Everyone knows the place to be is somewhere like Reach. Imaging walking around in your two ton slab of steel riddled with the most advanced technology known to human-kind. No damage, no fear. Everything about that life sounds appealing. Imagine the adrenaline filled battles and the victorious triumph of slaying hordes of aliens. This life is particularly appealing to me because I grew up in a family that values honor. Come on, who wouldn’t want to carry have the strength and speed of a spartan tearing into Elites? Not only that, but you are feared by the enemy and revered by your fellow comrades. Of course there would be the threat of danger everywhere you went, but what’s life without a little bit of uncertainty? The top secret missions and access to top notch military technology.
This live action teaser trailer was definitely the most epic thing that I have ever seen for a videogame. If the actual story and world of Halo hadn’t enticed me enough, this trailer definitely launched it higher. Living in the Halo universe could quite possibly be the greatest thing ever, provided it were possible. Who knows? Maybe the future holds a similar outcome for my own wishes.
In the league of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the graphic novel) there are a great many of well know characters from other stories and comics. In this frame, we are introduced to Mr. M. who we find out is James Moriarty. The first thing I notice is obviously Mr. Moriarty himself. A deeper look at his character reveals the darkened deep-set eyes which seem to peer very deeply at you. I slight wrinkled brow makes him seem very old and maybe slightly angry. His right arm is suspiciously curled behind his back, seeming rather shady and rather unnaturally curved. His fingers on his left hand show wrinkled skin laid loosely over scrawny bones. He is delicately pointing towards himself which, coupled with the appearance of his character, suggests that he is a hard person, but a crafty and careful plotter. His attire is that a powerful but necessary businessman. No extravagant displays of wealth through shiny cigar cases or flashy clothing. His bald head and simple suit suggest that he is a to-the-point kind of person who takes no bull. The pointed teeth give the appearance of anger and evil. His dark suit also points towards evil characteristics. If we look off in the background, we see the typical steam punk elements of, well, steam and gear-run machines.
“You will need the witch’s cabin key!” Now, I’m not normally much of a fan of diving deeply into the story of a game. You get caught up in what is going on in the background and you forget to have fun playing with different styles. Recently, though, I had the pleasure of test-driving Remedy Entertainment’s critically acclaimed Alan Wake, which is a step in a different direction from their Max Payne series. I have to say that the gameplay itself was interesting at first, but gradually become extremely monotonous: point the flashlight at the bad guys, pop ’em thrice with a revolver. On my original agenda, I planned on playing the game to see what kind of new gameplay style this so-called psychological thriller would bring the board. That was scratched rather early on as I had done everything possible in the game just by completing the tutorial mission. As I drug myself through the game in a half zombie like manner, I noticed a really shiny white object on a rock to my left. The ambiguous voice in the sky who was directing me told me that it was a page of the manuscript for a book that Alan had written. I read through the first page, intrigued by what it had to say, although finding it difficult to understand. I realized that it was telling me what had happened, was happening, and would happen in the near future through the game. I found more, and so I read each one of them as I picked them up, hoping to catch the description of the author in the manuscript which seemed to be missing from the game itself. Now, since I was a kid, I have loved reading; specifically fantasy and Sci-Fi . As this game boasted both concepts, I was instantly captivated by its story. I read more and more until finally, finding the pages became my only goal. I forgot the creepy shadow covered monsters and the dark landscape (which was always a damn forest…) and finally settled on completing the manuscript. After a while, I started listening the music between chapters. I found out that the soundtrack for the game was written by the band Poets of the Fall and I looked up their music. After the first chapter, the game plays out like a movie or TV show, even saying “Previously, on Alan Wake,” to transition into the next chapter. There is a part later in the game where you watch a faked, but realistic talk show conference that Alan Wake has in which he discusses his final book to a series. Now, maybe saying that this game is work of art is a stretch. It has horrible graphics and design, the gameplay is awful, and you feel like you are a freaking lumberjack half of the time, but the story behind the story and all of the clever media techniques that are used help it to be portrayed as something more than just a gimmick to make money. In all honesty, if they were to actually write a book for Alan Wake, I would probably read it; as it has a great story and portrays everything that I love in psychological stories.
Never thought I would forget to post one of these things. Meh, whatever. I did make a hell of a lot of popcorn though. Anyways, I want to start by saying that I have never seen so much dedication in one person as I noticed in Wiebe. He pressed on through every defeat and every obstacle and still came out on top. He worked hard, got himself in line, and took the top spot for King Kong score.
Honestly, I would have to say that people like Wiebe are real inspirations to the world. One thing I noticed though that I thought was funny is that his wife took the same stance that most people do when they see someone get into gaming. She couldn’t stand it at first and eventually through time and persuasion, was able to understand his ambition. We just had a blog post over the difference of playing and gaming and I say that Wiebe fits the textbook definition of a true hard-core gamer. We have discussed the positions of many people on gaming, including the position that the world itself revolves around the rules of some game. Getting back to the inspirational aura of Wiebe, I have to say the guy lives what we all want. He worked hard doing something he loved to accomplish a goal over and over again. Sure, he was beat down a few times, but he never gave up, and as cheesy and cliche as that sounds, it still rings very true. Who doesn’t go out to do something they love to get recognition for it?
As I sit here contemplating what exactly I find to be my favorite game, few things jump out at me. Of course I could always say something that I found relatively enjoyable that has recently been released like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I could also say something that constitutes ass-kissing like Lord of the Rings Online (wouldn’t that just be appropriate from me?). But in all honesty it is extremely difficult to choose that one perfect game that balanced joy, fear, excitement, and sadness and organized them so perfectly that Beethoven could hardly match its perfection with his symphonic genius. Then I think I found it.
I was home a few weeks ago, enjoying my family time as usual. We decided to make a day of driving around town and doing a little shopping. Now, of course, no shopping trip is complete without the quick trip to Wal-mart to pick all your family necessities. So, I did what I normally do when we make a trip there, I browsed the electronics section for things to criticize and/or admire. I was walking through the Nintendo section when I stumbled upon the new giant signs exclaiming that the 3DS’s were now only $169.99. I had never used one and I was curious as to what they looked like with the “revolutionary” 3D graphics (Which has definitely not been in use since the 90’s…). So I moseyed on over to the display model, powered it on, clicked on demo, and waited. When the game loaded up I heard a heart-wrenching tune: the intro music for Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
I was torn into pieces. How could I have forgotten such a magnificently poised series as Zelda? When I was young, I owned a Gameboy: Color and I started my Zelda experience on Link to the Past. I always loved the epic story of an unlikely boy/young man who rose from the lowest rank, starting with nothing but a sword and shield to conquer the evils of the lands. Not only did this game evolve with some of the greatest gameplay qualities of the time, but it also held the values of courage, wisdom, and friendship to such high standards. No matter how old I was, I always adored the story line of one of these games: dressing up like Link on Halloween, running around the yard with a plastic sword yelling “Hiyah!”, and practicing the ever important speed boosting technique of shoulder rolls around the house. As I stood and played the first mission inside the Great Deku Tree, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia swept over me and I once again felt as if I was 8, enjoying another round of everyone’s favorite sequence: the Water Temple. If ever there was a game that impacted me, it was Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
[As this will be my last post until after September 11, I would like to take the time to say that my prayers go out to those who lost family or friends on that fateful day 10 years ago. (moment of silence)]
~~D3LTA04, Faithfully devoted to the defeat of Ganondorf [Post 2]
Oh, the wonder! Remember those days when you sat at home wondering what you were going to do because you were so bored out of your mind that you had taken to counting the number of times your mother said: “Why don’t you find something to do?” Well, I don’t. My situation differed in many aspects because like those “dirty slobs” who sit around and do nothing I had taken up the art of video-gaming. I recall the times my parents would scream at me saying things that bordered the lines of “Why don’t you go outside, its such a lovely day?” or “Are you ever going to do something productive?” Productive? Mom, I just killed the equivalent of Genghis Khan with a toothpick in two hours, what do you call that? Of course she would storm off, rolling her eyes and muttering disappointment in herself and I for making me such a lazy son.
Ahh, she would never understand the complexity that it requires to be a hard-core gamer. Not only must you be proficient in every skill known to man, but you also have to be able to ignore the constant ravings of other players who we would call “trolls.” Which brings up another topic of the community and environment. We (all of us gamers out there) have had that time in our lives, maybe even multiple times, where others have challenged our social interaction with “real-life” people. I guess it is difficult to understand that I talk to thousands of people a day from all around the world with hundreds of ideas, lifestyles, and beliefs. Yes, I have never met them in person, and no, I probably never will, but does that make it any different than you walking around town and meeting someone for an hour at the same grocery store? In fact, my interactions actually mean a little more than the people who are your “friends” from school. Now what most people don’t understand is the immense amount of self immersion into a video game. I mean, when I enter a game I get lost in the colors and the bright visualizations of the characters and the complicated plots of the story line and side quests. Players are no longer players, but people that will either hinder or assist me in my journey to complete my objective. Consider the mind of a painter. When he/she sits down to concoct their masterpiece, most of the time, they have no clue as to how they are going to start and they simply let their imagination run with it. In a sense it runs parallel with the interaction of a player and the game. Much like the concept in Gamer Theory, people forget who they are, or more precisely who they are supposed to be when they play a game. Most have no clue what they want to do when they start and they probably start to use their own lives to influence how they play the game. They get caught up in the lore and the objectives that they sometimes have a hard time remembering that they are supposed to eat (or in my case, take out the trash…) So, of course I was the same way and I had the constant reminder from my parents that I needed to find something to do with my life.
Remember, my fellow gamers: life isn’t like a box of chocolates. Rather, its just a heart-shaped box full of nothing, waiting to be filled with whatever magical mana-boosting candies you could imagine.
~~D3LTA04 (Chris Davis)