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.