first few xbox games

My Xbox 360 came with LEGO Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda. I haven’t tried Kung Fu Panda, but I finished the story mode of Indiana Jones. It was pretty good, although nearly the entire Last Crusade scenario was incredibly annoying. The LEGO games from Tt have a lot going for them, but they also have a lot of flaws that just don’t seem to be getting fixed. They have awful cameras, terrible jumping predictability, horrible partner AI, and the vehicle chapters tend to kind of suck. Despite all that, I’d probably give it a B-. Like I said, the LEGO games have a lot going for them.

I borrowed Assassin’s Creed from Bryan and played through a bit of it. It’s pretty cool, but I’m not sure it’s going to get its hooks into me. I’ll give it another hour or so, and then call it “good but not addictive enough.” I need to be picky about what games I play, since I don’t have lots of gaming time to spend.

I rented Bioshock and Gears of War from Gamefly. Bioshock is pretty great. The setting is a lot of fun. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s basically an Ayn-Rand-inspired community that has gone insane and self-destructed. The whole thing is very art deco looking, with slogans hung around the place like, “Altruism is the origin of all degeneracy.”

The gameplay is also good, ranging between really innovative and frustratingly familiar. I supposed I should be ashamed of saying this, but I liked FPS better when you couldn’t jump. Well, no, that’s not true. I get frustrated when it’s impossible to tell whether a surface is too high to jump or I just suck at jumping. Further, if I’m a big tough guy who can run and jump, why can’t I climb? I mean, that wall is only four feet high. Do I really need to find a way around it? And why must there be constant footfalls even when there’s nothing nearby? “Because it’s spooky” isn’t a good enough reason.

Anyway, that’s mostly nitpicking. Since I set the game to Easy (so that I could defeat one of the nasty Big Daddies) I’ve had little reason to complain. It’s really very good.

I was ready to give up on Gears of War after the first mission or so. It looked good and seemed interesting, but I kept getting slaughtered and I had trouble getting my head around how to play. Last night I gave it one last chance and ended up playing for two or three hours. I really got the hang of it, and it’s fantastic. I’ve always liked it when shooters are more tactical than frantic, and Gears of War is very, very tactics-based. It throws in some frenzy, too. In the last bit I played last night before quitting, I was engaged in a shooting match with some aliens who had good cover, while also trying to fend off rushing little bastards who’d swarm me. I’d stand up to shoot the “wretches” only to have a “grub” take pot shots at me from behind cover.

It’s very rewarding.

Next up, I’m waiting for Dead Space or Dead Rising. I played the Dead Rising demo and it seemed like it might be fun, but I’m not expecting to feel the need to buy it. I’ve heard mostly intense praise for Dead Space, so I’m hoping to get that next. I also have Bryan’s copy of Mass Effect, and might try to give that a go this weekend if I haven’t gotten a new game from Gamefly yet.

Written on November 24, 2008
🎲 games
👾 videogame