Blog a Day 58of365: Week’s Roundup

So another week down and I was able to review two huge games that will no doubt feature heavily in Game of the Year roundups (although I’d disagree with the inclusion of one of them).

First up was Bioshock 2 on the PC for VideogameUK. I found it pretty disappointing compared to the original. I say disappointing, I had a feeling this would be the case anyway! Good, but no Bioshock 1.

Bioshock 2 suffers immediately from one rather obvious flaw: it’s not Bioshock 1. Arguably the first Bioshock didn’t even really need a sequel so is Bioshock 2 a worthy successor to the throne? Almost is the most concise way of putting it.

It’s difficult not to compare the two games and this became apparent as early as the start of the game. Unlike the first game, there’s no dramatic opening as depicted by poor plane crash survivor Jack becoming stranded in Rapture. Instead you play a Big Daddy who is cruelly separated from his Little Sister, Eleanor. It’s an intriguing story but one that’s a slow burner rather than one that immediately hooks the player. There are no hugely surprising plot twists but there are some nicely placed set pieces and unveilings which make for some great moments scattered throughout the game. However I found that it wasn’t really until the second playthrough that I found the story as compelling as the one offered in the original. With hindsight of what was to come, the poignancy of the story really came alight. It’s also worth noting that the final third of the game is vastly superior to the rest of the game so while the game takes a while to get going, it is well worth persevering.

Full review

Then there was my Game of the Year so far, Heavy Rain. Not perfect but stunning nonetheless. Everything I could hope for in a game. The review has some very vague spoilers, but no mentions of context or characters involved are made.

Heavy Rain is an extremely important game; it’s also a very divisive one that will spark arguments akin to the days of playground fights over whether Mario or Sonic was best. You see, calling Heavy Rain a game is a difficult one. Nor is it quite a film considering its interactive element, although it certainly tries the hardest I’ve ever seen a game try in its effort to be cinematic. It’s best to consider Heavy Rain as an interactive experience. One that will reside in your consciousness for a long time to come, assuming you allow it to that is.

Full review

Finally was my Priory article for Nidzumi. I talked about my addiction to Everquest while at college between 2001 and 2003. I still have an urge to go back!

My name is Jen Allen, and I have a problem with Everquest…

I’d never played an online game until Everquest. To say that one game went onto change me would be no exaggeration. It was a total addiction although fortunately one that somehow didn’t stop me getting through college with decent grades.

A friend introduced me to the world of Norrath. Much like any drug dealer, he convinced me that it was an inexpensive gaming kick. While I was only 16 and didn’t have much of an income, I had enough to scrape through my Everquest days. Like he said, it was cheaper in the long run as I didn’t need any other games. I had Everquest and it was all I needed to keep my gaming mind warm.

Full article

Surprisingly that’s it for the week! There’s actually more in the pipeline as I’ve submitted three reviews and an article that has yet to go live. At this rate I think next week’s roundup will be massive as next week is looking rather busy! For now though, a weekend free of writing (except blogging of course). Hurrah!