: Ben's Week In Review: March 31

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Ben's Week In Review: March 31

Depending on how fast we get things set up, this latter week should be the last that features articles only from me at PSXE. More news on Monday. :)

Been thinking about this whole Hayter/MGS thing...

So Hideo Kojima has finally announced Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and with that unveiling has come several other interesting tidbits. Firstly, it appears that Ground Zeroes is actually a separate title; a prologue, in fact. Secondly, the one and only voice for Snake, David Hayter, won't be reprising his legendary role. Kojima has said it's because they're making a "new type of Metal Gear game." Some fans are downright pissed; they just can't imagine Snake having any other voice. Well, that makes sense; how many years has Hayter played that part? So yeah, I get it. But it got me thinking about the time when there was no voice acting in video games.

You can call it old-fashioned if you like, but I truly believe that in some ways, that was preferable. I see it as preferable for the same reasons that I never want to see a movie based on a book I love. I've already created those characters in my head; their look and their voices are already there. My imagination has them exactly as I desire them. In games, we already got the look (to some extent) but the voice was left up to our imaginations. I honestly never needed to hear what Cloud or Aeris sounded like and to be frank, I'm not sure I ever want to ("Advent Children" was jarring in that way). So there's a small part of me that wishes Snake never had a voice at all...my imagination would've been able to have its way.

...sorry. Just saw "Finding Neverland" again and that always gets me thinking philosophically about imagination. :)

Quality isn't necessarily the issue, Ubisoft

Assassin's Creed is coming back for the fourth consecutive year. Now, although each title has been in development for nearly two years or more, one still has to call this "annualization," do they not? However, developer Ubisoft Montreal doesn't see this as a problem; they say if the quality is there, the frequency of releases is irrelevant. This makes plenty of rational sense, of course. Why not continue to give us more greatness more often? After all, with the minor exception of Revelations (which was still a great game, just not elite like the others), all the AC titles have indeed been worthy of high praise. I don't expect anything less with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Still, that's not really the point. Annualization may not directly impact a product's quality but it certainly hinders innovation.

That's the issue, Ubisoft. Not that the game will be good, but that freshness and original ideas can't be rushed. Originality doesn't operate on a timetable. Unique, bright ideas don't abide by any schedule. And even if they did, that schedule wouldn't operate consistently. We know you can make a great game. What we don't know is how far you can take such a great concept and that's what we want to see in the next generation.

Personal gaming update

I will not finish Halo 4. I was right at the end, and I accidentally fell. But I didn't fall all the way; I got stuck on a little outcropping of sorts. There was nowhere to go (and I didn't have a jetpack) so I'm like, "Whatever, I just saw a checkpoint a little while back." So I step off, die, and...I'm resurrected in that very same spot. Yeah, okay, I'm once again reminded why Xbox 360 games always feel dated in some way to me. I have never - not ever, mind you - completed any one of the 18 games I've finished on that system without encountering some massively annoying issue like this. So you know what? The game doesn't deserve to be finished by me.

And why should I deal with that when I've got awesome stuff like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite? Irrational's newest is a really, really special game, as if you couldn't already tell from my review. Please do buy it if you haven't already; you're totally missing out if you don't.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who exhibited interest in becoming a PSXE contributor. I got around 25 messages of interest and I have to say, at least half of them were quite suited for such a role. It wasn't easy trimming that list down but I did, and now we'll have no less than five contributors that will help immensely in boosting the content (especially the original content) of this site. Those five know who they are and they should be introduced to you late Monday night. All five have been readers and active participators in the PSXE community over the years; that's the only hint you get.  Or they might give themselves away ahead of time... ;)

3/30/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (47 posts)

Temjin001
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:43:27 AM
Reply

I'm okay with games like Zelda not having voice overs. I'd imagine it'd change the vibe of the game if it did.
I think if MGS is still going have Snake as a lead character they really should keep Hayter. I suspect Hideo may cave and enlist Hayter afterall because of the outcry.

I haven't experienced anything abnormal on 360 games. Maybe 360 hates you Ben.

I agree that AC's problems aren't about quality as it is staying fresh. There's reasons games come and go from the center stage. One of which includes innovation of the form. I think it can be dangerous for the medium if the high profile pubs play it safe and not take big risks. I sense there's a self preservation fear at play, where with the fast and moving changes in technology and gaming culture we're seeing a different marketing landscape. This is the first gen that I can remember where franchises have existed far longer in the AAA spotlight than before. I'm not sure if I like that. I think the PS2 era was more interesting in the sense that there were less market hogs and core gamer types felt more diversified in content consumption. Now it seems we have these 'go to' games, annual games, that continue to draw in the crowds.

PGU: I think I'm far in DMC3. I just fought off my dopple ganger. I'm on mission 18, or so. Other than feeling antiquated from old tech, the game was pretty awesome for it's time. It's hard now to see past some of it's aged elements but there's some real oldschool-hardcore fun to be had. It's been worth my time thus far. And the Nivan guitar weapon was an absolute surprise. Playing riffs and lead licks to kill baddies is too cool. Capcom should've never have messed with Dante's image and style. I hope they restore him.

I've also been doing AC:R. I approached this one pretty backwards. I essentially captured the whole city and trained assigned master assassin's to dens very early on. AC: BH really set me up to know just what to do to conquer the map and get the bank rolling with cash flow. Now I'm just pounding out the main missions and I feel invincible. Seriously, with bombs and assassin calls you're basically unstoppable.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/31/2013 12:44:57 AM

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homura
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 6:31:02 AM

The battle with Vergil in DMC3 is one of the best boss battle in video games. It's incredibly awesome, take notice in the beginning of the battle when they walk slowly towards each other, it's like the calm before the storm. You'll enjoy it.

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Akuma07
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 9:43:07 PM

I guess I can understand Ben's point, they gave Snake a voice, and because of that, Hayter has BECOME Snake to the millions of fans. Changing his voice is the same as changing his character.

For the record, even though Cloud was speechless in FF7, I think they actually nailed his voice in Advent Children. The same voice actor has been used for every one of Cloud's appearances since then, such as Kingdom Hearts. The voice is very much so close to what I had imagined. Sephiroth too.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 3/31/2013 9:43:20 PM

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dmiitrie
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 3:18:13 AM
Reply

Hahaha! I love the two topics for this WiR Ben! On one side, people are mad at MGS because it is changing and on the other, they're mad at AC because it isn't.

More seriously though, I don't see why EVERY game needs to be innovative. Sure, there needs to be devs like Quantic Dream or thatgamecompany who are always pushing the envelope. But established series need any changes made to be incremental at most. And AC has definitely been doing that. It may not have worked out as well as they would've liked in Revaltions, but by all accounts, the new gameplay (ie...naval battles) was the highlight of ACIII. So I'm firmly on Ubi's side: as long as the quality never suffers, keep pumping titles out. Besides, isn't it a common complaint around here (and one that I share) that certain titles and genres (coughFFcough) strayed too far from what made them great?

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 4:05:30 AM
Reply

i only played a couple of MGS games, the last was MGS4. so
i'm not really bothered that hayter wont be the voice of snake in the new
mgs game. but i can understand why some long time fans are upset.

i think if the new va for snake does'nt stick out as much as the va
did for cole in infamous 2, though not pleased, i think fans will be ok
with the new va.

pgu
army of two: the devil's cartel.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 11:46:56 AM

How is army of two?

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:13:50 PM

Yeah, how is AoT? Do you play it in coop?

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Dukemz_UK
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 4:59:02 AM
Reply

I'm a long time fan of MGS, but I understand why, in some cases, things have to move forward. I'll be disappointed without Hayter in the voice role of Snake, but as long as the new voice acting is excellent quality, then I'll accept it. Snake's voice is not a deal breaker for me.

I've stopped buying Assassins Creed day 1 after AC2, because I didn't feel there was enough originality in the franchise. I've heard good things about AC3 but it's going to be a bargain buy for me

PGU: Replaying The Walking Dead (Telltale Games) to see the effect of different choices I make. This game is the easiest platinum trophy you'll ever achieve.

I think we should start guessing who is going to be official PSXE contributors:
1. World
2. Temjin
3. Highlander?
4. Beamboom?
5. ??

Last edited by Dukemz_UK on 3/31/2013 5:05:04 AM

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 11:01:07 AM

Killa Tequilla.

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 3/31/2013 11:01:40 AM

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Dukemz_UK
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:52:14 PM

I would have said Killa. That big avatar gives me the creeps tho' :-)

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 1:55:27 PM

That is my exact facial expression when Kim Kardashian walks into my house.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 5:34:15 AM
Reply

4 words: Bioshock. Infinite. Is. Awesome.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:13:21 PM

I promised myself to finish Crysis 3 first, but I am really struggling with staying off that game.

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 1:25:13 PM

Do you need to have finished past bioshocks to get it?

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matt99
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 2:17:17 PM

@ Underdog, Infinite was the first bioshock I ever played and I loved it so I would say you don't need to play past bioshocks. Though there may be references to the other games that I didn't get, but it's still a great game if you're new to the franchise.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 2:40:19 PM

No it's a totally a different story and characters and setting, the only thing that's really continuous is the unique feel of the game so all you'd miss is the little innovations in gameplay.

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xenris
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:38:04 PM

Beam, Inifinite is chronologically before the original Bioshock so don't worry about it. But if you are and you get Bioshock on the PS3 you get bioshock 1 for free :)

I agree world Infinite is amazing.

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homura
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 6:42:59 AM
Reply

Solid Snake without David Hayter? Heartbraking.
Big Boss without David Hayter? Still ok.

PGU:

Finally finished the story of White Knight Chronicles II. The ending scene is Meh... But I definitely enjoyed Kara and Caesar's story.

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duomaxwell007
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 7:41:21 AM
Reply

I bet one of them is Highlander :p

So Ben can we expect to see a Defiance review from you?

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:50:55 AM

Yea id love to see one. I literally just heard about this game, but it sounds great.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:11:17 PM

Yeah Defiance looks like epic coop gaming. It just recently got on my radar too.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:47:33 PM

Isnt it like an mmo, sort of like a third person mag, borderlands combo of sorts? What I understand of it is that its an open world mp tps game, with up to 4 player co-op missions that take place outside the open world in seperate locations.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/31/2013 12:55:24 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:56:23 PM

Yes it looks to be a mmo shooter in a persistent world like the mmorpgs. I got a friend who tried the beta a week or so ago and he's begging me to buy it for the PS3 so we can play it in coop.

According to him it's got excellent character creation and a really fantastic looking world. I've only watched a few videos but it looks totally epic, and seems to involve a lot more players than just four. But maybe there's missions for smaller parties as well, I would assume you can play solo too?
I need to read more about that game but what little I've seen so far definitely made me interested!

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 1:56:58 PM

Sounds about right. As for tue 4 player coop, I read that there were seperate little missions you could play with up to 4 people.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 3:27:50 PM

Ah I see. Sounds very much like mmorpgs in more ways than one then.

I just wish so bad that they could open up for cross platform servers in games like these. I've read that the developers are indeed playing cross platform while testing, but the console networks simply flat out refuse to let them do that with the released version. That sucks.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:32:51 PM

Yeah, I think so.

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___________
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:06:53 AM
Reply

problem with both MGSV and ACIV is there not what they should be.
whole point of a sequel is the evolution of a idea, not a totally new idea thats called a new IP!
thats how they feel, a new IP, NOT a sequel!
im so f*cking sick of developers completely changing a game, changing everything but the title, and that only remains because they know it will sell 100th as much if they change it!
scrub ACIV out and just call the game black flag and see how much less it sells!
hell the only reason this is ACIV black flag, and not AC black flag, like brotherhood and revelations were, is simply because of the same reason.
sales!
neither sold as well as 3 did, thats always the way spin offs never sell as well as full numbered sequels!

stopped playing ascension it just got so repetitive and overdrawn i was sick of playing it!
shame how my favorite franchise has now become so monotonous its actually a chore to play it!
even bigger shame bioshock infinites fallen into the same trap too.
absolutely freaking STUNNING world, great characters, only thing letting the game down is the gameplay.
about half way through i think just got up to lady comstocks house last night and unlocked the gate, and my god am i glad!
so freaking repetitive those fights, i mean for f*cks sake!
really, really, REALLY hope this is just a case of developers trying to wheel games out the door so they can get to work on their next gen titles because there really starting to get boring and repetitive!
infinite REALLY needs some new enemies, something to differentiate the battles at the end of the game, to the battles at the start.

another thing thats really disappointing, and shockingly so simply because the original did it so well, is pacing.
every few moments you were constantly drip fed information about the story, about rapture, about its history, everything was always moving forward.
infinite you start the game, you enter columbia, you find elizabeth, and all of a sudden the info stops.
like IGN said in their review the middle part of the game is FAR too overdrawn, and barren of really any story details or information.
you start the game so fast paced, and i hear the ending is the same.
its sad that the middle is such a grind and barren.
such a shame because pacing is one thing that bioshock did brilliantly, if anything irrational have always been the best at pacing!
sad to see that really bring what is such a incredible world down!

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Neo
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:27:33 AM

"spin offs never sell as well as full numbered sequels!"

What about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? ;)

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___________
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:12:25 AM

exception to the rule

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CrusaderForever
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 11:30:04 AM
Reply

To bad they couldn't keep Hayter :( You don't want to alienate the faithful.

I am fine with annual AC as long as they are top notch releases. Black Flag looks awesome!

PGU:
Been having a lot of fun with Persona 3 Portable this week. The game just grabs you and holds on. I am on the 3rd floor of Tartarus and the story and game play are amazing.

Almost done with Tomb Raider and it's still my GOTY 2013 so far! I hope they get their 5 million sales as they deserve it.

Right after Tomb Raider it's on to Bioshock Infinite! Cannot wait as I already have it downloaded. Going to be a great experience!

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 11:58:40 AM
Reply

Well it really is a hit to the franchise not having Hayter return. He fit perfectly, but it won't stop me from purchasing the game. But no doubt Ill notice what is an integral part of the series, missing.

As for AC ive accepted it as Ive accepted CoD. I mean its not like the quality is decreasing in either, and at least in AC they are implementing new gameplay elements and rather interesting plot lines and historical dates. So AC is in much better shape for "annualization". At this point I think it would be tough for them to get a goty type game out of one because of the annualization as opposed to a new ip, but its no doubt they are good and it shows in the sales.

PGU: Still playing GoW both mp and sp. I wish the level cap wasnt 30 in GoW I've completely maxed out my character and must continue to play or switch it up, which is fine. The game is amazing and thats, that.

Started Borderlands 2 again to get ready for Tuesday. Ive held off on Bioshock for this reason. Im going to get it, but I got the other two later on so Im ok doing the same here because I just have too many games in the back log: God of War, Borderlands 2 (with the support it gets it may never end), AC3, Dishonored (which I may never finish, or pick up again), and im still playing through Skyrim. And I absolutely will be picking up The Walking Dead soon as well.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/31/2013 12:11:41 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:12:27 PM

You've started a brand new playthrough of Skyrim, or picked up an earlier save again?

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:50:38 PM

Im still plugging away on my original adventure haha. Im over 125 hours into it and only finished 4 of the main quest missions. I pick it up for a couple hours a week and do what I can, typically later at night when I know I can commit to it. Imjust always amazed at how big it is.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 1:15:56 PM

How cool!
I envy you so much the ability to get into fantasy-themed games. I really do. Had the setting for Skyrim been - well - *anything* other than hardcore classic fantasy I'd be still playing that game and counted play hours in the hundreds.

I can only wait for them to build Fallout 4 on that engine and cross fingers and toes for an epic story.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 2:02:19 PM

Well its funny you say that because before Oblivion I had no idea what these games were like. And it took a lot for me to get into Oblivion because for me it was too big. Being cast into this huge world with tons to do yet no idea what to do and a character that was under developed, which had me running from wolves made it tough for me. But I stuck with it and yeah I pretty much put hundreds of hours into it.

Yea im super excited about a Fallout 4. I played the crap out of Fallout 3, and I surely would have done the same with New Vegas had it not froze every 5 seconds on me. I had to give up because I just was not getting anywhere. I heard its all been patched pretty good by now so maybe it will get my attention when Fallout 4 has a release date.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/31/2013 2:04:05 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 3:30:46 PM

Yeah I never got into Oblivion either - and it's *only* due to the setting. I should probably do like you and try harder.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 5:00:55 PM

Well I kept playing, and playing and it wasnt that I ever disliked it, It was overwhelming and I literally had a hard time getting the game started and quests rolling. But soon as I got quests going and got into it more I couldnt stop.

Hey did you get borderlands 2 yet? For PC or PS3?

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Beamboom
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 1:00:43 AM

Yeah I got it for PS3! My regular coop buddy and I fire it up now and then and go crazy in there. Unfortunately that doesn't happen as often as we'd like, my life as a father of a 1yr old little girl and him being fresh into a new relationship plus a new job leaves very little quality time left for us boys and our gaming hobby.

Borderlands 2 is great. I love that it seems to be a tad harder than the first - or is it just that I'm back on low level again... Maybe?
Either way, great game. Excellent new enemies. Fun story. Yeah - quality package.

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bigrailer19
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:35:06 AM

Its definitely a harder experience. Which is welcomed. Im on a lot if you ever wanna jump on, just add me.

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:23:09 PM
Reply

@bigrailer19

don't take this the wrong way, i'm the last person
anyone should ask how a game is. i have low standards.

i did read a couple of review sites, they gave army of two a 7.5

i've only encountered one bug so far which made me restart
from the last checkpoint, the AI thats with you, ended up under
the map some how.

other than that, i've been enjoying the game.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 12:52:22 PM

I have low standards to, but at the same time I do hold some games to high standards. Anyways, I enjoyed the first game, and it got mediocre reviews for the most part so I was curious how it was because I love a good coop game.

Thanks for the input.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/31/2013 12:53:00 PM

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 3:32:29 PM

Haha I love how you both insist that you got low standards. Utterly adorable. :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/31/2013 3:41:47 PM

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 1:59:06 PM
Reply

Sorry to be off topic here but I need your guys' input in this. Im looking for a (first time buyer) new desktop and I was wondering what you guys thought of this: should I buy it or not?

http://m.bestbuy.com/m/e/product/detail.jsp?skuId=6821103&pid=1218808629544&pcatId=abcat0501005

What you see there is a full windows 8 ready desktop. I need a desktop soon.

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 3/31/2013 2:00:01 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 5:33:06 PM
Reply

Is anybody watching "The Bible" on History? Scott Shelby's actor in Heavy Rain is playing Herod the Great, it's cool to recognize real people from their game counterparts.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:00:45 PM

I did not realize that. I got theseries recorded havnt started it yet.

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xenris
Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 8:49:41 PM
Reply

I don't really care about Hayter not voicing snake this time around. I loved his voice but I do think someone could do his voice more naturally. As long as they don't get Nolan north to do it I'll be happy. I love Nolan but I don't want snake sounding like Drake.

I have to somewhat disagree with Ubisofts AC statement. I personally feel like the quality in some ways has not been up to snuff. The games all suffer from weird bugs and glitches despite being on the same engine they have been working with for years. Second the gameplay of AC3 felt really uninspired to me. It felt easy, automated and redundant. I beat it doing a lot of side missions, and hunting and gathering but I never felt like I was doing anything new and exciting in that game like some of the unique story missions done in AC2, like the firework mascaraed party, or flying divincis glider. Those missions really helped to keep the game fresh to me, and I felt like I was doing more stuff in AC2 than I was in AC3.

My friend on the other hand only played through the main missions and said the missions boiled down to about three different types. Follow, eavesdrop, kill. I have to agree with him here, even with doing the extra stuff I felt that the missions I was doing to push the story forward all felt monotonous.

To top it all off certain elements of polish were lacking. Why didn't Connor have a winter outfit? Why didn't his mother? Why was his father wearing the same clothes and hat for 20 years? Little things like that would have really elevated the game for me. I mean Ni No Kuni has about 3 different costumes depending on the regions or city you are in. I just figured that a so called "AAA" title would put in that effort. It was not a bad game, but it felt lacking to me, but I might have just outgrown the AC games I'm not sure.

PGU: Bioshock: Infinite I have been really taking my time with this one. I have explored every nook and cranny of the game, I'm doing all the side missions, I'm just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the heck out of it. I had my friend play the first hour and he said he couldn't believe the art direction and atmosphere when you first get to Columbia. Everything is like a painting, it is perfection and beauty.

I put this in the hardest mode and I think I just might platinum this beast if I get the time.

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SirLoin of Beef
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:47:09 AM
Reply

BioShock Infinite is definitely the GoY so far. The final battle really irked me (not saying anything else about it so as not to spoil) and there were a few other things here and there that were slightly bothersome but those are more due to me being a so-so, at best, FPS player and not due to the game being off.

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