This is the first in a series of posts about the games I played and/or finished for fun for the first time in 2007. For comparisons' sake, see my 2006 list.
I played 21 Xbox 360 games for fun in 2007. I finished seven of them.
My 360 whirred loudly for 21 games and, thankfully, never red-ringed. None of the 21 was a sports or racing game. Ten were first-person shooters, but that's not my problem. That's an issue for humanitarian Bill Gates, whose machine is the Charlton Heston of gaming consoles.
And these were just the games I played for personal amusement. I played many more at press events, at E3, at Game Developers Conference and a few in my dreams. I also played a bunch of Xbox Live Arcade games, but let's save that for a later post.
Here's my list, and, please, tell me what you think of how I spent my Xbox 360 year. Did I micro-manage my 360 time right?
My Xbox 360 Games I Played For Fun 2007 Playlist
(Games I finished are in italics)
1) "Assassin's Creed"
I'm still playing this one. In fact it's the final Xbox 360 game in my 2007 must-play stack, which is a different plastic hill than the gotta-try-these stack that includes "Kane & Lynch," "Overlord" and "Shadowrun." Interesting (?) aside: "Assassin's" presented me with the game-reporter's occasional problem. I liked it enough to play a few hours of it on a pre-released disc, then, wanted to finish it on the version sold in stores. That required me to start the game over from scratch, re-playing the first three levels of the game. And other people think the game was repetitive for them?
I played this game in two marathon sessions on a summer weekend Friday and Sunday at the now-shuttered 2K Games offices in downtown Manhattan. I saved those Little Sisters, each and every one of them. Also: I wore a green "BioShock" t-shirt on the Sunday. The shirt featuring a Little Sister wearing a gas mask. I was given it gratis on the Friday, had been a bit of a tough gift recipient saying "no thanks" a lot, felt guilty and wore it Sunday to compensate. On that Sunday I had to meet a 2K Games rep on the sidewalk on Broadway outside the offices so I could get in to play the game. The sidewalk rep was wearing the same shirt. And I thought being seen in public on my own wearing a gaming t-shirt might be embarrassing…now we were two.
3) "BlackSite: Area 51"
4) "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare"
For a time, this February open-world super-cop action game was my favorite game of the year. That represents the most extreme 2007 case of a game out-performing whatever expectations I had formed playing pre-release versions of the same game.
6) "The Darkness"
I tried this in June. I put it down, honestly, because I was fatigued by the violence. Not just in this game but in a bunch of games I had been playing at the time.
7) "Earth Defense Force 2017"
8 ) "Half-Life 2: Episode 2"
This one took me three tries before it clicked. I kept getting pulled away by other games, including that "Still Alive" one.
9) "Halo 3"
I blasted through this game in co-op with N'Gai Croal on a pre-release Monday in September. And a Bungie official told me I did pretty well at it. Did I really finish the game? My online stats (which don't include my feats on the game prior to release) indicate that I've played a paltry 23 multiplayer sessions and only reached skill level five. But I cleared the final campaign chapter, watched the credits roll and the scene that follows. Yeah, I beat it.
10) "Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix"
Played it briefly. Like 10-minutes briefly.
12) "Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga"
Only gave this 10 minutes as well, but because I had finished the two games it compiles back on the PS2 last year, at 100%.
13) "Mass Effect"
14) "Medal of Honor: Airborne"
15) "Naruto: Rise of the Ninja" "
When you, my readers, declare an open-world manga-licensed action game game "the sleeper hit of the fall" then I sigh, request a copy of the game from its publisher and add it to my stack. I played a few hours and liked what I saw. Boy transforming into hot girl in order to cheer up depressed male romantics? Not bad. A "BioShock"-style floating navigation arrow that only appears when you approach people in the city who like you and ask them for help on your fetch quests? Good idea. A need to memorize button combos for the times the game stops being "Grand Theft Auto" and turns into "Street Fighter"? Sorry, readers: that's when I put the game down.
17) "Rock Band"
18) "The Simpsons Game"
I gave this game several hours. The gameplay tempted me to quit. The humor tempted me to continue. Clunky camera vs. a black non-player character saying he wouldn't get sawed in half (as he was about to be) in a Barack Obama administration. Do I get too angry to laugh? Or laugh too much to mind? Oh, but what's this? The greatest number of un-collectable collectables since "Donkey Kong 64"? (See, there's a collectable on the roof I just used Bart to arduously reach, but I had to get up there as Marge to get it). Eight chapters was all I could handle. I tried.
20) " Splinter Cell: Double Agent"
21) "Team Fortress 2"
Does it count if all I did was start listening to the in-game commentary? The servers weren't turned on when I loaded this multiplayer-only game, so that's all I could do.
In 2006 I played 102 games for fun and finished 21.
As of this post, the 2007 stats are: 21 played; 7 finished.
Did I break my 2006 mark?
Check back later today for the next post in this series, a round-up of all the PC and cell phone games I played for fun last year.