It’s a sickness that never get’s better.
Archives for July 2010
DO: Smash mindless peons faces’ as just about any of the Marvel universe’s characters.
TYPE: Action RPG
PLATFORM: PS3, PS2, DS, Wii, PSP
PRICE: (was) $60, now…$27.99
MEAT: (Sorry, for the delay) I posted earlier about picking up this game and, I did. Most of the game is basically repeatedly hitting the same buttons over and over in order to get through a level and in that respect, it doesn’t diverge too much from the first in the series. This time around though there are fusion abilities between the characters which change depending on the character that you are using. The main story is that all of the superheroes are being forced to register their real identities with the government or be imprisoned. Most of the plot follows along those lines and the cutscenes are shown with that theme in mind. Something that I couldn’t decide if it was a plus or a minus to the game was that once I got the character I wanted to use (Thor) I basically was playing the game in easy mode and was able to destroy everybody/everything and wasn’t challenged at all. Now this was towards the end of the game but, I couldn’t help but feel like I should have at least gotten the character earlier in order to enjoy it more.
PERKS: The story starts off pretty good with you having to make a choice which side in the “war” you will join and that choice will impact the rest of the game(for example, you will not be able to play certain characters for most of the game). The cutscenes were just as good in this game as the first which is a big bonus for me because I enjoy a good cutscene. Graphics have leveled up!
SCREAMS: Something that wasn’t the greatest idea but, fit the story, was that you had limited options for which characters you could play because of the side you choose to be on. There were characters on both sides that I wanted to play and I had to play through the story until I could get those characters unlocked. More variety of choices in regards to the story line would have been nice and made the game more varied and not so linear after the initial choice.
VERDICT: Rent. I played through the game once and was working on going through it again but decided not to and just traded it in. The graphics definitely have been upgraded from the first and are done really well but, the long distance that the camera gets from the characters really diminishes the detail and doesn’t do the work justice. This game didn’t hold me as much as the first and I honestly can’t say why. Maybe it was because I didn’t have any friends that had a copy too, which, I feel would have made the game more fun.
From the photo description:
Dual 46 inch tv set ups, all console systems behind and our two full tower rigs. Great Success.
Chris’s TV is above. 46 inch LCD and his tower is on the right hand side.
Bottom TV is mine, 46 inch LED and the tower on the left would obviously be mine.
DVR box, xbox,ps3,wii hooked up with Sega, dreamcast, nes in the drawers when desired.
That. Is. Awesome.
This week’s Power Rankings is a little mix of everything. This week we actually had two stories that could have taken the top spot, but I had to go with my orb-loving heart this week.
1. (-) Crackdown 2 – Crackdown was one of the most anticipated games of 2010 and had a lot to live up to. So after playing the demo and being underwhelmed, I wondered how it would be received by the gaming populous. With all the expectations, it was a bit disappointing to see reviews all over the place in terms of scores. Worthplaying said “A newly designed city and seamless co-op aren’t enough to overcome the game’s ho-hum missions or general lack of content.” But Co-optimus says “But it truly is everything you loved about the original game with plenty of more things to do and minor improvements all around,” giving it a higher score for it’s Co-Op action. I’m still looking forward to playing and collecting orbs no matter the score. We’ll see how long that lasts.
2. (-) Blizzard Forums – So Blizzard decided that maybe it would be a good idea to display players’ real names on their forums. You know, to put an end to forum trolls forever. At first blush, I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. But it’s probably a pipe dream to think Blizzard can fix the troll problem with one silver bullet. And now Blizzard has called it off. That’s probably for the best. For now.
3. (-) Xbox Live – Speaking of hives of scum and villainy, it was reported last week that Xbox Live sales (a little of everything, I’m sure) surpassed $1B. That’s one billion dollars. That’s a lot of Avatar gear.
4. (-) Halo: Reach – Bungie celebrated Bungie day by releasing a teaser video with Red vs. blue announcing the return of the Blood Gulch map in the form of Big Blood Gulch for Halo: Reach. Feels just like home! Now just bring back Hang ‘Em High!
5. (-) Dragon Age 2 – In a surprise to pretty much no one, Bioware announced their upcoming sequel to Dragon Age (cleverly named Dragon Age 2). There was much rejoicing.
6. (-) Dragon Quest IX – Speaking of dragons (man I am the king of segues today!), the long awaited DQIX was released to the public. And it was good.
7. (9) NCAA 11 After watching this video review of NCAA 11, I was sold. All the new online dynasty goodies their releasing has me dreaming of doing my recruiting when I should be working. This game is going to be fun.
8. (1) OnLive – OnLive is going to live and die by how responsive the game capture and streaming community is becoming. A post at Eurogamer claims that OnLive’s performance is, “similar to playing Killzone 2 locally, and in line with Rare’s claims for lag when using the new Kinect camera controller.”
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Yeah, yeah. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I noticed that during TV season, other entertainment (mostly TV) cuts into my gaming time (and consequently into my blogging time). Significantly. It’d be nice to do it all, but it just doesn’t work that way. I need more hours in a day…
But, I try to be culturally rich (even if it is mostly pop culture) so these are the sacrifices I make.
In terms of TV, I am still not sure how I feel about how final season of Lost ended. I orginally had my theory of how things were going to shake out but I was pretty far off. I’m okay with how it ended, I just felt unfulfilled. It was still worth it, sticking through the seasons, though. Outside of Lost, I’ve been watching the Thursday night offerings from NBC: Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock. I hate to say it, but both The Office and 30 Rock are really losing steam while Community and Parks & Rec are really coming on strong. Modern Family and Cougar Town have been taking up my Wednesdays.
I haven’t seen many movies lately, but I did take in Avatar in IMAX 3D a few months ago. Not sure what to say that hasn’t already been said. I am a fan of 3D, but just for movies. Leave them out of my games. I recently saw Iron Man 2 which was better than “okay” but just that. I was finally able to see District 9 and I really enjoyed it. It has a couple plot holes that I have trouble reconciling, but overall it was an excellent movie. It is in the top 3 movies I’ve seen in the past few years, hands down. It may even make it in to the Top Ten All Time. (One of these days I’ll have to sit down and actually figure out what those top ten movies are.) Next up, hopefully soon, are Pan’s Labyrinth and Moon. I just haven’t had time to get to them. Oh, and I did finally see Fight Club, though. (I know, welcome to 1999, right?)
Since my last update, I’ve finished up a handful of books: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson – As I said on Goodreads, HOLY Goto Dengo this book is long. I don’t know what I was thinking when I started that behemoth, but I’m glad I did. Overall it was an enjoyable book with plenty of math and cryptography to nerd out on. Stephenson certainly knows how to build elaborate, engrossing stories.
Dune – This was part of my ongoing education with the Sci-Fi Classics. I had seen the movie when I was younger but I never read the book until now. Dune still holds up pretty well after all these years.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – On the recommendation of a friend, I took in Into Thin Air, a book about the extremely ill-fated 1996 expedition up Mount Everest, as fast as I could. Even knowing how it ends, it was still a page turner. This book affected me a whole more than I thought it would. It starts out slowly, building the necessary foundation but quickly becomes riveting and then profoundly sad. Some people were meant to do and endure things I will never be fit for.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – It is no secret that I love McSweeney’s, but AHWOSG (written by the founder of McSweeneys) didn’t do it for me. There were moments that were heartbreaking and other parts that were clever or insightful enough to be considered genius, but as a whole I was left feeling mostly hollow. I’m not sure if I should be able to relate to Eggers, we both being Gen-X’ers, but I didn’t have to live through what he did. I do have respect for him after reading what he went through, though.
I don’t have a lot of new music to talk about. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of movie soundtracks, mostly the Matrix Trilogy soundtracks. We’ve also been listening to a lot of children’s music by They Might Be Giants. If you have kids, their music is a must! The music is really catchy and beats listening to Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Kookaburra. Ooh la ooh la!
What have you been consuming?
Almost a year ago, we brought you some news about Space Invaders for all the iDevices. Taito has had a FREE update in the works for some time now that adds a new ship, a sideways mode, and the option to get some more ships via DLC. This was my iPhone FGotY last year and this keeps it right on the homepage of my iPod. The update is on the App store now.
Chewing gum is good for you!
Now, I know why they didn’t let you chew it in school.
DO: Fargo meets Professor Layton meets an incredible illustrator
TYPE: puzzle adventure
PLATFORM: PC (Steam version reviewed), Mac, and iPhone (coming soon)
MEAT: You are Nelson Tethers, FBI agent with the U.S. Department of Puzzle Research. You solve crimes by solving puzzles. Strangely, the puzzles are not what make this game special. It’s the incredible art style, characterization, and wonderful humor. It’s also backed up with an appropriate soundtrack. The gum? Chewing it helps you solve puzzles. The catch? you have to find some. It’s a rather funny deus ex machina.
PERKS: wonderful 2D animation; great voice acting; compelling story; character depth conveyed in something as little as eye motions; humor; price; creepy atmosphere; excellent pacing; great framing of shots; funny use for bubble gum
SCREAMS: to be a full point-n-click adventure game or better puzzles; to not be so wordy with puzzle descriptions; more puzzle variety; a little longer length than 3 hours; ending? (let’s hope not); make the gum game a hidden picture game; to be a little more difficult;
VERDICT: Buy. Get it now on Steam while it’s discounted for 10%. The title is part of TellTale Games pilot program. If it has a good response, they’ll make seasons of it. Do it. I want more of them!
Finally. Something epic ror real life.
This week might be a little PC and Microsoft heavy, but here’s the week’s Video Game Power Rankings:
1. (-) OnLive – I meant to include this from last week as reviews of OnLive’s beta launch was being reviewed. Farhad Manjoo at Slate said “So far, so good.” And BNET reported How OnLive Will Kill Video Game Consoles. I remain unconvinced but I haven’t tried the service so all I can go on is that OnLive themselves have said, “Now, ten days later, Iâ€™m happy (and relieved) to report the OnLive Game Service has been running 24/7 since launch, with games being played every day, around the clock, from every corner of the 48 States, despite the fact weâ€™ve accommodated far more members at this stage than ever anticipated.”
2. (3) Are Games Art? â€“ Give the man credit: Roger Ebert has admitted that he needs to actually play some games before he can make such divisive proclamations like “games can’t be art.”
3. (-) Microsoft Kinect – Microsoft is being aggressive, trying to convince us that hard core gamers will be the early Kinect adopters. Microsoft doesn’t really think highly of the hardcore anyway, so this is really no surprise. I say gamer parents (the “once-hardcore”) will be the first to adopt Kinect. They also compare Kinect games to Mario Brothers games. That may be a bit of a stretch.
4. (-) Torchlight MMO – A lot of info about the Torchlight MMO were released, whetting every Torchlight fans’ appetite for things to come.
5. (-) Hulu Plus – So will people pay ten dollars a month for what they can get (more or less) for free on the web? I think they will. In droves
6. (-) Nickelback – Here’s another one that was going to make the list last week that just slipped my mind — the Nickelback pack for Rock Band. Yes, the same band that earlier criticized gamers for playing plastic instruments. But that isn’t were the irony ends. After tasting the sweet nectar, they just go whole hog and get their own Tap Tap game. It appears their hypocrisy knows no bounds.
7. (-) Tapulous – Speaking of Tapulous, they were recently acquired by Disney Interactive.
8. (-) Diablo 2 – Speaking of Torchlight, Diablo 2 turned ten years old last week. If that doesn’t make you feel old, head over the Blizzard site with your speakers on. It’s a Time Machine. You’ll be instantly transported back ten years as if nothing ever happened.
9. (-) NCAA 11 Nicknames – Call me a sucker for gimmicks, but the addition of hundreds of nicknames that the announcers in NCAA 11 are going to actually say is super exciting for me. If the actual gameplay is just as good, I’m in for another year. (Who am I kidding? I’m already in, this is just gravy.)