Following last week’s price drop in the US, Microsoft also lowers the console’s price in Europe: starting this Friday, the Arcade version (no hard drive, one wired controller) will be available for 180€, while the 60GB Premium console goes for 240€ and the 120GB Elite for 300€.
As a reminder, a crappy Wii that only has a couple ugly games worth playing (what, me, biased?) still costs 250€, and the cheapest PS3 is 390€ on Amazon.
For 180€ you could have a console that can play these gorgeous, fun games online with your friends (if you make them buy Xboxes too):
If you’ve got a high-definition TV, you really have no excuse not to get an Xbox. Get on it, people. (Come on, it’s me, recommending a Microsoft system; there’s got to be a good reason. And this is not a paid message.)
I hadn’t liked the first book, and I hadn’t bought the (short and uninteresting) expansion pack for the Mass Effect game, but when I got Amazon’s email advertising the new book for only five euros, I gave in. I was curious to see where the story was going to go after the game’s epilogue — plus, I also wanted to try the post office’s new “Cityssimo” deposit system, and my Dan Simmons wouldn’t be delivered for two more weeks.
In short, I had forgotten how… ungood Karpyshyn’s writing was. And it only took the first two sentences for me to remember, and roll my eyes and curse myself for giving in.
The news report on the vid screen flickered with a constant stream of images capturing the death and destruction Saren’s attack had wrought upon the Citadel. Bodies of geth and C-Sec officers were strewn haphazardly about the Council Chambers in the aftermath of the battle.
So… yeah, I can’t find much in the way of redeeming qualities. It doesn’t even look like the book really sets up important plot points for the next game; I’m sure there will be mentions of the “Illusive Man” in the story (I’ve finished the book and I’m still wondering if the author didn’t mean “elusive”), but it looks a lot like they’re trying — and failing — to give more breadth to the Mass Effect universe by exploring the sidelines, rather than just setting up the stage for the game.
I paid so much attention while playing that it never occurred to me that the design of Geth, uh, soldiers was clearly derived from the Quarians’ environmental suits. That’s a nice touch.