Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween this weekend, not something I usually get overly worked up about. Much to Alex's disappointment I don't put much effort into my costume either. Something I've not done again this year. However, I am really looking forward to the party on Saturday night, even if I can't drink cos of the tablets I'm on.

However, this year I'm more hyped about it then usual. To fit with the event I've even taken to playing through a few of my horror games. It started last Sunday morning with Smith and myself giving Resi 5 another quick session getting a little further on our second play through, this time on Veteran difficulty. I quite like Resi 5, wasn't as special as 4 but the progression of the over arcing story was great, as was the co-op. The inventory system took a turn for the worst. I understand why Capcom did this to facilitate co-op, but God-damn its worse then the original Resident Evil's

Sunday evening saw a return to Left 4 Dead, and I gave Crash Course DLC a bash. Left 4 Dead was a game we played far too little. We all loved it but due to its co-operative nature we either had too few people or too many and people moved onto other games pretty quickly. The release of Survival Mode didn't even help matters. Crash Course finally got us to play it again. While it was great to go back to the game I did feel that Crash Course paled in comparison to the original four campaigns.

Monday brought Dead Space. I treated Dead Space woefully on my first play. I'd been told to only play the game at night but this was leaving me with barely any time to play and ended up playing most of it during the day, in extremely sporadic sessions. It took me nearly two months to complete and I'm usually done in a week or two with most games. That said Dead Space did managed to freak me out at points. Still does, despite the fact I know when most of the scares are coming. I really want to keep playing this once my little Halloween fun is over, so I can experience the game a bit better this time through.

Tuesday, as always, is old school RPG night, and this week was a special Vampire the Requiem which the GM had some really horrible stuff for us to work through. So congrats to him.

Duncan came round on Wednesday and I thought it'd be the night I'd miss out. However, we ended up playing House of the Dead: Overkill. Funny on-rails shooter. Good for a laugh with a mate and its always fun to shoot zombies in the face.

Tonight is movie night and my choice, so appropriately I've picked horror films. I might play some Dead Space later on as well. Have a good Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

And Again A New Gate

We are now four episodes into Stargate Universe and so far I'm quite impressed.

First of all a warning as this is a bit spoilery.

After the first extended episode (or two episodes, however you want to class it) I wasn't so sure. It struck me as just trying to tap into the Battlestar vibe and channel Star Trek: Voyager at the same time. Personally I felt that Voyager never lived up to its original premise of a crew being stuck in the middle of nowhere as much as it could have done, and was worried Stargate is a franchise that would probably end up doing the same.

However, SGU - as it’s apparently being called - seems to be going the same route Battlestar went in its first series rather than the usual Stargate way of a big bad alien race looking to enslave them. With the first story concentrating on the lack of air on the Ancient ship, then the second about them losing power it looks like this is very much going to be about them struggling to survive rather than usual Stargate fare. The closest we've come to aliens so far is the strange dust clouds that may have guided the Lieutenant to the lime so they could repair the air filters and the mysterious shuttle seen leaving the ship at the end of the Air story.

One touch I really liked was a lot of the staff have been cranky. Dr Rush, Robert Carlisle, was even suffering from headaches. Why was this? Alien signals messing with their brains? Something wrong with the ship making them ill? No, they were suffering from caffeine and nicotine withdrawal. It was totally unneeded yet really grounds the fact that they've jumped onto a ship and lost access to everyday amenities.

Despite being stranded in a galaxy far far away, the makeshift crew of the Destiny do have a way to communicate with Earth thanks to the Ancient communication devices first seen in the Ori storyline of SG-1. This works by swapping the minds of people at either end and allows the other person to walk around on Earth, just in someone else's body. This has given the show some great scenes of characters delivering the news that they are trapped in another galaxy to their family members, who are in great discomfort as the person speaking looks and sounds nothing like their loved one.

This is a fantastic addition to the Stargate franchise. I'm still annoyed Atlantis was cut down in its prime so this could reach our screens earlier but Universe has certainly found its feet a lot faster than Atlantis did during its first season. I'm hoping that this high quality is maintained and it doesn't fall into the usual Stargate plots any time soon, as it would be a waste of the concept.