Playing Catch Up

This is the beginning* of what may turn out to be an irregular series of posts even compared to my usual infrequency of posting.  See, the thing is, I’m way behind when it comes to playing the games in my collection.

Of all the big games that attracted my attention during the seasonal crush of 2009 only a few like Uncharted 2 and Dragon Age: Origins have seen some serious play.  Others such as Assassin’s Creed II and Brütal Legend have seen my PS3 but only for an hour or so.

As for games from that summer, the brilliant Batman: Arkham Asylum has seen a few hours of play and I really want to go back and finish that when I can find the time and motivation.  Going back even further to autumn 2008’s games, I have played barely an hour of Dead Space and still have not finished Fallout 3, let alone its DLC.

I’m 120+ hours into that game and get so distracted by the world, the side-quests and just wondering what that building on the horizon is that I’m only about a third of the way through the main story arc using the trophies to gauge progress.

Recently it was simply the distraction of the prospect of a new game that led to me putting down Gran Turismo 5 and turning to a game from 2007.  With Mass Effect 2 arriving on the PS3 at the start of this year I figured that my time off work over Christmas would be the ideal time to finally take my copy of Mass Effect off the shelf and play it.

Going into a game that has been around a few years like Mass Effect and being somewhat involved with and into video games it is impossible to go in ‘clean’.  You will almost invariably have read about the game online or in the gaming press, maybe even had conversations with friends about it.

All of that was true for me with Mass Effect.  It came with very strong recommendations from friends who I’ve talked about it quite a lot with and it’s been impossible to avoid picking up some information about it from the Internet just by an electronic form of osmosis.

So I went into Mass Effect with an accumulation of preconceptions and expectations formed over the years since its release.  These Playing Catch Up posts will sometimes address those or simply consist of my musings on particular aspects of the game.

Basically they are a bit of self-indulgent mental housekeeping while I process my experience of playing the games and analyse what it is I have particularly liked or disliked about them.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy (or at least not intensely dislike) reading the words and join in a discussion in the comments about your own experiences, likes and dislikes of playing the game.  While there may be minor spoilers I’ll try and avoid anything particular overt like significant plot points.

While this post is just an introduction letting you know what to expect of the subsequent posts in the series I hope it has piqued your interest sufficiently that you’ll be back at the same time tomorrow to read what I thought of Mass Effect.

In the meantime, in case you missed it first time round, you could always read how Fallout 3 managed to hook me at the second time of asking.  You’ll find that tale at the link below.

*While this may be the official beginning of the series, the spiritual beginning was my Falling For Fallout 3 post.



  1. I know exactly what you mean. I have had Fallout 3 since launch and got some way through the main story when it was new, only to have my PS3 to YLOD on me. Having lost 60+ hours of play I lost interest. However, I was forced to take time off work these last couple weeks and thought I’d get back to F3. The DLC is still full price on the store so I picked up a used copy of the GOTY edition for 10 bones. Awesome! I am now fully absorbed in the world again with my 1st playthrough being long enough ago for it to be fresh. Playing the PS3’s back catalogue of great games is way more value for money and is no less great an experience.

  2. When I first played through Fallout 3, it was as a bit of a stop gap to Gears 2, as it was out the week before. Silly me didn’t realise how long the game would be, and once Gears was out, I didn’t touch it again for nigh on three 3 months. I went back to it and picked up where I left off, and bugger me was it hard to let go, I got so drawn into the game world it was ridiculous. Nothing’s quite grasped me like that since, not even New Vegas which I’m about 20% of the way through and have stopped playing, though I definitely hope to get drawn back into it as it’s an amazing game. Definitely looking forward to more of these posts :)

  3. I have such a short attention span and get bored easily if a game doesn’t really grab me, hence I have no Platinum trophies and don’t think I ever will. A decent story is a what usually gets me to finish a game.

    Dead Space I’m only on the 3rd level, love that game just it scares the crap out of me. I can only play it in small doses :)

    Currently playing through ME2 on PS3 and enjoying it so far.

    • That is exactly how I felt during my Dead Space experience! Which I assume is how the developers want you to feel, completely immmersed in the game. If you weren’t scared by it then it probably means the games no great or you aren’t enjoying it. However, you should finish it, it is a fantastic game!

  4. With you all the way, Greg. I’ve not touched mighty, genre-defining titles and feel like I’ve never get to them but continue to force myself to give those titles a little love. Sure, I’m still playing L4D2 more than the devs did :-) but I’m managing to throw a little love towards LBP2; just tried out World of Goo (demo) and am currently nosing around to see what else I fancy.

    Keep up the articles as it’s good to both reminisce, project and simply be reminded of the gems that we really should lend our precious time to.

  5. Its a great time to go through the PS3’s back-catalogue of games. I picked up Dead Space 1 for a tenner, Singularity, Wanted: Weapons Of Fate, Tekken 6, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Valkyria Chronicles, Yakuza 3 and Red Faction: Guerilla for roughly the same amount too.
    I would say let the games come out at full price, let the developers and forums improve their games, then you buy the finished/improved games 8-12 months after their release date. It will save you money and will give you the finished product. As an example, Gran Turismo 5, its proce is steadily falling on amazon, yet Kaz is still adding features.

  6. Christ I know what you mean. I have so many old games left to play, from reasonably new ones like Dragon Age and Castlevania, going right back to Orange Box and Folklore!

  7. Sounds good and I look forward to your experiences and thoughts.

  8. I know what you mean, i think its the down size of being a gamer!

  9. I’m the sort of person who shouldn’t be allowed to buy games. There are so many sitting on my shelf which I haven’t even touched. To makes things worse, I just picked up Mass Effect 2 for £18 (PS3.)

    • bargain!!

    • I’m the same but instead of sitting on a shelf, I play a level, then trade, then 6 months later, I’ll pick up again and play-through. I guess it’s the allure of something new.

      ME2 is a bargain at that price, whatever else you have on your shelf, I implore you to play ME2, It’s a just a wonderful space-faring jaunt. A remarkable title. Hell, it’s a bargain at £40 compared to some of the tat on the shelves. :)

      • Jim, my brother is exactly the same as you on that front, he’s only just completed Assassin’s 2 having bought it on release day! I’m like aerobes, I get a certain way through, trade and then think man I wanna play it again. Usually ends me then still not completing it and selling it once again! Lovefilm’s a godsend for people like us :)

  10. I have a few games that i’ve only played an hour or so of, Dead Rising 2 and Castlevania to name two. I just didn’t warm to them so as soon as there was a new distraction i jumped on that instead.
    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on ME2, which has proved to be quite the distraction for me, so much so that i can only play it on my days off when i have 6 to 8 hours to sink into it!

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