Archive | July 2012

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Will Be A Next-Gen Game

I'm calling it now

Earlier this year at E3 Ubisoft announced its new intellectual property- Watch Dogs.  Players take on the role of a hacker in an open-world, third person action game set in Chicago.  No release date has been announced.  Not even a “coming in 2013” etc. Read on…

My Top 10 Favorite Games of All Time

Every gamer has their list.  Here’s mine:

10.  Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)

Thank you, Sega





Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was the first game I can say, I truly felt mastered in.  Not only did I beat every level (and had an effing blast doing so), I LOVED getting super sonic and debugging throughout the levels.  I still remember all the sound effect/music sequences for the cheat codes (19, 65, 9, 17 and 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4).   The feeling I’d get when I met evil, metal sonic and transformed into Super Sonic was something I’d never felt from a video game before.

Check out the rest of the list!

We Can Make Better Games

stop saying "can't"

Most gamers will agree- the biggest leap forward in video games was the jump from 2D to 3D graphics. We need another jump. While it’s easy to expect the big three to put a console out with new features every so often, developers should not rely on them to pave the way.

When Bioware released Mass Effect, I had a hard time justifying the purchase. A 3rd person, action/adventure, sci-fi game where Humanity must save the galaxy- haven’t heard that before. It wasn’t until Mass Effect 2 released to a ton of praise that I bought the first, played it and then got the second.

I ended up loving its in-depth, decision-oriented storytelling and out-of-the-box characters. It was a great game! What especially interested me, though, was that Mass Effect 2 would analyze your save data from the first game (provided you kept your save) and the game would change depending on what happened in your save.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa! Whoa.

How the crap is that supposed to work? [SPOILER ALERT] I killed off an entire race, sent a couple of major characters to their certain doom and… died at the end!

Bioware made it happen though. My character and every decision I made carried over to ME2 and my game was very different from my friends’.  When you think of the possibilities this yields for games- the experience you could get from a series is exponential.  It may not be a “huge” jump but this is the kind of thinking that can seriously raise the quality and experience of games.

Innovating is a very difficult thing. It involves predicting the future- giving people what they don’t know they want.  How do you do that? I think it starts by eliminating words like “can’t,” “impossible,” and phrases like “won’t work,” “too difficult” and “not enough time.”

Valve developed Steam, what is now the most powerful digital distribution and social media platform for PC Gaming.  Blizzard developed its infrastructure.  The amount of supplemental services and support Bungie has cultivated for its community is just incredible.  None of these started out at high caliber but the original thought is what made them.

Better games and better experiences can be made and developers can and should continue to practice this forward thinking in game development.

Why Ecco The Dolphin Scared The Sh*t Outta Me When I Was A Kid

Demon Fish

I was 7 years old. Our family was on its way to dinner and there was a Blockbuster across the street.  My Dad said I could rent a game but I’d have to wait until tomorrow to play it since we’d get home late (bed time).  Fine, yes, whatever!  I just wanna rent a game! AAAHHH!  I was excited.  I liked renting games.

I remember friends talking about Ecco The Dolphin, an action/adventure game, side-scrolling game about a dolphin who is trying to find his pod. I usually opted for Road Rash, Bonanza Brothers (one of my favorite games) or something else but for whatever reason, I decided it was time to try Ecco The Dolphin.

We finished dinner and got home around 1030pm. I waited for everyone to go to bed.  Ecco The Dolphin! Second wave initiate!  This is when it started to get bad.

I was the only one awake in a big, dark house.  I could hear everything from a pin drop to the wind blowing outside. It was terrifying.  If there was ANY time for one of those suburban home invasions I’d seen on Rescue 9-1-1 to happen this was it.  Why did I watch that show anyway?

I tried to shake it off. I told myself once I started playing I’d be having a blast and all those burglars, monsters, alien invasions and/or robot ninja’s that may or may not be in my house would go away.

Dear God, was I wrong.

I turned on my Genesis and walked back to the couch.  When I Turned to the TV I saw this horrifying pattern of scrambled graphics on the screen. What higher species was trying to communicate with me? Also- what the crap!? I wanted to play my video game! I looked around then cautiously walked back to the console, blew in the cartridge and turned it back on. Finally I found myself at the main title screen with the creepiest music ever playing.

The fact that I’d be dropped into the middle of the ocean to fight whatever lives in the ocean started to seem like a bad idea.

I was dropped into a game and started exploring the ocean. The echo-location button almost made me crap my pants the first time I pressed it. It sent out this beam along with this odd, high pitched sound. Other than scare the crap out of me, I had no idea what this did.

The camera didn’t show you enough of your surroundings, especially when you swam faster. I sped ahead when all of a sudden I ran into this killer whale and literally jumped out of my seat. It wasn’t doing anything. I tried to provoke it anyway I could but it just floated there... staring at me

OK. Maybe don’t go near the killer whale. I almost wanted out of that game so much that I started jumping out of the water. Big mistake. If you’ve ever played Ecco The Dolphin…

I triggered a violent vortex. It started sucking everything out of the ocean. I turned it off immediately.

For the next 7 or so years of my life I couldn’t go in water. No pools, no lakes, definitely no oceans. I couldn’t open my eyes under water and whenever I closed them I had flashbacks of the vortex… of the killer whale.

Six years later, I got a Dreamcast. I had a subscription to Dreamcast Magazine that came with a demo disc each month. I did a double take when I saw the cover of the disc. Guess what franchise was getting a reboot? In a full 3D ocean.

I looked around. My Mom was home and it was the middle of the day. Not that it mattered… I mean, I’m 13. This stuff doesn’t scare me any more… right? I put the disc in, booted up the demo and was immediately attacked by sharks. Eff. That.

Yeah, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sounds pretty good right now. This might be a long shot but do you guys have any experiences like this? Tell me in the comments below! Make me feel better!

Borderlands 2:                               My First Multi-Platform Game

Borderlands 2!

It’s always nice to have a “first” as a gamer.  First console, first game, first game beaten etc.  I’m coming up on a gaming “first”- first multi-platform game.  This September when Borderlands 2 releases it’ll be the first time I get to decide which console I want to get it for.

Growing up, I couldn’t afford having more than one console- I had a Sega Genesis and a 90mhz Micron PC (yes, ninety megahertz) but computer games weren’t really multi-platform and that beast couldn’t really handle much.  A second console was too much money and my parents thought I played enough video games as it was.  And yeah, they pretty much were the boss of me.

Fast forward 20 years.  I was finally able to afford a PS3 last December (already had an Xbox 360) and my platform horizons were doubled.  With the fall release of Borderlands 2 I’ll get to decide which console I want to play it on.  Over the couple months I’ll be blogging about my decision- the factors going into it, which way I’m leaning and where I plan on pre-ordering the game (which may be a tough decision all the same).

You getting Borderlands 2?  Let me know what console you’re getting it for and why in the comments.  Help me decide!

Bungie’s New Game Will Be At PAX This Year

Bring on PAX!

When the Activision/Infinity Ward court battle leaked the Activision/Bungie contract detailing the Fall 2013 release of Bungie’s new IP I thought for sure it would officially be announced at E3 (arguably the most popular video game convention).  So when E3 came and went I was a little confused nothing had even been mumbled about it.  Then it hit me.

Bungie’s new game will be announced at PAX.

Games, especially from blockbusters devs (like Bungie), are usually announced a year to 15 months before they release.  Halo: Reach (Bungie’s last game) was announced June 1, 2009 and released September 14, 2010.  Resistance 3 was announced on August 17th, 2010 and released September 6th, 2011.  Gears of War 3 was announced on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon on April 12th, 2010 and released September 20th, 2011.  Borderlands 2 info started coming out last summer and was officially announced August 3rd, 2011.  It’s set to release later this year.  Is Borderlands a blockbuster IP?  Debatable.  But I digress.

If that contract is true- that Bungie’s new game is releasing in 2013- I can’t imagine them announcing it any other time.  PAX is always held in Seattle which is also where- surprise, surprise -Bungie headquarters resides.

The question now is- how excited for PAX 2012 are you?