If you’re not familiar with my “Play or Pass” series that I completed last year, it may behoove you to check out my page devoted to it. In fact, I strongly suggest that you do, if only to affirm the fact that I just used “behoove” in a real sentence.
I’ve obliquely stated before, here and otherwise, that my current interest in games has little to do with current games. Outside of a handful of new titles on which I’ve set my sights this year, most of what I’m interesting in playing is from the past. Sometimes the recent past; sometimes the long forgotten past. But, the past, nonetheless. This sentiment is something that I rather inadvertently bolstered with my “Play or Pass” series. It confirmed and emphasized what I already knew: I’ve missed out on a hell of a lot of games. And while not all games on that list were ones that I’d readily accept, a few of them stood out as ones that, yeah, I really should tackle. Add to this an impromptu trip to a newly-discovered used game store, as well as the barging bin at Wal-Mart, and, a Listmas promise to myself to purposely delve into my backlog (goddammit!), well…I’ve been in gaming heaven for several months.
No really…I can’t recall the last time I felt so at ease with my gaming choices. For the past few months, I’ve haven’t given a damn about the latest gaming so-and-so, the newest gaming thingamajig, or that OMGUNEEDTOPLAYTHISRITENOW title. I’ve been playing games that I want to play. It’s totally something I should do more often.
As such, I realized that a few of my choices had indeed been influenced by the “Play or Pass” list, so I figured I do a quick rundown of those games, along with a few others that count as “cleaning out the backlog.” Is that enough exposition? I could go on, but wouldn’t you rather I get to the games? I know I would.
From “Play or Pass”
Assassin’s Creed II
I already summed up my experience with this one over on United We Game, but suffice to say, it was really enjoyable. While I’m still not the biggest fan of the game’s movement and stealth mechanics, I fell in love with Ezio…’s story. Ooo, that charming Italian accent…I could listen to that all day. *ahem* Along with all that shit about his family and stuff. That was pretty keen too.
The Secret of Monkey Island
After calling this game a personal “must,” did it live up to expectations? Um…in some ways. If I sound a little disappointed, it doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself, but rather that…well, I really wish I had played the game when I was super into Sam & Max and other point-and-click adventures. I think it would have absolutely stood out as a champion then, and likely have remained so for me. Playing it now was, in truth, difficult. I feel bad for saying that, but, there’s a time and place for point-and-click games, and I think my timing was off. Although I truly enjoyed the writing, humor, and animations, I got frustrated with the plodding pace of the game. Like I said, this really was a case of “it’s me, not you.” It’s an excellent game, and I want to play the sequel, but only when the timing feels more right.
OMFG…this game is So. Much. FUN! Like, it’s hard for me to even sum up in words just how much I’m enjoying this game. I really wasn’t sure about getting back into FPSs, but this game has made it an all-around blast. It’s my current obsession (until Mass Effect: Andromeda comes out), and I’m still only in the beginning stages of the game. I’m playing single-player as Zer0, I’m up to level 12, I wish I could horde more guns, and I really, really, really want a real-life Claptrap to follow me around to badly beatbox and make awesomely snide comments at strangers. I heart it all so, so much! Promise I’ll have more to say about this title in the coming months.
From the backlog
Batman: Arkham Asylum
First I played Arkham City, and then I played Arkham: Origins. And then I thought I might play Arkham Knight, but instead I decided that it was finally time I see how this whole Arkham thing started. It did not disappoint. Having played City and Origins on console, I opted to play Asylum on PC, and hot damn, did it look bee-you-tee-full! What can I say, really. It fulfilled all of my Batman needs, with a cast of brilliant characters, a host of weaponry, lots of stealthy moments, and plenty of secrets hidden here, there, and everywhere. I was a little worried that, after playing the later Arkham games, that the world of Asylum was going to be rather small. And though it was smaller than the expanding playing fields presented in other games, it was by no means tiny.
Fallout: New Vegas
Again, this one I already covered on United We Game, so I’ll refrain from gushing further. I loved this game, and the rumors that there may be a New Vegas 2 in the works has my heart all a’fluttery. New Vegas is easily one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played. And with Mass Effect and Dragon Age in the mix, I don’t say that lightly.
Playing this enhanced version of the original Fable was really just a case of me wondering if the game still held up after 10+ years. Believe it or not, it does. And I still think it’s a good RPG for newcomers to the genre because it’s not an overly cumbersome game to play, nor does it weigh players down with having to make severe moral choices. If anything, the game is “morality-lite;” choice is present, but making choices doesn’t feel like a burden as it does in some modern RPGs. And though Fable’s look and graphical stylings aren’t for everyone, the game looked damn pretty even so.
Shit, you guys…why didn’t I play this game in 2007? Why?? WHY??!! Oh…Mass Effect. Yeah. Anyway, after so many years of hearing about Bioshock and seeing people play Bioshock and feeling like I was being kicked in the ass by Bioshock, I thought I kinda knew what to expect from it. Folks, I had no fucking clue that a game could be THIS good. As with Borderlands 2, I’ll more than likely be writing up my feelings in a proper post somewhere down the line, if I would so kindly, of course. I can easily say now that Bioshock has readily deserved all the accolade it’s received over the years. The game is nothing short of a brilliant and beautiful experience, completed with plenty of twists, turns, and general mind-fucks. I have seen Rapture, and it is us.
For someone who professes to have little time to play games, this isn’t a bad list, eh? (Actually, now that we’re starting to roll into Spring, gaming must soon make way for gardening.) We’ll see what the coming months bring, but I’m hoping to make some good progress with Borderland 2 before picking up Mass Effect: Andromeda when it releases. And with that, I’ve had in mind that it would probably be alright if I spent a little time bopping through the original ME trilogy, just to regain that special taste for RPGs in space, and maybe (*wink wink nudge nudge*) get me a little Kaiden again, y’know, just for old times’ sake.