By Gamer_152 3 Comments
Recently my university course has started heading into crunch time and so it’s not going to be possible for me to produce the kinds of blogs of previous weeks for some time, thus for this edition and the next edition of my blog (at the very least) I’m putting out something a little shorter than usual, a little more personal, and unfortunately perhaps a little more rushed. So now, watch me gush egotistically about some of the interactive entertainment I have consumed over the past several weeks.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Not having had much cash to splash around for games at launch time, I’ve had to catch up on a lot of the big games from 2010 this year, but I don’t usually mind lagging a little behind if it means I get to play these games in the end. I’ve already talked at some length about the multiplayer of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, but I feel as though the main points I want to make about the single player are things you’ll already be well aware of if you’ve played this game: 1. Traversing buildings is tremendous fun and 2. The tools given to you to dispatch enemies make you feel like an absolute badass.
I still have to really admire the way the game controls; it not only feels unique but incredibly fluid. I also find the narrative of the game tied the protagonist to the game world far better than most games are able too. In the original Assassin’s Creed, as with many other games, it didn’t feel like there was a particularly great sense of connection between Altair and the other people in the world he inhabits, but the character of Ezio obviously has a strong bond with the friends and family he interacts with. It often feels like he communicates with the world around him in a human way that many characters in other games don’t; the characters in the game use an impressive array of body language, and the dialogue is often much more than just a series of throw-away lines. I only wish they hadn’t got so carried away with the ending again (Spoilers for ending follow).
I can suspend my disbelief for scenarios like the destruction of the renaissance flying machine, but I feel like the whole alien hologram/Da Vinci Code pastiche the game does at the end crosses the line, even worse than it did in Assassin’s Creed II. I guess you can’t have everything though.
It’s easy to condemn the sequel-driven nature of much of the games industry and I too share a dislike of this facet of the industry to some extent. I have no kind of interest in the constant yearly upgrades most sports games go through and I found the endless re-hashing of games like Guitar Hero just gratuitous, but Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a fantastic example of how a game can really improve over a series of iterations. Assassin’s Creed went from an okay action-adventure game with a lot of potential to something genuinely amazing in just three years. I hope Ubisoft can keep themselves from spiralling off into the dangerous realm of excessive sequels but right now they’re doing exactly what they should be doing, and more.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
I’ve consistently enjoyed the 3D Mario platformers and Super Mario Galaxy was no exception but I think I can say with some confidence that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is my least favourite 3D Mario game so far. It’s not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination but I find I can only really consume the vibrant colour palette and chirpy sound of Galaxy 2 in short bursts, or I find myself somewhat fatigued by the world.
My other issue was that the game wasn’t overly enjoyable to control. That’s not to say that the controls for the game are badly mapped but the Nintendo Wii has never had my favourite controller of the big three consoles. The “Wiimote” is accessible, well-suited for motion control, and even manages to convey a somewhat old school feel when the controller is turned on its side and used like a NES pad, but I’ve always had two problems with it. Firstly, it feels very light, there’s no reassuring heftiness behind it, and secondly, when you use it in conjunction with the Nunchuck there’s this odd sense of tactile detachment during gameplay. This isn’t usually something that hurts the experience that much for me, but playing some of the game on the back of AC: Brotherhood left me with a sharp contrast between the way the two games feel to play.
Despite these rather specific grudges I still found a lot to love in Mario Galaxy 2; much like its predecessor the game looks and sounds charming, the level design is fantastic and the core gameplay gives that classic 3D Mario feel.
Duder, It’s Over
So, that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll be back with another blog next weekend but until then thanks for reading. Good luck, have Dance Central.