Monday, October 27, 2008


By now everyone has probably already heard about the one of the newest editions to the Nintendo Wii, the Wii fit. When everyone first saw the Wii we already thought of the idea that it was interactive gaming to a new level. However this isn't anything new, in fact video games and interaction have been around for a very long time. In fact the game "Duck Hunt" for the NES included the plastic hunting rifle, "Time Crisis" has always used their ever popular "Light Gun" in arcades. One idea of interactive gaming more modern but not strange is excersise. When we think of video games we think of lazy, laid-back, or even addicted people with unhealthy habbits. So when the game "Dance Dance Revolution" by Konami became popular in the United States of America most steryotypes didn't know what to expect.

Since the release of "Guitar Hero" for the PS2 & Xbox DDR(Dance Dance Revolution) has started to lose it's popularity among gamers. So excersise games were out and music was in. Now however Nintendo plans on turning that around with the Wii fit. Basically it's a mat that uses the Wii's sensor bar to allow various excersises. Now people may ask, "why would companies do this?". One good reason would be to give video games a better reputation. Death has been a huge topic lately in video games. Many critics of video games often say that video games are unhealthy, teach kids bad morals, and people who play video games are genarally lazy. So in conclusion I salute Nintendo and the Wii Fit for changing the view on video games.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Innovation in video games

If your a fan of the stealth genre video games then you need to get a copy of Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. Not only did it have a number of beautiful music pieces and great storyline but any fan of Metal Gear Solid knows about the number of tricks and new ideas that were placed in the game. One most famous one is the boss battle against "Psycho Mantis". In the game, Psycho Mantis has the ability to read minds, control weak minded, and the power of telekinesis (The power to move objects with one's thought). Due to his ability to read the main character's thought your weapons and anything else you can throw at him are completely useless, example if you shoot at him he'll simple predict your move and dodge it. If you keep on losing the boss battle about 5 times then you'll get advice via codec to plug the controller into the second controller port (I'm not kidding!). Here's one of the hardest boss battles in the game reduced to a simple repetitive strategy and timing thanks to the second player controller port.

Creative boss battles didn't end there for MGS though. In the third installment of the series "Metal Gear solid 3:Snake Eater" the protagonist of the series is pitted against a fictional sniper of great skill simply known as "The End". In most games we try and find a weakness in a boss. "Does he have a repetitive strategy?", "does he ever leave himself open?" However this particular one is a little beyond that. The boss's weakness ended up being that he is old. In fact the boss is so old that in an earlier cutscene he is being pushed in a wheelchair and gamers actually have the option of taking him out right there. That's right here's a game where the protaginist, the symbol of heroes and justice, has the option of defeating a defenseless crippled man. However if you don't choose this way you can always fight him the old fashioned way. The third and final way to defeat the boss was to simple save the game and wait one entire week(or set the PS2's clock 7 days ahead) and upon loading the saved game the player will find that the boss simply died of old age. If that is not genius then I just give up trying to convince you. Otherwise I reccommend you convince your parents to let you get this game or get it the moment you turn 18 because it is simply brilliant.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yet another video game review

If your a fan of simulation games (or Mr. Fielder) then you've probably heard about "Spore" by Maxis. What really sparked my interest on this topic is when I overheard a classmate chattering away to my English teacher about the game. Looking at my teacher's reaction and hearing my friend's description it got me motivated to try the game myself. Just last week I did just that when I burrowed it from a good friend of mine. So far I've played almost non-stop and absolutely love it. With the ability to create and edit a wide variety of creatures, buildings, and vehicles the game can become a long fun journey to the center of the universe or if you have a weaker imagination you'll find yourself quickly zipping through the game simply to complete the objectives.

The game begins with a meteor flying into a star system and eventually crashing into the starting planet for the player. Upon entering the planet's atmosphere the meteor breaks into millions of pieces and one fragment lands into an ocean, opens up, and out comes a single celled organism which you begin the game as. At the microscopic level the game begins very simple with your only priorities being to find food in the form of plant cells, meat cells, or even other cells swimming around. What type of food you eat in the game will determine what type of multi cellular organism you will become in the latter stage. Eating food will recover your health and award the player DNA points. Once the player is satisfied with the number of DNA points in possesion they may use their "mating call" to find another cell and the players cell will lay an egg which bears the next generation of the player's cell. This will bring the player into the cell creator where they may add/remove parts of the cell to aid it in dominance of the tidal pool. Parts include flagella for speed, mouths to determine wheter the cell is an herbivore or carnivore(putting both and eating a balanced amount of plants and meat will result in an omnivore), and several other miscellaneous parts. After laying so many eggs and evolving so much the player will have the option of growing legs and moving onto land.

Now the game becomes 3-d and the player will interact with other species around the continent. The player may choose to be friendly to others which will result in them being able to heal at their nest and have them assist in hunting. Being aggresive the player may choose to attack the creature's species causing it to eventually become extinct and take it's nest by force. Either way the player will once again gain DNA points to evolve thier creature. Once the creature has evolved again and again,gaining a greater intellect each time, the creature unites other members of it's species and forms a tribe. Now the game enters a more RTS style of gameplay.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the RTS(real-time-strategy) genre wikipedia describes it better than anyone else If you can't then I suggest you try another blog. Continuing on, The tribal stage has the player utilize the whole group as a team, having them gather resources, defend food, or in the case of an aggresive tribe they may raid other tribes for food. At this point the player no longer evolves thier creature and works on editing the outfits of the creatures. Interacting also has a new tone to it. Friendly tribes will bring their Chieftan(leader) to the neighbor tribes and attempt to establish a mutual friendship while once again aggresive tribes shall take the tribes by force eventually dominating the entire continent. Once either is done civilization stage takes place for planetary conquest then space stage for control of the galaxy.

Sadly describing every phase in full detail would be mind-numbingly stressful and cause a lengthy entry so that's the game in a nutshell. I highly reccomend this game, it requires pc or mac with internet connection. The graphics were nothing to brag about but greatly vary depending on the player's creativity, gameplay is extremely interactive, story is dull, and the replay value is extremely high up there. If you have a creative mind ready to explode then Spore is the only game for you but if your a die-hard gamer looking for intense gameplay and memorable game time then Spore should not be picked up. Overall I'd say the choice is yours but in my opinion I enjoyed the game and I had fun with it while it lasted so if you ever find the free-time to get this game then go ahead.