Mar 27, 2011

Dance Games Aren't What They Used to Be

Whatever happened to the good old days when dance games weren't so physical? I might get laughed at if I showed up with a Playstation control to play Dance Dance Revolution. Dance Central is the next generation of the dance genre which is bittersweet. On one hand it's great to see the genre evolve into something that actually teaches people how to dance. On the other it's sad to see the controller become obsolete.

Bust A Groove is my all time favorite Dance Series. It was the total package on the Sony Playstation. It might not have taught you how to dance, but it taught you something about rhythm. The game required you to perform dance moves based on the rhythm of the song. You would have three beats to press the directions on the screen, and on the fourth beat you would press the button it asked you to press. It was fun to watch two characters busting moves in a dance off. The gameplay wasn't the only place where Bust a Groove shined. The Soundtrack is also top notch.

Remember when Dance games had original songs? What happened to that? I'm guessing dance games got bigger budgets which allow for licensed songs to be used. I'll never forget the first time I played Dance Dance Revolution. It was the 3rd mix, and the first song I played was "Butterfly" by Smile d.k. The song was so different from any other song I've ever heard that all I could was laugh as I played along. By the time it ended I was nodding my head and feeling the song. Memories.

I discovered hundreds of good songs I would have never heard thanks to Dance Dance Revolution. To this day I still listen to songs like Dynamite Rave, B4U, and Shooting Star. That was the closest thing to techno and trance I had when I was a preteen. Today mainstream artists like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Armin Van Buuren dominate Dance Dance Revolutions soundtracks. I'm not saying having mainstream songs is a bad thing. It just makes the Dance series feel more like an interactive music video than a videogame.

Games like Dance Central and Just Dance show that future dance games want you to actually dance. It's cool that videogames want to promote physical health, but it sucks at the same time. When I bought Dance Dance Revolution I had no idea the Dance Pad existed. I found out when I went it showed up a local arcade months later. I didn't like it as much as just pressing buttons on my controller. I liked the ability to mindlessly press buttons while listening to awesome music. It looks like those days are over. Consider this my ode to the good old days. You will be missed.

Mar 26, 2011

Dragon Age II vs. The Gays

The gays are mad at David Gaider. They want him fired for stereotyping homosexual characters in Dragon Age II. If you refuse to seduce a gay character you are given rivalry points towards your friendship with that character. Rivalry points suggest your relationship with a homosexual character will have tension because you won't act on the gay characters sexual desire.

It doesn't stop there. The gay characters apparently make passes at your character all the time. Even if you don't show any interest the gay character will flirt with you. This game is starting to sound like a porno. I might have to give it a try.  Only thing I know about Dragon Age II is that it's made by the same studio that made Mass Effect.

Aren't we overreacting a bit? If you think David Gaider is ignorant about the gay lifestyle, firing him isn't going to solve anything. He'll probably get hired by another studio, and put out a game where he doesn't include any gay characters. We'll be back to discussions about homosexuality being underrepresented in videogames. Someone needs to educate Daivd Gaider on the gay lifestyle.

I assume the main character in Dragon Age II is supposed to be a handsome guy. I'm thinking the gay characters hitting on him should be taken as a complement. Not every gay man wants to sleep with you, but if you're a gay man whose never been asked to sleep with a man you've just met, online or in person, you might be a virgin. Again I haven't played Dragon Age II. Maybe the gay characters are as over the top as the supporting cast of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Here's a link to the Petition Fire David Gaider

Jon Shaw Runs Into Errol James

Jon Shaw runs into Errol James from Fulleffectgaming on Vimeo.

Mar 24, 2011

March Madness

It's been an interesting week for videogames. Duke Nukem Forever is delayed again (surprise surprise.) It will now be in stores June 14th instead of it's projected May 3rd date. Duke Nukem Forever better be the most polished game I've ever seen. I'm still not convinced to even rent the game so you better prove yourself in reviews Duke Nukem.

In other news Crysis 2, the first person shooter set in a futuristic New York City, was released this past Tuesday. I tried to resist my urge to rent it, but the early adopter got the best of me. I'm maybe 3 hours into the game and I am having a lot of fun. The game has arguably the best graphics gaming consoles have ever seen, and it runs smoothly. My favorite thing about it is the different tactical approaches the game allows you to have. You can have a straight up gunfight, sneak up and stealth kill your enemies, or you can use your stealth to avoid gunfights completely. It's really cool. The more I write about Crysis 2 the more I want to play.

Capcom announced Resident Evil: Revival Selection HD. Revival Selection brings Resident Evil 4, and Resident Evil: Code Veronica to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The ports come equipped with HD graphics. So remember when the game takes long as fuck to become interesting, at least it's in HD. I will check it out for Code Veronica. That game surprised me at how good it was. It's long too. Not your average 3 hour adventure like the Resident Evil's before it. My fingers are still crossed for a Resident Evil 2 REmake. That would be epic.

Mar 18, 2011

I should finish Dead Space 2

I've had Dead Space 2 since January, and I haven't beat it. GameFly doesn't seem to mind, but it bothers me. It's not that the game sucks. It's the best thing 2011 has to offer if you ask me. I'm still on Chapter 10. I refuse to return it until I finish the story. I must see what happens to my friend Issac.

Thinking back on it this is exactly what I did with the first Dead Space. It took me six months to finally finish that story. I wasn't impressed when I first played Dead Space. It got to the point to where I was like "if this game isn't fun by the time I put this control down. I'm done." I remember being sucked in that night. I didn't put the control down until the sun hit my face the next morning. I knew Dead Space was something special.

There was a long stretch in between that moment of greatness, and when I actually finished Dead Space. I was too busy with No More Heroes and Grand Theft Auto IV to play Dead Space. When I finally finished the first Dead Space I had reason to be excited about its sequel. Now that it's here I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Issac you are the man.

Mar 17, 2011

So You Want to be a Videogame Journalist

Let me be the first to say welcome to hell. I hope you really love videogames. You will be tested. Whether it's a smug comment or an angry fan, this industry is not pretty. I really hope you have a Plan B. If you don't you better find one. Do you really see yourself blogging about videogames 20 years from now? If you do that's awesome, but you might be standing in the way of the next great name. I hope you're patient. I've been blogging about videogames for 2 years, and I haven't made a dime. You gotta pay your dues.

What makes you so different from every other blogger out there? Why should I check out what you do over anybody else? Are you funny, crazy, handsome, what?  I wish you the best of luck.

Mar 16, 2011

Mar 15, 2011

MotorStorm: Apocalypse & The Earthquake in Japan

MotorStorm: Apocalypse has encountered some controversy as of late. The series moves from it's stylish exotic getaways, and puts the player in a fictional city that is falling apart from natural disasters including earthquakes. The controversy began in New Zealand after an Earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 affected the country this past February. The game has been delayed indefinitely in New Zealand as a result. The release date of MotorStorm: Apocalypse is also delayed indefinitely in Japan as well after an 8.9 magnitude Earthquake struck the island last week.

The release date of MotorStorm Apocalypse: is now questionable in Europe as a result of the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand. Sony has stated that the release date, which is this week, is "under discussion" for Europe. I say release the game. I haven't experienced an Earthquake before in my life. The East Coast of the United States isn't exactly know for it's huge Earthquakes. I don't understand why people hide under tables, or know what it feels like to experience aftershock. It's like how people who have never seen snow have know idea what a blizzard is like. How would you know what it's like to shovel snow or make a snowball if you've never seen it?

Maybe MotorStorm: Apocalypse can give me a better understanding of what it's like to experience one. I only watch the news at the gym, and all I see from the Earthquake in Japan are images of the aftermath. The images are sad, but I have a hard time figuring out how an Earthquake causes so much damage. Especially since I've only seen before and after pictures of Earthquakes on the news. The April 12th release date in the United States seem to still be solid at this point. Let's hope it sticks.

Before I end this post I want to take the time to let people around the world who have been affected by a natural disaster are in my thoughts and prayers. One love.

Mar 13, 2011

PAX East 2011: See You Next Year

PAX East 2011: Where is Sony?

Sony you know fucked up right? Why aren't you at PAX East? Talk about a missed opportunity. You must have forgotten that PAX East is the biggest gaming convention on the East Coast. Gamers from around the world flocked to Boston to celebrate videogames, and you're missing in action. Shaking my fucking head.

If Playstation isn't at PAX East where is it spending the weekend? In Austin Texas celebrating South by Southwest (SXSW.) I guess Sony saw the golden opportunity to be the only gaming company in Texas this weekend. I saw tweets about Playstation Meetups and Parties at SXSW which would be cool if there were PlayStation Meetups in Boston as well. Sony was probably too ashamed of its first PAX East Meetup last year.

Sony kicked off last years PAX East celebrations by throwing a Playstation Move Party at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. Boy did that event suck. The room they were demoing the Playstation Move was small and stuffy with all of the people that were there. There were more people waiting in line then there were in the Event itself. All of that plus the boring demos Sony presented for the Playstation Move and you have yourself a shitty event. How does Sony try to redeem itself for last years mess? By going to Austin for South by Southwest. Good for you Sony.

You not being at PAX East 2011 is a missed opportunity. It would have been nice to play a demo of inFamous 2, or the new Ratchet and Clank, but no. The Socom 4 booth, is the only PlayStation related event I remember seeing at PAX East. That's pathetic considering Microsoft had huge Kinect and Gears of War 3 booths, while Nintendo was demoing the Nintendo 3DS. Avoiding the consumers who came together from around the world is just dumb. You could have at least had Kevin Butler at a Panel or something.

I'm buying Pokemon White

I'm buying a Nintendo 3DS. I decided after I got my hands on one at PAX East. The first game I'm buying to complement my new toy is Pokemon White. This wasn't an easy decision. Deciding which Pokemon version to buy can be a tough thing to do. Especially when the decision is black and white.

My first choice was Pokemon Black. I figured I'd my version of Pokemon should match the color of the Black 3DS I plan on buying. I like how the Black 3DS is shiny, but not flashy. I prefer to be subtle with my new technology. Pokemon Black seemed like the game to go with. Then I stared at the cover. The color of the legendary Pokemon in the Black version is white. That means you're playing the black version for the opportunity to capture a legendary White Pokemon. A legendary White Pokemon doesn't complement my "All Black Everything" way of life.  I'm going after that legendary black Pokemon in Pokemon White instead.

Mar 12, 2011

The Beef is Over

Zenith you've got me fucked up. Not only did you spell my name wrong on your last paragraph (One L homie) you also didn't contact me about my situation with Hip Hop Gamer. I would have gladly answered any question you had about the situation.

I have no clue what you mean when you say my interview with Torrence Davis shouldn't go public. Why? Torrence and I were having fun. If you watched the video you would have heard me big up the guy many times throughout the interview. I even thanked him for giving me my first shot inside the industry. Sure we aren't the best of friends, but we had a good conversation.

Then I ask you what was wrong with the interview, and you bring up the situation between Hip Hop Gamer and I. That situation is dead. Again if you had seen the video you would have witnessed Hip Hop Gamer speaking to cops about how I blog about him. I have nothing to say to the cops. Dead.

Let me ask you. Did you watch the interview? What was so bad about it? I'm not sure your going to read this so hit me back. I'd really like to know.

Check out GameZenith's article here: Errol James vs Torrence Davis/Hip Hop Gamer: When will it end?

Errol Tries out the Nintendo 3DS

Mar 10, 2011

PAX East 2011: Thoughts

Mar 9, 2011

The Golden Age of Now Part 1

The golden age of the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 generation has come and gone. It began with the release of Bioshock in August 2007, and ended in February 2010. During that period we were spoiled with games that define this generation. It seemed as if every new game was trying to outdo the games before it.

2007 was the year of new franchises.

August brought us Bioshock which many critics hailed as the Game of the Year. I remember it got a platinum award from EGM which is very rare. The game was good, but it wasn't that difficult. It literally holds your hand, but what it lacks in difficulty it made up for in it's story and atmosphere. Rapture has a story to tell you, and it won't let go until it's finished.

November started off with the release of Gears of War. I was impressed with the graphics and chainsaw gun. The thing that sticks out the most is that commercial where Fenix jumps into that room only to be met by that huge monster. Made me want to play the game even more when I saw that. The game itself is awesome. I can't really remember the story, but I do remember the gunfights.

A week later we were introduced to Assassin's Creed & Super Mario Galaxy.

Assassin's Creed was the first videogame I played on a HD television. I was blown away. I remember pausing the game and staring at the detail in the pause menu. I spent hours in that game enjoying viewpoints and eagle drops. Critics said the game was repetitive, but I felt that my skills were getting better by repeating each action. By the end of the game I was getting stylish with my assassinations.

Super Mario Galaxy is arguably my game of the year for 2007. It's technically not a new franchise since Mario's 3D adventures have been around since 1996, but at the same time it is. Super Mario 64 set the bar for what a 3D Platforming game could be, Super Mario Galaxy raised it. The smoothness of the game is what got me the most. No matter how crazy things got in the game, it always responded to my controls. 

A week later we were introduced to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune & Mass Effect

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. It's a fun game, but critics were quick to point out the elements that were borrowed from other games. Some called it a hybrid between Tomb Raider and Gears of War which is pretty accurate. Borrowed elements aside the game was badass. I enjoyed the action as well as the story. I love how the game plays out like a Hollywood blockbuster.

I slept on Mass Effect. I was playing too many games at that time to give it the time of day. I remember going to Eden Prime and riding a couple elevators, but it never took off for me. With that said I do realize the importance of it now. Many say Mass Effect 2 has a deeper meaning if you've played the first one, and others argue the first Mass Effect is better than the second.

2007 also saw the return of a few franchises.

The release of Halo 3 in September had people wondering how Sony was going to compete this generation. The game sold tons of units and is pretty good. I would play it every now and again, but I've always preferred to watch someone good play. Halo was the game we all played in my friends dorm. That shifted to Modern Warfare almost overnight. We went from plasma guns and needlers to assault rifles and pistols. To this day my friends prefer Call of Duty over Halo.

Last but certainly not least is Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. That game is awesome. Ratchet & Clank games start off slow then next thing you know the game picks up. Tools of Destruction was the first game I beat twice this generation. Helped me understand the hilarious story and upgrade my weapons even further. The graphics were great, and the gameplay is addictive. Long live Ratchet and Clank.

Mar 3, 2011

6 Foot 7 Foot

Ladies and gentleman I present the sober Lil Wayne. No more slurred freestyles where he's spelling out his lyrics, no more music videos where he's holding Styrofoam cups, and no more smoking blunts in interviews.  Now it's music videos where he tries to explain every punchline in his song. The man is sitting in front of a plate of lasagna for crying out loud. I'm happy Weezy is serious about his sobriety. The DEA had tried to catch him slipping, but he was clean. Good Job Weezy.  Carter IV coming soon.

Cory Gunz doesn't want to be a star. He thinks he does, but he's not willing to go that extra mile. In an interview with Shade 45 he explained that he didn't do his part to be on Lil Wayne's Saturday Night Live performance. When asked about the delay on his reality show, Cory Gunz said he wasn't sure what was wrong with the situation. Stay on top of your business young gun. At least Cory made it to the music video. Young Mullah Baby.

Jam

Music probably wasn't the best career choice for Kim Kardashian. Music requires more than looking pretty Kimmy. Something tells me the music video is going to have Kim Kardashian attempting to recreate a Nicki Minaj video.

The song sounds like it wants to be the next club banger. The only clubs I see them playing this song are the ones where Kim Kardashian is in attendance. The only other place I see this song being played is on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Maybe I've got this all wrong. This could be the warm up for the classic Kim Kardashian song. Jam isn't bad because it's a terrible song. It's bad because it has me questioning why Kim Kardashian is famous in the first place.