Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Article Roundup: Back… In the Saddle-Like Thing

Posted by deckard47 on February 11, 2010

Where a zombie once was a man… The people who read the third Doom novel can now join me in laughing/crying. It’s good to meet you.

It has been a bit. After that peculiar flurry of “Best of ’09” posting, I’ve been quiet. I can, of course, blame Mass Effect 2, Star Trek Online, Arcanum, Stalker (the original, now all modded up), and (now) Bioshock 2 for these delays. I could also tell you that I’m a flighty, inconsistent man. Both of these things are true. This post is meant to boot me back into writing, but it’s also meant to force me to post a lot of links and stuff I’ve been forgetting to post. So, let’s get that stuff out of the way first, shall we? First off, we have my new GSW column. It’s about Modern Warfare 2. Oh crap, don’t leave.

Really, it’s me whining about how people like the game, and they totally shouldn’t, because it’ll be the death of us. Or maybe just annoying. I suppose it could be either. To find out more (so much more!), read the excerpt below, and then head over to GSW for the entire, delicious thing.

The plot, writing, and characters of Modern Warfare 2 are all wretched. There are other ways to put this, but none of them communicate my full disgust with the separate parts of this product, and its heft and intention as a whole entity. Infinity Ward has mastered the art of pretentious (not because it is in any way intelligent, but because it thinks it is saying anything of worth or import) military drama, just as it has mastered the art of the contemporary linear military shooter.

As an “entertaining” piece of jingoistic military schlock, Modern Warfare 2 hits a few good notes here and there. The idea of a massive invasion blasting apart and disfiguring everyday America is a potent one, although as I’ll explain later, IW’s execution of this interesting situation leaves much to be desired. Likewise, its depiction of a long firefight through a capital in ruins is tense, desperate, and perfectly paced. Even a problematic trip to Brazil (opening with a hugely annoying mission) salvages itself somewhat, delivering a tense, alarming firefight through a crowded market where sight lines are crap and the enemies are plentiful.

Were you surprised? I was surprised. Full article at this link!

What’s next? A ton of Popmatters delicacies:

King Arthur: The Role-Playing WargameOr, the best named game I’ve played this year. This is a peculiar, fun game. It’s a bit like Total War and a light RPG all mixed up together, except instead of silly historical accuracy, this version of Arthur’s Britain is full of magic, Ogres, kick-ass Druids, an awesome Celtic instrumental/rock soundtrack, and strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords. I just made you want to play it, didn’t I?

Zuma’s Revenge: I haven’t got much to say. Uninteresting, annoying “tribal” theme, not as good as other Popcap games. Avoid!

Divinity 2: Ego Draconis: Covered earlier here on the blog, this review is actually my first review. I believe I was slightly more enamored of the game at that point. It probably helped that Simon and I spent a lot of time making fun of it the second time around. Still, a fun, somewhat broken 3rd person action RPG, with a completely unique sensibility and tone. Really quite odd and endearing, actually.

Need for Speed: Nitro: Take a good NFS game. Make it into a bad Kart Racing game that still has “cars.” Call it Nitro. Release it for the Wii. Feel SHAME.

And then, a load of Sleeper Hit articles:

CSI Deadly Intent: Bah! Really, though, a bad puzzle game with bad writing and hilarious plots. Also silly techno music. I’m sure there’s a good way to make mystery adventure games (make them text adventures, obviously!), but this is not it. Ick.

Tales of Monkey Island Episode Five: The final episode. Better than all of the previous episodes, but still not that close to Monkey Island Magic. A nice Underworld set of locations is somewhat ruined by some boring LeChuck tomfoolery. Elaine and Morgan are at their (episodic) best. There will be a sequel though, so prepare to be excited (or slightly put out).

Ruse Preview: Do you enjoy subterfuge? Skulduggery? Sneakiness? Tricks? Army guys? If you do, this game might be something you’d like. It kind of pretty, and kind of clever, and kind of different, but it’s also kind of character-less and unexciting (all battles actually take place on giant holographic battle board). So it’s like BSG‘s battle table, without the real people and high stakes… And no Starbuck in space. Huh.

Rabbids Go Home: A surprisingly fun mixture of almost open world exploration and frantic item collection/consumption. Apparently it’s a lot like Katamari. It may be. It’s fun, although the co-op is sorely misused, and apparently the French dev team that made this game thought that Rabbids would love to make humans strip, while humans made vaguely erotic noises. So if that’s a cool thing…

Alien Breed Evolution: Take the excellent, outrageously cheap Shadowgrounds game and its sequel and go play  both games. Enjoy them. Are you enjoying them? Are you enjoying their deep upgrade menus, effective yet average graphics, hilariously bad writing, and great co-op? Good, you just experienced a bunch of things that you won’t find in Evolution, the bad remake of what was (apparently) a classic.

That’s all! Aren’t you glad you stuck around ’til the end, for the secret ending? I bet you are.

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