The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

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This is what it sounds like when doves cry

The Cubs traded Milton Bradley, which you’d think would make me happy, right? Well, turns out they traded him for Carlos Silva. Yeah, that Carlos Silva. Honestly, even though Bradley was a pain in the ass, he got on base. Silva? Silva doesn’t even get on the mound very often, since he’s always hurt. The only thing to recommend this deal to me is the $9M the Cubs got in addition to Silva (Silva’s more expensive than Bradley, though, so it’s actually more like $6M once their salaries are offset).

Carlos Silva will probably not play for the Cubs, since we have, quite frankly, enough starting pitching, and it’s all better than this asshole. If I had to guess, I’d say the reason for this trade is the $9M — the way Hendry was probably looking at it was, hey, Bradley wouldn’t be playing either, and eating Silva’s contract is a bit easier because of the free nine million dollars they got along with him. Which, I guess, was a good move; if you absolutely, positively can’t get a useful player in exchange for Bradley, at least get a cheaper one.

I’m still not happy about it, though. Though not as unhappy as I’d be if Hendry traded him for Eric goddamn Byrnes.


December 18th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Revenge of Steam Demos!

It’s time for everybody’s least favourite recurring feature: Steam Demo Roundup time!

Altitude: This is interesting. It’s a multiplayer side-view airplane combat game. You get a bunch of different planes and options, and you pick your dude and fly around and shoot at other dudes. There are basically the standard game modes (FFA, team deathmatch, team base defense) plus an odd like soccer mode that’s a lot less lame than regular soccer, because it has guns. It’s a pretty fun game, but it gets old a bit quickly, and the experience system is pretty grindy and unfun. Turns out you need to play a whole lot of the game before it lets you use all the planes or unlock any upgrades. Which, of course, means you’re at a sharp disadvantage to other people who’ve played more.

Hammerfight: I really wanted to like this game. I mean I really, really wanted to like this game. The controls, however, are extremely bizarre, and the play depth just isn’t there. You play this flying like pod thing, and you have a giant hammer suspended underneath you. You have to zip around and bash other flying pods with your hammer before they bash you with theirs. To get the hammer moving, though, you actually need to fly around and twirl it, since it’s not powered, and therein lies the big problem: moving and swinging your hammer are pretty much directly at odds to each other, and you need to make circular mouse motions to do either one, which you’re probably not accustomed to, and the whole thing adds up to a very large learning curve that doesn’t really have a payoff, since all you get to do is bash more flying pods.

King’s Bounty: Armored Princess: This game sure is pretty, and I kind of dig the beginning, where you get to pick out a coat of arms and stuff for your princess. But I have to be honest with you: it just kind of starts. All of a sudden, it lumps you into a tactical battle, and you have no idea what all these units are and what all your buttons do or even really what’s going on. If that’s up your alley, hey, play this game. I found it a little bit more abrupt than I really wanted to deal with, so I kind of… didn’t.

The Last Remnant: As far as I can tell, this is Final Fantasy 12 with 8% less brown. I’m serious. It’s by Square Enix and it appears to be like the exact same fucking thing. I say "appears to be" because I really didn’t play that much of it; it’s very obviously a console port, and I don’t believe it was done with much care, as the controls are downright bizarre. You play a dude who’s exactly the same as he looks, and you do stuff that’s exactly the same as the stuff you do in every Final Fantasy game. Which, if you’re me, means you search the game for the legendary "quit" button.

Risen: Ooo, moody, angst-ridden RPG / adventure hybrid. Bonus. So you play this moody dude, and you get shipwrecked on Resident Evil 4, and then you have to solve a spooky mystery, right? And the whole time you have to fight with the game’s asinine inventory system, which will not stop giving you trouble about which items you have in your hands and what you can do with them. Then you fight some really lame and boring combats using a really clunky and cumbersome interface. Then you look at a lot of brown things, a brigand dude gives you a jogging tour of the island, and then the demo ends. I’m serious — it’s like half an hour long. Way to give us a representative sample of your game, morons.

Batman: Arkham Asylum: I heard this game was really good, but, unfortunately, I found it entirely unplayable, as the designers thoughtfully neglected to provide an "invert Y axis" button, and that’s the whole ballgame right there. Basically it appears to be about punching dudes over and over and over. It’s a little bit disconcerting, because it matches the voices from the animated series with the new-style Batman movie visual design, and that messes with my head. But that’s not necessarily a flaw, mind you.

Trine: Trine is sort of an action platform puzzler, where you play a warrior, a rogue, and a wizard, and you have to jump and slash and cast your way through various boards. It’s a little bit Lost Vikings-esque in the way you switch among the three characters to get through the puzzle/platform environments. It also looks great, but it has a problem: it costs too much. I was willing to shell out ten bucks for the full version after playing the demo, but it’s twenty. And it’s not quite that good.


December 18th, 2009 Posted by | Games | no comments