Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mama, I'm comin' home

With only two evenings to fill before Skyrim comes out I was content to have nothing sitting on the desktop queue next to my 360. This was before another disastrous evening of Street Fighting, so I ended up spending money on  to get a game to keep me from playing that. Sounds backwards, but still a better option than not playing anything. Of the two remaining titles that needed to be transformed from demos into actual achievement generating games I chose Renegade Ops. It is difficult to go wrong with a twin stick shooter, especially when it features some RPG-lite leveling and looks as good as Renegade Ops does. I happily drove around and blew things up for the rest of the evening and looking forward to finishing it up this evening. Twin stick shooters are the equivalent of comfort food to me: always appealing, even when I need to overlook flaws of all severities to enjoy them.

We all have genres that we fall back on when nothing else is fun and one that we can take just a little of before throwing our hands up in frustration. I can play about one racing game a quarter and it matters not if it is realistic (Forza) or arcade (Dirt), but I have an irrational aversion to any Need for Speed games. I never play them and I am not entirely sure why, because I know that they are (usually) pretty good. First person shooters are played almost reflexively, but stealth games are more easily avoided, especially when stealth is the only option. Watching me play Metal Gear must be a trip, as Snake might as well be replaced with Commando era Schwarzenegger. I went through a digital board game kick when XBLA first took off, playing far much more Uno online then is healthy. I quit when someone accused me of cheating.

At uno. Online.

Twin stick shooters are a little different. I play them because I am always looking for a successor to Shadowgrounds (which really isn't fair, because Shadowgrounds was not a true twin stick shooter, it was mouse and keyboard). I have never found its equal among modern games, though a few have come close. Geometry Wars was a sense of endless pride and frustration as the top score on my friends list changed hands. Zombie Apocalypse (the first one, not the terrible sequel) introduced some much needed environmental interaction to things. Feeding zombies into a giant snow thrower never got old. So far Renegade Ops is pretty far up there. It combines the score multiplier ADHD of Zombie Apocalypse and Geometry Wars with the larger environments of Shadowgrounds. The vehicles can be a bit squirrely at high speed and I don't like time limits on side missions, but these are small complaints.

I should complain about the price, but it was bought and paid for before I realized it was a bit high.


Two days. I have not been this excited for a game in a long time. Here's hoping it lives up to hype, and that I can make good on my threat to turn it into an ongoing narrative.

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