Thursday, July 31, 2008
Perhaps my sense of timing is shot, or my hand/eye coordination, or maybe I'm just plain rusty. Or it could be that I'm too spoiled by the shiny features of modern games and they've made me lazy. I've gotten too used to unlimited lives and continues, save points and game saves, bountiful power-ups and over-powered heroes. I played through 90% of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core without even dying. I couldn't think of picking up God of War without the liberal save points scattered throughout the game. Now I find it impossible to imagine playing an entire level of a game only to die and have to start over from the beginning. But that was the kind of gameplay we all cut our teeth on years ago, and we actually had fun!
Now don't get me wrong, most modern games are more enjoyable than the majority of those classics. I don't have the time to invest in a game that will take me countless hours to master it anymore. Maybe ten years ago, but not now. So being able to play through 20 minutes of a game and actually make some progress is rewarding, especially when time to game is so limited. But, if I have one complaint against modern games, it's that they seem to be specifically designed to save you the hassle of learning how to truly play them. Sometimes I'd like to play a game without a tutorial or on-screen prompt telling me what button to push. It's rare to actually discover what a game is about before it starts holding your hand through the intro. Part of the fun of gaming is discovery and overcoming challenges. Completely take these away and you lose a bit of the magic, which is something those older games still have to this day.
So as I fire up Castlevania and prepare to tackle Stage 3 without dying, for the fourth time, I console myself with the fact that the truly hardcore gamers weren't raised playing a Playstation 3, or Xbox 360, or a Wii (hah joking!). The Nintendo Entertainment System is where real hardcore gamers were born and bred.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
A quick update to this posting, from the good folks at G4:
Activision says Ghostbusters is not canceled. X-Play talked an Activision Blizzard spokesperson who emailed: "Regarding Ghostbusters: The Video Game: First and foremost, the game is absolutely not cancelled," but added: "In general (including Ghostbusters): The company is reviewing its options regarding those titles that it will not be publishing."
Here are two high-profile titles that are being considered for cancellation:
- Brutal Legend: The action-adventure game starring Jack Black is slated for release on the 360 and PS3 has no release date scheduled yet.
- 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand: This action game starring the famous rapper in the Middle East is scheduled for a fall release on the PS3 and 360. No word yet on what the status of this awesomely ridiculous game will be. We'll be bummed if we can't play this. Look at the trailer!
According to an article over at Ars Technica this morning, the upcoming Ghostbusters game for PS3/Xbox 360 is in danger of being canceled. Apparently the merger between Activision and Vivendi has put several titles into publishing limbo and caused massive internal confusion.
I was very excited about this game after seeing gameplay footage at E3. With a script by Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd along with voiceovers by the original cast, sharp graphics and some creative mechanics, this game looked like a surefire hit. This one was on my watch-list when I buy a PS3, it would be a real shame if someone didn't jump in and buy the publishing rights to this game. I mean, who could resist blasting Slimer and riding around in Ecto-1?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
First up we have Hospitals. This past weekend my youngest daughter Camryn was back in the ER with another kidney infection. She's doing fine now and will be getting follow up tests to make sure we don't have to do this again, but geez health care is just a retarded business. The first sign was when the ER doctor wanted to do a lumbar puncture on her before checking her urine and blood for infection. Seriously? Yes, let's bend her in half, jab a needle in her spine and suck out the fluid before we do the easy shit like testing pee for bacteria. Especially when she had this same test a month ago with negative results. I didn't let him do it and and behold! her pediatrician agreed with me. This lumbar procedure must be big bucks for him, I imagine every kid with a fever gets a complimentary spine stabbing from the good doctor. At least our stay was only two days this time, I'm praying we can keep her healthy from here on out.
Next up is social networking. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone's MySpace, Facebook, Blog, or Twitter page. While I truly enjoy all of these forms of connectedness, sometimes it feels like work to keep up with them all. I wish there was one superior site that could unite all of my friends and family so I didn't need Digsby to keep track of everything. I often feel like I'm slacking off if I don't have something interesting to Twitter or blog about. And forget about MySpace, I'm neither cool nor young enough for anyone to notice my page there. I suppose this is a bit of a rant, but honestly I can only be so interesting even to myself let alone a handful of friends :)
Last we have the incredible goodness that is the PSP. This thing keeps me entertained in so many ways I can't imagine not owning one. I keep up on all my TV shows, movies, anime and music with it. I store pictures of my kids and can check RSS feeds with it. It can browse the web from any wi-fi connection. And of course it plays games too. But not just PSP games! It can emulate PS1, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and NES games. I have Final Fantasy VII, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Metal Gear Solid along with several hundred games for the older systems. I have the most fun with the NES emulator though. It's amazing how good these old games look on the PSP's widescreen, I forgot just how crappy my old 13" color TV was when I was a kid. The screen shots below show a few of the games I have loaded (kudos to the old-schoolers that recognize them). The PSP has saved me from boredom countless times, in my opinion it's the best handheld available.
I think that's all I have for today's brain purging. Now I'm off to check Twitter!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
This was my stab at drawing Aspen from his comic book Fathom, and is based on the cover from issue #2. It's also the only colored piece I've ever done, seeing as how I'm colorblind and all.
I'm not sure if my piece will make it into the book, but Mike inspired me to draw it back in my college days so I felt I should take a shot at it. The folks managing this project are estimating 50-60 pieces for the book, so I think my chances of making it in are good. I will post an update when the final line-up is decided in a few weeks.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It’s totally cool to sing Hannah Montana songs and then make up alternate lyrics. This usually involves making as many words rhyme with “fart” as possible.
Puke, snot and slobber no longer illicit any reaction other than to calmly reach over my shoulder and grab a burp rag.
Colorblindness is now considered a blessing, as I do not have to participate in choosing either my daughter’s outfits.Nine year old girls are really just 23 year-olds trapped in a small body with no cell phone.
“Free time” is the ten minutes spent showering in the morning, and the 30 minutes before you fall asleep on the couch at night.
It is my job, nay, my duty to get my kids wound up just before bedtime.
If my daughter wakes up grumpy, I do my best to irritate her until she either smiles or storms off to the bathroom. Either way her mood changes!
Girls are born with the knowledge that daddy is wrapped around their little finger.
Monday, July 7, 2008
So there you have it, my Turner Top five. He's drawn hundreds of other stunning covers and interior work and I encourage you to hit Google or the local comic store and find your own favorites.