Alex's Undercover Blog

For the geekier side of me.

Articles tagged with video games

Jak and Daxter Returns! [DRAFT]

Posted: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 by

I don't play a lot of video games anymore but every now and then I come across a game that really holds my attention to the end. One of those games was Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. I don't play many games through to the end but did this one, even playing through a second time to collect all that you could. Naughty Dog (the creators of the game, as well as Crash Bandicoot and more recently the Uncharted series) decided that Jak and Daxter (along with its two sequels) were popular enough to warrant an HD, collection rerelease. I finished the first, got through about 90% of the second but never played the 3rd. Since I still loved the game I thought it would be a good opportunity to pick it up again so I bought a copy.

It originally came out on the Playstation 2 several years ago and I picked it up because it was eventually being sold as a classic so it was inexpensive. It's a platform game with lots of sense of humor and a cool story. It also didn't require you to do things in any particular order so it never really got boring. Each area of the game has a handful of levels. In each level you have to complete certain tasks to collect power cells. Collecting enough power cells will allow you to move to the next area of the game.

The levels are varied and the visuals are great. There are also a handful of mini-games sprinkled throughout to keep things fresh.

I started playing the first (HD) game again recently and it's been difficult to put it down (again). I'm about 85% and as soon as I'm done I'll be playing through the entirety of the second and third games as well.

If you never played the games on the Playstation 2 I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the trilogy for the Playstation 3 and giving it a shot. It's a lot of fun and doesn't require hours commitment, though you'll probably find yourself playing longer than you need to because it's so much fun.

Updated: 2012-03-21 07:10:33 -0700

Interplay relaunches site, rehires original Fallout dev

Posted: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 by

Say what now? How cool is this?! I worked for both Babbages and Egghead Software during and after high school and played just about all of the games that Interplay published. It seems to have taken quite an effort on their part but hopefully this is just the beginning of the good news for this company. The first project to be an MMORPG based on the Fallout universe is very exciting. It certainly has a ton of potential. Hiring Chris Taylor was a great move also.

Updated: 2012-02-24 11:54:28 -0800

Rejoining The World Of Warcraft

Posted: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 by

I've been playing World of Warcraft off and on since before it's initial release in 2004. I've never been a huge fan of MMORPG's in the past either because they require far too much grinding or they place too much of a focus on the multi-player aspect and essentially ignoring the solo player (because I have such a busy schedule I tend to be more of a solo player in general). When WoW came along I was intrigued by the small barrier to entry, it's simple and effective questing system and it of course had the advantage of the Warcraft history built in. Because of my lack of focus when it comes to games (I'm far too easily distracted by other things) I would generally play for a few months and then take several months off from WoW. My latest hiatus lasted about a year. It took a new expansion to get me back into the game.

I've been playing again now for about 4 months or so and am delighted to say that I'm having a great time and not getting bored nearly as easily as I have in the past. Previously the highest level that I achieved for a character was 44. At that point I would either start a new character of a different class or just quit altogether. My current main character is a level 58 rogue. I'm glad I've really stuck with the game this time as I'm only now starting to discover the higher level content; content which I haven't seen before. Here's why I think WoW is such a great game and why it always keeps me coming back for more....

  • As mentioned before the barrier to entry is minimal. You can easily jump into a new character and figure out how to play it pretty quickly.
  • The interface is customizable. There are some fantastic add ons out there that make the game more fun and efficient to play all because Blizzard decided to make the interface scriptable.
  • It's feasible to solo. Although some classes are better than others for this purpose WoW is accessible for the solo player.
  • The stories and history of Azeroth that ate presented to you throughout the game is nothing short of astounding. There are definitely some truly creative minds at Blizzard.
  • There is a ton of content. The world is just huge. If you get bored questing in one area there are likely several others that will be suited for your character's level.
  • Multi-player specific content is reasonably accessible. The UI makes it easy to find other people to group with for the games instances and the rewards are worth it. Also the 5 man instances can be run through in a few hours so it's not a big time commitment.
  • The new achievements system adds an interesting twist. If after all the main content you start to get bored they have some very interesting and sometimes strange things to do for accomplishment points (and bragging rights of course).
  • Leveling isn't quite as difficult as it used to be. This is another aspect that makes soloing possible.
  • You're not penalized for not playing for a while. When logged out you actually become rested. When your character is rested you gain twice the experience when killing creatures for a while which can make up for some lost time.
  • Though I mainly solo I've started a small guild with a few friends and we run instances together occasionally. That only adds to the fun. Since I finally got a character past 55 I've been playing the new death knight class from the latest release and have also been able to visit Outland.
I'm still discovering new and cool things about the game. It's easy enough to suck you in and deep enough to keep you playing for a long time.

Updated: 2012-02-25 15:15:34 -0800