I watched that new GTA4 trailer on Friday. I have to say that I
really wish Rockstar would change their hype machine a little. It's
nice to see some more info, no matter how little, in how the
protagonist acts. However, I feel like I've seen this second trailer
before...as in how it's the same as every GTA game before it. You
have the protagonist, who you can't figure out if he's wanting to be
a criminal or is simply forced into it. You have the unknown woman
who tells you to stop being a violent thug. You have a shoot out
with the cops. You have the random action scenes as someone drives
quickly through a city area. You have the generic motorcycle zip
through one scene. Another has a high tech looking helicopter. You
even start it all with the protagonist slowly cruising in a classic
What you don't have is what I need to know the most; how has the
engine been overhauled (or replaced, in this case) to make the game
more enjoyable? I know that the engine is new (well, as new as
Rockstar Presents Table Tennis), but how does it fit with this type
of game. What can the hero do that he couldn't before? How does
aiming work? What can the hero no longer do that he once could?
I know I'll buy the game when it comes along, but I really can't
take anymore of the flashy trailer to build my hype. Rockstar...I
want this game already. That applies to almost anyone who plans to
buy it. What we want now is justification for our blind and ignorant
love (or addiction) to what you do so well.
On a different note, I bought Mario Party 8 (Wii) on Saturday. I was
hanging out with some friends and we felt the need to play some Wii.
Well, after Blockbuster turned up to have no good Wii titles (or
multiplayer ones), I decided to break down and get MP8.
On one hand, it is mainly the same game we've seen seven times
before. I'm not complaining. MP is always a game you hate, but you
can't get enough of at the same time. MP8 is the same way. It's more
of you all taking turns for the board game part of the game, but
then you all have some nice quick action in different games between
rounds. Then, as you collect stars (which are like points, for MP
newbs), you start to feel awesome or like a loser. Then, when th
game ends, Mario parties all over by completely destroying the
rankings by giving out a bunch of random as hell bonus stars. At
least it's better than some of the old MP games which gave pity
stars ("For the player with the least stars, you win a star!").
What has changed is the board layouts. There is some nice variety
going on. For example, both of the boards I've tried so far (Goomba's
and Troopa's boards), you no longer bought a star for 20 coins. On
Goomba's board, you simply traveled a straight line. You're money
was spent on taking dolphins (think of them like ferries) to hurry
your way to the goal. Once you reached the goal, Goomba gave you a
star and a ride back to start. Money was no longer a way to buy
happiness, but rather to buy passage towards your happiness.
The Troopa's board was more of Monopoly-lite. There were various
roads with hotels on them. As you passed one, you could invest money
to own the hotel, and to upgrade the hotel. However, only one person
could own each hotel. So, when you are the owner, you gain that
hotel's star (as you upgrade to a two star and then a three star
hotel, you get more stars)...but if someone invests more in the
hotel than you, you lose the star and that person gains it. It's
more of a case of there being limited stars and you need to use
money wisely to keep as many under your control as possible.
I need to try out the other boards still. I don't know what other
changes await me. However, I am happy with the game so far. The only
exception is that some of the games (in particular the 3 vs 1 games)
are beyond broken...especially the jump rope (three people jump, one
controls the speed of the rope...hint: rope swinger, swing your rope
like mad). The use of the Wiimote in controlling the mini-games is
also a blast...although the learning curve of some games will annoy
some newer player when they face veterans.
To end this post, I just want to say that there may not be another
post until either Friday or next week. Tomorrow, Velveeta and I make
that dreaded (people in Yakima, I don't loathe spending time with
you...I just loathe the hot, windy, and very sunny conditions of
Yakima in the middle of the summer) trip to Yakima, to not return
until sometime Thursday.
Happy 4th to all. Remember to celebrate your country's independence
with fire and explosions...stated that way, I'm surprised fireworks
are still allowed in the post-9/11 American culture.