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!