Top 10 Games Of This Generation – #5 – Borderlands

For me, Borderlands was the ultimate ‘don’t know it til you try it’ game of the generation. Leading up to its release, nothing about it sounded like something I wanted to play. However, after all of the positive buzz, I figured that I should get around to it eventually for academic purposes. By the end of my 100-plus-hour run, I might as well have been rewarded with a Ph.D, as I explored every nook and cranny of that game.

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Video Game Guardian

As the oldest child on my mom’s side of the family, I learned very quickly that I would have an influence on my younger siblings and relatives wheter I consciously tried to or not. Before my younger brother could ever get into playing toys, he got a hold of a Gameboy and a Super Nintendo controller and never looked back. At the time, I figured it was just the kid thing to do, but those early days of playing Super Mario World really did change his life.

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Knoxx’d Out

With not much going on in my life right now, I spent most of today in my basement completing The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. I know, this is the third Knoxx post in as many days, but now that I’ve beaten the main quest and most of the side missions, I’m ready to write down some final impressions of the DLC.
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School of Hard Knoxx

After my initial lukewarm impressions to The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, I wasn’t sure what I would be getting into the next time I played it. I was hoping that having reached level 51 would at least get me past the initial difficulty curve and the rest of the experience would be smooth sailing.

Nope.

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General Knoxx is Off To a Rough Start

The Secret Armory of General Knoxx just hit XBOX Live and PSN and I was quick to purchase this Borderlands add-on. Unlike the other pieces of Borderlands DLC, this one brought with it a number of additions, including new zones, new guns, new vehicles, new bad guys, a bunch of new quests and most importantly, a raised level cap. With 11 more levels for my soldier to grow, I was eager to shoot more dudes and collect more guns. I’ve only played just over an hour of it so far, but I thought I’d share my initial impressions.

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I Can’t Quit You, Borderlands

I thought I could separate myself from Borderlands the moment I beat it. Sure, I only beat it on playthrough 1, and my character had only reached level 35, but I had basically seen everything there was to do in the game. All that was left was playthrough 2, which is the exact same quest, with tougher enemies and more awesome guns. I figured now was the time to move onto the next game in my backlog.

And yet, here I am, still playing this game.I took a few days off to chip away at my backlog, but one lazy Sunday playing co-op on playthrough 2 with my brother was enough to reel me back in. My usual nightly routine of late has been to play a few missions in Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City followed by Borderlands.

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Unhappily Ever After

The other night, i could sense that I was close to beating Borderlands. When I get that feeling, I can’t stop and leave that game until I beat it. In spite of the game’s flaws, I was having a ton of fun with the game. However, Borderlands suffers from a problem that has plagued video games since games were designed with a clear progression from beginning to end: a crappy endgame experience. I ended my Borderlands experience with a bad taste in my mouth, feeling like the extra time I could have dedicated to sleep that evening were wasted on a poor endgame experience.

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I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

As I write this, I’m trying to shake the glaze off of my eyes. In the last two days, I’ve put in a good 15 hours into Borderlands. I played for about 7 hours today; only stopping because my brother and I felt physically sick from the non-stop Borderlands marathon.

This game has been a huge surprise to me. Nothing about the game’s pre-launch hype grabbed me at all. I didn’t care that there were 17 million guns in it. I didn’t care that it was sort of a mix of Fallout 3 and Diablo. I didn’t care much for the cell-shaded art style either. It’s pretty, but it doesn’t make my jaw drop or anything like that.

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When Video Games Break: Borderlands

Before I vent my frustrations towards Borderlands, let me say that overall, I’m pretty impressed with the game. It’s a style of game that I’m really unfamiliar with, yet it has grabbed me enough to want to keep leveling up my guy and find the next awesome gun.