Monday, November 4, 2013

Three Games You Ought to Have Purchased...

...and Why You Still Should

Everyone makes mistakes.

Pictured: Not me. (Source:
WikiMedia Commons)
Geez, I screw up all the time. Once, when I was, like, 17 years old and very drunk, I got home at 3:30 in the morning. With my beer-induced ninja skills, I decided to proceed silently into my bedroom, without
disturbing so much as a carpet fiber. I can do that when I'm drunk.

As I made my way up the stairs, I realized they were creaking in a very unninjalike manner, so I tried the old trick where you go up one side, as far to the side as you can, of the staircase. Steps supposedly don't creak as much when you tiptoe like that.

Under cover of darkness, silent as a still winter's night, I lifted my foot, and, with ancient Asian precision and wisdom, I lost my balance, stepped on my dog's squeaky toy, screamed because the sudden noise startled me, and fell backward down the three-or-so steps I'd masterfully ascended.

Mom was pretty pissed. I don't think Dad woke up, but, really, I don't remember a lot about that night/morning. Everyone makes mistakes, and so did you. You forgot to buy two games, and possibly a third, all of which deserved your deepest attention:

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West,

Kindoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and

Supreme Commander.

If you actually did purchase these excellent titles, disregard the following: Shame on you. Come on, in the rare instance a publisher decides to float a new intellectual property instead of endless sequels - and in the rarer subset of that case, in which said new IPs are really good - buy them. We, as gamers, need to encourage creativity and change; oh, and progress, and, and all that stuff. We do that by rewarding publishers with bags of coin.

Listen:

Money talks. When all the braindead idiots flock to pre-purchase every goddamn revamp of Tom Clancy's Call of Battlefield VIII: Modern Zombies On Ice, take a stand. Don't buy that retread. Check the reviews, look on the store shelves or on the website of your choice, find something that doesn't have a dozen titles already clogging its franchise, and give it a shot.

You might be surprised. There are games for every taste.

Action

If you want to plug in a gamepad, or, if you're on a console, grab a gamepad, and rock out with your co--I mean, enjoy a rollicking good time of action packed insanity that stars a dude named Monkey, pick up Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.


Trust me, it's damn good. In the far future, when earth has been reclaimed by nature (and some angry robots), a mysterious chick escapes from a crashing slave ship and slaps a mind-control device on a fellow escapee. He's an acrobatic maniac who, in the tradition of the great Teddy "Bear" Roosevelt, speaks softly and carries a bigass stick. Said stick can even fire plasma blasts. And - the best part - he calls himself Monkey!

Monkey!

Anyway, the story is pretty involving so I don't want to give much away, but Monkey and his captor have to travel a few hundred miles through robot-infested wild lands, and the guy breaks a lot of robots. He also climbs like a - well, you know - doing flips, swinging on poles, scampering up and down vines, etc. It's fun to play him; he's an amazing character both in the action segments and as he develops through the storyline.

This one's available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam. It's worth every dime.

Role Playing

Meanwhile, if you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you're likely aware of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It's a kill-and-loot RPG masquerading as a big, complex game, and it works on both levels. Plus subscribers get it free, but the rest of us schlubs have to pay for it.

As the Silent Protagonist (SP), you come back to life after a battle that you don't really remember much of. The short version is: You kill almost everyone, take their stuff, and win. Seriously, though, there's more.

SP can unravel fate. That is to say, he has absolute free will in a universe in which everyone's actions are
dictated by the inescapable laws of fate itself. That kind of freaks out the Fateweavers, who can read (but not actually alter) people's fates, gleaning stuff like when their subject will die, who he/she will marry, when he/she will have to go to the bathroom, and so on.

Meanwhile, all around Mr. SP, war is tearing the world apart. Immortal Fae, which take the place of elves in this game, are suspicious of humans, while a faction of their people are actually waging active war against humanity. Of course, there are scores of side missions that don't involve the war or the fate stuff, but even just grinding to level up in this game is gratifying. You get new loot all the time, and a lot of it is interesting and useful. There's the usual alchemy and blacksmithing, the NPC voice acting ranges from pretty good to excellent, and the graphics are outstanding - you really feel like you're in a wonderfully foreign land.

Strategy

There are still RTS games being made here and there. I'm looking forward to Planetary Annihilation, StarCraft II is pretty good, and the Warhammer 40k Dawn of War II stuff kept me entertained while I played it. Something intangible, like some sort of bizarre cramp that only responds to one thing and one thing only, keeps me going back to Supreme Commander.

A PC game at heart (thought is saw a bit of console action) and available on Steam, it's definitely the best RTS since its technical predecessor, Total Annihilation. SupCom kicks TA's ass, though, but friendly-like, the way a younger clown kicks an older clown's butt. You know?

Anyway: You control a great, big mech, you build bases, your bases build units, your tanks rush the bad guy, and you celebrate. The super-zoom-out to reveal a holistic, strategic map puts the S in RTS (most "real-time strategy" games are strictly tactical), the three factions are very well-balanced, and the follow-up, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is as good as the main game.

Seriously, this game transcends its genre and deserves a close look from everyone who considers him/herself a gamer. Bust it out and play, if you haven't in a while, and if you don't own it, get it. Avoid, however, Supreme Commander 2. While it's technically similar, it lacks something (Spark? Inspiration? Pizzazz?).

Like I said, everyone makes mistakes.

5 comments:

  1. Hey man,
    loved your article/post/review as usual... I really laughed hard at the ninja part :)
    I have not passed by in a while, I'll check the rest of your site to see if I missed on anything worth reading (it usually is). I hope you had a nice Xmas and wish you a blessfull 2014 in advance. Pass by my site too when you get the chance. I've just posted something a couple of days ago! ^^

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Mortenzen! I never got a notice you posted...sorry for the long delay in response! Thanks for the compliments. You are way too kind. I have to get back to updating on a more regular basis! I'll check out your site tonight. :)

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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