Even Lazier People. Also, Cake.

31 10 2007

[UPDATE] So, WordPress was being annoying today

Just some quick notes today, kiddies. Jastrick and I have been fairly busy lately, what with him being a hypochondriac and me actually doing my school work/having a new job/getting published. Also, just to clear things up, we were to start our new writing schedule this week, so technically, he’s late on his post.

First thing, the New York Time’s resident gamer Seth Schiesel put up a pretty rad commentary on the discrepancy between how mature games are viewed when compared to mature movies or television. While it’s not really a new topic (and truth be told, I’m writing something similar for The Gateway) it’s written very well, and he makes a good point. Of course all of this is quite topical what with Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 out this week.

Not surprisingly, that game is getting some drastically mixed reviews.

So Jastrick was wetting himself this morning–which in-and-of itself isn’t strange–about the whole Lucas/Bioware deal. Considering how bloody vague the press release is about just they’ll be working on together, he’s assured himself that ludicrous idea of another Star Wars MMO this time set in the KOTOR universe. And we all know how that turned out the first time. While I don’t doubt Bioware’s ability to make an outstanding anything–and do doubt the validity of KotOR Online–I’m going to hold out for something a little more incredible, since we’re going with pipe dreams here.

Tomorrow Jastrick and I will be starting to test out some video impressions stuff with The Simpsons game. Thursday will be another edition of Under-Achiver.

kefka.gifPersepolian





Lazy, Lazy People – Week in Review

26 10 2007

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Hi Everybody! Yesterday was Persopolian’s first day doing the new schedule, and he doesn’t post. Wonderful.

Sadly, My Halloween costume won’t be finished in time for this year, so I suppose that I’ll just have to postpone it to next year. It was Mjolnir (Halo) Armor. Smeh. Maybe We’ll throw up some pics of what Persepolian is dressing up as. HINT: It’s from Portal. If you’ve played the game, you probably know what it is.

 I picked up Zack and Wiki on Wednesday, Which is one of the best games for the Wii to date. I love the throwback to old pc-adventure titles. This game should be enough to hold off the Adventure bug until Sam and Max season 2 begins next month. I’ll probably do a review, depending on how I’m feeling next week. I am also announcing now that Pix3l Nati0n is unofficially joining Matt Cassamasina’s “Buy Zack and Wiki Campaign”. What are you waiting for? BUY IT! Judging by how much cash I’ve spent this week alone on games, this is going to be one fucking expensive holiday season. Kinda dissapointed that Castlevania: Dracula X got pushed up to next week, though.

Another week of Smash Bros Dojo updates has come and gone, with the reveal of a new Stage, a new Character, and an awesomely kick-ass feature previously seen in Halo 3, Skate, and THPG. First, Brawl just got very Meta with the announcement of the Pictochat stage, where you fight while random things get drawn. Then, King Dedede, Kirby’s arch-nemesis was confirmed as a playable character (Dear god, If they keep this up, they’ll soon rival the roster of MK:Armageddon). And finally, a saved films feature was announced. This is awesome, because once I kick your ass in the game, I can send you video after video of your humiliating defeat.

Burnout Paradise is being released on January 22nd. W00T!

 Wii Gift feature was announced. Buy VC games and send them to your friends!

Samba de Amigo was finally confirmed by Sega. Sadly, however, no Maracas will be released, as the Wiimote and Nunchuck apparently suffice. APPARENTLY.

Also, Assassin’s Creed has gone gold! God damnit, Why the same day as Mario Galaxy? WHY UBISOFT? WHY??

Well, I think that’s it for this week. If it gets favourable reviews, I MAY pick up Manhunt next week, So I may have my impressions here.

Peace,

img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”





Very Late Review: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

24 10 2007

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Hey everyone. Sorry about the lack of updates, but stuff has come up( I’m Dying! Well, not really, but it sure as hell feels like it), including a possible new update schedule! W00T! Since Persopolian has a wonderful new job,  he seems to be unable to post for you on the previous schedule. So, I will be taking charge of MWF, where he will take Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Now, onto my review.

Believe it or not, but we are already on the third year for Nintendo’s Lovable dual-screened handheld, and it has taken these three years for us to finally recieve a Zelda game on the console. Those must have been a good three years, however, because this game is truly worth the wait.

Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to Link’s 2003 adventure, Wind Waker, and it is fairly obvious. For those of you who may never have played Wind Waker, don’t worry, there is a short re-cap of the previous title at the beginning of this game. This story follows Link, Tetra (Zelda), and her band of Pirates as they voyage out into the seas, and happen upon a mysterious ghost ship full of treasure. The find it, Tetra goes aboard, gets captured, Link knocked overboard, start adventure. After being woken up on a nearby island by the antichrist (a fairy, for crying out loud! I thought I was done with “Hello!” “Listen!” and “Hey!” once I finished Majora’s mask), Link sets out on his usual epic quest of finding treasure, slaying monsters, and saving the princess once again. However, this time, He’ll need the help of the sailor Linebeck (Best Zelda Character EVER, btw).

One main thing that makes Phantom Hourglass stand out from the pack is the fact that it only uses the stylus. The up and down buttons on the d-pad may open your map/inventory, but thats the only functionality that any of the DS’ buttons have. While it does take some getting used to, after about a half hour or so of gameplay it becomes instict. The ability to keep notes on your map (wish I had that in OOT, “23 is number 1”) is priceless.

The graphics are awesome by DS standards, due to the use of Cel-shading. It works with something that doesn’t look awful on a handheld.  The sound quality is awesome as well, with a soundtrack that, while repetitive at some times, can rival it’s Gamecube counterpart.

All in all, Phantom Hourglass = Must Buy= Very Yes

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img_sprite1.gif –Kyle “Jastrick”





Only Update This Week!

17 10 2007

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Wow. We’ve just begun this new update schedule and already we’ve missed two consecutive updates. Friday was Persopolian’s fault, that lazy ass, and Monday was mine, because I thought I was dying. No worries, I’m OK!

Well, After a very long wait, Sonic was finally confirmed for Brawl last week. I for one could not be happier, as it gives me hope that some of my other favorite characters could appear to be playable in nintendo’s brawler. The one which I am holding out for most, however, is the never-gonna-happen announcement of the Inclusion of the Master Chief. The delay does suck the big one, but It does give me more time to hang around with Mass Effect and Mario Galaxy next month.

 Also, Bioware-Pandemic was purchased by EA this week. Now EA gets to claim Mass Effect, Mercenaries and the like as some of their “new” IP’s. Bioware claims that they will remain distinct from EA, and I hope that stays true, as I hope to work there once I graduate. The only thing that scares me is the Worst-Case-Scenario that Bioware gets moved from my beloved home of Edmonton.

You’re probably wondering where your Phantom Hourglass review is. Truth is, Orange Box delayed my completing the game, so you’ll probably get it sometime next week. There will be no update on friday, due to Persepolian and I heading to Vancouver for WPNCUP, the Canadian University Press convention! Alcoholism FTW! Next week you will also (hopefully) see my Game-related Halloween costume I’ve been working on for the past month. Lastly, I will be covering VGL once it comes to Calgary on Nov 10. W00t!

 img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”





Review: Portal

10 10 2007

Midnight last night was very exciting. Like many others who had waited so many needless months, I had my Half-Life 2: Orange Box preloaded and readily awaiting the clock to strike midnight. I promised myself that I wouldn’t touch Portal before playing through Episode 2. Quite in spite of myself, I couldn’t resist what I feared would essentially be Half-Life 2: Narbacular Drop. I was partly right in my assumption, but also very, very wrong.

At first glance there isn’t much going on here. You play a nameless test subject who is given an “Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device”, which can open both entrance (left mouse button) and exit (right mouse button) portals on certain surfaces. With it you are expected to run through a series of test chambers solving puzzles. The first few brain-teasers are fairly obvious—drop a crate onto a large red button, drop a crate onto a turret, drop a turret onto a large red button. As you move from one Skinner Box to the next, he challenges do get harder—involving horizontally moving platforms, multiple turrets/crates, and believe it or not, Newtonian physics—but none of them are all that bull-busting. The game doesn’t really feel challenging until the 15th chamber, and since there are only 19, you get the feeling the broke a nail scratching the surface.

The game is polished, graphically, even if there isn’t much to look at. There’s no HDR lighting here—which is kind of surprising since Valve has made that its baby since Episode One—but Portal does have a very deliberate style. The walls of these seemingly antiseptic test chambers are all a shade of sterile grey, as if to be completely uninteresting, numbing any ounce of curiosity. Also, while the tests may not be difficult, that’s not to say they aren’t excellently designed. Completing them gives that immediate sense of satisfaction that every puzzle game needs, and messing with portals has an inherently enjoyable quality. In fact it’s even encouraged by to the “achievements” that are now unlockable within the Steam Community.

While immediate gratification is enough to pull most people from chamber to chamber, it’s the game’s sound design and sense of humor that will keep you here long after you’ve warn your welcome. To put it simply, this game is hilarious. The only voice you hear throughout your challenges is the malevolent humming of a monotone robotic female—the kind of thing that would make HAL never want to love again. While I try to resist revealing all of the laugh-out-loud funny things that spew from this voice of guidance, just know that humor is what makes the whole game worth it. There is more personality in this one automaton than some of Bioshock’s human characters. The turrets also have their own voices, softer and higher-pitched, whispering “i don’t hate you” as they fall over and die.

The first run-through will last about 3-4 hours, with another hour’s worth of bonus challenges. While it’s a piddley morsel, the game’s humor and undeniable polish make it fun, and I really hope Valve releases some more test chambers in the months to come.

kefka.gifPersepolian





Day Off? Not.

5 10 2007

Hi everybody! It’s me…….again? Waitaminute….. Wasn’t today SUPPOSED to be Persopolian’s day to write? Well, you are correct, it was. However, INSTEAD of writing, he went to a Nas concert (I personally can’t stand rap). So, guess who he left in charge to do his post on this wonderful friday? Well, as there are only two of us, if yu guessed Jastrick, you’re right. The only problem is, I was unprepared for this, and therefore had really nothing to write about. I COULD take his article on the Ico/SotC Sequel, but I’ll leave that for HIS Monday Article. Eat that, bitch. So, I figure I’ll just voice my opinion on some general news (not that that’s any different from what I do anyway).

 Well, Looks like all those informants were right. As of……Last Monday (wtf?) Bungie is officially a seperate entity from Microsoft. They will continue to make Halo Games for Microsoft, as well as develop new and original IPs for the 360. I wonder if that 300 million made in the first week of Halo 3 helped the bid for sovereignty any. So, In reality, nothing has changed (for the time being). All that Microsoft needs to do now is not fuck up their relationship with the studio, as Bungie is now free to make friends with Sony and Nintendo.

Apparently, the new 40GB PS3, which was also confirmed today, will have no Backwards Compatibility. I find this very funny. In less than a year, Sony has dumped a majority of their console “promises”. They now, like Microsoft, now have a cheaper, next-gen only model. Bloody Hypocrites. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Sony. I like their games, and will be getting a PS3 in march for MGS4, but I wish that sometimes they would just shut their mouths and stop talking shit. Nintendo Doesn’t do it, and Microsoft rarely does it. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re in last place, eh?

Phantom Hourglass just plain rocks. I’ll get my full review up next Friday (w00t! Week off!).  It takes around 20 mins to get used to the all-stylus controls, but now It’s become so intuitive I don’t know if I can go back to the previous games like Minish Cap.

However, That’s been my quick, off the fly, end of the week update. See you next Friday with a full review.

img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”





And then there were none.

3 10 2007

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Above you see a simultaneous death about to happen (Persopolian dies first). That small little man THOUGHT he was better than me, but was obviously high off of his own crap-tacular-iffic-ness (I made a new word!). In the subsequent matches since that post, he has lost to me every time. But please, Don’t believe me, check my service record on bungie.net.

So, rumors have been flying around for the last few days or so that Bungie may have freed itself from Bill’s iron grasp. I doubt it. Bungie is BY FAR Microsoft Game Studios finest workshop. I think they would need to be insane to let Bungie go. That being said, I think that they would need to make some changes. I can understand that Bungie is tired of making halo. They’ve been on the series for nearly 10 years. I think thats a well-earned break, wouldn’t you say? Allow them to use their talents to craft another beautiful property. It can’t hurt for your console to have another good series, no? Doesn’t i just mean more profit for yourself? That being said, according to these rumors, is that Microsoft would retain the rights to Halo, and would get “first dibs” on all new Bungie titles. However, I doubt Microsoft Game Studios could take a hit like this, with the recent closing of FASA Studios and the sale of Bizzare Entertainment. That leave who? Ensemble? AOE and Halo Wars FTW!

Oh, and I picked up Phantom Hourglass yesterday. Pure Awesome. Should have review by Monday.

 img_sprite1.gif–Kyle “Jastrick”