the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Driller DiSsed

Since I last wrote something, I’ve been playing Halo 2 and Super Mario 64 DS (yes, I got a DS on launch. First launch-system ever!), working on a never-ending freelance project, and trudging through what seems like an adjustment period for my body. I think the new bachelor life has caught up to it, and it has fought back by hitting me in the gut. A couple of times. It’s not that I’m eating bad, I’m just eating inconsistently. For…

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The Other “Big 2”

Uh, not Half-Life 2. I am getting an estimate on a machine done now, so if all goes well I’ll be able to play that in the new year. Until then I’m going to have to take every one else’s word. No. The other “2” is Metroid Prime 2. I’ve managed to find a couple of hours — somehow — between work and multiplayer Halo 2 to play this and get some general impressions of the first bit of the…

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Halo 2 Quickie

I wanted to wait until I finish the single player campaign before rendering a verdict, but I’ve been playing too much multiplayer to get that done. I’m close though. However, my quick impressions: the multiplayer is varied and great, the matchmaking is meh, the campaign is weak and more of the same, the story is average, the level design is still weak, and the graphics aren’t even that great (with annoying popup in the cut-scenes.) But hey, the multiplayer is…

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Ravages of Time

I’ve been meaning to play Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for a long, um, time. It’s supposed to be good. Unfortunately, the more I hear about its sequel, the less I want to play the original. Playing The Sands of Time would feel like justification for UBISoft’s crapufication of the series with The Warrior Within. With every new tidbit that they release, the sequel is rising so far up on the “Not to Play” list that it’s crappiness…

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Halo 2 Before the Release

So Halo 2 is to be released at midnight (I’m not touching THAT topic again), and all the ads…er, reviews for the game are flowing in. The basic consensus is that the hype makers are saying that Halo 2’s hype meets their daily hype quota requirements. HYPE!!! I’m so annoyed by the state of commercial game reviews that I’m not going to bother reading them. I have heard, through review hearsay, that a lot of the criticisms against the original…

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Grand Theft Metropolis

Deja Vu. I’m glad that Grand Theft Auto doesn’t render itself within the confines of a real city (yes, I realize that there was a GTA:London game, but let’s stick with the GTA3 dynasty). Instead, it chooses an abstracted approximation (and spoof) of a real metropolis for its setting. Cities that seem familiar and have recognizable structures and architecture, but are still different and fresh. Cities that are the constructs of level designers rather than city planners. Not because of…

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Invisible Walls and Magical Sound Showers

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the same old GTA3 under a different disguise and with some additional welcome tweaks to the gameplay (swimming!). It’s yet another upgrade rather than a sequel, and many of the core, underlying problems with the design remain. But, regardless of that, its still enjoyable. Enjoyable, but not necessarily fun. I’ve spent a few hours with the game already and I have yet to complete anything more than three missions. Instead, that time was spent…

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The Failures of Game Retailers

In my eyes, there are four key factors that are hampering the mainstream acceptance of this hobby that I love: the content of the games themselves, the lack of any quality mainstream cultural writing about games (this is improving), bad marketing, and horrible retailers. Retail is the one that baffles me the most. You’d think that dedicated game retailers would be knowledgeable, well stocked with the proper releases, and, uh, dedicated. But no. They’re a hormonal wasteland of pandering Xtreme…

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Nintendo DS ads

I can finally follow up on my ponderings of Nintendo DS’ ad campaign as the ads have now hit Japan. No surprise there. Some sort of Japanese J-Pop idol with keyhole cleavage and the slogan “TOUCH!” Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe that kind of advertising works in Japan, but it seems kinda pointless to me. Doesn’t do much for the brand. I hope that they’d be a little more original over here. If their latest campaigns are an indicator, they…

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30 minute impressions: Guilty Gear X2#Reload

2D fighters are a genre that I just can’t, no matter how much I try, get good at. There was a time when I was quite above-average at Street Fighter 2 Turbo — which no doubt had a lot to do with having plenty of *human* competition at the time — but even then I wasn’t that great. Even then, I could not for the life of me beat the Arcade mode in the SNES version at the top two…

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EA+XBL UI

Holy fuck does Burnout 3 eat up time. The crash mode challenges only take half a minute, but they’re such a blast to play that you get caught saying “just one more” forty times in a row. It’d be so much better if those quick crashes weren’t interrupted by slow loading screens and annoying EA radio, but those can easily be ignored as you get yourself amped up for the next million dollar crash. Many people have already complained about…

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New Releases This Week

Bear in mind that this list is for the following five days (via EB): Dog’s Life Guilty Gear X2 #Reload Syberia II Gradius V Call of Duty: United Offensive Advance Guardian Heroes ShellShock: Nam ’67 Sly 2: Band of Thieves Fable The Sims 2 Gungrave: OD F-Zero: GP Legend That’s not even the complete list. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more loaded release day for games (September 14th). Such an overloaded release schedule makes me…

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Treasure to Treasure

In the last week and a half, I have played through Astro Boy: The Omega Factor two and a half times. This is actually a fault of the game. You have to go through everything twice — and repeat certain parts some more in an annoying fetch quest — before you can finally get to the true end of the game. There are some interesting variations in the second play-through, but they are all story related (it’s done in a…

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