Little girl with a big gun, Part 2
I saw an article on Gizmodo on the upcoming SF comedy flick Iron Sky, an alternate-universe story about Nazis who colonized the Moon in the 40s and are coming back to resume their mission of world conquest. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but I'm certain that I read the exact same story in Analog Science Fiction back in the late '70s. I haven't been able to track it down. If I could find my back issues of Analog Science Fiction Magazine, I'm sure it would be in one of those...
I restarted the Battlefield: Bad Company single player yesterday. I found that my game saves weren't accessible on my Xbox 360 memory unit, so I wound up having to start over. I don't know whether it was because of the forced title update or perhaps because I inadvertently did the initial saves to the other Xbox 360's hard drive, but I hadn't progressed that far in the game, so I wasn't all that torqued out. I fired up a new campaign on Normal, as I had before. I progressed pretty smoothly, with only a couple of brief sticking points. This Xbox 360's monitor is 1080p capable, so I was able to make a comparison between that and my previous gameplay on a 1080i monitor. I really couldn't tell the difference. My impression is that the graphics are a bit smoother, especially the weather effects, but nothing to make it a huge difference between the two. I imagine that the PC version of the game looks smokin', tho.
I was struck again by the similarity of the NPCs. Aguire, the character who drives much of the action by directing behind-the-scenes, looks remarkably like the WWII clones of the game's prologue. There were plenty of cookie-cutter enemies and pre-fab three room cottages, as before.
Once I got to the chapter titled "No One Gets Left Behind", tho, I was hopelessly stuck at the helicopter dogfight (link goes to YouTube vid of someone effortlessly getting past this section, with my sticking point at 3:40). When I got shot down the first couple of times, I wasn't all that annoyed. After 20 tries, I was really, really pissed off. Even on the crankiest CoD levels with the unfairest, cheatingest AI ever in the universe, I never got that pissed off before. Before my blood pressure red-lined, I turned the Xbox 360 off, and I cut my losses.
I had put BC2 away for a while, but I think it'll be even longer before I pick it up again. There's a great article on Cracked called 5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted. It describes ways games reinforce and punish in order to entice players to keep playing. There are a lot of things in life we all have to do, like it or not. Playing a particular game isn't one of them. As I've said before, video games are my recreation. When they stop being fun, I stop playing them. It's not worth getting a coronary over an instance of poor level design.
I praised Battlefield: Bad Company when I played it. It was challenging, but it never had the Call of Duty-style assjamming. BC2, OTOH, is probably never going into my disc tray again.
After my bad experience with Bad Company 2, I had a couple of Yuenglings and watched Zombieland. As Matt64 had promised, it was clever and amusing. Not quite as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but it was pretty dang close. The similarities with the Valve video game Left 4 Dead were pretty striking, too. Of course, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, with plagiarism a close second.