Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Poll: What "new" system should I get with my tax refund?

Hey, a NEW POLL!  It's been awhile since I've had one of those.  Well, here it is:

What "new" system should I get with my tax refund?

Wii U
Xbox One

Please keep in mind available games for that system.  If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile you know what types of games I like.  And while I say "new" some of those system aren't exactly new.  But they're new to me so there you go.

You have until March 18th to vote.  Please be sure to tell me why in the comments.  You can do it anonymously if you don't want me to know that my Xbox 360 loving gamer friend is really a Wii U fan boy at heart.

Same old question

So I took a moment today and looked through some of my older posts in this blog and was surprised at some of my insights into gaming.  My typing could use some improvement though no matter how brilliant I seemed to me.  My search of previous posts led me to the very one I made.  How hard is it to finish a game?  I looked at the date I made that post and it was March 2nd, 2007.  Just over 7 years.  Wow!

Have I changed as a gamer?  Definitely.  For better and worse.  Have I played a lot of games since then?  A tremendous amount.  Have I finished those games that started this all?

Well . . . .

I'm ashamed to admit that even after 7 years I still haven't finished any of those games.  But on the bright side neither has my brother.

In Final Fantasy VII I'm not even back to the spot where I was before my stuff was stolen in 2009.  And I'm even further behind in Mario Sunshine than where I was in that gamer pre thievery.  I'm so stuck in Jedi Outcast that I can't even find out where I am in the strategy guide to help me get out of whatever room I'm stuck in.  And in Summoner I've just barely made it to the first town.  I haven't even gotten back in the sewers.

I've played FFVII and made some progress but I'm taking it slow and stead about leveling characters up and making sure I have enough money to buy everything I want before I go into a town for the first time. 

With Jedi Outcast it's just a pain to disconnect the 360 and change the cords, system and controls out to just play that one game.  Changing to the GameCube for Mario isn't a whole lot better either.  It's been awhile but I think Jedi Outcast is a backward compatible game and I think I might have even tried playing it on the 360.  But that meant I started over . . . again.  Of course that would also mean I'm not stuck any more.

Needless to say I've had problems sticking to this goal to finish in a year.  Hey, it's been 7 years and I'm actually further behind in all games than where I was pre-thievery.  With all the great games that are coming out it's really hard to stay focused and finish these older games. 

I tried making Sunday night "Retro Night".  A night each week where I pull games on older system (or the oldest games on current system) and play those.  It worked for awhile but what I ended up playing was Pikmin (1 and 2).  Those are great games so who can blame me.  Maybe what I need to do is go to some far away hotel and take just one system and lock myself in the room for the weekend and play nothing but one of those older games.  Maybe that's something I can do with my tax refund.

At the very least, after 7 years I'm still consistent.  I'm making lists of all the games I want to play . . . . only to play something else.  But most importantly: I'm still playing video games.  The question might be the same but I'm okay with that.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Watching people, watching people play games

Okay, one of the best things about my new Nook (besides playing Candy Crush) is I have a fast reliable tool to view YouTube videos (besides on my Xbox).  Because of this I've stayed up until 1 or 2 in the morning watching videos because they're just so hilarious.  And I'm not talking just on the weekends.  It's been hard to get up at 6 or 7 in the am when you only went to bed at 1 or 2.

What am I watching you ask?

Let's Play videos.  Mostly from Achievement Hunters, Rooster Teeth and TheRadBrad.  I love Achievement Hunters.  Their Go! and vs shows are my favorite.  I can't tell you how many times I have laughed so hard I've cried and had to run to the bathroom.  The only problem I have now is that I've caught up on all their back list of Go! and vs. videos so there are only new episodes to watch and they only come out one day a week (they do a different video type for each day of the week).  I started to go find their Let's Play videos for games. 

Like the 2 parts for the Titan Fall beta.  I love watching these guys play.  And I love hearing them play together.  It reminds me of the early days of my little group of friends before we all started to fracture apart.  The camaraderie, the banter, the teasing, the pleading for help, the laughter . . . all beautiful to my eyes and ears.  Plus I get to see real live action of games I that I might be considering getting, especially older games that I might have missed or over looked when they came out.

Because of these videos I'm thinking about picking up a copy of Red Dead Redemption.  When that game first came out I really didn't want to have anything to do with it.  But after watching some game play it looks like it could be really fun to play.  And I can't tell you how many games I do have that I've wanted to go back and play because I've watched somebody else play it.

It reminds me of what it was like when me and my brother would meet at our parent's house to do laundry on Saturdays.  We would sit and watch the other person play a single player game and it would also make me want to go out and buy that game myself.  I know a bunch of the gaming companies do like people putting videos of their game play online for some reason of copyright or such (Nintendo a big one of those), but their missing out.  I watch those videos and I immediately want to play that game (whether I have it or not).  And if I don't have it, I'm trying to find a way to get it.  Game developers are losing new players by not allowing these types of videos to inspire new fans.

If you haven't checked out any of those guys I listed above on YouTube, I suggest you give it a look to see what I'm talking about.  Some of these guys make a living by sitting around playing videos, filming it and then posting it online.  I'm jealous.  But I'm also inspired to play things I haven't because of what I've seen.  If you find other people or groups who make videos of people playing videos games that you like, tell me in the comments.  I might stay up late and watch them and make me very tired at work the next day, but so far it's been totally worth it to watch people, watching people playing video games.

Dusting off the zeros

I've had a really hard time focusing on any particular game.  As much as I psych myself up to play something, as soon as I get stuck or something goes wrong I quit the game and move on to something else.  Which usually isn't gaming related.  I need motivation.  A purpose.  A goal.  Something competitive to get me really juiced up to play something so that I won't bail as soon as things get tough.  So I decided to look through my game list.

After correcting my list to add 4 games that I owned but somehow forgot to add, I realized I had a LOT of games where I haven't earned any achievements.  If I took out the Arcade titles, which were the majority of them, I would still have a bunch with a zero gamer score.  I then narrowed that list down to stand-alone or first in a series games and I still had 17 games on my list.  If I haven't finished the first game in a series I'm not going to play the sequels so those were easy to eliminate. 

After I got this list I went through and wrote them down in order from the one I played the longest time ago to the the more recent.  Oldest to newest based on when/if I've played them.  That list is as follows:

Too Human
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
Magnacarta 2
The Last Remnant
Lost Planet
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Star Ocean
Tales of Vesperia
Enchated Arms
Guitar Hero III
Infinite Undiscovery
Star Wars: Republic Heroes
Dungeon Siege III
Dead Island

Some of those games I've played and tried get achievements in like Rayman, Lost Planet, SW, Dungeon Siege and Dead Island (although I just started playing with one since it's a free DLC game).  I know I've played Guitar Hero several times but I can't believe I haven't gotten any achievements in that game yet.  Oh well.

So last night I decided to play them in that order until I've gotten at least 1 achievement in each game.  And if I like the game enough I'll keep playing it until I've finished . . . . or get stuck and quit. 

I put in Too Human last night and played it for over an hour.  I picked up 6 achievements for 45 points before calling it a night.  I wasn't fairing well against a mini-boss and I couldn't figure out how to beat him.  After dying twice rather quickly I decided to call it a night. 

Now I know what you're thinking.  Here she goes, giving up on another game because it got too hard.  wah wah wah.  That's not the case.  I spent the rest of my evening looking for the strategy guide (which I swear I have) but couldn't find it.  I then spent time trying to find the little insert that came in the game case to see if that would have the command info help that I needed.  And I found it.  Read through it.  And now I'm better prepared to get back in the game.  And yes, I will get back in that game just as soon as I'm done here.

The game was released in 2008 and thankfully they were still packing a manual with the game disc in the case.  Now a days you'll be lucky just to get a slip of paper with the game's title on it.  If that was the case with this game, I probably would have set it aside and moved on.  After all I did get some achievements.  But I actually like this game.  I can go melee or I can go long range.  I just wish there were more chests or things to open.  And things to steal.  Oh well.

So while I could move on to my next older zero game I think I'll stick with Too Human for awhile.  At least until I get super stuck.  But hey, my planned worked.  I'm playing games.  I'm focused.  And I got some achievements.  Of those zero achievements games on the list above, which ones would you like to see me play?  Let me know in the comments.