I’ve been feeling guilty lately.  Relatively speaking, it’s a low level of guilt, but it lingers.  It stings.  It hangs in the misty corners of my mind.

There’s a stack of games in front of me, looking at me.  The stack includes Mirror’s Edge, El Shaddai, Enslaved, Bayonetta, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.  I want to play each of these games; I’ve started two of them and enjoyed them both.

But then, someone said, “Hey, have you played the ‘Tiny Tina’ DLC in Borderlands 2?”, and I said, “Not yet,” and they’re all like, “The music is great, plus Tiny Tina, so WIN!”, and I’m like, “TOTALLY.”

So, I started a new Borderlands 2 character, because hey, I wanted to try the Mechromancer.

I didn’t have to, though.  I already knew I liked BL2.  I finished it with Zer0, and I loved it.  I loved many, many things about it.  I could’ve picked up where I left off and played “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep” with Zer0.

Borderlands 2 A

“Wut! Wut!”

I didn’t, though.  I started a whole new game.  And if you haven’t played Borderlands 2 (or the first one, for that matter), it’s a long game.  If you’re a completionist, that is.  And it’s difficult to advance the story unless you’re leveling on the side (or playing with friends, or you have super-amazing weapons).

Please allow me to justify my replay in this public forum.

BL2 makes me laugh.  Frequently.  Out loud.  I crack UP when the Hyperion engineers yell things, such as:

  • “Looks like I got a promotion comin’” (when they first see you)
  • “WHAT. THE. CRAP.”
  • “I didn’t sign up for this.”
  • “Dammit!  It was almost quittin’ time!”
  • “I was nearly done with my shift you jackass!”
  • “Of COURSE! Bandits attack at the end of my shift!”
  • “Nearly paid off my house.” (as dying)
  • “Tell my wife… she’s a bitch” (as dying)

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can find and hear all kinds of quotes here.

Borderlands 2 B

Shoot here for LoLz

I love how over-the-top the Borderlands universe is, whether in the first or second game.  My Mechromancer is carrying a pistol that does +3,000% damage and an extra +50% “Extra Love”, whatever the hell that means.  Three thousand percent extra damage hahahahahaha that’s INSANE.  But really fun!

Speaking of hilarious quotes, the enemies called Goliaths are great.

  • “Why are you so mean?”
  • “Welcome to die!”
  • “HOW ARE YOU?”
  • “Stop fight so hard!”

Additionally, I think the story is great.  It’s engaging.  I become attached to the many and varied characters; even the enemies.  It’s far more emotional of a story than people tend to admit.

And oh, those characters. Patricia Tannis and Tiny Tina are my favorites, voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard (who also plays Lilith…. amazing….) and Ashly Burch, respectively.  The voice acting in both Borderlands games is so superb, not only is it impossible to find a weakness, but it’s impossible to pick a favorite.  Handsome Jack is brilliantly played by Dameon Clarke.  Scooter.  Scooter!!  Hilariously voiced by Mikey Neumann, who’s also a lead writer for Gearbox.  Mad Moxxi.  Ellen.  Claptrap.  They’re all wonderful.

Borderlands 2 C

“Aww, shucks… You got me blushin’ and whatnot.”

BL2 has great music.  Jesper Kyd, Raison Varner, Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco are great composers in their own right, and understand the sound of the universe.  There is only one track which takes me out of that world and into another, but it’s still great music.  Jesper’s remix of “Fyrestone” is one of my favorites, and all the combat music is incredible.

I did that with Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.  I’ve done it with Zombie Driver, Dead Nation, Flower and countless other games.  I’ve replayed Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.  I tried for pure paragon on Mass Effect 3 except I can’t prevent myself from shooting the ambassador so I gave up on that lofty goal.  And obviously, Skyrim, Oblivion and Dungeon Hunter Alliance.

In the days of the PlayStation 2 (the first system I had after my Atari days as a young sprout), I replayed the hell out of Black, and still long for a sequel.

Borderlands 2 Cover 1400

Pick up the Borderlands 2 soundtrack right here!

I’m one of the people who half-assedly goes for achievements and trophies though, too. I’m not like a platinum trophy champion or anything, but I like to get the trophies I can manage.

I know I’ll get through that stack of fabulous games waiting for me, but not before another stack grows next to it, I’m sure.

What games have you replayed endlessly? Have you ever felt guilty for replaying a game? Which game do you wish you could replay but can’t for whatever reason?

Emily Reese is an on-air host for Classical Minnesota Public Radio. She is also the host and producer for Top Score, Classical MPR’s podcast about video game soundtracks, and created MPR’s Listening to Learn series. She earned an undergrad certificate in music education and jazz studies from the University of Colorado — Boulder, and a Master’s degree in music theory from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Emily lives in Twin Cities with her cats Atticus, June Bug and Lee, and loves gaming, with or without friends.