Monday, August 1, 2011

Play Delayed : Episode 2 - 1

Welcome to the second play delayed blog, I am calling it episode 2 part 1 because I have a few games on
the go that I have to finish and want to talk about them soon but not until I have completed them, also, I have
also picked up a few games, a few that I am very excited about! But all will be revealed! I will start with the
last time my friend and I had an Old School Sunday - here is the report...

Old School Sunday - 3/07/2011

My friend and I resumed the old school sunday on sunday last, we did not have a lot of time and we didn't watch
any wrestling tapes during our pizza time. But we got some gaming in. We did Burnout Paradise, taking turns to
try and win races and actually got the 'B' licence in the process which was nice, also, a car came up along
side me while I was driving through a tunnel, it was one of the unlock cars and without thinking I rammed it
in to the wall for a spectacular take down! Going for the 'A' License I have notice that things have got a fair
bit harder. Maybe it was just the car I was using but it was not great for the marked man challenges or even the
road rage missions. I also got a prompt telling me that I had unlocked all of the special car challenges as well. So bit by bit I will chip away at that.

When my friend arrived, I had Just Cause 2 in the ps3 and was messing around with that, I had (at the time) over 25 hours of play time clocked and the Friday previous I had downloaded all of the dlc weapons and cars for it as well. My favourite piece of dlc has to be either the monster truck or the quad rocket launcher, both of them have the power to do some serious damage and destruction, with the monster truck offering some protection as well. It is a big wheeled, orange truck with a minigun and grenade launcher attached, I like driving in to bases with it and taking out all the large fuel depots for extra chaos points and you can take a bit of punishment in it as well, The quad rocket launcher is a bit over the shoulder operated launcher that does indeed fire off 4 rockets a time but it is not the most accurate weapon and a lot of the time you will miss your target... You have been warned!!! This game and Red Faction:Guerilla are the only 3rd person sandbox games I have ever really enjoyed and I have tried a few! Just Cause 2 being the better of the two, I have heard bad things about the first game but I may end up at some stage picking it up and giving it a play through just to see how far the second game has come.

So after we got our pizza and put that away, we went in to some older games. For a change I thought it would be a good idea to power up the xbox classic and seeing as my friend and I were drinking in a group of people that ended up playing 2d beat em up games the Friday previous on the wii, I decided to load up Marvel vs Capcom 2. MVC2 has to be one of my favourite beat em ups of all time and I am saying this in spite of the fact that I am fairly new to it. I like the massive character selection and I have yet to look up who are the secret unlockables... MVC2 is a frantic, fast paced and over the top, colourful beat em up that can at times give your eyes a visual pounding and kick your ass at the same time (my eyes feel a bit nuts after playing it for too long). It has a 3 on 3 team fighting system which I like, you can have a very varied team and try out lots of new characters as well, a few of my favourites being venom (from the Spiderman series), Hayato, and Cable (from Marvel Universe). We played a good few rounds of that and my friend, who would not really be in to that style of game actually really enjoyed it!

After we played as much of this as we could handle, we changed games to Timesplitters:Future Perfect... I have the other timesplitter games (timesplitters 1 and 2), I had only ever play Timesplitters 2 in depth, but at the time I was really shit at it. We played some split screen multiplayer on the 'Siberia' map, 2 rounds of it and changed the weapons and bots around each time. One thing I always liked about the Timesplitters series is the character design, this was actually the main pulling factors when I first got it. As I said before, I was really shit at Timesplitters 2 back in the day. This was back in a time when I had only ever played a handful of FPS style games and these were on my pc, games like Rainbow Six:Rouge Spear and the first Delta Force game (the Unreal Tournament Demo also deserves a mention - turning off gravity on the skyscrapers map, jumping really high in the air and firing the rocket launcher...). I had no real experience with this style of game play, I had been raise on 2d platformers, beat em ups, 3rd person adventure games and all this made timesplitters 2 a steep learning curve for me. I tried a few times to get in to the story mode but The furthest I ever made it to was level 2 (the 1930's style level - you had, as a bonus objective, to empty barrels of alcohol), I wanted this game mainly for the art style, for me, the character design really kicked ass! And when I got round to exploring the multiplayer I found out there was so many! There was also the map making tool, I played around with this a lot, it was very inspiring to be able to make my own maps and play on them - even if they were only damp, dark, shitty corridors... Another thing about the second game was one of the training or bonus levels, you had infinite bricks (bricks were a temporary weapon in this game!) and you had to smash a certain mount of windows possible within a set time! So, Timesplitters:Future Perfect follows on in this tradition set by the previous offering, cool art style, fantastic character and lots of them! So, the 'Siberia' map, a big map with a huge open space, bunkers on the outside rim and a tower in the middle and a walk way along one side. I felt that this map was a bit too big for 8 player death match, there was too much of an open area and depending on the chosen weapons, it could end up with all players running around with weapons as powerful as the rocket launcher killing you as soon as you pop up in their sights, this can kinda ruin a game but we changed the weapons set for the next round. The game, although quite cartoony in it's art style still manages to have a huge amount of depth, I got this from a small slice of game, with its 40+ multi player characters, my favourite at the moment being the cyber punk-ish clubber killer Chastity. But I still have a lot of exploration to do before I decide on my true favourite. So, with a few rounds of TS:FP, this brought our 'Old School Sunday' to a close - I was up for work in the morning and my friend had an early flight to catch... Stay tuned for more of our Old School Sunday reports!

A few weeks before this, because I was going to be busy on the upcoming sunday and because my friend was not sure about hanging out on Sunday night, we got together at mine with another friend for a gaming night on the Saturday night instead, I was the day after I had picked up Burnout Paridise:Ultimate Box and because I was in the mood for crashing cars in spectacular fashion - we started out the night with this! We got a couple of hours of this in and then afterwards we got straight to the point of the night! We were going to try and do a full play through of Resident Evil 2. I have the original disc on psOne for about 11 years now and I think it was about 7 years since I had last played it. I'm not too sure of the exact time but I was worried that after all this time that I was going to really suck at it and to make matters worse, everyone else was claiming to be quite rusty at it as well, after all it had been a few years and an entire console generation had passed us by, but with all that said, we loaded up the disc...

I decided in the beginning not to pick up anything along the way to the police station, I wanted to see if I could still get there (relatively unharmed) and meet bonus character (and absolute bullet sponge) Brad Vickers in the tunnel under the entrance way to the station, we meet him, and after 20 or so handgun bullets he finally dropped, allowing me to obtain the special key from his person, this struck a nostalgic chord with me as I was one of those "cool" game play options that at the time, not a lot of people knew about, one of my friends also felt this as well and the other had never actually seen this before. We explained to him about the locker in the police station with the alternative costume and how it changed the way Leon S. Kennedy held his handgun while he wore it. Upon entering the police station, we were reminded with that short cut scene how detailed this place actually was, I was also reminded about how the station works and what I had to do to progress on through its corridors. After seeing this cut scene, I decided that it was time to pass over the control pad and let someone else take over.

I had played this a lot as a kid, I went over it a good few times, saw the multiple storylines and got my money's worth. Maybe it was just me? or maybe it was the beers we had all drunk, but after a while I was thinking that the other guys had not played it a whole lot all those years ago, but we did not work too well as a unit, passing the pad back and forth. Not that it was too important, I just wanted to revisit the game and experience its greatness all over again. In survival horror games, the ammo is usually found in small quantities, few and far between, making matters worse we were playing with the auto aim turned off and it led to some funny situations and a blatant wasting of precious ammo. A good example of an area that gave us trouble was the upstairs room with the smashed windows that has all the crows flying around it, My friends wasted ammo trying to kill those guys mid flight, I was opting to knife them when they got too close, it was better and would serve us later on in our quest. To my fault, I forgot the order and locations of the police station keys, this slowed us down just a little bit as well, as I would often have to back track across the police station just to progress to the next part of the story. In the end we got in to the basement of the police station and in to the sewers through the kennels, There are still bits in that game that have the power to make me jump, even if I know exactly what is going to happen and when..! The dogs busting out of the cells is on of those moments. We made it on past the giant spiders (not killing them, instead running past them) and on to meet the journalist Ben, who claims that there is something big and bad after him, this also causes you to meet Ada Wong for the first time as well, the mysterious woman who is apparently looking for her boyfriend... A bit of time and ammo was wasted showing my friend the secret photograph on the desk of the STARS room table ( the messy on that you have to search 50 times) and trying to achieve the effect where by when you shot at the camera filming you with a shotgun, you smashed the glass on the lens of the screen... That was about as far as we had got before we called it a night and I kicked everyone out due to tiredness on my part (I think it was past 4am at that stage), but a good night was had by all, all that nostalgia, hearing the save room music, everything! I wont be surprise if we return to this in the not too distant future.

That concludes the gaming nights I held over the last while, I'm going to go back to Just Cause 2 for a bit, I went through a mood were I was playing this on and off for about a week and a half, a few hours a night and a couple of days ago I finished the main story, which I was actually not happy about, I will explain why in a bit, but here is a recap of some of the missions that I enjoyed...

Agency Mission 4 - Mountain Rescue

This level was good fun but check pointed rather harshly, I thought that the introduction of the ninjas were a very nice touch but after them killing me twice I decided that I wasn't having that, earlier on in the mission I acquired a rocket launcher from one of the elites, I think it was an the third vent you had to destroy, so I realised that although they disappear when shot a couple of times, they were not invincible, blasting a rocket at their feet caused them to fly up in the air and another rocket just to finish them off did the trick, is that the way you were intended to kill the ninja? I don't know but if you could see my face right now you would know that I really don't care! after this you get a sound byte from Scorpio "I hate ninjas..." It just adds to the crazy stupidity of the game that you just have to enjoy and to top this off, you meet the nuclear sub that crashes out of the ice and is threatening to take your agency target away... It was a good example of the over the top action that happens through out the game!

One area I discovered towards the end (and I'm not sure why I never really visited it sooner) was Panay City (residential district), it is made up of cool streets and really long over passes for you to cruise on, taking one of the exotic sports cars and driving on said over passes was really nice and a great build up to cause some chaos, I guess it became my favourite part to explore, with its well planned out road network and the few generals there that just hang around with his cronies like a gang of street thugs (getting up on the roof and firing rockets at them dispatches them quite quickly!) it makes a change from the many miles of lush grass land, desert and snowy mountains - a pretty city to explore!

Faction Mission - Can I get a witness

For it's crazy OTT car physics...
This mission consisted of breaking in to one of the many army bases on the island and downloading coordinates of a witness on trial, once you locate him you have to escort him back to the faction leader to extract information out of him, this information will apparently give the faction leverage over the military and government. In you way there is the usually high amount of guards that you would expect from one of Panay's military bases and they all want to kill you, as a result of this I died a few times but eventually found the door which has the server holding the coordinates that you require to proceed on to the next part of the mission, but the room is locked and you have to locate the guard that is holding the key... Once you find him, he runs away, leading you in to gangs of his comrades all heavily armed with shotguns and machine guns... I did kill him eventually and get the key off him (opening the door is one of the many quick time like button combo events) and once the door opened I, for the first time, met the nasty surprise that was a mounted machine gun turret... It killed me as I had low health and the door opens inwards, exposing you openly to the gunfire as you are trying to rush in the door, the second time I had a cooked grenade and the force of the blast knocked the turret over, allowing me to get the necessary information off the server. Once you have this loaded on to your pda device, you are airlifted off the base and to the target's location, vintage Just Cause 2 style, with the guards still firing at you until the animation sequence is triggered! It leads you to a truck convoy and you have to get to the top car with the hostage on board and hijack it, I took out the two tailing cars by jumping on the roof and when the guards open the doors, headshots all round to dispatch them, leaving me free to take out the driver of the main car and driving off myself... As to be expected, the hostage is trying to sell himself as a worthless piece in this mad puzzle but its only background noise as you have to get to a check point over a kilometre away and to make matters worse you are being followed by more trucks with guard trying to shoot you and ram you off the road, I was really worried that I was not going to make it to the check point and instead of following the road right to the end (it was quite winding and did not go directly to the objective) I decided to take a short cut..! This cause my car (when I drove off the hill) to barrel roll a multiple of times and it looked like I was going to end up on my roof and the mission failed due to the car blowing up, but to my surprise the car actually landed on its wheels and I was pretty close to the objective, it was ridiculous, Just Cause 2 ridiculous!!!! but fantastic as I drove through the objective with my support fire waiting for me!

They were a few of the stand out missions that I played through in the last few days, but unfortunately the story is over for me, I know this blog contains some spoilers here and there, but I will not give way the ending for Just Cause 2, you readers must see it for yourself but what I will say is if you blink it will quickly pass by and before you know where you are you will be playing mercenary mode just for chaos... I was a bit unhappy when I found out that there was no story left, I only hope that there are still faction mission as I have only finished about 30 of them with less than 33% of the overall game finished and for those who care - 44% of the trophies as well, I will be jumping in and out of this game occasionally but with the story finished I think it is time to move on to another story...

I think that’s enough for games for this edition as in Play Delayed 2-2 there are a few games that will be completed with a diary of my progress through them and also some games that I picked up recently and tested out to see how they play, also, in the next few blogs I will maybe attempt to get back to my pc gaming for a change and try to play something form my small library there... Next up is what I have been watching...

Since the last blog has come and gone, so has series 1 of 'The Walking Dead' on our national television, for some this is probably old news as it has air I think about 2 years ago already and a lot of people who could not see it probably streamed it anyway. Just before the show aired for the first time, the box set popped in the local media retailers, I normally buy these things when I see them but I thought I would try and exercise restraint and try and watch it on television for the 6 weeks that it would be on. Going in to this I had already read a large chunk of the comic book compendium, I picked this up just after Christmas and have been chipping away at it for a few months, its bed time reading for me... I guess in watching it I just wanted to see how this would translate from comic to screen, I had also been told online that the quality drops as the episodes go on. I did not find this too much myself but I think it way have gone a little off the point (a little?) and went off the away from the source material in the end of the series but despite this I really enjoyed it, I like the whole package, it's got zombies, but the zombies are not the main point of interest, more how the cast deal (of fail to deal with the world ending around them and how they interact as a unit and when outsiders come in to the picture. I'm really glad I saw this as I was interested in it but at the same time was not too bothered to find it online and despite the mixed comments I heard I think it actually played out quite well in the end, some memorable moments! I recommend it for any zombie enthusiast who has not yet seen it!

I also took the time to get back in to 'Mad Men' series 2 and finish it out. Donald Draper's personal life is starting crumble around him but being "Don Draper" he still holds it together in the office. The last episode had a few good laughs but despite this I still felt sorry for Freddy getting his "six month leave of absence", I have also started the third season and it seems that Don is still up to his old tricks..! I should be finished this series soon, I will keep you posted.

A surprise entry this blog are some movies clips a friend introduced me to, 'Children's Hospital', it could be compared to 'Scrubs' a little but the staff at "Children's" are complete misfits! The clips I saw are each a little over 5 minutes long and focus around the lives of the doctors working at this hospital. It's quite funny, but the short duration of each clips leaves me feeling a little unsatisfied but also wanting to look in to it more, I will try to find more of this as it is quite funny, I think though that it is quite old, maybe released in 2009? Maybe someone can clear that up for me...

just to wrap up, I have also been playing final fantasy VIII on psp, getting it in on most of the bus journeys and lunch breaks! I had stopped for a little while because I had gotten myself stuck on a part during the parade for the sorceress and could not figure out how to get the sequence to continue! I was walking back between the arch and the gates of the presidents residence over and over for ages and at one time even reloaded an old say and went back about an hour in game play... Then one day I accidentally hit the action button beside General Carroway (I had not noticed him standing there for this whole time) and he led me in to the next sequence! It was so great to make progress! After this I went through 3 boss battles, got the GF Carbuncle (whom I accidentally named wrong) and got treated to some beautiful cut scenes as well! When all the battling and cut scenes were over I got the prompt to switch discs and have started disc 2, which you play a Laguna sequence, I have played on quite a bit in to disc 2 at this stage (the blog is a little delayed...) and have gotten as far as the missiles about to hit the garden and you cause the whole garden to lift out of the ground, really epic stuff and I had actually forgotten all of that! So I will play on in to disc 2 and beyond, I have started to get level 3 spells, have had the chance to get other spells like meltdown and bio and my Squall character is level 50 (I did a lot of just wandering around the world map when I was on buses!). Also on the retro note, I had tried a bit of Soul Reaver:Legacy of Kain as well. Back in the day I never got to play this game, I played a demo before the game came out and really liked what I saw! And even went so far as to rent it but the disc was so badly scratched that I was not able to play the game in the end - it would not load past the start menu... I really liked what I was playing, going between the material world and the dead world really appeals to me and this stuck with me for many years, I would like to actually develope something with this idea, be it a comic or even a game, but I will talk about that some other time maybe. I played this to get a change from Final Fantasy VIII when I was stuck but have since stopped playing for a while because I am stuck in this game as well! I am not too far in to it yet but I will stick with Final Fantasy for now.

Ok, I think that’s about all for now, hopefully the next blog will be a bit sooner, I have another old school sunday report, I will hopefully have Quantum Theory finished off (I’m stuck on a gun fight and the game is too broken for me to be bothered to play on!) and I will also mention a few games that I have bought, tested and what my initial thoughts on them were. Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment