Well, it’s been a week since E3 and I’d be lying if i said i wasn’t still feeling the effects. It’s like remembering an awesome party; you’re so glad you were there but it sucks that it’s over. While there’s no doubt that experiencing all that video game awesomeness was indeed amazing, the real part of it I’m missing is the feeling of “being on the inside”. That deserves some clarification.
If you’ve swung through my still incomplete Portfolio page, you’ll see that I’ve been behind the scenes for some really amazing videogame related events. I helped launch the Gameboy Advance SP, the DS, and the Wii, all for Nintendo. I helped produce and personally directed all the tech. on all 4 years of Nintendo’s Fusion Tour, so on, so forth. All of my experience though, comes clocked in as a freelancer. And while i love being a freelancer and the freedom that comes with it, the flip side is always feeling like I’m standing just across a line of implied acceptance. It’s a strange purgatory, a no-mans-land, between envy from one side for involvement and afterthought from the other. The common term is “disposable asset”. “You’re key figure while the clock is running but beyond that, don’t even attempt to associate with or be considered part of our world.” It’s not that i actively seek to involve myself in everything a client does, after all, i work with them, not for them.
E3 was different though, mostly because of the people i was working with. Barring my own personal feelings of being an outsider, the level of hospitality and involvement extended to me from MTV and Harmonix was amazing. I was treated like a part of their team. That’s a rare, but awesome, experience and I sincerely thank them for it.
Speaking of Facebook, I snagged http://www.facebook.com/dropslash, in case there was any doubt.
Anyway, while I was out, even though part of it was spent at E3, I missed out on some serious game playing. One of the things I was most looking forward to was the Broken Steel expansion for Fallout 3. It was the first thing i bought/started playing when i got home. The new level cap of 30 is badass and some of the new enemies are nuts. Nothing really cool weapon-wise for me though, since i play pure Stealth/Sniper. I’m a never-be-seen-one-shot-one-kill kind of player, my 1500+ saves and ammo collections will attest to that. I’m also a huge packrat, i love killing, collecting, repairing, and selling. I’m about to break the 100,000 cap mark in the game. Fallout 3 feeds my meticulous OCD tendencies to a T. It’s been glitchy recently, which drives me nuts, but overall i love the game.
Also on my playlist recently is Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2. I played the shit out of the first one and the 2nd installment has already sucked away dozens of hours from my life. They’ve made some awesome changes as well as leaving out some near-crippling features. Let’s make a list!
Things i love about DW:G2
- The new “Infinite Boost” system. This is how it should have been in DW:G1.
- Bajillions of enemies on screen. For melee fighters like me, it’s combo mania. (382! personal best)
- Tons and tons of missions. Keeps the game interesting and not repetitive during long plays.
- The Mobile Fighter: G Gundam pilots and Gundams got a huge upgrade. Domon/Burning Gundam and Master Asia/Master Gundam are far-and-away my favorite characters in the DW:G series (I’m a big G Gundam fan) and they really got brought up to the level where they should be in DW:G2. They’re amazing now. LOOK, THE EAST IS BURNING RED!
- New level designs. Combined with the number of enemies on screen, the level of possible destruction is astronomical.
- Free DLC missions. Hell yeah.
Things i hate about DW:G2
- The lack of voice sample diversity. So sick of hearing the same lines over and over again.
- That annoying fucking voice cue for notifications/objectives. Where the hell did that come from? I want it to die.
- The revamped parts/tech system. I appreciate the customization aspects, but it’s needlessly complicated.
- Some missions force certain difficulties/mobile suits. Weak. I don’t want to pilot a goddamn Zaku Tank, no matter how relevant to the story it is.
- Only one gamertag at a time in co-op. WTF is this crap?
- No co-op over Xbox Live. This really kills me, no… like fkn really. Of all the games that should have XBL co-op it should be this one. The whole mission structure is designed around multiple Aces working together to annihilate massive waves of grunts! You couldn’t ask for a more perfect co-op setting. Ugh. This took a massive amount of enjoyment out of this game out for me.
- Achievements based on play time/repetition, not skill. This was a huge problem with DW:G1 and DW:G2 amazingly manages to compound on it’s lunacy. I understand why they do it but, really, it’s astoundingly fkn lame.
Well, those are my impressions so far. It’s button mashingly wonderful fun. I love that Domon and Master Asia are insanely badass now (as they should be!) but the lack of real/XBL co-op is a huge disappointment for me. Really, there is no excuse, but I’m going to blame the Playstation versions anyway.
Also, I’ve spent way too much time in my local Starbucks recently.