Sunday, September 4, 2011

Two to get ready for 3

This Tuesday marks the release of Insomniac Games latest title, Resistance 3.  As a way to build excitement for their latest shooter, Insomniac and Sony have released a bundle pack of the first two PlayStation 3 titles in a Dual Pack collection.  Both games were titles that I was aware of but had never really any strong desire to play.  That is until this teaser trailer for Resistance 3 came out.

I'm not sure what suddenly made me really excited for the franchise.  Perhaps the desolation, or the weariness trapped in these folk's face or the droning pulse of the fantastic "Masters of War" cover.  Something clicked.  I was faced with a double edge sword of wanting to learn more about the series but didn't want to read any spoilers.  Of course since Fall of Man was a PS3 launch title all sorts of stuff has been written.  When Resistance 2 came out many fans of the original were disappointed.  Having avoided much of the Internet's impressions of the game I finally took to playing the series last week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Assassinating the Summer with gaming

With Summer almost at an end I find myself looking forward to several upcoming titles.  Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Rage, Resistance 3, Batman Arkham City, Assassin's Creed Revelation and holy crap this list just keeps getting longer and longer the more I think about upcoming games.  I'm a bit of a gaming completionist.  Yes I love gaming to collect trophies (although my hobby looks like a tiny pebble compared to some folks), but I'm a completionist more in the sense that once I've started a game for a story I want to continue playing new games that continue a storyline.

In 2009 Ubisoft published Assassin's Creed 2 to much acclaim and accolade.  It was certain well deserved.  The game play was refined from the first title, the story was rich and intriguing, and it was a game that I absolutely couldn't put down once I opened it on Christmas morning that year.  In the summer of 2010, Ubisoft announced that they would be releasing the followup to AC2 that fall with Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.  In the announcement, the only thing in announcement, hell in all of the announcements up until almost a week before the game was released, was how ACB had a fantastic multiplayer mode.  Very little was said about the continuing saga of Ezio.  The end of AC2 was such a dramatic cliffhanger that all the talk of multiplayer and no mention of the single player story frankly turned my own excitement into a meager flicker, relegated to the column of well I'll either get the game at Christmas from someone outside my immediate family or wait for the price to drop.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer gaming

Traditionally summer is the slow period for new games.  There are pluses and minuses to this tradition.  On the upside it is usually nice out and if you don't have the "new hotness" that you must play, well maybe you'll end up getting some exercise and a nice tan.  On the downside no new games are coming out to play and thus by virtue of nothing else to play, you end up going outside and getting some exercise and a nice tan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Shooter 2

In my last post I briefly described my thoughts about PixelJunk Shooter 2.  I've spent some more time with it and have had some time think about the game and where it shines and where it doesn't.

When Shooter 1 ended I was filled with anticipation as to what additional environmental fluid elements were going to be added.  Afterall, the game ends with your ship being swallowed by a big beast.  At the time when we finished the game, my son and I bounced ideas back and forth as to what type of liquids, be it stomach acid, poo or anything else.  Shooter 2 doesn't disappoint.  There are purple gas bubbles that restrict your ability to move and change your direction, there are green tadpole-like eggs that spawn and multiply, as well as gel-like acid that spreads like Zerg creep.  Returning are of course lava, water, ice, steam and magnetic oil, but the one that I find the most interesting and at the same time frustrating is darkness.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PixelJunk Shooter 2

Just a quick note to say that PixelJunk Shooter 2 is on sale this week.  Shooter 1 was one of my favorite games from the tail end of 2009.  The music, the visual style and the subtle humor all went a long way to making a great game.  While the challenge ramped up toward the end, the game never reached the point of making you want to through your controller through the TV like other PIxelJunk games are want to do.

Earlier this year Q Games released their first true sequel to any of their PixelJunk games with Shooter 2.  The game continued the story from the fantastic cliffhanger ending of Shooter 1, but added some new components in the form of online battle modes as well as new forms of liquid death.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A sad tale

I suppose this isn't so much a sad tale but rather more of a realization that as a parent my habits can be easily, unknowingly, be passed down to my kids.

I finished LEGO Harry Potter this morning.  I realize that the game is over a year old but I finally got around to getting the platinum on the game this morning.

I had rented it when it first game out to write a review for a site (which never published it--grumble grumble) but never got the chance to clean up the last 6 or so trophies I needed for the plat.

My son borrowed it from my nephew the other day and discovered something that is the reason for this post.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two games in one

L.A. Noire is the latest game from Rockstar Games and Team Bondi. You play as Cole Phelps a decorated war hero from WWII trying to overcome some haunting events during a battle in Okinawa. The story unfolds as you move from a Beat Patrol officer to Traffic detective, up to Homicide, then Vice and finally pushed back down as an Arson detective. Without spoiling any more than that progression I will simply say that the story and especially the end, was one of the most satisfying narratives I've played in a long time. I love pulp fiction. I love noir crime novels. This game really hits that sweet spot for me. Rich characters, and an ever deepening, engrossing story that makes up for some of the less than perfect game mechanics.

Unlike other R* games this is very much two divergent games in one.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stacking is out.

Stacking is the newest game from Double Fine and was released yesterday on the PSN.

The story revolves around a poor family who's father leaves the house to get a job and disappears.  After a few months of him disappearing the family is in financial dire straights and can't pay bills.  The debtors take the children in the family to work as slaves to pay off the debt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Are you Active?

One of the stigmas associated with video games is that of being lazy.  Sure you may not be physically moving around but depending on the game you can certainly get a healthy mental exercise.  For Christmas one of the presents I got my wife was EA Sports Active 2.  I know what you're thinking, "What guy gets an exercise program for his wife?"  "What does he think of his wife if he gets her exercise games?"  Stop right there with those thoughts.  Secretly I got EA Sports Active 2 because I was tired of fitting into that stigma of being a lazy gamer.  I'd get home from work (and if there wasn't Cub Scouts activities to work on or drive my kids to soccer or dance) and I'd want to veg out in front of my PS3.  I could feel myself becoming an atrophied sack of meat and bones.

Now I've never been one to be completely gung-ho about exercise, but I do enjoy taking my mountain bike out and hitting the trails.  In high school and college I used to go to the gym regularly.  But now that I've got a job that keeps me a "slave to the man" and need to take care of three children, a wife and a house, regular exercise is not my top priority.  At a doctor visit last year (or maybe even two years ago now) I was encouraged to get some exercise in the morning to help boost my energy for the day.  Because my wife is fairly fanatical about exercise, we have an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, and a slew of exercise DVDs.  I tried the elliptical for a while and even one or two of the exercise DVDs, but some how the elliptical has become "sabotaged" by one of the kids (none of them will admit to it) and I can't seem to get the damn thing to stop being a relatively painfully jarring experience. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good bye old, hello new

With a new year upon us now I wanted to take a few minutes a reflect on last year's gaming as well as what I am looking forward to this year.

There are several games that I have played in the last part of the year that I haven't had a chance to discuss the are certainly worthy of mentioning.

The first one that comes to mind is Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.  This little downloadable gem takes a classic tweaks everything to make a new classic.  The idea is that while you are gobbling up the little white dots you WANT the ghosts to start chasing you.  The white dots are placed throughout the board in a direct path near sleeping ghosts.  As you move past them they wake up and begin to chase you.  Collecting all of the dots and fruit on one side of the board makes the opposite side of the board change the shape of the maze and puts down a new series of dots and sleeping ghosts.  The payoff comes when you have a nice long chain of ghosts behind you and hit the power pellet. Suddenly that train of ghosts becomes a smorgasbord of edible delights for Pac-Man, chaining bonus points together for a huge scoring run.  There are several different visual styles that are available as well as new maze patterns that unlock.  The one thing I don't care for entirely is the way the leader board is implemented.  Sure it lets you view global stats, your position in the global standings, and the leader board lets you see how well your friends are doing in the game.  The friend leader board doesn't include your own points, so you have to switch back and forth between your global view and the friend view in order to see how you are ranked among friends.  In game music is a collection of trance grooves that help set the tone and adjusts as the timer on each board counts down.  This is definitely a must have game.