Everyone comes out with Top 10 lists this time of year. LICD even whined about it in their comic the other day. I will admit it's rather cliched, but that's not going to stop me from doing it. This isn't necessarily going to be a Top 10 list, though. It's more going to be a summary of the gaming world as it was in the year 2011. Or in most cases, mindless ranting!
First of all, I played a -lot- of games this past year. And here they all are. Every single one of them, in the order in which they were released:
DC Universe Online Dead Space 2 Magicka Bulletstorm Rift Dragon Age 2 Homefront Crysis 2 Portal 2 Darkspore Brink Terraria Fable 3 The Witcher 2 Frozen Synapse Hunted: The Demon's Forge Red Faction: Armageddon Alice: Madness Returns Dungeon Siege 3 F.E.A.R. 3 Limbo Bastion From Dust Deus Ex: Human Revolution Dead Island Hard Reset Rage Dungeon Defenders LA Noire The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Minecraft Batman: Arkham City Serious Sam 3 Trine 2 Star Wars: The Old Republic One more game is coming…
Okay, so if I don't make this blog post soon, the number of screenshots I have to share is going to make it utterly impossible to catch up any time soon. So I suppose I'd better get to it.
It's already strange for me to look back on these, because I feel like I've progressed so far since I took them. It's funny, because at the start I didn't really think that my character looked "low level" in regards to what he was wearing. It looked good. Looking back now, I do think that, because of how much better I look now.
All of these shots are still from Korriban. If I was better at organizing this stuff, I would make a post about each planet. Sadly, I'm not. This particular image is what a particular Sith Lord did to his apprentice after I informed him that said apprentice tried to get me to sabotage his research. Silly little apprentice.
This is my master -- Darth Baras. He's unstable, unhinged, and just an all around bastard.
Okay, since I have a queue on my server and need to wait before I can play, I'm going to take a few minutes to provide a few commentated screenshots of the game. Lucky you!
First of all, say hello to Saburo. He's a Sith Warrior (not even a Marauder at this point, as I took this right when I first created him). He's also an evil bastard.
Instead of needing to eat food to replenish your health after a tough fight, you simply meditate. It's an out-of-combat thing, and each class has a different version of it. This is mine. He's channeling his hate.
The combat is really good. After thus far 14 levels, I'm not even coming close to getting tired of it yet. It's just well done all around. Slicey slicey!
Korriban is the starting world for the Sith (Warriors and Inquisitors), and the place looks rather dead-like. It's still very impressive, but when compared to the Jedi starting area, you can tell the environment of the Sith is a lot harsher and a lot …
One good thing about this early access thing is that since I got in on the first day of it, I probably got to experience the least amount of in-game traffic until the game starts to lose it's popularity. I enjoyed it. There were times in the persistent world where I was the only one around doing quests. It was quite relaxing.
So yeah -- TOR is here. Well, it's here for those who pre-ordered the game. Ok, actually, it's not even here for ALL the people who pre-ordered the game. Just SOME of them. I honestly don't know how they chose...perhaps how quickly you clicked BUY on pre-order day? No idea! In any case, I got my e-mail yesterday morning, and played for a few hours before bed last night.
It was an interesting parallel, because I had just spend a few hours prior to -that- going through the three new instances that Blizzard added to WoW in their Hour of Twilight patch. It was an MMO scale of justice with a polished, well established game on one side and a n…
As I'm sitting here this morning scripting away at work, I'm trying to decide if the ending of 11/22/63 is happy or sad. I finished the book last night around 2:00 AM. The answer is both, of course, as most Stephen King books tend to be. He's not a sympathetic writer -- he never has been, and I seriously doubt he ever will be.
The ending was bittersweet and, more to the point, basically it wasn't the ideal conclusion I would have hoped, but it could have been a lot worse. In the last ten pages or so, the story got...well, bizarre. Up until then, it was pretty grounded and based very much on fact. Even the things that weren't true (in real life) were still based on fact or derived from analyzing the facts to make hypothetical assumptions. It was believable.
I suppose you can't write a story about time travel without introducing some sort of fantastical elements. The reader is going to want you to explain -how- your character went back in time in the first…
My boss was in Europe last week for what's called a user group meeting. Basically, our largest customer wanted to bring in a lot of the people within their organization who use our software, and get a bunch of feedback from them to find out what they would like to see as far as system enhancements and performance improvements go. It all sounds very boring, I'm sure. Trust me -- it is.
The side effect of this meeting is that it's probably going to mean a lot of work. Not all of the news coming out of this thing was good. I won't get into the details about that, because anything I say would be pure speculation on my part, anyway. And it's, again, boring.
The entertaining things that came out of the meeting were that the release notes that our team re-wrote got rave reviews by the customer. It probably embarrassed the hell out of the person who originally wrote them, and I find that very entertaining. Also, the project plan I compiled for the customer acceptan…
Okay, you may remember that a few weeks ago I posted a YouTube video for the song "If I Had a Gun" by this band. It's a good song -- something you can sing to. I'd like to talk a little more about the band now, though.
First of all, if you aren't privvy to your 90's British rock, Noel Gallagher is pretty much one half of arguably the most famous rock band of the 90's: Oasis. (Damon Albarn of Blur would probably like to have a word with me regarding that statement, I'm sure.)
In any case, Oasis has come close to breaking up about 500 times since their inception, and this time seems like the most serious of splits. Both of the brothers have new bands now, and that's a first. So there you have it.
To me, Liam was always the one who in my eyes was Oasis' lead singer, even though the two of them shared the responsibility. I always liked his voice better -- he's the one singing Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, and pretty much every other Oa…
Alright, so I started Arkham City just now, and played about 30 minutes of it. (I tend to do that with new games -- a short playtime the first night, and then delve more into it from that point forward. It's my thing.) Basically, I did one mission. Things look really good from this little bit of exposure. Graphics are in the same noir-y style of the first game, but you can certainly see the improvements. Also, the city is...well, daunting! Right after I got my suit and got my first mission, I just sort of looked around going, "Ummm...WTF am I doing?" I had no idea where to go, what to do, or anything. Then I was like, "I'm Batman. I can do whatever the hell I want!" And then I started jumping from building to building. It was glorious.
Well, if there's any sort of video that I should show you regarding my short playtime this evening, it should probably be putting on the suit. I would like you to pay very particular attention to the MUSIC in…
I finished Serious Sam 3 last night. I'm sure you're very happy about that, because it means an end to the corny blog titles with the word "serious" or some form of the word thrown in. Seriously. In any case, the game didn't disappoint in regards to all the promises it made. In other words, it was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.
The final level was quite insane. The precursor to the final boss fight was running through a winding cavern while killing literally thousands of enemies. It had to be thousands. I'm thinking there was between 200-300 of each type of enemy in the game charging at me through that cavern at some point in time.
After that insanity, it was time for the final boss fight. His name was The Guardian of Time, and naturally he was as tall as a skyscraper. The fight started with him wrestling with the large sand worm creature that had existed in every level throughout th…
Let's chat a bit more about Serious Sam 3, because I feel it rather deserves it. First, I want to point out a throw back from the days of old school shooters. Try to think back to the likes of the original Half-Life. Doom 3. Quake 4. And pretty much any pre-2005 shooter worth it's salt. Do you remember what would happen about 50-75% through the game? Hopefully you do. I'm talking about the infamous point where you're either captured or knocked out, and you lose all of your weapons. Then, you pick them up again one by one in a sort of sped-up version of how you started the game. I freaking love that! Serious Sam 3 just did it to me. They were telling the truth when they said their game was "a glorious throwback to the golden age of first-person shooters where men were men, cover was for amateurs and pulling the trigger made things go boom." Ok, next! Do you remember in my previous post, I mentioned a new enemy? Well, here's the bitch right her…
I got the mini-gun in Serious Sam 3 last night. It's Sam's trademark weapon, and that line, "Ah, my old love.", is the same line he utters when he gets the gun in the first game. I smiled at that.
I'm obviously not at home, currently, so I'll refrain from talking about the game anymore since I don't have access to my screenshots. There's a certain new kind of enemy new to this game that I want to mention, but I'd like the picture to go with it.
So instead, let's discuss how things are faring in 11/22/63. I did more reading than I did gaming last night anyway.
When last I left our intrepid hero, he had just returned back from the past. Before he committed himself to actually going back and stopping Oswald from killing the president, he wanted to change something smaller and observe the "butterfly effect" of his actions by returning to 2011. In the back of my mind, I wondered how this was going to work. The portal always takes y…
I have a very strong urge to yell really loudly right now. Serious Sam has that effect on me.
Let's take a step back. Ten years, to be exact, because that's when the first Serious Sam game was released. (Don't get me started on how fecking ridiculous that fact is.) The year, 2001. The world was simpler then. Fuck, the world was a -lot- simpler! The game came out in March. That means 9/11 hadn't even happened yet. Talk about an innocent time.
ANYWAY, a little game called Serious Sam came out, and it filled a void. That void was left by Duke Nukem, who had been missing in action for quite a long time EVEN THEN. There was always something different about Sam, though. The sexism and crude humor that sort of turns me off when it comes to Duke wasn't there. And it was refreshing.
The point of Serious Sam was to basically throw a metric fuck ton of enemies at you all at once, and give you multitudes of weapons to deal with the problem. Simple. Fun. Hours of…
Sorry. I saw that line in reply to someone whining about TOR being bad on the PCG forums, and I just had to repeat it. What a brilliant reply.
Also, here is a brilliant snippet of song lyric for you as well:
"There's a party inside my head. And no one is invited."
Anyway, I'm here today to discuss something completely unrelated to the Star Wars beta. It's a book, actually! 11/22/63.
This is Stephen King's newest title. I will admit that I don't read as much as I would like -- the amount of free time I have to do so just isn't there with all the other interests that I have. (I'm looking at you, gaming.) But I do it when I can. This primarily means that I'm reading in bed long after I should be sleeping, but I digress.
I recently purchased the new Amazon Kindle Fire, because as the very first entry in this blog will tell you, deep down I am a trendy son of a bitch. If someone asks me why I purchased such a device, I will undoubtedly tell…
With Skyrim, that is. There are a couple of things that led me to this conclusion. I'm sure I'll put in a lot more time, an hour here and there, but I think the evenings consumed by this game are finally at an end. (Seriously, I was doing nothing but playing this game for every scrap of free time I had.)
That being said, I am prepared to share with you my final thoughts on the game. While eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, no less!
Skyrim is still in the same position on my top games list as it was the last time I announced where it stood -- a solid third, beaten by only Half-Life 2 (at #1) and Fallout 3/New Vegas (at #2). I'm actually in the mood to explain exactly why that is.
First, here's what Half-Life 2 does better:
Story. Skyrim has an amazing story, and amazing -side- stories. It's got more lore and more content than Half-Life 2 by far. But one of the problems I have with Skyrim's stories is that a lot of the times, you do not see the consequenc…