So as you may have gathered from the SGR Facebook page, Extra Life was this past weekend, and I did complete my 25 hour marathon over the span of two days. I took in the votes I received for what I should play, and my playlist consisted of the following, all of which I did play:
- Tomb Raider,
- Dragon’s Dogma,
- LEGO The Lord of the Rings, and
I admit I did not play much of LEGO LOTR. I started off my Saturday with that because my husband had to run and errand, and that was one game I knew my eldest son could watch me play. As soon as the husband returned, I ejected LEGO LOTR and put in Tomb Raider. I just couldn’t get into LEGO LOTR, and I think it’s because I’ve played a lot of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO Batman 2 as of late. I love the LEGO games, but too much can be too much.
I absolutely loved everything about Tomb Raider. My only complaint is that I had to burn through the game, so I didn’t explore half as much as I would have done if I was playing the game during a normal session or if I was reviewing the strategy guide. I did like the game so much, though, that I want to return to it occasionally to pick up the collectibles. I am so glad I finally played this game, and I’m even happier that I found a game that released this year that I’ve liked this much. After my disappointment with both Gears of War: Judgment and BioShock Infinite, I was pretty down on this year. Saints Row IV is great too, but not in the way that these other AAA games were supposed to be.
I tried to finish TR that same day, but by 1 a.m., I had to call it quits for the night. I did finish it the next morning, sang its praises on social media, and then started up Bastion.
Bastion was another indie game that many of my friends insisted I should play. They said I would love the art style and the story, but I’d probably get frustrated with the gameplay. However, I needed to play it anyway. They were absolutely right on their recommendations. The art style is amazing, I already knew I would love the music since I had been listening to the OST for the last year or so, and the story was intriguing. I did find the gameplay to be downright difficult. If I hadn’t set the game on No Sweat mode, meaning that I’d never really die, I would have rage quit the game very early on. I’m not one for super tactical and difficult gameplay, as I don’t play games for the challenge. I review strategy guides; nowhere in that does it suggest I enjoy a challenge in gaming.
I see why Bastion got so much praise. Did I love it that much? Eh, not really, but I’m really glad I played it.
I broke up my Bastion gameplay with a bit of Dragon’s Dogma. I didn’t know what to expect from this game, but I assumed (wrongly) that it would be another typical JRPG. It’s more of a JRPG answer to Skyrim. Skyrim, however, at least presents you with a main campaign. DD just drops you in the middle of a city with nothing to go on. “Hey, this thing happened to you, so you’re special now. Have fun!” No initial quests. No guidance. Go wander around a city and find something to do.
I turned to the strategy guide for help, and I was astonished to see the walkthrough was not set up by a main campaign either! Instead, it’s sectioned by city/region, and then each area has all of the side quests laid out with how to complete them and when is the best time in your character’s career to complete them. I have never seen anything like this before. At first I was really turned off by it, especially since I was so bored with Skyrim after awhile, but stumbling upon a couple of quests made me more interested in the overall story. Nothing in Skyrim made me curious about its overall story. The civil war, the dragonborn…yeah, really didn’t care. I’m not ditching DD yet, that’s for sure. I just need to figure out how to fit it in with my schedule.
And speaking of my schedule, as you can imagine, I have a ton of strategy guides I need to review! I’m wrapping up LEGO Marvel Super Heroes now, but I want to hear from all of you which strategy guide I should focus on next. Granted, I’m going to work on all of these this year. I’m going to be able to now that Watch Dogs and South Park: Stick of Truth have been delayed. I’m just curious which strategy guide everyone wants to hear about first. (Please note that this is my agenda, not my staff’s. They’re working on plenty others.)
So go vote!