Here’s a look at what games I’ve been playing the past week, ranked roughly from most-played to least-played. This allows me to offer some thoughts on some titles that I may not devote a full review to, plus sound off on some ideas that might not have made it into full reviews of the games I play. Games are listed roughly in order of most- to least-played, with assistance from my Raptr profile.
“Brink” (rated T, $60 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, $50 on PC) [review]: According to Raptr, I put 30 hours into this bad boy last week. Granted, some of that was spent on menus when I was taking breaks, but still, I had a good time with “Brink.” I’ve knocked out most of the game’s major achievements, save for maxing out my character’s level at 20. (I have two characters in the 16 to 18 range because I started a new one when playing with friends on launch day.) Despite “Brink’s” many, many flaws, I expect I’ll be going back to it quite a bit in the weeks and months ahead.
“Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga” (rated M, $40 on Xbox 360 or PC): I’m still grinding my way through “Ego Draconis,” the first of two games on this old-school swords-and-sorcery-style role-playing compilation. Some of the quests are really obtuse, and there’s very little hand-holding, but I still find myself amused from time to time, like when my character came across an ax-wielding schizophrenic named Eugene. More RPGs need Pink Floyd references.
“Culdcept Saga” (rated T, out of print on Xbox 360): I’m working my way through a tournament with some folks over at Culdcept Central. I played well, lucked out and won my blind-league match against a very capable opponent, to improve to 2-0 in the double-elimination tourney. (Blind matches mean you and an opponent are assigned random cards to use by the computer, rather than using decks of your own making.)
“Outland” (rated E10+, $10 download on Xbox 360): I’ve been turning to Xbox Live Arcade games lately to unwind a bit before bed. Ubisoft’s downloadable platform-jumping game has been my go-to choice the past few nights. So far, I like the way the jumping and wall-bouncing feels, but I’ve yet to get too far into it.
“Catan” (rated E, $10 download on Xbox 360 or PS3, temporarily unavailable because of PlayStation Network failure): I fired up the German board game a couple of times to unwind. I won one match against real people and one against the computer.
“Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved” (rated E, $5 download on Xbox 360): This XBLA game, from the first wave of XBLA games shortly after the launch of the Xbox 360, is kind of my gaming white whale. One day, I’m going to get all 200 achievement points and prove how hardcore I am. Right now, I’ve got just 60, but I do have the second-highest leaderboard score of anyone on my Xbox Live friends list. I’m at just under 600,000.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” (rated M, $60 on PC, Xbox 360 or PS3, $50 on Wii): I went to check out a few things Activision has in store for the “Call of Duty” franchise last week. While I can’t talk about what I saw for a few weeks, we wound down the preview by playing a little “Black Ops,” a title I hadn’t played competitively since launch week. Yep, I’m still horrible at it. Now I’m even more horrible because everyone else has gotten way better. I actually had someone ask if I was used to playing it on the PS3. My answer: “No, I just don’t remember any of the maps or weapons and am terrible. I’m slightly less terrible at Zombies.”