A good Monday and a Happy New Year to all! I hope 2010 was a good year for everyone, because I know it was for me. For my first post of 2011, may I present the top five things that gave me much joy in the last year:
5. Mass Effect 2
For me, single-player console games can generally be placed in one of two categories: 1) games that I love and that I’ll sit down and play the crap out of until I finish, and 2) games that don’t really impress me, but I’ll still feel obligated to plug away at until I’m done, usually over a long drawn-out period of time. Mass Effect 2 was a new experience for me because it didn’t really fit in either category. I positively adored the game, but still it took me almost a month to complete — and what a great three-and-a-half weeks that was. This Bioware masterpiece was like good food; I wanted to take the time to savor the flavor, so to speak. Slow, measured bites are where it’s at.
Oh, and I also got to sex up Garrus. That was all kinds of awesome too.
So this isn’t directly related to gaming, but most of my friends on there are gamers, and gamers have great taste in books! It’s certainly made an impact on me this year because I’m pretty sure I’ve read more in 2010 than I have in any other year of my life, and Goodreads had a lot to do with it. I didn’t make my account until October, but it has since invigorated my passion for reading by connecting me to my friends’ reviews and recommendations. Thanks to their opinions and suggestions, I was able to enjoy many exceptional titles in the last couple of months.
3. The Terrific Tauren Two
2010 was a big year for World of Warcraft with the release of Cataclysm in December, though I hesitate to put the expansion on my top five. Don’t get me wrong — I was excited along with millions of others, and I had a blast experiencing the new content and getting my Night Elf druid to level 85. Still, currently I can feel my interest in endgame waning already. Not that I had much of an interest to begin with; I fear I lost the taste for raiding and item progression shortly before taking my extended leave of absence from WoW back in early 2009. I guess you can say I live for the journey, not the destination, and as a matter of fact, the most enjoyable aspect of WoW for me has always been the leveling.
I returned to WoW some time in May of last year. With the knowledge that Cataclysm will change the face of Azeroth, I wanted to do something I had never done before — roll a Horde character and experience levels 1 to 60 before the old world content goes away forever. It was a wonderful adventure, made even better by my husband who joined me on my journey. WoW is really the only MMO we have in common these days, so I do get the feeling he missed doing things together during my break from the game. A pity I don’t share his enthusiasm for the endless gear grind, which compels me to find a new leveling project for us.
Eh, what’s this? New Worgens? How convenient! Unfortunately, “The Terrific Worgen Two” doesn’t really have the same ring, so clearly another cutesy alliteration is in order.
Minecraft is like morphine in two ways: One, it is insanely addictive, and two, apparently it has analgesic properties. Because I’m not exactly the queen of good posture, normally I’d sit down at a game and play for a couple hours, until my butt or shoulders or something starts to hurt. In this way, my body is like the perfect alarm system to tell me when I should take a break.
Well, Minecraft broke it.
In about a week, I’d racked up about 60 hours in this game. I’d log in after dinner, think naively to myself, “Oh, just for a half an hour or so” and before I know it, it’s 3am in the morning. I don’t usually get carried away like this; all I can say is Minecraft took my Fall of 2010 by storm. The beauty of it is its simplicity. Here’s an infinite world with blocks for you to play with, now go nuts!
Of course, it was Blue Kae’s multiplayer server that really took my enjoyment to a whole new level. In addition to the joys of Creating and Exploring, having others to play with added the aspect of Sharing. And with that, the golden trifecta of Minecraft is complete.
1. Star Trek Online
It might not be the best MMO on the market, nor has it made much of a splash in the genre since its release in February of last year, and hey, I don’t even think I play enough of it these days…but no contest, Star Trek Online made the biggest impact on my gaming life in 2010.
Posts about STO dominated my blog last year, and I also played a lot of it. More than that though, I’d say it’s likely the reason I’m still blogging today.
This isn’t a STO blog, and it was never meant to be one, but dammit, there’s something about this game that makes it incredibly fun to write about. No doubt, some of it has to do with my attachment to my character T’Androma and writing about her adventures, and one of my best blog-related memories was being completely floored that there were people actually interested in what I had to say on my fledgling site. For me, what began as a series of early posts with fellow starship captains sharing their in-game experiences quickly grew into a network of friends, a network that is still growing today, introducing me to more games and wonderful people in the blogosphere. Certainly, I credit STO for starting it all and opening up my eyes to the gaming community at large.
And there you have it, the top five things that made my 2010 a great year in gaming. Here’s to an even better 2011!