Brief Thoughts on Skyrim patch 1.4 (PS3) and Mass Effect 3 demo.

So, this last weekend I went home, and as such, I goofed off and played some video games. I also watched what I think are the two greatest films of the 90s, Jurassic Park and The Matrix. I'd like to see someone try to argue against me on that.

Anyway, I read online that Skyrim patch 1.4 was out, so I put the disc in my PS3, downloaded the patch, and started playing. And, I have to say, it drastically improves the framerate. With my 99 hour game, I was getting into some pretty serious framerate lag before the patch. To the point where, in towns, it could be said that it was "unplayable." I wouldn't say that, because I played it, and the game still ran fine in dungeons.

But, after the patch, those issues were pretty much gone. No, the framerate wasn't still locked at 30, but this is the difference between a few, very small hiccups that don't affect gameplay and something that brings the game to a crawl. It's a night and day difference, and to the point where I would say that if you've been holding out on Skyrim because all you have is a PS3, then if you can update it, buy this game. It took Bethesda far too long to fix it, and the fact that the issues existed in the first place is inexcusable, but they fixed it. Mostly. It still runs better than I remember Fallout 3/New Vegas running on 360, so that's a win in my book.

Once I got passed the new framerate improvements, I remembered that the reason I stopped playing Skyrim was that I had already done all the stuff I wanted to do. That didn't stop me from playing a bunch of it, but I was just going through random dungeons and grinding skills. You can level illusion really quickly by spamming the Muffle spell.

Then I found a spell that lets me turn iron ore into silver ore, and silver ore into gold ore. That was pretty cool.

I also played the Mass Effect 3 demo. I won't go into the specifics of what happens in the single player portions of it, other than to say I think what I've played is fun, and I like the changes they've made to the skill point allocation. It seems deeper, and thus better, than it has been in the past two games.

I think what I've heard of the voice acting and writing is on par with the last two games (which is to say it's pretty good), but the facial animation seemed...well...See, when I played LA Noire, I knew it was going to end up, I don't want to say ruining, but lessening the facial animation of just about everything else. And compared to LA Noire, the facial animation in what I've seen of Mass Effect 3 doesn't look very good. Not that it looks bad, it, okay, after LA Noire I think it looks bad. But maybe that's just me. I dunno. I wish it had LA Noire's facial animation. I wish all games did.

I also feel like there aren't as many dialog options. Maybe it's just in this demo, but I felt like there were far more instances of Shepard saying things without my picking something for him to say. In Mass Effect 1 there were only one or two instances of this, and I feel like the number wasn't much higher in Mass Effect 2. In the demo, it felt like there were as many instances of Shepard just talking without my input as there were with my input. More if anything. And even when I did have a choice, there were only two options.

Again, this is just in the demo, and it's two action-focused sections, so clearly it's not representative of the whole game. But it still seems...odd.

I played a match of the multiplayer, and it was fun. Not fun enough for me to pay for Xbox Live Gold, even if there are Achievements attached to it, which will end my streak of S-Ranking Mass Effect games (and I have no idea what any of the Achievements for ME3 are, I'm just guessing there will be multiplayer ones).

Despite my thoughts on the relative lack of dialog choices, I'm still extremely excited for Mass Effect 3. I think it's fun, and I can't wait to see what happens story wise. Granted, the main story stuff has never been the strongest point of the Mass Effect games (for me that's been the actual writing and voice acting, not the course of the stories), but I can't wait to see what kind of choices are in the game. This is the last in the trilogy, and I'm hoping that allows them to do some crazy stuff. I want choice to really matter in this game. For the most part, it kinda hasn't mattered much throughout the games. There were a couple of choices that had some impact, but not a ton. I'm hopeful though.

That's about everything. I could go on about how I think Jurassic Park is one of the greatest films ever made, but everyone thinks that so you don't need me to say it, and that's more of a Screened thing, but I don't really do much there beyond read those crazy things Alex has been writing about Nic Cage. I could also rant on and on about how I disagree with everything the Oscars do, and how they work, but I didn't watch it, so I won't. Also, more of a Screened thing.

Oh, I beat Saints Row the Third again. I still haven't Platinumed it, much less S-Ranked it. I'll need to play the DLC for that. Gangstas in Space looks silly and fun.

Oh, and I almost forgot the obligatory Nolan North image. So instead, I embed a Nolan North video. It's like a picture, except it moves and has audio.

That guy can do anything. ANYTHING.

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