Happy New Year to everybody! I know I'm a tad late, but I still think it's polite to wish you all a happy year. And I hope that it will be as rich as 2011 was, gaming-wise.
So, in this first edition of "What Am I Playing NOW", I'll start with a game I've only just beaten yesterday : Prince of Persia : The Forgotten Sands. The latest PoP was actually a very, very good game that I enjoyed a lot more than the last cel-shaded outing where you couldn't die. That one wasn't bad by any means, as I enjoyed the relationship between the two protagonists and the artistic graphics, but it was nothing memorable.
So, The Forgotten Sands, let's just start by pointing out that the gameplay overshadowed every other aspect of the game. Seriously, the free-running was incredibly well executed, it felt fluid, intuitive and the regularly added powers all felt natural and added some thrill and excitement to the great wall-running/climbing and puzzle solving. The emphasis on timing in the latter parts of the game really made the game that much more fun. Graphically, let's just say that beige, grey and brown walls ruled the day, even if some settings were pretty interesting in an artist's point of view. The weaker point of the game is the story, which was somewhat original, but I thought it wasn't presented very well. That Djin lady (I forgot her name) really was boring. Anyway, a very fun game, the best Prince of Persia I've played since Sands of Time on GameCube.
There's a game I've only just started that is, so far, extremely fun : Rayman Origins. I'll start by saying I've never played a Rayman game before, except on my brother's iPhone, which was certainly not the best example of what the series have to offer. Anyway, it's bloody fantastic. I LOVE the cartoony graphics and the sheer silliness of the characters and enemies. The "platforming" isn't bad either, while maybe not as sharp as, say, the Mario series (then again, which game is?), but still very, very good. I played the game for maybe an hour after opening it yesterday and I was smiling all the time, and that's a great way of saying that it's very enjoyable. More on Rayman Origins soon!
I've just started Gears of War 2 as well, but I've played only for 30-45 minutes so I can't say much about it yet, except that it looks a lot like Gears 1 (obviously...) but with some tweaks that made it a bit better. Looking forward to play it more!
And, last but not least, The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword. I haven't read a thing about the dungeons or the length of the game (it's Zelda, by far my favorite game series ever, I don't want to spoil a thing), but I'd say I'm past the halfway point of the game, or so it feels (yes, I've played so much Zelda games I can actually feel where I am in the story). Let's just say that it's a superb game, predictably, and that Zelda games always find a way to innovate while staying true to their formula. It's quite amazing. I'm still not entirely sold on motion controls, but it feels more natural than it did in the first few hours. GoTY candidate for sure.
I also played a tad of Fable II (still at the beginning of the story) while waiting for my brother to give me my Wii back. It's good so far, but I haven't much to say about it, it's tough to comment on an RPG so early in the game. More to come as well.
I could say I'm playing more game than that (and I am), but all others are basically Sports game or online shooters, and those games you can pop in your console, play for 15 minutes to satisfy some craving, then go on with my life. That's a lot harder to do with Zelda or Fable II. Those games are NHL 12, NBA 2K12, Forza 4, BF3 and MW3.
Games to start soon : Skyrim, GTA IV Complete (yes, 3 years later...) and a few PSN games as well.
See you soon!