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More vidya —

I needed a news post and figured I’d do some more video game reviews.

The first game I finished was Alice: Madness Returns. I picked it up on the cheap during the Steam Summer sales and figured it was worth a shot. Overall it’s an alright platformer, but if you can’t just enjoy the nice visuals and environments you probably won’t enjoy it. If you can get it for cheap I’d do so. I do have a few gripes with it, however. First of all, it can really feel like a console port at times. I didn’t even have a controller plugged in when I took this. It’s also got a lock-on mechanism that really isn’t necessary when playing with a mouse and keyboard, but they kinda force you to use it because there’s game mechanics you can only use while locked on. The mouse smoothing or whatever they used can be annoying. It works fine for the platforming parts, but it’s really hard to use with the over-the-shoulder aiming, so that also pushes the lock-on. Secondly, the game can get a bit repetitive at times. There’s parts where they have you do this, and then that, and the other thing, without ever giving a story reason why you’re doing these. If they just added some sort of story or motivation to make me want to do these repetitive parts over and over again that’d be nice. Thirdly, there’s no boss fights. It never really came to my mind how important boss fights are, but there were parts where it would have been nice to break up the monotony. There’s mini-boss type fights where you fight a new enemy for the first time, but then when you have to kill them again and again it loses it’s luster. It also teases you with the prospect of boss fights. There’s a part where it’s like GIANT ROBOT BOSS FIGHT TIME, only to have a plot device kill it for you. The game had a really good end of game boss fight, I just wonder why they didn’t do a few more of those.

Ok now for what I liked about the game. First off, it has a really nice art direction and styling. Every chapter has a distinct style for the environments and they all look amazing. This can help make up for the lackluster game play, so if you can’t just sit back and enjoy the surroundings you probably won’t enjoy this. The hack-and-slash fighting was alright, but I have some gripes with it that I posted above. Some people complained that the quadruple jump mechanic led to rather sparse and open levels, but I think they did a good job with it in most places. The game makes rather extensive use of PhysX technology. Apart from killing the framerate on my 9800 GTX it really adds a lot to the game, and I wonder why more games don’t take advantage of it. The overarching storyline for the game was great, but I think they could have hemmed it up a bit. It has some more subtle dark moments, and I think they could have emphasized these without entering ‘omg so edgy grimdark’ territory. It leads to you feeling a bit of sympathy for Alice’s plight, and by the end you get to understand the return of the titular madness. This also led to the good overworld parts in Victorian London, I think they should have done some more of these. Lastly I feel I need to mention the hair. The PhysX combined with the jumping/wind mechanics gives Alice the best hair I’ve ever seen in any video game. Buy it just for the hair.

I also got Saint’s Row: The Third with all the DLC for super cheap during the Summer sale. I’ve played it a bit with my friend Craze and it’s pretty nice, I’ve got to get around to finishing it here someday. I definitely like it better than GTA IV, which I got during the previous Summer sale.

My brother introduced me to Blacklight: Retribution. For a free-to-play FPS its pretty good and it definitely has it’s moments, and the amount of customization you can do is insane and awesome. My big gripe with it is how pay to win it is. You earn ingame currency to spend on equipment and items, but you only buy them for a short period of time, 1 day or 1 week. To buy it permanently requires an insane amount of money, or a small sum of real cash. There’s also no real endgame, once you reach the higher levels after a few days it stagnates. It is in beta though, so I’ll have to see how it pans out. For free, I’d recommend trying it out. Oh also it has a built in wallhack-like mechanic, which means no gay camping snipers.

I also got DCS A-10C in the Steam Summer sales. The only problem my computer sucks, and it’s not really designed for Windows XP 32 bit. It takes quite a bit of jimmying to get it to work, to the point where I have to boot with the /3GB boot flag, which for some reason breaks most other games so I haven’t played it much. It seems like it should be cool but I can’t give it a proper review.

Lastly is Super Monday Night Combat. It’s pretty good for a game or two, and for the price I’d pick it up. It hits that nice medium of a DOTA-like game and an FPS that I really like. I don’t really have much to say for it, pick it up and give it a go, see if you like it.

Oh I also want to retract my previous statements on Killing Floor. I don’t know what happened, it’s grown on me. Turns out it’s a decent game and can be fun. Still feels like Left 4 Dead made by British hobos though.

Last month I went to a yearly LAN put on by a friend of mine. Apart from the long-ass drive and shady forest dirt road it was amazing. I think at the peak we had 25-ish computers there, all crammed into his awesome basement. We ordered 10 pizzas. There was tons of vidya. There was also lots of notvidya. Can’t really remember all the games we played but here’s a picture.

I’ve been wanting to upgrade my computer but I’m in a jam. I have the money to upgrade, probably my video card, but doing so would mean more video card memory. This would push down the amount of system memory available because I’m on a 32-bit OS. I have 2 basis options: upgrade to Windows 7, or install Windows XP 64-bit. Both don’t seem that attractive. Maybe I’ll go for a Windows Server OS, who knows. But for now I’m sticking with glorious 9800 GTX master race.

Recently I got a Bushmaster XM15 E2S in 7.62x39mm as a gift. I’ve taken it out shooting a few times and I’m in love with it.

And just moments ago I finished watching 5 Centimeters Per Second, once again at the suggeston of /r9k/. I normally don’t watch anime but this was OK. I really didn’t get all the feels they were talking about in the thread though, maybe I just can’t relate.

Oh also I’ve been playing EVE Online as usual, some fun stuff going on there, my friend Fredstonemason resubscribed, that’s cool.

OK no more wall of text, I’m done.