Posts Tagged ‘Undead Nightmare’

BG’s Top 5 Games of 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I’d have to say that 2010 was a hell of a year. I’m almost sorry to see it end with all of the fun we had this past year but I can honestly say 2011 is already shaping up to be another great year.

We’re already lining up our 2011 Gamettes and the contest for our 2010 Gamette of the Year is still in full swing and will be running until January 16th so don’t let the thought of some new geeky hotness distract from the lovely ladies who are already on the site.

Don’t think we forgot about our Top Five of 2010 list, either. We know some of you probably wish we would but tough noogies,  you get one!

So without further ado or fanfare, here’s our top 5 game picks for 2010 in no particular order:

That's five assassins. That's ten "ass-es" and five "ins".

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: This one comes could almost be our top pick for 2010 with its damn near perfect mixture of story, action, and multiplayer goodness. There’s very little wrong with this game but some of what is wrong can bring the fun to a screeching halt.

Following the exploits of Ezio Auditore, ACB brings some of the best single player action we’ve seen all year. As an Assassin in 16th century Italy, Ezio is a solid badass with an arsenal of moves and weapons at his disposal that serve to decimate opponents while you hack, slash, and stab your way to revenge. The missions can be a bit frustrating but fortunately, there’s a very forgiving checkpoint and autosave system that will help ease the pain of the more treacherous tasks Ezio has in store for him.

The multiplayer *can* be a blast. Short, furious matches where patience is rewarded more favorably than the quick and dirty kill. Points are based on the quality of the kills you make so you might get 3 primo kills and beat out the guy with 12 kills. As you level up your multiplayer character, you get access to more equipment and perks which can change the way you play in multiplayer.

The downside of the multiplayer is the wait times. There seems to be something hinky about the way Ubisoft’s matchmaking works and you may end up waiting 20 minutes for a 10 minute match which can seriously eat into your session time in what would otherwise be an excellent time saver. In the end, the weird match setups can be forgiven as this game is very Busy Gamer friendly. If you have 30 minutes to play, you can get a substantial amount of enjoyment from this title.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: The BG Reckon Crew has expressed their undying (pun intended) love for the western shoot ‘em up that is Red Dead Redemption. While there have been several DLC updates for the game, Undead Nightmare made it a whole new game. There’s a very real feeling of desperation when you begin as ammo is much more scarce in this DLC than in the main game and the storyline actually picks up during an earlier point in the main game, meaning that if you’ve already beat the game, you’re going to be seeing all those familiar old places in a whole new light.

New weapons and outfits are just the capper on this DLC. Undead Nightmare also adds some new multiplayer but where the game shines is the new single player missions. As in the original, missions can be time consuming and you’re definitely going to want to see what happens next so busy gamers should approach the DLC with that in mind. And just like in the main game, once you’ve beaten the main story, you can continue to play well after the final credits roll. Whether it’s hunting sasquatch (seriously) or just gunning down zombies, there’s plenty to do once you’ve finished the storyline.

We play primarily for the sheer amount of headbands in Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Amid all the turmoil that’s been going on with Activision and Infinity Ward, the Call of Duty franchise has managed to launch another winner in the series with Developer Treyarch back at the helm this year. Along with revamping the popular Nazi Zombies mode, Black Ops manages to land another one-two punch with a fantastic story and incredible gameplay. Not only did the single player campaign manage to keep me on the edge of my seat, the multiplayer modes available do not fail to satisfy.

Unlike the Modern Warfare entries of the franchise, the single player story felt considerably longer. This isn’t a bad thing as I’ve felt the stories being told in the previous entries was almost too short to enjoy but it’s something to keep in mind when trying to get in some quick gameplay. The scenarios have a tendency to grab your attention so the real danger isn’t that you can’t get in quick games but that you won’t want to turn it off once you get going.

New multiplayer maps, weapons, and gears have added an entirely new facet to the frenzy that has become CoD’s multiplayer sessions. Games are quick to come up though if you’re trying to find one specific type of map or game type, you may find yourself waiting a little longer. Try not to get too caught up in the Nazi Zombies multiplayer. You may find yourself missing hours from your life.

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty: Twelve years in the making meant a lot of expectations for this sequel. We all know, however, that sequels just happens to be one of the things Blizzard does well. Thus, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Wings of Liberty landed and not only surpassed our expectations but ended up being a hit with people who hadn’t even played the original.

As with most of Blizzard’s products, WoL hit the markets with some phenomenal music, voice work, and gameplay. A solid sequel to the story told in the original and the add ons, Wings of Liberty managed to captivate our attention all over again.

With two more expansions in the works (Wings of Liberty covered only the Human campaign, the Protoss and Zerg campaigns are yet to be released), the Starcraft franchise is officially back in business. While the single player campaign could be a little time consuming, the multiplayer is still the same frantic pace as the original and can make for some quick, sometimes frustrating, matches for those who are gaming on a schedule.

Time will tell if the two add ons will generate as much interest but it’s a good bet that Blizzard has yet another hit on its hands.

This screen shot will mean absolutely nothing to you unless you play the game...

Game Dev Story: Yeah, I’m throwing an app up here on my top five. That’s why it’s my top five and not yours. Available for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android, Game Dev Story is one of those games that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.

The scenario is this; you’re a new game company creating (what else?) games for the various devices on the imaginary market. While many of the “consoles” you create games for bear some resemblance to real life devices, you are able to create your own console and program for it. You choose from categories that set the tone for your game (Robot Fighting or Animal RPG Sim anyone?) and then go to market with it.

It’s a clever little game that can be played at length or with just a few minutes a day and you won’t regret any of the time invested… unless you do something like forget to walk the dog or feed the kids or something. The greatest part of this game is that it is portable and easy to click a few times and then sit back to see what happens. In all honesty, this has been one of the few games that I’ve felt compelled to buy from the very get go and the first time I played it, I realized a few hours of my life had disappeared as I tried to tweak my programming team and figure out which games were the money makers.

I imagine this game will see some improvements as time goes on but as it stands now, it’s a great game if you want something a bit more portable to entertain you during your down time.

There it is, folks, our top five picks for 2010. If you haven’t had the chance to play them yet, we highly recommend them all. Before you run off to pick them up though, go vote for our Gamette of the Year because every time you don’t vote, I kill a kitten.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Three treats, few tricks for a BG Halloween

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

This past week, I was unfortunate enough to come down with a case of bronchitis. This meant no Halloween outings for me but fortunately, I managed to find the means to entertain myself. One DLC release, one new game release, and one new series managed to keep my attention throughout the weekend and helped make the coughing and wheezing a little more tolerable… With a few notable exceptions.

I don't think they want candy...

DLC Release – Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare:

I mentioned this one a few days ago with my list of 5 games I was trying to avoid. The upside of getting sick was that I had a lot of free time on my hands last week and so the DLC for my favorite cowboy simulator was up first on the list.

Treats – New weapons and new single player missions have us back in the saddle again as John Marston. John’s on his way back to the farm when the weather gets weird and the varmints start acting a tad strange. The intro is just the right amount of spooky and tacky, letting us know there’s going to be some scares and giggles on this particular ride.

The plot of the DLC shouldn’t come as any surprise when it mentions “Undead” right there in the title. There are zombies, you’re a badass gunslinger, you can figure out what happens. As you blast your way through the zombies, you’ll find out some deliciously ghoulish stories as John re-visits some of the towns and peoples he came across in his original adventures. And you may just get a twisted kick out of how the storyline progresses. There’s a whole new world to love and explore if you have the time and the inclination, of which, I had both. new Multi-player goodness round out this offering.

Tricks - Some of the new challenges are evil… as in really hard. If you don’t care about the challenges, you’re going to be missing out on one of the two new outfits as well as some special weapons and so on. Those of you who have finished the main storyline may not like where this one leads. Also, we have zombies but no new mini-games?  It seems to me that there were several opportunities missed with this bit of DLC. I mean, c’mon, give us some “Running of the Zombies” or something. Overall, it was a great play but if you’re determined to do every mission and every challenge, you may want to set some time aside where no one will miss you for a couple of days.

New Game Release – Fable III:

I forgot all about this when putting my list together and I should be ashamed for that. I’ve been looking forward to this title since I put the sequel to rest… which would be the day before this title launched. Its predecessor was able to draw me back in on the odd occasion and I was happy to see the feel and play of the series was maintained with this latest installation.

Pretty much as awesome as it looks...

Treats – The story of Albion and its people has been a fascinating ride and the latest story sticks with that tradition. For those who have enjoyed the previous titles, this one is a “don’t miss”. The game begins with the next generation of the Hero line as the player is immersed in the role of the second story Hero’s offspring. 50 years have passed since the events in Fable II and we see what has become of the kingdom since the Hero fought off the last challenge to Albion’s well being. As has become usual with the series, there’s a lot of running about, a lot of great humor, a “moral standing” system influenced by your choices and actions, and a really good story to be told. There’s a villain here that is truly creepy and may have you turning the lights on when you’re playing along. You’ll have access to better weapons in this iteration and the magic school has been changed up to be somewhat more Busy Gamer friendly. But all of that isn’t necessarily a good thing…

Tricks – By my calculations, you could conceivably play through the storyline in roughly 2-3 hours. That’s if you decide just to stay on the main path, not power up your character, forego the minigames, etc. That isn’t entirely bad and overall the ease of finding a multiplayer session and the time investment required may make this one of the Busy Gamer friendliest hack’n’slashers out there. The downside is I didn’t feel nearly as emotionally invested in the characters as in the previous titles. If you’re not careful, the end of the game can actually sneak up on you even given a sort of “doomsday clock” towards the end. And good or evil going into the final story, it’s your bit of actions that determine where you stand in the moral landscape, even if you destroyed entire villages along the way.

That isn’t to say there’s not a lot to do here when the story is said and done. There’s a remarkable amount of things to do once the main plot is complete and many will find themselves looking to team up with friends to eke out as much as they can from this title.

New Television Series – The Walking Dead:

I really have a hard time believing this is the first attempt at a television series based on a zombie apocalypse setting and it’s also hard to believe AMC is the channel to break that ground. It had to be done sooner or later and there are a lot of things to like, and dislike, about the new series.

Treats – Zombies! The lesser respected, much more (in my opinion) scary, and considerably less sparkly minions of the undead world. They finally get some TV love with this series based on the monthly comic series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore way back in 2003. The storyline is on a “so far, so good” line in regards to sticking to its canon which has been in print for all these years. Having been a fan of the comic, it’s actually good to see the story on the screen match those of the pages.

Like this... but on TV. Awesome.

Tricks – The series was never shy about doing away with main characters. This has the effect of keeping a monthly comic new and inspired but for a weekly series, may be too much for the everyday viewer. There are sure to be complaints of, “well, I stopped watching the series after so-and-so died” which is sure to happen as viewers pick favorites. Of course, those of us who read the series are likely to know who lives and who dies based on the story we see unfold before us which may make it a struggle for the writers of the show to continue referring to the comics if they wish to surprise viewers. Part of the charm of the comics, however, is the knowledge that someone you’ve enjoyed seeing for several issues may bite the big one and come back as a zombie in the very next panel. I’m hoping the show stays true to the canon rather than trying to embark on some ratings scheme that makes the show resemble the comics in name only.

As an aside, if you haven’t read the comics, I highly recommend them as well as the two games mentioned above. If you want your Halloween to continue on till Thanksgiving, you’ve got some great choices with the material above.

Gritskrieg – End of Line










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