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My Gaming Thoughts and Reviews

Honest. Miserable. Nonconformist. Natural rebel. https://www.twitch.tv/germaximus

Author: Germaximus_S

My Deep Passion For Video Games

Posted by Germaximus_S Saturday June 8 2013 at 3:14AM
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"That Game Sucks"

I often end up in arguments with people over video games. Mostly over whether or not they "suck." This is something I find myself getting into more often than I'd like. I didn't realize what was happening, I never understood why I kept finding myself in this predicament, why everyone wanted to argue with me or of course vice versa.

I know I'm a stubborn person, or can be anyways, but I was still very confused. After years and years of this kind of interaction with fellow gamers I think I've finally come to a small understanding, I hope so anyways.

 

Self Discovery?

My problem is I love video games. lol It's silly but that's what it is. I don't just play a game and immediately hate it. And if I do, that is an incredibly rare occasion. Of course there are things I might not like about a game. Maybe the controls are bad, maybe the graphics aren't as impressive as I think they should be, maybe a level was tedious and boring, maybe the story is bland. There are many things I might not like about a game, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it for the good things it has and loving it for it.

 

Fanboy

I can't even tell you how many times I've been accused of being a "fanboy" just for saying how much I enjoy a game, a console, or a service. What makes me laugh every time is that often it's coming from the same people who know that I say "I love this game" to almost every game they mention. Yet the only time they insist on calling me a "fanboy" is when it's about something they don't like in particular.

Yes, I am indeed a fanboy. I'm a fan of everything involving the video game world. Some things I like less than others, that's usually all it is. Some games I have absolutely no interest in, not because it sucks, I just simply have no interest in it at the time. My preferred game tastes do change from time to time. That doesn't mean I always refrain from saying "that sucks." lol It does happen sometimes. Usually if I say "that sucks," I'll tend to follow it up with "compared to."

I enjoy puzzle games and social games but those are the last types of games I will ever play, and I mean dead last. I won't play those unless I'm incredibly bored, have absolutely no way to access a different type of games or possibly see one that looks a little bit more interesting and I'll give it a chance. Or maybe on another rare occasion if a good friend I haven't seen or talked to in a long time wants to play. And possibly an even rarer occasion of actually being in the mood. =p

 

The Casual Gamer

That said, I do not consider puzzle games and social games "real" games. These are casual pastimes. People seem to get offended when I or other gamers make this kind of reference. I'm not attempting to insult you if casual games are your thing. That is wonderful! That doesn't make you a "gamer" in my eyes. A gamer isn't somebody that only plays Farmville or Angry Birds, I'm sorry. Now, if you play games like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and then Farmville, I will consider you a gamer. =p I do not mean this as an insult. Of course that is just how I see it.

 

Already Done Before: So What?

This is something that never bothers me. People are always insisting on "innovation" which is practically impossible. They complain about sequels being "more of the same." I do not understand this. Of course its more of the same, it's what we loved about it in the first place. It's a sequel, do people really expect a hack and slash game to turn into a first-person shooter or something? There's nothing wrong with hybrids of course.

Every time I see gamers making ridiculous demands, they almost never offer up suggestions and if they do, they're usually absolutely terrible and the developer might as well make a completely different game. I'm often shocked when I see a public suggestion that's actually decent.

I don't mind that sequels are similar to the previous games. That's why I like them, new story, almost always improved graphics, some new elements, upgraded UI's and controls, I mean that's what it's all about. It's not the same game. I can't tell you how mad I get when people say "it's more of the same." Gameplay yes, but the story is completely new and usually offers more insight into the characters, a continued story that we wanted anyways because we didn't want the game to end. I mean it completely confuses me how weird gamers can be. Demanding things that make no sense and crying if they do get exactly what they asked for.

I am not saying I don't like innovation. I also don't blame gamers for wanting it. I just think they are often unrealistic in their demands. Multiple games in the same genre too similar? I can understand that complaint. I just enjoy them for the new characters and different takes on the story and of course different or better graphics style

 

It's Time To Try And Turn My Hobby Into My Dream Life

After finally deciding to follow many of my friends advice over many years, I've already started writing what I think about my experiences while having played particular video games. It's way more fun than I had expected. I'm a "noob" but I can already tell I've gotten better. Thanks to some game sites editors and my sister I've gotten tons of advice and help on how to write better. I look forward to learning more and getting better. Now that I've started I have absolutely no intention of stopping. Video games have been my life, and I can finally try and give a little bit back even if it's only in the form of more detailed feedback than "this game rocks!" =)

I read an article that made me realize me how bias I am. It's not on purpose ok? lol I promise when and if I give a score rating I will try to be more impartial to a fair score. That may take me awhile though and many more practice runs before I finally have a better idea on how to score a game more reasonably. However, I like saying how I feel about a game. I don't care if others won't give a game a 10 when I will, it's my 10, not theirs. =p

I hope you enjoy my "reviews" and if you find the time please comment! Please give me feedback!

My Thoughts On Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

Posted by Germaximus_S Monday June 3 2013 at 11:09PM
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It's Not Red Dead Redemption!

I've seen a lot of people immediately assume it's similar to Red Dead Redemption simply because it is a western. It is nothing like RDR! It's a simple, extremely fun, arcade shooter. I think of it like those arcade games where you pick up and use the plastic zapper guns to play through, only in this one you control the movement of your character and don't use a plastic gun.

The story is really neat. I like that you get to see a new take on very famous cowboys like Billy The Kid, Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and several others. You play the role of Silas Greaves who is telling his story to a group of people at a bar while playing poker or something. I can't say why exactly, but I felt pretty rewarded when I completed the game. It was a real decent story.

Story Telling... Differently

One thing that is mentioned in every review is how neat it is that while you play.  Sometimes one of his listeners will correct him during his tale and say, "didn't you say... instead" and you hear the narration while playing the game and he answers along with something like, "oh yeah" or corrects them back and the level you're in changes up a little or rewinds to replay it differently. It doesn't happen often enough to be distracting or ruin the effect, it's almost perfect, I would have preferred a little more environmental popups because they were cool. There is quite a bit of witty banter over the story changes, very entertaining.

Graphic Style

The graphics are one of my favorite things about it, it's my kind of style though. I'm an artist so of course I love this comic book style kind of stuff. The graphics won't impress you, it's not a technically impressive game, but the artwork is beautiful. While the graphics in general won't impress, there are some very nice lighting and water effects, not real looking water mind you, just very pretty, with some cool reflections. I love the flocks of birds you sometimes come across, they also look really great, just the animation as the flock moves through the air, I don't know... I liked it.

Gameplay

The gameplay is typical first person shooter stuff, but in a comic book looking style. You don't get very many gun choices, but I didn't have a problem with that, it was still really fun! There are a couple times you get to take control of a really big chain gun and slaughter away. You have your traditional rifle, pistols and shotguns and a couple different variations of each.

There is a neat talent tree that offers up extra features like duel wielding hand held shotguns. As soon as I saw that talent I was like, "that's the one I'm goin for!" and I love it =).  Talents improve your reload time, slow-mo time, allow you to carry more ammo, minor stuff, nothing adds to special abilities really, but it does add some extra flavor. There are three different talent tree's with different focuses, one for each main weapon basically: the rifle, pistol, and shotgun. The further you get along in a tree, you get a suped-up version of those weapons available.

There aren't a lot of talents but there's enough to give you reason to want to level up, and they offer up some good fun like throwing dynamite sticks back at your enemies or shooting them out of the air. Does that seem a bit redundant?  Well I didn't think it was that bad. =p Those talents are far from necessary and they don't take long to achieve. 

Game Modes

There are three game modes: Story, Arcade and Duel. I haven't played Arcade or Duel just yet, but I did jump into a quick match of Duel just to check it out. Duel is a 1v1 where you basically both fire at the same time (you can shoot early if you want) at the sound of a bell chime (no actual bell chime) you know, western standoff kind of thing. It's a different mechanic than the typical point and shoot. You have a large reticle that you control with your mouse and it moves continuously as you try to position it over your enemy. The longer it hovers over your enemy the more it focuses to give you a better chance at shooting them first. It's weird to get used to at first, I've pulled them off successfully but only to progress through the story. I liked those fights enough to look forward to playing some Duel mode. =) Lots of players didn't like it tho and they didn't like to be forced into it throughout the campaign, they also said it was better in Bound in Blood but i wouldn't know because i still haven't played much of that one yet.

I haven't played Arcade mode yet, I imagine the name alone is self explanatory though. =p It's got leader boards for you, so does Duel mode. There's also a New Game Plus available so it should have plenty of replay value. I know I look forward to playing some more and filling out the entire talent tree and beating it on the hardest difficulty just for fun.

Sound Effects

I don't have a real good memory on it right now but I know I loved both the music and the sound effects. I wouldn't say the sound effects were realistic and that just wouldn't make sense anyways since it's a comic book stylized arcade shooter, they were just good, had a nice feel to them. For all I know they could be realistic, it's not like I listen to those types of guns in real life or anything. Very nice with a pair of headphones on too.

Well I hope I gave you some insight and maybe some inspiration to play it. Thanks for reading!

Cloud Gaming: OnLive And What's So Awesome About It

Posted by Germaximus_S Monday June 3 2013 at 11:06PM
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OnLive: Instant Gaming

I love almost every video game I play in all genres.  As a kid, I played arcade games, and at one point in my life, I thought that Atari was God.  Then the consoles became more and more sophisticated, until finally, gaming became an interactive experience with online services like Xbox Live and MMORPGs like World of Warcraft.  OnLive is the next generation of gaming -- streaming games on the "cloud" that I can play with other people, or just sit back and watch, if I want to.  Other gamers can check out what I'm doing, and I can go see what they're up to.  I'm still in love with how OnLive performs even after two years of using it.

You only need a tiny client that's not even 7mb in size to access hundreds of AAA and Indie Video Games streaming through the internet to you, just like Youtube or Netflix videos do.  So you're not spending hours downloading and installing these 5g to 20g games onto your PC, it's instant gaming! Not only that but you have the same exact access to those same game saves and games on your android phone and tablet -- not all games have touch controls, though.  (Sadly, its apparent that Apple are little b****es or OnLive would have been accessible on the iOS already.  Sorry Apple users! You can get Androids pretty cheap though, if you want. /wink)

 

Subscriptions

 

Standard Purchases

Just like Amazon or Steam or any other similar digital purchases, you buy games from the service.  The normal prices do tend to be expensive (normal retail price) but they have their sales too and even giveaway events if you follow them on Facebook or Twitter.  These are only playable on the service, you do not get a downloadable version.  You are required to be connected to the internet since these games are streaming to you. The Witcher 2 is an exception and if you buy it you also get a copy from GoG.com.  They may have similar options in the future but at this point it's not normal.

PlayPack

This is the subscription option they have --  it has over 250 games now. Most of the games are older, but you're likely to enjoy at least half of them.  Even if you don't play them all the time, you'll be like, "Oh wow, I love these games!"  I would name the ones I enjoy on there but I don't feel like looking up the 100+ game titles right now.  I'll name a few hits, though: Bioshock, Borderlands, Tomb Raider(s), Hitman(s) -- there are a bunch of great Indie games too.  My favorite in the PlayPack is Advent Rising.  The PlayPack costs an optional $10 a month.  A major bonus to this subscription is you also get a 30% discount on everything in the Marketplace including accessories such as the Micro-console or controllers as long as you are subscribed!

Unique Features

 

Arena

A feature known as "Spectating" that allows you to view a large number of players currently live playing on the service.  It's basically watching someone stream a game but you can switch around to a multitude of streams and pick which game you want to view (that's available on the service, of course).  A select few games do not have the feature enabled but most do.

The default option of this feature is to allow access to any user to view you while you play a game.  You do have the option to disable it. Another feature of the Arena is the option to "cheer" or "jeer" someone as they play.  This is a reason why some people disable spectating, to stop a spam of "jeers" on their screens.  However you can also simply disable the notifications from showing up on your screen while still allowing people to spectate you.  The choice is yours.  There is also voice chat which is probably another reason people may disable spectating but so far I have never experienced an issue with anybody coming into my game and screaming into my headset. I also just don't wear my headset unless I know I'm going to be talking with someone.  So I haven't been bothered by that.

Brag Clips

I don't know how else to describe it other than super bad-ass awesomeness, but here are some words on it.  This feature allows you to record the last ten seconds of your game-play.  So if you just did something you thought was cool a few seconds ago you, just hit your key-bind Alt+B (if you're playing on the PC client, or there's a single button on the controller to hit (which I feel isn't in a very easy place to quickly reach and tap but you do get used to it)) and it creates a video clip of your game play.

They implemented a Facebook connect awhile back that allows all of your in game Brag Clips and Achievements (again your choice as to which you display) to post directly to Facebook.  There currently is no Youtube or Twitch connection, but that's of course possible in the future.  You are able to use RealPlayer to get your Brag Clips from Facebook onto Youtube if you want.  Currently you can save up to fifty Brag Clips onto your OnLive account that show up on your profile. (It used to be only ten -- oh my gosh!)

Multi-View (Beta)

Check this out: Multi-View shown off at E3. It's currently only use-able by beta testers which are under an NDA and those users cannot talk about it freely sadly.  It's all shown there though, pretty incredible right?  

 

Other Features

 
Free Trials

Almost every game on the service allows you to trial it for free for fifteen to thirty minutes and that trial is re-playable as many times as you want.  It will always be the first fifteen to thirty minutes of the game, though.  This will allow you to see if the service will be playable for you. You can even trial the games in your browser at their main website.

A Growing Library

The game library isn't currently near as big as any gamer would want it to be, but it does have a lot of really great games including The Darkness IIAssassins Creed 2 - RevelationsSleeping Dogs (my current fav game!), and Darksiders 2. It doesn't have every popular AAA but it certainly has a worthy amount of them. The library has always grown, but at a slow pace.

The Dark Side

Any service like this, no matter how awesome, is going to have a down side. With OnLive, your internet connection needs to be good.  Even if you "have good internet", you still need to be able to maintain a steady connection to OnLive, in order to play the games.  Thankfully, you can try the service completely free.  You can either go to OnLive.com and try their games in your browser, or you can sign up for a free account and download the tiny client to see how the full client works.  If the service doesn't currently work great for you now, but you think it's a cool idea, be sure to keep checking back with them.  When I first tried the service I couldn't connect properly for two months.  Of course, I wasn't trying every single day -- LOL -- it took me that long to finally see that I could connect and use it.  I feel fortunate that it didn't take longer.  =p And of course there’s the whole bandwidth issue which i’m fortunate enough to not have to deal with for now.

And Finally...

I love everything about the service.  I'ts been two years since I started using it, and it never fails to impress me.  I love just booting it up.  The service does encounter errors, but it's far less irritating when it's not taxing my own PC.  When it happens on OnLive, I'm just like, "Damnit! You bastards!", and I reboot the game. Unlike my PC, OnLive doesn't usually take ten minutes to reboot a game, or force me to reboot my computer, or urge me to smash my PC into itty bitty tiny pieces.  Anyways, the service does run into issues just like any service would, but it's still awesome.

OnLive filed for ABC bankruptcy and transferred ownership to a new company under the same name at the end of August 2012, but they are still alive and kickin', with zero interruption. However, anything can happen.  Be wary of it if you must, but at least check out how awesome cloud gaming can be and is going to be.  It still blows my mind.

A lot of OnLive’s features were part of Sony’s PS4 reveal. =)

The service has games that can be played by a younger audience but it does require you to be 18 to have an account.