Convince Me To Buy Your Game!

Ok, a little competition for everyone:

Despite being in the midst of what I’m told is the greatest year in gaming EVER, I’ve pretty much been holed up in my apartment playing Oblivion, Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I haven’t bought a lot of new games, and I haven’t really been paying much attention to the gaming news, so I’m a bit out of it.

Here’s where you guys come in. Convince me that I should check out whatever game you think is awesome right now — Halo 3, Assassin’s Creed, Kayne & Lynch (good luck with that one), Orange Box, Mass Effect, etc. Anything you want. The only rules are:

  • The game has to have come out since August or so. Before that I was still kind of with it.
  • You have to actually make your case — “Yo, get Skate it rulez!” ain’t gonna cut it.
  • No Rock Band, Katamari, NHL ’08 or GH3 — I bought those games.
  • Once you post your game, I will reply with any concerns/doubts about the game that kept me from buying it in the first place. Reply to that and you could really convince me!
  • It has to be for PS2 or 360. If you want, you can try to convince me to get a PSP, Wii, DS or PS3 — bonus points if you actually get me thinking about shelling out for a new system.

The winner is whoever convinces me to get whatever game they’re trying to sell me on. If I end up buying DiRt (which is what I’m leaning towards), then nobody wins. The prize is the satisfaction of knowing you’re a better salesman than anyone at Gamestop.

Let the selling begin!

Brad Hates Games Written by:

BHG grew up in the frozen post-apocalyptic wasteland of Buffalo, NY (it’s like the old Soviet Union but more depressing), recently escaped to the (relatively) sunnier skies of Seattle, and does freelance work when writing for an unpopular blog about 20 year old video games fails to pay the bills.


  1. December 8, 2007

    I highly recommend picking up Bioshock for the 360. Sure, it’s a first-person shooter and the genre has been exploited to death, but damn…Bioshock is just awesome.

    (And get a DS already!)

  2. VagrantSpace
    December 9, 2007

    For the love of DOG!! Buy Mass Effect already! It’s a mixture of KotOR and Oblivion meets Star Wars. Amazing story that gets better and better as the game progresses, a seemingly endless amount of sidequests and decisions to make, lesbian and straight sex scenes, and Seth Green does the voice acting as your pilot. So buy Mass Effect, it’s a great game, and invite me to play some Rock Band sometime, I am always online.

  3. December 10, 2007

    Oddly enough, the things that’s kept me from getting either of these games has been a similar concern – nothing I’ve heard about either Mass Effect or Bioshock has been about the gameplay. I keep hearing about storyline, and atmosphere, and dialouge, but very little, if anything, about how these games actually play. Bioshock has been compared to a film, and one glowing review of Mass Effect called it a book on DVD. I don’t want to watch a movie, or read a book (if I did I just watch The Fast and the Furious, or read its novelization), I want to play a damn game.

    I played the Bioshock demo for about 15 minutes and it struck me as being really full of iteslf – in other words, the developer seemed to think that I should care about its story a hell of a lot more than I actually did. There was a whole lot of what you might call “interactive cutscenes”, parts where you are technically in control of your character, but you’re really just being lead from place to place to watch stuff happen. When the gameplay did make an occasioanl appearance, it wasn’t much more than just whacking really dumb zombies with a wrench. If I’m going to play an FPS, I want it to be something more like Halo, where my enemies are either smart enough to force me to use a little strategy (Covenant), or else they’re so numerous and aggressive that I have to be on top of my twicth game (the Flood). In Bioshock I didn’t do either.

    Mass Effect seems a bit more promising to me, I really enjoyed Starflight way back in the Genesis days, and I’ve been a fan of BioWare in the past. Still, there better be a whole hell of a lot more to this game than talking to people. I always thought that the way Baldur’s Gate mixed a good deal of strategy into the RPG was not just a great gameplay addition, but the next logical step forward for the evolution of the genre (9 years later and a lot RPGs still seem hoplessly behind). Is the combat in Mass Effect passable? I don’t need my RPGs to be fantastic RTS or action games, but I’m so done with picking Fight off of a menu.

    Quite frankly, I’ve kind of reached a point where if I pretty much think of a game’s story the same way I do with graphics. Yeah, its nice if its good, but it’s just not that important. Most of the games I’ve enjoyed in the past year were either about playing in a band, driving a car, or hockey, so there’s not much in the way of narrative there. Oblivion has a decent story, but the thing I really like about it is that I can go wherever I want, whenever I want, do just about anything I feel like, and there’s actually some good action gameplay. It’s like someone blended an RPG with a first person shooter, and then gave it a structure like Grand Theft Auto.

    So, I guess my questions are – does Bioshock ever get any better than the demo? And is there anything more to Mass Effect than a good story, told through countless hours of reading dialouge trees? And does anyone else have a game to recommend?

  4. December 10, 2007

    …does Bioshock ever get any better than the demo?

    Absolutely, yes. Or at least, it does when you allow yourself to become immersed within the game’s world.

    By and large, the gameplay does nothing new. It’s essentially what you’d expect from First-Person Shooter #1,923. Well, that’s not quite correct, as the “Plasmids” feature is pretty unique and fun…even if portions of it are borrowed from Half-Life 2.

    All I know is that I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. In the beginning (aka, the demo), I wasn’t sure if I would even stick with the game for very long, but once I let myself get into the story and whatnot (the “little sisters” plot device is pretty great), I became quite enamored with the game as a whole.

    I won’t say that you should lay down $60+ for the game (mainly cause that’s something that I very rarely do, myself), but to not at least rent it seems silly.

  5. VagrantSpace
    December 11, 2007

    Of the two games, Bioshock and Mass Effect, I would have to say that Bioshock let me down a lot and did not live up to the hype. It is a first person shooter where “plasmids” take the place of magic and there is really only one epic decision you get to make in the game; it was hyped to have many many choices and consequences. The art in the game is beautiful and the story is pretty cool and the game has a decent length to it as well.

    Mass Effect, on the other hand, has a vast galaxy for you to explore as you see fit, the combat system is primarily third person shooter with squad elements to it, and the decisions you make in the game affect the way, in some cases, how that whole galaxy develops and the way people perceive you. Or, if you are that unsure about it all, at least rent the two games.

  6. Setherghd
    December 12, 2007

    It seems obvious to me that if you’re interested in unique, engaging, and excitingly new game play mechanics, that the best route to go is the Nintendo Wii.

    In seven generations of video game consoles, we have seen several dozen game pads (all a variation on a theme), and an assortment of accessories. Most of these accessories range from mere novelties (R.O.B.) to actually something useful and worthwhile (like the Guitar Hero controller).

    Now, in the case of the Power Glove, simply adapting a game to make it compatible does not guarantee the aforementioned. While the Power Glove is technically a commercial success, it is a failure in that it took Nintendo almost three decades to go back to that concept and breathe new life into it (and I think this has been achieved). For whatever reason (unknown to me), the industry has ignored these devices as being serious interfaces for games. I think this is a shame because there’s obviously a lot of potential for innovation — both in the devices themselves and the games that utilize them.

    A game like Metal Gear Solid for the PSX shows that a three dimensional environment can easily be navigated (and enjoyed) using a D-Pad.

    But it’s a game like Super Mario 64 (and the Nintendo 64 controller with it’s analogue joystick) that will convince you that there’s simply no other way you would want to. It’s an industry standard nowadays. Every generation since has reflected and improved upon these innovations.

    However, try playing StarCraft 64, Quake 64, Doom 64, Perfect Dark, etc. No matter how great these games are, they simply don’t work like they would on the PC. The dexterity simply isn’t there. This problem has been solved (albeit trivially and perhaps unintentionally) with the Wii controller. Take note that the later PSX controllers added the two joysticks as an afterthought. Gamers simply demanded them.

    And that is what I think is the finer point: the Wii controller is backwards compatible in the sense that it’s mechanics can be applied to every generation of gaming before it and work. This will extend into future generations as well.


    The sky is the limit. Cooking Mama: Cook Off! does not reach this potential (by a long shot) — and might I add, it’s extraordinarily fun to play, as simple as it is. I can’t wait to play Pikmin for the Wii.

    As far as resumes and track records go, they (Nintendo) have created some of the most beloved, and critically acclaimed games known to history. It can’t be argued.

    Ignoring the Nintendo Wii would be the equivalent to being a recent and active contributor to a known gaming site and openly admitting that you’ve never played Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Oh, and that you only know what “a Sega” is.

    Seriously, come on.

    Get a Wii.

  7. December 12, 2007

    The main argument I have against getting a Wii is a pretty simple and direct one: Every single person I know who has a Wii has been disappointed by it, including a few who got so bored with it that they threw them up for sale on Ebay. The technology, though interesting, is starting to look more and more like a novelty act, and Nintendo’s intense efforts to recruit non-gamers into the mix while doing so very little to appeal to people who already play games seems to back up that notion. In other words, the fewer games you’ve played, the better the Wii looks. And I’ve played a lot of games.

    As for Nintendo’s track record, that’s been a bigger detractor than selling point for me. Sure, it was pretty impressive 15 years ago, but more recently, the company has shown a zeal for recycling that would make Al Gore proud (not unlike myself with that zinger I first broke out 2 years ago, I suppose). The Nintendo 64 and Gamecube were little more than a dumping ground for various Nintendo sequels, and while things have gotten better with the Wii, I’m still not impressed. Are Starfox, Pokemon or Mario Tennis really that different just because you’re playing them with a glorified computer mouse?

    Besides, I wouldn’t say that not playing a Wii is akin to having never played anything other than a “Sega”. It’s more like having never played a Virtual Boy or 3DO, two things which I haven’t done either. As for your veiled hint that this somehow makes me derelict in my duties as a TJG staffer – that’s not quite right either. Me not playing Wii is kind of like the local sports columnist we have in Buffalo that doesn’t really follow basketball. It’s not a big deal because not too many people around here do either, he writes good columns about the stuff he does know, and if we do need an opinion about hoops, we can get it elsewhere. TJG has its own niche – I’m not entirely sure what it is, but Wii coverage isn’t exactly critical to it. I think we appeal to the “cranky old guys who are cheap and don’t have any free time” demographic.

    It’s not that you made a bad argument (and don’t think I was offended by your questioning of my journalistic integrity, that was actually some brilliant salesmanship), but the product you’re standing up for already had the longest odds. I did like the “Seriously, come on” argument though. You get 10 points!

    So after three attempts, VS is the closest to winning me over, but I’m still leaning toward DiRt. Can anyone else convince me otherwise?

  8. December 12, 2007

    “The main argument I have against getting a Wii is a pretty simple and direct one: Every single person I know who has a Wii has been disappointed by it, including a few who got so bored with it that they threw them up for sale on Ebay.”

    *raises hand* That was my experience.

    I liked the technology and really enjoyed Wii Sports, but aside from Twilight Princess (a game in which my interest for just kinda petered out) and a couple of other titles, the Wii was more of a dust repository than anything. It might have been a different story if I didn’t have a 360, but against a heavy hitter like that, the Wii could only play second fiddle. (All this from someone who originally thought the Wii was gonna be ultra-revolutionary and couldn’t have cared less about the 360.)

    As for other Wii features like the Virtual Console, sure, it’s neat, but at the end of the day, the feature is nothing but a way to play over-priced ROMS of games that you’ve played and payed for before. As things are now, Xbox Live is a hundred, nay, a thousand times better than Nintendo’s online offerings.

    And back to the Wii’s technology, its well-done and interesting, but most of the time it’s hard to shake that “gimmicky” feel. (Unlike the DS’ unique control offerings, which feel much more intuitive and justified. DS > Wii. Yes, I went there.)

    My mother and in-laws love it, though. Nintendo couldn’t have succeeded any more with their “get the non-gamers” initiative.

  9. Setherghd
    December 13, 2007

    Firstly, you don’t meet the criteria of, “…a recent and active contributor to a known gaming site [who] openly [admits] that [he has] never played Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Oh, and that [he] only [knows] what “a Sega” is.”

    Seeing as you’ve, “been kind of with it,” up until August of this year, and evidently own a PS2 and 360, you would surely know what, “a Sega,” is.

    I’ll accept that I may have hinted at that, and will further agree with your argument that my analogy may in fact have been flawed. Although I’ll make one reservation: because you consider your contributions to this website and gaming as professional (in a hobbyist capacity), and you implicitly stated that you have indeed played the aforementioned games, it doesn’t stand to reason why you brought attention to such details. It’s apparent to everyone, and myself, that you’re well-cultured.

    My post accomplished exactly what I had intended. You admitted, in your own words, three things that I felt were evident:

    1. You misunderstand the controller.
    2. You think the Wii isn’t for hardcore gamers.
    3. You don’t want to be convinced of anything.

    Please note that any misunderstanding I may have in the above-stated is simply because you have failed to make yourself clear to me. I have to base this on what you tell me.

    That being said, I will cover each point.

    “Are Starfox, Pokemon or Mario Tennis really that different just because you’re playing them with a glorified computer mouse?”

    As I stated, and I quote, “simply adapting a game to make it compatible does not guarantee [unique, engaging, and excitingly new game play mechanics].”

    Super Mario 64’s innovation wasn’t the utilization of the analogue joystick per se. What was innovative is how this translates into the player’s own environment. If the camera is behind Mario, it is perceived by the player as being character-relative. If it is in front of Mario, it is perceived as camera-relative. Mario could be guided over a narrow bridge by moving the camera in front of him and slowly guiding him towards you by pulling down on the joystick — not up. How much you do this also translates into how fast or how slow Mario moves.

    Most players don’t consciously take notice of this. It’s no surprise seeing as it’s subtle (i.e. natural) and ingenious on behalf of Shigeru Miyamoto and his developers. The Wii controller is an extension of these concepts. “It’s a Wii. A Nintendo 64 can only go up and down, but the Wii can go sideways and slantways and longways and backways and squareways and front ways and any other ways that you can think of.”

    You stated that, “…the company has shown a zeal for recycling [characters]…”

    I happen to think this benefits game play albeit a detriment in regards to storytelling. Their franchises act as vehicles for creating games.

    Mario says it best in Super Mario 64, “Here we go!” With Mario’s enormous exposure, and little need for a back story or introduction, the game starts off with a letter from Princess Peach to create conflict, and straight into game play without any need for fifteen minutes of full-motion video and tutorial.

    Like Peter Jackson said about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “You make Fellowship and Two Towers so you can make Return of the King.” Games have a lot to accomplish in what can sometimes be a small, truncated format.

    Graphic Adventure games a la The Secret of Monkey Island are terrific mediums for telling stories. If I want to jump into inventive platform gaming, Mario is the safest best. Less energy is put into continuity, and more into the game’s actual design and development. The same is true for their other franchises. The Legend of Zelda is a bit of an extension in storytelling terms, but it’s effective in that it makes Link anonymous (you never hear his talking voice, save a grunt or two). Less is more.

    “…Nintendo’s intense efforts to recruit non-gamers into the mix while doing so very little to appeal to people who already play games seems to back up that notion.”

    I disagree. Nintendo is creating games. Period. Any advantages in appealing to larger demographics is a side affect. I haven’t read anything to the contrary, but let’s say they are actually pursuing this instead of marketing it as such (which they are doing): What has changed? Variety? Okay. I’ll accept that. And you’re saying this is bad because…?

    I’m sorry your friends were so quick to judge the system. Super Mario Galaxy just came out, and boy, is it fun. The way gravity affects Mario is marveling. How he can circumnavigate a small satellite and keep the player from getting motion sickness (or the like) is beyond me. I’d really like to know how they did that. Just as explaining character and camera-relative modes is somewhat cryptic, you just need to experience this. When you try it, it feels unnatural any other way.

    But alas, I don’t think you were ready to be convinced to buy a new console so much as you were for another excuse not to buy one. That is, paraphrased, “buy this game instead of getting a new console since it requires less effort and is slightly better than mediocre.” It fits exactly with the notion that you’re old, cheap, and cranky. Your words; not mine.

    It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve played. I think a hardcore gamer is someone who constantly seeks to be challenged, surprised, and their expectations exceeded.

    By the way, I have nothing better to do than write nine hundred sixty nine word arguments on the subject of gaming.

  10. December 13, 2007

    Here’s a tip to all you would be salespeople of the world – if you’re going to try to convince someone that the sky is red, you might want to try to do it in a less condescending and long-winded way than this guy.

    So the standings remain the same – VS has made the best arguments so far, but I’m not quite there yet. Will anyone else play? Nobody’s made the case for Halo 3 yet.

  11. VagrantSpace
    December 14, 2007

    Halo 3 is fun, sure, but it is just more of the same and very short and very easy, and so so damn predictable. After beating Mass Effect(buy it buy it buy it buy it buy it) I am now playing Super Mario Galaxy. It is not the perfectly reviewed game people are saying it is but it definitely deserves a 93 out of 100; its just fun. I am glad to see that the Wii is offering something now. I have had a Wii since release and I only own five games for it. PS3, on the other hand, I have owned for about six months and I have twice the library for it.

    So anyway, I am still recommending Mass Effect highly but now I am also suggesting Super Mario Galaxy, it’s just old skool platforming fun fun fun.

    Oh, and…Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is amazing. Let me know if you want to talk about the PS3, Brad; I have some talking to do about it. I guess I am not a jaded gamer yet at 27. Am I still allowed to be here?? I love you guys.

  12. December 16, 2007

    “…nothing I’ve heard about either Mass Effect or Bioshock has been about the gameplay. I keep hearing about storyline, and atmosphere, and dialouge, but very little, if anything, about how these games actually play. Bioshock has been compared to a film, and one glowing review of Mass Effect called it a book on DVD. I don’t want to watch a movie, or read a book (if I did I just watch The Fast and the Furious, or read its novelization), I want to play a damn game.”

    After spending some time with Mass Effect and considering the quote above, I’m not sure this is the game you want to pick up. I’m about 2 hours into it so far, and although I don’t exactly know how much of that time was actual gameplay, it sure as hell feels like I’ve only had about 10 minutes of play-time. All I’ve really done thus far is watch a “movie”, and my interest is starting to quickly deteriorate.

    I started out making an effort to get into the story and was initially successful, but now I’m finding that I really don’t give a damn, and am just constantly wishing that everyone would shut the hell up so I could get on with the “game”. Well, if there’s even a game to be found, that is.

    I’m sorry to hate on such a beloved title, but goddamn…there’s entirely too much “blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah” from everyone.

    At this point I’m simply going to have to force myself to carry on, but I am gonna spend some more time with the game and see if it improves.

    By the way, if I compare the first couple of hours of Mass Effect against Bioshock, Bioshock is most definitely a game, while Mass Effect is a Sci-Fi channel original movie.

  13. December 17, 2007

    BTW the novelization of the Fast and the Furious should have won a Pulitzer.

    “It’s not how to stand by your car,” Hector said, eying him suspiciously, “It’s how you race it.”

    That’s some good writing right there.

  14. VagrantSpace
    December 17, 2007

    Give Mass Effect some time. It is a very epic game with a very slow beginning. Once you get your ship and start exploring the galaxy it gets pretty cool and Seth Green is your pilot. He is teh awesome.

  15. December 17, 2007

    I’ve gotten the ship now, and yes, the “game” has finally begun. (They really could have condensed that 2-hour setup, though…Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ.)

    I can tell that I’m gonna like this game, at least for its exploration aspect. It’s exactly like a modernized version of Star Control II, and as we all know, that game absolutely ruled.

  16. December 20, 2007

    Alrighty…I’ve got enough time invested in Mass Effect now, so I can stand behind Vagrant’s recommendation. I’ll elaborate on the front page in a few days (I really wanna see this game to the end first), but I’ve seen enough to know that it’s a better gaming experience than Bioshock. (Not to slight Bioshock, ’cause I still think it’s an awesome game; Mass Effect is just better.)

    So yeah, pick it up, Brad. (^_^)

  17. December 20, 2007

    Haven’t played Starflight, but to me, this equation is spot-on:

    Star Wars: KotOR + Star Control II = Mass Effect.

  18. VagrantSpace
    December 20, 2007

    I agree.

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