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Ok, for a lot of you younger peeps, unless you are into history and are extremely estute when it comes to games, this blog post will probably fly right over your emo haircuts, come back around, reflect off your fake metal spike belt, and reflect off your teachers cornea, distracting them for a brief minute, untill they recoup, and finish trying to teach you about Ancient Egypt.  However, that doesn't mean you can't put down the black hair dye for a minute and google two great classics, maybe even download and play the bad boys.  Although, it wouldn't be the same as if you were in an actual arcade in the mid to late eighties, when you didn't need twenty bucks to play a few rounds, back then, a game play was only one quarter, not a buck for five minutes of zombie killing. Although, the pain of a quarter for five minutes back then was probably the same as a dollar for five minutes today, so you got me, we're even on that one, inflation, what can I say.

 Track and Field

Two classics, Track & Field, for one, if there was ever a need to control sweaty hands, this was it.  Track & Field was a button mashing fest the likes the world will probably never see again.  In fact, the entire game was built around who could crush buttons the fastest.  I even maybe firmly believe that these game was the spawner of the first popular game cheat, the infamous turbo button.  Competing on this game was intense action, why, becuase by the time you completed a running event, you had so much emotional and physical energy invested, you were basically ready to tear your opponents head off, literally.  I may be dating this quite a bit now, but loosing at this game time and time again to the same opponent would make you want to turn to him and say,,, I wish you were never flame broiled!

 Karate Champ Kung Fu

Now for an extra classic, and if anyone out there has ever had the priveledge to play this in arcade form, I say we all need to get together and have a reunion of sorts, because it was a trully special experiance to have been a part of.

 

Karate Champ, where you had two joysticks per player, 4 total on the machine, and timing and joystick combinations were everything.  I can't really write on this blog too much about it, it's on the level of kiss and tell really.  But, there are downloads out there that you can try, but, the actual details of the arcade experience and this game,, I just can't bring myself to get into.  If I could turn back the clock, I'd bring some GhostGrip with me when I planned on playing this game.

 

 


Finally Tongue out got to sniff a little more Mercenaries 2.  Latest I heard, thing got like a 5 rating, sub-par.  Thing is, how did it get that and GTA IV got a 10?  Actually, the gameplay that's not GTA VI 'esque on Mercs2 is tolerable.  As you can tell, I'm not a huge fan of GTA IV or VI or whatever the S%&T, actually, I'm kinda sick and tired of roman numerals all together, so I'll just call it GTA, which is what it is and has been for a long long time now. 

  GET TO THE POINT!

That's just the point right there, why did GTA it get such high ratings?  It's the same schtuff and game play it's been for,, well,,, a long long time.  Quite frankly, GTA, in my opinion, blows.  The character movement and physics are mediocre and PS oney.  A 10,, gimmee a break!  Anyway, enough of that noise, and enough for me of Mercs 2, it's going back to GameStop.  Why?  It's gameplay is too GTA for me.  I don't like running around in place looking for a mission, bottom line.  Can't wait for GOW2, but besides that, picked up Toooo Humannnn, not looking forward to it, but I guess I'll give a poke just for GP or S%$ts and Giggles, whatever terminology you prefer. 

 

Don't have any high expectations for it, so it might surprise me, but my intuition tells me, don't expect too much, which is what I started my sentence with, so we've come full circle.  Till next time. 

LaughingPS> check out this gamer sportin limited edition GhostGrip shorts!


Deja vu all over again

 

Yeah, I know, I talk a lot about Gears of War, incidentally someone has tried to point out that GOW = God of War and GEOW = Gears of War.  Whatever man, save it.  So I had a chance to take a brief sniff at Mercs2 and I gotta say,,, it's pretty decent so far.  It moves along good, the game play is good, AI is well balanced, kinda looks like Far Cry, or reminded me of it.  However, for a second when I was playing it, I thought I was experiencing deja vu. 

 

Mansion?

 

When you get to the twin staircase level, it's just like the inside of Mansion on Gears.  I don't know why this is, but it seems to be a trend that's happening.  Games are starting to "bite" on other games.  Just like when rap started surging in popularity,,, don't bite my rhymes.  Personally, I think it sucks and I hope game developers will knock it off.  I don't want to be engaged in a game and then have a familiar scene pop up from another title, only slightly tweaked, it's deflating and destracting.  I had to shut her down last night at that level and throw in Gears and chainsaw some fools.  Now I'm back in Gears mode thanks to that scene from Mercs2, hopefully I can bring myself back to Mercs2 and give it a second chance.  I gotta say thanks to Mercs2 though, because I haven't ran some GOW in a while, and I'll be damned if chainsawing locustesess isn't as fun as ever, can't wait for GOW2. 


Gotta play Bio Shock

If you have an Xbox 360 and you haven't played BioShock, your mommy didn't want to buy it for you, you're already turning tricks in a downtown alley to feed yourself so you just can't afford it, or you're in denial.  Ofcourse there is the possibility that you could be one of those people that don't play open market releases, you like to stick to independant labels and underground stuff, or games your friends made.  If the latter is the case, BioShock has something in it for you too. 

 

The Medevil series

 

Having said that, this is one of the funnest games I have played.  The story line is excellent, the artwork and gameplay, fantastic.  The game just sucks you in and doesn't let go.  I like to recommend and I think I've mentioned this already, a game called MedEvil on the PS1, and MedEvil2, equally as good as the original.  These two titles weren't huge block buster hits, but they were two of the best games to come out on the PS1.  Sir. Daniel Fortesque would bitch slap Lara Croft any day, but we all still liked Tomb Raider, fine, Tomb Raider was good for it's time and she was hot, but MedEvil kicks it.

 

Why not a bigger hit?

 

The same can be said about BioShock, it was a good hit, but I think it should have been a bigger hit.  Bottom line on BioShock is, get it and play it if you haven't.  It's one of those rare games, I call them keepers.  I've played tons of games on my 360, and only have a handfull that I'm not taking back to the store for trade in credits,,, ever.  Just like my copies of MedEvil 1 and 2, heck, now that I'm thinking about it, I may as well sledghammer some zombies tonight.  Oh yeah, one more thing, for you PS3 people, I think you can get this game on your network, you sure as hell aren't getting your hands on my copies.


 Gears breaking new ground?

For some of you, I may be preaching to the choire, you may know other titles that have proceeded my experience in this matter.  To me, when Gears of War came out, the cover, peak around the corner, etc, came from a great game.  Syphon Filter, to me, was the first game to actually capitalize on this type of game play on the Playstation. 

For you that have not played the original on PS1, do it, if you have access to one, Syphon Filter 1 and it's sequal are games worth playing.  For many of you Gears of War was your first experience taking cover and firing around corners, but for many others, we can remeniss this type of game play (although it may have been perpitrated by previous titles) Syphon Filter was actually the first game, in my opinion, to actually have the AI and the character interactions succeed at the same time, in a harmonious fashion. 

Laying the groundwork

Laying the road for block busters like GOW.  So when you're ducking behind a burnt car and blindfiring at some fool, pay homanage to one of the greatest games on PS1 ever made.  I can't wait for GOW2, look forward to chainsawing some chumps.  Look forward to me blogging on some other great PS1 games, like Medevil, Fable, and let's not forget, Tenchu, dude,,,, are you kidding me?  Yes, the PS came out with the shizzzooohhh back in the day, hope they can pull their head out of their a$$ and come up with some stuff that'll make me fork out half a G to buy a PS3, untill next time,, see you on Xbox Live.


Console Wars

You've got two major players in the console wars (not counting Nintendo of course, we're not going to talk about that right now, totally different issue), on one hand you have Sony, a huge manufacturer of electronics equipment, on the other is Microsoft, not generally viewed as a manufacturer of hardware.  The difference between these two powerhouses can be reflected as the differences between the people that buy their consoles.  It's rare these days to know someone that has both a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360, unless they are some kind of spoiled rich kid that gets whatever they want or they'll go crying to their mommy (dude's 25 and living in the guest house for free, hah).  Generally, I've noticed that there are differences in the Playstation people and Xbox people. 

 

Brand loyalty

 

Most people that I know that have a Playstation have it for one reason, brand loyalty.  When the Playstation one came out, it left such a good impression, that these guys didn't want to try anything else.  Dude, at some point you gotta leave your highschool sweetheart behind and go to college. Here's an anology, when the Playstation hit the market, it was to competitors like Kimbo Slice is to some random schmoe on the street.  However, while the Playstation was busy beating the crap out of everyone, the Xbox snuck up from behind with a baseball bat and took a Barry Bonds rip,,, it could be,, back back back back back,,, gone! 

 

Online gaming changes the landscape

 

Microsoft's online community with a little help from a franchise some of us know (eeehhheemmm,,,, Halo), pretty much outclassed the competition, and in my humble opinion, still does handily.  What was Sony's answer?  Well, you gotta admit, the Plastation 3 is an impressive looking piece of hardware and,, whoaaaaaaaa, it's got a blue ray player,,pbbbbbbbbbbbbbhhhhhhhhhh,,,whatever dude.  That's what they decided on to set them apart?  Jacking up the price and forcing gamers to pay for a blue ray player?  Anyway, not trying to bag on something before I've tried it, so recently I went to a friends house to play the much anticipated Metal Gear Solid on his PS3. 

 

Some off the cuff remarks on the PS3, but it's definately becoming a respectable online platform

It was like playing the original Metal Gear Solid on my PSone, but with better graphics.  To put it simply, the game play sucked a$$ by todays standards, and the controller still hasn't changed, what's up with that?  So, to be fair to everyone and not dis to bad on PS3, they are getting better, and it definately has a very bright future.  I look forward to it, and hopefully they'll be an aftermarket controller (if there is one let me know) that is shaped like an Xbox 360 one and not like a wooden back massager.  Who knows, someday, I'll be the guy that's got both systems at my house, subscribing to both online services. 


Who's Cheating who?

We all have experienced the peeps online that cheat, we know that they're out there, maybe even one or two of them will actually stumble onto this and read it, and, like the cheating little punk that they are, try to use some sort of something to try to hack into my blog.  In actuality, who's cheating who?  What's true in life is often true in online gaming.  Like every teacher has said from the beginning of time,,, if you cheat on the test you're cheating yourself. 

Don't know the answers to begin with

 

Which is true, because if you have to cheat on a test, that means you're ignorant to begin with because you already know you don't have the answers and are too lazy to do the work to aquire the knowledge.  So, you may get an A on the test but remain as ignorant as ever, it's a viscious circle, my advice, cut it out or have a happy life flipping burgers.  The phenomena of cheating online is similar, in general, I think it's an overall personality flaw or maybe even bad genetics that cause it.  You may be on top of the leaderboards or you may be able to run a lot of smack in the post game lobby, but then how are you going to explain getting pooned at your friends LAN party?  Oh wait, you don't "attend" those because you already know you'd get owned by everyone there.  So now that we've called these schmoes out, let's examine a few of their "tactics".

 

Cheating tactics 101

 

My first experience in doing battle with a "cheater" had to be on Mortal Kombat on Sega Genissis and I recall to this day, the rapid fire controller.  The rapid fire controller was only the beginning.  At least back in the day, when you actually had to go to your friend's house physically to play against him, you were face to face and could tell him to switch his rapid fire off or you'd be Audi 500.  These days, you can't see the cowards on the other end, and it's not surprising that a lot of them have their rapid fire on.  So what other things are happening in the world of wussies?  How about "glitching" where players find a programming glitch in the game, like a secret hiding spot, or a hole in the bottom of that map that leads to ammo or an ambush point or whatever the case.  They will find the glitch and then abuse it and claim,,, uuhhh, it's part of the game man.  Then there's the lag switch, a switch between the gaming platform and the network. 

Turn it off and on and you're guy can run around the map gaining all sorts of competitive advantages.  I'm not too much into MMO's, but if I was, the player using bots to play the game for him, thus giving him currency to improve his character once he's done working the pizza oven at Dominoes, would piss me off.  Weinesis tend to run in packs because they all share the same character flaw, so it's not uncommon for them to work out some agreement amongst themselves to boost their numbers, status, equipment, perks, whatever the case may be by voluntarily spending time killing and being killed by eachother.  Hey man, let's meet up online tonight, I'll let you off me 200 times and then you me 200 times, that way we can get some better weopons.  Give me a break.  Get a job.  So, it's not to say that I'm some sort of stiff that plays by the rules all the time, I just don't make it a point to put money, time, and effort into being able to be a d--chebag.  


Atari 2600, the beginning 

What the!?  Slam, Atari 2600 controller goes flying across the room.  Then it's off to find a screwdriver to take the thing apart, again, and clean the contacts, especially on the lone "Little Red Fire Button".  If you know anything about old school Atari games, you know that that red button got pounded on more than,,, well, let's just say ALOT!  I don't know about you, but the thing always seemed to hit the picket lines when I was playing Moon Patrol, Dig Dug, or Star Wars (the Empire Strikes Back). 

 

Cool kid on the block

Right in the middle of jumping a crater, facing a flame throwing Fygar (the little green dragon dudes), or trying to get my snowspeeder to hit the little flashing square (said to be an open bomb hatch, put a round here, and you destroy the Walker in one shot) on a Walker.  I don't remember how old I was at the time I would beg my mom to go to the kids apartment that had a 2600, I just remember that that guy was the most popular dude on the block.  Kids would offer him all sorts of perks for some game time, anything from straight out sweaty stinky wet nickels, dimes, and quarters, to cold hard Hot Wheels and Go-Bots (we all knew the value of Transformers back then, come on man, what kind of fool would offer up a Transformer to play an Atari?).  I remember playing Pac-Man so much, I'd wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of the beginning of the game, it was something like,,, doo-nah-ooh-naah.  Who can forget Combat on the 2600, it was like, so many options and layouts, it was crazy and seemed realistic at the time.  

 

Gaming is big time

So now your probably asking yourself, what's the point here?  Video games have been the focus of millions and millions around the world, from the average citizen to being a key issue of political campaigns and government.  So where's the harm?  Looking back on my experiences being a Gamer, starting with the 2600, there are tons of valuable abilities gained.  Gaming isn't a passive event, like watching a movie, it's an active mental and physical challenge.  It requires analytical thinking, strategy, pattern recognition, and bartering skills for those unfortunate enough to not have a machine (these guys sometimes turn out to be very successful in business, having aquired negotion skills at such an early age).  However, that's not the real purpose of this first little blog here, the real purpose is to introduce myself, let you know where I'm coming from.  I have a long history of Gaming, we're talking grass roots (from a consumer's POV, I'm not a programmer, although, I did make a few games in the Basic programming language on my Commadore 64).  This doesn't mean I pretend to know all there is about gaming, or that I'm an authority at all on gaming, because I believe I share a similar background in gaming to a TON of people out there. Gaming transcends alot of things. 

 

My Atari 2600 may be your X-box 360 or PS3

To read or participate in this blog, you don't even have to be my age (you can judge that with the Atari references, Google it if you have too) or even close to it.  My 2600 was your Sega Genesis (or Playstation, or X-Box, etc...), besides half the Mortal Kombat population out there would probably rip my skeleton out and I'm not even gonna talk about Madden or Fight Night.  I would say I'm a slightly above average gamer when it comes to skill, but I have a passion for gaming.  That's basically it, and, oh, one more thing, to all of the younger gamers making fun of us old dudes on X-Box Live or any other online gaming service, save it, and to all you older people thinking gaming is below you, there's nothing like an online multi-player head shot to take your mind off the BS office politics you went through a few hours earlier.  Either way, it's great gaming with people of various origins, race, age, whatever, that's part of the experience.  Gaming brings us all together and allows us to talk smack at the same time.  OUT!!


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.



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