Saturday, August 31, 2013


Well, I've been playing a few games lately.

I put quite a few hours into Borderlands 2 --- around 520, according to Raptr. I enjoyed every second of it, but I lost interest just before the Tiny Tina dlc was released. I did play a bit of that, but I found it too tough to do solo (with a level-60 Siren) and a bit too trying in co-op. Dying five or six times while trying to take down one enemy is not my idea of fun. Maybe I'll get back into it once the level cap is raised. That's what I find fun about the game. I couldn't care less about rare loot or raid bosses.

I was deep into Minecraft, too. I had a private server with a bunch of guys from the EZ-Mode Unlocked forum, but they got into a mod called Feed the Beast, and that didn't interest me. It made the game more complex and the enemies tougher. I like (vanilla) Minecraft because it's fun and relaxing. It's the game that's not a game; it lets me play at my own pace and create what I want to create. Once FtB was added, I bowed out and just continued on with what we had before (by downloading the archived world).
I also played a little of my single-player world. There's something interesting, and a little eerie, about playing a world solo. It's that last-man-alive feeling, I guess. Searching out and finding resources that haven't already been pilfered by other players is also quite satisfying.

I managed a second playthrough of Far Cry 2 (PC), one of my all-time favourite games. The first time I played it, I did so on the 360. I thought it looked and sounded great on that platform, but it is not nearly as good as the PC version. Everything is sharper, more detailed, and behaves much better.
And, man, what a game. I have always loved walking through its thick forests in the heavy rain or walking through the long, waving grass under a full moon.  The sunsets are incredible, too. I often found myself stopping to watch them and bask in the impressive rays. The dynamic fire mechanic is also impressive to watch, and quite useful when faced with numerous enemies. I also love the weapon degredation mechanic and the malaria mechanic, if you can call it that. Both of them add a bit of trepidation to the player's actions, and keep him on his toes.
Although the missions can be a bit repetitive, and travelling between objectives can eat up a great deal of time, the gameplay is wonderful. The weapons are powerful, and sound fantastic; the AI is strong, and quite annoying; and the driving is fun. Of course, I hate dying by being run over, and I can't understand why so-called "buddies" who I thought were dead, suddenly appear at the end, ready to kill me. But these are minor quibbles which cannot keep me from playing and loving this game.

More recently, my girlfriend and I have been playing The Last of Us. Well, maybe I should say, my girlfriend has been playing The Last of Us. We started off taking turns, but I usually end up giving the controller to her after failing again and again to fight off numerous enemies. You see, I am atrocious at melee combat, and I get frustrated at having to repeat sections over and over again. As I pointed out above, it's not my idea of fun. I also hate the lousy aiming mechanic. So, I just end up watching as she plays.
It's a decent game, but obviously not compelling enough to keep us going back to it. We're not even halfway through, and we haven't bothered to play it in three weeks. Whenever we think about getting back into it we always end up doing something else (like TV, a DVD, or the sex). We'll return to it eventually because I enjoy the story and would like to see the end. Until then, I'll continue with a game that is more fun to play.

That game is Sleeping Dogs (PC). I enjoy almost everything about this game: the story, the driving, the characters, the setting, the graphics. I say almost everything because I dislike the melee combat. I have to do some missions over and over and over again because I am so lousy at it. I hate memorising button combos so I have reverted to a defensive style; I always fall back on the counter because it allows me to avoid mistakes. If I try to go into an offensive mode, I always end up button mashing and, therefore, getting my ass kicked. Fortunately, I have become skilled at the grapple which allows me to eliminate enemies, with environmental strikes, rather quickly and, thus, avoid lengthy fist fights. I also really dislike the camera movement when I'm in a vehicle. It has a tendency to swing around uncontrollably and cause me to crash or to get turned around.
What I enjoy most is just driving around the city, exploring, getting into trouble with the cops, and doing simple side missions. It reminds me of the chaos I used to cause in GTA IV's Liberty City. Hilarious, mindless fun that. I'll likely finish Sleeping Dogs before I finish The Last of Us.

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