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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Double dipping my wallet? Shame on you Activision!

I just read an article that confirms that Activision is going to offer a 'subscription based service' for Call of Duty called 'Elite.' Details are sketchy on exactly what you will get if you are Elite but they murmured something about map packs and extras.

So let me get this straight...if you are a Modern Warfare 3 player on the Xbox Live service, you not only get to pay for Xbox Live but now you get to pay for Elite too if you want access to maps and better weapons? Seriously? This also seems to mean that if you do not pay for the Elite service you will be handicapped in the game by your inferior weapons and load out options. So basically, pay or be completely annihilated until you finally get a decent load out but you still can't have the other maps. PS3 users won't feel the pain as much since the PSN is free and it should be back up by the November release. (I still love you Sony)

Of course Activision is quick to point out that multiplayer will still be free. Wow. Just wow. They haven't said how much it will cost but hey, will it really be worth it to pay $60 a yr for XBL and then this monthly fee? They aren't "worried about a pushback from gamers." They should be.

I was on the fence about buying this game as it was, now I am thinking I am definitely going to skip this mess. Let me recommend Battlefield 3 as an option. The Battlefield games are pretty solid and tons of fun to play. Oh and it hasn't announced a subscription fee.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 information has been taking over the internet. The excitement over the release date being announced amused me. Really? Were we really surprised that it will be released around Veteran's Day this year? I mean hasn't every other COD game been released around Veteran's Day...every year or did I miss something. I knew 8 months ago it when it was being released. I guess I should have told the industry and not kept it a secret. So this will be the first edition for Sledgehammer and Raven. It supposed to be picking up the storyline right were Modern Warfare 2 left off.

I will be honest, I am not sure how I feel about this one. Modern Warfare 2 was such a complete and total letdown for me. The campaign was short, easy and mediocre. The story left me unfulfilled and I was kind of bored. Play it on Veteran you say? I did. Still too easy. Then the multiplayer was such a failure and it took Infinity Ward forever to fix it. I never made it past the first prestige and left it to play Battlefield Bad Company 2. Usually we try to buy 2 copies of the COD games at release so the husband and I can play together but I think I am going to wait. I'll order one copy and if it doesn't turn out to be a waste of money, I'll grab another copy. No I do not split screen if I do not have to. I am stingy. I like having my whole TV to myself. Hey, I am nice enough to give the husband the TV in the living room and I play in the bedroom. He gets the bigger TV.

Bits and pieces

Some random things I have seen across the 'net today since I have been way too swamped with work to actually play. Okay I snuck in some rounds of Bejeweled Blitz while trying to get the baby to sleep last night. That doesn't count!

Let's start with Alice. My friends over at SFX-360 posted some video of the new Alice: Madness Returns gameplay. I will agree with them that it does look like Dante's Inferno meets Devil May Cry but I have high hopes it will be much better. I do have a soft spot for Alice since playing the first one on the PC many moons ago. I admit I like odd games as well as dark ones. If you can combine them both, I am a very happy girl. My fear is that transitioning a PC game to console like this, especially one as old as Alice, might take away from of immersive experience of the original. Of course I am still getting it and I will totally be downloading the free copy of the original Alice from EA. The frosting on a very tasty cake.

I checked out some extended gameplay of Dead Island as well. It's first person, ala Left 4 Dead, and there will be missions. The missions seem to be received in a similar fashion as the Fallout ones. Basically you find someone to talk to and you get a mission from them. I can't tell if you can choose to do them or not, or if it is more linear and you are required to do all the missions. Granted, I tend to do all missions anyway but it's nice to have a choice. Again, this is a game that is on my radar and I look forward to seeing more. Probably will at E3.

E3? Yes, E3 is right around the corner and I will be glued to the 'net and my TV gleaning as much information as I can about everything I find important. I will be watching for the Wii 2 announcement too. The rumor of a "pad" based controller has my intrigued. Please E3 give me more information on Uncharted 3 and Mass Effect 3.

Portal 2 is due for some DLC I hear. Of course it's "due out this summer" but that could be Valve time and not real people time. I hope the PSN is back up and running completely before then for my PS3 brethren. The DLC will be FREE!

So speaking of Uncharted 3, let's talk about the movie. Fans, our prayers have been answered...Mark Wahlberg is out as Nathan Drake. I think he is a talented actor but just not right for the part. Now where is Nathan Fillion? He is the ultimate Nathan Drake. David O. Russel is also out as director and though he is a gifted director, the family dynamic comments really turn me off. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect a movie to be exactly like the game I love but I do expect the movie to stay true the the game characters and feel. I hope they don't get THAT director that is infamous for his rotten game movies.

There is going to be a new Deathspank game and a new 'Splosion Man as well. Okay it'll be Ms.'Splosion Man but you get the idea. The Deathspank games are quirky and fun. The humor is decidedly adult and he is definitely the clueless hero. They aren't easy games though. They will challenge you. Trust me. I am stuck right now. Stupid giant monsters that kill me. 'Splosion Man is just simple fun with a character that seems like he's had too much sugar. It'll work your brain and offer some frustration.

I really think people should check out the arcade games on the consoles. Sure there are hundreds and many aren't worth downloading but there really are some gems that are worth spending the money or points for. Most have demos so you can try before you buy.

The PSN is partially up now. The store was still not open as of a couple of days ago. Hopefully it will be up soon. I am standing behind Sony and I think they have handled everything well. They have offered information and the welcome back package is impressive. I hope they recover and people will not abandon them. The PS3 is a great system and now that they retooled Home, it's a much better experience as well. I have been having fun visiting the different areas and earning free junk for my apartment and avatar.

The newest trending gaming seems to be the F2P games. F2P is free to play for those that might no know. This is supposed to offer a way for people to play online multiplayer games for free with the option to spend money for better items or upgrades in the game. This appears like a great idea on the surface and it might be in some games but in others, it is a nightmare for those that choose to not pay. Let's take Battlefield. I jumped into their F2P game and wow, if you don't buy the upgrades, you don't even have a chance. You will be mowed down by people that have bought the best of everything. I couldn't even get out of my team's spawn and didn't stay alive for more than a couple of seconds. Needless to say, I haven't really been back. I don't mind a challenge or some frustration but I hate not having fun. There is a point when frustration stops being fun.
I have recently discovered that people actually read this blog. I knew Blake did, but there are others. I am flattered and thank you very much for plowing through my ramblings. I don't consider myself an expert by any means. I am just a gamer sharing my hobby and passion. Please keep reading and feel free to point me to other games you think I might like or should try out.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I wanna play! Free Portal 2 stuff

Summer is fast approaching and I am finding I have less and less time to play. I want to play! I am still excited about Alice and I can't wait to play it.

I do have a very long list of games I need to finish. I should try making a chart and detailing what I will play, when and how long. Yeah, right.

I have been watching the L.A. Noir reviews pretty closely and I am thinking I may have to grab this on the cheap somewhere. Maybe find a used copy. It look interesting, like Heavy Rain interesting.

On the official Portal 2 website they have the first volume of the Portal 2 soundtrack available as a free download as well as ringtones for Android and iPhone.

http://www.thinkwithportals.com/

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lego Pirates! Free Alice: Madness Returns Apple app

Argghhhh matey!

I broke down and grabbed this title. I was given a very good deal so I couldn't pass it up. I even got the little Lego Captain Jack. *big cheesy, geek grin*

I had a rotten day yesterday. Basically, one of the companies I was doing work for, and blessed me with more free time, folded without notice. So I am back to the all day computer grind. Since my whole day was a bust, I decided to give Lego Pirates of the Caribbean a whirl.

Boy am I glad I did. I think this has to be one of the more entertaining Lego games to date. They did not make the story levels ridiculously long, I think they took a lesson from the Star Wars ones, but just long enough to get a feel for each story. They added harder puzzles and the ability to co-op without having to be right next to your partner at all times. No more getting stuck in place waiting for your partner. The screen with actually drop into a split screen and you and your partner can be in two different areas at once. This is completely needed to solve some of the more complex puzzles.

They managed to get Cpt. Jack's run down too. The stylized Lego humor is ever present and of course, Legos never get old. Think about how much time we all spent as kids building stuff and then breaking it apart. I know I used to tick my mom off with my Legos. I'd have them all out and she'd step on one. They don't make the gigantic boxes of various sized Legos anymore. Too bad.

You can swim underwater in this game too but there is an air limit unless you buy the "breath underwater" hat. However, be careful getting outside the safe zone. I was swallowed by a shark. Changing between characters is easier too. You don't have to sit there and hit Y (Xbox 360) until you find the character you want or be standing right next to them, you can hold down Y and use a wheel to choose the one you need. There is a new "compass" option which will show you hidden objects to find or objects you need. It's pretty sweet.

Now I admit to having a geeky love for Lego games so maybe I am biased. I do think this is completely worth owning and playing. I still haven't finished Indiana Jones 2 nor have I bought Star Wars 3 so I am not a total pushover for Lego games.

On a side note, if you are geek'd out over the Alice sequel like I am there is a free iTunes app you can get. It's an interactive story for Alice. Just search iTunes under Alice: Madness Returns and you will find it. Yes I pre-ordered this and yes, I will be getting at launch. Hopefully I will have some free time to play it.

I need a decent paying work-from-home job so if you know of any, let me know. *wry smile*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Prey 2 and the rebirth of text based games

Well it is about friggin' time! Prey was an Xbox 360 release game and completely under appreciated by gamers. It was a fantastic game and I still recommend playing it to anyone that hasn't yet. For years now, I have said that Prey needed a sequel if it could be done right. The end of Prey really left you hanging.

I read GameInformer and guess what I saw, a blurb about Prey 2. This is due for release sometime in 2012, barring any delays which seem to be standard procedure nowadays. I am excited but I am also skeptical. I mean it has been years now and how is that going to effect the game development. Where exactly is the story going?

On a nostalgic note, some of the kids in my house are enthralled with Zork. Thank you Treyarch for breathing life into this type of gaming. I played Zork back when it was new. It is fantastic seeing a new generation getting as excited about a text based, as excited as I was when I first played it. It's hysterical too. Of course I had to tell them how to play it. This is a generation that is used to having pictures and they were just lost without them. They did manage to earn 344 out of 350 points. Now they are wracking their brains trying to decide what they might have missed.

I wish I could find some of the old games I played. I think they'd like them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gears of War 3 beta

I managed to get a Gears of War 3 beta code, don't ask me how because I was just as surprised as you are, and I have played around a bit with it. Let's face it, the Epic crew doesn't make beta codes as exclusive as they say they will be.

I have a couple of gripes. Shocked aren't you? First, they still haven't fixed that ever-so-annoying instant shotgun death by somersaulting. There is nothing worse than laying bullets into someone just to have the roll into you and kill you with a head shot with the shotgun. Really makes you wonder why anyone would use anything but the shotgun. It's so darn effective at close range and the lancers are so not effective at all.

Okay, gripe number 2, set spawn points. This bugs me with any multiplayer game that has it. People have already memorized where the 2 spawn points are on the maps that are available and just sit back, lobbing mortars and frag grenades into them, killing everyone just as they spawn. Sure if they get too close you will spawn at the other point but since there are only 2 points, you're pretty easy to find. Thank you Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Blacklight Tango Down for attempting to remedy this though your options are perfect yet.

I do like the progression bar for unlocks. Always nice to have it pop up to see where you are rather than having to go into a menu screen constantly to see what is left do it.

I had an okay Mother's Day and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean was released yesterday, but alas, I have not picked it up yet. I have too many bills and demands on my wallet to get it. Hopefully next week. It's amazing how much money seniors in high school cost.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pirates Lego and Mass Effect 3

Rawr Johnny Depp, even in Lego form. He is the one man that I'd forget I was married for. *drool*

Anyway, Sunday is Mother's Day and Pirates of the Caribbean Lego comes out Tuesday. I do want this. I can't help the fact I love those simple little Lego games. My 4 year old loves them too.

I am saving my pennies for other games due out this year too like Alice: Madness Returns, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, the new Assassin's Creed Revelations and pretty much and DLC for the games I already own.

Did you notice Mass Effect 3 wasn't there? *sniffle* BioWare has broken my heart and delayed release until "early 2012." Now I have to wait longer. Oh and my copy of the last Mass Effect Evolution #4 comic came in the mail but my lovely husband doesn't know what he did with it. *le sigh*