Monday, February 26, 2007

Penny Arcade bends over Again

"[The Sony Playstation 3 SixAxis controller] makes a case for motion sensing controls that is as potent as anything Nintendo has delivered to date. " [Penny-Arcade]

Uhh sure - if you take out BOTH YOUR EYES, and stab hot pokers into your shoulders!

Because all you can do after that is tilt your wrists, which is as much motion sensativity as the Sixaxis has. The Wii Remote understands inertia (accellerameters, more precisely) and acts as a pointing device.

I think we're missing a few features there, Sony. But thanks for acting like wimps, my venerated PA crew. I'm not saying I wouldn't sitting comfortably in my obscurity, but as a blogger, it's my job to say what I see. That's... what we do.

Armed Assault, sequel to Operation Flashpoint

"ArmA" is Armed Assault, Operation Flashpoint 2 in every aspect BUT name.

Imagine yourself on a 30 square kilometer island (several miles, many small cities, more towns and hamlets, some mountains, valleys, etcetera).

Now, imagine that you can walk anywhere on this island. That might get rather boring. So you see a civilian car. You can get in that. Along the way you see an roadblock with hostile communists, so you speed by them, hitting one of the three enemy soldiers - they shoot at you and take out a tire. If you have a passenger with you, maybe he gets hit and his blood splatters the windshield.

You turn the vehicle so your door is away from the fire and get out. You hide behind the engine block and lean out and shoot a commie, and then crawl over to the back of the car and repeat.

*Fhew* they're all dead. Then you hear metal grinding in the distance... treads! You run into some nearby woods and lie on your stomach. Sure enough, a Russian built T-80 Main Battle Tank comes roaring down the road like an angry hornet, but it's tank commander is buttoned up and they have no infantry support, so they don't see you in the trees. You crawl slowly away.

Then you come to a hill top and see a valley below with a small military base and a Hind Helicopter. Two crew are standing near it, and guards are posted at the entrance. You're facing the back side of the base, so you crawl, or walk hunched over like Audie Murphy, and quickly shoot the helicopter crew and then dash to the Hind and get in. The guards shoot at you with their AK-74's, but the Hind is designed to deal much better with small arms fire than most helicopters, and you get off the ground and take off.

Now, well above the base, your targetting system tells you there's a tank in the distance.

"Oh," says you, "I have anti-tank missiles..."

And that, my friend, is Armed Assault. It has an easy to use editor (you can't change the island so you just drop stuff where you want it to be and give them waypoints if you desire) and a hard as nails campaign mode. Why is it so hard? Well just one bullet, placed right, can kill you. Usually you're luckier.

Also, the AI loves flanking you, which is problematic.

It's an incredible game, and playing it will give you a glimpse into something and make you say "Why the hell are most FPS games still sticking me into claustrophobic ROOMS?"

Because, obviously, computing power has evolved.

Armed Assault has the same code base, same programmers, same development team as Operation Flashpoint, but Codemasters (the distributors who have drilled the Lara Croft "Tomb Raider" franchise into the ground) wanted to pull some of their game-busting stunts so the Czechoslovakian programmers pulled away from Coderapists, lost the title, but retain everything else, including the ability to make a good game.

Froogle it and go buy this game.

The U.S. version will use SecureRom copy protection. The Czech version uses the computer raping, CD/DVD Burner destroying Starforce, but the other European versions do not.