So another Gaming Season is upon us; the time of year that mega game companies seek to part parents and elder geeks with their money, and cash in on Christmas/holiday-related TV babysitting and bought love.
In looking through this season's upcoming launches that I am interested in, i'd say it's a comfortable mix: not too overloaded, but not overly lean either.
Battlefield 3 - October 25
Sonic Generations - November 3
COD: MW3 - November 8
Zelda: Skyward Sword - November 24
Mass Effect 3 - March 6
I'm really looking forward to Zelda, but the headline game has to be BF3. ME3 wraps it up nicely with a late release in March.
In the past week the BF3 beta has been released, and surprisingly they have made it a completely open beta, which means that anyone can download and play it. I was supposed to have early access to it through buying Medal of Honor last year (blechhhh), but never got my access key. MoH is now officially a complete waste on all fronts.
I normally don't play or want access to betas of games, and briefly playing the BF3 beta has reminded me of why. There's some really perplexingly stupid stuff in the beta: notably not being able to change any control keys, and also most frustrating of all, not being able to change any settings at all unless you are spawned. A huge WTF to the latter issue.
After 10 minutes of fudging around, I decided to give the beta a miss. I'd rather not sour my experience of the game before even buying it, and I have faith that those mindbogglingly obvious issues will be fixed for the release version (after all it is only a beta).
The other big frustration was EA's Steam-competitor client, Origin, and the new browser-based Battlelog. In order to play the game, you launch the Origin client, 'play' the game which only opens a browser to Battlelog, which you choose your server/game-mode which then launches the game (and/or Origin).
Regardless of the move to browser-based control rather than the traditional in-game menu, Origin's role in the process seems pretty redundant and unnecessary. I'm not a fan of the browser-based control so far, but i'll wait until the release game before making a judgement on that one.