Chris_Watters / Host & Producer

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Chris_Watters Blog

Army of Two: The 40th Day - A Tale of Two Screenshots

Last October, to accompany our Hands-On Multiplayer preview of Army of Two: The 40th Day, EA sent over a batch of screenshots showcasing everyone's favorite wise-cracking, rough-and-tumble mercenaries, Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem. Earlier this week, I captured a screen from almost the exact same moment in the game. It was a total coincidence, I assure you (no seriously, I'm not kidding). Let's see if we can spot the difference between a PR playthrough and a GS playthrough!

Gritty, geared-up, and ready to bro-- I mean, go:

Army of Two: The 40th Day PR shot

Gritty, geared-up, and ready to-- show and tell?

Army of Two: The 40th Day GS shot

Meet my Aggrainbow SMG! Shoot a few bullets with that thing and you're certain to draw aggro away from you partner. Nothing cheeses off enemy mercenaries quite like being shot up with rainbow jigsaw bullets! (And yes*, being able to phase your fingers through the stock costs extra).

*no.

Another Memory Scrap from my Desk

I spent a lot of 2009 playing Fallout 3. I loved exploring the world and trying to imagine myself in it. When I exited the Vault, I paused to contemplate what it might be like to have never set foot outside. And when I stumbled upon folks in the wastes I thought, what could you possibly do all day in a world like this? It provided some interesting moments, one of which I scribbled up as follows:

"You sit atop a silo in the northeastern Capital Wasteland, shooting at Giant Radscorpions powerless to harm you below. A missle flies by, 3 ft. from your face. Then a man in a trenchcoat and fedora is next to you. TWANG. BANG."

This is from the perspective of a Raider I encountered one afternoon. I shot a missle his way, but heavy weapons weren't really my area of expertise, so the shot went wide. Then my Mysterious Stranger perk kicked in, and he appeared on the walkway next to the Raider, and gunned him down.

I laughed for about four minutes straight picturing these events from the Raider's perspective. The dude has found himself a sweet spot at the top of a tower with no discernible way for any hostile creatures or wastelander to reach him. He's dicking around, taking potshots at radscorpions with his crappy hunting rifle. Just another dull day in his dull existence. Maybe some poor sap will wander by and he can ki--

WHOOSH!

"WTF? Was that a missile?! Who the fOH MY GOD WHERE DID YOU COME FRUUUuuuuuggghhh...."

hehehehe... oh man, it gets me every time. The last thing that dude saw was the muzzle flash of a magnum held by a teleporting man in a trenchcoat and fedora. Thank you Fallout 3 for creating a world where such a vast variety of things can happen!

L4D2 Community Game Night, Year-End Clean-Up, and Mirror's Edge Rememberies

Guess this is as good a time as any to dust off the old blog, especially considering where I left it about seven months ago. It's been a busy year, especially the past few months, but now things are calming down and I can actually spend some more time playing the awesome games that came out this year. Like Left 4 Dead 2!

I'll be on during community game night tonight, hoping to murder zombies and survivors alike. Oh hey, looking at my emblems, I just realized that Left 4 Dead was the first community game night of 2009. How fitting. Cyclical, even. It's like a circle.

If you're interested, read up on it here and join the chat room when the time is right: http://www.gamespot.com/features/6190380/index.html

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I'm currently waiting for some game install issues to be resolved (nothing that affects the consumer side of the game, never fear), so I've got a minute to look around my desk. Over the year I've accumulated a bunch of little sticky notes with ideas, thoughts, or memories drawn from my year of gaming. And I've got another little notebook that I keep next to me when I'm gaming at home that has similar stuff in it.

With our Best of 2009 right around the corner, now seems like as good a time as any to revisit these scraps and maybe put some of them out there for folks to read and comment on. Memories beget memories, so maybe some of you will recall some recollections and recollecticate them in kind. Let's see what we got!

This yellow sticky note is straightforward, two thoughts spawned from the final moments of Mirror's Edge. If you haven't finished Mirror's Edge, this next bit might be kind of spoilery:

"Love the 1st person hug. All scenes should have been in-engine."

Hey, yeah, that hug was cool. And surprisingly affecting, now that I remember it. After spending the whole game running, jumping, fighting, and clamboring in a first person , I was drawn into the perspective more strongly than I would be in, say, a first person shooter. Because the game forced me to really inhabit the perspective, it forged a connection that I felt was diminished a bit by the animated cutscenes.

When I received a big old hug from my sister at the end of the game, it was touching! I was touched! I really enjoyed that, and it made me realize just how into the game's movement and perspective I had gotten. Kudos to you Mirror's Edge, for one of the best video game hugs of the year!

Well that was fun. Thoughts? Rememberies? I'll be back soon with another!

Killzone 2 Community Game Night

YES!

I haven't had time yet to expound on the virtues of Killzone 2 multiplayer, but someday I will. Vigorously. Suffice to say I think it is superlative and will be playing throughout Game Night tomorrow night.

If you want in, friend me at PSN ID: Riverdogs14 with a note that it's for K2 Game Night.

Can't wait.

Renaissance Gamer

As I shut of my 360 a little after midnight last night, it occurred to me that I had played a lot of different games that day. Now, I play games pretty much every day, but usually I'll max out at two or three -- one I'm reviewing, one someone else is reviewing (gotta lend a hand!), and one for a few hours of late night relaxation. Yesterday, I realized, I played five different games. Not a really big number, granted, but they were all on different systems, so it felt like more. It was a diverse group that made me feel well-rounded in a geeky way, and better yet, they were all kind of fun!

A mysterious murdering mime.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (DS) - Ah, the morning commute. I grabbed a seat on the train and continued investigating a mysterious string of murders that was blossoming into a full-on international conspiracy. After reading Alex Sassoon Coby's review of the game, I got a hankering for some old school adventuring. It's not very tough, but I'm not in it for the challenge. It's fun to just play along with the story, and it helps a lot that the game looks great. Vibrant colors, clever animations, and beautiful settings make this a fun way to start the day.

It's a jungle in there.

And Yet It Moves (PC) - Once I arrived at work, it was back to the grind with this delightful indie platformer. I really enjoyed the unique rotation mechanic in this bad boy. It forces you to reorient your sense of spatial awareness, and I'm partial to games that stretch the mind in such ways. To get a good idea for what I'm talking about check out the gameplay video I embedded in the review. And maybe, you know, do some reading while you're over there.

Holy Bit.Trip Heck!

Bit.Trip Core (WII) - Just across the aisle from my desk is one of our capture stations, and Shaun McInnis has this one fired up for a hands-on preview he was working on. Being the helpful (and easily distracted) co-worker I am, I sauntered over to give this one a look-see. I enjoyed Bit.Trip Beat, but the tilty Remote controls weren't as tight as I wanted them to be. Imagine my delight then, to discover that Core has a new control scheme (D Pad and 2 button) that was more my speed. Same crazy fun retro game stylings, but now more quantifiably responsive. High praise, I know. Anyway, the game is rad, and I've been cramming in sessions all day today as well. Still getting fried on Wave 3 of the boss, but soldiering on undeterred.

Dim Sum Arrow Shoot!

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce (PSP) - Yup, you read that right. As I mentioned before, I try to help folks around the office out. Completely altruistic, goodness of my heart and all that. Justin Calvert passed me a copy of this earlier this week, so I took it for a spin when the world-turning platforming got too much for me wee brain. I didn't do much, but I did choose a giant burly man with a mohawk for my character and named him B. A. Baracus. Then I killed some bandits and upgraded some of my skabilities (skills & abilities -- it's a technical term). Fun slashy action, made oddly more fun because I didn't have to kill every last bad guy to complete my mission. Something about just leaving jokesters in the dust makes me feel like more of a baller. Some fools don't deserve my pity.

Red Faction Guerrilla walker

Red Faction: Guerrilla (360) - I finished up the day by playing a game demo, something I actually don't do that much but still enjoy. I find it kinda interesting to see how a developer chooses to slice away a bitesize morsel of their game for the public to taste. In the case of Red Faction: Guerrilla, there's a timer on the brief mission you undertake, or something like that. I just kind of destroyed a lot of stuff. Swinging that hammer and busting structures to bits is a load of fun. The game seemed a bit more cartoony than it did a year ago when I previewed it, with buildings blasting apart more easily from vehicle collisions and such. More destruction ain't bad, though, and getting in the mining walker (pictured above) was downright hilarious. The thing can windmill its arms and pretty much shred concrete and rebar without breaking stride. So that's what I did. Upon completing the mission there was this zoom-out teaser thingy that showed a sprawling map spotted with objectives and mission icons. It reminded me of Assassin's Creed, and that's a good thing.

So yeah, fun day! I'm off to see Wolverine with some friends and my expectations are low. For the movie, that is. I find it best to work that way in these situations. But before I go, I gotta ask: What's been your busiest gaming day lately?

Cheers!

On the eve of TGS...

...I sit in my hotel room listening to music on my borrowed PSP (thanks Justin!), enjoying a rare moment of solitude. It's allowed me time to relax and put to rest some of the crackling energies that I've been carrying around with me. Though I haven't been swamped with appointments, writing, and editing like many of my compatriots, I've still managed to get fairly fatigued from the novelty and strangeness of my surroundings. This calm before the storm has allowed me to realign myself, gain some much-needed equilibrium, and post an amusing TGS blog entry.

Check it out!

A Grand Old Time in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

For the past few nights I've been playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and I gotta say, I'm really enjoying it. Folks around here have varying opinions on it, and I've overheard no small amount of griping about various aspects of the game. Perhaps I've steeled myself against these known frustrations, or perhaps I'm just giddy about my new 40" Samsung LCD, but I sure am having a grand old time.

My favorite part, far and away, is grabbing fools and flinging them about. I spent way too long on the tutorial just so I could get the hang of throwing an object directly down onto a storm trooper's head. Picking up multiple confused, panicky enemies is hilarious. Hitting an enemy with a boulder from 100 yards away is immensely satisfying, and should be an achievement titled "From DOOOWWWNNN-TOOWWWWNNN!", because that's what I exclaim every time I do it. I particularly love the sniper troopers. Their laser sight defines the exact vector of their demise. How terribly helpful!

The other fantastic moment that springs to mind happened last night as I infiltrated an Imperial base. I knocked a trooper away from his standing turret, but the gun remained upright on its tripod. The trooper got up and ran back to his precious gun, and when I tried to force lightning him, I missed and electrified the turret instead. When the intrepid trooper put his Imperial-issue gloves on it, he got hella zapped and died. And then I laughed and laughed.

Good times.

Nursing SSBB Bruises in Pub Games

So I rolled up on last night's Super Smash Bros. Brawl feeling Poke-strong, only to have my electric tail handed to me by all the fun folks who showed up. I fully blame lag, along with my rusty Smash skills that peaked on the N64 in early 2000. Still, it was a really fun time, as most game nights are, because of the good-natured gamers that participate. "Thanks" to Jerell_rast, xkilla96, c_rake, BAMX, lettuceman44, carstairs, dog64, and, of course, the estimable Kevin VanOrd.

I joined in a bit late because I stay on here to knock out a Reviews Blog entry on Fable II Pub Games, which I also reviewed. I had a good ol' time playing the game, and I'll probably download it in the next few days for some more gambling fun. I feel good about my earning prospects, especially after losing upwards of 14,000 gold during the review process (it was for science!).

The most compelling part of the game is how it will affect your Fable II gameplay, and I go into detail about that in the blog entry. Give it a read if you've got a minute. I painted a pretty elaborate scenario about the consequences of debt, and I'm eager to here your imaginings on what kind of situations you might be setting yourself up for by winning or losing a crap-ton of gold. Let me hear 'em!