May 31, 2009

What I'm Playing - 5.31.09

As my weekend draws to a close, I daresay I really have made the most of least from a relaxation standpoint. I avoided pretty much all things productive over the weekend and managed to keep my time squarely focused on playing games, watching TV and movies, and sleeping. I've also resolved to begin daily posts on the blog again, even if the posts have to be incredibly brief as my available free time trends toward zero. We'll see how my resolution holds over the coming weeks. So here's what I've been playing, mostly over the past few days:
  • Infamous (PS3) - I've been having a blast playing this game. I am a little more than halfway through the game (52% according to my save) and I have to say it's a great, if somewhat repetitive experience. Repetition aside, the gameplay itself is compelling and enjoyable. Whether you are deftly climbing up the side of a building, grinding along power lines, or hurling lighting bolts and electric missiles at a giant trash golem, the game never fails to be exciting to play and dazzling to watch. The game seems to have the most in common with Crackdown and Assassin's Creed, inheriting an unfortunate level of repetition with the latter. While all the main story quests are engaging and exciting, the same cannot be said for all the side missions. Some are great fun, while others leave something to be desired (though opinions may differ on which missions belong to which group), unfortunately the variety is lacking so you will often play the same mission multiple times with in a relatively short span of game time. That being said, the side missions are not required to advance, but some more variety or engaging mission design would have been appreciated. Still, I think the game compares quite favorably with Assassin's Creed in this regard as almost all the missions are more fun than those from AC, plus you're a lightning bolt wielding superhero. So you've got that going for you...In the end I'd say it's a great game that's a real joy to play, but it tastes best in smaller doses where the repetition is less apparent.
  • Fable 2 (X360) - To be honest, I haven't played too much of this this week. I got a bunch of new quests some new areas to explore, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot else for my character to gain at this point. I own an incredible portion of the kingdom, I have yet to find anything that improves weapon or clothing selection, and I've maxed out pretty much every ability I'm interested in. Also, while I like the idea that your skills affect your appearance in theory, in practice I would like my character to be skilled with melee weapons without having to look like a circus strongman, especially considering my character is a woman. Another system I wish had a bit more depth (like maybe your skills give you more freedom in customizing your appearance) but I discussed that at length in my last post. It's still fun to run around Albion and see what there is to see, I just wish it didn't feel like my character was already finished. Maybe I'll find a cool and useful legendary weapon and all will be forgiven. Or maybe some legendary clothes that make me look super sweet. Where are those I ask?
  • Gears of War 2 (X360) - Played this with Rick for a few hours over the weekend sort of on a whim, and we finished my first playthrough (Rick had already beaten the game prior). The ending boss battle is just silly (I smell something that was cut), but on the whole, Gears is loads of fun to play especially co-op. Working with a sibling or best friend to take out a horde of alien mutants all while shouting psuedo-military chatter (and trash talk) back and forth, is an experience not to be missed. Gears of War 2 maybe a bit on the short side, but it's filled with non-stop action and some seriously memorable moments, so I still give it a very high recommendation to any 360 owners.
That's it for now, hopefully I'll have had a chance to play some more before this time next week!

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