[USA] players actually look like they like each other and are having fun. England, on the other hand? I have never seen a more joyless group of players in my life. They are having no fun. It’s no fun watching them.
If a player doesn’t happen to share a language with the referee, he might yell in his native language just to convey that he’s upset. “Any kind of fellatio comment is inevitably understood,” says Alexi Lalas, who was on the U.S. World Cup roster in 1994 and 1998.
A couple years ago, I stumbled upon a game called Masq. It’s a simple game with the art style of a comic book — a bunch of still frames with no sound — but each choice you make affects the final outcome in significant ways. I played at least four times and never had the same ending twice.
I’d forgotten about Masq until I played Heavy Rain. They’re both interactive dramas (a sparsely‐populated genre, to say the least), but the new PS3 offering aims to meld the forking plotlines of Masq with the atmosphere and immersion of high‐tech games.
The fantasy that is indulged when Bob Costas speaks breathlessly about an upcoming ski race where he already knows exactly what happened is no longer even a fragile fantasy; it’s a blatant fiction that everyone knows about.
For most sequels (though Mass Effect 2 is a notable exception), my expectations are largely diminished — even when the original is one of my favorite games of all time.
That’s why I was satisfied with Bioshock 2, even though it’s not as good as the first. The gameplay improvements (dual‐wielding weapons and plasmids!) are much appreciated. The setting and backstory are solid; it was nice to see how Rapture’s other half lived, and how the city’s class stratification laid the grounds for a collectivist counter‐movement.
Since the 2006 season, the most zealous of Saints fans have gone to the airport to welcome the Saints back from road games. After landing, players and coaches leave in their own cars — but fans line up along the path to the airport exit, forming a gauntlet of adulation. As he creeped along, coach Sean Payton hoisted the Lombardi Trophy out of his sunroof.
On one hand, it boasts a story of comparable quality and a leap forward in combat gameplay. It easily warrants more than one playthrough.
On the other hand… must they excise so much of what makes a game an RPG? I’m speaking mostly about the level system, looting, item customization, and a handful of other things that were completely retooled from the previous Mass Effect.
I was at the Saints’ first playoff victory in 2001. On the way out, walking along the concourse, we were high-fiving perfect strangers as they walked in the other direction. Last night, my parents called me as they drove home from where they’d gone to watch the game. I could hear people yelling, cars honking, and fireworks cracking.