Monday, November 22, 2010

women, combat and COD: guest blog

Hi readers! It seems disingenuous to apologize for my lack of posting lately because to be honest I have been super-busy with a new job that is AMAZINGLY AWESOME. So you'll forgive me if my humble little hobby blog is a bit slow these days. With that said, I'd like to present the first ever Paranoid Emdroid Guest Blog! Please enjoy.

“Women in Combat” by Wolfgang Hammersmith

Women in the US Military: New Status?

Contrary to general public knowledge, women have served as active warfighters in combat in the US Military since the formation of the United States.
In many cases, their heroic participation was kept from the history books but recently there was an announcement by the US Military that women will now be considered as standard US combat personnel. This is odd as something old is being called “new.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the sims medieval looks spiffy

I have to admit I haven't read much about this newly announced title and actually just heard about it recently but I am pretty excited for The Sims Medieval! It's hard to tell at this point what kind of game this will be. From the footage in the promo video on the website (just about the only thing there so far) the Sims look pretty, um, similar to the Sims 3 peeps but I'd venture a guess that there are some additional gameplay styles thrown into the mix.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

my sims 3 ambitions follow-up

I posted awhile ago (original post here) about enjoying Sims 3: Ambitions very much but having a couple of criticisms about it. I have to post again and say that after more time spent with the last Expansion Pack to have been released, I truly think it is a perfect EP.

i heart city-building games, y'all

Since removing myself a little from video game news and current events, not to mention no longer working retail and following new game releases, I thought I might find my interesting in gaming dwindling. Luckily that hasn't really been the case. I've kept up with certain new releases that I'm interested in but I've also returned to a past love that I had nearly forgotten: PC-based city-building strategy games. Specifically historical ones.

Monday, August 23, 2010

i'm aliiiiiiiiive

It's been so too long since I last posted and I have so many good topics to write on so I seriously will be back posting regularly after this summer hiatus. I really appreciate ANY readers out there and wish I hadn't been slacking so much this summer, since I managed to win a blog award (see at right)! I know it's not much but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that my blog is useful to peeps out there.

Monday, June 21, 2010

sims 3 ambitions

The latest Sims 3 expansion pack, Sims 3 Ambitions, has been out for a few weeks now and I have to say that for the most part I am really loving it. Sure, I've got a few criticisms here and there but overall I think that this new career-themed EP has a lot to offer and enhances the base game and the previous expansions.
First of all, I love the idea.

Friday, May 21, 2010

syberia review

I just finished playing Syberia and I can honestly say it's been awhile since I've had the pleasure of playing through a game that was so enjoyable and challenging throughout! Syberia is a true classic point-and-click adventure game and I constantly found myself comparing it to what I consider the pinnacle of adventure gaming, the Gabriel Knight series.

red dead redemption is out

The long-awaited followup to Rockstar Games' western shooter game Red Dead Revolver (for PS2 and XBOX) has finally arrived and it is receiving the top-tier reviews that most have been expecting. Hitting shelves this past week, Red Dead Redemption appears to have achieved what many major title games in its wake these last few years have been trying for but haven't reached.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

i support all girl gamers

I mean it when I say that. I don't care if you play the games I play, you love sports games, ultra-girl-oriented games. I'm just glad that girls play games. Which is why I was slightly tickled (if not, to use her words, annoyed) to find a mention of my lil' blog at a new video game blog called OneGirlGamer. As I said, I'm happy to see anything out there about games from a girl's perspective but apparently she doesn't quite feel the same way!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

argh why can't i play video games for a living?

...Which is my way of saying "waaaaahh, I wish I had more time to play games and post on my bloooog" [/whine].

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

wii fit plus

Last year when Wii Fit Plus was originally announced it was going to include an "improved, updated balance board with better measurement metrics". This turned out not to be true, and of course I had already decided to sell my Wii Fit on Craigslist in preparation for the new game complete with new board. Fast-forward to Wii Fit Plus getting released and of course it has the same old board, AND they release it as a just-software option for like $30 if you've already got the board.

finally played new super mario bros wii

Thanks to GameFly we've gotten to play tons of games we never felt like spending money on, and the latest of these has been New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

sims 3 ambitions!

The next Sims 3 expansion pack has been announced and is getting pimped all over the online community, and with good reason - it looks awesome.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

mlb 2010: the show

The latest installation of the Playstation-exclusive baseball franchise, MLB 2010: The Show dropped this week and while it is still the same great game that baseball fans flock to, it also introduces a couple of new features and different gameplay elements.

worst videogame movie ideas yet

There have been some real stinkers out there** when it comes to video games getting turned into major Hollywood movies these days but I have to say I don't think I've heard a worse idea yet than this one: Space Invaders is going to be a movie.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

desperation much?

Wow, this is really sad. MLB 2K10 came out today and in what is clearly a desperately ploy to get PS3 gamers to buy it instead of its major competitor (and generally considered better franchise) MLB 2010: The Show, 2K Sports is offering a million-dollar prize to the first gamer to play a perfect no-hitter game in the 2K10 title. Players have from today until May 2nd, 60 days, to be the first player to reach this achievement in order to score.

heavy rain WAS effing awesome!

Haha. It's sad that it's been long enough since I last posted that I am able to respond to my last post from like 3 weeks ago. Oh well, being busy sucks. Anyway, we got Heavy Rain like the day it came out from GameFly and I have to say it was pretty much as impressive and awesome as everyone has been saying.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

heavy rain sounds effing awesome

Wow, this game is just looking cooler and cooler the more I read about it. Heavy Rain, by French game developer Quantic Dream, is due out later this month but has been generating buzz for quite awhile.

Monday, February 1, 2010

sims 3 high end loft stuff!

The first (of many, I'm sure!) Sims 3 Stuff Pack is coming out tomorrow. High End Loft Stuff promises to "transform your Sims' homes into sleek, edgy lofts" with "sophisticated furnishings, must-have electronics, and cutting edge fashions". Translation: if you like your Sims to be hooked up and tuned in, you'll love this Stuff Pack. I know I will.

no wii HD on the horizon

Those of us out there that try to defend the Wii as a valid gaming console have less hope for near-future advancements now that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has denied any rumors of an HD Wii in development. In his mind, the addition of high definition graphics capability would not be enough to make a new Wii console stand out and sell successfully.

backing up game discs?

Now personally I am an anal retentive crazy person when it comes to my game discs (the boyfriend is even worse than me, he disapproves of a game ever being put in another game's case, even temporarily!) but for those of you out there prone to losing, scratching or otherwise effing up your expensive game discs, here's an alternative for you. I'm sure software like this has existed before, and I'm also pretty sure that most game companies would not approve, but if you want to back up your games, here's how to do it. I am as a rule very against piracy, especially when it comes to video games, so of course you should only be using this software to make backups of games you have already purchased. Again, not something *I* need with my immaculate game discs, but it might be of use if you make a habit of leaving game discs face down on the table or stepping on strewn-about cases. Or of course if you have an Xbox 360 that you plan on moving while turned on with a game disc in it...

mass effect 2 is a huge hit

Not that that was unlikely to be the case or anything! EA and Bioware's latest Xbox 360 exclusive title, the follow-up to its 2007 space-based shooter RPG Mass Effect, is posting great sales numbers in its first week on shelves, especially compared to the first title's release sales numbers. Mass Effect 2 has topped the UK sales charts for this past week, beating MAG, CoD Modern Warfare 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Fans of the original Mass Effect game get the added bonus that the sequel lets you carry a completed game file over from the first game, giving the player access to their well-developed Commander Shepard character from the original story. IGN gave Mass Effect 2 a 9.6 "Incredible" and it currently has a metascore of 96 and a user score of 9.0 at Metacritic. If you are a fan of the RPG genre and never played Mass Effect, you can pick it up used for... Wow, I was going to say like $18 but apparently the used price has jumped again, surely based on the success of the sequel. Well, $23 is not a bad price to pay for the original if you've never played it I suppose. Anyway, Mass Effect 2 seems good enough that playing through the first before taking it on will be worth it. Anyone playing it and loving it yet? I know my boyfriend is itching to pick up a copy but is practicing discipline and playing through the first one again before starting the sequel.

Friday, January 29, 2010

friday gaming rant

It's been a crazy few weeks for me lately, I am in the process of moving on top of taking on full-time hours at my job so sadly I haven't yet been able to keep up with my resolution to post more often here. That doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about gaming on the regular though! Playing games is another story at the moment. It's been weeks since I've played a game other than Sims 3 and it's been days since I've played that! Bah, boo moving!
...Anyway. I have been in the car way more lately than I like to be and have been thinking a lot about the state of gaming and video game development in the last few years. I won't go too crazy ranting here... yet... but I wanted to introduce a new topic for discussion which is: What the fuck has happened to gamers' expectations?
I mean really. Maybe I just don't get the genres of games that sell in numbers today, but everything just seems so... dumbed down. The top games that get the best review scores and the widest demand just seem so... similar. All of them. You watch pretty cutscenes, you run around with one analog stick and control your camera with the other, and you hit a variety of buttons to kill stuff or blow stuff up. Different enemies, different weapons, different map textures, higher resolution... this is what is touted as depth in games today it seems like. I can be impressed by more advanced AI that games use to ramp up the challenge, but ultimately there is just nothing to video games anymore past shiny graphics, shooting control schemes and item/weapon collection. Now and then a game with a great plot comes out that manages to sell but for the most part the plotlines and story of popular games are just... not important it seems.
I've already gone farther than I meant to right now but I would be really interested in what anyone (anyone? Bueller?) might think about this topic. I know franchises like Halo and Call of Duty have hordes of followers that are happy to defend them but I'm just saddened by the way smaller, deeper, BETTER games just aren't getting made anymore. And when they are, no one buys them!
Future more specific topics on this theme will include:
  • What Ever Happened To Adventure Games?
  • Just Because I Don't Have A Dick Doesn't Mean I Want Games About Babyz and Ponyz*
  • Why Video Games Are Not A Good Replacement For Socializing With Friends In Person
  • The Lack Of Puzzles That Make You Think At All
  • Don't Make Movie-based Games, Make Movie-LIKE Games!
...and more. Don't touch that dial! But in the meantime if you read this blog and have an opinion on the matter please elaborate in the comments.

*Note: I might actually enjoy a game about Ponyz. But definitely, definitely not Babyz.

Monday, January 18, 2010

bungie and halo 3 help haiti

The digital age we live in has made fundraising for global purposes a much more efficient machine than many could have ever imagined - the money and donated goods pouring into Haiti since the earthquake there is astonishing. This cause has allowed groups not often associated with doing good to contribute in new technological ways. One of the best recent stories out of the tech realm in my opinion is Bungie's decision to donate to Haitian relief funds via a unique method: gamers who decorated their Halo 3 avatars with a red heart are participating in a donation drive where every 1,000 players equals $100 donated, up to $77,000. This is a really innovative way to let people donate indirectly through spaces they are already spending time in and by contributing only their concern. I hope to see more charitable movements like this in the video game industry - and, really, it would be nice to see efforts like this before the major disaster hits. There is a lot of need in the world and with the global reach the gaming industry has achieved, it is certainly a big opportunity to get large numbers of gamers involved.

If you're interested in other ways to donate to the relief funds helping Haitians in the aftermath, check out Google's excellent comprehensive guide to helping: Google Crisis Response: Support Disaster Relief In Haiti. Just another reason to love Google!

Friday, January 15, 2010

peta loves the sims 3

I'm still working on being on top of all the awesomeness related to video games that gets reported on the internets these days so forgive me for posting a story that's a few weeks old. However, I think this is just totally blogworthy! The Sims 3 and Electronic Arts were awarded a Proggy award from PETA this year for progressive views on vegetarian lifestyles. Apparently the bar is low enough in video games when it comes to standards of humanity/progress that having the option for Sims to lead vegetarian lives is impressive enough to win an award. It is a pretty damn cool Trait to select for your Sims - they get a whole new range of food options, avoid meat in meals and get sick if they eat meat dishes.
Rumor has it that game testers have reported that vegetarian Sims live longer and age more slowly than meat-eating Sims. Of course, that would jibe with studies showing that real-life vegans and vegetarians are less prone to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening conditions.
The Sims 3 Gets PETA-Vegetarian Friendly Award

**disclaimer: I love all animals. I don't love PETA all the time. I do think it's rad that they can get their points across in this kind of promotion.**

Thursday, January 7, 2010

hotel dusk: last window?

If you read this blog at all you know I love point-and-click adventure games more than any other genre. I'm always on the lookout for great games that I missed in the past as some of the best adventure games are older titles. Still, occasionally new games come out that make me jump for joy because of their commitment to preserving the wonderful tradition of point-and-click. One company whose game I have really taken a liking for is Cing, who developed Trace Memory and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the Nintendo DS. Imagine my surprise and thrill when my boyfriend clued me into to recent development news on a Hotel Dusk sequel! Apparently titled Last Window, the DS game is not strictly a sequel but does star my favorite video game anti-hero Kyle Hyde in a plot that occurs a year after the events of the original Hotel Dusk game. Last Window will also make reference to characters from the previous game. Gameplay elements will likely be very similar with a few changes including rumble-pak support. As a huge fan of the first Hotel Dusk game I will for sure be pre-ordering this one... whenever it gets a North American release date, anyway!

finger physics

Mobile games come and go; some are crappy, some are mildly entertaining, some provide fun for a little while, but it is truly the special iPhone game that holds my attention long enough to not be deleted within a week or so. I have discovered another one of these special games in Finger Physics, a fun little game from Press OK Entertainment. The premise of the game is simply stacking blocks into stable structures, with different puzzles based on the conditions applied to the blocks. For example, there are magnetic levels where blocks interact like polar magnets with each other, there are underwater levels with floating and sinking blocks, and there are your typical blocks that explode when they touch each other. The game is very tightly programmed and animated so for the most part it stays true to its claim of using real physics to affect the blocks' movement. Occasionally here and there you'll weasel your way through a level thanks to a glitchy count or some other small bug, but it hasn't been anything really bothersome. All in all, this game is a great deal at $0.99 (and they just added 18 new levels), plus I think it is actually free today for some reason, so if you haven't tried this one on your iPhone or iPod Touch, it's worth picking up!

silent hill: shattered memories

We recently signed up for GameFly (we're a little pissed at the crappy copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum we received as one of our first games, but that's another story/Xbox360 rant..) and one of our first selections to be mailed to us was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Nintendo Wii. Made by (in my opinion) the always trustworthy Konami, I had heard that this game was a retelling of the original Silent Hill title but from the perspective of Cybil the cop. This is not really the case, although the game does deal with the original Silent Hill story. Lost and scared in what seems to be an abandoned town during a snowstorm, you are looking for your daughter and things are of course not what they seem. The controls are cool - you have a flashlight in one hand which serves as your camera control, and a cellphone that opens up menus for everything else. There is no real combat; there are sequences where everything goes dark (if you know Silent Hill you'll know what I mean) and bad things come out to get you and your only choice is to run run run! These parts are actually less enjoyable to me as the environments often start looking very monotone after running through four or five rooms like this, plus I personally play games like this one for the creepy plotline and story elements. Shattered Memories does provide a good deal of this in an eerie environment with great ambient scariness. There is an element of interview with a psychologist that is a weird but cool twist and can alter the progression your game takes apparently based on how you answer questions and respond to activities. Overall I'm really enjoying this new Silent Hill title and though I am ambiguous on how I feel about the removal of combat, I am glad to have more Silent Hill lore to whet my palate. Love it!

mirror's edge for the iphone

I have not played Mirror's Edge although I watched many gameplay videos at the time of its release and it always seemed like an interesting premise with a lot of promise with regards to the control system. The acrobatic flips and tricks that your character Faith flies through the levels performing made for exciting time trial competitions and a solid replay value. This is why I think this game is an ideal candidate to be made into a mobile game, and apparently Electronic Arts thinks so as well as they are in the process of making it. The game will apparently be 14 levels long and while it will incorporate Faith's artful leaps and flips, the gameplay will change up a bit as this handheld version is a 3-D sidescroller. I would imagine there will be some incorporation of tilt controls - at least there should be! More information regarding a release date and pricing will surely follow closer to this game's release on the App Store.

new year's resolution

It's official, I am making myself get back into blogging. Much like so many other things in life, it's so easy to get out of the habit of blogging regularly when you stop doing it for even one day. I have had a ton of craziness going on in my life with major changes when it comes to work (can I get a "fuck retail"?) and with any luck I will even be moving shortly. We will see about all of that. But one thing is for sure, I will be posting here more often in 2010. The holiday season and all its insane marketing is over and there are tons of great new games on the horizon, so *raises glass* here's to 2010 in gaming being a great year! And thank you once again to anyone who reads this blog, I heart you.