Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Christmas Loot

I hope everyone had a good gaming Christmas. I sure did. Here's a rundown of what I got:

Metroid Prime 3 : Corruption (Wii) - The final installment in the Metroid Prime series. Long-time readers of this site may remember my frustration with the first game in this series - the bosses were insanely hard, and I never got past the Omega Pirate - but damn, I wanted another first person shooter for the Wii with good controls.

There are reportedly only 2 such shooters for the Wii - this Metroid installment and Medal of Honor Heroes 2, which I'd enjoyed very much last year. With the release date of The Conduit still only listed as "Spring 2009", it was Metroid Prime 3 : Corruption or nothing. I will play as far as I can into Corruption and when it gets too hard, just abandon it. Sounds like a plan!

Okami (Wii) - I played a demo of this game on the Playstation 2 a few years back, and have wanted the Wii version since it came out last spring. I can't wait to get into it.

Castlevania : Dawn of Sorrows (DS) - I've wanted a modern DS Castlevania for some time, and this one certainly fits the bill. Although I've yet to find a whip to use as a weapon, the gameplay is classic, and is mixed in with some great RPG elements. The graphics are superb and the music is epic. The monsters are also well-designed and fun to battle. There's a lot of gameplay here, I suspect.

Castlevania : Portrait of Ruin (DS) - Another one! I'll try this one out after I beat Dawn of Sorrows.

Those first four games were all gifts from my wonderful and understanding wife. Among her gifts from me were two games she wanted - Wario Land : Shake It for the Wii, and Midnight Party Pack for the DS, so I may try those games out, too, when time permits.

The fifth game I got for Christmas was generated from a Gamestop gift card:

Farcry 2 (XBox 360) - An open-world first person shooter with stunning graphics and a huge map to explore. I got an hour or so into it yesterday and was very impressed. The story is cool so far, and the character one plays is sticken with malaria! That's right, you're prone to pass out from time to time as you play. Also, if a gun you picked up from a fallen foe looks rusty, it might just be crap and jam up on you in the middle of a fight!

There's an interesting story about how I acquired Farcry 2 from my local Gamestop. Anyone who went to one of their stores the day after Christmas probably experienced what I did - wall to wall crowds, an obviously overworked and stressed-out staff, and utter chaos everywhere.

I went into the store looking for Farcry 2, and there was no box for it on either the used or new shelves. Without a wandering sales associate to pester about it, I decided to stand in line and take my chances that there were copies behind the register. To their credit, the staff at that store kept things moving along quick, and the line that looked very long translated into a mere ten minute wait for me.

At the register, I asked the clerk about the game, and he looked around behind the counter for it. He failed to find it, and looked on his computer for it too, and it seemed that they were indeed sold out. "What about that copy?", I asked, pointing to a single copy of the game sitting in a stack of other games.

It took him a second to see where I was pointing, but then he took the game from the pile and examined it. There was a small tag attached to the back of it, and he noted "It's being held for someone."

Crestfallen, I began to think if I wanted another game, but before I could finish that thought, the sales associate noted "But he was supposed to be here five hours ago".

"You snooze, you lose", I said.

He agreed, and rang up the game. It got better. The game was on sale for $40, down from its normal $60 price tag. In addition, it was a Gamestop-exclusive pre-order copy with 6 Bonus levels. I thanked the guy behind the counter, hoping that the person who had held the game would never show up and get angry with the staff there.

So, I've gotten five new games for Christmas, which should keep me busy for some time. I'll write full reviews as I delve more deeply into those games.

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