Friday, December 23, 2011

Happiness Is A Game Of Thrones RPG Video Game

For those of you who follow George R.R. Martin's blog, I'm sure you're excited as I am about this news. For those of you who don't, but are fans of the books and the show, this is amazing news indeed. Cyanide Studios and Atlus Entertainment are working on a Game Of Thrones RPG video game coming out next year, possibly in March 2012. That's right, Game Of Thrones as a video game. It looks like they have reached an agreement with HBO allowing them to use elements from the television show in their game as well.
I admit, I was skeptical and thrilled at the same time. With such an intricate story of this magnitude, a video game could be either really good or really bad. After watching a trailer on the website however, I find myself impressed, hopeful, and wanting to see more game trailers as the game develops. It looks fantastic and it seems that Cyanide Studios and Atlus Entertainment want to make this game as great as possible.

You can check out the trailer and other information at the official video game website here:
The French fans at La Garde de Nuit were invited to a hour and a half long  presentation of the game and shared their insights and video here:
This website has the most in depth information on the video game which you can take a look at here:
And of course you can check out George R.R. Martin's blog here:

I for one, am quite interested in this and looking forward to more news about this game as it develops, especially seeing how fantastic everything looks so far.

Happy Holidays to everyone! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Assassin's Creed Revelations, The Best One Yet

Assassin's Creed Revelations ties up the story of Ezio Auditore, Altair Ibn-La'Ahad, and  Desmond Miles. The story in Revelations not only includes Ezio's quest to uncover the secrets of his order, but a romantic interest, and a complex political situation as well. You also get flashbacks of Altair's life and some brief optional excursions in Desmond's mind in the Animus, making for an intricate story.
 Somehow, it all fits together perfectly. Ezio's story seems to be the catalyst because his quest to find out more information about Altair ties itself to the social and political unrest in Constantinople.  The romance between Sophia and Ezio is subtle and it is impressive how convincing they are and you find yourself believing that these two are falling in love with all the chaos around them. Overall, the story telling in Revelations is remarkable and the cinematic scenes are done right with fully developed characters in strongly written scenes.

A New City To Explore.....
   On a basic level, Revelations plays the same as the Assassin Creed games that came before. You're still accepting various missions that have you stalking, meeting, or killing targets. Some of the quests in Revelations do add to parts of the story, but more than a handful are time wasters or poorly constructed. However, the most exciting moments are Ezio exploring Constantinople and his discovery of clues about Altair's library. It's here where the "dungeon" sequences come into play. Similar to the Lairs of Romulus and the Assassin's Tombs, these excavations can take you on some fantastic adventures and these are some of the great highlights of the game.
Adventuring Is A Dangerous Business

  Even better are the chapters that feature Altair himself. Each major portion of the game includes a segment with the original assassin and players relive specific moments from his life from young to very old. Some of these missions feel slightly similar to some of Ezio's, but others are completely different. The variety keeps things from getting dull as well as the fact that they're very story driven. Some of Altair's memories even carry a certain weight and understanding of what Ezio is doing. As the game progresses, you begin to see similarities and differences between the two men, which makes the story an even more emotional and thought provoking experience.

 When it comes to gameplay, it's clear Ubisoft made a number of additions in terms of controls, weaponry, and the menu layout. The most noticeable change was a button layout change. Players can now directly access a secondary weapon (throwing knives, bombs,) in addition to a primary weapon (hidden blade, sword). This gives players more options, allowing for quick reactions during stealth missions as well as challenging combat scenes. Bombs become an extension of your combat options, offering three different categories. Choices of bombs range from standard smoke bombs to a bomb that shoots out coins luring dozens of peasants.

Climbing higher and higher....

The hook blade was also introduced, a feature playing on Ezio's hidden blade, that is perfect for zip lines and climbing to heights that seem almost unreachable. It becomes a universal tool in Revelations, for exploring the city and other locations as well as proving useful in close combat and assassination missions.

Hook blade, don't leave home without it.

 The only two parts of the game I found issue with were Den Defense and some of the game play as Desmond Miles. First of all, Den Defense really didn't add a lot to the experience of Revelations. In fact, it detracted from it. The menu is very clunky. Ezio stands on a rooftop near his headquarters as enemy troops march down the street attempting to damage the building so they can take it over. Players must install through a point and click cursor menu various barricades and a variety of assassins along the rooftops to fend off the attack. Controlling the deployment is really clunky and this mode does not mesh well with the game. Assassin's Creed's strength and focus is direct combat, not real time strategy. Frequently, I found myself fighting against overwhelming odds, which made the whole thing an irritating mess. If they bring Den Defense back, they definitely need to make a few changes and modifications to it.

 Now we come to Desmond. Desmond's sequences are completely optional in Revelations, most likely Ubisoft anticipating a divided reaction to the departure in game design. Desmond is in a coma, attempting to reclaim his mind within the Animus architecture and must navigate through Tron like worlds in first person perspective. He moves through these oddities by using two shapes of blocks he can create and place in the world. While I did like getting to hear some of Desmond's memories and his back story, I did not like the first person perspective. It's jarring at first, and it takes a lot of getting used to. I also suffer incredibly bad vertigo in first person game settings which is why I rarely play first person games. I found that while it was a bit unsettling at first, I did get used to Desmond's first person view sequences because thankfully, the camera did not bob up and down at weird angles. I could only play in brief bits however, because after a few minutes I found myself feeling quite nauseated. I truly wish his sequences had not been done in first person, but the scenes are well thought out and the puzzles actually play well. I also found myself a bit frustrated towards the end when once again, I got more questions than answers. I came to understand that they left it this way on purpose to make room for the forthcoming Assassin's Creed game in 2012, so I'll just have to wait.

 Multiplayer is augmented again in Revelations with various new modes, a variety of customization options, and a better interface along with a story mode that allows players to learn more about the Templars as they progress in the Abstergo facility. There are several modes that create unique gameplay with different match types. All of these build towards an ultimate goal which certainly rewards those who are used to focusing on a core storyline.

 Overall, Assassin's Creed Revelations gives a brilliant presentation of an intricate story line filled with gorgeous graphics, great voice acting, subtle yet powerful music, and great core gameplay. For me, this was the best Assassin's Creed yet and I know I will be playing through it again. If you've been following the stories of Altair and Ezio this far, you definitely need to see their last adventure. It's worth it. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dead Island Good, But Not Perfect

 I really wanted to love Dead Island. After seeing many fantastic pictures and reading up about the game months before it came out, I was excited. Friends and family know I am very much a zombie fan. Ever since that Halloween night when I was 12, and watched Romero's Night Of The Living Dead, I have genuinely enjoyed all forms of zombie multimedia. Some of it has been great, some of it filled with schlock, and some of it just plain fun. So I was excited about Dead Island and had high hopes for it. Some of my expectations were met, but others not so much. This included the discovery that the game is in the first person view (I have issues with vertigo and first person view games), but I found that I could play the game for short periods of time because the camera did not bounce around the way it does for so many other first person games I've experienced. There are good things about this game, but there are bad things as well.
Welcome To Paradise!

 You start the game with the setting of what appears to be a tropical island paradise, Banoi. However, if you look closer, you'll notice the blood on the walls, in the sand, and in the swimming pools. Look even closer, and you'll see the zombies munching on corpses. Dead Island while appearing to be a first person shooter, is more than that. Sure there is shooting in it, but there are also a myriad of other weapons such as oars, cars, and molotov cocktails. Dead Island is more of a schlock filled action role playing game that plays heavily on grisly melee combat. The resort is not the only place you explore. You can go even further inland into city and jungle settings, while doing favors for survivors on the island. The maps are excellent and there is even a handy shortcut function, where you can click on the map and go back to a previous location without having to run through a zombie horde.  There are also plenty of weapons that you can improvise, making them quite deadly to the zombie menace. The four player online co-op is pretty good and gives you a chance to survive a zombie horde fight for the more difficult quests.
Just a girl and her axe, waiting for some zombies.

The majority of your time on Banoi is spent exploring and foraging for items for weapons and supplies. In co-op mode, this can work very well with a couple of people fighting off the zombies, while the others get things like fuel for the vehicles. You can also have fun with the leveling grind, running zombies over with various automobiles and watch the points tally up. You can easily put twenty hours into this game with all the questing, exploring, and zombie slaying and it is fun trying all the different melee choices out. My personal favorite was driving a big truck and running zombies over.

Hungry Tourists.
Now we get to the bad. While there are only a few minor flaws with the game, it definitely made a difference in the game play and the story. Now I'm not saying for a fun schlock zombie game I need a gripping emotional story, but the story must be good. Dead Island gives you a very threadbare story and the characters backgrounds are rather weakly written. This is a reflection on the writers. They could have written the characters better and fleshed out the story more, but they chose to do it this way although I am not sure why. The voice acting is also not great, with monotone emotionless voices. Do the characters even care that they could get eaten by zombies? I get the impression that they don't with that flat tone in their voice acting. Clunky controls and awkward combat can make you frustrated. It can be off putting when you're fighting off a wave of zombies and trying to make the camera turn the way you want it to so you can at least see what you're fighting. The game would also benefit from a better block and dodge option during combat.  The quality of the visuals isn't even. The environmental graphics on the resort are great and the jungle environments as well, but the character and npc animation is poor and as you progress towards the end of the game it comes across as the bare minimum at best. 
 The last issue I have with Dead Island is the lack of regard for the solo player. There isn't an offline co-op option so you can play with friends you have over. It's as if they didn't even consider the possibility that people would want to play offline with friends and only have the online option. While I appreciate their reliable system for online play, I still would have liked the option to play offline with others if I chose. 
 Overall, Dead Island is a good game, but not a perfect one. It had a lot of potential, but the execution of those ideas was severely lacking. You're better off just waiting for it to go on sale really cheap or just rent it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Catherine Puzzle Lover's Paradise Or Hell

 First of all, let me say that while I know a lot of you love Atlus games as much as I do, Catherine is not a typical video game. In fact, it is a sliding block puzzle game with a great story woven in. If you're not big on puzzle games, Catherine may not be the video game for you. However, if you genuinely enjoy challenging puzzles and are a puzzle game addict like myself, Catherine definitely gives you your money's worth.

 Catherine is much more than a puzzle game however. The story is definitely what brings everything together. It addresses adult situations, things that people go through or suffer such as, fear of commitment, infidelity, and about how some people are childish and won't take responsibility for their actions. It's a unique title and simply an adult video game because it involves adult situations and the issues we have as we get older.
 The story centers around Vincent Brooks who has a girlfriend by the name of Katherine. They're both in their early thirties and Katherine's biological clock is ticking which she hints at to him by telling him her mother has asked where the relationship is going. Vincent isn't sure he's ready for that level of commitment yet and says as much to his buddies he hangs out with at the local bar.
 One night while hanging out at the bar mulling over a sliding block nightmare he had the night before, he runs into a beautiful blonde bombshell by the name of Catherine. Apparently after blacking out, he wakes up after another nightmare to find that she has spent the night. Of course, Vincent freaks out completely. Now, Vincent has to make a choice between lust and love, have good times with Catherine or finally make a commitment to Katherine.
 Vincent's nightmares continue and even worse, people actually seem to be dying in them.Healthy men in their twenties and thirties are found dead in their beds and there seems to be no reason for it. A rumor goes around that it is a woman cursing all these men for being unfaithful. Is the rumor true? Vincent has to find out, climbing for his life one nightmare at a time.
Vincent Brooks In His Nightmare

 Vincent's nightmares are the heart and soul of the puzzle sections. Every night, he wakes up surrounded by sheep, with horns growing out of his head and a voice taunting him to come up. There are items along the way that help you with the puzzles, but many obstacles as well involving sheep that are trying to climb also as the world crumbles behind them. You have a reason to climb, survival and the inner demons Vincent is struggling with. If you don't climb, you die. One example of this is, there's a giant monster version of Vincent's girlfriend Katherine, trying to grab him and smash the heck out of him. If Vincent's not quick enough to climb all those blocks to the top, he will surely die. 
 Every night, there's a different puzzle with each nightmare and depending on how quickly you get to the top and how many points you get, you can win gold, silver, or bronze trophies. The complexity of the puzzles is very interesting and the story is well written and captures your attention perfectly. It sounds silly, but you actually feel a sense of accomplishment when you have figured out a rather difficult puzzle. 

Solve The Puzzle Or Die Trying

 This brings up the next point. Some of the puzzles in Catherine will make you want to punch every living thing in your path. The difficulty level is excruciatingly high on a variety of them. There's no shame in playing a game on the Easy level. I know I will try a game on Easy first, to get a feel for the controls, to see how well the game plays, and to have a chance to genuinely enjoy the story that is being told. Then I will play again working on all the achievements and trophies, and improving my game scores. This is what I did with Catherine and some of those puzzles made me want to punch whoever designed it right in the face. A challenge is all well and good and definitely in a puzzle game, but when the game is on the Easy setting and it's still making you weep bitter tears of defeat, that is a big problem.  Don't believe me? Apparently the difficulty level was such a destroyer of worlds, that the Japanese gamers complained about it. Frankly, that said quite a lot to me about how high Atlus raised the bar on these puzzles. The complaints were so many, that Atlus promised to put a patch in that would make the game much less difficult  on Easy. I do understand their reasoning that they wanted the game to be challenging, so that players could reap huge rewards when they solved a puzzle, but the Easy setting in a game should be just that, easy and not throw people into the deep end with a sink or swim attitude. That's what the Hard and Nightmare settings are for. 
 However, there is hope! There is a secret trick to get to a Very Easy mode. It's a secret that Atlus put in to make the game a cake walk for players. When you access the main menu of the game, highlight Golden Playhouse and hold the back or select button for a few seconds. The screen will flash with a prompt telling you Very Easy mode has been activated. From there, the puzzles are much easier, and you can actually enjoy the story without those resentful feelings and frustration. It is a nice touch, and I give kudos to Atlus for caring enough about fans of their games to put it in there, because they do want people to enjoy the game. 
 Overalll, the game is great. The story is well thought out and acted out well with a great voice cast. There are also interesting characters that Vincent meets in the bar and can talk to, even help them with their issues. There is also a fun mini game in Catherine, called Rapunzel that is a sliding block puzzle game also that gives you pretty good rewards when you beat all the levels, along with opportunities to unlock music from various Atlus games and the Catherine game to play on the jukebox in the bar. 
 I have always loved the artwork in Atlus video games and Catherine is no exception. Right down to the animated short cut scenes, everything is colorful, seamless, and you really appreciate how everything ties together. The music, the voice cast, and the game play all mesh into a fantastic video game. Catherine is definitely a game worth having in any gaming enthusiast's collection and absolutely worth playing more than once. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Too Little Too Late GameStop

 Ever since the incident with the STORE manager of the GameStop near us we have refused to buy anything from them ever again. Basically, the manager talked down to my husband as if he was an idiot about them being out of stock when we were considering buying a PS3 and as my husband started to ask a different question, said manager interrupted him quite rudely with, "And no we DO NOT hold them for anyone." He proved not only was he a complete and utter tool, but also that he had no business doing anything remotely customer service related. He also needed a lesson in Manners 101. We left and bought the PS3 elsewhere for a much cheaper price than theirs.
 Now, GameStop has confirmed my belief that we are absolutely right to never purchase anything from them again with the latest fiasco involving the Deus Ex: Human Revolution coupons that offer a code to play the game for free online using the gaming service OnLive. GameStop was removing the coupons. That's right, they were opening the games and REMOVING the coupons and selling them as "brand new" to us the customers. Why did they do this? Because of an email from the field operations manager of GameStop telling their employees to remove the coupons and discard them with the reasoning that Square Enix had put their competitor's coupon in the game and that as a retailer, they do not wish to promote their competitor's  business.
 Here's where I get a bit angry at corporate businesses like GameStop. While I understand that they were unhappy with Square Enix for putting a competitor's coupon into the game's packaging without their knowledge, opening a multi media package to take out its contents and then trying to pull one over on their customers by selling it as "new" is not only THEFT and FRAUD, it's also morally wrong. It makes them foolish and greedy. They screwed over a bunch of their customers because they don't want to lose money.
 The other side of that coin is it's called a class action lawsuit that is just burning to happen. While Square Enix has given a diplomatic response stating that they respect the rights of GameStop to have final say over the contents of their product, I'm sure they're just biding their time. Square Enix is the publisher of this game and as the publisher they have every right to put whatever coupon, promotional item, or gift they want to in their packaging and not have to worry about their product being tampered with and not getting to the consumers in the original condition it was packaged in. Frankly, because of the conceited and reckless decision of the GameStop corporate big wigs, Square Enix is within their rights to sue the holy hell out of them. See, GameStop has to fulfill their obligation too, one that doesn't involve tampering with the merchandise that is sent to them from the various video game publishers. Now that they have done this incredibly irresponsible thing, how many publishers do you think are going to work with them? They have essentially hung themselves with this action. It also proves a point that corporations like GameStop need to have a leash put on them so they do not do things like this that are akin to a two year old having a screaming tantrum, throwing their toys all over the place.
 GameStop can't afford to have this kind of bad publicity with businesses like Amazon, Valve, and Steam around. Why should we the consumers, purchase anything from a corporation that obviously cares NOTHING about its customers and only sees us as  piggy banks? The three companies that I mentioned offer video games, every video game that I know I personally have ever wanted  to play and I don't need to waste my time or money with a pathetic toothless dinosaur like GameStop.
 GameStop has since then offered an apology which you can read here on the Gamasutra website:
 I am amused that they think anyone in their right minds would give them more money after this. It was only AFTER they made world news with this nonsense that they offered an apology. Oh yes, they're sorry alright. They're sorry they got caught. This apology is too little too late GameStop and their days are numbered. All they have shown us is that they're nothing but soulless money sucking vampires who are willing to screw over others just to get ahead and that includes their customers. That is why GameStop deserves all the loss of business. Actions have consequences and GameStop's antics are no exception.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brief Hiatus

 I know it's been a bit since my last entry and for that I apologize. I am on a bit of a hiatus while I'm getting real life things sorted out, mainly recovering from a very long summer and getting back into the swing of back to school and the holiday rush. Don't worry, there will be more posts soon. I have quite a lot to say about various books, films, and video games. =)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Capcom's Faux Pas Tango

 I'm still floored by this stunt Capcom pulled.  I just read this article here:
 Wow, talk about a major faux pas. Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the purpose of having a successful video game franchise was to NOT abuse, offend, and basically pass the buck onto your fan base. How does Capcom expect to make money if they alienate the people buying their games? So essentially not only did they want the fans to MAKE the Mega Man Legends 3 game for them, but they want to lay all the blame at their feet and not accept any responsibility at all. Also, claiming they were actually complaining about a marketing tool issue with Capcom, no one's buying that pathetic lie.
 There was so much that could have been done on Capcom's end, to get a read on how well the game would have done, simple things like releasing a prototype to the eshop and seeing how well it did, actually doing THEIR job developing it so it was up to snuff with Capcom's quality levels, and actually be proactive promoting the game. Blaming the fans not only shows that they have utter disdain for the people who give them money, but a lack of responsibility and decency as human beings on their end.
There are fans.  Heck, I'm one of them. It really irritates me that Capcom thinks they can be money grubbing weasels and then turn around and blame their fans for dropping a game, instead of themselves. Bottom line, they could have released the prototype version and given the game a chance, could have given the fans a chance to decide and give feedback on it. Instead they made a rash decision, and rubbed salt in the wound by blaming the fans. Of course that was going to bite them in the ass! So now, Capcom has a lot of angry fans and people saying they're boycotting Capcom because of this. Congratulations, Capcom. You just shot yourself in the foot with this ridiculous nonsense. I hope losing all that money is worth it, because that's what happens when you anger the people that buy your merchandise. Well done.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hollywood This Has To Stop

 Look, I get it. It costs less money to just remake a film that was pretty good or great and anything that saves a film studio money must be a good thing. Not all remakes are bad. Look at True Grit. That was well done not only because of the directors, but also because of the great cast. However, there is a surge of so many remakes going on right now it's ridiculous. It makes me wonder along with many other individuals if you are truly that hard pressed for original ideas.
 Case in point, Teen Wolf. Are you kidding? Before anyone brings up the reasoning that it's MTV and they ruin everything (yes, we already know they ruin everything, look at Jersey Shore) it shouldn't have been dubbed a remake at all. Not only was it dark, they completely got the story wrong. Remember how the movie went? He wasn't bitten, he inherited it from his father. It wasn't dark and scary. It was campy and fun. So in all fairness that horrid television show MTV put on the air can not be properly dubbed a remake. It's more like what happens when bad writers happen to good ideas, also why MTV needs to dig a hole for itself and die already.
 The other things though that are being remade, I'm appalled at. I already suffered through The Green Hornet, what makes you idiots think I'm going to suffer through other terrible remakes? Oh sure, the Fright Night remake has David Tennant, but even after watching the preview trailers, I'm not convinced that the former Doctor Who actor can save it from mediocrity. You want to remake Carrie? Why? It already got one terrible remake, why waste time and money on a second one? Total Recall doesn't need to be remade either. What could you guys possibly do that would make it better than the original? Robocop, Metropolis, and Romancing The Stone remakes, where does it END?
 Finally, we come to the talks about a remake that put me over the edge. It is the last and final straw for me. I read an article with the headline Spike Lee In Talks To Direct Remake Of Oldboy. That's it. I'm convinced Hollywood, that you have lost your damn minds. First of all, HOW DARE YOU. Have you learned nothing from the flops that happened when you did remakes of Asian horror films and Asian films? I'm looking at you Pulse and Shall We Dance. Oldboy is by and far one of my favorite Asian cinema films. It's a brilliant film. The fact that you would insult it in this fashion is despicable and then you pick Spike Lee as your director? That's not even the right choice for directors. Overall, the whole concept is dreadful. That is absolutely a movie that NEVER needs to be remade. You don't remake brilliant works of art! We don't need an English language version of this film and we sure as hell don't need Spike Lee directing it. Bottom line this is not what you do to great films to save money. Get your own damn ideas and quit wasting everyone's time.
 This madness has to stop. You also have to quit doing that 3D gimmick. We all know it's a crutch so you can make more money on your already overpriced tickets. Think I'm kidding? One title. Piranha 3-D.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Life After Hacking With Sony And Hackers Who Do It For The "Lulz"

So I'm sure we've all enjoyed the lovely fiasco that was the extreme attack by hackers on Sony's PSN network back in April. I know that my husband Ron and I thoroughly enjoyed all that worrying about whether or not personal information had been stolen. Note the sarcasm. It is quite troubling when you hear about things like this and considering the severity of the security breaches with things like up to 70 million people with their personal data stolen, then it's downright mind boggling. So for the rest of us the hackers pretty much screwed over with their "sticking it to the man" antics, we had to worry about whether or not our credit card information was stolen, if there would be phishing scams in our email, or if someone with a chainsaw and a hockey mask would show up at our house in the middle of the night. That's always a good time for anyone. 
Factor in that Sony was hacked again and again and they have a business nightmare on their hands. Once they were back up and running, there were some nice perks for the inconvenience, such as two free downloadable games and 30 days of Playstation Plus Premium for free, and 100 virtual items from a Playstation Home shop. A couple of the games they offered for download were a nice gesture, Infamous and Little Big Planet 2. So it seems they were trying to make amends for the month long wait for their customers as they tried to put out the fires. 
 Of course Sony had to face the music at E3 this week, and they apologized for the PSN hackings and then they moved on to announce new PS3 titles and show off their next generation handheld, the Playstation Vita. My take on it, was we'll see if they can keep up because the other day, I read of another hacking on the PSN network, but this one was Sony Europe. According to an article I read on the Sophos website, this made the THIRTEENTH attack on Sony. Thirteen attacks is not only ridiculous, that's just sad. It also makes me personally wonder if Sony can keep up and fix the problem, because it is a problem, a BIG one. 
 Bear in mind, this is just my opinion as a gamer after all, but I have lost a lot of faith with Sony because it's been one misstep after another with them. They're not the giants they once were. It's as if they've gotten too big for their britches as it were and instead of making money, they seem to be losing so much money.  At this rate, they need a damn lifeboat. 
The embarrassment only gets worse as LulzSecurity has been bragging and claiming the hackings of Sony. Yes, it's the same guys that hacked PBS, the National Health Service, an FBI affiliate in Atlanta, and Nintendo. The FBI one, I can understand a bit because of the Orwellian type laws the government is trying to put forth about internet freedom. What is strange  to me is, they claimed they like Nintendo and they told the National Health Service they meant them no harm, just that they wanted to help them fix their tech issues. 
 Please pardon me as I say, WHAT THE FUCK?! Truly, WHAT THE FUCK?! If someone you didn't know  came up to you and punched you square in the face, but then said, "Oh, I don't mean you any harm, I actually like you. I just wanted to help you with your self defense." would you believe them or would you be incredibly angry that this person you don't even know hit you? Remember, be honest. I thought so. 
 Considering that up to 70 million people had to go through basically what is an incredible amount of stress worrying about identity theft because of these hackers "doing it for the lulz" (Yes, you read that right, they did in fact say that....) how can anyone believe they didn't mean any harm? The fact of the matter is, plain and simple they broke the law when they stole personal information that DID NOT belong to them. It doesn't matter that they did it for fun, because they hate Sony, because they're "trying to help", or because they're trying to prove to themselves that they can. Plain and simple for me, it really pisses me off when someone thinks they are entitled to steal my personal information just to prove they can. It doesn't just make me mad at the corporation, it also makes me quite angry at the lowlife that seems to have nothing better to do other than live in their parents basement with forty-seven cats and steal from innocent people. 
 Yes, it's cruel of me to say it, but until you've sat there watching your husband check and check and check again to make sure no fraudulent charges have been made because of cyber attacks on a network, then I don't even want to hear about the poor hackers are trying to prove a point. The poor hackers were criminals the very second they not only stole personal information, but then published it not only on their website, but in several emails to the very companies they hacked. It makes them no better than the mighty corporations and government they claim to be fighting. Personally, I think all the 70 million plus people who had to deal with this nonsense should be allowed to punch every single one of them in the face and get to publish their personal information everywhere. It's only fair. 
 That being said, of course it's up to us to be vigilant, to be responsible for changing our passwords often, and for making sure our personal information is secure, because although hackers like LulzSecurity are claimed to be a grey hat organization, they're not. There is no grey area when innocent people get hurt for the sake of their version of "fun". They are in fact, extremely arrogant and ignorant in thinking that their actions do not have consequences and incredibly foolish if they think that the rest of us are going to consider them heroes. I know I don't. I find them to be quite childish. There are more important things in this world and this life than doing something like this to others just because you can. 
 As for Sony, I truly hope they can step up and come back from all of this. They need to remember that without their customers, there is no Sony and they could treat them a lot better, especially in the customer service department.  They also need to fix the problems with their security breaches and fix them well so this doesn't keep happening or even better, never happens again. I don't know if they'll be able to carry the weight, but I hope they at least try. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Lord Of Time And A Game Of Thrones

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big Doctor Who fan. I grew up watching the old BBC episodes on PBS with my grandmother and loved every minute of it. Of course I had a couple of favorite Doctors. I really liked John Pertwee and adored Tom Baker. With the new Doctor Who episodes I love the writing and the actors they chose to play The Doctor are great. I was hesitant at first about Matt Smith because he was so young, but I gave him a shot. He did not disappoint me. I found myself liking him a great deal and he clearly loves his role. The new season of Doctor Who has started with a bang (no pun intended) with scary monsters known as The Silence. You forget about them as soon as you're not looking at them, which brings up the question how do you fight a big scary monster that you can't even see? The Doctor and his gang figure it out eventually, and it's a hell of a ride to get there. Of course there are even more questions that are pertinent to the main story of this season, but the writers aren't going to tell us just yet. We have to keep watching to find out. Personally, I would really like to know who River Song actually is to the Doctor and I'm hoping they'll give us that this season rather than all the teasing hints from the previous seasons. I'm definitely enjoying trying to find out.
 Then there's Game Of Thrones. I love the books and it's been insanely frustrating to wait for the next book A Dance With Dragons, but apparently it's being released (FINALLY!!) in July. So while I wait for July to get here, HBO has created the show to tide all of us Game Of Thrones fans over. My initial reaction was I loved it. It seems that everything has been done to keep the show as true as possible to the books, right down to the sly intrigue and carefully picking the cast to portray the various characters. For me, this is especially true with Sean Bean as Eddard (Ned) Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Those characters are brought to life vividly by their fantastic acting. This is true of the rest of the cast as well and it's quite clear that they were well chosen. It's amazing seeing the various places in the Seven Kingdoms Of Westeros spring from the books onto television. The writing and the acting are brilliant. I found myself remembering why favorite characters were my favorites.  I'm genuinely enjoying it immensely.
 So my weekends are filled with Doctor Who and Game Of Thrones, which I enjoy watching. If you love great story, adventure, and great acting, you'll enjoy them too. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Portal 2 Worth All The Hype

 Is Portal 2 worth all the hype? The answer is a resounding yes! Valve really did their homework on making the sequel to Portal fun and interesting. Portal was one of the first person games that I could play because the camera didn't bob around and make me feel nauseous. I was pleased to see that the camera angles are excellent in first person once again and don't have that wobbly bobbing effect that always makes me ill.
 There are new items in the game like hard light bridges, aerial faith plates, and propulsion gel. Each item is introduced carefully, allowing the player to become familiar with the items and how to use them. The puzzle rooms are amazingly designed, and while one puzzle may seem obvious to one person, it may not to another. There's no hard and fast learning curve with the difficulty levels of the puzzles and with the voice of GlaDos pouring often hilarious insults at you in a sing song computer voice make it entertaining.
 The humor in Portal 2 is perfectly dark with great comedic timing and terrific voice acting especially from Stephen Merchant as Wheatley. You will often find yourself chuckling, but also find yourself having that unsettling feeling throughout the story as it progresses. The main story for Portal 2 is longer than the first one, and perhaps even better which is a great thing for a sequel game.
 After you are done with the main story, you can play a co-op multiplayer stand alone story play through of the game featuring two droids Atlas and Peabody who are sent testing for GlaDos and the puzzles rely on them working well together as a team. This mode is a lot of fun with well balanced and greatly constructed puzzles.
 Valve has outdone themselves with Portal 2, with great puzzles, game play, and story. If you haven't picked up Portal 2 yet, you definitely should. It promises a great gaming experience for old and new Portal fans alike. This is definitely a game that any gamer worth his or her salt should have in their collection. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

An Open Letter To Parents Over Bulletstorm And Multimedia In General

 Apparently, there are a lot of you parents out there who are up in arms over the video game Bulletstorm because of the violence in it. It's all over the news and there are so many complaints about the dangers to your children. Being a parent myself, I can understand the concerns, but this video game is clearly not for children. Yes, children will try to be sneaky and try every trick in the book, but a good parent knows that and will handle any situation like that if it comes up with their kids. As for the rest of you parents who are so quick to blame everyone else but yourselves, pay attention.
 Parents, it's time to take back the reigns and BE A PARENT. Stop blaming everything on the various forms of media, especially video games. If you're not comfortable with the themes in a video game, film, or book and you're of the opinion it's not alright for children, then discuss that issue with your kids. I talk with my daughters all the time about what they read, see, or watch. Know why? Because as a parent that's MY JOB. It's no one else's.
 Yes, Bulletstorm is violent, but it's not meant for kids and frankly if you're a parent allowing a small child to play this video game or even considering it, then the fault is your own, not the video game industry. In general, stores and the video game industry themselves are fairly good about making sure that minors are not able to purchase the games with an adult rating, but the bottom line is that you as the parents are ultimately responsible for what your children do.
 And before any of you try to tell me oh you can't watch your kids every minute and know what they do, let me just tell you that's a load of crap meant to try and shift blame rather than take full responsibility for your inactions as a parent. While you can not watch your kids every minute of the day, you CAN talk to them about their day, have open discussions with them about the decisions they make and that you make for them as a parent, and you can be an active parent.
 It is not fair to constantly blame multimedia for being inappropriate for children and then punishing them for it. Your job as the parents is to deem what is appropriate or inappropriate for your children and censor accordingly. Stop expecting everyone else to do that for you and stop taking a back seat to parenting. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS and the only one who can really protect your children is YOU. It's time to stop playing the blame game and actively and consistently do your job as parents. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dragon Age 2 Impressions

 I finished Dragon Age 2 and let's just say I am feeling conflicted. I absolutely loved Origins and Awakening. The story was well thought out and throw in the factor of every choice you made had a consequence of being good, evil, or in a gray area, it really made you pay attention and think about what you wanted to do throughout the story line. There was also more to explore on the map, and there was some depth to the design, such as the forests of Ferelden, the Dalish elves camp, and Orzammar.
 I was extremely excited about Dragon Age 2 and even got the signature edition. You get a lot of great items and cool downloadable content like The Black Emporium shop and The Exiled Prince quest. However, playing Dragon Age 2 I couldn't help but notice a lot of glaring flaws throughout it with the battle system and with some of the map designs. There are also for me, some issues with parts of the story and this does include some of Hawke's story.
 First, let me start with why I had a problem with Hawke's story. There are parts of it that seem rather pointless, as if Hawke is going through the motions and not really driven the way the hero was in Origins and Awakening. There's a lack of intensity.  There is also a glaring lack of tough choices. I love a great story and with Origins and Awakening, there were choices that could be made that would affect the story, take it down a different path, and everything you decided had consequences. With Dragon Age 2, it seems the story was only written one way and no matter what the player does or decides, they become the Champion the same way and go through the same events. It falls flat when you think about the intricacies and plot twists of the previous two games.
 I did like the interactions with the members of your party and there were even characters I genuinely liked. I found that my top three were Varric, Fenris, and Isabela. Hawke has a voice, so some of these interactions had a little more emotion to them, but frankly it seemed like the companions were far more interesting and witty. Even their quests and stories were more interesting to me. There was one part of Hawke's story that really had me going and to the person who wrote that, I say great job. As for the rest, it just felt dull. Sure, the ending has a fantastic pivotal point to the story line, but it felt like a chore to get to it at certain points in the game.
 Overall, I had no problem with the battle system. It was much easier to navigate, the action is fast and fluid, and the AI is pretty spot on when it comes to the other party members, making for a pretty exciting furious battle. Yet, there was a problem. Let me be clear with all my friends who told me I could change the difficulty setting to casual if a battle was too hard, I DID. I then tried various tactics and party set ups and got annihilated eight times or more. I'll give everyone a moment to let that sink in. Now, maybe it's a crazy concept, but the casual setting on a video game means you don't have lots of dead party members and game over screens. Yes, it's still a battle, but not quite so difficult. When a battle is hard on the EASY setting, that's a huge problem for me. Factor in the 30 second cool down timer for healing potions, and healing spells, it borders on ridiculous.
 While I understand that the gist of this idea was it makes you plan out and think carefully about strategies for quests, boss battles, and random fights a 30 second heal timer does not work. I could understand having a timer, but 30 seconds can make or break a quest or story oriented battle in Dragon Age 2. I played as a rogue for the first play through, and I found myself kiting things a hell of a lot waiting for the timer to be up and hoping I wouldn't die before I could heal. Needless to say, it got incredibly frustrating quite a few times!
 Finally, we have the sheer laziness of the map and dungeon designs. It was as if there was just one prototype for everything when it came to the buildings in Kirkwall. The "poor house" design, and the "rich mansion" design came across as bland and was a telling sign of how rushed this game was. There's also one map for the sewers, the Deep Roads, one mine, one mountain, and one cave. You basically go back and forth with five different locations on the world map.  Compared to the other maps in the Dragon Age games, this is shameful. The map is ridiculously tiny, but it's as if they were lazy and couldn't be bothered with making the locations stand out and be unique from each other.
 I liked Dragon Age 2, but I didn't love it the way I did Origins and Awakening. I can honestly say, it's a good game, but not a great one. There's too many predictable points in some of the story telling and it's quite obvious to see where certain things were rushed especially with certain cut scenes where the characters were blinking in and out of frame. I can not in good conscience give Dragon Age 2 a stellar review as an amazing game, because it isn't. Believe me, that kills me because I absolutely love the Dragon Age series, but with that many flaws, it's not worth full price.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Little Big Planet 2 Bigger, Better, More Fun

 I love Little Big Planet, so of course I was extremely excited about Little Big Planet 2. It definitely delivered on its promise of being bigger, better, and more fun than the first. You can add your first save data to the sequel, so you have all your previous costumes and stickers. There's even more costumes to find in the sequel that are cute and fun. One of my favorites was the disco costume that changed colors as your sack person moved.
 The game play is great, and the controls are definitely easy to handle. There are even new inventions to use like the Robobun, a giant rabbit you can ride that can do an attack called Slam Attack that will smash your enemies to bits. This is especially fun in a stage called Full Metal Rabbit, (Yes I laughed when I saw that title) where you wreak havoc on the baddies with Robobun.
 The creativity of the various stages in story mode is amazing. I was delighted to see an homage to old school video games in one, then pleasantly surprised to see a tribute to old school pin ball machine games in another. The story is simple like the first, but it's fun and it had the added appeal of having an entire Sackbot army (my love of robots continues!) at my beck and call. There are some stages towards the end that are a tad tricky and I admit, I did become a little frustrated at how often my little Sack Person met a nasty demise. The worst ones seemed to be the deaths by fire or bombing. However, I did get the hang of it and managed to finish the stage and finish story mode with my Sack Person relatively undamaged.
  There's even more to do, after story mode. There are various versus levels with games like Space Pool, Races, and puzzle games  that you can play with others online or you can play your own. You can also explore the different stages that other players have created, try them out, review them, and rate them. There was one that I really liked that was an animal safari, and another that I loved that was a water park theme. My favorite was the Tron themed one with light cycles that you could race. It was a great stage to play and I was impressed that someone created that. There's so much to explore there, you will never run out of things to do on Little Big Planet 2.
 If you're feeling creative, you can even make your own stages to share with others. There's lots to choose from, and you can decide the difficulty level of your creations, and name your planet. You can offer up prizes for people who try out your stages like stickers or costumes. The possibilities are endless and more importantly, FUN.
 This game has all the bells and whistles, and I'm having such a great time playing it. Give it a try if you haven't already. It's definitely a game that should be in any game lover's collection. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ubisoft and Nintendo Wii Teamed Up For This?!

 Note: It seems Ubisoft is unhappy with all the attention the game We Dare is getting, but wasn't that the whole point of this game? They wanted to get everyone's attention and they got it. Now they have blocked all the Youtube ads here and have restricted it regionally to Europe. You can see the full ad here on this IGN article here:
So apparently in order to appear more "Grown Up" and "Adult Friendly" Ubisoft and Nintendo have come up with this new and improved way to completely traumatize and embarrass your children. Well let's face it, it's a new way to embarrass yourselves and other adults too.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a good time with your friends, but did you see where the Wii controller goes during this little video? I don't see how shoving a controller down near your backside is a good idea considering the whole concept of germs and fellas, would you really want your Wii controller back after one of your buddies has shoved it down his pants? Or would you be totally happy with them putting the controller in their mouth which is also filled with lots of nasty germs?  Yeah, I didn't think so.
 Look Nintendo, I get it. You want to branch out, be an adult, and run with the big dogs, but there is so much wrong with the concept of this game. You can have an adult game that is fun and casual without resorting to sexual innuendo and open invitation to lines like, "Hey, we should play with my Wii! Literally." Never mind that the people in this video don't seem all that comfortable with this idea and the laughter sounds forced and awkward, and just think for one minute how many couples there are out there with a Nintendo Wii and then think about how many of them are married with children. Now think about the female significant others and really think about how many of them are going to go for this game. There it is, the realization that there are probably many women who would clock the crap out of their boyfriend/husband for even suggesting getting together for a healthy round of We Dare so you can shove a Wii controller down your pants and spank each other's bottoms. Hey in some circles, that's how people roll, but in others not so much.
 Ubisoft, there isn't even a need to help you. You should hang your head in shame, you know better. It's just one disappointment after another with you and whichever one of your brilliant guys thought this up, you really need to have a long talk with them. Granted the game is a measly twenty bucks, but come on for twenty bucks most people could go see a movie, something that doesn't require supremely bad hygiene habits with a video game controller and without all that awkward tension.
 Now after all that is said and done, I'm sure there are people who will buy this game. For those with children who do buy it, just make sure your kids aren't in the house and I mean the gone for the weekend to visit Grandma kind of not in the house. It's for the best, because as we all know there are just some things you can't unsee. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Your Game Sucks Or Crowdstar Is Awful

 So yes, I admit I do play some of the games on Facebook. I have some favorites, (Bejeweled Blitz is at the top because of my love of puzzle games) and then there's some I just play once in a while just to help out my friends who play as in they need building material for a quest or they want to adopt a virtual pet. I sometimes get invites from friends to play a game and I will try it out to see how I like it. Some make it and others just aren't my thing, so they go to the deleted pile. This may also be why a lot of my friends ask me if I played this or that game. I guess basically it seems as if I play through the crap games so they don't have to.
 The games that seem to click with me are puzzle, tactics, animal/pets, or cooking oriented. I guess the appeal is (at least with puzzle games) is I can play a bit for five minutes in between commercials when I'm watching a show, because honestly, it gives me something to do before my show comes back on. The other side to it, is some of the games are genuinely fun and enjoyable to play.
 Then there's Crowdstar. What can be said about Crowdstar that isn't completely filled with every swear word possible? I tried out Happy Pets, I admit. Overall, I did like the game and the idea of adopting lots of cute virtual dogs and cats, but then you could adopt pets like jackalopes (rabbit with dear antlers), horses, and dragons. So it was interesting. However, after a while I found myself becoming bored with the tediousness of having to constantly feed my fake pets and not getting anything for it. Then of course there's the whole you have to buy Facebook Credits ordeal for any of the exclusive things such as pet dinosaurs. I found myself doing the bare minimum for the Happy Pets game and considering moving it to the deleted pile.
 A few days ago a friend of mine sent me an invitation to another Crowdstar game called It Girl. I tried it out and it was fun for about five minutes. Basically, your female avatar goes on shopping sprees and you have to find the best and hottest clothes. You also have to attend parties and have (I wish I was making this up) hotness showdowns with other girls in order to win money to spend on even more overpriced virtual couture clothing. Then, there was the quest to get a boyfriend. Once you get said boyfriend, there's a rigid rule of you have to kiss him every eight hours or he'll lose interest in you and dump you. Another way of keeping your boyfriend is you can buy him gifts, but here's the catch, all of them cost Facebook Credits. You can also get exclusive couture, but that too costs Facebook Credits, and then there's the exclusive stores you can shop at, but that also costs Facebook credits. Anyone else noticing the dirty money trail of greed going on here?
 After trying this game out, my overall impression of it was it's not good. Superficial nonsense aside, the game itself did not play well. There was constant lag, the game would freeze and the only way to solve the problem was to reload the page, and then there was the uneven battle system of the hotness showdowns. You could be completely ahead of a rival in hotness, clique size (yes, I'm sad to say your friends are referred to as a clique in this crapfest of a game), and (I wish I was making this up) closet size, and still lose. It's an understatement to say there were glitches and game issues.
 Apparently other people who played this game felt the same way and on Crowdstar's It Girl page under the Reviews tab, they voiced pretty much everything I had issue with in their reviews. There were one or two positive reviews here and there, but the overall consensus was that It Girl pretty much bit the big one. The next day, the reviews tab on the It Girl page is magically gone and Crowd Star is claiming that their game has five stars out of 120,604 reviews, all positive. Really? So rather than fix all the issues that the negative reviews brought to light, Crowdstar decides to prove that they're not only greedy money grubbing dirt bags, they decide to show that they're rotten liars too. Of course, there were lots of angry comments on their page for the It Girl game about how dishonest it was of them to do this. It also speaks volumes to me that there is no contact information whatsoever on any of the Crowdstar pages for their personal business page or for their games. There's a blatant absence of a phone number or valid street address. There isn't even a customer service feedback page anywhere. So it seems for all their so called stellar reviews the intent to perform fraud is blatantly there.
 I for one have already removed any Crowdstar games that were on my game list on my Facebook page and yes, this included the pile of dung that is the It Girl game. I am also posting this review because this is MY blog and this negative review they can not remove, and can not try to hide or lie about. Sure, it's just a Facebook game, but overall games are supposed to be fun and if you really gave a damn about making a good game Crowdstar, then you wouldn't take to these shady practices, now would you?
 I'm sure that they will continue down their greed laden path and keep ripping off everyone left and right in order to be the biggest and the best, but the people who are in the same frame of mind that I am, are not buying it. No matter how much you try to lie, cheat, and steal, you can not hide the truth about the kind of people and company you really are Crowdstar. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Green Hornet Film; The Original Is Better

 I don't even have the words for how infuriated I am right now with The Green Hornet film. There's a small part of me that wishes I could just throw a brick at Seth Rogen's crotch right now, because he absolutely deserves it along with director Michael Gondry. That's right, the director of the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind which to me was a good movie is responsible for this equally terrible movie.
 I do feel much of the blame lies with the fact that Seth Rogen co-wrote this screenplay and he claimed that he was so glad he didn't screw up one of his favorite childhood heroes. Seth, Seth, Seth....tsk tsk, someone's a dirty rotten liar Seth. Why must you constantly lie to us Seth? The truth is you messed up completely! In the original radio show, comics, and T.V. Show Britt Reid wasn't a moron. He was a smart successful newspaper publisher, he was confident, and he could fight well alongside his equally confident sidekick Kato. I loved the T.V. show and I loved the comic. I loved watching The Green Hornet on Kung Fu Saturday when I was a kid. That was the highlight of my Saturday. I would watch a couple of episodes of The Green Hornet and then watch the featured kung fu film. That's a sacred childhood memory and you, Seth Rogen along with your director have pissed all over it.
Not only did you make Britt Reid a total jerk, you made him stupid too! He loosely based Britt Reid on Paris Hilton? Are you kidding me with this nonsense?
 Seth Rogen's Britt Reid is a spoiled rich brat who shows no interest in running the newspaper, but he instead becomes buddies with Kato his mechanic and coffee maker. I felt bad for Jay Chou because he's no Bruce Lee, but he did alright in spite of Seth Rogen constantly hyperventilating and shouting in every scene. He tried, he really did. Cameron Diaz's role as Reid's secretary Lenore Case is completely useless. She's basically camera filler with a great smile.
 Of course, The Green Hornet has to have a villain and that is Christoph Waltz (Oscar winner from Inglorious Basterds) as Chudnofsky, but there is no depth to the character which proves bad writing is bad writing. Now I like action scenes as much as the next person, but it's as if Seth Rogen got bored and just added as much action as possible as filler rather than having an actual plot that tells the story. There's also so much pointless dialogue, watching this train wreck of a film is like being stuck in a dentist's chair having a root canal with no anesthesia. Yes, it's that damn bad. Not even the overpriced 3-D could save this film. That is just a gimmick to get more money out of people and this film proved that point real quick.
 There is so much that could have been done to make this film version of the T.V. show great, but none of it was done. Instead, we get a film that is so terrible with no plot at all, a fake Britt Reid (I don't care what you say Rogen, that character you played was NOT Britt Reid! You are a liar sir!), a subdued Kato that got overshadowed by the crazy rich brat, a useless vapid secretary, and a villain that's about as threatening as a labradoodle. Seth Rogen and Michale Gondry you should be ashamed and embarrassed that your names are on this piece of trash.
 Don't waste your money on this folks and certainly don't waste it on 3-D. The original is better and I'm sure that Mr. Rogen's going to have several bricks thrown at his crotch for even writing this awful screenplay. Just please, do us a favor and go sit in the corner with M. Night Shyamalan and quit making movies, because you really screwed the pooch on this one pal.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Of Sackboys, Dragon Ages, And A Bulletstorm

Well, I hope everyone had a happy holiday season. Ours was quite nice. Now, it's time to get back into the swing of things, so we'll start off with a few of the games that I'm excited about playing in the new year. First up, is Little Big Planet 2. I loved the first game, and love it still. With a great musical soundtrack and levels that are actually fun to play through a second time or more, Little Big Planet has a lot going for it. I also loved the designs and artwork for each world. There's never a dull moment in the game, and there's so many things you can do such as designing your own challenging stage, trying on different costumes on your sackboy or sackgirl,  or even trying out stages that other players have designed online. The possibilities are endless.
 While I was a little disappointed that the developers for Little Big Planet 2 pushed back the release date to January 18th, I do understand that they want the sequel game to be even more fun than the first and they want to do it right. However, I am glad that the wait for this game will be over soon.
 Bulletstorm is intriguing to me. After reading up on it, I have to admit I was a bit dismayed to see it evolved into a first person shooter. The reason for that reaction is I tend to get incredibly bad vertigo playing in a first person point of view. Borderlands camera angles that bobbed like a yo-yo were so bad that I actually thought I was going to be physically ill. Unfortunately, I had gotten the game for the 360 so there was no way to turn that bobbing motion off, but I found you could turn off for the PC version. I still do not understand why they didn't have that feature for the 360 version. It would have been nice! So, I was a little hesitant when I was reading up on how the developers for Bulletstorm had decided it worked better as a first person shooter. I mean, the concept art for the game was amazing and  I have to say I was a sucker for the artwork for the giant monster plants. It had potential to me from all the articles I read, so I found myself being excited about it.
 Then I hear about the first person shooter deal and I'm torn. I've been waiting for this game for months and genuinely excited ever since I first heard about it. I decided to try and keep an open mind and check out their website. I'm glad I did. The sample trailer they had blew me away. Yes, it's a first person shooter, but it made me hopeful. It looked great and I think I could actually play this without getting raging bouts of vertigo. The camera was spot on and didn't do odd angles, and just the few minutes they showed looked great. I got excited about Bulletstorm all over again. I was pleasantly surprised and now I can't wait for this game to be released. 
 Next of course is Dragon Age 2. I loved Dragon Age and played through all the story lines, did all the side quests, and played through all the downloadable content, (I'm a nerd people, this is what I do) loving every minute of it. I even played all the angles of every possible romance. Yes, all of them. The story was brilliant and wonderfully written, making you care about each and every character. It even made me really hate the super villains and the ambiguous ones. I did love the aspect of good and evil was not black and white here, there were shades of gray and your decisions affected each part of the story in some way.
 As soon as I heard about Dragon Age 2, I began reading all the articles voraciously, writing down dates, notes, and reminders to myself that I absolutely wanted this game. My good friend Gary informed me of the preorder deal they had for fans of the game, which I checked out. It was a limited edition preorder where you could get downloadable content titled The Exiled Prince as well as a downloadable soundtrack and exclusive in-game weapons. The cutoff date was January 11th. I made it in time thanks to my wonderful husband Ron, who ordered it for me.  For those who missed the limited edition boat, you can get The Exiled Prince on XBOX Live after the March launch, but it will cost you 560 MS Points. A bit steep, but at least it will be available to others who wish to play it.
 Release dates for the games listed are: Little Big Planet 2 Januray 18, 2011
                                                           Bulletstorm February 22, 2011
                                                           Dragon Age 2 March 8, 2011
 There are so many more games coming out this year that I am looking forward to, but these are the games that will be out in the first three months of 2011, and I'm ecstatic that they're finally going to be here. It looks like 2011 is going to be a promising gaming year.