Tag Archives: video games

Video Games I’m Playing

Just a quick list of what I’ve been playing recently.  Not for any particular reason, just because.

I’ve played Shogun 2 some since it came out a month or two back.  Wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.  I prefer Napoleon and Empire:Total War much more.  Shogun 2 has some nice features, but all the battles feel the same, no-one has any real unique units, there is only the single map.  A big meh.  I’d give it 7/10.  It’s ok, and the online multiplayer may be where it really shines, but I’ve not tried it.

Portal 2.  See my previous post.  Bad ass.  9.5/10. 

Civilization 5.  I’ve had it a while, after getting it right after it came out.  Again, a game I was looking forward to that kinda disappointed me.  It felt dumbed down to me, too simplistic.  After Civ 4 and its awesome expansions, I was expecting an epic blockbuster with huge armies, an intricate tech-tree, and leaders that wouldn’t declare war on a good ally for shits and giggles.  I got none of that.  Already hoping for Civ 6.  6/10.

Medal of Honor for the XBox 360.  Not horrible, but very formulaic.  It was all high-energy adrenaline for the approximately 5-6 hours of game play.  I like a good roller-coaster ride with emotional ups and downs, not just a non-stop  blowtorch burn.  Nothing new or original over what Call of Duty has been doing.  On the plus side, the story was more realistic than the latest Call of Duty, being based on real events from the invasion of Afghanistan instead of a US General working with the Russians to free an American to nuke the US and then to try to kill that same American.  It was amusing while it lasted.  6.5/10.

Settlers Rise of an Empire.  I really need to try to get back into this game.  I played it one or two nights, then got distracted with other stuff.  It’s pretty much a city builder, with some interesting bits.  It’s also french, so it’s a nice change of pace from normal american city builders.  8/10.

Star Trek Online.  First MMO I’ve played in a long while.  Probably a couple of years actually.  But like all MMOs, it will take me a while to get a good feel for how good it is.  Reviews were not so great when it came out last year, but apparently a lot of the early bugs have been fixed.  Its been pretty interesting so far, and the community seems pretty decent.  I got an invite to a Fleet (guild) right of the bat, and it actually has a bunch of people willing to help newbs.  Also, blasting Klingons is fun.  A tentative 8/10.


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Portal 2

Damn.  I was a bit worried about this game.  Not that I thought it would stink, but I was getting my expectations set pretty high before playing it.  That’s usually a recipe for disaster, but not in this case.  The game is freaking awesome. 

I played through the single player campaign in about 10 hours.  There is also a 2-player co-operative campaign that Chey and I will be playing soon.  The game was a great combination of the awesome puzzle play that made the first one so great, with the addition of a bunch of new puzzle elements, another character in the game, and a nicely twisted story-line.  There were also lots of tidbits here and there explaining the whole back story of Aperture Science and GLaDOS. 

The game was very nicely paced as well.  There were plenty of fast-action sections where you had to make quick shots with your portal gun, or dodge crushing spiked plates, but they were well-balanced with plenty of times where I just had to sit and ponder how to get my way through a puzzle.  I died a bunch of times, but for the most part I never really got stuck.  There were a lot of puzzles that really got me thinking, forcing me to come up with news ways of using cubes, funnels, momentum and force fields. 

The game makes you think, but its got quite the sense of humor.  GLaDOS has the same voice from the original, and the other character, Wheatley, is voiced by Stephen Merchant whom you may remember from the Science Channel series An Idiot Abroad.  I laughed plenty, but I haven’t come across any cake references like I was expecting too.  Oh well, maybe in the cooperative campaign.

All in all, I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes puzzle games, the original Portal, or pretty much any game I guess.  I think it’s out for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.  So, buy it, GameFly it, or borrow it, you will enjoy it.

Oh, and I guess I would rate it a 9.5 out of 10.


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Exciting games coming out

I haven’t been keeping up on new video games coming out this year.  Chey watches X-play occasionally, but I haven’t been checking any websites or anything.  Well, one of my favorite game series just last week came out with a new installment.  This one is Shogun 2 Total War.  It’s a cool combination of a turn based strategy empire builder game with a real-time formation combat game. 

I’ve spent many an hour playing earlier games in the series like Rome, Medieval 2, Empire, and Napoleon.   They all operate in a similar manner, but with enough differences between each to feel like different games.  I’m a huge historical history buff, and I’m not saying that these games are very accurate, but they are fun to play as a kind of what-if.  I don’t know squat about Japanese feudal history though, so this one should be interesting.

The other game that I’m looking forward to is coming out in April.  This is one I’ve been waiting for since I finished the original.  Portal 2 is the sequel to an awesome little first-person platformer type game with an awesome story line and really cool physics.  The entire premise revolves around your character being a test subject for the use of a new portal-creating gun.  You can shoot one portal onto one surface, and another onto another surface.  When you jump into one, you will pop out the other.  This allows you to do all kinds of fun stuff like placing one portal high on a wall, and another at the bottom of a drop-off.  Jump off the drop-off, aim for the bottom portal, and you will come shooting out the first portal on the wall with all your momentum like a cannon ball.  I highly recommend the first Portal, and I have high hopes for the second. 

Are there any games coming up you think I should be on the look-out for?  Please post any new releases or upcoming titles that you are looking forward to.


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