Thursday, December 10, 2009

Flower Review

Unless thatgamecompany (which is in fact the name of their game company) has something equally as charming up their sleeves you are not likely to see a game like Flower ever again. It is so simple yet so innovative in its simplicity.

You start the game with one flower pot in an apartment window and you begin the first level with one flower petal. It is never explicitly stated but your "avatar" is charged with brightening the world from the drab black and white that it has become. You will feel something warm grow deep inside of you as you play through this game. It can easily be played in one sitting and you would be foolish to consider this a caveat. I would recommend this for a first sitting with the game. Then come back after a week (nab yourself that trophy) and do it all again.

There is enough to go through the game at least a second time if not a third; you might find that you just want to be playing the game because of its beauty. The music is absolutely soothing and gratifying and your ability to subtlety control it adds to the experience.

There is not a lot more to say about the game other than it comes with the highest recommendation. It is simple, beautiful, and an experience you will not find anywhere else.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Beta Impressions

The Place: Arica Harbor

Naturally I was stoked when I punched in that beta code from Bad Company 2's official Twitter and found that I was quick enough to nab myself the beta. Since then I have put MW2 on the back burner and have been Oscar Mike to my favorite military franchise.

The first thing that you will probably notice is the ease of use when it comes to the interface. All of the kits are in a horizontally streamlined menu so that you can change a lot of the options for your kit on the fly. After you gain a few levels your Assault kit will be radically different than the next persons Assault Kit.

The next thing that you are likely to notice - after you jump into a match - is how beautifully crisp the game looks. In my honest opinion it puts Modern Warfare 2's graphics in second place when it comes to military shooters. The character models look incredibly detailed and you will notice if you die as much as I did initially. A new feature to Battlefield games is that the game shows you your killer running about after he or she has killed you. This will become increasingly useful for strategy but I can say with great conviction that it is very satisfying to see that your killer is already dead when this view is shown.

All of the things that you know and love from Bad Company 1 have made it over to 2 and the developers at DICE also added a lot. All of your awards and stats have made it over but the best new additions are perk-like items that you unlock over time. One of my favorites allows your kit to be lighter so that you can sprint greater distances.

A great addition to the Medic kit is the defibrillator paddles that allows you to revive dead players which can really help in clutch situations. It takes a little while to get used to and you will likely find that you are dying more often than you are reviving people. A nice little trick is that you can also use the paddles to kill an unsuspecting player. And yet on another completely unrelated note you are likely to encounter a squad made up entirely of medics and those are frustrating to no end.

The Arica Harbor map is incredibly fun to play with a lot of different types of combat ranging from open to very close quarters combat. The map is reminiscent of Oasis from BFBC1 if not just because it has similar aesthetics.

It is a very fun game so far and I know that I will personally enjoy it more than MW2 because of the element of strategy that is always there.

There are a few flaws that mainly lie in getting stuck when climbing around the edges of the map but I am sure those will be smoothed out by the shipping date in March 2010.