Readers perhaps might be surprised to know that my previous blog (updated continuously for about three years) was exclusively about gaming. It’s been quite some time since I’ve written about games informally, let alone for a published article on GameDaily. I guess that’s representative of the diminished role that games are playing in my life currently. Good/bad?
One reason for that is because last year I decided to leave my consoles behind at home instead of lugging them back and forth cross country every time I had a college break. But while I’ve been largely gaming-free at school, my house is always gaming central whenever I come back. So when everybody else is complaining about the summer gaming drought, I’m having a blast catching up on old releases!
God of War (PlayStation 2)
I’m a couple years late on this one, and I was actually debating whether to just skip it and try the sequel (which I’ve heard is more combat heavy with less emphasis on puzzles). Yeah, I’m not too big a fan of puzzles in my action games. Nevertheless, I don’t have much to complain about here. The combat largely consists of button mashing and isn’t too deep, but the incredible atmosphere provided by the Greek mythos and orchestrated soundtrack make this game quite memorable. I’m looking forward to playing the sequel, and God of War 3 on PlayStation 3 might be the killer app that finally makes me get the system.
Crackdown (Xbox 360)
I’m usually not a fan of these sandbox games because I feel overwhelmed by the sheer freedom and numerous number of objectives to accomplish, but I enjoyed the demo and went on to pick up the full game. Leveling up my character’s abilities so that he can jump on top of buildings and leap from one block to another is pure fun. The main “plot” of the game, which involves destroying the hideouts of gang members and cleaning up the city, is very shallow and repetitive, but I’m enjoying progressing through the campaign nonetheless. Be warned that the full version of the game is merely an extension of the demo, except with the time limit taken away and access granted to the other islands of the city. Well, cynics will see it that way, but it’s true.
Tomb Raider: Legend (Xbox 360)
Other than a demo of Tomb Raider 2 with my old Voodoo Banshee video card, I can’t remember ever playing a Tomb Raider game. Tomb Raider: Legend makes me want to try TR 1 and 2 though (which I hear are the only worthwhile installments of the series). Legend features some of the best 3D platforming action this side of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and, other than some dull vehicular sequences, is a joy to play throughout. I loved this short eight hour adventure, braving through breathtaking locales such as South American jungles and icy cliffs. There’s an especially memorable scene in the game where Lara Croft climbs up a cliff overlooking an enormous waterfall spread out in front of her that fills the entire screen. I just love quiet yet moving moments of discovery like this, and there are quite a few in this game.
Tomb Raider has been largely an industry joke for the better part of a decade thanks to many subpar sequels in a once heralded series, but it’s very fair to say that Lara Croft is finally back in true form. Think of Tomb Raider as Indiana Jones with a sassy and sexy British female lead… the spirit of adventuring is very strong with TR: Legend.