Monday, December 14, 2009


I spent most of my weekend achievement whoring in the first expansion to Borderlands, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. I started off on my own, but was quickly joined by Barry and our friend who sounds like he's from across the pond, Ben (he was born in the states but managed to pillage the accent... well played sir). The easiest way to describe the experience is downright fun and hilarious. From the opening cinematic, to the zombie brains that fly out of your fallen foes, downright to the final battle... The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned keeps you engaged and laughing all the way through.

The story has our adventurers sent off to Jakob's Cove... and island owned by the Jakob's Corporation. As far as I could tell (I admittedly don't read all the quest descriptions... I just want to kill zombies) the Jakob's operation involved turning very very large tree stumps into the fine Jakob's weapons you've all come to know and love. Something has gone terribly wrong, and 97% (this is discerned by the hilarious announcements going on throughout Jakob's Cove) of the population of the island has gone all zombified on us. The adventurers are here to find out just what happened, and to put a stop to the zombie outburst lest it spread to the other 3% of the population.

Much of the expansion has you battling off waves of zombies, of course, as you make your way to different parts of the island. The zombies are often udead versions of other enemies you faced in Pandora, including Lance soldiers, psychos, and midget psychos. There are even zombies who look like giant Frankenstein versions of the Tanks from Left 4 Dead. Many of the zombies will also spit bile at you that slows your walking speed and impairs your vision... also much like a certain special infected in Left 4 Dead. The zombies are much easier to kill than their living counterparts... but this is made up for by the sheer numbers that are thrown at you. However, you'll find killing waves of enemies very satisfying. Head shot kills will reward you with a zombie brain that is used to complete a quest for an undead TK Baha as well as unlock an achievement.

Overall The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is a very satisfying and comedic experience. For extra laughs, pay special attention to the announcements made in the small city of Jakob's Cove. It doesn't offer an extended level cap or new abilities... but for those of you looking for a fun new way to grind your character up to level 50... this will more than do the trick. My 2nd playthrough character started the DLC around level 43, as did my buddies. We all ended around level 48. This left us just a few quests away in the main story line from dinging level 50 and satisfying that achievement requirement. Go get this DLC. It's a great excuse to keep shooting and looting, and it will keep you in practice for the new DLC that was recently announced.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What We've Been Up To...

We've been gaming... a lot... probably too much if there is such a thing. I know that Barry has finished Dragon Age: Origins a few time, and Chuck is working on copying that effort. Most of the group has also finished Assassin's Creed 2. I fell behind on that objective because of Brutal Legend and Modern Warfare 2. Chuck and I even dove into Left 4 Dead 2 a little. It's a game we haven't been able to give appropriate attention to, and we hope to remedy that problem as soon as Amazon decides to locate and deliver Barry's copy to him. Below I'll give a few impressions of what I've been playing lately.

Brutal Legend

Brutal Legend was a game I wanted to like. The story is ridiculous, of course, but it's fun and pretty creative. If I hadn't been so late to the Brutal Legend party, the RTS elements would have come as a huge surprise. I used to play a lot of RTS games as a kid on the PC. Consoles can just never get it right, and that remains true in Brutal Legend. The good thing about the RTS battles in the game are also a little bit of its downfall.

In the game you learn guitar solos by finding large statues which teach the solos to you. It's somewhat difficult to tell if this is done by reading the ancient looking text on the statue, magic of some sort, or a combination of the two. Either way, the statues look mean. Some of the solos you learn are attacks, one summons your vehicle... there are even solos that act as debuffs for enemies, buffs for your units, and a couple that help set rally points/call your units to your location.

The RTS battles in the game are referred to as "Stage Battles." This is because you set up a giant stage which acts as a unit generator. The Brutal Legend equivalent of mining or harvesting is setting up merchandise booths to harvest fans. This is where the game kind of forgets the "strategy" element. It's very difficult to select individual units. You have to stand next to them and face them until the "double team" icon shows up in the bottom left corner (the double team function lets you perform super attacks with whatever unit you're facing)... then you hold down Y and issue an order to that unit. It's tedious and can be a real pain in the heat of battle. It seemed like the creators of Brutal Legend understood this... so rather than make unit selection easier, they dumbed down the opponent AI so that you're rarely in any real danger. Most conflicts can be resolved by sending all of your units en masse toward each group of enemies. Even if the enemy manages to destroy one of your merchandise booths (which typically seems to be their primary objective) while you're tied up with another group of baddies, it's typically easy to clean up your current problem, send everybody to the group who took out your merch booth, kill them, and then rebuild. Even with the true spirit of RTS being somewhat stripped by this fact... the battles can still be fun... and there's always something rewarding about DOMINATING your opponent and then over running their stage.

Even with my complaints, Brutal Legend was fun... the side quests are entertaining. The story is funny and doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, even when the story has a serious tone. The voice acting adds to the comedic aspect and features the likes of Jack Black, Ozzy Osbourne, comedians Brian Posehn and David Cross.

Left 4 Dead 2

So far I've only spent a small amount of time with Left 4 Dead 2, however, that time was very enjoyable. I only played with one human teammate, so I can imagine that the experience will only get better. We ran through the first campaign mission, Dead Center, and it took us about two hours. I will say that a lot of that time was spent trying to finish the finale as our AI counterparts didn't exactly get the plan we were trying to execute. I really like the addition of the objective based finally as opposed to the first L4Ds method of "just kill a lot of stuff until help gets here." Dead Center has the survivors collecting gas cans to fill the tank of their escape vehicle.

We tried a few tactics, including splitting up to collect cans, but with two AI teammates we found this often left one of us alone and exposed. The AI teammates tended to stick together and only follow one of the human players. Once a few more people we know get the game (and we're lobbying hard) it should allow strategies to be better fleshed out. The AI isn't without merit though. They often knew the quickest way to reach and revive a downed player and were generous with health packs and pills. Even during our attempts to split up, as soon as Chuck or I went down, the AI would immediately set a course to revive.

I look forward to playing a lot more of this game in the near future.

I'll leave my discussion to those 2 games for now. I'm still in the early parts of Assassin's Creed 2, and Modern Warfare 2 has been beaten to death by any and every site out there. Hopefully I'll have more to report soon from our little gaming world.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


AirstrikeRhino: Shit guys, that was awesome... I'll pop a turret and everybody heal up.

Humdinger24: Hey check that out... a purple item on the groud.

FenrisWolf82 has received The Most Badass Gun Ever

AirstrikeRhino: I didn't even get to see the stats on that...

PoopsMagee2112: I like pudding.

FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest

Humdinger 24: Josh, where the hell are you?

FenrisWolf82 has received Autoheadshot Head Asploder

AirstrikeRhino: Did anybody else even see that drop?

Humdinger24: Oh shit, what the fuck is that coming for us?

[Skag attacks group]

Humdinger24: Shit, we're getting low on health, Ryan, pop that turret.

AirstrikeRhino: It hasn't refreshed from the previous heal... Josh, use yours.

FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest
FenrisWolf82 has opened a chest

PoopsMagee2112: I like pudding... and health...

Humdinger24: Shit, Josh, what the fuck are you doing?

FenrisWolf82: I'm right here, can't you guys see me shooting that Brute...

AirstrikeRhino: We're fighting a skag!

FenrisWolf82: ... yeah, that's what I said...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Driving Daze

I’ve recently been playing a lot of racing games and I’ve got blurred vision to prove it. The mark of a good racing game is one where I have to remind myself to blink. I’ve played through Dirt 2 and got most of my way through Need For Speed Shift in the past couple of weeks.

Dirt 2 is made by Codemasters who is notorious for long load times similar to that of the Mass Effect elevators. However in this installation, their load times drastically improved. I did install it to my hard drive but it was fast even before that. Dirt 2 has you going all around the world driving every kind of offroad vehicle imaginable. All the car controls are smooth and you can feel how much power you’re giving it when you’re sliding through turns. The scenery is pretty as usual and the dirt and mud effects just as pretty. This game is harder on the brakes. That is, you don’t need to worry about the racing line as long as you’re braking at the right time. Other times you don’t need to worry about the brake at all and hope that physics will do its’ job to keep you alive. The game’s more arcade like than simulation which just lets you care less about your car sometimes. The damage a car can take can be unforgiving and you really want your lights to stay working through some of the night rallycross courses. Overall, I really don’t have anything bad to say about the game. Whether playing online or off, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Need for Speed Shift is a whole different animal. Although the series is headed in the right direction, they still need some work on the playability. A lot of the cars like to sway their back ends and it’s hard for a novice driver to keep the cars going straight. It’s one of those games where you have to buy your car, keep it in your garage, and upgrade its’ individual parts if you want to. There is a slight Forza feel to it but the damage is unrealistic. Once you upgrade the car, it can become too powerful and undriveable. This is a good example of trying to make an arcade and simulation game and getting something in between that is just mediocre. Yes, you have to ease the triggers for braking and accelerating but that doesn’t stop your car’s rear end from sliding. Thankfully you can adjust the downforce but that doesn’t help too much. The idea of the single player is to level up by two methods; precision driving or aggressive driving. You get points for clean passes as well as bumping someone and then passing. This makes the online a joke, filled with drivers who would rather take you out than drive on the road. The upgrading can be pretty enjoyable. You will soon have enough money for any car but the limited garage spaces (which can only be unlocked through leveling up) keep your car buying frenzy in check. The game is $40 now and at this point it’s at most a rental because Forza 3 is coming out in late October.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ODST... Soon.

Tonight's the big night. Halo 3: ODST drops at midnight and I plan to be there. It's been a good long while since I showed up for a midnight release. I believe the last one I attended was with Josh for Halo 2 (Combat Evlovederer?). But tonight, I return to the land of ultimate nerdom that is the midnight launch. I'll be at the Price Plaza Best Buy Location in Katy. I'm hoping to take some pictures and post them tomorrow... which means I'm also hoping for a good crowd to make that possible. Stay tuned... or you know... read this if you stumble across it while trying to look for directions on how to invert your Y axis in whatever game you're playing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Storm's A'comin.

Well folks, the Holiday season is almost upon us, and it's looking like it's going to be great. I'm not entirely sure what all this talk is about "no games being released"... I feel like I'll already have more than enough to play. Maybe I should even consider finishing up Assassin's Creed before Assassin's Creed 2 hits the shelves... maybe.

All members of The Axis have spent a significant amount of time with Arkham Asylum, and the conclusions about it drawn here are very similar to what you'll read pretty much anywhere right now... that is to say, it's very good. What we can't seem to figure out are the combat challenges. Who are these degenerates scoring high enough to earn the high score medals. Maybe we're not flashy enough... maybe we're just not good enough. Either way, I don't think I have the energy to earn those medals, and I think my friends here are in agreement. However, the game as a whole is a must buy, must play. It been a while since a game has kept me playing that many hours without a break.

I'd say that the game that has me most pumped up at the moment is Halo 3: ODST... I can't even totally understand why myself. I've never been the "fanboy" type when it came to the Halo games. I played them, I enjoyed them. I even spent my fair share of time being called racial slurs by 14 year olds... but I stopped playing Halo 3 about 3 months after the release (and that's a generous estimate). I think what got me most excited about ODST is the new firefight mode... and the moment it hooked me was in Tycho's post over at Penny Arcade. I've become a fan of these non-story co-op modes that seem to be becoming very popular. It started with the Horde Mode in Gears of War 2... I played the SHIT out of that for several months. The best part about it is that if you have a few friends willing to hop in, you don't have to deal with a single 14 year old or racial slur... ok, there are still a lot of racial slurs, but it's from people you know... and sometimes they're even clever! After Gears of War 2 there was Left 4 Dead, which was essentially a Horde Mode all dressed up with a "story." What it really was, was a 4 part Zombie grinder with "get the fuck out of Ryan's way because he will team kill your ass in a heartbeat" written all over it. I blamed all the friendly fire incidents on the fact that I used the old guy... his vision was going to shit. Now, the fun of this non-story co-op trend is coming to Halo... say what you will about the series, or about the community... but there is a lot Bungie has done right when it comes to multiplayer. I'm excited to see what they can do here. Also, and I apologize for making this an after thought, the story sounds pretty interesting. Read this article over at Kotaku for a look into that aspect of the game.

Outside of this we have things like Borderlands, Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Uncharted 2 all coming to us in the very near future. I know Barry is pretty excited for a few racing games on the horizon... and I believe he picked up a copy of Need For Speed Shift today. I'll try to get him to say a little something about it later. All this, and I didn't even mention Shadow Complex... I'll just say this: Buy It. Play It.

Aight, I'm out!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Email Recap: July 8th

We're way past July 8th, but I'm recapping that day anyway. It was a good day in the ol' email chain... away we gooooooooo!

-We're engineers... and nerds:


I don’t like the way the new HEC-RAS does mixed flow conditions calculations, and the sediment transport utility is… obstinate. Hopefully when the regular release hits (I’ve got mine pre-ordered from the Corps) they’ll have fixed these issues.


The sediment transport utility just thought it was about time to find God and keep the b*stard count down. It was starting to rival Mr. Kemp.

Oh wait, I’m thinking of something else… carry on

You can pre-order design software?

-Barry needs an intervention:


Maybe squeeze in a couple games of FIFA...


We need an exorcism.


Now, we wait until he spins his head 360 degrees and spits pea soup at us. If necessary, we wait until he gets older as an actor, makes bad career choices, and is ultimately still only known as the guy who spun his head around 360 degrees and spit pea soup when he was younger.

-I like Mechs (understatement):


I have no audio on my computer… but there is a video on IGN right now that says “Mechwarrior Project, potential additions to the franchise”

I’m trying to not get excited. I think I just peed a little.


Does your phone notify you anytime the words “Mech”, “Mechwarrior”, or “Battletech” get googled so many times in a day? Or is this part of your daily 2:40 p.m. search-for-mech-news routine?

The Answer is "no", but if anybody can hookup that app for a BlackBerry, I'd be all over it.

-And finally... Barry updates his XBL avatar:

Ryan: suggests that Barry already played with the avatar editor today.

He’s got some bling.


dolla dolla bill yall


C.R.E.A.M. grab the money. Dolla Dolla Bill, Yall!

There you go folks! Have a good one!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

DJ Whoo Kid: An Interview

DJ Whoo Kid, one of the stars of 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand has agreed to give Inverted Y Axis and exclusive interview about his experiences during the creation of the game. We join him today at his estate...

IYA: Well DJ Whoo Kid, thanks for talking to us today.


IYA: So, where did you guys get the idea for the story in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand?

DJWK: These buildings have been here for like, hundreds of years.

IYA: Really? This house actually looks quite new.

DJWK: I don't think they like us being here Fiddy!

IYA: Excuse me? We can leave if we need to...

DJWK: It's all clear fiddy!

IYA: So we can stay?


IYA: Thanks, let's continue...

DJWK: Get that skrilla!

IYA: I don't even know what that means.

DJWK: That's Whoo Kid Power, baby! YEEEAAAAAHHHH!

IYA: Ok, I'm leaving.

DJWK: Die you muh-fuggin bitch! [draws gun]

[Interviewer runs out of room . Fiddy enters.]

Fiddy: Hey, Whoo Kid... was somebody just here?

DJWK: Let's get that shine Fiddy, YEEEEAAAAHHHH!

Fiddy: You're a fucking idiot...

Monday, May 4, 2009

In The Foreseeable Future...

Poops: Yes, I'd like to cancel my service.

Gamefly: Of course sir, but before you go, may we ask why?

Poops: You sent me Facebreaker, which I took as an act of war and aggression on my great nation.

Gamefly: But, it was in your queue...

Poops: That was a test.

Gamefly: If we offer you a free month, would you be willing to continue service with us?

Poops: I don't negotiate with terrorists.

Gamefly: What if we throw in some pudding?

Poops: Fuck...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Alls fair... love and Uno.

It's interesting, in this day and age with high definition gaming consoles and plasma or LCD tvs, that three guys in three different cities have nothing better to do on a Friday night than to drink heavily and play Uno against and with each other over Xbox Live.

Make no mistake, this is not "Busch League" Uno, this is full contact no holds barred complete with racial slurs Uno. With our diverse group there is plenty to say. Myself being asian, for example, must laugh when Ryan says "Leave it up to Barry to have all the yellow cards..."

46" Samsumg 1080P LCD = $1500
Xbox 360 = $300
Uno 400 Microsoft points ~ $5
Guys Night In = Priceless

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Must Be A Cubs Fan

Conan: My name is Conan... I have come from the land of Cimmeria in search of a mighty sorcerer who has stolen my armor and has plagued these lands with a black death. I will destroy all who stand in my way! DIE YOU CUR!!

Uecker: ......... what the hell is that guys problem?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm Not Really That Smart...

As Poops has mentioned before in this space, we're not JUST into gaming around here. We have hobbies outside of life here... and some of us even have real jobs! I like to do a little cycling and mountain biking. With that being said the MS 150 is just around the corner. It's a bike ride from Houston, TX to Austin, TX that takes place over 2 days and supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I will, against all better judgement, be participating in this absolutely insane endeavor. However, I do have to collect a few donations. So, if you're reading this, and you want to do something about Multiple Sclerosis, please take a moment to go here and make a donation. Thanks a ton!


Oh... and if you get your ridiculous donation moniker (see the scrolling ticker on the left of the link above) on there before the 9th, Poops will be including you on a t-shirt that I will be sporting after the ride as I party it up in Austin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Andrew Ryan Will Make Your Life Inconvenient

As I mentioned before, I've only recently started to really dive into Bioshock. Andrew Ryan talks a big game, but when he acts, he seems to only act to slow me and not actually kill me. Here's a list of other ways Andrew Ryan has slightly inconvenienced my life.

After threatening to remove all that was tender and gentle from my life, used last fabric softener sheet.

Mowed lawn, had to cancel appointment with lawn service.

Quoted entire most recent episode of The Office before I could watch it on DVR.

Unloaded dishwasher, rearranging dish layout in cabinets.

Fast forwarded all VHS cassettes in my movie cabinet to end (What a dumbass, I totally bought into HD DVD years ago).

Funded development of War World.

Deleted all of my Xbox Live Arcade games... except War World.

Hid keys (jokes on him, I don't have a job!)

Felt bad, showed me he had the keys in his pocket the whole time... then threw them in the backyard.

Ate dog's last rawhide bone.

What has Andrew Ryan done to make your world slightly inconvenient? In the comments!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Guess I'll Give It A Look

Apparently there's something going on PS Home today. The Playstation Blog says it's some sort of Alternate Reality Game (ARG). The two biggest ARGs that come to my mind were the two associated with the releases of Halo 2 and Halo 3. I Love Bees (Halo 2) was absolutely incredible... I'm only sad that I didn't discover it until well after the fact. However, the audio clips associated with it (found here) played out a really good story. The Halo 3 ARG was fun to watch unfold, but ultimately didn't do much for me. I'm about to hop onto Home right now and see what this one is all about.

UPDATE: Now that I've checked it out it looks like they've at least put a story together for the whole thing. I'm not sure if this is going to be some kind of game release announcement or some new things in home. It sounds like you're assisting some group called AFK who (in the ARG at least) assisted in the creation of home. The team leader was apparently working on a side project called Xi. It looks like there will be periodic updates with new tasks that unlock new pieces of the puzzle. There's some kind of emblem you're collecting pieces of... however when you scroll over them you can see a shadow of the piece I assume will be there. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody puts together a composite of the thing early. If this is some kind of new Scion I'm going to be pissed.

Warring in Halo

Halo Wars is a real time strategy game made just for the Xbox 360 console. This marks the first rts game I've played for the next gen consoles and I must say it has been a great experience. It has been stripped down from the usual rts game models and streamlined for console controls. However, there are less units to choose from because of all the simplifying. While normal rts games have over 15 different unit types, Halo Wars falls short with 10 for the UNSC and 12 for the Covenant. There's not much to say except that it's fun to play. I still prefer rts games to be played on the PC but this is a nice diversion from my norm. There's a really easy learning curve and I recommend this to anyone who's a fan of the Halo universe.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Toaster Technology Is Still A Few Generations Behind...

I found this over at Kotaku... who posted several links as to where they found it. As Kotaku mentions it's brought to us by a modder named Vomitsaw with more pictures of the process here. I heard his next project will be a grill that requires you to play a series of waggle-laden mini-games to flip your burger.

No, We're Not Dead...

Well it's been a while I know... but I really want to start showing up here more often. I'm hoping my fellow "writers" here will come along as well. Tag and I have recently become income challenged (damn you economy!) and still haven't posted. I recently took a trip to Austin and Tag and I spent some time discussing things pertaining to this site. First and foremost we agreed that while having absolutely nothing to do, not posting is completely unacceptable. So, here I am! It's my belief that most of what should be on this site will not only be gaming related... but will aim to get ourselves and others excited about playing games. So it's not likely that you'll find full extensive reviews... though I'm sure we will give our opinions... I think most of what you'll see will be our gaming experiences: how we felt about a game or a description of the fun we had with one (or lack thereof... War World).

So to get to current events, we've been playing a lot of Left 4 Dead lately. For those who don't know, the game puts you in the middle of a world that's been infected by a type of zombifying virus. You play one of four survivors who must make their way from safe house to safe house enroute to a rescue vessel. In addition to the normal infected that attack you from every angle, there are four types of "Special Infected". These are the Smoker who attacks from long range with a tongue that chokes your character while dragging them. The Hunter which jumps on you, pins you, and mauls you. The Boomer which vomits on you. And, the Tank who resembles The Hulk and punches really hard.

We finally got Poops to make the purchase... which was really just the trigger for the rest of us to go out and buy it. Well, that is everybody but Fenris because his roommate apparently likes to leave their router wide open for all to use. This has recently made it difficult for him to maintain a constant internet connection. Anyway, It's damn near impossible to just get Poops to buy a game... he's not as blantently irresponsible when it comes to his game spending. Well, I thought this was the case until he bought 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand... it tuns out that Fiddy does in fact get his skull back. Thank the Lord for that. But, I digress. With Left 4 Dead finally in our posession I have taken on the full responsibility of delivering as much friendly fire as possible to my teammates. This is not a task I take lightly as I constantly make sure to send random rounds flying squarly into the backs of my teammates. Some might say it's my fault... I say they're a bunch of stammering idiots who should know how to stay out of my GD way... I'm looking righ at you Poops.

In all seriousness, the game is a ton of fun. It is obviously running off of a very old engine, but somehow that thing still holds on and manages to produce a lot of fun (Orange Box anybody?). I do however recommend playing with 4 actual people and not letting the computer AI control one of your teammates. You can't communicate with them, therefore they don't really stick to the plan. Last night, we had 3 human players and one AI. First we all decided to try for the achievement which requires you to avoid the witch through an entire campaign... Louis (the AI player) screwed that up right off the bat. At the end of every campaign mode you're required to make a run to an escape vessel... If one player is left behind and beyond rescue, the best method is to just make a run for the escape (in this case a boat) and be done. However, the computer AI stands firmly behind the "no man left behind" credo. So, when Tag was pinned down, Poops and I made a run for the boat... Louis did not. The level won't end until all remaining survivors are on the boat.... I should also add that a giant horde rush usually accompanies the arrival of the rescue. So, Poops and I were standing on the boat trying to keep the muphuggers away while Louis "Forrest Gumped" his way into a failed rescure of Tag... and then limped his sorry ass back to the boat. Actually, now that I think about it... and AI player at least makes things more interesting all the way through. Plus he'll sacrafice his med kit to heal you rather than himself... and how do we repay him? We let smokers drag him off and kill him while we make our stand. Dude needs to learn how to be a team player.

Left 4 Dead is an A+ in the fun department... buy it.

In addition to L4D I started up Bioshock again yesterday... I'm way behind. With the sequel being announced already I figured I should finish the first one. So far so good.

Lastly, Tag and I have co-oped Halo Wars and HAWX all the way through... we even did HAWX a second time a few nights later when Fenris bought it. I hope to recount our adventures in HAWX some time soon (or at least talk about new adventures... we need to play that some more). I'll give Tag a chance to talk about Halo Wars since he's spent the most time with it.

Alright kids, that's all for now!

Also, if you're actually reading this, comment or something... this includes you fellow Axis members.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear Nintendo, Stop Being Stupid

Dear Nintendo, could you please get yourself some kind of achievements system? I don't just mean for the Wii... I mean for the DS. Actually, make that ESPECIALLY for the DS. See, I have this thing now where I'm pretty much addicted to the idea of earning arbitrary points throughout any game I play. I'll add here that I think Sony should link trophies through the PSP and PS3 as well. I assume this is a system they will be using from here on out... as I assume that Microsoft will continue using achievement points... so why not take that step now?

Anyway, back to you, Nintendo. I've been traveling a lot, and carrying my DS. Which is great... I can "get my game on" while I'm travelling... but I'm not getting my achievement fix. DADDY NEEDS A FALSE SENSE OF FULFILLMENT!!! I know the rest of the crew feels me on this, as they are even larger Achievement whores than I am. Tag beat Mass Effect 18 times just to make sure he got them all. He and Poops each have over 20,000 gamer points.

So please Nintendo, step ya game up.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Today is Airstrike's 27th birthday. I get a message today that he plans to play xbox tonight starting out with a game of Uno that we are all invited to play in. This immediately raises a few inquires, dim red lights are going off in my head in the form of hypothetical questions.

- We are definitely not his only friends, we don't even live in the same city. So why has he chosen to stay inside playing xbox with us? How would he feel if we didn't show up/get online. Sure, not being online sounds proposterous but I sure hope I don't let him down.

- I'm not saying Uno isn't a good time but one would think other activities besides sitting at home playing games, technically alone, isn't the norm on your birthday. He's only 27, what's next year, bingo night?

- In a broader sense, is this some sign of maturity where you don't need to go out to get wasted with your friends for your birthday?

- Has this become some kind of trend for our generation to "meet online" and hang out? With the 360's new xbox experience, we spent an hour one night just playing dress up with our avatars. We should probably keep that on the downlow...

I'm sure he has other things planned for the weekend but at his age, the artheritis could be slowing him down. I look forward to some Uno and possibly Castle Crashers tonight, happy birthday Airstrike!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Highlights of Today's Game Chat...

We're not funny... that's been proven over and over again as the 4 of us stand there, the only ones laughing. I don't think it's that we're not funny... it's that we have an almost constant dialogue throughout any given day. So, why would anybody find our obscure references to something that happened 3 weeks ago, funny? To those people I say... "shoulda been there." And now you can! Sorta... you'll find that you probably didn't want to be anyway...

Email Chat:

Tag: Sweet, word on Mass Effect 2 from this years GDC...

Fenris: Tag, Whatever you do don't freeze yourself until it comes out. It will end badly for you.

He used punctuation, we're so proud of him!

Airstrike: Yeah, nobody's even heard of Mass Effect 500 years from now.

Poops: Given the opportunity I bet Tag would replay both ME's until 2509 just to make sure that he played through with every possible permutation of dialogue choices.

Airstrike: God, could you imagine the storage he'd need for all those spreadsheets?

You know, now that I read this, it's funny, but I'm pretty sure people still don't get it. Nobody FULLY grasps Tag's love of both, Mass Effect and spreadsheets.

Text Message Chat:

Airstrike: Do you have Puzzle Quest on XBL?

Poops: No

Airstrike: Ah... there's a "Win an online match" achievement. I don't want to play some random d-bag.

Poops: What makes you think you'll win against me, douche-tard?

Airstrike: Because you're dumb

Poops: Your mom

HEY!... she's a nice lady.

Those are MY highlights from the day... gentlemen, care to add?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recapturing My Youth

I spent several hours with NHL '09 yesterday, and I must say that I can see why it's being held in such high regard all over the web. I do of course, have my complaints. One of my favorite things about hockey games in the past was taking my player of choice and turning him into some kind of god-like super star... and I don't mean Wayne Gretzky good... that guy is an absolute pussy when it comes to the kind of stats you can rack up in a hockey video game. Hat Trick? Fuck that, I'll give you a hat trick of hat tricks. I would make sure every man on my starting line had a hat trick (I call that a hat stand). The Pittsburgh Penguins were an unstoppable juggernaut. I would play through entire undefeated season and with a Stanley Cup in 4 games outscoring my opponent 80-0 and injuring every player in their starting 5 (I couldn't ever hurt a damn goalie).

This is not the case with NHL '09... and it may be for a couple of reasons. 1) I'm not that far into it, and 2) I've been playing the "Be a Pro" mode. You see, traditionally in hockey games you play as a team... you control whoever has the puck. When on defence you can easily switch between players to take control of whoever is closest to the puck. This is certainly an option in NHL '09, but I get the impression that this isn't entirely the single player experience they want you to have. I say this because all of the achievements in the game are based around advancing your "be a pro" character (and uploading pictures/videos to EA... guess who already racked up THOSE little guys). This mode revolves around taking a single player from a 3rd string minor league player all the way to the pros. This means you only control 1 player in a game... which also means that to rack up your assists and goals, you have to rely on the computer to pass you the puck, OR worse yet, actually put the damn thing in the goal. I've set up an ungodly amount of nice 1-timers, only to have my teammate run right up to the goal and trip over the goalie. I win almost every face-off... only to see whoever the puck goes to immediately turn it over. I'm not faulting the game for this... I'm sure I just picked a shitty team... I just don't understand why I can only control 1 player in the Be A Pro mode. The game even goes as far as to give you a view from the bench when your player isn't in the game (easily fixed by turning off line changes... but COME ON).

As I stated before, I really haven't gotten all that far into the game yet. My player is still on the minor league team and thus surrounded by idiots. I have only played 1 game in the traditional way I mentioned earlier, where I control every player (which was a blast by the way). I've only played with the controls set up to use this "skill stick." That is fun, but I have a feeling I may be more successful with the old school controls.

I realize I've only put complaints here, and that's not at all fair. The game does look amazing, it's got a good learning curve and the game is certainly challenging. I just really need to spend more time with it. So, that's about all I've got.

Oh, and I played a little more Fallout 3 tonight... I can't believe how long that game is... wow.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Little Change of Pace

It's been a few great months 'round these parts (and by these parts I mean video game happy fun land). I've busted through Fable 2, Gears of War 2, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 2, and last night I finished up Prince of Persia. Not to mention I've filled in gaps with Little Big Planet and Fallout 3... and I fully intend to finish up both of those. But, today I plan to venture into a genre I haven't touched in a while... sports games... and more specifically NHL '09. According to the box it's won 7 sports game of the year awards, and I'm not one to argue with a box ("this end up" anybody?). I used to play a lot of hockey games in my younger days. I believe it started with NHL '95... that was the kind of game that made me actually go watch hockey. I live in a place that had an 85 degree Christmas, so, that was kind of a big deal.

After NHL '95 the next game that I clearly remember standing out for me was Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey for the Nintendo 64. What I remember most about this was me and my buddies playing 4-player at my parents house in high school, and every time ol' Joe Buck would say "looking to score" somebody would inevitably respond with "I'm always looking to score..." Then we'd turn off the Nintendo and go play Magic: The Gathering. We were so awesome.

In early college I picked up a copy of NHL Hitz that my roommates and I had a pretty good time with. But, since then I haven't really played a hockey video game.

Tag insists that this "skill stick" feature in NHL '09 (Well the NHL series for consoles) is "teh suck"... but I'm not buying it. I'm looking to recapture the fun of my hockey game youth... and of course, I'll be looking to score (thanks Joe!)...