Entries in ea (4)


Mass Effect 3 review - A bittersweet goodbye

Note: No specific story beats are spoiled in this review, but it centers heavily around the general tone and nature of the ending. If such things are a concern, turn away now.

I stared blankly at the screen. The names scrolled slowly past, each one mocking my stunned visage in the darkness. My mind reached for words, silent when it knew it should be racing. I felt the controller slip slowly out of my hand.


Music rang lifelessly in my ears, little more than a distant murmur. Soon all was silent. I sat still for a few minutes more, waiting for it all to make sense. 

“This is it, isn’t it?” Liara had said only hours ago. 

The beautiful blue-skinned alien had stared sadly into my Sheperd’s eyes, her tone a mixture of lingering disbelief and the burden of dawning acceptance. The words bubbled to the surface of my disquietingly calm mind, an apt metaphor for my own feelings. 

Even now I still can’t quite grasp the truth. I feel there is a piece missing, as if some part of the experience simply escaped my memory and flew away. The last thing I had been led to believe I would feel at the end of this journey was incomplete. I can’t help but feel a little deceived.

Click to read more ...


Dragon Age II Review - A heartbreaking misfire

There is no worse feeling a game can induce upon a poor, unsuspecting player than that of disappointment. Dragon Age II is guilty of this worst of gaming sins. It steps forward into the spotlight with a confident stride only to reveal hours later the moldy, rotting core lying within. Terrible games are easy to dismiss. Great games are easy to recommend. Those like Dragon Age II prove difficult, offering glimmers of hope bright enough to make me truly mourn the loss of what could have been. 

Dragon Age II is proof that even the best writer can have an off day.

Anyone coming into this game because of Bioware’s illustrious pedigree will find it curiously below par. Some of its shortcomings can be written off as bold attempts to do something different than the studio’s norm. They may not have worked, but perhaps they can at least be excused in the name of attempting the unexpected. Far less justifiable are those failures that come where this group of talented developers should be strongest; those that let its audience down precisely where it is expected to be at its best. 

To begin, let us examine the setting. A more generous mind could perhaps label Kirkwall as “intimate”. I think “small” is more accurate.

Click to read more ...


First Impressions - DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue (demo)

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue
PSN Demo
Release Date: September 21, 2010 (PSN); September 22, 2010 (XBLA)
Date of Play: September 21, 2010

  • It is hard to shake the feeling that I am playing the exact same game as the first DeathSpank. The title menu is the same, the menu music is the same, and the animated intro isn’t the same but it’s close enough. The whole thing feels like a rehash. That’s not necessarily terrible, but I hope there’s something more here. 
  • I wonder if your save carries over from the first or if they have some way of explaining why the mighty hero has randomly lost all of his cool shit and gone back to square one with his abilities. I won’t be able to tell without buying the full game, which I have not yet done, but I’m curious.
  • Just as I make a comment about the game perhaps lacking new ideas, I actually begin to play and the first weapon I pick up is a gun. Hmm. Intriguing. Not sure if that’s good or bad yet.
  • Come to think of it, the gun is just a retooling of the crossbow from the last game isn’t it? Never mind.
  • Already there’s a little prick of an enemy who likes to shoot me and then run away forcing me to blast it with my gun/pea shooter. I hate enemies like that. So annoying.
  • Unsurprising revelation: just like the first game, the dialog is the best part of this demo. I just hope it’s up to the quality of the writing of the first game. So far so good, though. I’ve already had a number of laughs. 
  • Oh great. The game is already resorting to bathroom humor. This is a good sign. Yeah. 

Click to read more ...


Best of 2009 - Dragon Age: Origins

As one year transitions into the next, I find it a healthy and refreshing endeavor to look back upon the past year and reflect upon those experiences which touched me the most; to discover which games stood tall above the rest and, for one reason or another, made a lasting impression.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing my own personal list of the ten best games of 2009, followed by those that didn't quite make the top ten and even a few of my greatest disappointments of the year. These are in no particular order, but they are the games I found most worthy of praise. Reflecting upon them makes one thing clear: it was a great year for gaming.

Dragon Age: Origins is a dangerous game. It’s right up there with those nasty, soul-sucking titles like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that can completely consume you if you aren’t careful. 

It’s wonderful.

Few games indeed manage to hook me as thoroughly as Dragon Age and those that do receive a special place in my heart. There’s something about diving headfirst into a game world and becoming obsessed with it, relishing every detail and every minute, never wanting to leave, and spending hundreds of hours there that’s just so much fun. Few games have the chops to do it. Most are over with far too quickly or get boring and repetitive a short way into their lengthy play time.

Not Dragon Age.

Click to read more ...