Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Top 10 Horror games ever

For those of you that like the Horror game genre, I found this list on Amazon.com. (And, for the record, I have no idea who Seth is.)

Top 10 Survival Horror Games EVER!
A Listmania! list by Seth


1. "Fatal Frame by Tecmo"
Seth says:
"Based on a True story, one of the things that makes this game TRULY Scary, Xbox version is just as good."

2. "Fatal Frame 2 by Tecmo"
Seth says:
"Sequal to the first but second to none, storyline of this game will have you playing this game with the lights on during the day with a friend by your side."

3. "Silent Hill"
Seth says:
"The first in an extremely well-designed series about a town full of mystery, truly frightening."

4. "Silent Hill 2 by Konami"
Seth says:
"The second in the series but just as scary."


5. "Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams by SVG Distribution" Seth says:
"The is the same thing as the PS2 version but it contains more storyline, definite pick if story is your thing"

6. "Silent Hill 3 by Konami"
Seth says:
"3rd in the series and STILL scary, more of an extenson of the first one it is a must buy for survival horror fans."

7. "Clock Tower"
Seth says:
"If your a TRUE Horror/Survival fan then you have to have this."

8. "Clock Tower II (2): The Struggle Within by agetec" Seth says:
"A Survival/Horror fan would simply drool over this."

9. "Clock Tower 3 by Capcom USA" Seth says:
"Third of the series it is great for action fans of Survival/Horror"

10. "Onimusha 2 by Capcom USA"
Seth says:
"Ancient Japan, Demons, a War, enough said."


Me personally? I'm gonna hit up the Boo's Mansion level on "Mario Party 8."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reuters reports men more likely to play casual video games

According to Reuters, men are just as likely to play casual games and also more likely to pirate them than women.

Casual games, are definied as ones easy to play and win: the difference between "Halo 3" and "Tetris."

"Everyone always thought that casual games were something that only appeal to women," Jessica Tams, managing director of the association, said in an interview. "We have always been obsessed about making games for women."

Surveys of players showed that, while nearly three-fourths of people who bought casual games were women, the players of such games were split 50-50 between the sexes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Video games guide

Sometime in the next week or two (Whenever our need overwhelms my ability to procrastinate) I want to put out a handy how-to on shopping for game consoles. I've come to the conculsion its different strokes for different folks: some people like online gaming, some want cuddly, family-friendly adventures.

I put "MySims" back in the box and gave it to Movie Gallery. I got enough column fodder for at least another week out of that garbage.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"MySims"?

Ignore what these fools say about "MySims" for the Wii. This game is a monumental pile.

I don't know if they thought the sugary sweet cuteness of the character design would make up for this games' sluggish play, constant load screens and non-existent save points- I am not going to have good things to say about this one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What a weekend-

Visited my mom and dad and my brother this weekend. My brother, who until last year played baseball for the University of West Florida, is a huge sports game nut. So he was very happy when I loaned him my PlayStation 3 with my copy of "MLB 07: The Show."

Personally, I think baseball is about the most boring sport on the planet. But my brother liked the game and was also into the "Tiger Woods: PGA Tour 07." Throw in the nice high-definition television his room mate owns and he was set.

In other news, according to the BBC, church leaders at Manchester Cathedral have forgiven the makers of "Resistance Fall of Man" for using their church's image without permission. It would make me feel all warm and fuzzy if we weren't talking about a game where zombies have overrun the earth.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday's column.

‘Dance Revolution’ a hot party

This week we’ve been busting a move, working up a sweat and seeing blinking arrows when we close our eyes.

“Dance Dance Revloution: Hottest Party” for Nintendo’s Wii comes with a dance pad and a bumpin’ soundtrack. There are unlockable songs and great co-play mode. You can play as several different dancers, though my personal favorite is the guy with the rainbow-colored Afro.

Players move their feet to match flashing arrows. But the Wii adds its own unique spin, allowing players to add hand motions to their routines. My two fellow bloggers, John and Katrina, liked the game but did not like incorporating hand movements into the mix. Fortunately, Nintendo gives them an out.

Their take:

Katrina Junkin: “ ‘Hottest Party’ takes me back to 2000 when I owned my first ‘DDR’ game. I loved stomping around on that thing so much and it helped keep my weight stable for a while.

“Sadly, I sold it on a whim in 2002 because I was a poor college student who thought she needed $40 more than she needed her ‘DDR.’

“So when I discovered they were making a game for the Wii, I was really excited.

“My first thought was ‘YES! They will incorporate hand motions!’

“But once we got the game and started playing it, I totally ate those words. I love the traditional game play, but I cannot get down with the hand motions. Half the time I think the controls don’t register the motions because it will give me miss after miss when I know I’m spot on.

“Fortunately, you can turn the hand motions off, as well as having the option to turn off ‘gimmicks’ which makes the game more challenging. Yeah, thanks Konami, but my brain needs a little time to get back into the swing of putting my feet in the right place ... we’ll save the fancy-pants stuff for later."

John Dietrich: “The most important development to ‘Hottest Party’ is a simple option Nintendo gives you: to use the Wii-mote or not to use the Wii-mote.

“As a big fan of the Wii, I’ve seen firsthand that the hardware innovation has improved several genres of games: First-person shooters, action/adventure games and driving games come to mind.

“However, the Wii-mote innovation can only get so close to certain games.

“In a dungeon crawler, for example, simulating the casting of various spells would require roughly 20 or so unique movements, which would get complicated and just can’t be pulled off.

“Witness ‘Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.’ It’s a great game on any other platform, but the Wii can’t handle it.

“The option to keep the game from being ‘Wii-centric’ is a huge plus. It means there’s hope Nintendo will keep flexibility a high priority, especially for games that need it, because sometimes innovation doesn’t really help.

“As for the game ... if you like ‘DDR,’ it’s all the ‘DDR’ you could want at home."

Friday, October 19, 2007

AP story on Net Neutrality

This is a great explanation Net Neutrality.


AP- Comcast's technology kicks in, though not consistently, when one BitTorrent user attempts to share a complete file with another user.

Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer — it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: "Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cheaper PS3 coming soon

A 40-gig version of the PlayStation 3 will hit stores Nov. 2 and will cost $399. However for an extra $100 you can get the 80-gig version.

Current cost for the XBOX 360 is $350 and a Nintendo Wii is $250.

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party"

Dietrich and I are fine-tuning our thoughts on the latest DDR game. Reporter Steve Ivey and photographer Kevin Qualls came over but I think we may have run them off. DDR is not for people who don't like to move (or listen to Techno music, but I digress.)

One thing we definitely agree on is its nice you can turn the hand motions off. It does add an extra layer to the game, but its hard to use the Wii mote in some cases.

In "World of Warcraft" news, my new blood elf character is moving on up, and I showed Qualls my Tauren druid. I ran him through Shadowfang keep and got some nice armor.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Sims" creator named BAFTA fellow

The debate about whether video games can be considered art rages on.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts named "Sims" creator Will Wright a fellow. According to the story he shares the honor with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock.

So let's have ourselves another poll. Are video games art? Vote on the right side of the blog.

I've always thought one day (and this may already be the case) there will be a field of cultural studies devoted to video games. If you think that's unlikely, you should see the volumes of analysis written about cultural drivel found on television.

Maybe this will light a fire under Will to complete "Spore."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday's Column

‘Sword’ slices a beautiful, fun swath

"Heavenly Sword” for Sony’s PlayStation 3 is a sexy game.

The lead character, Nariko, is a hot, steely heroine with flame-red hair. Her sidekick Kai (who reminds me of the singer Bjork) is her adorable foil. The two have a special bond in an all-male clan of warriors. Whether it’s anything more than an extremely close relationship between women is up to the imagination.

“Heavenly Sword” is often compared to “God of War” and UK gamemaker Ninja Theory, which created “Sword,” certainly took a cue from “God.” But I think “Heavenly Sword” succeeds in ways the developer of “God of War” only dreamed about. The visual tapestry of broad landscapes, cinematic camera angles and massive explosions are confetti for the eyes. “Sword” is big and beautiful.

It also tells a good story, even if the acting is a bit hammy in places. King Bohan is an over-the-top cartoon super-villain trying to take control of the Heavenly Sword guarded by Nariko’s clan. Nariko struggles for acceptance, particularly from her father and trainer Shen.

A deity from the heavens is supposed to wield the Heavenly Sword and defeat evil. When Bohan captures her father, Nariko has no choice but to wield the weapon.

At its core, “Heavenly Sword” is a story about children who want approval from their parents. As the story progresses, children learn to stand on their own and parents learn to accept their kids for who they are, not who they want them to be.

Like “God of War,” you learn so many combos with the heavenly sword, pushing random buttons will do any number of cool things. There’s no hair-pulling puzzle solving like “God of War,” though.

The game makes good use of the console’s “Sixaxis” motion-sensitive controllers. They record movement, allowing players to physically guide arrows and missiles by moving the controller up, down or side to side. Sony is nowhere near Nintendo’s Wii in terms of capturing real motion, but “Heavenly Sword” incorporates physical moves in a meaningful way. The player’s ability to use movement is an important part of beating the game.

I beat this game in about a week. Despite its epic premise, it’s surprisingly short. Beating it once will unlock several different extras, including the “Hell Mode.”

It’s a stunning achievement for Sony. I give “Heavenly Sword” four-and-a-half buttons out of five.

Tips and Tricks: In “Heavenly Sword” it pays to know your moves. Nariko uses three stances: power, range and speed. Enemy attacks are color-coded to match the different stances. Blocks vary accordingly. Learn these stances and their corresponding colors quickly.

The best offense is a good defense. Use the right analog control stick to dodge-roll and do it often. Most of the baddies are slow and incompetent.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What's going on in Mainstream comics

Yeah, I know this doesn't relate to video games, computers, or electronics, and there are no buttons to be pushed when reading a comic book.
Still, this is good stuff.
You might have read and/or heard that back in March, Marvel Comics killed off the original Captain America, Steve Rogers. This seemed to upset some people (including some dude named Colbert) but it was very well done. Since then, "Captain America" the comic has continued running strong, even without its title character.
Well, Marvel has announced the in the January issue of "Captain America" the Marvel Universe gets itself a new Cap. No, Steve Rogers is not coming back from the dead. Someone else will take up the mantle, and he won't be your grandfather's Captain America. This one carries a firearm.
Meanwhile, over in DC Comics, the biggest thing going on that's worth reading is the "Sinestro Corps War", which is being done through the "Green Lantern" title. For those who don't remember Sinestro, he was the Hal Jordan-Green Lantern's main rival. He had an energy ring, cept it made yellow figures, which the Green Lantern's ring could affect (his ring didn't work on yellow objects). Well, having "killed" this character and bringing him back to life, DC has had him unite vairous villians you've probably never heard of and wage war on all the Green Lanterns across the universe. The conflict is finally spilling onto Earth, and should heat up considerably as Earth's mightiest heroes fend off the ring-wearing army.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nintendo reports a butt-ton of third-party releases for Wii and DS, but holds back "Super Smash Brother's Brawl."

Joystiq.com is reporting a butt-ton of games from third-party developers coming out for both the Wii and DS consoles. I've been looking for the official list but no such luck.

It's also being widely reported that "Super Smash Brother's Brawl" won't see the light of day until February 2008. As someone who bought the Wii with the expectation I would be playing this thing on Christmas morning, I can only say: Boo! I'm sure this game will be even better for the extra time, but c'mon Nintendo. Just pick a date and stick to it.

Crowd Control

Reporter Andy Johns forwarded me this YouTube video of the PS3 launch at Anniston's Circuit City last year. As you'll see, it was a big mess.



I really hope retailers figure out some kind of rational system for giving out these games and game systems. They're lucky no one got hurt.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Of arrow dancing and being killed over and over and over ...


As Dan mentioned previously, we all have DDR Hottest Party fever! Bought the game (dance pad included) this weekend and we've been stomping around like crazy dancing fools. I once upon a time owned the first DDR game for the PS2, but sold it in college because I was desperate for money. I really wish I had kept it because I miss the songs it offered! However, DDR Hottest Party is bringing back all my fond memories with some equally pleasing tracks and it offers a lot more songs than I remember the old one having. This version also incorporated hand motions into the game using the Wii remote and nunchuck. I don't like them! Half the time, the nunchuck won't register my motions and it's really frustrating. Plus, I'm trying to get reacquainted with the dance pad and worrying about where my feet go is plenty for now. Fortunately you have an option to turn off the hand motions, as well as these gimmicks that make the songs more challenging. Baby steps, we're working up to the fancy stuff. ;)

I've also been spending a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. Their Brewfest event is pretty entertaining, what with ram riding and getting completely smashed in order to see pink elekks and wolpertingers and all. I have my warlock up to level 26 now and I must say, I hate the contested areas of the game right now. These are the areas where your character becomes "flagged" for battle (if you are on a PvP server like I am) and that means my poor little warlock is fair game to any higher level alliance players that are roaming around. At level 26 I can't really do much when level 50+ alliance decides to attack me. Often I get killed in one single shot. Not fun when you are trying to quest and get stuff done to level up more. But this is all common practice on the PvP servers and I can't say I didn't see it coming...just as a newbie playing for the first time, I have experienced it and it is annoying. :)

I look forward to getting to those coveted higher levels though and returning the favor of being evil (I am with the horde after all) and killing off loads of poor, innocent, unsuspecting alliance. Mwahahahaha!

Monday, October 8, 2007

What would Master Chief do?

The NYtimes has this interesting piece up about churches recruiting young men using "Halo" games as a draw.

The only question this raises for me is: Will they do this with the new "Grand Theft Auto"?

"Dance Dance"

Stayed up with John Dietrich and Katrina Junkin playing "Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party" for the Wii. Much to our delight, the game allows you to turn off hand signals prompting you to swing the Wii remote. It gives you a chance to work only with the foot commmand prompts. It was quite a workout. I had to get to bed by 1 a.m. because of work but I heard John and Katrina stomping away for awhile. I hope our neighbor was able to get some sleep.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Halo 3" developer has amicable split with Microsoft

In bigger head-turning gaming news this week, game developer Bungie has split with Microsoft. Microsoft will stil retain rights to "Halo" however.

Interesting timing, no?

"Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party" more "Heavenly Sword" musings and thoughts on XM versus Direct TV

That's what you'll be getting in this week's column.

In case you were wondering how our Sunday's going, it looks a little like this:

Friday, October 5, 2007

No love for the Wii


The writers at Joystiq.com make an interesting point which I think ties into Electronic Gaming's recent article about "Wii crap."

Maybe video game developers don't want to spend money developing proudcts for the Wii.

If developers feel like its easier and more profitable to develop stuff for the PS3 and Xbox 360, that's what they'll do. So its not just that Nintendo's standards for games are too low- its that developers don't want fool with its new console.

I hope this will clear the way for some truly innovative games. But some people will just continue to dump on the Wii no matter what. But it's still selling like its the cure for cancer.

This weekend, I'll be playing some more "Heavenly Sword" with Kevin Qualls and getting my Brew Fest on in "World of Warcraft."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Twing Twang


Been playing "Heavenly Sword" with photographer Kevin Qualls for the last couple of nights. Between us we've gotten through roughly half of the game. Not too shabby. Kevin and I trade off- I play sword-wielding Nariko and he plays the arrow shooting Kai.

I think its difficult to overstate what a stunning a achievement this is for Sony. I don't know if this game is the only good reason to own a PS3, but its certainly one of them. I'm digging the motion-sensitive controls and the refined beauty of the graphics. The plot is good, a little over-the-top in places, but its not unforgiveable.

This game is remarkably well-executed. But my favorite character is Kai. She's the perfect foil for Nariko and she reminds me a bit of Bjork.

The kitty hat ain't bad either.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Save your TV...with silicon!

Thankfully, I've yet to bust my TV with my Wii-Mote, but I've also not gone ballistic at a game yet. That's either a testament to my excellent talents, or the easy games I play. I'm voting "A".
Help is on the way, though. Here's the article:
"Is your beloved Wii Remote still flying out of your hand and hitting innocent bystanders in the head (or worse, smashing your beloved plasma)? If so, help is on the way—in the form of a free silicone cover, courtesy of Nintendo.
Kotaku is reporting that Nintendo will start giving away the new Wii Remote Jacket, which the gaming giant describes as a "cushiony shield" for "people who might accidentally throw or drop their Wii Remotes while playing games," starting on October 15; the cover will also start shipping with all new Wii consoles. The translucent cover looks pretty cool, at least from the pictures, although we'll have to wait and see whether it interferes with, say, Wii Bowling in any way."
For more, go to http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/6772

Monday, October 1, 2007

Oktoberfest "World of Warcraft"-style



You can do a lot of things that parallel real life in "World of Warcraft"- make clothes, mine for gold and even get drunk. When you drink it impairs your vision in the game and high level monsters look several levels lower. What better way to celebrate getting your characters plowed off their bums than "Brewfest," Warcraft's ode to beer.

Enjoy such fine brews as "Mudder's Milk" and "Thunderbrew Stout." Pimp your favorite suds and defend the festival from those puritan Dark Iron Dwarves.


You can do special quests related to the festival and even get some special duds- the lederhozen.

(And, for the record, I am not making any of this stuff up.)

So lift one in honor of "WoW's" own version of Oktoberfest. As if I needed any more reasons to play this game.

Read it and Wiip


Joystiq.com is citing a Mercury News article saying the Wii production will not be able to keep up with customer demand.

I know the Wii is insanely popular, but is it really this hard to make that many Wiis? Part of me wonders if Nintendo isn't doing this intentionally. Bottom line- get your Wiis now, moms and dads, if you don't want the kids to guilt-trip you for another year.