Sunday, September 2, 2007

Gaming, Post-PAX

This post is really more of an addendum to my PAX entry than as a separate one, but some of this stuff does need 'splaining. It's just a list of games that I now want that I didn't before, games I'd heard of that I now want after trying or seeing more in-depth at PAX, and some that I'll be buying the second they're available.

Picross - DS - Already purchased.

We played several multiplayer games of this via DS download play while we were in line for the PAX opening. We were both addicted to the point where we asked a few locals for directions to the nearest EB games so we could pick this up immediately. It's a simple puzzle game that is really best played with at least two other people. If I described the game play you wouldn't believe anything else I'd written, so just find someone with it and play against them.

Rock Band - 360 - Now Interested.

Natalie and I waited in line for about half an hour to play Rock Band at PAX, and it was worth the wait. Fantastic game, but I don't know that it's going to be worth the cost, as it's the most fun when you have four people there with their own instruments, but I don't know that I'd be nearly as interested in the single-player version, Drum Hero, Bass Guitar Hero or Better-not-sing-with-vibrato Vocal Hero.

The way I see it, that means that Rock Band is really suited to be a Wii game, as Nintendo is the console intended for people who mostly play multiplayer games with friends in the same room.

Supreme Commander - PC - (sob)

I still have a 10-year-old copy of Total Annihilation. I have the Core Contingency expansion and the pseudo-sequel TA: Kingdoms. I consider the franchise better than the Command & Conquer series and, at the risk of my Korean readership, better than the Warcraft/Starcraft series. However, every time I mentioned Total Annihilation to friends I got the same blank unknowing stare, and I'd sigh and leave it on the shelf. Bad timing, poor marketing, whatever, it just never got the recognition I think it deserved. Skip ahead many years and we have Supreme Commander, the latest from Chris Taylor's RTS line, and the first in many years. I saw this game, drooled over the screenshots and just wanted the game the minute it was released in stores. I managed to avoid buying this game not by remembering how few people I knew that were interested in playing this, but by knowing that my system, once a fantastic gaming rig about 5 years ago, wouldn't be able to run it without dropping under 10 frames per second.

Then I spoke with the developers. They told me about several ways to make Supreme Commander run pretty smoothly even on my PC, and now I'm back to square one with it. I'll see if I can't post my own review of it when I break down sufficiently to get a copy...

MarioKart DS - Gonna hafta...

Okay, this is a game I'm listing because my gamer ego took a bit of a beating at the hands of teenage snakers in games of MarioKart DS while we waited in line to get into PAX each day. The game was released nearly two years ago but was one of the most popular titles played while waiting in line. As shallow as I will look to admit this, I might have to pick up a copy of this just to be more than 8th-place fodder in races next year... (:

Dr. Mario - NES
- Have already looked up its Virtual Console release date

I didn't play many 1980s console titles when I was a kid because I grew up with the Commodore Vic-20 and the C-64, which were a lot of fun all by themselves, but don't seem to have the same nostalgia as the NES/SNES/Atari 2600 consoles do.

At PAX, Natalie and I went to a console freeplay room and sat down to play Dr Mario, a game Natalie played a lot as a kid and really liked. I figured the least I could do was give it a shot and sure enough, we played for a half hour in what seemed like five minutes. If we didn't have a panel to attend or three other things to do right then I'm sure we'd have played all afternoon...

When we got back I looked it up on the Wii Virtual Console and it hasn't been released, and then found this link confirming that there isn't even a solid release date for it yet.

As a side note, Brain Age 2 actually contains Dr. Mario, and I suppose that'll have to suffice until we see Dr. Mario on the VC.

Halo 3 - 360 - Mayyyyybe....

Thank you PAX. After seeing the Omegathon final, Natalie is now that much closer to being interested in a 360. Her eyes lit up for the first first-person shooter game since Goldeneye. I asked her semi-seriously if she'd be interested in a 360 between Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Bioshock and now this, and she gave me a definite maybe. Maybe means that there's a chance that Natalie will play a first-person shooter with me that isn't Goldeneye.

As an aside and no offense intended to Goldeneye fans, I was an exclusive PC gamer for years before playing consoles seriously, and for all the hype of FPS games on consoles, there is no FPS game on consoles that compares to Half-Life 2 or large-scale multiplayer gaming played at 1600x1200 resolution. Having come into the console game years after Goldeneye, I respect how much people love their first FPS, they're welcome to it, I just don't share it.

All that being said, it would be very cool to play an action game with Natalie, and it'd be a way if I wanted to try Oblivion or other cool-looking titles that won't make it onto the Wii.

Besides, I'm finished the only Wii shooters I own (RE4 - 3:12 speed run! w00!) and Call of Duty 3...

Metroid Prime 3 - Wii - Yes. Eventually.

Saw this in the Nintendo display area, and it looked very cool. Never having finished a Metroid game before, I'm not going to get it immediately, but I'll look for a used copy over the next year or so.

Fire Emblem Wii - Purty.

I've played two Fire Emblem games on my DS and enjoyed them both a lot. This one was also in the display area at the PAX Nintendo area, and while I didn't get a chance to play it, I recognized the gameplay and I'd like to try it out.

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - PC/XBLA - Nice! Me want!

I couldn't write this without mentioning the upcoming Penny Arcade game. It's turn-based strategy/action game, with Tycho and Gabe and a giant fruit fucker as major characters. Looks very cool, and yet another reason to get a 360. Eventually.

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