There are A LOT of games out there, and each takes time out of our lives. Some a few hours, and some days (and some an apt, infinitesimal segment; these games suck), but our time is worth money and that *** is expensive. Among all the games we have come to love, come to hate, and everything in between, there are games I feel I still owe money to. These video game piñatas continue to give me candy with each thwack of my stick.

This blog is dedicated to the games throughout my life that, each for different reasons, have given me my moneys worth, and then some, and then some, and then some. This list would be different for every individual, although I'm sure there will be crossovers. I hope you will provide your own examples because I look forward to reading them.


Skate 2 spoke to the wannabe skater in me. I've never landed a trick in my life but always wished I could, and skate 2 got me as close as I'll ever get. The game was ripe with things to do. Challenges to best, pros to defeat, spots to own and I did just about all of it. Then I just cruised. Most of the hours I logged in that game were spent enjoying the open world. Finding my own spots. Thinking of a line to do, and then trying and retrying until I did it perfectly. It took hours sometimes but watching the footage over and over afterwards and sharing it with friends was so rewarding. It was like a virtual getaway, a land of digital catharsis right at my fingertips.


Halo 3, what a game. My love for the franchise began with Halo 2, but I sucked at it. My cousins, who lived across the street from me, were always hosting LAN parties at their house but I was always the weak link. Bungie's third iteration was where I ruled. It was the only game I needed for months. I played through the campaign at least 5 times, getting all the skulls and finding the terminals, but the multiplayer is where the money is made. Every day I would come home right after the last bell rang to hone my halo skills. I moved up from the guy dragging everyone down to the one leading the charge, shotgun in hand. (Eventually I moved back down to the guy who obsessed about his k/d ratio, and when it was bad got angry and threw controllers. Thankfully I'm past this now) Bungie released new and innovative game modes over the years further extending my time with the game. Some of my favorites were griffball, team swat, and good old team slayer.


Viva Piñata (how did you like that foreshadowing) is probably the greatest surprise ever in a video game. This is a game where you constantly landscape in order to get piñata animals to live on your plot of land. These animals can then become residents, and mate, and/or be used as a snack for another animal so that it will become a resident. Yeah, it sounded incredibly stupid to me also. The problem is the animals are adorable. As soon as I saw the first, I had to see them all, and once I got into it I was hooked. I always had this vision, my utopian piñata plot full with all the best piñatas, beautiful trees, water features, and a small garden for my gooseberries. I never reached my end goal. Partly because I don't think I ever would have been satisfied, but mainly because Roario, the lion piñata, is a giant ***. I'll leave that story of obsession for another blog.


Mass Effect 2 is my favorite game off all time. I love the characters (Mordin is the best), the dialogue, the story, and the combat. I had to do everything in that game. I bought all the DLC, explored every planet (even probed Uranus), completed every side mission, every companion mission, upgraded and bought everything, explored every dialogue option (Mordin's singing), and then did it all again. I was recently looking through my achievements and realized there are a couple games I've almost completed; Modern Warfare 2, Oblivion, and of course ME2. So before the next one comes out I'll play through it again on insanity and 100% it because how could I not.


Majora's Mask. Oh dear god Majora's Mask. Never has anything invoked such jovial and painful memories simultaneously. The reason this game ate up so much time is because it was *** hard. I bought it on Wiiware and spent the subsequent 2 weeks devoted to beating it. I can say without shame that I got stuck early and often, but with a few vague tips from a friend, I managed to power through. I didn't collect all the masks, I didn't do side missions or any of the carnival game challenges. I lethargically trudged straight ahead keeping my eye on the prize while this game laughed in my face, but I beat it. In a case like this it's not about the journey as much as it's about the final destination. To be able to look back and say I beat Majora's Mask is something I take pride in. And thinking about it now makes me extremely excited for the release of Dark Souls.