Yesterday was the
first day of NFL football for the current season that I didn't watch
any of. Even in a Seattle bye week, I had watched at least a little
of some game. I was even hoping for Arizona to win and go on to the
Super Bowl. They did make it, as well as the Steelers. In fact, this
is a lot like a second take on Super Bowl XL (Seattle vs.
Pittsburgh). Once again, the Steelers, with their long established
legacy, are facing off against "who the hell is that...I thought the
NFC West was just a rumored land of arena league teams". This time
it's the Cards.
With the wackiness
of Kurt Warner making a come back QB performance this season after
looking dead for a few years, it's hard to say how the final game
will go in two weeks. It could either be a blast watching two
potential titans (who would have thought that could ever be said
about the Cards?) or Warner could finally act his age and make for a
game that will be boring and tedious to anyone not wearing black and
I missed watching
football this weekend since I was too busy being obsessed with other
games. Namely LittleBigPlanet, Rock Band 2, and Valkyria Chronicles.
Those are three games worthy of making me ignore the real world
In particular, I
downloaded the Metal Gear Solid add-on for LBP. It was well worth
the cost of admission. It was also the first DLC I've bought for the
PS3. I must say it's nice knowing what something costs without
running some wacky calculations (if 80MP=$1, what am I paying for
this add-on?) and in a menu system that actually lets me find the
content I want. Yes, I am knocking the 360 and the Wii, since both
have their online store issues. In particular the 360 Marketplace is
a bitch to navigate now that NXE is making things a little more
convoluted in the store.
Anyway, I played
through and got 100% perfect on the MGS levels for LBP. Luckily it's
possible to do in single player. I say that since I only really
enjoy the multiplayer experience if the other player(s) is/are in
the same room as myself. Since I'm usually lacking enough people to
play some X3 and X4 areas (and even half the X2 areas), not needing
multiple player for the MGS stuff is great.
Best of all, the
final boss of the MGS level is a blast. In fact, I'd hate to play it
with multiple people because it's too much like a combination of a
finely choreographed dance and an all out back-to-the-wall shoot
out. The only disappointing part was the final leg of the battle
since there were, literally, no way to die unless you tried to
purposefully off yourself. Still, because of the first few forms,
getting that level aced is not something I'd ever think of being
possible with more than a single sack boy present. There's just too
much room for seeing your remaining lives go down the crapper.
not much more to say beyond how much I'm looking forward to
tomorrow's DLC for RB. Steve Miller Band and Rob Zombie...what more
could I ask for that's not ska, Sex Pistols, or more Clash?
Normally on a
Wednesday I can be predictable. I'd talk about the new Rock Band
songs, assuming there is anything interesting me. I'll keep that up,
but only in a quicker style today.
The new Steve
Miller Band songs are awesome fun, if you like this style of music.
It's also, on expert guitar, fast and frantic across all the songs.
A lot more involving than I expected them to be. As for the rest...I
only really remember one other song (I didn't download the Ghost
Hounds or Godsmack singles)...which says most of them are either not
exactly my style in musical taste or the charts are dull...or both.
That other song is the Rob Zombie song, which is fun...but quite
easy until the solo. The solo is some frantic shit that will catch
you off guard if you're not expecting it. For a sight read, you may
want to hold some star power in case it's a little more than you'd
expect...and if you can handle it, that star power will earn you
some massive points in that crazy solo.
That's it for Rock
Band DLC talk for today. I could jump into Valkyria Chronicles,
which has devoured all free time I have offered to it. However,
there's something I overlooked recently that I'd rather touch upon.
mentioned the Fable 2 DLC...which came up rather unexpectedly for
me. It could be that there wasn't enough news about the real release
date (since it did get delayed from December) or it could be that I
no longer care. I think it's primarily the first one, since Fable 2
DLC does sound tempting to me.
is not enough for $10. The DLC may offer a new area and some new
weapons and clothes, but I doubt I'd give up on my character's
current weapon (Daichi...or however it's spelled...with it's
brokenly awesome power) and the clothes don't really mean much to
me. What matters to me is the quests. It's also why I'm skipping the
If I got something
like 8 quests, $10 would be a good deal. If I got 5 quests, I'd only
feel slightly cheated of my money. However, for (what I've been
told) three quests, $10 is not justifiable. I look at DLC usually
like this; if a game gets something in DLC to extend the game play,
then I will factor the price according to the original game.
For example, I
bought the MGS DLC for LittleBigPlanet because it offered five new
stages for about $6. That's larger than some of the worlds included
in the game on the disk. The original game had around six worlds to
explore, so each one cost around $10, not counting the game engine
or the creation tools. Discounting those non-stage parts of the LBP
disk, I could see each world costing around $6. So, $6 for a larger
sized extra world, with a new tool (paintinator gun), is awesome.
Fable 2 had a shit
ton of quests, including repeat quests that expand each time you
finish a leg of it (like the archeologist quests). I don't know the
number, but I'd wager it's well above sixty. It's been a while since
I played Fable 2, so I just don't know the exact number. However,
with even sixty quests and factoring in that the game engine must be
worth something, each quest is worth far less than $1. So, to my
eyes, three quests for $10 is a huge let down. Even with one more
area, it's not worth it. Even with a few more pieces of equipment,
it's just not worth the price. I cannot justify this price when I
could use that same $10 for so much more on another game...or even
in real life.
I should point out
that my rule changes with Rock Band and RB2 since DLC songs work in
both games (doubling the value) and I can chose exactly what I want.
An in game song on RB2 may be worth less than $1, but I can chose
what I really like without fear of hating the DLC (assuming a decent
chart) because it let me down.
Anyway, I'm really
tired as a type this, so hopefully I'm even making sense. I just
want to say that while Fable 2 DLC would be a great thing in my
eyes, I just need to know I'm getting the price I paid for it out of
it in entertainment. I know I could knock out almost any quest in
the original Fable 2 in a matter or about 10 minutes (or less...not
counting loading times), so $10 is not something I'd want to spend
on this little of content.
A little bit of
complaining today. There's just a few things on my mind I feel like
First off, after
playing Valkyria Chronicles for a while, I have the same complaint I
used to have with Shining Force (another Sega SRPG/TRPG/whatever you
want to abbreviate them to). It seems like the miss percent for your
troops is a little out of balance versus the enemies. Yes, this can
be handled (and I do get around it) with some strategy. However,
it's a little frustrating when an enemy sniper can make three hits
(from three rounds of sniper ammunition) in a round when your sniper
(who is closer to his target) is missing on all three. The same goes
for tanks and lancers. Hell, I've had every class in VC miss some
insanely easy shot with no explanation.
My favorite is
when the targeting circle (which shows where your shot may end up,
hit or miss) doesn't even match the location of where your shot
went. I had my tank aimed with it's circle fully enclosed around an
enemy tank and yet I still couldn't hit it for that final bit of
damage that would end that tank...instead my shot went off into the
Like I said, this
can be handled, but it still doesn't mean it's cool when you miss
constantly and the enemy seems to hit about 75% more often than you.
is about Lost. It was good to have new episodes but I have to say
that the show is no longer going into that same realm as before. It
used to be hard to explain, scientifically, but something could
still be explained with some creativity. However, this time
manipulation thing is going a bit far. There is no good explanation
and I see myself growing quite annoyed if this isn't handled quite
Also, the whole
separate groups thing reminds me a little too much of the season
that started with Sawyer, Kate, and Jack with the Others. I think if
the trend continues to focus on Kate and Jack in their worldly ways,
I could find a new time for grabbing a snack or hitting the
bathroom. I really cannot think of a more tedious part of Lost than
Kate or Jack on their own. While the show made them into main
characters, they really don't work on their own like, let's say,
Sayid can. They are characters that have to be played off of other
people and on their own, or almost on their own, they just don't
have enough personality to be interesting. It would be like having a
cleric in D&D, WoW, or whatever game you want to name with clerics.
They are needed for the party, but on their own they are anything
A final Lost
complaint I have for now is that I miss the
flashbacks/flash-forwards. This was a storytelling element that made
Lost stand out. However, if the show is going to go with time
manipulation instead of actual back story, it just seems to not be
able to fulfill the same role...to reveal a little bit more than you
could without the removed story elements.
being full of complaints, don't get me wrong; VC and Lost are both
obsessive addictions for me. I love them both, so it's not like I'm
trashing on either. I mean Lost never pulled a season two or three
of Heroes, and VC is the most original TRPG/SRPG I've played since
Disgaea entered the scene.
Now, as for the
Oscar nominations...I feel the same about them as I do on "game of
the year" nonsense. That is, I know my favorites, and that's
what matters. However, how can Nolan be ignored for director?
Also, more importantly, how could Tropic Thunder be ignored for
makeup when you consider how Robert Downey Jr. looked in that film?
Whatever. Oscars have always ignored comedies and geek movies
whenever possible (unless the outcry would be too much, like with
Return of the King, when it's a final chance, like with Ledger's
final role as the Joker, or when the year is just crap for
I don't have all
that much to really talk about today. Maybe it's my sleep deprived
mind, but nothing really comes to the front lines of my brain's war
versus writer's block.
I have been
playing Valkyria Chronicles primarily this week. That would mean
that the only PS3 game I have that will run in full HD on my
1080i/480p/480i TV is being ignored. Yes, I have had Uncharted for
two weeks and have not touched the game once. I do want to, but VC
and LBP are just too much of a distraction.
In particular, VC
is one of those games, like Civ4, in which I will keep saying "just
one more round". In Civ4 it means just that, but in VC is more about
playing one more section of a chapter. The game is broken into a
book-like menu format, with each game chapter being a chapter in the
book. Battles and cut scenes all take up a panel in a page, like a
comic book panel.
Sadly, with how
addictive this game is, I feel like I must explain things like the
chapter format. This is one of those rare games that would be
greatly loved by many gamers that will sit unnoticed. In fact, the
sales numbers, after a couple months, are pretty sad in comparison
to what this would have gotten with a different company behind the
game. If Square Enix made it, then it would probably had far more
sales. I mean any crap put out by SE (and most of their recent games
were complete crap) gets both a marketing blitz and a natural fanboy
following. That doesn't work the same with a Sega game...especially
in an age when Sega is known primarily for horrible retakes on the
I would love to
hear that a VC2 is on it's way. However, with these poor sales, it's
doubtful. It's then doubly doubtful that, assuming a sequel was
made, that it would come stateside. Yes, the game is going to be
right up there with Xenogears in my eyes as a game that was doomed
before it ever had a chance. Like with Xenogears, it's also a game
that would most likely be sequel or prequel worthy (haven't finished
VC yet, so I don't know if the plot prevents a sequel) but will
never have the chance.
has announced a
second six pack of Grateful Dead tracks. The last time this
happened, I was disappointed since I wasn't too much into their
music and I hated hammer ons. Now that I've grown into both their
style and the joys of tricky HO/PO mazes, this is looking so damned
The usual deal
applies here of $2 per track or $10 for the pack. Basically a buy
five get one free deal, like normal.
The only part that
disappoints me now is that some bands have had a little more songs
in RB than they seem like they should when compared to other bands.
Grateful Dead has thirteen songs (12 DLC), Foo Fighters have about
17 (15 DLC), RHCP have a shit ton (all but two DLC...but at least
that was from a single album/pack and not multiple packs). In fact,
if any band is going to be hit this hard with DLC, I'd love to think
of one of the top rated albums of all time being included to round
out another band...London Calling (the album) from The Clash would
be beyond amazing to have in it's entirety.
Anyway, it looks,
to me at least, like another awesome DLC week from the masters of
attacking my bank account; Harmonix.
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