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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Shooter games roundup 
17th-Jun-2009 11:04 am
Been interesting having the Xbox 360 now hooked up to the monitor in all its 1920x1200 glory. It means the 360 is actually now much more fun and comfortable to play with - sitting on the floor in front of the TV was a bit of a pain. Interestingly, the only games which doen't seem to work so well now are the Guitar Hero ones. I've also installed Frets on Fire for the PC and *so* need to figure out how to get the Big Country track working ;-)

Anyway, it's been interesting catching up with a few games and being able to flick quickly between the PC and 360. Ones I've finally completed recently:

Halo 3 on the 360
Variety, pacing and gameplay balance was as wonderfully frantic as ever but the overall storyline and design was a tad over-familiar though. Destroying *another* HALO installation, complete with frantic Warthog drive to escape? And did anyone really not see the Monitor's turning coat coming a mile off?

Shame too that Julie Benz didn't return as Commander Keyes but it was interesting to note all the fan faves in the cast e.g. Nathan Filion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Katee Sackhoff, Ron Perlman plus the likes of Terence Stamp and Robert Davi and though!

Overall, great fun but a occasionally felt too much like Halo 1 remastered for the 360 which gives the trilogy a decent conclusion.

Gears of War 2 on the 360
Again, overall, very enjoyable. Very visceral, bloody combat, especially with the chainsaw in melee, great visual design both for the COG and Locust. Decent ending too although the voiceover implies a sequel is in the works. Only irritation was too many puzzle-type boss battles.

FEAR 2: Project Origin on the PC
OK, it probably doesn't help that I got distracted when about 2/3 of the way through by GTA IV but it's probably not a good sign that it wasn't gripping enough to make me put off GTA IV (and restart it when I upgraded to the i7!). It felt technically competent enough, just nothing new over FEAR 1 and its USPs (e.g. Alma, slow-mo combat) don't seem to have stood the test of time as well as HALO's. Also had an ending that matches HALO 2's for sheer infuriation and blantant setup for a sequel.

I did also finally get round to installing the copy of Far Cry 2 that was bundled with the i7. Only problem is that some glitch is causing the mouselook to point straight up and spin round and round. Not had a chance to start debugging that though.

Suspect I may need to reinstall Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat for a bit of good old-fashioned video carnage.
17th-Jun-2009 11:03 am (UTC)
I would recommend Dead Space or Fallout 3 next - they're both shooters but with RPG elements, and both really good games.
17th-Jun-2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, I recently finished the fight on Halo 3 as well. I skipped straight to this one from the original XBox Halo and I was pleased they had less repetition in the levels, although I too thought the Monitor was a weak boss for such a climactic moment. The race to the finish was fun, but yeah - been there, done that. Still, I'm interested enough to watch out for the upcoming ODST and Reach games.
I picked up Mercenaries 2 and Quantum of Solace at the weekend; the former is fun, loading pages and glitches notwithstanding, the latter seems okay so far.
See you at t'pub?
17th-Jun-2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Should be there in late afternoon - got a school reunuion earlier in the day!
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