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jasonredemption Blog

Do Game Mechanics Spoil Game Immersion?

Ok, so I read this fascinating article on how Games are Squandering Their Potential to Truly Immerse Us.

The basic gist of the article being that in spite of fantastic music, beautiful graphics and wonderfully crafted worlds we still have pop-up notifications and in spite of the situation being that the main protagonists need to escape quietly and quickly to avoid certain death the game has the player collecting things to level up.

You can read the article to get a better sense of the argument and it's well written. It really got me thinking.

Because on one hand they're right. The pop-up notifications and hints are constantly hampering the experience. I can't tell you how many times recently I did things simply to get the pop-up to go away whether it's entering the start menu to customize a new combo I had unlocked, crafting new gear to spending my XP on a new upgrade I was entitled to. These things should be much more subtle unless the notifications are sort of incorporated into the art style of the game (Remember Me and X-Men Destiny come to mind as attempting to do this with limited success).

Regarding the collectibles/upgrades/rpg-light elements, I am perfectly happy with the state of gaming currently. I'm playing a video game and am not watching a movie. I remember when I played my first FPS game, Star Wars: Dark Forces, it was an incredibly immersive experience. I remember the garbage monsters would pop up and I would about jump out of my skin attempting to shoot them (I was only 10 at the time). I also remember the secret areas that you could find which garnered you a stash of ammo or shields or that sort of thing but were hardly necessary for survival or for completing the game.

Now a days we have games that do similar things with various levels of success. Uncharted made the collectibles a fun-trinket sort of fun rump that never affected your success in the game where as the Last of Us made collecting things of-so-necessary to your survival. But both those games were at the top of their game in how they handled those things and of course the fine folks at Naughty Dog made games that were EXTREMELY IMMERSIVE and those games remain some of my favorite games of all time.

I recently just finished Remember Me and Bioshock Infinite. I enjoyed Bioshock far more then Remember Me and yet both these games made their collectibles key to understanding the world/story and/or upgrading your character. Both games could have been much harder if I wasn't sniffing around every corner looking for that next focus boost or upgrade potent. Now some games do get a bit bogged down in all this collecting and Assassins Creed series is rightly called out for this. From managing your assassin recruits, doing homestead chores to some-mini-tower-defense game you spend way to much time in menus and away from actual assassin stuff (not to mention the whole pointless-animus-story-line) and just breaks immersion.

Even a well crafted menu can help make this feel more like an experience to be enjoyed rather than to be drudged through. The menus in Far Cry 2, Remember Me, X-Men Destiny were all examples of well designed menus. The menus in Uncharted and the Last of Us were unmemorable but got the job done. Menus in Far Cry 3 and the Assassins Creed series were downright ugly and you spent too much time trying to navigate t their often uninspired (far cry 3) and confusing (assassins creed) layout.

Let's not forget that are tons of games (such as Donkey Kong or Sly Cooper) that never really attempt to immerse you in a world without you remembering you're playing a video game. Not every game needs life-like graphics and not every game needs to feel like a movie (though alternatively not every "real" game needs to be a 2D platformer--I'm look'n at you indies).

I do give the writer of this article props because the new Tomb Raider (2013) was a fantastic game that was hampered by one-to-many-hey-look-you're-in-a-game notifications while you were trying to enjoy the experience. Assassins Creed has over-all too much busy-work and too many collectibles. But I do have to point out I enjoy collecting things. I played the Last of Us several times. I enjoyed platinuming Far Cry 3. I've spent way more time with Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag post story-line collecting things then with some entire games. This is because games are meant to be enjoyed and if that means you want to spend hours leveling up your blacksmithing skill in Skyrim until you're wearing Dragon Bone armor (like I did) then by all means do that or if you want to ignore every treasure that Nathan Drake comes across by all means do that. I do enjoy games that give you rewards for exploring and picking stuff up and yet I don't appreciate games plastering every notification in my face making it difficult to see what I'm trying to do.

My Personal Top 12 Games of All Time

So, I got inspired by IGN's staff picks for personal favorite/best-games-of-all-time type lists I thought I'd make one as well. I set certain parameters for my list. First parameter is that if there are multiple games in the series only one game could make the list (the one I thought was the best for whatever reason). This was tough for several reasons, there are several games that I just absolutely adore multiple games in the series (Batman, Assassins Creed, Uncharted, Burnout). I picked the game that really stood out to me the most. Yes, often times a sequel will be better but when taking story, gameplay, impact of game for it's time, originality, quality (for its time) Second parameter is that I must have played (and beaten) the game (duh). Yes, this might seem quite obvious. There are a number of games that I've heard good things about and might have even purchased them because I had never gotten around to playing them but if I didn't beat it I won't list it.

Honorable mentions:

Motorstorm: Apocalypse

Resistance 3

Battle Tanx: Global Assault

SSX 3

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

12. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I am not a RPG person. If anything I prefer action/adventure games with RPG elements. But Skyrim is almost more than a game, it's an open-world sand-box where you can do pretty much whatever you want. Want to be a knight? Go make armor? Do it. Train to be a magician? Do it. Want to focus on side quests? That's fine. Want to do the main story? You can do that. Skryim is a special game and for good reason.

11. Soul Calibur II

Soul Calibur II was the game I played at my friends house on his Playstation 2. It was a local-multiplayer chaos each and every time it was played. This game got more use in my GameCube each time I had a friend over than any other game. It was the sort of game that got over-played until homework was overdue and friendships were beginning to unravel. It is a well balanced fighter and one that a newbie can pick up with relative-ease. It is the sort of game that shows what fighting games have the potential of being and it has solid single player options to prove its worth.

10. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

I still remember the summer I mowed lawns all summer saving up for an Nintendo 64. After playing Smash Brothers, Tony Hawk, Star Fox 64, Mario Kart 64 at various friends and relative's houses I knew I had to get myself an Nintendo 64. I ended up picking up a console bundle that included Star Wars Episode I: Racer. I didn't even know if I'd like the game. I spent hours playing that game working to earn upgrades with different racers. I spent hours memorizing tracks so I could achieve gold medals. I raced against friends and family in multiplayer for hours. I loved this game and it occupied many hours of my N64's time.

9. Star Fox 64

Star Fox 64 was a game that sold Nintendo 64s. It was fantastic-tight-arcade-on-rails space shooting experience. The single player was challenging but I played for hours trying to perfect each and every mission. The multiplayer was of course a huge reason as to why this was a must-own in every N64 collection because it was tons-of-fun with friends as well. The bosses were tough and I saw a lot of Game Over screens during my time with Star Fox but it was one of the pinnicles of gaming experience and it's a real shame that Nintendo has milked Mario but failed to give us a new Star Fox.

8. Assassins Creed II

I would have never thought I would enjoy stealth games or games where you are tasked with following some guys talking meanwhile avoiding being spotted. But Assassins Creed II has a story-line that makes all these menial tasks interesting. There are tombs with puzzles (not as good as Uncharted) and collectibles to boot. The free-flow climbing, roof-top-running, combat is all very well done. Even though I sometimes criticizing the series for the dumb-modern-day-sci-fi-story-line, the "assassins claw" controls and the yearly-milking of the series, there are far more reasons to love the assassins creed series then to hate it. Assassins Creed II from a story perspective and game-play perfections as well as innovations stands as the pinnacle for most people when it comes to Assassins Creed and for good reason it is probably the most-beloved Assassins Game to date in spite of what has been hailed as the runner up of best AC games in the well-done Pirate Simulator: Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag.

7. Uncharted 3

It was a tough decision between Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. Uncharted 2 was my first Uncharted experience on my Playstation 3 and one had my girlfriend and I staring at the TV screen for hours like we were watching a movie. Uncharted 3 makes the list because it was the most fun. Uncharted 2 had fantastic story and pacing but Uncharted 3 just topped it in nearly every single way. The gameplay is just perfect and the visuals are stunning and of course the sound and music are just breath taking. It's the Uncharted series that has proved that video games can be cinematic.

6. Donkey Kong 64

The first sandbox-open world type game I had ever played. The numerous puzzles and side-quests and collectibles is overwhelming. The number of Kongs you could play as. The big-open-hub-world. The levels, the bosses, the Krazy-Kong storyline. It was all so mind-blowing to me at the time. I loved every minute of it (and boy did I spend a lot of my minutes with Donkey Kong 64). I don't think I spent much of my free time doing much else after the I got my paws on Donkey Kong 64.

5. Burnout Paradise

One of the first games I picked up for my Playstation 3. I had loved Burnout on my GameCube and suspected this looked amazing. I never knew a racing sandbox game could be so much fun. The DJ from SSX3 spent many hours announcing songs while I drove around Paradise City doing and seeing everything there was to do and see. It was an addiction that kept me up to the late hours of the night racing, rampages, busting gates and signs like there was no tomorrow!

4. The Last of Us

This was my most anticipated game of 2012-2013. It ended up being my personal game-of-the-year for 2013. Even from the early demos Naughty Dog showed at E3 I knew it had the potential to be one of the best games I had ever played. The story was so gripping. The survival-scavenging-sandbox-collecting and puzzle solving game-play was absolutely perfect. It was the game I played through twice without breaking for another game in-between. It was a game I spent hours thinking about after I was done playing. It was terrifying and thrilling. It was so exciting to upgrade and to craft-modify weapons. Every aspect of this game was perfect.

3. Red Dead Redemption

I didn't pick up Red Dead Redemption until a few months after it had been released. Between the GTA comparisons and the hype I was convinced it was going to be a good game. But once I picked it up on sale and popped it into my PS3 my jaw dropped. I didn't stop playing for a week. The open world that felt so-real, so-alive, I was immediately sucked in. The horse travel, the dust, the hunting, I almost forgot to do missions there was so many things to see and do in Red Dead Redemption. It had a fantastic story and I was so upset when it all ended.

2. Star Wars Rogue Leader

I got into video games because of Star Wars. Rouge Squadron was one of the reasons I knew I needed to get the first console I ever owned, a Nintendo 64. Rouge Leader was the reason I knew I needed to pick up a GameCube on launch day. I barely had enough money for the system, a memory card and two games but Rouge Leader was the only game I knew I HAD to PLAY. It was my favorite game on the GameCube. I remember just how blown away I was by the graphics and the sound. LucasArts & Factor 5 really knew what they were doing when it came to making Star Wars arcade video games. It was challenging but I played missions over and over until I mastered them. I spent many hours playing this game over-and-over and over again.

1. Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum was one of the first games I played on my new PS3. It was also one of the reason I bought a PS3. It was love at first sight. You actually felt like Batman in this game, the game-play mechanics were just right. The combat was superb. The collectibles, the secrets, the unlocks, the metroid-style game-play-it was all just perfect. This game represented a pinnacle in video games for me.

PS4 Launch Games

Ok so the PS4 is here and it's amazing. But I can't help but wonder why PlayStation didn't make it MORE amazing. I like Killzone Shadow Fall but Knack never looked interesting and with the abysmal reviews there's no way I'm picking up that pile of junk until it's deathly on sale. So they delayed Drive Club and I can't help but wonder why they didn't think things through say 12 months ago?

Why did God of War: Ascension come out on the PS3 and why in a few weeks is Gran Turismo 6 coming out for the PS3? I understand the user base is there hence why we got GTA5 at the end of the PS3 life cycle but for first party games doesn't Sony want the PS4 to be the MUST have console? Even though neither game is my cup of tea, God of War and Gran Turismo are the games that sell PlayStation consoles. Why not begin the PS4 off with a bang? Why not make it the MUST have thing and sell 2 million units in the first 24hours instead? So many games would have made Gamers minds explode everywhere.

Sony has been preparing for the PS4 launch for a couple of years (obviously) so why do we only have two exclusives and two exclusive PSN titles? Imagine how amazing GT6 and GOW would look on PS4? Plus those are the types of games that might have re-converted xbox 360 converts form the PS2 days. The PS3 has tons of amazing games as is and continues to be a much stronger console since it's weak early days, but why not re-secure your PS2 fans with an unbeatable launch with the PS4? Why not make it the undeniable, unbeatable must have console of 2013?

Assassins Creed Multiplayer

Hey Ubisoft, I've got your next big idea for Assassins Creed for you. We live in a day and age where big block-buster titles come out every year. Like Call of Duty--there's no doubt that though there will be a new Call of Duty each year that there will still be a huge user base for each Call of Duty that comes out. That's fine and all that, but what about the multiplayer part of games like Assassins Creed? If I booted up Assassins Creed Revelations, who would still be playing it? I'm sure some people would. When I load up AC:IV my XP from Brotherhood, AC:III is all lost and I must start over. The modes from Revelations didn't repeat in AC:III and I suspect AC:IV won't have the same maps as Brotherhood. This splinters your user base. What if I loved a mode or character or set-up from a previous Assassins Creed game? It's essentially a dead market.

So this is what you do: release a Assassins Creed Multiplayer game on the PSN and Xbox Live networks. This way you can add constant DLC to ONE user base of fans who work on one load-out & and one character customization. Imagine the skins from Constantinople, Early America and Pirates all running around in a map from Venice or Rome? New DLC bringing new customization options, new DLC with new skins for your multiplayer characters and best of all new maps with every new release of an Assassins Creed game. This will encourage one place for all AC fans who want to play multiplayer for a long time and really invest in building their XP. Make a budget $30 Assassins Creed Multiplayer bundle that sells online and stop just tacking multiplayer onto every new game--it'll unify your user base, create amazing variety in a single package that will make you TONS of money. On top of this, you won't have to spend extra money to re-tack on that multiplayer mode onto next year's Assassins Creed.

It's a good idea, I know...just send me a free voucher to download the PSN edition and the idea is all yours. Have fun making tons of money and making Assassins Creed fans happy everywhere...seriously...think of your community--make them happy--in turn it'll make you money.

Dear _____

Dear Nintendo,

I want the Wii U. I think the tablet controller looks cool. I want to forget that wii thing ever happened. I like the look of Pikmin 3, I like Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. I want Mario Kart 8 and the new Super Smash Bros. That all sounds good. I hope the Legend of Zelda Wii U is good. I hope that you'll come up with a new Rouge Squadron, a new StarFox (spaceships not ground missions), 3D Donkey Kong...and not ANOTHER 2D Mario or 2D Donkey Kong. Look at Indy Games, they're already rehashing every idea/concept for 2D platforming known to man. So until you start making the next iteration of games that I loved on the N64 & GameCube, I can't justify buying the Wii U even though it looks really cool...thanks.

Dear Sony,

I am getting a PS4. I am getting it cause I want epic experiences. I want AAA titles like Killzone, infamous, Motorstorm, Uncharted. But we don't need Uncharted 4 or Ratchet and Clank 11. I would love to see new IPs. When the PS3 came out you guys came out with all kinds of new IPs like Resistance, Uncharted, infamous, Little Big Planet ETC. I want to see what Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch can do on the PS4 with their creativity and taking a crack at a new IP. I'd also like to see more games built around the "Play. Create. Share." formula as games like Little Big Planet or Modnation Racers are some of the major reasons I went Playstation over Xbox. Please encourage more developers to make new IPs and to "Play. Create. Share." games.

Dear Indy Developers,

I know you're fascinated with 2D games, and everyone in the community is obsessed with how hip and cool you are. You have shown us that there is still room for creativity with 2D platformers. But now stretch your wings. Platformers are fun, but so are racers and fighters and shooters and action adventure games. Indy has become synonymous with creative twists on platforming and that's not why most people are buying Next Gen consoles. Indy developers should spread their wings and try some new things--racing games, fighting games, shooters, action-adventure games...try anything that's not a 2D (or mostly 2D) platforming.

Sincerely,

Jason

Consoles vs. PC Gaming

In gaming blogs, websites and the internet in general there's a lot of argument and console wars between Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony.  Even PC gamers want in on the war and I see both sides dissing consoles or PC gamers for all sorts of reasons.  The arguments fly in both directions and the war rages on both on emotional fronts and logical fronts.  My family is filled with PC gamers and I stand out alone as a console gamer among many pc gamers.  So I've heard all the arguments, I know why the PC is a logical choice for many gamers.  I've even considered it for myself.  I have a video-editing rig that could easily run every pc video game currently out there and make it look beautiful.

So why do I still choose to be a console gamer?  The answer isn't convenience, I could easily hook my PC up to my HDTV, make my mouse, keyboard wireless and have one sick PC set up.  It certainly isn't cost as I've had my PC since around 2009 and I don't think this rig will need any upgrades for a long while (to do what I want it to anyways).  It certainly isn't to simply match what my friends are playing as I've often bucked the trend of what my friends were into.  When all my friends had a Sega Genesis, I had the N64, when all my friends had PS2, I had a GameCube and now all my friends have Xbox 360s, I have a PS3 (though I've managed to convert a few of them to PS3).

I am with consoles for the games.  For better or worse, I choose my gaming consoles for games.  I don't care about processing power, gimick controls, paying for online, bragging rights, social gaming or any other petty reasons to choose one console over another.  Let me say it again.  I purchased an N64 for StarFox64, Rouge Squardon, Mario Kart 64.  I kicked my Wii to the curb in favor of PS3 or Xbox360 because of the lack of games I cared about.  I finally made my decision for PS3 because of games.  I probably have a dozen games in my library that are Sony/PS3 exclusives.  I think there's at least a half dozen more of the games I own that are NOT available for PC (I know cause I try to buy my Dad games for his PC).  I buy consoles for video games (and it IS nice to know it'll work unlike some of those PC games I got my Dad that for some reason or another didn't work with the joystick he wanted, were lazy ports or didn't work on his supper powered rig because the game was too old).

I don't just like RPGs, or FPS or racing games or only fighting games.  I like all kinds of games and I can only afford to invest in one machine to game and so that is why I have to make a choice that is going to allow me to play 90% of the games I want to play.  That's why I bought a PS3 and while I'll be buying a PS4 and is frankly despite all the logical arguments and nonsensical rants from other people why I am still a console gamer and not a PC gamer.

Gaming Reviews

In the world of video games, it seems reviews are more important than in other forms of entertainment (such as movies or tv shows). It is the journalist's job to be non-biased, to be critical but to judge the entertainment (video games) against expectations, competition and the overall experience that is had is judged and somehow converted into a number system.

I find that myself and fellow gamers are more and more disatsfied with professional reviews. I don't honestly believe game companies are buying scores or reviews, but sometimes score reviews seem odd and unfair. Is it merely attributed to personal opinions and biases or are these scores justified?

Let's take the First Person Shooter genre...many are divided over Call of Duty and Battlefield. I don't particularly like either. This is partly because I don't find military shooters as much as sci-fi shooters. I enjoy the graphics, vehicles and expanse of Battlefield, but prefer the more fast-paced action of Call of Duty, but the perks cause me to hate Call of Duty specifically, because I'd rather run around and shooter other people without having helicopters dropping bombs on my head. Call of Duty has hardly change in the last four to five iterations, and yet it continues to get 8.0s.

Recently, a new Angry Birds (Star Wars edition) was released. Yes this game is free-$1. Sure, it's cheaper than a COD game, but does it's low cost justify its high score? Angry Birds has hardly changed in the last four iterations, a Star Wars theme doesn't make it great, does it? Call of Duty and Angry Birds are very different games but neither one has changed and yet contineus to get raving reviews.

Mario is a great mascot of rehashing old material, the ironic "new super mario brothers" had nothing really new in it yet it recieved "great" reviews all around. While the nastalga wasn't there for me, the co-op was interesting making the game enjoyable for me, but little changes with every iteration of Mario's games, yet people still love them just as they love Call of Duty and Angry Birds. One thing they hold in common, they're all super popular games with the casual market.

Let's consider, many video game journalists have not been supportive of the PS Vita, they compare its games to Console counterparts. But it's a portable, so it should be compared to the PSP, not the PS3, yes of course there's cross-play and cross-buy and even recently was debuted as "like console experience". But the Vita is still young and games this early in the lifecycle are setting new records and are breaking new ground.

Recently, I read a reviews on Assassins Creed Liberation, and while I agree the story could have been fleshed out more, it was the best Assassins Creed game on the go and develops some great ideas. It reminds me of Uncharted: Golden Abysis, a great Uncharted game, while the story is less developed or less epic than say Uncharted 2 or Uncharted 3, it is a FANTASTIC GAME for the PS Vita.

So many reviews I read on Need for Speed: Most Wanted, I read so many complaints about how it wasn't anything like the orginal Most Wanted or wasn't as good as Hot Pursuit, yes it's a LOT like Burnout Paradise City, so if you didn't like Burnout Paradise City, you won't like this game, and people who knocked off points from the Vita version simply because it's not quite as good as the PS3/360 version is a lousy reason to dock it's score.

I agree that there are aspects of Little Big Planet Karting that aren't as good as Mondation Racers (a game I throughly LOVED) or had the same charm as Little Big Panet 2/Vita but it is still an INCREDIABLE game.

Yes, of course there's always going to be comparisions between games, but sometimes that's unjustified for new comers. I played Resistance 3 first, so naturally didn't really care about Nathan Hale, and didn't really enjoy Resistance or Resistance 2. I played Uncharted 2 first, so Uncharted 1 didn't seem that great by comparision. I played Little Big Planet first and LBP2 but despite improved editor tools and story because I didn't believe the level design was as good as the first LBP. Naturally, I realize that some of these things are simply personal prefrences or varied personal experiences, but they demonstrate vast angles at which you can approach a particular game.

Naturally, we as gamers must continue to provide our opinions and we must look at a variety of Gaming websites. But I somtimes feel that Gaming websites should try hard to be more objective perhaps offering "second opinion" articles, or a second review to get perspective.

If the guy who reviews only iOS games reviewed a vita game once in a while it would help or perhaps the guy who always does xbox games should review a PC game or a android game. Someone who's never played a COD game should play a COD game to get some perspective there. The problem with these gaming websites is there is always the guy who reviews xbox and the guy who reviews playstation or the guy who always does the racing games or the guy who always does the RPGs, meaning that as the console generation gets older these reviewers get tired of the same games and become more cynical, but honestly how many gamers have ever played every Call of Duty or every Mario or every Need for Speed or even every Angry Birds?? We need more variety amongst the gaming journalistic community to give a more broad opinion that will help gamers to better understand whether or not they should be interested in a game or not.

My History of Video Games

I like video games, but no I'm not a serious gamer. I'm slightly more than a casual gamer though. I grew up in the era of Game Boy and N64, I like my games challenging and addicting but not frusterating. I'm the sort of person who beats the game on easy, once, and that's it. Because while I enjoy video games, let's face it, I have enough frusteration in life to want to NOT do the same level again, and again, and again, until I could do it in my sleep to shave a few micro mini-seconds off my time to place first as opposed to second or to get that darn star Mario seems to need so bad.

So, my interest in video games started when I got my Game Boy, where I played Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Kirby and the Donkey Kong games. I loved my Game Boy, but eventually I discovered that the home console system could offer so much more. Thus I got an N64 bundled with the Star Wars Episode 1 Racer...soon I was catching up on all the games I had been missing out on. GoldenEye, Rouge Squadron, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, Jet Force Gemeni, Mission Impossible, Donkey Kong 64, F-Zero-X, Battle Tanx 2, Army Men: Sarge's Heros and 1080 Snowboarding. It was golden age of video gaming.

On the day of it's launch, I purchased a Game Cube. I got Rouge Squadron II: Rouge Leader and Wave Race. When they came out, I of course picked up Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, and later, I picked up Soul Calibur II, Jedi Outcast, SSX 3, Monkey Ball 2, Burnout 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. For many years my video game systems lie unused, collecting dust. Eventually the next generation of video game systems came out, I heard of the Wii, the XBOX 360 and the PS3, but never really tried any of them. I tried to revive my own video game system by aquiring some x-men and batman games for my GameCube but nothing seemed to fix the video game itch that began to grow again...

Eventually, my girlfriend, convinced that the Nintendo Wii was a good system, decided to buy it for us as a birthday gift to me. Naturally, we picked up the Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, Sports Resort and I picked up Red Steel 2. I could see why the non-video game people (like my girlfriend) had really gotten into the Nintendo Wii, it was more simple, even more social of a system then previous Nintendo systems. The motion controls were different, sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating. Eventually, picking up Sega All Star Racing, Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario Bros, I discovered Nintendo was trying to reach the retro gamer as well. But a stroll down the video game asile told another story entirely. Where had the snowboarding game gone, or the wave racing game, or the rouge squadron series? What happened to the highly explosive arcade Battle Tanx game or the massive living room I could run around in and shoot my friends as a little army man? Where were the fun games? The intense speed? I saw lots of Wii Fit games, games for kids, party games, lots of lame movie spin offs, and just a general pile of junk games. I began to see that Nintendo was not the great video game company it once was. I'm glad to see Donkey Kong Country Returns and Golden Eye, but what about the 1080 Franchise, or F-Zero, Wave Racer and the like? Where have all the other non-Mario fun games gone Nintendo?

Thus I began to look for a new system. Nintendo had found their niche in a new market filled with little kids, families and non-video gamers in general. While I had been a long standing Nintendo Fan (for no particular reason other than they continued to fill the video game void in my life quite well). I looked at the XBOX 360 vs. the PS3. While they still didn't have games like a really good snowboarding game, or a wave racing game, they had a bunch of other things that really intrigued the video gamer within me. Batman Arkyum Aslyum, Assassians Creed, Battle Field Bad Company 2, Burnout Paradise, Motorstorm, Halo Reach, Killzone 2, Modnation Racers...there were many games enticing me to make the jump to a new video game system. I guess I had felt that Nintendo had let me down, sure Wii Tennis or Bowling is fun, and Red Steel II was amusing until my arm got too sore and Mario and company dazzled me with their fun, but I was longing for some good intense variety of hard-core gaming once more.

Thus I knew I'd have to choose between the XBOX 360 and the PS3. It wasn't an easy choice. I took my time to read reviews, research the hardware, the games, the reasons. Whatever minor hardware differences between the two would be a non-issue. The fact was that in the end, I wasn't going to buy a 100 games for either system, so I didn't really care how many games were on either and while I wanted to play online, I also didn't want to pay extra money for the ability to play online. I wanted solid games to fill my library with to play and in the end, the PS3 seemed to offer more variety in the games it offered. From Infamous to Modnation Racer and from Uncharted to Killzone and Little Big Planet, PS3 seemed to offer the variety of games that I would want. My creative side also was really intrigued by the "Create. Play. Share." mentality that Sony seemed to be promoting.

Here, one year later, I am happier than ever with the choice I made. From Batman to Uncharted, from Infamous to Wolverine, from Assassins Creed to Red Dead Redemption & L.A. Noire, from Burnout to Motorstorm, from Battlefield to Need for Speed, from Resistance to Killzone and from Modnation to Little Big Planet buying a PlayStation 3 was the right choice for me becase of games, not because of hardware, motion controls but because of the games, the exclusives, the multiplatform games, the variety...from shooters to racing games, from platformers to kart racers and from third person action adventure to rpg action sandbox games. I used to be a Nintendo fanboy, now I am becoming a Playstation fanboy...