Monday, November 15, 2010

Far Cry 2 (2008)

Picked this up like most things nowadays on a steam sale. I enjoyed the first Far Cry and Crysis too so wanted to see how this one was even though it only shares name and not dev of the first.

Had read enough forum posts to know of its sand box nature and what to expect. While I did enjoy the openness after a while I did get tired of how the mission structure is (Go back to center town then head back out). I did like that there was a bus to quick travel as I used that often to get to different parts of the map.

Combat felt fine as was vehicle control. Lots of confusion sometimes in figuring out where the bullets were coming from but at times like that you just run for cover. Even though the place was mostly desert or jungle, there were lots of nice little village or just random buildings that allowed for fun situations.

I mostly did the main missions. Still took me 30hrs to finish. I only did a few buddy missions and a few more gun missions to open up the weapons. At first I also explored more for diamonds but later gave that up unless I spotted one while driving/boating.

The fire effects were nice too. A few explosions and you might end up surrounded by burning grass or in a burning building. The villagers should be more careful with all those explosive barrels they have stacked around.

I didn't pay too much attention to the story. Just did missions and randomly drove around getting jumped by every other person in a car. Ending was a bit different than I expected. Fun enough game to jump in when you want some quick combat.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Latest Artwork

Martian Gothic (2 Oct 2010): Riff on American Gothic. Has been rollin' in my head a while. Robbie the robot was easier than drawing Spirit or Opportunity but was able to throw in a Viking lander.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Fallout 3 DLC

Picked up Point Lookout and Broken Steel exp packs so I could continue my Fallout 3 adventures. Mostly wanted the additional levels and game not ending after finish OG story. Decent enough fun and enough levels that taking the explorer perk to show all map spots wasn't a big deal.

DLC Mods: Point Lookout Lower Health, Point Lookout Made Easy

Other Mods: Bobbleheads, Speedmod

Enjoyed the DLC but didn't like the difficulty of Point Lookout so modded it. Odd to have skinny humanoids with crappy guns cause so much damage.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. :Clear Sky (2008)

Big fan of the 1st Stalker game. Series has quickly become my favorite. Enjoy the openness of the levels, the post apoc setting, weapons mods and game moddability.

Had picked this one up cheap a while ago, played a bit in the swamp and then stalled for one reason or another. Repicked up playing after getting my new rig which helped me enjoy it more since my old rig was way less powerful.

Always enjoy the level designers touches. I like finding and exploring new buildings and seeing the sites. Also like the weird russian dialogs the other stalkers say. I often used the guides to quick travel so I could sell weapons and upgrade my stuff.

Not sure of the mod links but any of the main stalker mod sites should work. Think I mainly used a carry more mod, a mod to open all weapons to modification and/or sellers sell all guns/stuff from beginning and also threw in some mod that changed the faction swamp fights (Supposed to make it easier).

While not as good as the first, it was still fun to revisit the zone. Enjoyed most of it once I was out of the swamp and until the last few levels. At the end (After leaving Red Forest?) it became very linear. Still fun just prefer the open levels.

Have the 3rd game, Call of Pripyat, but taking a break from these. Plowing through some other bargain bin titles I acquired.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Netflix Jan - Jul 2010

Signed up for netflix because it has cheap streaming to the nintendo wii. First tried it on a xbox1 w/ xbmc using playon but it would stutter and have other issues (PC Software did have to process and send it to XBOX). While the wii might have a bit of qualit loss it is uber smooth so far and good enough for me (I want good story, graphics don't matter as much).

So far this year I have watched:
We Were Soldiers, Moon, There will be blood, Watchmen, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Stalker, The Illusionist, The Hurt Locker, Flags of our fathers, The Blind Side, 500 Days of Summer, Book of Eli, The Office S1-S5, Metropolis, Beer Wars, Lat Jetee, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, THX 1138, Wall-E, Better off Ted S1, Up, The Tick S1 (Live Action), Silent Running, Man From Earth, Omega Man, When Your Strange, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, King of Kong, SLC Punk, Bubba Ho Tep, Dead Like Me & First Men on the Moon.

Latest Artwork

Son of 5 Minute Doodle (31 July 2010): Based on a quick doodle I did at work while waiting for a business objects query to run. Felt I needed to get a work at in 2010. Other stuff still rolling in my mind just having put it to paper yet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crysis (2007)

Picked this one up on a steam sale with its sequal Warhead. Waited a while since I knew my old rig would cave on it. Actually surprised how well it runs on my current one since while its quadcore and lots of ram, the vid is only a HD 4600. She was still able to handle the game on mostly medium settings @ 1440x900. Still looked very nice and had a steady 30+ for most of the game.

I really enjoyed Far Cry, even the alien parts (except that last bit) and enjoyed this one too. Lots of nice set pieces that were fun to replay. Good physics and AI for the most part. Suit powers were nice though I mostly just used hide or strength when not using bullet protection.

While I often more prefer most realistic FPS, this one still hit that itch even with the power suit. In fact, the suit sort of made this make more sense as to how I was a super soldier, unlike other games where you mow tons of enemies down. You still had to play defensively though and hide a bit to recharge or the AI would take you down.

Good amount of weapons. I mostly went with a sniper gun, an auto rifle and then pistol. Tanks and jeeps were fun and wish the flight parts lasted a bit more or were more open. Also enjoyed how destructable they were (Shoot out wheels to effect steering, etc.). Only thing missing was a ride in the helis I often shot down.

Story wasn't bad. Sort of made me think of Predator in a way. Definitely worth a play through. I didn't even mind the alien parts, which were better in this one than in Far Cry. Need to clear out some other games before trying out Warhead. Won't be too bad even if its more of the same.

I still need to go back to Far Cry 2 and see how they compare/diverge even though its 2 in name only (Diff dev).

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (2006)

Took a break from tactical FPS and RPGs to go for this hack n slash. Heard good and bad when it was released. Most liked the physics, especially the kicking, but felt it got stale. I enjoyed most of it though did get lost of where to go from time to time, yet the game is quite linear.

Sword fighting felt good, bows felt basic and the magic I tried (fireballs/freeze) worked fine. Decent enough RPGness to it with the user picking different abilities to use as you gain exp points for completing tasks. I mostly went with strength, magic/mana (mostly for healing), and bow. Picked a few other things but most seemed unnecessary or duplicated by magic/scrolls one could easily find.

Kicking the enemy off cliffs or into fire/spikes never got old. Quite helpful for some of the stronger little beasts. I liked my fire sword that I got later on as a few blows decimated most (or a single hit if I held for a power strike). Rope bow was nice and reminded me of the old Thief games. I spent lots of time looking for high places to bow snipe from and getting their using the rope bow.

The HUD was decent. Easy enough to hover over items and know their specs. Same with picking what abilities you wanted or moving stuff to the quick use bar. Lots of nice graphical effects during explosions, lightning strikes, magic aura-stuff.

Decent enough change of environments from castles to caves. Though lots of the middle was just cave or dungeon. Lots of good height going on in the levels along with large monsters to avoid or figure out non head on ways to take them down.

One of the better non gun FPS I've played (not that there many). While not a RPG like the old Might and Magic games or turn based game like Heroes ofMight and Magic games, it was still a good M&M game. Would like to see one with more of a RPG feel to it as the engine was nice and while linear still felt open enough to enjoy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last of the Emusic (Q3 2009)

Some time ago I unsubscribed to emusic. I'll go back again but waiting until they restock up on things I want. My last sub to them I hauled in random albums from:

Alice Donut
Angrey Somoans
Church of Misery
Future of the Left (Basically McClusky!)
Giddy Motors
Jello Biafra w/ Melvins & JB w/ NoMeansno
Jesus Lizard
Marginal Man
Painted Willie
Rollins Band
Still Little Fingers

Think that was it. Some was grabbing things to replace old cassettes or getting the full album of bands where I only had a mp3 or two from. Favorite new find was Future of the Left since its McLusky. Once they and Turn Me On Dead Man release something I'll resign up if emusic gets it.

Mirror's Edge (2009)

Mirrors's edge is an interesting change of pace for a game by DICE. No longer tons of gunfights on a battlefield, its mostly just you doing extreme urban running, jumping and climbing from building to building. It feels a lot like playing a first person platformer.

While your mostly in the city, there is a good mix of environments. After jumping and climbing around (and falling!) you do spend some time kicking open doors and running through office buildings, boats, subways and shafts. I only played the story mode, not the speed runs, etc. but enjoyed the level designs/setting.

There are a few gun fights where either you can fist fight them, grab their guns to use against them and sometimes just run away. While the combat felt a bit off, I didn't mind since your character is a courier (even if they prefer the roofs to street) and probably not the best shot.

One big plus is the auto save on this game. When you died, you only had a minute or so to retrack to get where you were. Saves usually occured before most boss fights too so you didn't have to redo whole levels or large sections to get back to where you were. There were only a few spots before big tricky jumps where I wished it saved but it wasn't that hard to get back to that spot.

The style of the game was good too. I liked how they highlighted in red where you needed to go or jump to/from. Also liked the general color scheme. While a lot of the buildings are mostly white, there is still some vibrant colors around. I also liked that there were people and cars way down below you if you peeked down from an edge.

Not sure how long the game actually is but since I played it in spurts it took forever. Worth the $5 or so I paid for it from gogamer. Ah, the joy of waiting until last year's hit games are uber cheap.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Risen (2009)

Finally got around to finishing Risen. I really enjoyed Piranha Bites Gothic 1. Just something about Euro devs I like more than other ones. Even if G1 was clunkier than Morrowing/Oblivion I still like its world and story more though I liked all of them. I still need to get around to G2.

I thought the graphics did their job well. Only had 1 crash and the main bugs I noticed was voice not playing in chapter 3. I speed click after reading text and don't listen to the voices so it didn't bug me. While the game's island might be small compared to other games, it still had tons of content and unique locations. Took about 45ish hours total but I also tried to explore every nook and go back and smack all the tough monsters once I levelled up.

I did get bogged down and lost after getting to the swamp during the first few hours. Then once I decided to actually dig into the game, I found my way and enjoyed it. Quest log and map were useful in finding where to go. I did give up at the final quest and used a walkthrough, but by that time was ready for it to be over. Part of the issue was the underground/dungeon quests were all stuffed into the last 2 chapters. I think it would have been better if they were spread throughout the game since the early dungeons were just 1 or 2 rooms.

Combat worked well. As you improved you could use better weapons and had more attacks. Defintely felt improvement as creatures that once smacked you around were now laid waste as you came back for revenge. I mostly used swords with just magic for buffing, healing, etc. Quests were fun and many seemed to have different ways to solve them. The island was also 1 big world. No loads time once the game was going.

Of course once I finished it a patch was finally released. Maybe it fixed the annoyance of having to reinvert my mouse each time I started the game (Setting wouldn't stick even though it showed it was inverted). I really need to go back and play G2 but want to get through a few FPS and maybe some other shorter RPGs first.