Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time to Get Mecha-nized: Part II





Of course, there is another mecha game fast approaching on its stompy legs:  the much ballyhooed Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment.  This is already proving something of a lodestone in gaming as it pits the aggrieved team that formerly constituted Infinity Ward - the geniuses who reinvented the first person shooter with their world famous Call of Duty franchise - against their old bosses at Activision who fired them out of alleged avarice.  So we definitely have a lot of emotional baggage in play with this title.  But Titanfall is also drawing a lot of attention for another reason:  it promises to repeat the success of CoD by reinventing a very stale shooter genre yet again.  Will the devs catch lightning in a bottle for a second time?

Did I mention that I have about twelve hours in the beta so far?  Yeah.  Twelve hours in the Titanfall beta.  Sort of gives away the answer, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time to Get Mecha-nized: Part I



Things are coming up mecha!

It's funny: until Hawken went into open beta roughly a year ago, I never was interested in the sci-fi concept of 'mecha'.  It just always seemed really silly to me for an armored vehicle to drop the inherent stability of treads for balance-heavy legs!  In retrospect, maybe it never was a silly as I once thought it was as legged machines seem to be all the rage lately in the world of robotics research.  Go figure.

Be that as it may, once the mecha bug bit me, it bit deep.  Those main battle tanks that had somehow managed to grow a pair of legs can be quite addictive!  I have found that there is a thoroughly unique feeling of power that comes with the ability to stride across a battlefield rather than ride across it like some peasant on a donkey. What is more, I quickly learned to appreciate the distinctiveness of the combat that surrounds bipedal tanks.  Because something with legs is always going to be more elegant in its movements than something merely sporting wheels or treads, combat between two mechs quickly becomes a contest of technique rather than raw firepower.  In some ways, mecha warfare resembles the dogfights of World War I where the pilot's skill was the determining factor more than the qualities of the biplane itself.  I guess that is why mecha operators are referred to as "pilots", and why they also swagger with all the esprit de corps of the Red Barron himself.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Socialism and Racial Bean Counting



Wow!  Been a while since I last posted.  That's what happens in the world of gaming - you run hot, you run cold.  After my hot spell with Eugen's Wargame: AirLand Battle, the chill definitely set in with me.  Not entirely though, as I have been having a lot of fun play Paradox's two masterpieces: Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV.  EU IV was a recent gift, and I have to say I have enjoyed my first foray into the world of renaissance politics since installing the game.  Not as much as CK2, mind you, but that is largely due to the fact that I just prefer the medieval era to that of later periods, albeit, I have been having a lot of fun colonizing the New World!  Someday I need to get around to doing an EU IV AAR.

(I also need to find time to tell you about my current crop of nobles in CK2: of Duke Lucido and his tendencies to get the women in his life killed, or his son, Duke Vimara, whom methodically eliminated the participants of a rebellion against his authority...over a period of decades.  Yes, he can hold a grudge....)