Gaming in 2010
While 2009 wasn't a gaming-free year by any stretch of the imagination, I'm really looking forward to what 2010 will bring gaming-wise.
Let's start with computer and video gaming. Vickie mentioned re-installing Neverwinter Nights on our PCs a couple of days ago, which I did last night. We intend to play through the two retail expansions, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. I also installed the now-free MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online on both our PCs on a whim; I don't know whether we'll do anything with it, but Vickie was impressed by the graphics and it might be a bit of fun after we polish Neverwinter Nights off.
After having had a taste of what I like to call “got your back gaming” thanks to Halo 3: ODST's Firefight mode, I find I'm more interested in that kind of pick-up-and-play co-op gaming than Halo 3's regular multiplayer; I'd like to delve into it some more next year. Also, while it probably doesn't count as a 2010 purchase, I bought a copy of the co-operative roleplaying shooter Borderlands yesterday; I hope to be able to play with my stepson (who got it for Christmas) and some friends from the Xecutive Order boards online.
I'm still keen on single-player experiences, though. Mass Effect 2 (by the makers of Neverwinter Nights) hits shelves at the end of January and I've already pre-ordered the Collector's Edition. If I don't pen a review of Borderlands first (depending on whether the paper already cribbed a review from IGN) it'll likely be the first game I review for the paper in the new year. Then, of course, Halo: Reach arrives toward the end of the year, although I'm also curious to see how its multiplayer works after sinking hours upon hours into Halo 3's robust offering.
Speaking of the paper, with any luck I'll be able to land a gig as the weekly local game reviewer! It mightn't pay, but I hope I'll be able to get to sample some new games at the cost of a three-hundred word review!
The future's looking bright on the tabletop front, too. On January 9th, I'll be the superuser for a session of FreeMarket, the tabletop roleplaying game of a brightly humorous future; Vickie, Brett and Sandy, a friend from work, are lined up to be users. If all goes well, I hope I can organise another few sessions, not to mention put some money toward the retail version (per my previous posts, I downloaded the beta test rule set) when pre-orders go live in March.
As I mentioned a few months ago, I got back together with a couple of friends who're working on getting a couple of regular Dungeons & Dragons games going. They currently have one with their young 'uns but are also looking to get one going with some grown-up gamers (oxymoron?) too.
If there's any overal plan here, it's to cut down on gaming-related spending. This isn't a strictly fiscal measure; I'm trying to avoid falling into my old trick of spending on parties that may never happen (as when I rabidly bought supplements for RPGs that I barely, if ever, played or game-mastered). While I'm keen on Halo 3: ODST and Borderlands for their strong co-op content, I feel my investment is safe because I have folks who own the games on my friends list whom I like and enjoy playing with; likewise FreeMarket, which someone who's never gamed in her life is keen to play.
Still, them old "gamer genes" kick in every now and again, especially when I'm reading about Borderlands' two chunks of downloadable content: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned and the upcoming Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot. At around 1,600 Microsoft Points in total, they'd only cost me around $30, but I've only just got the main game and I have no idea whether anyone else on my Friends list has them. Steady, Rob...