stories by Andrew Galbraith

Sunk by Games for Windows Live

I had a copy of the BioShock 2 Collector’s Edition nestled in my office closet for an indeterminate amount of time after finally acquiring it cheap off Amazon in the wake of a relatively underwhelming, in comparison to the first title’s, release. Having not so much as played it on my Xbox, I felt it was a waste and moved to trade the case and disc away via /r/gameswap on Reddit, hoping someone else would enjoy it as I struggled to make time to put a dent in my backlog. I didn’t regret doing so, but still made the effort to acquire it via Steam at a cheap price amidst one of Valve’s many ridiculously tempting sales. While I was happy to have it in my PC library as a digital entry, I’d soon be reintroduced to the nightmare of Games for Windows Live.

Mini-Games: A Torrid Affair

It was an unusually warm spring day as my brother, grandfather and I packed into a Champaign-colored Buick setting out on a road trip down to Florida to spend a week of spring break with family. Being nine, I had little interest in the scenery, instead focusing my attention on the Game Boy clutched in-hand as I continued playing through Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I had quested to every corner of the map, searching in whatever direction I sincerely believed would get me to the next progressive step. However, that was before my attention would become diverted for the entirety of that drive, altering my gaming perception in a very lasting way. 

Site Ownership 101

For my pressing issue assignment, I was given the task of creating a how-to guide to getting a site covering video games up and running. While it was a bit frustrating at times, I came to the understanding that sometimes explaining the how of something can be a bit more difficult than stumbling down the path, making it up as you go. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that this serves as a valuable asset to anyone looking to start their unique video game website and to those, I wish them the best of luck.

Mario, A Constant Friendship

For being nothing more than a plumber who happened to get caught up in the cascading whirlwind of events to save a princess, Mario has an uncharacteristically universal appeal that seems to stretch the world over when it comes to fans of all ages. Even recognizable to those who have never even  picked up a controller, gamers and non-gamers alike can spot  the lovably, chunky Italian with a speed relative to a practiced toddler with a ‘Where’s Waldo’ book. Having been in existence for nearly three-decades, it would be unsurprising to find a more beloved gaming mascot amongst the gaming community, which is what decidedly sets Mario apart from his contemporaries.

Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond Lacking Humor; Disappoints

Gamers growing up in the mid-eighties have finally aged to the point of being well positioned to receive a Monty Python-esque video game and Matt Hazard sets out to do just that. In Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard players were introduced to out-of-shape, over the hill video game hero Matt Hazard. While the game wasn’t the most spectacular title the video game had ever seen, it was in its lack of taking itself seriously that made the title stand out and overall enjoyable to play without standing to be overly memorable. Thus, it came as a bit of a surprise when D3 Publisher set out to bring Vicious Cycle Software’s Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond to gamers on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. 

Why I Game: Part One

We all have our reasons for gaming. Some play to escape the drudgery of an otherwise stressful day. Others might play because they want to enjoy the game as a work of art. Many do it just for the fun of it. But for me, I was raised on it for more than my part.

Piracy: Wenches, Rum and Video Games

Piracy is old as time, which garners it the most attention. Admittedly, I believe if something is worthwhile, it should be purchased. But, the line of justifying piracy is still blurry. Some think it acceptable to download games. Conversely, there are those believing a product worth more that the effort it would take to acquire for free is what makes it exceptional. In the digital age, it has ostensibly become exceptionally difficult to decipher the true value of games.

Top 10 Games of the Decade

I sincerely believe that while technical achievement and graphical eye candy are all well and good, the thing that stands out succinctly best is when a game is genuinely fun. As artsy as I do enjoy my titles as well, I would enjoy being shown something that just may blow my socks off. But if a game is crazy-awesome in the way it treats me to a good time, then odds are I really won’t be complaining. That being said, I feel I’ve made a succinct introduction to my top 10 games of the last ten years.

Alien Breed Evolution Entertains Exceptionally

There are few times when a Xbox Live Arcade Game has been genuinely able to make me jump when a twinge of fear hits me, however Alien Breed Evolution did it repeatedly. Surrounded by human corpses and under siege as multiple alien creatures burst from walls or burning holes in the floor with all the intent in the world of tearing off you face, the game wastes no time in setting the mood.

My PS3 Love Affair, Round Two

So, I had a Playstation 3 for a while. It was a saucy little number touting its sweet little 40 GB hard drive. We had our torrid love affair much to the dismay of my Wii and Xbox 360, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be. After waiting with baited breath for something to make the relationship worthwhile, it all fell apart.