Blog a Day 44of365: Week’s Roundup

It’s been a very busy week and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the day in a darkened room playing Mass Effect 2 to death. And of course a home cooked curry followed by The Hurt Locker tonight.

But for now, here’s the week’s roundup.

The week started with my Mass Effect 2 piece for GamePeople. Rather happy with how it turned out even if there was a lot more I could have written about! Be warned it does contain spoilers.

Mass Effect 2 puts right disappointments from the first game on the 360. But, for all its nuanced storytelling, it still struggles to escape from being an awkward and lumpy middle child. Whereas Empire Strikes Back managed to revel in its position and be its own film, Mass Effect 2’s heavily treaded storytelling wants to get us to part three.

Full piece

Then as a complete change of pace came my review of Flips: Too Ghoul for School, an interactive series of children’s books available for the DS. Not too beneficial for the adults but for the under 10s it’s rather useful.

If you’re over the age of 10 and not a parent of a child, Flips: Too Ghoul for School might not seem very appealing to you. Rather than being a game in the conventional sense, Flips: Too Ghoul for School is more an interactive reading tool. This is rather handy if you’re a parent of a child who would rather be playing on their DS than reading a book as it combines both hobbies in an extremely pleasing way.

Full review

I had the dubious pleasure of suffering Vancouver 2010 on the PS3 for Nidzumi this week too. The first retail PS3 game I’ve played since it came back from repair. I’m amazed it didn’t die on me again in protest.

I love the Winter Olympics. The likes of curling sounds incredibly dull, yet always strangely compelling, while the various skiing and bobsleigh events seem ridiculously fast and daredevil-ish. Much of the appeal comes from the fact that we just don’t get snow like that round where I live, so it makes the Winter Olympics seem so unique and magical. Unfortunately Vancouver 2010  fails miserably at feeling special in any way.

Full review

The week ended with a cacophony of game reviews. First my review of Flips: Artemis Fowl, another selection of interactive books aimed at older children, showed up:

In a similar vein to Flips: Too Ghoul for School, Flips: Artemis Fowl is another series of interactive books. This time round however, the game is aimed at older children who might want a more focused reading experience than Too Ghoul For School offers with its many distractions.

Full review

Then there was a review of Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgement.

I was a huge fan of the original Vandal Hearts games on the Playstation 1 so I couldn’t wait to see the prequel Flames of Judgment. It’s quite an enjoyable strategy RPG but for experienced strategy gamers it’s a little too simple and easy, making it more of an appetiser than a sumptuous course of strategy fun. Perversely it also isn’t overly welcoming to newcomers to the genre.

Full review

And finally a review of the completely bonkers Bayonetta for Ve3tro.

Bayonetta is absolutely mental. It’s the kind of game that makes me want to throw out various clichés and hyperbolic statements about how it’s ‘edge of the seat madness’ or maybe ‘eye poppingly insane’. There’s good reason for this though as these clichés and hyperbole are quite appropriate for such a game as Bayonetta.

Full review

Next week currently only promises Rumo(u)r Killers, Bioshock 2 and a much delayed (albeit not my fault) second review of Fallen Earth. Oh and a couple of reviews of Chime for different sites. Must get some more iPhone gaming in too.

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