Saturday, March 26, 2005

MechAssault: Lone Wolf -- Best five hours I've had blasting Mechs

MechAssault does its job in that it out does its predecessor and is even more fun to play. The sound is better as well as the look of the game. An exploding mech was never so spectacular. The first time I blew one up I thought I'd created a black hole. All the mechs are back as well as some new ones. Flamethrowers have also been introduced for all those melee combat fans. You get to climb out of your mech on a whim and hop into the new battle armor, tanks, and the VETOL, a flying vehicle transport. There's a new neuro hack feature that allows you to hack consoles and mechs (in you battle armor) by playing Simon with your controller.
Also new in MechAssault are boss fights with big mechs you don't get to pilot. Both are fun and fairly challenging. The final boss is reminiscent of Quake 2 and makes for a frantic and fast paced battle. My personal favorite boss fight in recent memory.
There are only two issues that I have with the game.
The game is five hours long. That's not $50 worth of gameplay goddammit! The game features a great online mode called Conquest and that's what I think is supposed to be the reason to get this game, but I don't have X-Box Live dammit! I want to play more MechAssault!
The other prolem is the music. Korn and Poppa Roach made the music for this game and while sets the mood for blowing stuff up, I hate Korn's lyrics. All those guys ever sing about is self inflicted pain and self loathing. Sing about kicking the others guy's ass!
Those are the only problems I have with Lone Wolf. MechAssault is better than ever and makes for fun multiplayer.

Online Gaming killed Game Length! YOU BASTARDS!

I don't know if developers are just getting lazier or if deadlines are responsible, but games are shrinking and it's pissing me off. I beat MechAssault: Lone Wolf in 5 hours on a friday night. It was supposed to be brand-fucking-new and now it's officially used. This is the most absurd game length I've ever seen, but it was a close race. Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War is an RTS with FOUR races but only ONE eleven-mission campaign. Ten hours. Call of Duty can be beaten in a day,but it takes that long from all the dying.
I was certain game developers were aware that gamers tend to play games longer than people who play games once in a while in half hour sessions. We are not getting our fifty dollars worth in game length, and it's all online gaming's fault. Online gaming is huge. It makes Everquest money and now Blizzard has followed suit with World of Warccraft. Half-Life has a bunch of mods that see millions of players fragging each other over and over again. I love online gaming too, but I'm missing single player games like Freedom Force or Half-Life that last a long time and make you love every minute of it. I feel that the industry is slowly moving towards the online experience and away from stories played out by the individual gamer.
Yes, there are still games that focus on single player gameplay. Farcry,
Half-Life 2, Halo 2, and there are plenty of RPG's out there that are not massively multiplayer, but I keep buying great games full of potential that end way too soon and seem to insist that I should play online.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Robots--No Shrek 2, but thank God it's no Ice Age

Dreamworks makes another computer generated movie and it scores just below Shrek 2. Great for the kiddies and tolerable to anyone above 12 and even funny at times. Awesome city ackgrounds with all these weird and cool devices and junky vehicles that you wind up or act like a slinky. The plot is the old ,"I'm going to the big city to make mom and pop proud!" and then pow, reality bites the poor guy in the shiny, metal ass. Fortunately, Robin Williams' character is there to help the poor guy out by annoying the living shit out of him and then stealing his leg. There's a funny armpit noises scene and a cool sequence of dominos falling over.
Roy (main character) makes some friends, confronts big business, and leads a rebellion against both the underworld and overlord of Robot City with the help of his bright and colorful freinds. Dreamworks also includes another dark Tom Waits song which is just as appropriate as it was in The Poison Apple pub in Shrek 2. Tom Waits rules. Robots is okay. Not bad, not too good, it's a kid movie, but if you're the one taking the kids you'll enjoy the movie some as well.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Alien VS Predator 2 -- Online psychology

Before I get into the psychology, let me just say this is an awesome game that fulfills everyone's wish to take on the role as the Alien or Predator as they are portrayed in their respecting films. Or be a marine and piss yourself.

Now I will talk about the online psychology I experience and see others demonstrate.

In online gaming there's this mindset that's pretty common:

"Hell yeah! Pwned!" This is said/typed all over America in games of Counterstrike, Tribes, Unreal, Team Fortress Classic, and so on. But there isn't really any other game out there that allows you to switch classes and species at the same time.

The mindsets of the Alien, Predator, and Marine are very different. Observe:

Alien: "Seek out, destroy. Don't care about dying, keep going!" Players taking on the role as Alien are all out offensive and (although they can be sneaky) tend to carelessly slither across maps looking for something to bite. I just recently experienced a berserk moment when 2 aliens having trouble killing a bunny-hopping marine are joined by five more. The marine goes down, but aliens keep scratching at his corpse, removing the head, an arm and a leg. I was one of the first two aliens and we didn't fail to notice the marine had died, but were aggravated by his stubborn will to live and vented our rage on his corpse. How's that for playing out your role?

Marine: "Aw nuts, what was that!? Is that a rock? I hope that's a rock... SOMTHING MOVED! BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM!" I'm not terrified when I play as a marine, but I'm a lot more cautious. I'm slower and have no special abilities other than a good selection of weaponry and plenty of ammo and armor. I hide behind doors and obstacles, pause to check my motion scanner and listen for growling.

Predator: "Heheheheh, bet he's wondering where his head went." The Predator role is that of a sneaky and careful hunter. These guys tend to be pretty cocky and like sniping. I don't like playing Predator because I don't like playing with equipment that demands careful and skillful use. A lot of Predator weapons demand careful aim and patience, but every kill is rewarding.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Constantine -- Meh...

Constantine was ok, I have no real complaints about this movie except one. I don't know if it was the theatre speakers set on low, but throught the entire movie it seems everybody is whispering. I could hardly make out what people were talking about! "Psst! Pssst pssst. Demons are mumble mumble... AIEEEE!" Yeah, the movie was even more thrilling because I didn't know what was going on. Something about Satan's son wanting to enter our plane of existence and Gabriel helping him out. Satan was the only likeable character in the whole movie in that he was a beleivable Satan and not annoying like that guy in Legend. Keanu tries to act like The Matrix Reloaded and Revolution never happened and he's still cool. He flips off demons and calls them assholes. What a tough guy. He also never stops smoking, ever. Every scene had someone get wet, drenched, or drowned. The suporting actress (don't know her name, but she's not important and I'll be damned if I see her in another film that isn't shit) has two seperate scenes where she gets drenched in a thin white shirt, revealing her o so sexy black bra. Great, that's why I came to see this movie, wet t-tshirt contest with one contestant.

I really only like the end of the film, where Gabriel (supposedly female, hard to tell due to incredibly flat chest) makes the big mistake of attacking Satan. I've never felt so strongly that anybody was as FUCKED as she was. And boy, was she ever fucked.

Constantine knows some cool Excorcism tricks like holding a cat in your lap with your feet in a bucket of water in order to go to hell. Then he goes all out Hellsing with some sort of golder crucifix gun and his snotty sidekick with blessed shotgun slugs.

This movie is alright if you're too scared to watch Exorcist Beginnings and want to claim to have seen a scary movie, but its not scary. Its a cheap action flick with crappy cg scenes (Hellsing did it better) and has Keanu Reeves in it so people will actually come to see it. I watched it because it's my duty to find out whether a movie is crap or not, and I wasn't about to sit through Boogey Man or
Hide and Seek.