Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blogger Bits after a week off

Wow it's been 6 days since I last wrote. I guess this is becoming more of a "Write when I'm trapped at work for lunch" sort of thing. I want to write everyday, but when the situation just doesn't present itself to me, I guess I pass on it.

Well, it's been a fun and exciting week in gaming. I haven't really gotten to put as much time into it as I typically do because of various responsibilities and what not but I still managed to get some great moments over the past week.

First and foremost, I got my hands on final Fantasy 13 and played the first leg of the game. It's VERY linear but it's not necessarily a bad thing as it helps the player truly grasp the functions, fighting, and menus of the game properly. It has this great system called "Paradigm". What it does is to change the style of fighting your character does during a battle so it works better with the other characters of the party. A Commando is the same as a basic fighter, a Medic is a cleric healer, a Synergist is a Party Buffer, a Sabateur is a thief, etc. You can switch between the skill sets at will and it makes fighting much more streamlined. Visually the title looks like a Final Fantasy game. Still got the main characters with the colours, the wild hair, the crazy, sometimes slutty outfits. The non essential characters look generic with basic clothing at what not. The environments are something to behold, and the Summons (I've seen Odin and Shiva so far) are nothing short of stunning. I'll continue with more on this as I play through it.

I honestly would have played more of the game were it not for the fact that I have been eyes and ears into Dead Rising. I posted previously about an unhealthy obsession with the undead and I think that still rings true. (spoiler alert) I just got past the parking garage where I get to jump in a car and simply plow down as many zombies as I can within a short period of time. Wow. My kill count (which is conveniently noted in the bottom right hand of the screen) went from 2150ish to well over 3500 in the short run of about 15 minutes. To give you an idea of how quick that is, it took almost 10 days to get the first 2150. Wow. I've learned a little more about some of the ins and outs of the game too, like mixing fancy drinks, some hidden power weapons, and got captured by some psychopaths in raincoats too... very strange. I've had this game in my collection for almost 2 years now and never paid much heed to it until now. I've sold myself short because of that. This is a title most anyone should definately play. It's easy, it's fun. Visually it really is starting to look a little dated, but the game came out 5 years ago now. It's still damn good.

I also got my mitts on a pre-release copy of Dragon Age Origins expansion, "Awakening". This is a title I sunk 40 hours into last fall. I had mixed feelings for it when I first played it, as visually it was the equivalent of a first generation Playstation 2 title. Muddy textures, screen tearing, and really poor fire effects. But, I tried and managed to get past that (which is REALLY difficult for a Graphic Artist like myself) and got a very rich gaming experience for the effort. The game is a well written, easily played experience with lots of side quests, plenty of items and class variations, and a great character generator. The expansion cleans up the graphics somewhat, continues the story basically where you left off (assuming you survived the original game) and sets you on your way to adventure and fortune again. Word has it that it's a 20 to 25 hour playthrough, but we all know that it usually a padded number if you go by review sites. I'm guessing 15 to 20, with lots of replay value (which I intend to take advantage of).

I stopped by Blockbuster the weekend and got this great surprise of "Buy one of these games, and get one free". I managed to get myself copies of Conan, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Spider-man Web of Shadows, Prey, and MLB 08: The Show, and got them ALL for less than $25 combined! Now I know Conan and Prey aren't much to talk about as they seemingly are dumpbin games all over the city, but the others are games I genuinely enjoy and each are definately worth the 3 to 5 dollars I spent on them. Web of Shadows is a game I wished I'd never traded, so I can now finish up some things in the game that I didn't last time through, and all for the cost of less than a rental!!

There's lots of other things going on outside of gaming for me, I'll wish a happy belated to a good friend for whom we celebrated with Saturday past. His girlfriend/wife made this INCREDIBLE cake that looked like a gigantic hamburger. Ohhh baby was it good too! The weather is also starting to take a turn for the better so it looks like I will finally be able to get back to some outdoor activities like photography and hiking. Maybe even a trek to the family cabin is in order. Anyway, these are mindless ramblings that most people roll their eyes to when they read a blog like this, so I'll stop here.

Back at you soon.


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