My Gaming Landscape [October 30, 2012]


Last time I did a Gaming Landscape I was struggling to focus on one game to play after accumulating a bundle of games. I ended up focusing on Fable II and I completed it and wrote a review for it here. Although I wasn’t blown away by it, it now has the distinction of being the game I’ve played the longest at one time. One of my sessions lasted nine hours. I’ve never played a game for that long at one time. The previous game holder was Final Fantasy VII when I played for five hours one night, with Darksiders II being a close second at four and a half hours one night. Here’s the interesting thing: I didn’t really enjoy my time playing Fable II for nine hours. A majority of that time was me playing mini-games with the sound muted and me listening to music or podcasts. I was mostly making money to buy some weapon or property or something and this manage to distract me for a big chunk of nine hours. I decided to just focus on the story in later sessions but I guess the game isn’t that bad for me to sink nine hours into it at once.

I jumped back into Banjo-Kazooie on the Xbox Live Arcade and I just finished the seventh level. I’ve gotten all the notes, jiggies and honeycombs so far and just having a good ole time. I love the Nintendo 64 version and I own that as well but this XBLA version is really polished and looks great. I might prefer this version to the original. I popped in Crackdown one day and couldn’t get into it, which is weird since I loved it but that happens sometimes. You’re just not in the mood for a game. I’ve been playing the indie game Dead Pixels and completed the first episode and am working through the second. If you like zombie games, this is one of the better ones. It’s a 2D style side-scroller beat-em-up except you’re shooting zombies on your way out of a quarantined city. I think it’s like three dollars so it’s cheap and you’ll have a good time. I also picked up EvilQuest again, another indie game, and am working my way (slowly) through that as well. This game gets quite hard as you go along but the Crystalis style gameplay is great and solid, if a bit unpolished.

I bought Exit on XBLA a LONG time ago but never played it until now. I’m planning to write a review so I’ll keep this brief. I like it but this isn’t an engaging title. It’s also quite difficult and I had to look up help to complete one level and I just barely passed the third episode. I tried out the trial for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus and was actually disappointed. It looks like nothing was done to improve the game for its XBLA release. The graphics only look passable, the sound sucks and the presentation is bare bones with next to nothing done to change it from its Wii release. Disappointing as I was looking forward to this coming to the 360. I also tried the trial for Hell Yeah! Not too good. Pretty unremarkable. Same thing goes for the trial of Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise and NBA Jam On Fire Edition. I also keep playing the demo for Skullgirls and I can’t find it in me to pull the trigger and buy it because although I find myself liking the gameplay, various elements such as the character designs, the lack of a move list, some of the controller quirks, and the shallow content, keep me from getting it. I’ll probably buy it eventually but I need more time with the trial. Skullgirls needs to grow on me.

Finally, I tried out Bit.Trip.Runner on the PC. I got this game from the latest Humble Indie Bundle and I was surprised by how fun it was. I was also surprised by how hard it is. I haven’t gotten through the first world yet but it is colorful, challenging and the soundtrack is amazing. Even though there’s more to it than would be possible on a touch screen, I think this game would be better on a tablet. Alright, that’s what I’ve been playing. I just got Need for Speed Most Wanted so that’s what I’ll be focusing on now and a review might be in the works. What have you been playing? Let me know in the comments below and get this conversation started.


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