Friday, October 15


I forgot about something when I ordered 3 new release games online: I would have to wait for them to be delivered. Now I know the courier has my games in a facility located about half an hour down the road; problem is they are only prepared to deliver them to me during business hours which is when I work, for money. Money which I need to buy games. We've reached an impasse, and soon I may be forced to do something desperate, like pay them an extra $50 to deliver the games to my modest workspace. I could just get them to leave the precious package somewhere on my premises, but I couldn't handle the heartache of someone pinching my special delivery.

On another topic, I'm finally finished with my secondment as of 4:30 this afternoon, meaning that I can spend less time commuting and more time gaming. I assumed this would bring me joy until I loaded up Crackdown 2. I know it's been out for a while, but I managed to find it for a reasonably low price, and I loved the original. Not that Crackdown was a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it did manage to get the feel of superheroism down pat. Towards the end of the game you could leap over buildings in a single bound, and throw cars (as well as many other inanimate objects) at your enemies. A couple of years on and it appears as though nothing has changed for the better, if anything the milk has gone bad (so to speak).

The most bothersome new addition is the announcer and his non-stop commentary on anything from orbs, to combat and the unlocking of achievements. I understand the allure of the achievement, but does the game need to explicitly refer to them each time you knock one over? There is already the usual visual and aural cues, typical of every achievement unlock in any other game; having a voice actor piping over this in addition, adding emphasis to the word almost cheapens the acquisition. When I first acquired my first 360, I quickly became an Achievement Point addict. I would play games that I had no interest in to acquire precious cheevos. Sometimes this allowed for me to discover some exceptional titles that didn't fit the typical Dutch mould (sandbox games, shooters and fighting games), but more often than not it meant playing Fusion Frenzy 2 and King Kong to add a few hundred to my Gamerscore. A few years on and I believe that I have bested my demons, and the heavy handed announcer in Crackdown 2 seems to be only helping with my recovery.

There are other annoyances too, flashes of tedium from the demo released months ago now fully realised. There's the worthless targeting system, the (dull as) dishwater AI and predictably, a completely disposable storyline to consider too. I honestly can't see myself completing a second tour of Pacific City, especially when Enslaved, the new Castlevania and NBA 2K11 are on the horizon.

Finally, I have a very exciting announcement. Next week we should see the work of another Dutchman, Tim Dawson. Tim answered the call I put out about a month ago seeking authors to not only cover my absence during my honeymoon at the end of this year, but offer some more breadth of opinion. Tim and I attended the Queensland University of Technology together, and now he works in marketing, is keen on games and has a hot wife (from the horse's mouth Carly, please don't hit me!). TJ owns a dusty Wii (his daughter probably won't grow fast enough for it to be of any use, I'm afraid) and regularly plays his Xbox 360; preferring games of the shooting, rhythm and fighting genres. Please welcome Tim to the team (more of a dynamic duo for the moment), and I hope you will comment on his work as vigorously as you have for my own.

What are you guys playing this weekend?


  1. I am on Reach, pretty much any spare time I get. I love the addition of the Team SWAT mode so I dont have to vote for it any more.

    I am almost Captain and on my ways to getting some sweet gear.

    If anyone is keen to join the 501st (501 in your Reach tag) add me, gamertag: Victorbcreed.

    I am also occasionally on deadrising 2 - still a rad game just a bit hard.

  2. Picked up MoH today, and paid off Black Ops in full. That's nearly every Summer blockbuster taken care of.

    I'm glad you got into Reach, Rubes. Maybe one day we can convince Dave to join in some splitscreen action. As if you wouldn't have GBNG as your clan tag?

  3. That's a bit of a double-up, MoH and the new CoD...I dunno if I could do such a thing! And sorry to hear of your issues with the express post people. Are you really going to throw down fifty smackers to rework a delivery? So much for the cheaper alternative!

    I suspect we'll be kicking off Enslaved around the same time, so that'll be good to share thoughts. Also, big news, threw down the clams for this year's biggest hardcore surprise - Gaijin Entertainment (the Il-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey guys) have made Apache: Air Assault. It's dropping next month and should be awesome, especially built on the modified Birds of Prey engine. Online four-chopper squadron co-op, each heli offering two-player internal positions - pilot and gunner. If Birds of Prey was anything to go by, this will be stunning. Helicopter gunship sims are fairly niche, even more so on console, but this will rock the block!

  4. Not that crazy Taz. I dare say I'll try my luck and ask them to deliver while I am away from the premises.

    I was always going to get the new CoD, and after BF:BC2, MoH demanded a purchase. Much to my disgust however, the multiplayer is far below par.

    Looking forward to Enslaved, and Castlevania...., and NBA 2K11. I haven't played a flight game since Wing Commander IV. Have you played HAWX? Is it any good? It's cheap on the 360 GoD service, so I might be tempted to take to the skies. Hope you enjoy your helicopter heaven, my friend.

  5. Good luck with the delivery. For the price you pay for express delivery, you'd think they could deliver outside of work hours.

    I can agree with the CoD purchase, but even more so for this being Treyarch's time to shine. Poor bastards, living in the shadows of those arrogant flash-harrys formerly of Infinity Ward. However, MoH...the videos I'd seen of it seemed like the vibe of BC2 was dragged into this bizarre middle-ground where it wasn't fast enough to be CoD, but not large or tactical enough to be BC2. I doubt EA will continue this idea of a reboot in such a vein again.

    I look forward to the roasting of MoH...if it even warrants a rundown.

    In other news,'s no Ace Combat, but it does some interesting things. If it's cheap, I say go for it, but it's a bit of a diamond in the rough. I don't know how you feel about WWII era combat, but if you see Il-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey on the cheap, nab that for the best flight game on console. It's got loads of settings and you can make it as arcadey as you want. Outside of that, the rather unsung Heroes Over Europe is good fun, quite Crimson Skies-esque.

    And yes, GET TO DUH CHOPPA!

  6. You've nailed MoH in a nutshell, Taz. Suffering from an identity crisis, this reboot should have spent far longer in the oven. Get ready for Dutch to spit hot fire!

    Delivery arrived today to much relief. Spent some time on the Sprite Slam Dunk contest in NBA 2K11. So bloody addictive. Would be great fun with friends, seriously bro, you havbe to fly over to give it a go.

    Thanks to your kind gift, HAWX will remain unpurchased. I'll be looking to pick up Vanquish, Fallout: New Vegas and maybe FIFA 11.

  7. I am going to pick up FO: NV (how could you not after the awesome FO3?), I am pretty keen on Vanquish, and FIFA is going to be a purchase, probably tomorrow.

  8. It appears you answered my question before I asked it, Sambo!

  9. Vanquish got a pretty good write up, and seriously, ass skates. Come on! ASS SKATES! I doubt the story line will be that strong, but that Demo was just crazy man, shit blowing up everywhere, it was insane!