Jan 14 xbox live, xbox by Ebrahim Sadien |
We managed to cobble together a 4 player anti-Horde squad on the weekend. Things went very smoothly until we reached wave 10. Once the Blood mounts joined the fray, our hold-out space became the Alamo and we did not last long. With a four player squad you can play more offensively but you still have to keep a good watch for Locusts that try to out-flank you. Once we're down to about 5 Locusts on a level, we generally set out on a hunting party.
I also played some single player campaign mode, but it's really not the same game.
Jan 12 xbox live, xbox by Ebrahim Sadien |
Epic is releasing a patch that is meant to solve a few of the major problems in the Gears 2 multiplayer modes.
I played some Gears 1 online but I was rebuffed by the specific sub-species of creature that inhabits the Live servers. After being killed a few times by a member of my own team, I decided to give it a break. Is everyone playing online 12 years old?
I have only played Horde mode online, and after my Gears 1 experience I stick to matches with people in my friends list. I have not experienced any of the glitches mentioned in the forum post but they do seem to be quite severe.
Jan 07 xbox live, xbox, playstation, Penny Arcade, pc by Ebrahim Sadien |
I must admit that I was pretty surprised to find out that people exist who don't follow game release schedules religiously and who do not immerse themselves in every single cryptic screenshot or game trailer that is released for their favourite title.
I would have guessed that if you were not immersed in the gaming sub-culture it would somehow diminish your enjoyment of the games that you play but apparently it does not .
Jan 06 xbox live, xbox, Penny Arcade by Ebrahim Sadien |
When I saw the stats for the top 10 games played on Live, I was a bit surprised that Gears 2 was fourth behind Call of Duty World at War.
I rate Gears 2 as a far superior game to Call of Duty both in overall design and game mechanics. When you take a closer look at the data used to generate these statistics, their value becomes much clearer, that is, closer to nought.
Jan 01 xbox, wii, tokyo, playstation by Ebrahim Sadien |
I really thought that 2008 was the year of the PlayStation 3. Finally the hardware would be matched to a significant and exclusive games catalog. But as the year wore on nothing materialised that could really justify the PS3 price tag. Post the Tokyo Game Show the signs seemed to indicate that the tide had turned against title exclusivity further diminishing any justification for buying a PS3. When Final Fantasy was announced for the Xbox 360, I was pretty sure we had entered the End of Days.
I think that Sony has lost this round of the console war and that only a major price cut can save it. Speaking of which, with the Global financial crisis, Sony is in no position to increase the competiveness of the PS3 with a price cut. What's that sound...sounded like the last nail to me ...
Dec 28 xbox by Ebrahim Sadien |
We started playing Horde mode recently. Zak thought that playing it on Insane would be too much Horde for two players. As it turns out, it's challenging with two players but not impossible.
Horde mode greatly extends the re-playability of Gears 2. The Locust AI is smart and highly tactical. The game does not allow you to respawn in the same location which ensures that camping is not an option. The Locusts AI shows great awareness of the game state and if there are only a few Locusts left in a wave, the chances are good that they will rush your position.
Horde mode takes the tactical elements of Gears to a new level. Because you are vastly outnumbered and can be attacked from any direction, the strategy is to find a choke point and defend it at all costs. This is not as easy as it sounds as you will be attacked at close quarters from all sides simultaneously while snipers make you stick to cover and foil your counter-attacks. You also have to manage your ammunition and generally end up grabbing any dropped weapon that you can find. One very useful tactic is to plant grenades as booby traps and also to use them as an early warning system.
We reached wave 6 in about 3 hours and I am quite keen to see how far we can get in our next session. Things should become very interesting once the Grinders show up.
Dec 22 xbox live, xbox by Ebrahim Sadien |
So Zak and I finished Gears 2 . It is a good game, an incremental improvement on it's predecessor. The final boss was nothing to right home about and the same can be said of the Queen's uber-bodyguard who turned out to be not as uber as first thought.
One great addition to the game is the ability to pilot alot more vehicles , including a few Locust modes of transport. I am not going to spoil it for you if you are one of the 3 people in the world who have not yet finished Gears 2.
I can't wait to tackle horde mode. Word is that you need 4 players to tackle it and that Insane mode is more Locust than a Gear can handle but I want to prove that theory wrong. I will report back on my experience.
Dec 18 xbox, wii, playstation, pc by Ebrahim Sadien |
I had a meeting with a senior manager from Ster Kinekor. One part of the discussion was about piracy in SA and why more is not done to combat it.
The bottom line appears to be that we do have a piracy problem is SA but no where on the scale of other regions like Russia, Egypt and Greece which essentially have industrial scale operations. Piracy is therefore not such a high priority concern for Ster Kinekor.
Reading between the lines, I also got the sense that anti-piracy operations are mostly conducted against people who have links to organised crime, where piracy is conducted in concert with other crimes like drug smuggling etc.
This provides some much needed perspective but still does not change the fact that piracy hurts small independent retailers more than major retailers because of the scale of their operations.
It also does not change the fact that better pricing from the distributors will go a long way to combating piracy and growing the local games market.
Dec 11 xbox, playstation by Ebrahim Sadien |
The latest addition to the Resident Evil series will be released shortly.
I have not had a chance to play the demo yet but I have been soaking up alot of the trailers . The game looks very good but some of the annoying game mechanics have not been changed. You cannot move and keep your weapon aimed , which is irritating in the extreme. The voice acting is generally very stilted and cliched.
I will give it a try once it's released but judging from the game play videos it does not look very promising. They also appeared to have adopted the offset, parrallel split screen from Call of Duty World at War. The split screen setup is a real waste of precious screen real estate.
I was looking forward to fighting crazy zombies on motorbikes, but I think that my Zombie hunger will be better satisfied with some Left for Dead action .
Dec 10 xbox, playstation, pc by Ebrahim Sadien |
I was hugely impressed with Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay , when it was first released.