The Backlog, Vol. 4 – Adamantium and Steel edition

Berserker Barrage

Berserker Barrage

Ah, blessed weekend. You couldn’t have arrived any sooner, particularly as I seem to be coming down with a decidedly non-porcine illness. Unfortunately, the workload doesn’t let up for Doug and me — we’re tackling that most coveted of challenges in fake-rockdom bright and early tomorrow morning. And not to be outdone, Aaron’s looking at a full course of superhero do-goodery this weekend. Let’s just hope X-Men Origins: Wolverine shapes up to be a bit better than its movie counterpart — any game where I can leap onto a helicopter, yank out the pilot and decapitate him with the blades is just dandy.

Nick: Look upon this symbol, ye mighty, and despair! The coveted Bladder of Steel is without question the most difficult achievement/trophy available in Rock Band 2, and nearly impossible for the incontinent. It’s awarded to any players who complete the Endless Setlist 2 — all 84 on-disc Rock Band 2 songs — without failing or pausing once. It’s roughly six hours and ten minutes of non-stop rocking, and it’s a needless, arthritic exercise — not to mention a waste of a perfectly good Saturday. But hey, bring a couple friends along and keep a couple alternates on hand, and it’s not so daunting.

Assuming I’m not wracked with crippling wrist pain, I’m hoping to finish up Halo Wars and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars in order to whip up a couple of reviews for next week. And my most recent impulse buy, Bionic Commando Rearmed, is giving me a run for my money.


It’s been another week of playing games I’ve reviewed, or am currently reviewing. Aside from Fable II’s Knothole Island and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (review pending!), I put in some quality time with Left 4 Dead once more. As always, it’s best served amongst friends. Oh, and I certainly enjoyed Stevie Ray Vaughan in Rock Band 2. I treated myself to Texas Flood.

Now, here’s my videogame ordeal for the week: Battlefield 2.

See, one of my friends and I played that game absolutely to death for nearly two years post-release. A little over a week ago I heard of the new beta patch for the game, the first patch at all in about three years, and decided with its Vista and widescreen support, it was time for me to once again crash fighter jets into the ocean. My friend agreed to the suggestion, and I expected nothing less than kittens and rainbows to lead us to our glorious Battlefield 2 promisedland.

Unfortunately, after hours of installs, recovering old accounts, dealing with EA’s download manager and finally downloading patches (nearly two gigabytes worth), the game decides to crash everytime I try to join a match or change the audio settings. At least I see the menu screen, I suppose.

So, the remedy is to uninstall and do everything over but leave out the beta patch — the problem there is I don’t know if Vista will even run the damn game without it.

I swear, the one thing about PC gaming I simultaneously love and hate is its complexity.

Next week = Suikoden TierkreisX-Men Origins: WolverineAssassin’s CreedFallout 3 DLC and, hopefully, Battlefield 2.


Along with usual recent standbys Assassin’s Creed and FIFA 09, here are some things I’ve put just a little bit of time into this week…

I got the chance to go through a bit of a game that I loved when it came out last summer: Castle Crashers. When one of my friends sent a voice message asking to play, I sent him the Castle Crashers invite post-haste and man…man is this game fun.

I’ve played a metric ton of demos the last few days, both for Xbox 360 games and Xbox Live Arcade titles. Quick hits on some of these titles:

UFC 09 Undisputed (Demo): Despite being based off the biggest mixed martial-arts championship out there, UFC 09 is not a fighting game in the strictest sense; rather, it’s an incredibly technical sports simulator. It’s like a fighter filtered through the Madden NFL series in terms of the tone and, especially, the control scheme of the game. I’m sure UFC fans will love how in-depth that means the game will get, but if you’re looking for something to move onto after Street Fighter IV, you might have to reconsider.

Outrun 2 (XBLA): Completely unadulterated classic arcade action, updated to Xbox-quaity graphics. Doesn’t mean it’s worth $10 or $15 on XBLA, though.

Skate: I wish I could get more into this. This is one of a few games absolutely suffering from the terrible old TV my Xbox 360 is shackled to at the current moment.

Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram (XBLA): YESSSSSSSSSS. I wish I could justify spending the money for this, because it is, in baseball terminology, a fat meatball right in my wheelhouse. Sega? Check. Dreamcast generation? Check. Great old game that suffers a bit translated from two gigantic sticks and an arcade cabinet to an Xbox 360 controller, yes, but it still looks so good.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Demo): Because I need more chances to lock-on and leap onto helicopters in my life. Much like the recent 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand, this isn’t made for discerning audiences; it’s the gaming equivalent of a popcorn movie. It’s nigh-on being a carnival ride, especially on Easy mode. It’s fast, fun, and really, REALLY bloody.