Crispy Gamer

Crispy Gamer | Blogs

  • Now that we have had some time to fully digest Microsoft and Sony’s “future of fun” motion controllers (Project Natal and Move, respectively) I thought it would be a good time to dissect them a little before we get a larger picture of them at E3.  As I stated in an earlier blog post, I am not a fan of motion controls; never have been, and from what I’ve seen from these two new controllers, I wont be any time soon.  

     
         It’s not as if I didn’t give motion controls a chance.  I initially played Twilight Princess on the GameCube, but ultimately felt empty after hearing that the true, full experience could only be had with the Wii.  I fired up TP on a borrowed Wii, and plunged headfirst into a world of adventure, where my skillful hands would guide Link to victory by means of impeccable motion control.  
     
     ...
  • We all know that video game movies are a tricky thing to get right. No one liked silver screen adaptations of Doom, Resident Evil, or Tekken. Not even Angelina Jolie could save Lara Croft: Tomb Raider from abysmal reviews.

    Of course, that doesn’t stop those film executives. There’s nothing more appearing to producers than a built in audience. Unfortunately that means dozens of adaptations of pop literature, 70’s television shows, and video games. I can’t blame some people for wanting video game movies when so many games try so hard to be cinematic. Most of these games have some sort of a plot, or at least mildly developed characters.

    But that silly notion—basing a script on a story of some kind is what makes it an adaptation—no longer matters in Hollywood. No, we don’t just get Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time. We get something so much better—Space Invaders, Asteroids...

  • "From somewhere, a transmission..."

    I'm a few hours into the Wii version of Cave Story, and I can't help but appreciate creator Daisuke Amaya's love for games.  I feel like I'm playing a strange, but wonderful, amalgam of some of Nintendo's biggest titles.  Super Mario's dark, platformed caves, Zelda's device driven puzzle-solving and item collection, Mega Man's frantic hop-and-shoot, and Pokémon's whimsical depiction of an everyday world filled with fantastic technology.   But while it’s clear that Cave Story honors its ancestors, it’s readily apparent that this game’s story runs far deeper than any of its influencers.

    I’m particularly enjoying Cave Story’s experience system.  Defeated enemies drop experience pellets, which...

  • First off, I have to say, despite all of its faults, I was a big fan of the original Red Steel that released way back in 2006. I thought the shooting controls were exciting with the Wiimote and I was able to tolerate the sword controls once I got the hang of it. Sure, the Wiimote didn't always read what I was doing very well but, I still enjoyed the experience. Swords, guns, killing; it was simple and I liked it.

    That being said, Red Steel 2 is what the game should have been when the series first debuted. I'm glad to be able to shoot and use my sword seamlessly, which you could not do in the original game. It's kinda sad that it took Nintendo this long to come out with something a bit more precise like the Wii Motion Plus because the faults of the first Red Steel likely scared off many developers...

  • I'm not sure it's fair to say the first few hours I've played Just Cause 2 can really be called "initial impressions". I've been playing the demo, off and on, for a month now, sometimes multiple times a day. So today is about the furthest from "initial" as you could get. That said, I'm still giddy with excitement to jump into this open world. So without further ado, it's now time for a Just Cause 2 stream of consciousness. 

    • Pro - The islands of Panau are beautiful; there are no two ways about it. Everything, from the lush green jungle to the wind-blasted snowy peaks, is hyper-real, as befits a game as over-the-top as this one.

    • ...

  • Last week, I had the bittersweet experience of having the final spring break of my college career.  Admittedly, most of it was spent playing Final Fantasy XIII without stopping so I could get the review up for you fine folks as quickly as possible.  However, on Saturday, some friends and I decided to take a trip to Atlantic City.  For the most part, it was an awesome time.


        The day began chilling out on the beach, but as fun as the beach was, the one thing I had most looked forward to was hitting up the casino for a little while to gamble, drink, and be merry; the cap on a perfect day.  However, once I entered Caesar’s and sat down at a slot machine, I was immediately turned off by what happened next.


        There was a woman sitting next to me who spoke poor English having difficulty...

  • This will be my first blog entry for Crispy Gamer and I'm thrilled to be contributing to the site. Aside from playing and replaying the Just Cause 2 demo about 30 times (not hyperbole), I've also been sneaking on to my girlfriend's Steam account to try out Bioshock 2. Two descriptors pervade my thoughts as I play this sequel: "repetition" and "going through the motions".

         About two hours into the game, I started to realize that I was collecting the same basic guns, and the exact same plasmids, in the same order as Bioshock. I don't think I've ever played a sequel so beholden to its progenitor, that it literally copies the exact same progression. Upon first feeling a sense of deja vu, I immediately started to become resentful of the game. After all, why did I have to work so hard to claim the...

  •  You know that slow, deliberate pace you might take in a lone hall, peripheral vision prattling with the whisper of movement; when you listen hard, when you can hear anxious sweat beading on your forehead. Metro 2033 captures these moments in all their tension. Atmospheric craft is exquisite in this game and really shows how much work 4A Games put into Metro 2033. 

    I thought this might just be another run of the mill shooter with assault rifle fire resulting in a corpse-carpeting job, but so far, I’ve been proven wrong. So many little details culminate in an enthralling experience. Being able to blow out candles to increase stealth, using a lighter to look at your notepad, being smothered by the sound of your breathing in your gas mask, pumping the pressure on your pneumatic sniper rifle, so many little elements wrap you and drag you into the...

  • Despite the fact that I got myself really excited for Final Fantasy XIII, I kept my expectations low.  Through three and a half hours of the game, I haven’t seen enough yet to say that my expectations are being blown away, but there are definitely some positive things happening here.  

    Without revealing too much about the beginning of the story, I can tell you that the game really hits the ground running, opening up with a daring escape that eventually leads the cast into a city-wide battle of epic proportions.  As amazing as that sounds, the opening phase of the game falls flat on its face due to its pacing.  What should be a quick-tempo, action-packed battle sequence is instead a slow, plodding wade through a swamp of ill-conceived and cryptic dialogue.  Since then, the plot has been picking up some speed, enough to keep me interested. 
     
    What really shines so far (other than the absolutely...
  • Bored at Work: The Series
    When away from videogames, many of our readers will find themselves bored.  Either at work or at school, our minds will always wander from the task at hand back to the pastime we love.  Bored at Work will be a weekly blog post dedicated to my absent-mindedness at my day job; a tribute to finding games to play or think about, wherever they may be found.

    Music Catch 2

        When I waste time at work (and as a projectionist, there is a lot of downtime) I often find my way to Kongregate to make the day go a little faster.  If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend signing up.  When you play games there, you earn achievements that increase the level of your account, and as an achievement whore, I sink a lot of time into it. 

         However,...

  •  
     
    I've been reading a lot lately from different blogs on whether "art games" should be evaluated, and are as important as a normal video game. For those unfamiliar an art game is a classification of more independent games that aim more at providing a unique message or perspective that most conventional games do not offer. One of the more popular...
  • Acronyms are great. They save precious seconds of typing. In the time it would take to write out “Team Fortress Two” instead of “TF2” you might be able to read the first few words of a news article. And you do make the phrase stand out by putting it in all caps instead of capitalizing it like the proper noun it is.

    I suppose if you write TF2 fifty times on a particular forum, you might rack up a whole minute, and you might put that to good use. The internet is a place for acronyms to run free, so long as you’re using acronyms in their natural habitat.

    So, abbreviate games as much as possible on GameFaq’s but don’t go to the Hulu comment section and starts typing about COD4. Stick with whole words and common internet abbreviations like “lol” and “btw.”

    Any specialized forum—not just game forums—has its own set of abbreviations. This gives message boards a personality beyond...

  • What's every gamer's fantasy? Inappropriate activity while playing Halo? All the time in the world to play WoW? Or is it to take down a hot chick in Call of Duty 4?

    The creators of GameCrush.com seem to believe it's the later. The new website offers guys a chance to play "flirty" or "dirty" games against the females of their choice, for a fee.

    Players can play either 10 minute rounds of X-box 360 games including Call of Duty 4, Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV and Halo, or casual PC flash games including Checkers, Battle Ship, Billiards, and Tic Tac Toe. With X-box games players communicate via headset only while PC games let girls showcase their goods via Webcam.

    The website does not currently list the cost of these potentially erotic encounters. Given that girls can make upwards of $30 an hour--a rate slightly...

  • I’m sure that since March 1st, 2010, you have heard some interesting news concerning Activision, Infinity Ward, and the suspicious firing of Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.  A formal document of complaint (which can be read in full  at Kotaku) was issued recently by West and Zampella detailing the history between Infinity Ward and Activision, as well as their current situation.  
     
    There are two major things at stake defined in this document.  First and foremost, West and Zampella are seeking payment (referred to as “royalties”) for their work on Modern Warfare 2.  It appears as though Activision refuses to pay them since they are no longer part of Infinity Ward.  Second, and this is really the more important issue, West and Zampella are...
  • My gaming career began at the age of four, when my parents purchased for me a Sega Genesis.  Included were two controllers, the bundled Sonic the Hedgehog, and a copy of Evander Holyfield’s “Real Deal” Boxing (my father is a boxing nut).  For the longest time, all I knew were those two games, and I’m glad that was the case as each game offered an important lesson. 

    Sonic introduced me to platforming and all that comes with it: navigation in an imaginary space, prioritizing, and most importantly, judging distances.  Evander schooled me with lessons of timing, defense, and interacting with a dynamic opponent.  What I did not know at the time was that those seemingly simple lessons are truly the foundation on which all gaming skills are based.

    It wasn’t until I was twelve that I found the genre that would ultimately prove to be my calling.  After scoring my first goal...

  •   So I started playing Bad Company 2 last night and wanted to share some of my initial thoughts. Having been a fan of the first Bad Company, I started this game with some expectations. The first game's unconventional football-and-beer-warrior atmosphere to international conflict and affairs was really refreshing in a market filled with war games that try to put hair on your chest by showing you what “war really is.” I especially appreciated this lighthearted lazy-man feel in conjunction to a lot of things going “boom.” Does Bad Company 2 start like this? Well, there are still a lot of things that are enthusiastically combustible, but the average-man charm has been slighted a bit.

    I almost feel like DICE may have taken a few peeks too many over Infinity Ward's shoulder while developing Bad Company 2. Bad Company 1 played with it's action in a Roger-Moore-era-James-Bond manner. Bad Company 2 starts with plenty of...

  • X-Com is one of my all-time favorite games. I have it installed on both of my computers, on my PDA, and my library even contains a self-bound copy of the tabletop RPG game some dedicated fans came up with years ago. I could spend pages reviewing it and trying to put in words that certain Je ne sais quoi that makes it a classic and a truly great game. However that’s not the point of this post, and if you’ve already played it yourself you probably don’t need me to tell you any of this. If you haven’t played it, get off your ass and play it. This is the game IGN ranked as their #1 PC game of all time, beating out Starcraft, Half-Life, and Fallout. There’s a buggy freeware version floating around somewhere but if you want the full, patched, non-piratey bastard version of it you can buy it off...

  • Bored at Work: The Series

                When away from videogames, many of our readers will find themselves bored.  Either at work or at school, our minds will always wander from the task at hand back to the pastime we love.  Bored at Work will be a weekly blog post dedicated to my absent-mindedness at my day job; a tribute to finding games to play or think about, wherever they may be found.

    Cell Phone Demo Games

                The first installment of Bored at Work was the inspiration of a new purchase that occurred just this morning: an LG enV Touch.  Before I get to the meat of the games I (sort of) played, a few notes about the phone itself:

                -Large and Responsive touch screen

          ...

  •     

            So for one of my publishing classes I just found out I have to read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I'm actually happy about this because of the deep sense of satisfaction gained from not having to spend any money; I already own the book, and having money is pretty cool, especially when I’m not spending it.

    It was only when I got home that I remembered my copy is actually Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Sethe Grahame-Smith. I mean it’s the same thing, albeit, you know, the parts about zombies, which I’m confident Jane Austen would have eventually intended for a future edition. So while reading through the book, making sure to omit any Zombie related themes and motifs from my analysis, I couldn't help but think about...

  •  Let me dedicate this first paragraph to contradicting the title - I think the first generation iPad coming out in about two months is a disaster. A $500+ "netbook killer" that has no keyboard, can't multitask, can't play Flash, has no camera, that's killer feature is scaling up 3.5 inch iPhone apps to a 9.7 inch screen and reading books. I'll pass on its first generation for sure. Apple has a knack for crippling its first generation of new hardware (remember the original iPhone?).


    But enough about that...