Category Archives: Video games

Back into video games

I’m not a “gamer,” or at least as I define the word. I am not someone who will play a game for five or six hours on end or obsess over the latest first-person shooter and yell at people as I face them online. Mind you, that’s a very narrow definition, but that’s at least how I see the stereotypical gamer.

Truth is a gamer can really be into all kinds of things; maybe all they play is RPGs or side scrollers. Whatever. I would say the point where I got into video games was probably when I was thirteen years old, where I received a PS2 as a graduation gift. About three or four years later I bought a Wii, which was actually still relevant at the time. It was what got me into some really cool games like Super Mario Galaxy and No More Heroes. And then a few years ago I got a PS3, and that really sucked me into the world of video games.

I’m not the most hardcore video game player out there, but I do enjoy playing games to the point that my skill level allows me to “complete” them. I can beat virtually any game I play, but unlocking all of the Trophies takes some real work for me. I’m a particular fan of the God of War, Assassin’s Creed and Batman series, and I just recently got my first-ever Platinum Trophy (meaning I got all the trophies for one game) in inFAMOUS 2.

Here I’m going to talk about four PSN games (one of which is also part of XBOX live arcade) that I’ve played recently or just really loved. Most of these are a little old, but the last one I’ll talk about is quite recent.

1. Limbo

This is a super creepy black-and-white game in which you’re a boy who’s wandering his way through what appears to be a dream world. At first it might seem easy, but you’ll quickly find yourself dying as you try and figure out the answer to the little puzzles the world presents to you. Oh yeah, and early on in the game you get chased by a giant spider.

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

The reason I initially downloaded this game was because I am a huge fan of the Scott Pilgrim series and everything to do with it. I raced through the graphic novels very quickly and have since read each volume several times over, and the movie version is a movie I could probably watch every day for the rest of my life.

While the video game came out to tie into the movie, it beats movie-tie-in video games by a long shot. It’s a cool side-scrolling beat ’em up type game, in which you can play as Scott, Ramona, Stephen Stills and Kim. The game excels so because it manages to be challenging at first as you figure out all the controls and purpose of objects, but it also incorporates the book a lot more heavily. The movie skips over characters like Joseph, Mobile and Knives’ dad, but they’re all included in this game to some degree, even if they’re just standing in the background. It’s a wonderful experience, made even better when you’re playing with a friend.

3. Journey

I admittedly haven’t played this one in some time, but I definitely wouldn’t mind getting back to it soon. It’s far from a typical video game experience, as there’s no real way you can die in this game and little to collect or power up. Playing solo, you’ll experience some really lush landscapes. But the game becomes truly spectacular when you play online. When you do so, you’ll be randomly paired up with someone whom you won’t even know the username of until you finish the game. The only way you can really communicate with the person is by the sounds your character makes.

The first time I played through, I was with one player for almost my entire journey. At the end of it, once I learned the identity of the person, I sent him or her a message saying “Thanks for the game, it was great.” I felt a little corny sending the message and thought the other player would make me look stupid, but imagine my surprise when I got a reply. It was something along the lines of “I hope that was you I spent most of that game with. Thanks for the great experience.”

4. Guacamelee!

I was looking forward to playing this game as soon as I saw footage of it. I just downloaded it and began playing last night, but I’m already hooked. The game revolves around you as a luchador who is trying to save a woman from the clutches of an evil undead guy. As you progress, you slowly gain powers that let you access new parts of the world.

What makes it so thrilling is all the small details. At one point in the game, there’s a clear Mario reference that made me laugh out loud when it happened, and when you wander through the world you’ll see references to all kinds of pop culture, such as one poster advertising “Casa Crashers” and another with Strong Bad from Homestar Runner. Not to mention the dialogue, from a priest who loves his telenovelas to a fighting move called the Dashing Derpderp (because the guy who taught it to you couldn’t come up with a better name).

So there you have it, four games which are well worth your time. I’m itching to get back to playing Guacamelee!, but I have some audio editing to do. Editing using Audacity is possible but hellish.