Dead Island…Paradise…except with zombies.

Started playing Dead Island and so far it’s been quite an adventure. First of all the game looks really nice, the paradise scenery is  beautiful and it’s juxtaposed with the bloodiness, gruesomeness and violence that comes along with the zombie genre. The controls feel right and the combat feels smooth. The voice acting is well done and so far the story seems well done. I’m surprised this game hasn’t found its way into my hands sooner. Will definitely expand my thoughts on the game as I play more.

Confessions of a Superhero

I happened to stumble across this documentary and it was wonderful, so I just wanted to share. Confessions of a Superhero is a 2007 documentary that tells the story of four people who play (as street performers) superheroes on the street in Hollywood for money (by means of tips). The documentary has great photography, a nice soundtrack and it tells wonderful and interesting stories. Definitely recommend you watch it. It is available on Netflix and Hulu Plus. Check it out!

The Old Republic 1-8-12

I’m thinking of maybe running a weekly Star Wars: The Old Republic journal, so here’s a start. I had a productive day so far today. I created a red crystal for my lightsaber that I was able to use temporarily, at least until I leveled the light side of my morality meter to Light I at which point you can no longer wield a red lightsaber. I completed another flashpoint (instance) that ran rather smoothly this time. This one had no story / dialog choices, it was simply kill a handful of bosses and be done. I also managed to join a small guild with hopes of getting to know some other TOR players a bit closer. It seems like a decent guild so far, so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, I’m still enjoying the game quite a bit, so I look forward to continuing my adventures in the Star Wars universe.

Turtle Beach X12

While I was home for Christmas exodus I picked up the Turtle Beach X12 headphones.

While I liked the sleek look of Triton headphones better, I’m still glad I purchased these. What really convinced me was the fact that they can be used on the Xbox 360 as well as the PC so now I can play Star Wars: The Old Republic with some nice sound (rather than through my laptop speakers) and also play at night without disturbing my roommate.

They sound pretty good, really the only complaint I have is that the microphone is really sensitive. When I was playing Modern Warfare 3 with other people talking in the room the entire conversation in the room was being broadcast. In my dorm room this isn’t an issue, but it might be for those gaming in noisy areas.

For $60 these do exactly what I need. They allow me to play Xbox without any sound coming from the TV (again ideal for those living with roommates) which was my main reason for buying a gaming headset. They’re also pretty comfortable for moderate gaming sessions, but I’d assume they could start to become uncomfortable during longer sessions (I haven’t really experienced this though).

Good bu, definitely recommended.

 

What I’m excited about in 2012

2012 should be a great year for gaming. First of all there’s rumors saying the next Xbox and Playstation consoles will be announced at E3 (though there are also plenty of people saying this isn’t likely. I prefer to believe it will). Master Chief returns in Halo 4 this December (it may be 11 months away, but it will be on gamer’s minds all year long), and Blizzard’s beloved Diablo series returns with Diablo III (hints point at it being released early next month). We have a new Final Fantasy title on the way (well not entirely new, Final Fantasy XIII-2 expands on XIII but does change quite a bit of the gameplay).

I’m excited for all of these games and many more (Torchlight 2, Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3, Minecraft on XBLA) but I’m also excited to get some more details on games that might not release in 2012. I can’t wait to see what happens with Star Wars: The Old Republic this year, I’m hoping to hear some more about Blizzard’s next MMORPG, and I really want to see more Dragon Age III and Grand Theft Auto V.

2012 will be great for blockbuster games, but it’s depressing to note that every game I’ve talked about so far (minus Minecraft and Blizzard’s secretive MMORPG) is a sequel. I love blockbuster sequels and continuations of series as much as the next gamer, but I think all of us deep down want to see something new. Minecraft proved that originality can have explosive success (as Minecraft has not only become a critical hit but a fan phenomenon). What unique titles will 2012 bring us? I can only hope there are some killer new titles out there waiting to explode onto the scene. Original titles are risky and can fail, while the “tried and true” sequel or continuation is a sure thing most of the time, but without risk the gaming world starts to feel stagnant. Let’s hope risks are taken in 2012 for the good of all of us.

RAGE co-op delight

I never paid much attention to the iD (Quake, DOOM) / Bethesda  (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout) title RAGE until I kept seeing the trailer which uses A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of War Drums” at Gamestop. This trailer got my blood pumping and my moth salivating for the game, so I picked it up for $35 used. I played around in the singleplayer for a bit before I got distracted by Skyrim and Star Wars The Old Republic and I enjoyed it then but the game has honestly sat on my shelf for awhile getting no play time.

Today a buddy of mine happened to drop by and he wanted to check out RAGE and saw that it was co-op and asked to fire it up (I didn’t even know it had co-op) so we did. We played through two of the co-op missions (they are separate from the singleplayer story) and I have to say I’m again impressed and surprised by RAGE. The missions are really well done and quite entertaining, the guns and weapons are all a blast and the game looks really good.

I know can’t wait to get back into the singleplayer and continue the co-op missions. If you haven’t checked out RAGE yet, I highly recommend giving it a try. I’ have to reconsider my 2011 game of the year list (assuming I were to make an actual list) and fit RAGE in there. Great stuff.

RAGE is currently $26.99 (used) from Gamestop, $29.99 as a download through STEAM or $27.58 (new) on Amazon (Xbox 360) (It’s similarly priced for the PS3, and $21 for the PC (physical copy).