Warning! This post is going to be very long. Those whose eyes strain from gathering to much information beware!
Here is a list of my top 5 must play games that have been released within the past year. These games all come on different platforms (consoles, PC) and are definitely worth buying (in my opinion)!
Lets start off with my favorite game of all time.. Better yet favorite series, Halo Reach. This game brought my hopes back for the Halo franchise. The last two Halo releases before this really left a bad taste in my mouth. Although Halo O.D.S.T. was fun, it was honestly worth a rent and that’s it. Halo 3 on the other hand, not so much. Halo 3 was a fail in my opinion, because the game lost its fun factor and didn’t have the same feeling as the other Halo games. The game required no skill. You could be 5 years old, find the hammer, and run around smashing people off the map as if you were playing S.S. Bros. Not to mention, was it just me or were the graphics a little to intense and laggy? Every time I played Halo 3 my eyes would start to burn after about half an hour of playing.
Anyways, Halo Reach fixed all the issues I had with Halo 3 and turned this game into another classic. Not only does it remind me of Halo 2, based on skill required to play online, and the fun factor, but this game has better graphics too. The Halo Reach campaign is done very well because it immerses you into the story and reveals what happened to all the Spartans before Halo 1. The co-op campaign is also really fun to play online because you can play with your friends (up to 4) and each be a member of noble team. I played co-op campaign the second time around and it felt like I was doing a whole new campaign. It’s also really fun to hear people talking and saying things while you are playing like “Shoot the sniper on the upper right of the mountain.”
Once you are done playing the campaign, I highly suggest playing on Xbox Live because this is where the real fun begins. Not only do you have an immense amount of different game styles to choose from such as; Swat, Team Slayer, Headhunter, Zombie, Firefight and much more, but they also implement a play list for classic maps that were on all the previous Halo games (brought back memories for me). You can literally spend countless hours playing this game just by changing game modes, playing split screen with friends, achievement hunting, and leveling up your online rank. I can’t wait to see what kind of changes they make for the the remade Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition. I will definitely have a review the day that game comes out, so check back to see if it’s worth the cash.
Halo Reach rates as:
Gameplay 9/10 This game has a great balance between just having fun and actually wanting a challenge.
Graphics 8/10 The graphics were quite normal for an Xbox 360 fps. Some parts of the campaign will make you stop and spend a few minutes staring off a cliff though.
Audio 9/10 The music in this game always gets me pumped up to blow the head off a few grunts
Replay Value 9/10 This game is a classic and can very easily keep you interested.
P.S. Did you know Julia Roberts plays Halo rather obsessively? Kudos on that one. I also read that Dave Chappelle plays Wow. I would love to be running around Orgrimmar and see Rick James playing as a troll with dreads.
My next game that is a must buy is also a first person shooter game. Call of Duty: Black Ops made me a fan of the COD series. I never liked to play older COD games because I was always a Halo fan and felt like a traitor if I played these games. That all changed when my girl friend played Black Ops avidly and said that she was better at this game than I was. (Is that a challenge?) So as any good boy friend would do, I made her stop what she was doing and play split screen with me. She won the first two games, but by the next hour I got the hang of the controls and was already beating her. Next thing you know I am online scoring in the top 3 (even though it was only prestige level 1). Needless to say, she bought Black Ops for me so that I wouldn’t borrow her game and never give it back lol.
The campaign is actually amazing! I played the entire campaign in one night because I couldn’t go to sleep knowing that there was more Russians to be slayed. If you run through the campaign quickly, you will feel like you just starred in the number one action movie.
The online play is also very fun, and somewhat frustrating at first because you die very easily in these games (your not a spartan = no shields). Once you get the hang of it though, it can be very fun going on kill streaks and piloting a Chopper Gunner, or driving an RC car with bombs attached to it. Some of the maps are classics, while others I will literally get pissed that I have to play on them again. There are also 3 map packs out for Black Ops, but so far I have heard negative things about all 3 of them (so don’t waste your money).
The zombie mode in Black Ops is really fun. You can even be John F Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon killing countless Zombies from the White House. The only problem I have with zombie mode is that it can get very repetitive and boring just running around shooting, finding ammo and then you have more shooting and more running. There needs to be more elements involved such as boss zombies or different types of zombies that have special abilities.
I got sucked in and now I am a fan of the Call of Duty series. So come back and check out my review of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which is set to release on November 8th of this year.
Call of Duty Black Ops rates:
Gameplay 8/10 This game is very fun to play and can give you an adrenaline rush, but its also frustrating at times.
Graphics 8/10 The graphics for this game or as good as I have seen for any military type shooting game. (Besides Crysis 2)
Audio 7/10 The soundtrack is adequate and does the job, but I think they need a better theme song.
Replay Value 8/10 This game can also be played for countless hours online, and maybe the campaign every now and then.
Do you guys like Infinity Ward better or Treyarch? I am a fan of Treyarch so far, but I keep hearing Infinity Ward is better and faster paced. Let me know your thoughts!
Finally a new genre of games! Marvel vs Capcom 3 is my next game on the list that you guys need to play. I love when fighting games clash like this and add their characters all in one fighting game! Sometimes the creators do it right, like Capcom vs SNK 2. Other times, they do it completely wrong like Mortal Kombat vs DC. However, Marvel vs Capcom 3 did most things right! First thing I love about this game is that I have been saying since 2002 that they should put Dante from the Devil May Cry series in Marvel vs Capcom games and they did! He is by far one of the most fun characters in all of fighting games. He has guns, a sword, and electric like punches and kicks. Oh yea, he can also turn into a Demon, to really start kicking ass. Marvel also threw in some fun characters such as Deadpool and Thor (not to mention my favorite map Asgard).
The one thing that really made me upset with this game is that there wasn’t nearly enough characters as I had hoped. For one thing, Ken isn’t even in this game, neither is Gambit… or many of the X-Men for that matter (at least they left Cyclops out). They also forgot about Strider and Captain Commando, which is no bueno.
The graphics in this game are not revolutionary for a 2-D fighting game made 3-D, but they are up to par and a flashing display of ass whooping. The graphics do make this game come to life and are definitely better than most fighting games while still making it the 2-D fighting style, which is legit. The balance and flow of this game was done really well because in previous titles, such as Marvel vs Capcom 2, it was just button mashing and an influx of character special abilities being tossed around hoping that you survive. This game does require knowledge of counter attacks and unique character special abilities, which make it challenging. All in all, if your a fan of Capcom or Marvel, and you want to play as your favorite super hero (well most) then give this game a shot.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3 rates:
Gameplay 8/10 The balance of super heroes and special abilities in this game make it a very fun fighting game.
Graphics 8/10 The shell shaded graphics that make a 2-D fighting game 3-D is amazing! This is the new style of gaming for these kinds of games.
Audio 7/10 This game makes you feel like your in the 90’s again at a loud arcade.
Replay Value 7/10 This game is fun to play with friends, but single player can get boring after a while as do all fighting game single player modes.
If anyone from SNK or Capcom is reading this, will you please make a Capcom vs SNK 3?! It’s been 11 years since Capcom vs SNK 2.
The next game on my list is from Blizzard and it is a PC game. Star Craft 2: Wings of Liberty has got to be one of the most anticipated RTS games from the past decade. I love RTS games. My brain is just wired to understand and play these kinds of games (I also won a few tournaments). Star Craft 2 really took real time strategy games to a whole new level. The graphics are quite detailed for so many little units and each one them is cool to zoom in and look at. I wish I was blogging about video games last year because I would have been able to provide a lot of details about this game before it went public from beta testing. Oh well, you snooze you lose right?
Blizzard pushed and pushed the release date back on this game until it literally reached perfection (and for good reason). There are still only the 3 races from the original Star Craft which are Zerg, Protoss, and Terran. Each army does come with new, or revamped units though. The online play is so well balanced and fun for everyone because of the skill ladder system. The battles in this game are so detailed that I often find myself just staring at my computer (I have to tell myself to stay focused and keep up my APM -actions per minute). The occasional patches keep the game interesting and creates different strategies, because units that used to be useless are now very key parts of a races army.
The campaign for Star Craft 2 was the only RTS campaign that I didn’t cheat my way through. This was because the campaign wasn’t boring! It was actually a well made campaign which immerses you into the storyline of outlaw Jim Raynor, and his fight to get his Zerg infested girlfriend (Sarah Kerrigan) back to normal ,or purge her through death. The one problem I had with the campaign is not the campaign itself, but the visuals of the loading screen. If I try to replay the campaign, the screen is covered in green lines and I can’t see a damn thing. Anyways, hopefully they will fix that in their expansion for the Zerg and Protoss campaigns.
Star Craft 2 Wings of Liberty rates:
Gameplay 9/10 The strategy, balance, graphics, and fun factor all exceed well into this game.
Graphics 9/10 For an RTS game, the graphics here are hard to beat.
Audio 8/10 The theme song stays true to the feeling of the game. I will post a live version of the theme song played by Video Games Live below.
Replay Value 9/10 I remember playing the Beta version of this game at my friends house everyday from 9:00 p.m. until 6 or 7 in the morning for a month straight. Seeing the sunrise while playing Star Craft 2 was a feeling I won’t forget.
My last but not least video game to make the cut is NBA 2k11. This has won many awards for best basketball video game and is the only game that has Michael Jordan in it. This is probably the hardest, yet rewarding, basketball video game around. It doesn’t allow you to just run up to the basket and do a 360 flip in the air and dunk while Dwight Howard is standing right in front of you like NBA JAM does. I mean don’t get me wrong I love Jam, but this game provides a challenge. The cool features about this game are during the season it would update the roster and players stats on a daily basis. It would also tell you which basketball games were being played that night.
As far as game play goes in this game; you have to learn plays, learn defense, and practice shooting a lot! Even if you make a perfect shot, it is only going to go in 60% of the time. The feeling of an intense game, and making a 3 pointer for the win, is probably just as fun as if you were playing basketball in real life (maybe not but close).
The one downside about this game is that the online play is not only very competitive, but you have to get used to a slight lag in the game. Other than that, I think 2K sports stole the basketball franchise away from EA when they “forgot” to release a basketball game this year.
NBA 2K11 rates:
Gameplay 8/10 This game is perhaps the most realistic video game for basketball.
Graphics 7/10 The graphics are average for a sports game, hopefully they will do better with future titles and get up to par with Madden.
Audio 9/10 The soundtrack on this game is amazing. I downloaded a few songs from this soundtrack because I couldn’t get them out of my head.
Replay Value 8/10 This game will always be fun until the next season comes out. Until then, you can play this game all day.
Well that sums up my list of the Top 5 must play games. Let me know what your favorite games are in a comment. If you want to play with me online, message me with your Xbox Live Gamertag, or screen name on Star Craft.