Archives for November 2007

More Halo 3 Stats

Since I can’t actually, you know, play Halo 3 at the moment, I thought I’d dig back into my Halo 3 stats, revisiting sites I’ve already mentioned (StatsReloaded.com) and check out what other services have popped up recently. I’ve got to get my fix somehow.

Earlier this month, BS Angel asks how many betrayals you average and then points to halo3.junk.ws (You can see my meager stats here).

While both present fairly the same info, I’d have to say Halo 3 Junk presents it in a much cleaner and pleasing manner. I love that all of the “Best of” results for the various categories are clickable and they take you to the game where your exploits occurred. Very cool. I think Halo 3 Junk will be my site of choice for all my statistical analysis needs for the time being. And I promise I’ll lay off the Halo 3 stat posts until Query Spree make its return.

So back to the question at hand — how many betrayals do you average? I average 0.03. How about you?

Rockin’ Out

If the Flickr feeds I subscribe to are any indication, a lot of 360’ers are rocking out with Rock Band:

Rock Band

I’ve mentioned before that I never got into the whole Guitar Hero craze, but I have been feeling its pull for months now. If I could justify the 170 dollar price tag for Rock Band, I think I’d give it a try first. I could even play it now, gimpy with one hand. These vocal cords of mine are just dying to rock out!

I just need a good band name…

Back in business

This post has been brought to you pain-free, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Percocet.

We had a nice, lazy Thanksgiving holiday with the families. Lots of turkey and stuffing was consumed, lots of football was watched, and many naps were taken. I checked to see if I got lucky with the Amazon uber sale but was not lucky enough to get a cheap PS3. There’s always next year.

I didn’t get a chance to play many video games, as my new splint and wrapping are bulkier than what I had before the surgery. I got some Kongregate games in but that was about it.

I did have a chance to make it to the theater to take in Beowulf. We didn’t get to see the 3-D version (which I’ve heard is really cool) but I was pleasantly surprised with Beowulf. I went in with pretty low expectations but was routinely impressed with the great effects and engaging story. I don’t remember anything from reading the actual poem in highschool (heavily abridged if memory serves me correct) but I understand the basic moral of the story. Either way, I’d recommend Beowulf without reservation. A tad violent for the younger set, but otherwise a fun movie.

I’m now a week behind on my feeds and my emails, so now I’m going to work my way through the virtual pile of stuff. Time to get back to business. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don’t forget: If you voted on Amazon’s deals, today is the first day to check if you were able to get in on Amazon’s Superdeals. Go check now!

He’s More Machine Now Than Man

I am slowly realizing my life-long dream of becoming a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 — I now have a plate and six screws holding my fifth metacarpal together. Next up will be my nano-machine upgrades. I can’t wait for those. Then I’ll get my robotic exoskeleton. There will be no stopping me after that!

I’ll be heading out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but since I can’t disconnect completely, I’ll still be working on a few things:

  • I have a backlog of comments/email to reply to. If you’ve contacted me recently and I haven’t replied yet, I will! Promise!
  • I feel incomplete since I still haven’t played Mario Galaxy. Hopefully a guest post will be forthcoming from a friend who was in my cubicle yesterday, raving about how awesome it is. I can’t wait.
  • When I can finally get a grip on a 360 controller again, I’ll be putting Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect through their paces. I saw that Nat has been playing Assassin’s Creed, so hopefully he’ll give it a thumbs up.
  • Even though I haven’t played Halo 3 in a couple weeks, I can’t stop talking about it. The announcement of the new multiplayer maps is quite exciting. Hand, heal thyself!

I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend. There is plenty to be thankful for!

Game Review – Stuntman:Ignition [360]

Every now and then, I’ll pick up a game just on premise alone. I’ll buy it without a single thought as to its value or without any purchase research. About a month ago, I picked up Stuntman:Ignition from THQ. I had heard of the previous game in the series and the insane levels of repetitiveness and difficulty it presented and I still took the jump. Was I impressed?

Simply put, you are a stunt driver for a movie studio. I’ll let this explain it:


Have you ever wanted to drive the General Lee and experience what it would be like to be on the set of the show?I don’t think this is entirely stuntman profession realistic, but I play this game and seven-year-old fantasies come true. Basically, you drive a stunt vehicle and have to perform various stunts by hitting director markers. Markers are yellow and when you nail them they turn green. Miss five markers and you have to start all over. As you can tell, the director calls out what he’d like to see. I’ll give you a little gameplay experience boost: upon loading the game, go to options and turn him off. The better you perform stunts the higher your score (duh!). However, there’s this wonderful catch that immediately adds replay value to the game. If you can keep performing stunts in a certain amount of time through the whole run (one every two seconds!), you perform what is called “stringing it.” In the video above (courtesy of Youtube and bonersgames.com) you can see how crazy the crew gets when you perform an insane number of stunts. The driver in that video is pretty skilled. Some stunts are easy to string and others, you’ll be lucky just to complete the course. The higher the score, the more stars you earn, and the more stars you earn, the more courses you play..

Stuntman:Ignition

The style of this game is great. Its inspired by many cliched movies and TV shows: 80’s action flicks, Dukes of Hazard, Dante’s Peak, Bullitt, James Bond, and Batman. Completing these movies nets you a fake movie trailer. Most of them are hilarious. There’s also TV commercials that you can perform stunts on and garner more stars to unlock courses. (Armor All is a personal favorite).

Is this game easy? Yes and no. When you first play a track you may not know what stunt to perform or where to go. Some courses you’ll have to learn. However, level load times are instantaneous and there is an easy mode that gives you more strikes but halves your score. So it’s no biggie to replay at times. Also, you need to unlock a high number of stars to play the last movie level or two. In some cases, you’ll have to go back to previous movies and try and earn more points. This can be frustrating if you just want to play new levels. However, because of the difficulty, when you finally string a level, it’s very rewarding. Performing a huge stunt such as a jump moves the game into slow motion and you see the jump from another angle. Jumping through a barn in a Whoopin’ and Hollerin’ II course a la Dukes of Hazard with your car is a real treat.

Stuntman:Ignition

There are achievements out the wazoo. Some are easy to earn and others are pretty tough. I imagine that very few people have earned the achievement where you string everything. There’s even a large score of sub achievements in the game that they call badges: certain jumps here, time trials there, etc.

There’s a stunt editor that lets you create your own stunt track in a stadium,(When? SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAAAAY!), and you you can unlock more stunt items and vehicles in the gam to use. Xbox Live users can even upload their stunts for others to play.

Speaking of Live, multiplayer is crazy, fast, and furious. You steal stunt scores during races, jump over your opponents, and overall play dirty all in the confines of a movie set. Of course, records are kept online of each individual course as well. However, it appears that the strong suit of the game is still in the single player.

Stuntman:Ignition

Bottom line: It’s at least worth a rental. However, in this gamer’s case, it’s a must-buy. This title has probably been lost in the ’07 Fall glut of AAA games. However, I think it’s definitely AAA material. It’s also available on other platforms.

BONUS: Instant replays look great. I’ve never saved replays before on any game, but this was a first.

Save Big Bucks at Amazon (if you’re lucky!)

Amazon Sale

I’m not trying to turn this site into “Amazon.com’s Video Game Central” or anything like that, but this is too important not to pass on. You may have seen elsewhere, but loyal reader Flamingsquirrel alerted me about it long before it showed up anywhere else, and I wanted to share this with you. Just like they did with the release of the Wii and the 100 dollar Xbox 360 last year, Amazon is making some killer deals available on video game consoles:

Killer Deals

Eighty bucks for a Wii, 100 for a 360 and 140 bucks for a PS3! That’s insane. Here’s how it works: Go to Amazon’s Customer Votes Page You’re presented with 3 choices for each day of the promotion. Each of the three items is deeply discounted and making the choice is like picking a favorite child. It just isn’t fair. You vote on which deal you want in on, and if you’re selected, you get a chance to purchase the item you choose on the specified date. My first vote was for a PS3. A PS3 for 140 ducets would be the greatest deal of all time. (It wouldn’t hurt if I could get Mrs. Buttonmasher a Kitchen-Aid or those diamond earrings, but I’m secretly hoping for the PS3)

So good luck if you decide to try this out. And if you’re a lucky one, you must let me know! I’m a little nervous I’ve used up all my luck, because back when they offered a Wii to a thousand lucky customers, I was actually chosen to buy one but didn’t have access to my email account and didn’t find out until it was too late. I still curse the day that happened!

Broken Hand update

Sometimes you have to go through the bad to savor the good. That appears to be the case with regard to my hand (pictured in all its broken glory here). My orthopedic surgeon ordered a CT scan on my hand just to have a second look and he has determined that it will require surgery. Gah! So it goes from bad to a smidge worse. It should be a simple procedure, nothing major. Now I’m looking at eight weeks of recovery after surgery. He did say that my hand won’t be immoblized the entire time, so I should be good to go soon enough. I go in for the surgery next Tuesday. What a great way to start the holidays, right?

In the meantime, I’m discovering what’s easy to do with your off-hand and what’s not. Shaving my face was an experience all by itself. I may grow a beard rather than suffer the uncertainty of shaving at an awkward angle. Maybe I’ll get an eletric razor. Eating isn’t too bad, luckily. Typing and using a mouse (something I do all day at my real job) have been hampered, but not impossible. Blogging will not suffer. 🙂

As far as gaming goes, I gave it the old college try with some sucess last night. I was able to play games with the DS (without the stylus, BTW), which should ease the pain and boredom a little bit. I couldn’t play for an extended period of time, though, so it will be in short bursts. I still haven’t tried gripping a 360 controller, but I’ll do that for sure this weekend, as my recovery will be set back a week or two after the surgery.

So that’s the update. Thanks for the sympathy on my previous post, your well-wishes are appreciated.

Zelda on an iPhone

Zelda on an iPhone

Jericho initial impressions

Clive Barkers JERICHOEven though I haven’t played it for a couple days, now is as good as ever to talk about my initial impressions of Clive Barker’s Jericho. Once I can finally finish it, I’ll probably do a full review.

The first feeling I got about this game is a lack of vision. Things are out of place, they don’t fit.

A little background: You’re part of a religious fighting force, fighting back demons and “The Firstborn” (It makes more sense in the game, but it’s not Jesus) and you’re doing it for the better of the world. Your religious devotion and Calling From on High demand it. Your whole team has been imbued with different holy powers.

In other words, you’re righteous. Your men (and women) of the cloth. Problem is, everyone swears like sailors and they make jokes about lesbians. The crudeness is over the top. Unfortunately all the canned dialogue is on a loop, so you’ll hear a lot of “Jesus Christ on a crutch!” These things do not match up. One of these things is not like the others. It just doesn’t fit.

Visually, the environment is just how I described the screen shots – juicy. Blood and entrails abound. Cursed monsters and zombie Nazis around every corner. As you progress through the game you not only move from one location to another, but you also move from one time to another. From WWII Germany to the Crusades. While the levels so far fell completely on rails, this may change.

I’ve played Jericho for about five hours now. I’m not ready to call Jericho a bad game, but it hasn’t grabbed me in any way. I’ll give it a couple more hours for a fair shake, but it’s not looking promising.