>And back again

>Really? It’s been almost 2 weeks since the last SFTC post? Damn. I can’t speak for Gred, but I’ve been pretty busy lately doing non-game-related things, and I’m feeling a bit guilty for neglecting this little corner of the internet. So let me get caught up:

1. Finished Ghostbusters on the 360. It is a rare example of a licensed property that takes full advantage of its license, which makes the game better than it actually is. Because let’s be honest here – without the Ghostbusters license, and the full participation of the original cast, and the input of Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis on the script (however limited that participation may have been), the game is seriously flawed, and would probably fly under the radar. The actual act of trapping ghosts is pretty complex and involved, and I’m not sure I ever fully got the hang of it – getting a ghost in the trap felt more like a nice bit of luck than skill. More to the point, though, the Ghostbusters themselves are remarkably frail and fragile, and near the end of the game I found myself spending far more time playing medic than wrangling ghosts. The penultimate boss fight in particular was absurd in this regard – it was literally impossible for me to make any progress against the boss because at any given time, 1-3 Ghostbusters were incapacitated, and the remaning Ghostbuster wouldn’t go over and help me revive them. These are the friggin’ GHOSTBUSTERS, goddammit! Why are they so helpless? Why am I, the rookie, seemingly invulnerable?

That aside, I felt compelled to finish the game – the script is pretty good, actually, and the voice cast does a great job. (It’s a shame, then, that the lip syncing is maybe the worst I’ve ever seen.) And I must admit that the first time I got to run around Ghostbusters HQ, I had a huge dorky smile on my face, and I never got tired of exploring, even if there wasn’t a lot to explore. Getting to use all the official equipment is a thrill, too – putting on the goggles and following the PKE meter never got old. And it should be noted that the proton packs look remarkable.

2. I traded in a bunch of games yesterday for Tiger Woods 10, which I almost immediately regret. I played a little bit of the career mode last night, and the second career challenge asked me to “match Tiger Woods, shot for shot”. I’ve played for literally 5 minutes and my stats are incredibly shitty, but let’s leave that aside because this particular challenge wants me to mimic Tiger’s performance. Not to beat it, but to ape it. I say this because Tiger’s first shot on this particular hole lands at the outer fringe of the green, and when I took my first shot I actually got the ball within a few yards of the whole. AND THUS, I FAILED THE CHALLENGE. The game actually wanted me to hit a bad shot, like Tiger did, so that I could then sink a monsterously long putt, like Tiger did. I don’t want to hit a bad shot, ever. And when I’m only at my second challenge, my stats are horrendously bad – I couldn’t hit a 30-foot putt if it was straight, flat, and funneled directly into the hole. What a completely ridiculous idea. I’m actually pretty good at the Tiger Woods games, I’d like to think – I’ve certainly put hundreds of hours into the franchise over the last 8 years or so – and I’ve never seen anything so stupid and totally misguided as this particular challenge.

It’s too soon for me to comment on the rest of the game – I haven’t seen the much-talked-about rain feature, which I really don’t care about anyway, and the game on the whole doesn’t seem that much different from last year’s iteration, which I thought was pretty good. So it’s probably going to be an effective time-suck for the summer months, which is all I want. I’m just a little annoyed at how stupid the career mode seems to be – if the rest of it is spent trying to be Tiger, instead of just trying to be me, that’s going to be pretty dumb.

3. After hearing the Giant Bomb guys talk about it for a few consecutive podcasts, I felt compelled to download Trash Panic for the PS3. It’s an odd game, to be sure, and definitely more difficult than it ought to be, and yet there’s something compelling about it. I need to spend more than 10 minutes with it, although I’m not sure the game changes that radically the farther you get in. For 5 bucks, though, you could do a lot worse.

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