Friday, July 31, 2009

Ummm kirby?

Yeah well I've been playing lots of video games but can't decide between Kirby and Master Chief so I'll write about both. First off we all know the lovable little pink alien blob known as Kirby and his special ability to absorb enemy powers. An old dusty game I pulled out the closet was titled Kirby:and the Crystal shards. As far as I know it may be the only decent N64 game in my closet and is basically a 3-d side scrolling adventure with our favorite little Kirby. The unique parts of this game are that Kirby can now use not one but two enemy powers. By combining one power with another you can get endless possibilities or you can stack two of the same power to create a super powerful version of one single power. If any of you still have a N64 working then I must recommend this game for anyone with a platforming/Kirby deficiency. If old retro ain't for you then I can also prescribe a game that all Xbox owners have played at least once. I'm talking of course about Halo:combat evolved.

I can never get enough of a good storyline but this game just throws the best game storytelling had at my face in a first-person perspective. Set in a not too distant future Humanity has accomplished great task including Artificial intelligence, Super human cyborgs, and interstellar space travel. Along with all these fancy new gizmo at mankind's arsenal comes along the one thing every ten-year old kid predicted for space, Aliens. However to make matters worse these are indeed the mean, ugly, laser shooting aliens in every good action sci-fi shooter. Even worse for the humans are the fact that they face a whole United Force of multiple alien races all itching to exterminate humans from the entire galaxy.

You begin the game as a Super Human Cyborg known only as Master Chief who has been frozen for years after years until being awakened to defend against the aliens as humanity's last hope. With his super human reflexes, endurance, quick thinking, and natural leadership, Master Chief quickly rallies the humans back into the fight and onto the war against the Alien races known as the Covenant. After a quick escape from Covenant spaceships, Master Chief and a few human survivors find themselves stranded on a Large Ring world known as Halo. After progressing so far into the game you soon learn that your not alone on this planet as you are attacked by zombie like creatures who attack relentlessly until you are saved by a group of floating laser shooting machines who introduce the zombies as the Flood and tell you that the only way to stop them is to activate Halo. Once you reach the inside of Halo though you learn that activating Halo will not just stop the flood but destroy all Sentient life in the entire galaxy. Not agreeing to this plan Master Chief makes an alternative by destroying Halo through some crazy action filled cutscenes and escapes at the last minute like any hero would.

In order to fill in anymore space for this post and waste anymore of your "precious" time I've taken the liberty to celebrate the second coming of Starcraft aka "Starcraft 2" by opting in for blizzard's free beta testing(anyone that has a game by blizzard can join, just google battlenet). Not sure why but Real-time-strategies never seem as awesome until there in space.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So the end of the world has been a recurring theme in our lives very much(in fact I'm getting ready for a super blow-off party in 2012). But something more interesting then everything being destroyed is finding out what happens next. The one day I decided to stay awake in world History, we were learning about Latin and the use of post meaning after. So post-apocolypse, after apocolypse get it?

This may possibly be the the next best thing you get to zombie-apocolypse and blog-apocolypse, Giant Robot-apocolypse. A bit of an underground series, Armored Core has always been a huge hit in it's home country of Japan but Westerners don't seem as thrilled when browsing on the shelves. As for me I'm a sucker for custom robots and good storylines. Armored Core always delivers a good solid A for story and custom robos. The gameplay is sticky for newbies but a couple of matches in the AI arena and you'll be flying, boosting, and shooting like a pro. Back on the subject of doomsday though, Armored Core is set in a fictional Earth where humanity has fled to the underground for living as the surface is no longer habitable. The countries of the world have totally disbanded and instead rises the era for corporations. In the world of Armored Core people live tough but bearable lives and although having no sky isn't so hot the constant stress of living has resulted in a breaktrough in technology. Stepping up to the plate are known as Muscle Tracers aka MT's. Using these giant robots humanity was once again able to gain a foothold on survival but more importantly the corporations were able to use MT's for gaining more power through the use of military and battle MT's. Fight after fight eventually lead to another breakthrough in technology known as the Armored Core aka AC. An AC is generally a bigger tougher version of an MT but what sets the two apart is how AC's utilise a "Core" part which then gets attached with arms(for holding weapons)legs(for mobility and support)and a head(radar/scanning). With new humanoid mechs dashing across, people soon made piloting AC's a job and became mercenaries known as "Ravens" paid to work for the richest corporations and turn their shoulders on the little guy. You play as a Raven(not actual bird)mercenary and work through the stroyline to become the greatest AC pilot and change the fate of the Earth.

Later sequels are made to the series again succeeding in Japan and doing moderate-Fail on US soil. playing through the whole trilogy, you'll fight underground, in space, on Mars, and even rich environments with trees and plantlife(after humanity recolonized sometime around Armored Core 2 and 3). So just the concept that the apocolypse could epic fail at destroying humanity and instead give them giant robots was enough to make me buy this game and it should for you so good night and happy hunting:)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mad Mad Mario

On the Internet you will see many things, but if there is one thing I hope you don't have to see till your 18 it may be the flash video Mad Mad Mario. I'll spare you the details of the video, and why I saw it, and why this blog hasn't been updated weekly like I promised. I will however give you some insight into what I thought of the video and how it made me think about Mario's whole plumber for life deal.
Mad Mad Mario basically is Mario finally getting fed up with saving princess peach time after time again so he decides not to put up with bowser anymore and basically walks out of bowser's castle after a very loud scene involving some colorful vocabulary. Mario mentions that Peach has been kidnapped multiple times now and is sick of killing so many turtles on his quest.

I really did realize that Bowser, Peach, or any mario character should have seen this coming for a while. While Mario is just doing what he's gotta do, I'm sure he would eventually get fed up with destroying multiple castles, fortresses, and bosses only to find that princess peach is in some other castle.

The main point of this message should be that nobody should overwork themselves and if they do, they should try and express it.(perhaps in all that jumping and exercising mario gets done when he stomps on goombas.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fight for glory

Whenever we watch a movie or play a game, there's always a clear difference between the good guys and bad guys. The bad guys are always sinister, mean, and cold. The good guys will be all bright, kind, with a strong sense of justice. So, what do we do when the line is harder to draw between the two? This can be answered with yet another video game review! Once and underground series, Killzone had risen to popularity among gamers with the release of Killzone 2 for the PS3. Now unlike my previous reviews of M-Rated games, I would not recommend this at all for underage gamers due to unbelievably foul language worse than South Park. However The story is one that must be shown to any global ed, diplomat, or high school student. Basically you have to sides. The Interplanetary Strategic Allience(ISA) and the Helghast. The Helghast are a race of humans who colonized the planet Helghan long ago. Before they were human, but after years of mutating on the harsh environment of Helghan, they have grown pale skin, have no hair, larger than humans, and can only breathe through special gas masks that simulate the air found on their home planet. The ISA on the other hand consist of regular Humans(with the exception of a few Helghast spies). The conflict starts from years of oppression from humans and eventually the Helghast get tired of being shunned, and looked down upon. A Helghast by the name of Scolar Visari decides to take advantage of the angry Helghast people and rallies the whole planet to wage war against the humans. In the game you play as a human working for the ISA and throughout the game you form a team with two humans and a half human-half Helghast spy. The entire game has you fighting hundreds of Helghast troops and every encounter depicts the Helghast as evil, nasty, and souless. My favorite character in this game would have to be Hakha, the human-Helghast spy. Upon meeting him he is disliked by the human character Rico. Rico had earlier lost his whole platoon to the Helghast and hates them more than anything else in the world. By the end of the game Rico and Hakha gain a respect for each other.

Aside from Hakha most Helghast seem evil but cutscenes reveil that Hakha has a family on Helghan who all hate him for betraying their people. Hakha's brother however looked up to him and praised him as a hero until he was killed for his outcries. Just the fact that two Helghast were able to stand up to the oppressive government means that the Helghast are not souless monsters but people with lives and families. The Helghast are not evil, they simply want equal rights with the humans. The only evil in the game would be Visari, who took advantage of the situation and used it to gain power.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Video game morals/ethics

So many times we've all pointed our fingers at video games for our problems. People say they are addicting, make people lazy, and teach bad habits. As controversial as these topics can get it's hard to tell when to have fun or when you've played enough. Video games are all about control, they can be fun but extended playing may cause headaches, addiction, and playing the wrong games at the wrong age can lead to misunderstandings in society.

What I say as a devoted gamer is that it is not the video games who we blame or their creators but rather the people themselves. All video games are labeled for what age group it is recommended for and M games may only be purchased by 17+(believe me I have tried). So when parents start babbling about the new GTA video game with drugs, violence, and profanity just remember that it was you who allowed your children to continue playing. Never try to pull the "My kid isn't going to return the game" card. Until their old enough to get a job (which by then M games won't be bad for them) then parents are the main source of income and parents should really be more focused on learning what games are fun and safe. This does not mean educational games, that is what school is for. Almost all games have main characters with a sense of justice, or show life from a different perspective. Final fantasy IX is what gave me such a good idea of mythical creatures and introduced me to some advanced vocabulary. With it's medieval setting and abilities like insomniac (protecting the player from attacks that usually make them fall asleep in battle) it was easy to have a point of reference when I properly learned these terms in middle school.

As for lessons I again point my finger towards Metal Gear Solid which, although rated M, gives it the ability to touch on more serious matters such as nuclear weapons, passing on culture to the new generation, and learning common goals. One of the best example I have for this is during a cut scene in Metal Gear Solid 3 where the American hero(Snake) is held captive in a cell that is guarded by a Russian soldier(Johnny) during the Cold War era. After offering his jail cell food to Johnny, Johnny begins to see that "not all Americans are dogs after all". Johnny then goes on to explain how he used to live in America when the US and USSR were still good friends and that he just wants to see his wife and kid back in America but can't because of the Cold War. Although the cut scene ends with Snake trying to trick Johnny into letting him out and Johnny responding by a threat to shoot him, they were still able to establish a small friendship despite one being American and the other being Russian.

So parents please don't ban video games, just look at the ESRB rating and ask the workers at the store if the game is right for your kid (they work for the place, they should know what they're doing.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You must construct additional blogs!

Anybody remember StarCraft? Well recently Blizzard Entertainment announced StarCraft 2 which has heavily improved graphics and smoother gameplay than the previous StarCraft. In case you haven't herd of either than you might have herd of it's ancestor WarCraft or it's MMORPG version World of WarCraft. If none of these games ring a bell than a quick google search of these games is needed for you. In short both StarCraft and WarCraft were real-time-strategy games for the PC. Both games are by the same company and many gamers consider these to be the fathers of modern real-time-strategies.

The theme of WarCraft was medieval war involving humans, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, and Zombies. Then after some time Blizzard created StarCraft which takes place in future space. The races in StarCraft are humans, monster aliens called "Zergs", and advanced aliens called "Protoss". The main topic in this blog entry will be on the Protoss. One main theme of the Protoss was that they were very technologically advanced compared to humans and they had psychic powers. One essential structure in the game for the Protoss was the Pylon. Pylons allowed their construction Probes to warp. Anytime a player tried to create a unit but didn't have enough "Psi" an error message would tell you "You must contruct additional Pylons". Since the Protoss are so different from humans they have funny sounding voices which sound like humans but with an echo effect. Eventually the phrase "You must construct additional Pylons!" became a popular catch phrase.

Now hopefully most of you know that in real life a pylon is one of those weird electrical lines you see everywhere when driving. Just like how our pylons give us electricity to power our technology, the Protoss pylons give them "Psi" to power their technology. Maybe if we all had a magic voice telling us to construct additional pylons whenever we needed more power than black outs wouldn't be a problem.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bombs vs rollerskates?

Quite some time ago I posted a blog on Metal Gear Solid and since then my friend has taken interest in it. After playing halfway through the first game he enjoyed very much he's become quite the fan of the series just as I am. Every now and then we even discuss some aspects of the game and one day he reminded me of one of the most random things in the game that I nearly forgot. In the sequel "MGS2:Sons of Liberty" one of the bosses you face is an explosive expert called "Fatman" who fights with a sub-machine gun, c4, and roller skates. As ridiculous as the idea may seem during the fight the roller skates did help Fatman move around the area very swiftly during the fight and since he wears a bullet-proof blast suit the only way to damage him was to get close enough to hit his unprotected head(Becomming difficult since the roller skates.) It may seem even more ridiculous with his name being Fatman and he is quite the large character(though not per-say obese). After some research I found that it wasn't quite a ridiculous name since Fatman was also the codename for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagisaki. So Fatman uses bombs, he's named after a bomb, and he uses roller skates in deadly combat. Most ridiculous idea ever or best boss in the game:)