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Friday, November 5, 2010

Big Purchase, Slim Console

It's been a big week in terms of gaming. I haven't spent quite as much playing as I would have liked. Partly due to the game I've been playing and partly due to the nasty cold that I've been fighting off. It's not much fun playing a mediocre game in between coughing fits! You now what is fun regardless of my current state of health? Buying a new Xbox 360 Slim!

That's right! I finally pulled the trigger on a completely frivolous purchase of a new Xbox 360 Slim (250 GB). I was getting frustrated by the deafening roar of my current 360. I also hated the fact that I could not install more than one game on my Xbox 360 hard drive (currently 20 GB). I wanted a machine that could compete with my PS3 in terms of overall enjoyment. And while I hate the fact that all DLC on the Xbox 360 costs roughly 15% more than it does on the PS3, I'll admit that I'm much more into earning achievements than I am trophies.

Besides coughing myself into a disgusting frenzy and buying unnecessary consumer electronics, I've been kicking and punching my way through Hellboy: The Science of Evil. What can I say about this game? I don't mind the voice acting. Graphics are very mediocre which is pretty typical of a 3rd person beat 'em up game. Sound effects are unremarkable. Most importantly, Hellboy really fails where it counts by offering boring, repetitive, and generally un-fun gameplay.

There are only six episodes in the game. But the environments, combat and puzzles are so stale, tedious, and lifeless that it feels longer than your favourite J-RPG. Each level plays out the same way: Hellboy walks until he encounters a mystical wall and then beats up all enemies to dissipate the wall and move on. Imagine Devil May Cry without style or fun. This pattern repeats itself around 10-20 times an episode until there is a somewhat interesting boss fight to wrap things up.

Combat is pretty mindless. Hit the X button until everything is dead. If hitting enemies doesn't work, try shooting them. If shooting doesn't work, try picking up something in the environment to use as a weapon. And when all else fails, scoot on over to GameFAQs and find out what the f*ck the developers are expecting you to figure out in their boring excuse for a game.

I paid $8 for Hellboy: The Science of Evil. The best part of this game will be the feeling I get from putting the game away for good. I'm not sure if that amount of joy is worth $8 but it's pretty close. I'm hoping to be done with Hellboy this weekend.

Besides Hellboy, I've been dabbling in Borderlands on my 360. It's an awesome game - plain and simple. I can't think of a single game that's come out in the past 5 years that comes close to delivering as great a gaming experience as Borderlands. Even awesome games like Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption become a little tedious after 30 hours of play. I've probably played well over 50 hours of Borderlands and I can't get enough.

In my latest Borderlands playthrough, I've been forced to start again from scratch. My PS3 Mordecai build has been put to rest in favour of my future Borderlands exploits on the 360. I'm currently sporting a Level 13 Lilith. I've also contemplated trying to finish the game as Brick or Roland. As much as I'd like to give Mordecai another try, I think a little variety in my Borderlands playing style might keep things more fresh and interesting.

This weekend will be spent finishing Hellboy, playing a little Borderlands, and possibly starting in on Killzone 2 Spider-Man: Web of Shadows(Killzone 2 pushed back because I'm in a 360 mood!).

Have a great weekend!