inFamy

inFamous is a shockingly awesome game

It’s only been a few days since my graphics card died, leaving me unable to play RIFT. But symptoms of RIFTdrawal is already starting to show up. So, before it could fully take hold of me again, like the way it did a few months back, I have to distract myself with something else. Fortunately, I have four untouched PS3 games (all of which I bought cheap during Black Friday 2010, and have been gathering dust since then) to provide me with the needed distraction.

From the four games I have, I chose to start with inFamous. I actually didn’t know anything about the game. I only bought it because it ranked high on IGN’s top 25 PS3 games and it was only $8 on Amazon. But after dabbling with it for a couple of minutes, I was hooked. Its gameplay is just amazing. It’s like Grand Theft Auto meets Prince of Persia, with comic book theme and lite RPG elements.

What I really love about inFamous is its setting, the Empire City. It reminds a bit me of John Carpenter’s movie, Escape From New York, where a city is walled in and there’s lawlessness within it. Except in the game, Empire City is quarantined to stop the spread of a plague after it was partly destroyed by a huge blast. Besides its post-apocalyptic atmosphere, what makes Empire City so cool is the way you can explore it. Every building here is scalable. So, you can explore the city by climbing buildings, jumping from roof to roof and walking on power lines.

Anyways, I’m only 15% into the game and haven’t even explored most of the Neon District, yet. So, I can’t say anything more about the game. But, so far, I’m really enjoying inFamous. It’s the kind of game that I don’t mind putting in the hours to get a platinum trophy. Also, if you haven’t played this game, don’t buy it. Wait until the PlayStation Store resumes its service because they will give out inFamous for free (see details here) as an apology for their recent screw up.

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Oh No! I Bought DCUO!

Hoodlum, my DCUO villain, apprentice of The Joker.

I’m still a noob at being frugal, I admit. While I’ve been spending less in the past couple of months, I’m still prone to impulsive buying whenever I have the spare change. Case in point, I bought DC Universe Online today. I bought it even though I’ve already mapped out the games I’m going to play this year. I bought it even though RIFT: Planes of Telara, which I’ve already pre-ordered, is just around the corner. To make matters worse, I also got the PS3 version, which is $10 more than the PC.

I didn’t buy the game with cash, however, which is a consolation. Instead, I used a $75 Reward Zone Certificate from Best Buy that’s about to expire this March 11. Still, I should’ve kept the certificate and saved it for Dragon Age 2. But all the characters in the box cover art, especially The Joker, convinced me with their subliminal sales talk. So, I mindlessly reached out for the box and ran towards the register without looking back.

It may sound like I’m regretting this game but I’m actually enjoying DCUO, which didn’t come as a surprise. After all, I’m a big comic book fan and this game allows you to be a comic book superhero (or villain). I know that it’s not the only comic book themed MMO on the market right now. Champions Online (which went free-to-play a couple weeks ago) and City of Heroes lets you wear tights too.

But what separates DCUO from those games is its trademark setting. It’s not much of a difference, I know. However, if you’re a big fan of DC comics, you’ll have a blast playing this game because it gives you a chance to immerse yourself in its universe. Just imagine, you, a hero or villain, strolling down the streets of Gotham or Metropolis and teaming up with your favorite DC characters. It’s good fun. Even doing quests like “Defeat 10 Joker Henchman” is much more enjoyable in here than doing the traditional “Kill 10 Rats” in other MMO.

Speaking of killing rats, the combat in DCUO is more of an action-fighting game (there are combos) than a typical MMO. So, I pretty much suck at it because: a) I don’t play a lot of action games; and b) I haven’t held a console controller for more than 10 years. It is refreshing though, at least for me, because I don’t have to roll my face on the keyboard in order to kill someone. Also, I’m glad that I bought the PS3 version because playing this on PC will devastate your wrists.

DC Universe Online isn’t for everyone. It’s not the proverbial “WoW Killer”, or any MMO killer at all. In fact, I don’t think this game was made with MMO players in mind. There’s not enough content in here that would hold a hardcore MMO gamer’s attention. But if you’re into the DC comics and you like the campiness of superheroes, like me, DCUO is definitely a game worth checking out.

As for me, I’m actually considering to continue my sub for this game. Maybe grab that Legend pricing before the offer ends. Because, quite frankly, I just love to see the motion comic cutscenes that were  penciled by Jim Lee.

What I Did With Those $10 Gift Cards

About a week ago, at a Christmas party, I got two wonderful $10 gift cards from my god sons. One was for Target and the other was for Barnes & Nobles.

Last Sunday, I converted those cards into these:

Packing For Mars and Heavy Rain.

I’m loving both items. The game, especially.

Heavy Rain, is an adventure game… No, actually, it’s not a game. It’s more of an interactive film made for the PS3. It’s a psychological thriller where you not only play the characters but also feel them. There was an instance in the game (or film) that my character (or actor) was panicking during a police interrogation. As a result, all the dialogue choices were blurred and unreadable, forcing me to press any buttons and giving the cops wrong information. There was also another part in the game where my character was suffering from a “shaky hands” attack. In order to control this “shaky hands”, I was told to hold and press several buttons in the controller. By the end of the attack, my hands also felt tired. This game is just brilliant.

Packing For Mars is a book written by Mary Roach. I haven’t read any of her works. But, she being a science writer and me being a hospital worker, I’ve seen co-workers –nurses, techs, doctors– read her books, like Stiff and Spook, during their breaks. So, when I saw this book at Barnes & Nobles, and it being a non-fiction about space exploration, I wasted no time cashing in that gift card. It’s an amusing book that sheds light on the “dirty” and difficult parts of space travel. All the things that were left out in the moon landing film or Apollo 13, like shitting in zero gravity or what astronauts eat, are all in here. While it is funny, it did nothing to tarnish the people in space programs. In fact, I have a new found respect for astronauts.

The only part I didn’t like about getting these two is that I didn’t really save much, even with gift cards. They were still costly. I should’ve waited for a price drop. Stupid me.