Thursday, October 28, 2004

"The Turd Age"... Wait For It

So Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is out, and I'm supposed to be really excited about it. To an extent, I am. I'm certain that at some point in the future I'll own this game, and probably have a lot of fun with it. So why can't I muster up the same sort of excitement for this title that everyone else in the entire world seems to have?

Argument number one would be Monster Hunter. I still have yet to play anything other that what I described in the last post. The way my brain is wired right now, if there are no huge dragons to take down, or if I can't at least carve up a kill for new equipment, I have no interest in it. As a side note, kill carving(to a certain extent) could be pretty cool in a GTA game. Instead of having to buy clothes, you just kill somebody and you look like them from now on. Anyway...

Argument two would be the games coming out next Tuesday which may not have the mass appeal of GTA, are certainly a bigger deal in my book. Stuff like Killzone, and Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age. Killzone may kill zones, but it's not gonna kill Halo 2, no matter which is actually the better game. The latter simply has too much of a hype whirlwind built up around it to ever hit the ground at this point. Hell, there's no way Killzone is going to kill GTA: SA or anything else for that matter. It could be the best game ever created, and I can think of more titles than you can count with both hands that would probably out-sell it anyway.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age is somewhat of an interesting subject to me being both a PS2 owner and a GBA owner. The game is coming out for both platforms(as well as those "other" two consoles) but the console game and it's handheld counterpart are entirely different. The console version is a pretty standard turn-based RPG, while the GBA version is more of a tactics style of game, which makes a lot of sense seeing how well games of that ilk fare in that medium. How good either will actually be remains to be seen, but I'm sure that those of us who always thought the games would be better as RPGs are certainly anxious to see how it all turns out. For my own sake, I hope they do well, or else we'll all be hearing a lot of "The Turd Age" jokes.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Yeah, I Went Back In Time... So What?

I've got to admit it: Since purchasing Monster Hunter a few weeks ago, I've messed around with the Full Spectrum Warrior demo once, and I think I played one round of Hot Shots Golf: Fore. That's it. Beyond that, my game-related time has been spent exclusively with Monster Hunter.

Want to know something else? I've barely played it online. My Hunters Rank is only 03, and that came from soloing all the quests I thought I could solo(which I did, successfully, by the way). That's right, I haven't played with any other people yet. Why, you ask? Well, I don't have a USB keyboard and trying to type with the built-in software keyboard is somewhat akin to trying to play a flute behind your back; it just can't work. That aside, I can also see how putting down a controller to type "Help!" while being raped by a giant dragon can be particularly cumbersome. I've found a solution to my problem in the form of the Nyko iType2 controller, which is more or less a standard PS2 controller with a baby keyboard sitting on it's face.

I can't tell you my thoughts on said controller yet, as it hasn't yet arrived. I'm sure it'll take a little time to get used to typing with my thumbs(guess whose never used a PDA), but it's got to be better than balancing a keyboard on my lap while the cable from the controller continually hits the F4 key.

By the way, if you don't understand the title, don't try to figure it out. If you do... um, sorry.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Gold Plated Turds Part 2: That Made No Sense

With the slew of new games that are supposed to be arriving in the next six months or so, and the respective hubbub surrounding each of the larger titles, I find myself more than a little bit surprised at how indifferent I am regarding most of them.

As I mentioned back around E3, most of the games that I'd be interested in picking up this year are sequels with colons in the title - Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, FarCry: Instincts, Call Of Duty: Finest Hour, LOTR: The Third Age, and GTA: San Andreas are just a few. In fact, the only two games I can think of off the top of my heads that don't fit in the above sentence are Killzone and Oddworld Stranger(which is a sequel and might as well have a colon in it's name). All of these games, albeit some more than others, seem like they'll be pretty fun to play, but do we really need so many sequels? Jeez, even this post is a fucking sequel. In an age where every game, no matter how worthy, turns into a franchise how are we supposed to know what's really worth it anymore?

By now, you might have caught on to the fact that I haven't played anything new this week - hence the rambling sequel to a post about sequels. Honestly, I've been too busy with Monster Hunter. I did manage to download the Dark Horizons: Lore Demo, but I haven't yet found a chance to actually play it. Maybe you can find the time to - I know it's built on the Torque Engine(the same one that Legends uses), and that it's a sort of mech-combat game with a persistent universe, giving it a very MMO feel. I might have something on that next week, but we all know how I work by now.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Once I know all, I can be at peace.

I downloaded the Full Spectrum Warrior PC demo this week and gave it a try. Overall, even though I have some wonky sound problems with it, I'm pretty impressed by the game.

What doesn't impress me is the fact that this is based on a tool used to train the U.S. military. I understand that changes have been made to make the game more friendly to the general public, but what crazy world do the designers live in when you are absolutely invincible as long as you're behind some kind of cover? There's that, and the fact that(as many reviewers have mentioned) the game often plays more as a puzzle game that a strategy game or "military simulator" or whatever the hell it calls itself. Stay behind cover, flank your enemy, and you've got a guaranteed key to success. Sure, those factors may be part of a good overall strategy, but it's nothing that's going to absolutely save your ass every time in a real life situation. But, anyway, it's pretty fun and if you haven't tried it but can, you should.

In other news, Monster Hunter still has a hearty grip on my life, and nothing really has a chance to shake it in the near future. Since I've finally taken it online a whole new world has opened up, and it's a world I'll not soon be leaving. Once I know all, I can be at peace. Until then...

Anyway, there are words that want to come out of me, I feel the need to somehow describe the wonder that one feels while exploring the world of Monster Hunter. I still have no way to translate the emotions that I feel while playing this game into words digestible by mere mortals who have not yet experienced the glory that is Monster Hunter. If only you could see those wondrous cat-like creatures gleefully robbing you blind, you would know the importance of what you'd just witnessed.