Action/Adventuring Wins This Holiday Season

While we have been primarily devoted to the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre over the first few months of this site, there is some good news on the horizon for people that prefer something more personal to their gaming.

Skyrim and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection have been out for just over a month and they are becoming very popular.  While Skyrim isn’t much of a surprise on the front of ‘popularity’ there is a new face joining the XBox 360 landscape – Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

Old Face - New(ish) Console

The Metal Gear Series has been primarily on the Sony PlayStation over the past 15 years.  While the XBox had MGS2: Substance there really hasn’t been much love given to those of us that were early adopters of the XBox 360.  While it is obviously cool that MGS has finally graced us with it’s beautiful High Definition face you should probably make haste (hurry up) and buy it if you see it.

It has a retail price of $50 and is currently on sale at Best Buy and Target for $35-40.  I believe these sales will end by December 30, 2011 – so get to it if you want/need this.  It has been put on back-order for Best Buy Online and you may have to ask someone at Target where they are hiding it (much like I had to).

In the coming days we will be churning out a lot more videos for MW3, Battlefield 3 as well as the games featured in today’s entry and blog updates too.  If you have any driving questions, shoot us a comment or message on here, facebook, twitter or via smoke signals from your over-heating holiday gaming console.

 

Happy Hunting!

Noob Patrol – Battlefield or Call of Duty?

In the annual iteration of holiday shooter games, this year we have two main competitors.

If you are trying to decide which game to get this holiday season this is going to be a quick run-down of how you can break down which game is more to your taste.

Single Player/Story

Both games revolve around the current struggle against terror networks.  That said, both are very linear (not much adventuring around other than going exactly where they want you to go).  The difference comes in the actual ‘length of the game’ –

Call of Duty (on Veteran Difficulty) took me 8+ hours of gameplay to beat.  Probably closer to 12 if you include the multiple times I turned off the system without properly using the ‘Save and Exit’ option in the Pause menu.

Battlefield (on Hard) is quite a bit shorter and doesn’t leave a lot of room for the player to do anything than go to a new waypoint.

– Story Winner = Call of Duty

Multi-Player (Online) – (Please note, Battlefield 3 (if bought used) needs a $10 online pass for multi-player/online play.  If bought new, it should come with a code to be entered without further charge)

This is the dividing factor amongst ‘hardcore’ gamers.  Each game is so drastically different in it’s given modes that they really can’t be compared fairly in that manner.  The best way to describe the differences is by using an automobile analogy.

Call of Duty MW3 – is a flashy, high-end sports car that takes corners as fast as possible in hopes of getting every ounce of juice out of the engine.  That said, it is simply FASTER than Battlefield.  If you don’t like having to make snap decisions (in which I really mean reflex responses) you won’t like CoD multiplayer – simple as that.

Modern Warfare 3 has multiple game modes that offer you all sorts of different objectives.  While most of these modes devolve into glorified ‘Deathmatches’ you can usually finish a couple rounds in less than 10 minutes.

Battlefield 3 is a luxury car that is meant to be driven methodically and with care.  Everything about this game (minus the vehicles) is slower than Modern Warfare 3. It starts with game modes.  There are many fewer modes to choose from in BF3 than MW3.  However, where they lack in modes they make up for in depth and scale… these maps are HUGE.  This means you have a lot of options of how to approach each match, but you better be ready to invest 25-30 minutes for each match.  Depending on who you are playing with/against it could take even longer to get a match finished.

BF3 doesn’t depend as much on reflexes as it does on well planned strategies and mastery of your favorite weapons/vehicles.  If you noticed in the MW3 write up, there aren’t any vehicles for you to get into and do with what you will.  There are kill streak rewards that can last upwards of 30 seconds, but BF3 has something much more intriguing, vehicles from the start.  You can drive a tank, fly a helicopter or even take an off-road trip around the map running enemies over.  In the words of the movie Scarface, “The World Is Yours”.

Handling

Battlefield 3 – While it might sound strange, these games actually ‘handle’ differently.  When aiming a weapon in Battlefield, it feels like you are actually lifting a weapon that has some sort of weight.  It is slower and actually incorporates what I call ‘momentum aiming’.  It doesn’t take a long time to get used to this style of aiming, but it will feel show to those that are more accustomed to Call of Duty games.

Battlefield also incorporates a form  of animation that adds realism but takes away from overall speed when playing the game.  You tend to get stuck on corners and walls in close quarters in BF3.  You also hurdle and climb things more slowly, albeit more ‘realistically’.

Modern Warfare 3 – Guns aim where you move them to and if you use high sensitivity controls you will be able to move and aim so quickly it might make you go into some sort of epileptic seizure, or just throw up from motion sickness.  However, the guns don’t seem to have as much weight as BF3.  You can aim and shoot a .50 calibur sniper rifle as quickly as a sub-machine gun.

If you take into account the motion and movement as well, MW3 tends to have much less, if any vertical movement when running.  As far as jumping over walls or barriers, it is more like you simply ascend them with no hurdling animation – this makes movement much faster.  If you include the ‘Perk’ system, it adds a much more arcade feel to this game where your character is more powerful in certain ways.  This includes running faster, aiming faster and being more accurate.

OVERALL

These games are so different for being about the same type of modern combat but if you know three things about your gaming preference, you can make a decision before you even play a single second of either game.

  1. Do you prefer fast (MW3) or slow (BF3) gameplay?
  2. Do you prefer long, objective-based(BF3) or short, deathmatch (MW3) matches?
  3. Are you more invested in single-player (Call of Duty) or multiplayer/online (this is really a toss-up because MW3’s online community is so vast)?

Happy Holiday Hunting!

Have Leaderboards Destroyed Gaming?

Remember when you played a game for a high score?  Remember playing a game for the sake of having fun?

It feels like years since people have talked and/or bragged about their single-player accomplishments in video games.

Now we are stuck in some sort of bastardized version of gaming that has been essentially raped by money driven tournaments that have caused some to become obsessed with ‘going pro’.  Is this the NBA?  Sorry, but it is far from the NBA and anyone that wants to be a ‘pro’ gamer is far from an athlete.

Does This Mean Anything?

It has become an obsession for people to achieve some sort of status on these leaderboards.  I have been hoping for years that there would be some sort of way to enjoy game without having someone in my match screaming about their KDR (Kill Death Ratio) or their Win/Loss Record.

Again, I will be the first to admit that I hate losing and get frustrated when I have someone on my team that doesn’t know what they are doing.  However, it is a different thing entirely for someone to put so much stock into their leaderboard rank that it supersedes everything else in life.

I have heard stories about marriages ending because of obsessions with Madden, World of Warcraft, Halo and Call of Duty.  I don’t think leaderboards are the only thing to blame for something to this extent but you can’t tell me that it isn’t there at all.

While youtube and facebook have brought in a new era of non-privacy, leaderboards have brought a certain competitive stupidity to gaming that I think might do more harm than good.

What do you think?