Butt Stallion

Sunday, September 30, 2012
This is a few weeks late, and for that I apologize and renounce my belief that education is more important than video games, right next to breathing.  No really guys, I am sorry!  Over the past couple of weeks I've been making tortoise pace progress through Borderlands 2 (Thank you Nvidia!) while watching the reviews come out left and right, even Wall Street Journal had a few things to say (The affront to the gaming community, the attempt at redemption).  My take might sound slightly different from theirs, but I assure you that's not a gameboner, this is more like an OMGGRAPHICSboner.  In a cell shaded game, this is definitely a take that seems to be rare, but I also had the privilege to play this on the PC with a graphics card that can support PhysX (Nvidia GTX 560 (vanilla)).  Let me just say, the little things that are present when running PhysX make Borderlands 2 an entirely new game (OK maybe it's more of a remaining PhysXboner I've had for the past month, I should really get that checked out >.>)!  Simple things, for example, in the cargo holders that are oftentimes used as cover, and probably shelter for the bad guys, there's usually cloth covering the entrance and waving in the wind, and now, my personal favorite particle control:  When a giant, furry four-armed snow ape (to be referred to as bullymong from here on) throws a giant snowball/rock at you, the pieces of the snowball/rock formed from bouncing off of your apparently adamantine skull don't just disappear into the ground, the stay there, as well as the bullymong and its vital fluids which leave the ground an absolute mess from the recent melee!  It's beautiful!  Here have what is probably the same comparison video I posted last.
In my opinion, despite the cartoon-y graphics, the PhysX makes these graphics absolutely revolutionary and adds a surprising bit of permanence and realism to an otherwise otherworldly (both in and out of game) experience.

Next I have to note the dialogue.  Some find it annoying, I find it to be so awful that it is hilarious!  I actually eagerly await Handsome Jack's (the villain) *le sigh* phone calls.  I mean, he calls you, while you're fighting through an enemy encampment, to tell you about his diamond pony named Butt Stallion while simultaneously eating stale pretzels, tell ya what folks, he's a keeper!
("Butt Stallion is best pony!")

Next up, gameplay.  So, I've been playing through as Salvador the Gunzerker, which is actually pretty excellent once you get the Gunzerking skill.  I'm not complaining about regaining 50% health and the ability to use two guns at once for a moment, in fact it's pretty awesome (when I remember to activate it!).  Single player is nice because you can pause at will and take your time.  Multiplayer is great, too!  It works on the same mechanic as the first game so it's quite convenient if you need to help your buddy with something on their game or they need to help you on yours.  Having the characters say reassuring things while patching each other up in battle is an excellent touch as well.

The story?  Well, the story's pretty straightforward, kill the jerk who tried to kill you, and find the new vault.  But really amidst everything else the smaller goals along the way and the way that things are laid out actually make the game feel quite casual, and I really do love that aspect.  I'm not in it to kill some dudes, I'm in it to kill some dudes and have fun doing it, preferably with the help of friends!