Short Game Telemetry

December 9, 2005

Like blips on the radar screen, here’s some data on the games that’ve passed through my airspace recently.

Rented it, played it, beat it. Wish I’d bought it, but now I’ve got to wonder if it’s worth it to do that. How many side quests did I really skip, anyway? How many of those just amount to shooting the right fugitive bastards in the right order, anyway? Still, a good time, well told. Also, great title.

Call of Duty (2): The Big Red One
More than anything, this made me think of those lousy Star Wars: Rebel Assault games wherein you ride scripted rails and struggle to shoot at stormtroopers. I bought this game (wish I’d rented it) after coveting Call of Duty 2 for the Xbox 360 so desperately that I bought the next best thing. Alas, you could rent loft space in the gap between best and next-best. The voice acting and scenery here in fine, but at no point in this game did I make a meaningful decision or even fool myself into believing that I had. What’s worse, I bought this game on a Friday night and had it beaten by Saturday afternoon. I even slept somewhere in there.

Far Cry: Instincts
After hearing such great things about the PC game, I watched the shelves for the arrival of this one. Then I got tired of doing that and went on with my life. Then I found the game for something like $30 and picked it up to see what the fuss was about. I figured I’d donate it to the office shooter pile for after-hours killing when I was done with it. Strangely, just after the first driving portion of the game I guess I decided I was done with it, because I dropped it off at work and haven’t missed it since. I want to be excited about this one, but I’ve downloaded episodes of Lost from iTunes instead.

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Bought it, much to the frustration of those who figured I could wait for Christmas. (Sorry about that.) With my traded-in copy of Big Red One and some other junk on credit, it was just $5, which is kind of like renting it, but completely like buying it. Cruised right through this one. It’s an improvement over Warrior Within‘s bitchy, busty angst across the board, but it’s storytelling can’t quite get next to Sands of Time. That’s something I’ll look into with more depth in a future post (I’ve got notes and everything), but I’ll tell you right now that it has to do in part with the dialogue. Attention all writers: Contractions are not 20th-century inventions. Forbidding your characters from using words like they’re and don’t isn’t going to make them sound foreign or ancient or royal. The word you’re thinking of was stilted.



  1. will, i don’t know if you ever played it but i suggest Fatal Frame 2 Crimson Butterfly. sorry to hear it about COD. did you ever play Riddick?

  2. Played Riddick. That was a good time and a good experience. I wasn’t crazy about the ending, or the way that the layers of the prison planet are supposed to work out, but I’m picking nits. If each phase of the game had been a different prison, it might’ve made for sense for me. Otherwise, I’ve got to ask why you bother with different grades of slam at all in a single facility?

    Still, that’s a good game.

  3. Do you think my partner will like COD2:TBRO? He LOVES all things call of duty… I hope so, ’cause he is getting it for xmas!

  4. Duane, frome what I understand BRO’s not that different from the previous titles (of which I’ve played precisely none except for demos here and there), so if he liked the others, he’ll probably be happy here.

    BRO is rich with atmosphere and has an entertaining squad dynamic that would’ve meant a lot more if it had been interactive. See if he recognizes the voices and motion-capture of a few Band of Brothers actors.

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