Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hello to everyone who might be reading PLAY READ WRITE this thanksgiving! I'm guessing that if you're a regular reader you've already figured out that I'm on break for Thanksgiving. I'll be back to regular working hours on Saturday, so until then I hope you're having a Happy Thanksgiving where ever you may be. Try to sneak some gaming in with your family or whoever you might be spending the day with!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gamestop Hosts a massive MW2 Tournament

Much like SFIV, Gamestop has seen fit to organize a giant Modern Warfare 2 tournament. Let's hope this one doesn't gobble up the Earth.

The tournament is separated into 1 on 1 and 4 on 4. The 4 on 4 tournament is run through MLG and you have to organize a team to participate, but there's good prize money to split up if your team wins. The 1 on 1 battles are apparently taking place in stores tonight starting at 9 p.m. Being one of the 16 finalists in that tournament nets you prize money and a trip somewhere to take on international opponents.

Is it possible for MW2 players to make names for themselves the way SF players did? When PRW covered the SFIV tournament finale in San Francisco, it was interesting to see the fan recognition some fighters had, including Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong. Is there a Daigo for the MW2 scene?

Interruption of Service

Sorry to everyone for the lull in posting. It's been a busy week and it's sure to continue with a packed schedule up until the end of the semester. I hope readers of PLAY READ WRITE won't mind some silence here as I work at my internship, more iPhone app reviews and actually playing games.

Here's what I've been playing lately:
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: This was my second review for Game Revolution. I played through the game on Arcade, but messed around a bunch with the Realistic and Simulator modes as well. I am so terrible at flight-sims and IL-2 only reminded me of that. I tried to play around with the harder controls more for the achievement points, but I just couldn't struggle through it. I think my total gamerscore ended up at around 250 points.
  • Heroes Over Europe: While I'm refraining from playing through the campaign all over again on Ace difficulty, I did clean up some of the odd achievements that don't involve playing the multiplayer (multiplayer achievements suck!). All together, I'm over 500 points.
  • Modern Warfare 2: I'm still playing plenty of multiplayer, especially thanks to a free 12-month Live card from Game Revolution.
I'll try to keep posting throughout the next week, but expect updates to be slow what with the triptophan and holiday celebrating.

Monday, November 16, 2009

8-Bit L4D reignites the need for Zombie Killing

Something about this 8-bit Left 4 Dead has reignited my failing interest in Left 4 Dead 2. The other day, my girlfriend Jenna and I were in Gamestop. I was looking around at the GCN games and checking out box covers for several titles when she asked me about Left 4 Dead 2. I hadn't really been thinking about the title at all. With my Macbook Pro incapable of running very many PC games anymore, I had sort of written off L4D2 as a game I would just miss out on in the holiday season.

Of course, I could pick it up for the 360, but I can't stand the thought of getting a Valve game on a console. My fear is an irrational one, a fear that dictates that a crack in the world would open up and swallow all PCs at once and it would cease to exist as a viable gaming platform. Of course, this could never happen, and there's a large community for L4D on the 360, but I think I'll continue to hold out.

Instead, I'll have to take on hordes of 8-Bit zombies when NES Left 4 Dead drops in January. That is, unless I get a free copy of L4D2 somewhere....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wii vs. PS3, cover your eyes children

Someone at Digital Foundry thought that a Wii v. PS3 graphics comparison of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Reflex on the Wii). At first I thought it was a good idea, but this is pretty much only for kicks, what with the huge disparity between the two systems.

All said, Reflex on the Wii does fairly well for itself. What do you expect from the Wii version of a game that wow'd gamers as much as CoD4 did? The textures, characters, guns, and overall aesthetic shows the downgrade Treyarch had to make. What does Infinity Ward think about this port? Something tells me they're going to keep their lips very sealed, what with the port being outsourced to the CoD B-Team, or whatever you want to call it. I'm sure Activision has IW on some sort of NDA as far as their opinions and keeping the same face across the entire company.

That being said, I think it's great that Wii gamers will get a chance to check out the original MW, especially in lieu of them missing out on Modern Warfare 2.

As a side-note, I'm sorry for the deluge of MW2/MW posts PLAY READ WRITE has seen. You'll have to excuse it, especially because MW2 is easily the biggest news item gaming has seen this entire holiday season.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Modern Warfare 2 Boycotters give up the ghost

Modern Warfare 2 boycotters on Steam certainly don't know who's watching. Maybe Infinity Ward would take them a little bit more seriously if they didn't buy the game despite their boycotting.

All snarkiness aside, Steam's community features certainly lend themselves to the general social networking attitude. How many online petitions have people signed half-heartedly? How many groups are you a part of on Facebook that you haven't visited since accepting the invitation?

I can't blame the Steam users. I signed the petition asking Infinity Ward to rethink the dedicated servers debacle, but I knew I was getting the game on Xbox 360 anyways.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Modern Game Marketing - RE: Darkside Chronicles trailer really makes an impression

Don't take my word for it, head on over to the page and check it out. Right now! Here's a link: click it! I like it a lot when game companies do this sort of thing. Does anyone else remember the Wario Land: Shake It trailer they had on Youtube?

Anyways, if you still don't know what I'm talking about, the ads around the video aren't the only thing that's breaking boundaries for Resident Evil. I really like when game companies market this way. It certainly takes modern video game marketing in to the Web 2.0 space. I don't understand why more of these haven't been made, especially because they make such an impact on the viewer.

Maybe if the technique was used more often, it wouldn't make the same impression, or maybe it just costs a lot of advertising dollars that would be better spent in another area (like outdoor ads, or on public transportation [I actually saw some Darkside Chronicles ads on the Bay Area Rapid Transit last week]).

Modern Game Marketing is a series on how new games, and the corporations behind them, get you to want them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yup, I've been playing

Modern Warfare 2, with pretty much every extra second. I also didn't have any classes today. That was very easily counter-balanced by the fact that I had to work tonight. Bleh. So bored, with nothing to think about except not getting to play Modern Warfare 2.

Anyways, after initial difficulties, Zach, Nick and I managed to get into a couple of games together after the midnight launch. A few hours later, I was back online and played a handful of games with Zach. I was the top scorer for a number of rounds. Is there anyway I can keep myself on Xbox Live to keep building my skills?

Anyways, long story short, I'm heading back in the game. Turns out, it's pretty good. Truth be told, Infinity Ward knows that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I hope to see you online. You can add my gamertag on Xbox Live: coolyfooly88.

Assassin's Creed II Lineage kicks off

The Assassin's Creed short films have kicked off with the first film showcasing Ezio's father in action. I don't know if I was the only one with high expectations for this, but I think they've been met with the speed and efficiency of a hidden blade.

When I read that Hybride Technologies (300, Sin City) was behind the production, I figured that at least the action would be good, even if the words and overall plot sucked. In reality, there isn't a whole lot of plot to be seen, but the action is about good as expected. I was a little disappointed that the pacing wasn't as fast as the game. When playing even AC I I thought jumping and landing on an enemy was exhilarating, as was climbing up to the highest point in the city. Sadly, none of that was present in Lineage's first outing, but hopefully more of what I loved about AC gameplay will come down the pipe in the next editions.

Monday, November 9, 2009

WRITE UP / 11.09.09

This week is a busy one. Here's a hit list of what I've been playing and what I will be playing:
  • Modern Warfare 2: Easily the biggest game of the season is upon us. Tonight's midnight launch will hopefully go smoothly, but I think it's safe to assume there will be a few hiccups on Xbox Live over the next two or three days. If that's the case, gamers should find solace in organizing Spec Ops mode outings, or even the campaign. That being said, I know there's going to be a lot of multiplayer activity and I hope I can hop on early enough and often enough to stick with the pack as massive amounts of XP are attained. I'll see if it's worthwhile to write up a review, but for some reason I think I might skip scribing any impressions until the storm has blown over a bit.
  • Heroes Over Europe: I'll be finishing up my first review copy of a (legitimate) game and submitting the review over the next 48 hours. It's been fun, but ultimately I think the disc is going to be tucked away in my Mirror's Edge messenger bag. No offense to Transmission Games, but Heroes Over Europe was pretty bland. I will say this: getting 4 Ace Kills in a row by sniping the pilots is about as satisfying as getting 4 backstabs in a row as a Spy in Team Fortress 2. The gameplay has that much going for it, and any title that manages to give me that feeling of being a completely sadistic bastard is OK by me.
  • APB Beta: I've missed a couple of days out of the Beta, but I'm hoping to get back to San Paro as quickly as possible to see what I'm missing. I do wish I could get a better frame rate out of the game, but my computer continues to age and games continue to grow. Maybe it's time for an upgrade.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Halloween KOTH_Harvest_Event map still lives on player-run dedicated servers. I can't imagine playing TF2 in a matchmaking service, but thankfully, I won't have to. I've been playing my usual rotation of Payload and CP maps. The other night I was leading the team several rounds in a row as my old favorite, the medic.
  • Transoid: Transoid is an iPhone app/game that uses elements of light and tower defense. It seems fun, but I haven't spent too much time with it. Honestly, I've only played it in the bathroom. That being said I'm sure I'll have some time later tonight while waiting in line to fiddle around with it and come up with some impressions. After that, I'll be able to write up a formal review.
Phew! That's a lot of games, more than I'm used to! Let's see if I can make it through the rest of this week....

Halo Reach screenshots leak

The Halo Reach screen shots that linked are probably old news for anyone who's stumbled across my blog today, but I thought I'd post something up anyways.

I don't pretend to be the biggest Halo fan in the world, but I've played the games plenty, so I think that leaves a little room for interest. Besides, Halo is huge. It's huge everywhere, in dorms, high school students, douche bags... A LOT of people play Halo.

That being said, I think Halo 3: ODST went out the door to much fanfare that has quickly died down into a hushed environment of waiting for Modern Warfare 2. Luckily enough, Halo: Reach gets brought back to the average gamers attention with these leaked screenshots.

What can you really tell from them? There'll be new weapons, new campaign, new enemies. I'm sure we could have guessed these things. I want something that tells me how Reach will be different from every other Halo game I've played.

Announcement: Sorry Everyone

Sorry to all for the day of silence on Saturday. This past week was a busy one (and next week is going to be EVEN BUSIER). My schedule has been packed to the brim, but a busy writer is a happy one. Being a busy writer also means I get to eat.

I've abandoned FURTHER READING in favor of actually just posting something about what I read and like on a day to day basis. It certainly leads me to do a lot more writing. Of course, if you're a regular reader, you've heard about my gig over at and while that's been going swimmingly, I've also been spending time working over Heroes Over Europe, an Xbox 360 game from Ubisoft that was quietly released back in September. I got a review copy of the game from Game Revolution as an acid test to see whether or not they want me doing some review work for them.

I ran up to Berkeley the other day to meet with them, get a quick interview in, and then leave with my assignment. It's due shortly, but I'm trying to wrap my head around it and generate a great review, nevermind if the game was good or not!

I've reached my 15th iPhone App Review and will post a round up of those once I've completed my 20th. Until then, I'll keep working hard at posting here on a very regular basis, I'll keep working hard at my review of Heroes Over Europe, and I'll keep churning out app reviews. Promise.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

DJ Hero Impressions

I finally got my hands on DJ Hero at Best Buy the other day. Of course with the constraints of a demo, I might not have been all that impressed upon, but as far the gameplay goes, I was surprised, to be succinct.

In many more words, I have to say that playing DJ Hero is like relearning everything you've already figured out about music games, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. You have to relearn how to handle rhythms, you have to relearn where you hands go, you have to relearn what you can get away with. God I wish Harmonix were handling this new foray into the music genre (but they're more interested in teaching people how to play real instruments... [is a turntable an instrument?]).

DJ Hero certainly has loads of personality to spare and the visuals certainly do impress (if you even look at them, who looks at what's going on in the background during music games?). The demo let Jenna and I play through three songs, including mash ups of Gorrilaz, Marvin Gaye, and Gwen Stefani. Really, walking into the experience, I thought DJ Hero was going to be really stupid, and so did Jenna too. Still, I wanted to at least try the new rhythm game and get my hands on the turntable, especially after I had heard some good things from Zach.

What finally got Jenna in, I think, was her curiosity and the music. Something about mixing two bad songs together ends up turning them into one passable song. It helps that DJ Hero's mash-ups combine new and old songs. I noticed that a relatively new Black Eye Peas song was mixed with a much older and very recognizable electronic song. I think it turns out a nice balance.

Anyways, my stance currently is that I have quite a bit of plastic crap in our small apartment and a Rock Band set would come back inside before a turntable, but maybe some day I'll pick up DJ Hero.

All this Dedicated Server talk...

... has really gotten me thinking about trying Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on the PC. I have a handful of friends who play(ed) the game on a regular basis, but I personally, have never tried playing a Call of Duty game on the PC.

I know that many purists will argue that CoD was born on the PC. Certainly, there's no arguing that fact, but I think that the general focus of the game has turned to the consoles and has certainly made a much larger name for itself there.

Still, I can't help but wonder what the hardcore community for CoD4 is like right now. Are people even still playing the game? What is the community like compared to the hardcore communities in Counter-Strike Source and Team Fortress 2?

For the amount of uproar being made about the exclusion of dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 2, there must have been something good going on in CoD4.

As a side note, there are a lot of competitive scene videos to see over at Youtube, and while this playlist is from the Xbox 360 community, it's still quite good (excellent production), I've been watching them in waiting for Modern Warfare 2.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yesterday, in TAY

Here's an exchange between myself and several other commenters over at Kotaku on the subject of Fallout 3. I'll write more about Fallout 3 at a later time (suffice it to say, the game wrapped up amazingly [head asplode pic related], but for now, here's what I've already said (and a bit of the feedback):

Daniel : So, I know I'm super late to the party, but I just finished Fallout 3. Suffice to say the ending was awesome. I've had trouble sitting down and playing a dedicated amount of time to it, but last night I probably played for 4 or 5 hours and just finished the main quest right up.

Daniel : @pekosROB: How much did I truly like Fallout 3? Honestly, the beginning was slow, I got frustrated before figuring out the navigation system exactly, and a lot of characters did a little too much talking (plus there's all the nitpicking one could do about the character models and some general engine issues).

Despite all of that though, it wrapped up quickly, I got a lot more into the game once there was a bit more interaction. I never once had my dog companion (nice of the ending to show me with him anyways though), but when I was traveling with my dad, or with one of the brotherhood people who wanted to tag along to Murder Pass, or eventually with Fawkes, I felt like everything was a bit more meaningful. Why would I want to save this wasteland when there's no personal connection to it? That sort of question would come up a lot when I was playing early on. Later though, when I was playing with weapons that were a bit more powerful and the environments didn't simply repeat the underground stations over and over again (I'm talking about Vault 87, Murder Pass, Little Lamplight, Ravenrock, etc) I was getting more and more into the experience. I'd play with the stats a bit more, I'd scavenge for ammo etc. Maybe I was just a bit more fearless and I got to enjoy the game a lot more.

Fallout 3 was definitely a slow burn, but it went out with a bang and I'm probably going to go back and do more of the secondary quests.

tl;dr (for those of you): I really enjoyed Fallout 3 once I could get into it.

pekosROB : @Daniel : I totally understand what you mean by started off slow. A friend of mine and I started playing. We're the type that one will play, hand off the controller so the other can take a break or look up stuff online if we're having problems.

We didn't get the quest in Megaton to go to the Super Duper Mart from Moira until much later - the problem was we wandered into there VERY EARLY in the game. You can imagine what happened - this is before we realized you could fast travel and before we even had a gun - just a knife. I mean we literally found Megaton, walked around, then went out and found the Mart.

I can't even tell you how many times we had to save and reload that game, or die and let it load to the last save. This was also before we had any money or a bed to sleep in to get health back. Yeah it was a pain, kinda creepy at first (at night at least), didn't go to the right places for weapons, but once we figured it out - it was one of the greatest single player games I've ever played in history.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Timelapse urges me to lapse back to GTA IV

This timelapse video has given me a strong desire to hop back in to Liberty City, to explore, to observe. Would it be possible to see everything there is to see? Or is there still some crazed citizen to see? Lunatic on his cell phone to listen too? Bad guys to arrest?

I've explored the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3, I've run amuck in San Paro (a world that isn't even officially released yet) in APB, but I'm still drawn to Liberty City and it's inhabitants. Something about them, or the time I've spent there, that keeps drawing me back to the land of droll consumerism.

DICE gets $60 from a fan of Dedicated Servers

I think we can be sure that PC gamers are an opinionated bunch who have been playing their games in a very specific way for a very long time.

That being said, we can still take this note from a fan of dedicated servers as a very direct message about his feelings on what we can only assume is IWNET.

The note basically surmises the reasoning behind a $60 check made out to DICE (PROTIP: IWNET is a matchmaking solution for PC gamers playing Modern Warfare 2. Instead of the older dedicate-server solution to multiplayer, PC gamers will be buying a service similar to Xbox Live with the extra $10 they're being charged).

While there are a lot of different angles to this issue (on the corporate and the consumer sides), I have to land squarely on the side of PC gamers. I know the benefit of mods, the benefit of a regular community on servers, and the more technical benefits (in the area around lag and latency) of playing on a dedicated server. As a serious Counter Strike Source player, I don't know if I could ever play the game on a matchmaking service. Sure, over Xbox Live, people play with hosts and connection lag all the time, but there are plenty of distractions on that service anyways, I don't the competitive players on Xbox match up with the competitive players on PC.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Valve's writing team on the process, development etc

I ran across this a couple of days ago and didn't read the whole thing until now when I had time to, but I'm very happy I saved this. For someone writing a blog entitled "PLAY READ WRITE" it sure does speak to where I am now and where I want to be in the future.

Gamasutra interviewed Valve's Marc Laidlaw and Eric Wolpaw on the writing process that goes on in house at the developer of Portal, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. Snippets about all of these games abound, but more interesting even is the rare insight the interview offers into the creative process behind some of the most beloved games of our age.

I won't spoil anything with a quote here, but know that you should read through the whole thing. If you're interested in writing, games, or the process and marriage between the two, you'll love the read.

Infinity Ward offered a "rediculous" budget for MW2

Develop posted an interview with Infinity Ward "front man" Robert Bowling Monday on their website. The interview covers a lot of the cheesecake questions we've heard answered before, but doesn't even go Half-Keighley with the guy and ask about anything that hasn't already been covered before. Before you go crazy and wish cancer on the interviewer or interviewee, know that the question and answer was held before the advent of news like IWNET and the great dedicated server debate.

Anyways, one interesting bit does come out of it all:

I guess Hans Zimmer doesn’t come cheap and I imagine the development budget for a game of this magnitude is pretty high. How has the budget helped development?
We are pretty tight on our budgets. Early on – when we decided to make a sequel – Activision estimated out a ridiculous budget. And we were like: ‘No, we don’t need that.’
Much like we don’t let ourselves get distracted by hype, if you have excess you feel like you should use excess. So we said ‘let us design a game the way we’d always design a game. And let us focus on that.’ So we didn’t let the budget affect our mentality. We would only put stuff in the game that is right for the game, and not because we can.
Of course though, it does afford us certain luxuries. With Hans though, it wasn’t so much about the money. He has the same mentality as us, in that he does projects because he is passionate about them. It is something he has never done before and it was a challenge. You have to score a game in a totally different way to a film. So he took it on because he was intrigued by it and he liked the story. Not because we had a cheque book.
Isn't it nice to hear that the CoD boys have kept their hard hats on? Personally, I'm very happy for the success Infinity Ward has found in their franchise. There's no questions that they do an amazing job when they set themselves on a project.

For a title as big as Modern Warfare 2, it's certainly hard to believe the team hasn't grown into the triple figures, but that speaks even further volumes to their work ethic. I can't help but think that IW is making this all look a little too easy.

I'm more excited than ever for MW2, and I can't wait to see what's in store. It's even captured the attention of my "bromance" (as Jenna would put it) and gotten me talking about what me and my buddies will be playing together first. Tonight, I'll probably wind up watching The Dark Knight in anticipation of Zimmer's soundtrack support for MW2.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Multiplayer forced upon Stranglehold

If we could only line up all of the developers who have been forced to add multiplayer modes to their games! Then we could count them and see how business affects creative work in this industry!

I've written about the business side of the games industry a lot, and it always saddens me to think that the creative work of so many people could be wasted on mundane modes like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, in games that needed much more work on their single player campaign components.

Let me admit first: I am soooooo late to the party, but so is Kotaku's Stephen Totilo who writes about the Giant Bombcast featuring ex-Midway producer John Vignocchi who states that the multiplayer mode of Stranglehold was a must-have according to the executives. Another game suffers the bullet points it has to have on the back cover!

Maybe if the developers had given more time to the single player mode, it would have sold enough on that merit alone and garnered a sequel. Then the budget could have been bigger and the multiplayer mode could have been worth it. Instead, Stranglehold is relegated to the bottom of Xbox Live's top-played list (there's no such list, but I'm sure Stranglehold is sucking at the bottom with many other titles no one remembers).

Thoughts on Britain's first computer rehab clinic

So The Telegraph is reporting on Great Britain's first computer rehab clinic. While I think the idea of helping people fight their addictions is great, I can't help but question some of the news reporting being done in this story, and I also can't help but question the validity of a 12-step program for people addicted to video games.

I know, I know... I must be one of those white knights for the video game industry, writing letters to my congressman and generally swooping in to defend video games at every chance. Honestly, I don't question the fact that people can get a little too into their games, especially having known some of the people I've met over the years and their habits involving World of Warcraft and the like.
Suffers spend days at a time glued to their computer screens - going without food, sleep, or any social interaction.
The wave of addiction is apparently triggered by more sophisticated online games where players have to invest significant amounts of time to progress.
Broadway Lodge, a residential rehabilitation unit in Weston-super-Mare, treats around 400 addicts a year for a range of issues including, drink, drugs and gambling.
Now it has adapted its traditional Minnesota Method Twelve-Step programme, which slowly weans addicts off a particular vice, for gamers.
Patients undertake group therapy, tapes, videos, therapeutic tasks including vacuuming and washing up, and recreational activities.
The emphasis is on communication with peers and a greater understanding of themselves through shared experiences.
Games certainly have the ability to drag me away from some things, including food. For some reason, when I'm playing a video game, I'll tend to forget about eating regular meals. It won't last long, but after eating I'll want to get back to the game. I think that therapy and talking things out is certainly the best way to go about helping gamers understand what's healthy about gaming and what isn't.

While a gaming addiction center is a long ways off for plenty of gamers, it might be the healthiest thing for others, but I'm talking around what I'm really thinking about: shouldn't parents do something about their children a little earlier on? Parents should take the responsibility on themselves to keep their children well rounded and understand just when enough is enough. Maybe I'm wrong, but I felt like after so long, as a child, I was always instructed to put the game down, go outside, and just do something else altogether.

These days, I have a very tempered amount of time with video games. Other responsibilities will arise, other things will take my attention away. Of course, when I have a new video game I'm eager to play for a longer period of time, but on a day to day basis, I think my gaming "hunger" is usually worn out around the third hour or so. Maybe a game has a particularly engrossing story line and I'll be motivated to play longer, but these days my attention goes back to other things in life.

Like many addictions, I think gaming addiction can be helped more as a child is young than when someone has reached a point in their lives where they're being called an "addict."

Brutal Legend Multiplayer Walkthrough

This Brutal Legend Multiplayer walkthrough has me enticed. Of course, with a Schafer game, people are going to overlook anything and everything that isn't in the solo game. I wonder how many people are out there playing this on Xbox Live?

I must say, there seems to be a very steep learning curve associated with the multiplayer. It might not be a full real time strategy game, but there's enough there that you're going to learn build orders, what counters what, etc etc. The list goes on with RTS games, newcomers be damned, you need to know a little in advance before you jump right in.

Seeing as how all of the combat is probably introduced ahead of time and in pieces during the single player campaign, there probably is a whole lot of hurdle-jumping to be done. I'll have to see Brutal Legend multiplayer in action for myself, but I doubt I'd get to the level of play these two developers are fighting it out at. They made the game! How can I beat them at their own game?!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Team Fortress 2 celebrated Halloween, did you?

TF2's Halloween celebration is a prime example of why I love the game so damn much!
I can't believe how much goofy cartoon characteristics are packed in with each update. What first person shooter with even a semblance of a competitive scene has players "stunned" by a haunting ghost that appears around a map? Sure, KOTH_Harvest_Event probably won't find itself in any competitive rotations, but that's not really my point anyways.

What is my point? TF2 is a great game because it has the ability to laugh at itself, and it gets players to laugh at themselves. I feel as if I am part of a community, though I may not interact with every single TF2 player, we all share a common experience, and grow attached to our classes, maps, play styles, and the general chaos a 32 player server can provide.

While the Halloween Event ends today, I managed to rack up all of the achievements and the two hats that came with the holiday update. Is anyone else hoping to play KOTH_Harvest_Event a little more after November 2nd?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkins and gaming, apparently a match made in heaven

Kotaku has a pretty massive round up of pumpkins that readers submitted to the site. It even comes in four parts:

I was surprised by the ingenuity and creativity these pumpkins showcase. Who knew there were so many ways to carve a big orange thing? Click through some of the galleries and find some inspiration for next year.

While I didn't carve any video game related pumpkins yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Jenna's niece say that she wanted to be Mario for next year's Halloween.