Outside there is sun, and it is hot and burny. I can see nature through my window, but I’m going to stay here where it is comfortable and there are snacks. I’m parched for a refreshing beverage, and I’m stuck in the gaming desert where new games are sparse and lame.
Scary how I can read your mind, isn’t it? Have no fear; I am here to help with some advice on how to entertain yourself in the dog days of summer.
First bit of advice: keep it simple. Summer is beautiful, and there are half-naked men jogging, and half-naked men playing volleyball, and half-naked men being inappropriately touched…by the sun. You should be out in that! You don’t need a 40-hour long epic tying up your free time, so maybe downloadable games would be best for you.
Penny Arcade’s On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness parts one and two are available on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN and run about $15 a pop. It’s a light RPG with a mix of action, and it is completely hilarious. I have not played a game so consistently funny all the way through. Beyond that, it takes its story and its steampunk vibe seriously, so there’s a richness to imbibe.
Bastion is another relatively short downloadable game that you can play in short sittings. The art style is sweet and colorful, and the narrator who describes your every action has a sexy voice. This is straight-up adventure, it has a cool and varied mix of weapons, and is a very solid game. You can find it on XBOX Live Arcade.
Some of your old favorites are also available on PSN. Golden Axe, one of my early favorites, is up and free for Playstation Plus members. Be a sex barbarian, a busty valkyrie or a dwarf with a huge tool and hack your way through some levels for $5. There are a whole bunch of PS1 and PS2 games there as well. These are nice because you’ve got the nostalgia factor, and you know the story and the moves, so there’s no pressure. You can drop in and out.
Of course, summer is also a time for replay. You know, take your time with it, don’t rush to the climax, explore every inch of it. Two games that are great replays are Dragon Age 2 and Dead Space 2. Dragon Age 2 plays differently with each character, it possesses a deep mythology, and there are hundreds of sidequests you may have missed the first time. The story itself has complex moral decisions with no “right” answer, so go back and make a different choice. Dead Space 2 is beautifully horrific. The settings are detailed and varied (space preschool, creepy church, insane asylum) without one generic inch in each. Dead Space 2 also has New Game Plus, so you can replay with all your weapons and upgrades and kill necromorphs in new and interesting ways.
Spend your summer vacation someplace faraway…at home with a good game.
Read all of Frag Dean‘s gaming reviews and coverage here.
Frag Dean is a podcaster on Silly Frags, available on iTunes, Sticher and sillyfrags.com.