Monday, May 24, 2010

Joe also likes LOST

Okay, so I did neglect this blog somewhat. No, a lot. I've now graduated from college and will have time to play some serious catch-up, as I didn't play anything during my blog absence (hence the lack of posts).

I did write up some thoughts on last night's LOST finale, however. I decided that if I had to justify posting this on a gaming blog, I guess I could always refer back to the "LOST: Via Domus" game, but I'd rather not. Be warned for spoilers, of course.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Size does matter. And it's not what you'd think!

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about small televisions for current-gen gaming. Lots of developers have switched to smaller text in favor of high definition resolutions. Others have complained that some televisions give too much peripheral vision and can be daunting. I can see both arguments, and resign that I feel that sometimes, gaming can get too big. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bioshock, or not to Buyoshock?

You see that? Look at that little collector’s set. It’s got the game (obviously), along with a 164 page art book, three posters, the Bioshock 2 orchestral score on a CD, and to top off the collection: the Bioshock orchestral score on a 180-gram vinyl record. Those who know me personally may know of my recent start of a vinyl collection. When this collector’s edition was announced last fall, I knew that this would have my money. Though after I wrote my previous entry, I realized that I would only be doing myself a disservice. I haven’t finished the first Bioshock – the achievements were mostly accounted for on my Xbox 360 gamertag by another player and sad as it is, those little blip noises are fun to get. That tiny incentive, plus seeing the game’s ending, contributed to my failing to play this title.

That vinyl was the only reason I wanted to get my hands on this game right away. Having the eerie, spooky sounds that play during the first game on a record, complete with the pops and fizzes that accompany the media is an awesome thing to have. Recently, it was announced that Final Fantasy XIII would see a portion of its soundtrack released on vinyl in Japan. Also to be limited edition, I’ll probably never find a copy of that. Soundtracks are one thing that I really enjoy in a video game, because the music is fresh and can really tell a story through the music.

Anyway, one day following Bioshock 2’s release, I decided to check out eBay. And not really to my surprise – people have parted out these collector’s editions and are selling the pieces individually. I was able to luckily find a reasonably-priced auction of the vinyl and got it for $20. Now, no more need to shell out $100 at Gamestop for the set. I can put the $80 that I didn’t spend toward Final Fantasy XIII, God of War III (which is getting a new trailer tomorrow – can’t wait to see what Santa Monica has in store for us), and yes – I’ll probably cave and also get Pokemon Soulsilver. I’m feeling nostalgic and need something to entertain me on my DS.

I fully intend on playing this title in the future. I owe it to myself to finish its predecessor first, and maybe I will get it when it goes down in price. As the final college days go by, I'm seeing where my money is going to have to go, and what expenses I'll have to cut. Gaming is unfortunately one of those cut-able expenses, but I won't be abolishing it. I just need to game (read:purchase) smarter. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hello, world.

My name is Joe. I'm a senior at Champlain College in the Electronic Game Design major. I've decided to begin blogging about my gaming habits. Why? Well, I'd like to use this as a motivational tool. I haven't really had time or motivation to play games when schoolwork has been in the way, and probably won’t have a terrible amount of time until graduation in May. I’ve realized that I have a problem: I have too many games.

“Too many games? How is that possible?!” the reader may ask. Well, it’s possible when you’re buying games and letting them sit there to look pretty. Looking pretty isn’t what games are meant for. They’re meant to be played! I need to limit my game buying habits, because I’m definitely not playing as fast as I’m buying. In the long run, I’ve wasting my money as well as my parent’s on games that have been collecting dust. Many of the games I own and haven’t played I could have bought for a fraction of the cost.

After college began, I saw myself wind down from gaming in the sense of being “hardcore.”  I love the games in the Final Fantasy series for their intricate storylines and their length of gameplay, but I can’t sit down to play Dragon Age or Borderlands right now. These games I know are quality titles but I really don’t feel like spending any amount of time in these games. Why? I don’t know. I’d like to play them and they seem cool but part of me is turned off to the concept right now. I’d have to classify myself as a game enthusiast or a casual gamer over being a hardcore gamer at this point in my gaming career.

I haven’t played my Wii in… really, ever. I haven’t finished any titles on the system, and the lack of quality titles have really led me down that road. Shovelware plagues the system and the few good Nintendo properties that are on the system still don’t entice me. I’ve never played a Zelda game to completion. I briefly played Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess but have not been wowed by anything I’ve seen from any of these titles. Blasphemy you may shout, but I didn’t grow up with a Nintendo 64. It simply hasn’t been a part of my gaming heritage and I’m getting to the point that I’m not really as much a gamer as I thought I was.

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft recently. At the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS), a speaker classified World of Warcraft as a game that can recognized and played by casual and hardcore gamers alike. People like myself enjoy the leveling and questing, while others will dive right into the PVP and raid for hours on end, with schedules set by their guild that they must abide to. I’m not the latter, that’s for sure. It’s been a fun game to kill some time with, but I’d never give my life to a game like that. Games are meant to be fun, not a chore, and having to plan my day around a video game certainly sounds like a chore. So does playing any online shooter. I’m not talented, nor do I really care to be, in the ways of first person shooters.

Impulsive buying is a weakness I have, and hope to rectify in the future. I did buy the Rock Band Stage Kit for $30, but that’s a fog machine and strobe light that synchronizes with the music of the game. Granted, I don’t play Rock Band a lot as of late, but it’s a cool accessory and could be fun. If not, I’ll get rid of it. I also picked up a set of two Donkey Kong Bongos and the Gamecube game for a whopping $8. With the bongos, it’s not so much the money, but the physical space that they take up. A lot of the games in my library have aged far too long to have any value for selling. The Darkness was one of the first games I bought for my PS3 and I haven’t put more than 30 minutes into it. I paid $60, but got a $10 Target gift card. Sure, that’s cool and all but I didn’t save $10, I wasted $50. The game is now around $10 used. I’m not going to buy many games in the future until I finish the ones in my possession.

More or less, this initial entry is a long-winded plea to myself to have some form of New Year’s resolution for gaming. I need to play the library that I currently own without wasting money on other titles that I won’t play for a while. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Borderlands and Dragon Age: Origins are among the most recent of these mistakes and I’m trying to rectify this before they lose their value and I’ve wasted my money again by selling them. I’d like to play these titles, but honestly I have such a queue of titles already that it’d be better to pick them up somewhere down the line when they’re part of the “Platinum Hits” line. I don’t need to get every game I want to play on Day 1… except Final Fantasy XIII and God of War 3. I’ve waited for these titles for far too long, and I’ll be able to get into them right away, thanks to the nostalgia I get from the previous titles.

Basically, I’d like to use this blog as a means of keeping my brain in the “game” – writing about games that I’ve previously played, am currently playing, or hope to play soon. I don’t expect many followers as I’m doing this mainly for myself rather than page hits. Stay tuned for more, regardless.