Game Over


Last weekend, I completed The Walking Dead on my PS3.  I had put off playing it for reasons I’m not sure.  Perhaps because I knew once it was done, it was over.  Even though the game allows you (read: forces you) to make tough decisions that alters the course you get to the end, the ending is set (to the best of my knowledge).  And oh, what an ending it was.  I sat there for a time, letting it soak in, excited for the future (Season 2 is coming out later this year), but reminiscing over everything I had just experienced.

Then it occurred to me: This game has made a fairly short list of games I’ve managed to beat in this generation.

So, me being me and feeling nostalgic now that the PS4 and the Xbox One (??) have been announced, I decided to make a list and relive my (admittedly lame) moments of glory.

God of War III

I believe this was the first game I beat on the PS3.  I played through the first and second game on the PS2 and borrowed this one from a co-worker.  It lived up to the lofty expectations set by the first two, even if the ending sequence left a bit to be desired.

BioShock I and II

The original Bioshock was an Xbox exclusive for a time, and it was one that seriously made me want to pick up Microsoft’s machine.  Fortunately for me, before I got around to getting one, it was released on the PS3.  It was one of the first demos I downloaded and I was instantly in love.  The strong narrative, creepy atmosphere and excellent selection of powers (love me some plasmids) made me an instant fan.

I played the original so late, the sequel was already out and at a good price, so I immediately picked it up.  It gets a lot of flak for being a cash-grab, seeing as it wasn’t made by the same development team and it took place in Rapture, reusing some resources from the original game.  It may not have had as strong of a story, but I think the developers treated it with a lot of love.  They kept what worked and improved upon some things (dual wielding weapons and plasmids, a much better hacking system).  The Minerva’s Den DLC is especially strong.  I may have enjoyed that more than the second game in its entirety.  Spear gun FTW!

BioShock Infinite

I rarely buy a game new, but given this was made by the developer of the original Bioshock, I took the plunge and never looked back.  While the gameplay failed to live up the ridiculously high benchmark set by the videos released early in development, it was still an amazing game.  When I reached the end, I actually got all teary-eyed (which, I admit, isn’t all that rare for me) and I immediately wanted to replay it to see how all the pieces fit in from the beginning.  Being as this is a new game, there is still DLC being made for it, so the adventure is far from over.

Tomb Raider Underworld

I’ve never been a huge Tomb Raider fan.  I tried to play the first game back on the PS1 and couldn’t understand how to control the character, or really what the big deal was.  Norma, however, has played nearly every game in the series, and so I decided to pick this up.

Honestly, if it were just me, I’m not sure I would have finished it.  The storyline was all right, but I spent more time yelling at the character (and calling her various names that would probably get me labeled as a chauvinist) than I did enjoying the game.  Ultimately, I finished it because we played it “together”, with her there telling me what to do every time I screwed up old school style.

Heavy Rain

This game became a bit of a compulsion for me, as I had to see it through to the end.  Playing it a bit at a time is a little like watching a movie in 15-minute chunks.  Despite some odd controls and some stiff dialogue, this game managed to elevate the standard of story-telling in the medium.  I did fairly well (or so I thought), until the very end, when most of my characters met their untimely deaths.  I’ve only run through it once, but I’ve been tempted to restart my investigation into the Origami Killer.  And maybe this time, I’ll manage to keep everyone alive.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Another game that once I started playing, I was completely devoted to it until I finished.  I had played the old Metal Gear games back in the day, plus MGS 1 and 2 (never got around to 3, which was unfortunate, because I was extra lost with some of the storyline).  This game is amazing.  Sure, you watch it more than play it in some parts and the plot is so convoluted there could be college courses dedicated to studying it, but it was an absolute blast.  If you’re a fan of the Metal Gear saga and you haven’t played this (whaaa?), you owe it to yourself to pick it up.  If you haven’t played at least Metal Gear Solid 1-3…do yourself a favor and get the The Legacy Collection coming out so you can get caught up.

And now that it’s been patched with trophies, I think I might need to run through it again.  *cracks knuckles*

Demon’s Souls

Given it’s highly touted difficulty, I’m rather surprised this one made my list.  I loved this game so much, I kept at it until the credits rolled.  And then…I took a break.  Still wish I’d kept playing New Game+ and so on and so on.  Since then, its spiritual successor, Dark Souls, has come out.  I find myself torn between the two games as to which I like better.  Dark Souls is bigger and more open, but Demon’s Souls has a special place in my heart.

Of course, one of these days, I have to beat Dark Souls so I can add it to this list.

PROTOTYPE

This game has a bad rep, for reasons I can’t understand.  I know it came out around the same time as inFAMOUS and both games feature open worlds and a main character with superpowers, but they could scarcely be more different from one another.  PROTOTYPE wears its M-rating proudly on its gore-drenched sleeves, and while sometimes it comes across as a bit crass or childish in its violence, it also gives the player the feeling of being all-powerful.  And isn’t that, in part, what gaming is about?

And….I believe that’s it.  A rather pathetic list, isn’t it?  Of course, this is hardly indicative of the number of games I’ve played.  Some, I’ve come close to the end, only to give up because of time constraints (and I never got back into them).  Others, I just wasn’t feeling (I’m looking at you, Deus Ex Human Revolution, but daddy hasn’t given up on you yet).  I’m not likely to grab a PS4 right away (read: I’m poor), so I still have some time to finish up the gems I have waiting for me from this generation.

I’m looking forward to adding to this list as time goes on.

S.L. Madden

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