All we are saying (is give games a chance)

Sunday, August 9, 2009
Before I start this quick post, I need to apologize to John Lennon. I have selfishly butchered your hymn of peace in order to make a (sort of) clever headline. My apologies. I'll buy Rock Band: The Beatles to make up for it. I know, since you were an enthusiastic capitalist, that you would love that.

Now, what I came here to post:

I found myself tonight with a little extra time and a few games at my disposal that I, honestly, hadn't ever given a chance. They either got poor reviews or didn't generally appeal to my tastes. One of these is a reasonable factor in whether or not to try out a game, and one is not. Guess which one.

So it was that I popped in Tomb Raider: Underworld. Now, let me be clear about the conditions of this playthrough. I had a beautiful 50 inch 1080p screen to play it on, Bose surround sound, a quiet house and no pressing responsibilities. (How often in your life do you get to say that?) Perhaps, most importantly, I didn't pay a dime to try out this game.

I don't know what I was expecting. Am I so jaded that every game with lackluster reviews is immediately tossed in the meat grinder? As I played Tomb Raider, I found myself thinking back to my days as a fledgling gamer, in an age where the back of the box or a word from a friend told me what I liked and what I didn't--not a (fucking hilarious) fast-talking Brit who currently resides in beautiful Australia, nor thousands of Kotakuites, or Joytiqers. It came down to whether or not I had fun, and let me tell you something. Once upon a time, I had fun playing Shaq-Fu. Yes. In fact, I still have the cart. In the same vein, King of the Monsters had some serious issues, probably, but I played the hell out of it. Perhaps Earthworm Jim had a better framerate on my buddy's console than it did on mine, but I never noticed--I loved it with all my heart. And you know what? I had fun playing Tomb Raider: Underworld today. Sure, the camera had issues. No, it wasn't as good as Uncharted. But I dove to the bottom of the ocean! I shot a shark in the mouth. I dropped a chandelier of deadly barnacle spikes onto the giant head of a blind, ancient, rage-filled cephalopod. All this I did in the first friggin' level, and you know what? I had a good fucking time doing it.

So, all I am saying, is: give games a chance. No matter your console. No matter what the reviews say. Don't drop sixty bones, maybe, but hell--if you're interested, give it a shot. Who knows? Maybe you'll end up enjoying yourself.