Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

Fallout 3 (Game of the Year Edition), Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2

Posted by Mike on March 16, 2010

These video games go back a few months, I’d almost forgotten to mention at least the first two, which would be a shame. Anyway video games may be unusual in that they often tend to put out sequels that don’t suck and undoubtedly these are three sequels that do anything but suck, in fact all three were pretty much fabulously immersive and incredible pieces of work. And amazingly I had very little trouble with any of them, in fact the final battles of both Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2 I completed first go without dying, which is pretty amazing for me.

Fallout 3 is the Oblivion-ized version of the old post nuclear war video game, which means it’s a lot different than it used to be. But like the previous two Elder Scrolls games (or all of them really), this presents a big sandbox world to play in, a grim, mutant-filled Washington DC area that was so large that by the time I got done finishing all the quests and downloadables, I still hadn’t explored every location. This is partially because my character levelled up extremely fast and would have made it fairly boring to do so. For example in the game, there are some rather horrible beasts called deathclaws that are among the hardest enemies in the game to tackle, but by the time I met my first I was already fairly capable of handling them. Of course the trick to these Oblivion-like games is just to stock up nice and full of things that get your health back, nearly everything else cool in the game comes to you (well except for the fabeled mega weapon that randomly drops from the sky depending on your game, such a windfall never occured for me). Anyway the whole experience was great fun, I thought the main quest was cool and the add on perhaps even better, but the other downloadables definitely felt more like the add ons they were despite some decent aspects. Anyway like most who have played this, I’m looking forward to New Vegas later this year, it’ll be an immediately buy.

As will Mass Effect 3, after a severely improved second sequel. To me this was kind of a level up in the video game industry in that if you had a saved character in the first game you could continue it in the second and the creators managed to make those connections more than just surface level and it really added to the depth, which is good because this is space opera and it could have used a little. Anyway I thought the mechanics were nicely streamlined on this one, all except for the very tedious mineral scanning mini game which after a while I wondered why I was even bothering. Better yet I collected my crew and got them all through the final sequence and even managed to take out the boss at the end without dying once. Overall I thought it was fantastic, one of the better video game experiences with a cinematic grandeur that was quite impressive. Like everyone else I can’t wait for number 3 and the trilogy’s conclusion.

I just finished playing Bioshock 2, which plays like nothing more than a less linear and better balanced version of the first. I thought the first was really one of the all time great video games so had no problem with the sequel being more of the same, especially as it’s hard to replicate a twist ending as good as the one in the first. One great change is having weaponary and plasmids at hand together, it really made for an interesting experience in terms of governing what attacks and strategy you’d use. Once I figured out the best way to take out the other big daddies was using telekinesis back at them, things got pretty easy. On the other hand the big sisters usually wiped me out several times. All until the battle with two of them which I managed to get through unscathed. Of course the strategy of setting up any future battleground with a million mines, trip wires and mini turrets helped a great deal. And that’s why this one seems like it will be fabulously replayable. In fact I read in the latest 360 magazine today that it’s a good idea to stick to only a couple plasmids and that’s something I definitely would have done on a repeat. Is there a 3 on the horizon for this one? I have no idea but I want it. It also seemed to me that occasional artwork paid tribute to the Fallout series  (particularly the Please Stand By thing that shows up in both). Anyway great fun. Honestly it’s hard enough managing time enough to play games like this, and I have to credit my furlough schedule for allowing a lot of it. Next up is Crackdown, emphasis on the crack.

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