Late Night Typing 2

I say late night, but it's actually Early morning. Hmm. Anyway, might as well get straight into it.
 

Fable 2

 
So with the disc replaced like, a day or two after the last blog, I ventured into Fable 2. About time, I reckon.
Again, 360, no personal screenshots.
I've played the crap out of this game in the past month. Seriously, my main character owns practically every building in Albion and has roughly 8 million to toss around. Plus, I got Knothole island so I'm rolling with a Master Katana with four augments on it. Luck and Life makes me deal more damage while taking less and giving me health for every hit on an enemy. Luck and Skill gives me even more damage with less being taken. Lucky Charm does the same. Finally, It's Not Luck gives me more damage, take less, and I earn 50 gold for each kill. My ranged weapon is Hals Rifle, the MA5 Assault Rifle from Halo. No, seriously. Has one augment which is another Luck and Life. Basically, as long as I hit something, I won't die. I'm full good/pure, and I'm rocking the whole Knothole Island Armor set which looks pretty awesome despite my initial thoughts of it. Oh, and I slept in the Fairfax Castle bed which gives me regenerating health. I'm fucking Thor here, I call on undead spirits to distract my foes while I charge up a giant "Fuck You" AoE lightning spell. Hell, the last few fights I got hit four or so times and didn't even see my health bar go down.
 
Anyway, game play. It's fable. You have three ways to attack, Melee, Ranged and Will. Melee's mapped to X, Ranged to Y and Will to B. Hit one of those and watch things die. Alright, the combat is deeper than mashing, but you can get by with mashing if you get an augment that refills health with each hit. I wasn't much of a Melee or ranged fighter, mostly focusing on Will (magic) attacks to get by. There's also the whole economy thing to see too. Each area has an economy, and what state it is in will effect what the prices of houses is, how much stuff in stores cost, and how much you get paid for a job. There are three jobs you can do: Blacksmith work, Wood Cutting, and being a Bartender. I've personally never done wood cutting, but I've heard that it's a lot of work for little reward, so I never bothered with it. 
 
Blacksmithing...oh god, Blacksmithing. Tedious as all hell, and it can piss me off to boot. So there's this curved bar that appears in the upper section of the screen, on it are two things. One is the "Hit Zone", and the other is the "Hit Reticule". The Hit Zone changes position on the bar on each successful hit, and when it appears it gets steadily smaller. The Hit Reticule moves across the bar back and forth, getting faster as you progress in job levels and gold multipliers. It takes five successful hits to make a sword, then you do it again. Each successful sword bumps up the Gold multiplier by one as well as the successful chain number. Fifteen is the maximum gold multiplier, but you can get the chain up to whatever you manage. There's five levels to it, and to get to the next you have to earn a certain amount of gold. Getting a high multiplier obviously makes getting that amount way easier, but if you mess up once, bam, back to 0. The one thing I hate most about it is the fact that it's the only job open at the beginning of the game. Bartending is incredibly easier but comes up last. The hit zone is located on the right and never moves, it's kinda big and allows for some margin of error. The reticule moves left-to-right and you have to hit it when it gets into the green. If hit too soon, you make a crappy beer, if hit too late, you spill some. Anyway, I got up to level 4 and hit a groove. Hard. I got around 250 chain (again, sadly, with only a 15 gold multi). Made tons of money and got way more than needed to get to level 5 (max).
 
Anyway, back to fighting. You get experience points that you can spend in three main areas: Strength, Skill or Will. Strength and Skill have three sub-sections and Will has...nine? Anyway, under Strength: Brutal Styles. With each level, you learn more combat maneuvers. Physique, which makes you hit harder (and makes your character more buff). And Toughness, which increases your health bar. Skill has: Dexterous Styles, again, lets you learn more combat stuff. Accuracy, makes you hit harder (and makes you taller). Lastly is Speed, which increases reload time and how fast you swing your melee weapon. Third is Skill, which is the Magic of the Fable universe. This time around, the amount of Skill powers has decreased by a lot, but each has two versions - Targeted (One Enemy) or Area Of Effect. I'm not going to list all of them, but my two favorites are Shock (lightning) and Summon Undead (summons spirits of whatever you just killed, if none, summons crappy spirits). There are five levels to each spell. Hold the right trigger and you bring up a small menu, which you can use the D-pad to choose what spells to use. Since they're all mapped to the B button, they're placed in tiers. So, for instance, you can tab B to summon two crappy undead to get the enemies attention off you, hold B until you fill up a tier 3 Time Control spell, slow down time, then hold B to charge up a level 5 Shock to blast the living hell out of whatever dares to cross you.
 
A few last notes, you can, like in the previous game, buy property and use them to earn money every five minutes. Buy a shop, or buy and rent a house, and every five minutes you get some cash. It wouldn't seem like much, but you don't even have to play the game to get that money. It still earns you money even if your 360 is off. If you want, you can set your 360 back to 2005, continue and save, then bump it to 2025 and get all that beautiful back pay. If you want something a little less cheat-y, you can just start a new character, do jobs until you get some good property that gives you about 200 or so income, then go back to your main/first hero and continue on. When you go back to the new hero, you should get a bit of money. I also haven't done that Snowglobe one (See The Future) yet, so I still have that to look forward to. Anyway, it's really dang fun, and Knothole Island turns you into THOR, NORSE GOD OF THUNDER!
 

Command And Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

I finally got around to playing Tiberium Wars. Bought it off of Steam. It's awesome, and the special effects make me giddy. It's Command and Conquer. GDI and NOD are still
  "And he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!' And Lazarus did arise from the grave"
at each others' throats. Kind of. GDI's intelligence has downgraded the NOD threat level, believing that after Kane's death in the second tiberium war and NODs subsequent in-fighting and loss of new recruits that they aren't much of a threat anymore. You know how that goes. Even if you've never played it, you fucking know how that goes. All of GDI's High Command, as well as multiple World Leaders are on the Space Station Philadelphia. And GDI's anti missile system (A-SAT Defense System) is located in one location, and on the fucking ground due to budget concerns. They could've put it in space and everything would be all nice and safe, but due to it costing, you know, money, "no" was the appropriate answer. Even though there have been two Tiberium Wars, both of which ended when Kane died. First time Kane was incinerated by the fucking Ion Cannon. The second time he was impaled by some other important dude.
 
Anyway, so yeah, the predictable happens. The A-SAT control center is attacked by who? Yes, the "not a threat anymore" Brotherhood of NOD. The entire system is brought down with one building (the GDI really cared about saving money). Then Kane, being the immortal chess master that he is, presses a button. Sending a nuke straight into the belly of the Philadelphia, taking out the entirety of GDI High Com, along with those world leaders.
 The GDI news reported it as an accident, even though the video showed a ground-based fireball impacting the station.
Then of course, Kane interrupts the news broadcast with a speech, and thus begins the Third Tiberium War. Long story short, NOD attacks the hell out of GDI Blue Zones for a while before GDI managed to mount a resistance. Eventually, GDI returns to Sarajevo where Kane has rebuilt his Temple of Nod. Figured out after a good while, Kane has built a weapon of mass destruction, one involving Tiberium. A Liquid Tiberium Bomb, the blast of which would be over 200 Megatons and would instantly detonate any Tiberium deposit within it's reach, no matter the state. Yellow zones are neigh-inhospitable due to immense Tiberium infestation. Thousands of acres of Tiberium. Not to mention Red Zones, completely overrun by the crystal. And Sarajevo is smack dab in the middle of a Yellow Zone. Anyway, after some anti-ion cannon structures are destroyed, the new Acting Director of GDI tells you to use the Ion Cannon on the temple, which possibly contains the LT Bomb. You do, it does, and a huge explosion utterly rapes the entire area, killing everything and everyone within a rather large radius. What about Kane, who was thought to be in the Temple? He has to be dead. Or, you know, it could be like the other two times where he's alive because he's more intelligent than every human put together (You can't kill the Messiah, why doesn't anyone learn this is beyond me). Why was the bomb there in the first place? He couldn't find a large enough detonator, so he let the GDI use the Ion Cannon as the detonator. And why did he do this? He knew it would lead the Scrin to begin harvesting Tiberium. He planned to use their portals for "ascension". In the Nod campaign, you eventually "ally" with GDI to fight the Scrin, because everyone thinks Kane is dead. Obviously none of them were around during the last wars. Anyway, he comes back and is pissed that the "new leader" is allied with GDI, so he tells you that he knows it wasn't your doing, and wants you to kill the current GDI forces your helping. Alright, that's way too much story.
 
 Beautiful VFX. Love the Ion Cannon.

Anyway, gameplay is normal fare. Collect resources, build an army those resources, use the army to complete objectives with the occasional off-map power. I really can't go into detail because it's more or less every RTS you've ever played. There's not that much you can do with the RTS formula, you can only tweak it so much until it becomes a different beast all together (premise of CnC4 is...not very attractive to me). I've played tons of it, and that's about the last thing I can say about Tiberium Wars. Fun game. Ion Cannon looks beautiful in-game.
 

Miscellaneous Games and stuff.

 Me overlooking a town getting hit by artillery. Killed quite a few dudes with it.
I played some Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 since it went on sale for $2.50. So far so good. I also finally got Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 on the PC. 2 was like, $10.20. I got L4D1 at the same time, then subsequently got mad at myself when it went on super-sale yesterday. They're both still really fun, though some of the people online on 2 are...assholes. I played with a friend and we ended up playing a private game with bots because of that. First time, the asshole killed all of us at the end of Dead Center before finishing the game himself.  And then one yesterday, we were on a Finale (the one with the mansion and you have to wait for a boat), we wiped out three times. We were giving it another go, then a crowd mobbed me and a spitter spat at me. I ended up incapacitated since I couldn't move. Anyway, this guy playing Coach lifts me back up and we start going, then some asshole playing Nick starts shooting me for no fucking reason. He wouldn't give up either. I tried to ignore it but he kept at it, and eventually me, my friend and the other guy just left. So both of us are done, at least for a few days, with Left 4 Dead. I really wish you could block peoples profiles the way you can on 360. At least I didn't see the option to.
 
I also grabbed Shatter since it was $2.50 as well. Haven't played it yet though. That's really all that I've played that I can remember. I wonder what the next batch of sales will be. Like usual, this was done on almost no sleep, so there's probably spelling errors here and there. Anywho, that's it for now.
 
"Get some sleep!" - Dave Attell (man, I loved Insomniac).
Start the Conversation

Late Night Typing

Moar words of games I've been playing! That I'm typing late at night!

Half Life 2. Again.


Once again, Half Life 2 (redundancy department of redundancy departments).
 Spawning dudes in front of the train = Hilarity.
 
So I decided, yet again, to do another run through HL2. Upon boot up I noticed it loading a ton of stuff. A few minutes later, I start off the game and notice that the G-Man's face looks good. After a while of thinking "Is it me, or do things look better?", I checked the options, and whaddaya know, super update! Brought in HDR and probably more stuff. The update, I assume to make it Mac compatible, also brought over Achievements. So, against my usually tendencies, I decided to play it without cheats (luckily, my other usual tendencies weren't affected, because I could still spawn dudes to kill each other for my pleasure! Woo!). I finished the story (Fuck you Sandtraps and your "Don't touch the sand" achievement...I messed up at the beginning and didn't think to reload until I was done, my fault, but still...) and all that. Even after playing through it twice before this run, it's still awesome. One of my favorite achievements was the "Two Points" achievement (score a basket with Dog's ball) . I thought it'd take a lot of reloads to get it, but it was actually really easy to get if you went back a ways before firing. I had it positioned nicely where if I missed, the ball would fall onto Dog and he'd just toss it back. Only had to shoot it three times to get it. Another would be the one to kill around thirty combine with Antlions, which was awesome because I love controlling Antlions.
 
 Help? What makes you think I needed help?

Anyway, I finished HL2, and ended up starting Episode 1 yet again for those achieveables. Got through most of the game, actually, until I noticed something, or lack thereof. I was letting Alyx snipe antlions and combine soldiers, when I noticed the "#/30" wasn't popping up. I opened the console and saw the Ignore marker popping up for achievement progress, and saw that I didn't even have the "Contain The Citadel Core" achievement, even though I saw it pop up an hour or so ago. Turns out Steam lost connection or something, and stayed off, turning achievements off, which was kind of a buzz kill. Kept playing for a while before turning off the game and going to do something else of which I cannot recall. I'd go replay it again, but I have quite a bit of other games that I recently got.
 

I got it for 360, so no interesting screens...

Dirt 2

Speaking of more games, Dirt 2. Now, since Hollywood Video and Game Crazy are going out of business, I've bought a lot of games. More than I should have. Infact, if I buy one more thing, my wallet might shank me. I do have to go back and see if I can get another Fable 2 disc though, since the one I got doesn't work (sadface). Before this, I got Forza Motorsport 3, which is fun but was lacking...something. I couldn't put my finger on it. I got Dirt 2 because I've heard it was pretty fun, and I'll be damned, it definitely is. And I realized, Dirt 2 was a lot more "Drift-y" than Forza, which is what I was feeling "off" about. Forza is great (I even took about a half-hour to an hour to make the GB bomb logo), but the feel of the vehicles in Dirt 2 make me love that more.
 
I've played the crap out of Dirt 2 for the past few days, won tons of races, bought a few vehicles...I didn't think I would like Rally events, but the co-driver is really good at calling out upcoming turns and such. My favorite event would have to be either Rally Cross or Land Rush (or the other one that's basically the exact same as Land Rush). Rally Cross is more of your typical race, two to three laps around a closed circuit track, whoever finishes first wins. Simple stuff, but fun. Land Rush (and the other one, which is the same thing with a different name that I can't recall) is a Point to Point much like the Rally Races. You have one huge track with a single start and end point, whoever gets to the end first wins. All vehicles start off in a straight line and rush to the finish. Simple concept, fun times. Rally is also a pretty fun one. I'm sure you know what it is, but if you don't, it's basically another Point to Point race. There are a few differences though: You have a co-driver who gives you advice about upcoming events (turns and how sharp they are, hills/crests/jumps, pools of water, car crashes ahead, whether to cut a corner or not, etc), and you have a staggered start. Staggered starts are when one car leaves before another, with a constant time in between each car starting the race, sometimes you see the other drivers, sometimes you don't. You just have to race fast and hard and beat the others' completion time to win.
 
Anywho, onto the other aspects of this game. When you hit a water pool, water splashes on your windshield, you automatically turn on the windshield wipers, but for a moment the water obscures your view. I never really bothered to play in the cockpit view, and only saw that during a replay (which was pretty damned cool). I'm sure it could screw you over if done properly (or un-properly depending). Crashes are pretty neat, car parts come off well and your car gets genuinely messed up. I play with car damage as "appearance only", so I'm not sure if a bad crash could cripple your car for the race but I'm sure it would. It's pretty cool though, during replays I'll see the mesh on the driver window gradually rip and tear until it's mostly gone. Two more things, the first is that there are famous people who appear to race, an example would be Dave Mirra. There are seven in all, and the more you race against them the more friendly they get toward you and eventually you can become good friends with them all. It's a pretty interesting mechanic, though it's weird that if you run into one they'll ask you if you're okay (so far I'm only friends with Mirra, the rest have "Heard of me", but the last few times I've ran into him he asked if I was okay...dude, I slammed into you and drove off. I think I'm good.) Lastly would be the audio. Engines and general racing sounds are great. During the race, if you bump into other drivers you can hear them talk ("Hey, watch it!", or laughing when passing you). It's an interesting way to personify the racers. The one thing that seems kind of weird to me is that music doesn't seem to play while you race, only in replays, which is kind of a shame. To be honest, I really don't notice it until I start watching the replay, but it still gets my attention. I can kind of understand, if they want you to hear the other racers, and more importantly your co-driver in Rally races, but couldn't they have just made the music turned off for only Rally? Though there might be an option for that somewhere, I didn't really look. Still, it's a good game.
 Haven't grabbed any Screens yet, so here's the boxart. Hurrah.
 

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

 
Whelp, another game that I've started playing would be The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In light of the upcoming game Fallout: New Vegas, Valve has seen to make three Bethesda games on some ludicrous sale. I think Fallout 3: GOTY Edition is something like $25, while Oblivion was $8.50 and Morrowind was $5. I decided to buy Oblivion and have had a pretty good time so far. I'm not that far into it, I've just joined the Mages guild and have one quest for them done. Apart from making potions, and running around Imperial City for a day checking things out, that's really all I've done since getting out of the starting area.
 
It's been interesting so far, and the combat takes a bit of getting used to since you can only have one spell selected at a time. The one thing that irks me is the trading system, especially if you have a lot to trade. I haven't found a way to make it easier, so it's been "Click item to sell, click okay, click other item". Granted, it doesn't sound bad, but when you have a lot of things to sell it takes long enough to annoy you. Fallout 3 had a faster system (click item, hit A to accept, click other item, repeat), though obviously that was a game that came out after Oblivion. There might be mods out for it, but I haven't bothered to look yet. I asked my friend while it was downloading what Oblivion was like, and he said "You've heard people call Fallout 3 'Oblivion with guns', right? Exactly." and after playing it I can see the connection better than before. That's really it though, aside from the "UI Clunk" it's pretty solid so far. The faces are robotic (again, I've heard lots of people say it, and now I see), but the VA is fine. Though that Mages guild quest had zombies that kept royally fucking me over (on top of taking almost no damage from anything I threw their way, I always had to deal with around 2-3 at a time...eventually got through it).
 

Miscellaneous Games and stuff.


Umm, lets see, that does it for the main ones I feel like typing about. Few other ones worth mentioning. I played a bit of Forza 3 before getting Dirt 2, and it's pretty fun too. I played the first prologue thing of Bayonetta; that game is insane and hilarious. I've been playing some more Red Dead Redemption, mostly the online free roam while listening to Behind The Screened Door and the Bombcast. I've also played some of The Godfather 2. The game is kind of "eh". I would be playing the shit out of Fable 2, but the disc I got from Game Crazy won't go past the Lionhead Studios logo on startup, so I'm going to see if I can exchange it tomorrow or something, hopefully (won't install to HD either, stops at about 23%). I also got Battlestations: Pacific which I'll probably play sometime tomorrow unless Fable 2 happens. I've wanted to play Fable 2 for a while too, so it kinda bummed me out. Actually, by now, all my "Tomorrow" words should be "Later today" since it's 2:45 am >.>
 
(Linktacular! Linktastrophy! Linkaminjaro!)

So...yeah, there. Words. I think I might now have a title if I ever do more blogs (well, unless I do them not at late-night). So, if anyone reads this long ass blog, thanks for reading! Time to sleep now.
Start the Conversation

A Few Thoughts (!!End Game Spoilers!!)

So, I beat Red Dead Redemption about an hour or two ago. All I can really say is "Whoa." in Keanu Reeves voice. I guess I'll just write about what I thought of it and some of the endings to other games (probably just GTA games, though any GTA IV will probably be in a tag). So beware all who enter, spoilers ahoy! Ye hath been warned. 
 
Seriously, SPOILERS AHEAD. If I used the tag for the rest, the entire blog would be in one giant tag.
 
First off, Red Dead Redemption (obviously). Alright, now about the "first" ending if you can call it that. Where you basically think you've wrapped everything up. Now, I have to ask, did anyone else say "Oh Hell Yeah!" when they saw the Armored Car-mounted M1917 Browning .30Cal (well, .30-06) on the back? When I first glanced at it I thought it was another Gatling gun, which kinda bummed me out. You see, I have two feelings toward the Gatling guns, one being "Lets rock." like all my thoughts of heavy weapons are, and the other being "Wait, this means a billion guys will shoot at me and every fourth shot will hit me, enough to blind my vision by making everything red, but just under the amount to kill me." That, and the fact that I can't seem to aim the damned things effectively. Those two combined pretty much make me hold down the trigger and sweep everything I wish to hit and hope I do.
 
Anyway, aside from my suckage, when I first saw that Water-Cooled peacemaker, I thought "No fucking way. Oh Hell yeah!" and listened to all the people be amazed at it as we drove by. Upon realizing I was going to rain down hell along with frickin' Army allies, I was pumped. Though the damn sun kind of detracted the awesomeness (it was in the right spot to blind most of the battlefield for me so I couldn't see the enemy half the time, though it did make it kinda surreal and cool in it's own way), but it was raining, which makes everything better in this game, so that makes up for it a bit. Anyway, holding down the trigger, listening to that gun give them pills high in Vitamin Lead, was very cool. Though for me I kinda wish it was a bit more powerful to give you that god-like feeling, but it was fine. Then you start advancing, which was yet more awesome (except for the fact that the gun was a bit low and made me rake the back-top of the truck more than once on a small incline). The first time I did this I was doing a rather poor job at killing guys and died, second time went much better. Then that cutscene made me think I had fucked up again, but I guess not. Off on horseback then!
 
Riding with the Army was pretty awesome. Nice big chunk of soldiers with you along with those two Government assholes. The battle was fun, and the chase after Dutch at the end was also pretty good (along with the super-late intro on "Shoot lamps to cause fire!", though I figured that out long ago). He gives that "We can't change anything." speech then falls off the cliff, though it was painfully obvious he was going to end up on the bottom of it one way or another. Then whats-his-face shoots him with your gun ("It looks better this way, trust me.") and tells you that your family is back home at Breeches Hope (I think that's the name). I was really surprised, since I went there after I had gotten to whatever the area above Tall Tree's is called to do the "I Know You" Stranger mission. Thought it was really creepy that no-one was there. Anywho, the song that plays as you ride back was...awesome. I had missed the one into Mexico somehow (probably using the map or something), so this was great. Made me push my Warhorse to the edge to get back.
 
The whole next sequence of "Family Bonding" was great, I really loved Abigail's mission to kill the crows (Evans Repeater + Dead Eye = 18 kills before I ran out of DE meter). I liked Marston even more than I had with this whole part. I even liked Uncle even though M was a dick to him. Also, it was kinda sad, Bonnies' reaction on that rice mission. Then the shit hit the fan, even though I thought it had long since cooled stopped smelling. The army attacks (The fucking US Army attacks one now-farmer, Christ). At first I had no idea who it was, rebels? Loyalists to Dutch? Then I saw the word "Army" and went "wut?" Thats when I remembered what that Agent said to Marston. "So...what are you guys? Army? Lawmen?" "Neither, but we have authority over both." and went to my "Oh shit." state of mind. Broke out the sniper, hit Dead Eye and started picking them off. More fighting, then the fuckers tag Uncle. I hop on the silo and cover Abi and Jack. Get in the barn, get them away. Then there's a line outside of 15 or so guys, and almost immediately knew what was going to happen. Thing that sucks? I still only had about 1/3 of my DE meter, so I only had a second or so two spam the mark button and hit the trigger. After being filled with enough led to kill someone from the poisoning alone, I started yelling at Marston to use a Medicine thing. I mean, I had like, eight left! After that, now in control of Jack, we go back to the ranch all the while I'm basically in shock. Cut to Marstons grave. Cut to Jack in Marston's Duster, zoom out to Abi's grave, then cut to control of Jack. Cue me taking a five minute break, mostly to think "That really just happened. Damn Rockstar, you hardcore." After mulling it over a bit, I come to a realization. Marston, dude, you've faced hundreds of enemies before. You totally could've climbed the ladder, taken cover and killed them all with a full Dead Eye meter (restored via like, snake oil? never actually used it >.>). Or failing that, threw your 5 sticks of Dynamite and 10 bottles of molotov cocktail out the top window and killed them all. It was still badass though.
 
I get back to the helm, and am at a loss of what to do. End up deciding to go to Blackwater (my Bandoiler had decided to glitch and stop working, ended up having to save and reload to get my ammo cap back) to get some ammo. On the way, I meet a random person and give her a lift to the town (was totally expecting to be robbed of my horse, not an actual escort/taxi mission). So I grab ammo after dropping her off, and end up finding another Stranger which triggers the final-final mission. I leave him be as I fast travel to Armadillo, then ride to the lake. Talk to the lady, leave her also (I had no beef with them, only the one who both figuratively and literally, pulled the trigger). Talk to the brother, left him alone. Talk to Ross. Normally I try a disarm shot for all duels, and only aim to kill when I absolutely have to (ie, missions). This time, with High Powered Pistol in hand, I put one in his stomach, four in his head, one in his neck and two in his chest. Cut to Jack walk toward the Camera, Title flash. Roll credits. I can't exactly remember, did RDR put up a late title card at the beginning (or straight up title card?), if not, this could be the latest card ever (coming at the end of the game). Again, I have no idea, though I'm probably wrong.
 
One helluva ending sequence, and I applaud Rockstar, even though Jack is kind of..."meh" to me. Don't really care for playing as him. Kinda wish there was a cheat to change back to Marston (and that cheats wouldn't stop saving, but I'm not gonna delve into that). Marston just had that voice and personality that suits the land and atmosphere. Still, that was heavy. Not sure if it was coincidence, but it was also raining a lot during the epic moments (manning the M1917, riding to Dutch, fighting the Army, going to kill Ross). So yeah, heavy rain joke here. After the credits ended, I walked back to Ross, looted his corpse for a nice sum of cash. Then I emptied every single shotgun shell I had into him. Every. Single. One. He was basically a red lump with arms and legs. He was almost in the river, so I switched to my High Powered Pistol and emptied into him, slowly pushing him into it. Got him really far in the river under the water to where he couldn't be seen from shore. All that was left was a revolver (was full on ammo), hat, and a blood pool.
 
Then I went to Chuparosa, finished Love Is (The? A? something) Opiate, which kinda threw off the immersion for a bit. Saved, tested some cheats, thought I found a way to save, was wrong, then shut off the 360 to take it all in. Still kinda iffy about playing as Jack. I'd start a new game, but no saving w/cheats is turning me away from it.
 
Alright, so thinking more about the ending, and how pretty fucking depressing it is, I started thinking of other Rockstar (GTA) endings. Vice City ended on a pretty high note, a traitor dead, a city yours. You're the top. Kind of the same with San Andreas, two assholes, one traitor asshole and one traitor dead, with the City pretty much yours. And if you did the "hoods glitch" to make procurable "hoods" everywhere, the entire state could literally be yours.
 
Then we have GTA IV. No way you cut it, the ending is also pretty depressing. I mean, seriously, either way ends in suckage. One is less suck-y.
 


Then there's The Lost And Damned. Yet another pretty downer ending.
 

 Though things weren't as "downer" in The Ballad Of Gay Tony. You tied up a hell of a lot of loose ends.
 

Then the first case of full-blown song+lyrics when not near a radio in a GTA game ever, played. "No Security", an awesome song for a long parachute flight. I haven't played the Bully games, but I think that's the first time Rockstar has done that (second would be RDR which does it like, three times for great effect). At least that's the first case I can recall, feel free to correct me if I'm completely wrong. Still cool though, each song in both games fits, especially since you can parachute all the way to Tony.
 
So yeah, those are my thoughts. Now I'm going to sleep.
Start the Conversation

Congratulations, It's a Blog.

So, yeah, a Blog. Since this is a video game site, I might as well type about games I've played recently or have stuck in my mind.
 
First off would be Rome: Total War.

 Add Funny Caption Here
 
So Rome...I'd assume it's similar to the others, but I haven't played Medieval or Empire since I'm still on my first campaign run trying to take over the map at around 40+ hours I think. Good thing is I only have two civilizations (or cultures? can't remember what they're officially called) to obliterate. Well, one actually. The only enemy (I think they're actually Neutral, but does it really matter? No) left is Pontus, and whenever I get around to booting the game back up they'll be gone. The other culture left would be remnants of The Seleucid Empire with two cities left (a lot of people didn't like them) who remain my steadfast allies and have been since roughly a quarter into the game. Others have fallen to mighty Roman Scipii steel for stupid reasons. Two of my allies went to war, one ended my alliance when I refused to join the war so I destroyed them, the other ended the alliance for seemingly no reason (so I went to war yet again and unknowingly shattered my relations with Germania, serious Domino effects going on). Kinda realize now the importance of that lady who gives you advice saying "make sure you know your enemy before going to war".
 
Anyway, the gameplay is pretty great and requires some tactics to come out victorious. I say some because I won a few battles by highlighting every unit and saying "Go kill this unit." Which would work until more enemy units showed up, then it was a matter of "get everyone attacking and hope the enemy routes" with the occasional flanking to decimate a unit in the streets of a city. Real tactics and micromanaging were required in another battle though, I had accepted a fight against two full Egyptian stacks (you can have 20 units per "stack", anywhere from 80-120 men per unit) against my single stack which wasn't too well prepared. After about 10 or so minutes of repeating "oh crap" in my head I managed to drive off the first army with a resounding sigh. Never a site more beautiful quite like an enemy army routing. Well, as I was watching that army run, I see this huge line of the second damned army and basically said, "Well, I'm boned." Another few minutes later with constant charging of cavalry and eventually my main foot soldiers brought that army to its' knees and made it route. You feel pretty good winning situations like that. Anyway, that's the battle map.
 
The over world map, others say, is like Civilization. You have cities which you can build better buildings, train soldiers, spies, diplomats, assassins, heavy weapons, stuff like that. You control army stacks as a single soldier representing the army, which can only move a certain distance before the move pool runs out. Typical stuff in games like this, you can make alliances, go to war, become trading partners, blockade ports (which the S.P.Q.R., or Roman Senate, has you doing constantly before the civil war), and if you hover around an enemy settlement you can "decimate" the land and make it bring in less money. You can also set up an army on a road which will block non-trade partner or non-self trade routes.
 
Overall it's a really fun game. Oh, and one of the best parts of it? Depending on what traits your Generals have (or Captains if you don't have a General or if one dies), not only do those traits effect multiple stats (trade income, poverty, command, moving distance on the over map) like it lists, it also effects what type of Speeches they give at the start of a battle. It can range from, "We will be victorious...I think." to "The omens have been read, and we cannot lose!" to "We make our own destiny! We are not owned by some bird!" to "By the end of the day, our sword arms will ache from overuse!" with your soldiers cheering in the proper places. The speeches have to be one of my favorite parts of the game, some are inspiring and get you pumped for the battle, others can just be hilarious. Also, the song "Soldiers Chant" plays when you move your units into position after a battle has started, and fits incredibly well. There could not be a more perfect song for that part.
So good.
 
Alright, what next...uhh, Half Life 2 and both Episodes I guess.
 Awesome game.
 
So...there isn't much to say because you should know what it is. And if not, then go play it. I recently replayed HL2 and the episodes, and they're still just as fun as ever. After I tried out The Lost Coast with Developer Commentary, I found out that both episodes have it too, which is nice. Listening to the commentary is pretty cool, because they take the form of "Commentary Nodes" which you look at, then use the action key (default of E) to turn on and off commentary about that particular area or subject. One of the best was during Episode 2, with the combine stationary gun and a bunch of zombies. One of the guys says basically, "Even though the story is pretty heavy, we try not to lose all forms of humor." I never before noticed the fast zombie torso being chased by a combine soldier running after it. They also talk about how certain places changed from the beginning of development and their current state, why they changed it, etc. Really interesting stuff.
 
I've always loved how the game plays, the physics of the source engine, everything. I've bought the game three times actually, a long, long time ago where something happened and I couldn't play it. The next two times were for The Orange Box. I got it on 360 (eh, not bad, but definitely not better than pc), then got The Orange Box on a Steam sale. Getting it on Steam brings me to my next point: Cheats! Yes, they were there for the 360, but there wasn't a developer console. My favorite thing ever has to be the "Bind Key" commands. You can bind them to anything, which, again, brings me to another point and possibly my favorite part of these games ever: Spawning. There is nothing like spawning hordes of zombies, antlions, combine soldiers, vortigaunts and resistance soldiers (along with two Antlion Guards to spice things up), in the first level before you even get your crowbar. Every single level in the game becomes a huge battleground with dead bodies covering the ground. Even places that are suppose to be calm puzzles turn into bloodbaths when I'm playing. Also, the "chase" music during various parts of the Water Hazard airboat level is awesome.
 
In both episodes there are parts where your female cohort, Alyx Vance, can use combine Sniper Rifles to help you. The thing is, they only consider you friendly, and not any citizens I may spawn. To be honest, it's kind of hilarious. There's a part in Episode 2 where you end up in a warehouse that zombies assault and Alyx can help you with said sniper, and I spawned a bunch of citizens with shotguns to fight. Good news: They held off the zombies alright. Bad news: Alyx wasted about fifty of them before it was over. Also, it's great seeing how many SMG-wielding Combine it takes to kill an Antlion guard. I lost count of all the dead bodies flying, but it had to be more than twenty before the big guy fell. I don't really feel like writing up the story, because, like I said above, you know it (and if you don't, you should play it). Suffice to say, it's a really good story, and a prime example of no matter how much you play it, those fucking Headcrabs will still find the darkest fucking places to jump at your face from, the tiny, clawing head-humping bastards.
 
Alright, next and probably last up, Saint's Row 2.
 
 The Protagonist is such an asshole. I mean, seriously.
So, when I first got this, I used cheats, and by doing so kinda made myself ignore the side missions for some stupid reason. Ridiculous, right? Anyway, so a few days ago I started up a new game (had played through it twice and a half, twice with basically the same guy and half with another guy with an English accent) with a girl character and for some random reason decided to try it without cheats. Therefore, to get good weapons, I had to do diversions/activities. And dear god are they fun. Some are kind of annoying, some are difficult (damn you Snatch level 6 - Downtown!!), but most are fun. My favorite would have to be FUZZ, where you mock being a police officer for a show (called Fuzz). There are different things you have to settle/complete, and sometimes are told to use certain weapons. For instance, "Hey, Flamethrowers are standard issue, right?" and "You use chainsaws, don't you?". And along the way you get information, not only through text prompts, but through radio dispatch. An example of the dispatcher would be, "We have reports of the Battle Of The Century going on." and "We have Pirates fighting Ninjas, I repeat, Pirates fighting Ninjas!"
 
Also, you get rewards for completing stage 3 and 6 of each event, and there's usually two locations for each major event. The rewards can range from weapons, to Heat/Gang level cooldowns going faster, to infinite something. Yeah, so now I'm rolling around with faster Police Heat cooldown, Ronin gang cooldown, a laser-guided RPG, an AR-50 with underbarrel grenade launcher, Auto Shotgun, Dual Auto Pistols (with laser sight) and Dual SMG's which can tear through vehicles like nothing, and infinite ammo for all of those weapons. Mind you, this is without cheats. Also, infinite sprint and no falling damage (from the insanely easy parachute diversion).
 
I also grabbed the DLC, the free Unkut pack (because why not?), and the two other ones (Ultor Exposed and Corporate Warfare). Both are pretty good, and the great thing is that you can do them both before you do the main missions (end reward for one is infinite Rockets, so yeah) even though it would seem to screw up the continuity. Well, as I got to playing some of the main missions after the DLC ones, I'm reminded of one simple fact. You are an asshole. One of the biggest assholes I've ever played. Even though I tend to go around doing at least some semblance of good, the main character, with one swift move, will completely bowl over what I've done. As if being an asshole wasn't good enough for him/her, the MC will go out of their way to make a point, which usually involves some way to kill someone which is completely unnecessary. Or just be a jerk for seemingly no reason to your own guys. The biggest example of assholeitude I can think of would be a major spoiler. So, major spoiler ahoy!
 

I guess that's it for the somewhat in depth games. Umm, I played a bit of the Halo: Reach beta while it was out. It was really fun, and I was pretty danged good at it for not playing Halo multiplayer in forever. The new stuff was pretty awesome, and my favorite armor ability was the Active Camo, compared to other loadouts, I did the best with that. When Invasion came out, my favorite things to roll with were Active Camo, Sentinel Beam Rifle (no idea of the proper name) and the Plasma Launcher. You can be a serious threat to infantry and vehicles, while remaining at safe support range. Also, the times I played as Spartan's and the Elites got to the AI Core, no one ever seemed to grab the Scorpion. I even saved us once because I grabbed the tank and protected the core (which was about halfway to the extraction Phantom). The Elites never seemed to grab anything able to hurt the tank, someone kept hitting me with Overcharged plasma pistol shots, but they didn't do squat because I didn't need to move (and wasn't moving, actually) to protect the core. Anyway, I can't wait to play some Reach Campaign.
 
I guess lastly would be Red Dead Redemption. I actually started this Blog the day RDR came out, and only got to the end of the Rome: Total War part before I left to go get it. What can I say about it...hmm, how about... "It's fucking awesome." It's also about time to be able to kill some animals in a game like this. I love pretty much every aspect of the game, other than the fact that cheats disable saving. Doing that killed Red Faction: Guerrilla replayability for me. I'd love to be able to go through a second run cheating my ass off along the way, but I can't unless I run through the whole thing in one sitting or leave the console on overnight. The thing that kills me? I wanted Invincibility in GTA IV so I could repeatedly jump out of helicopters from miles in the air, and it never happened. Now we do have it, but there's no way to save. And no, cheats do not "ruin the game" as many think, it makes it more fun. And it's not like you have to use them.
 
Anyway, aside from that little gripe, the game's great. Well, there is that multiplayer issue that's slamming Rockstar's servers. But that's to be expected from games with no public beta (CoD4/MW2 from what I can recall), and didn't Live crash when Halo 3 went up? Or something? Either way, that many people trying to do all that at once is bound to cause some trouble. Still, what few gang matches I have played were good fun.
 
The biggest thing I love about this game is the rain. Oh man, the rain is amazing. It's possibly the best I've seen in a game. The lightning in the sky, the puddles that form in the ground...it's just good. And if cheats didn't disable saving, and if there actually was a weather code, it'd almost never be not raining for me. The physics are great, from the character movements to animal movements (it's always fun seeing a deer faceplant and flip after a headshot). Also, another point, Animals. There are a lot of animals in the game, and most will probably kill you after some time. Luckily, I've avoided death by animal so far in the single player, death by six guys with revolvers...not so much. Another great thing is that the random events are actually pretty dang random. I'd say up to par with the "randomness" aspect of Fallout 3.
 
Here's a little tale about an experience I had in the wilderness: I went a ways away from the town of Chupasa (I think that's the name) to go kill some animals to skin and make some money. An hour later I went back in to the General Store with about 10 types of herbs, and with a kill count of: 4 Snakes, 7 Rabbits, 6 Armadillos, 8 Deer, 4 Coyotes, about 10 birds, and here's the kicker, twenty four wolves. The bastards just kept spawning and spawning, and I kept killing and skinning. I got down to 9 rounds of Revolver ammo (from roughly a hundred) and used up about 20 shotgun shells. Though my Improved Campsite refills my ammo to capacity :P.
 
Anyway, that's it for now. Probably won't do this for a while. Hope anyone who does read it doesn't find it too boring. I'm gonna sleep.
Start the Conversation