Yep, it’s that time of year! The annual Call of Duty release is this week, and I think I care even less than I did last year for Modern Warfare 3. Last year, it was Battlefield 3 that had my attention. This year, I’ll be traversing by tree tops in Assasin’s Creed 3, murdering on some foreign planets in Borderlands 2 and Halo 4, and maybe even spend some more time in DotA2.

No matter what you’re picking up and playing, I think we can all agree: It’s a good time to be a gamer.

Sunday, 11:52 am – Ricky

It’s WiiU launch day! Seems like there’s some positive buzz for the Mario title, and I’m watching the Giant Bomb Quick Look for ZombieU right now and it looks… neat. More impressions next week!

Friday, 12:35 pm – Albert

Borderlands 2 still marches on and I put some time into it this week as well. No Tiny Tina but more of catch up on side missions that I’ve been falling behind… I did get some purple items recently which is like fuel for the fire.

Besides that a little more auction watching on Fifa 13 Ultimate Team. I’m trying to create a golden team now and I realize that my bias for a certain Premier League team is an expensive habit. People are toying with me making a striker 200,000…. To put it in perspective if you win a Division 2 league title you get 5K for winning 14 matches. Sigh.

Ah, Skate 3. Definitely my favorite skate game ever played.  Ricky and I used to play one map  just trying to get the higher and higher score over and over. BEST TIME EVER. God that game is good. If my Xbox didn’t just explode i’d be buying my second copy of that game for sure. All i’m going to say is darkslide.. Sweet.

Recently, i’ve been tempted to buy this game. The user Northernlion does a great lets look at: Towns. Tell me what you guys think? I think it’s right up my alley because I like painful town building.

Friday, 10:37 am – Ricky

Oh hi there Friday, fancy you showing up! Why yes, I would like to have two days off in a row, though it’s a shame you have to leave as a result.

Weekend plans include some Settlers of Catan with the crew while we’re waiting for the UFC fight to spin up on Saturday night. I’ll also be trying to fit in some more time with Borderlands 2, which really has its hooks in me. I was even up early this morning just to get an hour in – I did a Tiny Tina Tea Party mission set. Yeah, great way to start the day.

I’ll also be picking up my … 3rd copy? I think? Anyway, another copy of Skate 3 on Xbox to play with matt and another buddy. The skate series formed the core of our multiplayer experience for many many months, and each release was hugely anticipated. It’s really interesting to compare the approach the Skate series to Tony Hawk. Whereas Tony went deeper down the rabbit hole into motion controlled peripherals and HD remakes, Skate just iterated until it was at a peak, and then poof, it vanished. I’m not sure why – perhaps it has to do with EA’s realignment recently, which also saw the demise of a Mirror’s Edge remake. Hopefully this additional copy will help convince them of the error of their ways.

Wednesday, 4:48 pm – Albert

Well sorry to interrupt you two Ricky(s), I can clearly see you’re both sharing a romantic and intimate moment.

First up – wicked Hawken video. It really reminded me of playing Mechwarriors when I was a wee lad. I am on the fence on whether I would actually like playing a Mech game again as I am terrible at multiplayer games these days. I definitely want to give it a shot and see if maybe I can be better at a Mech game rather than an FPS soldier shooter – (insert CODBLOPS2 segue)

So CODBLOPSNUKETOWNZOMBIESPEWPEW2 is out?! Wow, it seems like only recently many other FPS games have been released. I can’t keep up with all these shooters suffice to say that I am clearly not multiplayer FPS material. I once was (lost) but now I see… (other games). Anyways, yeah, that’s out. I hear it retains a lot of the same goodness which is good i’m assuming? Anyone planning on buying/playing this?

I’ve been playing FIFA 13 Ultimate Team like crazy. I’m super late to that party but I enjoy the Ultimate Team aspect. I’ve been watching the auction house on my iPhone and it’s pretty addictive to be watching a player that you need really badly to fill the Centre Mid position and the price just keeps going up. I’ve created a full Bronze and Silver squad (with subs and reserves). My bronze squad is all from England (which helps chemistry), and my silver squad is from Brazil. I’m really enjoying it and it looks like I know what i’ll be doing for a while…. also I might download Angry Birds Star Wars… for science.

Oh there is also this: Second Trailer for Grand Theft Auto V

Wednesday, 4:04 pm – Ricky

What’ve you been playing, Ricky?

Well, I’m glad you asked, Ricky. I’ve been playing Angry Birds Star Wars and Curiosity, that Peter Molyneaux experiment.

And how is that, Ricky?

Good question Ricky – Angry Birds Star Wars is great, and Curiosity is pretty useless.

Nice summary.

Thanks.

Tuesday, 8:49 am – Ricky

Preezie and I made our way to the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 launch event here in Toronto yesterday. Despite the pouring rain, there was a pretty good turn out at the center of the city, Yonge and Dundas Square. Folks were lined up for autographs from the series’ voice actors and developers, there was a paintball firing range, and of course, a chance to play the game.

After a quick bit of queuing, Preezie and I jumped into individual free-for-all matches against bots. The idea was that the highest scoring player by the end of the evening would win a “care package”. I didn’t know if was a bot game, which makes my score even more embarrassing. Preezie won his match at least.

I know it was only 15 minutes with the game, but it was all I needed to confirm that Call of Duty is no longer the first person shooter for me. Having skipped Modern Warfare 3, I’m slowly realizing that I’m just burned out from years of the series and hundreds of hours of multiplayer. It’s lost its hook. I’d rather spend some time with Halo 4, Borderlands 2, Left 4 Dead 2, even get back into Battlefield 3 than play more Call of Duty. It’s unfortunate – I really thought I could get back into the series with the transition to the near-future setting. Treyarch has become the golden child developer for the series, and I loved World at War and Black Ops 1 (arguably the best story for the series, though admittedly that doesn’t say much). But they still can’t seem to recapture the magic and marvel of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call me when they do.

You ready, soldier?

GET TO THA CHOPPA! I’d play the game if they had that line.

The lineup at 10:30pm at the Yonge and Dundas Best Buy in Toronto.

Monday, 9:19 am – Ricky

I don’t think anyone can be faulted for missing out on mech games the past 15 years. I’m in pretty much the same boat – I played Mechwarrior 2 and that’s it for me, in terms of ownership. I might have had some play time on friends’ games, but nothing memorable. That said, this is definitely a genre I’m ready to jump back into this December!

I don’t know how we didn’t mention this last week, but Grand Theft Auto 5 dumped a boatload of details on us via the December Game Informer magazine. There’s a good summary here, but here are my favorite bullet points:

  • Features the biggest open world in the series’ history – GTA 5’s world is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA IV combined.
  • Three playable characters who you can switch between “at nearly any time”.
  • Each character has their own specific abilities and story arc, with all three stories intertwined.
  • Character 1 – Michael, an ex-bank robber in his early 40s who retired after making a deal with the FIB. He has two teenage children and hates his wife Amanda. He’s also the narrator of the original GTA 5 trailer.
  • Character 2 – Trevor, a former war veteran and a “drugged out psychopath”. An experienced pilot.
  • Character 3 – Franklin, a repo man in his mid 20s described as a “young and ambitious hustler”.
  • Even when you’re not controlling them, each character will still go about their own business across Los Santos. “You may be surprised by the situations they find themselves in should you switch back to check up on them,” says Game Informer.
  • Improved vehicle handling and physics – “The cars hold to the ground better… It feels more like a racing game,” Houser says.

A really interesting approach for the series. My “Trust in Rockstar” motto holds true, and I doubt they’ll lead us astray this time around.

Monday, 8:52 am – Gavin

Yikes, busy week last week – sorry for being incommunicado.  On the plus side, I did see Skyfall on Friday night.  But since this is Gamentary and not Movientary, I’ll leave the comments to Ebert.  Anyway, if you haven’t already seen it, head out to the theatres and watch it.  It’s ridiculawesome.

I haven’t played a Mech game since Mechwarrior 2, back in 1995.  My disk even said “PENTIUM EDITION” on it.  I enjoyed it – there was a lot of fun to be had, customizing your Mech and whatnot.  I was always about the maximum amount of firepower possible – the high-powered machine guns offered the most bang for your buck.  Alas, following a PC upgrade in 1998, I never invested in another Mech game.  No reason; I was just more into other kinds of shooters at the time, like Rainbow Six and Delta Force.

I heard very good things about the Armored Combat series.  Anyone ever play those ones?

Monday, 6:42 am – Ricky

I had a run at playing some Hawken yesterday during the open beta. I even recorded it for your amusement.

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