Alan Wake box art

Years ago, when the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 were brand-spanking new, I was debating about whether I should get a 360 or stick with Sony and get a PS3. I had a lot of built-up loyalty to the PlayStation and the game franchises that had been exclusive to that console: Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Ace Combat, Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto, God of War, Gran Turismo, and so on. But as time went one, more and more of these game franchises jumped to being multi-platform, chipping away at my justification for saving up for a PS3 instead of the cheaper 360. But when it all came down to it, I knew I would still be able to get all those games on the PS3, and there would still be a few of them that would remain exclusives (Metal Gear Solid ended up being the only one on the list that stayed exclusive and is worth a damn any more). But there wasn’t anything on the 360 that specifically jumped out at me. I kind of wanted Ace Combat 6 and Forza, and Star Trek Legacy looked interesting. But neither one wowed me enough to buy a whole console. I wasn’t into Halo or Gears of War, or Fable, so none of the big-name Xbox exclusives really pushed me over the top.

But there was one game that kept the thought of purchasing an Xbox 360 at the back of my mind. That game was Alan Wake. I tracked it on the internet for years, waiting for its release. Its gorgeous, scenic visuals and promise of a psychological horror story set in a small, mountain town had me captivated. But the game kept getting delayed. The fact that it was supposed to be on PC, and the lack of a firm release date, eventually caused me to give up on purchasing an Xbox. Eventually, the game was released to critical acclaim, but I missed it, since I was waiting for the PC port that eventually got canceled.

Well, I recently bought an Xbox 360 for my sister’s birthday, and one of the things I picked up for it was Alan Wake. I finally got a chance to play this game that I’ve been wanting to play for over four years.

So is it worth the wait?

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Silent Hill 2

My Pyramid Head cosplay (2010-2011)
My cosplay for 2010-2011

Silent Hill is sadly one of the most misunderstood game franchises in existence. Part of this is due to the fragmentary and disjointed way in which the original games tell their stories. The designers of the first three games didn't just tell the player what the game's story is. There is no “Bond villian wrap-up” at the end. The designers respected the intelligence of the player, gave us clues piece by piece over the course of each game, and relied on us to put it all together in the end.

But too many fans rely on information that has been circulated by many third-party documents, including some “official” strategy guides and plot analysis that contain possibly inaccurate information that ignores information specifically provided within the game. And when Team Silent disbanded after Silent Hill 4, this erroneous information became the basis for the plots of the future games (and the movie), further tainting people's ideas of the original plots.

As such, this is going to be the first in a series of analysis and interpretation articles that I will be posting on this blog in anticipation of the upcoming Silent Hill Downpour.

Of course, any discussion of Pyramid Head is going to include PLOT SPOILERS for the game. If you haven't played the game yet, read ahead at your own risk. Also, this post contains images and video that may not be safe for work!

The “Rape Time” myth

One example of an unfortunate misunderstanding with the franchise is that Silent Hill fans have latched onto this idea that Red Pyramid Thing (a.k.a. “Pyramid Head”) is a raving serial mannequin-rapist. I believe that label is unjustified.

The idea that Red Pyramid Thing is a mannequin rapist comes almost exclusively from this first major encounter with the creature in the apartment buildings.

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Grider Software's MyRegSecure

One of my software affiliates, GriderSoft, will be hosting a public beta of the newest version of his Windows registry security tool MyRegSecure.

See below for more details:

MyRegSecure is getting a much-needed update!

The new MyRegSecure 1.1 will use significantly less memory, have new features, and be more secure. To test these changes, Grider Software is going to host a public beta for MyRegSecure 1.1. The expected release date for MyRegSecure 1.1 Beta is June 1, 2011.

Improvements and new features will include:

  • - Uses up to 97% less memory.
  • - Dynamically loads registry structure.
  • - Smaller executable, fewer generated support files, and less hard disk space usage.
  • - Load RegEdit from the Registry Explorer.
  • - Explore keys in the Important Key List just by double-clicking.
  • - Compatible with the new and included AutoUpdate program.

More information to come.
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HARMONIX

Late last year, Viacom decided to sell the game developer Harmonix. Rumors suggested that Electronic Arts or even Activision might buy them out. Fortunately for the consumers, neither of those rumored deals was made! We all saw how Activision handled its ownership of Guitar Hero, effectively running the franchise (and possibly the music-rhythm genre, itself) into the ground by release one or two games every year! And we all also know how Electronic Arts's EA Sports brand has handled Madden NFL over the past 6 years with all competition in the pro football gaming market being effectively stamped out.

No, fortunately for us gamers, Harmonix decided to set up a holding company in order to buy themselves and once again become an independent developer.

As stated in an interview between Joystiq and Harmonix founder and current Vice President Chris Rigopolous, Harmonix has also severed ties with Viacom-owned MTV.

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Considering the recent claims from the fundamentalist Christians over at Family Radio that the world is going to end, and the Rapture will occur, this coming weekend (May 21, 2011), I thought I'd take a look at how the world would be different if all the Christians were, in fact, Raptured.

While those who claim that the end is nigh will argue that anybody left behind is in for a world of misery, I thought I would lighten the load by offering the following Top 10 reasons why the Earth might be a better place after the Rapture:

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Grid Clock provided by trowaSoft.

A gamer's thoughts

Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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