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No travels to WordPress today. This isn't really an official post. Just some personal gaming news I wanted to share.

Allow me to begin by saying that I am never going to start off a new year by saying that after a couple of early releases, the year is "looking totally clear" and "completely wide open". I've learned now that that always changes, particularly in ways you never saw coming.

Despite the fact that there are no games that I know of specificially that are coming out in the spring and summer months that I would be interested in buying/playing, I already have games to play in those months now. I tried out the demos to a couple of games yesterday and now, it would seem I've got an extra three games to play this year before the world ends. Yes, you read that write. Tried out two, ended up with three.


March is predominantly going to be all about RACING. Just this past Monday, I popped MotorStorm Pacific Rift into my PS3's disc tray, meaning business with it for the first time. Though I've played on every course multiple times and have even tried out the Online multiplayer, I had barely touched the Festival (single-player career) in the two years I've owned the game. Now, I'm doing my first PS3 game justice by...actually playing it. That sounds kind of dumb, especially because I go on at any opportunity to rave about the game incessantly, but it's sadly true. The game is beyond awesome, but I just never got around to giving it a serious look. Now I am. My goal, like Minishdriveby's, is to earn the gold trophy for 96 Gold Medals won. Since it's insanely improbable that I'll be able to work towards the actual Platinum, this gold will be the Platinum for me, in much the same way that the three gold trophies of ModNation Racers acted as the Platinum for that game. In just a few short days, my skill at the game has improved dramatically and it is such a rush to fight for space on the road with monster trucks and to see different vehicles taking different paths and weaving in and out of view and popping out from all over. I'm just so happy that I'm finally playing the game that has been staring at me with puppy eyes all this time...and that I'm enjoying it as much as I knew I would.

March is also primetime for SSX. The demo dropped at like, 12:03am EST this morning, but it's there now and I'll be checking it out once I'm done writing this. Thanks to the GS forums, I've found a small army's worth of peer-aged SSX fans to rack up my Rivals list with. For the most part, it turns out these folks are hardcore trophy hunters. My trophy level had just about surpassed all of yours at 13, but then these people have like 25+ Platinums and levels from 15-18! I'm a little worried to play against these folks, but we'll see. I grew to become pretty amazing at Hot Pursuit last year, so I have no doubt the same thing might happen on the slopes.

SPRING (April - June)

I might still be playing Pacific Rift and SSX in earnest at this point, but it will largely be time to move on to something else. Some games like...Soul Calibur V and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning? I'm waiting for these games to go on sale on Amazon or Kmart or some place for like, $35. Where have the sales like that gone this year? The past two years have been crazy full of them and now, nothing. Well, hopefully, by April, these games will get some reduced price glory.

My brother's already played SCV at a friend's house and my Arkansan friend, Andy, is interested in SCV, so I've got some peeps to play with, both locally and online. I'm wondering if Andy would be willing to help me boost for the Platinum...but that's for another time.

Reckoning was one of my two demos yesterday and I have to say, it definitely reminds me a bit of WoW, just in the customization, talent trees, reagent gathering and professions. The battle system is what really intrigued me. There are three paths you can take: Might (warrior), Finesse (rogue), and Sorcery (mage). You are able to decide upon your Destiny (your specialization) depending on how many skill points you put into each path. Naturally, you can go pure Might or pure Sorcery, but you can also become a fusion of Finesse and Sorcery or Might and Finesse, OR, you could try to be a master of all three at once. Tarot-like cards exist to illustrate the kind of power you'll wield with each Destiny and they each have their own special bonuses. The beauty of the whole thing is that you're never stuck with the one Destiny you first chose. You can change your Destiny whenever you wish just by talking to some guy at a town. Different situations might call for different specs and you will be able to experiment as you please. That's what's really reeling me in. So, I'll give it a try...once the price drops.

SUMMER (June - August)

I bought Assassin's Creed: Revelations shortly after finishing Brotherhood, just so that I'd have it. I definitely plan on playing through it and earning all non-multiplayer trophies before AC3 comes out October 30th.

Other than that, it would seem that I'm really going to jump out of my comfort zone because that Mass Effect 3 demo was pretty dope. At least the first part was. Had me getting all teary-eyed. The second part was confusing as heck, gameplay-wise, because I've never played ME before in any capacity and it just kind of threw skill upgrades and abilities at me and said "go forth, merry one, and destroy the bad people!!" It was discouraging. My success was more of a haphazard flailing dance than an elegant dance routine full of finesse and swagger.

Anyway, when I asked my two best friends - who are both big Mass Effect fans - if I could skip ME2 and just play ME3, one said "Youtube vids and wikis would be fine to catch you up on the story" and the other said "you would be out of your mind to just start with ME3. You'd be playing a hollow shell of a game, or at least it would seem that way, and besides, the ME games are great games. Better than Uncharted and Assassin's Creed." So much for friends helping me out! But, given that there's nothing really out there that I would otherwise be playing to spend those hot summer days (except for WoW, I suppose), why not? It's not as though I hated the demo. It's not as though there was no part of it that I enjoyed.

So it would seem then, that 2012 is the year I force myself to attempt to do away with my bizarre lack of capability when it comes to western RPGs. Yay! And again, forever will I restrain myself from uttering the words "This year seems wide open and totally lacking in anticipated games."