Games I am most looking forward to in 2013

Good morning and Happy New Year! I will probably be on hiatus for a week or two as I have some time off this upcoming week and then when I get back to work? I will likely be very busy. So, I leave you with my parting post for 2012!

I have spent a lot of time lately talking about what happened in 2012 - well here I touch on some of the games that have me excited for what 2013 will bring to the table.


My top 5 games of 2012

Until these last couple of weeks, I have never really done many 'list' or 'top game' posts. That being said, I have actually enjoyed making these and looking back at my 'year in gaming', so to speak. It put me in a very reflective state (including the realization that this blog is over 3 years old now. I missed its birthday completely - but I got things started on 11/8/2009).

There are a lot of titles from this year I have not yet had a chance to play or play as extensively as I would have liked, and like my reviews these are simply a matter of preference. Halo 4 and Black Ops II are examples of games I will likely wind up playing next year. Guild Wars 2 has been awesome, but I have not had enough time with it to feel comfortable putting it in my top five.

I could not pick out a favorite single title from this year, so I will just leave it to a list with no order of preference to it. I picked only games released in 2012 and not ones that were excellent, but released previously and not played by me until 2012 (Skyrim for example).


Games I meant to play in 2012, but never got around to

There were a lot of games I meant to play in 2012 and just never got around to. Some, I simply never bought. Others I purchased and still never got around to - so I have even less of an excuse. Some of the games released this year, some in years past.


Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very Merry Christmas here in 2012!


My Incomplete Gaming from 2012

Incomplete Gaming... seems like there could be a blog about that...

Anyway, I tend to play a lot of games - and beat the vast majority of them. On another blog I like to frequent, the topic was how many games to you beat? I figure I am upwards of 90% or better in teams of 'beating' a game that has an actual ending of sorts. There were a handful of games this year that for one reason or another, I just could not finish in some capacity, and here they are.



Well, I told my wife I thought I was on pace to break 100,000 views before the end of the year, and today I did so.


My favorite games of 2012 that you might not have played

It is easy to find room for the AAA titles like Diablo III, Mass Effect 3 or Black Ops 2. These games sell and in large numbers. Your friends and family pick them up and you game with them. I have a handful of games however, that most people I know just did not play and I thought they deserved some additional attention as 2012 comes to a close.


Dragon Power - Retro Reflections

So I am going to slip this one in before my end of the year posts over the next week and change. I have quite a few more reviews ready to go in January as well, though posting *may* slow down a tad after that - it just depends on how busy real life gets.

So recently, I wrote up a nice big review on Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection for the Sony PlayStation 3. Seeing as this game was a remake, it was only natural that I would have some nostalgia toward Dragon Ball Z games. This is especially true when you consider that Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 was my favorite Dragon Ball Z game of all-time, and remains so today despite its years.

Funny thing is, this got me looking back even further than the PlayStation 2. My first encounter with the Dragon Ball franchise actually took place way back in 1988 before I knew anything at all about Dragon Ball. This happy accident came in the form of Dragon Power, which released on the NES in North America back in March of that year. This game, along with Joust and Elevator Action was among my very first titles.

It sure doesn't look like Goku...


Elminage - Win a free copy of this PSP RPG

I recently wrote up a review for Elminage here on the site, which is an old school dungeon crawler RPG for the PSP. If that sort of thing is of interest to you (and really, shouldn't it be? :) ) then pay a visit here to see that review.


Good Old Games is putting on a pretty good sale

We are all about the Digitally Downloaded games here (hence the name of the site, right?) Well Good Old Games has a pretty significant sale going right now they are dubbing their 2012 End of the World DRM-Free Sale. As of this posting, there are about twenty hours left is all.


Elminage Original - PlayStation Portable Review

If asked, I will usually state that RPGs are my favorite gaming genre.  They come in all kinds of flavors, like any other established genre would.  These can range from games where you can affect the story through choices made in the game, such as Dragon Age, or blur the line between action and strategy such as the Fallout and Mass Effect games do, or they can be driven by growing characters and collecting loot like Diablo or many of the older RPG games out there.


Madden 13 - A look back at the season

Happy Monday! So my weekend consisted mostly of Madden and... Guild Wars 2. I just picked that up late Saturday night and played until an incredibly early hour of morning on Sunday when my son promptly took over and created an account. I got to level six and he's sitting up around eleven or twelve. I get the feeling my PC will keep busy over the holidays when school lets out.

After watching an abysmal Lions performance yesterday as the NFL regular season nears its end (just like my fantasy football leagues!), I thought this would be an appropriate time to take a look back at Madden 13 and how it has held up months after my initial review.

When a game first comes out, there is this rush to try and play as much as possible as quickly as possible. This is especially true for those of us who are trying to review the game. Most games I review on here are ones that have been out for some time, but others like Madden I got to right away. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the 'season that was' so to speak on Madden 13, now that the NFL season is starting to wind down. I have had a lot more time to play the game, and overall I have enjoyed it - but there have been some problems along the way as well.


A zany week, nearly in the books...

So, things have been busy. And I don't mean slightly busy - but more akin to: I'm exhausted and sleeping by 10:30 most nights, usually after putting in an 11+ hour day of work, which this week included moving, and several rather stressful proposals as we make some big changes in my department going forward. But - you're not here to read about work, but probably video games, right? Well, that's upcoming in large quantities hopefully as well.

This picture actually has nothing to do
with this post - I just thought it looked cool


Frozen Synapse - PC Review

It has been stupidly busy at work and home lately, so I apologize for the less-frequent posting of late (though appreciate all of the hits I still seem to be getting despite my slacker-ness.  I'm pretty sure that's a word).  Anyway, we are moving offices today at work, but I had a quick review written up I thought I would get posted this morning first.  So - here it is:

When Frozen Synapse first came out, I really did not pay much attention to it.  The visuals were really bad, and it was something that had almost no pre-release buzz.  Then I picked it up cheap as part of a bundle and finally decided to see what all of the fuss was about.

I went into this title blind.  I will admit that I saw the blocky, basic visuals and thought it might be a puzzle game of some sort - wow was I off-track on that one.  What you have is a turn-based strategy game that actually feels fresh.  Now, I cannot give the graphics a pass - they are pretty rough in my opinion.  The map and characters would feel right at home on a PC from two decades ago, though there are some decently rendered sequences between missions that show peoples' faces and locales.


Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection - PS3 Review

Happy Friday, everyone! My posts have been a bit fewer of late, with a bit more of a break between them of late, I know. Mostly this is related to work - and the fact that I am putting in a lot of extra time lately. Part of it is also that I am working on a handful of non-review type posts and one retro reflection related to this posts' review, and they are all taking just a bit more time to pull together than the typical review does. Thanks for dropping by - the reads and comments are as appreciated as always and I hope you have a great upcoming weekend!

I got hooked on Dragon Ball Z way back in college when my kid would have Cartoon Network on and I would catch episodes once in awhile. I found it to be pretty entertaining, and wound up watching pretty much the entire series as a result. I have played and reviewed a handful of DBZ games on this site, but back before I was blogging about video games, I had one particular DBZ game I really grew enamored with several years ago - Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3.


Divninity II: Ego Draconis - Xbox 360 Review

Being a fan of a particular genre can set you up for some unexpected gems in the rough, but also crushing disappointments in games.  I love RPG titles, so I am often willing to take a chance on a title that gets lower review scores because I anticipate that I will find enough that I like about it to counteract the things that irritate others.  Quite often, the result is me finding a game that I like despite lower critical scores.  This has happened with the Agarest series (RPG/strategy hybrid), Nier (which I'm currently poking at) and countless others.

Sometimes however, I just find myself completely unable to get into the title, and that has happened on games like Risen, Dungeons and now - Divinity II: Ego Draconis. 

First and foremost, there are bugs here.  Maybe not of the epic scale the Bethesda games are reputed to have, but still on par with some of the weird stuff I saw when playing Risen.  Doors sometimes just do not want to open, people get stuck on environments, occasionally things just lock up on me - that sort of thing that really detracts from the experience.

The game starts off being a third person action/rpg hybrid.  Combat just did not work well for me.  You can see what they were going for, trying to create a game with engaging action - but hit detection was spotty, the controls were not always responsive, and when there was a lot going on at once, the framerate really took a dive.  The graphics themselves are not necessarily bad, but there is so little detail and color that it all felt very bland.

The music was just sort of there.  Not a single memorable tune for me - which is both good and bad.  None had me humming away with it, none had me scrambling to turn down my speakers.  Voice acting is fairly plentiful and for the most part serviceable.  Not many cringe-worthy dialog pieces that I can recall, and the sound effects were at least somewhat varied.

There were some cool ideas in this game, though.  What you can do with the weapons and armor customization is nice, and there's a summoned creature mechanic that actually kept me busy for awhile.  Later in the game you have access to a new type of game mechanic where you become a dragon, and I enjoyed that quite a bit actually.  I really did not care for the mind reading mechanic.  It was not a bad idea, but it seemed like it could have been executed better. 

Still, in the end, this is one of the few RPG titles I picked up and started, but just never completed.  There was not enough of an investment in my character or storyline to keep me engaged, and the game mechanics were occasionally interesting, but not enough so to keep me hooked on playing.  I really wanted to like this game, but for whatever reason, I didn't.  Overall, a tough game for me to recommend to anyone, and I would probably only score it a 5 out of 10.

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