Friday, April 29, 2011

Portal 2 (single player mode)...finished!

With many articles willing to spill out the game's story and secrets as if the writers expect gamers to play as fast as they did, I'll keep mine very short and sweet.  I will say this, though - Portal 2 is definitely longer than the original Portal.  And I'm playing single player mode again.  And again.  And again.  At least until they release more levels in the summer.

I'll still need a partner to complete co-op mode, though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Portal 2 (and Steam copy) arrives promptly

Not long after I finished the first Portal, Portal 2 one arrives at my doorstep today.  And because it's a PS3 copy, a free copy on Steam is inside as well!

I'm probably one of the last amongst my friends to acquire a Steam account, and I have to say, the service is nice and refreshing.  Not only do you don't have to deal with the excess cardboard clutter one usually deals with for computer games, but everything's associated to your online account.  It's nice to know that my games are still with me when I change hardware.

Plus, with the added benefit of playing with other Steam players through my PS3 game, I can choose my preference of control.  That being said, finishing Portal re-introduced me back to the ol' "keyboard and mouse" control scheme that I'm now on the fence.  Though, if I ever feel like changing back and forth, at least my game saves to the Steam cloud, so I don't have to be playing both games concurrently to play catch-up.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rock Band 3...finished!

I think after 2 iterations, the Rock Band franchise has reached its peak. Granting Pro Mode for drums, guitar, and keyboard; introducing the Rock Band Network; incorporating the triple harmony from Beatles Rock Band, and the pause/resume feature from Lego Rock Band - this is the ultimate culmination of everything that's good or worked with Rock Band. And it's going to be hard to top, even for Harmonix.

And now with the new Fender guitar in my hands, Rock Band has become my guitar instructor and seeing some extended gameplay as I train my fingers. This game will always be in play, through all other future releases.

Portal...finished! (Finally)

Thanks to a friend's free Steam copy of Portal, I've finally played and finished the game in about a solid 4 hours. Now I've fully fleshing out those "the cake is a lie" references made throughout the years. After playing the original game from start to finish, I'm really looking forward to the sequel coming out this week.

I'm probably one of the few (if not, last) gamers that haven't finished Portal, but at least I've rectified that wrong. It wasn't that I didn't want to play the game - the gameplay concept was so simple and so unique, and executed so elegantly that you'll just have fun screwing around instead of trying to solve the puzzle.

I'm sure I'll kill as much time in the sequel coming out later this week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's out, so I'm ready to rock out.

Now that the stringed Squier Stratocaster is actually in my possession, I'm intimidated. My early years of Guitar Freaks, my days with Guitar Hero, and my many months with Rock Band are meaningless to the real thing. There's no comparison - no more buttons, flicking a poor-excuse-for-a-string plastic bar, and wailing on the solo buttons.

And despite the $279.99 price, my guitar-playing friends assure me that the price is still decent for a Fender guitar, let alone one that is compatible with Rock Band 3. You can't help, however, that the absence of the Midi Pro Adaptor (another $40) was done on purpose to keep the price point below $300.

I'm now moments away from realizing that all my expert mode scores with a plastic guitar will mean shit now. But I'm gonna at least get a poor score on a real guitar.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fourth time's the charm?

As a gamer who's bought into the pseudo-fourth generation Nintendo DS (Not counting DSiXL...that's just a DS with steroids), it's a little odd for me to say that I'm comfortable NOT putting a screen protector on the bottom screen. After so many iterations, Nintendo seems to have done it right this time around.

I want to really chalk it up to me being lazy for getting one in the first place, and I'm typically uber-OCD when it comes to scratches on my screens. But the new touch screen has endured many fingerprints and stylus, enough for me to almost never purchase a screen protector again.

For a good week now, all I've used is a microcloth to buff out fingerprints and hardened stains, and the screens remain spotless. The hardware is proving to be quite reliable in endurance, and now only its heavy price-point is what will drive me to add the extra protection.

And, for the record, I only apply screen protectors on the touch screen. Unless you have people that will insist on touching the top screen because they believe both are touch-sensitive, I don't even bother with the top screen.