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.

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