Let's All Say Something Nice Today

Conversations about games are frequently laced with so much negativity that it can be difficult to maintain perspective. Lord knows I've contributed to it. So has every major and minor media outlet, self-styled pundit, and message board superhero.

So in the spirit of lightening up the dicourse, let's all say something nice about a game or series we don't otherwise enjoy.

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(And, please, say something that's actually positive. This isn't an invitation for backdoor trolling.)

Halo

I've always been impressed by the art direction for this series. Particularly Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4. Furthermore, Bungie's - and now 343 Industries' - ability to keep the franchise lore consistent coupled with the aforementioned artistic strengths lend Halo an epic quality that I find myself jonesing for in other FPS franchises.

The Resistance series ranks among my favorite shooters, and while Insomniac did a very good job nailing the design, there were still major inconsistencies with franchise lore and internal logic as early as Resistance 2. On the flipside, Killzone has an amazing and very intricate backstory, but you never really see it manifest in the games themselves. By contrast, the folks behind Halo manage to keep the broader picture in focus the entire time.

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Call of Duty

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Much to the credit of Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch, a commitment to reaching as wide an audience as possible means that Call of Duty is one of the few FPS franchises that still offers offline, split-screen multiplayer. Which, coupled with the fast, arcadey nature of the gameplay, makes for some of the best times to be had on one's couch this side of Timesplitters 2.

Super Smash Bros.

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(Full disclosure: while Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of my least favorite fighting games of all time, I've become quite enamored of Super Smash Bros. 4.)

Back when the conversation within the Western fighting game community was dominated almost entirely by the hardcore offerings of Capcom and Namco, Super Smash Bros. offered a much needed new voice. For those of us growing bored with an increasing fixation on tiers, balance, and framecounts - and an outright rejection of anything that didn't immediately lend itself to balanced, high-level play - Super Smash Bros. brought the sort of weight that titles like Pocket Fighter weren't necessarily able to muster. And at a time when fighting games are running serious risk of ceasing to be fun, Super Smash Bros. remains a masterclass in why utter chaos can be more enjoyable than perfect balance.

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Ok, now it's your turn.

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