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June 5, 2009

Filed under: gaming»software

Disinterested Parties

Like most people, I tend to write about games when I either hate them or love them. But in keeping with my new year's resolutions, there are also games I've stopped playing because I just can't bring myself to care about them.

  • Disgaea DS: A critical darling, mostly for the writing, which is (unlike most J-RPGs) wildly slapstick and genuinely funny. Unfortunately, it's wrapped around a game that I just don't find terribly interesting, centering as it does around a single tedious mechanic (ganging up on enemies, then leveling up). Has been replaced by: the slapstick humor of getting the cat riled up and watching her ineffectually attempt to maul a dog five times her size.
  • Zeno Clash: Critics love this one too, and I can see why: the art direction and storyline are a stunning, surrealist treat. Being a child of the eighties, it reminds me of the weirder items in the Jim Henson catalog. The game itself seems fine--repetitive, but fine. My main problem is just how sluggish everything feels. Blocking, pulling back for a punch, dodging--there's a maddening lag between pressing the key and actually taking action, and as a result I find myself frustrated as enemies easily work around my defenses. Has been replaced by: forcing Belle to watch classic science fiction movies Terminator 2 and Wrath of Khan, then sluggishly dodging her snarky comments.
  • Uplink: The game that apparently gave Introversion the funding and confidence to create Darwinia and DEFCON, I'm grateful to Uplink but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Purportedly a game about Hollywood-style "hacking," as far as I can tell it's actually about clicking on menus. And if I wanted to wander aimlessly around a cryptic, mouse-centric interface, I'd run OS X in a virtual machine. Has been replaced by: OS X running in a virtual machine.

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