Monday, June 27, 2011

Chiming in . . .

My love affair with L.A. Noire has gone sour.  A few days after my positive impressions post, the "newness" veil was lifted and the game began to feel far more linear and formulaic.  The gameplay elements that were fun and unique, such as examining crime scenes and chasing down the occasional fleeing suspect, became redundant when it turns out poor detective skills don't really affect the outcome of a case (aside from a poor star rating) and every other "suspect" thinks it is a good idea to run from the law for seemingly no reason.
Since then I have taken plenty of time between play sessions (sometimes more than a week) and in small doses that game can still be enjoyable.  But it is not as impressive as I once thought it was.  The tech and atmosphere is still absolutely fantastic though, so the game has that going for it.
As part of Sony's "Welcome Back" program I picked up Dead Nation and Wipeout HD for the PS3 and Killzone and ModNation Racers for the PSP.  I've only dabbled slightly with Killzone (first time I have powered on my PSP in over a year) and the game is interesting, but I am sure it was far more impressive with it was released like four years ago. I'm only about three missions in, so I'll reserve judgment.
I haven't touched ModNation Racers or Wipeout yet, but I have spent a good amount of time with Dead Nation.  What can I say, I am a sucker for zombies.  The game is a lot of fun and it can be incredibly tense sometimes.  In fact, I find it is also good in small doses (one level at a time), but not because it begins to get old (like L.A. Noire) but because you are on edge so much while playing it that you need the break to relieve the tension.  I'm hoping for a sequel and I'm only halfway through this first one.
But the bulk of my time over the last week or so has been spent watching Arrested Development.  I've had this series on my Netflix queue for years it seems but I never got around to watching it.  Word of mouth (from the small minority that obviously watched this show) has always been fantastic, so I kept saying I would get to it.  Well I finally did (thank you instant watch) and I gotta say, the show is even better than I expected.  What a shame that this series could not find an audience, because it is absolutely hilarious and original.  The cast is fantastic and the writing is spectacular.  I find myself not being able to watch less than 3 episodes everytime I sit down to watch it.
Do yourself a favor.  Watch this show.

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