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 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.