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Joy Blog

L4D2 review?!

I really want to write a L4D2 review tomorrow. Let's see if this inspires me. ;)

E309 Day 1

Well, day one of E3 is over. What really stood out? I'm surprised actually. I think the thing I'm the most excited about, that's coming out soon anyway, is the New Super Mario Bros for the Wii. 4 players, same screen (Little Big Planet style). I can't wait to play this with my friends. I really like multi-player party like games. As much as I love killing some baddies all by myself, I do still like playing with other people. I had a blast playing LBP with one of my best friends last week, and I see the New Mario being just as much fun. I'm gonna try to get some play time in on it tomorrow. It was a little too busy today.

Speaking of multi-player games, Left 4 Dead 2 is gonna be pretty freakin' rad. I can't wait until November to get my hot little hands on it. But really, as far as party games go, Guitar Hero 5 is gonna be sweet. I love the party mode. You can make a set list of up to 128 songs and have it playing on your TV while you're all gettin' your drink on, and if someone wants to get in on a song, all they have to do is pick up an instrument and join. You can all play the same instrument if you want. Which is also kinda awesome. I might have to actually get me some GH5. I'm such a Rockband girl tho, I feel like I'm betraying my fav. Oh well, RB will just have to get over it. ha

While I'm on the music/rhythm games, I'll say something about DJ Hero... thanks, but no thanks. I'm not a DJ, I never wanted to be a DJ, and I don't think I'd ever want to play the game. It looks a little complex. There's buttons, sliders and a turntable for scratching. Not only do you have to do a lot of stuff in it, I hate the music they have for it. Sorry, I just don't do pop music at all. And I probably won't be getting the Beatles version of RB either. I'm not a huge Beatles fan, never have been. I do like the new hardware tho. The bass and guitars are sweet. But I'm gonna stick with my Mad Catz Fender bass. It's my baby and I love it.

The only game I actually got to play was Lego Rockband. It's still in development, so there were some glitches and there weren't many songs, but it's cute and would also be good for parties and n00bs. There are some different modes, some that you just can't fail out of, you know how Lego doesn't like to let you fail at anything. ;) But overall it's the same as RB2, with the exception of Lego graphics and challenge modes. It was fun playing it on the floor and having people with big video cameras record me. I have no idea who it was that filmed me playing, but if you see it, I'm the chick with the blue hair and the taped up right hand. Let me know if it gets posted somewhere. ;)

And now on to the more serious games...

Darksiders: I have high hopes for this one. It looks great and seems like it's up my alley in the button masher / big sword kinda way. I'm gonna try to get my hands on it tomorrow.

(as I'm writing this, I'm watching the conference for Sony, and I'm totally distracted from what I was saying because they're showing the demo for Assassin's Creed. I wasn't a fan of the first one because I couldn't get the hang of the controls, but I really want to give it another chance. Esp cuz the new one looks so amazing.)

Speaking of Sony... I was a little surprised when I was wandering through their booth today. Personally, I'm really excited about God of War 3, but I know that lots of people are really into Uncharted, so I expected to see a huge wait to play it. However, this was not the case. There were plenty of open spots in the Uncharted section, but there was a line 70+ people deep waiting to play GoW3.

(I think Sony really has something with their new motion controllers. It seems far more useful and fun than Microsoft's Natal. It would actually be functional in games that, for example, are rated M for mature. ;) I'm still totally excited about Project Natal, but I think this will not only come out first, but also will be easier to implement in action games.)

Okay, back to the showroom floor... As you may know, I'm a huge Resident Evil/Silent Hill fan. I can't wait to get Silent Hill on the Wii. It looks like a wonderfully remade version of an old favorite. I love the Wii features and controls, and I hope that when we see the new/old RE1, it will take advantage of the Wiimote in the same way. I have to say that I don't dig RE: Darkside Chronicles, because I'm not a fan of the on-rails shooters. I like the freedom to go get lost if I want to. (which I seem to do regularly!)

hmm... what else... GoW3, GH5, L4D2, one of the most often said words this E3 is "franchise", and that's what they're bringing us. But I don't mind at all. I like to read series of books, not just a single one, and I like games that let me keep living in the worlds that I love. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy to add a new character to my family of favorites, but I also would like to keep playing them after the first games ends. I'm not a big fan of endings or goodbyes. ;)

Okay, that's all I feel like writing for now. I gotta go get a few more beers in me so I can get to sleep at a reasonable time and I can get back to E3 in the AM.

oh and one more thing... I wish that when you killed something in one of these awesome games, the bodies would stay where they fall and not disappear. I would love to see the ground littered with bodies after a particularly rough battle.

EA impressions...

Dante's Inferno! OMG yay! oh and goblin boobies. Can't wait for that one.

Dragon Age: Origins looks great too. There were some sexy moments in that trailer too.

Saboteur looks pretty sweet.

Brutal Legend is gonna be awesome. haha

Overall a disappointingly brief look at some games. They basically just showed the trailers and no gameplay. LAME.

Microsoft press conference impressions

Wow. Just wow. Natal is insane. I'm speechless. A friend of a friend is Tsunoda's wife, and she has the technology in her house. She says "It may look like a set up, but it really does work the way they describe it. It's amazing." Then she said to come up to Seattle and give it a try. I may have to take a trip. haha

Other than that, Alan Wake looks rad. I can't wait to get my hands on that. It better be worth the wait. It looks like exactly the kinda game I totally get off on. Watch the video. Seriously.

Left 4 Dead 2 looks good, but I still haven't finished the first one. *puts that on todo list*

Honestly, I've never played Halo, but the 3rd one looks so great I think I'm gonna have to get it.

Oh and I love the Facebook integration. That's gonna be sweet. I couldn't care less about twitter tho.

Well I guess that's about it for Microsoft. Too bad all the stuff I'm really excited about won't be out for another year or more. I'm still super excited about all of it and can't wait to get onto the floor tomorrow! Got my badge! Gonna have to get up way earlier than I'd like to, but who cares, it's E3! haha

e3 !!!

I'm down in LA for E309. Hanging out with my friends, waiting for Tuesday to come. Hopefully I'll have some videos and stuff for you soon. ;)

iPhone Gaming

I just read the article on iPhone games, and wanted to add my two cents.

Admittedly, I don't have a lot of games on my iPhone. Not because there aren't good ones, but because I don't spend a lot of time playing games on my phone. However, the ones I do play are mindless fun.

I'll start with my most played game...

Solitaire City Deluxe

Yes, I know, "you have an iPhone and you play solitaire the most? WTF?" Shut up. I love solitaire. I play it when I can't sleep and it knocks me right out. It's very zen-like for me. But enough about my weirdness... Solitaire City deluxe has over 60 games included in it and it will run you $8, while the free version has only 2 games. Download the free one and give it a look. The graphics are lovely, the "gravity" of the cards is pretty cool too. I could rattle off all the special features, but you can read them yourself on the product page. Suffice it to say, it's visually appealing, as addicting as solitaire ever was, and I'm glad I spent the $8 on the full version.

Tetris by EA

I think this one should have been reviewed too. Yes, it's just Tetris, but on the iPhone it becomes a whole new beast. After you get used to the swiping and tapping to move your pieces, it becomes one of the most fun versions of the game I've ever played. The graphics are great, but that's a given with EA as the seller. It has two modes, the original Marathon and the new Magic mode. Magic mode lets you earn different tools to save you if things get out of hand. There's a bubble wrap tool that changes all the blocks to bubbles you can pop within a short time limit. There's also a cool little spiked bomb that you release and then shake your phone to knock it around and break blocks. You can even earn a crayon and draw what shape you need to get that Tetris you've been building. All in all, I think it's $5 well spent. It's a fun diversion and Magic mode is an interesting update to the original.

MotionX Poker

Okay, anything from these guys is awesome. From the graphics to the sound effects to the gravity, these dice games are pretty sweet. There are free versions and $3 versions. The main difference between them is in the free version you're limited to only a few sets of dice and only a few achievements, but if neither of those things matter to you, then don't bother paying the $3. Also, it seems like they've made 2 games that are essentially the same: Poker & Poker Quest. The game play is the same, but the graphics and dice are different. They're basically fun, visually appealing, games, but unless you really like playing poker with dice, it gets boring after the novelty wears off.

Touch Hockey: FS5

The best air hockey game is the free one. There are a couple of them out there, but this one stands out over the others because you can play against a friend when you're on the same Wi-Fi network. The graphics are great, it acts like a real air hockey game too. And you can't beat the price, since I'm sure you won't be playing it all the time. ;)

Aurora Feint

A year ago I was addicted to this game. I LOVED it. But now they've released new versions and the original is gone. I had high hopes for the new versions, but I can't even play it without creating a whole new character and starting over. It won't even let me transfer my user when I go to the site and put in my 40 digit iPhone ID, because I can't remember my password. So I can't really review this one since I've never played it, but considering how great the first one was, I'm sure this one is probably great too. And hopefully all those nasty bugs are gone.

Tap Tap Revenge 2

Yup, good ol' TapTap Revenge. For when you need your Rockband fix on the go. The new version is a huge update to the original. It has better graphics and downloadable songs that you may have actually heard of. And it's free.

Moonlight Mahjong Lite

Addictive. The 3D movement of the board is probably my favorite thing about this beautifully rendered game. It has more functions than I've ever used, you can play against someone else on a local network, or you can play against the computer. The full version has 50 layouts while the free has only 4. I don't have a problem with this. I didn't even know there where that many possible mahjong layouts! And for $5 I don't really need that many. The lite version is more than enough for me.

Well that's it for now. Go flick and tap your way to some fun little games.

rant -- Silent Hill: Homecoming

I was going to start out with a positive review, but I'd rather **** about the biggest let down I've had all year.

When I found out a year or so ago that there was going to be a new Silent Hill, I got all excited. I loved the first one, and played the **** out of it back in the day. I couldn't wait to see what it would look like with the new technology. So it came out. It got panned by reviewers. I ignored them. I loved the mythology of the game so much I thought I could put up with the problems it had. But there was no way I was going to buy the thing, so I waited for it to come to me from the great game repository in the ether (gamefly).

Last week I got the notification it had shipped. The day it was due to arrive I checked the mailbox more often than I check my email. And finally it showed up. Yay! But I wasn't ready to start playing it just yet. A little more anticipation was in order. (I was still having fun with RE5, and wasn't quite ready to give that up yet. ;))

So last Friday I finally sat down and started SH:H... So far so good.... I guess... Hey wait, I can't invert look. (changes the settings for *invert aim*) Wait, what? Nothing changed. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I can't **** change the way I move the damn camera? Great. Well this should be fun... Okay, try to get used to it. You can do this, it's not **** rocket science... *grumble grumble*

No, I can't get used to it. It's not like I have to learn a different button for fire, I have to relearn how to **** LOOK AROUND. It's like breathing, you can't just change something that's been ingrained in you for years. Okay, enough about the kludgy controls...

After stumbling around a bit and completing the first few "puzzles", I finally ran into one of the hot nurses. I dispatched her with my puny knife. Not as glorious as I would have liked. I'm a big fan of the headshot after all. So at this point I'm wondering when I'm gonna get a gun. So I check out the weapons on GameFAQ. And, lo and behold, it turns out the goddam knife is the best weapon in the game! WTF? Really? You're breakin' my heart here. I have to run up and slash wildly at the baddies? You've got to be kidding me! Not only does the game have awkward controls, but a HORRIBLE combat system. I want to shoot things! not run up and button mash slash with a stupid knife.

This is when I stopped.

Now I know what you're gonna say... if you can just make it halfway through the game, it gets better. Really? Who wants to waste 5+ hours getting halfway there just to finally stop cursing the thing? I think not. My complaints aren't about the lack of story progression, or the pointless sudo-linear "exploring". I hate the basics of the game, things that won't change after halftime. If I can't look around properly, I'm going to be constantly frustrated. If the damn flashlight is totally useless now, it's gonna be useless later too. If I don't like the combat, and my strongest weapon is a goddam knife, and the severe lack of ammo won't allow me to use a gun all the time, then what's the point? I'm not going to get into it later. I'm just going to hate it even more. *sigh*

So I can't give a full review of the game, since I didn't play the whole thing. But my first impressions are the ones I'm sticking with. I may try and give it another shot, but I'm really tempted to just send it back to gamefly. Hell, Lego Batman is more interesting to me right now. haha

On a scale of 1-5, I give it a 1.5.

It looks good. The effects are nice. If I didn't use inverted aim, I might be able to play it. That adds up to +1.5

The combat is lame, the flashlight doesn't work unless you're right next to something, you can't invert look, and the knife is the best weapon, not the backup. -3.5

If you can get over the major issues, I'm sure it's pretty cool. Unfortunately, even my love of the old game can't get me past the crap that this one has presented.

Hi GameSpot...

So, like everyone else on the internetz I think my opinion matters and should be heard. This is going to be my little soapbox where I'll be ranting and raving about games. Read it if you want my opinions, and sometimes I'll even back them up with facts.

But I won't start telling you what I think just yet... it's too damn hot in my apartment. I'm going to the bar for a frosty brew. Games can wait on days like this.