After watching the quick look of the new Skyrim DLC, I got the bug to head back into the world. Months ago I had grown bored of the quests but I loved the exploration aspect. And after spending 18 hours and still finding tons of areas to explore, I'm hooked again. There are so many random events occurring in the world. Half the fun comes from watching events unfold. For instance I saw a four way fight between some Thalmor justicars, Stormcloaks, a giant, and a dragon. Surprisingly the Thalmors came out on top. It's those kind of situations that makes the game so fun to play. I doubt very much that I'll do any more quests or get the DLC. But for now I'm content to explore.
I loved Mario RPG for SNES. I really enjoyed Paper Mario for the 64 and GameCube. I loved Mario and Luigi on GBA and Bowser's Inside Story on DS. I was lukewarm on the Wii version. The latest entry in the Mario RPG series comes in the form of Sticker Star on the 3DS. With a heavy heart, I have to say that Sticker Star is my least favorite in the series. Using stickers to perform the turn-based combat is an awesome idea. The problem is that the best stickers are far too common. They are easy to find or buy. Furthermore, too many boss battles are easily solved with the object stickers (such as the fan or scissors). The lack of collectibles and side missions (like finding Luigi in the GC version) is unfortunate. The 3D aspect of the game is absolutely unnecessary. I played the game with the 3D off without any impact. Compare that to how vital 3D is to Mario 3D Land (then again that has 3D in the title). My opinion of Sticker Star is reflected in the title of this blog: I'm the sucker. Let's just hope the next Luigi's Mansion makes up for this.
I've had Darksiders I and II in my Steam library for awhile. They were those kind of games that everyone says you need to play. Zelda for grown-ups. So I bought them and then they gathered dust like the other 200 games in my inventory. During the Sream winter sale, it quickly became apparent that I already owned everything. So with 2013 looming, I made a resolution: actually play the games I paid money for. And for whatever reason, the Darksiders series is what I started with. I'm about six hours into the first game, and I do see the appeal. The combat is fun, with big over the top animations and visceral insta-kills. The comparisons to Zelda are apt: big dungeons to explore, puzzles, and an item that you will eventually use to solve the boss fight. And this is in no way a bad thing. It really feels like what the evolution of Zelda SHOULD have been. Again, I'm only six hours in, so time will tell if it can hold up to my expectations. But so far, I'm actually excited to play a game again.