I got some good time in with an assortment of games this past week. Variety is always nice. I've been jumping into Metroid Fusion for 30 minutes to an hour at a time every couple of days. It's good, but not totally engaging me the way Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night have in the past. That's probably no fault of the game's, though; in an era of gigantic open world, open-ended gaming, it just seems kind of quaint. I do enjoy it, just in a more connoisseur-ial fashion. I appreciate it.
Finishing Gears of War 2 left me wanting more, and coincidentally there's a Gears 1 achievement I want to unlock so that I can unlock the final playable character model in Gears 2 multiplayer, so I popped the first game into my system this week and started off a playthrough on Hardcore difficulty. I finished Act 1 so far, and hopefully someone will jump in with me for some buddy action!
I've been extremely impressed by the post-release DLC support (entirely free to this point) that Burnout Paradise has received over the last year, and all the raving (and my desire for something new to play before/after watching a DVD without having to toss a disc in) finally convinced me to pick it up from the PSN store. I've never played another Burnout before, but it sorta reminds me of a mix of Ridge Racer and GTA's driving engine. It's a free-roaming city street racing game, but you have no goals you have to meet, or anything you really have to do in order to progress, except just have fun.
What's really cool is the (almost) seamless online integration. I can just hit right on the d-pad a couple of times and all of the sudden I'm online and there are a bunch of other players around the city doing things, cooperatively or competitively. I'm in the same city, on the same street as before, only now there are real people driving (a few) of the other cars on the road. I got into a game the other night where a couple of the 8 people had headsets (I don't, on PSN), and they were able to give directions and coordinate with the rest of us to meet up in certain areas and do things to complete some multiplayer challenges. It's good, mindless fun, not something with a million cars and parts you really have to worry over or races you have to practice a whole lot at, like a lot of other racing games.
When I was logging onto the PSN store to get that, I noticed a new PSOne Castlevania up on the store that I'd never played before, and it was only $6, so I impulse bought Castlevania: Chronicles. Turns out this is a port of an old Japanese PC adaptation of the original NES Castlevania. I knew about the game since it came out in 2001, but I'd thought it was just a PSX update of the NES Castlevania. The difference, essentially, is a bunch of extra levels and some tunes that weren't in the NES game. Win-win. Tough game--luckily you can save at the beginning of each level. The graphical fidelity is somewhere between 8- and 16- bit--adequate.
Lastly, I played through missions 2 and 3 in Killzone last night, since Netflix streaming on the 360 was being difficult. As I've said before, it's a classic example of a developer trying to outdo their platform. It's like how Crytek future-proofed Crysis by making it for 2010 machines in 2007. Except Killzone's case is a little dumb when you consider the fact that PS2's aren't upgradeable. Apart from the frame rate, and brain-dead enemies, I think it's a pretty good game. The graphics are pretty impressive at times for a PS2 game, and the weapons are cool. I also like how you can choose to control any of the people in your squad. I played for a bit as the assassin woman, and I just added a new guy with a minigun. More will be written about this one later.