Ranting/Venting About Games I've Recently Played

Samutz

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Where I live, there's not a whole lot of gamers. It's a tiny town on the Texas/Mexico border that's pretty far behind in terms of technology.
There are high school students that are gamers, but most of them hate me because one of the duties of my position is to make sure they can't access their MySpaces, Facebooks, YouTubes, and such at school. I controls the filter. I controls their interweb.
Then there's one friend I have that's a gamer, but he's always "too busy" to play games lately. And if I try to talk to him about a new game, he doesn't really seem to give a shit. Don't buy consoles, get them modded, then download roms and isos 24/7 if you're not going to play them.
And the rest of my friends are 10-20 years older than me and not into games (except for Rock Band). And they have kids that play games, but they're the kids that play Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon based games. "Mass Effect? But, that's the porno game!"

So this leaves me with pretty much no one locally to talk games with. Which is frustrating when I feel like talking about how awesome a game is, but can't find people to talk about with it. And normally I wouldn't post it online (unless someone asks for opinions), because my thoughts are usually "Random people online aren't going to give a shit about what I think".
But I'm sick of just holding it in, so I'm going to post anyway. Read it or don't. I don't care.


The day after last Christmas I finally bought myself a 360, about 8 games (listed below), and various accessories. It arrived in the main early January, so as you can imagine, I've spent a great deal of the past month playing the 360. Here's what I played and my thoughts on them.
Note: This 360 is the first system in a while that I'm not pirating on. Mainly because I don't want to get banned from XBL.

Recently Played

Marvel Ultimate Alliance
This came bundled with the 360 along with Forza Motorsport 2.
I've already played this a bit on the PS2. Compared to the PS2 version, the graphics are much better and the text is a lot easier to read. But the gameplay is exactly the same. To me this is a "meh" title, except that I have a friend who's soon loves super heroes, so I play this with him every once and a while. The co-op aspect of the game is much more fun that playing solo. Even if you're partner is more interested in beating up barrels and computer consoles rather than chasing the bad guys.

Forza Motorsport 2
I'm not big on realistic racing games. And I'm not big on this either. I played about 10 races before I got bored. Haven't touched it since. I don't think I can trade it in at a rental place either since the case it shares a plastic disc case with Ultimate Alliance.

Dead Rising
This was the first game that arrived after the 360 /w the previous 2 games. The game seems like it would be fun except that I can't read the fucking text. And there's no way to make it bigger. According to what I've been reading, Capcom won't put out a patch to fix it despite the numerous complaints. I got as far as where you get your first gun (a revolver I think) and have to go shoot some guy that's not a zombie. Haven't touched it since. The text just pisses me off too much.
I upgraded from a 21" curved crt to a 27" flat-faced crt because I was having trouble reading on PS2 and GC games. I'm not upgrading again just for this damn game when every other 360 game I've played doesn't have this problem.
Maybe when I run out of games to play, I'll give it another shot.

Hexic HD (Arcade)
Another game that came with the 360 that I played while waiting for the other games to arrive. Somehow I got sucked into playing this for about 6 hours while streaming music from my mp3 collection to the 360. Haven't gone back to play it since though.

Crackdown
Had I not heard about this one from a friend (who's currently gone to the military), I would have not bought it. He basically described it to me as "like GTA, but as a cop". I was still a bit hesitant to try it because of the shooter aspect of it.
I grew up on playing shooters (mainly FPSs) on the PC with a mouse and keyboard. Not a console controller. Goldeneye and Perfect Dark are exceptions. I was relieved to find that Crackdown uses a sort of lock-on system like Metroid Prime 1 & 2 use.
So I ended up liking the game. A lot. I love sandbox games and this one is really one of my favorites now. Although I found that I didn't like the driving much. I always found it more fun to jump from building to building to get to my destination.

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja
I'm a fan of the Naruto manga and anime. And I had heard this game was one of the best Naruto games, so I had to try it out.
I liked it quite a lot. My only gripe is that it's too short and the voice acting was even worse than the US dubs of the anime.
The story only goes as far as the end of the chunin exam. And the side missions were all generic "Bandit #37 stole villager #56's bag of crap. Bring it back please." type of missions. But the fighting system was solid (not as complex as the GNT EX games, I don't like those). Several of the characters voices don't match up properly. Mainly the Hokage, Jiraiya, and Iruka (there maybe others I'm forgetting). What I mean is, when they have lines directly from the anime, they use the same sound clips from the anime. But when they have new lines made only for the game, they have different voice actors. And if you watch the anime, the difference in the voices is clear. Anyway, the game was still enjoyable, although I didn't complete every side-quest (raman delivery, collect all the coins, etc).

Undertow (Arcade)
I'll just get this piece of crap out of the way. Microsoft should have just given us some free MSP, not this bullshit.

Geometry Wars (Arcade)
Everyone keeps saying how great this is and such, so I bought it. However, I'm finding that I don't get the appeal of it. Probably because I keep dying after playing about 5 minutes. It reminds me of the old games where if you run out of lives, you have to start the whole damn game over from the beginning. Yea, I'm not fucking with this one anymore.

Rez HD (Arcade)
I was originally going to rent the PS2 version and try it out, until I heard there was going to be a remake on XBLM. So I waited and downloaded it. I'm terrible at it. Playing the first world, I liked it because it reminded me of playing Star Fox. And I liked how the music changed as your shoot stuff. But I can't seem to beat the second world for the life of me. I'm always a ball by the time I read the boss, and it kicks my ass. I'm not giving up on this one yet though.

Guitar Hero II & III
These two were a no-brainer for me. I had already played I, II, III, and 80s on the PS2. And wanted to the bonus songs and DLC not available on the PS2. However, I do want to note that I bought II with the bundled xplorer, but bought III and another xplorer separately because the III bundle was sold out. The extra xplorer's green button stopped working after a few days. Newegg wouldn't replace it. Red Octane said they'd replace it, but after the cost of shipping, it's cheaper to just buy a new one. So a few days ago when I was especially pissed off about something unrelated, I took the borked guitar and busted it up on the side of the dumpster.
I'm still enjoying GH II and III. Although I'm no expert yet. I'm barely getting through Hard on Rock Band.

Rock Band
I took a risk with this one, because I didn't want to buy the whole friggin bundle if I couldn't get my older friends in to it.
I started off by showing them Guitar Hero, which they liked because of the old 60s, 70s, and 80s songs. Also one of them is a huge Ramones fan. And one is a Metallica fan. So I went ahead and bought the bundle. And thank god, it was worth it. We get together and play every Friday. [Pic] I was gonna be pissed off if I paid that much for the bundle and they didn't like it.
My only gripe about this is that when I play in online band mode, I always end up with dickheads playing on Expert that seem to think I shouldn't be allowed to play because I barely get by on Hard.
My progress so far: Finished easy drums. Finished medium guitar. Working on hard guitar. Working on solo singing.
I started the singing sometime ago but got sick and still have coughs, so I haven't been able to get back to it.

Mass Effect
I can't say enough about this game. It is my favorite 360 game by far.
I loved KOTOR 1 and 2 and this felt like a major advancement from those 2. I could pick at how each and every little bit of it is pure win, but it would take forever.
Like with Crackdown, I was a bit wary of the shooting aspect of it, but it too has a sort of auto-target system that helped. At this point I'm getting more comfortable with console shooters.
Bioware finally announced DLC for the game coming March 10th, the day after SSBB's US release. I don't expect that I'll be interested in it if my preorder of SSBB arrives quickly though. And the side quests provided by the DLC are only supposed to be able 90 minutes long.

Assassin's Creed
I had heard 2 main things about this game since it's release. It's great. It's repetitive. And both are true.
Climb a tower, save a citizen, save a citizen, climb a tower, save a citizen, pickpocket, climb a tower, save a citizen, save a citizen, climb a tower, interrogate, save a citizen, etc.
However, I did love the story behind it and that's the main thing that kept me playing. That and the easy achievements. I hope there'll be a sequel and they fix the monotony.

Halo (Arcade)
Ok so, as before mentioned, I haven't always been comfortable with console shooters due to the controls.
So I figured if I'm going to get used to them, I should start with a game I've played on the PC.
So far I'm not doing too bad I think. I think Crackdown and Mass Effect helped get me used to targeting with the analog stick.
After I finish this Halo, I plan to try out some other popular shooters (as shown below) and maybe even move on to Halo 2 and 3.
But I still think the Halo is ridiculously overrated. It's good, but it's not that good.


Non-360 Games
Other games that I tried despite having new 360 games to play.

No More Heroes (Wii)
I got anxious for this because it was so hyped up. I'm a bit disappointed.
The combat is fun, but the stupid odd-jobs (mowing the lawn, collecting coconuts, etc) and the bad bike handling just frustrated me too much to keep playing it. I only got as far as killing the revolver guy in the baseball stadium.

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (DS)
The new gritty look and story couldn't hold me for too long. After a while it started to feel just the same as the old ones.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympics (Wii)
I got around to this one pretty late. I played it one night until I wore myself out and then thought "this would be decent exercise if I did it every evening". But then I didn't do it every evening and forgot about it.


Coming Soon

The below games are ones that I'm going to rent. Most of them are already on my Gamefly queue.

Super Smash Bros Brawl
I preordered last summer. I have no intention of playing until I get it. I'm not so damned desperate as some of the people around here that I have to play the Japanese version and risk bricking my Wii when the US release is only a month away.

Gears of War
I have this cracked for PC, but the game crashes constantly and won't run with full visuals on my laptop. And I didn't want to try it on the 360 until I get better at aiming with a console controller.

Call of Duty 4
I don't care for war games. I'm sick of WWII games like CoD, MoH, Battlefield, etc. I'm sure there's enough by now that if you've played them all, then you've played as every single soldier that participated in WWII. Now I know CoD4 isn't a WWII game. But it's still a war game. And I wanted to just pass this up.
However, people will not shut the fuck up about this game. It was the Zero Punctuation review that finally made me give a shit and give it a shot.

Viva Pinata
Little seems to be playing it all the time when she's logged into XBL. And I've skimmed over some reviews that give it praise.
I still have no fucking clue what it's about, but I want to try it.

Lost Odyssey
So it's an RPG from the creator of Final Fantasy. I hear it's nothing particularly new as far as gameplay goes. But the graphics and story are supposed to be good. Thug4L1f3 seems to be in love with it too.

Beautiful Katamari
I hear it just more of the same. Nothing notably new in the Katamari series. But I can get for under $20, so I wanna see if it would be worth it.



I might make this a monthly thing where I rant about whatever I've played in the past month.
 

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