Strategy Overload…and hockey

I can feel the gaming change coming around the corner and that’s nothing but good news. The funk of 2010 is almost over!

So let’s get the pre-orders out of the way…shall we? It was a pretty busy weekend for future promises of puppies and rainbows. Two copies of Cataclysm are ready to go…one CE and one “normal” edition. My wife is obsessed with in-game pets and she wants this one. Me…I get the art books, etc. Blizzard is the king of CE and there is no way that I’m passing up this one. I know…”WoW Darren? Really?”. Yes, really. There is no way I can avoid playing this game and until something “better” (…the subjective “better” which nobody can define but me…) comes along, then I’m happy to get my Rogue up to 85. I’m hearing good information from the beta…so here’s hoping.

Next up on pre-orders in Civilization V. I know…duhhhhhhh! I took a pass on Civ 4 when it came out but Civ 5 looks like a wargamer’s wet dream. The inclusion of a hex map as well as more emphasis on combat put this is the “must buy” column for me. The only worry for me is how the other features play out. I’m hoping that I’m not paying too much attention to the left hand while the right one comes and smacks me in the back of the head.

RUSE. I have a spotted relationship with RUSE. I absolutely loved it when I first read about it. I absolutely loved it again when I saw it at GDC. RUSE and I then had a string of one night stands that ended up in me just not returning her calls anymore. It’s a sad story. Last night I decided to play the demo and I was quite impressed. It’s certainly not Starcraft 2. RUSE has something that SC2 does not have: it feels more like a strategy game to me. Well….the demo game me a more strategic feel at least, which ultimately sold me on the whole thing. I’ll be playing for realz tonight and if my impressions change, then I shall let you know…but I’ve got good feelings about it so far.

NHL11. This franchise has come a very long way since the early 2000′s. The attention to detail in the skating, shooting, goal tending and checking is very well done. NHL 11 feels just like it should. Goal tending is just fun to watch, especially on the replays. I’ve had a couple instances where the goalies are doing some pretty impressive moves in order to stop the puck. Same can be said with goal scoring…impressive plays which leave me glancing at my controller wondering how I just pulled off such a feat of athletic skill. I still find myself doing the old fist pump when I score…which I totally did way back in the day. Highly recommended for you hockey fans out there….and a must have for Canadians ;)

D out.

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