Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

Well since the completion competition finally wrapped up in January I have still managed to be amazingly busy on the gaming front though without that pesky need for quick and easy games to saunter through.

Though having said that - I have completed Battleship and Cartoon Network Super Punchtime Explosion (real name) but only because they were sent my way via the rental service I use and I am determined to actually get my moneys worth now, especially as I had Sherlock Holmes sat around for nearly two months before finishing it. Shame on me.

Still those two games were mere footnotes in my gaming odyssey for the last month as the vast majority of my time was spent with Borderlands 2.

Now I'd previously started the game months ago, pretty much when it first came out, but then got distracted with reviews and whatnot. So by the time I'd gotten back around to it there were now three DLC packs to tackle on top of the original story. Luckily I'd snagged the season pass when it was half price over Christmas, so I just downloaded all of the content and got to work.

The amount of fun little references and throwaway gags is just great, and I even really enjoyed most of the DLC - which is odd as most people seem to be up in arms about it - I thought the pirate story was a perfect addition and the over the top, sweary Torgue was pretty hilarious. The only letdown was Hammerlocks Big Hunt - which seemed a bit more tiresome and ill conceived but as I'd had so much fun up until that point I'll let them off.

I did everything solo too, which consisted of a full playthrough with all quests done (barring Terramorphous) and then a second runthrough to level up, grab weapons and what not. After I'd done all the story, DLC and quests I eventually started to use the Infinity Pistol/Evil Smasher combo to blast my way through the remaining invincible bosses. I had originally hoped to do them with friends but they are holding off until a GOTY version is released, so I figured I may as well finish everything off myself. In my defence those last few raid bosses are ludicrously overpowered for regular players so I don't feel too bad about having the upper hand.

After that I used the wife's account (that I'd levelled up to about 33 during my run) to level up the other three characters so that I could get their specific achievement - top tip here: use the various arenas, as they are great for power levelling your back ups. That took me a few hours to boot, but the game was finally done.

There is more DLC on the way which is pretty awesome, though I'm not happy that content outside of the season pass is being mooted and especially when the level cap increase is being suggested as having an additional charge. When I've effectively 'wasted' three DLC packs worth of XP, as I'd already hit 50, then to raise the cap and have the audacity to charge extra for it is a pretty low blow. Here's hoping that doesn't happen and that any future content is reasonably well handled.

Now that Borderlands 2 is done I figured I'd try something a bit similar, and I've ended up going back to Fallout New Vegas in a bid to rush through and get that bad boy done and dusted. Fingers crossed I can do it in double quick time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lost in the Borderlands

Since the end of the Completion competition, and some time finishing up Battleship, I've played absolutely nothing except for Borderlands 2. The game is pretty awesome and the amount of fun little moments and references that you find along the way are superb.

My only gripe is the fact that some bosses seem ludicrously overpowered at times, while others are a walk in the park. In truth there are a few balancing issues and they make the game equal parts easier than it should be and harder than it should be - often in the space of 10-15 minutes. I guess the problem comes down to the fact that the game has an open world feel to it, so you can technically stray into tougher areas sooner than you should.

If you then persevere in said areas you might get to a point where you are tougher than the main story arc requires you to be - making the bosses you meet on that path a touch too simple.

That aside, and it really is only a minor quibble, the rest of the game is great stuff and I enjoy being able to take time out to complete ludicrous sidequests, or just heading back to certain bosses to grind for better gear etc. It's a wonderful game.

I've not actually finished my first run through yet, though I am pretty close, but I'm hoping to get it done (along with all the quests if possible) this weekend. Then I can turn my attention to the DLC and maybe to levelling up to the 50 cap. Time will tell.

I've done the whole game solo thus far but I may need to find some cohorts for some of the more evil DLC bosses, we shall see. Still regardless of how you play it, I would recommend it to everyone.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Post January clean up

Well after a very hectic month of gaming I've emerged out the other side with a ton more gamerscore, a load of completed games and far too many annoying 50g titles littering my tag. Anyone that had never looked at my account before might just assume that I play nothing but arcade games, but it had to be done.

The overall goal, of course, was to do well in the Staff/Subscriber completion contest over on x360a and after weeks of gaming trauma I ended up with a haul of 61 completed games. Pretty awesome - but only good enough for third place. The two people above me (with 78 and 72 completions) both had access to a Windows phone and cranked out 25+ games each on that bad boy. Foolishly I'd never really thought of phone games having so much easy fodder but, in hindsight, that is exactly the type of games that are popular on phones. So without access to that bastion of simple games and, having completed a lot of easy stuff in the past, I wasted probably too much time on certain retail/arcade games than I should have.

Still I got a nice forum award regardless which was my main aim and I managed to chalk off a whole host of arcade games that I'd bought years ago and never gotten around to playing for one reason or another. It was especially nice to blitz through all four of the original 2D Sonic titles which, in my view, have not aged that well. I was actually glad to get them out of the way as they were more annoying than entertaining.

I did also find a few gems along the way too. I recommend Trine 2, which was a fun little action/adventure/platformer, plus Haunt was a good Kinect title and well worth a few hours of your time. I also had fun with the Wallace and Gromit games too, as well as revisiting Monkey Island 2 which is one of my all time favourites.

I finally finished Ghost Recon Future Soldier as well, and was probably one of the few people that actually really enjoyed it - I did pretty much all of the online (bar some challenges with friends and the DLC maps that NO ONE plays) without boosting as well. Plus, I chalked off Condemned 2 and Black Ops which had both been on my to do list for a long time. I've almost finished CoD: World at War too, with just the Prestige achievements left, so we shall see how that goes.

Since the competition ended I blitzed through Battleship and also mopped up the Family Game Night achievements I had left to do (can't touch Scrabble as it is US only). I'm now back to playing games because I want to, and have picked up Borderlands 2 again in a bid to blast my way through it in double quick time. Though at some point I'll need some co-op buddies to tackle some of the harder bosses and such, but I'll tackle that issue when I come to it.

I'm now looking to finish off a few of my easier titles and get them shifted out of the house, along with starting some of this generations gems that I may well have missed out on. Titles like Assassins Creed, Mass Effect and Dead Space, and all of their sequels, are awaiting my attention and I'm hoping this year is the time to get back to them.

By the end of the year I hope to be pushing onto 96% completion, as I'm on my way to 95% at the moment, with 20 or less games on my tag that are incomplete. Considering I have 8-9 games that I've written off already that goal would suit me wonderfully. It would be great to finally get things in order and squared away - to the point that I don't have ANY old, incomplete games to go back to and can just focus on new stuff.

Here's hoping.