sYnthYte
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  • I'm a bit concerned about the way the site is heading at the moment. I look on the front page, and at least a third of the "comparison" blogs are comparing old school video games. It's not that I don't love classic gaming, but comparing things like Contra to Metroid or Sonic to Mario, that's pretty esoteric subject matter. We've grown up on those games, and we all have biases regarding the subject matter.

    More importantly, the basic appeal of the site, I think, is how useful it is for letting good games rise to the top, and representing alternative opinions. Ignoring current releases won't draw new readers to the site, because like I said, we all have the games we grew up with, and not everyone is inclined to discuss the properties of a nostalgic classic versus something they never experienced.

    On the other hand, I think we can all appreciate an expose on the differences between very similar games released recently, since it allows for gamers to make more educated purchases.

    Again, it's not that I don't appreciate these conversations regarding older games, but that's just it; they're discussions, not academic comparisons. I mean, really; Minesweeper vs. Solitaire? Nobody's really going to read that blog and say "Hmmm, I guess people think Minesweeper IS a better game. I think I'll play it more."

    I'm just saying.

    edit: Also, I realized that some of the votes on the site are probably not valid. ie some people are voting in comparisons for games they've actually played versus a game they've not played. That's not really a solid opinion, and I wonder if there isn't a way to restrict that sort of false leverage. 

    Listening: "Sugarless" ~ Autolux
  • Here's what I picked up with my Christmas money; Lost Planet (Colonies Edition), The Orange Box, Battlefront 2, and Alter Echo.

    My experience with Battlefront 2 and Lost Planet can be read about here. I bought Orange Box both so that I could play/beat Portal and also to investigate Team Fortress 2. In addition to being mentioned (and made fun of) on Penny-Arcade, the video below pretty much made me fall in love with the wacky sense of humor it showed.


    I have not been disappointed. I have played only a half hour of TF2 and I enjoyed it more than my whole Lost Planet experience so far. I'll sit down and review it in depth later, once I've immersed myself in it.

    As far as Alter Echo goes, it was a mistake of a splurge. I fell in love with the game when it came out because of the awesome art style and in depth gameplay, but never got the chance to try it. I didn't realize, when I bought it last week, that it wasn't backward-compatible w/ the X360. Of course.

    It was only $5, so meh. Maybe they'll issue an update at some point. Whatever. I could go out on a limb and find the PS2 version, but I'm not going to bother. I wasn't that eager, honestly.

    Some games I'm excited about: FEAR 2, Red Faction Guerilla, and Tenchu 4. Sadly, there's not that  much in the pipeline to squeal over. 
  • Merry Christmas and all that jazz, yanno.

    Still trying to evaluate my options as far as what my next Xbox purchase should be. I want to get an online multiplayer game that has vehicles, because I love vehicles. The best I've heard so far is UT3, in that category. But then, almost everyone I know who is one LIVE plays Call of Duty 4. Problem with that is, I know this means there are probably just as many people on LIVE that I would loathe. Finally, I know a few people who are on Left 4 Dead, but unfortunately, I didn't quite take to it as well as I'd hoped, though I haven't yet tried out the versus mode.

    We'll see. I'll probably rent UT3 next and see how it is, then give L4D a second spin, try versus, and see how that goes. If they both disappoint, then I'll just grab CoD4 and hope I can find a cadre of peers who won't annoy the shit out of me.

    Even though I know that something'll probably come out soon that'll make that purchase worthless >.<
  • Well, a leveling system for a game ranking site, huh? Sounds pretty awesome. Let's see how it does.

    I returned my copy of Saints Row 2 last week, to Newcastle Comics & Games in Maryland Heights, MO. Great place, if you live in or around the area, check it out. Still haven't decided if I want to rent another game or if I should just buy one. So, right now, all I really have to play (at least, that I WANT to play) is Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Gotta unlock more guns, yanno?

    Which is what I'm going to go do now.

    FYI, my username is the same as my gamertag, same capitalization and all. Feel free to add me, yeah?

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Recent Game Comparisons

  • Star Wars: Battlefront II is better than Lost Planet
    Overall Comparison
    Lost Planet disappointed me.
    Battlefront II did not.
    I purchased the recently released "Colonies Edition" of Lost Planet, having been passingly familiar with the original. I'd read online that... more
    Lost Planet disappointed me.

    Battlefront II did not.

    I purchased the recently released "Colonies Edition" of Lost Planet, having been passingly familiar with the original. I'd read online that there were new multiplayer additions, including a very exciting new mode called "Akrid Hunter" that actually allowed players to take on the role of the titular insectoid giants while other players battled against them.

    I should've read up more, because one of the reasons I'd purchased the game was because copies of the original Lost Planet were plentiful and I thought I could play with my friends online. My mistake. Apparently, the new version of Lost Planet is a brand new game and does not allow cross-version multiplayer. That alone should've reduced the value of the game significantly. More tellingly, the Akrid Hunter mode is quite one-sided, because the Akrid gameplay is stiff and results in nothing more than a drawn-out slaughter in favor of the humans, who can use their mecha to easily wipe out the awkward, difficult to control Akrids.

    Battlefront II, on the other hand, is just as compelling and exciting as I remember. Despite being on the prior Xbox console, the game is just as fast paced and fluid as Lost Planet, and considering the amount of on screen action, quite visually pleasing, particularly the Droid Army. In addition, the vehicles available are far more interesting and varied than the mecha in Lost Planet, with the ability to have a pilot and gunners. In addition, the split screen mode allows two players to join LIVE and revel in sweet victory together. I've heard a few complaints about the seeming futility of winning or losing the battlefield, but in the end, it's more about individual performance than whether your side won or lost.

    If you were considering trying Lost Planet, I suggest you pass it up, as it is a perfect of example of half-baked ambition prettied up to compensate for an ultimately lower-value experience. Instead, pick up Battlefront II for half the price and relive the glory that is Boba Fett vs. Darth Vader in the midst of a raging battlefield. It's all about the gameplay, people. All about the gameplay.
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  • Saints Row 2 is better than Crackdown
    Overall Comparison
    I don't like sandbox games. Or rather, it's not that I don't like them, but that I don't like the constant rehashing of GTA III over and over with different titles. Even GTA itself has become a parody... more
    I don't like sandbox games. Or rather, it's not that I don't like them, but that I don't like the constant rehashing of GTA III over and over with different titles. Even GTA itself has become a parody of itself. A syndrome of the current state of the video game industry, the only thing worse than the current glut of GTA wannabes is the sci-fi FPS epidemic.

    So when I played Crackdown, I was absolutely overjoyed. FINALLY, somebody was doing something different! Overlooking the ridiculously generic storyline, the game finally did what I had been wanting to see done; sandbox with superpowers. To a certain extent, Ultimate Spiderman had done this before, but not to this scale. Crackdown had so much going for it; RPG-esque character leveling + customization, crisp graphics, nary a glitch to be found, and a pretty awesome soundtrack.

    So why is it that Saints Row 2, a game I should loathe in all manner of loathing, was more entertaining by far?

    Sadly, Crackdown missed the boat entirely on replay ability. Once you'd beaten the game, leveled up all your skills, and found all the placement markers, that was it. The RPG leveling wasn't nearly as deep as it seemed, and character customization was shallow at best. Worst of all, there were NO diversions at all to speak of. Oddball Achievements, yes, that you could attempt, but nothing quite as interesting as expected. For a game with such potential, it was sorely limited in scope.

    Saints Row 2, on the other hand, not only has a ridiculously, painfully deep character customization setup, but has the most entertaining side missions of any sandbox crime game before it, hands down. The Insurance Fraud diversion had an entire room of my friends rolling on the floor, laughing like maniacs. 

    To make a long story short, Saints Row 2 provides a much more robust and engaging experience, despite being a blatant GTA wannabe. Crackdown is fun, but is more of a rental than something you'd want to own. On the other hand, Crackdown is a very cheap used game at my local store, so if you're looking for cheap fun, Crackdown is the way to go. But if you want the absolute BEST in sandbox gameplay, got for Saints Row 2. They're both good games, but Saints Row 2 is the better value in the long run.
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