Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chiming in . . .

Wow, not a single post in the month of July?  I suck.


I’ve been doing sporadic gaming as of late: picking up old titles, trying a few smaller new ones, contemplating whether to purchase some Arcade games, and just waiting for the eventual influx of games later this year.


So what has graced my consoles in the last month?


- Black-Ops: Yes, I am still playing this game with more frequency than any other.  Say what you will about this franchise, but I sure do get my money’s worth with it.  I’ve picked up the last two map packs to keep things fresh (still haven’t picked up the first one) and I am still having a great time.  Got my k/d ration up to 2.12.  I’ve said it before, but I think this is the best, most balanced multiplayer of the series so far.


- Gran Turismo 5: For a span of about 3 days I got totally hooked on GT5 again, much to my surprise.  I have SOOO many problems with this title, but the cars and the actual racing still manages to draw me in, despite the MANY design and execution flaws.  But something happened the last time I played which infuriated me so much, I may not play this game again (waiting for Forza 4 anyway).  The crazy part is that despite all my issues with the game, this incident was not the game’s fault.


Against all reason I decided to do one of the endurance races.  An endurance race?!  Really?  It was a Saturday afternoon, I had nothing to do, and decided to do the very first one, which is only 60 laps.  So, for like an hour and a freakin’ half I am racing, actually enjoying myself, working on perfecting my racing lines and paying attention to tire wear (I know, doesn’t sound that fun come to think of it).  I am 58 laps into this 60 laps race when . . . the power goes out in my apartment!!!!!  Are you kidding me?  I actually took it pretty well.  I sat there looking at my screen for about 5 seconds, letting it register that I just wasted my afternoon driving around in circles with no payoff, and then I just started laughing.  I laughed as I ejected the disc, put it in its case, and put it away for probably the last time.  Maybe that was a sign that I should just wait for Forza.


- Dead Nation: Still hacking away at this one little by little.  Instead of doing one whole level at a time now I find myself doing a few check-points before I stop.  The game is getting pretty difficult and unmerciful.


- Contra 4 (DS): Speaking of difficult and unmerciful, after good word of mouth I decided to pick up Contra 4 for the DS, since I needed a new portable game and I was feeling old school.  I’ve been playing this one every night before going to bed.  Holy crap the game is brutally hard!!!  I’ve managed to beat it on easy (after several tries) but they don’t let you play all the levels on the easy setting, you have to play on normal to get an actual ending and see the last few levels.  I’m hacking away at it and I’ll get there.  It is a lot of fun.  It is one of those games that forces you to become a better player.  First few times I couldn’t even beat the first stage without losing all my lives and having to continue.  Now I can breeze through it without losing a life.  The one-hit-kills do stand out in this day and age and may feel a little cheap sometimes, but that is old school Contra for you.  The game also lets you unlock the original Contra and Super C, which I have done, by beating certain challenge stages (which are really fun).  So, plenty here to entertain (and torture) you.


- Monkey Island 2: After purchasing this one the day it was released (loved the first one) and playing it for about an hour before I stopped, I played it for the first time since then this weekend (over a year ago?).  Hope to get into it and finish it.  I have too many games left unfinished!


Speaking of unfinished games, maybe I will eventually finish L.A. Noire.  And Tomb Raider Collection.  And, oh, about 20 other games I have pending.


Last note, I have really wanted to pick up Bastion and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.  I really enjoyed the trials for both games, but with so many unfinished games I am reluctant to pick up new ones and having them suffer the same fate.


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