Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dusting off the cobwebs, is this thing still on, etc.

It's times like these when I'm glad that I'm not a professional games journalist. The release schedule is all but dead; most developers are saving their announcements for E3 so there's very little in the way of interesting water-cooler talk; and the 3 games I've been playing the most lately are:
  1. Uno Rush
  2. Outrun Online Arcade
  3. Lode Runner
Granted, I downloaded Lode Runner this morning and I've only played it for about 5 minutes, but even so, that should give you some indication of why I haven't been posting all that much lately.

I was debating putting up a Release Calendar post, but then I looked over my Gamefly queue and got a little depressed. 2007 and 2008 were absurdly good years in terms of both quality and quantity, and right now 2009 looks pretty dry in comparison. Most of the AAA titles currently in development that I'm really looking forward to are probably not going to be released this year, and as such there's not a whole lot to get excited about (aside from Brutal Legend).

I will say this - I recently dusted off my Wii and gave House of the Dead: Overkill a spin, and while my wrist got tired after a while, that game is pretty goddamned hilarious; they've put a super-Grindhouse spin on the presentation/dialogue/story and it makes for a much more engaging experience than I was expecting. Considering how long it's been since I played a Wii title that didn't involve bowling, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. My wife and I will probably go a few more rounds with it, and then send it back from whence it came.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still Alive

"You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector--they expect results." - Ray Stantz, PhD

Dangit, have I (Gred) been busy! Sneaking in a little gaming here and there, and barely able to read the GDC headlines. (I can't imagine OnLive will ever work, but I would love to see them prove me wrong!)

I'll get a brief reprieve from work due to the Passover/Easter holidays, but the bitter tragedy is that I will be parted from my consoles while I "celebrate" with family out of town. Thank God RockStar invented portable GTA. I think I'll be playing lots of Chinatown Wars this weekend. (Note to self: Do not forget to pack your DS charger; Note to Self II: If you do forget your DS charger, do not forget to pack your cyanide pill!)

As of Sunday, though, I'll be a bachelor for a little while since my spouse and kiddo will be staying on with the in-laws for an extra week. There will be gaming. Oh yes, there will be gaming. And blogging.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have science to do.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mass Effect; PS2 Price Cut

I was insanely busy last week and so I wasn't as on top of the news coming out of GDC as I wanted to be, but GDC isn't really a news-generating event as much as it is a conference for game developers (I think that's why they call it "Game Developers Conference"). That said, there were a few companies touting their wares, and while most gamers are probably foaming at the mouth over Modern Warfare 2, the games I was most excited to hear about were Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2.

I'm not even sure there was any specific ME2 news, other than some leaked shakycam footage and the revelation that it will feature faster loading times (which (in my opinion) has been the only really consistent problem in Bioware's console RPG catalog - KOTOR and Jade Empire were annoying in that regard as well). But Mass Effect was part of 2007's holy trinity of awesome (alongside Bioshock and Portal)*, and I sunk around 50 hours over two (2!) playthroughs, and the thought of a new and improved sequel started getting me giddy...

...and now I'm sorta playing it again, for the third time. I've not really been able to really sit down and dig in, though, since I've been busy; I raced through the first planet and am kinda speeding through the first visit to the Citadel, and I'm even skimming through conversations. I don't have any particular agenda this time, either, except to keep the story fresh in my mind and hopefully hit level 60.

My original write-ups on my old GS blog (#1, #2, #3, #4) are pretty badly written, but they provide some context.


Sony announced yesterday that they were dropping the PS2's price point to $99, and lemme tell you - I'm sorta considering it. There's a handful of PS2 games that I'm kinda bummed I never got to play - FFX, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, the first two God of War games, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others - and $99 for access to the PS2's gargantuan library is pretty tempting, I must admit.

* I still can't quite believe that Mass Effect, Bioshock and Portal all came out in the six-month period. And to think that Super Mario Galaxy was also in that mix? Jesus Christ. I defy anyone to say that there was a better year in gaming than 2007.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

a shameless plug

I ordinarily try to keep this blog as narrowly focused as possible, but I'll make an exception every now and then when the situation calls for it.

Below is a short film written and directed by some good friends of mine, and which I composed the music for; it turned out pretty well, I think. Please check it out and vote for it (if you're so inclined); if we win this round, we get a bigger budget and we get to make something else.