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Title: This amount of fandom impresses me
Posted: July 06, 2012 (12:11 AM)
For anyone who doesn't get it, watch the opening to Tales of the Abyss:
Title: Max Payne 3
Posted: May 19, 2012 (12:06 AM)
I started reviewing it tonight. If I had off tomorrow, I would just push myself to finish, but I've got to run an orientation for students that goes from 8am-4pm, so I'm headed to bed. I want to have this done by Sunday night.
The short version is that I'm giving it an 8/10, with potential for that to be a 9/10 before I'm done. It really is a fantastic game and an incredibly addictive multiplayer experience. My only problem comes from the overabundance of cutscenes (a disturbing trend in modern gaming) which too often breaks the flow of the amazing action.
Title: Zombies Run
Posted: May 04, 2012 (09:36 PM)
It's months later, I know, but I'm finally setting the first words to paper in a review of this unique running game. I don't want to spill my opinion too soon, but it's one of the more conflicted opinions I've had about a "game." And yes, those quotes are intentional.
Title: Twisted Metal came today
Posted: February 14, 2012 (06:41 PM)
So hopefully I'll get some time to clock some hours and get a review out there before the bounty on it closes.
Title: I can post pictures of asian ladies too
Posted: October 30, 2011 (09:28 PM)
I can post pictures of asian ladies too.
Title: John Cracker
Posted: October 17, 2011 (09:37 PM)
So all of my reviews say "reviewed by John Cracker" and "Original Score for this review was lost."
Title: World of Warcraft... what is needed to play?
Posted: October 07, 2011 (11:55 AM)
I know that some MMORPGS have packs that become useless if you buy them after a certain date (read: Final Fantasy online). Is World of Warcraft the same story or does the World of Warcraft Battlechest (really cheap now on Amazon) give you everything you need?
Title: Beyond human
Posted: September 24, 2011 (09:51 AM)
Title: Question about Demon's Soul
Posted: September 08, 2011 (09:18 PM)
Is it worth it to pick it up, now that the servers are going offline? Or should an interested player just wait for Dark Souls? Opinionize me.
Title: Deus Ex, collectors
Posted: August 23, 2011 (09:54 PM)
Great deal on this, cause I preordered through Amazon. 40 dollars, for the full collector's version. About to play it tonight and then I think at some point during the next month or two it will take me to finish, I'll drop a review.
Yeah, my review-time has gone down (up? It's gotten longer) because I'm incredibly busy these days. I know I've always said that, but now I've added a live-in (and living) girlfriend to the mix, as well as a second job. Also, our film has taken off (even though it's not out yet) and it looks like at some point in the next year I'll be filming in Romania, for a project budgeted at 5 million (and a paycheck over 100k for myself). Not confirmed on all that, yet, but work has begun nonetheless, adding to the ever growing list of responsibilities.
Still, I'd love to get back to reviewing. I miss you guys. I'll drop a line tonight and give you first impressions on Deus Ex.
Title: Totally Worth it
Posted: June 26, 2011 (09:33 PM)
Infamous is totally worth some hacks taking all of my personal info. And it was definitely worth the other PSN users losing their info.
Title: My god it's a sin
Posted: June 09, 2011 (12:09 PM)
I'm playing Metal Gear Solid 4 for the second time and actually enjoying it. A lot.
The change of heart is due to many reasons. One, I'm playing it for the first time on an HDTV which makes a huge difference in terms of immersion (which is one reason I didn't mention graphics in my original review). It also helps the gameplay, because it's damn near impossible, on an SDTV, to tell what's going on with all the tiny symbols and little HUDS that pop up all over the place.
Another thing that affected this was the fact that I just got done playing, in a row, every Metal Gear game (excluding the handhelds). I went from Metal Gear on the MSX straight through to 4, with the order kind've mixed around a bit. By the time I've gotten to 4, I'm ready for something a little different than the usual sneaking stuff. And MGS4 does give that.
I know that this is a complete turn around from my original review, but then you have to take into account how this game was presented at the time. It was the culmination of a series that was based on sneaking and stealth... plus it had been a fair number of years since the last game had come out. There was a lot of anticipation on the part of long time fans for a return to the old style of MGS.
Another thing that's helping a lot is that I'm skipping most of the Codec conversations, or at least tapping through them rather than listening to them. It's incredible how fast my enjoyment of the game drops when I start listening to those conversations. I can't even pinpoint why, except that they break up the action and tension of the game for no good reason.
One thing that hasn't changed is my absolute dislike of the fart humour that is liberally sprinkled throughout the piece, not to mention some of the more ridiculous "plot twists." Loooong cut scenes where no one does anything also still make me want to play something else (Drebin's scenes are the best example of this).
Anyway, I'll have to get further. It's been so long since I last played that I don't even remember what happens in the later chapters. I've also yet to fight the first boss, Laughing Octopus, and I seem to remember being disappointed by that fight. While I doubt that I'll have a major turn around and call this my favorite game of all time, I am pleased that I'm enjoying it and want to take the time to explore it's little gameplay intricacies.
Title: If anyone actually enjoyed Brink and plans on playing more...
Posted: June 06, 2011 (10:54 AM)
... I have a free access code for the DLC "Psycho Pack." First come, first serve... let me know if you want it and I'll PM you the code.
Title: GT's top 10 anticipated games
Posted: June 02, 2011 (10:32 PM)
I've kind've dropped out of the gaming world lately, going back to playing old favorites in my limited spare time. That said, I'm not surprised that I'm not super excited for many of these titles. A few comments...
- Uncharted 3 looks a lot like Uncharted 2. It sort've seems like the same thing you'd get renting National Treasure 2. You know what to expect; if you like that, you'll enjoy yourself, but there's not much there to keep one excited at this point.
- Tomb Raider actually has me hoping. I know... it's like hoping your cousin will give up cocaine, but there's a faint glimmer there.
- Mass Effect 3 makes me wish, as usual, that they'd release Mass Effect 1 for the PS3, thus enabling me to feel able to play Mass Effect 2. I know, I know... you don't need to play the first game to enjoy the second yadda yadda... that would be like me saying you don't have to read A Game of Thrones to enjoy a Clash of Kings.
- Battlefield 3 looks better than Modern Warfare 3, for the few parts of the game that don't look EXACTLY THE SAME as Modern Warfare 3. Seriously. If you clipped those two segments together without a title card, you wouldn't know you'd switched games.
- Arkham City has me excited because it's Batman. That sort've obscures any logical conclusion I could come to about the game.
- I wonder if Elder Scrolls V will actually see me return to the series. I couldn't stand Elder Scrolls 4 and Morrowind is one of those games that I suddenly realized I had done absolutely nothing of value in for hours and hours of solo play. I've always waited for the Elder Scroll games to deliver on what they promise: an immersion world. If the shots I've been seeing of the game are not just isolated occurences and scripted events, then I might actually be excited for this one.
- I died out on Zelda after Twilight Princess.
- And the winner is... Bioshock? Really? Now, didn't the second game get fairly mediocre response from the community? I like the design of 3, but did anyone else feel like it didn't live up at all to the other games on the list? To each their own.
Title: Review request
Posted: May 29, 2011 (10:54 PM)
I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
Anyone played it?
Title: So...playstation Store?
Posted: May 25, 2011 (12:06 AM)
Not up yet? Just making sure it's not just me.
Title: You shitting me?
Posted: May 07, 2011 (12:29 PM)
I just picked up Metal Gear solid 3 subsistence as part of the collection pack. Love that game.
Anyway, I was simultaneously excited and terrified to see that there is now a difficulty mode called European Extreme, which ends the game when you are spotted. This is exactly the kind of mode I would've been dying to get my hands on back when I first played the game (I did try many times to make it through MGS1 without being spotted). I fear that I now shall have to take the challenge.
After all, I'm the one whose always complaining that MGS1 was the last game where you really didn't have to get spotted, what with the powerful weapons you get in the next few games.
But that is pretty insane.
Title: Pretty quality 3D crafting program, available for free
Posted: April 18, 2011 (11:08 AM)
For free if you're making a non-commercial game, at least. This was originally developed to create the canceled Lone Wolf game. Some friends of mine turned me on to its existence as a free program and they say it's quite astounding.
I've checked it out a little myself. I know next to nothing about 3D graphics, but I can see from what little I do know that it's got a good range of the usual tools with a few interesting shortcuts around some of the usually more annoying details, like automatic keying or inserted polygon blips.
It also has great documentation and decent support, which with 3D programs is more important than I think people realize.
Anyway, it came to my attention and I wasn't going to do anything with the info until I realized some of you guys might be into doing something with this or might know someone who could use it.
Title: Very important question
Posted: April 14, 2011 (10:05 AM)
Should I get Portal 2 on Mac OSX via steam or on the PS3?
Title: Best Dragon Quest game?
Posted: April 01, 2011 (01:07 PM)
Anyone want to chime in on which the best one is? They are all available in one form or another these days and I'm thinking of picking one up to play in the spare time I don't have.
As a point of reference I didn't really enjoy DQVIII all that much. That is to say, I actually thought the writing was quite good (and was pleasantly surprised) but the battle system was mundane to the point that I actually fell asleep (really) during one protracted boss battle and ended up not finishing the game because I stopped wanting to level (which is necessary in that game). Also, did anyone else notice that the "charge" system (where you could take damage and double your next attack) didn't actually do anything significant? Not when you could just choose to attack and do the same amount of damage over two turns that you would do waiting those turns to "charge" and attack.
I was just wondering if there were any of the games in the series that are maybe a little more interesting in their battle system but keep that same solid writing.
And, oh, how's everyone doing?
Title: The stragglers to the Last Round Up
Posted: January 11, 2011 (12:42 AM)
I meant to do this last year, but never got around to it. If I don't do it now, who knows if it will ever be done?
I've already posted my YEAR IN REVIEW but I thought it would be even less-humble to go back and talk about the 30 or so reviews I did prior to 2009.
All of my fan mail (notice the singular) convinced me that this, indeed, was what I should do.
So there's a second one coming out and that I don't really understand. That's like if they announced they were coming out with, I don't know... Legos 2.0. I guess they were called Bionicle and they had a TV Show and stuff. Whatev.
LBP was a game I am very exuberant about that I also never play. I don't know what that says about me.
I used to think this was a terrible, over exuberant, review. Today looking at it, I don't think it's all that bad. Definitely it lacks a maturity of style, but really it raises good points about Chrono Trigger. I believe I hit it on the head by calling it a young adult epic. I think that explains both why it worked at the time and why it doesn't work for older people to try and pick up today.
Today I would probably go more in depth on the game's problems and try to pull apart the battle system in the manner I began here, but there's no denying that Chrono Trigger made an impact. I'm still finishing writing a 200+ page fan fiction about it. Been working on it for almost three years.
It's going well. Thanks for asking.
I've said this about other reviews, but my Resolution version of this was better. Still, I have an incredible soft spot for this review as it was after this that Jason got in touch asking me to join the freelance team. I was more excited than I care to admit. I won't describe how I told all my friends and jumped around the house like an idiot for several hours. Except I just did.
If Aliens versus Predator was the biggest disappointment of 2010, than Mirror's Edge was the biggest disappointment of my gaming career (except for maybe Xenogears). I was ridiculously stoked for this game and, from the demo, it seemed to have so much to say.
I needn't deliver a punch line for this one. The game provides its own punchline. It's just not good.
Kingdom Hearts: RE to Sender
I am always amazed at how short this review is, considering I had an entire bizarre system of combat and world travel to explain.
This was the only PS2 game that, so far, has not run on my PS3. There's a glitch in the beginning where you can't get past (wait for it) the tutorial. That's irony. I was able to download a save file off the internet; first time I had to tinker about with my PS3 in such a manner. It was more fun than I thought it would be. The tinkering I mean... the game was about what I expected, having played the original.
Yep. Zipp had gamefaq reviews, too. Maybe not as many as YOU but I had em. You can tell which they are because they still use headings.
I take back my line about Mirror's Edge being the biggest disappointment. The Wii was the biggest disappointment of my gaming career. I waited 17 hours in line for that system. It has never quite lived up to it, except maybe in the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Ah, the mere thought of that game makes me happy.
And this was my first ROTW win! I think it was a bit of a steal, if I recall, because it was back in the day when we only had two or three reviews submitted each week. Believe me, the site has come a long way. I can't even imagine it back in '07.
The title says it all. This was one of those bad games that keeps demanding your money. Frustrating to witness.
Playing this was one of the most hilarious gaming experiences of my life. It was terrible. I believe I'm one of the only people to beat it on hard. I say this because the game is mindlessly broken on that difficulty. I mean there are stages where there is no way, conventionally, to survive. It's like they didn't test the game at all. I survived by finding and exploiting glitches, like hiding in parts of the room where, due to clipping issues, enemies couldn't hit me. It reminded me of the old NES days. Remember that Ninja Gaiden boss who couldn't hit you in a specific corner of the room?
I'll never write a review like this again. I promise. Drug reviews are just... unoriginal.
Metal Gear Solid 4
This was the beginning of my reviewing career. It's actually not the first review I wrote. But it was the one that got starred on gamefaqs and got me an invite to Honest Gamers. I never would have been here if not for Jason liking this review.
Reading it now, I have to say I think it's one of my better reviews. But I think passion will do that. I was really pissed off at this game. Almost the biggest disappointment, but I'd already had Metal Gear Solid 2 to prove that Kojima's every other game sucks.
Assassins Creed I
Assassin's Creed I is much shittier than I make it sound. But no one cares now that the second game is out.
Linger in Shadows
My friend was really mad I didn't like this game. I'm thinking that maybe I would've been more impressed had I owned an HDTV at the time. My dad liked it a lot. I don't know... maybe I'll have to redownload it. But it's basically a tech demo you pay money to watch.
Okay, maybe this was the biggest disappointment? Nah, I guess it was an alright game. It was just stupidly confusing. This and its sister review, Longest Journey, are two reviews I most want to rewrite. I think I have good (okay, GREAT) points in them but I didn't yet know how to make those points clear.
Alone in the Dark
Ah, the uber bash. Nothing else to say. My cat didn't really die. Not until later.
Far Cry 2
Now this one I want to go back and play. It didn't generate much buzz, so I'm inclined to think I wasn't remiss in dismissing it, but I WAS playing on an SD TV and that sucks. If there was one awesome thing about Far Cry 2, it was the graphics. I'd like to go back and check out those fire effects in HD.
"You know what?" is a phrase that keeps popping up in my writing, even today. It's a sign I'm a relaxed guy. That's kind of a lie, though, because I wasn't relaxed while writing this. Bionic Commando Rearmed is one of those games I'll never finish because it's too hard. And very stressful.
I should've gone into my history with the original. The original game TERRIFIED me as a child. I don't know why. It just scared the hell out of me. It was like playing a zombie game or something. Enemies popping in all over the place, threats of violence from Hitler clones... I don't know. It freaked me out. Of course, Final Fantasy IV freaked me out as a child, so...
I can't talk about this game. I get too emotional. I should've just let it all come spilling out into my review. God I wish they'd rerelease this... on the MAC, this time. One of the best stories in video game history.
And I bought it randomly! On a whim! Knowing nothing about it but thinking I needed a good long game. Now THAT'S an example of an accurate title.
Overrated game. Maybe an overrated genre. But then I just bought Red Dead Redemption so what do I know? Of course, that has cowboys and indians.
Zack and Wiki
You know, I wouldn't mind rebuying this one. A clever, quirky, little game. Not enough people played it. I hope someone read this review and bought the game. And liked it.
I did this completely off memory to nab an X for the Alpha Marathon. That tournament corrupts writers.
Kingdom Hearts II
This was the first review I ever wrote. Ever. It was up (and still is, I think) on some random british gaming site which required all reviews to be near 2000 words. That's why it's so goddamn long.
Dirge of Cerberus
And this was the second review I ever wrote, though I went back and edited it massively two years ago. I remember someone saying that I had to be crazy for giving Dirge of Cerberus and MGS:4 the same score. They might be right. But I like to think that, even if I'm wrong, I'll apologize.
... and this was the first contest piece I ever wrote, though I replaced it with something else. Mirror's Edge, I think. I had a lot more cheek back then. I even make fun of the site's sideline. That's actually making me chuckle right now... hopefully you feel the same.
I thought Red Steel was under-acknowledged until exactly two months ago when I played it again. It's horrible. It was under-acknowledged at the time, though.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Sarcasm'd all over myself.
I meant to write reviews on all the bad games I downloaded off of the Virtual Channel (I had about 20 terrible games). At least I wrote this one.
This is my least read, and maybe my least liked, review of all time. I find a certain joy in watching every new review I write quickly pass this review's hit count, even though it's been around for a good three years longer. I think I like it because that level of un-read equals the level of un-play this game rightfully receives.
Title: The Last Round Up
Posted: January 09, 2011 (06:03 PM)
Ignore the melodramatic title. I felt obligated to do it. But see, it's fitting, because I also felt obligated to give my "year in review" before I check out.
This year was a drop from the last, with only 20 reviews getting submitted (I think last year was 39). Here's my anecdotes for 'em.
Hopefully this helps out everyone who wants to vote for me in Jerec's contest ^_^
More like, Shattered Expectations. This was the review where I taught myself how to use pictures. I'd used them before, sparsely, but this was the one where I sat down and figured it out.
No, I'm not an HTML guy.
I remember wanting this review to get more attention than it did. I was really happy with the way it turned out and still am. I did later decide that it could have used maybe some mention of the ending. If there was one thing that showed how well the psychological profiling worked, it was the customized ending of Shattered Memories. God that ending really affected me. And the game knew it would; that's why it chose it for me.
But the rest of the game was such a chore, maybe no-one else will make it that far.
There were some heated debates about Heavy Rain on this site and on the web in general. It's funny, because I don't feel obligated to defend Heavy Rain. It made a choice in using a particular style to express its gaming style and it doesn't work for everyone.
Mostly, it is a style that is less active and hearkens, if anything, back to the days of Dragon's Lair. If playing a game made entirely of quick time events doesn't appeal, than stay the hell away. That said, I don't think that anyone can deny it is a very well written and beautifully animated game. Anyone who spoils the ending is an ass.
Writing a review for a kid's game is difficult because you're in a catch-22. Try to critically praise it and most of your audience is going to yawn. But say it's bad and people will assume you're just not thinking about it from a kid's perspective.
Hello Kitty was bad. I'm sorry, I love Hello Kitty and I like to believe I have the mind of a three year old and I thought it was terrible. It was cheaply made, quickly programmed, and expensive. Sanrio fans have much better options available to them.
I entered this in some contest and it got mixed feedback; maybe it was Ben who had trouble believing I'd taken the game seriously enough...? I understand where he's coming from. I don't believe that I DO take a gimmicky shopping-trip with a cat and a ninja owl seriously enough. I should have sent him the game as a present.
In any case, someday one other person in the world will play this and see that I'm right.
What Did I do to... yadda yadda...
I still haven't beaten this game. It's harder than Starcraft 2 on brutal difficulty. I even played it while I was at the Nuclear Plant in the hopes that a genetic mutation might cause me to understand what I was doing wrong. All I came away with was a growth under my left armpit.
Biggest Disappointment of the year
Funny how the more complex they try and make this series, the worse it gets. I think it was at its best when it was spawning unlimited aliens in tight dark corridors. The multiplayer is really fun and I'm surprisingly good at it, but I gave up on playing after I found myself sitting for fifteen minutes at a time waiting for a match to begin.
Probably the most controversial review I've written, in that I criticized a game that is universally acclaimed. This spawned a very long discussion (bordering on a heated discussion) about whether the review was accurate.
To be frank, I'd have to play the game again to see if I feel the same way about it now that I did when I wrote this. It's been a while. In rereading the review now, it immediately reminds me of what I didn't like about the game, so it was at least accurate to my experience. And, since that was a real experience, I have to say it's an accurate review. Maybe not the usual review, but not (as I said before) a fake one.
Also, everyone who defended it had first played it ages ago, when it was fresh. I think that says something.
Overall, SOTN is a complex game. Perhaps more complex than I first gave it credit for. If I went back today, I imagine I'd find a way to enjoy it and write a review that reflected that. I think it is the kind of game where you can have a multitude of experiences based on how you approach it.
But I'm glad I approached it the way I did: maybe I was able to see a side of it that most people don't experience.
Myst (part 1)
This was one of the few reviews I wrote in the span of an hour or two. Usually reviews take me several hours, spread out over several days. With this one I got an idea and ran with it while in the bath. Not a good place to bring your laptop.
I like Jason but I was really surprised that he defended this game. FFXIII seems like one of those things that you might call a guilty pleasure, something you like in spite of your better senses. I actually felt that way sometimes while playing it the second time around. But I could never properly defend this one. It's so story driven and its story is such an expository mess that it makes it hard to get behind it in any sort of critical fashion.
Playing this game was one of my favorite experiences of 2010 (aside from producing a major film). I stayed up very late every night playing each chapter and was somehow able to ignore the VERY VERY anime romantic comedy formula that I've seen a million times before. I had a good time, even if it's not an incredible game.
It took two reviews for me to express how I feel about Myst. Really, I am torn into two completely separate halves about the game. Fortunately, I have the original to express my total nostalgia and the shoddy PSP release to express my complete and utter ire.
Half Minute Hero
Yay for letting someone else write most of the review and then just giving an addendum.
This review was shunted from a staff review to freelance because Frima complained. Scoring is tough. I might have been able to squeeze out a 5 or 6 if I really overlooked some issues, but it was painful making my way through this game. The Beat-em-Up genre is dead.
Bizarrely, other critics have all given this a good score but everyone I've talked to in person who has played it also hated it. Something's going on, here.
Tournamnet of Legends
Of course, it didn't help my Young Thor review that I'd just given a poor score to another game. Tournament of Legends is probably the best argument against my Young Thor score because it is undeniably a worse game. You can replace "Young Thor" in that sentence with any game that isn't Hello Kitty and find it to be true, though.
God of War III
I wrote this at a McDonald's. I had a stomache ache for three hours afterwards and it wasn't the review's fault.
Illusion of Gaia
This is my favorite review of everything I've ever written on the site. I think it critically assesses the narrative, has a very natural sounding voice, and it looks really nice on that black background.
I think I wrote this because I had nothing better to do while waiting for Starcraft II to come out. Writing a review of Starcraft was also a goal of mine since joining the site. Writing a Fallout 3 review was another goal, but that went up on Gameroni. I want to adjust some things and bring it over here.
You might think I have a long list of anecdotes to accompany this review, considering I ended up interviewing the maker, but I don't. It's a great game. He's a cool guy. His book rocks.
And this was probably my least favorite review of the year. Reading it now, it's not as bad as I remembered it being. It just doesn't stand out or do anything very interesting.
Similarly, one of my weaker reviews. But serviceable. It was difficult to write because I was playing Left 4 Dead 2 for the first time that day.
Parasite EVE II
This one, on the other hand, I really like. It needs pictures, though.
Title: I'm a little late to this, like a couple years late...
Posted: January 07, 2011 (06:27 PM)
... but PS3 has completely dropped the backwards compatibility for PS2 games? That sucks. And I wonder what it bodes for the PS4. Because the reason that they dropped it, from what I've read of the press statements, was the expense of modeling the PS2 chip.
Title: I figured this would be the place to ask
Posted: December 25, 2010 (08:32 PM)
Why is it that Mass Effect 2 is being released on the PS3 but not Mass Effect 1? Does anyone know the answer?
In other news, I hear they are giving serious updates to the PS3 version (yay).
Title: Farewell, for a time.
Posted: December 15, 2010 (08:00 PM)
Well, it's finally happened. The demands of my growing film career as well as the demands of my final year of Graduate School are coming together to usurp all of my time. Then, too, I want to get my novel finished and published sometime before I hit 30.
Those things, combined with the fact that my "money = none" and therefore the prospects of my playing any new games any time soon are slim means that I must finally lay down my freelancing pen (keyboard?) and take an unspecified amount of time away from the community to focus on other areas of my life (I've done the same thing at Gameroni).
I feel like my time here has taught me a lot and given me a chance to try out some journalistic skills that I might otherwise have not been able to develop.
I wish the community the best of luck and will always be steering people towards it. There are excellent writers here that deserve to be given wider recognition.
I'll probably compete in the alpha-tournament, as I have yet to not show up for a tourney, and then I'll quietly go my way. Take care!