Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He's alive?

Sunday's post, after re-reading my Rooney impression (note: I honestly thought he was dead, but the cranky old bastard still lives, God bless him), can be distilled into one complaint: Halo is just not exciting anymore. I came into the original Halo late, having put off the purchase of an oXbox in favor of a Gamecube, a decision that to this day I stand by. On top of that I was already a veteran of fast paced PC shooters like Unreal Tournament, one of my favorite modes being low-grav instigib, so the Master Chief felt like he was constantly walking through hip deep mud. In spite of this the game was still exciting. It was incredibly polished, had great music, interesting physics and a story that was leagues ahead of most shooter fair. Then Bungie did it four more times and the whole formula is just old. Yes, each version got a little bigger, but it also got more and more multiplayer focused, and the single player suffered as a result. After the credits in Reach there is a message from Bungie thinking the fans, telling them to keep up the good work online and in the forge, saying nothing about future story installments of the franchise. It read very much like a good bye, and it is about time.

On the opposite end of things I find myself really enjoying Vanquish. It feels a lot like Ninja Sword with tighter controls and better graphics, and I really liked Ninja Sword. It is also brutally difficult, but deaths are rarely cheap shots, so it does not fall into the Ninja Gaiden category of  'fuck this game, it is bad for my heart.' It even has the audacity to keep score and display it on the screen at all times, something that I thought had been lost generations ago, The Club not withstanding. I can tell simply from the way that I sit in my gaming chair that I am invested, leaning forward far enough that the beer on my table is just out of reach but not having time to drink from it anyway. It is a stark contrast to Reach, which was played from a slouched position, interrupted only when attacked by multiple hunters who could one shot kill me from across the level, and then it was just to turn things off.

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