Video Game Reviews – April 2010

Call me Mr. Bubbles again bitch, I swear to god...

Bioshock 2
2K Marin
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: Playstation 3, PC
Street: 02.09.10
First, two caveats: I have no room to discuss the multiplayer (it’s good), and this review will sound a mite egotistical (I have enough friends, bite me).  Bioshock 2 gets better the higher the skill of the gamer who plays it.  Vita-Chambers and lower difficulties exist because we can’t all play on hard, keeping a close eye on saves – fair enough.  But, if you can keep track of the upwards of thirty attacks available to you at any given time and learn to combine them based on innumerable variables on the fly, this videogame will reward you with some of the most intelligent, challenging and deeply satisfying FPS gameplay you’re liable to find anywhere.  Bioshock begs you to play creatively, but only requires you to do so when playing without vita-chambers and on hard.  It’s a fun, colorful shooter no matter what, but it’s a masterpiece of gaming, provided the player can rise to the challenge.  The game’s story—while at times a bit difficult to follow (as was its predecessor )—is again full of intriguing philosophical aphorisms.   Sofia Lamb et al. will dispute and impugn your presumptions about the failed experiment that is Andrew Ryan’s city under the sea.  There’s no lack of chin-scratchers and no lack of well-acted, outlandish characters: more than enough to make this nerd happy.  The graphical environment initially feels not as crisp as some of the other triple-A titles of this season, but it is lovingly created and detailed to an astonishing degree. Rapture lives and breathes as a character all its own.  You will be pleased.  Bioshock 2 is a very complete, very polished piece of entertainment that I’ve had an absolute blast playing.  It’s this caliber of title that reminds us what we can and ought to expect from our videogames. –Jesse Hawlish

Mass Effect 2
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PC
Street: 01.26.10
Despite selling a metric buttload of copies and garnering near-universal critical acclaim, 2007’s action-RPG sci-fi epic Mass Effect is primarily known for a brief scene where the main character can take part in some hot, steamy alien/lesbian lovin’. The game had plenty more to offer—namely a vast universe populated by a number of interesting characters (alien and human), an enjoyable plot and a fun, if flawed, combat system—but most remember nothing but inter-species intercourse. While I could tell you about all of the ways Mass Effect 2 improves on its predecessor, I won’t bury the lead: the alien sex isn’t as hot—and that is honestly my only complaint about this game. ME2 picks up right where the first game left off as the highly customizable Commander Shepherd (aka You) and his/her (you choose the gender!) crew are attacked by those pesky, sapient robot overlords The Reapers. Long story short—you die, but a seedy human-supremacist group (seriously, fuck aliens) called Cerberus rebuilds you and tasks you with finding a bunch of abducted humans. The overall story isn’t as engaging this time around, but the episodic mission style and the interesting characters make ME2 seem like a non-shitty Star Trek. The combat system is a bit more visceral in ME2, and the game feels like a bonafide shooter at its best moments, but the sub-par cover system and the simplified but boring character class system will remind you that this is an imperfect hybrid. Still, there’s a shit-ton of replay value (depending on your choices, people live or die and crucial plot points may or may not happen) and this is a truly amazing game, hot alien sex or not. –Ricky Vigil

Starcraft II Beta
Blizzard Entertainment
Reviewed on: PC (Exclusive)
Street: “When it’s done”
11 years, 11 months and 9 days. That is precisely how much time has passed since nerds all over the world found out how truly hot and sweaty they could get over a video game. Korean super-leagues have been formed solely for the sake of competing for this game. “Athletes” practice up to 16 hours per day, throwing health and hygiene to the wind for the sake of perfecting their annoying SCV rushes. In other words, the original Starcraft has single-handedly decreased the rate of virginity loss worldwide. Incredible. Well, fellow geeks, our time has finally come. The months and years of waiting have finally paid off, and Blizzard has given us what we wanted: more exploding Zerglings, bigger Protoss lasers and bloodier human deaths. It’s a glorious day of witness, my friends. The three familiar races are back, each with a bunch of new units alongside polished versions of familiar faces. Arguably the most notable feature is the new Battle.Net 2.0. It’s certainly not finished as of the writing of this article, but some of the important features are already working nicely. There is now a much more elaborate ladder system in place, dividing players into five divisions: copper, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. This allows the matchmaking system to pit professional players against other pros, and dog-slow mouth-breathers against other like-minded Apple fans. Achievements are reportedly on their way, as well. No official date has been set for release, but a good assumption would be sometime this Summer. This means that much can and probably will change before the game is spread to the masses. Check us out at for continuing updates on the swarm! –Ross Solomon

Call me Mr. Bubbles again bitch, I swear to god... Smoking these roaches gets your zealots super baked.