How Xbox Cloud Saves Service Lead Me To Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

One of the local game stores, Gamecycle. I feel like one day, Nintendo will finally send them that seize and desist for using their character without permission.

After hearing Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009 Deliberations (or rather hearing Brad sway the whole panel on the Wii Game of the Year discussions by spoling the ending), I knew I had to play the game. About a year ago, I picked up the game for eight dollars at my local game store (Gamecycle, pictured on the right) and it immediately got thrown on the shelf, where many games sit to never be played. I had never intended to play the game until three weekends ago.

For a little context here, I moved away from home about six months ago to take a job in a city two hours from my hometown. I come home about 1-2 weekends, so I actually acquired a second Xbox 360 from a friend who was selling it on the cheap ($220 for a 4GB system with Kinect and 5 games that only been used a few times). I was playing through Tomb Raider at the time and had placed my save game on Xbox 360 Cloud Saves. As many of you have probably experienced, the service is sometimes unreliable in spots and when I went to pick up where I left off in Tomb Raider on my "hometown" Xbox, the save that was loaded by Cloud Saves was hours behind where I had left off. I guess I wasn't playing Tomb Raider that weekend! I usually don't play a ton of games on my weekends back home, but there's usually 2-3 hours of games played on Saturday mornings, when my folks are out doing their Saturday morning routines immediately after I wake up.

I literally had no idea what to expect when I started playing the game.

So with the wind removed from my sails, I looked for a game to play. Most of my newer/unplayed 360 games and PS3 games are at my new place, so I had Wii and previous generation games to play. As I stared at my Wii Library (I think I have about 25 games for the Wii, mostly first-party), I couldn't help but remember Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Brad (I actually thought it was Patrick at first - but remembered he didn't join the site until much later) had urged the crew to take some time off-mic to discuss the big twist at the end (before GOTY deliberations were as spolier-ific as they are now) and that's something that I didn't forget. I popped in the game and started playing.

The 2009, Climax Studios-developed Shattered Memories is a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill and my first entry into the franchise. I literally hate horror. I don't watch horror films/TV and I usually stay away from horror games (although I really did enjoy Dead Space 1 & 2 and Resident Evil 4) but Patrick's new mantra of stepping outside of your "gaming comfort zone" was the last push I needed to jump into the game.

I started playing and I didn't know what to think. I didn't realize that the visual style was an artistic choice and immediately said: "...man, this game looks so shitty." I didn't know that the game was actually more of an adventure game, so was a little bit disappointed (although, of late I have given adventure games a try as well). To top it all off, the chase sequences were clunky and the absolute worst part of the game. By the back half of the game, I was just doing them without looking at the map, just hoping that I would find the path to get to the next objective. During the course of playing, I literally heard my good friend, Mike (roofy on GiantBomb), in the back of my head saying: "Jacob, you are such a mainstream gamer! Give it a shot!" But over the course of the next three weekends I was back in my hometown, I would play Silent Hill: Shattered Memories despite feeling like I was wasting my time.

The biggest upside to me, was the interactive bits of the narrative. Sitting in the psychiatrist's chair, playing the "mind-games" with the good doctor was great. The one that spoke to me the most was the sex minigame. The good doctor asks you to separate a set of images into sexual and non-sexual. Once you do so, he draws a line of comparison between sex and death. In my game, he did it by grabbing a circular card from the table, but in this clip, he pulls an entirely different card that looks like a crashed car.

I finished the game yesterday and up until the last fifteen minutes of the game, I was just clawing through a mediocre game to get to the "big payoff" at the end. As Harry Mason swims towards the lighthouse, it's then I realized that the game was coming to an end. It felt very much like one of the final scenes in God of War 3 (you know, that weird sequence near the end where he's running around the dark with the lantern). I honestly wasn't prepared for the big twist that was coming.

Here's what the game told me when I beat it. I wish I would have recorded the whole credits, I feel like in certain respects the game was speaking to me. That's a little messed up, right?

Throughout the whole game, there were certain pieces of information that were foreshadowing the ending: the car crash at the beginning, when the police officer, Cybil, tells you that the real Harry Mason died in a car crash eighteen years ago and even two minutes before the end sequence when you were swimming and saw a limp body outside of a car crash under the water near the lighthouse. I didn't see the ending coming. As my flashlight shone on the front window of the psychiatrist's office, my jaw literally hit the floor. "You mean, this whole time I wasn't actually playing as Harry Mason... but as the daughter... the one that I have been chasing after for the whole game?" Holy shit. That's so meta.

Right after I beat the game I spent about an hour yesterday, watching YouTube clips, reading forum posts and watching the GiantBomb Quick Looks of the game to try and find out more about it. It's there I learned that every single thing I did in the game had an effect on even the smallest pieces of the game. This point is solidified by Brad in the GOTY Quick Look of the SH:SM.

A few minutes in, he realizes that the front door scene with the older couple that's living in Harry Mason's old house is actually way different than the first time he played the game. I laughed when I first saw this before the game's title screen, but I guess the game wasn't kidding:

This piece of the Dale North's review on Destructoid kind of summarizes my feelings about this game (especially the part about glazing over the gameplay decision):

"While Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a total departure in every way from what Konami proper had started, it manages to reinvigorate the series. This "re-imagining" could have been a story rehash, instead we get a brilliantly deep game with subtle subtext and surprising symbolism. It's deep enough that some may glaze over the reasons behind the game play decisions and story elements, which were, again, brilliant. It focuses on the horrors of the human mind and gets away from the tired ghost story, making for a story much more involving and disturbing than recent Silent Hill titles. A lovingly crafted story draws you in and then wows you with a surprise ending that leaves a lingering fascination. And chills. I'm still thinking about it. From one die-hard Silent Hill fan to another, this is a true Silent Hill game. A better Silent Hill game. Do not miss this game."

How did you feel about Silent Hill: Shattered Memories if you played it?

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An article I wrote about THQ in March 2011

THQ’s Homefront Woes

Written March 29th, 2011

Jacob McCourt

From the most popular games coming from small teams sometimes consisting of a single man in the 1980 and 1990s to huge 500-man studios and 30+ million dollar projects now, video games have become big business. Like all other big businesses, product launches can make or break companies. One video game company faced this situation a few weeks ago with the launch of the anticipated Homefront video game.

Homefront (developed by Kaos Studios) is played in a world largely different from the one we know today. In an alternate version of history, Kim Jong-il’s son takes power in North Korea after his father’s death in 2002. Additionally, the United States never rebounds from financial instability and its people are decimated by a new pandemic. The Greater Korean Republic (formed after the unification of North and South Korea), capitalize and invade in 2025. You are thrown into play as a member of the American resistance in 2027 and the story rolls on from that point (for more information about the game’s alternate history, click here).

THQ, the game’s publisher, had closed at $5.92 on the NYSE on March 14th, the day before the game’s release, (stock: THQI) amid increasing buzz and a high volume of preorders. Just ten days earlier, the company’s VP Danny Bilson was praising the game’s high preorder numbers at 200,000 units. Often used as a successful forecasting metric, good preorder numbers can spell success for a game. However, on March 15th, the bell rang on the New Stock Exchange and THQ’s stock took a dive, dropping from $5.92 to $4.69 by days-end. Why did the company’s stock take such a dive?

First, even though preorders are considered a good metric for forecasting, review scores might be considered a better tool for forecasting game’s sales potential. Websites like Metacritic are often used in such determinations of sales potential. Even though such metrics are used, they are often quite controversial due to certain procedures Metacritic uses. These procedures include the converting of review scores to numeric values on a 100 point scale, (for an interesting rant by one of video game journalism’s most prolific people, Adam Sessler, click here (NSFW)) the process of selecting the review outlets featured in Metacritic’s calculations (more information here) and arguments made on the difficulty in quantifying the quality of video games. Bringing it back to Homefront, THQ utilized a technique called a “review embargo”. This meant that no review outlets could officially publish their reviews until the day of the game’s release on Tuesday March 15th, 2011. That’s when the game’s Metacritic average dropped a few points to around 75 causing the company’s stock to drop based on higher expectations of the game. The Metacritic average sits at 70 today with most review outlets complaining about the length of the single player campaign.

In an e-mail to Wired, Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities stated that review scores were expected to be around 80 for the game. In an industry focused on sequels of successful titles, new intellectual property can be difficult to sell to the cash strapped consumer spending less on entertainment. Most new games need to place in the 80s to sell over a million units and be turned into a franchise. A recent example of this would be the Electronic Arts published Dead Space, which sold 2.7 million copies between the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

All things considered, the company has truly adapted to the new “game” movements well. In response to current industry trends, THQ has really expanded their focus in the past few years by expanding their portfolios into the online, kids and digital/casual areas of gaming. In the online field, they plan on releasing two Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games during their 2011 fiscal year based off the WWE and Company of Heroes properties. What makes these games different is the business model they are utilizing. Like the recent Battlefield Heroes (developed by Electronic Arts), the game is free-to-play. Anyone can jump in and play, but to unlock certain in-game item, for example, the game allows for micro-transactions (lower price transactions). In the children’s space, they announced publishing rights to Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and The Penguins of Madagascar. Finally, as many companies have done the past years, the company is publishing games that appeal to the non-core gaming crowd (those who play more Farmville than Call of Duty). These games are usually titles with smaller budgets available on downloadable services. This includes the recently released Stacking for the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network (currently sitting at a Metacritic score of 84 on the Xbox and 83 on PS3).

In the company’s annual report for 2010, the first operational goal for 2010 was to “deliver one-to-two quality Core Games…” and although they achieved that through the success of “Red Faction Guerrilla and Darksiders, with Metacritic ratings of 85 and 83…” (showing the importance of Metacritic to the business). However, the worrisome aspect of the report is the portion referring directly to Homefront and Red Faction Armageddon as their successful core titles for 2011.

There is a silver lining however. Retailers responded to reviews with a one-day price cut of the game from the regular price of $60 to around $40 at some retailers like Amazon and Walmart. This boded well for the company as the game sold around 300,000+ units on the first day in stores (source). Doug Creutz, vice president and senior research analyst covering the media and entertainment sectors at Cowen and Company LLC stated in an interview with MarketWatch that the reaction to the games’ reviews was “a wild over-reaction” and that game “will likely pass the 2 million mark quite easily”.

For more information about game review scores and influence on play likelihood, consult the following study conducted by EEDAR: http://mandetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/EEDAR-SMU-Study-One-Review-Anchoring2.pdf

*As a side note, I wrote this for the Prince Arthur Herald and wrote it for a non-gaming audience.

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Here are the games I finished in 2010

 
Stats related to 2010 completed games: 
Busiest Month: December (6 games) 
Least Busy Month: March (0 games)  
 
Platform Breakdown: 
PC - 1 game  
PS2 - 2 games 
PS3 - 2 games 
Wii - 3 games 
360 - 15 games
 
Download Titles: 6 games (Plants vs. Zombies included) 
On Disc Titles: 17 games 
 
Games I didn't really enjoy: 

  • Dead To Rights: Retribution
  • Shank
  • Star Wars: Force Unleashed II
  • Toy Story 3 - The Game (The Toy Box Mode actually wasn't too bad)
  • Comic Jumper (the humour was the game's saving grace)
  

Games Completed in 2010

1. Plants vs. Zombies

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> January 1st, 2010 (Adventure, Mini-Games and Survival Modes) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> 6-8 hours (approx.) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> Here's the thing. The Steam sale was on. I only have the Orange Box on my Steam account. Until this sale. I saw Plants vs. Zombies for $7.49 and threw my PayPal right at it. Thought I would see what all the hubbub was about. This is an addicting casual puzzle game/tower defense game. <br/> <br/> Basically, you just want to protect your house from a slew of different zombies types by using plants with different effects (like a peashooter, venus-fly trap type thinger or a cherry bomb). You collect sun and place these plants in a strategic manner to avoid zombie brain eating. There's a few different modes; adventure, survival, mini-game and even a zen garden for growing your own plants to make money! <br/> <br/> This game really surprised me. It was worth every penny. I bought it on the 23rd of December. That was a mistake. I had God of War Collection, Ratchet and Clank and others waiting and I played this. That just shows how addicting it is. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Conditional Buy <br/> This is a game you can pick up for ten minutes and then leave and do something else. It's great. Maybe not worth full price, but if it's on sale on Steam, pick it up!

2. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> January 4th, 2010 at 1:30am (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> TBD (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> Ratchet and Clank has always been a game series near and dear to my heart. I was explaining to a friend the other day that when I play the first game on the PlayStation 2, I didn't see the furry Lombax going anywhere after that. But Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal are some of the best PlayStation 2 games, even today. <br/> <br/> Enough about the past! This PS3 exclusive, developed by Insomniac Games (Resistance, Ratchet to name a few recent franchises), is the third in an arcing story that began in Tools of Destruction and continued in the PSN Quest for Booty. In this intergalactic, time traveling adventure, the mysterious Zoni separates Ratchet and Clank. Ratchet is tasked with finding his lost partner. Meanwhile (a word you will see a ton of in this game), Clank must discover his grand role in the Universe as senior caretaker of the Great Clock. Consider all of this craziness with a certain evil bad dude and his butler sidekick tailing them at every turn. <br/> <br/> I really enjoyed this game. I find that Insomniac is one of the only developers that can get a laugh out of me when playing a game. Captain Quark returns and takes a larger role, something I applaud them for. He's hilarious! As far as the gameplay goes, it's a Ratchet and Clank game. You strafe, you shoot, you collect bolts and you upgrade your crazy arsenal of weird weapons. Inter-dimensional portals anyone? However, I found that this game, unlike Tools of Destruction/Quest for Booty was a very tightly knit and complete package. There's a ton of collecting, space battles, arena battles, great boss fights and an excellent cast of voice actors. It's a great game and a great way to finish the trilogy. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Conditional Buy <br/> I would buy this game if you were a fan of the PS2 Ratchet and Clank game or someone looking for a great action platformer with shooting. It's a fun game above all else.

3. God of War

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> January 19th, 2010 at 1:30am (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> About 9 hours (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> God of War really surprised me. I know what you're going to say to me: "God of War won a ton of Game of the Year Awards and has been universally acclaimed as one of the PS2 best games". Well watching gameplay footage didn't really convince me. I just saw it as an great brawler with some great production values. Although, it has shown its age, this is a must-play for any PS2 owner. <br/> <br/> First of all, it does the action really well. Sure, you might see the same 20 or so enemies with different skins a lot throughout the game, but the action is frantic. Something that I was not expected was the puzzles. Some of the puzzles were tough-ish to solve, something I was not expecting from the game I thought was going to be very dumb. <br/> <br/> Then, there's the story, the voice acting and the cut-scenes. What a great story about Greek Mythology. It's amoing some of the best story-telling I can remember. Also, the boss fights were great. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Buy <br/> During the school period, I only allow myself to play one hour if video games a day or less during the week. I found myself thinking about playing this game when I wasn't playing it. That my friends is the sign of a compelling and complete package. Buy it, beat and be proud to put it on your shelf!

4. God of War II

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> February 2nd at 3:30pm (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> About 11-12 hours (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> You remember when I said that God of War surprised me? Well, the second game in the series is killer. When I worked in video game retail, I didn't understand why the game would fly off the shelf (it was one of the last huge PS2 titles). Now, I do. The story continues and begins in a huge way (wink, wink) and is a cinematic roller coaster from the beginning to the end. <br/> <br/> The game-play is completely overhauled but is tweaked with little things like the addition of secondary weapons. Although they don't have a huge impact on the game-play, they are cool! The thing that makes this game a must-play are the epic boss battles. Compared to the first game, this game must have three-four times more boss battles and they all have story impacts. And you smile when you see characters you know from Greek mythology. <br/> <br/> I'm so glad I broke down and finally played the series. If you need something for your PS3 or see the God of War collection on PS3, pick it up. It's worth every cent. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Buy <br/> What can I say that I haven't said? God of War 2 is a masterpiece and needs to be played even if you do not have an appreciation of Greek mythology. It's got a great story and some excellent actions. Plus, Kratos is a badass. Such a badass. Seeing how this game ended, I can't wait for the third game.

5. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> April 29, 2010

6. Dead to Rights: Retribution

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> May 6th at 6:30pm (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> About 8-9 hours, which was way longer then I wanted to spend playing this game. (beating Final Boss, first play-through) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> Here's my problem with Dead To Rights: Retribution. It is a jack of all trades and master of none. In the game, there are many different gameplay types; third person shooting with a cover system, third person action-brawling, stealth gameplay via Jack's dog, Shadow and other small gameplay types you will see in the late part of game. <br/> <br/> The cover system works but is very clunky in certain spots. Having just finished Splinter Cell: Conviction, I unfairly compare the ease of use of the stealth there to this game. There are around 20 guns with varying power and style with most feeling very similar. The fighting system is very basic with two buttons controlling heavy and light attacks with some throws and block breakers thrown in for good measure. <br/> <br/> The stealth portion? Batman: Arkham Asylum-esque. You control the dog from his perspective and have to stealthy eliminate enemies to get a key or an ID card in an area inaccessible to Jack's. Speaking of the dog, I felt awfully every time he was shot and head him yelp. :( <br/> <br/> Dead to Rights is a mediocre game. One with forgettable characters, a generic story and a final three hours that made me want to punch myself in the head. Why? I played for four hours thinking I was going to reach the end and multiple times was tricked into the thinking the end was near. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Tough to say <br/> Even though Dead to Rights: Retribution is mediocre, I kinda liked certain parts of it. I rented it and you should not buy this game. Having said that, certain parts of the game are fun and try the demo first if you are truly interested.

7. God of War III

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> May 16th at 12:30am (yes, this is a Saturday night, but I was sick) <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> 8:57 (beating Final Boss on God (Normal) first play-through) <br/> <br/> <b><u>My Experience with the Game: </u></b> <br/> God of War 3. Do I really have to say much more about it? I'm not going to spend time explaining the story or the previous games. Just look at games 3 and 4 for more information about them. <br/> <br/> I bought this game from Amazon and received it the day after release. And it sat there for two months. Until last week. I'm kinda mad I hadn't played it until now. It's a great game! They took some of the things I didn't like in the first two games and focused on some great stuff. <br/> <br/> The biggest pro the game has to offer is the HUGE action set pieces that it offers. Right at the beginning of the game you're fighting a God on the body of a Titan. Everything is moving, there's a ton of things going on and it's almost too much to process at some points. There are a few of these pieces sprinkled throughout the game. It even took a cue from Gears of War 2 at one point. It was a good moment. <br/> <br/> This game is HELLA violent and sexual. I would not under any circumstance let anyone under the age of 17 play this game. Some of the action sequences were SO gruesome that my jaw literally dropped and stayed open for a few seconds. I can think of one sequence in particular where you dismember someone and watch the crawl away only to pick them up and dismember them again. Plus, there's sex. And boobies. <br/> <br/> The cinematics really took a step forward in this game. I felt that Kratos didn't sound as stale as he had in previous games and that the supporting cast (Rip Torn and Malcolm McDowell in particular) of voice talent were great. I appreciated the stylized cut scenes that recapped the events of the first games. <br/> <br/> So was there anything I didn't like? I could have done without the long "Icarus Wings" sections and the purple weapon (I won't spoil the name) was weak and really useless to me. <br/> <br/> <b><u>Verdict:</u></b> Buy <br/> Great game. It has some replay value, but it's one of those "experiences" (look at me going all Ebert on your ass) you want to remember and have on the shelf for the future. The ending sequence had some odd choices but the game was strong nevertheless. If you have a PS3 and are 17 , please play this game.

8. Just Cause 2

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> June 1st, 2010 at 7pm <br/> <b><u>Total Play Time:</u></b> 16 hours at 28.03% (beating Final Boss on Normal)

9. Red Dead Redemption

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> July 13th, 2010 at 10:30pm

10. Toy Story 3: The Video Game

July 15th, 2010 <br/> Rent only if you're curious, you'll get less then 5 hours out of this one.

11. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> August 20th, 2010 <br/> Buy!

12. Shank

September 2nd, 2010 <br/> Try the Demo First: the visuals are much better then the game itself.

13. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

September 6th, 2010 <br/> <object width="400" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/rpbzI0ksUtA?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/rpbzI0ksUtA?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="250"></embed></object>

14. Dead Rising 2

October 27th, 2010 <br/> Hard to describe this one. It was one broken-ass-good game. Completion Grade: S Finished at level 36

15. Costume Quest

November 2nd, 2010 <br/> Beat it. I know when a game is easy. When I get all 200P the first time through.

16. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

November 13th, 2010 <br/> One word: "Meh." This game feels like it had a 12 month or less development cycle. If you want to know what this franchise feels like, try the first game. Sure it's more polished then the first game but I beat it in four hours (and I'm an amateur video game player) and there's no reason for you to ever play this game again. PASS.

17. Trauma Team

Finished November 30th, 2010 at 3am. <br/> Total Playtime: 26:36:49 This game never ended! I jumped in thinking I could play it in like 8-10 hours before I jump into Mass Effect. There are 6 very different game-play styles with two of the doctors having non-operation modes (one of of the two is very Phoenix Wright-inspired). I would definitely play a sequel if they do one thing: REMOVE TOMOE! I DON'T WANT TO PLAY ANYMORE ENDOSCOPY MISSIONS!

18. Alan Wake

Finished at 2am on December 7th. And I'm really confused with the ending. I hate games that stretch the end out an extra half an hour longer then necessary like this game. I'm being really picky...

19. Halo: Reach

December 8th, 2010. It was a grind to finish through to the end. I won't be going back to it. Unless there's some mutliplayer with friends. Apart from that, that's it.

20. Kirby's Epic Yarn

<b><u>Date of Completion:</u></b> December 13th, 2010 <br/> Completion Time: 5:17 at 61% <br/> This has to be my biggest disappointed of the year. I don't even know why I finished it. There is no incentive or challenge to playing this game. I cannot recommend this game to anyone above the age of 12. <br/> <object width="400" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/wK9wsrBoFB8?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wK9wsrBoFB8?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="250"></embed></object>

21. Limbo

December 23rd, 2010 at 2am <br/> This game is a weird monster. I've never been the guy that understands the artsy game. I beat this game in about five hours. The puzzles were very fun to figure out, however, the game has little story, sound and graphics. I just don't get why critics love it so much. I just don't get it.

22. Comic Jumper

December 23rd, 2010 at 10:00pm <br/> The day before Christmas Eve was a productive game day. I got to finish two downloadable titles that I have been meaning to finish for a long time. This game has a lot going for it charm-wise, it is so funny. The gameplay kinda sucks though. Beat it in five hours. I can't really recommend this one for everyone.

23. Mass Effect

December 28rd, 2010 at 1:00am <br/> Such a great game. I've actually never been the type that really dives deeply into a game's narrative but I made an exception on this one. I had more fun going through side missions and absorbing the story then playing the actual game sometimes (especially in the earlier stages of the game; which as a Vanguard was quite difficult). <br/> <br/> Got an Xbox 360? Are you a fan of Star Wars/Star Trek/Space? Do you enjoy a great multi-layer story? If you answered yes to these questions, run don't walk and pick/borrow Mass Effect 1. From what I've heard the Mass Effect 2 game begins with decisions from Mass Effect 1.

 

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