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slowram Blog

2009 What a great year for video games

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Wow I've had a blast playing games this last year. Seems like I played more great games this year than any past. How about you guys - what's are your favorites for the year? Here's a list of some of my favorites this year:

1. Borderlands - Beaten it as a soldier now playing thru Zombie Island also started a new character and have played quite a ways as a Siren. I got bored of it for a month, and much to my surprise was able to get back into it strong. I don't play too many games all the way thru those that I do you know are very good.

Batman Arkham Asylum - This is a great sneak and fight game. Plays suprisingly well on the pc for a fighting game. Simplified fighting that I can enjoy. GFWL lost my save when I upgraded to Win7 UGH! So I have put this game on the back burner too frustrated to play thru same missions again - but when I had played it, it was a blast and I expect to get into it once the slew of game sales and new games comes to a crawl.

Call of Juarez - I found the storyteller hokey but I really enjoyed the fps action. First western fps I have played and I want more.

Defense Grid - I am a huge Tower of Defense addict. If I start playing a ToD game most likely I'll be playing it all night till I finish it. Defense Grid is an excellent ToD game with much better graphics than any others I've played in this genre.

Some Others I enjoyed:

AION - This got me back into the MMO, however like my past MMO efforts once I fizzled out I fizzled out exteremly quickly. I played this game for hours and days on end and had a blast. After about a month though I played it a bit less and then suddenly had no desire to get back into it. I've tried a few of the top MMOs the past couple years and this one got me hooked but it didn't keep the hook in.

Plants Vs. Zombies - This was a blast for a few days (beat it soo many ways). I look forward to the sequel which I expect this next year.

Torchlight - Can't wait for Diablo 3 and this is a nice game to jump into when the desire strikes. I love the shared chest, I hope more games add such an option.

Dissapointments:

Left For Dead 2 - I watched a quicklook of this game and thought not for me, but after reading positive reviews and Steam having a great sale on it I bit and oh what a sour taste. I am surprised I saw so few negatives about this game. I certainly imagine there are others out there that dislike this game. I find the the crazy nearly non-stop pace of this game with little story a big turn off. I enjoy action oriented shooters and love Borderlands but I need the extra that Borderlands provides like a break in the hordes of enemies and a story with some missions and upgrades along the way and progress in character. I wish video games could be returned, I hate that I was persuaded into purchasing this game as I don't enjoy it at all.

Drakensang - You might not have heard of this game and for a good reason. It's a foreign RPG ported to the US. I got this because at the time (before Dragon Age) there was a real drought of good new rpgs. This game sounded like a great traditional rpg. However it never got me hooked or even close. A good rpg makes you want to keep playing to see what that next level up will do for your character. I found this game very boring and quickly quit it to play more interesting fair - I finally went and got Mass Effect (great sales this year on games) which I hadn't ever played and had a blast playing that.

Galactrix - I can't wait for Puzzle Quest 2. Galactrix was enjoyable for a few days which I guess is enough given it's price, but oh how I wished it had been Puzzle Quest 2 instead.

I hope you had as enjoyable a year with video games as I did this year. I hope steam and direct2drive have the killer sales they have had this year as well. Picking up an A game for $10 or less is insane as is waiting a couple months and getting a new game for half price. WOW I love this new distribution channel. Steam has so many bundles of games for the price of a new one it blows my mind. I've got a back log of great games I haven't tried yet (to name a few: Braid, Trine, GTA IV on pc, Hitman games, STALKER), but the onslought of great new games as well keep me backlogged. Here's hoping next year is nearly as good as this.

FYI if for some reason you are struggling finding a great game to play here's a list of some of the other games I played this year (some came out prior to this year) that are easily recommended: Fallout 3 (get the game of the year edition) I myself played Fallout 3 shortly after it came out and loved it but waited till this year to download and play all the DLC which I enjoyed them all, Dragon Age, Portal (finally got around to playing this and it's an entertaining diversion definitely gets better after the first few levels), King's Bounty (if you enjoyed HOMM), Uncharted 2, Gyromancer (if you like Puzzle Quest give this a try, certainly not for everyone though), and finally I can't quit playing Civilization Revolution for the iPhone.

Batman Arkham Asylum

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Been playing this game for the past few days, starting with the demo. Check out the demo to get a good feel for the game as it is an accurate representation. I was hesitant as I'm not generally into fighter type games. This one works though it's very easy to control and to my amazement works great with a mouse and keyboard even. I don't usually think of bringing a keyboard to a fighting game.

I enjoy the additional NVidia PhysX graphics the game offers on the PC. I had a 8800gt and that isn't enough to drive the game's graphics and PhysX so I upgraded to a GTX 260 as the game recommended and it works great. I went ahead and utilized my 8800gt as the Physx processor and was able to max out the Physx options with that.

FYI if anyone is wondering about PhysX and SLI and dual monitors. Apparently SLI will also boost PhysX. SLI requires having the same make for each card and a motherboard that supports it and a bridge connector. I couldn't quickly find any affordable 8800gt cards so upgraded to the GTX 260. When using the 260 with an older card for Physx processing you don't need to worry about SLI. Interestingly, I discovered (may be other workaournds, but I wasn't having much luck with other layouts), with dual monitors in this configuration I had to connect each monitor to the primary DVI connector on the cards. I spent some time trying to get both monitors driven from the GTX 260 and only time I could get that to work was when I didn't have the 8800 installed on the motherboard. Things work great with this arrangement, so I haven't bothered revisting the monitor connections.