Archive for the 'Demo-lition' Category

14
Oct
09

The catch up (From J)

Hello again.

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted that we’d been taking some ‘personal time off’ (Read as: We’re busy with real life) and that we’d be posting more soon?

I might have lied.

Life is still playing havoc with our time. But, with all the cool stuff happening with my gaming world, I figured I’d bite the bullet and write something about what I’ve been up to in the last few months…

Played a ton of demos. Say what you want about PSN, the demos are flowing in like no one’s business. The good: Brutal Legend  is fun and very smart. Double Fine did a great job so far and it seems that this is going to be a big game for them. Jack Black is very tolerable and is really funny in his role as….himself. Looking to pick this up. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is also continuing the win streak of getting a better ninja game after the fact. Again, the demo unlocks more content with every play through, like the first demo for NGS. Making it a favorite of people that can’t buy games as often as they used to. The combat is more of the same smooth, cut your arms off, crazy crap that you should be used to by now. The boss fight towards the end of the demo is pretty crazy. I felt like buying the game after playing it a few times.

More good: picked up the first of the Fallout 3 DLC FINALLY on PS3, Broken Steel. It’s great, as you already know. The Broken Steel story is longer then I thought and at one point, got so hard, I thought I was going to throw my controller across the room. The subway fight is the worst, most frustrating sequence in a game that I’ve played in a long time. It was still worth getting to start back in to a game that really is deep and expansive.  Also, finding three different flamethrowers is awesome for someone like me that seems to enjoy setting people on fire alittle too much at times.

Finally bought Trash Panic and Shatter. Both awesome, addictive games with quirky gameplay and wonderful soundtrack. Even if Trash Panic is the hardest fucking game I’ve ever played, I still love playing it. Shatter is another way for companies to get my money. Keep making Arkaniod games, guys and I’ll keep buying them. Between Shatter and Magic Ball, I should be doing an all ball returning game weekend. I love that stuff.

Speaking of stuff I love, I got into the Uncharted 2 Beta, and later the public demo/beta. Both times, I really couldn’t believe that this game was getting so much love from the gaming press and other news outlets. It’s still Uncharted. The gun play and scaling are back along with multiplayer. I mean, I came from a time, 2007 to be exact, where the thought of a PS3 game being good was something of a internet punchline. Now Uncharted 2 seems to be, many people think, the hands down, game of the year. What a difference two years can make. Looking forward to the showdown of Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2 and ODST fighting for GotY honors.

Been replaying all of my old games since money is tight and there are so many games coming in the next three to four months that I’m not going to have money for. Replaying Uncharted, Bioshock, Lumines Supernova, Zen Pinball, Fallout 3, (this time as the evil guy) and Wipeout HD is reminding me how much I love gaming. Planning on busting out some more trophies on these games, as well as Shatter and Marvel Vs Capcom 2.

In other news, I just got Diablo 2 like it’s the year 2000. Always up with the times. More on this when I get started. All you need to know is that I’ve always wanted to play this game, but never had the computer processing power to run it and with my type of gaming personality, I was afraid of the game destroying my life. But with 134 hours in Fallout 3 (not including the times that I had to start over  due to being trapped somewhere or erasing my save to start over with trophies)  and a embarrassing 481 hours in Oblivion, I think I’ll be ok playing a 9 years old game. More when it develops.

That’s all for now. More soon. Really this time………mabye.

J.

Advertisements
27
Jan
09

DEMO-LITION: Resident Evil 5

Yes, the RE5 demo is finally here, at least on the 360. Poor J is going to have to wait until Feb 2nd to sink his teeth into this demo on PS3. Of course, I’m lucky to play it myself; my brother, Patrick has experienced the Red Rings of Death on his 360 for the second time and he has had a customer service nightmare. More on that later… At any rate, he’s been borrowing my 360 as much as possible, so only today was I able to get my system back to download and try the Resident Evil 5 goodness.

More like creepiness!


I’ve only played a little, so consider these very initial impressions. On the upside, they’re mostly spoiler-free, but then again, so is the demo. The game plays almost identically to Resident Evil 4, and I’m not complaining about that! Apparently, there’s a control scheme that plays a bit more like Gears of War style, but I didn’t try that out in my initial play through. Although two-player co-op is available for either online or offline split screen, I only played single player. Hopefully I can get Dustin or one of my other buddies to try two player with me soon.

It’s all good though, because Sheva is a competent partner, who fights well on her own, gives you items you need when you need them and generally works better than almost any other AI assistant I’ve seen in a game. You’ll have to return the favor though, and watch her back, give her ammo and healing items when she needs it, and not leave her out to dry.

Even without playing on an HDTV, the game is beautiful. There was some small text at the beginning of the demo, but thankfully a microscope is not needed to read it when playing on normal resolution televisions. Characters are incredibly well-rendered and so is the varying atmosphere, which changes from dismal to almost blinding sunlight. The graphics are so good that the transition to cut scenes to gameplay is not noticeable. Throughout the game, there’s so much detail everywhere.

Once again, the infected are not quite zombies at all, but not exactly like the “Plagas” in RE4 either. They’re quite similar to the townspeople you encountered before, but when they get their hands on you, they choke you and you must rotate the control stick wildly to get free. The longer it takes, the closer they draw you in, and their mouths… Well, it’s not pretty and is very freaky. Like the Plagas, they carry weapons, but this time you can shoot them out of their hands (though shooting a bottle only broke it, making it no less deadly).

The controls are intuitive for the most part. I didn’t quite get used to changing weapons or items on the fly, which now does not pause the game and go to a separate menu while you do it. It really adds some hecticness to everything, which may be why I had trouble mastering it. Other than that, running, shooting, reloading, taking knife swipes and calling for Sheva are all very similar to RE4, thus pretty easy to master.

There are some new moves this time around. While things like jumping out of windows when you’re near them are done with a button press like last time, fallen enemies’ heads can be stomped on with a similarly-cued press of the X button. Sheva was able to kick some enemies, though I’m not sure if you can do that whenever, or only when a mob closes in tight. Another interesting thing was that I could hurt stunned enemies; after shooting them, an X button would pop up and Chris would deliver a strong blow that sent the enemy reeling even further, or would knock them across the room—where they then could have their heads stomped in.

One thing that struck me is that ammo seems to be in lower quantities than ever. Sometimes the only way I’d survive is when Sheva would toss me some ammo. Of course, this could have to do with my nerves on my first play through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ammo (and health) has to be rationed carefully between Sheva and Chris. If one of the characters dies, it’s game over, so it’s a good idea to keep Sheva covered. If one of the characters takes too much damage, they can be revived and rescued Left 4 Dead style. Also like L4D, teamwork will definitely be a major aspect of gameplay—albeit to a smaller scale. In one of the levels, I had Chris boost Sheva across a roof, then covered her (unsuccessfully I might add, until I realized I had a sniper rifle) as she walked down and around and unlocked a gate that impeded progress. From what I understand, puzzles like these are plentiful in the game.

Overall, I didn’t make it very far. Mainly because in the two levels available, one had a chainsaw guy, the other had his new older brother, a giant axe guy. Both can kill you pretty quick. Sure, I fought back, but it was pretty much game over really quick. But what I played was enough to get a taste, and develop a hunger for more. Like any Resident Evil game, things always start out tough until you can acclimate yourself to what happens and how to best combat it. I look forward to mastering the areas of the demo while waiting for March to roll around, and am even more excited about the prospect of playing through a Resident Evil game with a friend for the first time.

I’ve also downloaded the FEAR 2 demo, so maybe I’ll have another DEMO-LITION up soon. Additionally, my brother Patrick has been writing up a guest piece on his experiences with Microsoft Xbox Customer Service that may be enlightening and helpful to those of us that will almost certainly deal with them again in the future.

Max

27
Jan
09

DEMO-LITION: Resident Evil 5

Yes, the RE5 demo is finally here, at least on the 360. Poor J is going to have to wait until Feb 2nd to sink his teeth into this demo on PS3. Of course, I’m lucky to play it myself; my brother, Patrick has experienced the Red Rings of Death on his 360 for the second time and he has had a customer service nightmare. More on that later… At any rate, he’s been borrowing my 360 as much as possible, so only today was I able to get my system back to download and try the Resident Evil 5 goodness.

More like creepiness!


I’ve only played a little, so consider these very initial impressions. On the upside, they’re mostly spoiler-free, but then again, so is the demo. The game plays almost identically to Resident Evil 4, and I’m not complaining about that! Apparently, there’s a control scheme that plays a bit more like Gears of War style, but I didn’t try that out in my initial play through. Although two-player co-op is available for either online or offline split screen, I only played single player. Hopefully I can get Dustin or one of my other buddies to try two player with me soon.

It’s all good though, because Sheva is a competent partner, who fights well on her own, gives you items you need when you need them and generally works better than almost any other AI assistant I’ve seen in a game. You’ll have to return the favor though, and watch her back, give her ammo and healing items when she needs it, and not leave her out to dry.

Even without playing on an HDTV, the game is beautiful. There was some small text at the beginning of the demo, but thankfully a microscope is not needed to read it when playing on normal resolution televisions. Characters are incredibly well-rendered and so is the varying atmosphere, which changes from dismal to almost blinding sunlight. The graphics are so good that the transition to cut scenes to gameplay is not noticeable. Throughout the game, there’s so much detail everywhere.

Once again, the infected are not quite zombies at all, but not exactly like the “Plagas” in RE4 either. They’re quite similar to the townspeople you encountered before, but when they get their hands on you, they choke you and you must rotate the control stick wildly to get free. The longer it takes, the closer they draw you in, and their mouths… Well, it’s not pretty and is very freaky. Like the Plagas, they carry weapons, but this time you can shoot them out of their hands (though shooting a bottle only broke it, making it no less deadly).

The controls are intuitive for the most part. I didn’t quite get used to changing weapons or items on the fly, which now does not pause the game and go to a separate menu while you do it. It really adds some hecticness to everything, which may be why I had trouble mastering it. Other than that, running, shooting, reloading, taking knife swipes and calling for Sheva are all very similar to RE4, thus pretty easy to master.

There are some new moves this time around. While things like jumping out of windows when you’re near them are done with a button press like last time, fallen enemies’ heads can be stomped on with a similarly-cued press of the X button. Sheva was able to kick some enemies, though I’m not sure if you can do that whenever, or only when a mob closes in tight. Another interesting thing was that I could hurt stunned enemies; after shooting them, an X button would pop up and Chris would deliver a strong blow that sent the enemy reeling even further, or would knock them across the room—where they then could have their heads stomped in.

One thing that struck me is that ammo seems to be in lower quantities than ever. Sometimes the only way I’d survive is when Sheva would toss me some ammo. Of course, this could have to do with my nerves on my first play through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ammo (and health) has to be rationed carefully between Sheva and Chris. If one of the characters dies, it’s game over, so it’s a good idea to keep Sheva covered. If one of the characters takes too much damage, they can be revived and rescued Left 4 Dead style. Also like L4D, teamwork will definitely be a major aspect of gameplay—albeit to a smaller scale. In one of the levels, I had Chris boost Sheva across a roof, then covered her (unsuccessfully I might add, until I realized I had a sniper rifle) as she walked down and around and unlocked a gate that impeded progress. From what I understand, puzzles like these are plentiful in the game.

Overall, I didn’t make it very far. Mainly because in the two levels available, one had a chainsaw guy, the other had his new older brother, a giant axe guy. Both can kill you pretty quick. Sure, I fought back, but it was pretty much game over really quick. But what I played was enough to get a taste, and develop a hunger for more. Like any Resident Evil game, things always start out tough until you can acclimate yourself to what happens and how to best combat it. I look forward to mastering the areas of the demo while waiting for March to roll around, and am even more excited about the prospect of playing through a Resident Evil game with a friend for the first time.

I’ve also downloaded the FEAR 2 demo, so maybe I’ll have another DEMO-LITION up soon. Additionally, my brother Patrick has been writing up a guest piece on his experiences with Microsoft Xbox Customer Service that may be enlightening and helpful to those of us that will almost certainly deal with them again in the future.

Max

20
Jan
09

Upcoming articles

Well, it’s been a long few years, but the era of Dubya is over. It almost doesn’t seem like it’s really over. Like Sean Hannity is going to come running down the street, waving the Patriot Act, screaming “The Patriot Act says black people can’t be president.” Oh well, it’ll sink in soon enough. Anyway, here’s the articles i’m working on:

– Another Killzone 2 story; my take on the most anticipated game of all time.

– In deck with Midnight Club: LA, Street Fighter 2 HD remix, Lumines Supernova, Mahjong Tails and Chrono Trigger DS

– New Demo-ilition with Skate 2 and more

– changes and new features on The Driver ID coming….soon?

Enjoy the day. Hopefully, things are going to start looking up.

J.

13
Nov
08

DEMO-LITION: A Taste of Bird, Bear, & Zombies

While I usually don’t take time to delve into demos unless I’m really curious about a game, or want it and can’t afford it, I’ve checked out a couple demos lately and am here to report on ’em.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts N’ Bolts


I enjoyed the original BK, but my wife Maureen was an absolute fanatic about the two N64 games in the series. She played them non-stop, has a stuffed Banjo-Kazooie plush (which compliments my Mumbo Jumbo plush quite well) and used to draw several cartoony pictures of the bird and bear duo. You’d think we’d both be excited about the new Xbox 360 version, but we’re not. We’ve been skeptical about the whole “Nuts N’ Bolts” part, as while building a variety of vehicles may be cool, it seemed too much of a deviation from the original formula. Still, over the weekend when I was looking for the Left 4 Dead demo and couldn’t find it, we downloaded this and gave it a try.

The game is beautiful and the character models have been updated and redesigned well. The music is true to form and initially, the gameplay seems fairly intact. Unfortunately, Nuts N’ Bolts is one of those annoying Xbox 360 games where only HDTV owners can actually read the in-game text. This was a major bummer, as the game starts out in a town, where a computer screen faced robot, Mumbo Jumbo (in overalls), Grunty the witch and several other anthropomorphic animal characters all have something to say—including how to play the game and build vehicles. This doesn’t make the game unplayable, just confusing, as only by leaning in and squinting and working together could we get the essential instructions on what to do. You’ll need to follow instructions too, as initially, the town is blocked by some red force field looking thing which only opens up for exploration after you complete an assigned task. After some fiddling around, it seems Kazooie now has a tractor-beam ability, which allows her to pick up various parts in a level, and flip them or place them elsewhere (like a designated area). There are also vehicles, which presumably you can modify to be a variety of things, but without textual instructions, we had no way of knowing how to do this (plus there weren’t too many parts in the opening area).

There is some small amount of good platforming to be had, and the one vehicle we found controls well, though figuring out what to do seemed to be too challenging, because everywhere we went different instructions were being told to us in lengthy text increments, and it got to be too much. The game, at least the opening, is very heavy on dialog. This reminded me of Kameo, which I was excited about ever since it was announced for GameCube but found it disappointing when I finally played it on 360. It was an amazingly put together game, but it just seemed like there was too much of everything. I could wander around the town and talk to people multiple times with them saying different things each time; there were so many moves; so much story… It was a little overwhelming. Of course I only played a little of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts N’ Bolts so I can’t say it’s like that for certain, but it kind of feels like that already. Rare has seemingly (and increasingly) always been about “more of everything” though sometimes less is more. Again though, I only sampled BK: NnB so I should shut the fuck up.

We did make it to the customization part of the game, which is a garage run by Mumbo, and it seems like there are a plethora of ways to customize your vehicle from parts you acquired down to the color scheme. Seemed neat, but there was too much tiny text to try to make sense of it.

Bottom Line: Even if I had an HDTV, I don’t think I’d be interested. There’s a little bit of the old stuff in there, but it’s too different and (apparently) too vast to pull me in. New is good, but I’m not a fan of the little I played and could not understand. Take that as you will. But please, we’ll take those XBLA downloads of Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie ASAP!

Left 4 Dead

Dustin called me Tuesday to inform me the Left 4 Dead demo was finally up, and though the jerk never called me back after work to try out the multiplayer, I still put the demo to the test. If you haven’t seen the opening film yet, go watch it right now. The game plays out very much like the cinema which establishes the story, as zombies are literally everywhere. Just when you think you’ve killed them all, one (or some) will pop up from behind you, burst through a glass window, or wrap its super long tongue around the neck of one of your teammates (or you!) and start dragging them off—seemingly from completely out of the blue. Sometimes, a zombie mob will come running out from areas you have just come from, meaning there’s no safe angle to turn your back to. On top of all that, these aren’t the slow ass Romero shuffling zombies either, these fuckers run, and climb and jump so you’re really going to need to be on the look out at all times.

Along with the mad amounts of zombies, there are a couple specialized types of undead, like the giant tongue ones previously mentioned. There are orca-fat zombies who will explode if you get too close, spewing zombie-horde-attracting goo all over you, leaving you and your team to be pretty much fucked. However, these fat bastards can be taken out with a single shot from a distance, providing another incentive to proceed carefully. There are also guys called “Hunters” who can jump very high and come at you very fast and ferociously. And don’t be fooled by the cries of what sound like a sad little girl sobbing… The swarms of undead themselves can be a lot to tackle at times too; get too far away from your group and you could be surrounded, with several teeth gnashing at every side of you.

That’s where teamwork comes into play. Again, I was only playing the single player mode with my teammates all computer controlled. Their AI was pretty good though, as they stuck together in a tight knit group unless I boldly led them forward, and would cover my back and each others’ quite well. Having four people on your team means you can fend off the seemingly endless waves of zombies pretty well as long as you work together and cover different sides. It also means you can heal each other after particularly intense fights or give out pain pills that temporarily boost health. I presume there are opportunities to switch weapons with your cohorts as well. Any time you get too far away from the group, you’re asking for trouble; Left 4 Dead is definitely a game that requires you to progress slowly and cohesively as a team if you’re going to do it safely.

The graphics are really excellent (even without having an HDTV you can see the immense detail that went into this game), and depict the action very well. Music is minimal, jarring notes, which is perfect. Gameplay is spot on, as there isn’t just killing undead, there’s times when you want to avoid them, by turning off your flashlight or being careful not to set off car alarms. It’s a really good FPS and I can only imagine it gets four times as sweet once you get a crew together to play. If I’m able to do that soon, I’ll definitely post impressions.

Bottom Line: I didn’t need to play this to want this game. Now that I have, I at least I know the money will be very well spent. It is awesome and exceeds my expectations, despite the fact I’ve only played single player so far. I can see my friends and I playing this one a ton in the coming weeks and months.

Max

13
Nov
08

DEMO-LITION: A Taste of Bird, Bear, & Zombies

While I usually don’t take time to delve into demos unless I’m really curious about a game, or want it and can’t afford it, I’ve checked out a couple demos lately and am here to report on ’em.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts N’ Bolts


I enjoyed the original BK, but my wife Maureen was an absolute fanatic about the two N64 games in the series. She played them non-stop, has a stuffed Banjo-Kazooie plush (which compliments my Mumbo Jumbo plush quite well) and used to draw several cartoony pictures of the bird and bear duo. You’d think we’d both be excited about the new Xbox 360 version, but we’re not. We’ve been skeptical about the whole “Nuts N’ Bolts” part, as while building a variety of vehicles may be cool, it seemed too much of a deviation from the original formula. Still, over the weekend when I was looking for the Left 4 Dead demo and couldn’t find it, we downloaded this and gave it a try.

The game is beautiful and the character models have been updated and redesigned well. The music is true to form and initially, the gameplay seems fairly intact. Unfortunately, Nuts N’ Bolts is one of those annoying Xbox 360 games where only HDTV owners can actually read the in-game text. This was a major bummer, as the game starts out in a town, where a computer screen faced robot, Mumbo Jumbo (in overalls), Grunty the witch and several other anthropomorphic animal characters all have something to say—including how to play the game and build vehicles. This doesn’t make the game unplayable, just confusing, as only by leaning in and squinting and working together could we get the essential instructions on what to do. You’ll need to follow instructions too, as initially, the town is blocked by some red force field looking thing which only opens up for exploration after you complete an assigned task. After some fiddling around, it seems Kazooie now has a tractor-beam ability, which allows her to pick up various parts in a level, and flip them or place them elsewhere (like a designated area). There are also vehicles, which presumably you can modify to be a variety of things, but without textual instructions, we had no way of knowing how to do this (plus there weren’t too many parts in the opening area).

There is some small amount of good platforming to be had, and the one vehicle we found controls well, though figuring out what to do seemed to be too challenging, because everywhere we went different instructions were being told to us in lengthy text increments, and it got to be too much. The game, at least the opening, is very heavy on dialog. This reminded me of Kameo, which I was excited about ever since it was announced for GameCube but found it disappointing when I finally played it on 360. It was an amazingly put together game, but it just seemed like there was too much of everything. I could wander around the town and talk to people multiple times with them saying different things each time; there were so many moves; so much story… It was a little overwhelming. Of course I only played a little of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts N’ Bolts so I can’t say it’s like that for certain, but it kind of feels like that already. Rare has seemingly (and increasingly) always been about “more of everything” though sometimes less is more. Again though, I only sampled BK: NnB so I should shut the fuck up.

We did make it to the customization part of the game, which is a garage run by Mumbo, and it seems like there are a plethora of ways to customize your vehicle from parts you acquired down to the color scheme. Seemed neat, but there was too much tiny text to try to make sense of it.

Bottom Line: Even if I had an HDTV, I don’t think I’d be interested. There’s a little bit of the old stuff in there, but it’s too different and (apparently) too vast to pull me in. New is good, but I’m not a fan of the little I played and could not understand. Take that as you will. But please, we’ll take those XBLA downloads of Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie ASAP!

Left 4 Dead

Dustin called me Tuesday to inform me the Left 4 Dead demo was finally up, and though the jerk never called me back after work to try out the multiplayer, I still put the demo to the test. If you haven’t seen the opening film yet, go watch it right now. The game plays out very much like the cinema which establishes the story, as zombies are literally everywhere. Just when you think you’ve killed them all, one (or some) will pop up from behind you, burst through a glass window, or wrap its super long tongue around the neck of one of your teammates (or you!) and start dragging them off—seemingly from completely out of the blue. Sometimes, a zombie mob will come running out from areas you have just come from, meaning there’s no safe angle to turn your back to. On top of all that, these aren’t the slow ass Romero shuffling zombies either, these fuckers run, and climb and jump so you’re really going to need to be on the look out at all times.

Along with the mad amounts of zombies, there are a couple specialized types of undead, like the giant tongue ones previously mentioned. There are orca-fat zombies who will explode if you get too close, spewing zombie-horde-attracting goo all over you, leaving you and your team to be pretty much fucked. However, these fat bastards can be taken out with a single shot from a distance, providing another incentive to proceed carefully. There are also guys called “Hunters” who can jump very high and come at you very fast and ferociously. And don’t be fooled by the cries of what sound like a sad little girl sobbing… The swarms of undead themselves can be a lot to tackle at times too; get too far away from your group and you could be surrounded, with several teeth gnashing at every side of you.

That’s where teamwork comes into play. Again, I was only playing the single player mode with my teammates all computer controlled. Their AI was pretty good though, as they stuck together in a tight knit group unless I boldly led them forward, and would cover my back and each others’ quite well. Having four people on your team means you can fend off the seemingly endless waves of zombies pretty well as long as you work together and cover different sides. It also means you can heal each other after particularly intense fights or give out pain pills that temporarily boost health. I presume there are opportunities to switch weapons with your cohorts as well. Any time you get too far away from the group, you’re asking for trouble; Left 4 Dead is definitely a game that requires you to progress slowly and cohesively as a team if you’re going to do it safely.

The graphics are really excellent (even without having an HDTV you can see the immense detail that went into this game), and depict the action very well. Music is minimal, jarring notes, which is perfect. Gameplay is spot on, as there isn’t just killing undead, there’s times when you want to avoid them, by turning off your flashlight or being careful not to set off car alarms. It’s a really good FPS and I can only imagine it gets four times as sweet once you get a crew together to play. If I’m able to do that soon, I’ll definitely post impressions.

Bottom Line: I didn’t need to play this to want this game. Now that I have, I at least I know the money will be very well spent. It is awesome and exceeds my expectations, despite the fact I’ve only played single player so far. I can see my friends and I playing this one a ton in the coming weeks and months.

Max




November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

J. Says…….

Pages