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Evilmeanie Blog

Turn Out the Lights...

The party is over...

I have finished up Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. It was equal parts gaming awesomeness and frustration. I really enjoyed the squad-based missions, but was annoyed that at the number of restarts each mission could have while you learned the right path and tact to take against the AI. It had a some fun moments, but the mainstory was a bit a of a whine-fest. I would give it an 7.5 or so - worth doing, but do it at a bargin price.

I am also nearing the end of the line with a game I really love, Just Cause 2. I have passed 50% completion and that is plenty good enough for me. I have a few achievements that I want to earn and then I will put this one out to pasture and hope for some good DLC.

Battle Field Bad Company 2 is nearing the end of it's heavy play phase. I have over 120 hours logged and have really enjoyed it, but I have plenty of other games to play and have gotten a good value from BFBC2 if I never play it again. As it stands, I suspect that I will play it off and on while waiting for Battle Field 3.

I just installed Red Faction: Guerrilla and have about an hour in it. I am not liking the gun play(I feel like I am missing something in the controls department) but there are enough cool ways to kill the bad guys that it looks like fun. The vehicle controls are ugly, but destroying stuff feels pretty good.

Birthday Follow-up

It has been a few weeks since my birthday. Just Cause 2 has been my #1 game and it has been a real riot. I've finished the main plot but have plenty of smaller faction missions still available. But I mostly just travel around causing mayhem. It is a bunch of fun. I have not touched Bad Company 2 since getting it; I will get back to BC2, but I am in no hurry.

The gamepad works great in Just Cause 2 and it has also gotten me going in GTA IV which is also turning out to be a great game. The fun factor is a bit lower - the city design is too tight and twisty turny for driving recklessly - but the main character is likable and the stories are all interesting.

As predicted, the gamepad is almost certainly going to be the gaming gift that keeps on giving. I had not used an xbox controller before this, but it is certainly one of the best designed and implemented controllers that I have used. It is certainly the equal of a PS2 controller.

I've got around 2-3 hours in with The Witcher and so far I like everything about it. I am currently in a more action orientated mode (I want to play games with the xbox controller, I guess), but I put in a little bit of time here and there trying to keep my interest high.

On the new stuff front, I finally ordered Company of Heroes. Getting a fairly recent, highly rated game for under $6 with shipping was too good to pass up. I found it at GoGamer for a very nice price indeed. If I were not so involved with JC2 and GTA-IV, I would probably have grabbed Nation Red and/or Space Rangers 2: Reboot.

Gamer's Birthday

I genrally have a thematic birthday, at least in terms of gifts. Last year it was art-centric and this year was game-centric. So what did I get?

Well, I am probably one of the few serious gamers on the planet without a single game in the Orange Box. So yup, I got a copy of the Orange Box and installed it last night. I just started 2004's Half-Life 2.

I also go Saint's Row 2. I have heard that it is not so hot on a PC, but hey, I am fan of sand-box games and will try it out.

Speaking of sandbox games, Just Cause 2 was released ON my birthday - hard to say no to that, so I snagged it. I am really looking forward to trying this game out - takes a while to get it on a slow internet connection, but I anticipate playing it soon.

And rounding the games out, I also grabbed Left 4 Dead 2 for half-price. It was time, I guess. I am a bit anxious on getting into a game where the players has such a head start in experience, but hey, if I suck because I am a noob, so be it.

Finally, I grabbed an xbox 360 gaming controller. I have an idea that Just Cause 2, GTAIV, Saint's Row 2, and some other games that I have might be easier with a good game pad. I hate the price, but I know that in 3 or 4 years that it is likely that the only thing I am still using will be the game pad - the PC and all the games on it will probably be distant memories.

It is nice to have friends and family that take such good care of me. The best part of my birthday was the time spent with them.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

When I could game, I spent most of the weekend playing Battlefield Bad Company 2. I did have a couple of hours with Burnout Paradise.

I started playing a new soldier, just so I could see how the learning process was coming. My original soldier has a .6 k/d ratio while the new one (who is strictly assault for now) has a 1.1 k/d ratio. So it is nice to see that my game has improved.

One thing that I have learned is that assault rifles have a very, very long range. I have gotten a number of kills on enemy snipers and have punished troops in the open from extreme range. It just might be that the F2000 shoot straight (no bullet drop), but I have been using it to my advantage.

I also joined STEAMGAMERS.COM online community and hope to make a few friends there. I would like to get a BFBC2 squad together and roll with friends.

FPS Weekend

I spent the weekend alternating between Borderlands and Bad Company 2 with just a touch of Killing Floor tossed in.

In Bad Company, I have been playing Rush exclusively, wanting to get somewhat geared up before investigating Conquest. So far, I have gotten Medic, Engineer, and Combat Arms up to reasonable levels. I dislike Sniping in this game (too many visual effects to blind you) and have been putting that grind off.

Borderlands has been something of a surprise. I was not expecting it to be as much fun as it has been. I leveled a Hunter (marksman) out to 20 and then started a Berserker who I flew to 23 rather quickly. I really get a kick out of the Berserker mechanics, though it gets me in trouble all the time. The hunter is rarely in trouble, though he has a much harder time on Boss fights because he does not have the monsterous shield and hitpoint base that the 'zerker has and also does not have a way to recover hit points.

Laid back weekend otherwise.

Time Travel Back to 1994

I picked up Dungeon Lords: Collector's Edition and fired it up for maybe 30 minutes.

My gosh, this game is sooooo old school. Creatures make a sound unique to them. They drop loot unique loot (bats drop bat wings, rats drop rats tails), and have there own attack animations. It has been YEARS since I have seen this kind of game play and it was once very common.

And the character models. Wow, just wow. They are also pretty old school. Even the artwork was done by people that are doing it because they love it - and clearly are not professional artists. I am not being mean here - it is just an observation that the only professional art appears to have been the box art. I mean, hey, some of the install art has little V marks to denote stuff like ankles.

Anyhow, I am intrigued by the lack of maps, player aids, quest icons, or any of that modern stuff that I have become oh so accustomed to having. It has been a long time since I have tried an RPG that lacks helpful extensions and will be interesting to at least tinker around with it.

Yes, it could all go horribly wrong, but if I quit playing, no big deal - it is a $5 game.


Bad Company

I managed to play a fair amount of Bad Company last night. I got my medic up to the point where I can defibulate downed soldiers and I have started working on my engineering skills.

I also put in some time with Borderlands, getting up to level 17. I am in kind of an annoying spot right now, with my quests being too hard to complete which means that I am grinding out mobs for experience and gear. I did complete a bigger, more difficult quest and it was pretty exciting as it introduced one of the giant-sized raiders.

One of these days I will get a full night of sleep...

Wow, Borderlands is FUN

Borderlands really surprised me. It is really, really fun in single player mode. Hopefully it is even better when I get around to multi-player.

My favorite feature takes a second to describe. If you are about to die, you can get a boost of health, a second wind if you will, if you manage to kill an enemy in 3-5 seconds. You vision goes red and bloody, and the sound goes wild while you try to take down an enemy.

The first time it happened, I sort of freaked out and died while I was trying to figure it out. The next FOUR times, I managed to kill, kill, kill some bad guys and keep going. On two of them I leveled up seconds later which brings you back to full health and armor.

Anyhow, it might sound like a small thing, but I tend to get in only slightly over my head and having a way to redeem myself is simply awesome! It is exciting, fresh, and fun and it helped to keep my glued to my monitor until the wee hours last night.

I think that I went from level 1 to 13 last night. Vehicles just entered play and I have hit a patch where all my quests are a bit above my level. The only problem with Borderlands is that the pacing is very, very uneven - you have to stop and grind up some experience from time to time.


FPS - my new favorite genre

I had a run just before Duke Nukem was released where I played a lot of FPS games. I ran a BBS that allowed peeps to dial in and we could play a fairly laggy net game while enjoying it from our homes. Aside from the occasional A+ title (Half Life and Farcry come to mind), I have rarely returned to the genre.

The awesome game play in Battlefield Bad Company 2'd demo combined with the co-op of Killing Floor has left me hungering for more. I've been playing Crysis and Brothers in Arms as well, though they haven't captivated me as much as the first two. Section 8 rapdily went in the fail pail - because jetpacks, while fun, promote spastic play.

Co-op game play (team vs team or squad vs computer) is a blast - I am enjoying it way too much. It has a sense of drama on a small stage as you work towards a larger goal.

I put the Orange Box on my birthday list along with a new set of USB headphones. And I nabbed Borderlands, too - more FPS fun.


Monster Killing Floor Weekend

I started playing Killing Floor on Friday night and just could...not....quit. I probably logged over 20 hours and was having a good time doing it.

I am now over 50% done with the Killing Floor Steam achievements, popped both medic and sharpshooter perks to level 4, and advanced several other perks too.

I realized that I was starting to get foggy on how Brother's in Arms worked, so I finished out the weekend by knocking out a chapter in it. The checkpoint save system in that game is a real annoyance, especially when I had a chapter bug-out right at the end. I am close to having finished the story line and, because it has no online play, I will probably be ready to retire it.

I have reclaimed a lot of my proficiency with FPSes in general and I am really ready for Bad Company 2 to arrive. Too bad Steam STILL does not have a preload available.


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