/Gaming

You really don’t need to tell me that there are better shooters than the Call of Duty franchise, because I get it. Yet, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a damned good game. At the time it felt fresh. After the shooter genre was bogged down with World War II for so long someone moved away from that and did so in one of the most fast-paced and balanced online multiplayer shooters in ages. As someone who had never really gotten hooked on playing a game online before, Modern Warfare was exactly that game that got me hooked.

By becoming a better version of ourselves we could actually become a worse version of what we were. Jared Fogle was a fat, pale, smelly, obese man at one time. He wasn't famous. He was just Jared -- ‘Fat Jared’ in the minds of those around his gravitational pull. Life was probably simpler before he lost all the weight and gained popularity with lazy Americans who'd rather lose weight by eating sandwiches than exercising and a researching a real diet. Jared was once morbidly obese but now he's thinner and incarcerated and it's thanks losing weight with subs -- without mayo. Fogle became a better version of himself and because of that, transformed into a monster.

At some point in the near future I’m going to have kids. I know that. This isn’t a stunning revelation or any sort of carefully planned out fact. I’m married, own a house, we both have jobs that allow us to live kind of comfortably and kids are a logical step. I’m also a guy that plays videogames and is totally alright with that. I grew up with them and, in a way, they grew up with me, becoming more mature and trying to continue appealing to me. That’s okay. Growing up, though, I was a Nintendo kid.

Three times now I’ve purchased the Square Enix open world game Sleeping Dogs. Three times. I think that the first might have been on Xbox 360 when they gave it away with Games with Gold, but I’m really not sure, I fiddled around with it a bit and it was really fun, but for some reason I didn’t keep going. This prompted a purchase during a Steam sale a long time ago, thinking that I’d get into it on PC where I could crank the graphics and goof around with it. I’m not sure that I’ve ever launched it.

Something that I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you have as well, is the sentiment of “Fuck 2016.” Every year features beloved celebrity deaths, but 2016 has felt like a real punch in the gut. Lemmy from Motorhead got the metalheads, David Bowie’s death took everyone by surprise and now the untimely demise of Prince has the world on end. Bowie was a huge blow, but man, I wasn’t ready for Prince, just no way. Oddly enough, Prince’s death came the same week that Banner Saga 2 was released and man, is that game depressing.

Like many others out there, the whole concept of the “PS4.5” or the “PS4 Neo” seems almost entirely lost on me. So Sony has it in their mind that they are going to release a new PlayStation 4 with updated hardware, which should be able to run newer games a bit more smoothly, but these games have to be developed to work on both the base-model PS4 and the PS4 Neo. A cursory glance at VGChartz shows us that Sony has moved a whopping 39.8 million units and counting of the PlayStation 4 over the span of the three years that it’s been available.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to play Firewatch, but it did. I’ve heard mixed things about, which seems to come with the territory in narrative-based games where you aren’t a mass murderer. The term “walking simulator” is used for games like this, but it’s usually seen as a detraction more than a genre label. It’s meant as an insult to games that are more contemplative and don’t see you taking control of a musclebound guy with a lot of guns at his disposal.

Very rarely do I find myself super excited after playing a game. Often times I play games because I’m bored or because I’m familiar with them, not because I find them to be interesting or challenging. See, when you get older, the whole concept of “challenging” changes. Bullet storms and killer enemies aren’t the challenge that I’m looking for anymore, instead I’m looking for a game that challenges me in different ways. That’s exactly what I found in Consortium.

For many, the last title in Deep Silver's clone-turned-parody franchise is old news. It's been available for some time on all the relevant platforms, and the people that purchased the title have gotten their jollies out of it for the most part. For me, Saint’s Row IV scratches that same itch that Movies like John Dies at the End, Evil Dead 2, and Samurai Cop might for film buffs. Its writing and storyline fall squarely between GTA V and Borderlands 2 in an incredibly satisfying way. Enough camp to keep me entertained without sacrificing gameplay, and just enough self-awareness and fan-service to avoid presenting like Gearbox's calculated meme dictionary. The reason my attentions have shifted to Saint's Row IV isn't because I enjoy it more than my core game library, it's because I recently moved my work machine over to Linux. To my surprise, there was a native port available, and I downloaded it out of curiosity. The experience changed the way I think about PC gaming, and the sacrifices PC gamers take for granted nowadays.

Before I acquired a copy of EA UFC 2 this week I had no interest in that game whatsoever. As a former MMA superfan, writer and podcaster I feel like I’ve run the gambit of emotions when it comes to that sport and I can pretty much say that it has passed me by and that I’ve made my peace with it. People tell me that it’ll pass, that I’ll be able to get back into it or that maybe it’ll be fun again to just watch a few fights, but that feeling simply isn’t there. That’s why getting a copy of EA UFC 2 was just so strange. A friend had an extra copy and there I was, downloading it and wondering what the hell I was doing with my life.

The term “cord cutting” has been around for as long as services like Hulu and Netflix have been around and offering streaming video services. Things really started to pick up steam in this department in the mid-00’s, around 2008 or so, and now over eight years later I’ve finally become one of those people. I’ve had cable or satellite on-and-off for most of my adult life, but recently was subscribing to Comcast for what was a whopping $180 a month for what was sub-par service. We’re talking half the channels being pixelated garbage because they bury their lines out here and it has happened to be extremely rainy for the desert, meaning that their lines get soaked and have blown out a number of times.

420 Character Reviews: Viridi (7.1)

Have you ever wanted to grow cacti without the chance of falling down and hurting yourself? Viridi is a game of simplicity, which is something you prefer if you’re tending to cacti instead of more demanding pot plants. This game is also perfect for anyone with a spare screen and a penchant for virtual items. Don’t forget to water the snail. Make sure to ask the devs for some special species of cactus, too :)

If there’s been any defining factor for the latest trend in virtual reality, it would have to be that people just really, genuinely want this to become the next big thing. How much so? At first this generation of VR was seen as a risk, with the Oculus Kickstarter coming out of nowhere and captivating consumers into tossing money at them. Then again, it was a sort of new technology and that can always find early adopters. But then it kept gathering momentum, to the point where a company like Facebook decided to invest in Oculus. Then stuff got real.

The beginning of my disdain for Pokemon started with my Canadian ex-girlfriend. Actually it started with my Canadian ex-girlfriend's adopted cat.

When I first put together my new PC one of the first games that I played was the 2012 release Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Chivalry is a brutish, gory depiction of medieval combat that focuses on fast-paced, first person action without a ton of refinement. This was a follow-up to an earlier mod for Half-Life 2 called Age of Chivalry, only pushed as a commercial product. The relative success of 2010’s Mount & Blade: Warband was the catalyst of sort for this genre of games, which has included games like War of the Roses, War of the Vikings and the Chivalry expansion Deadliest Warrior.