Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The first 24 hours in Liberty City.

Why is GTA 4 so hard to play? Is it because most of the world got their GTA start on Playstation styled controllers? Is it because the maps are so detailed and you are having such sensory overload to the stuff going on that you loose all motor skills? It is because there is a high volume of traffic and it makes it easier to smash into things? Is it because there is no way to turn off the radio without going into the game settings and turning it down that way?

I found myself in the beginning of the game just overwhelmed, as I should expect to, but once the initial shock of, "my god I'm playing GTA 4," passed, the GTA slow burn went into effect. This is the part where they condition you on how the rest of the game play is going to go down. You are shown how to drive, shoot, fight, and all things in between. All of which has been done in series prior, however all of these things have changed slightly.

Speaking only now about the Xbox version, the controls for driving seem awkward at first. It is a different game, it is a different system. There are no real custom control configuration that can be done, it is either, "Standard," or "Classic." I opted for "Standard", for two reasons. I found it easier in Standard to readjust the camera while driving, and the, "there must a be Standard for a reason" logic. It is what it is.

So you do some real light weight mission steal cars, you have no gun, you drive around a little. This is the first 2 hours. Then I realize that stealing a car, smashing into 3 parked cars because I hit the gas so hard and spun into a hot dog truck which alerted the police is not really worth the time it would take to walk around the block to the next mission. This is a philosophy that one must subscribe to. Your character lives in a dense urban area, there will be traffic.

Then you start to drive drove around a bit and explore the map, try to get my wanted level up, had a lot of trouble finding any guns lying around in the game, general mayhem. Fun, totally fun, except for those pesky missions where they force me to drive responsibly and slow. But whatever, I live in a densely populated urban environment, right? Terrific, moving on.

Accessing the multiplayer games is incredibly easy, and inventive. You don't have to go to a
ny special online menu area, and you never have to leave the game to invite friends. It is all done with your in game cell phone. Almost too easy. I was trying out the online stuff with some friends, when through a misstep we ened up in what seemed to be a very established and very surreal Italian motorcycle race. Suddenly I couldn't hear myself think over the shouts and and animated talking of my fellow racers. For a second everything was much cooler and I wanted to know what they were saying. But that is neither hear nor there. It was nice not running into the usual friendly Xbox live chatter for once, though I am sure those Italians were making fun of my mom and telling me I was going to die of AIDS of the mouth just in another language.

The multiplayer Free Roam mode is fun. The driving seems easier, which is probably due to the fact that there is much less traffic, and you don't have to play in the crazy little neighborhood that you start out in. Playing the multiplayer made me realize something. Rockstar is expecting people to play the story mode, of course; by making the storyline game challenging in a driving and getting around aspect, more people are going to be playing online just for the shooting things, starting riots, and driving around aimlessly that they have known to come and love in GTA versions prior. So don't sweat it, you are not the only one having trouble driving in GTA4.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GTA 4 leaked

Confirmed it works and you should not play this online. According to the users comments this works on a banned Xbox 360. Banned boxes means that Microsoft has already tracked the machines' MAC address, and will not allow it back on the Xbox Live network. This is mainlly done in retaliation of stat padding and actual box modification.

Now if you have gone through that trouble of modding your Xbox 360, it would be foolish to not try this out.

However, everyone is getting smarter when it comes to piracy, who knows if simple things like having a record of GTA 4 on your Xbox before the release date is going to send a red flag up to Microsoft and get you kicked .

Indiana Jones for the DS!

Wow! Check out this leaked list of up coming games for the DS.

Indiana Jones Kung Fu Panda
and yet another cooking game, Chef!

Yeah that is all I can see that seems to be peaking my interest.

You would figure with all the sucking and blowing that can be done on a DS they would make some sort of Harmonica Hero game, rather than Guitar Hero.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword finally brings a much needed, action/button masher to the Nintendo DS. Team Ninjas' Ninja Gaiden series is known for inventive game play elements, solid controls, and cut scene story telling. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword is no different than its predecessors, it has once again set the bar for high level action.

First thing you will notice is this is one of those games where you hold the DS on its side. If your game requires you to hold the machine itself on its side you become a stand out in the DS community, “it’s one of those games that you hold on it’s side, like Brain Age, but with a ninja guy.” Think different.

For a button masher there is very little use of buttons at all, the core of the game play is done with the stylus. Just scribble scrabble on the touch pad side and your ninja guy is thrown into a cyclone of moves and a very satisfying hit counter. You love the hit counter, and you love those glowing orbs that come out of dead people that grant you special powers. In order to activate your special powers you must go into a drawing mini game.

With lots of save points it is easy to pick the game up and play for ten minutes and put it down again. So of course this means I haven't finished the game yet, this in and of itself is not that uncommon. If you own a DS and you want a game with tight game play and good graphics, I would get Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, well worth the suggested retail price.

A side note, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword has joined an ever growing list of games that have DS in the title.
For example:

Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Dig Dug: Digging Strike
Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy
Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"No we’re fine."

So I was in Colorado. I was there with some people, who I was with I don’t remember, not really important. I believe I was out near Keystone. There was a reservoir, that was very deep, several Orca could be seen breaching the surface. I could see the other side of the reservoir, there was a white fence there.

I made a right turn on the road in front of the reservoir to go up the hill and around. There was snow on the ground. On the hill were two people digging themselves to the top of the hill. Almost in a tunneling fashion.

My car began to get stuck in the snow. I asked the two people is they needed help, they told me, "no we’re fine."

I put my car in reverse and backed up down the hill.

The snow was getting heavier, making everything hard to move. The Orcas were starting to get restless. I think they can smell my fear. I could see their teeth sometimes when they breeched the water. Their teeth had a bloody shine with meat stuck in them.

I looked in my car and found a small red snowboard.

I needed to get to the airport. I needed to go home.

As I ran towards the reservoir, I tried not to think how deep the water was. I did not want to die here.

Grabbing the snowboard like I knew what I was doing, I skimmed across the water to the other side made it to the fence. My car was on the other side now. It was still snowing. I could hear the whales making scary Orca noises. There were some bones near the white fence.

I started to walk to the Airport.

I fly home.

I needed to get my car. I was wondering if it was worth it, to go back and get it. Not so much the expense, but the whales. I was afraid of the Orca. I began to panic. I had no car, and I couldn’t get any of the stuff in my car. These whales are trying to kill me. They know I want to get it, they know I want to come back, they want to get me. I go into a full till panic. I wake up.