What am I doing?

I haven’t updated for a while, right? I must not be playing any games, or I got lazy already and quit posting! No, I’m definitely playing games, but I’m trying to complete the Mass Effect trilogy and I’m not posting about games I’ve already beaten, so Mass Effect 1 and 2 don’t count. I finished Mass Effect 1 last weekend, and I’m halfway through 2. Mass Effect 3 will count, I haven’t played it yet. I’ve also never played the Mass Effect 2 DLC, but DLC doesn’t count.

I’m also trying out a couple games in the interim. Stealth Bastard Deluxe is a fun, stealthy platformer. It’s mostly a puzzle game. I got Miasmata because it got a lot of positive word of mouth. I’m a couple hours into and I’m fairly bad at it. I mean, I get the navigation principles, I just haven’t gotten used to the spotting landmarks. I backed Strike Suit Zero on Kickstarter, and it was released last week! I’m two missions in and it is remarkably a lot like Colony Wars. I haven’t gotten to the part where I get the sweet mech suit yet though.

#5 – Killzone 2 (PS3)

Rolling straight from Killzone HD to Killzone 2 really highlights how the game improved between iterations. The original Killzone had very little soundtrack, if any, while Killzone 2 has one of those high budget orchestral soundtracks. Colors in Killzone were muted while the sequel threw oranges and blues all over the place. Even today, the game looks pretty fantastic. It’s a first-person game with a cover system, but the cover system isn’t as sticky as most. You hold down L2, and if you’re near something, you’ll duck behind it. It doesn’t always work out, but you can just let go of the trigger and find cover somewhere else. Friendly AI is pretty dumb, but at least they keep their deaths to a minimum. The story is minimal, but you’re part of an invasion force sent to take control of a planet full of space nazis. It doesn’t get far, but things go to hell very nicely. One minute you feel like you’re actually winning, and then everything crashes down around you. It does a decent job of making you feel like you’re the bad guy.

Four out of five space fascists.

#4 – Killzone HD (PSN)

I got Killzone HD as part of the larger Killzone Trilogy bundle, but I’ve owned the original Killzone for quite a while. I never finished it on PS2 because I got stuck on a particularly difficult level, and the game wasn’t all that interesting enough to justify wasting a lot of time on it. But now that I have Killzone 2 and 3, I kind of wanted to go back and get through the first game. So what’s HD about Killzone HD? The resolution is higher, and the texturing on the character models is a bit more detailed, but that’s about it. The FMV between levels is particularly low resolution and full of artifacts from being highly compressed. It’s a competent if boring FPS.

Three out of five Rico’s

#3 – Unmechanical (PC)

I wasn’t expecting to finish Unmechanical tonight, but it was very, very short. Just over two hours short. The game is rather fun though. You play as a little robot with a helicopter on his head and a tractor beam. You carry stuff around and solve some physics-y puzzles. The game is beautiful, and the puzzles are mostly easy. I really enjoyed the game, so I wish it were twice as long.

Three out of five flying robot janitors

#2 – Orcs Must Die! 2 (PC)

OMD2 is a third person tower defense. You can play it solo or coop, with coop being the big new feature in OMD2. I didn’t play the first Orcs Must Die! but I got OMD2 so Katie and I could have a new coop game to play. It’s pretty enjoyable! It looks good and it has a fair amount of difficulty. It’s fun to try to figure out how to best combine traps for maximum orc destruction. This game does a great job of handling large amounts of enemies on screen at the same time. Whole hordes of orcs flood into the levels and blasting them while they clog up your traps is very satisfying.

Four out of five dwarven rocket launchers.

#1 – Papo & Yo (PSN)

This one probably shouldn’t count because I was in the process of playing it before New Year’s but oh well. The story and background behind the game may actually be more interesting than the game itself. The game is a third person platformer. You play as a kid, Quico, and you have to navigate through a world and solve puzzles while managing an enormous monster. The game is a metaphor for how a kid copes with his alcoholic, abusive father. The game world and music are beautiful, but the platforming a little sloppy, and the framerate outright sucks sometimes when the monster is raging. It’s a little on the short side, but considering the framerate problems and loose platforming, that’s probably a good thing.

Three stars out of five.