Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blogging Backlog!

I've been so busy lately that I haven't gotten around to a proper post here in almost a month! I couldn't even begin to update with detailed impressions on everything I've been playing in the interim; the best place to as much as is available on that front is the latest episode of Call Of Podcast.

As far as the backlog goes, though, I think I'm doing pretty well. Thus far in 2011 I've bought pretty few games, and have been plowing through them at a great pace. I modified my game token policy to apply to games $25 and over to bring the letter of the law more in tune with the spirit of the law, as it were. I had a problem last year treating a $20 Bayonetta the same as a $60 Halo or what have you. My reasoning is that games typically hit prices ranging from $10 to $25 or $30 to $60, and also that anything over $25 is usually closer to that higher range, like $27.99 or $29.99. Also, once a certain caliber of game hits $20 or $25, it may not ever go any lower, even used. I was never going to blow a token on a $20 Darksiders, but at the same time, I might never be able to find it for $10 or $15. Again, it's the spirit of the law, not the letter, that matters to me here.

My intake of fresh, new games is probably going to end up around one a month this year. I had nothing in January, Tactics Ogre for February, Total War: Shogun 2 for March, and I'm looking at Portal 2 for April, and Witcher 2 for May. It's tough to say, after that, but I'm thinking there'll be Assassin's Creed 3 in November or December. We'll probably see the rest of this list fleshed out come E3. I'll probably want the new Deus Ex whenever that's released, and Battlefield 3, most definitely. Can't forget Skyrim, either. Oh, and Mass Effect 3. Sigh. That's a lot of completion tokens I need to accrue. And with a baby on the way, no less!

The past few weeks have been spotty in terms of Resolution, but with the schedule returning to normal this week, I should be able to pick it up again with Killzone 2. Other tasks lurking near the top of the pile are finishing Dead Space, Fallout 2, STALKER, and Nehrim. Then I need to play Red Dead, Batman, Darksiders, and the list goes on.

I finished Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood most recently. PoP was merely OK, but ACB is awesome. I'm continuing to play it even after having finished up the main plot threads. There is a hell of a lot of content in there, and a whole big-ass multi-player mode, to boot!

I've had a resurgence in League of Legends lately, and I've been playing a lot of that using the champion Olaf, who is a melee dps/lifesteal type of guy with relatively high survivability and strength. It's a lot of fun. LoL still feels like a 80% great game, though. It needs a much better front end, and some of the champions and art are just lame. I can't wait to see what Valve has up their sleeve with DOTA 2. This genre needs to be cracked wide open, and Riot don't seem to be hitting that critical mass; as phenomenal a success as LoL apparently is, it's still very much an underground type of thing that only rarely is discussed even in hardcore gaming circles.

On the subject of real-time strategy, Total War: Shogun 2 was released last week, to the complete bafflement of yours truly. Perhaps not complete, but a lot of bafflement. I made it through a couple of tutorials well enough, but the third stands undefeated yet, a wall to my progress in learning the game. I haven't had just a hell of a lot of time with it yet, though, and I'm a slow learner when it comes to RTS. I need to make more time to sink my teeth into this game. The art and period atmosphere is magnificent.

I had a business trip to Chicago this week, and plenty of time on planes and in the hotel room to enjoy some Tactics Ogre. This is really a great game. Differences from FFT are starting to make themselves more apparent, now, chief among them the amount of thought that has to go into just navigating the battlefields and orienting your troops. It's much easier to have them clumped up and bottlenecked when you're working with up to 12 units instead of 5 or 6 like in FFT. The PSP remake of this game is just chock-full of greatness like the CHARIOT and WORLD tarot, leveling of classes rather than units, and the Warren Report, which may have been in the original. The plot also hinges much more on political machinations than supernatural artifacts of power, which is cool. If you still own a PSP, go buy this masterpiece.

Speaking of still owning a piece of hardware, I may sell my Wii. I can live without it, and have an interested party.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Games I Want To Go Play Right Now

League of Legends
Dawn of War II, The Last Stand
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Dead Space
Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Vietnam
Team Fortress 2

Work sucks!

Here are some things I've been playing recently:
Prince of Persia (done)
League of Legends (swapped mains twice now)
Dead Space (at Ch. 7 now)
Recettear (about 3 hours)
AC:B (just checked out multi for a bit)
Tactics Ogre (still early in Ch. 2)

I'll have more in-depth impressions later, on the next Call Of Podcast.