So I finally had time to sit down with Bladestorm: The Hundred Years war. I've had it since just after Christmas, but I haven't had the time due mostly in part to a) getting accustomed to my new job and b) buying it in the middle of Darkstar One (which I highly recommend, by the way).
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War is an original IP in a similar vein as Dynasty Warriors. However, the similarities end at embellished history and melee combat. You play the role of a mercenary who participates in real and fictional battles during the Hundred Years War (which, if I remember right, was 113 or 114 years long). You'll meet real and fictional characters including The Black Prince (Prince Edward of England - not to be confused with Edward II, the son of Edward I, aka Longshanks) and St. Joan of Arc while kicking ass in the name of whatever currency is in fashion at the time.
Combat is very different in that you control ranged, melee and cavalry support units. However, you need to unlock different books which you'll find in battle or purchase to use these units. Further, units are upgradable. Or you can choose to go it alone, although that isn't recommended. Hell, you'll get beaten like a baby fur seal in the off-season.
Each unit and equipment type also has special attacks associated with them, so it's worthwhile exploring the different units. Plus, there's a balancing act between different equipment types and different units, and some of the unit special skills actually mitigate some of these deficiencies.
As far as I can tell, the game is a match of capturing control points, but there are "special requests" that you can complete. These are usually a matter of beating certain officers or a fetch job of some sort.
So far, I'm finding the difficulty is starting to curve upwards somewhat steeply, so there's either something I'm missing or I'm rushing a little too hard. Either way, the game is a lot deeper than the "professionals" laid it out to be.
I've also started to play through some of my PS2 games. I finished Hunter The Reckoning Wayward. So far, best game structure of the series, but the graphics and controls are utter garbage compared to the XBox games. This seems more to do with the deficiencies of the PS2 controller, but it could also be that the devs dicked the controls to push the game out sooner. That is a possibility.
I've also played the PS2 port of No One Lives Forever. So far, it's alright. The dialogue is right out of Black Adder and Monty Python, though, so it adds a great touch of British Humour.
In truth, I've played a little bit of all of my PS2 games; Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, NOLF, Taito Legends 2, Killzone, and HTR: Wayward. Final Fantasy X, from what I've played, is same crap different day - cool cutscenes, humdrum combat reminiscent of the extremely overrated Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy XII, however...that's looking to show some huge promise. Taito Legends 2 is an awesome compilation with a terrible menu interface that's about as user-friendly as a beartrap closed on your ankle and Killzone really is pretty mediocre. I can't believe Sony had the chutzpa to sell that dreck as a Halo-killer, especially since Halo was no longer the shooter to beat by that time. Halo 2 was, and it's hardly a game that requires much talent to beat, at least insofar as the singleplayer campaign was concerned.
Next up, I want to find the PS2 port of Deus Ex as I hear that it's quite competent.
After Bladestorm, I'm probably going to get to work on my PS3 backlog. I need to finish Little Big Planet and Resistance 1 and 2. After that, I'll take on Killzone. I know Killzone 2 is good; the first 5 minutes of that were infinitely better than the first 5 minutes of Killzone 1, and I'm not just referring to the visuals and horrid audio, but if one can, it's better to tackle a series in proper order. Couldn't be helped with Hunter: The Reckoning.