Winter is coming.
Although Summer still has about a month left, winter is looming on the horizon. For gamers this means an absolute onslaught of new realeases. The gaming winter typically kicks off with the realease af the new edition of Madden. For me it personally kicks off with one of my most of anticipated games of the year, Deus Ex. I decided it would fun to write a sort of wrap up blog to my summer, mostly in terms of gaming but with an occasional real life aside. Now onto the blog!
Summer for me kicked off with Rockstar's blockbuster title L.A. Noire. I picked it up about 2 months after release and ended up blazing through it in about a week. I thought it was great, but this game wasn't without it's detractors. In hindsight I can see where a lot of people had their problems with the game. The interrigation sequences are amazing on first glance, but you can soon see the failings of the system. Evidence that seems like it should work in context often fails, Doubt often doesn't mean what it should, and even though someone is telling the truth, it turns out that you were supposed to doubt them because you know something they don't. It can get really confusing and pretty absymal in some cases. Despite that the setting and style of the game gripped me from beginning to end, I hope this game gets a sequel down the line because the potential here is staggering.
Shadows of The Damned
Next up is the soon to be cult hit known that I like to refer to as just Shadows. A surprise highlight of my summer, Shadows had me laughing all the whole weekend I played through it. This was my first Suda51 game, but definitely won't be my last. The whole game just has a certain feel to it, a mix between campy horror and dick jokes that really meshes well with my personality. Although the game was only about 8 hours long, it constantly keeps things fresh with new weapon upgrades and the occasional easy puzzle. The only thing that makes me hesitate to replay it is the horrible turret sections and 2d sections of the 4th act.
Unsurprisingly, Portal 2 turned out to be one of my favorite games of the year. I sat down to play Portal 2 on a Friday night and ended up playing nearly all night long. Once I awoke around noon on Saturday I proceeded to finish the game in under 24 hours. Every minute of the game was engaging and funny. The difficulty curve in the puzzles was damn near perfect, and I only had to look up a puzzle solution mayble 3 times during the single player campaign. I just recently got a chance to play through the co-op which only made me love the game even more. All in all, I saved science!
Real life aside
It was between Shadows and Portal 2 that I graduated from high school. I took the long the way around, but on the 21st of July (also my birthday) I finally picked up my degree and finished what I started nearly 5 years ago.
Alice: Madness Returns
I picked up Alice to fill out a buy 2 get 1 sale at Best Buy, and I can firmly say I made a good choice. Madness Returns is probably one of the only platformers I've truly enjoyed this generation. The game starts out strong with an amazing artstyle that immediately draws you into the world of Alice's wonderland. The game then finds a sort of mediocre grove of fairly easy platforming and a surprisingly good fighting system. Then you hit the peak of the game, The Red Queens lands. The opening of the level is one of the most visually stunning in the game, featuring a road of cards that come up to meet you as you walk along towards a castle made of cards. If you enjoy unique visuals I can't recommend this game enough, as it's art direction is something to behold.
Dead to Rights: Retribution
I bought this on a whim for around 8 dollars on amazon and ended up liking it more than I thought I would. This game is just balls to the wall action. Every second is a flurry of melee and gunfire. The main problem with the game is that it's all action, and it gets fairly repetitive. The only thing to really break up the arcadey action are the occasional stealth sequences in which you play as your dog Shadow. Although these sequences are cool, even they get fairly repetitive after you see the same kill animation for the tenth time. If you can find it for cheap and hace a few days to spare, I'd say it's worth checking out.
Dead Rising 2
The final game of my summer that will lead me up to Deus Ex is Dead Rising 2. Always the bargain hunter, I picked up the zombrex edition for about 25 bucks on amazon about 2 weeks ago and started playing it last Friday. I decided I'd give this game a chance after hating the original and I'm glad I did. Playing through the game co-op is incredibly fun. The combo weapons keep things fresh, and the time limits are much less strict then the first. I actually finished it with an S rank on Sunday, and I turned around and started the campaign again. This game has so many secrets and little interaction that keep me wanting to play over and over, and I plan on doing just that all the way up to the release of Deus Ex.
Real life aside 2
Over the summer I got a job at a greeting card store part time. I'm not making much, but It's enough to keep my gaming habits going while I live under my parents roof. Soon, I will be picking up a second holiday job selling Calenders which will potentially double my income. Despite this I'm trying to cut down on my gaming in order to save a little money for the future. Why is this important to this blog? I have no idea.
The other stuff
A lot of my summer was also spent with DLC and downloadable games. Fallout: New Vegas' DLC Old World Blues was a highlight that kept me playing for a weekend. Call of Duty Classic was played sporadically throughout the summer, and I finished it a month ago. Black Ops has kept a consistent spot in my gaming life, with a ton of hours dropped on the downloadable zombie maps. I also played a bit of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, but I really don't feel compelled to play more of it. Borderlands DLC's kept me up for days in the month of June, and I'm both excited and worried about Borderlands 2. Lastly I spent a few days with Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection replaying some of my first games. E-Swat is still fucking awesome.
The world of tomorrow!
The games of Holiday 2011 have already become overwhelming. Having drooled over the realease schedule for weeks, I've decided on the games I really want to play over the holiday. That doesn't mean I don't want to play a game if I don't include it, but I most likely won't get to it until the start of the new year. Also note that I'm only listing games that are coming ouat calender 2011.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
My second most anticipated game of the year, Deus Ex looks to be a GOTY contender. Every trailer and preview around the game has consistently impressed. Here's to hoping it holds up to the hype!
Gears of War 3
By far my most anticipated game this year. Gears of War has become my favorite franchise this generation. I've already paid off my Epic Edition and just today picked up the limited edition controller. I'm eagerly awaitng the 20th.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
A recent edition to my holiday list, My infatuation with Dead Rising 2 has lead me to start eagerly anticipating Off the Record. The recent reveal of the achievements has me excited to give this game a shot.
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
I love Metal Gear Solid. Every game in the franchise has a place in my heart for all time. Despite owning these games on the PS2, I will assuredly play them again come November. On top of that the inclusion of Peace Walker which has online co-op should keep me playing for a while.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Although I'm not a big fan of Oblivion, Skyrim looks amazing. The footage coming out around this game is nothing less than astounding, here's to hoping for a bug free bethesda game! (not likely)
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
I played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 when it came out at my friends house and that was the extent of my experience with it. However I've recently got into fighting games and just purchased a terrible Tekken 6 arcade stick on the cheap. Plus Strider is back!
Thus ends my Summer wrap-up and my future gaming plans. I realize it's fairly long but hey, it's almost a half a year of gaming. I know there are quite a few games that most people are anticipating that I didn't include. Among them being MW3, Battlefield 3, Assassins Creed: Revelations, Uncharted 3, Saints Row 3, and other's that I can't think of at the moment. I want to play all these games eventually, but money and time become factors in this case. Well that's my plan for the winter, how about you?
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