I’m not really using this thing for anything and I can’t explain why. I’ve been playing a lot of games though, and no one on Facebook cares about that and Twitter isn’t exactly the platform for verbose opinions so here’s what I’ve been playing.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. It’s an older World War 2 FPS by Gearbox, who made Borderlands and are working on Duke Nukem Forever. I got it as part of pack of all 3 games in the series and this is the first one. I finished it this weekend and it was pretty good but it was short (just shy of 7 hours total) and a lot of my time was spent re-playing some particularly frustrating sections. In the game you’re given some limited control of up to two squads. You’re supposed to use one squad to pin down the Nazis and then flank them with the other.
The problem is that the friendly AI isn’t exactly brilliant and often stands around to be shot to pieces. I put a lot of effort early on to ensure that everyone in my squads survived until I determined that whether or not they live didn’t affect the next mission. Squad members who died in the previous mission are miraculously resurrected in the next. The only deaths that seemed to stick were scripted. But as far as World War 2 shooters go, it was pretty fun.
I immediately wanted to get started on the sequel but the games are not numbered and I ended up downloading the third game rather than the second. Once that was sorted I out I was disappointed to find that the second, Earned in Blood, is almost exactly the same as Road to Hill 30. The same type of gameplay, the same graphics, even the same characters. I’m really not in the mood to play the same game over again, so I’ve moved on.
I also played through and beat Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness – Episode 1. That’s a mouthful! Anyway, it was a fun, short RPG. The battle system has been pretty accurately compared to Chrono Trigger, except Precipice feels a lot faster, which made it appear rather difficult from the start. Once I got the timing of it down, the game got considerably easier. I got through it in just over 5 hours, and I’ve downloaded the next episode but, like Brothers in Arms, I know it’s the exact same type of game so I’m going to give it a little time.
So I decided it was time to get back into Borderlands to play through Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. Surprise, it’s more Borderlands! But I love Borderlands, and this is more quests and new areas and enemies that have been Claptrap-ified. I just started this last night, so I’m still working on it.
Today I started Hydrophobia on XBLA. It’s a 3rd person action game that involves a lot of (surprise!) water. It not-to-recently received a huge update that changed a lot of the game since it was released, to include improved controls. I have to say, after spending a good couple hours with it, if these controls are improved, I’d hate to have seen them before. It’s totally playable but the movement feels really loose. When I’m trying to pick up small collectibles, I find myself having to slide around back and forth because I can’t get the character in the right position to pick it up. But I love a good 3rd person action game and this one is pretty interesting so I’ll stick with it.
And Dead Rising. This fucking game. Katie’s playing Dead Rising 2 and we get on private chat through xbox live while she’s playing it and all her talk about it made me put the first game back in. I haven’t touched it in three years. Tonight I was reminded why I haven’t touched in three years. This game is so goddamned frustrating. Every weapon is made out of stiff cardboard, aiming is AWFUL, and the save structure is conducive only to frustration. IT’S NOT FUN. Fuck this game.
I told myself last Friday that I was going to finish Silent Hill: Shattered Memories but I guess I got sidetracked. That’s a spooky fucking game. Jesus. I’ll get through it. Eventually.
I’ve also spent a little bit of time playing Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, Monday Night Combat, and Neverwinter Nights 2: Platinum. They’re all pretty enjoyable in their own way but I’ll come back to them later. And I played some of The Polynomial, which is ultra-bizarro but beautiful.