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Malik (4/9/12)

I noticed this morning that I got an email from Amazon about downloadable PC games being on sale. I decided to look, despite how I tend to find only games I have no interest in within these sale emails, and was pleasantly surprised. I have been wanting Darksiders for a while after reading about the game in the last few months. I mean I have wanted a new Zelda game, but the idea of Skyward sword is not one I liked (because of how I have just learned to absolutely hate using my Wii for anything besides as a Netflix box in my bedroom). Well, the stuff I've seen on Darksiders described it as one of the best Zelda games in a long time, despite not being a Zelda game. Plus, when the premise is so unique (playing a Horseman of the Apocalypse), I cannot turn it down.

Luckily, Amazon is slow as hell for game downloads since their system is definitely nowhere near streamlined enough to compare to even Origin...and not a damned bit near the quality of Steam. I say this is a good thing since I am now having a traffic jam of sorts on my game lineup. I have not touched Infamous 2 for a few months and want to play more. I have barely started SSX (but will currently call it the game I'm playing, since it is fun and simple after having my brain destroyed by the end of Mass Effect 3). I have a few Kemco RPGs I am wanting to get back to on my Android phone. I need to get back to Journey since I'm only 30 minutes into what should be a 2 hour game. I...well, I just have too many damned games I need to play and nowhere near the time to enjoy them.

On the note of my current game of choice, SSX is pretty damned impressive. I'm an old school player of SSX (the only game I enjoyed on the PS2 at launch...and the only one I played for the first nine months of owning the PS2). I didn't get into Tricky as much as the original, and then I just stopped paying attention to SSX entirely since Tricky had some "features" I just didn't get into as a game. So, for me, SSX is the original launch PS2 title and revolves around the shoulder buttons for your grabs.

The new SSX can still use the old controls, but it's tailored to be played with the right analogue stick as your trick input. Quite frankly, trying to play with the should buttons might feel correct, but the fluidity of the right stick feels less correct but far more complete. It's like trying to play a 3D game with a d-pad versus an analogue stick. One feels more natural at first, but the other is how the game was really meant to be played. So, I'm making slow progress in SSX since I'm determined to use the analogue stick for trick controls. This has so far led to many falls off of mountains, but I'm happy to make slow progress over making sloppy and fast progress.

Anyway, I have not enjoyed an extreme sports title just this since the original SSX. Tony Hawk lost me back with THPS4 and I could never get into the Skate craze. SSX feels like a nice trip into nostalgia while offering a lot of new ideas along the way. The best new feature is how the game used real maps to generate courses, and this has given some really fun areas to board well as a lot more courses than I have ever seen in an extreme sports game.

The only downside is that the game, with its audio and movies, may kill my brain. I mean the difference between extreme sports and just "bro'ing out" is a fine line. SSX didn't tip toe the line and go to the bro ran past the line and never stopped running. The announcers are inane, the music is entirely pop (extreme pop, but still definitely popular music), and the story (yes, there is one) cannot even be recalled in this post (for fear of it destroying all remaining brain cells).


Malik (4/11/12)

Monday morning I started to download Darksiders from Amazon. At $5, I felt like this was a perfect deal for me. Well, except for the Amazon part. Amazon has a very slow server, at least for me when compared to Origin or especially Steam. Amazon also has the fault of having a one off installer instead of an installation program which is persistent. So, I wanted Darksiders, which is a game that clocks in somewhere between 12GB and 14GB. Finally, last night I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I only had 1GB left to download as of 10PM last night. I went to bed, hoping to finally have the file downloaded before heading off to work this morning.

It was a nice plan. I mean 48 hours of downloading would finally pay off. Well, it didn't. Microsoft, from the looks of it, had an issue with this idea and decided to leave my PC in a way in which it wanted to reboot overnight. I am guessing the reboot came before that final 1GB was done. This morning, I woke up to a blank rebooted desktop on my PC. To make it even more painful, when I tried to load the Amazon installer, I saw what I knew was coming...the game was being downloaded, again, starting at 0KB and working slowly back up to the final destination of being on my PC.

This is why I really like Steam. When a download is stopped and a game is aborted in its download, the pieces already downloaded remain behind to be downloaded again in the future. Not like the Amazon system that requires a now-or-never approach. It's bad when you have to leave a PC on for 48 hours straight because of this. It's worse to expect a PC to remain on for 48 hours to download one single file, since between anti-virus, Windows Update, and the potential of a system crash in a Windows environment, a Windows based PC is not one to remain 100% functional for a single download for 48 hours.

At least I still have the bro-tastic SSX to keep me amused.


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