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Happy Anniversary!

sackboy returns

Ahh, recognize this picture? It's the picture I created to celebrate my finding a PS3 to order online after at least a week of absolutely no luck in the endeavor. So why then is it making a reappearance today? Well, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the day I first turned on my Playstation 3.

I can't believe I've had it for a year already. I would sincerely love to know how many hours I've clocked in overall, playing games on it. It has to be a lot.

When I first bought it, I wanted it in order to play only a handful of games. ModNation Racers was the primary reason, followed by Final Fantasy XIII and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. I had no idea what would become of my game collection for the system, what its future would hold. In addition, I was a total newb when it came to online gaming on consoles. At least I already knew how to navigate the XMB interface and the PS Store, though I would grow to become even more adept at both through my time with the PS3.

Currently, my PS3 game collection is set to tie my PS2 game collection with the next game I buy (this statement did not consider downloaded games). Keep in mind that it took four years to amass the PS2 library, while it's only been a year with the PS3. I wonder if my PS3 game library will ever tie or surpass my DS collection (32)!

Very early on, once I'd gotten over the initial "awe factor" of seeing HD graphics up close and personal, I quickly came to realize what the Playstation 3 would mean for me in terms of my future gaming experiences. It would be a platform through which I'd give myself the opportunity to try out games I wouldn't ordinarily even give a momentary glance to. Case in point, I'd never played a Prince of Persia game before, but I found myself wanting The Forgotten Sands very much. Perhaps an even better (and slightly humorous, at least to me) example would be to cite the four racing games I own (Pacific Rift, ModNation Racers, Nail'd, and NFS Hot Pursuit) while considering that the only racing games I'd ever owned before March of last year were Mario Kart titles. I suppose I can thank the Mario Kart series for sparking my interest in ModNation Racers and thus sparking my interest in a PS3. Regardless, you can see how I've allowed my PS3 to take me places I've never been to before and when I say that, I don't simply mean the experiences that new games bring. Sure, there have been games that I've tracked then decided not to buy. But, I've been able to keep my mind open and I've been able to embrace the probably possiblity that my gaming tastes have matured and altered a little. My hobby of playing video games has never been so exciting; I never know what will catch my eye and/or stimulate my mind.

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And with that, let's talk about what this next year will bring for my Playstation 3. After all, what better way to celebrate a first birthday than to look forward to what will come in its second year.

NOTE: This is more likely than not, my gaming itinerary for the rest of 2011. With money tight and trophies on the loose, I take my time with games, and I don't really have a whole lot of spare time to begin with.

Games I Already Own

de Blob 2

I actually earned the Platinum trophy today, so I am already done with the game. However, I still wanted to mention it because I would highly recommend the game to fans of the first de Blob or to anyone craving a good 3D platformer. Considering that I personally missed out on the first de Blob and was hoping to play a sequel that'd make me feel like I didn't miss out on a whole lot, this sequel was exactly what I was looking for. I hope that some of you will check this game out.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

I've played this game, then taken a break, then played this game, then taken a break. Starting tomorrow, I'll be back in Seacrest County to pick up the remaining trophies I have left before Platinum. All that remains are the trophies for attaining levels 17-20 as both a Cop and Racer, plus the two for earning all Golds/Distinctions on all the events. The latter two are no small feat, but I feel I'm up to the challenge. Yes, I will be screaming and cursing at all the vehicles that will surely find themselves in my driving lines, but it will all be worth it once I can claim that I've Platinum'd a racing game.

After I earn Platinum, I plan to move right into the Super Sports Pack, the first DLC pack that was released for the game. It comes with a bunch of additional trophies and not to mention new cars and events. I have no idea if they'll be more difficult than the default events that the game originally ships with, so we'll see. Then, once I'm done with Super Sports, I'll buy and download the second DLC pack (whose name presently escapes me) and do the same exact thing. It should be good times.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

So far, I've played maybe an hour of this game. I've barely scratched the surface. My brother has played far more of it than I have, but he grew discouraged when prior boss enemies became regular enemies. I hope the game's difficulty isn't too extreme; I already know I won't be aiming for a Platinum here. Perhaps everything but the hardest two "Clear on XYZ Difficult" trophies, but certainly no Platinum. I feel terrible that I've given this game the cold shoulder thus far, so I hope to more than make up for it, especially since there's story-based DLC coming soon.

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift

Speaking of games that have been given the cold shoulder, poor poor Pacific Rift. I go on and on about how awesome this game is and yet, I've barely touched it, in the grand scheme of things. I've tried out all the tracks at least twice and played a few Career races and that's it. When I revisit this game, I'll be curious to see if all my time with Hot Pursuit will have improved my performance any here in Pacific Rift. Also, as far as trophies go, I'm not holding my breath. The requirements are quite extreme. Pacific Rift is a game I'll be playing simply for fun.

Uncharted 2

Some of you may be confused to see this game on the list. If you remember, I've already beaten the game on Normal and earned all the other trophies required for Platinum...except for "Charted! - Hard" and "Charted! - Crushing". Needless to say, I want the Platinum for this game. I'm thinking of waiting to jump back into U2 until it's closer to Uncharted 3's release date. That way, I can refamiliarize myself with the controls and shake the rust off my cover-and-shoot skills.

Games I Definitely Plan to Buy This Year

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

As though you didn't see this coming. :D The date, November 1, 2011, is ingrained in my mind. It found its way onto my Uncharted 3 Kart and my Nathan Drake mod in ModNation Racers. Of all the games I'm tracking that are already confirmed to release sometime this year, save for maybe Outland, this is the one and only game I'm definitely buying. I hope there will be a Collector's Edition so I can spend way too much on it. This will be another quest for Platinum, for sure, and I've already set aside plenty of time (in my mind, at least) in November so that I can just jump right in once the game comes out.

Outland

This is a downloadable PSN title set to be available late April/early May. It's a platformer that comes off as a mix between Prince of Persia and Ikaruga. In other words, acrobatic running and jumping meets bullet h***. I immediately fell in love with the art design of this game the first time I saw the debut trailer. The gameplay looks and sounds really solid as well. This is a must-buy game for me.


Ico/SotC Collection

I remember reading an awful lot about Ico back in the day because I was subscribed at the time to OPM. SotC was on my radar, but my PS2 had already become unusable so I couldn't check out the game. This HD collection seems to be my chance to at last check out these two games that so many other people cherish so deeply.

inFamous 2

If I'm being totally honest with you all, I still don't fully understand what possessed me to preorder this game last week. Sure, I've been tracking it for months and the premise intrigues me and the gameplay footage I've seen thus far is at the very least, the epitome of epic, but I've never played the first inFamous. So what makes me think I'll enjoy the sequel? I guess that's why a day or two before I preordered inFamous 2, I just so happened to compel myself to bid on and consequently win an Ebay auction for a brand new Greatest Hits copy of the first inFamous. I guess there's something the inner recesses of my mind knows that the more conscious corners don't. I hope to God I enjoy these games. I've only ever payed the full $60 for a PS3 game three times, including inFamous 2, and I know for a fact the other two times were completely worth it (ModNation Racers and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit).

Games I May Buy

From Dust

From Dust is what I think I've heard people call a "God sim". You literally play from a god-like perspective, with your goal being to control an island and protect its inhabitants, using tools such as moving or spawning sand, water, lava, and vegetation. The player can also fight off natural disasters and gain new powers while doing so. This is another downloadable PSN title and like most other games I already own for the PS3, I've never played a game like this before. What drew me to this game in the first place (besides the premise, of course) was the truly breathtaking concept art. Like Outland, it's got this whole tribal feel going on and I dig that. I suppose that goes along with my penchant for elementally themed aspects/qualities in various forms of media. I don't think From Dust has an official release date yet, but I'm definitely going to wait to read some reviews before I attempt to start saving primitive villagers.

Portal 2

I never played the first Portal, but I've been very impressed by what I've seen so far of Portal 2. I understand the general plot from the first game, so I feel I would be able to jump right into this game with no problems. Again, I think it all depends on what the critics say. This will undoubtedly be a very cool game, but I'll need to discover if it's a game I'd be interested in playing, rather than simply watching.