I can't be the only person out there who has absolutely no interest whatsoever in playing Battlefield 3, or indeed any competitive multiplayer manshooter -- however beautifully it might be rendered (or, err, not).
It's easy to forget that other games release around this time of year amid all the online buzz surrounding the year's biggest launches. So here are five recently released titles that you might have missed -- and that you might particularly enjoy if you don't feel like playing soldiers right now. While none of them have the budget of Battlefield 3, they all have entertainment value in droves. Even better, buy all of them and you'll still have spent less than you would have on a new copy of DICE's shooter. Hooray for frugality!
Trendy's innovative tower defense/action RPG combo has been a big hit on Steam and Xbox Live Arcade so far -- distribution issues on the European PSN store have meant that the PS3 version is lagging behind a bit, but sure to catch up. If you like the idea of playing online as a team with other people, but are tired of the same old guns, iron sights and grenades, Dungeon Defenders provides a huge amount of brightly-colored fun that is packed with personality for just $15.
Squids | The Game Bakers | iOS
For just $.99 you can get your hands on one of the best titles on iOS right now. Combining physics-based squid-flicking gameplay with some light strategy RPG elements and an utterly charming audio-visual aesthetic, Squids ably demonstrates how to do iOS gaming right. Play one level on the toilet or sit down (not on the toilet) for a longer session -- there's plenty of enjoyment to be had right here as you battle to uncover the mystery of the "Ooze."
Guardian Heroes | Treasure/Sega | XBLA
If you like hacking, slashing and generally causing havoc, Treasure's classic action RPG/brawler will make you very happy indeed. Offering a branching storyline with five different endings, online play and a total of 45 different characters to play with across the different modes, the game is an absolute bargain at 800 Microsoft Points.
Sequence, previously released as an Xbox Live Indie Game (and consequently completely ignored by everyone) is an interesting twist on both the RPG and rhythm game genres. Offering a 10 hour story with plenty of challenging rhythm gameplay, this is one of those titles that can get even the most jaded RPG hater into the genre, and at the price you can certainly afford to take a risk on it.
Infamous: Festival of Blood | Sucker Punch/Sony | PSN
Just in time for Halloween comes Sucker Punch's bizarre spinoff to the Infamous series. Festival of Blood features plenty of vampires, a flying Cole, PlayStation Move support and access to the complete user generated content toolset -- all for just $9.99. Those who like making their own missions also get a first try with the new narrative cutscene tool before it's implemented into InFamous 2's UGC toolset.
These five games just scratch the surface of the great titles which have been released recently. From a personal perspective, I'll be spending far longer with these games than I would ever spend with Battlefield 3 if I were to pick up a copy -- and that's cool, because not everyone likes the same stuff. Just because something is supposedly the "biggest game of the year" (as both Activision and EA are fond of reminding us about their respective manshoots) doesn't mean that you have to like it -- there's more than enough other stuff out there to keep everyone entertained, so go explore it. You might be surprised by how much you like what you find.
This story, "Five Recent Releases for People Who Have No Interest in Battlefield 3" was originally published by GamePro.