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TheDustinThomas avatar 11:01 AM on 05.18.2012  (server time)
Hype: The Return to Pandora - A Love Story

Like most people, the first exposure I had to the first Borderlands was the Game Informer cover story. The image that was used for the cover was so generic that I didn't even bother reading the actual story. When I heard they had changed the art style, I still didn't care. When the game was released, I was working at GameStop, and on release day, there seemed to be an extraordinary amount of people coming in to pick it up. This still didn't convince me to give it any sort of attention. It wasn't until my co-workers started putting the game over to me and the ad for it that played on the GameStop in-store television that I started gaining interest.

One day, I walked into Best Buy and noticed they had a Buy 2, Get 1 sale on new games. I knew I wanted Demon's Souls, and I knew I wanted Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, but I wasn't sure what I wanted the third game to be. At first I thought A Boy and His Blob, but then I figured "If I'm going to buy two $60 games, I may as well get a third." So then the debate was between Borderlands and Fallout 3: GOTY. After at least a good twenty minutes of debate, I texted my co-worker and asked which one he thought I would enjoy more, his response was Borderlands, and that was that.

Needless to say, he was right. The opening did something that nothing else could have done: it made me enjoy the song "No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant, and that song is now synonymous with the game. I was confused as to how the game worked upon first booting it up, as this was my first real foray into open-world RPGs. I wasn't familiar with loot systems, and for the first hour, I was just wandering around trying to learn how to play the game. It wasn't until a buddy of mine hopped into my game and showed me what to do that I finally caught on. After a couple hours of playing with him, I was completely enthralled. I told my main gaming buddy that he needed to pick up the game, and when he did, I started a new game with him, and we refused to play the game unless we were playing together. We explored every inch of the game, going through the main story and all of the expansions twice (excluding Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot), logging over 100 hours and leveling up our characters completely, collecting all the achievements and completing every quest. When it was over, we felt empty.

When the sequel was announced, I woke up with a text from my friend that simply said "BORDERLANDS 2!!!!!" I immediately looked up everything I could about the game. There weren't many details at the time, but I was already on the hype train. The Game Informer cover story only made me more excited. Shortly after this, I was introduced to a beautiful girl through a mutual friend. When he told me that this girl was into video games, my first thought was "Yeah, I'm sure she loves Wii Sports." But when we met, we had long conversations about Skyrim, Link to the Past, and Resident Evil, and I realized then that this girl knows her stuff. When I brought up how much I loved Borderlands, she lost her mind and we discussed every little detail about the game. We even made plans to play through the game together. We started new characters and played through the entire game again. One day while texting each other, we were discussing the game, and she said "I hope I can find another Combustion Hellfire SMG." That's when I knew I loved this gal. Our wedding is on August 25th, and I honestly feel that Borderlands is one of the main reasons we became so close.

Thanks, Gearbox

I've been tracking every bit of coverage of the sequel from the beginning. After the crapbox that was the Resident Evil 5 Collector's Edition, I swore off blowing excessive amount of money on Collector's Editions that aren't worth it. But when I saw the Ultimate Loot Chest Edition of Borderlands 2, I had one of those moment's that Wayne Campbell had when he first saw the guitar from the original Wayne's World. "It will be mine...oh will be mine." I know it'll drop in price fairly quickly, but I don't care, I got over 100 hours of game time out of the original, and everything about the new game seems bigger and better, and $1 for every hour of game time is a small price to pay for me. Plus, that loot chest is going to look pretty awesome on my mantle. Even if the game doesn't turn out as well as some people expect it to, I have no doubt it'll be one of my top games of 2012. I'm on the hype train, and I'm never getting off.

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