Viral Video Game Blog

GBU Game Review for Bioshock 2 (Xbox360)

Did I enjoy this unnecessary sequel to the beloved Bioshock? Well….yes, yes I did. Also available on PS3 and PC, gonna roll with an 8/10 for this bad boy.

The Good – Ok, the originality of Bioshock’s story and setting have been done to death, in review form I mean. Get at the wiki if you wanna have an idea of what you’re jumping into and how the first one ended. It was one of the better gaming ‘experiences’ out there that I’ve had and it will always be a classic to me. The sequel basically gives you more of the same, with some refinements of course.

Set 10 years after the events of the first game, this is a different story involving a different character. You play as a Big Daddy prototype, the splicers are still running around acting crazy, and someone has decided to keep the Little Sister program going. The creepy, but cute buggers who go around extracting ‘Adam’ from dead bodies, the stuff that makes it possible for you to have crazy powers (plasmids) such as shooting electricity or fire from your hand. Some improvements see you utilizing both plasmids and guns at the same time….yeah, go look it up, part 1 had you split-seconding between the two instead of simultaneously shooting them. Yup, I forgot that too. Standard issue, new guns, updated guns, same with the plasmids. Some new enemies include Brutes, basically super roided up versions of the splicers, splicers being your basic enemies, luckily you only see Brutes once in awhile cuz they’re tough. You got different versions of Big Daddy’s….and probably the star of the pre-release trailers, the Big Sisters. Think the Big Daddy, but female, slender, and able to move and jump around like a ninja.

Some more improvements, such as the hacking of stations and security bots, still a small challenge, but way better than playing a ‘switch the tile’ mini game. Getting near the end holds some really cool surprises…remember in part 1, where you had to find a Big Daddy suit and walk in his shoes? Think of the surprise along those lines, but better I think. Of course you get to explore more of Rapture, which is still an awesome and interesting world with damn sweet graphics and sound. And if you’re an exploring type gamer like me, this game will keep you busy for HOURS. It really scratches the ‘loot whore’ itch that other titles like Oblivion and Fallout 3 do. At the end of the day, I enjoyed the game as a whole and got my money’s worth.

The Bad – A major audio glitch. It only reared it’s head a couple times….but the last time was really bad. Example, when you start kickin up dust and that orchestral music kicks in letting you know that shit’s on? And when the objective is clear the music is supposed to die down? Well, in one level it never died down….it got damn annoying, I was always on edge for no reason. The second time it happened I’ll save for the ‘Ugly’ portion here.

The game took a few hours to really get me hooked, when you start, it really feels just more of the same, and again, unnecessary. Once you get over that hump it does come into it’s own though. An issue I had with the original is here but amplified. Basically, when you feel like the game is about to end, you’re ready to cap this bad boy off, but you still go for another couple hours….it did that more than once to me.

The Ugly – That audio glitch I mentioned? Well, the second it happened was at the very last level…an alarm is going off like crazy….I finally finish, ending cut scene plays and all that good stuff…….all the while, THE ALARM IS STILL GOING OFF.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

(Videogame) Music & Me

Channeling that awesome Nate Dogg album? Naw, double R here and what’s been on  my mind. Like the top of the blog says, as a couple of old dudes(we in our 30s yo!), we’ve seen gaming go through some serious transformations. If you’ve heard us on the podcast(we hope you have), you’ll know I’m big into the audio, music, etc. of gaming. We’ve seen games go from the simple bleep-bloops, to the NES days which has music known as chip tunes today. Super Nintendo rolled around and brought “CD quality” sound as the box put it. Then once games were stored on disc, there was no limitation to the music quality of games. Sure, sound effects may not have been up to snuff all the time, voice acting too, but bigger and better chips were put in the consoles. So here we are today, where if you play a lot of games with your eyes closed, you’d think you were watching a big hollywood movie.

Back in the 16-bit days, once I got a feel for the game’s sound, I could just throw on a Wu-Tang Clan CD and zone out. Effectively killing 2 entertainment birds with one stone, but today’s a little different for me. Real world and all that good stuff, free time is precious, and we have to really balance our entertainment options, what I usually call my ‘eff off’ time. Because really, talk to some people, and god forbid if I’m not doing anything productive in my free time. You know the type, where it’s okay to sit and read a book for an hour, but if you sit and play a video game for that time, there’s something wrong with you. Okay, I’m veering off topic here, that’s another subject for another day. Anyways…

I may not consume nowhere near as much new music as I did when I was 15, but I do like to listen to podcasts. Looking at my weekly rotation, I got 9 of them on that plate….now that’s alot. I’ll get back to that in minute. With today’s games, audio cues and sound effects are pretty important to listen to. In Gears Of War, when the music starts to pump, you know shit’s on. Then you get the sound that tells you the area’s clear and you can breathe again. In shooters, surround sound is awesome, not just in quality, but adding to the gameplay. Hey, if there’s a dude behind you to the left, you’ll literally know it because of the surround sound. Sound has to invoke emotional response too sometimes, take horror games for example. The sound plays a big part in instilling fear into the player.  And then there’s the actual music quality. Man, I appreciate some good musical scores I tell ya…the Halos, Bioshocks, and Silent Hills are few franchises that come to mind.

So what I’m basically saying is, that how I used to play aurally when I was 15, I can’t really do as much anymore. Obviously by choice, but I’d really hate to miss out on the awesome work that goes into videogame audio. But today’s gaming does give me a compromise, in the way of downloadable games. Check out my reviews and you’ll know I go through my fair share. What’s great is, with most of them, I can hear what they have to offer, but since they’re small experiences, you don’t have to monitor the sound the whole time. And I can throw on that Wu-Tang album…I can listen listen to one of those podcasts…I can hold a conversation with someone without missing an important cue. Videogame sound is great and I love it. I get that there’s cats out there who couldn’t care less. Hey, it’s all good, different strokes for different folks and all that good stuff. But to the peeps who have any kind of appreciation for videogame sound, how do you guys like to rock it?

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bioshock Infinite – Trailer Thoughts

Rich Dog here, after a long hiatus of drawing a blank on what to write about, I just wanna express how cool I think this trailer is. Props to Jamie for throwin up the trailer before I even knew what Irrational Games was announcing. I knew they were showing something that day, totally forgot though. I was sure it was going to be a new IP. Ah well, anyways.

The first Bioshock was probably my favorite game of ‘07. That jawn grabbed me right off the bat and I was compelled all the way through. What an awesome gaming experience, it’s not often where you get a twist ending in a game of Shyamalan proportions….pre Village of course, his movies kinda blow now. His new one looks interesting though. Ok, back on topic, Bioshock was definitely one of those 360 graphical showstoppers as Jamie mentioned. Allow me to go to the well once more, Bioshock 2 on the other hand, “I was not that impressed with BioShock 2 it was still a quality game”. Nail on the head bro…..I really dig Bioshock 2, but it’s more like Bioshock 1.5. More of the same game if you will, which isn’t a bad thing. It just took a long while for the game to come into it’s own for me, being a true Big Daddy is an interesting dynamic, and it’s still mad fun. It was just…..unnecessary. The first game was such a unique thing, it’s hard to make that kinda lightning strike twice. Which bring us to how this new game looks to be.

Irrational Games brought us the first Bioshock….the core team did not make part 2. They kept some people on board obviously. But Bioshock Infinite will probably be considered more so a true sequel. Moving from the rich underwater world of the 50s and 60s, we’re being moved into a city in the skies set in 1912. Throw some political and historical themes with mystery in for good measure, and here you have the city of Columbia, the yang to Rapture’s ying. The trailer may be CG, but if the previous Bioshock trailers were anything to go by, the final game probably isn’t far from it. First person shooting while wielding powers will make a return. The mechanical looking person with an actual working heart looks to be just as creepy as it was the first time I saw a Big Daddy. Apparently the narrative isn’t connected to the Bioshocks, so it should be a fresh story and hopefully something that will keep me interested till the end. My only beef? The dang thing doesn’t drop till 2012, man, that’s a long way off to introduce a game. I am looking forward to it though. And the music, can’t wait to hear it, Bioshock remains one of my favorite scores for a game. Dropping on PC, 360, and PS3 sometime in 2012.

August 13, 2010 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bioshock Infinite – Trailer Thoughts

Bioshock Infinite –

G4tv has an announcement from one of our favorite series Bioshock. The new game will be called Bioshock Infinite. Is this a Fallout “New Vegas” or actually Bioshock 3?  I have to say I’m a tad bit confused. At first when I saw Bioshock Infinite I thought  “muppets…IN SPAAAACE” than oo …bioshock 3. Is not numbering your games the new black? We shall see.

Although I was not that impressed with BioShock 2 it was still a quality game. A third installment of the series wouldn’t be a bad thing per se’.  Maybe I hold nostalgia for Bioshock 1, that moment 3 hours in where you just went “ahhhhh” as you get your first abilities, or maybe I’m just a dick. It could be that bioshock has become one of the quintessential xbox360 games with it’s visuals, gameplay and omfg will you look at that WATER effects.  It’s not THE but..one of. Maybe we should drop that in the podcast. When you look back after the next generation what game will you most associate with the xbox? What game sums up your xbox experience so far?

Anyhow, enough of my psycho babble here’s some video footage below!


BioShock Infinite is set for release in 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | | 1 Comment

Dragon Age, is Dialogue in Video games totally Neccesary or not?

I refer to what I encountered in Dragon Age as RP BS.  I’m all for conversation in a game if it’s done tastefully but I think Bioware goes to places that they shouldn’t tread.  I find myself skipping key talking points and just mashing through levels killing things.  I came to this same problem in another Bioware game, Mass Effect. While the story line is engaging and entertaining at some points I simply just want to play. Mass Effect 1 had a good amount of action to mix with the story. Then again I had the book to use as a walk through. I was essentially reading the story as I was playing. As a old fashioned type of guy who enjoys reading paperbacks this was ok, I imagine the Ipad Generation to be will not.  So my main problem is Dragon Age keeps you IN the story more than it does taking part in it. Do I really need to explore all conversation paths? Sure I can just use the option to Presuade or Kill you but then am I back in this mashing game? There are other games that tell no story, or even the same story over and over like Mario and gets away with it without any fuss from the masses. Or Stories told through tape recorder entries like Bioshock.  So what do you think? Is Dialogue in games necessary?

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , , , , | 1 Comment

Double R’s 1st Post!

Wut up people’s, the less-than-professional half of the mastercontrolcast here(gotta give the Chud man mad propz for gettin us goin!). I was just checkin the post he made about Bioshock 2….and, umm, yeah….I’m pretty wary myself too. Bioshock was like, my favorite game of 2007, in year where alot of hotness dropped(Halo3 and Portal, I’m lookin at U sons!), they have a lot to live up. I mean if we got some of the same peeps on the development team on board, maybe something special can happen again….but when 2K games are talkin multi sequels, I’m afraid they wanna start milkin before they even get to the farm!

So JC is spot on with the music analogy, but I’m a different beast of a hip-hop fan than he is, I takes my ish more seriously than most….don’t worry holmes, I don’t know too many heads who think Biggie’s 2nd is better than the 1st. But I gotta do a 180 and seriously disagree on the Nas comment…Illmatic, classic of course…It Was Written, pretty dang solid too…I Am, that’s where he started to drop off, it was so-so…Nastradamus, weeeeeaaaak….but he must’ve been hit with the reality stick after that, cuz Stillmatic was once again another classic, and everything after that has been extremely tight, I’d say an 8 or better(especially Hip Hop Is Dead)….but that’s just me, Chud man knows I’m way passionate about my hip-hop….I still die a little inside when I see what mainstream rap has become…oh well life goes on…..and cats on the underground tip are still makin it happen.

As I predicted last week, my moment of weakness came while at Target tonight, I picked up Killzone 2 and cannot wait sink my choppers into that bad boy….gotta get some stuff done around the crib this weekend, but I should be able to talk to it a bit for the show next week….later peoples!

March 7, 2009 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bio-Shocking!

Man. 1up reported that this website is a bioshock trailer. Man. Rich and I loved this game. Sometimes I worry about follow up’s to games I really enjoy. As with everything in life I relate it to music. Bands that release a good first album usually hone their skillz next time around and make a better 2nd album. My Morning Jacket (It still moves) ,Oasis (Morning Glory), Ride (Going Blank Again), Smiths (Meat is Murder) , Shed Seven (Maximum High) , Verve, (Northern Soul), Slowdive (Soulvaki), Stereophonics (Performance and C-tails), American Analog Set (From our living room). On the other side you have the great entrances then the 2nd album drop off’s. Some people will say Biggie’s second album was better, myself I dont see it but, that’s ok. Nas did nothing after Illmatic. The Stone Roses while liking the Second Coming was NOWHERE near as good as the first. The Charlatans followed up Some Friendly with a much lesser 10th and 11th. WHATEVER. Just sayin.

Bioshock could be good or bad. hehe. Yes. I play the middle. My hope is that they take some of the problems with bioshock and improve it a little while keeping the core gameplay there. Like more space. I’m a fan of space. We’re in at the beginning of the Digital Revolution right now. I know we probably wont really see the “bigger” games until we move into the next gen consoles and game companies start really flexing the blu-ray’s capabilities. I’m not meaning oh we have 6 more feet of view space. Just meaning better movies, akin to Star Wars’s Force unleashed and GTA, better animations. Maybe I just have a ton of hope. 🙂 They call me a dreamer.

I’ll have the edit finished for the podcast by this weekend. It went really well. We’re starting to move along nicely now. We did run a little long on the TRT so apologies in advance. We’re trying to keep things around 1 hour-1:15 in length for now. Problem is there is a certain person who tends to babble (See: ME).

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bio-Shocking!