Well, it’s not so much a review as it is the unbridled joy of someone playing Grand Theft Auto for the first time. It’s really a special gaming experience that you forget about until you see someone else go through it. A lot of us got our first taste in Grand Theft Auto III, but there still some out there that get that joy. Conan is now one of them. Look at him accomplish a mission… sort of. Well, the best part is his vendetta against a strip club. Oh, man, that building should be destroyed.
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It’s not real, by the way. Just a fancy, obvious parody that is going to get them lots of views. And I’m helping. Go realty!
Whose Line made its glorious return to television last night. Well, as glorious as a show on the CW can be. It’s pretty much the same show, why ruin a good formula when you have it for a couple decades? Difference here is more celebrity guests who may or may not lose composure, less familiar guest performer faces, and Aisha Tyler instead of Drew Carey. I kind of like Aisha better because she gets to the point quickly. I also like that they seem to be getting away with raunchier material, which ABC clearly didn’t like (if you’ve ever seen the outtakes, you know what I’m talking about). I think I can thank CW for that. The guest performers can hold their own, but they just aren’t showcased enough. Most of the cast is pushing 60, so they need the youthful extra person every once in a while. I’m going to keep watching, and it’s not going to take a big audience to keep it around, because it’s on the CW. I just wish they’d get rid of the hashtags. So dumb.
Honestly, if you liked any form of Starcraft previously, you are going to like this game. I beat the campaign in less than week, and I’m still trying to figure out if I did it that quickly because I really enjoyed it or I’m achievement hungry. I do know that Blizzard is really taking RTS level design to exciting new places.
The one big difference in the campaign is the added emphasis on hero characters, mostly Kerrigan, which works. You are following characters, lets see those characters fight. Some of my favorite missions in Wings of Liberty used heroes and it seemed to resonate. I’m sure a lot of people are glad that it didn’t creep into multiplayer like Warcraft 3. But it’s just enough RPG elements to say you have RPG elements without overdoing it.
The enhanced master archives section for replaying missions is nice, but it doesn’t seem to strongly tie in with some story-based achievements which I’m sure is a drag for the achievement hunters. And I haven’t been privy to all the neat upgrades to Battlenet, but they are all pretty and was pleasantly excited to see it revamped. Everything works.
The only negative here is the relatively short story, and the fact that I want the third installment sooner than two years from now. Feed me more, Blizzard. I guess I’ll just play some custom games until then.
Unlike a lot of you, I was able to play SimCity last night and a little bit this morning. I dig it. I did not have a huge problem getting into the game, but I didn’t attempt to until 8pm PST, so I think a lot of people had given up or gone to sleep by the time I wanted to play. It plays very differently than SimCity 4, road building and zoning is not as precise as you would like it, and in order to increase density you have to plop decorations and have all the necessary utilites in place, including safety. It’s a lot to juggle and eventually you realize you have to bulldoze half your city to put bigger roads down to alleviate congestion. There’s just so much to do and it’s not quick. You can lose 3 hours by poor planning.
I ran into a lot of road blocks that would’ve made my time easier if I was playing with other people, mostly City Hall attachments. You need some attachments to unlock all of the buildings, which some will take a long time to unlock unless a neighbor takes care of it for you (they are region unlocking). So while these dinky clinics don’t really solve my health issues, I can’t get a hospital because I spent the attachments on finance, utilities and education. I decided a university was more important than my city’s health.
Anyway, can’t wait to play with friends when this thing will really unlock itself.
There’s a couple of reasons I watched King of the Nerds. I know somebody on it, most of the content should appeal to me as a person, and I wanted to see how far TBS went for nerdsploitation (term I use to describe things taking advantage and making fun of nerds, i.e. Big Bang Theory). I am proud to say that I enjoyed watching it, and feel that the nerds do enough to make fun of themselves that the show doesn’t have to do a whole lot of exploiting. Though, this is just the first episode, I’m sure there’s room for improvement.
It really was a brilliant opening in that, the players had to choose teams, but with 11 there would be one singled out. In a show about nerds, I don’t think I have to tell you the twist there. After all that, they played chess, and someone went home. I definitely will be watching the next episode to see if the nerds really start going after each others throats. They’re playing pretty nicely right now. I’m sure that will change.
Haven’t really played a real-time mech combat game since the days of the Mechwarrior. I even spent some time in those VR capsules that made it feel like you were in the cockpit (circa late 90s, so probably bleh by today’s standards). So Hawken harkens (haha) back those days in a way that’s totally refreshing at the same time.
The game starts you off in their free mech. Later you can sample other suits or buy your own using in-game credits which take a while to earn or use your own money. They do play very differently: different special powers, different default weapons, maneuverability, health, etc. From what I’ve seen and played, the spec’ed out mechs (high offense and defense or speed) seem to kill my average build more often than the other average builds.
Controls work very similar to any mech game. The one new addition I’m not used to is the dash button which lets you quickly dodge left, right, straight ahead or turn around. Combine that with the slow jetpack and you can actually be quite mobile. A primary and secondary weapon make up most of your attacks. Primary is a machine gun of some sort while the other is a missile, though I haven’t liked anything beyond the default weapons. I’ve played around 15 games, but I am still a ways away from unlocking everything. There’s a lot to explore here if you are willing to put the time in.
I say Hawken is a successful game, especially for its price point of free, but you certainly have to enjoy online competitive play, because you will be doing a lot of it.
Thanks to Jewish Christmas, I was able to see a movie in a theater again. My dad’s choice was The Hobbit, and while it is neither good nor bad, it’s really not fair to reviews to claim that this is reviewable.
The Hobbit is now going to be three movies, and being based on what is considered an unfinished work, we just watched an unfinished portion of unfinished work passed off as finished. Now I believe that there are several redeemable qualities to the movie: loved all the dwarf characters, it was fun seeing the nods to the other trilogy, much like the book did before it. The problem here is that Peter Jackson has reached the Spielberg status of filmmaking in that no one can say no to him. So anything he wants to do gets made and has to be there which is why we have three movies for one book. The good thing is that he hasn’t reached Oliver Stone status and everything he does looks amazing and the acting and directing are mostly good.
A lot of what can be pinpointed as bad might come from the source material and the fact that nothing will get resolved in the first third of any story. They forced it anyway because you need to have it. I forgot how much hi-jinx this company got into in the story.
Not saying it’s bad. Just saying that we have to power through 9 hours total before we can give it a fair shake. Let you know in a couple years.
I started playing Toys’R'Us Towers just like they are assuming most people will start: with the promise of actual coupons to Toys’R'Us. I was not surprised to find it played exactly like SimCity Social, even into recycling some of their icons for materials, except the play grid and day cycling is like SimTower. So Ubisoft ripped off two games to make this one, and I’ll play, because I might irregularly get some coupons to buy toys I don’t need at a store I don’t normally go to.
For a more comprehensive review, check out any other social game review.
Nintendo Land contains 12 sets of minigames (13 if you count the prize generator). Each set is based on an established (or peripherally established) franchise from Nintendo: Mario Bros, Luigi’s Mansion, Metroid, Animal Crossing, F-Zero, Game & Watch, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pikmin, Takamaru, Balloon Fight, and Yoshi. Just like Wii Sports, it is an excellent tech demo for what the system can do, if you like using the tablet half the time. The real shining point of this system is probably the games that can be played with 5 people, but we haven’t gotten five people in the house yet to play. So Animal Crossing, Mario, and Luigi were undertested.
The big standouts here are Metroid, Legend of Zelda, and Takamaru Ninja Castle for either their teamwork or their awesome visuals or both. Metroid is a shooter, Zelda is a hack and slash mixed with a shooter, and Takamaru is a rails shooter. Some of the controls are confusing, especially for Metroid where you have to control 3 dimensions on two sticks, but if you get used to it can be a lot of fun. Definitely recommend you play with a friend, but you are going to need Wii Motion Plus to play along.
Nintendo Land seems like the game you have to have in your collection because it’s automatically a party game and is meant to be played that way. The solo games are nice, but are somewhat similar to what you can play on your phone already. If you can get 5 friends and 4 Wii Motion Plus controllers, you need to try this game.