It’s been a big week on the Xbox. Lisa and I finished Mass Effect 2 in a little over 28 hours of play. It’s a great game; the essence of a much larger RPG distilled down to a very streamlined product that puts characterisation ahead of everything else, and really establishes a connection between the player and their primary toon. As an experience, Mass Effect 2 is the modern interpretation of Steve Jackon’s Choose Your Own Adventure books.
In that spirit, we did go back to re-attempt the final mission such that the resulting end sequence matched our “ideal” narrative for Commander Shepard going into Mass Effect 3. I did think about re-starting entirely to pursue some more romance options early doors with her, but I really liked the little moment, pre-Omega 4 relay jump, that came from staying “celibate” this time around.
Despite the very strong character-driven story, though, the main plot itself was so much nonsensical bobbins. I mean, I’m well aware that it’s space opera, and a certain level of nonsensical bobbins is expected, indeed demanded, but I had a fairly broad conception of how the proposed trilogy would pan out based on my experience of the genre entire. Completely contrary to my expectation of a three-act structure, however, Bioware seem to have opted for two main acts, being I and III, with the middle being occupied with what appears to be a side story. Maybe it will all fit together at the end, but I’m expecting some serious leaps in the narrative to make that happen.
Meanwhile, Microsoft have decided to remove support for all old Xbox titles on Xbox Live! While in principle this is annoying, I can understand why they do it. So few people play anything other than the current batch of AAA titles, that games like PGR, Crimson Skies and HALO2 must see absolutely bugger all uptime from the player base. Even fairly current titles like Sturmovik – are like stepping into a Purgatorial plane of Xbox Live existence, populated only by a few spectral souls hunkered down, shivering, in the steel bubbble that is an IL-2. Purging the system of these ghost-town server slots must feel like a cleansing purge to the guy overseeing it all.
Anyway. I was thinking about searching out a new game for the iPod touch, but instead I should probably play more Go on it. I’ve pretty much forgotten everything I learned about how to play it properly, so the little computer-controlled app should keep me more than busy in my idle moments going back over it.
That said, I saw there was an Advance Wars-style, turn-based combat game recommended over on Kotaku, which almost became an impulse buy on the strength of the words “Advance Wars” and “turn-based”. Given that when I was playing Advance Wars on the GBA SP I could barely find a night’s sleep that wasn’t occupied by little orange tanks sliding, like chess pieces, across a map to hold the choke points against a blue-armoured foe, I figured getting a clone for the iPod was probably a dangerous course to set myself on.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a gaming post without me mentioning Bejeweled Blitz…again. Seeing as I get a living fuckton of hits from people looking for ways to cheat at it, I thought I’d oblige them with my own method of getting a really, really big number you can show off to all your friends on Facebook.
Step One: create a new comment on Facebook.
Step Two: type in a massively large number.
Step Three: Hit the submit button.
Step Four: If you have to cheat at a game on Facebook in order to get that endorphin-soaked rush of personal satisfaction, you are a malingering waste of space. Go buy some fucking fertiliser for your Farmville farm or something, stop hitting up my website because you can’t match up symbols as quickly as you’d like to be able to.