Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Something unexpected!

When going out for something to eat last night, I was surprised to see one of those yellow AA roadsigns that points to an event. Where we live is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, 30 miles from any large population centres in all directions. There are a couple of small towns, but mostly it is villages. Which is why we literally never see anything of interest, let alone something of interest to people like me.

So, you can only imagine how surprised I was to see a sign saying "Videogame Nation Exhibition at Woodhorn" telling me to take the next exit to the left. From where I sat, all that was to the left was a bunch of fields! I vaguely recalled there was some kind of museum somewhere nearby, but had never known what it actually was. I was intrigued, and immediately hit the internet. Sadly, being in a sparsely populated part of the country means that mobile phone reception is patchy at best. So, it wasn't until I got home later that I was truly able to find out what it was.

It was this! Which, whilst admittedly not the most awesome looking thing of all-time, is still pretty cool. My question is HOW IN THE HELL did I not know about it before now? It has been open for 2 months, during which time I have been sat at home most of the days wishing for something to do.

It looks fun, and is open for another 7 months or so. Which means that I will definitely be going to it at some point. I may see if I can find someone to go with, but I'm the kind that is happy to just go on my own to something like that. Expect a report when it happens.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My current obsession!

Grinding, chasing ever phatter lewt, killing the same old enemies over and over again only with new toys. I admit it, I never tire of it. Removing physical prowess and dexterity from the equation almost totally, and replacing it with the correct selection of skills and abilities? Yeah, I'll take me some of that. Even better if I can co-op it. And even betterer if said co-op can take place on my sofa alongside my loved one.

This is what Borderlands is all about. Whilst it may look like an FPS, it is really just Diablo. Enemies attack, enemies get shot, enemies drop stuff. Pick up the stuff, and equip it or sell it to buy better stuff. Then, use this new stuff to kill tougher enemies. Lather, rinse, repeat.

At first, I was impressed with the visuals. Blue skies, pink hair, and basically not your usual boring brown and bloom.


Then, it was the humour that got me, with my class of choice going apeshit every time I hit his action skill. If running towards a midget psycho and punching his head off whilst shouting "RRRAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH, MOOOOOOOOOORRRRRREEEE BLLLLOOOOOOODDDDDDD!" doesn't tickle your funny bone, then you probably won't find too much to like in this one. But I happen to love the peurile and over-the-top nature, the pure craziness that is taking place on my screen is right up my alley.

Factor in a dynamic difficulty that makes things tougher when playing with friends, and a corresponding reward system that allows for better items to drop at the same time, and you have virtual crack to someone like me. It also helps that instead of being another dull Space Marine scenario, it is played out against a highly stylised backdrop. Characters look like they are taken straight from the pages of a sci-fi comic, instead of being the basic testosterone-heavy rent-a-designs found in most other first-person games. NPCs dish out quests with their tongues firmly in their cheeks, bosses are introduced in cut-scenes with knowing winks, seriousness is pushed aside in favour of silly at every turn.

The story itself is basic stuff, but that's not why you play this sort of game. You play for the way it lets you zone out the problems of the day. Shotguns that fire rockets, machine guns that set fire to their targets, and even sniper rifles with explosive side-effects await the adventurer who wishes to dispense instant karma with them.

To date, I have easily put over 60 hours in, and this is without coming close to finishing. There are 4 expansions available, and I am pretty sure I will be buying them all when I complete the quest. But I am in no hurry to do that, because so far it is too much of a blast. AND, I get to New Game + upon completion! This makes me a happy bunny indeed.

I can not recommend this game highly enough. It may be old, but this works in its favour as it is now available for a lot cheaper.

Buy Borderlands from Amazon

Stepping out of the menu ...

Every journey needs a first step. Sometimes, though, this first step takes too long. Ever find yourself really wanting to play, but unfortunately the game forces you to endure some mind-numbing tutorial? Ever realise you hate it? You're not alone. That is how I find introductory posts in blogs such as this one as well.

So, in order to make this as painless as possible, I shall attempt to make it short and sweet. This is post #1, of hopefully many, and the beginning of a long friendship. My aim is to entertain, to educate, and even at times infuriate. Love is better than hate, but hate is preferable to indifference. If you disagree with me, say so. You're allowed to, it's only the internet! For my part, I'll keep giving you stuff to read even if you do just want to complain at me every single day.

Can we do this? I'll try my best. You'll get my thoughts on all sorts of things, but mostly whatever game I happen to be playing or wanting to talk about at that time.

I appreciate your time.