I took last week off
from posting. I just didn't have much to talk about, unless you
counted my playing of Alphadia on Android. This week is a bit
different since I've finished Alphadia and since this is the week
when Mass Effect 3 finally comes in.
Well, ME3 will come in
for many people. I'm expecting it quite late in the week or sometime
next week since I ordered with Amazon using free super saver
shipping. If I'm lucky, I'll see ME3 this week, but I'm personally
expecting a Monday or Tuesday arrival at my house...that would be
next Monday or Tuesday.
Quickly, I have to say
the one aspect of ME3 that I really want to see beyond anything
else, is how all past decisions are tied in to the final game. In
particular, I saved the Rachnii in ME1, and I really want to see if
the payout is awesome for a decision so long ago (two games). I want
to see that keeping my saved game over an entire console generation
was worth it.
The delay works out
nicely since I am still wanting to try the ME3 demo before playing
the real game since I'm expecting some bonus swag in my game for
having played it. I mean the demo of Kingdoms of Amalur contained
ME3 and KoA bonus items. So, while these items are probably more
cosmetic than anything, I still want the choice of bonus stuff just
so I can say I have it.
I also need some time to
still play Infamous 2. After finishing Infamous, I started some
playing of Infamous 2 but had a problem with the game. The first
game was still too fresh in my mind, and the changes in the sequel
were more annoying than impressive when the changes are somewhat
substantial to the feel of the world. I mean the entire change of
voice for Cole was enough to break the fourth wall. Having some time
away from the original should make the sequel feel less disconnected
from the original plot line when I cannot remember what the original
sounded like as well.
To shift gears some, I
played through Alphadia on Android (also on iOS) and concluded the
game yesterday. I am impressed with how a small (file size) RPG with
a small cost ($3-$4) can pack such a huge punch. Having only
recently entered the world of smartphone apps, this is a real game
changer to me. On one hand, Alphadia is an awesome SNES style RPG.
It looks slightly better than a SNES game and packs the same length.
True, Alphadia is a bit easy (auto battle is something you can use
almost every fight without fear of death), but it did pack a great
story and nearly 30 hours of questing (not counting post game and
new game+ stuff). It also contained a plot unlike any I've seen
before. I mean it started as a standard RPG plot (evil empire must
be stopped and you happen to get the emperor's daughter as a party
member), but it ended with an ending beyond anything I expected.
I'm now starting
Symphony of Eternity (another Android RPG from Kemco) and these two
games, as well as World of Goo and Edge (two parts of the recent
Humble Bundle for iOS and Android), have taught me that I was wrong
in the past. I always thought the idea of a smartphone being
compared to a portable game system (3DS, DS, PSP, Vita) was a stupid
idea. I mean you cannot get for $5 on a download something as epic
as a $40 3DS or Vita game, right? Wrong. After spending nearly a
month in the world of Android, I just cannot see the 3DS or Vita as
something vastly superior. In fact, when you consider the cost of
games, I cannot help but see iOS and Android as the superior gaming
systems. Yes, a Vita game will look nicer than an Android app...but
is it really $35 nicer? I don't see it. Also, when you have an app
marketplace with thousands of games, can you compare it to a
handheld game system with a library than will be lucky to ever reach
1000 total titles in a five year lifespan? Once again, I give the
edge to the apps over the games.
I can see action games
having more of a place in the world of dedicated game machines, but
that may be the only exception...and that may only be due to me not
having tried any action titles on Android...yet.
On Monday I finally
tried out the Mass Effect 3 demo...which is no officially old news
since the game is out there. Of course, having not learned my
lessons in the past, I'm now feeling a little anxious about having
pre-ordered from Amazon, since they still have not shipped the game.
I mean I did select slow shipping, but I'd like to see it take
forever in shipping rather than take forever to reach the stage of
being shipped. Of course, Amazon does offer some good pre-order
bonuses (a weapon...like every retailer seems to give, and a $10
gift certificate for a future Amazon purchas), so I cannot complain
playing the demo I couldn't help but feel like ME3 is less than ME2.
I mean the original Mass Effect was a bad game. I didn't want to
continue to ME2, but since I bought it for $10 (a Black Friday sale
in 2010), I did eventually play it last summer/fall. ME2 was
amazing. Having touched the ME3 demo, I just don't feel like Bioware
continued with upgrading the game and instead took a small step
backwards. When you go from something like ME2, the next game should
feel more refined, or at least equally refined in the demo, and the
demo for ME3 felt confusing.
By confusing, I
mean the first stage had me using biotic powers like a pro. I ran
out of ammo (as the demo has you face...in order to introduce the
idea of melee combat) and turned to my throw ability to keep the
action going. Then in the second area of the demo (much later in the
game and with several levels having been attained), my throw ability
was slower to recharge (by about 5-10 times the recharge speed) and
I couldn't help but feel that this is just not right. I'm hoping,
when I eventually get my ME3 retail disk, that this is eliminated or
explained (better be a damned good explanation).
Anyway, until I
play the real retail release, I am not laying out any opinion as
more than a knee-jerk reaction to an unfinished product.
before posting this, I decided I'd play ME3 sooner rather than
later. If Amazon is going to take more than a day and a half
after launch to ship a product (I don't mind slow shipping...I mind
them being slow to ship), I'd cancel my order. Now, with ME3
in hand, I'll...ummm...probably get around to playing sometime.
I didn't get around to
playing Mass Effect 3 since I forgot about one important fact; it
takes a long time to install a 360 game. Well, the second fact is
even more important; it takes even longer to install a 2-disk 360
game. So, after spending the better part of two hours trying to
install ME3, I had enough game time used for the night.
I had a Sounders
FC (soccer) game I needed to watch since it was the first game of
the quarter final round of the CONCACAF tournament. On an aggregate
goal series, Seattle is now up 2-1 after a pretty solid game at
home. The true test will be if this can continue next Wednesday when
Seattle goes down to Mexico (which is always tough ground to win at
for team from the US).
Right now the main
focus of sports, however, is on Peyton Manning. He is now a free
agent for the first time in his career and he seems to be viewed as
the solution to so many teams...including my Seahawks. It makes
sense that Manning will be viewed so highly. I mean the Colts were
crap last season and the only main difference versus their
previously amazing decade was the loss of Manning. If he is the
force that takes a 2-14 team to the playoffs each year, then he can
fix so many broken teams.
Of course, the
real question is about Manning's arm. Will he be back to his old QB
self or will he just burn out the last year or two of his career in
some new city? I would like to see Manning come back to full form,
since he is one of the most amazing athletes to ever watch. Not many
people can have his level of control and skill year after year.
I also hope to see
him come back in full form since I honestly think the Seahawks are
one of a few ideal landing spots for Manning. I mean Seattle needs a
QB, has a solid team in most other regards (even the O-line got
pretty solid at the end of the season), has a great running game to
take off the pressure, and could be an easy team for Manning to
propel to the playoffs with the only major change being the man
pulling the trigger (being Manning). This looks better than the
other commonly named suitors, like the Browns (who need more of a
rebuilding year next year than just a quick QB change), the Dolphins
(who I see going for a cheaper Flynn from Green Bay and then
building up the rest of the so-so team with the saved money),
Washington (who I see trading up for the #2 draft pick and taking
RG3), or Arizona (who will try to salvage Kolb since the GM would
look foolish to move on after one year with Kolb that cost the team
so much). I also cannot see Manning on the Jets since the media
circus of two Mannings in town would just be a bad environment.
If this plays out
and Seattle lands Manning, I'd be happy assuming he comes back to
form. However, even if Manning is 100% next season, I'd be happier
to see Seattle finally draft the QB of the future. Manning is on
borrowed time, like any NFL player in their mid-30s. Even if Seattle
got 2 solid years from him, then they would be back to where they
have been this last season; with a QB sized whole in the roster. Of
course, if Seattle lands Manning and picks up a solid 1st round QB
(I still like Kellen Moore) to be groomed under a certain Hall of
Fame QB, that would be the most ideal solution.
I just really hope
to see Manning get a new team before the draft. If Manning is still
on the minds of coaches and GMs coming into the draft, it will only
make for one hell of a strange and silly draft while teams
constantly second guess their every pick.
On a final
football thought...Seattle just released Marcus Trufant. Tru's been
with the team for 9 seasons and was the longest currently tenured
Seahawk. Sadly, with the current batch that Seattle has in the
secondary, Tru is now more of a backup than a starter. So, while I
still think he has some seasons left in the tank, Trufant has to go
if he wants to end his career in the right way (as a player and a
master of picks). I would love to see Trufant join Hasselbeck and
Babbineux on the Titans (my favorite team to watch on the early
game, since Seattle usually is on the late Sunday game).
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