Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Great Nothing: The Months Before World of Warcraft Cataclysm

Few things inspire a fierce foaming of MMORPG nerd rage than the following image:


Many people who play the amazingly expensive and time consuming MMORPG World of Warcraft are keenly aware of the coming expansion; Cataclysm. Upon release the face of Azeroth will be forever changed to reflect the destructive explosion of explosively destructiony doom that the evil doom dragon of doomy doom DOOOOOOM Deathwing shall bring to the world. With a higher level cap, new quest zones, new races, and new race/class combos there is a huge bit of MMORPG ahead of the fans of the series but the question becomes...What the hell do you do until it is released? This article isn't about how awesome Cataclysm may or may not be, nor is it about the myriad features that have been and will be introduced as a result of it. No my friends, this is all about the terrible doldrums of the pre-expansion blues. I'm going to tackle each of the key issues that guilds, players and marmosets face in the twilight of an expansion and try and figure out why it seems worse this time around.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wier Reviews: Fallout 3: New Vegas: The Quickening


There are few things in the world that fill me with greater glee than the release of a new installment of a series I already love. This feeling of pure joy and complete satisfaction that good things still do happen in the world is sometimes ruined by the harsh realities of failure. Fortunately for me, New Vegas is nothing but pure awesome and did not disappoint at all. In fact much of this game is a vast improvement on the previous installment of Fallout 3. It is important to note that Fallout 3: New Vegas is NOT a sequel to Fallout 3. The story is very different and the only similarity is that they both take place during the same time period in the same Universe. However, the genre has not changed at all. Fallout 3: New Vegas is another RPG based shooting game (With a hint of melee fun). For those of you who are not "in the know" with this recent installment allow me to hip you to a little enlightenment. New Vegas, unlike Fallout 3, was developed by Obsidian Entertainment which is a company that formed out of the Black Isle Studious portion of Interplay Productions which made the original Fallout titles. To people who care about things like video game politics, corporate movers, and other such nonsense I leave you here because now I depart for Fun Island, population: Me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blizzcon 2010 - A Holy Wrapup

This year's Blizzcon has come and gone. Gone... Like a fart in the wind. But it's more like one of those lingering farts. You know, the ones that you still kinda smell even though you've left the room? And even when you walk down the hall, you're kinda like "Man... Was that broccoli?" Blizzcon is a special place for gamers, especially for us here at the Report. For you see, we have all been to at least one of the Blizzcons in the past years. And all of us are big Blizzard fans(If you haven't noticed.) I think all of us like AT LEAST two of the three Blizzard games. I say that because I'm not a fan of Diablo. But that's for another post. This year, unfortunately, I could only afford to purchase the livestream version. The whole being stuck on a tiny island in the pacific with minimal disposable income played a small factor. Bew hew. Tiny violins aside, I'm still glad I was able to watch it.
As always, Blizzard has put their signature franchises out on display. It's a time for Blizzard teams to /flex their creative muscle, and generate buzz about their crazy going ons. Blizzcon also gives the public a chance to feel like they're more connected to Blizzard and getting to see many of the faces behind the games. To be a part of the experience that is Blizzard Entertainment. But for the most part it's a chance for nerds of all facets to do the following:

  1. See hawt women dressed in Blizzard Cosplay.
  2. Ask dumb questions to the development team.
  3. Convince themselves that they're not as big of a loser as the guy sitting next to them.
  4. Try to lay in their best World of Warcraft pickup lines at random women.
  5. Drink heavily with other nerds that you would normally yell at over ventrilo.
  6.  Eating main hall kiosk ice cream while intoxicated.
Alright alright, not everyone does that. But come on now, there's a lot of people that did. Number 6 was both hilarious and fun. Heh heh heh. There's always something for someone at Blizzcon. For us at the Holynub Report, it was mainly the panels. What's next for our beloved Blizzard games? Ohhh the suspense!

Friday, October 15, 2010

World of Warcraft: Tier 11 Raid Gear

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!  It's time for some Cataclysm previews!  Well..  More of them.  Looks like the folks at MMO champ have thrown up a bunch of previews of the new raiding tier gear.  Lets have a look shall we?

Death Knight
Woah.  This is some bad ass armor.  I mean... Look at it.  It's all fiery and shit.  Goddamn, that's got Death Fucking Knight written all over it.  Is that a fucking crown?  By god.  It's like you're the goddamn Lich King.  These are awesome!

Monday, October 4, 2010

World of Warcraft: A DAY THAT SHALL LIVE IN INFAMY

Remember remember, 
the 7th of December.  
That is the day, 
Holy's life goes away.  
...
And Wier...  
Possibly Loke too...  
....
But not Thordyn.
...
He's a big ol' douche.  
-By Holynub

Alright, poems aside, we have a release date for World of Warcraft's next Expansion, CATACLYSM.  See what I did there?  I put it in caps because it's like I'm yelling.  Yes my fellows and that single woman that actually uses the internet, you heard me correct.  World of Warcraft Cataclysm will be released on December 7th, 2010(Confirmed by Blizzard).  Coincidentally, that's also coincides with the anniversary of the Bombing of Perl Harbor.  

This should totally be photo-shopped into a Cataclysm poster
But what does it all mean?!  WHAT DOES IT MEAAAAANN!?!?(Double rainbow zomg)  It means that it's time to fire up that grinding playlist and be ready to sink at least half the week into playing World of Warcraft.  Pack your shit guys!  We gotta get to 85!  Lets go go go!  Gotta move gotta move!  Can't just sit there in Dalran all day, there's shit to be done! 

And shit has been done too.
With every big patch for World of Warcraft, the game is basically reset.  Many fundamentals of the game are altered in a mind blowing experience where the goods get frustrated and the bads get worse.  Lets throw out some of the "bigger" things that will be happening in Cataclysm

Friday, September 24, 2010

Holy Review: Halo: Reach


Bungie has ridden the wave, and now it's time to move on. Ever since their first mega-hit Halo:Combat Evolved was launched with the original XBox system back in 2001, Halo has been their flagship franchise. Man. Has it really been 10 years since the original Halo was first published? Good god my age is beginning to show. Well, I'm going to have to say, bravo and thank you to Bungie. Wait what? I'm giving them thanks!? I fucking hate Halolololololo. But... But wait... Why do I hate Halo? This puzzles and confuses the Holy.

Goddamnit internet.  Goddamnit.
From a pure game standpoint, the Halo series isn't so bad. Halo has always pushed the edge of FPS gaming on the console level(Until COD4 came along but that's a different story). Graphically, all the Halo games have been up there. Lets be real. The story isn't that terrible. Hey, deep down inside. We all want to be Master Chief. I am greatly going off on a tangent here, lets get to the review.


Friday, September 10, 2010

First Impressions: FFXIV

Hip hip hurray! I get to tell you all about the latest and well...latest JRPG to come crawling form the Twisting Nether of creativity known as Japan! That's right boys and girls Wier is bringing to you a first impressions from a hands on with FINAL FANTASY XIV!!!!!



Ironically this JRPG is actually what we call a "Korean Grinder" MMORPG. What the hell is that you ask? I'm not 100% sure. I think it has something to do with being mindfuckinglingy frustrating. Let me come clean here. I am a Final Fantasy fan. Yeah I said it. But I am a Final Fantasy Fan that assumes that Satan took over the series and befouled it with malefic mediocrity energy after the release of 7. Or at least a Final Fantasy fan that realizes that Square + Enix is like EA + Anything, a vile machination not fit for human eyes. I must also admit that I am a WoW addict and therefor immune to all other MMORPGs that try and take my soul from the vice like grip of my little blizzard baby bear. So when I heard that there was a Squeeenix game on the table that was a MMORPG I knew I would hate it. Putting aside my hatred for jpop culture and the advent of the shiny spiky hared heroes...heroines....I think they are men. Heroes. Anyway, what the hell was I talking about? Oh yes. I put aside from hatred for these things and waded waste deep into my Final Fantasy Adventure.

First things first, I had to create a character. So I decided that if I am going to play something that was 1 part fan service and 1 part totally gay I would go ahead and pick the furriest/sexiest thing I could find (and no, I'm not INTO that). As such I became a Miqo'te which looks as follows:


Wait...maybe I am into....Ugh er never mind. Anyway, I shit you not. That's what they look like. That lesbionic fan art is 100% accurate. Why? Well from what I could tell there are NO males of this race and therefor they reproduce through some kinky cat-girl sex ritual. Either that or they divide themselves on a cellular level to produce copies which is totally asinine because clearly there is no lack of diversity. Anyway, after picking the race I had to pick the general look and yadda yadda. I had to choose a tribe which I'm not sure mattered to the min/max of the game. So I picked the ones that worship the sun thinking I would get some sort of bonus in sun light or something. Then after that I got to pick a diety. Not really sure that this did for me so I went ahead and picked the most evil God on the table. His name was Rhalgr, the destroyer. Feeling particularly metal at this point I decided to go with the ever amazing Fisher class. That's right, you can choose to be a fisher as your starting level class. To further enhance the amount of metal that I would experience during my adventure I named my freaky cat-girl Tiddlywinks Buttons. With all my character creation done it was time to take Tiddlywinks Buttons into the game world and do some good old fashioned monster slaying! Right?.....Not so much.

Let me start this section off by telling you all that there are three locations to start from. I chose Ul'dah. Because...well....duh. This (as do all three) begins with a completely worthless cut scene that takes you into what I suspect was meant to be a battle tutorial. Unfortunately for Tiddlywinks her only ability at level 1 as a fisher was "Throw Rock" which did a grand total of 2 damage. Considering that I started with 400 life I assumed that this was bad news. "Well at least it is realistic" I told myself thinking that it would be irrational for a level 1 fisher to have the ability to pull a vorpal blade out and split a big green ugly down the middle. My other ability at this level was "find fish" which would allow me to find a pool of fish within "400 yalms" which I assume is retardo land for yards. Ok, before I move on I have to tell you about the combat. First you click on an enemy, press 1 to enter battle mode, press the number for your attack and then click on the enemy for some reason to make it go again. Then you have to keep pressing the attack key or your character will sit there and be eaten alive. After that encounter and about three more cut scenes I was dropped into the world with absolutely no direction.

It was at this point that I realized OH SHIT there are a ton of menus in this game. So I had to go into a menu to bring up the menu that would give me the menu to find my quests. Keep in mind that some of these menus are labeled with made up RPG lingo that would have only made sense if I were given a proper tutorial, which I wasn't. Several EVE online menus later I found myself heading out of a...very large and confusingly built city out into the great big world. Tiddlywinks took up her mighty fishing pole and ventured to the first camp. As I journeyed down to my first questing node I began to realize a terrible mistake I had made. Apparently in my infinite wisdom I somehow ended up in the desert zone. One thing about a desert zone is a crippling lack of water and therefor....very very few fishing opportunities. This critical error would become rather evident when I realized how I must level as a fisher. The first quest node told me to get attuned to some crystal so I went up to the crystal in the center and started clicking it....Right clicking maybe? Double clicks? Uhh.... can I target it somehow? Well dash it all man what do I do?! What's that? There's an exclamation point on the top center of my screen looking as inconspicuous as an old lady in a retirement home? Well clearly I need to click that! God forbid I be given to convenience of double clicking a target to interact with it like I had been doing with every other freaking NPC until I got to that point.

Well, whatever! QUEST TIME! Time to begin this great adventure Tiddlywinks Buttons! My first quest is...To go fish up some fish. Well that is logical. Away I go to a far away oasis to catch me some fish. After a moment of time to learn map markings and mini map icons I made my way through the desert. There I was at my first objective ready to fish! Then a big bug came out of nowhere and one shot me causing a silent rage filled "Wtf?!" to echo through my psyche. So there the great Tiddlywinks lay dead...unmoving and well...nothing happened. I just got to sit there staring at my corpse wondering when I would get to release or respawn or what. After a minute of sitting there it flashed in my mind that this may very well be some sort of terrible "hard core" mmorpg where death = permanent death. I thought that was pretty fucking harsh for the low level fisher whose only crime was going where the game told her to on her very first quest! I suppose if I rolled a fighter I would have been sent to an Ancient Red Dragon's layer that had 4 heads and breathed armor melting acid. That would have been equally balanced... Oh well so after reading carefully through the menus AGAIN I found a way to "Return" to my questing point of origin. Needless to say the fact that I had to go through a menu option to DIE left me a little annoyed.

Rather than continue the debacle of Tiddlywinks Buttons the Fisher in the desert I decided it was time to give up on the game. The fact of the matter was the game was simply uninteresting at that point. At first I was excited to play an unconventional class. I was excited to be involved in the main story through character integration in cut scenes and I was even excited to stare at Tiddlywinks Buttons' sexy sexy cat lady body. But alas, my hopes were too high. Final Fantasy XIV had a legitimate chance to actually hook me into another MMORPG because it felt different enough to where I wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunately the story was too flat to be interesting, the menus were a total nightmare, the battle system was tragically painful to use, and the mechanics are never very well explained. All and all it was a very good looking but VERY clunky mess.

It is with a less than surprised sigh I must give Final Fantasy XIV 3 Miqo'te Samurai out of 7.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Red Dead Redemption Review




Today I have for you a review of the latest and well...latest Rockstar Sandbox Mini-Game Waste Time'a'thon title Red Dead Redemption!

Rather sit here and ramble like I normally would I'll go ahead and break this review into arbitrary categories.

Story: In Red Dead Redemption you play as John Marston (presumably of the Mars colony Marstons) a man trying to escape his troubled past who is called upon by the U.S. government to hunt down and kill his old crime pals. If he manages to kill is former outlaw comrades then he will gain the ability to return home to his wife and son and live happily ever after. I suppose this is the whole "Redemption" part of the game. I would tell you what happens next but I assure you the other characters in the game will tell you at great length exactly what the hell is going on. This is not to say that the story by any means is BAD, it actually is quite good and compelling enough to want to play through it. The problem is that there is almost a little too much of it.

The Opening Sequence (Minor spoilers ahead, this is a review after all you twit): In recent gaming history developers have decided that the point of the opening sequence of a game is to hook you in as if it were a movie rather than something you play. When you're trying to tell a story with a game this makes sense but sometimes you find yourself telling more story than actually allowing the player to PLAY the GAME. You start off on a train listening to old people, a preacher, and the spawn of Satan (a nice young lady) chat about their atheist tendencies, the weather, piles of cow dung and how they probably hate Indians. I imagine this is supposed to be a critical look at Americas past and the moral ambiguity of the time but it all came off as BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. I found myself wondering why I didn't just go to some pretentious coffee shop where I would have gotten the same experience. Anyway, the long boring cut scene ends and you get control of your character with the direction "Walk to the saloon." and you think "Awesome now I get to play!". Unfortunately this probably would have been better labeled as a quick time event that read "Press X To Continue Cut Scene™". So I get to the Saloon and enter another cut scene. Blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH. I decided to make some popcorn at this point thinking I had accidentally wandered into a Hideo Kojima game. Then I get to ride on a horse, ho ho! Surely the game begins now! Well...no. You get on the horse and press and hold X to continue the cut scene. You see the X allows you to auto follow your guide on the horse freeing you up to pay attention to the following 8 minutes of dialogue on your long horse ride to your first objective whereupon you are promptly shot in another cut scene and then wake up to even more cut scenes. Needless to say Rockstar really wants you to understand the story, the weather, the feelings of your neighbors and how to create extensive exposition.

Controls: After all the blithering and subsequent bouts of blithering that follow from other characters you find yourself playing an actual game. Let's be clear before I start here, this is an ACTION game. That means that ACTION will occur. Seldom during an ACTION packed game do you find it necessary to be strolling leisurely about. John's default speed is grandma slow where he casually walks about and turns at awkward angles to ensure that you will not only not be able to make it up 4 inch tall steps but you also will hit the wall 18 times before you successfully enter a building. To further infuriate you the game asks you to HOLD DOWN X to run and then asks you to tap x repeatedly in order to sprint faster. So that's joystick to stroll, hold x to jog, and tap x furiously to run away. This is basically annoying when you find yourself accidentally walking around in gun fights because you forgot that the controls for running are retarded. Speaking of combat, the gun play in the game is not the bee's knees either. You've got a simple 3rd person gun control set up with the shoulder buttons, L1 to ready, R1 to shoot, fantastic. That's easy enough. The issue comes in from the auto lock on mechanic. Supposedly this is to help you aim, but actually it just confuses you. Sometimes the lock on works, momentarily, as it follows what you were kind of trying to aim at for all of a second before drifting off presumably because John got bored and his crippling ADD diverted his attention to the floor. The are other times where the auto lock on doesn't seem to work at all causing you to drop aim in an attempt to lock on again instead of just trying to aim yourself. Honestly they should have just dropped the feature and let the player PLAY the game. Heaven forbid that you actually have to aim at something to hit it. I suppose the game was trying to take the Final Fantasy approach to game design where there is as little game as possible to actually play without having to not call it a Video GAME. Oh well, at least there are horses right? Surely some part of this game has fluid controls. I suppose the controls of the horse are fluid if you find driving a tractor through a pit of tar a natural way to steer a horse. Rockstar has had a long tradition of making vehicles of any sort almost humanly impossible to actually work right, so it's no surprise that after ruining cars, bikes, motorcycles, helicopters and walking that they would move on to ride-able animals. I'm looking forward to Grand Theft Ostrich Races where the Ostrich handles like a brick glued to the back of a kitten.

Environment: Typically when someone mentions the environment it's so they can complain about oil spills or baby turtle ducks made of gasoline and discarded plastic bottles. However, I mean the actual scenery of the game! Red Dead Redemption sports a rather stunning and vast landscape that features a lot of open area to explore. The plains are rolling and empty (save some animals, random bandits, and even more deadly animals) with the human settlements being sparsely set up all around. This actually gives you a feeling of being in the time period which bodes well with that whole open world concept which Rockstar is known for. I would go as far to say that the more open and less densely populated world is a more interesting environment to explore than the bustling cities in Grand Theft Autos past. The game is simply a delight to look at which in some small part makes up for the failure of some of the actual game play.

Being An Outlaw: One of the features of Rockstar games is often the ability to be an outlaw if you so choose to be. This means you spread mayhem and destruction at will and collect the floating cash piles off the corpses of the innocents you have slaughtered. Unfortunately Red Dead Redemption falls short on the whole Outlaw scope that other Rockstar games have. Allow me to give you an example. Upon first playing this game I found myself in the first town distracted by the little mini games (we'll get to these next). I ended up sitting down and playing poker. Since I am as bad at poker in games as I am in real life I sort of lost my arse off. This lead me to the logical conclusion that I could just kill the other players and claim that they were cheating (they are computers after all) and get away with it. I got up, drew my gun, and they all ran out screaming before I could kill anyone. Then I was WANTED. Rather than allow my prey to escape (I am a sore loser at poker) I waltzed out to hunt them down whereupon I was being shot at by the law. Doing a quick bit of math (I was given 80 bullets to start, there are less than 40 people in this town and each person takes on average 1.2 bullets to kill...) I decided that I should just slaughter the town. So I went on my merry way shooting everyone. I mean EVERYONE (I found this a little bit ironic considering that I shot all these people with no complaint from the main character but whenever I went to skin an animal I had shot he complained like a sissy girl how gross it was, I guess he works for P.E.T.A. or something). After having slaughtered everyone I gleefully walked into the jail broke into the safe looted to place and found a "Letter of Pardon". "What the hell is this?" I wondered as I went to the telegraph to check how bad my bounty was at this point. I remembered shooting the telegraph operator a couple minutes ago but that didn't stop me from approaching the desk and turning in the "Letter of Pardon" to have all my crimes dismissed right away. Assuming my hands were red with the blood of my enemies I can only imagine what sort of government pencil pusher thought that documentation was official when it had bloody hand prints all over it and was probably inked in baby's blood. In short, being an outlaw is unnecessary and far too easy to get rid of. I long for a game where being a murderous jerk off isn't something you can overcome by writing an apology note or doing a bit of charity for the children you orphaned.

Mini-Games: As I mentioned earlier there is a poker mini-game that you can play in an attempt to win cash which is ultimately pointless. There is also a game of horse shoes and a flower picking race (in case you're a girl or of questionable sexual leanings). Hunting and skinning also comes off as a mini game as it serves no purpose beyond selling animal parts for money. If you decide to go hunting for money prepare to hear and endless stream of bitching and moaning from captain planet, I mean John. There are also races in the game which you may as well just give up on since your retarded inbred horse is sooner to fly you to the moon than it is to handle well enough for you to win. There is a fun bit of breaking horses for money that you can do but I was disappointed when I found out that breaking horses didn't mean that I got to beat mine with a bat until it learned how to steer properly. Once again, this is all meant to get you money which is basically completely pointless. You'll find yourself rolling in so much money that you will never have to worry about buying guns, bullets or potions ever. The guns you wont need to buy because you get them on missions, bullets are easy to come by, and the potions regenerate things that already regenerate on their own anyway. I suppose if you find yourself getting cold at night you could just burn all your money in a fire for warmth. (If you ever grow bored of these follow the standard Grand Theft Auto map to the nearest letter to continue the story missions).

Conclusion: All game play flaws aside this game is actually a bit of fun. It's a well told (if not long winded) story with a great looking setting and immersing environment. You will actually want to finish this game if you get beyond the starting town and the Blah fest that precedes it. This is a solid buy for anyone and it has enough value in it that you'll want to play it a few times over if for no other purpose than just exploring the big old sand box that it has to offer you. All I can warn you is BEWARE THE WILD LIFE, if it kills you the game will punish you by sending you all the way back to your last save point which was probably a 30 minute ride in the other direction.

This game gets a solid 4 nerf six shooters out of 6.






Monday, June 21, 2010

Holynub Report: E3 2010 - Wish we were there


WOOOH!!!  E3!! Yeah!  The definitive expo for vidya gaems.  Where games are made...  For you to look at and stuff.  There's some bad ass things being announced, as always.  Someday... Someday I will be in there.  But til then, I'll just have to rely on the big game sites.  Lets take a look at some of what grabbed Holy's interest.

Microsoft XBOX360 News

Project Natal renamed to Kinect
Now with a less-dumb name
Well this was interesting.  I guess Kinect sounds better than NATAL.  And I guess the whole Kinetic Movement and Connected.  Is there any difference in it's capabilities?  Nope.  Sooo.... It was just a marketing and branding thing?  Yeah.  *shrug* works for me.  Estimates on Kinect's pricing?  Gamestop lists it as $150.  I do understand the cost of technology.  But...  I don't know about this.  Again, like all good technologies, it will be up to the game developers to make this product shine.  There's already a ton of support for the Kinect, and there's a pretty good LOOKING line up.  Remember, good LOOKING and BEING good are two different things.  If great solid games are released using the Kinect then it's a worthwhile investment.  If not...  Bleh.

New "Slim" model XBOX360
Slimmer?
Boy.  Way to follow the Sony system train.  Unbeknown to most people, the 360 has actually had quite a few version changes.  It's just not as public as Sony's.  But lets not talk about Sony here.  Lets see.  What's so kewl about this system.  It's got a special port for the Kinect.  I guess... that's... Cool.  But the majority of the population is just going to have to give up a USB port and a plug on the power strip to use the Kinect on "Old" 360's.  Huh....  Is that a big deal?  What the hell do you use your USB on your 360 for(Aside form charging your controller)?  Built in Wi-fi. Well that's something that should've been  in there a while ago.  Come on now, even the Wii had Wi-fi built in before the 360.  I'm not big on Wi-fi for gaming.  That's just me.  I'll run a cord clear across my goddamn house if I have too.

Closeup of the new 360 (Video from 1up.com)

Hmm.  From the video, I can't tell exactly how much slimmer it is than the current 360's.  Although the quieter sound is definitely a plus, I do have one gripe.  That new HDD format is completely different from the current gen systems.  So, is there something in place to transfer over all old game saves and general crap that's stored on our HDD's?  Or are we going to have to start to move everything over to a USB Flash drive and copy things over?  What if our current system Red Rings on us?  How are we supposed to transfer our bad ass Halo 3 replays!?  ZOMG!  But naww.  I could give a crap about Halo 3 replays.  I do give a crap about all my progress in Ace Combat 6 though.  I worked hard in that game.  Is there a service or something that Microsoft will most likely SELL to have us transfer our content from old HDDs to new ones?  That is something I will be looking for.(Post edit: HDD Question Answered here)
 New 360 vs. Old differences displayed in table form

Nintendo
Nintendo 3DS
So... I guess we can't really see the 3D functionality through a picture huh?
The DS's successor.  I will admit, when it comes to Hand Held gaming, Nintendo has always been pretty good.  I had my doubts about the DS, but they did alright.  So far the 3DS looks... a hell of a lot like a DS.  Top screen bigger and "3D Capable."  And they threw in an analogue stick.  Huh.  Well...  There seems to be a lot of support for it.  Lots of things announced.  How well those announced games perform will be a big factor in the success of the system.  The DS had some games that just did it right.  That and Pokemon supports 85% of their DS sales...

Sony
Playstation Move
The new Playstation wi-... Move Controller.
Just like Microsoft, Sony's been hyping up the Playstation Move.  What's with these companies and movement capturing hardware?  Well, like EVERYTHING IN THIS GODDAMN ARTICLE, lets see how it goes.  I do like how some of the functions of the move work.  Although... It strangely really does remind me of the Nintendo Wii...  I'm just saying!  Yes, I get it and I know it's different technologies.  But really?  The two handed controllers.  Lets take a look at the price tag.  Move Controller is $50.  Navigation controller is $30.  That's $80 for a set of those.  Wait, don't you also have to buy the Playstation Eye?  That's like. $60?  Something like that.  They also have the Playstation Eye bundled with this Sports Champion game for $100...  Soooo the "Move System" and a game run you about $180.  $30 more than the Kinetic.  But it has a game.  What's this...  Another PS3 bundle.  This one includes the "Move System" as well as the game for $400.  I guess that's not too bad if you don't already own a PS3.  Saves you about $80.  But do you need it?  Mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...  We'll find out later.

Playstation 3 3D Enabled Games
Ok, this was the best picture I could find that would be relevant to this topic.
Here's another trend going around.  Alright.  I'm going to admit.  I'm a 3D Hater Gamer.  3D?  Yeah I heard of it.  Back in the 1950's.  Now it's making this big ass come back.  There's already a list that's starting that features 3D Capable games.  So you can sit there at home with your big goddamn TV and wear stupid ass glasses to make it look like crap's popping out at you.  I am just not impressed with 3D.  Look, things have slight depth to them.  Now, if that 3D is implemented in a fashion that ENHANCES gameplay rather than just eye candy.  I could see it being beneficial in FPS games to give you a better sense of depth.  But the practical gaming applications of it feel shallow.  Not to mention it adds another layer of complexity to game creation and designers.  Yes, not all designers will be wanting to use the 3D functions of the PS3.  But if your publisher is breathing down your neck for the next greatest 3D game.  What are you going to do?  Try to convince him that it's only a trend?  Try to get big business executives to understand that not all technologies need to be implemented to produce a solid game?  Try to get them to not ride every hype wave that the industry cranks out?  Yeah fucking right.  What's next? Holographic TV and games?  Bah Humbug.(Side note: Holographic TV/games would be mega awesome.)

Playstation Network's Premium Service: Playstation Plus
Anyone else slightly vomit when they saw this poster?
Sooooo.... It's like XBox Live Gold...  But, you only get extra stuff.  But all the basic stuff.... Is still there....  I know, that's not a good explanation.  But lets take a good look at it.  It's about $9 a month.  That's reasonable.  But what does that $9 get you?  Almost all of the basic stuff from the PSN is what most people need.  Access to the PSN Store, online gameplay, game updates.  Same things XBL Gold offers and it's FREE.  So lets dig a little deeper to figure this out.

Early access to game DEMOs.  Oook...  Because I totally want to play the demo of a game before anyone else....  Oh wait, I just want to play the actual damn game.

Access to certain games for free on the PSN as well as discounts on the PSN Store.  This could be interesting.  But of course it's going to be all the crap-tastic Sony games or lame PS1 games that nobody wants to D/L.  It's going to be interesting to see what kind of discounts they're going to offer.  But alas, details of this kind of stuff are really limited right now.

Invites to select game beta tests.  I'm 50/50 on this one.  It lets you get a feel of how you feel the game will do when it is released.  It also offers a sense of exclusivity(I'm better than you because I'm paying for this).  While it is cool to experience a game and it's content before others, we must realize it's a beta TEST.  Meaning most of the shit is either broken/unbalanced/NOT YET IMPLEMENTED.  I used to dabble a lot in beta testing, but recently I have put that all behind me.  Too much happens over the course of development for me to justify a game only through it's beta.  I beta'd World of Warcraft and HATED it.  Look at me now.  Yeah...

OnLive

Onlive Prices Announced & Service Starts
Times I've misspelled OnLive as Online?  Too many.
OnLive made their price point debut at E3 2010.  Lets see here.  Looks like the first yearly subscription fee is waived for their debut launch.  They haven't released what the yearly subscription costs are, but they have put out their game pricing.  Looks like most current gen-games are going for about $50-60.  This lets you play the game as much as you want until you cancel your subscription.  They also have some rentals that you can purchase.  It lets you play the game for a couple days at about $5-9.  That's not too bad.  Check out the full game list at Eurogamer.  By my accounts, their service should be up and running already.  Haven't heard much around the net about it though.  I don't think I'll be trying it out anytime soon.

If you've been floating around the gaming scene for a bit, you may have heard of OnLive.  For those of you who couldn't give a rats ass, here's a breakdown.  OnLive is a new platform for people to play games without the need for bulky Hardware or game discs.  Everything is On-demand gaming.  Want to play the latest shitty Halo iteration?  Bam, just order it and begin playing immediately.  Amazing rite?  BUT HOLY, HOW DOES I PLAY GAEM WIT NO CONSOLE!?  I'm getting to it retard, just sit down and chew your dip.  Basically, Onlive uses cloud computing technology to do all the "Technical stuff" on their massively large bonerrific servers and just streams the video back to you.  This allows even low end computers to be able to play the latest games without upgrades, IN THEORY. 
Like this but with more bullshit in step 2
The only problem is, this entire system of streaming gaming video to your TV relies heavily on the current broadband infrastructure.  Which by most accounts is a gigantic cluster fuck.  The more complex games with better resolutions require more bandwidth for you to get the screens.  From some press releases, Wii and previous-gen games require about 1.5MBPS average to play while current-gen requires 4-5MBPS.  Man...  I wish I had that kind of bandwidth here in the middle of the pacific.  There is also a slight inherent lag with the system, so you're going to have to get used to that.  Oh hay, your ISP is stupid and frequently disconnects you for service?  Oh well, too bad.  What's that?  You're with Comcast?  Well don't go over that 40 Gig limit.  Until all of that gets fixed.  I'll stick to buying overpriced consoles that let me play my goddamn games.

Games of Noteworthynesseseses

Metal Gear Rising
Yayyy!  Watermelon.
Well, looks like Raiden's back.  I like how Hideo Kojima totally redid Raiden since MGS2.  Everyone was hating on him.  Derrr, he's a whiny pretty boy.  Then he came back as a bad ass Ninja in MGS4.  Bravo.  Well, looks like Hideo's trying to up Raiden's bad ass factor again.  I guess Hideo thought there wasn't enough dismemberment in MGS4.  So lets have a game where you cut people in fucking half all the time!  Half!?  Lets cut them on any bias we want!  YAYYY!!!!!  And I can hear those advocates against violent video games loading their guns.  From the first gameplay trailers, it's looking to be VERY action oriented.  Smurf sneaking, just cut the bitches! From what I've been reading, this game might need to get toned down a hell of a lot to be released in Japan.  Apparently the Japanese don't look highly on dismemberment.  Uhhh huh...  So sexual deviance(You know what I'm talking about.  Think Japan.) is alright.  But cutting people in half is frowned upon.  *shrug*

Castlevania Something
Nope.  Not caring.
Yeah Some Castlevania game was announced.  Let me get my hard hat on here.  Not going to lie.  Never been a big fan of Castlevania.  Mainly because I never got a good look at the series till very late, not back during it's hay-day on the NES.  So the series never held any sentimental value.  And the recent games have been basically crap.  Soooo... I'm not going to waste my breath on a new one.


Mystery something something

Apparently, Hideo's been working on some game.  Some game, that is SO CONTROVERSIAL that it might make him leave the industry.  Wooooo weeee woooohhh.  Alright, lets be real.  The gaming industry has seen an ass load of games sweep through it.  It's hit on just about every goddamn topic under the sun, and also some that the sun should never shine on.  I find it ridiculous that there could be something that's so controversial that it could end his game designer career(technically it ended after Metal Gear Solid. BA-ZING!).  But hey, I'll play along with this publicity stunt.  Wooh the suspense.  What game am I going to see that makes me possibly raise my eye brow a little bit.  There's some clues on their website.  Stay tuned for updates on this.(Post E3 edit: Yeah he aint showing it till the Tokyo Game Show.)

Warhammer 40K MMO

I don't know what I'm watching. But I like it.
Woooh..  Vigil games and THQ have been putting this together for some time.  Now THIS is the Warhammer that I've been looking for.  I've always been a sucker for more futuristic type things.  I am not excruciatingly familiar with the Warhammer universe.  It's always been amusement at a passing glance.   The tabletop games and RTSs, look really cool.  But I know close to nothing of the lore and who is what.  There is close to no gameplay in the trailer.  No mention on how the class system will work and the details.  But hey, there's a big goddamn robot.  That's more than enough for me! 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMO

Ahh more announcements for the Star Wars MMO.  I'll be first to say that I don't like Star Wars.  But it's a personal reason.  Nothing against the series and it's lore.  I think it's cool.  It's just that SOME PEOPLE are real douche bags about it.  I give no fault to Star Wars as a series.  But with Bioware behind the wheel of this MMO.  I'm liking it.

Portal 2
Does it has cake?
Besides announcing Portal 2, the biggest news seems to be the release of Portal 2 on the PS3.  Since the release of the Orange Box, Valve has taken jabs at the poor PS3.  It's actually kinda fun to watch.  And now, out of left field, BAM!  Portal 2 on PS3.  Props to Sony for convincing Valve.  My favorite quote would be from Gabe Newell.
"I'd like to thank Sony for their gracious hospitality, and for not repeatedly punching me in the face" - Gabe Newell (Valve Co-Founder)
Of course Portal 2 will also be released for the XB360 and the PC as well.  But the PS3 release is significant.  So deal with it.

GoldenEye Remake
Ahhh nostalgic games.  They kinda get ya RIGHT HERE.  Good times.  Good times.  Goldeneye 64 was one of the best multiplayer games of our time.  Boy, never thought I'd ever say that.  But it mixed a lot of fun elements into the game, especially multiplayer.  I remember those finals weeks back in middle/high school.  After all exams were done, my "krew" would hang out at my place and play Goldeneye for hours.  Leading to many fun phrases like "What's that thing on the wall?"  Or "What color's the golden gun?"  Toss in a ton of swearing and you got yourself a game that lasts a lifetime.
Bond theme song in your head now.
Well, Activision is cashing in on this nostalgia.  They're remaking the N64 classic for the Wii.  Updating the story as well as the Bond.  Many first hand accounts are praising it for it's homage to the original N64 game.  But will they be able to get the correct mix to appease gamers of today?  Lets be real, video games have come a long way since the days of the Nintendo 64.  Tastes change, styles change, and the gamers also change.  But I hope they make it good.  Because anything less, would shame the greatness that Goldeneye 64 was.

New Twisted Metal


Yup.... There's another one... What?  It's news.  Just...  Wooh.  First Twisted Metal on a console since Twisted Metal: Black.  Yeah.... Not that excited.


Gran Turismo 5 Dated for November 2, 2010
Pfffttttt
HAAAAAAAAAAAA.  HAHAHHAHHAHAAA.  I'm sorry, I need to laugh at them more.  HAAAAAAAHAHAHHA.  Seriously.  Polyphony Digital.  I'm sorry.  In my younger years, I loved the Gran Turismo Series.  But, that was then.  This is now.  They have fallen far from their graceful years when GT1/2/3 were king in racing games.  I am not going to take this "FINAL RELEASE DATE ZOMG" seriously.  Polyphony Digital's recent track record is terrible.  They take way too long to produce a game in the name of quality.  Someone there needs to draw the fucking line on how things need to be released.  By the time they release their games, nobody cares.

How I feel about Gran Turismo
Seriously, they take WAY too fucking long to make a game.  And they've also jerked us around a bunch of times too.  Remember GT4?  First, Ohh it'll require the PS2 Hard Drive to work.  Then they dumped it, leaving early adopters of the PS2 Hard Drive to shake their fists in rage over the crappy Final Fantasy XI that came with the drive.  Then there was the Gran Turismo for the PSP.  Hell, that was supposed to be a launch title for the PSP.  Then they basically shit-canned it for 5 years.  Then they brought it back.  They released it and nobody cared.  Hurray!  Then there was Gran Turismo HD.  That was an early release for the PS3.  It looked nice.  Then you heard about it's kakamimi way of nickel and diming you to death.  Yeah the game's free.  With two shitty cars and a single track.  What?  You want more?  Well you gotta pay for it like iTunes.  Hurrah for micro-transactions!  Then they finally wised up and realized that it was a stupid ass idea.  Dump that game, and finally work on GT5.  Which they have been... For the last 4 years...  Sure we got a nice demo in the form of GT5 Concept.  Unlike most demos, they charged you $40 for it.  THANKS POLYPHONY!  So now we have GT5.  And just for good measure, they're throwing together a collectors edition for $100.  Ugh... At least I don't have any hopes to keep up.

Another Zelda Game
Same shit, different orifice
UUUUUGGGGHHHHHH...  Really?  Can't we ever have a goddamn E3 without some Zelda game creeping up?  What's it this time.  Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  Wait wait.  Let me take a guess.  There's a princess.  And she's either kidnapped/trapped/NEEDS HELP.  And you're Link...  You do not speak.  And you have a pointy hat.  And you will probably get a sword.  A shield.  A boomerang.  A set of bow and arrow.  Bombs.  Most likely a grappling hook.  How am I doing so far?  Yes, I am not too fond of Zelda games.  Go on.  Haters gonna hate.  But I'm REAL tired of rescuing that bitch.  I like how they always try to reboot it and say that the previous rescues never happened or some shit like that.  At least Mario keeps it real and is like, YEAH SHE GOT KIDNAPPED AGAIN.  The legend of Zelda series just kinda tries to hide it.  Ugh.  I've said my peace about this.



Alright. I'm calling the line here.  There is a TON of new games announced.  Going through them all would give me an aneurysm.  Check it out on dem derr gaming sites like Kotaku or 1up.com or joystique or stuff like that.  Till then, I'm gonna go pray somewhere and hope to god none of these suck as much as I think they will.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So Where's dat Holy guy at?


w0rd.  Alright, I get it.  I've been gone for a bit.  Sorry bout that.  Been doing some... STUFF.  Yeah.  STUFF.  Big whoop, wanna fight about it?  Anyways, we got some stuff BREWING here at the report.  I'm trying to finish this god awful long HCI article part 3.  That's there.  I'm also putting together some reviews.  Well, maybe not REVIEW reviews.  But perhaps just little quips about a bunch of games I grinded through recently.

On a bummer note, last month my PS3 got the Yellow Light of DEATH.  I didn't even know that existed.  What the YLoD is, it's 100x worse than the 360's Red Ring.  This stupid yellow light basically locks the system up completely.  I had a disc still inside my PS3 when this happened.  And in there it remained.  The system wouldn't even eject the goddamn disc.  Well, I decided to ship it back to the wonderful folks at Sony to get it fixed.  Because I have one of the original units, it was out of warranty.  So that's about $200 to get that fixed, no big.  At least I can still play all my old PS2 games on it.  Alright cool, I get my PS3 fixed rite?  Wellllll when they shipped it back to me, they wiped my HDD clean.  I mean, full format, all games/saves erased clean.  Le sigh. 

I'm not too upset about most of it.  What did piss me off is the fact that all that time playing FFXIII has been flushed down the shitter.  Now I gotta sludge threw 35+ hours of hallways AGAIN.  Yeah.  Finding it REALLY hard to get motivated to do that again.  Which in itself is sad because I used to love Final Fantasy.  No matter how bad it was.  Oh wells.  They(No, I don't know who the fuck THEY are.) say your taste in food changes every 6 yearsish.  I guess my taste in video games are changing as well.

 Bummer note aside, I'm plugging away at things.  Hopefully I can get this godforsaken article done and we can get back to crazy stupid random video game crap again. 

Post Thought:  This really turned into a PS3-dying-wah-wah rant.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Starcraft 2 Beta Fun: Learning From Your Mistakes!

So I made a couple of videos that go together for fun (These are from the Starcraft 2 Beta):

Part 1:


Learn more at the Gaming Wiki


Part 2:

Learn more at the Gaming Wiki

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holynub Report: Final Fantasy XIV


I know some of you are just finishing or still playing Final Fantasy XIII.  I am not one of those people.  My goddamn PS3 borked.  But lets not cry over spilt milk, lets look for some cool shit!  What is this?  Oh god.  No.  Just no... Keep that away from me.  Goddamnit.  It's Final Fantasy XIV or 14 for those of you that can't read Roman Numerals.

Well, I poked my nose around the FF14 scene a bit when the news was announced.  Seemed.... OK.  Nothing really spectacular.  But there is not a lot of news going on about it right now.  I think the closed beta started not too long ago.  *checks email* I didn't get shit.  oh well.  For those of you that don't want to actually look at the wikipedia page for FF14, let me throw up some quick highlights here.

Due to it being in semi-early stages of production, I have to give many things the benefit of the doubt.  I mean come on, WoW looks nothing like when it first released.  Believe me, I was there for beta.  I played WoW beta and actually didn't like it.  Then I played it after launch... Well, you know how that goes.  So anything you see, as of now, could very well not be there at launch.

Setting


The world of FF14 is not set in any previous universes.  Most Final Fantasies are set in their own separate worlds.  Exceptions being Final Fantasy 12, this universe was taken from the FF Tactics Advance.  FF13 is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis universe.  However, from most of the screenshots, this universe is very similar to Final Fantasy XI(Square's first Final Fantasy MMO).  From what you can see in many of the screenshots and released trailers and gameplay videos.  It looks nice.  Very medieval fantasy setting.


Looks like SE is starting a video blog.  Kinda like they did in FFXI, with the wandering goblin chronicles thing.  It does give us a good look at the world this is set in.  And cooking looks pretty elaborate.


Gameplay


Now this was my biggest gripe about Final Fantasy XI.  Gameplay.  Number one, FFXI's gameplay sucked.  Don't you fucking try to defend it.  I shall sum it up in one line.  "Derp derp here comes the train."  Just accept it and move on.  FF14 looks to remedy of the gameplay flaws.  Upon hearing that I began to open up a little and not be so "insensitive."  Well Square-Enix, you seem to want to change.  Can a Japanese developer manage to create a decent MMO?  We shall see.


To give us some insight into the updated gameplay, we have this nifty convenient video.  This was taken at... Somewhere.  I didn't check to see.  Go to gametrailers.com, they probably have the full info of when this was posted.  But that's not the point.  The point is to figure out WTF is FF14's gameplay like.  Of course, it brings up more questions.  What do you mean skill based level ups vs experience based level ups?  Changing weapons changes classes?  What does that mean?  How does that make armor itemization?  Can you change armor as quick as you change weapons?  What kinds of "skills" are you talking about?  Does skill based level ups mean i sit there and spam "thrust rank 1" at something until it becomes "thrust rank 2"?  How is that any better than gaining experience from killing things and having all your skills increase?  Alas, these questions cannot be answered at this time.  We will have to wait and see.

Client Interface


Initial reports from the interwebs says that Playonline will not be the main interface for FF14.  THANK YOU GOD.  That was probably one of the biggest wastes of fucking time ever.  Granted, when I first saw the interface of Playonline, I was excited.  It looked pretty.  Really added some nice features.  I thought it was cool to get away from a "Windows" looking operating system.  That being said, WORST PATCH SYSTEM EVAR.  EVAR.  Hey, I love sitting around for 47 hours waiting for a game to update even though it's launch. What's that?  Every patch is like this? SIGN ME UP!  But nawwww, I hope they do something like World of Warcraft's patch system or even just a site to DDL with sponsored mirrors or something.

To be continued...
Through all that I've read about, it only generates more questions.  I shall try to keep all FF14 related crap in this post.  I'll be updating this so keep your eyes glued to this post.  I will probably edit it and what not over time.  Maybe bookmark it or something.  I dunno.  Anyway.  Till next update!

Gaming in 4D?!

Miegakure

So, I was loitering on slashdot.org again.  I found this.  Mind == Blown.  Not sure exactly how it works... Even with lots of reading and explanations.  Yeah no.  It's beyond my 3D comprehension.  I'm gonna keep checkin the website to see when the game's actually released.  Could be fun.  Or completely impossibly hard.

Monday, March 29, 2010

How Does I Play Game? Part 2

Moving on from where we last left off(Part 1).  So what were we talking about again?  Oh yeah, Human-Computer Interaction(HCI) and video games.  Well, we're kinda getting away from the HCI part of it.  I'm mainly focusing on the controllers throughout the years.  
This picture was actually used in class
In the first part, I briefly went over some concepts of HCI.  But what is HCI?  By definition(According to Professor Ikehara and the text book),
"HCI is the study of and applications of concepts and methodologies of human factors, psychology and software factors engineering to address ergonomic, cognitive, and social factors in the design and evaluation of human-computer systems." - What Holy Remembers from ICS464
But to put it in simpler terms, it's how we(people) do stuff with the thingy(computer).  And they study that.  Pretty kewl right?  HCI is a pretty large part of computer science.  Good HCI often goes un-noticed.  Why?  Because if the design is done right, you'll be too busy using the software/computer to notice.  And I respect that.  Here's to the hidden heroes.  Do work.
I'm typing as fast as I can!
I was looking to keep it to two parts.  But I found so much fun crap, I'm going to make it 3 parts.  So in part 1, we took a look at some of the tried and true video game controllers.  In part 2, I'll be going over the smorgasbord of random "OTHER" controllers.  What do I mean by "OTHER" controllers?  You'll see.  In our last part, I wanted to take a look at the future of game interaction.  That's got all the cool sci-fi-come-reality devices that are in development.  And I must say, looking at these will make you scream "BRILLIANT!"  But alas, that is the next issue.  For now, enjoy these...  "OTHER" controllers.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Arcane Mage DPS



While we were trying to 4 man AQ40, I came across this new chart that I'm sure Holy will appreciate.