Quick Hits: January 2012: Games Edition

Once a month, I want to do a couple of entries on some of the smaller things I’ve been playing and watching that don’t merit their own, separate entries. Today, I’ll cover games. Tomorrow, books, television and film.

Alpha Protocol
I still really love the conversation system, but everything else about the game is a complete mess, and just not very much fun at all. It’s not hard, but I’ve found stealth particularly frustrating, so I keep ending up relying on shooting my way out of a situation, which is unsatisfying both mechanically and narratively. I have come to the conclusion that the game is just not worth my time, so I am giving up.

Metro 2033
I’ve only played a bit more. Still really enjoying it, but so tense that I need to psych myself up to play it, and I can only do it in short sessions – never longer than an hour. The guns from later in the game feel much better than the early ones. Still not totally sold on the enemy AI and scripting, and too many of the levels are structured around following an NPC guide, but the atmosphere is so awesome that I’m willing to forgive it.

Knights of the Old Republic
It looks like I’m finally going to complete another one of the older Bioware RPGs. I’m enjoying it, but it’s a very inconsistent experience, one that hasn’t really aged all that well. I’ve since gotten swamped with other games (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Dark Souls, Super Monday Night Combat, the Iron Brigade DLC, and I just got into the Diablo 3 beta) so I probably won’t get a chance to finish it up for a little while, but I’ll have a more detailed write-up when I do.

Lost Odyssey
After it came up a bunch of times in the GWJ Most Poignant Moments in Games thread I had the urge to play it again. It starts real slow – after the prologue, there’s an hour of running around the city from cutscene to cutscene before the game picks up again. On the other hand, the 1000 Years of Dreams are still great. I know The Upstreamers will get me good when I come to it, but I was surprised that even the first story, Hannah’s Departure, had me a little teary-eyed.

Starcraft
The GSL is in full swing. By the time this goes up, the round of 16 of Code S will have kicked off. It’s filled with a tremendous amount of good players. Changing divisional play to best of threes (from best of ones) has, I think, had a really positive impact on the tournament. Sadly, Huk and Idra, my two favourite players from the foreigner (ie. non-Korean) community were both eliminated on Monday. It wasn’t a terribly surprising result, but it was still disappointing.

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