The first time I saw the trailer for NeverDead – the latest third person action game from Konami and Rebellion Development – I just knew I had to get my hands on it. It had such a uniqueness to it that’s quite difficult to describe, but between the outlandish characters and the premise of immortality, there was something there. It looked strange, it looked fun, and it looked explosive. What was particularly strange was that I usually don’t go for these types of games – hack ‘n’ slash games with a bit of gunplay, like Bayonetta or Devil May Cry. Will NeverDead reign immortal among these titles, or will it die before its time?
Here we are in the beginning of 2012 just after an exciting end of 2011. Skyrim fever has begun to subside and many have jumped onto that new crack known as Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR for short).
However, many PS3 owners have had some trouble all their own with the multiple game of the year winning Elder Scrolls sequel. It has been reported since shortly after the games release that PS3 owners have experienced a hefty amount of lag due to large save files and some other issues (but mainly large save files). It has gotten so bad for many players that the game itself became unplayable due to the issue, even after old saves were deleted. There are many YouTube videos on the absurdness of this obviously game dooming bug, just type in “Skyrim lag ps3″ or something of its equivalent.
Can we all just come to terms on this? This is a war on the level of dumb only matched by dumb wars like Donald Trump vs Rosie O’ Donnell, Pokemon vs Digimon, Axel Rose vs his fans, Call of Duty vs the “cool kids,” and 360 vs PS3. In all cases, each had something to bring to the table and really the war was simply a tie up of preferences and poor choices with no real winner, but a bunch of losers. Donald Trump and Rosie are insane, Pokemon was kid friendly while Digimon tended to go in a darker direction, Axel Rose is… well, insane and the fans wanted him to not be, Xbox and PS3 are both gaming systems with their equal claims to success, and Call of Duty was being shoved down the general populaces throats by Activision and we were loving it like the whores we are. There may be a few detractors from the ranks who spam Meta Critic and every forum they can, clambering to speak out against the biggest giant in all of videogamedom. Yet with the release of MW3 and its record setting $775 million in sales during the first five days, the point of the few vocal has been beaten down by the wallets of the general market.
I have avoided Sonic games for a good long time now. The last one I laid my hands on was Sonic Heroes, which was an overall broken experience. Since then I neglected to care about the blue hedgehog with attitude; the series had gone off the rails into being unimaginative and frustratingly flawed. I didn’t want my childhood memories to take any more hits, as I was one of the kids who held Sonic in high esteem and adopted the Genesis over the Super Nintendo. I still believe the four Sonics on the Genesis are some of the strongest platformers of that early generation. The years have not been kind to him however, and the third dimension has nearly destroyed the credibility of Sega’s mascot. The continued redevelopment of the franchise has only succeeded in hurting the franchise, and the new additions only proved to be a departure from what made it so damn fun in the first place. The Sonic franchise isn’t about riding around on skates and using guns, it isn’t about running around with a sword, it isn’t about turning into a werewolf, and it for damn sure isn’t about Sonic experiencing a blossoming social life with other random animals with attitude.
I kind of feel like I’ve become a missionary for Naughty Dog in regards to the Uncharted series. With every person I approach, I whip out an Uncharted strategy guide and excitedly ask them “Do you have a moment to talk about the Church of Nathan Drake?” Some people may think I’m joking, but I can assure you, I’m very serious. In fact, I’ve already converted a couple of previous naysayers, and now they don’t know how they lived before accepting Drake into their lives. I was starting to calm down a bit with my search for spiritual enlightenment through the Uncharted series, and then the third installment, Drake’s Deception came out.
And I have seen the face of God in this game.
Dice is not playing around with its first DLC for its big hit Battlefield 3. The promised free expansion that was given to consumers who bought the Special Edition of the game is more than just a map pack. It will give fans of the game 4 new maps, three new vehicles, ten new weapons, five new dog tags, five new achievements/trophies, and lastly a whole new game mode. The game mode while not exactly new, is the return of Conquest Assault which for those not familiar is a hectic version of Conquest. Conquest Assault starts with one team fully in control of every spot immediately putting one team on offensive and the other tasked to defend their territory.
I sat inside of an inn, basking in the warmth of the fireplace as I read over a few books that I had collected along my journey. The quaint establishment was full of chatter that ranged from talk of a thieves guild I had helped re-establish to a bard playing his lute while singing a song I had heard many times. Patrons interacted with each other independently of my influence, and even gathered around the singing bard, waving their cups in the air along with the song. It was a small moment, one of many, but one I couldn’t help but to seep myself into as I sat on my own couch in the real world eating a meal that would keep me going for a few more hours. I had barely delved into the main quest to rescue the world from the threat of the dragons that looked to end the world, but I had cleared my way through many dungeons and conquered what they had laid out before me. Uncovering many stories within that I might otherwise had missed. It was this sense of discovery in a world that never ceased to give me things to do that inspired me to impart so much of my free time into a game that rarely failed to immerse me in a way I had never been before in this medium of entertainment.