tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

Archive for the 'Gaming' Category

Some thoughts on Brink (mostly not mine)

Brink-Xbox_360Artwork506Founders_-_Island

I recently bought Bethesda/Splash Damage’s new FPS Brink in the hope that it would be able to replace TF2 for me. After about ten hours of playtime I could see it had some merits, but that there was something about it that just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t really able to put my finger on what it was…I mean, all that parkour style movement was nice but it didn’t really seem to be useful for anything since my aim went to shit every time I tried to use it to become harder to hit. On top of that CS-style tactics seem to reign supreme – take cover, aim for the head, drop people in two bursts, which isn’t what was implied by Splash Damage’s publicity at all. I believe the phrase ‘Move more than you shoot’ was bandied about a lot, but this isn’t the case at all.

Well, leave it to a long-time competitive FPS player to cut through the bullshit and lay out exactly what the design problems with the game are. The following are two posts from Kaizoku (the discoverer of Kai jumping in Left 4 Dead) on the Brink Steam forums about why exactly the game seems to be a letdown for so many:

The game does not lend itself to movement based combat, as a veteran quake player and a fan of UT games I’ve seen what those games do to make combat skilled and movement based, rather than cover based. A lot of the issue is the mechanics around firefights, they don’t reward movement based combat, and the guns really aren’t functioning on a "sustained aim" system as they have plenty of recoil and spread.
The game doesn’t know what it wants to be, CS or Quake, so it’s using elements from both, and they’re conflicting.

When I referenced "sustained aiming" it is a reference to an archetype of FPS, one being sustained aim and another being first strike determination and the mechanics that surround those. I used CS as a synecdoche for the "first strike" archetype, those archetypes are explained below:
Sustained aim games are usually movement based combat, in that you aren’t using cover to keep yourself alive, you’re dodging and moving around or using the game’s movement abilities to stay alive. These games nearly *always* use no recoil minimum spread guns, the reason being it’s very hard to keep the crosshair on people in those games (relatively), and you are rewarded with damage based on how long you can keep the crosshair on someone. These games also usually give players higher HP pools (relatively) than other FPS’s, meaning you have to sustain your aim on a target to get the kill through dodging and keeping your cross on them.
The you have first strike determination games, which are the most popular right now. CS, CoD, Battlefield, these all fall under first strike type FPS’s. This means that nearly always the game is cover based for defense, meaning if you are without cover, there are no movement abilities and your character doesn’t have good enough speed or movement to stay alive and needs to use terrain or cover to defend themselves. These games are often "realistic" with their guns, using recoil and spread to off-set slow character movement. At the same time, player hp pools are (relatively) lower and headshots/locational damage is rewarded. The first shot is the most accurate from these guns, and tends to determine the outcome of a firefight.
Brink mashes these together in a seemingly contradictory way, taking counter-rationales in the elements they use. They have an advanced movements system, and player movement is a bit faster than most FSD (here on in, first strike determination) games. However, both recoil and spread are present, not just present, but prevalent. These elements contradict in their reasoning, as you remove recoil and spread to reward players for being accurate in fast-paced movement combat, you don’t penalize them for moving and dodging, and you don’t make them hope their recoil and spread stays where they are aiming. They also (relatively) increased player HP pool, advertising a near elimination of 1HKO’s (by the way, there’s still a lot of those) but if you get a headshot (locational damage also being quite important) it can be a FSD situation.
The movement and firefight mechanics conflict in how they reward and penalize players, and it really doesn’t make sense in precedent, rationale, or function.

I have written about the two schools of FPS design before (although nowhere near as thoroughly as this) in my old blog entry comparing Call of Duty 4 to Painkiller (although if you want to go with multiplayer FPSes, Counter-Strike vs Quake III Arena is a much better comparison), and I agree with the thrust of Kaizoku’s argument. Generally I found the parkour-ish moves in Brink to be most useful when attempting to flank or find alternate routes, but not really in actual combat.

I’ll probably keep playing it for a bit longer, since the novelty hasn’t quite worn off yet, but it seems clear at this point that this is a game that needs some rethinking in terms of base mechanics. Until then I’d recommend holding off on getting it.

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The Craft of Mining

I haven’t been writing much recently, and it seems very much like something I should start doing again, if only because all these opinions bouncing around in my head need an outlet of some sort. So I’m going to write about games I’ve been playing recently – seems like as good a place to start as any.


I was on vacation in Singapore lately, with the only computing devices at my disposal being my iPhone, my parents’ 2006 iMac and my slightly newer laptop. As it turned out, said laptop was completely incapable of playing pretty much anything I threw at it (with the exception of Civilization V, but even that started to chug as my game progressed further). As a result, I ended up trying out a game that has made an absolutely ludicrous amount of money based off word of mouth alone.

I am, of course, talking about Minecraft.

In all its blocky glory

Simply put, this game is about building stuff. You collect raw materials, use them to build tools which you can then use to mine other raw materials which you can use to build other tools and items which you can use to mine other raw materials which you can use to build other tools…

I think you get my drift.

That said, Minecraft tries to throw a few curveballs at you through the addition of a day-night cycle and AI monsters. At night, said monsters spawn in non-illuminated areas and start roaming the map, looking for you and your precious buildings. Of particular note is the iconic Creeper that will run towards you in its best imitation of a suicide bomber, with similar effects. These monsters (or mobs, as they’re called in Minecraft lingo) will spawn in dark areas even in the daytime, so management of light becomes important. You can also craft weapons and armour that will let you deal with mobs, if you so please.

My only question is…what does it all lead up to?

The only purpose of the game is to survive and keep building stuff. Your penalty for death is to lose everything you’re carrying and return to your spawn location, but this doesn’t seem like a really big problem since you can store away materials and tools in a separate stash. On top of that anything you’ve built stays around (unless of course it got blown up by a Creeper) so all you really need to do is make some new tools and you’re back in business.

You will be doing this a lot

A friend of mine told me that this game was ‘like playing with Lego.’ My problem with that analogy is that when playing with Lego bricks you start with an end in mind, either from the instructions that came with your model kit or from the plans that you drew up yourself to build some magnificent sculpture using commodity bricks. Once you’re done, you’re done, and the fruits of your labour are visible for all to see. In Minecraft, you build and build with seemingly no end, and since death carries relatively minor penalties all there is to do is keep building.

Games that go on forever without victory conditions have one massive drawback, in that eventually you end up seeing everything the game has to offer (or feel like it, anyway) and quit out of boredom. SimCity has this problem, which is why I eventually gave up on it in spite of loving SimCity 4 to pieces for its complex economic simulation. With Minecraft, I hit that ceiling after about an hour of playing. Since there isn’t anything to do beyond mining and building to find new materials to allow you to mine and build even more stuff, eventually you get bored. The AI mobs’ purpose is basically to slow you down, nothing more.

If death in fact resulted in losing all your stuff (and the Minecraft wiki assures me that once upon a time, it did), then we might be looking at a contender for a decent survival game, but as it stands it’s not much of one. That said, Notch now has my $15, so I hope he makes good use of it.

On a side note, while trying to take screenshots for this post, my graphics card driver crashed twice. Almost like it was trying to tell me something.

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The future is dead

Earlier this week there were rumblings that Masaaki Kukino, producer on KOF XII and KOF XIII, had left SNK Playmore as of November of last year. Today, this rumour was unfortunately confirmed, along with some other facts by a French games journalist posting at Dream Cancel:

I have confirmation of Kukino leaving. French contact that made interview of Kukino contacted him in the beginning of january and kukino admited it. We didn’t spread the info as we considered Kukino would admit it himself when the time was right.
More than that, SNKP president wants to close video game section. Here the message i sent to other sites :
It’s Neithan from 2HP.
You probably heard of the departure of kukino, the game director of kof XIII from snkp. SpekSNK supposed it was a rumor but I can confirm it to you.
One of my contact in Japan did the interview of Kukino for french website Neo Arcadia and contacted him when the tweets of the ancient programmer came out on the web. Kukino confirmed he left SNKP in novembre so it’s not a rumor anymore.
Besides, two contacts confirmed to me that the new president of SNKP, Ryo Mizufune, wants the video games section to be shut down. He wants to live from license exploitation (queen’s blade, kof sky stage) and his influence is one of the things that made Kukino leave the company. It could be possible that many people from the dev team quit too.
The port of Kof XIII is compromised but more than that it’s kof that is compromised. It’s possible that Kof XIII could be the last one of the saga.
My original post in french with links (use it as a source if you need) : http://basgrospoing.fr/2011/01/kof-xiii-a-perdu-son-directeur-et-le-president-de-snk-playmore-aimerait-fermer-la-division-jeu/

So not only does it sound like there won’t be a KOF XIII port for home consoles, there probably won’t be any new KOF games from SNKP. We already know from anonymous Twitter accounts that a bunch of programmers left the company last year, and now it sounds like Kukino has followed suit.

My reaction? Despair, mostly. But also frustration at the thought that this shouldn’t have happened.

SNKP’’s takeover from the SNK of old got off to a shaky start with SvC Chaos and KOF2003, both rather iffy games, followed by the uninspired KOF NeoWave as their first game after departing the MVS. But soon after that they scored a two-hit combo with the solid NeoGeo Battle Coliseum and King of Fighters XI, and with the aid of Yuki Enterprise (now Examu) released the equally solid Samurai Spirits: Tenkaichi Kenkakuden. It seemed to me at the time that SNKP had overcome its obstacles and returned to releasing great arcade games. Sure, XI didn’t quite succeed in knocking perennial favourites KOF’98 or 2002 off their thrones, but it was the first game in years that came close. It’s still among my top three favourite KOF games.

And after that they basically blew it.

I’m not sure if this decline is really attributable to one specific thing. I mean, they did continue to make some fine games during this period – KOF’98 Ultimate Match and KOF2002 Unlimited Match come to mind – but they also spent way too much time on novelty projects like the Maximum Impact series, (even developing an arcade version that no-one played) and projects that were destined to fail from the start (Samurai Spirits Sen, KOF Sky Stage, random DS shovelware like Doki Doki Majo Shinpan and Kimi no Yuusha). Not to mention their repeated efforts to re-release their entire back catalog over and over again, for no apparent reason.

However what appears to have been the nail in the coffin was the debacle of KOF XII and XIII. After their contract with Sammy was fulfilled by the release of Metal Slug 6, SNKP apparently decided that in spite of being a small company, they would make the leap to the high-def Taito Type-X2, and redraw all the sprites. This was met with great enthusiasm at the time, but what should have been obvious was that there was no way they could redraw all those characters (numbering over 40 by the time KOF XI was released) in high definition in a timely manner and yet keep the same level of shading and detail. When faced with the same decision, Capcom took Street Fighter into 3D, and Arc System Works made a game with the same anime-style shading they had used with GGXX, but with a vastly scaled back roster (compared to GGXX) of just twelve characters.

And yet SNK, in spite of being smaller than both of these other studios, chose to forge ahead with redrawing all their characters in high resolution with very detailed shading. Is it any surprise, then, that they found that they’d been working on it for two years and had nothing to show for it?

When KOF XII was finally revealed in 2009 (to a great deal of fanfare, I might add), the damage was very quickly visible. Tag system? Gone. Most of the roster? Cut. The remaining characters’ movelists? Gutted. What we got was a half-baked game with a boring system that got a tepid reception in Japanese/Asian arcades. To make matters worse barely a month later SNKP announced an arcade version of KOF2002UM which was basically the death knell for the already unpopular XII.

Because of this, when XIII was announced a year later the stakes were high. And at least initially it looked like SNKP was back on track – they’d come up with a reasonably interesting system (basically 2K2UM with a few new tricks) and there were actual crowds at the location tests trying out the game. The game was even announced to be at Tougeki as a ‘special ‘Category C’ game along with the as-yet unreleased latest iteration in the Melty Blood series.

And then the game came out, a month before Tougeki, and it became clear that they had rushed the game just to make the Tougeki deadline, as people started discovering that bugs that had been found (and even recorded!) during location testing were still in the game. One of the bugs basically ensured that no-one taking part in Tougeki would use Vice. On top of that Mature had a braindead easy infinite that consisted of doing one move again and again. The game was played in this clearly unpolished state at Tougeki, and about two months later SNKP issued a new version that fixed the more serious bugs, but left others in place while doing nothing to address the poor balance (K’ and Raiden basically rule the roost, and all top four teams at Tougeki had one or the other, if not both). Some arcades started holding ratio-based tournaments to alleviate this, and I kind of know from observing the high-level TF2 and L4D scenes that once your community decides it’s upon them to fix your game, you’re not doing a very good job.

You’ll notice that so far I’ve made no mention of ports, netcode or anything of the sort. Quite simply, this is because even in their absence it’s easy to see that SNKP made tons of mistakes after leaving the Atomiswave, and the quality of their console ports had nothing to do with it. Sure, American fans complained about the shoddy networking code in KOF XII (and later in KOF2002 Unlimited Match) but the game’s prospects over here were never rosy to begin with. Capcom was able to pull off the whole ‘retro revival’ thing only because it had the marketing dollars to back it up. SNKP had no such thing, nor did KOF have any brand recognition over here, so attempting the same sort of angle of appealing to neophytes was never going to work for them, good netcode or not.

So where does this leave SNK fans like me? Honestly, I don’t know. I can’t play any of the versions of KOF I actually like against anyone (‘98UM, 2002UM and XI, in case you were curious), and if KOF XIII’s port is dead in the water then chances are I’m never going to get to play that, either. Part of me wants to believe that ‘licensing’ means that SNKP will contract out KOF development to other studios the way Capcom contracted out Street Fighter IV and Tatsunoko vs Capcom, but it’s more likely to mean more pachislot machines and compilations of old games.

I posted the article I linked above on Facebook, my friend PS (a pretty good KOF player, unlike me) noted that in the absence of KOF, his only other two options were SFIV, that required learning several strict links in order to be competitive, and BlazBlue, which required learning long pressure and combo strings, several of which are character-specific, in order to be competitive, neither of which were particularly palatable to him. This news has made me realize how true that statement is – KOF stuck an almost perfect balance between ‘old-school SF-style simple inputs and the more recent Guilty Gear style frantic pace, and with it gone there’s nothing to fill the void. Maybe some enterprising doujin group will try someday, but until then we’re just going to have to move on to other things.

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Some thoughts about Assassin’s Creed II

I bought ACII during Amazon’s Thanksgiving sale (fashionably late as usual) and put some playtime into it this past weekend, so I thought I’d pen down some thoughts about what I think it does (and doesn’t) do better than the first game.

Missions

First off, the mission design in ACII just seems way better. It’s a bit more linear, to be sure, but ACI’s attempt at nonlinearity was only a thinly-disguised mechanism to pad out the game with more boring shit. There are a few optional missions as opposed to the ten billion there were in ACI, and the game is better for it, I think.

That said, I liked the open-ended approach ACI gave you to planning the actual assassination and escape, and this doesn’t seem to have carried over. I could be wrong – I’m only a few missions in – but so far the assassination missions haven’t really lived up to the previous game.

Another thing that’s sort of confusing is the whole stronghold management mini-game. I’m not sure what role it’s supposed to serve beyond getting you discounts at the store, but I guess I’ll find out once I actually start sinking some money into the thing.

Combat

I was hoping this would have changed more, but it didn’t really change enough for my liking. The combat is still pretty much ruled by counter killing, although it seems like you need to input the counter a bit earlier than you had to in ACI, and it seems to have fewer active frames, both of which are welcome changes. Tougher enemies also seem to start showing up earlier (I already ran into one enemy type whose attack is too fast for my counter).

So I’m still iffy on the combat. However, there are also far fewer times when you’re forced into combat (unlike the ‘save the townspeople’ missions from ACI) so on the whole I’d say combat has gotten less annoying.

Free-roaming

The free-running mechanics of ACI are still in place. However it seems to be harder to cause a commotion in this game than it was in ACI. Instead, you have a notoriety gauge that increases as you do tasks that make you, well, notorious (like assassinating people, causing a commotion in town or starting fights). Until the gauge is completely filled, running around on the streets below won’t cause guards to become aggressive (Rooftop guards are as aggressive as ever). This makes it easier to get around, but it also removes a lot of the challenge of moving around undetected at ground level that ACI presented. You can get away with a lot more in ACII before you get in trouble, and I think that’s a step down.

So overall so far I’m not quite sure if this is quite as big an improvement as I was promised. It’s not utterly boring me like ACI was, though, so I’m going to keep playing!

(And yes, I know I promised another Comparison Theatre entry – it’s coming)

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Comparison Theatre: The Witch and the Warrior

Confused by the title? Well, read on and all will become clear.

I’m a fan of 3D action games in general, and I’m currently working my way through two of them, which has inevitably led me to draw comparisons between the two of them. And as it turns out, one of them comes out on top of the other. Or rather, one of them completely curbstomps the other.

To start, let’s talk about Bayonetta.

That's one hell of a kick

I’d been looking forward to Hideki Kamiya’s first project after leaving Capcom, and Bayonetta absolutely doesn’t disappoint. It’s fast-paced and unforgiving, and the combat mechanics are great to play around with. The idea behind Witch Time is easy to understand at first glance, but actually putting it to good use is where the fun lies. Your attacks don’t put enemies into hitstun immediately (unlike most 3D hack-and-slash games), so weaving in dodges with your attack strings to activate Witch Time mid-combo is the key to keeping up a good offense. On top of this there’s the Dodge Offset mechanic that lets you attack immediately after dodging, which I’m still trying to figure out. On top of this, every level introduces something like three to four new enemy types and mixes them up to keep you on your toes.

My only complaint is the QTE sequences that seem to kick in at random intervals, often resulting in instant death if you fail them – an annoying blemish on an otherwise excellent game, especially considering that your end-of-level ranking is severely crippled if you have to use continues to complete the level. But otherwise, I’m really glad I bought this game, and I’m looking forward to playing a lot more of it.

That said, it vastly outshines the other 3D action game I’ve been playing alongside it – Metroid: Other M.

This is the root of most of the game's problems

The game starts out strong enough, with a decent level of difficulty, although the one thing you notice straight away is that there isn’t really much substance to the combat. It’s fast-paced, to be sure, but Samus auto-locks to anything in a wide cone in front of her, and dodging is pulled off reactively rather than proactively (you press a direction on the d-pad when there’s an active enemy attack on the screen), so there’s very little risk of mistiming your dodges. The first-person mode is a little disorienting at first, but it works ok for the few times you need to fire missiles at enemy weak points.

Unfortunately it’s all downhill from there. As you collect powerups and, um, ‘gain’ abilities, the combat doesn’t really get any harder, and once you get the charge beam and diffusion beam you might as well put down the controller and walk away. You can beat most of the enemy encounters by just running around in circles, charging a shot, turning in the enemy’s general direction and releasing the button. And once you figure out that you can instantly charge a shot while dodging…well, yeah.

On top of that the game forces you to use this ridiculous Wiimote-only control setup that makes you use the d-pad to dodge, one button to fire and one button to jump. Would it have been so bad to include a GameCube controller or Classic Controller setup? Hell, a proper controller would have probably forced the developers to come up with a more interesting combat system.

Honestly the only reaction this game elicits from me is ‘wow, did Team Ninja really make this game?’ I still remember how the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo kicked my ass, so seeing a game like this come from them makes me feel like I’m being trolled. I know that drawing comparisons to Super Metroid is silly since the two games are in different genres, but if there was a game that could have shown how to do a free-roaming 3D action game with the same veneer of non-linearity as Super Metroid, this could have been it. This should have been it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

(I’ve got one more ‘Comparison Theatre’ coming up soon…if you want a hint what the topic will be, here’s a hint: YOUはSHOCK!)

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I’m still terrible at BlazBlue

Notice how all my pressure strings are the same, lol

 

Oh hey a combo that does more than 3000 damage

 

PenPen gets his revenge, with epic music in the background

Will post more as and when I can get off my ass to actually capture this stuff (it’s pretty time-consuming).

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Dante Must Cry

I’m sure everyone who follows gaming news is familiar by now with this atrocity:

Ebony and Ivory have never looked so 'meh'

Yes, Capcom has thrown in the towel and has handed over the reins of its next Devil May Cry game to the English studio Ninja Theory, complete with crappy new Dante design and what looks like Dante being tortured in Abu Ghraib. I know, I know, it’s all about the game mechanics, right? Except that I have no confidence that Ninja Theory will be able to make a game that lives up to the DMC name; heck, even a game that’s as good as the somewhat iffy DMC4.

To see what Ninja Theory was capable of, I played the demo for Ninja Theory’s upcoming game Enslaved (due out in about a week, I think), and while the game looks and plays ok, it in no way compares to DMC’s fast-paced action. It feels more like God of War with its simple two-button combat and half-hearted platforming, to be honest, which will please a lot of God of War fans but annoy the hell out of DMC fans who are used to being able to move around quicker, and to much faster-paced combat. From what it looks like it even features regenerating health, which no quality action game has ever done.

Maybe Capcom just saw Bayonetta and decided that they couldn’t compete, lol.

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PAX 2010

Went to PAX with Perfect Stranger (friend from Singapore), so I figured I’d write a short piece about the stuff I played and saw.

And before you ask, no, I didn’t get to play Duke Nukem Forever. The queue was way too long and I wasn’t about to waste two hours in line to experience the revolutionary ability to pee by pressing R2.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Oh god, where to start.

I don’t know what version of the game was playable at PAX, but the physics were pretty fucked up. Sonic has a LOT of inertia before he starts going, and this also extends to trying to jump sideways from a standing position. I actually had trouble jumping onto a higher ledge to reach a spring. Also, rolling STILL doesn’t make you go faster down slopes. In fact, you slow down, which is about as far from ‘classic Sonic’ as you can possibly get.

PS also managed to break the physics in a bunch of ways, returning to a neutral animation after bouncing off a spring by pressing the down button, and managing stand still on an incline. Way to go, guys!

On top of that the general prepoderance of doodads that force you to speed up or bounce in certain directions hasn’t changed at all, so overall I’m going to be giving this a miss.

Sonic Colors

This was a lot more fun, however! It’s basically Sonic Unleashed’s daytime levels with slightly modified physics (Sonic feels a bit less slippery) and the addition of Wisp power-ups. Given that it’s been eons since power up items have made an appearance in any Sonic game, their inclusion has me very much interested. I also noticed a bunch of alternate routes and secret items that you could get if you found the right paths. Bottom line? I’m probably going to be picking this up.

Guild Wars 2

I hung out at the booth a bit since PS was interested in the game, but the game does look rather nice. The developers demoed a boss fight with a giant flaming dragon monster – giant as in a few hundred times the players’ size. Looked great, and apparently it’ll be possible to jump into PvP immediately with a level 20 character. I usually avoid MMOs, but PS insists that I should give this one a go, so I suppose we’ll see, won’t we?

Marvel vs Capcom 3

I gave this game a go and had the misfortune of being paired up against someone who obviously knew what he was doing, and lost all three characters to Dr Doom lockdown. That said it felt pretty fast and responsive, and even though I kept trying to air dash as Ryu I may pick this up once it’s released.

Epic Mickey

I gave this a shot since I was curious about what sort of game it was. Turns out it’s a sort of open-world platformer with mechanics revolving around spraying paint and thinner on the surroundings. It seemed pretty cool from what I was seeing, but the camera needed a bit of work, with some jumps being hard to gauge correctly.

And then my play experience was cut short when the game crashed during my play session! Wee.

Fallout: New Vegas

I gave this a shot randomly – Fallout 3 didn’t really impress me, but I had heard Obsidian was changing some things for this spinoff. One thing I noticed straight away was the presence of factions in the game, with your actions either improving or worsening your standing with each of these factions. This seems like a much better way to handle choice/consequence than Fallout 3’s karma meter (which is still in the game for some reason). I did want to try out the new Hardcore mode they had talked about, but it wasn’t on display as far as I could tell.

Random notes

  • PS won tickets to an exclusive ArenaNet party, and then won an EVGA Geforce GTX 470 in a Guild Wars 2 raffle, the lucky bastard
  • Everyone and their mom was using Modern Warfare 2 to demo their hardware, even the PC hardware manufacturers
  • Everyone and their mom also seemed to be hosting Super Street Fighter IV tournaments
  • I bought a Marvel vs Capcom branded Madcatz TE stick for $100 and a Gyakuten Saiban art book for $40 at Capcom’s booth
  • Brink is looking kind of cool, but the queue was long
  • Portal 2’s queue was long throughout the day – there was no way I was going to spend half the day waiting there, as much as I want to marry that game and have its babies
  • PS and I took part in a Team Fortress 2 match to try and qualify for an Alienware raffle to win a Killer NIC card. The map was cp_steel, and with PS as my pocket Medic I managed to lead a bunch of successful pushes until the enemy team basically spammed us out of point E. Didn’t really help that we had two Medics and only one Soldier on a team of nine, either…
  • I went to the ArenaNet party with PS but after I found myself trying to beat my high score in Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu in a corner I figured it would be best if I left early.

And to end on a colorful note, have some pics (mouseover for alt text):

The queue right outside the exhibition hall right before it opened

Sonic the Failhog 4

ArenaNet's opulent Guild Wars 2 booth 

I'M GONNA TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE~

Torchlight II! Looked pretty good, but the booth was pretty crowded so I didn't linger.

Happy fun co-op robot time

TF2 cosplayers in the lobby!

Scout's Mom and the RARE ENDANGERED SPYCRAB

Until next year!

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A worthy cause

It’s time for a random post about the games I’ve been playing!

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An unboxing symphony in three parts

001

003

 004

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