Tag Archives: Grand Theft Auto

I can’t beat the second mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

I’m pretty sure no one likes admitting they suck, but here I am, all guts and no glory, telling the world (well, really just the select few that read Grinding Down) that I can’t even beat the second mission of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Trust me, I tried. I tried oh so hard. In fact, I attempted to complete “Big Smoke” roughly four or five times, but found that controlling Carl Johnson on a bicycle and avoiding a car filled with gangsters and guns is beyond tricky. From what I understand, that’s the whole mission, too: put CJ on a bicycle and pedal your way to safety.

The first few times I was focusing more on staying up to speed with my gangsta buddies, so as not to get lost in the sprawling cityscape of San Andreas, but that often led to CJ crashing into something, falling behind, and failing the mission. Other attempts ended with CJ pinned against a wall or another car, a hundred and seven bullets flaying his skin, pelting him with ire, turning him into a slice of Swiss cheese. There was no chance at fighting back, only avoiding the car, but here’s a little fact that many people might not know: cars are faster than bicycles. No matter how hard I tapped the X button, I could not pedal ahead of the car, which pulled up right next to me and opened fire.

So after my sixth failed attempt, I muttered a cuss and took to highjacking some random automobile and causing as much chaos as I could. At one point, Tara came home and was talking to me, and we were having a full discussion, face to face, as I held down the gas button; amazingly, without even looking at the screen, my car was still on the move, hitting people and benches alike, as well as avoiding cops with an insane amount of luck. My car refused to get stuck, refused to explode. Maybe that’s the secret to doing well at a Grand Theft Auto game–not looking at the TV screen. Might have to try that trick if I ever attempt “Big Smoke” again. Or maybe not. I’ve no heart left in me, and I’m spoiled from L.A. Noire‘s easier action missions (and the ability to skip ’em entirely if they prove too hard or not fun).

Anyone want to come over to the Leaky Cauldron and finish this mission for me? I’ll pay you in praise and pretzels.

Color versus black and white in L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire is defaulted to play in color, which is a bit odd given its namesake and obvious admiration for film noir, low lighting, and unbalanced compositions. You do have the option to switch between playing in color and playing in black, white, and gray, but you can only select this option after starting the game and getting through its first chunk of cutscenes. That’s unfortunate because now you’ve already experienced the game in color, albeit just for a bit, and I guess it’s kind of like making a turkey sandwich, taking a bite, deciding that today isn’t turkey’s day, stripping the sandwich of its meat, and then replacing it with bologna. I mean, why didn’t you just make a bologna sandwich to begin with?

Okay, food analogies aside, after the opening narration and cutscenes, I switched over to black and white via the main menu options just as young, calm detective Cole Phelps and his partner began searching an alleyway for clues about a recent shooting. The change from color to black and white was phenomenal, striking even, especially with both detectives wielding flashlights, casting these sharp, bright cones of white on everything. It made searching for clues a little tougher due to the epic wash of white, but you truly felt like a bit part in a hardboiled police procedure.

And then a little later the game informed me that doors with golden yellow handles are open to Cole while doors without golden yellow handles cannot be opened. Great. In grayscale L.A. Noire, all door handles look exactly the same: a solid gray. There’s no way to tell the difference except to have Cole walk into every single door, making him look like a complete tool eight times out of ten. Strike one against black and white. The second strike came a tiny bit later as I was flipping through the game’s manual and noticed that, during gunfights and skirmishes, loss of health is indicated by the world’s color fading from color to black and white. The more muted it gets, the closer Cole is to his coffin. Perfect. In grayscale L.A. Noire, you can’t tell how much damage you’ve taken because the world around you is already muted and monochrome. The world doesn’t, for instance, revert back to color upon being wounded. It just stays the same. Strike two.

There’s no strike three. Two reasons were enough to convince me to switch back to color, and while it is not as aesthetically pleasing, at least I can be sure that playing the game will be easier. Certainly, I’ve found doors with golden yellow handles much quicker.

The Saboteur did not make a big splash on the gaming scene, but it’s a game that surprised me and took me for a wild ride across Paris; as the Nazis were destroyed and pushed back, color returned to France. It was a neat gimmick, but those early levels of the game where the only color you can see is red were so attractive and haunting. Same kind of goes for Fallout 3, wherein the Lone Wanderer is transported back to a simpler time before the bombs dropped, to Tranquility Lane, a virtual reality simulation housed in Vault 112. Here, the player will have to free his father from the same trap while dealing with a small neighborhood of 1950s-perfect people. Everything is seemingly pulled straight out of Pleasantville. Both games have a lasting impression on me, and both for the same reason: the excellent inclusion of effective noir stylings. It shouldn’t get in the way of gameplay, but it should definitely set a tone, pun intended.

Other than not being able to truly play in black and white and enjoy myself, I’m having a great time in L.A. Noire staring down suspects and searching for clues. As well as letting my partner drive me to and fro. Every open-world game needs chauffeurs. Yup, even you, LEGO City Stories. I just got up to the first case for Homicide called “The Red Lipstick Murder,” and I’m looking forward to solving some more mysteries this weekend. With Tara’s help, too. She’s like my very own personal assistant detective. “She’s lying! Look at her face!”

Adding to the Backlog – A whole bunch of drastically different videogames

Suddenly, without warning, my backlog grew tremendously over the last couple of weeks. Actually, no, not without warning–I’ve been buying games pretty frequently, mostly because I’m trying to fill out my PlayStation 2 games collection before all copies of anything PS2-related disappear like pay-phones, cassette tapes, and music videos on MTV. Also, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger’s pride.

Here’s a little summary of my recent additions:

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

I actually ended up buying a new copy of this game for around $15.00. This totally confused the GameStop employee as he claimed that he had not sold a new copy of a PlayStation game in many, many months. He had no idea where they kept them. He called three people on the phone. Time passed, and I shuffled back and forth on my feet, waiting, wondering. Anyways, I’ve yet to pop this baby into the disc tray. Soon, I’m sure.


This is okay. Not quite a GTA clone, but there’s bits and pieces there, as well as a character named Pauly. However, I’m stuck on the third mission. Like, I’ve tried it six times, and I can’t get past it. You’re supposed to bash a bunch of cars up with a baseball bat and then ignite them in a blaze of glory with a molotov cocktail; the problem is that once you’ve smashed up two and a half cars, a bunch of goons with guns attack you, and within a few shots, the main character is dead. I’ve tried it a bunch of different ways, but can’t seem to avoid their shots and finish up the job at the same time.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit

Haven’t played it yet, but the store clerk was excited to see me getting this game. Seems to be more of a platformer than an adventure game, but I’ll give it a shot.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue

Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sly…those were the staples of PS2 platforming titles. However, another series existed, one about a not-so-crazy Tasmanian tiger that kept a nifty collection of boomerangs. I have and enjoyed beating the first game in the series so I picked this one up for super cheap. Shame it has a laughingly bad name. Can’t wait to rescue some bush.

The Simpsons: Road Rage

Tara saw this and said something to the effect of, “The Grand Theft Auto Simpsons!” And she’s a huge fan of the show, much more than I am, so I grabbed it for her for $4.99. However, it turns out it’s more like Crazy Taxi than GTA, but it’s still pretty fun. Love that it has all the true voice actors in it. I got to be Ottoman and drive around a topless school bus.

Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri

No idea what this is, but the Capcom-esque art style and inclusion of a mini army of robots was enough to sell me. It was like $4.00. Haven’t gotten to try it yet.

Now, if I just complete all six of these games in the next week, that’ll bring me up to 25 total for 2011, and then I can gleefully go out and purchase L.A. Noire for the extended holiday weekend. Ha, not likely. Besides, I’ve got a bunch of artsy projects I really should work on instead of playing with pixels. However, I’ll still be searching for other PS2 titles I want…if you have any, please send them to me as soon as possible, and I’ll repay you with a silly drawing. Seriously, that’s the deal. Unless you have Suikoden III. Then I’ll do you a silly drawing…in my very own blood.

Some RPGs I’ve never gotten to play and maybe never will (PART ONE)

I once lived only on wishful thinking, and one of those gleaming nuggets was this: to play every videogame that came out. That hope quickly dashed itself into non-existence when I learned about time and money and headspace and all that jazz that keeps us from spending hour after hour in a digital world. And so, as it often happens, a good number of videogames get released and pass on by. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can test a demo out and get a feel for whether I really need to play more or not. Most of the time–eh, no. And back in the day, back before online Let’s Play forums and countless YouTube videos, not playing a game yourself really meant not experiencing it all, save for some magazine articles, tiny screenshots, lunchroom gossip, and whatever magic your imagination could work.

And that’s sad. I’ve missed out on a lot of videogames over the years; there’s just not enough time to play ’em all, as much as we’d all wish there was. RPGs especially, considering the majority of these are 3o+ hour games versus the more standard 8+ hour adventures of non-RPGs. They take so long of a time to play that when you do finally hit the end credits, a good four or five new RPGs were already released and taken off the shelves for other new releases. Oi.

Anyways, here’s some RPGs that I, unfortunately, missed the boat on:

Final Fantasy X

Something happened here, and I still don’t understand it. See, I played pre-ordered Final Fantasy VII and started playing it the very day I got it. Same goes with Final Fantasy VIII. I did not buy Final Fantasy IX immediately, but I really didn’t wait too long to get that one. Then I went to college–the very same time Final Fantasy X dropped for the PlayStation 2. Oh man, was there hype! This one was sporting voices. People were going crazy over it, and I just didn’t have the time or money to invest in it. Alas, I did not know many other gamers in my dorm, and so this passed on by without a beep. By the time Final Fantasy X-2 came out, I was over the idea of going back to see what made it so special. Was it 95% soccer under water and 5% fun? Can’t say. But I feel like I should try to play it eventually considering just how many of these Final Fantasy games I’ve already played at this point. Funny enough, a used copy still comes in at like $20.00.


Modeled very much after The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Alundra was about a boy with the power to go into people’s dreams and fight back their nightmares. It was released for the original PlayStation in 1997 and went with the exact opposite of what that system was trying to push. 2D sprites and anime-inspired FMV were its most obvious strong points in terms of visuals. Heard the puzzles got hard, and the music very repetitive. However, I distinctly recall never seeing this game on store shelves when I’d be browsing.

Suikoden III

This is the series that truly started it all for me. Loved the first game, loved the second game even more. That seems to be the status quo for just about everyone that set off to collect 108 Stars of Destiny. And then I completely missed out on III and IV (the latter is supposedly a good thing)…again, I blame college. I had very little time to play back then despite my continuous subscription to PSM for all four years of learning. Anyways, heard that this one kept up the grand tradition of an epic story of war and waging politics, but this time did it through several different POVs. Not sure if the 3D models have aged well–I mean, they were only just okay in Suikoden V–but I still feel like I missed something solid here.

Secret of Evermore

There’s traditional fantasy RPGs, like Final Fantasy, and then there’s this. Like Earthbound, Secret of Evermore strives to be quirky. That’s kind of all I really know of the game. Oh, and that you follow a boy and his shape-shifting dog (yes!!!) through a fantasy world reflecting different periods of time and the magic system throughout is focused on alchemy. Sounds good to me. Really good, actually. A shame I knew nothing about it back when I owned an SNES and spent all my car-washing money on Shaq-Fu. No, really. I bought Shaq-Fu. I’m saving that juicy story for another time on Grinding Down; y’all will just have to wait. Insert evil laughter.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Wait, what? You’re shouting at me? Grand Theft Auto isn’t a role-playing game series! There’s no turn-based action gameplay or any stats to worry about! Hmm…maybe not the first four games or so, but from what I’ve gathered, that all changed with GTA: San Andreas. Character development is totally a thing, with clothes and accessories affecting how the streets see the main protagonist. One also has to eat and work out to stay slim and fit, and there’s skills to work towards (driving skills, firing skills, lung capacity skills, bowstaff skills). Sounds like quite an RPG! I’ve always had trouble staying interested in these sorts of games, but if the above is true and solid, well…this might be the GTA for me.

Well, that’s all for this post. Certainly there’s about a hundred more RPGs I’ve yet to play, and you’ll find out about them down the road. Have you played any of the above? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to know if any of these are worth tracking down–if possible–and playing this day and age.

A short spurt of success in GTA IV

Something strange happened recently; I beat a couple of missions in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Now, I had not played the game since admitting to the rage it caused me back at the end of April 2010. Other games became my distraction, and I soon lost interest in moving Niko’s revenge plot forward. But then, recently, Red Dead Redemption was released, and all the buzz about it reminded me that I really do love an open world and that Rockstar can make a decent game, and so I popped GTA IV back into my Xbox 360, totally expecting to just drive around a bit and see the sights.

But I took a chance again on that mission “Museum Piece,” which had previously caused me a lot of heartache after failing it three times. I prepared myself by loading up on ammo, grenades, and armor, and then procedded to take my time clearing out the museum. Once outside, I stayed in the park as I remembered that taking to the streets was instant death. Here’s where it got tricky…and I got lucky. I could not see the two cars trying to run me over, but they kept bashing into the park’s gated walls, and several cop cars had shown up to assess the situation. I tossed grenades like hot potatoes and took those two (of three) targets down. The third guy was on foot in the park, a shotgun in hand, but I made a mess of him quickly. Now to lose my three stars. I grabbed the car I drove to the mission with and hit the street, trying to find a Spray ‘n Pay shop. Luckily, I didn’t need it, and made it to safety before getting there. Ping, Achievement unlocked!

Impossible Trinity (10G): You completed the mission “Museum Piece”.

And then I took on the next mission from Italian Ray…and successfully completed it. And the one after that. I think at some point, I pinched myself, but all of this was happening. I was doing well!

Until I had to chase a guy on a scooter around a park…on a scooter, too. Scooters are motorcycles’ demon babies. They handle horribly, and one mess up and your target will escape with ease. Grrr. So I failed that mission…twice, saved, and shut off for the night.

Maybe I’ll wait two more weeks to play GTA IV again. I guess I gotta save up a whole bunch of success and then spend all in one shot.

Baby, you can drive my car…in Borderlands (cause I don’t want to)

I’m beginning to wonder what videogames with vehicles would be like without their vehicles. Most likely better, to start.

The Mako in Mass Effect was frustrating to control, and unsatisfying when you finally did get the hang out it because then you’re mostly standing still, bunny-hopping incoming rockets, and firing your own weaponry off into the great distance. Not fun, and it might have just been easier–and more fun–to walk the path from Mako point A to Make point B then drive like a loon. I was extremely glad to hear it got the ax for Mass Effect 2 though they seemed to have added in a flying ship of sorts. Not sure how it controls.

In Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, if a single block was off or the wrong type of fuel was attached, the vehicle would be classified in the local paper as 100% jalopy/clunker/hooptie. This made making your own vehicles un-fun, and using the ones provided by the game until you hit a spot where none of them would work. Wish it was a platformer again instead of a car circus.

And Grand Theft Auto IV‘s vehicles are just hahahahaaa ahaha ahahahahah ha. Ahem.

But I’m not here to harp on Mass Effect‘s shoddy future tank or Banjo Kazooie‘s pickiness. No, no. This blog post is all about the vehicles in Borderlands.


Actually, nothing. But there is something terribly wrong with the control scheme for them. So, once you’re inside the driver seat after accidentally climbing into the gunner seat a few times, you’re ready to burn some rubber around the wasteland. To do so, on the Xbox 360, you have to press forward on the left analog stick. Okay, weird. Old-school design. So how do you steer then? Oh, you also use the left analog stick. “But,” you ask, dear reader, “how can you effectively hold it forward to drive and tilt left/right to steer the vehicle away from sharp rocks?” You can’t.

I really had a lot of trouble figuring out how to use the vehicle once I got in it. And so far, after trying to use it on two missions to speed up travel time, I’ve found myself stuck on a rock or down a ditch thanks to hard-as-vault controls. It really boggles my mind, and I can’t seem to find a way to change the scheme myself. Why couldn’t you hold A for gas and steer with the analog stick? Makes no sense, I tell you.

Now I’m just waiting to unlock fast travel because driving vehicles, especially in a solo game where no one is watching my back or driving for me, is not a good time. Of all time. NOT A GOOD TIME OF ALL TIME. Shooting bandits is much more desired.

Yet somehow–and I assure you there was no skill involved here thanks to previous mentioned controls–I unlocked the following Achievement:

Get a Little Blood on the Tires (20G): Killed 25 enemies by ramming them with any vehicle

Seriously, at this point, I think the only game with vehicles I’ve ever greatly enjoyed is Super Mario Kart. Those things handled perfectly.

Grand Theft Auto IV is so stingy with its Achievements

I’ve obviously not played a ton of Xbox 360 games, but the ones in my small collection certainly handed out Achievements much more…favorably than Grand Theft Auto IV at this point. The game is just simply stingy over them, and I’ve been playing for a decent amount of hours and have only unlocked14 of 65 Achievements. Three of these are story-based. That’s a pretty small number considering the many missions I’ve gone through already. The rest are a mix of mini-game skills, online multiplayer, and miscellaneous tasks done within Liberty City.

I guess I’m just surprised there’s not more random-based Achievements. I mean, it’s a sandbox game. The sky’s the limit. Here’s some I thought of that I’d have totally unlocked already:

Busybody (15G): Ignored 50 phone calls from your friends.

Bombs Away (20G): Blew yourself up with a grenade. Try throwing it next time.

Good Samaritan (50G): Obeyed all traffic laws for ten straight blocks. Red lights have nothing on you.

Bump That Ride (30G): Accidentally bump into 30 cop cars, wasting time losing your wanted level immediately after.

StairMaster (10G): Knock someone down a set of stairs and into someone else.

The Shocker (15G): Steal a car with a female driver and immediately switch the radio to ElectroShock.

Ha. Rockstar, if you’re reading, I’m available for freelancing!

Yeah, those kind of Achievements would be right up my alley. Silly, but doable. Most you wouldn’t even have to think about. One of the big reasons I’m not unlocking a lot of Achievements in GTA IV at the moment is because I’m actively going after Liberty City Minute (30G, Complete the story missions in less than 30 hours.), which is probably not going to happen since I’ve failed missions a lot and didn’t reload. Plus, I’m watching all the cutscenes. After that I’ll go after some of the, um, easier (?) Achievements. Like surviving a six-star wanted level for five minutes. Oh boy.

I guess, in the end, these Achievements really do earn their namesake, but I dunno…the game doesn’t need to be so stringent over ’em. Give a few more out for playing the game and less for being hardcore insane over it, I say.

In-game relationships need to get out

Unless I’m playing The Sims, I don’t really want to do buddy-buddy things like playing darts and going for a walk and having a beer with someone in-game. Especially when we’re talking about Grand Theft Auto IV, where the majority of the focus is on…well, shooting drug dealers in the mouth and running over hot dog stands. Nor do I want to go on dates, but that mostly has to do with Niko Bellic not being the suave gentlemen your dates might think he is. Seriously, how can anyone be charmed by this masochistic, hollow shell of a goon? His response to every demonic task put on him is: how much will I get paid? Right.

I wish there was a way you could lose your cell phone in GTA IV and then have to go to a local Sprint store (I bet those Rockstar devs would be hilarious and call it, I dunno, Splint) to get a new one. After losing it, I would never get another. I don’t even care if that meant no more missions; I just want to walk and drive around in peace, listen to the radio, take in the sights. No, I don’t want to get shit-faced with you, Roman; you’re a horrible human being, possibly less horrible when drunk, but horrible nonetheless, and to have some drinky drinks with you would take up the following:

1. Time
2. Money

Plus, these in-game friends always call at the worst time ever. Like, you’re sneaking around a building, getting ready for a shootout, and then you have Little Jacob mumbling something about hanging out in your ear. Sorry, can’t. Why didn’t you call me during the 15 minutes it took me to get to this location? Chump.

Another example of bad cell phone usage in videogames: Pokemon HeartGold. During your course across the many regions, you will meet a bunch of trainers and strangers all eager to give you their phone number. In return, you must offer them yours–and your very soul. Seriously, if I could turn back time, I’d give my phone number to NO ONE. Not even my mother, that money-tossing fiend. Stand still for a minute or so, and ring ring ring, it’s Joey to tell you all about his RATTATA. Great. Just about every phone call I’ve gotten has been pointless; there’s no reward, no missions, just a bunch of BS and wasted time tapping through. I’m guessing this is the game’s way of making you feel connected to more than just pocket monsters, but it is an empty mechanic, beyond annoying, and a waste of precious time.

Dragon Age: Origins handles in-game relationships better…but not great. For one, thanks to Ferelden’s serious lack of technogadgetry, the Grey Warden does not have a cell phone. Instead, he/she has a mouth and two ears, and using them they can affect how other characters feel. Some might grow to hate the Grey Warden, others will fall in love, and a couple will remain indifferent no matter what you do. You can give gifts and listen to their stories to maybe pick up an important sidequest. Also, depending on who you are traveling with, certain key events will lead them to voicing their opinions, and it’s up to the Grey Warden to decide how to react. At least there’s rewards here: useful skills are unlocked as companions grow in friendship.

So unless in-game relationships do more than just annoy and waste time, they need to get out…and get out fast.

Try, try, try again with GTA IV until I go bonkers

Irrefutably, the most frustrating aspect of Grand Theft Auto IV is failing a mission. It’s not over the feeling of being let down or the confusion about where one went wrong. It’s just simply torture: after failing a GTA IV mission, you are given the chance to try again (uh, thanks, magical cell phone!), and while this sounds nice and easy, it’s not…because some missions have you starting on one island and driving to another, a trek which could take anywhere from five to ten minutes. This is pretty tiring after you just did it all previously, especially when all you want to do is complete the mission and keep the story flowing. Fail another time, and it’s back to driving, paying tolls, avoiding cop cars. And again. And again. Until you get it right. Or turn off the game and have some ice cream.

Currently, I’ve failed Dwayne’s mission “Undress to Kill” more than five times. In this one, you drive to a strip club, putz about until you identify three managers, and are then tasked to take them out. The problem is, once you kill one manager, everyone in the club pulls out a gun and you’re left to try and survive. If you don’t plan well and move fast, it’s over quickly. One time I was able to live long enough to kill the second manager, but the third escaped in a car and when I jetted out the back entrance it was right into the (not so) loving arms of the law.

I’d really prefer to beat all the story missions and such first so I can fart around the world without being bothered by drug dealers, ex-convicts, and jerky cousins. Alas, until I can get past some of these missions (there’s another one involving cocaine, an abandoned hospital, and cops giving me grief), that won’t ever happen.

Hating the Greatest Videogames

Over at BitMob, folks are talking about great games that they hated.

In general, I only play games I suspect I’ll like or love. On occasion, there’ll be a game that disappoints me, but hate is such a strong word. I mean, I hate global suffering and depression and money woes and the looks puppy dogs give you when you walk by their glass prisons in the mall…but a videogame? Chances are, I’d only hate a videogame if I spent $60 on it and it took my soul and shat on it. But, as previously mentioned, I only go after games that I will probably enjoy.

That said, here’s some “great games” that I found to miss the mark.

Grand Theft Auto III/Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City

For sandbox value, the GTA series is fine. Amazingly fine. Ever want to do 70 mph down the sidewalk? Go for it. Where I felt short-changed, however, was in every single mission, and more specifically, the clunkiest and most unforgiving boat races ever to grace an ocean’s tide. Not only did these repeat themselves, but controlling boats and cars was always way too slippery for me.


Savage. Sums up Contra well, I think, and I grew up playing this game at a friend’s house during a time when neither of us knew about the extra lives code. We’d run, we’d shoot, we’d die by the end of the first level, and then we’d go outside to ride bikes.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Button-mash here, button-mash there, button-mash everywhere. Don’t even try to form a strategy. Just hit those buttons and stare in wonder at how a Pokemon is kicking the crap out of Donkey Kong. I don’t know. I know folks love this series, but it never resonated like other fighting games did.

Devil May Cry

The same reason I didn’t like the Bayonetta demo or Super Smash Bros. Brawl: mashed potatoes. Er, I mean…mashed buttons. Frenetic gameplay, bad camera angles, and room after room of enemies just didn’t make for a fun time. I dug the gothic style, but ultimately gave up on this hack-n-slash pretty early.

Mass Effect

There’s a lot to like about Mass Effect; conversely, there’s a lot to dislike. Let’s start with the positives: the world, the lore, the voice-acting, the alien design, many of the combat scenarios, which can be both tense and exhilarating. Now the bad: elevator rides, a horrible inventory system, the constant loading of textures, the way faces look like they’ve been punched one too many times, and driving that car-tank with buttered wheels from place to place. I’m looking forward to reviews of Mass Effect 2 to see if some of these problems were addressed.

Again, these aren’t really games that I hate, but they just didn’t do it for me like they seemed to do for others.

What about you, silent reader? Got a supposedly great game to hate? Hmm? Speak up!