Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter


    Alan Wake

    Please just 5 more minutes!!

    So I recently beat Alan Wake. I admit I was skeptical about this game at first, like it was just going to be an Alone in the Dark clone. (and not the good ones) I wasn't behind this game 100% before it came out but I saw a deal for it in the newspaper ads and had to go for it. I have to say, I was pleased overall.

    I'm sure anyone who follows gaming knows the premise behind the story as it has been riding the hype machine for a good while now. A struggling author who writes very much like Steven King goes for a vacation to a sleepy Pacific Northwest town. He and his wife are planning for a nice quiet vacation just to get away from it all. You come to learn very quickly however that this isn't going to be a happy vacation.

    The game actually starts you off in a dream where you are running through these dark woods and learning how to dodge and sprint and all kinds of things, your typical tutorial level fare. Then you encounter this bright beam of light that tells you how to kill these enemies called taken. Basically they are people who have been 'taken' (clever i know) by the darkness and there is only one solution. FLASHLIGHT MURDER!!!! In a game mechanic I haven't seen since Luigi's Mansion you have to shine your flashlight on the baddies and then vacuum them up. Well in Alan Wake just replace vacuum with bullets to the face. Also it seems that Alan has magical flashlight powers because if he squeezes it harder the beam gets more intense burning away their shields of living, moving darkness. Despite what you may think about the mechanic it is actually fun. I don't know if it's the repetitiveness or what but once you get into it you will enjoy it. Except for when it doesn't work.

    This is where the game suffers an ALMOST fatal flaw. One of the major mechanics in the game is where you can dodge attacks and where a Steven King doppleganger gets the reflexes of a fighter pilot I have no idea but whatever. So when you dodge an attack the game slows down to slow motion sometimes. The first couple times you do it you look at the screen and go 'ooooh' but when you are doing it while surrounded by 4, 5, or even 6 enemies you don't want the camera to spin around and go slow. you want to keep your perspective. I can't count the times I have dodged an attack only to be killed by the next guy because I couldn't see him after the slow-mo. I thought dodging was supposed to keep you alive not move you into the path of a rusty ax. Tetanus much?

    Speaking of axes... The music in this game is epic. So much in fact that I would buy the soundtrack. The music that plays in game when you are actually running about and killing things is forgettable but does help to purvey a sense of tension and despair throughout the levels. The sound direction isn't as tight or eerily close to whats happening on screen as say Dead Space. Where in Dead Space the music just added to the fear and terror of the game, Alan Wake's in game music is more for atmosphere. In Dead Space I was literally scared, and I don't get scared. I credit that to the fantastic sound direction. I never jumped in Alan Wake or really felt afraid for what was going to happen next. That's not to say I wasn't curious what was going to happen in the story, but I never had the feel of overwhelming I'm not going to survive dread. At any rate the actual music tracks they use are awesome. For this game they wrote a good bit of original music that really moves the story along and is enjoyable to listen to. The Old Gods of Asgard are my new favorite band. I know I talked about sound direction and all that and how it wasn't top notch, but there is one set piece in the game that blew my mind and I'm sure many others. Who hasn't dreamed of fending off zombies in the middle of a pyrotechnics loaded rock-and-roll concert?

    Ok what next? Ahh the graphics. For the most part they look good, a few glitches here and there and the faces look weird, like woah. Uncanny Valley much? Games just can't really capture mouth movements yet. Other than that one thing really bothered me about the otherwise stellar graphics. When you would go from cut scene to gameplay the contrast and lighting, and overall style of the graphics would change. Where in the cutscene it would be dark and overcast looking, with a bit of a film grain when you would get back to actual in game it would be bright and welcoming. Just something that I thought really destroyed the illusion. That brings me to my next point.

    Many people have griped about the plethora of collectibles throughout the game and how it pulls you out and really takes the game down a notch as far as innovation goes. In a sense the game wasn't really trying to innovate, it was trying to tell a story. Personally I think that the collectibles were there for a reason. I remember there were parts in Dead Space where I was praying to find a save station around the next corner because I was terrified of playing the game and my head couldn't take it anymore because it just got in my mind. Alan Wake does the same thing you really can get wrapped in the story and I'm sure some people can get scared. I believe they threw the collectibles in there for the simple fact that you need to know it's a game and that bulldozers aren't really coming to life outside. I've never had a problem separating games from reality, but I know some people. I could be way off base with this, if nothing else it's a good source of achievements.

    Speaking of achievements there is one in this game where you have to watch a Verizon commercial, that's all I'm going to say about that.

    Overall if you were a fan of shows like Twin Peaks, Harpers Island, Lost, Heroes, any of those shows where its all gloomy and crazy story twists, etcetera then you will probably like this game. I have to say overall it was an enjoyable game and I had fun with the time that I spent with it. I am also curious as to what sort of DLC they put out for the game.

    Luigi's Mansion+Dead Space+Twin Peaks+Stephen King+collectible thermoses =4/5

    I wish the controls would have been tighter and some of the graphical issues would have been non-existent then this game would have scored a 5.

    Until next time

    Ride Hard, Game On!

    Hey everyone just wanted to give a quick heads up about a new site for those of us who would really like to find good desktop or Android wallpapers. is a repository for game wall papers with some social networking sprinkled in. The images are all high quality and look great on your desktop. The coolest thing however is the fact that it has an Android App component that lets you put all of these wall papers on your Android Phone. There are a huge amount of wallpaper apps on the android market but this is one of the best to be sure.

    So check it out, upload some images. It's a whole lot of fun and I know I have enjoyed playing around with it.

    Untill next time!

    Ride Hard, Game On!


    Get Alan Wake for $40

    K-Mart strikes again with a fantastic deal for gamers. Last week you could have gotten Metro 2033, Final Fantasy or AvP for $29.99. This week they give you $20 off the brand new thriller from Remedy.

    While they might not be taking it right off the top its still a pretty good deal. Whats going to happen is they print you off a cupon from Microsoft worth $20. It might sound like a sham but when you look at it thats $20 off your next 360 purchase.

    Don't look at me like that...

    Ride Hard, Game On!
    Published with AndroBlogger


    X-PLAY best of '09

    Well this show was so much better than the VGAs. All they did was give the awards and get out, no musical guests or celebrity flim-flam. That, and the fact that X-PLAY and G4 in general has more cred than does Spike. Atleast to me.

    When its all said and done the awards are out and the flaming has begun. For me school is out and I am ready to enjoy some time off. Oh and I still really wanna play Uncharted 2. But for now friends that is all.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!


    So yea the VGAs...

    E Alright so I watched the VGAs on Spike that I got on my DVR. I was dissapointed honestly. I mean they play it up as this huge event that rocks the gaming world forevar!!!1! Needless to say for me it didn't. I really don't care about like watching Snoop Dogg (nothing against the D-O double G) but like celebrities are great and all but I really feel like it takes some of the focus off the games. That might be just me though. I guess it would be different if I attended in person, or if I was hanging with some friends scarfing pizza and laughing at Tony Hawk's smushed face. To be fair Hawk did have a good joke about Action/Adventure games.

    As you can see my major gripes are about the presentation, not the actual awards. Honestly I could care less who Spike TV thinks has the best original soundtrack, or the best male voice actor. (Mark Hammil got robbed lol) If I like a game, I like it and don't care what people think. (yea I am talking to everyone who gave me crap about Too Human) Like I cant even give an opinion on 3 of the 4 nominees for Game of the Year because I haven't played them, but I hear Uncharted 2 is the schizz and I really wanna play it. Sadly I don't see a PS3 in my future, atleast not for the next few years. College and all you know

    The real reason to watch this thing is the trailers, and the hot chick from house.

    There were some good trailers to be sure:
    A Batman Game
    Crackdown 2
    Halo: Reach
    Medal of Honor
    Prince of Persia
    Spec Ops
    Tron Evolution
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

    So you can check all the trailers out at Spike's VGA site

    Well I gotta go because it is 3AM and I have 2 exams in the morning.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!