By jakob187 15 Comments
Howdy folks. My willingness to blog has been kind of dead lately, but today I realized that a LOT of shit has gone down in the past week or so!!! Leaving that all just hanging would be rather asinine, wouldn't it? A week ago, I happened to hit up Game Crazy over in Hewitt, who were having their "going out of business liquidation sale". Basically, everything in the store was 50-60% off. Usually, those sales have a ton of bad games for dirt cheap, and there were some of those. For the most part, though, the Hewitt store rarely had customers...so they had a ton of games in stock for dirt cheap. Sadly, I missed the first day of the sale, so a lot of those games were already sold. However, I happened to walk in with $60 and walk out with Bayonetta ($30), Dark Void ($12), Fuel ($10), and a Mass Effect 2 strategy guide ($8). Not a bad deal at all...except for Fuel.
This past Friday, I cancelled my Xbox 360 Slim pre-order the other day, namely because I was sick of how Gamestop never seemed to have the fuckers in stock but Best Buy and Wal-Mart have not sold out once on them. Waiting three weeks due to the supposed "Microsoft is delaying shipments" excuse just wasn't cutting it anymore. As I was in the store cancelling that pre-order, however...the Xbox 360 Slim I had pre-ordered was rolled in on a cart by UPS. I didn't buy it. It's the fucking principle of it, ya know? Therefore, I'll wait until the hardware has had some time to evolve just a little more and get a little cheaper.
And now, GAMES!!!
I Finally Played Mass Effect 2The first game never caught my interest, namely because the shooting wasn't what it should've been, the frame rate issues drove me insane, the inventory menus were TOO MUCH and the ambience of the incredible music in the game had me dozing off all the time. Mass Effect 2 fixes ALL of this shit. ALL of it! The shooting is precise enough to feel like a fucking shooter, but it still has that "this is an RPG, not Gears" feel to it. There are NO inventory menus from what I can tell (maybe I'm playing it wrong?), and the frame rate is solid. Since I never got a complete playthrough on the first game, I was always afraid to walk into Mass Effect 2 because I thought I'd be lost. Guess what? If you haven't played the first one, you can jump right in on the second and get enough backstory on the previous game to fit you into this story. Mind you, I played enough of the first game to know who Wrex and Garrus and Ashley and Tali and Liara are. I'm simply saying that you don't have to feel as though you are being held back, as the second game's story is capable of being its own standalone thing with minor integrations to the previous game's story. All in all, the game is impressing the hell out of me. However, no matter how much Mass Effect 2 or even something like Red Dead Redemption have impressed me this year, I can easily say...
...Nothing Has Impressed Me More In 2010 Than Bayonetta!I had played Bayonetta shortly after its initial release, and I was flabbergasted with the game. The combat was precise and smooth, the general feel of the game was tight, the frame rate was solid as fuck, and the general "this game is overly Japanese and we know it" vibe gave it an immense amount of charm. Having recently purchased it, I decided to jump in on the Hard difficulty for some achievement whoring. I found myself focusing less on achievement whoring and more on how goddamn awesome that game is! When my Game of the Year blog comes around later this year, I seriously doubt anything will take the top spot from Bayonetta. It has me incredibly excited for Vanquish, as that game looks like it is shaping up for something unique and fun.
I Digress - You Really Wanna Hear About Dark VoidI know that it is. This Nolan North-voiced game deserves to be talked about. As a long-standing fan of Crimson Skies, and the fact that I bought this for $12, I was more than willing to give it a shot. Very quickly, I learned by the cover art of the game shares the same colors as Too Human in so many ways: Dark Void is a pretty cool game that gets brought down by a myriad of flaws...yet even with those flaws, it remains to be a good enough game to play through. There's the texture pop-ins, the control aesthetics when flying, the slight wonkiness of movement while you are on the ground, the repetitive nature of the surroundings in places, a slightly-off hit detection...so many things. However, despite all of those items being on the "bullet list of things a game needs to get done well", the game does offer a lot of charm - a world that you can tell the developers really adore (that Howard Hughes-era aviation feel). It also has decent enough ground action that you don't feel you are completely hampered in the experience, and the in-the-air stuff can be pretty cool once you get the hang of it. There's also a big overarching story that is kind of over-the-top and ridiculous, but in that awesome B-movie nature. All the voice acting is pretty damn good, especially Mr. North's role as whatever-the-dood's-name-was. Basically, if you can get the game at a budget price, it's definitely worth a look-see.
I Cannot Make A Header Big Enough That Says "Don't Ever Buy Fuel...Ever"Fuel, on the other hand, isn't worth any amount of money. I had confidence that I was going to enjoy the game in SOME manner as the Codemasters name was on the front of a racing game with a four-letter title. Sadly, that game just has nothing at all that I could find compelling. There's a massive open world...filled with nothing but pretty grass and some desolate trees...some mountains...and yeah, you can find all these challenges to undertake, but everything you do in the game is generally just too contrived and the rewards of doing so don't really matter. Oh, some new cars that aren't much better than previous ones until MUCH later in the game? Awesome. The races have a giant series of arrows pointing over your head and the AI isn't really good enough to win even at the highest difficulty settings? Great. Getting to all of these Vista Points to see a huge pretty scene are dragged down by a lackluster draw distance? Perfect. Codies, you guys failed me on this one. You had a ton of potential, and you squandered it on nothing. If you get a chance to buy the game, don't do it...even for free.
With that said, my ending statement is simply this: since I cancelled my pre-order on an Xbox 360 Slim, I decided to give Dragon Age: Origins another damn chance. Hopefully, I don't get the Redcliffe glitch this time around and can thoroughly enjoy that game. If it does glitch again, you'll see a picture of a cracked, burnt, warped disc in my blog at some point.
Until next time, piece.