Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

I remember being about 5 or 6 years old when my brother got a Nintendo for Christmas. At the time I didn’t know what magic wonder it held, but I was jealous nonetheless of his new toy. He was 17. Yes, my brother is about 12 years older than I am, but that’s not the point. This is about games/gaming, not him or age difference. Anyways, I remember sitting on his bed while I watched him play Mario. I was enthralled with the graphics that danced across the screen. I’d never seen anything like it before, and I wanted to play it so badly. I was never introduced to other gaming systems prior to Nintendo (i.e. Atari) since my parents are from a much older generation (okay, not MUCH, but they were born in the early-to-mid 1940’s). As a very young child, my time wasn’t overly spent indoors watching tv like kids do today. My time was spent outside running around between the hours of 3:30 and dinnertime.

But there I was, staring at this side-scrolling wonder. Coins? YOU CAN COLLECT COINS? Even as a small child I knew that money was a good thing, so why not think it was amazing that you had to collect them in a game?

ImageHowever, I wasn’t allowed to play. Not because of may parents. Of course not! It was because of my brother. What brother and sister didn’t fight? Even with our age difference we did. But that day of glory finally came. Bret had joined the United States Army, and before he left for boot camp, he gave me his Nintendo since he couldn’t take it with him. It was the day that changed my life forever.

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. until if felt like my fingers were bleeding. I was obsessed. No worries, though. I still played outside. I was thankful to have parents who taught me how to have equal balance between going outside and playing, having time to play my game, and living a normal kid-life. Over time, I built my Nintendo collection. I wish I had never given away my original Nintendo. It probably wouldn’t work nowadays, but still. It’s a trophy on its own. A machine that didn’t have save points, memory cards, or the like. If it was dinner time, you kept that thing on pause until you could come back to play it again. Thank goodness we’ve evolved.

I remember getting a game that I would’ve killed for. You’re going to laugh, but it was based on a movie I was obsessed with. I think you’ll remember it. “The Little Mermaid.” Yes, they made a game for the Nintendo that was based on the animated classic that we all know and love (and by the way, I’m still in love with that movie and forever will be).

I played this game over and over again. I was determined to beat this game, having it be the first game I’d ever beat. I would have it on pause with the tv off in our guest

Imagebedroom while I was at school so that I could come home and pick up where I left off. It took me weeks (after dying and having to re-start, etc), but I had finally beat the evil Ursula (the final boss) at the end. It was a huge victory for me. I, a girl, had beaten a video game. Sure, go ahead and laugh, but being young and video games being more of a guy thing, it was a huge deal to me. While my girl friends played Barbies, dress up and played with makeup (I did those as well, but still), I played video games, watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and played with my She-Ra and He-Man action figures.

Fast forward a few years, and we’d find myself with an old Nintendo and a Sega Genesis. I loved the Sega. The graphics looked so much better than the Nintendo. More colorful. And the games were certainly fun in their own right. I’m a Disney girl, so other than Sonic, I had a slue of Disney games (The Lion King, Aladdin, etc).

Image “The Lion King” game was immersive and great fun. You played as Simba, following the story of the movie. You start as a cub, getting into trouble with the Hyenas at the boneyard, having to flee with Nala to save yourself. Soon, you found yourself running from the Wildebeast heard, only to watch your dad be killed by your evil uncle. When he blames you, you run away, eventually to find your companions Timone & Pumbaa. Like I said, this game followed the storyline of the movie to a T, with only a few extras here and there for gameplay reasons. It took me a while, but I eventually beat the game. Again, it was a huge victory. Any gamer I hope would agree that, no matter how trivial, winning/beating a game feels like a huge accomplishment.

Games have come a long way. Nowadays, motion capture is used to capture real human movement and facial expressions. You feel like you could touch your tv screen at times and actually feel them. It’s truly amazing what gaming companies have done with the advancements in technology.

So, tell me. What was the first game you ever beat? What are some old school games that you still love or even play? Are there games you wish you still had lying about to go back to?



Injustice: Gods Among us is slated to release here very soon. April 16th, in fact. Now, yes. I am a huge fan of Batman. Yes, he is going to be featured in the game. HOWEVER, I haven’t taken too much time to read up on, or watch videos on, this game. Why? Excitement, maybe? Like I’ve mentioned before with Assassin’s Creed, when I’m excited for a game, I try not to get caught up in the hub-bub about it. Mostly for wait time, yes, but also for the fact that I don’t want to be ultimately disappointed.

Or, maybe I’m just getting old an cynical. Who the fuck knows. Anyways, Injustice is a little bit like a Mortal Kombat, but with superheros, much better graphics,better plot, movie-like sequences. Wait, so maybe it’s not totally like it in the end. On the outside, when first reading on today’s subject, that’s the feel that I was getting from the game, but Urbano’s interview has proved me wrong on my preconceived ideas.

In a recent interview with Rev3Games on YouTube, NetherRealm’s Adam Urbano sat down with Rev3Games journalist Max Scoville to discuss the game. “We wanted to make this as film-like as possible,” says Urbano. “Even the game menu itself is made to look like a Blu-Ray movie.”

This statement alone makes my insides quiver with excitement. Most fighting games, at least in my opinion, are pretty lackluster in plot, some graphics and all around feel. Even the latest Mortal Kombat game that came out not that long ago failed to really impress me. I think I played for all of 30 minutes before tossing my remote aside and sputtering out a “Fuck you very much.” This game seems to be opening a new bag of treats for gaming fans. Especially those who go gaga for DC Comics.

Thankfully, you won’t have to stick to just one character throughout the campaign mode. Although I’m foaming at the mouth to play the Dark Knight, I want to try out the other characters that the game has to offer. Urbano states that you, the player, have the chance to try out all the different characters as you play. Then there’s the incorporation of StarLabs. There are 240 missions – 10 missions per character. Urbano says that  it gave them a chance to go “crazy” and extend the single player.

Multiplayer is sometimes a hit or miss with games. It works well with games such as Call of Duty & Halo, but can be a total miss with others like Tomb Raider (yes, the latest installment. Don’t get me wrong, I love the single player…but really? Unnecessary!!) With Injustice, it seems that multiplayer will be worthy, & we’re going to get some extra fun out of it. He says that with King of the Hill, for example, you can place wagers. Who’s going to win? Bet on it! By winning, you will gain experience points. Who knows, maybe it’ll give you a slight gambling problem. But, that’s worst-case scenario.

After doing some reading up on the game and widening my knowledge base on it, I’m psyched to try it out & bring you a review. And, of course, brag about kicking Michael’s butt at it.

‘Til next time. Play on, Players.

BELOW: Rev3Games interview with NetherRealm’s Adam Urbano

Bioshock InfiniteBioshock Infinite has FINALLY come out. Fans of the franchise have been waiting about two-ish years for the next part of he saga, and all their dreams have finally come true. Was the wait (and multiple push backs) worth it? Definitely. I promise to try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but if I do give something away, I vow to give warning first.

Now, the only amount of a Bioshock game that I have every played was when they put the demo out for Bioshock 2. Since I’m a giant pussy and can’t handle games that even show a remote amount of “scary”, I didn’t even make it through the demo. Once I saw Little Sister, I was out of there faster than one could blink.

But then there was the awe and wonder of Bioshock Infinite that started to make me curious. The shiny graphics, the Disney-like female character that becomes your companion. It all made me want to get to know Bioshock. Thankfully, having not ever played the franchise before, I didn’t need to have any background on the previous games.

You play as Booker Dewitt, a man that has to go to the world of Columbia (a nation that is set in the sky) to collect “The Girl” to free himself of a debt. The game starts off a little dark and dismal as you’re being rowed by two unknowns to a lighthouse in the middle of absolute nowhere somewhere on the ocean. They talk about you like you’re not even there, and as the player (or maybe it was just me, who knows) I found myself irritated. Hello! I’m right here, guys! You eventually are let off and you make your way into the lighthouse, up the stairs until you reach a small combo of bells that you have to ring in a certain sequence.

At first I thought I had done something wrong, as the sky lit up red, and an angelic-like bass horn sounded while I waited for this Heavenly Elevator to come down and open up before me. Being the non-religious type myself, this made me nervous. Was I on some sort of mission to stop some apocalypse from happening? When you’re finally able to enter, a barber shop looking chair pops up, and your character mumbles off something about sitting. Before you know it, you’re being rocketed into the sky at lightening speed until you burst through the clouds and enter into Columbia.

When the blinding light of the sun finally gives way to your view (prior to landing), your eyes are tickled by beautiful whites, blues, beiges and pinks/corals as you have a moment to soak in the beautiful city. I felt excitement bubble up in my body. “Damn, this looks like a Disney movie,” I remember saying to Michael (my husband).

Now, I’m not going to take you step by step, but the opening sequence of the game was just too drool-worthy to not talk about. Columbia, at first glance, is this magical and beautiful city that gives of a Disney-like vibe. Songs are sung as you make your way through the streets. Players, TAKE YOUR TIME wandering. Collect Silver Eagles (money – trust me…you’ll need as much as you can get to buy perks, ammo, Vigors, etc), munch on cotton candy and popcorn, listen to people’s conversations, and when you hear that barber shop quartet singing the Beach Boys “God Only Knows”, STOP. Stop right there…don’t move. Listen. Let that smile shine through. It was so good, in fact, that I literally broke out in goosebumps.

Along the way you collect Vigors. These are different magical powers that help you along the fight. Because you, Booker, are going to need it. My favorite is Murder of Crows. You get to send a flock of crows towards your enemies and watch them peck at them like a Hitchcock film as you shoot at them. I couldn’t help but let out a little bit of evil laughter the first time I was able to use it. Also, the gift of Possession lets you possess machines and people to help you. If you possess an enemy (non-machine), they end up feeling “bad” about shooting their own, that they end up killing themselves. This works especially in areas where there are a ton of enemies.

Although Columbia looks like something straight out of Disneyland, it has a very dark and seedy undertone. It’s a place that values itself on perfectionism, racial segregation, and religion. As an Agnostic (and one for equality for ALL), it’s a place of my actual nightmares. Your first interaction is that you have to choose between throwing a baseball either at an interracial couple who have been tied up for show, or to the announcer that is giving you the choice. Is it crossing the line? No. That shit happened back in the early 1900’s. At least the game is keeping true to the times.

Okay, guys. I do have to admit something though. I have a crush. A girl crush. Her name is Elizabeth, and she’s the girl you have to “collect”. In the end, you’ve actually rescued her from this ivory tower that the Prophet of Columbia (Zachary Comstock) is keeping her in. At first, she’s frightened. Tries to run away. Tries to beat you up by throwing books at you. Elizabeth reminds me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Ariel from The Little Mermaid. When you rescue her and she gets to experience life outside her tower, her awe at the world around you is somewhat inspiring. I found myself giggling along with her when she gets to dance on the boardwalk with strangers. She’s innocent without being annoying, which is a definite plus.

Along the way, Elizabeth helps you by throwing you salts (these help keep your powers available for use), ammo, health and most of all…money. Some other reviews have stated that the amount of times she stops you to throw you money is annoying, at best. Quite the opposite!! You need that money! It’s expensive being a bad ass, and you need it for ammo refills and the like. Best of all? You don’t have to worry about her in combat. She can take care of herself (and she never dies, so don’t worry about having to chase after her to revive or heal her).

Now, I feel like this is getting long and winded, so I’ll wrap it up. There’s SO many things I can touch on with this game. Take advantage of using the rail system with your magnetic claw-thing. It is a HUGE help in some combat areas, and straight up? It’s just fucking fun to zoom around on. Again, don’t worry about Elizabeth. She’s right there behind you.

Do I have anything bad to say about this game? Surprisingly, no. I think the wait, and the few push backs really helped in refining the game. Oh wait, I lied. There is one thing. This is NOT giving anything away, but remember earlier when I said I can’t handle games that are even a touch scary? Warning, if you can’t either, it does get slightly scarier the deeper you go. In one part, you’re in an abandoned hospital. ‘Nuff said, right? Jesus H. Christ…just wait. Before entering one room, I stepped into the door frame, and by some ghostly action, a rickety and creepy wheelchair comes rolling out from behind a column with the head of Ben Franklin on it with its eyes missing. This was followed by me singing, “No, no, no, no, no” for a good minute as I waited for the game to save so I could exit and give myself a mental break. Other than that, A+, guys.

I haven’t finished the game, so I can’t tell you yet whether or not the ending was a let down or not, but at this rate, I’d be shocked if it was a let down.

Go forth, players, and play on.


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