Its been too long between drinks here. I went back to university and it’s taken ages to get used to the routine, hence no posts. Anyway to fix that I figured I’d just post some quick thoughts on some games I played since last time we met.
Mass Effect 2
Meh. I really dug the first one and there wasn’t anything really wrong with this but it just didn’t grab me. “Streamlined” is now marketing speak for “We have fuck all ambition”. Is that too harsh? Probably but this was Bioware’s worst game since Jade Empire. Really that says more about Bioware’s high standard than the quality of Mass Effect 2 though. When you so consistently raise the bar it does make it easy to disappoint people.
I liked it more than most, especially the RTS battles which I honestly think were the best part of the game. I even played some comp-stomp against the AI for shits and giggles. Okay so the implementation wasn’t perfect but I’ll take something novel over a well worn idea any day of the week. However the story was a little disappointing. My main beef was that Eddie Riggs never really grows as a character. He starts the game as this tough talking roadie stuck in permanent adolescence and ends the game as a tough talking roadie stuck in permanent adolescence. Compare that with Pyschonaughts where Rez ends up confronting his daddy issues by helping the main villain deal with their daddy issues and Brutal Legend doesn’t seem nearly as ambitious from a storytelling point of view.
Brutal Legend comes across as an indulgent teenage fantasy, I would have liked it to grow beyond that.
Modern Warfare 2
You point a cursor at simulated men and explode them with the click of a button. It is quite satisfying.
Jumping was superfun, then I maxed out agility and realised I didn’t really care about anything else in the game. Oh well, it was cool while it lasted.
Street Fighter IV
I’m not a fighting game fan so I waited for this to drop in price before I got it. I really got into it though, playing it every day for a while there. It’s the sort of game you can play in thirty minutes bursts. We need more games like that, deep and complex enough to be engaged with on a hardcore level but short enough to be enjoyed in a casual manner.
The training modes need to be better though. The game manual doesn’t even tell you how long you have to push back to execute the hold moves. Is it one second or two? Honestly I just count to three and hope for the best.
You know I probably liked this more than Modern Warfare 2. You point a cursor at simulated men and explode them with the click of a button. The exploding is slightly less satisfying than Modern Warfare 2 but you get points for chaining kills. Clearly this is an evolutionary leap forward for the genre.
Left 4 Dead
A friend gifted this to me when it was cheap. Good times, Valve know their shit. I really like the way that the character’s combat barks communicate a lot of information to the players. You don’t need your team mate to say, “Hey stand still I’m trying to heal you” because Bill does that for you. When not everyone on the team has voice chat this is a god send. More stuff like this game writers.
You either love it or hate it. I hate it.
It’s ridiculous that this game still looks as pretty as it does. Eye-fucking-candy. Probably a bit too long for its own good, currently sits on my shelf unfinished.
Shadow of the Colossus
Deserves the hype. I just wished I’d played it when it first came out, the controls feel a little too ropey by modern standards.
I wish you didn’t need to unlock the characters one at a time. If I could pick and choose which character’s story to play and could switch between them when things got too hard I’d love this game. As it is I just can not be bothered. That probably makes me a bad person because this is a genuinely good game.
The Red Star
Pretty horrible really, but if anyone ever resuccestates that “Can videogames be b-grade?” meme I’m totally going to mention this. Shit was fun, shit was also kinda dumb.
Metal Gear Solid 2
Final Fantasy 6
Joins Chrono Trigger and Mother 3 in a select club of JRPGs I don’t hate. Probably does this by virtue of its dungeons being like potato chips, tasty and fun but short enough that you always feel like pushing on to the next one. The story is also not totally rubbish (well it’s a little rubbish).
Been playing this with my housemates cause it runs on their laptops. I sssssssssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccck at it though. There’s a mission in the single player where you’ve got to “cleanse” a town of diseased citizens. Except the bad guy is trying to round those guys up for his unholy army. It’s like a hungry hungry hippos holocaust. Uhmm yeah.
Just Cause 2
I’m currently playing this. It is okay, hopefully more thoughts later.