November 25, 2008

Got a Light?

So I started smoking again, the smokeless kind with a subscription fee of $14.99 per month. Even though I'd been free from it for over a year, it's hard to resist seeing brand new packaging, a better "high," and not want to start playing again. And if you have roommates who do it with you, forget about it...

Of course I'm eluding to World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, or as I like to call it "Blizzard always needs more money, and yes I'll give it to them." I had no interest in this when it was announced, when I saw footage of the death knight starting area, or even when the awesome Lich King trailer came out. I didn't care about leveling the 70 Rogue I left behind anew and getting back into the swing of it with 11 or 12 million other subscribers. The new zones didn't intrigue me enough to really learn more about the game either.

It was when I saw my friend playing a death knight and killing elites two or three levels higher than himself solo. That sparked all the memories coming back to life of the gaming I loved. It's what I tried to rekindle with Warhammer, but didn't survive only because of the host of other gaming contenders (I still really like it and constantly remind my friend of what it does better than WoW).

And I love being a harbinger of death. Even moreso, I love being a tiny harbinger of death packaged in the body of a gnome. Tethering giant mobs 20 times my size and pulling them next to me is hysterical, and surviving a mob of mobs a couple levels higher than myself is a thrill I'm now privileged to experienced in an MMO setting.

Now where's my pack of smokes? The servers are almost back up.

--"You have many treasures, gypsy. Who did you rob for all this?"

November 19, 2008

Flashlights OFF!

If the zombie apocalypse happened like a good zombie flick, it would be Left 4 Dead. You'd have your highly mutated zeds with various powers: a rather average pouncing one, one that could suck a golf ball through a garden hose from 100 feet away, a fat pinata zombie filled with candied brains, a crazed witch with devil pincers, and the incredible hulkzor. Oh, and survivors...guess the movie might need a few of those.

The whole point is to escape a very imperiled situation; yay. Though people won't play this game for the story, it's meant for cooperative multiplayer. That's just straight campaign as survivors versus the AI or other players. And the artificial intelligence is no joke. This game is a proof of concept of their new "director AI." It changes the pace, where things come from, when boss zeds appear, if ammo/weapons should be placed up ahead, and even the music on top of it all. It's so good, people have loaded the game up in some other Source engine maps, such as Counterstrike's dust. Put simply: it works.

I haven't played enough or much of it to acquire a full scope of the game yet, but the versus multiplayer is a completely different experience; I do much prefer the company of zombies though. It'll take me awhile to learn how to play as the Boomer effectively, but I find it rather exhilarating to, well, grief the scrumptious, player-driven survivors. And griefing is definitely a reward in itself.

I can't wait to see what Valve has in store for the future downloadable content for the game, but I can already imagine some great custom server variations arising with zombie vs. zombie games or ulterior objective-based games with more than four survivors.

The legs of L4D have yet to be seen, but I bet they'll go great with Mod-sauce.

-- "Who died and made you f***ing king of the zombies?"

November 10, 2008

Expansive Awesomeness

Fallout 3 is fantastic.

It's sucked me in, and just keeps delivering the post-apocalyptic munchies I crave. The world may be smaller than Bethesda's Oblivion, but it feels so dense.

I've wandered around only a fraction of the Capital Wasteland so far, but I've seen places and delved into reaches friends who are further along have not been. It's so fun to see all of the reactions people have, the meandering ruins of downtown D.C., and the oodles of ultraviolent kills.

One place in particular was extremely fascinating because it's been like no other part thus far: Vault 106. If you haven't been there, it's tucked away about halfway between Megaton and Arefu. No spoilers, but it's the creepiest I've seen in this game thus far. Maybe playing through most of it past 2am didn't help with all the lights off...

It feels like a naturally evolving part of the Fallout franchise. It feels right, and I'm not even halfway through. Just biding my time until I blow up Megaton too...what a glorious site that will be.

--"Didn't I kill you already?"

November 04, 2008


What a hectic time away from here. Along with moving out of my apartment and stopping to pick up my copy of Fallout 3, I had plans to visit friends at Purdue. So this post doesn't have to do with Fallout 3 only because I had no time for it. What I did have time for every time I go up there is more of Rock Band 2 and dressing up for Halloween for the first time in a very long time. So of course I chose a video game character: The Blue Scout from Team Fortress 2.

As for Rock Band 2, I've come to realize I like playing it with others only in person. Something about the online play doesn't entice me at all for that game. Probably because I have some people I can play with even if it's only once a month or so. Soon I'll get to test Guitar Hero: World Tour, but my friend's short impression and someone else's on one of my podcasts leaves me believing Rock Band is the better choice.

This seems like more a journal post, but I just need to get back in the habit again. I'm thinking of writing about the evil of trainer mods or how most of us grew up playing only one game for the majority of a year. Who knows?

--"Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead."