Friday, November 25, 2011

Time to breath

Time to play catch up. There are several things that I have been meaning to talk about that have been continually put off by either being busy at work, not being around, or (most of all) Skyrim. Working the Friday after Thanksgiving in a non-retail establishment is actually not so bad. It's been relatively quiet today, so I should have just enough slacking time to collect my thoughts.

Resistance 3 was mentioned briefly last week. It was very good when I started it, and it only got better as the game went on. Yes, there has been a glut of upper tier shooters this year, all of which have come out in the fourth quarter, but Resistance 3 is the first one that has effectively sealed the deal with an excellent (read: not a quick time) ending. First, the bad: Warhammer was a very good shooter that no one played which decided to end you the player mashing X instead of doing what had been fun for the rest of the game. Battlefield 3 has exactly the same kind of ending. I have not played the new Modern Warfare yet, but I bet 1000 quatloos right now that it pulls the same shit. Resistance 3 has the common sense to let the player finish things off in the same genre of game that got them there: shooting things.

It would have been very easy for Insomniac to take the easy way out and have the player pushing buttons in a prompted manner as a giant terraformer falls out of the sky onto a tower that had open a portal to somewhere else in the galaxy. What they did instead was genius. You fall through the floor, loose all but one of your weapons, and get tangled in cables hanging from part of the ship (think the end of Return of the Jedi without all the whining). As you hang there the chimera, lacking common sense to the very end, start pouring out and shooting at you. It honestly surprised me when I realized that this was not a cut scene and that I actually had to aim at these bastards while swinging from a cable. After the first wave you fall further and are swung upside down, and you still are responsible for keeping yourself alive. It was the most exciting final two minutes of a game that I have played through in years, and just because Insomniac had the courage to actually let me play the last two minutes.

(Chance, if you are reading this, you should feel guilty about not playing this)


Last Sunday I had a chance to sample Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The actual playing lasted only a few minutes, as what few words of the difficult foreign language I had picked up the first time around had been forgotten, replaced with random super jumps and missed  inputs. We all gave up around the same time and just ran through the new characters supers. Marvel and I have come to a firm agreement: I love to watch the game, I love to watch people who are very good at it play the game, but under no circumstances should I attempt the game myself.


Skyrim would easily devour all of my time if I let it, so for the last week or so I have tried very hard to play it and another game simultaneously. This worked with Resistance 3 because it was worth playing, but how would it hold up with a shitty game? White Knight Chronicles 2 made it all of an hour. It did not help that I spent literally that entire hour in menus, leveling up characters because the game expected me to archive me save file from the first game and gave me generic level 35 characters because I didn't. Once I was done with that and got into the game itself I remembered comparing the first game to torture, turned it off and sent it packing. Part of what can make a bad gamer tolerable is the surprising way a game can mange to be bad.  When I know exactly what is coming the fearful anticipation of forthcoming terribleness is just too much to bare. I don't fell bad that I turned it off, I just wish that simply turning the game on hadn't generated a trophy so it would be easier to forget.

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