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The Villainthropist avatar 10:54 AM on 05.17.2012  (server time)
A Backlog Diary: Part 27- A Tale of Honor and Skele-Kanga-Horse's

Itís been something of a busy week. In total, five games can now be ticked off my to-do list, the latter two of which I will get to shortly. Meanwhile, I have acquired some new games to take their places.

Now yes, it may seem redundant to write about a backlog which is shortened with the one-hand, and added to with the other. However, I should point out that these new games are ones I have planned on purchasing for a while, and have only bought them now due to finding them at what I consider a more appropriate price. Mass Effect 3 for PC at £20.00 is first to join the ranks, as well as three Wii titles; Donkey Kong Country Returns (£14.99) New Super Mario Bros Wii (£15.99) and Sin & Punishments (£4.99). After a fair bit of ďgrown-upĒ console debauchery, Iím ready again for some remote-wavey fun. These, along with the two No More Heroes games will be played as soon as my new Wii HDMI adapter (which scales Wii video output up to 1080p with what customer reviews are saying are very good results) and a new set of non-console specific headphones (I own a turtle beach headset for PS3, 360 and PC) arrive in the post. Iím not too sure which Iím going to start with, especially considering I last night found Batman: Arkham City for 360 in a Morrisonís bargain bin (£15.00. Steal!) Iíve also dipped my toe into X3: Terran Conflict; something of a departure from my usual repertoire. The game looks kinda huge, so I might set myself a couple of arbitrary goals so I can at least consider it played to a decent enough extent that I can post about it here.

But on to my spoils of war, the first of which, finally, being Serious Sam: The Second Encounter HD.

(Ctrl-C on Serious Sam: First Encounter blog post. Ctrl-V here)

Itís very similar to the first game, right down to weapons, enemies (with only one or two additions and some very typical but still fun boss fights) and appearance. The levels do stretch their legs from time to time, changing from your deserts and tombs of FE to your jungles, temples, medieval villages and the like. The guys at Croteam and Deep Silver did just about enough to warrant this being more than just an expansion pack, and bring all the mayhem of the first game back in full force. Considering the games age (as an entity, despite this being a prettied up re-release) itís a lot of classic strafe-and-shoot fun. At times, it can drag on, but thatís why you stick Spotify on in the background and craft yourself a soundtrack to the murder! Considering this game is pretty much constantly on sale on Steam for under £4.00, you really canít lose. I certainly didnít. 8

This rather accurately gives you an idea of the scale of what youíre up against.

The two halves of Serious Sam 1 did enough to arouse my interest in the series as a whole. I have plans to track down Serious Sam 2, but for now, all I could find was the latest iteration, Serious Sam 3: BFE

Acting as a prequel to all other Serious games, the plot tells the story of Sam, a man who falls out of helicopters a lot and kills a heck of a lot of things. I thought Serious Samís 1 and 1.5 were nuts, but this one takes it to a whole new legume-y level.
First of, itís pretty, and it sounds a lot better than its aged predecessors, negating the need for a personal playlist. Whatís more the on-screen enemy count frequently exceeds triple figures. Towards the end, in the notorious ďValley of DeathĒ I reckon was up against three hundred enemies at a time; something unheard of outside the realms of real time strategy. The action is so intense, I reckon I spent 80% of that forty minutes fighting my way through with the left mouse button pressed down. Absolutely insane, and a lot of fun, that last level.
And then thereís the main point of Serious Sam games; this is not a realistic FPS, despite sprinting mechanics and iron-sights now being added. This is not about picking off a squad of five enemies from behind cover. This game is about riot control. Itís about putting yourself in the safest possible position whilst dispatching as many ďalien freaksĒ as possible. There is one game I can compare this to in this respect; Geometry Wars: Evolved. Weave your way through enemies whilst blasting away at them, clearing a path so you can turn, rinse and repeat. A very unique game, despite its roots in a rather bogged down genre.
Enemies also demand some prioritisation. The Dark Brides should be dealt with first, even if they are a bitch to find and kill whilst theyÖ I donít know what it is they do to you, but it hurts! Then there are the things that can shoot you from afar. They die next. Then the fast things that hit you, then the slow things that shoot you but miss a lot, and then everything else. But make sure you shoot anything screaming with no head (yeah I know) first. Oh, and the weird helicopter monsters, theyíre fuckers too.


If Iím honest, despite games simplicity, I grew very, very fond of it. In fact, Iím pretty sure Iím having withdrawal symptoms. Booting up X3: Terran Conflict, I found myself yawning at the lack of thins running and screaming at me. This game may have just spoilt gaming for me as a whole; hopefully nothing a little bit of Batman wonít fix, but weíll have to see.

SS 3:BF3 gets an 8 from me, my only real problem with it being the over use of what I came to call Skele-Kanga-Horseís, and the rather dull locale. Hopefully, the reasonable success of this game might lead to expansion packs with prettier levels. But not too soon please. Iím a bit shagged out.

Next time: Something!

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