Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As a purchaser and player of all the "Battlefield" titles from the PC days on up to the next gen consoles, I have to admit, I got burned out on the World War II gaming genre.
Then came "Battlefield: Bad Company," a game set presumably in modern day that includes big guns, comedic content, and the ability to blow apart just about anything your heart desires -- such as walls, trees, you name it. This game plays like a dream, has no blaring technical problems, surrounds a decent storyline, and is, well...fun as hell.
The story mode is pretty easy to play on "normal" but still has its challenging moments filled with plenty of bad guys to kill, mortars to dodge, and heavy artillery to blow up before advancing to the next chapter or mission. You can drive, fly, or boat (is that even a verb?) about in a number of vehicles as well. The helicopter, unlike other games, is actually not too hard to fly once you get the hang of it, either.
For more hardcore first person shooter fans like myself, you can go back and play through the game on "hard" for an even greater challenge. Some sections get tedious because of their difficulty, but going through a second time allows you to gather all of the collectables (which are in the form of a couple dozen different weapons), and of course the all important gold bars that the game bases its story around.
Expect to use a walkthrough in order to find all of these prizes, though, as they aren't easy to stumble across. In fact, expect to have to use more than one walkthrough and maybe a user created map of locations in order to find the little buggers at times.
Not usually a fan of online play myself, I have to say, "Bad Company's" multiplayer content sucked me right in and kept me playing for over 100 quick matches. There are plenty of additional achievements you can earn along with patches and other trophies for which you don't earn any gamer points but nonetheless are fun to see pop up on your screen during a match.
I got more than the $39 I plunked down for this on Ebay in terms of gaming hours and enjoyment, and rank it one of the top three games I've played in recent months. I give "Battlefield: Bad Company" four and a half blown up tanks out of five.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I have to admit I wasn't too excited about the new shows this fall season but here's one to watch: "True Blood" on HBO.
Yes, HBO has been churning out hit after hit, and with "The Wire" over, I had given up almost entirely on them, but this modern day vampire tale starring Ana Pacquin is a good watch. TiVo or DVR it and see for yourself. This isn't your father's well-worn vampire tale.
Speaking of HBO, "Generation Kill" from the writers of "The Wire," which follows a company of Recon Marines during the Iraq invasion is another excellent 6 program series. There's plenty of great dialogue, action, and character study that we've grown to love from this writer/producer pair.
Seen from the prospective of the grunts on the ground and an imbedded journalist, this "warts and all" view of the war is telling, informative, and moving -- sometimes even hard to watch.
Fans of HBO's "Entourage" who felt that maybe they strayed too far from the winning formula of season one in their sophomore year will be glad to see that season 3 is back on track. With this triad of hits, HBO is still a good alternative to the blah broadcast TV networks this fall.
I give "True Blood" 3 fangs out of four but expect that number to increase as the season plays out, and the miniseries "Generation Kill" gets five spent shell casings out of five. Entourage as a series gets 4 stars, but the direction this season is taking could add a half point to that summation.