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Tubatic avatar 2:11 AM on 09.12.2010  (server time)
Tubaticisms 9-12-10: The Fall of Gaming

Sometimes I'm in a room with a tuba and a trumpet player and it feels like there's that much room in the room.

-Hype Required-- I need some serious game hype in my life! I end up saying so every fall in some way or another, either because everyone's getting so seriously down on games, or an abundance of nitpickery permeates the hobby. This year though, I think I'm way outside the hype field. I know its there, I'm just not feelin' it. Probably comes from general fiscal responsibility and spending less on games this year overall. For great financial justice.

But yes: where's the hype?! Is it just me?

Which isn't to say there aren't games I'm excited for. Here they come. Its just "The Hype" hasn't hit yet:

Fable III- because Fable
DJ Hero 2- The demo sold me. Great new features, no new hardware.
Vanquish- The demo is hot.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood- I love it when a plan/heist/assassination comes together.
Front Mission Evolved- Look, if ZoE3 isn't going to happen right now, this will just have to do!

-You still play games, right?-- Oh I do, I so do! Work stuff happens though. And I totally chained three project crunchtimes over the summer months. Less time for actual gaming and more time for coordinating testing and completion of test cycles and deliverables. But, in between the 10 hour days at work, I managed to get my game on a little this summer.

-So its Fallout with magic?-- Finally played a good chunk of Bethesda's early console cycle blockbuster Oblivion. Coming at it all backwards, the similarities to Fallout 3 are intense and tangible. They're both games about coming out of a cave, proceeding to do whatever you want, and ultimately going back into various different caves to achieve whatever goal you have in front of you. Its well realized, fun, and they really make me aware of my love/hate relationship with caves. So cozy. So deadly. I'll have to pick it up again at some point.

-The Best DLC Ever-- That's what I'm calling Lair of the Shadow Broker right now. If there was ever a piece of post release expansion content that did everything that people dream DLC can do, this was it. Story continuation, conflict resolution, introduction of new play mechanics, expansion of the current playset, deft acknowledgement of past play decisions and tingling setup for future franchise releases. This is the best of the best. Mass Effect 2 is one of the best things to happen to gaming this year.

Backing slightly away from the hyperbole cannon, Mass Effect 2 and this latest DLC episode are just greatly satisfying. Maybe there's less hype in my life because I've had such great gaming for the entire year?

-Street Fighter IV!-- Beware internets! My Chun Li is very OK! Playing a fighting game at this semi-competent level has also been one of those really satisfying game things in my life. I could liken it to being able to sight read music. One's skill at the instrument is at a level where best actions are executed on sight of a situation. I'm mostly there with Chun Li. I've got a deep bag of tricks and I'm really finding my groove competitively. I'm not the best. But I'm very OK!

-iPhone is a gaming platform-- The funny thing about the iDevice platform is that its very easy to deny it as legitimate when you don't have one, or otherwise haven't explored the depth...(how about width!?) width of experiences on the platform. In short, virtual D-Pads are a dud, direct touch makes strategy games brilliant, shmups come alive with finger control and auto run platformers are the revolution. Great things are happening there. Beyond bolstered sales numbers, units sold and attach rates, there's excellent gaming to be had.

But the rub here is, without putting your hands on the device, and having a tolerance for tinkering and exploring, getting into this brave new world of gaming has a layered barrier of entry. Big cost, "What do I need one of these for", "i Hate Apple", "I'm sure I won't use it". But, once you get past all that... Good Times!

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