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Although I had been playing games since I could remember, I think I officially became a gamer in the summer of 1998 when I used my birthday money at Wal-Mart to buy Resident Evil: The Director's Cut (I was 10, and my mom told the clerk it was ok). It was unlike anything I had ever played, and changed my idea of what a video game could be with it's (at the time) insanely realistic backgrounds, horrifying monsters, and (keep in mind I was only 10) engrossing story.

My favorite franchises include Max Payne, Warioware, Rock Band, Dead Space, Uncharted, Pikmin, Silent Hill, and of course, Resident Evil.
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Three weeks into my resolution to not buy any video games in 2014, and instead focus on my backlog, and I can say things are still going strong! Oh sure, that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is tempting as heck (despite me playing the hell out of the original release last year), but I probably would of waited for a price drop anyways (maybe).

Thankfully I have Playstation Plus, which allows me a handful of new games for free (free games don't count for this resolution). If you haven't played Don't Starve yet, I highly recommend it. I don't think it's quite as brutal as some people (I made it to around Day 20 on my second try), but it's definitely a relaxing time sink for when I don't feel like doing anything else.

In the past week I played through Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD.

Ghostbusters was a bit of a drag, to be honest. I'm not a super-fan of the franchise, but I did enjoy the movies. I thought the environments were pretty cool, and it really felt like a new chapter of the movie with all the original actors involved. Also, destroying everything in the environment was a ton of fun.

The actual game-play, however, was very bland (with the exception of the ghost-capturing bits). It felt like a pretty standard third-person shooter, but only rated PG-13 (a majority of the enemies in the game weren't ghosts, but were actually just weird monsters that didn't needed to be captured). The ghosts themselves had way too much health; they weren't hard to capture per se, it just took a long time, and it began to feel tedious after awhile.

Overall, you could do worse, but hardcore Ghostbusters fans would get the most out of this one. I give it a C.

After that I played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD.

Never mind the numerous technical issues with the HD version (horrible sound issues, freezing upon start up that forced me to reset the PS3 at least a half dozen times through my play-through), there are plenty of issues that are inherent to the original game. It feels like your in a constant battle with the camera, as you never have the level of control that you really should; it's constantly getting stuck on walls, and combined with the at-times locked “cinematic” angles that seem to only serve to make the game more frustrating, you might find yourself wanting to throw your controller through your TV screen.

Then there is the combat, which almost hits the mark, but can become brutally unfair when you have six hulking enemies on all sides of you, who take shots in rhythmic succession so as to make it impossible for you to get back up.

Controls can be a bit imprecise, making simple acts like running up a wall or pulling a switch more effort than they should be (think back to the original PS1 Tomb Raider games, and how it was such a hassle to align Lara with certain switches or jumps).

I think it's a real testament to the core game-play that, despite all these issues, the game is still an absolute blast, and some of the most fun I've had playing a video game in awhile. The swift, acrobatic platforming, while not always too challenging, never ceases to be fun. The story, while starting off weak, grew more involving as the game progressed, and by the end, I was left eager to see what happens in the next game. Overall, I'd give it a B+.

That's all for this week. I started playing Limbo yesterday and should finish it today, and I'm thinking of starting Sin & Punishment: Star Successor after that. Should be a good time!

Happy gaming, folks!

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