30 Days Video Game Challenge Pt. 3

Day 21 – Game with the best story.

I am actually going to go with Borderlands 2 which was a whole lot of fun. The original Borderlands was fun but I felt like it was lacking something. What it was lacking was the more fleshed out story and characters of Borderlands 2. I am not a fan of first person shooters in general partly because I am bad at the gameplay elements but also because they don’t have enough story for me. They were also banned from my childhood house and I did not really see the appeal when I played Doom or Unreal Tournament at a friend’s house. There are exceptions, of course. I like Fallout 3 and New Vegas because exploring is really fun and the characters are interesting. However, back to Borderlands 2, the game surprised me several times throughout the storyline. There were parts that shocked me, made me sad, made me angry, scared me, and made me laugh. The game built up to several climaxes that left me needing to save the game and take a break but they made me eager to start again the next day. The game was written by Anthony Burch (of HAWP fame) and it really shows with relatable characters in a fantastic setting.

Day 22 – A game sequel which disappointed you.

This may seem wrong but actually, I would pick Jak 2, the sequel to Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. I loved Jak and Daxter so much despite being annoyed by Daxter’s constant yammering. The game play was so intuitive and it felt both unique and nostalgic at the same time. It had levels that felt like they were part of a greater world which had a long and mysterious history. There was plenty to do and plenty to collect along with some whimsical humor. The sequel, while an OK game, felt like a futuristic take on GTA 3. The GTA and some other sandbox games are fun for a little bit but I often got bored with them. I would play some missions until they got frustrating. Then I would just want to explore but a lot of areas are off limits until later in the game. Then I just wanted to run around and blow stuff up and that got boring quickly. And so it was for Jak 2 and Jak 3 was even less of a game. It was just the arena mini-game from Ratchet and Clank with different guns.

Day 23 – Game you think had the best graphics or art style.

I am going to go with Arkham City for the best art style. So much detail was put into crafting a vast playground for you to Batman around in. More than any other game it is one that I love just paging through the concept art. The re-envisioning of the characters for starters is great. There is a unified style but everybody looks unique and interesting while paying tribute to their comic book origins. There are so many easter eggs thrown in that I was geeking out every few minutes. More than any other sandbox-ish environment, this was one that I could wander around for hours without actually accomplishing anything. They lovingly crafted an environment where you could really crawl into the story. They brought new elements into the Batman universe but also rejuvenated older elements. In a lot of ways, I thought this was the perfect game and part of that was just how excited I was at how it looked. The other Arkham games (Asylum and Origins) work too but City remains my favorite. I have not played Arkham Knight yet.

Day 24 – Favorite classic game.

Strangely enough, Bubble Bobble. I have really fond games of playing this simple game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was so satisfying to trap enemies in a bubble and solve jumping challenges. It was also a game that I could easily play alongside my brothers without being competitive. Cooperative gameplay is way more fun. Something about the simple, repetitive game always made me excited. It was uncomplicated and back when I had an NES I loved to put two televisions side by side and play video games and watch television at the same time. Also, I have fond memories of playing it with my brothers.

Day 25 – A game you plan on playing.

Assasin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for sure. I love pirates (I am a pirate descendant after all) and I loved the earlier Assasin’s Creed games. The earlier games were difficult at first but they were actually pretty intuitive and forgiving in the end and fun to run around and explore in. Adding a boat and the pirate culture sounds like fun.

Day 26 – Best voice acting.

This thing says video games but I am going to cheat a little and pick The Stanley Parable. The voice acting is pretty much just a single narrator but it is some of the weirdest and funniest stuff I have ever heard. In fact, most of the fun of the game is doing stuff and listening to what the narrator says because there have to be hours of unique dialogue for various situations. From the same developer, there is also Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and the Terribly Cursed Emerald which also has some really great sound effects to go with the great narration. As long as I am cheating, I have to heap some praise onto Gone Home, a simple yet very emotional game. There is a lot of pivotal and incidental narration and voice acting that really sucks you into the deeply personal story the game is trying to tell.

Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.

I think that Shadow of the Colossus takes the cake on this one. The first colossus you encounter is mind boggling and I just shook my head and wondered how anyone could defeat such a thing. Each successive colossus is more epic than the last, ending of course with the final one. The fights are some of the tensest, awe-inspiring things I have done in video games. The deaths of each colossus are also full of epicness.

Day 28 – Favorite game developer.

Easily Take-Two Interactive which has developed some of my favorite games of all time. That includes the Borderlands series, Firaxis titles like Pirates!, Red Dead Revolver, WWE 2K games, and Bioshock among others.

Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

I cannot really think of one. I do not have the time or money to buy games that do not look good to me.

Day 30 – Your favorite game of all time

For the reasons mentioned in earlier questions, I would have to pick Arkham City which is still the best Batman game of all time.

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