It’s beginning to look a lot like bankruptcy

As usual, the holidays are presenting gamers with quite a quandary. Namely, just how many incredible games are required purchases? Well, for me, there are depressingly many. Let’s take a look.


Holidays_BeatlesThe Beatles: Rock Band

Why I shouldn’t have bought it:

I’m not very familiar with the catalog of The Beatles at all. Not as a point of pride or anything – I was just too busy listening to the same Anthrax album over and over to try something new. Also, I’ve already bought way too many music games over the last decade. Did I really need another one?

Why I bought it anyway:

Because it has vocal harmonies. That’s really it for me. But my lovely fiancée, as a big Beatles fan, is really enjoying it on its merits. Hearing her sing Beatles songs as we’re walking to dinner is a nice bonus, too. So far, it’s been a blast, especially with four players and two microphones. Playing Expert guitar on “Twist and Shout” while singing Paul McCartney’s vocals was the most fun I’ve had in a music game since the first Rock Band was released.

When it came out:

September 9


Holidays_BowserMario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

The most recent Mario & Luigi RPG was kind of misguided. The clunky “babies + grown-ups” control scheme never really clicked with me, and so it ended up being more of a chore than I was expecting, especially after its predecessor.

Why I’ll probably buy it anyway:

The first Mario & Luigi RPG – for the GBA – was a total surprise hit for me. The gameplay was a blast, even if it was rather simple compared to most RPG’s I’m used to. And it featured some incredible translation, with bizarre characters saying things like:

“I have fury! In the last moments of the finale of the finale, when relief leads to negligence that begets rashness…that is when the comeback that faltered comes back and beats your pathetic comeback that I scoff at!”

When does it come out?

September 14


Holidays_ScribbleScribblenauts

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

I only just played Drawn to Life a few weeks ago, after hearing good things about it for a while. Its gimmick never really hooked me, though — maybe because I spent way too long designing the perfect avatar (with a stop sign for a head and a NES Game Pak for a torso) and not enough time playing its stripped-down platform mechanics.

Why I’ll probably buy it anyway:

The description of this game sounds too good to be true, by all accounts. There are puzzles and obstacles, and you can attempt to solve them / get past them by writing the name of any object. ANY object. The object will then appear on the screen and, if it can, be the solution. Yes, please.

When does it come out?

September 15


Holidays_TrineTrine

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

It’s from an unproven developer and it’s taken way too long to come out for PSN? Yeah, I’ve really got nothing here.

Why I’ll definitely be buying it anyway:

It’s a completely gorgeous side-scroller / platformer / puzzler that features co-op. Like LittleBigPlanet, only more than a novelty. Also, it features three uniquely playing characters, one of which can draw shapes on the screen to create objects.

When does it come out?

Well, it’s already out for the PC. Has been for a while, in fact. But due to several small bugs that have popped up in the past few weeks, its PSN release has been delayed for months now. The latest word from Sony is that it will be released either September 15 or September 22.


Holidays_AlphaAlpha Protocol

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

I love the guys at Obsidian – I even interviewed with them five years ago. Their combined experience is nothing to scoff at. The only problem is, I haven’t really enjoyed their games that much. I mean, they’ve certainly been competent, which is more than you can say about a lot of releases in the last few years. But neither Knights of the Old Republic II nor Neverwinter Nights 2 really did anything for me.

Why I’ll definitely be buying it anyway:

Present-day RPG. That’s all you need to do to get my money: make a RPG that’s set in the present day. Or the near future. I don’t want to set an arbitrary time window, but anything that’s not straight fantasy, sci-fi, etc. will get my attention. Now, keeping it is another matter. I’m looking at you, Lionheart. And you, Arcanum. And you too, Planescape: Torment. Although I’m looking at you because you’re so awesome that I can’t look away.

When does it come out?

October 6


Holidays_BorderlandsBorderlands

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

It’s a shooter. Generally, I’m not wild about shooters, on consoles or PC. Other than the Half-Life series — which, wouldn’t you know it, actually cares about narrative — they’re just not my thing.

Why I’ll probably be buying it anyway:

Because it has enough twists that it’s swung back to being my thing again. Borderlands is a co-op shooter with Diablo-style loot and a gorgeous art style — not to mention some of the ballsiest box art I’ve ever seen.

When does it come out?

October 20


Holidays_Uncharted2Uncharted 2

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

Because I’ll be out of money by this point? Other than that, I really have no excuse.

Why I’ll definitely be buying it anyway:

The first Uncharted surprised the hell out of me when I finally cracked it open a few months after I finally got a PlayStation 3 back in April. The gameplay wasn’t necessarily that awesome — the Tomb Raider-style exploration and puzzle solving kept me interested, but once the shooting stared, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

However, one thing that never got old was the dialogue. Quite simply, the voice acting and writing in Uncharted was the best I’ve seen in years. I’d play a hyperrealistic racing sim / RTS to get to experience that level of performance again.

When does it come out?

Sometime in October


Holidays_DragonAgeDragon Age

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

Because it’s another fantasy RPG. Haven’t we had enough of those?

Why I’m definitely buying it:

No, we haven’t had enough of those, especially of the quality that I know Bioware can produce. While the early press for this game was kind of weird — the praise for the incredibly rote, predictable races was especially baffling — I’m willing to give Bioware both the benefit of the doubt and a lot of money. Baldur’s Gate II was an all-time classic, and I haven’t played a good fantasy RPG since Oblivion.

When does it come out?

November 3


Holidays_Assassins2Assassin’s Creed II

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

The most obvious innovations in this game (you can fly! you can swim! you can kill two people at once!) don’t sound that impressive.

Why I’ll definitely be buying it anyway:

The latest trailer is cut to a Justice song!

Okay, seriously, Assassin’s Creed was a fantastic game. Even though the gameplay never really evolved beyond “do the same few things over and over again”, those same few things were always fun. Combine that with some really classy presentation and voice acting — and the promise of less flag-hunting and more badassery — and I’m in.

When does it come out?

November 17


Holidays_NewSMBNew Super Mario Bros. Wii

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

I’ve never finished Super Mario Galaxy. New Super Mario Bros. for the DS was okay, but nothing special. I’m just generally kind of sour on Nintendo’s first-party titles lately — which means I’m going to get beat up by my fiancée.

Why I’ll probably buy it anyway:

My fiancée would beat me up if I didn’t buy it, but even if that weren’t true, it’s a co-op Mario game! We haven’t had one of those since, what, the original Mario Bros.? Plus, I feel like Nintendo has a lifetime pass from me when it comes to their core Mario games after Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and so on.

When does it come out?

Q4 2009


Holidays_ZeldaZelda: Spirit Tracks

Why I shouldn’t buy it:

At this point, if I’ve bought all the previous games, I will have spent over $500 in games in the last three months. Plus, as much as the Zelda series has given me over the years, its most recent efforts haven’t all been winners. Twilight Princess in particular was kind of disappointing.

Why I’ll probably buy it anyway:

The last Zelda game for the Nintendo DS (Phantom Hourglass) was a hell of a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I don’t think this one will be out in time for our Thanksgiving trip to Tokyo, but it’ll be perfect for my Christmas trip to the east coast.

When does it come out?

December 7


Now, this doesn’t even include my “want to play” list, which contains some titles releasing this year that may end up adding to that $500 total:

  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2(never finished the first one, but I should probably play this one for reference if nothing else)
  • Persona PSP (I played the original thirteen years ago and was lukewarm on it, but Persona 4 still fills me with a warm glow, as you may have heard)
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (which has to be the worst name for a game that I’ve seen in a long time)
  • Brütal Legend (although from what I’ve heard of the game mechanics in the last few weeks, this one is falling fast)
  • Modern Warfare 2 (I’ve actually never played its supposedly transcendent multiplayer, but its singleplayer was pretty damn impressive)
  • Max Payne 3 (for all its faults, the Max Payne series has been one of the biggest innovators of storytelling and presentation in a genre that’s famous for neither)

It also doesn’t include the “definitely buying in Q1 2010″ list, which is mercifully only at four so far: BioShock 2, Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Heavy Rain.

Maybe I should start picking lottery numbers.

1 comment to It’s beginning to look a lot like bankruptcy

  • Oh, come on. Let’s see, where do I start? Let’s go with backwards. Try and keep up.

    1) You’re going to be BRUSHING MY HAIR on our flight to Japan, anyway. Okay, that’s creepy and untrue, but we’ll probably be BSing with Scott and Josie or just doing some weddigny thing. Or playing Zelda, fine. At least I can get you a discount.
    2) Don’t you ever use “FIRST PARTY NINTENDO TITLE” as an arbitrary reason to assume I’ll love a game. I spend enough time around all that stuff that if anything it’s the opposite. BUT see above point in re: discount.
    3) I liked Assassin’s Creed. Therefore you should put it on your Amazon wishlist. In fact, a lot of this Q4 stuff would be well-received there. (Or, fine, our wedding registry. Go nuts.)
    4) I like dragons.
    5) Maybe they’ll finally improve the art style.
    6) You also like the Halo series.
    7) That name sounds like a Dollhouse episode.
    8) You forgot about the fact that we can play TOGETHER! That’s the most important part.
    9) Plus aren’t they a local company? So we support them. And I may be able to get a discount.
    10) Discount.
    11) SO MUCH FUN OMG MORE SINGING PLZ

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>