Saturday, September 28, 2013

GTA V: BMX Style

My favorite parts of San Andreas were the BMX bike and the Stunt Plane, so you can imagine how disappointed I was when GTA IV featured neither. Rockstar apparently realized that an important part of a sandbox game is actually giving people some toys to play with, and they have righted the ship (and then some) with GTA V. Im having some wild visions in my head of a multiplayer game with stunt planes flying upsidedown under bridges and BMX bikes dropping onto them and flipping off while C4 charges explode oil tankers above and cars do burnout drift donuts around dancing throngs of people firing AK47s in the air.

The online potential is insane. Who needs an Xbox One when we have GTA Online?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Phil Collins - I Dont Care Anymore

As a Phil Collins fan, I was pretty surprised to hear this song featured prominently in GTA V. Not only is Phil Collins considered uncool by a certain segment of the population, but the song's slow tempo and unique production style dont exactly scream soundtrack material. However, Rockstar used the track brilliantly to elaborate on Michael's character, his dissatisfaction with life and his disconnection with his family. Nothing should surprise me when it comes to Rockstar, but GTA V has done so several times already.

You might think that this song is also referring to my attitude towards this blog, but thats not the case. The lack of updates is the result of both moving, and trying to setup my new place, and my laptop nearly dying. Well, only the keyboard, but it was enough to virtually get me off the internet for about a week. My new place still has a lot of work to do, and during this time Ive had Payday 2, Splinter Cell Blacklist and now GTA V to thank for their amazing ability to enable my procrastination to reach new levels. Its not that I dont care, Im just distracted and lazy - and thats when Im not playing poker 40-50 hours a week. Its just me being a human being. If you guys ever want to post something here during my lulls, please feel free to.

Overall Im not sure what the future of gaming holds for me, I mean theoretically I will probably buy another game console eventually but right now I just cant get the internal hype meter to budge at all. Of course, eventually some console exclusive arcade style game will be released which I just have to play (Resogun looks great), but these days I find myself happy to turn to my backlog of older games and systems. The 360/PS3 generation has a great case for being the best generation of gaming ever, as it certainly lasted the longest. Sure, I always want more fidelity and higher framerates, but it seems that as soon as new consoles are released, developers chase their tail by trying to up the textures, animations and physics to the point where they are happy achieving 30 frames per second at any resolution.

So, basically Im at a point where I dont care about graphics. I mean, I never have really, but everyone can appreciate a nice spectacle. Metro Last Light and FFXIV Reborn look amazing on PC, but thats not the reason to play them. I bought an Ouya. It still doesnt have enough games but Im trying to support it. The graphics are just not the point there. I still play on my Wii, in glorious 480p. I still fire up the old Xbox 1 (not Xbox One) and get enjoyment out of Burnout 3 and MechAssault. The 8 and 16 bit consoles will be on hiatus for a while as I made the difficult decision to scrap my 3 CRT TVs in the move, as the space they take up is ridiculous and Im at the point where explaining why I own them to normal people has become a bit of an embarrassment and certainly tiresome.

But life moves on. Im trying to make changes that are positive and explore some new directions. One of them might be taking a break from gaming for a bit, to focus on other things. But not yet. Not when the greatest game console ever - the Xbox 360 - is in the last waning days of its spectacular life, and certainly not when a game which may redefine what we expect out of videogames is squeezing every last bit of life out of it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Divekick Impressions

This game is freaking hilarious. MD got it for me on Steam, and now that Ive messed around with it a bunch, I can say its definitely one of my favorite fighting games. You know when you have a joke match in Street Fighter, with like Vega and El Fuerte having a shrieking gymnastics battle or Hakan and E Honda having an oily grunting competition? Thats this entire game. "Joke Match: The Game"

Why make a real fighting game when you can make a joke one, where each character only has a single, super-overpowered one hit kill move, and if you repeatedly pwn your opponent a "fraud detection" warning system goes off? Contrary to the GT guys, one of my favorite parts of the game is the excitable Asian announcer who calls the game "DivekickUUUAAAHH!!!"

No, its no Spartacus Legends (in Bond's words "The Greatest Game of All Time").

But it is damn fun!