- Super Mario Galaxy. I'm way behind on this, but I actually started playing it back in 2007! It belonged to my housemate at the time, though, so when we moved out, I never got around to buying it myself. Until I got it for Christmas last year! I started it again from scratch, and then sort of forgot about it for a few months. Then I picked it up again, got interrupted a few more times, and finally finished it again last night. I wonder if my enjoyment of it were diluted in any way by not having played it within a short period of time. At any rate, I did enjoy it a lot, and I've got about 54 Stars left to get so I'll be playing it for a while longer. Things I liked: The absolutely joyous level design, which put me in mind of playing Super Mario 64 for the first time. Also, while the game throws a completely lewd number of lives at you, it's doesn't fall into the 'restart point every 5 metres' trap common to many modern platformers, so if you do die, you usually have to play quite a long section over. This can be frustrating, but underneath that I appreciated what it was doing; allowing me to experience the joy of successfully completing particularly difficult sequences. Things I disliked: Mario's movement often feels unwieldy, and the often-bizarre camera angles don't help. Also, it's petty, but the pseudo-science guff got on my tits a little! Referring to a collection of rocks and debris as a 'galaxy'? Phhh Nintendo. Overall: A million out of ten.
- Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People. I bought all five episodes of this in a recent Steam sale, and finished the last of them a few days ago. Enjoyable stuff! I appreciated how each episode had a different central mechanic tying the gameplay together; that seems to be the way Telltale work, and it's a good ethic! It helps each episode feel quite different and distinct. Aside from that, I didn't find them quite as funny as I'd hoped, but the Homestar Runner world is one that I still find engrossing, and there were so many neat little touches. Overall: 200,000 out of 12.
- Torchlight. One of those games that piqued my interest when it was released, but I never really found the time for. Again: Steam sale! It's pretty much what I wanted it to be; single-player Diablo II. It adds a few things to the 11-year-old formula, but at heart it plays largely the same. It's a loot game, where the focus is on finding better and better armour and weapons to make it easier to kill monsters and find better armour and weapons. I don't know why I find that kind of thing so compelling, but I always have. Removing the online component does dampen the experience slightly, but not in any major way. Overall: 350,001 out of 11.
- Civilization IV. While I'm a huge nerd for this kind of shit, the only prior Civ game I've played in any depth (I briefly played Civ II on a friend's PC back in '99) was Civ: Call to Power. I went in with some ideas about how to play, but still made a pretty big hash of my first game. So, I started again as the Chav Empire, and.. I'm still not doing very well! I'm going to stick it out though, in the hope that I'll be able to gain some ground later. There's definitely more to take into consideration than there was in Call to Power, but I'm mostly on top of it all now. And man, I get so sucked into it. I'm a sucker for micromanagement! Overall: 2 million out of 1 million.
- Portal 2. Obviously. Valve made a sequel to a near-as-dammit perfect game that was about three times as long, and almost as consistently great. There are occasional moments where it falters, but to call the game out on that would be ridiculous. It's a fantastic achievement, and a joy from start to finish. My Game of the Year so far! Overall: 3 trillion out of 1.
Other games on my list include Trine, Far Cry 2 (Which I've played a fair bit of already, but need to go back to), Super Stardust HD (Free from Sony!), inFamous (Also free from Sony!) and BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, the latter of which I played for a bit, but got turned off by its stupid broken difficulty curve. Fuck overpowered beat-'em-up bosses, seriously.
Stuff that Syn does
"It's almost like I did it myself, mum!"
- What I've Been Playing