What to play?

Summer, though my favourite time in terms of weather and weekend getaways, is a pretty shitty time as far as video game releases go. All the big titles seem to be released between September and March leaving the other half of the year rather barren (with a few notable exceptions). Since I haven’t seen a new release that’s interested me, I’ve been trying to replay some old favourites.

A few weeks ago I was re-playing Dragon Age: Origins. I was going through that quickly and got about 75% through the game, then I lost interest. I realised I was playing pretty much the exact same character as I did the first time (except this time I was a mage. Pew! Pew!). I had wanted to try out some of the other options when the big decisions came, but in most instances, there only seems to be one satisfying way to resolve the problems in the game. I’m a completionist. I’m going to play the way I think will give me the most experience and open up the most content. I will never tell someone to go jump in a lake when they ask me to help find their lost kitten. It’s a quest! It will give me experience and gold! I must find the kitten! I’m also rather attached to all the characters in my party in Dragon Age, I don’t want to do things that will result in them leaving or dying. I find the thought of Alistair (I <3 Alistair) getting killed by the Archdemon or becoming a wandering drunk quite traumatic. Anyway, after realising I was most likely going to finish the game in the exact same way as my first playthrough I stopped playing.

Last week I had an urge to replay Fallout 3. I have all the DLC, but most of it is unplayed, and I decided to start a brand new game, blow up Megaton and generally be an evil bastard. I played through the intro, left the Vault…and immediately realised I’d rather shoot myself in the foot than play through the whole game again. I quite enjoyed my first playthrough, but the thought of talking to dead-eyed NPCs, trekking through identical sewer maps, getting lost in the Capital and being killed by Giant Radscorpions AGAIN made me turn it off. There are a number of things I like about Fallout. I love the setting. The 50s vibe is great and end of the world scenarios are my favourite. I liked exploring the world – there were so many areas and little outposts to discover. The character customization perks are also a lot of fun. It certainly has its downsides though. For one, the game just screams “Bethesda!” and I can’t help but draw constant comparisons to Elder Scrolls, which I hated. The sewer environments were far too common, repetitive and hard to navigate for my directionally-challenged self. Another thing that bothered me was the sheer amount of crap you could pick up. Really, how many clipboards do I need? Fallout was a lot of fun the first time around, but not something I want to sink another 40+ hours into.

After giving up on Fallout, I tried out Borderlands. I’m not a big fan of first person shooters, but I thought I’d try something different and continued the game I had started when it was released. I got in maybe an hour or two of play before putting Borderlands back on the shelf. It’s not a bad game by any stretch. I like the look of it and it’s somewhat cathartic to blast away the bad guys with my SMG, but as I said shooters just aren’t my thing. I like my games to involve a bit more story and a lot more dialogue. Calling Borderlands a “role playing shooter” is a huge stretch. A talent tree does not an rpg make. The game has barely a hint of a narrative and your character…lacks character. I also wasn’t a big fan of how loot-driven it was. There was too much stuff. I spent more time examining stats on guns than I did shooting them.

So now I’m at a loss. Anyone have ideas for something new to play? I’d prefer a console game. PC games have the distinct disadvantage of requiring me to get out of bed to play them, which is one of my least favorite things to do at the moment. Any suggestions?

12 responses to “What to play?

  1. How about Assasin's Creed 2 and bounce around the rooftops of Florence?

  2. Red Dead Redemption is supposed to be really good, and I really enjoyed the minimalist puzzler Limbo (Xbox Live arcade game). Two quick recommendations!

    • I'm torn on RDR. I watched my fiance play it quite a bit and although it looked nice, there were a number of things that kinda bugged me, like the fact that the main character never shuts up >< I might try it one day.

      Just read up on Limbo and it looks awesome, I'll download that for sure. Thanks!

      • Be warned that Limbo is only 3~4 hours long. I like the idea of it, but the demo was fairly shallow (imo). I'll check it out when it's more reasonably priced; $20 seems a bit much.

        That same $20 could get you Infinite Undiscovery (overlooked jrpg), Beautiful Katamari, or the Sam & Max games. Who doesn't like talking dogs and lagomorphs?

        We've been hooked on Arkham Horror and Bayonetta lately. What a peculiar combination.

        • I’ll probably get Limbo anyway.

          I think we’ve got Infinite Undiscovery (stupidest name ever) for PC. It didn’t really interest me, but I could be confusing it with something else. I seem to remember a few very similar looking JRPGs coming out around the same time…IU, Lost Odyssey and something else…

          I don’t like the Katamari games, but wouldn’t mind playing Sam & Max. I love old adventure games. I’d like to play some more xbox arcade type games.

          Isn’t Arkham Horror a board game?

          • I'm pretty sure Infinite Undiscovery was on the 360 only — are you thinking of The Last Remnant? The latter was definitly bleh, the former definitly has a ridiculous title but is a decent enough game. It's the embodiment of a b-grade game; it does what it does well, but never really tried to be truly special. For $15-20, it's a good run.

            I think the first 2 seasons of Sam & Max are on Xbox Arcade, along with the 2 original Monkey Islands. Season 3 of S&M and the new Monkey Islands are PC only so far, I think.

            Arkham Horror is a board game. What's your point? 😛

          • Yes, I was thinking of Last Remnant. They all look the same.

    • Downloaded Limbo last night. It's great! It was a bit of a shock the first time I got decapitated by a bear trap though 0.o

  3. If you like puzzle type games, download any of the Monkey Island Series on the PS3. They are a lot of fun. I had played trough everything but the "tales of Monkey Island" series previous and am working throught Tales now. They have a lot of humor in them and I have always enjoyed them. I think I got all 5 of the Tales (which is really one game just broken into segments) for like 20 bucks.

    Also, for what it's worth, I'm having a blast with SC2. But I've always been a fan of RTS.

    And if you've never played them, the Kingdom Hearts series are a lot of fun as well, even if they are starting to get a bit dated 🙂

    • I've got the first Monkey Island, I might try downloading the 2nd one as well as the Tales series. I think the shorter, arcade type games are a good idea. I seem to be unable to focus a game for more than a few hours right now.

      I played the first Kingdom Hearts. I think doing the Little Mermaid level and hearing Under the Sea for 4 hours destroyed a small piece of my brain.