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5:15 PM on 07.02.2011

Bad Things in Good Games ~ #2 Difficulty Curve

All opinions on this blog are subjective. You may like what I refer to. You may also be wrong.

Modern Warfare 2. It's single player campaign was nowhere near as good as it's predecessor's. The story was a mess, the characters were even more one-dimensional and the brown hue of the game was kinda annoying. On the upside, they fixed every problem that the original Modern Warfare's single player had! (All one of them) The infintely respawning enemies were removed meaning once you cleared a damn area, it stayed clear. That was the only problem in that game... But that's for another time. This post is on the first part of the Favela mission.

The game thrusts you into Brazil about an hour or so in and it's the first time you given an inkling of freedom. After seeing some poor polygons getting tortured by Soap, you jump down into the shanty town. Enemies are on top of buildings, inside of buildings, everywhere. And you're outnumbered and in your ear is someone shouting at you telling you to run straight through and you follow the invincible AI ally through the alleyways. As you go up and through the level, you get spammed by grenades, bullets and anything else they can throw at you. Considering that on Veteran taking around 4 to 5 rounds will kill you this suddenly becomes a brutal task.

The major problem is the mission beforehand was No Russian, which is a relatively easy mission. The first half is NOT KILLING CIVILIANS if you have a conscience and then all the enemies are presented before you. The sudden jump up to enemies everywhere is horrific and comes out of nowhere. Suddenly! The third dimension, grenade spamming and having to think tactically are thrown at you.

However, according to the interwebs, this mission is actually quite easy. All you have to do is ignore the NPCs saying that you have to go through the mission quickly and take your time. So what the main problem with this level actually comes down to is TERRIBLE WRITING. Bad scripts cost me three hours because I got stuck at a checkpoint where I was completely surrounded 'cos I blitzed into the mission like a mad man. And I was told to.

The rest of the game is relatively easy. Basic cover, pop out, shoot gameplay and has some great set-pieces and some really cool ideas for FPS missions which aren't just kill everything. It's a relatively straightforward and well built game apart for running down the slope outside the mansion, but that's just because I tried to run down it without killing anyone. Took two hours. Totally worth it. Except the *Spoilers* dying at the end thing *End of Spoilers*   read

7:15 AM on 06.24.2011

Bad Things in Good Games #1 ~ The Lifts

All opinions on this blog are subjective. You may like what I refer to. You may also be wrong.

(Please note: This is not on the move "Lift" it's on the English (UK) definition of lift or an American elevator)

Nearly everyone likes Mass Effect for their own reasons. Either it's the characters, the plot, the action, the exploration, the conversation trees, the freedom to be good or evil or more than likely a combination of the above. But anyone who has ever put the disc in their drive hates the fucking lifts.

For the first hour or less of the game, you wander around the Normandy and then Eden Prime killing Geth and Husks and talking to Joker. It's a great experience and it even brings in the narrative with Saren entering the fray. Hell it's so good it introduces the whole fricking universe with Mass Relays, Spectres, Alien races the whole shebang. It's a really compelling, perfectly executed opening mission. Then you go to the Citadel to hear about the fallout from the mission. And here's where things begin to go sour.

Depending on how well you know the game you can either last 5 minutes or the entire Citadel section without stepping in a box of loading doom, but when you do all the game's momentum comes to a screeching halt. On my most recent playthrough I managed to avoid all of the evil beings by using fast travel instead. UNTIL, I had to get to the Normandy from C-Sec Academy. And my god the sheer evil of the lifts is horiffic. They take so goddamn long you understand why they put muzak in real life lifts and although the news bulletins are fed into the lifts occasionally are interesting when they're about your exploits, they never make up for the sheer boredom that some of them create.

The worst instance of these hideous contraptions is in Novaria. You're tasked with finding a keycard that'll open up the garage so you can take the Mako out to Peak 15 so that you can get to Saren's right hand woman. To get said keycard you must 1) take a lift up to the main lobby, 2) take a lift up to the hotel bar. 3) take the lift back to the lobby. 4) take the lift to the offices. 5) take the lift back to the lobby 6) take the lift back to the bar. 7) take the lift back to the lobby and garage. 7 instances of lifts WITHOUT any side quests. And that's the minimum, if you get lost at all add at least 4 more to that and with side quests at least another 10. And some of these take up to 45 seconds. Add in the fact that Novaria isn't the only place with lifts then they truly become a fucking pain.

The lifts are so fucking terrible in fact that they move SLOWER than real life lifts. This doesn't even make sense. Why the fuck would lifts in the future be slower than ones we have now? Especially the one on the Normandy, eurgh. That one's like a padded cell of boredom. A padded cell would be more fun because at least you could move around in it. Probably in a straight jacket but movement nonetheless.

Anyways. The lifts suck. I hate them.

[PS. My mate Alex has informed me that if you are playing on the PC version and install to an SSD, the lifts barely make a dent on the experience.]   read

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