Category Archives: Video Games

You Just Got Tagged

Tara recently wrote about how she was tagged by someone else in a blog post, which is apparently the equivalent of poking someone with a stick via the internet. Normally I don’t fall in for the “chain letter / poking / link love/ tagging” behavior. This time though, Tara used the correct method to goad a response out of me… She dared me. And I am no chicken. So below, you will see my 4×4 response. Sit back, relax, and enjoy learning a little bit more about me. Don’t worry, I won’t tag anyone else, as I don’t want to condone Tara’s behavior, but Leslie, Derek, and Walter should step up.

4 Things I Love:

  • My 3 month old son Lucas: He wakes up with a smile every day, and reminds me to do the same.
  • My wife: She keeps me grounded and constantly reminds me of what is most important in life.
  • My dogs: They were our first “kids” and we will always love them, even though they don’t get quite as much attention as they used to.
  • My Job: As cheesy as it sounds, I enjoy my job, and the people I work with. We have some of the most talented and funny people I have ever met working here at Lijit. Every day is fun(nearly).

4 Video Games I Love:

  • Katamari (all of them): The funky music, and addictive game play make up one of the most original series of games ever made. Replay value is HIGH.
  • Grand Theft Auto (all of them): The sandbox style changed the way everyone views video games, and continues to push other publishers to innovate.
  • Halo (all of them): Single player – meh, kinda fun. Multiplayer – f*cking awesome.
  • Bejeweled: Oh crack of the internet, how many productive work hours have you stolen from me. From the little web game that stole my heart and wasted many, many hours of my time at work, to the mobile version on my old Treo 650 that I used to play when I would go outside for cigarette breaks. Don’t worry, I got rid of the cigarette habit and the Treo.
  • Honorable mention: Rockband is awesome.

4 Programming Languages I Couldn’t Live Without:

  • Python: I learned more and got more done with this flexible language than with any other language.
  • PHP: If it weren’t for php, I wouldn’t be able to show this post to you. This is also the language that re-opened my eyes, and got me into web programming, and consequently pushed me towards python, and saved me from perl. Watch out for perl zealots attacking. Just by bashing perl ,I am pretty sure I can triple the readership of this post. Ooh, and Java, it sucks too.
  • Javascript: Yeah, I know, not a “real” programming language in the classic sense. But the things it allows you do in modern browsers is nothing short of spectacular. A lot of us wouldn’t have jobs if it weren’t for javascript.
  • Basic: If not for this language, and the fact that my dad taught some of it to me on our Timex Sinclair, I may not be working with computers at all.


4 Online Tools I Like:

Twitter: You satisfy both my voyeuristic and egotistical urges. Does anyone really care what I am doing…
gMail: All other online mail truly sucks in comparison. Plus your pop3 and your imap is sweet.
del.icio.us: The most practical of all online tools. It started out before Web 2.0 was cool and will be around long after it’s gone.
Lijit: I cannot in good conscience omit the source of my livelihood and the reason my baby has shoes. Plus our search is pretty damn good too.

That is all. I don’t know how to finish this blog post. So I will leave you with one my favorite quotes that will only confuse you more as I am a vegetarian.
Mark TwainSacred cows make the best hamburger .

Army of Too Little Too Late

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I was inspired to write a quick mini review of Army of Two since Derek mentioned it over on leftwise.com . I was compelled to buy this game as a content filler between releases of the games I really want ( GTA4, etc.) . This has usually been a moderately reliable strategy, and tends to result in at least a few hours of good gaming.I tend to enjoy FPS and TPS shooters.

It turns out that there are quite a few things about this game that end up overshadowing anything positive I could say.

  1. The static(on rails) path the game takes you down is at times frustrating and un-imaginative. GOW, and many other shooters find ways to make level progression fluid, or interesting enough to distract you from the reality of what is going on. It is not really that fun to clear a map, and the only dynamic thing about it was that you got to hoist your coop partner up on a box. Goldeneye on Nintendo 64 had better map layout and level progression.
  2. AI,AI,AI . I thought I would play the single player campaign before goading someone else into getting it( so I could have a coop partner). I know AI is hard, and there are a lot of developers/publishers doing interesting things with it, but those people didn’t work on this game. Your coop buddy likes to get stuck and run around in circles when you most need him. And the enemy units have two modes : “hide behind box and shoot”, and “run straight at you” . This means that you either setup up your buddy to give covering fire, and kill 50 dudes untouched, or you get killed by one guy because you can’t get your damn buddy to turn around, standup, or otherwise care about the bullets hitting him in the face.
  3. Targeting system: This game employs some of the same targeting methods as other XB360 games, and in theory these usually work great. In this case, the controls are jumpy, and targeting is more about luck than accuracy. There is just a lack of precision there that grinds on me.

Full disclosure: I didn’t play any online yet or true coop. I judge games like this based on how good the one player experience is. Unless you tell me a game is only multi-player, there needs to be a solid single player experience. This game just didn’t do it for me. I found myself playing it not because I enjoyed it, but because EA stole another $60 out of my pocket, and I didn’t want to waste it. I have been taught this lesson many times, and usually just rent when I am unsure about a game. Maybe I will learn the lesson some day.

(Idiot, why don’t you learn…)

XBox 360 Talking Points

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So, as the clock ticks away the seconds until you can try to buy a nice new Xbox 360—
the good people over at Gizmodo have a helpful new tutorial up.
This little gem of advice tells you how to convince your parents/grand parents, to buy the 360 now, and not to wait.
It contains pearls of wisdom such as :

  • The XBox 360 is very scarce and therefore valuable
  • It can Play Music
  • It can play cd’s AND dvd’s

Now if they can only come out with a version of this that would apply to my wife.
Check out the link for the full write up.

XBox 360 Talking Points: Convincing the Old – Gizmodo