Yay 2012: Thumbs Up!

The myriad forms that excellence took in 2012:

How is it already 2013?

How is it already 2013?

Borderlands 2 – My pick for game of the year. While maybe not the most technically daring or graphically beautiful, it’s the game I had the most fun playing this year. Handsome Jack may be a Hall of Fame villain. I sure hope Butt Stallion is ok.

LA Noire – Yeah it’s old, but I just got around to playing it this year during the Summer Gaming Drought of ’12. This game indirectly contributed to my subsequent non-playing of Sleeping Dogs.

Black Ops 2 Multiplayer – the Pick 10 system was a welcome change to multiplayer this year, allowing for greater class flexibility.  Also nice: Prestige’ing doesn’t reset all of your progress!

Portal 2 – (see LA Noire)

The Walking Dead – both the game from Telltale Games game & AMC’s third season. TTG did a masterful job with it’s Walking Dead game; cannot wait for season 2, whenever that’s slated to hit.  Every chapter had at least one holy shit moment (and I’m only on chapter 3!). Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead was surprisingly strong as well, as I’d all but given up on the series after the Sophia/Farm heavy second season.  When in the HELL does Rick get his trusty hatchet?

The Avengers – best superhero movie of the year. Spider-what? Dark Who? I want to see a buddy movie with Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner & RD Jr’s Tony Stark. But only if it has at least once scene where the Hulk throws a bear

Hulk_vs_Bear

Marvel NOW –  I stll have no idea what the deal is with Marvel Now. A reboot? A renumbering? A sales trick? What I DO know is that Marvel’s ratcheted up its game (possibly due to the New 52) and is churning out very, very strong series especially Thor God of Thunder, Indestructible Hulk, The Avengers, Uncanny Avengers & All New X-Men.  Leading me to…

Hawkeye – comic of the year? Perhaps. Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth’s take on the character make him a compelling everyman that bounces between outwitting Marvel’s arch criminals to defending his NYC apartment building from a horde of Russian bros. Doesn’t sound like your bag? Trust me, it is. Check it out.

Ski Safari – I have a bad habit of bying mobile games, playing them for a day or so and then moving on. So far, Ski Safari has not only kept my attention but actively looking forward to the commute to/from work so I can play it. I hate skiing but I love doing monster backflips on a yeti. If you feel the same, pick it up.

Rawrs Shirts – the first & third best thing I bought at New York Comic Con this year. Cool designs on shirts that fit great.

Comic Con 2012’s poster orgy – The second & fourth best things I bought were from Mondo. Plus a totally sweet Thanos/War of the Gems poster from Capcom. Plus this:

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Saturday Night in Atlantic City – bachelor party shenanigans & a solid 6 hour of poker.

Finally getting rid of my shit iPhone4 – you suck bro and I’m glad you’re gone.  

Very Near Mint & Double Barrel – Not going to lie: I’m not an indie comics guy.  I’m just not. But I took a chance on VNM at NYCC ’12 and on Double Barrel on the advice of the CEO of comiXology and I’m glad I did.  I actually went back to NYCC to pick up additional copies of VNM.  Both are worth at least taking a look at.  And since the first few issues of DB are like $.99 on comiXology, definitely worth the expense. Just buy them already.

Max Payne -a great surprise. This was more of an impulse purchase, as I’d never played the first two. But Rockstar’s been on such a roll lately, I thought it would definitely be worth it  The single player was great, standouts being the first level and any of the levels running around in the Brazillian favelas. What really shocked me though was the multiplayer. If there’s one thing that’s already bothered me about Rockstar games, it’s that their multiplayer efforts seem kind of tacked on and frankly not very good. I didn’t get that from MP3 at all; the level designs were top notch, the game modes were all interesting spins on established multiplayer staples, the weapons seemed balanced, and the customization’s were pretty fun (I love dress up, shut up).

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Modern Borefare Game Club: Sleeping Dogs (reviewed by Sleeping Writers)

finish this game or I'll kill you!!!

Impervious Rex

OK! Let’s get down to business. Inaugural Modern Borefare game club presents: Sleeping Dogs

Vicious Pjurahead, What was your initial reaction to the game?

Vicious Pjurahead

I was surprised how into it I was right from the start.  Up until your post here on Modern Borefare I never paid much attention to it.  So many games come out and this one got lost in the shuffle of the more popular titles. My first sitting I must have played 4.5 hours.  I kept wanting to see what direction it was going in and how it differentiated itself from other sandbox games. The amount of sidequests available just in the first hour made me giddy..  I love when a game surprises me the way this one did.

IR

Really? Because I didn’t find it to be that surprising at all.  At least not initially.  Maybe I’m not as far as you.I’ve probably played 6 hours total so far. But when you’re talking about all those side quests…man, those get me stressed out.  For some reason i assume there’s a “right” order to do them in and it bums me out if I get it wrong.  But I guess there really is no wrong in a sandbox.

VPH

I think I was just so surprised because I knew absolutely nothing about the game. Didn’t stop me from beating the game this afternoon. Bloody as hell

IR

That’s fair.  I knew enough about the game that I knew I wanted to buy it and play it. The various reviews definitely helped sway me as well.You beat it already?  Ok, now we have to go off track a bit and discuss this: did you enjoy it? Or did you just speed through the end so you could move on to another game?

VPH

It feels like you’ve already played most games before they come out.  This game wasn’t the case. No not at all, I didn’t speed though; I have no other games lined up.  Just really got into the story and its really fast paced.

IR

Did you do all of the side quests? Get all of the collectables? Are you going to go back through the game again?

VPH

I found that the side quests were just really intriguing, all so different and quirky including everyone’s favorite, COCK FIGHTING!!! The only side quest path I completely finished was the karaoke. Did you do karaoke yet?

IR

I think I hate the karoke, but that may have to do with the fact that I hate karoke in real life.

(What kind of mischief do we get to after the jump? Only one way to find out!)

Continue reading

Modern Borefare: What We’re Currently Playing

Impervious Rex:  Console-wise, I just got promoted from Homicide to Vice in L.A. Noire; I hope I’m almost done with the game as Sleeping Dogs is giving me the stink eye.  L.A. Noire probably cemented Rockstar as my favorite game developer; look at the murderer’s row of games they’ve dropped in the past few years: Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3. All interesting takes on established genres, all completely compelling (until they aren’t). On my phone, I’m currently cementing myself as the #1 player in the world (for real) at Fairway Solitaire. Check the leaderboards! On my iPad, I’ve gone back to Infinity Blade II, though I’m a tad ashamed to say that I’ve also stared playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Then on Facebook I’ve been completely consumed with Avengers Alliance, which is basically Farmville for comic book degenerates.

thegreekdog: In my spare time, of which there is little, apart from reading, I’ve been playing two games. On my X-Box, I’ve been playing MLB 2K12 while on the elliptical machine (it is both a talent and a curse – I can play video games on the elliptical, but I can’t work out on the elliptical without playing video games). I’ve decided to play the career version of MLB2K12 which involves creating a player and taking him through the minor leagues with various goal. Nick Siamidis had quite a year last season, hitting .330 with 3 homers and 40+ RBIs in two months with the Reading Phillies. He also played a slick third base. Siamidis was invited to spring training in his second season, but after hitting below the Mendoza-line during spring training he was sent back to the AA affiliate (Reading). Mashing the ball at Reading, Siamidis was recently called up to AAA Scranton Iron Pigs. Siamidis is hitting almost .400 with a homer and 20 RBIs in less than a month, so he’s looking for a call up to the big club soon. The game is good to an extent. I’m a little frustrated that I’m hitting .400 with a 79 rating (the current Phillies third baseman is a 72) because I haven’t met the goal of hitting 6 homers or having 6 sacrifice bunts. Anyway…

I’m also playing Star Wars Empire at War which is a mix of grand strategy and RTS. I’m not sure what I can say about this game other than if you like Star Wars and have a passing interest in strategy games, this one is for you.

vicious pjurahead: Hey, ViciousPJurahead here, there & everywhere. I’m playing Max Payne 3 and based on the trophies and the way story is progressing I think  I’m in the final 3rd of the game. I have also just downloaded Ticket to Ride for iOS which I play at night before bed when I get lonely. Following Max Payne 3 I will move onto the seedy underbelly known as Sleeping Dogs.

adam: What am I playing right now? I’m at the beach where it’s been raining for two days straight so I’m playing a drinking game at 10:30 in the morning. When I return to civilization I’ll continue plodding through Crysis 2, which is much better than it’s given credit for. I do a lot of iOS gaming. Dead Space on the iPhone is totally serviceable and Autumn Dynasty for iPad is insanely good (if a little simplistic). That machine was built for RTS. Please port Age of Empires to the iPad, leave some food outside my door and GO AWAY.

Grand Theft Auto 5 – Two New Screenshots

Could you image if Rockstar was able to ship two of their flagship titles this year?

GTA V will take precedent over just about every other release this year, with possibly the exception of Borderlands 2. It will DEFINITELY take precedent over my job. And most likely the gym. And sleep.

Damn.

(via Kotaku)

I F’N KNEW IT a.k.a Proof I’m Not (completely) Crazy

Max Payne 3 ‘Cheater Pool’ is live

While spending some serious time this weekend emptying twin automatic 9mms into punks from Hoboken to Sao Paulo, it struck me that there some insanely frustrating details about Max Payne 3’s multiplayer. For instance:

Situation: I’m going to shoot an enemy, press fire; whoops, guess I’ll just lay down instead. Result: Get shot & die.

Situation: Spot a group of enemies below me, perfect time to throw a grenade! Pull out grenade and instead of throwing it, I’ll just hold on to it.  Result: Get shot & die.

Situation: See an enemy on the other side of a chain link fence, empty two automatic weapons at him. Result:  My guns are ineffective against chain link, yet somehow increase the damage of my enemies gun. Get shot & die.

Situation: Melee an enemy. Enemy does not die. Result: Get melee’d & die.

Situation: Spawn in front of the same enemy repeatedly. Result: Variable: take one step then get shot & die or stand still, get shot & die.

Beyond your run of the mill multiplayer nonsense though, there was a special brand of bullshittery happening and now I’m convinced at least one of my opponents was hacking. How? Well, you’re telling me I can’t kill a guy even though I get the drop on him & hose him down with bullets? That he can shoot through a building to kill me? That I keep spawning in front of him?  This was all in the same game, against the same guy. Aggravating on one hand, controller-throwing blind rage on the other.

But now news today from Rockstar Games, that a playlist has gone live where cheaters can nowonly play with other scum-sucking cheating bastards and can leave us honest grinders alone. I’m beyond glad to see that Rockstar is getting out in front of this issue, unlike Activision with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & CoD: MW2. Towards the end of CoD4’s lifecycle people were flying. Flying.

Anyway, if you’re on PS3 and want some in Max Payne 3, my screen name is Savage6000. (Yes, my Rockstar Social Club handle is different.  Clearly I have identity issues.)

Max Payne 3 stats

Late to the Party But Now That I’m Here, I’m Angry

Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July and I have the day off.  Even better, my office closes at 2pm today AND my fiancé is otherwise indisposed until 8 or 9pm.  A perfect time to buy some beers, download Penny Arcade’s On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 which I’ve been waiting roughly four years to play, and just relax.

Home now, the first beers been cracked, I fire up my (fat)PS3 and open up the PSN where I discover…NO OTRSPOD FOR THE PS3.

Really?  Really? It’s slated to come to the MAC of all places?! (ed.note: This is being written on a Mac, so…) But not the PS3?  This is madness.  Madness.

Killing the series when it was halfway over wasn’t bad enough, but Penny Arcade and Zeboyd are screwing over a percentage of their fan base? I don’t get in. I know that the 360 get’s all of the Bethesda and Rockstar DLC first due to have a wider install base.  I get it, I’m not mad.  It’s the console choice I made.  But for a $5 retro game that’s the third in a series, all of sudden now  is when you get picky about supporting platforms? I just don’t get it.

The only consolation I have now is my Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.  Which I will drink at a luxurious place was absolutely wrecking people in Max Payne 3 multi-player. Penny Arcade doesn’t want my money? Fine, Rockstar can have it.

 

Currently Playing: Max Payne 3

I don’t care about Max Payne.  Let me back up; before this third installation, I didn’t care about Max Payne.  Now, having just spent 12 hours firing 21 thousand bullets into over 2100 of New Jersey & Sao Paulo’s worst all I can say is that I can’t wait to do it again.

While not as open & sprawling as Grant Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar turns out just as compelling a story with Max. There is definitely portions they could have trimmed towards the end, but Rockstar is generally criticized for the third acts of their franchise series losing the narrative thread a bit.  Honestly, that might just be the only complaint I have about the game.  Visually? Stunning.  Musically? Buying (that’s right, with money) the soundtrack. Story? Gripping. I was invested in Max’s spiral towards destruction & eventual redemption from the opening minutes, which you have to give Rockstar credit for.  Enabling someone new to an entire mythology to pick up the third part of a trilogy and becoming immediately invested in the characters is no small feat.

The biggest surprise, however, was the multiplayer.  I never been a fan of any of Rockstar’s previous multiplayer efforts in either GTA IV or RDR.  They were just too sprawling, the game modes too difficult to figure out, the ability for a new player to pick up and play almost nonexistent.  Additionally, I’ve just never cared for third person multiplayer; even Uncharted’s couldn’t hold my interest for more than a few casual games.  The multiplayer in Max Payne 3 is so good that I can barely stand not playing it now. “So what’s the big difference?” you’re (not) saying to yourself. Brass tacks? Simply, it’s fun and cool. Somehow, and I can’t put my finger on it, Rockstar has been able to freshen up what has become an increasingly stale bolt-on feature to games while making it arguable a better time than the single player campaign.

If you’re not playing this game, shame on you.  Go get it.  I’m a member of the Polygon crew; request an invite and join up!  Or just add me on the PSN; screen name is Savage6000.