Friday, September 19, 2008

Fracture, Web of Shadows, and Chinese Broccoli  

Games: While taking a break from Raw Danger, I hopped online with all three consoles to see what was up and came up with a couple of bits.

Fracture: I've seen tons of screens and read lots of articles, but PSN had a brand-new demo up so I gave that a whirl... The gist of the game is that you're a soldier from the Unreal school of how-do-you-move-in-that-armor? character design and you've got a gun that can affect change in the landscape tectonically. With a shot from your high-tech gee-whiz machine, you can raise small hills or create sinkholes, among other things.

It looked pretty, but it played just like I expected; gimmicky and sort of generic. I realize this was just a demo, but every aspect of it screamed "$20 weekender" to me. Some running, some gunning, and some use of the dirt-powers to get to pre-arranged pathways that are inaccessible without a mound of soil to jump off from.

The dirt powers only affect areas of exposed soil, so I'm expecting lots of concrete and metal floors to limit where the gun can hit the earth, and in the first area alone there was a hyper-gimmicky platform that conveniently needed a rising pillar of molten rock to lever it into position in order to create a ramp to walk on.


There could be more to it later on, but like I said... my money says it's a $20 weekender.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows: Let's all just face it... the last few Spidey games from Treyarch have basically sucked a fat one. Great character, great ideas, but none of the titles have nailed all the elements needed to make a satisfying gameplay experience. They just got too caught up in making empty, boring-to-cross cities to swing through while tacking on insipid combat schemes that made beating up bands of thugs boring, spazzy and uninteresting.

After watching the videos available on the Nintendo Channel tonight, I think someone at Shaba Games might have been having the same thoughts, because what was shown looked pretty damned interesting.

Although I couldn't find a good picture of it, what was getting me excited was the new combat. The devs speaking on the clip said that they had ideas for combining movement and combat into one cohesive experience, and the sequences with Spidey punching a bad guy into the air, using the same mid-air goon as a web anchor point, and then launching a follow-up acrobatic smackdown looked amazingly fluid and dynamic. I'm not entirely sold yet since it seems like there's a "curse of suck" on any Spider-Man game, but the videos looked infinitely more promising than the last few phoned-ins we've gotten. Besides, the guys at Shaba know a thing or two about airtime... their Wakeboarding Unleashed from '03 was fantastic.

Food: The wife was hungry and I was tired, so we ordered some Chinese from a local place that we both like. I usually get something with a lot of veggies and I was feeling like trying something new, so I went for the Chinese broccoli. Instead of broccoli cooked in a Chinese sauce as I had envisioned, what I actually got was Kai-lan (also called Gai-lan) -- literally, a Chinese relative of what we know as broccoli here in the States.

After a brief 'WTF is this?!?' moment, I figured I might as well try it since the delivery guy was long gone and I wasn't gonna pony up for anything else. Know what? It was crazy delicious.

Sauteed with garlic, soy sauce and a few other spices, the stems were crisp and the leaves held much of the sauce's flavor. The way it looks, I'm sure it must be loaded with some sort of healthy vitamins or minerals, too. It sure as hell wasn't what I expected, but I'm going to order it again next time. Recommended!

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4 comments: to “ Fracture, Web of Shadows, and Chinese Broccoli

  • Anonymous


    Mostly agree with your Fracture impressions, it feels like another generic space marine shooter and that sort of thing really doesn't interest me all that much these days. Gears of War felt the same way, just with added stupidity in the characters/plot.

    Mega Man 9 is out on monday for the Wii (Thursday for PS3)! I'm actually pretty excited about it, and i'm wondering if it's anywhere on your radar. Did you play any of the originals on the NES?


    Did i?

    1-6 on the NES, most of the MMX series, a few of the Zeros, MMLegends 1, 2 and Tron Bonne, and both the remakes on the PSP...

    It's on my radar. ^_^

  • Anonymous


    I've long had enough of games with the same setting as Fracture (how many are those, 100 thousands of them?) so I don't imagine I'll snag a copy of it ever.

    So which of the Megaman games would you recommend? (Not that I'm a Megaman neophyte, but I'd just like to hear your thoughts)


    Hey ND.

    Hmm, hard to say.. I haven't spent much time with Mega Man for a while. For sure Mega Man 2, and I'd actually say that the PSP remake of MM1 (Mega Man: Powered Up) was good. The graphics weren't classic, but it was retooled with the spirit of the original game kept intact.

    Other than that, the rest all sort of blend together and I have a hard time remembering which one is which. = P

    Looking forward to trying MM9 this weekend, tho. = )