My first S-rank: The Saboteur

Just had to post here how much I enjoyed The Saboteur. I did not pick up the game until almost a year after release, but I had to post here that I really enjoyed it.
I did, of course, look at the review score Ryan gave it (3/5) and can see his viewpoint on many items. I, however, had a great time with it. I did write a review of it (4.5/5), so I encourage you to go read it. In fact, it was the first game I got an S-rank on.
I guess it confirms that the action-adventure game (Saboteur, GTA IV, Mafia II) really hits home with my video game sensibilities. 
So, go pick up The Saboteur from your local less-than-$20 bin and give it a try. Pandemic did a great job.


Observing the changes of a gamers' tastes

 My tastes began, as most gamers my age did, enjoying the 2D nature of the Mario and Donkey Kong series.

Then, I used to enjoy the "scare" of Doom. I remember playing in my high school computer lab on the edge of my seat waiting to be scared by what was waiting around the corner.

Then, I used to enjoy the "gore" of Mortal Kombat. The "Finish Him" was always a welcome sound to my ears because it meant that what was to come would surey make both feet leave the ground.

Then, I enjoyed the "team slayer" nature of Halo and how it brought friends together for Halo night. That night is still regularly occuring.

Then, I enjoyed the "open world" of Crackdown and GTAIV. It finally scratched the itch to want to go inside that random building, or drive the car where I wanted to go, or just to play a game when I didn't have a script to follow.

Then, I was attracted to (and never actually satisfied) with the "casual gamer" appeal of the Nintendo Wii. I liked the idea of getting off the couch to swing a golf club or drive a kart. The desire to want to act out the game was teased, but never gratified.

Then, I enjoyed the "tactical" nature of Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call of Duty 4. This one, I'll admit, is still a lasting taste of mine. I will say that some games get it right for me, some do not.

To my surprise, I seem to find myself leaning more towards the "fantasty" nature of Assassin's Creed, Fable II, or the "cartoon" feel of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Furthermore, I find myself avoiding the same "scare" and "gore" mentioned above of Silent Hill, or Dead Space.

A few observations:

1. I'm not afraid to admit I have been very, very fortunate to have had almost every major console since the NES: NES, SNES, GameBoy, N64, Genesis, Xbox, Playstation 2, Nintendo DS, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3. It is that fortune that has enabled me to experience so many different games. This is not to boast, it is to point out that (1.) our industry has come a long way in a short amount of time, (2.) what a wide array of "tastes" have been served, and (3.) our industry has some very high barriers to entry for those who are less fortunate (note: someone should write a soapbox about that fact).

2. There is, of course, the always dependable experience of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which I will just simply put in a class all to itself that is always enjoyed.

3. I never felt the calling to get into Madden. Not to say I haven't tried. Heck, I've even been to one of the regional tournaments at a local mall just to watch the hype and excitement that exists in the Madden universe. I applaud it, I'm just not part of it.

4. Some tastes have lasted, some have not.

5. I have left out PC all together. While observation #1 above is true, I've not been fortunate enough to get the truly high-end gaming PC. Its a barrier that has been too high for me.