Thursday, May 26, 2011

portal 2 music

Valve has just posted a bunch of the music for portal 2 for free download. Awesome right, well that is not all they have also put up a few of those songs in ringtone format for iPhone or Andriod devices.
here is the link.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I thought of L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire is not like other Rockstar games. The game is focused around interrogations and investigating crime scenes. It is also spattered with action scenes such as shootouts and chase scenes. I really enjoyed the game overall but there were several aspects that I wish they’d have either tweaked or just left out completely. 

This game does something no game has done before, make facial expressions important to actual gameplay. I don’t think I’m going to be able to play another game without comparing the facial animation to L.A. Noire. It is amazing how many subtle things go on when a person is speaking. The muscle movements and various expressions that are unique to the person in question are all represented in the character models and the voice acting is fantastic as well. I am a little wary of this technology because I don’t want to end up seeing the same actors in all the games I play but in this case I enjoyed it. I saw several actors I recognized from Madmen, Bones and Fringe.

This image dedicated to Scott Chambers

Another part of the game I enjoyed was investigating the crime scenes or poking around in suspects apartments. This all felt very much like an adventure game, and if you listen to the podcast you will know I love the genre. Special investigative music plays as you try to find all the clues in an area. When you pass something that can be looked at, a certain musical cue plays. Once you have found all the clues the music stops. I thought this was very helpful and nonintrusive to the feel of the game.

I found a clue!

The story is very intriguing, although the ending felt completely random to me.  The character development was very interesting for Cole Phelps and he is very likeable even though he isn’t as perfect as I thought he was going to be. It is too bad that the ending felt so disjointed with the rest of the game.

The first thing I felt aggravated by was the fact that if you accidentally get an interview question response wrong you can’t restart it, unless you restart the entire mission. I understand that they wanted to make the game challenging to read all of the witness’s and suspect’s facial expressions, but I am not sure how I feel about being able to fail a dialog sequence.

That leads me into my second concern. Even though you cannot restart dialog scenes, the cases are not hard to solve. In fact, as long as you find the clues, the game basically solves itself. There wasn’t a lot of thinking required on my behalf. I just found all the clues and tried to perform all the dialogue correctly and the story concluded.  This was pretty disappointing to me because I was hoping I would actually have to do some of the crime solving myself.

Beautiful city that I don't want to drive around in

The game takes place in a big open world that seems historically accurate and very beautiful. But traversing this world suffers from some of the same problems I had with the GTA series. I don’t want to obey traffic laws or have to worry about bumping into other cars. I couldn’t really even look at the world because I was focused on my driving. This annoyance is amplified by the fact that you are a very GOOD LAPD police detective and accidentally killing anyone can result in a game over. Ultimately I felt this open world was completely superfluous. All the most interesting scenes took place in exactly that… a scene.  There is nothing to do in this 40s version of LA but respond to dispatch calls which serve as the game’s side quests. These are tedious and almost ALL feel the same. I have not played all of them but I did play over half. There was only one that stood out to me and it involved trailing a perp. This was very disappointing to me because in the last Rockstar game that I played, Red Dead Redemption, I enjoyed all of the sidequests and the quirky stories they told. These just feel like a waste of time, the only motivation to complete them all being a trophy or achievement.

Overall Opinion:
I think this is a great game and I respect that it tries to break the mold for games of this kind. I highly recommend that everyone at least try out this game. There are a few problems with this game but I think that is to be expected in most new IPs. The good acting and interesting gameplay make up for the few flaws it has. 


Episode 23: On A Side Note

Going off the rails is not always a bad thing.

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Dan - Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Mac)

Ashley - L.A. Noire (Xbox 360, PS3)

Alex - Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Graphic Novel)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Retraction: The Wii Menu

On May 18, 2011 between the hours of 4:00pm and 5:00pm Mountain Standard Time, we the members of the Kibosh Podcast posted Episode 22: Music to My Ears. In said episode, we made a claim that the channels on the Wii menu could not be rearranged.

On the evening of May 19, 2011 I, Alex Brown, saw this comment posted on the our Facebook page by Sir Scott Chambers of "You silly people, you can move your stuff around on Wii."

I couldn't believe such a thing. I immediately went twenty minutes later to test this out on my Wii. Sure enough, by holding down the A and B buttons at the same time and selecting a Channel, I was able to rearrange them on my Wii Home menu. 

Devastation struck my weary head like the back side of a hand. My first instinct was to create a false update for the Wii rendering this ability unusable, but I figured with the recent PSN debacle this probably wasn't the best idea. My next plan was to call up Nintendo and personally beg them to remove the feature, however, it just so happens Nintendo is not listed in the yellow pages. My path was clear: I was going to have to issue a retraction admitting to the world that information I was claiming to be correct was in fact wrong.

So here it is.

On the Kibosh Podcast Episode 22: Music to My Ears, posted on May 18, 2011 we claimed that channels on the Wii menu could not be rearranged. This is untrue. They can.

This has been a very trying time for me. Up until this point in my life, I was positive that I was always 100% right all of the time. Now my world is shaken. I'm going to need some time.

-Alex Brown

P.S. Look forward to our next retraction explaining our falsified information regarding Dead Rising 2: Off the Record.

-Thanks to Scott Chambers for making this post possible.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Episode 22: Music to My Ears

Playstation Network is back! And it is music to our ears. You know what else is music to our ears? Actual music. Nothing creates atmosphere in a game quite like the music. This week we discuss our favorite video game music.

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Dan - Gears of War 3...when it comes out. (Xbox 360)

Alex - Portal 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Ashley - Read a Tin Tin comic . (Book)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Episode 21: On the Homefront

We've all played Homefront, and our opinions are...well, listen and you'll see.

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Dan - Gears of War 3 Beta (Xbox 360)

Alex - Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox, Xbox Live Arcade)

Ashley - Plants vs. Zombies (PC, Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, Nintendo DS, iPhone) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Experiencing Halo: The Prologue

First introduced in 2001 with Halo: Combat Evolved, the Halo franchise has become a cultural phenomenon spanning from its home in video games to novels, books, and short films. 

2010 marked the end of an era for the Halo franchise: Bungie, the creator and original developer of the Halo series, created their final game for franchise: Halo: Reach. Along with this, 2011 marks the ten year anniversary of Halo: Combat Evolved. I decided to take this as an opportunity to look back at the Halo series by playing all of the Bungie made games in order: Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and ending with Halo: Reach.
I will be writing an article for each of the games reflecting on how I feel each game holds up in relation to the time they were released and the time I played them. I will also be hoping to gain insight as to why the Halo franchise has become so popular.

To give you some insight into my history with Halo, my views are somewhat mixed on the series. I have played all of the current generation games: Halo 3, Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach, but neither Halo: Combat Evolved or Halo 2. Halo 3 brought me into both the current generation and first-person shooters. As I've played more first-person shooters, I've come to feel that the Halo series has not always evolved well and has very primitive gameplay. At the same time I recognize the importance Halo had on bringing first-person shooters to consoles and I have definitely had a lot of fun playing the games.

I am nearing the end of Halo: Combat Evolved now. I will be starting Halo 2 soon after. Watch for Experiencing Halo features in the coming weeks and enjoy the tenth anniversary of Halo.

-Alex Brown

Monday, May 9, 2011

PSN Restoration Date

Sony updated their PSN Outage and FAQ today stating that they are hoping to have full functionality of the Playstation Netwok back up by May 31. Online Gameplay will be the first function to be restored. When between now and May 31 remains unknown. 

-Alex Brown

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Assassin's Creed: Revelations Officially Revealed

Ubisoft officially revealed Assassin's Creed Revelations as the next game in the series. Assassin's Creed Revelations will, once again, follow Ezio Auditore as he travels to Constantinople to learn more about the Templars and the Assassins. The game will be the last in the Ezio Trilogy.

Assassin's Creed Revelations will feature a similar multiplayer mode as seen in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood with more maps and more modes.

Expect more information at this years E3.

-Alex Brown

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Episode 20: Movies About Games

There have been many movies based on games and many games based on movies and almost all share one common trait; they're not very good.

Scott Chambers of joins us once again and brings his knowledge of fighting games with him.

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Recommendations and Twitter Links

Dan - Any of Codemasters' racing games

Ashley - Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Alex - Amnesia: The Dark Descent (PC)

Scott - Outland (Xbox Live Arcade, PSN) Hot Rod - Movie

Kibosh on Twitter

Wii Price Cuts Confirmed

Nintendo has confirmed that Wii price tag is dropping to $149.99 on May 15 and will be packaged with Mario Kart Wii and the Wii Wheel.

Along with the Wii price cut, Nintendo is released The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers and Wii Sports for $19.99 under the banner Nintendo Selects. This is similar to Nintendo's previous Players Choice titles.

- Alex Brown

Mass Effect 3 Delayed Until 2012

Don't shelf your Mass Effect 2 copies just yet. Announced through the games official Facebook page, Mass Effect 3 has been delayed and will be released within the first three months of 2012. This will give everyone plenty of time to continue replaying Mass Effect 2 for that perfect save file.

Casey Hundson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series said, "The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations."

- Alex Brown