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IvoryShipping's blog

3:18 PM on 11.30.2007

Mass Effect Requires Patience

Mass Effect requires patience and imagination to fully enjoy. It's like tasting a new wine; the first sip might have been atrocious, but there was something in it that made you go for a second taste. Soon, the initial bitterness fades as the greatness overshadows any dissatisfaction.

Instead of writing paragraph after paragraph of pseudo-literati gaming opinion, I will be brief in why Mass Effect deserves your attention.

Let's start with a few of the countless flaws:
- Highly annoying texture pop-in.
- Far too many elevators.
- Lack of unique character mannerisms. Why does everyone shake their head and hold out their hands the same way?
- Some odd face glitches like eyelashes on Sheppard's forehead and blocky shadows.
- Radical audio mixing makes some things very difficult to hear.
- Lack of interactivity with the Normandy. I want to access a computer to play a minigame, or be able look out a window at the planet that I'm currently orbiting.
- Some areas feel barren even though they are populated with many NPCs.
- I'd like to be able to jump.
- Ashley is a bitch.

I imagined that this would be the place where I would make a list of Mass Effect's positive traits, but I just decided that it would be too long. Mass Effect is a wonderful game. I was never bored. The universe is believable enough to feel like it is actually out there and the gripping story should keep you playing until the very end. There is nothing like shooting a blackmailing punk in the face.

Like I mentioned earlier, this game takes a lot of patience. Mass Effect is one of the most vague games that I have ever played. It took me quite a while to get used to, but the combat is quite fun. Yes, I think that having grenades mapped to the back button actually works well. The Journal and Codex are helpful, but there is a lot for you to figure out on your own. It's actually refreshing to play a game that treats you like an adult. My first play through was as a soldier on the hardest difficulty with the manual level-up point system and I didn't find it overwhelming at all. Not bad for someone who rarely plays RPGs.

Mass Effect is for people who can look past it's flaws and realize how wonderful of a game it actually is. Definitely recommended.   read

11:53 PM on 11.12.2007

Gamers Must Complain

It's our true nature to complain. That's what makes us the hardcore; the elite of the gaming crowd. When the average person plays a game and don't like it they just dismiss the problem or call the game crap, but we are different. We see the potential, or lack of, that a certain game might have. We see specific flaws that should and could be addressed. Then, thanks to the internet, our voice can be heard. We can email game companies. We can post on forums to see if others agree. We can write an article on a popular gaming website and see if anyone cares. Maybe we are not very powerful when alone, but together we can make a difference.

It's evident that many game developers listen to their fans, so why when someone posts a complaint or suggestion on how to make a game better do they usually get a nasty response from a fellow gamer? Who cares if what he said has been said many times before? Do people really believe they are getting further in life by telling someone to shut up? No gamer should be silenced even if what he says seems stupid. If you don't like what he has to say then just ignore him, or at least respond in an intelligent fashion. I love sarcasm, but many times it's just not funny. Like I said at the start, it's our nature to complain. If we never speak we will never be satisfied.   read

5:00 PM on 11.12.2007

Assassin's Creed: Worth Waiting For?

Having an Xbox 360 and some spare cash I can pick-up Assassin's Creed in just over a day and be enjoying it for a very long time. Any other time I would not hesitate to buy it, but today I am. See, I plan on purchasing a shiny new 80gb PS3 this holiday and I realize that there isn't nearly as many quality titles for it as there is for 360, or there isn't yet.

There are many reasons for me to venture from the Microsoft camp and return to my last-gen favourite, Sony. I have enjoyed PlayStation since the beginning, along with N64, PS2, GameCube, Xbox and Xbox 360. So when I say that the PlayStation line has been the strongest of the bunch, you know there is weight behind it. That being said, this last year has been quite disappointing for the PS3. It was over-priced and short on games. Everyone knows that. Now things are changing. The PS3 is garnering a lot more support from developers and the features are getting better and better (accessing media from the PS3 via PSP from anywhere in the world with wireless internet, anyone?). I could go on about many other features, but the biggest two reasons for me to wait to get Assassin's Creed for PS3 are Home and free internet.

With the trophy system of PlayStation Home and free access to online content anytime I would much prefer to get a game on PS3 if it's available for multiple systems. Xbox Live Achievements are cool, but having a virtual house in which you can decorate with your gaming trophies is much more fun. Free access to the PSN is also a big incentive. With Live you still have to pay for a lot of additional content as well as the $70 per year subscription fee, where on PSN there is no subscription fee, just the fee of the new content. Yay, cheaper!

Anyway, I'm conflicted. Assassin's Creed looks amazing and I'm sure it is. Should I buy it this Wednesday or should I wait a month and a half when I can afford a PS3 and a copy of the game? I think that I'm going to wait. A nice assassin trophy next to a Ninja Gaiden trophy will look really nice in my new online pad, after all.   read

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