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Archive for November, 2012

Articles

2012 Video Game Report Card

This is an ongoing post where I’ll keep track of all the games I finish (or abandon in anger) in 2012. (Note: I am not a girl.)

Finished in November

  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter (360) | Grade: B- | There are some really great driving sequences in this. Unfortunately the game is not called Wardriver. Everything about it is just mostly okay. The story makes little sense and focuses on the wrong things.
  • Forza Horizon (360) | Grade: A | Challenging yet relaxing, colorful, fun racing title with atmosphere galore. Really solid game.
  • WWE ’13 (360) | Grade: B+ | Best story mode in a wrestling game ever, one I hope continues and thrives as the standard for WWE games.
  • Need for Speed Most Wanted (360) | Grade: B+ | The 2012 version of Most Wanted is Burnout Paradise with cops. Needed more personality and character in the single player mode.
  • Call of Duty Black Ops II (360) | Grade: B+ | Not as engaging as the original BLOPS and takes some weird turns as far as who you play as in certain segments. The last 3rd of the game is amazing though before it kinda all falls apart at the very end.
  • The Walking Dead: Episode 5 (XBLA) | Grade: A+ | Game of the Year. No question. Maybe even my favorite of this entire generation of games.
  • Asura’s Wrath (360) | Grade: A- | Interactive anime quick time event beat ‘em up weirdness. Loved it, despite the bullshit ending.

Finished in October

Finished in August

Finished in July

  • NCAA Football 08 (360) | Achievement point whoring! 1000/1000
  • NCAA Football 07 (360) | Achievement point whoring! 1000/1000
  • NHL 2K6 (360) | Achievement point whoring! 1000/1000
  • Front Mission Evolved (360) | Grade: B- | Don’t ask me what this game is about other than giant mechs and space elevators. You get to shoot stuff. Someone in the game might be your Dad, and he might be a good guy or a bad guy.

Finished in June

  • EA Sports MMA (360) | Grade: C+ | Completed the story mode twice and got all the offline achievements (online play is no longer possible). Technically sound, but still long loads times and a sport I don’t care about.
  • Madden 06 (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 1000/1000 Gamerscore while watching E3 coverage.
  • Major League Baseball 2K6 (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 1000/1000 Gamerscore while watching E3 coverage.
  • Madden 09 (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 1000/1000 Gamerscore while watching E3 coverage.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (360)Grade: B- | Super condensed version of the movie. Play the scenes that could easily be a video game, watch the rest. Spell casting is fun.
  • Homefront (360) | Grade: C- | So it’s Red Dawn, from the writer of Red Dawn, done so damn poorly. The story is more epic than anything you end up doing, and you never feel like you’re part of the bigger picture. Disappointing.
  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (360) | Grade: B+ | Surprisingly not bad, and actually better than the feature film. Action/beat ‘em up with Ryan Reynolds actually providing the voice for his character.
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (360) | Grade: B+ | Prequel to the first game and superior in every way. Worth a playthrough, even worth two playthroughs (one as each main character).
  • Madden 08 (360) | Achievement point whoring! 1000/1000
  • Fight Night Champion (360) | Story Mode Grade: A- / Overall Grade: C+ | Easily the greatest story mode ever in a sports game. The overall game has some serious technical flaws though.
  • Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut (360) | Grade: A | Why couldn’t you have done this the first time around, Bioware? Game still has some jank but the ending is much improved.
  • The Walking Dead: Episode 2 (XBLA) | Grade: A- | Still some of the best storytelling of this generation with some amazingly difficult moral choices, but technically this episode needed a little longer to cook.

Finished in May

  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition (XBLA) | Grade: A | Just needed one more achievement to reach 200/200, finally got it. Great update to the original Pac-Man.
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (XBLA) | Grade: A- | Same situation as Pac-Man: CE. Only knock against this game is that the previous one was just a little better.
  • Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (360) | Grade: C+ | Strip away all the stupid bullshit about Rock being an ancient force and a giant Gene Simmons battling a robot, and there’s a surprisingly deep rhythm game with tons more features than Rock Band 3. Only 40% of the soundtrack is any good though. Thanks for killing the genre guys.

Finished in April

  • F.E.A.R. Files (360) | Grade: B+ | Two non-canon expansion packs. The first is better than the original game, the second is sadly more of a shooter than a creepfest. Still, great stuff.
  • The Walking Dead: Episode 1 (XBLA) | Grade: A | Impressive as hell, great look and atmosphere, nicely done all around. I hope the next 4 chapters can live up to this.

Finished in March

  • Mass Effect 2 (360) | Grade: A+ | Second playthrough, this time with all the DLC. Still one of my favorite games this generation.
  • Mass Effect 3 (360) | Grade: A- | Technical bugs and a totally disappointing final scene hurt what is otherwise still a terrific game. Look for a No Quarters spoilercast soon with lots of in-depth talk on this one…
  • F.E.A.R. (360) | Grade: B+ | Holds up surprisingly well for a launch era port, with some great atmosphere and some legitimate creepy moments. Story is nonsense though.

Finished in February

  • Syndicate (360) | Grade: B | Solid first person shooter, short on story. Guns feel great, and you feel right at home playing through it. Not as robust as Deus Ex though.
  • Red Faction Guerrilla (360) | Grade: B- | I could only play this in hour long chunks. Not much story, which makes most of the game feel repetitive and lackluster. Still, I love smashing buildings and watching them fall onto EDF troops.

Finished in January

Abandoned

  • Call of Juarez (360) | The gameplay is woefully outdated, which is a shame because playing as both sides of the same story seemed interesting.
  • Operation Darkness (360) | A Japanese turn-based, grid-based RPG about World War II with Final Fantasy-esque characters fighting Nazis, and then eventually vampires. Not as fun as that sounds.
  • Castlevania: SOTN (XBLA) | Just not my kind of game anymore. Didn’t feel like playing more than 10 minutes of it.
  • Star Trek: Legacy (360) | It took 5 years, but finally I’m ready to say it. F*ck this f*cking game.
  • Thor: God of Thunder (360) | Conceptually interesting, lackluster graphics, poor level design. Gave up during the finale, which is so badly realized that you can end up playing it completely wrong and prevent completion of the game.
  • Madden 12 (360) | The NFL isn’t doing it for me much anymore, and so I got the easy achievements (about 570/1000 in only a couple of games) and got out.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (360) | Played for about 30 hours, hadn’t played it in over a month, no desire to return. Got what I needed to get from it.
  • Burnout Revenge (360) | Since the online servers were shutting down, we thought we’d play some multiplayer and get those achievements. Sometimes you can’t go back. And I can’t go forward in this game anymore. Hit the wall.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (360) | With this game I realized just how “over” the Star Wars universe I am. Force powers are fun, but the blind jumping, poor checkpoints and insanely radical shifts in tone were just too damn annoying.
  • Trials HD (XBLA) | Time to give this game two middle fingers and call it a day.
  • Pac-Man (XBLA) | Yes, the classic arcade version. There’s one achievement I’ll never get, so that’s that really.
  • Game Room (XBLA) | You can still go there. Games are still $3. And to get any more achievements, I’d have to purchase more games. Not gonna happen. Great idea, horrible execution. Way to fuck up something potentially awesome, Microsoft.
  • Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (360) | One achievement left to go (950/1000) but it’s one I’ll probably never get. Nice compilation though, and a disc I’ll be keeping in my collection.
  • BCFX: Black College Football The Xperience (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 690/1000 Gamerscore while watching E3 coverage. (Would have gotten the entire 1000, but the game really, REALLY sucks.)
  • Madden NFL 07 (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 945/1000 before declaring the rest of the achievements unattainable.
  • Beijing 2008 (360) | Olympic games should be better than this by now. Deleted from my profile entirely.
  • NCAA March Madness 07 (360) | Achievement point whoring! Completed 700/1000 before declaring the rest of the achievements unattainable.
  • MLB Front Office Manager (360) | Started playing this for points, then the “What the hell am I doing?!” realization hit me.
  • Eragon (360) | Started out as a mildly decent licensed game, grew extremely tedious as it went along.
  • Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed (360) | Well done Mario Cart clone that’s better suited for multiplayer matches. Was a fun rental.
  • Street Fighter IV (360) | Took me about 7 minutes to realize that I do not like Street Fighter games. At all.
  • Super Street Fighter IV (360) | And adding Super to the title doesn’t help.