Thursday, March 29, 2012

Devil May Cry HD Collection Released Early!

Instead of dragging the wait out until April 3rd, Capcom and retailers have decided to move Devil May Cry HD Collection’s release date to March 29th. This is great news for old fans of the series and for those who missed out on these Playstation 2 action-adventure classics.

This is the franchise that inspired the action-adventure genre as it is known today; it helped create a basis for titles such as God of War. Featuring the half human, half demon bounty hunter, Dante, each game delivers stylish, fast-paced action accompanied by thought-provoking puzzles.

Don’t expect a large amount of changes to the original content, though. If you feel there is nothing new for you in this series, then this product will not warrant a pruchase. These are basically the same great Devil May Cry games (well, at least I enjoyed Devil May Cry 2) with a facelift and the addition of achievements/trophies. The HD graphics compliment the games and the terrific gameplay remains unaltered. However, it’s too bad that Capcom didn’t allow full remapping of the controls in any of the entries.

Complete with a whopping 99 achievements/trophies, you are getting Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening Special Edition; three classic games for $40 (or should I write, “2 great games for $40;” that stupid joke continuously said since this was announced)!

With the remake on the way (please don’t ruin it, Ninja Theory), this collection is perfect for those who want to dive into the roots of where this franchise started; or for those who want nothing to do with the remake. Lastly, if you have never played these titles, and you are a fan of action games, then this HD collection is the perfect chance to become acquainted with the greatest demon killer to have ever lived (in a video game, that is): Dante.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Representatives Propose Warning Labels on Video Games

Before continuing with my “Scariest Moments in Gaming” segment, some disturbing news has come to my attention. Apparently two United States congressmen—representatives Joe Baca of California and Frank Wolf of Virginia—are pushing for a law that requires the video game industry to place warning labels on all video games with ESRB ratings from E for Everyone to AO for Adults Only.

The warning label would read:

Warning: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.

Representatives Baca and Wolf followed up with this quote:

"Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents – and children — about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior," Wolf said in a news release. "As a parent and grandparent, I think it is important people know everything they can about the extremely violent nature of some of these games."

First of all, where has this supposed link to aggressive behavior been confirmed? Is there a scientific study? If so, I've yet to see it. That should be the first argument brought to the table in order to provide support for this ridiculous belief. Second, linking a product that causes bodily harm to users to video games does not validate your point. Smoking has been scientifically proven to cause cancer; and people diagnosed with lung cancer have publically announced tobacco has led to this. There has never been a person incarcerated or arrested who claimed, “I stole that car because of Grand Theft Auto” or “I jumped on his head because of Super Mario.” The push for this law has no support besides ignorant followers who believe everything they hear.

Representatives Joe Baca (top) and Frank Wolf (bottom)

This is also complete waste of taxpayer money. There are larger concerns in America than a harmless hobby. Let’s not forget that video games have been around since the 80’s. This is a hobby many people have participated in since then, which means large groups of voters in the United States are gamers. Attacking our hobby is not an intelligent political move if politicians hope to continue their “service” to the country.

No matter who you are, parent or child, you should not attack things you do not understand. I highly doubt these representatives have even attempted to play a video game today. Also, if you are purchasing a video game for a loved one, you should be the one to completely understand the elements of that video game. No one has the right to complain about a product that they have bought blindly. Do you see most people simply going into a car lot and picking up any random vehicle? No. People perform the research necessary to make the right purchase. This is done with countless products such as televisions, computers, furniture, etc.; and video games are no different.

Lastly, if the government was to actually follow through with this, why stop there? Why are video games being singled out? There should be warning labels put on everything that is a cause of violence or harm and promotes it. Even PG movies should require children to have the accompaniment of at least a seventeen year old. What about films with sexual content? I want warning labels on those to read:

Warning: Exposure to sexual content/nudity has been linked to lustful behavior.

Below are some comments I have found on the internet posted in response to this radical recommendation (names have been excluded due to privacy concerns). What do you think about the proposal of this law? Post your feelings in the comment section. As always, thank you for reading!

--Good for them! Stand for what you believe in! But hey, why stop there? Why not label every perceivable dangerous media. "Warning: Watching teletubbies may make your child gay" "Look out: Viewing Rachel Ray may make your child want to play with knives and fire" "Holy shit: Long exposure to Jersey Shore may make you retarded"

Well maybe the last one is true, but dammit I want these labels everywhere!

--how about putting warning signs on every piece of crap ever made?

warning: paper has been linked to paper cuts. use at your own risk. you may not sue the paper company due to cuts caused by paper!

--Considering how many people buy COD, GTA and GOW the world would be a very violent place by now if video games caused violence.

If you look at places in the world where violence takes place, you'll see that they don't even play games over there.

--If they do this, they should have to put it on all movies PG and up, whether there is violent content or not. After all, Tetris is E and it has no violence.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Scariest Moments in Gaming (For Me, At Least) Part Three

For your reading pleasure: “Part Three” of my scariest moments in gaming!

6. Intro sequence – Dead Space

As a huge fan of the Alien films and Event Horizon, I was ecstatic for a survival horror game to take place in space (by the way, that’s the place where no one can hear you scream; in case you didn’t know), and deliver both the physical and psychological fears the previous mentioned films had. Well, that wasn’t exactly the case, as the game followed in the vein of new Resident Evil games and focused on being a more action-based horror title. This was fine, of course, as the game still delivered a great amount of scares, featured, for the most part, smooth controls, and contained a very interesting concept: the requirement to dismember enemy limbs. Due to all of this, the Dead Space franchise has become one of my favorite horror titles ever. Sure, it is much more action-packed than other horror games, and it thrives on jump-scares (some people call these cheap, but they do work and I love ‘em); but the game is a great thrill ride filled with dimly lit corridors and startling sounds that always keep you moving towards the next objective while remaining on the tip of your toes.

But I digress (apologies for the rant; but since each part of this segment is only containing two entries, I might as well make the best of it). The one moment that truly caused my blood to rush and my heart rate to excel was in the introduction sequence of the game. Isaac Clarke, an engineer and the game’s protagonist, boards the broken and the seemingly abandoned mining ship, the USG Ishimura, along with four other members of the USG Kellion. In a predictable move, the game forces you to separate from the others in your crew to operate a console (but don’t worry; you have full view of your shipmates through a large window). Suddenly, the lights go out and shadowy figures drop down to quickly, and brutally, incapacitate the security members. “Damn, that sucks,” was my interrupted thought as Clarke’s superior officer told him to run. Caught off guard, I swiftly turned Clarke and saw a similar shadowy figure appear in the same hall as me. The grotesque monster charged at me and I almost lost control, running around praying for the dicovery of a safe haven. You see, this was a priceless moment because this was one of the few moments where survival horror broke through and shined brightly. You had no weapons, no clear idea of where to go, and necromorphs (the grotesque monsters) were hot on your tail. Your only option was to run, and I ran. I ran like hell and never looked back.

5. The Grizzly Bear – Condemned 2: Bloodshot

As you near the latter half of the game, the investigation of a cult leads Ethan Thomas, a resigned FBI agent, to a cabin in the middle of the boonies during a cold, snow-filled winter. While you search the cabin, bodies of government men lay dismembered throughout. However, what killed these men is still in the house; which is evident from the cries of dying men echoing through the cabin walls. Tension builds quickly until you enter a small room and finally discover what has been causing all this chaos. You pause for a second, attempting to fully comprehend what stands before you… It’s a freaking grizzly bear! What the hell are you doing just standing there?! RUN!!!

In a game featuring drugged up psychopaths, weird cult traditions, and supernatural powers, the scariest part for me was when a giant, angry grizzly bear was right on your tail. This isn’t like Dead Space, Resident Evil, or Silent Hill where fictional, disfigured beings are lunging at you. This was an animal based on real life. When you’re stuck in a corner and you see a hulking bear just out of reach, clawing and roaring its way inches closer to you, you feel one thing: fear. The fact that Monolith Productions (the developer of the Condemned franchise) were able to make a real life animal as scary as fictional monsters is an amazing feat in itself.

Closing comments

That marks the end of “Part Three.” I really hope you all are enjoying these brief segments. I felt it was good way to show the type of gamer I am and what moments in my gaming career I hold dear. Stay tuned for “Part Four” coming soon. As always, thank you for reading!

P.S. - Developers, make more games featuring parts like the Dead Space introduction sequence. Thanks!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scariest Moments in Gaming (For Me, At Least) Part Two

Here we are: “Part Two” of my scariest moments in video gaming. Enjoy (and spread the word)!

8. Little girl in vent – F.E.A.R.

Of course, a game with the title F.E.A.R. you expect it to be scary and to any of those who haven’t played this game (ya need to step it up and check it out), trust me, it is. This is mostly due to a little girl (whom I despise with a passion) named Alma. She shows up at certain points of the game out of nowhere sometimes screaming, sometimes talking, sometimes disappearing, but always scaring the gamer out of their seats. My most infamous moment with her, however, was when the player is crawling through a vent and suddenly at the other end she just appears. It doesn’t end there, though. Next thing you know she’s charging at you full force in the vent and you have nowhere to go. All you can do is close your eyes and pray when all of a sudden, she’s gone again. I hate little girls.

7. Revving of the Chainsaw – Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4, while one of the greatest games ever made, was a huge departure for the series. Instead of relying on tank controls and fixed camera angles, RE4 gave players complete control of the protagonist, Leon S. Kennedy, and delivered an over-the-shoulder camera. This resulted in a loss of the horror aspect for many longtime fans of the franchise. For myself, the game still had its scares, but I did notice the change from survival horror to action horror. Even so, while I may have been confident in my destruction of Las Plagas (the mind controlling parasite), one sound drowned all the bravery I had. Hearing the roar of that chainsaw after the potato-sack wearing Las Plaga pulled its engine cord instantly caused a panic to rise out of me. I would become frantic, running around the environment, searching for a good place to make a stand while keeping an eye out for the deadly foe as the chainsaw’s growl only neared my position. My worst encounter with this fiend occurred when I heard the chainsaw’s engine come alive and, quickly realizing he was behind me, turned a hundred-eighty degrees only watch my favorite Resident Evil character (since his first appearance in RE2, mind you) have his head cleanly sawed off. Damn you, potato-sack man!

Closing comments

I hope you enjoyed “Part Two” as much as I enjoyed writing. It’s great to relive and express some of your favorite memories in video games; especially the ones that almost gave you a heart attack. “Part Three” will be up tomorrow, so please drop by and check it out. If you had a moment that scared you silly, feel free to discuss it in the comment section. As always, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scariest Moments in Gaming (For Me, At Least) Part One

I felt like I’d do something a little different so you all can get to know me as gamer. I enjoy playing all different types of games, no matter if they’re family oriented or directed more towards the hardcore crowd. I like to say I’ve tried everything so I attempt to do so by holding no prejudice toward a game until I actually play it. Well, one genre I respect greatly is the “horror” genre. When I was younger (around 8) and I first played a Resident Evil, I was so scared I dropped the controller and shut the system off. However, after growing up a bit (and actually growing a pair), I looked back at all these games and realized all the great times I missed out on. In turn, I played as many games as I could, even if I couldn’t beat them, losing almost all control of my bowels when playing due to all the horrific scares I experienced.

Well, for this week, I’ve decided to let you all in on some of the moments that have scared me silly. They may not be the scariest but they stand out in my eyes. Yes, I know many of you tough-as-nails gamers out there may look at this list and laugh with pride about how nothing scares them but, in my opinion, that’s no fun. That’s the whole point of these games (well, most of them); to scare yourself shitless and trudge on knowing it’s going to happen again, and soon. So, before I ramble on any longer, here is part one of the moments during my many years of gaming that have left fear and humiliation in my heart:

Scariest Moments in My Gaming Career (Part One)

10. ReDead – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

I know what you’re thinking, Zelda? Really? Well, let me tell you that the first moment I laid eyes on a ReDead, I was very young and I freaked out because there had never been anything in the game that was as creepy as these… things.I didn’t know what they were and they made this moan that sent shivers down my spine. I was trying to sneak by one when all of a sudden another ReDead I didn’t notice appeared right next to me. The speed at which it latched on to me, sucking and humping (I’m just stating what it looked like) my life away, I freaked and dropped the controller, scared out of my mind. Nevertheless, I would return later and seek my revenge on them for molesting me.

9. Being grabbed through the boards – Resident Evil 2

Early on in one of my favorite horror games of all time, there comes a point where you (Leon S. Kennedy) are searching the halls of a police station. You pass by some boarded-up windows and think nothing of it. However, once you find what you need, you must make your way back to the lobby. As you walk through the seemingly quiet hallway, many gamers (like me) thought nothing of the boarded windows. Suddenly, a barrage of zombie arms reaches through the boards and grabs Leon. Being a mere twelve years old, I dropped my controller trying to prevent my heart from jumping out of my throat.

I know what you’re thinking after reading this (well, I know what at least one of you is thinking): How can such a small moment in Resident Evil 2 (near the beginning of the game, mind you) hold a place in your list? Most may have overlooked this “cheap” scare at the beginning of the game, but it stuck close to me. Throughout the rest of the game, I avoided walking anyway next to windows, open doorways, cracks in the wall and dark corners. I was positive there would be a zombie, licker, or some other monstrosity waiting for me to stroll by unprepared. Hell, even a damn crow would cause me go into paranoia and take every forward step with the utmost caution. Nevertheless, I proudly finished the game and, soon afterward, grew a pair. Still, for my entire first playthrough of Resident Evil 2, I played while looking over my shoulder due to that one scene; and that is why it is one of my favorite horror games of all time.

Closing comments

If you laughed at me and wish to continue, or just genuinely agreed with these first two entries, I will be posting "Part Two" of this segment tomorrow; so be sure to check it out. As always, thank you for reading.