ninnanuam

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50/50/50/May first two weeks

So I don't have a huge amount of time. So here are the games I've beaten in the first two weeks of May

Just Cause 2 – I bought this new in 2010 just before I had to go away for work for a few months. I played it a bunch prior to leaving but I was mainly just going around 100% villages and doing some side mission stuff every now and then. I have to say I was blown away by the graphics and the size of the world when I was first playing it but the story and the basic gunplay felt sort of poor. So after what amounts to a 4 year hiatus I booted it up last weekend with the intention of mainlining the story and beating it.

I have to say the game is still pretty and the world was still fun to be in but it took me about an hour to remember how to play it worth a damn. Just getting the gliding mechanic down took about 30 minutes and I totally forgot about the quick travel function until I called in the arms dealer and remember he functioned as a transport.

I ended up being about 6 hours away from rolling the credits. I finished the main missions with a play time of a little over 40 hours and 38% of the game completed. I could see someone spending a lot of time in that game just 100%ing villages and military bases as the basic grappling and parachuting is super fun. I hope a third game is announced is announced at E3 and I hope they fix the narrative issues. A game with a good story and JC2’s gameplay married with some more inventive story missions would be amazing.

The Saboteur - I missed this game when it came it came out and bought it for about $18 about 2 years ago from OZ Game Shop, when I was buying old games in bulk. Again, just like Just Cause 2 I had put some time into this game but hadn’t really been following the story or making much of an effort to beat it. After I finished Just Cause 2 it seemed like a good idea to check this one off the list too. The game starts in black and white (apart from red and, occasionally blue) and you play some race car driver/explosives expert/parkouring/irishman as you try to kill some Nazi who killed your best friend, kidnapped some scientist and has taken over Paris. As you liberate parts of Paris from the Nazis with your bombs they colorize right before your eyes.

This game feels really old, while I was playing it I thought the Saboteur must have been a game from 2007/2008 but it came out at the end of 2009. It feels so old but it only came out 4 months before Just Cause 2. I actually found this bizarre and had to double check that I wasn’t playing some re-release with the wrong date on it, but no, it came out in the first week of December 2009.

The gameplay is serviceable, you can drive around, climb buildings, blow stuff up and shoot dudes. However pretty much everything The Saboteur does other games have now done better and its only cool hooks like working behind enemy line in occupied Paris are squandered by the terrible story line.

I was also not as far into it as I had thought either, it took me at least 10 hours of play (I think, it was very late when I finished) last week to beat the game and put a bullet the main antagonists face. I’m not going to pull punches, this game was a slog to finish. I love open world games and I barely touched any of the environmental stuff like blowing up watch towers and searchlights, which I generally do in these kinds of games. I liked the setting and the combat was OK but everything else in this game was mediocre to poor.

Iron Brigade – Again a blast from the past, but one I haven’t actually played before at all. I bought it for 360 at some point a year or so ago. But never actually touched it, maybe I bought it during a sale who knows?

Iron Brigade is a tower defence game in which you play a guy on a mech or a mobile trench (Trenched is the name of the game in North America) who sets up turrets, mines, and miscellaneous crap to stop the waves of “Tubes” monsters made of electronics and what looks to be TV parts from destroying the base your defending.

In addition to the emplacements you can also equip your trench with different legs, chassis and weaponry. Depending on the chassis you choose you will vary the amount of guns your trench can equip, the amount of emplacements you can call in and how much damage your trench can take.

There are a variety of different guns and emplacements and they drop randomly during battle so there is actually a heavy loot element to the game which, if you’re into that, can be fun. I enjoyed trying different equipment for the various missions, sometimes just going emplacement light/trench heavy with a powerful shotgun and grenade launcher on one arm and on the other a massive artillery piece, or just 6 great machines guns laying waste to all the small stuff. Usually though it seemed a mix of stuff was the best way to go.

The story is essentially a weird WW2 pastiche that was serviceable but not great but the voice acting was above average. It looked pretty good as well but suffered some serious hook ups and frame rate stutters, especially on the pacific boat guarding level.

I had a good time with Iron Brigade, it was a great change of pace to the Saboteur but now it’s finished I don’t know if I will bother to put any more time into it, sure I could see myself grinding to guns but I don’t think the game got its hooks in me that badly. If I had played it at launch with friends, I could see spending weeks playing.

Movies -

The Lego Movies - good time

Monuments Men - OK but a little boring.

Identity thief - My GF chose it, it was ok but very formulaic.

Iron Man 3 - Better than I expected by not fantastic.

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