A Blog About Nothing in Particular

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

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

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.