Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Archive for February, 2009

Blog Banter: Gaming Together, Maybe?

Posted by deckard47 on February 28, 2009

Welcome, welcome to Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel! Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deeply insightful to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

I’ve always been a bit leery of letting others know what my favorite activity is (besides eating gummy bears and watching movies with Clive Owen, that is). Now that I’m trying to write about video games professionally, I really can’t avoid it. At parties, or dinners, or meetings, I always end up having to discuss “what I do.” Mostly I half-ass it, telling them I’m an “entertainment journalist,” whatever that is. When one lives in a college town, and one talks about one’s video game journalism career, the blank stares one receives on the topic are surprisingly many.

I’ve been lucky then, to be with a person who not only respects my choice to write about games, but entertains my obsession with them. She is not, for the most part, a big gamer. When she plays games these days, it’s something to pass time (procrastinate) when she’s working. Aside from Spider Solitaire, apparently the falling sand game is fun? Anyway, this isn’t to say that she has never been party to other forms of gaming. She actually started gaming at a much younger age than me. My first system (if you will) was a Mac, running OS 7 or something, on which I played Dark Forces, Descent, Heroes II, X-Wing, and others. Her first system was the Atari which she played throughout her early life. Apparently she played a lot of games on it, but it’s never been a particularly important set of memories for her.

These days, I’m not exactly champing at the bit to convince her to play games. If she wants to, she will, and every once in a while she tries something out that I’ve just picked up. Most notably, she beat Professor Layton, something I’ve never done, she plays Rock Band a good deal (when the band is together), and she really liked Motorstorm (which was a shame, given that it had no splitscreen). Oh, and she’ll play a bit of Mario Kart and Boom Blox, if the occasion calls for it (and who wouldn’t?). She is mostly amused by my games (and how could she not be, seeing me play Crackdown or Saints Row 2), but it’s much more important to me that she accept my gaming than that she be enamored of games themselves. Even she admits that her completionist nature might be dangerous, if she got sucked into games. She, after all, can’t give the excuse that she’s working while playing them. We haven’t exactly played a lot of games together, per se, with the exception of Mario 64 DS‘s Shell Bowling (we took turns). It’s quite possible that some day in the future she’ll pick up some game, realize she likes it, and kick my ass at it. Gotta pick up that Pacific Rift demo, I think.

Other participants!
Gaming with my wife, You could be doubling alone, Next Gen Killed Our Gaming Relationship, Forced Perspective, Playing With My Toys, From Gaming Geek to Heroes Freak, My Lady and Gaming, Gaming with your significant other, Gaming Together, Maybe?, Girl Gamers = Hawt, Gaming with my significant other, Move Over Hott Boy, I Want to Play, Valentine’s Day is for Gamers, Frag the Girlfriend!!, ‘Til Mongoose Do Us Part

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Posted in Blog Banter | 7 Comments »

GTA IV (no really) and Killzone 2

Posted by deckard47 on February 27, 2009

Spent this evening doing two things: playing GTA IV with some fellow Gametopius types (I’d call us a crew, but there were 3 or 4 of us, so…), and writing. The writing went alright (at least I’m done for now), and the GTA IV was surprisingly awesome. It’s not hard to see where the multiplayer does stuff right. Loads of cops, guns, and pedestrians (plus a bunch of people running around taking out the cops) leads to some fun times. However, when the game isn’t doing that it really falters online. I mean, even in that game, I had some problems, like when things turned into a slideshow… every 5 minutes. I understand that  they made a great technical achievement with this game. I just wish it was appreciable in something a bit faster than stop-motion animation. Anyway, we had a good time, and I might actually do GTA IV multiplayer again.Crazy, I know.

On my other note, I’ve been watching Killzone 2 download for a while now. It is going extremely slowly. Let me just say, this is a department where the 360 rocks the PS3 up and down the block (you might even say that it Kid Rocks the PS3 up and down the block. Maybe). When I opened up GTA IV today, it told me it had an update to install. It did it in about a minute. Last time I had to update any PS3 game, the download to an hour at least. And that’s not counting the “install time” of at least an extra hour. They are really falling behind in this area. Getting online content from PSN is like squeezing blood from a stone. But it takes longer.

On a sadder (less up-to-date) note, it looks like Obsidian’s Aliens RPG has been canned (or at least shelved) by Sega. This kills me, because I know that they can write great dialogue, and plug that dialogue in to amazing stories. I have no idea how that wold have fit into the Aliens universe, but I trust these guys, for all their faults. I’d be willing to bet that they would have created some amazing characters, and those characters would have really inhabited Ripley’s world. I want to say that I’m really excited for their Alpha Protocol. Obsidian makes games where dialogue can be the boss, where a level’s ultimate encounter is a heated conversation. I love them, and I hope that they keep on rocking, and that luck (or whatever they need) comes their way. I’d like to make a comment about a game being over, man, but I’m just not in the mood. Perhaps I’ll say that Obsidian should just take off and nuke Sega from orbit. You know why.

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Awkward Slumdog

Posted by deckard47 on February 25, 2009

So, as noted previously, I’m as happy as could be that Slumdog rocked the Oscars so hard. I mean, Freida Pinto even presented an award with some guy (an old guy?). That’s pretty good representation. There is one awkward note to the whole thing however: at the Oscars, Danny Boyle forgot to give credit to Loveleen Tandan, the woman who was basically the India director – she acted as go-between for Boyle and all of the actors who did not speak Enlish (like the youngest kids), and did a ton of work for the film… Which is obviously why she’s billed as co-director when the credits roll. I mean, he remembered to give credit to a guy who wrote a song, but not to the woman who made what he created possible? It might not sound like much, but check out this article I found by way of Feministe. In it, Tandan explains what part she had in the film, how she came to it, and her plans for the future. It’s obvious that she considers the film to be Boyle’s movie (and says so in the piece), but this was pre-Oscars. It’s got to piss her off a bit, one would think. I mean, he forgot to mention her at the Golden Globes too, I believe… Anyway, he’s a pretty excitable guy, so maybe he’s going to say that he forgot amid the excitement. I hope he says something, ’cause right now, if I were her, I’d want to have a little chat with him.

It’s also just a bit telling that as co-director of the favorite for best picture (pre-Oscars show) the cameras didn’t want anything to do with her. Either way, she showed with her work on Slumdog that she has what it takes to create an incredibly detailed setting and characters for a movie. Seriously, go read her article, I’d be willing to bet that her hand can be felt (if looked for) all over that movie. I hope she goes on to make some sweet movies, but we’ll have to wait and see.

On a slightly related note, since Danny Boyle likes changing his genres every movie, let me recommend time-travel next. He’s done space, zombies, drugs, The Beach (which is about what?), Millions (about little kids finding a million bucks), and Slumdog. I think time-travel is definitely next. Seriously, Danny, I love your stuff,  a lot (my friends hate my guts for making them sit through 28 Days Later, them hating it, me loving every minute of it), so just apologize for this rather unpleasant mistake you’ve made, and then go on to making more badass movies. Please?

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50 Cent Shows 1up How You Can be Less Offensive

Posted by deckard47 on February 25, 2009

I have exciting things to do right now, but I thought I’d point out that 50 Cent just did an interview with Joystiq (kinda), and they asked him a bunch of questions and he answered them. I thought I’d highlight this segment, just, you know, because:

On a more serious note, how do you feel specifically about the effect of things like the taunts and the vulgarity in the game on hip-hop culture and African-American culture in America?

The harsh realities are, these words exist. I didn’t make them up. To create a description of a person’s lifestyle or their behaviors, we utilize these things. Now, I mean, for you to be there and to be representing a company that they have you asking questions, I know that you understand the information that I’m relaying to you at this point.

So, when you say “bitch” at certain points, it’s to describe a person’s behaviors at that point. If you say “ho”, it’s because she might be wanting to suck a dick right now, she might be wanting to go on a date, she might be in pornography, she might be… There’s a class of people who would classify those things. So now, if the game is too aggressive for certain people, then, you know, it’s rated “mature.” That right there … are the standards they’ve created to say “this is acceptable for adult entertainment.” For me to change those requirements or to have more responsibility than anyone else has is a bit unfair, from my perspective I feel like. If you’re saying I’ve become so influential that I need to make specific adjustments and changes, I’m flattered by that but I don’t believe that.

I guess I’m more specifically wondering how you felt about the influence on the youth of hip-hop and African-American culture in America.

Well it’s rated mature, so the youth really shouldn’t come in contact with it unless they have someone around who can explain it. If you have someone around you, an adult — if it’s rated mature, then someone mature should actually have it. And if a kid does interact with it or has it, someone should be around to explain it. When you go into a film that’s rated R, do they have an adult outside to tell you it’s okay to go in or not? ‘Cause they’ll use all the terminologies you’re talking about. But keep the standard across the board — don’t make it just for the video game because it’s 50 Cent’s video game. You know what I’m saying to you? And everything that’s mentioned in the game will be in your films. And everyone on the other end of this phone knows this. Since cable television.

See the freedom with the web … it provided a new freedom. When we used to have to rely on BET and MTV and the other networks to actually reach the consumers for different products. That’s not so true anymore. Like, the number one music video on BET is playing six times a week. You see what I’m sayin’? So all that video does on that network is to tell them to go to YouTube and other sites that would actually have that content. Whatever time. If you just got home from work or you just got out of school or whatever you did when you have free time the web will be on-demand television. But all of these terminologies are being used even further. So even if your kid is sheltered to the point where they don’t interact with anyone who says these things, I’m sure they’re hearing these terminologies.

And then this:

So, just to be clear, you don’t feel any responsibility towards your fans with regards to the derogatory terms — the language used in the game.

I don’t feel like it’ll effect ’em. I don’t feel like they’re hearing anything for the first time in this game. Ben, let me ask you a question, what is your nationality?

American.

Well, I’m American too. I’m saying your ethnicity.

My ethnicity — like what color am I? Is that what you’re asking?

Yeah, well, what would be a derogatory term to your culture or how you was raised?

I guess “whitey” or something like that. I’m a white guy if that’s what you’re asking.

Oh, you’re a white guy. I could kinda figure that out through your tone of voice. Check this out, Ben. A lot of times the terminologies that are being used are coming from the culture or the environment that you’re in. So, it might not sound as aggressive if you heard someone say, “He’s a redneck up the block,” if he’s a white guy saying the other guy’s a redneck.

Sure.

But you’ll feel like I’m saying something negatory if I’m like, “This fucking redneck just cut me off, down the street,” ’cause, you know what I’m saying, where I’m from. I think it’s being responsible by making this a fictional plot and not having it be so real to the kids who walk out from seeing this kid feeling like they should go do this.

You’re from Joystiq.com, right?

Yeah, I’m from Joystiq.com.

Ben, I’m gonna watch what you write. I swear I’m gonna find yo ass!

I’m only going to write what you say, 50. Don’t worry.

[Later on, while answering a question from another person] This guy is actually asking me whether I feel uncomfortable with saying curses at some points. Do you not live in the same society I live in?

It’s not necessarily the curse words, it’s the effect that you might be having. I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong, I’m just wondering how you feel about it, you know?

What I’d like to do, I’d like to remix “We Are the World” with you. [laughs] I’d like to a lot of things that I don’t actually have the power to actually change. So when you say, from a creative standpoint, are there things I’m wiling to do? Yes. But, check this out. For me, in a song, there’s only three minutes. three minutes and fifty seconds max, right? I can only give you descriptions of actions. I can’t give you cause-and-effect, I can’t give develop reasoning for dysfunctional behavior. I can’t do any of that. I just gotta give you what happened specifically.

So, a lot of times you revisit things that you’ve experienced or things that went on around you until you capture it perfectly And after you’ve done that, you gotta move forward, you gotta move forward. You gotta do things differently. Now you got a lot of guys out there who’ve achieved zero success and guess what they write about? The lifestyle I have right now. Because they aspire to live life on the highest level, they write luxury. And I understand it. I actually was one of those people. Now after I’ve achieved the success that I’ve achieved in the last six years that I’ve been consider what we would call “successful,” I totally focus on the struggle. I focus on how far I came. So I have more interest in writing the portion of my life when I didn’t have than where I’m at right now. And that’s a little weird, it’s a little backwards but it’s honestly where I’m at right now.

Now it’s not like 50 distinguishes himself as a paragon of awesomeness, virtue, and all things wonderful and non-offensive in his music (and it’s not liek I think he’s the next great socially conscious artist out there), but he definitely has Mr. Joystiq here. I do like how the guy keeps on asking about “hip hop culture and African American culture” like they’re one and the same. And by like I mean, that must have been awkward. Oh, and if you ask me, it’s tough to call a artist on swearing or being offensive (destroying our youth, you know), when we’re part of the video game industry. Which is such a… great influence on young people. I mean, look at the new House of the Dead. Or maybe Resident Evil 5! We’re like paragons of virtue!

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This is What Happens When You Read Gaming News at Work

Posted by deckard47 on February 24, 2009

So I found all of these articles on RE 5, and despite my feelings about the game, the reminded me of two things: what I liked so much about the 4th one, and what I like so much about co-op games. So now, what do I do? I know this game will be offensive and alarming and what-the-fuck all over the place. The fact that even the mainstream gaming journalism circuit is noticing means something. It means that whatever is beyond the demo, it’s fucking bad. I look to two articles, one by Latoya Peterson of Racialicious renown, and one by Tom Chick, over at Fidgit. They’re both smart articles, and it is, I think, a good idea to be able to both praise and critique a game, not just one or the other. Still, the question remains, if I buy it, will I be able to shoulder through the inevitable shit. I’d like to follow the example set by these two writers: they sound professional and interested, offended yet willing to examine the game all the same. I think I’ll give the demo another shot with Owen tonight, not that that will change anything.

Also it costs 60 bucks…

p.s. Starting Dead Space again. It’s so much easier on Medium (played on Hard before, which was a trying experience). Also, the opening sequence is extremely fucking professional. Well done.

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Dante’s Inferno

Posted by deckard47 on February 24, 2009

Not much to say about this game or the new trailer, besides “looks cool, wonder if it’ll hold up to actual playing.” I will admit that it does have a head start in the me liking it department, especially over good old God of War. I mean, Dante must have something more to say than “I am the God of Waaaaaarrrrrrrr!” I want to mention again that every time I did that ringed Poseidon lightning shit, Kratos would yell that. It was so fucking dumb. Or he’d just roar. It was like controlling an angry William Riker: huge, frothing, dangerous, insufferable. Anyway, the monsters look interesting (especially the last room full of tentacle sponge mouths). Finally, as Owen pointed out, Wayne Barlowe (of awesome Barlowe’s Expedition fame), is working on the art and creatures. Let me just say, check out this book, its like Dinatopia in space but creepy. Anyway, must be going back to work, but this looked kinda cool, so I thought I’d bring it up (plus, I am the God of Waaaaaaaawwwwwr!).

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Big Night

Posted by deckard47 on February 23, 2009

And by that I mean, go Slumdog Millionaire. I really don’t have anything else, RE: C:VX (can I really write it that way? I love it) is interesting if a bit silly, and I’m still getting the hang of it (I haven’t played this kind of RE since Zero, my first, cherished Cube game). Got to go write, before sleeping. Later.

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Slightly Retro Gaming: Code Veronica X and Dreamfall

Posted by deckard47 on February 22, 2009

So, as part of my effort to play things that I should have played, games that are important to forming my body of knowledge about the history of my favorite activity, I’ve purchased RE: Code: Veronica X (that’s a lot of colons) and both of The Longest Journey games. I’ve actually just completed the original TLJ, and I thought it was pretty good. I like the second one so far, for its amazingly detailed conversations (which most people thought were too much?), and its great writing. Also, is it just me or does it look amazing or an original Xbox game ported to PC? I have it set on “Ultra” graphics settings, because of my badass, 256 MB+ video card. Shit.

As for Code: Veronica, I’m not really sure why I purchased it. Sure it was only $5, but It’s not as if I love Wesker or anything. It might be that I actually enjoyed some of their games, and their newest offering has disgusted me. I guess I’m hoping that even pre-RE 4 and post Zero, Remake, and RE 2, this series can do it for me. Wish me luck!

Posted in Gaming Backlog | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Celbrate the Mass Effect News!

Posted by deckard47 on February 21, 2009

In celebration of the minuscule ME 2 trailer below (and the hilarious responses on Kotaku’s boards), I bring you a new section to the blog. Over on the right (always the right!) there is now the “recent articles” widget. You can read the more recent of my writings there, and they will change as I write new stuff for new places. As of tonight, over there is what is “hot” right now… Don’t burn yourself on it. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the writing interview for DHSGiT is with Keith Nemitz, and you should go read it, now. He’s cool, it’s cool, good writing should be recognized. Serously, go check it out, and by “it” I mean the game. Free demo!. As opposed to a demo that costs money? Whatever, go insult some gym teachers or snag some boyfriends.

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Mass Effect 2!

Posted by deckard47 on February 20, 2009

Mass Effect 2 teaser trailer! Yes! Watch it! What do you think? I’m excited, especially because we’ve been told that our actions (betraying/ helping the council, killing Wrex) will carry over to the next game. So excited. I guess that’s it, there are lots of little bits of preview out there to read, if you’re interested. To to prepare for a party! Bye.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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New McGee, if that’s your Thing

Posted by deckard47 on February 20, 2009

So, Mr. McGee is taking us back to his Burtonesque (but much less annoying!) Wonderland, in the form of The Return to American McGee’s Alice. I dunno, what do you think? To be honest, I only played the demo of the first game. Back then I had not so much money, and I had to choose between Alice and Baldur’s Gate 2. Which do you think I chose? Anyway, I’d still be interested. I should probably pick up the original now, right? I have no reason not to, I’m sure it’s dirt cheap. To Steam (or somewhere like it)!

Oh, and the really cool thing about all of this is that EA are the guys who are making this happen. They need to stop doing good things, because it’s making me uneasy. Be Evil, guys! Stop being so awesome!

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A Bit of a “Break”

Posted by deckard47 on February 19, 2009

So I’ve been absent from le blog as of late, and my only excuse is I have had Work (true), and I have been being Social (also true, but less of an obligation, so much as a pleasure). Anyway, I’ve been busy, after a fashion when it comes to writing about games. I have a review of The Maw up at Popmatters, and an interview with Francois Roughol (PoP designer who is presently working on Assassin’s Creed 2, which is rather exciting) over at GameTopius. Both of these articles have been added to the articles page up there, which I’m trying to update regularly (and have no excuse NOT to update). If you’re thinking of buying The Maw I’d tell you not to do it, but if you pressed me, I’d say check out the review. It has a lot of issues, and it doesn’t ever do enough things right to make you forget about that issues.

Honestly, though, you should check out the Roughol interview. If you like the PoP game (and I hope you realize that I absolutely adored that game), it’s great to hear him talk about designing it and changing it, and his reaction to our reception of it. If you aren’t a fan, it’s still interesting, it’s always good to listen to someone talk about what goes into making a game. They do so many things that we don’t see or don’t care about; it’s a good idea to just pay attention every once in a while and understand how that you loved (or didn’t) was created, bit by bit.

I guess this is going to be a link post, because there’s some articles I’ve been meaning to point out. Shame on me. They are all (I believe) from Rock Paper Shotgun (who are cool, and write good stuff). Sorry. The first one is an interview with the Penumbra guys over at Frictional Games. I’ve been posting about it a lot recently, and with good reason: they’re fun, scary, and about 10 times more interesting than most “horror” games that I’ve played recently. Anyway, they talk about their new game, which is set in the 18th century, and centers around a scary castle and (one would assume) interesting survival psychological horror. I’m looking forward to it.

Secondly (and lastly!) an article by Jim Rossignol about why Vampire: Bloodlines is great, and how it is great in a way completely different from the “great” RPGs of this and last year. It’s a cool read, and maybe it’ll convince yo to go pick this game up. It really is an amazing game, unlike so many games in that it doesn’t bother with a lot of what “makes” an RPG today. It’s about what it would be like to be an evil, violent creature in a fantasy version of Santa Monica, and despite its myriad problems, it should (like other flawed, brilliant games) be recognized for its accomplishments. You know what, go read the article. Trust me, he says interesting stuff, and it’s entertaining to boot. Now it’s back to work! Oh and Chrono Trigger and Burnout: Paradise are in the house. Sweet.

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Dragon Age, All 6 Origins Revealed

Posted by deckard47 on February 12, 2009

Stop reading. Now. Go there, use their sweet Flash interface to check out the rocking six origins and (yes!) check out tons of origin-specific screens. An they’ll have origin-specific videos up soon! Holy shit. I’m so being a Dwarf Commoner. The most awesome one ever. Can’t talk, must go read more.

EDIT: Read all of them, they rock, that is some George R. R. Martin sht for real. I am so excited right now. Why does it have to be so far away?

Further edit: The writing for the descriptions is pretty good. I keep on stopping every sentence, realizing I just read something articulate and complete, and am amazed. It’s sad when a good command of the language shocks me in promotional materials. Go Bioware.

– Ok, there are some typos, but they’re well-written typos!

Whoah. The regular site has a TON of new stuff, from bios to shots, to creature info. The screens are from a “trailer” I’ve never seen. Where is it! I want this game so very much. This is completely unfair. I would sell my soul for this game, and it’s months away.

Okay, they have an entry on why dogs are so important to the world. Aaaaaah! I wants it! Oh, and there will be a new trailer up over at Gamespot tonight. I cannot wait.

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Left 4 Dead Expansion Will be Free!

Posted by deckard47 on February 11, 2009

For real. Go Valve, go Infected!

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Saints Row 2.. Purchased?

Posted by deckard47 on February 11, 2009

Yes, Gamefly informed me yesterday morning that I had earned 5 new Gamefly dollars. Upon examining my account, I realized that I had five more that were about to expire. With my 10% discount on Gamefly games, how could I not tell them to let me keep the odious, very fun Saints Row 2. My gaming plans for the future are actually rather vague, but it seems certain (thanks in no small part to Michael Abott’s post on the game’s upgrades) that Burnout Paradise will be featuring in them. The other soon to arrive game will be the DS version of Chrono Trigger, requested from Gamefly at Taylor’s request (two requests!). We’ll see if it’s everything he says it is. Aside from that, I’ve been a bit absent from the blog because I have a new job. I won’t go into detail about it, but I’ve been spending a lot of time reordering lists of products (mostly perfumes and beautifying products), and I’ve discovered, to my delight, that there is a whole line of products entitled “Body Butter.” Yes! One would think that there were cheaper, more dairy-centric options if one wants to make one’s body taste like popcorn, but in this case, the cows lose. Anyway, my coworkers also enjoy playing  music (which I in turn enjoy), and they’ve been playing music that fits in very well with the Fallout 3 music ethos. This is to say that for the last two days I’ve been fiddling with a website that sells various colognes and other products, trying not to think about the Wasteland. A bit more ofthe Saints for me, I think, before dinner.

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