This Week’s Pick-Ups – Home Alone and Video Game Eye Candy

We went through an interesting couple of weeks here at the Johnson homestead. Only weeks after my wedding with Shayla Brissette, I had to take my wife to the hospital after an accident in a playground.

Basically, my wife took a tumble and ended up in hospital for a week with two cracked ribs and a ruptured liver. This left me out of work at home with my daughter while Shayla was away in hospital.

Definitely a rough situation, as I wasn’t prepared for what nights alone had to offer. You would think with the plethora of games I already own, I would find something to play with Shay away and Paige in bed upstairs…

Nope, I hit the sales instead. Let’s get cracking!

*Note* – Because of the craziness of the past two weeks and running back and forth to visit Shayla in hospital, this time around, we are looking at two weeks of game pick-ups. A little bit of a cheat, but I’ve been on the run alot, so I’m sure you’ll understand!

GAMES I PICKED UP –

Trine 2

Trine2-cheats

Two dollars.

That’s all this game cost. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how it plays. I can’t even tell you what the Trine series is all about.

All I know is that I saw the game was on sale for two bucks and I said ‘Oh, why the hell not?’

I’ll give it a go at some point. The graphics look pretty good and it has dragons, so those are always two plusses going for it.

Hoard

Hoard PSN

What’s  better than costing two bucks? How about free?

Yep, PlayStation Plus strikes again, this time giving me a game that looks really unique.

You play as a dragon trying to gather more treasure for your hoard. Also, it has multiplayer.

Multiplayer dragon game? Sign me up!

Fez

Fez

This game was also free through PlayStation Plus.

F**k you, Phil Fish. I finally downloaded your game.

Buzz Quiz Player

Buzz Quiz

At one point while Shay was in the hospital, I decided to do a random search of the PlayStation Store to see if they had any games on sale for free outside of PlayStation Plus. I know there are a number of games on XBox Live Arcade that are completely free to download, so I figured I would give the store a search and see what I could find.

After trolling through a whole bunch of Avatar pics and other random odds and ends, I found Buzz Quiz Player.

In my opinion, a free quiz game is always worth the time to download. If I’m willing to plop down money on a game like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Jeopardy and Family Feud, a game that asks you questions for free is a no-brainer to me.

Fairy Fencer F

Fairy Fencer F

Thank you once again NIS America for delivering me another free review copy of a game! This game is coming out on September 16th in North America and September 19th in Europe, meaning I’ve had my hands on this one for about a week ahead of the games release.

For an in-depth look at this game, be sure to check out our website over the next couple of days. We’ll be going through the game’s battle system, gameplay mechanics and what we found to really stand out about it.

A couple of things to note about this game, Yoshitaka Amano and Nobuo Uematsu are both on the development team, with Amano serving as a concept artist and Uematsu serving as a composer. Both Amano and Uematsu are renowned for their work on Final Fantasy, so seeing them on this game’s staff was really encouraging going into it.

In any case, there will be plenty more about this game in the days ahead here on GameOnGNT!

Dead Space 1 and 2

Dead Space 1

Through the course of the past few weeks, I came across a Capcom sale on PSN, which absolutely floored me at how cheap some of the games prices were being lowered to.

Seriously, you could pick up copies of Crysis 1 and 2, Dead Space 1 and 2, Mirror`s Edge and a whole slew of other games for only five bucks.

That being said, if you were to clear out the sales floor, those five bucks would eventually add up into something much larger, so I stuck with a handful of titles. Dead Space was one of the titles on the list that was a no brainer to me.

Dead Space 2

I’ve been thinking about having a scare fest for quite some time. Sitting down with a list of horror games and making my way through them, one by one. Seeing as I`ve never played the Dead Space series, I figured it would be a great time to jump on board and give it a go, since I already downloaded Dead Space 3 for free through PlayStation Plus earlier.

Maybe I`ll get around to it around Halloween. We’ll see if it happens this year or not.

Mirror’s Edge

Mirror's Edge

This was the second title in the Capcom sale that really caught my attention. I’ve always wanted to give Mirror’s Edge a go and for a price of five dollars, how could I really go wrong?

What’s caught my attention about this game in the past is the unique style of gameplay. Its not about killing everything in sight. Its about running through one set of obstacles to the next while occasionally taking down guards. That to me seems really neat!

Soul Calibur V

Soul Calibur V

This was the first game I broke down and bought from the XBox Binge Watch and Play sale, even though it would be XBox game #201 in my collection.

The reason? Because I’ve always enjoyed playing the Soul Calibur games and I couldn’t argue with a price for this game that was less than 4 bucks!

Granted, all I’ve been doing with the game since getting is play with its Create a Character feature and going online, but at least I got some game time out of it.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Far CRy Blood Dragon

There’s a few reasons I picked up this game.

1. Its Far Cry 3’s engine put to use in a standalone story… win!

2. Said standalone story is based in a 1980s vision of the future… win!

3. It was on sale in the Xbox Binge Watch and Play sale for 6 bucks… big time win!

So yeah, I bought Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a go at some point.

Jade Empire 

Jade Empire

Jade Empire is a game that I actually missed on my first go around. It was one of the legacy games for the original XBox.

And back when it first came out, I never heard of it. It was only until after I learned of Bioware through games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect was that I learned of Jade Empire, which served as one of the building blocks for what Bioware can do with an RPG.

So on a whim, I decided to look the game up last week and I found it for only 10 bucks on XBLA. Ten bucks for a Bioware game seems like a steal to me, so I went with it.

Haven’t tried playing it yet, as I simply have not had the time to give it a go, but I know this game is on my list of must plays.

Shadow Complex

Shadow Complex

At the same time as the XBox Live Binge Watch and Play sale was going on, I kept seeing advertisements for Shadow Complex popping up on my main menu for my XBox 360.

“Shadow Complex: Only $5”

So I was curious and looked up what this game was. The second I saw that it was a Metroid-vania style game with guns, I had to pick it up and give it a go. I hoped it would be something big that I could sink my teeth into.

So far, the game has yet to get me playing for any lengthy periods of time, but I may come back to it down the road.

Plants Vs Zombies

Plants vs Zombies

I have heard a lot about Plants Vs. Zombies from my friend Kyle Born… and quite possibly anybody who has ever played a video game.

Plants Vs. Zombies is a game that I tried to resist for so long. I figured the idea behind it was kind of odd and just warranted it off as another zombie game in an age of zombie games or zombie modes.

But when this game was available through the XBox Binge Watch and Play sale for only five bucks, I had to pick it up.

And let’s just say my arguments against Plants Vs. Zombies all went out the window the moment I started playing…. and kept playing for four straight days.

Trust me, this game was definitely worth the five bucks I purchased it for.

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine

Monaco Whats Yours is Mine

Last, but definitely least, we talk about the free game being offered through XBox Games with Gold.

The only reason I picked this game up was because its free and that makes it worth giving a go. Having played through the games first level, I honestly doubt that I will be picking it up again. I don’t know if this type of game appeals to me honestly, but who knows?

I might revisit it at some point and if I don’t, well it was a free game, so what am I really out?

SALES I AVOIDED –

The Prototype Sale on XBox Live

Prototype

To be honest, the Prototype series is one that’s always caught my attention, mainly because I like the idea behind it.

Guy gets horrifying, world-altering superpowers, guy tries to find out who did this to him and why, guy goes on a rampage of destruction while doing so.

Seriously, the main characters of these games are like what would happen if you combined the super powers of the Hulk and Venom with the T-Virus from Resident Evil.

So why didn’t I buy it? Well, to be completely honest, the only thing about this game that interests me is its story and the gore. I can see both of those things online through other people’s gameplay videos on YouTube. I don’t need to play through it myself to know what this story is about. I can just watch it.

Call it a cop out, but really, I’ve got enough games I’ve got to work my way through at the moment.

GAMES IN MY BACKLOG THAT GOT SOME ATTENTION

Plants vs. Zombies

plants vs zombies 2

This is the game that dominated my attention for about a week. I can’t believe I held back on playing it for so long.

Seriously, there is no such thing as just one more level with this game. I would sit down and play through ten levels at a time until I willingly forced myself to stop playing and take a break for a night.

For such a simple game, there are really endless ways that you can go about playing it. Not only is the game’s main adventure addicting, but then you’ve got to factor in all the mini-games, like pot smashing or Wall Nut bowling or the zombie puzzles.

And don’t get me started on the time waster that is the Zen garden. Seriously, every time I got a seed, I would immediately go back to the garden and start watering the plant.

Yes, this game was definitely worth the five dollars I put into it. The question to ask here though… “Is this game really part of my backlog if I just bought it and started playing it immediately?”

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z

Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z

That’s more like it!

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is a game that I bought last month when it was on sale for 10 bucks. This game is honestly what a Dragon Ball Z game should be.

There are plenty of battles to play through, including giant enemies. You can play the main story of Dragon Ball Z, along with side challenge missions, villain missions and of course, missions involving villains from the DBZ movies.

The only concern I have is when are they going to stop making Dragon Ball Z games that don’t introduce new stories or new characters? Seriously, its the one flaw I have with anime games in general. I get that you want to recreate the experience found in the show, but there’s only so many times that I can sit down and play the Cell saga before it becomes boring.

dragonball-xenoverse

I have hopes we’ll see this dealt with in the follow-up to this game, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, but at the same time, I’m being guarded as well and hope we don’t just see a character creator slapped into a DBZ game and that’s it.

Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia

Once my wife finally returned home from the hospital, I got a chance to sit down and actually do some more intensive gaming, instead of driving back and forth to the hospital twice a day. You wouldn’t believe how much more you can accomplish in a day with an extra two hours to work with.

And by accomplish, I mean playing a video game I haven’t got around to yet, Tales of Symphonia.

I played this game before back when it was on the GameCube, but didn’t get too far into it as I only had it for a three-day rental. But I really enjoyed it then and was looking forward to getting back to it on the PS3.

At this point, I’ve only got through a handful of bosses before switching gears to Fairy Fencer F for its review, but this game holds up pretty well to today’s standards, even thought it was originally made for the GameCube.

Expect to hear more about my time with it in future articles!

 

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