Saturday, March 19

Weekend Update: Unbearable Dutch Annual - Issue 1

Today, The Unbearable Lightness of Dutch celebrates its first birthday. That's one year, and over one hundred and fifty posts of videogame-related nonsense. Not to belittle my own work or anything, it's just that petty complaints and judgements make up the fair majority of this body of work. I've enjoyed writing almost all of it, and I will continue to commit my thoughts to this web-based papyrus.

The purpose of the blog initially, was to halt the progression of my mind to mush on account of my mind-numbing occupation. When I noticed that people were not only reading this document, but adding to it as well, I decided that I should probably take a little more pride in it. Thanks to my lovely wife (who doubles as my editor) and an old friend (who was a frequent commentor and the artist behind our banner), Unbearable Dutch felt like a genuine achievement. We then recruited another contributor, who to to this day continues to afford me Fridays and a valuable second opinion. The invitation to any budding writers out there is still open by the way: if you want to speak Dutch, drop me a line.

The last week of game time has been noteworthy. I've spent an interesting, though disappointing seven or eight hours with Killzone 3. A review will be forthcoming, but I still need to spend a bit more time with the multiplayer suite before I can make a definitive, quantitative judgement; even if it does feel as though I've been there and done that before. I also finally decided to put my new laptop to work and downloaded the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo. I was so proud of my rig, as it ran the game without any hiccups with medium settings. The experience was not completely free of wrinkles though: as the demo servers were based in the UK and US, lag was the deadliest enemy lurking through the two playable maps. That and I decided to play with an Xbox 360 controller. Sure I can't aim as true or as fast, but at least I could sprint and cloak without my fingers awkwardly drifting away from the buttons responsible for movement. I often accounted for a fair chunk of my team's death count. Luckily I had the sound turned down, so I couldn't hear what I imagine would have been a tirade from my unfortunate compatriots. Much like the Xbox 360 demo, I found myself reasonably unimpressed with what I played. That is until I Air Stomped an opponent to death, It was thing of beauty (not as beautiful as that seen in the video below, but beautiful all the same).

It can't have been all bad: after playing Crysis 2 for a sustained amount of time, I had a hankering to play the original. Considering that Crysis was released nearly four years ago, it still holds up unbelievably well. It looks amazing, even at medium settings - I tried higher, but the Qosmio then reached coffee table-searing levels of hotness. Even with the Nanosuit's abilities, the game played very similar to Far Cry (which wouldn't be entirely unexpected, given that both were developed by Crytek)  in that you traverse a beautiful island and approach combat situations with a great deal of freedom. Mind you, I can't remember grabbing people by the throat and throwing them off buildings/mountains/piers in Far Cry. Thanks to Steam, Crysis is the best 3.74 US Dollars that I have ever spent.

We've got a pretty exciting year ahead of us, with the arrival of as many as two new portable gaming systems and  a jam-packed release calendar. I'll continue to cover it as far as I can afford, and I hope you'll continue to read along with Dawson and myself. Thanks for engaging with Unbearable Dutch, and I hope you continue to do so in future.

What are you guys playing this weekend?

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