Archive for April, 2008

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Blog Banter: Why I Couldn’t Beat the Game

April 29, 2008

This is my first post after joining a group of bloggers, lead by bs angel, who write collectively on the same specific topic, pertaining to video games. With many writers and one topic, the results are endless! Any inquiries on Blog Banter should be directed here. Please check out the other articles at the bottom of my post!

There I was, jogging around the streets of Pacific City, and drawn as if I had walked off the pages of a comic book. I was like RoboCop, but much cooler and more badass. The game was Crackdown, and it allowed me to have an entire city at my disposal. Criminals, innocents – I could do as I please!

So of course, five minutes into the game my GTA habits kicked in and I drove around running people over. I put my high jumps to use and scaled buildings like a mini King Kong. And at the top, there it was in front of me – a green orb. Glowing and calling out my name (I was only known as “Agent,” as far as I could remember), it beckoned me. I grabbed it. On the next rooftop I could see another one. I jumped for that too. Before I knew it, orbs consumed my entire gameplay experience. I forgot about the crime on the streets, and my job! And I didn’t care to do my job because I didn’t care about me.

Who the hell was I? A pseudo-superman, probably just a clone sent to do the cops’ work. I worked for “The Agency,” and they were… who? No clue. Crackdown seriously lacked a storyline, and story is what pushes me to play from start to finish. Also, my character had no personality and although his powers advanced gradually, he showed no compassion or remorse for anything I made him do. There were no smiles for taking down bad guys or apologies for accidentally running over pedestrians (because sometimes, it really was an accident).

I never beat Crackdown because the lack of a storyline didn’t encourage me to move on in the game. I took down one gang leader and that was it. All I wanted was a reason to go after the bad guys, because these days, just being a criminal doesn’t warrant me waging a deadly weapon at you.

So that’s where the game ended for me – at the top of a skyscraper, looking out at the city below me. Visually pretty, but after looking closely, I could see people murdering each other, and police needing my help. I jumped, and turned the game off before I could land.

Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Silvercublogger, Unfettered Blather, Triage Effect, Gamer Unit, Delayed Responsibility, Man Bytes Blog, CrazyKinux’s Musing, Zath!, Draining Souls.net, Game Couch, 8-Bit Brigade, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy

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Video Game Music For The Soul

April 17, 2008

A game’s soundtrack is one of the most important elements that make up the entire masterpiece. Indeed, music sets the mood and can fill the verbal void when no words are available. Imagine two characters about to engage in a passionate kiss – the soundtrack will tell the player whether the kiss is either for a permanent goodbye or a joyful beginning.

Video game soundtracks have evolved just as much as graphics and gameplay have. This generation is delivering music that hypes us up for boss battles, gears us up to play against our friends, and soothes us during periods of calm. Here are my favorite songs so far for this gen that remain embedded in my ears for how much they move my gamer soul.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

BioShock – Main Theme (“The Ocean On His Shoulders”) [By Garry Schyman] This song is absolutely beautiful. It speaks of the game’s themes of struggle between man and morality, survival and isolation. The song starts off a bit eerie, but then picks up into orchestral music that soars throughout.

Mass Effect – Criminal Elements [By Jack Wall and Sam Hulick] Conspiracy! Murder! Embezzlement! Whatever the villain’s at, this song sums up their treachery and the battle to take them down. It’s upbeat enough to generate excitement in taking down the baddies.

Mass Effect – Main Theme [By Jack Wall and Sam Hulick] You might as well call this song “Hero’s Theme” or “Damn It Don’t Worry, Help Is On The Way.” This is the track that plays when we first meet our Shepard. As Shepard walks through the ship with attitude and determination, this song lets players know that help has arrived, and we are the universe’s savior.


Half-Life 2: Episode 2 – Strider Battle [By Kelly Bailey] I don’t know if there’s any better feeling in the world than shooting a Magnossun Device at the belly of a Strider. At the peak of the battle against the Striders, this track gets you amped and gives you that extra shot of adrenaline you need to protect the silo. (I don’t know the correct title for this song, so if anyone out there can help me that’d be great).


Portal – Still Alive [By Jonathan Coulton] A wildly popular song already, GLaDoS serenades us at the end of Portal with her delightfully sarcastic, yet sweet voice. Sweet… just like the cake she promised us.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Hyrule Field Main Theme [OST by Koji Kondo,Toru Minegishi, and Asuka Ohta] I can think of no better song to ride a horse to than this one. Its beat is so similar to the pounding feet of a horse, it’s lighthearted and almost remixes itself throughout the whole track. This is the best version of the song I could find because it has the battle theme mixed into it.

Super Mario Galaxy – Bowser’s Star Reactor [OST by Koji Kondo, Kenji Yamamoto, and Mahito Yokota] This track has a militaristic feel to it; I almost feel inclined to march along to its beat. It represents everything that is Bowser – aggression, power, leadership and villain-ess… villainity… or whatever. Just evil.

Super Mario Galaxy – The Story Begins [OST by Koji Kondo, Kenji Yamamoto, and Mahito Yokota] I’m a big fan of songs that sound like they are supposed to be accompanied by a twirling plastic ballerina in a jewelery box. This song is very lullaby-like, and matched perfectly with the game’s storybook.

And now, I’m enjoying the music to Lost Odyssey. And it’s no wonder; it’s composed by the same man, Nobuo Uematsu, who did the Final Fantasy X OST.

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Slogan Generator + My Favorite Video Games

April 12, 2008

I was browsing the GamerchiX forum and Moose Muffin created a thread with a link to a slogan generator in it. So I had a few chuckles inserting explicit words, and then I decided to put in the titles of some of my favorite video games. Here are some of the slogans that the website generated:

“Just for the taste of Halo.”
“Just One Final Fantasy – Give It To Me!”
“Half-Life Really Satisfies.”
“Little. Yellow. Different. Mass Effect.”
“Leggo My BioShock!”
“God of War – The Freshmaker!”
“Biting the Hand That Feeds Resident Evil.” (I think that one was the best!)

And of course, for the consoles:

“How many licks does it take to get to the center of an Xbox 360?”
“Would You Give Someone Your Last PlayStation 3?”
“Get Wii or Get Out.”

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No Longer ‘Lost’ About This Game

April 4, 2008

After playing countless shooters on the 360, I was craving something new. An RPG, an action-adventure… anything! Devil May Cry 4 was good, but didn’t have me hooked, Eternal Sonata was visually beautiful but I found the battles oddly irritating, and I had played Mass Effect into the ground. Then, Lost Odyssey was released and I was happy – finally, another RPG on the 360 that I could try to enjoy!

But then reviews for the game nudged me away from it. GameSpot gave it a 7.5, IGN gave it an 8.2 and commented that loading screens never seemed to stop. For weeks I told my boyfriend that I didn’t want Lost Odyssey because I didn’t want to deal with excessive loading times.

Recently, it’s been reported that the loading times the writers experienced were far more lengthy and frequent than on retail discs. I feel I’ve been completely mislead by these reviews and could have been playing Lost Odyssey this whole time.

My boyfriend and I bought it last week. It has made me cry at least 3 times and I like the turn-based fighting. It’s got wonderful graphics, and damn near no loading times.

So, I’ve been taught a lesson: never completely trust a review. Become an active gamer and experience everything for yourself.