Monday, August 17, 2009

Game of the Week Mk. 2 - Week #2

Ok, so maybe the idea of having 2 games for a week was a bad plan. I never did get any Hitman 2 in and still haven't tried a full TimeSplitters 2 run on the first level on Normal. Instead, I got onto a bit of a Tomb Raider kick (brought on by playing a little bit of the 360 version of Underworld). I played (or tried to play) a little bit of Tomb Raider 2 for the Playstation (how in God's name did people stand playing games like that - side-scrollers on the SNES looked and played better). I also did some of TR:Angel of Darkness. That wasn't too bad, but it was still pretty clunky. I can see how people were disappointed given the considerable step-up in processing power of the PS2. I wasn't too happy with the "strength" bar - it just made moving around ledges harder because you didn't know where to go and she doesn't move very fast that way anyway. You felt like saying, "Get a move on, bitch! You can't hang there forever!" From what I remember of the reviews, logic was one of the biggest losers in the design. Things like not being able to move a cot or having to kill dogs with only with bullets, take away from the feeling of being "in the world". But, it was an interesting start and I might get back to it as some point - just to see if there is anything else amazingly stupid they did.

As for my new game of the week, I'm thinking I'll give a good Lara Croft game a try. My choices are Legend or Anniversary. This actually leads me to a new "problem" I'm having. A number of my games have never been opened. With mint copies of these games disappearing, it's getting harder to just unwrap them and spoil their potential value (not that I would want to sell them, of course). But, this will be a good thing to do - time to get one out in the open. I'm leaning toward Legend for the PS2, but I might go for the Cube version instead. Either way, it ought to make for a good week.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Back to Basics - Game of the Week Restarted

Looking back on previous posts, I'm always struck by how much I like my Game of the Week posts. I never really got a long ways into a game, but it gave me some much needed focus in an otherwise fuzzy gaming picture. I also liked the growing collection of save games I made on my private memory card - each is like a pre-Achievments kind of award. So, I have decided to try it again.

To kick off this refresh, I've decided to pick two games for the same week. (This might become a new way of running GotW. As long as one of them isn't a big RPG, I could see advantages to having two different styles of games to switch between instead of getting stuck on just one.) The two games are both ones I've played on other platforms to varying degrees of success (ie, not much). They are Hitman 2 and TimeSplitters 2 for the PS2. (That's a lot of 2's.) I tried Hitman 2 on both the XBox (ugly graphics) and the Cube (better graphics but cumbersome controls) and am looking forward to a better experience on the PS2. TimeSplitters 2 has been an arch nemisis of mine for years. My goal on that one is to get through the first level, just the first level, mind you (!), on...wait for it...NORMAL DIFFICULTY! While I applaud Free Radical (may they rest in pieces) on having the ingenuity to make a game where an Easy mode gives you an abridged version of a level, it's always left me with the feeling that I need to work harder to get though the whole thing. I'm hoping the PS2, with it's better controller, will allow me to reach my goal.

Let the games begin.

Update #1: Got some hands-on time with TimeSplitters 2 last night (or early this morning, depending on how you look at it). I played though the first two episodes on Easy (of course), to get a feel for the way the PS2 version worked. Playing this gem had me thinking of two things. First, "old gen" is still just fine, and second, I'm still not as accurate in an FPS with a gamepad as I'd like to be. I need a steadying brace for my thumbs, damnit! Oh, well, it will have to do, as they say.

Update #2: To keep this short, I'm just going to add to this post for this week as I didn't get as much time in on TS2 and Hitman 2 as I wanted (ok, none on Hitman 2). I did get some time over the weekend on Tomb Raider Underworld for the 360. Nice graphics, but nothing that couldn't have been done on last gen (ie, my gen) hardware. Larger environments with less "fog" and better fire effects.