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Veteran Member - Level 13
The video game world is a pretty amazing source of entertainment. there's negative aspects to it, just like everything else, but as a whole, gaming is great. You're likely to agree with me, because you're reading this on a video game website.
No matter what you're interested in, the video game world has something for you. You like shooting things? Games have it. You like dancing? Games have it. Sports? Fantasy? Role playing? Puzzles? Yep, video games encase a wide variety of interests and genres. More hardcore gamers like to classify a game into a category depending on what the game offers (myself included) and each of those genres has its own particular set of fans. More games are crossing borders now, and taking up residence in more than one genre. This is likely a way to gain a larger audience, and I'm a fan of games blending te genre roles.
No matter your niche, there are likely a few games that you like that don't fall into your comfort zone. In my opinion, a game that can gain an audience outside of its genre is a great achievement on the part of its developers and publishers.
I've been known to be picky or selectve about what I purchaseand play. I don't like to venture away from what I'm familiar with. When I do and I find a gem, I like to give praise and credit where it's due. I only own 28 PS3 games, and PS3 is my console of choice. I should have more, having owned my PS3 for a few years now. When I look at what I have, a few games popped out that seemed to be out of place. They don't fit in with the rest of my 'collection.' Here are my sore thumb games.
Batman: Arkham Asylum/City
I make no apologies in saying that I loathe Batman. I think he's the sorriest excuse for a superhero there ever was. The only thing that attracts me to him is the plethora of awesome villains he goes up against. My favorite villain of any comic related series is The Riddler. Harley Quinn ranks up there as well. Joker, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze... the list goes on.
That being said, the Arkham games are some of my favorite games of this entire console generation. Arkham Asylum blew my mind when I played the demo at my local Gamestop. Combat is extremely fun and addictive, especially those slo-mo knockouts. You have the option of using lame bat-gadgets to help in combat. You don't have to, however, but for fans of Batman, I assume it adds even more awesomeness to the combat system.
Swinging from rooftops in Arkham City (or gargoyles in the enclosed Arkham Asylum) is a blast. Even if you're not planning on getting into any fights of doing any missions, maneuvering throughout your environment can be a fun way to waste time.
The settings and backdrops are absolutely stunning. For a fan of visually pleasing experiences, Arkham delivers in spades. The drab color pallette adds to the gloomy tone of the games. The art style takes tips from the comics in terms of structure design and enemy models.
Then there's my favorite part - the villains. Joker is the stand-out naturally, being The Dark Knight's archnemesis. But the entire cast is present. There's the epic fight with Mr. Freeze in Arkham City... tracking down Zsasz via payphone... nearly getting broken in half by Bane in Arkham Asylum... collectively, its one great boss fight after another. Oh... don't forget about those Riddler trophies. Ha!
In my opinion, the Arkham series is the absolute best superhero games to ever exist. I've actually just got back into the series, and started a new Arkham Asylum game earlier today, and I'm having a blast all over again. I can only imagine how great they would be if I was an actual fan of the source material.
Max Payne 3
Before Rockstar released Max Payne 3, I was not a fan of the series. I consider Rockstar to be my favorite developer, but even then, Max Payne never seemed to be worth my time. I looked at the series as a failed Grand Theft Auto copycat. It just didn't do it for me.
I found MP3 4 daysafter its release at a used electronics store for $30. I had seen good things, so I decided to give it a try.
Max Payne 3 is easily my favorite third person shooter game. The visuals are absolutely stunning. The explosions and the 'pop' of the weapons are things of beauty. The most attractive thing about this game, in addition to the visuals and fantastic narrative, is Max himself.
Max is an everyman. He is no super guy. He has no squad of mercenaries helping him. He has no gadgets or high-tech gear. He's a normal guy with demons that haunt him, and fuel him throughout the game. He suffers from alcoholism and likely has an addiction to painkillers. The death of his loved ones highlights mistakes in his life, and he is haunted by the way his life has progressed. Max is a normal guy in extraordinary circumstances.
Max Payne 3 took second place in my own personal GOTY choices last year. At the start of the year, it wasn't even on my radar. Once again, a great game that has grown on me.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
I've blogged about this game a few times now. I love strategy games and turn-based grid battle games. Alien invasions are pretty fun, too. In fact, Ashaman suggested I play XCOM because he knew it would be in my wheelhouse. XCOM was my GOTY last year.
The great thing about this game is that it is reaching a wider audience than I believe it was intended to reach. I've read blogs by other GIOers praising XCOM, and there's even an XCOMGIO blog series from Noobtubin8er that everyone should be reading. On Twitter and GIO alike, I'm seeing mentions of the game from people that aren't into strategy games. I see people tweet that their entire squad has died in battle, yet they continue to want to play. That's a sign of a great game if there ever was one.
Gamers have different definitions of a great game, and what they consider to fall into that category. For me, a game that can blur the genre limitations and gain an audience from a wide variety of gamers... that's a great game.