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Entries in Xbox 360 (15)


Game Time! Episode 1: Pilot 

“Game Time” is a web show that I started so that I could review video games. The whole point about the show is that a bored college student has nothing to do and just wants something fun to play. Then a narrator offers the student a recommendation. It will then go through a series of reasons/clips of the video game to persuade the student into either playing, or buying the game. However the narrator seems to be more… Diabolical than helpful after a while, thus beginning the series.  Please enjoy the show!

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Music Makes My Day A Blur (21.11.2011- Day 8)

Day 12 has finally arrived. In this vlog I will be talking about the effects of music on me and about the video game blur. I hope you guys enjoy, and if you wish to see more, please feel free to subscribe. If you have any questions please leave them down in the comments section below.


Impressions: Battlefield 3

Let me make this as clear as possible before I continue: Battlefield is not Call of Duty. Anyone who has played both will gladly testify to that. Now, with that out of the way, let's talk about what you came here to read: Battlefield 3.


In Battlefield 3, you (primarily) play as Sergeant Blackburn, a marine who is being interrogated about missing nuclear warheads. The story unfolds through flashbacks, though not the entire story plays out this way. By the end, you will have played through a tense sniping portion, shot down enemy fighter jets, and raced against the clock in order to prevent a nuclear explosion. You will also have played as several characters in different areas around the world (sound familiar, yet?)

Let me get this out of the way: if you bought Battlefield 3 expecting a great single player campaign, look somewhere else. What's available on the disc isn't terrible, by any stretch of the imagination. The main problem is that we've already seen this before, even in DICE's own Battlefield: Bad Company games! Nuclear threat? Check. Russian villain that becomes the main target? Check. It's all run-of-the-mill, standard affair. This would be more bearable if the single-player campaign delivered edge-of-seat thrills and memorable setpieces. It doesn't. Regardless, the campaign does deliver some exciting setpieces which will want you playing through them to see what happens in the end.

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just a heavily-scripted setpiece.

In addition, everything just feels heavily scripted. There are segments where you even see the script with your own eyes. For example, in Operation Swordbreaker, you are given an AT4 in order to take out a sniper from a building parallel to your location. The game literally tells you when to shoot, and where exactly to shoot. Give us the option to take him out before that point! It doesn't sound like much, but when heavily-scripted actions occur several more times over any given time span, it gets boring. Oh, and let me not forget those stupid quick-time events that feel unnecessary and tacked on.

The campaign attempts to break up any monotony by putting you inside of a fighter jet, as well as driving a tank. When in the fighter jet, you feel exhilarated as final checks are made. Adrenaline is pumping through your veins as the jet powers on...until you realize that you don't actually fly the damn thing! This would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce flying mechanics, so when the player makes the jump to multiplayer, they will have gotten the basics down, but nope. DICE only gives you the options to shoot a turret or missiles. Weak. Still, admittedly, this was an exciting setpiece, with several dispersed throughout the 6-8 hour campaign.

As for co-op, well it's pretty disappointing. In my opinion, it is uninspired, with no real added benefit. If you die, you will start from the beginning of that level. It's that fucked up. Co-op just feels like two people going through a map, instead of one person doing one person, and another person doing something else, while communicating with each other and devising tactics. In short, co-op is nothing to write home about.

Am I saying the campaign is terrible? No, I am definitely not. What I am saying is that we've already seen this done before, and better. You might be saying to yourself, "Call of Duty is scripted, too!" That is definitely true, but the difference is that Call of Duty constantly delivers on the excitement factor. This is, funny enough, balanced by the relatively boring Battlefield 3 campaign. It might feel boring because it delivers more on realism than does Call of Duty's campaign. Be honest: Call of Duty's campaign can be over-the-top sometimes, and you don't get that feeling with Battlefield 3's campaign. Still, Battlefield 3's campaign delivers tight gunplay, along with some exciting setpieces and a focused narrative, although everything about it is run-of-the-mill and derivative.


Sign up only if you're truly dedicated. There is no such thing as instant gratification when it comes to Battlefield 3's multiplayer. You better be prepared to play if you launch Battlefield 3's multiplayer suite, and damn what a package. Multiplayer is DICE's bread and butter, and Battlefield 3 is no different. Be warned, however, that console matches are limited to 24 players at a time, as opposed to 64 players on the PC version. Regardless of the limit for console players, Battlefield 3 multiplayer is still a shitload of fun.

Players can choose from four classes: Assault, Support, Engineer, and Recon. The multiplayer modes are Rush, Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and all squad variants. From the get-go, you can play each map in any mode. Speaking of maps, Battlefield 3 ships with a total of nine maps, with four re-imagined maps. Needless to say, every single one of the nine maps are fantastic, with vehicles only adding to the frenzy. Thanks to DICE's addition of tanks, jets, jeeps, and helicopters, as well as on-foot soldiers, multiplayer feels like you are fighting a war.

Unlike the PC version, you do not need to exit the game in order to launch a multiplayer game from a browser. Everything is seamless, with chat options, server lists, and stats all streamlined for consoles, though some matches might result in some lag. The same occurred with some of my matches, though I don't know if it's more of a widespread problem.


Absolutely gorgeous.

The game looks mighty fine, though 360 owners will be doing themselves a favor if they make the 2 GB sacrifice in making the game look better. I assure you, it will be one of the smartest things you will ever do. There are some framerate issues with the console versions, though, as well as instances of textures popping into view. On occasion, the framerate would drop below 30 FPS, but only when there a lot of concentrated fighting, as well as vehicles showing up at the same time. Other than that, animations look impressive, with realistic and smooth animations. Guns and explosions feel like they have weight to them, with the environment getting realistically torn apart because of gunfire and explosions. If you have a surround sound system, then Battlefield 3 will be your show-off game whenever people come over. It truly takes advantage of that system, rocking your senses to the core.

Though Battlefield 3 delivers the best campaign in franchise history, it is derivative and run-of-the-mill, with setpieces dispersed evenly throughout the 6-8 hour campaign. The multiplayer easily makes up for the flawed campaign, maintaining the high bar that DICE always sets for Battlefield games. Newcomers and seasoned veterans alike will find much to love about Battlefield 3. However, you have been warned. If you're getting Battlefield 3 solely for the campaign, prepare to be disappointed. If you're getting Battlefield 3 for the total package, then gear up and be prepared for the best DICE has to offer.


Hitman Absolution: Run For Your Life Playthrough

Thanks to Machinima, we now have actual gameplay footage of the upcoming Hitman: Absolution, and damn does it look promising. The playthrough begins with Agent 47 in Chicago's main library when a fleet of cops charge in. As soon as the short cutscene ends, you gain control of Agent 47. He is maneuvered through the library, taking out a few cops, until he decides to take one hostage in order to escape. We get our first glimpses at the new cover system, and motion is fluid when moving from cover to cover.

Of course, being surrounded by cops is a hairy situation, so Agent 47 snaps the neck of his hostage and begins to "run for his life", hence the name of the playthrough. Agent 47 evades the cops, and even a helicopter, as he eventually takes out a cop sent to look for him. This is where we begin to see more of the mechanics from previous Hitman games. Agent 47 disguises himself as the cop he just took out, and manages to walk nonchalantly under the glaring helicopter light.

We then see him sneak past a few people who are getting high, or are already high. Then, police bust through the door with a search warrant, and Agent 47 makes quick work of the two. After handling the two cops, Agent 47 nonchalantly walks by several cops before taking the elevator to the lobby. Still in police uniform, Agent 47 walks by a treasure trove of cops, hiding his face every once in a while in order to not be identified. Finally, Agent 47, still in disguise, simply walks out the main lobby entrance, and blends in the crowd.

From this playthrough, Hitman: Absolution is shaping up to be a quality title, though the linearity of the entire playthrough was somewhat glaring. During the entire playthrough, I could not see different ways to approach the same situation, something that set previous Hitman titles from the rest. However, one thing is for certain: stealth is king, but when it comes to action, Hitman: Absolution can definitely deliver. The music matched the tone of the situation perfectly, lighting was amazing, and not even the A.I. expressed robotic motion. It was as if you were watching an organic world. Look for Hitman: Absolution to land some time in 2012.


Unboxing & Overview: Hauppauge HD PVR

The Hauppauge HD PVR retails for $199 and is the best solution to anyone looking to capture high definition component video sources. This device allows you to plug in video game consoles, such as the Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii, as well as DVR Cable Boxes. With the component inputs, you are capable of recording your device in up to 1080i resolution.

If you are interested in recording your video games to upload to YouTube, the HD PVR is the best solution. It i basically plug and play, with easy to use software. Out of the box, the HD PVR is only compatible with Windows, but you can download drivers and compatible software for Mac OS X. 

The device feartures an input and output for component video, as well an input for composite and s-video standard definition signals. The box also has an input and output for your standard audio as well optical audio.

Hauppauge's simple design and easy to use device owns the market when it comes to HD video recording. I would easily recommend this product to anybody in the market looking for an easy was to record video gameplay, TV shows, or any component device. 

If you would like to see this product in action, be sure to check out my video game channel here.