Thursday, February 21, 2008

Playing Today: Nothing

Dear Blog (because if I had readers I'd be writing to them),

Sorry that you have been neglected recently. I am busy with life and might need a break for a while. It's me, not you. I'm sorry to say this. But, at least we can remain friends.



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Playing This Weekend: Poker Smash, Crystal Quest

Poker Smash continues to dominate my game time. This game continues to show subtle complexities each time I play - and the multiplayer is especially fun. I expect that this game will see quite a future ahead of it, including eventual ports to PSP and DS. Count on it.

The new multiplier system of Crystal Quest changes the game a bit but didn't floor me with new found fun. The tweak is a notable reason to give the game another look - but not a reason to convince you to buy.

Finally received Culdcept Saga in the mail. Haven't played yet - but I will soon enough.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Playing Today: Poker Smash

Not much to account for the past two days. Except for the fact that I played Poker Smash on my XBOX 360. This puzzle game (aka Tetris clone) is pretty funny and fascinating. It doesn't require a working grasp of poker just the ability to match colors and letters. I've just touched on the surface and I enjoy it so far. Here's to hoping multiplayer is as fun as I think it will be!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Playing This Weekend: The Orange Box, Burnout Revenge, Burnout Legends, Rock Band

Still working on taking down Half-Life 2. One, maybe two more levels to go. I definitely like the story and can't wait to play some of Episode 1.

I spent some more time playing Burnout Revenge and Burnout Legends. Mostly, I played the road rage mode online; Revenge still has a pretty active community of players. Perhaps I will need to try Burnout Paradise.

We played more Rock Band. No new tunes just more world tour action. I tried my hand at three finger playing and played some songs on Hard difficulty. I even took down my first Expert song on Guitar.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Playing Today: Burnout Revenge, Frogger, Rez HD, Chessmaster

It has been quite a retro experience that past couple of days. I have jumped back into Burnout Revenge with fervor. This game is definitely one of the most reliable good times on the XBOX 360. I didn't spend a ton of time with the online mode when the game initially released - probably because I was too preoccupied with Achievements. Also, with the legions of hardcore gamers moving to Burnout Paradise, the matches seem more laid back. No more screaming kids or cussing hillbillies.

In Frogger I finally completed the third stage! I've been sporadically trying to do this for months now and am excited to finally see some progress. Now on to level 4!

I tried the demos of Rez HD and Chessmaster. Rez is interesting and will probably be a purchase in the near future. I've always stunk at Chess and Chessmaster is no different. End of story.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Playing This Weekend: Burnout Legends, Super Mario Land, Call of Duty 4, The Orange Box, Lumines, Lost Planet

I achieved a couple of milestones this weekend. I completed the single player storyline of Call of Duty 4. I sold Halo 3. I played Burnout Legends and rekindled my love of speed. And I picked up Half-Life 2 again.

I finally wrapped up Call of Duty 4 and really enjoyed the experience. While playing on normal difficulty, I found that the game wasn't incredibly hard. The experience is more akin to an interactive movie than a game. That's fine because I know that the harder difficulties add that aspect and there's never-ending multiplayer gameplay available.

I sold Halo 3. The game has been sitting on a shelf alone for weeks now and I didn't expect that to change any time soon. Perhaps if new single player modes are added I might pick it back up. For now it is time to move on.

I cracked open The Orange Box for some more Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 goodness. TF2 is a great fun multiplayer experience kind of like Halo-lite. It has the complexity of a high end game without the seriousness. I think making the game look like a Looney Tunes cartoon helps.

In regards to Half-Life 2, I've kind of lost grasp on the story but the game continues to give me chills. I've reached a prison area that even in daylight is creepy. I can't have a whole lot more to play - so, at least I have Chapters 1, 2, and 3 to look forward to.

Lost Planet received some multiplayer face time. I played two games, one of which was over in nearly 30 seconds. I wish I had more time to invest in this game, but like Halo 3, I think it is time to move on. Lost Planet wound up being a far better experience than my earlier impression - however, nowhere near as fun as the demo lead me to believe.

Two retro games I plugged in were Burnout Legends for the PSP and Super Mario Land. Burnout Legends is a great game for the PSP and in my top 3 games on that system. It takes all of the great levels I played in Burnout 2 & 3 and condenses them on a tiny UMD disc.

In retrospect I have fonder memories from playing Super Mario Land than from Super Mario 3. Each game brought more complexity to the simple Mario design. However, Super Mario Land had so much to do that I could play it for quite a long time without feeling repetitive. Nintendo took a lot of bold leaps with the game and most worked out in the long run. I love playing this game again on the Wii and look forward to playing Super Mario Land 2 if it ever comes out on Virtual Console.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Playing Today: Devil May Cry 4, Virtua Fighter 5, Lumines, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

Today was a day with plenty of Demo action. I tried out Virtua Fighter 5, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, and Devil May Cry 4. I hadn't played a Virtua Fighter game in 6 or 7 years - since it was in the arcade. The controls seemed stiff, but I think they are meant to be that way. And perhaps that was just for the character I was playing. The graphics looked pretty good and I didn't hate the game. My problem is that the fighter genre seems to have run its course for now. Maybe Street Fighter IV will change that.

Turning Point was better than I expected. While I found the game to be buggy - it was not as awful as some of the low rung FPS titles. Perhaps this is one of those sleeper hits that gets better with the sequel. Or maybe the demo is just good enough to sell games and the real game is a mess.

Finally, I played Devil May Cry 4. I'd never played a Devil May Cry title before. I had high expectations that weren't met with this demo. I didn't get enough story and wasn't sold on why some of the enemies were and acted how they did. The game was pretty and gameplay was tight. However, give me some reason to want to play.