Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gaming Thoughts

I freely confess to being a 30-something gamer. I sit up late at night on the weekends (not as much during the week anymore) and play video games. I love it, I write about them at Gaming, and I would have a hard time in my life without them as an outlet for fun. But as with anything, gaming can be taken to the extreme.

The videos I recently found are a collective speed run of the PS3 game Demons Souls. The run clocks in at 54 minutes which is, frankly, insane. In the game, the player literally sprints past every enemy they can to reach a far off goal, die, and respawn back at the start. From there, they turn right and head off in a different direction to do the exact same thing. It culminates with them taking out a boss, moving on to the next level, and repeating.

Why in the hell I would watch 54 minutes of that escapes me, but, based on the comments at the site, there are people out there who get a kick from stuff like this. They are free to know themselves out. I’d heard good things about the game, but after watching the speedrun through the first level my interest dropped to zero.

I’m done with the “flip the switch” mentality which afflicted every game from the mid-90s through the early 2000’s. I’m not saying the medium has evolved to the next level, at least not entirely. Heck, I just completed “Dead Space” which can be summed up in a single word: fetch. How is that different than going to Place X to flip Switch Y?

Currently, I’m plowing through a second (technically fourth or fifth) run of “Dead Rising 2” because it’s just too much fun. Once you’ve increased your level to the point where you’re on an even playing field with the bad guys, then the fun factor skyrockets. It’s unfortunate that said playing field is only marginally level once you hit the mid to high 20s (out of a possible 50 experience levels), but no one ever said the learning curve wasn’t steep.

The catch is I’d never try a speedrun of this, let alone film it, let alone film it then post it to the internet as a means by which I can be judged as awesome. In a nice little twist, I’m writing this and posting it on an internet blog which no one reads because I only update it once every blue halfmoon.

Speaking of Dead Rising 2, I can’t recommend it enough. Fans of horror and zombie horror games in particular will get a huge gas out of it, despite the ridiculously steep learning curve. For example, a critical dodge move (which can and will save your life more than once) isn’t unlocked until players hit level 18. You can read my GT review here.

I will continue though by saying its way more fun the higher your level. Your character Chuck is stronger, more agile, quicker, can carry more stuff, and is capable of taking more damage from the zillions of zombies and psychopaths. But being able to rescue every survivor and kill every psycho while ensuring your little daughters’ safety feels… great. It feels awesome to be able to play savior in a zombie apocalypse without the silly photography mechanics from the first game. Even though the story remains idiotic (this is Capcom we’re talking about), it is 19 different kinds of fun. Duct taping a sledgehammer to a fire ax results in a ton of zombie killing fury.

While this is sucking up my nights, Just Cause 2 just sits there staring at me. I have so many settlements left to free from a dictator I already killed. Wait. Why should I play this any more? Because the game can be summed up by this phrase: I bet I can base jump off that.

Usually this equates to me high-jacking a car, driving into town, blowing stuff up, being pursued by military police until a helicopter shows up which I then high-jack and use to get to the top of a building that I proceed to base jump off of. In short, this is also one of my games of the year for the sheer amount of fun.

If you haven’t played either game, get thee hence to the store and pick them up. Hours upon hours of fun await.

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