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Now Loading Update (10.29.2012) - Finished Article Minis

I'm back. I decided to take some time out from gaming to write some stuff down. For this update I have three finished article minis: Borderlands 2, Resident Evil 6 and Forza Horizon. Let's get started talking about games!

Borderlands 2
This should say it all... I loved Borderlands 1 and spent over 200 hours with it over the last three years... I've played over 200 hours in the first month of Borderlands 2's release. The story is better, the guns are better, it's filled to the brim with pop-culture references, the world is more diverse and it is just a much more defined game overall... with two issues keeping me from, say, just dropping it immediately into my Top 10 favorite games of all time. The first is a minor issue and may just be personal preference, but fighting the enemies in BL2 is more often than not annoying. Many of them roll, skitter, dodge, jump, cloak and move very fast... small issue with that, BL2's guns use projectile type hit detection and these "bullets" don't move particularly fast. Don't get me wrong it's nice the enemies don't just stand around to get killed but let's face it: they are cannon fodder and simply XP. As I said you may end up feeling different but some times I wish the enemies would just die all ready.

MAJOR ISSUE: Gearbox busted the fantastic loot system from the first game. Enemies no longer drop the gun they were carrying, treasure boxes are no longer that exciting to open and the vending machines are loaded to the brim with White and Green rarity loot that isn't worth your time unless you are desperate. In the first game you could play the game pretty naturally making your way through the progression of missions and getting cool guns and stuff along the way. In Borderlands 2 unless you are very lucky, you find yourself a boss enemy that drops a ton of loot and you farm that bugger by saving, quitting and then reloading that instance over and over. Welcome to MMOLands 2... I HATE this change, it's clear they tried to balance the game to the white and green loot to make the blue, purple and oranges that much more special. The problem with that I think is clearly represented by this example: the first boss you face Knuckle Dragger drops a Legendary (Orange) gun, this drop is unique to him (with a miniscule chance of a chest find, I have opened nearly 1000 chests and have never seen a legendary drop from anything other than a boss) and he is a LEVEL 1 which means the gun that drops is a LEVEL 2... so unless he drops that the first time you kill him that legendary is rendered useless. It DOES NOT scale until you complete Playthrough 2 (True Vault Hunter Mode). The reason I got in to Borderlands 1 was because of the loot and the fact I didn't have to grind for it, I could just find the stuff as I played... not to mention if you found something good it could probably last upwards of 10 levels, in fact I had a level 20 Masher (shoots 7 projectiles like a shot gun) Revolver that I used until level 40, that gun becomes a favorite. Whereas in Borderlands 2 you'll be lucky if a gun last 5 levels before you are forced to drop that special gun for some common or uncommon. If they could just tweak it a little bit so chest are a little more giving, things would be great as of now it gets a bit hard to see another chest and just know it is full of 4 green pistols.

Overall though I have been enjoying the game and will probably continue to play new characters and the DLC as it is released. Oh right, the Pirate DLC is pretty good, it has some production problems, like bad frame-rates and slap-dash object placement (some structures just look badly placed in the world) as it was made by Tryptic Games (ex-3D Realms dudes) and not Gearbox. If you liked the first game you'll enjoy BL2!

Resident Evil 6
I promise this one won't be as long as the last one. Kevin Van Ord must of been having a bad week because RE6 is not a 4.5.. not even close. Sure the camera can get screwy at times and there are some issues with cheap insta-deaths and surprise QTEs but even so the game actually does what everyone seems to want... it changes Resident Evil. You'll never be able to play RE4 or 5 with their slow controls after dodging, rolling and meleeing the crap out of all kinds of zombies and monsters in RE6. The game play is really fun and as I said these are the most limber RE characters ever. It just depends what you think "Resident Evil" is... that clunky old game with tank controls (1, 2 and 3), an intense 3rd person shooter with limited controls that increase that intensity (RE4), a minor addition to that (RE5) or a really fun action game with some fun movement controls (RE6). It's not perfect as I said the closeness of the camera to the player takes a bit of getting used to and the game likes to interrupt the gameplay with cut-scenes, but none of these things can really take anything away from a really good game.

Forza Horizon
I have been enjoying Forza Horizon. It takes the realism and handling I enjoyed from Forza Motorsport 2 and 3 and the open worlds that were fun in Criterion's Paradise and Hot Pursuit and mashes them together. Sim based racing games like Forza and Gran Turismo tend to lack personality: they are just a bunch of menus and races strung together. What sets Horizon apart is that while it uses Forza's legendary physics it let's you have fun with them in the open world by reducing the effects of crashes and damage. I only have one big issue with the game... the CPU drivers. They cheat... There are two types of races in Horizon, circuit and point-to-point and for the first lap or the first 30% of each race the CPU blasts off to an early lead. Then around a certain point they slow down and let you catch up then it's a matter of you staying in 1st until the end. I hate this rubber band ****. It makes your wins feel pointless... you just keep up until they LET you win... BARF. Final small issue, you cannot see the list of entrants before a race making it impossible to know how much to upgrade your car, so you end up having to max it to the top of the c.lass it allows. Otherwise Forza Horizon is an amazing game, we will have to see how it stacks up to Criterion's Need For Speed: Most Wanted tomorrow.

That about covers it. I will try to get that bosses list posted up here soon... I have been debating posting it because it uses YouTube videos to show off the fights and GameSpot STILL doesn't allow embedding videos. Also special announcement: I want to bring back NLID in 2013. Once the new games stop coming, which will be with Halo 4 next week and I have had a chance to play them NLID will return. This means most likely in January 2013. It should be fun as I really liked playing a mix of older and retro stuff with that series. Also I am not sure what format it'll be in, I might try vlogging specially for NLID. I will post soon. Loading Complete!