yeah too many players leave the default faces on their pawns too, i'm just never gonna pick a dude with the default face. finding good pawns can be hard, but once you get an experienced, well-geared, and slick looking pawn you can just hang on to them. i haven't touched the game in a while, but the party i had by the end was pretty awesome, knew most of the weaknesses of most of the enemies and it didn't even matter that it became too easy, it was just good to watch them in action.
i solo'd through a chunk of the early game, and at that point the crafting and inventory became a lot more relevant, but even then, sure, the level of detail is a bit much.
@mikkaq: actually i rip all my flacs from my cd's or vinyls, so there's no reason to use a computer if i can play those cd's and vinyls directly, right? i just use the iPod for walking around, i never hook it up to the amp.
i have a hi-fi set-up - a marantz amp, monitor audio speakers, a pro-ject turntable, and a marantz cd player, and i use the hell out of it.
i'm fussy enough about music that I won't play things off my computer because of the noise of it in the background, and I went completely back to cd's and records a few years ago, and ditched all that mp3 business, except for the iPod and even then i use flacs - with good headphones it's easy to spot the difference.
i prefer to play games through the system too, because having those sound effects bounce off your body is a whole different experience from hearing them through tv speakers or headphones, but the mixing in games tends to be very gunshot / impact heavy and it can be a bit much for other people in the house to put up with - three hour sessions of me laying waste to things - so i only get to do it every now and again.
but yeah, most days i will turn off all devices and put on an album and just listen, i mainly collect moody metal and moody film scores, real nerd fare, but my friends have got all that sociable music covered, and not much of it is interesting enough to me for focused listening.
I wouldn't say I'm overly fussed about production, I appreciate when it's done well, but at the same time I can listen to garage band recordings, I just like sounds taking their full shape in the room, which mp3's and computer speakers don't allow for.
i love Mass Effect but dear god if i came face to face with commander Shepard i could only laugh every time something painfully obvious, horribly patronizing, or stupidly simple came out of his mouth, which is constantly.
i think Ellie knew he didn't mean it, it was a bridge Joel had to cross, and Ellie had to be understanding about it, and forgive the statement, because it was clearly disguising the truth - the very opposite of what he said. Men!
It even goes as far to say that perhaps the world is better off without us, at least that's how I saw it.
yep, and the fact that we're now living in the corporate-state world that first alienates Joel makes it all the more relevant and thought provoking.
but taking the Last of Us as an example, and forgiving the game-play elements that require suspension of disbelief, i think the story is executed brilliantly and is worthy of consideration in those terms alongside good literature and smart movies.
BUT the fact is, even being wholly appreciative of that, there were games i preferred this year, because of various other concerns, and to me, and I'm sure many others, stories in games could always take second place to these other concerns, be they game-play, or game-worlds, or interaction with other players, or whatever.
to me the real potential for storytelling in games lies with titles like FTL, and Eve Online, and other open-ended games, where the player is given responsibility for what happens, and what happens is unique to them. This is something that books and movies have no access to, and at the same time it does not rule out opportunities for in-depth characterization or writing in the world that's established.
If The Last of Us achieved greatness in storytelling this year, as far as I can see it really didn't make a huge amount of difference, because many of us are already preoccupied with our own role in these games, our own persona and influence, and I think it would be an opportunity missed if more developers didn't start taking advantage of that.