Tuesday, May 31, 2005

You've heard it all before, no need to hear it from me too

I would be hard pressed to continue talking about E3 more than 2 weeks after the shows closing. Therefore I'll drop the whole "best of" bull and stick to what I do, completely random thoughts! Here goes nothing...

Oh Denver, you are the jelly on my breakfast bagel...


Gaming has been a highlight recently, as I've gotten a chance to play...games...Empire Earth II is a finely built strategy in my highly accredited opinion, thought I've yet to play every epoch I believe I have yet to get the full experience.

Another game I've gotten a hold of recently to play is The Sims 2: University. Now I have to admit something to you fine folks, I like The Sims. I played the original game a ton, but I play the sequel religiously. Despite this its taken me a year to get my sims from toddler to college. Ok, so the fact I had the no aging cheat on for about 6 months without knowing might be a big part in that but I digress. The game is quite infectious to fans of the series, thought some seem to be disappointed by its lack of new things. The next expansion in the inevitable long chain will add new dating features and the aesthetic introduction of the ability to see your sims neighboring lots for a change, which I think really does help the game since right now it has a real "single house sitting in the middle of nowhere" feel to it.

I also watched the Killzone 2 trailer yesterday for the first time, a game my friends have been braying about for weeks on end. I have to say, the game is impressive to extents that three years ago I wouldn't have thought were possible nor ever would be. This is one of the big graphical beasts of a game that really impressed me, in fact I think that will be the topic I discuss this thursday...

Well, now that I've forgotten about, remember, and frantically "last-minute" style updated this train wreck of a blog, I can go back to my real life of candy and hot babes......all up ons me....

(That should be enough HomestarRunner references for one closing paragraph, but just in case; "Great Jorb by me.")

Thursday, May 26, 2005

E3: The Rundown on PC gaming

Well folks, you know what that means. A rundown of some of the more popular PC games shown at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo...

Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion: This game was one of my early favorites, before I got into reading about the wonders of the Unreal 3 engine. However, despite all the kickass things I've seen from Unreal, Oblivion still ranks pretty damn high on the list of "best looking games ever" to me. Everything about this game seems to be quite an improvement over Morrowind, and it is confirmed that the quest journal won't suck hot monkey ass...such as the one in Morrowind did....frequently....for little pay...........yeah

Unreal Tournament 2007: Definately my favorite of the games shown for PC. Sporting a hefty Unreal 3 engine and all kinds of bonus goodies for all the fans, UT2007 will strive to be the original game that 2004 tried to be but ended up being too soon after its predecessor to be a real standalone game. I have high hopes for UT2007, although my computer can only shudder in its omnimous shadow...

Battlefield 2:
Definately a crowd favorite, the sequel to one of the more popular world war II games brings teamplay to a new level with the new commander mode and a slew of new commands for squad tactics. With nice looking graphics and new maps that scale to the number of players in the game, BF2 is also looking to be a great 2006 game...

Lord of the Rings Online: Although I've never truely been a fan of the series, this game does look to add an interesting new feature in its evolving landscape that evolves along with each player. Lemme elaborate. In the demo shown at E3, during the course of one instanced mission an entire town is destroyed. In the main gameplay, all players who complete that mission will see said town as a ruined wasteland. However, players who haven't completed that mission will see the town as if nothing ever happened. This opens a path to many glitches of course, lets see how the developers (who are the same people who worked on Asheron's Call), can get by that.

The Sims 2 Nightlife: As a fan of the sims games, this expansion does look to add a lot of stuff people have wanted from all the games for many years, including Vampires, and driveable cars. A nice graphical touch is the addition that now you can see the houses around your sims, whereas in all the previous games you only see your sims house. That, while making sure you weren't distracted, also gave a dull "middle of nowhere" feel. I'm looking forward to it for sure.

Civilization IV: As a man whose never actually played the Civ games, this one seems kinda bland to me compared to Empire Earth II (Which I bought a month or so ago with sexy results....wait...what?). Judging from what I've read, however, fans of the series probably won't be disappointed.

Half Life 2 Lost Coast:
Definately a high point of the show, the addition of HDR technology promises to improve the already impressive Source engine that made Half Life 2 so enjoyable. Although it is confirmed that not all of the effects seen in Lost Coast will be implemented into Half Life 2 main game, most of the more important effects will. It also appears to add a new character to the game, an old fisherman. How he plays into the whole story of the game I have no clue, so far looking to be just another random face in the crowd though...

Black & White II:
An infectious little game the prequel was, and the graphics on the sequel are incredible. The second time around, it seems like focus is going to shift more on helping your human slaves with the addition of armies and such. Aside from all this it looks to be sticking to the cute little "3D tamagotchi" feel the original game had.

Star Wars Battlefront II:
Dynamic battlefields and greatly improved AI will definately make this a buy for fans of the series (and goes in well with the release of the new movie which NO, I have not watched and don't plan to really...least not until I've seen the previous 4....)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

OK, I seriously have a good reason this time!

OK ok ok, I've done it again. I've not posted for almost an entire month. Well I have damn good reason to! A few weeks ago I was bestricken with such an ailment that I was bedridden for weeks. Well, not completely bedridden but I was too sick and tired to update most of the time. Of course I get better just in time for finals week! Oh joy!

Starting thursday, however, I will be finally out of school for the summer and will be able to finally concentrate on my real life and online life so much more that...who knows....Maybe I'll just write so many entries here they will have no CHOICE but to invite me to E3 2006!

Speaking of which, I should announce that www.drakkel.com is in the process of being registered by a good friend of mine over at Roll for Initiative. (A webcomic turned webcomic hosting site turned personal webpage turned...something...). Anyway, over the next few months I'll be sure to keep progress posted on the site. With my very own website, I believe I'll be able to achieve a lot more than just "angsty teen blogger who writes about video games all day, moreso than he actually plays them" status in this big wide ghetto we call the Interweb.

Be sure to stay tuned for thursday for my first big time post in a long time, where I'll try to run down my favorites from last weeks E3 show and my expectations for the gaming industry for the next half of the first decade of the second millenia, Ano Domini.

Drakk Out

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Unreal 3 is....Nope, not going there

Greetings my faithful readers, today in my first consecutive On-Schedule post...I'm so witty

  1. The Unreal 3 Engine has amazed me thrive. Not only in the title alone, this puppy has revolutionized the way we will look at video games, I strongly believe. The biggest part of the engine itself is the models it creates. These things are INSANE with detail! The process that makes these works of art is quite interesting. First of all, they whip up some crappy little low detail model like anybody could do in Poser in like half an hour and a bottle of cheap gin. A-like so. After that they create some huge badassed detailed model that looks like something you'd see rendered for a Pixar movie. Third, the engine itself takes the two models and splices them together to form a normal map, which is basically giving 3D shadows to a 2D texture map. The normal map blends on top of the low poly model that is actually used in the game and gives the impression of something GOD SENT!
Yup, I'm none too funny. I picked up an Empire Earth II demo today, just in time for the games release in stores. I'll have to get that sometime, as it is quite a fun little RTS if I do say so myself.

Due to lack of funny, I'm going to go commit Hara-Kiri now. Be back Friday!!

(Disclaimer: I just figured out an easier way to paste my little links in updates, so forgive me if I went Bat-Crap frickin Loco all up in this piece today...)

Monday, April 25, 2005

I Never Update

Yup, I am quite aware of it. Just who am I talking to? Of course my captivated audience who comments all the time to my posts, and send my link to all the famous webcomic artists!

Falling back to the world of reality, my gaming days are getting a tad slow due to a lack of free time. Thats a lie. I have nothing BUT free time, about 5 whole hours from the time I get home to bedtime. I manage to faithfully follow gaming news, however, which means I can stay back in the loop...

1: Star Trek Online Fued Ends finally. Viacom and Activision have finally set aside their petty squabbling, Penny Arcade style! What does this mean? Well, it means I'll be playing another mmog that I'll be into for a week or three before I give it up all together. Not much details have been given for this game yet, besides minor little details such as "multi-player starships" and such. This could only lead to disaster:

Captain: "Set course of Vulcan IV, ensign!"
CpnKirk3456: "iM A SpAcE MAN!! ROFL!!11!!"
*starship drifts painfully into the nearest supernova*

Although, as the son of a devoted Trekkie, the best hopes for this game are that only the deep fans of the series will actually get in on this stuff.

2: The Xbox 2/Xbox Next/Xbox 360/Fruit Pie has been getting revealed a mach ton lately, although many of the views I've seen have been passed off as "fake", "probably fake", or "why the hell do you care?" A lot of things are being said about the system, the kind of rumors that lead to either underpowering or overpowering enthusiasm. Rumors of proprietary systems and engines being coded from scratch, engines being ripped apart, stripped of all their skin and clothes, and then recombined into something new and ugly. The biggest rumor floating around is that Microsoft has been doing some dirty dealings with Id Software over rights to the awe-inspiring Unreal 3 Engine. The Unreal 3 engine, which I'll try to delve deeper into wednesday if I can get myself to post more than twice a month again, is a thing of wonderment, something that has managed to impress me even after playing Half life 2. The proof of the engines development for use on console systems is a little upcoming online FPS known as Huxley. Huxley looks to be one of the finest looking video games I've ever seen, and will claim the title of "first unreal 3 engine game to be released."

3: City of Heroes, I recently got into this MMOG for about 3 weeks, as happens to me all the time. The game is quite fun for a while, but I ran straight into the "omg I've killed this guy like 1500 times" wall that ruins many a gaming experience for me. I still have my account though, so maybe theres a chance for me to get back into it before I drop it altogether. Word on the street is some pretty cool people play this game like a religion, so I'll give it some time when I can get around to it.

That is about all I can say for now folks, tune in later this week. I'll for sure have something for you to feast your hungry hungry internet fangs on...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

OK, this time I'm back....

If you're reading this, then you've probably had the link shoved down your throat by me personally. Don't get me wrong, there is no shame in such a thing, a thing I like to call "Superliminal Advertising."

So whats been going on with me you ask so graciously? Well, more or less the same. I've finally beaten Half Life 2 after countless hours of "who the hell expects you to survive 5 snipers at once!?" and etc. I've also gotten a few more games...

1: World of Warcraft. I know, I caved. Not being a player of Warcraft (except for the prologue to Warcraft III), I really was not sure if I would be able to play this game and enjoy it, but here I am on this night to say that what you say is not what I say, they say. The game is user friendly yet complicated, graphics that are cheezy yet imaginative, and gameplay that is more or less the same yet somehow still kinda fun. Note that for the past 3 weeks I haven't even touched the disc let alone played, you can find me on the Proudmoore server under the handle "Drakkel" of course.

2: Morrowind. Yup, an old game it is. Despite this I found the game to be quite interesting, although it has a lot of quirks that bother me. Running speed too slow, game world too big, losing every item I had stolen from the weapons shop despite that fact that nobody even knew they were stolen, that crazy lizard-man who asked me to deliver a shipment of pants to the next town then proceeded to remove said pants as it turns out he was WEARING them, etc.

3: Pokemon Fire Red Anyone opens their mouth, they are DEAD!

Ok ok ok, thats good for a start. I'm really going to try to get back onto schedule, as my plans for the gaming comic I mentioned a long time ago have sunk. I've decided to stop the drawing crapola, and get straight into blogging. I've seen a successful blog or two in the industry. The thing is, if you didn't quite get the fact by my first posts here, I'm on the young side. Not wholly young, "LOLZ U SUK" young, but younger than most people in the business. But I've been told by many people, and a lot of which are not my parents, that I write well. This is good opportunity to develop a skill that could get me places in the industry if I eventually find that my memory is just too poor to do well as a developer...

note: www.wilwheaton.net is @ Wil Wheaton and his fancy "URL" because he has "money" and can afford his own "web-page" and can play "poker" on "tv" because its the only thing on weekends besides "Golden Girls..."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Catching up to do, I say I say...

Well then, it seems I have a lot of catching up to do. I know, I know. I missed an entire month and a half, I am aware of that! So to rake in the new years I wil dedicate todays post to the games I got this holiday season!

1: HALF-LIFE 2: Hot...Damn. Those are the only two words I can use to describe. Besides the ones I just said after that. And these. And those! AnnnnARGGH! Just go out and buy this game it will OWN YOU!!

2; Wahammer 40k: Dawn of War: An infectious little Real-Time-Strategy game by Relic entertainment, known for games like Homeworld and...Homeworld 2. Well, the game is quite fun and really makes a step forward for the RTS genere in its resource gathering system. The whoel game is very streamlined and easy enough to understand for even newbies to the genre. Not being a player of the table top Warhammer games, I can't tell you if it stays true to the mainstream version of the game, but I have to say that it definately stays true the RTS genre... (Official Site)

3: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: This is a FUN game! It improves on a lot of the weaker aspets of the older games such as the combat and cop intelligence. Although the Sims-like stat thing where you have to build up muscles and burn off exess fat and whatnot, ugh. Grand Theft Auto 6 will probably see you with a Bladder stat too, as well as Environment and they'll just put a big green crystal over your head so you know who you are controlling and you'll have to talk to people or your social stat will go down and as you progress through the game you'll be able to have a wife and kids and age and when you die your characters kids will take over and ARRHGHG!!

4: Halo: Combat Evolved: I don't know much about this game. I think its just some old dumb game about a bad night at a Hawaiin nightclub.

5: Halo 2: If Half Life 2 is your GOD, Halo 2 is your JESUS!

6: Burnout 3: You drive fast cars and get paid to crash vehicles, what more could a guy want?

Now then, thats over. I'm getting back into my update schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. One thing I should mention is that I'm in the pre-pre-pre-development stages of a gaming webcomic. Which will probably fit the stereotype of a gaming comic completely. Firday I'll post some of the sketches I've done for it...