Better Know a Gamer: #33: Jessibaby1986

Hold your applause, and don’t forget to breathe. She’s not the first one we’ve had here, but she’s another “rare specimen” – we have a Girl Gamer for the 33rd iteration of Better Know a Gamer. I’ll let her tell you who she is…

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?
My Gamertag is Jessibaby1986, one of my nicknames is Jessi baby, and 1986 is the year I was born

Nu: Where are you from, how old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?
I’m from South East Pennsylvania, I work at a local grocery store, paint custom faceplates in my spare time, and collect vintage gaming systems.

Nu: I own a VirtualBoy – is that vintage, yet? Or still just crap? How long have you been gaming in general?
I’ve been gaming since the age of 3 started with the Atari and NES, and from there it was love 😛

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?
I’ve had the 360 for 5 years now…only been connected to Live for 3 years though.

Nu: The 360 hasn’t officially had it’s 4th birthday… time travel!? Somone check her gamercard tenure number! What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?
Hmm…well that is a tough one to answer…there have been so many. Though if I have to pick one it’d be getting to know people that I’d have never gotten to know other wise.

Nu: Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?
That would have to be my “All 4 Dead” on Left 4 Dead got that 11/2/2009 but it was just so awesome to get it 😀

Nu: Are you currently working toward any achievements?
I’m currently working toward one that has been avoiding me for the past 3.5 years… Guildmaster, Thieves Guild. I should have had it but for a corrupted game file… I missed it. So it’s now my goal to get it by the new year.

Nu: Yikes, goodluck on that! Some Oblivion achievements just seem better left alone, to me! What game(s) are you playing the most now?
Halo 3 ODST, Left 4 Dead, and Oblivion. Those are my current top 3.

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from your Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?
I’ve actually been building a playlist of music recommended to me by friends…its got a little bit of everything.

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?
Everytime I change my avatar I change my Gamerpic

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?
I guess it would be www.DeltaChronicles.com they are a pretty good Halo 3 machinma!

Nu: What upcoming game are you looking most forward to?
Most definitely Left 4 Dead 2… I know its in a few weeks only… but I can’t wait to use the AK47!

Nu: Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?
I guess it would be a toss up between The Legend Of Zelda series and the Halo series.

Nu: Excellent choices. People give a lot of flak about the Halo series, but they really have stepped up some story telling aspects of video games! Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?
The one I’d like to mention here would be MASSACRE001 he’s the one behind Delta Chronicles, a really cool guy!

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?
Live, Laugh, Love, Game!

Nu: Words to live by… and laugh by… and… you get the idea. – Well, many thanks go to today’s guest, Jessibaby1986.

As always, you can nominate yourself or someone you know to be featured in Better Know a Gamer.

Xbox Live vs. PSN: you get what you pay for!

My head just hurts, sometimes. Whether it was this weekend’s Belicheck’s Bad Decision, or problems in the video games industry, I just want to lock my doors and hide sometimes. Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling says that the Playstation Network collapsed under too many players in Modern Warfare 2. He explained in multiple Tweets that they had to bring more servers online, supporting 20,000 users at a time. Even Glenn & Mark over at PS Nation Podcast spent more than a couple of minutes venting about the problems. My biggest complaint is that the folks at Sony clearly had no idea this was coming.

Even Sony is so used to their attachment rate being so low that the glorified BluRay player stigma has even reached into the depths of their PlayStation Network operations center.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s people were on hand and watching the numbers climb, they were prepared, and they set the record of 2 million concurrent users on Xbox Live. Two million people using one unified service at one time. Meanwhile, the PlayStation network experienced so many problems that they had to start enabling extra servers. Go green as much as you want, but you didn’t think that maybe you should have had those servers online in preparation for such an event, then toned down the extras later?

Sony just proves, time and time again, that they are racing to play catch up with Microsoft’s Xbox Live service. Just weeks after announcing the Netflix Disc, Sony has confirmed that t heir next Firmware update will include a standalone Facebook program. Great, they get to mimic one of Xbox 360’s least demanded features, good for them. Oh, I’m sorry, when was the feature demanded since the 2007 launch, cross-game chat, coming to the PS3? Oh, right, it’s still not. It is even to a point where, even as a PlayStation 3 owner, I’m genuinely disgusted with their service. I don’t care how tired this argument is, I’m going to state the simple fact again. If it would make it better, CHARGE ME FOR IT! People are ready to take that hit, it’s obvious.

Sony passes up a gigantic revenue stream in favor of trying to look like Mr. Nice Guy. While Xbox Live costs $50 annually, and games like World of Warcraft end up costing their players a minimum of $150 each year, Sony insists that they should remain free, but it is obvious that this budget minded plan is only hurting them, and if they want to be taken seriously as anything more than my BluRay player, Sony is undoubtedly going to have to step things up in 2010, or pack in the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Network and start laying all new groundwork to make the PlayStation 4 regain the pride the the Sony PlayStation name once carried.

Better Know a Gamer: #32: LegionNinja

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since we’ve highlighted another member of the great Xbox Live community, so I’m here with LegionNinja to get things done with our 32nd installment of Better Know a Gamer!

Nu: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?
LegionNinja – not really a story, but I wanted something that I thought sounded good.

Nu: Where are you from, how old are you, and what do you do (school, job, family, hobbies)?
I’m 25, from Urbandale, Iowa. I am currently not employed. I like being on my computer and Xbox 360.

Nu: How long have you been gaming in general?
I have been gaming since I was 4 years old.

Nu: How long have you been a 360 owner?
Since it launched, in 2005.

Nu: Early adopters take risks, but I think we can safely say the 360 was a good choice! What was one of your favorite Xbox / Xbox Live moments?
Killing Desynch (a moderator at #chat on MajorNelson.com‘s irc channel) in GTA multiple times.

Nu: Excellent choice! There are just some days when you feel warm’n’fuzzy after killing someone! Which Xbox 360 Achievement are you most proud of?
Acheivements don’t really matter to me.

Nu: You’re certainly not the first person to think that. More of a gaming purist! I can respect that. What game(s) are you playing the most now?
Grand Theft Auto IV, and forza Motorsport 3.

Nu: What’s playing now (what music do you listen to when away from your Xbox or when listening to music ON your Xbox)?
My selection is different every time.

Nu: Do you try to stick with one Gamerpic, or change it frequently?
I tend to stick to one.

Nu: What is your current favorite Xbox related website to visit?
MajorNelson.com of course!

Nu: What upcoming game are you looking most forward to?
1vs100. I was in the beta for that.

Nu: Great answer! It’s way more fun than people give it credit for, Do you have an all time favorite game, for any console or the PC?
There.com, and SecondLife.

Nu: Do you have any gaming buddies you frequently play with / want to make almost as famous as you?
Shadowedghost, Jessibaby1986, and Desynch.

Nu: Any parting words for the droves of readers?
LEEEEEEEEROY Jenkins!

Nu: Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😉 Thanks for taking part in BKAG, and don’t forget that you, too, can nominate someone to be interviewed in Better Know a Gamer!

The Backorder Bonus: Halo Wars (360)

That’s right folks, it’s a Backorder Bonus! This time, the bonus download codes are for the Flame Decal Warthogs available in Halo Wars. We’ve only got Five to give away, so check down below for the details!

This one is unlike some of the other “Backorder” articles, because I haven’t made it very far in the game yet. The others, so far, I had either completed or played a large chunk of the game. Halo Wars was something I just recently decided to get back in to. I have had it sitting on my rack of games for months, with so many other games to play first, but perhaps it was the release of Halo Waypoint that pushed me over the edge. I have to squeeze a little bit of gamerscore out of this game!

Graphically the game does a lot to impress. Even though everything is scaled down with the overhead view, your favorite character types are still recognizable and still behave as they would when you encounter them in any other part of the Halo Universe. A new perspective on other things like Scarabs also adds a lot to the battle!

The control scheme isn’t always a popular topic, but when it comes to real time strategy games on the console, everyone has been worried. This may not be the new defacto standard, but is an excellent step in the right direction, with quick to access and easy to navigate menus, I was very impressed with how well the game has handled thus far!

I’m a sucker for CG, and I can’t wait for more of the Halo Universe storyline to unfold before my very eyes with some impressive voice acting and excellent imagery.

The Backorder Bonus: To win one of FIVE “Flame Decal Warthog” DLC codes, you’re going to have to get just a little creative. You’ll notice in the game that characters will sometimes blurt something out, whether it’s right after they are ‘created’ or right after they get a kill, or sometimes when under attack. This is the opportunity where the game developers can get a little crazy and have a laugh, add humorous lines. Now it’s your turn: let’s say you were IN the game, and you were a driver or gunner on the Flame Decal Warthog? What would your ‘tagline’ be? A funny saying? A war-cry? If you were under attack, would you have to say “it’s getting hot in here!”? What’s your Flame-Hog catch-phrase?

Also, as with any contest, make sure you leave me some way of contacting you (Gamertag, Twitter account, etc…) and please specify what it is, don’t just leave a name at the bottom! I’ll randomly select 4 of the 5 winners, with 1 winner of course being my favorite submission! The EARLIEST drawings will take place on November 14th, 2009, and will not end until all 5 codes are given away – if there are not 5 entries, consider the contest open until noted otherwise! Submit and win!

Note: Due to the nature of DLC codes, it is likely that these codes will only work in North America, so any entrants from outside the United States or Canada, please note that when you submit – if necessary, I will try to come up with alternative prizes!

The Backorder: Killzone (PS2)

I’ve got some kind of OCD when it comes to series. If it’s music, I prefer to collect entire discographies and rare albums. When I was in to trading cards, I had several complete series in my collections. If it’s a movie, I’ll buy the boxed set! Games are rarely different. I want to know about a game, it’s history, it’s characters, it’s story. I had no idea that picking up the original Killzone for PS2 was going to be such a terrible decision.

I won’t waste any time with a long “review” of this game, since not many people are going to care. Graphically, the game could have larned a lot from Goldeneye 007 on the Nintendo 64. The game used very low resolution textures that were very grainy, some characters looked down right polka-dotted in an attempt to optomize graphical memory. The most visually impressive thing in the game was how many people were displayedon the screen at one time. When the Helghast began storming you, true, they would come in waves of 4-8, but for the time it was a technical feat! Unreal Engine 3 might allow hundreds to thousands of characters on screen at one time, but I was admittedly impressed with this feature.

That’s where it ends, though. The sound effects were terrible, the voice acting was a joke. Even the banter in-game got old in the first mission. I hoped that in later levels, the game would pull from other sound libraries, but it’s more annoying than Left For Dead players anouncing that they’re reloading… again.

The story hasn’t been bad, so far, but the volume of levels is something I never thought I would complain about in my life. I love single plaer campaigns. But this game feels so much like torture, it’s hard to go on. I have not completed the game, and I don’t know that I will. The level design is the most painful thing about the game. The checkpoints are in odd, distant places. If you die, you could end up replaying a 20 minute chunk of the game. Characters repeatedly say “we should go that way” – but the AI never takes point, and the Heads Up Display in the game has absoluely no navigational markers. I spent ten minutes trying to figure out where to go, before giving up on the game for the night. The next day, I realized I was trying to go the correct way all along, but some disc error had prevented me from continuing through the level!

Killzone 2 is an award winning title, and when I get my hands on it, it had better not let me down. I had heard it was a mediocre sequel to a mediocre shooter. But in m experience with Killzone on the PS2, even mediocre will be a step in the right direction!