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“Take-Two Interactive announced today that BioShock 2 was officially in the works, under the development wing of the recently formed 2K Marin. The sequel to the Xbox 360 and PC shooter is planned for a fourth-quarter fiscal 2009 release date. Take-Two’s fiscal year matches the calendar year, so expect it to hit unspecified platforms before the ’09 holidays.

Take-Two also noted that the original BioShock has 2 million unit sales under its belt since its August ’07 release”  – Quoted from Kotaku

So get your Eve syringes ready, we’re going down to Rapture once again.  Maybe this time it’ll have some replay value (sorry guys, it’s true).

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1000 hits

March 11, 2008

We are approaching 1000 hits fairly quickly and wanted to thank you, the readers, whether you’re some Stumblers or people who found the site via other means.  1000 was a goal from the beginning and I think we’ll continue this project and maybe try and reach 10,000 now.  If you wanted to maybe keep us going, a donation would be nice, even $.10 would be awesome (we’re that poor).

UPDATE:  We have now officially reached 1,000 hits, the screenshot can be found here if you missed the magic moment.  Thank you to all the people out there who like the site and visit occasionally.

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Recently it was discovered that Army of Two, a hit game from EA (Surprise much?) has region protected multiplayer. So basically that means we Americans can’t frag Europeans or Asians, and likewise they can’t frag us. It hasn’t been confirmed for Playstation Network, but Xbox Live is screwed. I’ll keep you updated as to whether PS3 users can’t frag their European brothers.

Gaming as Art

March 10, 2008

  I wrote this for school and decided to post it here.  Here goes:

Today video gaming is one of the largest forms of entertainment.  My question is, why is not considered art?

With controversial issues, political statements, and abstract forms of games, one might think that games could easily be labeled art.  However, most film critics and people of the like say that games can’t be called art.  Yet nobody denies that hip-hop is art when it quite obviously isn’t.  There is no such thing as artistic when all it talks about is drugs and women.  At least games cover a variety of subjects, although titles like Grand Theft Auto don’t help my case.

Many people fail to look past the bad and see the beauty in the simple yet very complex experiences in games like the Guitar Hero series, or The Legend of Zelda.  The list goes on.  Video gaming is not all corruption, as people like Jack Thompson seem to think, calling games like Halo and Counter Strike “murder simulators”.  He’s quite a character as he has consistently attempted to link video games and school shootings such as the Virginia Tech rampage and the more recent Illinois shooting only to be bluntly disproved on every count.  People like him are the reason gamers feel unrest with the media.  We can no longer trust the television news stations like Fox who seem to be on Jack’s side every single freaking time.

But back to the point, video games can be an emotionally compelling experience, and that’s what I call art.  Final Fantasy VIII was my first role-playing game and I have a true connection with that game. Many aspects of the game were very moving including the fantastic original score by acclaimed video game composer Nobuo Uematsu.  I know every nook and cranny and I am very comfortable with it, though not in the typical serial killer developing way.  Why isn’t that art?  It was a beautiful and moving interactive story that has affected me emotionally more than many books or movies.  Yet still the contemporary media has to focus on the games that mean nothing, the ones gamers eventually just leave behind.  Games like Bioshock are also very artistic but get no credit from the media.  It had a vivid environment, award-winning story, and a fantastic and award-winning (once again) soundtrack.

Gaming has inspired a massive culture of people willing to spend money not on “murder simulators” or cheap thrills, but instead socially complex and very stimulating experiences. The multiplayer aspect of Xbox Live or the sentimentality and general fun of classic games on the Wii.  There’s not a lot of art forms that can capture the magic of revisiting something 20 years old and feeling the magic of childhood coming back to you, like still not being able to shoot that dang dog in Duck Hunt.  Games are a fantastic alternate art form for anyone tired of the cliché of movies or television.  And while it may be considered an escapist hobby, gaming can’t be denied as art once you try it with an open mind.  If only the mainstream could see that…

By Link2126

I lol’d when I saw this.  Someone liked a FFVII a little too much, and plays with LEGOs way more than they should.

Thanks to That Girl

  Guitar Hero pretty much kicked off the whole rhythm game “craze” so we thought we’d take a look back at the most finger-breaking-name-taking-ball-breaking songs from the best two GH games.  This list will not include Guitar Hero (the first one) because I got GHII first and never cared to get Guitar Hero.  This list will also not include GH: Rocks the 80s  because we’re not flaming queerbags (or we just didn’t buy it).  All ranks are determined by the Rape Scale on Expert.  Let’s get started.

10.  Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies (which I had while playing this song)

A difficult song overall but in the end can be overcome by some clever star power and a bit of training.  A formidable foe.

9.  F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X by The Fall of Troy

Actually a remix of a song called F.C.P.S.I.T.S.G.E.P.G.E.P.G.E.P. by an earlier incarnation of the band called The 30 Years war.  It features a mind-numbing riff along with speed that will get to you sooner or later.

8. Slash Battle (DLC) by Slash

An original track made by Slash himself just for Guitar Hero III, it’s one long solo and will not let go.  Star power can barely even save you.

7. Psychobilly Freakout by Reverend Horton Heat

I HATE THIS SONG.  It’s quite possibly the lamest song on GHII but yet it’s one of the most difficult.  Kind of the F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X of the second installment in the GH franchise, it was fast and mind-numbing except this one is gay as well!

6. Raining Blood by Slayer

A finger mauling delivered to you straight from the 80s!  You enter the song thinking “Sweet, I’m in the last bracket of GHIII!”, you play the song “Cool riff!” then the solo…….  My brain sploded when I hit the solo for the first time.  The first true face rape I had experienced (besides Jordan).  Fortunately for you, this song can be easily slain (PUN ATTACK) with a little well-placed star power.

5. Cult of Personality by Living Colour

Yeah, so pretty much the song is one lame riff and then WOOSH, solo, which is the only good part.  The song itself is pretty lame but the solos are amazing, not to mention face raping.  +Points for sounding like “I’m the DotA” near the end.  Google it.

4. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Every redneck’s epic song, now in plastic “guitar” controller flavor!  It’s like, 3 minutes of boring epicness, then 3 minutes of exciting epicness.  Takes too long to get to the fun, but once you’re there it’s mind-melting.  Again, a little star power and you’re through, but still a challenge.

3. The Devil Went Down To Georgia originally by The Charlie Daniels Band

Yeah, it took me like literally, 25 tries to nail this one.  The Devil will rape you with lefty flip.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  I feel like they seriously butchered a great song for GH but I guess it wouldn’t have worked out very well if they left it as fiddles…  Oh well.

2. Jordan by Buckethead

A spiritual experience for most, Jordan taught us what being a Guitar Hero meant, and that we just weren’t ready.  I have admittedly never beaten this song, just not that dedicated.  Major kudos to the FCers of the 2nd most infamous song in Guitar Hero history.  Remember, just get to the Blue Note of Freedom and you should be fine.

1.  Slow Ride by Foghat

Slow Ride is an amazingly complex song because of it’s mind thrashing solos blah blah blah OK we’re just kidding but we wanted to throw you off.  JUST KIDDING, CHILL OUT.

We all know of course that it’s the mysterious piece of guitar mastery know as TTFAF or Through The Fire and the Flames by Dragonforce.  There’s not much to say.  The intro itself boggles my mind to bits.   I highly doubt that even the original guitarist can play this successfully more than 3/10 times.  Pure and raw absurdity and gluttony at it’s best.

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Welcome to Retrospekt Saturdays, a semi-weekly article taking a look back over a game or game series every other Saturday. This week’s game series is one which is valued by Microsoft fanboys, frat boys, and just about everyone else. The Halo (Or is it Marathon?) series.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved was a gaming diamond, it is regarded as arguably the best console FPS of it’s time. Not only did it have a great single-player campaign, but it brought a LAN Party to a console player in a very accessible way. It featured an expansive multiplayer with many modes.

I recently got to enjoy playing it again for this article, and wandering around alone the multiplayer maps to see how it’s aged. And Halo has aged extremely well, it still feels cutting edge to me. The game isn’t an eye-sore since it has nice colorful graphics, which age well compared to other run of the mill shooters which sport various colors like feces brown and urine yellow. The bright greens, blues, purples, and other mellow colors do well for Halo. The sound-quality is still great, it’s no BioShock, but my ears aren’t bleeding. Controls since I played using the 360 probably felt more natural then using the Duke or the ‘S’ type original X-box controller.

The multiplayer aspects are also very good even when compared to the modern shooters of today.

Halo 2

By the time Halo 2 was launched the Xbox was already a great console with many games, Halo 2 and the new experience of Xbox Live then solidified it as one of the better consoles in gaming history. What was once a “great” multi-player in Halo: CE transformed into arguably the best console multi-player of it’s time, with Matchmaking over Xbox Live it was now easy and fun to simply jump into a game. While this brought loud-mouthed-pre-pubescent boys’ voices into the homes of many, it had it’s highs as well. With grandiose new maps, downloadable content (now free for Halo 2 BTW), and many new quick options, it offered many choices for the perfect multi-player shooter.

While the campaign was a little less than “riveting” it provided a good reason to blast the faces off of ugly little aliens and frighteningly large “Hunters”. However occasionally you got the feeling that the “story” wasn’t really there. I think the now usable energy sword kinda made up for that though.

Halo 3 “Finishing The Fight”

When Halo 3 was revealed at E3 2006 gamers went crazy, everyone was waiting for a new Halo and the third installment in the franchise was looking amazing. With a trailer that didn’t really give anything away, the tagline “Finish The Fight” was created.

With constant updates leading up to the launch, the hype was massive by the time that beautiful day in gaming, September 25th 2007 came around. Gamers were practically twitching with anticipation. Later it was revealed that there would be three different packages to buy Halo 3 in, including the standard the “Heroic” which was a collector’s edition with a metal box and a load of bonus content on a separate disc. However, the true artifact that one could bring home to truly establish one’s manliness/wealth was the “Legendary” edition which had a Master Chief replica helmet, the stand for it doubling as a game holster.

As lines were created and midnight struck on 9/25/07, Halo 3 was unleashed on the world, leaving everyone with one last obstacle to clear before popping in that shiny new disc, getting home.

The latest installment in the series has many new vehicles as well as new weapons including the Gravity Hammer, the Mauler, and various others, as well as two new grenade types and all new maps.

Halo 3 is now respected as one of the most amazing and well-crafted FPS games of all time. More of a story, improved and further balanced multi-player, and even more customization options such as unlockable armor premutations, even more colors and emblems to choose from, make it quite obviously the best game in the series. It even spawned it’s own Xbox 360!

So in Retrospekt the Halo series has come up from the depths of “that new game” to one of the most highly loved games among Xbox owners. Surprisingly, the earlier two games are still quite fun and have aged considerably well which is quite a feat. With downloadable content on the way and currently existing for Halo 3, and Halo CE released on Xbox Live, there’s no reason not to play these games still. And while the annoying voices of little boys and the tired ramblings of frat boys at 3 AM kinda detract from the experience, nothing can take away the magic, beauty, grace, and ecstasy of sticking a n00b in the face.

For information on the upcoming Halo Wars RTS visit THIS LINK. We love you Halo! Game on.

This is an original article from Gaming Caddy at https://gamecaddy.wordpress.com. BTW, let’s just call it even now for not updating for two days (sorry about that).

Lots of gaming love goes out to Bungie and Microsoft for creating such an amazing series.