Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome to the Monday

Hey all you folks out there in the blog-overse.  I hope that everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was pretty good.  Low key, but I am alright with that. 


So this weekend was a bit odd for me.  I think this is the first weekend in awhile where I haven't devoted a considerable amount of time to TF2 on the video game front.  I spent most of my gaming time stepping back into "The Witcher."   A really interesting RPG.   I had tried playing through the game before, but found the default Over the Shoulder camera view to be a bit cumbersome and made navigation hard.  This time around I'm playing the game with the camera set for isometric controls, and I am enjoying it a lot more.   In the isometric view the game plays much more like Diablo II. Which I definitely find to be a plus.  Being able to play a majority of the game with just your mouse makes for a much more relaxing experience.  I am still having troubles with the game.  I think the interface is just a touch counter intuitive especially when if comes to tracking your active quests.  I am pretty much to the point in the game where I was before, where I have a variety of quests to complete, but not a real good sense of what I need to do or where I need to go to resolve the quests I am currently working on.  Plus, there is totally a chick in game waiting for me at the old well for a date. (Yes, in this game you are able to charm some of the ladies out of their corsets.) If only I could find out where I need to go to buy a bottle of wine. 


In other video game news, I scooped up Lego Batman for my DS yesterday.   I had such fun with the Star Wars Lego game that I have been looking forward to Batman getting the same treatment.  I am not to far into the game as of yet, but I am at present a bit unimpressed.   The actual game play mechanics remain pretty much intact from the Lego StarWars game, as you combine the abilities of different characters to pass various obstacles in the game world.  The game play remains fun and entertaining, and I actually found it to be less repetitive the the Star Wars games, as the focus in this game is more upon using your characters to pass through the levels then fighting wave after wave of generic respawning enemies.   At this point, if I do have an issue with the game it is due to the lack of animated in game cut scenes.   One of the most entertaining aspects of the Star Wars games were the animated cut scenes between levels.  These were hysterical in the Star Wars game.  Here in Batman we are deprived of these cuts scenes which have been replaced by a slide show of static images to convey the story.   Sadly, these slide shows while they strive to be entertaining are actually quite boring.   Especially in light of how entertaining the Star Wars cut scenes were. The lack of animated cut scenes just smack of laziness on the part of the developer.   The biggest crime that these scenes perpetrate however, is that they make the story line attempting to be told almost unimportant.   Which is a shame, because the potential for this game (had it been a complete package) was incredible and could have been special.   In it's released state it rates an average.  I hope more time was put into the console versions.


Friday night was interesting.  I took in the Presidential debates with The Gent.   Now, as I've said before I am planning on supporting Obama in the upcoming election, and Friday night's debate did little to alter my opinion in this matter.  What I saw on Friday night only reinforced my opinion that the direction that John McCain and the Republican party will take our country is indeed the wrong direction.  John McCain's belligerent attitude towards the majority of foreign policy issues discussed scares me.   His attitude was arrogant and in my opinion borders on war mongering.  While I think John McCain was trying to portray himself as knowledgeable and authorative with regards to our place on the world stage I think all he really served to show was how out of touch he is with the current state of the world.  He may have said he had no desire to see a return to the cold war, but the way that his rhetoric regarding Russia and meeting with foreign heads of state  came across to me seamed quite the contrary.   John MCain sadly I think exposed his thinking as woefully archaic.   Our country is at a cross roads in it's evolution, and I think small minded and combative thinking has no place in our government.   What kind of leader can a man be if he can't even acknowledge his opponent in a political debate?   What does it say about the man who wants to lead our country that he can call his opponent to far to the left to reach across the isle, yet can't ever bare to cast a glance across the four feet of stage separating the two candidates?   


Greg said...

Mark, addressing your first topic, I'm looking for a good RPG for the coming cold months. Something that'll keep me busy for a while. I saw Oblivion and almost got it, but the footage I saw feels too D&D nerdy. I saw Mass Effect and it didn't grab me either. Any recommendations?

Beers said...

Well let's see. In terms of Oblivion, I didn't like it. I played it for a few weeks, and couldn't get into it. I actually gave away my copy to a friend who is enjoying it quite a bit.) The main problem I had with the game was that it was a bit to open ended for me. At the moment there are two games being released soon that I am super interested in. "Fallout 3" is being made by the same studio that made Oblivion (Bethesda) and that should get you far enough away from a D&D world. The other game I really want is Valve's "Left for Dead". L4D is not an RPG, but a multiplayer zombie game that has promise.

Mad Typist said...

@greg - I have Mass Effect and am really enjoying it. It has a great story line, though the game mechanics are a bit wonky. I have heard that the PC version is superior, though, and addresses a lot of the gameplay problems, while leaving behind all the story goodness. If you liked KOTOR, you'll probably like Mass Effect.

Greg said...

I suppose if I haven't played KOTOR, maybe I oughta start there? The last PC RPG game I really got into was Bloodlines, which had a fantastic atmosphere and characters, but was very buggy.

Thank you both for your advice!

Beers said...

KOTOR is certainly worth taking a look at. It's an old game to so you can probably find it pretty cheep. I got my copy for like 20 bucks at a Gamestop.