Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Video Game Post

Remember back in the day, when I use to write about video games ALL the time? I wrote about video games so much, that at my wife's request I actually started a separate video game blog that I was really good about updating until Seminary started. I even had a following. There were random strangers who bookmarked my blog and everything.

I don't write about video games as much because I do not play them as much. There are two major and related reasons for this. The first, is that between a full time job and a kid I do not have as much time anymore. The second, is with the time I do have I would much rather spend it with Abigail than playing a video game by myself.

That being said, I still do play video games, just not as much. Two years ago I probably played video games a minimum of 10-15 hours a week. Now it is probably 2-5 hours a week, and some weeks it is even less than that. I have several small video game posts ideas, that if I I left them be they would never get posted. So I am going to put them all together into this one "video game post".

First, I played a game demo last night that I really liked. The game is called Breach. It is an online shooter that does so much right in my mind. The pacing and feel of the game is a great middle ground between the run and gun, twitch action of Call of Duty and the slower, more deliberate pacing of Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. In addition to that, a major draw of this game is that one of the main game modes is the Battlefield style conquest games. In this game type there are various capture points on the map that teams try to hold. I played several of the maps last night, and the size of the maps is just right. Finally, this game includes fully destructible environments, with the added bonus of being completely vehicle free.

Of course, there are a couple of downsides to this game. First, it s a downloadable title that is online only. The game has no single player. The only way that I can play it is with other people. The reality of it is that in 3 to 6 months most of the players will be moving on, and I will be left with a game that I bought and can not play any more. Another downside is the timing. The game just came out and cost $15. In a couple of days, the new Call of Duty map pack comes out and also cost $15. They both cost the same, and they both involve online shooting. I really liked Breach, but I am heavily leaning to getting the map pack instead. That kind of makes me sad, because I did like what I played of Breach.

Second, I am having a hard time deciding what video games I want to get this year. Last year, Abigail and I decided that the best way to budget for video games is that I would get five new releases. In the end, I only bought four in 2010. Assuming, we go the same route this year I am having a hard time deciding which five to go with.

I do know that one of them will be DiRT 3. This is a rally racing game. I greatly enjoyed the original game, and missed out on the sequel. I am really looking forward to this one.

The other games I am considering kind of fit into three major categories:

1. Fighting
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: I am not very good at fighting games, but I have a soft spot for them, and really enjoy playing them from time to time. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is probably the big fighting game release this year, and if I want to really put some time in to playing online this is the one I should get. However, the single experience will be bare bones in this game, and I tend to be not the greatest at this series.

Mortal Kombat
: Mortal Kombat is the reason why I like fighting games. There is a series reboot coming out this year. When it comes to being competitive, Mortal Kombat is the only series that I was good at. I could hold my own in Mortal Kombat: Deception and in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 when it was released on Xbox live arcade. I will probably get a fighting game this year, but only one so I need to decide between these two.
2. Shooting
Ghost Recon: future Soldier: I really like the Ghost Recon games, and GRAW 2 is one of my most played games on the 360, so I am very interested in this sequel. However, this game takes a more sci-fi future tech bend, and I am little worried that the future tech is going to make the multiplayer un-fun for me.

Aliens: Colonial Marines: This game is being made by the studio that has made the excellent Brothers in Arms games, so there is a good track record. The real sale to this game though is going through tight corridor and shooting aliens.

Gears of War 3
: The first two Gears of War were very good single player games. The first one had good co-op (but the second was a let down). I also played a lot of multiplayer on the original Gears, but not so much for Gears 2. I want to play this game to finish it out, and I think some of the changes they are introducing may make multiplayer better.

CoD: Modern Warfare 3: Since 2005 there has been a new Call of Duty every year and I am sure this year will be no different. The games have always been good. Call of Duty is developed by two studios who alternate years. This year is an Infinity Ward year, which means the 2011 game will not be as good as the 2010 one. However, along with DiRT 3 this is probably the only other game that is a "Must Buy" at this point.

3. Single Player Epics
L.A. Noir: This is detective game that I have high hopes for. This game uses new technology that has incredible facial recognition. This means that players will be able to tell someone is lying or scared by the face on the screen.

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim: The previous Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, is one of the best games that I have played. I put like 80 hours in to the game in like a month. The same company made Fallout 3, which is also one of my favorite games. The pedigree of this game, means that I will probably love it.

Mass Effect 3
: I have played the first two Mass Effect games and I have been blown away by both of them. Mass Effect is a trilogy, where players can carry their characters over from game to game. For Mass Effect 2, I waited a few months and bought the game cheaper.

So that is 10 games, and I can only get 5 of them. DiRT 3 and the Call of Duty are for must gets, so that leaves 8 games for 3 spots. Any ideas?


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