For the PC fan
So you’re a PC gamer possibly jaded by the overhaul the Halo franchise has undergone and how they ditched the PC alltogether years ago. Or maybe you just despise the series straight out. Either way we’ve got something for you that you’re sure to enjoy.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent has everything you need to avoid any thoughts of those hopping fools in their silly getups. Amnesia is a terrifying First-Person survival horror title that you can get from Steam for just $19.99. It is clear that the designers of Amnesia are out to make as many people defecate in their pants as possible. Not only is it bloodcurdling and intimidating but developer Frictional Games also makes it very clear that headphones and a dark room are prime requisites for the full experience. Bone-chilling sound effects and skin crawling events are why Amnesia is a must-play for anyone seeking a serious deterrent from all this Halo talk.
For poor people
Money is tough to come by these days. Especially if you have already forfeited most of your earnings to this Holiday seasons blockbusters. If Halo: Reach fell through the cracks and you are left with no money and just a lot of time to watch others enjoy Halo then I have some recommendations for you that won’t hurt your wallet.
Looking to get a short gaming fix with no damage to your bank account? Consider playing some of XBL’s and PSN’s great demos. Sports jocks should not miss FIFA 11 and NBA 2K11, both the kings of their respective markets. Into something less mundane? Try your hand at Quantum Theory, DJ Hero 2, Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock, RUSE, Vanquish or HAWX 2.
If a dollar is all you can afford then I recommend Inferno from Radian Games. With great twin-stick shooter gameplay, 30 levels and a pinch of RPG elements it is worth a lot more than the one dollar it will cost you.
For the retro gamer
Classic Dreamcast favorite Sonic Adventure came to the Xbox Live Arcade this week to the joy of fans. This game was in my opinion one of the best titles on the Dreamcast and revisiting it is a blast of nostalgic fun and a real steal at just 10 bucks.
For PS3 fans
If you own a PS3 and haven’t already played God of War III or Heavy Rain then I suggest driving as fast as possible (within legal limits of course, or not, or... well, do whatever you want!) to the game retailer of your choice to get one or both of these games. Heavy Rain will be about $45 used and God of War III should be around $40. If you are a poor PS3 owner then rent them, though you might want to get Heavy Rain second because it has massive replay value. Both games are incredible and must plays for any Sony fan who is not interested in Reach.
If each of those is already a notch in your “Trophy” case then you might want to wait a day or two to pick up the Playstation Move. The list of launch titles for the Move is pretty weak but there are some games already on the market set to support the new motion controller. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition and Heavy Rain are all due to have full Move compatibility.
For Wii fans
Even though reviews for Metroid: Other M have been a little mixed it’s still a Metroid game and most publications are giving it good praise. Other M focuses a lot more on the story of Samus than the classic gameplay of the series. It is considered another great addition to the franchise and one that each Nintendo fan should pick up. Halo is often compared to the classic Metroid series and if you are looking to suit up in ridiculous armor and defeat alien creatures on the Wii then Other M is the way to go.
For Halo fans
Ah, this one is without a doubt the hardest sell. How on Earth do you pull a Halo fanboy away from Reach? The answer is you don’t. No matter what I say the fans of Halo aren’t going to pop anything else in that disc tray until their copy of Reach has received proper attention. Be that as it may I have compiled a list of Xbox exclusives that are just as good if not better than the Halo games.
The Left 4 Dead series may lack the story or ‘epicness’ of Halo, however they do have some incredible gameplay. Fun, terror and screams abound when friends get together in the dark for a marathon session of Left 4 Dead.
Splinter Cell: Conviction continues the classic video game franchise. Conviction returns the game to its roots with more of an emphasis on stealth while still containing big action sequences and a thrilling plot.
Alan Wake is nothing like Halo but offers a story and thrills that match and possibly top the Halo titles. Alan Wake centers on a writer who battles sinister demons that haunt an island while trying to find his wife amidst the darkness.
The Gears of War games are possibly the greatest contender to Master Chief and his buddies for “Top 360 Exclusive”. Gears of War is an epic franchise that doesn’t quite have the narrative that Halo does but offers gamers great gameplay, beautiful graphics, intense multiplayer and oversized biceps. What else could you want?
Fable and Mass Effect are the epitome of RPG’s on the Xbox 360. Fable has a wonderful narrative and strong RPG focus while not lacking in gameplay and is easily picked up by novice gamers. Mass Effect is not quite a 360 and PC exclusive anymore with the announcement that ME2 is going to the PS3 next year but for now console fans are restricted to the Xbox 360 version. Mass Effect is an incredible game that trumps all others like it. Take the role of a stealth frigate commander and soar through space defeating the enemies of human kind. The story is what sells this game most. Nothing tops Bioware’s anecdote for this series. Love, betrayal, revenge and war; it’s got everything you could want, plus incredible gameplay and deep RPG elements.
Whether you don’t care for the Halo franchise or don’t have a means to play Halo: Reach you can’t escape hearing about it in gaming circles. Hopefully though this list of games will keep you entertained while everyone else plays hopscotch in Firefight.