Bill Harris looks at what “hardcore” really is.
Archives for June 2007
I tried to get as much gaming in as I could during my free week, and I was fairly successful. I rented EA’s NBA Street Homecourt and gave that a try. While I played the NBA Street series a lot, I never owned any of the 3 games. I enjoyed them, just not enough to ever buy one. I had read that Homecourt is a cross between NBA Street and NBA Jams, losing some of the charm of each individual title. I was a huge NBA Jam freak back in the day, so I didn’t think that was a bad thing so I figured it was worth a go. I’ve played a bunch of Homecourt now and I’d give the game a thumbs-up. Some of the gravity-defying dunks are simply too much to swallow, but the game overall is very enjoyable. The gamebreaker portion, where you dance and jump around with the ball in a sort of break-dance free-style, is simply hilarious. Can’t get enough of that. The problem I have is seeing players in the game that couldn’t dunk a basketball with a trampoline doing high flying acrobatics. Give me a break. I’ve seen Antoine Walker jump. He’s got a five inch vertical. That cat’s not dunking over anyone, even with the best trampoline.
I also had a copy of Oblivion I borrowed off Bobster which I never got around to playing until this weekend. I can definitely see how this game sucked months of gaming away from a lot of 360 owners. If I didn’t have EQ2 to fall back on, I can see this game being my RPG of choice for a very long time. Everything about Oblivion oozed awesomeness. I wish I had more time to give this a thorough playing, it’s just currently not in the cards. Especially after my brother-in-law told me about Two Worlds. It may even give EQ2 a run for my RPG time.
I mentioned I be trying the 7-day survivor (again) in Dead Rising one last time, but I met an very untimely death about two days into the game by that Army Freak in the Hardware store and I swore that game off forever. It’s still my favorite 360 game to date, but I just can’t take another heartbreak in survivor mode. Enough of that, I’m waiting for DR 2 now.
I rented Splinter Cell Double Agent, but was so busy with the other games that I never got around to it. Hopefully I’ll have some time this week to give that a try. I figure it will be like all the other SC, but that’s not a bad thing.
Finally, I had a nice marathon session of Everquest 2. I finished up my Tier 2 armor set (that I mocked earlier) and wrapped up a few more quests. Every time I get ready to head to a new area, I end up spending more time in the old areas wrapping up loose ends and I never make it. My goal is to be in the Thundering Steppes full time some time this week.
I’m proclaiming this year’s extravaganza a resounding success.
(Remember that scene in the Christmas Story, when Ralphie opens the present from his Aunt Clara and it’s the pink bunny suit? His mom makes him try it on and he comes down the stairs, looking miserable and horrified that he has donned this obviously girly set of pajamas? That was pretty hilarious, right?
Okay, keep that in mind and hit the jump as I set a new stage for a horribly similar scene.)
[Read more…] about Man, this is uncomfortable
Today marks buttonmashing.com’s 3-year anniversary. Hard to believe I’ve lasted this long. Hard to think this blog is older than one of my children.
The blog is out of the terrible two’s. I don’t know what they call the “three’s”. Terrific three’s? That’s what I’m hoping for.
While it’s usually a black hole of wasted time and depravity, the internet has created some funny stuff. I’ve been seeing this everywhere lately and it is my favorite thing EVER.
Thank you, internet, for making this.
That is all.
It’s that time of year — time for Mrs. Buttonmasher to pack up the little mashers and head to the masher-in-laws for the week, leaving Mr. Buttonmasher a whole week of fun and excitement! I got things started off today with a round of golf and I got to watch the painful Game 3 loss of the Cavaliers to the Spurs. But I’m not going to let that dampen my spirits! This is my week!
Sure, I’ve got a honey to-do list to take care of, but there will be plenty of time for video games. I plan on copious amounts of Everquest 2, Forza 2 and much more gaming. I broke down and picked up a copy of Forza 2 and I rented a couple games from Blockbuster. I’m also thinking of giving that Survivor challenge in Dead Rising one more chance. I’ve got a whole plan for that one worked out. We’ll see what happens there.
I also hope to get more blogging in than is usual. There’s also a possibility I will be adding a 3rd semi-regular poster here, but that’s still up in the air.
So I hope you’ll join me in the extravaganza! Games for all!
I then had to go back and get some glasses.
I know that I previously mentioned that I just didn’t have the time, but something about the simlulation of it all was compelling me. I’m a sucker for realism. Of course, like mentioned in an earlier post, pretty picutres help too. Also, the last couple of years I’ve been digitally driving in games such as Burnout, Burnout 2, Burnout 3, and Burnout Revenge and I was just getting, well, burnt out. So, I cleared my gaming schedule for the first couple of weeks of June and put this disc through its paces. So as to not repeat what Tony said eariler, I won’t be giving my impression, but I will give my experience with the sim.
I never played the first Forza, but I did drive my fair share of cars in all the Gran Turismo games, so I know a little bit about driving simulations…or so I thought. I started the game in career mode, bought a Ford Focus and jumped into my first race. The timer counted down and I hit the gas. Within seconds, I’m drifting right out of the first turn. A couple of seconds later I get back on the road and then drift out of the second turn. Needless to say, my first race didn’t go so well.
However, the game has this great difficulty setting called Novice. Apparently, if you’ve never played before, this is an excellent place to start. There’s a track guide that not only shows you proper placing on the course but tells you when to brake and accelerate. There’s a credit (read: currency) penalty for playing on this setting, but it’s a must if you’ve never experienced true driving in a virtual form. However, after just nine races I’ve realized that the guide can be somewhat of a crutch. It’s perfect for time trials, but doesn’t come in really all that handy when racing against other drivers. They just keep getting in the way.
I did spend about 30 minutes customizing my car’s paint job and giving it the “pimp my ride” treatment, but then I realized why would I want to do this on a Ford Focus when I could just trick out my newly aquired Z28 and upload a pic to the Forza website. However, I may have to put that idea on the shelf. My son saw a Volkswagon in the game’s store. He adores Herbie the Love Bug.
You do the math. It equals 53.
You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t posted an announcement for the June edition of the Carnival of Gamers. I’ve lost a little steam when it comes to running the Carnival, so I decided the best thing I could do for the Carnival (and myself) could be to take a short break. Running the Carnival entails some legwork on my end and it’s been slowly falling down on the priority list. In fact, it seems that blog carnivals in general seem to be losing some steam. Perhaps they’re outliving their usefulness. Either way, it has been fun running the Carnival and I’ve enjoyed working with everyone, but for now I think it’s time the Carnival goes on a little hiatus.
That’s not to say there’s no interest. People are always contacting me, asking questions about the Carnival. Some want to participate, others want to host. So I don’t want to see it fall away completely. I think the Carnival is a great way for new bloggers to get exposure and for blog readers to find new blogs. I’ve come across quite a few good blogs over that 20+ carnivals. So it will take a break for the summer and we’ll take a look at the level of interest after that. Hopefully the break will be good for everyone involved.
I’m definitely not going to slow down here on the site itself, though. I’m pretty excited about the addition of a co-blogger and I’m getting the itch to change the look of the site, so hopefully we’ll be seeing changes very soon. Things will still be hopping around these parts.
Again, thanks to everyone that has helped out with the Carnival. It’s been a great run so far. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Forza, at its core, is a game I will probably never fully appreciate. There are depths to Forza 2 that I’m not willing to plumb. Even though I can control the air pressure in my tires and tweak my suspension system in a hundred different ways, I probably never will. The level of customization available is staggering. You want options to customize the look of your car, make it a one-of-a-kind? You’ve got hundreds of layers to work with. Hundreds. I, for one, am not that comitted. Luckily, other people are, and I can still appreciate what can be done with this game.
As it’s been said before, Forza 2 is not really a game. It is a driving simulation. You can’t put the pedal to the medal and hope the guard-rails keep you on the path. They don’t. They twist you in ways you didn’t think would happen. You just can’t fly around the track, using the brakes occasionally. This is not that kind of game. Once I accepted that fact and got the hang of racing without flooring it the whole race, things got very enjoyable. In fact, I’m getting pretty good at it. Not “jump to the top of the Xbox Live Leaderboards” good, but “change the difficulty from Easy to Medium” good. They’re baby steps.
Forza 2 is also about amassing as many cars as you can. The rewards of winning races are usually in the form of a new vehicle for your garage or new relationships with car manufacturers. This works on two levels. The drive to collect ’em all is something that’s hardwired in a gamer’s brain. It’s an irrestible force. It also serves to drive the game along, as you continue to earn new cars, new tracks and races become available to you.
Of course, you don’t abandon the cars in your garage, as they are able to earn “levels” in the same manner you as the driver earns “levels.” Again, another game mechanic gamers crave. Now you can do it two different ways. It’s very addicting. Add in all the customization and upgrades you can buy, and you’ve got a full plate. There’s also the ability to post your souped up cars on the Xbox Live Auction as well as gifting cars to your buds on Live. If you can collect something, you can sell and trade it as well. Quite a tidy package.
Overall, I really don’t have any major issues with FM2. I haven’t jumped online yet to try that mode out. It’s daunting. I don’t want to be embarassed, which is the inevitable end result of my racing endeavors online. I’m sure the multiplayer modes are fun, but I’m honestly okay with playing the game by myself. So far, so good.