All About Adamfast
Like all good gamers my age (that's those hovering around the dirty 3 and 0 number) I played a lot of war games before computers took over my life. Plastic figures, molded tanks that shot little red plastics discs which always got lost, board games and using pure imagination to pretend to be a soldier in WW2 fighting those dastardly Nazi's.
And like so many I graduated into playing war games on the pc and consoles in every form possible - strategies to fps's. However, since last year I'm supposed to hate playing these games and only embrace modern conflict or freaky alien stuff like Halo or Stalker. Don't get me wrong, both of those franchises and Call of Duty 4 are excellent games and very enjoyable - but they don't give me even half the storytelling power and emotional connection that WW2 does. That war REALLY happened and the people that you play (and shoot) were real. Alright, maybe soldiers didn't single-handedly take down the Nazi war machine like CoD or MoH would like us to believe but nothing in videogames gets us closer to our past than these experiences.
For the past few weeks I've been playing games that most journalists would be turning their noses up at - Call of Duty 3 and Brothers in Arms - Road to Hill 30 & Earned in Blood. Call of Duty 3 is especially considered the weakest link in that series, a fact which had me puzzled as I played through the most coherent campaign I've seen a WW2 shooter have. Too long have the Canadians and Polish been left out of the conflict and to see them in this game was an unexpected treat, so much so that I have to admit that out of the three WW2 CoD games, number 3 is my favourite.
Brothers in Arms is also excellent and shows how conflict can be realistically depicted and yet still be a good videogame. So why then should I turn my back on this genre simply because it's not fashionable any more? The plain answer is that there's no reason whatsoever. This was a war in which our grandfathers fought in, to free the world of tyranny and dictatorship.
Game developers haven't even scratched the surface of the most important conflict the world has seen, and there is no way I want them to stop making them. Roll on Hell's Highway and may it open the door for more great World War 2 games.
Make no doubt, Portal is one of the best games this year so far but I've got to come out in Episode 2's defense. Nearly every review and podcast I've seen or heard tells me that ep 2 is the weakest game in the Orange box. They probably mean the weakest new game but its still a great disservice to what I think is the better game out of the three.
Yes, Portal has innovation and TF2 delivers on a 10 year wait, but no other game delivers on an emotional and story-driven level than Ep2 did for me. Portal made me laugh and TF2 makes me smile but Ep2 does both and much more. At the end, at the very end when the big battle is over the game goes up another level and makes you shed a tear or at least for the hard-bitten heartless gamers out there - makes you think about shedding tears.
I can't say much more than that without giving it all away but for me Half life 2:Episode 2 did something most games can't even get close to doing - it made me feel that I was actually there and that there was no Gordon Freeman, only me and what was taking place around me.
Portal 2? I can wait. Episode 3 - i need it now!
Ok I admit it - I like Baseball. A Brit who likes baseball isn't going to get much sympathy in this country, a bit like saying George Bush is perfectly sane and a credit to the human race. (For the record I believe he's exactly the opposite). But anyway, I like the most over-complicated game to have a bat and a ball and I'd love to play it on my PC or my 360.
The last time a baseball game was released on the pc was over 3 years ago, so I thought I'd get 2K's MLB 2K7 for the 360... To no surprise it wasn't available in this country. Well that's not a problem in this new age of wonder - a quick look on ebay got me my copy. 2 days later it came and with fervent excitement loaded it into the 360.
Now obviously I should have seen this coming, but up pops the region-protection message and informs me in curt manner that I can't play this game. So after throwing a thousand curses in Cantonese and Anglo-Saxon I'm still angry and look into region-encoding on the 360 only to find that some titles - some progressive, liberal titles are region-free. But what about baseball games? Oh no, can't have those Mr. Adamfast, you have to have a US Xbox to play them.
So fine Microsoft, not only did you shift a broken console but you placed restrictions on it so that the one baseball fan in the uk can't play the game he wants to. Well, if I needed a reason to buy a PS3 then I've got one now. Heavenly Sword and MLB The Show here I come... small matter of £400 be damned.
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