The last time I talked about books I mentioned how not fond I am of autobiographies, but at least they aren't always necessarily tied strictly to making money and can on occasion be enjoyable and insightful reads. The one type of book you're almost guaranteed to not get your money's worth out of even if you found it in some dollar bargain bin is the infamous tie-in novel. Not something that was a little known or long-forgotten book that a movie or some other property was based on, but something that is based on the property itself. These are nearly always rushed and very poorly written, mainly due to the fact that whoever is writing them is clearly doing it to pay the rent rather than someone who is a genuine fan of the property and wants at least the literary world to see their vision of it. This goes double for the ultra-rare, yet usually ultra-mediocre game novels. Rarely are they based on the actual game, usually they are a prequel/sequel/spin-off taking place in the same universe, and for that rare combination of gamer who not only reads books but also is willing to take chances on the game novel, most of us have been spurned, many, MANY times. It's sort of amazing that there's a general consensus that story-telling in gaming, while getting better, still needs drastic improvement, and yet while you can usually say the book is better than whatever shlock movie it's based on, you can never say that about the game. But there is a glimmer of hope. The recent Halo novels have not sucked (especially Fall of Reach & Ghosts of Onyx) and the books seem to finally start being based on series that have a deep story to begin with. Mass Effect: Revelation is hopefully evidence of this. A prequel novel to the certifiable awesomeness that Mass Effect will be when it finally comes out, it seems like it might be a great complimentary companion piece rather than a quick cash after-thought. It's out in stores this week, so if you have any interest, you might want to pick it up as I have.
That's really all I got for today, but I'll certainly be back tomorrow to talk about a certain wall-crawler's latest big screen adventure (and the game tie0ins that have that rare chance of not sucking).
FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: The Last Stand