Tag Archives: Sleeping Dogs

The Half-hour Hitbox: August 2013


I realized the other morning that, over the last couple of weeks or so, I’ve dipped my hairy, Hobbit toes into several videogames that I’ve not yet brought up here on Grinding Down, and by that I mean I’ve played a half hour to an hour‘s amount of these games. Not really long enough to go too in-depth with my zany and oddly driven thoughts, but I want to still share some things with y’all nonetheless. Otherwise, given that I’ll be traveling and away for some upcoming comic conventions over the next several weeks, these could be lost to the void forever if I never return to them. And so, a new monthly feature has been born–the Half-hour Hitbox!

Battleloot Adventure

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This is a game for my Windows 8 phone that I downloaded the day it released, because it was then free. I think it is a dollar or two now. Anyways, it’s a pretty straightforward turn-based RPG, with story and exploration completely stripped away. You control a small group of three characters and move from one combat to another. You can do things like tap a character to gain a better defense bonus when an enemy attacks though I have found it not consistently responsive. The cartoony look is very appealing and detailed, but otherwise it doesn’t stand out as anything I need to play right away. Battleloot Adventure might make for a good time-killer here and there, and nothing more.

Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien


The first Bit.Trip Runner was equal parts mesmorizing and frustrating. I eventually did beat the Odyssey level, but when I returned to the game recently, my progress was not saved (thanks, Steam!), so to continue on I’d have to reconquer the toughest level in World 1. Er, no thanks. Good thing Runner 2 came out when it did, and it has graciously made things easier. Not easy, just easier, with some checkpoints throughout the levels. The music is still amazing, and the level designs fun. I’ve gotten to the second world now, which is based around pirate ships and stuff. I love that you can have the main runner guy “dance” at any time, as well as using the cannon at the end of a perfect run for bonus points. A lot of fun, and I do plan to get back into this one real soon.


Crackdown halfhour

Crackdown was recently given out to Xbox 360 players for free as part of their “Game with Gold” thing, which is their attempt to race along PlayStation Plus. It’s nowhere near close to beating Sony’s program, but whatever–more free games for me to play or not play at all. I also have Assassin’s Creed II and Dead Rising II downloaded, but untouched. A new one drops in two days. Gulp. If there is one thing I really like about Crackdown so far, it’s that you are dropped into its open world nearly immediately, with freedom to go and do whatever you want. Which is mostly cause chaos and collect agility orbs. I’ve done both of those, but not much else so far.

Defense of the Ancients 2


Hmm, I started the tutorial–which you have to get through before you can actually begin playing real games of DOTA 2–but the tutorial is broken up into like 12 different parts because evidently it is a very complicated game, with a lot going on at one time. I did the first tutorial level, and that took like 35 minutes itself. Nothing in this hooked me, and I think I’d rather stick with Torchlight 2, even though it is not a MOBA, it has the same look and feel.

Sleeping Dogs


This is a strange open-world game. You can go off and practice your karaoke skills. Or you can hack security systems and arrest drug-dealers. Or you can hone your hand-to-hand martial art skills. You can also eat food and earn Face and smash bad guys’ faces horrifically into things like dumpsters or car windows. You play an undercover cop, so you dip your toes into multiple storylines, some seedier than others. I like the focus on melee combat in Sleeping Dogs over guns, but I’m not very far into things story-wise.

UNO and Friends


Another free game for my Windows 8 phone! I love UNO. The XBLA version was probably one of the first arcade games I got all the Achievements in and regularly played afterwards. This is a free-to-play version of UNO, so there are some annoying things like only being allowed to play so many matches based on how many bronze tokens you have, as well as the constant in-your-face ads to spend real money, but otherwise it works fine and is great fun. Tara loves watching me play UNO and gets really into it, too.

And I’m sure I’m missing a title or two here from my August gaming times. I play a lot of games, sometimes some for longer than others. We’ll see which ones pop up in the next edition of Half-hour Hitbox!

The Half-hour Hitbox is a new monthly feature for Grinding Down, covering a handful of videogames that I’ve only gotten to play for less than an hour so far. My hopes in doing this is to remind myself that I played a wee bit of these games at one time or another, and I should hop back into them, if I liked that first bite.

Collected all those scattered Blast Shards in inFAMOUS 2

infamous 2 collected all the blast shards

I’m nearing the end of inFAMOUS 2–sorry, quick aside, but I previously wrote the game’s name as inFamous 2, and the copyeditor in me will not rest until I owned up to the error and corrected it going forward even if it is a weird way to write something–and I don’t expect to ever play it again despite their being two paths to go down. One is good and saintly with ice powers in tow, and the other is evil and dark, circled by fire. If you know me, you know which way I’m playing; for those that are new, I’m always a good Samaritan first. It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing evil from time to time, but I get the sense that the game doesn’t change a whole lot by doing a few missions morally different.

With the last mission, I assume it’s the last since it is called “The Final Decision,” in sight, I’m trying to wrap up a number of side stuff before I close the book on Cole’s second chapter. My main objectives are finding all the Dead Drops, liberating the second island fully, and collecting all the Blast Shards. Maaaaaybe play a few more user-generated levels. Out of those three dreams, I’ve now found all hidden Blast Shards, and as a collectible, they are both a lot of fun to collect, as well as extremely rewarding in that a set number of them increase the amount of electricity power Cole can use. They remind me a bit of Precursor Orbs from the Jak and Daxter franchise, and nothing of those dumb flags from Assassin’s Creed. There is certainly an art to collectibles, something I’d like to explore down the line.

Basically, any time you ping the New Marais map for sources of electricity, Blast Shards appear for a second or two as a blue dot. Then you gotta find them, and they are relatively easy to see as they are glowing crystals, but most of them are tucked up high on rooftops or ledges, meaning you have to do some climbing. In total, there’s 305 of them, and you’ll come across them every step of the way early on in the game. It’s only after you’ve found about three-fourths of them that you have to begin paying attention and hunting them down, which is not as tiresome as one might think, thanks to Cole’s superhero powers of zipping up buildings and gliding across telephone wires. I found my 305th one out in the water last night, and upon collecting it, Cole accidentally took a dip, dying from the splash. Regardless, I got the Trophy, and I do believe it’s my first Gold one, unless I got one in Vanquish.

Tonight’s goal is to find three (or maybe it’s four?) more flying birds for the rest of the Dead Drops. I think I have run out of side missions though, meaning I can’t free the second island from enemy oppression. Might be wrong, might have to check online to see if there’s anything else I can do. After that, it’s off for Cole to fight the Beast, use the RFI, and watch another classic ol’ Western with his best bud Zeke. Mostly because then I can download Sleeping Dogs (free this month for PlayStation Plus users!) and have some more zany open-world fun, though probably with a lot less zapping and sticky ice grenades. Can’t say that for sure though.