Pleasant Surprises

It's not often that a game shows up on my doorstep for me to start working on that I know nothing about. Yet that's exactly the situation I found myself in today. Having finished all but one of the projects for my 2007 contract, I'm already getting started on writing the guidebook for games that aren't due out until the early months of 2008. But that's neither here nor there, what is important, however, is that even after 7 years and over 60 strategy guides, this gig can still surprise me. And, in a good way for a change.

I've never really given any serious thought to what would be the perfect type of game for me before. Nor have I ever tried to verbalize what aspects of gaming puts a smile on my face versus those that make me put the controller down and walk away. Somehow though, I can't help but think this mysterious game is exactly what I would dream up, if I had that creativity to do so. The discs sent to me showcase a never before seen blending of genres with such a pure sense of playability that I can't help but think of a gaming age gone by. The awesome music and sound effects mesh with the gritty heart-racing style of the gameplay and compliment the sophisticated combo and ranking system perfectly. Every action is a race against time, your combo counter, and that need to crack the game's high scores list. Factoring in the variety of gameplay modes and incredible replayability of every level makes this as close to a dream game as I dare wish for. And I didn't even know anything about it until several hours ago. I swear, it's as if I had my own personal prescription written up for digital crack and this game was what the pharmacist put in the vial.

And I love the fact that I have a mountain of time to work on this one slowly. It's going to get the tender touch, that's for certain.

By the way, I'm not going to come out and say what game this is, but here's a tip for clever readers: It's made by the same company that makes my favorite series of racing games.

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