Posts tagged XBox 360

You know what doesn’t suck? Borderlands!


Everyone that has read just a few entries here knows I play a lot of games (points over to his ‘gamercard’).  Most of the time you can find me logged into EVE Online or Champions Online. Those MMO’s have a tendency of sucking away most of my free time but I do spend quite a bit of time on my Xbox 360.  Recently I have played Batman: Arkham Asylum and Halo 3: ODST.  Both were interesting and well designed but have not held my interest very well.  Halo was great in Co-Op mode and Batman, even though it is very faithful to the Batman mythos and is one of the best DC superhero games ever (that isn’t saying much, though), just did not hold my interest.  Kicking the heads of bad guys in over and over just to get to the next boss battle has become blase.  The Bat-gadgets are neat but they just seem to be more of ‘this’ and extra hit points, nothing to really strive for.

Recently on my Raptr feed ( I had seen a number of people playing a game called Borderlands.  The only real exposure I had in regards to this game was an e-mail sent from my buddy Damon.  Damon and I worked together years ago and one of the few joys we had at that job was designing items for the Elvis Presley license.  Much of what came from my office was the need for more of the iconic “Taking Care of Business” items ‘The King’ had and wore.  Damon designed a number of items that incorporated the logo, many of which I sill have in my possession.  One of the 4 main playable characters in Borderlands wears a “TCB” belt buckle, so Damon sent me the promotional graphics that showed it.  That piqued my interest because anything that referenced “TCB” was already cool in my book.
The TCB Logo for those that are not in the ‘know’:
Originally I placed the game in my Gamefly queue with the hopes of a speedy arrival (a hope that is hit ‘n miss at best).  During my wait I continued to see people playing it time and time again on my XBL feed and Raptr.  People that I knew I shared the same taste in video games with.  So when I dropped by the store to pick-up a copy of Windows 7 and pre-order Lego Rock Band, I grabbed a copy of Borderlands.
Borderlands has been called a First Person Shooter Role Playing Game and while it has a number of RPG elements (leveling, skill allotment, semi-persistent world, missions/quests, etc.) I prefer the description of “Shoot ‘n Loot”.  Because you are basically running around, shooting stuff and hoping they drop the good stuff.  Though with this description one would think that game play would become tired and bland quickly, but for some reason it becomes addictive and just plain fun.
Why is Borberlands ‘fun’?  I think I can boil it down to three things:
Setting – The planet Pandora is just the right mix of Mad MaxFallout and Firefly.  We have spots of civilization but it’s mostly shanty towns with moderately advanced tech in weapons and commerce.  When walking (and later driving) across vast areas of waste and sheet metal, you can tell that you and your weapon define the law in the area.  9 times out of 10, if it’s moving… you want to shoot it.
Character Class/Skill Tree – Much like another favorite game of mine Diablo (and Diablo II), as you advance in level you have a skill tree to allot points within.  So you may be playing a Hunter, Brick, Soldier or Assassin, but you can tailor that character to your specific play style.  As I continue to play I am noticing that my original class choice, Brick, does not match my play style, which is pointing to Soldier.  I guess a restart/re-roll is in the near future.
OHHH SHINY! – The game is chocked full of really neat stuff that either shoots things or blows them up!  Each time I see a weapon drop from a mob or creature (yeah, birds drop huge rifles and pistols a la The Bard’s Tale) I want to run up and see how and in what way this new toy kills stuff!  One time last Friday, I spent nearly 20 minutes just comparing the different sniper rifles I had and which one to use.  Between reload rate, DPS, magazine size and damage type (some weapons shoot lightening, fire and/or acid) there are over 10,000 weapon combinations!  When you add that to your possible advantages from the skill tree, you will have millions of ways to meet people and kill them.
I have not had this kind of enjoyment in an ‘RPG’ since Fallout 3 and not this much fun since playing Battlefield 2142.  This game is a complete hoot, and I haven’t even tried any of the Co-Op or PvP elements as of yet!  For an excellent mix of the RPG and FPS genres, I cannot recommend Borderlands nearly enough.
This game truly does not suck!
Now I’m just afraid I will not be done in time for Dragon Age: Origins. :)

Is it any better now that its a PC Game with ‘good’ graphics?


Many many many moons ago, when I had a lot more time, and a lot less money… I used to play a table top game. I know that is a complete shock to many of you! This game was Blood Bowl from the minds of Games Workshop. Blood Bowl was basically really really violent (American) Football. I loved playing it over and over again, and in the 90′s there was a PC version ‘released’, and that is about all I would say about it. I think I played it once… maybe twice, and back then it was a chunk of change to drop for a PC Game.

Well this month we will see the return of Blood Bowl to the PC (and to the Xbox and DS later in the fall). Yes, I have pre-ordered the digital download… and all projections look good. But so did all the previews for Episode I and we know how THAT turned out!

Oh, for those that care… I will be playing Chaos. :)

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