I finally finished the trilogy. I intended on completing all the DLC but I passed on “Omega” for Mass Effect 3. Other than that, I played all of it. The first thing I have to say is that I didn’t hate the ending, even if I chose the wrong one. I don’t really get the hate for the ending in the first place. The whole game is about giving you mostly superficial choices. The endings are in line with that.
Mass Effect 3 is the best playing of all of them. The combat is more action-y and the stuff outside of combat is smoothed out so that you are making an effort but it’s not mindblowingly boring or tedious. No Mako, no resource collection, not much planet scanning. I’m rather glad that the crew in ME3 is reduced back down to ME1 numbers. The huge cast in ME2 was almost a necessity since the main plot didn’t really go anywhere. There’s enough to do with the story in ME3 that the off-plot missions are nice diversions.
The whole trilogy is certainly worth playing, even if Mass Effect 1 is starting to show a little age. Get them on consoles (to avoid Origin), and get the DLC. It soaked up an entire month of weekends for me and it was totally worth it.
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.
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
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.