April 27, 2010

Alan Wake Prequel "Bright Falls" Finally ... um, Falls

Here are the first two episodes of "Bright Falls," the Alan Wake live-action prequel.  Pretty weird.  Definitely set the tone of the town ...

Final Fantasy XIII - Review - Satisfying From Beginning to (Eventual) End

A long time coming, huh?  Final Fantasy XIII came out on March 9th and here it is April 27th, 7 weeks later and I'm just now starting my review.

I think it's pretty appropriate in a way actually.  The commitment to play Final Fantasy XIII (I call it a commitment because it is much more than just playing a game) itself takes a long time to see through.  First, it took me around 64 hours to get to view the end credits, which ended up being exactly one month to finish the story. Second, I'm still playing as of today to get all the achievements and I have currently accumulated over 90 hours of total gameplay.  My prediction of how many more hours it will take to get the rest of the achievements?  Another 30.  If you're keeping tabs, any post-game leveling and achievement hunting could take upwards of another 60 hours depending on how much you play it the first time through.

Make no mistake, Final Fantasy XIII is a long game. Not only is the complete package time consuming, but the course to get there is practically a straight line that doesn't break wide open until after 20 hours (and even then it's deceptively large).  Does this construction limit the game's enjoyability?  Is it a monotonous trudge-fest that lacks depth and choice, instead funneling the player into predetermined choices making you feel like you're in an aggravatingly long QTE?

In an attempt to offer a breath of brevity:  No.

Final Fantasy XIII is a giantly fantastic game in more ways than one, and in the first four months of 2010 has captured my attention like nothing I've played since the original BioShock or Half-Life 2.  Heck, I'm still playing it and wanting to whenever I can get an just an hour to play.

Continue reading for the full review.

April 22, 2010

Halo: Reach "Carnage Carnivale" Vidoc - HO ... LEE ... CRAP

"'Campaign' prepares an amazing table, but 'Multiplayer' is your meal." - Luke Smith, Bungie Designer

These are the first words of Bungie's latest video documentary titled "Carnage Carnivale" (it actually has some accented letters to sound more French or Italian or something; I don't know how to put those in).  These guys make probably the best vidocs across the gaming world.  Plus they love their job.  And when you watch them talk about what they're making, it doesn't look like they're doing a "job" but doing what they love and it's then you know that they're putting their hearts and energy into the best product they can make.

Halo: Reach could possibly be the best game of the year.

Watch the video below and TELL ME that you don't feel a sense of excitement and anticipation.  Ten days!  That's all we have left for just the multiplayer beta.  Things will change by the time it's released so who knows how much better it will be when it's finished.  In the video (below), we get some great new gameplay, showing the Armor Abilities from first person (there's an Elite evade at the 1:12 mark!), the new weapons (the DMR looks like a beast, and the new Covenant weapons look great), the bigness of the maps, and the graphics looks even more polished than Halo 3.

Did I already say Halo: Reach could possibly be the best game of the year?

I did?  I'll say it again in bold, all caps, italicized and underlined and ending with an exclamation point.


(I have to say, there is some bleeped language I'm not a fan of, but the overall video is amazing.)

The Reach beta and Alan Wake are tearing my heart apart!

Alan Wake Six-Part Live-Action Prequel on Xbox Live!

No jokes, nothing in an attempt to be funny, but a sheer honest statement in all italics:

I am so excited about this!

Beginning this Monday, Xbox Live will be showing weekly episodes of a live action prequel to the highly anticipated thriller Alan Wake entitled Bright Falls.  The whole event will culminate in a finale cliffhanger the day before the game's release which will certainly pique the excitement of those of us clamoring for the game and those who have been on the fence.

I've rolled my eyes more than once at Remedy's treatment of Wake, what with their grandiose statements of how awesome and game-changing it will be, how it pushes envelopes and raises bars of cinematic whosiewhatsies.  You don't have to shove it down our throats tell us, let the game do the talking!  It's almost like they aren't confident with the product when you read those PR tid bits.  But, I know Remedy is super proud of what they've made and the majority of the preview reports I've read are highly positive, and this announcement of a LIVE-ACTION PREQUEL SHOWN IN WEEKLY INSTALLMENTS THAT WILL SHOWCASE THE SAME CHILLING, GHOSTLY ATMOSPHERE OF THE GAME ... how crazy awesome is that?!?  They really made an effort here by using some talent and production value.  Yesterday I counted 11 more days for Reach, and now I proudly admit in geeky fashion that we have only 25 days remaining until Alan Wake!

And if the announcement alone weren't enough they went ahead and made a trailer.  I didn't think anything could match my desire to play the Reach beta for the past few days until now.  I hadn't ever forgotten about Alan Wake, but this is such a great reminder.  Check out the trailer below and tell me what you think!

(Sources:  G4, Joystiq, Kotaku, IGN, That VideoGame Blog)

April 21, 2010

Halo: Reach Beta Hands-On Metapreview

These people actually got to play the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta!  Here's what they want us to know ...

"The studio is enlarging the scope of Halo multiplayer, seemingly setting its sights on the team-based shooters that dominate today's online play. The essential "Haloness" is ever present in Reach, but the new Load Outs and Armor Abilities, plus the credit-based customization system that will play a bigger role in the final game, suggest that Bungie is looking to expand the engagement of its community into areas new to Halo. Still, there are growing pains to get through, and I'm interested to see how Bungie works out these issues throughout the beta."

"In the hours I spent with the beta, I found that the changes definitely nudged the experience in a different direction while retaining a distinct Halo feel. Some of the changes will be jarring to seasoned players, but hopefully the beta will help sort out what works and what doesn't."

"If you bought ODST or held on to it just to get in the beta, what you get on May 3 should justify those decisions. You're getting four new ways to play a new Halo, and the game's new traits add plenty of spice to tried-and-true matches. We were running around mostly experimenting with armor abilities, maps and gametypes, without benefit of any fundamental strategy or body of knowledge of how to apply our new talents. In plenty of circumstances Halo: Reach will feel like something new. But not unfamiliar."

"... Reach's new multiplayer modes and its refined matchmaking system, may prove to be window-dressing for Bungie's work behind the curtain to change how gamers play Halo. If Reach really can appeal to casual and fanatical players alike, if it can pull in newcomers to play alongside hardcore fans, and then keep them all playing a little bit every day -- that would be no small accomplishment. But then, Bungie is pouring a decade of experience into this, their last outing in the Halo universe, in order to make Reach the definitive Halo game."

"Purists will be glad to hear that traditional game modes such as Slayer, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill still feature - but we reckon you'll be far more interested in the new stuff Reach brings to the plasma rifle-filled table."
"Needless to say, there's a lot to the Halo: Reach beta--and for good reason."

April 20, 2010

New BioShock 2 DLC Asks Us to "Kill 'Em Kindly" in Six New Maps

Make sure you have at least 800 Microsoft Points on April 29th if you own BioShock 2; we're getting new maps, masks, a new mode and achievements.  I'll let Joystiq do the talking:
"On April 29, six new multiplayer maps will be added to BioShock 2 as part of the "Rapture Metro Map Pack." For 800 ($10), players get the new arenas, three new masks, a "Kill 'Em Kindly" Melee deathmatch mode, and three new Achievements. "
Six maps, huh?  That's awesome!  But for me, I'll pretty much be spending $10 to win some new achievements, but playing with my friends will make up for the rest of the cost. Aww ...

Now when are we getting this promised campaign DLC, 2K Marin?

April 19, 2010

Roger Ebert Gives a Thumbs-Down to Video Games Ever Being Art

In a move destined to rouse the rabble of gamers the world over, well-respected (at least, til now, for many) film critic Roger Ebert has said that video games will "never be art."  Proof of the post's impact?  As of this writing, 1,746 comments have been placed since the article was posted... three nights ago!  And apparently he posited this same argument five years ago, so if we calculate approximately 1,700 comments every three days for five years, adjust for inflation ... yep, a very caustic stance.

But really, Mr. Ebert, never?  He's quick to point out that "never is a very long time," but even if he claims that "no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form," I think that's a stretch.

Obviously I disagree with him.  I've said as much within these blog walls.  It's such a nebulous moniker, art, and to debate what is or isn't art is something better suited for a collegiate classroom.  Since art is so subjective to begin with I don't really ever see a side "winning."  Who determines what is art, anyway?

But don't get me wrong.  I think we can all agree that there is good art and then there is bad art, just like there are good games and bad games.

The catalyst to this debacle was a video supporting games as an art form by a video game designer/producer, Kellee Santiago.  Ebert doesn't attack her position or her persuasive abilities.  Unfortunately, the games of which she chose for her Exhibit A thrilled the movie critic none at all:  Waco Resurrection, Braid, and Flower.  Two of these three games I've heard of, none have I played, but Braid is on my list because of it's artistic design, both visually and in its writing.

"One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome," he writes.  Touche, Mr. Ebert.  Many days I wish video games didn't have that word in it, game.  Not that games are bad things, sports for instance are great presentations of the the human body's amazing abilities.  But games connotes nothing more than mere pleasure or passing the time.  However, video games nowadays are becoming much stronger thematically, presenting more visceral concepts and ethical questions than trying to gobble up dots before some ghosts catch you.  If I were to run into Mr. Ebert, I'd have only five words to say to him:  BioShock and Shadow of the Colossus.  Look to the right, and tell me that ain't some imaginative art!

Video games use various materials to craft an object, a locale, an experience.  More often than not, the better ones elicit some emotional response that begs for a player, a participant.  And like any good art, they tell a story, the better ones that is; the crappy games just throw words together and hope for a cohesive through line.  Video games are one of the unique art forms that requires an audience for it to be complete, similar to theater in that regard.  The visuals may not be "real" in the sense that these buildings in which I'm running around are actually standing, but then again paintings with architecture are the same way.  Are video games then "moving paintings?"  I know, that sounds crazy.  I'm not a scholar in the least; I just try to, you know, communicate what I feel.  Video games (and I can't stress it enough, the good ones) are imaginative, take us beyond our world and ourselves, emote to us, challenge us, represent fractions of humanity on a larger scale ... isn't that what good art does?

In the end, I'm sure Mr. Ebert doesn't even play video games much at all, so I think even he would admit to a little ignorance; I can't even say that I would force him to play, if given the opportunity.  I respect him as a film critic and he's greatly knowledgeable in that medium (except I love The Ghost and the Darkness!), but in the realm of video games his thumb should not be as highly regarded.

Check out his argument here and comment below if you like!  Are video games art or art-wannabes?  How do you respond to Ebert's proof?

(Thanks 1up!)

April 18, 2010

Halo: Reach Beta on GTTV; To Bungie, Thanks for Making the Wait Worse

Geoff Keighley has got to be one of the luckiest guys on the planet.

Taking an exclusive trip to Bungie, GameTrailers TV showcased none other than that little beta demo that's gonna be released, oh, I dunno, at some point in the near future; I'm not really keeping up on it.  But for those couple of people out there who are excited about it, you might be interested in watching the episode (embedded after the jump).  It's loaded with lotsa new multiplayer gameplay, as well as a well-deserved smack to the SMG.

Of major note is the discussion of the Invasion gametype.  It sounds as if it's Spartans vs. Elites (of which I'm confused because I think that's another gametype?) on vehicle heavy maps that become more open as each side progresses.  Loadouts and vehicle options begin few in number, but part of the goal in Invasion is to unlock areas of (your side?) of the map that grants more loadouts and vehicles.  We'll have to see how this plays out but it looks like Big Team Battle enthusiasts will rejoice and I actually might want to try some more BTB than my normal, what, like ten times ever?

Overall, the new innovations Bungie has made don't mess with the Halo mechanics but expand them while also simplifying.  For me, one of the biggest pieces of "innovation" is no dual wielding.  While this seems like a step back, Bungie really made an attempt to make the experience not any more full than it already is.  Now that I think of it, I really didn't dual wield much, anyway, preferring the trusty Battle Rifle over dual Spikers any day.  New weapons are mentioned (human and Elite grenade launchers!), your teammates can save you if someone is in the middle of an assassination animation, and June will be when we'll probably receive more news about the campaign.

So, whenever this little thing comes out, I hope enough people want to play it to help Bungie out a little; they've worked hard on this small project that probably won't receive any attention.

Whatever, everybody and every grandma is going to be playing this on May 3rd.  Watch the episode after the jump.  Now.

(Thanks, Joystiq)

April 16, 2010

Gears of War 3 - Debut Trailer, GameTrailers and IGN Get To Nit Picking

Earlier this week Epic opened up an emergence hole of Gears of War 3 debut-ness.  Articles have been released around the 'net discussing the new game elements (e.g. 4 player co-op. women), but instead of summing up a bunch of information into an omnibus-esque post, I have a great video below that does the summing up for me (I'm going video-post-crazy today!).

GameTrailers' and IGN's awesome squads of nit picking game journalists analyze popular trailers down to a fraction of an inch of what they actually show.  The Gears 3 trailer was bound for the analytical treatment, and the Pop-Blockers and Rewind Theater-ers did what they do best!

Continue reading to watch 'em!

The First Eleven Minutes of Alan Wake!

I ain't watching it though.  No spoilers for me.  But I do like to offer the choice, maybe if you're on the fence and want to know more about it.

Me, I was sold four years ago so one more month will be nothing.

Mind you, it is tempting.  The play button is just a few inches below ...

At GameStar, via CVG.

I Wonder if I Did This as a Baby, Too ...

... because I still do it now.  (Thanks, Kotaku)

April 14, 2010

Halo: Reach - Headhunter Multiplayer Mode Explained, et. al.

Via IGN with the full interview at 1up, Bungie is slowly unveiling more and more about the new features we are eagerly anticipating in the beta for their Halo swan song, Halo: Reach.  The clock is ticking far too slowly towards May 3rd, but to tide us all over they spoke with Thierry Nguyen of 1up about 3 1/2 of the new modes in the Reach multiplayer suite (3 1/2, you ask?  Read on.)

First up is Headhunter.  What I thought to be a head-shot only affair turns out to be a looting bonanza.  The goal is to collect and drop off at certain scoring zones as many skulls as you can.  You collect these little trophies when someone is killed.  If you're killed before you can return your collection to a zone, you drop them all.  You can carry multiple skulls with full Armor Ability and weapon use.  It sounds frantic especially when you factor in that a waypoint above your character tells everyone how many skulls you're carrying, drawing even more attention when you have 10+.  We'll see how popular it becomes and which version performs better, the Free-for-All or Team matchups.

Next is Stockpile, a cross between Territories and Capture the Flag.  Oh good, I thought to myself, two modes I didn't play much having a baby.  Awesome.  A little sarcasm there, but in reading about the mode I'm really excited about this one!  Similar to Headhunter in collecting points in scoring zones, four flags spawn randomly around the map (random in order, not in placement).  To score points, your team must have a flag in its scoring zone for at least 10 seconds.  The points add up when you have more than one flag.  Even if an enemy has infiltrated your defenses and is holding one of your flags, if it's been in there for 10 seconds you still get the points despite it being in the mangy hands of the evil side.  This mode could be crazy nerve wracking and I'm really looking forward to it.

The other two modes are Generator Defense and Invasion.  I won't go into details here because I want you to read the article.  I will say however that it is a 3-on-3 objective gametype (which we all expected).  Invasion is still under wraps (See?  1/2 of a mode), but it's the only mode available on the Boneyard map and the only one with vehicles.  To quote, it going to be "vehicle-full frenzy!"

Read the full article and also enjoy some pretty cool new screens (at least, I haven't seen them before!)

Bungie Jokes Around as Halo 2 Goes Offline

Found this on Kotaku.

If you didn't know, Microsoft is shutting down the Live capabilities for original Xbox games.  The biggest loss?  Halo 2.  Yeah, people have still been playing it and if you want to online, today is your last day!  And to go out with a bang, Bungie had a little fun with those pre-game news thingys in the bottom left corner.

These cracked me up, and thanks to gamer Cmonty06 who took the photos.  Enjoy the one above and nine more after the jump!

(And I don't know why they're so spaced out when you click over.  Sorry.)

My Other Blog

*I accidentally made this a post instead of a different page, but I suppose my subconscious was trying to advertise!*

Day by Day by Day by Day

"How many of us have read the Bible?  I'm not talking about reading portions of it through a devotional or during sermons and Sunday School, but the Bible, the whole thing front-to-back, word-for-word?"

I've decided to take another blogging journey: reading the Bible all the way through.  I did it once before, but this time is a bit different.

I'm in the middle of reading the Bible a chapter at a time and writing about it.  I have no idea how long it will take, but I truly feel led to do this, understanding that it is a huge commitment.

I invite you to follow me there, too!  I don't foresee numerous deep philosophizing from me, but an honest journaling of this adventure of biblical proportions!

April 10, 2010

You Know What This Means?

Final Fantasy XIII review coming soon!

(Took this from my phone after finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally beating it.  I don't use that many to insinuate that it was an arduous process.  I just wanted to write thirteen finallys.  GET IT?!?)

April 9, 2010

Shh ... There's Christian Rock Music in Rock Band

On April 6th, the Rock Band Network released a new handful of tracks for the Rock Band iteration of music games.  They are:

Anberlin - "Feel Good Drag" (I REALLY want to play this one!!!)
Switchfoot - "Meant to Live"
Thousand Foot Krutch - "Fire It Up"
Skillet - "Monster"
Superchick - "Stand in the Rain"
Hawk Nelson - "Live Life Loud"

What they don't mention is the fact that these artists are typically labeled as Christian artists.  And the fact that each one of them was released at the same time, it couldn't have been a coincidence that the game developers didn't realize.  Is this because Easter was this week?  That's where my money would go (as well as to the Rock Band Network ... if I owned Rock Band, that is).

This isn't actually the first time "Christian" bands have been featured in the annals of Rock Band's catalog.  GameBuddy, in the comment section of Kotaku's treatment of the unmentioned Christian connection between the tracks, lists Kutless, Underoath, and Demon Hunter, among others, as already purchasable.  Personally, I've played Kutless' "The Feeling" and it's got some crazy difficulty!  A lot of people instantly label Christian rock as lame, preachy and altogether lacking of any rock quality.  Makes me sad, but it's no surprise that Rock Band's developers haven't brought focus to the "Christian band" descriptor; it's often treated like a bad smell that people want to avoid.

But major kudos to Harmonix, MTV Games and EA for appreciating these tracks for what they are aside from songs from Christian bands: great rock songs!  These songs rock!  Anberlin and Underoath are two of my favorite bands and have an unquestionable rock mentality (videos of my two favorite songs of theirs, Anberlin's being their new Rock Band track, are provided if you continue reading, just because I love them so).  It's unfortunate that people don't give them a chance, expecting "Christian bands" always to be preaching about Christ and to have a message.

The difference more people should understand is that many of the best Christian bands out there aren't necessarily on Christian labels or are trying to win souls to Christ with every lyric, or even label themselves as Christian bands but a rock band composed of Christian artists.  Honestly, I would prefer them to be more outspoken about their faith in ways other than the Thank You section of their album booklet, but that's between them and God above.  I believe that they're at least doing what God has led them to do and lead examples of Christian living in their daily lives and in their performances.  I was front row when Anberlin came to town on October 2nd, 2008 (ironically, I'm wearing the shirt I wore to their concert today!) and it was amazing!  The performance was loud, jumping, rocking, and there was just a great vibe to the show and they were down-to-earth guys afterward, thankful that I had come!  I say this because these "Christian bands" may not be explicitly vocal about their Christianity, but their good music and performances are reaching a lot of people and providing positivity amidst the rampantly dark atmosphere that "cool" mainstream rock exudes.

But we're here for video games, and I'm just excited that these tracks are offered, for both my own pleasure and that others can maybe hear them for the first time.  I hope both Rock Band and Guitar Hero continue to offer similar tracks and maybe even track packs to cater to the Christian market as well as support good ole rock 'n roll.  But until it might become more popular, Guitar Praise will be the go-to game for the most Christian rock offerings (and they offer Stryper!!!).


So what do you think?  Should there be more "rock bands composed of Christians" featured in secular music games today?  Do you think they belong?

And if you continue reading below, enjoy Anberlin's "Feel Good Drag" and Underoath's "In Regards to Myself" music videos.  If they aren't rock, then I don't know what is.

Blame Bieber, Bleszinski! Gears of War 3 "Announced"

I missed it, and probably most of the Live community did, too (because it's been pulled), but a dashboard ad this morning claimed that Gears of War 3 has been announced and will be released in April of next year.  Not all that unusual, right?


Haha, oh man, the Dashboard Ad Guy over at Xbox Live must have been streaming some Netflix instead of watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon because developer Epic's main mouthpiece Cliffy B (Cliff Bleszinski) was scheduled to be on last night with a huge game announcement.  Epic's claim to fame is it's Gears of War series and though Bleszinski never said what this new announcement was going to be, Gears of War 3 info would not be a bad guess.

Unfortunately, tweens continue to rule these last few years and pop star Justin Bieber was brought on instead last night, bumping Cliffy out of his guest appearance and moving him to Monday night.

Then this happened early this morning:


Apparently it's been pulled, but someone's always watching the dashboard it seems and this is all over the gaming world.  I feel bad for Bleszinski.  If they haven't taped his appearance yet, I hope he makes some reference to his thunder being stolen.  I think Fallon is pretty good at making recent pop-culture references, as well as being an unashamed gamer.

I might have to watch Monday night.

(Found via Joystiq)

April 8, 2010

Pixels by Patrick Jean

This rocks the cazbah!

Halo: Reach Beta Details: "All of the New Hotness"

IGN must know someone on the inside of Bungie studios because they dropped a great 5-page bomb exploding with Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta details!  Well, ok they probably don't "know someone" and it's just because they're one of the major video game magazine sites in the world and know everyone everywhere ... I just wish I knew someone at a game company :*(

Weird crying aside, the new multiplayer beta information that IGN received from their Bungie interview causes tears to well up behind my gamer eyes in a more regular kind of way.  Here's the skinny:
  • We'll be given four maps to play on:  Swordbase, Powerhouse, Overlook, and Boneyard
  • The main gametypes offered include, but are not limited to: Slayer, Headhunter, Invasion and, Generator Defense (more on that after the jump break)
  • Many of the new weapons will be placed around the maps so Bungie can track the data they need, which means a lot of fun experimenting for us!
  • Man-cannons!
  • Vehicles!
  • Jetpacks! (more on that after the j.b., too)
  • Loadouts - I'm not sure what they mean (pg. 5), but it sounds like it's dictated by gametypes?  At least for the beta? 
There are also some really pretty pictures of the maps, which you can see if you continue reading below or check out the article!

April 7, 2010

Alan Wake is "Done!"


(I first read this on Joystiq)

This isn't the Omnibus article promised in the scrolling text above, but merely an announcement to spread across the world! ... ... ... or to my two or so readers!

Remedy has now dotted the final period of their first entry in the Alan Wake series!  Passing Microsoft certification, Alan Wake is now done and ready to be shipped next month on May 18th (and a few days earlier to lucky Europe).  To celebrate, the developers popped some bubbly they'd been saving for this day, and they even released a new behind the scenes diary entitled "Building the Thriller," and a trailer (not sure if it's new actually, but CVG says it is!)  I haven't watched them yet, since I don't have sound on the computer in front of my face, but nevertheless I've embedded them after the break below and I'll personally enjoy them later.

Now it's only 40 1/2 days until midnight when I can grasp that linen hardbound limited collector's edition in my palms and hopefully get most of the day off to play this thriller that has kept us in suspense for so long.

Congratulations, Remedy, and thank you for not giving up!

April 6, 2010

"Look at him. He's so cute ..."

"... and plushy." - King Julian, Madagascar

This is hilarious!  Now when I get angry, I can throw this little thing around instead of be tempted to smash my real one!

Your Xbox 360 Now Loves USB Memory

As of today, Xbox 360 consoles are now able to sync with any USB memory unit, up to two units total, and units that have a maximum of 16GB.  Major Nelson of Xbox Live fame has a blog post heralding this technological advancement, as well as a link to a FAQ page if you have any questions that have been frequently asked.

I think this is a great option for those of us who can't afford to pony up for a higher memory capacity hard drive and who are having to delete cool video game trailers and teasers to make room for new demos.

Time to take stock in Sandisk Cruzer USB flash drives!

UPDATE April 7th:  IGN took a test drive for us and played around with the process of using one; apparently there are good and not so good (but not detrimental it seems) goings on so you might want to check out the article before diving headfirst into Flash Land.

April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

This is why we still have a chance today.  Happy Easter, everyone.

Isaiah 53 (NIV)

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

And I don't have an appropriate segue, but here's a random video game easter egg to enjoy:

April 2, 2010

April Fools' Shenanigans

On Thursday, it seemed like everyone was jumping on the April Fools' bandwagon, especially in video game magazine land.  I went into any article I read thinking already that it was a joke, so I can honestly say I weren't fooled none this year.

Instead of actually trying to trick the gaming audience, it's almost expected from certain magazines and companies.  This year they went all out!  My favorite April Fools' Day jokes for 2010 came in video form and featured the likes of Bollywood John 117, some pretty good acting from the dudes at Bungie, and a RTS spinoff that left me rolling!

Check them out by clicking below ...

Another Day, Another New Look ...

Hold your breath.  Make a wish.  Count to three.

If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it!

Well, it's far from paradise, but yes JASON 3:60 has re-re-vamped with some more tweaks and giggles.  The first major change is obviously the layout, flipped on the Y-axis and changed color; plus there's scrolling text with the latest updates that I think deserve attention.  I like to change things up a bit.  Or a lot.  Thanks, Blogger Draft!

I'm hoping that navigation can be easier in this version with some of the page buttons I've made at the top, and I just now found out about these page options.  I don't know if they've always been there or not, but it's a nice customizable feature that compiles different feature together nicely.

Above we now have Games, Reviews and Countdowns which should all be self-explanatory.  The last two, Faith and Gaming - Me, and Faith and Gaming - Media obviously are more focused on the common former word "Faith."  After having JASON 3:60 for almost three months now I see that I haven't really addressed my Christianity and video games to a degree much further than the Header image and a couple of sentences in some posts.  It's time to change that.

The Media one already has entries in it today and is simply more of a database of media articles, videos and the like that are related to faith and video games. (duh) The one that says "Me" will be any posts I write from my perspective ... hence the "Me."  Kind of easy to understand, but nonetheless a start in the right direction for my initial purpose in the niche blog of mine: addressing the presence of the Christian gamer.

Do you think the new layout works?  Comment yay or nay!

(And if you're wondering why the Elite 8 of Mega Man Music hasn't continued ... well, it's funny how much vigor you lose when your team is unfathomably crushed in a game they should have won but played like they'd never shot a basketball at the free throw line ever ... ... ... Ken-tuck-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!  That, and only one person voted in the first round, so chalk it up to lack of interest, too.)