22 01 2009

I have been struggling with this issue for awhile now and finally decided to address it. I do not do this for the monetary reasons but simply for the love and complete joy I get out of doing it. Obviously however if the financial aspect comes to fruition then all the better and any donations I would receive I would be extremely appreciative. To be clear I don’t need money so please don’t feel obligated however if you have found anything we have done useful in anyway and feel so inclined to make a donation then we would graciously accept any amount with a huge inadequate, Thank You! Obviously this is certainly not mandatory nor is it expected, simply an announcement that you now have that option. I will be very clear with all donations I do receive and these funds will ONLY go to further this website and the content it provides each and every one of you. My main goal is to provide the best content I can provide because without an audience, like you, there would be no me.

Your generosity as a community is unprecedented and shows just by you being here and consuming what we produce. I am honored you found any material we have produced useful and are even thinking of making a donation. Whether or not you finally decide to make a donation I wanted to give everyone an enormous thanks, I am truly grateful.

If you would like to make a donation at a later date I have added the donation link in the sidebar on the right.


Farewell EGM

22 01 2009

If you haven’t already found out about the selling of 1UP which resulted in layoffs and the closing of EGM by now then feel free to find a different source for the details, it has been talked about enough that I don’t feel the need to go into grave details. This particular post is more of a farewell tribute to the actual magazine. Don’t get me wrong the magazine was successful because of the different personalities it had writing for them however I don’t see a reason to part ways with them nor feel sorry for them. They each have enough talent and skill that this will not be the end for them and most likely they will find something that will challenge each individual to become better. In fact most of the ex-employees are already well into their own endeavors, which is admirable, and if you want to follow them they can be found at Eat-Sleep-Game where they just released their third episode of Rebel FM as well as Area 5 where they also just launch “CO-OP”. This is more of a farewell to a magazine that not only has very fond memories from many gamers but also has inspired multiple talented individuals to enter the business. It feels like a pet died or a girlfriend lost – you cherish the good times you had but also mourn the loss of something very close or sentimental to you. I can remember as a child how I could not wait for a friend to finish reading the latest issue so I could get my hands on it and dream that one day I would be able to play these games and even one day have a job as good as they had. I wish I had the opportunity to work with such visionary, talented, hardworking people. Despite lasting 20 years I wish it could have lasted another 20 however I will obviously spin the situation in a positive light and use this incident as motivation for myself. So, Farewell… EGM.

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Fallout 3 Impressions

22 01 2009

As some of you may have noticed I have been away from the site for awhile therefore have not been able to post as well. As good as my intent was I just couldn’t find the time, for that I apologize. Why did I have no time? Well its simple really I have had an addiction with a little game called Fallout 3. You know the post apocalyptic action rpg by Bethesda that was recently released. Well I recently received a copy and to date have been unable to put it down so obviously I have enjoyed it. However continue reading to find out my full impressions of the game.

Before receiving this game it wasn’t on my radar while not a huge fan of rpg’s I do enjoy some of the successes. Despite my earlier praises I initially did not find the motivation in the game to continue to play. The story seemed to be confusing and the action was absent from this action rpg however I was determined to dig deeper. After exposing more of the main story and obtaining a better understanding of the character traits and leveling system, since I never played any of the previous installments, I become more engrossed with the game itself. As good as the main storyline was I found myself exploring more of the open world and discovering more side quests which were surprisingly deep and thought out thus enabling me to level more quickly and map out a direction for my character. When leveling you have the ability to add points to certain skills such as small guns, repair, medicine, and lockpick which focuses the direction of how your character will complete the game.

While the action and in turn combat severely lacked early on I found it to be very satisfying later on in the game especially with the addition of VATS which enables the player to pause the game and specifically target a certain part of the enemy. The drawback being you only have a certain amount of action points which are used each time you trigger the VATS system despite this the death animations can be very cool. While exploring you have various speech options with NPC’s depending on your previous responses as well as your charisma as a player. You have the option to play as a good, neutral, or evil character with benefits for each character. One of my major appeals of the game is the exploration the game allows you to have which in turn can gain you some valuable loot which is a big part of any rpg and trust me this game as a lot of loot. In spite of putting in over 30 hours I still have yet to max out my character level or even complete all of the side quests or main quests and when I do still see a reason for this game to be replayed which says something. So for those cost conscious gamers this game will provide plenty gameplay for your buck.

One of the major complaints I heard regarding this game, specifically the PS3 version was the constant freezing and frame rate issues. Honestly I have had no issues at all in regards to those complaints although I started playing after the major patch was released that was suppose to fix those issues. One of my only complaints is the steep learning curve of the leveling system which would be non-existence if you have played any of the previous installments. But as previously stated I had not and feel almost obligated to play a new character as the perks and skills were really like a foreign language to me, but then again I can be a perfectionist when it comes to my character.

Overall I think this game is an excellent game, the experience and familiarity of exploring such a desolate wasteland as DC is an experience in it’s of itself. The graphics were superb the gameplay was addicting and kept me playing looking forward to my next adventure or piece of treasure to find. So if you passed this game up earlier now would be a great time to pick it up and give it a shot. A definite buy!

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Have a different view or do you agree with the review, either way make your voice heard and leave a comment below.

Killzone 2: Over Hyped?

15 01 2009

Killzone 2 is a science fiction first person shooter being developed by Guerilla Games that is set to release for the PS3 on February 25. As of late this game has gained a significant amount of hype over the interwebs with some “professionals” stating that the hype could actually hurt the game since the increased hype leads to amplified expectations. However I doubt any developer will downplay the importance of hype and coverage for their game. In turn I believe Killzone 2 DOES deserve all of the recognition and attention it is getting and is a testament to their marketing plan. From all indications Killzone 2 could have been released at the end of last year and suffered the fate of many other titles by being overlooked just because the sheer mass of triple A titles being released. However they choose a release date where they would be the only major title to talk about in turn increasing their coverage. I think this plan should be followed more and other developers need to take note on the success Killzone 2 is having in the media. Granted Killzone 2 appears to be a great game and deserves this recognition no matter when it is released and can be argued that if it was a lesser title the uproar would not be the same. So, no I personally don’t believe Killzone 2 is over hyped and is just enjoying the success of a good marketing plan that should be more closely followed by other developers.

Disagree or have some feedback then leave a comment below.

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Game Of The Year: 2008

14 01 2009


With 2008 in the rear view mirror and people reflecting on the year that was, I too will reflect on the masses of games that hit the shelves and crown one of them king and declare it Game Of The Year. This award if it even deserves that is a highly personal decision. For instance, what if I hate first person shooters? That would unfairly disqualify plenty of great games that deserve recognition. Mainly what I am trying to say is don’t look here or anywhere else for confirmation of your personal pick, everybody is different and no one person will be correct.

I must first try to clarify what are the pre-requisites to becoming the game of the year. In my eyes it is not one distinguishable object rather a multitude of things that makes a game enjoyable and better yet the game of the year. One of the things I believe these game must try to do is establish a genre by trying something new or redoing something in a different way that makes it more entertaining and immersing. Here are a few of the runners up I chose. Although all of these games are great and deserve their own recognition there can be only one. Which will be the “Game of the Year”, keeping reading to find out.

Our first runner up is… Fallout 3

This was a tough decision and almost ended up being a tie but after careful consideration I think I made the right decision. This experience is very deep and realistic and offers hours upon hours of gameplay definitely making it worth playing and re-playing. The world you explore, called the wasteland, is yours to journey at your will in which you will encounter many different characters and enemies. The main quests are interesting and expansive however there are many side quests that can also be completed by just exploring the desolate areas of D.C. The visuals are impressive along with the extensive attention to detail in even the smallest areas. At its soul Fallout 3 is an open ended action RPG but also incorporates other gameplay genres such as first person shooter and survival horror. During the course of your quests your decisions truly make an impact on the outcome of the game and often come with consequences that you must deal with. The combat includes a new way to engage your enemies called VAT’s, which that can lead to gruesome animations and is a nice change of pace for regular combat. While fighting raiders, super mutants, enclave soldiers and the likes with the vast amount of weapons on your disposal you will begin to gain experience. Which each bit of experience you will be one step closer to the intricate leveling system which unfortunately is capped at level 20. I personally didn’t really get into the first hour of the game but am glad I gave it time as it became complex, exciting, addicting and fun. Much can be found lurking in the darkest corners of desolate Washington DC and surprisingly it’s not politicians – if you overlooked this game earlier make an effort to pick it up now.

Splashing in at #2 is… Bioshock

Some may be confused by this pick thinking I may be a year behind and although I am late I assure you this is no typo. Although previously released on the Xbox 360 and PC I personally had yet to play it, which was a mistake. The experience was just has advertised and worth all of the hype despite having to wait over a year. Bioshock is a first person shooter that takes place in a utopian city, Rapture, which has fallen on hard times and is located far below the ocean’s surface. The design of and layout of said city is fantastic and even while laying waste to these decaying genetic freaks the world around you feels alive. The experience of this game is what drives you to play and immerses you into the game despite being technically sound. The moral aspect of the little sisters puts a different twist on video games and is one of the only games that had me still thinking after I turned it off. While the combat is more slowly paced in comparison with more traditional FPS the addition of plasmids is enjoyable. Plasmids are genetic modifications you are able to unlock and include such powers as discharging an electric pulse, super healing abilities, and shooting fire from your hands. Graphically the PS3 version is mostly identical to the critically acclaimed previous releases but adds a Survivor difficulty and also includes trophies. Therefore if you have yet to play this game take the plunge and go buy it.

Leaping its way to #3 is… Mirror’s Edge

If I only had one word to describe this game it would be “innovative”. Due to its uniqueness, like faith, this game has many hurdles to leap compared to more traditional games. The visual style is a very attractive, clean and crisp style that is pleasing to the eyes. The story unfolds as faith; the main character is part of an underground courier service set to deliver sensitive information and documents. During these deliveries you control the character in first person perspective through the city while jumping, gliding and grabbing to escape from enemies and when these moves are done right they feel flawless, thrilling, and satisfying. However the experience changes when engaging in any melee combat and seems to be counter intuitive to the overall fluid movement of the game. During the story the reason for running changes but it doesn’t seem to matter although still satisfying. The campaign is broken up into different acts which are separate by animated cut scenes that deliver the information and while visually different from the game style still look attractive. While traveling across rooftops, along walls and jumping over walls onto building tops you can help but to think this is different and cool. On the other hand be careful because as much as this game can be fulfilling and thrilling it can also be confusing and infuriating. Although not for everyone I must applaud the leaps this game attempts to land and if given the right thought is a pure joy to play.

Creatively building its way all the way up to #4 is… Little Big Planet

“Creativity” -I know, I know it’s another one word description for a game, but it fits. Little Big Planet is built around this idea as everything can be customized from your character to your environment and even your own levels. The game has very high ambitions and largely succeeds on most levels. This game almost deserves to be in the top 5 strictly for breaking into a new mold and being very bold while doing just that. The main game is centered on a sequential progression story mode which consists of eight themed worlds with a fantastic back story and short but fun journeys. The story mode while fairly short to complete has many extras that will take some time to find. Then again the real gem is the level creator and online community, essential anything that you saw in the story mode can be replicated with the tools provided in the level creator. The tools needed are all accessible to the player and very comprehensive. There appears to be a slight learning curve when creating different levels but if you ever run out of ideas simply go online to play levels that were created by other users. These levels can then be saved for future playing and if you truly enjoyed the creator you can search other levels made by them. This means over time Little Big Planet will continue to grow as the community expands and becomes more creative. The whole experience is nicely wrapped up and very intuitive for the user whether playing the story mode with a friend or exploring other planets for those must play user created levels. Whether or not you have a creative spot in your mind, I can’t imagine anyone not playing this game.

Stealing its way into the top 5 is… Grand Theft Auto IV

People’s view of this game is always polar opposites, they either love it or hate. I noticed other people had left out GTA 4 from their contenders which I can understand, I just could not. The game despite its hold ups basically defined the modern era of sandbox play. That is the reason you play these games not for the storyline therefore I think it’s unfair to judge it based on that. Even with that statement I don’t believe the storyline is bad, just not reinvented. But when you sell as many units as this series does why try to re-invent anything? However in the new installment of the series you play as a new protagonist, named Niko, terrorizing a new city called Liberty City. The storyline follows the traditional gameplay of its predecessors where your character is given quests by a criminal faction who you are hired by. The ultimate choice on what to do however is up to you and the consequences or those actions are yours to bear, whatever they may be. Niko’s new tricks this time around include the ability to scale fences, shimmy along ledges, and finally, taking cover behind objects. While not perfect — the skill to stick close to walls, parked cars, and other cover greatly improves the gunplay in GTA IV. Another welcomed addition is online multiplayer which is seemingly integrated into the game and includes such modes as Deathmatch and Race. But make no mistake about it; the single player non-campaign mode is the real reason to play this wonderful expansive game. The minor flaws you will encounter are easy to overlook considering the vast amount of thought and detail that was put into this game. Simply put, you must at least experience this game if only once.

Game of the Year 2008 is… Metal Gear Solid 4

When the only con I can think of is that it ultimately ends, then I can’t help but make this game of the year. It as an unprecedented brilliant mix of storytelling and gameplay that convey a story that is both convoluted and very compelling. Which of course is to be expected of such a sequel to the series and therefore believe should not even be considered a weakness. Obviously I am a fan of the series and this game did not disappoint while carefully tying all of the loose ends together in a beautiful package for the user. From a technical stand point this game without a doubt is the most visually stunning game I have ever seen and keeps that consistently down to its roots. After my first play through I was awestruck, happy I was able to see the end but sad that it was over. If you are not familiar with the series you play as an aging solid snake and without giving too much of the story away play a pivotal role in a deep power struggle. The game is broken up in different acts and often seamlessly will transition from cinematic to gameplay. Metal Gear Solid 4 walks the narrow line between action and stealth gameplay – and feels comfortable no matter which way you decide to play it. The level design and enemy AI is top notch and present a challenge even with the redefined combat controls and immense amount of weapons. As indicated earlier you will spend a fair amount of time watching cinematic scenes however I don’t feel this hinders the game at all but instead adds emotion and tension to an already wonderful game. Also featured on the disc is an online mode which can be cumbersome to log on to, but a nice extra. Simply put this game is a cut above the rest and truly showcases the ability of the platform and MUST be experienced by everyone which is why it has earned my game of the year.

Think of a game that deserves to be on this list, or maybe you have a whole different list. Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Happy New Year

5 01 2009

Happy New Year

As the chapter of 2008 in the book of life closes a new 2009 chapter begins still fresh with 365 blank pages ready to be written. What do you hope will be written in your chapter?

With this fresh start we will resume our regular posting schedule, so please stay tuned. I look forward to what this year will bring not only for me personally but as well as this site and community and am thankful you all are a part of it. I can only wish the same for each and every one of you.

Happy New Year!