I played it on the 360. The game had well written dialog and a slightly interesting plot, but the gameplay was very, very uneven and it was obvious that parts of it had been cut to make a budget or ship date.
Scott Pilgrim: The Videogame
I played in on the 360. This made me nostalgic for The Simpsons Arcade Game which is a fond memory from my youth. I thought it played very well, but the game was a bit unstable. I suspect that Adobe Flash is to blame for this. Regardless, it was solid and I'd recommend it.
Just another console FPS. I didn't find anything here to make me feel excited. It wasn't horrible, nor was it enthralling.
Once the novelty of being able to summon Cthulhu wear off, this game is rather uninteresting. Almost every level can be beaten with a half-dozen or fewer common objects. I quickly began to start almost every level by summoning a black hole and probably a few lengths of chain or rope.
Metroid: Other M
I was deeply conflicted about this game. Fundamentally, the gameplay here is quite good and it plays enough like the old 2D platform games did to really keep me hooked. The real issue, though, is the new characterization of Samus. She has gone from the strong "silent protagonist" type to something else entirely. Others have written extensively about the themes of psychological abuse that can be read into the story, so I won't rehash them here.
Red Alert 2
Although I have been a longtime player of the Command & Conquer series (I had the original C&C for DOS), I had never gotten around to playing Red Alert 2 until just recently. I had obtained it back in college with a set of "Laptop Games" which I bought in order to get the expansion to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Considering that the game is over a decade old, it has aged very well and was still full of the old C&C charm.
Rating: 1 (but you really shouldn't need me to tell you this)
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
What happens if you combine a fighting game with the grind of a Japanese-style RPG? Answer: Dissidia. On the other hand, the game is perhaps the most cinematic fighting game that I've ever played, but I'm not certain that that is enough.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
A classic adventure game. Unfortunately, badly clued games have somewhat gone out of fashion and, even with the graphical update, I found some parts to be arbitrary and frustrating. I've yet to finish the second game for similar reasons.
Fallout: New Vegas
New Vegas feels a lot like a total conversion mod of Fallout 3, mostly because it kindof is. I thought that New Vegas did manage to give somewhat more freedom to the PC by giving real choice about endings and removing any "invincible" or "essential" NPCs. Those choices gave the game a greater sense of weight than I thought Fallout 3 had. Of course, many of the engine bugs from Fallout 3 persist, but I've long since forgiven them.
This was a pickup at one of the Steam Xmas sales. Basically, you play in an X-Wing style space shooter with a universe procedurally generated based on music. It sounds cool in theory, but turns out to be mind-numbingly boring after about 20 minutes.
I actually got this as part of the Humble Indy Bundle a while back, but only recently got around to playing it. Despite it being an adventure game very much like Monkey Island above, it manage to feel somewhat less arbitrary and had an internal hint system that made it feel like I wasn't cheating just because I couldn't figure out which object to rub against which other object. Also, the fact that it manages to tell such a compelling story without any dialog was rather impressive to me.
Another Steam sale pickup. This game feels much like Deus Ex in its genre and story: conspiracies inside of conspiracies and the like. Unfortunately, this game has one of the worst cases of Console-itis that I've yet to see in a PC game. Controls for ability selection are tedious when they should have been hot keys. Some menus "support" the mouse, but don't quite work correctly. This causes the entire control system to feel somewhat shoddy. Nevertheless, the plot is quite interesting and most gameplay is still within the realm of acceptable. Overall, I'd recommend just playing Deus Ex again instead.
Aliens vs. Predator (2010)
This is the third AvP game that I've played on the PC and it is probably the weakest of them. Each individual campaign seems short--I think they were about 6 missions each. It seemed as though the three stories were supposed to weave together to create a single narrative, but weird timing discrepancies made me lose my suspension of disbelief, which is never a good sign. I'm of the opinion that AvP 2 (released in 2001) is probably a better game.
Dead Rising 2
Of all the games on this list, Dead Rising 2 is the game which ate the most of my free time and the only one which will get a full review. The first Dead Rising game was what caused me to purchase a 360, so I was somewhat excited about the sequel. Nevertheless, I held back because of my giant backlog. Instead, I ended up getting Case Zero (the prequel, stand alone DLC). After playing through it two or three times, I immediately went out and purchased the full game.
For those unaware, Dead Rising is a zombie game. In the predecessor, zombies broke out in a small town in the Midwest. Since then, there have been other zombie outbreaks around the US, but things have mostly been contained. Knowledge of zombies is now widespread. The player character, Chuck Greene, lost his wife to a zombie outbreak a few years before the start of the game. His daughter was also bitten, but hasn't yet turned due to daily injections of an antidote called Zombrex which keeps her from turning, but only at one day per dose. In order to afford the extremely expensive medication, Chuck competes on a pay-per-view event called "Terror Is Reality" in which zombies are dismembered in various ways to entertain the masses.
After one taping of TIR, the zombies used for the event are released and overrun the city of Fortune City (a lawyer-friendly clone of Las Vegas). For reasons that he doesn't understand, Chuck is framed for the release of the zombies and must attempt to clear his name, save himself and his daughter from the outbreak, and get enough Zombrex to keep his daughter from turning.
The game plays very much like its predecessor: large open areas to explore, tons of zombies, dozens of ways to kill them. The game has managed to improved in several important ways: Firstly, the game finally allows you to have multiple save games. Moreover, it is completely possible to beat the game in your first play through--something essentially impossible in the first game. Also, survivor AI has improved markedly which makes saving said survivors far easier.
Perhaps the best change in this iteration is that the vast majority of the world is open to you at the beginning of the game. In the former, you had to work slowly to open it piece by piece through story progression and every new game required you to do most of the unlocking from scratch. This time, only a few areas remain unlocked, and those mostly open up quickly.
Overall, I probably played at least 8 passes through the entire game which is somewhat remarkable for me, as is paying full price at a big-box store for it.
Well, that mostly wraps up the last 4+ months of my gaming life. Going forward, I'll try to go back to the one at a time format to allow for more in-depth evaluation.
Published by XPostcurses