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.

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.

Left 4 Dead Opening Cinematic

It’s been a slow year for new video games for me. I bought Grand Theft Auto 4 at mid­night, then bare­ly played it. I bought Mad­den 2009 and love it, but I’m rarely in the right frame of mind to be active­ly chal­lenged by it.

Now there are some deci­sions to make. I’m look­ing for­ward to Gears of War 2, but am unsure about titles like Dead Space and Left 4 Dead. Both seem to be up my alley; I like third-per­son shoot­ers just fine, espe­cial­ly with the hor­ror twist to keep it inter­est­ing. My main gripe is that it’s not as obvi­ous as last year’s crop of out­stand­ing games that are fun to pick up and play whenever.

What games are you look­ing for­ward to as the hol­i­days near? Chris, if you’re read­ing this, help me out!