July 10, 2012
Many parents yell at their kids and say that they are not active. They tell kids to put away their video games because they are not productive and are just a waste of time. The mass media also agrees, they say that video games cause violence in younger children and expose them to things that they should not seeing at their age.
The debate is that video games cause violence in younger children. Video games are similar to movies, they are not real and are just for entertainment. Also, video games have ratings on them, they tell you what age group should be playing what game. Parents should be responsible for letting their children play a game that has a mature rating, just like they should be responsible for letting their child watch a rated-R movie. I think that video games are a scapegoat to bad parenting. As a parent, they should know what their children are playing and watching. Even though its inevitable to block everything that they see, they should still be able to monitor what they watch or play. I don’t get why no one puts any kind of blame on television and movies and always are quick to blame video games.
There are far more positives than negatives when it comes to video games. Video games keep kids away from violence that they could be in. Kids are safer inside of their house shooting imaginary aliens rather than out on the streets causing chaos. Video games help keep kids and their minds active, instead of them going out smoking and drinking like many kids are doing in our generation now. There are even video games that are educational, there are games that help kids learn even more than they do in school. Let’s face it, what kid actually pays attention in class, I know I never did. I can honestly say I learned more jumping from platform to platform in Mario and trying to collecting rings in Sonic than learning useless equations in math.
Most parents want kids to sit at home and read books. Sorry, but no twelve-year-old wants to jump into an exciting book. They want to pick up a controller and try to catch every Pokemon they can. If you can get your kid to read book after book, then I give you all the credit in the world. Sure, reading can be good, but so can video games. You can learn the same amount in reading a book as you can playing a video game.
Take away video games and see what happens. Kids would go crazy, there would be more kids in trouble than ever. Video games are more than education, they are fun as well! Video games can help you learn without even knowing that you are learning. Playing puzzle games such as Tetris can help you lean the concept of recognizing and putting things where they belong and following an order, tell me how this is different from what you learn in math class, it is not. I say not only should kids play video games, but they should be encouraged to.
June 3, 2012
It’s release day! The day that you have been waiting for. The game that will change your life forever comes out today. I know that feeling, the same feeling you get as a kid when you see all of the presents under the Christmas tree. Today is your day and nothing can go wrong. The only thing that you want to do is get your game and go play!
You finally arrive at your local Game Stop, walk to the register and ask for your game. All of the signs are on the door promoting the new release, posters and all. The cashier says to you, “Hey what can I do for you?” and you respond, “Obviously I want the new game that just came out! Here is my $60, now give me the game!” The cashier responds back, “Did you reserve it?” and you reply “Heck yeah, of course I paid my $5 to reserve it, give me the game!” The cashier goes to get the game from the back, before he hands it to you he says, “Do you want to pre-order this new game coming out next month? or how about sign up for our reward system that you can get points and discounts? It will save you money on this purchase and future purchases. I really recommend it.” At this point you are furious, but the cashier still has your game in his hands and wont hand it over. You just want to go home and play! Giving in, you agree to sign up for the $15 reward program and pay $5 for a future reserve of a game that you will probably never buy. You then take your game, run out of the store and run home. Time to play right?
Finally you start-up the game and sign online. You get prompted that there is a new downloadable content pack with all of the new maps and new characters that you just have to get. This is another $20 that you just have to spend in order to get the full experience, so you just purchase the extra content. Finally, its time to play! About $100 spent on a trip to the game store.
Between the price of the game and all of the add-ons, it is becoming a ripoff for the gamer. It is coming to a point where it is just about the money and not about the consumer. When a new game is released now, you can automatically count on their being a sequel and even a prequel. The video game company tries and to every possible penny out of a game that is released. There are rumors surfacing that there will no longer be used games for the release of the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4. That all but insures that game companies only care about money.
When you walk into a store like a Game Stop, they pressure you into buying every possible add-on for a game. This includes a strategy guide, a custom controller for them game, custom faceplate and so on. It is insane how people pressure you whenever you walk inside of a Game Stop. Just guess who plays most of their video games? If you said young teens and kids you would be correct! It is so easy to show a kid a new shiny extra to a game so they could run to their parents and beg them for them to buy it. Going to a game store is just like trying to buy a new car. They will keep on pressuring you to buy something until you finally say no and leave.
What ever happened to the good days of gaming? Going to the store and getting a game, knowing that it will be a complete game from start to finish is a thing of the past. There are no extra characters, or maps that you need, everything is right there in the brand new game that you have just purchased. I wish I could say one day it will get better, but as new systems and games are released this problem is going to continue. Realize how much money your going to spend on a game the next time you buy one. Your probably only buying about sixty percent of the game with the other forty percent to come at a later time by spending extra money. Its just getting to a point now where its not fair for the consumer, but as Game Stop likes to say Power to the Player.
May 22, 2012
Imagine not having only one life to live, but now you have two.
Another day just walking through the park. All of a sudden, you find a box floating in the air with a question mark on it. Playing Mario multiple times before, you know exactly what you have to do. Of course your going to jump up and hit the block! That is exactly what you do and out comes a green mushroom. It falls to the ground, starts moving to the right and you chase after it. Finally catching up to it, you touch it and it disappears.
Days goes by, even months and you go to the doctor for your yearly checkup. He tells you that he has discovered something that has given you another life, meaning if you would happen to die you have another chance to live. All of a sudden you freak out, well obviously, it’s crazy that you have another life. Thinking to yourself, you remember the trip to the park, finally it all comes together. Mario, a yellow question mark block, a green mushroom and another life, It was a 1-up mushroom!
What would you do? Now you have another life!
Let’s lay down some rules. This extra live is exactly how it is used in Mario, if you would fall off a cliff or run into a goomba you would be dead. Well in our world if you would run into a bus, but you get the idea.
I don’t know what I would do, should I just go to the top of a mountain, jump off and see what happens? I think I would have to do something like that, right? I need to utilize this 1-up, it’s not every day you find these kind of things lying around.
On the other hand, it would pretty scary. I’m not sure if I would want to kick the bucket and come back, even if it was for only a few seconds. It would be pretty crazy, because who knows what actually happens to you in those few seconds when your gone. I know when Mario falls of the edge of a platform, he just gets right back up and continues on his journey. I’m not too sure that I would be able to get up like that and go on like nothing ever happened!
Now that I think about it, I’m not too sure that I want that 1-up. Maybe I should just stay away from yellow question mark boxes if I ever see one. They are pretty suspicious now that I think about it!
May 18, 2012
So you just got the new Call of Duty game, pretty exciting stuff. Go to your local store, grab your game, put it in your system and your ready to roll. After playing for about ten minutes a question pops into your head, is this Call of Duty 4 or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 because honestly all of them look and feel the same.
That is the problem and that is also the solution. Let me explain a little more, as a gamer that is the problem. As the company CEO that is the solution. It is the commonly used phrase of, if it is not broken then don’t fix it. If I was the CEO of the Call of Duty franchise I would continue to do exactly what they are doing. That is releasing a Call of Duty game every year and watching the millions of dollars come on in.
Call of Duty is a fun game don’t get me wrong. If you want to play a quick game, just hop online, shoot some enemies and then on with the rest of your day. The game play when playing Call of Duty is so simple. You chose your gun, you find your enemy and you shoot him. There is no learning curve or move set that you need to learn compared to a game like Dark Souls or Street Fighter. It makes it easy for anyone, of any age group, to just jump in and play.
When Call of Duty first came out it was fun and exciting because it was something new. As the years went on, all that was added included, a new map here, some new guns there and some progression from the past year’s storyline. To some that is all that they wanted, they wanted to keep the same formula because they were use to it, but wanted a few changes here and there. To most it got really boring and repetitive, pretty much playing the same game, but in a different time period and environment.
As a gamer, when your pay $60 for a game you want something worth your money. The new Call of Duty 25 is pretty much going to be the same game as Call of Duty 3. As a the company owner, keep producing a Call of Duty every year, if the fans continue to buy it, then why not keep making it? If your tired of the same Call of Duty over and over again the only thing to do is not buy a game. If the sales decrease then there would not be a new game every year. For now, people will keep on buying and the Call of Duty franchise will keep on producing and I honestly can’t blame them at all.
May 1, 2012
Everyone knows Mario. Let’s face it, the guy is pretty much a global icon. He has kept us up many nights past our bedtime, just for so we can step on some goombas and jump on some turtles. Super Mario Bros on the classic Nintendo is where he really took off. Then came Super Mario Bros 2 and 3. Mario just doesn’t like to save Princess Peach from castles, he enjoys other activities as well. He is pretty versatile believe it or not. Some Mario games have been swept under the rug that have been released after Super Mario Bros. I am going to bring back the memories and list the top Mario spin-off games of all time.
#3 Mario Party
Take all of the Mario characters that we have loved over the years and throw them on a virtual board game. Throw in dice to roll, some coins and a star to collect and you have Mario Party. This is the ultimate, quick, fun, sit down and play Mario game. There have been 9 Mario Party games so far and I think the can make 100 of them. The basis of the game is to win mini-games and collect coins. In Monopoly when you pass Go, you get $200. Instead of gaining $200 in Mario Party, if you have enough coins you can exchange them for stars. Whoever has the most stars when the game is over, wins! This game is a lot of fun especially when playing with a lot of friends. Definitely worth of a spot in the top Mario spin-off games.
#2 Mario Tennis
Mario loves his sports. There have been games such as Mario Golf, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario Soccer. I would not be surprised to see Mario Volleyball. Let’s not forget about Mario Tennis either which makes #2 on my list. Mario Tennis is not like regular tennis. Sorry to say but, tennis on television is pretty boring. Two people hit a little, green ball back and forth over a net until someone misses. That is not very exciting at all, but when you add Mario and his gang to the mix, it is a lot of fun. Mario Tennis has backhands and even drop shots. It still stays true to the game of tennis, but for some reason it is a lot more fun than real tennis. It is faster paced and playing doubles with a friend makes it even more exciting. Mario Tennis for the N64 was fun, but Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube is a lot better. In the GameCube version, players have a special shot that adds a whole new element to the game. Take Diddy Kong for instance. When you use his special shot he will automatically go to the ball and hit is back. It is not your normal return though, he puts a crazy banana shaped curve on the ball, making it hard to hit back. This game takes tennis to the next level. I sometimes wish real life tennis was exciting like it is in Mario Tennis.
#1 Mario Kart
Who even knew that Mario was old enough to drive? I honestly never knew he was able to. I also didn’t know that a dinosaur and a monkey were capable of operating a vehicle. I have no clue who passed them for their drivers licenses. Whoever it was, I would have to thank them.
Mario Kart is the hands down #1Mario spin-off.
There have been Mario Kart games released for handheld systems like the Game boy Advance and Nintendo 3DS. The classic Mario Kart’s on the N64 and GameCube is where it is at. Mario Kart puts Mario and his crew behind the wheel of go karts and lets them race to the finish. It is no simple three lap race though. There are items that you can pick up along the way. Some of them include, shells that you can throw at other divers and bananas that you can place down, in hope that your opponent drives over it and spins off the track. Mario Kart first started off as one person behind the wheel. Then Mario Kart Double Dash was released on the GameCube that featured two drivers on one cart. One driver would throw the items and the other would drive the cart, you could switch back and forth between drivers as well. Each character has a special item, similar to special shots in Mario Tennis. The courses are awesome as well. Courses take place in deserts, jungles and even on top of Daisy’s Cruiser. Yes, you get to drive on a yacht in the middle of the ocean.
Mario Kart is a classic and is my #1 Mario spin-off game!
April 17, 2012
Many fear change while others embrace it.
When it comes to video games, gamers often want the new system with the high-tech flashy graphics. But that doesn’t always guarantee that it is going to be better than the system you already have.
The way gaming is now is totally different then the way that it use to be. Let’s face it, gaming now is cooler and has changed drastically from the way it use to be. Gamers can now take games on the go, interact with the games themselves and literally put themselves in the game, cool right?
As an old school gamer, I don’t think so. I think that it is getting away from the way games were meant to be played.
When you play a game you want to sit down with your controller and run through a bunch of levels and beat down the boss at the end, it was pretty easy. You don’t want to get up and move your arms around in order to interact with the game, it is too much work. It also never works either, you end up trying to position yourself perfectly and the game never even detects your movements. Sorry Microsoft Kinect, PlayStation Move and Wii, it’s the truth.
The original PlayStation and Super Nintendo got it right. Their games were simple, easy to understand and fun to play. There was no need for a strategy guide or any of that. You go from point A to point B and that is why those games were simple, but still so much fun to play. Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Sonic, Pac-Man and Street Fighter all revolutionized the video game world. That is why these popular titles are still around today. They had the easy, fun concept that gamers loved.
Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite games that I play today are on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I think the graphics and the online game-play definitely make gaming so much better. It brings people together, you can play and talk with a friend from halfway across that world, that is amazing! All those feature are cool though, but that is not actual gaming, those are features.
Imagine if the original PlayStation and Nintendo had online play now. It would be awesome, playing the original Mario games on-line with a friend, that would be so much fun, not going to lie.
Think about the time era’s that these systems came out in. I am not surprised that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have the kind of graphics and game-play features that they have now. Imagine if those old school systems had the same kind of technology benefit that we have now, it would be crazy!
Change may be good to some degree, but just remember where it all originated from.
April 12, 2012
I am going to jump into a much debated topic in the video game community. Everyone is open to their opinion, but I am going to give mine. We are talking about two of the biggest games in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3.
Black Ops > Modern Warfare 3
This one is a no brainer for me. If you want quick, fast flowing game play you have to give the edge to Black Ops. It is just no comparison, the maps on Black Ops promote players to run and not camp in the corners, even though many still do.
I think that Modern Warfare goes for more of a team approach. They slow down movement and make it more team oriented. In Black Ops, you are able to take over the game by yourself and win for the team single handily. In MW3 you need to stick with the team and chose your spots in order to help your team win, you can’t run and gun like in Black Ops. For a gamer who likes to run around the map and have fun, Black Ops in defiantly better.
Also, another edge is in customization of guns and emblems. In Black Ops, you can create you own custom emblem from scratch and even put it on all of your guns. There is a lot more variety in colors and designs on your guns. Giving the player customization to make what they want, makes any game better.
Modern Warfare 3 > Black Ops
MW3 has the edge when it comes to graphics. Some of the scenes that you play in the campaign are well designed and the graphic engine really shines. Black Ops graphics aren’t all that great, they are not bad, but when you are in the next generation of graphics, you need to be top-notch. From the environments to the little details on the guns, MW3 has the edge by a fairly large margin.
Black Ops > Modern Warfare 3
The Black Ops campaign had me hooked from the moment I started playing it. Where it succeeds is in changing up the game play and environments and keeping it fresh. As a gamer, I have played many games over the years and many of them get repetitive and really boring, especially in war and shooter type games.
Modern Warfare’s 3 campaign was good because of the story it continued from, back in MW1 and MW2. It was cool to see how a story progressed over time. I have to say the last scene in MW3 was epic, I wish the whole campaign was like that, the night-time, lights and action was perfect. I just have to say that during the middle of the campaign I got bored and started to lose interest in the story, I just wish that they changed up the game play and environments to keep it fresh.
Black Ops > Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare 3 is not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. It is better than Black Ops in different areas of the game, but overall I think that Black Ops is a better game. If MW3 would adopt some of the features in customization and making their game faster moving, I think they would be right on par with Black Ops. For me, I think Black Ops is the overall better game!
April 8, 2012
It comes down to this, a bunch of classic characters, but only one can be the best!
It is an epic showdown of, who is the greatest character out of the classic Mario characters from back in the day. I call them the classic “Mario” characters because they were never creative enough to come up with an amazing group name. I’m going to narrow it down to the top 3 then pick a winner.
Mario is an Italian plumber, no seriously he is. Mario could be called the leader of this group and he obviously is the most popular and the most known worldwide. I get the outfit and all, but one must think that it would get a little uncomfortable running around in suspenders all day. This guys life mission is to save Princess Peach from Bowser, the giant evil bad guy. I just don’t get this dude though. So Princess Peach runs off and Mario saves her, then she runs off again and once again Mario is there for the save. Just give it up already Mario, you already saved her once you really don’t need to every single time.
What more is there to say. This little green guy has a giant tongue and can fly, well not for a long time, but I count it as flying. He even lets Mario jump on his back and ride him, making him by far the nicest dinosaur I have ever seen. Yoshi actually saved Mario back on Yoshi’s Island for the Super Nintendo. So without Yoshi there would be no Mario or Luigi. He is just the perfect sidekick and is always there for Mario. What other dinosaur would let you sit on their back, as you go on a crazy adventures to save a princess. Exactly, there is no other.
The king of the jungle himself. Back in the old days Mario and Donkey Kong use to be rivals. Donkey Kong was always throwing barrels at Mario as he tried to climb some ladders to save Princess Peach. Over time Donkey Kong turned to the good side, eventually leading to him and Mario putting aside their differences. Donkey Kong with his side kick Diddy Kong were a dynamic one, two punch. Donkey and Diddy ran through Donkey Kong Country together stepping on alligators and riding on frogs. Donkey Kong aka DK is also known for his DK rap, if you don’t know what it is, I recommend you check it out, its pretty epic.
Three classic characters, but only one can win.
The winner is…
Let’s face it without Yoshi there would never be a Mario game. If he would’ve never delivered Mario and Luigi to their parents, Mario would never have been anywhere near as popular as he was today. Who knows what would’ve happened to him, I know I don’t want to know. I guess that it kind of helps that Yoshi is my favorite character, so I’m a little biased.
April 3, 2012
There are rumors coming out that may change the video game world forever. But not in a good way. Microsoft and Sony are both considering banning the use of used games.
Yup I said it, no more used games.
This may be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. As a common gamer, used games are what save us gamers from struggling to scrap out sixty dollars when ever we want a new game. Don’t even get me started on how ridiculous sixty dollars for a game is already.
Microsoft and Sony’s plan is to make as much money as possible, money is all it is ever about.
So the big businesses Microsoft and Sony get richer and stores like Game Stop and Play N Trade get poorer. Most of Game Stop and Play N Trade’s business is from buying used games for cheap and over selling them, so without used game they would loose a lot of profit. Also, don’t forget about the consumer, the common gamer will get poorer as well. So it’s a win for Sony and Microsoft and a loss everyone else.
I just don’t get it. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 already have over the top graphics and lightning fast performance right now. I don’t see how much they can really improve on.
Let’s not even get started about how these game industries are making consumers obtain an “online pass” in order to play online. This makes gamers who want to play online, have to buy the online pass in order to play online, it’s crazy.
I really hope that this is just a rumor and is not going to turn into reality. If so the world of gaming will never be the same. It would finally show that it is all about the money, not about the gamer.
E3 2012 is taking place in June. We will see if any new details emerge.