the Andrew Bailey

No, it's not different this time!

Screenshot of Halo 2, showing a fight

Halo 2

Halo 2's single player campaign is criticized for being short, and ending on a cliffhanger. I agree, because I was able to finish it in 3 days. Compare it to the original Portal: it says what it needs to (and more if you're observant), and doesn't overstay its welcome. Before I shot a gun in this game, I practically had an encyclopedic knowledge about the Covenant compared to the first game.

Screenshot of Halo: Combat Evolved showing unevolved combat

Halo: Combat Evolved

Two days after dissecting Borderlands 3, the time had come. In all my life, I had played a grand total of about 5 minutes of the entire Halo series (in Halo 3, probably). After making a threat to buy it over 5 years ago, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has come to Steam, which I bought in the last sale. Selecting it in Steam, I hesitated clicking the play button as I contemplated the gravity of the situation. Although Halo was on PC shortly from the start, the series became something different in my eyes, as it became an Xbox icon. As a member of the PC Master Race, I see Master Chief as a horseman of the PC gaming apocalypse. Even after a generation, the Halo scar is still tender. But Halo isn't what it used to be, and from all accounts, is coming back to PC. All of it; even the new stuff. Still, it felt like I was about to betray my values and violate something deeply sacred. I gulped and clicked.

Screenshot of Borderlands 3, showing blowing up a car

Borderlands 3

I've been a fan of Borderlands since about when the first game launched. Despite this being out for about a year, I've only recently bought it in the last Steam sale about 3 weeks ago, and almost keeled over at the 100 GB install size. (I guess I haven't been keeping up with current generation games.) Although I've heard the drama around this game, I will not be reviewing that. I also heard that it was not as good as Borderlands 2. I agree, so as the foremost Borderlands expert writing for this blog, let me lovingly pick it apart.

Screenshot of Carmen Sandiego, in Mexico

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

You know you've watched too much LGR when you pirate that version of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" that you played in the late 90s. You even download a classic MacOS emulator, because the Mac version had better color depth than Windows. (This game also requires Quicktime, bleh.)

Screenshot of Max Payne having thrown a molotov cocktail at some mobsters.

Max Payne

Max Payne is a Remedy game, released about 10 years before Alan Wake. By playing this, I can better understand how Remedy thinks and designs their games, as I can draw lines between them. (Except Death Rally, because that was made with a very different design philosophy.) Both are all designed around people with metaphorical names. "A. Wake" deals with nightmares, and Max Payne has a lot of pain.

Screenshot of Tales from the Borderlands, showing Rhys, Jack, and Fiona.

Tales from the Borderlands

Borderlands 3 has been out for almost a year, but I haven't bought it yet. Yes, I'm aware that it's on Steam these days, but I haven't been that enthused about it. I'll probably get it in the next Steam sale, along with the Halo collection (because I threatened a long time ago to buy it if it came to Steam). I intended to play through all the Telltale games in order of release before I got to Tales from the Borderlands (and all that before Borderlands 3), but that hasn't happened. Even without that, I recognized lots of tropes of the latter Telltale games (Walking Dead and afterwards) that I've heard told over the years. I'm pretty sure that there's no kind of continuity to spoil by not playing through them in order of release.

A screenshot of Brütal Legend, in an RTS battle.

Brütal Legend

I continue my journey through Tim Schafer's games. I finished this a month or two ago, and I've been too lazy to write a blog post about it until now. So if you'll excuse me, I'll be real quick about this.