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Scanning planets for fun and frolic!

What is the point of video games making you do stupid and boring stuff? What games have you played where they make you do them?

On my July 4th weekend, I spent a lot of time playing Mass Effect 2, along with a couple other XBLA games.  I am definitely getting immersed in the story (I'm still recruiting my crewmembers) and I'm having a lot of fun with the game.  I would put it up there with the first game, with a few major improvements as well.

There is one thing, however, that I can't stand.  Judging from reviews and other commentary out there on the Net, I know that many of you agree with me.  That is the act of scanning planets for the minerals you need to do your weapon, power, and ship upgrades.

I finally started doing this over the weekend, and I have to say that I've never had a funner time in my life!  And when I say "funner," I mean sleep-inducing.

I can't imagine anything that's more fun then moving that little circle around the planet until one of the four element scans spikes above the bottom level.  Meanwhile, you're just moving the circle, moving the circle, turning the planet......OH WAIT, THE CONTROLLER'S VIBRATING!!!!! FIRE THAT PROBE!!!!!!

I was telling my wife about this (she was sitting at the computer in the living room while I was playing this on the living room TV) and she said "Why would they make you do something that boring?" 

Oh, from the mouths of babes.

She's right.  How could anybody at Bioware sit down to test out this game and come out of that room saying "You know what?  I thought that was fun."  IT ISN'T!!!!!

Yes, I understand that they were trying to improve on the really annoying "let's drive an unwieldy vehicle all around a planet in the vain hope that we'll find some element that we need" aspect of the first game.  And this is moderately more interesting, if only because you're not fighting the vehicle controls when you're doing this.

But it's not enough.

There are so many planets in Mass Effect 2, and I'll bet you there's an achievement for depleting all of them of their natural resources (speaking of which, where are the environmental groups complaining about us doing that?).  Let's see, four to seven planets per system, 3-5 systems per nebula, and how many nebulas?  That's a LOT of planets to scan.

Thankfully, you can occasionally find an anomaly to investigate, but still...

This is extremely tedious, and it really will bring down my score of an otherwise awesome (at least to this point) game.  A number of outlets have done their "best games of 2010 - so far" blog posts, podcasts, or whatever, and Mass Effect 2 has made most of their lists.  No matter how cool the rest of the game is (and it definitely is cool), this aspect of the game will ensure that it's not on my Game of the Year list, even if there wasn't such competition as Red Dead Redemption vying against it.

Nobody should be expected to do endure such tedium for the sake of a game.  At least when you're collecting feathers or flags or thermoses, you're running around the game world.  That's bad enough.

Any other games you can think of where basically require you to be bored for a significant part of the game?

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