A Return to Brutality

So, the Xbox hasn't been getting much love in my house of late.  You could say it's been the sudden flood of fantastic free-to-play MMOs that have caught my eye as of late.  So, I thought I would take an hour or two one night and revisit a title that reinvigorated my love of gaming, Bayonetta.

Nothing but class
When I last left Bayonetta, I was working my way through hard mode and was on the first boss, Fortitudo.  Now bear in mind that Bayonetta was ridiculously hard, even on normal, and I remember hard mode wiping the floor with me.  So I jump back into the game on the boss fight and after a few attempts, I get the pattern down and began shaking the couch as I furiously mash buttons in an effort to earn the multipliers.  Twenty minutes later and he's down.

I move on to the next area and encountered the toughest bastards from my last play through, Grace and Glory. Working as the tag-team from Hell, they continually denied me any further progression.  I can barely emerge from an encounter with two, let alone the four that immediately follow.  It's an exercise in frustration.  Not because the game is cheap in any way.  I'm frustrated with my lack of ability to conquer them.  I can see what I have to do, but my ignorance in combos and poor reflexes spell near certain doom.  On more than one occasion, I was down to one final enemy and made a careless mistake that sent me back to the beginning.

So much hate
Bayonetta brought me out of my slump when I had the feeling that games were nothing but mindless war sims.  It showed me how much fun could be had when a developer wasn't afraid to push boundaries and enjoy their creation.  Now, it is teaching me a new lesson.  I have grown soft and weak.  Games today do not punish players for their stupid mistakes like the games of old.  I, for one, welcome back the sheer brutality and satisfaction that follows.  For that, I thank you, Platinum Games.

Double Decker Burger

Place: ?
Location: Twin Lakes, WI
Burger: Double Decker Burger
Ingredients: Lettuce, tomato, American cheese

The place I went to was the perfect example of a mid-western diner.  Booths lined the walls underneath stuffed fish and ducks.  The decor was generic and twenty years out of date.  It's a place that only locals will know and visit as evidenced by the place having no online presence.  Be it Google, Bing, or Yellow Pages, I could not find any information other than a blurry photo with "Restaurant" and "Pizza" on the signs.

The burger itself was nothing special.  It was average, neither lacking or excelling in flavor.  It was exactly what one would expect when ordering a burger in a place like this.  The lettuce and tomato were fresh and crisp.  The lightly toasted bun was a nice touch and the meat did not rain grease on the plate, something that puts this burger above many others in the area.

On the side:  Bland, average, crisp fries

Three out of five stars

Digimon Masters

My review of Digimon Masters is up at www.gamingclimax.com

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

City of Heroes Winter Event

It's that time of year again.  A time where heroes and villains relax in the ski chalet of Pocket D.  But of course, evil strikes and Baby New Year has been kidnapped...again.  A new threat also arises in the form of Lady Winter who wants to cover the whole world with snow and ice.

This year, the ski chalet got a face lift in the form of new ski slopes.  Players can race down to try and get the best server times.  There's also a slew of rewards for completing the holiday missions.  From all of the badges of past Winter Events to Santa costume pieces and naughty/nice halos.

So from December 13, 2011 to January 3, 2012, come take part in my favorite MMO holiday event.

City of Heroes - Winter Event

Top 9 Video Games of 2011

Before the lot of you begin asking, "Where's x, y, and z games?" and "Why are there only nine games?"  There were a lot of games that I wanted to play in 2011, but did not get the chance to for a number of reasons.  I'm sure the list would look quite different if I did get the opportunity.  If you want to see a more robust list next year, feel free to donate to my Paypal account and I'll see what I can do.

Without any further panhandling, I present to you, The Top 9 Video Games of 2011 (That I Played).

9.  All Points Bulletin: Reloaded - PC
Mix equal parts Grand Theft Auto and intense PvP and then make it free to play and you wind up with the relaunched version of All Points Bulletin.  The game is gorgeous and plays incredibly well.  It brings about a breath of fresh air in the stagnating world of MMOs.  Best part of the whole deal?  The game is completely free to download and play.

8.  Wizard's Choice (series) - Windows Phone
Wizard's Choice revitalized the choose-your-own-adventure genre with a challenging trilogy that was full of twists and turns.  The first installment is free and completely hooked me.  Within seconds of completing it, I had purchased the next two chapters at $0.99 each and have since played the series repeatedly.  It's among my favorite apps and if you have a Windows Phone, it's well worth the download.

7.  Brawl Busters - PC
Brawl Busters was a surprise hit for me in that I wasn't expecting much from the kiddie style and monster fighting.  What I found instead was a game full of personality and compelling gameplay.  From the PvP to the Horde inspired Zombie Survival mode and the characters that inhabit that world, there's so much to love.  Of course loving it is made that much easier when the game is free to play.

6.  Mortal Kombat - Xbox 360
Mortal Kombat was a series on life support for a long time.  I had loved the series as a kid, but had long since long given up interest.  The last game I had purchased was Deadly Alliance and I was underwhelmed by it.  Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe showed promise, but was too far too tame.  Mortal Kombat brought the series back to its violent roots in a triumphant way and spun the classic story with an intriguing twist.  With a new in-depth combat system, Mortal Kombat has finally returned to the top of its game.

5.  Marvel vs Capcom 3 - Xbox 360
Twelve years after the second game became a smash it, Capcom and Marvel stunned the world with the trailer for a third entry.  Sporting a look similar to Street Fighter IV and featuring the frantic, fast-paced combat the series is famous for, Marvel vs Capcom 3 immediately climbed to the top of my "Must Play It Now" list.  Months later, I'm still terrible at the game, but have loved every second invested in it.

4.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3- Xbox 360
I've never been a super huge fan of the Call of Duty series.  The story has always been lackluster and the multiplayer lacking in one way or another.  However, when it comes to playing a game with a group of friends, it's hard to do better.  Modern Warfare 3 still lacked in story, but balanced the multiplayer and brought back my favorite gun of all time, the Barrett .50.  Now, it's more fun than ever to get a group going online and battle against the unwashed masses of Xbox Live.

3.  Hunted: The Demon's Forge - Xbox 360
Hunted: The Demon's Forge was a title that had caught my eye early into its development.  It released to mediocre reviews.  When I finally got my hands on it, I found one of the most enjoyable co-op gaming experiences.  Kim and I spent a weekend devoted to the game.  It was a weekend of teamwork at its best.  From solving puzzles to taking on near insurmountable odds, it was a blast.  If you have a buddy to do some classic couch co-op gaming with, you can't do much better than Hunted: The Demon's Forge.

2.  Gears of War 3 - Xbox 360
You can't do much better than Hunted: The Demon's Forge for classic co-op gaming, but Gears of War has been the reigning king since its initial release and for good reason.  Gears of War 3 then took everything great about the series and perfected it.  It is the pinnacle for cooperative gaming and marks the end of a tremendous saga.  With the addition of new game modes and a new take on the classic Horde mode, there's a whole lot to do with a group of friends.

1.  Dead Space 2 - Xbox 360
The first Dead Space was a surprise hit for me.  It wasn't a game I hadn't paid much attention to until it found its way to my coffee table.  I was instantly hooked.  The environment, story, combat, and sound all drew me into the madness surrounding Isaac Clarke.  Dead Space 2 was the perfect Valentine's Day gift.  Isaac spoke, and the madness spread to a space station.  It was a roller coaster ride of terror that has yet to find its equal.  For its story telling and the immersion I felt while playing it start to finish, Dead Space 2 was the game of 2011 for me.

Final Fantasy Dissidia Wallpapers

Who doesn't love new wallpapers?  Especially those featuring the excellent artwork of Tetsuya Nomura?  All wallpapers are 1920x1080 resolution.

New Soul Calibur V Wallpapers

I've added wallpapers of Raphael, Lexia, and Ezio Auditore da Firenze.  All are 1920x1080.  Find them here.

Release Calendar: December 2011

December 02:
Assassin's Creed: Revelations (PC)

December 04:
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

December 05:
Fortune Street (Wii)

December 06:
Trine 2 (PC)
Defenders of Ardania (PC, 360, PS3)
The Adventures of Tintin  (3DS, PC, PS3, Wii, 360)

December 13:
Rocksmith (PC)
Marble Arena 2  (PC)

December 20:
Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

Dec 27:
The Ultimate Battle of the Sexes