Game 1- Red Dead Redemption (below is a youtube video showing the first 13 minutes of the game)
Who likes the western genere, such as the old John Wayne movies or Clint Eastwood movies? There have been several different western themed games for the Xbox 360, including: Gun, Call of Juarez and Red Dead Redemption. Of the 3, my favorite is probably Red Dead Redemption. The game is set in the early 1900's (maybe 1910's), but the Wild West was still on, though change was slowly coming with automobiles and trains slowly starting to replace horses as transportation options, feds starting to officially expland its reach to the west, along with all of the other changes that we have seen in the past century leading up to the west in the 21st century In the game, you assume the role of John Marston who was a former gang member lead by a man named Dutch who abandoned his former lifestyle, and even took on a wife, dog and even a son and lived a seemingly comfortable lifestyle. One day, corrupt federal agents shows up lead by a guy named, Edgar Ross and he and his friends kidnap John's family and enlists him to basically become a bounty hunter and hunt down members in his former gang. Like the grand theft auto series, the game has you playing in an open ended world, this time in an wild west style theme and has John traveling around, assisting people along the ways and ultimately hunting down his former gang members. John Marston's world is full of wild west themes, including outlaws, western downs, animals you can hunt, poker games you can play in the saloons (such as texas hold em poker tournaments), wagon trains, and many other elements. Lots of interesting characters Marston meets too, including: a snake oil con artist and salesman, grave digger, local sheriffs, mexicans, women in need, and many others. John even gets involved in a Mexican civil war and he is forced to work with both sides to complete is primary quest. If you don't want to play through the main quest, there are plenty of other things you can do including: hunting (btw watch out for wolves, cougars, and bears which will try to kill John), exploring, going on rampages (much like how you can in GTA 4), help people, and even make choices that determine how people view John (either as a hero or an outlaw). Red Dead Redemption is definitely a must have if you are into the wild west style genre My only complaint about the game is that the storyline is pretty much linear and choices you make (be it good or bad) does not really really seem to have a discernable effect on the overall storyline For example, in the Mexican civil war missions, I kind of wish they had it so that you could choose which side to align with (at first you aligned with the mexican army and later on you are aligned with the rebels). A villainous John Marston might opt to side with the mexican army while a heroic John Marson might choose to align with the rebels. Also, the ending is a bit tragic (John dies in the end, betrayed by Edgar Ross and his army). If I were in his shoes, I might have fled to Mexico if I knew Edgar Ross might betray me .
Also: If you have played through the main game and want more, there is always the Red Dead Redemptiom Nightmare expansion pack you can play through. In that version of events, John finds himself in a Walking Dead style west, filled with Zombies, sasquatches (yes there is at least one confirmed sasquatch in the game), "7 horses of the apocalypse" that John can find and ride, and many other spooky elements. Can definitely make a good halloween style game too Sadly, I gave Red Dead Redemption away to my brother and haven't played that game since, and while I did complete the main game twice (once as a hero and once as an outlaw) I was unable to finish Red Dead Redemption Nightmare, so I don't really know how that version plays out or ends (made it to the mission where you had to hunt a sasquatch but haven't played the game beyond that point)..
I've always been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series myself. GTA 4 is set in Liberty City, which feels more like real life New York City in many ways where you play as an eastern European immigrant named Nikko who moved to New York to try and escape his past life in Europe. Of course as with any other Grand Theft Auto 4, Nikko once again gets entangled in the life of crime on the streets of Liberty City and even makes a few new friends along the way. Lots of missions to play through too. The game will almost make you feel like you are playing games like Assassins Creed and Hitman since many of the missions in the game involves Nikko becoming an errands boy for various gangsters and criminals as well as missions where Nikko is given a target he has to assinante which often leads to epic chase scenes in the game. By the way, if you don't feel like driving around Liberty City, there are plenty of other ways to get around too, including taxi (great for fast traveling from one part of the city to the other), boats, subway (yes there is a subway system in Liberty City, much like the one in real life New York City), and even helicopter too. The only downside to the game is that it is definitely darker than the previous entries in the series, which may be a turn off for some people.
Some cool things you can do in Grand Theft Auto 4:
- Go bowling either alone or with a friend
- Friends system is expanded. Do you remember how in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, it is possible to hang out with girlfriends? GTA 4 expands on this mechanism where in addition to at least 2 girlfriends Nikko can take on, he can also befriend other people in Liberty City (such as Roman, Packie McNeary, Brucie, etc) and hang out with them too, such as throwing darts, going bowling, getting food, or even going drinking at a nearby (watch out for cops when driving back to the safehouse though since Nikko will be drunk and like cops in real life, they are always on the look out for drunk drivers and will try to bust Nikko if driving drunk).
- Watch shows. There are 2 comedy club theaters Nikko can visit in Liberty City where he can watch shows being performed.
- Visit happiness island (which is pretty much GTA 4's version of the Statue of Liberty).
- Ride the subway system
- Hitch a ride in a taxi (like real life New York City, taxi driving is a thriving business in Liberty City and if you don't feel like driving, why not hail a nearby taxi). Can be a good way to take in the sights of the city while riding around in the city. It is also useful for "fast travel" too (which is especially useful when going from one island to the other).
- Visit the beach. Lots of beaches you can hang out at.
- Helicopter tours. Feel like taking to the skies? Why not check out the helicopter tours too. By the way, you can also steal helicopters if you want as well.
Game 3 - Mega Man 10 (below is a gameplay video of the game featuring the 1st Wily Castle stage of the game)
The original blue bomber is back after a long hiatus since when the Playstation 1 was popular (besides Mega Man X8 for the PS2) and returns to its 8-bit roots, unlike Mega Man 7 (which takes on 16 bit graphics) and later Mega Man 8 (which takes on 32 bit graphics). There was also Mega Man 9 for the Xbox 360, but my favorite of the two was definitely Mega Man 10. This game also marks possibly the first time in the mainline series where you can actually play as Protoman (I don't remember being a playable character in Mega Man 9 unless if he was a downloadable character). The game is set after the events of Mega Man 9 and Doctor Wily (the series antagonist) is back to his evil tricks and creates a virus that causes robots to turn maverick and try to take over the world (much like what the Sigma Virus does in the Mega Man X series). It is up to Mega Man and Protoman (Bass too if you get the DLC expansion pack) to save the day. This game also marks one of the few mega man games where the boss music changes several times (changes between the regular boss battles, wily castle boss battles, Dr Wily's first form, and later Dr Wily's second form), normally the boss music doesn't change till you get to the final confrontation with Dr Wily. It also marks the first game since Mega Man 5 where you have to fight Dr Wily on 2 stages instead of one, with the first encounter being in the teleporter room level (where you have to fight the 8 robot masters again), and the latter being in the following level.
Notes about Mega Mans 9 and 10:
- Marks the first "next generation" mega man game since Mega Man ZX Advent? to be presented in classic nes style 8 bit format. This is definitely far cry in my opinion, especially when compare it to games like Mega Man X8, Mega Man Zero, etc). It also the first original era mega man game to be 8 bit since Mega Man 8 (that one was 32 bit and Mega Man 7 was SNES style 16 bit graphics). By the way, there does seem to be some speculation that the next Mega Man x game is supposed to be 16 bit game, though it is not clear if or when that is going be happen. In my opinion a series finale game would be nice if Capcom is running out of ideas for Mega Man X games (same for original era mega man games) considering that both series still seem to be ongoing and haven't had a definitive conclusion yet.
- I like how you can play as Proto Man in Mega Man 10. Offers a change in pace and offers more reason to play through the game more than once. You can also play as Bass in Mega Man 10, but I think you have to buy the expansion pack on Xbox live Not sure if Protoman is playable on Mega Man 9 (at least without DLC content). Interestingly, Protoman can slide, charge his mega man b
- Classic mega man seems to have returned to hiatus status since Mega Man 10 It is not clear if or when Mega Man 11 or beyond will be released. I have heard about Mighty No 9, but I don't think it is the same as a mega man game (different storyline and all).
- Mega Man 10 marks the first mega man game in a while where the boss music changes several times (1 for robot master battles, 1 for the dr wily stages battles, 1 for Wily's first form, and one for wily's 2nd form)
- This game also marks the first time since Mega Man 5 where Dr Wily battles occur on 2 seperate stages instead of one (much like how it is in Mega Mans 2-5 where you fight wily's first form in one level and then fight him again in his final form on another level.
Have you ever wondered what Las Vegas might look like in a post apocalyptic world? Fall Out New Vegas explores that concept. The game is set in the future in the aftermath of a fictional nuclear war where you play as a person who survived the war and must survive in a devestated Las Vegas. Lots of things to do in the game, including associating with several groups, avenge the people who try to kill your character at the beginning of the game, and even get involved in a civil war between the NCR (government troops) and Caesars Legion (which basically wants to establish a revived Roman Empire in the United States), help people in need, and even explore the world while watching out for bandits, animals and other creatures that may want to sent you character into an early retirement. Sadly, I since upgraded to Xbox One and haven't been able to finish this game yet. Maybe someday, but I found that the Xbox 360 doesn't work too well when the Xbox one is also set up on the same tv, so I don't really know ho the game ends yet.
Food for thought: Fall Out New Vegas envisions a world sometime in the future in the aftermath of a nuclear war (World War 3?) and what life might look like in such an event. We do live in a world where something like that could happen (not to say that it will) considering that many nations now have nuclear arsenals around the world and ways such a war could happen. For example, North Korea seems to have nuclear weapons and have threatened war against our nation on various occasions and I am sure that a war against them could turn nuclear, though the question is, what dicator there is crazy enough is crazy enough to attack us? Kim Jong Un definitely seems crazier than Kim Jong Il in my opinion based on what I have read about him in the news. I would also hate to think what could happen if terrorist groups (especially groups like al qaida and isis) were to get their hands on them too considering that they could easily hold entire nations or even the entire world hostage without giving it extra thought should something like that happen (they could even attack Israel or even the US with it without giving it second thought too should that happen). Even Russia could become a major threat should relations with them get too icy considering they are already a nuclear nation as well.
Let's pray that nuclear war that never happens in our lifetime of course.
This is the second installment in the Mass Effect Series. The game is set about 2 years after the events of Mass Effect 1. Saren is dead, the geth problem had been dealt with (at least for now), sovereign has been defeated and everything seemed peaceful. However, the evil and genocidal alien race: the reapers make their presence known once again and recruit a race of bounty hunters known as "The Collectors" to do their dirty work by abducting humans on various colonies across the galaxy and harvest their dna for use by the reapers. Commander Shepard (can be a man or woman, depending on the player's choice) seemingly dies at the beginning of the game, only to be resurrected by Cerberus, which is basically a human supremacist group that sets aside their villanous ways to help save the human race from annhilation by the collectors. Shepard must recruit crew members, gain their loyaltes and lead the charge on an epic suicide mission (though very survivable) going up against the collector race before they can wipe out the entire human race. The Mass Effect 2 is unique in that choices from Mass Effect 1 do seem to have a direct impact on how things start out in Mass Effect 2. For example, if Shepard saves the council in ME 1, they will return, otherwise they will be replaced by a new one. Kaiden or Ashlely (only one of them will have survived the events of ME 1 depending on who you save in that game) will make a return as a NPC character Shepard will encounter. Wrex will have either survived on Virmire from the previous game or have died and be replaced by his brother, Wreav. This game assumes you have played through ME 1 and the games are best played in order in my opinon for you. You do not have to import a Mass Effect 1 save in ME 2, but choices in the previous game will be made for you whether you like them or not.
Several other things you might like about Mass Effect 2 as well as interesting tidbits
- More planets to explore
- Lots of side missions in addition the regular main line missions. Extends the gameplay considerably
- Choices in Mass Effect 2 do have effects on how Mass Effect 3 plays out (for example, some relationships in Mass Effect 3 must have started in ME 2, such as Tali or Miranda).
- Marks the only game in the series where Cerberus are portrayed as the good guys as well as Shepard being aligned with the (much to the dismay of the Alliance, which opposes Cerberus). They become villians once again in Mass Effect 3, probably as a result of the Illusive Man getting indoctrinated by the reapers.
- This game seems to have the most DLC content if you don't mind spending the extra money. Some notewothy DLC expansion packs includes: the shadow broker quest (where Shepard teams up with Liara in her quest to take out a corrupt shadow broker), going on a heist mission with Kalani (makes here a crew member too), as well as "the arrival" mission, which aims to bridge the gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3 and helps explain why Shepard was temporarily relieved of duty and in detention at the beginning of Mass Effect 3, at least before the reapers attack.
- Most crew members in this game are brand new. Only a few from the first game return as crew members, such as Garrus (aka the Arcangel) and Tali. Other former crew members return in lesser roles though, such as the encounter with Kaiden/Ashley during the Horizon mission (he/she is hesitant to join Shepard's crew due to his alliance with Cerberus at the time, which he/she doesn't support), Wrex being the leader on the Krogan Homeworld (assumes he survives ME 1), and Liara is a business woman on Illium.
- The game's final storyline missions has many possible outcomes and it is possible (however unlikely) for Shepard and his entire crew to die during the course of the mission. People who survive do return in Mass Effect 3. Note that Shepard's death at the collector base is not cannon and he must survive the events of ME 2 in order to be importable into Mass Effect.
- Legion and Grunt: after acquiring them during the course of the game, they become optional crew members, which means you have to active them in order to use them. In my game, I activated both of them and make very good assets to the crew during the game's final mission.
- Collector base: to destroy or keep, it is up to you. It doesn't really seem to a discernible effect in Mass Effect 3, even after Cerberus turns rogue during the course of that game.
Choices you make in Mass Effect 2 do have some impacts on what happens in Mass Effect 3. Players who die in the suicide mission do not come back in Mass Effect 3 (and some of which can be very useful if you are going for the best possible ending in Mass Effect 3). Also, some romance options are only available in Mass Effect 3 (such as Miranda or Tali) if they are started in Mass Effect 2. Also, if you are daiting 2 people in the games (such as Ashley in Mass Effect 1 and say Miranda in Mass Effect 3), be prepared to have a love triangle to deal with in Mass Effect 3. Even choices in the first game can have some impacts on the 3rd game too (such as whether Ashley or Kaiden is still alive, with only one of them guaranteed to be alive in ME 3), saving the Rachni Queen or destroying her, as well as whether Wrex or Weav is leading the Krogans (Weav is the default choice if Wrex is dead or you start a new game either in Mass Effect 2 or 3).
Bonus Content: Mass Effect 2 final mission, everyone dies:
Those are all of the games for now. Will share more in a later post.