U is for Useless Video Game Accessories

Posted in Consoles, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 with tags , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

Through the years, there’s been plenty of gaming accessories. It’s funny to look back and see things that were suppose to be groundbreaking at the time, but turned out to be pretty horrible. My favorite useless accessory is the R.O.B. robot from the NES. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, until I learned  it actually made things harder. But I was a kid at the time, now I’m more wary of the latest and greatest “must have” gaming accessory. How many people shelled out money for the useless Wii remote sports add-ons like tennis rackets and bowling pins?

More more useless gaming accessories*cough* plowerglove *cough* can be found here

Advertisements

T is for Terrible AI Teammates in Video Games

Posted in Games with tags , , , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

In some games, we have AI teammates. This should be a big help, right? A lot of the time, it’s not. Some AI are downright terrible.

Right now, I’m playing Mass Effect and wow do your teammates stink. They like to randomly shoot at walls during a fight, wasting the ammo charges in their guns.

Left 4 Dead probably has some of the most frustrating AI. In fact, it’s a game best played with at least one other human.

There are other crappy AI teammates like in  Halo that make you wonder if they’re actually on your side.

For a complete list of my favorite terrible AI teammates go here

S is for Sony’s PS3

Posted in Consoles, PS3 with tags , , , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

It was a great week to be a PS3 gamer. On Tuesday a PS3 exclusive, SOCOM 4, was released. Also on Tuesday there was Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat. Even though Portal and MK aren’t exclusives, the PS3 versions had some very awesome  features. Portal 2 for the PS3 came with the ability to link your Steam account to your PSN account, so you could play on a PC. Mortal Kombat had an exclusive character, Kratos, from the God of War series. The Xbox 360 versions of these games had no special features. Yay! for Sony, right?

Well, as every gamer knows, the PSN is down and might be until tomorrow. Sony isn’t saying what is causing the outage. Speculation on everything from hackers to integrating Steam is being mentioned as a reason. Hackers have been busy with the PSN lately. Earlier  this month, Anonymous  interrupted the PSN. I’ve been having problems trying to connect for weeks.  Every time, I would have to attempt to sign in at least twice before it would work.

It sucks that this is happening right now. I can’t connect my PSN account to Steam. Players who don’t have someone in “real life” to play with can’t use the Portal 2 co-op mode. This means no online gaming with MK or SOCOM. Yes, the PSN should be back up in a few days, but with all the awesome releases this week, gamers are rightfully frustrated. We just don’t know who to be frustrated with right now. I hope Sony gives us more information soon as to why this happened.

Update:

It’s now Sunday the 24th.  The PSN is still down and Sony isn’t giving a  definite time frame for its return. All we can do is check the PlayStation Blog  for updates.

R is for Resident Evil

Posted in Games with tags , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

Resident Evil is one of those franchises I absolutely love. Two new RE games will be released for the 3DS and I’m looking forward to them. (But first, I would actually need to own a 3DS. lol) I’ve been playing RE since the beginning and I still enjoy  busting out the first every now and again. I love shooting zombies (or the not zombies like in RE4 and 5) in the head. A lot. I also love puzzles, so RE, especially the older ones are a perfect mix for me.

While I don’t dislike RE 5,  there is a part of me that wishes the series would return to its roots. Hell, I wouldn’t mind tank controls. Or game saving that requires ink ribbon and a typewriter. Or little ammo and no place to store it. Call me weird. Perhaps I’m just being nostalgic.

Maybe RE 4 was the best mix of innovation and old school. It’s certainly one of my favorite RE games and probably one of my favorite games ever. Resident Evil, to me, is something that should make you think. Not only about the puzzles, but the strategy of how to use your limited amount of supplies to your advantage. I remember in Code Veronica when I got to the Tyrant in the plane part. How I died and died some more, until I rethought how I was approaching the situation. There are many similar situations in the RE series.  Sure, it sounds frustrating, but what a feeling.

I hope when a new RE game is released for home consoles, it will remember its beginnings, if just for a bit.  This is a series that means a lot to me and maybe I just want to be stuck and frustrated again.

Q is for Quality in Video Games

Posted in Consoles, Games, PS3, Xbox 360 with tags , , , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

How weird is it that I wake up to news of PC gamers complaining about the quality of Portal 2? My Q word was always going to be quality, but now it’s taking a different twist.

What’s all the fuss about? Apparently, PC gamers are mad that they can purchase DLCs on day one. Yes, I have rallied against pre-order bonuses including DLCs, but I think what’s happening with Portal 2 is different. This downloadable content includes stuff like skins for Atlas and P-body. Yes, people are complaining about having the ability to change the color of the co-op  characters.  Does any of this DLC change the game? No. Is a fancy Atlas better then a regular one? Nope. This DLC doesn’t actually impact the quality of the game.  Also, from what I understand, all these skins and costumes can be earned by playing the game anyway.

Valve has given free DLC to PC gamers in the past. The DLC that actually counts for something. When the Passing DLC was released for Left 4 Dead 2, PC gamers got it for free. I shelled out cash for it, cause I’m on the Xbox 360. But, I didn’t mind because it was new content, a new level of the game.

Another complaint is the quality of the graphics. Now, I can only speak for the version of Portal 2 I played (PS3), but the graphics are really great. In fact, they blow the first Portal out of the water. I have not played it on the PC yet, although I will.  The game also  runs smoother then the first. In Portal, controlling Chell was a bit clunky. Just this past Monday, I died while playing Portal because Chell would not back out of a door in Test Chamber 19 and I got hit with a missile. (This is the 360 arcade version, btw)

Yet another complaint is the length of the game.  The first Portal is short.  Portal 2 is a stand alone title, with two different campaigns. I haven’t finished the single player, but I’m about 3 hours into it. And I know I’m nowhere near finished. I haven’t even touched the co-op yet. If I get about 7 hours from single and 5 from co-op, that’s a decent amount of time. Plus, I replayed the hell out of the first one. A lot. So even if the game was a mere 4 hours, I know I’ll replay it cause it’s fun.

I don’t see what the big deal is. Just because you’re offered new skins, that doesn’t mean you have to buy them. They don’t change the quality of the game. Portal 2 is not broken, it’s a gorgeous looking game that’s entertaining. And that’s all that matters to me.

P is for Portal

Posted in Games, PS3, Xbox 360 with tags , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

*bounces* It’s finally here! Portal 2 was released today! To celebrate, I feel compelled to post a song I don’t think I can get sick of:

Not only is there a new single player campaign, but there’s also a c0-op campaign. Good-bye social life for awhile. Besides the mind bending physics of the Portal gun and the puzzles,  the new gels and other tricks like the panels,  you still have to deal with GLaDOS. I’m so excited to hear her taunting in Portal 2!

In the original  game, she was helpful at first and down right murderous at the end. Then you go and destroy her.  She turns around and sings during the credits about how she’s “still alive”. In the second game, you still play as Chell.  Aperture Science is in a state of severe disrepair, but that doesn’t stop GLaDOS from rebuilding the facility.

I expect the sequel to be awesome from start to finish. The first Portal was an amazing experience, from the weighted companion cube to learning that “speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out.” While it’s hard to top the unprecedented success of the short game wedged into the Orange Box,  I have faith that Portal 2 will be just as good, if not better.

O is for Older Kids and Video Games

Posted in Games, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 with tags , , , on April 2011, by residentgamer

When it comes to picking out video games for older kids or *tweens* (I don’t like that word), it can be hard even for gamer parents. Personally, I throw the ESRB ratings out the window and use them only as a last resort. I know what my son can and can not handle. I also know a basic overview of recently released games. But what if you don’t really know much about games? I have written about what games I think are appropriate for the almost teen boy.

There are some really cool video games releasing soon or that just came out. Portal 2 will be here tomorrow and it’s rated E10+. The Lego games like Star Wars are awesome. My son and I love them. In May, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean will come out. And if your son watches WWE, he can play the new WWE All Stars game.

I admit, during this time in their lives, it’s difficult to absolutely  say what ESRB rating  older kids fall in. Yes, there’s E and E10+, but there are  many T (like WWE games) and even M games (like Halo) that I think the almost teen kid can handle. It’s all about knowing your child and knowing what the game is all about.