OK, I have to talk Borderlands again. It truly has gripped me in it's OCD inducing claws. This game has such a wonderful loot drop system and I am a true sucker for Mission based RPG's. I truly love games that let you grab a number of quests and then let you pick and choose which ones to complete and in what order.

Done well
--The map and compass clearly shows you where your next point of interest for the quest is.
--Quests are interesting and varied, fetch quests, challenges, boss fights, mayhem and repair variants are all there.
--Rewards are very rewarding! Generally you get XP and money, sometimes a great weapon. The loot is so cool that you really want that next gun, shield or mod.
--Quests have level indicators and they are accurate. I tried a level 15 when I was level 12 and paid for it in blood. Nice to see this done well.

Done not so well
--Quests for the most part have no personality. The ones from people resonate a little bit, but the ones from the bounty board are always for people, but you are never given their motivation or history. A little background would have gone a long way
--I don't mind the overland back and forth, but give the low level monsters AI a little nudge and teach them not to attack people who could kill them with a sneeze. Pup Skaag's keep attacking me, it is now an annoyance, like mosquitos.
--Quick travel would be lovely, even if it is just back to FyreStone to hand in quests. The vehicles are great, but it is tedious to drive back everytime...

Not related to the quests things that suck
--Really only the load times are annoying. With a 2.7Gb install I would have assumed we would have short loads, nope! Moving between the maps takes about 70 seconds...that is 40 seconds too long

I do truly love the game despite my quibbles. It has made me late for work three times as I played in the morning for a bit and I am thoroughly sleep deprived from plying too late daily.
So Borderlands is a game I have been looking at for some time. It is labeled as a Role Playing Shooter (RPS) and it is just that. It has a really well done FPS engine (no surprise as the developer is Gearbox) but the game using that engine is your classic North American RPG structure.

-Odd characters who assign missions
-Overarching story with smaller sub-quests
-lots of varied monsters
-customizable skill tree and level progression as well as a deep equipment system.
-Lots of dialogue, missions and rewards that are satisfying.

The game is really, really violent (geysers of blood), has a mad-max vibe with some dark and twisted humour, and the cell shaded graphics add a great feel to the game as a whole.

People will compare this to Fallout 3, Fallout 3 however was a more realistic take on a post-nuclear world with less humour. It is also an incredibly deep RPG wrapped around a basic FPS engine. Borderlands is a more casual RPG experienced wrapped around a stellar FPS engine...both are great, Borderlands has a little edge in the fact that it has 4 player co-op using your canned character, carrying over your benefits and rewards between single and multi-player games.

Very recommended, and tons of fun!

I discovered Emily Haines of Metric when she first collaborated with Crystal Method on their Divided by Night album (on the Come Back Clean track) then with Tiesto on his Kaleidoscope album (Knock You Out track). I recently acquired all the Metric albums and I am astounded by the sheer quality of her voice. I tend to like artists that have a diverse range and not just one 'sound', Emily Haines is one of those people and I recommend her work with great enthusiasm...plus she is so edgy/yummy that it just adds to her appeal.

Mother of God, this trailer shows nothing of the actual game, but a hell of a set and a seriously sexy female Boba Fett...well a mercenary in the same Mandalorian armor anyway.


Enjoying a great new beer, Sapporo, Japans oldest brand, started in 1876, Super Yum!
Sorry for the lack of updates, life/work/play has been so busy lately that I haven't posted a lot, will try to be more consistent. What have I been doing you ask?

Well I played a Game:
PSP Review: SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny

Beautiful, great engine, great sound, great controls, no game to be found. No gameplay modes worth lingering with, a shame really.

I watched a Movie:
Blu-ray Review: Shaun of the Dead

Fantastic movie, a true classic in the genre and a must see for anyone. The Blu-ray treatment is excellent, great visuals, stunning audio and worthwhile extras.

I read a Book:
Book Review: The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski

A good read, no new ground is broken by any means but the characters while a little cliched are interesting and the plot was engaging.

And I saw a great Electronica concert in Montreal:
Concert Review: Tiësto - Kaleidoscope Tour, Montreal, October 2

Tiësto gave a hell of a show and had all of us dancing in the Bell Centre like it was a club till 3:30 in the morning. A true performer he looped, mixed and played synth tracks like a maestro and enjoyed it as much as we did.

So I have been busy! ;p

If I had not pre-ordered Dragon Age: Origins already I would be running out of work right now to do so. I need to book some time off in November to just play this I think.

Wow, and yes that is Claudia Black as the Mage. Yummy!
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