Archives for February 2009

Are You Playing Quake Live?

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It’s been up for a couple of days now–well, maybe a day. I don’t know how Id pulled it off, but I signed up and was playing in less than five minutes. Some interesting things:

  • You can play in a browser window or fullscreen
  • There’s a ten minute skill test with a bot that seems to work really well. In my first match I played average (which is good for me in Quake).
  • There’s a friend system (I’m agentgray).
  • Leaderboards, rankings, full stats (which didn’t seem to update for me right away), etc.
  • It streams the game data in the background while you play.
  • There was no slowdown. It almost seemed too fast.
  • It even worked on my low-end laptop.
  • Seeing ads by Dell in the maps actually worked. The placement of some were good for laughs.
  • I would almost consider this casual Quake or they’ve found a way to make Quake casual.

Quake Live.

Are YOU Prepared for the Apocalypse?

!!!!BREAKING NEWS!!!!


Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Make sure you get your daily dose of gaming in. You never know when it’ll happen.

That or you could of go make a vault somewhere…

The Lost and Damned Impressions

I’ve made it no secret: I loved GTA IV. I loved the story, thought that even though it had flaws, it was still a great game. I’ve also been excited to give the new DLC, The Lost and Damned, a whirl. So after downloading the new content and putting a few hours in, I figured it’s time for some impressions.

GTA IV TLAD

In keeping with the theme, let’s go with some bullet points.

The Good

  • It’s still got the GTA IV flavor. Yes, you no longer play as Niko, the crazy immigrant. You now play as Johnny Klebitz, a member of a Liberty City motorcycle gang. It still feels like and plays like GTA IV, except now you’re riding around on a big chopper.
  • That being said, cruising around Liberty City not as Niko is an odd sensation. This is not a bad thing. It feels nostalgic, almost
  • One huge complaint about the original game was the lack of checkpoints during a mission. That has thankfully been rectified, and now if you fail a mission, you’re able to pick up right where the action started. This is a good thing.
  • I didn’t mind the motorcycle riding in the original, but it’s definitely been improved for TLAD. Racing choppers with a bat to beat on your opponents is most satisfying.
  • The moments where Niko’s story and Johnny’s overlap is a nice touch. Even during the opening cinematic, there’s a shot of Niko walking down the street, as if he’s passing the baton.
  • The new weapons pack a nice punch.

Johnny

The Bad

  • Things start out too suddenly. As Niko, you were eased into the storyline and there never seemed to be any “pressure” to further the story. In TLAD, the story seems top-heavy. Things come at you fast and furious so far and they haven’t seemed to slow down
  • The main character, Johnny Klebitz, isn’t as enjoyable to play (at least initially) or as likable as Niko. You understood Niko’s motivations. Johnny’s are a little cliched and obvious. That can still change, but I’m not sold on him.
  • The new weapons are fun but useless. They start you out with a powerful double-barrel sawed-off shotgun and then dump you into a shoot-out where the shotgun is worthless. It’s a blast to use while you’re riding around on your chopper, but I’ve already picked up all the other guns which are actually useful in a firefight.

The Ugly

  • Yes, it’s the scene with the Johnny and the politician exhibitionist (Stubbs is his name, I believe). It’s un-com-fort-able. Even Johnny looks uncomfortable. I’d really rather not have another man’s wedding tackle in my video games, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I’m definitely not finished with TLAD but I’m happy with my purchase. I’m not in love with the story the way I was with Niko, but I’m willing to let it grow on me. I’m looking forward to continuing on with it.

GTA IV

Dante’s Inferno

From the name of the game I’m pretty sure it will be heavily influenced by Dante’s, “Divine Comedy“. I vaguely knew about Dante’s Inferno but I didn’t know enough to be excited about it.

I first heard about/saw the game during the VGA’s (Video Game Awards) and thought why would I be interested in this?

There wasn’t anything to make me want to follow this game or pick it up when it finally comes out.

Today however, I was looking through my google reader and found this gem of a video.

The ending leaves left me wanting a better ending to the trailer considering the majority of the first half seemed to build itself up to something. The rest of the trailer was great. I really liked the art style, the new-ish style of SFIV and Prince of Persia(the wisps coming off of people/motion/etc.) is something that I like the visual appeal of. Now the thing that makes me want to see more is the anticipation of what the game will actually look and play like. I can assume that it will be an action game of sorts but in order to see what the creators will do with the game is something that I guess we’ll have to wait for.

My First Ten Minutes For the Emperor!

I consider Dawn of War and its extensions (not expansions) to be the best RTS I’ve ever played. It was actually the first game I ever reviewed online (which sadly no longer exists). I have not been following all the hoopla over the sequel—probably because I’m on a kick of not spending premium dollars on games for a while. Today, I found myself surprised by this:

dowgamercard

Yes, that’s a Dawn of War II icon in my gammercard. It’s my first experience using a Games for Windows Live game (which I was amazed at how well it worked). Anyway, the first ten minutes.

Before I begin, I want to state that I believe Relic should be lumped in the same group of developer extraordinaire as Valve, Blizzard, and Stardock. Just about everything that Relic has made has been golden.

Dawn of War II exudes polish and atmosphere. I’ve read a few Warhammer books in my time, and I’m somewhat familiar with the universe (although I’ve never played a table-top version of the game it’s all based on). However, the game is exactly how I’ve always imagined it would be.

Relic has taken the original Dawn of War formula and streamlined it. I was expecting a resource management type of RTS, and I was welcomed with a squad-based game. You play as a hero character that (so far) is pretty much invincible and the commander of the squads you acquire. Basically, they took all the fun of the first game and ramped it up. In the three missions I’ve played I’ve not been frustrated once like I was with the first at certain points in the game (I felt that upgrading the units in-game was a pain).

Some RPG elements add a nice touch. Your main character and the squad leaders gather experience while weapons, skills, and armor can be upgraded. There also appears to be an attribute tree that adds stronger skillsets to your characters.

Graphically, the game is stunning. I spent a few minutes just looking and exploring all the menus. It took some time to realize I wasn’t reading what was on the screen. I was too busy looking at the eye candy. It’s also appears that each and every unit has it’s own unique type of animation motions. I know that this is based upon some excellent scripting and coding, but this small touch adds a sense of individual realism.It actually appears that each character is acting on their own and not just following their units particular script.

I’ll definitely be putting some more time into this title (which I got on Steam). If this keeps up, I may have an early contender for my PC Game of the Year.

Amazon’s Deal of the Day (2/23) Makes Brock Happy

Persona 4 for $26.

Oh, wait. He already has a copy. Don’t watch too much TV.

Confused?

Weekend Gaming

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. We’ve got a beautiful weekend facing us. What are you going to be playing?

Me, I’ll be getting more time with the GTA IV expansion, The Lost and Damned. Right now, I’m not sold on it. More on that later. I finally got to play some Left 4 Dead with real people (peterb and psu from Tea Leaves) and it was awesome I need to get more of that good stuff. I also finally updated Burnout Paradise and now I want to play it non-stop. A lot of good gaming.

I’m also considering picking up a new DS game, namely the new Fire Emblem game. I may hold off on that one.

And of course Nat has been bombarding us with these Flash games and I’ve found a couple other PC games I’ve been toying around with. Should be a great weekend.

It’s Sonny Outside

Zombies? Check. Turn-based RPG style of play (think Final Fantasy)? Check. FREE? Check. Achievements? Check.

Say hello to the zombie, Sonny. Namely, you!

In an interesting twist, you play as a hero–a zombie hero. With over 5 million plays (I’ve added a few today), it should be obvious that it is a sure-fire winner.

sonny-combat

I don’t know why I’ve been on a Flash game kick lately. Maybe it’s because I’m sick and tired of paying premium dollars for dreck.

The Space Game

I’ve been lost in this almost all evening. It’s an instant must-play.

spacerace-thumb

Yes, it’s like a dumbed down cross between GalCiv II and Sins of a Solar Empire. Yes, it was done in Flash. Yes, it’s a great diversion.

Burnout Paradise Legendary Cars on Thursday

This actually came out earlier in the week, but the pricing wasn’t mentioned. Basically all the cars are $2 save for one. Can you guess which?

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Yeah, the 88 Special will set you back $4. However, if you buy all four as a set for $8 you save $2 making the car priced like all the others. The incentive is to buy all four.

Uh, I was going to anyway.