Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Your Love is Like Bad Medicine Company

I won Battlefield: Bad Company in a raffle. It's not something I would have bought on my own, but I had my pick of any game. This seemed like it would be a nice diversion for a week or so.

Having never played a Battlefield game, I wasn't too sure what to expect. This is the first game in the franchise with a true single player campaign, so as always, I was more interested in playing that than the multiplayer. Things have taken a surprising turn, however.

I started the game on Normal difficulty and immediately began giggling at the dialogue among the characters. The banter between the Sarge (squad leader), Sweetwater (soft spoken yet talkative techy), and Haggard (loudmouthed and talkative explosives expert) is highly entertaining. You play as Preston Marlowe, a bland and quiet new recruit to B Company. While my playable character didn't excite me, the rest of the characters gave me high hopes for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, as soon as I actually started playing I started to have misgivings. The enemies blend into the scenery a little too well. This may be realistic, I dunno, but I became very frustrated when I was being shot at and couldn't find the person shooting at me. I ended up having to stand still and look for muzzle flashes, all while continually losing health. Thankfully, you can restore your health at pretty much any time, and while you do respawn when you die, any enemies you've killed are still dead. The shooting itself didn't really excite me either. So far, none of the weapons have had any real oomph to them. Perhaps later weapons will feel more deadly as I find them.

I jumped into the multiplayer with some friends to try it out, and at first it was as unfulfilling as nearly every other multiplayer shooter I've tried. As we all know, human opponents in a game are the bane of my existance, and I find the mindless killing of deathmatch to be boring. However, once I tried the sniper and demolition classes, something clicked. Much like the two Ghost Recon games on the 360, there is some undefinable quality about the game that makes me enjoy playing, even when I'm dying over and over. Playing as a run and gun class was typically frustrating, but being about to sit still and snipe, or sit still and fire rockets at vehicles, was much more fun. Maybe I should stick to that for all my multiplayer gaming.

I'll keep hacking away at the single player unless I get totally bored with it. However, if you're lucky, you may actually get the unique pleasure of playing a multiplayer game with me. Assuming you have the game, of course.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Is Finished

Finally beat Okami. I may or may not have more thoughts on it later. For now, I'm going to bed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game Log - 8/11/08

100% in Burnout Paradise! Woohoo! Now to work on getting all 420 online challenges. I think I'm up to 184 completed so far...

Made significant progress in Okami over the weekend. I think I'll have it beat in one or two more sessions. I'm probably not going to bother trying to get 100% completion in the game. It would just take too long and I don't feel motivated to take that amount of time to do so. Next Wii game is Super Mario Galaxy. That should be some good silly fun.

Bought Braid, and I really like it, but some of those puzzles are brain busting... Truly an amazing game though. I can't imagine what it takes to design such fiendish puzzles.

Even though I got to the final boss and was promptly slaughtered, I may once again try to beat Final Fantasy X. But I'm also thinking of starting Final Fantasy XII. But then I hear that it's a 60 hour game. I'm losing patience with these so called "epic" games that are really more like 20 hour adventures unnecessarily padded out for length. I want to play Lost Odyssey on the 360, but am hesitant for the same reason. Plus, with these JRPGs in particular, I'm afraid that I'll be stuck in the same situation as I am in FFX. I don't want to spend all this time progressing, only to get stuck at the end, unable to actually beat the final ultimate evil. Perhaps that's how these things play out in real life...? Whoa, I think I just blew my own mind...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Zoom Zoom!

I haven't made much mention of it before, but I have become seriously hooked on Burnout Paradise.

It was a slow process. I hated the demo when it first showed up on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The open world environment was radically different from Burnout Revenge's traditional tracks, and the ever-present DJ Atomica made it feel as if I was trapped in a car with Ryan Seacrest. In real life, such a situation would call for smashing your car into oncoming traffic. In Burnout Paradise, you're ENCOURAGED to smash your car into oncoming traffic, yet doing so does nothing to make DJ Atomica shut his mouth. I deleted the demo and didn't give much more thought to it.

The thing is, I kept reading on message boards and chat rooms about how awesome the full game was. There was a constant stream of enthusiastic ravings about the game, and many of them were along the lines of "I hated the demo, but love the game now." So I finally procurred a used copy at a discount and got to exploring Paradise City.

In 6 or 7 weeks I've now logged between 60 and 70 hours total playtime, and have an 87% completion statistic. I've found the 400 fences to smash, the 120 billboards to jump through, and all 50 super jumps. I have nearly all the cars. It's addicting to upgrade my license, unlock new cars, and find new things in the city.

Perhaps most surprisingly for me is the fact that I actually play online in the game. Most of time it's with people I know, but there are 350 online challenges to complete, and sometimes you just need to find some strangers to do them with.

The latest update for the game, called Cagney, finally comes out on the 360 today. The PS3 players have had it for a few weeks now, but some last minute bugs have kept it from my desperate hands until now. It contains many bug fixes, and more importantly adds a host of multiplayer content to the game. I'm sitting here at work feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for the time when I can leave and play with all the new toys available to me. If you ever want to experience the rare joy that comes from playing a multiplayer game with me in something other than a co-op campaign, acquiring this game is probably your best bet.

Just thought I'd share that with you all.

(Supplemental, yet required, viewing: Zero Punctuation's take on the game)
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