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Pre-Game Rituals

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No, not that kind.

And not that kind either (but if you need to know, yes, we do pregame harder than you party (no that's not me)).

I'm talking about those most exciting moments for a gamer: the day before a long-awaited launch.

Nothing quite captures that anticipation and awe of the unknown like the hours leading up to release day. We also have a unique privilege that fans of other media won't understand. With movies, music, or books you have to enjoy them in the order the creator laid out for you. Gamers have the wonderful dilemma of asking: what am I going to do first???

Tonight I'll be picking up a game for my first midnight launch ever:

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Since I'm done with school and on the job hunt this is really the first time I've been able to make it to one of the midnight launches. This is also the first time I've preloaded a game on Steam, despite being a Steam user since the beginning. Ironically, I'm also being sworn into the Pennsylvania bar the same day as it comes out, so I'll only have a few hours to dive into it before I have to commit most of my day to something just a little more important.

As the last paragraph suggests, this is the first time I'm buying a game simultaneously on console (PS3) and PC. I know some people who do this and I always thought it was an over-indulgence, but since I'm back and forth between South Jersey and Philadelphia, the latter of which I usually only have my laptop in, it made sense.

I know Call of Duty is near-universally reviled on EoFF, as it is on almost every internet community, and some of the flak it catches is well-aimed. But I'm a huge FPS fan and it really is the pinnacle of addicting online multiplayer with every yearly release just having more content than any other competitor on the market. Modern Warfare 3 may have been guilty of repeating the same old game, but Black Ops 2 is definitely looking to shake things up with integrated league play for all levels of skill, blending co-op and competitive with Zombies, the deconstruction of loadout-based multiplayer and another imaginative, character-driven story.

As my pregame ritual for this series, I usually try to brush up on my play before it comes out. Fortunately, MW3 had a Double XP weekend leading up to the launch, so I was able to complete another playthrough to the maximum multiplayer level of 80 and get comfortable with my level of performance. Weird, I know, I plan on spending all Monday game-free until I get back with my copy, so I'll be play-starved and ready for some gaming.

As far as when the game is actually in my hands, I usually get some good delivery to lock myself in with while I tear away at the multiplayer. This is another reason to be glad to be done with school and back home; I love Philly, but nothing compares to New Jersey/New York pizza

I'm really hoping this one brings back the ridiculous hype the series is known for. I remember when I got MW2 early the morning it came out and it was really crazy to be playing the biggest game of the year when it just became available. I was fortunate enough to get a review copy of the first Black Ops, and that was another really awesome launch to be a part of. The series has taken this medium to an unprecedented level in broader popular culture. It's history in the making, and that's what makes launches like this so special.
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  1. Shaibana's Avatar
    im not really inton that kind of war games
    what i find verry sad about the Modern warfare's (etc) is that it is all about the multyplayer.
    i personaly dont really care much about the multyplayers, i just want a good campaign story!!

    i have never been at a launch party, but i dont think i would care much for it..
    maybe that is becaus i would have to go alone, but now that i have a bf perhaps we can go together when there is a good game comming out.

    i know this is not much use to you, but here at a store we have an amazing deal
    if you give them 3 used games (together worth 40 euro's used) you can buy the game for 20 euro's. these pre-order actions are for AC3 and Black ops 2
    since i am also unemployed that has been a real saviour when i bought AC3
  2. Quindiana Jones's Avatar
    It may not be much of a ritual, but back in the good old days, I used to spend ages rifling through the manuals, reading up on the background of the characters, the history of the world, the various weapons and vehicles, everything. That's considerably harder nowadays.
  3. Bolivar's Avatar
    Shaibana - I agree that it is a little sad. I myself used to always play the campaign first, check out the co-op, replay the story a few times, but now I find myself shunning all those modes since any time you spend away from MP is less time you're ranking up, mastering the systems, getting better, etc. It's crazy but it really is like bliss...

    Quin - man, that's such a topic onto itself. The decline of the game manual... real sad! I wonder if part of the reason they don't really give you any information nowadays is because they're really not building many interesting worlds anymore.
  4. Shaibana's Avatar
    @ bolivar .. that just shows how crazy it is.. in other games when u start with 'rank 1'.. nobody really cares, you just play along.
    but from what i hear, at black ops etc when you are a low rank you dont mather.
    its even more a pitty that you HAVE to play the multiplayer inmediatly if you want to catch up with the others