Category Archives: Awesomeness

E3 2013 Nintendo!

Nintendo JoyThe first day of E3 was insane for someone who doesn’t have an army of PR reps that can schedule me in months ahead of time. After watching the Sony and Microsoft press conference I knew it was going to be a pain to get  hands-on with both consoles so my first stop was with Nintendo. Something about Nintendo always puts a smile on my face; even through the evolution of gaming they still know, at the core, what the whole industry is about. After reading frantic Twitter and Facebook post about Nintendo Direct, and mind you the stream kept crashing every three minutes, I was eager to get a first look at Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101, and possibly the new Zelda 3DS game. Right away I was able to get in contact with a Nintendo rep and was escorted to a Wii U station where I knew I would be reunited with my long-legged vixen.

Bayonetta 2The controls and game play for Bayonetta 2 was exactly what I remembered from the first game, but I did go the Gamepad Touch route because I wanted to know if it held up to the precise controlling that Platinum games has  delivered in the past. Mashing away on the touch screen did feel a little off, but with a single swipe I could time my dodges to enter Witch Time and connect with my Torture Attacks. The cinematic of the environment and the enemies come together nicely with all you can expect for this over-the-top action platform, but I would have liked to be focusing on my TV and not always looking down on the Game Pad. Nintendo couldn’t comment on what the basis of the plot was, but it will involve not only the high order of Angels, but the demons of Inferno as well seeing how Jeanne’s soul was capture by them. Next up was the new Mario Kart 8 which was a nice treat to experience. The anti gravity tracks were kind of neat and the return of 12-player online competitive play, hang-gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes which was something I didn’t know was introduced in previous Mario Karts see how the last Mario Kart I played was Mario Kart 64. Wonderful 101 has shaped up nicely with its announcement date of September 15th of this year. Forming into different weapons using the Game Pad touch screen, you cut, slam, whip, and shoot your way through enemies. Collecting power-ups, solving puzzles for platinum coins, and recruiting potential would-be heroes gives a great opportunity for a Wonderful 101 hours of replay-ability, plus the rumored multiplayer mode has me very excited. Lastly I found myself staring at what could be the sequel to my all time favorite game during my childhood Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Everything about the game justified my purchase of a 3DS; from the over the top view of the original SNES game, the new game mechanic becoming a portrait is easily something that I became obsessed with trying to look for heart containers, and finally button control no more motion controls in a Zelda game PRAISE THE SUN!

PRAISE THE SUN!

There’s plenty more so stay tune for more E3 2013 memories.

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse


HOLY MOTHER GOD ANOTHER NAT 20!

I posted about this back in May of 2011; now I need to find a way to SXSW this year!


The Good, Bad, and the Ugly series; Dead Space 3

Glow

CLICK ME!

With the new year underway we finally get to see the first batch of games that either didn’t come out during the holiday frenzy or were pushed back due to development issues. I’d like to present a new segment called the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, featuring my predictions for these upcoming releases and whether or not they’ll have been worth the wait.

I begin with the Ugly because, in my humble opinion, it is better to start with the bad news first.  The game of which I speak is Dead Space 3. It hasn’t suffered any sort of production delay, but the evolution from the first Dead Space to the current game is kind of scary, and not in terms of horrifically mutated zombies. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the series from its inception; it elevated the idea of a survival horror game by requiring that the player to do more than run into zombie A and give it a double-tap headshot. The challenge of cutting off limbs using basic space tools in place of weapons was very unique. This, combined with the claustrophobic terror of being stalked through dimly-lit corridors on a spaceship by shapeless monstrosities bursting out of air ducts and the newly-dead remains of enemies or friends offered an atmospheric reinterpretation of the genre. Dead Space 2 maintained that same philosophy, but I felt EA publishing rear its ugly head by adding a pretty lame multiplayer mode to what was and should have remained a single player game.  They also added an online pass for the multiplayer which I’m inherently against, whether or not the multiplayer is awful.

In Dead Space 2 you saw a complex transformation of character as Isaac Clarke tried to come to grips with the events of the first game, but the city sprawl gave Isaac a bit of wiggle room and allowed him to better handle the chaos of the Red Marker with actual weaponry (even though the tool set still proved to be better) and up-scaled stasis mode compared to battling it out on the USG Ishimura. BroThis time you are teaming up with Sgt. John Carver and going to a frozen death world called Tau Volantis to discover how the inhabitants were able to stop a Necromorph outbreak 200 years ago. This is a great set up, but I feel that the basis of the Dead Space franchise is SOLE SURVIVAL HORROR!  It’s tough to immerse yourself in the atmosphere when you’re listening to your buddy crack dick jokes over the headset. Sure they explain that Dead Space 3 can be played single player, but they emphasize the Co-op experience so heavily that when you open their main site it’s the first feature advertised. Also, no developer in their right mind would pour so much time into creating this whole side part of the game for it not to be experienced.No Hope EA takes full advantage of this predicament because the only way to take part in the Co-op is to go through their online pass DRM guaranteeing new purchases and not going the used route plus omitting the ability to play spilt screen. Finally, the game promotes a pay-to-win scenario ranging from base resource packs, weapon and suit upgrades, as well as “bot capacity” and “accelerator” upgrades which are easily obtained by opening your wallet. As a side note regarding the “Better With Kinect” option, it’s doubtful that it will present a useful addition to the game.  Its inclusion is likely the result of Microsoft marketing leaning on the publisher to include it and thereby increase their market share.

I’m not in any way bitter or upset at the way Dead Space 3 is turning out, but it lacks the soul of its origins.  If anyone out there plans on getting the Playstation version and wants to play Co-op with me feel free to add me on PSN which is at Orphan55.Die Die Die!

Good luck and [Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse.


End of the Year Recap Dos!

History of Fallout

I uphold all the RPG bible tendency!

While going back and forth between trying to quit my job from Samsung and figuring out what to do to generate income I decided to invite my boss to WonderCon. Once again we opted to go for one day, but it was on a Saturday which is generally the peak for any convention or expo. The con experience was new to my boss so it was entertaining to explain the lifestyle of cosplayers, artist ally, the tao of swag handling, and mercantile exchange of con goodies. What should have been the highlight of WonderCon for us turned out to be a big disappointment where one of the writers of Interplay/Black Isle/Obsidian was doing a panel on THE HISTORY OF FALLOUT! We waited intently, but one of my lady friends tweeted at me so I ducked out. Hawt Hawt HawtI ended up going to the Ready Player One panel and got to meet Ernest Cline which was a treasure. On my way out I got another treat in the form of a photo op with Jessica Nigri (hawt hawt hawt) and to my dismay my boss had this heartbreaking look as he explained how much of an ass Chris Avellone was during the panel just talking about himself. I quickly remedied the situation and took us to the main floor where we had a blast getting our photos taken as severed heads for the season 2 Game of Thrones promo, watched the R2-D2 fan club constructs parade, took in the Avengers vs X-Men panel of AWESOMENESS and the overall celebration of nerdyness.

Coming off that adventure I finally said goodbye to my job and went to a little music festival you might have heard of called Coachella. Now I know this festival isn’t all that video game or nerd related, but going to huge events allows me to express my opinions and not be afraid of conversions with strangers, which if you don’t know, is one of the biggest things you have to do in the video game industry. The majority of the people there were over-privileged LA kids who wanted an excuses to party, but when you see a band you really love the fans around you really bring it together; hell, I blew off Radiohead just to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor because I know that I can always see Radiohead and Thom York later down the road, but Godspeed can disappear for another 10 years! The top three moments of last year’s Coachella for me was the first night when Explosions in the Sky was playing and the sound reverberated through the rain – it was very moving, Santigold letting people jump on stage during her performance on the MAIN STAGE, and of course the resurrection of Tupac during the Doctor Dre and Snoop Lion performance.

Stay tuned for my next post in which I detail the horror and grandeur of Comic Con 2012 and PAX!

Game of Thrones

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse


End of Year Recap Series!

So with X number of days left until the end of the world, I thought I’d share my experiences of this year. I’ll make this statement right off the bat: if the world did end on the 21st, I wouldn’t regret anything. I made a promise to myself standing outside the IGN offices on the first of this year that I would do anything to get closer to working in the game industry. In the weeks that followed I planned out an epic array of events, launch parties, meet-n-greets, etc.  The only problem was that I didn’t know how or who to contact in order to show up to these things.

The first real event was CES 2012, which wasn’t easy – not because of the invite, but because my work schedule was crazy busy. My boss and I went at the last minute on the last day (if you’re going to an event make sure that you go for all possible days.  One day convention trips are awful. It felt rushed. One of the attractions at which I unexpectedly had the most fun was in automotive development. Audi had this really awesome layout on the show floor and the exhibitors were well informed. I was working with Samsung at the time and their show floor was HUGE.  Some of the products we got to test out were outrageous, with 3D technology and organic LED (it was so thin and the colors were so deep!) Lastly, we went over to the Microsoft booth and got to play a lot of the new Kinect games plus the selections for the upcoming Summer of Games. I wasn’t blown away by CES, but it was a step in the right direction. I got into contact with people I that knew through YouTube and IGN to help me get into the new round of events.

I knew that working with Samsung was going to keep me from fulfilling my career goals, but I couldn’t just quit, ’cause rent needs to be paid. I tried applying to websites for intern or base level positions, but to no avail. I caught a break when I was invited to IGN’s First Friday where I got to meet up with a lot of my long time favorite editors. Stepping into that office, I felt a stir in my very core letting me know that I belonged there. I started working on my own blog and contributing to various sites, producing as much content  as possible in order to be recognized. After a few months I was on a roll, coming out with a new review or article each week. Nothing I wrote blew up or hit major headlines, but it kept the monotonous day-in day-out with Samsung at bay. What finally broke the camel’s back was when I had an opportunity to go to an Nvidia event on behalf of IGN and my day job got in the way. I quit and found a new job in politics and campaigning to pay the bills until I make it in the gaming world and haven’t looked back since.

That was just the beginning of my year. Spring and summer got a hell of lot more exciting so be sure to come back.

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse


E3 2012 Day One

IGN makes dreams come true!

I managed to get into E3 this year (yes there was crying and pleading).  The energy there never changes as everyone packs into lines with anticipation, hoping to get a taste of what the greatest gaming industry leaders have to offer in the coming Fall and 2013. In typical fashion I made my way to Nintendo, where this year the Wii U finally made its mark with a dozen mini games and the slightly new title: Nintendo Land.  This also marked a first hands-on experience with the new Wii U Game Pad.

Nintendo Land was entertaining, to say the least. I got to play each game starting off with Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, which wasn’t mind blowing, but still had the Wiimote sword swinging mechanics, which is always fun. The Wii U Gamepad function represented a bow and arrow and allowed the player to help the group open passages or provide support against the opposing ranged antagonist. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion was the first five vs. one game and I had the most trouble with this because my teammates kept getting captured by the Ghost. The idea was to use your flashlight to reduce the Ghosts health while the Ghost was invisible to the other players.  Thankfully I was there to carry the rest of my teammates to victory.

Gotha Catch Them All!

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course wasn’t too impressive, but it tried showing off the “accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor”. Moving my hips and shoulders in order to get the Mii down an obstacle was a pain in the ass, as I just ended up just moving my wrist, which pissed off the nice Nintendo slu.. I mean, representative. Animal Crossing: Sweet Day was by far my favorite demo from Nintendo – it was Hungry Hungry Hippos meets Catch Me If You Can. The Wii U Gamepad was crazy hard, trying to stop the other players from getting candy by scooping out the whole map using both analog sticks to control two separate town guards. Finally, the last game was Takamaru’s Ninja Castle, which was kind of disappointing (especially since I waited in line for about half an hour). Flicking the Gamepad screen to toss ninja stars at cardboard ninjas and avoiding enemy ninja stars and bombs didn’t take any real skill; holding the Wii U Gamepad one handed and trying to aim at the enemies was definitely a test of stamina.

Microsoft had its crazy flair and buzz and I didn’t know which game to try out first.  I made the mistake of waiting in line for Gears of Wars: Judgement. Nothing about the franchise has been impressive after the first game, but everyone I talk to about it says that the multiplayer is very engaging. Protecting the generator in a new multiplayer mode called Overrun was hell, where you alternate between COG soldiers and Locust in a class-based strategy using Engineers, Soldiers, Medics, and Scouts versus Locust units which you evolve into better mobs. After that nightmare I checked out the upcoming Summer of Arcade, which was also a mess to deal with, but I was able to play the first game to be released: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, which was a nice nostalgic throwback to junior high. Deadlight was pretty intense for a survival horror platformer, but I couldn’t enjoy it very much with all the bright lights and Dance Central 3 blasting in the background.

So angry all the time!

With a few hours remaining, I dashed over to the Sony booth and got right into God of War: Ascension, which to me wasn’t anything exciting because it felt like the same one trick pony beaten into the ground yet again, plus I hate the idea of multiplayer in a single player game. I do have to admit though, that the brutality was intensified this time around; a moment of silence for Elephant Man.

Dust 514 was something I was goaded into by my former boss, which to be honest, I joked about when it was first announced back in 2010, but it played and ran really well. The idea that this FPS runs simultaneously with the Eve MMO is bizarre, plus it’s not going to require a subscription fee – I can’t wait. Kudos to the guys at CCP for throwing an amazing after party and letting me grill them about the World of Darkness MMO.  Dead or Alive 5 was an awesome technical fighter, but my opponent did point out that they added sweat physics now! Finally I got to test out Playstation All Stars, which was a nice alternative fighter but I couldn’t get past the idea of it being a Smash Bros clone. The thing that stood out to me was the level progression in special finishers.

All in all I feel blessed about getting in this year, but it wasn’t until day two that I abused my media press pass, so stay tuned for Part Two of E3 2012!

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse


Fraudulence, Nerdgasms, Riots and Self-Degradation – A History of Dedication to E3.

For as long as I can remember, E3 has been the equivalent of the holy land to gamers like me.  It is the big show and the premiere gaming event of the year, all wrapped into five glorious days. So I try every year to find a way to attend, by methods legitimate or illegitimate and often the latter.  Since it has become more difficult to con my way in by forging a pass or flashing a bit of ankle to an amorous security guard, I put forward my past attendance in hopes that I will once again bask in the glory that is E3.

I attended my first E3 in 2005.  I had just graduated from high school, doe-eyed and bushy-tailed, having never been in the heart of LA.  There in the midst of the city was the cathedral of all that was gaming holiness.  My method of entry?  It was as easy as having my best friend hand me his pass.  If only all years were so simple.  Once inside I was swept away by all E3 could offer. I stood before gaming giants, as Nintendo unveiled the Revolution (which was a WAY cooler name than Wii), Sony dropped the Playstation 3 bomb with its horrendous boomerang controller and Microsoft unveiled its 360, making a statement that they weren’t kidding around in the battle of the consoles. To date, 2005 had the biggest attendance with more than 70,000 people packed into the convention center.  Were it not so well air-conditioned LA would have experienced a massive influx of gamer-funk.

2006 was a golden age of dastardly behavior, requiring only rudimentary MS Paint skills on the part of my favorite lovable minx, Christine, to form a passable ID badge.  That, coupled with my former lanyard, ensured smooth sailing in the land of milk and E3 honey. It felt like the good times could keep rolling until it was announced that E3 was going all business, killing off booth babes, free swag, and let’s not forget the after parties.  For two years every gamer felt a piece of their legacy slowly vanish as the hype and glamour of the video game industry all but disappeared… until 2009 when it regained its former glory.  I appreciate an informative and well-structured gaming expo as much as the next guy, but bring back the booth babes!

2010 was my most memorable year, seeing as it was my first legitimate attendance. Full access, worry free, should have been awesome, right? The changes that were made restricted normal attendees, having them play what I call the “wait in line” game while press and VIPs had free reign. Even with all the hold ups I was still able to meet Hideo Kojima, whom I thanked in Japanese for his wonderful games.  Altogether I did some fantastic things that year.  I participated in a Mega 64 video, saw a Redman and Method Man concert, hung out with Playboy bunnies, got into the ring with a luchador (and won), met John Carpenter, embraced Alma’s newborn from F.E.A.R. 3 and attended the Video Games Live concert where I rocked out in front of the whole theater on Guitar Hero World Tour. With all that, you’d think it would be my all time favorite E3 experience, right? Well there was this thing you might have heard about.  It was called the NBA Finals which was right next door to the event and needless to say, I got caught in “celebration” riots.

I’m sure that regardless of whether or not I attend, there will be a ton of great things coming out the gate. Will the Nintendo Wii U finally get a release date? Does Microsoft plan on unveiling a new console of their own?  Will Sony drop any big name titles for 2013? We’ll just have to wait and see. And as soon as I scam my way in, I’ll keep you posted.

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse