I wouldn't. I don't feel the need to customize something if it's not going to make customizing that thing worth my while. I'm fine with games that give me one weapon and say "Go!" as long as the rest of the game is interesting. I want interesting challenges that force me to make interesting decisions--tactical, narrative, or what-have-you. ME1 didn't give me interesting choices or challenges with it's weapon system. I'd as soon not have to bother. It makes me feel like the darn game is assigning me busy work to meet some kind of arbitrary quota of Things Wot Must Be Clicked For This To Be a Proper Video Game.Quote:
I'll take a bad weapon system (ME1) over no weapon system to speak of (ME2) any day of the week.
I ME2, that core progression of abilities is still there, and really isn't even much stripped down. Having fewer points is just an illusion--there was a lot of dead weight in the ME1 progression system. Near meaningless points between abilities that still had to be spent. Leveling up could happen with no meaningful changes. Not so much in ME2. Some of the changed and new abilities were really robust, too, and they synthesized much better.
I find it very hard to see a lack of progression in ME2. You gain party members as the story escalates around you and while that story suffers from some major thematic issues and an awful pay-off with the Reaper thingy ... it creates a sense of building and foreboding and caps it with a great final mission (and an awful boss fight). That's the progression. You're gaining squad members and abilities and squad member abilities. You're gaining more customization options in how you approach a fight. That's mechanical and thematic progression. Adding some weapons with escalating stats just doesn't seem meaningful at all to me. I definitely don't see it as a lazy cop-out that they ripped that idea out of the game.
I don't really understand what you mean about this alleged Bioware pattern, either. How many games do they do this in? More than that, though, your phrasing of their nasty habit sounds suspiciously like an arbitrary and misguided moralism about perceived effort. There's nothing creatively more suspect about removing and streamlining lackluster systems compared to retrofitting them to make them more robust.
Finished Torchlight 1 a couple of days ago. The difficulty suddenly skyrocketed in the last few areas, and the final boss was a terrible slog. It didn't help I managed to get myself cornered between the boss and 20+ summoned mooks, so I ended up cheating and using god mode to defeat it - I had to click on the boss for a solid 15 minutes before it went down. I'm so happy I didn't try to beat the game in the regular way.
Moved on to a replay of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The game is more difficult than I remember, and that's coming from someone who finished all SC games multiple times and finished all Thief games. Still, having fun though.
This is pretty obviously something we're not going to agree on, so I'm inclined to stop it here before it turns into another one of those arguments. Suffice it to say that from my perspective, feature removal of the sort described is a cornerstone of a larger trend (epidemic at the time ME2 was released, arguably in retreat these days) of "streamlining" RPG mechanics out of RPG's. It seems silly to bang on this drum particularly hard considering that ME3 was a step back in the right direction, and seemed to work for both of us.
Fair enough, all around.
Starting my semi-regular, every-couple of-years-or-so playthrough of Baldur's Gate + BG2/Throne of Bhaal. I've always found that my attention drifts when I get to the first sections of ToB - with the odd result that, even though this series is one of my favourites, I've never actually finished the thing.
Why does my attention drift? Is it because I love it so much that I don't want it to end? Is it because I'm so familiar with the content of BG1 and BG2 that the 'breaking new ground' aspect isn't what I want, and I just want the familiarity? Is it because it takes hours to playthough, and by the time I get to ToB I'm bored of the gameplay mechanics?
Anyway, this time will be different. I've been finishing up games in my backlog recently, and I'm in the mood for closure.
Finished Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall. Great game, satisfying ending, I'll be remembering these characters for a long time.
It's too hot to even think, so I've been playing some Hexcells Plus....
Not really sure what to think so far. It's fun, but even though I know people say that there's no guesswork, it seems to me that you do have to guess at times. Which confuses me a bit. I hope I'm wrong, but if so I must really be missing something.
Also played Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart. I don't actually know where I have it from and I was just going to get the cards, but it turned out to be something to do while watching some TV series, so I ended up finishing it.
Just a typical Hidden Object game (although you can choose to play Mahjong instead of doing the HO screens), but it's okay for what it is and doesn't outstay its welcome (which is a bit unusual for HO games).
And I'm keeping it up with Dynasty Warriors. I really love how the game portraits the flow of battle and how many options one actually has within a mission. It's always centered around the idea of a few super powered ubermenschen walking the battlefield and killing over a thousand soldiers is normal for the game... but somehow amidst all the silly, it deals really well with the back and forth of a battlefield. It feels like I'm actually controlling the battlefield through my presence.
For example, you're often attacking from several sides and the game explicitely tells you to go someplace and do something. But you can chose not to. For example, there's a mission where you are told to flood a fortress. You can go with the plan and chase a messenger all the way, hoping to get there first. Or you can forgo that part and let someone else deal with it, and suddenly you're called into action to stop a few ballistae and then bring your own. Let's say the plan to flood the fortress failed, you've now got the chance to crack the fortress with the ballistae instead. It might be a bit more difficult but you can do it, if you think that's a better approach. Or you can fail parts of the mission completely and still press on, but morale will suffer greatly. Or going one way results in another way suddenly flanking you. I love that.
If you have too many of one soldier type, try researching the mech lab ASAP, so you can convert them into mechs. I'm drowning in Supports myself.
For a bit of breathing room, I've switched to Split/Second. Really great game for splitscreen fun but bloody hell, I haven't raged so hard at a singleplayer campaign in a pretty long time. It starts of challenging and gets progressively more difficult, until it suddenly places a huge towering difficulty wall in front of your progress with AI flying jets that oddly look just like your car, while you push a shopping cart around. With three wheels. And a stuck handbrake. It's my old enemy Rubberbanding again, isn't it?
I obviously need to step away from racing games, because no matter how much I enjoy them, they're all infested with Rubberband AI and it often annoys me to no end. I no longer mind if the AI uses it to get close to me, but having them pass me with several times my speed, while they drive the very same car I do, is just cheating and making it obvious it's cheating too. And as a result, when I lose, I don't feel like I lost personally because I wasn't good enough, but rather that I was cheated out of the victory and if I'm to win, it's not because I got better but because I sabotaged my own driving. Whyyyyy racing game developers, whyyyyyyyyy do you insist on over the top, very noticeable Rubberbanding so much. :|