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Monday, January 26, 2015

Halo 2 Anniversary - Crazy Double Kill

Every once in awhile we like to share random gameplay clips which are either funny or show something we've managed to pull off. Here's a small clip of a double kill I managed to pull off in Halo 2, which I know will NEVER happen again. (It was all skill people! As far as you know!)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cat's Game of the Year 2014

This year, I didn't play many new games. I played Omega Ruby, but didn't really get the chance to finish it. I also played Far Cry 4 and LittleBigPlanet 3 after I managed to get my hands on a PS4. And although I loved the openness and sheer amount of things to do in Far Cry 4, I've decided to give my 2014 Game of the Year to LittleBigPlanet 3.

I've always been a huge fan of the LittleBigPlanet series. Along with Ratchet and Clank, it's the primary reason I'll always choose Playstation over Xbox. LittleBigPlanet is a platformer with one of the most extensive level editors I've ever seen. Every time a new one is announced, I wonder how it is they'll manage to top the last one since I'm sure they have every tool a creator could ever need, but somehow they manage to do it.

3 set itself apart with the ability to make custom upgrades, an inventory that can allow you to hold several upgrades at once, and the fact that you can make Adventures, a world map consisting of up to 15 levels that even goes as far as to save your progress. It also upped the 3 layers from the other games to a new 16, allowing levels to have significantly more depth to them.

The new tools, combined with the old, and with the community of talented creators, allows an experience where there will always be a new level to try. And even though the game is meant to be a platformer, you can find all kinds of levels, ranging from a board game based on Monopoly, to a fully functional remake of the original Legend of Zelda. The people who put these levels together and share them online for all to play are really what make these games so great.

Since 3 is still new, we have yet to see a lot of great levels that use the new tools, but the few that have come are really fun, and it's exciting to think about what might come in the future. And it's even more exciting to know that with enough work I could apply my own ideas to contribute to that community someday.

The point is I love LittleBigPlanet, and the newest one is a great addition to a great series, and I'm excited to see more from its community in the future.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lugia's Game of the Year 2014

So to be honest, last year was a pretty slow one for me, without many options for new games. Other than some of the major Nintendo titles and a handful of indie games, not much happened. I even got Pokemon Alpha Sapphire late because of a lack of money, but there was one game in particular that stood out immensely...

I hate MMORPGs. And yet I've played quite a few free ones, which is probably why I hate them actually. So buying a subscription to one? Hah. Never. Not me... Not until last December at least. A friend had wanted me to try the free trial of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for quite a while, and after he'd gotten another of our friends to download it, I went ahead and got it as well. I went in expecting less than nothing, but needless to say I was very surprised.

The thing that gripped me the most about Final Fantasy XIV was the world. I can't say I've ever been immersed in a game solely because of the world it presented to me and this game did a breathtaking job. Thanalan alone is enormous and filled with beautiful landmarks and natural phenomena, and that was just a piece of Eorzea. In fact, the world-induced immersion was the main reason I fell in love with this game, followed closely behind by the art style, music and oddly enough, the story. I cannot describe with words how playing this game made me feel because it was too amazing.

Even the things I expected to dread, the grinding, the combat, the quests, even those things felt amazing and not once during the early game did I feel like I was grinding at all (although switching to other classes did feel a bit tedious). Pursuing the story was exciting and I loved taking in the lore and personality of the world. I started as a thaumaturge and even after dabbling in other classes with the game's incredibly open and free class system, I still stuck with it because I loved the use of Umbral Ice and Astral Fire so much. A lot of my love for this game was because of the brilliantly implemented gamepad controls. Everything is intuitive and not once did I have to go back to the keyboard or mouse to navigate something. Playing with the keyboard on the other hand, felt very stiff and unenjoyable. I enjoyed this game so much that I actually did buy it, for better or worse.

You might be saying to yourself right now, "But Lugia Final Fantasy XIV technically didn't come out in 2014", and yeah, you'd be right. The version I played came out in late 2013, but frankly this game stood out so much more than anything else. Other contenders for me were The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (which I enjoyed nearly as much as this game), Mario Kart 8 (which didn't feel quite right as my game of the year), Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U (which I have dozens of problems with believe it or not), Shovel Knight (which I also had a lot of problems with believe it or not), and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (which I got really late after its release and didn't have much time to play). While the PS4 version came out in 2014, the PC version didn't, but nothing else met the enjoyment I had with it.

You might also be saying to yourself, "But Lugia Final Fantasy XIV is just an MMORPG and the other games you listed are so much better!", and yeah, you might be right about that too. I can't really defend this choice for any reason. This just so happens to be the game that pulled me in, it made me feel special like I was on a real adventure unlike any game I've ever played before. It's something I don't think I'll ever forget and it topped off 2014 perfectly. Too bad I probably won't be able to subscribe again for a while...

World 1-1 - Movie Review

It's no secret that here at Netto's Game Room we are focused on video games. We play them, we discuss them, and they are a huge part of all of our lives. As strange as this may sound though, did you know there was a time when video games almost vanished from the world? No? Well, it's true. Just think, where we would be now if this had happened--if gaming never continued? None of us would have a reason to even be thinking about them, the gaming communities many of us have come to know and love would not exist, and all of those friends you've come to know because of gaming are people you most likely would have never met. Our world would be vastly different, and each of our lives would have been greatly altered. But you know? The "rebirth" of video games isn't what changed the world as some of you might think. Nintendo didn't just swoop in, make ROB, and start a new craze--they revived something that came from a much longer and deeper struggle. A struggle that started long before the world famous Pac-Man hit arcades, and even before the game we all know as "Pong" captured people's attention. This is a story that has been forgotten by many, and one that has never fully been told--that is, until now.

World 1-1 is a video game documentary that takes us back to the roots--the very beginning of the video game industry. Rather than speed running the early days of gaming to reach the more modern world of today, it takes the time to tell the complete story of everything that happened. It tells the story of the people who we truly owe this industry to. If it wasn't for these individuals and the challenges they overcame, that video game rebirth would have never even had a chance to happen, and even the computer industry in general would have been vastly different. You may not realize it, but the connection video games and computers shared greatly changed our world. The smart phones you rely on each day, the tablets you use, and even the PC you may be using to read this review--all of these electronics we now have today can be traced back to the roots of gaming, and that can be quite shocking (especially for those of you who may even look down on games). This topic in particular is just one of the many pieces of information World 1-1 covers, and it only gets better from there. Still, with that being said, let us make this very clear before we move on with this review. Keep in mind that World 1-1 is a full on documentary, and because of that it isn't something we can tell you to watch, or tell you to avoid. When it comes down to it, it all depends on your personal interests, and rather or not if you like documentaries. Of course this also means that, due to it's nature, it is also a film that can be enjoyed by many; not just those who are interested in the world of gaming.

Documentaries are a great source of information. They allow those who know nothing about the topic at hand to learn something new, and they also allow those who already have a great deal of knowledge on the subject to learn new information. World 1-1 does both perfectly, and because of that it can easily be enjoyed by both types of viewers. If you're someone who knows nothing about the industry (or possibly even dislikes video games), this is a film that will not only educate you, but possibly give you a new found respect for the market and those involved as well. This film gets very personal, and really connects the viewers with the people--so much that it becomes hard not to like these guys, and commend them for what they have accomplished. It really is something more documentaries should take the time to do (if possible of course), and it makes this one much more enjoyable. As for those of you who may already know about this era, again, World 1-1 gets very personal, and because of that it covers a lot of things you couldn't possibly know--unless you were there yourself. Hearing the personal stories behind each of these major events in gaming, and each of these major game releases is easily one of the best aspects of the film, and where a lot of new knowledge will come from. For example, listening to the story of how Donkey Kong was ported from the arcades, and the reasons behind it only being two levels long, really makes you see the game and it's shortcomings in new light. Then there's also the story about the working conditions at Atari, which will most likely put a smile on your face. It is the inside stories such as these that really pull you in, and show off the very same events you may already know about in a different way. Of course there's a lot more interesting stories covered in World 1-1, but we wouldn't want to spoil them for you--you'll just have to watch it for yourself and see.

So, now you may be wondering. How much does it really cover? Is this like them other video game documentaries where they quickly jump from subject to subject just to fit everything within a half an hour or so? Or is it truly that much deeper? We asked ourselves these same things way back when this movie was nothing more than a dream and a newly opened Kickstarter page, and well, we were pleasantly surprised. Of course we had a general idea what to expect from this project in the long run, but finally watching it for ourselves did confirm our expectations, as well as surpass them. As mentioned above, this movie covers nearly everything from the early days of gaming, and it does so very well. It doesn't rush it like other video game documentaries I've personally watched, and it takes the time to go into each event with great detail. Along with the personal stories, every event is explained completely, and it is all presented in an orderly manner just as it should be. By the time World 1-1 is over, you feel as if you've lived through that age (or possibly relived it), and that's a great feeling.

Now the moment of truth, is it worth buying and watching? Well, once again, this isn't something we can easily tell you to do. If you're the type of person who enjoys documentaries (and possibly dislikes video games), or if you're someone who loves video games, then that is a definite yes/maybe. Again this comes down to your personal interests, and if you care about this sort of thing. What we can tell you is this is film that is a little over two hours long, it is packed full of information, it is filled with personal stories, and it is something that will teach you a lot of things you didn't know before. Even I (someone who nearly follows everything gaming related) learned a great deal from this movie, and that information is going to become something that I'll be able to use from time to time here on out--I really do owe it to Jeanette & Daryl (the two behind this film) as I most likely would have never found all of this out on my own. I must thank both of them for that, and I know many others will be thanking them as well. As for those of you who may not like documentaries (or even despise them), we still recommend that you give this one a chance if the opportunity ever presents itself, but if you don't like the genre, then you don't like the genre--it is as simple as that, and nothing we say or do can change it.

Overall we feel that World 1-1 was a great film, and I personally cannot wait to see the follow up. This is just the first in a series, so more great things are sure to come over the following years. Good job you two. Keep up the great work.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

World 1-1 Out Now! Review on the way!

If you have been following NGR over the past year then you should remember us mentioning the upcoming video game documentary "World 1-1." It originally started as a Kickstarter (which we shared with you guys), but once it reached its goal it went into full production. Well, after a year long wait the day is finally here! World 1-1 is out now! If you are interested in video game history, you can head on over to the following website: http://www.worldoneonemovie.com/

As for how the movie is? Well, we here at NGR were lucky enough to receive an early copy (thanks guys!) and we plan on having a full review up of the film this weekend. Not going to say anything now, but we hope you look forward to it! As for those of you who know you'll like the film, again, feel free to pick it up if you haven't already. (No need to wait on us.)

So with that being said, we hope you look forward to both the review and the film. See you all again soon.