Snowed-in - Weekly Recommendations 29/11 - 5/12
Each week, I will be offering three brief gaming recommendations, tied (very) loosely to something topical. These recommendations will span platform, generation and genre and are all games that I have played and enjoyed. Be sure to check back each Monday for a new set.
To mark the cold-snap that has left the UK under a blanket of ice and snow, here are three time consuming games perfect for filling those unexpected days off from work, due to snowed-in offices, impassable roads or the inevitable bout of winter flu. So put the kettle on, sit back and enjoy these quality time consumers.
1. Final Fantasy VIII - PlayStation 1 (1999)
I still cant settle on a favourite (VI - VIII and Tactics are all in the discussion), but with so many side-quests, a varied junctioning system and the ever addictive Triple Triad its easy to pour hour upon hour into this enjoyable slice of Final Fantasy. It has been subjected to more than its share of gamer diatribes and backlash over the years, most of it unfair, but remains as playable today as it was during the heyday of the PlayStation. It is also far easier on the eye than FFVII and looks great running on the PSP.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Multiplayer) - Multiple Formats (2010)
Not my favourite of the series, but a good game nonetheless. The multiplayer rewards persistence, and for those who are so inclined, the prestige system provides further impetus to keep putting the hours in. Going by the number of players already on multiple prestige levels in Black Ops, hundreds of thousands of gamers across the globe must have taken early retirement to concentrate on fragging, so beware. And their reward for such dedication? Access to some excellent wallpapers for their in-game playercards and the ability to adorn them with phalluses, created in ever more inventive ways with their expanded palette of un-lockable shapes and symbols. And they say gamers lack maturity.
3. Mass Effect 2 - 360 & PC (2010)
When it comes to science fiction, the Xbox 360 and the remote mining of planets for precious ores, I consider myself somewhat nonplussed. With this in mind, you may be surprised to learn that Mass Effect 2 is one of my favourite games of 2010. Replete with the moral dilemmas and excellent character interaction we have come to expect from Bioware, losing yourself in the ME universe is effortless. Much like Dragon Age Origins, you could invest a whole day just reading-up about it's multitude of cultures and the rich history that forms the backbone of the ME experience. What better way to spend a winter’s day, cooped-up indoors.