107 points, 8 votes, 1.5 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: People have complaints about the ludic gameplay elements of Mass Effect 2 and they’re pretty fair. It is kinda silly with only superficial RPG elements. They also have complaints about the story and those are pretty fair too. You spend 95% of the game recruiting characters and doing their loyalty quests and only 5% actually forwarding the plot. But has any other series of games ever rewarded player participation quite as much as the Mass Effect series? The decisions I actually deliberated over in Mass Effect 1 were constantly mentioned and came to bear upon Mass Effect 2. Part of what makes ME2 great is the resonances of ME1 still echoing in the gameworld and the part of what makes it great is the promise of ME3 and the assurance that the things I am doing now matter.
Will M: I loved the first game precisely for the reasons everyone hated it and this game over-fixes the problems and removes a lot of what made the first game magic. But it’s still gorgeous space opera-y shit and the story, while junk compared to virtually all non-gamery things, is better than a lot of space opera stuff. George Lucas couldn’t compete with this even if he’d made his movies 30 years later.
Darramouss : Mass Effect 2 is way better aside from the horrible end mission. I was seriously pissed off when I finished it and realized that was the whole game. Scanning planets is boring as hell, but still beats that bastard buggy from the first one.
Matt D: If the first ME is liking playing a nineties sci-fi flick (with a decidedly 80s score), ME2 is like playing a high-budget contemporary blockbuster. I also played the last few ME2 DLC packs. Overlord is pretty good. Shadow Broker is great. Arrival is SHIT.
JimD: Three hours into this I was ready to put it on my disappointments-of-the-year list. So much of what was great about the original game got thrown out for the sequel that it’s barely an RPG at all any more. But it’s still a great universe and still has great characters and they got away with dumbing down the gameplay by clevering up the dialogue. Still don’t think it’s as good as the first (and ore mining can fuck right off) but that doesn’t stop it being great in its own completely different way.
GM: Yes, Mass Effect 2 is a greater achievement than Pac-Man CEDX; it balances the stat-addicted compulsion of an RPG with eminently competent third-person action, all while crafting an intricately layered story that transcends its inherently goofy sci-fi underpinnings. And yet I still play Pac-Man CEDX almost every day and haven’t touched Mass Effect 2 since I blew up that kinda lame giant Terminator looking thing at the end.
47 points, 5 votes
Polyphonic: This game is pure popcorn. It doesn’t have the best combat, it feels very short and it sometimes doesn’t work right, but it hits a pleasure center that is pretty primal for me.
Matt D: The insipid villagers ended up driving me down the evil path. A crowd of children and onlookers were alternately praising, jeering and begging at me while I was trying to get at a vendor to buy/sell some gear, and I may have set them on fire, a little. Repeatedly.
Forksclovetofu: It’s… okay? I might like this more if I trusted it to take me further into the story. It’s not as immersive as I want it to be, that’s for sure. I actually quit playing Oblivion for this, cause I figured my girl would be more into it cause you can get married and have a dog and the graphics are better, but I’m starting to question that decision. Honestly, the Oblivion minigame is more complex than Fable’s vaunted character interaction. Here, it’s mostly fart till you can’t fart no more and then somebody wants to marry you. Apparently renaissance RPG land is a little like the seedier corners of the internet.
‘Animal Crossing + Murder’ is weirdly accurate.
MPX4A: This game is Bully to Oblivion’s GTA.
JimD: Got married and had a baby and regretted it almost instantly. I’m going to find it hard to resist slaughtering her and setting the baby on fire.
Salsa Shark: I’m getting more annoyed each time I go into Bowerstone. Everyone flocks to me and asks me why I’m too cheap to buy them gifts or too non-committal to buy them rings and then when I go to a dig spot in an alleyway a bunch of kids follow and corner me for five incredibly frustrating minutes, demanding autographs and then getting angry when I ignore them because I’m too busy button-mashing the controller to try to push them out of the way. This game would be a lot better if villagers didn’t stalk me every time I have stuff to do.
I’m having trouble reconciling my intention of remaining good/pure/vegetarian with my OCD about completing everything in a game. I can’t shoot all the gargoyles and get all the treasure chests unless I get into the Temple of Shadows, but I can’t get into the Temple unless I abandon my non-meat non-evil ways. Also my second ‘accidentally’ ate two of the five crunchy chicks.
Will M: I played Fable II last night for like 2 hours and got NOWHERE. There’s no grinding per se but there’s a lot of EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING foot travel punctuated by menus that take over thirty seconds to LOAD and a dog occasionally barking and a thought bubble popping up over his head saying there is a treasure or something is buried… meaning you have to go about fifteen feet off the beaten path, watch an awful animation, get an item which takes three seconds to load, and then go back to the trail, making you wonder why they even bother making you leave the beaten path because it’s not like you get in a fight– it’s just a massive waste of time. Why not make the dog bark and then I HAVE THE ITEM? Then a shitload of people start following you around with hearts over their heads because once you thought it’d be a good idea to do “victory arm pump” in this city 15 times, and they’re all talking, and talking, and talking and saying the same things. So to escape them you get behind the counter at a bar and for the next ten minutes you start earning money and you WANNA STOP because it’s so boring but you CAN’T because this is the first time in a while you’ve earned money and you LOSE YOUR MULTIPLIER IF YOU STOP but you have to deal with repetitive button-pressing and EVEN worse repetitive people saying ‘you’re good at pouring beer’ or whatever they say and fuck that game fuck that game fuck that game.
Coint & Plick 2009 #18: Grand Theft Auto 4: Episodes From Liberty City – The Lost and the Damned/The Ballad of Gay Tony
55 points, 4 votes, .5 TOP GAME vote
Antexit: I doubt this will get many votes, but I’m giving it the points I didn’t give GTA4 last year. If there were a few more things to buy and a little more diversity in the fun shit you can do, the three games taken together would be pretty close to what I was hoping GTA4 would be– let’s hope the next GTA is more like these two and less like their pretentious older brother. It’s the best game starring a Jewish biker I’ve played this year.
Ste: On the Gay Tony story front, I love it. The dialogue and all the characters are well done. But FFS the animations are so sluggish sometime. GET IN THE FUCKING BOAT QUICKER!!
Stevie: The club seems fun as fuck and the characters are a lot more likable and charismatic than in the previous two iterations.