Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long Time no Post

It has been a while since I have posted anything and there are several reasons, namely Borderlands, Uncharted 2 and Netflix.

First off I finished the "story" to Borderlands and absolutely love the way that the game allows you to play through a second time from the beginning but with everything leveled up to give you a new challenge. I have to admit that I feel a bit silly for not realizing how to kill the final boss on my first attempt on the first night I encountered him, but I'll chalk that up to being tired. Borderlands is such a fun game that has such Civilization mind-set of "just one more turn" with the notion that it only would take a few more kills to fill that last bubble to level up or one more kill to finish a quest. Since I've played the game through to the final boss with the Hunter Mordecia and still haven't tried the other 3 classes there is plenty to try in this game.

Unfortunately I've become distracted for the moment and can't seem to get into Borderlands to try the game as a second play through though because due to a little negotiation I now have Uncharted 2. Thanks Andy!

What can I say about Uncharted 2 that hasn't already been said? I'm not sure that I can say anything new, but I'll give it a go. The game is so freaking amazing. The characters are phenomenal, the story (so far--I haven't finished the game yet) is griping, and the actual game play is a perfect blend of puzzles, climbing, jumping and shooting enemies. Visually the game just can't be compared to anything (except for the first Uncharted perhaps). Rich lush jungles meld with highly detailed city play. Lighting is amazing as well. Exploring caves you see sunlight pouring through cracks, illuminating details missed by many other games. Jumping from boulders or buildings is exhilarating and challenging. Many moments look like they are impossible but the animations used with Nathan Drake are done with such a level of detail that you expect Drake to miss a jump but he scrambles at the last second to pull off a true cliff hanger style escape from death.

Humor also plays a huge role in how good Uncharted 2 is. The subtle humor between Drake and Cloe as well as Elena and Drake are on par with great romantic comedies. Situational comedy also plays a huge role in the game. Whether Drake is getting the tar beat out of him from falling or the overwhelming odds against Drake, you can't help but laugh by how the game manages to put you into a situation and make it fun to survive. One of the early moments that I still get a good laugh from is when Drake is climbing around the outside of a museum and his temporary partner in crime is helping by talking through headsets to give Drake directions and alert when any enemies are near. Hanging from the edge of the roof, Drake is told to watch out, "Enemy above" and you pull the enemy down over the edge of the roof to watch him plummet to the ground four or five stories below. Your partner in the same urgent voice then says, "Enemy below". While it is dark, it is that same tongue in cheek humor that fills the cracks of the game to make every moment enjoyable.

Even though I have enjoyed playing Uncharted 2 for all of the humor, action and story, I also just received the Netflix PS3 streaming disc so I have spent a pretty fair amount of time using that feature now too. Having not used Netflix for any streaming before I have to say that this new addition to watching movies and TV shows on the PS3 is such a good thing. Navigation within each category is smooth and after selecting a movie or show the time to wait for the show to start is minimal. Some complaints have been made that the selection of streaming isn't that great, but for my money there is enough that I haven't watched to make Netflix worth the monthly fee. Another complaint that has been made is the fact that you have to put the disc in the PS3 to get the actual service to work. As a short term solution I can't complain. Granted "short-term" is still a year away before the service would be available as an installed app on the XMB, but the way I see it, if you want to watch a Blu-ray, you gotta put the disc in to watch that, so why not put a disc in to be able to access hundreds of movies to watch?

More later folks.

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