Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grand Theft Automatic

Like every red blooded video game playing male in this country I stopped by my local monopolistic game store last night to pick up Grand Theft Auto IV. Well that is not exactly accurate, some stores opened up at midnight Tuesday so the less desirable half of our demographic (mayonnaise eating, basement dwellers) could pick up the game while I was asleep. For some reason I felt none of the giddy expectation that the rest of the gaming community was in a tizzy over for the last two weeks. Well not until 3 minutes to five, quitin' time yesterday.

I avoided most of the trailers and only drooled over half of the screen shots with the goal of making the game a surprise to me when it finally released. Well my self assigned embargo on the marketing campaign was fool proof to a fault. The last hour at work yesterday was like waking up a 5am Christmas morning knowing that present presentation ceremony was at 7am. The drive to my desired prize was a mental gymnasium. My mind kept telling me that every slow driver was keeping me from hooker stabbing, old lady stomping bliss.

Game in hand I rushed home to sling the dog some food and plug in to the TV for eight hours. Six of my friends were already playing and I got two game invites before the opening credits had finished. I turned them both down in favor of staring up the story. The graphics are a marked jump from the past three games and it runs like a champ with minimal pop in. The driving controls were a bit of a throw after many months of high speed Burnout gameplay, but they make sense considering all of the task you can micro manage while behind the wheel.

I felt like I had barely scratched the surface of the story four hours in when I got the second round of multiplayer invites. This time I obliged feeling more comfortable in my pedestrian drive by skills. The interface was a bit clunky, but the game modes were vast and varied. We played cop n' crooks mostly which feels like the culmination of a few games I played growing up with unloaded BB guns. The crooks start at point A and must escort a player (the Boss, no not Springsteen) to point B. The cops start in cars with heavy weaponry across town and must eliminate the boss before he can reach his goal. The twist is the cops can see all of the crooks and the boss on their radar, but not the goal. The crooks can see their teammates via radar and their goal. It makes for some hair raising chases across town provide the crooks can find a car before the bacon arrives.

Erik hooked me up last week with an amazon recommendation list and Monday he came through in an even bigger way with duplicate trades from his collection hand delivered by my lovely wife. Watchman and Amazing Spiderman: Kraven's Last Hunt are now a part of my collection thanks to Erik. I am five chapters in to Watchman and very impressed with the writing and story. I briefly read and collected Spiderman comics in 7th grade, but eventually fell off. I'm interested to see if Last Hunt will rekindle my love of the web slinging wonder.

The Penguins are up three games to zero over the Rangers now after a 5-3 victory last night. I didn't watch because I was held hostage by GTA. Game four is Thursday, Go Pens!

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Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness