Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breaking worlds

Allegiances shift quickly in Mafia II. First I am buying drugs from a Chinese gang then they are hacking one of my crew to death in broad daylight. The guy that they sliced up was a good friend, he let someone he was supposed to kill go just because the main character asked him, but he was also an undercover federal agent, or so the Chinese boss said before he died. Suddenly Vito owes a mafia loan shark something like $27,000, so he goes to another boss to earn some money, only to kill him and everyone who works for him after finding out the boss killed his father. Keeping up? You are doing better than I am. It feels like Goodfellas in a blender, but it is still fun. Thing are about to open up, as I still need to come up with a few more thousand dollars, mostly because I want to keep my elbows from being bent the wrong way, and the only way to earn money that quick is to resort to petty burglary. I held up a gun store and the cashier whipped out a shotgun. It did not go so well for him. I held up a diner and some customers pulled out pistols and started shooting. It didn't go so well for them either. The entire city appears to be packing heat, but they all have terrible aim

Mafia II has done such a good job crafting a believable world that these little breakdowns become much more noticeable. I was being chased by the cops at the end of a quest, but instead of escaping them I led them to my house, shot them dead on my lawn, then walked inside and took a nap. I though about adding their car to my growing collection of pilfered classics, but taking it on a drive by just would not work very well. This was a complete failure of the semi-realistic world I had been enjoying and I almost felt guilty doing it. I had bought in to the story and setting so much that I did not want to break it. But it was still just a game and I had to go to bed, so pragmatism won against playing guns and wearing snazzy suits.

The final list of Super Street Fighter IV AE changes is out and everyone's main has been nerfed. There is a lot of bitching going on, some of it warranted and some of it silly, but we still don't even know if this is going to be made available to console users. For all we know it may be twelve months and $40 off. I have a hard time seeing it as DLC, as it would split the user base even more than the relatively quick release of Super did, but putting out even a moderately priced expansion with only two new characters in it doesn't seem right either. If they wait too long it will run into Marvel vs Capcom 3 and start cannibalizing their own market. If only the arcade scene in the US wasn't so terrible. Who am I kidding, going to an arcade means leaving the house and that just doesn't happen very often.

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