Master Of The Universe

Happy Weekend TAY!

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Summer is making an appearance around here this weekend with some very warm temperatures. Thankfully this gives me a good excuse to hide in the cool basement and game.

Last week my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it has been twenty years already, it feels like we just got married. 20th wedding anniversary gifts are traditionally “china” but we already have more than enough dishes. So, we went out and had a nice dinner and bought the Wipeout Omega Collection instead. I suppose I should have actually bought Vanquish as the modern gift for 20th wedding anniversaries is “platinum”.

Wipeout is a good analogy for twenty years of marriage. It has its ups and downs and throws you crazy curves, but it is always fun and beautiful to look at (well, at least from my perspective, I’m not sure my wife gets the best view after 20 years of time has had its way with me.)

I finally finished Mass Effect last week. It was alright. I really enjoyed the story but the gameplay left me a little flat. I imagine there was more of an impact on players when the game first came out given the unique design for the time. I also wouldn’t doubt that some of the appeal people have for it today is likely based on nostalgia. For me, playing Mass Effect almost a decade after it was originally released wasn’t so smooth and the passage of time makes the warts in the gameplay more apparent.

However, I am looking forward to more of the series down the road. I think with the refined combat mechanics of the later games I might be more interested in the gameplay. The first game’s story would make an amazing mini-series on TV or a 3-part movie event. Though, as I mentioned previously, there are many *very* similar story elements found in both Mass Effect and the Babylon 5 TV series.

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After Mass Effect, I moved on to Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director’s Cut.

I played Human Revolution shortly after it was originally released in 2011. I loved it then and I’m happy to say I still love it now. I’m looking forward to seeing how the bosses are reworked in the Director’s Cut and I’m enjoying the visual upgrades.

The game looks astounding running at 4K, but like many older games, the interface doesn’t scale well. This makes for some very tiny text on the HUD; thankfully my distance to the screen is such that this isn’t a problem. The real problem is with the rifle scopes. These obviously weren’t designed to scale with the increased resolution and, as you can see in the picture above, they are pretty much useless. The nice thing about Human Revolution and the wide array of gameplay choices is that I can just ignore scopes for this play-through and not even miss them.

I’m happy to be back to a game where the player’s skill is more of a factor (compared to Mass Effect) and Human Revolution is such a joy to control. I had forgotten how free the player is to choose how they want to approach a situation. It is truly an example of master-class game design.

I also finished Halo CE with my son last week and now we will move on to Halo 2 (after finishing up Sonic CD). Halo CE is such an amazing experience, I never tire of playing that game. It was great for my son to be able to experience the game full screen for the co-op game this time around, instead of the cramped quarters of the splitscreen we had the last time we played. I am excited to experience the high resolution remake of Halo 2 in fullscreen; I have yet to see it in its full glory.

I am hoping to get to some more Human Revolution this weekend along with some dabbling in the Wipeout Omega Collection. My family also needs to fine tune our Rock Band 4 as the last update changed the calibration slightly. We ordered another “Band In The Box” last week to make sure we have a backup drum kit in case they suddenly disappear (like our experience with Rock Band 3). This also now gives us a second Rock Band 4 guitar so it will be fun to do some bass and guitar sessions.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?