My Weekend In Gaming – I Can Has Laptop?

I generally don’t play the latest PC games, because I generally do my PC gaming on my girlfriend’s laptop. This hasn’t always been the case mind you, but as consoles have become more capable I have significantly less motivation to purchase a gaming rig. That isn’t to say I don’t manage my fair share of PC play, I’m just two or three years behind the curb – but there is plenty of quality content available that plays well and looks good. It’s actually a pleasant feeling not to be tied to the whims and trends of a market and industry.

Which brings me back to GalCiv2, a game I purchased not because it was the good game coming out this month, not because it’s the latest first party FPS and not because of trophies – I purchased it just because it appealed to me. So why is it that making a PC purchase has awakened a dormant desire within Julia to discover the Sims 2 mod community and spend stupid amounts of time downloading and playing with new content – you’ve owned the game for years and play it periodically, why now, when I purchase a PC game that I really want to put time into, do you bounce into action? Don’t worry, the question is rhetorical.

Unfortunately that’s about all I can say for GalCiv2 – I would love to talk about my actual game time, but it has been brief – when future generations wonder how they won the galaxy, this shit wont even be on Wikipedia.

This did afford me time with wipeout hd (for irresponsible CapitaLisation, you lose them all), which I like a lot. I’d like it better if custom soundtracks could be activated in the Sony, XMB manner (and I’d like that better if I could play WMA during Warhawk), but the feature is appreciated.

I guess I never really got it when I was young enough to be playing the originals, but the game isn’t really a racing title – it resembles something closer to a rhythm game. Left, Left, Either, Left, Left, Right, Centre, Right. Vineta K’s boost pad placement is something like that, and to win you need to hit the boost pads.

Before unlocking additional tracks through career mode the game only allows access to two rather simple circuits. This is a good thing, it forces you to replay and really learn the tracks which is basically a prerequisite for playing the game. You wont find any technical, controlled driving here – the core of this game requires putting your ship on the right side of the track at the right time. Oh, and avoid getting hit by anything while airbraking around a corner.

I picked up the Bioshock demo from the PSN, I was pretty eager to give the game a run – this and Mass Effect were probably the xbox games that interested me most last year, but based off my short time with the demo I was left a bit underwhelmed. I’ve heard that it’s in the narrative and thematic brilliance where the game shines, so I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt on this one. I was turned off by entering Rapture in it’s darkest hour, I would have loved to see more of it functioning – but I expect as the story is fleshed out I’d come to appreciate how she got to the state I found her in.

Of course, I also managed to fit some Warhawk time in, I’m slowly converting friends to the game and soon I’ll have my own army. I tingle at the prospect of 3 or 4 of us sitting in the same room collaborating to capture the flag. 


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Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

edge - Well I never thought I'd consider playing a game on iPhone as actually gaming, but edge has turned me around. The game is built for the iPhone. Sure, it could be ported, but the elegance of what has been created is astounding, it boggles the mind and makes me wonder what amazing gems we'd receive if current gen consoles weren't clones of eachother.

Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.


October 2008
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