I really enjoy Adventure Time. It's one of my favorite animated television shows of all time. To me, it's right up there with The Simpsons and DuckTales. Sure, Regular Show might have more edgy humor and a firm grasp of retro-pop references, but when I turn on Cartoon Network, I do it because I'm watching Adventure Time. I watch Regular Show because it happens to be on. There are a couple of AT mobile games out there, and I decided on a whim to add Jumping Finn Turbo to my collection.
Man oh man, do I want to get some city building on, and I want to get it on, like, NOW. So you can imagine how excited I was to learn about a new iteration of SimCity, the city simulator. It takes all the addictiveness of cocaine but makes it cheaper and arguably less detrimental to a healthy heart. The reviews came out and the game was deemed "GREAT" by excited city-building nerds everywhere.
Kids and adults alike waited for the game to be released so they could join in the fun of building and destroying cities; cities filled with people like you and me. Maybe those people in the game are sitting in their virtual apartments, on their virtual computers, playing a virtual city building simulation. Or maybe WE'RE the SIMULATION! Is your mind blown yet? Good. Because now we have to go into the dimension that exists on the side opposite the screen to your virtual city: reality.
By now you've probably seen the reviews or heard about the horrible mess that is Aliens: Colonial Marines. Five years in the making, Aliens: CM was poised to be a AAA mega blockbuster number-one-selling game of the year. I remember at last year's PAX East, the line to see the game was much, much longer than I felt comfortable standing in, but boy oh boy was I excited nonetheless. I figured it was going to be a slam dunk. I mean, a game where you play as a Colonial Marine and shoot xenomorphs? Who doesn't enjoy the movie Aliens? Or its sequels, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection? Just kidding to those last two. But they’re certainly more enjoyable than A:CM.
But that isn't saying much, honestly. I've pitted A:CM against every other game because it is quite simply the worst game I have ever played. There are worse games out there, there must be, but none that came with such high expectations. When Duke Nukem Forever finally shipped after 10 years, we all knew it was going to suck. But so many of us gamers truly expected A:CM to be everything gaming dreams are made of. Coming on the heels of Gearbox's Borderlands 2 (one of my favorite games of last year), A:CM promised to take gamers on a riveting, action-packed first-person adventure through distant worlds, in a universe already brought to life in four movies, several comics, and other games. Instead A:CM is so utterly horrendous that it makes me question my belief that Borderlands 2 is a good game.
Is there anything in the gameosphere (a word I just made up) that is more annoying than a holier-than-thou PC gamer? You can't have a discussion about a multi-platform game or the shortcomings of a console without some jerk breezing in and exclaiming the superiority of the PC PLATFORM. "Oh, [great game] is being released for PS3? It was pretty fun three years ago when I was playing the beta on my PERSONAL COMPUTER." Console gamers usually just ignore these comments and go on with their lives, but that doesn't stop the PC Gamer from always trying to derail any conversation that has to do with games. "Ha! Those supposed 'good' graphics look like what I was getting five years ago lol lol," is something they would say. You see, owning a gaming PC is a lot like only watching PBS: sure, it might be technically superior, but no one cares.
Christmas has come and gone, as it tends to do thanks to the cyclical nature of time. Santa was kind to my children this year, dropping down the chimney into our furnace and emerging from the boiler to drop a Wii U beneath the shiny plastic Christmas tree. When you're four and eight, Santa is the maker of dreams, and they gleefully thanked him (because he is all-knowing and all-hearing) and I got none of the credit. Of course, I'm not upset by this. My wife and I have chosen to perpetuate the myth that a magical fat man who eats cookies exclusively breaks into our house and leaves gifts. But if only the kids knew what I had to struggle with to make their Christmas truly special (despite what TV and movies have taught us, the true spirit of Christmas really is just getting presents).
Turn up the Nelly, because it's getting Hot in Herre with the iOS release of 2002's 1980s crime simulator Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It's two kinds of nostalgia, wrapped into one package that's just begging you to Catch Me if You Can! So put on your parachute pants or perhaps don your pastel suit jacket as you stand in line to see Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Or go see Usher ft. Kajagoogoo... wait, that isn't right. This time-space continuum rift is really difficult to keep track of.
Game Fight! is back and I'm happy to announce that this week's column will be about the much anticipated Game Fight Game of the Year. This is the time of year when every outlet polls its staff to come to a consensus on which game will be crowned. Since it's mostly just me writing about games here, I went ahead and asked myself, "hey, which game did I love the most in 2012?" Before I get into that, however, I need to talk a bit about the great games that didn't quite make the cut, and since I want to at least pretend to have some level of professionalism, I'm going to follow the GotY formula and let you know which games I really liked, but not enough to make the GFGotY (geh-FIG-ottee).