The Sunrise

A full moon on Friday the 13th isn’t all that impressive when clouds blanket the sky. What is impressive is being out at 5:00 in the morning the very next day and seeing the night’s sky lit up by a full moon in one direction, and the aura of the sun emerging from the other; the clouds dissipating  long enough for me to enjoy this spectacle. It may be because I was up for almost 24 hours, but I thought it was lovely. Lovely enough for me to prolong my lack of slumber for a few more minutes by driving around the outskirts of town. I got a few hours of sleep, and here I am.

In the previous post I mentioned I wanted to publish posts more often; every week. It’s been a month. I have an excuse. I injured a tendon in my hand, because I’m stupid. You don’t need to know the details, but I was unable to play video games, or do excessive typing for a week. If you look at my Raptr history, you would notice a time gap.

I haven’t played much of video games lately. I’ve been powering through a few television shows. I did finish Infamous: Second Son. Fun game. I don’t think I’ll type up a post about it, but I do recommend it if you have a Playstation 4. E3 was going on this past week. I’ll type up a post on some of my favorite highlights. I somehow got into the Destiny alpha on PS4. I think I got in, because I downloaded the E3 app on the PS4, but I’m not sure. I still owe you a Diablo 3 post.

I’m pumped for Linkin Park’s new album, The Hunting Party. I’m listening to it on iTunes Radio right now. I have no idea how to link iTunes Radio stuff, so you’ll just have to check yourself. Really digging the predator vibe the album puts out. Again, I’ll have a post written up for you once the album is officially released.

On a personal note, I’ve been going to the gym more often. I was going three days a week, now I’ve upped it to five days. On Monday, I hit a major milestone for myself. I was able to run a 5K in 30 minutes and 5 seconds. It’s not all that impressive, but I’m proud of myself.

That’s all I got for now. My next post will either be E3 related, or Linkin Park related. Hell, it might be tomorrow, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Thank you for reading,
– Royfuss

A Few Things

Hello. I’ve been lax in my updating, because I’m me. But hopefully I’ll be updating more periodically. The thing is, I never like the look of my websites. I generally like the layout, but colors make me sick after awhile and I neglect the site. To fix this, I decided to download a theme instead of creating one. I found a nice theme that allows me to easily edit and change colors and other things. I like it. So I’ll be implementing that soon.

Things to lo0k forward to. I’ll have a tutorial up soon, so the tutorial section will be relevant. I also plan on having another landing page for something else. I haven’t decided how I’m going to add that, but it’ll be here on this site. So look forward to that stuff.

Bye.

UPDATE: And it’s up. Thanks!

In My Time of Gaming

<Insert cliche about growing older>. I’m not that old. Mid twenties. For a person who plays video games, that’s still not bad. It’s seems weird though. I’ve been playing video games most of my life, and I don’t think I will ever stop playing video games. However, I think how I play games will change (not just innovations in technology, like motion controls and touch… although those are part of it).

Being a little kid, I played video games. I also played trucks, played with Legos, did a ton of outside activities(we had a large yard when I was really younger), and many other things. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World. I remember we owned the NES game that had three games, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros, and something else. I sucked at Super Mario Bros, and I had to get really close to the screen with the light gun to play Duck Hunt. I would play Twisted Metal 2 with one friend, and play a Looney Toons game for the NES with another friend. I wasn’t very good at video games at that age.

Dunk Hunt

He’s laughing at how close I was to the T.V. He knew my eyesight would go bad. That jerk.

We moved from the small town, where we had a big yard, to a larger city (not a major metropolitan area, but significantly bigger than my previous town). We moved right after school was out for summer vacation. This is the worst time to move for a child just ten years of age. No friends, strange town, and you’re still kinda pissed for having to move. I found some comfort in video games. I would constantly rent Twisted Metal 3 from a video store. My brother and I would go to an Arcade and play a ton of video games. It wasn’t your standard arcade; you would spend six or seven dollars and you would be able to play a bunch of arcade games for free. It was awesome. They had bumper cars too.

Soon school started and I made friends. Two of them I am still friends to this day. A weird kid who liked Final Fantasy and Zelda. Yes, he owns a Link outfit, complete with a master sword. Another kid, who became my best friend, would come over to my house and we would watch my brother play Starcraft and Diablo 2. Pretty soon, we both bought those games and played them with each other. This is when I started to really get into gaming.

Starcraft

The Zerg always lose because they don’t have Pylons.

By middle school, I was still playing the expansions for Starcraft and Diablo 2 with friends. I had built my own computer and brought it to LAN parties. You don’t appreciate laptops until you’ve had to carry a CRT monitor from place to place. Our family owned a Playstation (we’ve had it before we moved) and my brother had an N64. We had retired the NES and SNES for mainly computer games, and an odd console game here and there. Then I watched someone play Grand Theft Auto 3. I had to have a Playstation 2 after seeing this game. I saved up and when I could afford one I bought a PS2 along with a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. My dad had to purchase Vice City for me. The game was magical.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Nothing says “Magic” like a felony.

Fast forward a little bit; high school to be exact. Full on video game geek. I gobbled up anything video game related. This is when I started to really pay attention to this fantastic industry. I started watching XPlay (R.I.P.). Guess who was being interviewed on one occasion? David Jaffe, the creator of one of my favorite games of all time, Twisted Metal 2. He was talking about God of War, which had been out for a while. I worked at Target at the time. My mom bought it for me for my birthday… I was the electronics team member whom she purchased it from. I remember playing it and was stunned at the violence. It was awesome. I showed all my friends. I still love that series.

God of War

To this day, I assume blood looks exactly like this.

My interest for video games grew throughout the rest of high school, and college. I bought a Wii on launch day, a Playstation 3 shortly after launch, and an XBox 360. I always had a PC capable of playing the latest games. I bought several games on release day, played dozens of hours a week, read a ton of video game websites, and subscribed to four different magazines at one point. I always knew when a game was going to be out, at least a year ahead of time. I watched several games become vaporware (games that were never released). I could tell you the lead developers for several games. I watched closely at projects started by Bill Roper, David Jaffe, Randy Pitchford, Tim Sweeney, John Carmack, and several others.

Then something happened. My last year or so of college, I played less video games. Needed to focus on homework, or I just hung out with friends more. I still paid attention to video games media and bought a ton of games, but I was playing much less. I had (and still do) a large back catalog of games. After graduation, I got a career. That’s where I am now. It’s weird. I love video games, but they are not as large part of my life anymore. My outlook has also changed on them.

I still stay caught up on the latest video games news. However, I prefer the feature articles of Polygon or The Penny Arcade Report, to the headline stories of Gamespot and IGN. Not saying that Gamespot and IGN don’t have very well written features, but they seem to be few and far between. Instead of buying a game on release day, I tend to wait until I have time to play it; then if I wait long enough, I might wait for a sale  or the price to go down on the game. It’s smart, but with a career, I don’t really need to pinch pennies. Before I might have bought a game like Bikini Zombie Slayer on day one, while today I’ll just pass on it. I used to play dozen of hours of video games a week, and I’m lucky if I play a video game during the work week at all (although weekends tend to be open season on video games for me). I just prefer to go exercise, have dinner with friends, maybe watch a TV show, or play Dungeon and Dragons (I’ll write about that someday).

Dice

Roll for story time.

I’m still excited about video games, but they are a lower priority now. I’m watching D.I.C.E. Summit videos right now. Some of the speakers are fascinating. I’m buying God of War Ascension on day one. I’m buying Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm on day one. Alas, Aliens: Colonial Marines gets pushed back to whenever I have time. Whenever I upgrade my computer, which needs to happen this year, I’ll buy Crysis 3. I might have to buy a 3DS for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (there’s a few other games I want for 3DS too… its just Castlevania is probably the tipping point). Gears of War Judgement will need to be put off until a later date. Basically, once I feel satisfied with God of War and Starcraft, I’ll move on to another game. By then, they might be cheaper too.

So that’s where I’ve been and where I am at; at least when it comes to video games. I’m sure I’ll never stop playing. My corpse will be holding the controller for the Playstation 50 when I die. I’ll always play games. Maybe not as much as other times in my life life, but they’ll be present. Especially if they keep making games like Bikini Zombie Slayer.

Bikini Zombie Slayer

I don’t care how crappy the game is… it has blood, zombies, and cowboy hats.

Double Fine Zone

Double Fine Zone

I decided not do do the last section of my Games of 2011 articles. Been fairly busy. I was just sitting here waiting for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception to come via UPS, and I decided to do an update. Double Fine Productions has been on my mind. Trenched was suppose to receive an update that would add a Horde type mode to the game, as well as change the name to Iron Brigade. Psychonauts got a huge update via Steam. Achievements, graphical tweaks, and other tweaks were added to the game (fantastic for a six year old game). Costume Quest is a Halloween themed game, that I just bought. Double Fine makes great and funny games. I love Time Schafer and his team at Double Fine.

First off, if you have not bought Trenched yet, you should. It’s on XBLA for $15 and it’s a fun downloadable title, especially if you have friends. It’s tower defense meets third person mech game, and its fun to kill enemies and collect weapons. You can customize your trenches with those weapons, and different mech load outs. It’s just a great game, and I’m looking forward to the update that adds the unending wave mode.

The main reason I was thinking about Double Fine games is because of Psychonauts. I bought it a few years ago on Steam because I didn’t own an original XBox (and didn’t know it came to PC or PS2). I played and beat it earlier this year and it quickly jumped to one of my favorite games of all times. With the new update that added achievements, I figured it was a great excuse to play this great game again. The dialogue in this game is so funny. You’ll wander around talking to everyone, and everything, just so you don’t miss a funny line. The dialogue isn’t the only good thing about this game. The gameplay and level design are topnotch. It’s your standard 3D platformer, but the level design makes it outstanding. You enter the minds of people and each person has a themed level. These level feels unique because of this. As you progress through the game, you receive new psychonaut powers, such as levitation, telekinesis, and clairvoyance. Some levels require the use of these powers to progress, which gives it a Zelda feel. If you do not own this game already, I highly recommend buying it. It’s on Steam for $10 and it holds up to the test of time. It’s also a good 15 to 20 hour game, with lots of collectables. I recommend playing with a controller, and customizing the layout a bit to fit your liking. Apparently they added support for the 360 controller, but I played with a PS2 controller clone. Go buy it now, so that they will make a sequel!

The third game, Costume Quest, has been out for a year. It’s a Halloween themed game. I was turned off by it because it was a turned based fighting game, but that shouldn’t have mattered. I love Paper Mario for the N64, and I loved this game. It was less than $10 on XBLA and I was bored, so I bought it. The dialogue was funny, but I wished there was a voice over. Not at all; it was all text. It was still funny though it would have been better with voice actors. I like collecting stuff in games, so it was fun going around collecting everything in the overworld. The combat was also fun. Reminded me of Paper Mario, where you push a button to do more damage, or push a different button to receive less damage when you are attacked. You collect materials and blueprints for costumes throughout the game, and once you make a costume, you gain new abilities in combat. The costumes also have abilities in the overworld, and you can switch among the costumes very quickly. Some costumes can get you to areas that you couldn’t get in before. I enjoy that sense of exploration and progression, which is why I love Zelda so much. I enjoy it in this game as well. It’s very short. My Raptr account says I spent 5 hours on it, but I think it was a little shorter. I got all of the achievements for it as well. There is DLC, but it is about $5 I think (I hate translating XBL points into real monies) and it seems like it only adds one new area so I don’t know if I’ll get it. It was a fun Halloween game and recommend it if you have some downtime.

There’s a few more games by Double Fine that I want to highlight. Brutal Legend is dirt cheap right now. I didn’t like the gameplay as much and I didn’t finish it. The story was hilarious and engaging, as I expected, but I couldn’t get passed the gameplay. Maybe because it sold itself as a third person action game, and it ended up being a hero based, simplified RTS, in an open world, with third person hack-and-slash elements. That RTS part really through me off and I stopped playing it. I should play it again and just keep that in mind and maybe I’ll like it. The world is awesome (heavy metal themed world? Hell yes!). If it sounds like a game for you, check it out. It’s dirt cheap. It’s on PS3 and 360. Stacking is another downloadable title from them. It’s a charming puzzle game. You play as a Russian stacking doll. It’s fun, but not really too difficult. Double Fine just released a Kinect game called Once Upon A Monster, based on the Sesame Street IP, and I’m hearing good things about it… if you have children to play it with. Kind of makes me wish I had children… except not really. So there you go. Several reasons why you should play Double Fine games.

Games of 2011: Games Released in the First Half

Games of 2011This is part two of three of the Games of 2011 series I am doing. In Games Released in the First Half I will talk about games that I followed that have been released in the first half of 2011. Most of the games I passed over for one reason or another. Some of the games I already talked about in What I Played.

I loved Little Big Planet, and so I kept my eye on Little Big Planet 2. Little Big Planet 2 improves on everything from the original. Why didn’t I buy it? Well, I was working on my back catalog of games that I mentioned, and I figured I could get it at a discounted price when it becomes a Greatest Hits title. Simple as that.

Killzone 3 is another game by Sony that I didn’t buy. I keep following the Killzone series, but I never play them. Anyways, the third one sounds like more of the same from the second one. I don’t know if I’ll ever buy the series, but I might.

I bought Stacking, as I told you before. You can read the write up I did on it in the previous post. It’s a charming game and made by Double Fine Productions.

Crysis 2 is another game that I plan on buying when it gets discounted in price. I enjoy the series, but I can’t spend full price on every game that I want. I’m looking forward to playing in New York invaded by aliens, and donning the Nanosuit 2.0. I’ll end up buying it if it goes on sale for a good price.

I already talked about Bulletstorm in my previous post. It’s a fun game and I recommend it.

I talked about Portal 2 already. It’s fantastic, and might win game of the year in my book.

Homefront is an interesting case. I was intrigued because THQ wanted a game to compete with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. The story sounded cool as well. North Korea invades America. Sounded like a good story. According to reviews, the story wasn’t that great. However, the reviews said the multiplayer was very good. I’m not a big multiplayer fan, so I passed on this one. I might buy it if I can get it for $20.

I already chatted about Okamiden. If you loved Okami, you’ll like this one, and if you haven’t played Okami, play Okami!

Volition keeps changing their  Red Faction series, and Red Faction: Armageddon is no exception. The first and second games were first person shooters. The third game was an open world third person shooter. Armageddon sounds like a linear third person shooter (although it might be open world, just more linear; I’m not sure). I played the demo, and it was fun… just not full price fun. I payed $5 dollars for Guerrilla, and it was fun for that price of admission. It adds a few things, like being able to repair stuff, which is kinda cool. The problem with the two newer Red Faction games seems to be that combat sucks. Destroying stuff is fun. They have a multiplayer mode dedicated to the destroying stuff part, which is awesome. From what I read in reviews, Armageddon’s story isn’t that great. So, I think I’m going to wait until it is very cheap.

Oh Brink, where do I start. How about all the negative reviews. Almost everyone is saying this game fails hard. I was gunning for it to succeed. Then I heard that emphasis was going to be on multiplayer, and then it fell off my radar, because I like my single player experiences. I’ve heard that the PC version is a lot better than the console version, because of the patches they were able to release quickly on PC, which is good. However, too little too late.

Bethesda, stop publishing unfinished games. With Skyrim and RAGE looking awesome, it makes me wonder why Brink and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge are given bad reviews. Hunted was a game that I was excited for, but after Brink, was skeptical if it was going to be good. Turns out, not good. I was excited for a Gears of War crossed with a fantasy, dungeon crawler, with coop. According to reviews, it succeeds in none of these areas.

I actually bought L.A. Noire. I had a $10 gift card for Best Buy, and the game came with another, so I bought it. Then I started playing Red Dead Redemption because that had been in my back catalog for a long time. I’m looking forward to being a 1940’s detective. The facial animations look fantastic. I plan on buying Infamous 2 and playing that before this.

Speaking of Infamous 2. I’m excited to play this game. I am playing the first one on hard right now, to get a trophy and refresher course on the series. I got really excited after Yahtzee, from Zero Punctuation, reviewed the game and actually praised it. I became even more excited, and gained a lot more respect for Sucker Punch Productions (not the movie, the developer of the game) when I read his editorial. I’m really excited to follow this story that Sucker Punch has crafted.

Almost 15 years of development, and Duke Nukem Forever game turns out to be terrible. There’s many reviews and write ups on why this game is bad, so I won’t echo any of those feelings. I never played the original Duke Nukem, or Duke Nukem 3D so I was just following this game out of curiosity. I thought Gearbox was going to make it a great game, but turns out they just marketed the game and ported it to the consoles… the story and level design was already set in stone when it was handed to them. In short, I don’t blame Gearbox.

Unlike Duke Nukem, I did play the original Alice. Not all of it, but most of it. Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to this, where Alice needs to return to Wonderland. The original had cool level design and a cool story. Madness Returns didn’t do well in the reviews, so I think I’ll pass over this one.

That’s all of them that I can remember. Trenched was released, but I’ll put up a separate post with a review of the game (spoiler: buy the game)! The next part of the series will deal with games that I am excited for in the second half of 2011. There’s a lot of them. I’ll put up a Google Calendar on my profile page that has all the release dates that I am excited for embedded within it. The forum is in working order now. I needed to clean up a lot of spam, and it seems I have stemmed the tide, but I think all the users that are on it are all spam… if the accounts aren’t activated (they are activated through a link in email) within a month, I’ll delete them. Happy summer!