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Month: June 2012

Last of Us

Once upon a time I didn’t have a PS3.  I didn’t care for Sony’s elitist objectives of owning whatever market they delved into.  I watched them sink Betamax in favor of their cheaper VHS, they suckered me in with the failed Minidisc and frankly I still think HD DVD should have won the war.  I mean, where Porn goes the world follows right? Right!?

Anyways, I didn’t have a PS3, I didn’t care.  Some games came out, some were hailed as ‘good’ and others less-so.  I still didn’t care.  And then something changed.  What was it.. oh right, I played Little Big Planet.  I fucking loved it.

So I got a PS3, my first game? Little Big Planet, of course.  But my second was Uncharted less than a month before Uncarted 2.  This is where i’m going to tell you Uncharted is a great series and worth playing or at least watching.  There’s a labor of love in how they made the game with all the little details that we’d normally take for granted.

Naughty Dog, the developer, is hard at work on the next project which I understand is carrying along a lot of the finer details they learned in their first few games.  Telling the story of a world post-apocalypse through two characters: An older seasoned man and a younger inexperienced girl.

Unfortunately there isn’t much to see or read at this stage, but that doesn’t mean what they’ve produced isn’t good.  In fact, what I’ve seen is quite excellent.  With an excellent track record I easily rank this one as a must have.

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Here we are, one year later..

So.. it’s been a year.  I find myself in a strange level of contemplation.  My domain renewal comes up and while I fully intend to renew I have begun to wonder if perhaps I’m not advertising enough.  But do I post enough to advertise?  Do I care enough to post?

Aside from renewal several other events have appeared on my radar in just the last week or two.

July 3rd – Amazing Spider-Man.  An excellent looking reboot taking us to Peter’s science background and the Lizard.  I really appreciate them trying to reboot the series and give us a different spin.  Hopefully it works, Spider Man 3 was terrible.

July 20th – Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, fully on my radar but a solid ‘meh’.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Bane storyline and Batman falls a solid fourth on my list of DC heroes I’d love to see filmed or even serialized in television.

August 28th – Guild Wars 2 releases.  I’ll begin my character-driven writing project found elsewhere on this site.

September 18th – Borderlands 2, which I’ll be pre-ordering any day now.

My summer is a vast desert of time dotted with moments of Awesome before being swathed in emptiness while I wait for my precious games to release.  Meanwhile I’m watching companies crank out bad media left and right.

SimCity Social is like all the other Facebook Social games where you don’t actually play a game.  You just click along every x minutes to collect money/resources.  I play them as much as I play any of them, for a few weeks before I get frustrated at a walled progress behind a limit of actions per hour and social impetus.  Most my FB friends don’t play the games and what few games ‘they’ play, I mostly don’t.  C’est la vie.

EVE Online continues to catch my attention and receive my token subscription.  All I’ve done in the last few months is train skills, something I might change up here in a few weeks, if only to stretch my spacing legs and do a mission or two.

I’m still playing Dragon’s Dogma, having started for a third time and settled on Mystic Knight, i’m happily taking my time with quests and various monster hunting pursuits.  Soon as I finish it this time I’m going to settle in for Dead Rising 2: Off the Record.  I’m probably over a year behind on playing through but I find some things are better savored at the right time.  I need to put some time with Batman: Arkham City, I haven’t spent more than 4 hours with it since it came out.  I’ve been shamefully neglectful.

What little fanbase I have, I appreciate you.  All of you.  I don’t look at my metrics because I don’t believe knowing who or how many people visit would alter my perspective.  Until next time friends.


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Fez (the game, not the hat or the country)

Googling this game can be rather challenging.

Fez is a platform puzzle game unlike any I’ve encountered yet.  You have a 2D perspective on a world you can rotate to walk around walls or circumvent the distance between platforms.  This leads to some devious maps and objectives I’ve yet to complete.

This is a game I’m taking my time with, the map is expansive, the locations sprawling and the design beautiful.  There isn’t a monster to stomp on, no boss fight to mark my passage.  Just spinning golden bits to collect.

And to top it off, there are hidden puzzles that don’t immediately present themselves to you or offer suggestions to their key.

It’s casual, it’s involved and I find it an excellent intellectual alternative to any of the more violent games at my disposal.  In fact, when the challenge and death involved in Dragon’s Dogma start to rub me raw, I swap games and let my brain wind itself around the puzzles in Fez for a while.

A great game for anyone looking for a brain-involved platformer.

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Dragon’s Dogma

In this post I’m adopting a different speaking direction where I don’t review the game and instead talk about what I like or differences to other games.  We’ll see how I feel about it as time moves on.

I have a special place in my heart for J-RPG’s.  The Eastern way of thinking forces my brain to examine it’s approach and develop new lines of logic.  A process I enjoy when given the necessary time to percolate.  I especially enjoy them when they don’t provide you the ‘minecart’ experience.  A process by which you mash the buttons and are given a whirlwind ride through the plot and world.  That gets old after a while.

So with some eager glee and a dose of masochism I picked up Dragon’s Dogma.  By all reports, a hybrid game with elements of Monster Hunter, Skyrim and Demon’s Souls.  I encourage you to look up those titles.  They’re each a quality piece on their own.

There are what I think three details that make this game challenging and good.

One) No fast travel.  Yep, you’re walking everywhere you go and then back home again.  There is a ‘Ferrystone’ you can get but they’re expensive.  Very expensive.

Two) Health doesn’t recover.  And I don’t mean ‘in fights’ I mean at all.  You need healing or product to recover lost damage.  Magic only goes so far, as each time you take damage you lose capacity on your health bar.  Say I have 1000 hit points.  I take a stab in the face from a goblin because I was screwing around, lose roughly 100 health.  I might be able to recover 50 points of that via magic.  The rest, lost.  Until I formally rest or drink some potions.

Three) Some monsters are more or less resistant to certain kinds of damage.  For instance, the Ogre is a cave dwelling badass that prefers chicks.  He’ll maul your female party members before focusing on your dudes.  And he’s -extremely- reisstant to physical damage.  For a low magic party, that’s challenging.  And it can take ‘a while’.

All in all it’s a quality title that I’m really enjoying with a minor amount of party management and a challenging game style.  I recommend it for anyone who enjoys 3rd person sword and sorcery games.

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Fiction vs Reality: Deadspace vs The Thing

Fiction: Necromorph

Animated dead tissue, various forms, requires specialized strategy to kill.

The story meant to placate you is that it requires an alien artifact, dead tissue and can be stopped by dismembering limbs. 

Reality: The Thing

Living creature, gains memories and abilities via absorption, regenerates from separated pieces, requires additional effort to ensure complete destruction.

The reality is a dire and terrifying vision where no amount of trauma can stop it from surviving and coming after you.

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