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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Origami Killers, Special Acitivities Division, and The Agency (UPDATED)

It's been a busy week in terms of video games. I finished off Heavy Rain over the weekend. I also started and finished Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in just a couple of days. I've also done a bit of shopping to add to my video game collection. All in all, gaming nirvana!

Let's start with Heavy Rain. Man oh man! What a game! I can't think of many games that grabbed hold of me like Heavy Rain. The story and the characters all fit together so nicely. I was tempted to go back and grab some more trophies after finishing the game but opted to take the David Cage's recommended route. Play the game, enjoy the story that I created, and move on. I made a lot of decisions during the course of my game which shaped my gameplay experience and my ending to the game. I was witness to one of the happy endings to the game where everyone lived happily ever after. I'd rather not break Heavy Rain's illusion by going back through the game and changing my decisions at various points throughout the story.

If you've been on the fence about Heavy Rain, I can only recommend that you play it. It is the first interactive movie that I've ever really played. Do yourself a favour and play on the hardest difficulty setting. Some of the QTEs can get pretty tricky and I found that the difficulty raised my tension level to an optimal level. There were a number of situations where I worried about the outcome of a scene due to the crazy number of QTEs and tricky manoeuvres required to pass the challenges presented. Heavy Rain is the perfect blend of action and cinema. I really can't recommend this interactive drama/game enough!

I also started and finished Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in a couple of days over the course of three gaming sessions. I'd put my overall playing time at about 7 hours or so. I was playing on the Easy difficulty setting which certainly makes a difference.

For what Bad Company 2's single-player campaign lacks in length, it makes up in its action, story, and characters. I loved the first Bad Company and the second did not disappoint. The action was pretty intense with a number of "Whoa!" moments thrown in. I think DICE really nailed it with this game. I didn't play the multiplayer at all but I can only imagine that it would be pretty fun. I would have given it a try had I played Bad Company 2 on my PS3. Unfortunately, I only had an Xbox 360 copy of the game. I'm not willing to shell out $60 to have the honour of getting repeatedly killed by a pack of wild, homophobic racists.

If you've been on the fence about buying Bad Company 2, I don't think you can go wrong with this game. If you're only interested in the single-player campaign, I'd probably recommend a $20-$30 price point (or playing on the hardest difficulty setting). But if you're into multiplayer, Bad Company 2 is easily worth $40-$60.

Awesome game!

I'm not sure what I'll be playing next. I'll likely go with Monkey Island 2. After that, I think I may hold off on Just Cause 2 and Overlord II a little while longer and give Crackdown 2 a shot! I pulled the trigger on my latest impulse purchase yesterday afternoon. I found a mint-condition copy of the game for $30 and couldn't resist. I loved the original Crackdown and, according to reviewers, Crackdown 2 is more or less the same game. At $30, I don't need a lot of plot or innovation. I just want to jump around Pacific City and blow sh*t up!

I may buy some more games over the next few days. I'm trying to find cheap copies of Alan Wake (360) and Alpha Protocol (PS3); $30 is my sweet spot for these games. Keep an eye on my video game library and Year of Gaming pages for current updates.

UPDATE: Also picked up a new retail copy of Bionic Commando for my Xbox 360. Cost me $9 (tax and shipping included) which seems like a reasonable price. Bionic Commando doesn't look too bad - should be fun.

And speaking of game sales and purchases, I can't seem to unload my copies of NHL 2K7, MLB 2K7, or Madden 07. I've never thrown out a game before but I have no idea what to do with them. No one on eBay wants them and Blockbuster/EB Games won't give me trade credit for them. You gotta feel bad for these old, unwanted sports games.

Ok - I'm outta here. Have a good one!