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Week In Review: March 29, 2013

I thought I’d try something new, and if it works make this a regular thing.  I tend to play a lot of games, and therefore I don’t finish them all.  I don’t like to review games I haven’t finished, so that means a lot of stuff falls through the cracks and doesn’t get discussed here.  Also, I wanted a more casual format to talk about stuff while I’m playing it, just to give along the way impressions.  So I thought I’d try this Week In Review feature to highlight games I’ve been playing and possibly down the road movies/tv shows I’ve been watching, etc.

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LEGO City Undercover – The guys at Gamestop who sold this to me were clueless about what it was.  When I told them it was basically “LEGO Grand Theft Auto,” they laughed.  For most people, separating the M-rated content from a GTA game is unthinkable.  If you’re one of those people, let me just say this – it totally works.  The joy in these games to me doesn’t come from swearing, prostitutes or even the extreme violence.  The fun is in the exploration.  And LCU has that in spades.  The world is truly huge.  It’s filled – no, STUFFED – with collectibles and unlockables.  You can’t walk 5 feet without tripping over something to do.  It also has a fantastic sense of humor that references popular crime and prison movies as well as general tropes that are popular in the genre.  The music has a 70’s cop show funk vibe that ties it all together perfectly.  I’ve been having a blast with this one so far, and am looking forward to putting more time into it.  Of course, there’s also….

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Bioshock Infinite – Holy cow.  Bioshock Infinite has taken my already extremely high expectations and somehow managed to surpass them.  It’s amazing.  They’ve created a world that’s so bizarre and filled with tiny details to discover that it begs to be explored.  The story is utterly fascinating so far.  I don’t want to say too much specific about this one, because the less you know about it going in the better it will be.  I will say that while the original Bioshock let you explore the devestated remains of one man’s idealistic but utterly flawed concepts for a society, BI puts you right in the middle of another man’s society that’s in full swing.  It’s a very different vibe seeing the horrible ideas being played out in front of your eyes.  This is one of those games that’s very difficult to turn off because the story grabs you and doesn’t let go.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate – This has been my multiplayer game lately.  A good friend and I have been putting a ton of time into this one and having a blast.  This is the first Monster Hunter game I’ve tried to play where I didn’t have to jump through hoops to play online with voice chat.  It just works, and works very well.  The built-in mic & speakers in the Wii U’s gamepad controller work great, with only occasional minor feedback.  The game itself is somewhat daunting to get into, and I’ve had a much easier time of it because I’ve been playing with someone well versed in the idiosyncrasies of the series.  I’m not sure how well I would have done otherwise, to be honest.  But once you get the hang of things, it’s absolutely exhilarating to take down a big beast with a friend.  Last night we fought a creature that looked vaguely like a pterodactyl, and in the middle of the fight he called in a fire-breathing wyvern.  Suddenly it became a game of trying to avoid the wyvern as we focused our attacks on the pterodactyl.  It was extremely gratifying when we managed to take it down!

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Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – On the portable side of things, I decided to picked up a 3DS XL this past Sunday thanks to a sale that Target is running combined with a deal Nintendo is doing where if you register the system + Luigi’s Manion: Dark Moon or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity by the end of April you’ll get a free game download.  Since I was a big fan of the original Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube I thought this sounded like a very good deal.  Fortunately, the LM sequel is just as fun as I remember the original being.  You basically catch ghosts with a vacuum cleaner while exploring a haunted house.  That’s the Cliffs Notes version anyway, but the house is very fun to explore with tons of secrets hidden in the rooms.  Plus the game just has a great charming atmosphere – that “cartoon spooky” vibe that you’d expect from a Halloween themed Looney Tunes or Disney short cartoon.  Great on the go game, and the freebie I got with it (I chose Super Mario 3D Land) was just icing on the cake.

So that’s been my gaming week.  I know, it just sounds like I love everything right now, doesn’t it?  I always enjoy these times while they last, because I know soon enough a disappointing or just plain crappy game will come along.

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