Stupid computer!  Our home computer blew a power supply this weekend, so I had no computer to tinker with.  Mo was able to put in a new supply on Sunday evening, so at least it’s up and running.  Of course, now we have to get the pieces back together again and take it upstairs.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

That’s why I didn’t enter an …uh…entry… this weekend.  Which, is fine, as I wanted to talk about Gears of War.  But, I didn’t have a lot of experience with it until later in the weekend anyways, so it worked out in the end. 

So, anyways, the game.  Gears of War 2.  Graphically speaking, I think it’s a mixed bag.  The premise is a futuristic war between humans and a race of alien looking creatures called the Locust.  Graphically speaking, it’s a mixed bag.  The humans and the environments look AMAZING.  The creatures, are alright.  The more I played, the better they looked, graphically.  There are a few exceptions, where the creatures looked flat out AMAZING.  Skorge, a boss that kind of looked like he had dreadlocks and a chainsaw bo staff (you betcha), was amazing looking.  The Locust queen looked really good as well.  I don’t know if she pops up later in the game or not (I think I’m just beginning Act 5 now…), but she came out really well designed and good looking.  The environments (so far) have been pretty attractive, graphically.  There are definitely some moody areas where it’s dark and eerie.  But they were well done.  Even so much as having dust particles in the air when you’re walking through a lit area. 

Game play’s a little different.  Cool, but different.  The name of the game is finding shelter.  I don’t think there’s been a game totally built around the concept of firing and living behind shelter.  It’s really neat how it’s done.  And, as my buddy said to me, you wonder why it’s not in more games.  You can take blind shots from around corners, pop your head up and take well aimed shots, and run in a ducked position.  One thing that I’ve never really liked is that there are some buttons that are situation-based.  Like, if you’re up against a wall, you can either dash out, do a quick spin, or dive out.  Problem is, one button does all three, in combination with other buttons.  And, no matter what I do, I always end up doing the wrong sequence and do the wrong thing.  Which, usually ends up in me getting killed.  Also, one button is primarily for the chainsaw bayonet (you betcha) on one gun, and you can’t cut into everything.  Only certain bad guys and certain situations.  I tried to cut into an armored bad guy and failed.  Miserably.  He wouldn’t even take a cut of him.  Boy, did the bad guy rock my world, though.  Win some, lose some, I guess.  But I’ve NEVER been a fan of softkey buttons, and it’s no different here.  I did find that it’s relatively easier to do head shots with the sniper rifle, though.  If you hit them just right, you’re treated to quite a sight.  And, it’s cool, as not every head shot reacts the same.  It’s nice to have some variety.  Speaking of which, this game is rated M for a reason.  B L O O D Y game.  Good God, is it graphic.  Heads pop, chainsaws cut spewing blood everywhere, and the explosions…  Oh my.  I’m not into the whole graphic kind of game, but this is alright.  The game has a LOT of swearing in it.  Don’t play this around young children.  F- this, GD that, MF them, so on and so forth.  That, I don’t like.  It’s a video game.  I know they’re trying to go for a type of reality, and in fact, people use that kind of dialogue every day, especially in tense situations, but come on.  It’s a video game.  Which kind of gets me to my next thing…  This game is VERY cinematic.  TONS and TONS of cut scenes, where you’re watching a movie more than playing a video game.  At times, it’s a nice break, at others, you’re just like “Come on!!  Get with the game already!!” 

I haven’t played the multiplayer with this yet, and that’s usually what gives staying power in my X-Box.  If it has a fun and/or addictive online play, then I usually spend more time than I should playing it.  I’m looking forward to getting online and messing around, hoping there aren’t a bunch of little turds yapping it up online.  So we’ll see on that.  There are multiple styles to play, one of which sound neat: Horde mode.  Basically, you’re in a party of 5, defending off waves and waves of bad guys.  That seems like it could be very cool. 

Other than that, we just hung out at the house this weekend.  Kind of nice change of pace for us, as the previous weekends had been hopping.  Griffen was a little monster Sunday.  We’re just HOPING that it was a passing thing.  Usually, he’s pretty good, but man, he had something in him last night.  Not sure what the problem was.