23 September, 2012

I Almost Played A Game

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 23 September, 2012

True to their word, Gearbox sent me a copy of Borderlands 2, which I hastily installed. Unfortunately this PC, which was fine for the original, crashes before I can get past the menus. Sometimes it's a graphics driver initialization error. Sometimes it's an out of memory error which has caused some speculation that the game doesn't play well with 32 bit operating systems. I saw some flickering black triangles which were reminiscent of the problems I had with Bulletstorm and Saints Row The Third. Regardless, I did not play much this week.

Because I am sick of having nothing to write in this space, I will recommend a couple items from Netflix. {goes to look through recently watched} Nope. I can't even do that much. I saw Capote, a dramatized version of the process by which Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood. The subject matter is unpleasant, but it's honest and very well made. The only other thing I gave four stars to was Robocop, but there's too much nostalgia involved for me to consider that a solid endorsement.

I fail at fun. :(

16 September, 2012


written by Blain Newport on Saturday, 15 September, 2012

I played twenty minutes more of Republic Commando. It's still good.

I tried to pick up where I left off on Legend of Grimrock. I think I'm done. A lot of the game seems to be moving backwards in circles to stab enemies so they can't stab me back. It's like Serious Sam with a super clunky interface and knives instead of guns. :P

I tried to play the newly free first person co-op online game Love. But the learning curve is really steep, and what people were doing didn't look more interesting than MineCraft.

Mostly I've been playing Netflix. After the disappointments of the Star Wars prequels, Matrix sequels, and Superman Returns I stopped watching movies for years. I have a lot to catch up on.

09 September, 2012


written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 9 September, 2012

I tried a few indie games, some that were highly recommended (Thirty Flights of Loving, Soul Jelly, 1916). Nothing grabbed me.

My copy of Borderlands 2 for attending the Gearbox panel at PAX 2011 should be coming, so some workmanlike dude shooting is on the horizon.

I find myself wandering through my Steam catalog trying to find anything to get excited about. I'd like to finish my They Hunger LP, but I've played a bit of the start of Act 2, and it's not better than Act 1.

I played a little Republic Commando. It's still good, but I've played it enough.

I dinked around with the SEGA Genesis collection. I was half tempted to get the Shining Force Irregulars back together. But I've played that enough, too. I had fun hitting up the music tests to listen to the soundtracks.

"Now it's over. I'm dead, and I haven't done anything I want. Or I'm still alive, and there's nothing I want to do." - They Might Be Giants

02 September, 2012

The Darkness 2

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 2 September, 2012

First off, I'm not at PAX, but since nothing solid came out of my body between Thursday morning and Saturday night, that's probably for the best.

Second off, I played the Alan Wake DLC, American Nightmare. The combat is a little better, but the production values are worse. It's okay.

The Darkness 2

I've heard The Darkness is strange and good. I own a copy and look forward to someday having a 360 to play it on.

The Darkness 2 doesn't seem strange. I'd say it's pretty straightforward, by video game standards. The player is a mafia boss who's inherited a demonic power that wants to control him and made him watch his girlfriend's brutal murder. At some level, it's just an excuse to have crazy powers that make the game not just another FPS.

As an FPS with crazy powers, it's kinda cool.

I mean, look at that picture. That poor schlub is being pulled from cover by my darkling companion and between the two guns, slashing tentacle, and finishing tentacle, can really only hope for a quick death. It feels like too many tools to do the same job sometimes. Plus the finishing animations get old very quickly.

Luckily, the game isn't all combat. They mix things up with dream sequences and sequences where you can go talk to the colorful characters who make up your mafia family. Devotees of the comics these games are based on probably get more out of those encounters than I do, but they were still good. I think I preferred Alan Wake's quirky mountain town people to the mafia stereotypes here, but I preferred the action of The Darkness 2, so it evens out. They're all okay games.