Friday, June 3, 2011

Gaming: Totally Vegged on LBP 2 and Finally Got my Hands on Noire

So by sheer luck, I happened to be working on a day when someone returned Little Big Planet 2!!!  My library(and many other's) policy is that the patron on site takes precedent over patrons on hold or over the phone, so although there were a TON of holds on it, I was able to snatch it up and give it a whirl for a couple of weeks.  I must say I was very happy with it.  I'm also pulling together my first program at my new library and I FINALLY got my paws on LA Noire...

For those unfamiliar with LBP, you play as your fully customizable Sackperson.
Playing the different levels can earn you all kinds of outfits and accessories to personalize your look and even decorate your Pod.  Being the literal nerd that I am, I tend to dress my Sackperson up as me. LOL  So I was thrilled to see that one of the very first outfits I could find was a librarian-ish one complete with glasses. There are dozens and dozens of options, including some that you can download from private gamer sites and even the PSN store.

This game was far more interesting than the original, but only
because there was some semblance of a storyline happening.  For some players, I guess that was a breaking point with the first game.  For me, I feel like the game has enough puzzles and tricks that a storyline is really kind of unnecessary.  It turns the game into a Mario/Sonic/Crash Bandicoot mashup that really brings down the desire and instinct to do the very thing they ask players to do: Create our Own Worlds and Challenges.
Another annoying thing about the mini-plot was the fact that players can't skip through the cut-scenes and introductions.  They're fine and interesting the first time, but if you're replaying a level for the sixth time, you don't really feel like watching some little ball of yarn talk you to death.

Overall, the gameplay was pretty similar to the first one but the designers stepped things up a notch by adding great tools for the sackpeeps to use like grappling hooks, the Cakeinator, and other level-specific goodies.  There were also new things for you to do with your sackperson including much more cooperative play and even swimming!  I took it back to the library yesterday, so I'm eager to see if any of the teens at my branch check it out. As for the librarians, we've talked to a couple of our former coworkers about doing a cooperative level night together from their branches in Colorado, and ours in Forest Park(Chicago), that should be really cool.

In Other Gaming and Library News:
I'm hosting my first program next week!  It isn't a full program, but I'm excited about it all the same.  In the Teen Room, I will be hosting a mini-E3 visit.  E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is the largest software and gaming expo in the country and it takes place next week from the 7th-9th.  I'm going to be showcasing some of the press conferences and trailers, as well as playing some of the demos. Should be a great way of also getting a feel for what types of games and systems my teens like, and what titles they want us to order in the future.

What I'm Playing:
I couldn't resist any longer, and finally went to the Redbox for LA Noire.  Just as I thought, it is phenomenal.  The graphics are killer and just about everything from the voices to the music, down to the smallest details are amazing me.  I'm sure there will be something nitpicky for me to agonize over somewhere during the game but so far I'm having a ball with these missions and I love how each time I look at a character and go, "That looks like that actor....", I find out that it IS the actor!
So many of my favorite big and small-screen actors and actresses lent their voices and likenesses to this project that it really says a lot for how people's respect for games and gaming have improved.  I'm having a blast and so I'll be returning this borrowed copy tonight and buying my own personal copy.


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