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LONG BLOG

Rental Roundup - One Month On

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Well, it's been about a month since I started renting games after my startling epiphany that I should have been doing it for years. I decided to go with Boomerang rentals in the end, rather than the one I mentioned and so far I've had five games from them. How has it been? Well, I'll tell you and give a score to how I think the rental went over all - yes, note this is a score for the rental, not the game itself.

Gears of War 2


Having never played the original GoW again after first completing it (except once, to check out the multiplayer), I knew the sequel was a good candidate for rental. The second game is better, really playing up the set pieces as well as giving a real sense of scale and variety in the gameplay. The whole of the campaign was a blast.

I also got the chance to play some Horde Mode multiplayer. The only bad thing about renting this was that since sending it back I've been asked to play Horde Mode a couple of times and probably would have said 'yes' if I still had it. However, I remain glad that I rented it as, honestly, I'd be unlikely to be tempted into a game often.

Rental Experience-O-Meter:
Glad I Didn't Buy : 4/5
Service : 5/5
Enjoyment Factor : 5/5

Final Score : 5/5

Far Cry 2


Look, I know some people liked this game but I just couldn't get into it. I felt like I needed more guidance than I was getting and more clues when I was heading into danger. Often what I thought was a quiet, safe creep through the trees was rudely interrupted by a rocket in the face and I became increasingly frustrated that I couldn't play as stealthily as I wanted. Then, I think the last straw was spending about ten confused minutes tracking the signal of some nearby diamonds. I remember thinking, 'Wait a minute. If those diamonds are perched on the roof of this shed for no apparent reason, I'm sending the game back.'

I sent the game back.

The game has some really neat ideas, looks great and has a unique atmosphere. Maybe I didn't give it the chance it needed but given the game annoyed me so much in the first couple of hours, perhaps it just wasn't for me. It was near the top of my list of games to play but I am so glad I rented because if I hadn't, I'm sure I would have spent good money on it by now.

Rental Experience-O-Meter:
Glad I Didn't Buy : 5/5
Service : 5/5
Enjoyment Factor : 2/5

Final Score : 4/5

Killer 7


I was a little disappointed to recieve this as it was low down on my priority list. Of course, you can't always get exactly what you want and so it wasn't exactly poor service - it was just unexpected. An old game that I missed out on and had heard little about except that it was strange, this was more of a wildcard option.

I like weird games, which is why I thought I might like Killer 7. There's not really much I can say, then, except that I do not like Killer 7. The atmosphere was certainly... striking but it didn't grab me. The characters were too strange to identify with and I felt no motivation to do any of the stuff I was doing. Maybe things become more interesting later on, perhaps the plot congeals into something coherent but I felt no compulsion whatsoever to stick around and find out, so back the game went.

Rental Experience-O-Meter:
Glad I Didn't Buy : 5/5
Service : 3/5
Enjoyment Factor : 1/5

Final Score : 3/5

Trauma Center: Second Opinion


Another one low on my list, this was chosen more than anything else due to curiosity about how the Wii controls work out, as I have already played the nearly-same DS version.

I expected Wii surgery to feel like wielding a fishing pole with a scalpel on the end but I was pleasantly surprised at how they pulled it off. After a few operations I was feeling the familiar accomplishment that came from the DS version and it was very much like revisiting an old friend. As time wore on though I became reminded of the scale of the task before me and just how good at the game I would need to get to make it to the end. The thought was wearying. Perhaps I'll come back to [i]Trauma Center[i] in the future, by renting it again or trying the sequel but I think I'm done for now; I'm going to send this back this week.

Rental Experience-O-Meter:
Glad I Didn't Buy : 5/5
Service : 3/5
Enjoyment Factor : 4/5

Final Score : 4/5

Shadow of the Colossus


One of the things I hoped I would happen through renting is that I would discover gems I missed the first time around. Finding old games that are great (even when they're only a few years old) is like filling in a piece of your life that has been missing. It's only recently I've started playing Metroid and Castlevania games, for example, and with each one I said 'Where have you been all my life?'

Shadow of the Colossus is like that times ten shitloads. I'm thirteen out of sixteen colossi down now and I am fairly confident that this is one of my favourite games of all time. Even though I love Ico, I initially didn't get Shadow when I was put off by a review which, while positive, seemed to list all the things that might frustrate me about a game. I filed it away in my 'to play sometime, maybe' list and since then my desire to give it a chance grew. This game was second on my priority list when I got it, so I was excited when I found out it was coming.

It thrusts its sword directly into all of the appropriate weak spots in my gaming brain: simplicity in concept and execution, storytelling-through-gameplay, a fantastic, game-enhancing soundtrack and a constant sense of wonder. I'm so glad I rented this but at the earliest opportunity, I'm buying.

Rental Experience-O-Meter:
Glad I Didn't Buy : 1/5
Service : 5/5
Enjoyment Factor : 5/5

Final Score : 5/5

Summary

With a good start, slightly shaky middle and great finish, this has been a fine month in rentals. I've discovered new treasure, dispelled a few curiosities and saved some money. With Shadow of the Colossus nearly complete and Trauma Center soon to be returned, I'm looking forward to another fun month!
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About KestrelPione of us since 4:37 AM on 07.16.2008

Age: 30
Location: S.E. London, UK
Hat Size: Medium

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KestrelPi

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