Gabe Newell and the Curious Comment

Yesterday, Gabe Newell,  co-founder of the video game company, Valve, stated that Portal 2 will be the last stand alone single -player game the company will make.

But what about Half-Life 2: Episode 3? Or, for that matter, Half-Life 3?

Valve is known for their amazing single player experiences. Half-Life 1 and 2 hold a place in many people’s minds as being two of the greatest games of all time. And now they don’t want to do single-player anymore?

Hmm.

What’s interesting about this statement is that Portal 2 isn’t strictly a single-player game. Valve included a full fledged co-op mode in it so that you can play through puzzles with a pal.

Does this mean their future games might consist of more of a co-op mode compared to a solely single-player mode? Are they just going to include the option to play the game single-player while the game is meant to be played with others? (i.e. Left 4 Dead 1 & 2)

I trust Valve. They’ll make an amazing experience no matter what they do, single-player or multi-player.

But they do not need to go in the path that Blizzard has. Release your games. Don’t scrap them at the last minute after letting thousands play it at video game conferences and conventions. Stick to your word. Release Half Life 2: Episode 3.

I can wait for everything else. Team-Fortress 2 has started to lose it’s flavor with the Mann Co. update. Counter-Strike: Source has been dead to me for awhile.

Just verify the future for your fans. Let us know for SURE that Episode 3, Half Life 3, Counter-Strike 2 (Newell commented on this awhile back) are being worked on and will eventually be in our hands. Portal 2 is amazing, and we need more.

The good 'ol days...

The New Arcade

There was an interview done with Ed Boone (the creator of Mortal Kombat) earlier this year. In short, he said that online gaming on consoles is essentially this generations Arcade.

He makes a valid point.

Online gaming has been around for a good while now, especially on the PC. But, the console online scene is still relatively new. X-Box Live has flourished, as well as the Playstation Network.

And, as we’ve talked about before, Arcade’s are dead.

I can see his point though. Especially with fighting games. All fighting games have a mode that really brings the feel of the arcade back to life. You have eight people in a game. One guy fights until he loses. If he keeps winning, he continuously plays more and more players until he loses. People can enter and leave the game while these fights are going on.

Just like standing at an arcade machine.

Fighting games are really the best example I can think of though.

Racing games sort of have that similar feel to them, but racing games online tend to be pretty dense. Some large scale racing circuits go on, ranking systems. It just gets complicated.

Fighting games can to, don’t get me wrong, but they are also a much more simple type of creature.

I’m not sure if on-rail shooters are going online now a days or not. I can only think of a hand full on the top of my head, most of which being on the wii, so I really doubt they do. I could be mistaken. But if that was the case, that would be a good arcade experience by keeping your game online at all times so that anyone can hop in a join your game at will, just like they would at an arcade,

Need help with this level in Time Crisis? Let me just insert some quarters… and there.

And with fighting games being all the rage now, I think Ed Boone had it right. Want to get that good ‘ol arcade feel again?

Get a slushi, and go play a fighting game online.

The Return of Kombat

Last night, the return of a childhood favorite made it’s way back into my life.

I had to work the midnight launch of Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, Socom 4, and The Conduit 2.

We received a playable copy of Mortal Kombat to put into one of the demo units so that people who came could try the game out while they wait to pick it up.

I clock in, and my boss tells me to go over and try it out.

I put my hands on the controller, and I was in love.

Apparently, the main story from what I gathered from my short time playing, is that Raiden is going back in time in order to warn the other tournament fighters of the future so that they can change it.

Levels from my childhood that have been imprinted in my memory have returned. So the level with Shang ‘Tsun sitting in his throne behind a crowd of monks is back. Only now, the monks are there, but there are two monks with spears that follow the two fighters as they fight (meaning there’s no escape I suppose. Either live or die.)

The haunted forest level from Mortal Kombat 2 is back with the trees with faces. The bridge level with the spike pit is back, and even the street level from Mortal Kombat 3 has returned.

All of my favorite characters from all of the games have returned, even secret characters such as Noob Saibot.

But the combat is where it’s at. I was so impressed with how fluid the game was. I was worried because in DC v MK the combat was sluggish and the gameplay seemed slow overall. This has been fixed. The combat is fluid, and it’s more gory than ever.

I personally have not bought the game yet, but it will be one of my next purchases, along with Portal 2 eventually.

It’s really interesting to see that fighting games have returned. Super Street Fighter 4, Marvel v Capcom 3, and now Mortal Kombat.

Feels good. Street Fighter v Tekken comes out later this year also. So there’s more to come.

Also, to tie in to this fighting games post, Thursday’s post is actually going to based on a quote by Ed Boone.

So, check back Thursday!

Aaaaaand you need to download a free version of a game called Words With Friends on your smart phone. It’s a blast. Get some friends to get it with you, and you’ll all be addicted!

The Summer Itch

The weather is warming up. The sun is shining, and flowers are blooming.

I wake up every morning, and head to my University.

I open the door, get my stuff, and walk out of the garage.

As soon as I step out of the garage, a little voice says in my head:

“Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal…”

Just kidding.

 

“Don’t go to class. It’s such a nice day outside. Enjoy yourself.”

It’s definitely Spring semester.

I, alike every other college student, am ready for classes to be over.

I’m ready to get out of classes, not just to be done with them, but to be closer to the big movies of the summer.

 

Thor comes out in less than a month on May 6th. It’s hard to imagine that it’s almost here. I remember when it was announced. Thor’s really almost here.

Then come the next big two: Green Lantern, and Captain America.

A lot of things I have been hearing regarding Green Lantern seems to be very mixed. Fans of Green Lantern are extremely pumped with the new trailer. Critics on the other hand appear to think that it’s losing steam and that it’s going to flop once it hits the box office.

I think it’s going to be huge. Yes, some sources are calling it “the next Star Wars”, which I think is over hyping it a little bit, but I think it will be the next step for super hero blockbusters. Thor will be good. Captain America will be good. But Green Lantern will be great.

The problem with Thor is that not everyone, even those who read comic books, are really interested in him. I for one was not interested in him at all until J. Michael Stracynski began writing his phenomenal Thor run. But, for a lot of readers he tends to be a “boring” character. I know there are some huge Thor fanboys out there, but I don’t believe Thor has the mainstream push that other super heroes might.

Captain America is a well known super hero. But, I think he falls into the same category as Thor. Yes, he’s iconic to the Marvel Universe, but how many people that are not comic book fans will go out and watch the film? The trailer is good yes, and leaves anticipating it’s release. Yet for people who have never read the comics, or just those outside of geek culture, will probably see him as a really cheesy super hero.

I mean, his name is Captain America.

Captain America.

Almost as cheesy as Super Man.

Green Lantern on the other hand looks to be a high octane, space odyssey. And if things go right, it will be the biggest hit of the summer.

Yes, he’s similar to that of Captain America and Thor with those outside of the geek culture not really knowing who he is, but I think Marvel has set themselves up for failure by letting Green Lantern come out after Thor.

Thor will create the want for more. More super heroes, more action.

Green Lantern will quench that thirst. And then it will begin to dwindle once Captain America comes out.

I will be going to see them all, so I’m not bashing Marvel here whatsoever.

Just guessing the future.

Oh, and before I forget. We also have the new X-Men First Class coming out as well. For that one, I wouldn’t expect too much. I would just expect to have a good time. It’ll be a fun movie regardless of the critic reviews.

Also, remember to tune into HBO this Sunday and 9:00 for episode 1 of Game of Thrones. It’s gonna’ be epic!

Television Update – The Dark Tower

Thanks to my favorite Podcast, The Geekshow.

http://www.thegeekshowpodcast.com/

They just gave an update to the Darktower movie/television show in their “Broken News” segment.

Apparently they will be releasing three feature films, and a limited television show in between said films.

So, we might have it look a little like this:

Movie 1 ( Book 1 ), Season 1 (Book 2), Movie 2 (Book 3), Season 2 (Book 4), Movie 3 (Book 5), Season 3 (Book 6).

Interesting approach on completing the series, but I believe it will work.

Ron Howard has a large task at hand. This will also be Javier Bardem’s role of a lifetime as Roland.

Om nom nom.

Treachery Mania!!

This is a big month for television. Like fantasy settings? Like treachery and intrigue? Like large scale battles?

Then look no further.

This month, we have seen Shotime and Starz begin their new television seires.

The Borgias, and Camelot.

I know a lot of people out there really like Jeremy Irons. Well, he is the head honcho in the Borgias. So definitely tune in.

Next, we have Camelot.

Guinivere is hot. I believe this is the first thing I have seen her in since the re-make of Casino Royale. I wonder if this goes along with the BBC series Merlin?

Don't think so.

But, the big news come here.

On Sunday the 17th, Game of Thrones begins on HBO.

As I’ve stated before, I am currently reading book one of the series. And I absolutely love it. I’m really intrigued to see how they translate a lot of the things from the books into a television show. I’ve got high hopes for this show, and since it’s on HBO, you can definitely expect high quality.

It’s awesome to see such an amazing series become a television show. I wonder if this a sign for things to come if it’s succesful?

Wheel of Time series maybe? Drizzt? Kingkiller Chronicles?  We can only hope.

And, on a side note, just to go a long with all of the fantasy settings, this past Friday, Your Highness. If you’re not expecting anymore than just a typical “stoner” comedy based in a Medieval setting, you should get a few laughs from it. It’s not the beset thing in the world, but it’s funny when it’s funny.

Also, with all of my reading and with all of these television shows popping up, it really makes me want to go to Medieval Times. I’ve never been.

http://www.medievaltimes.com/

I wonder if it will be anything like this…

Grieving

Death comes.

Whether we like it or not. We all know, but we just don’t talk about it too much. We focus on living, just as we should.

A thought in particular is that in our society, that when someone passes away, we mourn and weep the person we have lost. It takes time to heal the wound, and in some cases time doesn’t even help completely.

But in other cultures, people celebrate their dead. Not celebrating that the person is gone and away from this world, but celebrating the thought of the person escaping this world filled with hate and pain. Being free.

Polar opposites.

Yesterday, I lost my Grandmother. I took it pretty hard. The memories of her fill my head throughout the day as I think of the great times we had. I’m in mourning.

But my Brother brought up something yesterday at the hospital that has stuck with me, and in many lights given me relief.

“It’s not goodbye. It’s see you in the morning.”

Being born to a Christian family, we do believe in an afterlife. And in that gives us hope to not only be in paradise with our Lord and Savior, but to see family members we have lost over time due to death.

When I was young, my Grandmother and I had a little saying. She would ask “Matt, do you want a Yoohoo?” and I would reply “Not today!”

“Not Today!”

That stuck with us, and even before she passed she would bring that up every time I would visit. I won’t have a chance to say that anymore to her.

That day will never come now, well, maybe in the morning it will.

It’s hard to deal with grief. I’ve really tried to incorporate the grieving process of Asian cultures during this time. She’s gone, and away from this life. She’s in a better place. Celebrate!

Harder said than done.

My Granny’s gone. But only for the night.

I will see her in the morning.

In memory of Lois Young