By jakob187 16 Comments
Today is September 9th. That means yesterday was September 8th. This is the understanding that I have been under for the past 27 years - the 8th comes before the 9th, right? That would be true, Josh. Okay, so tell me why the fuck Dirt 2 wasn't in any stores yesterday. As a matter of fact, tell me why there won't be any copies in stores until NEXT WEEK! Apparently, my hometown here has proven to me something that I had hoped was a dead trend in video games: release dates are flexible. So here's the scoop:
I woke up with my paycheck in hand, ready to go cash it, and then pick up a copy of Dirt 2. I never played the first one, but I just really need a good racing game right about now. I checked the Best Buy website before I left the house to ensure that the release date was yesterday, as I hate getting somewhere and finding out I was wrong on a release date (and that happens pretty often). Sure enough, release date says "09/08/09". Ballin.
Needless to say, despite going to Game Crazy, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and calling GameStop...there are no copies of Dirt 2 in Waco, Texas. There is a box sitting in the back of Wal-Mart that is labeled "Dirt 2" with a street date of 09/15/09. Grr...
So, here I sit with no copy of Dirt 2. With the movie and music industries, release dates are solid. Many times, game publishers already have their games completed and distributed a handful of weeks before the release of the game. Smaller games from independent companies usually show up a couple of days before release. Regardless, why is it that the gaming industry can't lock a SOLID release date on EVERYTHING that comes out? Why is there always this issue of uncertainty? Is it just the city I happen to live in, which houses two GameStops, 3 Game Crazys, a Special FX, and a Games 'n' Things? Seriously?
I took this as a sign, however - I hadn't played the original Dirt. The path was made clear for me. I made my way to Games 'n' Things and picked up a copy of the first Dirt game for about $17. I was going to pick up a copy of Quantum of Solace, as it was steelbook case and dirt cheap, but fuck online achievements.
While I was at Game Crazy yesterday, I got to play about five or six songs on Guitar Hero 5. Man, that game is pretty impressive! I'll admit that while World Tour had some pretty good songs on it, not many of them felt like a lot of fun to play. With GH5, the songs that I did play were well-charted and felt right. Well...almost. Megadeth's "Sweating Bullets", personally, was a fucking disappointment. How do you make me play the shitty part for half the song?!?! It's the greatest travesty since "Orion" on GH Metallica! Nonetheless, while that one song played poorly, other tracks like "2 Minutes to Midnight" by Maiden, "Demon(s)" by Darkest Hour, and "Deadbolt" by Thrice played incredibly! All of this was done in the Party mode, which was a lot of fun. I had a couple of people that would pick up a second guitar, join in and jam out, then they'd need to leave so they would drop it, and it would have that guitar leave after a certain amount of time. You can't fail in the Party mode, which is a BIG bonus for people who don't feel like playing against each other competitively or anything. The biggest thing I noticed about the game was how slick the presentation was. My God, this game looks so much better than the previous ones. The character models haven't been super improved or anything, but the filters they layer over the presentation make it feel more...authentic. It's less cartoony and more kick-ass rockin' action! Hopefully, we get this soon at work so I can spend some more time with it.
I've also been playing more and more of BlazBlue, and it's weird to say this: I think I like it more than Street Fighter 4. There's quite a few things that it does correctly that SF4 doesn't. BlazBlue feels more accessible to people who have not played fighting games before. I had no idea of what was going on when I first went into the game, but within the first 10-15 minutes of actually playing, I was already pulling pop-ups and 7 hit combos, blasting out Distortion moves, etc etc etc. It felt far more natural to me, and the analog controls on even a 360 controller feel right in comparison to something like SF4, where even the analog controller feels a bit off at times. Sure, it'd be preferential to play on a stick, but whatever. I've been using Bang Shishigami and Ragna the Bloodedge, the latter more than the former. I'm to understand that Ragna is basically the Ken of the game...but to be honest, every character in that game feels pretty accessible. I think that they are ALL Kens. There are so many ways to get around someone's moves and blocks and barriers and all the crazy shit that is going on, I don't feel like I'm ever being penned in a corner. I've been playing against a buddy of mine who rocks with 'Gief on SF4. He, as you would expect, uses Tager on BlazBlue, and within about an hour's worth of time, we were both having very close matches last night. I like how every character has something unique about them (Tager with his magnetism, Arakune with the curses, Jin with the freezing, etc). I've never really been a fan of the Guilty Gear games, but BlazBlue is an excellent fighter. It feels a bit floaty at times, but I'm okay with that. I'm debating on whether or not to pick up my own copy of the game sometime soon.
I almost forgot. I played quite a bit of Map Pack 3 for World at War...since some kid was kind enough to spend some of my points a while back to buy it. -_- I've never really enjoyed the Nazi Zombie mode, but Map Pack 3 has got more going on for the Nazi Zombies than the original NZ level offered. The addition of the dogs into the zombie waves is a nice touch, as it forces you to mix up your strategy. Nonetheless, by round 20, things get pretty hellacious. We only had three people for most of them, though, but it was still actually...well...fun! I'll probably get Map Pack 2 sometime next week. More rare achievements, folks!!!
That's it for this week. Next week, I should have some playtime with Dirt 2 and NFS Shift under my belt...and we'll continue getting dirty!
Until next time, PIECE!