Monday, November 8

100 Ways

This marks the one hundredth post to be published on the Unbearable Lightness of Dutch. I'd like to start by thanking all of our loyal readers, from across Australia, and the world.

I find Vanquish exhausting. Don't get me wrong, this game should feel like a breath of fresh air; it's a visually spectacular thrill-ride, brimming with colour and movement. There's an interesting array of weapons, and enemies of varying shapes and sizes to point them at. It also features a thumping techno soundtrack accompanied by the din of gunfire and explosions en masse. Things fall apart however when the two protagonists open their mouths. I honestly felt like the third wheel on Sam Gideon and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Burns' first date after the two decided to give their relationship a second go. They bicker like an old couple, wading through a violent flow of testosterone. The musings of every other soldier, politician, even the game's villain turn into white noise which fail to rise above the inundation of action-movie verbal bravado.

It's a great shame too, because some of the sequences in Vanquish are almost too spectacular for written description. You almost need to use your hands when trying to describe the shock and awe of the opening mission; where a large space ship enters a larger space ship, only to crash within the interior, while smaller ships filled with bright-red robots shower you and your allies in gunfire. It is without a doubt, the busiest game I have ever played. There is so much shit happening on screen at any one time, that I am almost certain that Shinji Mikami (the director, of Resident Evil fame) suffers from severe attention deficit disorder. Even when there are no enemies in sight, the armour covering Sam's face unfurls, only for him to stuff it with a lit cigarette. When you switch weapons, you don't holster your current gun, it transforms into another (usually bigger) gun.

I've read that you can finish Vanquish in 4 hours, but to be honest, after smashing the head off a twenty-storey robot with a one hundred punch combo, I need to shelve it for a while. Even after a couple of cups of coffee, it's still too fast for me.

I very promptly moved onto NBA 2K11, and have so far been blown away. Not just in terms of presentation and authenticity, but on the scoreboard as well. It hurts, I'll admit; for I performed more than adequately in the last instalment I played extensively, NBA 2K5. It's not as though I've tried to punch above my weight either, as I'm losing regularly on the lowest difficulty setting. Still loving it though, as the quality of the visuals and sound design is unmatched, with exceptional and detailed commentary, and lifelike player models. My only complaints would be that there seems to be an exlamation point in the form of a replay, every time my computer opponent wrests the lead from my slippery clutches. It's almost as though the game is screaming "How you like me now?" every few minutes, while it's thrashing me on Rookie difficulty no less.

I'll try and put it into context. My last, memorable death in Vanquish involved Sam Gideon being impaled on a massive drill-wielding robot's massive drill, spun around in the air, and then slammed into the earth only to be drilled some more. Sounds pretty bad, yeah? Well in NBA 2K11, I surrendered a 13 point lead on the 30th ranked Pistons, and then had to watch replays of every glass-shattering slam dunk. I know which defeat I would rather watch again. My other losses weren't as discouraging, and I feel as though I am slowly rediscovering the fundamentals of the game. I did enjoy a solitary victory against the Knicks however (a win against the Knicks is still a win!), and that makes for another reason to continue with my unsuccessful season with the Celtics.

I'm not yet ready to take my game (or rather absence of it) online just yet. My offence shuts down as soon as I hit the perimeter, and I'm certain that my 5-10 steals a game isn't enough to milk a win against more dynamic human opponents.

What were you guys playing this weekend? Is anybody picking up Call of Duty: Black Ops this Tuesday?

On another note entirely: what is the best game you've played this year?

Dutch Note: Please donate to the Unbearable Dutch Movember team by clicking on the Street Fighter-flavoured link below. I hope you'll join us on our quest to improve the quality of life for men across Australia.


  1. Dude, Spelling error in the first sentence of the second paragraph! Are you're standards slipping?! LOL

    Of course I will be picking up Black Ops, it is looking, for a lack of a better description, the tits.

    I was playing Borderlands all weekend. I tried to jump on Blacklight, but the lag kills that game for me, and it is such a shame. Borderlands on the other hand is addictive as. I keep saying that I will just complete one more mission, and then 2 hours goes by! LOL

    Also, I would like to pick up NBA 2k11, but I just don't know when I would play it.

  2. I tried the BLTD demo. Waited for 10 minutes and could not find a match. Pass.

    Spelling error corrected, you wise-ass jive turkey.

  3. Yeah I am hoping they fix the lag issues, because it is actually a pretty fun game. But the lag kills it.

  4. I feel like a real arse for having hyped BLTD for you, Sambo...only to have this PAL region release be a bit borked. It could also have a lot to do with Australian servers and whatnot. Let's be frank, with the times they are not.

    However, no damage control here. They should have worked these things out before release. It's not perfect, and I suppose people used to dropping into games immediately would kick Blacklight to the curb for its admittedly lumpy matchmaking and lag.

    Worth searching for a good connection in Blacklight in the interim, though - it ranks up there with BC2 for me in terms of online shooter experiences...however, the sound of the reaper is coming, given that Black Ops is pretty much here.

    But congrats on the 100th post, Trits! What an effort! In answer to your game this year? Probably RUSE. It shouldn't work at all on PS3, but it does, and does admirably. Just waiting on a patch, funnily enough, for multiplayer stability.

    On the inbound for the rest of the year? Apache: Air Assault (Demo is glorious. Realistic mode plus cockpit view = massive military-themed horn), Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising (Picked it up for a song and am going to go through it on the realism mode - no HUD, no ammo counter, very intense!) and NFS: Hot Pursuit - which I came around on for some reason. My thoughts were initially rather cold...but after a few runs through the demo and utilising the autolog won me over.

    It's no Burnout 2, but it'll do.

  5. Ooo... forgot to do game of the year thus far. For me, I would have to say Skate 3. I enjoyed that game immensely, and still jump on every now and then to pop a kick flip or 80.

    No worries Taz, I was pumped for it when I heard about the US release and was pretty bummed out when it was stated that it was US only. Hopefully they fix the server issues, but I can't find a game where I am even 2 bar to save myself.

  6. Thanks Taz. I'd be too much of a renegade for OF2:DR. Run and gun FTW. I'm interested in NFS:HP, so please keep us posted.

    Skate 3, Sambo? I'm intrigued. Might have to give it a go.

  7. I suggest you don't bother if you haven't played the first 2. I liked the third so much because I put so much time and love into the first 2 (the second especially).

    The reason why I say it is GOTY for me is that I can literally just cruise round, finding spots and pulling lines, for a solid 2 hours, without getting bored. And it is so gratifying when you find a good spot and pull off an awesome move.

  8. Gawd, the last skating game I played was...actually, more recent than I thought - the curious little gem on PSP, Skate Park City. Essentially the rougher spiritual descendant to Jet Set Radio. Could have done with a little more polish, but it was great fun and feature-rich. Pocket Gamer loved it -

    I think OF2:DR will be a breath of fresh air. I need some seriousness in my military games, to the point of pedantic, hair-splitting realism. And until I get a computer that'll run ARMA 2, OF2:DR will fit the bill. That and Apache makes me grow a horn the size of an Exocet.

    But this is week Blacklight dies for everyone else, I suspect, on account of Black Ops. Funnily enough, MAG players have begun migrating to Blacklight because it offers the same sort of gunplay. There's a scary community if there ever was one.

  9. Speaking of Black Ops, spent a few hours with the multiplayer component last night; it wasn't bad. It was actually good. I wasn't getting killed by ridiculous killstreaks every 15 seconds. This is a promising development. The graphics engine is definitely showing its age now though.

  10. You guys didn't take the day off work to play Black Ops, did you?

  11. I actually took the day off to get something for Carls for the wedding day. The fact that I had a few extra hours to log on Black Ops was just a pleasant coincedence.

  12. Swimmingly! I read of some framerate issues with the multiplayer of Black Ops on PS3. Tell me that isn't true.

  13. I can't tell whether its frame rate hitches or lag. Either way, it still runs a crap load smoother than the majority of the competition. Apparently players have already found an exploit for infinite care packages.

    Thing I hate most about CoD is the community; not a single person plays for the team. For example, the Second Chance perk allows you to bust out a few shots from a pistol before you expire. Upon upgrading the perk, players can revive you. Not a single f$&cker on my team would revive me, even when I crawled over to them. In front of them even. Unbefreakinglievable.

  14. I don't revive people who use second chance because I dislike the damn perk so fucking much! It is annoying, especially as people are invincible while falling into last chance, and you essentially die from a person who should already be dead!!!

    On the point of Black Ops, I am really enjoying it. A few issues with lag, which I hope can be fixed with a patch> I heard about the care package glitch, but am yet to actually see it in action.

  15. Up yours Sambo! Just help a brother out.


    Yeah, that's how I roll! LOL