Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Arcade Style

It's been a few days since I posted, and I apologize for that. Things have been kind of busy, and I don't see that changing until after April 16th. So please, bear with me here.

In addition to playing around in Borderlands, I've spent a lot of time over on Xbox Live Arcade. There was, of course, my time with P.B. Winterbottom and 'Splosion Man, but since then I've played a lot of Wallace & Gromit (Episodes 2 & 3), and A LOT of A Kingdom For Keflings. Outside of the Xbox, I've played about 2-3 hours of Heavy Rain and started the God of War Collection.

I'd like to touch on a Kingdom For Keflings a bit. It was a great change of pace after Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, and more Borderlands. It's got the whole tech tree thing going on like an RTS, only there are no enemies and no real way to fail. You can use your Xbox Live Avatar as the "Giant" who sends the Keflings out to gather resources while you build stuff. If you're bored and need some violence, you can kick your Keflings around or destroy buildings. It's great! It's also excellent for drinking... you can just sit there, drink, and let your Keflings continue to gather resources without the fear of an impending enemy attack. I did have one genius start piling rocks up in one spot rather than taking them to the stone cutter. She paid for her sins by spending the next 2 hours moving that rock to it's proper location. YOU'RE IN MY WORLD NOW KEFLING!

If you're looking for some relaxing, semi-brain-teasing mystery solving, the Wallace & Gromit games are fun. The stories are funny enough, but really I just like the solving the little puzzles along the way. It's a pretty traditional point-and-click adventure, but it definitely has it's own personality. I especially love the way they manage dialogue when you're controlling the mute dog, Gromit. I also like the way they've adapted the "point" portion of point-and-click for the Xbox. You can cycle between selectable objects by using the right thumbstick or by using RB and LB (my preferred method). I'd love to see the Sam & Max games find a way to incorporate this. Those games are absolutely hilarious, and if the object selection was a little better in the console versions they'd be damn near perfect.

I had planned to spend some more time with Heavy Rain last night... but this kind of killed that plan. I hear things are all squared away now. 2010 as a leap year? Somebody looked at the wrong Olympic schedule. Also, I kind of suck at quick-time events apparently. I think my main problem is that this is the first Playstation system I've owned. I keep mixing up the circle and square buttons... too many years of A, B, X, Y.

Finally, I'd like to remind everybody that I'll be headed to San Francisco in a few days. I'll be on IGN's Game Scoop podcast this Friday! I'm super excited, so expect updates and pictures along the way.

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