Monday, June 27, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Review

This is a big one. Arguably(but not really) the most anticipated game of the last decade, and the stuff of legend in the gaming community. Every time this game was delayed, I lost a little faith in mankind. Others, like Slash000, who is an Olympic gold medalist in waiting, never gave up hope. Gearbox and 2K have revived this monstrous title, but does it live up to its name? Here's what I think of Duke Nukem Forever.

Graphics: 6/10
The main complaint everyone has is about the graphics. Let me say, they are not up to par with other shooters, like, Gears of War, Halo: Reach, Killzone, etc. The thing is, the way this game is being treated, you'd think it had Playstation 1 graphics. The graphics are not bad in any way. They're simply alright. Nothing substantial. You won't be seeing expressions of sadness or anger on many faces when they're talking to you. You will, however, see many pig body parts flying at you. Lots and lots of boobs too. And who doesn't love that?

Story: 7/10
"Aliens are invading. They've taken our babes. Duke Nukem has to kill them and save the world. The president is a dick." That is the entire story in a nutshell. No outstanding narrative or anything like that. But I'm giving it a high score for its simplicity. This is exactly what I expected out of this game. I didn't want to listen to massive amounts of dialogue and watch cut scenes. I wanted to mindlessly shoot alien pigs and hear Duke shout one liners.

And speaking of one liners, they are fantastic. There are so many references in this game, it's hard to count. All the way from Pulp Fiction to those G.I. Joe PSA dub videos. It's like my undersexed 15 year old self and my-undersexed-self now got together in a room and wrote Duke's script. Any game with the phrase, "When I'm done with you, I'm gonna piss in your eye." gets my approval.

Gameplay: 8/10
IN THIS GAME YOU REALLY DO PISS IN SOMETHING'S EYE! Sorry, I had to get that out there. The gameplay in Duke Nukem Forever is, simply put, fun. That's the best way to describe it. You are the baddest of all asses and you have big guns and you shoot aliens. In between that, Duke interacts with a lot of the environment. From pinball machines and air hockey to picking a piece of poop out of a toilet. Most of it granting you health bonuses. So fling that poo! Some puzzles are thrown in every now and then too. Nothing hard though. It's always pretty obvious what you have to do. Though, the loading screen does let you know that you can "cheat" by checking FAQs online.

Chapters are pretty varied as well. I mean, throughout the entire game you're shooting things 90% of the time, but location wise. One chapter that really sticks out to me, is when Duke gets shrank in his restaurant. You spend the entire level in a Toy Story style tiny adventure and it's just loads of fun. Once in you're in the kitchen, you have to save this lady(who I named Moira, because she sounds like Moira from Fallout 3. And she's batshit nuts like her too.), and traversing the room is like being on another planet. I've never heard of anyone drowning in a deep fryer, but Duke Nukem let me experience it. And it's not a good way to go.

Balls of Steel: 9/10
To say that Duke Nukem Forever deserved a special edition is an understatement. 12 years of development and all I get is a disc? Get out of here. But luckily, Gearbox rarely disappoints and Balls of Steel Edition comes with a lot of stuff. A hardcover artbook, a comic book, a deck of cards, a bust of the man himself, Duke. I won't name it all but trust me, it's awesome. Obviously, with the $100 price tag, it's for the fans that have been waiting for this game for as long as I have, and I recommend it to those of you.

Overall: 7/10
Duke Nukem Forever is not the end all, be all game. Just because something has taken 10+ years to come out, doesn't mean it's going to be a masterpiece. Don't believe me? Check out Guns N' Roses' sonic disaster Chinese Democracy. What I can say is that you'll have a blast with this game. Take the game for what it is, and not what it isn't and you'll be fine. If you haven't waited on this game for the entirety of its development, I say wait until the price drops down to $40. Other than that, if you're a Duke fan, this is the game for you. It's exactly what you expect it to be. Running and gunning and blowing everything the fuck up.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Microsoft 360 Game Cases

This may be an odd thing to review, but I felt like it needed to be done. These things are abysmal. I can't even believe that they are in production. Seriously, most times when someone keeps their game out of the case, people are like "What? That's gonna get your game fucked up, bro!" But here lately, it seems like if you're a 360 owner, the best place to keep your games are anywhere that ISN'T the original case. These things are supposed to keep your discs safe,  scratch-free and looking good. But no, for some reason, Microsoft wanted to take a big ole dump on the consumers heads and give us these shitty pieces of ass. I first noticed a problem when I got Halo: Reach. After a couple weeks or so, having played the game a bit, the inner ring of the disc started to crack. I saw a crack, and got mad, because I take care of my games. They stay in the cases and I like to keep them looking nice. But for some reason, this disc was cracked. I messed around with the game a bit and realized that the disc holder in the case was putting a lot of unnecessary tension when I was taking it in and out. I decided whatever, and just traded it in. A few months later, I get Marvel vs Capcom 3 on release day, that copy was broken because of other reasons, so I got a new copy. But now, this new case is starting to do the same thing. Sometimes when I put the game in it comes up with a Play DVD error. I've only ever let one person borrow the game, and I know he takes good care of games also. But lo and behold, the inner ring of this disc is cracking and fucking up entirely. I just bought a copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was 10 bucks and Gamestop was having a balla ass sale, so I decided why not. Well I looked at the disc, and it's got those same little cracks on the inner ring of the disc. I pulled the disc out of the case to check the disc out even more, but as I was doing it cracked even more, a tiny chunk of the clear inner ring of the disc just peeled off. I don't know why this keeps happening, I don't know why Microsoft has shitty cases. They're supposed to be environmentally friendly or whatever, but man fuck that. I don't throw away video game cases, I don't really know too many people that do. I just want a nice sturdy case that won't fuck up my disc. I've had four games so far with the cracked inner rings because of the stupid microsoft cases. It's a nuisance, and it's costing consumers more money than they need to spend.

eat a dick microsoft

Friday, June 17, 2011

WWE All Stars Brawlpad Review

It's no secret that we here at The Gamer's Spot, love fighting games. But little known fact, we're also predominantly 360 gamers. These two things do not go hand in hand. Anyone that's ever held a 360 controller has said the same thing, "What the fuck is up with this d-pad?" And it's not brand loyalty keeping us from the glorious PS3 d-pad and controller. It's being too broke to buy a PS3. (Click our ads, and we magically get money! Also, you'll be much more attractive to the opposite sex.) So, I've been on a hunt for a replacement since getting back into fighting games. Here's what I think of the WWE All Stars Brawlpad. And since different games are usually accompanied by different mechanics, I'll be doing it game by game.

Mortal Kombat: 8/10

Now, this is the one that matters most to me, as you can see by my review, I love this game with all my soul. If I wasn't 80% sure it was illegal, I'd marry it. A game like MK relies mostly on special movies. Trying to pull off special moves with regular 360 d-pad is like pulling teeth. And not being a licensed dentist. That is to say, really difficult. I want to do a move that requires me to press back, but my character wants to do 3 backflips instead. It's frustrating.

With the Brawlpad though, I haven't run into that problem, once. The d-pad is a major improvement from the standard 360 "affront to God" d-pad(seriously, I can't stress how terrible it is.). Peppering up combos with special moves flows as you expect it should. It also makes dashing a breeze. Something that's required to close the gap between you and your opponent quickly, and a good combo lengthener. Juggling being a big part of the game and all. Highly recommend this controller to any MK players out there.

Marvel vs Capcom 2: 7/10

I have a very specific problem when it comes to the Marvel vs Capcom games. If a special move requires me to sweep left, I simply can't do it. This may be user error, but I haven't had this problem since picking the Brawlpad up. The bumper buttons are face buttons, and to me, that makes assists a lot easier. It feels like I can get to the buttons faster, thus, assists come faster.

To make it even better, I jump when I want to jump now. My characters don't wildly start hopping around, like they just bought Moon Boots. The analog stick drift on the 360 is atrocious and it's nice to not deal with that anymore. I can actually pull off combos now too. Usually I just did one or two hits, let my meter build, and then unleash a hyper combo. But now I find myself knocking people up and stringing together a few things. It's a wonderful feeling.

Now, these next two games, I don't own. I went to a friend's house and tried them out with the Brawlpad. I got a little bit of time with both. Enough to make an impression.

Marvel vs Capcom 3: 5/10

From what I could tell, this controller was alright for MvC3. Nothing supremely special. The d-pad stepped my game up a little bit. Like with it's predecessor, it was easier to pull of hyper combos, regardless of direction. My problem came with the face buttons. Nothing is wrong with them, physically, the placement just feels wrong to me for this game. If you didn't know, in MvC3, the buttons are laid out like this, X Y and B are light, medium and hard attacks, with A being a dedicated launch/special button. So, the main attack buttons kind of arc over the launch button. A good set up, if you ask me.

Like I said, though, I don't own this game. I didn't have time to play around with settings and different layouts, but I'm going to assume there's a better one. Had it been like MvC2, with the 4 button, light/hard kick light/hard punch, set up, it may have been much better. But since it's a three button system, if you're looking for ONLY an MvC3 controller, keep looking because I don't think this would be for you.

Tekken: 4/10
I'd like to start out this portion of the review by saying, fuck Tekken. I've always sucked at Tekken, and this did not help at all. It wasn't that it was bad or anything, it just didn't really change anything. What more can I say? It's not bad, it's not good.

Overall: 7/10
As a fairly inexpensive controller, and about $10 cheaper than the Street Fighter 4 fightpad, while still being the exact same thing, I recommend to any fighting gamer on a budget. Or anyone wanting a huge step up from the 360 d-pad. Also, if you're like me, and you don't like fight sticks. I know it's blasphemy to say, but I can't stand them and I know there are probably other people out there that feel the same way. This is a great alternative. And yeah, I realize I didn't even include the game the Brawlpad was made for(All Stars), but I've never even played it outside the demo. Given the name though, I'm sure it would work fine with it.

- Travis (I STEVE HOLT I)

Addendum! -Moog

Marvel vs Capcom 3: 3/10
To say I've played a lot of MvC3 is a bit of an understatement. I love this game so so much, as evident by my review earlier. I played it constantly for about three months after it came out. And I still play arcade alot. So I've got a lot of experience in engine and such of it. And I have to say, a Brawlpad is not meant to be used for MvC3. The d-pad is nice, the arcade style button layout is awesome, but it's just not a fit for MvC3. It's easier to pull off certain combos, and the d-pad is better than the 360 controller, but I'd rather have it than a brawlpad. It's a great controller, but not for MvC3. Certain motions are easier to pull off, but to crank out and X-Factor you have to press all four face buttons at once. and that's just now a simple task. It may have just been the controller layout I was using. The top three buttons are Light, Medium, Hard, and the bottom three are Special, Assist 1, Assist 2. I just couldn't get it down. So chalk this up to my own folley, but I didn't like it. I'd rather have a controller.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pokemon: Wild Type

So I really don't know anything about this game. My girlfriend linked it to me and I downloaded. Everything is in Japanese (I think) so I can't really tell anything about it other than the options "SINGLE" or "VERSUS" and "NORMAL" and "HARD" difficulty. But so far.. wow. It's a fighting game, with Pokemon. Not Smash Bros or anything like that. An actual fighting game. I'm shocked.

Graphics: 9/10
 As far as I can tell, this is an amateur project. But it doesn't show in the least. The detail in the animations and character models are stunning. The moves, the sprites, the backgrounds, the menu options, the assist characters, the supers. Everything is so amazing. You can tell a LOT of work went into making this game. It looks beautiful, it's insanely colorful as a pokemon game should be. The artwork seriously looks like an official pokemon game. It's awesome.

Story: x/x
This seems to be a trend with the games I review. But it's not my fault this time. I can't even read anything in this game. But who cares? Pokemon are beating the shit out of each other fighting game style.

Music: 6/10
Standard pokemon fare, if you've played pokemon you've heard all this music before.

Gameplay: 9/10
It's seriously almost perfect. It flows so well, I can't even tell which engine it's based on, if any. There's six buttons, Light and Hard punches and kicks, then Protect and Assist. I haven't quite figured out what all Protect does, but Assist obviously brings in assist characters. What assist characters are available seems dependent upon which pokemon you pick, and which round. I'm not sure. It's different every time usually. Or you could not have an assist character and receive an instant boost to your super meter.

It's all really well done. The engine is great, the CPUs need more fine tuning. Their AI seems to just spam one move over and over and over and over. The characters aren't all that balanced either. Lucario easily bodies any of the characters on the roster so far. There's only six to choose from by the way, but given that it's a work in progress it's forgivable.
The available characters are, Lucario, Blaziken, Combusken, Gardevoir, Gengar and Snorlax. A strange assortment at best. My only gripe at the moment is that both Blaziken and Combusken are in the game. They're from the same evolution line so it seems somewhat pointless to me. But they play well, so it's whatever.

Overall: 8/10
So far there's no huge issues with this game, and it's a work in progress so more features are sure to come. I can only hope for an expanded roster and AI fixes. The game is free, so download away.

I Wanna Be The Guy pt. 1

Let me just start off by saying, FUCK this game. It's so magnificently hard. It's tough to a degree that I've never seen in a game before. Why do apples fall up? 

At any rate, I'm going to be reviewing this as I play it. So it may deteriorate into mindless rambling. Bear with me. I've tried to beat the first level a few times now, and I just keep dying. and Keep dying. and keep dying.

I've been staring at this screen for about 20 minutes now.

 The game starts you off on this screen. Your first instinct is to just head down the gap and continue on. Guess what you're greeted with when you do?

I think I've seen this screen a good twenty some times now, roughly. It's maddening. But I want to play through this just to say that I did. An accomplishment that not many have achieved. Harder than almost any achievement or trophy that exists. Let's continue on.

I do have the mention, the graphics are really well done. Nice old school textures that are soft on the eyes. The death effects are really nice. Every time you die you just kinda explode into a particle filled mess. It's beautiful.

I have a gun for some reason. I'm mostly sure there are bosses and enemies in this game, I've just personally never seen them.

I finally make it past the first screen, and what happens? I die.

Look at this room. Just look at it for a moment. After the first screen this is what you drop down into. A room filled with spikes. The walls are coated in spikes, the floor is coated in spikes, the spikes are coated in spikes. What the hell is this? As far as I can tell it's just a death trap. I've yet to figure out what to do in this room, so for now I just have to keep falling to my death until I figure it out.

Okay! okay! When I fall there's a little spike that's jiggling, if I shoot it, then it falls down into a platform. But the next part is fucking.. ugh. Little blocks appear for a moment, making more platforms for me to jump on. But they disappear and I never know when they're going to disappear or where the next one is going to be.

Four blocks in and I die. The furthest I've gotten is four blocks. Go me.

On a side note.

Fuck that guy. Fuck this stupid little asshole for wanting to embark on such a ridiculous quest. Imagine for a moment if IWBTG were real life. If one day, you woke up, and decided, "Man, I wanna be the guy." You'd go out, head off on your adventure. And fucking die. That's it. Your first few steps out into this strange journey and you just fucking die. What a shit life.

But at least the music is pretty bad ass. Check out this bumpin' track.

Fuck yeah. At least my ears feel good while my fingers and mind devolve into madness.

This is a bit of a nostalgia trip, to back when games were mind numbingly difficult. You have to be pixel fucking perfect in IWBTG, or else you're going to hear the game over music. Time, and time again. 

If you get frustrated easily, then this game is NOT for you. If you hate difficult games, this game is NOT for you. If you enjoy an extremely challenging game, that will make you question your sanity, then this game is absolutely for you. I'm giving up on this for now. I'll pick it back up later if I can.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Exploring Human Behavior Through Multiplayer Gaming

Multiplayer aspects have been a huge part of gaming since the dawn of the industry. Pong was ONLY multiplayer. But, in recent years, it has become a driving force in every game. Online multiplayer can make or break a game's sales. I'm not here to talk about that though. I'm here to discuss who we become in certain gaming situations. Let's begin.

Situation 1: Open World Games (Red Dead Redemption)

"Hey, let's climb on top of that house and punch each other until one of us falls off and dies. Whoever stays on is the winner." Now, unless you're a very competitive MMA fighter with a shingle fetish, you've never suggested this idea in every day life. But, this is what me and my friends did for two very manly hours in Red Dead Redemption free roam. With no guidelines or boundaries like the police or death stopping us, we could basically do what we wanted. And we used this amazing gift to beat each other senseless. What does that say about us? Are we harboring resentment? Probably not.

We're definitely not the worst though. We don't blatantly murder other players. A rooftop cowboy fight club is mostly what we do. The question still lingers though. Why do we do this? We don't see each other in the real world and think, "you know what would look good on his face? My fist." Probably because this would lead to complications like pain and confusion. Also, I have a huge fear of heights so there's no way I'd fight someone on a roof. So what I've learned from this is, take away death and people do nothing but try to kill each other.

Situation 2: Fighting Games (Marvel vs Capcom, Street Figher, Mortal Kombat, etc.)
If you ever want a glimpse into the true nature of someone you know, and wanna judge them based on that for the rest of your life because you can't unsee it, play a fighting game the way they DON'T play a fighting game. You'll hear the kind of whining only suited for a toddler. That's the kind of thing that comes out in this situation and I'm not sure why. Both players want to win and both want to do whatever they can to do so but whether that's knowing magnificent combos or using projectiles to keep your opponent away, if they're not doing that, then you shouldn't be either.

Some call it poor sportsmanship, because that's what it is. And others call it the game being broken, because that's what it is. It depends on the game, the person, and a plethora of other factors. But you can rest assured knowing one thing, whatever you're doing is the absolute worst way to play no matter what. People naturally don't want to fail, and they also naturally don't want to be the cause of their own failure. The best course of action is to blame the other person. Trash talking also helps, winning or losing.

"CHA CHA DESMOND" - I don't know what it means either.

Situation 3: First Person Shooters (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.)
Couldn't bring up multiplayer gaming without talking about these. As far as online communities go, if it were a town, this is the ghetto. This takes the unsportsmanship conduct from fighting games to an entirely new level. Racial slurs, hack threats, accusations of the promiscuity of your mother. And that's just the children. Again, people just can't handle losing. But here is where it gets ridiculous. When people get stabbed in the real world over getting stabbed in a game. Pretty gruesome stuff. Also, how big is the human brain? Because that knife looks comically large. Nevermind. Anyway, imagine that. Someone was so upset at losing in a game that they risked murder and jail time. I'm assuming that that's what happens in China, in regards to stabbings.

Think of what kind of mindset you have to have to stab somebody. There are plenty of, I won't say good, but understandable reasons to stab someone. Self defensive, because "fuck that guy.", or you happen to run into Michael Moore. Counter Strike, or any other online game ever, is not a good reason to attempt murder. Under no circumstances is that acceptable. And you'll forever be known as "that guy that stabbed that one dude over Counter Strike." That's a lifelong commitment.

An Open Letter to Activision

Dear Activision,

With the recent announcement of Modern Warfare 3 and the subsequent leak of every detail of the game, I have one important question to ask you. What the fuck are you doing? I would like you to think back to your older franchises. Tony Hawk's Pro Skating Underground Extravaganza and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Mediocre Track Lists. What do these two have in common? Saturation. You flood the market with these titles. I appreciate you trying to give everyone the hot game of the week but a Call of Duty title doesn't need to come out yearly. With a game like Madden or any other sports title, at least it makes some sense. New rosters do happen yearly and you can cash in if you release the game during football season. But with Call of Duty, there's no reason for it to happen. There's no war season. No "get called the n word by a 21 year old suburban white dude" season. Nothing to cash in on that's related to your title. By bringing your games out so quick and so often, you're killing interest in it, rather than keeping it alive. Imagine you're on a whale watching trip, you see the whale the first time, and you're like, "WHOOA A WHALE HOLY SHIT!" But take that same trip often enough and it becomes, "Meh, there's that fucking whale again..." Call of Duty is becoming that whale, in the same way Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero has in past years. We're not surprised to see it, and surprise is a key factor of excitement. And excitement leads to purchases. Bringing the games out so often seems to reduce quality, as well. Call of Duty 4 was and still is, an amazing game. Props for that one. But Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops both resulted in a resounding, "eh" from myself and most other people. Imagine if all resources from World At War and Black Ops went to MW2 and MW3. More time in between games, more production quality, more reason to go out and get the new Call of Duty, because you wouldn't be playing the Call of Duty you just bought 6 months ago. These are just suggestions. Another suggestion I have is an HD remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2(if that's even possible with PS1 games, I dunno.), but really, that's just for me and it'd probably only get 1 purchase but it'd be a happy one, I promise. And isn't that all that matters?

Sincerely Yours, A Long Time Fan Of The First Few Games In Your Series.