The Backlog: Part 1 – No Fun To Be Had

I have been trying to figure out the most effective strategy to use in order to best tackle my backlog. I have however, started to make progress. Things have changed since the last time I took a picture of some video games on my basement floor and uploaded them to the Internet.

Now even PS3 fans can experience the “amazing” Mako missions.

The biggest change being that I bought the Mass Effect Trilogy. It’s the biggest change as it adds another eighty or so hours to my backlog, but I’m also really looking forward to playing through it. This will be my first time getting to experience the trilogy from the start. The other change is that I have finished two games that both happen to be hot piles of garbage, which I will talk about shortly.

I had never played the original Mass Effect as I only own a PlayStation 3. I eventually ended up giving up before finishing the game because of my lack of understanding the universe. For PlayStation 3 users Mass Effect 2 came with a digital comic that was supposed to help you catch up on what happened in the first game – which at the time was still an Xbox 360 exclusive. In the comic you had choices to make and was able to pick who lived and who died. It was terrible. Arguably worse than just dropping me into the universe left to figure out what the relationships were of the people around me.

Now things are different since the Mass Effect Trilogy has now been released for both the PS3 and 360. For the first time you can experience all three games on the PS3. I ended up picking myself up a copy hoping to start from the beginning in order to better understand the universe and better appreciate the characters I met in Mass Effect 2. As of now, I’m not very far into Mass Effect, about eight hours or so. I’ve been liking it and it has definitely helped me better understand the universe. I don’t have much else to report on regarding the trilogy at this time. Now it’s time to take out the trash.

I remember playing a bit of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone for the original PlayStation back when I was a kid. I never finished it, never got very far, but had fun. This time around however, there is no fun to be had. It has a lot of problems that plague most bad video game tie-ins for movies. For starters: it’s incredibly short; if you aren’t interested in finding the meaningless collectibles or playing quidditch, you can finish this game in under four hours. This wouldn’t be a problem if the game wasn’t mind numbingly stupid and incredibly tedious. The game also suffers from bad/lazy design, awful graphics (even for the time), and some of the worst sound-not-at-all-alike voice actors ever.

Pictured above: Me chasing after what little is left of my sanity.

I wouldn’t call myself a “Pot Head” or even claim to be a casual fan of the Harry Potter franchise, but I don’t remember there being a lot of platforming in the first movie/book/whatever. In this game you find yourself guiding young Harry as he jumps on moving cauldrons, running across bookcases, as well traversing other various locations in Hogwarts and it’s grounds. The platforming is incredibly simple in practice but the controls are frustrating. There is no jump button, you just run towards a ledge and Harry immediately jumps off it. It can be a real pain when you are trying to do other things like not jump to your untimely death or forced to re-do portions of the game thanks to the bad checkpointing system. The platforming all falls apart when you combine the janky jumping with the awful air control you have over Harry. It’s really easy to overshoot or undershoot your jump, especially when trying to land on magically moving cauldrons which are only moving because hey, video games, right?

You learn new spells throughout the game by going to class. There is no schedule you just go when the game tells you to. Before you start the lesson you have to make it through a little timed platforming challenge to reach the teacher. These challenges wouldn’t be a problem if the platforming didn’t make me wish Voldemort had of killed me instead Harry’s parents. The new lessons come in the form of simple quick time events that get old rather quickly. You use every spell except for your one magical attack by doing more quick time events. The events are different for each spell, but it gets boring when you have to set yet another evil shrub on fire so you can walk down the dark forest towards more bad platforming.

I could mention that the parts where you play quidditch or the other couple mini game sequences, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. The only way I could recommend this game is if you were nostalgic about it as a game. Harry Potter fans who need everything Potter should stay away from this game as the fan service is not good enough to even be worth having in your collection. The short game time is the only redeeming quality of this game!

But wait! Things get even worse! I also played and finished Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, and that game can go to Hell and take all it’s awfulness with it! I take that back… Even those wicked souls in Hell deserve to play better games than Kane and Lynch 2. Dog Days? More like Dog Sh*t! In all seriousness though, it is complete trash and not worth talking about let alone playing.

Maybe my next update will be a more positive one… I might just try and play through all the bad games first, I really can’t imagine things getting much worse than this. Though I hope  there is some fun to be had.

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  1. Marksman Shrimp

    I know I’m definitely in the minority of people ho actually liked Kane & Lynch 2 *hides head in shame* and I know it had a lot of problems but I liked a lot of it’s stylistic choices, it evoked the atmosphere of the great film Heat for me in a lot of ways, without any of the writing or acting particularly.

    Anyway, loved the article nonetheless Vincent, keep up the good work!

    • Had I played Kane and Lynch 2 after not just finishing another bad game, I might have had some more patience for it. This isn’t me going back on my word to defend it, but I did already have a bad taste in my mouth going into the game.

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