Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Out of Time


I got me a 360
for my birthday. It just felt like it was time.

Jesus but this has been a great season for games. Almost every thing I've played has been outstanding.

Mario Galaxy halfway in the bag. I'm at Bowser but still have to go back and collect the hidden shit.

Mass Effect waits for my sister-in-law to leave so I can wrest control of the television from my wife and the neverending stream of shows (the writer's strike is truly a shitty situation for writers, but I can't help feel a bit of relief that I might be granted a small reprieve from constant idiot-boxing.

Crysis will be a future purchase despite the fact that Crytek obviously hasn't done fuckall with their AI since Far Cry.

I still jump on Team Fortress 2 regularly. I feel competent with the Pyro and sometimes the Medic. Other than that I go from mediocre to awful, but with a pretty even match it's a good time anyway.

I tried out Crackdown and my judgment is that it's a great platformer and an OK action game. It's basically a futuristic mercenaries with a comicbook sensibility. I spend about 90 percent of the time collecting agility orbs and hidden orbs and then remember that there are gang leaders to take out or something.

Assassin's Creed will also be something to maybe buy when it gets cheaper. I spent about two hours with a borrowed copy but there was a scuff and the disc wouldn't load any intel points in Damascus. By now if you've heard about this game at all you've been spoiled for the sci-fi "twist," which apparently has the ability to instantly twist nerd panties into a knot of anger. It happens in the first five minutes and is about on par with a good Michael Crichton novel. I enjoyed the nods in the story to the real Assassins (stories that are no doubt apocryphal, but nevertheless show detail to crafting the world).

The real flaw of the game is that it's exactly like Spider-Man 2 - run around a city, do the same five or six kind of tasks until you earn enough plot points to trigger the next part of the story. It feels lazy, which is a letdown when you consider how much work was evidently put into the rest of the game. The combat's been criticized but I didn't have a problem with the implementation.
Rock Band's also out now, and there is no way I can afford it anytime soon. I'm not too disappointed. I don't have time to play single-player stuff let alone gather a bunch of friends together to bang on plastic instruments. Hell, I've been trying for a few years to find enough time and friends to get together to bang on real instruments.

I thank god that Grand Theft Auto isn't out yet.

---

The bane of all developers is player expectation.

Players can't help but talk about how they would have implemented a feature or designed a character or mapped a control. It's a natural thing no matter what the media.

But I've seen more and more reviews by supposedly professional reviewers that judge a game based upon player expectation rather than on the game itself. It's sloppy and lazy and one of the reasons that I read about games on joke forums where the users do nothing but flame each other over their choice of console/game/controller/avatar.

At least it's honest.

1 comment:

Corvus said...

Awesome. I've been spending a lot of time with game demos and Carcassonne. Played quite a bit of (rented) Bioshock, but I haven't picked it up yet. I'm upping my gamefly queue next cycle and starting to keep an eye out for used copies of older titles I want.

My gamertag is PreatorJudis, so hook me up!