Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Old Days . . . revisted

Last weekend it was all about the Good Old Days. We played older games. We caught up with old friends. And I think we all had a good time. I know I did. It started with Star Wars Battlefront . . . or maybe it was Gears of War 2. I can't remember which came first because I was having so much fun I lost all track of time.

Now that a death sentence has been placed on Star Wars Battlefront we've been trying to get a night together where all the old regulars (and some new friends we dragged along) met up for some friendly and high spirited fun in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. It was a blast to play again with Cleelost, DEWbird and others. Some of which I haven't played with since the original Xbox days. Some of which use their Xbox 360 as a DVD player more than a game console. It was easy to slip into old habits and familiar strategies while at the same time discovering new moves and friends along the way. In my opinion a good game should never have an expiration date put on it. There will always be people willing to play.

After (or maybe that was before) Battlefront there was Gears of War 2. With really not that much arm twisting we were able to convince Evil Ric to repurchase the game and get back into the multiplayer. It was a little rough trying to remember which button would reload your weapon, or how to run, after a couple of Call of Duty games, but we eventually got the swing of things and started to get our grove back. The second night of Gears was even better than the first. There were still those frustrating moments but I think there were more good memories than bad for most of us.

It was really nice to play again with G Sneaka. Our paths have crossed occasionally but I still long for those old Battlefront days and hours upon hours of nightly play with the same group of great guys. And that got me thinking.

When Star Wars Battlefront came out I think we played that game for 5-6 hours a night . . . every night. We never got tired of it. We never wanted to play anything else. Once the Xbox 360 came out we did start losing a few of the regulars as they spent time on their new system. But they always came back to Battlefront. And then Gears of War came along. We spent 4-5 hours a night, (we all started to feel our age and realized we needed to get some sleep at night) every night, playing that game. Then Gears of War 2 came out and the process repeated itself. These games kept us together and were played relentlessly. And since then it hasn't been the same.

All the people on my friend's list have fractured out into other games. Nothing was coming out that held everyone's attention for very long. Even games like Modern Warfare 2, a great game, but after 4 and a half months we all decided we would rather play Battlefront or Gears than another night of that game. I started to wonder if there would ever be another game that would galvanize the old gang back into playing 3-4 hours a night (still getting older) every night, every day of the year. . . FOR YEARS! Battlefront and Gears (both versions) had that impact but there doesn't seem to be anything out there now (or coming soon) that appears to promise that.

So until that game comes (probably Star Wars Battlefront 3) I guess I'll have to face the fact that sometimes the only time I'll play with old friends is when we become nostalgic and put in those old games. While we've only got a couple of weeks left for Battlefront lets hope that both Gears games have a longer life span . . . or another really good game comes out that will unite old friends with new memories. A Gamer Girl can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Poll - Spoiler Alert!

Here's the newest poll:

How soon can you give away spoilers in a game after it's come out?

2 weeks
1 month
2 months
6 months
1 year
You should never give away spoilers

Now go vote.

Poll Results - One week to live/gaming story

Busy, busy, busy. Here's are the poll results:

If you have one week to live what game would you play for the story?

Modern Warfare 2 = 1 vote
Borderlands = 0 votes
Gears of War 2 = 1 vote
BioShock 2 = 2 votes
Batman Arkham Asylum = 2 votes
Mass Effect = 1 vote

I don't think I've ever seen the poll have such a wide spread before. Some of the results are surprising to me. Let's take it game by game.

Modern Warfare 2
I love playing the multiplayer stuff (although all my group will play is Team Deathmatch, can't we try something else every now and then?) and I haven't gotten very far in the story (hiding out on a snowy mountain tarmac). But usually these types of games are made for the online multiplayer content than a story line. The story line in almost any shooter game is just to give the player an objective when they start shooting. "Kill this guy". "Survive and make it to the rendezvous spot". That kind of stuff. I don't really pay too much attention to those "stories" which might be why I'm having a hard time making it across the snowy mountain without being seen.

With how much my friends have played this game and how excited they get when new content comes out I'm very surprised that didn't get any votes at all. I thought for sure it would get several. I think this is also a game that friends who don't care about gamerscore and achievements are playing this game and working really hard to actually get all the achievements in the game. The first couple of missions I accepted I really didn't read the description. You want me to do a job for ya? Okay, where do I need to go and what do I need to do? I really wasn't in it for the "why" of what I was doing. Is there an overall story to Borderlands? I don't know. Eventually I'll find out . . . I hope.

Gears of War 2
The story in the first Gears was great. Maybe not Pulitzer prize winning but I was engaged and wanted to know what was happening. I always felt the firefights in Gears were part of the story and not THE story, if you know what I mean. So I voted for Gears 2. If I only had a week to live I would want to know what happens next in that world. I want to know more about Marcus's father. How Dom reacts to losing Maria. And whether or not there are more Carmine siblings to join the war. I'm intrigued and I don't think I'd want to die without knowing.

BioShock 2
If I didn't vote for Gears I might have voted for BioShock 2. I say might because I loved the first game and was happy how it ended. On the other hand I love the world of Rapture and would love to have one more chance to explore it again. My only concern would be that some Big Daddy or Big Momma would jump out at me and then my week would be cut short.

Batman: Arkham Asylum
I mentioned I was very surprised that Borderlands didn't get any votes, but I'm even more surprised that Batman got 2 votes. Why? A lot of people said this was a good game but it's more about the game play than the story. They say there's not much story there to begin with. So why two votes people? I don't know what it is about this game but there are so many moves and commands that I can't keep them all straight. I'm doing the same button combinations in combat and I have to pull up the help menu to figure out how to grapple to things. I had to search for awhile before I could find a strategy guide for this game (since I'm late to the party) and this is the first game in a long time where I felt I HAD to have the guide while I played. I'm not so sure that's a good thing for this game based on how I'm playing.

Mass Effect
I am also a little surprised that this game didn't get more votes. I'm surprised that you didn't consider how many times you could play this story (I haven't finished, I'm trying to drive up a mountain in a vehicle, peak 15 I think) or have sex. Yes, there is sex in this game. And the sequel (which wasn't a poll option because I haven't finished the first one yet). And with the amount of time my friends have talked about how to have sex, who to have sex with, and the actual act of having sex you would think they've never had sex before (despite having children of their own). I've always heard great things about the story for this game. Was the reason that some of you didn't vote for it was because the game came out so long ago that you can't remember? I know some of you went back and replayed it prior to the sequel coming out. Are you going to do the same thing when the third one comes out?

So you might be wondering why I asked this poll. Well, it's all a mute point now but I started this poll a week before Final Fantasy XIII came out. I figured that once I have that game I wouldn't want to play anything else. If you check my games played history you'll see that I haven't actually play FF13 yet. Why? I got so caught up in the excitement that I didn't want to put the game in and be disappointed. I wanted to let some time pass, cool down, and then play the game (also because I keep playing MW2 with my friends online). So that "week to live" has actually turned turned into a couple more. Eventually I want to start it, but I have so many other games (all of those listed and many more) that I'm in the middle of (and hoping to finish) that I wonder if starting a new game a wise thing to do?

I either need to spend more time playing video games and less time working, eating, sleep, etc. or I need to spend less time playing with my friends and more time by myself. And I don't see either one of those things happening any time soon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Poll - One week to live...what story do you play?

Here's my new poll.

You have 1 week to live. What game do you play for the story?

Modern Warfare 2
Gears of War 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Bioshock 2
Mass Effect

Okay, the doc tells you that you have less than one week to live. You only have time to play one video game before "game over" becomes permanent. Of those choices listed what game do you play FOR THE STORY! Yes, I know you like the multiplayer options on a couple of those games, but do you really want to spend the last week of your life listening to those idiots on Xbox Live? And what's the point of ranking up or moving up the leaderboards if someone is going to replace you once you kick the bucket? And yes, there's a reason why Mass Effect 2 isn't listed (as well as Assassin's Creed 1 or 2) but I'll get into that when the poll results are posted.