How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Call of Duty

I haven’t played or bought a Call of Duty game since 2010’s Black Ops. I was sick and tired of the same game every year and supporting this business model. So I took it upon myself to boycott Call of Duty…until now. A couple weeks ago, I popped in Modern Warfare 2 (one of my favorite games of the last generation) into my Playstation 3. I had day’s worth of gameplay on the game’s PVP multiplayer, which is a lot for a gamer that mostly plays single player games. I played a couple of matches in Team Deathmatch and suddenly realized that this is the most fun I’ve had playing video games in months. I was having stupid amounts of fun getting kills with an ACR, running around only knifing people like an idiot, and sprinting around with a shotgun as a sidearm because the developers of this game were insane.

Video games have been slipping away from me for the past few months and suddenly; I was really enjoying games again. I missed this feeling of excitement and rush that video games used to bring me, and now I went and did something I vowed never to do again: buy another Call of Duty game. I went ahead and bought Advanced Warfare (and wrote a review here…shameless plug) and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

The game isn’t perfect by any means. Some aspects of the multiplayer are ridiculous and absurd (System Hack scorestreak, awful spawns, the game maybe being a bit too fast), but the game is still some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing a first person shooter online because of that ridiculousness.

Sure, the campaign and the co-op are same old, same old, and aren’t the reason you are probably buying these games in the first place, but I still have been coming back to the PVP almost every single day and playing for a decent amount of time each time. Is it that different from most COD games? No, not really. It adds some new gameplay elements and has probably the best class set-up system the series has ever had, but it still keeps the same core gameplay…and I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that I’m okay with that. It used to piss me off, the laziness these developers had when they could make better games and I still believe they could be making better games, but I’m okay with it now.

I used to be one of those people getting angry with Call of Duty and its yearly bullshit, but I’m okay with it. People are going to love these games regardless of what I have to say about them and more power to them because I sort of understand once again. I’m having a blast with Advanced Warfare…and that’s okay that I am.

What do you think about Call of Duty as a franchise? Have you played Advanced Warfare? Do you boycott/not play Call of Duty like I once did?

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Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something or laugh I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

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Sony unhappy about scalped 20th Anniversary Playstation 4 Consoles

Sony released 12,300 of the 20th Anniversary version of the Playstation 4, which was extremely difficult to get (for obvious reasons). This has led to overly inflated prices on the secondary market.

“That’s not what we want to see happen,” Playstation UK boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer. “It’s inevitable some proportion of that will happen, and very hard to prevent it completely.” “We did think things through. But in each and every case, the way you get hold of one of these consoles requires some fan knowledge, so we’re trying to tap into the people who love the brand the most, and put them at an advantage, because they’re the people who keep us in business, who inspire this whole 20 year legacy.”

To pick up an inexpensive unit in the UK you first had to track down the pop-up store, bring a piece of Playstation memorabilia, and say the secret phrase: “I crashed my bandicoot.” (Source: Polygon)

I’ve got a crazy idea: make a couple more! I know it’ll make this special edition PS4…well…not as special, but who cares? I’d rather the secondary market of price gouging not hurt people’s chances of getting one for a fair price in the first place. The console is obviously beautiful and if I didn’t have a PS4, I would have probably tried to get one myself (and failed miserably I’m sure), but I just think it’s really silly to not just make more. There’s obviously a market for these Playstations if they are selling for absurd amounts of EBay that Sony would rather not happen. I don’t think anyone is crazy about the price gougers and price scalpers who ruin these things for everyone. It’s a console made for an anniversary, a console made for the fans, and why not just let the fans get them? It’s impossible to prevent, but it’s at least worth a shot if they made more units.

What do you think about the anniversary PS4? Does it look awesome or what? Do you think Sony should simply just produce more to stop price gougers?

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

Playstation Experience Keynote Overview/Review

Sony took it upon themselves to start their own video game event in December called Playstation Experience, an event open to the public that celebrates Playstation. They also had a keynote to kick off Playstation Experience which debuted new games, new content, and new footage of previously announced games today. I thought I would give you guys a general overview/review of the keynote and what was announced and worth looking out for from the conference!

Sony had no reservations: they opened up with Uncharted 4 gameplay. I’m sure most of you already saw the footage. It looks absolutely beautiful, is it mostly more of the same? Absolutely. Am I pretty much okay with that? Absolutely. They also added a rope mechanic, so who knows? We might get new innovations in this game and I will always have faith in Naughty Dog to provide more great, unique content. The gameplay also ended with a cutscene and we find out that…Drake has a brother? Yeah, you heard that correctly. It also appears that Troy Baker plays him, so it seems that Naughty Dog likes to grab some of the same talent, and I’m totally for that.

The keynote then goes to MLB The Show 15. I have no interest. You might. That’s cool. It’s another sports game.

A new title called Kill Strain is announced, it is a top down shooter that is free to play and will have a beta early next year. We have enough top down shooters so I’m not overly excited for this one.

New Bloodborne footage is shown of a dungeon and a boss battle and the games just continues to look really fantastic. I’m thoroughly excited for this game and it may be a day one purchase for me.

Adam Boyes takes the stage, head of publisher relations, and discusses the new Destiny expansion. It seems like this game will have endless coverage by Sony because it has exclusivity on Playstation platforms. I have yet to play Destiny so I can’t really comment on the DLC (though I plan to still).

Ultra Street Fighter IV was announced exclusively for the PS4. I found this announcement incredibly strange. Why bother to rerelease this old Street Fighter game when Street Fighter V is on the way? I mean I’m sure people will buy it so I guess I answered my own question.

Footage of a game called Killing Floor 2 was shown, it looks like a decent shooter, zombie survival-esque game but it’s same old, same old at this point.

Red Hook Studios announces Darkest Dungeon, a side-scrolling RPG for PS4 in 2015.

End Night Games announced The Forest for PS4 and this game immediately intrigued me. It appears to be a survival game of some sorts but the entire style of the game looks so interesting and truly frightening, at least the way the trailer was cut made it seem so. I will continue to follow this game for sure.

Geometry Wars 3 will be coming to the Vita in the spring.

Persona 5 will be a PS3 and PS4 exclusive. That is literally all they had to say about Persona 5.

Bastion will be coming to PS4 and Vita. I’m certainly interested in trying this game out because I hear nothing but good things.

Orcs Must Die: Unchained is coming to PS4. I’ve never played a title in this series, I’ve got nothing to say.

Peter Moore from EA comes on stage with a surprising announcement. Currently, three games are available as a free download on Playstation platforms: Need For Speed: Most Wanted on the Vita, Mirror’s Edge for PS3, and Planets Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare for PS4. These games are only available until Playstation Experience is over, so hurry up and go download them! I will gladly go try out Planets Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare because I’ve wanted to for quite some time.

Dungeon Defenders II is shown.

A barrage of indie game announcements comes forward: Skytorn on PS4, Severed, a new game from the developers of Gucacamelee!, Shovel Knight on PS4, PS3, and Vita (which I will gladly play), and Enter The Dungeon.

Batman Arkham Knight footage is shown with a guy who is way too excited about Batman Arkham Knight taking the stage. It is also announced that the PS4 will get exclusive content. Sony just seems to love to take all this exclusive content. (How much money are they paying for all of this?) Overall though, I found the Batman Arkham Knight footage surprisingly underwhelming. I guess I’m just ready for the game to come out and I’m sick and tired of seeing footage at this point.

Street Fighter V is announced (except everyone already knew about it the day before due to a leak) and is exclusive on the PS4 and PC with cross-platform play. I find it completely insane that Sony manage to get the exclusive rights to Street Fighter V. That is a huge blow to Microsoft, Street Fighter isn’t some small fry franchise, it’s one of the biggest around. I’m thoroughly impressed that Sony managed to get this. Regardless, I’m really excited to try out Street Fighter V whenever it comes out (and the footage looked pretty great).

Yakuza 5 is announced for PS3 for Summer 2015. Yakuza 4 and Yakuza Dead Souls are also now available digitally on PS3.

Suikdon I and Suikdon II are coming to the PS3 and Vita.

Towerfall Ascension and Towerfall Dark World are coming to the Vita.

Octodad is coming to the Vita (I never played the PS4 version and I’d rather play that one, to be honest).

Super Time Force Ultra is coming to PS4 and Vita in 2015 and Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, is in it! The game looks great but if I can play as Shuhei Yoshida that makes it game of the year material by default.

The Banner Saga will be coming to the Vita.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 will be coming to the Vita in the spring.

Gang Beasts will be coming to the PS4 and Vita.

Broken Age will be coming to the PS4 and Vita when Act 2 comes to the PC. I’m really excited to play this game; one because I think Elijah Wood is a great actor, and two because it’s Double Fine Game.

Grim Fandango Remastered will be coming to PS4 and Vita on January 27th and I will gladly buy this as well.

Day of the Tentacle Special Edition will be coming to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux.

A new Fat Princess game is announced called Fat Princess Adventures. I absolutely loved the PS3 version of Fat Princess and I’m glad that this game is going to get another version on PS4; it’s such a fun little multiplayer game that doesn’t get enough credit.

A game is announced by Funomena, it involved exploding hats, I had no idea what the hell I was watching.

A new Giant Sparrow game, developers of The Unfinished Swan (a game you should absolutely play, it’s a really, really beautiful game) is announced called What Remains of Edith Finch. They didn’t show a whole lot but I’m pretty much interested by default because of how much I loved The Unfinished Swan.

More footage of The Order: 1886 is shown, a third person shooter developed by Ready At Dawn studios. I won’t lie, I just can’t be that excited for this game. People are excited for it but it just looks like a typical third person shooter that looks pretty to me. I don’t know, it could still be a really great game; I’ll still keep my eyes on it.

An extensive demo is shown off of Tearaway Unfolded, which I still don’t entirely get what this is. I think it’s supposed to be a remake/remake with more content than the original Tearaway on Vita. I haven’t played Tearaway, but it seems like the PS4 version is just going to be an improved version of it, so I guess everyone should just play this new one? I have no idea. The demo didn’t really convince to buy the game; I was like half-listening because I simply just wasn’t very interested in what they were showing me.

More footage of the absolutely not exciting Until Dawn is shown. And they even managed to use some of the same footage from The Game Awards last night! (You can read about my thoughts on The Game Awards here.) I have little to no interest in this game; it’s everything I don’t enjoy about games. It’s a game that is littered in button prompts and that’s the gameplay. Why would I want to play that? That isn’t even a video game anymore. It stars Hayden Panettiere, there’s that? Ya know, that one girl from that show Heroes…which was only good for a season…I’M REALLY SOLD ON THIS GAME SONY.

Square Enix takes the stage in which is literally the worst, most disgusting troll done by a video game company that I can remember in recent years. They show a long trailer for Final Fantasy VII. You know that game that a lot of people love (I don’t personally) and have been CLAMORING and WAITING for a real remake of for years on end. But guess what Square Enix gives you instead? The PC remastered version of the game that nobody really cares about! Coming to PS4 in spring 2015! Who’s excited? No one? Oh. I wonder why Square Enix. I sometimes think Square Enix is absolutely insane.

We then get a 20 years of Playstation tribute that is all done in-game on LittleBigPlanet 3, it was cool and all, but I mean…they were basically begging everyone to buy LittleBigPlanet 3 with this tribute. I just found it a little funny. It was a cool tribute though, I certainly recommend watching it.

More footage of No Man’s Sky is shown. I’m super excited for this game but even I’m a bit sick of seeing footage considering I JUST saw footage last night during the Game Awards livestream. I sort of just want to play the game now, especially because I still have no idea how in the hell this game can work. I have no clue, or if it will at all. It’s by far one of the most ambitious and interesting titles coming out next year.

David Jaffe comes onstage to announce his new game being made by his new studio (you can read more about that here). It is titled Drawn To Death and is very much a David Jaffe game: gorey, silly, over the top, and childish (in a good way). It is an arena shooter that takes place in the notebook of a teenager who draws all of these different creatures. The art style is absolutely incredibly and instantly reminded me of the Wii game, Madworld (a game you should really play, it’s a really underappreciated title). I’m sure this game will be a blast to play, but based on what David Jaffe said (it being in pre-Alpha), it sounds like we might not even be playing this next year. It might not be until 2016. Regardless, I’m pretty excited.

And that’s that. Playstation Experience was interesting and the keynote was pretty enjoyable to watch on the livestream (who am I kidding? I even like watching crappy video game conferences). I do hope that Sony keeps this as an annual thing to celebrate Playstation. I think it’s safe to say that Playstation is strong enough of an entity on its own after the extreme success of the Playstation 4, they can have their own conference on their own timeign.com and deservingly so. What did you think of the Playstation Experience keynote? Did you enjoy it? What was your favorite announcement? If you haven’t watched it and still want to, watch it below (I’ll link it once it’s available):

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

Playstation Blog teases 20th anniversary with “Emagon”

A teaser for something called Emagon has been posted on the Spanish Playstation Blog.

The translation of the post states that Sony is preparing to celebrate 20 years of Playstation by announcing whatever secret is being shown in the teaser.

The entire video is narrated in Spanish and simply shows a character walking around through beautiful landscapes. The character is also talking about the length of 20 years, conquering worlds, making choices, and living with the consequences of actions.

Emagon spelled backwards is “No Game” which is causing controversy as to whether this is even a video game or not. (Source: IGN.)

More is to be revealed on December 5th. What do you think Emagon is? My guess, since it has to do with the 20th anniversary of Playstation, it’ll probably relate to the original Playstation in some manner. Maybe a new Crash Bandicoot? Okay, okay, that’s extremely unlikely. The teaser is so obscure that it is hard to even say what it could be, a new product? A new game? Who knows? My only thought is it has to directly correlate with the original Playstation and maybe one of the IPs that the system is known for.

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to be playable at Playstation Experience?

A rumor has come out from the PS4Germany Twitter account that Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be playable on Playstation 4 at the Playstation Experience event. PS4Germany has gotten their source from “Play4 Magazine” because they received an early copy of the January edition cover that mentions it being playable.

Playstation Experience is taking place on December 6th-7th and the likely situation is that the game will be playable behind closed doors for the press only. (Source: Gamespur.)

Considering the fact that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is likely to come out next year (probably as a quarter 4 release for the holidays), I think it’s safe to assume that SOMETHING will be playable, at least I would hope so with only a year left of development time. What do you think? Are you excited for the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End? Is it your most anticipated Playstation 4 title like me? (How could it not be, right? We’ve been waiting for this game for so long now at this point.) To me, this is going to be one of the first genuine next-gen experiences we have because that tends to be what Naughty Dog does, they tend to shift and guide the console generation as each title comes out (if last gen was evident of anything with Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us). Let’s hope to see more footage of the game during Playstation Experience.

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

Top 15 games of the last console generation

We are a year into the new console generation. The Playstation 4 and Xbox One have already gone through a year of releases and are still working through the kinks. The Wii U has already gone through two years and is finally starting to hit its stride. But let’s go back to the previous generation and talk about some of the best games from it. The previous generation is really special to me because it has so many games that made me the person I am. I’m only eighteen years old; I was ten when the Playstation 3 came out to put it into perspective. Ten years old. A lot changes in eight years of a person’s life and video games were always there as a part of those years. So, I decided to form my top fifteen games of last gen (it was going to be ten…but that was too hard).

15. Saints Row The Third

I’ll say it now: there isn’t a single Grand Theft Auto game on this list. I prefer Saints Row The Third in almost every single way. The game is so absurdly silly and the definition of pure fun in video games. It gives a big middle finger to any type of realism or anything sensible and let’s the gamer do what he or she wants: have some goddamn fun with a controller in hand. The story is insane, yet one of the best I’ve played in an open-world title to date. I don’t think I really need to say much more, the game is just about having silly, over the top fun and it does so with near perfection.

14. Muramasa: The Demon Blade

This game does an amazing job of understanding minimalism in gameplay design. Most of the game is spent mashing a single attack button and moving the control stick in the proper direction, yet it is some of the most fun I’ve had playing games. Sure, the story is pretty pointless and could be taken out, (I’d actually prefer it was, since I’d rather not waste time reading text and just get back into the action) but the gameplay is just so addicting.

I’m currently replaying it on the Vita version (which is even better) and it just reminds me of how fun this game is. It’s a simple action game with a gorgeous art style produced by Vanillaware, who just continue to make incredible games that capture the simplicity of what gaming is always about: the gameplay itself.

13. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The Call of Duty franchise is one that is universally loved and hated at the same time. Many people are sick and tired of the yearly releases, and I was one of those people for quite some time. The last Call of Duty game I played before Advanced Warfare (which I’m enjoying quite a bit) was Black Ops, but I will always love Modern Warfare 2. I have over eight days of game time on multiplayer. I’ve never played any game that much (at least I don’t think so).

Despite the fact that the game can be incredibly frustrating and has some ridiculously overpowered garbage, (Commando, One Man Army, Noob Tubes, shotguns as sidearms, etc) I kept coming back to its addictive, fast, and simple gameplay that the developers of Call of Duty sort of ran to the ground for awhile (and Advanced Warfare is doing a good job of innovating a bit). I have fond (and frustrating) memories of playing this game and it’ll always have a special place in gaming for me.

12. Hotline Miami

This is sort of cheating, considering I played most of this game on my Playstation Vita, but it’s technically last generation, so I’m putting it on the list. This is another game that captures the spirit of addictive and simple (and difficult) gameplay.

From the 8-bit style graphics, to the Drive-like electronic music, to the absolutely bonkers story that makes almost no sense, this game is an absolute delight in the indie scene of games. It’s a short and challenging game with such a unique style influenced by pop culture, that it’s hard to not like it. I can still go back to this game every now and then and just play a single level to get a taste of the addictive nature of this game, and how it’s basically a rhythm game without being one, an absolutely genius little game.

11. No More Heroes/No More Heroes 2

Okay, okay, I’m cheating again! I couldn’t decide between which game I wanted to put on the list, so I put them both together! They are both wonderful games that are incredibly meta, incredibly fun, and have an absolutely crazy story (which seems to be a strange recurring theme thus far in the list…). The game has a great sense of humor that’ll keep you interested in the story and the gameplay with your Lightsaber katana is the definition of keeping it simple like Muramasa. I could play a new No More Heroes game every year and let’s hope for a third one coming out on the Wii U.

10. Bioshock

Bioshock is one of the first games I remember playing who’s story really just completely blew me out of the water (pun intended…or not? I apologize). The way the game rarely had any cutscenes yet manages to tell a story through one guy talking to you as you play the game, is absolutely incredible and what more developers should strive for. Cutscenes can be good, in small doses that is, but games that get littered in cutscenes are only hindering themselves from being actual video games. Bioshock got the memo and made a game with an incredible atmosphere, fun gunplay, and a story that is actually intellectual in someway (I mean it was based upon a philosophy by Ayn Rand).

9. Sonic Generations

A lot of people hate Sonic. A lot of people probably didn’t even bother to try this game because they hate Sonic, which is unfortunate because Sonic Generations is such a fun game. The game simply takes old Sonic levels, updates them in both 2D and 3D, and gets the one thing Sonic has always been about right: speed…turned up to the highest possible level.

The 3D levels aren’t frustrating like Sonic Adventure, and they just work. They simply work. They are so unbelievably fun, I can jump into this game at any time and play a level and be so utterly happy from playing some dumb video game with a hedgehog in it. It brings back feelings of nostalgia from always loving Sonic and it brings up feelings of being happy that Sonic Team did something right: they made a Sonic game that actually works and plays well released in the past ten years.

8. Portal/Portal 2

Whoops, I cheated again, my bad. I couldn’t separate these two games because they are companion pieces in my eyes. To me, you have to play both games to fully understand GLaDOS and Chell’s relationship or the ending of Portal 2 just won’t be as great. The game is obviously an incredible puzzle game-one of the best ever made-but it’s the story contained within the game that makes it so much more than just another puzzle game.

The ending of Portal 2 left me with such unbelievably strong emotions that I didn’t expect, it impacted me so much more than I would have ever thought. The game goes from telling a story through narration and puzzles to throwing you into a cutscene and taking control away from you. It is one of the most artistic usages of a cutscene I’ve ever seen in a video game. It makes the gamer feel contentment, emptiness, and escape all at once. I won’t go any further to avoid spoilers, but it’s that final cutscene that solidified the Portal games as some of my favorite games of all time. Oh, and those two end credits songs are amazing as well!

7. Batman Arkham City

Remember how I said a game’s simple push of a button and moving a control stick can make a game work so perfectly? This is another one of those games, just like Muramasa. The combat system is so incredibly smooth that I could just sit and play fights on the Batman Arkham titles for hours on end. It is such a perfectly designed combat system and then beyond that, you actually have a well-written story and a good open world to explore. The game has one of the most powerful endings I’ve ever seen, unbelievably amazing voice acting, and everything just works so fluently. These Batman Arkham games (specifically City) are the only games to ever make you truly feel like Batman…and that’s one hell of a feeling.

6. Infamous/Infamous 2

I’m really bad at not cheating. I couldn’t separate these games; these two games are really special to me. For me, these games are some of the only open world games I’ve played that actually emotionally impacted me. The relationship between Cole and Zeke as friends is so utterly sincere in every single way. One of my favorite moments in these games is a small cutscene where Cole and Zeke are simply drinking beers, the moment is quiet and tranquil, it is so beautiful, and it’s truly the calm before the storm (especially when it comes to the evil ending of Infamous 2 which is heart-wrenching).

The actual canonical ending of Infamous 2 killed me. It sent so many chills down my spine (I literally have chills down my spine while writing it/thinking about it…I wish I was joking but I’m totally serious) and just reminded me how amazing video games are as a medium. They can be totally fun and have this great gameplay like Infamous does in both games…but they can also have these powerful stories that are better than most other art forms. It just makes me realize that Infamous was released in 2008, Infamous 2 in 2011, and those games impacted me so much, games are only going to get more incredible.

5. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Who said these video games needed complex stories all the time to keep me interested? Nintendo still has plenty right about their games, they still know how to craft innovative and fun gameplay that many developers have lost sight of. They still understand the purity of video games being a medium that doesn’t need to necessarily be like film or literature; it can just be about pushing buttons on a controller and jumping on and over things. The combination of wonderful music, incredible level design, and new power-ups, makes this game incredibly special. It’s platformer video game design at its finest and is-by far-my favorite Mario game ever.

4. Bioshock Infinite

Where do I even start? From the absolutely insane ending, to the same fun gunplay carried over from the first game, to the rich story and atmosphere that manages to comment on racism, capitalism, time travel, and American exceptionalism, everything about this game is just…right. Everything is so on point.

The performances by Troy Baker (who might be mentioned later in this list…) and Courtnee Draper are absolutely amazing, just everything about this game brings me pure happiness about what video games are and what they will be.

I can just listen to the Barbershop Quartet version of “God Only Knows” or “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and so many feeling are brought up from this game (and yes I do have chills again while writing this…no big deal). The atmosphere of Columbia is by far one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had in a video game, exploring that world, being apart of it, being so immersed into it, I played this game in a single weekend and I will remember that weekend fondly, it’s a masterpiece in video games…for every reason imaginable.

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I played this game in two days during my Christmas break. I had never played the first one. It really didn’t matter. The sweeping cinematic world of Uncharted is better than the vast majority of action films ever produced (if not better than every action film ever produced) because I get to play it and I get to be apart of it. Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, Chloe Frazer, Sully, and yes, even Jeff The Cameraman (R.I.P.), are some of my favorite characters of all time. The witty banter between all the characters, the emotional highpoints, the near-death of characters in the crazy action-packed world of Uncharted, and the perfectly on-point gunplay and platforming design by Naughty Dog, is something most developers wish they could achieve.

Naughty Dog managed to craft one of the most memorable games ever designed (and the only game I’ve ever bothered to get a platinum trophy for because I loved it so much) and it’ll always be apart of me in someway, it reminds me of why video games are so awesome and incredible in the first place, because they can do a balancing act of gameplay and story with near perfection that no other medium can achieve.

2. Journey

Technically, this game could be my number one pick simply because of how it is going to help video games innovate more in the future. This game, twenty years from now, people will look at and go: “this is why video games are the way they are.” This game will have changed video games forever, whether people see it now or not is irrelevant. It tells a sweeping, emotional story purely through gameplay, visuals, and an incredibly innovative use of online multiplayer that changes the way you think of online gameplay.

It’s hard for me to describe what this game is beyond the fact that the title is very important. This game takes you through a “journey” of emotions. Almost no other video games (or art, for that matter) have made me feel so many different emotions in a span of two hours. I’ve never felt such a strong series of emotions in such rapid succession while experiencing any other art. In fact, this is one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had in general because it is so utterly special. It is so utterly different and unique and I’ve yet to play it a second time simply because of how unique that first experience was, not that I’d expect anything different the second time around, it’d be just as impactful and important to me as it will be to the games industry in general.

1. The Last of Us

I don’t even know where the hell to start. No other piece of art has hit me on so many emotional levels. This is my favorite video game of all time. Whenever I think about this game, I’m hit with strong emotions, whenever I listen to the soundtrack, I’m hit with strong emotions, whenever I see the ending or certain scenes that have impacted me so strongly, I’m hit with such ridiculously strong emotions. Whenever I play this game, (which I’ve only played it three times thus far…though I’m planning on a fourth once I get the Remastered Version) I probably have a solid two or three weeks where this game doesn’t leave my memory whatsoever. It is so solidified in my mind.

Ellie and Joel are such amazing, incredible, and memorable characters that are two of my favorite characters ever written for anything ever. The relationship and bond between these two characters is so strong and no other medium could have had me truly experience that. By playing as Joel through this post-apocalyptic world, I became him, I was so engrossed and immersed playing as Joel and getting to know Ellie and the world surrounding her and empathizing with everything.

The key word here is empathy. This game has such a strong understanding of what that truly means and what caring for someone so strongly truly means. It goes so far beyond what a video game is. It has such an understanding of the human condition and compassion and pure understanding of what people are and why we manage to care so strongly for each other, even through the toughest and most dire circumstances. It does all of this through cutscenes and gameplay, a perfect combination of both that works so fluently in telling a story that hits you on a multitude of emotional levels.

The game is littered in small, beautiful moments of conversation between Joel and Ellie that are just as good as any big twist thrown at you in a cutscene, those moments are what make this game so purely a video game, it couldn’t be done in cinema or literature because it simply wouldn’t work. Those moments are crucial.

And going through the experience of taking down Clickers and other Infected are so important to the story itself as well, it makes you feel the emotional distress that Joel and Ellie are feeling purely through the usage of a controller.

Beyond that, the performances by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson…I just can’t get over how powerful they are. I had no idea who these two people were before this game and now I consider them two of the greatest actors living after seeing their performances in this game. The dynamic between Joel and Ellie could not have been done without them. They made this game work on the levels it strives for.

I think the last thing worth mentioning is the ending, some people absolutely hate it, I think it is one of the best endings I’ve ever experienced. It makes the gamer think for hours on end and that is what good endings are supposed to do. It makes you question on whether you agree with the actions that Joel partook in (I do agree with said actions personally) and that is what a good piece of art should do, make you question, ponder, and challenge you. The Last of Us is one of the only video games that has. It made me cry-more than once-and hit me on such strong emotional levels, it’s so utterly special to me, not only as a gamer, but as a human being who cares so strongly for other people and holds empathy so highly as a quality everyone should have, on not just a minimal level, but an extremely high one. (Yes I did slightly tear up while writing about The Last of Us, what’s your point?)

And that’s my list. A list where I managed to talk about The Last of Us way more than every other game on the list (trust me, I could have blabbered on for awhile). What are your top 15 games of the last generation? Or at the very least, what was your favorite game of the last generation? Let me know in the comments below and let’s have a discussion!

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).

 

Playstation Plus Lineup For December 2014 Revealed

Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, the fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios will be available, and the indie shooter Secret Ponchos, both for PS4.

Hitman HD Trilogy (Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts, and Hitman: Blood Money) and Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut will be available for PS3.

For Playstation Vita, tower defense game Final Horizon will be available.

Lastly, Titan Attacks! will be available for PS4, PS3, and Vita. (Source: IGN.)

December’s lineup seems like a decent one. I’m certainly excited to play Injustice as it is a game I’ve wanted to play for quite some time but haven’t bothered to purchase yet and I’m glad that the definitive version of the game will be available for all PS4 owners. Hitman HD Trilogy is also an interesting one. I’ve only played a bit of Hitman: Absolution when it was out for Playstation Plus and I enjoyed it for the most part but never got super into it. It’ll be interesting to go back to the older games in the franchise and experience them. But the title I find most exciting is Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. I don’t know much about the game itself, but all I hear is how strange the game is and I like strange games. I’m all for really, really weird stuff and the fact that I can play this game for (basically) free is awesome.

What titles are you excited for in December? What will you be playing? Let me know in the comments below.

Did you enjoy this post? Follow my blog for (almost) daily posts on video game news, opinions, reviews, and a bunch of other stuff!

Author of this post (and the only author ever on this blog):

Jesse Jordon is an aspiring writer who writes this stuff on these blogs to make you learn something I guess. (Wait, why am I mixing 3rd and 1st person point of view when I’m the only one writing this?) He’s trying to be a video game journalist but is probably failing at that. You can follow him on Twitter @jjordon96 (if you want I guess). You can also purchase his first self-published book On Human Empathy for only $5.00 (you can buy literature or coffee, it’s up to you to decide. I’d go with the coffee personally).