Thursday, April 28, 2011
Couldn't resist doing an Isabela (Dragon Age II) sketch card. She's such a party staple for me that I don't even bother playing duel-wielding rogue myself, though that's usually my class of choice. By the end of the game Isabela is flitting around the field from enemy to enemy, dealing out 100% (or more) critical damage and one-shot killing almost everybody. She kicks all of the ass! Sure, she's a thieving liar- umm, she's a pirate- but she's got a heart of gold lurking in there and she redeems herself nicely. Err, that depends on how you play, I suppose...but no matter what, she's sweet to Merrill and Bethany and she never fails to make me laugh.
Basically, my friends, if you don't think Isabela is as super awesome as I do, then I don't know what we have left to say to each other.
For more of my sketch cards, make with the click-click!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
If you're already savvy with the world of Portal, what can I say about Portal 2 besides "Yes. Go get it now, because it's effing awesome."?
If you're not savvy with the world of Portal, what can I say besides "Go get Portal now, and then get Portal 2 later, because you are really missing out on some of the best gaming available."?
See, I don't want to spoil anything about either game because both are best experienced as purely as possible- the less you know, the more there is to discover. It's best to let Portal unfold before you and constantly surprise you with its humor and incredible cleverosity, which is totally a real word, I swear.
Valve takes everything you love about Portal and makes it...more. Picking up essentially where the first game left off, silent protagonist Chell, after years in stasis, wakes up in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and it's all but completely destroyed. Panels are broken, systems malfunction, weeds have grown up all around, and gaping holes in the walls and floors give you a view down into what seems to be a bottomless void...and the testing begins again.
From there, well...I don't want to say. Every time you think you might be approaching the end of the game, it turns out that you're not. There are times when Portal 2 feels almost like a first-person shootingless shooter than a clever puzzle game: there's a narrative that plays out, and just about every question you had will be answered.
The quality of the puzzles has been improved by the addition of several new features: lasers you can guide with reflective cubes, repulsion gels, propulsion gels, light bridges, and more. Chell will walk into a massive chamber with blobs falling everywhere and fifteen turrets aiming at her, and no seeming way out. Of course there's (almost) always a way out, and when you've finally mastered it and you head for the next testing chamber, you can't help but give yourself a high-five for figuring it out. Can't lie, I feel great and oh-so-smart when I try something ludicrous- you know, like bouncing off of a wall into a portal and grabbing a cube in mid-air only to drop it into another portal as I bounce across a chasm or something- and it actually works and the exit door opens. Portal 2 is quite rewarding that way.
So, if you know Portal, then its successor will be everything you want and expect and more. It's as laugh-out-loud funny as the first, if not more so. It's as challenging, if not more so. There's even a co-op mode this time, but I've yet to give it a go. Basically, Portal 2 is everything you could want as a sequel to a game that really didn't need a sequel. If I could hug video games, I'd hug the Portals.
What are you waiting for? It's either more of what you dug the first time, or it's something you really need to try. Either way, you should play it...for science.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Did a quick Aveline (Dragon Age II) sketch card to warm up today. She's one of my favorite characters in a game full of new favorite characters- a friend and protector to my Hawke, a major force on the battlefield, and man, her Act II personal quest is rad (extra rad if you've got Isabela in your party). We need more video game ladies like Aveline. She's a woman-shaped battering ram!
For more of my sketch cards- video game and otherwise- click here!
Monday, April 18, 2011
I'm already excited about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have played through an hour of the forthcoming game and have listed 20 reasons to be excited about it, so now I'm even excitedier. I mean...
Oh November, why must you be so far away? There's no way Skyrim is going to be anything less than epic. I know that word is overplayed, but if there's ever a time it's appropriate, it's...well, when talking about Skyrim.
7. The world is so much more alive. You’ll see packs of wolves hunting mammoths, you’ll see fearsome beasts such as giants wander by without bothering you because they’re off on other business rather than being mindless killers, you’ll see friendly passers-by running up to you with a sword you dropped earlier and offering to return it – or taking a pop at you with it if they have some reason to despise you.
8. Conversations with NPCs no longer involves an awkward zoom-in to their strange faces, a fixed perspective and an ugly text box. Now, it’s clean, sharp text floating directly onto the screen, and you’re free to look around as you please. Much of the incidental conversation, such as back stories, can be had while going for a stroll with a character as they chat away ambiently, rather than standing there clicking through text from a static position because you’re worried about missing something.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Umm, Amazon sells a download code for Alan Wake- the full game!- for...wait for it...$4.49.
FOUR FORTY NINE.
Admittedly, the gameplay gets a wee repetitive, but the story, the atmosphere, and the visuals were great enough to net Alan Wake a spot in my HIGHLY PRESTIGIOUS Top 10 of 2010 list. It's definitely worth four friggin forty nine. If you've got an Xbox 360 and $4.49, you should jump on this shit.
Here's the only dude with prices that are more insane than that:
At any rate, here are some links that are 100% clickable:
Lab Rat part one
Lab Rat part two
PORTAL 2 ON TUESDAY!!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Got my new Game Informer, read the ME3 article. Game starts with Shepard on Earth, effectively on trial in regard to the events of Arrival, and in the middle of the trial, the Reapers invade. Prologue involves Shepard's escape to the Normandy, and off to start finding those allies, fighting Reaper troops (husks of all the different species) the whole way.What's weird to me is that guy on the GI cover. That can't be Shepard, because, I mean, he looks nothing like the lady I played through Mass Effect 1 & 2...
Confirmed squadmates: Liara, Ashley/Kaiden, Garrus (if he's alive) and... James Sanders... That must be the guy from the trailer, I don't remember.
Speaking of which, there's a screenshot of Ashley with her hair down, and she actually looks hot. Don't have a scanner, so wait till someone with one turns up.
Confirmed to appear, but not guaranteed as squaddies: Wrex, Mordin, Legion, and Anderson. Obviously, if they live.
The game will by default feature a "previously on Mass Effect" comic to make decisions with if starting from scratch.
The Illusive Man also plays a prominent role, and Cerberus is out to kill Shepard. Reason why is unknown at this point.
The RPG elements are being beefed up, not going back to ME1, but giving more freedom with the character skills. Skill trees will be larger, and powers will evolve several times instead of just once, offering even more freedom. Weapons are ME2 style, with a set list, but mods make a return, not in the ME1 style, but allowing you to swap out different parts such as barrels, scopes, and so on, which effect both the weapon's combat performance and its appearance.
All classes can wield all weapons unhindered now, but will have limited slots to carry them. Only the Soldier can carry all weapons at once. Probably means Adept, Engineer, and Sentinal will be limited to two, and Vanguard and Infiltrator will have three.
Also mentioned: The game will have numerous endings, some good, some bad, and who you have in your squad and which allies you recruit can have a drastic effect on which are available.
That's basically the gist of it, except for the sidebars filled with stuff everyone already knows.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention one thing: Confirmed NO MULTIPLAYER. They're talking about future games and/or spinoffs having it, but not this time.
Also, James Sanders is likely the dude in the teaser trailer, and I'd assume he's related somehow to Kahlee Sanders, a major player in the Mass Effect novels. Not...umm...that I read them. That would be weird.
Hey look, that teaser trailer I was talking about!