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Playing Games?

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Yes, I have been playing games. I know it’s been a while for any type of update here on Player 2 but I’m back to do a little chit chatting about what I’ve been playing and some of my impressions on them. In my last post I’ve said I was really excited about Darksiders 2. How did that turn out? What else have I been playing? Also, I’ll give some WiiU thoughts from a person who doesn’t like Nintendo really at all. Keep reading for one of my first updates in weeks.
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Summer Gaming – A Kingdom of Boredom

The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – To chop or not to chop?

Here I am deep into the summer with one major problem. There  has been nothing of enjoyment to play. Honestly, it’s the time of the year where I seem to have the most free time, yet no games are out. I played the next chapter in The Walking Dead but beyond that its slim pickings. So, what I’ve been trying to do is play games which have been on awesome summer deals that I skipped over during the busier times. I’m going to talk about them, and mostly how I’m happy I didn’t pay full price because I simply cannot get into anything. It’s becoming frustrating, but I’ll give some impressions on things anyway.
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Not So New Anymore

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 during its Nintendo Direct presentation last week. I knew another New Super Mario game was inevitable (given the remarkable success of the previous titles), but like many others, I had assumed the upcoming Wii U iteration (which was confirmed to be based on last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Mii demo) would fill that role. I did not expect the company would be developing a second one simultaneously (let alone releasing both of them in the same year), which is why the news came more as a shock to me than as a pleasant surprise.

That being said, my disappointment is born out of much deeper concerns than the one I mentioned above, which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to explain some of the reasons I’m not particularly excited about New Super Mario Bros. 2. You’ll find that none of them has anything to do with the actual quality of the game (as I have no doubt it will ultimately be fun), but rather with its implications for the series (and the state of Nintendo as a whole).

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Milking a Series

Jordan couldn’t have picked a better time to write his article about his issues with finishing games and blaming sequels as part of the problem. Recently, as Jordan was working on his article, I was thinking about sequels and what bothered me about them and what I enjoyed about them. When I saw Jordan’s article, I figured it was fated for me to share what was on my mind. There are some games out there that I completely agree are draining a series by releasing so many sequels, and a perfect example is Assassin’s Creed.

The best part of Assassin’s Creed is the story. Not Desmond’s story exactly; I couldn’t find the time to care about his side of things, but exploring during the Crusades time period as well as the Renaissance was fascinating. I loved exploring historic monuments, characters, and reading about them. The first Assassin’s Creed was a brutal experience; it was very slow-paced, with not a lot of action going on. The story, however, was very interesting, good enough to want to actually endure the drowsy gameplay. Assassin’s Creed 2 was a different experience. It continued the great story and the experience of discovering the unknown, but the gameplay received a much-needed improvement, which quickened the pace of the overall game (an improvement that made me experience what it feels like to get my first Platinum Trophy, which I had to share because I only have about 2 or 3 of them).

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Finishing Games: My Problem and My Rant

I don’t know what it is lately, but I’m having a whole lot of trouble playing and finishing games. I’ve found myself either just not finishing them at all or rushing through them, not because I’m enjoying it, but rather because I want it to end. It started back in the holiday season of 2011. I was playing blockbuster hits like Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, and Modern Warfare 3. Gears of War 3 was so difficult for me to finish. I was simply worn out on the story and the world that I could barely force myself to play. This is sad because I loved the others so dearly.  Then there was Uncharted 3. The third installment of one of the best franchises I’ve ever played. Amazing storytelling and some of the best set pieces ever found in games. Once again though, I got about half way through, and began to fade. I mean, I found myself practically falling asleep while playing. Boredom was sinking in. I finished the game, but felt as though I miserably forced myself to get through it. Then the annual Call of Duty came out. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m truly addicted to COD multiplayer. This game, however, was different. Once again I couldn’t get nearly as into it as years past.

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A Trip Down TCG Lane

Like every child who grew up during the height of Pokémon’s popularity, I was very big into the Pokémon Trading Card Game. I was never particularly interested in playing the card game, though; my obsession was in collecting them. Every few weeks my sister and I would pool our allowances together and beg our dad to take us to the local comic book shop, spending what little money we had on the latest packs and figurines from Japan.

Of course, we eventually outgrew this phase of our lives, but for nostalgia’s sake (and to give my sister an excuse to procrastinate on her term paper), she and I went to another comic book shop (the one we had frequented so often in our childhood had, sadly, closed its doors many years ago) this weekend and purchased a few new packs of cards. It had been well over a decade since we’d last done anything of the sort, but standing there amongst the comic books and other assorted nerdery, it was hard not to think back to those carefree days of when the franchise was still new and exciting. This was a way for us to relive our youth, if only for a brief moment.

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The 7 Stages of Mass Effect 3 Grief

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

With the recently announced plans to extend the ending of BioWare’s Mass Effect 3, I’m left with some thoughts and want to just rant about it….so I’m going to, and you can’t stop me.

Ever since I finished the game, I have gone through all seven stages of grief. The initial shock of those now-infamous last 15 minutes where the game just takes such a radical shift. It felt like this ending was a part of a different game altogether. Then came the part where you had to choose between the three options that would become the final outcome of this series. Did I sacrifice myself to take full control over the reapers, to send them as far into deep space as possible so that they may never be seen from again? Did I choose to jump into the magical green beam that turned all human and artificial intelligence into one combined race, thus negating the entire reasons for the reapers’ existence? Or did I chose to destroy all the reapers and AI in the world, with the caveat that if AI was ever to be re-made they could possibly destroy all life? After being told these options, the first stage of grief was still in effect, except now it had changed to denial. I literally sat there frozen for at least 20-30 minutes, looking at my screen without a clue as to what to do.

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