Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category


Gaming Class of 2010

December 31, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming to tonight’s Gaming Class of 2010 Awards Banquet.  Let’s get started right away, shall we?

“Most Likely to Play Over and Over Again” Award
Halo: Reach
I played it through 3 times – solo and co-op, heroic and legendary – and I still would probably play it again on legendary co-op.  I’m not a multiplayer fan so I can’t get my fix that way.  It’s going to be a long dry spell until we get more Halo goodness.

“It Came Outta Nowhere” Award
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
I follow gaming stuff pretty closely.  I read all the big blogs regularly: Kotaku, Joystiq, and the like.  And I never heard a thing about this game until it was released.  All the more surprising: I played the demo and it was good!  Perhaps the only game I bought this year by virtue of playing the demo.  Not destined to win many awards, but definitely worth a pickup if you find a good price.

“Game You Should Have Played But Didn’t” Award
Alan Wake
I was tempted to give this to Metroid: Other M, but it’s got to go to Alan Wake.  This is the category that beloved gems like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil belong to.  It definitely deserves a sequel, but did it sell enough to warrant one?  Remedy is not saying.  Pleeeease, Remedy!!

“Wanted To Like More Than I Did” Award
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
I kept playing and playing, waiting for that point at which I could think of little else until I completed it, and I actually finished it before that point ever arrived.  Which was no small task, as it’s a looong game.  Maybe a little too long?  Not “Castlevania” enough?  Because I suck at “God of War” style games?  I actually stuck with it to the end, which says something about it I guess, but if I had it to do all over again, I might not have even played it.

“If Only It Was Achievements and Not Trophies” Award
Final Fantasy XIII
I didn’t hate this game nearly as much as the gaming press wishes I would have.  That’s not to say it didn’t have its faults, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  So much so, in fact, that I put in over 100 hours on it.  And I got every trophy you could get in it, except the one where I’d have to buy all of the equipment in the game (and hence the platinum trophy as well).  I calculated that I’d have to grind for 6+ hours to make enough gil to do that.  If I had played the Xbox version, I might have done that, to have a complete game and 1000 gamerscore (something I’ve only done twice before).  But you gotta play Final Fantasy on the PlayStation, right?  That’s been a rule since FF VII, hasn’t it?  And I don’t care a fig about trophies, so I never got there.

“It Came Too Early To Win Major Awards” Award
Mass Effect 2
The integration with your save game from Mass Effect 1… awesome.  Nearly all the changes were improvements.  Nearly.  (I’m looking at you, planet scanner!)  It set the bar high for 2010.  But it came out January 26, 2010.  Will it garner any Game of the Year awards with the short term memory crowd, or will Call of Duty overshadow it by virtue of release date?

“Made Me Schlep To The Store With Other Geeks” Award
Dragon Quest XII: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
No, I’m not talking about a launch event.  Just look at Black Friday… people will stand in line in the cold for hours for $5 off a jacket.  I’m talking about standing around an electronics store with my DS open hoping that someone else that’s doing the same will sync a treasure quest to my game.  DQ XII has an interesting online quest sharing function, but it’s local wireless only, which might work fine in DQ obsessed and people packed Japan, but not so great in the suburban US midwest.  So I went to an event to try it out, and got a few quests that were way above my level that I still haven’t been able to do yet.

“Would People Give It Such High Praise If The Graphics Were So-So” Award
Infinity Blade
I get it. The graphics look great. But in 15-20 minutes you’ve basically seen what you are going to do in the whole game, and then you do it over and over again. Why is everyone raving about this game? Has everyone really turned into such graphics whores? I mean, I like the game in general, but The Second Coming of Portable Gaming it is not!

“Who Knew Michael J. Fox Had A Twin” Award
Back to the Future Part 1 – It’s About Time
Great Scott!  That “not Michael J. Fox” guy does an awesome Marty McFly, doesn’t he?

But enough with the silly awards… what is my top game? I only pick from games I’ve played, and the critics and I usually do not agree.  To me, it boils down to a choice between five games, and they all have their merits.

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Games Played in 2010

December 31, 2010

My “Games Completed” list this year is quite good.  Part of that is that my total number of games played is inversely proportional to the amount of time I play World of Warcraft.  Meaning I didn’t play much Warcraft this year, so I played a lot of other things.  The other reason is that I really tried to put an emphasis on completing games this year.  I pick up a lot of games and tend to dabble a lot, but I’m easily distracted by the next thing and leave many games hanging.  This year I dabbled less and finished more.  So without further ado…

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Zork My Kindle

October 11, 2010


One of the things I love about the Kindle is that it does one thing really well, which is be a book reading device.  It doesn’t have to make bacon and change my oil and do a dozen other multimedia functions, so long as reading on it is a superlative experience.  So while it does have a browser on it, I really haven’t cared much, other than to buy books.  Until today, when I stumbled upon the perfect marriage of new tech and old.

PortableQuest is a game engine made for text-based interactive fiction that can be played on the Kindle.  Just fire up Whispernet and browse to on your Kindle to get started.  You can play Mini-Zork I, Zork I, Zork II or Zork III.

Best of all, you won’t have to worry about being eaten by a grue.  Who said the Kindle needs a backlight!


Free Game – Bejeweled 2

October 10, 2010

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, PopCap is offering Bejeweled 2 for the Mac and PC for free.  But only for the next few hours, until 10/10/10 at 10pm PST.  (See what they did there?  Clever PopCap.)  So go get yours now!


Ut phoenix, ex cineribus resurgam

October 10, 2010

Like the Phoenix, I will rise again

Life called, and I answered.  Every year, when summer winds down and fall ramps up, I feel steamrolled by stuff to do.  Work has been busier than usual, and when I haven’t been at work it seems like I haven’t paused for a moment.  At one point I was at home for 36 hours out of 280.  While I haven’t made any progress on my Phoenix model, there has been some fun and games.  I spent a week having and awesome time with Justin and Becky, doing things like playing Castle Ravencroft, attending a ren faire, going to the world’s largest arcade, and stalking Stephen King’s house.  I messed around quite a bit with the Caanoo.  The kids are running us ragged to soccer and scouts and everything in between.  We raised over $1600 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and participated in their local annual event.  I played and beat Metroid: Other M and Halo: Reach (solo Heroic … and now about 1/3 thru solo Legendary).  And we ditched the Blackberry’s and got new Android phones (a T-Mobile G2 for me and a MyTouch 3G Slide for the wifey).

The long and short of it is that I haven’t spent any time with the blog, which has been bugging me.  I’ve been thinking about some modifications I’d like to make, though.  I’ve also been setting up the G2 with the thought of how I can best integrate it with the blog.  No radical changes, but there may be some tests as I get things up to speed again.


Papercraft Friday #98: Lara Croft

August 13, 2010

I picked a Lara Croft model for this week’s papercraft since the new Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light game will be released for Xbox Live Arcade in less than a week.  I can’t wait to see how it plays, though I do wish that the co-op play was available at release and not patched in a month and a half later.

Though there are numerous Lara Croft paper models around, I chose the Tomb Raider Legend version, as that game is my only complete 360 game (1000/1000 achievement points).  I did the same with Alan Wake, but then the DLC came out and added more points (damn you, DLC!!! *shakes fist*).  Enjoy the model, and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light next week!

Not keen on this one?  Want more?  Check out other Papercraft Friday posts.

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LEGO Night: 3839 Race 3000

August 11, 2010

Race 3000 is the 2nd of the new LEGO games that we got after going to the LEGO Games 2010 Summer Tour event.  Race 3000 is a race car game for up to 4 players.  The first car to make it all the way around the track wins.  Turbos, oil slicks, shortcuts, pit stops, and a unique LEGO dice configuration each game makes it a different game each time.

As with Minotaurus, you first build the board, or in this case the race track.  The rule book gives you ideas for multiple kinds of track configurations and rule additions.  We played the basic game, which took about 45 minutes once the board was built, and it was back and forth to the very end.  The track splits into 2 sections so you can put it in the box and not rebuild it every time.  But mixing it up is half the fun!  Pictures of the build and final game after the break.

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