Meanwhile… we’ve actually been playing games. Each week we recap our recent gaming experiences and tell you what we’re looking forward to, so you can use your time more wisely than we have. This week JP is back and admits his insanity by trying to finish the poorest of fantasies. While Cole is still stuck on the same games from last week, everyone else has moved on. Except for Gifford, he’s just reading.
Downloaded the demo for Section 8: Prejudice and plan on making it a full purchase sooner than later (as long as my Horrible Night brethern buy in as well, Horrible All Nighter?) The game is chaotic as a hell and I love it. It kind of reminds me of Super Smash Brothers in the sense that being an expert doesn’t guarantee victory as there is so much crazy crap going on at once. I love rocketing to Earth instead of the normal materiliazation of most spawn points and at $15.00 you can’t beat the price.
For some reason I also felt compelled to play Peggle Extreme (which is a free version of Peggle Deluxe) and had a bit of fun messing around with that game. It seems like my attention span for large scale games shortened after finishing Fallout: New Vegas and puzzlers/ browser games have arrived to fill the void. Peggle is a lot of fun though, and while frustrating at times I like not being in complete control of my balls (pun intended?)
No. I am not. Moving on.
Ok, but seriously: I need to practice MLB 2K11. A lot. I need to get into Beyond Good and Evil (HD). I still haven’t played Bionic Commando: Rearmed, which I downloaded months ago. I just discovered the time-suck of Vudu on my BluRay player, still haven’t completed round 4 of ME2 (although I got some hours in this weekend), and am going to give Section 8: Prejudice a shot and see if that keeps me from breaking down and playing Crysis 2 because I had a lot of fun with that at the Net Heads Horrible Night Out. Oh, yeah. And X-COM has been calling my name since I’ve been ignoring it on my PC to finish the third book in George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series, which is like 1,000 pages, on my Kindle App.
Hard to argue with such a good gaming lineup from last week, I think I’ll do more of the same this week. I’ve decided to focus on beating the Portal 2 single player campaign so I can avoid avoiding spoilers. I’ve played a few hours so far, and it really is as good, smart, and entertaining as they say. Another amazingly polished experience from Valve. I think my favorite part about playing Portal is that you have to adjust your brain to “Portal mode” whenever you play. You have to think differently than when you are playing just about any other game. Which led to my problem of switching between Portal 2 and the other games on my list. I played another dozen rounds or so of the Gears of War 3 beta, while I love it, and it is Gears, I do not recommend playing it after Portal 2. My brain just couldn’t handle it, I got smoked, and the speed/chaos was just grating after pretty much experiencing gaming nirvana.
The other highlight on my list was Mortal Kombat. I’m saving my thoughts for a reflex review later in the week, but let’s just say if you were worried about holding off on this game until you had friends to play against, don’t. It’s the most fully featured fighting game I have ever played and the story mode is awesome. Ya, I said story mode.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP hit the iPhone this week. I’m happy to report I do not need to pick up an iPad for this one. The game is just as amazing as Alex has described, but I do not feel the experience has been compromised by playing on the smaller screen. I’ve only played an hour or two, but I’m adventuring quite comfortably on the phone and the rest of your senses are taken care of by the art style and amazing music/sound design.
To say that I have been playing MLB2K11 lately would be redundant. I am ready for the online league to start so I can make my baseball dominance known. As far as consoles go, I have decided that I would like to try and finish some games sitting around on my shelf. First on the list has been Final Fantasy XIII. At times I really like the game, and at other times I can’t stand it. First off the story is so damned confusing, yet predictable. I would try and attempt to explain anything from the story, but my head might explode. The main story arc isn’t nearly as straight forward as some other FF titles. All you really need to know that is maybe one character is memorable (Lightning) and that is because she is a total bad ass. Most of the other characters are boring, douchy, complainers, or just plain annoying. Another thing that I sometimes take issue with is the battle system. At times I feel as if I’m not doing anything. My dogs could be successful at the normal battles found throughout the game. Some of the longer boss battles are very challenging and force you to think and put together a strategy. Thought and strategy has always been the fun in an FF title for me. I do like that most JRPG’s are running their battles in real time, yet this one doesn’t work as well at times as say a Chrono Trigger. The flow of each battle is almost too easy. I am sure that I will eventually finish Final Fantasy XIII, but I don’t think I will rush out to pick up XIII-2.
Another title that has really caught a lot of my attention since my last visit to Meanwhile … has been Puzzle Quest 2. I bought it on the iTunes app store for 5 dollars (on sale). I picked it up after seeing images of the StarCraft puzzle mods (don’t ask me how my synapses fired on that one). It is a great value and is extremely entertaining. I like that each puzzle has a specific ending point and has the traditional back and forth of a JRPG. The story is very easy to follow and works really well with the touch controls. Most battles are short and make the game perfect for a waiting room or when you are just plain bored. I highly recommend picking this game up if it is still on sale. The app store price is half of what it is on XBLA and Steam.
Baseball season is in full swing and I finally started to get into it since I’ve begun a franchise in MLB 2K11. Despite some of the negative things I’ve said (i.e. it being ugly when compared to The Show), I’m having a lot of fun. With our upcoming online league, I”m sure the game will stand out among other baseball titles in the past as one of my favorites if this league is successful. I don’t even care if I win a game but I might break the disc if I don’t.
Other than baseball, I jumped back into Portal for some of the challenge rooms and they are as advertised: challenging. I think I made it through the first 6 before I had to stop before my tired brain totally crapped out on me. That being said, the rooms are a lot of fun and anytime you can have more Portal in your life is a good thing.
Meanwhile… What Have You Been Playing?
Giant Bomb (images)