A Very Brief Overview of what I've Been Playing for the Past Few Days

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Since I've had a chance to actually play some games on platforms like the PC, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, and PS3 lately, I thought I would share some quick thoughts. After reading, why don't you share some of your own thoughts on those games or some of what you're playing?

PC:
I've been taking small steps in putting my Sager gaming laptop through its paces.

  • I installed Dungeons & Dragons Online, but have not yet set aside sufficient time to actually begin playing. It looks like everyone around here is already moving onto Lord of the Rings Online, so I may have missed my window of opportunity, but I still plan on giving it a go, even if it's just with Christina (I'm not a big fan of the LOTR universe, honestly).
  • I've played a small portion of Civilization V twice now (a few hours each time) and despite a lukewarm initial experience, upon my second play session, it's starting to feel more Civ-like (i.e., it has more of that classic Civ game feel to it). It's a downright beautiful and well designed game, though it does feel a bit "sterile". Also, as with many PC games, it guessed based on my laptop that it should have everything set at Medium values, but I have everything cranked to the highest setting and thus far it seems like my system is handling it well. Getting back into PC gaming, it seems this determining "best slider values" automatically is still an inexact science.
  • I played some of the tutorials in Starcraft II. The charm I remember from the Warcraft games is definitely still present here. I had to again make some adjustments to sliders, but this one guessed a bit better than Civ V did (and no, I was not able to have everything cranked to ultra and have it scroll smoothly, but I was able to take good advantage of the 1.5GB on my video card). I look forward to playing this soon once I get through all the tutorials to see if I "get" what all the fuss is about, particularly since I missed out on the first game (seriously).
  • I have yet to receive my activation code for Minecraft. I decided to bite the bullet on this one based on all the fuss I heard about. I hope I'm not disappointed and I hope there's not too much of an issue with getting that code (apparently there are some activation issues).
  • I downloaded Dwarf Fortress, another game you hear way too much about. I'm bothered by the small window on my 1080p screen and it's probably the most confusing game I've ever attempted to play. I'll definitely need quite a bit of time to get this one going.
  • I've been trying to get through the game installs from the famous Humble Indie Bundle, though I've uninstalled all of the ones I've tried to date.

    • Aquaria is a lovely game with an interesting play mechanic (essentially using sound/music to protect yourself/do things), but one I'm ultimately not going to bother with. My oldest daughter (who turned 6 today) got a kick out of swimming about for a time and doing a few things here and there, but she ultimately got frustrated.
    • Samorost2 had wonderful art direction and some clever (though occasionally simple) puzzles, but since it's a flash game it's another small window game and there doesn't seem to be much flexibility to the interface. It's kind of a mix of a traditional adventure game, Myst, and find the hidden object games.
    • Once I tuned the visuals correctly, Penumbra Overture was kind of a neat adventure game, even though I didn't leave my cabin in the ship. The way you interact with objects is intriguing (kind of like the infamous Trespasser game), but it seems clumsy to me with a mouse.
    • Lugaru HD is kind of an interesting third person action adventure, but the main character is rather ugly and I'm not much of a fan of FPS-style controls on computer (I know, I'm an oddball in preferring console controllers for FPS's).
    • Gish is a blob platformer. Again, interesting concept, but not enough to make me want to play, particularly since I have better options on console.
    • I still have World of Goo to install, which has an outside chance of being the only game from the bundle that I end up keeping on the hard drive.

360:
Beyond Kinect, I recently played NBA 2K11. Lot of fun with this one. I can really see what all the fuss is about and I generally agree that not only is this one of the great basketball games of all time, it's one of the great videogames of the year. It's flat out fun and well done. As with all modern sports games, though, I think I will have an issue or two with all of the control possibilities, but so far even just using basic controls I'm having quite a bit of fun.

Wii:
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
. I'm using Motion+ with this one. Once you get past the mediocre graphics, it seems like there's a very meaty game here, though I had trouble hitting drives consistently using the full free form control set. I actually kind of tweaked my right arm swinging the virtual golf club (Wii Motion+) because there's no weight to the controller, which is always an issue when you mime actions you'd be doing with something that in real life has some heft. This game does seem promising though and it's one I'll have to set some time aside to properly learn and play.

iPhone:
I finally broke down and had bought Angry Birds after hearing all the fuss. Ironically, I already had a game on the iPhone, Crush the Castle, that was a clone of it (like Pigs vs. Wolves is a clone of Plants vs. Zombies). Angry Birds is definitely great fun and worth every penny and then some, regardless of mobile platform (and it typically sells for just .99).

PS3:
I mostly tried Move demos again. The Kung Fu Rider demo revealed a delightfully quirky and fairly original "racing combat" game where your wacky character (in the Japanese anime sense; it reminds me a bit of Wreckless in style, actually) hops on an office chair as his mode of transportation. What ruined this game for me is move overload, meaning there are so many moves you can perform that even though it's a motion control game, there are too many things for me to remember how to do (buttons to press, controller moves to make, etc.). I'll consider getting this if I ever see it dirt cheap and can spend some time learning the controls. The Sports Champions demo featured Ping Pong, which was pretty good, though as with all of these such games still does not feel 100% 1:1 and Frisbee Golf, which was very, very good and almost reason enough to buy the whole package. You really felt in control of the throw. I would think Frisbee Golf and the archery thing might be enough to make we want to get this at some point (OK, those and maybe the sword fighting), though I'll need to check out some of what I have on the Wii again to see if it would be redundant and/or a superior replacement.

Comments

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I have the Starcraft

I have the Starcraft battlechest here that I bought for my Matt Chat on it. I think I'll play through that first, and if I'm really impressed, will spring for the SC II (though the price makes me gag). It's my understanding, though, that the real fun is for online multiplayer, which I'm just not into. I tend to hate competitive online gaming. I almost want to impulse buy Civ 5, but I think I'll wait to hear more about your opinions. I loved Civ 4 even though some purists detested it.

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Andy (not verified)
SC2

Get together with a couple friends and team up online against other players. It's actually quite fun. Make sure your Internet connection can handle 2-4 connections at once. I'm terrible at online competitive games, but the cool thing about SC2 is it'll match you (quite well) with others who are just as bad as you are. Also the single player campaign is worth the time to finish if just to watch all the beautiful cutscenes, and every mission in the single player has some twist to it to keep the gameplay interesting.

Other than SC2 I'm getting ready for Cataclysm, some of the ramp up events happening on Azeroth are pretty cool if you enjoy the lore of WoW, and my Plants Vs. Zombies save game got wiped out in a Steam Cloud Support update last week. 45+ hours wasted on that game. I started over and am backing up my save folder after each play session.

Oh, and I loaded up The Movies for some reason the other night. I love the premise of this game, but I hate that once you get to around 1940 it seems like there is no way to micro manage everyone and keep the movies good enough to win the bonuses.

Oh, and I left my lunch on my door step today. :(

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
AD&D is still worth a look,

AD&D is still worth a look, even solo (or with just the wife, a DPS/TANK type and healer would do well duo). LoTR, I wouldnt worry to much about location, as I said bfore AD&D is just tokins ideas (orc, elves, ents) fleshed out and lots of additions. Really they are somewhat the same. AD&D doesnt have to follow the strict (magic is rare) problem LOTR does, but they get buy it with other things. Personaly i might agree AD&D would be the better group game, but both have some points that make them better in some way. One wierd thing to keep in mind. AD&D failed alot sooner then LoTR (in the pay to play area).. as in , more people paid longer to play LoTRonline.. does that make it a better game? I think that for each of us to judge.

Dwarf Fortress, so much to say, good and bad. Its one of the deepest games you willl ever play (opinion) with some of the worst presentation. There are some graphical addons that make the game ALOT better. I hate to say this, but if you dont have he some time to spare, I simply would not recomend this game. it will just frustrate you while you try to learn and really isnt a great game untill you have invest ALOT of time into it.

Minecraft- still say this is the best $15 game I have ever bought, but as I have said before, it requires the user to want to create, some of us live to create (in many ways, books, video's, or video game worlds) and I cant see the game not being enh=joyed by those people. But it is one i can see there will be two camps, ones who get it and those who dont. I really want to get a multiplayer server going .. the multiplayer part is just so you can see what others create, nothing more really. But building a city with others seems very cool to me.

SC- I think RTS's may be my favorite type of game. I play them over and over. DUNE II may be the singel game i have replayed the most. SC (original) is what most say, the most balanced RTS out there without carbon copy matching units. SC2 is good, but IMHO SC may be the best all time RTS, Warcraft III may be close (and of course DUNEII). SC2 depends on some gimiks I do not like. The lava worlds (where it floods low areas every so often, or the day night missions (same thing)). BUT I can say it may be the best RTS game released in the last few years.

Civ games- Ilike um, but do not have the micro manage ability it takes to do really well. I prefer a little more hands on battle system.

World of Goo- excellent game, played it alot. harkens back to the old BRIDGE BUILDER games that where the rage 5-8 years ago.

Chip Hageman
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Joined: 10/06/2010
...
clok1966 wrote:

Minecraft- still say this is the best $15 game I have ever bought, but as I have said before, it requires the user to want to create, some of us live to create (in many ways, books, video's, or video game worlds) and I cant see the game not being enh=joyed by those people. But it is one i can see there will be two camps, ones who get it and those who dont. I really want to get a multiplayer server going .. the multiplayer part is just so you can see what others create, nothing more really. But building a city with others seems very cool to me.

This game managed to suck me in again. I was up sunday until I had to work on monday. :) My buddy's friend just set up a private server and he is working on getting me an invite.. So I'm looking forward to the multiplayer aspect.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Whoa, I didn't even realize

Whoa, I didn't even realize that EA's NBA Elite was officially CANCELED!: http://www.1up.com/news/nba-elite-11-officially-canceled

No doubt due to the competition from the aforementioned top notch NBA 2K11, but beyond that there must have been profoundly unfixable gameplay issues, because that's a big loss to take.

And EA is changing the way it's doing business: http://www.1up.com/news/eliminates-execs-nba-elite-11

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Dwarf Fortress- just wanted

Dwarf Fortress- just wanted to update you, get this MOD
http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=43260.0

it makes the game much easier (visually) has an old SNES look to it, 3D oisometiric view. Almost a required file IMHO. Dwarf Fortress is hard enouhg as is.. so the graphic addon is a big help I think.

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