I'm going to be 100 percent honest with you: I think I have a problem. I have become addicted to these bat-shit crazy, mid-year gaming sales, and my collection is expanding at an alarming rate. When I say alarming, I mean that my collection has almost doubled in just over a fortnight. While the coffers may be nearly empty, I must admit that I am happy (read: ecstatic) with the prospect of playing through a variety of titles which have either been praised, maligned or a combination of the two.
You may have read about some of my exploits already, specifically with regards to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Mass Effect 2. I'm expecting Massive Action Game (MAG) and White Knight Chronicles in the mail, while Metro 2033, Fear 2: Project Origin and WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2010 have already arrived. I have had some experience with Fear 2 which was mostly positive, it just wasn't compelling enough for me to want to complete the game. I am however, keen to revisit the title, especially given the paltry $12 asking price. I had play-tested SVR2010 extensively last year and traded it in. I've invited it back into the fold because it is a good multiplayer title (local only, don't you do dare try and take it online), which is great to have on hand when you have right-minded company. There are more mind you, I'm just ashamed to go into the particulars as it will cement my reputation as the leading hypocrite in gaming (in so far as obscure Australian blogs are concerned).
In an attempt to curb my enthusiasm for cut-price gaming (so far acquisition as opposed to actual play), I am asking you, my loyal readers to provide me with some direction. What content do you like to see on the blog? Do you like reviews as a guide, to assist with purchase decisions? Do you like less structured, general impressions of titles? Are you interested in hearing more about any of my more recent acquisitions?
I should also mention that the demo for Crackdown 2 was released on Xbox Live this week. After a full play through I can advise that if you weren't a fan of the first game, odds are you won't find anything that you will like here. With that said though, I loved the original and this bite-sized demo was a refreshing change in tone, and pace from titles like Mass Effect 2 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
Not to say there haven't been additions made to the formula, it's just that they are not appearing to be worthy of the development time that has so far been afforded to them. As mentioned in the video above, Ruffian takes their commitment to verticality seriously by allowing players to explore underneath Pacific City (sigh). These sections aren't as frantic or panic-inducing as I believe the developers had intended. Sure you have hordes of gun-toting, UV sensitive zombies (WTF?) gunning for you and your light bomb/beacon, but in the end, these sequences feel very uninspired and completely unecessary. Especially considering that indoor sections of Sandbox environments are usually prone to camera quirks (Crackdown 2 is no exception), the underground freak sieges seem to be an insincere attempt to capitalise on the whole zombie/vampire/ fad that is gripping the globe. Maybe with some well written story these questionable additions will seem justified, but in the context of the previous game's narrative, it so far doesn't make much sense. There are other questionable inclusions, such as renegade driving orbs (Seriously WTF?) that serve to increase your driving ability if you collide with them. Another gripe is the lock-on function (L Trigger) which is unlikely to receive refinement so close to the retail release. I often found myself targeting explosive barrels or cars with no one in them, when all I wanted to do was shoot back at the large pack of criminals that were just to the left of screen.
Frivolous new features aside, the demo is definitely worth a download. Given that you can earn (but not unlock) up to 100 Gamerscore points by playing the demo, there is even some intrinsic incentive for those achievement whores out there. FYI, the Gamerscore points are unlocked upon booting the retail version.
Has anybody found some wallet-emptying specials worth sharing?