Showing posts from December, 2011

2011 Has Come and Gone or Indie Games Are Awesome

The year is (almost) at an end.  I know a lot of bloggers are doing top ten lists and predictions for the next year.  I've done that before, but today I feel like reflecting on 2011 in general instead of telling you about games you've already played. The thing is, I realized that AAA $60 games were a huge disappointment for me this year.  I bought a handful, played them, and enjoyed them but looking back on the year I realize that they didn't truly do anything new.  My favorite 3 AAA titles this year were Arkham City , Assassin's Creed Revelations , and Skyrim.  They were all sequels with incremental improvements but none of them were truly groundbreaking. For me the best part of 2011 were all the indie games.  Oh my god, the indie games.  I've seen them grow by leaps and bounds in the last few years.  With the rise of Steam, XBLA, PSN, and downloadable games in general indie games are gaining the attention of the wider gaming community.  The indie developers we

Ready Player One

Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope the holiday season has given you some free time to be with family and (of course) get some gaming in.  I want to talk about an awesome gift I got from my brother, but I'll save that for another post because first I need to tell you about Ready Player One. Last week it was slow at work and I had free time every night.  I fully intended to catch up on my Starcraft II and some of my Steam games but on Monday I happened to pick up a new book.  A friend recommended Ready Player One and said it was a great book for gamers.  That was a huge understatement. Ready Player One is set in the near future and finds the world slowly falling into decay.  The world population now spends all their free time in the virtual world of OASIS.  OASIS is the evolution of modern day MMOs into a virtual universe where anything can exist.  The creator of OASIS was a child in the 1980s and pulled his love of 80s pop culture into OASIS.  Classic video games and movies have

The End is in Sight. Or is it?

I'm still playing through Final Fantasy II and enjoying the experience.  While playing, something caught my attention in this old JRPG.  I was grinding.  I was grinding for experience, gear, money, and other loot.  I was grinding the way I grind in MMOs.  But instead of that listless MMO feeling I was having fun.  What's the deal? I think part of the reason is that I'm playing a game with a definitive ending.  I may be grinding, but there's an end in sight.  In MMOs it's way too easy to get stuck on the gear treadmill at "endgame" and keep grinding for better gear so that you can clear the next tier of raid so that you can get better gear etc, etc, etc.  That's how they keep you playing.  But without an ending, without that feeling of conclusion and satisfaction, a videogame loses something. The end is always time for reflection MMOs aren't the only culprit.  I've invested around 60 hours in Skyrim and have "completed" 2 of the

Revealing Thoughts on Revelations

I picked up Assassin's Creed Revelations for $25 on Black Friday thanks to Amazon lightning deals.  I always keep an eye out for when they do video game lightning deals and in this case it paid off.  The game had only been out for about 2 weeks and I saved $35.  I love Amazon. Anyway, AC Revelations is ok.  I know that's not a rousing endorsement, but it's the truth.  In terms of gameplay there is so little added on top of the last installment that it's hard to be excited. There are a few minor changes.  Desmond gets some intriguing puzzle gameplay while stuck in the Animus, Ezio gets to customize bombs, and Ezio has access to a  badass hookblade that allows the use of ziplines and faster climbing.  None of these is bad, but they don't go far enough.  The puzzle gameplay with Desmond tells an interesting story but the puzzles themselves don't offer much fun.  The bomb customization is worthless outside of specific bomb missions, you're better off using