Brick Smash!

Borderlands I got Borderlands when it came out, obviously. I preordered the sucker. I got it for the PC. I also got Torchlight on day one because they decided to release it via Steam as well. Since I trust Steam a little more than their website, that's where I bought it for 20 bucks. Money very well spent. Loving it. I bought an XBox 360. Walmart had a great deal on Saturday. Buy an XBox 360 Arcade, get a $100 giftcard. I got it for 100 bucks basically. I invested $90 on a 60 GB harddrive kit that came with a harddrive, 3 months of Live free, headset, and network cable. Free shipping from newegg. I'd have to pay tax at walmart or shipping from walmart.com so I decided against buying it there. I bought Too Human for 20 bucks at Gamestop. Money well spent so far. It's different but fun. More on that later. More on 360 later as well. Borderlands needs to be talked about.

Borderlands mixes first person shooter with RPG, leaning towards shooter part more so. Lots and lots of guns. I've told you all of this before. The graphics style is perfect for the mood of the game. It also sets it apart from other games. You can pick from four classes and each has three categories of skills, and you'll only be able to master 2 of the three categories in one playthrough. This adds a ton of replay value. So far, I've played three of the four classes and beat the main story once with one character.

Let's talk guns. This game has millions of them. There are a few categories of weapons, like shotgun, rocket launcher, pistol, combat rifle, smg, and a few more. Any gun can have a scope. Accuracy, damage, elemental damage, etc are various attributes each gun has. My point is, if you love collecting loot, you'll feel right at home. There's also grenade mods, which changes the type of grenade and damage. Also one shield. This modifies your shield points, health regeneration, and elemental resistance. The one part of the game that I don't like too much is you need to pick up ammo. Sometimes you run out of ammo, and it's a little frusterating. Sometimes you find a gun that regenerates ammo, or the Soldier class has a skill that does it. But it does create some strategy and makes you examine and make a decision on which gun you want to keep: the one with a bigger clip or the one that does more damage? Good times though.

Like I said four classes. You have Brick, who likes punching things, and shooting rocket launchers. Mordecai, who likes his sniper rifles. Lilith, who is the only one with magic type abilities. She likes guerrilla warfare basically. Sneak in and attack, sneak out. Then you have Roland, which is a good starter character. He likes combat rifles and shotguns. He has skill sets that make him a good medic in coop. So far I've beaten the story with Brick, and three other friends. I'm working on my Roland with one of my friends, and Lilit as a single player character. I have not played as Mordecai yet, but he's next.

Coop is where this game really shines. The classes compliment each other very well. You'll have a blast if you get at least one friend to buy this game with you. Or you could play split screen on the consoles. However, this makes single player a little hollow. Two of any of these characters could compliment each other very well, but get them by themselves, you feel like your character is missing something. It's still fun to play, but coop is where it's at. The game feels empty in single player. The first chapter has 3 human NPCs that you get quests friends and that's all. They don't attack. You encouter little robot ClapTraps but they don't do anything except dance and yell "Hey everybody. Look at me! I'm dancing! I'm dancing!" A later town has few more residents, but the world still feels empty and has a habbit of making you feel like you are the only person on this planet. In coop this feeling disappears.

The story is also a little shallow. But when you are having this much fun in a game, the story doesn't matter so much. It gives you a reason why you are on the planet Pandora, and it motivates you with dangling a mystery to solve in front of you. However, the ending is anticlimatic and left more questions then answers, which is not good for a game, espcially when the questions don't even hint at a sequel. Gearbox is creating DLC for the game so we'll see where that takes the story, but like I said, the game is very very fun that the story takes a backseat anyways. There is a little variety in quests, but it's basically "Go here, kill/collect this." The boss battles have a difficulty to them for sure, and might require a little strategy then the average enemy, but they just feel like jacked up enemies, which isn't a bad thing. There are a few different classes of enemies. You have your wildlife which consists of various zergling like and bat like creatures. You have your bandits which are human characters who melee and shoot guns/throw knives. There's giant alien bugs which can be consist of slugs and arachnid type creatures. And then there's the Crimson Lance which is basically enemies that carry guns and have similar abilities as the Soldier class. The final class is the Guardians which is a high tech alien race that a pain to kill with a rocket launcher. They like floating and flying. There's sub classes for each enemy which keeps the enemies varied.

All together, Borderlands is a package that is very fun to play with friends. Worth the money I spent. I suggest you buy it. It defintely has replay value. I still want to make another Brick character and put points into a different skills and play him differently. The other characters are the same way. Plus there's another level of difficulty after you beat the story once. You replay through the story again basically, but everything is a higher level and you have a better chance to find alien weapons (I can't remember what they are called). If you don't want to take my word for it or I suck at reviewing the game, Gamespot's review is very good. I agree with all of their points.

My next post will hopefully be on Torchlight. Haven't beaten it yet so I'm holding off but so far my recomendation is if you like games like Diablo series, Fate, Titan's Quest, then you should pick up this game. 20 bucks and it's all that. I need a whole post to talk about it though. For some reason my homepage got mixed up but now it's fixed. That' stuff was old. I'm working on an overhall of the website, but don't expect it soon. Yeah. Bye.

"010011110100110101000111"
Translation: "OMG"
- Description of Eridian Cannon from Borderlands

Stealing The Spotlight

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves I need to do an update this month. October is too good of a month to skip on updating. I picked up both Uncharted 2 and Brutal Legend. I finished Uncharted 2 in four days, and it isn't a short game. I am about half way through Brutal Legend. I took a break to watch some episodes of Chuck. Great show. Highly recommended. I also watched Law Abiding Citezen which was alright. Wasn't great. Worth a rent if you take my recomendations. Dead By Sunrise's album Out of Ashes was released. It's really good. It had to grow on me, but that's because the first couple of playthroughs the lyrics didn't hit me. The lyrics are awesome as is Chester's voice. Not what I was expecting, but it is defintely good. Also, Relient K released their new album. It is also great. I'm just quickly touching base on some of these things. The main point of this post is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. I'll let you know what I think of Brutal Legend another time.

Uncharted 2 is getting praise everywhere. The lowest score it has received is an 8/10, and it has an average score of 9.6/10 and has a lot of 10/10 and 5/5 and A+'s. Fantastic. At least according to GameRankings. I knew people were making a fuss over this game for a reason. That's why about two months ago I picked up the first game for $35. Money well spent I must say. I loved the first one. The second one blew my mind!

Uncharted 2 follows the adventures of Nathan Drake. It's been two years after the first game. You don't necessarily need to play the first one to understand the second one, but I just highly suggest, at the very least, renting the first one for a playthrough so you get some good jokes a little more backstory. Seems an old friend of Nathan's has been hired for a job and has asked Nathan for his help. Harry Flynn is Nathan's friend and he has brought his girlfriend Chloe Frazer. It turns out Marco Polo has a mystery to solve. He left with 600 ships and returned with only 1. They need to find out what happened to the other ships and crewmen.

Of course it's actiony. You are bleeding and the train car Nathan is in is falling off a cliff. That's the first level. It gets better from there. Uncharted 2 has lots of cover based shooting, platforming, puzzel solving, and hand to hand combat, all rolled up in a summer blockbuster action adventure movie. It does a fantastic job of replicating that experience. The best part is that it seamlessly intgrates all those elements into a fun experience that is not shallow. I fought a long gun fight for about a half an hour, and then I spent another half an hour figuring out a puzzel without any shooting and I was not bored. Then I was welcomed with more shooting and it was all seamless. I was never bored and wishing to be doing something else.

It's hard for me to rate a games graphics. After playing Crysis, everything else doesn't look as good. However, Uncharted 2's graphics are noticably great. Some of the best I've seen. Walking through snow and seeing it move around you and leaving tracks is a nice touch. The environments are very varied. There are snow levels, tropical levels, cities, villages, caves, ice caves, ruins, trains, etc. All with a unique style so your eyes were never bored. The sounds are also great. The guns felt like they had some power to them. The dialogue is some of the best I have heard. It brings Drake's personality and every character's to life. The music felt perfect in every scenario presented to you. The score was definetly thought out, and considering it was done by LucasFilms, I'm not surprised.

Naughty Dog set out to create an experience that didn't weigh heavily on cutscenes, but when they needed to use them they didn't want to feel like it was a pause in the action. They succeded. The story is told through gameplay, but when a cutscene is played, it doesn't feel like the action stopped. I never felt like I could save and quit after a cutscene. Sometimes I did save and quit, but it was forced for sure.

I watched the interviews with Naughty Dog that you can unlock in the game and they state what they went out to achieve. I have to say that they achieved every single goal that that they set out to do, and more. If you own a PS3, buy the Uncharted games. I almost didn't.

"I'm sweating like a hooker in church!"
-- Victor Sullivan, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves