Have your lie and eat it too
This is harder than I thought it would be. Y'know, the whole blogging thing. The problem is I have two groups of people who actually read it, and each of them has a different idea about what I should be writing.
One group (my coworkers) want me to be more entertaining like I was with Oh Two. The other group (my friends from university) never liked Oh Two and prefer it when I write about more computer-sciency stuff.
And then there's me personally. I'd rather write about about computer-sciency stuff but in an entertaining way. The problem is I never really thought of myself as entertaining. So instead I'll start having two kinds of posts: old-style posts like this one and new-style posts like the ones that aren't this one. That way I can have my cake and eat it, too.
So today I'm going to write about video games.
Halo 3, in typical Bungie design, has a fantastic story but utterly fails in telling it. Like all the previous Halo games, Halo 3 doesn't really fit into its own genre. With car races and confusing level design, Halo 3 often feels more like a Myst game crossed with a racing game than an FPS. It also, apparently, has different revelations of backstory (which itself is out of the way and hard to find) depending on the level of difficulty you've chosen to play. I would like someone to please attempt to justify such a travesty to me. Would you watch a movie whose backstory is only revealed by paying incredibly close attention to individual frames? Well, you might watch it, but would you enjoy as much as a movie that established its own backstory in a natural, fluid way rather than making you go through it again and again meticulously? Probably not. Way to suck the majesty out of the amazing story you created, Bungie.
Those (terrible) issues aside, Halo 3 was very fun. While I was playing through the story I found myself rather enthralled. It was a good end to a good series of games.
Another game I picked up recently was Psychonauts, on the advice of Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee as well as a whole lot of other people. I bought the game and immediately realized I had made a mistake. The game is a Legend of Zelda-style third-person adventure game. This is a genre that I can't stand; however, not one to give up on a game for which I have paid, I pressed on. Psychonauts is unforgiving to those of us who don't get off on jumping puzzles and enemies requiring sometimes dozens of meticulous steps to defeat. Some parts of the game are absolutely frustrating to the point of not wanting to play anymore. This happened to me at least a half dozen times. After being defeated again and again by an enemy I would just stop and take a break for a day or two. That's usually enough time to get over how unbelievably sadistic the creators of the game are (and how masochistic one has to be to keep coming back for more).
However, Psychonauts is a very, very entertaining game. When I'm not in the middle of a nigh-impossible jumping puzzle or fighting an invicible foe, I can go about my business setting squirrels on fire and pretending to be a spy who is pretending to trim hedges. The dialogue in the game is hilarious and after beating the game I can safely say this dialogue made the game worth playing, even with all of the gameplay issues.
So pick these titles up 'cause they're fun. Seriously.