Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nope, still don't like it

Really not a lot to say about Alien Breed 3. Is it exactly like the first two, only with some so-so water effects and this time everyone dies in the end. They scratch a very specific itch, on that almost led me to purchase the new zombie dual stick shooter on PSN: Dead Nation. More on that in a bit. The price is right and they are good for a one or two night stand. Anything past that and you would need more weapons, items, and some sort of character advancement to hold your interest. At that point you might as well play Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance or Torchlight, so Alien Breed is better off being nothing more than it is: you move, you shoot things, they die. On a few occasions it does wander off into different territory, including a very unfortunate over the shoulder section which obscured by aim so much I just shot everything regardless of how much it was or was not moving, but that was over quickly enough to be forgiven.

After Alien Breed it was finally time to give a little time to the elephant in the room, a game that was delayed so many times that I was reluctant to believe it actually existed until I saw a physical disc: Gran Turismo 5. I played the 'demo' almost a year ago, savaging it in a rather nasty review I wrote for a now defunct site. The words 'shiny and hollow' were tossed around. Everything looked so clean that it was sterile and boring with nothing about the way the game worked or played having changed from previous entries. Months and months later, the actual game has come out, and everything is still the same. Gran Turismo really is a 'driving simulator,' not a game, and I do not mean than as a positive. I took a few license tests, went through a few races, failed terribly at NASCAR school, was mildly amused by the open wheel go karts that topped out at almost 100 MPH, but I never had any fun playing it. Once I made a little money I was paralyzed by how many cars there were to choose from. There were simply too many options: do I buy a new car and if so what make? Do I start working on the current car? Do I start playing B spec, the choose your own adventure of racing games?

I probably just don't love cars enough to enjoy Gran Turismo, and when I do want to race I want it to be fast and fun, not laboriously slow. I am sure that it would get there eventually, but I have no confidence that I would actually be able to control the cars at that point. Before shutting it off I gave the Zonda supercar a shot in arcade mode and spent more time in the grass than on the track. It was a pretty good allegory for the whole experience, having spent more time updating my PS3 and installing files than actually playing the damn game. It wouldn't even uninstall without a fight, sitting there at the deleting screen for almost five minutes before giving me my system back. It was then that I wandered into the Playstation Network store and almost bought Dead Nation. I am not really sure why I didn't; perhaps I was questioning the whole owning both major systems thing, as this was the first time I had turned the thing on for months and it was another disappointment. Just as I began to doubt its worth the bluray copy of Blade Runner waved to me from across the room. It's a good thing the system only does everything, I might settle for one that does everything else otherwise.

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