Posts Tagged ‘Pandora’

I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying playing both Borderlands and Borderlands 2 on my Xbox 360. I’m so addicted to both games as I kill and loot and repeat for hours either by myself or with my friends. Then I found out that Borderlands was coming to my iPad. “Holy shit! That’s awesome!” Was my response as I went right to the App Store and made my purchase. I couldn’t wait to boot it up. Then I started playing the game and I quickly said “What the fuck is this?” This isn’t the first person shooter/role playing hybrid that I love. Borderlands has gone real time strategy. It took some time for me to get used to this which made me ponder whether this version of Pandora was worth visiting.

PROS:

The Original Cast Is Back
The vault hunters from the original Borderlands are back once again. Roland, Lilith, Mordecai, and Brick are out on the search of tons of loot and riches. Standing in the way are plenty of bandits, creatures, badasses, and so much more. Each of the characters once again feature their special abilities and upgrading skill trees to bring them to their full potential. It was so cool to see Brick hulk up once again and take out enemies with his bare fists, Lilith’s phase walk, and Roland use his turret. Mordecai’s Bloodwing, on the other hand, was a little out of whack especially when trying to take enemies out on higher elevations.

CONS:

This Is Not The Borderlands I Know
Borderlands Legends as an RTS game represents a dramatic change to what fans like myself are accustomed to. Basically it boils down to a love/hate relationship. For me it’s more about the hate, because the Borderlands games that I love are more about shooting, leveling, and looting all in a first person perspective. Instead of controlling one character, I now control all four characters making decisions for all of them on the fly, and sometimes that doesn’t work out to well due to the fact that the touchscreen controls are not that responsive. I also want to mention that the writing seems to have taken a different direction as well. Where’s all the comedy? Borderlands is more about the game that never took itself so seriously. Legends feels like I’ve been teleported to The Twilight Zone. What the heck happened?

Where’s The Loot?
Another big change. One thing I loved was when I killed enemies they would leave behind some valuable loot for me to take or trade with my friends. In Legends all there are no gun or shield drops…only cash from a certain enemy or two. Well that sucks, because that kills a lot of the fun. When I want an upgrade I have to wait until I get to a vending machine and take the little money that I have to buy and sell weapons for all my characters. I have to decide what’s more important. Is it the cool rare weapon, or a much needed shield for extra protection. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that Marcus still lives on the same two word concept, “No Refunds!”

Inconsistent Difficulty Spikes
What really drives me to drink in this game is the fact that the difficulty seems to ramp up really quick. When I mean really quick I mean by Level 2. Then for some strange reason it gets easy again. What the fuck people! Borderlands Legends doesn’t seem to stay consistent with level progression on par with enemy difficulty. It’s a real pain in the ass when I have low level characters with shitty weapons taking on a horde of tougher enemies where I end up dying a lot. Then I proceed to the next level and it’s a piece of cake only for the difficulty to spike again in the next level. Aargh!

IN CONCLUSION

Ok, so it may have Borderlands in the title, and in it’s style, but the familiar game I know and love is not here. Honestly, I’m just a little disappointed here. I don’t know who thought that an RTS would be a good idea. First person shooters do work on iOS devices and if Borderlands Legends was like that, along with the loot, then this game would be a winner. Instead it’s more like a game I just want to delete and forget it ever existed which is what I’m going to do. I think I’ll just stick to Borderlands on my Xbox 360.

Developer: 2K Games
Platform: iPad, iPhone
Players: 1
Price: $6.99

It’s time once again to return to Pandora. Ok, I was there just a couple of weeks ago still looting those damn Claptraps for those collectible achievements and Crawmerax yet still lives, but I digress. It’s time for some new adventures in the Borderlands. Handsome Jack is looking for some badass vault hunters like myself to do what I like to do best. Kill, loot, and then repeat. There goes my social life again. Then again my day job sort of did that a couple of months ago, but once again I’ve dipped off subject. Viva La Pandora! Viva La Borderlands 2!

2K Games and Gearbox Software once again bring me back to the wide world of looting and a shitload of guns to play with in this first person shooter and role playing hybrid. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing the first game which became a bigger addiction to me. Let me put it this way. There’s not one drug out there with the addictive quality that can compare to the looting adventures of Borderlands. Period! Now I’ve got the highly anticipated sequel where there are still plenty of bandits and other mutant animals to kill, but this time the baddies are tougher and a heck of a lot meaner. Good thing I have even better guns and tons of ammo, but don’t expect Marcus to give out any refunds.

Storywise, Borderlands 2 improves by leaps and bounds over the original game, but let’s be serious. I didn’t pick up this game for epic storytelling. I bought it to shoot, kill, and loot as much as humanly possible. Plus there’s all the addictive fun and comedic satire where Borderlands 2 clearly doesn’t disappoint. Handsome Jack, Head of the Hyperion Corporation, has been looking for some new vault hunters to open up a new alien vault on Pandora. Hopefully this time there’s some sweet loot inside. Sadly, Jack’s attempt to lure would be vault hunters is nothing more than a trap. Luckily, my character of choice survives near death and then my adventure began.

The first thing that impressed me was the improvement of the cell-shaded graphics. They look even better than the first game. I also have to commend Gearbox for finally using a color palette for the surrounding environment. Yes, they finally stopped using different shades of brown and found other colors like green and blue. The use of color brought more life to the wasteland of Pandora making exploration a little more exciting. Characters look a little brighter and more energetic. Even all the guns have some cool looking skins making them better to own. Impressive!

I started out with Axton. Like Roland in the first game, Axton is a soldier class specializing in combat rifles along with deploying a turret as his special attack. Considering the fact that I didn’t use the soldier class as much in the first game (I used Brick the most) I was more interested to go this route and it hasn’t disappointed me at all. The turret was great in a firefight and helped make tougher enemy battles slightly easier. It’s safe to assume that anyone who joins me online will see me with him.

As for the other characters, the heavily hyped Salvatore the Gunzerker is also pretty cool with the dual wield special. He kicks some major ass when the guns are drawn leaving tons of blood and shrapnel in his wake. Now all I want is to dual wield a pair of elemental rocket launchers and he’ll make Brick arching of the past. Maya the Siren is basically an upgraded version of Lilith. Zero the Assassin (he’s a number) is not bad either with his stealth attacks and sniping abilities. Overall, the characters in Borderlands 2 are just as good as the original, but with a just a hint of more “attitude” mixed in.

The biggest improvement comes with a new skill tree system to add new abilities and increase stats. Skill points are earned by leveling up my characters through kills and completing missions. Customization is better than ever with more ways to differentiate my character from the others online. There’s even an option to reset your stats and place your hard earned skill points into other settings along with changing your looks as well. New to Borderlands is Badass Ranks. This applies to completing various challenges in the game. Complete a challenge get a token which I get to use to upgrade stats including health, shields, damage, accuracy, etc. The best part  is the fact that these ranks carry through to all my characters. Now that’s something I like.

While I can choose to venture and brave the vast lands of Pandora on my own, I realize that exploring, killing, and looting are more fun with a group of friends, Co-op is back and better than ever. Up to three friends can join me for some good fun all in the name of rare loot. Unlike the original, you don’t have to worry about that one person who gets all the good shit leaving you with all the scrap junk. No more being the low man on the totem pole. Now I can get some rare loot without one of my friends running away from the group and raping all the loot chests. Gearbox made a change making all loot shared. Some may like this and most won’t but maybe it’s time to make things fair for everyone. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed the multiplayer experience as my friends and I explored, killed, and shared plenty of laughs along the way. Co-op is the way top go for overall longevity because single player is only fun for so long.

What makes Borderlands 2 so great? An entertaining experience, fun characters, tons of jokes and other pokes at pop culture, and a whole lotta guns. What’s not to love. The best part is the fact that the game never takes itself too seriously, because if it did it would probably suck. I shit you not. There’s a lot ot see and plenty to do both on foot and unleashing your inner “Mad Max” in kick ass vehicles. Hundreds of more hours await me in Pandora with both the main game and future DLC as the search for awesome loot continues, so do me a favor. Stop reading, buy Borderlands 2, and join me online for some good times. Now where’s those rare weapons.

Developer: 2K Games, Gearbox Software
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4 (Online Co-op Multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Ok, so I made it to the vault and destroyed the evil that inhabited it, but got nothing in return. The crazy Dr. Ned was killed again and again. Mad Moxxi’s underdome…conquered. I’ve raided General Knoxx’s secret armory yet came away empty with no Pearlescent weapons. Finally, Claptrap’s robot revolution was quickly extinguished. I’ve completed Borderlands2K Games and Gearbox‘s epic masterpiece brought back many memories of past games like Phantasy Star Online and Diablo. Honestly, I enjoyed this game more than the others. Alright, so let’s check the achievement count shall we…

74 out of 80 achievements (1585 Gamerscore)

Holy shit badass vault hunter! What did I miss?

Let’s see, I didn’t reach Level 61 yet (currently at Level 57). All missions for the General Knoxx’s DLC were not completed. Only one mission left which is kill Crawmerax The Invincible. He’s only killed me about a hundred times I think. Ok, that’s three achievements. What else do I have left? Oh yeah, collection achievements. Oil cans, bobbleheads, and pizza. At least I have plenty of pink panties and Clap-Fish making it a half party.

With only one character close to Level 61 (Brick), my mission was clear. Get all the damn achievements and please the achievement whore in me. I’m so close to perfection. I can taste it. This should be easy right? Well, not exactly.

So let me fill you in. I knew that Crawmerax was impossible so I’ll need to recruit a team for this feat. Attempts at soloing the giant crab have been rather unsuccessful since either he or his minions kill me in two hits and my weapons won’t make a dent in him. Even the glitch spot wasn’t working for me. Part of it may require me to get some better weapons, but the weapons on Playthrough 2 have sucked so far.

As for the collection shit…well these drops are taking forever. I tried the MINAC farming technique which didn’t do so well, and most Claptraps that I farm on Hyperion Dumps on Playthrough 2 are dropping shit I already have. I even try other areas and come up with a bunch of gears and motherboards along with the occasional oil can. WTF! All I want is some bubbleheads and pizza! Hook a fellow vault hunter up!

With Borderlands 2 quickly approaching on September 18, my goal is to finish with all achievements before then. Of course with my day job situation probably coming to fruition by as early as next week, This means that I don’t have much time to recruit a team for Crawmerax. Anyone interested in joining this vault hunter for some fun times in Pandora hit me up. My gamertag is HighOctane Buzz.

UPDATE: As of this writing, I did get one of the collection achievements. The Lubricator which had me collecting 25 oil cans. Well that’s a start. Now if the other drops can show up more often. Get over here Claptraps!