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Call of Duty Black Ops First Glance

Call of Duty Black Ops was NOT ready for release. It is buggy.  Lag has been a problem from day one. It has improved for some, but it is still prevalent.

Servers are still not showing up in the Server Browser.

This game was a port from a console to the PC. It plays like it. It looks like it.

The graphics are dated at best. Those of you who have become used to destructible environments will be disappointed.  There are some things that can be destroyed, exploding barrels and the like, but overall, the environment is painted on. Crates that you should be able to jump up on, aren't real.  Some you can jump up on, but it is hit or miss, which makes for a frustrating experience.

Still, the game play is fun.

The maps are varied and good. There are a lot of places to hide for ambush.
Spawn points are terrible. You can spawn in front of someone shooting someone else. There is no spawn protection.

Weapons are abundant, with so many modifications available it will take awhile to get to know all of them.

There are many different types of game play which makes the game that much more enjoyable. I have yet to try them all.

In addition to your score, you earn in-game money which you can use to purchase weapons and equipment upgrades. Like COD4 you can create "classes" of weapons and equipment. Unfortunately, you have to exit the game to equip a class. There are a lot of perks and weapon upgrades, some can be annoying if you're a hard core purist.

Server Admin: is the only licensed server provider. My experience with them had been very good. With CODBO, not so good. You have little or no control of your server. You only have an Rcon console that has been stripped bare in the Ranked Servers, but is more customizable in the Unranked servers.  Probably not Gameservers choice, but they are stuck with the problem. seems overwhelmed with problems. Some support tickets get form letter responses for CODBO.  They appear to be buried in problems, so their usual helpful response has been replaced with a curt response if and when you get one.

If you are looking for stats, forget it. They said they would have stats available via the browser console. Not true. They have the first 500 lines available and that's it. Supposedly that will be increased as they work out the other problems they are having. Pretty ridiculous for a server company to allow a look at a stats log, but not allowing more than 500 lines. Too much space for a text file, GS? Not enough bandwidth? Boo!

Single Player:
I have not played much of the Single Player version, but so far it is very good.

I have always liked the single player COD series. While not terribly difficult, they do aim to please with a decent story line, characters and a lot of action.

The chase scenes are always fun and they always seem to throw in a surprise or two that you weren't expecting.

What Other Gamers are Saying:
Reviews have been mixed from gamers. Some hate the game and talk of getting their money back. Some are merely disappointed. Others seem to really like the game and are optimistic that the problems will be ironed out.  Server forums suggest that many admins are so fed up they are canceling their servers with

I'll have to see how everything shakes out. Treyarch has made a bundle of money on this game and should be able to throw a ton of resources at it, to get it up to date and working properly. If not, I doubt Treyarch will ever have a release that people will trust or purchase again.

The COD series is getting a bad reputation for letting gamers down. The previous release of COD Modern Warfare 2 really turned off a lot of people. The lack of dedicated servers had many canceling their orders. Now, with COD Black Ops, the lag, the browser list problems, the lack of control in games by admin, they have created another PR nightmare for the series. All gamers want is a decent server to play on, which means the admin need control to kick punks and hackers, and to create the type of server people want. They also want a game that doesn't come with bugs, and doesn't require a 6 core PC to run ancient graphics and a painted environment.

Would I recommend this game for $60 bucks?  Yes.  I would still recommend it, because it is still fun to play, but  be aware of the current flaws. 



Fallout New Vegas


by Kaiden
Fans of the Fallout series couldn’t wait to get their hands on the next installment of the game, Fallout New Vegas. In this game, a new and unlikely hero steps in to determine the fate of the people of the wasteland.
Fallout New Vegas takes place in a post apocalyptic wasteland.  Players will take on the role of a courier that was set to deliver an item to New Vegas. Unfortunately, some shady people decided to put a bullet in your head and leave you in a shallow grave. A Securitron robot rescues you and brings you to Doc Mitchell to be sewn up and cared for in the small town of Goodsprings. Once you are well, you have questions that have been left unanswered. Who tried to kill you and why? You embark on a mission to answer these questions and soon become entangled in a huge and dangerous plot.
Once you have control of your character, you start a short tutorial to get you started on your character development. You answer a series of questions to determine your skills, attributes, etc. Or you can select these things yourself after you answer the questions. You can also decide on how your character will look and whether your character will be male or female.
Players will start with a few primary attributes that they can assign more points to later on. These include: endurance, strength, perception, agility, luck, charisma, and intelligence. The higher your points are in an attribute, the more associated skills, traits, and perks from that attribute are available to you. An example: a high intelligence means that a character may be excellent at repairing things or hacking computers. Or, characters with a high amount of strength will be able to carry more stuff. There are many examples; players will just have to see for themselves.
Some skills include: sneak, barter, lock pick, medicine, repair, speech, unarmed, guns, etc
Some traits include: good natured, loose cannon, heavy handed, kamikaze, etc
Some perks include: rapid reload, swift learner, pack rat, quick draw, silent running, etc.
As players level up, they gain more points to put towards associated perks, depending on what attributes they excel in. It isn’t wise to try to be good at everything. Decide on what type of style you wish to play and use your points towards those perks. 
Fallout New Vegas spans over a course of 3 acts, each with several quests in between. There are also many optional side quests aside from the main story. The side quests are entirely optional. All quests, whether optional or not, have various methods that can be used to complete them. Depending on what path you chose, the rewards of completing the quest will vary, as well as the outcome of the final story. Since there are many paths to take in this game, players may choose to play the game several times through.
There are 4 main factions in Fallout New Vegas. In the beginning of the game, you can do quests for any faction. But as you progress, you will have to choose a side between one of the four main factions. These factions are: The New California Republic, Caesar’s Legion, Mr. House, or Yes Man. Each of these factions has its own agenda and it is up to you to decide which side you want to work for. There are also lesser factions that you can side with throughout the game.
Karma and reputation are important factors in the game. Karma is decided on if you take good, evil, or neutral actions. This then decides your reputation with other people and factions. An example:  if you do some quests and help out the people of Goodsprings in a good way, your reputation with the people of Goodsprings will grow. Another example: if you set out to slaughter all of the people of the NCR faction, you will gain infamy with them and they will shoot you on site.
The wasteland is a dangerous place. Not only are their human enemies, but also mutant bugs and animals, robotic enemies, as well as abominations. You can take on these enemies in a variety of ways: unarmed combat, melee combat, guns, explosives, or energy weapons. If you prefer to use guns, then make sure you put some points towards skills and perks that are related to the use of guns. If you prefer up close and personal encounters, then put some points towards melee and unarmed perks and skills. 
VATS and action points make a return in Fallout New Vegas. Action points determine how many actions you can take before an enemy can take an action on you. Upon entering VATS mode, you can slow time and select which parts of the enemy you wish to hit, and thus be more successful in taking them down. This of course, uses up action points which will slowly recover upon not acting at all. 
If you tire of all of the running and gunning, you can take a break and play a card game called Caravan. If you make it to the strip, you can enter a casino and try your hand at gambling as well. Gambling is a great way to make some extra cash. Another way to make extra cash is to sell off some of the items you find while traveling. Most enemies are carrying something that could be of use. It could be a weapon, an ingredient for cooking, or perhaps some much needed armor. But if the items are of no use to you, then sell them to a trader.
Some traders can also repair your weapons. If your weapon’s condition falls to zero, it will be unusable. If you are talented enough, you may be able to repair the weapon yourself at a work bench. You can even make some ammo at reloading benches. These are scattered throughout the land. 
As you travel, you will likely become injured. Stimpaks and various food items can heal you. You do need to be careful as most food items are radioactive and you will eventually get radiation poisoning if you don’t take care of that with the help of a doctor or certain items. There are also wide arrays of drugs that players can use to enhance themselves. However, it is possible to become addicted to the drugs and only a doctor can remedy addiction.
Fallout New Vegas is gorgeous to look at. All of the environments are vast and finely detailed. You will want to explore every nook and cranny just to see it all! As for the controls, they are easy to manage and quite fluid.
Fallout New Vegas is a long and in depth game. There are a variety of endings, depending on what path you choose. Will you be good and help the people of the wasteland? Will you slaughter them? Or will you just not care?
Fallout New Vegas is available for PC, XBOX 360, and Playstation 3. It has an ESRB rating of M for mature. This is because the game features: blood, gore, sexual content, strong language, intense violence, and use of drugs.
SIMS and Other


New 2D Windows Game from

Very different and very funny political game from
This is a Windows only game, best played at your next political party get together.

The game is simple, catch some balls for points, while avoiding your political enemies (other balls).
There are issue balls and some free life balls too.  You'll need them for the later levels.
Best part of the game is the sound effects.  
When encountering any of the balls a different sound effect is triggered.
Hilarious!  Best part of all, the game is free.

You do need to check the requirements on the home page.  You'll need a pretty decent graphics card for this one, but nothing most gamers don't already have.

Patriot Wars Home Page


Star Craft II Review



StarCraft 2 Review

J. Carami

The original StarCraft is one of a few PC games that has maintained its popularity without constant sequels, so StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty for the PC is an exciting release that has the potential to take a decade-old classic to a new level.

It's not just aimed at fans: new players will find the campaign a smooth introduction to the game and real-time strategy in general. The story is well framed: interactive scenes taking place on your command ship are a lush replacement for the talking heads standard in other titles. Sadly, the story itself is patchy, with entire sub-plots and characters just there to hang missions on. This is forgivable because the missions are brilliant. Almost every one is based around a new concept, like the escort mission where your companion massively out-guns you, dodging lava tides, or death fields that slowly shred your troops, and they avoid the typical scenario of enemies that will ignore you until you're ready to attack on your terms. The only possible criticism is that units are introduced rather slowly. However, they all deserve a shot at the spotlight, each one has real character – perhaps more than the actors in the story. The units stick close to the StarCraft formula, but the sides manage to be more clearly defined, and there are many new awesome abilities like jump-jets and placing temporary turrets.

Where the units really shine is in multiplayer, where the intricate balance of and interactions between the units' unique abilities make this a must-play. StarCraft 2 doesn't take multiplayer anywhere new, but what it attempts it perfects. What hasn't quite been perfected is the online framework, which includes cutting-edge social features but unfortunately isn't entirely stable, and, as there's no LAN option, is required to play this excellent game.