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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-08-17 06:27:40
PC Case Modding
This is the coolest/stupidest PC case mod I've ever come across.
I'm into Day 9 of "My Xbox 360 is Borked" saga, and I have yet to even receive the box in which I'm supposed to ship it to Microsoft for repairs. I'm mildly irritated now, but I'll be positively irate on Tuesday, when BioShock releases. I was looking forward to it with middling enthusiasm, confident that it would be a quality title. Then a friend of mine in the industry who had a chance to play through it told me the following outrageous statement: "It's the greatest FPS of all time."
Now, this is a fellow not known for hyperbole. We share similar tastes and I generally trust his judgment. He went on to expound that BioShock is objectively better than both Half-Life titles. My eyes lit up. But I won't get to play it for weeks. I'm going to have to dodge my friends with 360s, like I have to avoid sports news when I record NFL games while I'm at church. I'd actually go out and simply buy another Xbox 360, if only the new, cooler 65nm chipset version was available now, just to play BioShock. Fie on thee, Microsoft!
[Edit: An astute reader emailed me pointing out that I should simply purchase the PC version. (Astute and lightning quick; I haven't even finished writing this post!)]
It's come to my attention that several of you actually read my game reviews, and even use them to guide your purchases. To those elite few: congratulations on having the good taste and keen intellect to find my video game assessments superior to all other critical analysis. I seem to have cultivated the trust of an erudite Xbox 360 user base.
Unfortunately, with mine busted, all I have to offer today is a review of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. Even worse, it's not even backward compatible on the 360, but it's the only game I've played this week.
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for the original Xbox is the first Oddworld game I've played. I intend to rectify this when I finally get around to catching up on all the solid PlayStation titles I've missed out on, but I can see why this game universe has its ardent fans.
It was reminiscent of cranking up my Nintendo 64 to play Conker's Bad Fur Day. Stranger's Wrath isn't nearly as over the top, but it still presents that odd dichotomy of a cartoonish setting with adult sensibilities. Oddworld is populated with goofy anthropomorphic chickens and the like, while you play a tough-as-nails and willing-to-kill bounty hunter.
You can switch between third and first person views at will. This might be the make or break point in Stranger's Wrath for many players. Typically, this dual mode is annoying in most games, but it works fairly well here. Third person is used for very light platforming, and you switch into first person mode for combat. Your single weapon is a crossbow, but it can fire a variety of amusing creatures, such as a mouthy "chippunk" that attracts enemies to it, to vicious little furballs that will latch on and continuously chew life from their targets. Combined with a decent story, and humorously appealing setting, Stranger's Wrath has tons of personality.
Ultimately, the gameplay isn't particularly special, but it does a fine job casually combining the FPS and platformer genres. You fight/platform your way to a bounty, take out his horde of minions, then tackle the boss while trying to bring him in alive for the highest possible reward. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath distinguishes itself with its distinct personality, which simply oozes from the game's story, characters and exemplary art direction, making the bland (but serviceable) wash, rinse and repeat gameplay enjoyable.
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Rank B
When the site relaunches, the review section will clearly explain what a game's "Rank" indicates. Until then, "Rank B" indicates a solid game that would make for an excellent rental.
David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2007-08-17 11:26:38
I don't know what Vader's so worked up about. All Biggs did was jazz Vader's armor up a bit, gave it some personality. I'm sure as a representative of his Emperor, Vader would agree that a more personable look would go very far indeed in cementing trust in the gov'ment.
Anyway, I am currently holding onto my BioShock pre-order receipt, somewhat sad that I missed out on the Toys R Us selling copies of the game early (damn), but still glad I have a guaranteed copy... and the fact that the game looks Effing AWESOME on a REGULAR teevee makes me happy.