BSG2.5 and TDU

Ahh, acronyms…

Yesterday saw the release of the second half of season two of Battlestar Galactica, which has to be the most absurd way to release a season of a television show. Many who know me know that I think Battlestar Galactica (the new series) is possibly the best television show done by man, and the second half of season two does not disappoint.

While I was there at Best Buy, I decided to pick up Test Drive Unlimited for the 360. The demos really do not do this game justice, as many of my friends have claimed. It’s a total blast to be able to have free-for-all access to the entire collection of Hawaii roadways presented by this game. This is like a guy’s Pokemon in a sense, where the “gotta catch em all” phrase can be applied to the many vehicles the game lets you buy and race.

The free roaming nature of the game is the one thing Project Gotham Racing 3 lacks. For all of PGR3’s incredible visuals and sim-ish racing dynamics, you’re unable to just take a car out for a spin on the streets of the different locations. Here you can conceivably drive around for hours and hours (like in real life I suppose), taking in the nice visuals of the island and its assorted locales. I’ll have to put up a review of this one in the Games section after I spend some more time with it.

Gaming Weather

Well it’s defintely been a case of the weather dicatating what I did on a weekend. The cold, wet weather we’ve been suffering through for the last week kept me indoors, but at least it gave me an excuse for finally finishing the main quest in Oblivion. I could almost hear my 360 sigh with relief as it finally blooped that I’d got the Hero of Cyrodiil achievement. Now, to do the guild quests, and venture forth to all areas I breezed past in order to complete the main quest.

I’ve scarcely booted up EVE these days for much other than skill training, I just simply haven’t had the time to put towards a serious session with it. Work’s been busy, and when I do get home I’m more likely to plop down on the couch than in front of the PC.

I’ve been enjoying cooking more and more these days. It’s strangely relaxing, and rewarding, not to mention damn tasty (when you get things right). I’ve been slowly amassing a collection of recipes that I’ve been using thanks to sites like FoodTV and such. I can’t begin to say what an amazing resource that site is for guys thinking of getting into proper cooking techniques and making real food (not KD or ramen).

It’s also a great way to impress the women. 🙂

Two more demos this week

So two demos came out on the Xbox Live Marketplace. One for Just Cause, and another for Test Drive Unlimited.

Just Cause is kind of an amalgam of Grand Theft Auto, Mercenaries, and that awesome sequel to Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. It seems to me that the developers paid a ton of attention to making a graphics engine that could handle massively large scale environments, but forgot about one little detail. What was it again?… oh yes, compelling gameplay.

There’s some interesting concepts there, but I can see the full game having a ton of missions to do, all of them variations on a few generic themes.

Test Drive Unlimited will herald itself as probably the 25th racing game for the Xbox 360, but it’s got some interesting twists. Namely, you drive around in your cars, around a closely detailed recreation of the islands of Hawaii. The catch: other players are driving around with you, and you can either cruise the streets, do single player races, or challenge people at random.

The game engine’s neat, but the driving dynamics are fairly clunky. It’s not trying to be a sim, and at least the controls are better than the E3 demo, but spend five minutes with any game on Xbox Live and you’ll see why having a persistent environment with all other players is a bad idea.

I drove around in the demo area, spent a few minutes driving down the wrong way of the main highway getting in everone’s way, just to see how easy it would be. Turns out it’s very easy to be annoying to people just driving around. Better hope the official races with people are instanced, otherwise roadblocking will be a common disruptive tactics by non-racers.

Still, these are just demos, so maybe they’ll nail both of these when they go to retail. But for me the demos have done their job, and I’m confident I won’t be buying them.

Chromehounds review up

So I’ve posted my impressions of Chromehounds, finally. This game is like crack, and I have to tell you I’ve barely played anything else lately. I say it in my impressions and I’ll say it here: this is a mech pilot’s wet dream come true. Should have named it Crackhounds.

Also finally passed 2000 points on my Live gamerscore. Took me a while, but then again I don’t play for points. Still, kind of neat.