Checking out the action on XBLA, it was a tossup between The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and Darwinia+… Although I liked the art style and tone of Winterbottom, the demo suggested to me that I would be in for annoyance or aggravation after getting past the first few levels. Something about setting up all those clones and timing things right struck me as something that would likely be more trouble than it was worth, so I veered the other way and put my MS points towards Darwinia+ instead. After getting through the first three levels, I haven't regretted the choice.
For those that don't know, it's an on-rails shooter that acts as a prequel to the original Dead Space. Considering that the first game was a high-gloss Survival (Action) Horror game, I have to say that the decision to create a prequel in a completely different genre on a completelydifferent system is a little puzzling, but the quality is certainly there.
Earlier today, I was able to attend an online conference put on by the good people at Atlus. The subject of the meeting? 3D Dot Game Heroes for PS3.
For those of you who might not be familiar, 3D Dot Game Heroes is essentially a loving homage to the original Legend of Zelda. Not Twilight Princess, not that new one with the train, or even anything on a 16-bit system…no, we’re talking old, old-school 8-bit Zelda. The original, groundbreaking stuff.
Although I've had more than my fill of talking about Mass Effect 2 since my extremely popular and well-regardedreview hit Metacritic, I have to admit that I'm not quite ready to let the topic go. Getting right to the point, I've been thinking about the way homosexual relationships were removed for the most part, and what a disappointing choice that was.
Games. Comics. Music. Every self-proclaimed geek worth his salt thrives on these things, so put them all together and the result has to be something fantastic, right? Kirby Krackle is a local Seattle-area band with one album under their belt, and another on the way. Absolute up-and-comers to watch, their tune-filled mash-ups of popular culture are smart, sassy, and absolutely on-point. They also prove my hypothesis to be true.
Since Mass Effect 2 came out, I've been burning the midnight oil to get it done in a decent amount of time... had to put a few things on hold and reshuffle priorities for the last week or so, but I completed the game tonight and will be getting my schedule back on track starting tomorrow.
Working on the review as we speak, but I will say that the second "half" of the adventure plays a hell of a lot stronger than the first. The end sequence is especially gripping, and finally brought back a lot of the emotional tension that I felt was missing from much of the game. It doesn't change the fact that I still feel as though the developers made a lot of WTF alterations to the game design, but it was very heartening to see that the team got their act together and delivered a real showstopper to close things out.
The Mass Effect magic isn't gone, the devs just take more than their sweet time getting around to it, and make the player work a little harder to find it.
To anyone who would say that Mass Effect 2 is indisputably better than the first game, I would ask what it was that they felt was lacking the first time around. I don't mean to broadly assume, but from those I've spoken to, it seems as though players who wanted a more combat-focused experience are loving what Mass Effect 2 brings to the table. Players (like myself) who enjoyed the combat but were more interested in the story and characters seem to have some issues embracing it wholeheartedly.
Spent last night and part of today playing (surprise!) Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360. So far it's been a wonderful to return to a universe that I fell so hard for the first time around, and at the same time, I felt a bit of dismay over some of the changes. I'm still extremely early in the adventure so I'm not going to shoot my mouth off just yet (plenty of time for that later) but I will say that the game isn't be the "insta-10" that some readers might have assumed I'd peg it as.
Since my copy of Mass Effect 2 will be arriving in approximately 2 days (no same-day shipping? Bah!) I'm not playing anything lengthy or substantial... everything stops when the game gets here, so I'm keeping my slate is clean as it can be.
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