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!)...