Tag Archives: Xbox

Real life is boring in comparison: Grand Theft Auto V review (Xbox 360)

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The three musketeers of 2013.

I haven’t beat Grand Theft Auto V yet. I’m not even a third of the way through the game. I’ve been too busy doing other activities that don’t involve missions or advancing the story in any way. I’ve gone golfing, played tennis, flied planes and helicopters, pimped my ride, gone on shooting rampages, outrun cops, received lap dances, and much more.

Most reviews are written after the reviewer has finished the game. This one certainly isn’t and I don’t believe it’s really any less of a review. Why? There’s just so much to do and see that no review of this game is truly a “complete” review. I’ve dabbled in most activities in the game. I’ve done all manners of things in story missions and even optional missions. I’ve done my first big heist, one of several in the game. I haven’t seen the story to its conclusion, but I feel like I’ve played enough of the game to give some strong impressions.

Perhaps I’ll change my mind after finishing the story. In that case, I’ll make another blog post in the future explaining how and why my overall opinion has changed. But for now, let’s look at my thoughts after putting in some serious time with a game bursting with content.

You definitely want to read more, don’t you?

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A parent’s guide to buying games

You see this? This isn’t normal. The parents of these kids shouldn’t have let this happen.

We’ve all been there: our parents wouldn’t let us watch a movie because we were “too young” for it. We were told things like, “It’ll make you more violent” or, “You have plenty of time to grow up. Watch it when you’re older.”  We’d stomp and get mad, maybe even throw a tantrum. But no matter what, our parents would stick firm to their beliefs and say we couldn’t watch that movie.

Games are very much the same way. Some games are clearly meant for older players, while others can be enjoyed by just about anybody. Logically, parents would act the same way and shield us from mature games while we’re younger, right?

Nope.

It seems like too many parents have no idea what kind of games their little angels are playing. Then we have the exact opposite, where some parents are far too strict, thinking their children can only play the most non-violent and kid-friendly games. The point is, most parents can’t parent properly as soon as video games are involved.

I’m going to fix that. Here are some obvious things to help you figure out whether little Jimmy should be playing Super Mario’s Family-Friendly Playground Fun or Grizzled Space Marine Who Shoots Aliens and Swears A Lot. If you’re a parent, this is REQUIRED READING

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I’m not mad, just disappointed…

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I actually cry for those who got so hyped on this game. I can’t imagine actually experiencing disappointment so devastating.

We’ve all been there: a new game is announced and all the trailers and gameplay videos make it look amazing. A playable demo comes out a few weeks before the game is released and you still think the game is going to be awesome. You buy it and begin playing it, but something isn’t right. You’re not sure what it is so you continue playing it. You beat the game and you feel… regret? Regret for purchasing it? But how can this be? It looked so good!

Yep, that’s the crushing feeling of disappointment. Whether it was industry hype or friends’ excitement, whether it was cool trailers or a fun playable demo, you can’t help but feel the game didn’t live up to expectations. Maybe it just wasn’t for you. Maybe the game was a success overall and you were one of the few who didn’t like it. That’s fine, people have different taste. But maybe everyone felt disappointed after playing the game and it became one of the few, the proud: The Most Disappointing Games Ever. SporeDaikatanaEnter the Matrix… There are so many games on this list.

I’m not here to regurgitate that list, however. I’m here to share with you the top five games that disappointed me the most and why they did. Maybe most people will agree with me, saying, “Yeah, that game was pretty trash.” Others might disagree, saying, “No, you’re pretty trash.” That’s fine. If I insult your favourite game, I apologize. In fact, if I do insult your favourite game, I would love to hear why you like it in the comments section below. I want to see if there’s any way I can give the game a second chance and enjoy it.

I’ve done enough lead-in to the topic. Here are five games that really disappointed me. You know you want to read more

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News of the Week – July 6, 2013

News of the Week

Click the above picture to check out this week’s show.

This week’s top stories include the departure of an important Microsoft employee for, troubles at Double Fine Productions, and a much-needed possible update for SimCity. All that and more in the News of the Week.

Question of the Week: What are your thoughts on the zombie genre (in games, movies, TV, etc.)? Comment below or Tweet me your answers.

Music used in this week’s presentation is “Battle for New York” by Brian Tyler from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 soundtrack.

If the link to the show doesn’t work, please let me know by Tweeting me or commenting below. Same goes for any previous shows if you happen to check them out. I want to make sure everything works. Thank you!

 

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Storytelling in games: How it should be done

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Good story, poor storytelling. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you the difference.

Games can now tell a story on par with your average film. Okay, that’s not saying much, but the medium has certainly come a long way since its humble roots. There is now a focus on delivering not only fun gameplay but also a deep and layered story. Sometimes the gameplay drives the game, its fun mechanics enticing gamers to play “just one more level.” Other times the story drives the game, its complex characters and plot drawing players in to play “until the next cutscene.”

Film writers are now getting in on the action. David S. Goyer, famous for helping write the Dark Knight trilogy and the latest Superman film Man of Steel, helped give the Call of Duty series a decent story in the two Black Ops installments. Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta is one of several people who brought the world of the Walking Dead to the video game world. And the list of screenwriters-turned-video game writers keeps growing.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Let me tell you more

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Artificial difficulty: Why is this even a thing?

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Oh I went there. And I’m right.

Some games are truly challenging. They may require quick reflexes, swift logic, or knowing when to make the right move. They offer a great sense of accomplishment to gamers who can succeed in beating them.

Then there are games whose main challenges stem from their numerous technical problems, cheating artificial intelligence, or trial-and-error sequences. And these are some games I hate.

You should too.

Read more, it’s good for you

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Xbox One: hits and misses

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In all its glory: the Xbox One.

Microsoft has finally done it: the company has blown the lid off the next Xbox, called the Xbox One. The event, held on Microsoft’s Redmond campus inside the now-famous @XboxRevealTent, took place at 1 p.m. today. This event showed off what the system is all about: being the ONE device (see what they did there?) in your living room. It can play games, television shows, movies, music. It can connect you with friends, family, and other Xbox Live users. It can help you get ladies*. But what Microsoft wants you to know is it can replace all your other devices.

*Not guaranteed.

The hour-long event was meant to highlight all the amazing aspects of the upcoming system. Other aspects weren’t so hot. Based on the information Microsoft gave everyone who attended or watched the event, here are the top three things I love about the console. Oh, and there are also three other things I’m not too stoked for.

Reading this may improve your life

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