Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 5

I played great gobs of Crysis 2 over the weekend. Enjoying it still, for the most part. I’m seven hours in, according to my Steam stats.

I think I’ve been a little too sloppy with posting spoilers, blatantly listing out the storyline and such, so sorry about that. I’ll try to be a little more general with my descriptions from here on out, for those of you who haven’t played but are interested.

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Video Games

Bullet Points: Portal 2, Part 1 (Spoiler-Free)

There will be no spoilers below, I’m just going to be talking in very general terms about the game (which I haven’t even finished). There’s too much fun stuff to discover on your own, which is why I avoided as much of the pre-release media blitz as I could. (And I feel like I’ve probably had too many spoilers in the Crysis 2 stuff I’ve been posting). I’m not even going to post screenshots. About the only thing I mention specifically below is about an actor who does some voice-work in the game.

Anyway. Portal 2! It’s finally here, and out a few hours early to boot. It unlocked for me around 10pm last night, and after about ten minutes of waiting for the files to decrypt, I was able to start playing. I played about two hours last night, and followed it up with a little more this morning (I called in late). I haven’t tried multiplayer yet; I want to finish the single-player stuff first.

How is it? It’s great and you should buy it and play it. Some general deets and thoughts below. If you leave a comment, please keep them spoiler-free as well.

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Movies | Television | Video Games

Weekend Menu: Presidents, Parrots, and Possibly Portals

Busy week, what with trying to get this blog off the ground. Thanks to anyone who’s been reading!

My own personal menu for the weekend includes a watching of Tron: Legacy, which just arrived on DVD from Netflix. I’ve seen the first ten minutes of the film already, and I don’t have a lot of hope that I’ll enjoy the rest, because the preview featured a digitally-created young version of Jeff Bridges that was creepy and unconvincing. He looked like a character from a video game cut-scene. From two years ago. Also, there was a guy base-jumping off a skyscraper that served no purpose except to make the character doing it seem X-TREME.

Here’s the weekend menu; see you on Monday!

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Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 4

I’m starting to realize that the stuff Prophet was doing in the intro movie is a bit different than the stuff I’m doing. He was jumping off buildings and blowing up trucks and ripping giant guns off vehicles and staring down helicopters like they couldn’t even hurt him. Me, I mainly sneak around, invisible, shooting people when they’re not paying attention and then scamper off and hide.

Not that I’m not having fun, I am. But if we were both in The Fantastic Four, Prophet would be The Thing and I’d be The Invisible Woman, if the invisible woman had a machine gun.

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Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 3

I had a bunch of Cokes with dinner, so I wound up wide-awake at 11pm last night. Played some more Crysis 2, and this morning I’m a tired, half-unconscious mess. Here’s the run-down.

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Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 2

Picking up where I left off: there’s an alien virus in Manhattan, which somehow causes aliens to invade, and there’s a bunch of enemy soldiers, and I still don’t really get the plot because I was too busy kicking things to pay attention.

Reading the Wikipedia page helps a little. The enemy soldiers are military contractors who want to kill me because they think I’m Prophet, who they were trying to kill because he was infected with the alien virus. So, it’s just a wacky case of mistaken identity that could be cleared up by me telling everyone that I’m not Prophet. Or, you know, I could just keep killing them. I think I’ll do that!

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Television | Video Games

Tuesday Night Menu

Video Games

Portal 2:  Nope, it’s not out yet, but it is currently available for pre-loading off Steam, which I’m excited about, which is a little weird. All it really means is that I can download some chunks of it but can’t play it for another week or so. But still, the idea of that game-y goodness slowly leaking into my computer, and just knowing it’s waiting there, is a nice warm feeling. It’s like owning a gun and knowing that you can kill someone if you want.

I’ve been on a complete Portal 2 info blackout for a couple months. Valve do great promotion work for their games, but with all the videos and ads and mysterious puzzles they’ve been releasing lately, I don’t want to have seen 95% of the game before I get to play it. I won’t even visit the link I just linked.

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Video Games

Bullet Points: Crysis 2, Part 1

Video game reviews are tricky for non-professional (or, in my case, unprofessional) game writers. Unlike career game journalists, the hobby gamer doesn’t get an early look at most games. We have to buy them ourselves, which can get expensive. And, when a game contains ten or twenty or more hours of playtime, it may take us weeks to play through them, trying to find time to play among our other obligations, such as our real paying jobs and visits to our parole officers. Even if we do finish a game in a timely manner, there are already dozens of reviews already online, rendering our thoughts a bit moot.

There’s also the fact that I don’t finish playing every game, or even most games, I buy. Sometimes they’re just not fun, sometimes they’re too hard, and sometimes they start out okay but get boring. Should I even be reviewing a game that I’ve only played partially, weeks after it’s been released?

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DVD | Television | Video Games

Monday Night Menu

Quick recap of Sunday night’s entertainment:

We watched episode 2 of The Killing. With an entire season devoted to one case, the information is coming in at a leisurely trickle, which is good, though I admit I’m already impatient for more. I sort of wish we’d missed the season, waited until it was out on DVD, and rented it so we could consume it big, multi-episode gulps (The Wire was much more satisfying that way). Still, it’s very good, and it’s devoting a lot of time to the family of the deceased and how they’re trying to cope, which is both painful to watch and extremely rare for television to show. Generally, the only time you see the reaction of the family of a murder victim is when they’re informed of the murder, and they cry a little, and they mention “She used to hang out with this kid down the street” and then the investigation shifts away from them, until maybe you see them in the courtroom at the end.

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Movies | Video Games

Mass Effect 2: The Screenplay

Okay, Hollywood, listen up. There are three things nerds have wanted for a while: good movies based on comic books, good movies based on fantasy novels, and good movies based on video games.

I’ll give you this: after some early struggles, you’ve finally made some decent comic book movies, like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man (the first one), Spider-Man (the first two), and maybe one-and-a-half of the X-Men films.

Plus, you scored twin dunkers with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter and the Blankity Blank sevenilogy. Or eightilogy. Whatever.

But good movies based on video games? In my opinion, you haven’t cracked the code. You’ve given us crap like Doom, Hitman, Prince of Persia, Max Payne, and Streetfighter. Where’s our good movie, the one we can point to and say, “Hey, this doesn’t suck too bad!”

You need help, and I am qualified to provide it due to the following facts:

1) I have played some games
2) I sort of remember some stuff about them
3) I wrote the stuff down in screenplay form

You’re welcome. Please note, Hollywood, that if you haven’t played this game yet, there are spoilers.

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