Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, And The Upcoming

Greetings all! Hope everyone's still alive and well out there, and that you're all staying free of pepper spray this holiday season. There's been a lot of that going around recently...

Thanksgiving was very nice this year. Every year, we have it at my parents house, and most of the family comes to visit us for the big dinner. We usually all watch the parade in the morning and have made it pretty much a priority/inside joke to watch the dog show that immediately follows the parade, laugh our heads off at how silly the toy class of dogs are, and then laugh even more over the fact that we usually have nothing better to think about at that point in the day.

The dinner consists of the usual types of food you'd expect: turkey, stuffing, potatoes (sweet or baked), corn, mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce, etc. We always say a prayer before the meal, and joke till the cows come home while we eat as much as we can. It's always nice that no matter how many things may change in our lives each year, this is something that we know will stay the same.

The rest of the day consisted of my cousin and I messing around in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (I think I'm now at level 24 in the multiplayer). It was hilarious to hear him talk with his friends on his headset. One of those moments where you just had to be there, but I'd say anyone hearing their younger cousin saying something like "No, I will not tell his sister that. That's disgusting." would have laughed all the same.

I also scored a few really good online deals between Thursday and Sunday. On Thanksgiving, I managed to get Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition for $29.99 and Gears of War 3 for $28.00, both on Amazon. Then, as if Amazon couldn't get any cooler, I managed to score a few Blu-Ray deals too (Green Lantern: 2 disc Extended Cut for $9.99 and Sucker Punch: 2 disc Extended Cut for $7.99; not bad at all! I know they got a lot of crap by critics, but I didn't feel that either were nearly as bad as they were made out to be.). I've also just about got everyone set in terms of Christmas shopping. My girlfriend and most of my family are already covered and there's just a small percentage remaining.

As for life otherwise, things have been pretty good overall. My job is still my job, my wonderful girlfriend is still my wonderful girlfriend, my past times are still the same past times (Zelda: Skyward Sword, HOOOO!), and my life is still in fact my life. Good times all around.

So what does everyone have planned for the holidays this year? Any special dinners, charities, or other events coming up for you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Deadpool's Completely Biased Review Of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Greetings peons! As we approach the holiday season in this time of unforgiving economic climate and poverty, people look to other mediums in order to escape the harsh realities of the grapes that bring us such wrath. Don’t you all worry; I’ve got my eyes on them; those damn grapes… Look at them there, plotting their little grapey ways… Little do they know I’m on to them… What was I talking about again? Oh yes, distractions from the pathetic existence that is your life! Well there’s one thing that’s booming in that department in more ways than one. Call of motherfrackin’ Duty mother frackers! You want bro? This game is bro!

Who needs all the thought-provoking and innovative gaming ideas of the world when you can blow that smart-mouthed fourteen-year-old wannabe cool kid to kingdom come with your RPG!? Girlfriend telling you to do unruly things like come visit her or acknowledge her existence? Screw that!!! I’ve got Modern Warfare 3 biznatch! Take a numbah!

Yeah, this game’s pretty bad-ass in that sense. You may have noticed all the differences in the graphics and gameplay… You may have. If you did, could you tell me what those are actually? I’m still trying to figure that one out… In all honesty, not a lot has changed this time around. That’s either going to thrill or annoy you depending on how you look at things. Did you enjoy the multiplayer and Spec Ops modes of the previous entries in the series? Well then it’s your lucky day because they’re all back with new stages to mess around in. Did you want to have more of a campaign mode where the graphics are touched up and the gameplay is pretty much untouched? Viola! Your sick, twisted version of Jesus has come.

If you played the campaign in the other games, you’re probably itching to see Makarov (the villain) get what’s coming to him. I won’t go into any details (as the campaign is shorter than the loser writing this review), but know that if you’ve been following up to this point, you’ll likely come out satisfied in the end. The stages and settings really do make you feel like you’re in the middle of World War III. It’s a shame that when I instigate the real WWIII soon, it won’t be nearly as cool-looking when people try to stop me from doing it and I pop their heads full of lead. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! ^-^

Spec Ops and multiplayer modes are similar to the last, with a few design tweaks and some new maps to sweeten the deal. You’ll laugh and cry as the guy over Xbox Live shouts about how he’s “The greatest and you all best be runnin’ now ni**a!” Okay, I’m the one that said that, but if you saw how obnoxious this twelve-year-old was that I was playing with, you’d have said it to him too! Children…, am I right folks!? Yeah, I know I’m right...

Okay, saying it’s all exactly the same wouldn’t be the complete truth. They did a few touch-ups with the multiplayer, like lower respawn time and the overall increased speed of each match itself. Probably the most interesting of all was the way Infinity Ward gave players new ways to earn pointsreaks. If you completely suck at killing like all those around me do, you can find non-lethal ways to generate those points and unlock the rewards. Now those are what keep the multiplayer going is those rewards; those shiny, shiny rewards. Me likey the shiny. You can also level up your weapons by using them successfully and more often. It’s a good way to encourage finding a weapon that suits you and sticking with it while everything else in your life continues to fall apart. Call of Duty Elite is also a good source of stat tracking and building up clans online… Or at least it would be if it actually worked. Great job still not having it fixed to this very day guys; great job…

One more aspect of multiplayer that players will notice is the inclusion of some new modes. My favorite in particular is “Kill Confirmed,” where in order to score points for killing an enemy; you also have to pick up their dog tag. It’s a nice deviation from the excruciatingly same experience you get from this installment otherwise.

As you could tell from my last flashy sentence, the good does not come without the bad. There may be faster multiplayer, but this also results in waaaaaaaaay less tactical gameplay. It’s hard to form any kind of strategy when you’re thrown into a small map with five rank 75’s surrounding your ass. And that’s another thing! What is UP with the matchmaking system (or lack thereof I should say) in this game!? If I’m at rank 4, then why the hell am I thrown into a round with people ready to reach their first Prestige!? It’s as if they’re trying to discourage me with all of these goons popping up! And that’s ANOTHER thing! WHY oh why would you allow a game’s multiplayer to be released when it is very easy to be respawned directly in front of another player, as well as facing away from them? So that the opponent can choose which buttock they want to fire a bullet into first!? NOT COOL!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all of that out of my system and banned myself from using the italics key for the rest of the review, I will give my closing thoughts. The game is exactly what you would expect; no more and no less. It’s got more campaign with a (relatively good) conclusion to the story that preceded it, some fun co-op gameplay in Spec Ops mode, and the same old online multiplayer you love/hate with the same damn whiny kids/drug dealers you love/hate and the same old soon-to-be-expensive map packs coming out in the future that you’ll love/hate. Is it fair that Infinity Ward doesn’t have to do much but make more levels with the exact same gameplay mechanics to make millions of dollars? Absolutely not, but everybody’s playing it anyway. In fact, according to the statistics, you already have a copy of the game, you’ve already beaten the campaign on Veteran difficulty, and you’ve already shouted expletives and racial slurs at me online despite not actually knowing my nationality. Like Guitar Hero before it, Activision wants this series whored out as much as possible and will keep finding ways to make you its bitch… and it will work.

So that’s pretty much it. The game is okay at best, but that won’t stop it from making millions. My review won’t stop it from making millions. Hell, even Fox News won’t be able to stop it from making millions (though they’ve ironically done the opposite with every game they’ve generated controversy over, come to think of it…). So we all have to simply let this one be. You can join it, or you can protest it like the “I think my opinion is so important” police that are flooding the internet as we speak. As for me personally? I’ll jump on the bandwagon as I’m all cool and super open-minded like that. AWW, that kill was so unfair! What do you MEAN he shot me THROUGH the building!? Hey, what’s that noise?

“You are under arrest for illegal usage of the italics key after banning yourself from it two paragraphs ago!”

“FOOLS! You’ll never take me alive! You have no proof!!!... Oh wait... DAMN!”

8 controversially destroyed London Subway tunnels out of 10

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Protomen at Santos Party House 11/09/20XX (Show Review)

Being a huge fan of music, as well as being a huge fan of video games, it wasn’t going to be very long before I discovered bands in the world that would build on such a concept. Some bands go the cover route, finding different video game tunes and making rock/rap/metal pieces with the material given, and others will take it a step further. Cue the Protomen. This crazy theatrical Mega-Man-induced indie rock ensemble comes from Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t know what they’re on over there in Tennessee, but I want a piece of whatever it is.

First off, before even getting in to Santos Party House in New York, NY, and while waiting in line, the band member known as ‘Turbo Lover’ came out with a digital camera and shouted “If you don’t want to be in the documentary, get the hell out of the way!” Naturally my friends and I all screamed like idiots and waved and clapped for the camera as he walked by. A great way to start what was going to already be an awesome night.

My friends, my girlfriend, and I all seemed to have great timing, as we got to the show just as the line was starting to form to get in. While waiting for them to come on, we were treated to Big Trouble in Little China on two screens around the back of the stage. I never did get to see that movie previously, so that was one hell of a trip. For those who don’t know, Santos Party House is not exactly a big place. We got near the front and we stayed there, because about 20 minutes in, the room was all but filled. While waiting, I got to talk with other fans about their experiences. Ironically, they all went to NY Comic Con as well, so it was fun to compare our thoughts on the Zelda: Skyward Sword demo (no seriously, I loved it).

When things finally began, K.I.L.R.O.Y. stepped up to the stage. He is basically the person/robot that gets the show started and the crowd moving. He immediately begins by saying that we’re not here for music or fun, but for war! He also went on a rant, describing all the horrors of the dystopian world they’ve crafted in their music, when he suddenly points to my girlfriend and goes “And YOU! ... Don’t even get me started on YOU!” She was so shocked and I just couldn’t stop laughing.

Once the band started, it was nonstop mayhem from there. The musical diversity of this group is remarkable. Standing beside where I was in front of the stage was their violinist and lead guitar player, Bakker. I felt fortunate to be put right in front of him, because he was a beast through and through. Just about all members of the band have the ability to play at least two instruments, and do it very well. The lead singer, Raul Panther, for example, played keyboard in one song, and switched to an acoustic guitar in the next. The storylines crafted in both Acts I and II (their two current albums) were also displayed brilliantly on the stage. We were treated to awesome still images and animations coming from the stage TVs to set the mood, as well as awesome stage performances with K.I.L.R.O.Y. giving Panther a Mega Man helmet, and later on, a Protoman helmet and arm cannon. Seriously, if you see them live, you will never forget it.

Each song had the crowd moving in different ways. Many of the songs from Act I, like ‘Vengeance’ and ‘The Will of One,’ started all kinds of crazy mosh pits and shouting. Their softer, more melodic tunes from Act II instigated a lot of foot stomping and fists in the air. I felt like we could have very well started a revolution ourselves with all of the momentum going on there. One more thing to note was the bands ability to produce great cover songs. I saw a video of them doing ‘Ballroom Blitz’ once, and was even more thrilled to see them do a cover of Queen’s ‘Princes of the Universe.’ When a band I really like covers my favorite band of all time, and does it well, I tend to take notice.

To go with all of the moshing and stomping, we also had some crowd surfing, mainly from members of the band themselves. At one moment when Ringo Segundo (the second guitarist) put his guitar in front of us to finger tap and mess around with, K.I.L.R.O.Y., who had already been part of a crowd surf behind me, came back near the front of the stage and almost crushed me and everyone else who was bending forward. Luckily once he got back up, Ringo was awesome enough to put it back in front of us and let us mess around again.

After the performance had finally finished, I actually got a big hug from K.I.L.R.O.Y. and had a few laughs with Ringo and Turbo Lover while my girlfriend and I headed to the merch booth. I was surprised to see they still had a couple of the Act I vinyl records left, but I already had a copy, so I was already covered there. I got both of the CDs (which I had never actually owned before, despite hearing the albums countless times) and contemplated on one of the shirts, but figured there’d be plenty of chances for that in the future. The only person missing from all of this was The Nightwalker, who’s trumpet playing I did miss hearing after the awesome use of it both of the albums. Hopefully we can see her in action sometime in the future as well.

All in all, that was one of the most fun shows I’ve been too in a long time. My friends, my girlfriend and I all had a mega-blast (had to say it!), made a few new friends (including members of the band), and all made it back home safely without dying somehow. That’s what I call a perfect night. Stay nerdy my friends!

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Gaming Madness!

So, as many gamers know, the month of November is always a huge deal. We get many of the most hyped up and biggest launches of the year all within this very month. This month started off with a bang for me since the release of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (which I will be reviewing soon), and is soon to follow with an even bigger bang for many next week, when Modern Warfare 3 finally hits the shelves. Unlike all of the hype around 2 and Black Ops, I'm actually much more pumped for this release. It's hard to explain why, but I have a gut feeling I'm going to enjoy this one a lot, maybe just as much as the original Modern Warfare even. The month doesn't end there however. We've also got the already immensely popular Elder Scrolls: Skyrim on the horizon, with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Nintendo Wii and Super Mario 3D land for the Nintendo 3DS not too far ahead of that. Between all of that, we'll also be getting Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the conclusion to Ezio's story, and what's sure to be loads of surprises. There's plenty of other big titles this month that I didn't mention, like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Need For Speed: The Run, Sonic Generations, Saints Row: The Third, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and many more!

So tell me everyone, what are you looking forward to the most this month!? There's something for just about anyone and I'd really love to know what's got everybody's attention. Oh, and let me know if you want me to review anything specific. Odds are I'll probably be up for it! Later!