Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Poll - How stupid do you think I am?

I have a new poll up and no it's not a trick question. Answer honestly. You'll read why I asked when the poll closes.

How stupid do you think I am?

I'm surprised you even know your name.
It's a good thing breathing is automatic.
Stupid is as stupid does.
You're not stupid . . . you're just dumb.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I think I'm going to go home and cry. It's been that kind of day. If I'm online tonight don't expect me to play anything. I'm tired of letting my team down and I'm tired of getting yelled at for letting my team down.

Maybe a mind numbing game of Bejeweled 2 or Boogie Bunnies could do me some good. Or maybe I'll finally connect my PS2 up in my new house and play some Final Fantasy VII. Or maybe I'll just crawl in my bed, when I get home, and go to sleep. It's been that kind of day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Poll results - Quality of games in this economy?

So here are the results for the latest poll:

Are you worried about the effects this economy will have on the QUALITY of new games?

No = 4
Yes = 5
Eh? = 1

Okay, who ever voted that they didn't know what's wrong with the economy better start watching the news. Of course, with all the doom and gloom they've been reporting I've stopped watching the news altogether for some time now. There's only so many depressing facts I can take before I start to take it personally. Even if it's not directed at me.

So here is what I think. Yes, I think the declining economy is going to effect the quality of games coming out. Some of it will be negative and some of it will be positive.

The negatives are that good developers are going to have to reduce staff in order to still work on projects. Good games are going to get shelves (Battlefront 3 for example) because a company just isn't going to be able to create them. Some companies will no longer exist or they'll get bought up by the bigger companies and then lose their unique identities. Also games that might be close to being finished might be rushed out the door so the company will have something out there that they can make some money off of . . . hopefully. When companies are more worried about just getting a product out there so they can MAKE money instead of just spending it, games will suffer.

But I don't think it's all doom and gloom for the industry entirely. Companies that were making hack games like it was candy might fold up and those poor quality games will no longer be a blight on game shelves. Some companies might delay game releases just to make sure that they've got the best game out there because hungry gamers can make a small or semi-small game a huge hit. I think BioShock started out that way. Another good thing is that when companies fail or lose people other companies will snatch up the brightest people and might bring them together with other brighter people and they might eventually make really awesome games because of that. And something else to look forward to is that there will still be small individuals or groups that tinker around with making a game, and making it the best that they can, without any pressure form corporate suits breathing down their necks. Those games might start off small but they tend to snowball around with word of mouth. And when the economy starts to take off again there will be an explosion of games that come out that will fill whatever void quality games have left us in.

Life, politics, love and the economy all cycle on a pendulum principle. One day you're in madly in love with someone and the next you can't stand the sight of them. One day you're house doubles in value and the next day . . . well, if you have a house now a days you know what I'm talking about. All I can say is hang on and just play the games you do have now (if you can't afford to buy any new ones) because you can always afford to get games later on as a used copy. And sometimes the thrill of the hunt at finding that perfect older game can make up for any economic downturns (either personal or global) you might be experiences now. Trust me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gaming Goals

I've decided I'm going to set goals when it comes to my gaming, but I'm not going to call them New Year Resolutions. Why? Partly because I haven't been very good at setting them at the beginning of the year (and finishing them in the year as well). And partly because setting a resolution sounds like you're trying to make yourself do something that's painful or distasteful . . . like a diet. I've decided to call my goals "Gaming Goals" and I can set them any time I like. A "goal" sounds much more pleasant than a "resolution". And it means you're working towards something, not forcing yourself to do something. But maybe that's just me.

For now here are the Gaming Goals I've sent for myself. Their deadline is open-ended unless otherwise stated.

1. Finish Final Fantasy VII (I think this one has made the list for the last three years in a row) by June 15th
2. All achievements in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2), Lego Star Wars II (9), Catan (2), Puzzle Quest (3), and Spyglass Board Games (1)
3. $100,000 bankroll achievement in Texas Hold 'em
4. Get my gamerscore to 11,111 exactly
5. Post on my blog at least 3 times a week (feel free to rag on me about this one if I don't keep it up)
6. Finish Lost Odyssey story
7. Get that pesky achievement in Soltrio Solitaire for winning at all classic games (not including expansion packs) (I forget what the achievement is called)
8. Finish Insane mode with Evil Ric in Gears of War (the first one)
9. Finish that last @#$%! level in Feeding Frenzy
10. Find my Star Wars The Force Unleashed disk (I still have boxes to unpack)

So what do you think? What are your Gaming Goals?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ooo! the pretty colors

I'm trying out a new template for my blog. I've tweaked a few of the colors but I'm not sure if I like it yet. I had the old set up for almost 2 years so I think it was time for a change. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My most humiliating defect to date

I use to make fun of my brother kai when his 4 year old daughter would beat him at bowling while playing Wii Sports. At times she had help, but after awhile she could do it on her own. Now I'm the one getting made fun of.

It wasn't that his daughter (now 5 years old) beat me, which she did, but that his 3 year old son did too.

We were playing a new Wii game called Neighborhood Sports or something like that. One of the mini games was horseshoes. I was playing with dain and my niece and nephew. I'll call them by their very aptly named nick-names, to preserve their . . . ahem . . . innocence. I think "Hurricane" (5 year old niece) got a ringer in her first or second turn. The rest of us struggled a bit to find the proper technique to the game. "Katastrophe" (3 year old nephew) just flung his arm about and started getting ringers as well. Dain finally figured out the technique involved but he didn't seem to share the secret with me. Maybe he just enjoyed the fact that every time I scored my niece and nephew would do so after me to put me further behind.

We finished the game (finally) with dain getting 22 points (21 points were needed to win), "Katastrophe" had 14 points, and "Hurricane" had 10 points. How many did I have? Six lousy points. Yep, my niece almost doubled my score and my nephew certainly did. Kai was sure to let me know that I lost to a 5 and 3 year old. No matter how hard I tried to protest that I had a handicap with my dog being permanently attached to my lap while I tried to play so I had to play sitting on the couch while everyone else got up and made full use of the cleared out living room, no one had any sympathy for me.

I'm sure the next time we play my Wii I'll hear about it then, even if we don't play that particular game. Besides, it's my Wii. Shouldn't I always win because I own it? After all I bought the Wii when I was trying to save up to buy a PS3 because I never thought I'd be able to find one in the stores. I thought it would make some fun family memories. It's just why do those memories have to be at my expense? Why do I feel like I'll be hearing about it for awhile?

I guess I could take the Wii home (it's currently being kept at my parent's house for easy access) and practice on it. That way, the next time my niece or nephew decides to throw a couple of horseshoes I can really take it to them and wipe the floor with their meager scores. Let kai take their pouting, crying, screaming faces home as I bask in the glow of victory. But then again, I would then be the mean one who beat up on a couple of kids in a video game. Hey, they were the ones who beat up on me in the first place. I just want to get a little revenge. Set things straight in my gaming world. It's disconcerting at times to lose to a 12 year old in games online, but to lose to a 3 year old who's just flinging his arm around is embarrassing.

I'm sure it's not going to be the only time time I lose to "Katastrophe" either. At least if I ever play against him again. He use to not have the patience to make it through a game. Now he's learning. And beating me. Maybe next time he should play his father. Kai hasn't been beat by one of his kids in a while so I think he's due. Until then I think I'll go back to my online games and try not to think about the 12 year old who just blew my head off in Gears of War 2. There's only so much humiliation I can take in one gaming lifetime.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Poll: This economy + gaming industry = ?

Okay, so here's the latest poll.

Are you worried about the effects this economy will have on the QUALITY of new games?

No (I don't worry about anything)
Yes (There goes the virtual neighborhood)
Eh? (What's wrong with the economy?)

I'll keep it open for a week. Hopefully we'll still have a functioning economy until then.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Poll Results - How many blog entries per week?

So here's the results of my latest poll.

How many entries should I do for my blog (per week)?

3 = 4 votes
2 = 3 votes
5 = 2 votes
1 & 4 = 0 votes

For awhile there I thought everyone would pick 5 blog posts per week. Just to make me labor over a typewriter for their own amusements. Someone voted that way early and then changed their vote. With all the teasing I get about "well, that's going to make it in her blog" when someone does something in the game I would have thought more of you wouldn't pick 5x because you wouldn't want to be embarrassed . . . I mean mentioned so many times. You know who you are.

Three times a week is a very doable number. It would be even more doable if I had a working computer at home. Unfortunately we can't seem to get a video card to work in my system but we don't know if it's just the video card slot gone bad or the whole mother board shot to hell. The jury (meaning my brother dain) is still out on that. Either way it looks like I've got to get a whole new computer. I guess I can't complain too much since this one lasted for 7 1/2 years. Until then I'll have to confine my blogging to work hours or stolen moments at my parent's house. I'll have to wait for my tax refund to come in before I do anything about it anyways.

The reason for this poll was to help me set a goal (can I still call it a New Year's Resolution?) about this blog. I'd like to post more but sometimes life (or work) gets in the way. If I had a specific goal of how many times I should be posting in a week it might guilt me into revealing all your darkest secrets . . . I mean hilarious moments . . . I mean my insights into anything I see/think/hear/experience as it relates to gaming. Like how my friends have turned me into a bunny rabbit. For more on that I guess you have to keep reading. After all, I have to make 2 more entries this week, don't I?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Military fashionista?

I don't know if I should be more worried that an ex-soldier, who's served 4 tours of duty in Somalia and Iraq, is trying to give me fashion advice for my Xbox Live Avatar. Or, the fact that his advice was "I like you in skirts and boots." What? No top? Oh, that's right. He's a guy. Maybe he's hoping that Microsoft will create a program that makes our avatars jump up and down instead of doing the wave. If they do, and you log in to see "an ancient ruler of Asia" [name withheld] just sitting on the dashboard not playing any games, then you'll know what he's doing. I just hope he doesn't go blind. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

RPG should stand for Really Pissed Gamer

My first foray into gaming came from Frogger and Mario Bros. I loved those platform games but once I figured out the timing that genre lost a little of it's lustre. My real love of gaming came with RPGs. I absolutely love them.

Anyone can go "fire ball, fire ball, jump, fire swing, jump, jump, jump". There's no great skill involved besides looking for patterns in the movements of enemies or obstacles. When you play an RPG there's a lot of skill in involved. Do you want to win the battle without taking any damage? You can try for it. Do you want to win a battle while greatly over matched? Go for it. There are so many different ways to play the game, and let's not forget about customizing your characters, that the game can be played multiple times, and although you have the same story (most games), it's a whole new experience each time.

Unfortunately, I'm not feeling the RPG love right now. I've been trying to play Lost Odyssey for the last couple of weeks and have only moved the story forward marginally, at best. I'm not running around exploring every corner of the map or village. I'm trying to move the plot forward. I just keep getting my ass kicked in battle. I'm left with magic users only when all I want are my muscle guys. Or my muscle guys are getting pounded by magic and spend more time healing or guarding than fighting. And if I've got the right characters they always seem to have the wrong equipment for the enemies I face.

I've played several RPGs and haven't had nearly this much trouble even in the hardest parts. I have the strategy guide but I'm trying very hard to get through this all on my own. I know, what's the point in getting the guide if I'm not going to use it? You can play an RPG by using the guide but usually you end up stopping every couple of steps to think do I turn left or right? Do I cast fire or earth against that boss? While following the guide will get you safely through the game and to the end credits it takes away some of the fun at having figured things out on your own. I still have fond memories of bosses that were tough to beat but that I did without any outside help. The rush of the achievement (minus the gamerscore points) was enough for me. I can also remember battling bosses while using the guide as a reference. The battles seemed shallow and the victories hollow.

Sometimes I wonder if I've played too many FPS to really get back into the mindset for an RPG game. Have I given in to the fact action, run and shoot approach to plot development instead of the slower what do I need to do to get from here to there? type of puzzle solving? And have instant action and known points of engagement replaced random battles? I don't know.

I really want to play Blue Dragon. I don't know why, but there's something about that game that is calling me right now. Unfortunately I told myself I wouldn't play another RPG until I have finished Lost Odyssey. At least not one in the fantasy genre. Maybe I should go back to Mass Effect or even further to Knights of the Old Republic. Maybe a Star Wars game (and a really good one at that) would get me out of this RPG funk. Maybe it's Lost Odyssey's lack of a small mini game like Sabaac (KotOR) or Tetra Master (FF9) or Blitzball (FF10). I miss those mini diversions. Nowadays they would make great Xbox Live Arcade titles, but unfortunately they weren't released or created that way. The Pub Games from Fable 2 are the exception.

Well, with whatever happens that lets me get my RPG mojo back I'll still be playing FPS. I'm just going to have to sprinkle in some more RPG time. Or maybe a platformer or two just to break up the monotony. If I don't, RPG really will stand for Really Pissed Gamer. Or maybe Radioactive Psycho Gamer. But only if I get bitten by a spider.

New Poll - posting schedule/New Year Resolutions

So I have a new poll up. It's related to the New Year Resolutions I've been trying to nail down over the last couple of days. Here it is:

How many times should I post an entry on my blog (per week)?


This is where you get to tell me what to do (and in theory I should do it). One of my goals will be related to this blog and I'm trying to figure out how many times I should post. Just know that "every day" is completely out of the question. Even I don't have that much to say. There have been some times where I've wanted to post daily or even hourly but then I wonder if anyone reads it or even cares. I know my friends occasionally come on and read things but if I posted more regularly then maybe they'd read more regularly. Like today might have multiple entries. Partly because I'm bored. But partly because I haven't been keeping things up like I want to. Besides I've got to tell you all to stop yelling at me somehow, don't I?