How are you?


I just got back from Boston, where I was attending the insane and wonderful ROFLcon, in my capacity as rathergood animator. It wasn’t at all videogame related, so I won’t bore you with the details too much, but I have a picture which pretty much entirely sums up my experience:

I’m the one on the right.

Anyway, I’ve been playing a few games recently. Would you like to hear about them? I’m just going to assume you said yes.

Fez (Xbox360)

Fez is absolutely fantastic. I think maybe I’ll talk about it in more detail in a subsequent post – I have a lot to say about it – but for now I’ll just leave it at that. A single caveat: It’s quite absurdly buggy – it’s only due to the fact that the game is so wonderful that when my saved game (at 61/64 collectibles!) managed to somehow corrupt itself, I sighed sadly then started a new game instead of just angrily deleting the game from my hard drive. There’s a patch coming soon though – I have sneaky insider info that this particular problem is already solved.


Mass Effect (Xbox360, PS3, and PC)

I don’t very often play these big AAA ‘event’ games, but on a whim I decided to play through all three Mass Effect games in a row. It took me a few weeks, but I have to say I really enjoyed them. The first one is rather shoddy, if I’m honest: It’s a mess of mismatched half-baked gameplay elements, lazily repeated assets, and painfully underdeveloped writing. The much-hyped ‘romance’ subplot is charmless and mechanical, and the game conspicuously lacks an ‘actually I think genocide is a bad thing’ dialogue option at certain key points, but from the second game onwards it develops into a genuinely engaging story. It’s constantly surprising how much weight the decisions you’re asked to make turn out to have – moral choices in the first game have ramifications in the third, and by the end of the trilogy I was geniuinely proud of my achievements in that universe, and unashamedly invested in the survival of my team-mates.

The ending’s a bit crap, but you probably already knew that.


You Have To Win The Game (PC) (link)

Ha, this one came from nowhere yesterday and ate my entire evening. A really great exploration platformer – an old-school flip-screen Metroidvania, which takes cues from Super Meat Boy and (particularly) VVVVVV, wrapped up in a completely wonderful cathode-ray CGA monitor aesthetic. It’s really good, and bizarrely features a final meta-puzzle which wouldn’t seem at all out of place in Fez.

Oh look! In a nice circular way we’re back at the first game. I’ll pretend that I planned that, and wrap things up. I just need a clever observation to finish on…

…Videogames! Sometimes they are quite good.


11 Responses to “How are you?”

  1. 1 Thanatos September 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Wat? Mass Effect 2 and 3’s story sucked! Mass Effect 2 turned its back on the overarching plot and turned towards the characters. And you don’t do that in a trilogy about an overarching plot god damnit. That’s why when ME3 rolled around ME2 didn’t mean squat and the story sucked both from lack of effort and lack of story development in ME2. LOL DEUS EX MACHINA TYIME.

    • 2 David Shute September 10, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Well, your mileage may vary, of course, but I felt quite differently. I agree that ME2’s plot didn’t really progress the big epic arc-story, but the focus on characterisation was very welcome to me after the clumsy writing and deeply troubling morality of ME1. And the ME3 storyline was for the most part pretty great – it did a great job of knitting together all the disparate concepts and story threads of the previous two games into an escalating, climactic plot. Yeah, Bioware fumbled the ending – although not nearly as badly as the internet seems to have decided – but right up until the last half hour of the game it’s all pretty sweet.

      This reminds me, I should probably play the revised ending at some point.

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