Friday, February 07, 2014

Killing Time

The other day I found out that Borderlands 2's fourth Headhunter DLC-pack will be released on February 11. "Fourth", I thought to myself, "Where was I doing when the other three were released?" Well, let's look into that.

I played a lot of Borderlands 2 --- almost 600 hours, according to Steam. I just couldn't get enough of shootin' and lootin' my way around Pandora. But when the Tiny Tina DLC-pack came out, I lost interest. I always disliked that character. Some found her pseudo-urban style offensive, but I just found it dumb and annoying. There was absolutely nothing about her that was interesting, and I still don't understand how she became a "fan favourite".

My loss of interest, though, had more to do with the game itself than with that terrible character. By the time I got into the Tiny Tina DLC, I found the combat tiresome and all the fetching and running around ultimately unrewarding. Putting a great deal of time and effort into a mission or a battle, only to be rewarded with useless weapons, gear, and skins, and paltry monetary rewards became frustrating; fighting the so-called "Raid Bosses" was just pointless, wasteful, and unfulfilling; collecting golden keys seemed ridiculous, too, as they always seemed to yield garbage.

So, I moved on to other things. First, and foremost, Sleeping Dogs. I played through the main storyline, and then grabbed a bunch of DLC for $11* on Steam, and played through all of that. I like the game so much, I might start a new one just to get a few achievements that I missed. Wei Shen is a well-developed, sympathetic character, the story is mildly interesting, and the gameplay is excellent. I usually don't go for melee or hand-to-hand combat, but Sleeping dogs made it simple, straight-forward, and satisfying. It's easily one of my all-time favourite games.

I also managed to play a few games on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S III). There was Bejewelled Blitz (PopCap), the perfect example of a pointless, casual game.

Absolutley mindless, but a great time-killer. A time-killer that I have uninstalled; it was eating up my battery power.

Then, there was Real Racing 3 (EA; Fire Monkey). It was fun for a short period of time, but I got to a point where I realised I couldn't win races unless I upgraded my car, but I couldn't upgrade my car unless I won races ---- or used real money to buy the gold tokens needed to buy the upgrades (or the cars).

Even though the game looked and sounded great and had some excellent tracks, I wasn't willing to spend real money on it.

Besides, like all racing games do, it was bound to become boring. Same tracks, same events, same cars over and over and over again. This game, too, has been uninstalled.

A game that I haven't uninstalled, and never will, is Tetris (EA).

Tetris never becomes tiresome or frustrating -- although, those red and green tetrominoes can be quite irksome. This version has only the "Marathon" mode, in which the object is to build 150 lines. I've completed it many times, but it is never boring; I always find it challenging.

I managed to fit in a playthrough of Crysis 2. Frankly, I was underwhelmed, not only by the mediocre story and gameplay, but also by the graphics; perhaps I expected too much because of the hype surrounding this game? Mind you, the guns looked and sounded fantastic, but everything else was dull in comparison. And the Cephs just looked cartoonish in their bland surroundings.

I still haven't finished The Last of Us. Can anyone convince me that it's worth finishing? The story doesn't compel me enough to set aside time to return to it and the shitty gameplay mechanics actually compel me to avoid it.
Also, I can't seem to get into Saints Row The Fourth. It's just, I don't know, not grabbing me.

So that's what I've been doing between Tiny Tina's DLC and the upcoming Valentine's Day-themed fourth Headhunter Pack for Borderlands two. I wonder what I should play next.

*All figures are quoted in Canadian Dollars

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