Monday, November 12, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that and whole lot of boredom

I've been playing a bunch of things lately.  I got bored trying to learn things in FFTactics so I switched to Final Fantasy II.  I finished the first one on the PSP but I honestly can't remember anything about the game.  FF2 is different and I'm having a hard time getting the hang of it.  If you attack physically those stats go up (but magical stats go down) and the reverse is true.  My problem is I get into dungeons and I don't want to use up my magic points because Ether is so damn expensive so I use a lot of physical attacks.  I know I'm going to be screwed later on in the game when I need that powerful mage and I don't have one.

I also dusted off the old Xbox system and hooked it up for awhile.  I restarted Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.  It was one of the games dain and I decided to "finished" a long time ago.  Actually since 7/16/2006 to be exact.  I could have played it on the 360 but I didn't want to.  I know the exact date that started all this because I printed the email and apparently I've been using it as a page marker for the strategy guide.  I stopped playing because I got lost in the game and the guide was no help.  Strategy guides have come a long way since then.  I figured the best thing to do was start over (with the cheat code BUBBLE entered - - I don't take any damage).  I played for awhile . . . and got bored.

So, I reconnected my PS2 and put in Summoner.  That's another one of those "let's finish them this year [2006] games.  This time the guide helped and I feel better about how to play the game.  But I got bored because I'm just replaying the stuff I had already done since my stuff was stolen.

So, I went back to my 360.  I tired some zombies in the Dr. Ned DLC for Borderlands since I've finished the game (I'll do a review of it later).  But the zombies don't make any noises when they come up on you and I got tired of being jumped when I'm trying to do something.  Although those flying things are more annoying.

So, I decided to play some online stuff by myself.  It's really hard to find friends to play with these days.  But that's okay I play better without them.  It's true.  It doesn't matter what game we play but when I play with friends I end up sub 500 on my kill/death ratio.  I'll die 2x at least for every kill I get.  I don't know why this happens but it does.  Because I've been playing solo mostly (except when Natra sends me an invite) I've noticed that my skills are getting better.  I've only had one match with a 1/2 kill/death ratio; everything else has been much better than that.  I've even gone positive once or twice.  I'll usually finish with about 10 kills to 12 deaths or something like that.  Just over this weekend alone my kill/death ratio went from .551 to .571.  Not bad considering I've got a lot of deaths under my belt in that game.  I'm also finding the game more fun to play now that I'm doing better.  I don't get frustrated as much and I don't let a death discourage me.  I do have moments of panic when I'm under that .500 threshold but I always seem to find a way to do better before the match is over.  And I'm finally getting some of those maps.  I guess I now need to try playing with friends to see if I can translate this success when I play with them.  Any volunteers?

So that's about it.   A little PSP, Xbox, PS2, and 360 gaming all in the same week or two.  I've even been tempted to pull out my GameCube to work on that "let's finish" game (Super Mario Sunshine).  And I've got an itch to play my old N64 as well.  I've either got too little of an attention span or too much boredom.  You decide.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm still gaming

Just for the record, I'm still gaming.  Just not in the place where I use to be for the most part.  Since I've had a hard time getting friends to play with me on Xbox360 I've started getting back into my PSP.  Specifically Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.

I've been playing this game on both the PS and PSP but I seemed to be a little further ahead on the PSP so that's where I decided to focus my time into playing the game.  I like the game because I can pick it up and play it for a half hour at a time and actually feel like I'm making progress.  In that half and hour I can win 2 battles and maybe 3 if I get to strike first with some of my heavy hitters.

One of the things I realized after I picked this game up again was that I had duplicates of some of the Zodiac symbols with some of the characters and not having characters with some of the other symbols.  Since I wanted a full and complete and balanced team that meant dismissing some of my characters that I worked hard to level up and learn things and then hiring complete noobies. 

I charted out which characters/symbols I had and which ones I needed and then make the sad choice to let some of them go.  I had spent many hours leveling those characters up and learning skills but some of them had to go.  I also spent a lot of time looking at all the options in the Warrior's Guild to find just the right Brave/Faith level character with just the right Zodiac symbol to join my team.  Once that was done I was left with a big problem.


It doesn't matter what level the other characters are on your team whenever you hire a new warrior they start out at level 1.  That means when you take them into battle you'll be fighting level 22 baddies with level 1 characters.  Do you know how many times my characters died.  Were revived.  Then promptly killed again before they could even take a turn to run away.  And if they don't fight they don't level up.  I can't tell you how many Phoenix Downs and Potions/Hi-Potions I went through just in one battle alone.  And because I had about 6 noobies to level up I had to go through this a lot. 

I didn't take them all into battle at the same time (learned that the hard way).  I would take 2 noobies, one really good healer and 2 heavy hitters.  The heavy hitters would knock the HP down to a reasonable level and the noobies would move in to finish them off (you get an EXP bonus for finishing off a character).  If anyone got in trouble my healer would step in and help out (a healer with a long range weapon is wonderful).  Even though this method worked it took a lot of grinding away at battle after battle just to get these new characters up to a level where they could hold their own in a battle and not have a healer hold their hand all the time. 

I did have to replace one of my noobies because there was something about them that wasn't working.  I don't know if it was their power or speed or whatever, but I didn't like it and it wasn't helping me.  Because I got rid of them I had to find another Zodiac of the same symbol to replace them.  Which meant another level 1 noobie.  While this last noobie is now a level 17 and the rest of my characters are in the 30-40 level range at least he can hold his own in battle.  He can take a couple of hits before he has to retreat and heal, but that means he can give a couple of hits too.  And he's not bad.  And a lot better than the wimp I let go to get him.

But during all that grinding I was getting bored.  I knew it would be for the better in the long run but fighting battle after battle just to increase the level of one characters didn't seem worth it.  So what did I do?

I started a new game.

Just to see if it would be worth it to stock my roster with the perfect team of a variety of Zodiacs right from the outset of the game I started over from the beginning.  When you finally get a squad a characters to play with I was disappointed.  I don't remember my other game starts to be witch such low Brave/Faith levels for all the characters.  Unfortunately in order to hiring better characters I need to win battles and earn money.  By winning battles and earning money I was leveling up characters I knew I wasn't going to keep.  Once I had the money to buy new and better warriors I had win battles and earn money to buy even more warriors and equipment and potions and such before I could finally get a decent team together.  And since it was the beginning of the game there was only one map point where I could get into a battle.

So in order to avoid grinding on my main game to level up characters I started a new game so I could grind and win battles to buy different characters so I could grind and level those up.  It made sense to me at the time.  Once I figured things out though, I went back to my main game.

So anyway, I'm still gaming.  Just not always on the Xbox360.  Oh, every now and then I get back on the Xbox360 to play some Borderlands and recently I've been playing some Modern Warfare 3 just for the social aspect (hell, if my friends won't play with me then maybe strangers will).  I might even turn it on to play something silly like Peggle or Rock Bank Blitz while I'm eating dinner.  Once dinner's done I'll turn it off and pull out the PSP.  Who knows, maybe once I'm done with my PSP game I might dust off my Nintendo DS Lite.  It's still gaming.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Poll Results - How much of a game do you finish?

Wow, guys.  I hadn't realized how long it's been since my last post and poll.  Sorry about that.  Some things in life got in the way.  Hopefully I'll do better from now on.  If not, you can harass me about it.

How much of a game do you finish?

I play out everything 100% = 1 vote
I play to get to the end credits, nothing more = 2 votes
I play until I can't beat a boss/challenge = 1 votes
I play as long as I like the game = 3 votes
It's sad to say that I don't think I voted in my own poll when it was open.  I added my vote now (and a friend's who missed the deadline).

I play out everything 100%
I wish I could say that.  I try to play out everything 100% but sometimes things don't work out that way.  Take Chromehounds for example.  I would have loved to have gotten some of those team achievements/awards but there were always squads online boosting for them so you wouldn't stand a chance unless you boosted too.  With that game you would have to devote 24 hours a day for several days just to make it worth it and even then you might not be the overall winning squad or get the special weapon to come out so you could defeat it.  There were too many achievements and/or aspects of the game that were contingent on what everybody else was doing in the game.  You could have worked all night to set the world up just like you (and your squad) wanted it, only to find out that the Japanese fanboys (and there are lot of them) messed everything up while you were sleeping.  This is one game that was nearly impossible to get all the achievements unless you totally devoted your life to the game and who has that kind of time for a commitment?

I play to get to the end credits, nothing more
If a game has "collectibles" or specific things you need to do in game to get achievements or different ends to the story I'm all up for doing that.  I plunk down good money for games and DLC that if the developer put something into the game specifically for me to play then I'm going to play it.  It just might take me a long time to play it all.  I recently restarted Final Fantasy VII for the last time and another friend restarted as well.  He made a list of all the things he hasn't done or is not going to try to do and I was wondering why.  Why go through the whole experience of a game (especially one that is/can be very long) and not do everything there is to do in the game?  Unless you're planing on setting a world record for the fastest play-through what's the point.  Yes, the shortest lines between two places (start screen and end credits) is a straight line but a game (especially one as good as FFVII) should be savored and enjoyed.  At least that's how I feel.  Now, I don't have a problem playing to the end credits so you can concentrate on the story and then going back to do all the hoopla that's extra.  But to get to the end credits without having experienced the game, and having no desire to play it again to experience those extras, doesn't seem right to me.  I've had several friends tell me that's how they play the game and I just don't get it.

I play until I can't beat a boss/challenge
This was my vote.  I should have also included "until I get bored, or have to go to bed, or have to go to work, or have to whatever" and that would sum up my whole playing experience.  I play a game until I have to stop for whatever reason.  It just might be that I have to go to bed.  By the time I get back to a time where I can play again I might be in the mood for something else.  Yesterday was a cutesy platformer . . . today I might need to blow someone's head off.  And because I've got so many games to choose from it might be awhile before I get back to that cutesy platformer (or shooter).  That's why I have a hard time finishing games.  I  play what my mood inspires me to play.  I am working on focusing on a game or two (or three or four) and working on playing just those.  I've managed to finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 even though I haven't played any of the other CoD games.  Now, I'm working on Borderlands and Gears of War on insane and Gears of War 3 on insane.  Gyromancer is the arcade game I throw in there if I'm not interested in shooters.

I play as long as I like the game
I usually know rather quickly if I"m going to like or dislike a game.  There are a few games that I've bought that I've turned back in.  Siphen Filter (or something or other) for the PS, Grand Theft Auto (I can't remember which one) for the PS2 and Ghost Recon for Xbox 360 are all games that I didn't make it through the first 30 minutes of game play before I decided it wasn't for me.  Unfortunately when I sold them back I lost money.  That's why I really like the game demos I can get on Xbox Live.  There are a few that I played and I was glad that I didn't waste any money on.  There's also been others that I've picked up because of the game demo.  Getting halfway through a game and then deciding I don't like it and would rather not have if just isn't me.  By that point I've already invested a lot of time into the game and I want to see my investment pay off.  So even if I don't like it by then I would still play it to get to the end and (hopefully) get my money's worth.  I've been lucky (or maybe careful) because I haven't just gone out and gotten every new games that comes out.  I've picked and chosen my games carefully.  I've done my research and played my demos.  When I started playing video games I didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on them so I had to be choosy.  Now, many years later I think it's payed off.  I don't consider any games that I've purchased to be a waste of my money or time.  I've enjoyed every one of them even if I haven't played them very long.  There are games that I want to get so I can play with my friends but I know that's the only reason why I would get those games and for me it's not worth it.

So, there you have it.  I promise to be more on the ball from now on and post more.  And like I said, feel free to harass me if I'm not.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

NEW POLL! - How much of a game do you finish?

Surprise! Surprise!  I have a new poll.  It's brought on by something someone said here combined with something someone else said . . . well, elsewhere, of course.  It's been up for awhile but I forgot to do a post telling you about it.  Anyway, so here it is:

How much of a game do you finish?

I play out everything 100%
I play to get to the end credits, nothing more
I play until I can't beat a boss/challenge
I play as long as I like the game
You have until 5/16 to vote.  Please do.

Finding Yuffie and an f-ing bird

I know some people don't like Yuffie (and Cat Sith) in Final Fantasy VII but I don't have a problem with either of them.   Or Jar Jar Binks, but that's a topic for another post.  I've recruit her twice before in other saves so I thought I could do the same in this #finalFF7restart.  Unfortunately I was wrong.

I played it cool and ignored her all the way to the end.  But I wasn't suppose to go that far.  When she threatens to leave you're suppose to say "Hey wait" or something and she'll come back.  After talking to her one or two more times she'll agree to join your party.  But since I blew her off the whole time I didn't get that option.

I spent a half hour just wandering around one forest to another trying to encounter her again and I couldn't.  I don't know if you only get one shot at finding her this way (yes, I know you can pick her up later but I don't want to wait).  I was 15,000 coins richer, but I still hadn't run into her again in a battle.

I really would like to get her early.  Her's and Red XIII's top limits breaks are the only ones I know how to get.  Unfortunately I've never gotten their limits up to that level in order to equipment them.  This time it was going to be different.  I was going to recruit them, use them, and get their limit breaks maxed out early on.  And now I might have screwed that up.

I've found that the best way to increase your limit levels is to equip the "Cover" materia.  Let that character take all the damage and have his/her limit fill up.  Use it.  And repeat.  I was able to max out Aries limits level very early in the game during my last/lost save.  Unfortunately I didn't have access to her last limit level.  I've already gotten Tifa's levels up higher than last time and Barret's not far behind.

Of course if I can't find Yuffie again the only thing left for me to do is go to Fort Condor and I HATE!!!!!! that part of the game.  I just don't get it and I always barely squeak through that "mission".  My brother dain, on the other hand, has to problems whipping through that part and he's great at it.  Even with him coaching me it's a struggle.

I think I'll try running around some more to see if I can find her again, if not wish me luck at the bird base.  Who knows, after that gaming session I might have a "bird" of my own I could show the game.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

I think everyone in their life wants to feel like they've made a difference or has changed the world. The youth join causes and start revolutions. The old have children. But to make a difference without having to do either of those things would be pretty special right?

How about changing what games people are playing?

I talk about what I'm playing. The highs and lows. Mostly the lows, I'm sure. Never once did I think that what I said would make someone change what they were playing. Then I got a message from a friend. He's just finished a game and was looking for something else to play. With nothing new on the horizon that piqued his interest he turned to a game I've been talking about a lot recently. Final Fantasy VII.

Like me, he's played this game before. Unlike me, he's actually finished it. Somehow my talking about the game got him excited to revisit the memories of the past. I'm interested in hearing if this play through of the game lives up to his memories of playing it a long time ago. The graphics are very dated, but a good story is still a good story no matter when or how often you play it, right?

I have a twitter account that I keep updated less than how much I keep this blog updated. And that ain't much. When I restarted Final Fantasy VII I made the conscious decision to tweet my experience playing the game for the last time. If I can't make it through this play through (for whatever reason) I don't think I'll try to play it again. I'm using the hash tag #FinalFF7restart. If any of you want to follow along my twitter name is @PengwennGamer. Very original, I know. I can't guarantee that they'll be more tweets than blog posts, but every time I play FF7 I will be tweeting soon thereafter what I did in the game. If you've played it you can follow along and relive your memories of the game without the extensive time commitment. If you haven't played the game you can read some interesting stuff to see what you're missing.

I could say that my evil plan has started and that I'm out to change the world, one gamer at a time, but my dreams and aspirations don't go that far. But I hadn't realized that when this little Pengwenn flapped her flippers that someone halfway around the world would change the game he was playing. It's kind of cool. Maybe this Pengwenn is turning into a butterfly.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I want it my way!!!!!

I think there's only a few things in life that you should custom order and get the way you want. Bras and hamburgers being two of them. Everything else should be taken as it comes.

That includes video games.

While I appreciate the convenience and "add on" nature of DownLoadable Content (DLC) too often I find that the part you need to download is actually some computer code that unlocks what is already loaded on the disk in the first place. If I purchased the disk I should have access to file on the disk to play a game so why am I asked to pay more for what I've already bought. But the problem is more than just DLC.

It's now about endings.

While I own Mass Effect 3, I haven't played it yet because I've just started playing the second one. From everything I've heard from friends, the game packs one hell of a whopping ending. What I read online is another matter.

There are so many people out there that are lodging complaints with the FCC about how the games ends in ME3. They've filed lawsuits and petitions and bombarded websites that allow people to review products with negative reviews. BioWare at first came out and said it was a great ending and they were sorry gamers didn't see if the way the developers did. Now they're coming out with a different story.

They're listening to people's "constructive" comments and just recently released a statement that they are working on "fixing" the ending so gamers can have a more enjoyable experience with the game. Really?

Is that what's our society has come to now? I remember when video games came out in a static format. Cartridges that couldn't be changed. All content created for the games was INCLUDED with the game when it was released. If there were bugs you dealt with it or moved on (and there were many games that were killed because of all the bugs). There was no opportunity to change the ending of a game.

Since when has it become acceptable to whine like a little baby to the point that a developer has to change the outcome of a game from the way they saw things happening to the way a few gamers wanted things to be? Even a Choose Your Own Adventure game had predetermined endings for the protagonist. If you want more leave it up to the developers to design a sequel or a "shadow" series like Orson Scott Card did with Bean from the Ender's series.

And what does this all mean for those of us who haven't played the game yet? Will there be an automatic game update that will change the ending whether we want to or not? Will we be able to see the "original" ending at all? Will we be forced to deny any game updates (and thus be regulated to playing "offline" for the whole game) to avoid those updates in order to preserve the original ending?

And why do we look down on Geroge Lucas for fiddling with his Star Wars Saga when a select few gamers are asking . . . no demanding . . . BioWare does the same thing with their franchise?

I know Mass Effect tauts the gameplay of making choices that effect the outcome of the game. But people need to understand that BioWare can't take every possible outcome into consideration when designing the game. Did you persuade here but intimidate there? Did you place nice right up to the end? Did you "accidentally" kill someone you shouldn't have because the dog just peed on your carpet and you took your frustrations out in the game? Come on people, get real.

If you're lactose intolerant you're not going to want cheese on your hamburger. If you're the proud owner of a pair of jugs that would make the Baywatch lifeguards jealous with how much they can bounce, you're not going to want to squeeze them into an A cup. Stop your whining and let's play video games the way they were meant to be played. ALL the game content available when it's purchased AND with the original endings. That's the way it should be. And that's the way I want it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Destined for Failure

It's gone.

No more.



I've been spending a lot of time playing Final Fantasy VII and I've been very proud at how well I've done. I've spent 40 hours and 42 minutes, reached level 50, had one Materia mastered and was within 3-4 battles of mastering another plus 1-2 hours more of mastering 1 or 2 more. And I still wasn't to the point in the story where I was before all my stuff was stolen. I was playing smart. I was being careful. But not careful enough.

On Sunday, I turned the PS on and tried to load my game file when I got an error message that said the "File is ruined". Not a nice polite "you game save is corrupt" or "can no longer read saved file". But a quick short little "you are fucked" type message.

I was being careful in the game in how I played and managed characters, but not with my save file. That was the only save file I was using. I've played and restarted this game enough to know exactly what I had to do and where I would have problems. I carefully saved before those moments. And once again right after. But all on the save file slot. It never crossed my mind that my save file would somehow, some way become "ruined" and I would be out of luck.

After a brief moment of stunned silence I tried looking at the file on the PS dashboard. Nothing wrong there. I even tried copying the file to another memory card. No such luck. Even putting the card in my PS2 and trying it from there didn't matter. I was screwed.

And I was pissed. At myself.

The first feeling I had when I realized it was a lost cause was that I was robbed all over again. The first time I missed all my stuff but what I missed the most was my memory cards. Hundreds on hundreds of hours of gameplay in hundreds of games lost. All that work would have to be repeated and more hours would be lost that I could be playing other games but instead had to sit and replay games and levels I had already done.

But this time it was worse because I had done it to myself. Through my own stupidity I had doomed myself to Murphy's Law. I made a conscious effort to replay this game and finish it (after all this is one of the reasons I started this blog many years ago). I didn't learn my lesson about loosing a game save file before and I did nothing to prevent such a problem from happening again. Although this time it's by mechanical/electrically failure instead of theft.

And now, if I want to complete the challenge I have with my brother, I'm left to start all over again. It took a couple of days before I could call dain and commiserate about my fate. I had briefly considered asking him if I could copy one of his game saves and just start from there (I was further along than him so I wouldn't have to repeat as much). But that felt like cheating and I would never know what he did earlier in the story that might effect things later on.

So the more I think about starting again the more I also have to wonder about what happened. Why did the file get ruined? Was there a spike in the power that corrupted the file? Did that spot on the memory card finally burn out or something? Is there a flaw in the disk that would have made any save file corrupt at that point in the game? What if I play all the way to that point again (The Temple of the Ancients) and the same thing happens? I could create a backup file but wouldn't that file be ruined as well?

Yes, I've started the game again. I blew up the No. 1 reactor in Midgar for the hundredth time (it sure seems that way) and finally got to a save point. I save the file. And saved it again in another slot. I didn't save it to another card but I think the next time I put the game in I will. And maybe a third card as well. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'm destined for failure with this game. Are the fates (or the Ancients) trying to tell me NOT to play (or at least finish) this game? If I do finish it maybe that's when the world will end. Either way I feel destined to fail.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm a Serial Starter

Since I was having a hard time getting people to play with me on Xbox Live I decided to take a break and go old school. Like Playstation old. I fired up Final Fantasy VII and played for a bit. After all, that is one of the games that started this whole blog thing about 3 or 4 years ago or however long it's been.

While I'm still not up to playing any new part of the game, I am further along with my characters. With this play through I'm taking my time to level up my limit breaks and all the Materia I've collected. I've been grinding away on the world map and getting into any battle I could when I enter an area. Right now I've got Aries's Limit Break up one level higher than where I was before my stuff got stolen and I've still got a lot of game left to play before I start seeing anything new. My only problem is keeping a consistent rotation with my third party member. And now that I've just picked up Vincent I've got another one thrown into the mix.

After playing Final Fantasy VII for several hours I decided I needed a break from that game. I wasn't in the mood to go back to Xbox so I flipped through all my games to find something new to play. Since my games are alphabetical and I started at the top I didn't get far before I decided to put in Chrono Cross.

This is a game that I've started several times even before my stuff got stolen. I'd start and play for 10 hours or so and then put it away for awhile to play something else (or several something elses). When I pull the game out again I couldn't ever remember where I was in the story. And worse . . . what world I was in (if you've played the game, you know). When I would flip through the strategy guide to see if I could jog my memory about what I needed to do I would find that I missed recruiting several characters along the way because I forgot to do one simple thing. Since I was past that point it usually meant that I wouldn't get to add those characters to my party. After a little bit of soul searching about the time I had already spent playing the game (okay, maybe not that much soul searching) I would restart the game and make it a point to collect those characters. After a couple of days (and another 10-12 hours of the first part of the game) I would put it away for something else. And thus the cycle would begin again.

As it did Sunday night.

I put the game in and instead of rushing through the first part that I've played a million times (at least it feels like a million times) I decided to take my time. If I can get further along in Final Fantasy VII while still being behind, perhaps it could work for Chrono Cross as well. And it has.

That big bird boss in the valley where you pick up the talking skull (weird game by the way) use to give me fits every time I played the game. This time it was a piece of cake. There are other areas that use to be hard but now they're kind of boring because they're so easy. I've probably played the game for 10+ hours but in reality I've probably only progressed 2 hours in the story. It sure makes things easier, but it does get kind of boring grinding most of the time. That's why I put in another game.

That game was Final Fantasy Tactics. It wasn't another start, but it's another game that I've started many times. I guess you could say I'm a serial starter. If I ever get to finish one of these games I think it will be a miracle. Now, if you'll excuse me I've got a game to start.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh my achy breaky heart

I've been feeling very unloved lately on Xbox Live. I can't find anyone who wants to play with me. If I jump into a friends room usually within 2 matches suddenly everyone wants to get off line. That happened the other night but before I decided to play something by myself I walked away for awhile. When I came back instead of "going to bed" like everyone said they were, they were playing a private, invite only, match. How subtle is that.

I might not be the best player out there, but I'm fun to be around, mostly anyway, right? I'm competitive but I'm never going to be the best player out there. If I can break even with my kill/death ratio (no matter the game) I consider that a huge success. If you play with me, we might not win but I promise, next to me, I'll make you look good. So why won't anyone play with me?

I know there are friends out there still playing Gears of War 3 but there are also other games out there that I have that I would love to play with people. For starters there's Left for Dead. I haven't played much, if any, of that game but I don't feel confident in my abilities to play by myself. I need help.

And then there's any of the Call of Duty games. While I get bored playing Team Deathmatch over and over again all night long, I love trying out other game types, even if I suck at them. One of the few nights where I actually got to play with other people we played a new game type in Modern Warfare 3 about capturing and holding a flag. I LOVED playing that game type (partly because I had the flag for awhile) but everybody else hated it and wouldn't play it again. Why not spice it up every now and then with different game types or maybe an older version of Call of Duty?

And then there's Halo games. There are game types I had never heard about until I saw someone play them a while ago. Games a lot like soccer or basketball or other weird stuff. I'm up for weird.

I know there's a lot of reasons why it's harder to get online sometimes for a lot of us. I'm not saying we have to spend all out time online playing together. But a night or two a week where old friends can get to together and shoot the breeze while we shoot the enemy would be nice. I'd even go back to old school original Gears of War to play with friends. Hell, if Star Wars Battlefront were still active I'd be there right now.

I know we're all busy but if any body an spare an hour or two to play with me then I won't have to start singing "My Achy Breaky Heart" in voice messages to you all over Xbox Live. You don't want that ear worm taking up residence inside your head now do we?