Sunday, 29 July 2012

Past the half way mark

As we are in the summer games lull, now seems a excellent time for me to look back at my list. For those of you who haven't been following, this year I have been keeping a track of every game I have played, and more importantly finished. This is mostly for my own purposes, a track of my obsession and elective, schizophrenic tastes, than anything else.

So far I have managed to complete 28 games, which is more than I expected. I estimated that last year I finished about 30, so either I was well out, or I have played a lot more games this year. If this rate continues I would guess potentially I would breach the big 50 mark before the year is out. I have played quite a few games that I haven't finished, and a few more that I have tried but didn’t like or were disappointing (I am looking at you Yakuza Dead Souls).

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The PC is my favourite console.

I recently brought, or perhaps I should say re-brought, a Xbox 360. I have no particular love for Microsoft or their console, however I really wanted to play Halo Anniversary. After playing Halo for a bit, I started browsing all the crap on the xbox dash I can't use because I am not a Xbox Live Gold member (I really begrudge paying for something that should be free), I had a thought. My PC is a games console.

PC's have many varied and interesting functions, however 90% percent of the time I use it to play games. Compare that to my favourite console, the Playstation, game time is probably closer to 40-50%. Whether that is using LoveFilm or watching videos, the console doesn't get used to play games on that much. Compared to my Xbox or Wii, which I essentially turn on play a game and then turn off, my PS3 can be on for hours. While I do have a tendency to leave my PC on, unless I am playing a game I am probably not using it. My lovely phone and tablet allow me to check emails, websites and tweets with ease, so there isn't much left for me except for gaming.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Take an horrific trip to beautiful Dubai

Games are unique things, and while they are to be enjoyed, they can sometimes elicit an emotional response. Usually joy, or affection or perhaps even hatred. However having finished Spec Ops:The Line (such a terrible title), I experience an emotion that a game has never provoked before, guilt. Spec Ops is a third person military shooter with some basic sqad commands, not unlike a Ghost Recon game. It is set in the city of Dubai a few months after the entire city has been engulfed by a horrific sandstorms.

Without ruining the plot, you play a Delta Force captain having to make awful choices. On more than one occasion I put my hand to my mouth and let out a little gasp at what I have done. These choices aren’t listed on an evil meter or anything so enforced, they are there to give the story an emotional impact and effect how the story plays out. So while the actual combat is not particularly astonishing (the game looks phenomenal though, Unreal engine at its best), the game is going to stick in my mind far longer than many other games I have played.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bad company 2 V Battlefiled 3 - Fight!

 Okay, The title of the post may have been a little misleading. Last night I was all alone on the internet and wanted to play something with guns, so, obviously I loaded Battlefield 3. Within moments from clicking the play button I was greeted with an advertisement for some premium service that I have tried to ignore. Then when looking for a match to load into I was reminded that I didn't own the expansion packs and was just one click away from pure joy. 

I ignored this madness and journeyed on. Soon enough I was loading into a match with some very nice people (I have no way of verifying that fact). The game runs wonderfully on my machine and I played as badly as ever. 

I was then killed and was shown that the person who killed me was a subscriber to that premium service I was trying to ignore, this happened repeatedly. 

The game looks wonderful and plays well but there was something missing to me. After an hour I decided to go and pay a visit to an old friend - Battlefield Bad Company 2. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Guild War 2 won't be good enough

I have finally gotten around to pre-ordering Guild Wars 2 (I refused to do it before they announced an actual release date). Then I was struck with buyers regret. I have been looking forward to this game for a very long time (going back several years when I use to joke with Hex that it was vapourware), but I can't help but think that in one way or another it will disappoint. Don't get me wrong I find it highly unlikely that it will be a bad game in any way, but there is probably no chance that it will be the shining beacon of mmorpg's that perhaps many have come to suspect.

I have come to realise that as I have tried various mmo's over the years that there is one constant that I can guarantee. Unfortunately that constant is my disappointment. I was disappointed with LOTRO's wholesale animal slaughter quests, disappointed by Rift's deeply dull story, disappointed by TOR's generic combat and quiet worlds, disappointed by Tera's pure grind and disappointed by the Secret World's combat heavy world. So despite many, if not all of these games, prompting themselves as doing new and interesting things, I found them all to have a bitter aftertaste to say the least.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Max Payne Mobile!

One of the problems with PC gaming is that its hard to go back and play an old game, even one's that you think you would really like. For instance, Max Payne (the original) may run okay on a modern PC but it looks like it was made my a child compared to our modern expectations of graphics. Rockstar games however have made the genius decision to release it as a mobile game.

This is the second title that we have seen released from them, the previous being Grand Theft Auto 3. To take an already existing game and modify it for a touch screen device takes far less effort than building a new title from the ground up so financially it's a great move for Rockstar. Expectations for mobile gaming are very low at this time to to take a great game even thought its an older one and put it on your phone is something wondrous as all of a sudden those shoddy PC graphics are cutting edge mobile graphics.

I also like the effort that Rockstar bring to these titles. Its not just a straight port they at the very least put some very natural controls and the ability to customize those controls into the title.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

I think the next Diablo game should be Left 4 Diablo

I finished Diablo 3 for a second go through, this time with a Demon Hunter, which I enjoyed a lot more than my Witch Doctor. I have been playing it through on the higher difficulty of Nightmare. Now I know that this is far from the Inferno difficultly which everyone talks about but it is still a step up for my squishy Demon Hunter. Playing with my wife on this higher difficulty I have an epiphany. The game is now a top down fantasy Left 4 Dead.

Whenever I play Left 4 Dead, I love it for the narrow escapes, the near death finales and the constant tension that waves of zombie death lurk around every corner. Well Diablo 3 doesn't have zombies (ok yes there are some zombies in it), but I get the same sort of feelings. Every uncovered area of the map has groups of enemies, champions and bosses just waiting for me to blunder into them. And when we inevitably do there are the breathless fights were I am constantly having to decide what skills to use, and perhaps more importantly whether to attack or move. And death has come more often than on normal difficult, but I don't begrudge this because in most cases I can see how I could have avoided it.