Archive for the Borderlands Category

The 9 Best Games Of The Last Generation

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, Lists, Portal, Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Uncharted on July 20, 2015 by slateman

I’ve been thinking of this article for some time now. Should I list 10 games? Should I list them in tiers? Ultimately, I’m just going to post this and go with it.

This is a list of the nine best/most important games of the last generation. That means the Xbox360/PS3 and PC if it appears on consoles. I am not looking at PC-only titles.

Bottom Tier

resident_evil_5_medium_1Resident Evil 5
This is not an important title. I can’t say it really did anything massively new or reinvented anything spectacular. Although it is entirely co-op, it’s not utterly groundbreaking. And it’s not widely heralded as an excellent title.

What it is however, is awesome. I’ve already raved about it as a stand-alone title. The DLC was fun and diverse. Nowadays I rarely replay games entirely. Instead, I 100%ed it on two consoles (-achievements). It was fun, packed a powerful punch and epitomized what I loved about the PS3/Xbox360 generation. A large game, fully co-op, good save system, tons of weapons and reason to replay it. That last one is an important one. Infinite rocket launcher? Magnum? And this doesn’t even count Mercenaries mode.

Rdr_torquemada_lookoutRed Dead Redemption
GTA in the wild west? No thanks. I love GTA, I don’t like westerns but…well…this is fun and diverse and the writing is impeccable and dead-eye is a hell of a lot of fun and WHOAH, that story twist!!! How many times did I get off track, wandering the woods for a bear or through the vast, arid desert skinning animals and saving people? I lost my save for RDR but I got to see the true ending and it was one of the best stories of the entire generation. And let’s not forget the song when you finally cross into Mexico. It’s rare that one song in a game stands out but its power was in how your rode south, the gentle song leading you into a foreign (yet similar) land. And how different it was, different people, chatter and style.

A sequel in this generation would only make me smile. I certainly hope it’s on the horizon somewhere.

Middle Tier

DLC4_Envishot_LostCity_smallGears Of War 3
The first GOW was great and the second just OK. The third, in my opinion, was the strongest and the most fun. It expanded the color palette for one, and tweaked everything to make it run faster (less clunky) and was just a spectacular and powerful game. So, while the first title really did more for this generation, specifically its cover system, excellent reload mechanics and a fully co-op campaign (oh how I wish for more of those!!!), the third perfected it. If I were to go back; I’d play this one.

call-of-duty-4-mwCall Of Duty: Modern Warfare
I don’t care what anybody says about MW and the series as a whole. Here’s what matters to me…

After hearing all the hype, I finally rented the game and tossed it in my 360. Of course, the visuals were impressive and the sound was solid. It was when my character stepped out into the streets, with bullets flying everywhere, my eyes opened wide. Games up until that point had enemies shooting at you. Some team-based games had more targets, but for the first time, I felt like I walked into a world that was going on around me. I remember having surround sound going, bullets pinging everywhere, and it was utter mayhem. It was precisely what I wanted in gaming. Now, while the sequels upped the ante considerably, it was the first MW where my mouth truly dropped. As a player who avoids multiplayer almost entirely, the campaign was all I cared about. And it was a solid, entertaining and compelling campaign. Its brevity wasn’t disappointing either. Quite the contrary, it was sweet and to-the-point. Solid controls, insane action and at the time, superb visuals made for a game that was truly a game-changer. Once again, say what you will about the series and its subsequent milking. That first game was a turning point.

Just-Cause-2-1Just Cause 2
I never played (or had even heard of) the first Just Cause but this title was a free game on PS+ one month. I’m all about grabbing just about any free game I can but my first play session was merely OK. The controls were a bit loose and it was hard figuring out the whole grappling hook. I remember my second session, however, where my opinion changed entirely.

I had a hard time going back to open-world sandbox games after this. Moving around was so slow and boring (well, with the exception of Saint’s Row, but that’s just a ridiculous game!) The things I managed to do with Rico in this game were outrageous. Tethering cars to helicopters and scaling buildings with ease were awesome, as were the insane amount of explosions but the most important word in a review of this game is “fun”. I had a blast playing this, destroying everything. Just the number of options in this game make it for a memorable and long-lasting experience. Shoot a guy? Tether him to a truck and drive off? Tether an item to a truck and pull it down onto him? Oh, it goes on and on! In December of this year a sequel is coming out and I can’t limit my excitement. This might be one of those games where more of the same is just what I want. We’ll have to see!

walking dead lee clementine

The Walking Dead
Sure, I loved the show, but a choice-based, point-and-click adventure? Once the first two episodes were free, I grabbed them (remember, I love me freebies!) and everything changed. I connected with Lee, the game’s protagonist, more than perhaps I did with any character in any game ever. I cannot even discuss the finale without getting a lump in my throat. It was perhaps the single most powerful gaming experience ever. (yes, that trumps Metal Gear Solid IV and the at-the-time surprise of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII.

And while there were action sequences in this title, those were by far the least exciting, the least compelling, the least enticing. Episodes four and five start to rip your heart out and as I’ve written about already, the tears were genuine. I was talking to my TV. I was moved. I was hurt. And I will recommend this game to anyone, zombie fan or not. In some ways, it should be top-shelf material. Ah…I hate making these lists. Just know that it’s awesome. I shouldn’t have to say more.

Top Shelf

872182-portal-2Portal 2
I missed out on Half-Life and that whole thing and so it wasn’t until after Portal 2 came out that I even tried this series. The first game was certainly fun, but I’m pretty certain I played that (PC) after I beat it on the PS3 (and subsequently played it all again on the PC, beating both 1 and 2 within 24 hours).

This is a triple-A puzzle game…something that’s generally unheard of. Without playing it, my claims of Brilliance can not explain the sheer awesomeness of this title. Sadly, it’s the only thing I can even say. After each test room or the later colored gels, I marveled at the absolutely-ingenious design. I felt such delight at the solutions and the miraculous lack of unsolvable puzzles. The game was designed and tested to perfection. GLaDOS and her anger were written with utter sarcasm and it all delighted as the weird story unfolded. I can think of nothing about this game that isn’t perfect brilliance. You can go back at any time as well, provided you haven’t memorized all the solutions, and enjoy those brainy solutions all over again. Sadly, I never got the chance to play co-op. I bet that’s awesome.

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Borderlands 2
After renting and beating Modern Warfare, I rented Borderlands. I’d heard good things, etc. etc. After such a visually-compelling and powerful experience, my initial thoughts of BL were…eh. The cel-shaded presentation coupled with a weird premise didn’t totally impress me immediately.

I played a bit; I returned the game.

A few weeks later, I was humming this tune in my head. I started missing the skill tree options. I had to rent the game again. Perhaps I was lucky but the local video store was closing and I bought the game for like $12. I then played the game. A lot. My save game ended up getting deleted and so at some point I started again. Then did true vault hunter mode. Then I returned a year later and got the platinum. The DLC was spectacular (I bought 3 of the 4, IIRC). We’ve all played our share of FPS games. None compelled me like this one. The outrageous guns that I’d receive were motivation alone to continue! It was stylish, unique, funny and full of loot! The light-hearted story was trumped by the second game, itself a superior product. Just about every fault I could find in the first title was remedied. Things were tweaked where necessary and left alone where needed. Even the trailer was insanely awesome! I love this game and while I skipped the Pre-quel, I fully anticipate grabbing part 3 whenever it debuts on this current generation. LOVE IT! (said in Torgue’s voice!)

B001JKTC9A.03.lgUncharted 2
To complete the trio of sequels…

Sure there are other 3rd-person action games. They’ve existed since the advent of 3D games. In so many ways, Uncharted is inspired by Tomb Raider which itself was inspired by Indiana Jones. So Why is this so important? Because it was fun, challenging, looked great and its gameplay was perfection. The first game is amazing, the third game is more of the same and the second was pristinely balanced. Headshots were truly enjoyable and the ka-ching of every kill was the most rewarding sound of the entire generation of games. Seeing Drake hanging by one arm got a bit old by the third game. However, the cinematics of the second, the chemistry with Elena and Chloe, the diverse and lush locales, the exciting finale, the co-op levels…*takes breath*…This game is probably my favorite of the entire generation even if it didn’t redefine like Portal or Borderlands did. It just did what I love the most…perfectly.

Games I’ve Beaten: 2013 Edition (Through August)

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games on August 26, 2013 by slateman

I wrote about the same thing just last year but since it’s now almost 2/3 of the way through 2013 (madness), I thought I’d look back. Unlike last year, I had a lapse in my GameFly subscription for a while, but since I’m not touching my 360 nowadays, my PS3 trophy list should shed light on everything I’ve played! This is a general list:

  1. Aliens: Colonial Marines
  2. Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
  3. Army Of Two: The 40th Day
  4. Borderlands 2 DLC
  5. Darksiders II (just started)
  6. DuckTales: Remastered
  7. Dead Space 3
  8. Guacamelee! (Platinum)
  9. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  10. Heavy Rain
  11. Ibb & Obb
  12. Just Cause 2
  13. Labyrinth Legends
  14. The Last Of Us
  15. Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean (Platinum)
  16. Ratchet & Clank
  17. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal
  18. Resident Evil 6
  19. Saints Row: The Third
  20. Tomb Raider
  21. Velocity Ultra
  22. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

tr-reboot2Now, there were others, like Sleeping Dogs and Demon’s Souls, but I never dedicated enough time to even count those.
As for fighting games, I went back to Super Street Fighter IV, played Tekken Revolution and Darkstalkers Resurrection. I would’ve beaten The Cave if the stupid patch didn’t delete my save game. :) I couldn’t get through RE6…it just dragged on and on and on…Saints Row 3 was actually a blast. I’ve never finished a GTA game, but this one was just so fun and unique, I loved it.

However, among that list, I’ve completed 14 titles…however, that’s deceiving. I’d beaten Heavy Rain before (but this time with a different ending.) Both R&C games were just HD re-releases. Army Of Two was my 2nd time playing (but 1st time on the PS3 – I’ll beat part 3 in the next few weeks.) Zero Escape was ‘beaten’ but I keep getting bad endings!

My tally would stand at 8:Guacamelee!, Ghost Recon, Just Cause 2, The Last Of Us, Lego Pirates, SR3, Tomb Raider and Velocity Ultra. Among them are two A+ titles in The Last Of Us and Tomb Raider. And while Naughty Dog’s masterpiece was among the most innovative and memorable games in recent memory, I’m thinking TR was the game of the year just due to how fun it was. Both games had you upgrading weapons and each wove an interesting and unique tale. However, when TLOU was done, I wanted nothing to do with it. It was an exhausting, emotional tale that took something out of me. TR was just a blast to play, to collect items, to go back and to complete. I’m certainly looking forward to a sequel and I sincerely hope The Last Of Us never gets one. :)

So, there you go. In the coming months, I look forward to GTA5 and finishing The Devil’s Cartel w/ my buddy online. I don’t know what else is on the horizon but I don’t see myself getting a PS4 or XB1 any time this year.

Guacamelee! Platinum!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, High Scores / Accomplishments, Personal, Uncharted with tags on April 17, 2013 by slateman

guacamelee!
I grabbed Guacamelee! last week and thoroughly enjoyed playing through it on both my PS3 and PSVita. The game is classic in so many senses. The tight controls, fun combat and spectacular visuals all made this a joy to work through. The fact that it was a Metroidvania game only helped.

Being on vacation, I was able to grab the game and play whenever I had a free moment and the Vita’s suspend option made it perfect. After beating it and 100%ing it, I went on to hard mode. Some of the arenas and bosses were tough (and cheap) but it all felt like small victories. It reminded me of getting my first platinum on Uncharted. While some areas were really tough, all you had to do was beat that one section. Games save after everything nowadays. Though I don’t want to remember that blue water room in UC. Nightmare.

guacamelee-platinum

Anyways, Guacamelee! was a game I had on the horizon for a bit, and after getting another $10 free from PSN (that’s the third time they’ve given me free cash!!!) and a $3 PS+ discount (the best deal in gaming evah!) it was a no-brainer. Cross play only helped. I was uploading my save, playing on the PS3, uploading then playing back on the Vita. Brilliant. Well worth the cash and my seventh platinum!!!!

Speaking of: My other platinums: Uncharted 1-3, Borderlands, The Walking Dead and Resident Evil 5. All were worthy of my time.

And reflection time: We’re at the end of this cycle aren’t we? PS4/720 coming out in a few months. Looking back with a friend recently, this generation has had some *Great* games. I started writing an article on the best games of this generation. Never quite finished though. :)

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Mini-Review: Borderlands 2 – Yes!

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Games, Reviews, The Walking Dead on December 25, 2012 by slateman

Borderlands 2 review screenshot07A few weeks back I was chugging along in Borderlands 2 when I figured I’d call it quits for the night. My buddy, Mat wasn’t around to play online so I said, “What the hell,” and hopped online, something I hadn’t done in BL2 yet. Turns out, I joined a game that was precisely where I was and we blitzed through the remainder of the game in a four-player carnage-fest. It was insanity. It was awesome. Our connection was spectacular, the enemies and loot were superb and it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, BL2 had a better story, a few new tweaks and shiny new guns but it wasn’t that different from BL. This may affect the Game of the Year rankings – as The Walking Dead was nothing like anything I’d ever played before. However, BL2 was brilliantly executed and left me with a TON left to do. Two DLCs, two more to come, a second playthrough and a bunch of golden keys to use (L00t!)

I can’t say enough about this game, really. It has everything I wanted in a game and I’m still playing it (three months after its release). Definitely one of the year’s best and certainly one of the best of this generation IMO, trumping BL with certainty. Love it!!!

The Walking Dead: The Game – OMG……

Posted in Best / Worst, Borderlands, Games, Metal Gear Solid, Reviews, The Walking Dead on November 28, 2012 by slateman

After grabbing the first two The Walking Dead: The Game entries via PS+, I was sold. I purchased the next three episodes immediately and Episode 5, the finale, was one of the most anticipated games of the year. So, the night before Thanksgiving, I sat down to play and…..and…..

As the credits rolled so did tears down my cheek. I was floored. I was in awe. The credits finished and the epilogue began, offering little solace for how things ended.

Spoilers, obviously…
After Lee passed out in the streets I still had hope. However, upon waking up and seeing Lee, I knew. His face pale, his eyes yellowing; Lee was going to die. Perhaps we all should have known but I figured cutting his arm off might do the trick. Nope. Here, in that room with Clem, it hit me. Lee was going to die. At that moment, I lost it. I got through the rest of the episode but I didn’t cope with it well. Lee prepared Clementine for the inevitable. I just wanted to hug her. I just wanted to tell her, “I love you, Clem.” As the options came and went, I never got to say it. Lee slumped over with Clem crying, ME crying! It was outrageous.

I’ve played some awesome games and some of those had incredible stories. However, ultimately I don’t know of any game that affected me the way this did. Mouth agape, I was in shock. I hurt. I felt horrible…but there was closure. The Walking Dead was so well-written, I forgot it was a game, I forgot it was fiction. Ben had died, Kenny was likely gone, everyone was gone. Lee had come so far. In thinking about the first four episodes, we’d been through so much. And now it was over. It was over and Lee was dead.

I Love Borderlands 2 and some other games, but it’s very possible TWD will win Game Of The Year. It was the most incredible gaming journey I’ve ever embarked upon. Perhaps Metal Gear Solid 4 could come close. Nah…while MGS4 was phenomenal, TWD was the most powerful game I’ve ever played.

UPDATES…..

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Cubing, DoDon Pachi, Games, Godflesh, Personal, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, The Walking Dead, Yankees on November 2, 2012 by slateman

It’s been a long time and a lot has happened. I’ve had some ups and downs these past few weeks but the good has been rather good. Let’s see…

First off, I’ll be getting a new cube any day now and I’m pretty psyched. It’s a cool one, it’s the curvy copter, and it’s a jumbling puzzle. It should be spectacular.

My Godflesh site turned 17 years old a few weeks ago. That’s insanely old.

Resident Evil 6 and Borderlands 2 – Making progress. Taking forever. Well worth the cashola.

I also picked up Street Fighter X Tekken as well for cheap. I’d played it several months ago and look forward to having it in my library!

The Yankees – I couldn’t even write about this. I still can’t.

The Walking Dead – both the game (episode 4) and show (episode 3) were solid. The game may have been a filler/connector episode and the show an introducer, but both were strong and make me yearn for more. Sadly the game’s sequel must wait quite a while.

Hurricane Sandy – :( So much destruction. :( :(

EPISODE VII!?!?!? I’ll post some thoughts on this soon. It may actually have a chance of being good. Four words – Pirates Of The Caribbean.

DoDonPachi: Maximum came out on the iPad and was on sale so I snatched that up. It’s kinda fun. It’s cool seeing the returning characters/stages/music and it is a pretty good challenge on later levels. I may pick up ESP Galuda II as well.

Enough for now?

Borderlands 2: Wallpapers

Posted in Borderlands, Game Art, Games on October 2, 2012 by slateman

I’ve been playing Borderlands 2 as much as I can. At level 25, I’ve done a ton of stuff and there is an absurd amount left in this game. The only downside? Resident Evil 6’s imminent arrival! Well…the good thing is both games should keep me occupied for a while and my GameFly subscription has been put on hold.

I haven’t written much on Borderlands 2 because I’d rather just play it. However, the other day I grabbed these wallpapers created by Cody A Williams. Kick-ass stuff. Enjoy!!!

Borderlands 2: Joy Puking My Face Off

Posted in Borderlands, Games with tags on September 20, 2012 by slateman

I got the damn game the day it came out but waited an entire day to play the thing. Today…I played. And I liked.

It rocks. It’s everything I wanted it to be…namely, MORE BORDERLANDS. Last night, I ended up skipping over this much-anticipated title AND the Resident Evil 6 demo to play Zuma Revenge with my wife. It was fun. But it wasn’t Borderlands. While I read previews and reviews here and there, I never can really get a feel until I play the thing. I am a very visual learner. So, getting my hands deep on in that shit means I got to level up a bit, start spreading the points, badass tokens, sold weapons, etc. It felt so familiar just better, slicker, newer. I didn’t get a long session this evening, I was so tired (2am Zuma does that to you!) but I endeavor to do so soon. This game is great, and I’m not going to divulge why. It is b/c it’s Borderlands. So damn good! Joy Puking My Face Off!

Borderlands 2: TODAY! Waiting…

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Games on September 18, 2012 by slateman

It’s out. It’s on its way. I friggin’ loved Borderlands and I’m outrageously psyched about part 2. The game should arrive today, though my wife has off and I may not get any time to play it. Definitely going to play as the commando, definitely going solo for a while and cannot envision me disliking this game at all. So psyched! OK…more waiting. Bah!!!

Borderlands 2: Four Days!

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Game Art, Games on September 14, 2012 by slateman

Four Days!!!