Is it ever okay for a game to be tedious?
I've been playing Mass Effect 2 pretty much non-stop since it came out, and this morning, I ran across this article from Game Informer that basically says the game's mineral scanning is boring and out-of-place. it's a good point, but I disagree. It is definitely a change in tone to go from high-flying space swashbuckling to spending a half an hour (real time) meticulously scanning a distant planet for ore, but I like it.
Sure, it's a little boring, but it's not too boring, and overall, planet scanning adds to ME 2's immersiveness. It's like grinding in a traditional RPG or MMO; planet scanning gives that same sense of hard-earned, incrimental reward, but unlike grinding in Azeroth, it's optional. Sure, it allows for some upgrades, but you don't need the best weapons to win -- you'd be fine with the guns you start with, actually.
The idea of sending probes to distant orbs gives some meaning to the vastness of the distances traveled from planet to planet, a sense of time passing and of a universe that exists outside of the dramas of you and crew-mates. I like it. Like picking herbs in World of Warcraft, it goes from boring to addictive pretty quickly.
What do you think? Have you been scanning planets? Are you enjoying it?