13
Oct
08

My weekend in gaming – more weekend than gaming edition

I’m scratching my head right now, I honestly can’t recall what gaming I did over the weekend. Well I can remember I played Red Alert 2 last night, but I should probably work in a chronological order. I should, but today I wont.

Red Alert 2, there is one thing that holds you back from being the perfect LAN game. I mean, you’re fast, fun and easy to (re)learn, you practically don’t have system requirements (megahertz?), you were published back when EA still liked it’s customers, and years of dedicated community means limitless maps and modifications are available.

So you ask, what stops RA2 from being such a great LAN game? Well it’s fucking reliance on the IPX network protocol. On an XP box this isn’t a massive drama, simply install the protocol and your on track.

But step into the future – it is impossible to install IPX on Vista.

So I think off my tits sums up how happy I was when I stumbled onto the Understorm Lan patch. No fuss, no trouble, unzip the file and readme to your RA2 directory and get ready to party.

My girlfriend’s brother is crashing at our place while his parents are overseas. This is a dude who has never played a C&C game before, and my goal is to ween him onto Generals. I feel like I should have a B grade actor FMVing that mission objective to me.

I also played a few rounds of Warhawk at a mates place, this was actually the first chance I had to play the Vaporfield Glacier map. We played a small map layout so I can’t comment on the other 95% of the map, but what I saw impressed me. So I guess I’ll be buying Broken Mirror.

I reinstalled GTA IV on Saturday – I haven’t had incentive to install since I replaced my hard drive, the process didn’t take as long as it seemed the first time round.

I’m in two minds about the game. When I first jumped back in, the game felt dated. The controls feel unresponsive and the driving was more difficult than I remembered. But I recall reading how Rockstar wanted more realism, this included removing the ability for their characters to turn quickly from full sprint, and for inexperienced drivers to speed through streets and slide around corners like experts. Did the game feel dated, or just different?

Either way, when I got my bearings I had a great time. Multiplayer is still (almost) as fun as it ever was, and the Cops n Crooks game mode remains one of my favorite multiplayer experiences in any game.

And that’s it. As best as my memory tells me, that is all the gameplay I managed to fit in over the weekend – and that was my exact plan. We’re about to be flooded with more quality titles than anyone could ever play. We’re looking down the barrel of one of the greatest console game lineups in history. Rather than diversify my gaming now, I’ve planned to keep my interest on familiar, core games – I want to build a solid foundation to support and compliment the incoming wave. I should stop typing now and skip next week’s installment, as you see my words are a limited resource – a reader can only consume so many. If I save them up, maybe I’ll have enough to do LittleBigPlanet justice.

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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.
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