Doom3 BFG Edition – is this the Biggest Friggin’ Game in the Doom franchise?

 

Last week in Australia, our shores were graced by the arrival of no, not more ‘boat people’, but by Doom3 BFG Edition, which comes equipped with the original Doom, Doom2, Doom3, the mission pack, Doom3 Resurrection of Evil, and a new campaign consisting of eight levels titled ‘the Lost Mission’.

Doom3 in itself was a terrific action shooter that went out of its way to make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and boy did it succeed! The high definition reboot of the action classic is graphically sublime, and cannot be faulted in any way with the seemingly stupendous visuals that it throws at you in every frame. The in game movies have been beefed up along with the general gaming experience to fully immerse you within a realm that has been graphically redefined.

The monsters look absolutely terrific, and some, especially the Pinky Demon seem especially grotesque in their appearance.

The sound is in your face, exploding out from the speakers with an unrelenting fury as it envelops everything within the vicinity.

Moreover, the game itself has not been changed, so gamers will be able to expect all that they once endured and suffered at the hands of Hell’s demon spawn to once again suffer some more.

Suffering is the right term though for those of you who think I have lost my mind. Playing the game on Veteran – I had forgotten just how difficult it could be. It is easy though – as long as you don’t get hit by anything. After a couple hits you’ll find your character lying on the ground with his legs and arms in the air, so you need to be extra vigilant whilst exploring the UAC Mars Facility for the enemy can come from everywhere and anywhere.

There is also the fact that id decides to teleport in a demon or too into a room if you fail to leave in an unspecified time frame, or you decide to begin retracing your steps in an attempt to find some health or are looking for the cabinet that wouldn’t open before because you failed to have the right combination.

However, one will not suffer at the hands of the boss monsters. As one will recall, the boss creatures from the Doom games are never that complicated – all you require is ammo – you can never have too much of it. From the original Doom, in which you blasted the Spider Mastermind a couple times with the BFG to make ‘im blow up till now, the bosses of Doom have never offered the worst challenge imaginable, and most of them (minus the guy at the end of Resurrection of Evil, unless you have the strategy down) will be taken out on your first attempt.

The multiplayer experience moreover for those enjoying the game on console is strictly for online multiplayer, so don’t expect to go round fragging your friends in a split screen game.

However, id compensate for this by allowing the original 2 Doom games to come equipped with such a function.

Yes, Doom and Doom2 can be played on all platforms now, which is really impressive, although don’t go expecting the graphics to be any better than they once were. Hailed as the greatest graphics ever conceived back between 1993-95 when the games were originally launched, now they seem rather obtuse in comparison to games of today, but the fun they will provide has not at all been extinguished. What’s more, both the Doom games come equipped with all of the add on packs that were conceived, so for Doom you have all four original terrifying episodes, and for Doom2 you are granted the ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ game as well.

What is a little upsetting for the biggest Doom fans might be the fact that Evilutions (which wasn’t exactly the best Doom game ever) and the Plutonia Experiment (or, as I like to call it, the hardest Doom game ever – people may remember a secret level filled with Cyber Demons!) are not included in this limited edition reboot.

However, as previously mentioned, the multiplayer is capable of allowing gamers who experience BFG Edition on console the ability to either play the campaigns co-operatively or in a death match via split screen. Massive Doom gamers will no doubt remember the fun that Doom multiplayer provided back in the day – I mean, it was what, the first ever game that allowed people this opportunity?! That fun has returned and is exceptional!

It feels incredibly fun to once again blast your enemies away in these original Doom conceptions, although at the same time the music and the sound of all the items respawning is no doubt capable of making your brain turn to juice as you slowly but surely lose your mind.

I guess the only negative feature of the original games is the weapons – the keys to select which one you wish to use are incredibly fiddly and never will you properly get used to them, which becomes especially annoying during a massive fire fight. If that’s not enough, not all of the weapons are in the order they once were on PC all those years ago – you would expect the Super Shotgun to come after the Shotgun? Nope, it comes in as one of the last weapons.

However, do not let this little addendum cause you dismay; the original games are just as fun as ever before!

Moving back to the Doom3 series, although Doom3 in itself looks fantastic (although once or twice you can see something’s a little off but that happens in all games), when it comes to Doom3 Resurrection of Evil you can clearly see a difference when you start to play – it is as though whoever was involved in rebooting this particular campaign into high definition lost their passion after being involved rebooting its predecessor.

The graphics in game do not look quite as beautiful, and the cinematics – they have not even been changed. These parts of the game, of which there are quite a few mind you, look exactly as they did back in 2005, which isn’t all that bad – but when you compare it to Doom3 you can clearly see the graphical differences and feel a slight ping of disappointment.

Again, when playing Doom3 and its sequel the keys to switch the weapons can be a little annoying, but less so in these particular games than they are in the originals. Upon acquiring the special artefacts found in either game, these can be accessed just by pressing the left button on the D-pad, although it is annoying when the game fails to register your pressing need for the artefacts and so decides against giving them to you – often resulting in a rather unpleasant death.

As for ‘the Lost Mission’ and the eight ‘levels’ of entertainment that such a campaign provides – I’m sorry, but I have to ask – what’s the point? This particular campaign will take you less than two hours to complete on Veteran difficulty, and the supposed ‘levels’ (hence the reason why I put such a word in quotation marks before) are incredibly minuscule – in fact to even call them levels is a downright insult to the levels in the other Doom3 games which are by far larger in size than what you shall experience in this campaign.

In this new campaign you find yourself in the shoes of a member of Bravo team after this small militarian group were attacked by ravenous demons in the Empro Plant. Waking up to find you only have half your health left, if you are anything like me, you begin by thinking ‘what’s the point?’ (as previously stated).

In Doom3 and the sequel, the games both focused on you bringing a stopper to the invasions that had taken over the base. The objective, as you will find later on in the second level, is as follows; a scientist is in need of your assistance. Believing himself to be the only person who has survived the invasion, he needs you to be a good boy and go into what he calls ‘the other realm’ (why can’t he just call it Hell?) and switch off a teleportation system there that is still online and linked to the UAC Mars Facility. Worse still, the demons could use it as a means to travel directly to Earth! Good times!

Much of what you shall find in these eight levels look to be rehashed from the Doom3 experience. Segments in the Empro Plant and the Mars City Underground will leave you with great feelings of déjà vu, and the secret ‘Exis Labs’ that is supposed to be capable of bettering the Delta Complex upon completion looks exactly on several occasions like sections of the Delta Complex that it is supposed to be bettering!

A couple sections in the game are new, including running around, trying to hopelessly find the code to the cabinet with the double barrelled shotgun in it; fighting a couple of the enemies that appeared in the mission pack; the updated looking teleportation units, which look considerably impressive mind you, and at one point using the ‘Grabber’ to send energy from one pylon to another (think Portal, but less challenging).

When you eventually do find yourself in the midst of the ominous ‘other realm’, this I have to say does look very different from previous experiences in the Doom3 games – if anything, it looks a lot like Hell did back in the original Dooms, which classic fans will no doubt be impressed by. The final boss is nothing special though, but the big bastard will have you on your toes on a few occasions, but as long as you run and gun you will eventually prevail with very little injury on your first attempt.

All three campaigns for Doom3 furthermore will take you less than ten hours to complete on Veteran, however, don’t do what I did and play them all one after the other in a row, else you might find that you suddenly become Doom3’d out!

Long story short – you simply must buy Doom3 BFG Edition as to partake in the HD Doom3 campaign. The multiplayer aspect in the original Doom games is an additional reason to add this game to your collection, whilst the rest of the Doom experience seems a lot more like random bits and pieces that will mildly entertain you if you have nothing better to do.

All in all, a quick little appetiser to entice you for Doom4, which is supposed to come out on the 31st of December this year, but who knows? What can be said about id is that their games are always long awaited and very fun, with no bugs to speak of. However, never have they been really good at keeping to their schedules, i.e. Doom3 – meant to come out August 2004, then September and then October, and then eventually came out mid 2004. And don’t even get me started on Rage!

In summary:
8/10

-Doom3 graphics are sublime

-Doom3 cinematics are beautifully articulated

-Doom and Doom2 multiplayer is fun

-Doom and Doom2 graphics remain unchanged

-Doom3 Resurrection of Evil graphics seem less than exceptional in comparison to Doom3

-Doom3 ‘the Lost Mission’ seems pointless and trivial, yet flawlessly presented graphically

-Doom3 multiplayer strictly online

-Switching weapons is a lot like putting a red hot iron down your trousers – it’s a risky business

-Many levels, but rather short in all

What I am looking 4 in a Doom 4

 

It was in 2007 that id announced the promulgation of the fourth installment in the Doom franchise, and since then I have been patiently waiting. Quite often, such hype is exposed, and later it draws to a close and the project is called off and left unfinished. Apparently not in this case, with little bits and pieces of detail emerging each year with the exception of Quakecon 2010. Recently it was rumored that the fourth Doom game would be loosed upon the world in December, and I have heard nothing since to deny this rumor as anything but what could very well be the truth.

With the announcement of Doom3 BFG Edition at E3 2012, the roll out of Doom 4 seems almost even more ‘exciting’. Could this be the appropriate word? Dunno. However, it seems rather odd that so little information is being broadcast about the upcoming Doom title, although when Doom 3 was on the rise, trailers for this particular title were put out as early as a year before its release, although the game was indeed postponed on a couple of occasions, thus my disbelief that it may actually arrive as planned, but here’s hoping.

What is strange about Doom 3 BFG would no doubt be its release. The 12th of October for the Yanks and many other countries, and the 19th for Australia? Perhaps the distributors temporarily forgot there was a country that existed above Antarctica? Or the games are being placed on very slow ships. Additionally, there is of course the price. In America, the game is set to be $50 for XBOX360, $40 for PS3 and $30 for PC, all of which are rather attractive prices. The Australian prices have been unveiled as well, with all platforms to be charged the exact same allotment of cash – $98.99! Last time I checked, the Aussie dollar and that of the American were very similar, so I am at a loss as to why the game is set at such an exorbitant price on this particular side of the hemisphere. I remember when Halo HD came out; it was only $60 over here, which seemed rather cheap – especially when in contrast to the rebooted version of Doom 3 in HD.

However, this post is meant to be about Doom 4, so back on topic. What has been unveiled so far by some of those involved in the project, is that the graphics are meant to be ‘awesome’ and better than that of Rage, but will run at a slower frame rate at only 30 bits per second, whilst Rage ran at 45. The game is additionally not a prequel, nor a sequel to Doom 3 or any of the other titles in the franchise, and is not intended to be a reboot, but a standalone game in the Doom universe. It however is meant to be similar to that of Doom 2, in that it is set on Earth. The forces of hell have torn the planet a new one, with the world of Doom 4 set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, which seems to be the current setting for many an id game. The game sees the remnants of the human race, in particular, what is left of their military fighting for survival against the forces of hell. Other than that, very little is yet to be showcased, with id specifying that any and all trailers and clips that have been showcased thus far to be fakes, and that when they finally do unveil any content to the public, the fan boys will be thrilled beyond belief.

With that in mind, since the contents of the game are still yet to be brought to light, I thought I might compile a list of what I would like to see in the future of the world of Doom.

One: I would like the option of playing as either a bloke or a chick. Such would spice up the battles and bring a different flavor to the fight. We have played as blokes for so long, so why not take time out and play as woman?

Two: I would like around 95% of the game to be set on one’s lonesome – basically, I do not want any back up most of the time. Doom has proven over its longevity that it is about taking on the forces of hell all by yourself, so why trade tradition in for a team based shooter?

Three: I would like the next gen Doom game to last me a while. I remember Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 lasted me seven hours and eighteen minutes on the highest difficulty setting – not very long I will admit. Halo Reach however lasted me approximately 25 hours on the highest setting – now that is the kind of length I would be more impressed with.

Four: I would like to see all of the monsters from the original Doom and Doom 2 games, along with the creatures from Doom 3, and a couple of new ones tossed in to add more spice to the fight.

Five: I would like the Cacodemon to be red and have one eye. I mean, back in the original, he was pretty cute – that is of course when his giant fire balls weren’t depleting your health of forty five hit points per attack cuz you failed to have any armor on…

Six: I would like the creatures to be really hideous. Many a time during the development of games when the designers showcase the way creatures are going to look, they seem far more gruesome initially than when they do when the game is finally released because additional changes were made. This is reflective of many titles, but a great example would have to be the third installment of the Doom franchise. The Lost Souls for instance, were far more gruesome during their initial unveiling a year before the game was finally released, when the faces of the creatures were far more uninviting, whilst the latter versions had far smoother features that were not covered in blood. Additionally, the original conception of the Arch-vile was friggin’ grim, the creature being a cadaver, with flesh hanging from its limbs, blood dripping from its torn body and fire encasing its hands. The final version was a thin white creature with a flawless complexion – not exactly the creature from hell’s dominion, eh? More like a Caucasian pyromaniac waltzing around in his birthday suit.

Seven: I would like the game to have a pretty good story. Often in games, the likes of Prey, Bioshock, Halo 3 and Mass Effect, it is great to have a story where your character needs to save someone of importance to them, whether it be a friend or loved one. This would be a good theme to have throughout the piece.

Eight: Although I would like a story, I would also like the game to be restored to its original roots. The original 2 Doom games were quite open, whilst the third installment kept the player stuck in repetitive corridors where it was difficult to maneuver. In the originals, the levels were not linear, but that did not matter, and the primary goal was to get in, and then get out alive, with keys having to be often found to ensure the completion of this goal. The return of this, along with the score the player gains upon completion of each level, with perhaps a reward for gaining 100% quota for all avenues, would be quite impressive.

Nine: I would like the bodies of the dead to remain. In almost every game today, as soon as you kill a bad guy, their body simply vanishes into thin air. Back in the days of Doom, Heretic and Hexen, this did not occur, and I would like to return to this. Having the bodies remain allows one to remember their accomplishments. Not having them – it’s like walking through a ghost town after you’ve killed all those who once resided in it. It is quite depressing. At least the dead provide you with, all be it, limited company.

Ten: I would like the health and armor hit points to go all the way to a thousand! Bearing in mind, this can only be achieved by picking up those tiny pickups or through using those special mega spheres.

Eleven: I am worried about the amount of violence, or perhaps the lack there of. The previous Doom game did not have much. True, the walls and floors wee drenched in blood, but the enemies gave off very little as you blew them away. Rage especially was a game that was so blood thirsty, you could take all of the spilled blood and store it in a vial approximately two centimeters in height! Doom was seen as the end of the world by those who do not wish to have an R18+ classification in Australia for games due to its excessive violence. I want Doom to be returned to its original violent state. I want the game to be drenched in so much blood once more, that you literally need a towel to wipe it from the screen.

Twelve: I want the A.I of the enemy to be quite impressive. In Doom 3, the former human opponents were smart enough to take cover – if there was cover to take, whilst the denizens of hell simply attacked the player with little regard for their survival. I would like to face off against an enemy who cared about living as much as they did about killing, which would be more challenging, cuz a creature that simply kills without mercy is not much of a threat when you have yourself a bazooka and all they have are a couple little arms and a fireball.

Thirteen: I want the games released on the non-PC platforms, in particular the XBOX360 version to come equipped with a split-screen multiplayer match capability. Online matches are all fun and good, but they lack one little thing; on XBOX live, you cannot physically see the other player – and therefore, you cannot yell at them and slap them over the head when you kick their ass from one side of the map to the next. That in itself, is classic. Kodak moments are born from moments like these!

Well, that is about it. I know, thirteen is an unlucky number, but since Doom is a game franchise where one tackles the hordes of hell, perhaps in this case it will bring good fortune rather than bad. Time can only tell I guess, and one can always only hope.

You know you have been playing video games too long when…

 

-you think by walking over things you will automatically pick them up.

-the last time you had a girlfriend, Cleopatra was Queen of Egypt.

-during a fight, you frantically look for the ‘b’ button as to perform a successful melee attack.

-you duck and roll into office cubicles rather than walk into them.

-at work, when a person throws a file at you, you quickly toss it right back from fear it might explode.

-you think your LAN connection is faulty when things go wrong in life.

-you would rather toss a hand gun than use it, preferring a minigun because if you want to kill something, the last thing you wanna do is miss.

-you think ‘Facebook’ is a Reaper indoctrination device.

-you and your friends walk around, bumping into any and all areas of the environment like a bunch of brainless bots.

-your fingers are permanently fixed into a claw from continued use of console triggers.

-you become annoyed when weapons do not load quite as easily in reality as they would in a video game.

-‘Tali, do you want to go out for dinner tonight?’ you ask your girlfriend who is in fact named Rachel, Stephanie or True.

-your boss fires you for failing to come to work for the past two weeks, and the last thing you ever say to the man is ‘but boss, the Krogan need me!’

-you feel more at home in sewers and ventilation shafts than in your own bedroom.

-you’ve sat on your ass, played video games and eaten food so often that the last time you saw the numbers 1,096 was on the bathroom scales.

-when purchasing clothing, you check the label to see how much damage resilience it will offer you.

-you are unable to perform a jump because your body is not equipped with a space bar.

-you remove all the doors in your house from their hinges and have everyone you love wear bells attached to their necks for their protection, along with your own, to ensure you know where everyone you care about is at any given time in your house as to not have them sneak up on you and force you to inevitably slay them.

-you look for the little blue ‘x’ button when entering and exiting vehicles.

-you can’t find your flashlight, so use a flame thrower or chain gun to light your way instead.

-when your wife throws items at your head even she is amazed when you duck and roll with record reaction time from the amount of practice you have received from battling killer mutants from outer space.

-at funerals, you wonder why the dead bodies do not fade away, and question the priests about whether there is a fault with their software when this fails to happen.

-you attempt to install cheat codes into your body as to allow yourself to walk through walls and have infinite ammo.

-you look for an invulnerability sphere at your local pharmacist.

-the sun hurts your eyes after you emerge from what feels like an eternity of gaming, whilst your beard seems a few meters longer than what it was when you began.

-to begin a conversation with a person, you wait until they are highlighted, or look over their bodies in the hopes of discovering a ‘use’ key.

-the growl of the dog and the meow of the cat cause you to leap over the couch for a better vantage point whilst reaching for your semi-automatic.

-you take a vowel of celibacy as to lose your virginity to an Assari Huntress.

-you take an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, not Role Playing Game!) to your high school reunion cuz you know when the shit hits the fan an area effect weapon is better than a pistol.

-during game play, when an enemy attacks your character, you slide off your chair as to tactically avoid them.

-your television and monitor are riddled with bullet holes.

-your XBOX 360, PS3, keyboard and mouse require cleaning every couple days rather than every couple months.

-after playing a video game you need a long hot shower as to wipe away all the excess blood from your face, whilst your friends wonder why you are covered in so many scars and bruises.

-your girlfriend’s snoring reminds you of the Hell Knight from Doom…and makes you consider leaving the chainsaw beneath your bed from fear she might actually be the Hell Knight from Doom.

-you dress up as your favorite video game character for conventions, Halloween and all manner of other occasions, but your friends always recognise you.

-you move all of your first aid kits closer towards your game console.

-you mistake your wife’s best friend’s boob job for a couple rocket launchers.

-you randomly speak your mind, knowing if you do something wrong, you can always load from the last check point.

-your trigger finger twitches whenever someone enters the room.

-you ask for the Quad Damage weapon multiplier at the local gun store.

-all of your consoles automatically boot directly into your favorite games unless you press a specific key.

-you find yourself looking for Kevlar and anti-radiation suits at your local K-Mart.

-when buying a helmet, you ask the shop keeper for the one with the A.I port at the rear.

-you don’t bother turning on the lights because you know your eyes come with a night sensitivity mode.

-when a man insults you, instead of saying ‘I challenge you to a duel’ you say ‘I challenge you to a deathmatch!’

-you don’t worship God – no, you worship the Covenant forerunners.

-you walk up and down the super market complex looking for ‘Citadel Souvenirs.’

-when sick, you ask the doctor for a stim-pack.

-you look for sniper towers in toilet cubicles and elevators.

-you‘re annoyed when your parents buy you the new car they have been promising you – only to find it was not a Warthog.

-you find it odd when your environment does not stall or become pixilated.

-during physical altercations you ask your opponents to pause so you might heal.

-you think the mole on your left wrist is in fact the Omni-tool activation switch.

-you quickly run in and out of rooms, watching your back to see what creature follows you out.

-you choose to play a video game rather than spend the night with a woman. Funny fact; in 2009, a survey in Australia looked at male gamers – the question? Would you rather spend the night playing a video game, or spend the night with a woman. 78% of those surveyed – said they would rather spend the night playing a video game.

-your girlfriend leaves you, slamming the front door as it comes back to knock her in the ass. She cries at the top of her lungs ‘you love your friggin’ game box more than you love me you selfish bastard!’ You don’t twitch nor flinch as you persist in trying to eliminate the final boss at the end of the game. Besides, saving the universe from total destruction is more important than she was, right?

-during conversations, you pause as to allow time for the next conversation option to appear before your eyes.

-you believe certain mushrooms will bestow onto you a temporary boost of magika.

-you walk into Best and Less and ask where they keep their Spartan Armor.

-you barter for random goods and services, and try to sell goods you don’t need back to perspective shop keepers.

-you squint your eyes, rub at them and close them completely, wondering why it is that the crosshairs are not appearing.

-you volunteer to carry your all of your friend’s goods, along with your own, from the belief that you can carry several hundred kilograms worth of equipment before becoming over encumbered.

-you think it’s odd that the bodies of all the women you know look different rather than similar and that their breasts are not huge and cumbersome.

-you think during the two minutes it takes you to walk from one side of the house to the next you can experience morning, noon and night.

-your friends are worried that you are not getting enough sun, explaining to you this is the first time you have been out of the house in the past six months.

-you go pressing up against walls in the hopes that one might open to reveal a secret area.

-you randomly look around your environment, hoping to find spare ammo clips.

-you search your girlfriend’s body for the following pieces of equipment; power cables, the ‘on’ switch, volume control and the mute button.

-you are so used to been called ‘marine’, ‘Shepherd’ or ‘Master Chief’ that when someone actually says your name you simply ignore them.

-when at the local car dealership you notice the vehicle you are after is not present and so ask if they have run out of Ghosts’.

-at the local shooting range, you ask the clerk behind the desk for the BFG.

-when you look at your reflection in the mirror you expect to find the ‘change appearance’ button.

-you pick fights with people, knowing that if you lose you can always respawn at full strength.

-when you enter a friend’s house you always look for where their flag is located so you might steal it and take it back home with you when they’re not looking as to score yourself a point.

-you believe every locked door can be opened with a red, blue or gold keycard.

-you are constantly being arrested for the minigun emplacement attached to the rear of your vehicle.

-you frequently wonder why you feel pain when injured.

-your best and most truest friend is a five inch tall, seven year old woman named ‘Cortana’.

-during family altercations, you reach for your assault rifle, believing a team deathmatch is on the verge of beginning.

-you side step down hallways as to avoid your work colleagues from fear they might assault you.

-you haven’t been able to open your fridge in the past two weeks because you are having difficulty locating the ‘use’ key.

-when your girlfriend blows you a kiss, you leap out of the way to avoid it whilst reaching for your shotgun.

-you don’t care so much when you are gravely ill or dying because you’ll probably be able to find one of those mega-health’s lying around.

-your favorite Backstreet Boys, Lady Ga Ga and Daughtry albums are left in the corner of your bedroom gathering dust, whilst the illegally downloaded music files from Halo, Doom and Mass Effect reach the rank of ‘most played’ in Windows Media Player.

-you expect to receive ‘paragon’ every time you say something nice.

-you wonder why you have five fingers on your hand rather than three.

-you constantly find yourself wondering why everything is not in third person mode.

-you think you are ill when your HUD does not appear before your eyes.

-‘I’ll be there in a minute honey, just let me finish this level’ is your most frequently used expression.

-when you open a door, instead of turning on the lights, you toss a grenade into the room.

-where everyone else puts on trunks or a bikini (if you swing that way), you equip anti-radiation suits before entering swimming pools.

Girls in Games

 

Contains some coarse language and sexual references.

Girls in games. What are they? Well, apart from being, as already stated, girl in games, they are often characters of significant import. I mean, look at some of the major ones; Cortana, Tali Zorah, Liara T’Soni, Zoe, Alma Wade, Kat, Hawk, Princess Peach even, just to name a few. Now, what do all these women have in common? Well, they were all major characters. The main point I am attempting to construct here however is that they were all really ravishing. Even Alma (the older version, not the little girl), for who can resist a naked ghost girl intent on killing you? I mean Cortana; she may have been translucent, but she sure was something (here’s hoping the Chief and her totally get it on before Halo 6). Tali Zorah, and her skin tight space suit, along with that sexy accent of hers, Liara and her undiscovered alien body, Kat and that skin tight Spartan armor. All of these characters, let’s face it, are irresistibly gorgeous to look upon, and all have the bodies of an hour glass.

On top of this, the women who voice them, they are usually not half bad lookin’ themselves. I mean, I once went to one of those Mass Effect forum things and got a look at the woman who voiced Tali – now, she is something else. Let me tell you, I’d step over my mother, my father, and everyone else if it meant I could see her in reality.

However, I did not actually write this post to talk about how beautiful the characters were – well, yes, kind of, but I really want to draw the attention towards the fact that it is all FAKE. All of it is not doing the world of women in reality any real good I don’t reckon. Games create these false interpretations that every single woman on the planet is meant to have fantastic bodies, beautiful faces and sexy voices, which is not the case. I believe it is depictions such as these that cause real women to become so judgmental of their features. They see a woman who is so unreal looking that no woman in reality could ever look as real as she does, and suddenly develop these wild notions that they are not pretty enough. However, I am not calling for this to stop, for foxy lady characters are one of the major reasons to play video games if you ask me, I’m just stating the negative occurrences that come from such great entertainment. Where men find enjoyment, women may not find such pleasure. However, according to statistics a lot of women who play games play, you know, games of intellect, such as chess, and I can’t imagine too many women becoming upset or jealous even with the body the queen has, especially the red one.

In games, I actually, as a matter of fact, prefer to play as women. Maybe it is because the blokes are always designed to be huge, cumbersome brutes with so much muscle mass it makes wrestlers look skinny, and I know deep down that I ain’t ever gonna be that ripped, no matter how much  of a work out I do. But I think the real reason is that having a pair of breasts sticking out from your video game character brings a different flavor to the entertainment.

For one, I can check out my character all I like and not have to fear the reprisal. If you look so frequently at women in reality and their nice bods – things usually don’t go down well and people have a tendency to leave with a black eye or two.

Two, I am never going to experience what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a woman – I mean this purely as a living sense, not a sexual one – and in a game I can experience this, without the negative effects. I may seem ignorant by saying that, but I have come to realise women have really shit lives – they have periods for ninety five per cent of them, they have children, which is apparently a thousand times more painful, and then they endure the menopause. Computer game characters do not endure such vile treatment, which is beneficial, especially for me because many women I know believe the human species would have died out centuries ago if it had been left up to the men to birth the children into this world.

Three, women who kick arse are real foxy, and what is foxier than being in command of the woman who is kicking arse? I’ll tell you – nothing! Wait – being married to the arse kicking woman, that might be something, quite something indeed…

Of course, the women in games are only so beautiful because women in reality are. The one thing that sickens me about women are the women who have a problem with their looks (is sickens too strong a word? sorry people!). Many of my female friends have said ‘I’m fat’ because their boyfriend grabbed at their stomachs and said ‘this shouldn’t be here’ and indicate towards some flabby skin? Or because they read in an article that some Hollywood star weighs thirty eight kilos and they think weighing fifty six is too much? Or because their friend regularly goes to the gym? Or because, or because, or because! The list just goes on and on and on! If I had a dollar for every time I heard a woman bitch about her weight I would own this friggin’ world I tell you! My opinion? Do you want it? Well, if you’re reading this post I’ll assume you do. It’s simple – who gives a fuck I say! I would rather have a girlfriend who had some meat on her bones than have a relationship with a woman who, when she turns sideways disappears into the crowd. And if a woman is obese? Well, if she’s comfortable with how she looks, who cares! Who are we to say she doesn’t fit the social norm required because she’s not  one inch wide!

However, if the stereotypical female body was not so beautiful to look at, then the characters in games would not be either, and then there would be less reasons for women to doubt their looks too. There is always a flip side to these arguments. Let’s just say that whoever developed the female form, whether it be God or Mother Nature, did one helluva good job. But I think we all know who designed women – the same people who designed the pyramids – the aliens, and soon, they will be back – to eat us no doubt – humans make nice tooth picks, or so I have been told by my sources in the alien empire.

My conclusions? Women in video games are beautiful, smart, funny and memorable, which is exactly what all women in realty are. They are just yet to notice because of the pressure put on them to look so good, which they usually do before reading those bullshit articles. When women realise this, there will be one less problem in the world, and I will be able to enjoy my games so much more without feeling bad each time I check out a sexy character, for in the back of my mind one lingering thought will always be present – at least one woman in the world is going to compare herself to that unrealistic woman, and become disappointed with the results, when in fact she needn’t be, because she is perfect just the way she is.

This is Naughty Nefarious signing off, before returning to the mother ship. I’ll see you in the stratosphere!

The way the Video Gaming Industry has Changed

 

Just a heads up – there is a naughty profanity in this piece…somewhere. Don’t remember where though.

Has it changed? Well, you be the judge. What was once a rather unpopular industry is now incredibly well known, with more video games purchased in the US than movies in 2010 alone. I find this to be quite the figure, for it is far easier in my opinion to purchase a film, especially one that is pirated. Now, I ain’t admitting to anything, so any law enforcements officers reading this post should not take my words as those of a person incriminating himself. I am but saying that the copyright protection software on movies is pathetic when in comparison to that which is used for games, with far more in depth programs needed to get past the protection on each disc. So when the statistics say more games were purchased, I find it to be quite the statistic.

Then again, 2010 was a big year for games; Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Bayonetta, Metro 2033, Halo Reach, just to name a few. But this is beside the point. The main issue I want to talk about is the popularity that has exponentially increased over the past few years. Now, more game companies have emerged across the globe, with more and more people from producers, directors and developers all realising the sheer potential behind the gaming market and all vying for the ability to be involved in the business. With more popularity means more customers, which in turn means more profit.

Who can remember when a video game was less than one hundred dollars? (Oz prices) Less than fifty? I remember when my family and I purchased Doom 2 all those many, many years ago on our trip to America, the game then being thirty six dollars if my memory serves me accurately. Thirty six dollars? That is American of course, but in a time when most games start at around one hundred and most leading retailers go all the way to one hundred and seventy five with their prices if it so happens to come in a shiny tin with a couple additional features, which is purely ridiculous for a special edition DVD usually costs fifty dollars, if that, I feel the price to be exorbitant.

On top of that, what you are purchasing has decreased as well. Now yes, I will admit, the graphics are flawless in comparison to where they once started and the experiences are just as incredibly fun, if not more so, with vibrant storylines and fantastic characters to lead you into the fabulous world of the game. However, what once left you with what could have been up to twenty hours of gaming, if not more, is now less than ten, and sometimes six. It took me four hours and thirty six minutes to clock Home Front on hard when it was released in 2011. I completed it the day I bought it. Now, what kind of deal is that? I spend one hundred and six dollars on a product that was yes, entertaining, challenging and engaging, but so short? I just got started and was beginning to enjoy myself when everything was cut short, and so soon?

I remember in 2007 when I played Crysis, I was disappointed that the game did not end the way Far Cry did. Far Cry had twenty levels of mayhem – Crysis, only eleven, with no visible ending in sight. Of course, if it had ended then Crysis 2 which in my opinion was a totally friggin’ amazing piece of gaming would not have been invented, so I guess a ‘thank you’ needs to go out to Crytek for doing what they did, and the franchise would additionally not be continuing on for a third time next year.

My point? And I do have one, is that what once was gaming has changed. This change is not as elaborate as the updated graphics or the famous voice over actors or the change in developers or even the wild and frantic fun that occurs during game play. No, it is money, and I do not mean the large allotments that we, the gamers fork out every year. With Darksiders 2, Far Cry 3 and halo 4 I’m looking to lose two hundred and seventy five dollars at the least, but that is not what concerns me. It is the greed of the industry that does. I remember once, which seems so long ago now, when I could walk into a store, pick up a game box, shake it up and down and hear the disc and the booklet jiggling around on the inside. Now, when I pick up a box and shake it – all I hear is the rising and the falling of the dividend.

Also, many games don’t even come with booklets anymore, another feature gone. Some companies might say they are saving the lungs of the Earth, but what they are really saving is the money they have accumulated from such a massive market.

Adjunctively size, and I do not mean yet again in the length of the game, but the amount of bytes it takes up on your machine as dramatically changed. I remember back in the day with Quake and Hexen which were unanimously a couple MEGABYRES each. I remember how I was unsure at the best of times as to what storage device to put them on – My Documents? Or C? Back in the day the computer only had a 1 gigabyte system so every megabyte spent actually meant something. Quite ridiculous when I come to think about it cuz now a days games are anywhere between 16 to 24 GIGABYTES each! To think back in the day I had to delete one of my games as to have the other installed onto the system cuz there just wasn’t enough space. Now, I have a cool terabyte of space and a portable terabyte which can be used to install all manner of programs onto, so space is never an issue. Back in the day there were around maybe three games on my computer at any given time. Now, there is at least twenty times that amount on my gaming computer alone, not to mention the amount of titles I have on XOBOX 360 and PS3.

Additionally, I remember when gaming was considered weird. Back when the first game was developed by some ‘nerd’ some might say, who thought ‘you know, I could write a program for that computer’ people probably though him to be insane (there was only one well known woman involved in gaming back all those years ago, so calling the guy a ‘him’ is not maliciously sexist). The gaming companies were tiny, I mean, look at Id! What was it? Between six and twelve people were involved in developing Doom, which is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in gaming history – the game that changed it all. Now, there are hundreds of people per company, not to mention everyone else required for the job. And those who played them? Who were they? I’ll tell you! Freaks! Losers! That is what I was branded by my peers and I’m sure others were too. Only a select few participated in playing games back in the early to late nineties. I played my first game was I was only three, when many of my peers were running around the backyard slapping the tap with a plastic spanner, hoping to be the next best plumber. I graduated from learning games like Chess to Heretic, then to Doom, Doom 2, Hexen, Hexen DK, Quake, and so on and so forth. I remember playing games at school, where the teachers prowled the arenas of the learning environment with massive sticks up their arses, hoping to catch that bad student and really make ‘em pay! Right under their noses we played multiplayer matches of Quake and Doom, and later Heavy Gear and Alien vs. Predator. Then in High School, we graduated to playing Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike, kicking ass in the computer pod, and as soon as the teachers arrived like clockwork, so friggin’ predictable they all were… we had already minimised the game and proceeded with the boring assignment we had been tasked to complete. I remember the girls shaking their heads at us, incapable of understanding how we could be enjoying ourselves whilst staring into a mindless box, whilst now a days they play COD with their boyfriends, well, when their boyfriends get bored from dying so friggin’ often of course. But not all teachers and students were so defiant in their beliefs that we were the freaks. I remember by Media teacher in Year Eleven, he comes in – and he busts us for the first time! He yells at one student, telling him to go back and slave away on his project, and once the student leaves? He sat down in his spot and began to play Counter Strike with us! He had no idea where to put the bomb, and it was funny to call him a ‘dumb cunt’ and have him not know who said it. But it was in this same period of time that others began to play, and play, and play, and as the more gamers entered our world and crowded it with their desires, the game developers began to change the way they made them; they became shorter; more expensive; and money and big business inevitably destroyed the one organisational organism that was yet to be touched by the hand of organisational greed.

‘So long’ I said to my first great, faithful love, of  whom I had plucked from my desk when I was but three and had grown to make sweet, passionate love to on a frequent basis. ‘So long my lovely. I will miss you.’ And just like that, like the many women who had broken my heart over the years, the one I had loved the most was gone – replaced by the new and considered ‘improved’ version, who wanted money and lots of it in replace for a shortened amount of fun.

So is it really a good thing that there are more gamers? If gaming was still unpopular amongst the masses do you think games would be so short and expensive? Or was it but an inevitability?

I prefer the old ways. But the graphics of today and the experiences we have, with characters the likes of Commander Sheperd, Master Chief, the Little Sisters, Alma Wade, Captain Price, Sergeant Fenix, all of it, are absolutely irreplaceable.

So is it a case of take the good with the bad? Perhaps. But like I said, I only wish that maybe it were still less popular. Now, there are so many gamers, and the time when I stood alone in a room, knowing I was unique and different because when I got home I would kill hordes of mutants and horrific alien enemies intent on our destruction – whilst everyone else would go play backyard soccer and maybe even work and do other, you know, boring things. That time has passed, I know, and I have adapted, but the pain is still there.

Damn the changing gaming industry. I only hope you continue to make me happy for the rest of my life. Unlike all the other people I love today (excluding my parents) from my Celeb crushes, to the young woman at university I wish I could confess my feelings towards, you might be the one I will never fall out of favor with, as long as you never fall out of favor with me.  I love you with all my heart video game world. Now please, do not break it once again, for if you change again, I only hope it is into something far more beautiful than what you are now. Hugs and kisses to you.

This is Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

2012 VIDEO GAME WISHLIST

 

This year already has been blessed with some pretty fabulous title in the way of gaming. Opening up the year was none other than Mass Effect 3, the long awaited conclusion to the incredibly popular franchise. I concluded it in many different ways, as a man, having a relationship with the sexy Quarian tech geek Tali, and as a woman romancing the gorgeous biotic doctor Liara T’Soni. I was a little disappointed that no wedding bells chimed for Sheperd and Tali, and no blue babies came out from the relationship with Liara. However, if anyone is like me, Sheperd insisted on dying at the end of every single one of their campaigns. But, I am certain that all fan boys would agree with me that her memory will live on. In our hearts. In our minds. And in our erections.

Coming next were other titles the likes of Star Hawk, which had an excruciatingly difficult conclusion to its campaign if you ask me. The campaign I felt acted more along the lines of a tutorial, with each level helping you more and more to learn the basics for the multiplayer battles.

Diablo III was also released recently, as too was Max Payne, but I am sadly yet to play either of them, but with all the hype that both titles have already acquired, one can imagine that they are sure to be respective hits.

There are however still many hits that are yet to be released. In August, Darksiders 2 explodes onto all platforms at once which I feel will be quite the epic. The original was an incredibly long and often brutally challenging game with many puzzles that left you wondering ‘huh?’ throughout a great many parts of the levels. Now, Commander Sheperd is quite a smooth, charismatic character, but let’s face it, he (or she, if you swing that way) ain’t War, Death, or any other such apocalyptic horseman, and what other video game grants you the option of playing as such a formidable character?

August however has another addition to its mist; X-COM, Enemy Unknown. Now, I only recently found out about this particular title, and it led me to wonder what rock I had been hiding under all this time not to know of its existence. Not a remake or a sequel to the previous games in the franchise, but a reimagining of what made the originals so engrossingly fun to play, this strategic shooter should be quite the experience. However, all release dates apparently are still yet to be confirmed, with the PC been confirmed for August, but the Xbox 360 and PS3 systems unanimously yet to be acknowledged. It has been announced that all platforms will cater for the game, but when they will be released is another matter to be decided entirely.

Now, I am more of an XBOX kind of guy myself. Many games I play I prefer to acquire on this specific platform wherever possible. I always find the graphics to be more substantial on that platform than on the others. The PS3 is a system that is so advanced in my opinion that many game developers are yet to begin using the technology in their projects, which is why some games on the PS3 seem so bland when in comparison to the PC or the XBOX 360.

Both the PS3 and the XBOX 360 need not be upgraded for quite some time though. The PC is another matter entirely. Every year a brand new, better performing gaming system is loosed upon the world. In 2009 I acquired a new computer which at the time was said to have the fastest system imaginable as its guts, but now, well, to call it a relic from a time long past might be a bit of an understatement. It is still good if one wants to use it for text and such; that is of course if one can survive how slow the son of a bitch is, for it has the capability to drive the sanest man to insanity at the length of time it takes to save a word document, let alone turn on. And don’t get me started on how long it takes to shut off. You could click the ‘shut down’ button, go out, do your weekly shopping, come back an hour later, and it would probably still be going with the paces of shutting down. God, I cannot wait to shut the bastard down permanently!

However, in 2011 I procured a new system to build a personal dream of mine. I acquired the fastest gaming system at the time, just don’t tell me to go into the technical aspects cuz I’m not a tech expert when it comes to that kind of stuff. I also bought myself a HD 3D TV, and attached the PC, a PS3 console and an XBOX 360 to the television as to use as my monitor, with the sole intention of throwing LAN parties at my place. Well, that dream was a success I would like to add. However, the only problem is that once a person begins to play, they somehow don’t ever want to leave, and seem to become a permanent fixture to the house. There has been someone who arrived about a year ago and I don’t think they have gone home since. Can’t even begin to imagine what his wife is thinking. Probably something that begins with ‘Ya’ and ends with ‘hoo!’, with a ‘thank God he’s never coming back’ attached to it.

Getting back on track though, following these two hits, comes Far Cry 3 in September. Now, I initially ‘umm’d’ and ‘arrr’d’ a lot about this. The original was an explosive thriller that was challenging and fun, with realistic battle scenes and bad ass mutants for you to take out when not being confronted by the tens of thousands of mercenaries that all managed to be jam packed onto the island that was like a giant match box just waiting to be ignited. The sequel went on an entirely different track, having a more RPG style FPS experience in the African wilderness, and initially it was theorised that the third installment of the game would go along the same length, but no, another Pacific Island like the original it would very much seem. After watching the trailer, I had to say that I was quite impressed, but then again, there is no such thing as a shit trailer, but games are usually more accurate in their depiction than movies, so I feel that one can almost always trust the experience one sees in a game trailer to be actual and whole with what they will expect to find in game. The graphics look superb to say the least and the overall storyline seems to be detailed in the clips. You and a couple friends go to an island, not realising it’s filled with crazies. You get pissed drunk, your BFF gets dead, your girlfriend gets kidnapped and you get left for dead on the forsaken hell hole. The action scenes look pretty solid and the strategic maneuvers one will have to go through to succeed look pretty enjoyable, but time is the only thing which can tell if everything will be as good as the trailer makes it look.

Then in November we have COD Black Ops 2, with its futuristic perception of all out warfare, which looks a bit like a combination of one of the Metal Solid Gear titles and Project Snow Blind, all rolled up into one. Basically every COD game has successfully captured my attention time and time again, and after Modern Warfare Three, let us hope that Treyarch are able to keep up with what Infinity Ward have spawned for us in the past.

Of course, November is also the release of the one, the only Halo 4, a.k.a the first in the all new Halo, the Reclaimer Trilogy. Now, what I have seen in reviews and in movie clips makes this title look to be a worthwhile addition to the Halo franchise. However, I am somewhat concerned with the switch of developers. Bungie knew what they were doing, and had being developing the franchise for a cool ten years before handing the reigns over to 343 Industries. I will note that I was not as impressed as other people were with Halo HD. Yes, graphically it was unsurpassed, but it was the lack of many new features that bugged me. True, there were skulls that could be found in the maps, but so many were placed in the most horrific of locations. I mean, WTF is a grenade jump! Cuz that is the only way to acquire some of the skulls according to every single walkthrough I ever read after I couldn’t find half of ‘em on my own. Who in their right mind comes up with the idea to throw a grenade to the ground, and use the momentum from the explosion to propel your character towards the location of one of the skulls? If anyone was like me, they either flew in the opposite direction of the skull, or in all likelihood were blown up, which is the sole job of the grenade – to blow shit up! On top of this, I was not entirely impressed with the little data files that could be found, where one clicked on a button and suddenly viewed a movie clip that included either Guilty Spark, a Covenant A.I, the Grave Mind or another character from the franchise. In the Library, I had to go through hell to find a certain movie clip which turned out to be Guilty Spark crying out ‘I’m so alone!’ about a hundred times before talking about how he, she, it (?) wished that the developers of Halo had put two sentries on the Halo rings to watch over the installations rather than one to put an end to its loneliness! Not very riveting I found. There was also the lack of new weapons, and the fact that all weapons acted exactly like the ones from the original Halo. They all looked nice and fanciful but all reacted in the exact same way. There was also the game play. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found the environments to be a little cheaply designed. Just say there was a tree, right? There was an Elite behind the tree taking shelter. If you shot between the space located between branches you should, in theory, hit the Elite, right? WRONG! You hit the tree? How exactly, when it is not there! The invisible space between the branches is still a part of the tree. When a game is developed, all of the parts of the map, all of the brushes are placed into the level, one piece at a time. Made out from pixels, the spaces between them, from the spaces between tree branches to that of bits of metal on buildings all have pixels that are invisible to the naked eye connecting them. In some games, the developer might remove these as to allow the player to shoot between them, but not in Halo HD. Did that make any sense? Well, I hope so, cuz I ain’t going through it again!

The end point in regards to Halo 4, is that I just don’t want 343 Industries to balls up one of the greatest gaming franchises developed, so fingers crossed on that one.

Well, those titles mentioned are the ones on my Game Wish list for the year, but that don’t mean there might not be others that shall pop up over the course of the next six months before the year is up.