Oh, the holiday season. It’s that time of year when companies do everything they can to get their big releases out in time for Black Friday. It’s also when outlets like Steam, Humble, GOG.com, and Bundle Stars bring out the big guns, unveiling deals that for even the most resistant of shoppers, make bulk purchases irresistible.
October turned out to be an OK month. I still slipped a little bit, but managed — just barely — to stay in positive territory. We’ll see if that holds in November, but the outlook is grim. Anyway, the format, as with previous updates, is Game Title (Platform, Purchase Price, Play Time).
Games purchased (-4, $78.25 spent):
- The Humble Mobile Bundle 9 (Android, $3.25)
Another month, another Humble bundle… or two. This one included the following titles: Bardbarian: Golden Axe Edition, Devil’s Attorney, First Strike, Leo’s Fortune, Mountain, Neuroshima Hex, Out There, So Long Oregon!, and Syberia. I had just purchased Leo’s Fortune the month prior, and now here it is included in this bundle. Oh well, that’s OK. It’s a wonderful, high-quality game, so I don’t mind double-dipping on it.
- Bayonetta 2 (Wii U, $60.00)
One of the most highly anticipated games on the Wii U, it was exciting to finally see its release! From Platinum Games, who also did The Wonderful 101 on the same console, this game received some of the highest scores last month from gaming outlets, including a number of 10 out of 10s. I’m about a third-way through it, and it’s every bit as good as everyone says. It’s a stunning game that improves upon the original in every way except maybe its story.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360, $9.00)
Another game from Platinum, I decided to pick this up on the cheap. I don’t think it sold all that well, being such a departure from the Metal Gear Solid series, but as an action game, it has received very good scores. After enjoying the first Bayonetta as much as I did, I went on a small shopping spree to pick up some of their other games like this one.
- The Humble Indie Bundle 13 (PC, $6.00)
Any “Indie” titled bundle from Humble is usually a big deal, and this one was no exception. It included a number of very high-profile indie games including: Teleglitch: More Die Edition, Tower of Guns, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, OlliOlli, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, Jazzpunk, Risk of Rain, The Novelist, Eldritch, and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack.
Games finished (+3, $26.00 value):
- Don’t Move (Android, $1.00, 2 hrs.)
Excerpt from my review: “Do you need a game to be fun to feel satisfied when you reach the end? Does a game need to be challenging in order for you to enjoy it? Is variation in gameplay and locations key to keeping you interested in a title? Don’t Move will make you ponder these questions and more, long after you reach its Game Over screen. For something to make me think about games like this is a sign of something worth looking at, no matter how painful the experience was to get there.” Overall: B
- Lego City Undercover (Wii U, $5.00, 45 hrs.)
Excerpt from my review: “The world is a pure joy to explore, and the controls are solid. Some platforming and judging of distance is vague, but with unlimited lives and convenient retry features, it’s rarely an issue. Grand Theft Auto could learn a thing or two from this game’s flying controls, which are wonderful. Tons of gameplay variation and abilities will keep you going long after the credits roll.” Overall: A-
- Bayonetta (Xbox 360, $20.00, 15 hrs.)
Excerpt from my review: “Bayonetta is one of the best pure action games I’ve played in a long time. Its combat system is highly satisfying and possesses splendid depth. Although there are frustrating aspects, including gimmicky minigames, instant-death quick time events, performance issues, and a glut of unnecessary cutscenes, the foundation is rock-solid, and is a game that action fans should not miss.” Overall: B+
As I hinted at above, November is looking ugly. With good deals and big releases like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it’s likely that November will be the first month that will see me falling into negative territory. Oh well, it’s worth it! See you next time and have a wonderful holiday season.