Ahhh, Black Friday. Maybe this is the year I will finally learn never to buy another fall release at full price again. No more than two weeks after finally snagging Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown at full price from PlayAsia, they appeared on Amazon for less than $30 each. Sure, I got to play them sooner and they are both my current GotY frontrunners, but the time I would have to wait was hardly worth the money I would have saved.

Anyway, at 14 hours ahead of America’s east coast, I spent much of my night checking out Amazon’s excellent lightning deals and didn’t even have to wake up before the crack of dawn. I snagged a few sweet games I had been putting off for nice prices.

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Spec Op: The Line – $15

I had been calling this game a dark horse ever since the first trailer, and it kind of delivered from the reactions I’ve heard. Commercial and universal acclaim dodged it when critics and gamers were ready to mistakenly slap it with a Call of Duty Clone label, but luckily, most have slowly gathered around this misunderstood title over the last few months thanks to those who gave it a chance beyond being just another third person military shooter.

The horrific ruins of a sandy Dubai look like the perfect place for a haunting military tale of questionable morals and gut wrenching decision making. Best of all, this game called out all of the military shooters which glorify the battlefield as a never ending sport of respawning immortal soldiers haplessly rushing into battle. War is not fun. War is not racking up points to gain a new perk or unlock a shiny new gun. War is hell, rife with horrible situations and even worse conditions.

Spec Ops: The Line wants to remind gamers of that, and it has my respect if it can pull it off once I finally get to play it.

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Devil May Cry HD Collection – $16.99

While I’m ever so gradually coming around to Ninja Theory’s latest interpretation of Devil May Cry, I want to take a little time with the original series that I fawned over as an angsty teenager and see how they hold up. With the demo, I questioned why I had been so upset with the changes considering it had been years since I last played one of these games. It will be nice to get a firm reminder of why Capcom thought this game needed to go back to the drawing board and have a jumping off point when it comes time to grade the latest entry.

Will the original Devil May Cry be as fun as I remember, or do to locked camera angles and Resident Evil exploring hold it back? What was it about Devil May Cry 2 that made everybody hate it? Is Devil May Cry 3 really the best in the series? I don’t particularly remember it being as groundbreaking or memorable as the first.

These are all thoughts I’ve had since the last time I went on an outing with Dante on the PlayStation 2. It will be nice to see how my opinion has evolved over the years with a more objective brain, especially with the genre no longer exciting me the way it used to.

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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – $15

Despite being all about PlayStation 3 exclusives these days, I’m not the biggest fan of this series. I can see why a lot of people like it, though. The writing is witty, the characters are wonderful, and the presentation is second to none. However, I’m not buying into the whole “cinematic gaming” movement, which seeks to blur the line between games and movies, and Naughty Dog is the leader of the pack in that regard. I like my games to be “games.”

Vanquish, Demon’s Souls, Fallout 3, Crackdown, Street Fighter IV, Just Cause 2, Super Meat Boy, these are true-blooded video games through and through, free from the shackles of the immersive Hollywood rules developers are trying to emulate in their gameplay these days. Moreover, they are some of my favorite games of the generation so far.

I remember playing the universally loved Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, buying into every beautiful environment and clever line, but feeling like something was missing. I wasn’t having fun in between the cutscenes. I didn’t like the platforming or the shooting, and the only level which gave me an adrenaline rush was the Tibetan village siege, the much hyped train level coming up short.

But yeah, Naughty Dog does not have me won over like the rest of the gaming world, and still has yet to sell me on The Last of Us. I just couldn’t say no for one more chance with Nathan Drake at a cheap $15 price tag, though. Not for something with so much hype and praise as Uncharted 3. Maybe I’ll lighten up a bit and enjoy it.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 – $25

I only bought this because the buddy I played the first Borderlands with was hoping to play it again. In fact, he canceled his pre-order because I wasn’t going to be buying this out of the gate. Awww…how sweet. With a broken Xbox and barely enough time to play the games I REALLY want to play though, who can blame me?

I’ve heard a wide range of opinions about this game being everything from the best sequel in years to nothing more than a soulless rehash of the same repetitive missions. I can’t say for myself because I haven’t played it.

One thing for certain though is that 2K Games has been on fire recently with some cool unique hits, and they have made a nice little comeback after 2011 when their only game was Duke Nukem Forever. With XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Spec Ops: The Line, and BioShock: Infinite just around the corner, it would feel incomplete if I left their biggest hit of 2012 of my shelf. Gotta gives props to them for finding an audience where nobody really thinks is possible.

They’re just lucky, though; their risks tend to pay off a lot more often than others.


For those of you who have played these titles what do you think ? Was I ripped off, or did I score some pretty decent games? How about you? Snag any decent bargains over the holiday weekend?