A weekly log of the games I’ve played accompanied by some random thoughts about them
[Only a week late right? Apologies, work has kept me incredibly busy to finish this post off. That’s a good thing though!]
Friday, November 7, 2008
Rock Band 2
Played a good number of songs in Band World Tour with my mom, more or less trying out how portable my game profile is. I took my profile and save game with me. On a different Xbox 360 I could login and either use the local saved band or my band. We chose my parent’s band, the Sir Mondays, and I hit the drums. I’m definitely out of practice as I couldn’t do any songs on the hard difficulty setting, only on medium. We completed a bunch of new songs unlocking a few venues that were previously locked up for their Band World Tour. It was fun and I was glad my profile and save game had that level of portability — something I suspect wasn’t the case in the original Rock Band when bands and characters were less interchangeable.
Gears of War 2
Of course, like a kid at Christmas I couldn’t wait to give this a try when it arrived in the mail and was in my hands. Even though I know how to play the game, I chose the tutorial route with Benjamin Carmine rather than skipping it. Then I just completed the first chapter in Act 1, defending and clearing out a hospital of Locust. Then, in a quite boring decision, I moved over to try out the Horde mode by myself. I had played this mode during the Gears of War 2 event at E3 and loved it. The attraction and challenge to it is still there, even though I couldn’t last past wave 2 no matter how hard I tried.
I’ve had this sitting around for a long while, but since I don’t regularly commute, my handheld gaming time is next to nil. I basically have to force myself to play something on a handheld, and it usually works when I think about it since I have been playing through Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO with some semblance of regularity.
Having never owned a Dreamcast, I’ve never played the original Bangai-O. However, many positive impressions around the Web, general gameplay mechanics which I like (side scrolling shooter) and then one of our designers at work had his own downloadable level featured in IGN’s “Bangai-O Spirits Elite Design Contest” all sealed the deal for me. As I advanced through the tutorial levels, I really liked what the game was trying to do overall and with the ability to select and mix your different kinds of weapons. Unfortunately I got stuck at the last tutorial level and all my attempts were fruitless, so I shelved the game until I could approach it with a fresh mind.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Ah yes, I returned to this fiendishly difficult (for me, anyway) game. After many, many attempts at clearing the last tutorial level by brute force, I managed the clear the stage. I’m sure there was a more elegant way of finishing it, but I couldn’t come to discover it. After completing the tutorial I was left with a nearly immeasurable number of levels that don’t provide any story progression. Although I assume they do provide some progression of difficulty, or else I would be screwed. I still found the game difficult but I was having fun trying to get through the limited number of levels I cleared before I had to get off the train.
One thing: the baseball bat rules.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Unfortunately, I haven’t a clue on many details of what I did during this session, but I know I progressed a few missions. I’m also pretty certain I took Kate McReary out for a date and, of course, since we were “just friends” she didn’t take too kindly at my attempt to make an advance on her at the end of the date. I still got the thumbs up that it was a good date, so I guess she liked playing pool. Beyond that I only remember going after a lawyer who was putting the screws on Francis McReary about something or other, so I had to go into the law offices for an interview and the first few times the game said I was dressed incorrectly. I couldn’t understand because I was wearing a suit (several different ones) and nice shoes! It turns out I kept forgetting that I left sunglasses on Niko and that wouldn’t be acceptable… no, no. So finally, during the fourth or fifth time, I finally got to do the interview and then shot my way out of the law offices. This was pretty easy compared to some of the tougher earlier missions I had to shoot my way out of.
Gears of War 2
As soon as I loaded up Gears of War 2 I got invited to play the Horde mode from some current and former work-related friends. I don’t think we ever got past wave 4, but we were having a great time trying to discover the strategies that worked for each wave even when we felt we had a good grasp of the map. The flamethrower is fun, I can tell you that. A pretty cool addition even though a little nerve-wracking when you would be trying to down a Butcher with one and it would still keep coming at you, seemingly unfazed. Even though I had mastered the art of the active reload pretty quickly, I still did far too little damage when compared to my more able teammates. That will change next time, definitely next time.