Delayed Responsibility

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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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Blog Banter: A Wish for 2009!

Posted by deckard47 on December 13, 2008

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!

So here’s the topic…

If you could ask for one thing this year from the gaming industry as a whole, what would it be and why?

This is actually an incredibly hard question, because I’d like to ask for a million things, some small, some large. I could ask for the misogyny, homophobia and racism in games to be cut out, something that would make a huge percentage of games much more playable. I could ask for developers to treat stories and writing as an element of game design (as they are starting to do), and not as an afterthought. I could also ask for games that focus on older, less cutting edge gameplay mechanics or tropes, games that aren’t afraid to live in the past. It’s ok for games to do this in some ways (the aforementioned cultural and sexual intolerance and bad writing), but not in other ways (deep, complicated stories like those found in Baldur’s Gate, overly complicated interfaces like those in System Shock 2 or Dues Ex).

So I want things to move forward, all while retaining what I enjoy about older games. Obviously the industry is way ahead of me, they just want to retain things I hate, and push things I care less about. We can keep Marcus, Dom, and Col Train (Really Epic? What decade is it?), but let’s not be too hasty with those non-hypersexualized women.

After careful and long consideration (almost two paragraphs worth), I think I’d like for the industry to be more self-aware. This would help address so many problems that plague us today, from those I mentioned, to how we’re perceived by non-gamers, to how we develop as an industry, as an art form, and as a community. Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog Banter: Oldies but Goodies?

Posted by deckard47 on October 25, 2008

Welcome to the latest installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza created by bs angel and coordinated by Game Couch. 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

Are there any video games that possess a timeless appeal? Games that, despite constant advances in technology, retain a game engine or narrative that will forever be relevant. If so, why?

When it came time to write this article, only two games came to mind: Baldur’s Gate II and Deus Ex. Both of these games have been good friends over the years, games that I’ve picked up and played and put away countless times. These games are both brilliant, but they are both brilliant in different ways. Whereas BG II captivates me with its overly intricate plot and deep tactical play, Deus Ex allows me to customize my character in very interesting ways, ways that BG II never comes close to touching.

In turn, both games have their shortcomings: both games are buggy as hell, even after years of patches. Deus Ex is poorly, maybe even terribly acted (especially the infamous Denton brothers), strangely paced, and (from time to time), badly designed. There are whole tech and skill trees that must be avoided like the plague (Environmental training? Really?), whereas some absolutely must be invested in. The enemy AI is offensively moronic, enabling my favorite “attack, hide for 5 minutes, pop back out and attack” tactic.

BG II suffers from some of these problems, as well as a set of its own. The plot, which I love, in all of its geekery, asks us to care for causes and characters unworthy of the game’s ambitions. I know that Minsk and Imoen are classic characters, but they are not attractive, on any level, not compared to characters that one meets in Deus Ex, or Mass Effect. BG II is more about camp, revenge and epic adventure than it is about strong emotion. It’s like saying that Dragonlance is moving (and I love Dragonlance, in my way), when you could be reading His Dark Materials. Melodrama is seen as a substitute for depth of feeling or emotions that I can relate to on any level. When Aerie and Jan start blabbering, I’m fondly amused, but in no way caught up in their banter.

So, the next time I open up BG II, I wonder what my reasons will be? Often, it’s the urge to complete my favorite parts of the game with a slightly different character, because, honestly, you never play the game any differently, as Deus Ex, Mass Effect, or any other number of games force you to do. These two games are fun, interesting, and indicative of directions that the industry in general still needs to be moving in. I’ve yet to play a game, even a Bioware game, that gives me the same feeling of camaraderie delivered by rolling through a dungeon with my favorite evil-aligned team.

Likewise, I still haven’t found a game that makes me want to try all of its skills and tech-trees, not like Deus Ex does. So often, I’ll fire up another game (like Bioshock, say), and convince myself that this time, I’ll power up my Bumble Bee and Whirlwind attacks, for real. But I don’t, because the game is the same, despite how the combat might play out differently. In Deus Ex, if I hacked the right doors, I could read a missive from one NSF terrorist to another, expressing worry for her friends.

I’m not going to go play these games now (to be honest, I just got over a BG II binge), but I’ll say this: games need Deus Ex’s complexity and depth of experience, just as they need BG II’s effortless scope and character interaction. I can’t remember a game with “branching paths” or gameplay options that “change the storyline” that can even compare to Deus Ex. Likewise, Mass Effect’s characters, as amazing as they are, seem to live in a vacuum. I get the feeling that when it’s dinner time on the Normandy, there isn’t much conversation.

Anyway, that’s why these games are timeless. I just need a bit more time before I can appreciate each of them fully again. Until then.

Participants:
CrazyKinux’s Musing: The Timeless appeal of Homeworld
Lou vs. Video Games, FIGHT!: Defining the Truly Classic Video Game
Silvercublogger: Lost & Found
Hawty McBloggy: Much Like Your Mom
Game Couch: Finding Citizen Kane

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Blog Banter: Crossover Triples, Taking You to School

Posted by deckard47 on September 24, 2008

Welcome to the latest installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza created by bs angel and coordinated by Game Couch. 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This week’s topic is: Which game would you like to see a modern re-make of and why?

When it comes to older games, it’s hard to think of what the best remake would be. Some games that I loved as a child, like Sonic, get remakes all the time. Problem is, they suck, and have so little to do with what made the originals great, and you wonder why they even bother.

On the other hand, games like Life and Death, Wing Commander, and Doom (yes, Doom 3 was a pretty sweet “remake,” for all of its flaws) all got interesting and fun updates, depending on how much you like FMV Mark Hamill and Trauma Center. So what’s left, what’s left that absolutely needs to be made?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog Banter: Give me fun, not Grade-A

Posted by deckard47 on August 20, 2008

Welcome to the latest installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza created by bs angel and coordinated by Game Couch. 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This Blog Banter’s topic is as follows: Does every game need to be a grade-A blockbuster title? Would you be willing to play more average games or should every game shoot for the 10.0 rating?

This question is interesting, because I think that a “grade-A” game is much different from a “blockbuster,” or a “AAA” title, or even just plain awesome. Unfortunately, grade-A often gets mixed up with these other terms. It really depends on how you define said terms, so I’m going to go ahead and do that. A grade-A title is a combination of brilliant game and great production values, to most people. Most of the time, people don’t care to specify to this level. Grade-A titles (for a lot of people) are games that made it into the spotlight (and your living room) through a good deal of money and “pedigree.” They call them “AAA” games, and the confusion between grade-A and AAA can get pretty bad. Plenty of “grade-A” titles that are “good” suck. I’m going to go ahead and do two things: make a list, and make some enemies. Games like Metal Gear Solid 4 (and 1-3), Halo 3, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, Resistance, and Doom 3 are all games that receive a little extra slack. Sure, they have their good qualities, but if it weren’t for their names (and thus the baggage that they bring with them), they would never be “AAA” titles.

Since this month’s Blog Banter is meant to be a response to an article about rising production costs and casual games and gamers, I feel like this is a good place to voice my preference. I like games with big budgets and enough money to throw around to make a noticeable difference. For all of the games above (and the other games I didn’t mention, that put immense financial backing together with good credentials), there can still be games like Uncharted, Half Life 2 Ratchet and Clank: ToD, CoD4, Mass Effect, and other brilliant, big-budget games. Still, I’d be the first to say that the dearth (or even unpopularity) of such extravaganzas can be a very good thing. It’s very hard to make a grade-A game. It takes an amazing amount of time, money, and other resources. The problem arises when smaller companies are forced to live up to this ideal. Often, these companies have a good game to make, and have little choice but to ape or reference their wealthier brethren.

This is an especially alarming situation, because when companies focus on what they want, amazing results can occur. Sure, these games may not be AAA material at all, and they may not even be good. Sometimes, they still produce amazing experiences and ideas, kernels of beauty in an otherwise mediocre or unpleasant product. Vampire Bloodlines had some great ideas, which were done a disservice by the company’s decision to hop on the Source wagon (you could argue that the same happened to Dark Messiah, although that game was silly and offensive for many reasons, much like Bloodlines). Another game by the same studio, Arcanum, was a combination of incredible story and ideas, and truly awful interface and production. I’m only talking about big name (essentially) products here. These games fall harder because people expect more (and because Troika was a master at such beautiful failures).

What if developers didn’t have to make a huge profit on every game, because the game didn’t cost a hideous amount of money to make? I love mediocre or flawed games like Darkstar One, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, The Witcher (which was brilliant, but awfully, awfully translated and distributed), Gothic 3, Two Worlds, and others. They still cost an arm and a leg, I’m sure, but only sometimes do such games collapse under their own expectations and lack of funding. Many of these games are still expected to be AAA titles (Gothic 3 and Two Worlds both got hit by the Oblivion comparison pretty hard), despite the fact that they are made by smaller development houses. I love casual games, small games, silly games, and often-bad games. If these games aren’t made, there will be no room to innovate, to see what a great, good, middling or bad games can do, despite its flaws. Without variety, the industry will stagnate, as it already does, within certain genres or areas. For fighting games you have childishly rendered big-breasted assailants, for shooters you have space marines and WWII platoons, and for RPGs you have badly-written overwrought Tolkein rip-offs and boring man-child quandaries. The reason that these themes are so annoyingly reproduced is because big-name games thrive on them. When a game like The Witcher, Braid, and Arcanum, find something fun or original among all of this sameness it’s always welcome. How much will that kind of surprise occur, if games stay big, and budgets follow suit? Innovation happens at all levels of the game development economic ladder, but if you cut off a large portion of that ladder, how can you expect the same results as you would have gotten before? I’ll keep playing mediocre, fun games, and hopefully people will keep on making them.
Participants : Zath!, Delayed Responsibility, Silvercublogger, weblog.probablynot.com, Crazy Kinux, Gamer-Unit, Unfettered Blather, MasterKitty, XboxOZ360, Omnivangelist, Lou Chou Loves You, Game Couch

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Blog Banter: Digital Distribution – Loving and Hating it

Posted by deckard47 on June 21, 2008

I download so many demos of games, full games, and episodic games these days, it’s hard to remember when this kind of thing was impossible. Of course, back when all we had was a 386, Simant, and Doom, we wouldn’t have been allowed to use the internet. Even when Counterstrike originally came out, we had a 56k modem, and it was always a struggle to play through matches, hoping to go unmolested by lag. And downloading games? Forget it.

Now, I have a fast connection, and I love what it allows me to do. Sure, boxed copies make me a bit nostalgic, but the ability to snap up a game on release day without braving crazy gaming people at the store (although you often have to brave a very slow download) is fantastic. I picked up Bioshock on the first day, and was playing it about an hour after starting the download. The same goes for The Witcher, Penny Arcade Adventures, and others. Sure, there are a few problems in the various downloadable systems out there (Steam, Stardock, etc.), but fixes are being introduced all the time. The only thing you might miss from an actual boxed edition is the manual, and the box itself, I guess.

For most games, this doesn’t matter. I love some of my old games, and some of my new ones, but the only reason to get a boxed version is to get a Special Edition. Unfortunately, there’s no way I’ll pay 70 or 80 dollars for a little pewter toy and some bad extras. I expect quality box pack-ins, for a regular price. Of course, I barely ever got my wish. I can count on the fingers of both hands the box art and doodads that were worth it: the first and foremost would be all Bioware games (before KOTOR). They had cool little cloth maps, great manuals (oh, the Baldur’s Gate 2 manual, so much like a D&D Rulebook), and they came in those badass big boxes. While we’re on the subject, I loved the big boxes. They had huge foldouts and great art. Along with those games I’d include… nothing else, really. As I recall, flight sims and strategy games were always supposed to have cool stuff, but those weren’t for me.

In the end, the possibility of scratched discs, shitty padding, bad pack-ins, and of course, lost CDs, make digital distribution a godsend. Sure, I miss my miniature Monstrous Manual and silly maps, but the triumphs of a couple of games can’t offset the crimes committed by all the others. Look at Mass Effect, Freedom Force or any new PC or console game, really. You’d think they were worried about scaring us with interesting stuff and a comprehensive guide. So many games are so poorly documented: I love to read the unnecessary backstory in manuals, it makes me happy, in a very geeky way.

In the end, I couldn’t be more happy that digital distribution is here to stay. Maybe they could ship me a map or two, to make up for all those authentication problems?

Welcome, welcome to the 6th installment of 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!


Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Living Epic, Silvercublogger, Mahogany Finish, Video Game Sandwich, thoughts and rants, weblog.probablynot.com, XboxOZ360, Zath!, Delayed Responsibility, Gamer Unit, Hawty McBloggy, Triage Effect

Posted in Blog Banter | 4 Comments »

Blog Banter: Quitter!

Posted by deckard47 on April 30, 2008

Welcome, welcome to the 5th installment of 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

I don’t quit many games, to be honest. I don’t normally buy games unless I’m sure I’l like them, and even if they’re flawed, I generally plug away until they’re done (see all the Jedi Knight games, Rebellion, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, Thief 2, etc.). However, just today I quit playing a game, and I don’t plan on picking it up again any time soon. Thus, the memory of its faults is fresh in my memory.

The game is Grand Theft Auto IV, and I’m not sure why I thought I’d like it that much in the first place. The 3rd game (I only played the first two a bit, and sucked at them) was impressive, scope-wise. Driving around and finding jumps and hidden packages was pretty awesome, as was chasing/being chased by the cops. Then of course, there was the fact that Rockstar had purposefully gone out of its way to make an offensive, stunningly stupid game. I mean, if there’s a game that makes your I.Q. drop faster than Halo 3 Deathmatch with the beer bong crowd, it’s the most recent form of GTA.

It’s sad, because Rockstar, when they aren’t being gigantic assholes, racists, homophobes, or misogynists (or really any other kind of horrible “ist”/”phobe” person), are obviously a talented team. This new Liberty City is pretty fancy to look at, and it’s incredibly immersive. The effects, the people wandering around, the city, it all delivers at a very high level.

Thank goodness Rockstar stuck to their guns when it came to story and game features, huh? It’s so pathetic that there are so many perfect or near-perfect scores out there. It’s equally pathetic that so many reviews are lauding this game for its “humor,” “writing,” and “plot.” For instance, this is from IGN: “Don’t worry, GTA’s famed over-the-top action and tongue-in-cheek humor are intact.” What?! I can’t really stress how wrong they are. If you like offensive, 2nd grade humor, terribly hackneyed plot twists and characters, and a “big budget” story that plays out like an amalgam of “Goodfellas” and “Eastern Promises” as written and directed by Michael Bay and Eli Wroth this is your game.

What I mean to say is, this game world is brilliantly created, and then they have to go and add in alarming little-boy-fantasy strip clubs. They have to make it so the only people who you can pay for sex are women. They have to make it so every single character is absolutely terrified of being called gay. I guess people think this is “authentic?” Um, so are male strip clubs, gay and lesbian bars, and any number of other non status quo-acceptable meeting places or social venues, that will never appear in a Rockstar game except as the butt of a joke about hilarious gay people. Also, every character is a horrible racist or sexist stereotype. Every one. Which doesn’t make it ok (as some contend), it makes it stunningly thorough in its cruel depictions of whatever group or person.

Honestly, I should save this all for a review, but I have this Blog Banter post, so this is it. This game stopped me from playing its better parts, because the only way to enjoy it would be avoid the story entirely. I could do this, and it would involve some effort, but even avoiding the story leaves me with Niko’s cousin, Roman, and his constant narrative on the merits of “titties,” college girls who just want to have sex, and other exciting yet forbidden things having to do with the ever elusive Woman. Children shouldn’t make games! This game makes me realize how much the game industry is being held in thrall by 14 year old (maturity-wise and age-wise) and otherwise emotionally stunted males. I know they aren’t the only ones buying and making games, but people think they are, and it’s ruining one of my favorite pastimes, for me and all people out there with brains, taste, and a sense of how damaging this material is.

Until someone else makes an incredibly intuitive open sandbox modern city simulation, that respects all of its viewers, Rockstar can forget about me buying their shitty games. I haven’t felt this stupid, offended, unclean or pissed off in a while. Thanks, Rockstar, here’s one more game I’ve quit before finishing. Happy?

Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Silvercublogger, Unfettered Blather, Triage Effect, Gamer Unit, Delayed Responsibility, Man Bytes Blog, CrazyKinux’s Musing, Zath!, Draining Souls.net, Game Couch, 8-Bit Brigade, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy

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Blog Banter: Gamer Stereotypes

Posted by deckard47 on March 27, 2008

Welcome, welcome to the 3rd installment of 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 deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

I like to think of myself as a pretty atypical gamer, but even I can see that I fall into several stereotypes. The most obvious (and possibly the most prevalent, but I can’t be sure) would be the stereotype of the person who spends a lot of time gaming when they could be doing other, more “important” things (homework, job searching, being manly out in the wilderness, going to seksy parties, etc.). On the other hand, I go to parties, I see the sun when I am forced to go to classes, and I do just enough work to get by. That still leaves us with the “willing to game when most people would go do normal stuff” accusation.

In this area, I think that I’m pretty much guilty as charged. For instance, if my friends are hanging around, doing something possibly interesting, and I’m in the middle of a tricky battle in BGII or Oblivion or something, chances are, I’ll forget about whatever they’re doing, and concentrate on kicking some ass. Likewise, it is perfectly normal for me to spend an hour or two playing Halo 3, not because I really want to, but because if I didn’t, I might have to work. The only places that are really off-limits when it comes to gaming are work and road trips. Even worse, whenever friends come over to see me from somewhere far away (i.e. not from down the hall), one of the exciting activities I often ply them with is video games. Of course, many of my friends suffer from the same malady that I do, so they don’t mind the frequent Rock Band and Smash Brothers games.

Still, I keep the lights on most of the time, my room is clean and bright, and I don’t have perpetual Cheeto hands, so I’m not a complete creep. Then again, I think that people who do stuff I don’t do are silly, so I’m quite happy with my various oddities, and often quite amused by everyone else’s. That is, unless their habits are like mine, and then they’re just weird. Obviously. Rock on, mildly weird, mildly obsessed gamers, and anybody else who wants to have a little fun. I’ll take this stereotype any day.

Other Banterers:

The Average Gamer, Silvercublogger, shinybento, Unfettered Blather, Boom Stick Brigade, Gamer Unit, Zath!, Man Bytes Blog, Game Couch, Video Game Sandwich, Hawty McBloggy

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Blog Banter: Games That Let You Know the Real Me

Posted by deckard47 on February 12, 2008

So this week, I want to tell you what games to play if you want to get to know me. All of you who want to save your souls, leave, immediately. Just so you know, this is a long, long post. Oopsies.

 That’s actually kind of a tough question, I think that I largely fall into a certain stereotype of gamers, I’m a passive, nerdy, RPG-heavy, stay away from the frat boy/child gamers who scare me kind of guy. In fact, choosing this list has been really difficult for me. I started out picking my favorite games ever, and realized that this was not the right list. I really wanted to include all those honorable mentions, you know, the games that wouldn’t tell you exactly who I am, but games that would show you where and how I step out of my comfort zone. In fact, that sounds like a much more interesting and revealing list, so here we go.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Blog Banter: New Year’s Resolution

Posted by deckard47 on January 5, 2008

Blog Banter is a group of bloggers passionate about anything and everything video games. We enjoy getting together once a month to write about the same subject. You will be amazed at the different viewpoints so many people can have on the exact same topic! Links to all the participant’s articles can be found here. If you are interested in participating, contact bs angel for more information. Enjoy our stories!

I normally don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, and this isn’t really a resolution, to be honest. This is more like a long-term goal, one which is going to remain first and foremost in my mind for a good long time. I’m going to be starting an internship at a newspaper this January, a job which I hope will somewhat prepare me to get a job as a video games journalist. Essentially, my goal this year is to do my job at this newspaper, all while trying to make connections in the video games journalism industry, and submitting various articles to as many internet and print publications as possible. 

It’s pretty hard to get hired, even as a freelance journalist, so for now I am sending in articles to smaller internet publications, most of which don’t even pay their contributors. Still, this is the only way to get published anywhere that is even remotely game related (aside from here, which isn’t exactly publishing), and thus build up a portfolio of work. So, I guess my resolution is to write as often and well as is possible, and not be fatigued or disappointed by the rejections that I’m sure I’ll be receiving right out of the gate. Oh, and of course I’ll need to balance this with my school schedule, and the absolutely necessary (professionally) playing of video games. It should be all kinds of fun.

Posted in Blog Banter, New Year's | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Blog Banter: Becoming an Ace and Dealing With Minsc

Posted by deckard47 on December 1, 2007

Blog Banter is a group of bloggers passionate about video games. We enjoy getting together once a month to write about the same subject. You will be amazed at the different viewpoints so many people can have on the same exact topic. If you are interested in participating, contact bs angel for more information. Enjoy our stories!The first game I ever played were on my Dad’s old 386. My older brother and I used to play a bunch of them: SimAnt, Doom, Monkey Island, and of course, Wing Commander. Being allowed to play was always kind of tricky, my brother was very territorial about most things, and I had to fight to be allowed to use “his” games. Booting up the computer and then typing the correct lines in DOS (I think there was some kind of password or something), and then it was time to kill some Kilrathi.

I could never get very far in that game, I just didn’t have the skills it took. Still, talking to the different pilots afterwards (my favorite was always whatisname, Loose Canon or Mad Dog or whatever), and of course they could die permanently, which always happened to me. Best of all, even if I sucked and did badly at missions, I got a different, more depressing cutscene. I loved losing all the way to the end, just to watch the second ending.Nowadays I’m a little better at such things, although I play less space sims. I can’t think of a game I’ve played more than Baldur’s Gate II. You all know how long it is, and I figure I’ve taken about 4 or 5 characters all the way to the end, completing every single mission (with dozens of other characters that got abandoned after 2 or 3 acts).Seriously, I have played this game too much. Still, when I’m bored, and need a new game, all I have to do is find those old CDs. There is always a combination I haven’t tried yet (next time, I figure it’s gonna be a shapeshifter druid, just to make things really tough), and I never get tired of the party intrigue, plot, or graphics. This game literally sucks me in every time, and there hasn’t been an RPG since that has even come close. NWN, NWN2, the KOTORs, they don’t stand a chance. I love them all, but Baldur’s Gate II will always be the best one of them all. This all kinda makes me want to go start that druid.

Other Blog Banter Articles :

Boffman22’s Memorable Gaming Moments (Boom Stick Brigade)

I love you Intellivision! (Boom Stick Brigade)

Just how much fun LAN can be! (Cat’s Blog)

Memoirs of a Young Gamer (Gaming with Baby)

Memorable Gaming Moments (Hawty McBloggy)

Play Your Station (Play Your Station)

Hit the Reset Button (Thoughts and Rants)

Memorable Gaming Moments (Zath Games Tech)

Old School, Middle School, New School (lukeshep.com )

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