GTA 5 Vs. GTA Online

Los Santos River View

Grand Theft Auto is fucking great. It just is. There I said it. It does something that no other franchise can do and does it well.

I’ve played every game since GTA 3 came out and enjoyed them all. GTA 4 didn’t quite live up to San Andreas’s standards, but it was still fun as hell. And I played the heck out of it. The two DLC story lines stepped out of the tried-and-true storytelling formula, which was refreshing.

Under The Bridge

Obviously, when GTA V was announced, I couldn’t wait to hand over my money, wait in a ridiculously long line, and then race home to play it until my body quivered with fatigue. And sure enough, it was incredible.

When it was released, I had been keeping my eye on GTA Online for a while. The prospect of a multiplayer edition Grand Theft Auto made me salivate. But I wasn’t sure that it would be more than a passing attraction.

Welcome To Mirror Park

But when GTA Online hit the net, bugs and hiccups aside, I loved it. I could finally do everything that I wanted to do in a Grand Theft Auto game, but now I could do it with my own character and gain stats and abilities while doing it. Plus, the ability to own property and hunt down other players gave me an enviable bulge.

Now, after finishing GTA V’s story mode, I’ve never gone back for that traditional second and third and fourth (…) playthrough. I didn’t go back to complete all of the side quests and find all of the collectibles. I didn’t bother to roam aimlessly as Michael, Franklin or Trevor. I didn’t need to. I finally had the GTA experience that I’ve always wanted. And I was loving every minute of it.

The Hill Life

Granted, the wildlife is nonexistent, an exclusive to the main campaign that I sorely miss. And the missions are geared towards that online format and less about driving a narrative. It’s even more of a “go there, do this, get paid” format with minimal character interaction.

GTA V New Gen

And these things are truly the major flaws of the experience. That said, going forward if the folks at Rockstar can find a meaningful way to marry the aspects of the single player campaign with the freedom, individuality, and mayhem of the online experience, they would create the ultimate Grand Theft Auto experience.

The Languid Gamer vs Game Stores

The Languid Gamer vs. Fallout 3

Recently, I was in the mood for a little cape-and-cowl-fueled moonlighting, so I decided to (finally) check out Batman: Arkham Origins. However, when I went to the Xbox 360 Marketplace to inquire about a price, the amount shown was a negative $1.00.

“This can’t be right” I said to myself in a rational tone. But upon further inspection, the farce turned into reality. “How the heck is this even possible?!?!” I screamed in a fit of blinding rage.

So there I was, frothing at the mouth with a mean jones to get my Batman on, when I realized that my only option at this point would be to schlep on down to a store that sells games, most likely a GameStop (cringe) and purchase a physical copy. [Read more…]

Internet Arcade Review: D Day

D DayAs the bodies washed ashore that day, staining the pristine beaches with the remains of once-hopeful young men, it became clear just how truly awful war can be.

D Day, on the other hand, isn’t a bad game. It’s sort of like Missile Defense, but it uses the proving grounds for the supposed Greatest Generation as a backdrop. As a Gunner, you’re tasked with shooting tanks and boats and planes and shit.

Each target class occupies a different plane of the killing field and travels at different speeds. I imagine that the airplanes would offer the most points, but since I couldn’t hit one of those fucker to save my life, don’t quote me on that.

In fact, don’t quote me on any of this.

D Day was released by Olympia, which doesn’t mean much of anything to me, as I’m not familiar with the name or their pedigree and can’t possibly be bothered to look up their track record. Not while I have pixelated lives to decimate and pixelated families to destroy.

I will say this: the gruesome details that this game lacks takes me back to my time in the military. I’m not allowed to talk about it — hush hush type shit — but boy, did we massacre a ton of people.

I’ve already said too much.

Internet Arcade Review: Atomic Boy

Atomic BoyReleased in 1985 by a rogue state known to the world only as as “Irem,” Atomic Boy was widely considered to be the most destructive WMD of that time period.

A once-normal child horrendously infused with atomic radiation, Atomic Boy was designed to scale pipes within power stations so that it could shut down its various generators and jump-dodge their defense robots simutaneously. This was enough to bring about a systematic meltdown of any country’s entire infrastructure, rendering them ripe for invasion and subjugation.

It was a diabolical plan to say the least, one that gained “Irem” a long sought-after seat within the United Nations. Of course, it came at the cost of bringing a number of neighboring countries to the brink of all out war.

At first glance, one might mistake Atomic Boy  for another child/war machine hybrid; the once formidable technologically savvy Nation of Capcom’s Mega Man. However, Atomic Boy would prove to offer much less of a lasting impression, and cause far less economic damage to the Western world. For more on this and many other facts about historical remnants of a world lost to the ages, head over to The Internet Arcade.

Playing The Demo: Anna The Extended Edition

Anna Title

I recently sat down to play the Xbox 360 demo for Anna The Extended Edition. I knew nothing about this game going in, I wasn’t even aware of a regular edition, let alone an extended version. So, needless to say, I didn’t know what to expect.

Initially, I was impressed by the vivid colors and crisp visuals. The controls felt like a PC port but they weren’t bad. After acclimating myself to the button layout, I was off to the races. Although, I will admit that I continuously pushed the wrong buttons a number of times, deselecting items or mistaking the action button for another. It also took me a few moments to figure out how to move rocks to reveal hidden items. But it all felt purposeful.

You start out with a few items and a notebook that explains the backstory and established mood. Your silent character appears to be a professor of sorts. He comes off as an erudite schlub who avoids looking at photographs.

But since this is only a demo, the lack of knowledge isn’t a hinderance. I’m sure the gaps will fill along the way. The main task of any demo is to give the player a chunk of gameplay that will hopefully whet your appetite.

“Does this demo succeed on that front?” you may be asking yourself (and by extension, me). It does.

anna

This is a meandering, bare-bones puzzler, and if that is your cup of tea (as it turns out it’s mine) then this game is a corker.

In the initial insertion point, outside of some dilapidated saw mill, you are left with a handful of tools and asked to find your way. After uncovering some items laying about, I slowly worked my way through all options until I finally, after 45 minutes, gained entry into the mill.

If that sounds dull, and believe me it can be, this might not be for you. But if you like trying to cook a meal simply by looking at the ingredients with no real recipe, then bon appetit.

A lovely, shoe gazing puzzler that hints at moments of intrigue and possible terror, Anna The Extended Edition is a nice little surprise that hints towards harboring a few surprises of its own.

Anna Door

Available on Xbox 360 for $14.99 and Steam for $9.99

Internet Arcade Review: Bull Fight

Bull FightBull Fight was released in 1984 by Sega. I don’t know who came up with the concept for the game, but I like to think it was a man by the name of Tyler Everett. Now, I’ve never met this Tyler Everett, but I choose to believe that he was a family man rooted firmly in the idea of community and rigidly followed the Jesuit teachings of his Pastor: Calvin Alverson.

[Read more…]

Internet Arcade Review: Burnin’ Rubber

Burnin' RubberThere is something to be said about a good bottle of wine, especially one that is shared between soulmates. Sadly, that wine loses some of its luster when one of those soulmates has been told they’ll never walk again.

And although it would have been nice if all of those doctors were proven wrong and we were awarded millions of thousands of dollars in a malpractice lawsuit, she’ll never walk again. And that sucks, because she liked walking.

However this provided us with ample time to lounge around and play free internet-based arcade games, a pastime I have quickly grown to love. I also grew to despise it for a few moments while trying to play The Electric Yo-Yo, a 1982 release from Taito America Corporation. But I rallied and fell back in love when I fired up Burnin’ Rubber from Data East which was also released in 1982, the year of the fedora.

Burnin’ Rubber is pretty great. A simple racer-esque title that has you careening through the tracks of some sort of infinite race realm while forcing other drivers off the road to their firey dooms while trying to avoid the same fate. Cars bounce around like crazy upon impact so this isn’t always easy-peasey. Add to that the groundbreaking ability to jump over gaps or to avoid massive collisions and you have one super awesome racing game. Although I don’t think you are actually racing so much as committing savage acts of gross vehicular homicide.

It reminds me of a one cold and lonely autumn afternoon from so long ago… But that’s a story for another time.

So if you find yourself with a bedridden soulmate and nowhere in particular to go, give Burnin’ Rubber a shot. It might just rev you up.

 

Internet Arcade Review: Do! Run Run

Do! Run Run“El Candido” was what they used to call me when I was a child warrior. It meant “The Candido,” which meant nothing – a metaphor for my morality at the time. [Read more…]

Internet Arcade Review: Chicken Shift

Chicken ShiftAs a slavish follower of anything and everything Alcoholic Luigi, I decided I should check out the Internet Arcade for myself. For my first game, I chose Chicken Shift, which was released in 1984 by Bally Sente. [Read more…]

GTA 5: I’m Suddenly Obsessed with Rain, and It’s Grand Theft Auto’s Fault

GTA 5 first person

Jeez.. I hate to be that guy that keeps harping about one specific game all the time, but Rockstar Games is leaving me no choice.

On the heels of GTA V’s first-person mode announcement comes this comparison video between the PS3 and PS4. It really drives home the graphical kick that this game is getting on our new consoles. I mean just look at that fucking rain!

Am I stupid for being so gaga over a game I can’t even play? Probably, but just look at that fucking rain! And that damned dolphin!

I’m sorry, I’m gonna need a minute; enjoy for yourself.

GTA V Comparison Video