After November, once all the AAA titles have been released, news gets a little slow. Not necessarily a terrible thing, considering I had to go without power for almost two days last week -- even longer without Internet.

If you don't watch the news, then you're probably not away the greater Los Angeles was wracked by high winds strong enough to take down massive trees and power lines (though not power poles). Side note: Firefox apparently considers "Los Angeles" a typo.


Fortunately, power appears more or less stable in this area now, as does the cable. I know not everyone is so lucky; many parts are still without power, and it's been almost a week. Imagine all the food going to waste! Local hotels must be pretty happy though (and we have a lot). I've heard they're completely booked, as the days go on and more folks find themselves in need of goddamn electricity and hot water. Grocery stores and larger retailers remain open, running on back-up or portable generators -- like the monstrosity-on-wheels that now sits behind the local Kohl's.

I'll admit that the occasional outage can be fun, assuming you have people to keep you company. After a day, however, eating and bathing by flashlight just loses novelty and becomes an absolute annoyance... take my word for it.

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So we're hitting the end of November, and these last couple months have been overloaded with blockbuster titles. Most of them are pretty damn good, and although I haven't played it yet, I assume Batman: Arkham City is one of those "damn good" games. Many friends have already told me as much, including Heath (kik36), who reviewed the game for us (read it here).

So why the hell haven't I played this game yet? I mean, I loved Arkham Asylum to death, and I consider myself a long-time Batman fan. I grew up on the old animated series and Michael Keaton movies, and some of my favorite comics star ol' Bats, including Grant Morrison's Batman R.I.P. Yeah, you should read that too, by the way.

Back on the subject. I've been thinking long and hard, trying to figure out how Arkham City wound up at the bottom of my "to play" list. I know it's a good game, so why is it sitting below everything else that came out after it? I think I've got an answer: sluts.

Yeah, sluts, of the female variety. Since I write for Neoseeker, I'm constantly being bombarded by screenshots, artwork, and trailers -- every piece of media intended to generate more hype among the masses. Unfortunately, this sort of thing can backfire, and I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "Goddammit, I am seriously sick of this game and it's not even out yet!" Still, if it's just a case of overexposure, I can actually get over it pretty easily. Assets mostly seem to say, "Look how fun this game is!" or "Look at how gorgeous these graphics are!" But then you get something like Arkham City, which says all that and, "Breasts! Boobies! Tits! Bazongas!"


Honestly, Catwoman is usually portrayed with her suit zipped all the way up. She's sleek, sexy, and I usually love her as a character. And then I saw her in Arkham City assets, her suit zipped way down to expose her sternum and ample cleavage. Uh, really? You know those cupcakes tend to flop around with movement, and that's super painful. This isn't Soul Calibur, goddammit! Zip up that suit or prepare to experience unparalleled agony!


Hey, look, they even defy gravity!

Okay, fine, at least Catwoman still looks like Catwoman, just with more skin. Thank God they didn't shove her in a leather fetish outfit with weird belts and buckles and-... Oh, right, forgot that's what happened to Harley Quinn. You remember Harley, right? She used to have that cute red-and-black spandex outfit?

I know you guys found it sexy as hell, because enough folks have told me as much. It wasn't exactly a classy getup, her '90s costume, but it suited her as an accurate reflection of her bubbly personality mixed with a touch of sex appeal. So when she popped up in Arkham Asylum looking like this, my brows were immediately raised. I didn't wholly disapprove, because the mask was still there, and her outfit was still a blend of cute and sexy, just with a greater emphasis on the "sexy" half. That was my desperate attempt to justify it, anyway.

When Arkham City took that even further, a part of me died inside. As more trailers and screenshots popped up, that part continued to shrivel and decompose. I slowly began to wonder if, maybe, this just wasn't meant for me. "Well," I thought, "A lot of gamers seem more than okay with this, so who am I to complain? No one is forcing me to play it."

Honestly, it could have been worse, as I realized after seeing this concept art. In that context, the final Harley we ended up with is quite subdued. Doesn't really make the game any less appealing on that front, though.


"Yeah, I don't know how I manage to breathe in this thing either. Miracle of science?"

Ironically, Bruce is probably the biggest slut in the actual game (short of Poison Ivy), but you don't see him wearing that on his sleeve. Oops, I guess he is actually a "playboy," since he's a dude.

After being fed this consistent stream of breast 'n' butt shots over the course of several months, it began to really stand out. Instead of thinking about how fun the new gameplay looks, all I end up with is an unshakable belief that the game is not catered toward me as a gamer. The same issue has come up again and again in the comic book community, especially with the fairly recent drama surrounding sex-bot-Starfire. I won't get into that here, but the gist of the argument is social reform within an entertainment industry.

While reading about the Starfire problem and discussing it with some fellow geeks over the Internets, I argued that video games, unlike mainstream comics, were actually moving forward in this manner, as major titles like Halo and Gears of War work female characters into the mix, making them just as bad as the boys without taking their femininity. Anya and Sam may have curvier forms than Marcus and Dom, but they wear the same armor as the bros, because contrary to what we're led to believe, breasts do not make us impervious to bullets/sharp objects -- appropriate protection is required in combat.

Unfortunately, this portrayal of women in video games is not yet widely accepted, so for the time being, I consider it a much-appreciated luxury that I hope will one day become the norm. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to Skyrim, where I can equip Leather Armor and not wind up in a bikini.

I'll get to Arkham City eventually, just not any time soon.

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I'm just going to stop apologizing for being an inconsistent blogger, especially when Neoseeker already eats up most of my time! If you follow our reviews, then you've already noticed how busy we've been. Yeah, blame the game industry for putting out big releases ON THE SAME DAY. The exception is Skyrim, but that still came out within a week of Assassin's Creed Revelations, Saints Row: The Third, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and so forth.

I've actually reviewed three of those games and somehow published them all on time. Someone give me a medal. While reviewing, some of my friends on Xbox LIVE asked if I ever wish I could play games at my own pace, without having to rush them for a review. The answer is obviously "yes," more so when the game is an RPG or sandbox, because those tend to be so crammed with content I feel I can't adequately reflect their merits without days upon days of play time.

Both Elder Scrolls V and Saints Row arrived for review quite early, while Assassin's Creed came much later than I would've liked. I began reviewing Skyrim since late October, and I actually had over a week to do Saints Row. As for AC Revelations, I only had a weekend. I've lived like a shut-in for weeks now thanks to these games, and I had completely abandoned news writing for a time.

It would've been great for Neoseeker if we also got Halo in there, but honestly, I don't think I would've been able to do more than I already have. That said, I did pick it up from GameStop, and I've pre-ordered the vinyl soundtrack in addition to the Skyrim 4-disc OST.

Anyway, here are the reviews. I've also thrown in Lord of the Rings: War in the North from kik36, because poor Heath has had the game for so long but couldn't finish his review until much later thanks to a game-breaking bug and some shenanigans on WBIE's part. On that note, keep an eye out for our annual holiday guide. The 2011 edition is coming next week!

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Looking back, I can't say I regret any of the posts I made on this blog. Sure, I've deviated from more personal matters between now and when the blogs first launched on Neoseeker, but now I'm wondering something: should I delete the old stuff?

That question mostly comes from the fact that I am using the blog for gaming related content now, which means work and such will be filtering through more and more. A greater overlap, if you will. Basically, not everything may warrant a news article or feature, but some of that may wind up here, on the blog. As such, I'm wondering if I shouldn't delete the older, drama-inducing posts to keep them away from industry eyes that might happen to wander here as a result of future content.

Hmmm. Also, no image to go with the post today. Some Assassin's Creed Revelations stuff on the front page already, with more Assassin's Creed related news going up in a bit. Additionally, I will be away on Wednesday to check out Revelation's single-player at Ubisoft's San Francisco offices. Just a day. Excited.

Although, this is going to seriously cut into my League of Legends time...

Neostaff Q&A 2.0

So this Neostaff Q&A thing was brought to my attention not long ago, and I thought I'd promote it here. You all probably know way more about it than I do, but in case you don't, it's a Neo event where folks can submit questions to the members in charge, who will then send some of the better ones to the staffers to be answered.

In previous years, the participants were only ar_cat, tekmosis, and Redemption, I believe. This year, editorial joins the Q&A, meaning you can ask questions directed at chautemoc, kik36, Reenee, Wolfwood, or myself. More details HERE, including questions from last year's Q&A.

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I realized that I haven't updated this blog in a while. Yes, I tell myself to constantly, but it never works out that way. So what exactly have I been up to at Neoseeker here with my fellow editorial? Stuff.

Today is September 20, and for many of us, that's synonymous with "Gears of War 3 Day." That's right, Gears of War 3 is out today, and in celebration, I shall repost our review of the game here, which actually went up last week on September 15, in the wee hours of the morning when few of you were actually awake to appreciate it.

LINK: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/gears_of_war_3/

Honorary mentions include the Fallout: New Vegas Lonesome Road DLC and phase one of the Diablo III beta. Congrats to anyone who got into that, by the way.

Staff Pages

Additionally, we're still seeing about updating our front page layout, though there is no ETA on that yet, with everything that's been going on. What you may be interested to learn, however, is that we're working on putting together a staff page, where you can read about us and all that goodness. No guarantees on whether those photographs included will actually be of ourselves, though. Who knows, Wolfwood might put up a picture of a cat or something.

As for myself, I'm not yet sure what to include. We'll be submitting our bios by the end of the week.

Extra Hands on Deck

Backtracking a little, we were of course at E3 this year, as we have been for the past several years. This year, however, our attending team expanded to include PS3 reviewer Heath (kik36), plus camera guys David (DNA2251) and Rob (ThreeTwoFiveSix). Good guys to have behind the camera. Since June, David has also helped us with other events, like Call of Duty XP.

LINK: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Features/call_of_duty_xp/1.html

We're hoping that next year will allow us more room to grow as well, and perhaps push for an even stronger presence at conventions. Hell, maybe one day Neo will send us to PAX or gamescom.

Good gaming, all. Also, dig the headers. My blog posts, though rare, can be a tad long, so I'm borrowing organizational tools we use in our reviews: HEADERS.

If you actually want to better keep up with Neo goings-on, I recommend following boss man Redemption. Should you be the type to hang around Twitter or Facebook, we're on there too, under "Neoseeker." Our connection to the industry VeGiTAX2 also updates his blog way more than me, so check that out if you're curious about all his hardware adventurings.

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Sometimes, I wake up and log onto Neoseeker, and I realize I have this blog that I hardly update. Then again, I did start this thing with a warning about my terrible blogging skills. For anyone who really wants to keep up with my shit, my Twitter account gets way more love. No, I'm not going to link it directly here, but I will point you toward the Twitter Neo Directory tekmosis dropped in Loungin'. If you have a Twitter account, do consider adding it to the list. Or better yet, don't bother considering and just do it.

LINK: http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/18/t1639876-twitter-neo-directory/

Rest assured I am still quite alive and dealing with my long-term thyroid disorder (as brought up in a previous post). Lately, I've contributed less in terms of frontpage content because of a virus. No, can't get much more specific than that; my doctor isn't sure if it's a really bad cold or a mild flu. Factor in that period (Hah!) each woman goes through each month, and the human body really is just a drippy, drippy mess.

Haven't been doing much in terms of fun, either. While I have been inching my way through the Section 8: Prejudice review, headaches make shooters a little tough to handle. Tried logging onto Rift and running dungeons with the guild, only to lose my voice and develop a fever before we could finish Realm of the Fae. Pretty sure those pugs thought I was the most incompetent healer ever. Wasn't my fault, I swear!

And yes, there is Portal 2, which I have not picked up because I am supposed to be reviewing it for our site. Unfortunately, PR is not being forthcoming in that department, and I take some small comfort in knowing that even bigger media sites like Destructoid have found themselves without a copy to review (according to my co-worker chautemoc). Then again, this is hardly unusual; often reviews are given early only to a very select few, and I'm sure you can guess who those are. Oh yeah, I'm a little bitter about it.

VeGiTAX2 is hard at work punching PR personnel (not literally) and coming up with crap for giveaways, which directly benefits you guys, by the way. I believe the latest giveaway is the upcoming Black Ops map pack, Escalation.

LINK: http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/2/t1641604-gear-up-for-black-ops-escalation-giveaway/

There's the URL. Can't miss it. No excuses. Unless you don't own an Xbox 360.

As for the aforementioned Rift, our review went up last week. I wrote it, and yet I'm not sure exactly when I put it up. I blame the many days of fevers and such. Either way, it's a good MMO, and this is coming from someone who thought she was sick of MMOs in general. Score is 8 out of 10.

LINK: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/rift_mmo/

I logged into Guild Wars recently, too, just to check out the damage dealt by whichever gold seller hacked it back in January. NCsoft customer service lived up to its reputation as being overall crap, though I was courteous to them and received the same graciousness in return. Items and such taken from me cannot be restored, but I guess that's the price we pay for not having to fork over subscription fees. Fortunately, no characters were deleted, just their armor. I suspect the gold seller salvaged my gear and numerous shields for the rules I had attached to them.

Admittedly, the hacking burned me just a tad, and my eagerness to play Guild Wars 2 has suffered slightly. After all, having a game account hacked is only a step above burglary, and you are left feeling somewhat violated and disheartened. Only slightly, though. I only hope NCsoft beefs up security once the sequel is out, because from what I've read, they suffer quite a few issues in that department.

My personal life has also gotten rather tumultuous since 2011 began, but I would rather keep those as they are: private. My dog is the only exception to that rule, and she remains a source of great entertainment.

The image I've stuck to this blog post and my new blog background are indeed from Rift, and if you'd like to see more screenshots, head over to my Neo gallery.

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If you frequent out frontpage for daily goodies, then you'll notice a significant lack in the news feed. There are two reasons for this:

1. Interesting news is scant lately.
2. More importantly, I am in the stages of recovery from a genetic disorder.

Not that I'm looking for pity. I did think, however, that I should explain the situation to you all here, as a member of the Neoseeker staff. I feel rather guilty about abandoning the news to my fellow writers, Sean (chautemoc) or Dany (Reenee), but I have to listen to my body before my personal feelings on the matter.

The disorder isn't inherently fatal, but unless my lifestyle undergoes an overhaul, it may worsen in a way I'd rather avoid. So, for these few weeks, you'll see only sporadic news posts with the name "Lydia Sung" attached, while I work on a backlog and upcoming reviews from the comforts of my bed.

Take care.

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This is my first update in a while, but I think E3 warrants a blog post. Day 0 (zero) begins June 14, so in a few hours when the sun is up and everyone's awake.

I'll be starting with EA's opening events, while Gabe a.k.a. VeGiTAX2 tackles Microsoft. I believe he was at a Natal event tonight, though the thing's been renamed "Kinect." Eugh.

Sean/chautemoc is coming down to help with the coverage, so that's awesome. We're a team of three but totally badass. Those big boys have nothing on us! Support us, Neo-nites, by getting your E3 coverage here.

Now if we don't have what you're looking for, then we'll forgive you for checking other sites. But still, we'll be updating as quickly as three people (some with netbooks) can, wherever there be Internet access. The main page will be updated regularly during the day, while interviews and the like may come toward the end of the week as Neo feature articles.

We love you, so for Christ's sake, love us back.

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Oh ho, what's this? A photo of an advert. You know those little cards you find in your video game cases now? The Dragon Age: Origins expansion Awakening came with one as well, with just the game's blood dragon and a date:

02.01.2011

Could it be the sequel-prequel-we-don't-know-what? Dun, dun dun...
_________________________________

You want more random gaming goodness? Yes you do. Too tired to sound excited or anything like that, so you guys just get links. Yes, links. Links you can click to go somewhere else.

Probably the most anticipated review/game is God of War III for PS3, though XBLA's Scrap Metal is also up there. The first, you already know, and the second is a lovely little vehicular combat game by Slick, the people who made N+. Also note that our Blur multiplayer beta key giveaway is actually still active, even though the beta has already begun as of Monday. You can still get remaining keys here by just entering your email.

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Yes, I had previously said this baby would be on our front page by Friday night. I lied. Whoops.

Well, it's Saturday night/Sunday morning, and you will find our Greed Corp review up there now. As well as in the forums. But you know, the front page deserves love, so give it some. Hey, I'm awesome though, so I'll give you the link right here!

If you haven't a clue, Greed Corp is the first game to be based in W!Games' Mistbound world. It's a strategy game with a puzzle twist. It's rather difficult to explain everything, especially with how complex the game is. Just read about it here.

LINK: Greed Corp (XBLA) Review

I included the launch trailer in the article, so be sure to click on that. Hilariously cute stuff. And if you dig the default image above, I uploaded the game's concept art to its profile just this week.

LINK: Greed Corp Concept Art

The game will be hitting PC in the coming weeks, I think. Sometime in March, if I remember correctly.

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Ace Attorney Investigation: Miles Edgeworth! Longest title ever! Especially for the series.

Anyway, the review went up earlier this week, obviously late since the game actually game out February 16. Thing is, Capcom didn't send it to us until after it was released, so it appeared at my doorstep three days late. On top of that, we had all those delightful Atlus previews goin' on.

Enough bitchin', here's the review. Personally? It's now my favorite Ace Attorney game, next to the first Phoenix Wright. Read, leave feedback, rawr.

LINK: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS) Review

If you're interested in another DS game review, Gabe played through Ragnarok DS and gave his verdict. Uhm, it's... less positive than what I gave Investigations, let's say.

LINK: Ragnarok DS (DS) Review

And on the console/PC side of things, we have an awesome Dragon Age: Origins - Awakenings interview, which went up just this evening. Sean did most of the work, followed up by Adrian bugging the crap outta BioWare about it. :)

LINK: Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Interview: Beyond Ferelden

And finally, you can expect our review of W!Games' Greed Corp to hit the front page some time tomorrow. It's incredibly cute, especially for an TBS-kill-your-enemies game.

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Rawr, Trauma Team preview! That's right, demo with Atlus, this time for a Wii game of no small consequence. You guys know the Trauma Center series, yeah?

The new game, Trauma Team, is pretty much in the same franchise but will be taking on a more realistic approach with 6 playable medical fields, each with its own doctor:
  • CR-S01 - Surgery
  • Gabriel Cunningham - Diagnosis
  • Maria Torres - First Response
  • Hank Freebird - Orthopedics
  • Tomoe Tachibana - Endoscopy
  • Naomi Kimishima - Forensics
They've each got some backstory too. CR-S01, for example, is a former inmate and alleged mass murderer who has no clue what the heck he did or who he is. But he IS a brilliant surgeon, so there's that.

Naomi is actually a character from one of the older games, which some of you may remember. The demo we went over though covered Diagnosis, so we got to see Gabriel Cunningham in action.

LINK: Trauma Team (Wii) Preview

Oh, and just a heads up, we've got a review for Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth coming sometime next week. Late, I know, but it only arrived from Capcom a couple days ago, and the preview needed to hit our front page first.

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So, this weird indie game called Zeno Clash hit Steam last year. Atlus apparently found it perfectly suitable, being a fan of crazy games themselves. Thus, Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition is born, with all the original crazy + more crazy.

Sadly, there's no extra story content, which is what I was personally gunning for; the original had a good basis, but the ending felt empty, lacking true resolution. More than anything, I would have liked to see more of Father-Mother and it's children, perhaps where it all goes after you beat the game.

Still, the addition of co-op to the Challenge Modes is pretty awesome, and they've expanded the attacks and weapons lists. Check out our preview with Atlus and ACE Team's Carlos Bordeu~

LINK: Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition (XBLA) Preview

Later today (Friday), we're doing another demo with Atlus. You know Trauma Team? Yeah, we're previewing that, so expect our feature on it over the weekend or Monday.

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So I hear you guys like video games. That's good, because I like video games too, which means we can not be enemies. That is optimal for all parties.

If you gamers haven't been keeping track of the front page content, shame on you. We've got a crap ton of new reviews and other gaming features... so SHAME ON YOU. Don't worry, I know how you can redeem yourself. Yes, it's not too late to read all that awesomeness, and I've got the links right here.

The most recent is, of course, DYNASTY WARRIORS: Strikeforce for Xbox 360 and PS3, from KOEI. Caps are official, yes. Japanese companies, what're you gonna do, right? Anywaaaay, you should read this review, especially if you like DW. One thing about the game that bugged me was the lack of custom character creation. Turns out it's still awesome, and I'm betting we'll get Create-A-Warrior in the sequel, assuming there is one.

LINK: DYNASTY WARRIORS: Strikeforce (Xbox 360) Review

As for everything else? Prepared to be bombarded with WIN! There are reviews all over the damn place, plus one preview. Clicky click, kiddies. Now, I need to make up for lost sleep. And not play games I've been wanting to play. Like Dragon Age. Or Assassin's Creed II. Nor BioShock 2...

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Well, well, guess what? That Mass Effect 2 review I've been focusing on for the past week is finally up. Yes, BioWare's bundle of awesome has been reviewed on Neo.

I wish I could gush over it and stuff, but that would involve too many spoilers. So for now, I just recommend you give the review a read, then pick up a copy for yourself. TBH, I cut a lot of content out of the review, after realizing some of that information should be left up to the readers to discover themselves.

Maybe I'll include them in another blog post at a later date. Anyway, click the link below~

LINK: Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360) Review

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Received a UPS package today. It was a box, and I tried shaking it to see what was inside. Had a suspicion the sender was PR, but I didn't recognize her name. Imagine my surprise when inside was a special package that included Mass Effect 2!

The game comes out January 29, with the embargo on reviews lifted three days prior, on January 26. I have waited years for this game, so after spending several minutes running laps around the house, swinging my dog around like an infant, hyperventilating, and just getting it out of my system, I sat down and continued my Army of Two: The 40th Day review.

Great game so far, but I suddenly hate it for standing in the way of my true love, Mass Effect 2. Well, if all goes according to planned, the Army of Two review will be out tomorrow, Saturday, and I will dedicate my life to reviewing BioWare's masterpiece.

If it winds up disappointing me, my life is over.

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Okay people, been a while since I updated, but I've noted before I'm no good at keeping blogs. Was pretty excited for them back in middle/high school, and I'm no longer in either of those. Besides, it's all about friggin' Twitter now.

Anyway, if you haven't already noticed, our front page is exploding with content. I know you anime-philes dig Nexon, so you should check out our Q&A for their Bomberman-esque game PopTag! (already out in Korea) coming to North America soon... if you haven't already. CLICK HERE!

For "core" gamers, our Mass Effect 2 exclusive interview Q&A thing with project director Casey Hudson was posted last night. Looks like those who responded to it on various forums are most interested in the prospect of more love interests. Likely more alien options this time, SWEET.

LINK: Mass Effect 2 Interview: Beyond Space

Aaand I just published our Darksiders review a little bit ago. Yes, I know it's late, but it's totally THQ's PR's fault. Bah, I'm sure none of you want to hear about the nastiness of industry relations, so I'll just give you the link and say that it was a great game. I'd play more, but I've got to review Army of Two: The 40th Day. Before that, gonna get some sleep and prepare for a phone (group) interview with the Dante's Inferno producer and a bunch of other journalist-type people. Hope that goes smoothly...

Er, Darksiders review GET!

LINK: Darksiders (Xbox 360) Review

Ciao!

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H'okay, another late review. The game came out Wednesday, if I'm not mistaken, but I didn't get the game until that evening. So considering that and other work, I'd say I published it in a decent time frame -- without you know, not sleeping, eating, and all that. Anyway, The Saboteur isn't what you'd call super popular, considering the other holiday blockbusters we've got out now.

Still, it's not a bad game. Worth checking out if the review sparks an interest. Here's an excerpt:
quote
Sean Devlin is presented as our protagonist in a hasty introduction. Within the first few minutes of play, we understand the Irishman is a heavy drinker and lover of fine women, no matter what circumstances life puts him in. After a brief mission to kick things off, a lengthy prologue rewinds three months to show players how the smart-mouthed hero wound up in the Nazi-occupied Paris. Being the wholesome Nazi-hater that he is, Sean wastes no time in exacting revenge against German forces and inspiring the locals. Ever since Sean's life took a dramatic turn in the playable flashback sequence, the game goes black 'n' white. This carries over to present day, and the lone saboteur must inspire the people of France to fight back against their oppressors.

The game feels like the artsy love child of Grand Theft Auto and Assassin's Creed, a marriage of open-world freedom and stealth. Sean can wreak havoc on Nazis and civilians alike, be it punching / shooting randomly at pedestrians or grabbing the driver from a passing vehicle before zooming away in it to run some poor Parisians over. As with GTA, the gaping opportunities for mayhem provide another source for entertainment that inevitably winds up distracting the player from main missions.
Goody, goody, killing Nazis in black and white! Er, yeah. For the full review, grab the link below. Otherwise, goodnight!

LINK: The Saboteur (Xbox 360) Review

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I don't normally post on this blog now unless it's related to Neoseeker, but I just found the cutest *bleep*ing thing on Twitter: Left 4 Dead 2 gingerbread cookies.

Now part of the appeal is that these cookies are made by a gamer and his mum, not professionals. Kind of adds to the spirit, don't you think? I included the image above, but the larger photo can be found here, on GameGrep.

Personally, I find the Tank most adorable.

left 4 dead 2 left 4 dead cookies gaming related


Guh, when did it get so late? Sitting here at my desk eating Ricola mints, whoring out Neoseeker's Assassin's Creed II review. Nice way to end the weekend, I suppose. Damn, I need more holidays.

So anyway, Ubisoft's copies finally showed up LAST WEEK, so the review is late. I apologize for that, on behalf of Neoseeker and Ubisoft. I'd try to think of something crazy-*bleep*ing witty, but it's past 2:30 in the morning. I am somewhat tired, and my wit has run dry.

See what I did there?

No? Forget it. Here's an excerpt from the review, followed by the pound key link -- see what I mean about the shitty wit?
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Prior to its release, Assassin’s Creed II was one of the most anticipated games of 2009, riding the success of its predecessor. The first Assassin’s Creed garnered a great deal of attention, thanks to Ubisoft’s innovative take on open world adventuring. We were introduced to a stoic and arrogant Assassin who made up for all his personal shortcomings with great agility, a firm sword arm, and the coolest outfit imaginable.

In the sequel, Ubisoft addressed just about every flaw gamers found in the original. The combat has become a tad more complex, assassinations are no longer preceded by a repetitive investigation process, and our new Assassin, Ezio Audituerre de Firenzecomes, is armed with a lengthier name and more moves than Altair ibn La-Ahad could have ever hoped for.

If you avoided the first Assassin's Creed and have only just given in to the hype, Assassin's Creed II recaps with a quick synopsis of where we'd left off. Our clueless young hero, Desmond Miles, is back and quickly goes over past events for the player's benefit. Once you're up to speed, Desmond is yours to control once again.

This lush rendition of 13th century Italy is littered with puzzles, which Desmond decrypts to reveal minute details bit by bit, slowly unraveling a myriad of mysteries. These puzzles reveal the present day plot parallel to Ezio's life story, in a storytelling formula similar to the one used in The Matrix. As Desmond is drawn further into the centuries old secret war between Templars and Assassins, the plot thickens and conspiracies multiply.
LINK THAT SHIT: Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360) Review

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Ha ha, our Left 4 Dead 2 review went up a little while ago, and I'm posting it for you guys now before I head off to bed. It's the Xbox 360 version, if you haven't already heard, so keep that in mind. We should have a review for the PC version soon though.

Seriously, this game got way scarier with the sequel. Valve decided to toss in some creepy environments like pitch black sewers, a sugar mill INFESTED WITH WITCHES, a murky swamp with nasty Mudmen... Yeah, seriously, I need to play this with other people in the future.

Here's the obligatory excerpt from the article, followed by a link to the full review:
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Turns out the sequel isn’t just a rehash as so many still believe it to be. With a new cast of Survivors and Infected, more complex gameplay, and gorgeous environments, Left 4 Dead 2 takes the series further with one giant leap, something none of us could fully appreciate without spending quality time with the final product. This second helping boasts an upgraded version of the original “Director,” the A.I. responsible for all those customized levels, randomized enemy population, player monitoring, world objects, weather effects, lighting, and everything else we loved about the original. The new A.I. Director 2.0 does offer a noticeably smoother, shinier product, and carries on the randomization that made Left 4 Dead unique.

Hopping straight into L4D2, players should catch a number of differences, with new items and Infected being the most noticeable. Melee weapons are sweeter than you might think, making zombie face-bashing that much more satisfying (beats shoving). Some weapons are more effective and amusing than others; the frying pan is fun to use with its trademark “clang,” but its short range and blunt damage makes it inferior to longer, deadlier weapons like an axe or katana – or “ninja sword,” as Nick calls it. Firearms can now be upgraded with laser sights for better accuracy, and frag or incendiary rounds for that extra kick. Boomer Bile (puke-in-a-can) serves as a non-exploding alternative to the pipe bomb, and defibrillators and adrenaline shots allow players to revive dead allies or gain a temporary speed boost, respectively.
LINK: Neoseeker reviews Left 4 Dead 2

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EA likes to give out free stuff, apparently. Now this is nothing like the crazy Dragon Age: Origins press kit EA sent tekmosis / Jamie, but I thought these were pretty neat anyway:


I had already pre-ordered Left 4 Dead 2 off Steam a while ago, but EA sent the 360 version over for review. The game came with those cards, which you might recognize as the in-game campaign "posters." It'd be way cooler if these had been actual poster size, but I'm not complaining. Currently wondering how I should display these, or if I ought to just hide them away somewhere.

Kinda funny though; the Parish card was on top when they arrived, and it was covered in fingerprints, presumably belonging to whoever packed them into the envelop for shipping. I could tell they weren't mine because the prints were so much larger than my fingers -- I gots small hands.

The review itself is coming along. I had originally been expecting Assassin's Creed II, but Ubisoft is playing extremely hard to get.

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OKAY, seriously, I'm tired as hell. But here's the Modern Warfare 2 review I've been writin' for the last few days. Hey, there are worse jobs out there than reviewing hit games! It's the 360 version, so you won't find any bitching about how Activision shafted PC gamers (which they did, massively).

We do address the controversial terrorism segment of course, so have a read if you're interested. Next up, I'll be reviewing Left 4 Dead 2 for 360, though I've already pre-ordered the PC version. I did try both at E3, and the controls are quite fluid.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the Modern Warfare 2 review, and you'll find the link below...
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Within the first 24 hours since launch, Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had sold 4.7 million copies in North America and the UK alone. Its success was ensured by the popularity of its predecessor, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a game that also marked a departure from the overused World War II setting.

The release of Modern Warfare 2 set global records, outdoing even Hollywood in terms of launch revenue. Even gamers previously unfamiliar with the Call of Duty games took notice, given how much hype MW2 has received. Expectations were set incredibly high, which often results in great disappointment. Really thought, does the game live up to all this excitement? Short answer is "yes." The newest Call of Duty is armed with a riveting campaign that picks up where Modern Warfare left off, and the introduction of SpecOps adds another dimension to the revamped multiplayer.

The opening credits are accompanied by brief clips from the first Modern Warfare, and the player is eventually greeted with a "5 Years Later" line. If you played the first game, you'll notice its sequel moves at a considerably faster pace. Following the shortest tutorial the history of mankind, players are plopped right in the middle of an ongoing conflict.
LINK: Neoseeker reviews Modern Warfare 2

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Alright people, our Dragon Age: Origins review has been posted. Just in time for launch too! So if you've been eyeing this game, feel free to check out our review. We're pretty generous to it, since it's a pretty awesome game.

If you know BioWare's style, then you already have a good idea of what Dragon Age is about. Of course the outside is all different, but at the very core, the gameplay remains similar in most respects. It's a bit harder than most mainstream games out there today though, so RPG newbs should be wary. I would recommend it, just don't go in expecting to breeze on through.
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BioWare boasts a long-standing reputation as one of the most respected developers in the gaming industry, with numerous household titles and franchises. Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, and Jade Empire – all highly successful games produced within a single decade since the company was founded. Few can argue that BioWare develops quality titles, namely RPGs known for their tactical gameplay and powerful stories, major components heavily character-driven.

More recently, Mass Effect marked their debut on HD console. Between the epic space opera’s 2007 release and upcoming 2010 sequel, we are graced with something uniquely conventional. Dragon Age: Origins takes several steps away from its sci-fi cousin and takes us back to that ol’ high fantasy genre, filled with snooty humans, drunken dwarves and xenophobic elves. Here is Ferelden, a land wracked by the usual civil unrest and racial mistrust.

Well, unfortunately for the residents, an ancient darkspawn are stirring after four hundred years in dormancy and on their way over for a barbecue, with people on the menu. The factions in Ferelden aren’t exactly holding hands around the figurative campfire either, so what’s a nation to? Rely on a single person and his (or her) band of misfits! Sounds rather like a sitcom when you hear it like that.

An opening cinematic sets the mood, setting a premise for events. The darkspawns' origins stem from a tale of hubris, similar to the "Tower of Babel" story. A group of mages had their heads up their own arses and wanted in on the Maker’s (God) domain, so they dabbled in some seriously shady magic and somehow screwed up Heaven instead of getting in, ultimately bringing it to ruin. As punishment, they were cast down and cursed by their own follies, thus becoming the first darkspawn. Naturally they're near-unstoppable, owning the dwarves ten different ways until the brave Grey Wardens show up to lay down the unrelenting hand of justice
LINK: Neoseeker reviews Dragon Age: Origins

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It's that time of year again guy, so you're getting our annual holiday guide. Yes, Neoseeker's Holiday Guide 2009 - Part 1 is now published! But isn't it kinda early for that sort of thing? Hell no, because we're just getting started. As December draws near, we'll be posting the rest of our Holiday Guide piece by piece.

Each time, we'll include hardware and video games our staff gave stellar reviews for. You'll find everything meticulously categorized by use and genre for your convenience. Whether you're looking to reward yourself or for a gift to someone else, our guides should have something to suit your needs! From Halo 3: ODST to Guitar Hero, Uncharted 2 to Pokemon Platinum...

Again, we'll have more guides coming soon. But if you have a product in mind that we haven't covered, go ahead and ask about it. Major holiday titles are also on the way and will no doubt appear in future 2009 guides.

LINK: Neoseeker's Holiday Guide 2009 - Part 1



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Hey, Neo-nites. It's no secret that a huge chunk of the Neoseeker community are young'uns who really dig Nintendo and Pokemon. So it might interest many of you to learn that Nintendo has just announced a NEW handheld: the DSi LL.

Thanks to Dany for the tip and his Japanese skillz. Hey, I'm Asian but I do not speaketh the Nipponese. Anyway, we now know a few things about the new DSi LL, the most interesting fact imo being its heft; the LL will be heavier and bigger than the first DS -- you know, the thing that looked like an old Game Boy chopped in half then clued together at the edges. The DSi LL will, however, have a longer battery life than the original DSi, though it'll also take an extra half-hour to charge. Here's an excerpt from our front page news, translated off the official Japanese Nintendo DSi LL website:
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Japan's favorite manufacturer has just announced the DSi LL, a new and supposedly improved DS. So far we know it is larger than the original DS, boasts an improved battery life over the first DSi, and comes with a 4.2" screen and new pen stylus. I won't even mention what I think that looks like...

A more detailed analysis shows the DSi LL, aside from having a somewhat awkward name, actually weighs 314 grams or over half a pound, making it the heaviest DS. Aside from weight, the LL will also be larger than the original DS in length and width, but slimmer from the side.
LINK: Nintendo announces new DSi LL

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So we've been showing Nexon quite a bit of love in terms of reporting Dungeon Fighter Online happenings, like the initial closed beta recruiting stage. I think they once held a DFO press event a drive away from me, but I couldn't make it because I was going to be out of town at the time or something.

And remember when we got to interview DFO producer Herb Yang? That was pretty cool. The endless gushing I did on the front page over how badass and sexy the Priest class looks certainly helped. I remember one of the first things our PR contact Bob said to me when I met him at San Diego was, "So I know you really like the Priest." Well, something to that effect. It was hilarious and embarrassing.

So they offered some exclusive Priest gameplay footage from the game, meaning at least for now, it's only on Neoseeker. We're happy to have it, and we'd like to share it with you. As always, just click "share" or the link below for a larger view.


LINK: Dungeon Fighter Online exclusive class gameplay + homage to the priest

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Today is Columbus Day in the United States and Thanksgiving in Canada, so the front page has been slow. I'm the only one writing today, along with our volunteer, Dany aka Reenee. But there's actually some neat vids released as well.

I posted them in our video section, and you can find them on the front page with a li'l background for each. The first is the opening cinematic for DJ Hero, that upcoming music game we've been hearing so much about -- with the turntable controller, Daft Punk, and some ongoing meet-Eminem-contest. It's pretty stylish, needless to say, and a bit on the obscure side; don't try to understand it, just sit back and enjoy.


LINK: DJ Hero opening cinematic released

More details at the link, including another link to another article about pre-order details. Retailers are really gunning for your money and offering some exclusive pre-order bonuses you might wanna think about. I'd say Best Buy has the juiciest, given it features Daft Punk. Moving on...

Next up, Dante's Inferno, a game everyone claimed was a God of War rip-off, because you know that's the only action game on the planet. Anyway, as we close in on 2010, the game looks like it might defy all expectations. There's lots of dark eye candy, and not just for Satan-worshipers. Visceral Games and EA released a new dev diary today focusing on "Anger," a well-known circle of Hell -- also referred to as "Rage." In it, they talk a little about Dante's weapons, mainly Death's giant scythe and a holy crucifix.


LINK: Dante's Inferno devs talk about Anger issues

Finally, we posted a review this evening by Gabe, aka VeGiTAX2, for Half-Minute Hero on PSP. It's on the front page, but for you lazy bastards I'll get you the link. Happy watchin' / reading, and see you Tuesday.

LINK: Neoseeker reviews Half-Minute Hero

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Hope most of you are enjoying a long weekend, since Monday is a Canadian and American holiday -- I don't think I ever celebrated Columbus Day as a kid though. Anyway, we've got our second late review out of the way, so you may wanna check it out.

Once again, not on the front page due to lateness. Still, Halo 3: ODST is a big deal, and it's a great game. I recommend you guys check out the review and get your hands on a copy -- rent or buy. Feel free to leave some feedback for the review as well; we always appreciate those. Whether you like the franchise or not, ODST is a new take on Halo, with a bit of the new and old rolled in one. The soundtrack is amazing and goes along with the overall mood very well. Might actually be more enjoyable played solo, surprisingly enough...
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The story basically follows a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, an elite military branch of UNSC. You play as an ODST recruit appropriately named "Rookie," as he is deployed over New Mombasa with fellow troopers. In the opening cutscene, which was released well before the game, we watch shit hit the fan as a Covenant ship enters slipspace, trying to get away from Master Chief, who's all up in the Prophet of Regret's business. This event scatters the ODST pods throughout the city below, separating the Rookie from his more experienced comrades. He wakes up six hours later, and the game picks up from there.

New Mombasa, a husk of what it once was, is now your playground. This open world thing is new to Halo, and Bungie made sure players would not feel lost. As you wander the remnants of New Mombasa, there are plenty of hints that you may utilize to find your way, separate from the little blue compass diamond we're so used to seeing. Hitting "up" on the D-pad brings up icons indicating unlocked doorways, and a 3D, fully interactive city-wide map marks marks your next destination, enemies, supply caches, and so on. An ODST's weapons of choice are the M7S SMG and M6S Magnum -- an effective combination. Your starting arsenal is enough to carry you through the entire game without ever having to trade up (or down), but the city offers a wide selections that might inspire memories of Halo-past.
LINK: Neoseeker reviews Halo 3: ODST

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Yeah yeah, the game came out mid-September, but hey, we're doing our best here. Good news is we think we've finally gotten Activision to stop sending us games so late. At the very least, Gabe is getting an earlier copy of Modern Warfare 2, so you dudes look forward to that.

For now, here's our review of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. Read it, judge it, spread the word. Whether you've played the game or not, check out what we think (what I think, anyway). Solid game, deserves some time.
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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 retains a certain familiarity, mostly because the basic formula is the same. Those familiar with the above mentioned games should fall comfortably into the latest installment. After an introduction stage, MUA2 enters full swing with the Marvel Civil War storyline, borrowed from the comics. Certain events lead the government to pass the Superhuman Registration Act (SRA), and the superhero community is effectively split in two, between those who do or don't support the act. The player watches these events unfold and is then given a choice to side with either the Pro- or Anti-Registration groups. Between every mission, you're sent back to a base where you may interact with other heroes, replay previous missions, and do just about everything the previous MUA offered; this remains relatively the same.
LINK: Neoseeker reviews Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

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I sent an email to Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson yesterday, with a link to the Sunday Musing about Avatar items: Three ways to improve the Avatar Marketplace on Xbox LIVE.

I'm not sure if the email goes directly to him or just through an assistant of some kind, but I assume the person on the other end was the Major (at worst, someone associated with him). There is some good news, that being we'll get more free Avatar updates in the future. Here was the response:
quote
Thanks. I’ll pass this along. Also, there will continue to be free items, so the first bullet point is not completely accurate.
Pretty cool, if you ask me. Now I'm hoping those updates come soon. I need to review Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. It came nearly two weeks late, but I still gotta take care of it.

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Been a while, but I finally got the chance to write a Sunday editorial today. The topic has been on my mind a while, so I thought it was about time I wrote about it. Would make more sense if you guys have Xbox LIVE, but I do go over the subject a bit before delving into the issue.

For those who do have Xbox LIVE and subscribe to Gold, you may be rather annoyed by Microsoft charging so much for the new Avatar merchandise. Of course, I have friends who don't care and throw away money on it. Oddly enough, I hear / read this excuse a lot: "I need something to waste my points on."

I think one issue is that many people don't realize these points cost money, and it really adds up after a while. Because they're called "points," we don't directly associate it with hard-earned cash. Thus, people are more willing to spend their points, forgetting they're actually spending real money. On top of this discrepancy, many young people have yet to fully comprehend the value of a dollar and how hard it is to earn that money. So when we see a blue lightsaber in the Marketplace, we see only 400 Microsoft Points, not $5.00 that can be used to buy food and drink.

It's more than just a rant though, but a valid look at some ways Microsoft can improve the system to be more consumer friendly. Here's an excerpt, followed by the link.
quote
T-shirts in the Avatar Marketplace usually go for 80 points, while some smaller items will drop to 16 Points, or 50 cents, specifically in the "Styles Store" for generic items. Name brands like Roxy, Adidas, tokitoki, and even Penny Arcade generally cost more. The "Game Styles," which cover video game costumes and accessories, are also leaning on the pricey side. This scheme makes sense because whenever a brand or any other recognizable name gets involved, royalties come into play. And really, PSN users can buy virtual goodies too, so what's the big deal with Xbox LIVE?

The big deal is that users already need to pay an annual $50 subscription fee (or go month to month with subscription cards) to get the complete package. I have never had a problem with this fee. In fact, Microsoft's monthly rate for Gold has spoiled me, and I refuse to pay more for any sort of online game. This Avatar Marketplace, however, felt like a hard kick to the proverbial testicles.

One reason this change felt like a scam is the previous free Avatar updates. They were sparse but free. We looked forward to Major Nelson's announcements each Tuesday, hoping to see new items for our Avatars. Sadly, these updates have since disappeared after the Avatar Marketplace was launched. In a perfect world, Microsoft would somehow pay the royalties on their own without having to charge players; unfortunately, that's not how the capitalist world works, and even the people behind Xbox LIVE need food, shelter, and medical insurance.

But there must be a better way, and I believe Microsoft can still make money off the Avatar Marketplace with a fairer, more consumer-friendly system.
LINK: Sunday Musing: Three ways to improve the Avatar Marketplace on Xbox LIVE

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Well then, in my last post I mentioned some reviews and what not you guys can look forward to. The first one is up on the front page, for WET by Bethesda and A2M. It's a game many have heard of but may not know a whole lot about. The review is one of my harsher ones, but for the most part I can tell you it's not a bad game. In fact, many people might find it enjoyable.

Some have noted the score is rather low, but in my opinion, it's not. Truly bad games will dip lower than that. Honestly, just read about the complaints, and if they don't dissuade you, go ahead and give the game a shot. I just recommend renting it or waiting for the price to drop. I just have trouble justifying paying full price for a buggy game that feels unfinished.

Anyway, aside from that, we also have our preview of Modern Warfare 2 up, posted earlier this evening. Gabe documents his account of the Los Angeles preview event with Activision. If you like video games at all, you'll check those out. I'll be nice and provide the links too:

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Hey, Neoseeker community. Just a heads up for what you guys can expect in the coming weeks for game review. Aside from Gabriel bringing you the Modern Warfare 2 preview night event (soon), we've got some reviews coming up you may be interested in. As you may have noticed, Neoseeker is becoming more video game driven, not just hardware.

First, WET by Bethesda and A2M will be posted this week, and I'm getting Halo 3: ODST soon as well -- supposedly by Friday. A little stressed because Activision is probably sending Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, as they have a habit of sending games automatically but late. Gabe will hopefully get our PR guy to change that, because I don't want to have to review all three at once.

Before I left for Taiwan, I reviewed three games in a row, but they were separated accordingly so there was not much overlap. Unfortunately, I got little to no sleep and wound up getting sick overseas. Joy.

Anyway, keep an eye on the front page, our Twitter, or this blog for updates.

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If you haven't already noticed, our PR wiz Adrian went to PAX this year and has been posting his coverage these days on the front page. If you haven't noticed, then I'm not sure why you guys even bother visiting Neoseeker. Good job, now I hate you forever.

But you should probably (definitely) still check out Adrian's coverage. It's still being updated, but Day 1 is up for your viewing pleasure: Neoseeker visits PAX 2009.

Lots more meetings than I'm used to do, and there was more hilarity / frustration with all the headsets and various crappy mics not working. Echos, beat boxing, underwater noises, birds warking, and the fact that I sound like a Cylon -- all quite hilarious, yes. I need a new mic. Either order online or go to Best Buy (shithole).

But I'm about ready to turn my back on today and play video games. Mm, yes, more Arkham Asylum awaits me. I think I'm pretty damn close to fighting Ivy, which pleases me immensely. I look forward to kicking her ass. Still would've liked more Harley and Ivy moments though -- those two are sweet together. *bleep* the Joker, I'm all for Ivy x Harley!

Aside from that, tried the Garou: Mark of the Wolves demo, because Rock Howard is cute and Terry Board is awesome. Don't think I'll be buying it. Had enough of the game at the arcades years ago, so I'm saving that 800 Microsoft Points.

Peace.

Update: PAX 2009 Day 2 coverage has been posted this morning. Check it out HERE.

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Sean recently did something awesome. When I joined GOG.com, he gifted me with a code for Unreal Tournament 2k4 ECE, which I used to play during college. It was probably the first shooter I really took to, with the exception of arcade games like Time Crisis and House of the Dead stuff. I also fed his recent Might & Magic craving with a gift of my own -- GOG.com promotes gift-giving with awesome deals.

I only had my ex's copy at the time though, and now thanks to Sean, I have one of my own! And it's a really cool edition, and I should probably get on that shit. Too many games, too little time!

But a game I like this is infinitely more enjoyable with friends. So any of you people still play this? I know you guys are out there -- Unreal Tournament III didn't do nearly as well. Anyway, hit me up if you're interested, rusty as I am. For now, it's back to Arkham Asylum.

Wee, so many games! Speaking of which, Sean also got me to update my games collection on Neoseeker. It took a while, and new games pop into my head regularly. Then I realized I didn't put my completion / progress status for any of them, except the titles I had played but never owned. Too lazy to go back and rectify.

Otherwise, happy Labor Day. Thanks much, Sean ♥

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In Taiwan, I do all my Internet'ing on my netbook. This thing is ultra convenient when you're on the go, especially at conventions; but for everyday use, I really miss my desktop at home. Luckily, mi madre and I have successfully been added to a flight on Saturday, September 5, having been on the waiting list for a week. Because of China Airlines' 50th anniversary event, we managed to redeem our mileage points and get free tickets. That meant we were lower on the priority list for last minute flight changes.

A typhoon should be hitting Taiwan over the weekend, so I think we'll avoid that by a day or so. I'm expecting a lot of turbulence as we leave the island. But getting home on Labor Day weekend means we'll get to settle in a bit before work starts. Otherwise, we would've returned on September 8, and that's no fun.

The disconnect between myself and this country continues to grow. I become more Westernized, and this small island nation retains so many traditional values, while being hit hard with globalization and Western exposure but not known what to do with all that. Sociology is messy!

And for whatever reason -- economy on life support, Hurricane Morakot ("diamond" in Thai) decimating the south -- things have just changed. Aside from my bacterial infection, which the kind doctor attributed to my exhaustion, the food overall no longer satisfies me. Guess the next I come back, I'm going to have to find new places to eat. Really though, that's another problem in Asia, not just Taiwan; it's rare these days to find a favorite joint and be able to visit it year after year... after year. Things just change so quickly, and I honestly hate that.

The Internet and having it with us everywhere we go doesn't help the situation. Life happens faster and faster, and when I'm out, my own friends or just other people I see will often be glued to their phones, now called mobile devices because of their multi-capabilities. And that's really the better situation; more often than not, people will distract themselves with email, texting, Twitter, and so on... all on their goddamn phones. While out with friends. In real life. Having dinner. You know, doing stuff with people in person.

"Sorry, I have to check this." No, no you *bleep*ing don't. Just three *bleep*ing years ago, you very likely didn't. And what about five or eight years ago? Hell, what happened to the 90s? Were you frickin' dying without your mobile device then? I think not, you pathetic twats. But then everyone expects you to be available all the time now because of these devices and mobile Internet. Seriously, this world is going way too damn fast; it'll catch on fire soon enough, fly off its axis and go hurling into the sun.

I'll be chillin' at home with the AC up and my Xbox 360 powered on. When I get back, I'm going to tear through Arkham Asylum, since its reached my doorstep and made it into our home. Amazon recently had a sweet deal on Force Unleashed because the new Sith edition is coming out; they've been clearing inventory. With shipping, the game cost me a little under $15 -- not a bad deal. Army of Two will be a co-op experience with my college buddy, so I'll be able to juggle that with either single player game.

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Not something I announced, though I did mention offhand on GameGrep and my Twitter that I'd be headin' to Taiwan for a couple weeks (oh goody) to visit family. Let's be clear -- if this is a vacation, sure doesn't feel like it.

I told a friend that I would be visiting the hospital here (one grandfather was there), and it turns out I did -- because I got massively ill. Taiwan has a major H1N1 problem, it seems, so serious that school has been postponed in many places. The recent typhoon that hit the south like an Asian Katrina didn't help the situation for this island nation either. So I was taken to a hospital, which turned to be a really new one run by a Buddhist global aid group and funded purely by donations, so that was a major relief; I have a massive fear of Taiwan hospitals from a bad experience as a child.

They thought I had H1N1 at first too, but it turned out to be food poisoning. My blood test was rushed due to the apparent urgency of my symptoms -- debilitating fever, muscle soreness, other unpleasantness that some of you don't want to hear.

Never been happy in my life to find out I had an awful bacterial infection, let me tell you. NEVER BEEN, and probably never again.

Also, I miss video games a lot. I ordered Batman: Arkham Asylum and Army of Two, so at least one game will be waiting for me when I get back. I definitely cannot wait to try them both. Most people assume I reviewed the first game, so I keep getting asked about it. That depresses me, because I want to play it SO BADLY!

Have a pleasant weekend, people.



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Okay, third review in a row. I'm on a *bleep*ing roll. No, actually, I'm really tired, and I still have to pack for my trip overseas. 14 hour flights FTW! Hoping I can knock myself out or stay occupied with the DS / Zune.

Anyway, here's our review of Wolfenstein: Neoseeker reviews Wolfenstein. Hope you find it satisfactory. It's definitely a solid shooter, so I'd recommend it; though after G.I. JOE, just about any game feels spectacular. Here's an excerpt from the latest review:
quote
Morbid as it may sound, Wolfenstein lets you kill Nazis in a lot of different ways, making sure you have fun punching, stabbing, shooting, burning, electrocuting your way through their ranks. There's as wide a variety in enemy types, from Nazi soldiers to Black Sun monsters, and not all enemies are aggressive. You can choose to spare the scientists and secretaries if you're the altruistic type -- watching them cower in the corner or dropping to the floor with hands over their heads is pretty amusing. While the enemies will shout the usual one-liners trying to intimidate B.J., their battle cries actually add character more than noise.

On top of guns, B.J. also has Veil powers at his disposal, thanks to a Black Sun medallion he acquires at the start of the game. The medallion grants the player four powers: Veil Sight, Mire (slowing time), Shield, Empower (shield penetration). Using these powers in any combination opens up new ways of overpowering your enemies. Some will prove more useful than others, but the choice is yours. I found myself sticking with Veil and Mire, and you may prefer Shield over time manipulation. The first power, Veil Sight, will be an essential tool, either way, and adds an extra dimension to an otherwise simplistic shooter. Veil Sight lets you see secret doorways and paths, which often leads to collectibles (gold, intel) or a way of circumventing enemies. With these powers at your disposal, Raven tossed in plenty of situational puzzles, making sure every ability comes into play at least once.
It's not breaking boundaries or anything, since it utilizes the old DOOM 3 engine. But it's a well-made FPS, with nice visuals and a great soundtrack. The voice overs are actually really great too, even with all the German accents I assume are mostly fake. They also remind me of the Medic, from Team Fortress 2.

Anyway, time to pack. News will be handed over to my co-workers. Do me proud, you bastards. I'll be watching.

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In my last blog, I vented a little about the PR rep who sent me G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra. And now, the review has been posted, though you won't find it on our front page. Oh, it's on the forums and is floating around in the Neoseeker web-dimension, but since the game has been out for more than two weeks, it doesn't get to appear on Neoseeker's front page.

And honestly, who expected this game to be any good? Idiots, that's who. Or you know, little kids. Regardless, you may find the review an interesting read. I mean, who doesn't like to watch other people suffer? And that's what reviewing this game was like -- hours of suffering. It's pretty short, as far as games go, but any longer and I would've ended my own life. Check it: G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra review.

Admittedly, the review borders on ranting, but you'd be doing the same thing in my shoes. Seriously, this game is really frickin' awful. Even if you had a little kid to think of, there HAS to be better games out there for your child to play. Pass this shit up, even when it hits the bargain bin.

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Did anyone read our (my) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review last month? I dropped the game's score below a 7, and it was given the lowest score I had ever awarded any game for review. I thought this was the worst I would have to put up with.

Unfortunately, I WAS DEAD *bleep*ING WRONG. Last week around this time, I received a package in the mail. At first I thought it was a late shipment of King of Fighters XII because it shared the same PR company as this God-awful game. But no, when I opened the package, I found G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra inside. Lord help me.

I knew this game wasn't going to be good. Little did I know, it would be the most painful gaming experience I have ever had in my entire 23 years on this planet. I'm not done yet, since I started just this week after the Shadow Complex review went out on Monday morning. Normally, even when I receive a game late, I try my best to finish it with all my available time -- not this time. I literally dread playing this game, like no other game I have ever laid eyes on; won't go into details, you'll have to read the review.

With most review copies, PR reps also send some fact sheets, a URL / FTP to all the assets, or a disc. Not this time. The Rocket XL rep who sent me G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra only included his contact info and a brief note about how excited he is that I want to review this game, and to contact him when I'm finished. No disc, no URL, no fact sheet, and he has failed to respond to my email request for this content.

Leo even said last week he was asking how the review was going. NEWS TO ME, since I didn't get it until the end of the flippin' week. I'm truly struggling with this one, guys. It's not just the process of playing a shit game either, but knowing that this PR rep -- despite coming off as not giving a flying shit about Neoseeker or our review of the game -- will want a link to the review when it's finished. And it's not going to be a good one...

The review will be out by Monday, is all I can guarantee. And that's only because I'm leaving for a trip across the Pacific, a trip that can no longer be postponed because my grandfather is back in the hospital.

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Damn, I'm tired. I finished the review finally at 4:30 AM and woke up at 6:00 AM to publish it, when the embargo was lifted. Sean thinks I'm psychotic.

Eurogamer had theirs up already. Oh well, they would've gotten more views than ours either way... /sigh

Anyway, if you've got Xbox LIVE or love platformers (or just games in general), check out the review. Shadow Complex, if you haven't read via my last post, is this awesome side-scroller from Epic Games and Chair Entertainment. Hope the review convinces you guys it's just THAT awesome and deserves your time.

I mean really, 1200 Microsoft Points is a steal for a game like this! Neoseeker reviews Shadow Complex.
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Shadow Complex is developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games and brings us a unique fusion of classic side-scrolling platformer with a modern action twist. I noticed a few perks early on: game difficulty can be changed at any point in play, cutscenes are skippable and have subtitles, and there are enough "save rooms" scattered throughout.

Something else the game establishes from the start is the non-linear progression. Between point A to point B, you will often find other explorable areas for alternate routes or items. As you might've guessed, this does entail (and sometimes requires) a bit of backtracking, especially if you're a completionist. Some doors can't be opened until after a certain point when you've acquired a specific weapon, so there's plenty of hidden explorable rooms and tunnels all across the compound. Not all of them are obvious either, so the map does come in handy, unless you've got perfect photographic memory. Enemies respawn when you reload or backtrack to a previous area, but it's not really so bad; as you gain more skills and weapons, you'll also have new, entertaining ways of dispatching them.

Jason's gun upgrades automatically, and you'll find special add-ons as things progress. He starts with a measly flashlight in the beginning -- it comes in handy throughout the game -- but winds up completely pimped out with grenades, missiles, grappling hook, and the incredible foam gun by the end.

I feel like a jerk for saying this, but killing people in Shadow Complex is way too enjoyable. I dropped a guard from his post with a single shot once, knocking him over a ledge; he screamed the whole way down, ending with a comical THUD when he (presumably) hit the bottom. You'll find a wide range of enemies, and plenty of ways to kill them. Gun 'em down, go with the classic headshot, or melee -- whatever floats your sadistic boat.
Now it's back to the daily news grind for me. I've got a very late copy of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to review. Rrgh...

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I was surprised and saddened that the Shadow Complex forum on Neoseeker is grossly inactive. Actually, it's inactive period, except for some random postings I do when new stuff arises.

Alright, maybe not that surprising, but this is a game I think more people should be excited for. The "hardcore" or "hobbyist" gaming community might dismiss it as something too casual, seeing as how it's an Xbox LIVE Arcade title, while "casual" gamers might think it inaccessible because it's a platformer featuring guns and sci-fi elements... and it's developed by Epic Games, along with their sub-studio Chair Entertainment.

But seriously, this game is worth a look, if you guys haven't already. It didn't receive much fanfare during E3 2009 with all the other big titles coming out -- mostly from EA and Capcom -- and the motion sensing craze. Really though, it's won a few "Best of E3 2009" awards from those sites. You know, the ones who get paid more and buy exclusives and pocket money directly from the industry.


As some of you may know, we talked to lead developer Donald Mustard and his lovely PR agent / wife Laura, and they were both very much excited for the game. Seriously, I had not met a PR rep who was so into the game -- or gaming in general. It really helped sell an already good idea to me, and I was lucky enough to receive an XBLA code yesterday for a review copy of Shadow Complex.

It should really draw in sci-fi fans as well, because the game takes place in the world of Empire, created by Orson Scott Card, best known for Ender's Game. So really, you know from the beginning that with some of the folks behind Gears looking over this project and Scott's creative contributions, it's gotta be kosher at the very core. The fact that Donald admitted it was inspired by his love for platformers (more screenshots and stuff via link) like Metroid and Castlevania is awesome too -- the game is inspired by some great predecessors.

And now I shall go back to my review playthrough. Shadow Complex will be out on August 19, and I hope you will read the review when it's published on Monday.

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If you guys haven't already noticed, there've been come cool new features added to Neoseeker. You know, more navigable, generally easier on the eyes.

I like the new features, but some bugs prevail. One such bug I thought I'd warn you guys about -- in case any of you like commenting on the news -- is that when an article passes from "published" back to "pending" and then "published" again, previously posted comments will disappear.

Do not panic. We do not hate you -- the system hates you.

In the mean time, we learn that a teenage boy has been killed at one of China's Internet addiction facilities. These centers got some attention this month when netizens posted about unfair treatment toward the patients, including the use of shock therapy. China has since banned the use of electroshock, but that doesn't mean these popular government-funded clinics were all shut down.

The fact is, China hasn't officially declared Internet addiction a treatable / diagnosable condition, but that's not stopping these clinics from doing their business. And on Monday, a 16-year-old boy died after being beaten by three adult supervisors.

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Admittedly, I thought Dungeon Fighter Online was going to be another shitty free-to-play MMO when I first heard the name. But then I saw the character design art, and I promised myself to pay more attention to this game. The priest class is so unbelievably kickass and hawt.

We got to talk to Nexon America producer Herb Yang at Comic-Con. If you don't know Nexon, they're the people who brought you Maple Story, Combat Arms and more.

So here's another Q&A from Comic-Con for you guy to read, if you're interested. It's all about DFO, the 2D arcade style of play implemented in an MMO game. I got into the beta thanks to my Nexon PR contact, whom I call "Bob" -- because that's his name, not just my trying to be clever.

Click here, read this: Dungeon Fighter Online producer Q&A.

Hope you like. I'm going to spend some time with the beta again, leveling up my priest "Garrus." He's gonna be a Crusader class when he grows up! I know a handful of other Neo staff wanna play the game too -- Leo is in the beta as well, not sure what he's using.

Maybe get some more Gears of War 2 in later. I haven't tried the "Road to Ruin" campaign yet. But before I delve back into the first private gaming time I have had all week, here is something awfully nice Sean did for me. It's a Mirror's Edge screenie of Faith kicking someone in the nuts! This one's for Lydia, he calls it. Thanks, Sean, I loves it much.

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Comic-Con International was tiring, to be truthful, but I had fun. It was my first year, and despite having to some interviews solo, I saw a lot, learned a lot.

Anyway, the next thing I posted is a feature article. I transcribed the interview I did with Rocksteady game director, Sefton Hill, who is also director for Batman: Arkham Asylum. Yeah, sounds familiar, huh? The guy has a heavy accent, had some trouble transcribing it all manually, but it's there.

Some stuff he covers is character depth for both the villains and Batman himself, the possibility of exploring Bruce Wayne's psyche, and Arkham Asylum as more than just a setting. All in all, Hill promises this will be a true Batman experience that comic fans and gamers alike will enjoy.
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Neo: Can you detail a few ways the game stays true to the whole Batman experience? Fans are really into that.

SH: Yeah, I mean one of the great things were the license that we have. It's the comic book license, so it's 70 years of Batman history to draw on. So you know we have all the great characters in there; Joker is obviously the main antagonist in the game. We also have Harley Quinn in the game, for the first time, with her relationship with the Joker.

And I think one of the big things for the game that fans are really gonna enjoy is -- for us -- the main important thing is Batman's relationship with these villains you know. I think what defines Batman, and what makes him really interesting is he has this great array of supervillains. And that's so different to a lot other comic characters where the hero is so good, but they don't have this great array of villains who could all have their own games.

And it's that relationship which drives all of them, so the game essentially is about Batman's relationship with Joker, Batman's relationship with Harley, Harley's relationship with Joker -- how he treats her, mistreats her, abuses her, you know. I think what fans are really gonna enjoy is that it's not dumbed down. It's about what you like when you read the comics, what I like when I read the comics. It's about the characters; it's not just flat out buildings just for the sake of it! It's about these characters and how they interact. And I think that's what fans are going to enjoy most.
Full Q&A interview thing is here: Batman: Arkham Asylum director Q&A.

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I think in my previous post, I mentioned that I was working on posting SDCC material, whether as front page news or feature articles. Anyway, one such article, now on the front page, covers an in-depth preview of the upcoming Xbox LIVE platformer, Shadow Complex.

The demo on Friday at the Omni Hotel overlooking the convention center was done by Epic Games' lead developer Donald Mustard and his wife, Chair Entertainment PR lady Laura Mustard. Now that's friggin' cute shit right there -- I told Sean I hope they have beautiful children who love video games.

Anyway, how was Shadow Complex? All I can say is, I am so excited for this game right now, and before I received an email from Hannah Wong, an Xbox LIVE rep, about the appointment, I happened to be thinking, "Damn, I could really go for a new platformer on Xbox LIVE. Why haven't they made one yet?"

Here's an excerpt from the article, just a general overview:
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Shadow Complex takes place in a world constructed by Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) for his best-selling novel, Empire. The game's original story was penned by comic book author Peter David, known for his work on Star Trek, Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Factor and more.

In this alternate universe, Jason and his girlfriend, Claire, are on a hiking date when they get separated, and we wind up with a very confused man searching for his damsel in distress. While snooping around, Jason discovers this "rogue paramilitary group," affectionately named "Restoration," and soon learns of their plans to overthrow the government and consume America in civil war. Let this be a lesson to you gamers -- never take your cheeky girlfriend hiking in the woods because an advanced anarchy group will invariably kidnap her.

Donald doesn't bother trying to conceal his love for this genre, asking why no one is making more platformers today. When asked his inspiration, Donald initially fudges, then admits he couldn't help but draw upon his admiration for the Metroid and Castlevania games. Referring to the "Metroid ideal," he explains some of the principles found in Shadow Complex are drawn from very basic ideas first seen in old-school titles, like starting out with very little, then becoming more and more powerful by collecting gear, power-ups, and other items.
I really think you should read the rest of it, so you'll wanna click this link: Shadow Complex lead developer hopes to revive platformer genre.

Read it, read it, read it! And whatever else I shove onto this blog in the coming days.


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Oookay, so according to the system, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 does not exist? And yet I have been writing about it for weeks, attaching it to an entity and so on. Gonna need to ask Jamie about that tomorrow.

And apparently hitting "Enter" publishes the blog post. Why should I be surprised? That's how the articles work too, as I found out by hitting that damn key too many times. Anyway, are you guys into comics? I know I am. I've had a lot of trouble concentrating lately with all my new comics from Comic-Con.

Also did some work at the convention, so the first two articles related to that work are up on the front page. I managed to get one up last week, on Wednesday night, despite being buzzed off rum and Coke. Activision showed off Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 at their party, along with Singularity, which I will write about another time. For now, there's MUA2 and some related Comic-Con news: Jean Grey and Gambit join Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 cast.

Associate producer Jason Schroeder talked me through the demo stages, then let me go at it with a Maxim reporter dude. I helped him out a little, told him Thor was full of win. Will report a more detailed version later when I write about the entire "First to Play" contest I won / attended.

Additionally, I published a not-so-little bit on DC Universe Online, which I also got to preview at Comic-Con, this time with senior producer Wes Yanagi. I was so paranoid writing the piece, thinking I'd accidentally start typing "Yagami," since that guy's been on my mind lately for obvious reasons.

Both games look great, though DCUO seems to be nowhere near release, being in pre-alpha still (according to Yanagi). Anyway, here is our write-up for the preview with Sony Online Entertainment: MMO basics meet action play in DC Universe Online.

Now go read those!. I'm more of a DC fangirl, to be honest. Sure, both Marvel and DC come up with some crazy shit, but I can't deny my thing for Batman, a love that has persisted since childhood while my interest in X-Men waxes and wanes below the radar. Oh, not to mention GREEN LANTERN, especially Kyle Rayner. Hal Jordan is awesome too, but Kyle is still the cutest ever -- and he was Ion! I really dig Nightwing as well, but most of his comics focused way too much on his relationships with random women, and jerking Barbara / Oracle around.

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Holy Hell, I finally finished it. Big thanks to Sean for helping me proof, since I received Gabe's portion just last night. I was determined to get this thing out before Wednesday.

Okay, technically it is Wednesday, but I can still pack and get a few hours of sleep before I need to hit the train station and head down to San Diego for Comic-Con.

So anyway, for you anime-philes out there, here's our Anime Expo 2009 coverage! Okay, I know it's a bit late, but we worked really damn hard on it. Read about some panels, including Robot Chicken, the core events like AX Idol and Masquerade, and our incessant bitching over how terribly disorganized the staff was.

READ NOW: Neoseeker visits Anime Expo 2009.

Leave some feedback, if it would please you. I know it would certainly please me. And I KNOW you bastards like anime. Don't even try to hide it. I've grown out of it for the most part, but seeing an old hero like Yasuhiro Nightow in person was pretty flippin' awesome. Yeah, I've seriously been following Trigun since middle school, when I was 13 -- I can't believe it's been around that long. Got Nightow and Nishimura to sign a poster.

I also got Ishiwatari's signature on my newer Guilty Gear artbook. Pretty sweet. Mori signed it too, though he hesitated like he wasn't sure if I wanted his sig. Also got Morikawa (Sephiroth) to sign my copy Advent Children DVD. The first one, I mean... Square Enix can kiss my ass before I buy their second release.

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Hm, reviews and feature articles have been keeping me off the Sunday soapboxes lately, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Keeping these Sunday Musing articles fewer and farther in between keeps my mind from frying itself.

This week, instead of working on Anime Expo stuff, I put up an editorial on the front page about homosexuality in video games. I've been delving back into my DC encyclopedia with Comic-Con around the corner, and it made me think about how we don't really see video games addressing gay and lesbian relationships. Sure, there are a few, but it's still not much. Lack of acceptance can be problematic, as we hear cases about people like Teresa and Gaywood on LIVE.

So how can we alleviate the situation? I'm thinking exposure. Help the video game community build tolerance by educating them through exposure. I'd be totally thrilled if I played a game one day and the male lead turned out to be gay, rather than your typical lady-ogling dude. It'd be like finding out Samus is a woman for the first time. Okay, maybe not THAT crazy, but sorta similar.

Anyway, here's the article, in case you're all interested: Sunday Musing: Homosexuality in Video Games. Leave thoughts and feedback, if you'd like. I'll more likely see them if you post under the article, not my blog.

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Right, so that Anime Expo stuff isn't up yet, and I'm thinking of putting up the panel talk I've got anyway. Otherwise, I'm waiting for Vegi's contributions.

Note there is another review up. It's from Activision again -- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It's not exactly a winner, I'll tell you that much, but if you're interested in checking out the review for kicks, leaving some feedback, whatever, here it is: Neoseeker reviews Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

I still need to bug H and crew about some ideas I had, even though there's a good chance they won't go through. I know Jamie already proposed some of them, but eh, I really haven't a clue, being in another country and all. Sometimes, I wish I did work in the office. Neoseeker needs to open a Los Angeles branch! Now accepting donations.

In other news, I won this GameStop / Activision sweepstakes that I don't remember entering. I do recall it was something Vegi encouraged me to participate in, so there's that. Either way, me and nine other winners will be going to Comic-Con and put up in a swanky hotel for a few days. We won't get to stay the entire duration, but it should still be quite an experience!

Oh, and holy Hell, Mass Effect 2! Actually, it's all old news to me, since I did get to attend E3 this year and check out BioWare's closed demos. But still! THAAAAANE!!! I want him in my Shepard's pants-bodysuit-armor-thing.


Video took just under 50 minutes to upload, thank you very much. But THAAAANE!! Man, screw exclusive vids and the sites that pay for them. Yeah, you heard me. A lot of these vids are timed exclusives, like video games, and then get an official release later. At that point, any media outlet can access and post the video.

Looking for something to play? I'm spending time with Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires.

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Not sure how many of you read the front page, but I haven't been writing any news these days, even though I don't generally get holidays off anyway. That's because Anime Expo is happening right now in the heart of Los Angeles, and a couple of us have been sent deep inside to check shit out.

It's tiring, but we'll be reporting our coverage as a wrap-up article when the expo ends. So keep an eye out for that one, whether on our Twitter (@neoseeker), front page updates, or my blog.

Also, Activision sent another game to review, and you can guess which based on my blog title. Let's be honest, that game isn't exactly a major blockbuster hit, as far as the video game industry is concerned. So I'm probably gonna put it on the back burner until the expo stuff has passed.

I really liked the second movie though. So much robot action! Sean was super cool and found me a place online where I can re-watch all the episodes from the old cartoon! Did anyone else cry when Optimus died in the original animated movie? I did, like a little girl. Wait, I was a little girl back then.

Sephiroth's voice actor, Morikawa, told me that my Chinese name is pronounced "Unke" in Japanese. Nice to know.

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Got several new developments for you guys. First, you know how Neoseeker has this funny habit of holding giveaway contests and sweepstakes with swag or new copies of popular video games?

We've got another one going on now, and I've actually been keeping an eye out for it. KOEI had originally sent my review copy of DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires to Neo HQ up in Vancouver instead of down here, to Los Angeles County where I reside. That was all resolved, but the result is an extra copy, wrapped and squeaky clean.

Unless tekmosis did something to it, I dunno. Anyway, the copy is now up for grabs, if you haven't already heard. It's another one of those Wiki update contests, so flex that Dynasty Warriors knowledge! Time to show those kids at school that your obsession with horribly flashy caricatures of ancient Chinese warriors and scholars is valid! Our review for it is still on the front page as well. I think.

Here's the LINK, with all the rules and other grimy details. And remember, I'll start telling Redemption and tekmosis that we shouldn't hold anymore giveaways if any of you *bleep*ers start bitching, "There's only one copy!! WWAAAAAHHHWWAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!"

And on a less important note, I did do another Sunday Musing this weekend. Thought I'd rattle the cage a bit with a piece about Nintendo's failure to connect with audiences at this year's E3 press conference. Did manage to shake some shit up, and we've got fanatics from both sides of the fence duking it out in the comments. Too much drama for yo' mama right here! Sunday Musing: "Nintendo, you're making this difficult!"

Important to note that none of the Nintendo executives bothered showing up in person at the main theatre where the majority of us were gathered. They were all projected onstage, which explains why Gabe's pictures turned out so crappy. Not even his uber awesome camera could salvage that shit. I already did a bit of lighting adjustments in Photoshop, but I'm not a wizard.

Also, they have lots of decent third-party titles lined up but chose not to address those at the conference. Instead, we get introduced to things we've already heard more than enough about, shovelware, and really stupid stock photography of girls and boys with pink and blue DSes. Oh, there was a flippin' COP playing with a DARK BLUE DS in one of those pictures too. I shit you not, Nintendo actually managed to make stock photography look even dumber and more awkward than it already is.

As always, you can follow us via Twitter, @neoseeker. tekmosis set it up, but I've been doing 99.9 percent of the updating. Speaking of which, here he is being assaulted.



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Too much caps? Too bad, blame Japanese pop culture and their obsession with CAPS LOCK. Anyway, thought some of you might like to know that our DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires review is complete and should be up on the front page.

Game comes out today in North America, so if you're curious about it, do check out our review. Otherwise, know that it's a pretty good game as far as Dynasty Warriors go, but won't be converting any KOEI haters either.

I know you want to read this, and you know I know you do: Neoseeker reviews DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires.

Also, feel free to leave feedback here or on the forums. It's how we know we're doing a good / shitty job. As for me, I do plan to go back and play this game some more. It's always nice playing games without a deadline, and I enjoy that feeling of freedom after each review. Brief as it is.

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Okay, so Prototype has been out a while, but I mentioned in a previous entry that Activision kind of sprung it on us at the last minute. Heath is still playing through, and I tackled the review since I don't have any side jobs or... whatever. This is pretty much it.

So what did I think? It's a mindless experience with a hot of hot guys that under normal circumstances, I wouldn't pay full price for. I've never played a game so terrible that I vowed to never touch it again, but that doesn't mean every game is great, like God's gift to gamers.

I mean, if the game interests you, then try it out. My biggest beef has to be with (1) the visuals and (2) the annoyance of having 90487242390482374423 enemies thrown at you all at once. Hunters, Super Soldiers, Jarheads in helicopters and tanks, Infected-peons... all trying to corner Alex and climb up his ass. Alright, so the second point is tolerable, but the first one really gets to me.

This game would've scored so much better all around and been a more immersive experience if the game didn't look so terrible. Of course the cinematics and the special characters like Alex look fine, but the buildings and the recycled character models for everyone else is flippin' atrocious.

Read the rest here: Neoseeker reviews Prototype

But you know what I've noticed? Alex Mercer and BLACKWATCH superstar Captain Cross are hot. Yeah, I'm surprised by Cross being there as well, since I only noticed Alex first. But you spend enough time with this game, and it warps your taste in men, I guess.

That review went out this morning, and then I treated myself to a nap. Woke up at around 2:00 pm and found a FedEx package outside. Wrapped in a heavy plastic bag shielding it from the rain was none other than Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires, as promised. My copy was accidentally shipped up to Neo HQ in Vancouver, so I called my PR contact to KOEI and he (plus Heather, a sweet PR-lady I met at E3) was very understanding. They shot another package out the door and here it is, on my bed.

Suggested the extra copy in Vancouver be used in a giveaway of some sort. Neoseeker is pretty awesome with those contests, eh? Time for me to get back to reviewing.

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I was standing in the kitchen earlier today, minding my own business, when I noticed an object on the porch. I'm expecting a game from KOEI, but my PR contact told me via email that he'd let me know whenever they were sending out retail review copies.

Admittedly, I felt a sense of dread, since I'm still worn out from E3 and all the post-E3 work. My brain is little more than a pile of goop, after sitting too long in a fryer.

Scuttled outside and found out the package was from Activision. Wasn't actually expecting to review anything, and Adrian usually tells me ahead of time when he's got a review lined up for me. May just be an automated thing, since I reviewed X-Men Origins: Wolverine for them. And just like that game, this one came... LATE.

Well, at least I don't need to deal with the embargo date. Just gotta get this one out ASAP, is all. It's been out for a week already! And if you haven't already guessed, the game in question is Prototype.

I mean, new game to review, great! But I had just purchased Knight of the Old Republic II on PC yesterday, and I was looking forward to more mod-filled fun. I actually already own and beat it for Xbox, but it runs like hell on the Xbox 360, and I love the game too much. Anyone know where I can get restored character dialogue? Team Gizka's site link for restored script was dead, though I managed to get the Droid Planet content.

Also, I haven't been keeping up with the blogs because I find Twitter much easier. Shh...

Oh yeah, and if you haven't already checked, our E3 2009 coverage is complete for the time being. All our feature articles, including media briefings for the "Big 3" are posted HERE, except for the first two, Microsoft and EA, which you can find HERE and HERE. We noticed many Neoseeker regulars don't actually visit the front page for news, so a HUGE thanks to Mishtram for posting about our E3 shenanigans on the forums.

Man, that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic trailer still sends chills up my spine -- beautiful! Poor Jedi Master, though, he was cute... and now he's dead.

Speaking of attractive Jedi, check out this guy. He's supposed to be a Jedi and all, judging by the color of his lightsaber, but his face screams, "SITH!! SIIIITH!!!" Embarrassingly enough, I was so much shorter than him that he had to bend down and back for the photograph; you can tell based on feet placement. Notice how far forward his left foot is, versus where I'm standing.



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Yeah, I'm taking a break from editing and writing and asset hunting right now to post a blog entry. An entry related to Neoseeker. Yes, I am a little off.

With E3 over, our articles are now backlogged, meaning for the next week, you'll still be seeing E3 2009 news popping up on the front page. Hoping Howard keeps the special E3 section up longer because I've been so busy editing Gabe's stuff I haven't actually gotten a chance to post more than two or three of my own write-ups!

And I have some juicy stuff coming up, too, including Halo 3: ODST and Mass Effect 2 behind-the-scenes info! Some other interesting games you guys might be interested in are Batman: Arkham Asylum and Relic's 40k console title Space Marine. Okay, so maybe that's just me... yes, I do love me some Space Marines...

At any rate, you can keep up with it all on the forums as well, as Mishtram was kind enough to post an E3 thread for our writings. What a trooper; seriously, kiss that dude or something.

Neoseeker on E3: News, Previews, Videos and Information!

Or keep an eye on our Twitter:

Neoseeker (neoseeker) on Twitter

OR keep checking GameGrep. No, wait, don't check GameGrep, unless you ignore all the other sites and pay attention to us ONLY. US. ME. GOT IT? Yes? Good, thanks.

And honestly, I know the big guys like IGN and GameSpot (and *cringe* Kotaku) get special treatment and all that... shit, ESPECIALLY IGN and GameSpot, seeing as how IGN had their own meeting room to work from (instead of having to share the Media Lounge) and GameSpot had a frickin' BOOTH. Both groups got fed, too... LACC catering, wtf. But they also get to see a lot of the same stuff we see, write the same stuff we write -- except when they throw their weight and money around for exclusives. And yet when people see "IGN" or "GameSpot" tagged onto an article (speaking about GameGrep in particular), it's like these guys are prophets from God. I respect IGN though, more or less. They're my favorite out of all the said big guys.

No, I'm fine. Really.

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There's supposedly going to be an EA feature on the front page next week, highlighting our E3 news updates. We'll be updating during the conferences so keep an eye on Neoseeker's front page! We're predicting that E3 will absolutely destroy Twitter, but if you're interested, you can follow quick updates from: Also keep an eye on our blogs, as a few personal notes may appear on them! Most of all, follow Neoseeker during E3 2009! We'll be working very hard to bring you all the latest news. And I'll be in a world of womanly pain.


Pictured:
  • ASUS Eee PC 1000HE 10" Netbook
  • Zune 30GB Digital Media Player (Black)
  • Nintendo DS (Onyx)
  • LG Chocolate phone in case I need to dial 911
  • Neoseeker business cards
  • little notebook w/ Sharpie Pen
  • Nikon COOLPIX leather sleeve
  • MobileMate SD Memory Card Reader
  • some goodies for Jamie and Sean
  • feminine hygiene items
Not pictured:
  • Nikon COOLPIX S200
  • new bottle of Pamprin Maximum Strength Multi-Symptom Menstrual Relief
  • Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hands & Face Wipes
I think my plans for Monday are about set, and that should be the toughest day to plan for because Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft are all holding their briefings at different locations -- NOT at the LACC. Just to be extra annoying, they're not exactly providing excellent transportation so we can't just meet at the LACC and hitch a ride from there. Instead, Gabe and I will be hopping a few extra stops via Metro Link and hoping for the best.

On top of this, Microsoft must've decided they wanted to be special and are holding their conference at the Glen Center at USC. That's 2.5 miles from EA, who are on the same stretch of road (Broadway) as Ubisoft. Thanks a lot, 'cause EVERYONE loves walking around that area of Los Angeles. Very scenic and safe, you know. My ass. Seriously, if they were gonna do that shit, why couldn't they shell out for transportation to a few more hotels or the LACC? Instead, they've done very little to accommodate attendees in an area that is less than savory. But then, most attendees probably aren't 5'3" Asian chicks like myself... or just haven't got a clue.

Luckily, Jamie is being nice and will be letting me hitch a ride in his cab after Ubisoft gets out, so I won't need to walk that creepy stretch of road from the Los Angeles Theatre to the Metro station. I SHOULD be okay from there. Hey, I may be from Los Angeles County, but I'm not prepared to get kidnapped / shanked / *bleep* / murdered.

At least from Tuesday through Thursday, all conferences and appointments are being held at or near the LACC, with the exception of Nintendo and Sony. But they've always provided transportation to and from the convention center.

Wish us luck!

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Ah, Memorial Day weekend. I trust most of you are looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow unless you've got plans with friends and family? As for me, I will probably still be writing for Neoseeker, but I do plan to take it easy anyway. News is often slow during national holidays, but not completely absent.

Had a great time chillin' with friends yesterday, fighting an ant invasion last night and this morning. Now, I bring you today's Sunday Musing, which feels especially snide. Could just be me, but to be safe, I hope you are not particularly sensitive if you plan to read the blog-article-eddy.

Have a read, if you'd like: Sunday Musing: How to Be a Successful Video Game Journalist

As always, don't take this too seriously, emo kiddies. Enjoy the rest of your extended weekend.

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Just when you thought it was safe to come out, I've gone back to writing Sunday editorials. Oh, I assure you, good citizens of Neoseeker, that this is not a drill. I have, in fact, written and posted a Sunday Musing on the front page.

Half sensible, half not, here's the latest Sunday editorial for you guys:


Indeed, with E3 2009 right around the corner, a lot of websites are writing E3-related news, mostly predictions and useless stuff like that. Oh yeah, and booth babes... guys seem to be all over themselves after hearing about the return of booth babes.

Well SCREW THAT, I say, because every damn show has chicks. The ones at game conventions just happen to look slightly more whore-ish. What these shows need are BOOTH BOYS. Hell yeah, gimme those hunks.

Also, new "Meet the..." video from Valve, but it's not on the official site so I've linked to a YouTube video for now -- something I'm not usually fond of doing for articles. Pretty sure it was leaked, doubt they care. Other than that, have a lovely Sunday evening. Stay cool, don't waste water.

Update: Yay, the video's officially out, and we've got it on our own video section now.



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Wow, so Sean sent me an article this morning about Dell's latest trip to realm of political incorrectness. After reading it, I decided that the manufacturer did indeed deserve the cake of epic fail.

I have to say, I got a laugh out of it, and I know some of my co-workers enjoyed my take on the subject, which you can find on our front page. Seems Dell has been trying to reach the female consumer demographic and decided that the best way to go about this is by renaming themselves "Della," just for the ladies. Della even has its own website, away from the MANLY products on Dell's MANLY-MAN main site.

The entire site in general is kind of insulting to my intelligence, but I'm willing to let it slide. It's what they had on their Dell Tech Tips page that really irked me.
quote
3. Eat better: Find recipes online, store and organize them, and watch cooking videos.
4. Get organized: ‘Remember the Milk’ is a free, tweakable online task manager that’s easy to use.
What. The. Shit. Really? I mean, seriously? Screw you up the ass too, Dell. I may have stood up for them in the past for your reliable warranty service, solid products, and fair prices, but they really need to fire the moron who came up with that shit.

If you go to the Tech Tips page now, they've changed it to be more neutral overall, though I'm wondering why they even need a special suggestions page for Della. It still carries a mild condescending tone, though an Editor's Note a the top of the page states they've made some changes since the angry e-mails and letters flooded Dell HQ. It's definitely not the *bleep*ing apology they should be issuing.

Least they could do is make a Tech Tips page for MANLY Dell consumers, too... which must also be incredibly stereotypical. Turnabout is fair play, bitches. Article on Neoseeker front page is here, in case you're interested in more details and original links. Boy, am I *bleep*ing glad I bought my netbook from Asus.

Note: The original blog post had a lot more swearing, but the *bleep* tags really killed the flavor.

Update: Just received my E3 2009 Media All Access badge in the mail. Appointments are looking full, kinda of worried but excited at the same time.

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Okay, another week has gone by with no editorial, but that's because I've been working on Neoseeker's X-Men Origins: Wolverine "Uncaged Edition" review.

Yeah, yeah, bet you guys thought we weren't gonna do that after the preview and all. The game got here late, which is why the review is also late, but at least they sent over some... foam... claws. All reviewers probably got a pair, eh. They're hilarious, kinda itchy on my skin though.

So anyway, this is also the reason I've virtually spammed our video section with X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailers and stuff. Used a couple in the actual review, along with some lovely pictures of Wolvie brutally slaughtering everything in his path.

My favorite has to be the one of him beating a guy to death with his own arm. Check it out: Neoseeker reviews X-Men Origins: Wolverine

In other news, HOLY *bleep* Fable II DLC tomorrow!

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Okay, after some technical difficulties (a LOT of them, actually), we finally got our write-up for last week's LA Games Conference published. It not a very kind read, for certain, but we felt the event warranted an editorial-type report. This is basically what I've been working on this past weekend instead of the usual Sunday Musing.

It was definitely an interesting experience, and the article plus today's Internet-related and other technical issues have left my brain totally fried. Okay, so it was all wrapped up last night, checked it this morning to make sure everything was okay. Looked good to go, didn't get published because I thought someone else was going to do it for us.

Screw it, we did it ourselves. Only, when I went to check the article after it was published, I noticed more than half of the entire first page missing, as in the *bleep*ing content had been consumed by some kind of *bleep*ing black hole where articles go to die.

So yeah, it's not the usual Sunday Musing business, but I may write one of those eventually based on our report of this year's LAGC. We usually post these things on our Twitter, as well, but the editorial is rather negative, and some the event organizers are watching us on there. Sticky situation. Anyway, you can find it here: Neoseeker visits the LA Games Conference.

Also, I checked the thread where I posted my Demigod review (yes, THAT controversial shitfest) and saw up to 33 posts. Pretty funny, I thought. At least the drama over that crap has died down somewhat. Ugh, speaking of reviews, major mix-up over an upcoming one.

Son of a bitch.

And I am aware my blog background isn't loading. Some issues with the host and crap. Technology will be our downfall, death to the Internet, blah blah blah grumble grumble.

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Played some Guild Wars this weekend. Wee. Same old, same old. And don't you guys just hate it when you've spent a day cleaning shit out of your room or house, only to find that place doesn't look any different when you're finished?

Gabe and I might be heading out to Hollywood tomorrow for the LA Games Conference, which is more business-oriented. I say "might" because I am just feeling under the weather, and it's going to last for most of this week, if you catch my meaning.

I'm talking about menstruation, by the way. PMS is beyond imminent at this point.

Also, we've gotten and replied to invites from EA for E3 this year, and I'm pretty excited because they're going to be showing us some stuff from Mass Effect 2, a game I look forward to more than Christmas -- don't actually celebrate holidays, but you get what I mean.

There will be some other stuff, but the floor tour seems to be mostly EA SPORTS games and these titles I'm not exactly excited about. Guess you'll be hearing from us. My Asus Eee PC works wonderfully, so when I'm sitting at a press conference, I can update you guys via Twitter or, if Neo gets things worked out, our front page.

No Sunday articles as of late because I've been totally drained by stuff. Will possibly have a topic for this coming weekend that I've been noodling, but we'll see.

SCEA sent an invite a while back, but they never followed up with the additional info. Well, most stuff comes pouring in during May anyway, which is when I'll be overseas visiting family in Taiwan.

Update: Oddly enough, I got an email from SCEA right after I posted this entry. They must be monitoring my Internet activity!

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OKAY GUYS, if you frequent our news section on the front page or GameGrep, then you've probably already heard about Neoseeker's invitation to attend a preview event at Activision HQ for their upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine game! Excuse the exclamation points and CAPS, but I am rather hyper at the moment, seeing as how it's Friday and I just finished my news quota. Also, lots of conventions lined up over the course of the next few months.

SO, yeah, I am pretty bad at keeping up with these blog posts, especially since I've had two reviews in less than two weeks, this preview event thingy, and the write-ups. Thanks much, Greg, for accompanying me.

Anyway, here's a link to the X-Men Origins: Wolverine preview at Activision HQ in Santa Monica:


READ IT, READ EVERYTHING WE WRITE!! Seriously, this game might actually be worth checking out despite the bad rep movie-related games get. The Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions are by Raven Software, and if you know anything about games, then you'd understand why this is GOOD NEWS.



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Okay, so I finally got the Zeno Clash review up not too long ago, and it's on the front page now. For those who are here now, reading this entry, I'll throw the link your way as usual: Neoseeker reviews Zeno Clash!

It's not a bad game at all. I thought I would score it lower at first, given some frustrations I had, but looking over our new review guidelines and thinking a bit more on the game, I decided it didn't deserve anything lower than a 7 / 10. That's not what I gave it, technically, but you'll find out for yourself if you just click the link.

So back when I got the review code, the e-mail from ACE that Adrian forwarded to me said not to publish our review until April 21 (today), when the game is released. I pestered Adrian a bit about an actual TIME, since most companies also include an exact time on top of the date. He told me midnight... and I... was kind of "WTF" about that.

After publishing the review just now, I looked around the Internetz to see if the game had popped up on anywhere else. The other scores didn't bother me so much as their publish dates. Some were published as early as April 19, while others came out on April 20... I find myself saying, "WHAT THE *bleep*?!" yet again.

Seriously, did ACE intentionally delay our review or did they just spit out some arbitrary publish date and then simply not care when other websites published early?

I ALMOST want to drop the score even lower out of spite, but that would be quite unprofessional. Hmph...

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Just finished Zeno Clash this afternoon, and I'm browsing the copious notes I took during play. I usually have a huge mess of notes whenever I finish playing a review title, with the exception of Demigod. That means it's gonna be time to write soon, and I really should get started today so I don't wind up hating myself Monday night/Tuesday morning.

Should get lots of rest this Tuesday, since I'm going to Santa Monica on Wednesday for an Activision preview event, featuring the Wolverine game. It'll be a good learning experience, since I've never attended these small-scale events before, just big ones like E3. Speaking of which, I've been booked for E3 and Anime Expo. SCEA sent an invite already, since I got into their press conference last year, but I've kinda been bugging Microsoft about getting into their briefing. Also invite-only so I guess we'll see how that goes.

Will get to see Jamie in person, since he's flying down for the convention. I'm luring him with a brand new copy of Street Fighter IV for PS3 Capcom sent me by accident back in March.

I can't say I'm big on anime-philes, but hey, hopefully Gabe will score a few more intimate interviews with some notables so we won't spend the whole time swimming through crowds of large, sweaty cosplayers or people wearing cat ears or giving away free hugs.

Will be able to use my li'l Asus Eee PC 1000HE for both events, too. I've been looking at netbooks for a while, but even with all the big companies making them now, Asus seems to have the best reputation, so I went with a 10" model. Small keyboard is not a problem for my small hands. Funny that it has better specs overall than my 17" Dell Inspiron from 4 years ago.

Oh, and anyone read VG Cats or other stuff by Scott Ramsoomair? I'm particularly fond of his Pokemon-inspired SUPER EFFECTIVE comic. Made me miss the old games so much I dug out my Game Boy Color and played some Gold. Wouldn't dream of spending money on the newer games for DS -- the new Pokemon are way too ugly.

AND, as you may have already guessed, reviewing means there will be no Sunday editorial!

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Now I hardly give games perfect scores, but when I reviewed Demigod, I really fell in love with the game. It revives memories of DotA, but had several improvements over it, like the lower learning curve.

Neoseeker's Demigod review got way more attention than usual because it was the first to be posted. This is especially important for us because we are independent and relatively small compared to the likes of IGN, GameSpot, 1UP, and so forth. It's a way of getting our name out there and demanding notice.

While I was terribly pleased to hear Stardock and Gas Powered Games liked my review, and many fans agreed with what I had to say, a backlash soon followed. Now, I'm not a fan of whining, but this is the Internet, so I don't know why I was at all surprised (though "whining" is relative). Many PC gamers were not quite so willing to take the review to heart, saying that the 10 I gave Demigod was unwarranted. Well, okay, that's not totally untrue because as much as reviewers try to be objective, our perception of a game will still be influenced by our own preferences.

An example here is the single player content in Demigod, which many felt was lacking without a campaign mode. For me, this is fine, because every Demigod had their own rich back-story and RTS campaigns are really tedious to me. I prefer getting in the action, so the skirmish modes were enough for me, in addition to the game's stunning visuals. While no game is perfect (and the word is subjective), I felt Demigod was well-made and stands firmly on its own two feet.

Many people also complained about connectivity/technical issues while jumping into multiplayer mode. Now, it might help to know that while Demigod was still in beta, GameStop decided to be an asshole and launch the game early, so the beta servers were unexpectedly flooded. Stardock has been trying to fix everything since the incident, and even then, the game has only been out (officially) for ONE day. My friend at Gas Powered Games also mentioned something about these networking problems over at Stardock, and I assume those issues are related to the sneak attack on their servers.

Additionally, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has been including status updates on his own blog. Apparently, there's a massive number of connections via warez, and they're scrambling to weed those out so legit customers can game in peace without suffering connectivity issues.

While reviewing, I actually tried to get on multiplayer, but their servers couldn't find me a match. At the time, I assumed this was because because I had the game early, but after learning about the early launch, it makes sense the servers were undergoing difficulties. Someone at UGO said that the guys at Stardock were supposed to have Easter Monday off, but instead were tied to their desks shoving out updates and patches to try and accommodate traffic.

When any game gets a rough start, the gaming community seems to flip out, and I've noticed this is especially true with "PC gamers," based on all the forum lurking I do. Xbox LIVE subscribers can get pretty damn whiny too, and I don't visit PSN forums... but many PC game communities just seem plagued by constant asshole-y bitching. Well, stop it. Multiplayer games will always run into these problems the first few days, including huge titles like Halo 3 and Resident Evil 5.

All the multiplayer issues aside, I played the game and judged it to be lots of fun and beautifully executed. I would like to play more when I'm finished with the upcoming Zeno Clash review. If the Internet suddenly explodes between now and then, I will still play and enjoy the matches in single player. Especially for those who aren't into traditional RTS games, Demigod is just plain fun, throwing you right into the action without bombarding you with a billion options to learn first. It's simple, clean, and just shiny as hell.

Another big selling point for this game I think is the future content. A lot of companies sell you a game and leave it at that, maybe releasing a patch here and there to appease the community. With Demigod, Stardock has already confirmed new playable characters and arenas on top of the eight currently available.

Not to mention Demigod is $10.oo cheaper than most PC games; even less if you look for bargains. I recommend Amazon.

It seems gamers can will just ride your ass if you give anything a good score these days. Hell, if you give major titles bad scores, you'll STILL be buried in flames, not to mention potentially blacklisted by companies. Reviewers just can't win, and those of us who aren't hiding behind a "household name" like IGN or Joystiq seem to make especially nice flame bait... without even trying to piss anyone off. This whole incident, having a day totally invaded by bloody trolls -- it's pretty maddening. I just wanna grab one of 'em by the neck, shake him up a little while screaming

SHUUUUT UUUUUUUUUP!!!

But this is the Internet, and I guess a lot of people feel the need to lose their self-respect as well as general respect toward others simply if they have an opinion to express. Real shame, that.

Guess I'll just need to grow a thicker hide for now.

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Read the title. As of 9:00 am this morning, April 14, Neoseeker's Demigod review is live.

If you've never heard of this game, I highly suggest you get acquainted, because regardless of whether you like strategy-based titles, Stardock and Gas Powered Games have made an unbelievably gorgeous product. I've included some screenshots in the review that I took myself, but they're resized and don't even begin to do the game justice.


Read the review, leave a comment, check out the game!

And I don't care if you think your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 can do better with (insert top seller), because this game is VERY *bleep*ING PRETTY. Also make sure you watch the trailer, which is included on the first page of the review. Many of us at Neo agree it is the most *bleep*ing epic game trailer we have seen in some time. Literally. Epic.

And I am running on no sleep. News needs writing. Have a good 'un~

UPDATE: Holy shit, Adrian linked the review to his Stardock contact, and she flipped out (in a good way). Also found out this other girl I met on a geeky forum works for Gas Powered Games as an environment artist. She messaged me on AIM just a little while after my review went up, saying it was the first review their producer showed them. The team is happily high-fiving each other.

Hah, I made their week! I LOVE GAS POWERED GAMES FOREVER! Oh God, I'm gushing everywhere.

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Saturday took a turn for the shitter, but that's just boring drama... hardly fit for blog material.

Latest review will be for Stardock's Demigod, due Tuesday morning, April 14, which is the same day the game comes out. As always, this means I won't be writing a Sunday editorial, as game reviews generally milk my brain to death.

Helped Jamie out with his The Godfather II review yesterday and today, so keep an eye out for that.

Did cheat a little when I took a break from reviewing to play more Resident Evil 5 on LIVE. Capcom sent out an email last week via their press site, offering free review codes for "Versus," and I did request one. Unfortunately, I haven't received any response. It's not a huge disappoint, since I wasn't terribly interested in the DLC to begin with. No, not because of all the drama from gamers.

I gotta say, even if Capcom isn't lying and the DLC is more than just a damn unlock key, "Versus" feels like a ripoff at 400 Microsoft Points. Capcom has already said the add-on uses "assets that exist in the game," and those who have downloaded "Versus" say it's exactly like Mercenaries with the exception of its competitive aspect.

Don't get me wrong. Resident Evil 5 is a great game in my book, and I gave it a near-perfect score in Neoseeker's review. Doesn't mean I think "Versus" is worth the money.

Couldn't they at least have thrown in new outfits or Josh Stone as a Mercenaries character or something?

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So there's been a lot of news about DLC and stuff on our front page over the last few weeks, starting in February.

I actually love DLC. Some of my favorite games have lots of it, and Fable II is a prime example. Hell, I'm about to pee my pants waiting for more new about the upcoming "See the Future" DLC from Lionhead.

On the flip side, Capcom started something peculiar with DLC releases. Beginning with Street Fighter IV, we noticed this odd trend of announcing DLC before the game actually comes out. No big deal since it's just costumes, but then Resident Evil 5 was supposed to get some "Versus" mode DLC just a few weeks after launch... PAID DLC. Lots of gamers got pretty mad over it, thinking this was just a scam and that it should've come out with the game considering its timing.

Then EA announces some free Godfather II DLC set to be released on the SAME DAY as the game... AND some not-so-free upgrade packs due on April 23. What exactly are these companies trying to pull?


Kind of an odd day, not sure why. I felt like that article was written in a daze, though I'm hoping it turned out well regardless. Enjoy the read and the rest of your weekend, guys.

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Neoseeker didn't officially review Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars, but I like to endorse awesome games with Sunday Musings even if we didn't do an official review.

So this Sunday, I bring you a mini-review of Rockstar's GTA Chinatown Wars for the DS, which I received as a birthday present earlier this month.


I never thought I'd give a DS game such a generous score. It's funny, too, that this game kind of reminds us there's still a distinction between core and casual gamers. I don't actively think about it, nor do I consciously label games "core" or "casual," but I did note in the mini-review that this game might confound purely casual gamers a bit.

Anyway, must eat burgers and prepare for Resident Evil 5 co-op goodness. Have a nice Sunday, guys.

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First of all, I think Twitter is fairly stupid as far as social phenomena go. We're too easily swept up by this New Age networking bullshit. First joined Facebook some years ago when it was still exclusive to college kids, and I liked it then.

It was simple, clean, didn't have a collection of creepy stalker users trying to friend you for no reason. It was just a networking tool. Okay, some people did use it as a popularity contest, but that's about it. NOW look at it... travesty. Facebook's only redeeming quality now is that it isn't a visual shitfest like MySpace... thank goodness they finally cleaned it up.

Now it just looks like Twitter. I can see value in its existence as a tool, like so many other things. Add in a generally weak-minded population, however, and shit goes downhill.

Yeah, speaking of which, Neoseeker got a Twitter account some time ago, not sure if there was an announcement anywhere. Regardless, I'm letting you all know that we ARE on Twitter, and unlike a few other staff members, I'm biting my tongue and posting on it.

We're still working on an efficient way of getting you guys news during big conventions like E3, setting up a live feed, all that good stuff. Twitter might be playing a big part in that, though I hope the main office does come up with something more substantial by then.

So far, we're using Twitter to post some interesting news from our front page. Jamie occasionally interjects with some personal anecdote, yadda yadda.

Check us out on Twitter.

Update: If you don't have Twitter, you can subscribe to Neoseeker's Twitter RSS feed. Sean introduced me to that yesterday.

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At my birthday get-together with friends last night, we rented Resident Evil: Degeneration on Blu-Ray. We finally got to the movie after gorging on the following:
  • large order of zucchini sticks
  • regular order of chili cheese fries
  • chicken strips (more like patties) on a bed of fries
  • two orders of taquitos with homemade guacamole
  • pastrami sandwich
  • reuben sandwich
  • ham & turkey melt
  • 1/2 lb. Kobe beef burger
  • grilled chicken salad
  • chicken tortilla soup
  • homemade potato & mushroom gratin
Aw yeah. We then frosted some cupcakes, and I shoved three more down my throat. All this was accompanied by unhealthy amounts of Coca Cola, as my friend ran out of cups and gave me one of those Campbell soup-cups to drink out of. My birthday is actually today, but at the li'l gathering of high school friends, I lewted Chinatown Wars, a $50 VISA gift card with the activation fee already paid off, and 1600 Microsoft Points for my Xbox 360.

Too bad my college buddies weren't there, but most of them left messages on Facebook or AIM. Yeah, my friends are pretty awesome, and you're jealous they belong to me. Fu fu fu...

Anyway, we saw Degeneration on a pretty massive TV, so the overall movie-watching experience was nice. We were all sprawled across the living room -- on the floor and sofas -- in various stages of food-coma, but we were content. And then we died laughing at how terrible the movie was. It was so bad, in fact, that I had to write a mini-review for it as this week's Sunday Musing:


Verdict? Resident Evil: Degeneration is a steaming pile of shit.

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Part of a set including Alan Scott & Hal Jordon, but Kyle is the best/cutest. His ring has an embedded crystal to imitate the Lantern's emerald power ring.

Initially worth $175.oo and $265.oo in Canada when he made his debut in 1997; the seller was letting him go for $49.99! Here's some of the original eBay auction info:
quote
THIS LISTING IS FOR #359 OF 2200 PIECES LIMITED EDITION COLD-CAST PORCELAIN STATUE OF DC COMICS GREEN LANTERN KYLE RAYNER. LAST OF THE GREEN LANTERNS. DEPICTING HIM READY TO GO. SCULPTED BY WILLIAM PAQUET. BASED ON DESIGNS BY DARRYL BANKS. RELEASED IN 1997.
I fully endorse the objectification of men.









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Contrary to what the title implies, those two things are not related. First of all, I'm pretty late with this Sunday's article, but here it is anyway for those who may be interested in reading:


You can sort of guess what the topic is based on the headline. Anyway, I'm sick of the media bashing on the gaming industry. I know they gotta hate on something, but Christ, can't they sound a little more informed when they do it?

It's insulting, truly.

Also, had a conversation with Sean about religious affiliation yesterday because of the attention an article of his has been getting. Seems someone got upset with Hasbro for including gay marriage as an option in their LIFE game.

First of all, that game rules, and I used to love playing the board game as a kid. Secondly, good on Hasbro for allowing the gay marriage option in a game about life. Third, I don't care if that lady is Christian, she's just an uneducated tool who happens to believe in God.

The comments quickly turned into a free-for-all, in which Christianity was relentlessly bashed by a few readers. Now this doesn't seem too smart to me. A lot of young people who don't understand the concept of tolerance will turn around and bash hardcore conservatives for their beliefs and religion. Then the hardcore conservatives bash free-thinkers because there are ignorant folks who believe atheism is a license to hate on other people's beliefs.

There are a lot of Christians in the world, and I know many of them personally. None of them agree completely with one another when it comes to how the Bible and God's wisdom should be translated, either. Sure, some of them are just nut jobs -- like my grandmother -- but there's a lot of non-Christian psychos out there too.

Atheists who needlessly bash Christianity in front of a religious person are just as bad as the Evangelicals who can't take a hint. Respect is a two-way street, m'kay?

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After several days of minimal sleep, I've finally published the Resident Evil 5 review for Neoseeker. On time, too! Embargo date was lifted at noon PST today.

For those who are interesting (and I know you all are), here's the link:


Enjoy the read, because I'm half dead from it... even shoved some news on the front page. You'll read the review and like it too!

Overall a solid game, I thought, but you'll need to click the link for more information. Capcom included a lot of disclaimers in the review guides, telling us what not to reveal and all that... but honestly, it's Capcom. The spoilers people have been posting online can be guessed within a few minutes into Resident Evil 5.

But like I said, a good game, and I highly recommend it. And in case you were wondering, I did finish it, it some help from a friend (co-op test subject) who probably hates video games forever now.

Now I must go consume Korean bbq and gorge on tonkatsu. And perhaps take a well-deserved nap afterward.

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... I wanna bang Master Chief pretty freaking bad. He's that badass, and if you don't wanna throw yourself at this guy, there is something terribly wrong with you.

For those who keep up with gaming news, there's been tidbits implying Microsoft will be churning out a new Halo game some time in the future before you can start a family. Before I can start a family, for that matter.

I'm not old T__T even though I'm hitting 23 this month.

Anyway, thought I'd play with that "Halo 4" thing a bit with this Sunday's article. As usual, it's kinda-sorta-serious-but-not-really, so have fun with it. Would have posted it sooner except a blackout this morning punched our cable provider in the nuts.


Oh, I'm no fangirl. Not in the slightest! Ahem.

Also, changed the banner and background of the blog. Might do so again if I'm not satisfied within the next few hours... and I probably won't be. Doesn't mean I'll change it though. I also noticed my blog is first in the Top Blogs panel and has been for a week. Remarked to Sean that it confuses me because my posts don't wrack up too many comments... so it's difficult to gauge just how many people visit my page of green and foreign shit.

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Well what do you know! The first article of March turns out to be another Sunday article. I think this year, March and February correspond very well. It's kind of nice, as I have always considered the two to be young lovers, with January being the noble husband to December.

June and July have the most heated relationship, passionate in every sense of the word.

So this Sunday, I decide to address a topic which has been really nagging my brain. You guys hear about that girl who was allegedly banned from Xbox LIVE because she openly expressed her sexuality in her profile? Here's my take on it:


A lot of people were pretty upset about it, and I was one of those people. But after doing some research on the topic, my annoyance quickly shifted to rest heavily on the media who reports this shit.

She wasn't *bleep*ing banned, you *bleep*ing morons. She was suspended! And way to be biased. The Consumerist, who originally reported this news because Teresa, the girl in question, sent them a letter, didn't even bother doing any research before posting about it on their site.

Not that I'm surprised, considering the source. But they should be credited for setting something interesting in motion, and I suppose that's what the Kotaku syndicate is good at doing.

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Told you guys it was coming. Now it's here, and you're all running around going, "WUT?!"

So anyway, here's the Halo Wars review I promised you all. Some of you promised to read it, so you better. And maybe comment if you feel inclined to do so.


And as always, I am relieved to have churned out another video game review within a day. That is to say, I received it yesterday afternoon, played through the entire thing until 3:00 am, went to bed. Woke up at 7:00 am, rolled around for an hour going, "I don't wanna!" This was followed by some article writing for the front page, and then the review itself.

I had a lot to say, being a massive Halo fan. And being in love with Master Chief aka John-117. If you thought I nearly pissed myself when the Spartans showed up Halo Wars, you'd be right.

One of them was a chick, too. That's just full of badassery. Yeah, this game was pretty fun, but it doesn't top Dawn of War II; Relic has spoiled me forever. Thaddeus is a major cutey, but I think I'd pick John-117 over that guy.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I would. Bow chika bow wow, bitches.

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Give people the tools to write about themselves and they will. They will write about the most pointless shit you can imagine. Oh, but that's not fair because in our own minds, we are the center of our individual universes, the boundaries of which do not extend beyond the earphones of an iPod or the keypad on a mobile phone. Or are mp3 players and cell phones outdated? What do they call them now -- media devices?

Noticed something on the NeoBlogs front page today: a Top Blogs panel. What is that, exactly? It sure as hell can't be based on comments because I've noticed some people are racking up over 20 or 30 comments per entry (albeit those are usually the same 2-4 people bantering back and forth about God knows what). Hits, perhaps? I'm going to vote for "hits" 'cause that'd be *bleep*ing awesome. Why would that be *bleep*ing awesome? I direct your attention to the picture. Admittedly, I don't exactly fit in with the rest of the bloggers in terms of content.

Speaking of which...

Some of the staff think that NeoBlogs has potential not only as a means for bored... kids... to write about themselves, but also a way of promoting the website in general. A few of us noticed that not everyone is even aware we have a front page, or what the hell it's even for. Shit, it's totally possible that the vast majority of forum addicts and bloggers don't care about hardware and games, but...

Okay, we'll ask. How many of you guys actually give a rat's ass about hardware and video games? How many of you don't and frequent Neoseeker only for the blogs and forums?

There, that's out there now. If there's any interesting news on the front page or new reviews up (that I know of), then I'll post them here. Most of them are written by... me... because I can actually keep track of those. Ideally, if you follow a link of my article to the front page, you'll take some time to look at other bits of news written by cool people like Sean, Leo, Kevin, and the occasional volunteer writer -- I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU CHRIS HIGGINS AKA lord monkey. As for reviews? Well, they're often posted on the forums, so hey, you should read them!

So! My previous post was mostly about the Dawn of War II review that went up this weekend, written by yours truly. Once again I must credit Adrian for being so awesome and dealing with the people I really hate talking to (PR guys), thus fetching games to be reviewed by Neo staff.

Here's the link again because I am now a Dawn of War II whore, and Sean needs to get it soon. There's co-op fun to be had!


Screenshots, trailers, and a whole lot of WIN. Another piece of awesome is yesterday's Xbox LIVE announcement for Lost Planet 2, and Capcom has leaped up a few notches in my book thanks to Takeuchi-san and Oguro-san. The trailer was pretty *bleep*ing sweet too, comprised entirely of in-game footage. If you guys have an Xbox 360, check it out. If not, try Google.

Lastly, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is so also a big glass of awesome. I always joke about how my DS cries itself to sleep at night because I only my Xbox 360. As of the late, the TABLES HAVE TURNED. My 360 has become the family DVD player with the exception of my recent excursion with Mirror's Edge. What's the appeal anyway? Could be my inherent love for crime shit. You're looking at one of the biggest Law & Order fans ever...

Adrian has managed to hook me up with a review copy of Halo Wars, which should be arriving this week in the mail. Keep an eye out for Neoseeker's review, yeah?

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After a few delays, I finally got to finish Neoseeker's Dawn of War II review. There was a little bit of stress in the whole process, since I still haven't got the full hand of Neoseeker's admin center, and I've noticed that a lot of other sites already had a review for the game while I was writing. Got a little ticked at Relic for not getting us the codes sooner, but what can you do?

Put up and shut up, that's what. During my time with Dawn of War II, I developed a keen sense of respect for Relic. They have revived my interest in RTS games...

So our review is on the front page now as well as the game's forums (which I've noticed are quite empty). For those lazy readers, it's also here, in my blog entry:

I rather enjoyed it, and plan to continue playing even though my work is done. Big thanks to Adrian for setting everything up. I know this must have been a huge headache for him as well. Also, much ♥ to my long-time gaming buddy Leo for being my Warhammer 40k dictionary and multiplayer & co-op partner. Seriously, I've known that guy for years -- possibly since middle school.

Meh, I'm pretty worn out so there won't be a Sunday Musing this week (some of you will be pleased to hear). Otherwise, have a nice weekend, guys.

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The Mirror's Edge Pure Time Trial Map Pack is out today for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I know PC gamers are getting this DLC too, but I heard it wasn't available just yet?

Anyway, the DLC hasn't made front page news, generally speaking, and the Xbox 360 Dashboard isn't exactly advertising its release despite having suffered a delay. I think that's pretty unfair, as the Dashboard is currently dominated by usual suspects like GTA IV, which I do love. I just think Mirror's Edge deserves more recognition despite a lukewarm reception, having made a bigger splash with all the pre-release hype than it did post-launch.

I was looking forward to the DLC, and as a Mirror's Edge fan, I posted a detailed review of it on Neoseeker's front page... for those who aren't sure if they wanna spend 800 Microsoft Points on the DLC.

Also, those of you who read my initial review of the entire game last November were pretty confused as to whether or not I actually liked the game. There's no question about it, I really do love Mirror's Edge, but I can honestly say I did not enjoy every second of it.



Image taken from an early editorial.

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Today is Sunday, and you all know what that means! Yes, it's the day when I post a blog-like editorial on Neoseeker's front page and wait eagerly for the usual suspect of flamers. The kind of people who flame, not like... flamboyantly homosexual.

This week, I froth at the mouth a little more than usual, addressing some of the elements behind MMOs that make them so gosh darn addictive. As always, the unspoken disclaimer only applies to humorless pricks who think the Internet is SERIOUS BIZNESS! Click it and read it:


Otherwise, enjoy the evening read. Today's Musing really hits me close to home, as I've fallen into the trap of MMO addiction before, during my first year of college. After I got out, I dabbled in various online games until Guild Wars swept me off my feet. Years later, gave World of Warcraft a try. Quit shortly after the recent expansion came out because the new grind was just too much. I was suddenly reminded of how terribly depressing these MMOs can get as they consume your life and you (and your friends) have to schedule outings around raids, which can last up to hours without a break. And people have the audacity to get mad if you want to piss or get a bite to eat.

I think I have met some of the lowest of the low in WoW, as far as MMO addicts go. And I find those individuals quite impressive in a sad sort of way. I've met some really cool people too, a few of which encourage me to go back... and I would, if there weren't a monthly fee. I hate feeling obligated to play games. That ruins the whole point of video games...

To be honest, I would still play WoW if there weren't for the monthly fee. But I don't really like the game enough to fork over the $30 for two months, let alone give Blizzard my credit card number. It's not a shitty game, but it's definitely not worth what they charge.

Side note, could be PMSing this week. Might be somewhat confrontational... more than usual. Bear with me.

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GameGrep is a good place, overall. Users can post video game related stuff, whether it's news or just a NSFW YouTube vid... but damn, it really shows what kind of shit other sites will write sometimes.

I'm sure glad the gaming community still has this outdated view of girls. I mean, even with all the statistics pointing to a growing female demographic, gamers still think we're mostly *bleep* so lacking in coordination that our gaming interests are restricted to the Wii or some music game. Okay, so music and dance games require a lot of coordination, but come on, we like a good shooter as much as anyone.

So out of frustration, I came up with an idea to write a list of games to play with your lover on Valentine's Day. It's on the front page right now, if anyone wants to take a look:

Holiday Special ♥ A Gamer's Valentine's Day

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If anyone here keeps up with front page news, then you'd know how much shit Capcom is throwing our way. They REALLY want gamers to buy Street Fighter IV, but is it possible to get sick of all the hype for this kind of game?

Fanboys are pissed enough about GTA IV, and some readers have complained that Capcom's Resident Evil 5 PR campaign is too aggressive and reveals too much about the game. But SF IV is a fighter, and there's not too much in terms of spoilers. We get to see some gameplay but mostly they're showing off the visuals.

Hm, maybe I just notice this because I write front page news, and their press releases come to MY inbox. Street Fighter is pretty nostalgic for me, and honestly, it was pretty fun at E3 last year (even though Vegi brutalized me). Should be a great game, but goddamn, Capcom is really encroaching upon our journalistic bubble here.


It's a little later than when I usually post my Sunday articles, but hey, it's Sunday! Cut me some slack! And my hands are really cold. Yes, that's... yeah, that's it. My hands are freaking cold. But I've got some warm beef curry waiting for me on the stove.

Also, Sean informed me that the infamous TACO STORY is still going strong, much to my surprise. Who would have thought the antics of a spoiled young man would garner such a strong and prolonged reaction from the Internet?

And there's no good reason for capitalizing "taco story." I just thought the word "taco" looked cool in CAPS. Oh, here's something else Sean brought to my attention -- a comment from this ridiculously demeaning (trashy) article on GameGrep:
quote Koloth
What's to tell? Virtually every guy on the site is in love with RCG.
We laughed, and it felt good. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend, everyone.

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So it's February 1 and because today is a Sunday, I've posted yet another Sunday Musing -- formerly known as Sunday Special.

Played a lot of Left 4 Dead maybe a week ago, and recently the Resident Evil 5 demo popped up on my radar. It's a hell of a fun demo, especially with the co-op. All this has inspired today's topic, which is co-op and survival horror games. I personally think co-op can take the "horror" out of things, but that doesn't mean I don't like being able to play co-op with my friends. I LOVE co-op, to be honest, and it's added a whole new level of enjoyment to Resident Evil for me. I wasn't that interested in the fifth game, even after seeing it at E3, but after trying the demo out with a good friend, this game has really jumped to the top of my list.

It's so damn fun, so who cares if it's not scary?

But anyway, if you've got the time, have a read and leave a comment:


May your preferred team win on this Super Bowl Sunday. I'll be taking advantage of the empty streets and going out. Chumps.

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I graduated from college with a degree in Studio Art in the summer of 2008. This March, I will be turning 23.

I have no idea what to do with my life. I write for Neoseeker, but that certainly can't go on forever. I haven't used my tablet since I got my new PC, even though I told myself I could use it to learn some Photoshop skills. So many young people teach themselves how to do computer art, and though I dislike using the computer, it seems to be essential now just like paints and brushes were essential to artists not too long ago.

Go back to school? For what? Writing? Psychology? More art? Vocational arts? Where, how?

I seriously have no idea what the *bleep* to do with my life.

Tried to email some professors or old teachers, even called one to reconnect, but then I realize that honestly, people are too busy with their own lives and issues to reach out and make nice.

I hate that, man. That's not how life is supposed to be. Yeah, okay, who am I to decide how life is supposed to work, but it just feels wrong, the way no one I talk to seems content with their current situation. So... yeah, what to do next?

Also, I have used Macbooks before though they were not mine, and I was surprised by how hot they got. Of course, the owners insisted there was nothing wrong with the heat since the notebooks somehow function through it. But damn, couldn't put it on my lap or anything.

I'm not the only one. The image gets clipped, but you can figure it out.



PS Don't mind me, just venting.


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Wow, it has seriously been *bleep*ing forever since I heard about a Team Fortress 2 update. Sean gave me a heads up today, and I've posted an article about it on the front page. But words cannot express how *bleep*ing stoked I am about this update. Sean knows, but none of you can possibly understand. I *bleep*ing love Team Fortress 2. To me, it's the most perfect *bleep*ing game ever made.

Actually, I haven't played it in a while, though it was one of the first games I installed on my new PC recently. Seriously, if anyone is up for a game or two, let me know. I used to stay up until sunrise with this game, and I pretty much play a Medic exclusively. Sometimes I'll hop on Pyro or Demo, but you'll almost always find me on Medic -- wait, oh shit, I've had that Medic avatar for a long ass time!

HOLY SHIT, GUYS! I could care less about Scouts. To me, they're squishy little assholes who need to be punched in the face with an Über saw to the face. Come closer and let mama teach you a *bleep*ing lesson, little one. *bleep* yeah! Okay, so it usually takes a pretty dumb Scout to run at me head on, and enough times to actually get killed by my saw. Still, the highlight of my TF2 career has to be that one night I was bored enough to guard the intel on my own... resulting in four dead Scouts -- in a row. My team started calling me "Battle Medic."

Good times, good times. I'm not sick in the head or anything, I swear.

Oh, and the title of this entry was supposed to be in all caps, followed by an undisclosed number of exclamation points. When I tried to post, I got the biggest downer of a notice ever:
quote
The following error(s) have occured:

* Please do not use ALL CAPS in your title
* Your title contains too many exclamation marks and/or question marks. Try not to sensationalize your headline with such things as !!!!! or ?!?!?! Instead, use them sparingly
Also, meant to post THIS yesterday when I wrote the damn thing, but UC Berkeley is apparently offering a course on StarCraft. I'm sure it's supposed to be about intelligent exchanges and heated discussions that delve deeper into the game than most players would think to. Still, there's skepticism all around on the subject, and I bet most people who sign up aren't interested in intellectual jargon.

Some one posted this comment:
quote
It's polite to link tip/source =P
... and included a link to the supposed source. Only problem is, I learned about the class and acquired the syllabus through casual conversation with a friend! So actually, I didn't use the said source -- how annoying! I did reply with a comment of my own, shortly before dispatching an pithy email to the guy informing him that the link he provided was, in fact, not my source. I had the urge to be an indignant bitch about it but decided that it wouldn't be worth the energy. Haven't heard back from him, not that I expect to.

And dude, Yahtzee at Zero Punctuation liked Gears of War 2! How insane is that? I thought for sure the guy would hate it, but how wrong was I? Totally proof that Gears of War rocks hard.

Back on the topic of Valve games, I got to feed my recent Left 4 Dead lust by playing a few games with lord monkey and our very own Redemption (mah boss) on two separate occasions. monkey and I discovered just how *bleep*ing stupid the Survivor AI becomes when you add just one more live player into the mix. Helped Red and his friend out by finishing up No Mercy on Advanced, and let me tell you, it was brutal fun. Oh, and Witches scare the crap out of me! The fact that they can down you with one hit isn't the problem; no, it's the flippin' crying and music you hear before you even frickin' see her!

On a less pleasant note, I think I really have come down with something. Coughing fit, excessively tired... should've added another blanket last night when I kept waking up 'cause of how *bleep*ing cold I was. So now it's nappy time for this fangirl.

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No, I'm not lying. It's really not a big deal if you don't pirate software, but there's a malicious little bugger out there hiding in working bootleg copies of iWork '09.

Also, we've got box art for Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, so if you're interested, go ahead and check those out on the front page as well. I think it's coming February 5 for NA gamers and February 6 for those in EU.

I'm a pretty big Burnout fan, and the Paradise demo was pretty sweet. There were little things that bugged me though, like the inability to restart races after you've lost so you actually have to drive back to the starting point. Pretty frustrating if you're not wholly familiar with every little detail in the city.

However, I did hear that Criterion is planning to (or already has?) release a patch that will add a restart option. That might actually tempt me to pick up a copy.

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Yep, there's another Sunday article up -- just follow that link. This time, I ask readers about the validity or point of playing demos and reading reviews. Unfortunately, the first comment just showed me I've wasted several hours of my day. Sigh... You have no idea how frustrating that is.

Have a look, leave a comment (on the article). Hope you like.

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Most of you who read my blog regularly already know I'm one of the news writers for Neoseeker, dabbling in game reviews whenever companies feel like sending them my way (and nobody at the Canadian office wants 'em). So I felt it was appropriate to make a post declaring that all of you should read more news... especially Neoseeker's.

Yeah, you stay away from those other mean ol' game-news-blogs. We've got almost everything you need right here. Even GameGrep addicts don't seem to love us very much -- except lord monkey, and we love him dearly for it.

To prove my point, I've just posted some new screenshots from the upcoming Halo Wars demo in a front page article. I'm not going to post those images here, so you gamers need to move your cute little asses over to our MAIN PAGE if you wanna see them.

Added some random assets for Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising.

It's RIGHT THERE. Can't miss it.

Also, he's here.



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You know when you watch television shows, and some crazy shit happens that just makes your jaw drop? Throughout the years, I've realized that nearly everything seen on TV has either happened or CAN happen in real life.

I could feel my heart twisting into a knot while reading this Yahoo! article. Source is at the bottom.
quote
ROMULUS, Mich. – An 8-year-old boy lived for more than a week with the body of his dead mother before telling a concerned shopkeeper his mom was "in a better place," police said. Gaynell Tipado, 41, apparently died Jan. 9 in their apartment in the Detroit suburb of Romulus, and the boy survived in part by eating dried rice, butter and flour, authorities said.

The family moved to Michigan from Louisiana after surviving Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Foul play was not suspected in Tipado's death, and an autopsy was pending.

Lee Saco told The Associated Press that the boy and his mother came into Romulus Liquor regularly for about a year and a half. But four times during the past week the boy uncharacteristically walked about a block to the store by himself — sometimes through Arctic cold and other times wearing pajama bottoms.

"I questioned him, 'Where is your mom?'" Saco said when the boy first came into the store by himself to buy milk, chips, candy and bread with cash. During the next two visits, he said the boy bought a number of items, including bread.

Saco, who co-owns the store with his brother Sam, said he was curious from the beginning but his concern heightened on Monday when the boy tried to buy $34.80 worth of grocery items — including nacho cheese dip, a package each of processed ham and turkey, hamburger buns, milk, doughnuts and candy — with his mother's credit card.

Saco then asked the boy if he could speak to his mother. "Is she alive?" Saco asked the boy.

"She's in a better place," the boy replied, who later told Saco he'd tried to revive his mother by pushing on her chest in an apparent attempt at CPR.

"I sat him down, gave him chocolate milk. Then I called Romulus PD," Saco said.

Police arrived and took the boy home. They called Saco about 10 minutes later to tell him the boy's mother was dead.

The boy was home-schooled, has no siblings and his father died several years ago, authorities said. The child is in foster care while police try to locate his other relatives, Romulus police Lt. John Leacher said.

"It's sad. It's very hard. It's very unfortunate for him," said Lee Saco, 36, a father of three young children. "I just feel bad. What he had to see for 11 days.

"He came from a good home," Saco said.
I think I died a little inside after that. And each time I get to the part where the store owner is asking the boy about his mother, another piece of me goes. That boy better wind up in a good home.



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So, I got a new computer. And the most awesome monitor ever. Really, it's huge. I mean, come on, I have been working on that 17" laptop for 5 years! Photos of my new setup, minus the hazard that is the rest of my room. Old figures have arisen during Operation ORGANIZATION, and a few newbs join the ranks. Hiei is on his way from Hong Kong and will soon be joining vintage Kurama. Saving for Youko. Kain is tiny but greatly loved.

Photos have a weird haze to them...











Vincent lost a buckle today and while trying to fix him, I managed to glue four of my fingers together with Krazy Glue, and the said buckle to another. Prying every digit free was painful, and my hands spent a good amount of time under warm water with a pumice stone.

I have cramps T_T

That is all.

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Oh, by the way, thanks Google for paying attention to my menstrual troubles. Hm, come to think of it, it's almost that time of the month.

I've been thinking of getting a new PC, especially after my uncle handed me a Best Buy gift card. I've been asking tech and hardware doods I know for their opinion, and I was pointed in the direction of this item. I'm not exactly going to go out and buy it tomorrow, so I'll be taking more time to research my options.

No, I don't plan to spend 6k on a computer, you pretentious PC nerds -- not that all PC nerds are pretentious, but seriously, some people need to take a chill pill. Does anyone have any pointers and suggestions on how NOT to get ripped off while looking for a decent PC at Best Buy? I don't plan on playing Crysis or anything, so I don't really need a BITCHIN' GAMING MACHINE... but I do like it when shit runs smoothly, and my Inspiron 9300 is just taking a beating from trying to run things.

Well, I think you get what I mean. I just want a good computer without having to sell my hymen.

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I've been pretty resolute about keeping private matters off this blog. People can use them for what they want, but I'm a pretty introverted person and prefer to keep all the unpleasantness of my personal life locked inside my own Pandora's Box. Though I suppose it is safe to say I'm not feeling too awesome -- stupid holidays.

On another note, I'm also not too fond of these friggin' things:



I can't speak for everyone, but I'm not blind, damnit! I don't need massive panels telling me (in CAPS) how to post and edit my own blog. Doesn't help that the colors totally clash with how I've customised mine. BLAAAAGH JUST IN CASE YOU'RE A (insert R-word for 'mentally challenged'), CLICK HERE FOR BLOG OPTIONS!!!!1 I'm still playing Mass Effect. I need some more Microsoft Points. Almost done with Aspho Fields, which makes me sad. I'm totally hot for Baird.

Happy New Year, guys.

Edit I really am amused by how often people take my bitching seriously. I'm not being sarcastic, and I know I can be quite... off. If you can't tell when I'm being facetious (almost always), don't feel bad. You're not alone.


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS, NEO-HEADS.


There, happy? Well, these kids are. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a pot of beef curry with my name on it, and a fresh copy of Mass Effect that still requires breaking in.

Kidding. You know I love you guys, even if I can be a crazed feminist masquerading as a fangirl and most of you have dicks. I KID! You guys are awesome. Stay safe, readers and staffers, and keep on posting great stuff about me -- or yourselves, because that's interesting too.


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So I've been itching to get Mass Effect for a while since the price dropped, and my friend paid part of it as a Christmas present to me. It's really nostalgic for someone who loved the KotoR games but felt cheated by KotoR II. Really, the game has the same aura, even a few bugs for that extra awesome authentic BioWare feel.

Of course, in KotoR II I had a thing for the geeky yet tortured zabrak, Bao-Dur, and of course there were no real romance options with him. Hell, his interest in the General was minimal compared to Atton and Michel gushing all over the place. I guess Atton was an alright guy... he sure beats Kaiden, the... canon love interest for a female Commander Shepherd in Mass Effect.

The controversial softcore sex scene only works with human females and the asani, regardless of your character's gender, and imagine my disappointment when I read this because... I'm a turian fangirl. Naturally, I totally wanna get in Garrus' pants, but that's not really an option. Thanks a lot, BioWare. Guess a girl can always dream; I'm keeping him in my party, along with Wrex because he's just one hilarious mother *bleep*er.

Garrus' voice is almost as sexy as those mandibles and razor sharp teeth. SIGH. They don't address turian courtships, from what I understand, and you learn through dialogue that they're a pretty rigid species. During one of the many long-ass elevator rides, I found myself staring at his crotch, thinking, "What if they impregnate their females by making out?" Because that would be totally inconvenient if his mate were human.

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Recently addressed the issue of fandom and psycho fanboys crying like *bleep*-faces or raging like egocentric little brats in my Sunday Special. I love games. I worship my own list of awesome titles.

Seriously though, how can people get so worked up over what a couple of television execs say about video games? Fable II took X-Play's GotY award. So WHAT? GTA IV took SpikeTV's GotY. Yeah, are you going to slit your wrists now?

No, "Fable II sux" and "GTAIV is gay" are not valid defenses. Your way is not the high way, and neither is X-Play's or SpikeTV's. They passed their verdicts, but why should that effect you? Does the fact that your favorite game didn't get nominated or chosen mean you'll like it less?

No, it does not! Now quit cryin' and make you're own damn award show if it matters so much. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even those guys at G4 and SpikeTV, so quit being acting like annoying little douchebags.

Christ.

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A friend sent me an editorial about a man in Iowa who is currently facing 20 years in jail for possessing "obsene" manga ordered from Japan. The article doesn't give much details, just goes on about how this is totally wrong. My friend, an otaku herself, told me that the manga is apparently a Loli comic. She's very much against the regulation of art, and so am I, to an extent.

It seems that many people don't understand how illustrations or drawings can cause such a problem, but I have to wonder how this guy thought ordering Loli would be considered legal when possession of child pornography or "obscene images of children, no matter how they are made." Yes, that is a US law as of June 2007. So there's the problem that the defendant just isn't clear on the legality of pedophilic content -- no matter how sugarcoated it may be. People are terribly delicate and afraid, and if you guys haven't noticed, this country (the United States) is terrified of pedophiles. Schools have been erecting fences and gates to keep out sexual deviants while the news and advertising agencies feed our paranoia. Children are taught not to speak to strangers, parents must be vigilant at all times. It's really a frenzy out there that has prevailed for decades, though not completely unwarranted because -- let's face it -- there are some sick freaks out there.

I am personally not a fan of Lolicon, but some of it is less explicit than others, and in such cases I would not support censorship. As a whole, however, *bleep* bothers me. No, I don't mean seeing a 22-year-old dating a 17-year-old. It's usually more drastic cases. I can understand how this would anger even non-anime or manga fans because it is quite relevant to censorship and silencing art, some would say.

So what if it's an image or illustration of murder? Should that be censored because murder is bad? Or what if it's an old stone carving of Zeus as a swan or bull seducing one of his mortal lovers?

To that, I say the line falls on eroticism. We've seen in the post, demonstrated on this very blog, how afraid we are, as a society, of sexuality. An image of menstrual blood was enough to warrant Supermod intervention and others to attack my validity as an artist. Again, this is sexuality, not eroticism (unless menstrual fluid turns you on). It is widely understood that murder is wrong, and most would not gaze upon an illustration of a beheading, war, or Zeus' lust and be sexually aroused by them. With Lolicon and other pedophilic media, the line between art and smut is blurred by those who would glean some sexual gratification from it, thus transforming the images into erotica. Just look at the origins of Lolicon and the story it was named after -- Lolita, in which a man becomes sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old girl.


Nothing explicit, only a quiet and unsettling suggestion, not unlike a few of Bill Henson's photographs.

To be clear, I do not approve of Lolicon because it just rubs me the wrong way. Saying that I find it repulsive would not be an exaggeration. While freedom of expression is important, there are certain boundaries that I'm just not comfortable with crossing. In this trial, I can see where the slope gets slippery. What if the man, Chris Handley, is prosecuted and goes to jail? What's to prevent the verdict from sparking witch hunts against other forms of media and art?

Michiko Magaoko, director of Juvenile Guide, found that approximately half of the 2,000 pornographic animation (hentai) titles in 2003 featured school girl characters. Mitsui Kondo of the Osaka-based Child Protection Agency once said:
"Such a situation makes our society more dangerous to girls... We've got to think about it before talking about freedom of expression."


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... BUT HOLY SHIT GEARS OF WAR 3 ANNOUNCED WTFBBQ WAAAAIIEEEEEEE~!!!! GameGrep has never brought me so much joy UNTIL THIS *bleep*ING MOMENT! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~!!!!!

^_______________________________________________________________^!

Yeah, anyway, a few people have been wondering about my work space since I complain 'bout wanting a bigger desk. I didn't take pictures of my actual desk, but I happen to have a couple snapshots of the men who keep me company as I work.

Behold:



Featured:
- Altair figurine
- Dante (DMC3) action figure
- Sol Badguy model
- Kain Highwind figurine
- Vincent Valentine model
- Red vs. Blue 2008 calendar featuring Burnie
- 2008 graduation tassel
- Dell Inspiron 9300, 17" widescreen
- a drawing my friend did of me nuking the shit out of his house
- tape measure

Vincent, Altair, and Kain have all suffered some degree of injury, which I remedied with super glue and paint. Sol and Vincent were bought years ago, while Dante and Kain were gifts from friends over these past two years. Altair came with the collector's edition of Assassin's Creed. That's why he's so minuscule.

Yes, that is an Xbox 360 sticker on my laptop. It came with the console!

Of course, I own two stuffed Companion Cubes (take that, Jamie) though neither are present in those photos. No, I didn't actually buy two -- one was a gift.

Oh yes, new background for the blog. Joy in green. And by the way...

HOLYSHITGEARSOFWAR3WITH5-PLAYERCO-OP*BLEEP*YES!!

Good thing Lionhead didn't announce a Fable III launch date today as well, or I'd be dead on the floor right now.

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Need I say more?

A friend show this picture to me, and I found it rather hilarious. And yes, we're aware the protagonist in Mass Effect is customizable. I've actually heard good things and hope to pick it up by the year's end.

On the flip side, a shaved head means less chances to screw up a character design with some ridiculous hairstyle. COUGH.

playstation 3 xbox 360 neoseeker related kratos mass effect star wars fracture crysis

You know what, the Xbox 360 looks pretty nice. The Wii really got me to think about white as a cool color, as opposed to your usual black and steel, and while I never got a Wii, it helped me appreciate the 360's design. Nevermind the fact that I have a thing for green. Or have you already figured that out?

I like Metal Gear Solid enough, though it's not my cup of tea as far as games go. I'd much rather see it compiled into a graphic novel (or just a novel), which I would tear into each night. That Snake, man, he is sexy shit. I think Otacon is pretty cute too, but SHH! Don't tell anyone!

So what does every one think about the latest Metal Gear news? Kojima's being pretty tight-lipped, and that doesn't surprise me at all... I mean, c'mon. It's Kojima, if that's any indication.


Honestly, the 360 could use some Metal Gear love. People keep making fun of 360 fans for wanting Kojima's attention, but why? They'll laugh, say that the Wii is a more plausible platform because of a previous relationship with Nintendo, but they also forget that the original Xbox got a bit of affection with MGS 2: Substance. Either way, people need to quit calling other people on their shit if they're going to turn around and act like bitches in the same way. Eloquent, I know.

I'm not going to cry my eyes out if the 360 never sees another Metal Gear game, Solid or otherwise. Those symbols could really mean anything. I'm gonna go ahead and put my money on "crop circles."

On a final note, after the menstrual blood fiasco, I am somewhat tempted to post details of my monthly cycle on here.


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That's really the best way I can describe this whole situation, sparked by my previous blog post and an image of my menstrual fluids/blood. As it turns out, menstruation is practically a no-no.

I've talked to a couple Supermods, briefly contacted by another, and from what I understand none of them appear terribly offended by the image or find it inappropriate. The one who removed the image did it because he's looking out for younger readers, or so he tells me. Speaking with another, we both agreed that Neoseeker is not the proper forum for such a topic, that some levels of intellectual discussion are still beyond Neo because of its more juvenile population.

I don't know if any actual complaints were filed, but the complaint forum and IRC seemed devoid of such, so if any were made, they were by PM. The majority of responses I received in the blog comments and by PM were positive, however, and for that I am grateful. Even some of my fellow Neo staff have expressed their frustrations over the removal of the menstrual blood image.

It's quite sad though, that a site which contains movies and screenshots from games that depict prostitutes, (alien) dismemberment, disembowelment, war time atrocities, being mooned by a leprechaun, etc. would need to remove an image of blood that is devoid of violence or sexual content because some people can't accept where it came from (a woman's *bleep*). Even more amusing is that the photograph was not included in the shortened version of the blog, which has a title featuring the word "Menstruation." Readers actually need to click that title or "read more..." to see the image of that blood.

But some people want to be offended just so they can cry about it later. The Supermods will contemplate what to do when they manage to meet up. Hopefully, we can reach the compromise I discussed with one of them, but it's all been incredibly vague, especially considering the blogs are new territory for them as well. For now, the original post will remain without the "controversial" photo, though a link to it may eventually be allowed.

It's important to say that I'm actually not personally offended by the removal of the image, though it is a personal piece that's being censored. This is mostly because I do understand the way people are, and it isn't necessarily just the guys at Neoseeker who feel their e-peens are being threatened. Or maybe it's because I'm too busy laughing my ass off at the absurdity of this entire drama. It's just a plastic container of blood. People eat animal blood. People bleed, man or woman. People exist because every month, women bleed out of their genitalia. And cramp, and bloat, and have really bizarre food cravings -- the list of symptoms can go on forever.

I just shake my head and shrug, then laugh because really, what can you do? Female sexuality is still a touchy subject, even though females as sexual icons is so openly accepted without question. Why should Neoseeker be exempt from this unfortunate social contradiction?

Rawr, said Godzilla as he ate handfuls of Japanese like French fries.

Thanks, Jamie.

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UPDATE Here is the original image. It's been decided by the Supermods that a link is appropriate, provided I also give fair warning about the contents. I'd say this entire blog entry is a warning in itself!

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UPDATE Here is the original image, in the form of a child friendly link. Obligatory warning Photo is of blood from my peeeeeeriiiioooood~

That seems to be the case as far as polite conversation goes, though there is a saying that "polite conversation" is rarely both. It's a little sad, even pathetic to see people overreact to menstruation.

I know blood scares the hell out of men, whether they admit it or not. They'll put lots of it in games and movies so they can feel so great about themselves when they can stomach the gore while their girlfriends cling to their arms, but when you present them with an excess of it in real life, most of them will just get queezy. Never mind what happens when you show them blood coming that came out of a woman's *bleep*. Never mind that menstruation is the whole reason we exist as a species, and the fluid is just all your brothers and sisters that didn't quite make it. Yes, there are unfertilized eggs in that shit, and one of them could have been you.

An artist's husband apparently asked her to draw her MegaMan, and her medium of choice was menstrual blood. Of course, the folks at GameGrep (and the site that posted it) freaked out. Seriously, it's like everyone has been reduced to the state of awkward teenager who's scared of touching girls. Maybe 4 years of art school has just exposed me to more things... opened my mind to some things most still consider taboo or GROOOOOOSSSS EEEEEEEEWWWWW.

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Edit Keep the comments coming, no matter which side of the fence they're on. That's also not the actual piece. It's just a photo I took documenting the process, and the paper in the background just has practice strokes (diluted with water).

And just so you guys don't think I did the piece just for kicks, I included an explanation somewhere in the comments.
quote RCG
Traditionally (and to this day), sons are more desirable in Asian cultures because the son carries on the family name. Yeah, I know that there are people who take on maiden names and what not, but somehow that's not enough. That's why there's all those stories of daughters who were killed or abandoned years ago due to China's one-child law; today, it is illegal in China for doctors to tell a couple if their unborn child is male or female because people will sometimes abort the fetus if it is a girl.

This piece pertains to my mother's side of the family and the fact that is has come to an end because of two daughters (and a son who has no children). That's why the menstrual aspect was so important -- it addresses the feminine aspect.

It all has to do with what you're trying to convey. Example, African American artist Alan DeSouza did a racially driven piece using the blood from his veins; in his case, the blood represented him as a black man, just as feminist painters often use menstrual blood to convey their feminine identity.
Edit x2 Image removed? Had a talk with a Supermod and apparently a vat of menstrual blood "sets precedents" for the younger readers. This is pretty unfortunate, but I guess it means our blogs will have certain guidelines soon. I respect the decision, but I'm definitely disappointed. I enjoyed the discussions that took place here, regardless, though in a weird way, the removal proved something I really wish weren't true.

Edit x3 Thanks to everyone who expressed their support. This whole situation actually makes me laugh, from the first comment to the Supermod interference. Didn't expect it to cause such a hullabaloo! I'll present my case tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.

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Who the hell is Gabe, you ask? YOU SHALL SEE SOON ENOUGH. I had the following conversation with him following this last Sunday Special, which I feel less than kosher about:
quote
VeGi: god you're such a fangirl
RCG: lmao
VeGi: u luv ur xbox
VeGi: why dont you go hug it
RCG: I WILL
VeGi: and buy it a carrying case
RCG: MAYBE I WILL
VeGi: A NICE GEARS OF WAR CASE
RCG: MAYBE I'll BUY IT TWO
VeGi: FINE
VeGi: :(
VeGi: you love gears more than you love phoenix wright!
VeGi: look what you've done to this family!
VeGi: your DS is running away with a PSP
RCG: :(
He's giving me shit for not having played Left 4 Dead yet, but it's not my fault Gears 2 is so damn sexy. Oh, by the way...

Sunday Special: "Nintendo, You Bore Me..."

I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately, so I force myself to stay up until I'm absolutely exhausted before going to bed. Trouble is, I wake up really late when I do that. Don't you just hate waking up to find that the day's half gone? I think my PS2's sobbing is what's keeping me up at night. It's the reason I'm afraid to step inside the closet.

Meanwhile, my 360 with its sexy Assassin's Creed skin featuring sexy Altair is sleeping with that sexy metal Gears of War carrying case I bought for it as an "I love you" gift two winters ago.

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You know, I think Rick Rolling is dumb. I've only been Rick Rolled once because anyone who knows me also knows something has to be pretty *bleep*ing funny to make me laugh... and most Internet memes aren't. I also grew up when Never Gonna Give You Up was popular, and I listened to it. You friggin' whipper snappers!

But I cannot express how much I respect people who can laugh at themselves, and Rick Astley wins hard for that reason. May he be elevated to the same status as Chuck Norris from this moment on.

This seriously made my day. Warmed my soul a bit too!



I actually don't care about Chuck Norris but still laugh at the jokes. I remember Walker, Texas Ranger pretty well, too. Yeah that's right, I'm a 90s baby!

Rock on, Rick Astley.

I'll need to start thinking about what to write for my next Sunday editorial... thing. I'm considering taking them out of the front page and transferring the Sunday Specials to my blog.

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Image taken from Penny Arcade

Most of you have probably already read or heard news of all those people who got shot or trampled on Black Friday. Nasty business, that. Makes me sad, truly, but happens every year. Instead of building some kind of immunity, I'm still grossly appalled by it all. How callous do people need to be, to shove a pregnant woman hard enough so that her unborn child is killed, or to continue browsing holiday inventory after trampling a man to death?

Absolutely disgusting...

I got to experience Black Friday madness myself this year when a friend and her beau took me to the Cabazon Outlet, which about one to two hours (drive) from where I live. Seeing all those cars lining up on the freeway, waiting eagerly to exit and search for parking was something, but I was expecting more people to show up. A cashier at Converse told another customer that the day hadn't even begun yet, and that makes sense. We went to the outlet in the wee hours of the morning, meaning I didn't get a wink of sleep until 10:30 am (or so) when we finally made it back. I expected to knock out for a short nap then wake up and squeeze in some afternoon news writing, but instead I was passed out until nearly 6:00 pm.

Never again, never again.

At least I was educated in the ways of name brands and discovered that I really like Tumis. Regardless, I couldn't bring myself to blow half a month's paycheck on any article of clothing or accessory. Instead, I picked up a crudely made yet cool bag from a vendor for $26 exact. It's a little distressing to see people dropping money without a second thought though, as I witnessed countless times last night. But everyone needs a hobby, right?

Which is why I'm still offering my valuable time and money to Blizzard. I've written an editorial in the past about how annoying the grind to 80 was lookin', thinking I'd never get there. I haven't, but on-and-off leveling has taken me to 72 (as of a few minutes ago). I've respec'd Demonology for better soloing capabilities, and I honestly haven't seen my Felguard in months. But that's okay, I've still got points in Affliction, with which I have a rather bizarre obsession for.

Screw Destruction, this Warlock is an Affliction-woman through and through.

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I will be taking Thanksgiving off so it's highly unlikely you'll be reading any news posts tomorrow authored by "Lydia Sung."

Knowing that I don't need to wake up at a reasonable hour has allowed me to stay up until now, fussing over my blog and an editorial I spent an entire afternoon procrastinating. I hope you're not sick of Mirror's Edge yet, because there's enough drama surrounding that game to last us ten lifetimes.

Yeah, I know that's kind of Sean's territory, but hey, I reviewed the *bleep*ing thing, I deserve to love it too.

My latest personal beef is actually an old one that I chose to ignore the first time around. Remember when some tool decided Faith looked too Westernized and gave her plastic surgery? Sean posted a piece of news yesterday that brought it up... again. The game's producer, Tim Farren, is apparently displeased with the edited image. "Displeased" doesn't begin to describe how I feel about it, though.

So before I collapse for some well deserved rest, I give you my holiday special...

EDITORIAL: Falling for Faith

Happy Thanksgiving, you crazy bastards.

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Blogs? I haven't blogged since my second year of high school. My God, this feels bizarre.

The blogs are a rather great idea. Writers can post about things that are game related but may not qualify as news. Or rather, if there are pieces of news I consider notable enough to be included here as well.

Most of you reading these blogs won't recognize my handle, probably because I do little more than lurk the forums. You'll find my activity is restricted mostly to posting news, game reviews, videos, and running rampant across (moderating) GameGrep.

By the way, thanks a buttload, Howard.

Oh, and I hate you people with your massive monitors. Adjusting the background image of my blog is killing me, so some of you are just going to have to see white! I give up.

Peace.

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