My weekend in gaming

I had such high hopes for last weekends gaming. Tales of LittleBigPlanet copies being sold early spured me into a frenzy to socially engineer my way toward a copy – which, of course failed. If I knew what I know now, I’d probably have tried just a little harder. I can’t help but think the entire LBP delay situation is my fault, allow me to explain. After tasting crushing defeat in my quest to attain a street broken copy of LBP, I searched long and hard for the silver lining. The outcome – with great fervour I tracked down the release date for Dead Space. This game has interested me from day one, but I had written it off as a casualty of the holiday season – sometimes we have to make terrible sacrifices. But now a thirst for a new game and the unattainability of LBP had left a Dead Space sized gap in my weekend gaming schedule. As it turns out, the game isn’t released on our island until this Thursday, of course, sharing what at the time was considered LBP’s release date.

So logically I can only assume my angst about missing Dead Space had been heard by God, whom using his greatest weapons has delayed LittleBigPlanet so I could experience Dead Space. Umm, Sorry I guess?

So now that we’ve covered what I didn’t play over the weekend I guess I should put in a few words about what I did.

I got hold of Generals and Zero Hour, vital steps in my continuing effort to get my girlfriends brother to play a PC game that doesn’t start with the words World Of. I guess I was successful in that respect, although no Generals was actually played. The game acted as more of a poking stick – my explaination of the games mechanics and pacing simply awarded Fletcher with a template on which he could place his disinterest.

I don’t like games where you have to fight. I just want to build stuff. Oh, I have a game just like that.

Open Transport Tycoon is an open source clone of a 15 year old game, and shit has that game aged well.

This is a game I’ve been playing since 1994 on a semi-regular basis and not because of some nostalgic crap – this is a game which is still genuinely enjoyable. I think I’d have to consider this my favourite PC game, I’ve gone through phases of playing it for the last 14 years and I’ve never experienced another game that can draw me back in so completely. All this talk of favourite games reminds me that I need to play Bionic Commando Rearmed again.. Capcom, trophy patch please?

I’ve never thought Transport Tycoon really lent itself to LAN play – the game moves slowly and players barely interact, it’s just like a single player game that a bunch of people can play. Who would have thought that could interest a WoW player?

The Playstation got some use too, the Pacific Rift demo got a large chunk of playtime. If I were to go back in time to Friday and tell myself that, I’d probably slap myself, then slap myself back.

I haven’t been exactly excited about Pacific Rift – my knowledge of it’s release date is November, but I always saw myself picking it up for the fact I need a 4 player splitscreen game that doesn’t involve calls of duty.

But these, well, endorsements as I guess they are would not have been given if I twittered. At first, the demo very much disappointed me. But I’m through that and now confident to say it was my initial selection to use the Racing Truck very much disappointed me. I’m glad I hit the demo up a bunch of times, it’s grown on me a lot. Also, don’t pick the Racing Truck.


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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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