The Game Hopper Shuffle

As my regular readers know, I’ve become something of a game hopper as of late, but this new habit has reached extreme levels over the past few weeks, with me stumbling drunkenly between nearly half a dozen different games — not entirely by choice.

I’ve considered doing posts on each game, but I don’t have a huge amount to say about all of them, so I’ll just do a quick rundown on what games I’ve been playing, and how I’m currently feeling about them.

World of Warcraft: The Blunder King

My warlock engaged in an aerial battle over the Isle of ThunderI’ve been dipping in and out of WoW, but to be honest, I’m having trouble getting excited about it. Part of this is good honest burnout, but part of this is due to how thoroughly unimpressed I am by the new content in 5.2.

I considered doing an entire post on the Isle of Thunder and the new rep grind, but I believe if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

I have only myself to blame for slogging my way all the way to exalted, but I’m a sucker for Blood Elf lore, and I thought there might be a good story quest at the end.

I thought wrong.

The new raid isn’t really doing it for me, either — to be fair, I’ve only done the first half. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing spectacular. Seems to me like Blizzard just wanted to see how many shades of blue they could cram in a single instance.

My warlock approaching the Black Temple on her quest to acquire green fireThe warlock green fire chain was sort of interesting, but the last boss massacred me, and I don’t want to go back until I have better gear — if I bother at all. Truth be told, I never really cared what colour my fire is.

Actually, the chain sort of reminded me of The Secret World. The stealth elements, as well as the need to be creative and utilize every tool in the box, were very reminiscent of some of the trickier missions in TSW.

Speaking of which…

The Secret World: You don’t make this easy, Funcom

It says something to how utterly brilliant I think TSW is that I’m willing to put up with all the crap it’s thrown my way.

I learned to live with the constant lag. I leveled up my Templar to avoid that jumping puzzle that stumped my Dragon, and just as I was finally getting close to finishing the main story, the 1.6 patch introduced a bug causing repeated crashes.

Sigh.

My Templar showing off her Paladin uniform in The Secret WorldI could still play if I really wanted to, but the crashes every 15 minutes or so are just too frustrating. If this were still a subscription game, I’d be out of mind with rage, but as it is, I’m just kind of vexed.

The bug’s been going on for a couple of weeks now, though, and it’s getting ridiculous. Even considering that a relatively small number of players are effected, and even considering the chaos created by Funcom’s restructuring, this is unacceptable.

But I’ll still go back once it’s finally fixed. This is too good a game to give up on. But boy, they don’t make it easy to be dedicated.

Mirror’s Edge: A bitter disappointment

With WoW boring me and TSW on the fritz, I next turned to Mirror’s Edge, a game I bought during a Steam sale several months ago but hadn’t gotten around to playing. I normally don’t buy games if I can’t play a demo first, but it was cheap, and the parkour-inspired gameplay looked absolutely mind-blowing.

Mirror's EdgeThis game breaks my heart. Everything I saw of the game was awesome: beautiful graphics, thrilling and unique gameplay, an intriguing story, some of the best sound effects I’ve ever heard…

But I can’t play it. I just don’t have the skills. I’ve always been terrible at jumping puzzles, and I just don’t have the reflexes or dexterity for a game like Mirror’s Edge. It only took me until the second mission to get irreparably stuck.

I place the blame for this entirely on myself. I’m sure it’s an excellent game for those more skilled than I.

So it was time to move on again.

Mass Effect 3: Okay, I get it now

This brings me to my latest pick: Mass Effect 3. As you may remember, my feelings on the series to date are lukewarm at best, and I’ve heard nothing but bad things about ME3, so my expectations were low. I was curious enough about how the story ended to pick it up on sale at Origin, though.

London burning in Mass Effect 3And to my great surprise, I’m actually enjoying it a fair bit. I’m not done yet, so there’s still time for it to piss me off, but thus far, it’s proving pretty engaging.

ME2 was a brilliant game strangled by a vast amount of filler and busywork. ME3 largely solves that by taking out most — though not quite all — of the filler. The irritating grind of recruitment and loyalty missions is gone, and scanning planets doesn’t even make me want to punch kittens anymore.

Better yet, virtually every mission is tied into the main story in some way. Where ME2 was scattered and rambling, ME3 is focused and epic.

Not to say that I don’t still have complaints. I do get the impression Bioware designed a “choose your own adventure” novel, not a game, and I still don’t like the decision system. It’s too opaque, and too all or nothing. I have on more than one occasion made a decision I did not want to because I misunderstood the nature of the choice.

Considering the whole point of the game is to choose your own path and decide your own story, that’s a pretty big flaw.
The squad members of Mass Effect 3Also, as a blogger, the inability to take screenshots is annoying. I worked very hard to make my Shepard look as much like Nova Terra as possible. I want to show her off, dagnabbit.

I’ll probably do a more detailed post on ME3 once I finish it.

Writing news:

My second article for ADANAI has gone up: Top Ten PC Games of All Time. It was difficult to strike a balance between my own personal opinions and the prevailing feelings of the gaming community. After all, it’s top ten, not my favourite ten, but I couldn’t ignore my own views completely.

Also, if you missed it, I’m putting out a few books soon. Make sure to follow Worlspectrum.net for all the latest updates on the World Spectrum series, as well as exclusive lore, stories, and excerpts.

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