Wednesday, February 16

Fortunate Son

I was going to write about my second attempt (this time on the Playstation 3) at playing through Mass Effect 2 today; but considering that it is still installing after thirty minutes, perhaps I should consider alternative subject matter.

For those of you not following my antics via social media outlets, know that I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on videogames in the last month. What started with the acquisition of a trilogy of the last hardware generation's most influential games (Prince of Persia for those wondering), has now culminated with the order of Nintendo's latest portable, complete with a game I had no intention of buying previously. My game collection at the moment is something akin to Gotham City in Batman Begins,  where Ra's Al Ghul would claim that my gaming forest has grown too wild, and "a purging fire is inevitable and natural."

Fool me once
Despite the dubious honour I bestowed on Mass Effect 2, it still has the most spectacular opening sequence that I've played through in recent memory. It was even to the point where Carls piped in with "Those are some impressive visuals." It is nothing short of breathtaking, peering through the broken shell of the Normandy into dead space (ha! EA pun). The only difference now is the interactive comic punctuating the opening and the first mission, which was not an offensive experience. It cut out all of the awkward cut-scenes, vehicle sequences and combat, while allowing me to make the choices that I'm pretty sure I made back in 2007 when I first played Mass Effect.

And now unlike the 360 version of Mass Effect 2 where I couldn't carry over my save after an encounter with the Red Ring of Death, I have some connection to the first title and it only took me about ten minutes (as opposed to fifteen to twenty hours). The PS3 version looks pretty, even if it is somewhat unstable. Textures still take their sweet time to load, but on the whole it looks a little better than its Xbox 360 predecessor (as it should). I have noticed quite a few hiccups with the audio though. 

None of these technical issues really matter if the strong impression left from the opening hour of gameplay dissipates again. I'll keep plugging away though, there's too much hype behind this game to fail (again).

Belligerent Sky
After having the Vietnam expansion to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 installed on my PS3 for over a month, I finally had a decent session with it and I have to say that I'm feeling indifferent towards it. A few maps, a few weapons, but not enough to add to the core action. If anything the dense jungle maps take away from it. Half of the enjoyment found in BF:BC2 is derived from destroying structures, and riding in choppers piloted by selfish, sometimes suicidal players from across the globe. The pilots are still there, but there's no rockets volleying into factory walls, or UAVs cutting down soldiers running between houses on snowy fields.

It's all a little too narrowly focussed for my liking. Also, I will boycott the next Cold War era title with a soundtrack featuring "Fortunate Son," by CCR. I get it, people listened to that song in the seventies.

What are you guys playing this week?

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