Archive for January, 2008

What Call of Duty 4 is doing right…and Halo 3 is not.

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2008 by Arya

Most of us now know that Call of Duty 4 has surpassed Halo 3 as the most popular title on Xbox Live. To what can we attribute this surge in success for the younger title? There are many factors at play here and as someone who has played both titles extensively, I want to make sure none of them are discounted.

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Turok Demo Bites

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on January 31, 2008 by kingzardoz

Turok

The Turok Demo – released with a rather predictable outcome — crappy. This reminds me of the time vol. 229 of the Hardy Boys detective series hit the shelves and we found out the boys are gay lovers and just used the “we are brothers” ruse so they could sleep in the same bed together. We all knew it was coming, the signs were there, we just pushed it out of our minds. Now, Turok is here and we have to face the truth. It’s not as good as we wanted it to be but it is exactly what the previews showed us. Continue reading

Halo Gear Makes Me Feel More Human

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 30, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Playing Halo is probably equivalent to having a gruesome drug addiction: you hate it, you hate yourself for doing it, and you keep doing it anyways. Then your teeth fall out.

I’m awful at Halo. I keep playing. I keep telling myself I want to get good at it. I stagnate around level 21. I’m awful with the sniper rifle. I kill teammates with grenades. I quit for a week. Repeat Cycle. I never play Halo with a smile on my face.

But now I actually can chuckle at a few things Halo-related which have caught my eye this week:

1) This badass Halo sword, available on Ebay nonetheless. Bidding ends soon! (Link via Gizmowatch)

2) This kid’s carboard Spartan armor. He probably wears it while he beats the crap out of me on Construct. (Link via Geekologie) Geekologie)

Digging out the Sandbox with an Axe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 30, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

sandboxWhen Grand Theft Auto III broke onto the scene in 2001, it changed the way that games were played. Its much-heralded “sandbox” approach allowed the player to do anything and, much to the FCC’s concern, everything possible within the gaming world in order to make that dollar. In fact, GamePro, who in 2007 named it the most influential game of all time, sums up its power in the world of gaming:

“After GTA III, everything from Tony Hawk to fighting games, shooters and even the Simpsons franchise went back to the drawing board. No other game in the last 20 years has had more impact than Grand Theft Auto III.”

Hyperbole? Perhaps. But the ripple effect that GTA III had on games was undeniable. It was one of the premier titles for PS2 and it was the number one reason why I purchased the system in late 2001. Continue reading

Over the Weekend…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 29, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Here’s what ThumbButler staff got up to this weekend:

Daggius – “Started off the day with at a Dota Tournament with some friends.  Went straight to the losers bracket after getting rolled by some sponsored gamers in the 1st round.  Won our next match easily and then I bailed to play pickup soccer on some extremely soggy fields (its been raining for the last 3 days).  Great game, played till it was dark then went home and killed an hour playing Jetman Arena and Oregon Trail on Facebook with my girlfriend before attending the festivities downstairs where my roommates were throwing a Long Island Iced Tea & Rock Band party.  I have to say this is a pretty good combination except that I can’t stand half the songs in RB anymore because I’ve heard them so much by now.  New fav songs: Brainpower by Freezepop and Tom Sawyer by Rush.  It’s worth going through some of the unlockable songs even though you’ve never heard of any of the bands just to hear something new.  After some people cleared out I got some touches in on Fifa 08 which is really growing on me.  The last version I’d played was 04 and the interface has clearly improved since then.  A few nice features: You can practice jukes/shooting while the game loads, both teams can sub players at the same time, more jukes and overall more realistic gameplay (there’s a lot more random deflections, things like this just like in real soccer).”

KingZardoz – “Over the weekend I took my first shower in 5 days. For some gamers, showering becomes the first thing to be omitted from the typical routine. After showering stops, activities such as eating and sleeping follow. In these times it is always nice to have a friend around encourage your rehabilitation. A question and warning to gamers who choose to make their friendships limited to the interweb or XBLA community…Who will pull you from the trenches of your marathon gaming sessions when your only companionship comes from the other end of a headset or computer screen? Chew on that boys and girls….slowly”

markliskevych – “I actually took a break from Rock Band this week mostly because my bassist with whom I play was sick. I’m still plugging through Super Mario Galaxy, which is a monumental struggle. Not because of any shortcomings of the game but rather my own inability to be good at any Mario platformer. Seriously. Not having an NES when I was a kid renders me incapable of being good at crusading around the Mushroom Kingdom, or in this instance, outer space. I also got in some Winning Eleven with some co-workers and was undone by some sloppy defending – corner kicks are always my Achilles heel..”

Townsperson A – “Spent some quality time with the family. Caught a movie, Persepolis – highly recommended French animated film about Iran. Defended my undefeated tennis record against my brother. Watched some TV with my dog. In terms of games I played some dota (frozen throne custom), a lot of Call of Duty with above individual who doesn’t shower often, some Star Ocean, Fable, and of course, some Rock Band. Fable has some backwards compatibility issues on the 360 though so hopefully those won’t get too daunting. Current Rock Band favorite songs are Wonderwall and Synchronicity II.

Using Walkthroughs: A Moral and Philosophical Dilemma

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 26, 2008 by Arya

So a couple hours ago I beat Castlevania: SOTN on my PSP (the quick victory by defeating Richter). While I played the game for almost its entirety sans walkthrough-assistance, towards the end I found that I needed the crucial bat form in order to explore new areas of the castle. The options I faced were twofold and are a duo that the player must always confront at some point along his journey through an RPG: walk around aimlessly searching for new items, locations, and events…ORRRRRR…look up a walkthrough. Unfortunately, I chose the latter, and I did so due to the following travesty of a relationship:

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Uncle Sam Mandates Consumption

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 26, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

scroogeWhen America speaks, I listen. In this case, America isn’t even saying anything; she’s just giving me money. Apparently the economy is struggling, (though I wouldn’t know since I basically live out of a hotel) and even Second Life is on the ropes. Regardless, I’m super-ready to benefit from this “economic stimulus plan.”

I suppose that’s not directly gaming news, but just wait until you see what I spend this cash on. My Roth IRA is in its nascent stage, but as far I’m concerned, its got 40 years to sort itself out: this handout is going directly toward my gaming career. The best part is that I don’t even feel guilty about it since apparently this check is supposed to be taken to the bank asap.

Figuring out what I shall splash the cash on will come later (and perhaps in a later post if I ever get this check), though new instruments could be in store…