I was kind of a bad game blogger/columnist last week. Despite having plenty of stuff to play on other hardware, I only managed to turn on the Xbox 360 (unless you count the Blu-ray disc or baseball games I watched on the PlayStation 3.) I was out of the house all day Thursday, but I used Friday to catch up on my “Culdcept Saga” league matches and play “Left 4 Dead 2” with some friends. This’ll probably the week I start tackling “Starcraft 2” on PC and work on a bunch of downloadable games from various platforms for an upcoming column.
“Culdcept Saga” (rated T, out of print on Xbox 360): I rolled up my pants and waded into group matches in the league I run for this hybrid of card and board game. I went 2-1, which, coupled with my 3-o record before that, is good enough to get me into the playoffs again. I’ve got two more matches to play to make it official, then take a break until early September.
“Alan Wake” (rated T, $60 on Xbox 360): I finished “The Signal,” the free downloadable add-on episode, late Friday night. I really enjoyed the way it wasn’t afraid to expand on some ideas from the main game while extending the story nicely. I’ll be posting a full-fledged review of “The Signal” sometime in the next couple of days. If you’ve been thinking about picking up “Alan Wake,” a suspenseful horror tale of a writer searching for his missing wife, the new chapter adds a couple of hours of gameplay and is free for anyone who bought the game new. For more information on the game, here’s my review. (Your copy of the game should come with a code to redeem on Xbox Live. If you bought used, the episode is $7.)
“Left 4 Dead 2” (rated M, $40 on Xbox 360, $30 on PC): After spending several weeks playing “Crackdown 2” and “Borderlands,” my regular group dusted off “Left 4 Dead 2.” Boy were we rusty. Still, shooting zombies and rescuing teammates never really got old for us, despite our repeated struggles on the “Swamp Fever” campaign.
“Snoopy Flying Ace” (rated E10+, $10 download for Xbox 360): I finally gave this downloadable, erm, aerial dogfighting game a chance and like what I encoutered. It’s got enough in common with Xbox original “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge” that it seems well worth its $10 price point. But I’ve just scratched the surface so far.
“Red Dead Redemption” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or PS3): Ever get to that point in a quest-heavy game that you’re just an errand boy for a bunch of contemptible people who are just using you? That feeling started to set in in “Red Dead Redemption,” so I took a little break from Rockstar’s open-world Western. I’ll probably get back at it a little bit soon.
“Metro 2033” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360, $50 on PC): Put this in for a half-hour last night when I didn’t feel like “Red Dead.” Man, is it bleak. An in-game ad for anti-depressants wouldn’t surprise me at this point.