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Welcome Back to the West
By oneshotstop
Posted on 08/01/16
The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...


JCD JCD's Blog
An Hour with: GTA 2
Posted on Wednesday, April 8 2009 @ 14:00:08 PST

Ah this takes me back. I remember many a long night spent playing Grand Theft Auto 2, zipping around the city popping heads open as I went. After just downloading the game from the Rockstar website, I thought I'd document my first adventure with GTA 2 in years. Oh and this is written as I'm playing. I'll play a bit, pause and write. Play more, pause, write and so on. So it's raw. Apart from some spell checking, I'm going to leave this as is. Without further adieu....

So I've started in the first district. Despite it being years since last I played the game, I still know this place like the back of my sweaty, vibrating hand. Horrible, nightmare inducing imagery aside, I really feel a sense of nostalgia here. Grand Theft Auto 2 is perhaps the one game I have played more than any other. I literally spent hundreds of hours playing this over the years. Still, there were things I'd forgotten. The background noise, the hum of the city being one of them. After navigating the main menu and starting the game, I notice the sounds and pause the game. Wonderful little touch I hadn't really paid attention to before. But this time, I intend to soak up every last bit of the game I can, truly experience it. Probably not, I'll just kill loads of people and blow sh*t up.

The game starts with me facing a  building with a large, flashing neon sign declaring “Jesus Saves.” Ah, the old save point. We know each other well. In front of this building is a ringing payphone, the most important objects of GTA 1 and 2, now forgotten in the glitz and glamour of the current generation of games. F**k your mobile phones, I want these old pieces of sh*t back, us gamers aren't so lazy that we can't... Heh. Yeah we are.
The phone keeps ringing. With the only other people in the vicinity being a mugger and his unfortunate victim, I walk over to the phone, automatically answering it.

“Hey there, Stranger! Welcome to the Downtown District. Stick around if you wanna learn what's going down...”

“No thanks, I think to myself, I'm a professional at this game.” I walk away from the phone quickly, lest I be pulled into a tutorial. A voice erupts from the phone after me: “Try life in the big city on your own, ya worthless piece-a-sh*t!” I think briefly about what a rude f**ker the guy is, before setting off into the thick of it. My adventure begins here, finally, free in the city!

Stealing the nearest car, a B-Type, I make my way to the Zaibatsu quarter of the city. They're always good for a job. It's a telling sign at how rusty I am with the game, that I kill at least ten people on the way here, requiring a quick detour to lose the filth in an alleyway, which in turn results in two more deaths. What stupid motherf**ker actually walks down an alleyway when clearly it could be used as an escape route for a fleeing criminal? Idiots. Finally arriving at the Zaibatsu quarter, I run for their nearest payphone. I stop for a minute and admire the patience of the guy at the end of the phone. I usually hang up after seconds of no answer, this guy can go for ****ing days apparently. Picking up the phone, I'm introduced to a man called Trey Walsh. He informs me of a Zaibatsu traitor, selling info to the cops and wants me to steal a cop car from outside the police station. Fair enough.

I hop back into the B-Type, being sure to pick up some armour and a machine gun along the way and begin my drive to the police station. I try to go more carefully this time and it works. Only three people die! I'm proud of this fact. I am. Screw you.

The police car is taken easily, with no retaliation from the fuzz. The radio chatter is another nice touch I never took the time to appreciate before either. It's oddly calming. As soon as the car door as closed, a call comes in from Trey. He wants me to head to a train station and pick up the snitch. Again, sounds easy enough. I flick on the siren and put the foot down. Actually, I'm really just pressing the arrow key on my keyboard, but you know what I mean. I'm having fun flying through the streets in the cop car, it's empowering in a strange way. So much so in fact, that by the time I've reached the train station, I've decided that I don't like Trey very much. F**k his plan, I'm going to flatten this son of a ***** right here. With a splat and an angry phone call, the mission has been failed. Pfft. Like I need him. I'll just work for the Yakuza instead. And if I kill seven or eight or sixty Zaibatsu pigs along the way, so be it.

After wiping out most of the Zaibatsu I can find, I head to the Yakuza sector and go straight for one of their more difficult jobs. A man called Johnny Zoo is on the other end of a Yakuza payphone I find and he wants me to steal a SWAT van in return for the police taking one of his most prized cars. A fair trade, to be sure. Now where can I find a SWAT van?


The answer comes fairly quickly. Why go out and seek a SWAT van, when you can stay put and make a SWAT van come to you? The next few minutes are a blur of frantic slaughter. My trusty machine gun and a rocket launcher I found on top of a crate in the Yakuza J-Lab on my way from the Zaibatsu area are put to good use. After killing pretty much anything on two legs in about a square mile, I'm finally beset upon by a SWAT van. Taking my lovely machine gun and running backwards away from the SWAT team, I decimate them and return to claim my... Johnnies, prize. Entering the SWAT van, I'm asked to drop it off in a garage nearby. Along the way, I become quite fond of my new van. It's always been one of my favourite vehicles in the game. Smashing through police blockades isn't the same without one...

But lo! What is this? Another SWAT van following me? 'Tis good. As I drop the van off in the magic garage which makes the police, even the ones just outside that had been following me, completely forget I had done anything wrong, I make my mind up that I want another SWAT van. So after a spot of killing, I take one. Sure it's on fire, but what's the worst that can happen?

Apparently, getting stuck at a barricade and blown up by pistol fire is the worst. WASTED? F**KING WASTED? I don't think so. Homie don't play that ****. I know of  a little secret tucked away in the bottom east corner of the map. A ****ing tank. Lets see the bastards blow this up with their pistols.

The journey to the tank is uneventful. It's what happens after I get the tank that's worth knowing about. I basically make my way around the city blowing everything to sh*t, killing everything in my way and destroying enough cars to make every single ex-girlfriend on the planet happy. Or dead. My spree only comes to an end when I hit the wrong key and exit the tank. Not good. I have every law enforcement officer in the northern hemisphere looking for me and I'm practically naked save for some Molotov cocktails, a pistol, machine gun and a rocket launcher with ten rockets. This'll be interesting. I decide to make my last stand somewhere memorable. So I head back down south to the strip club. What? It's a genuine landmark.

In the ensuing moments, hundreds of lives are lost and my armour is completely depleted, my health rapidly going down too. I'm pretty good at dodging bullets, but even I have my limits. Just as death is banging on the door in anticipation, sticking his pee pee through the letterbox, sliding up and down along the door frame and groaning like the audience during a Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer movie, a funny thing happens. I throw a Molotov cocktail (my second last one) at a police car and jump straight after it. As I jump into a wall, I fall through said wall and under the city. I can now quite literally go anywhere by jumping, but to no avail. I can't get above ground again. As such, my time with GTA 2 has come to an end. Until tomorrow, when I play it again and start a whole new era of death and destruction, laughing as my foes fall to my feet and beg for mercy. I will show none.

And they say violent videogames cause violent thoughts. I turned out fine.

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Tales From The Back Of The Box 1
Posted on Monday, October 13 2008 @ 08:48:35 PST

You're in a game store, browsing around through the new titles to find a game that takes your fancy. You walk around for a while, eyes scanning the shelves until finally you lock onto a game that looks cool. Perhaps you already know about this game, though it's likely that it just has kickass box art. Possibly with breasts somewhere on it.

So you pick up the case and what's the first thing you do? Flip it. Yup, we all (those of us who would be considered at least partially sane anyway) do it, right away we flip the case and check out the back. Why? It's simple my dear friend, for information about the game. Unless you walk into a game store and know exactly what game you're getting, you'll inevitably find yourself engaging the flipping maneuver at some point during your shopping experience.

Don't worry dear reader, there is in fact a point to this. It's a simple one too. 'Lies and Half-Truths that can be found on the back cover of most games.' You see, when you flip that game over, you're effectively placing your trust in the games marketing team to tell you the truth, to inform you as to what the game is like. Poor sap, you don't stand a chance. Now while most of what you'll read on the box is at least mostly true, some is just downright ****ing made up. So without adieu, let me present part 1 of this planned series.


"The fine line between honor and vengeance will be crossed by one."

Excuse me? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Nothing in the game relates to this quote at all, nothing. In fact, the games plot is thinner than a sheet of shitty toilet paper anyway, so it's possible that something relating to this was supposed to be included in the game, but everyone forgot because no-one gave a ****.

"Destroy everything in your path as you embark on a blah blah blah."

You can break your enemies, some barrels and other stuff like tables and chairs sure, but you'll encounter a lot of things in the game that cannot be destroyed. Take doors for example, tiny wooden doors that your big-****-off scythe cannot slice through, despite them being made of wood as most wooden doors are. Therefore, this is a lie. You cannot destroy everything. See how they convince us to buy the games? Some poor kid is still at home, hacking away at a wall, waiting for it to break. The Bastards.

"You shall leave a wake of death in the name of honor."

Really? I thought the entire point of the game was to kill absolutely everything you possibly could, because it looks cool. Again, a plot would have perhaps aided this little quote in having a point.

"Killer gaming"

I'm still sure as **** alive. While it is true that playing the game on the hardest difficulty will cause your Xbox to grow a penis and have sex with your eyeballs, I'm fairly certain that the game has not killed anyone yet.

"This is the very best in breathtaking, realistic visuals, responsive control and thrilling combat."

Where do I even start with this one...? Ok, let's go. No, at no point during my playing through the game did it cause me to lose my breath. That generally happens when you breathe anyway, so in this the marketing team has cheated. Unless you're dead, in which case you're enjoyment of the game will be rather... stunted, you're going to regularly have your breath taken away, only to have it restored right quick.

The visuals are high quality, no doubt. Realistic? They are in my arse. The next time you see someone swing a sword and a giant ****ing purple trail is left behind it, tell me. Next time you see someone using fire-magic to kill a were-wolf, tell me. Next time you slice someones arm off, only for blood to splatter everywhere within a seven level radius, tell me.

Responsive control... meh, the controls are fairly responsive, but don't allow you to perform moves as quickly as a real ninja could. Therefore: Bullshit.

Thrilling combat? I'm pretty relaxed in almost everything. While I know people who jump around at the slightest bit of plot exposition in a movie, I'll just sit back and watch it. Same when I'm gaming. I don't get so caught up in a game that I reenact it, moving around the room like a rabbit on steroids. Anyone who does isn't a human, therefore: Bullshit.

"Ideal for casual players"

Find a non-gamer. Give them Ninja Gaiden 2. See how long they play before losing their minds and huddling in a corner rocking back and forth, listening to Emo songs and crying. Not very long at all I would imagine. Ninja Gaiden 2 is not a game for casual gamers, the whole point of it is that it's difficult. Very difficult. BULL. SHIT.

"Agile, Acrobatic and Deadly - Experience an all new combat system requiring skill and mastery of a full arsenal of weapons and moves"

Now, when it comes to fighting, I'm no pushover. I can hold my own fairly well. But am I a master of a full arsenal of weapons and moves? No. Yes, but that's not the point. I would have thought the motion capture guy would need to be, but me? To just play the game? Fuck off, that's not fair. And how the hell do I experience the combat system? Unless there's a cheat to make the enemies pop out of your screen and beat the living **** out of you, I can't much see how I could experience it.

"WARNING: Read instruction manual for information about photosensitive seizures and other important safety and health information."

Just plain silly this one, it's not a warning, it's an instruction. Honestly, these people haven't a clue have they?

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Halo 3 Review
Posted on Wednesday, September 19 2007 @ 07:50:47 PST

I was lucky enough to get a two hour playthrough of Halo 3 yesterday, and I gotta say, it's by far the best of the series. While you may not consider 2 hours very long, it was certainly long enough to playtest many of the new features. Hopefully I'll get another chance to play it before release so I can write the best review possible, but for obvious reasons I won't put my review up until after the 25th.


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I need a job at Microsoft, now!
Posted on Saturday, August 11 2007 @ 09:39:48 PST

It\'s not any big secret that Halo 3 is being released next month. I myself have the legendary edition pre-ordered and I have even crafted a fake doctors note for the week of it\'s release. No work, no school only pure Halo action. Mmmm.

I...  

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Longo needs to be stabbed....
Posted on Friday, June 1 2007 @ 19:06:48 PST

With something sharp. Not too sharp now, otherwise it would just go straight through him. We don't need that now do we? No, you see it has to be serrated so that it causes maximum damage. Like turning over a giant crab and attacking it's weak point. ...   read more...

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Posted on Wednesday, May 23 2007 @ 19:01:29 PST

Shaft and Silent Player. You both know my blog is better anyway....   read more...

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Teh Pwnage
Posted on Friday, April 27 2007 @ 11:28:18 PST

Anyone else anticipating the return of the holy grail of internet shows, Pure Pwnage? That show is da bom. I have so many questions! What happens to Jeremy? Why did Doug turn all bad and stuff? Where did the Dawei go? AHHHHHHHHHH! I have to see that ...   read more...

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Phone Revolution
Posted on Wednesday, April 25 2007 @ 06:24:41 PST

Yay! I can get GR on my phone now. Can't log in though.......   read more...

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I smite thee, foe!
Posted on Saturday, April 21 2007 @ 07:51:06 PST

Thou art smitten. As you can probably not tell from the title of this blog, I have rediscovered my love for Oblivion. Yesterday I was lying in bed all alone, (Longo had gone to the shop to buy milk, and grandmagoodtimes isn't speaking to me) listenin...   read more...

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Newfangled doo dads.
Posted on Thursday, April 12 2007 @ 11:31:59 PST

This site sure is changing. Ever since Joeblow came along (who I believe to be a steroid addicted worker monkey who does the bidding of the GRandmasters) there have been some major upgrades.

Still however, THAR BE NO MEDALS! How many kitte...   read more...

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