Christmas Recommendations: PC Games

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Well, I seem to be doing a series of gift reviews. Here’s the latest. Since I used to work at Microsoft, I can still buy software through the Company Store thanks to the “Microsoft Alumni Network”:http://msanet.org. So, here are the best of the Microsoft PC games:
* “Top 100 Games”:http://www.gamespot.com/misc/top100_score.html. Interesting to see what Gamespot thinks the best games are. They seem to really love Freedom Fights by EA and Grand Theft Auto as well as ESPN NFL Football. BTW one nice thing about Gamespot is that in every review, they include how the other online sites rated it. Kind of nice.
* “Rise of Nations”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/riseofnations/index.html. A strategy game like Civilization. Got 9.3 from the review and 8.6 from readers.
* “Halo: Combat Evolved”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/halo/index.html. This got a 9.0 from the reviewer and a 7.6 from readers. It’s a first person shooter set in outer space. Who wouldn’t love that? Was very popular on the Xbox and has finally made it to the PC.
* “Flight Simulator 2004”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/microsoftflightsacof/index.html. What else could you possibly do with a flight simulator. Folks still seem to love it though. The two features are vintage airplanes that are so realistic, you can’t really fly them without rudder and a wheel (maybe too realistic for me) and real time weather, so that depending on where you are flying, it downloads over the Internet the actual weather. Wow. Geek love at first sight!
* “Combat Mission:Barbarossa to Berlin”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/combatmissionbtb/index.html. As for non-PC games, despite all the blood and gore, I’ll put my own personal vote in for this wargame series. If I only had time to play games like this. Got a 9.1 and was just released in October. I think all these Combat Mission titles are very cool.
* “Harpoon 4 Back then Gone Again”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/larrybondsharpoon4/news_6084753.html. Harpoon is perhaps my all time favorite game. It was the game that Larry Bond developed and which got Tom Clancy the idea for Red Storm Rising and then Hunt for Red October. I admit it, I spent hours geeking over sinking submarines with the original and very buggy harpoon. Tried the then new and very buggy Harpoon 4 before giving up. it was supposed to come back but then died again. Oh well, hope spring eternal.
* “Harpoon 3”:http://harpoon3.com. The amazing thing about this game is there is a big community of supporters at “HarpoonHQ”:http://www.harpoonhq.com/ and “Naval Warfare”:http://www.navalwarfare.org/still supporting it. Heck, maybe I’ll dust off some of those old scenarios and start playing again. You can still get “Harpoon 3”:http://www.harpoon3.com/ as a labor of love from Jesse Spears. I’d advise it 🙂

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