F.E.A.R. the Dragon

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
A new version of SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/CISPA is here and it’s definitely no better than any of those. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As I’ve done in the past I urge you to please take the time to learn more about it and sign this petition against it. Thank you very much.

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The last time I checked in I was at mission ten of Devil May Cry. I have since beaten the game, but it was on Easy. It was quite the fun game as Usagi704 has said himself in his Review Quickies, Vol. 12 and on Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 18. One day I shall return to the game and battle the forces of Mundus on Normal.

I’ve also finished Mortal Kombat II twice. The first time was on the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection so I could get the last few trophies. The tactic I used was to select Jax and sweep the opponent, jump back making them jump forward, then I’d jump toward them with a kick and hit Block to do the Backbreaker. Once I got to the bosses I’d continue and choose Kitana and do the Fan Lift into Fan Toss. This doesn’t make it completely easy, but it helps a lot. This tactic also works on the SNES version, but not on the Genesis. By the way, that version is quite horrible in comparison. It’s amazing how much is missing from it especially on the sound/music side.

I played Spyro: Year of the Dragon solely because of when madtyger said to me that these original PlayStation titles was what made her a lover of video games. Everything revolves around collecting lots of eggs and a ton of gems. It’s a fun time, but as some games of the time tend to do, they want you to do annoying objectives like freeze cats and push them into hockey goals to get more eggs. It’s something I can’t stand to do in an otherwise mellow game. I’m at a point where I only have those options to get more eggs to open new levels. I’m done.

Finally I picked up used copies of The Darkness II, F.E.A.R. 3, and Power Rangers Samurai from GameFly for $12 each.

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Recent Demos

recent-demos

Clive Barker’s Jericho
I tried Jericho knowing that I wouldn’t really like the horror theme of the game. So I wasn’t going to knock it for that. However, I was interested in the quick switching squad mechanic that was somewhat unique to this game even though it was used in a similar fashion in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

Once I played the demo I was less impressed than I thought I’d be. It wasn’t really that scary and switching characters was a menu-based pain in the ass. If that wasn’t bad enough, the AI controlled characters die way too often. The only really useful character is the guy with the minigun since the enemies rush to your position right away. Oh, and lets not forget the terrible context sensitive parts that are just upsetting and not one bit of fun.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Here’s a game that I thought wouldn’t be much fun because it has been labeled as more of the same. In fact this game does stick to the Ratchet & Clank formula very closely, but the controls are even more refined than in the previous PS2 games that I’ve played. It’s interesting that “more of the same” was just what the doctor ordered. I think that the controls and the beautiful visual design of Ratchet & Clank Future goes a long way to make this series still a blast to play.

Conan
Conan is the game that everybody loves to hate just because it plays very closely to the God of War series. In that sense most people won’t even give it a first chance for a first impression. That’s sad because I was surprised that I enjoyed the demo as much as I have. I’m a big fan of the God of War games, but I can also allow for Conan to be its own game without the needless and endless comparison to Sony’s award winning series. Just because it plays similar doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. The combat felt really great and the huge amount of different moves that can be pulled off feels like it’s never ending and that’s awesome too. I like games from time to time to be viscerally satisfying and that’s where Conan totally delivers.

The Darkness
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I hadn’t tried out the demo for The Darkness. I think that had mainly to do with the overall solid scores that the game was receiving at the time of its release.

Upon playing some of the demo I found that the aiming was imprecise and sluggish. Because of that I died frequently during the part in the small graveyard while trying to fight off the mobsters. Once I finally cleared that part I eventually got to a point where I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do or where to go. That was where I stopped playing because it was pretty boring.

TimeShift
Unlike the previous four games where I was obviously on one side or another, the same thing can’t be said for TimeShift. This game sounds like fun because of the time powers. Other than that this game would be just another first-person shooter. I liked everything about the game as I expected I would, but the problem here lies more within me than the game itself.

When a game has an interesting mechanic that I’m not used to for the type of game that it’s in, I have a tendency to forget to use it. This happened when I was playing Final Fantasy VI. I forgot to use the Espers in battle most of the time which made for tougher battles than there needed to be. So as you’d probably expect I wasn’t usually thinking about using the time powers to my advantage. Despite this I’m still looking forward to this game.

In The Anticipation Zone

Now that the new year is here, I’d like to do what others have done and that’s to present my ten most anticipated games of 2007.

TNA Impact by Midway
PS3, X360, WII – TBA 2007

Ever since I started watching TNA in mid-2005, I’ve been ready for a game to be made. Midway has been given that task and at least at this point we can see that it looks good visually. I really hope that they do this game better than just above average like most of their titles.

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Tomb Raider: Anniversary by Crystal Dynamics
PS2, PSP, PC – TBA 2007

Ever since the beginning I’ve been aware of the Tomb Raider series. I just never cared that much to bother with the games. That all changed once I got a glimpse of Legend. This time it looked like a game that I actually might want to play. Upon its release I played the game and loved it. Now I’m a fan of what Crystal Dynamics has accomplished and I’m ready for the remake of the original game!

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Burnout Dominator by Criterion Games
PS2, PSP – Q1 2007

My introduction to this franchise was Burnout 3: Takedown. I loved every second of that game and I still go back to it every so often. My favorite mode has to be Road Rage. When I started playing the sequel, Revenge, I wasn’t as enthralled with that game. I have yet to play very much of it as compared to Takedown. Here’s to hoping that Dominator gets back to what I loved about Takedown. No multi-paths needed. Just great arcade style racing that only Criterion can provide.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames by Pandemic Studios
PS3 – TBA

I’m currently having a blast playing The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I haven’t played a game with this kind of misc. mayhem since I last played Mercenaries back in February. Because of that I’m really looking forward to the release of the sequel, World in Flames.

Other anticipated games of 2007:
Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft
X360, PS3, PC – TBA 2007

Black 2 by Criterion Games
X360, PS3 – TBA

Fall of Liberty by Spark Unlimited
PS3, PC, X360 – Q4 2007

God of War II by SCEA
PS2 – February 2007

Stranglehold by Midway
PC, PS3, X360 – Q2 2007

The Darkness by Starbreeze
PS3, X360 – Q2 2007