Category Archives: Gaming

Confessions of a Gamer

Bless Me Torgo, for I have sinned.

OK. Sin shmin. I just wanted to type that. But I do have some stuff to say about games I don’t like and a bit of my backlog logic and where I see gaming in the context of my life. That last one seems THRILLING, no? Let’s start there then.

First, my definition: Gamer, one who plays a host of different video games from various genres.

Just because one owns a gaming system, particularly any new Nintendo system, doesn’t make one a gamer. There are game fetishists out there who own a system for playing only one game. FIFA is a good example of this. The world is full of FIFA fetishists who wouldn’t know an FPS from an RPG if they were looking over Storm’s shoulder, walking down a predetermined path, and complaining endlessly on forums about it.

I do not understand these people although they exist in my personal life. I was very disappointed when a friend told me he wasn’t interested in anything other than Warhawk. ON PURPOSE he ignores all other gaming experiences available to him playing only Warhawk. Warhawk is an awesome game but it’s FIVE YEARS OLD. Of course this will likely get him invited to the closed beta of the follow-up game, Starhawk. Which he will eschew for not being Warhawk. He is not a gamer.

I am a gamer.
I played Final Fantasy XII for 105 hours before moving on from it. I have played Warhawk for over 300 hours. I currently have over 50 million points in Beat Hazard Ultra. I loved Wario World and Luigi’s Mansion. That’s an RPG, a shmup (SHoot’eM UP), an on-line multiplayer, a platformer and a puzzle game.
I recently upgraded the hard drive in my primary PS3 to 500G because I filled-up the 120G with which my slim model came.
Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64 in 1998 is what started my love of console gaming at home as opposed to endless token dropping in arcades. (You can read about the beginning of me-as-Gamer in my post “Jason Specland Birthed a Monster”.)
Currently I am hunting down odds and ends in Batman: Arkham City and also tinkering with InFamous: Festival of Blood, Ugly Americans, Beat Hazard Ultra and with tempered expectations DC Universe Online gone FREE-TO-PLAY.
I own several gaming consoles. An original NES, the aforementioned Nintendo 64 console, Nintendo Game Cube, Play Station 2 and 2 PS3s. For the PS3 I own the Move controller and accompanying navigation controller and PS Eye camera, several dual-shock 3 controllers- one is red!, a Sony blue tooth headset and the Sony wireless 7.1 surround sound PS3 head phones.
I may seem like a braggart from listing all the above. What may not be known about me is that I am 48 years old. I am ancient in the world of console gaming. I should be happy with a nice game of Euchre or pinocle, right? I shouldn’t be as excited as I am to be getting Saints Row the Third tomorrow so I can beat people to death with a giant purple dildo as a crazed, scarred bodybuilder in a skort.
Age is a funny thing. People who act elderly choose to do so. People who act like they have arthritis HAVE arthritis. I have carpal tunnel so maybe I stretch my arms during play but I can still kick ass.
And FYI, the picture of me associated with this blog IS recent. I still look good, bitches.

Clearly not created by any god!

Having said all that I am ready to divulge my secret gaming peccadilloes.

I did not enjoy Assassin’s Creed because even riding a horse slowly past enemies who were not supposed to suspect me made them attack en masse and murder me. I wanted less time HIDING IN HAY-WAGONS than that. Also I HATE to die cheaply.
I HATED Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Talking heads voiced by Patrick Stewart: not as fun as you’d think. Finally get out of the dungeon and get killed by a random cat-headed guy because I got NO idea of the next objective. For Fallout 3, same thing with inconsequential variances. Both games by Bethesda.
Borderlands. Gorgeous game. Great AI characters and sound design. Fun multiplayer interface. BUT. Repetitive implementation of  levels making grinding the main event. Starting at the same camp every time no matter where one saves. No thanks. I’ve killed those fracking dawgs 15 times already. Bored now.
And Red Dead Redemption. Another meandering open-world game that was really promising. Not long after beginning I couldn’t find my objective OR a list of objectives I needed to accomplish to continue. And I looked through every menu page. Eventually one tires of skinning animals.

Someone might think that I am just clueless in open-world games. I really loved InFamous both Hero and Infamous play-throughs and I’d have a platinum if I could just find the LAST TWO SHARDS! I finished Batman: Arkham City story and am working out the last of the side missions and such after which I will spend my time in challenge mode.
I do not enjoy backtracking or other redundancies. I don’t mind dying as long as I can see the way to victory. I don’t mind stealth as long as the mechanics aren’t broken. I don’t have fun wandering aimlessly, repeating the same actions for the same results. Yet I don’t mind grinding because I can see the goal.

I’m not all complaints however. I have some backlog games I both hope to finish and like to have at arms length. I think of these as my “collector” games.
Killer 7. That insane, impossible-to-understand Japanese shooter. Light the candles?! Uhh…but the wind… Huh. And the sound design! Wow. I might have to be buried with this one.
Dead Rising 2. Banana hammock beat-the-clock. So much crazy content.
Dead Space. Scared Shitless. The premise is undeniably dumb…go here, go there, go to Bioshock? If it wasn’t so totally pee-your-pants-worthy I’d have finished it long ago.

This 1000+ word essay is just the tip of my gaming iceberg. It’s a taste of me-as-gamer. I hope someone finds it interesting. But I have to go now so I can work on my score in Beat Hazard Ultra. I’m skipping around my music collection a lot for levels but ultimately as a huge challenge I’d love to be able to play through both discs of The Wall LIVE in Berlin which is 2 60 minute tracks. Now THAT would be epic.

PSN ID: son_of_ottie

Sing It, Shirley Bassey!


Jason Specland birthed a MONSTER!

Once upon a time I didn’t have any experience with home video gaming. In 1998 I couldn’t imagine spending money on a machine that played games on a TV! I was there for Pong and it wasn’t that special!
Then my roommate Jason Specland’s parents sent him a new Nintendo 64 console bundled with Princess Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Hanukkah. It was remarkable! How did he know where to find all that loot and how to kill the enemies and save the princess and travel through time and….my mind boggled.
Jason let me play it. I wasn’t very good and truth be told, I still jump a bit where I sit when my character jumps while platforming…hehehe. The Uncharted games are a workout!
Long story short, Jason moved on to MMOs and played Ever Quest online and when he moved from Hoboken to Manhattan he sold me his N64 and all his games for the next-to-free price of $45. Which really WAS like a HUGE gift to me at the time.
Sitting on the floor of our giant apartment in sweats and looking up at the TV perched on the fireplace mantel, listening to the YYYYAA! of the attacks and the incredible music in the game, Ocarina of Time sticks in my memory as one of the cornerstones of what I now know to be my second childhood.
Along with my superb new friends and roommates Jason and Duncan Pflaster and my very first taste of Indian food, OMG!!!!! IT’S GOOD!, and midnight strolls to Bagels on the Hudson, video games gave my brain a rest from the fear of AIDS and who was dying next that was the constant of my life in Indianapolis.
Time marched on and in a couple of years I bought a new Nintendo Game Cube! I actually had the model capable of “progressive scan” to make the picture better! But that model was discontinued because according to Nintendo, their players don’t care about graphics.
It became clear the the cube was dying a slow death of ignore-ance and attrition so I bit the fan-boy bullet and got a used PS2. A big FAT Ps2, which I took online by buying a special attachment, was my first foray into online multiplayer gaming…and I was terrified I’d be pounded into a pulp by far better players than I. Sometimes I was and sometimes I wasn’t.
About this time I began to pay attention to specs in consoles. I also started reading gaming magazines and reviews of the new breed of consoles and the PS3 beat Nintendo by a mile and Xbox360 by 2 miles given Microsoft’s red ring of death issues.
I got my first PS3 console about a year after it was released when I bought a 60G model in 2007. The ONLY model with PS2 backwards compatibility. The price had dropped because the model was being discontinued…it was $400. By the time I left Game Stop I had dropped about $550 total for a second controller and a game or two as well…About 2 years later I bought a new PS3 slim for $299 because the disc drive of my first one died.
I also own the Playstation Eye camera, the Move controller, Move navigation controller, a new RED controller and the PS3 Sony bluetooth headset for online play.
I have bought and downloaded about 35 games from the Playstation Network store. I have bought and traded many games from Game Stop on disc.
Carlos and I have added Netflix streaming, Hulu plus and VUDU clients to the system which have allowed us to downgrade our cable bill from $170 a month to $100 (with boosted cable internet speed up to 32G DL). The Netflix & Hulu are about $31 each month for unlimited access to streaming and 3 blu-rays on disc at home at a time. VUDU is pay per view.
AND then there’s Playstation Plus. For $50 per year we get access to premium and FREE content including the pre-game release beta tests for Killzone 3, DC Universe Online (the first console-based MMO), Dead Space 2 online multiplayer, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood online multiplayer, and Little Big Planet 2. LBP2 and DCU Online are both running NOW.

Right now I am playing Killzone 2 campaign and multiplayer, Infamous to trophy ho it, Dead Rising 2, MAG with Move control, Batman Arkham Asylum plus the 2 betas I mentioned now running.


I have a subscription to Game Informer magazine and the following five podcasts: Sarcastic Gamer Blue show and SGUK, IGN BEYOND!, PSNation & Joystiq Podcast.

Yeah….I’m a gamer.

In the beginning...

Just one part of super hero creation for DCU Online.

Needs More Chainsaw


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