Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Better Bloodrayne

I don't really know all that much about BloodRayne. What I know, other than two terrible movies, and one fantastic fan film starring Vera Vanguard, a review of which can be found here.

Recently I downloaded BloodRayne: Betrayal. I was thinking it would be cool. After all, what's not cool about a hot chick killing Nazis and vampires, really, it sounds like the perfect game. The problem is, this game is really nothing like that at all. It's not even as cool as previous BloodRayne games I've learned. Older versions of the game were actually similar to Tomb Raider in style, this one is a sidescroller (see, I'm learning the lingo), like Rolling Thunder or Bionic Commando. To me, the novice, this seems like a step backward in evolution. I definitely prefer Lara Croft to this weak 2D anime.

Like many games, I was unable to get very far. The game keeps it simple, half-human half-vampire BloodRayne is recruited by good vampires to fight bad vampires, but apparently not simple enough for me. This game would have been marked for deletion along with the others among The Rejected, had Crystal and Jeff not taken a liking to it.

Jeff, in his usual manner, got on the game and started kicking its ass. He was cruising across this side scroll whupping vampire butt left and right, though mostly right. The vampires good and bad were blowing up like Pookas and Fygars in Dig Dug. Have I mentioned how awesome Jeff is? Well, actually he might not be that great of a gamer, but he can sure make me look bad, not a hard feat.

As far as BloodRayne goes, I think I'm going to stick with Vera Vanguard. Like Jeff, she's much cooler than this game.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Rejected

Once learning that I could download game demos from the PlayStation Store, I have been a downloadin' maniac. And once I figured out that if I didn't like them, I could delete them… I've downloaded even more and more. This blog entry is about some of the games that didn't make the cut for me, and why.

Heavy Rain ~ I remember a few years back when this game initially came out. It was a big, big deal. It was called "an interactive drama psychological thriller video game." Besides being a mouthful of adjectives and noun, it was also supposed to have phenomenal special effects. In the one sequence I was able to see, and not get past, yes, the effects were pretty cool, but again, as I said, I was pretty much just stuck in this one alley and couldn't go anywhere else. With my low patience tolerance, I deleted this one fairly quickly.

Marvel Pinball ~ While I am a big Marvel Comics fan, I am not much of a pinball player, especially not in a video game where you really can't move the machine or 'finesse' the ball where you want it to go. The Bride however is a big pinballer, both real and video. I figured this would be a good game for us both to play. Sadly, after many attempts, I have yet to make this one download. There is always a problem. Oh well.

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil ~ Along with Ghostbusters and the similarly titled Rocketbirds, this game is just too damned loud. Every time I passed by it while looking for another game, the volume of it would blast so loud for just the second the cursor paused on it - I eventually just deleted to make the noise stop. I still have no idea if it's any good or not. It certainly looked intriguing in a Dragon's Lair anime way.

Lemmings ~ I love Lemmings, and on the PC version of this game I rocked it, and enjoyed it immensely. I loved Lemmings and as I said I was pretty good - no such luck with the PS3 version. It reminded me a bit of the PS3 Elevator Action (which I'm sure I'll talk about here sooner or later), as it resembles the original game but has different dynamics and controls. I couldn't do it. So because I was ashamed of not being good at a game I used to be good at - I deleted Lemmings.

Seeing how inept I am at this gaming stuff, and how enthusiastic I am at downloading free demos, I'm sure this list will only grow. Time will tell.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in the DC Universe Online

When last we left The Red Sun, in the DC Universe Online game, he had escaped from Brainiac's ship and was wandering around the Metropolis (at least I think it's Metropolis) police station trying not to tick off other online players whose characters, flagging their names behind them, whizzed to and fro. Yeah, I was lost again. Basically I was at the "Now what?" point.

Eventually after wandering in circles for awhile, and trying to talk to characters who were not player-controlled, I learned that Super-Gorilla Grodd was attacking again, this time with a plan to turn humans into apes. Again? But that trick never works. Despite all that, I learned how to fly, and use the map, and got myself to the big battle.

Battle is kind of a misleading. Massacre is more like it. They beat me down, bad. Luckily Jeff came over and gave me a boost with the game. He played his way through quite a few gorilla soldiers, and got us (I know, but I'll get to play after he's done) to the next level. Coolness, thank you, Jeff.

In the midst of battle throughout Metropolis (yep, it's definitely Metropolis), we kept seeing Christmas trees, which I thought at first were a nice holiday decoration. I'm guessing that's what the massive update was before we started playing. It could have been that or the two new (buyable) updates for speedsters and Green Lanterns, of which there were many, far too many actually. I guess everyone abandons their old characters when new powers become available.

We soon learned that the update was probably a special Christmas present for DCUO players - a new adventure called "Season's Greedings" featuring Orange Lantern Larfleeze who has come to Earth to strike back at Santa for leaving him empty-handed this year. The new quest involves collecting stolen gifts and fighting Larfleeze's orange constructs without being trapped in snowglobes or turned into orange energy snowmen.

What a pleasant surprise! It sure beats being clobbered by big monkeys any day. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where's the Bacon?

The Baconing. This game was another free download from the PlayStation Store that went unplayed for a while. Well, I did try to play it, but without reading the instructions, good controller skills, or that wonderful virtue, gaming experience - I couldn't make heads nor tails of it.

Luckily, the Dark Crystal gave it a try on a recent visit, giving me some idea of what was what in the world of The Baconing. In this sequel to two previous games (DeathSpank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue), you play as DeathSpank, an arrogant good guy (voiced by game and animation veteran Michael Dobson) who has unwittingly created an evil duplicate of himself, the AntiSpank, and must stop him to win the game.

The game has unique animation and plays similarly to a funny animal version of Diablo or Gauntlet with a Monty Pythonic sense of humor. That sense of humor is what makes the game for me - as a player or as a viewer. That last part is important as it negates the horror of the turn wait. That's a good thing.

And although I did enjoy this, I do have one question - where's the bacon?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pain and Addiction

You might ask where I've been. It has been some time since I've written this blog. Well, November had something to do with it. I'm a writer, and November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. You can read about it here, but that took up quite a bit of my extra time. I was also sick, and had a twisted ankle in there as well. I could easily make those excuses, but it wouldn't be entirely true. The truth is I've found a PS3 game I really like. It's called Pain.

I have the Dark Crystal to thank for this new addiction. Late one night she sent me this quick text: Go to the PlayStation Network and find the game called Pain. I'll give you ten bucks for the download. You will love it! I did eventually, at first I was skeptical, and I didn't quite trust the PlayStation Network after that wonderful hacking scandal. Once I had the game, and started playing I was sooo hooked.

Pain is kind of like Angry Birds, only instead of birds, you're flinging people from a slingshot into at first a cityscape and then other worlds trying to break stuff for points. Besides the obvious buildings, cars, billboards, signs and the like, there are also explosives, tunnels, even mimes and monkeys as obstacles. The whole time your people are screaming in agony, making snarky remarks and getting tossed about like crazed ragdolls.

Besides different backgrounds to be flung into, there are also a variety of people who can be flung. You can be a rapper, a gamer girl, a cheerleader, a wrestler, a cowboy or girl, a ninja, a pirate, a cat, an old lady, even characters from other games, or 'celebrities' like Santa, Flava Flav, Elvira, George Takai, Elvis, Andy Dick, or David Hasselhoff. Yeah, even The Hoff.

Thank you, Crystal, for hipping me to this terrific game. And just for the record, I've never felt the need to collect that ten bucks, especially not for the hours and hours of fun I've gotten from this game.