From Crisis Cores to Lockout scores

Originally posted at GameSpot June 2, 2008

Mondays are always a bit of a downer. But to ease the pain of the work week ahead, I like to think back on the weekend, especially if it was a particularly good one – and this past weekend was.

A lot of good things happened, but for this blog we’ll stick with the gaming highlights. In chronological order:

Friday, May 30, 2008, 11:00-2:40 a.m. – My in-laws had a cookout for some friends who came in out-of-town, and as the party died down my brother-in-law and I tried to get in some Battlefield 2125. I saytried, because he needed to download a rather large patch for the game, and it just took too long.

But we made the best of the situation, watching the pilot for “Arrested Development” and playing someHalo: Combat Evolved. He slaughtered me on two games of Slayer on Hang’em High, but I was able to leave with a bit of pride with a 25-23 victory in Damnation.

Something I almost forgot to mention: My brother-in-law just bought Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for his PSP. Like him, I have never played a Final Fantasy game (gasp!), but the title was nothing short of impressive. The graphics and music were first rate, and even from the short game play and boss fight he showed me the game looked like it had a lot of depth. And the cut scenes! Wow.

This may be a series I could get into in the future – I could tell this game points to a rich tradition, and I know it’s one many people cherish.

Sunday, June 1, 2008, 10:45-1:30 a.m. – My brother-in-law came over with his girlfriend and while she and my wife did their thing, we played some tennis and then headed to the basement for someNeed for Speed Most Wanted and Halo 2.

I had been talking up Most Wanted for a while, so I was glad to be able to finally show him the game – and things worked out better then I had planned. Nothing is worse then wanting to show off a game but having it somehow fall flat on its face. NFSMW delivered, however, and we had some of the greatest police chases I’ve seen in the game.

One in particular had a cruiser we just smashed through in a roadblock and rolled over and over, upwards of at least five times. It was nothing short of awesome, seeing in roll in front and them hitting the back view only to see it keep going. How can you not love it?

Next was Halo 2, and we had three of the greatest matches I’ve had in a long time. Did I win either any of them? No – but they were epic none the less. Rifles for the first and third, rockets for the second; 25 kill count on Lockout all three times – it was fantastic.

They were just what multiplayer FPS should be about – great confrontations, amazing (or not) shots, close calls, intense grenade battles, logic-defying comebacks (by me), and loud shouts of “Yes!” and “Noooooo!”

An excellent night, capping of a great weekend. Let’s hope it pulls me through the week!

Post tenebras lux

Friday Night Frivolities

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 1, 2008

This past Friday night (January 25th) my family and I went over to a friend’s house, and we were able to get some good gaming in. I brought my Xbox and wheel, and they had no less than four DS systems to play with. Since I got one, I was looking forward to some wireless play.

The big surprise for me was playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on the DS. I didn’t think a FPS would translate well to the touch screen format, and for the first few games I was right. But then, much like StarFox Command, once I got used to the DS screen it was a lot of fun. I even logged a few kills, which after having trouble even aiming on the first run-through I was happy about. Having the computer terminals that triggered the map and radar was interesting as well – not just a toss-in gimmick, but actually affected game play in a good way.

In other news, it was fun to show off the Xbox racing wheel. My friend enjoys a good race; the cars on Forza Motorsports really had him excited. I love it when people enjoy a game for the first time – and if I’m a part of it, then I feel even better.

And now – the lightning round!

They let me borrow Mario Hoops: 3 on 3 – so far so good. The learning curve seems a little high for a Mario game, but it’s not like have to remember every nuance to make the game fun. I haven’t played it too much with everything else going on, but I would like to spend some more time with it.

Wireless MarioKart DS. We had about five going at once; I used to think I was good at the game. . .

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was a big hit, as usual. I’m a fan, so it makes perfect sense.

Yoshi’s Island for the GBA – my wife used to love the game, so I watched her on it a little bit.

Homemade pizza + sweet iced tea + fresh cookies + friends = great Friday night

Post tenebras lux