I really don't know what I can say here that hasn't been said a million times on a million blogs by a million guys who play Minecraft. I bloody love it. So to avoid boring repetition I'll leave you with this;
(YES IT'S DARK, I couldn't be bothered to wait until daytime to cap it, SOZ)
(Also, my computer isn't really good enough to run Minecraft. /Depressing)
Beyond Good and Evil
I'm barely an hour into this game, bought it for TWO WHOLE BRITISH POUNDS in HMV's replay section (an odd bargain in an usually over-priced pit), and I'm enjoying it.
The combat at the moment is relatively simple, it seems to be "Press X to do contextual things", but it doesn't feel over simplified because there's so much else going on at all times.
The driving (/boating) sections are surprisingly fun. I really hope this isn't something I'll eat my words for later on when they become repetitive bores, but I have high hopes that isn't going to happen.
What I'm mainly getting from BGAE (is that a recognised acronym or is it just shit?) is that it's one of those games, a la Bioshock, where the set of characters and the world are the focal point. Jade's friend group is endearing as hell, sorta steampunk without the arrogance. So yeh, I'm digging that, and luckily the gameplay's not bad at all. I'm hella excited to get further with this one.
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
I LOVE Broken Sword 1&2, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't. I was a bit worried coming to The Sleeping Dragon because;
I'm playing it on the PS2 and not PC, WHAT.
It looks like Timesplitters (which I like, but where's the pixelised animation look?).
Most importantly, it's no longer point-and-click.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I really enjoy the point and click format. I'm sure you could say it's laziness on my part but I strongly believed adventure games in which you physically command your character through space are clunky as hell. It's the one thing that's preventing my from finishing Grim Fandango (don't kill me), and turning to the older Monkey Islands instead. It's probably laziness.
First things first, WHAT GEORGE.
I always pictured George Stobbart as an akward, almost middle aged, English man from the 90s who delves into The Verve when he's done eating pork scratchings. He's certainly not the rugged action hero you see in that picture. The fact his voice carries over from the previous games confuses the hell out of me.
Stobbart aside, this is still Broken Sword. And this is still awesome. I'm surprised at how well they manage to keep the feel (both in terms of tone and gameplay) from the old games. Again I'm only about an hour in with this one but I'll keep you posted.
Anybody got any readily available point and click games I could be getting into? I remember seeing a Lucas Arts collection on Steam so that's a possibility. I'd appreciate your help on this one though!
So, yeh. Persona 4 happened. 2 hours in. It's awesome. But, surely this is BLOGGING A DEAD HORSE, by now? (pretty proud of that one). I may come back to it later in the game with more developed thoughts but yeh. First impressions:
I didn't really want to make a blog post about SNOW and all but today;
My pipes have frozen.
Refrain from your innuendo dear readers, for today, we have no water, and thus no showers, and no toilets, and all the rest of it. It seems the whole building has gone so it's probably not gonna be fixed for a while!
I was supposed to be going home-home tomorrow, to a warm house, working pipes, and my girlfriend. But the trains have all been cancelled and now I'm pretty stuck.
As I've mentioned before, I rarely play new games. This is mainly due to financial/work related constraints. As such, I've decided this blog shall be a healthy mix of gaming and non-gaming related things.
I tried. I really tried. I'm at about 5 hours in, chapter 5. A little early to be giving up, I hear you yell? Well I'm pretty sure that this 5 hours doesn't count the 5 hours I've spent at my current save location. Which, by the way, loads me in the centre of 3 guys. 3 very difficult and aggressive guys. With bombs. And arrows. And swords. And speed.
All things I have not yet managed to master it would seem.
I fully intend to give Ninja Gaiden the time it deserves when I'm in a better position to sink hours and hours into learning combos and all that. But right now, after stressful work, I really can't handle it. YEH I'M A PUSSY SO WHAT. Other things:
Graphics are surprisingly tasty.
Control system is incredibly smooth and intuative. It's actually made me rethink my position on DMC and GOW a bit.
Menu systems are pretty shocking.
No I will never choose to "Abandon the way of the Ninja", please stop asking me.
Online Multiplayer and myself usually do not get along. I'm happy to spend time online in Red Dead's Wild West, I put about 15-20 hours into Resistance 1 online, and a similar amount into the ps3 TF2, something which seems pretty lacklustre after seeing the support Valve gave to all the other versions. I'm currently running into my third full day of online play in Uncharted 2, which might not be a lot (at all) to most of you, but it's a HELLUVA long time for me. Potential reasons for this:
It's like Horde Mode, with jumping and stuff.
It's the only online co-op experience I own which isn't terrible.
I'm actually not shit at it.
The climbable (a word?) terrain allows for deathmatches which aren't your typical spawn-die-spawn-die-spawn-die in 10 seconds affair.
And the game is just pretty as hell. Who wouldn't want to spend hours looking at this?!
Only complaint is that, because my internet is pretty dire (Virgin, YOU LIE ABOUT SPEEDS) I often fall out of games due to connection errors. It may only happen once a night, but I feel really badly for the other plays in co-op matches when it happens. The game forces the match to end when one person drops out. This seems a little unnecessary, I'm sure two people can finish. Similarly, a couple of times when I've loaded up the multiplayer I've recieved penalties for quitting matches. I appreciate this is my own fault but it's annoying. Really I should be venting at Virgin here. DAMMIT VIRGIN.
But anyway, anyone fancy playing online with someone with a potentially unstable connection? My PSN is frazmuhoney, it would be awesome to play with some fellow GiantBombers!
It's been snowing here in the UK. A Lot. And with snow comes a change in my current music appreciation, often to artists I used to listen to a bit, and now donate large amounts of time to. It also tends to be musicians who contribute to a 'cosy' vibe, hence these lovelies. Currently it is these two fine musicians who are taking up all my time.
So yeh, I appreciate Roy Orbison's a bit intensely uncool and cheesy, mainly thanks to Pretty Woman (amongst others) but I really can't stop listening to them at the moment. (I really don't know much about Billie Holiday yet but) If you're interested I'd reccommend;
It's Like Reaching For The Moon
Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do
Fine and Mellow
She did a good version of A Fine Romace
Breaking Up is Breaking My Heart
You Got It
They've both got me back into guitar playing, though trying to figure out Billie Holiday songs, as someone with no base in jazz-blues guitar, seems a bit of a fruitless pursuit. Oh well, here's to trying anyway! Anyone got any recommendations of similar musicians?
Happy Weekend everyone. Alongside my newly rediscovered blogging determination is a quest for interesting subject matter, something I don't feel I've ever managed to conquer before. This is down to one limiting factor;
I have no money.
Because of this small hurdle my current gaming life is what your gaming lives were approximately one year ago. But surely some of you enjoy reading about amazing new titles like Uncharted 2? Red Dead Redemption? Saints Row 2? Yeh? Well, maybe not, and this is something I'm just gonna have to live with. Anyway, lets get on with what I've been doing this week.
Well, I say Undead Nightmare but I should probably just put Red Dead Redemption back up there. I bought Undead Nightmare on Monday as a reward for getting the first chapter of my dissertation into my professor. Another £8 to Rockstar after the £35 I gave up on release. Was it worth it? I'm gonna have to go with the definitive....maybe?
The world of Red Dead Redemption is still awesome. The cutscenes and dialogue are on par with Rockstar's funniest. I would contest that the shooting mechanics actually work quite well for zombie killing, especially the close-up execution kills. The game's a decent length, if you're into killing zombies, which, if you bought this, you better be. The Blunderbuss is awesome; it fires zombie parts. Zombie parts. Also, fucking Unicorns.
There's nothing necessarily "bad" about Undead Nightmare just a lot of things to shrug your shoulders in disinterest at. The stringent story gets a bit old after a few of the missions, taking the basic form of; "Hey, remember this guy/girl from the game? Would you mind helping him/her with a bit of a zombie problem?". Although saying that, it's a zombie game, I don't really know what else they could have done. There's a lot of repetition, so you better bloody love killing zombies and giving people ammo. Also, the multiplayer is poo.
I think my biggest GRIPE with Undead Nightmare is that it's too sparse. The massive open-world of Red Dead Redemption feels empty. I appreciate the zombie apocalypse has a lot to do with it, so to an extent it serves a narrative function, but this was what I absolutely loved about Red Dead. The world doesn't feel brimming with activity anymore; far fewer animals, limited random encounters, no variance in towns. I'll tell you what. It feels like Gun. Not a bad game, but a vast game-world with not a whole lot of stuff in it. It's the case of a well realised artistic choice leading to less-than-awesome gameplay situation.
I appreciate here that I'm being a bit of a dick seeing as this was an £8 piece of DLC but I think it's rather telling that after spending about 10 hours on Undead Nightmare this week, I returned to Red Dead to spend about 15 hours hunting wildife, for free, in this bad boy;
This game came out when I was 1 year old, so alas, I didn't have quite the cognitive faculty to take on LeChuck. To be honest I'm doubting that the 21 year old version of me has either. Point and Click adventure games do, however,hold a fairly important place in my heart. (I didn't want to say heart. But I did. Deal with it.) My first gaming memory was playing Discworld at my older cousins house. One of my cousins has recently, unfortunately, passed away, so I am now taking it upon myself to play through these games he loved when he was younger. Also, point and click games rule. After finishing Broken Sword 1 and 2, and making decent progress through Grim Fandango, I've started up The Secret of Monkey Island.
I'm playing the reloaded edition they did a couple of years back, but I'm playing it on the original settings. The new artstyle is a bit too painterly for my liking, I find it strangely disturbing, something about the character models. The older version's soundtrack also has more of a nostalgia hit for me. Similarly, I don't like how obtrusive the item menus are in the new version, they cover the entire screen once activated.
It's pretty challenging compared to those other Point and Click games I mentioned because of it's open-world navigation system, rather than a linear progression of smaller areas. Also the item interaction options are far more complex and take a bit of getting used to. I have to say that the dialogue is hilarious and the game world is potentially the best out of all these games I've played. I'll keep you posted with my developments.
That's really all I've been up to game-wise this week. Add a bit of Uncharted 2 multiplayer to that and there you have it. Some non-game things;
Three Times by Hou Hsaio-Hsien is boss. Slow, but boss.
Pepsi Max will never be as good as regular coke, even if my local Tesco do a litre for 65p.
Our broken freezer is ruining my life.
Girl Talk's new album is fun.
So there we have it. Thanks to those of you who took the time to read this,
So it's been well over a year now since I posted a blog on this site, even though I visit the old Giant Bomb about 30 times a day whilst putting off uni work. I hope everyone is doing awesome. I took a year out at the University of Toronto last year, and for obvious reasons, didn't take my ps3/wii across the pond so i wasn't really playing anything worth writing about. But I've started to miss the old community, and whilst I doubt many of you will read this now, (especially after such a long break) I thought hitting up the old blog would be a good idea.
Ok so my Canadian year wasn't entirely devoid of gaming; we had a gamecube, and that gamecube had Soul Calibur 2 and Resident Evil 4. These are 2 games I had already played a lot of, but also 2 games which were on my "Sure it's good, but not as good as everyone makes out" list. I was a fool. I am now 100% happy to whack them on the "Games that are as good as everyone says they are" list.
Soul Calibur 2 I've never been as into fighting games as most people on this site seem to be. I grew up on Tekken 1-3 and a bit of Soulblade but never really dabbled with the "serious stuff" like SF2 until I was 16 or so, and even then only briefly. Whilst I may not be in a suitable position to judge Soul Calibur 2, I would argue that it's one of the most deep, well balanced, and enjoyable fighting games ever made (lets just say in the "3D" fighting game market). It made me realise how poor Soul Calibur 4 is in comparison, it feels so sluggish and unresponsive now. You'd think that an entirely offline, 7/8 year old fighting game would get boring after a few months, but my roommates and I spent about 3 hours a day on it for 9 months, I think that says it all.
Resident Evil 4 I really don't think I can say anything here that won't just be repeating the cries of hordes and hordes of Resi fans, but yeh, this game is insane. I played through it twice when it first came out, thought it was ok. I didn't really "get it". I still struggle to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes this game so great outside of it's contemporary "what-it-did-for-gaming" context but I think I can narrow it down to a few things: satisfying shooting mechanics, challenging but not infuriating difficulty, replayability like no-one's business, and an appropriately "eerie" game world (something lacking from 5 I thought). Furthermore, I don't think this game has aged badly at all, and I think this is precisely because of it's clunky control scheme; because Resi 5 used a similarly "out of date" interface it kinda established itself as something outside the canon of Gears/Uncharted/every other over-the-shoulder shooter. It's hard to explain but it just feels very "Resi", rather than very PS2-era-shooter. You get me? I'm probably talking nonsense.
So there's my first blog in ages, and it's about Soul Calibur 2 and Resi 4, at least I'm current with my gaming then...
I'll try and write another, more ordered/interesting, blog soon, been playing lots of Red Dead/Undead Nightmare, Uncharted 2 and Yakuza 3 amongst others. So stay tuned if you're in anway interested!