Before we begin, I have a confession to make. I...don't really buy games anymore <Le GASP>! At least not anymore because I'm usually too income-impaired to keep up with the scene of latest titles and gimmicks. Being a role-model for imaginary fans doesn't exactly bring home the benjamins here. But I have been able to keep up, thanks to a little service called Gamefly, which I have come to love. I'm able to keep playing new titles at only 1/3 the price a month, and I save countless games from being shelved into neglect. So what better way to repay them than to spread the word of the value of renting to the streets! ...Well yeah I could also just link you to the site to sign-up (like so: www.gamefly.com/), but that would be the easy way out.
NOTE: This list is not really complete for various reasons. If you would like to suggest a game of this calibur that's not on this list or just think that my opinion is wrong, please don't be shy to comment below. Even the ones that'll just type out something like "U dumA$$ n00b", I'll be sure to check out that particular title in the near future (Though I hear the ratings aren't that good). Still, why only 5 games? Because I like to do things precisely half-assed like that.
Automatic Disqualifications-AKA: Dishonorable Mentions
Oh looky here, a little bonus for those of you who actually checked out this blog. How thoughtful of me. Basically these are games/products that are most likely 'Go Big or Go Home' Must-Buy games; either that, games you shouldn't try at all.
Who doesn't like throwing limbs at each other hoping to bring the opposition down for the count? Well for those that actually do, these games can be a blast once players learn all the mechanics and basic strategies inside them, but that's also the problem: They will have to learn a lot about them before most resemblence of true fun can be had. Fighting games are practically an investment for the average gamer, and it would be both hard and pointless to try to pinpoint the mechanics to a science like resets, combos, mix-ups etc under the time limit of only renting the game and then giving it back. There's almost no point in renting the title again when you can just buy to keep it. The games I can maybe reccomend to rent-a-holics are those with story modes like MK9, Blazblue, Persona 4 Arena and others, mainly to enjoy that particular experience before giving the game back. Otherwise fighting games are a 'Go Buy or Just Keep Going On By'.
Sorry Glowstick Ken, but Street Fighter x Tekken isn't even good enough to rent yet.
This should be a no-brainer, but to those who don't know yet, just because you didn't pay for it yet, doesn't mean it's a rental. Besides, there are just too many limitations set in the demo/trial version to enjoy the game, that sometimes, you're still unsure on whether to buy the full version or not, fearing that maybe the developers are hiding a skeleton in the closet somewhere in the final product, but since you paid for it, it's no take-backsies. It still shouldn't stop you from trying them though. There's even some in the Game Trials section of this website in case you forgot it existed. They're sort of like 'Semi-Rentals'; still it's close, but no candy cigar. This also technically excludes games on XBLA/PSN/Virtual Console/IoS because you have to buy them.
Most RPGs (Especially MMOs)
Like fighting games, these usually take a lot of time out your schedule to play through with the main story/game, customizations, and re-playthroughs. Those that don't either aren't very good to start with, or are an exception to the case that may show up on this list. When making such decisions on your party/battle styles and strategy, relationship/pimp-status building, decision-making or whatever arbituary side quest is next, it doesn't help when you're feeling rushed because you have to either give the game back or re-rent it again for another time period to continue through. On a more sentimental note, whenever I do get such a game and there's another file on it, it always pains my heart to see another person's file on there, but being forced to either delete their entire existence, their entire effort in order to play mine if there's only one save file, or just see it stay there, most likely never to be replayed again, especially depending on how far in said other file made progress.
Alright, now that that's over with, let's shedaddle on to the actual list.
The Actual List (In No Particular Order)
Whoah man does this game give you a rush! Take a world inspired by Buddhist and Hindu mythology, mix in some gameplay of Capcom's Devil May Cry, (add some Street Fighter if you buy the DLC), the frequency of quick-time events of Dragon's Lair, and mix that up with some steroids and you have this testerone-fueled game. Asura's Wrath was sort of an experiment for the medium, seeing if a game can really be carried by its anime-esque episodic style. The experiment was a success on the presentation side because the game really does feel like an anime almost to a T! The storyline, though a bit cliched at times, is epic, especially in scale.
Would you believe me if I told you this is only the first boss in the game? 0___0
So what stopped it from being a legendary game? The gameplay, which is evident that it was a minor focus during development. The game is split into three styles: The flying short shoot-em-up sequences, the glorious, but still linear QTEs, and the actual fighting, the only part the players actually really play. The actual gameplay may seem like it's like Devil May Cry, but it's not as stylish as Devil May Cry. In fact everything just feels stiff. The player is really stuck in one set location fighting enemies that don't actually die, until they activate their BURST and advance to the next scene, but seeing that the combo-potential is really low, that might take a while, thus gets repetitive.
Despite that though, the game is still fantastic as a rental. You can complete the dramatic story in little more than a weekend, however if you wish to see the Actual ending to the tale, be prepared to pay a little more for the Chapter 14 DLC, a big risk to take considering you're only renting the game (though in my opinion, said risk is well worth it). The entire way though, you'll be in awe of the sheer manliness and beauty in this game. Take it from Jared if you don't believe me: www.screwattack.com/reviews/video-review-asuras-wrath. RRRRAAAAWWWW MANLY GRUNTING!!!
Would you believe me if I told you this was the best part of the game? ^-^
I am serious about that. The two main characters, Juliet and Nick (especially Nick) are the stars of this show and what makes this a Suda51 game, not only for obvious eye candy, but for the funny dialogue between them. Some say that Juliet is too much of a stereotypical air-head relying too much on sex appeal, but that's what I love about her. Despite a zombie apacalyspe devouring all of her friends, she still has a playful and bubbly attitude, emphasis on the playful due to her uintended sexual references that rev up our chainsaws. Without this complimentary duo, this game would be just another zombie game in a setting that seems to be confused on what time period it's in. And like Asura's Wrath, the gameplay is just too clunky to really enjoy. By the time you're able to bring some sex appeal and pisazz into your zombie-slaying, the game will be almost over, and there's little insentive to continue on after that unless you want to take a crack at the harder difficulties to get the better 'endings'.
Lollipop Chainsaw is perfect for a rental, just to laugh your ass off at the absurdity. Even the zombies will make you at least smile with their id-dominated comments before they're sliced into sparkly bits. As long as you don't take the game seriously and don't expect much from it, you'll have a good time-spender for the weekend..for more uses than one. Still won't take my word on this? I think my feelings are hurt. T__T Fine, then let Jared again explain it in more professional words: www.screwattack.com/reviews/review-lollipop-chainsaw
Spec Ops: The Line
Alright, time to scratch the itchy trigger finger with the next selection on the list. I would be lying if I said that I thought this was going to be a good game based on the press and advertising pre-release. Heck I can bet that most people would be lying if they said that. For the most part, it plays the part with run of the mill cover-based ballistic combat. Not saying that it's bad, just overused in a game market filled with Call of Duty sequels and Call of Duty knock-offs and competitors.
But who would of thought that this game would present players with a grim dark story about real military consequences instead of aggressive nationalism targeted at making gun-toting patriots rock hard? Not me that's for sure, which is why this game makes for at least an interesting rental. The gameplay is just satisfying enough to keep you motivated to travel around the raptured, yet pretty remains of Dubai. As soon as you're done with the relatively short campaign, you can then return it back...though for your next game you rent, it would be wise to get a more cutesy wutesy light-hearted game to bring you out of the depressed pyche you'll most likely get after playing Spec Ops.
Guess you really Can't judge a book by its cover..no matter how generic it is. >_>
Saying that this game is unque is an understatement. It's always nice to have something that will test both your upper and lower brain. Seeing as this comes from Atlus, the developers that have brought us titles such as the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, it's no surprise that the player becomes a part of an engaging story. The theme this time around is the sensitive game of love as you control normal-guy Vincent through his quandary involving two love interests, his fear of commitment, and social standards. Oh did I also mention the gauntlet of life-threatening super-dreams each and every night? How's that for a movie fit for Lifetime?
Unlike the previous entries in this list, both the story and gameplay are solid. The puzzle stages contantly reminded me of a relationship. You have to plan your moves carefully, but when they work, not only are you one-step closer to your ultimate goal, but you feel great doing it. Sure multiple variables are brought to the table to keep things on edge, but it's still possible to overcome them in lovely fashion.
If there ever was a more accurate representation of a man's struggle while in a relationship, this would be it.
Speaking of lovely, in-between the puzzling adventure, the game will question what you consider lovely with various scenerios and questions. The beauty within all this...well I don't want to spoil any of it for ya, so you'll just have to find out for yourself. It shouldn't take you long either as the main game is maybe 10 hours long. The other modes include going through a challenge mode, where the stage is random everytime, and mulitplayer competitive and co-op. To be honest though, the multiplayer isn't that steller so if you decide to rent the game, focus on the singleplayer components and enjoy the Golden Playhouse feature presentation. One thing is for sure: You do not want to play this with your girlfriend/boyfriend/body pillow/blow-up doll around. Things may just get..awkward.
Duke Nukem Forever
Whoa whoa calm down now! I think I have a valid reason for putting this on list. It's not a pretty reason though, not so as much that I'm not even bothering to place a little picture of anything DNF-related to further apply feng shui to this blog.
Either out of pure coincidence or a joke from the gaming gods, Duke Nukem Forever's initials, DNF were also synonmyous with the familiar term for online rage quitting,"Did Not Finish" due to its excessively long development period, only to just dissappear from existence. But then like the hero with no-name returning back from years of training, The King was back from the grave as his new game was released to the world, maikng the market fall in love with Duke all over again..only to break their hearts with a flat-out mediorce first-person shooter. Which is why I suggest renting this game as a responsibility as a gamer. Let it be an educational experience for you to see what went wrong with this attempt of a revival from gameplay mechanics to how even the presentation sort of betrays the franchise signature. Don't start whining that much now, because this homework assignment could make you giggle with its quips and the few gimmicks that it has. Who knows, you may even like it, like I did (at least the campaign; the mulitplayer can eat shit and die).
So that's my little renter's guide for 2011-2012. As you may have noticed, most games are short-lasting and either have great story/narrative but some other elements holding it back, or they're titles that have something special about them that deserve at least a look-see. Have fun ^_^