Sunday, December 21, 2008

What you should be playing in Little Big Planet.

Someone must have posted this one already considering the recent outcropping of web portals charged with sharing user levels in LBP, but I'm posting it anyway. ;)

That, and it isn't half bad for a very condensed version of a full 3-D game. If you loved "Ico", then dive in and see what this does for you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Brief Chat with Alex Evans Courtesy of

Sam Kennedy, site director for, speaks with Alex Evan regarding the future of Little Big Planet at the Spike VGAs..

Game Diary: Left 2 Rot...

**This is a post from a few weeks ago that I sat on for a while, mostly because I've been focused on other stuff.**

I did a horrible thing my first night playing "Left 4 Dead".

I followed my self-preservation instincts and ditched my teammates, leaving them as fodder for the infected horde.

It should never be over stated that some choices, especially tough ones, aren't simple. Take our situation for example. We were surrounded on the hospital rooftop, engaging in the final rush, a final crescendo moment where waves of infected attacked us from all corners of the rooftop . Worse, we already failed three times before and although no one was frustrated yet, there were small bouts of in-fighting on th team.

But this time things were going much differently. We survived the first wave of zombies without a problem. The next obstacle came in the form of a Tank, a special infected that can take large amounts of damage and deal high damage as well. We took him out quickly. In fact, everything was looking great until the middle of the third wave. Special infected zombies managed to up our team, making us a group of desperate men. I managed to hold my own, dropping as many infected as I could.

And then the helicopter came, and along with it the pivotal choice: save my friends or make a run for the rescue copter.

The tension in this moment was palpable, the choices distinct and very clear. As much as it made sense to stick it out, grab more ammo, and save my friends from the horde, I chose the easier goal. I chose the copter and what would be my first level completed achievement.

So maybe my decision was influenced by outside achievement-whoring urges. Or maybe it was the feeling that I didn't want to chance restarting the level for the fourth time. Regardless of the initial factors I made my choice, and the results were exhilarating and still troubling for me all at once.

Yeah, the "Left 4 Dead" has a few flaws - not enough weapons, needs more maps, special infected could use a little more variety - but the experience as a whole is still amazing.

Simply said, Left 4 Dead is incredible (probably more worth it for PC owners than the way I played it, on 360) and worth your time. It punishes you relentlessly with infected hordes, it manages to be engrossing without a connected story-arc, and it presents you tough choices similar to the one I faced. I may have chosen to save myself, but who knows what you'll do given the same choice.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm Back on the Wii Fit Bandwagon!


A few months ago, I made an ambitious promise to myself - that I would spend at least a month or more exercising to Nintendo's self-help/feel-good game of the year, Wii Fit. But between spending way too much time reading and working a retail job (plus school), my Wii Fit time had all but diminished.
I suppose the same thing happens to anyone that joins a gym, as those ambitious fitness promises are all too slowly broken. Missing my "Wii Fit" fitness regimen still filled me the same self-loathing you feel after weeks of skipping my workout, and then realizing that 'this time' might not have been the 'right time'. Still, I'm glad Wii Fit managed to make me more conscious of my very unhealthy diet/ lifestyle, and that's something that no other game this year could do.

That's right. Regardless of how cool it felt to parkour, I'd stand little chance scaling my house and executing graceful jumps over to my neighbors' rooftops. But getting myself to get up and stand on a scale to do Yoga poses and other stuff worked like a charm. It might lack some focus and polish (like the ability to follow a set regimen of workouts to burn fat in certain areas of the body - i.e. like my gut), but its still a good experience.

Its easy to complain that Nintendo has lost focus with the people that made their products successful. And as betrayed as core gamers have felt, there is something I feel is right with products like Wii Fit. It's a different experience and one that I welcome next to all the space marine driven shooters and open world games. Something like Wii Fit or Wii Sports is unique in and of itself. Sure, those hi-def games were much more entertaining and sported higher caliber presentations than most of the stuff on Wii, but simple fun - a.k.a. most of the stuff Nintendo's put on the Wii - is still a good thing and its still manages to be just as fun.

Its what manages to make a friendly game of Boom Blox multiplayer shift into a tense free for all. And that feeling is still alive on the Wii, despite the negative sentiment out there.

So, I for one, am glad to be right back on the scale giving it another try and slowly become more invested in my physical health. I've already admitted to myself a long time ago the affects of Wii Fit are more placebo than anything else, but I still desire something to get my physical fitness ego rolling, and for a gamer like me, making it a game is a good place to start.

(Images courtesy of and