Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Red Ring of Death

Last night Nathaniel and I were going to play some xbox together. He went into the family room first and turned the xbox. As I entered the room, Nathaniel asks "what's that", as he points to the xbox. Nooooooooooo!!!!!!! Three blinking red bars stare me face. I have felt the sting of the Red Ring Of Death before. I frantically tried to reboot... blink blink blink....unplug and reboot...blink blink blink....unplug, blow the dust out, shake it, and reboot....blink BLINK BLINK!!!!!! Nathaniel looks at me with a sad look in eyes and asks, "what does that mean?" The xbox is freaking hosed! " What does hosed mean?" Broken... Dead...Game over man... Game over.Then while I call Microsoft India, Nathaniel breaks the news to Andrea. The good news is that the RROD is a "known" issue and is covered under a three year warranty. I just need to send the xbox out for repair. With any luck we may get it back in time for Christmas. In the mean time I have been put on a suicide watch and I am not supposed to be left alone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gears of War 2 and Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe Review

Gears of War 2 came out November 7, 2008 I have been revving up my chainsaw ever since. Marcus, Dom, Cole, and Baird are back to fight the Locusts. They thought they killed them off with the lightmass bomb, but then there wouldn't be a sequel.

The Good:

  • Better story this time around. Took some time to flesh out some of the characters. Answered some of the questions we had about the first Gears of War. However it opened up more questions, more on that later.
    Awesome new weapons and balancing of existing weapons. I love the new mulcher (chain gun) and Mortar. I guess I just like the big guns. Kaboom!!!!!

  • New characters and enemies are nice and fit in well. The new enemies are tough and a good challenge. I was also glad to see the Kryll (bat like creatures) go, guess the lightmass bomb killed something.
    The addition of the game mode "Horde". Up to five friends can band together and fight wave after wave of tougher and tougher enemies. This is by far the funnest part of the game for me. Horde forces you and your friends to work together or die.
    Graphics are even better this time around. This is one of the best looking games if not the best looking game on the 360.

  • Funny achievement names... well if your mind is gutter I guess. You be the judge: "Dirty Dirty Horde" (beat 10 waves of Horde) , "Escort Service" (Escorted Betty to Landown) , "One Night Stand" (Completed 1 chapter in Co-op), and many more.

The Bad:

  • Although the story was awesome, it opened up a lot more questions than it answered. What was going in the labs? Is that where the Locust came from? Did the humans create the locusts? What happened to Dizzy? Why are there no Berserkers (female locusts)? What happened to the queen and why does she look so Human? What is up with Marcus's dad? What was his dad's role, and is he really dead? Obviously there is going to be another Gears, but how long to do we have to wait for the next installment?

  • Multiplayer is still frustrating. I am not sure why a game game can be so much fun, yet can also be down right infuriating. I could go on and on blaming game mechanics, lag, or cheap kills. Basically what it boils down to is... are you sure you want to know.... I hate getting killed. Call me a poor sport if you want to, but I can't handle it when I repeatedly get squashed. I would rather work cooperatively and take down a common enemy. Give me Horde!!!!
    All in all Gears of War 2 is just plain awesome and will be one of those game that we will still be playing for months to come if not years.

    "Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe" or Mortal Kombat 8

    I have played every Mortal kombat in the series, so you would expect that I would be looking forward to the next installment. Not only is this the next Moral Kombat but DC comic book characters are in the game as well. Like the the old school "Marvel Vs. Capcon" which was a lot fun in it's day. What could possibly go wrong?

    The Good:

  • It makes good use of the "unreal 3" game engine which was used on "Gears of War". The cast of characters have never looked better.
    Introduction of a new fighting system while still retaining classic super moves I have grown to love . It is still a blast to use Sub-Zero's ice ball, or Scorpion's grapple spear. They brought back the "test your might" mini game in the middle of the match which can help you increase or decrease the damage delivered. The Addition of "Free fall Kombat" and "close kombat" are a neat twist to the game and can turn the tide of battle

  • The DC characters fit well the MK characters. They did a pretty good job of matching up characters from both universes. Sonya to match up with Catwoman or Radien to match up to Super Man.

The Bad

  • Like I said I have played every Mortal Kombat game and I was fairly good. That being said this game is pretty tough and especially if you are a new comer. There are 10 unique Kombo challenges for each character. I could not even do one single kombo challenge. I tried and tried and even tried different characters. Eventually I gave up in frustration and cursed the sadist who came up the challenges.

  • What happened to the finishing moves. Now I didn't need them to be over the top violent, but finishing moves are what Mortal Kombat is known for. Most of the finishing moves are very watered down. There were a few that were good like the flash's "speed punch" and Liu Kang's "Bicycle kick". Also most of the finishers were tough to pull off. Don't make me work hard getting buttons down, just to be rewarded with a mediocre finishing move. Soul Caliber 4's finishing moves were far more impressive and entertaining.

  • Lack of depth in options. There are no alternate costumes. Lame!!!! The create a fighter was one of the coolest thing about soul caliber 4. If you can't give me create a fighter then at least give me some other costumes. You can play Story, Vs, online Vs, Arcade (which is Vs against the computer), or the fun Kombo challenges.

  • The "Rage system" was a basically a meter that would build up and then allow you deal double damage and be almost invulnerable. Rage is cheap pure and simple.

It' s fun to see old characters as well as the new and take them through their moves. It can be fun while it lasts, but that quickly wears off. What is to become of the series? Rent it for the eye candy, a week it plenty of time to spend with this one.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dead Space

Finished "Dead Space" and it was AWESOME!

The Good:

  • A truly immersive experience with it's cool interface. There is no HUD (heads up display), everything important shows up on your suit or weapon. The life bar is indicated by bars on your back. Your inventory shows up as a hologram never taking you out of the action or harms way for that matter.

  • The zero gravity parts of the game were very cool. The attention to detail was just awesome.

  • The story was very cool. If you have a chance to view the online comics and the animated movie for even more depth.

  • The weapons were very unique and a breath of fresh air in the gaming world. Most of the weapons are basically mining tools designed to rip through rock... so they do a good job of ripping through flesh.

  • Truly terrifying!!!! There were a lot of moments where I jumped or screamed (not like a girl). The use of sound and shadows was just brilliant. The developers definitely know how to set mood and set up a scare. The creatures which were basically once human are very unsettling to look at .

The Bad:

  • There was a mini game called Z-Ball (zero gravity basketball) which was very frustrating and took a while to figure out. Even though I liked the zero gravity parts of the game this was just a pain.

  • A small gripe, but the character you portray never talks. I guess some would argue that it adds to the immersion but for me I just would have liked some commentary.


This is the by far the scariest game I have ever played, but I was also sucked into it and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. This a definite mature game and not for anyone with a weak stomach or heart. It will scare and disgust you, but by the end you will have a truly rewarding gaming experience.

Watch the first 10 minutes here. Warning mature content

Gears of War 2 comes out this week on Friday. Andrea and I have been looking forward to playing this for quite some time now. We are looking forward to playing through the campaign co-op.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Busy couple of weeks

The last few weeks have been busy. I finished "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" at the begining of the month. I was going to write a review but got busy. Here is the short version.

The Good:
- Awesome story! It really tied in nicely to the Star Wars universe.
- Cool new characters.
- Cool use of the force. Very over the top action. Why weren't the movies this Awesome?

The Bad:
- Stupid AI. Come on really a jawa is going to attack you after you just threw a stormtrooper 50 feet into air?
- Some clipping issues. I ended up under the map or stuck behind objects a few times
- The force is unleashed and so is your ability to target your enemy. I don't know how may times I unleashed lighting on a crate instead of my intended target.

- The purge trooper is stronger than a Rancor or ATST. LAME!!!!!

If you don't care about spoliers watch these cut scenes. Very cool

After the force unleashed, Andrea went out of town. While she was gone I was doing some projects around the house and taking care of the kids. I painted and hung our closet door and the family room door. Then I finished putting in the trim in the hallway. Then I clean out our bedroom and reorganized a bunch of stuff. It is nice to have a clean clear room. The office is next....

Started "Dead Space" last week. I am almost done with it and wow! This game is so freaky, scary, disturbing, gross, and AWESOME. So far this game has been an amazing experience and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Check it out at your own risk not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Need to finish the game before "Gears of War 2" comes out in two weeks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Yay 200

I made it to my weight loss goal. I wanted to be down to 200 Lbs before Halloween. Now the tough part is to keep it off and try cut up just a little more.

Some people have asked "Do you workout?", "How much do you workout?", "What do you do?", and ETC. Everyone's body is different and what works for me may not provide the same results for you. However, no matter what you fitness goals are, there are three keys to any successful workout plan.

1. Consistency: In most cases it took you a while to put the weight on, don't expect the weight to melt off after a few workouts. It takes time build and maintain lean muscle. Our bodies are constantly degrading, so there is no such thing as "once I get there I can stop". A good program would be at least 3 days a week and of course every week.

2. Form and Technique: You already did the hard part, you made it to the gym or where ever you workout, now don't cheat yourself. It is important that you get the full range of motion of the exercises you perform. You will get more out of each and every repetition. Not only will you feel the difference, it will affect the very shape of your muscles. Please don't worry if looks like you can't do as many or a much as other people. Focus on what you are doing and do each rep correctly. Remember everyone is different and you are doing your workout.

3. Intensity: Get the most out of your workouts. Push yourself to go beyond what you think you can do. Sure there are physical limitations but our biggest limits exist with in our own minds. Now I am not saying to go and hurt yourselves, use good judgement. We all know when we are just going through the motions or just merely surviving a workout.

Well there is my two cents. Maybe I will share my current workout plan in a later post.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have a blog...What am I doing?

So I have a blog now. Andrea helped me create this thing, but I have no idea what I am going to blog about in my boring life. I get up, go to work, come home, ignore the family, play video games, and then go to bed. Maybe I will find something blog about: working out, video game or movie reviews, or other nerd stuff.