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.


Greg said...

Man, you've got me really looking forward to the Assassin's Creed series. I have all 3 console games but haven't really played any of them.

I did manage to finish Homefront and Eat Lead: Matt Hazard this weekend. The single player campaign in Homefront isn't too bad and after playing it, I feel some of the pro critics were a little bit too harsh. Then again, I don't finish 70+ games a year so I'm not as tired of some of the older design choices.

Count Elmdor said...

AC is a great series! I don't know if I'd play all 3 in a row, but 2 and soon into Brotherhood still hasn't really burnt me out on it. Whenever you do play AC1, try it with all the HUD elements turned off (except the mini map). I love that option in these games, it really bumps up the immersion.

Is Homefront really as short as people say? Like 4-5 hours? How was Matt Hazard?

Greg said...

Yeah man, Homefront took me about 5 hours, maybe 6 because I struggled a bit and had to drop the difficulty down to easy. What can I say? I guess I suck at shooters. What's cool though is that you don't have to be good to earn points playing online. I guess that makes it a lot like the COD series but I wouldn't know since I've never really gotten into the multiplayer on those titles.

Matt Hazard sucked in a lot of ways yet I enjoyed its humor as a game parodying other video games. It was actually pretty clever in number of instances. The cover system is a bit broken. Sometimes it was hard to get into cover and once you are in, it is hard to jump out quickly if you need to evade an attack. Some of the latter boss battles were super cheap, to the point where I almost abandoned it altogether. Again, I had to play on easy to see the game to completion.

There are so many better games out there, Matt Hazard is not worth your time unless you are really looking for a little cheesy humor in an FPS.

Count Elmdor said...

Yeah, I'll probably play Duke Nukem Forever, anyway. Actually, Borderlands has some of that kind of humorous cheese to it, and is a pretty good game, too. Have you tried it out?

Greg said...

Borderlands suffers the same fate as so many other games. It sits idly on my shelf while I wander aimlessly through a collection of video games perverted in its excess.

I seriously need to get to work on the backlog. I do not want to be left with all these games when the next generation of systems is released. I'm already dealing with a big mess of PS2 and Xbox games that I find very hard to play in this day and age.

Count Elmdor said...

Yeah man, it's tough to play sub-HD stuff now that we're used to HD graphics. With PC games you can usually hack them into higher res or at least into widescreen.

I was pretty glad to finish off my stuff from last gen.

You need to start a backlog blog! I'll read it.