Monday, September 27, 2010

Explosive intrusions

One sure way to judge the overall quality of a game is by walking away form the game (or finishing it) and seeing if anything comes back to haunt you in daily life. I was terrified of mannequins for weeks after Silent Hill 2, but that may be a bad example. In the few days after I played as much as I am going to play of Just Cause 2 I have done a considerable amount of driving. Every time I pass a cell phone tower I think about the best place to pull over so that I can lob a grenade out of the window and watch in collapse, crushing the poor fools who try to drive under it before it blocks the highway. I have also decided that this is more funny than creepy, mostly because I don't like thinking of myself as the unibomber type. Just Cause 2 got decidedly sillier as it went along, up to and including machine gun wielding ninjas and missile riding. In a game chocked full of ridiculous occurrences by literally having me jump between four intercontinental ballistic missiles while dodging the attacks of a bond villain with compensation issues. It was the perfect way to end a game that was much more self aware than any sand box I have played in for a long time.

After the credits rolled I was dropped back into mercenary mode. In other words, it was time to clean up all the little things that I missed the first time around. After a brief explanation I was told how little of the game I had actually done: 33.55%. After cleaning up the last faction that I missed, I checked the number again: 33.85%. Then I packed it up and sent it away. I liked the. Actually, I liked it a lot, but I cannot imagine anyone have the patience that would be required to drag that number all the way to 100%.

Of course it was been done, I just don't have the time to do it myself.

Xbox Live Marketplace has a knack for releasing things at just the wrong time, ensuring that I never get around to playing some of its offerings. I was shocked by the release of another Death Spank when I haven't even gotten around to the demo of the first one; talk about striking while the iron is hot. What did get purchased and what is being played right now is Alien Breed 2. I have a soft spot for dual stick shooters, especially when they go out of their way to mimic Shadowgrounds, the best game the sub-sub-genre has ever produced. Alien Breed 2 is little more than an excuse to blast things from an isometric viewpoint, but damn if it isn't a good time. Things are more difficult this time around as well. I spent a good portion of last night running backwards with a sliver of health and a worthless handgun, lobbing grenades in a vain attempt to keep the monsters at bay.

It didn't work.

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