I have made it through yet another day without purchasing Skyrim. This is getting more and more difficult.
I am beseiged on all sides with people wondering my problem. “It’s arguably the best single-player RPG ever,” says one friend. “It’s going to get Game of the Year,” says another. “WHY,” says a third. I’m reminded of an exchange I saw between two friends on facebook, in which one friend urged another “you should really get Skyrim,” to which the other replied “that’s kind of like saying ‘Hey dude – you should really get a divorce.’” Even without playing, I see the sad, realistic humor in this.
So what has kept me from trying out this gem of RPGs, this oasis in a sea of lesser games? First, I have a confession.
I never played Oblivion. [cue dramatic chipmunk]
I know, I’m a leper-outcast-unclean for this. How dare I even begin to write about single-player RPGs, yadda yadda yadda. Come on, it’s not like it’s the Jesus H. Christ of games (obviously that’s Ocarina of Time – arguments can be shut down in the comments; bring it). Seriously, though – I never played Oblivion (at least not past the character creation screen) and as a result, I feel like I should maybe play it before I get involved in Skyrim. Is that so?
I mean, here we have a really, really fleshed out world – full of life, death, monsters, plotlines, histories, magic, dragons, and war. I played Fallout 3; I know that full-on worlds can be totally amazing. Is it really that different? Is it really that unique? Please, tell me – I need to know.
I do own Oblivion, I’ve just never gotten around to actually playing it. Do I pop it in and get my ass in gear in preparation for Skyrim? Do I skip Oblivion and move directly on to Skyrim? I mean, I do plan on playing Skyrim at some point; too many people I know have practically forsaken their social lives for it (at least temporarily) to avoid indefinitely. Thus far, however, I’ve managed to hold out in hopes that I’ll distract myself enough with other games/activities long enough to make it to the magical point at which it drops in price from the initial $60 retail price to a more accessible level. This shouldn’t be hard, so long as I can hold out for another month. With March 6th being the drop date for Mass Effect 3, that should keep me occupied for a while, no?
That’s not a real question. Of course it will. It’s going to be boss. Hell, I should check my ME2 save game and make sure it’s where I want it to be, all ready for importing. Now that I think about it, I might have to replay ME1 just to get everything where I want it to be in ME2. Add in all the DLC that I have for ME2 (read: all of it) and my general lean toward being a completionist, and you have a sizable chunk of time. All this from someone who still never finished Alan Wake (what’s up with that talk of more from that world?). Maybe I’ll get to it – we’ll see.
Speaking of the beginning of March, I feel really bad for the upcoming Ubisoft Shanghai action/adventure game, I Am Alive. This thing has received very little press (as far as I’ve seen, anyway) and looks awesome (here, have another while you’re at it), but they’ve made the poor decision to drop March 7th, the day after BioWare‘s Mass Effect 3. What were they thinking? I’ll definitely be getting ME3, and at some point, I’ll get I Am Alive as well, but how much later? Who knows; that really depends on BioWare. Good luck, Ubisoft Shanghai.
All of that said, it’s looking like we’ve at least got a few good games coming up on the horizon. What games are in your Most Awaited list right now?
Quick post from the PAX East media room – Day 2 has gone smashingly well thus far. A quick list:
- Got some good interviews in (keep your eyes peeled!)
- Didn’t come close to getting into the Rage demo (damn you, insane lines!)
- played Ubisoft‘s new Kinect-centric Child of Eden (beautiful)
- saw some really great cosplay (super cool stuff, really)
- didn’t get enough food (need to remedy that soon)
- snagged an invite to the Bioware meetup (heading to that in mere minutes)
I’ll keep updates coming as I have them! Stay tuned! Also, if you’re at PAX East and want to meet up/get drunk/know of a good party, add me on Twitter and say hi!
Is anyone else as in love with Monday Night Combat as I am? It’s odd; I sheepishly admit that not only did I avoid playing DoTA at all back in the day (nothing personal against it, I just never got into it; I dunno), but I also have never been very good at FPSs, and as such, never really got into Team Fortress 2. I have many friends who swear by it, and I’ve always wanted to sit down and learn it, but I admit that I hate the multiplayer learning curve of “get facerolled and teabagged for days of playtime until you learn the maps and figure out how to play” that is, in essence, the basis of all FPSs on the market. It’s just not how I roll.
On top of that, we’ve seen an increase in games that are primarily multiplayer-based, ranging anywhere from the solo-hero-centric Halo to the group-focused Modern Warfare and Team Fortress 2, which on the one hand will increase the “team factor” and make every player relevant in their own right (at least in theory), but on the other hand only increases the distress afflicted on new players to perform well not only generally but specifically, to master their roles immediately and fully understand all maps, all game and class mechanics, all aspects of wall hacking and the avoidance thereof, to make themselves impenetrable to the veritable slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or at least in this case, the trials and tribulations of the onslaught of the sharp learning curve that is the multiplayer FPS industry.
With all of that going on, it’s hard for me to muster up the energy and effort required to learn a new game, let alone a new style of play. I enjoy playing team games with my friends, but the task of finding a frequent and mutually agreeable timeframe in which to play team games with my friends is something that I often find nearly impossible. I think this is the primary reason that I never really got into Left4Dead; I had a lot of friends who played it, but when combining my schedule with theirs, I found it shockingly difficult to find a time in which we would all be around and able to play, which kills the “playing with friends makes the learning curve easier to handle” angle right off the bat. As a result, it never really took to me.
I’m currently fortunate in regards to Monday Night Combat in that I have a crew of friends who play it on a fairly regular basis (read: 3-4 nights a week), and what with Wrath of the Lich King truly winding down as everyone prepares for the 4.0 patch and begins serious prep for Cataclysm, I’ve found that my normal Monday+Wednesday raiding schedule is a lot more open (ok, there’s actually a lot more than the end of WotLK keeping me from raiding, but I’ll post about that next – hint: it involves awesome things happening because of that whole RealID thing – it’s so awesome, just you wait). This has allowed me to actually get some good xbox live time in with my friends, which has done wonders for my entry into this crazy-awesome team-based 3rd person shooter/escort game.
Is anyone else playing this game? Drop me a line!
First things first – if you have an xbox 360, you should see about getting yourself into the Blur Multiplayer Beta if you can. I got my code from The Escapist, via this link, though I’m not sure if they still have any available. I know that Joystiq had some as well, though I do not have the exact link at my fingertips (you could search it just as easily as I could, you lazy bastards).
It’s basically like Mario Kart (you know how much I love Mario Kart) meets Burnout Paradise, but with a leveling/skillup/loadout system. It’s super fun and I highly recommend it. I’m not sure when the beta ends (probably in a few days), but if you can get it, you should, and we should play. Also – I will crush you. My gamertag is Valiscariot. Drop me a PM on xbl and we’ll have some fun.
Second – Lady Gaga pack for RB2 coming this Tuesday. Who’s got two thumbs and is totally stoked? THIS GUY. Seriously, what a great party pack this is. I realize that it will completely kill my training for the PAX East Rock Band 2 Tournament, but I’m still not convinced I’ll participate anyway. As fun as it may be, I’m not quite convinced that I want to miss Saturday/Sunday panels because of it (not to mention the dozen or so guildies that will be in town for PAX). We’ll see.
Third – Bioshock 2 was everything I wanted it to be. Yeah, yeah, Yahtzee didn’t like it, but he doesn’t like anything – that’s his thing. It was a really good combo of old and new. Goodbye minigame of Pipe Dream, hello quicktime event that doesn’t suck (although I did find a bug in it – if you initiate the hack on a turret, and then auto-hack dart it while the quicktime screen is up, the quicktime screen stays up until you reload the game – boo!). The game was as long as I wanted it to be, the Little Sister events happened about as much as I could tolerate without getting annoyed, and there were enough Gene Tonics to make me wish I had more tonic slots. Well done. Multiplayer ended up being really, really sloppy, but fun for a while. The Sinclair Solutions addon didn’t really add anything I wanted to the game, but we’ll see what happens in the future. All in all, I’m happy.