Monday, January 12, 2009

On holiday

I'll make no attempt to hide that this post has been written in advance and then scheduled to publish today. The reason for this pre-record (as I'm told they call it in radio and TV circles, and I figured that if I start comparing the games industry to radio - instead of movies - I might be at the forefront of some exciting new stupid internet arguments this year) is because I'm on holiday.

Which means that as you're reading this I should be spending some proper time with the DS games I've bought but haven't got around to looking at beyond the tutorial levels - in particular PicPic and Soul Bubbles. Though it all kind of depends on whether my DS manages to survive the beach, since about six months go the little plastic ratchet things that keep the lid open at certain angles snapped off. Now I have a floppy DS.

So I might not be playing much DS. Being away from the gaming comforts of home (if you imagine that I won't have my iPod Touch with me either, though I'm not sure what the score is with chargers where we're going, and playing games on that eats the battery faster than a PSP) will be good in other ways though. I will hopefully get around to reading some books I've had on a pile next to my bed for ages (the Design of Everyday Things, Richard Herrin's Bye Bye Balham, and Charlie Brooker's Dawn of the Dumb).

And finally I can try out a new gadget, which is always good. I bought myself a waterproof digital camera. So hopefully I should come back with some ace pictures of fish from my snorkelling.

Non-holiday stuff I have been up to recently...

I finished Gears of War 2. Even at the end it left me with the feeling that yes, it was all very exciting, but it was still very bitty, with each section having its own special new rule or element that you have to pay attention to. It also seemed to focus quite a bit on vehicle sections that I thought were rubbish for the most part, and downright confusing in sections. It wouldn't surprise me if, even though it feels like a longer game than the first Gears, it turned out that measured section for section, there is less time spent doing the core "in cover, shooting enemies" gameplay that I bought it for. Really nice blood effects at the end of the second act, though.

And finally, for this update, I watched the Hitman movie (based off the IO Interactive game series, if you didn't know). Timothy Olyphant wasn't vey good at all in the lead role, he looked far too young and his voice was just odd - for half of his "menacing" lines he sounded like his voice would crack and he was about to cry. The love interest angle seemed very out of place too.

47's bodycount in the movie is also surprisingly high, which doesn't really fit with the intention of the games that you should be able to finish each level by only killing the target and leaving other people with a headache at worst. But after thinking about it I realised that the film matched what tends to happen when I play Hitman - a disguise eventually fails, and from that point on I have to shoot my way in and out. Usually about five minutes into a level.

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