Thursday, June 16, 2011

UPDATE: Battlefield 3 Boycott

It seems EA has come to it's senses! Somewhat... In a recent blog post by Karl Magnus Troedsson, GM of DICE, it has been announced that the Physical Warfare Pack will be available to everyone for free "later in the year." My question is, how long does he mean by later in the year? And why do they need to release it later? Why can't they just release it with the game! EA you still have a lot to work on, but at least you took a step in the right direction. Now if you'd just allow people to pre-order from Steam...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Battlefield 3 Boycott

I'm sure most of you have heard of the recent movement that started on Reddit to boycott Battlefield 3. I thought I would take a couple moments to talk about my feelings on it. Here's what's going on, and why people are doing this. EA has decided to take out a couple weapons and gun accessories out of the game, as well as a couple maps, in order to get people to buy the game new. Not to mention if you buy it used, I guarantee they will charge you to play online. There's an item that reduces the muzzle flash on a sniper rifle, and DICE has said that you cannot be an effective recon sniper without it. Also, the LMG looks pretty important along with a shotgun and special shotgun rounds. EA has released a bogus FAQ on the matter. I say bogus because it doesn't answer any of the issues and proves they are incompetent fools. Boycott FAQ.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Portal 2" Review

Portal 2 is the new, hugely popular sequel to the original Portal game by the game developer, publisher, and distributor, Valve. Following the success of its predecessor, Portal 2 features a first-person gameplay where the object is to use a 'portal gun' (obviously enough, it is a gun that shoots portals) along with the environment to advance through the test stages of Aperture Laboratories, run by the corrupt GLaDOS. My game review, after the jump.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recent inactivity.

Hey guys. I'm sorry I haven't made a post in the last couple days, especially since E3 was last week. I've been distracted with other things like the 24 Hours of Le Mans race (which was epic btw) and the Formula 1 GP of Montreal. But I have a post planned for tonight, and I'll be back to posting regularly hopefully. I've been trying to get my hands on a copy of Dirt 3 to give it a review. Hopefully that works out. Otherwise I should have some more content from E3 and a couple reviews of some older games for you guys. Sorry again, and I hope you guys have a wonderful day :).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Microsoft's E3 Press Conference 2011

Oh boy, what a way to start off E3. I don't know why there are so many people out there complaining about Microsoft's show. I thought it was brilliant. It did start to wear on me towards the end with all the Kinect stuff mainly focused towards kids and families. I gotta say though, it was all pretty darn impressive. Even the stuff I wasn't interested in, I still had to give props where they were due. There was a lot of stuff announced and covered in this conference, so to keep you from getting bored I'll just go over what I am most excited for from Microsoft.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rant #1 Unnecessary Charges and Micro-Transactions

What do I mean by unnecessary charges? I'm talking about things that companies charge you extra for. Like services that clearly should be free. For instance, in my review of Mass Effect 2 I talked a bit about how EA does it. They charge you extra just to be able to access the DLC. You have to pay in order to pay! It's insanity! The only people who would think this is a good idea, are people that work for companies doing this.

EA isn't the only one though, there are several companies taking part in this nonsense. Activision/Blizzard is another. Sure a monthly fee for WoW is fine, but when you start adding these stupid micro-transactions things get a little dicey. Now of course, I don't think micro-transactions are bad entirely. It all depends on your content and your reasons for charging for it. For example, Blizzard has added several new mounts and pets that you can pay for with money. I don't see the point in this, and therefore I will NEVER pay extra in order to have a fancy mount that eventually everyone else will have aka "That Retarded Horse." Thank you TB (of which I am a huge fan of) for explaining that for me.

Also you have EA, once again, that have added silly micro-transactions into all of their games. Like Need for Speed, you can actually buy all of the cars in the game with real money. WHY? You're basically taking the game, out of the GAME! They do this with NHL 11 as well as other sports games like Madden. You can actually buy boosts for your character that otherwise you would have to work hard to get. This ruins online play because you have people that worked hard for their achievements, then you have someone else who didn't do anything and has max everything. Again, taking the game out of the GAME! Come on guys, this is just stupid now. You don't even deserve to call yourself a gamer if you would rather play this way.

On the other hand, look at what Riot games is doing with League of Legends. The game is completely free to play, but they have a system called "Riot points" that allow you to purchase champions or skins for real money. Obviously they have to make a profit somehow, and I think this is a great system. Buying skins or champions doesn't give you an advantage in any way, and the gameplay remains the same. This is how all micro-transactions should be. In no way should they affect the actual gameplay.

Now I bet your asking, "why are you upset about Blizzard then?" Well that's a simple question. They already charge you monthly, why do they need more money? They don't. That brings me to my final point. These companies already take millions of your dollars every year. Why do they need to charge you an extra couple bucks for something totally unnecessary like accessing DLC or online play? That's right, you can't actually play online with EA games if you bought the game used. You need to pay them. Companies are just nickel and dime-ing people left and right. They are getting to be as bad as banks, and I haven't heard a single person say "I love it when my bank charges me for using another ATM," or "I really hope my bank charges me 35 dollars for over drafting by 1 cent." We don't need this in the gaming community, we give them plenty of money and fame already. Yet for some reason, we sit here and let them have their way with us. Without us, they wouldn't be as famous as they are.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mass Effect 2 Review! 9.5/10

Hello, and welcome to my very first game review. I chose Mass Effect 2 for a couple of reasons. The first being that it's still fairly new, and with Mass Effect 3 coming out, I'm sure there will be people who still have not experienced this incredible series. Secondly, this game really is just that, incredible. It's one of the best games I have ever played in my life. I'd hardly even classify this as a "game" it's more or less an "experience." It's a must play for any RPG/Science Fiction fan.

Gameplay: For those of you that have played Mass Effect 1, you may remember combat being somewhat "lacking." Well, for ME2 they have definitely revamped the way battles are fought. For starters, there is no heath meter. ME2 uses the "CoD style" regenerating health, which I know I know, is usually pretty lame when used in RPG's, but Bioware seem to have nailed it perfectly. Medi-gel is now used to revive downed team members, and you can only carry about 3 to start with (which can be upgraded later on). B-b-but only 3? Yes, I know that's a low number, but it seems Bioware has improved AI functionality as well. There are still those moments where you wonder if your companions are off baking cookies, but for the most part they very capable allies. Usually it comes down to preference when choosing your team, but if you're hardcore and decide to play on the hardest setting, you will need to choose your team wisely.

Now, let's talk about items and customization, because what's an RPG without items, upgrades, and customization? The character creation is pretty much unchanged from ME1. The one exception being that you can import your character from the first game! All the standard classes are still available as seen below.

 But aside from that, pretty much everything else in this category has completely changed from the first game. You no longer need to loot bodies, and search every nook and cranny, or scour every planet in the solar system! Wait... But.... What? Yes, you heard me right. No more looting, in fact, no more inventory for that matter. Now, before you get all up in arms here me out. THIS SYSTEM IS AMAZING! I mean it. I love looting and upgrading just as much as the next RPG gamer, but here Bioware has created something special. Looting has been reduced to finding boxes of "minerals" or credits laying around each level. The credits can be used to buy special upgrades you wont find on your ship's computer, and for buying fuel and probes to explore the galaxy. These "minerals" are used to buy upgrades for armor, weapons, and even your ship! This is a great system, because I remember spending hours searching random planets only to find that there really is no point for me to be exploring them. Now, instead of that, you can fly up to the planets and send out probes to collect minerals in a neat little mini-game. Also, there is no more worrying about a cluttered inventory!


Now I'm not a stickler for graphics, but ME2 looks amazing. From stunning views of space, to planets rich with beautiful environments, this is one of the best looking games out there. Even the characters themselves look impressive, which is usually where some games falter. As a result of all this, the immersion level is out of this world (literally). Conversations are some of the best moments in the game simply because you feel almost as if you're right there next to Shepard has he/she talks to the inhabitants of the game world. This man in the picture above, known only as the "illusive man" is probably the best designed character to ever grace a video game. There's a reason he was named the best character of 2010 by IGN. You can find that article here. This game makes you feel as if you're actually a part of the action every second.

Story: I'm going to keep this short and simple, because most of what needed to be said has already been said. This is one of the absolute best stories out there. Period. If you're a science fiction fan you need this game. I would definitely love to see this series adopted into a movie (if done correctly of course...).

Conclusion: Now you might be wondering why I haven't mentioned anything bad about this game yet, is it really that good? Well, in a word, yes. But there is something that is going to keep me from giving Mass Effect 2 a perfect score. That something, is EA. The reason is quite simple really. As some of you may know already, EA charges people to play and access online content. It's free if you buy the game new, but if you want to buy a used copy (which let's face it, ME2 is about 20 bucks now, why wouldn't you?) you will have to PAY in order to even pay for the DLC that's currently available. It's not expensive, around 5 bucks, but still completely unnecessary and a total d*ck move on EA's part. I could go on for hours about how much I hate crap like this, but I'll save that for a rant blog. Right now this is about ME2, and by no means should you not buy this game. Yes EA is stupid for charging money for this, BUT buy the game anyway, it's worth it.

One of the absolute best games ever made, and on my top 5 for sure. Due to EA's incompetency I am forced to only give ME2 a 9.5/10