Games Galore (Or How I’m Giving Myself Early Arthritis): 2010

Since I’m dating/living with a gamer, I know a ton about games. Possibly more than I need to/want to know sometimes…I don’t play as often or as well as he does (back in the day, I did though), but I do a pretty good job. I’m awesome at moral support and pointing out hidden areas, treasures and snipers or others with murderous intentions. I feel like that’s kind of like me playing, right?? I became a member of Xbox and got myself a snazzy name, got an awesome shiny blue Wii Remote with MotionPlus for Christmas (thanks, Mom and Jayne!!) and I have some games that are just for me. Since I moved down here, I’ve seen and played countless hours of games so I thought I’d share my favorites of the year. My descriptions probably won’t do the games justice so if you really wanna know what they’re about, you should ask my live in gaming expert. He knows his stuff and will be thrilled to share with you. I’m hoping over time, I’ll have my own little gaming glory moments to be excited about. As much as I’d love to think I could finish this list before 2010 ends, I’m pretty sure I won’t so check back later for the rest of the list…

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood: you play as a present day character who uses a machine to travel back to old school Italy. You’re an assassin and you run around doing good deeds for people and taking down the bad guys in various ways. There’s also a neat online multiplayer aspect so you can run around as various characters and take out your target. I’ve gotten oh-so good at spotting players who are fleeing for their lives over rooftops or have morphed into someone else, which I’m sure Mike appreciates a bunch. While this is all nifty stuff, what sold me was the addition of horses in this installment. Yes, you get to run around the countryside on horses of various breeds and can do things like assassinate from horseback. My favorite horse was the armored one, who we named Kerfuffle. His backstory (which I eagerly provided) notes he’s a gentle soul who wants to liberate the other horses from the bad guys. He also loves gelato. A lot. But, what REALLY sold me in the game was a cheat that changes all–yes, ALL–the horses to unicorns!!! This is a picture of Kerfufflecorn (a Kerfuffle as a unicorn). I won’t lie, some days while he’s gone, I’ll run around collecting money around Italy with a Kerfufflecorn…

Rock Band 3: it’s really like high tech karaoke. Only you get to build a band, pick your instrument (bass, keyboards, drums, vocals, guitar), rock out to songs you love and become world famous. This will shock my family, but I chose to do vocals. I know, timid, singing voiced me…I owe a thank you to Mike for buying it and letting me play it alone before joining him a few times. My band is called The Knickerbocker Glories, after the British dessert. I have modeled the characters after myself, Billy Idol, David Bowie and Haruko from an anime series I love. I would like to gleefully share two things: one, I am very good (100 percent flawless on hard vocals) at singing one of the hardest songs on the game, “The Con,” by Tegan and Sara. Second, and possibly more exciting to me, I’ve actually played the game more than he has and am beating his gamer achievement point score thingy! I’m sure this is super short-lived, though.

Transformers: War for Cybertron: The Autobots (the good guys) and Decepticons (the bad guys) duke it out on their home planet, Cyberton (this is before they come to Earth, by the way). You get to play both sides, good and evil. There’s multiplayer online where you get to customize the four major types. His favorite type to play was Conquest…All I can hear in my head is Megatron yelling, “We have captured/lost A/B/C!!!” This might be one of those moments where you had to be there to appreciate it. It was fun to watch, though and I was a good lookout for him.

Red Dead Redemption: This game is based on a Western. I didn’t see all of the game, but what I did see was very good. Obviously, I was pretty excited that there were various breeds of horses to ride and tame, but it was all sorts of fun watching and doing the hunting challenges. I got really good at shooting ugly birds and snakes (I tried to leave the cute things alone). Okay, he did the majority of them, but for some of them, like the skunk challenge, he totally needed my help. It’s very hard to run all over the desert, avoiding bandits and cacti while looking around the ground for such tiny animals. He might have actually played and shot the jackalope, an animal which is considered legendary and hard to find/kill, but he NEVER would have seen it without me. We were expecting something the size of a jackrabbit, or at least some antlers as a guide. He was really tiny though…I couldn’t even get a picture of it when it happened for proof. And, I hate to say it, but it was equally hilarious watching him get mauled by a group of bears that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Halo: Reach: Ohhhh, Halo: Reach, what can I say about you? I had very little knowledge of the previous versions, but I can see why it’s so popular. I know more about the weapons and story than I probably needed to know. A huuuuuuuge congrats to my guy though since he got a perfect gamer score of 1,000 for all the challenges. I wish I had a dollar for all the hours I watched and heard about the game. I coulda sent myself to London and had a nice chunk of spending money. While I was horrible at the game, I did love the sticky grenades and some of the weapons (my faves were the needlers and the plasma launcher). I also loved all the species you shot, but since I didn’t know their names, I renamed all of them based on their looks, actions and sometimes their death sequences. For example, some of them were Marmalades (they were shiny, glowy orange), while their lower ranking partners were called Orange Peels (less shiny and glowy orange. And then there were the Confetti Turtles–grunts that looked like deformed turtles with thick goggles on their faces. If you turn a special skull on in the game and kill them with a headshot, they explode with a cork popping sound, children yelling, “YAAAAY!” and a burst of confetti. A big triumph was the fact that I could shout out, “Marmalade on the stairs to the left!” and he would know exactly what I meant. He even used my naming system after a while…It was a proud moment for me. They added some new maps you can download and play multiplayer on–he hasn’t gotten them yet, but I’m hoping he will soon. Some of them look like lots of fun to watch. Oh. And, uh, play. 🙂

Scott Pilgrim: Okay, the movie wasn’t really my thing, but the game was good stuff. You got to run around as some of the key characters and beat people up with various objects like garbage cans, pails and a whole roasted turkey. I liked to play as Kim, who was the drummer (go figure, I know…), but the best part of the game was there were only four buttons I really had to worry about. He has managed to get all but one of the achievements (that won’t last long though), including the one where you had to revive a friend 25 times, and I was obviously the perfect candidate for that since I was fairly skilled at dying. The soundtrack is also fabulous, and I’m not a game soundtrack person.

Viva Pinata: This game didn’t come out in 2010, but darn it, it is sooooo clever and cute!! Basically, you build a garden and attract various pinata animals to tame, keep and breed (and yes, the baby animals are cute, too). They turn to their vibrant colored forms once they decide to live in your garden, but they can get into fights and be eaten by other predator or “sour” pinatas. They die in an explosion of paper and drop candy everywhere. What really made the game was the name of the species: mousemallows (mouse), ponocky (pony), preztail (fox), buzzlegum (bee), taffly (fly), squazzil (squirrel) and bunnycomb (bunny). Even the syrupent (snake) was cute. Apparently if you are an amazing gardener, you can attract the chewnicorn (who, by the way, lives in a house made of clouds and rainbows!!!!!)…I haven’t made it that far, especially since you kind of play the game in real time, but one day, I would LOVE to have a chewnicorn.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Based off the kid’s TV show, this game is loads of fun. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more–playing with all of Batman’s awesome gadgets, beating up bad guys like Gentleman Ghost or Gorilla Grodd, having fun sidekicks help me or laughing at the clever dialogue. I will say it was funnier to me since I watched the show. Sure, it’s kind of silly and meant for kids, but sometimes it’s fun to take a break from harder, more serious games. We were supposed to play this game together, but I tried it while he was at work and sorta barreled ahead…Ooops. Maybe once I’m done, we can start all over. It would be fun to have an actual person play as a sidekick.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn: As you might have guessed, I love a cute game with cute characters so Kirby’s Epic Yarn satisfies both these requirements. Everything in the game is meant to look like fabric, yarn or other craft goods. You play as Kirby who helps Prince Fluff get back a magical piece of yarn that holds the world together. For the record, since Prince Fluff always has a gloomy frown on his face and he’s blue, I named him King Crabby from Blue Town before we actually knew his name. I still think my version is more fitting, but okay. The backgrounds are very well done and filled with detail. You can unzip zippers, pull on strings to open spots or swing around on buttons. I’m sure the designers had an absolute ball making this game. It’s fun to play as a two player game and can be easy at some points, but it’s still fairly challenging.

Super Mario Galaxy 2: This game is our official play together game. You run around outer space as Mario (Mike) and some star buddies called Lumas (me) to save Princess Peach from Bowser. It’s a good system for us since he ends up doing most of the dirty work (and the hard stuff) while I run around stunning and sometimes bopping enemies and collecting star bits (they’re sort of like money). There’s a certain number of gold stars (120) you need to find and obtain to move on to the next galaxy. There’s six galaxies with mini boss battles at the end before you beat Bowser once and for all. I am proud to say we collected all 120 and beat him. Now we are working on the 120 green stars that unlock when you’ve collected all the gold ones. The green stars are much trickier to find and get since they’re sort of hidden all over, sometimes in some of the worst spots. I can’t remember how many green stars we have, but we’re almost done collecting them as well. I can’t wait to see what kind of horrible stage they throw at us for finding them all.

Red Steel 2: Apparently this is the game to play if you have the new Wiimotes with the MotionPlus…My mom and aunt get a giant “thank you” for buying us the new Wiimotes. Your money was well spent and very appreciated, ladies!! Mike showed me the game and I was a huge fan instantly. I’m playing as a cowboy samurai (my outfit is very snazzy, I must confess) who gets to beat up the bad guys. What makes the awesome factor skyrocket is having the MotionPlus aspect–you feel like you’re really swinging a sword! The first time I played, I musta played for about an hour or two solid. I didn’t wanna quit since I had finally figured out how to hold my “sword” correctly and I was on a roll. The next two days, however, I paid for it…My arm was KILLING me! I am happy to report now my arm is conditioned and no longer hurts to play. I tend to play when he’s not home since you need quite a bit of room and I tapped the corner of his laptop and his knee fairly hard when I first started…

Epic Mickey: What better way to show my love of Disney characters, games and that I kinda learned something from Intro to Ethics! In this game we see a new side of Mickey–his mischievous side. He “accidentally” destroys a world full of old school Disney characters with a magic paintbrush and it’s your job to fix the world via repairing (paint) or destroying (thinner) objects. The catch is once you’ve made your choice, you change the outcome of the game. For the record, it’s kinda hard to consult your morals when you’re dealing with an ugly creature. I mean, I’d rather save cuter things so I’m sure that’ll come back to haunt me at some point. To make it even harder, some of the hidden treasures and goodies can only be found if you destroy or repair something. Haven’t played very far into the game yet, but it’s fun to see some of the old forgotten characters and see some classic Mickey cartoons. We might have to each play it, but one of us being “good” and one of us being “bad” just to see what the differences in the story turn out to be.

Sonic Colors: I was only the spectator for this one, but there was an awful lot to see! More than I could take in sometimes to be honest. There’s sooooooo much to look at and since it’s a Sonic game you zoom around the levels at top speed. Here, Sonic and Tails follow Eggman to outer space to check out an amusement park he’s built. This park isn’t friendly or fun and games, though…Eggman is using these cute little aliens called Wisps to power up his dastardly schemes. There’s hidden stars on each of the levels as well, which were fun for me to help hunt out. The levels are crazy and colorful and sometimes a little tricky, but once you’ve gotten a feel for it and have more than one Wisp to play with, it’s really neat. There’s eight Wisps and each has their own power. My favorite would have to be the purple Frenzy Wisp who chomps through enemies and obstacles like crazy.

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