What Games Should I Buy?

I think I’m on record as some­one who has fin­ished just two games in his life — Crack­down and Bat­man: Arkham Asy­lum — but which games should I buy and leave unfin­ished this year?

Here are three I have my eye on. I might buy two.

  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Fall­out: New Vegas

CoD is almost a fore­gone con­clu­sion. Love the mul­ti­player too much not to splash out and pick it up. Loved the look and feel of Fall­out 3, but never got out of Mega­ton. Red Dead Redemp­tion sounds like it’d be some­thing cool to explore.

Help me sort this out, gamers! What should I buy?

What Are Your Favorite iPhone Games?

Man, I loved me some Com­modore 64 as a kid. Hell, we had a Vic 20 before that, but the games were prim­i­tive! To be entirely hon­est, I was pretty much only play­ing edu­ca­tional games when we had that, so maybe I’d have fonder mem­o­ries if I wasn’t play­ing word games on it.

I remem­ber ask­ing to “play com­puter” on rainy days grow­ing up, and when I did, I’d haul ass upstairs to play games like Bruce Lee. Now I’m play­ing on my iPhone and the magic’s gone. The inter­face makes it nearly impos­si­ble to carry out the repet­i­tive moves that once made this game so much fun. What went wrong?

I’m reach­ing out to you to find out your favorite iPhone games. Sure, nos­tal­gia let me down once, but I’d love to check out old Nin­tendo games like Super Mario, or the weird stuff I couldn’t afford like Neo Geo games and so on. Share your favorites in the comments.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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I don’t really know how it hap­pened. I guess I just got sick of the Phillies being so great in MLB 2K10 that I had to set it aside and find some­thing else to play. Need­less to say, a few quick games of Team Death­match and I was hooked on Call of Duty all over again.

Then I come across this video over at Giant Bomb. Sure, it turns out that it’s fake, but it makes me wish all the more that some pub­lisher would just get the guts to go to a sub­scrip­tion model or straight up DLC already. I’m sick and tired of buy­ing games that are more or less iden­ti­cal to the pre­vi­ous year with the excep­tion of a ros­ter move or a new logo or a new map. I’m will­ing to pay good money for some­thing I won’t regret sell­ing off a year later when it’s worth zilch. Charge me say $40 to buy the new game with­out all the pack­ag­ing. The Earth would be bet­ter off with­out all that noise anyway.

Unless some­one fig­ures out how to charge less for games out­right, which seems unlikely, there are prob­a­bly some well known fran­chises that I’ll never buy again. I’m look­ing at you, Madden.

My Take on MLB 2K10

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It rules.

MLB 2K10 is a vast improve­ment over the last ver­sion of the game I pur­chased two years ago. The rea­sons are sim­ple. It’s taken the same approach that Mad­den took in sharp­en­ing his name­sake video game: made it harder and more real­is­tic.  The approach at the plate no longer requires the hack and slash tac­tics in ’08; you can actu­ally look at pitches and maybe even draw a walk. I’ve drawn exactly one walk to date, with Ben Fran­cisco as DH no less! The dis­ci­pline required to have good at-bats is a dra­matic change from ’08’s com­i­cal home run derby, where hav­ing con­sec­u­tive mul­ti­ple home run games with Pedro Feliz or Geoff Jenk­ins wasn’t out of the question.

The pitch­ing con­trols? Meh. I don’t see the big diff. This is part of the prob­lem with mar­ket­ing sports games today. At this point, every­one knows that the real dif­fer­ences from year to year are few. How do you gen­er­ate excite­ment about a game whose main improve­ment is that the ros­ters are updated? Even the ven­er­a­ble Mad­den fran­chise has suf­fered a decline in sales!

Other points:

  • I love the MLB Today fea­ture, but wish it would replace the fran­chise mode alto­gether. Why not merge the two experiences?
  • I hate unlock­ing things. Why not emu­late those clas­sic Mad­den games and just include the clas­sic teams (or sim­u­lacra thereof) and sta­di­ums in the game? If you’re a fan of sports games, these sorts of loy­alty gim­micks don’t really work out. I want to play as the Phillies (or hell, the A’s) in all of the parks they ever played in, in my choice of uni­forms. Can I get an amen from the guys at Uni Watch?
  • The art of steal­ing bases became more dif­fi­cult in the new game. It’s a lot to try to man­age an at-bat while simul­ta­ne­ously pulling the trig­ger (lit­er­ally) to steal sec­ond. It’d be dif­fer­ent if you were play­ing as the first or third base coach, but you’re not.

Apart from those details, I love every minute of the game. Last night I pulled off a thrilling 10 inning come­back win over the lowly Pirates. The game ended on a walkoff homer by Ryan Howard, the team gath­er­ing around home as he plated the win­ning run. It was amaz­ing. MLB 2K10 is a huge improve­ment over pre­vi­ous efforts and I look for­ward to play­ing the 2010 cam­paign with the Fightin’ Phils.