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slee [at] lagomorpho.com
Weekly(?) Wednesday Wrap-up Wed, Jan 28 2009 06:04

In an effort to write and blog more often, I've decided to try and post once a week about what I've been playing. It's been almost two weeks since the last one so I've been busy. I kind of go long talking about Left 4 Dead but you'll have to forgive that. I am a little in love with that game. Anyway, here we go.

Resident Evil 5 Demo:
I was really hopeful for this game. I'd heard from all around that RE4 was really amazing and when I tried it, I hated it because you move like a robot from the 70's - only one axis at a time and at a snails pace. More recently, I'd heard that RE5 was RE4 but with better controls and graphics. How can you go wrong with that? Well, you still move like a robot and you still can't move and shoot at the same time. Asteroids solved this problem 3 decades ago.

Fallout 3:
Things are looking better for Fallout. I'm enjoying myself even though I died once or twice (stupid Fire Ants!). I really wish I had like a month or two to just lose myself to this game but I'm a grown up now. I don't have time for this. Also, I have other games I'd rather be playing.

One thing that really bugs me about this game is that it's really dark. And I don't mean teenage angsty and moody. I mean like they forgot to include light in half the areas. I'd told this kid to wait inside a phonebooth or something and I met up with him there in the middle of the day. He was standing inside the thing and I could barely see him. Sure, I could see super bright points of light bouncing off certain spots like his eyes, teeth, and nose, but it was almost pitch black. Sometimes I can see better inside with my pipboy light on that I can see outside during the day. What's up with that?

Hexic HD:
Started this up because I had a few minutes to kill and I wanted something easy to play. Forgot how much fun it was, did really well really soon. Then I screwed it up a bunch and I hated it all over again. If you haven't tried it, you should give it a chance. It's a really excellent puzzle game.

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2:
This game is like a drug. It's so damn easy to just start a new game (usually Pacifism) that I can start playing and then I'll look up at the clock and 2 hours will have gone by.

Half-life 2 (PC):
I managed to get this running fairly well on my MacBook. I had to drop all the settings to low but I'm not looking for eye candy here. I actually made a fair amount of progress in my first session though I had to take frequent breaks because of motion sickness. I'm about to head into Ravenholm which is pretty much where I left off when I was playing this on 360. I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface of the game but that's what happens when the tutorial is over 2 hours long. The hover boat was still fucking retarded but I got to shoot at a bunch of dude with guns and their little heart monitors going off when you kill them is just so damn satisfying.

Left 4 Dead:
I finally got to take a nice big bite out of the multiplayer experience and I am a little torn. Having usually played on normal, going up against human opponents was a big leap since it's basically like playing Expert mode, if not harder. This is made worse when you can't communicate with half your team because they don't have mics on. That I can deal with though. With enough practice in single player and campaign, Expert mode will be manageable even with the handicap of the rest of my team. Playing as the infected is a completely different thing.

As an infected, your basic strategy is to just be the biggest dick you can be to the survivors. Sure, it sounds great but I think secretly, I'm morally opposed to this and I always want the survivors to win. Granted, that's a small complaint but what I really hate is the fact that there's no training for playing as an infected at all. You're dropped in and immediately all your actions 'matter' and you're going to suck at it and people will yell at you. Okay, so I was doing a lot of the yelling even though I was probably the worst Infected player there but it was frustrating all the same (I did manage to get a really nice hunter pounce towards the end though).

As it is when you're playing as the survivors, lack of communication makes playing as the infect horrible. You do the most damage when you all attack as a group so if no one is talking to each other or coordinating, then uou're as bad as the computer AI on easy, slowly attacking the survivors one at a time when they're tightly packed together and highly defensive. The other team managed to destroy us because they attacked as a group. I think at one point they had three hunters pounced on top of three survivors.

Despite all this, I'd still like to play some more Versus once I've had a bit more practice.



Playing through a campaign with Jessie the other day, I noticed that the red barn at the end of Blood Harvest is a really great place to camp. At one end of the barn on the second floor, there are some exposed beams. If you get on these beams, normal infected have a hard time getting to you. If they come at you from the second floor, they aren't smart enough to run on the beams so they just fall to the first floor.

There are ways for the infected to get to you (jumping and climbing up to the beams or climbing up a refrigerator against the wall) but the process takes a long time and you can take them out at your leisure.

The majority of the zombie hord comes at your through a hole in the barn rough accessible from the outside over some hay bales. The hole is opposite the beams I mentioned so you can see them streaming in from a mile away. Whoever has the assault rifle can probably take them all down single-handedly but if he misses any, they'll just harmlessly fall to the ground floor where you can pick em off after the masses are dealt with.

The special infected aren't quite the pushovers the regular infected are but they are easy to manage as well. The best a Boomer can do is bring more infected and they can be handled like I mentioned above. The Boomers themselves are pretty big targets so you see them coming from a mile away. As for Hunters, well, in this kind of situation they are basically a joke. I'd be surprised if they managed to do much damage at all if they pounced a survivor. The other players are usually close enough to melee or shoot the Hunter off with little effort.

The Tanks actually have the same problem as the normal infected when dealing with the 2-story beam thing. It's funny to watch this huge hulking beast running at you only to fall from the loft onto th ground floor. Still, being as big as they are, the Tank can climb back up to the second floor or even onto the beam pretty quickly. Luckily, the climbing animation is labored and someone with the auto-shotgun should be able to take it out. The first time I tried this method, the Tank got turned around and ended up climbing to the top of the roof of the barn. He was so mad that he couldn't find us! He just skulked around in circles hitting the ground occasionally until I guess he timed out and he just fell over and died.

The biggest threat to survivors holding the barn are actually the Smokers. If you set yourselves up well, the Smoker will more or less have to be inside the barn to get a good angle to snag a survivor. Given that, it's pretty easy to shoot his tongue off or even kill him before he entangles you. If you aren't able to pull it off, he's still relatively close to the barn so your partner should be able to free you in a jiffy.

The best part of holding out in the barn though is that when the armored transport arrives, you can pretty much jump out the second floor window of the barn and land right behind it. As always, it helps if you've got a pipe bomb to keep the infected busy while you're trying to get in but you should be able to pull it off without.

tags: [permalink] weekly wednesday wrapup, video games, playing, resident evil 5, re5, re4, fallout 3, hexic hd, geometry wars retro evolved, half-life 2, hl2, left 4 dead,
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