Ugh. Sorry I’ve out of touch for the last couple of days. Of course, as soon as I commit to a long-running project like “Let’s Play Starflight!” I get sick. There will be an update tonight, though. I just may sound really froggy for the next couple of days.
On a completely unrelated topic, allow me to present you game designers out there with a hypothetical situation. Let’s say you get embroiled in a conversation with a couple of your fellow designers similar to the following:
Designer 1: “Oh, my god I just had the best idea. Let’s put a monster into the game-”
Designer 2: “Yeah?”
Designer 1: “-And let’s make it so that the player has to fight it in the vehicle. But let’s make it practically impervious to the vehicle’s weapons, which, even though this game is an RPG, you can’t upgrade.”
Designer 2: “That was brilliant, by the way.”
Designer 1: “Thanks!”
Designer 2: “Too bad you had to concede on the shields.”
Designer 1: “That’s just it! This monster’s attacks will be long ranged and go right through the player’s shields, doing damage directly to the vehicle! Plus, we’ll make it so that the monster can dive underground at a moment’s notice, and if it surfaces under the player’s vehicle, the player instantly dies!”
Designer 2: “Ooh, ooh! I know! And we’ll force the player to fight one as part of a side plot, and once he does, we’ll have that monster start popping up on every other planet he visits!”
Designer 1: “You’ve learned well, young padawan.”
Should you become involved in a conversation like the above, I want you to lean over and crack Designer 1’s lower jaw with a sharp right cross. Then, while he’s writhing on the floor, raise your fist menacingly at Designer 2 until he cowers. Seriously. It’s the only way they’ll learn.
Why…why, yes, I have been playing Mass Effect rather a lot lately. Why do you ask?
Impervious to the vehicles weapons? Oh, you mean the gun that I never use. Yeah, the rockets are much better. Much, much better. It’s the only weapon to use.
Honestly, at the right distance, those things can be tricked to keep emerging from the same spot. At that distance, the spit they have is also easy to avoid with the booster jets.
The vehicle combat sequences, by and large, were my least favorite part of Mass Effect, and I’m pretty sure the game wouldn’t be poorer for not having had them.
Still, there’s something cool about being in someone’s version of StarControl 2 in the Unreal Engine.
Even the rockets hardly do any damage to those things. And that unavoidable instakill…what they hell were they thinking?
Plus, I’ve beaten the game now and I still haven’t seen that great story you were talking about earlier…in fact, the writing pissed me off to no end because I’d spent the entire game wondering WHY the Reapers do what they do, only to have the game cop RIGHT out at the end and say, “They’re aliens. We can’t know their motivations.” WRONG. Plus the ending was awful. I know not all games can have 20-minute-long endings that tie up every single plotline like Final Fantasy VI did, but this was two minutes long and didn’t resolve ANYTHING. WEAK.
Oh well, I think it’s pretty clear that we’ll see more of the reapers’ background in the sequels. Hopefully with upgradeable landing vehicles..
>I know not all games can have 20-minute-long endings
>that tie up every single plotline like Final Fantasy VI
>did, but this was two minutes long and didn’t resolve
The best one I’ve seen was in grandia 2, where you basically travel back to the beginning through all the “worlds” you’ve been in, and talk to all of the folks you met along the way, after the “main plot” has been resolved. I felt that was kind of fun.
As for videos. Try final fantasy VIII. I drank some soft drinks while doing the last battle (which took, I can’t remember exactly, but let’s say 30 minutes). After which you can’t pause or save. And then you get one ending video. Followed by the next. Followed by the next. Probably an hour’s worth. And I *really* just wanted to go to the toilet =)
I hate ’em too, but if you always head in a different direction than you were going when they went underground, they never seem to pop up under you. Once you do that it’s just a ‘fun’ 2 minute circle strafe.