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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...


tom- tom-'s Blog
The Meat of the Heart of the Subject of This Issue
Posted on Wednesday, May 14 2008 @ 14:10:27 PST

Since the dawn of man, human beings have been striving to achieve that which I've been doing since birth. Really, though, it's high time we got to the meat of this topic, right under the bun. Eons and eons ago, some things happened that may or may not have influenced other things that happened later. Don't believe me? Ask a scientist.

Reviews, blogs and awesomeness, oh my! Wandering through this forest of talking wood that can't seem to refrain from dropping rotten apples all over the Members' sections isn't easy. It takes minutes of dedication and seconds worth of experience to master. Just remember, I am better than you and therefore qualified to instruct your feeble attempts at recreating my success. First, follow these simple steps:

1) What are you writing about? Is it in any way related to something that may have been happening since the dawn of time? If not, make something up. Things that happened that long ago only get more valid with age and use.

2) Is there meat involved? All issues are best explained by butchers, as we all know. A vast, or even severely limited, knowledge of meat will give you that leg up in explaining which part of your piece is most important.

3) Tarantinoize it by 30%. Grandpas like to read things that have some sort of logical progression that will keep the writer engaged while giving them a sense of direction. Too bad grandpas are smelly old sourpusses! Have an idea? Throw it in! So what if you already mentioned something very similar or will end up coming back to the subject later. Each of your works should be like a "connect the dots" of thoughts. Everyone likes puzzles!

4) Come up with a list! Everyone likes lists. Even if a list isn't stated to be a "Top #" list, everyone can assume that 1 is the best and whatever number you end on is the worst. People are busy, so a lot of them will only have time to read your best thoughts. Make the most of that #1!

5) Burn that thesaurus! The only adjectives you'll ever need again can be found in the following sub-list list.

          1) Intuitive
          2) Immersive
          3) Innovative
          4) Engrossing
          5) Awesome!

Well, now that you've read this you pretty much have a PhD in Success!

[ 2 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
Posted on Wednesday, May 7 2008 @ 17:57:13 PST

As consoles pump out higher fidelity graphics and offer cohesive online communities, plenty of folks see it as a funeral precession for PC gaming. Regardless of the vast opportunities and advantages found in PC gaming, the shortcomings are wont to weigh on the minds of gamers from every corner.

Is the mouse and keyboard control setup really advantageous enough to snuff the likes of Halo and over rule the success of ports like COD4? Is player regulated online play enough to match the structure and comparable simplicity of Xbox Live? Will piracy bleed what creative blood is left in PC gaming out?

You may already be thinking it, but those are some pretty weak arguments. PC gamers are PC gamers for those reasons, not despite them. But that leaves one of those issues to cast a shadow over the rest: piracy. Recently, the Cavat Yerli of CryTek (the makers of Crysis) has been pointing his fingers wildly at internet pirates for what he feels is the lack of success of Crysis. Despite the game selling over a million copies world wide, many publications have seen fit to lend credence to Yerli's call to arms against pirates. Though his claims regarding the popularity of Crysis on torrent sites across the internet may hold some water, is it enough to explain his game drowning?

While I may not be an expert, I've always thought a million copies was something to be applauded in game sales. For a game that cost as much as Crysis to produce, that may not be as true as folks like me think. I see this as a self fulfilling prophecy, though. The biggest PC games of all time have been The Sims and World of Warcraft. Neither of those games require high end PCs to run by any modern measure. Crysis requires a pretty nice PC, maybe even a bit nicer than mine, to even run decently. I've heard numerous rebuttals of, "Well, if you turn the settings down to Medium, practically anyone can run it and its still incredibly beautiful!" This isn't entirely false. The game is quite beautiful on Medium, that is, for the first 10 feet in front of you. After that, geography and geometry will deform, change shape and pop in to view at will. This doesn't make the game playable, but it stomps all over its major selling point: the looks.

Cubans who try to sail to the free shores of America in a '55 Chevy pickup will face a lot of problems. This is to be expected, though. It's not like Chevy was trying to rival Carnival Cruises when they designed the truck. Likewise, putting all of your eggs in one beautiful diamond encrusted platinum basket, then throwing it off a cliff at a time when folks are busy digging through other baskets and the only folks ready and willing to catch your basket are the ones who were going to steal it anyway is probably a foolish idea.

Just because some PCs can render stunning graphics and a company can spend millions creating those graphics doesn't mean consumers want to, or even can, experience them. There are countless ways to competently and effectively combat piracy. There are also plenty of paths that don't even consider piracy an issue, as they can lead to profit despite it.

Find an audience, then make a game for them. Don't assume that your idea's shortcomings should be blamed on the audience. After all, the ones that aren't stealing from you are paying your bills.

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Droughts and Drizzles
Posted on Wednesday, April 9 2008 @ 21:00:51 PST

Year after year, for as long as I can remember, we video game buying people have gone through the same floods and droughts of releases. Like turning gears in some eternal Swiss clock, each season would carry its tell tale titles. The new year would bring little, but would allow us plenty of time to catch up on the overflow games left stranded from the recently ended winter torrent, but once those wells dried up, summer would leave us all parched, our mouths aching for that next drop of salvation.

This Ground Hog's Day like repetition of events nearly had me in a coma no more than a month ago. Now, however, we're in April and it looks to me like Spring is itching to get sprung with a ferocity only displayed before by the likes of Sir Mix-A-Lot. We're headed for some excellent April showers. I'm talking platinum showers, here. You can leave that golden stuff with your grandma, because it doesn't even apply anymore. Think 2girls1cup, but the two girls are both Jesus, the cup is the Holy Grail and their respective loads of feces are Grand Theft Auto 4 and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. Put in those terms, I bet that video gets you a bit chubbed now, doesn't it? It's okay. You don't have to lie, here. We're all friends!

You, me and the cup may make three, but this is only the beginning of the story. So we get a good Spring. Hey, it's good news, but not unheard of by any measure! As true as that is, I kind of have to hate you for agreeing with me when I said it. Spring? Put those glasses on, Mr. Magoo. There's a much bigger world out there, and a lot of it exists in the months after April! This point makes itself and any doubters need only to read the list of games that follows: Street Fighter 2 Turbo: HD Remix, Soul Calibur 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, Ninja Gaiden 2, Too Human, Mercenaries 2, maybe World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and a couple handfuls of possible sleeper hits and newcomers. All of those are dated for release by the beginning of Fall. The usual holiday orgy of unfettered buying doesn't even enter this equation. There are some naysayers who fear that a number of these games are shelling out a sunny view of the future, shooting for a date they know they'll miss only to end up hitting store shelves in time for Santa, yet again. Maybe last year. Maybe next year. This year, though, I don't see it happening.

These games aren't new news. I've been getting pumped for all of them for ages, now. Each has had its share of delays and rumors, but most of the whispers are hushing. Its only at this point in time, with the prospect of them all releasing within the next 5 months that the gravity of the matter hits me. Release time is closing in and the only viable reason most of those games have to push it back any further is foolish, blind greed, which I just don't see happening.

For once, just maybe, the muggy days of summer will be filled with gaiety and gamesaves rather than being a few pages of X's in the calendar counting down the coming of the holiday deluge.

[ 3 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
Squeezing Blood from Asphault
Posted on Wednesday, April 2 2008 @ 22:07:06 PST

Without a doubt, driving games are my favorite genre. I had practically fallen out of touch with console gaming until a little game called Star Wars Episode 1: Racer entered my life. That pseudo-Wipeout was enough to make me purchase an N64, and less...   read more...

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Solid Snake Oil
Posted on Friday, February 29 2008 @ 19:41:55 PST

The more I see of Metal Gear Solid 4, the more I look forward to it. The PS3's library is still pretty lacking, so any title with some weight behind it is a good thing in my eyes. That said, I've never been much of a Metal Gear fan. I was too young t...   read more...

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Posted on Monday, February 11 2008 @ 00:49:11 PST

    I know this happens to most people every once in a while, but that knowledge doesn't make this any more entertaining. See, I've recently hit a bit of  a gaming slump. There are still plenty of games sitting on my desk that I h...   read more...

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Scaredy Cat
Posted on Saturday, January 26 2008 @ 23:43:21 PST

    Back in the halcyon days of my youth, my parents were occasionally concerned with the amounts and styles of media I was taking in. That\'s not to say I was sheltered; just that they knew me well eno...   read more...

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Free T-Shirts and Miniature American Flags to All Who Read This!
Posted on Wednesday, January 9 2008 @ 23:20:31 PST

I'll also see if I can snag some free passes to Heaven for you from my good pal Christ.

Then you will witness two months of daily battles to the death between men, lions, lion men and space dragons in the GR Colosseum.

Also, Ni...  

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Soft Boiled Hardcore
Posted on Saturday, January 5 2008 @ 23:08:36 PST

Outside of the adult film industry, the term "hardcore" needs to be dropped. All this talk of "hardcore" games versus "casual" games and "non-games" just serves to inflate the egos of attention starved *******s...   read more...

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Those Were the Days
Posted on Friday, January 4 2008 @ 06:06:21 PST

Nintendo appears, to me, to be a corporation filled with evil and malice. Sure, they treat the masses to waggle-loads of fun with the ever enticing Wii, but at what cost? $250, if you want to get literal, I guess.

Affordability aside, I a...  

[ 2 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
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