I just became a Busy-er Gamer

Sometimes I go long stretches without playing games. It’s rare but it does happen. Either there isn’t anything to catch my interest or there’s just not enough time for it. And then the end of the year rolls around and I find myself buried up to my ears in choices and most of them happen to be some of the most Busy Gamer unfriendly games you can imagine. We’re talking about time investments galore from games that I really enjoy playing when I can make the time for the titles.

So I’m looking at the round up from the past few and the upcoming few weeks and having to set down some guidelines. For me, I can either split my time among several titles and not get the full experience or I can pick one, fully enjoy it, and hope that I won’t get too sucked in by the overall experience that my other titles start collecting dust.

I’m putting my list together and looking at how I’m going to divvy my time. If you’re as torn as I am and wondering about the pros and cons of certain games, I’m about to go over what I see as blessing and curses with each of the following five titles listed in no particular order.

The goblins are gonna getcha.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: It’s a whole new world with the latest Blizzard crackfest, literally. Azeroth gets a makeover, the level cap is raised to 85, and the new talent system looks and plays great so far.

Pros: I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile. Blizzard raises the bar with each expansion it launches for the WoW franchise and from the hands on I’ve hand, this time looks no different. New areas, revamped areas, new enemies, new dungeons, old dungeons with heroic mode, new gear… The list could go on for days a long time and each item on the list makes me want to play again.

Cons: Every time an expansion for WoW comes out, I go into the new areas with what used to be my badass gear. I get my ass handed to me by some new mob and then a green drops that makes me want to punch myself in the throat because it’s better than that shiny purple that took so long to get. Not my favorite feeling. Then there’s the fact that as an 80 and with the new talents, I have to relearn my class from scratch instead of growing into it as I have over the past few years. That means I’m going to be schooled by people who just started new characters because as new skills became available, they played with them to see what they could do. Instead, I’m stuck trying to figure out what each does on the fly.

Conclusion: I may avoid this one for a while. Oh, I’ll pick it up on launch day and tool around in the new areas but I may just have to sit back and read the boards for awhile to know what to look out for when I make it back.

Fallout: New Vegas: I’ll pretend that some of you don’t know about my infatuation with the Fallout series and my post-apocalyptic interior designer addiction I picked up in Fallout 3. Suffice it to say I both cringed and rejoiced when a new DLC for Fallout 3 was announced. I rejoiced because I loved that Bethesda had managed to capture the old school feeling of the franchise and wrap an FPS around it. It made for a whole new experience and I wanted to explore every inch of it. That’s what made me cringe. I had to know what was behind every burned out building and under every rock. I had to see all of it and the world was HUGE. I’d start at one corner of the map and just pick a direction to explore and I would find something new every time. And now there’s a whole new world to explore.

Pros: Post apocalyptic gaming goodness. Anyone who was a fan of the original series was most likely won over by Bethesda’s portrayal of the Fallout world. From the 50s type vision of the future to the reintroduction of old characters, they nailed the feel of the franchise. Fallout: New Vegas looks to be more of the same and that is absolutely the right way to go. New perks, new faces, old enemy organizations. I like the sound of that.

Cons: Seriously, I explore everything. Every building, ditch, gulley, sewer grate, cave, whatever. If you can crawl, walk, or run into it, I was there. And I can’t stop. It’s like an addiction but instead of a dealer, I get mutant cockroaches. Very little difference, I know. Definitely a time sink for anyone who might get the explorer bug as bad as me but this one may be the one that wins out in the end as far as my title to beat.

Fallen Earth: I’ve been tooling around with this game and I can honestly say I’m very, very impressed. Beyond what we saw at PAX this year, Fallen Earth is easily one of the most well put together games in regards to “classless” game play. Devoting points to one stat doesn’t mean you are going to get stuck playing as one role. There’s enough bleedover between the different professions that a build that works with one choice can easily swap out to another. It’s easy to get interested in the game mechanics and overlook the story and the well written aspects of it as you go along but if you choose to pay attention, there’s a lot to be had here.

Pros: Easily one of the most “crafter” friendly games I have ever seen. You pick up your mats, queue up the recipe, and then you can go run around killing things. You’re not stuck standing in one place while a progress indicator climbs and falls. The learning curve is up there but this game has one of the friendliest and helpful playerbases I’ve ever seen.

Cons: I mentioned the learning curve. It’s more of a mountain some times. As you play, you begin to understand why it’s so high but from the bottom, it is intimidating. If you’re not the type to ask questions or read the help files, you’re going to be frustrated until you can figure everything out for yourself. And if you’re the type who enjoys crafting, you may suffer full on withdrawal when you have to log off for a period of time. The crafting system is *that* good.

Borderlands: Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution: I’m a fiend when it comes to Borderlands. It’s only the second game I’ve played on the Xbox 360 that made me want to get all of the achievements. I’ve played every class through at least one playthrough and every DLC up to now. The new free DLC comes out prior to the level cap being raised to 69 (for those who bought Secret Armory, 58 if you passed on it) and sets the old areas to match your new level when you beat the game in its entirety. In other words, you can go run around in the old areas and still feel challenged. Just what I needed. I’ve held off on this content specifically waiting for the free DLC to raise the level cap so I don’t feel obligated to play through the DLC more than once… for each class.

Pros: I never tire of the humor in Borderlands. From standing around listening to the various Claptraps, the radio announcements in T-bone Junction, or Marcus telling the story of Dr. Ned. More of the good stuff, please. Old enemies get overhauled by having their levels raised which means I won’t feel like a bully when I go back to Firestone and beat up Bonehead anymore.

Cons: I could play this game for hours at a time and not get bored. Run to the old stomping grounds, hunt for loot, listen to Tannis go insane, there’s just a lot I enjoy about this game. I can see the combo of the Claptrap’s DLC and the level cap being raised as being very dangerous to my mental health. There’s just so much to do and so much humor-y goodness to be had. In the end, the amount I devote to this one will end up depending on who I am playing it with in Multi-player. Other addicts like me and I’ll end up losing entire days of my life to it. Hopefully I’ll manage with just a couple of sessions with casual gamers.

Just in time for Halloween, some Red Undead...

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: Oh, geez, where to even start with this one. Zombies and the old west. If that doesn’t scream “Match made in Heaven” to you, then you probably didn’t get in on the game before there were going to be zombies. And you missed out if that’s the case. No other game has made me feel more like a cowboy than RDR and that’s the way I like it.

Pros: New single player missions involving the creepy crawlies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one new multi-player mission using the new content as well.

Cons: I have to be careful with RDR. I can set the game down for months and then decide to fire it up one day and the next thing I know, my entire weekend is gone. From running around playing shoot ‘em up in multi-player to riding on patrol and dodging bears in single player, RDR appeals to that part of me that never outgrew playing Cowboys and Indians.

So that’s my list. I’d be interested to see if anyone had any thoughts on their own “to play” list or in regards to any of the games I’ve listed but for now, I have to go make some hard choices.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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