Tagged: Katy10

UPDATED: Now Co-Playing: Crackdown 2 (Xbox 360)

After our first night of playing together I wasn’t sure how I felt about the full game. The demo really surprised me with those pre-chievements and a focus on Getting Stuff Done in the brief 30-minute time period. Playing the full game we found ourselves sticking to the same area as the demo, like lab rats that run the same course even when the maze changes. The endless pursuit of Orbs, though, finally drew us out of our shell and into Pacific City’s new (but still old) cityscape. We put in some good work taking over the rebel group, Cell, and their numerous strongholds and lighting Absorption Units to thwart the mutant freaks. Light up three (or more) Units and you can then journey underground, where most of the game’s new areas are, in order to defend a light bomb until it activates. It winds up being pretty random and sloppy — dashing all over to punch, shoot, and explode specific freaks — but it is a new mechanic, at least for Crackdown. I think inFAMOUS did something similar but I didn’t play much of that.

It wasn’t until this morning when I was at work that I realized just how much fun I’m having playing with Katy; all I could think about was playing more Crackdown 2. Making progress, hunting for Orbs and the general tomfoolery of crossing paths with Katy as we explode things is just dumb fun and the kind that I haven’t had so effortlessly since the original. How much longer all this proves to be entertaining remains to be seen but for now it’s a blast!

PREVIOUSLY: Seeing how Katy and I are planning to play as much of this one co-op as possible (yes, we own two copies and two Xboxes) I thought I’d try to live up to the ‘Now Playing’ idea and keep up with our adventures as often as possible. Already there’s been a few surprises and I just now got to the title screen.

For starters, all new copies of the game come with a Marketplace code for a free Agency Helicopter toy for your Xbox Live Avatar (see!). There was a 0-Day Title Update that patched god-knows-what and as soon as I got to the main menu I was hit with some BA~GOINKs! Thanks to the demo’s pre-chievements we’re both 100 Points richer right out of the box which also unlocked an Avatar Award in the form of an exclusive Orb T-shirt. This game just keeps giving! I’m going in now to see what’s new in Pacific City until Katy gets home and we team up for the first time.

Achieving: Pre-chieving in the Crackdown 2 Demo

As far as I’m concerned this is genius stuff! The 30-minute timed demo of Crackdown 2 not only gives you a huge chunk of Pacific City to mess around with, it also lets you pre-achieve 10 feats of skill (and luck!) that will carry over to the full game when you load it up come early July. What I realized as I contemplated how I’d manage to ‘kill an enemy with a mounted machine gun while upside-down‘ was that these are all the kinds of Achievements I usually give up on in a game like Crackdown. It’s the very specific tasks that I usually put off until I finish a game but by then another new game has come out and I’ve moved on without thinking twice about how to ‘juggle a vehicle three times in the air in co-op mode‘.

It is kinda sleazy and no one knows yet how it’s going to work — are these 10 individual Achievements in the full game or do they add up to a single ‘demo’ unlock for 100 points? Can you still get these in the full game? Do they just pop up as soon as the game loads? — but I can’t deny that it worked on me. The time constraint put a new spin on an open world game, forcing me to focus on one thing at a time instead of running from whim to whim and it definitely kept me coming back again and again.

I bought Mass Effect 1…

I wanted Mass Effect 1 since Dragon Age helped me connect many games I’ve liked have been Bioware. Especially after listening to Giant Bombcast’s special with one of the Bioware guys where they discussed Mass Effect 2 & 1. I bought ME1 last Friday night and started a game with a female character on Saturday. I also received Sacred 2 from GameMine, so I asked Shawn if he’d like to try Mass Effect since it’s not the game he feared it would be, it’s more shooting etc. Shawn has been playing ever since ^_^ I have been having fun with Sacred 2, so I don’t mind. 
Here’s my character as I was first starting out.
Sacred 2 isn't too bad. Kill run around repeat
Then there was this crazy medievel metal concert when I helped some guy:
crazy medieval metal concert in sacred 2
The game is a bit buggy, here’s my character recently with crazy armor standing with a person stuck in the floor:
Sacred 2 character with a random person stuck in the floor
That’s all. Shawn finished Mass Effect 1, so maybe tonight I can resume my game.

Done Playing: Rabbids Go Home (Wii)

The worst thing about Rabbids Go Home is that it comes along after four years and countless Rabbid titles that were funny and clever… but mostly no fun to play. It’s a reputation that has tarnished the Rabbids good name and probably didn’t help the sales of this latest, and completely un-minigame-y offering. If you felt burned by the mad bunnies and were happy to watch Rabbids Go Home fizzle out of existance, I implore you to at least queue it up at GameFly and get to it one of these days. You’ll only have to play minigames on three rare occasions through the whole game and the rest of it summons the spirit of Rayman 2 pretty handily.

Throwing all the novelty of the Raving Rabbids games into their shopping cart like so much garbage, you play as a trio of Rabbids careening around a hub world and its connected stages in search of junk to build a pile big enough to reach the moon. The stages are set in mundane human environments (construction site, office building, airport) but the antics are 100% Rabbid craziness and about 70% old school 3D platformer. There’s not a lot of jumping since you’re pushing a shopping cart around the whole time but there’s a ton of precarious (and oftentimes wobbly) platforms, deadly obstacles, Rabbid-seeking enemies, and pick ups.

Oh, the pick ups! Tapping our OCD veins like a mainline of black tar heroin, the game is simply full of junk. Small stuff and big stuff alike litters every corner of the stages and simply had to be picked up before we could move on. It’s the same compulsive urge as collecting studs in a LEGO game or rolling up absolutely everything in Katamari Damacy. Alone it’d be a real challenge as some stuff, for example, can only be reached by shooting a grate to create a bridge, finding a nearby ramp, and maneuvering across a narrow path. With a second player, however, it’s much easier. As Player 1 controls the shopping cart a second player uses a Wii Remote to point and grab the small junk almost anywhere on the screen. It’s pretty much a rip on Super Mario Galaxy’s co-op but it allows players of different ages and skill levels to work together and feel equally useful.

As easy and straightforward as the game’s structure is it does begin to grind about halfway through. There are only a handful of different areas and gameplay styles (races, chases, and pinball-style bumper runs) and they start to repeat pretty quickly with increasing difficulty and complexity. By this point, though, you’ll probably have amassed enough junk to skip to the last stage; a hilarious, sometimes-infuriating, “you’ve gotta be kidding” gauntlet that throws everything in the game at you for one final run to the end.

Our Rabbids felt like family

After the credits there’s not a lot to do outside of hunting down any Presents you might’ve missed unless you’ve got a good imagination. Ubisoft has packed in an astounding character customization tool that lets you apply those Presents to your three starring Rabbids in the form of stickers, accessories and tools to deform and decorate them. You can actually do this at any time between levels and it’s presented through a really creative concept; that your Rabbids are stuck inside the Wii Remote. You’ll find some of the best animations in the game here and, through an installable Wii Channel, can enter your own designer Rabbids in monthly themed contests. Submit, review, and vote on everyone’s creations either through the Wii or on the internet where you can even order a 3D sculpture of your Rabbids! I never expected a thriving community to exist around the Rabbids but was pleasantly surprised by the dozens of truly inspired creations I saw. If we owned the game I could see myself getting into this stuff and loading it up every month just to check in on things. As a rental it kept us painting and dabbling a little longer but we still got it back to Blockbuster in five days.

I wish Rabbids Go Home could’ve been the debut game for the Rayman off-shoot just to spare them the grief of all those underwhelming minigame collections. I hope that our praise (and the praise of many others) is enough to get you to check this game out some day. It was genuinely funny, clever, original, and even packs a great co-op. A bargain bin buy or a rental for sure.