Splinter Cell : Conviction - Demo Rundown.

 

 Sam Fisher, master of persuation!
 Sam Fisher, master of persuation!

 
So, hi! 
 
I took a couple minutes when I got home from work last night to quickly play through the SC:C demo on xbox live. Here's my gameplay impressions.
 

Control Scheme

 No more goverment issued wetsuit for Sam - he rolls with a sweater and cargo pants now.
 No more goverment issued wetsuit for Sam - he rolls with a sweater and cargo pants now.
Something I thought that I would never see again in a videogame (which is weird because the game was awesome) was the control scheme from another Tom Clancy number - Rainbow Six Vegas. The game controls much in the same way as Vegas did. Left trigger doesn't have you aim down sights here, instead the left trigger controls when Sam wants to stick to cover. X is to use gadgets (frags, sticky cams etc), and zooming in for a kill, once again taking a page from R6: V is a right-stick-click away. Also when taking cover, Sam is given the option to "auto move" to other peices of cover around the environment. The system is actually pretty good, indicated by hovering over other objects in the environment if from one piece of cover, you can do a transition to another, by placing a small icon in the same position you would auto transfer to. The control scheme overall feels fine, just takes a couple of minutes to get used to. Good luck finding the re-load button if you weren't paying attention to the control scheme before you start the mission. 
 

Gettin' Around

 Keep in mind here, I played this demo once, until completion yesterday, and it probably didn't go any longer that 20 minutes. But in that time, I got the feeling that moving same around environments feels a bit... loose? The first 3 Splinter Cell games I played were all on PC, and they got all the movement bang on. Camera angles were always perfect, the ability to control movement speed with the mousewheel was awesome. Honestly, I felt like in quite a few spots, the camera got too low, and way to close to Sam, in certain cases blocking your view of an enemy (this was most prevalent when going into a zoomed mode with your weapon), or of an environment that you were trying to scope. I kind of hope that they will think about cleaning that up a little bit, because when you're character is taking up a significant portion of the screen, its kind of tough to get a feel about whats going on around him. 
 

Vox

There is one cutscene in the game. Its kind of bad - specifically the delivery of the voice actors, and the script itself isn't so hot.  Next, the enemies repeat the same shit over and over and over when they're looking for you. All voicework is kinda garbage in this demo. 
 

Wastin' Dudes

(FYI - I did't play double agent, so I don't have a frame of reference as far as that game goes) 
 
Thankfully, Sam Fisher has finally started acting like a badass worthy of being formerly employed by a branch of the US goverment that the public in unaware of, and most of the government itself doesn't know exists.
 


 Someone stole Sams' old man fiber cookies, and now they're gonna pay...
 Someone stole Sams' old man fiber cookies, and now they're gonna pay...

So, melee kills are in the game, and im talking about Sam actually looking like he knows what he's doing. Not the repeated elbows to the head until your opponent falls over like a sack of shit, but not before he leaves you with a couple extra holes in your body, or a knife in the back. No, this time around he's snapping necks and breaking backs. A successful melee kill will allow you to "mark" up to three targets to set them up for what the game calls execution. Basically, then initiated, Sam insta kills the three dudes you marked with his weapon as long as they are in his LOS. I guess its a pretty goodmechanic, but honestly, I'm kind of wondering what its there for in the first place? Is the game so difficult in spots that you have no other choice but to use autokill features? I don't really get it, and the demo doesn't do the best job of explaining its acutal utility.
 
 

Conclusion

The demo makes the game feel unfinished. But I think that's cause when they were putting the demo together they used older parts of the product. At least, I really hope thats what the case is. Cause if  not...... oh boy.
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My time with Mass Effect 2.

So, trying to kill the last 40 minutes of work, here's some hot ME2 (as if you haven't heard enough about this game already) blog action. 
 
So, to start off, this really does need to be said. Mass Effect 2 is a great game. I feel like Bioware is on one hell of a roll with its RPGs of late, and if the quality stays consistent, I will keep on coming back for more. It is a ton of fun to play through, and really just does a lot of things right. But what would my blog be, if not a medium to vent my frustrations?  
 
Mass Effect 2 is a polished fucking game. Everything that is in the game feels like the Dev teams took a very long look at the mechanics of the first, looked at consumer complaints, and took steps to completely eliminate areas of the first game that generated complaints.  Despite Mass Effect 2 being a great game, hands down, it was certainly not at all the game I was fully expecting, and upon reaching the end of the game itself, ME2 fell a hair short of the game that I actually wanted.
 
To be honest, I came away from this game feeling like Bioware went ahead and tried to please absolutely everyone who played, and had issues with, the first game. But it seemed to me that after finishing it, I realized that in trying to clean this game up, trying to make it as shiny, consice, and as awesome as possible, maybe Bioware shaved a bit too muich off the top with this one. 
 
Obviously, all of the above is all words lacking any real substance as to why I draw the conclusions above. Its time for me to go home now though, so I will absolutely do a followup when I have to time, to let you guys know about what I think, and more importantly, why I'm thinking it.

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Chewing the Holiday Fat.

 Hello, my fellow followers of the Bomb!
 
Ok, first things first, I'm shitty at updating me blog. I get it, what can I do.  Nothin'.
 
Shit I did over the holidays:   
 

Fixed my busted ass computer.


 Not actually my computer.
 Not actually my computer.
So yea, I got off of work at 4 pm, Thursday the 24th of Dec - and pretty much hadn't had the time to touch a game until somewhere around the afternoon of the 26th.
 
On the 26th, I re-downloaded ARMA2 off my steam account, because I just wanted to screw around with the editor. I figured a fully loaded attack chopper at my becon call + me with a sniper rifle on a distant Island + a full squad of enemy on an opposite island with no escape = fun. So I started doing that, but the game froze up, screen went all weird. Rebooted, started up Arma2 again - freeze up again, this time much much faster than it did the first time. Then I noticed that my computer was making a lot less noise than was normal.
 
Well ladies and gents, that means, through experience, Graphics card was overheating, the lack of sound I was alluding to was the lack of a functioning fan cooling the piece of shit (out of anger, not previous performance) graphics card.
 
This happens on a Saturday, the day after Xmas, and I have the entire next week off of work. Goddammit, I was planning on spending the entire week working on my hermit technique, locking myself in my room, microwave burritos, soda, beer, and most importantly, not shaving.
 
Luckily for me, right after xmas means tech deals. Managed to procure myself a new card for 75 bucks, that was a generation better than mine. Ordered it, didnt come into my possesion until that Wednesday. So, I needed something to play until then, didn't I?
 

The Badest of the Bad

 Gold n' grenades n' shit, yo.
 Gold n' grenades n' shit, yo.
 
 So, it was like 20 bucks at Best Buy, and my girlfriend is always looking for game idea's for me for the holidays. I figured this would be a good deal. 
 
So the single player is fun, not stellar. Blowing out walls in buildings is pretty fun too. But seriously, for all the work they did on that engine, couldn't they work in an "open door button"? Do you really need to start whacking at it with your knife until it spilnters into a million pieces to get through? It seems to me it would help alot if you're trying to stealth through some parts. You know, instead of blowing a gaping hole in the wall of a building your trying to infiltrate quietly.
 
Then again, Bad Company isn't really about being subtle now is it?
 
Now the online multiplayer is something that I'm torn on. Its a combination of abject frustration and awesome fun. 
 
Does a squad of 3 snipers and 1 assault class help to take down a tank who blasting the shit out of your Gold container from halfway across the map who sabot rounds? FUCK NO THEY DON'T. In fact, a lot of the time you're sitting there like an asshole waiting to lose. I always make it a point to switch classes for the approprite situation. Tanks are other light vehicles close, time for the AT class. But wouldn't it be oh so nice to have 2 or even 3 guys spawn on your squad with that same AT class, all blast the tank at the same time, so that instead of the tank looking for the one smoke trail back to little old me waiting for my lengthy reload animation to finish up, he sees three smoke trails, decides he's screwed hauls ass and dies a horrible death! That my friends, is teamwork.
 

Spaghetti & Meatballs provide the optimum amount of carbohydrates for extended assisnation campaigns.

OweeOweeOweeOweeOwee
OweeOweeOweeOweeOwee
Lets be honest here. Mass murder can really take it out of you. Thats why its important to make sure that if you're going to embark on a mission to wipe out anything and anyone that had anything to do with the framinng and murder of most your family, you're fed well enough to go the distance.
 
Therefore, you wanna stock up on them carbs. 
 
Carbs = Pasta = Italy =  Ezio Auditore da Firenze stabbin you in between you armorz biatch.
 
 
I liked the first game a lot. While other people may have been complaining about the redundancy of the gameplay modes (which admittely, it was redundant) I was too busy getting all glassy eyed at the expansive, beautiful city-scapes and just the technology platform the game was running on in general. The story of Desmond Miles was quite intriguing throughout the game, and by the end of the game, I was dying to find out what exactly the world that Desmond inhabits actually looked like. 
 
Everything about this game is better. Less time spent out of the Animus, and when you are out, it feels like its for better reasons then just saying "Hey lets take a break", and Impression I got from the first game. A much greater variety of side missions to complete, from running down a punkass theif to steal the money that they stole, to tracking down some poor woman's cheating husband and seriously fucking him up in hand to hand combat.
 
Honestly, I have absolutely no idea why, but the fisticuff in this game are totally awesome. Beating these guys up is one of the most satisfying things in the game, at least for me. Punching a guy in the stomach and finishing him off by kneeing him in the face just makes me smile. This game is great, if you haven't yet gotten the message - almost done with my last artifact to get access to Altair's armor set, and after that, I'm off to the finish line.
 
You should play this game if you haven't. Double hidden blades means double the fun!
 
 

You had me at dark, ritualistic sex.

 Pourin' one out for all my homies.
 Pourin' one out for all my homies.
Lastly, by the time my week long vacation was wrapping up (half of it spent waiting for my new graphics card to show up so that I could play THIS game), I finally managed to wrap up my first playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins. 
 
Top to bottom, I had a blast. 
 
Note - I played this on my PC  - because I mean common, a traditional Bioware RPG, this is a PC game, and I wanted to play this game the way it was meant to be played.


Dragon Age is a strong game all around. The classes (for the most part, at least) seem well balanced. I really liked the direction they took with leveling and class evolution, IE: Archetype, skill points, specializations. I have never really been into DnD and to be honest, with Neverwinter nights and the other games that Bioware would apply the DnD liscense and logic engine to, for some reason, I always felt a bit lost when it came to leveling up your character, choosing appropriate skills, so on and so fourth.   But with DA:O - the interface is clean, the game makes it easily apparent what putting points into one skill over anothter will actually do for your character with handy tooltips. No more having to paruse a 200 page game manual to figure out whether or not you're fucking up character development.
 
 

Your Dragon-Fu is weak

 
 Ok, so no game is perfect right? If it was, I would be playing that game instead of all of this imperfect shit. But everything has its flaws, and Dragon Age is no acception.
 
So what about DA:O disapointed me the most? 
 

The loot to be honest.
 
I preordered the game on the steam. That means that I got two special rings,  the Grey Warden's Keep quest, the Shale quest, the Dragon Armor (which by the way, looks fuckin terrible), the ability to get a kickass weapon made out of an asteroid based on a random encounter. I don't think I left anything out.
 
I was really let down by the fact that by halfway through the game, I had an armor set, a sword, and a shield that I never took off, because I never found anything better. 
 
Most of the best equipment I had in my inventory was either garnered specifically because I had downloaded the DLC, and all of it was aquired somewhere around halfway through the game. To me, this kind of sucks. I love getting loot in RPGs from beginning to end. But everything that gets dropped (save a few items from some named enemies in the game) is total useless trash. I really would have liked to see them throw some better loot leading all the way up to the end of the game. Sadly, the games loot by and large was kind of a let down for me.
 

My Dragon-Fu is strong!

 
 Strongest aspect in the game is the character driven morality system. In Dragon Age, few choices are black and white, no matter how much it might seem that way. A simply choice one way or the other may have consequences you might not even see coming, and that's damn refrreshing to see from an RPG.  There is no morality tracker at all. There are no points you get for finishing a quest in a good way or a bad way. There is only choice, consequence and outcome. Descisions you make however, bring about really problematic choices regarding characters who have really strong opinions about what you are about to do. 
 
Example: 
 
You: Hey, there's this little kid sleeping in the street. Maybe I should go buy him a blanket, poor litlle guy.
 
Party Member 1: Aww, that's really sweet, I hope he'll be alright - +20  "relationship" points for us!
 
Party Member 2: This is rediculous, children are plagues! It would have been better to eat his tasty tasty soul! - 20 relationship points.
 
This was a horrible example of one of these choices, but an example none theless. But some of these choices come totally out of left field, and leave you with a choice that might range from a drop in favor, to a character saying "fuck this noise, you're all a bunch of pussies!" and leaving your party, never to be seen again, to a person being so against a choice you have made that they'll try a fry you, forcing you to kill them, and they stay dead for the rest of your adventure. 
 
Some of these choices were so not obvious, not black and white, but instead grey and a more fucked up shade of grey, it literally had me pacing back and fourth in my appartment for 15 minutes trying to decide what the hell I'm supposed to do. The Characters themselves make these choices hard, because they are all so well written and all have such a different backstory that's well fleshed out, that you don't want to even risk pissing them off and have them leave when you've already spent so much time getting to know what they're about. You can almost predict what choices you make might make them angry, not because they're transparent, but because they're all pretty complex, but you get to know them well enough to know they have convictions. You start to figure out what makes them tick.
 

My fingers are tired.

 
This blog has taken too long to write. Thanks for reading all, I'm outta here.
2 Comments

I enter the vastness of space. Eve Online. My First Few Hours.

 Greetings from space!

So I spent a few hours yesterday with Eve Online, and while I will say that a few hours with the game is in no way shape or form enough to render a proper judgement on the game, I do have a few opinions / impressions on the first few missions / hours.

The Story -

So the basic premise it that EVE is the name that humanity gave to the first, naturally occurring wormhole found in space. Humanity sent colonists and equipment across to settle and scout the planets on the other side. Not too soon after humans started gaining a foothold, the wormhole eventually broke down and closed, cutting off the humans colonies from their lifeline on the other side.

The human colonies, cut off from their lifeline on the other side of the wormhole were forced to fend for themselves, forgetting much about the technology that brought them there, so that they could carve a life from the alien terrain that they had come to settle on.

Eventually, the human colonies grew out of strife, created their own factions, eventually recovered the knowledge of their once lost technologies, and went forward into space to reap the resource rich vastness of space to build vast empires.

The Game -

Straight up, this game is all about one thing: Power.

From my little time with the game, it's made apparent that your purpose for existing within the world of EVE is to amass power through any means you deem necessary.

The benefit? 95% of everything with EVE (the scope of which is really not made apparent in the few hours you might sink into it from the start) is controlled by players. People like you. That means that everything you do in the game, in relation to the world, economy, and other people, should be thought of as a business transaction.

Are you someone that likes to mine? Get in a pact with someone who runs transport vessels a lot, stick to the vein, drop some ore in pods, have them run the transport for you back to a space station, refine the ore, split the profits.

Like to run around all over the place and shoot crap? Grab yourself a fighter type vessel, equip some sexy weapons, and sell off your services to another person and run protection. More money means more ships, more weapons, more power!!

The catch? Looks like its trust.

There are game masters in EVE Online. They serve the same functions as any other MMOs - they are the Poh-leece, making sure that the games rules are enforced. However, unlike many MMO's, they stay even farther in the background, because, like previously stated, 95% of the game is run by players. This means, that if you have a lucrative trading agreement with a person who runs transports for your mining operations, if they decide to take that load of ore you just spent the last 2 hours mining, and keeps the profits for themselves.. guess what? That's your responsability, and your bullshit to deal with. If you don't trust the person who you are doing business with, then you might not want to team up - Take this premise, and extend it further to the a corporation's (guilds) bank, and the possibilities could make you either exited, or make you poop your pants. Maybe both.


The early hours -

So the tutorial will give you a nostalgic feeling. But not necessarily the good kind. You might throw up. The tutorial to the game is a victim to the games age, as well as the games vastness. There is no voicework here, so you'll have to be content to jump back to the year 2000 and read instructions on the screen, perform said instructions, click next, and so on, and so forth.

Basically, the game lets you know how to travel, fight, the basic principles of making money, using items, using space stations, ship overviews, tricking out ships, getting missions, and completing missions.

Beyond that, the game basically tells you "Look bro, this game is fuckin long, right? So if you have any more questions, click on this encyclopedia bullshit and lookup what you wanna know about. Cool? Kthxbai".

I can't really fault the game for this though. MMO's are learned from experience, not tutorials, so its length can't really be faulted, because it tells you as much as you need to get by early on in the game. If you have a question about most other things, newb chat and the encyclopedia are there for you to use.


Like bringing a mining lazer to a space fight-

The one thing about the initial combat the game throws you into that I kind of hated, is a total lack of feedback the game gives you about what AI enemy characters are totally out of your league. Early on, I took up a mission requiring me to jump into a location, to kick some space pirate ass. So, I grabbed my newb ship, jumped to the locale to start cleaning some house. The first two ships were a breeze - I kicked their asses as easily as anything I had encountered up to that point, but then I started approaching the last two ships that I needed to take out, and let me tell you, they beat the crap outta me. Thankfully, I jumped outta there before my ship was turned into space dust.

The game provided 0  feedback about what the hell I was supposed to do at that point - So I took on another couple career missions in the military vein (which admittedly, I probably should have done first), got a new ship, with a couple of cannons, retrofitted 'em to my new ship, went back and fucked up those space pirates. Still, even after I finished that fight, I still would have liked to get some type of feedback from the game about how I am supposed to judge what kind of ships are going to give me a proper run for my money, as opposed to which ones I can easily steamroll over. Maybe there is something I'm missing, and I'm assuming that there will eventually be some type of unlocks that might allow me to scan a ship before I jump into combat. I just wished the game had let me know about it, given that I was in a PVE type of situation.


All in all, there seems to be something here, in the world of that seems kind of awesome. I just need to crack its somewhat tough shell, to get to the juicy, sweet innards to get there. We'll see if something entices me to bust out the ol' VISA before that 14 day trial runs out.

KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES!!!

11 Comments

The white shit... It has returned.

Huzzah! Games!
 
So I really don't have anything interesting to say this week, but I'm bored as shit at work, so enjoy. 
 

Games I have purchased over the past few months:

 
Dragon Age: Origins (PC) - Uber long, uber epic.
 
Borderlands (PC) Shoot people with all sorts of weird fuckin guns n shit.
 
Left 4 Dead 2 (PC) Dismemberment at its best.
 
Dead Space (XBOX 360) See above.
 
Modern Warfare 2(PS3) Come for the guns, stay for the Tom Clancy.
 
 
I believe this should be all of them. Quite an impressive list if I do say so myself, since Dragon Age alone is like 60 - 70  fucking hours long  on the first play through.
 

Games I have managed to finish:

 
 Mordern Warfare 2: What? Quit looking at me like that dammit. I've been busy. 
 
Overall, I loved the game. Both single and multiplayer. While I've heard some complaints about the single player being unrealistic and too over the top in terms of story progression. Well ya know what? I like nutty ass stories. And I liked this one. Its like the game went on a Tom Clancy tangent, and thats not nessesarily a bad thing, in my opinion.
 
Multiplayer, welll. .. hey, its awesome. You should try it if you haven't already. Don't know what else to say beyond that, really. 
 

Games I need to finish:

 
Dragon Age: Origins: Its loooooooooooooooong!
 
So yea, Dragon Age. This game is epic, plain and simple. Bioware hit the nail on the head with this one, and have finally delivered a game here akin to the quests of old, where you sit at your desk for hours and hours and hours and realize you have to go to work in an hour and havent blinked one for the past 7.
 
Its massive, expansive, the world is detailed, the lore is fleshed out, the characters are awesome, the skills and jobs engine that the game works off are well designed, balanced, and the game, even at the easiest levels, provides a challenge! 
 
When I first got the game, I played it non-stop for two weeks. Its wierd, because I started out playing a ton, but once I hit a big story change, towards the backend of the game, I stopped there, and haven't picked it up again. It was one of those things whereby, when I had gotten to that point, I though the game had flew by, but upon thinking about it mroe, I realized I had dedicated almost every moment of my existance outside of work to the game. So I just played it a shitload. But now, with no more than (rough estimate) 10 hours, I sit there and think to myself, oh god, this is gonna take forever. I know that for that last strech theres gonna be so much shit left to process, I just need to give it a bit more time till I have a solid day off where I can truly get my RPG geek back on and turn up the heat, bust out my pack of smokes, sit around in my underwear and finish this fuckin game.
 
Borderlands:
 
So my interest in Boarderalnds took wierd turns coming up to its release. At first, seriously, I didn't care. Then, Jeff started talking about it. Now I have noticed that Jeff's opinion on games and mine can sometimes differ in big ways, but he seemed really exited about the game about 6-8 months before its release. Still I do respect his opinion, and listened, and the concept didnt seem too bad. But, once it came up closer and closer to release, I lost more and more interest again. 
 
A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about finishing Dragon Age, telling myself I was almost there and to get it out of the way. But then the little voice in my head kept on screeming "long" that my brain was having none of it. 
 
I decided I wanted to play something shooty. I ruffled around my room for my old copy of Far Cry 2 and couldn't dig it out. So I started sifting through steam and said fuck it. Lets go to the Boarderlands. 
 
I unsheathed my credit card of buying ; +3 to acumulated debt, + 2 to interest ; and Boarderlands was on its way.
 
So much to my surprise, I really like Borderlands. Its not without fault, but then again, no game is perfect.
 
The story isn't so hot, not because its bad, but because its barely there. Basically, the needed a reason for your character to drop into this shithole of a planet, and a reason to focus on the loot focused nature of the game.
 
Which brings me an ironic though I had about Boarderlands vs. Dragon Age.
 
Hands down, I like Dragon Age better, there is no doubt. But I found it kinda wierd that the entire premise of Boarderlands was the one thing I found a bit lacking in Dragon Age - lewt. Epic LEWT.
 
I like shit that drops randomly, I like when it comes in different colors, I like then you have a shitload of stats to stare at, and I like the messed up combos that you can come up with. 
 
So, yes, Borderlands is awesome. If you have ever been, or still are a loot slut, this game totally rocks. So far, I've shot up humans, dog aliens, bird aliens and crab spider aliens. And they've dropped loot, and i've either used it, or drove back to town to sell it off. Might not sound like much, but its pretty good if you like virtual shinies. (And shotguns that shoot rockets)
 

Games I still need to turn on:

 
 Dead Space: Ok so, to be fair, I only bought this last week, and only cause it was 20 bucks. But I've played the game before, and it is pretty awesome, I must say. Just have other shit to play right now. Those baby monsters still freak the shit outta me.
 
Left 4 Dead 2: I almost feel bad about not giving L4D2 a whirl yet. Like I literally haven't even turned the thing ON. I've had it for like a month at this point. And I have noticed a few people playing the game on the GB game community on steam, but I still need to give this one a try. It does look good, must admit.
 
In conclusion, snow fucking sucks, and now its everywhere in Montreal.
2 Comments

Peecee gaming

 As I type this, the office network has just bit the big one. So while I wait for it to come back up, I figured maybe I'd update the old blog! I'm writing this on notepad, then I'll giv'er the old copy / paste.

So I went ahead and finished off Killzone 2. I pretty much left off at the very end of the game, fighting the mass of enemies right before Radek decides to settle things himself. It was one of those situations when I initially came across that level I must've slogged through it for an hour, over and over (it was 3am) until I finally gave up and went to bed. The next time I picked it up a week later, I managed to clear out the rest of the trash the game threw at me the first time I played it, and finally got a shot at Radek - beat his ass, and got that fancy trophy.

I rented Batman: Arkham Asylum over the weekend, and I'm on the wall about how I feel about it... but then again, I don't think I really gave the game enough of a chance - I was busy as hell this weekend and really didn't give it enough time to completely grab me. The hand to hand combat, I must say, is pretty sweet, well done, and there is a lot of variety in the combat animations, which is nice, and the fact that racheting up combos unlocks even more moves that you can perform - it gives you extra incentive to see what Batman might do to a guy. The riddler puzzles are pretty cool, but a bit frustrating at times, especially trying to firgure one out when you're hammered at 2 in the morning - but that can't be blamed on the game. I'm bringing it back to blockbuster tomorow, but I think I'll have to pick it up again to give it another solid shot.

What I have been doing with most of my time, when not working on my bands infernal album two fucking years in the making, is rekindling my love affair with PC gaming. It seems like when all my new PS3 / Xbox 360 have outlived their shiny new luster, I always keep going back to a good old solid PC game.

Medieval 2: total war (and the kingdoms expansion)

Played this for a few days, started an english, spanish, and Scottish campain - a nice and relaxing game when you just neeed to take a break from ultra fast paced types of game. Then it hit me - shit, I'm playing a PC game, lets check out the forums for a few mods. And came upon this

BEHOLD!
 
Total War: The Third Age

Who Spilt Mordor all over my Total War?
Who Spilt Mordor all over my Total War?

This is one of the reasons I have always loved, and continue to love PC gaming - people actually come up with shit like this, and make it availalbe to you - free of charge. It adds tons of life to games that have been already out for a few years. And hey its pretty awesome. 
 
You might remember this guy. He lost his marbles and jumped off a skyscraper.
You might remember this guy. He lost his marbles and jumped off a skyscraper.
Dwarves, Men, Elves, Orcs and Southerlings are all available, playable factions in the game, and while Castle / Town battles have not yet been modded into the game to reflect what they would look like within the LOTR universe (as you can imagine it will take some time) it still adds a nice, fresh foray back to an aging game, and into the total war series in general.
 

 
 
 
 
 I realized last night that I had an unplayed copy of The Witcher : Enhanced addition installed on my machine, so I decided to give it a whirl, I havent gotten very far yet, but so far, I'm pretty impressed with the great combat system, the deep alchemy system and the dark tone of the game in general. I think this is exactly what I need to get into the right frame of mind for my eventual foray into Dragon Age: Origins when it gets released. 
 
Lastly, with the impending release of Borderlands, Dragon Age Origins, and (barring a massive delay) Alpha Protocol, I have resolved to take the money that I have received for my birthday (yesterday, for those of you who might care) to put back into my PC - A couple of extra sitcks of DDR3, and possibly, a new grapics card. 
 
This Holiday, my brothers and sisters, I have resolved to support some good old PC gaming after quite the loss of attention in the platform.
 
Eye hart u PC gaming. Lets never be appart again.
8 Comments

Killzone 2 - impressions, opinions

So last week (or somewhere around there) we left off with my having just finished Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, and the possibility of me jumping back into the Killzone 2 campaign. I have, and I have a few things to say.
 
1. The story is pretty lackluster. 
 

I'm assuming that the glowy electrical stuff will turn into some big "reveal" about what the world was like before it was populated by the Helgans, but I have a feeling that its going to come far too late for me to care.

 
2. The characters (actually, just your squad) suck.   
 
Gruff talking, badass dudes with North American accents vs. British space nazis. OK, fine, that is actually kind of cool. 
The biggest issue I have with the characters, are the people in your squad. They're assholes. "Get back into cover!", "place your shots!" bla bla bla! all the while they are running around in a god damned circle barking orders at me, getting shot in the face repeatedly instead finding their own fucking cover, and placing their own fucking shots! If the amount of damage they can take diminishes at higher levels of difficulty, seriously, fuck that. Being that their AI is already dumb as mud in certain spots, I hope they don't make their damage levels the equivalent of a wet cardboard box as well.. 
 
As is usually the case, the two more interesting characters in the game are the villains:  Scolar Visari, obviously cause of that awesome speech in the into, and Mael Radec - because he looks like he would just fuck you right up in a fist fight.
 
 

3. I have issues with some of the weapons. 
 
First, I dont have too many friends in the military, but from what I understand, loosing your issued weapon is a big fucking nono. Then why the hell am I still running around with all of this Helghast bullshit? I want my damn ISA pinpoint sight back dammit! (Although the Helgan sniper rifle and machine gun is pretty nice)
 
The ISA magnum is the equivalent of a pea shooter later into the game. As you progress through the later levels, enemies become much more armored and way tougher to kill if you aren't scoring headshots. In earlier levels, the magnum seemed pretty beefy, and could take down guys relatively quick, but after a certain point, this weapon is no longer viable. The Helgan pistol is a far better weapon simply because while the damage is less, the fire rate more than makes up for this. Its pretty much no contest, yet for most of what I have seen, they force you to take along that crappy magnum everywhere you go.
 
The shotgun is quite puny ( an issue I have with any FPS's because, ever since DOOM, I love me a good, solid shotgun). FIrst, unless you're right up in a guys face, the damage is garbage. Second, the sound it makes when firing off a shot is akin to an airsoft gun, or perhaps a wheezy fart noise. Given that most combat is done from a distance that is far out of the weapons affective range, and the low total ammo count in comparison other weapons, the gun is just a mess - not viable at all ( at least in single player)
 
Lastly, the whole rule about only carriying one main weapon. I wish the they would have at least changed this rule when it comes to the rocket launcher. This weapon only carries 3 rockets at a time, so its not really like you can spam the thing. Now, in its defence, you only really need to use it at specific points in the game IE tank sequences. But the problem comes in when you need to deal with a tank, usually they have infantry support. Forcing you to throw away your main assult file, or whatever you are using, in favor of the rocket launcher, leaving you with your shitty pistol as your only anti - infantry solution. More of a pain in the ass than its worth. When faced with these situations,  I found myself dropping my assult rifle for the rocket, shooting one off at the tank / weapon emplacement, dropping the rocket for my rifle, capping any dudes that are rushing my position, rinse, repeat. All the while listening to the obligatory - "SEV GET BACK INTO COVER" dogshit while my squad mate it getting capped in the ass running around like a dick. 

4. The game is instense, which makes up for it's shortcomings.
 
Firefights are the games strongest suit, no question. The enemies are smart enough to use cover, and throw grenades when you are camping a bit, and when they do have numerical superiority, are smart enough to pin you down with just enough fire to allow some of their buddies to gain better position. When using the ISA, and especially the Helghast assult rifle, accuracy is rewarded over spray and pray. And cover is essential - standing in the middle of nowehere will get you killed pretty quick. Its fun to flush out enemies with your grenades, and blast em while they are out in the open after having jumped out of the way.  
 

5. The game is fun.
 
I haven't even given the mutiplayer a try yet, but the game, I can safetly say, is a lot of fun. While the game has some overall story issues, the environments look dirty as hell, the combat is satisfying, and engrossing. Despite the fact that most everything I have stated above would make you think that the game is mostly doggy poo - the stuff that we don't like is uasually the stuff we talk about the most. Barring that, its a satisfying game overall - if you're curious, give it a rent. But I'm having fun taking in the campaign nice and slow.  As far as first person shooters go, I have seen far, far worse than Killzone 2.

I probably could have made this a review, but I haven't jumped into the mutiplayer yet, and this post is already way longer than I had origionally intended, so I'll probably post another blog letting people know what I think about that when I sink some time into it. 
 
Good hunting everyone.
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Drake's uncharted solid metal killzone. Now what?

 So recently, i've been devouring as much content for my PS3 as I can get. 
 
Within the past week of having my PS3 i've burned through MGS4 (I'll probably go back for some more playthroughs, but not right now) Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, and Killzone 2 (which I have to say, so far, has been a bit underwhelming - although I have yet to give mutiplayer a try)
 
I enjoyed Drake's fortune quite a bit. It was well paced, had great action, great platforming. A Tomb raider game with a bit of balls, if you will. Although, sometimes th gunfights could be frustrating at times, I do look forward to the next iteration.
 
MSG4 - well what can I say - it took everything awesome about the previous games, mutiplied it by 10 (although admittedly, some of the cutscenese were WAY too long) and then it took everything that sucked about the previous games (I'm looking to YOU gun handling) flipped it on its head and made it awesome. It just reeks of awesome.. I can't believe I got it new for 30 bucks.
 
Anyways, I need help - whats the next step - what should I get for more PS3 awesome?! I'm definately going to give Killzone 2 multiplayer a decent shot - and also will finish the single player campaign regardless - and when I am able to scrape a bit more money together will definately invest is some Fat Princess and a headset.
 
Suggest something, I'm already getting the shakes over here.

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Bored during the summer video game lull? Buy a new console!

Hallaow!
 
So I couldn't take it anymore, staring at the pile of games in my living room I have all already played, trying to convince myself that I could jump into any one of them again, to get some more achievement points, then flashing back to my futile attempt at playing COD 4 on its hardest difficulty setting, elbow dropping my couch pillows in a rage after being shot with pinpoint accuracy for the 100th time.
 
No, achievement whoring wasn't going to cure the thirst for new gaming content that I craved.
 
Then Sony dropped price on the PS3, my prayers answered, my thirst would soon be quenched.
 
 So I puttered over to the Futureshop close to my place this weekend to grab myself a PS3. 
 
Two Italian gentlemen (friends I should add) were having a very in depth conversation about whether or not purchasing these consoles would be the best idea, after being told that the PS3 slim was coming in a few days.
 
One of the guys was definitely grabbing one of the two that were by the clerks feet.
 
"You're a fuh-kin idee-aht" he said to his buddy.
 
"Nah bro, I think I'm guhna wait for da slim." 
 
(No shit btw, they had the hardcore italian accents - its not a slight at all, my family is Portuguese, most of them have the same accent, its just kind of funny when they're swearing at each other in the middle of a futureshop)
 
Anyway, he opted waiting for the slim, and gave me the one he was going to purchase, great for me! Nice guys. (these were the last two consoles in the store, btw, and the EB games that was going to be my backup plan had already sold out the last of their 80gb stock, as one of guys informed me)
 
So the clerk said, "hey you get a free game with that", awesome I said - and he pulled out a copy of Motorstorm GP, or some crap. 
 
I asked for another game, cause, you know, racing games arent really my thing - he said you need to find one at the same price. I said give me a sec - and I grabbed Killzone 2 off the shelf. As I was about to walk back, I look to my left, and saw the MGS4 for 29.99 - fuckin awesome!
 
So I just got through MGS4 last night - and holy crap, the game is fuckin awesome, although the epilogue DRAGS on quite a bit. If anyone has a PS3 and has not gotten themselves MGS4 yet, they are now avialable in the "classic releases" editions, and they very well priced. Now is the time to get it, if you haven't already (and really, if you own a PS3 and dont have MGS4, what the hell is wrong with you?)
 
Killzone 2 playthrough will start when I get home tonight, the game looks great, I'm hoping that the multiplayer community for that game is still around as I could use a new multiplayer addiction.
 
Next up after Killzone 2 will be Uncharted, the game looks pretty good. 
 
Ill let you guys know when I set up my PSN account name, haven't gotten there quite yet.

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