A lot of games remind me of a period of my life. Halo reminds me of my teenage years playing till late at night with friends and Burnout Paradise of a long summer of boredom but the Mass Effect trilogy is a series that hit me at some pretty big moments.
Mass Effect founds its way into my console shortly after I had just purchased my XBOX 360 but perhaps more importantly around the time I discovered Jeff, Ryan, Brad, Vinny and Rich. The summer before its release I started to really take an interest in gaming and of course I needed some advice on which games to play. I gravitated towards Gamespot and the constant exclusive clips of Mass Effect shown on On the Spot appealed to the Sci-Fi nerd within. When the game launched I was about to sit down and properly play my first RPG. It wasn't without its issues but the story was interesting enough for me to forget about the dodgy combat and frame rate. As for the Gamespot stuff it wasn't long before Giantbomb launched and I have been glued to this website since the Arrow Pointing Down Podcast and the blog. Mass Effect is a game that was not only the start of a great trilogy in gaming but a game that reminds me of discovering the website that I now call home.
At the start of 2010 I was in a bit of a bad place. I was halfway through my first year at uni and after my girlfriend of over 2 years broke up with me after a rough few months I needed an escape. Luckily I had a week off from full time lectures and Mass Effect 2 was in the post. As much as I enjoyed the first Mass Effect, the sequel was on a whole other level. Assembling a crew of memorable characters and completing missions in order to learn more about there lives, motives and feelings was exactly what I needed. A rich universe to explore with back stories of every race, perhaps the best ship in video games and a suicide mission that had real consequences. All I wanted at this time was to keep my head busy with other things and Mass Effect 2 managed it pretty darn well. Despite being one of, if not my favourite game of all time, Mass Effect 2 managed to be in my console at the time when I most needed it.
So that leads to today. I am about 10 hours into Mass Effect 3, enjoying university a lot and Giant Bomb is going back to CBS. At a time when Giant Bomb has gone full circle its hard not to look back at my time with the site. While I will reserve judgement on the final part of the Mass Effect trilogy till I have finished it, I will always have fond memories of this trilogy not just for its high quality but for the personal effect its had on me over the last 5 years.
Do you guys have good memories of the Mass Effect trilogy or perhaps another game that will stick with you for a long time?
I have always been a big fan of good length single player campaigns. I am not a big RPG fan but games such as Assassins Creed, Arkham Asylum or even Halo Reach give me the full fledged single player campaign I enjoy.
I am currently coming to the end of LA Noire with the intention of writing a review and the length of the single player should be exactly what I want. The thing is I feel like my feelings towards this game would be much more positive if it had ended sooner. This experience along with games like Call of Duty have got me thinking.
Do you think games need to be above a certain length to be value for money?
Is a short campaign acceptable if it is high quality?
Being born at the start of the nineties and not really getting into gaming till the Dreamcast era I seem to have missed the days of Sierra and Lucasarts battling for adventure game supremacy. Recently however, my love of Back to the Future has thrust me into the world of adventure games leaving me with a few thoughts on the genre.
My favourite part of gaming has always been being directly involved in the story and adventure games seem to centre themselves around this idea. In most games the gameplay is the primary component and story comes later trying to weave itself into the gameplay with varying degrees of success. Adventure games seem to build the story and find a formula that works for it which is especially prominent in Telltale's work with various licensed products. Playing through the first 3 Back to the Future episodes has given me great respect for Telltale's ability to make something quint essentially Back to the Future with a Telltale twist. I love everything about the way stories are told in the genre however, I think gameplay can sometimes suffer as a result.
During gameplay Back to the Future puts you into a small area of a world for you to explore. In common open world games a lot of issues that come with an open world have been fixed. If you are in liberty city and want to get to a mission fast you can get a cab and be there instantly. If you do a mission wrong you can quickly jump back to the start. My issue is if I am in an area and can't figure out what to do I will leave and check there isn't something else I am missing. I have everything in my head and know what I want to do but before I can carry it out I have to walk to the right spot and sometimes sit through a loading screen. This may be my own impatience that causes the problem but I can't help thinking that the process could be streamlined a bit.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time with BTTF but some issues are very apparent. I am interested to hear your thoughts on this area.
Are these constant problems in the genre? Am I getting a skewed view of the genre playing a Telltale game? Am I being unfair?
When Call of Duty 4 hit shelves it reshaped the FPS genre. While it wasn't anything revolutionary it was certainly an evolution. For me Activision has since run Call of Duty into the ground releasing regular sequels which don't even try to progress the genre as a whole. As far as I am concerned a relaunch of the brand wouldn't be a terrible thing. This brings me onto the Battlefield series. Bad Company was a great game and brought the Battlefield franchise to consoles despite criticism of the decision. Bad Company 2 was a great follow up but did make me worry that it would follow the same path as Call of Duty. However, the use of a sub title has allowed Dice to experiment with their technology and ideas. All this time Battlefield 3 has been slowly worked at and it seems like Dice are really trying to do everything they can to make the best game possible. I think this is all that is needed in the genre, for a developer to really think about how they can improve it. Hopefully the release will inject new life into a genre which is slowly being destroyed by unimaginative sequels.
This is in no way a Battlefield fan boy rant to be honest I have never really got into the franchise but I am really excited from the little that has been shown.
What do you guys think? Is the genre going stale? Does Battlefield 3 have the chance to change things?
After the mix of trailers coming out of the VGA's I thought I would right down my thoughts on a few of them.
I am a bit excited for this although I am starting to get worried that they are releasing these games a bit too often. Forza 3 was a huge game and I never got close to doing everything that you could in that game so do I really need another one. Also I am assuming this may be the first serious Kinect game so there is that.
Mass Effect 3
Very excited for this I loved Mass Effect 2 an unreasonable amount. Will it be Xbox exclusive?
Batman Arkham City
All I could think is that has there been talks between Chris Nolan and Rocksteady. I know Rocksteady have a very different take on the Batman franchise but its seems like both might be going for Hugo Strange as the main villain. Probably a big coincidence but I bet Rocksteady will be very happy it has turned out that way.
Elder Scrolls V
I am excited for this but I think only if they have a new engine. If it comes out as buggy as the Fallout games I will probably pass.
Sony are going all guns blazing next year with Killzone, Resistance and Uncharted 3. Out of the three the only one that really makes me want a PS3 is Uncharted 3. I am sure Killzone and Resistance will be good but I imagine they will be just great FPS which 360 also has so I don't necessarily hate not being able to play them.
I have like a lot of people been playing Reach lately but I also got a new mini HD camcorder so I thought I would use it to try and make a Video Review. I don't have a capture card so a lot of the gameplay is taken from Giantbomb but let me know what you think. Constructive criticism only please. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGDiHwhzB9g
When Halo CE was released my home console was a Gamecube and I never got to play that game unless I was round at a friends house. When Halo 2 was out me and many of my friends would meet up and play some CTF on Zanzibar all night long. The multiplayer was like nothing I had played before and it was really what got me into gaming. When the next generation of consoles came out I knew I needed to own the platform that would allow me to finish the fight and I was ready when it came out. I spent the weeks running up to the release of Halo 3 playing through the previous games and loving the storyline. Halo 3 was a slight disappointment at the time but I am still playing the multiplayer to this day. After ODST helping to keep me interested in the franchise I am excited on Tuesday to finally play Reach which in my eyes will always be the last proper Halo game. I never consider myself a fanboy but I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the finished product. Thoughts on Halo anyone?
Today is my Birthday and the day of the Big Live Live Show Live! My birthday money will no doubt go on a subscription but I might be too busy with some drinks to watch most of the show! What are you doing today in honor of the Big Live Live Show Live! I expect to a lot of people are just avoiding their bosses lets find out
I have attempted many a time to do something useful in the Giantbomb community but apart from my reviews I am failing. So here is a question to the community is there anything you would like me or other community members to produce for the community in the same vein as the Luchazine etc.? On the other hand if you are looking for collaborators post in this thread and let people know.
Giantbomb has a way of getting me hyped up for games and they practically made me buy Street Fighter 4 and while it was technically great it wasn't for me. So when I started being drawn in to Starcraft 2 by them I said to myself I would not buy it. However, my friend Andy (Takedown50) did not resist and bought the special edition resulting in me playing is free trial all day today. I really don't think I can resist and when the trial runs out no doubt I will buy it. Putting those codes into the special edition was a stroke of genius on Blizzards part and no doubt it will hook many more weak minded people like myself.