Video Gabes 5/11/13 “It’s Been a While”

 Hey guys,

It has been a while since I last wrote up something about video games and I have been wanting to get back into it.  Since I am done school now, I will have more time to play and write about the games that I have been playing.  For this return back to blogging, I thought that I should write about some of the games that I have played this year that did not come out this year.  I have played quite a lot of games this year (to see a full list: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/noobsauceg7/lists/games-i-have-beatenplayed-2013/82089), so I will be highlighting my 5 games that I really liked from the previous years.  Thanks for reading and please enjoy!

 

Sleeping Dogs

 

 

This game I played early this year after watching all of the quick looks and hearing all the praise that the game was getting.  Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to get a whole lot of recognition from other places besides Giant Bomb, but everything I saw of the game made it look really fun.  Plus, I really like the Hong Kong, cop acting like a gang member setting.  Everything about this game is awesome.  The combat is fun, the hand to hand really has an impact and you get enough moves and abilities without feeling too powerful.  The shooting and driving also feel good.  The gameplay was exactly what I wanted from an open world game, since the driving in GTA4 was pretty bad (it almost made me want to stop playing the game completely) and Saints Row 3 just didn’t hook me in like Sleeping Dogs did.  The story too felt real and made me feel attached to the characters and want to know more about them.  Overall, if you have not played this game yet, you probably should.  I thought I just didn’t like urban open world games that much after GTA4 and Saints Row 3, but this is exactly what I want from the genre.

 

Pokemon Soulsilver (Nuzlocke)

 

Pokemon Silver was and still is my favorite Pokemon game in the franchise.  I was at that perfect age where all of my friends were playing it, watching the tv show, the movies, reading the manga.  I have played all of the main Pokemon games, but I decided to do a Nuzlocke run of Pokemon Soulsilver with my brother who did it in Heartgold.  For those who don’t know what Nuzlocke is, you can only catch the first pokemon you see in a new area (if you kill it, you can’t get another one) and if a pokemon faints, you have to release it.  It is a great challenge that makes you play very carefully and even more strategically.  I did do a Firered nuzlocke before, but this time was much more fun since I was playing along with someone else so we would compare what Pokemon we would catch at each route and how we defeated each gym leader.  The loses are also devastating when you lose a team member who was with you from the beginning and have to train up a new pokemon to their level.  It is very much like Fire Emblem in this aspect.  This is really fun to do by yourself or to play along with a friend since it adds a new level of difficulty to a game that I have played a ton out of.

 

Banjo-Tooie

 

I played a whole lot of Banjo-Tooie as a kid, but I never beat it.  I would play the first few levels and get stuck, but still loved the game.  BT is much different from the original BK.  Everything is a lot more connected and in order to get a lot of the jiggies, you need to go to other worlds and do a few things to effect something in another world.  BK was a lot more straight forward and had the Super Mario 64 philosophy of everything you needed was right in front of you.  This made BT a much more complicated game, especially today where you are not used to a lot of backtracking in video games.  This game is full of atmosphere and every little thing has so much detail.  All the characters are funny and the music is awesome.  It makes me miss the days of Rare in the past.  Even though I did like BK Nuts and Bolts, there is just something about the originals BK games that grabs as a game that is like “Let’s go on an adventure!”  

 

Metal Gear Solid

 

While some people spend their Spring Breaks at the beach or visiting relatives, I spent mine playing the Metal Gear Solid series.  I played through all of the numbered franchises for the first time.  Each of those games are so vastly different and incredible games in their own way.  The first one of just being a raw stealth game with really intense cutscenes (I imagine at the time they were like nothing else).  The second one just being one huge “HOLY ****” moment, one after the other.  The third one being a really interesting game with the camo elements and sneaking around.  The fourth one wrapping everything up and just might be the craziest of them all.  I know that I am being vague but you just don’t know how crazy and awesome this franchise is if you have never experienced it and I don’t want to spoil it for any one.  All of the cutscenes in the games are really good and the story is so crazy and fun that it makes every other story look boring in comparison.  I am glad I played through these games and am super pumped for all the the MGSV games coming out soon!

 

Kingdom Hearts 2

 

I played through Kingdom Hearts 2 when it first came out and really loved it but last year I played Kingdom Hearts 1 again after all these years I didn’t think it was as amazing as I remembered it.  But playing through KH2 again has reminded me how great this franchise can be.  You should play KH if you want to play KH2 since it adds a lot to the story, even if the gameplay is not as good as the second one.  It is a little sad seeing Square Enix now compared to what they used to do since no one is makes games like the KH games.  I am honestly not even that big of a Disney or Final Fantasy fan, but I like the story and the world of the KH games and I feel that they do a great job of keeping a balance between both Disney and FF in each of the world making it an interesting universe to be a part of.  It is interesting playing through KH2 knowing that there are so many spin offs after this and that they kind of wrap up the story pretty nicely in it’s own way.  I do want them to make a KH3 and would absolutely play it, but I can also see them just keep making these side games and never getting me back into the series.  I hope that is not what they do, but they have dropped the ball this generation so whatever.

 

Thanks for reading!  I hope you guys liked it and hopefully I will continue this and get better as I do this!

Hitman Absolution Review

Hitman Absolution is the newest point in the Hitman series.  It continues in the series with having fun stealth mechanics and improvements on the genre as a whole.  The story is also one of the most ridiculous and funny stories out there too.  That does not mean that the game is without it’s own faults.  It becomes obvious that if IO Interactive just made some small changes to some of the games most glaring problems that it would be a much better game to play through.

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In Absolution, you play as Agent 47.  He starts off on a mission for “The Agency” to kill his former boss, Diana Burnwood.  She makes a dying request for you to watch after a younger girl name Victoria.  There is something about Victoria that makes her special, she was trained and programmed at birth to take the place as the next great Hitman.  Diana wants you to give her the chance that Agent 47 never had, to be human.  From this point on, Agent 47 stops working for the Agency and makes it his mission to protect Victoria at all costs.  The story starts off on a serious note but from there it only gets crazier.

You find out that a rich cowboy named Blake Dexter wants to kidnap Victoria in order to sell her back to the Agency to make even more money.  He is a really ridiculous character who is introduced by finding 47 and seeing that he is a hitman after him.  Instead of turning 47 in or even capturing him, Dexter kills a maid, puts the knife next to the knocked out 47 so he takes the blame, then lights the room on fire leaving 47 to escape a burning 5-star hotel.  Dexter’s craziness only increases from here making him a menacing and great antagonist.

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Almost every character you meet has something funny to say.  Whether it is a chef arguing to a guard about why salt is for barbarians or a group of patrolling guards talk about why they are not going to make it to Carl’s birthday party because they have to stand guard, there are many times that I would laugh out loud at these conversations that the characters are having.  It gives you a great incentive to stick around in a spot to listen to a 30 second conversation before moving on from that point.

The gameplay of Absolution is up to you how to play it, but there is an emphasis on playing the game sneaking around.  You can shoot your way through levels, however this is not that satisfying and the real way that Hitman is meant to be played is being stealthy and finding new and cool ways to finish each level.  The majority of the levels requires you to assassinate a target, and there are several ways to do this.  The obvious way would be just to pull out your gun or make a big scene to kill your target, but the most satisfying ways are the times you can do it without anyone knowing that you did anything and this is when the gameplay is at it’s best.  There are always several ways to plan out each scenario and it is almost a puzzle to figure it out.  Whether it is putting poison in his coffee, or setting off a car alarm and putting explosives right by the car, it is always awesome to see this domino effect take place while knowing that there are several different ways in which you can accomplish it.  This also works great with the games challenges which gives you clues onto how to do some of the assassinations.

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Many of the ways you sneak around the level requires you to get a disguise.  If you stay in Agent 47’s suit you will be spotted, making it difficult to play stealthy.  So to blend in, you take the disguise of the people there.  Usually looking like a guard or a scientist or chef depending on the level.  This helps you walk around but you can still be spotted.  If you get to close or are facing another person with the same costume as you, they will start to be suspicious.  This leds me to some of the problems I had with the game.  It makes sense on a balance side to have them start to notice you but the only way you will know if you are going to be spotted is by an icon which points to the direction you are being spotted in.  And once you are seen, there is little you can do to get out of being in trouble.  Plus, there is no quick save/quick load feature.  You can only checkpoint in certain spots of a level where there is a little area, but when you load back into a checkpoint, everyone comes back to life except for your targets that you have killed already.  This has made me play through a same long sequence several times trying to figure out the best way to accomplish it but even if you get caught at the end, you still have to play the whole level again or start from wherever the checkpoint is.  And they are not that short either, playing for 5 minutes of a sequence only to be caught at the end and then to repeat all of that multiple times is not a fun way to play.  It would of been much better if you can manually save your spot so you can try something without a huge consequence.

There is also a Contracts mode which is Absolutions version of multiplayer.  You play in smaller levels from the single player, but you have to follow how the creator play each level.  As the creator, you are dropped into a level of the game and can go around and kill anyone you want.  You then get to put that Contract online and have other people play it.  There are some rules they have to follow if you do enforce them, like wearing a specific disguise or using a certain weapon or hiding the bodies or not being seen.  This adds to the game allowing you to experiment even more in  fairly stress-free scenarios.

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With the negatives aside, Hitman Absolution is still a great game.  The stealth part is a fun puzzle, leaving you to figure out how things work and what the best way to kill your target is.  Plus, the story and characters are very hilarious.  Just watching the cutscenes and dialogue between characters was enough of an incentive to keep playing through so I can see the story through.  There is great replay to it to with the challenges and Contracts mode so even if you do finish the game, you can go right back in there.

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VideoGabes Top 10 Games of 2012

2012 was quite an interesting year for games.  A lot of the highly anticipated AAA games were disappointing while there were many of surprises from smaller developers.  A lot of games wanted to incorporate player choice into the story like The Walking Dead and Spec Ops: The Line, even the giant Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had player choice in the story.  There also wasn’t a clear GOTY-type game for the year, like last year you could look at Skyrim and know that it was going to be a favorite or the year before with Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption.  But that may not be a bad thing since there were a ton of great games with a lot of variety in them.  So here is my top 10 favorite games of 2012!

10.  Rock Band Blitz

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Although you may not know what is happening the first time you watch this game in action, or the second, or probably have to have someone sit down and break it down for you step by step, this was easily one of the most fun games of this year.  It is very satisfying tapping out the rhythm on your controller as you switch between the different instruments.  Along with this, the in-game leaderboards make you determined to keep playing a song until you pass your friend’s scores.  No other game this year could I just jump in for 5 minutes and play one song and be satisfied with my time in the game.

9.  Far Cry 3

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I was not expecting to like this game as much as I did.  A great combination of an interesting story along with great open-world action that absorbs you into the world.  With the insane villain Vaas and your dumb, rich kid friends, the games story makes you guess every second about what is real and what isn’t along with trying to figure out what is happening around you.  It is very interesting to play the role of Jason Brody as he is a very unlikable player trying to save your very unlikable friends while exploring this rich world full of crazy people and savage beasts.  One of my surprises of this year.

8.  Need For Speed: Most Wanted

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Now before you go and say it is just a racing game, it is a very good racing game.  Exploring the open world of Most Wanted is fun as you explore to find new cars and beat your friends in jumping through billboards or driving fast past a speed camera.  And how could I not talk about how solid the racing is!  The controls are super tight and when you mess up you know what happens.  Yes, sometimes there is an unlucky turn where a truck slams right into your car and you suffer because of this, but overall it is just plain fun racing.  Plus, the multiplayer is absolutely crazy!

7.  Persona 4 Arena

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Persona 4 is one of my all-time favorite games so I was very happy when I played P4A and reacquainted myself with the awesome class of characters.  The story mode is more of a visual novel and the fighting is very simple in the game, but it is worth seeing through this lengthy journey as you play through all of the character’s stories and get their side of the story.  The fighting too is very fun and the variety of play styles with each character makes it interesting to learn a new character.

6.  Trials Evolution

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Trials is almost a puzzle game where you have to figure out the best way to get through each level.  Whether it is trying to not mess up while moving at a fast pace or passing your friends ghost times, you can always improve upon each section.  It just has that Super Meat Boy mentality where the levels are difficult and the music keeps going as you mess up just to push you through to the end of the level.  A very addicting game and still plays great in a local competitive setting where the courses are simple, but you have to play fast and clean to be the best.

5.  Darksiders 2

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I was not a big fan of the first Darksiders.  The puzzles were good but the combat was too shallow for me.  Darksiders 2 is able to make the combat fun with a better combo system and a really great loot system.  It is fun getting the new loot and making your character better with improved armor and weapons.  The puzzles become more difficult through the game and the combat stays interesting.  It is a huge game but not to huge in the way that it is empty.  This feels like the new modern Legend of Zelda with a better combat and a darker tone.

4.  Mark of the Ninja

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There are very few games which I can say are perfect.  Mark of the Ninja is one of these perfect games.  It does what it wants to do and does them amazingly.  The stealth is very tight but you never feel powerless.  You have the control in every situation and you are able to play through each section any way you want.  The game just makes sense too.  The story gives good context for your powers and makes a very interesting story as you think if you are really going mad with power, or if the ninjas are just changing for the best.  Plus, the art style just looks awesome.

3.  The Walking Dead

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This is the epitome of how games should tell a story.  All of the characters are interesting and are unique to themselves.  You won’t please all of them all of the time, but this just all plays into how the game is about the gray choices.   You don’t make good decisions, you just make decisions which you will think will turn out the best for your group.  This is the game which will lead how choices in games should be made.  A lot of scenarios it is under a lot of time constraints where you have to make hard, meaningful choices fast.  It also doesn’t break the atmosphere and have you go on pointless missions and play through a bad game to get to the meat of the story.  It cuts out the fat and makes a huge impression of story telling in games.

2.  Halo 4

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There is just so much to love about Halo 4.  The combat feels new and fresh but it stays true to the Halo formula.  The new guns look cool and new but all fit into the mold.  The multiplayer feels like Halo but new in the way you can customize your character the way you want but you still are not all powerful and need to pick up the power weapons.  The story is the best Halo story making it interesting when you meet the new enemy.  Along with this, it tries to make Master Chief more of a human as he learns more about himself and why he feels the way he does.  And the interactions between Chief and Cortana where great and the ending was satisfying and leaves me very excited to see where they pick up from here.

1.  XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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My favorite game of the year, XCOM.  This game just does everything so well.  The turned based strategy is super stressful where every action you make has to count.  You have to plan ahead and many times, you are screwed anyway since the enemy force is a very powerful force which will outnumber you.  And one of the greatest parts of the game is the meta-game where you are managing your resources and have to keep the other nations calm during the horrible invasions.  These amazing parts along with sticking with your crew and making your own story as you go through each battle.  You feel attached to these characters who don’t have any significant speaking parts but you feel a connection to them as you go through each battle with them and they go through the hardships.  One of the most Earth shattering moments is when you lose one member and realize that there is a hole in your squad and you have to go on without him.  One of the most intense games of this year and that is why it is my favorite game of 2012.

My favorite downloadable games of 2012

It is starting to be the end of the year and people are starting to talk more about what their Game of the Year is.  In my opinion, it has been the strongest year in downloadable games ever.  Many of my favorite games this year did not come in a box, but acme in through the internet.  And I want to acknowledge them here today!

Rock Band Blitz

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One of my favorite things about downloadable games is the fact that you do not need to get up and put a disc in.  I can easily say that Rock Band Blitz has been one of my most played games this year because of it.  Many times I would stop playing what I am playing and just go to the Xbox dashboard and play Rock Band Blitz.  It is such a relaxing game, listening to music and hitting the buttons in sync with the music.  It is also a very fun game and although it does not have as many people playing it at launch to challenge them, it is still a great game to just pick up and relax with!

Trials Evolution

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This game is opposite of Rock Band Blitz in the sense that it is not relaxing at all and is in fact a very difficult game.  It is a motorcycle game where you have to try and finish a course as fast as you can and with as little faults as you can.  It is one of those games where you can play one course for a really long time just to prefect it.  It also has a ton of user generated content so if you finish all the main courses (which is very challenging) then you can move on to what some other players made for some more fun.  It is also a blast to play with your friends locally and many times when I had friends over we would play it and yell at each other whenever we would mess up.

Mark of the Ninja

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Everything about Mark of the Ninja had so much care and thought put into it.  It all just made sense.  You are a ninja who gets your powers from a dangerous tattoo and have to save the way of the ninja.  But your ninja brothers are too influenced by modern day technology that they start to lose the way of the ninja.  This all plays up to a satisfying ending where you have to make the ultimate choice of keeping the current way of the ninja and killing your master to show that the tattoo has made you crazy or acknowledge that it is your time to go and that you have helped the ninjas a great deal.  Along with this, the gameplay is fantastic and shows how a stealth game should be.  Everything is in your control and it is very manageable.  Easily one of the best games of this year!

The Walking Dead

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Now this is a game where nothing is in your control.  You have to make all these terrible decisions of gray while you watch your friends and world fall apart in front of you.  In a year where many games tried to make your choice matter (Mass Effect 3, Spec Ops: The Line, Call of Duty Black Ops 2), none of them are as successful as the Walking Dead.  It is the only type of story that a game can make where you make a choice and you face the consequences because of it.  It is involve than just watching a movie but you still have that feeling of some terrible things are not in your control.  Along with that, The Walking Dead was able to do something that pretty much hasn’t happened in a while where you would eagerly await for the next episode and make a big deal as soon as it is out just so you can play it and know what happens.

THQ: The next great company to fall?

It is hard in the modern world where the middle B-tier company to survive.  If you are not a AAA game selling millions on day one like Call of Duty, or a small indie game which is successful on it’s on term like Braid or Bastion, you will have a hard time making money.  Though your product may actually be very good and be very ambitious, it won’t have the polish that the big, huge games have.  Which leads to people making the decision as to whether they will spend their $60 on one of these games.  Do people choose the known name or risk it on something they may not be familiar with?  This is the problem that THQ is facing today.

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THQ makes great games.  One of my favorite games this year, Darksiders 2, is a THQ game. But, they are the second-tier studio which may, unfortunately, not make it to the next generation.  They have some licenses that people know like WWE, Spongebob Squarepants, and Warhammer 40k.  They also have some non-licensed games which are known like Saints Row and Darksiders.  But they got in big trouble last year which may cost the company it’s life.

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In 2010, the uDraw tablet was released on the Wii.  It is a tablet, similar to the Wii U tablet, where you can draw and touch it.  It was mostly used for drawing games and kids games. It was successful on the Wii since the casual audience like the simple games which are friendlier towards kids.  Though in 2011, the tablet was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3.  It was a failure.  Not only did it sell very little, THQ made a huge mistake and made so many of these tablets, almost as if someone by accident added a few more zeroes to the end of the number they were going to produce.  It wasn’t cheap to make too, which ended up costing THQ a whole lot of money.

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Fortunately, Saints Row the Third was released in 2011 which saved THQ for that year financially.  But one game for one year is not enough to save a company.  In August of this year, THQ released Darksiders 2.  While many people thought it was a good game, it did not sell as much as THQ wanted.  They were expecting Darksiders 2 to be the game to be a huge seller making the series a AAA game.  You could tell it was not good either when the lead game designer left the studio.  

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Not only did they miss with Darksiders 2, they pushed back a lot of their big 2013 games.  Company of Heroes 2 and Metro:Last Light are games being delayed to March 2013 before the fiscal year ends, and South Park: The Stick of Truth is delayed to sometime in “early fiscal 2014″.  But it is not all bad.  THQ now has Jason Rubin who previous worked at Naughty Dog being the creator of the successful Crash Bandicoot.  They also this week did a huge sale of their games on something known as a “humble bundle” where people can buy their games on PC for a very low price and give some money to THQ and a charity.  They also cut two games, Devil’s Third and inSANE, which may not be bad since it would be better for them to use their resources on their known products.

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THQ is trying hard to survive.  And while they have a lot of loses like uDraw, their success are big like Saints Row the Third.  They also are making smart decisions now cutting games that may not succeed and hiring big names.  One can hope though that if becoming bankrupt and losing the company is in sight that they sell off their studios to other companies so that their great games can continue to be made.  It is a tough journey being in the middle of the pack and dropping slowly.

The Walking Dead brings life to a grim world

You are in a room with a small number of strangers.  You have been trying to make sense of what has been happening along with trying to survive the dangers that is in the present.  There is tension in the room while everyone waits for a decision to be made.  You are looked upon to speak your voice.  But, no matter what you say, your choice will bring a fate worse than death to someone in your group, without you being able to do anything.  And the only reason you want to continue living this life is to protect an eight year old girl.

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The Walking Dead The Game is an awesome game!  It is it’s own story in the Walking Dead universe where you play the role of Lee in trying to help your group survive the zombie apocalypse.  The game is very much centered around you making important choices to help out the fellow survivors.  If you have been following the game series at all, Telltale Games has been releasing a new episode of the game about every month and a half since April this year.  The season has concluded with the release of Episode 5 11/21/12 and will have the first season on disc coming 12/4/12.

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You play as Lee Everett, an African American man who was on his way to jail at the time of the zombie outbreak.  Along the way, the cop driving the car gets into a crash and you suddenly see that things are not alright.  You see a creature that looks human but is obviously not, a zombie.  From here, you have to kill your first zombie.  You don’t know much about them but you can see that they are dangerous.  You then leave and wind up stumbling to a house.  At the house, you meet a little girl name Clementine.  Clementine is 8 years old and as far as you can tell, her parents are gone and you have no idea where they are.  This is only the beginning.

The crux of the game is how you will make decisions to how you want to play.  Not every decision is black and white, in fact most of the decisions are gray.  And this is how the story becomes your own, since you can decide if you save this person over that person, or when choosing sides, having the option to be in the middle or not say anything at all.  And each choice is a viable choice, there is no good choice or bad choice.  It all depends on how you want to play and how you want Lee’s morals to lie.

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The gameplay is very similar to a point and click adventure game.  You mostly talk to the other survivors and learn something about them or explore around an area to figure out a puzzle.  It is simple enough that someone who doesn’t play games could get it.  The only times you need fast reflexes is when the time is running out on a difficult choice.  These moments are tense and sometimes you just end up saying something to try to make people feel better without putting much thought into it, very much like real life.

While the primary antagonist is the zombie force, most of the time you will have to worry about your group and how they feel towards you.  A scenario that happens early on to help show this is when there are 10 people in your group and you only have 4 pieces of food to give to them and you must decide who gets the food.  Is it the old man who has not been feeling well, do the kids get it, your best friend of the group, what about yourself?  These are the tough decisions that you have to make and live with the consequences.  And even better, at the end of each episode you get to see the stats of what choices people around the world also made!

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The Walking Dead is a great example to show how to tell stories in video games.  You can easily have people watch you play and they will have a good time as if it was a movie.  But you also have to make choices throughout the game to make your story different from someone else’s, making this a perfect interactive story.  I highly recommend it!

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My Time and Thoughts on the Wii U

The Wii U has been out for a week and I have been lucky enough to get one on launch day and play some of it.  The Wii U is a very interesting system that is fun to play with, but it is hard for me to predict whether this will be the big mainstream success that the Wii was.  The time I have spent with it though, has been fun!

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Although that all the features are not yet ready at launch, the main ones that are there are pretty cool.  One of the features that Nintendo was talking about is the Miiverse.  The Miiverse is a message board on the Wii U that goes with each game.  You can post a message in a specific game in Nintendo Land asking a question or bragging about how good you are and other people get to see it and comment on it.  You can see the potential of the Wii U where you can give people tips or talk about cool events in a game at certain points of the game, similar to the blood stain messages of Dark Souls.  It will probably be more useful with a variety of games, but games like Nintendo Land there is not a huge amount of use, but it’s a neat concept.

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The game that I have been playing on Wii U is Nintendo Land.  It can draw similar parallels to Wii Sports since it is a showcase of what the new gamepad is good for.  Most of the mini-games are fun, some are not amazing, but each has it’s own thing to show for the gamepad.  It is the most fun however when you are doing the competitive games where one person has a gamepad and up to 4 other people have the Wiimotes.  These mini-games show off how one person can manage by himself while the other people gang up on the one person.  The Nintendo Land mini-games that use this concept are very similar to games like tag and hide and go seek.  Although they are simple in theory, they are still very fun to play with gamers and non-gamers.

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There are some negatives to the Wii U that I hope can be fixed.  The loading times for everything on the Wii U are very long.  It is very noticeable compared to other consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3, but not sitting there for minutes long.  Though in 2012, this should not be a problem.  Also online-wise, it should of taken more hints from Xbox Live.  I wish that they included an achievement system since it has pretty much is a standard for modern video games, plus it is fun to collect them.  Also, it would be better if data and progress were saved to each Nintendo Network ID or even to each Mii instead of just the system, because if you break your Wii U, you would have to replay all your games and buy everything all over again since your memory is saved to your console, and not your gamertag like on Xbox Live.  It is early in it’s lifetime so there will be improvements.

The Wii U is a great system.  It should take more hints from the other systems, but it is making progress to being awesome.  Nintendo Land’s mini-games are great indications of how the Wii U will be fun for both gamers and non-gamers.  I hope that Nintendo finds success with the Wii U, since there is a lot of potential for being amazing, as long as they fixed some things.