Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Poll - Do you play as a female character?

So I'm curious as to how female COGS are going to play out in the next Gears game and that led me to my next poll.

Do you play as a female character in a game?

Yes, I am a girl in real life
Yes, I love the eye candy
No, girls are sissies
No, I need to show how manly I am

Cast your vote. You have one week.

Poll Results - What are you looking forward to?

This holiday season (and the first quarter of next year) are looking to be a gold mine for great games coming out. I'll probably get all the big games but I got to wondering which one you guys were most looking forward to. Hence my latest poll. Here are the results.

What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

Halo: Reach = 1 vote
Fable III = 1 vote
Dead Space 2 = 0 votes
Call of Duty: Black Ops = 1 vote
Gears of War 3 = 1 vote

So let's look at each game individually. Why? Because it's my blog and I said so. Anyway.

Halo: Reach
I'm not like a lot of other gamers out there in that I don't have anything against the Halo games. They're great games, filled with action and excitement. What I do have a problem with is all the shitty players that play the game. I'm not certain but I'm sure "tea-bagging" didn't exist until online Halo games. If you can get into a good room it's not bad. Unfortunately I think stupidity and bathroom humor are staples to playing Halo online these days.

Will I get this game at release? Probably not. But I'll probably wait until it drops in price because there are other games I want more.

Fable III
I loved the first Fable game although I've never gotten far in the game. I loved stealing from people's homes (I most always select a thief-type character when playing RPGs) and I loved the side quest missions. Unfortunately I had other games to play so I've never finished the first one.

I love the second Fable game even more. I think I've actually progressed even less in the main story than the first one because of all the side quests, blacksmithing and wood chopping I could do. Not to mention the pub games. In my first game my save got glitched. It happened just after I bought the Snowglobe DLC. My character wouldn't move properly and when I finally got them to Bowerstone they wouldn't move at all. I tried deleting the DLC but then my game wouldn't load because it had been a part of the last save. I finally gave up and restarted the game. And then I got robbed. So what's a girl to do? Restart the game (again) of course. Some times I get so tired about restarting games that I'm less motivated to even play them. That's were I'm at now.

Will I get this game at release? Yes. I might even put in a pre-order for it. I'm a RPG fan at heart so I love these types of games. I hope this time no one spoils the story for me by saying my dog dies again.

Dead Space 2
This is a game that I'm late to the bandwagon for. I haven't played much because every time I do my blood pressure rises because it creeps me out so much. Every time I see a body on the ground I have to beat that thing into an unrecognizable pulp before moving on. I've seen what those "dead" bodies can do and it scares the crap out of me.

My problem with the first Dead Space is that I play it in short bursts that I have a hard time remember where I need to go or what I need to do. Then I get to a puzzle, a door that needs to be propped open so I can go through it, etc., and I can't remember how to do what I need to do. So I save the game and go play something else. Eventually I'd like to play this game for an extended period of time, preferably with all the lights out, the volume turned up and a raging windstorm outside. At least until the game scares to death anyway.

Will I buy this game at release? Maybe. I might wait until I've played more of the first one and to hear from my friends who picked it up what it's like. I heard they are changing things to make it more accessible to more gamers and that's not always a good thing.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
While I like playing the Call of Duty games I'm really indifferent to the gameplay. I play them because my friends like them and I like my friends and want to play them. I'm not saying they're bad games or there's nothing to like about them. I really enjoy playing Vacant with a shotgun. And the co-op missions in MW2 are fun to play with Evil and/or kai. I'm sure once I get a better TV I might like those games more. There have been times when I've watched the kill cam and there was no way I would have been able to see my character, let alone kill them. I'm sure that person is playing on an HDTV so their picture is much clearer. If that's something that could help me out in the game I'll go for it.

My biggest problem is that you have to be slow and careful when playing the game. My first experience with shooter games was Star Wars Battlefront. The whole point of that game was to run out there and kill the enemy. There were hardly any corners to hide behind. No boxes/crates to provide cover. You were exposed all the time so your only true defense was to keep moving. With these more realistic games there's any number of places for enemies to hide, corners to shoot around and balconies/rooftops to snipe from. You have to be careful if you want to do well. For me that's taking a lot of adjustment.

Will I buy this game at release? Depends. I'm sure all my friends will buy the game and if I want to play with them I'll have to buy it too. I might try to hold out for awhile but I don't see that lasting long.

Gears of War 3
The first Gears game is one of the few games I've actually played through to the end credits. And I enjoyed every painful minute of it. I can still picture Evil and I battling RAM on the train at the end. Or Zenra and I trying to get through a particularly hard room with a Locust on a troika firing at us. Those were good times.

I was making good progress in Gears 2 on my own when I was robbed. I was in the first area of chapter 5. The place where you have to ride those flying creatures out of the lair and shot anyone that follows. So close to the end and yet so far. Now I've had to start the game all over again (I really hate doing that). I bumped up the difficulty and I've run into problems doing it all on my own. I've even been desperate enough to set up an open Xbox Live room so total strangers can jump in and help me out. They don't usually stay long.

I love the story of the game and the gameplay itself. I just wish I could use the sniper rifle and torque bow as well in multiplayer matches as I seem to do in the single player game. I'm not to the end (but I will get there someday) so I don't know how much the story will make me want the next game, but I'll get it any way.

I know I have some friends that are not really liking the online play lately in Gears 2 but I don't care. I'll get it. I'll play it. And I'm sure there will be things I don't like about it. No game is perfect. I just want games that are fun.

Will I get this game at release? Yes. I might not pre-order it but this is one game I'll want to have in my library whether any of my friends get it or not.

So now that I've covered all of the games you probably want to know which one I voted for. Well, I didn't. Evey time I went to vote I couldn't decide. It was always a toss up between Dead Space 2, Fable III and Gears of War 3. I eventually eliminated Dead Space because I haven't played enough of the first game to be as "excited-as-a-kid-on-Christmas-Eve" about. And honestly I couldn't pick between Fable and Gears. It would be like picking your favorite child. You love them all but one might please you in one way, the other in a different way. By then the poll had close and I couldn't cast my vote.

I know there's more good games coming out like Fallout: New Vegas and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and many more. Right now I'm just trying to save up enough money to get everything I want when it does come out. It's either that or I go back to eating Top Ramen while I feed my gaming habit.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What's in a name v.2

So what do you do if you don't like a gamer tag? If it's yours, it's easy. You change it. What if it's someone else's? If it's a random person you meet while playing and their name is offensive you can always report them. But what if it's a friend's name? And it's not offensive?

I have a friend who has changed their name a couple of times. Currently he's Quality Jim Beam. While I have nothing against the name itself I just don't know what to call him. Just like MasvHeadWndHarry his name is too long to say in the heat of a firefight. If I try to warn either one of them they would be dead before I can even finish saying their name completely. For MHWH is was easy. I just call him Massive. For QJB I didn't know what to do. Even just calling him Quality can be too long in a fire fight. I tried calling him just "Q" but I always think of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation. And those two are nothing alike.

I also tried calling him by either of his two previous names. But the time it takes me to identify that he's about to get killed and convert the name I see on the screen into the name I want to call him might be just long enough for him to get killed without me saying anything at all. The problem is I get so wrapped up in the game that any little second to figure out what to call someone can be deadly. With Masv it's easy to see and recognize his name and call it out. For QJB I needed options. And that's when Hell Weasell stepped in.

We were playing Zombie Apocalypse when Weasell called QJB "beamer". I liked that. It's short, quick and goes with his name so I wouldn't be losing any precious mili-seconds trying to figure out what to call him. I'm sure it will take some getting use to especially since it's the last part of his name and not the first like Masv's. But I call Hell Weasell, just Weasell so I think I can adjust.

Now I hope Beamer isn't mad or insulted because I'm having problems with his name. I like him and I like the name, I just don't want to see him get killed because of my mental fumbling. And I certainly hope he doesn't feel he needs to change it on my account. Although if a lot of my friends keep changing their names I won't know who's who anymore.

If they want to spice things up then go ahead. But be warned, I just might start calling you "garlic", "paprika" or maybe even "cinnamon". Any takers?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm with stupid

Okay, back to a more (or less) regular blog posting schedule. This time with a twist.

I usually change my avatar and then post a poll relating to what I'm wearing. This time I think my avatar says it all. If I could go to the marketplace and buy a t-shirt that said "I'm with stupid" I would. And I'll tell you why.

I'm always excited when a friend of mine picks up a game I really like. Finally someone to talk to about going "all in", stealing castles, or defending crystals from ever increasing waves of tougher enemies. When I saw Quality Jim Beam playing Crystal Defenders I was thrilled.

I had been working on that game for months trying to beat a map and bask in that glow of victory. I couldn't wait to give advice to QJB and to commiserate when things didn't go as planned. What I got instead was someone who was able to get farther than me in their very first play time with that game.

Instead of me giving advice, I was the one asking for advice. For months I toiled away and barely made it past level 19 on the first map when QJB was lamenting about getting stuck at wave 25 his first time. What was I missing that seemed so obvious to him? And why doesn't the advice he gave me make any sense and translate to surviving higher waves?

I don't think QJB even played that game for a month before he had it all beaten (yet he's still a "Crystal D" addict where we might have to stage an intervention). Me? I've been playing the game off and on for 6 months or more and still couldn't accomplish anything. I eventually had to find a walk-through that stated exactly what you're suppose to do each level . . . and provided a map of where to place my characters. Than, and only then (after 2 play throughs) could I beat the game for that first map. QJB did it in about a week. And don't get started on eating tacos, who finished a map on the first play through.

So where is my "I'm with stupid" t-shirt?

With shooter games that rely on your sight and reflexes I'm never going to be as good as some of my other friends. My eyes just don't work that well. If it takes me longer to see something, then it'll will take me longer to react to it. Which is why I die . . . a lot. But games like Crystal Defenders which is not based on sight and reflexes I should be able to do better at, right?

If one game play fails, I should be able to analyze what went wrong and improve on that the next time. And I thought I was. Unfortunately after hearing about QJB and taco's earlier success and reading some walk-throughs online I realized I just don't get the game at all.

It's kind of like Chess for me. I love playing Chess. I love the challenge. The strategy. The planning. Unfortunately I'm not very good about planning too far in advance with my own moves, let alone have to plan in advance for my enemies moves. I know this, but I still love the challenge of the game. Crystal Defends is like that. I love the challenge of the game but when someone can come in and just blow through the game with ease while I struggle with it makes me feel stupid.

Eventually I'll finish all the maps and finish the achievements in the game (even through I feel dirty for getting step by step instructions to "win" 2 achievements). I'm just stubborn that way. But I want to know why games like this and Civilization Revolution are so easy for other players to learn and master and so difficult for me to do so?

I'm really an RPG gal at heart, but even that style of gaming is changing too much for me (but more on that in another blog post). But RPGs are not the only type of game I like to play. But with my eyes and stupidity that might be the only type of game I have any success with. So if anyone sees a "I'm with stupid" t-shirt available on the avatar marketplace, let me know. Just make sure the arrow puts up.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poll results - Do you like to host games?

Okay, I was reminded last night I haven't posted in a month which means I MISSED ALL OF JUNE! Oh no. So here's something to tide you over until I actually have the brain power to create something new. Hopefully it won't take another month to do that.

Here's the results from the last poll:

Do you like to host games?

I host so I can play what I want to play = 0 votes
I host because everybody else is too lazy = 1 vote
My connection is too shoddy to host = 2 votes
I would host but nobody wants to play with me = 3 votes
I need that "host advantage" = 1 vote
I would but someone always beats me to it = 0 votes

I'm a little surprised the first choice didn't get at least one vote. I thought for sure that Evil would vote for that one. And what does he like to play? Why, Team Deathmatch of course. And nothing but Team Deathmatch will do. At least it seems that way.

As for being lazy. Well . . . it has been a month since I last posted. Unfortunately I don't host because everybody else is too lazy. Heck, I'm too lazy to host. I do think Mad Max did a lot of our hosting during Gears matches because everyone else was too lazy to host. Personally, I keep forgetting to check to see if I'm host before matches start in Gears. I guess I really don't host that much.

I do have a couple of friends who's connection is so hit or miss that I wouldn't want to be in a match with them as host. I'm not going to name names *cough* Weasell *cough*, *cough* G Sneaka *cough* but you know who you are. It's not that they're bad people it's just that for one reason or another their connection doesn't preform at optimal output (which says nothing about how they preform as individuals *wink wink*). For some it might be location. For others it just might be the shitty Internet provider that they're stuck with. Unfortunately those individuals usually have problems connecting to everyone else, no matter who is hosting.

As for "nobody wants to play with me"? That's not true. I'll play with anyone on my friends list at any time. If I've got the game and I haven't committed to playing with someone else (I'm on a first-come-first-serve basis) then I'm up for it. Even if it's something that doesn't interest me. Like Team Deathmatch. Every night. Over and over again. And again. (Subtle, don't you think?) I play for the friendships and camaraderie that I have with people online. I also play games to win, have fun and explore new worlds. I like playing with people. And I like playing with people I like. And I like playing with people I like who like me in return. Okay, my head is spinning now. If I've got the game and you want to play with me send me an invite. And that includes Arcade games too.

Well, the "host advantage" is what I voted for. For some games it's more prominent than others. I don't care. I want it. I'm not the best player out there. I would consider myself just below mediocre. My kill/death ratio in Modern Warfare 2 is 0.65 and in Gears it's 0.5 or 0.6. Not much of a help to the team, am I? If there is a way that I could get a little edge in a match I would take it. Unfortunately I don't like the responsibility of being host. If I don't catch if I'm host in Gears my teammates tell me I'm fired. And as for Team Deathmatch games? I don't want to select them at all, but I have some friends that won't play anything but that. If I want to play with them I HAVE to play Team Deathmatch. I just bite the bullet (in more ways than one) and play. I guess that's an argument for the "I host to play want I want" option. But I rarely host so it's not a problem for me.

I'm also really surprised no one voted for the last option. I know I have a couple of friends out there who would love to host to get that "host advantage" and to make the connection smoother for them. Evil hates the slight lag he gets when c5 hosts. c5 loathes the lag he gets when Evil hosts. And I'm not a good middle man between those two because of my proximity to Evil (just ask him and he'll tell you). Personally I liked it when Mad Max hosted every night. 1) nobody had lag issues because someone else was hosting (at least none that I heard), 2) I don't have the responsibility of being in charge and 3) I could always count on him to freshen things up and the game play was getting stale, and one more thing: 4) most of my friends seems to be in the same state as Mad Max so their connections seemed to get along better with each other. I could say the same thing about Sand Dog hosting but he hasn't been online in weeks. Man, I miss that Dog.

So that's it. I don't host (or would rather not) because I don't want the responsibility of trying to run things and make everyone happy. And if you want to play anything and I've got the game I'm in. Don't hesitate to ask. If I'm busy with someone else I'll let you know and we'll set up a designated time to play what you want. Then I'll be all yours baby, to do as you please . . . and hopefully it will please me too. Just don't insist on me being host.