Still working my way through Mass Effect again in preparation for the January release of Mass Effect 2. I have to admit, I'm very pleased to see that the game holds up in all the areas that made it such a favorite of mine. Even better, this time around I consulted an FAQ (I didn't previously) and thanks to the diligent work of some dedicated fans, I've seen some side-quests and alternate paths that I didn't know existed. Even two years after release, it still impresses.
Speaking of Mass Effect, the family and I were at the mall today picking up a few things so I thought I might stop in at GameStop and use up some credit on a pre-order for Mass Effect 2.
Last I checked, the release date was January 26—basically two months away. When I told the counter person that I wanted to put my cash down on the Collector's Edition (something I only do for BioWare games, really) he said that they were no longer offering it.
Although I'm sure EA is making a smaller number of Collector's Edition copies than standard, I have a really hard time imagining that they are going to be that scarce, especially this early.
Amazon still lists the Collector's Edition as being readily available, and after today's retail failure, I really can't think of a single reason why I should ever set foot in a GameStop again. There are endless sources of discount used games available online and Amazon (or others) don't seem to have any difficulty giving customers access to pre-orders. If I have a game I want to get rid of, I can go to Switchgames.com or at least three or four other reputable trading sites I can think of off the top of my head. What's their advantage? From where I'm standing, they seem to be functionally obsolete to any gamer who's got access to the internet.
In other news, here are some links to my Assassin's Creed II and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves reviews. If you've been following the blog, then my breakdowns of each game won't come as any surprise. Another non-surprise: neither one secured a spot on my year-end top ten. Shocker!!!
My good friend Nathan Fouts over at Mommy's Best Games has just formally announced another project he's working on besides the eagerly-awaited Grapple Buggy.
Titled Shoot 1UP, it's a shooter where instead of collecting 1ups, they appear right next to you and add to your firepower. Sounds pretty neat-o to me. I'll be talking to Nathan a little later this week, so check back later for a more in-depth piece.
Finally, I've been keeping an eye on the latest Shin Megami Tensei title coming down the pike from the fine folks over at Atlus.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is certainly that—taking a hard turn into Sci-Fi, the early portions of the game—what I've seen so far, basically—are unlike anything the series has attempted before. (And I'm really liking it!)
In a nutshell, the game's premise is that the Earth has reached a critical mass. Too many people, not enough resources, and a strange interdimensional anomaly appears at the South Pole that seems to be intent on restoring balance. A scientific strike team is sent in to investigate, and… well, I won't get into it any further at the moment but anyone who's ever played an SMT game can probably guess that demons and demon summoning factor into things.
I'll be running some screenshots and talking about this game a little more once have had a chance to spend some time with it.