Monthly Archives: December 2010

Merry Christmas from DailyRade

Yes, it’s the time we all look forward too… Steam sales. I picked up SuperMeatBoy x 2, The Misadventures of P.B Winterbottom, Poker Night at the Inventory for less than $25! :O

Gabe Newell, I love you.

Merry Christmas, guys!

Since I started working at Telstra, my Xbox has been a little neglected. It’s sitting in my rumpus room, alone and unloved because of my insane work schedule. So I’ve decided to have a catch up session with my little white box of entertainment over the holidays.

I’m undecided in how to do this, however. I’m about two hours into Halo: Reach, which I’m finding to be amazing, but I really want to go through BioShock (for the 6th time) and try to make headway on the achievements I don’t have. I may even make a list of games that I’ve got, and have uncompleted single player achievements since I’m not going to get Xbox Live for a while.

At least if I keep up the pace of work that I’m going to be able to afford a whole bunch of new games. Then I’ll be able to play and finish them all when I’m dead.

iGaming

There is a new wave of gaming that I have yet to discuss and I figure that if I was a proper game blogger-type person, I should get around to it.

I’m talking about mobile phone gaming.

When the iPhone “changed everything”, it did somewhat live up to its tagline. With the App Store (and more recently with the development of Android and its Market), making boredom relatively easy to demolish, indie game developers are experiencing popularity through cheap, addictive and easily accessible games.

Games like Fruit Ninja have a simple premise: chop fruit, avoid bombs, win at life. Yet, this game has sold more than 2 million copies on just the iPhone alone. To put that in some perspective, this year Apple sold just over 8 million iPhones. That doesn’t include phones bought in previous years. It kind of makes you sit back and say, “Whoa.” Sometimes games that are made for more “mainstream” ports such as Xbox or PS3 won’t sell as many units as that.

More complex games are hitting the market, also. iPhone MMOs and games such as Infinity Blade that use the Unreal Engine (the same engine that Deus Ex and ran on) are becoming popular. And with these games being relatively cheap, the market is wide open for more innovative and intriguing games.

Playing games on a mobile hasn’t quite reached its full potential, but give it a year or so and I expect the range of games to double in size and possibly triple in popularity.

While watching this particular interview on Sunrise, something was said about how violent video games desensitise young people.

Now, as a person who has been playing violent video games for at least 6 or 7 years now, I don’t feel the need to get in my car and mow down people in the CBD, or find a gun and murder an entire school. And it certainly doesn’t make me feel any less calm about death and violence around me.

While I do understand how gaming and violence could be related, I don’t understand why people jump to the conclusion that video games were the only reason for violence when the kid who committed the crime played WoW for about 10 minutes. That’s not enough time to level up, let alone see any fantasy violence.

Wishful thinking strikes again when I hope that one day common sense will one day be common again and parents plus the media will realise that sometimes virtual reality is just an escape from the ultra-violence of real life and that the children they try so desperately to protect are (generally) level-headed people who can make sane decisions.

I was playing Halo: ODST the other day, while talking to a friend of mine on Skype. I was sucking on a beer and about to call a grunt a very impolite word when I had an epiphany, “Oh man, I have a penis.” Then I burped, confirming my opinion.

I’m not the only one who has had this thought before. In fact, I’m generally considered one of the boys. This doesn’t faze me very much since it’s been that way since I hit puberty. However, as I’ve grown older (and grown up a little bit), I’ve realised that I can’t always be a bloke. While being able to relate to men while being a smoking hot woman (a very modest one at that), is a great way to pick up, I’ve noticed that guys tend to like girls who can act like guys AND girls.

Which brings me to my topic today: Because the gaming world is generally geared, and dominated by men, are you able to remain lady like but still kick ass?

It’s harder than you think to do, but it can be done. You know how? If you’re a girl, who plays video games with guys and are considered “one of the boys”, you just need to remember that you AREN’T a boy. You’re always going to be more feminine than the boys.

My disappointment in the gaming industry really seems to be growing at an alarming rate.

The Christmas season is soon approaching and this generally means that developers are pushing their precious, baby games into the big bad world to be reviewed, bought and discussed by the public. But trips to my local EB Games, GAME and JB HI-FI don’t seem to harbour these plastic cases of time wasters.

Walking into EB, I make straight for the Xbox 360 corner of the store. I browse the shelves and I sigh to myself, “I wonder if GAME will have anything different”, and walk out.

Sadly, this isn’t the case. The process appears to repeat itself no matter where I wander in my quest for game-age.

The problem with games these days is that they’re just repeating the same stuff. Sequel after sequel after sequel and none of them good. Call of Duty: Black Ops just came out and all the reviews I’ve read or heard say that the story line is horrible, and I’m in the same boat as many. I won’t buy a game that has “awesome” status, simply because of the multi-player game. And any games that have come out require a peripheral I’m not buying yet (See: Kinect), or I have no interest in. The last game I did buy was Grand Theft Auto IV because it was $35 and I’d finished it before.

What bothers me even more is that game developers and publishers can’t seem to produce consistent, interesting content throughout the year. Even if they only produced one game and released DLC through the year,* it would still be better than the sludge of games being released now.

Le sigh…

Hopefully there will be an onslaught of fantastic games before Christmas, and the gamer in will be satisfied. Although, the likelyhood of that happening isn’t high.

* (Remind me to write a rant about XBL DLC and how it should be free on a later date.)

According to The Internet, I don’t exist. I am a figment of your imagination. Hi, my name is Adelaide, and I play video games.

I wonder how the whole thing got started. I mean, who decided that girls don’t play games? Or that we don’t play games as well as boys. I could quite easily stand my ground against some blokes in Halo or Left4Dead and do it regularly.

I’ll admit this “stereotype” isn’t really true. Most of my male friends just go along with it to annoy me, to which I reply by shooting them in the back with a sticky grenade. But there are some (See Xbox Live) who quite ignorantly announce it and will do anything to muscle out a girl, especially when she’s 15 points ahead on Halo 3.

I pin it on jealously, and after being beaten by a girl, the emasculated feeling. As Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory once said, “She must be cheating. No girl can be that attractive and that good at video games.”

Assassin’s Creed 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the third-person-assassination game, Assassin’s Creed. It follows the protagonist Desmond Miles as he dives into the memories of his ancestors; a well-connected assassin’s who fight against the Templar’s. Desmond’s latest ancestor is a young Italian man named Ezio who lived in the Renaissance.

A bit about our main character, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, this means, “Ezio Auditore from Florence.” I’m not sure why Ezio’s name has the addition of “From Florence”, but the game does make mention of Leonardo Da Vinci and explains, “Like many destined to be superstars, he had no surname, Vinci being the town in which he was born.” Further research explained that there weren’t such things as last names so people who attach their profession and birthplace onto their names.

Ezio is the newest member of Desmond’s family tree, as he is the latest ancestor Desmond possesses. Ezio is a complete ladies man, even if he throws off a bit of a gay vibe. Within the first 15 or so minutes, you’ve already quick-time evented with a very pretty young lady, and as you progress further, you make friends with a madam who obviously wants to do naughty things to Ezio (free of charge, of course.)

Gameplay is very similar to Assassin’s Creed 1 with high-profile fighting and low profile socially acceptable moves. High profile is still amazingly frustrating and makes you want to snap your controller into a thousand tiny pieces in some of the more intricate parts of the game (Assassin’s Tombs, etc) and this ancestor still suffers from “I don’t want to go around the object, I want to run up the object” stupidity.

Ubisoft listened to the criticism of the first Assassin’s Creed game and took out the mandatory “do these missions to get information on your target” bits, but the game now seems to be a bit lax without them. The first game seemed to be stealthier with some of the mandatory missions, and now it’s just “Raaagh! Ezio want revenge!” There are side-missions to do, but without the need to do them, I rarely felt bothered to do them. Some of the side puzzles are interesting and insanely infuriating. Although it was fun trying to figure out the link between Joan of Arc and Attila the Hun with my mum, who found the puzzles as fun brain teasers. She’s the show off who figured it out in 5 minutes after it took me 20.

Enemies come in varying levels of difficulty. From the common foot soldier, to the big blokes in the huge suits of armour with swords and axes the size of a large dog which make you go, “Welp, retreating is always a good plan.” But with the new arsenal of weapons like duel wrist blades and upgradeable swords and daggers, they enemies become easier to deal with as long as you know where everyone is. But the combat is still very shallow and boring, like in the first game. Hopefully a little variation in the next game will be a great, and much-needed improvement.

Assassin’s Creed 2 also offers very limited customisation which is an improvement from Assassin’s Creed 1. Synchronisation isn’t gained by learning new abilities like in Assassin’s Creed 1; you upgrade your armour and your weapons with money which, by the time you get half way through the game, you’ll be rolling in it, but it’s still not enough to upgrade to the best armour. Start saving now.

The game contains interesting titbits about the area Ezio is exploring, which somehow makes me relate to the game more. I’ve always been interested in history, and in a game that tries to make fiction in a non-fictional place, it makes you believe that something like this could have happened. There is always information available on characters and places which is fun to read.

The script for Assassin’s Creed had a small case of the gremlins in my opinion. Everything seemed very… generic, script wise. Assassin’s Creed 2 is much different. The characters are very well written and the game makes some amazing jokes. Ezio tells one of his enemy’s that his sister, “didn’t mind the handling he gave her last night” after said enemy accuses Ezio of getting others to handle his dirty work. Ezio’s mother is also a delight. She says one of the funniest things in the entire game and it had me giggling for quite a while, but maybe I’m just immature. The NPC’s also have their quips about why you’re running up a wall, (“Why, it must be a drunken wager or something!”) and the merchants will only but enjoying telling you that you only appeared to be poor when you buy something from them or sarcastically mutter, “No, I didn’t think so” when you don’t buy anything.

Assassin’s Creed 2 continues the tradition of looking amazing like its predecessor. The game is bright and wonderful to look at, which is an improvement over the Assassin’s Creed 1 Climbing up towers to gain viewpoints is still fun, and some towers are more difficult than others which makes the view from the top more exciting. There seems to have been more focus on detail in the buildings and surrounding world which makes it incredibly fun to explore.

Personally, I adore this game, even with its faults. There has been a lot of negativity about the game, and I don’t see it. To love something truly, you accept the good with the bad. It’s why I think that Psychonauts is the best game I’ve ever played. Even with the kind-of-bad controls, the game had a charm that I think was fantastic. This is the same reason I think Assassin’s Creed is a great sequel. It’s not the best executed game, it suffers from middle child syndrome (kind of like Empire Strikes Back – It was busy explaining more of the story) but it still serves a purpose and is great to play.

WELCOME TO DAILY RADE

Well, maybe not daily. But as daily as I can get it. I decided to move the blog from here to here. I’ve heard wonderful things about WordPress and decided that maybe a change would help the artistic process – and by that, I mean, make me blog more instead of being a lazy ass. I’ll be moving most of the posts from the old site to the new site in the next few days/weeks depending on how this week goes, what with it being my 20th birthday and work Christmas party.

 

Enjoy.