Weekly Roundup 01/29/2012

CoD continues to be a time sink.

I didn’t make a lot of gaming progress in the past week, mainly due to the fact that almost all of my gaming time was spent playing multiplayer games such as Modern Warfare 3 and StarCraft II. Those juggernauts keep chugging along, though at this point it’s primarily Modern Warfare 3. StarCraft II play has been relatively infrequent over the past few months now, and that’s something I would like to change. Like all my gaming endeavors, that means having to cut back on playing so much Call of Duty, which has been the primary limiting factor on what other games I play for years now. It’s the one video game franchise my friends can’t get enough of, and I really like hanging out with them, which makes it a tough balancing act. This week definitely fell on the “too much Call of Duty” side of that line.

Other multiplayer games I got into include playing both The Old Republic and Toy Soldiers: Cold War cooperatively. Our Imperial characters are now level 14, and that continues to be amusing, even if most of what we did this week were just some meat and potatoes quests. TOR is shaping up to be a surprisingly fun co-op game, which I would have never expected. I didn’t get to play much on my solo character, as mentioned above, so nothing new there. At some point I want to write more about various aspects of TOR, but I’ll wait until I see a little more of the game to collect more detailed thoughts together. I thought that would happen this week, but that just goes to show how unpredictable these things can be.

Best part of Cold War? The commando dude's voicework.

Cold War is alright. It has some neat things going on, mainly the combination of real time strategy and action it offers. It’s cool to be able to have that birds eye view and make snap strategical decisions one second, then jump into a helicopter to join in the actual fight the next. It gives the levels their own unique pace, which is something at least; the game is kind of dry otherwise. Neither the strategy or action parts of it go nearly deep enough, so it’s been a pretty mindless experience so far. We still have a few levels to go, so who knows what the game has left in it, maybe it will surprise me. Playing it co-op with a friend does make it more enjoyable, though in a way I think it makes it a little tougher to make sound strategic decisions on the fly. It’s purely a communication overhead thing; you can simply form a plan and execute it on your own more efficiently than having to discuss it with someone else first. Cold War also doesn’t really reward or require solid teamwork in the way that other co-op games like Portal 2 or ‘Splosion Man do. It’s just two people doing something that only needs one person to do. Still, there are significantly worse ways to hang out with a friend, and plenty of worse co-op games than this. There are better ones too.

Groovy.

Finally, I’ve been slowly poking away at Bit.Trip RUNNER. I didn’t necessarily spend much time on it this week, but being as short of a game as it is I still managed to get into the third world of three by playing in small 10-15 minute spurts here and there. Despite looking like a platformer, it’s way more of a rhythm game in practice. You’re basically hitting the right buttons at the right times (generally tied to the beats of the music) as your character automatically moves across the screen. In fact, and perhaps you can say this about a lot of rhythm games, it’s essentially a series of quick time events as much as anything. You have a sequence of very specific prompts you have to hit, and missing any one of them sends you back to the start of the level. This can make it kind of frustrating sometimes at times; just imagine if missing a single note in a Guitar Hero game made you fail instantly. Granted, the levels in Bit.Trip RUNNER aren’t nearly as long or as busy as those songs, but it’s a similar annoyance. It sucks to have to do the easy parts over and over just to retry the tough parts one more time.

All in all though, Bit.Trip RUNNER is pretty fun. It’s got a great style and a catchy, retro inspired soundtrack. It’s also a great game to pick up and play for a few minutes here and there, and even if it can be a little bit frustrating at times I still enjoy a good rhythm game (it's definitely not a bad one). Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time!

Currently playing: Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Bit.Trip RUNNER, Star Wars: The Old Republic

1 Comments
1 Comments
Posted by MajorMitch
CoD continues to be a time sink.

I didn’t make a lot of gaming progress in the past week, mainly due to the fact that almost all of my gaming time was spent playing multiplayer games such as Modern Warfare 3 and StarCraft II. Those juggernauts keep chugging along, though at this point it’s primarily Modern Warfare 3. StarCraft II play has been relatively infrequent over the past few months now, and that’s something I would like to change. Like all my gaming endeavors, that means having to cut back on playing so much Call of Duty, which has been the primary limiting factor on what other games I play for years now. It’s the one video game franchise my friends can’t get enough of, and I really like hanging out with them, which makes it a tough balancing act. This week definitely fell on the “too much Call of Duty” side of that line.

Other multiplayer games I got into include playing both The Old Republic and Toy Soldiers: Cold War cooperatively. Our Imperial characters are now level 14, and that continues to be amusing, even if most of what we did this week were just some meat and potatoes quests. TOR is shaping up to be a surprisingly fun co-op game, which I would have never expected. I didn’t get to play much on my solo character, as mentioned above, so nothing new there. At some point I want to write more about various aspects of TOR, but I’ll wait until I see a little more of the game to collect more detailed thoughts together. I thought that would happen this week, but that just goes to show how unpredictable these things can be.

Best part of Cold War? The commando dude's voicework.

Cold War is alright. It has some neat things going on, mainly the combination of real time strategy and action it offers. It’s cool to be able to have that birds eye view and make snap strategical decisions one second, then jump into a helicopter to join in the actual fight the next. It gives the levels their own unique pace, which is something at least; the game is kind of dry otherwise. Neither the strategy or action parts of it go nearly deep enough, so it’s been a pretty mindless experience so far. We still have a few levels to go, so who knows what the game has left in it, maybe it will surprise me. Playing it co-op with a friend does make it more enjoyable, though in a way I think it makes it a little tougher to make sound strategic decisions on the fly. It’s purely a communication overhead thing; you can simply form a plan and execute it on your own more efficiently than having to discuss it with someone else first. Cold War also doesn’t really reward or require solid teamwork in the way that other co-op games like Portal 2 or ‘Splosion Man do. It’s just two people doing something that only needs one person to do. Still, there are significantly worse ways to hang out with a friend, and plenty of worse co-op games than this. There are better ones too.

Groovy.

Finally, I’ve been slowly poking away at Bit.Trip RUNNER. I didn’t necessarily spend much time on it this week, but being as short of a game as it is I still managed to get into the third world of three by playing in small 10-15 minute spurts here and there. Despite looking like a platformer, it’s way more of a rhythm game in practice. You’re basically hitting the right buttons at the right times (generally tied to the beats of the music) as your character automatically moves across the screen. In fact, and perhaps you can say this about a lot of rhythm games, it’s essentially a series of quick time events as much as anything. You have a sequence of very specific prompts you have to hit, and missing any one of them sends you back to the start of the level. This can make it kind of frustrating sometimes at times; just imagine if missing a single note in a Guitar Hero game made you fail instantly. Granted, the levels in Bit.Trip RUNNER aren’t nearly as long or as busy as those songs, but it’s a similar annoyance. It sucks to have to do the easy parts over and over just to retry the tough parts one more time.

All in all though, Bit.Trip RUNNER is pretty fun. It’s got a great style and a catchy, retro inspired soundtrack. It’s also a great game to pick up and play for a few minutes here and there, and even if it can be a little bit frustrating at times I still enjoy a good rhythm game (it's definitely not a bad one). Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time!

Currently playing: Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Bit.Trip RUNNER, Star Wars: The Old Republic