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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some things I've bee up to...


From Dust: Pretty damn fun. You are effectively "God" or whatever you might call it, and you manipulate the world, the goal being to help the nascent tribe under your watch to thrive. I keep messing with them though. Can't help it. Pretty slick physics here, particularly the water. Certainly a steal for fans of the genre, and deserving of a good hard look by those that have not played this type of game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: I don't normally go for highly story-driven games. Make no mistake, I want some kind of story in my single-player games, but it is not critical to my enjoyment. This game has a deep story. I find myself hammering the 'skip' during player-NPC dialogue, and when offered dialogue / response choices (that undoubtedly affect the rest of the game-play and storyline), I tend to hammer the fuck you / you're an ass / I will crush you / blow me selection. This will no doubt lead to my character having sex with the boss's poodle, but so long as I get to shoot something, so be it. I have not yet been drawn into the story enough to put up with watching a movie in the middle of my game. Not the game's problem at all - I just have short attention span for these kind of things. I'm sure those that enjoy such things, particularly if it continues some story from the earlier game iterations, will find it satisfying.

The combat reminds me of a combination of F.E.A.R. with a little Splinter Cell and Crysis (avatar enhancements) thrown in. Satisfying, and reasonably difficult. You take damage pretty quickly, and recovery also takes a fair amount of time, so that tough opponents warrant respect and thought-out battle plans. I've played about six hours so far, and from what I can tell, there is much more to go, and certainly had I perused every side-quest and explored every nook and cranny, I'd have even more time to go. It's clear that on a game-play time per dollar scale, you get big bang for your bucks here.

The soundtrack by Michael McCann is an enticing blend of electronica - I enjoy it in-game greatly, and listen to it out of game. The audio of the game is good, with some genuine LF content (e.g. transport takeoff) that provides satisfying rumble for those with subwoofers. The graphics are OK - nothing earth shattering, with fair avatar renditions and some nice effects. I'm not sure I understand yet the 9/10 or 10/10 ratings I've seen, but that may well be that I have not yet a full handle on the game. I'd give it a solid 7.5 so far, and I'm happy with the purchase. Check it out.

Tramua: WTF? Not sure yet what to make of this game. A flash based exploration game inside the mind of a comatose crash victim, you explore the world as a sequence of snapshots, finding clues and chasing a 'ghost' to recover memories of what has happened. Interesting, I jump in and out of it for something different. Cheap as hell, I'd say if you like artistic puzzle games, worth a look (as well as the most excellent Limbo).

Portal 2: Playing some community developed co-op maps with a gaming friend. Some of the creativity displayed has been most impressive (and difficult to beat). Some have been good enough to have been in the original game. The hard maps need to be played with a partner that knows what they're doing (mine has been exemplary, thankfully displaying very smart and clever play and thinking), or you'll get frustrated quickly. If you have the game, check out some of the sites offering community maps. If by some bad alignment of the planets you've not played the game, get it! It is getting cheap, and is tremendously satisfying. The single-player campaign brings back the goodness of the original, and the co-op mode is probably the most fun I've had in a game in the past year or so.

Section 8: Prejudice: A diamond in the rough. Not really my kind of game in general (HALO kind of play and environments), I picked up a four-pack during one of Steam's ludicrous sales to share with some gaming buddies. The little we've played in co-op was pretty fun. The single-player is a bit wooden, but still fairly fun. Given the price of ~15 bucks, worth it, and at the sale price a no-brainer. HALO fans will likely enjoy it much, and anyone that likes frag-fest co-op should find it satisfying. Nothing earth-moving in look or feel, but when the price is taken into account, like getting a decent ice cream cone for 25 cents.

On the subject a games, take a listen to the audio blog posts at Cynical Brit titled Entitled Gamers and Honesty in Games Journalism.  Refreshing and to the point. The latter should be listened to nightly by some reviewers and podcast hosts. The amount of corruption, back-peddling, and ass kissing in the industry can make it hard for the gamer to decide where their hard-earned cash should really be spent. If more journalists had the integrity talked about in the aforementioned blog, fewer gamers would end up spending money on hyped games that turn out to be turds.


1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to agree with you on Cynical Brit -- He is very no BS and tells it like it is.

    Thanks for the good read!