I just picked up Call of Duty 2 for the XBox 360. A used copy for only twelve bucks. That’s how I prefer my video games. Cheap. My days of getting the newest games hot off the shelves are over. Video games ceased being worth fifty bucks a pop to me a long time ago. And now they’re sixty bucks a pop. Thirty bucks is my upper limit now. I usually only spend that on spend that on certain new Nintendo DS games that I like a lot and I know are guaranteed to please. Otherwise I have no need to be on the video game cutting edge anymore.

I’ve been playing Call of Duty 3 for a little while now. That one was twenty bucks used. Since playing number three I’ve read that number two is supposed to be better so I’ll give it a go. I’ve been enjoying number three but I’ve reached a point where I’m bored with it. That’s because of the repetition of not being able to get past a certain point.

I have many pet peeves with video games and one of the biggest is “Saving”. That’s when you want to put the game down, do something else, and then come back to pick up where you left off. Some games do that perfectly well. But in others you have to find a “Save point” or reach the end of a level in order to save a game. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. In Call of Duty 3 it’s become a problem.

First of all I never play video games on the default “Normal” level of difficulty. I usually crank things up a notch to “Hard”. On some games there is a “Really, really hard” setting but I don’t go there. That’s for the hardcore crazy skilled players. I’ve played a lot of video games over the years and “Normal” is just too easy for me.

In Call of Duty 3 you go on “Missions” (the game is a WW2 combat game) and sometimes there are save points in the middle of the missions and sometimes not. Either way I can’t just hit “Save” and come back latter to my exact spot. This leads to a lot of repetitive game play. I had to do a couple of missions over and over. Not just the hard spots but all the things leading up to the hard spots too. Since this only happened once or twice in the game it wasn’t too annoying. But now I’ve had to try and complete this last mission I’m on too many times in a row. Boredom has set in.

It’s longer than the other missions, deadly as hell, and kind of unclear. I understand what to do up to a certain point but then I just die in a hail of German gunfire. And have to start over again and spend five to ten minutes getting back to where I just was. After half an hour of that I’m bored. If I could save my progress up until the point I get killed I could figure things out but that’s not how the game is made. Instead the repetition make me stop playing. “Saving” should never be the challenge of the game. But in plenty of games it is. I was enjoying myself most of the game. Otherwise I wouldn’t have purchased In Call of Duty 2 but Call of Duty 3 is still a disappointment in the end.

One of the things I like about Call of Duty 3 is the fact that there are no “Health packs”. In a lot of video games you have a “Health meter” (it’s a cliché now). As you get hit the meter goes down. When it reaches zero you die. You can refill your meter with “health packs” or some such. This works in some games, like Zelda, but in a lot of these modern “realistic” type games it’s out of place. The game makers create a highly rendered well thought out environment filled with imagination and once again you’re forced to spend half of your time looking for health packs. Never again for me. I prefer games like Halo or Call of Duty 3 where you are either dead or alive. In Call of Duty 3 you could take a few minor hits but one bullet can kill you. No searching for “Health packs” ever. I like that.