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Oh hun, such a drama queen.

Valenka

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Hard Pressed to be Impressed

As we're nearing the beginning of a new year, I begin to wonder if 2013 will bear the sweet fruit of a mind-blowing video game. I often find myself thinking back to this year and considering the rather unimpressive displays I've experienced, my hope is nearly running dry. During my recollection of this year in gaming, I remember only a small handful of games that were able to whet my appetite, hold my attention, and actually impress me. Such games include (in no special order) Max Payne 3, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect 3, Dishonoured, and the yet to be released Hitman Absolution.

Four games in a single year, despite the many that were released...and I find that incredibly depressing. While there were many anticipated titles such as Resident Evil 6, Assassin's Creed 3, Halo 4, and Black Ops 2, I yearn for something that I can play and in the first 10 minutes, pause the game and say (completely positively), "Wow." If memory serves me, the last game to have an impressive impact on me was Heavy Rain, and while I understand that it's a poor example to some--considering how it didn't really live up to its expectations--it's still one of my favourite games to date.

"Well why are you so hard to impress," some might ask, while others might inquire, "What is it that you look for in video games?"

Well, to be honest and fair, I'm not a respected professional gamer or journalist, so my [unpopular] opinion might not be valid to some, but I look for a lot in video games. However, what I look for might vary depending on the genre or if the game is part of a franchise, or if it's simply a standalone title. For instance, in standalone role-playing games, I look for the basics of the genre and general staples: quality of character customisation (if offered), sensible and well written story, completion length and variety of things to do, and of course, gameplay. In role-playing franchises, I look to see how it compares to its predecessor in terms of what was improved that needed to be, what was added, what was changed, etc.

In general franchises such as say, Tomb Raider, in which I am an avid fan, I look for what I believe should be present. For instance, is the character being portrayed appropriately, or is justice being done? What about the fans asked for; are the white ledges gone? Does Lara move more realistically, and less like a squirrel on cocaine like in Underworld? One thing that's caught my eye since the Crossroads trailer, that four months until release, still hasn't been rectified is how Lara's attacker during the infamous controversial scene does not have a gun holster. Instead, his handgun taken from Dr. Whitman is magnetised to his thigh. I told myself that if when the game is released and the gun is still magnetised, I would write to Square Enix complaining about such laziness and failure to the attention of detail.

In short, I suppose my expectations can be a little nitpicky from time to time, but as an individual gamer, I feel everyone is entitled to their own desires and standards as to what will impress them. In my personal opinion, if gamers are to spend the full price of $60 on a new video game (ignoring the ability to buy preowned), then it is the responsibility of the game company to ensure that every plot hole is filled, every glitch is addressed, every mistake is non-existent, and ensure what is being shown makes sense...like having gun holsters. Such attention and consideration shows that the companies want to provide gamers with the best experience possible, and that the company had indeed worked to their extent.

So what is it that I'm looking for this time, you ask? Well, I often find myself yearning for something I can pick up and get right into. A game that offers a gripping, or at least an interesting story, superb gameplay, likeable characters, a good length, and a decent replay value. Either that's a hard find this year, or I'm not looking hard enough.

Feel free to send me recommendations via private message or by leaving a comment below.

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Sephris1353d ago

I agree with you, at least on the console games. Borderlands 2 kicks some pretty sweet ass, (I was doing a review of it when my wide screen Vizio died. Fortunately it isn't a hard fix for the repair guys, just a long line to get the job done), but nothing really truly mind blowing is out there right now.

Hop on the PC, however, and that all changes. Guild Wars 2 has come out and it's shattered the norm for MMORPGs so hard even World of Warcraft, its biggest competitor, has bowed down before it. They didn't think outside the box on this game, they tore the box up and threw it in the trash. It is that good.

Because of GW2 many game designers are altering the way they look at video games. While 2013 may not have great games coming out, they are in the works. Many games will start to form around GW2's dynamic system as well as incorporate other new ideas such as being able to work in game for things in the game store that cost real money. The time for nearly unlimited gameplay is upon us. But this way of gaming is brand new, and it will take some time to understand and duplicate. So don't worry too much. I see a wild and wonderful future for console games. Old molds are broken and new ones are being made, and when it does start to flow to the consumer, your only problem about them will be which one to get first. :)

thorstein1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

Thanks alot! I have tried to resist the pull of GW2. I don't want to lose myself in another great MMORPG (I really do) but I just don't have the time. I actually have a backlog of games to play. One thing I am doing is waiting for the DayZ stand alone game instead of using the mod. Damn it! And GW2 looks to be exactly the type of game I have dreamt of, you bastard!!!!!!

lulz, ;D

Sephris1352d ago

It is, Thorstein, it really, really is. But on a good note, at least you now know the one great regret you will have when you die. Most people don't have that opportunity. lol

dedicatedtogamers1352d ago

Like the above poster said, you should consider PC gaming, even if it's only to supplement your console gaming. There are SO many excellent PC games, and because the hardware specs are so far above what consoles can offer, there are games from all the way back in 2008 that can still go toe-to-toe with console games in the graphics department (and I'm not even talking about adding in texture mods).

Valenka1352d ago

I do partake in light PC gaming, with The Sims and I used to have Skyrim on my PC. However, at the moment I do not have enough money to upgrade my computer and I've always preferred console gaming. However, I will make it a point to save up and upgrade the computer to give good PC gaming a fair shake. Can't knock it until you've tried it, right?

dedicatedtogamers1352d ago

Well, here's the deal: if you could run Skyrim on PC (I'm assuming you were able to run it at least at decent settings, yes?), then there are literally THOUSANDS of PC games available to you. Some are old. Some are crap. Many of them will be a breath of fresh air if you haven't been a PC gamer for very many years.

I don't know if you enjoy stratetgy games, but that's a great example. There are dozens and dozens of excellent real-time and turn-based strategy games on PC. And many of them can be had for $15 or less.

thorstein1352d ago

Some ideas: Ni No Kuni, XCOM Enemy Unknown, Two Souls and Last of Us all seem to be what you are looking for.

I am enjoying the new AC III. Though that is a sequel and hardly mindblowing. Have you tried Dark Souls or Demon's Souls? Valkyria Chronicles? or the Batman games?

I get what you are saying and I am looking (hopefully) forward to next gen but are they going to have what I want? Last gen was an RPG generation, this one appears to be the generation of the shooter. I'd like to move on (Borderlands seems to have wanted to).

jessupj1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

I get what you mean. I have quite high standards too as a core gamer. I have a lot of great ideas that I feel would be fairly easy to implement in today's games that would make them a lot better but it seems so many developers get so many little things wrong. Story telling hasn't been very good this gen either.

But having said that, there are still some amazing gems to be played.

Demon/Dark Souls and RDR are 3 amazing games. You just can't deny Rock* nailed the atmosphere and immersion. I really felt like the open world they made was real.

Dead Space another incredible game. Play it at night with booming bass headphones turned up all the way.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Best Online FPS multiplayer hands down. Could play all day and not want to go to sleep.

MGS4. Need I say more.

There's probably a few more, but I'll stop

I don't think this generation has been as bad as people make it out to be, but there could have been more creativity and innovation.

Very pumped for GTA5 though. I think that's a big one to look forward too and get completely immersed in. San Andreas was one of the funnest games on PS2 and V seems to be a San Andreas HD on steroids and cocaine and prozac while riding a bull.

Alos881351d ago

Do you think this feeling may be partially because of how long this console generation has been dragged out for?

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