Haven't we seen enough COG soldiers die already? Carmine 3.0 deserves to avenge his brothers' deaths, and kick some major ass. I've sent my 80 spacebucks to Microsoft which will then be converted back to cash and some amount of it sent to Child's Play. In return my vote to "Save Carmine" has been cast and my avatar received a cool t-shirt (shown above) to show his support for Carmine as well. Do your part! Grab this t-shirt for your avatar, and/or this t-shirt for yourself, and keep our fearless Carmine alive through Gears of War 3!
All proceeds go to Child's Play, a charity set up by gamers, to help support children's hospitals around the world. This is really a great way to engage a gaming community. It gives gamers the ability to choose a plot point in a popular game, makes them feel good about donating, raises money for children's hospitals, and also raises awareness of Child's Play. As the father of two preemies, I know how it feels to see babies and children fight for their lives. Children's hospitals are incredible places, and they need everyone's support. Lives, young and old, are touched forever in these hospitals, and even the little things, like a furry bedside companion or cozy knit hat, make a huge difference. So the least you can do is buy your avatar a t-shirt for 80 MSP, but please consider making an extra donation to Child's Play as well.
I've had all the Halo books on my Amazon wishlist for a while now, but none of those wishes have come true. That is, until my wife ran into The Fall of Reach at Goodwill a few months back and we promptly bought it. I finally got around to cracking the book open Saturday morning while Erika was out and I literally could not put it down. I spent the majority of my free time this weekend reading that book and I finished it last night in bed.
This is a great little novel if you're a Halo fan. I've (obviously) played through all the games but, like most games, the Halo series fails to explain the history of the conflict. A lot of the characters you meet in the games have very colorful histories, and perhaps the most surprising to me, was Captain Keyes. Even Master Chief, the hero of the series, known for being the silent type and nearly void of personality, has a lot of secrets in his past. There is one other character who has some very interesting twists, but I'm not going to spoil that one. Lets just say he/she only looks sweet and innocent in the game.
If you're a Halo fan, The Fall of Reach is a must-read, especially before Halo: Reach comes out this September. There are so many details in the book that clear up the story lines in the games. It makes me want to play through all the games again now that I know more of the back-story.
If you're not a Halo fan... you should be. I'd honestly recommend playing at least Halo: Combat Evolved before reading the book. The book is good but I don't think it would be as interesting to someone who doesn't already know the characters and the ending. I could be wrong. It's hard to judge this book on it's own without taking the games into context as well.
If I've piqued your interest, head over to Amazon and pick it up! There are many other Halo books available as well and I will be digging into those soon (I might opt for the audio-books to make my two hour daily commutes more interesting). Now, time to fire up Halo CE!
Today's date is 7/7, that means it's my favorite gaming holiday of the year. Bungie constantly recognizes how important the Seventh Column is to their success, but Bungie Day is a special holiday they created to highlight that recognition, and to say "thanks" by giving the community something special. This year is no different. Bungie teamed up with Rooster Teeth (makers of Red vs. Blue) to bring us this video packed full of Reach goodness:
Bungie Day has also become a day for communities to say "right back atcha." While not exactly Bungie Day themed, Co-Optimus posted a Vidmaster Guide written by your's truly. That's my very first post at Co-Optimus!
Bs Angel asked for the Hawty McBloggy community to pitch in and help create a very special bungie day project. There's a TON of goodies to go through there and obviously a lot of hard work was done to create that.
I'm keeping my eyes out for more Bungie Day goodness but haven't seen any other notables yet. Happy Bungie Day! Thank you, Bungie, for bringing us such great games!
E3 brought a lot of exciting news for Xbox 360 fans this year. Possibly the biggest announcement was the unveiling of Kinect (formerly Project Natal). Many have picked on Kinect for several reasons but I think most of those complaints are unfounded. In it's current state, I don't think anyone had hardcore gamers in mind, yet the only people complaining are the hardcore gamers. Let them perfect the technology with casual games, it will be in everyone's best interest in the end. It's kind of funny because I bet if there was a hardcore game being released with Kinect compatibility, gamers would be complaining that they have to buy Kinect or that gamers with Kinect would have an unfair advantage, etc. etc. In the end, the implementation would not be perfect and there'd be millions of complaints about that. I think Microsoft is making the right move by focusing on casual games first. There won't be much of a backlash when things aren't perfect. Personally, I'm looking forward to Kinect since it will have some fun games for kids and the control it will offer in the dashboard will be very cool as well. I'm not counting on playing any hardcore games with it any time soon.
Another huge announcement was the new slim Xbox 360. This had a "meh" reaction from me. Yes, the integrated wireless is nice, but I wouldn't use it. The smaller form factor is pretty minimal, the current model is small enough in my book. The best part about it is that all the current Xbox 360's got a $50 drop in price and stores are pushing to clear out their stock. I just picked up an Xbox 360 Arcade for $130 and got a $50 gift card! Basically, I got a brand new Xbox 360 Arcade for $80. I'll be selling the two games and controller that came with it so that will sweeten the deal even more. It will be nice to have another Xbox for those games that don't offer split screen. So I guess the new 360 is cool in some respect ;).
For me, I think I got more excited about the game announcements. Bungie announced Firefight for Halo Reach which is insanely customizable and has some cool new features. I figured it was coming but actually seeing the trailer and hearing about all the new features was very exciting. The little bit of space battles they showed was pretty cool but I'm a little bit weary about it. I hope it is included in multiplayer and I really hope it is not over-done in the campaign. I also hope it is not too generic. I would be very excited if it has a Star Wars Battlefront feel to it where you can land inside a station or large ship and attack or go after some sort of objective.
Another set of game announcement I am very excited about is everything Epic announced for Gears of War 3. Beast Mode (basically the inverse of Horde mode) sounds absolutely fantastic. I can't wait to get my hands on that mode. The new weapons and enemies are looking awesome and Epic has really seemed to hit the mark with female gears. They're not too fragile and they're not too buff. They look tough while still retaining their womanhood. They found a good balance.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is looking good. That will be a fun game to tackle with my wife. I'm also looking forward to Dungeon Siege 3 and Hunted: Demon's Forge. I've been keeping an eye on Crackdown 2, although since there's no couch co-op, I'm on the fence. There are so many games out there and not enough time to play them all.
All links point to Co-Optimus, because I'm a whore like that.
You may think that title has something to do with Red Dead Redemption since everyone has been raving about it lately, but you'd be wrong. It's the title of Bungie's short and sweet farewell video to the Halo Reach Beta. "The Ugly" is pretty amusing.