Saints Row 2 for me, with a brief break for more Fallout 3.
What's been your primary game this past month? It could be a recent title, a new discovery, or something from your backlog. It could be an old favorite or a new flame. What game defined April 2009?
Resident Evil 5. I have played, Resident Evil 1, 2, Code Veronica, and 4 (both on Gamecube and PS2), and I have completed exactly 0 of these games. I play for a bit, get bored, and move on. Every time a new one comes out, I think this time will be different and it will keep me engaged. As you can see, I even tried RE4 twice, to no avail. Sure, I downloaded the demo, but after playing the first mission where a huge guy comes in and whacks the shit out of me, I thought - OK, I don’t have to get this one.
Then I started hearing the positive buzz, which was drowning out the negative buzz. I played the second mission in the demo, which was a bit better, although I still got my ass handed to me by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. I also was hearing about the persistent inventory, which was especially articulated in Tom’s “review”:
And I must say - this is what makes the game fun. I fought through the campaign at normal level, taking a bit more than 11 hours, and then I worked on getting through the amateur level in less than 5. Knowing the level helps. Better guns helps. Infinite ammo helps. In chapter 6, taking down an überboss using only Dirty Harry’s magnum is a delight. I’ve played though twice, and I may play through again, because I really want to get that chaingun into Chris’ hands.Your first playthrough will be your most challenging, but it's the warm-up. You're dropped immediately into a village siege with nothing but a handgun. This might frustrate you. It's supposed to. You will remember this place. You will remember it well. Then you will return with a shotgun, an assault rifle or maybe a grenade launcher. You might bring all three. In time, this village siege will be a massacre. I'd argue this is the point of Resident Evil 5's gameplay: the return to really give these zombie jerks the what for.
I haven’t talked about co-op mostly because I’m just playing on my own. However, for the most part the partner AI has been quite good. I may even play through Veteran mode so that I can thank her for all the times she has healed me - I hear you get a trophy for that.
I've written too much on the subject, but let me end on this. I don’t think Resident Evil 5 is a classic. Once I get tired of it, it will probably get traded in towards some other digital candy. But for now, I gotta go shoot me some zombies.
Saints Row 2 for me, with a brief break for more Fallout 3.
Played zero games this month. Probably the first time in almost 30 years. Lots of poker.
Stone Soup and time-sinkage Facebook Games (Mafia Wars/Mousehunt/Tiny Adventures/Vikings-Pirates-Ninjas). What is my deal, yo?!?!?!
I've actually been playing a lot of EverQuest lately. I certainly wouldn't argue that it's a good game compared to everything else available now, but I'd been tired of WoW and was feeling both nostalgic and curious about all the new stuff.
It's definitely a much easier game now, with the merc to help you, 'defiant' items with crazy stats dropping like candy, out-of-combat regen, dying no longer leaving your items on your corpse, potions and AA skills covering other traditional needs, hotzone xp, and so on. It's like the designers have given up and said "Balance? Fuck it, after 10 years who cares anymore, go nuts."
A lot of the older content is still impenetrable, though. I can wander around and gawk at some of the zones from those expansions I missed, but progression deeper into them still really needs groups and/or raids, and there just aren't that many people still interested in the old stuff. I had to grit my teeth and blitz through the level 66-70 stretch as quickly as possible without any new spells since they're such a pain in the ass to get without anyone else to help out in the right zones. (From 71 on you can buy them at vendors, at least.)
But I'm still playing since my curiosity isn't satisfied just yet (I'm not quite caught up to the latest expansion), and I'm enjoying the risk and uncertainty of charm soloing in a way that WoW was never really able to replicate. Call me a masochist, but in some way I enjoy being deep into a hostile zone, desperately hoping that charm doesn't break as I finish off this enemy before that roamer starts heading back this way and oh shit here he comes...
I spent the bulk of my play time on Lotro and Fallout 3, with a few side excursions back into oblivion and Thief: The Dark Project.
Left 4 Dead
I went back to Warhawk this month. Still very fun (though it seems to have lost players now).
King Kong. Surprisingly, it didn't suck.
Sure, it's got awful balance. There are 39 missions in the jungle and only two or three short clunky ones in New York City. And yes, things get tedious in the back half, as you run around looking for fire to burn grass to get a peg to open a door for the fifteenth time, right after you kill yet another flock of flying bats. And sure, parts of the game feel dated. And sometimes things don't work as intended, like when a raptor gets stuck on a piece of grass and starts spinning around endlessly in circles. And it's short, which makes the tedium an even more remarkable achievement.
But parts of King Kong are spectacularly well done, and the game in its peak moments pulls you in to the action in a way that few games manage to achieve. The sound is astonishingly persuasive. It takes the definition of "roar" to another plane. The ambient noises, the heavy breathing when your character runs for a while, and the background music all pull you into the jungle environment. The humble yet functional interface is transparent to the point that the game fills your entire screen. No health bars or ammo rounds or buttons block your view and take you out of the scene. And while the graphics are dated on the whole, there are times where the jungle looks spectacular, and you can feel the humidity, grime, and terror. But the crowning achievement of this game—the one thing that makes it worthwhile—is the brilliant portrayals of the massive V-Rexes and Kong. It's hard to put a finger on what makes it work so well, but when one of those V-Rexes starts thundering after you, you can feel your whole body lock up in fear. These scenes make for some riveting spans of sheer gaming terror. It took me about eight hours to play the game through, and seven hours plus are completely forgettable. But one hour is absolutely unforgettable.
And for that hour I'll make King Kong my game for April.
Most of my time has been spent playing Space Rangers 2: Reboot which I downloaded through Impulse. The rest of my gaming time has consisted of mostly single player Demigod, with about a dozen LAN matches with and against my wife thrown in for good measure. I've stumbled into a few online games over the last several weeks, but I get pissed off when a kid calls me names and ragequits..
My wife and I have been gaming together for the last 11 or 12 years. We used to play lots of Age of Empires, Worms 2, Age of Wonders together before spending five years in EverQuest from 1999 to 2004. Since quitting EQ we haven't done as much gaming together because A) We haven't found many we enjoy together, and B) She played lots of WoW for a couple years. The last few games we enjoyed together were Titans Quest and several Wii games.
Because she was able to get aquainted with the action-rpg gameplay of Titan Quest and because she enjoyes Age of Empires and Warcraft 3 it made learning to play Demigod a pretty smooth transition for her. So we're looking forward to spending alot more time beating eachother up in game. We usually play 3vs3 with 2 AI on each team.
World of Warcraft.
It's rather sad, but Resident Evil 5 reminded me how much I enjoyed 4, so I went out and grabbed a used copy of the Wii version of 4 and played it all the way through this month.
Meanwhile, Sheva and Chris are waiting around in some ancient underground city hoping I come over and play with them sometime soon.
Warhammer Online. Got my guild up to level six, and my main and alt are half way through Tier 3.
RE5. Doesn't look good for this month changing either, seeing as how I still have plenty to explore in multiplayer on the xbox (which I have thoroughly completed as far as singleplayer and coop, but still continue to play with others who haven't), and have just started a new online coop campaign with a friend who bought the game this week on the PS3. Playing with none of my upgraded weapons and gear is exhilarating all over again in coop.
Have to go with Left 4 Dead. Maybe the UFC demo if that counts.
Single Player - Far Cry 2 yet again. Finally finished it this time. So it won't be May's Game of the Month.
Multiplayer (360) - Still Left 4 Dead.
Multiplayer (PC) - Still Supreme Commander
Monday Nights - Still laidback LOTRO w/ Qt3.
Evil Genius. At second island now.
Didn't like it when it first came out, but I love it now.
ARMA: Combat Operations - Almost done, looks like the last mission is next. I might have toned down the AI a bit but I'm not sure. Anyway fuck that Night Op mission where they want you to sneak into the base and blow up some tanks.
Drakensang - Just picked up.
April was all about me obsessing about playing Mount & Blade. Something about the combat combined with the RPG lite elements really grabbed me, and I played for about 2 weeks whenever I got the chance. Progression is very slow in the base game, though, so I got the Native Expansion mod, played it for several hours, then realized I was burnt out on medieval scheming and running dudes down with my horse.
I just picked up Assassin's Creed for $10 from Gamersgate and am really liking the freerunning.
I worked on my backlog in April, spending most of the time finishing Fable II. Great game, but the flaws were more apparent this time around. Then I went back to Liberty City in GTA IV, which is both as great and horrible as I remember. It's great just being in the game, but some of the missions are just plain awful. And especially when you have to do them over and over again. But the game itself is so good that I want to finish it this time, which should be possible since there are no new games on the horizon until Red Faction: Guerilla in June.
A bit Demigod, a bit of Braid, and replaying right now HL2 Ep 2.
I've been "free-gaming" it for April. Mybrutes, dinoparc, theHunter, and the Free Realms beta were about all I could get into in April.
I ended up playing a game I had no interest in even buying. Thanks to Tom and the multiple threads on it I decided to pick up Demigod and have had a lot of fun going through the tournaments with different characters. It's pretty nice to have for a quick 20 minutes of gaming before I have to go do something else. Kind of a nice change of pace for me since prior to this I'd been playing a lot of GTA (LATD & Chinatown) where most of my time was spent getting to objectives.
"Leisure Suit Larry": Box Office Bust (oh my god have you fallen Larry...)
It's like a car crash: Everyone is horrified but still everyone watches.
No idea how far in I am. No idea why I continue to play it. Ah well I played worse.
"Wanted: Weapons of Fate": hm ok game. Got some motion-sickness after a while though (head-bopping). I like games based on cover so yeah.
I'm in the final level.
"World of Warcraft": Ulduar. My thoughts are in the "What does 3.1 mean to you" thread and I got enough flames there so I won't say anything more about that game on QT3 for a while.
Started "Chrono Trigger" on the DS but had not much time to play.
Looks interesting so far.