Category Archives: Gaming

Lazy Vacation Butt

Distractions, Gaming, Personal Bits, Travel 1 Reply

I’ve not been doing much lately, other than watching the clock run down until our Disney Cruise/Parks amazing vacation. I have been playing the new Little Big Planet 2, and while the game play is a notch higher than the first game, the music has been dissapoint. Here’s a game play video that makes you love the game you’re playing and at the same time think “God you people, don’t you have a life?”

The limo has been ordered. It’s a stretch SUV that SharkBoy and I will bounce around in like Backgammon dice as we ride to the airport. I chose this company because they had the least amount of grammatical and coding errors on their site.

We’re trying to decide what to do on the Saturday before the cruise and I think we’ve narrowed it down to either Gatorworld or an Airboat ride (I’ll be screaming like the soundtrack from CSI: Miami… yeeeaAAAAAAaaaahhh!!). Or both. NASA has a launch scheduled for that day so here’s hoping there’s no delays. That would be cool… vooooosh!

We need to sign up for “special” roaming rates from Rogers, so we can use our iPhones in Disney. As I type that I feel a degree of sadness, having to be forced to hand over another $75 to Rogers just so I can get text and web service …on top of the $30/mo I already pay. Times like this I relish the final few minutes of the movie Fight Club and wish it would come true. Not that I’m a terrorist or anything, but if history repeats itself, then it’s safe to say the inevitable rebellion won’t be political, it will be economical.

On other news, The Bay Optical is close to being on my shit list. SharkBoy’s glasses came in yesterday but mine haven’t even been started. After catching the receptionist out on a lie (“Oh they’re right here, Mr DeadRobot!”) I got a call from the manager saying they had not been ordered yet. I had to press for an apology. You have 10 days, Bay Optical, before I release the internet hounds.

29 days to go.

A Device to Enhance Your Testing Experience

Gaming, You Magnificent Bastard Leave a reply

When Portal was released amongst Valve’s “The Orange Box” set, I was utterly shocked that they jammed three games into one disk, for the price of one game… Now it seems they’re going to go a little further with the stand alone PS3 release. Get ready to spooge your geek organ…


The PS3 version will also feature Steam cloud support for game saves. This seemed to me like an odd feature at first, until I read one of the other features of the PS3 version: a download code to unlock Portal 2 for Steam play on PC and Mac. Yeah, you get a free PC/Mac copy of the game with a purchase of the PS3 version.

In an age where game developers are nickle and diming you to death, Valve continues to say “Frag you!”. I’m loving how the console wars keep on giving and giving. Seriously if PS3 was alone in the gaming world, you’d be paying big time, like a LucasArts game or something.

I don’t know how they talked Sony into it, but I can’t wait!

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Gaming, Hobbies, Tech

Give me 15 more PlayStation Dollars, you will!

Imagine my surprise when I got Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II for Xmas! Yay!

Imagine my delight as I started to hack my way through Stormtroopers, excited with the knowledge that somewhere in the game I would be kicking Ewoks on Endor! Cool!

Imagine my anger as the game ended under less than 6 hours. And with no violent visit to Endor! WhatFuckWhat?!?

The story is a veritable banquet for Star Wars aficionados, and a bit too convenient for mild fans. Plot points in ST:TFUII make the transition between Star Wars Episode III and IV much smoother: (SPOILER ALERT) we are told (via the included encyclopedia extra, not by game play) why Stormtroopers aren’t clonetroopers and why they’re such bad shots as well as other little gems. There’s enough here to keep a SW geek happy, but not raving. I’ve always wondered what happened to Kamino – why didn’t they just keep making clones for the Emperor? Partial answers are provided. In the end we’re left wide open for part 3 with a nice nod to Empire Strikes Back and The Silence of the Lambs. “Oh and Starkiller? Nice suit…”

Visually the game doesn’t disappoint. The character design has been ramped up since the first game and they move a little better than Wii puppets this time around. Starkiller has a few more facial expressions other than “golly gee grumpy” and in some cut scenes, and there are a lot, you might even feel for him. The only odd moment was the weird voice actor choice for Princess Leia: way too suburban mall Barbie.

As you play, literally everything has some sort of physics attached to it, making destroying things all the more fun with a wave of blue Force bluey burst thing, but they could have pulled back on the visuals and maybe added more to the game play in the way of more varied locations or more interesting sprites to kill.

Oh the game play…

As I said I finished the game in under 6 hours. I’m not one to look for prizes. With “hack and slash” games, I’m cool with the occasional powerup find or mystical lightsabre gem discovery, but SW:TFUII seemed like to rely on treasure hunting a bit too much. To me, it shouldn’t be central to the gaming experience because then you’re stuck at the whim of the game designer’s possible hap-hazard easter egg hunt. Give me something more organic.

The short game play is probably due to a cash-grab trend where they’ll be releasing more downloadable content off various platform’s online shops (this is where you actually get to kick Ewoks into the distant trees, not from the main game disk), hence squeezing $10 more out of you per game pack. I wouldn’t take offense to that, but the game itself is marked as a full “experience” game at $55. Also, if these DLCs contain story parts that make the inevitable ST:TFUIII impossible to comprehend, then fuck ’em. I won’t pay, I won’t play.

In all, I’d recommend it to people who like Star Wars, who loved the first game and who don’t mind paying a little more for a lot less.

For Science. You Monster

Distractions, Gaming

E3! Two days of game hype where companies roll out their bizarre new gadgets for their systems (A lenticular screen for your DS?) and parade game trailers out to a waiting world. For me it’s been like a crack junkie at a crack bakery that’s just brought out a tray of crack muffins. Cracky!

I was furiously hitting refresh on the Engadget site (Giz coverage seemed weak. I wonder why?) when Sony sanitarily brought out their new games and controller. While I can say that the Move, their new wand controller, doesn’t really “move” me (ah-nyuck nyuck!) I am excited about games that are in the pipe. Namely Portal 2:

Not surprising is the announcement of a two tiered paid subscription system on PlayStation Network (Xbox much?), which I will probably ignore only if downloadable content comes out for Fallout: New Vegas in a timely manner (ie: not to the Xbox exclusively for a couple years first).

And on a “Awww Crap!” note: not a word or teaser shot for Uncharted 3. Sony Sony Sony… sometimes your contempt for your fanboys is palatable.

Heavy, Heavy Rain


Pores and mores!

Will the movie theatre experience/medium die? Will video games erode and ingratiate themselves into the mass market that Hollywood has taken a century to create? Will we be “playing” movies in the future?

What do I look like, some sort of turban wearing, fair ground, side show seer? I don’t know! I will venture to say that I am currently moving into a deep fascination with open-ended, non-linear video games, the ones that play very much like a movie, interspersed with game elements, resulting in multiple endings. I’ve noticed that my most satisfying game experiences come from these kinds of games – Silent Hill, BioShock (One and Two) and even FallOut 3. All these games have open-ended game play where the outcome of the game might be different due to certain choices made through the game.

I’ve just finished Heavy Rain last night and I have to say it’s the closest to actually playing a movie I’ve ever experienced. Every piece of literature that has been written about this game boasts that every choice, every conversation, every missed step (or decisive move) ripples out to the end result of the game. I ran through the game from Wednesday night and had finished it within a few hours over these 4 nights so the game isn’t a 20 hour epic like the others I’ve mentioned, since the designers have to cram all the different endings/scenarios, unused, into one disk. While the shortened game-play is an obvious limitation to this kind of genre and it’s hardware, HR makes up for it by engaging you with such heavy atmosphere that you’ll swear David Fincher himself had a hand in creating this game. Armed with the knowledge that I could have saved “this person” or wound up with a different result by not “doing this action” I’m more invested to re-play it, changing my direction.

After all this gushing, I have to say the game isn’t perfect. Moving the character involves pressing the R2 trigger and the left analog stick, which results in weird pirouettes and filthy swearing shouting at the screen when the character doesn’t stop in the place where you want them to go. Camera angles can be changed by a press of a button and I found myself forgetting this fact and probably missing a clue here and there. Choosing what the character is thinking as they’re walking through a crime scene is a bit distracting and really should be shunted to slower moments within the action. Minigames require that you mash a series of buttons in accordance with what’s on the screen: to climb a muddy embankment you need to press and hold the Square, the Triangle, the R2 trigger and then the R1 button in succession. Different, but fun, nonetheless.

Overall, I’m impressed. If this is the future of entertainment, the evolution of movies, then I welcome it.