Saturday, January 26, 2013

I predict a hiatus.

My bandwidth cap reset, so I used my newfound Internet freedom to resume anime watching.  In fact, partially because this semester is looking to be my busiest yet, and partially because I feel like I've let them become too central in my life, I intend to switch gears a little bit away from videogames, at least for the next few months.  I'd like to get back to my other hobbies, which also happen to be easier to engage in small chunks.

While I waited for my cap to reset, I settled into rewatching my favorite anime--Spice and Wolf--on the Blu-Ray set I bought a while back.  Just as good as I remember.

Though I have been playing games, there are very few that I feel like writing a post about.

Dead Space 2; Always on the lookout for new podcasts, I recently started listening to Rebel FM.  Going through their stuff, I ended up listening to their "Game Club" on Dead Space 2, where they basically go through the entire game from beginning to end, thoroughly discussing it on a moment-to-moment basis.  I imagine it was a rather exhaustive work, and listening to it compelled me to pick up DS2 again, like I've been meaning to.  I've already beaten the game 1.5 times (I left off my NG+ save in Chapter 6).  But I didn't want to pick up in the middle, so I started a new game.  This time though, I'm playing on Survivalist.  It's not nearly as harsh as I was anticipating, though.  I'm actually ending up with more items than I know what to do with, mainly because I don't get hit often and so far have managed to be pretty efficient with my ammo.  Maybe I should have gone for Zealot instead.  Anyway, I was entertaining the thought of doing a Hardcore run, but there's no way I'll have time for that in the near future.

Dead Space 3; Dead Space as a series seems to be suffering from the same thing Resident Evil did going into RE5, which is that everyone (Capcom notwithstanding) has their own idea of what the series should be.  Personally, I wouldn't really care that much if Dead Space went full action game.  I think the mechanics and fundamentals are in place for it to be an awesome action game with horror elements.  What matters to me is not whether the game is scary or not (I've never considered DS to be particularly scary, beyond the first 15 minutes of the original), but whether it is still Dead Space, and not trying to be something else.  Anyway, I played the demo for Dead Space 3.  It wasn't long enough for me to get a good read on what to expect from the singleplayer experience, but my impressions weren't bad, overall.  The one thing that they didn't advertise at all that surprised me was the gun customization.  With DS3, they've completely overhauled the Bench system.  Instead of having a set of available weapons like in previous games, you get materials and components, that you can use to build your own weapons.  If you want, you can build a Plasma Cutter or a Force Gun or any of those classic weapons, and they'll look and handle like you'd expect.  Or, you could build a Javelin Gun and attach a Plasma Cutter to barrel.  Or make a Line Gun with an underslung grenade launcher.  In a way, you can think of it as mixing and matching the traditional weapons' primary and secondary fires, but it's a lot more than that.  It's like they adapted Army of Two's gun customization to Dead Space, with the premise of basically sticking together a hodgepodge of tools with screws and duck tape and hoping it works out alright.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend; I've recently been playing a bit of this with my friends.  I still fucking hate fighting Tager.  Dude's jab range is absurd, and don't get me started on those grabs.  I remember when you used to actually fight guys!  With Tager, it's just three grabs and then the match is over.  Anyway, I've been trying to experiment with a different characters, but I was surprised to find out how difficult it is to really get behind a new character when you've been playing someone else for so long.  I have a newfound respect for people who can juggle multiple characters and be proficient with them.  It doesn't help that I find at least half the cast of the game to be fascinating from a gameplay standpoint.  Even Relius, who represents everything I don't typically want in a fighting game character, seems really fun to play as.  Back to Noel I suppose.

Strike Suit Zero; I have to admit, this game kind of felt like a love letter to a very specific kind of demographic, of which I am a part of.  The sort of fellows who thirst for an awesome mech game.  It finally came out (though I regret not partaking in the Kickstarter),'s neat.  If I have time, I would like to write a full post about it.  But in short, Strike Suit Zero has a lot of potential based on its premise, but doesn't follow through on a lot of it.  Still, when its at its best SSZ is an impressive effort.

Hawken; I think I might kind of adore Hawken.  I haven't delved into the deeper systems and haven't bought anything yet...but the moment to moment gameplay is just so fun and well-executed, both in terms of gameplay and presentation.  The more I play Hawken, the more I like it.

Devil May Cry; A buddy of mine got me the DMC HD Collection for Christmas.  Finally got around to trying out the first game...and it's not what I was expecting.  It's actually incredibly reminiscent of Resident Evil in its design, all the way down to starting out in some spooky abandoned castle.  But it's also not very fun, so far.

Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner; I will say this: it is clear from the very beginning of the game that The 2nd Runner is the game Kojima wanted to make (or at the very least MUCH closer to it). It is better and more fleshed out than its predecessor in literally every way. There's more mechs, the combat is better (though also tougher), it looks better, and it's more mechanically refined. And not only do we get a protagonist who is awesome, Leo's back and he's actually grown a pair. This is how you make a comeback.

Armored Core For Answer;  Yeah, I've really been getting my fill of the mechs, lately.  Plus, I just started watching Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.  It's awesome.  I will say however, that Armored For Answer is an absurdly complex game, and not necessarily in a bad way.  It just gives you so much control, I'm afraid to get too into it, lest I fuck up, because then I know it will be all my fault.  Also, I suck at the game.  I was able to completely rebind the controls (the default configurations are all kinds of backwards), but I still can't quite beat the AC Next in the test simulation.  But I'll keep at it!

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