All About newkillerstar27
With the launch of the PS4 on the horizon, I thought I would look back and reflect on my time with owning a PS3. In many ways it was my first real experience as a modern console-owner. I had a Sega Genesis when I was a kid, but I was still hanging onto that thing well into the N64/PSOne days. I also had a Gamecube and a PS2 for a short time when I thought that budget-gaming was the way to go. When I got my PS3 though...all that changed. Suddenly I was more concerend with graphics and user interface than a game telling a great story. I had become that which I now loathe.
When the PS3 came out, I was a senior in high school. I didn't think much of it then, other than that it was insanely expensive. Plus my friends and I were more into the Nintendo line of games, so I didn't really care to pay attention to it. Time went on after that. I started going to college, ended up meeting my future wife, and began to experience what it really felt like to live on my own. Meanwhile the PS3 was struggling to keep up with the XBox 360 juggernaut. Despite the hardware issues, it was easily the better system for a long time. The PS3 seemed doomed to wallow in mediocrity. That is, until late 2009.
I feel that I entered the world of the PS3 right around the time it started to take off. It wasn't better than the 360 by that point, but within a year's time it would be. When it came down to deciding between the two top consoles, I had a lot of influence towards the 360. After all, everyone I knew had one, but no one I knew had a PS3. After doing some research, however, and seeing how the two consoles held up side-by-side...I decided to go with the PS3. I remember the first games I picked up along with it were GTA IV, Resident Evil 5, Demon's Souls, Saw (lol), and Uncharted 2. While I didn't care for many of those games in the long run, Uncharted 2 blew me away. It was literally the most amazing thing I ever played. I simply couldn't put it down. Between the gameplay, the presentation, and the story...I knew I was hooked. For me, that was the start of the rise to power for the PS3, and the start of my gaming life as a modern console-gamer.
2010 and 2011 especially felt like the years of the PS3. There were so many great exclusives coming out for the system that I didn't even give the 360 a second glance. Sure they had Halo and Gears of War, but I had never been into either series that much. I was too busy with the Uncharted series, the inFamous series, and the God of War games. What I didn't realize was that I was becoming a stickler for graphics and presentation, which I had never been before. It was all about getting the new Call of Duty game, or the new Madden. The gameplay became secondary to the graphics, which is why I supported Madden 2012 so much when I really shouldn't have.
The Fall of 2011 was, in my opinion, the console's best season of games. We saw things like Uncharted 3, Arkham City, and Saints Row the Third. There was also Modern Warfare 3, but eh...to each their own. By that time I had realized that graphics weren't everything, and I was back to being all about the gameplay. EA had become my sworn enemy, since their games had become so shallow that I avoided them altogether.
2012 was the year that I started to lose faith. I ended up selling my PS3 in favor of trying things with a 360 for awhile. That lasted all of 6 months, once I had played all the exclusives that I cared to. Then I thought I might try my luck with a Vita, which ended up being the worst decision I could have ever made. If you've never played one, I would avoid it. The games are fun, but the hardware sucks. The touch screen started to become totally unresponsive after a few months of playing it. So I traded that in and got a PS3 again. My thought at the time was, "Well, if I'm going to have a system where I can run around shooting things, I might as well go with the one I have the most roots with."
That was 6 months ago. Now it is 2013, and with the PS4 looming on the horizon, this appears to be the worst year for the PS3 since its early years. I hardly ever play it, but I know that if I get rid of it I'll end up regretting it. There's this certain itch that FPS games have for me. Maybe it's because I've played them for so long, but they're great stress-relievers for me. As a result, I only own 3 physical games for the system still: Borderlands, NBA 2k12 (for the 80's and 90's stars), and NCAA Football 13. After all this time, the only games that haven't totally lost their touch with me are sports games and Borderlands. I have no desire to play anything else that's coming out, except for the occsional PSN game.
I'll say this though: when the PS4 comes out, I won't be getting one. As I get older and have more and more responsibilities, I find myself playing on my console less and less. I'm finding that I would rather invest my money into my 3DS, which I can play on the go and at work, and into tabletop games. Whatever your opinion of tabletop games may be, at least the quality of games is there. I have yet to play a single tabletop game that I didn't have at least some fun with. Sure, there were a couple I ended up selling, but the majority I have kept for myself. I can't say that about the PS3. Just about every PS3 game I've played I've ended up trading in because there was simply nothing left to enjoy about it.
Maybe I'm just a jaded gamer, but I don't plan on giving Sony any more of my time or money beyond this system. I'm perfectly happy with my 3DS right now, and tabletop games are a lot easier to get family and friends to partake in. I may get back into PC gaming when I get the money to afford one, but I think I'm going to give consoles a rest for now. I personally don't think they'll be around 5-10 years from now, but maybe I'll end up being wrong.
The PS3 as a whole was both a system I loved and hated. I loved the fact that I had a modern system with an excellent presentation and the ability to purchase new games as they hit the shelves, but I hated the fact that so many of these games were filled with bugs or were worth a lot less than the $60 price tag they were supposedly worth. In the end, I think the Gamecube/PS2/XBox era was a much better one than this has been. In a lot of ways, I think that's where gaming peaked, and now it is beginning the regression into medicority.
So that's been my experience with the PS3, and why I think I will be moving on from console gaming once the PS3's time comes to an end. I'll end this article listing my top 20 favorite PS3 games that I played over the course of its run as a top console:
20. Resident Evil 6
19. Duke Nukem Forever
18. Final Fantasy XIII
17. Fallout 3
16. Rock Band 3
15. L.A. Noire
14. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
13. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
12. NBA 2k12
11. Dead Space
10. Assassin's Creed 2
9. Dragon Age: Origins
8. Saints Row 2
6. Batman: Arkham City
4. Deux Ex: Human Revolution
3. Valkyria Chronicles
1. Uncharted 2
I've been thinking about doing this blog for awhile. It's pretty late at night, so I'm going to try and keep this short.
Recently I was thinking about doing my top games of the year blog. I did my top 11 of 2011 last year, so it was only natural I do something like a top 12 of 2012 blog. But then something occurred to me: I can't think of more than a few games that really deserve such praise. Have there really been enough games to constitute an entire list of top games this year? Maybe a top 5, but nowhere near a top 10. If anything, I should do a list of the top 10 disappointing games of the year, or the top 10 games I don't want to see sequels to. But that would seem be pessimistic, and I don't want to come off that way.
Instead, I've decided to write this blog detailing what I think the reason for the decline of "good games" seems to be. I've got three words for you: Call of Duty. It seems like you can't find a single gamer out there who doesn't already have an opinion of the franchise. Whether they hopped on the train when Modern Warfare came out, or if they became exposed to the series in recent years, just about every gamer out there has played at least a little bit of Call of Duty. Now whether or not you consider it to be a good series of games is irrelevant. I'm willing to bet that there is a large number of people out there who buy every Call of Duty with each passing year...even if they think they aren't going to enjoy it. How else do you explain the numerous negative reviews of Black Ops 2 here on Gamespot already?
Therein lies the problem with the gaming industry today. Call of Duty is one of, if not, the biggest-selling video game franchise in the market today, and it's our fault. That's right, it's the fault of the gaming population. Whether you are a faithful COD fan, or if you just buy it because you want the new multiplayer features, or you're just bored and would rather play it safe with Black Ops 2 instead of trying something different like X-Com...by purchasing their games, we are telling the gaming industry that: "We want more of this." Money talks isn't just a saying, it's what dictates how our economy changes over time. When you go out and rent a game or buy it used, that's different. You're not giving your money to the developers to support their future work. That's why games like Madden keep coming back year after year, and we still hear the same complaints from people year after year. The simple truth is this: If you buy Call of Duty every year, you're telling the developers that you support them, despite the fact that you may not like the multiplayer maps, or you don't like the single player campaign, or you think zombie mode sucks this year. Things will not get better if we keep giving these companies our money.
If our community were to rent games first and then purchase the games that we enjoy, the gaming industry would be in a much better place. This is why you hardly ever see any new franchises come into existence and last. Even if they do, they're based on another game's engine and success in an attempt to avoid dragging on the storyline from the original game. Just look at The Last of Us and how it is using Uncharted's engine. Just look at all of the games that rely so heavily on the Unreal Engine. People wonder why franchises like Madden, Call of Duty, and most recently Assassin's Creed barely change at all from year to year, and it's because so many people still throw money at them for rehashing the same thing over and over again. Assassin's Creed may have a story, but it's a lot more half-assed than it used to be, and this is exactly the reason why. The developers have become lazy because they know they're going to get their payday either way.
But wait...does this effect other games? I didn't think so...up until the past year or so. Remember how I said that I couldn't come up with a top ten list of games from what came out this year? This is because of Call of Duty as well. Before you jump all over me, hear me out. So many aspects of Call of Duty have started to sneak their way into other franchises out there. I can give example after example. Look at Uncharted 3. It went from having a fun and original multiplayer to being all about unlocking perks and other things from leveling up and playing more online. Look at Duke Nukem Forever. Since when does Duke Nukem run around with the military at his back? How about never? What about Halo Reach? I have never seen a game in that series come even close to the amount of military cooperation on missions that Reach has. Then there's most recently Resident Evil 6. Yes, even the greatest survival horror franchise of all time has fallen victim to the Call of Duty craze. Look no further than Chris's campaign in that game. It's all about being part of a military unit, and it's all about people yelling things like "reloading!" and "grenade!" It makes me sick.
So many games these days try to recreate the addictive multiplayer and the military theme that Call of Duty embodies, but no one is brave enough to do something new and original. And you know why? Because the gaming community doesn't want them to. Because we give companies like Activision and EA our money even though most of us who do expect a mediocre game in return. This needs to stop. If it doesn't, I will be doing a worst games of the year list a year from now, and I will be very outspoken about what I think is wrong with each game on that list. I am so tired of playing dumbed-down games and games that try to blatantly copy the COD formula. I realize that this won't change overnight, but seriously people...don't be afraid to try other games. Even if you do want to play the new Call of Duty or the new Madden, wait a few weeks and buy it used, or better yet, rent it first to see if it's worth the outrageous $60 price tag. It's like pro-wrestling or heavy metal; it may be in a rut right now, but if enough people band together and do their best to make it work, it might rise to greatness again. Anyways, thanks for reading, and please comment if you like.
With the year drawing to a close, and with the great games we've had in recent months, I thought I would talk about my top 11 games that have come out this year (in the spirit of this being the end of 2011). I have played just about everything that I would care to play for the PS3 this year, and the following are my favorite games to have come out in the past 12 months:
(Honorable Mentions: The Baconing, Madden 12 (controversial, I know), Dead Space 2, Homefront)
#11: Saints Row: The Third - Without a doubt, this is the best GTA-like open world game to come out this year. While it feels very similar to the previous Saints Row, it does have a lot more outrageous activities, customization options, and humorous dialogue. What holds this game back is that it is a very short game (I finished all the missions and side missions in under 20 hours, and there is a trophy for playing for 30 hours...), and that it feels a little too familiar to Saints Row 2. What it does well is make games of its kind fun again, and it keeps you constantly entertained all the way through. But why...WHY...is there no septic avenger here?? (My Score: 8/10)
#10: Mortal Kombat - When a game seeks out to reinvent itself, you can't help but think it will be for the worst. In this case, however, Mortal Kombat has successfully managed to return to its original story and roots, and become very successful while doing so. While it ditches the 3D Soul Calibur-like combat and various fighting styles, this game proves that simpler can sometimes be better. This is a game that unites old school Mortal Kombat fans and more recent fans into one game that caters to both. While some may not like the fact that it retells the original MK story in a different way, this is still a great game, and one of the best in the entire Mortal Kombat series. (My Score: 8/10)
#9 Duke Nukem Forever - This might be a controversial choice, but if you have read my review then you'll know that I am a longtime fan of the Duke. I really think that this game got a bad rep. due to the fact that it was given more hype than just about any game in history, and because it doesn't play like most other modern shooters out there. If you give it a chance though, it really proves to be a fun and entertaining FPS experience. Even the multiplayer is a nice throwback to the Duke Matches of old. This game won't be for everyone, but for those of us who played Duke Nukem throughout the 90's will have a lot more respect for this game. (My Score: 8/10)
#8: Catherine - Catherine is a very interesting game. In many ways, it was the sleeper hit of the year. The developers at Atlus showed us that you could create a game that caters to hardcore gamers while having gameplay that is only made up of a series of repetitive platforming-puzzles. While the story is very well-told, it really doesn't flow in a way that is based on your actions like you might expect it would. This is a game that really challenges your skills as a gamer, and one that will constantly do so, no matter how many hours you put into it. (My Score: 9/10)
#7: Uncharted 3 - This game was largely disappointing for me. While it had a fun and epic story complete with entertaining dialogue and characters, the story just had too many plotholes, and the shooting mechanics took a turn for the worse here. Even the melee combat, which the developers said was vastly improved, just served to make firefights later on in the game much more frustrating. Unfortunately this game is, in my opinion, a total sell-out on Naughty Dog's part in order to cash in on the multiplayer successes that games like Call of Duty have been experiencing. I know not everyone will agree with me, but this game is a big step down from the greatness of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. (My Score: 8.5/10)
#6: Portal 2 - Portal 2 was another fantastic puzzle game for the less-than-casual gamer out there. While dying was never really a consequence, puzzles would have you scratching your head for sometimes hours here. Put that with a story that had some very colorful and interesting characters, and you have a very fun experience here. While it may not have the length or replay value going for it, Portal 2 was a fantastic game while it lasted. (My Score: 8.5/10)
#5: Plants vs. Zombies - Yes, a PSN game has reached this high on my list, and with good reason. Plants vs. Zombies, like many other games that Pop Cap has done, is hugely addictive and fun. I still play this game on a regular basis, even though it has been out for nearly a year. The hybrid tower defense and survival styles come together perfectly, and make this game a blast to play. Not to mention the variety of different game styles keep this game fresh and fun. This is definitely my pick for downloadable game of the year. (My Score: 9/10)
#4: Skyrim - The only reason this game is not higher on my list is because the gameplay and graphics come off a little dated here. In the time since Oblivion came out, you would think they would have done a major overhaul of the whole engine for this release. However, these two aspects aside, Skyrim is a very immersive experience that will have you hooked for weeks on end. How many games can say that nowadays? If this had lived up to its expectations a bit more, it could have made the top of my list, but unfortunately it just felt like the developers played it safe by sticking with Oblivion's engine rather than improving what was already released years ago. (My Score: 9/10)
#3: L.A. Noire - This game remains one of the best games I have ever played, and easily my favorite that Rockstar has ever released. While the open world aspect to this game is never fully fleshed-out like you would want it to be, the story, cases, and characters make this game a must-play. I'm a sucker for games that play out based on your actions, and this game is nothing but that. The only things lacking about this game are the replay value and the fact that the game world wasn't more utilized for other activities. (My Score: 9/10)
#2: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Being that I am a huge fan of the original Deus Ex, I had huge expectations for this game, and surprisingly this game lived up to them all. This game combines aspects from all sorts of games that I enjoy: shooter, RPG, puzzle, and action/adventure elements are all present here and used very well together. The only thing this game lacks is a sense of polish, which can easily be overlooked with everything coming together as well as it does. For me this just BARELY missed out on being my game of the year. It couldn't have been made much better, but unfortunately neither could my #1 game of the year... (My Score: 9.5/10)
#1: Batman: Arkham City - This game surprised me a great deal when it was released. I enjoyed Arkham Asylum, but it wasn't anything mind-blowing for me. As a result, I wasn't expecting anything more than another fun adventure with Arkham City. I was so amazed with what I played. This game improved over Arkham Asylum in every way imaginable, and managed to tell a fantastic story while incorporating nearly every memorable Batman character in his storied history. Sure, it may not have the length of a Skyrim or the replay value of a Catherine, but as an overall gaming experience where you are SUPPOSED TO BE BATMAN...this passes with flying colors. I would also say that this game just barely edges past L.A. Noire with having the best story in a game all year. So really, if you take all aspects into consideration, this game is simply the best of 2011. It has the gameplay that makes you feel like you really ARE Batman, the edge-of-your-seat story to keep you invested in the game, the absolutely amazing presentation, and the noticeable improvments over its predecessor all show that Batman: Arkham Asylum is deserving of being the game of the year. (My Score: 9.5/10)
So there you have it, my top 11 games of the year. Feel free to comment or leave me your favorite games of the year. Thanks for reading!
My Recent Reviews
Mar 16, 2013 5:54 pm GMTnewkillerstar27 posted a new blog entry entitled The Rise and Fall of the PS3, and Why it Will Be the Last Console I Plan to Own