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(E3 2012) Games to Watch

10 Jun

Image courtesy of technobuffalo.com

Last week was the big E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), and with it comes new game announcements, and more details on known ones.  It was a rather lackluster showing this year, as it’s becoming quite obvious that the industry has begun to quietly focus on the next generation of consoles (PS4 / Xbox 720).  But while the truly interesting things were probably shown behind closed doors, there are still some solid games coming out in the near-future.  After the jump, you’ll find my top 10 games from E3 to keep an eye on, and some honorable mentions that also deserve your eye’s focus.  Sadly, someone decide there can only be 10, in a “Top 10”.

Keep in mind, I am primarily a PS3 and PS Vita gamer, though many of these are multi-platform.

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“Gamer”

17 Oct

South Park WoW Gamer

Why has the term “gamer” been turned into such a strong (sometimes negative) label? It has taken on a life beyond that of “movie-viewer”, “music-listener”, or “book-reader”, yet I see them on the same level. A movie-viewer is one who experiences movies. A music-listener is one who experiences music. A “book-reader” is one who experiences books. And so a gamer is one who experiences games. Yet, the label “gamer” has become a negative connotation, while the others lead more admirable lives.

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What I Played: September 2011

30 Sep

Who said THEY could come on the fishing trip?!

August signified the end of the summer game drought in a big way.  I took a chance on ‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ in July, and it worked out well!  It turned out to not only live up to the hype, but it was a refreshingly long game; that took me, well into September, to complete.  The one blemish I give DE:HR, is for the awful boss fights.  They were an unnecessary square peg, trying to fit in the perfect circle that the rest of the game is.  It was no surprise to learn that those very boss fights weren’t made by Square Enix at all, but outsourced to a computer AI company… NOT a game company!  Regardless, those boss fights took up a very small percentage of the game, and could easily be passed, without breaking a sweat, with the aid of guides found on the interwebs.  (My favorite tactic? Dragging a hacked turret into a boss fight, to do the fighting for you!)  Deus Ex took longer than I expected (and I love it for it); so when I finally got going on Resistance 3, it had been sitting around for a while, waiting for my undivided attention.

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John Madden realized he was worn out in football; Why can’t EA?!

25 Sep

AP takes a dive. (not that kind of dive!)

This year, I bought the newest installment in EA Sports’ monopolistic NFL football franchise, for the first time in nearly 8 years.  Why did I do this, after such an extended avoidance?  Well, a few things…  First, a few amigos pondered jumping into the virtual football stadium this year.  It would be a new place for us to banter; outside of the yearly military shooters.  But there was also the threat of “no football” this year.  The thought of it (even today) instills violent bodily convulsions!  I began to contemplate how I would fill my set aside weekly football time…  More video games? No, I already play anything that interests me…  Competitive Lego’ing?  Sounds fun, but I hear the Dutch have a Mafia that controls the Lego universe…  Become a runner?  Not until the zombie apocalypse!

Well thank goodness, EA put their monopoly to use, and decided (before an NFLPA agreement was made) to release ‘Madden NFL 12’; whether there were games played or not.  I began to envision Madden as REAL football.  Not just a virtual representation of the sport, but this year’s real NFL football season.  These “real” NFL games would be played by myself, and a choice selection of fellow Madden players.  Our games would be given Vegas odds…  People would create fantasy teams based on our “real” teams…  It would be great!  Who needs those “real” people to play for us?!

All I can say after that, is it’s a good thing that the players and owners came to an agreement!  That could have turned into a bad mental break situation… One only rivaled by ‘Deer Hunter’ or ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’!

NFL football was back on, and Madden was once again based on reality.  And like I said, using the ever so useful Amazon Prime “Free Release Date Delivery”, I ordered ‘Madden NFL 12’.  My mental health was saved!  Yah!  Everything was just peachy, right?!  Not exactly.  It’s quite obvious, that after supplying the NFL with an insane amount of cash and sexual favors, they took an extended post-coitus nap.

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What I’m Playing: Late August

30 Aug

Jensen watches Manning get eatin' by the natives!

The summer game drought has officially come to an end, with the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  Prematurely in fact!  I almost passed on DE:HR at release — planning to pick it up at a later date, after the fall deluge of games, and at a more reasonable price — but after reading the rave reviews and craving something to kick me out of the summer game drought funk, I immediately enacted Amazon Prime’s wonderful “Free Release Date Delivery”.

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What I’m Playing: Early August

13 Aug

XMB Screenshot of Resistance 3 Beta

The summer drought of games continues, but I managed to finally dive into a backlog of PSN games, and got a chance to try out a multiplayer beta of a future game release!

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What I’m Playing: Late July

31 Jul

Screenshot courtesy of http://limbogame.org/media/

Year after year, the summer is a dry season for new games (or at least quality ones worth playing).  It still boggles my mind that these companies continue to release the majority of their games, right along side everyone else, in the fall & winter.  It does make sense on paper to release a game just before the holidays, during the busiest shopping time of the year, but unless you’re releasing “Call of Battle: Modern SpecWar Ops 9”, you’re going to get lost in the mix.  It’s really sad that some hidden gems from lesser known game companies, with limited marketing budgets, don’t get the attention they deserve.  Releasing even a half-decent game during these dry summer months would equate to a windfall!  Then again, I always find something to play, and July came through with a gem that has finally managed to escape from Microsoft’s paid exclusive fortress — ‘Limbo’.

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