Article of the week

July 2, 2011

Independence Day Weekend: What to Play….

Every July 4th, we Americans celebrate our independence and victory over the English with cook outs, beer, and satanic nature in all of us to blow ourselves up with purdy lights. If you are antisocial, hate grilled food, detest beer, or are Atomosophobic, then we have a list of games that can feed your patriotism and need to blow shit up without the likely hood of losing any appendages.

Rambo Arcade (arcade) – this particular title may be new to some, it was to me be before stepping into the local Dave & Buster’s, but man does it scream “America F@#K Yea!” It is a light gun game in the same vein as Time Crisis but replace the vibrating over sized pistols with large vibrating machine guns. A Sega published title, this game hit the American arcades in 2009. The game is all about John Rambo and unloading as many clips as possible into everything that looks like it could be living all while things go boom. At the end of the day you will be deaf, satisfied, and wearing an American flag like Rocky Balboa.

Call of Duty (any in the series, various platforms) – The series has gone from World War 2 to modern day and most recently back in time (queue Huey Lewis) to the Cold War. While the older titles had a more of a story telling approach, the current iterations are more bombastic than a Michael Bay summer movie. No matter which in the series you pick you will be thrown at some point into the shoes of an American soldier either fighting Nazis, the Japanese, some brown people, and the constant struggle to figure out what the hell is going on amongst the hail fire of explosions. Not camping out this weekend? Well set up your pop tent in the multiplayer where you can spend an entire match in one corner just so you have your perfect K/D spread (boredom may occur, bug bites not included).

Medal of Honor (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – Panned by some critics but loved by this one, the reinvention of Medal of Honor series takes a modern day approach and tells the story of Tier 1 operatives in Afghanistan. The story is very “brothers in arms” has some of the best sniper missions this side of Silent Scope, and has one mission in particular that you will learn to appreciate every little brick that holds a shanty house together. The multiplayer is decent with the standard fare of game modes and unlocks including a Battlefield type mode called combat mission and beards for you man at arms. Despite the multiplayer being built by DICE, there is no destruction 2.0 and stray bullets follow you around corners (results may vary, breaking controller is not a solution, please contact your local DICE employee for the game still has yet to receive a title update).

HomeFront (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – Set in the near future, America becomes the battle ground for the United Korean invasion. You play as a resistance fighter that takes one hell of a horrific ride in the opening chapter, and join a bunch of rag tag Americans that include your typical people; the retired African American cop, a female, a young Asian male that gets stereotyped throughout the game, and a military man that says f^%k way too much, you’ll get f#%king sick and tired of this f%#king asshole by the second mission. The game carries a sense of dread throughout carrying over into the ugly texture work and the sight of $20 a gallon on gas station signs (try filling you Hummer or Stump Jumper with prices like that, HA!). The multiplayer (after a rough first week) runs smooth and is capable of some real fun in the Ground Control game modes, standard FPS unlocks abound and you can score some sweet pink gun camo (I <3 my gun) if you stick it out to reach level 75.

Freedom Fighters (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC) – Before the Korean invasion in HomeFront; the Russians invaded New York City in Freedom Fighters. A surprise hit of the last generation, Freedom Fighters cast you in the role of a plumber turn resistance fighter trying to destroy the Russian occupation of the Big Apple. A third person shooter with squad controls, the game took you all over the city that never sleeps shooting the big red in fight for our pizza, hotdog stands and imitation Oakley sunglasses. The multiplayer was blast and kept the same squad of A.I. bots at your side, it made for some intense fire fights and some over the top rag-doll deaths. In all seriousness, despite the holiday you should hunt this game down and play it, it is one of IO interactive best and will make you forget about the pile of crap they call Kane and Lynch.                                            

Anything with Tom Clancy’s name on it (platforms vary) – Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Hawx, and End War all fighting as Americans and are all killing and blowing something up in one way or another. The series of Tom Clancy games have been the smart shooters. There are always tactics to take into effect, you plan missions, plan your shots, and are not seen as gung ho gun toting shit heads. Take your bug spray on these missions as you are always seen outside the U.S., though there are some that have set pieces in the U.S. such as America’s playground Las Vegas, you’ll visit lush jungles, and embassies of all different nations. Whether you are stopping Mexican terrorist in GRAW 1&2 or a Mexican (terrorist of course) invasion in Rainbow Six: Vegas or preventing World War 3 from breaking out over Paris in End War you will have plenty to salute your special forces over (though some may experience anger or betrayal in Splinter Cell: Conviction due to the “writing on the wall”).

Battlefield series (various platforms) – Debuting on the PC this series has always been huge. Huge maps, huge number of players, huge selection of weaponry, huge explosions, and huge destructibility as of late. DICE has made the defacto team objective based shooter. From WW2 to 2142 the destruction and fun continue on. A huge PC fan base as well as a loyal console base the games have thrived and come to a glorious second coming known as the Frostbite engine. Being shot at and need a door quickly? Shoot a grenade and presto! The garage door is stuck and you can’t park your tank? Just shoot it! Pesky sniper being a bitch and whiffing you from a building? Bring the motherf$3ker down on top of him! Everything is curable with Frostbite! Warning: this game can be seriously addicting and bring much joy. Not everything is destructible, buildings vary by size, small trailers will not crumble, and not all explosives are created equal, play the Battlefield Bad Company series for details.  

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – Nothing says patriotism like pointing the loaded end of your Fat Boy at a pissed off Uber Mutant in defense of the D.C. wasteland. Ever wonder what our beloved capital would look like if we ever pissed off the wrong people look no further. You’re a vault escapee, trying to resurrect project purity in hopes of bringing life and prosperity back to what remains of Washington D.C. Despite being leveled by a nuke, there is plenty of iconic American imagery including the capital building, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Memorial despite some dilapidation. Bring up your PIP Boy and set your destination for a fantastic ride complete with nuclear fireworks! (Warning: Megaton will advise you not to blow them up for your own enjoyment, consequences may vary. Uber Mutant shopping cart armor sold separately.)

Resistance 2 – We defended this land 235 years ago from the British and tyranny, now defend it from extinction and alien scumbags! During the first Resistance you fought the Chimera overseas on British soil, now they are pissed and are invading the U.S. of A. Set in 1953, you take the role as Nathan Hale, strapping lad from the first game yet slightly infected with the chimeran virus, as he is battles these yellow eyed assholes from my beautiful birth state of California to Idaho, to Chicago, to Louisiana and the gulf shore. Suit up, gun up, and man up as your about to step knee deep into alien dookie fighting for our survival and what is left of this beautiful country. Celebrate our independence by spewing fireworks out of chimeran ships and repel a alien invasion that would make Roland Emmerich jealous (plus it has a hell of a lot less of Will Smith and his 90’s centric quips “Get Jiggy with it!”).

If you can’t find something patriotic to play here and just want the fun of fireworks without the potential to blowing yourself up, there are two fire retardant games for you (note: the actual disc and case are not fire retardant, neither is a console or PC, we do not assume responsibility if you are a jack ass and light one of these games on fire).

FantaVision (PS2) – One of the original launch games for the PS2, a color matching game with some flare, literally. This game will have you making creative firework displays without the hassle of a permit. If you can find and translate the Japanese version of the game it has a Techno soundtrack by Soichi Terada, though the American version does have techno, there are no licensed songs.

Boom Boom Rocket (XBLA) – One of the first rhythm games for the Live Arcade, this Bizarre Creations developed game (May they be remembered), was the couch warriors DDR. Imagine DDR controlled with a standard controller and fireworks detonating to the beat and you have Boom Boom Rocket. The sound track is re-imagined classical tunes with a techno beat and creating a visual spectacle takes no more effort than moving your right thumb. So if you are stuffed from forcing down hotdogs and beer all weekend and are too lazy to get up off the couch, you can enjoy the glorious light show of launching cylinders of exploding chemicals into the air from the comfort of where you lay.

I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend full of food, alcoholic beverages, family, and fun filled explosions (controlled ones of course), but above all else games! I hope you all get a good chuckle out of this article as it was a blast to write; from all of us here at the TheGamersBlog, Happy Independence Day (ID4).

May 19, 2011

Dont miss out on your chance to save the galaxy with your FREE STEAM COPY OF MASS EFFECT.

Do you feel down about the state of the galaxy? Do you wish you had the commanding authority of a super badass bent on eradicating evil while at the same time being dashingly awesome or terrifyingly douchy? Well wish no more!!! Now is your chance to win a FREE steam copy of MASS EFFECT. Its your turn to travel the galaxy kickin in doors and nut sacks, saving the day and getting the freakishly hot alien chick.

Ill keep it simple. All you have to do is share your thoughts with TGB. You MUST post 1 comment under this article and then post 5 comments under any article (all 5 comments do not have to be under the same article) and let us know whats on your mind. Posting 1 comment here and then 5 comments anywhere else will enter you into this contest, and you must be a registered user to participate. The promotion will run for a week and end next Thursday 5/26/2011 at 12pm (noon). TGB staff are not eligible for the promotion.

This is a Steam game and will require steam to download and play, if you dont have steam heres a link to get it,, its free and quick and easy to set up. Whoever wins the game will either have to add me as a friend in steam or give me their email address so that I can deliver the game to you. If there are any questions feel free to post them here or contact me at


System Requirements:

Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP with SP2 or Windows Vista*
Processor: Intel P4 2.4 Ghz or faster / AMD 2.0 Ghz
Memory: 1.0 GB RAM or more (2.0 GB for Vista)
Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible, ATI X1300 XT or greater (ATI X1300, X1300 Pro, X1600 Pro, Radeon 2600 HD, and HD 2400 are below minimum system requirements); NVidia GeForce 6800 or greater (7300, 7600 GS, 8500 are below minimum system requirements)
Hard Drive: 12.0 GB or more free hard drive space
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
DirectX®: 9.0c

* WINDOWS VISTA OR WINDOWS 7 USERS: Launching “Mass Effect” from Steam requires the setting “Run as Administrator”. If the User Account Control feature of Windows Vista is enabled, launching “Mass Effect” from Steam will result in failure. For users with User Account Control enabled, launch Steam using the “Run as Administrator” option or launch from the windows shortcut.

May 1, 2011

WoW Cataclysm: A Lady’s Perspective on Patch 4.1

The great sundering of Azeroth at the great hand of Deathwing changed the world as we knew it forever.   We’ve had four months to adjust to the changes we see in the landscape and quests, have had ample time to memorize the strategies for the new heroics, and some of the hardcore raiding guilds have even finished heroic raids.   And with the most recent patch, Patch 4.1, we have new instances that drop epic loot, a fantastic guild finder which will help you find a guild that fits your needs, incentives for healers and tanks queuing solo such as (very) rare pets and mounts, and cross-faction Bind on Account items. 

I’m in a casual raiding guild so the guild finder doesn’t interest me much at all.   However, I can definitely see the need and appeal.  Hopefully, this new device will help homeless aspiring raiders find their niche in Azeroth. 

Running with full guild groups, we’ve run the two new instances and were frustrated by how long it took to run the full instance for gear that was only slightly less than what we would find in Blackwing Decent or Bastion of Twilight.   A dungeon, heroic or not, should not take three hours to complete, even with wiping on a boss who is horribly bugged at the moment.  But despite the frustration, the new instances are rather amazing and I have already found some replacements for the few heroic blues I still had.   I can bet that within a week of running these, we will cut our time in half or better. 

I raid as an undead warlock, which means I am a pure dps class.  I have no options for tanking or healing.  So the incentives seem to me to be a bit unfair.  However, when speaking with friends who heal or tank for PUG groups, the incentives suddenly seem to make a lot more sense.  If you as a tank or a healer can manage to get a group of idiots who stand in fire, who fail to wait for three sunders (or whatever paladins and death knights use) so the tank has agro, who pull mobs due to careless auto running, who fail to refresh their form of crowd control, the list can (and usually does) go on and on, you certainly deserve to have something for your valiant efforts.  The issue I see with the incentive plan is that we will start seeing warriors attempting to tank in fury or arms gear, seeing tanks with PvP gear, healers who have half boomkin armor or even kitty druid leather, or are trying to heal with their Retribution set.   This means that fail PUG’s will become even more fail. 

Now for what was the most disappointing update for me personally.  Bind on Account items.  Before, things like heirloom gear could only be sent to those in the same faction (correct me if I’m wrong) as the level 80 you bought them on.  Now, Blizzard has made them account bound.   Does this mean they can cross servers?  Nope.   Am I a bit irritated at the misleading title?  Quite.   Am I going to quit simply because I can’t use heirlooms to level faster on a different server?  Nope.   I have friends on other servers and I greatly wish to be able to play with them sometimes.  However, I refuse to level a toon from 1-85 from scratch.  So, while you cannot send them to a different server as I (and I’m sure many many MANY others) had hoped, you can send them across factions.  So, if you are part of the….Alliance and are looking for some kick-ass Horde action, you may now do so in style, which I totally recommend.  For the Horde!

This is by far not a complete list of the changes, but to be honest these are the four I actually remembered reading and/or caring about.  Besides, there are much better things to be focusing on now, such as the new Fireflands raid coming in Patch 4.2.  -grin-


May 1, 2011

Kazuo Hirai Holds Conference to Explain Themselves

Sony held a press conference at 2pm Japan time, 1 am eastern time to discuss the future of the Playstation Network and the issues. Present at the conference were Kazuo Hirai (Representative Corporate Executive Officer), Shinji Hasejima (Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer) and Shiro Kambe (Senior Vice President, Sony Corporation
Corporate Communications). They did confirm it was an outside intusion and of course they gave the “We’re Sorry”, but they also gave us an idea of whats to come.  Here are the major items:

– Adding a new data system and moving it to a new location

– New intrusion software

– There will be a software update to change your password when PSN is back online

– They asked the 70 million plus subscribers to check all personal info and purchase history for any anomalies

– Sony asks you check all passwords and login info you may use for other things ( anything similar to your PSN login)

– Sony will NOT contact you for any personal information ( so if someone calls or emails you asking, its not Sony)

– There was no evidence of credit card info theft, but Sony is considering compensation for any losses and re-issue of credit card. Also no misuse or credit cards have been reported

– Playstation Network services will begin to come back online within the week (online gameplay, movies, Playstation Home)

– Playstation Store and all other services will be online within the month

– When Playstation Network returns, members will recieve a 30-day free trial for Playstation Plus as well as Qriocity

Kazuo went on to say they will learn from this experience and continue to combat threats against the company and continue to enhance the overall security for the future. Sony will continue to give us more information as it becomes available.

April 30, 2011

Gamer Charities… Changing the Lives of Children Forever

When we turn on the TV, Radio or even read articles on the web all we see are advertisements for the latest and greatest, news or horrors befalling some poor country or state, or any other number of atrocities that fall upon the living.  The news only seems to recognize the rich and powerful or bad news.  I think it’s time to recognize the people who go out and try to make a difference  in the world and change it for the better.  While I may not have the mass resources of a major broadcasting company or an Oil exec I think the recognition is important.

Many of you probably have never heard of ChildsPlayCharity or TheHumbleBundle as they are not advertised across the net and lets face it many of us, especially in the United States tend to forget how easy we have it  compared to many other places across the Globe.  We see so much death, violence,destruction and devastation that we’ve almost become detached and don’t think of it anymore as anything but white noise on the evening news.   I myself had never heard of either of these two charities until one of them got some ‘lime light’ on EvE onlines front page.  I’m not an emotionally driven person, I never have been and I never will be but for some reason Childs Play Charity touched my heart and it was at this point that I told myself “I’m going to stop saying I’m going to try and help and actually go do it”.  I then proceeded to Child’s Play and anonymously donated.  While my donation was nothing major, under $100 as I had very little money at the time, that small amount of money might give some child dying in a hospice some final moments of joy before they exit this world far too early.  If my small donation can put a smile on a suffering child’s face for even two hours is it not worth it?  Ever since first reading about Child’s Play Charity I’ve made it a personal mission of mine to donate whenever a CPC or Humble Bundle  has a donation drive.

Shortly after donating to Child’s Play I ran into a group of Independent developers who threw together a product called “The Humble Bundle” .  To diverge a little bit I think “The Humble Bundle” is the most innovative product marketing of the new millennium.  What they do is give you a set of say 5 games that they want to sell.  All of these games are DRM free and they can be activated on GoLive and Steam or you can just download them from their site with the cd keys they provide to you.  They then, and here is the amazing part, let you set your own price for the games and in addition to that you can choose to donate a portion of the amount your paying to Child’s Play Charity.  You can split the money between the developers anyway you like.  You can give 100% of the money to the Devs or 100% to charity or split it evenly across the board.  You can set the amount by moving the sliders as shown below.

While it’s true that many people will only pay $0.99 for the whole package (and yes I consider this to be  ‘cheap’) there many people donate in amounts far greater.  During the last drive someone paid over $2500.00 for ‘The Humble Bundle’.  I’ve found that even though I might not like all the games, which I didn’t in some cases, that it goes to a great cause such as CPC, support Indie developers who promote DRM free games and I get to grab several great games for a crazy low price which if you’ve looked at the average release price of a new games these days is quite a bargain and I feel good about myself too and lets be honest we can all use an ego boost from time to time.

I understand that not all of us can afford to donate to a Charity or like Indie Devs who do the same thing but we all  probably know someone who does and lets face it most of us could skip one of our morning Starbucks runs or evening beer run once a year and donate $5 dollars to a deserving charity.

In the end I just want to give some recognition, albeit small, to the men and women at Childs Play Charity and Humble Bundle who are trying to make the world a better place, and from me and the staff at TGB we thank you for all that you do.

I would encourage anyone who has been looking for a quiet way to help out a good cause to go check out “The Humble Bundle” and “Child’s Play Charity”.  You can check them out at the links below:

Child’s Play Charity

The Humble Bundle

Here is Humble Bundles last drive:

April 23, 2011

The End Has Come


Well as most have heard or encountered the Playstaion Network is down. It has been down for about three days now. Now breath as you read I know its hard. This problem couldn’t have come at a worse time for Playstation either with the releases of Socom 4, Portal 2, and Mortal Kombat this week. I too am victim for I cannot play Socom 4… still hurts. Now Sony has come out and said oh we have a server hiccup it should be fixed in two days time. Only it hasn’t been fixed. Several excuses and reasons for the outage have made their way to the web including too much server traffic with the new realses, downloadable games crashing the server, or even a hacker attack. Basically what it boils down too is my games don’t work and I don’t know why….QQ. However there is another theory that needs to be explored. Skynet became self aware on April 19th….coincidence? Hopefully Kevin Butler can fight back the machine invasion and get our servers back online soon because I’m not sure how long people can last.

April 2, 2011

The Lost Art of Critical Thinking in a Google Age

This isn’t really related to gaming, not directly anyway but I pride myself in thinking that your gamers have a higher then normal intelligence.  That being said please read on. 

This came upon me the other day when I wondered how I got all of my information for a paper I was writing. How did I come to my conclusions, how did I find the information, how did I decide how to format it, etc? What defined my entire paper?

 Before the advent of the modern search engine anything that you wanted to learn about you either had to ask someone, watch the local news and come to your own conclusions or go read an encyclopedia or book on the topic and then think about the information which you had just injested. With my most recent work ALL of the information that I acquired for my “Masters Level” paper was from Google. Google this Google that is the response to almost any question you present someone that they don’t have the answer to. In fact when I started my new job one of the first things they told you was “Learn 2 Google”

 One of my grade school books had a section in it called “Critical Thinking” it would ask you to reason and explain some situation you had read in the text. At the time I thought it was the stupidest thing but now that I am older I completely understand what it was trying to teach. It wasn’t just asking you to regurgitate the situation as explained in the book but it wanted you to look at the situation, analyze it and then formulate your OWN opinion. Not just look up someone else’s.

 I think this is mildly disturbing is how many of us can’t form opinions off of information we already have. How much base knowledge can you acquire from the world around you without having to use someone else’s already formed opinion? I’ve seen this dilemma ever apparent in the younger generation that proclaim a belief but yet you ask them why they have these beliefs they have no idea and then they find themselves googling that information to find out why and what they believe.

 I’m not saying that Googling something that you don’t know is inherently bad but I think at the same time it helps to formulate your own opinions instead of just finding someone elses and taking them as your own.

March 27, 2011

Our Favorite Games

No matter how long you have been in the industry, whether it be 5 years of 25 years there is always that one game that holds a special place in your heart.  It could be the latest release of Halo: Reach or back to an old Atari game that nobody has played in two decades.  I got to thinking about this the other day realizing that most games barely hold my interest for more then a few months before I shelve them to most likely never play them again and to most likely to forget after some time.  I probably own of 400 games across multiple platforms including the PC, Wii, PS3, PS2, Xbox360, N64 and so forth.  However there is always that one game that stuck in the back of my head years after I had  played it and I still find myself engrossed by the title more then a decade after its release.  I still find myself playing this game even though its graphical splendor of the time has long been surpassed by leaps and bounds however that doesn’t stop me from going back to it.


Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is that one game that still holds that special place in my heart.  I’m not quite sure why that was… perhaps it was the fact that is one of the first few games I ever owned.  I remember clearly that my parents bought a computer back in 95/96 that could actually play games and as a present they bought me 3 games. Those games were Interplays Starfleet Academy, Lucasarts Xwing vs Tie Fighter and Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.  I should mention that this was a hard choice for me between Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Xwing vs Tie Fighter as I played both titles to great extent for several years and I even got involved modding community back when they were released because of how much support there was for the games. 

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is arguably the best star wars title to date when it comes to the FPS genre and perhaps the entire Star Wars video game franchise.  It could be argued that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a better game but I guess that’s a  matter of opinion and for me at least the pinnacle Star Wars title to date has been Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. 

JK:DF2 is actually still being played today and still has a very strong community supporting it.  The game embodies everything that has ever been good about PC gaming and the Star Wars franchise.  The story developed for it was top notch and it featured the first live action Star Wars scenes filmed since the original trilogy and while one could say they were cheesy to my 12 year old mind they were just as captivating as the original trilogy. JK:DFII was the first game to really push the limits of the FPS genre since doom and it could be argued that it’s one of the FPS titles of all time in the way it changed the industry and it pushed the graphical boundaries of the time by utilizing both Open GL and Direct3D. 

I mentioned earlier that JK:DF2 embodied everything that is good about classic PC gaming.  I say this because outside of Half Life JK:DF2 has or had one of the largest modding communities.  In fact there is still modding work being doing for JK:DFII and it’s worth mentioning that one of Counter Strikes original developers was part of that modding community.  The game is over 14 years old now and there are still people working to create new content for it.  There has been a complete graphics re haul patch in the form of JK Enhanced Mod which changes the textures and helps boost the overall graphical performance of the game.   The wonderful thing about the modding community is that it boosts the overall longevity of the game.  After I beat the game I made countless enhancements to the game including new weapons, lightsabers and force powers and in addition to these many modders made new single and multiplayer levels.  JK:DFII was completely moddable and because of this people are still playing and buying it to this day.  I myself have personally purchased the game four times.  There still several modding communities going strong for JK:DFII such as Massassi Temple and JKhub and if you are still into the game I highly suggest checking out these communities. 

In closing I guess it could be my favorite game of all time because its the first game I really ever played hardcore on the PC or perhaps its just a game from a bygone era where games had more attention paid to their story and community support then they did making money.  It’s most likely a combination all of these but regardless I find myself still thinking about this game today even though its day in the sun has long passed.  I’ve always said that gaming development industry is not longer about making a good game instead its about maximizing a profit.  JK:DFII is a game from an age where video game development and creation was still an art form and less about making hundreds of millions of dollars from constant repetitive releases.  Developers focused on making a QUALITY game with good content at release and if the game was a success they would release a content filled expansion pack.  JK is and always will be a classic example about what is good about the PC gaming industry and the gaming industry in general. 

If you haven’t played it I recommend you do.  You can pick up JK:DFII, it’s expansion and it’s sequels from steam for $20.  There is a great deal of gameplay content across all of the titles and if you are looking for a quality game you won’t be disappointed.  If you would like to check it out you can purchase it from steam here

What is your favorite game?  What is that one title that you can always go back to and still feel the same sense and wonderment that you did when you first played it and why?

March 24, 2011








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