Dawn of Thursday and Streaming Rocks

Laura came to visit last weekend and on top of having a good romantic time, she signed up for Netflix which allows us both to benefit since I can now stream stuff on the xbox. I've catching up on 30 Rock which I've slowly become a huge fan of. Right now I'm starting up season 2 but the fact that season 1 is always there and I can watch it over and over again is a like a big ol pizza that never ends...and..um...beer...cascading somehow.

This thursday (as in tommorow) will be an overjoyous day because Dawn of War 2 is finally coming out. It so weird that this game more or less came out of the blue for me with the Beta. It then proceeded to shove me down on the ground and beat me with an awesome stick. The sharp end of the awesome stick. There was a few weeks where friends and I were playing it nightly. There are very few games that get me do that day-in and day-out. I've already stopped my WoW account cause I haven't touched it since the DoW2 Beta.

Big fun is going to be getting into the Single Player Campaign. From all the additional news I've heard, Relic is trying to cross an rpg with an rts. You have a few units taken into each mission and you need to make them last till the objectives are complete. On top of that, each unit is led by a special sgt with a unique model/voice-actor and their own bank of abilities. Apparently you can equip different kinds of war gear for your sgts like you would your hero character in a multi-player match. This kind of "loot-whoring", if done right, could end up making one hell of a satisfying experience.

I really can't think of another RTS that is doing what DoW2 does. It really stands alone and I hope the gaming community at large can respect this and give it a try.

Yup. You Guessed it.

After having an incredible weekend with Laura in NJ (and I got to meet her bad-ass coworkers), I arrived back to Chicago to an angry kitty and some incredibly refreshing warm weather. I always fancied myself a Winter guy but I think after Florida, I'm much more into end of spring kind of weather where a good breeze comes buy to make you keep pants on but there is no need for a jacket.

As for the title, that's right: I'm still playing Dawn of War 2 an insane amount. Its almost become a nightly ritual to play at least 1-2 games. A new patch came out for the beta that has people on the community forums going a little nuts. In some cases they are right. The biggest change is rate resources are gathered in 3v3 games (which is kind of the most common game). It has gone up significantly and now it can be a viable tactic to "spam" units - that is to keep making them and just sending them to their deaths. Personally, I don't find this true in every circumstance. As a Space Marine player, I still have to make good choices early on about what units to get out and hold my ground. I still manage and take care of those units no matter what and it most cases, I'm able to overcome the hordes. It should be noted that all of this vs AI. So far, I have not tried playing against other people - I'm just too much of a wuss. The AI on the other hand has benefited tremendously from the patch and now presents an increasing challenge. I'm already enjoying moving back up the AI tiers and trying different enemy combos to test my Space Marines mettle. The game comes out in about 9 days and I'm going to pee my pants when it gets here.

Laura is coming this weekend! Time for marital dancing!

More thoughts on RE5

I've almost made my mind up on RE5. The Game's controls are so frustrating - especially after coming off of Dead Space - that I don't think I'll get this game the second it comes out (which is my favorite time to get games). For those who have been following up on the game, you'll no doubt have heard this argument several times on forums,etc and I think it is compeltly valid. For those who want to know more specifics, I'll shalst bust a phat beat and break it down, right now, right here, live and in your face.

For the most part, the single most frustrating aspect of the game is more of a design issue : you cannot move and shoot / reload. Now in the RE4, this was pretty much just accepted. For the most part, no game had really been like RE4 in terms of its camera. In that game, it was pretty much a move till you got a good position, whirl about, shoot as fast and as accurate as you could, then move again. However since RE4, there have been a few games to use this camera style but moved the "genre" forward. The best one I can think of is Dead Space which the developers themselves said took directly from RE4. In Dead Space, players can move at pretty much all times. When you do start to shoot, your character will slow down (same when you are reloading) but the key is that you can keep moving. What this creates for Dead Space is a seamless set of controls that allow you to navigate the game without having to think Oh yeah, I'm blank so I can't blank. RE5 is plagued by this. When you start to shoot, you cannot move so you need to constantly keep that in mind which is difficult cause the concept is not the norm for shooter controls and this is my major beef with this whole mechanic. It seems to disregard all conventions or things that players can expect from the game. So to put into perspective, lets say you were playing a shooter and your gun has a limited amount of ammo. The game does not provide a way for you to tell how many shots you have left. The gun will just go empty. Now this would be a pretty justified complaint since as a user, you expect this kind of "feature."

My second complaint which I feel could be changed in the game is the lack of an instant melee button. Melee is instead a two-button process. You need to "arm" your knife by holding the left bumper button and then pull the right trigger. Why not just make the right trigger melee? Oh no, thats so you can lock on to your partner. Why not make that the left bumper button? Ugh. Doug and I played co-op last night (the only saving grace in my opinion) and kept yelling out "preparing to melee...melee initiated...activating melee."

Seriously. What gweat way to pway.