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Monday, May 28, 2007

Spring Cleaning

My game library, exclusively Xbox 360 titles with a couple Guitar Hero games for the PS2 thrown in for those "wild party" nights, is starting to grow. As I continued to finish up Dead Rising over the weekend, I prepared myself to tackle the backlog of games that had grown rather large over the past few months.

Lara was waiting for me to guide her way to hidden treasures.

An entire gaggle of pinatas were patiently awaiting my arrival in the gardens of Viva Pinata.

Cars were waiting to be crashed in Burnout: Revenge.

Marcus Fenix was itching to give the Hammer of Dawn a quick trigger test.

Kameo, eager to push back the invading troll horde, could only sit and wait in dismay, hoping against hope that I would return to help her save her fairy kingdom (should I feel like less of a man for playing this game?).

With my digital friends twiddling their thumbs and waiting to show me their stuff, I did what any greedy gamer would do: I traded in a some old DVDs to Blockbuster and picked up some new games!

Is there any better feeling than walking into a store and walking away with a bunch of new games? With few exceptions, I'd say no. Even better, I'd been waiting quite a while to play three of the four games that I picked up which makes it all the sweeter. At the cost of roughly twenty old DVDs, I picked up:

Lara...Marcus...Kameo...Fergie the Fudgehog - I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me...


Ahh, Crackdown...

From one of the great minds behind the GTA series, I was looking forward to playing this game when I first caught wind of this title. Although Crackdown doesn't come with a much of a story, it's a great sandbox game that's easy to pick up and play whenever you've got a few minutes to kill.

Having only played Crackdown for about an hour or so, I can't honestly give any review of the game except to say that it's tons of fun. I really liked the demo and my enjoyment of the game is still going strong. And given that the game boasts 50 achievements (if you download the 800 point add-on from Xbox Live), there's lots of bad guys to be shot, many buildings to climb, and many streets to roam, looking to stop evil in its tracks.

If you'd like to learn more about Crackdown, consult the experts:


Saint's Row was one of those games that really sold me on the Xbox 360. Although the game had yet to be released or reviewed, my love of the GTA-style games made this game a must buy in my mind. Unfortunately, once I'd watched the TV spot for the game, my interest in the game waned. Having been a little disappointed by GTA: San Andreas' "gang" aspect, I was saddened to see Saint's Row focusing heavily on gang warfare and "respect".

Then the game was released and I read the reviews. Saint's Row wasn't a simple GTA-clone: the game introduced a number of new features to the GTA-style genre and improved upon many of the "mistakes" made by Rockstar's coup de force. Little by little, my resolve to stay clear of Saint's Row diminished with each positive review and each drop in its price-point.

When I walked into Blockbuster and noticed Saint's Row selling at $40, I quickly picked up the diplay case and and made a quick purchase.

Having only played the Saint's Row demo, I can only say that I'm really looking forward to playing the game in earnest. Sure, it's still about gang-land turf wars - but I got it cheap and it'll be a good way to tide me over until GTA IV is released in October. As long as there's no "girlfriend" side-missions, I'll be happy.

Not sure if you'd like to pick up your own copy of Saint's Row? Check out these reviews:


When Rockstar Games announced that their first next-gen title would be a ping-pong sports title, I was as skeptical as everybody else. Luckily for the gaming world, the Table Tennis was met with high praise. Touting fast, addictive action and a bargain sale price, Rockstar had their first next-gen hit.

Having just finished the tutorial, I'm still a rookie of the Rockstar's Table Tennis tournament circuit. Mind you, I have little to prove since there is currently no one playing this game online. Oh well, when you get a game for $18 from EB Games, you have no right to complain about the little things. I'll still take my time and work my way through the single-player tournament mode. If anything, I'll get to see what all the hype was about while enjoying some great gameplay and some pretty sweet graphics.

Again, many others have already said great things about this game:


The last game that I picked up yesterday was Prey. Granted, this game was not one of my top picks; however, I did enjoy the vertigo-inducing demo that is quite likely as vomit-inducing as described in this article by IGN. The big reason for getting the game was the rock-bottom price of $19.99 (previously played, of course) plastered on the display case for the game. Although I later found out that the box had been mislabeled and should have been sold for $29.99, I was not one to argue. Would I have payed $29.99 for the game? Sure thing!

When I played Prey's demo, offered via the Xbox Live Marketplace, I was really sold on the graphics, fast action, and dizzying use of portal-jumping and wall-walking. Imagine a portal opens, you walk through and suddenly realize that your upside down, hanging from the ceiling and getting attacked by a variety of aliens from all directions. Cool!

Prey's manual also describes some strange Native American spirit-type powers that you have in the game, so I'm kinda looking forward to that too!

Should you buy this game? Combine the great reviews with the bargain-basement price and Prey is a must-own for any FPS enthusiasts (or for any greedy gamers who own more games at one time than they can reasonably play). If you need convincing, read the following reviews written by the experts:


So I've got lots of games to work through in the next little while, but that's not a problem I mind having at all. The only downside to this situation is that Ottawa Senators start the Stanley Cup Finals tonight against Anaheim's Mighty Ducks for the next couple weeks.

Ah hell, I'll figure it out...

Go Sens Go!


Mike said...

Nice selection you got there, Klopzi! I can relate because I also don't get enough. :P

Lucky you already have an Xbox 360. I've yet to get a "current-gen" console, though I do have a decent PC to compensate.

Klopzi said...

Mike -

Time's always the biggest obstacle I have. Luckily, I have an understanding wife and that helps get a lot more time on my Xbox 360 than most married men might get.

As for picking up a next gen console, I think the time's just about right. With BioShock and GTA IV coming out in the fall, there's a lot going for the Xbox 360.

Although the PS3 is finally starting to show signs of life as well.

Mike said...

I had a Sony console last generation (PS2), but the selection of Xbox 360 games sound more appealing to me, especially now that big-name exclusives aren't that prevalent (i.e. GTA4).

Games like Gears of War and Dead Rising is making 360 very tempting to me hehe. However, one PS3 game is making me rethink that: Metal Gear Solid 4.

Klopzi said...

Mike -

The PS2 was a great console to own - better than the Xbox, in my opinion.

For now, the 360 is the better deal. Dead Rising and Gears of War are both games that offer a ton of replay value. I've been playing Dead Rising on and off for 8 months and I'm still enjoying it (though ready to take a break from the game at anytime).

I don't see a reason for choosing the 360 over the PS3 (or vice-versa): pick up a 360, and a year or two down the road, grab a PS3.

Sony's got to play catch-up right now, but I'm positive that the PS3 will finally deliver on Sony's promise once the kinks are worked out and a price drop comes into effect.