Blur is marvelous, even though these might as well be real power-ups.
IGN delivered as much savagery as the game is likely to receive in review form, and if absolute dominion over your opponents is the only way you’re able to experience pleasure, you might find yourself writing a similar piece. People play games for different reasons - this is part of the reason we have done this strip. Can you come to terms with bullshit? How about luck? Do you recognize it as a distinct form of energy that sometimes informs events? Can you accept that every Goddamned day isn’t Christmas? Among other things, this means that you are an adult. As a corollary, you might find Blur very difficult to put down.
A very long, very complete public beta means that players on the 360 are already deeply familiar with the game - we had to educate Erika on its manifold virtues, as she generally gets down on the PS3. If you like Mario Kart, but don’t like Blue Shells; if you like racing games, but wish that the cars would occasionally explode, then boy do I have a multiplayer product for you.
When I started playing during the beta, I liked Shunts as a pick-up: fire and forget balls of seeking plasma that let me focus on the driving task. The longer I’ve played, though, the more I’ve been drawn to Bolts - trios of jolting darts with tremendous effective range that do serious damage to an opponent’s line. Based on where I am in the standings, or how vindictive I’m feeling, I might choose one over the other. And you get to choose, because they aren’t random pickups. Every lap is an exercise in strategic dynamism.
The races we’re in often break into “cliques,” warring strata unique to your segment of the pack, and just beating the person in front of you at that moment is a worthy task. The only real loser in a round of Blur is the person in last place, because so much can happen (particularly in a 20 person game) that you can’t actually control all of it, and also, there’s another race in like fifty seconds. Plus, everything you do is ticking up your progression, which gives you more cars, “mods,” and gametypes. So maybe it’s okay if you don’t win?
Blur, from Bizarre Creations: the first post-modern racer.
Our experience online with the game has been that concurrency is much lower, on average, than it was during the beta. On the one hand, obviously - the beta didn’t cost anything. But I hope that number is being misreported, somehow, that users are trickling out of this accounting, because I intend to play this game for a good long while and I need prey.
For those of you who have craved our Dungeons & Dragons podcasts in the podpast, they asked us to do something again, and we have done so. It’s not really in the vein of the old ones, and quite on purpose: it features a smaller scale with only six episodes, and I’ve taken up the Dungeon Master’s mantle this time around. Players are everybody we could rustle up local, meaning our own Gabriel, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub. It’s also set in the refurbished Dark Sun setting, that parched hellscape I hold so dear, and the adventure is me trying to capture its alien dunes while simultaneously forcing them to experience my own childhood. Did it work?
Only one way to find out, I suppose.