Saints Row IV initial thoughts

It is one of the greatest games ever made. At first it seems like more of the same from SR3 but shortly it proves to be something wholly different, terrible and awesome. I’ve been waiting for a game like this for MANY years (a fun open world superhero game) but had no idea it would come in this form of total insanity.

There will be some awful Co-op gameplay videos posted soon by maurice!bastard.

HALO 4 REVIEWED

console FPS. that phrase will make some people gag and puke, like a saturday night drunk. i clearly remember the first time i played halo 2 on xbox. it was horrifying trying to make a microsoft console controller do what i knew a mouse/keyboard could do so much better. i was playing a fucking FPS with a console controller, it was terrible, it was 2003 or 2004 i think. there were two HUGE BLACK xboxs linked with a cable of some kind and it was 4 v 4 on two tvs in separate rooms in one house. 4 players on one tv, a tv screen split 4 ways. that layout was HORRIBLE in comparison to the MANY LAN parties i had attended where each player had there own computer, monitor and mouse/keyboard. YA I GOT FUCKING HOUSED by these console FPSers most of the time because of my console controller problems, but my PC FPS tactics did translate pretty well and I was able to hold my own after an hour of play all the while hating the controller and most of the people i was playing with. console FPS people are different from computer FPS people.

in 2006 i picked up a xbox360 for gears of war because you could take a chainsaw gun and cut bad guys in half. some time later i picked up halo 3 and played that some, it was okay nothing great and the controls sucked in comparison to mouse/keyboard. i played it because i had a friend that was NOT a pc gamer and he wanted to multiplay that shit up. so we did.

in 2008 i played COD4 on the xbox360 and finally went full on gay for FPS on consoles. so easy to just play mutliplayer game after game, the console made the multiplayer portion of the game so easy that going back to PC networking options looked completely archaic. so ya FPS can work fine/better on a console in some respects though M/K control on the PC will always be more accurate/brutal.

oh ya, HALO 4 REVIEWED. i guess i would call HALO 4 the best the xbox 360 has to offer in the halo bag. BUT LET’S BREAK DOWN THE OFFICAL KEY FEATURES OF HALO 4 ACCORDING TO AMAZON.COM!

Key Features

– The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends.

yep, sure like me some options playing the ENTIRE store co-op. but uh, the story is not very epic. it’s a linear who the fuck care’s affair where you are just ushers from shooting gallery to shooting gallery. why i love it so much worries me, i do love it but i know in my heart it’s pretty mindless. i think it works so well for coop because it’s so simple.

-Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4’s Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system.

CALL OF HALO’D. yes the multiplayer mode is your industry standard xp/upgrade slog. i’ve played about 4-5 hours of it not nearly enough to dig into all the customization options and i most likely never will play long enough to experience all of the “player progression system”. that sounds pretty geyh. yet again what i’ve played of multi is giggle inducing fun. i like the crazy vehicular combat, dude getting mowed down from heavy turret fire or run the FUCK over. it’s all easy to understand and less of a gawddamnedclusterfuck like in the BattleField games. what i mean to say here is a suck at battlefield games and with little or no effort i do well in halo 4. you tell me what that fuckin means about the games.

– Spartan Ops: Extend your campaign experience in a massive-scale adventure that builds upon the “Halo 4” Campaign. Receive a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE followed by new gameplay missions, played solo or cooperatively with up to three friends – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game!* (*Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately). System requirements forthcoming. See www.halo4.com)

sure sure sure, i like this part. i’ve played about 3hrs with my friend and it was nice easy fun blasting shit up all over the place. it works well and there is a metric shit ton of content being released, 5 new maps every week for fuck if i know how many weeks. it will take months of playing 2hrs a week with my friend to get through it all. massive-scale? no so much it’s bigger but not fucking massive, perhaps has massive as the xbox360 can produce without shitalloveritself. two campaigns? they reuse some/all of the maps from the main campaign in spartan ops so this is kinda a fucking lie but only internet assburger dickjags complain about that misleading key feature.

– War Games: Battle the competition in fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies.

this is pure marketing asspeak. nothing in this game is that fresh/new. it’s very HALOY which MOST of the internet halo geeks are happy to smoke.

– Track your groups, stats and scores on HaloWaypoint.com

stats. fine sure stats. my e-penis is larger then your internet butt hole will accommodate, see! see right here! this e-dick is much too massive and would split your brown starfish into uneven pieces. surgery may be required.

– Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4’s graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies* (*Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately). System requirements forthcoming. See www.halo4.com)

graphics are TOP notch. this can and will not be fucking understated. the shit looks like doom3+rage with a solid FPS. okay you PC GAMING CUNTS halo 4 is not as good looking as current PC games played on 1500$ computers, but shit the xbox is 200$ and old and fuck and halo 4 rides the xbox like a FUCKING CHAM-PEE-YOEN! we are seeing GREAT PROGRAMING AT WORK and should be happy some nerdgod programmers are still milking that sweet xbox teet for me. i have multiple times stopped during single player to have a slack jawed look around like a cleatus, marveling at the graphics. i’m pretty sure the designers are paying homage to doom3 with some of the spaceship interiors and rage with some of the air landscapes, that is OKAY BY ME.

NOW LISTEN HERE PEOPLE! so you bought a xbox360. you are a poor person so you didn’t get a hard drive with your xbox. you are poor and you pay for xbox live gold access every year. you are poor and bought a 60$ xbox game and now you want to play this $60 game on your $200 xbox that has a internet connection, at least another $40 bucks a month and use your $60 a year xbox live gold access for some multiplayer HALO 4! oh you are too poor you cunt, you can’t play multiplayer HALO 4 on the xbox without installing the second DVD to the xbox hard drive which you are too POOR to purchase. on the back of the HALO 4 case you are told about this in the smallest possible writing. (you can now use any 8 or 16GB usb 2.0 flash drive instead of a offical xbox hard drive for game installs so you have to be too poor to buy this even). i’m sure some poor xbox players got pissed the fuck off when they could not play multi on the day they bought HALO 4 because they couldn’t install disc2. WHAT THE FUCKALL EVER! if you have a xbox360 with no harddrive you should not even be spending money on xbox shit at all. just stop breathing now.

HALO 4 is a great xbox360 game and one that should be owned by all xbox360 peeps.

HALO 4 is a 1 on said official binary scale.

Windows Live on PC: what an awesome idea!

Hang or defenestrate, it makes no difference to me.

Thence, I got Bulletstorm off steam the other day for 19.99 and thought: alright, People can Fly is a pretty good shop based on Painkiller, and even though the main voice actor is the same guy from URBAN REIGN and a thousand other games, it couldn’t be that bad– and it’s not.  Though it follows the whole “you are playing a movie” style, it’s fun and despite the whole redneck’s in space vibe (yet again), the dialog is snappy and filthy and far better than the embarrassingly strained Redneck’s in space babble of Starcraft 2.

However, like Dawn of War 2 and lots of other games I try to avoid for this reason alone,  if you buy it from Steam you then have to sign in to play it on windows live.  Like the true measure of gaming ennui, Diablo 3, Bulletstorm, a primarily single player game has an online all the time requirement?  And WHY did this get pirated?  Simply put, without Windows live the pirated version is a better experience than if you, like me, did the right thing and purchased the game legally for the PC.  Now call me an idiot because I forgot my Windows live login first off, then apparently if someone else is logged in as you (like some childe watching my little ponies) you cannot validate your game or even play it.  All of these things make sense, but of course, I just wanted to play the SINGLE PLAYER game and not be connected to the internet in any way. I don’t want achievements, I don’t give a goatsee about anyone seeing on my gamer tag that I have been playing Bulletstorm and finally it seems like it would be a crap multiplayer game, so I have no interest in that (which is sad because Painkiller’s DM was great!).

So to end this rant, I want to say that I do like Origin and Steam (of course) because they offer VALUE to me.  Windows Live for PC offers absolutely nothing but total annoyance for all users.

Murder simulator for today: Saints Row 3

Baurice!Mastard and I got in on some co-op Saints Row 3 last night with ridiculous results. I laughed so hard from the basement region that I woke the kids and the wife was afraid I would stumble into the bedroom at midnight babbling about how great shooting people out of a cannon attached to a car was.  After playing a bit of 2, I’m shocked at the overall quality of 3– great graphics, good sound, a much better driving/crashing/damage engine and it turns the entire gameworld into one big pro wrestling match with the fighting system. Forget the guns, the DDT’s and clotheslines are where it’s at!  If you like the genre (which I’m hot and cold on in general), this is a must buy as it is completely over the top insanity.  This is just a tiny taste of the mayhem of co-op.

and

Post Funmatic Stress Disorder

I close my eyes and see Paris alleyways and cafes on fire with APV’s shattered in the middle of cobblestone streets with swarms of desert cammo’ed guys running around shooting AK-74M’s and throwing grenades, or goggled men in on their  belly in a long snake crawling behind a low wall as mortar fire rains down and people complain and complain.  Needless to say, a lot of battlefield 3 has been played by yours truly– about 12 hours of multiplayer so far, which is far less than many of the players, but quite a bit for me in less than a week.

The first days were just chaos, all the new maps and new players running into each other, having firefights with their own team mates, following people into dead ends or off the maps, crashing every type of vehicle off cliffs, into mountains either deliberately or accidentally but now, especially since the game came out in Europe, play is in earnest and has gotten much more focused and tactical without all the running around all over the place alone.

It’s a great game, and while I loved Battlefield Bad Company 2, BF3 is better, especially multiplayer.   Even playing alone and not listening to your squad at all, it’s a thinking man’s FPS, as the rushing in doesn’t work very well in most situations (some, yes), especially if you get spotted, and in the open, you will get spotted.  There are people that play that all they do is sit somewhere and spot people coming in for their teammates to clean up.  The difference when going into an engagement spotted compared to not is absolutely huge and, of course, most n00bs have no idea even how to do this.

I’m finally got 350 shotgun kills today.  After this I have no idea which weapon I’ll use– there are really too many guns and really all I want is my Baur from BF2142 (which I have heard is the G3A3 that can only be unlocked after (gulp) about ten hours of co-op match work).  For any new players, the gun stuff is very confusing– especially since when you use a gun you unlock the optics for it ONLY and have to start over with the next gun unlock.  For the Assault class, where every unlock is some random assault rifle, this can be pretty lame.  I guess because I didn’t play BF2 much, and the gun list was a lot smaller in BFBC2, I’m a bit lost (hence the shotgun only).    So as tired as the military shooter genre is, I have to give this game the highest possible rating.  My only complaint is the client side prediction–especially since I rarely get off more than two shots with the shotgun when near someone else– it can be frustrating to get the rubberband effect when you know you had a bead on someone.

Of the maps that are out– I like Caspian Border the best.  This was in the beta for a short time at the end, has a lot of open space and lots of wooded areas and is just a fluid, fun map with a lot of nervousness about the vehicles rolling around, though they are horribly vulnerable out in the open to the choppers.   The central three objectives (Woods, Hilltop and Gas Station) are just terrific to fight over as they are quite a bit like a Devil’s Den area of nastiness.  My least favorite is the Bazaar as it’s just too much about shooting down hallways with RPG’s for the entire map.  Meatgrinder maps can be fun, but the chokepoints on that map just get tiresome.

My shotgun build out, if anyone cares, is the 870MCS with the HOLO sight and Slugs.   This works at short range, but only does 91% damage without a head shot so you have to get two shots off for the kill, against someone with a submachine gun close up you are probably dead meat running and gunning.  However, compared to buckshot, which is better close up, I chose slugs because you can tag people at medium range and it still does a lot of damage– a head shot will kill outright.  So you can snipe with it (which is ridiculous but works) and you can shoot at people you are facing that are lying down and get a kill with one shot most of the time because there is the head right there.    One of the later unlocks, which you’d think would be better,  is the flak shell and this has not worked for me at all.  It seems to throw a lot of crap around but doesn’t get a lot of kills.  Flechette rounds– buckshot is better unless you are shooting through trees and stuff– not all that common.  Most of the sight unlocks are total trash for the shotgun– you don’t want a big ass scope getting in your way when you are shooting off the hip– and it’s too difficult to judge where your shots are going from a scope anyway (you don’t have any tracer shells to track).

Anyway, 6 more days until Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is out, which will likely put my BF3 playing on hold until early next year so I’m going to go get in on some good shooting.

Here are some insane videos just showing the breadth and depth of the chaotic madness that is BF3:

It came from the wave 10/24

In addition to being the one week in the next month or so where the gaming industry hasn’t forced us to spend our hard earned cash, this weeks theme, if themeing of such randomness is even possible, would be “I MOUNT MY PLATYPUS!

Apparently there’s going to be a micronauts film.  I don’t really think this is possible, but what the heck.

Some awesome color photos from the late 30’s and 40’s.  http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

Some dude despecialized the first Star Wars movie, i.e.: keeping as close to the original film while bringing it to HD quality.

I wouldn’t mind getting telefragged in this type of situation.

Close to the worst indy game I’ve ever played.

Beta stats for BF3.  Pretty amazing how many people played.  Makes you feel a bit like dust in the wind, except of course then you think again about the fact that you are a sentient being living out what is, compared to most other organisms in the biosphere, limited immortality,  in a universe that is largely filled with absolutely NOTHING — then you can feel like a unique little flower again like they taught you in the 70’s.

And then this, posted in it’s entirety:

At my old house I had this old man neighbor that would wait for me to rake my yard and then come out and use his air blower to blow the leaves from his yard into my yard. I was confused the first time I saw it happen so I didn’t think much of it. I thought to myself, “Oh he’s just an old retired boob and is sloppy with his leaf blower.” the first time it happened. But then when I went back out to rake up the leaves he had blown over I saw him in the fucking window watching and giggling.

When I went back out to rake my leaves later that month, I caught a glimpse of him in the window watching me rake the yard so I was aware that he was specifically waiting for me to be done. Sure enough, as soon as I went back in the house he came back out and did it again. I was fucking pissed. So I came back out and he wasn’t outside so I went and knocked on the door but there was no answer. The neighbor that lived on the other side of him saw me and noticed my hulk smash expression and came over and started chatting with me and said that he’d been living next door to the guy for 12 years and it has been happening the entire time he lived there. His retaliation, which I got to watch in action shortly after our conversation, was to buy a leaf blower of his own that was more powerful than his neighbor’s version, and blow all the leaves back into the guy’s yard and when the guy came out to blow them into other people’s yards again he would stand out there with his more powerful leaf blower and they’d have some super fucking silly old man leaf blowing duel shooting the shit back and forth at each other.

I didn’t have the money for the leaf blower, so I just took all of the leaves and raked them up and flipped them all over his bushes and shit so he couldn’t blow them out of there. I also started pissing all over his wife’s garden every night and killing all of the flower and sleeping soundly knowing that they were eating vegetables that had grown thanks to drinking my piss.

In the winter, the fucking guy would do the same thing with his snow blower. He’d wait for me to hand shovel the sidewalk and then blow the fucking snow from his section of sidewalk all over my front porch, walkway up to my house, and the sidewalk in front of the house. I hate shoveling, even more than raking, so I wanted to slaughter him but Midge thought that maybe if I did something nice for the guy and chatted with him he’d stop doing it. So I gave it a try and helped him out with fixing some shit in house, including his broken ass computer, and the thanks I got was he started plowing in my fucking garage door back in the alleyway. At that point I had to give him a quality sensless style shouting until he went in the garage and started brandishing some shovel or ax or something at me. This just made me even angrier so I started making a physical move towards him so he ran back in his garage and locked himself in there for awhile. After that, I started taking ALL of the dog shit from my back yard, which there was a huge amount of (two black labs worth) and threw it all over his fucking yard and continued to piss through the fence all over the areas that his wife’s gardens were

BF3 preload action

In anticipation of the 25th, pre-ordererererers can get the giant download of BF3 starting today (or once you get an email from EA) .  This in itself isn’t news at all, but I wanted to babble at some length about the excellent beta and other random stuff.

BF3’s beta was flat out the best I’ve ever been in.  It dispelled doubts about the Origin system being crap, let us play on one map a lot and another map for a few days both of which are absolutely worth playing over and over and over as even the small one without the vehicles is supergigantic, super intricate and most of all, fun as hell.  While there were bugs and issues, the long neck stuff, the dead-alive bug, crashing, not saving stats, and, of course, the servers being filled to the brim all the time, none of that really detracted from the hellacious amount of fun to be had running around, throwing grenades and just enjoying the carnival of carnage that BF3 has turned out to be.   With 154 shotgun kills (and the suffering that goes along with trying to get close enough to people to use a shotgun on them) I was just going berzerk.  EA is not a company I’m a huge fan of, so I went into the whole thing with a healthy skepticism born of being burned by their crappy steam-like client before (calling it steam-like is a bit of an insult to steam really) and the fact that it’s well know they want to eat into Valves electronic delivery mastery and BF3 is the engine that will lead them there.  However, after a good span of time  with BF2142, and a dabbling (as much as I had time for in the last year) with Battlefield Bad Company 2, I will buy every single Battlefield game made by DICE for the PC regardless of their publisher.  That’s just a cold hard fact of life.

Politically, we’re looking at a huge AAA+ title about ultra-recent warfare that again has the Russians vs Americans, which is getting sort of ridiculous at this point (about as ridiculous as the USA taking on a 5th rate economy in the cold war for 40 years instead of concentrating on hegemony and dominance of other areas of the globe that are now much more threatening to everyone else’s way of life).  However, if you look at the release trailer, Iran is in there as well and, of course, a good part of the game takes place in the middle east.  Doing something on the middle east during the absolute height of Arab Spring is a tough row to hoe and I’m a bit afraid of what the politics the single player will try to be.  We’re seeing the shitbags in power that the people of the arab world should have been burning in effigy for the last 30 years finally getting ousted or getting some bullets placed inside of them, and let’s face it, after the last year we can never look at Egypt, Libya and Tunisia the same again (and I hope we can say that about Syria and Iran soon) because everything has changed.  DICE obviously has been working on BF3 for years, and I can’t imagine the panic the writers may have been going through during the tyrant shake down that’s been happening.  Some of the factions they reference in the game may not even exist in the next few months.  Overall, this is a multiplayer game and no one is going to care if the political landscape is changed when they are blinding people with a tactical light attachment, base jumping off half-mile high cliffs or crashing helicopters into giant wind turbines.

RAGE – the awesome is everywhere

I spent four all too short hours with Rage in the last few nights and while the storyline feels like a minor sub-plot in Fallout so far, the environments are just amazing.  Nothing repeats, nothing is the same anywhere, every polygon surface you see is different from all the other polygon surfaces. There are no patterns.  It’s as if someone textured the entire world by hand (which it turns out they did).  The level of detail in these textures as well is astounding, even broken bits of concrete in a dark corner have gang iconography all over the place and is crazy with details.    The character models are really good, but stylized a bit (like Brink) giving them a bit of  a cartoonish look.   Everything looked so cool, I can’t help but continuously take screen caps, mostly of those that gots themselves shot.  An absolute visual feast.  I haven’t seen a ton of machinery yet, but from Doom 3, id has proven that their in-game machine creations are amazing. I’ve seen one so far, but I don’t want to spoil it.

The game play is good, weapons have a solid feel to them, and if you had any worry about the enemy AI after DOOM 3, don’t.  I’ve fought most of wasteland gangs and a few hundred mutants so far and the AI is real fun to fight against.  They duck, they call out orders to each other, they hide when they get shot, they run away and hide if they get scared and each gang has different tactics and specialties.  After only three hours or so, I’m still in the tutorial bits where they introduced the vehicles and racing.  Racing and vehicle fighting are loads of fun, it’s not the easiest on the keyboard as it feels (like any racing game) that an analog stick is ideal, but WASD works just fine.   My only complaint  about fighting in the wastes is that it’s a bit too easy because all your weapons home in on the targeted enemy as long as they are in your forward arc.  While this works in the Rage paradigm, if you’re looking for Twisted Metal, this is close but isn’t quite that.   What’s more, in races (not in the wasteland) if you get blown up you respawn. Again, this works as races are a side quest type thing, but it’s a little strange to see cars spawn into a post-apocalyptic race track (including yourself).

One warning though, both the bosses I’ve hit ran me completely out of ammo, so when you pick the game up make sure to buy TONS OF AMMO or you will end up doing the ASS PUNCHING method seen here.

Again, the story is nothing that great so far mostly because we’ve played through every possible post-apocalyptic plotline in Fallout 3, though things aren’t as bleak for the people in RAGE as the people in Fallout as they have TV’s and radios and cars and stuff, there is clean water all over.  Seems like the people would be fine if they weren’t trying to kill, torture and eat each other, but then they wouldn’t need you to go around shooting hundreds of people and things.   The way you get quests is pretty old school RPG, a lot like the Witcher and Fallout where an NPC is hanging out in an area and you talk to them and they give you stuff to do.  Unless you are in an inside area, you get pathing on your map to know where to go.  With this feature you can get to places extremely quickly, with no searching around at all.  There’s good and bad about this, but it seems to be the thing devs do since oblivion.  I’m playing Dark Souls at the same time and the contrast between the absolutely remorseless lack of information and the “your quest is here” of Rage (and Witcher, etc.) takes a bit of the fun of exploring.  What’s more, the devs don’t have to put stuff between you and the quest to waylay you because you’re going to get to the quests so quickly, it doesn’t matter that much what’s between.

I haven’t gotten into the Multiplayer yet, but hope to this weekend.  We all have some tough decisions to make with BF3 and Rage out within weeks of each other.  Being and id fanboy, I preordered Rage so took the pain of 60$ a month or so ago. Of course with the BF3 beta ending this weekend, and that’s another must have title.  This month hasn’t been wallet rape, it’s been wallet gang rape by the gaming industry and I’m left BEGGING FOR MORE.

There are some very bad people running around after the asteroid hit.
her sole purpose in the game is to teach you the wing stick...
big jumps are an essential part of the being filled with RAGE