September was a busy time for me outside of gaming with a lot of other time commitments, but I still managed to play as many games as possible in between all the annoyances of life. I am also looking forward to a bunch of games coming in October, most notably Dishonoured, Pokemon and Assassins Creed III. However I still have to finish up some titles before I get stuck into the fresh October releases and with that in mind here is what I played during September 2012:
Darksiders II (Xbox 360)
While I bought this on release day I didn't get properly engaged with Darksiders II until the start of September, and what a time I had with it. The first Darksiders was a really interesting Zelda like game but with a great focus on intense combat and puzzles. Darksiders II on the other hand was basically the HD Soul Reaver that I have been waiting for. Death is extremely similar to Raziel and the entire game plays in a more fluent way than its predecessor. The game does not make good on the exciting ending of its predecessor but it greatly expands on the lore and setting of the Darksiders universe and really makes it a franchise I care about.
The decreased enemy variety was noticible, and the game does feel very padded and stretched out for parts of its campaign, but the loot and RPG elements combined with the great world and fantastic music compelled me to complete Darksides 2 twice, which is something I rarely do. I went through my feelings on Darksiders II in great detail in my review, but in summary its a larger and more fluent game than its predecessor which lacks the focus of the first game. I am intrigued to see what Vigil can do with a sequel, and I really hope that they get to make one.
Pokemon White (Nintendo DS)
Pokemon is my favourite Nintendo series, above even Mario and Zelda for me. Diamond and Pearl were a little bit stale for my tastes but Heartgold was a masterpiece. I never quite managed to play the latest release, Pokemon White, when it released in 2011 but with the sequel coming in October I decided I had better catch up and see what I missed.
I have just reached the third gym of the game but so far its a real breath of fresh air to a series that is often pointed out as failing to change or innovate. The new Pokemon designs are hit and miss, but I have never seen any of these creatures or locations before and that alone makes Pokemon White the closest thing to recapturing the feeling of the original Pokemon Red/Blue. There is a lot to do, the visual style is significantly different from its predecessors and so far I am loving Pokemon White.
The Walking Dead Episode 3 (Xbox 360)
Telltale have been making an incredible game with The Walking Dead, and Episode 2 was a terrifyingly amazing piece of entertainment. I was wondering how they could possibly follow that but dammit Episode 3 A Long Road Ahead is one of the most emotionally loaded and shocking gaming experiences I have ever played. I am not going to go into spoiler details but suffice to say I was horrified by the events that unravelled my journey thus far in this post apocalyptic world.
This episode was very different from the second one in that the player has no control over how things turn out, You are not a party to the events, you can only react to them as they occur in a fast succession. Its also not afraid to go into extremely dark territory in a more personal way than episode 2 did, showing the bravery and quality of the team at Telltale. I cannot wait to get episode 4 after the insanity of Long Road Ahead.
Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)
Borderlands 2 is the big new game of September that I bought on its release day, and after loving my time with the original game back in 2009 as well as its quality DLC releases. Borderlands 2 promised to be bigger, hotter and better but after recently finishing it I found it to be an extremely safe and conservative sequel. Now don't get me wrong, Borderlands 2 is a great game, as I discussed in my review. However, considering the strength of its personality as a series and how off the wall and crazy the first Borderlands was when it released it was a bit shocking for me to see how similar and iterative Borderlands 2 is.
It has loads of subtle but important improvements over its predecessor but the spirit of the game is just not the same. The campaign has a slow start and the bosses feel lesser in stature. It lacks the same impact and actually feels dated in a lot of gameplay ways. Its still a really fun game and one that I had a great time playing with friends but Borderlands 2 is a by the numbers sequel that lacks any changes of the kind that Darksiders II made to the formula of its predecessor.