Monday, January 25, 2010

Normandy. Requesting permission to dock.

The arrival of Mass Effect 2 is imminent. I am more excited for this than I have been for a game in quite some time. I've been unable to buckle down and concentrate on any one game, so I've been futzing around with a whole lot of them. In no particular order:

WoW - I jumped into this for a bit to see if I could re-kindle the flame. No luck. I did a daily quest and then jumped into an instance and immediately did not want to be there. The group wiped, I logged out at the Spirit Healer, and uninstalled. Maybe I'll be back for Cataclysm.

Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers - This was on sale for $5 on XBLA, and I bit, being a long-time player of Magic in my junior high and high school days. It's a very basic take on the game, bordering even on too simple for a seasoned veteran like myself, but the core mechanics are still solid and fun. To another Magic player, I'd liken it to playing with stock starter decks right off the shelf. I'll be back around to this one here and there. I like it.

Canabalt - I just bought this on my iphone today for $3, and it's pretty cool. You're a guy running across the rooftops of a city under attack from big alien Voltrons (or something). The guy runs, and you tap the screen to make him jump over obstacles and gaps. Very simple, very addictive, great music and art. I'd put this one up there with Drop7 and Galcon. It's a perfect game for the platform.

Sins Of A Solar Empire - Galactic 4X RTS. Basically, you control a galactic empire. It seems incredibly deep, and I only brushed the surface of the 4 tutorials available to beginners. I like what I've seen so far, though.

Borderlands - This game has always given me issues with my graphics card, and after tinkering around with some settings this weekend, I booted up the game to stress test my setup, and ended up running through a couple of leftover quests with my Playthrough 1 clear-saved character. This game gets F-U-N right.

Far Cry 2 - I had a couple of hours to kill and still wanted to stress-test my machine, so I loaded up this beauty and ran through a couple of objectives. I am constantly amazed by how good this game is when I go and play it. Why haven't I been able to stick with it? It's so immersive and atmospheric. I was stalking through some high grass with a high-powered sniper rifle last night, picking off my target's guards one by one, remaining unseen, and it felt great. I love this game.

Shattered Horizon - This is a PC FPS I've been playing a lot lately. It's set in space, and you're a mercenary astronaut taking part in multi-player only battles for control of various asteroids and mining bases in the debris of an exploded moon that is orbiting Earth. You have full 360-degree movement, which makes for some really bewildering firefights. There's nothing else really like it, and it's really fun, not to mention gorgeous.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - I decided to finally see what the multiplayer is all about in the COD/MW series, and I have to admit that I'm surprised; it's really good. The gameplay is fast and frenetic, the frame rate locked at 60 fps, and death even quicker than that. It also does the carrot-on-a-stick routine as well as any MMO. That next unlock is always just a few more games, a few more kills away. Let it be known: the hype is justified. I've been back to this game almost every day the last week or so.

Aaaahhhhhh. That's better. Now that I don't have all of these impressions clouding up my mind, I can hone my focus in on Commander Caroline Shepard's next outing. Can not wait.


Greg said...


Australian Death Metal band Psycroptic!!! Check them out.

They are badass.

Greg said...

For the podcast:

I am wondering what you guys think about Gears of War lending their characters to Lost Planet 2. Is this something you like to see more of or do you feel it is just a cheap marketing gimmick?

Count Elmdor said...

Thanks, we'll hit that on the show.

Never heard of Psycroptic. Their playing is pretty tight.

Greg said...

I personally am not any more interested in Lost Planet 2 because of this move. If anything, it leaves me a little more concerned that the game can't stand on its own merits and therefore Capcom resorted to bringing in character's from a high profile franchise to draw an audience.

I fully expect this sequel to be mediocre at best.

Greg said...

Listening to the podcast now. Thanks for answering my question!

Count Elmdor said...

No problem! Feel free to send more.

Greg said...

Man, I'm totally torn over Tatsunoko VS Capcom for Wii. The game looks good and I like fighting games but know I won't play much if online blows and I end up playing against the CPU all the time. (I don't have enough video game playing friends who are close enough to take advantage of local versus matches)

What do you think about Capcom localizing such a hardcore fighting game exclusively for the Wii? Bad business decision or is it ridiculous to even bring this game, which has half a roster comprised of characters that will be foreign to the average American, to the US?

I wonder if a title like this wouldn't sell better on 360 or PS3, where the controllers are better suited, online service is more established, and there is more of a hardcore gaming audience.

Count Elmdor said...

Wii has online play? lol

I think they're nuts to waste time bringing it over, but who knows, maybe it doesn't cost much to localize and distribute. Maybe the profit threshold isn't too much. I doubt there are any fighting game fans out there just frothing at the mouth to get their waggle fight on.

In my best Micheal Pachter voice: "Tatsunoko VS. Capcom is being sent to die on the Wii. This should have been an XBLA game."