Over the course of one’s lifetime, we develop a preference for certain things. For example, I generally like hip-hop, pop, and rock music. Meanwhile, I’m not really into country. Having said that, I love Taylor Swift’s early work, am a fan of Kane Brown, and will always sing “Redneck Woman” out loud during rare instances when it plays in my car.
When it comes to video games, I also have preferences and exceptions. What games defy your tastes that you love anyway? Here are a few of my rule-breakers!
Having created almost 3,000 posts (!) in the last decade, there’s probably way more content here that I’ve forgotten than I’ve remembered. Though I highly recommend going back to the very beginning and reading everything in chronological order, you could also use this handy list of a few of my favourites!
(Originally posted on splitkick.com. Thank you to the Splitkick team for the edits!)
Perched atop a lamppost, I spot my targets. Directly below me are three gun-toting foes who have no idea what’s coming to them. I could simply grapple to the adjacent rooftop to continue my mission, but my bloodlust is running high. I ask myself, “Do I want to cloud their vision with a smoke bomb, then stab each of them in the back? Or can I come up with something more clever?” Scanning my inventory, I find just the thing to liven up this party. In an instant, a swarm of ravenous insects showers down on one of my enemies. As the insects make quick work of his flesh, his partners freak out, and accidentally shoot each other in the commotion. Recognizing that my work was done, I slip off into the darkness to continue my quest.
Though it’s a stretch to classify Mark of the Ninja as a simulation, this 2D stealth platformer makes me feel more like a real ninja than any other video game I’ve played before. Marrying concepts from the NES Ninja Gaiden games with the Arkham series of Batman titles, it’s also one of the coolest games I’ve played in 2012.
During Black Friday, I bought a copy of LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes. Historically, I haven’t been a fan of the LEGO games, as I don’t have fun playing them. Quite frankly, I suck at them. I always get stuck on the puzzles, even though they’re designed for little kids to figure out. In spite of that, I still bought this in hopes that the Marvel license and a sale price of $25 would be the turning point. After two hours of disappointing play time, I packed it up and traded it in.
The “I normally don’t like this style but…” purchase is one that, in hindsight, I make way too often.
I hate stealth games. I hate the myriad of artificial fail states that oftentimes come with it. I hate the oftentimes fake openness that really boils down to 1 or 2 options you may have at any given point. I hate the trial-and-error nature of the gameplay. I even hate the very conceit of stealth in video games. When i play a video game, I want the power fantasy. In most stealth games, you feel like a weakling who has no other means of getting through a scenario.
I hate stealth games, but I love Mark of the Ninja.
2012 was a slow year for me. At least as far as new releases go. Within this calendar year, I’ve only bought about 10 new releases across all of the systems I own. Instead of jumping from one new release to the next, a of my game shopping and playing this year has been spent catching up on older releases, as well as some stellar downloadable releases. Trials Evolution and Mark of the Ninja in particular stand out.
I know that there were big titles throughout, and that tastes vary from person-to-person, but this has been the slowest gaming year for me in a long time. Things will likely pick up now that the Wii U is out and that more new consoles are supposedly on the way, but this year in general was a bummer. Was 2012 a down year for you too?
Released outside of the regular XBOX Live Arcade schedule, and with virtually no marketing, Mark of the Ninja was the talk of the town for a total of one day when the glowing launch-day reviews hit. If it weren’t for those, I wouldn’t have even know this game existed.
I’m so glad to have played it, because it is fantastic. As a guy who hates stealth games, that says a whole lot.
If you’d like to read my full review, head over to Splitkick to learn more!
SPLITKICK REVIEW: Mark of the Ninja