Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thugs and Space Marines.

Well, I had a very busy spring break and got ALOT of gaming in.  My wife and I had a long discussion about the Wii that had been sitting on the shelf next to the X-Box and had seen almost no activity for months.  After agreeing that we really saw no point in it being there, we agreed to trade it into GameStop for credit, all long we the few games that we tried really hard to love.  Very sad.  The upshot of this, however, was that we were able to score an armload of games that that we had missed or would of had to wait a while for.  The biggies were both Saint's Rows, Call of Duty 4, and a brand new copy of Halo Wars.  So I had more then enough to fill my week away from the daily grind of classes doing (yes I did get some homework done too, sheesh).

Halo Wars answers the question "Can a real-time strategy game have a home on the consoles of today?" with a resounding "YES IT CAN!".  The controls are a thing of beauty, allowing you to control your troops with ease while planning your foe's downfall.  I have tried a few RTSs on the X-Box before and was sadly disappointed with the clumsy controls and wonky cameras.  Ensemble has proven that it can be done, too bad this will be the last game from that extremely talented group of people.  The single player story is pretty good, not groundbreaking.  What I was really impressed by is the fact that it still felt like Halo.  I have been enjoying the story of Halo for a while and was worried that I was going feel like the story belonged in the universe.  The online play is fun and varied.  My only real complaint has been the lack of depth in tech trees and solider types, but I expected that.  I think that maybe this game will launch a resurgence of the RTS, hopefully with more depth.  We will have to see.

I also beat Saint's Row 2 last week.  I have been hearing from several people that it was better than GTA IV and had to give it a try.  I can't really agree, simply because Stilwater is no Liberty City, and the nameless thug in SR2 is no Niko Bellic, but the game is good.  Very good.  I liked the variety of missions and the story was interesting.  I even felt angry at some of the rival gangs actions, making it much more satisfying to blow them all to hell.  The game is rated M for a reason and is full of drugs, violence and sex.  Not that that's a bad thing.  And Stilwater is huge and gorgeous and filled with alot of stuff to explore.  All in all, this is pretty much everything you could want from a crime sandbox game and deserves a spot next to GTA on you shelf.

Well that's all for today.  I still have a pile of games to go through, and alot of sites to visit.  Catch ya next time.