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Concept

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Everything posted by Concept

  1. Game of the Year Mass Effect 2 I'm surprised at the backlash that's beginning to develop around ME2 and the rose-tinted glasses some people are viewing the original game through to critique it. Apart from ripping out plantery exploration (which should have been improved upon, as opposed to the baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach), many of the changes helped improve the flow and balance of the game and made it less frustrating and niggly to deal with. It's a livelier experience and I think that's to its benefit - ME1 offered a solitary, isolated glimpse of the universe which created a strong impression of being 'out there' in deep space. Conversely, ME2 feels cramped, crowded and yet full of life. It is to ME1 what Shenmue II is to Shenmue. I appreciate sequels that, viewed in context of one another, offer a different flavour of the same general template. Red Dead Redemption Probably the most atmospheric open world game of this generation. It managed to escape GTAIV's baggage in being unfavourably compared to San Andreas, by using the space of the environment to better justify its mechanics (hunting, ambient challenges, bounty hunting). The downside is that while scene by scene Marsden was a likeable, well written character, you were never empowered through the overall story. You're always doing the biding of someone else, and this is exmplified by the Mexico section where the storyline crawls to a snail's pace, leaving the gameplay and the beautiful scenery to pick up the slack. A title then which is bookended by a strong beginning and an interesting off-kilter final few hours. It says everything to their effectiveness that the environment, atmosphere and mix of mechanics plug the problems in the narrative without its disconnect becoming as readily apparent as in GTAIV. Limbo Yes it loses its way in the final third, but this was my unexpected treat of the year. I'd written it off as vapourware. While it isn't anywhere near as clever as Braid when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the puzzle design, I found its atmosphere left a greater impression. It reminded me of a dream-like Another World. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood I thought this was going to be AC's time to fade into the wheel of Ubisoft's typical oversaturation machine, but I was pleasantly surprised. While it isn't as environmentally diverse as AC2, it's a more consistent and nuanced experience (with it being often hard to tell the difference between the quality of the side-missions and those belonging to the main plot). If Ubisoft were only working on this for 12-18 months, then I'm amazed. Fallout: New Vegas In terms of game balance and mechanical depth, New Vegas kicks seven shades of shit out of Fallout 3. It's a shame that Obsidian isn't quite up to Bethesda's world building skills (particularly when it comes to the interiors) and the atmosphere is slightly weaker, but I have to tip my hat to them. The way the game crisscrosses and interconnects, particularly with how your choices ripple throughout others you make later on (hello Alpha Protocol), makes the world feel more like a real ecosystem. It's just a shame the litany of bugs do their best to nearly capsize the entire experience. Most Wanted Game Of 2011 The Last Guardian Mass Effect 3 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Deus Ex 3 Uncharted 3 Best Technical Achievement Red Dead Redemption Just Cause 2 Assassin's Creed : Brotherhood God of War 3 Final Fantasy XIII Best Online Experience Best Use of Waggle Best NDS Game Best Mobile Game Best PC Game Best PS3 Game Gran Turismo 5 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow God of War 3 Yakuza 3 Heavy Rain Hall of Shame Activision (and Corporate posturing in general) Gawker's response to their security breach VGAs and gaming media in general PS3s being bricked for a day in March Fallout: New Vegas bugs (it should never have been released in the state it was) Best Xbox 360 Game Mass Effect 2 Red Dead Redemption Limbo Halo Reach Alan Wake Best Wii Game Silent Hill : Shattered Memories Best Download-only Game I'm not sure if this extends to in-game DLC (compared to separate expansions, a la Minerva's Den, Undead Nightmares), so remove LotS if need be. Limbo Pacman CE DX Minerva's Den Undead Nightmares Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadowbroker
  2. Space Cow left Liara until last to pick up in my second character playthrough. She thinks she's hallucinating if you do it that way and Rumour has it that the volcano ditching is going to be first week DLC. Bye Liara.
  3. He only gets shot in the thigh. That and I take it you both missed . As for Udina.
  4. Ah, if you can link an account in the user control panel then problem solved. The reason I was asking because in the bioware.social thread I linked to earlier there was a lot of confusion with people signing up for a Bioware Social account, redeeming DLC codes and then finding it was saying "registered to another account" in-game. Why can't EA just use the first-party Live setup that every single other publisher uses? They're never going to get high DLC sales if you have to jump through hoops first, particularly on console.
  5. Can you link your BioWare/EA account to your gamertag without having to use your Xbox Live email address as the sign in for the BioWare/EA account? There seemed to be some misinformation going on yesterday. If at all possible I'd like to use a non-hotmail/live account to sign up to the BioWare social site, but I don't want to do so if it means the account isn't recognised on Live to download DLC through the game. God, that was a complicated couple of sentences.
  6. You're supposed to be able to redeem and download the Cerberus Network in-game. Browsing a US Live account shows the network available via the dash frontend for 1200 MS points. I'd assume when the European date arrives that's when it'll go up outside of the game.
  7. The art in the original is great, even if the technology does let it down a bit. Plenty of smooth sweeping lines encased in a clean retro style, while bathed in these deep, rich hues. It's minimalist without being too 90s style futurist (if that makes any sense) - more Syd Mead than tDR. The assault rifles, volus, citadel hub are great examples of this.
  8. One of the main reason it's so gorgeous looking is all about the contrasts of the lighting for me. It feels like a BBC sci-fi art department from back in the 70s given a multi-million dollar budget.
  9. Bastard. I am playing it now. In my mind.
  10. God, I hope these pair of tracks see a remix (the other one is a pure techno version which isn't on youtube).
  11. It seems you can download the Cerberus Network on the 360, but not the DLC (you have to redeem them via the website). It's all very confusing though. I don't generally keep my Xbox gamertag email active for long because it's just an account which gets constantly spammed, so I'm not overly thrilled with the idea that I have to tie it to whatever the EA/Bioware social thing is. More here: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/107/index/772606/1 Sounds messy.
  12. So this is the proper X10? I hope Alan Wake is still for the first half of this year. Along with Crackdown 2, it's probably the only game which interests me out of Microsoft's first-party line up for this year.
  13. Yeah, knowing me, probably not the best game to turn my attention to. ME2 has put me on such a sci-fi kick at the moment that I wouldn't be so much as hanging myself off the edge of that cliff/line as dragging the entirety of it with me into the sea.
  14. It'd be nice because if it was going to be available in a few days I'd probably hold back from playing the game (if the DLC opened up several planets). Weeks though? No way. The 'some time soon after launch' is a bit vague. Could mean a month from now.
  15. That .png blew my mind. Is the game basically an MMO Elite?
  16. Talking to everyone, soaking up the atmosphere, doing every side-quest. It took me five hours just to leave the citadel on my first run. When it comes to games like this I always take them slow (BioShock took me 20 hours/The Orange Box 35 etc.). Just as you can't see how I could complete the game in that time, I'm as equally baffled how you could do nearly every side-quest and finish it in 22 hours. If I tacked on Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station my original playthrough would have probably been 50. Space Reporter Ulala and Sarge to the rescue. They're like a Saren and geth strike team. ; )
  17. Sarge, was the mission for Zaeed included in the DLC leak, and is the DLC going to interfere with the beginning of the game if you already have it installed?
  18. Famous last words. ; ) I think one of the secondary priorities (beyond fixing the mechanical stuff) was making sure the ending of ME2 was going to be better than the first game. At least that's what was hinted at in interviews.
  19. I thought there was a grenade launcher (which was supposed to be more effective as opposed to throwing them)?
  20. Shame about the glitch but I'm glad to hear checkpoints are more tightly placed. I'd so often die exploring uncharted worlds and lose the 20/30 minutes in the original. Hopefully grenades will be slightly more useful this time - even with the mods, it felt like I was throwing space peas.
  21. Like I said earlier, Forza 3 asks if you want to install disc 2 by detecting you have disc 1 installed, requiring no further disc change assuming you have the original disc in the drive. There is probably a technical reason why ME2 on the 360 can't do this, as opposed to the PC.
  22. As long as it doesn't involve a hard reset it isn't a big deal. I wonder why they couldn't code the game to smoothly transition between discs without swapping them though following an install. The DD version of the game obviously indicates it could be done.
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