Category Archives: Video Games

PC, Playstation, and whatever I may pick up in the future

5 Games For the Halloween Season

As the days in October tick closer to Halloween, you, and some friends, may be looking to get into the spirit of the season with a few games to play.  Here are five that I think are perfect for the season.

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4 Things To Add To World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Like the rest of the World of Warcraft community, I was up at 3 am (EDT) waiting for Mist of Pandaria.  I do have to admit, it was pandamonium (cue canned laughter for the bad spelling pun).  I was lagging with the newly created Panda monk, mostly because there were 17,000 Pandas running around all at 3am.  I was having more fun with the battle pets, though I think that most of that was because there was not the concentration of people all trying that.  I’m sure that the 90 gold cost to start may have been a hinderance, too.  But, playing the Pokemon style battle pets actually gave me greater incite as to why Ash had to catch them all.

But, in playing last night (especially during the lag moments in Pandaria), I got to thinking that there are some things that World of Warcraft should consider adding to their next big addition… whenever that may be.

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5 Computer Games I Still Enjoy Playing

 

English: An original Sony PlayStation controll...

English: An original Sony PlayStation controller. The first controller released for the PlayStation and packed in with the system until it was replaced by the DualShock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I don’t have a Playstation 3, or an X-Box 360.  Heck, the last game system I bought was a Playstation 2, and that was in its twilight years.  For the most part, most games I play are on my computer, whichever is the most up to date one I have.  At the moment, that’s a Toshiba laptop that has become, in regards for gaming, functionally obsolete.  But that’s okay, since most of the games I still like to play are available for this computer, and are still played often.

 

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Confessions of An Alt-Aholic


I am a bit of a gamer.  I would not say I’m a great gamer.  After all, I still am not all that great at latching actions to keys, or conversing while in combat, or conversing in general.

As you may have guessed from the picture, I play City of Heroes.  That and World of Warcraft.  I will trade-off depending on whichever I get bored with at the moment.  But, City of Heroes was my first MMO.  As a comic fan, when I heard it was coming out, I knew I had to play it.

It was not for the game play, or the missions.  Frankly, the missions did get a bit repetitive after a while.  For me, the thrill was creating characters.  I love creating characters.  It was one of the things I liked about the old Marvel Super Heroes role playing game.  Even more so with that because it was possible to have to create a character completely from a random roll of the dice.

Granted, City of Heroes does not have quite that random nature.  But the possible variations were still endless.  And I wanted to try them all.  I took to blasters early.  They were the easiest to get the hang of.  Attack from a distance, stay away from anything that can cause damage.  Scrappers came next.  I tried lots of variations of scrappers.  It was a scrapper that was the first character I got to level 50.  Granted, that took four years to do.  Too many variations, too may options.

Soon I had most of the servers loaded with characters.  Some I used often, others, not so much.  Tanks, Defenders, Controllers, I tried them all.  Given my tendency to solo, tanks, blasters, defenders, along with the unlocked Peacebringers and Warshades were favored.  And when City of Villains came out, I had a whole new mess of archetypes to try out.  Sadly, only one seemed to work for me: the Mastermind.  There was something about summoning all manner of creature to do my bidding.

Still, the characters continued.  I set up one server with a whole theme.  The whole concept was that these heroes (and villains) came to our realm to defend it, and their own.  Champions from Avalon they were, shadow warriors, powerful wizards, and dragons.  The dragon I was particularly fond of.

The last time I actually took a count of the characters I created, it was roughly around 70 characters.  That was before the VIP server was up and more characters were created, and new options.  Archetypes were no longer limited by hero or villain.  Now I could create blasters on the villain side, or masterminds on the hero side.  Which lead to the character in the picture.  Alpha Wolf Lord, an animal mastermind hero, and a whole lot of fun to play.

Now I just need to work on getting the staff power set to try out another character.

 

The Unfinished and the Cornered

Recently I started reading Ghost of a Chance by Simon R Green.  It was the first book in the Ghost Finders series by the author.  I made it to page 77 before I came to the conclusion that I will never finish this book. Read the rest of this entry

The Best Celebrity Voiceover in an Animated Movie

Mark Hamill at the Main Event

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mark Hamill was the perfect voice for the Joker in the Batman animated series. He managed to capture the maniacal psychotic so well that they have returned to Hamill over and over whenever they have needed a voice artist for the clown prince of crime.

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Random Thoughts Again

5 Pictorials The Show Playboy’s Running Out of Ideas
1) Women of Warcraft
2) Delaware Delights: Women of Dover
3) Pam Anderson: We think this is the last of the old pics
4) Women of the Downtown Busline
5) Women of… Listen, does anyone actually care if there’s a theme?

5 Movies That Should Never Have Video Game Adaptations
1) My Dinner With Andre
2) Brokeback Mountain
3) Airplane!
4) Being John Malkovich
5) Swimming in Cambodia

5 Movies That Would Make Cool Video Games
1) Captain Blood (would feature pirate ship fights, sword fighting, daring escape missions)
2) Laura (Classic film noir that would be a cool game in the Myst vein)
3) Transporter (bad movie, but game would feature driving and hand to hand combat)
4) Creature from the Black Lagoon (puzzle solving and monster fighting)
5) 39 Steps(Classic Hitchcock movie would work well as a puzzle solver)

Playstation and Playboy

At Christmas, I made a decision. With the growing complexity of computer games coming out, my graphics card was becoming obsolete. Correction, it was functionally obsolete. So, I decided to look into getting a new graphics card. After checking out the prices, looking at the requirements of the games out now, and considering that I would have to install it, I came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper just to buy a Playstation rather than upgrade.

So, my Christmas present became a PS2. Damn that thing is addicting!

I’ve been hooked. And given that the PS2 is going to be obsolete probably by the end of this year with the release of the PS3 – okay, maybe next year if the price quotes I keep hearing are accurate – that’s really something. It’s pulled me back into the EA NHL world (which I left after I think 2003… I lacked the skills to direct my shots, even at beginner). And allowed me to play a lot of the games that I wanted to play but couldn’t because I didn’t have a PS2, or a graphics card capable of running the games (those would be the Silent Hill Games).

It’s just a shame that since Christmas, the only blog thought that’s gone through my head was “Blog later, play now.” (Just imagine 2 months worth of entries like that).

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Undoubtedly, many of you have heard the story already (link). The gist of it that Jessica Alba wants Playboy to pull their March issue off the newsstands because she appears on the cover. Her argument is that the cover shot gives the false implication that she is naked within the issue. Needless to say, I felt it was necessary for me to throw in my 2 cents.

The issue in question has been on the newsstands for two weeks prior to when the story of Alba’s displeasure at being a cover girl came out. So, for two weeks, we’ve heard nothing about this. Granted, it is possible that maybe some Jessica Alba fan site’s been flooded with letters condemning her for posing nude in Playboy (after all, she’s on the cover, she must be naked within, right?). Somehow, though, I severely doubt it.

Take into account a few other facts. As Playboy has stated, a number of women have appeared on the cover, but remained clothed within. Also, she was voted in a reader’s poll as 2005’s sexiest star. It doesn’t hurt that two of the three Alba movies released this year (Sin City – great flick – and Into The Blue) featured her as a stripper and a bikini clad vacationer (I have to admit, I haven’t seen Into the Blue, it looked too much like The Deep, which I thought was dumb). Given the number of stories that came out when Sin City was released about her lack of a desire to appear nude on film, I don’t think that there are many Alba fans out there who would have made the mistake of thinking she was nude inside.

Let’s also look at the common sense issue of this. If Playboy actually had Alba nude, the headline wouldn’t have read 25 Sexiest Celebrities. It would have probably been more like Into The Blue: Skinnydipping with Jessica Alba or Jessica Alba: Sin City Sinsation.

She should be happy that readers thought enough of her to vote her into the list and take the free (good) publicity instead of trying to generate her own (bad) publicity.

Fantastic Four – Game Review from the Casual Gamer

I consider myself a casual gamer. Mostly, that’s because nearly all the games coming out require a graphics card better than the GeForce 4 MX card I got. While I will probably upgrade, someday, for now, it suits me fine, and cuts down on the number of computer games I buy.

I also consider myself a casual gamer in that I’m not one of those intensive “Sit-at-the-game-until-finished” guys that write most of the reviews out there. In truth, there are times I don’t even finish a game.

That being said, I was surprised to find Activision’s Fantastic Four computer game playable on my system.  Curiosity got the better of me and I picked it up. While I haven’t finished the game, I have been so far impressed.

From the moment you pick up the box, you know that it is tied into the new FF movie, premiering July 8th. Carried into the game are the voice talents of the five main actors. But, comic geeks will pick out that many of the villains and secondary characters added for further gameplay are based upon Marvel’s Ultimate line (so far, this has included a cameo by a Ultimates Nick Fury and an extremely repulsive looking Mole Man).

The plusses of Fantastic Four is that each of the FF possess their own unique talents, further augmented by the “Cosmic” key. Thus, if you were playing Reed, you have light and heavy punches, but also extended punches and spinning fists when the Cosmic key is pressed with an attack. Combo attacks are also capable for each character.

While so far, a number of the levels I’ve played have been solo levels (focusing on one of the FF), it is possible to play with two members, or the whole team. This can get daunting for the casual player since often you have to switch between characters to accomplish a particular task. Coplay options are available, allowing for two players to play at once, but no online feature is included, so all gameplay actions come from the keyboard or gamepads.

Also a plus is that it is a loaded game. Upgrades to powers are available for “purchase,” along with character bios, concept art, cover gallery and more. Even on start-up, you have the option of viewing character bios, reading issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four, even hearing samples of the character “theme songs” from the soundtrack.

In addition to the storyline, an arena combat mode is available. This is particularly nice if you wish to make sure you know the right buttons to push for the combos. Additional villains and arenas are unlocked by gathering F4 Secrets in the main game, so you will need to play that to use all the arena zones.

On the downside, the camera actions leave a lot to be desired. Often times I’ve gotten myself into situations where I need to see a particular area, but have gotten the camera turned around so much that I’ve almost become disoriented.

Also, while it is possible to use a gamepad for the game (I use a Logitech Dual Action gamepad), configuration cannot be done from within the game. This is particularly irritating if you want to make sure what button will do what. When I configured my gamepad, I had to restart the game 4 or 5 times to reconfigure it to my liking.

Finally, levels can only be saved at particular points, usually after defeating a boss. While not really a problem for a lot of people, I always find it a bit irksome since it means I have to complete a sequence before I can shut down for the night, or else start over from the last same point.

For the most part, Fantastic Fouris a great game, certainly a lot of fun for the casual gamer/comic geek.

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