Thursday, January 8, 2009

How I Wasted Wednesday

I wasted it with DEFENSE GRID! I beat Defense Grid! It was hard at the end. I had to actually think and plan and strategize, which is good, but I kinda like it when I don't have to do those things. I don't think I'm big on difficulty curves, or at least not traditional ones. Lots of people complain about easy final acts but not me! I love them. Frontload the difficulty, I say. Or have it spike occasionally throughout the game. But at the end? Just let me win. I wanna get it over with. I want to see the ending!

(Defense Grid had no ending. Maybe I have to earn all golds and beat all the challenge modes to get one. I'm hoping it's a happy one. The game is narrated by a pretty miserable gay British AI who keeps having 'Nam flashbacks. I was hoping he'd pull it together at the end, maybe have his consciousness transferred into a new human body. Maybe have his dead baby come back to life, wearing high-heeled shoes and a low-neck sweater. Zzzzap. It's not a big deal since I tend to tune out during all video game cutscenes but I grew kinda attached to my little gay robot buddy. I hope he's OK!)

I'm late to this tower defense genre. I tried the flash versions but none of them grabbed me. I think I've tried it a few times in WC3 but was just confused. I've played just about all the major console and handheld releases from the last year, though. They all seemed OK enough but none of them really grabbed me, except Ninjatown, which surprised me. Ninjas are tired, round cutesy art is tired, jokes are tired, but I really dug it. Defense Grid is far superior, though. I can't tell you why! I don't understand these things! But maybe it's the pacing. Most TD games I've played kinda drag. They alternate between boredom and panic. (Maybe I should take back what I said about difficulty spikes - spikes are good as long as they don't come after long boring easy bits!) Defense Grid lets you fast forward. All fast! No twiddling thumbs! Action! Action! Action! Even though I'm mainly just watching these little towers blow up aliens I feel like I'm in control because I'm holding down a button to make it go fast, and if I don't want it to go fast I let go of the button. I pull the strings! It's nice.

I also played some of the Quake Live beta. I guess I'm under NDA? But no one's reading this, and I don't think it's a crime to say it's just Quake 3 in a web browser. Which is really fancy and impressive, and Quake 3 is great. But I just suck at it, and I can't blame it on dialup nowadays. Though I did keep checking the scoreboard to see if the higher ranking players had a lower ping than me. I bet they were using aimbots.

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