State of the Gamer Union

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven…”

Well that last part is certainly true; I mean, my ticket’s booked and all. But it really is the best/worst time of the year for gamers the world over, as opined by the above entirely-obscure-not-cliché-or-prone-to-misuse selection of apocryphal text that I’ve dredged up from a classified spring of literary secrets for you. This time of year we struggle rung after rung up the ladder of huge new gaming releases, only to be kicked down a notch every passing Tuesday.

It really began at the end of the summer, of course, but things hit breakneck speed with the release of Kinect. Microsoft’s Kinect hit stores after much creepy, Cirque du Soleil fanfare, adding yet another device to our living rooms to make us flail around like total crazy people in deep water. As you likely know, Kinect is Microsoft’s controller-free gaming system, so that means at least we’ll have fewer cheaply constructed fake guitars and Wiithings to hide when we’re trying to lure unsuspecting women into our homes via consensual means. Anyway, as for the luring, this NSFW Kinect video may or may not help. My money’s on ‘may not.’

Beyond Kinect, it’s a veritable gaming smorgasbord-free-for-all clusterf*ck-right now out there. Seriously, this is like ‘Nam, but for games, and in a good way. If you want to stay out of it, I’d suggest giving a stern loved one all of your credit cards and pawn-worthy earthly possessions and taking up knitting, because shit is seriously serious. Last week, Call of Duty: Black Ops launched, and while I may have sworn off CoD to achieve my lofty goals of preserving the quivering remains of my sanity and showering every third day, I actively discourage you from going down the same path because Black Ops looks awesome. Also, for your zombie weirdo fans you can apparently play zombie weirdo mode and slay the undead as JFK and Richard Nixon or some shit.

As if that wasn’t enough, October’s Fallout: New Vegas is the post-apocalyptic epic RPG shooter of your dreams, or my dreams rather, because my sleep cycle now involves many an irradiated desert creature with murder in its eyes. New Vegas captured my heart almost instantly when I was able to customize my avatar to be the gayest little faux hawk-sporting, jumpsuit-clad dyke the Mojave has ever seen, and things have only been uphill since then. October also saw the release of Fable: III, of course, just to make all of us that much crazier about our RPG priorities. I had to resist the allure of Fable: III for the time being, but hopefully there are some among you who can speak to its overwhelming charms or epic failures.

The icing on the horrible horrible cake? Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood comes out today. As though our collective gaming attention deficit states aren’t powerless to resist a dapper Italian gentleman leaping around historically-rendered Rome poking people with tiny shivs. I couldn’t be more stoked to play as that creepy doctor with the papier-mâché/David Lynch nightmare bird mask, either. And Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has multiplayer, for god’s sake!

This time of year is absolute madness. What’s a girl to do?

No really.

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. I’m totally enjoying Fallout: New Vegas.

    I do miss Fallout 3, and running around the wastes with my alternative lifestyle haircut and the Tunnel Snakes bomber Butch gave me, shooting raiders in the head and yelling “Tunnel Snakes Rule!” at my television. I don’t think my roommate misses that so much though.

    • I second these excellent opinions of Fallout: New Vegas. I went to play it at my brother’s apartment this weekend and got zero sleep because it was so famazing.

      What’s a girl to do? Fall in love, that’s what.

    • I want to become addicted to Fallout: New Vegas but that’s hard because my partner won’t give me a chance because she’s too busy playing.


    • Love what they did to the game, even though I still haven’t tried Vegas -> not good idea -> have exams -> lots of them (fact that I finally got tv and can do some serious ps2 gaming is also not helping x/)

      btw I still miss the old fallout game…

  2. Too bad I’m 24 and now past the age of receiving gifts from my family for Xmas because my XBOX wishlist has BOOMED recently. My bank account has not.

    I don’t even have Red Dead Redemption yet. Or Alan Wake. I’m wayyyyy behind.

    Also, I just saw the case for James Bond: Blood Stone at GameStop and a part of me died when I couldn’t buy it. I seriously need 007 in my life right now. Might have to bust out the ol’ N64.

  3. OMG, then there’s fucking Wii! These game developers, they’re in cahoots.

    First of all… Donkey Kong Country RETURNS! In like five days! Then there’s the new GoldenEye 007, which is crazy exciting. Then to top those off there’s Kirby’s Epic Yarn and a new Raving Rabbids.

    A girl is to explode. Then go broke. Or both. And perhaps vice versa.

    • I’m so excite for donkey kong returns and goldeneye too! I have kirby’s epic yarn. My opinion is that it’s really cute, but really easy. It’s totally a kid’s game. The SNES Kirby adventures game is more difficult and epic yarn is nothing like it. I’d say it’s a good rental or borrow-worthy.

      Now, I have a gaming question. I’m thinking of getting an xbox bc I’m sick of feeling left out when people play on xbox live. Anyway, on black Friday, there will be multiple places offering the slim xbox 360 for $199 plus a $50 giftcard — so essentially $150. But I’m worried I should get the 250gb, which is twice the price. What to do?!? I also have a ps3 and a wii so I’m thinking I don’t need to spend a bunch of moola on an “extra” gaming system. HELP! Does anyone have the slim?

      • I don’t have the new slim, but I’ll still give you the skinny: GO WITH THE 250GB, SERIOUSLY!!!!! If you are into gaming you won’t regret it.

        OMG, I was just ranting to my gf last night about how ridiculous it is that they made a 4GB console (no offense to anyone who has it). 4GB?!?! REALLY?!?! What the hell do you do with only 4GB?! My crappy mp3 player has more storage than that. I’ve already used like 40GB of my xbox’s 250GB hard drive and I haven’t even had it for a year. While the 4GB IS cheaper, if you are interested in xbox live, I would def suggest spending a little extra for the additional 246GB of storage, lol. There are great games to be downloaded from the game marketplace and sometimes one single game is more than 6GB.

        Also, Epic Yarn does look a little childish… I guess I have a soft spot for child games sometimes. I mean, I still ocassionally play Shrek Super Party.

  4. What I meant was “Or go broke.” That would make more sense since “then” implied that both things are going to happen, which makes the “or both” useless.

  5. Oh man, Black Ops is every bit as amazing as you’re thinking it is, and then some. Splitscreen online play. Seriously, think about that. You and a ‘friend’ can both play online at the same time, which gets rid of the whole ‘switch off after each game’ thing, and is SO MUCH MORE FUN anyways. And the currency system (with wager matches; oh god, One in the Chamber is the best game mode I’ve ever played) is GENIUS.

    So please don’t let me be the only Autostraddler who’s been sucked in to Black Ops? Somebody back me up here.

    • OMG you are sooo not, i’m completely addicted…didn’t even attempt to go to calculus yesterday, which is horrible of me, but i can’t stop playing it. The only reason i’m able to comment on this thread right now is because i’m in calculus right now “typing” my notes…. i know, shameful

  6. No mention of Minecraft? That is the best £10 I have spent on a game with endless possibilities.

    I didn’t shower for two days cos that’s how addictive that game is.

    • seriously, minecraft is secretly all i care about. i only played it for two days a week ago and i’m still having dreams about it. i feverishly wrote an ode to minecraft when i first discovered an underground lava flow, so that’ll be popping up here any day now!

      • “i feverishly wrote an ode to minecraft when i first discovered an underground lava flow..”

        This is why I never need wonder why you’re my favourite.

  7. SURPRISINGLY! black ops is good. With the exception of dying excessively by remote control cars the maps are very detailed and are not wide open spaces. U can tell that Treyarch spent a little extra time on this game because they had a epic fail moment when they released world at war. I have not had a chance to play fall out but hopefully it is equally impressive.

  8. I bought GoldenEye 007 last weekend and I’ve had a hard time putting down the wii controller since. The first 10 minutes of the first level are AWESOME.
    That’s as far as I can get without being killed by Russians.

    • OMG, I NEED IT NOW!!! I want to be killed by Russians! That’s it… I’m about to go do something reckless.


    Seriously? No-one?


    *crawls off muttering about console fags*

    • Argh, I have deleted WoW from my comp for many reasons and I just don’t know whether or not I can handle re-loading it, but I really, really want to check out cataclysm

  10. Black ops is pretty good. I’m only talking about the multiplayer right now. That being said the matchmaking needs to be fixed pronto before I blow a gasket. I just picked up AC:B and I CANNOT WAIT TO GO HOME AND PLAY FOR 8 HOURS. My bank account is also weeping. Two games I want in two weeks. killing me.

  11. I’m just a Wii-tard myself, but I can’t wait for Epic Mickey to come out! (shut up, don’t judge me for my casual gaming)

  12. One thing I didn’t notice when reading about the AC:Brotherhood multiplayer was that it has PERKS! and Kill Streaks and its absolutely awesome. (and 50 Levels of multiplayer progression).

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