GamingNexus Gaming Memories Part 2

Article

posted 1/2/2009 by The GN Staff
other articles by The GN Staff
Most visually stunning game or game environment you came across?

Probably Gears of War 2, but there were a lot of pretty games this year. Fallout 3 and Dead Space are also beautiful and very impressive. – Elliot Bonnie
While trolling around the back woods in The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I cam across this serene setting that had some ruins, a pond and lots of foliage. I was struck but how life-like the environment looked and how real the water appeared to be. The game continues to amaze me even after being on the market for so long. – Dan Keener

The opening scenes of Dead Space are wonderful and breath taking adding a stark contrast to the horrible conditions in the ship and on the planet surface. – Nathan Murray

Ubisoft Montreal has done it two years in a row for me. Last year it was Damascus, Jerusalem and Acre in Assassin’s Creed. This year, it’s the new Prince of Persia. Even the screenshots vibrate with an energy and an intensity that most games can’t even fathom during live playtime. The art style and artistic direction just hums.– Randy Kalista

The first ten minutes or so of LittleBigPlanet sets the tone nearly perfectly for the game. Between the narration of Stephen Fry and the cool intro that showed you everyone who worked on the game it really established the right mood and tone for the game. – Charles Husemann

For sheer artistic beauty, Okami on the Wii beats just about anything else, even the raw visuals of Gears 2. I know the game was released on PS2 over two years ago, but its art style is still breathtaking and it’s one of the few games that have made me boot up my Wii from time to time. – Sean Colleli

Gears of War 2 is really coming to the top of my head. The game looks beautiful and there were a few parts where I just turned around and admired the architecture and textures. – John Yan

This is hard because so many games have art direction. I really love the intricate details lavished on LOTRO: Mines of Moria and the ethereal style of The Chronicles of Spellborn is stunning. – Eva Sines

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, visually stunning because it is still PS1 era graphics in 1080p. – Matt Mirkovich

I know that when most people think of what is visually stunning, it's easy to think about the huge battle scenes in Gears of War II or the gritty feeling of Call of Duty: World at War. However, for me there were two games that stood above the rest of the crowd when it came to graphics and game environments. The first game is Braid, Jonathan Blow's 2D masterpiece. The game's hand drawn graphics and stylish setting is unlike anything I've ever seen before. What really sets these visuals apart is how they continue to grow and expand, always surprisingly with what they can do. Another game I feel is worth mentioning is Mirror's Edge, EA's somewhat flawed action game. On paper the graphics may not look like anything different from a standard first-person shooter, but when you see the game in motion it's hard not to be impressed with what DICE was able to accomplish. When the mere act of opening a door is something you can talk about for an extended length of time, then you know the game's graphics are worth writing about. – Cyril Lachel

Best Peripheral or accessory you came across?

I have had the unique experience of reviewing many Audio/Video items this year, and my choice comes from one of these. The Razer Mako system has some of the best sound I have heard out of a 2.1 audio system and is simply a cool little device no matter how you look at it. It is perfect for any gaming application. – Dan Keener

A new Samsung 40” 1080p HDTV. Yeah it does make a difference. – Nathan Murray

The Xbox 360 Chatpad -- the compact keyboard that fits snug into the base of your controller -- has been a small godsend. My patience and messages are no longer handcuffed by scooting around the onscreen keyboard with analog sticks. I can adhere dearly to rules of proper casing, punctuation (to include Oxford Commas), and fully spelling out every word that my linguistically elitist mind whips me with.– Randy Kalista


The new Sony headset is pretty rad. It’s a lot more comfortable than the wireless 360 headset and the button placement for turning the volume up and down is perfect. – Charles Husemann


Yes it sounds a little strange, but Thrustmaster’s T-Wireless for Wii is an excellent replacement for Nintendo’s own cheap, plasticy Classic Controller. The T-Wireless also has rumble motors and programmable buttons, so it isn’t a bad substitute for the beloved Wavebird pad, a great first-party wireless GameCube controller that Nintendo discontinued for no good reason. – Sean Colleli

Has to be the new ATI Radeon HD 4000 series of video cards. The cards were outstanding performers and can be had at great prices. These cards have brought AMD/ATI back to the top of the game again for video cards. – John Yan

Can't wait to get my hands on the microphone with built in game controls for Rock Band. – Eva Sines

The drums for Guitar Hero: World Tour – Ben Berry

Best DLC you came across?

Probably Netflix on the Xbox 360 or possibly the DLC map pack that shipped with Gears of War 2. – Elliot Bonnie

As of now, the New Xbox Experience takes the cake. I really like the complete overhaul of the system, significant performance improvements and the launch of new features like Netflix and the avatars. – Dan Keener

Braid by far. But then it was the only thing other than castle crashers I downloaded this year. – Nathan Murray

CD Projekt RED put a lot of love into The Witcher Enhanced Edition for the PC -- and I guess the myriad improvements, from more native English translations to shortened load times, count as DLC since it was free to anyone that had purchased the original retail version of The Witcher.
– Randy Kalista

I finally got a Cult song on Rock Band 2, sure there were tons of other great DLC out there but this was really the only one I was looking forward to. – Charles Husemann

Valve’s constant updates and tweaks for Team Fortress 2 are always a nice surprise, especially when they include new maps or weapons and balances for the classes. Considering Valve’s inability to deliver frequent episodic gaming (Half Life 2’s episodes feel more like dragged-out mini-sequels), it’s nice to know Gabe Newell is doing something besides counting his money. – Sean Colleli

All the updates to Team Fortress 2 including maps were great fun and free as well! – John Yan

I love me some Oblivion Mods, that's why I choose PC versions of games when I can. – Eva Sines

Hard to Handle by the Black Crowes for Rock Band – Ben Berry

Girls on Film by Duran Duran, that bass-line rules. – Matt Mirkovich

Maybe I'm just boring, but for me 2008 was all about the Rock Band DLC. Last year we knew that they intended to unload a few new songs every week, but I had no idea the amount of variety and depth that Harmonix would hit. This year alone we've had full albums from The Pixies and the Foo Fighters, plus great song packs from The Who, Nirvana, Dead Kennedy's, Mission of Burma, and so many more. All of this would have been useless had it not been for the fact that it was fully compatible with Rock Band 2. Because of this I have no problem justifying my purchase of well over 150 Rock Band songs. And the truth is, I'm going to keep buying up these songs until Harmonix gives me a reason not to. – Cyril Lachel

Most annoying gaming habit you came across in online play?

Modded controllers in use during Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3. – Elliot Bonnie

There are two that really irritate me the most. The first is friendly fire that is not so friendly. This involves that one player whose sole purpose is to disrupt his own “team’s” progress by killing them on purpose for the benefit of the other team. The second is entering a lobby of an Xbox 360 game and getting paired with a bunch of fools that are boosting their Gamerscore. Its always a pleasant feeling to get tossed out on your ear like a drunk leaving a bar because you actually want to play a real game and not stand around in a line while one player shish kabobs the group with an energy sword. – Dan Keener

The use of shotguns in Quantum of Solace online multiplayer. The weapon has a ridiculous range for a shotgun and is a one/two shot kill. – Nathan Murray


Incredible racism. I logged in to Rainbow 6 this summer, and in the lobby for the match there were two African-American dudes talking about how, and I quote, “the white man holds us down.” A little frustrating and racist in it’s own way, sure, but I know enough about the subtleties of urban politics to understand where they’re coming from. The Southern yokel in the lobby? He starts yelling “NI**ER!” over and over, for about a full minute. After that, it was like the Black Panthers and the KKK double-booked the same park for a BBQ. Bad mojo. – Sean Nack

In every (every!) single MMO, the starting areas will have copious amounts of male players with female avatars, running around the gameworld stripped down to their underwear, dancing around as naked as possible. And while I don’t necessarily endorse this kind of thing, there’s a lot of free porn out there on the internet, folks, providing plenty of other ways to get your jollies.
– Randy Kalista

Outside of babies crying in the background there was a trend on some TF2 servers were people would play crappy pop music (is that redundant) over their voice channel, spamming the voice channel. This was quickly solved with the mute button but it was annoying to hop on a team and get blasted with music. – Charles Husemann

When Valve updated the Pyro in TF2, everybody went Pyro-whoring, as was to be expected. The problem is many people are still doing it months after the update—I haven’t been able to play Spy for a long time. – Sean Colleli


Besides griefers, the folks that just look out for themselves in team games For examples, those that run straight into the safe room and not care about the teammates who are fighting off hordes of zombies in Left 4 Dead. – John Yan

It really annoys me when players aren't creative enough do anything but shout insults that are variations on F**K – Eva Sines

13 year olds acting like achieving a kill in a video game puts them on par with the great generals of the world. – Ben Berry

People dropping in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, AND THEY AREN'T EVEN RANKED MATCHES. ACCEPT YOUR LOSS! – Matt Mirkovich

2008 saw a lot of great fighting games hit the market, including Soul Calibur IV, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Samurai Shodown II, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. What was nice about this assortment of fighters is that they all had built-in online modes, which automatically made them worth owning. There's nothing better than having a great online match, especially when you end up winning. But what if right before you win the other person quits? Obviously that person should get some sort of penalty and you should be rewarded with a win, right? Oddly enough, that's not what this year's batch of fighting games think. For the most part, if somebody quits they are not penalized in any way. Worse yet, it can actually spell bad news to YOUR ranking. With so many fighting games on the market you would think that somebody would figure out the solution to this problem, but so far every fighter on the market seems to reward players for quitting right before they lose. This has to stop immediately! – Cyril Lachel

Game where you encountered the biggest online jackholes?

I always mute any people that are annoying. – Elliot Bonnie

Any game where the players are obviously under age for the title. When you get into a Call of Duty or GTA IV online match, you really shouldn’t be hearing squeaky voiced kids calling you the ‘N’ word or a fag or whatever. I remember during a GN GTA IV night, we actually talked about how long it would take when we hit the lobby before the racist comments or profanity would fly. Once we were loaded, I think it was roughly 3 seconds before some snot nosed punk let one go. We laughed at him…. – Dan Keener

Shortly after the John McCain’s concession speech I headed home from my girlfriend’s house and signed in on the World at War Beta (Xbox 360, Live). I had been following the election coverage all night and I needed the distraction. Anyway there was this young man who was on his head set talking about how his mom didn’t trust President elect Obama and he said, in essence, I hope something bad happens to the country and Obama is made to look like a fool because of it. While it is not uncommon for people to share different philosophical or recommendations on where certain anatomy should be placed this comment just seemed extremely inappropriate on several levels. First of course is that criticizing someone for the job the will do after they have been chosen for it, while it does happen, is never fair. The second is that even though this young man was clearly echoing what he heard others around him saying, he expressly wished harm on the United States of America for the purposes of making one man look like a fool. That is just disgusting. – Nathan Murray

Grand Theft Auto IV seemed to be a prime winner here as we entered a match and immediately had our manhood and sexual preferences challenged within six seconds of joining a match. I also got stuck in a match with a bunch of 12 year old British kids who lived up to the online stereotype – Charles Husemann

After that incident (RB 6) very early on, I kinda lost interest – Sean Nack

I don’t exactly recall who, but during a Gaming Nexus evening of Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer, someone kept running me over with a car in the lobby. Now, that’s not necessarily “jackhole” behavior. And, in fact, it probably just means that I suck at multiplayer games. Still, that didn’t make their cackles of laughter over Xbox Live any easier to take.
{Editor’s note: The “jackhole” in question was Dan Keener, who loves running people down with cars in the GTA IV lobby] – Randy Kalista

I always hated to be beating someone in Smash Bros Brawl, and then have them go sore loser on me and break the connection before they lost. Either that, or it was Nintendo’s cheap, flaky online system that was breaking the connections. – Sean Colleli

Any Xbox Live game with the public is where I tend to find them. Just name any popular 360 online game and there you go. – John Yan

I briefly went back to WOW due to friends and quickly remembered why we had left. – Eva Sines

NHL 09 There are no jackholes bigger than Red Wings Fans in online play, even when you trounce them ("That would never happen to the Wings in real life", they'd say after I put up an 8 or 9 spot on them) – Ben Berry


Again, people dropping in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, AND THEY AREN'T EVEN RANKED MATCHES. ACCEPT YOUR LOSS! – Matt Mirkovich