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Now Playing: League of Legends

While playing StarCraft 2, I often saw the rumblings between its e-Sports community and the much larger community of League of Legends. I first played League of Legends a few years ago and quit after about twenty minutes. At the time, I remember receiving no helpful instruction or indication of the main goals. And just like many other free-to-play games that leave a bad first impression, I quickly gave up.

I typically don't stay attached to free-to-play games for very long, and with no obligation through monetary ties, League of Legends didn't fare any better. For the past month however, I spent a lot of time with League of Legends. When you know people who willingly help you and will stay patient (for the most part) while you learn how to play, the learning curve doesn't seem so steep.

Now Playing: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Smarten up

I have learned to parse the fluffed up public relations descriptions of unreleased games, to find the truth about what exactly is the core of an experience. So when a developer describes their game as one that allows for both stealth and head-on approaches, I immediately sound the horn. Games with stealth components usually become the primary focus of an experience, and this is further supported by the level design. A building complex with many doors, air vents, scaffolding, sewer grates, unreachable ledges and keypad security, are objects not at all related to the success of running and gunning. The way a game was intended to be played is told through its level design, and based off of the numerous objects previously listed, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a stealth game, a good one too.  

Now Playing: Final Fantasy III (SNES)

In between the uplifting, satisfying wins and the demoralizing losses that come with the Starcraft 2 multiplayer experience, I travel through the open landscapes of Final Fantasy III on my Super Nintendo. Even with the firm belief that no Japanese role playing game can persuade me to think that the genre is actually worth spending time with, I still remain curious. I have yet to see - despite multiple attempts with different games from different eras - why the Japanese RPG was ever relevant, or even somewhat still desirable in this generation.

I firmly believe that experimenting with a variety of games within the genre that I'll be able to understand the draw that has lured in so many people. So why did I spend ridiculous amounts of money on a 20 year old game for a genre that has consistently disappointed me? It was probably the reputation of Squaresoft's third game in the Final Fantasy franchise (really the sixth game if you want to be technical) being arguably the best Final Fantasy ever made. This ambiguous reputation revealed to me a sliver of hope that Final Fantasy III will be the game to spark a revelation, thus ultimately change my perspective about the genre. At around 13 or so hours into this highly regarded JRPG, my experience has been the most enjoyable and least painful of comparative ventures, but I have yet to see the brilliance that makes this the best Final Fantasy.

Now Playing: Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

The extent of my experience with the RTS genre lies solely with the time I spent playing Age of Empires 2 and Halo Wars. The RTS genre has made its appearance on console platforms before, but always in simplified forms because of the limited buttons available on a controller. With the recent purchase of a new and powerful computer, my selection of games is no longer restricted to the console space. I bravely decided to begin my dive into PC exclusives with Blizzard's decade long developed game, Starcraft 2.

Expecting to have an experience similar to learning a completely new and unfamiliar language, I was pleasantly surprised by how strategically designed each mission of the campaign was in respect to helping new players. I was intimidated at first - how could I not be when Starcraft 2 is so popular within the competitive gaming community. Going from a game like Halo Wars, which didn't require much finesse or strategy (nonetheless I still enjoyed it), was a huge leap for me. Since the Halo Wars campaign was so painfully boring, I had to rely on brief tutorials and experience in matches to learn how to play.

Now Playing: Just Cause 2

When the Just Cause 2 demo was first released, my friends were making a huge deal out of the fact that you could grapple a person to a gas tank, which would rocket into the sky with the person dangling helplessly behind. While I did replicate this a few times already, I prefer stealing jets and firing my rockets at anything with a red explosive warning label covering the object. While I did complete a large portion of the structured story missions, a lot of jets were stolen in the process. With each fancier, bigger and faster jet that I find, I am slowly becoming desperate; looking for what else Just Cause 2 offers that is even remotely interesting.

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