Category Archives: Video Games

Video game o rama.

Halo Infinite: Is multiplayer really coming on Nov 15th?

So it’s been 6 years since Halo 5 came out. October 27, 2015. That was the last release of a new Halo FPS game (Note: there were some releases of Halo FPS games on PC from the Master Chief Collection over the years).




The gaming community has been clamoring for something new in the Halo franchise. Ever since the game was announced back at the E3 2018 Xbox event and we got a glimpse of Master Chief and what was next in his journey without Cortana (you’ll have to go play Halo 4 & 5 for what happened there).

About 2 days ago, I woke to rumors that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer would potentially be made available on November 15th, following Xbox’s 20th Anniversary (and coincidently Halo’s 20th Anniversary) event/live stream. The first source that I saw early on Thursday morning was a video from Danny GG.

In this video, he makes several points and has some evidence which looks pretty convincing. Now because I’ve been on the developer side of things for about 7 years now, there are definitely some things that could be true, and somethings that could be just an error on someone’s part in updating.

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The Story of My (Video Game) Youth

Someone recently posted on the ASTRO Gaming Forums informing us that he was licking his controller cable before inserting it into his MixAmp for a better connection… It so reminded me of the weird “viral” happenstance of my youth.

It’s the classic example of how my fellow youth of the 80s ruined their Nintendo Entertainment Systems.

Backstory: The NES had some inherit fault with it, where after about 2-3 years of usage, it wouldn’t always read games. Once it powered on, it would produce a black screen and a blinking red light.

Some where, some kid came up with the idea that if he breathed hot air on the metal connection port of his 8Bit NES cartridge game, that it would help the console read it better (I guess water + electricity?). This spread like wildfire (even without the internet) and basically every kid who had a NES that was bad did this. We believed it. It still seldom worked, but we did it anyway. Breathing our hot, stinky, nacho cheese breath over the connectors. I’m sure if those cartridges were still around now they’d be corroded.

The reason? Well the NES was a front-loading cartridge, much like those old VCR’s. When you inserted the cartridge you had to press it down on the spring loaded surface to power the unit on, this actually caused a friction on both the male portion of the cartridge, and the female portion of the console (this is now sounding kinda sexual as I type it, LOL). Over time, and years of using the NES, the prongs that read the cartridge would get bent out of place, and wouldn’t be able to read the game data.

Nintendo all along knew this was the case (as they made their own Japanese Famicon with an upright, vertically inserted cartridge, and also followed up with the next gen Super Famicon and SNES in the same vertical cartridge setup), but still, saw an opportunity for more sales and released a “Nintendo Official Cleaning Kit” which my brother actually bought. It had some padding type material which you would dose with some rubbing alcohol and it would clean off any dirt and debris (probably from our nacho cheese breath) that accumulated on the cartridge pins. They also made repair centers where you could send your NES to be cleaned of dirt and debris for a fee.

It’s nice that after 25 years, Nintendo finally admitted to the public that you actually shouldn’t breath on the cartridges.

And that’s my story.

Review of the Razer Onza 360 Controller

History of the Onza:

So it’s been nearly a year from the first announcement of Razer‘s entrance into the console gaming market with two new peripherals for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. At CES 2010, they announced (and had a working demo unit) of the Onza controller, and a 5.1 surround sound headset named the Chimera.

Both their products kept getting pushed back, and it wasn’t until January 2011 that they allowed pre-orders for the Onza (while the Chimera is still on hold). Razer did expand both lines a bit further to include two versions of each product. For the Onza, there’s a Tournament Edition with a few more features (adjustable tension sticks, braided cable, rubberized surface) than the Standard Edition. The Chimera was also expanded to have a 5.1 system over a 5.8Ghz band and a standard stereo system over 2.4Ghz.

There’s been much talk on the ASTRO Gaming Forums about the Onza with many members pre-ordering it. Let me also admit that I was planning to pre-order it as well, but it went out of stock on the Razer site so quickly (even for a pre-order) that I missed out entirely. Razer’s handling of shipping the item out a few weeks late added to the frustration of many customers online. Just this week, some of the members on the forum mentioned that BestBuy was getting them in stock. I checked the next day and was able to secure one at my local BestBuy.


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Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 Demos

I tried both Bulletstorm and Crysis 2’s demos yesterday.

Bulletstorm was neat. Felt like Unreal Tournament meets Gears. Or a strange GoW in 1st person. The concept and weapons were different enough from Gears to make it fun. While the level was short, they made it so you can keep replaying the demo over and over again to improve your score. How do you do that? Well, the whole slogan of Bulletstorm is “Kill With Skill”. The game gives you various powers to start combos (sliding kick, telsa cable, boot-kick). Then they’re put into a StreetFighter type juggle move where they hover in the air for a few seconds which gives you the opportunity to shoot at their helpless floating body with your weapons. Various different things can be done from headshots, to attaching a sticky grenade to them, kicking their body, and exploding it when the body is near other enemies (think of a remote air-mail bomb). One of the funniest things that I found was environmental damage. Some concrete walls were partially destroyed, so when I pulled an enemy towards it with the telsa cable, he was impaled on the exposed crossbars of the wall and I got “Voodoo doll” points for it.

Crysis 2 was similar to a Call of Duty style game, but with a sci-fi twist. You get basic classes (Assault Rifles, Shotguns, Snipers, Heavy MG, etc.), but you also have these exo-skeletons that have abilities like instantly adding Armor, invisibility, or a sprint boost. Each of these run off of the same battery, and only one can be used at a time. The game also has all the same COD style weapon and perk unlocks. Unfortunately in order to use items like a suppressor on a weapon, you have to unlock it by completely challenges for each weapon. It makes BlackOps unlock system with points seem like the way all games should go now.

I ended up playing the Crysis 2 demo for a lot longer time than the Bulletstorm demo, though I thought it would be the complete opposite, considering I haven’t even played the first Crysis game.

There were still MANY flaws in the Crysis 2 demo not to be overlooked. Things like client-side advantage, ping, hit-detection, and the speed of players are just to name a few. I know the game’s not completely done, but when you find a bug like the “Tactical button layout” causes the right-stick to both zoom and crouch with a sniper, it just makes you think they really didn’t work on the game.

So does this change if I’m going to buy either game?

I’m still unsure, but Bulletstorm was fun. I think the co-op aspect of the game could be fun as well. Considering it’s an EA game, I should be able to get it cheap. At the same time, not many of my close gaming circle friends may play this, but my extended industry friends probably would. So I may pick this one up (and get that exclusive GoW3 beta, hehe).

For Crysis 2, I’ll continue to play the demo and see how it pans out. It has some neat things about the game (love the sliding when running), but other parts of it need a lot of improvement.

PAX 2010 Plans

For those not familiar, PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo, a convention of sort for gamers that was started by the website/web comic Penny Arcade. Starting in 2004, it’s grown every year, and even added a PAX East hosted in Boston in the Spring of 2010.

For me, this’ll be my first PAX. I’ll be hanging probably with the ASTRO Gaming crew and a bunch of the Destructoid guys (BTW: As a plug for Destructoid, if you’ve haven’t visited their site yet, you should. They do a great job of bringing in people into a gaming community close to you with NARPS (No Apparent Reason Parties). Going to one this weekend. ). Being that I haven’t been to a PAX before, I’ll probably be like a kid in a candy store, only this “store” has tons of great free play stations with the games that are coming out this Fall and in 2011. I’m probably most excited to see Halo: Reach (Bungie should be in attendance as they’re close to Seattle and Reach will most likely be complete by then), Gears of War 3 (Hoping the bring out Beast Mode!), and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (which looks really bad ass. C’mon, Invisibility AND a mechanical robot-turret?).

Other things I’m looking forward to is hanging out with the community that I’ve been following over twitter (well, if they’ll let me, haha). I’ve been privileged to converse with a bunch of movers and shakers in the SF Bay Area in the gaming industry (most of which are involved with the DToidSF group) and they’re a nice bunch. Let the drinking and partying begin?