Friday, January 21, 2011

Heading Into Another Weekend! Punctuation!

My Resolution feature for Call Of Podcast has been going well.  Last week I began Starcraft: Brood War, and this week I've been playing Metro 2033.  I have a feeling a lot of these games are going to fall by the wayside, but some will grab me and/or be short enough to finish, and I think Metro will be one of those.  Brood War, on the other hand... well, it'll be a while.

Metro 2033's closest analogue in my mind is probably Half-Life, but Call of Duty is a good comparison, too; it's just that the set pieces aren't so bombastic as your typical CoD.  I suspect Metro has a ton in common with Half-Life 2, but I haven't played that game yet! Get your Resolution votes in today!  The visuals in Metro are damned good, even set to low so that it'll run at a decent framerate in 1080p (bumped down from my usual 2048x1152, also to help the framerate) on my 4850 512mb.  I'm going to need to upgrade the GPU in my PC before anything, it seems.  I like the game well enough, but it's not really blowing me away.  The atmosphere is there, and pretty unique, but the combat could use some work.  Humans take way too many shots to go down, and the mutants all behave like Doom pinky demons--they charge you, and that's about it.  There are other nits to pick with Metro (the UI is bad, enemies need more dialogue barks), but I like the game for what it's trying to be, and where it does succeed.

Brood War is very good, and very hard.  It's Starcraft for veterans, which I guess I qualify as, but only just barely!  The game is rock-solid.  Rock-solid as in rocks to break yourself on like an ocean wave.  Over and over and over, until, particle by particle, you can erode bits and pieces of the cliff face away, and over eons make progress inland.

I can't seem to play Assassin's Creed 2 in anything other than 4 hour chunks.  There is just so much to do in this game!   I'm in the middle of the fifth DNA sequence of like 16 or something--I keep getting sidetracked doing optional missions of 100 stripes.  I have already fully upgraded the Villa as far as renovations go, I just need to collect all of the art and weapons and feathers and stuff like that.  The feathers, at least, will probably never happen, but the rest may.  This is a very playable game.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rolling Start 2011

It's been a good long while since I've had a chance to update my progress in a blog post.  It's been really busy at work, and I tend to play games at home more than read or write about them.  I've had a very eventful gaming time these past few weeks!  I finished 3 whole games!  Quickly:

Bayonetta - I pushed hard through the second half of this game to finish it off before the end of 2010, but I really enjoyed it.  It's a must play for anyone who likes the action genre or Japanese gaming, or both!  I'm not big on either, lately, but Bayonetta was a load of fun.  This is probably one I would have played multiple times back when I was in school and had tons of time.  The combat is fun, smooth, and has a lot of depth to it if you want that.

Halo: Reach - the first game I played for my Resolution feature, as voted on by Call Of Podcast listeners.  It was good, but it doesn't stick out to me as much more than just another Halo game.  It's surely the apex of Halo multiplayer, but that's not really why I play Halo, and indeed I am not even subscribed to XBL anymore.  I thought the campaign was just kind of average, and definitely lacking in the wow factor that other missions in other series entries had.  The action all being centered on one planet and not on crazy space installations with epic landscaping is to blame for that.  I did appreciate the space flight and other vehicle sections new to the series, but those all together make up maybe 10% of the campaign.  I kind of wonder about the future of this franchise...

Fallout - probably the most unorthodox RPG playthrough I've ever had.  I kind of stumbled onto the endgame not really knowing that it was the endgame.  The whole thing ended up being shorter than I had thought it would be, and by a good margin.  The entire critical path of the game really only has two legs, though the second consists of two objectives.  First you find a water chip (by hook or by crook), then you're tasked with  destroying the leader of the super mutants, and separately destroying the source of the super mutants.  This is really all the direction you're ever given in the game; the rest is up to you.  You have to figure out how to use the resources present in the world, in the form of people you meet, the skills you gain, and the gear you're able to get your hands on, to accomplish your goals.  I hunted around until I sniffed out a trail for the water chip, and I joined the Brotherhood of Steel to get my hands on some power armor and heavy weaponry for the latter objectives.  There are other, equally valid ways of doing these things, all of which have an effect on the game's ending.  My game had a kind of bitter ending for several factions, as I'd inadvertently allowed the super mutants lay waste to the ghoul town of Necropolis and scare away all the residents of The Hub, as well.

I finished Fallout, but hadn't had enough, so the next day I jumped right into Fallout 2! I'm just a few hours in, but so far so good.  It's very similar to the first game, just with a few improvements having been made in the year between the two games' release dates.  In Fallout 2 you play The Chosen One, a descendant of The Vault Dweller, the protagonist of the first game, and you are sent out into the world in search of a Garden of Eden Construction Kit, or GECK.

It was high time that I jump into Assassin's Creed II, as well, so jump I did.  It's great so far!  Ezio Auditore da Firenze is a much more likeable player character than Altair was in the first game, and the variety of mission objectives and other things to do in the game is a tremendous improvement upon AC1.  I'll have more to talk about regarding this game at a later date.

That about wraps things up for now, aside from some light warfighting/manshooting I've been doing in Red Orchestra: Ostfront '41 -'45 and Battlefield 2, both excellent games, by the way.  More on those later, too.