Goddamn heat wave. Over 100 three days in a row…needed both the bedroom and living room air conditioners, along with closed drapes, in order to keep it cool in here. …I hate summer.

Er…"new mechanics" in Dragon Age 2?

I don't like it when companies make announcements and don't bother to elaborate on obviously intriguing details. So BioWare goes and officially announces Dragon Age 2 and says we can expect it in March 2011, but that's hardly the most interesting part. The GameSpot article and the press release made mention of "new mechanics" but neither saw fit to provide any further info…and that irks me. What exactly do they mean? If you alter the mechanics even slightly, the entire gameplay changes, and that could really annoy fans of the original title. Maybe it doesn't really have anything to do with the basic control or style of combat, but something a little less obvious and significant…I don't know. But either way, it'll be interesting to see if BioWare really changes the pace and structure in the sequel. Personally, I'm fine with the gameplay the way it is; I'd just ask for either an easier difficulty curve or the option of power-leveling via respawning enemies.

It's weird, actually. This may be the first time in my gaming history when I could say a Western RPG is my most anticipated role-playing title of the next year… I'd say Final Fantasy Versus XIII , but I'm too clueless in regards to that project.

So everybody's all stoked for Vanquish now?

Heh…it was pretty obvious. I don't recall many people around here expressing a ton of interest in Platinum's Vanquish , regardless of the media or info we gathered. But suddenly, Insomniac goes and praises it to high heaven , and there are a lot more anticipatory gamers out there. 😉 Oh, don't worry, I get it. It makes sense. Insomniac is well-respected, especially amongst PlayStation fans, and when they say things like, "my favorite game at E3 was Vanquish " and "a brilliant technical showpiece," everyone stands up and takes notice. However, I would like to remind you all that I was very much interested in Vanquish from the get-go, primarily because I do like Gears , and also because I loved Bayonetta and respect Platinum Games and Shinji Mikami. That footage from E3 looks pretty damn good and bear in mind that camera footage almost never looks impressive. What I want to see is a demo of this bad boy…

The question is whether or not it will be able to stand up against the stiff competition later this year. New IPs can have extreme difficulty competing with established franchises, even around the holidays when people loosen the purse strings a bit.

Personal gaming update

I finished Singularity , which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend it if you want a satisfying FPS with a really cool twist; it even boasts a relatively decent story. I so don't regret playing it through to completion and now, I'm going to see if I can get the Wii over here and start on Super Mario Galaxy 2 . In the meantime, I've been playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – just because it's one of the best games in history – and actually, it doesn't look half bad on my new TV. I won't be testing anything 3D on it until the fall but in the meantime, I have to say that anything in high-definition looks downright phenomenal on this thing. In terms of future games, I really can't think of anything I want right now, so I've got some time to either catch up or play a few classics.

And by the way, just one thing I'd like to add in regards to the heat: a few people – a very few people these days – have reason to wear less clothing and show off. If you do not have a reason, please…for the love of God…we don't want to see it. We really, really don't.