Category Archives: Video Games

I like video games.

Left 4 Dead 3

A long while ago I was going to write an article about the Left 4 Dead 3 game that all fans of the L4D franchise wanted to see happen. I was going to write my complaints about the first two games and suggest those things be fixed before the third game came out, if it was ever going to. I started to write it and I just kept writing and writing, because there were so many things that needed fixing, and I realized I had more of a book than a blog post. I stopped writing it because I suddenly became overwhelmed, and I never went back to it.

(EDIT: Ironically, my first draft of this was so long I almost lost interest and had to force myself back to it. EDIT 2: OK, it’s still long as hell. Sorry.)

Because I play L4D2 all the time, it has given me ample time to see all of the issues with the game. It has gotten so bad that I now actually hate the game because of all the dumbass problems surrounding it. I still play it, but man oh man it could be such a better game.

And then just about a year ago news broke that Valve was working on part 3. Whether they are or not is still unknown, but every day it seems as if new images and new websites are popping up, all from sketchy sources, as legit L4D3 stuff.

Naturally that got me thinking more. Never mind WHO the four survivors of this game are going to be, that doesn’t matter. I do think about where they’ll have them go this time around, places that haven’t been done yet. But what I’m really concerned about are those things that need fixing. I found my old article I had started working on and I’m going to try my best to keep it to the most important things. Otherwise I’ll just keep writing and this will never get posted.

First of all, the zombies don’t want to eat you. No, they just want, more than fucking anything, to beat you to death. I’m kind of sick of this. If you’re at full health you run just slightly slower than the zombies do. In other words, at a long distance they will catch up to you. And when they do, they will throw a punch at you and it will actually knock them off balance because they’re throwing the hardest punch they can while running at full speed. Is it that serious? Every time I see it I laugh, cause it’s so ridiculous. They don’t try to tackle you, or bite you… they throw themselves off balance with a fucking punch.

In various parts of the games there are rooms you go in with a lot of blood and half eaten people. Who was eating those people? Zombies from another game? Because these zombies sure don’t want to eat you. Never mind they have blood around their mouths!

I swear to you, I was playing the game one night when my wife’s then 5-year-old godson came into the room and watched me play. He pointed out, at 5-years-old, that it didn’t make sense the zombies had blood around their mouths and they weren’t biting you.

Fix this please. I know it won’t be, but damn. It’s kind of goofy to be beaten down so much your character is laying on the ground and you watch as zombies get down on their knees to punch you and kick you. I even watched one jump up in the air before coming down with a boot. I wasn’t sure if I was playing a zombie game or a WWE game.

If you’re moving forward in Left 4 Dead 2, never mind coming across a really strong amoeba or a blade of grass that will keep you from moving forward (seriously, seemingly nothing is there but you won’t be able to move forward) if a zombie is BEHIND YOU, you won’t be able to move forward.

They have created a game that doesn’t want you to progress. Not because of difficulty, but because of invisible objects in your way and zombies behind you. I’m not sure how that works, and I don’t know what law this is breaking, physics or gravity or whatthefuckever, the fucking law of moving forward, but in real life if something is behind you, it doesn’t keep you from moving forward.

Also, the zombies are zombies, and zombies are historically stupid. You can watch these zombies meander along aimlessly until they see you. You can watch them stumbling around, walking as if drunk… BUT THEN, they always know where you are. Hiding is impossible. It doesn’t matter if they saw you run into a closet or not, they’ll go to that closet and break that door down to get you.

Sure, maybe they SMELL you. Ok, I can live with that. But what I can’t fucking live with is how they know where to run. Let’s say you’re in a huge parking lot and you are running straight ahead. From your left is a zombie or even a horde of zombies and they are coming after you. They will run to where they can intercept you, not to where you are. So instead of eventually being behind you because they’re constantly running towards where you ARE, they run to where you are GOING. That takes thought, something zombies are not supposed to be able to do.

Speaking of homing zombies, when The Tank comes after you and rips up a huge chunk of concrete (from anywhere, parking lots, the ground, a roof top, it’s always a huge chunk of concrete) and he throws it at you, it’s almost impossible to get away from it because it will change its flight pattern after it is thrown, to hit you. It’s a heat seeking chunk of concrete, apparently.

One last thing on the zombies. They are attracted to noise. Follow me for a minute, if you can. In the game there are pipe bombs that you can throw to clear out a bunch of zombies. It beeps for a few seconds to attract a group of zombies around it (which they will then try to beat up the pipe bomb because that’s what they do) and then it will explode, killing them all. Awesome.

Now, go set off a car alarm and run away from the car. What’s that? The car alarm attracted the zombies and here they come… right for you, nowhere near the car! They’re so smart… when they want to be, apparently.

So during the game, the four survivors talk, fucking constantly (and that needs to be fixed, do they need to talk at all?) and sometimes they yell. Especially Coach. He’s always fucking yelling, yet that doesn’t attract any zombies, even if there is one nearby. Never mind the guns being fired all throughout the game, those get no response from the zombies either.

The jukeboxes randomly throughout the game used to attract a horde when played, but now they don’t. That means someone actually changed it. Oh, and in one part of the game you have to summon a ferry to come and get you so you can cross a stream. When the motor is started to pull the ferry to you, the noise attracts zombies. But once you’re on the ferry and the motor is pulling you to the other side of the stream, no zombies.

Now, how about the playable characters? They love to talk, as I mentioned. When they’re reloading their guns they have to yell “RELOADING!” As if anybody gives a shit. If something is in your view, they’ll mention it. And as long as it is in your view, they’ll continue mentioning it every few seconds. “Pistol here… hey, there’s a pistol… we got a pistol here… pistol… weapons here…” Do you know how fucking annoying that is? Especially since your characters constantly have weapons. Mention it once, great. Mention it twice, and if nobody turns and picks up a gun, nobody wants the fucking gun. Stop mentioning it. Holy fuckballs.

The worst is when they constantly tell you where to go. This isn’t an open world game. Eventually you’ll fucking figure out where you’re supposed to go because there’s only one place to go. That ferry I mentioned, when it arrives the characters will say to each other, “Get on the boat. Ferry’s here, get on the boat. Time to get on the boat. Hey everybody, get on the boat. Time to get on the boat. I need you to get on the boat.” Seriously, play that level and just stand there in front of the boat for a minute. In 60 seconds you’ll hear them say something about getting on the boat around 10-20 times. SERIOUSLY. Is that fucking necessary?

Here’s a video, and of course unless I make a video of exactly what I’m talking about (which I can’t really do right now) then you’ll just have to take what you can get. If you watch this starting at around 1:45 you’ll see two characters on the ferry, and for the next 20 seconds you’ll hear them say something about getting on the boat, multiple times.

Sure they only say it a few times, but they got right on the boat. Usually when the horde there is done my wife and I look around for stuff to collect and take on our way. That could be anywhere from a minute or two and we hear it over and over and over. It’s enough to make us play the game on mute.

I tell you what Valve, if you insist on making your characters talk, give us the option to turn them off. Holy fuck. Especially to those of us who have played the game more than once, and we know what we’re doing, we don’t need to hear the characters tell us what to do over and over.

And I know that’s why it’s in there. For those new players who don’t have a clue, the characters in the game are talking to each other with those little in-game hints. Well, those in-game hints suck. I learned what to do by playing with other people, not the characters in the game.

And could we get the computer controlled characters to not be complete fucking idiots? Let’s say you DO throw a pipe bomb. It’s going to attract all the zombies in the area to it, and then it’s going to blow up, killing them all. So what do the computer controlled partners of yours do? They shoot all of the zombies running to the pipe bomb.

You’re supposed to be in a zombie apocalypse, yet they want to use your resources like you can afford them (which really you can but it’s the mindset). Except I’ve noticed many times I’ll be getting hit from behind by a zombie (I noticed because I couldn’t move forward) yet when I turn around to kill the zombie I’ll see one of my computer partners standing there looking at me, watching that zombie kick my ass. Fucking thanks, dude.

Sometimes you find laster sights for your gun. After you get them, you can see where everybody is pointing their guns. Walk into a new area with a bunch of zombies and you’ll see your computer partners pointing their guns at the zombies, but not shooting them. WHA?

Lastly, all of their jokes were funny the first bazillion times I heard them. Now they’re not. No more talkie.

I could go on and on, seriously, but those are my biggest problems. While I am excited to have a third game, and I will buy it and I will play the shit out of it, I really don’t want a third game if it’s going to be the same shit as the first two. The second game isn’t much different than the first overall. All they did was add new characters and new levels, maybe a couple new weapons. But really, you’re playing the same shit. I don’t mind the mechanics of the game so much, but holy shit, those things have got to change. The series is already a huge fan favorite. Just think about how much bigger it could be if they fixed those dumbass problems.

Angry Birds Sucks

Yeah, that little tiny game that swept the world with its awesome bird-shooting technology blows hairy nuts. That’s what I’m saying. Apparently I’m not allowed to play it.

Is anybody else having these problems?

The first time I got to play it was on my cell phone, like most of the rest of the world. Only it ran extra slow on my phone and I could just barely play it. The farther I got into the game, the slower it ran until it didn’t run at all. Awesome. I deleted it from my phone and never went back.

And then it came out as an app on Google Chrome. I downloaded Chrome just to play Angry Birds. That was, after all, all I could enjoy about Chrome. The only problem was, there were only a couple of levels on it and after I played them I had nothing to do, so I deleted it.

And then the game comes out on Facebook. “Maybe things will be better,” I think to myself. I join, play through the same fucking levels I had already played through before, dominated them, and then all of a sudden the game stopped loading for me. All I got was a giant white exclamation point telling me there was an error loading the game. Each and every time. So once again, I deleted it.

What’s up with that? I can’t be the only one having issues like that with Angry Birds, right? With the millions (and millions) who play it, there has to be someone else having this issue.

I would buy it for my 360, except I don’t want to get the red ring of death which would no doubt be caused by the game. Apparently, I’m just not allowed to play it. Which is fine by me.

Game Review: Rage

I picked up a copy of the newest release by id Software and Bethesda, Rage, and first let me say, the game is beautiful.

It’s a well designed, almost flawless game. There are few glitches (currently none) but expect some to be in it, since no game is 100% perfect. It’s got a good story, has a lot of action and some ultra badass baddies.

There’s also a nice selection of voices for the game, like John Goodman who plays, of all names, a guy named Dan.

I’ve totally enjoyed playing the game and look forward to continuing my journey. Currently I’m in Wellspring, for those who have played or will play the game, this is a town that you go to for work and to get missions to further your progression in the game. This is also where you get to upgrade a lot of your stuff, namely, your vehicles.

The only downside, which I just found out via Joe (Porksausage) who just beat the game today, is that when it’s over, it’s over. There’s no free roam option after the game is done, like in basically every game by Rockstar.

This pisses me off to no end. Why would a game developer develop such a gorgeous game and a beautiful world if you can’t go out and enjoy it whenever you want? Just traveling around on the game shows you an awesome world with what seem to be many possibilities for exploration. Once the game is over, you can’t go exploring.

I really don’t know how to feel about that other than to be pissed. I don’t understand it. What would be the harm in having a free roam option? I think it would guarantee those playing the game would continue to play the game. Sure, as it stands it has a high replay value, but if I don’t like not having an option of either replaying the game or just roaming around doing my own thing.

As stated, Rockstar has that ability on their games, like the GTA series or even Red Dead Redemption. When I owned GTA 3, I beat the game and then played it non stop until the game actually destroyed my PS2 and the disc itself. I’ve beaten Red Dead Redemption and still play the hell out of it just doing whatever I feel like. And for both games, I also restarted the game from the beginning while also loading the beaten game and roamed around doing nothing in particular. Why? Because the option was there.

I’ll probably hang onto Rage (which for the record the name of the game doesn’t make much sense cause there’s no Rage at all in the game other than shooting and killing a lot of people, it should have been called Wasteland) and replay the game once I’m done with it, but I don’t think I’ll be hanging onto it much longer than that. I’ll probably trade it in for something else. Until then, though, I will try to get as many achievements as possible before turning it in.

All in all though, I highly recommend this game. It’s a lot of fun, very challenging even on the Normal setting which is what I’m playing it on, and if nothing else it will offer you quite a few hours of entertainment. Joe told me it took him 13 hours to beat the game. I’m looking at my 360 version and the three discs that came with it and wondering though, 13 hours? I was figuring more like 100. Red Dead took about 60 hours to beat and it only had one disc. We shall see. Until then, go pick it up.

My Computer Company

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s about time I introduce you to the all new BEEFY COMPUTER!

I’ve been developing this for years and have just now decided to release it to the public! It comes standard with 200 Gig of Ram, 1000 TB of hard drive space, two 32 inch flat/touch screen monitors, wireless keyboard and mouse, and…

None of that. Actually I was playing Left 4 Dead one day with my wife and we were in an office building. As we walked past the cubicles and killed us a bunch of zombies, I knocked a computer over and happened to catch what was on the side of it, and every other computer in the game. So I took a screen shot of it. And by “screen shot” I mean I paused the game and used my camera phone to get the picture… of the screen of my TV…

There it is, right there on the side. These are the only computers that can possibly get you through a zombie apocalypse. So if you’re done with killing zombies for the day and you have to check your Facebook or Twitter, look no further than the Beefy Computer!

Game Review: Dead Island

Last night my wife and I rented the new video game Dead Island from Red Box. We rented it because we don’t have the money to buy a new game, especially at what they cost, and it was a good idea to check it out before spending that kind of cash anyway. I’m glad I rented it first.

I’ve played the game for about 6 hours now and got quite far into it, although there is still a ton more stuff I have to do before I near the completion of it.

The game, as any gamer should know by now, is about a zombie infested paradise island resort and neighboring towns. Forget all of the bullshit extra content/bonus pack zombie games coming out trying to bank off of Undead Nightmare’s popularity. This is a zombie game, not a game that deals with everything else and then adds zombies later. This is a zombie game.

With that said, the game has flaws. All games do, but the flaws in this game bring it down a few notches. I will, however, start with the good stuff.

The game is beautiful. Extra detail was given to almost everything, from the look of the island, to the zombies that infest it. The island is beautiful and makes me wish I was really there enjoying a very expensive vacation. There are plenty of places to go and check things out, making it a very expansive open world game. It’s not as expansive as say, Red Dead Redemption or probably any Final Fantasy game, but it’s not a point A to point B game either like the Left 4 Dead series. I love the Left 4 Dead series, but you are limited to where you can go in it.

You’re limited, too, in Dead Island, but the limits are just based around the perimeter of the game, such as the ocean. You can’t walk out into the ocean, because, well, you’d drown.

The people are all well designed to a point. The women are hot in their bikini’s and the men look real enough. The zombies are all very well designed. They’re gory and evil and dead. Well, undead. The plants look nice and real, the sand looks like sand, the water is pristine and clear and makes you want to go swimming.

Walking off of the beaten path and down to the sandy shore where a ship wreck occurred (you have to go to pick up flares for a mission) and you find yourself in a little hidden oasis that visually, is awesome. I wish I had a case of beer and a lawn chair so I could go there and just chill for a few hours, taking it all in. Instead, there are zombies there trying to eat you. So much for paradise.

As I said, there are a bunch of places to go and a bunch of things to do and see, which makes the game very nice. There are different types of zombies all over, feeding on a bunch of dead bodies all over. It’s pretty cool.

Very early in the game you get to drive vehicles over the island, running into and over zombies and really anything else that’s around. It’s really fun to drive past a zombie slowly who decides to come after you and throwing the car in reverse and only knowing you hit the zombie when a little message pops up showing you’ve gained experience points by harming or killing it.

There’s also a ton of weapons all over the place and you can upgrade them to make them more badass. It’s sort of like Dead Rising 2 that way, you can add things to certain things to make different weapons. They’re more realistic than a boxing glove duct taped to a chain saw, but still awesome.

To replenish your health all you have to do is grab a medipack, which are few and far between and for some reason take up space in your weapon list when you pick one up, replacing a weapon you might have, or you can just drink an energy drink. Lucky for you they are everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It’s almost impossible to die on this game. Almost.

There are some other really good things about the game, such as the language, which is not held back like it is in Left 4 Dead. This is a game meant for adults.

However, there are bad things all over the place. For instance, all of that extra detail spent on most of the game should have been spread out to the whole game. I wouldn’t mind if the landscape looked just a tiny bit less awesome if they would have made the people’s mouths move realistically when they spoke.

This is such a little thing that really isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s still a pain in the ass. When the people in the game talk, their mouths look like they came right out of a PS1 game. Actually, their whole faces do. While designed well and looking real, the faces also come across as robotic and fake. The people’s eyes don’t look anywhere that makes you feel as if they’re really there. While talking to somebody their eyes wander aimlessly around, and sometimes the eyes aren’t looking in the same place as each other.

There’s an option to have subtitles. Turn it off. It’s not timed to when the people say what they’re saying, and almost every time they speak, they actually say things that aren’t on the text and almost every time they don’t say things that are on the text. However, reading the subtitles is a nice way to not watch their barely moving mouths when they speak.

Another problem is, the shading. I was in a room talking to one of the survivors to get another mission started. When you’re speaking to someone about a mission, the camera zooms in on the person you’re speaking to a little closer than normal so that it seems like you’re in conversation. When I was speaking to this woman, the shading around her face as she spoke was very bad and came across as, yet again, a PS1 game.

I mentioned that the plants are done well and look real. The only problem is, they don’t care about their environment. I was on a deck walking around a hut. I got to one area of the deck that was just barely above the ground and the game designers put some of the waving plants on the ground right under the deck and the plants come up through the deck and continue to wave, just as if the deck weren’t there. That doesn’t look good, it looks lazy.

Speaking of lazy, while walking around you can come up on little things that you either have to walk around or jump over, like boxes or something. But at the same time you can walk right through lawn chairs.

Not everything can be interacted with either. When the game started, I was in my hotel room (it starts that way for everybody I think, maybe not depending on what character you play as) and I decided to walk around and check out what buttons did what. I found a button that allows you to kick. This is a fun button that you will use a lot. So I started kicking things. Most of the stuff in the room, my foot went right through it. One little pot on a table shattered, but the plant that was in it stayed. It was just hovering in the air. I tried this out on every potted plant I found that looked that way, and they all do it.

Twice now while fighting zombies I’ve had this glitch happen, where the zombie begins to fall down to the side and freeze in place. They’re still alive and can still be attacked and killed, but they don’t move from that position. They almost look like they came out of a Michael Jackson video. Only when they die will they finish their fall to the ground.

Another problem, as I’ve said, is the amount of energy drinks all over the island. It’s insane. And it’s only made worse by the fact that everything regenerates, which also sucks. Walk to a pool area. You’ll find some zombies around it, as well as energy drinks all over the place. Kill all of the zombies and drink all of the energy drinks. Leave the area and come right back. Those zombies will be there again, as will the energy drinks. As far as finding collectibles, like the energy drinks or weapons or anything else that you can pick up, it’s just too easy. One mission says I have to find some canned food for the survivors. So I went and got some of the food, left the area and came right back to pick up the same food I had just picked up. I didn’t have to go searching for more cans of food, wondering if I’d ever find it.

Another mission wants you to go find car parts so a guy can fix up a truck for you to drive around in. You can find those car parts over and over and over again even after the mission is over. Yes, from the same vehicles you took them from in the first place.

And that truck he fixes up for you to drive? It regenerates too. Take it and drive off and leave it. Then either find another drivable vehicle (so far the only ones that have been are all pick up trucks although other types of cars are all over the place) or hoof it back to that safe area and you’ll find another brand new truck sitting there waiting for you. Take it. Go ahead, it’s okay. It’ll be there for you later whether you bring it back or not.

As far as the first one you took out, it’ll still be where you left it as well. So in essence, it would seem to me that eventually the island would be overflowing with your one truck. I haven’t tried it yet, but that’s where the game is headed.

Another issue I had with the game is, there’s no tutorial. I did rent it from Red Box, so I didn’t get a booklet with it, but in the game, there’s nothing that really tells you what controls what. You do get hints that pop up on your screen to tell you certain things (even after they’ve told you, they’ll continue to tell you, no matter if you’ve done that hint a million times) such as what certain buttons do, but in most cases, at least for me, they tell you after you’ve done discovered what the buttons do on your own. The first two times this happened to me the hint popped up on the screen right after I used the button. Thanks for telling me after the fact.

There’s another issue with this. During fight sequences, if a zombie grabs you there’s an easy way to get them off of you. But you have to figure it out for yourself. Sure, little images of buttons pop up on your screen to show you what you have to do, but they’re so small that you can’t tell what button they’re showing you. And I have a 42 inch flat screen TV. When they show you the LT or RT buttons, they should have just put up LT or RT. Instead, they put up a little picture of the button with LT or RT inside it, and honestly, up until the last hour I played the game I thought they were showing me little cell phones. I couldn’t figure out how a cell phone would get a zombie off of me.

I then figured it out. You have to push LT and then RT to get the zombies off of you. Now I know that the little cell phones are just pictures of the LT and RT. It would have been nice to know that before I was killed three times.

Also, if you’re killed, your screen goes red and looks like it’s covered in blood and some text pops up in the middle of your screen. Time To Recover: and it counts down from 10 seconds. What do I do there? Anything? I’ve smashed every button on my controller during this time and nothing happens. So I’m left to believe that this is just telling you that you will be re-spawned in 10 seconds. It would be nice to know this shit in advance.

All in all, it’s a great game. I’m enjoying it, and I can’t wait to get my own copy. But I will wait. This is absolutely not a $60 game. Almost none are. At best, I could see paying $40 for a brand new copy, but I’m going to wait until I can find me a cheap used copy for around $20. It’s good, but it’s not THAT good.

Game Informer gave this game an 8.5. I’ll give it a 6.5 to a 7. It would be a little higher, but damn. When I’m in a car and driving and I have the ability to go in reverse, it would be nice to SEE where I’m going. There are three rear view mirrors and you can’t use any of them.

Some other positives… killing zombies is fun. Depending on what weapon you use depends on what happens to the zombie. I had a meat cleaver and a zombie was running at me. I swiped with the cleaver just as the zombie got to me and the zombie ran past me. I turned around to see that I had cut its left arm off. The arm was chilling on the ground, while the zombies stump spewed blood. He came at me again, so I swiped again and took his left arm off. He continued to come at me, two bloody stumps pouring blood. Awesome.

There’s a ton of blood used in this game. It’s Evil Dead-esque. More blood than necessary, but it’s awesome. Bash a zombie’s head in and it looks as if you’ve loosened the bolt on a fire hydrant on the street.

Another time I was standing next to a stair case that went down below the ground. I knocked a zombie down and kicked the hell out of him until he slid off of the part we were on and landed at the bottom of the steps on his head. It crushed his head and blood went everywhere, the zombie dead from the fall.

Yet another time when I had the cleaver, I knocked a zombie down and cut his leg off. I got an achievement called “Tis Only A Flesh Wound”. Cool.

Overall, play the game if you love zombie games, open world games, or RPG’s. It’s a beautiful game with some really fun play and nice missions that make the game very interesting. I’d just really like to see those flaws worked on. Hopefully, if there’s a Dead Island 2, they’ll fix all of that stuff and the game itself will be one of the best ever made.