Wednesday, July 28

Old Habits

For the first time in almost a decade, I purchased a retail copy of a PC game. A day after release, without any substantial discounts. No prizes for guessing that I picked up StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, to further follow the adventures of space-faring whisky lover: Jim Raynor. I was gifted with the original installment on my 14th birthday (thanks Ma and Pa), and even after many defeats, I have nothing but fond memories of this Real-Time Strategy (RTS for the uninitiated) classic. Now that the first of what will be many, post-release patches has finally downloaded, I am looking forward to sticking it to the Zerg once again.

A somewhat embarrassing admission: the Terran campaign of the 1998 original is the only single player RTS crusade that I have ever completed. Lacking the skill and patience to finish the Zerg and Protoss campaigns, I also decided to forgo the expansion, Brood War. I am not entirely sure that my return to strategy gaming will be successful, but after 10 or so years I'd say that it is justified. It also doesn't hurt that StarCraft II's system requirements are refreshingly low. Low as in, I have almost met the recommended requirements for the game. That doesn't occur often with recent PC releases (read: at all).

Apart from my inevitable return to the home computer platform, I've also logged a few more hours on Super Street Fighter IV. Content that I am not the World Warrior I once was, I am happy to take a loss. 5 in a row even. I am also determined to make use of some of the new additions to the roster. Ibuki is an interesting conundrum. Mobile and quick, she should be able to make short work of most opponents. In my hands however, my redundant spaming of mid strength attacks leaves her stranded in mediocrity.

I can't tell whether it was because I was preloading StarCraft II at the time (I didn't follow through with it considering the ridiculous asking price for the digital version), but I encountered some horrendous lag while playing SSFIV online last night. It was to the point where my opponent and I got to view each other's next move until one of us (me - sad face) was unable to return fire. The game still looked as beautiful as ever, but it stuttered around like me after a few cold ones. I'm dying to play this game against humans in a local environment once again. Just over a month ago, I got to spar with some old friends and Street Fighter (any fighting game for that matter) is at its best when your fallen opponent is sitting right next to you.

Is anyone else picking up StarCraft II? I have two guest passes (good for 7 hours of play) for any interested parties. Let us know in the comments section if you would like a code. Blizzard sure do know the value of word-of-mouth marketing!  


  1. No hardware to run ol' SC2, sadly. Hope you dig it. Bit too intense for me, to be honest. I'd only want to play the multiplayer, but it's the kind of game where - much like a fighting game - it all becomes a science before too long. I kinda like a little slower majesty with my strategy titles.

    Bring on RUSE with Move. Keen as mustard.

    Not much else to report, sadly! Oh, got a copy of Need For Speed: Shift, which is excellent. I'm not really a big sim racer, but this balances arcade and sim rather nicely. And looks utterly gorgeous. Best sound effects in a racing game thus far!

  2. Played through the first few levels and I am happy to report that so far, it plays exactly likes its predecessor. Nothing overly complicated, just go there, shoot that. There is however, some interesting narrative mechanics which are a welcome addition to the genre. Loving it.

    I've never been one for RTS multiplayer because, quite frankly, I stink. I loved watching my brothers and friends play Warcraft III and C&C Generals over LAN, but when I actually took the mouse in hand, my people died. THE HORROR!!!

    I think the science goes into the multiplayer, whereas with the campaign you can be a little bit more reckless. Computers are forgiving, people my friend, are not.

  3. Isn't that the truth! Still, from what I hear, the matchmaking system in Starcraft 2 is something to behold. Good to hear it's still that classic SC type of game. Oh, to have the comp. I've been given the go-ahead to upgrade at the end of the year, so a nice little new laptop should be fine for such adventures. Gawd, another avenue to blow dough on.


    We really should get some Blur multi on soon!

  4. True. Blur or Lost Planet 2, I would be happy with either as I have not given the time they deserve.

    StarCraft and blowing money on games for multiple platforms FTW!!!

  5. Ahh to have a PC again, or a super Mac that ran windows lol.

    One day I will be on the PC band wagon again, but it is not in the near future.

    Mass Effect 2 still has me stuck to the xBox.

    I fear the day Bioware stops making Mass Effect Universe based games. Although I did hear (see) that they are looking at Mass Effect Universe - what could that possibly be wahahahaha the end of my life thats what. A Mass Effect MMO would end me and my life, Bring it on!

  6. How awesome would a Mass Effect Strategy RPG (similar to Freedom Force or Fallout Tactics) be?

  7. Reuben, you would rack up way more time on a ME MMO than I ever have on a FPS!!! LOL

    Alas, my computing powers are not sufficient to run SCII, however I would be kken to have a look, as I missed the first one entirely. I'm not a massive RTS fan (too much planning, not enough reacting), but I would like to watch it.

  8. Sambo, the plan-react dilemma for a shooter fan lusting for a bit o' strategy would come in something like Dawn of War 2. It's got no real base-building, just troops and their perks/upgrades/skills. Very fast, very reaction-based.

  9. That sounds pretty sweet taz. The whole having to harvets gets me a little bored when I get raped because someone was able to harvest faster and build quicker. I might check it out.

  10. It's kinda more my bag as well. Base building and econ for me isn't particularly interesting. When I end up getting my upgrade, it'll be the one I'll jump into.