Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Video Games

Happy New Year to everybody out there in internet land! Here's a quick post to hold you over until I have time for something more substantial:

As you may have guessed from my blog info, I am a pretty big fan of video games. I remember rocking the Intellivision when I was a kid and then moving to the NES before finally receiving an SNES for Christmas when I was eight years old. I used to be a pretty serious gamer, trying to defeat my uncles and friends at everything, especially sports like Madden or NBA Jam. As the years went by, I became a less competitive gamer and branched out into more genres. While I had always loved platformers, I really got into RPGs, puzzlers and action games and kind of left sports behind. Nowadays I own every system and try to keep up with new games (shooters/sports aside) while trying to fit in all of the old classics, even those I've beaten. My video game updates will explore my favorites as well as those I am currently playing.

They're Legos!
Lego Star Wars is a pretty badass video game and was the first in the current line-up of movie series-themed games from the Lego franchise. My friend Brian "Bone" Doll and I are currently playing through the Complete Lego Star Wars, which combines both the original trilogy and the prequel storylines. Our goal is to eventually play through all of the Lego games and complete them all with a 100% rating. We're doing alright so far - something like mid-30s%.

I really enjoy this game, as its light-hearted approach to the classic Star Wars is both fun and amusing. Traveller's Tales even makes the prequel trilogy feel fun, and Lord knows that took some work. It's great to see some of the well-known Star Wars characters, particularly Boba Fett, in Lego form, and I'm excited to find everything that this game has to offer. We are currently on The Empire Strikes Back, which is actually my favorite Star Wars movie, so we're getting close to finishing the main story mode and will soon be moving into free play to search for missing mini-kits, Lego studs, red bricks and other secrets in an effort to get a complete game file and move on to Lego Indiana Jones (or Batman). I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Mass Effect
Now on to the game I am playing at home on a regular basis: Mass Effect. I started Mass Effect maybe a month ago and I've been slowly moving through it, which I blame on the Citadel and the fucking Mako. I am loving the game and excited to continue through the series. Bioware has done a great job of updating the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic engine and streamlining the story progression. While Citadel was hell, it didn't seem to be as bad as Taris, which used to make me claw my eyes out with boredom (except for the arena - that was great). Also, the voice acting is top notch and really makes a difference in how the story affects the player. Having said that, the story is yet to really get going, which is one a few gripes:

  • Combat: Combat in this game is pretty terrible. The button-mapping is shit, the cover system is mind-blowingly terrible, and the enemy AI is laughably bad, often just standing around and waiting for you to kill them. It feels like a broke-ass Gears of War, and occasionally has me wondering whether it was a bad idea to move from the d20 system featured in KOTOR, where you actually just chose attacks and let the computer do  the work. That's not a good thing.
  • Characters: The characters in this game are shitty. Garrus is some queer with a daddy complex, Kaidan's a bitch who gets headaches, Ashley's an intolerant specieist, Tali's from some sort of ass-backward Amish society, and Wrex...well, he's admittedly awesome. The point here is that I don't really see how any of them factor into the story in any sort of relevant form. The game has yet to give me any sort of reason to give a shit about any of them, but I imagine this will change, as I have only completed one mission since Citadel.
  • Sidequests: Don't get me wrong here - I love that this game has a ton of sidequests on which to embark. Unfortunately, they all require crawling through space at a snail's pace en route to different planets and then slowly climbing over mountains and shit in the Mako, some God forsaken piece of metal trash that controls terribly. I tend to be a completionist, which is annoying in itself, and this game is really making me rethink this way of gaming life. I'm excited to move forward in the game, but I want to experience all that game has to offer. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the small rewards of this game are not worth the monotony in the end.
I will be back later this evening (very late, I'm afraid) with a butt-load of wrestling goodness, including my November '93 and Raw Reactions from last night. I know it's a little late, but working evenings doesn't lend itself well to timely wrestling reviews on a current product. Catch you all later!


  1. the Mako does suck. that thing cant make it over a 1ft pile of sand rocks. it always rolls and they give you the most rugged terrain imaginable to take it through. don't you hate when the weather on a specific planet is too terribly cold and windy to get out and walk? (which would be better than the Mako, always)

  2. It's nice to hear you echo my sentiments. I want to complete every sidequest, but that thing is destroying my will to play. I hate it. Also, even worse than the shit weather is the fucking thresher maws. Without the Mako they might be a pain in the ass.