Monday, April 09, 2007

2K7 Game-a-Week Week #14 - The rest of it and Spring Cleaning

Well, not much more to add. Been a busy week. I do want to say that after a few nights of Puzzle Quest my feeling toward the game has gone from mild out and out hate! While I do think the idea of putting a Magic the Gathering style spin on Bejeweled is interesting, I was not ready for the difficulty level. How do you take a nice, laid-back, solitaire style game and turn it into a vehicle of ego crushing on a Godzilla-sized scale? Anyhow, it and a couple of other demos were deleted from my computer last night. Gone as well were Penumbra (ok, but a bit pricey at $20 for the first episode) and Restricted Area (it's future Diablo, I get it). The next to go will probably be C&C3 - just a bit too hardcore RTS for me at this point. I still want to put some time in on Company of Heroes before it goes.

Tomorrow I will probably end up getting the Collector's edition of Oblivion from Mecca. I have a credit (or will have after returning the crappy wireless keyboard I got - no scroll lock key???) and this edition is starting to get harder to get. I'm hoping my upgraded deck will handle it better, plus there are a number of new patches. I knew I would rebuy it at some point, but I thought it would be for the 360. That now seems unlikely. The more I hear about what is going on with the new consoles, the less interested I am. Maybe I'm not the target audience anymore (oh, big shock there, Mr. Pushing Fifty). Well, the upgrades I'm making will get me through this year and then I will get a whole new rig in 2008 - one that will do DirectX 10 when games for it will start looking (we hope) amazing.

Friday, April 06, 2007

2K7 Game-a-Week Week #13 (and some of #14): The Strategy of Demos

I missed my usual post time this week because my little hideaway was invaded by other users. Oh well. It's not like there was a lot to talk about. I still haven't committed myself to a particular title. However, I have been playing a few demos, mostly to see if the games were worth getting.

Two of the demos (C&C 3 and Company of Heroes) are RTS games, a genre I've never really played much. That's odd in a way, considering my wargaming background. What I realized is that one of the basic tenants of RTS gaming (building troops from resource points) isn't a facet of wargaming I ever got into. My wargames were more "here are your troops, and there are the reinforcements that you will get if you survive until that turn". I kind of wish I could find a game that was more like that.

I tried the C&C 3 demo as the full game was on sale this week. After trying it, I think I would rename it P&A - for Pester & Annoy. During the first mission (not the tutorial, mind you), I was constantly hearing (or seeing via video pop-ups) about what units to build, where to move them, warnings of incoming troops, new objectives to take, new parts of the map that were opening up, and on and on. The Company of Heroes demo was better and I still have some more to play on it. I think they got me when I was able to bring in an artillery strike on some advancing German troops. Nothing says fun like big explosions and craters!

Also tried a demo for game I hadn't heard of before, Restricted Area. Sort of Diablo meets Blade Runner. An OK game, but not great. Might get it if I find it cheap. The bad part: it's published by the same house that released Psychotoxic. Yuck!

In other news, Microsoft lost my business with the release of the Xbox Elite. Making it black and boosting the HD to 120gb isn't enough to justify $80 more when they left out any other improvements (wireless net, quieter DVD, HD-DVD, better CPU chip). Of course, with that one out, I won't want the old 20gb version unless they drop it to around the price of the core. And all the units are still hundreds of dollars! I figured that getting an Elite and Burnout 5 (when it is released at the expected price of $60) would run about $583! That's just too much. Guess the "next/now generation" of consoles will have to make do without me.