Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Edition

Please excuse the lame title of the post, I couldn't come up with something more witty. I was thinking that in order to give myself some motivation to continue to write I would start posting something on Saturdays just before my 'weekend' officially starts. Which will be when I get off work after posting this!

I finished Batman Arkham Asylum on the PC late last night, now I just have to finish finding some things and complete the challenges so I can get more achievements to add to my gamerscore. Batman is an awesome game, and it's best on the PC hands down. I have finished the game on the PS3, the PC and at some point I might play it on the Xbox 360, it's just that good.

The game I will be playing most this weekend will be Mass Effect 2. Bioshock 2 will release on Feb. 9th, so there's no need to rush through ME2 this weekend, but I wouldn't mind getting a big chunk of the game finished.

I haven't played WoW or LOTRO in almost two weeks and have been contemplating just un-subbing to both. I renewed my account so I could go play with the Casualties of War group in WoW and LOTRO is a game I should love and play more of, but just haven't. Really what it boils down to is time, I find it's being sucked up by non-MMO games, and it's only going to get worse in the coming weeks. Maybe I will just have one MMO sub, or buy a lifetime membership to LOTRO.

I have been thinking about giving EQ2 another go for what seems like the hundredth time already. I bought the game at launch, so I have a huge number of vet rewards that I haven't claimed, but I also bought the Echoes of Faydwer and Shadow Odyssey all-in-one compilations at one point and was thinking of pre-ordering Sentinels Fate. I see two problems though; if I haven't stuck with EQ2 after the countless times playing, why would I now. And, would it even be necessary to purchase the new expansion when my highest character is something around level 25. Something to think about.

Speaking of Batman, I think I have finally figured out the secrets to the freeflow combat. I need to do a little more testing this weekend, but I think I might share my thoughts on it at some point.

Well that's it for this way to long post, hope every one is enjoying their weekend, mine starts in a few minutes!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A few Mass Effect thoughts.

I really wish I wouldn't claim a game is awesome after just a few short hours of play, cause inevitably there is something that starts to ruin the whole experience for me. So here are just a few random thoughts about ME2 before I go to bed.

Why have squad commands if my squad is not going to carry them out. Sure, there are only three commands, but for what ever reason the AI seems to think my commands are more like a suggestion that they will take under advisement. So far commanding a squad is utter crap.

Weapons still use Mass Effect for ammo, but to keep them from overheating I need to use 'Thermal Clips' now. For those who don't know in ME1 weapons would overheat. So let's assume that gamers are idiots and that they will never now that thermal clips are really just ammo, that must be what Bioware was thinking when they thought that this was a great idea. I find that I am spending way too much time worried about running out of thermal/ammo clips, a needless distraction.

These are just my initial thoughts for now, hopefully tomorrow night will not be as frustrating as tonight has been. I still like the game and I am very interested in the story, but it's not as awesome tonight as it was a few nights ago.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Steering clear for now.

Cryptic just can't seem to catch a break can they. First they have a brouhaha with Champions Online with regards to the lifetime subs and a day one patch, then there is the skill cap issue with Star Trek Online. But tonight I read that the player base is up in arms because the next significant content release will require a payment.

Frankly I think that Cryptic deserves all the heat they are receiving. Not for this most recent mess, but for the way management has handled both games. To be fair the new paid update has no price yet and no one knows for sure just how much content there will be. But it is hard not to get upset I think at something like this.

For now I think I am going to steer clear of anything Cryptic for awhile.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Arkham never looked so good!

Turns out that Batman Arkham Asylum was one of the best game purchases I have ever made because the game is awesome! There's not much more that I can say about the game that hasn't already been said, but I will try.

The game takes place all in one night on Arkham Island where the asylum is located. With a little help the Joker has managed to free himself and taken over the asylum. You as Batman trek around the island trying to figure out what the Joker is planning and capture him before he does it.

The two gameplay features most talked about in the game are the Detective mode and the Freeflowing combat. In detective mode Batman can follow footprints, hand prints, find secret locations and even see enemies through walls and floors. The only downside is that there is no penalty for using detective mode the entire play through, which can make the game seem too easy at times.

The freeflowing combat is awesome, it's just a tad difficult to explain. Essentially you can begin attacking one goon and by moving the analog stick towards another enemy you will continue attacking and if done right it will be one smooth flowing combo attack. The freeflowing combat system is revolutionary and I hope at some time we will get some type of martial arts fighting game that will utilize it!

I have only two complaints about the game; Batman's sluggish combat animations and the camera during combat. It would seem that the more enemies that Batman has to face, the slower the animations get when attacking or trying to counter-attack. The camera wants to constantly be at Batman's back, which makes fighting large groups of goons a chore at times, especially if fighting in a small confined area.

I played and finished Batman on the PS3 about a week ago. The game plays great and doesn't look too bad, but I had this overwhelming desire to play it on the PC. After downloading the demo and playing for maybe ten minutes, I immediately purchased the game on Steam, and it has been worth it even though I finished it on another platform.

If you have a wired Xbox 360 controller and a decent PC, do yourself a favor and pick up Arkham Asylum on the PC, you will not be disappointed. The game looks so much better than the console version. I have my resolution set to 1920x1200 with all settings maxed and with no AA, and it runs very smooth. You will get the occasional hitching at times, but it's almost like night and day when compared to the PS3 version.

For those who have Nvidia 9800 or better video cards will also be in for a treat, Batman uses PhysX. So random debris on the ground like leaves, papers or rocks will be kicked up when Batman walks or runs around. I think it's great and really adds to the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum is fantastic. It's easily one of my favorite games and would have been my personal game of the year hands down if I had played it last year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mass Effect 2 time.

I sit here writing this, waiting in anticipation to fire up Mass Effect 2. I have had all day to think on this moment and what it will mean to my gaming time. I also had some time to think about the few games that are upcoming in both February and March, and what I have concluded is that I may just have to unsub both my MMO's till further notice.

Right now I have a sub to LOTRO and WoW, and in both I have logged in maybe once or twice in the past three weeks thanks to Batman Arkham Asylum. So I have Mass Effect 2 now, Bioshock 2 in less than two weeks, Battlefield Bad Company in March along with the new Dawn of War expansion, and I am sure I am forgetting a game or two in there, but you get the picture.

So do I go MMO-less for one of the very rare times since becoming a MMO gamer, or do I just pick one and use my time wisely? What about the fact that I have been tempted to try out EQ2 or AoC again, or maybe a f2p one like DDO? I guess life could be worse, I could be in a position to not be able to make any choices right?!?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gamefly thus far.

When I bought my PS3 at Christmas, a thought came to me and it was this; now that I have a PS3, a Xbox 360 and of course my PC, my game purchases are going to get quite expensive. So I thought 'hey, why not give Gamefly another try and just rent games for the PS3 and 360 and save me a bit of money'. And of I approved of the idea.

So far I have been sent three games from Gamefly; Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Lord of the Rings Conquest and now Resistance 2. Uncharted was the first game on my list, but Conquest was not second and I did not want Resistance 2 before I had a chance to play the first one. My guess is that Darksiders and Bayonetta, numbers two and three on my list, are not available and so I am getting a game that has the most availability on my list. So why not send Assassin's Creed 2, or the first Resistance, or even Prototype which were all higher on the list?

Uncharted is a good game, but a frustrating one for me. My first thought after completing the game was how come everyone loves this game so much. I guess I had a preconceived idea of what the game might be like and it was just not that. Good game, but I do hope the second one wow's me like it's suppose to.

Lord of the Rings Conquest; if a developer crapped on a disc and then stuck it in a PS3, this is what you would get. The game looks awful, the controls are terrible and it plays like garbage.

That leads us to Resistance 2. And after a couple of hours I can honestly say that it stinks so far. The action is not bad, the aiming controls a bit on the loose side, but the game looks bad so far and it just seems kind of boring. I think I will keep it over the weekend and see if it gets better for me.

Honestly if it wasn't for Batman Arkham Asylum, I would be thinking that my investment in a PS3 was a bad one so far. There are a slew of good games being released starting next Tuesday with Mass Effect 2 so my time management skills are going to be put to the test.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reader is full.

Not really, but there sure were a lot of blog posts that I needed to catch up on, 129 to be exact. I try to not let it get so out of hand, but I took a couple of extra days off and spent most of the time playing Batman on the PS3. Normally I will do some blog reading and maybe the occasional post from home, but I tend to do most of it while at work when in the office. Oh well, catching up will give me something to do in the office for the next few days!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I belong in Arkham.

I have been spending a lot of time playing Batman Arkham Asylum for the PS3 over the past week, and it's unfortunate that such an awesome game has such a crappy end boss fight. Truth be told I have no idea if you fight the Joker, cause I can't even get passed the battle with the two Titans and the mass amount of cannon fodder soldiers that jump in to help.

The combat has been the best part of the game thus far, but it does tend to get frustrating. The combat is really well done, but it rewards patience and timing, so when I screw up and lose my combo meter because of a bit of button mashing, it gets frustrating.

Because of the enclosed confines of the last fight, the camera takes a dump on you and the controls seem to decided to that you need to move as if you are walking in a swamp. So about half-hour, forty-five minutes later I am no closer to getting my hands on the Joker than I was when I started playing tonight. And for that I am frustrated.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

STO first impression.

Well, I will start by saying that STO is not the complete failure that I thought it would be. So does that mean it's great, by no means. I have only played maybe an hour and just got myself through the tutorial and into the space station that orbits earth so far. STO is not Champions Online is space, but it does have some similarities, specially in the user interface and menu options.

My first impressions of the ground combat; it's ok. I like that there is sprint and a sprint meter, but the aim mode made little sense to me and it combat itself was very reminiscent of Champions Online.

My first impressions of the space combat; it's the strongest aspect of STO and a whole lot of fun. The space combat is what I was most interested in and also was curious if it was like the ship combat in Pirates of the Burning Sea. I would say that the only similarities between the two would be you have firing arcs and you fight in ships, and they are both fun. Space adds a whole new dimension to the combat because you can attack and be attacked from above or below your ship.

I did have fun in my first hour of playing and I felt like I was in the Star Trek world, which is a good thing. Yes there are some issues, it is still in beta, but I am looking forward to getting home and doing some more space content after the football games!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Who's not playing? Me that's who!

For those living under a rock or that just don't care about MMO's, Star Trek Online began its open beta play. Or what I like to call the 'come try our game free for two weeks before we screw it up!' time. Let's just hope that won't be the case this time around like it was for Cryptic's last game Champions Online.

Maybe I'm just being too harsh, or maybe it's because in a 24hr time span I have only downloaded around 1gb of the beta client. To be fair it would seem that everyone and their mother is trying to download this beta as well. But the performance of the fileplanet downloader has been down right atrocious.

I honestly don't know what time the client began to download, but I do know that the downloader said I had a 38 min wait till my download started, which is the same amount of time it said nearly five hours earlier.

It's frustrating but should have been expected really, seems like there are more than a few out there interested in this one.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spring 2011

It appears that the wait is over, Star Wars: The Old Republic has finally almost sort of gotten a release date/window. Shacknews has an article about the recent announcement and Bioware has said it is targeting Spring 2011 for release.

So that means that the rest of 2010 will be spent playing every MMO I can to get them out of my system once and for all. I figure that my excitement and eager for TOR will be so great by then that I will not even think about another MMO for awhile, so might as well play as many as I can now!

Actually I may just stop playing MMO's all together this year, but that's a topic for another time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Some added thoughts...

My last post I talk about not wanting to get over the NGE, but in my attempt to finish the post so I could finish some work so I could go home early, I forgot to mention a few things.

I don't want anyone to think that I am trying to tell them not to play SWG; if you are playing and having fun, then more power to you, I know I wouldn't. I also don't plan to keep beating this dead horse even more, it was just a thought that came to my mind and I thought I would share it.

A friend of mine who loved SWG before the NGE explained it in simple terms when I asked him why he was still playing, 'I try to forget that there was anything before the NGE cause it is never going to go away'.

I will not get over it...just yet.

I've had some ideas for topics for blogging just sitting in my head and percolating for probably a month or so. One of those ideas came from a comment on the MMO Voices podcast I was listening to a few weeks ago.

Some how the topic turned to how SOE added a map to EQ and there was some outrage from the player base at the time. I don't know that from personal experience, but the host Jeremy seems pretty knowledgeable about EQ, so I will take his word on it. The co-host Cindy makes a comment that when something new happens in games, gamers will freak out, and wouldn't you know it the NGE for Star Wars Galaxies comes up briefly.

The comment in question comes from the co-host Cindy; she says that in everything in life there is a time to grieve and a time to move the hell on, and that we should just get over it. I just want to know why I have to get over it, and what is it that I am having to get over?

The answer to that question is simple really, it's the NGE. The NGE came, Galaxies is never going to go back to the pre-NGE days, so that is what I have to get over and why. But I don't really want to. It's not a matter of being angry anymore, those days are long gone. Now when ever I think of SWG, I have a strange combination of sadness, pity and indigestion.

I won't lie, I do hope that The Old Republic crushes the life out of SWG. But just as much as a current SWG player is tired of hearing the complaints about the old days, I am just as tired of being told to get over it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My new Zune.

I recently found myself in need of a new MP3 player. So today I hit up the local Fry's Electronics and found myself a refurbished 4gb Zune. It's one of the older models so it wasn't very expensive at all but it was a nice upgrade from the iRiver that I was using.

The Zune marketplace software has few settings and a bit of a learning curve, but I am very pleased with it thus far. iTunes I believe is probably more user friendly, but I just can't stand all the other crap that Apple makes you download and install just to use the iTunes software.

For the record I am not an Apple fan, never have been and never will. But after just one night of messing around with my new Zune, I am interested in just how cool an iPod Touch would be. The only hang up for me is the software.

EDIT: Apparently I forgot to put a title on this post, oops. Fixed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No more Aion

It might have been a few months ago, I don't remember off the top of my head, but there was a rash of player accounts being compromised in Guild Wars. Having had my WoW account hacked in the past I felt sympathy for those players, but didn't think much more about it.

A few weeks ago I thought about checking to see how much more play time I had for Aion because I was interested in trying out the recent patch and if it made the game fun. But for some reason I was unable to log into my PlayNC account. The message that I received said either password/user id was wrong or the site was under going maintenance.

I didn't think anything of it till today while reading an article on Massively about how Aion players have been having issues with accounts too. You can read the article here if interested. I suddenly remembered my failed attempts to log into my master account a few weeks ago so I thought I would give it another try today.

And wouldn't you know it, I think my account has been compromised. I was unable to log in and I could not retrieve my password. I'm disappointed about my account being hacked, but maybe someone got some enjoyment out of the game at least, cause I really wasn't.