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Friday, October 17, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Past

The Christmas (or Holiday) season is just around the corner. And like clockwork, game publishers are all set to launch their biggest titles of the year. Much like last year, I have a number of titles that I'm looking forward to picking up. But before I get to the games that I want to buy this year, I'd like to take a look back at the games I picked up in Q4 of last year. Did I make good choices? Were my holiday dollars well spent? Was my 2007 Christmas List a good one?

Starting last November, I bought myself three games for Christmas: The Orange Box, Assassin's Creed, and Mass Effect. Very rarely do I pay full retail price for games but I do make certain allowances come Christmas. How did I fair in my choices? Let's see...

The Orange Box

Trailers







Reviews
GameRankings: 96%
Metacritic: 96%







My Thoughts
I really, really enjoyed Portal. This game really set the tone for my Christmas season last year. It's very rare for me to play a game and enjoy it so thoroughly. I also think I've somehow associated Portal with my youngest son; the cause of this association is apparent after re-reading this post. Besides Portal, it took me the better part of a year to finally finish off Half-Life 2 and its two subsequent episodes. There are very few first-person shooters that are as intense and immersive as Half-Life 2. And even though Half-Life 2's graphics seemed a little outdated at times, it is a solid and exciting game that must be played by any gamer out there.

Good Choice?
The Orange Box started my Christmas season off with a bang; one of the best video game purchases I've ever made!

Assassin's Creed

Trailers




Reviews
GameRankings: 82%
Metacritic: 81%







My Thoughts
Before picking up Assassin's Creed, I read all the reviews. There were so many great reviews out there for the game. And yet, there were an equal number of poor reviews. Even though I was a little apprehensive about paying full price for the game, I couldn't ignore the fact that the game-play and trailers looked absolutely amazing. In the end, my worrying was for naught. Assassin's Creed is one of the greatest games I've ever played. From my very first kill to the game's conclusion, I was hooked.

Assassin's Creed is part art, part science. Though some parts of the game get repetitive, I never felt annoyed or bored at any point along the way. I was compelled to see Altair accomplish his missions and uncover the secrets of the Templars. Assassin's Creed is so much more than the sum of its parts. If you haven't played this game, don't delay any longer. It is unbelievable!

Good Choice?
Assassin's Creed was an amazing follow-up to Portal. I will always remember Assassin's Creed and I am anxiously looking forward to a sequel. Truly a must-buy game!

Mass Effect

Trailers







Reviews
GameRankings: 91%
Metacritic: 91%







My Thoughts
Like my other two holiday purchases, Mass Effect was in a different league than many of the games released during 2007. Graphics and story telling were all top notch and unforgettable. Although I found the game-play of Assassin's Creed and Portal much more innovative, Mass Effect's universe is undeniably superb. Thanks to a gift that my wife bought me for Christmas last year, I'll always associate Mass Effect with her. As such, this game will always hold a special place in heart. Even though I decided to sell Mass Effect rather than play it through a second time, this doesn't diminish the game's appeal. I played my way through the game, experienced all there was to experience, and was ready to move on to something new.

Good Choice?
I spent $60 on a game that took me thirty-five action-packed and interesting hours to complete. Mass Effect is one of the greatest RPGs ever made and I couldn't think of a better title to round out my 2007 Christmas List.



So which games am I looking forward to this year? What titles will make my 2008 Christmas List? Check back next week...

Have a great weekend!

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