Archive for December, 2008

Book Review: Aspho Fields

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 by admin

I finished Gears of War:  Aspho Fields by Karen Traviss like I do most books, with a 100-200 page sprint that keeps me up until 3:00 AM.  Traviss appears to have mastered (what I believe to be) the first rule of working in an established universe, and that is preserving the feel of the franchise.

Obviously, there are no brutal cutscenes to watch or bosses to fight.  Instead, Traviss works on the familiar characters of Delta Squad and Colonel Hoffman, along with newcomer Tai Kaliso.  In this, she appears to have mastered the second rule as well:  Adding characters and backstory that fit into what we already know.

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Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 by admin

During my aforementioned period of shifting tastes in high school, a few of my closest friends were getting into a little IP called Asheron’s Call.  They regaled me with tales of late-night questing, and often asked me to partake in their adventures.  I declined.

Back then, I claimed it was an issue of money.  I did not have a credit card, and it was always a big thing to ask my parents to use theirs, so monthly transactions were out of the question.  My first real job was cleaning the floors of a grocery store over a summer, and even then, $15 a month is a lot of money to somebody making $7.35/hour on five hour shifts.

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Rebound: Def Jam Fight for New York

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 by admin

“Rebound” is a term I just decided on for games that jump back on top of my playlist after months or years of shelf-time. The associated posts may be reviews, nostalgia, or springboards for topics relating to the current gaming scene. Each one will start with a blurb about the game. When it came out, what systems, etc.

Def Jam Fight for New York came out in 2004 for the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube. It is a fighting game with a heavy leaning toward the wrestling genre, and features the likenesses of dozens of rappers associated with the Def Jam label. (Don’t ask, I know nothing about rap)

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Like I Like My Women… (Irish)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2008 by admin

While I was ordering a King Mocha from the local coffee shop a few minutes ago, I started thinking about tastes, and how they change.  Five years ago, I would have grimaced while nursing this brew that will kick-start a long night of coding (which starts just as soon as I finish this post).

How, then, does taste factor into gaming?  I remember envying my friend Matt in middle school when he showed me the Pocket Station, a Playstation memory card that could play games on the go, very much like the Virtual Memory Unit that came out of the Sega Dreamcast years later.  The device itself was nothing to write home about.  What excited me was the game that was all but alone in supporting the gimmicky device:  Final Fantasy VIII.

From my first taste with Breath of Fire 3, Japanese RPGs were the order of the day.  My siblings were older sisters, who lost interest in video games after Sonic 2, and most of my friends lived out of walking distance, so gaming was mainly a single-player affair, and I thought nothing of putting forty hours into a game. Read more »