Archives for June 2011

New Kid on My Block

I haven’t done one of these in ages (almost 3 years, to be exact) because there is a proliferation of video game blogs now at a staggering rate and I just don’t find a ton of new interesting stuff to follow. Maybe I’m curmudgeon in my old ways, but it takes a lot to get me to add a new blog to the old feed reader.

Plus, with the advent of Tumblr, Twitter and other offerings, new, thoughtful video game blogging just isn’t happening very often now. I have my old standbys and I’ll stick with those.

So I don’t know how many more of these I’ll do.

That being said, an occasional stunner will pop up now and then and I want to do my part to highlight these as I come across them. I try to keep these relatively fresh, but remember that these sites are new to me but they are not necessarily new blogs.

This week’s New Kid on My Block is Electric Blue Skies:

(this is one you need to see full-size)

This scene is one that you certainly passed through if you played Halo: Reach. It’s a scene of beauty and vibrancy but something you didn’t have time to notice because you were too busy sniping grunts and running to the next check point. You never too the time to stop and smell the wildflowers.

Luckily the Emalord over at EBS is stopping (and cropping) all these beautiful vistas in numerous video games. I happen to be playing Halo: Reach at the moment and I’m really loving Chronicles of/Postcards from Reach. But the entire site is good. Take a look around and soak it all in.

I’m not saying these gorgeous screenshots are proof that games-are-art, but they are a pretty darn good starting-off point in the discussion.

What I’m Playing, Weekend Gaming Edition

Content around these parts has been slow and not very steady. I appreciate you guys who have stuck around all these times. I’m starting to get some ideas for regular content together but it’s slow going. It’s always the “fish or cut bait?” dilemma. Right now, fishing (playing games) is winning out. The Monthly Releases will still flow (albeit delayed) but I also have a few other ideas I’d like to get around to. But for now, here’s what I’ve been playing:

Portal 2
The single player portion of Portal 2 is in the bag. Finishing Portal 2 was not as satisfying as finishing the first one. That being said, there were some serious laugh out loud moments during the single player game and I loved every moment of it. Throw in the new things they added (gels, fricken lasers) and it was a most excellent experience.

Enslaved
Gamefly delivered Enslaved months ago but it took me a while to get the disc in the machine (Portal 2 had a lot to do with that). Since then, I’ve played quite a bit of this game. At times, Enslaved feels too easy and other times it feels just right. The fluid animation and fun combat makes for an underrated gem.

Halo: Reach
I’ve been working through Reach co-op-style with a buddy and it’s been a great time. You guys can have your Battlefields and Calls of Duty. I’ll stick with Halo.

Final Fantasy XIII
I haven’t played a Final Fantasy game since FF Tactics on the GBA and I haven’t played a straight-up Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy II (FFIV) on my Super Nintendo. Twenty years later and I figured it was time to play another. I’ve heard it takes 20+ hours before the game gets “good” but I’m six hours in and I’m having a good time, even if I have no idea what’s going on around me.

On Hiatus:
Borderlands
We had a good group of three playing this and we’re making a bit of progress before one of our companions got busy with schoolwork (priorities!). We still get in an hour or two here or there but it’s slow going. I’m itching to get back to Borderlands soon, though. Maybe after we finish Halo: Reach.

Age of Empires Online Beta
I was really excited to get into the AoEO Beta. I enjoy and respect RTS games for what they are, but I’ve never been good at them. I preferred Age of Empires over any other RTS I played (including Starcraft. Blaspehmy, I know). But this game just hasn’t grabbed me like I thought a persistent, MMO-RTS would. I played this for a while and then sort of petered out. I may go back when it goes out of Beta but I’m not sure.

Torchlight (XBLA version)
Confession time: I didn’t finish Torchlight on the PC. I got far with two of the three characters but didn’t see it through to the finish. I am very close to finishing Torchlight on the Xbox. This game will come out of retirement very soon.

Dragon Quest IX
My DQIX cart went missing and I thought all was lost. I have poured 30+ hours into my game and I was pretty bummed it was gone. Luckily it turned up and now I’m just waiting for the mood to strike me to pick it back up. I haven’t touched my DS in a long time.

Lord of Ultima
This is an online MMO-ish persitent empire building game. It had its hooks in me for a while as my empire grew and I had cities to manage and armies to build. But the lack of any “action” and the tedium of managing over 150 cities just got boring. My Empire is still there. Some day I’ll make it back.

On tap:
Fallout New Vegas
Limbo
Mortal Kombat

Obviously, I’m not playing all of these games at once. Right now I’m focusing on Halo: Reach and Enslaved, with Final Fantasy XIII picking up the rest of the free-time scraps. I hope to finish Halo: Reach this weekend. What will you be playing?

Watch two of these

… and call me in the morning.

I don’t care how bad of a day you might have had today, if this doesn’t make you feel better, you are dead inside.

I. CANNOT. STOP. LAUGHING.

June Releases

E3 is right around the corner and the doldrums of summer video game releases is upon us. Once again, I am trying to limit the release list to games I am somewhat interested in and games I think you readers would be interested in. The volume of releases this month isn’t huge but there are a few big time releases to hopefully tide us for a little while.

Xbox 360 banner

Week of June 6th
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
Red Faction Armageddon
Operation Flashpoint: Red River

Week of June 13th
Duke Nukem Forever
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Record of Agarest War Zero Standard Edition– I know nothing about this game, but from the few screenshots on Amazon, I was instantly intrigued…
Child Of Eden
Alice: Madness Returns

Week of June 20th
Dungeon Siege III– I played the first Dungeon Siege back in the day and it felt like a hollow, 3D Diablo II rip off. I never tried DS2 and feel no compunction to try DS3.
F.E.A.R. 3
Shadows of the Damned

Week of June 27th
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

Wii banner

Week of June 13th
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Week of June 27th
UFC Personal Trainer

Nintendo DS banner

Week of June 6th
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Week of June 13th
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Autobots

Nintendo 3DS

Week of June 6th
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Week of June 13th
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D– Man, it’s 1998 all over again this month!

Week of June 27th
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries

PC banner

Week of June 6th
Pride of Nations [Download]
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
Red Faction Armageddon

Week of June 13th
Alice: Madness Returns
Duke Nukem Forever

Week of June 20th
Dungeon Siege III
Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
F.E.A.R. 3

Week of June 27th
Oblivion 5th Anniversary ed.

PS3 banner

Week of June 6th
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
inFAMOUS 2
Red Faction Armageddon
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Week of June 13th
Record of Agarest War Zero – Standard Edition
Duke Nukem Forever
Alice: Madness Returns

Week of June 20th
F.E.A.R. 3
Shadows of the Damned
Dungeon Siege III

Week of June 27th
Sniper: Ghost Warrior
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

PSP banner

Nothing

What are you picking up?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)