>Decembering

>Some quick hits as we enter December:

  • Maybe getting up to 40K by the end of the year isn’t totally far-fetched. I’ve got less than 900 points to go, and plenty of Fallout 3 and the forthcoming Prince of Persia to go through, as well as giving Dead Space another, proper go; I suppose I could always try to finish up what’s left in Tomb Raider Underworld, if things got really out of hand…
  • Speaking of reaching the end of the year, I’m really just waiting for Prince of Persia to come out before I make my big GOTY post; I don’t necessarily think PoP will impact my top 10 one way or the other, but you never know. And I’d love to be wrong about PoP.
  • I finished Tomb Raider over the weekend; as I’d guessed, I wasn’t that far off from the end, although I was a bit surprised at how abrupt the end actually turned out. Perhaps my expectations were unrealistically high, but I was pretty disappointed; the game has certain high points but for the most part it feels lazy and uninspired. Supposedly there is 360-exclusive DLC coming up, so I guess I will hold on to my copy for the time being; I would imagine it’ll be a bonus level or two (possibly even the Croft Manor puzzle level that’s been a favorite of mine in the last two installments).
  • I’ve only played the first 10 minutes of Chrono Trigger for the DS, which is probably why I’m failing to see this as the greatest RPG of all time.
  • My brother got me the Wii Classic Controller as an early birthday/holiday present. I mention this because having the Classic Controller has finally gotten me excited about owning a Wii again – I’m going to go download Ocarina of Time and Donkey Kong Country. And I think that pretty much says it all, in terms of the state of the Wii this year.
  • I was at a Best Buy on Black Friday – in the afternoon – and the scene was decidedly non-hysterical; indeed, you’d almost never know what day it was if not for various sale-related posters. Anyway, my inability to find a Blackberry Storm very nearly resulted in me getting an iPhone, but cooler heads prevailed, and I was actually able to find and buy a Storm last night in NYC. So far I’m relatively pleased with it; it does the things I want it to do, at any rate. That said:
  1. The contact list is ugly and could use a re-design.
  2. The interface in general is sluggish, although this is supposedly being addressed in an upcoming software update.
  3. There isn’t a tremendous amount of apps to use, nor is there a store (that I can find, at any rate) to buy games. It’s not a dealbreaker, but having solitaire or sudoku on the go is always handy.

Stay tuned for the forthcoming GOTY post, which will be a doozy.

>GTA DLC; TRU bummer; Gadgets

>1. GTA IV DLC revealed (sorta)

It’s not quite enough for a Guessing At Future Games feature here on SFTC, but it is certainly something to look forward to during the post-holiday doldrums of 2009. Everyone was wondering what DLC for a GTA game would look like, and this is apparently what it will be – a new character in a new story, and featuring “a whole new side to Liberty City” (which presumably means that it will take place in areas of Liberty City that were not central to Niko Bellic’s adventures). No word on length or price just yet; I’m going to guess 800 Points, although I think I’d be prepared to spend up to 1200.

2. Tomb Raider’s disappointing reviews

My fondness for the Tomb Raider franchise starts with Legend. Having never owned a PS1 or PS2, I never played the original games and so I never really paid much attention to how terrible the series had gotten (although I do recall playing a demo for whatever TR title was released on the Dreamcast, and absolutely hating it). Legend, however, scratched a very specific itch for me – it had all the fun Prince-of-Persia environmental puzzle solving that I liked, it had decent-enough combat, and it looked and played fantastic. Anniversary was more of the same, which was just fine with me, and so I have rather high expectations for Underworld.

Unfortunately, the reviews are starting to come in, and for the most part everyone seems to be a little disappointed in this one. I obviously can’t agree or disagree, since my rental copy still hasn’t left Gamefly’s offices, but I must admit I’m a little bummed out by this. I’m curious to see if my fanboy-ism will blind me to the game’s obvious faults, or if my knowledge of the game’s apparent crappiness will only make these things even worse than they actually are; if nothing else, I’m certainly self-aware enough to know how easily swayed I can be by external opinions… except in the case of Metal Gear Solid 4, because nobody will ever convince me that MGS4’s storytelling is anything other than a normal-mapped turd.

3. I am in need of a new cellphone. I covet the iPhone, but there’s two big things preventing me from pulling the trigger:

  • I’m a Verizon customer, and I’m not looking to switch service providers; and
  • There isn’t nearly enough storage on the iPhone for me to use it as my primary music storage device.

So I was eagerly awaiting for the Blackberry Storm, Verizon’s first big attempt at making an iPhone killer. And, unfortunately, it looks like it still needs some time to cook.

I suppose I can wait a few more months for them to fix the bugs (and, by doing so, avoiding the crush when it launches tomorrow), but still: damn.