Wholly Schmidt

Motorstorm Apocalpyse: “They can’t all be winners”

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My planes, trains, and automobiles screenshot was going to be even better, but like much of Motorstorm, it’s a cool idea with a lousy execution. I love it when games let you take your own screenshots, but Motorstorm cripples the feature by failing to include a replay mode. That cool thing that happens on lap three? Good luck anticipating it on your first time through the course and then pausing it at just the right moment to capture it, and you can just forget about commemorating those serendipitous moments that you can’t plan for or recreate at all.

After the break, I try to figure out of the trade-in value of Motorstorm will get me a copy of Split/Second. Continue reading →

Motorstorm Apocalypse: you can’t play online

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That’s me in the corner of the screenshot. That’s a sad, empty, starting grid in the rest of the screenshot.

Jerry put it well Monday on Penny-Arcade: “Even as a satirist, there’s no savor in the [PlayStation Network] story anymore.” There’s nothing new to say. The PlayStation Network has been offline for almost three weeks. The jokes have been made, the questions were raised, answered, then the answers were questioned. If you look hard enough, there’s probably still some fascinating coverage. If you don’t, there’s a lot of anger. Anger at the hackers that took down Sony’s multiplayer service, anger at Sony’s mishandling of the situation (perceived and otherwise), anger at each other for being too angry or not angry enough. So I don’t have any gag headline for you (“more like PlayStation NOTwork!”), it’s just a sad situation. Not pathetic-sad, just regular sad. It’s not Motorstorm’s fault, it’s just the hand they were dealt. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, because the best shot this game had for holding my attention isn’t available to me. Everyone loses.

After the break, I give the multiplayer my best shot anyway Continue reading →

Motorstorm Apocalypse: “You’re gonna get some hop-ons”

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I hope no one ran out and bought Motorstorm over the weekend because of all the nice things I said about the courses in my last entry. It’s actually become a bit of a chore to play at this point, but maybe I just need a break. So today I’m not going to tell you about how frustrating it gets to repeat the same race half a dozen times with no sense of what you’re doing wrong, how to improve, or any alternative if you want to make progress.

Instead, after the jump I’m going to talk about that guy clinging to the side of my car, and maybe Amped 3. Continue reading →

Motorstorm Apocalypse: waves of mutilation

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Credit where credit is due: I’m supposed to write clever headlines for my diary entries, and instead I’m lifting this one straight out of the game. It’s the name of the course in the picture above, the one with the ferris wheel coming unhinged in the middle of a tornado ripping the boardwalk out from under my tires. I’ve got some problems with the presentation in Motorstorm, but borrowing a Pixies track isn’t one of them.

My focus so far is the single player campaign, and without much choice in how it unfolds, I haven’t had a reason to look ahead to what courses are coming up next. I did look at some of my stats though, and as I glanced at my course standings, the thumbnail for Waves of Mutilation caught my eye immediately. An offshore tornado? How could that go wrong? Sign me up!

But after the break, I’ll tell you why it’s only my second favorite course so far. Continue reading →

Motorstorm Apocalypse: tunnel vision

, | Game diaries

I’m new to the Motorstorm franchise. In fact, I’m still new to playing games on the PlayStation 3. I won’t waste time with any commentary on the console wars, but my first hour of Motorstorm Apocalypse was actually an hour of turning my house inside-out, trying to remember what the cable to charge a PlayStation controller looks like, and what junk drawer I stuck it in. So as I’m jumping into a new franchise on a still-feels-new-to-me console, I’m trying not to let my expectations color my experience too much. That isn’t working.

After the break, what I expect is exactly the kind of racing game this isn’t Continue reading →