Rob icon Oh Hey, Another Update. Also, some games.
Stopped to check in on my site here only to find that no one had updated it. "Well shit," I thought, "If Greg can update his blog with stupid things all the time, then I can update my non-blog with similarly stupid crap like reviews." So I decided to throw up some thoughts on what I've been up to and some new games I've bought.

First up, I just got back from vacation in Mexico (Cabo San Lucas), which was awesome. It gave me plenty of time to work on Sellswords, which Jon wrote a new script for, and which should be ready for a release in the next month or so. I'm totally psyched about it, and I'll post a preview here before I put up the new site.

Second, I'm working on a new football avatar -- 31 juggernauts. I got fed up with everyone in SAS requesting their team's running back as the Juggernaut, and I hate the fucking Giants, so I'm doing every running back in the league as the Juggernaut in the same avatar. That'll be done in a few days.

On to the games. There were a lot of releases in the past couple months. Let's review:

Dead Space - I haven't played this one since the last review.

Fracture - This one either. but I'll come back to both of them when I have time.

Fallout 3 - Ok, everyone tells me this game is fantastic, and from what I played at the start of it, I agree. But I haven't really gotten into it yet. Probably because I perceive it as a huge time investment and I'm just not looking for something like that right now. I'll probably tackle this one in January.

Fable 2 - This one I did play to completion, and I loved it. It was almost everything the original Fable was promised to be, and I liked that game a lot. The new game is larger, more free-roaming, and though the story is kind of sparse, the ending presents you with one of the most interesting choices you'll ever have to make in a videogame. The game was kind of easy, but that's kind of the whole point, I think. And it worked -- Caroline loved Fable 2 as well, and she normally only plays menu RPGs, as she doesn't have the reflexes to play more complicated-controlling games.

Mirror's Edge - Hm. Where to start with this one. Ok, Mirror's Edge might be the prettiest game I've ever played. And the soundtrack is excellent. And the gameplay is awesome and imaginative. And the game is pretty original, outside of the main story. On the other hand, it's very frustrating to play. It's essentially a first-person platformer where you run around and do parkour-style shenanigans on rooftops while being chased by the police. It reminded me a lot of Ninja Gaiden being played on an emulator. Where you'd state-save right before a jump, then jump, only to have that fucking eagle come out of nowhere and kill you, so you'd reload and do it again, and again, and again, until you got it right. The thing is, when I jump from building to building, I expect failure to essentially mean death. The load time between death and retrying however, is mostly what made the game frustrating. Also the parts that were needlessly unforgiving, like jumping from one moving train to another. On the whole though, it's solid, and I really enjoyed it. I feel good about buying it because I may play it again from time to time and because I like the idea of supporting the big high-profile releases this year (Mirror's Edge, Fracture, and Dead Space)that don't have numbers in their titles.

Gears of War 2 - Awesome game. Lots of fun. Like the first game only bigger, louder, and more explosive. Multiplayer is more fun, the story is better (though the dialogue isn't quite as good, but that's probably because of less Baird), and the action and locales are more varied this time around. The new weapons are a welcome change, and although the game was frustrating at some of the vehicle and instant death spots, it never got too out of hand. Great game.

Left 4 Dead - Another great game, this one really captures the spirit of zombie movies for me. It's essentially a co-op survival horror game where you and 3 others make their way across zombie-infested terrain to various safehouses and hopefully rescue. The action is well-paced thanks to the game's AI director, and the game's mechanics make cooperation a necessity for survival. While I like the special zombies in the game, I also wonder if the game could have been just as fun with only regular zombies and a lack of unlimited ammo. Part of the terror of zombie movies (especially old ones that don't have runner zombies) was always that there were never enough bullets to kill them all. Despite that, Left 4 Dead is a great game and tons of fun to play.

Whew. That's it for now, though I probably missed a game in there somewhere. I'll figure it out and post something next time, which will probably be a day or two.
- 12/17/2008, 11:20 PM EDT
Rob icon Jason "Captain America" Witten
Thought I'd put this one up before MNF starts. Worked on this one a while ago, just finished it. Inspired by a racist comment on the SA forums (in the Pacman Jones suspension thread).
- 12/1/2008, 8:25 PM EDT
Rob icon Joe "Bert" Flacco
This one's a favor for Jon "Crion" Bernhardt, my old roommate and hopeless Ravens fan. I couldn't stop giggling while I drew this.
- 10/28/2008, 9:39 PM EDT
Rob icon Portimus Prime
Another commissioned football avatar, this one is Clinton Portis as Optimus Prime. Definitely one of my favorites so far.
- 10/27/2008, 7:47 AM EDT
Rob icon New Games
Ok, so maybe Electro Bert is actually a blog. In the interest of finally embracing that, here's the first of many more regular posts.

So I picked up 2 new games for the old 360 last night, Fracture and Dead Space. I'll get to them in order.

Fracture is a third-person shooter produced by Day 1 studios. The game's neat gimmick is that you have a gun that lets you raise or lower the terrain in hilarious ways while blowing holes in everything you meet. I played the demo, and the game seemed moderately interesting. The gun mechanics are passably good, and the graphics are pretty in a Gears-of-War-meets-Halo-3 kind of way. I probably wouldn't have bought this game, except that it was made by Day 1 Studios, the company Dave works for. And though he assured me that it was a thoroughly mediocre game, I like to support my friends in their endeavors. I haven't really played it yet, but I'll get into it soon. The multiplayer at least seems neat, as I can imagine dropping opponents into massive craters online could be a lot of fun.

Dead Space, on the other hand, is a third person game made by EA. It falls squarely into the "Survival Horror" genre and apes pretty heavily from Event Horizon, Doom 3, and Resident Evil 4. One of the neater ideas permeating the game is the lack of a HUD. Instead, game menus show up as a holographic display generated by the character's suit, that you view and access while looking over his shoulder. It's a neat touch, but it creates camera issues, especially when you're backed into a corner for safety. Also, it doesn't pause the game, which can be a bit of an issue while you're trying to heal or change weapons in the thick of battle.

Otherwise, the game is pretty cool. It's certainly atmospheric, which it owes to imaginative environments that tend to be alternate between claustrophobic (corridors) and harrowingly expansive (hangars, larger chambers). The game plays a lot like Resident Evil 4, which is alright, except that like Resident Evil 4, you're never put in a position where you really feel outmatched by your enemies. Unlike in the Silent Hill series, where I was continually convinced that fighting enemies was a bad idea and ran at every opportunity, in Dead Space I have no problem killing them. In fact, there are areas in the game where you have to kill all the enemies to progress. While I don't mind killing things, it definitely reduces the fear level of the game, which I'd place somewhere between RE4 (low) and Silent Hill 3 (high). The sound is what really gives the game its scares though -- the sounds the game employs keep the atmosphere tense, even when I know that I shouldn't be afraid of the game's repeating enemies. Even in rooms I've cleared, the sounds will keep me on edge for some time, and the game uses silence very well.

That's it for now. More when I have new art, or have logged a few more hours in these games.
- 10/17/2008, 5:05 PM EDT
Rob icon Larry Johnson as Nightcrawler
So the Chiefs aren't having a good year. As consolation, here's Larry Johnson as nightcrawler, by goon request.
- 10/14/2008, 10:05 PM EDT
Rob icon Barrett Rudd as Superman
Unlike the rest, this was a commissioned request. Somebody wanted Barret Rudd (of the Bucs) as Superman, floating above earth in his usual glory.
- 10/8/2008, 8:56 PM EDT
Rob icon "Super" Mario Williams
Another fun one, this one was suggested by a Texans fan on the SA forums. After the heartbreaking loss they just had, I feel like he needs it.
- 10/6/2008, 9:54 PM EDT
Rob icon Ronnie Brown as Aquaman
Not a request or suggestion, but this is one of the avatars I had in mind when I started doing the whole "NFL superhero" avatars. The color scheme with the Dolphins' alternate jerseys is perfect, and Brown as Aquaman just made too much sense to pass up. One of the more complicated ones I've done in this set, though I still think Dawkins and Hester are the best of the bunch. The fun thing about doing these is getting the opportunity to work with lots of different source images and backdrops.
- 10/4/2008, 8:39 AM EDT
Rob icon Michael Turner as The Human Torch
Another suggestion, this one made too much sense to not do.
- 10/2/2008, 8:01 AM EDT
Rob icon Brian Dawkins as Wolverine
The next in the series is this avatar of Brian Dawkins as Wolverine, trudging through the snow.
- 10/1/2008, 9:18 PM EDT
Rob icon Patrick Kerney as Venom
3 updates in 3 days! It's like Christmas for Electro Bert! This is Patrick Kerney as Venom.
- 10/1/2008, 7:49 AM EDT
Rob icon LaMarr Woodley as Colossus
And in trying to keep with a more regular update theme, here's the next avatar. This one is based off a suggestion on the SA forums, for LaMarr Woodley (Steelers Linebacker) as Colossus from the X-Men.
- 09/30/2008, 6:39 PM EDT
Rob icon New Round of Avatars
Not quite what I promised but hey, it's a start. I got the avatar bug again, and here's the first of a series of SAS avatars I'll be doing based on super heroes. This is Devin Hester as the Flash.
- 09/29/2008, 11:54 PM EDT
Rob icon ...Aaaaand I'm back
Well shit. I got pretty lazy there. Here we are 3 months later and I haven't updated anything. That's going to change, since I myself am tired of seeing this page left un-updated. I'll be putting up some sketchwork I've been working on tonight and tomorrow. In the meantime, sit tight and keep checking this site for the new art stuff I've been working on.
- 09/23/2008, 2:08 PM EDT
Rob icon Logo Design
Well, that took a while, but I'm finally moved in. After a month of moving (and a week of vacation, plus a week of not posting), I'm back. This time I'm showing off 2 logos I've designed. The more clever among you may have already seen these on my portfolio page, but if you haven't seen them there, then enjoy!

The first is for the Lotame Brand Builder Project, a special service my company offers to brand advertisers looking to track awareness and intent to view/purchase generated by a campaign. The second is a mock-up logo for iffik, a project that I can't talk about yet. I'm very happy with how both of them turned out.

- 06/20/2008, 4:05 PM PST
Site design by Robert Jones.  
Code by Greg Chiasson.