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Dear Logan,

December 31, 2012

Finished up “X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The Video Game: The Uncaged Edition” on Saturday.  It was one of those games that starts off with a really tedious opening bit where you’re not sure why you’re playing it other than that you exchanged currency for it, then gets quite good after you get through the initial slog.

If you’re a die-hard Wolverine fan, it may start out good and get better, I suppose.  I’ve never been much of a Marvel follower, so pretty much all I knew about Wolverine was that he’s really difficult to kill and has a backstory that started off reasonably convoluted and then was revealed to be entirely implanted memories or something maybe?  And since then pretty much every writer that’s gotten their hands on him has done their own “no, really, THIS is where Wolverine came from” and in general he’s kind of a mess.

The one thing I am certain of about the character, after watching the recent slate of X-Men movies, is that he has the power to get the best one-liners.

Anyway, the game.  Uh.  It’s a game about a guy who’s really hard to kill and has knives in his hands and hits people with them, so there’s a lot of getting beat all to heck and then cutting the arms off of helpless mooks, which is done with maybe just a little too much enthusiasm.  The ones you don’t dismember, you can impale on random bits of scenery, which is DEFINITELY done with entirely too much enthusiasm.  Occasionally you have to push a crate on to a pressure plate to open a door and there are a few bits of timed platforming.

It also has a boss fight where you absolutely positively MUST be good at a particular move that is entirely optional for most of the rest of the game, which is a little annoying.

Apart from those minor quibbles, I kept pushing the “hit guys with my knife hands” button for the better part of eight hours, so I guess that’s a positive review in the end, and the ending movie hinted at a sequel that we’ll probably never get which looks like quite the shame.  :)

I followed it up with Dear Esther, which is the videogame equivalent of shifting from fifth gear into first gear without using the clutch.

Calling Dear Esther a videogame, mind you, is stretching things a bit.  It’s a terribly beautiful walk through a rather desolate landscape pocked here and there with ruined bits of civilization.  Occasionally, you talk to yourself.  The whole thing takes about an hour and is probably not something you want to play when you’re in a depressed mood.

It contrasts well with Wolverine, though, because Wolverine is all about the unbridled joy of destruction while Dear Esther is full of, well, reminders that mother nature will mess you UP if you let her and I guess it’s kind of a stretch to connect the two but I’ve tried to pull off worse segues.

 

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