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Gots Me a Job

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I don't normally post "life" updates, but I'm sure I've mentioned a number of times in my blogs over the past couple of years that I don't have a job. I've generally used school as an excuse as to why I haven't gotten my lazy ass a job. But after my first year of college, I could no longer use that excuse because my grades kind of sucked and my GPA was lowered enough for me to lose my academic scholarships, thus meaning I would actually have to take out loans and whatnot if I wanted to keep taking classes. With a lack of motivation and direction, I decided to just go ahead and call it quits with school. I'm sure I'll regret it in the long run, but with no interest whatsoever in any field and how much I found myself not caring or trying, I still feel it's best to just drop out.

Anyway, so summer had been miserable for a while. I started applying for jobs pretty much as soon as the semester ended, knowing my grades would force me to forfeit my scholarships. But with virtually no experience, it was a hopeless task as even the most unskilled jobs I could find wanted relevant experience. I filled out maybe 10 applications before giving up for a while. I played video games a bit heavier than usual to try not to think too much about things. Then, over a month ago, I found that UPS was looking for some part-time package handlers. I filled out yet another application, not thinking much about it since I probably wouldn't get the job. But I was set up for an appointment for a date ridiculously early in the morning. After looking into it online, I decided "what the hell" and gave it a chance.

Long, unexciting story short, I eventually got the job after receiving a call after attending the appointment, which was just a quick tour of the facility. It's incredibly early in the morning. I usually start at 5 A.M., so I definitely had to get used to a new sleeping schedule. But it's decent work. I sort packages for about 3 hours or so and then finish up with a random task. It's decent work. It's fast-paced and can get hectic, but I kind of like it. It's very physical with a lot of lifting, which is something I don't mind too much as I like to work out. It's significantly above minimum wage for where I live, so I'd say it's pretty good for a first job, even if it is part-time. I know I'll have to get another part-time job or eventually find something full-time if I ever want to move out, but at least I should be racking up some decent money since I don't have many expenses, as I still mooch off of my parents for many things.

Not sure why I felt the need to share this as I don't really like saying personal things on the Internet. But too late, that was too much typing to just delete. And it's not like people read blogs anymore, amirite? So, yeah. I'm feeling a little better about myself. And I still have a lot of time for gaming, which is cool. I've more or less dismantled my backlog, so I've just been revisiting games and whatnot. I plan on getting a PS4 one month from today, when that Destiny Bundle comes out. I don't even want the game, honestly. I just want that shiny, glacier white PS4. That said, I plan on selling the game and buying Metro Redux in its place. But my first game is going to have to be InFamous Second Son as I'm a big fan of the first two games. I'll probably grab Killzone Shadow Fall as well since it's pretty cheap at this point. So I think those will be a good first three games to have for the console and should last be a decent amount of time. Then I have a decent wishlist of games after that along with many upcoming games to look forward to.

My Top 10 Most Ridiculous Trophies I Have Earned.

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To "celebrate" my 5000th trophy I've accumulated over the Playstation Network, I'm taking a look back through all the games I've played and trying to remember which trophies I've earned that have been the most absurd. These are trophies that perhaps made me want to re-think my passion for trophy-hunting. Or maybe they made me second guess as to whether I could actually obtain the glorious Platinum trophy.

Now, I fully understand the vast majority of gamers aren't trophy or achievement hunters. Most think little to nothing of that (in my opinion) satisfying ding! of an earned trophy or whatever sound that is when an achievement pops over on the Xbox. But, to me, trophies are something fun to strive for in a game. Generally, I feel I've gotten the most I can out of a game by earning all of its trophies. Sometimes it's a challenge, sometimes it's a grind, sometimes it's quite easy and enjoyable. Regardless, I strive to earn the platinum for most games I touch.

I'll be getting to my list very shortly. But just to be clear, this are trophies I personally found to be absurd to a certain degree. They aren't necessarily difficult. In fact, I left out difficulty-related trophies, even though those can be truly frustrating. I tried to keep the list with a bit of variety. I'm not a fan of collectibles as much as the next guy, but I'm not going to make half of my list collectibles, even though those tend to be on the more annoying side when it comes to trophies. So without further ado, here are 10 trophies that make me cringe when thinking about.

(In no particular order)

1. Demolition Man- Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Requirement: Online: get 20 demolish kills

This was one of the first trophies that came to mind when compiling this list. As you probably know, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was full of incredible destruction, far surpassing its predecessor in that regard. Entire houses, small structures, and sniper towers could be destroyed. A demolition kill is simply killing someone by being the one to send one of these structures spiraling down on an enemy. The only problem is how difficult that could be to pull off. And you're not just doing it once, but 20 times, unless you're lucky enough to get multi-kills. Oftentimes, it's hard to get credited for a demolish kill when enemies are escaping too quickly, getting shot down by friendlies, or getting killed by an explosion first. For the most part, I eventually obtained this trophy by playing naturally, but I did become obsessed with trying to knock buildings down, oftentimes with UAVs or rockets. Thankfully, after several months of playing the online on and off, I got the last demolish kill I needed, but still continued to play the online for a while after because it was so damn good.

2. Waste Management- Grand Theft Auto V

Requirement: Purchase the old dock and collect all nuclear waste.

The Grand Theft Auto games are known for having some rather demanding trophies. But the only thing this trophy demands is for you to stay awake while you try to obtain it. It's not a difficult trophy by any stretch, but it will require some patience, to say the least. Basically, once the submarine is set up and ready to collect nuclear waste, you might navigate around the entirety of the map in order to find every one of these waste barrels. The only problem is that it is excruciatingly boring since the submarine travels painfully slowly. You don't even get to listen to the radio. The only thing you get to hear is beep beep beep whilst trying to track down the next barrel. Sure, you don't have to do it all in one go. But it's in your best interest to do it all at once if you have any intention of obtaining the trophy. Other than that, it's an extremely dull and unrewarding.

3. ModNation Superstar- ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Requirement: Achieve Level Rank 28

If you aren't aware of how ranking up works in ModNation Racers, this may not sound too bad. But it is, trust me. Ranking up only occurs when other players view, download, or use your creations. To put into perspective of how ridiculously unrealistic it is to reach level 28, it takes 100,000 Create xp. Downloads earn you 100 xp, views earn you 20 xp, and usages of your downloads are maybe 25 xp. Oh, and you only have 30 creation slots. That means you would need in the ballpark of 30 people to at least download every single one of your creations, which obviously isn't something people just do. Furthermore, downloading creations on this game takes forever and it quickly bogs it down to the point of extremely long load times and crashing. So how the hell did I pull this trophy off? By finding groups of dedicated boosters who download all of your creations in return for downloading all of theirs. That means I downloaded somewhere over 1000 individual creations. And of course there were assholes who didn't return the favor. So yes, I didn't get this trophy the "honest" way, but it's nearly impossible for anyone but a handful of dedicated creators to do that. But I'd say going through all of that was worth it to earn my rarest platinum trophy to date.

4. Hardcore Risette Fan- Persona 4 Golden

Requirement: Hear 250 of Rise's navigation lines

Let me start of by saying that Persona 4 Golden is a wonderful game. But its trophies were a bit of a doozy. It basically required 2 playthroughs and its a 70 hour game, give or take. I didn't mind playing through twice, but I was extremely glad to get this particularly annoying trophy out of the way at the tail end of my first playthrough. In a nutshell, Rise is a character that at a later point in the game cheers you on and narrates your battles. She has hundreds of unique lines, and for this trophy, you must activate 250 of them. The only problem is that you can't check up on how many you've triggered. And there's way too many combinations of sayings to keep track off. So the best you can do is change up your playing style, let your teammates get hurt/inflicted with stuff, and so forth in hopes of triggering enough of her lines. After stressing over this trophy as I was nearing the end of my first playthrough, it popped on one of the last dungeons. I would have been pissed if I missed it, least to say.

5. Right 4 Life- Dead Island

Requirement: Complete act I with 4 different characters.

There were quite a few miscellaneous trophies to tackle upon completing Dead Island. Of them all, this was definitely the worst of them all. To begin with, acts are fairly lengthy. There were only about 4 or 5 in the entire game. So even just speeding through the first act takes somewhere between an hour or two if memory serves me right. That said, playing through the first act with the 3 other characters I didn't use was a complete chore. And of course, I was pretty much tired of the game at that point.

6. Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic- Grand Theft Auto IV

Requirement: You won in all variations of multiplayer games.

I just had to choose something from GTA IV seeing as I managed to earn the platinum for this game fairly recently. My "ridiculous trophy" pick goes to Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic. Yeah, GTA IV's online trophies as a whole are pretty much awful, but AWP takes the cake. AWP isn't just notoriously glitchy, but it's a dull grind/boost, unless you're insane enough to try to earn it legitimately. To break it down, there are something like 10 game modes in which you must get wins in. That isn't too bad, but it's when you see that there are 54 different races that you have to win is when you pop your eyes in disbelief. On top of that, you must also win every race AGAIN in GTA Race mode. That makes 108 races you have to come in first on top of the remaining game modes. It's basically a trophy you must boost, the majority of which you can fortunately do with a partner. Even then, it's incredibly boring. Luckily, I had no issues with the trophy popping. Thankfully GTA V's version of this trophy wasn't nearly as bad.

7. Completionist- Assassin's Creed III Liberation

Requirement: Reach the maximum player level in the multiplayer

This isn't exactly the kind of trophy I wanted to include in the list because it's easy to include any sort of multiplayer trophy, especially one that involves reaching a specific level. But the "multiplayer" in this game was so unimaginably boring that I can't even describe what you have to do since I was completely tuned out. I think basically you're touching a bunch of screens and waiting. Honestly, I guess I really wanted to forget this experience, because I've forgotten it all for the most part. But I do remember it taking some 5 hours to do this and that it was virtually unbearable. At least they dropped the MP in the PS3 version, not that I have any interest in playing this mediocre game again.

8. Full Boat- Homefront

Requirement: Enter a public match in a Party with 16 players in Multiplayer

Okay, fine, I'll mention another multiplayer trophy while I'm at it. Honestly, I wasn't even trying to go for this trophy. I think I mentioned on a Forum that I might be interested in going after some of the trophies, then at some point I was invited to a large ass party and was one of the last people in it before the match started. The MP trophies in this game are absurd, but I never even bothered with most of them, or even finishing the SP trophies for that matter. So even though I wasn't really going for this one, I still have to mention just how absurd of a trophy it is. It's hard enough organizing 2 or 3 people into a match. But 16? Damn. Humorously enough, this remains one of my rarest trophies on PSN Profiles.

9. Every Man, Woman and Child- The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Requirement: Choose to Travel at Least Once with Every Optional Survivor

As if attempting to earn the platinum for this game, let alone playing it, is ridiculous enough, there is one trophy that is a particular pain in the ass to obtain. In essence, there's this "driving" mini-game between levels. You can choose your own path and whatnot. Sometimes you run into random survivors you have the option to pretty much rescue. Key word: sometimes. And with there being multiple paths to take, that means at the very least two playthroughs to find all the survivors. But it's going to take more than 2 playthroughs of this subpar take on a wonderful series to accomplish this mind-numbing task. Thankfully there are ways to give yourself more attempts at finding survivors, but it's still a frustrating process.

10. Send a Mugshot or Smugshot- Burnout Paradise

Requirement: Awarded for sending a Mugshot or Smugshot to another player during an online game (requires a USB camera to be connected)

Requires. a. USB. camera. to. be. connected. I was baffled and pissed when I first saw this was a trophy. I wasn't going to buy a damn camera just so I could get a trophy. Thankfully, this somehow came up in conversation with a friend and he let me use his PS2 Eye Toy. But still, this is an absurd trophy. And no, I didn't let some stranger on the Internet see my face. I ducked out of the way just in time before the picture snapped. Creeps.

That concludes my top 10, but there's another 10 I want to mention in hopefully a more brief manner. So real quick-like, here are my...

Honorable Mentions

Kamikaze- Heavy Rain

Requirement: The Bear - Take the best route on the highway

This is one of the only trophies I can think of that requires some precise movements with the Dualshock 3's Sixaxis, maybe aside from a few other trophies in this game. While not overly difficult once you know exactly what to do, it's an exercise of frustration doing it all over again.

It's a Miracle!- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational

Requirement: Score a double eagle in an official round

This game was chock-full of challenging trophies, which made it all the more satisfying to actually earn them all. Much of them are skill-based, but this one right here is 99% luck. That might going for it on purpose all the more insane. It took me several hours of attempts to finally get the shot to go in. I don't hate this trophy, I respect it. But I'm not ever doing that shit again.

Challenge Accepted- Borderlands 2

Requirement: Completed level 1 of all non-level-specific challenges with a single character

Borderlands 2 was a lengthy and, at times, annoying game to platinum. This trophy definitely didn't help. It's basically a giant chore list, with the worst part of it being having to find this annoying little dude named Jimmy Jenkins. Using different methods, it still took me hours to find the little asshole.

Kifflom!- Grand Theft Auto V

Requirement: Complete your path to enlightenment... or not.

This long-winded side mission in GTA V has an assortment of ridiculous task you must go through to complete. This includes running around in the desert for 5 miles, restarting entirely if you accidentally run out of bounds; finding a bunch of random cars; and being forced to wear some stupid robes for 10 straight in-game days. At least the mission had a decent ending, I guess. But it wasn't worth everything you have to do to get to that point. Kifflom, Kifflom, Kifflom...

Globe Trotter- Smart as...

Requirement: Earn a total of 100 stars in Street Smart

This is only ridiculous because it literally takes months to complete. That is, provided you don't travel around much or can't work around it by changing your location via Skyhook. But unfortunately, I couldn't get the latter to work until I was almost done. Basically, you can only earn up to 9 stars per week. You may only get like 5 if the chosen challenge games suck. So yeah, you'll be holding on to this increasingly annoying game for a while if you plan to plat it.

Completist - Destroy everything on the MAWLR- Killzone 3

Requirement: Destroyed every destructible weapon on the MAWLR while on foot and on the Intruder

It sounds straightforward, but the on-rails section of destroying everything on the MAWLR can prove to be highly frustrating. Turrets towards the end will pop back down extremely quickly, making them infuriatingly difficult to take down in time. What really made me hate this trophy was when I completed the sections thinking I had gotten everything, when really I didn't. So I had to do it all again. Yeah.

The First Million is Always the Hardest- Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

Requirement: Have 1,000,000 bolts banked

This trophy wouldn't be anywhere near worth mentioning if the 1 million bolts was accumulative regardless of whether you spent them or not. But no. You have to have 1 million all at once. That means you have to hold off from buying awesome weapons and upgrades if you don't want to grind more than you have to towards the end. Thanks, jerks.

Castle Guide- ICO

Requirement: Beat the game within 2 hours

This is a last second inclusion, to be honest, since I reconsidered one of my honorable mentions. But I don't like speed runs, and 2 hours for this game is a very, very strict time limit, especially considering my initial playthrough took like 5 hours. Following a video second by second made this do-able, but there were a couple of sections that made me want to break things, especially what with having a dumb AI partner.

Anonymous- ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Requirement: Play an Ad Hoc race

This would be in the top 10, but I wanted all of the top 10 trophies to be from different games. But really, the description says it all. I don't know anyone who plays this game, let alone owns a Vita. I ended up purchasing and returning a secondhand Vita and copy of the game just to get the 2 Ad Hoc trophies. Yes, I'm crazy.

All of the ambient freeplay trophies- The Saboteur

Requirement: Blow up and collect a bunch of shit

I know this would be categorized under collectibles, but this game way overdoes it. In all, there are somewhere in the ballpark of 1200 "ambient freeplay" things scattered throughout the map. From what I remember, they're everything from stunt jumps to crap you pick up to blowing up a bunch of Nazi stuff. It's mostly the latter. You can easily conquer a few dozen ambient freeplays in a relatively short amount of time, but it's still quite excessive, especially considering you have to do almost every single one of them. And they get hard to find as there become less things to do. So, in summary: this game has over a 1000 COLLECTIBLES.

And I think now I'll finally wrap this up. It's probably quite sloppy with a lot of grammar errors and whatnot, but this all took forever to type out and I just want to get it posted. Share any trophies or achievements you found ridiculous to go after or obtain, if you want.

Oh, and I can't forget this. I think I'll just stop earning trophies now that I'm at 5000 trophies flat.

... Nah =P

Immediate E3 Afterthoughts

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Instead of trying to process an entire day's worth of conferences, I'm going to sloppily try to record all of my (almost) immediate afterthoughts. I ended up seeing almost all of Microsoft's Conference, none of EA's, most of Ubisoft's, and all of Sony's. I'm not waiting view Nintendo's conference, or whatever is they're doing, so here we go.

Basically, I think I'm just going to briefly touch on what I liked, what I didn't particularly like, and everything else in between. Then I'll try to quickly (but probably not that quickly) summarize my thoughts as best as I can.

What I Liked

Sunset Overdrive- This feels weird to list considering I don't own an Xbox One nor intend to purchase one at any point, but I'll give some credit where it's due. This looks like one of those games not meant to be taken seriously at all and is just made to have fun. I'm a bit angry at Insomniac for switching sides and making an exclusive game for the Xbox. But whatever, I'll just admit that this genuinely looks like an enjoyable game. I'll also through in that I liked Microsoft's non-stop game after game approach, which is something I sort of wish Sony would have done, but more on that later.

Rise of the Tomb Raider- This was the first "surprised" announcement of the day, at least for me. I played through the Tomb Raider reboot not too long ago and thought it was a solid game. It was my first Tomb Raider game, and I'm glad to start there and continue on with this new direction that's being taken with the franchise. I honestly love the grittiness and humanizing of Laura Croft in the first game. I like that it's more than just running around shooting people and raiding tombs, not that there isn't plenty of that. Anyway, this announcement was in the form of a CGI trailer and the game won't come out until late 2015, but it's one I'll be adding to my Wish List.

Mass Effect 4- I didn't catch EA's conference, but I saw what very little there was shown of Mass Effect 4. There aren't many new details; hell, they won't even tell us when exactly it's supposed to take plus. But nonetheless, I'm thrilled to see at least something from this game. I didn't realize just how much I was excited until I heard that familiar music. I have no idea where the series is heading, but at this point my skepticism is fading, albeit I still think it's going to be hard to top the original trilogy- namely the 2 previous games.

Far Cry 4- Announced not long ago at all, it came as no surprise to hear from and see some footage of this game. The beginning of the game was shown at Ubisoft's conference, which lied out a seemingly interesting premise with what appears to be another insane and well-crafted villain. But it wasn't until Sony's conference where we saw some real gameplay that interested me. I can't speak too much about how the game looks since my streaming quality was shit, but the scope of it looked pretty amazing. The gameplay looked a little familiar, but it was still one hell of a piece of gameplay they put together. I thought the whole bus hi-jacking and flying it off a cliff and then bailing out bit was pretty fucking awesome.

LittleBigPlanet 3- This was one of the only other "surprise" announcements to me. I honestly didn't see this one coming. Of all the other Sony franchises, I'm surprised to see another sequel for this. I know I probably shouldn't since we all know MM has been up to something on the PS4. I'm not sure if this is really the kind of game that's going to take very much advantage of the PS4. I mean, it didn't look much different than its PS3 predecessors. But I suppose, at the very least, load times will be better and the online will be more functional. I'm also not sure what else I want from LBP. There's some new characters and that's cool, but I'm feeling this could end up being a case of "more of the same". Nonetheless, I still enjoyed this announcement.

Dead Island 2- Say what you will about Dead Island, but I've personally enjoyed the past games for what they were. Yes, they're riddled with mediocre writing, visuals, and gameplay, but for some reason they're kind of a guilty pleasure to me. Riptide was hardly a sequel, so I'm hoping Dead Island 2 will actually move forward this time instead of moving back a little. During the trailer, I had no idea it was even Dead Island. It looked like a Dead Rising ripoff or something with its almost lighthearted take on a zombie outbreak. It definitely contrasts previous Dead Islands, which had emotional trailers that in no way represented the games that did, at times, try to be emotional, though fell flat in that regard. Anyway, I'll give this one a shot, but I will say that Dying Light has more of my attention right now and will probably be a more compelling zombie game.

The Witcher 3- I'll keep this short since I know nothing of the franchise. I've heard good things, and since this one is coming to the PS4, it has my attention. A good snipped of gameplay was seen. The game looks incredible and its massive world has my attention. I'm still not sure how the gameplay will feel, but I'm always stoked to have a potential game with a massive, interesting world that I can spend 100+ hours in.

Uncharted 4- Wow, almost forgot about this one. It was almost a guarantee we would see something from Uncharted 4. They saved it for very last, which was almost disappointing since it was fairly obvious what the last showing would be. While I'm a little let down that there wasn't any actual game footage, I think the very brief trailer gave the game a great tone. It seems that Drake has aged a bit and Sully is going to be heavily involved in the game. It seems there might be a more serious/dark tone, which I honestly wouldn't mind. I'm willing to see a more story-oriented and character-focused Uncharted, although they've already done some great work in those departments.

InFamous First Light- Dammit, almost forgot this too. Of course, I don't have too much to be excited about since I don't even have the game yet on account of (still) not owning a PS4. But it's great to see some SP DLC for a game from a franchise I really like.

Batman: Arkham Knight- Another one I almost missed. I'm not the biggest fans of these games, but I still think they're pretty damn good. We saw a good chunk of footage for this. Driving the batmobile will be interesting. Hopefully it will make traveling the city more enjoyable.

What I Didn't Like

Lack of New, Exciting Announcements- Looking at my list, I only see 3 new games that caught my attention. I'm not really sure what I should have expected, and I am happy to see those games announced. But I guess I just wanted something really "big".

Sequels, Sequels, Sequels- Taking another glance at my list, I see that none of those are new IPs, aside from Sunset Overdrive, which doesn't really count since I won't be playing that game. There were some new IPs, I know, but none of them really caught my interest. Like, at all. Maybe that will change in the future, but I guess I'm just sticking to my comfort zone here.

Indie Games- We get it Sony and Microsoft, you support Indie developers. But I don't care about a bunch of shitty, side-scrolling games. I get the importance of supporting them and blah blah blah, but I personally have no interest 99.9% of these games.

Sony Deviating From Showing Games- I think Sony's conference start off well, even though I don't give a rat's ass about Destiny and that I thought they were showing something from a new IP or whatever. Anyway, they started off with some games, even announcing LittleBigPlanet 3 on the spot. Then it went downhill for a while. The games got much less interesting. They didn't elaborate much on PS Now aside from when there will be an Open Beta. They shared a bunch of useless stats. The Vita gets shat on once again as being paraded as a PS4 accessory and revealing more games on it that can already be played elsewhere. Some crap about TV and adding some useless bonus for PS+, and blah blah blah. It felt like too much filter, and to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the conference overall. I would go as far as saying that Microsoft did a better job at being more to the point and focusing virtually exclusively on games.

HD Remakes- Honestly, I'm getting sick of these, especially for games that came out like a year ago. I think showing off The Last of Us Remastered was a waste of time, especially when they mostly used cinematic footage, which looks virtually identical on the PS3. Plus, I'm just not seeing a whole lot of difference. I'm sure there's more I'm not seeing, but that's not the point. I just hate that the PS3's library is slowly getting "remastered" to the PS4. They may as well have just stopped supporting the PS3 a year ago instead of wasting this time on remaking games for consoles that need their own games. The GTA V next-gen announcement annoyed me even more because I thought we were going to hear about some SP DLC, but no. Just another "Remaster" cash-grab. At least PC folks will finally shut up about getting GTA V. So there's that...

What Was Meh

Pretty much everything else and the conference as a whole. Maybe I'm being too negative. But when I look at all the games I'm wanting now, it's just a bunch of sequels. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe that's my fault for being too selective and sticking to what I'm comfortable with. I don't know. I suppose I'd rather focus on less games so I don't have an overwhelming backlog. My backlog is actually getting pretty small, but my Wish List will larger, especially after this E3. So there's that.

Summary

I don't know if I have much left to say. I guess I simply wasn't "wowed" by anything. Most games I'm currently interested are releasing in 2015 or have been pushed back. But I guess that isn't a problem seeing as I have some games to get through still and don't even own a PS4 yet. I don't want to get too far behind, though. I think watching most of E3 was a waste of time. I would have been better off watching trailers and whatnot afterwards. I guess I watched it because I thought there would be something "big", but again, I don't know what I was expecting. But I suppose it was too much. There's Fallout 4, which my hype for any sort of announcement is unimaginably high. I knew it wouldn't get announced, but I'm still sad to see there's still no word on it. Hopefully Bethesda will have something to say about it within the next year. I'm going to go crazy if they don't. So there you have it, perhaps no Fallout 4 is the real source of my disappointment, lol.

The State of My Backlog: Pre-Summer 2014 Edition

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Welcome to another one of my "State of My Backlog" blogs. I did my previous (and first) one some two and a half months ago, which may not be quite as long as I want to spread these apart. But since I'm done with my semester of school and summer has officially begun, I figure it's a good time to make another one of these.

Current Backlog: 14 Games (-8)

  • 9 Playstation Plus
    • ModNation Racers: Road Trip
    • Unit 13
    • ICO
    • Shadow of the Colossus
    • Hotline Miami
    • Remember Me
    • Puppeteer
    • Plants vs. Zombies
    • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
  • 2 Unplayed and Owned
    • God of War: Chains of Olympus
    • God of War: Ghost of Sparta
  • 3 In Need of Re-Visting
    • Resistance 3
    • God of War 3
    • BioShock

Current Wishlist: 14 Games (-1)

  • 5 Non-PS4 Games
    • Batman: Arkham Origins
    • God of War: Ascension
    • Persona 5
    • South Park: The Stick of Truth
    • The Wolf Among Us
  • 9 PS4 Games
    • InFamous: Second Son
    • Watch Dogs
    • Killzone: Shadow Fall
    • Far Cry 4
    • Metro Redux
    • Dying Light
    • Batman: Arkham Knight
    • The Evil Within
    • Mad Max

Total Games on my "Waiting to Play" List: 28 (-9)

Well, the total number has gone down significantly. But there was a good handful of games I just removed since I decided I didn't really want to play them. In this time span, there were also some games I just decided to return to and fully complete such as GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption, and Killzone 3, all of which I earned the Platinum trophy for after having owned each game for years. PS+ games continue to dominate my actual backlog, and probably will for quite a while. My wishlist hasn't changed much aside from the removal of a game and the addition of a game, and plus I now have Metro Redux for the PS4 instead of each game individually. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how much of this backlog I can conquer over the summer and how it will change. I'm unsure if I will be getting a PS4 this summer. I'm also unsure how much I'll be able to game seeing as I'm in desperate need of a job, especially considering there's a good chance I'll be dropping out of college. So right now I'd love almost nothing more than to once and for all get a job and move out, though I know it won't be that simple. Regardless of how my job search turns out, I'll still probably continue to be a lazy piece of shit and play a lot of video games anyway.

The State of My Backlog: March 2014 Edition

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Since I'm basically talking to myself at this point with making blogs, I figure I'll start a "For me" blog, since I'm probably going to be the only one who reads it. But this is a blog I want to do from time to time to track and take note of the state of my backlog over time. So I'm pretty much going to list the number of games that are in my backlog along with my current wish list. Plus I might as well throw in the names of the games. Hurray for lists!

Current Backlog: 22 Games

  • 13 Playstation Plus
    • Tomb Raider
    • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    • Plants vs. Zombies
    • ICO
    • Shadow of the Colossus
    • Hotline Miami
    • Remember Me
    • Rayman Origins
    • ModNation Racers: Road Trip
    • GTA: Liberty City Stories
    • Far Cry 2
    • Outlast
    • Resogun
  • 4 unplayed and owned
    • Dishonored GOTY edition
    • God of War: Chains of Olympus
    • God of War: Ghost of Sparta
    • Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
  • 5 in need of re-visting
    • Mass Effect
    • God of War 3
    • Resistance 3
    • BioShock
    • Killzone Mercenery

Current Wishlist: 15

  • 8 Non-PS4 Games
    • Persona 5
    • The Wolf Among Us
    • South Park: The Stick of Truth
    • Metro: Last Light
    • Metro: 2033
    • Batman: Arkham Origins
    • God of War: Ascension
    • Sound Shapes
  • 7 PS4 Games
    • inFamous: Second Son
    • Watch Dogs
    • Killzone: Shadow Fall
    • Dying Light
    • Batman: Arkham Knight
    • The Evil Within
    • Mad Max\

Total Games on my "Waiting to Play List": 37

That's interesting, I suppose. Playstation Plus is definitely inflating my my backlog, especially considering that I probably wouldn't even be playing half of those games if they weren't "free". I'm hoping this list shrinks over time, which it may, and not necessarily due to playing all of them. Sometimes I just decide not to play games, though other times I add games to my backlog on a whim. But hell, I don't even have a PS4 yet, so I'm sure my backlog will only grow once I get one, though I've already included PS4 games. For now, I really want to tackle my PS3 and Vita games, which I will continue doing even once I own a PS4.

A Short Rant: Complaining About Free Content

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It's been a while since I've blogged. I still come to this site often, it's just that I haven't had any blog ideas, nor does anyone read blogs anyway. But now I have something I briefly want to rant about. I may even make this a recurring thing, with A Short Rant #2 and so forth being possible. However, I'm usually not very vocal when it comes to certain gaming discussions, or in general. So I don't expect to do this often. And I hate to come across as whiny or anything, but this is something that's nagging at me at the moment that I feel the need to address.

I'm sure most gamers are aware of the Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus services that Microsoft and, more recently, Sony have implemented on their consoles, so I won't waste too much time explaining either of them. But for comparison's sake, Xbox Live has been around much longer. For the vast majority of its time frame, its primary function has been to allow Xbox users to play online. There have been a few other perks I won't dig into too much. Now, on the other hand, there's PlayStation Plus. Its main benefit includes access to an Instant Games Collection, with a few new titles pouring in and replacing other titles, which subscribers still to get to keep so long as they claimed them while they were a member and so long as they remain a member.

Once PlayStation Plus released, the only thing about it comparable to Xbox Live was the price. But still, the services were completely different. Skipping ahead to get to the point, Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus are now quite comparable due to each of the newest consoles requiring them for online play. In an attempt to compete with PlayStation Plus, Microsoft has fairly recently implemented Games with Gold, which gives Gold subscribers 2 free games per month. And now to the main focus of my rant, PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS.

Now, let me get something about of the way here. PlayStation Plus arguably blows Xbox Live out of the water, even before it became mandatory for online play. I get that. But the fact of the matter is, Xbox Live has actually improved as a result of Microsoft's need to compete with PlayStation Plus. Yes, Games with Gold has thus far offered significantly older games than what you see on PlayStation Plus, but SO WHAT? To my knowledge, these are games you can actually keep FOREVER so long as you claim them while a Gold Member, and they don't have the downfall of being unplayable once your membership runs out.

Being a PlayStation Plus Member, I can understand the envy of Xbox users. They're paying the same price for a service that offers less than what the competitor does. But, a lot of these people have been at least somewhat willingly been paying for Xbox Live for years without any free game bonuses. What baffles the hell out of me is that every time new games are announced for Games with Gold, people vilify Microsoft to death for adding games they're clearly not interested in. I know, people like to jump on the Microsoft-bashing circlejerk. I know, people like to complain about virtually anything and this probably isn't a special case. But I'm just surprised that, in an attempt to improve a service by ADDING FREE GAMES, Microsoft may actually be damaging their reputation and service due to negative outcry.

In short, this kind of nonsensical bitching from gamers isn't good for anybody. You can visit this article if you want that's currently on the front page to get a taste of what people are saying. And, spoiler alert, it's an overwhelming majority of negative comments. Someone did bring up the point that "complaining gets results", citing the initial underwhelming nature of PlayStation Plus as an example. They may have a point, but I don't think this mindless hatred towards Microsoft for their game selection of Games with Gold, something, once again, that would never be possible without PlayStation Plus would be possible; and, the fact that people would still be shelling out $50 a year for online functions alone, is doing anyone any justice.

To be clear, I am not an Xbox user. If anything, I'm more biased towards Sony and the PlayStation. I'm just trying to be reasonable, though I don't know why I bother sometimes. There are probably a hundred topics I could discuss and complain about people complaining about, but this one really stuck out to me. If I do another rant, I'll try to address something a little more thought provoking and hopefully something that just isn't about other people complaining because that would get repetitive fast. Then again, I'm not huge on ranting. I just try to enjoy games and not get too much into certain discussions. Anyway, thanks for reading or skimming this. It didn't turn out as short as I intended, but I'll still call it a "Short Rant", since rants tend to ramble on even more than this.

A Minor "My Top 10 Games of the Generation" Revision.

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So I recently did a blog on my top 10 games of the generation. Overall, I was pleased with how the list turned out and I had a lot of fun reminiscing as I wrote it all out. However, just today I realized I made a pretty big mistake in leaving out one important game entirely. In the early days of planning this list, I intended for this game to squeeze into my actual top 10. Looking at what made my top 10 cut, I still feel this game deserves to be #10, as bad as I feel for having to push Red Dead Redemption out from #10. Though I'm not going to make any changes to the initial blog, I'm just going to note that Red Dead Redemption is technically an "Honorable Mention" game now. I suppose that also means I'd have to push Sleeping Dogs out of that final Honorable Mention spot, but it's not like I'm going to delete that part of the blog.

Anyway, this is more for me, but here's my real #10.

10. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series

I think this one skipped over my mind because of how it was divided into episodes and my individual ratings for the episodes weren't up there with my other top games, aside from the last episode, which reflected how I felt about how the game turned out as a whole. Nevertheless, this game took me by surprise, least to say. Being a fairly new fan of The Walking Dead at the time, I still didn't have much faith in this game initially. A game based off of a TV show based off of a comic book series? Not exactly a recipe for a remarkable game. My expectations were fairly low, but I took a leap of faith in buying the season pass after playing the demo and feeling the game had some potential.

The first episode was a good intro, but nothing more. It wasn't until completing the second episode that I felt this game was really growing on me and had a lot of potential going forward. What this game lacked in terms of visuals and gameplay was easily made up in superb writing, well crafted characters, and the difficult decisions and dialogue choices thrown at you the entire game. Brutal, shocking, and emotional are some of the key words I would use to describe to this game. Yet, Clementine is one character that portrays hope, and I just loved how Lee and Clementine bonded throughout the journey. The Walking Dead was definitely a tough game to play at times, but it was the devastating ending that truly got to me. I'll be one of (seemingly) many to admit that the conclusive of the final episode left me in tears. This remains the only game to do that to me. I'm usually not very emotional, but some games have caused my eyes to water up; still, this one resulted in full blown waterworks. I'm not sure whether or not to feel good to admitting to that, but it just goes to show how powerfully the game impacted me.

So there's that. I feel dumb for completely forgetting about one of 2012's best games. My main issue with this series is how long it takes for episodes to release, which was problematic for the first season and probably won't be any better with the second season. I would wait until all episodes come out, but for a game as good as this, I simply can't do that. I don't expect the second season or any possible future seasons to be as stunning as the first season, but I'll continue to eagerly play each and every episode as they come out. While the second season is off to a good start, I'll be surprised if it turns out to be as phenomenal as the first time around.

My Top 10 Games of the Generation

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I might be a little late with this, or maybe even a little early depending on how you look at it. On one hand, all "next-gen" consoles have been out for about a month and a half now, though with the Wii U, 3DS, and Vita having been out for quite a while now. On the other hand, some significant games will still be releasing for the PS3 and 360, though mostly cross-gen games. Anyway, I've been planning this blog for a while, and I had fun constructing my personal list. It was difficult, to say the least. Keep in mind of course that this is my personal list and am not trying to make any sort of statements. Also, since my of my gaming occurred on the PS3 "last" generation, most of my games will be limited to that console.

Now, without further ado, let me start my list with...

10. Red Dead Redemption (2010)

Honestly, this didn't even originally make my top 10. I had Persona 4 Golden at #9, but realized it was on a "next gen" device. Red Dead Redemption barely didn't make the cut in the first place, thus I had to promote it to #10 due to my error. I felt bad in leaving it out of my top 10 to start with, because it truly is a great game, one that would probably be higher on most people's list. I even went as far as declaring it my Game of the Year is 2010. The story was fantastic and it was a fun game to play once I got into it. The world was big and there was quite a lot to do, as expected from a sandbox game from the likes of Rockstar. I never had any real gripes with this game. I simply was not into the setting as much as I am with modern or futuristic games. Nonetheless, I'm glad to name this as a Top 10 Game of the Generation, even if due to a technicality.

9. Portal 2 (2011)

Portal 2 was my initial #10, narrowly making its way to the top 10 in the first place. In short, Portal 2 was a pleasant surprise for me. Having not played the first game, the gameplay was fresh and exciting to me. The humor was also definitely a high point of this game. The puzzles were fun to solve. They were consistent in being challenging enough to make me think while also not being too frustratingly difficult to solve. It was simply a blast from start to finish. Even the short co-op campaign proved to be as enjoyable and humorous as the single player campaign. My only regret was how soon I was finished with everything in this game. Interestingly enough, this is my only top 10 game that I don't own or ever actually owned. I was able to do everything whilst renting it, but more importantly, it was a quality experience.

8. Uncharted 2/3 (2009/2011)

Okay, so this is where I start cheating by cramming two games into one spot. But truthfully, I enjoyed Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 to roughly the same extent. Plus, it would be a bit redundant to name multiple games of one franchise near the same ranks. Anyway, Uncharted 2 may arguably be the superior game, yet it wasn't until I played Uncharted 3 that I finally realized my genuine affinity for the Uncharted series. The first Uncharted was a great start to the franchise and a solid game in its own right, but Uncharted 2 blew it out of the water. It truly set Uncharted down its crazy over-the-top-action-y path that its well known for. Uncharted 3 accomplished essentially the same thing, and was yet another fantastic Uncharted game. I believe Uncharted is easily one of the Playstation's best current franchises. Speaking of Playstation exclusives franchises...

7. inFamous & inFamous 2 (2009 & 2011)

inFamous was one of my earliest Playstation 3 games and has remained one of my favorites throughout the 5 years I've owned the console. Though not as critically or commercially successful as the Uncharted games, inFamous especially appealed to me for some reason. Perhaps its open world gameplay, ease of traveling, and zapping the hell out of enemies (or people on my evil playthrough) were a few of the reasons I enjoyed this game. The story was also quite captivating and had a nice twist at the end. inFamous 2 improved on inFamous in various ways, namely visuals and smoother gameplay. I don't think the story was quite up there with its predecessor, yet it concluded in a satisfying way. It feels right keeping these two games together in the same spot because I cannot ultimately decide which game I prefer more, mostly for reasons mentioned previously. Though it's fairly popular, I believe the inFamous games are the most underrated Playstation 3 exclusives. I cannot wait to play inFamous: Second Son, which is one of the primary reasons I'm currently holding off on buying a Playstation 4.

6. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

I'm almost tired of talking about this game at this point, but nonetheless it's an incredible game in my opinion. The mechanics, visuals, and sheer amount of things to do surmount previous GTA games, making it perhaps the best GTA thus far, depending on how strong your nostalgically attached to say Vice City or San Andreas. GTAV was definitely an excellent game to sort of close out the generation before the PS4 and Xbox One rolled out. That's not to say we won't be seeing games on what I have to get use to calling "last-gen", but I can almost guarantee we won't be seeing games with the quality of GTAV coming out exclusively on "past-gen" in the future.

5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

The first game to crack my top 5 is, suitably, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I was honestly skeptical coming into Skyrim, being a newcomer to The Elder Scrolls franchise and all. And I was so skeptical I actually rented the game first. My main reason for even playing it in the first place was due to its vague similarities to the recent Fallout games, which I thoroughly enjoyed of course. To get to the point, I was incredibly blown away by Skyrim after the first few hours of playing it. It's hard to put everything I think about this into words, but I'll go with the obvious factors like its vastness, engaging leveling system, solid visuals and a good amount of variety for an open world game, and the simple fact there's a ridiculous amount of things to do for the reasons as to why Skyrim is so addicting. To date, I've put over 200 hours into Skyrim, and on just one character astonishingly enough for me. That said, I haven't even explored everything in Skyrim. Conclusively, I shouldn't have had any reason to worry about when getting into the wonderful world of Skyrim, and I regret not playing not only this game sooner, but immersing myself into The Elder Scrolls sooner.

4. BioShock/Bioshock Infinite (2008/2013)

The Bioshock games are amazing. And yet this was another series I nearly ignored entirely. Even after hearing all the wonderful things about BioShock, I put off on playing it until the middle of 2012. Suffice to say, it would have been a grave mistake for me to never play the original BioShock. I've since then caught up with the rest of the games, including Infinite of course. Given that the original and Infinite are tied together at #4 on my Top 10 Games of the Generation list, it's left quite an impact on me. The original BioShock felt a bit awkward to play at first and I thought it was just outdated. It didn't take long for me to push that worry aside and become immersed in the dark and literally deep world of Rapture. Big Daddy encounters were tense and there were a plethora of interesting characters, albeit ones mainly heard through audio logs and intercoms. Some twists and turns left me very satisfied upon completing BioShock, and I felt like an idiot for not having played it sooner. Infinite, on the other hand, leaves the depths of Rapture and takes off to the skies with a new set of characters and a new story, though there were plenty of parallels to Rapture and the previous 2 BioShock games. Though Columbia was vibrant and lively, it turned out to be nearly as dark as Rapture. Gameplay and visuals were enhanced, plus the conclusion to the story was simply jaw-dropping. So which game is better? I can't really answer that since they both have very strong points and very few weak points.

3. Mass Effect 2/3 (2011/2012)

As a non-owner of an Xbox 360 or viable gaming PC, Mass Effect was barely a thought until Mass Effect 2 made its way to the Playstation 3. Ultimately, that was perhaps one of the best things to happen to me last gen. Despite not knowing heads or tails about the Mass Effect universe or any the main characters, it didn't take too long for Mass Effect 2 to grow on me. I found the plot to be highly interesting, even if it took a while for me to grasp what all was going on. The characters, namely my squad mates were easy to become attached to. And finally, the gameplay was some of the best I've seen from a third person action game. I felt Mass Effect 3 was just as strong in all the aspects that made Mass Effect 2 an incredible game. I know much has been said about the conclusion to Mass Effect 3, namely negative things of course. While I don't think Mass Effect 3 ended terribly, I felt it was a bit muddied what with the choices and how it all closed out. Nonetheless, even if the ending wasn't as satisfying as it could have been, I still feel Mass Effect 3 was an otherwise excellent game. Even the multiplayer mode was a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the game. I still feel bad that I wasn't able to start out with the first game, but Mass Effect 2 and 3 did a fantastic job in sucking me into its deep lore and letting me experience an unforgettable story.

2. The Last of Us (2013)

Though The Last of Us looked like a great game from the start, I didn't quite expect it to be as stunning as it turned out to be. I never imaged it would make its way to one of my favorite games of all time, but here it is, #2 on my Top 10 Games of the Generation list. I feel it deserves #1, but I just have too much of a personal affection for the next game. Anyway, I'll keep light on the details of this one since I've wrote about it so much at this point. It's a 15 hour, linear, action game, yet it's just so incredibly well done in my opinion. It's the characters, namely Ellie, that really keep this game going. The gameplay is distinctive and highly intense, and there's a pretty good survival element to the game as well. Lastly, the multiplayer deserves a nod because I did not expect it to be nearly as good as it turned out to be either.

1. Fallout 3 (2008)

You didn't see this coming, did ya? It's not like I have some sort of obsession for this game or anything, because I totally don't. Joking aside, Fallout 3 was also one of my very early Playstation 3 games, and to this day I generally regard it as my favorite game of all time, if I had to chose. The best part about this is the fact that I didn't even like Fallout 3 when I first started playing it. And it's not just that, I loathed the first couple of hours after coming out the vault. I was simply lost and confused as to where I was supposed to go because I found it difficult to navigate what with the metro tunnels and everything. Plus, I kept getting my ass kicked by Raiders and Mutants. I was on the verge of selling this game and getting some of the $30 I paid a friend for this game back. I took a short break and resumed my struggle to find out what I should be doing and how not to die or use up all my resources. By some miracle, I quickly settled myself into the game and shortly after really starting having fun with it. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was genuinely becoming immersed in the game, which caused me to play it virtually non-stop for a little while. It only took me about a week or so once I knew what I was doing to complete the story and earn all the trophies. And it wasn't until I finished with all that that I realized how much I really enjoyed playing game. From thereafter, I sought to explore even more of the world and collect rare weapons and whatever else. Plus, I made an Evil character for fun. The DLC, which I thought would never come to the PS3, definitely expanded my experience and pretty much introduced me to DLC. My only real issue with Fallout 3, of course, was with the glitches and freezing. It honestly wasn't too bad with the core game, but the GOTY edition had some serious issues. Nevertheless, Fallout 3 is definitely my #1 game of last gen and I still feel comfortable considering my favorite game of all time.

That concludes my Top 10 Games of the Generation. However, upon constructing this list, I felt too bad for leaving out some other great games I genuinely enjoyed. So, up next is another 10 games. These aren't necessarily in any particular order since ordering my Top 10 games was difficult enough. But these games I feel deserve a nod. I'll try to be more brief with these games since it's taken so long for me to type everything up at this point.

Honorable Mentions

BioShock 2 (2010)

BioShock 2 wasn't quite good enough to include with BioShock and BioShock Infinite, but it was still a very solid game in its own right. I think it gets some undeserved hate for not being as spectacular as its predecessor, although that just might be the sound of neglect. I suppose it wasn't as dark and mysterious the second time around, but it still improved upon the original in a few ways. BioShock 2 received a bit of flak for including an unwanted multiplayer mode, but I'll be one of the few to say it was actually pretty fun. I forced myself to play it and reach the highest original level for the trophies, but it really wasn't bad at all.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010)

In my first few years of owning a PS3, I became attached to playing online shooters. It was 95% Call of Duty, though, until I played Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The first one was good, but I never really got into the multiplayer. Bad Company 2, on the other hand, had a highly enjoyable online multiplayer. The single player by the way, was brief and entertaining, though had a more serious tone. Anyway, the main attraction of course was the online, which, for me, pushed Call of Duty aside. The maps, destruction, sounds, and intensity in general were all very good. I've since drifted away from online shooters, but Battlefield: Bad Company 2 remains my favorite shooter and I'll always have some good memories with it.

Burnout Paradise (2008)

I'm not a huge fan of racing games, but I do like the occasional arcade racer. Burnout Paradise was basically perfect for me, especially since I'm a sucker for open world games. Though it's a weird concept, I think Burnout Paradise mixes open world and racing almost perfectly. And it's not just racing, there are other events that I really enjoyed partaking in. I'd never played a Burnout game prior, but this was a fantastic one to play. And it's still the only game I can think of that allows the music on your system to play in-game. Why the hell haven't more games done this?

Mario Kart Wii (2008)

What's this? A non-PS3 game? Yes, believe it or not, I played the Wii for a while before moving on to the PS3. As aforementioned, I do like some arcade racers, so it should come as no surprise that I like me some Mario Kart. Mario Kart Wii easily became my favorite Mario Kart game. 12 kart races were intense and the new tracks were definitely creative. Retro tracks gave me a rush of nostalgia. And lastly, Mario Kart Wii essentially introduced me to online multiplayer, and I had an excellent time racing against others online.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)

Say whaaaat? Another game on a Nintendo system? (I played this on the DS) But yes, I almost forget the DS was in the same generation as the PS3. Though an odd match that explains why it wasn't so successful on the device, Chinatown Wars actually played very well on the DS, which was my main worry going in. I thought I wasn't going to like the whole top-down view, but I realized the controls were seamless almost the second I started playing the game. I honestly don't remember too much about the game in terms of its story and everything, but at the time I felt it deserved a 9.5/10, thus I felt obligated to include it on the list.

Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

If I'm such a big fan of Fallout, why isn't this game in my top 10? you may or may not be wondering. Well, Fallout: New Vegas is definitely a great Fallout game. It does many things right; in fact, it does many things better than Fallout 3. Yet, it doesn't have that same gritty, apocalyptic atmosphere Fallout 3 has. Furthermore, New Vegas manages to be an even worse technical disaster than Fallout 3. I could only overlook so many glitches, freezes, and drastic frame rate drops, which seemed to occur in particular areas regardless of how long you've been playing the game. Despite its issues and minor shortcomings, Fallout: New Vegas is still a fantastic game with even more to do than Fallout 3.

Call of Duty: World at War (2008)

This might seem an odd fit given that I loathe the series now, and I'm choosing to include this game instead of Modern Warfare 1 or 2. Well, I have an explanation. World at War was essentially my first FPS, as hard as that is to believe. Furthermore, it was the first online game I played heavily. Even in hindsight, I prefer World at War to all the Modern Warfares and the other Call of Duty games I've played. I was genuinely amazed with this game at the time. I liked its grittiness and the campaign remains my favorite of all other Call of Duty campaigns. Looking back, there may not have been anything spectacular about the online multiplayer, but again, it's the first one I truly played and became addicted to.

Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)

This was exactly the second PS3 game I played and a significant factor in me finally getting a PS3. I was very excited to play it after all of my time of playing San Andreas. Initially, I was disappointed. The controls felt wonky and the open world wasn't nearly as interesting or diverse as San Andreas. It took me a while, but I eventually got a hold of the mechanics and enjoyed playing through the story. Eventually, I found plenty to like, though it remained quite a ways from being as awesome as San Andreas was. The DLC episodes turned out to be really good, too. Though extremely overrated by critics, I still feel GTAIV deserves a nod.

Far Cry 3 (2012)

Not much needs to be said about this game other than that it's an open world FPS and that it does well in mixing both of those elements. The story is fairly interesting as well, and it contains one of the best antagonist I've ever seen in a video game. Oh, and I learned what the definition of "insanity" is, so there's that too.

Sleeping Dogs (2012)

This final "Honorable Mention" spot was a serious toss-up, namely between this game and Mafia 2. I have games with higher ratings, but I felt at least one of these games needed to be mentioned. They're both modest open world games with solid stories. I suppose I ultimately decided on Sleeping Dogs because it felt like a very smooth experience throughout. There was heavy focus on the hand-to-hand action, and thankfully that aspect of the game was very well done. The shooting and driving mechanics were loose and enjoyable as well. Overall, definitely a modest, yet solid game that exceeded my expectations.

I think that will finally do it for this blog. Again, these were the top 10, or I suppose the top 20-ish games that I enjoyed the most out of previous generation. It was challenging, yet very fun putting this together. I feel I could add another 5-10 games that I really enjoyed if I wanted to as there's plenty of great games I've played last gen that I feel a little bad for not being able to include them on this list. Some such games are the LittleBigPlanets, some of the Assassin's Creeds, the Resistance games, Killzone games, Blur, God of War 3, Borderlands, and some others.

Then of course, there's the fact that I'm still playing last-gen stuff, aside from the PS Vita. I have yet to play some potentially superb games that I plan on playing such as Tomb Raider, Dishonored, Metro: Last Light, and perhaps a few others. But other than that, I'm pretty happy with this list. If I feel like it, I may make a list like this but for DLC. I would probably only do like a Top 5 since the number of candidates is much lower, but I could probably name at least 10 add-ons that I thought were at least great.

I'll end it with this paragraph and conclude with saying that I think last gen was amazing. It might just be me personally, but I haven't enjoyed gaming this much since ever. I played somewhere over 100 games, almost that many alone on the PS3 thus far. Sure, you could say some bad things that started trending last gen like Online Passes, microtransactions, on disc DLC, and so forth. But looking at just the gaming itself, I felt it was simply fantastic overall.

2013 Gaming in Review (GOTY, Reflections, and 2014 Preview)

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I haven't seen a blog in My Friends's feed for quite a while, so I'm hoping there's still some people out there looking out for and reading blogs. Either way, I've had this sucker planned for a while, so I'll I'm going for it regardless.

Anyway, 2013 was another great year for gaming. Not only did the successor to the PS3 and Xbox 360 release toward the end of this year, but some truly fantastic games were released for "last" gen consoles. I didn't actually play many games released in 2013, but I played the main ones I wanted to. These games as I refer to as the "Big 3" for 2013 because they were my most anticipated games of the year from the get-go. Consequently, there were 5 or so "2013" games I played this year, depending on if you count DLC.

Since these 3 games were all amazing in my opinion, I'll go ahead list these games in the order in which I liked them and deem them my top 3 games of this year.

3. BioShock Infinite

First up is BioShock Infinite, coincidentally the first of these 3 games that I played. After having completed this game, I had no idea it would turn out to only be my third favorite game of 2013. BioShock is a franchise that I've only fairly recently acquired an affinity for since I played the first game a mere year and a half ago. I was simply amazed at how excellent of a game it turned out to be, even though it took me forever to finally decide to play it. BioShock 2 wasn't quite the masterpiece as its predecessor, but it was still a very good game. On to BioShock infinite, which I felt lived up to the grandeur of the franchise.

As far as hype goes, I became more and more excited for BioShock Infinite the closer launch approached. Delays only heightened my anticipation. My only concern was this new location- a seemingly vibrant city located in the sky. Despite its stark contrast to the unmistakable dark, unsettling atmosphere Rapture provided, the world in Infinite manages to be just as immersive. Gameplay-wise, it remains familiar, yet is refined overall. The story and visuals are both top-notch. In short, I enjoyed almost every aspect of this game. Some of the shooting sequences did drag on at times, and the mini-boss fights, namely the Handyman, were a bit underwhelming, especially compared to the Big Daddy fights in the previous games.

Conclusively, BioShock Infinite was a highly enjoyable game worth re-playing. The lack of multiplayer this time around wasn't a disappointment. I personally had very few issues with this game unlike others, and the ending blew me away. In all, I genuinely enjoyed experiencing this game. In fact, it almost feels insulting to call this the third best game of the year, but then these next two games came out.

Score: 9.5/10 (My Review)

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Now, this game would probably make it on lot of people's "Most overrated games of the year" lists, but massive hype aside, I truly enjoyed this one. My love for the GTA franchise only stems back to San Andreas, but the fact that GTAV was returning to the same location as San Andreas was what blew my hype meter up. For the first time in a long while, I made a day one purchase. And, of course, it was this game since I was set on buying it at or near launch well before it released. Basically, once I started playing GTAV, I could not stop. For about a month and a half, the only game I played was GTAV. I completely neglected everything else and further delayed my backlog, but dammit, it was worth it.

Much can be said about GTAV, and I promise I won't go into too much detail. In many areas, it was a vast improvement over GTAIV; visuals, gameplay mechanics, and a much better open world being some of the primary examples. What gets me about GTAV is that it doesn't do anything incredibly innovative, except for the ability to play the 3 protagonist there are. Yet, it still manages to be one of the best open world games I've played. There's undoubtedly plenty to do in the single player alone. They greatly expanded the amount of side activities, many of which are actually enjoyable to play, such as golf. A wide variety of air vehicles make a much needed return. In all, the gameplay mechanics are easily the most smooth of any GTA title.

Once said and done, I drained some 80 hours into the single player. The story wasn't particularly amazing, yet the game as a whole was a blast to play. The Online is its own separate beast capable of spending loads of time on, but it left somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth. Leveling and earning money legitimately is highly tedious, yet there's still plenty of fun to be had messing around in the well-crafted open world with others. Overall, I can see why people would deem this game the most overrated or would be disappointed with it themselves. The main cause in most instances is definitely due to the hype, not that GTAV did anything especially wrong. Though I can nitpick several small things about GTAV, I feel it was a well-delivered game that lived up to my personal hype. It was my most hyped game for 2013, and it would have been my game of the year if it weren't for this next game.

Score: 9.5/10

1. The Last of Us

Of these titles, The Last of Us was the only new IP. That said, I found it difficult to hype it any more than the two previous games. Sure, it was being developed by Naughty Dog, but aside from that and the little I knew about its premise, I held back my excitement for quite a while. But new gameplay footage looked promising and I hopped on the hype train as its release drew near. In short, wow. I was not prepared for this game. I wasn't prepared emotionally. I wasn't prepared for how engaging the action would be. I wasn't prepared for how heartfelt the story would be. I was not prepared for how I attached I would become to the characters. And perhaps even more notably, I was not prepared for how unique and enjoyable the multiplayer would turn out to be.

I don't know what more to say about this game that I haven't reiterated numerous times before. The 15 hours I spent on the single player the first time around were easily among the best I've experienced in a linear action game. It wrapped up just as shocking as it began, and this is a story and game I'll never forget. There is seriously next to nothing about this game I can truly criticize. Rarely, The Last of Us does seem to fall under its own weight since it undoubtedly pushes the PS3 to its limits, and as a result is one of the best looking games you'll play on the system. Other criticisms I've seen didn't have any real impact to me, such as the friendly AI's tendency to not stay quiet when enemies are nearby, who don't react to this noise.

To be brief, The Last of Us impacted me in more ways than any game I've played this year, and perhaps more than almost every game I've played. I felt it was one of the best all around games I've played. It's rare to see a game with a superb story and gameplay, but The Last of Us pulls it off. I could compliment virtually every aspect of this game. Wrapping this up, The Last of Us easily earns my Game of the Year and is also one of the generation's best games for me.

Score: 10/10 (My Review)

I know that wasn't very exciting, talking about arguably the 3 most hyped games of this year. But I genuinely enjoyed every one of those games and felt they all lived up to the hype and deserve being mentioned. I know they kind of win by default since I've played really only one other full retail game from 2013, but I feel they would remain my top 3 even if I played 20 other games from this year. Very quickly, I'll go ahead and give a game an honorable mention since I felt it was a solid game worth mentioning, even though there are probably a handful of other games from this year that were better than it.

Honorable mention

Beyond: Two Souls

I almost literally just got through with playing this game, but I think it deserves a last minute mention. There weren't tons of 2013 games I was looking forward to aside from the "Big 3", but this was one of them. Despite being released with highly mixed reviews, I wasn't concerned about playing this one. I was a fan of Heavy Rain and felt it was a unique experience in terms of storytelling and not being able to "lose" the game. Beyond: Two Souls is a similar, yet distinctive experience. To be extremely brief, it was a visually impressive game with stunning performances from the actors. The writing was a bit lackluster in some areas, but the ideas presented were definitely interesting. It was an emotional game as it clearly tried to be, though the unconventionally way in which the story is presented takes some away from the attachment I had to the characters. Though there's a bit of flaws present and the gameplay is highly sidelined, I actually enjoyed this game quite a bit overall. Some of the levels are really well done and memorable, and as I mentioned I was really intrigued by the concept and felt the performances were very gripping.

Score: 8.5/10

That does it for the Game of the Year portion of this blog, phew. Now on to my overall reflection on 2013 in terms of gaming for me personally.

It may not seem like I've done a lot of gaming this year since I can count the number of 2013 games I've played on one hand, but that is far from the truth. I played around 24 "new" games, finishing and even earning all trophies for most of them. Most of these games were 2012 games, which makes me realize even more that 2012 was a fantastic gaming year as well. In all, I've played in the ballpark of 30 games this year. A good portion of 2014 will likely be spent playing 2013 games I didn't get to.

Now, looking forward to 2014. Honestly, there aren't a ton of games I'm looking at that are releasing this upcoming year. However, more excitingly, I do plan on purchasing a PS4 hopefully sometime in March. In total, the 2014 games I'm currently looking at are:

  • Infamous: Second Son
  • Watch Dogs
  • Dying Light
  • The Evil Within
  • Mad Max
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • The Walking Dead Season 2
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth

In addition to those previous games, I plan on getting my hands on these games I've missed out on playing them in 2013 or even before that.

  • God of War: Ascension
  • Tomb Raider
  • Sound Shapes
  • Saints Row IV
  • Dishonored
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Crysis 3
  • Tearaway
  • Killzone: Mercenary

Aside from all these games, I'll continue working on my backlog, which is actually fairly small now.

To finally conclude this blog, I think 2014 will be tough to beat 2013, at least from my perspective. The top 3 games I'm looking at are Infamous: Second Son, Watch Dogs, and I suppose the remainder of The Walking Dead: Season 2, which is off to a good start as I finally played the first episode yesterday. I do expect more exciting announcements this year. I feel this will be a good build-up year for the new consoles, but there won't be any really big releases aside from Watch Dogs, Infamous, and a couple of other games like Titanfall that I'm not interested in.

Thanks to those few of my "followers" I have that still look at blogs. Even if this gets no responses, I plan on making a "My Top 10 Games of the Generation" blog. I think this will be a fun, yet somewhat tough blog to do as there's a lot of games to consider. In fact, I have all sorts of blog ideas lined up, but since the GameSpot changes, there will probably be even less people reading them. Go figure, but oh well I guess.

One Year Playstation Vita Owner

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As Black Friday rolled around, I realized that I purchased my Vita during the around the same time last year. Honestly, it was on a complete whim. I was browsing the Forums here on GameSpot and ran into a topic mentioning a great deal for the Vita on Amazon. And sure enough, it truly was a great deal. And a very limited time offer, unsurprisingly. It was just $170 for the Limited Edition Assassins Creed III Liberation bundle. To sweeten the deal, Amazon was offering a digital version of PS All-Stars and some other bonuses like a month or 3 of PS+ and $10 off Assassins Creed 3. Having a good chunk of Amazon credit, I went ahead and made the purchase basically right on the spot. It was too hard to pass up for the price, especially with it being a limited edition white PS Vita.

So oddly enough, my random browsing of the Forums probably due to boredom that day led me to this unexpected purchase. No less, it was most likely on the Playstation Vita Forum, which means I probably saw the topic on the main Forum page from the old GameSpot. I honestly had pretty much no desire or intention to buy a PS Vita anytime soon, if at all. But seeing this deal combined with a decent number of games I would be interested in playing, few of which I could play right away with PS+, sealed the deal. But now on to what I actually think about the system after owning for about a year now.

While the PS3 has remained my primary gaming system, my newly purchased Vita did see a fair amount of playing time. After about a year, I've played 9 full games, which I guess doesn't seem like a lot. But I have spent a fair amount of time with most of these games, and here's just a quick list of what I've played:

  • PS All-Stars: Battle Royale
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
  • Resistance: Burning Skies
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Gravity Rush
  • AC3: Liberation
  • LittleBigPlanet Vita
  • Persona 4 Golden

However, I actually only own 4 of these games: All-Stars, Hot Shots Golf, LBP, and Persona 4. I rented Black Ops and Resistance, Uncharted and Gravity Rush are PS+ games, and I sold Liberation. These games have been somewhat hit-and-miss. Liberation and Resistance were a little underwhelming and not up to par with their console counterparts. PS All-Stars was just decent. Black Ops was a joke, at least for its single player. I actually thought the multiplayer was fun and rather functional at the time I played around with it. But the rest of the games- Hot Shots Golf, Uncharted, Gravity Rush, LBP, and Persona 4 have truly been enjoyable games. These 5 games alone have made my overall gaming experiencing thus far with the Vita satisfying.

Sadly, I've already run low on games to play, which is the main problem with the Vita. I won't say there's a lack of games as there seems to be a good chunk of games out there, but it lacks big games. Games that people will rush out to purchase the system to play. It's done well releasing some good games from popular Playstation franchises like Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet, but aside from Gravity Rush, I can't think of any decent new IPs released on the Vita. I'm tired of seeing games release for the Vita that can just be played on the PS3 (PS All-Stars and the announced Borderlands 2 for example). That's not going to help the system. I'm torn on whether or not it would be good to see more spin-offs from popular franchises such as Bioshock emerge on the PS Vita, because that's been a bit hit-or-miss what with titles like Resistance, Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed not turning out that great on the Vita, but with others like Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet turning out just fine.

Maybe I'm wrong about the games. Maybe 9 games isn't bad for my first year of owning the system. Maybe I just have to dig deeper to find more good games, but there is a lot out there that I just don't see interested in. However, I did step out of my comfort zone with Gravity Rush and Persona 4 Golden, and I've loved both of those games. Still, the Vita has been out for almost 2 years now, and it just doesn't seem to have many "big" titles thus far.

Aside from the library, I don't have any real issues with the systems. Games look great on it and they're highly playable with the 2 thumbsticks. I never had a PSP, so I can't imagine playing games with just one thumbstick. The touchscreen and reartouchscreen are usually implemented well enough in games and are not too overdone, but the rear touchscreen can be a bit finicky and annoying to use, but other than that I don't have any issues with the controls. I don't do much other than game on the Vita, so I can't really comment on any other features that might be worth mentioning.

So that's about it. Overall, I'd definitely say I've had a good first year with my Playstation Vita. I still can't help but feel I've already played most of what the current library has to offer, at least with games that interest me. I've played all the games I own, so I don't have a real backlog for the Vita currently. However, I am interested in Killzone: Mercenary, virtually the only Vita game I was interested in for this year. Also, I have to add Tearaway to the list since it looks fun and received great reviews. And after not playing for a few months, I did finally start a second playthrough of Persona 4 Golden, so I am actually playing it now. Looking back on it, making the purchase was definitely a good call. I feel it will be worth it in the long run, but the lack of upcoming games I'm interested in truly concerns me. I guess I'll have to see what I can pick up and try from PS+ once I renew that.

How about you, do you own a Vita? If so, how do you like it so far and what games might you recommend that I didn't list earlier. If you don't own a Vita, do you have any intention or desire to purchase one anytime soon?