia "moved" the N-Gage to a series of phones. Basically meaning they withdrew support and decided they would put ARM processors into new phones.
What went wrong with the entire thing is
The price. $300 for a phone that played games that looked like they were below PS1-quality.It was easily outsold by the GBA.In order to change the game you had to open the back of the deck and change out game cards.

The latter was changed with the introduction of the N-Gage QD: there was a side slot to easily change games. The graphical problems continued since the games were still low-quality.

Sure, the N-Gage could do a lot of things: play games, browse the web, make phone calls, play mp3s, etc., but wh…

Aaron Stone

All I can say is "It's OWN, NOT PONE!"

I expected more video game references but with ones like above being mentioned its hard to take it seriously.

I know I'm sounding harsh, but at least they're trying. Hero Rising is a real game but still in beta. If its anything like in the show I'll pass.
What got to me was the the first scene with the main character Charlie: he plays basketball so what good is that going to do him when he's fighting off a small horde of nameless thugs. What also bugged me when near the beginning of the show was when the character Charlie was free running and grinding a rail from a jacked skateboard. I can understand this being a show of his physical prowess but it's too much in a short amount of time.
The camera work is too fast when the action happens. I wish there were more wide-angle shots rather than split-second hit moments.

Some part of me wishes there were REAL video game references. Like something about Atari, or at one point…

Live!

One thing that has interested me lately is the Quake Live beta. Not because its free, well maybe, but it's completely browser-based and is a fully-actualized, stat-counted, kill-tracking, return of what competitive gaming is supposed to be. It's Quake 3 in an internet browser.
Another game that I've been playing is Cartoon Network's FusionFall. I know what you're thinking: "Why would you play a childish game like that?" My response is the old adage: "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it." The fusion aspect is not so much a fusion in the storyline, but a fusion of generations. In the game you'll come across an older Dexter, later on you'll meet Ben from Ben 10. It's a fusion between old and new. A perfect meeting in the middle and most of all its just fun to play.
I've been hearing a lot about Battlefield Heroes, but so far I'm just not excited for it. Another browser-based game set to the tune of a brand new game eng…

What to expect from me

I have a lot of thoughts of video gaming: casual, hardcore, and professional. I have thoughts on the IT world, the business end of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, AMD, ATI, Nvidia, etc. I have thoughts on where these people, companies, products, and technologies are going. I also have thoughts on the past: Atari, Dreamcast, AOL, etc.

And I will post my thoughts on them whenever I get my mind clear. Unlike right now.

Chicken-poodle.

That is all. :)