By dankempster 13 Comments
I Got 800 Free Microsoft Points......which came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I didn't actually remember spending a lot of MSP in October. Although, looking back at it, there was Super Meat Boy, Sonic 4: Episode One, and the Undead Nightmare pack for Red Dead Redemption, so I guess I was a bit generous with my Points last month. Anyway, I noticed this pleasant surprise this morning, and dove into the Xbox LIVE Marketplace to sniff out something to buy. Here I was once again pleasantly surprised - this time by the Black Friday deals currently underway on the Marketplace. I parted with 560 Points in exchange for 'Splosion Man and Monkey Island 2: SE. I haven't had a chance to play either yet, on account of having to work this morning, but they're both downloaded to my 360 and ready to go. After Super Meat Boy, I think 'Splosion Man could prove to be another entertaining platforming diversion from other titles. As for Monkey Island 2, I played the first at the start of this year and loved it, so providing the adventuring and humour are intact, I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much. This leaves me with 490 Points sitting in my account (I already had 250 Points floating around before the 800 free MSP appeared), which I think I'll sit on and see if any other deals get thrown up tomorrow. In the meantime, I have two brand new XBLA titles to check out. Awesome on all fronts, I think.
I Recently Bought Call Of Duty 4......once again proving how I'm always one to move with the times within this industry. To be fair, CoD4 has had me intrigued for some time now. Not in a "lets see what this franchise is all about" sort of way, but in a "let's see why this specific game was (and still is) held in such high esteem" sort of way. Reactions so far are kind of mixed. At about six missions into the single player, there have been moments that are really incredible. Bullets flying all around you, tearing your cover apart and pinning your squad down, those intense moments feel less like a video game and more like you're actually in a warzone. In most FPS games I've played, I'm not worried about getting caught in a hail of bullets, usually because there isn't one. Enemies fire at you one at a time, so you can pick them off one at a time and make steady progress. By comparison, CoD4's campaign sees me almost perpetually crouching because I'm that concerned about getting caught in the crossfire. It's pretty exhilarating. It's not all incredible, of course. The story seems stale and uninspired thusfar, although I suppose there's still room for a couple of twists to save it. The graphics have also left me underwhelmed, nowhere more so than in the 'Crew Expendable' mission on the approach to the tanker. It's cool and cinematic, I know, but it just looks fake. Metal Gear Solid 2 did a better job of believably realising a tanker in a torrential downpour, and that was six years earlier, on drastically inferior hardware.
I've also dabbled a little with the multiplayer, and I can see why it's attracted such a huge following. The constant promise of unlocks and level-ups is a pretty compelling motivation to keep playing, and the curiosity to discover what unlocks will improve my custom class is sure to hold my attention in the coming weeks. Thankfully, the 360 version of the game still seems to have a lot of players active, so I don't think I'll be short of competition while I work my way up the ranks. I was initially worried about going into CoD4's multiplayer, especially given that most of the active players are probably die-hards who've been playing this title for over three years now, but I've been playing Free-for-All matches and so far I've been able to hold my own. On the off-chance anybody here on Giant Bomb is still rocking Call of Duty 4 on the 360 and doesn't mind playing with somebody just finding their feet in the world of online multiplayer FPSes, feel free to hit me up - my Gamertag is dankempster.
I S-Ranked Just Cause 2 This Week......and boy, what a pain in the arse that was! When I first finished the game back in May, I'd earned 40 of the game's 50 Achievements and was quite happy to leave it at that. A few weeks ago, though, I decided on a whim to play more of Just Cause 2, perhaps with a view to earning the ten remaining Achievements. I'm not an Achievement whore by any means, but those outstanding emblems on my gamer profile seemed like a good incentive to go back to Panau and cause some more Chaos. About half of those Achievements fell quickly and painlessly - from picking up my 50% complete save, it didn't take me long to find 1000 resource items, locate 150 faction items, complete 1000 sabotages and assassinate 25 Colonels. After this initial wave of unlocks came the really hard grind - pushing for 75% completion while hunting down all of the game's vehicles and going for that bloody Wrecking Ball Achievement. All those hours in Panau paid off when I unlocked the last Achievement on Tuesday, making Just Cause 2 my second Giant Bomb S-Rank (my other is Fallout 3). Now Just Cause 2 has been put to rest, and I've finished Assassin's Creed, I can put more time into Mass Effect 2. With any luck, I'll wrap that up before the year is out, just in time to consider my own personal Game of the Year awards.
Three points, done and dusted. Thanks very much for reading, guys. I'll see you around.
Currently playing - Mass Effect 2 (X360)