Adventures with Bungie

Bungie-logo

Long ago I by past the era of Microsoft XBox when I purchased a Playstation back in the 90s. Like most of my friends I was too busy with Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts to even notice that the XBox was even going to be huge. When Microsoft announced a console I laughed because I never thought a company solely responsible for computers could last in the land of gaming. One Halo release and the resurrection of the PC gaming market later I released that my younger self was stupid and naive. I never knew about a PC market even existed, though I remember spending countless hours of my younger days playing Age of Empire II. I dabbled in the PC gaming world but never fully understand till now how Microsoft would change the landcape of console gaming forever. Thanks to Bungie, the team behind Halo, our gaming world is now filled with First-Person Shooters that incorporate multi-player. Now truth be told I’ve only played about 20 minutes of Halo about 7 years ago. That is the most I ever spend on an XBox. Not too long ago I wrote about my Top 8 Wishful Experiences that I could have on XBox consoles, detailing which games exclusive to the XBox family I would like to get into. Since that time I have gained access to an XBox 360 and have played a game that is made by Bungie. Though it isn’t Halo, I can account to you my experience with this game and then give a educated guess to how I would of reacted to this game have I actually followed Bungie from the beginning. The game I’m talking about here obviously is Destiny.

Destiny PS4

I’ve played Destiny more hours then any game I own on PS4. That doesn’t really speak volume if most of the games out now for PS4 are re-released games. Admittedly its my first game I have played (non-stop, more then 20 minutes) developed by Bungie. The mechanics of this game differ but at its core it’s still a first-person shooter experience. Now from what I have played so far (this includes my playthrough during Alpha and Beta testing), I can tell you it’s highly additive game. It’s more addictive though if you have a few buddies to dive into with because of how intense the raids or the matches get depending on your preference. I love how tight the controls feel, and how intense some of the missions in Destiny’s campaign is. One minute you’re smooth sailing on the beaten path onto exploration and then you’re greeted by some huge ass Alien boss and a swarm of alien troops. Yes this sounds exactly like Bundgie’s previous installments but what makes Destiny different is the fact that you can level your character in the vain of Borderlands. You have three classes to choose from Warlock, Titian, and Hunter.

Destiny Screenshot

For my playthrough I went through as a Hunter, and in the future plan as leveling out as a Warlock. Each class has specific skill trees but numerous reports have claimed that it doesn’t change the core gameplay. Shooting is satisfying, and so is the rest of the combat in Destiny; it is as though you are in a galactic battle much like Destiny’s predecessors before it. Reason I keep bringing up Halo is because that was Bungie’s legacy. They created 3 of the greatest shooters of all time, and yet many critics have mashed Destiny to the ground; rightfully so. The story, with many critics I agree with, isn’t as impactful as Bungie’s last titles were and that kind of makes my love for such a game worrisome. It makes me essentially want to go back into a time elapse and….wait you know what no this isn’t a review. I am not going to dive into why I should be playing Halo, when Destiny is the most fun with a shooter I’ve ever had regardless of what critics have said. Sure Halo may have had a deeper story but this gameplay makes up for the lack of story. I’m sorry if I can’t really take the blinders off of this overhyped game but it’s how I truly feel. Now granted if I were to experience Halo first then I might have a different opinion. Unfortunately I cannont undo my experience with Destiny, but I can say that if this: if this gameplay was how Halo felt (minus the level grinding that Destiny offers), then I can assure you I would have been a Halo-junkie if I actually went into a time capsule and went back before I ever bought a Playstation 2.

Malice Mizer Retrospective| Battle of the Lead Singers

Back in 1992 a group in Japan formed known as Malice Mizer by three men; Tetsu, Kozi and Mana. From 1992 to 2001 Malice Mizer would dominate Japan’s airwaves with their mix of Gothic and classical style. Their costumes, set pieces, and themes all influenced by goth and classical style of the late Victorian period […]

Player of the Month: Sakura

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This weeks player of the week, comes from another fighting game and yet again its a woman. See a pattern? Though this is from the Street Fighter Universe, meaning that most of the characters play the same as the other (quarter turn punches anyone?). So one might ask why Sakura? Agility, check; fast, check; easy to quickly get out of any sticky situation, check; so what makes her different then the other lady fighters I use? Would I be telling the truth if I said her school girl outfit is a guilty pleasure? No?! Well then you pick something because I honestly just like using her more then other characters.

Tools That Shape the Mundane| Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review

 

System(s): PS3

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony

ESRB: E

Release Date: October 23, 2007

Rating

Story: 6.5

Gameplay: 6

Graphics: 9

Music and Sound: 6

Replayability: 5

Overall: 7.5

Back in the mid 90s, Sony was on top with more exclusives than one could count on one hand. This was during the end of their hunt for a mascot to represent what they wanted the world to associate with being as the premiere Sony character. From this ash of mascot hunting came another dynamic duo of Ratchet and Clank. Much like their partners Jak and Daxster, and Sly Cooper and company at Sucker Punch, Insomniac Game’s Ratchet and Clank become what Sonic became for Sega only for the PS2. Years later, three PS2 games and a PSP spin-off later, it has seemed Ratchet and Clank has lost their public appeal. With Future: Tools of Destruction (FTOD) as Ratchet and Clank’s first outting on the PS3, can this game bring back Insomniac Games in the pinnacle of gaming like before or should they retire?

Continue reading

Player of the Week: Sonic the Hedgehog

 

Sonic the Hedgehog

Reason for Award: Back in the 90s he was the pinnacle of the video game world. Considered the number #2 most recognizable characters of all time, and the king of the platforming genre second to only Mario. In fact was the premier mascot for Sega to help compete with Nintendo. Growing up I was always a Sega guy, (part of the reason why he’s being highlighted this week) and I’ve played every Sonic the Hedgehog game up until Sonic Heroes for the PS2. His transition from 2D platforming to 3D platforming wasn’t the best for his career seeing as he went from a fast paced rodent to a mascot on the verge of death using gimmicks like turning into Werewolves to stay relevant. 3D gaming has slowed him down, and he is no longer the king of platformers like he once was which in turned made many of his adoring (and now older) fans dismiss him. His best outing the current era (Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episodes 1 and 2, and Sonic Generations) have barely sold as many copies as he use to back when he was headlining his own console. Though he may have less value now, he is still considered ONE of my many heroes I look up to. The coolest mascot around a time when gaming wasn’t so complicated.

Player of the Week: Pyramid Head

 

Pyramid Head

From: Silent Hill Series

Reason for Award: Since my birth month is in the month of Halloween, what better way to celebrate it than to list a video game horror monster. This week Pyramid Head slashed onto this weeks highlights for being one of the most strange but scary characters in the video game horror genre. Just like the big Exterminators in the Resident Evil series, these f*%kers take a lot of ammo to kill. Unlike Resident Evil 5 though, you get a small amount of ammo to use sparingly. On top of being a huge bullet sponge, these creatures can kill you in a matter of minutes with their long Machetes and really long backhand. You really don’t want to mess with these dudes what-so-ever!!!

Player of the Week: Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life

 

Rocko

From: Rocko’s Modern Life

Reason for Award: Its the month of October, the month of my birthday and no better way to kick it off with one of my favorite Nickolodeon cartoons from the 90s. Rocko is an Australian wallabe who is the main character of this very funny cartoon show. Him and his best friends Heffer and Filber go on insane adventures together, that overall teach some moral value. He’s usually the leader of this trio, pulling pranks, hanging out, or just being silly. This was before cartoons started treating children like idiots and challenged them to think. Ahhh the good times.

Resisting the Generic| Resistance: Burning Skies Review

System(s): PS Vita

Developer: Nihilistic

Publisher: Sony

Genre: First-Person Shooter

ESRB: M

ReleaseDate: May 29, 2012

Pros: Gameplay, control

Cons: Unskippable cutscenes, sounds, graphics, level design, story

Rating

Story: 6

Gameplay: 7.5

Graphics: 6

Music and Sound: 6.5

Replayability: 8

Overall: 7

Another day, another launch title but this time of what should be apart of a Triple A series, but hold on to your horses here. If you’re looking for depth when it comes to characters or story and something that has amazing graphics to show off that the PS Vita can really do, then you’re definitely in the wrong review. I suggest you look at Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss or even LittleBigPlanet if what you’re craving for is something more deep, other wise keep reading. Continue reading

Player of the Week: Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Bret “The Hitman” Hart

From: Calgory, Alberta, Canada

Status: WWE Hall of Famer, Key component to WWF’s 90’s “Attitude” Era

Finishing Move: The Sharpshooter

WWE Real Live Achievements: Multi-time WWE Tag-Team Champion, WWE Intercontinental Champion, Competed in the first Iron Man match, Won first King of the Ring, WWE Champion, wCw Champion, wCw US Champion

WWE Video Game Achievements: Has appeared in almost every WWE video game I’ve ever owned if there was the ability to create him, that was given he wasn’t already in the game to begin with. Owned a few titles, but too long ago to remember.

Reason for Award: Besides Edge, and The Rock (which will eventually win a highlight mark my words) can be listed as one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. Wore pink to the ring, way before Hot Topic decided that real men wore pink. Comes from the famed Stu Hart Dungeon in Calgory where many of the best wrestlers in the world have been trained (Edge included). Wore shades and an epic biker jacket that screamed cool back when the Attitude Era was in its infancy. He obtains this award for not only being a technical wrestler, but also starting what I like to call the “breaking of keyfabe” (which for those who don’t watch wrestling is where someone actually plays as themselves and not the character they are portraying). This was done however in a controversial fashion in the infamous 1997 Survivor Series Montral Screwjob, where it was believed Bret Hart was suppose to win the WWE Title in his hometown but was then screwed over by Vince McMahon (owner of WWF/WWE) whom was standing at there ringside.

12 years after the incident, long after Bret’s career in wCw was over obtaining more titles then he did previously, he returned to the WWE to mend the relationship with all parties involved with the Montral Screwjob. This gained him a well deserved Hall of Fame status, and will always forever be known as the best there is, the best there was and the best that ever will be.

Player of the Month: The Used

The Used

From: Orem, UT

Genre:  Alternative Rock/ “Emo”

Producer: Reprise

Band Members

Lead: Bert McCracken

Drums: Dan Whitsides

Guitar: Quinn Allman

Bass: Jeph Howard

Reason for Award: Back around 2002-2003 a band formed, and a friend at the time knew someone who would eventually get us into this band around that same time in high school. Though The Used released their self titled album around the same year,  sadly it took me a few weeks later to obtain it after days of owning their first live album Maybe Memories. I’m sorry to admit that this month’s highlight is showing favoritism, showcasing one of my favorite bands but I did it on MySpace back in high school when I started liking them, and I’ll do it here. I’ve seriously owned almost the entire physical  discography by them with the exception of Berth (their second live album), Shallow Believer and their newest album Vulnerable (which I own digitally). I’ve also been to three shows that they headlined, and still listen to them to this day so there is no question I’m a huge fan of their alternative sound. Most of the time when people ask me who my favorite bands of all time are, The Used is one of the first bands that come out of my mouth. The guitar, drums and vocals all mash up in a harmony of musical bliss. That is as long as you love screaming “Emo” music, where the lead vocals can scream so loud that he sometimes he pukes on stage. They are aren’t a band for everyone I am sure, and I mostly say that to the people who refuse to call them an alternative rock band. They are high intent style is what made me fall in love with their music. This is a tribute to my favorite band, period.