Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tegs' fondest and worst memories this gen!

As Sony and Microsoft prepare to launch their incredible next generation consoles in the UK this month, the team here at Crazy Horse are pondering over what most struck us this generation. I joined the console gaming world pretty late in the game, I must admit. Though our family had once enjoyed the presence of a PS2, for the most part it was always PC gaming for me. However, in 2010 a slimline black box with a green glowing circle finally caught my attention and with some help from my then best-friend, I was tossed head first into the world of Xbox 360 and taught first-hand just how immersive and wonderful gaming could be. Controllers in hand, Alex and I ventured onto battle grounds with a tank of a man named Cole in Gears of War, took the to the wheel of a warthog and weaved through multiple hordes of covenant troops in Halo and somewhere in between, found myself baking near-endless amounts of pies in Fable 3.

This generation has been absolutely incredible, my best-friend is now my fiance and is still constantly introducing me to even better gaming experiences and new worlds to get lost in. It's been difficult to get my head around letting go of the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 when my own journey with them has really only just started. 

This gen and I have a very brief history together, so although the rest of our team have gone for a top 10, I'm going to condense mine into a top 5 - and here they are:

Top 5:

5. Unreal Tournament III

I love this game for the instant-action modes. It's my immediate go-to game when I fancy something light but not the 'button bashing' kind of light that I'd usually got to Soul Calibur for... More for when I fancy a game that isn't a huge open world, but something I can still have a lot of fun with and feel really mighty playing. The maps look good, the bots are challenging and the constant rundown of who's owning who works well at keeping your head focused on the quick gameplay.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

My love for this game is centered on the community excitement it created on launch. Before this I'd never really witnessed a 'big' game launch that I actually felt a real part of, but when GTA V came out it was something huge that I could really get into! The resulting game is a 4-in-1, with at least three of those happening simultaneously during the main campaign. The map is big, the abilities work like a dream and I feel overall Rockstar have genuinely made some noticeably huge improvements on the last game.

3. Limbo

I liked the simplistic complexity of this one. It's simple in it's design yet complex in it's puzzles. The overall look and feel is really beautiful and fits so perfectly the dark undertones of the story.

2. Halo 3: ODST

Halo Anniversary was just.. Incredible. I have to commend 343 with all my heart on what an amazing job they did with it. The reason I've picked Halo 3: ODST out of the franchise though is because of how different it was. Whilst still recognizably HALO by the weapons and vehicles, I enjoyed how the story was revealed in flash backs you had to play through and the fact that the whole game was focused on the underdogs, the smaller troops on earth fighting a hopeless battle for the earth's salvation while the fearsome Master Chief is headed off on his own epic battle.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Both Liam and Mike have mentioned this in their top 10's and it isn't hard to tell why. It's a gorgeous game with an immensely big map to play with. Teeming with dragons, powerful weapons and exciting quests, you have a top game that feels really full. These days we're far too used to day one DLC to get you things that really ought to be available in the game anyway, but with Skyrim the available DLC feels as though it truly is added EXTRAS and without any of it, the game feels absolutely complete. I never feel guilty about spending hours and hours in game because it is one of huge quality and there are always new little areas to be discovered!

My worst five was a really hard one to come up with as I haven't really purchased any games I didn't think I'd enjoy (other than the game coming in at number 1..) and as such, have enjoyed pretty much everything I've put into the disk tray. But here is my rundown of the rare few I've disliked:

Worst 5:

5. Luxor 2

I dislike this because of how much time I used to waste playing stuff like this. Then I'd step back from the screen feeling defeated, gaze at the clock and have this heartbreaking moment wash over me when it finally sunk in how much time I'd killed playing something so pointless. It's this kind of stuff that has the ability to fool people into thinking it'll just be a 'quick play' before leaving the house, when in reality it can suck you in and waste your precious hours! And not in the decent way other game do! (I really hope it's not just me now..)

4. Hexic

Just. So. Repetitive. There's nothing I enjoyed about spinning blocks to make other blocks disappear that in turn creates more blocks to spin... I know someone who absolutely loves this game and I've even watched said person play multiple levels back-to-back and a get together for quite a considerable amount of time... Just.. Why?! Tetris does repetitive in a way I actually like but Hexic, man, I might even go as far as to call it boring. I liked the jazzy colours though.

3.  Fifa 08

I'm sure if you're a football fan this game is truly amazing, it just wasn't for me. As football games go, I don't think it really did anything wrong, it just didn't seem to have anything in there that makes it super attractive to someone who isn't into the sport. I've known some mental footy games I've gotten into just on the sheer fact it's crazy, whereas Fifa 08 tries to do genuine football gameplay and though it does that well, it's personally not my kind of game.

2. PDC World Championship Darts 2008

Darts isn't massively thrilling to start with, but these guys didn't seem to do anything at all to add any element of fun whatsoever. I can understand Fifa, at least every time the ball is on the pitch there are other players moving in different patterns and you're always having to change your strategy to get around them - with this it's just flat out repetitive. There is only so many times I can take throwing a dart into a board without any other form of stimulation. I feel like this game could only appeal to someone who was really into darts, it kind of excludes everyone else by not adding anything more to the initial idea. As a standalone darts game it isn't that great either.

1. Kinectimals

Okay, my main tiff with this game is how much I really wanted to love it, I had waited ages for the chance to drag our kinect out and start training these adorable young cubs, so it knocked me pretty hard when it only succeeded in completely disappointing me. After getting past the main tutorial portion of the game which actually does a good job of showing off a bright, pretty world, the gameplay gets a bit boring and it was really hard to actually progress onto new areas. After my initial session I gave it a second chance to impress but it couldn't win me over and I haven't touched it since. Those wide shiny eyes staring back from the screen were SO cute - but not cute enough to warrant wasting any more time playing 'fetch' over and over again just to get to the next bit.


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