The best games from the beginning of 2008Since the first three months of 2008 are almost over, I thought I’d go over the games I played this quarter, what got the most of my time, what I liked, what I didn’t, and what rocked my world (pun intended).

Here’s the brief list of the games I played in the first 3 months of 2008: The Darkness, Rock Band, The Orange Box, Burnout Paradise, Halo 3, Marble Blast Ultra, Beautiful Katamari.

Burnout Paradise: last played 10 minutes ago – points: 250 of 1000

I love the Burnout series, this latest installment is as great as any of its predecessors, and with the addition of a seamless online component, and a massive world to play in, it’s a blast. The one problem is that the difficulty level ramps pretty fast, and I’m at the max of my abilities already with 750 points to go, and about 40% completion.

Halo 3: last played March 12 – points: 455 of 1000

Halo hands down has the best control scheme of any game on the Xbox 360 ever. It’s so easy to just jump in a game and go, and no matter how long I go between games, I can just pick it back up and go. The Bungie team is doing a great job updating the map packs, and I’ll probably go back and finish the single player game again at some point on a higher difficulty.

The Orange Box: last played March 8 2008 – points: 235 of 1000

This is hands down the best value on the 360. You get Half Life 2, HL2 Episode One, HL2 Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. I’ve finished Portal, I’m 3/4 of the way through Half Life 2, and I pop in Team Fortress 2 whenever the mood strikes me. TF2 is so much fun online, it’s all about team battles, where you play as specific classes. The best thing about the game is that there’s a class for every single skill level. I like playing as a support character (Engineer, Doctor), but I occasionally throw in as a Spy. Spies are cool because you can disguise yourself as a member of the opposing team, sneak up behind them, and stab them in the back! Good fun.

Rock Band: last played March 13 2008 – points: 150 of 1000

Rock Band is awesome. I pick it up and noodle with it from time to time. The downloadable content is great, and the replayability of the game is terrific. The only real problem with Rock Band is that it takes a serious committment to set up all of the gear. Since everything’s wired, you have to set everything up, and break it all down again when you’re done. When Charlene eventually approves my “roadie” request, this will be cool.

The Darkness: Last played: March 14th 200 – 145 of 1000 points

This got some really good reviews last year, so I thought I’d give it a spin. It’s a good game, but I’m not totally in love with it. When you get into it, it’s quite fun, but it’s missing that little “hook” that makes you want to go back over and over again.

Other games:
Beautiful Katamari: Last played: January 27th 2008 – 250 of 1250 points

I completed the regular game, and promptly put it back on eBay so that I could buy Burnout Paradise. It was fun, it’s all ages so I could play it with Kaylin around, but I wasn’t totally in love with it. While the game itself was fun, I found the controls kind of difficult to master, and it was one of those games where if I put it down for a couple of days I forgot how to play it again.