Monday, October 31, 2011

Some Spooky Suggestions

Hey gang, its Halloween and that means its time for some scary gaming suggestions to all of you looking to be actually scared I have to suggest playing the Resident Evil Remake and the prequel Resident Evil Zero, both of which were originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube.  These games are challenging, and alot of fun to play, especially the first time through. I've never really been scared while playing a game except for the first time I played through the Remake on Gamecube, granted I was younger then but the game's atmosphere and pacing is just excellent. Couple the never ending supply of hungry monsters with the scarce ammo, and mind stretching puzzles, and you've got quite the experience.

The prequel Resident Evil Zero can also provide you with a few scares, but you might have to wait till night and play in the dark, as it doesn't quite give you that same feel as the RE Remake does. Add in the sometimes awkward switching system and the even more scarce ammo and you may find yourself a bit more frustrated than scared at times.

For those a bit more faint of heart who just want a scary good time without actually being scared, I recommend picking up an entry in the Castlevania series and hacking through some classic monsters. Which Castlevania you play however is up to you since the series spans over 20 years worth of titles all in varying genres.  If you like a challenging side scroller pick up one of the original NES series and give that a go. Dungeon Crawler fans might like the PS2 games, and of course for those Metroid type gamers any of the new entries or Symphony of the Night on the PS1 might just be the game for you. The price has also dropped on the very new age Castlevania Lords of Shadow which is a new take on the Castlevania universe, and does some interesting new things with some of the classic themes.  Finally if you've got friends pick up Castlevania Harmony of Despair on XBL and PSN and go on a hunt for the best items with all your online buddies

And for someone who wants a more philosophical sort of terrifying I suggest picking up Silent Hill 2 and being terrified that way.  The main character's odd yet familiar predicament, as well as the supporting characters, monsters , and storyline twist will leave you more than a bit frightened. Its all the scary of Resident Evil without the sometimes overdone bio weapons dun it plot.

Monday, October 24, 2011

DLC : Greed or Fair Business Model?

I got a text from an old friend Saturday, that said he had purchased Castlevania Harmony of Despair and that we should play it together sometime. After playing it a bit I realized that we couldn't use all the same characters together as I had some DLC he didn't have and vice versa.  This got me to thinking about the whole DLC conundrum going on nowadays. I always understood that  Downloadable Content was something that was released after a game had been out awhile to supplement the already there game features, fix problems in the release, and increase the fun offered by the base product. Now however, it seems like alot of the time you hear about companies  (like Capcom in MVC3) putting in content on a disc and then essentially making you pay for "DLC" to unlock the content.  Many have cried fowl on the issue saying that you're just making us pay for what's already there, but is it? One could argue that they are just streamlining it so you could get the content faster......but I just don't see it that way. The DLC I like to see is DLC that is made by developers post development and created to address problems/unfinished threads from the original game. Despite part of Skarlet being on the disc I really enjoyed the MK9 DLC. The characters were completely optional to the main game, but they found a way so that those who didn't care to purchase them could still play with those who did.

But back to the discussion at hand. Is it fair to put stuff on the disc and make people pay for unlock? To be honest game companies have every right to do so, but it just seems bad as far as how you are treating your customers. All the game companies make and sell games to turn a profit I understand this, but what happened to treating the customer right? Don't even get me started on these online "passes" as a way to make people who bought a game used pay for the online. Is it legitimate business? Absolutely. Is it somewhat rotten? Kinda so I think, but it is true that used game sales cost the game companies more than piracy. I only hope that at some point they won't start charging stores to sell used copies of their games and thus revving  up those prices for the standard consumer. Games are already expensive and us gamers have picked an expensive hobby (with consoles, games, peripherals replacement controllers after anger fits etc).

Anyway I hope companies continue to make add on content for their games, but I also hope they keep the customer in mind, and do the right thing.  Being that cool company that tosses a free DLC every now and then can cost you initially but I think the return from loyal fans willing to pay for content down the road  will more than pay for itself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Gaming Drought

Hey gang, I've been a bit sparse on the updates, and that's because I don't seem to have alot going on on the gaming front right now. I've still been playing alot of Mortal Kombat and Dungeon Fighter Online lately, but that's about it. I took a quick glance to see what was due out for the rest of this month for the 3 current mainstays, but I really didn't see anything that was of interest to me. I suppose FPS guys might be looking forward to Battlefield 3, but sorry gang I'm just not that much of a fan of the modern day FPS. I can appreciate Halo and Modern Warefare for the decent game they are, but I just can't see how they are "revolutionizing" the FPS genre.  The FPS of yesteryear like Perfect Dark will always be my favorite type of FPS.

My apologies for the short entry.  If any readers want to hear about something in particular that's gaming related use your gmail account and drop me a line. There's also

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Games I'm looking forward to: Skyrim

It was really late to the latest generation of gaming consoles... well not late but all I had was a Wii. That may seem like a harsh statement but unfortunately all I've really enjoyed on the Wii this generation has been the first party titles.  The Wii is a great console and I salute Nintendo for not bowing to the powers that be and wanting to have the most powerful console. Nintendo focused on fun, and all their first party games have all been a blast. Unfortunately developers don't seem to be as on board as most of the big name third party titles these days are coming out for the PS3 and 360. When I finally got my own 360 3 or 4 years ago (probably less actually) I felt like an entire generation of previously unknown games were opened to me.  I've become a big fan of games that let you choose your own path (namely Oblivion), and titles such as Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, as well as Saints Row 2 and Mass Effect have become a large part of my gaming nowadays.  So that I don't get too hyped and waiting becomes torture I've purposefully not looked at much stuff about Skyrim, but its definitely on my list of most looked forward to games.  Oblivion was a huge time sink for me, so I can only imagine what Skyrim will do to my free time (and probably some time that I don't have to spend).  I'm excited to see the kind of changes they are making to the leveling system, and also interested to see how the new perks system will work. To me it looks like a unique blend of rpg leveling, and Fallout 3's perk system. Although very similar, Fallout and Oblivion had a very different feel. I hope that they maintain that Elder Scrolls feel in Skyrim and that I don't feel like I'm playing medieval Fallout.  Atmosphere is something that can easily make or break a game. There are tons of games that have more features than say Zelda Ocarina of Time, but why is it OOT is the only game I've sat down to beat in one night? (As far as games that take a long time to beat). OOT's atmosphere was a product of the game's freshness and innovation at the time, and the game itself. Nothing can really surpass that....not yet anyway. I look forward to the day a new classic can be created. Regardless I feel like this has gotten off topic.  The current game I'm waiting on is Skyrim. What's yours?

Skyrim character idea:

Argonian warrior named Sucks-at-Spells