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Ratsor's blog

12:26 PM on 12.03.2009

Short list of reasons L4D2 can be seen as an expansion

Let me start by saying I LOVE LEFT 4 DEAD 2. I had no problem paying 50 bucks for it (Suck it 360 players, oh and you aren't very good teammates). I play it a lot

1. No achievements for old things.

There are no achievements for doing anything that can be done in the first L4D. Go ahead, look. The only special infected achievements are those for the new specials. The only thing that was even close is "In a Versus round, leave the saferoom to defibrillate a dead teammate." but even that is defibing a teammate and not just saving them. Most of the time sequels have at least some sort of repeat achievements. They don't even have the "Kill **,*** zombies" or a variation on that. Most sequels will have something that builds off previous achievements such as Gears of War 2's active reload achievement or the better example of Seriously 2.0

2.The old special infected look fairly similar still.

Sure, there is now a female boomer for no apparent reason and the smoker has cancer and the hunter is sleeveless but generally speaking, they are the same. They have 1 or 2 things different but all look very similar still. The blur when the hunter pounces is nifty looking though.

3. On the PC, both install as 1 game.

You can look at this yourself too. Go into your control panel and click to uninstall programs. Look for Left 4 Dead 2. It doesn't exist. In fact, there is only 1 L4D entry and it says "Left 4 Dead" and it's 5.11 Gigs with both installed. Now maybe this means that L4D2 just doesn't show up on that list, but that smells awfully fishy to me.

Ok, like I said, I LOVE Left 4 Dead 2. This isn't complaining. The new campaigns are fantastic (damn you Doctor Who for making me use that word so often) and scavenge mode is the perfect little pick me up if you don't have 2 hours to play. These are just things I saw and was suspicious about.   read

12:15 PM on 11.05.2009

Why I can't get into Dragon Age Origin and why it isn't Dragon Age Origins fault

Bioware makes quality games. Dragon Age is a quality game. I got it for PC recently and tried to get into it, and Dragon Age is a game you need to get into. You can't just say "Oh, this game is fun, I'll come back to it in a week or so". No, you leave the embrace of Origins and chances are you won't bring yourself back to it.

That being said, after 4 days of trying to like it I've come to a simple conclusion: Dragon Age Origins isn't going to happen for me, but it isn't Dragon Age's fault. Over the past month or so 3 games have come out that have ruined games like this for me; Half-Minute Hero, Borderlands, and Torchlight.

Half-Minute Hero ruined my patience

Half-Minute Hero is a marvelous game for many reasons, but none as important as it ALWAYS moves forward. The game never slows down, never lets you think, never feels boring. That being said, it took me about an hour (maybe more) to get to my first fight in DAO. It takes about 30mins to make an average character, maybe more if you're picky, and by that time I could beat about 10 levels of HMH. These games are complete opposites. DAO is all about customization, depth, and strategy. HMH is about panic.

Half-Minute Hero has made games like DAO boring.

Borderlands reminded me what fun is

Borderlands is a shooter that has heavy elements of RPG, including loot, leveling, and questing. The main focus of Borderlands is fun. It doesn't have some deep story (just finding a treasure), it doesn't care about establishing a back story (Your character just shows up and starts kicking ass), and it sure as hell doesn't give a damn about customization. You can't customize the look of your character and you don't distribute attribute points every level (just skill points).

This is a good thing. It drops you in the world and says "Go forth my child, and rock their faces off, like in that movie Face Off". You run around and shoot shit in the face. When you shoot things, they react. It feels like you are shooting them. You circle strafe, retreat, shoot, circle strafe, aim for the head, shoot, collect loot. Repeat en masse.

This is fun. Action is always flowing, frantic and fun. In DAO you click on an enemy, wait to run over to it and start swinging. If it's a 1v1 battle (doesn't happen later in the game as you always have a party) there is 1 click to start, then you just wait. Wait til you have to heal, wait til you can use that spell again, wait til that stupid thing dies. There isn't any frantic "Oh god, KILL IT!" you find in Borderlands (or even HMH when you are running out of time).

Thus, Borderlands has made games like Dragon Age Origins boring.

Torchlight gives me a fantastic Diablo clone

Torchlight is a BLATANT Diablo rip off and doesn't care. You pick a character class, go into town, get quests, go into randomly generated dungeons, kick ass, turn in the quest, repeat. Even Diablo's signature guitar twang music is present. Now, being a Diablo clone, you just click on an enemy and wait for it to die (like DAO) except, unless it's a boss or huge enemy, it takes 1-3 hits. That's it. Done. Move on. With DAO it takes FOREVER to kill NOTHING.

With Torchlight I can burn through a floor full of enemies, sell all the loot, and level up a few times before I can kill 3-4 wolves (one of the first enemies you encounter) in DAO. DAO requires constant attention. Anything in the world can kill you at any point. This is boring. I am a Grey Warden! I should slaughter these stupid wolves. My character is a badass dwarf with a huge 2-handed sword. There is no reason it should take more than 2 swings to take these things down.

I'm not even alone in DAO when facing enemies. I get a party of 4 characters (presumed to be 4 badass combat trained soldiers) and a pack of 6 wolves requires me to use health potions that are in rare supply in the world of DAO. It's not that I suck at playing the game DAO, it's that DAO sucks at continuing. Move on! I don't need to spend 10 minutes fighting a group of underlings.

And so, Torchlight has made games like Dragon Age Origins boring.

PS: My gaming time

Modern Warfare 2 comes out this Tuesday and will be taking up all of my time... at least until the next Tuesday when Left 4 Dead 2 comes out.   read

3:42 PM on 10.28.2009

My story of Valve and the Left 4 Dead 2 demo.

Xbox demo is out, PC is not.

First thing you need to know is that I like Valve. A lot. They are a good company who puts out quality products each and every time. Another company that (in my eyes) does the same thing is Blizzard. Both companies never disappoint and both companies support their fans a ridiculous amount. The problem with both of these companies is that neither ever deliver products when they say they will. Release dates get pushed back farther and farther until the game is done. They won't release the game until they feel the product is finished and polished to perfection.

Anyone who has played Left 4 Dead on both the Xbox 360 and the PC knows that the PC version is just plain better. It's no ones fault, it just is. A mouse will always be better at aiming than a joystick, people on the PC don't call me gay and are generally helpful, it gets patched much quicker, and all the custom made stuff. So when L4D2 was up for pre-order, I snatched it up without hesitation knowing that I would have a blast and valve always produces greatness.

With pre-order comes the early access demo. This is where shit gets stupid. The original date that the official "Left 4 Dead 2 Early Demo Access" event page said the demo would open up was October 27th. I don't remember the original exact time, but I believe it was 3pm EST. I was at my computer, ready to play.... when all of a sudden nothing happened. Demo still wasn't released. I looked at the official event page again, the time had changed to October 28th at 2am. I was irritated but it was only a nap away.

After I woke from my nap, I spent some time in Borderlands, tried out Torchlight and had dinner. 2am rolls around, no demo. Ok... what's up Valve, I kinda want to play. The official site shows 3pm EST. DAMN IT. Ok, I'll sleep, go to class (college) come back and play. It'll be a good day.

So today I am counting down the SECONDS until this demo is released so I can play it constantly until I have something better to do. 2:59pm the official site updates and says 4pm. Ok, I can do an hour. Kind of ridiculous to delay something 3 times but if it's broke, fix it. 4pm gets closer and closer, then the site pushes it back another 2 hours to 6pm. Now I sit here.... not being able to play a demo that I really really really really want to play and 360 owners have had it for about a day and a half. I won't say that I will never buy another Valve product again or that I DESERVE to have this demo NOW like people on the Valve forums are, but I kind of am irked by this whole debacle.

Congrats 360 owners, you won this Valve battle.

PS: Here's the group site for... proof(?) I guess.   read

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