It’s a sickness that never get’s better.
This is going to be a big madness. Due to recent excitement, we’ve got to catch up three weeks worth.
GAME: Gamers With Jobs featured a game a while back called Ether Cannon. It’s Asteroids with pretty visuals, concussion visuals.
GAME: Luminara, a much better take on Asteroids—much better. Now with trippy visuals, excellent controls, and a catchy soundtrack.
GAME: Do you like the Civilization games? Then you’ll love this FREE, dumbed-down, web-based version. Call it Ikariam. I’ll be sharing the server I’m on eventually.
PICS: Somebody took some screencaps of Metroid Prime 3 and made them 3D. I’ve got some glasses and I’ll admit: awesome. Thanks, Kotaku.
GAME: Audiosurf has recently added some new features. Why do I keep coming back to this game? Oh, yeah, because of allowing me to use my own songs. I don’t have to pay for each and every new song. Zing?
VIDEO: I usually cannot stand watching sportcasters, but somebody at TNT is teh phunny.
GAME: Zombies. That’s all I’m going to say. The Last Stand gets a sequel.
GAME: 1up has the first footage of Gears of War 2. Can you say $60 expansion pack? Sure you can.
GAME: Make your own Ouendan (Elite Beat Agents) clone for the PC. They’ve got video. N-E-A-T.
Well, the post was not as large as I thought after I weeded out some links I’d like to dedicate time for their own posts.
The college football season starts right now!
(actually, it starts in about an hour, after dinner and the kids are bathed. So almost now)
Update: Okay, I’ve been able to put a couple hours in so far. One huge glaring problem I have is the absence of the “Create-a-school.” I was aware that this feature was left out of NCAA 07 but I thought it surely would have been left in the game. Disappointing! No University of North Royalton Bears Dynasty this year. (I should have known better, of course. This is EA we’re talking about. It will be “in the game” next year.) That means I’ll probably take over as the Kent State coach and take them to the national championship. I wanted to stay in Ohio and have a 1-star team, so that’s my only option.
Outside of that issue — ME LIKEY. I’ll have a more comprehensive review/post up after I get a few hours with the Dynasty mode in.
If you’re a sports fan (more specifically a college football fan), you’re aware of a little game this weekend (just look at the countdown in the middle of this page. It’s been there for over a month.). That’s right, the Ohio State versus Michigan game is HUGE. HUGE is actually the understatement of the century. This game is going to be HUGER than HUGE. It’s something that’s never happened — an undefeated Ohio State team ranked #1 in the country playing an undefeated Michigan team ranked #2. It’s basically a mini-National Championship, a prelude to the BCS Title game in Glendale.
So I’ll be busy this week blogging at my other site, Men of the Scarlet and Gray. We’ve got a lot of content this week that will be taking up my time. We’ll also be participating in CSTV.com’s Battle of the Blogs. Our piece will be up on Thursday.
So I’ll try to keep the posting here, too, but it may be too much. This week is just chock-full of stuff going on. The game on Saturday, the release of the Wii six hours later and this football geek’s head is going to explode. It’s gonna be sweet.
I’ve got some Carnival updates coming soon, too. Unfortunately our December host dropped out but Michael at MMOGNation (Zonk from Slashdot Games) has agreed to take over the hosting duties for December. You can get your submissions in whenever you’re ready. I’ve updated the Carnival HQ page to reflect the changes.
So I’m excited about this week. I’m excited about the Wii. I’m excited about “The Game.” It’s Ohio State/Michigan. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.
And if you’re wondering, I don’t really care much about the state of Michigan.
I’m still working on a larger post on this topic, but this was too rich to pass up. If you’re an NBA fan, you know who Gilbert Arenas is. If you’re not a fan, he can be described as a guy who’s seen as a little eccentric (maybe old-fashioned) and is pretty grounded, considering his talent and fame. But honestly, most people will say he’s just weird. Anyway, there’s an article in Esquire that plumbs the depth of his mind and is quite an intriguing read.
Why am I bringing this up on Buttonmashing? Because there’s a Gilbert Arenas has an video game playing style that most of us are familiar with. Gilbert has a huge library of DVD and video games. In fact, he says he wants them all. He plays Halo. So he’s a gamer. And of course he plays NBA 2K6. To the point – he’s good at NBA 2K6:
… he will take on all comers at Xbox. He won’t just beat you. He will beat you by as many points as you want. Just name the amount. He treats it like a golf handicap. For this game, he’s giving away two hundred points to his friend John …
There’s a minute and a half left, and Real Gilbert is up by 191. Then Game Gilbert gets a steal and throws a long pass—only to have LeBron pick it off. “Sorry, Gilbert,” says Gilbert. “You can’t stop the King.” As the game ticks down, the Cavs and Gilbert—Real Gilbert—are up by 201. John has the ball and is running the clock down for the final shot. At the last second, Antawn Jamison flips in a layup that makes it 331–132. John screams, circling the room, knocking magazines here and there. The man just got beat by 199 points and is ecstatic. Gilbert shakes his head.
That is just rich. I love the delicious irony that the real Gilbert is playing as LeBron James, the player that had him so spooked in the playoffs last seaso that he missed two CRUCIAL free throws at the end of the game. Gilbert Arenas doesn’t miss many free throws. But now, he’s playing as LeBron and referring to him as the King. I love it.
So, to recap: Gilbert Arenas can KICK YOUR TRASH at NBA 2K6 and he’s not afraid to prove it.
Here’s a new thing I’m gonna try. Each week I’ll try out a new demo from Xbox Live and give my impressions. This week’s demo is NBA 2K7 by 2K Sports. The demo is a 4-minute quarter of Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. No frills, just the game.
It’s been a while since I played a basketball game, but I still love sports games and the basketball season will be ramping up soon, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The game looks good, even if the close ups don’t. Jason Williams, for example, looks like a zombie. For a game as simple as basketball, the controls are pretty confusing. Of course, I didn’t pay attention to what buttons do, so naturally the first time I got the ball, I heaved a half-court shot instead of passing the ball. Once I figured the basic controls, the game is quite enjoyable. The players are easily controlled and actually behave how they real counterparts do (i.e. Antoine Walker doesn’t play D, hangs around the three-point line). I played about five games. I didn’t see any glaring flaws right away. Nothing that would be a game stopper.
I don’t see myself playing a lot of basketball, so I doubt I’ll even rent NBA 2K7, but if you enjoy the basketball game, NBA will definitely fit the bill.
IGN gives it an 8.3
Operation Sports calls it “the greatest basketball game [they've] ever played”
(On a side note, the batteries just died in my 360 controller. That’s almost a full month of regular playing on alkaline batteries. Not too shabby)
I’m not blogging here about the Ohio State football games, as I know have a dedicated OSU Sports blog, so you can check that out here.
All you need to know is that OSU worked Texas over, with impunity.
Ohio State: 24
Even though I mentioned that I had downloaded Ultimate Baseball Online months ago, it wasn’t until this weekend that I actually had a chance to play it. I must admit, though, that I haven’t played a video baseball game in a long time. I think I played a little MVP 2003, but that was only for a few minutes. I have no idea what the last baseball game I played — Super Bases Loaded? Needless to say, it’s been a while. But I’ve been anxious to try out a Massively Multiplayer Online Sports Game (MMOSG) other than Shot-Online, so I dusted off the virtual mitt and gave UBO a try.
As with every other game, the first step is the character creation. UBO’s system was pretty simple, there weren’t a lot of choices, just basic options like body and face types (EA Sports Game Face it ain’t). I made a right-handed catcher named “BMasher” and set off to do the tutorial.
As I said, I haven’t played video game baseball in years, so I don’t know how the current gen handles mechanics like hitting and fielding, but UBO control scheme isn’t too bad. For batting, you determine how much power you want to put behind a swing, which subsequently affects the “sweet spot” of your swing. The more power, the smaller your sweet spot. You have a catcher’s-eye view of the pitch. You see it coming in but you don’t know where it will cross the plate. Clicking the mouse button swings and if you’ve guesses right and the pitch falls in your zone, you’ll hit the ball. Pitching works in a similar fashion. You pick the pitch, choose a location, and a meter to determines speed and accuracy. Fielding is straight forward, as well. A little red indicator shows where you should go to catch the ball and clicking the mouse holds up your glove to catch it. Every aspect is pretty simple but there’s enough wiggle room to make it more challenging as your skill level changes.
After the tutorial, I went to the “Practice Clubhouse” and jumped right into a game. You can play a game with as few as 4 players, but in the game I played in, it was 4 vs. 5. It was a 3 inning game and we were the away team. After informing my teammates this was my first game, I led off the top of the first. I made nice contact, hit a ball towards the short stop, ran toward first and was thrown out before I was half way down the base path. It appears my speed (currently at level 7) makes me run like I’ve got a backpack full of bricks. It would become apparent that speed is plays a major factor in this game. Watching a guy get forced out at second from short left field made that very apparent.
On defense, I started the game as catcher, but it was suggested I switch to third after my first throw back to the pitcher ended up in centerfield. Fielding was pretty easy and I only commited one error. I thought a game like baseball would be BORING to play on defense, but it was actually quite engaging. I clocked about 5 seconds in between each pitch, and you don’t know if the next batted ball will be coming your way, so you’re always on your toes. Kudos for making defense playable.
The game went into extra innings, with the other team winning on a bases loaded single. Since it was 5 on 4, the CPU handles the empty spots on defense but only actual players bat. In the 4 innings we played, I batted 4 times (going 0-4, striking out twice. Yeah BMasher!). The game took about 20 minutes or so to play, so it isn’t much of a time investment. I only earned a couple experience points, but I don’t think it will take long to “level” my player. Leveling up involves earning “Parameter Points” and “Skill Points” which obviously increase your players abilities. There’d be no point in playing if you can’t get better, so the skill progression elements of the game seem pretty solid.
So far, I’m liking UBO. It looks and feels like a baseball game, and the fact that I played with 8 other players is quite cool. I’m going to give it a fair shake and play it a handful of times before I give it a final thumbs up, but so far, so good.
If you’ve been reading buttonmashing.com for longer than a few months, you’ll know that I’m a big sports fan. “Big” is actually an understatement. I love sports. Interspersed between my incoherent rants and ramblings about video games you’ve probably noticed mention of the “Men of the Scarlet and Gray”. Men of the Scarlet and Gray (as praised in the OSU Fight song, the Buckeye Battle Cry) are, of course, members of the many Ohio State University sports teams. My love for all things Buckeyes runs deep. Possibly even deeper than my love of video games. I’ve blogged about their exploits in great detail over the past couple years. It’s been a lot of fun but I never saw sports as a topic people came to buttonmashing.com for.
So with that in mind, I have launched a new sports blog named “Men of the Scarlet and Gray” (MotSaG for short) with some blog buddies (including the Monkey and the Conservative Buckeye). From now on, you’ll find my “Buckeye Blogging” over there, along with other musings on the state of sports in Ohio. While Ohio State football will be the primary focus, we’ll also be discussing things such as the Indians, Browns and Bengals, Cavs and anything else along the I-71 corridor. (I’m “el Kaiser” at MotSaG)
So those of you that ignored my sports posts in the past can rest assured that they’ll only get a passing mention here, and those of you who enjoy talking about sports and video games are more than welcome to add MotSaG to your reading list, whether you’re a fan of the Buckeyes or not. We’re all sports fans, and that makes us equals.
Unless, of course, you root for the Wolverines.