Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Random Ramblings, or Overuse of Alliteration

It's only a week into the season, and I'm already very happy with my decision to pick up the NHL Center Ice package. I've watched hours of hockey, and the new rules in the NHL are making things really exciting. There's more scoring, less slowdowns, and no ties (although instead of a shootout, I'd prefer they play a second overtime with the goalies strip to their underwear -- who's man enough to stop this puck?).

I'd be playing hockey on my X-Box as well, but both of this year's offerings are buggy messes. EA's NHL 2006 is full of gameplay problems, most of them revolving around being able to score at will if you know the "trick" -- even on the hardest difficulty level. NHL2k6 (now with 100% less ESPN license) has the gameplay down solid, other than the occasional bizarre penalty; last time I played, the other team iced the puck, and when my player touched it, I got called for Delay of Game. Unfortunately, 2k6's menu system has a TON of bugs, like the time I got stuck in the Edit Lines screen because I didn't have enough players dressed. But when I tried to dress a player, it said I had too many dressed. Oops, where's that reset button again?

Hillary and I have been watching Firefly, and it really is as great as people have been saying. I didn't think I'd be able to stomach a "space western" after being a fan of Deep Space Nine and the new Battlestar Galactica, but it works well. There's still the rare cheesy Buffy-esque Joss Whedon Awkward Moment(tm), but overall the show is engaging and fun to watch. So obviously, Fox had to cancel it before the first season was over (which is only slightly less retarded than cancelling Wonderfalls after four episodes).

We've also been playing several new games...

We Love Katamari is a worthy successor to the original Katamari Damacy game, which is the best game ever released for the Playstation 2. I finished gathering all of the royal cousins over the weekend, and I'm now on the gigantic "Roll Up 1,000,000 Roses" stage. I calculated how long it would take by how long it took to get to 5,000 roses, and it was something like a week of continuous playing. I've heard that a lot of people have completed the level by putting rubber bands on their analog sticks, so I may have to go that route.

We finished X-Men Legends over the weekend as well, and it really is a great game. It's rare that I'm inspired to play through the same game twice in a row, but we've been excited about playing through again on Hard difficulty with the new unlocked characters. Iron Man with maxed out Motion Amplifier is a monster (200 damage per melee hit, and he hits twice as fast as anyone else) -- add maxed out Ice Gloves from Iceman, and he starts doing 800+ per hit. The only thing I didn't like was the imbalance between different characters -- sorry, but Iceman should NOT be doing more melee damage than Rogue or Wolverine, let alone ten times as much. Also, there are a couple of icky bugs toward the end of the game, which make me think that the developers ran out of time and had to just ship what they had. There's even a game-stopping bug in the last act that can only be circumvented with one specific character using a certain power (Storm's Whirlwind); if you don't know the trick, you're screwed.

There's a ton of good games coming out later this month, too: Civilization IV, Soulcalibur 3, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland... Good times for a gaming geek like me.


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