Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Castles of Crash

It feels like this game was announced in 1993 and has taken fifteen years to be developed. Twenty three delays later and it finally came out today. In actuality it was announced at Comic Con in 2006 and took two years to complete. This games art style and simple concept scratched a gaming itch I have had for a long time. It is a throw back to the Golden Axes, Streets of Rages, Bad Dudes, NARCs, Double Dragons, etc, etc ,etc that I grew up on. My heart yearned for a coop online beat 'em up and Behemoth delivered.

The art is style very similar to their first console game Alien Hominid which I never played, but always looked to as an example of art I like. It looks simple enough, but has a hand drawn quality that adds depth and punch. The gameplay is in the same simple vein, but grows in complexity as you level. At the first level your control scheme is weak attack, strong attack, magic attack, jump and block. As you develop your character, dependent on where you put points (strength, magic, stamina, agility), you unlock new abilities allowing for unique builds. I have two characters going right now, one with a strong emphasis on magic and stamina (think arena mage) and one with more of a balance of magic, strength and stamina (think ret pally or enhance shaman).

The depth of character development, play style, weapon choice and pets (yes there are pets) makes for a more hearty beat 'em up meal than the microwave gas station burritos of the past. With full coop online, ranking and a pvp arena it is well worth the fifteen dollars on Live. I'd even drop a few more bills if the downloadable content that is forth coming was as tasty a treat.

Pen15 Fan Club Rides Again
After the relative success of Paper For My Daddy on Sunday night and my recent gear upgrades, Majarg and Pen hatched a plan. Start a 3v3 team with two restoration shaman and an arms warrior. The product of this scheming was the resurrection of the Penfifteen Fan Club. The P.F.C. last played as a three DPS frost mage, elemental shaman and destruction warlock team for all of season two and the beginning of season three.

It is unclear how far a matrix like this can go, but we went 11-2 last night with one of our losses attributed to a disconnect. Two healers makes for grueling matches sometimes as our warrior tries his best to solo burst someone down. We have double totems, shocks, nature's swiftness heals and bloodlust though. With two earth shocks and a pummel we are a healer/casters worse nightmare.

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Books Read

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