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Category Archives: Videogames

The other day I decided my life was becoming drab; I was in desperate need of change.  The solution: buy some videogames.

While I was debating between getting Street Fighter IV, Call of Duty, and Resistance: fall of man, my friend spotted a game to behold.  I needed to look no further.  Based on its title alone, I was sold.  This game was FACEBREAKER.  There was no way I was turning down a game called Facebreaker.  Although I didn’t need any further convincing, the description on the back of game reinforced my decision.  A claim that this game could potentially “ruin friendships” guided me straight to the checkout counter.  But I digress.

I have read many reviews on IGN, Gamespot, Gamepro, and other various websites and blogs that comment on this game.  They have all given it poor ratings except for a select few who actually took the time to understand the concept; like this guy and this guy.  Underneath the comical exterior and simple controls lie an amazingly deep, strategic fighter.  I am outraged that those reviewers were so quick to hand out bad reviews based on shallow first impressions.

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Not only does Facebreaker have fun and exciting gameplay, but this game has tons of style.  It has an arcade-like feel with vicious battles between characters with unique personalities.  More than once while playing this game, I was in tears laughing while getting my ass beat at the same time.  On a scale of 1-10, I give it a rating of Absolutely Hilarious.

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Some people aspire to become successful doctors, lawyers, and/or engineers.  Others do whatever it takes to get rich. These goals are highly respectable in their own right and allows them to be highly valued members of society.

Me?

My aspirations include becoming a world class trash talker.

Trash talking, shit talking, or jibber jabber (i made the last one up but it sounds fitting) is a highly underrated skill that evolves as we get older.  It takes on many forms; aggressive, passive, or even passive-aggressive.  Sometimes they are subtle, sometimes they are brash.  It can be tasteful as well as disgustingly vulgar.  It all depends on personal style and taste.  Whatever the case is, its ability to leave a person mentally distraught and broken cannot be denied.

Traces of its origins can be found on the playground where a simple “scaredy cat” taunt can cause a kid to break down and cry.  As we grow older, our shit talking becomes more sophisticated, often insulting one’s family members as well as questioning their sexuality.

Now trash talking may not improve society in any way and may very well cause one to question humanities integrity, but it does have its place in life.  I personally use it in basketball, dota, clubs, bars, and amongst friends.  These are only a few ideal places for trash talking to go down.  Trash talking provides one with a mental edge by causing an opponent to lose focus by injuring or damaging their psyche.  This intangible skill is often frowned upon due to its insensitivity and ignorance; however, if success is achieved, does the end not justify the means?

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These are a few words of advice to trash talking that should be considered, lest you look the fool.

  1. Always be prepared to back it up.
  2. Targeting personal insecurities are the most effective.
  3. Do not trash talk anyone you don’t think you could take in a fight.
  4. The more creative the insult, the more devastating it is.
  5. The key is to stay calm no matter what happens because this exchange of insults can be considered a game in itself.  Losing your cool is like a red flag; declaring to your opponent that he has struck a nerve.
  6. If your opponent is ever able to leave you speechless, look them dead in the eye and respond with “well played.” This is a sign of respect, acknowledging a fellow trash talker and at the same time defusing the situation.

Since my purchase of the ps3, I have been desperately searching for validation through exclusive games only available to Sony.  Receiving numerous awards and a slew of near-perfect reviews, I came to the conclusion that Little Big Planet was one of those titles that will justify my purchase.

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Meh.

I will say this, this game is completely innovative and deserves “mad props” for its creativity and concept. The idea of a large community of players designing and creating their own levels, customizing their characters, and sharing it with the rest of the world sounds glorious in theory.  The customization of your character is really cool, but it’s solely for aesthetic purposes.  The idea of a whole community of players creating levels, sharing feedback, garnering reviews and ratings based on their stage all sounds amazing, but people are lazy.  Creating a level demands some basic understanding of the functions of the stage creation features, which many people just don’t take the time to learn.

However, its actual gameplay is lacking in depth. It is a simple platform game where the goal is the reach the end through a combination of running, jumping, and grabbing.  Soon the stages get repetitive and you’ll find yourself performing the same actions while you run around and collect stuff.

The controls are clumsy even though there are only 2 buttons that have any functional value.  Jump and grab. Moving in between foreground and background is a hassle and the jump function is inconsistent.  Imprecise controls are extremely frustrating especially in a platform game.

This game is great for kids under the age of 12 who have all the time in the world to mess around and build intricate stages.  As for me, it is a little too kiddie for my taste.  Perhaps I have lost my “inner child.”

After work, I went to happy hour at Dave and Busters which combines 2 of my favorite things and puts them in the same place.

Unfortunately I did not get to play a single video game because apparently me and my friends spent 3 hours drinking and playing the “most likely to…” game.  I pitched my idea to play a racing game intoxicated so that we could experience drunk driving without the risk of a DUI.

I decided to forego my dinner and go to other bars downtown.  Big mistake in retrospect.  Today my head felt like an angry Donkey Kong trying to escape a small cubicle.

RPGs are way more fun when you pick up extra party members and drunken adventures are no different.  A marine medic from Serbia and his sister spontaneously decided to tag along and get drunk with us.  At the bar, I took a bite out of a suspicious sandwich which happened to belong to one the staff members.  In response to this, the bartender laughed his ass off and decided to give me and my friends free sandwiches.  I was deliciously grateful.

Other “randies” include: a crazy old man who filmed 2 documentaries but was too ashamed of them to reveal their titles, a tall and flirtatious girl from Cali with a gargantuan brother (“I’m gonna be over there NOT hitting on your sister”), and a short dude who happened to be the singer from an independent band called cloud 9 insisted on getting my number.  Weird.

It has come to my attention that there is an uncanny resemblance between two of my favorite things: Basketball and Dota.

One is a sport that has been played for decades while another is an online video game that is spawned off Warcraft 3.  The glaring initial difference may cause one to think that these two hobbies are worlds apart but when you get to the core of each game, they are one in the same.  Preaching this similarity for a while, I decided to take upon the initiative to write about it.

1. Teams

Let’s start with the obvious.  Right off the bat, team play starts with 5 on 5 both in Dota and in basketball.  There can be variations of the numbers (ex. 3v3), but the max available roster spots for one team is 5.

2. Player Roles

Roles are an imperative factor in each game.  In basketball, you have your scorer, your defender, your rebounder, shot blocker, etc.  while dota has its own set of skills that each player may possess such as ganker, carry, initiator, stunner etc.  Of course in both there are overlapping skills and roles but you get the gist.  Usually a good team is synced so that each player plays to their strengths such allowing the best shooter to take the shots or allowing your carry to farm.

3. Philosophy

Different philosophies will always exist.  The “right” way to play team ball or the “right” way to gank.  There are so many theories all aimed for the same result: victory.  There is nothing more fun than to come up with a winning strategy, execute it, and obtain that coveted W.  Beware of conflicting philosophies.  This clash may ruin your team chemistry and being on the same page is essential for any team.

4. Noobs

Noobs and newbs will both exist as long as there are people drawn to each game.  There will always be those incorrigible “black holes” in basketball (once you throw it in there it never comes out) as well as “feeders” (people who constantly die from negligence).  These people shall be referred to as NOOBS because they suffer from ignorance as opposed to Newbs whose only sin is lack of experience.

5. Statistics

The only statistical category they share is the assist which is common in many sports.  The similarities in statistics lies in the fact that they are self serving and can lead to hurting the team.  There are openings for greed and this greedisnotgood.  In basketball, fighting for boards instead of boxing out will cause your team many turnovers as well as giving up offensive boards.  Similarly in Dota, fighting over a kill means that each person will save their nukes/skills for the final blow and potentially allowing an opponent to get away or worse wasting the more powerful spells unnecessarily on a single opponent.  In addition KSing will make your teammates bitter.

6. Trash Talk

Trash talking is apparent in both games and can be a useful tool for getting under your opponent’s skin and in their heads.  I am a huge fan of this tactic although I try and keep it tasteful and effective as opposed to acting semi-retarded.  The difference in the level of trash talking in Dota is astronomical compared to basketball due to the anonymity of the internet.  Thus allowing internet users more freedom to speak out and spew out whatever garbage they please.  This is where I favor basketball because the same type of behavior may earn you an early dental and/or optometry appointment.

7. Competition

Pickup games as well as leagues.  There is always a game to be played, whether if its with your friends or with complete strangers in a “pub.”  Basketball and Dota both provide sociable conditions in which communication with your teammates is of utmost importance.  Both games have recreational to competitive leagues.

dota-warcraft-pudge-papercraft-fresh-meat VS.   92551c6fc3_glen

“The Butcher” Pudge VS. “Big Baby” Glen Davis…who wins?

Starting off, I have a few qualms about one of the greatest RPGs ever made;  Fallout 3.  Now I complete loyalty towards the series and have been a fan since fallout 1 was released on the PC.  This third installment far surpassed all my expectation but it really bothers me that they would solely exclude the downloadable content for the ps3.  It is one of the major consoles that is able to play the damn game and yet they decide not to include a huge feature of the game.  This means that new quests, items, and areas will not be accessible to ps3 owners.

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In addition the GRAPHICS better on xbox 360 than ps3!!

I understand how the pc would have greater graphics due to the insane specs of the systems they use in testing, but I mean honestly, the ps3 was released way later than the xbox 360 because it boasted better technology, faster rendering, hence better graphics and smoother gameplay.  Instead, the reviews for xbox came out higher than on the ps3.  For ps3 owners and fanboys this is a devastating blow to the  ego (myself included).  My takes on this is that the programmers are not adept enough at fully exploiting the capabilities of the ps3 while the xbox 360 uses a proven and more familiar coding making it easier to render and light.

Also I am not sure about anyone else but my fallout 3 game tends to freeze occasionally for a few seconds and sometimes indefinitely.  This problem worries me sometimes about the stability of the system.  I would love to defend my choice of buying the ps3 but I feel that it is a hopeless battle.  I am debating whether or not to trade in my ps3 for an xbox 360 but the “red ring of death” plays a role in my deciding factor as well.

If you would like to read more about fallout 3 on ps3 vs. xbox 360 vs. pc theres a great review on ign:   http://ps3.ign.com/articles/926/926649p1.html

This review provides a great comparison between the 3 systems.  Let me know what you think.

Dwell on this statement: “Super Smash Bros. Melee is hands down, the best fighting game ever made.”

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Ok now don’t just come to the conclusion that, “This guy is full of shit and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”  I have played my fair share of fighting games, i.e. Smash bros. 64, Smash bros. brawl, Tekken 5, Virtua Fighter 4, the Street Fighter series, Mortal Kombat series, Bushido Blade (loved the concept but controls were terrible), Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur II, and weird ones like Shaq Fu, Samurai Showdown, Killer Instinct, and even Ninja Turtles: turtles in time (yes it had a vs mode).  Granted that majority of those games are outdated and for 16 bit consoles, but I have gotten competitive in most of them.  SSBM has been the most deep, stylish and rewarding game in the entire genre of fighting games.

The innovation and creativity lies in its simple and ingenious design.  The unique concept of solely knock the opponent off the stage as opposed to depleting a static bar of life is what differs itself from all other fighting games.  Achieving victory won’t often end with a jab or a shin kick, but instead a rather heavy blow or well timed spike.  Damage does plays a decent role in increasing the susceptibility of being knocked out or off the stage but it is not the deciding factor.

For those of you willing to read any further, here are in depth reasons as to why SSBM is the best game ever made:

1. characters

Ranging from the cuddly and lovable Pikachu to the powerful and insidious Gannondorf, the characters in this game are prominent figures from all the Nintendo classics as well as a couple of obscure ones such as Marth and Roy from the japanese game Fire Emblem.  (My personal favorites are Mario, Ness, Donkey Kong, and Young Link)

2. spikes

In no other fighting game are there battles that can give one player an early demise from a badass mid-air attack sending them in a downward trajectory with no hopes of recovery.  This type of move requires pristine timing and control but when pulled off, is one of the coolest highlights in any video games up to date.

3. multiplayer (more than 2)

This feature is amazing in that it allows up to 4 players to fight simultaneously on one stage.  In the midst of all the chaos, only one victor can survive and creates a true battle royal free for all type of atmosphere.  Additionally teams can be made to have 2 vs 2 (one of my personal favorites) and even 3 vs 1 for those who are exceptional relative to the other 3.

4. unlockables

One of the coolest features is that there are so many trophies, characters, stages, settings, and items to be unlocked that the replay value of this game is borderline infinite.  A bonus perk to unlocking all the features is that it also familiarizes you with all the characters.

5. fun single player

Okay, so far all that has been mentioned has been multiplayer which accounts for the BULK of why this game is the best, but the single player is often overlooked.  The single player mode offers adventure, events, target tests, and even a home run challenge.

6. newb friendly controls

This is integral to the core of the gaming concept and it follows suit with the idea of simplicity.  What is the point of memorizing a character specific move only to find out that it does not apply to any other character in any other game.  For example, in order to pull off a super move for Vega in SF IV I had to hold DB for 2 secs and move it DF back to DB and then UR and press all 3 kicks at the same time.  I managed to do it but it was absolutely frustrating because it took repeated attempts and could only be pulled off if the opponent happened to jump at the right time.

With SSBM all that is negated.  Instead the controls for every character was the same.  The differences were in power, speed, and point of contact to which that move was made.  This made controls for the characters more intuitive and provided a higher incentive for expanding your horizons for playing a larger variety of characters.  It also allowed newbs to pick up the game much easier.

7. depth

When you think you have covered most of the moves and timing of the characters you find out that there is so much more to the game than you had originally expected.  There are advanced moves that exploit the engine to which it was created and it makes for an even more stylistic fight.  On top of that all, there are no set combos as in all those other games where someone can pull off a 10 hit combo by executing a series of commands regardless of how the other players controls their character.  Instead the combos in this game are all improvisational and each character can be played according to the users own unique style.

Whew! that was long but for the most part necessary.  Of course this is my objective view but I would definitely like to hear what you think.  ANY TAKERS?