Thursday, January 29, 2009

Push the commies out of Alaska!

I haven't touched Fallout 3 in a while due to new Burnout Paradise stuff and various Left 4 Dead bouts and SFIIHDRemix. But Operation: Anchorage just dropped for Fallout 3, and I certainly wasn't missing this.

Fallout 3 takes place in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. after a atomic war with rival countries, most communist, being that the timeline has frozen 50s ideals yet technology flourished into a futuristic fashion.

Operation: Anchorage finds an excuse to explore new design concepts by introducing the new quests in a manner that will let them break away from the post-apocalyptic settings. You'll set foot into a virtual machine which will throw you into the historical battle in Alaska to push the Red Chinese Army back into Russia. Completing the VR mission will unseal a weapons cache of new weapons for you to use, but like the Matrix, if you die in the game, you die in real life.

First thing I noticed when trying the DLC is that the combat is much more fast paced. Since you're in VR, you don't take all the items you've acquired along the way, and instead are given set gear as a member of the U.S. Army. In order to simulate VR and help you survive though, mysterious items along the way will flash red for you, signalling that you can use them to activate virtual features such as health and ammo replenishment. Sort of like simply learning kung fu by uploading it directly to your head.

The new mission is great fun, pitting me in much more constant firefights and giving me a support team of misc team mates to even the odds when the Chinese really get the drop on me. I'll most likely start a new game soon though, because you can't simply retry the mission if you've missed certain items that will give you access to special perks when the entire simulation is over.

Operation: Anchorage is 800 MS points and offers a minimum of 3 new hours of gameplay to the existing Fallout 3 game.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The votes are in!

Our new official day is Wednesdays, at 7pm to 10pm. We couldn't get LA5 267 (with the nice big projector) so we're sticking with good old dependable 261.

As this is the first week of classes, there is no meeting, but next week will be our first with console gaming and brief discussions on the new semester.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed arrived in my mailbox today, and I prepared myself for a torrent of mediocrity. After all, I'm no fan of constant beat'em ups and this one screams beat-the-shit out of everything up!

Actually, the opening level letting me play as Vader with complete force powers was an enthralling game of Sith badassery. I'd like to say force powers are a very feel good field days in fun, flinging wookies and stormtroopers alike with nary a remorseful thought. Choking anyone I feel like slowing down with, then picking up the pace by holding a rock with my sith force power and chucking it at a pack of enemies.

There seems to be a weird distance ratio going on though. The farther away I am, the more likely I need to use force powers to fight, and the more fun I'll have. Inversely, if I'm near enemies, it might be more effecient to hack and slash with my lightsaber, but I'll be falling back on hack and slash tactics, and thus, will have trouble embracing the fun of that.

That's my idea in a nutshell. I want to throw futuristic exploding barrels at you people, but you have to go off and shoot me with your "lasers" and "grenades". The problem can be alleviated with lightning from mah fingertips, but as a beat'em up, things start to appear pretty static for me.

It's a pretty solid package that deserves some attention for it's DLC changing things up, but it's not a blockbuster like the hype leads you to believe.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Great Circuit City Close Out

Bad news: Circuit City, Best Buy's biggest competitor, is finally going under as per predicted by the financial Nostradamus' in the world. This will leaving gaping holes in mall and shopping center real estate spaces, not to mention thousands in unemployed.

Good news: For us techies, we can score some price slashed, liquidated gear. Bad news comes from Gizmodo, but I read Lifehacker usually. Here it is in their words...

The catch: According to Gizmodo, prices may go up to MSRP on Saturday, meaning the whole "sale" part of the liquidation sale isn't exactly accurate. Those prices may drop drastically between now and the March 31 close, so it'll be worth keeping an eye on.
So keep your Circuit Cities under lock and key to make sure you grab that external hard drive you've wanted to separate your important work files from your sitting-on-your-ass-and-proscrastinating files.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Prince? Why?

Prince of Persia arrived in my mailbox just yesterday, and I'm already sending it back.

Congratulations Ubisoft! You've successfully made a swish with the paper ball that is Prince of Persia into your proverbial trashcan (with optional basketball hoop).

Here are the things I'm going to troll on...

+ The Prince is utterly caucasian. You'd think if this as, you know, Persia, or vaguely middle east, someone would at least have an accent. The titular Prince spouts painful sarcasm (or wit, what have you), sports a questionable tan, has blue eyes, and sounds like he stepped out of a Southern Californian private school. Is this Prince of Persia or Los Angeles?

+ The levels are very similar in gameplay. In the original trilogy, you'd maybe get a spiffy new sword, or traps would get more elaborate and monsters would even appear as well. Here, I'm wall running my brains out. I'm wall running, pole jumping, and vine climbing until the cows come home. There aren't any neat booby traps or even cool mistake rewinding time controls. I'm doing the same thing over and over again, that is, wall running, jumping, and if I fall, I just start over at the beginning of the acrobatic puzzle, cause my partner just teleports in and might as well say, "Dying isn't cool? LOL! Lemme help you out!"

+ Remember the acrobatic, fighting machine that was the Prince in the trilogy? Well say hello to the new, slow paced, en garde Prince! Seriously, I'll beat the shit out of who suggested the change in combat, because it's just an arena mash fest. Mash X, sometimes Y, and if you're luckly, you'll skip the fight entirely by getting a ring out. But forget about rolling out of the way and gracefully flipping from one enemy to another. You're fighting one on one whether you fucking like it or not.

+ Lastly, as I mentioned before, the levels are very samey. Here's what you're gonna do for a routine hour of gameplay. Brisk jog to the level proper, run on some walls and jump off some obstacles, kill a bad guy or two, "heal" the land, collect shit, rinse, repeat. It's almost as if the time control mechanic wasn't thrown out and I'm reliving the same gameplay over and over a la Groundhog Day. Well Bill Murray had it easy cause he eventually got out of that time warp. I'm stuck in this cycle until I beat the game...

or turn off my Xbox.