Monday, March 30, 2015

Watch me pull an achievement out of a hat . . . and other news

Watch me pull an achievement out of a hat.  Well, it’s not actually a hat.  It’s a plastic container with a lid.  And I did pull an achievement out.  Sort of.

I seemed to have lost a lot of my motivation when it comes to prolonged playing of video games.  I like getting on for an hour or so, but then I just start loosing interest and would rather do anything else.  Like watching paint dry or counting the bumps on my popcorn ceiling.  It’s weird for me to feel that way and I’ve been trying to think of something to do to get myself out of this funk.  And I came to a solution.

I printed out a list of all the Xbox 360 games I own, cut them up into little stripes with one name per slip and put them all into a plastic container.  My plan is to pull a game out at least once a week and play in that game until I’ve at least earned an achievement and/or hopefully find renewed interest in playing video games for longer periods of time.  Who knows.  I might find that one game that gets me out of my funk and start playing games for hours on end every night.  At worse I play something until I get an achievement and then put it aside for something else.  At least my gamer score would be going up.  I had a new year's resolution to hit 30,000 last year, but I didn’t make it and I won’t let that happen again.

So after I finished cutting everything up, I shock it around and pulled a game out.  The first one I pulled was Rock Band 2.  At first I was okay with that, but then I realized that I had just played a lot of Rock Band Blitz (and picked up a bunch of achievements – see the sidebar) and wasn’t even remotely in the mood to play another music game.  Plus, I’m not sure if my guitars even work anymore.  I put the game back in the tub and spent the weekend thinking about what an idiot I am.

Today though, I decided to give it another go.  This time I pulled out Borderlands 2.  That’s a game I’ve played and had 165 points in so far.  I stopped playing the game because there’s one side mission that I can’t seem to do fast enough and it was really annoying me, so I quit.  Plus I’m having a hard time with the fact that you can’t carry health vials with you when you get hurt.  I always forget to keep an eye on my health so I die a lot.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get another achievement in that game but this time I was going to make the effort to play it and see what happens.

At lunch I put the game in and started to play.  There was a side mission right where I was located so I didn’t have to go far.  It was to Assassinate the Assassins so I jumped in and started playing.  I remembered I had a gun turret as my special and I should try to use that more often to help me fight a lot of enemies while I take cover while my shield recharges my health.  So I threw the turret out for fun while I figured out all the controls again, and after 2 kills (puppy skags, no less) the achievement for getting 100 kills with the turret pops up.  I got 20 gamer score points for that in less than 2 minutes in the game.  I could have quit and done something else (taking a nap before going back to work sounded like a good idea) but I stuck around and completed the mission and turned it in.

It was nice playing that game (even without health vials to use) but I was so rusty with the controls and how to find things in the menus.  I got better by the end of my lunch and I just might try some more missions after work.  I put a tick mark on the slip of paper for Borderlands 2 and put it back in the tub.  This way I’ll know I’ve played it and gotten an achievement if I happen to pull it out again later.

I did include sequels in the tub even if I haven’t played the first game in a series.  Who knows, I might find playing Halo 3 more engaging than playing the first Halo even if I don’t know what’s going on in that world.  I just want to get back in to the habit of playing video games like I use to.

And speaking of playing video games, I’m seriously looking in to getting an Xbox One.  The only problem is I have to get a new TV if I want to play it.  My current TV is a big 32” CRT monstrosity of a TV.  It doesn’t have any HDMI connections, although it does have component video.  The X1 seems to only be an HDMI connection so it won’t do me any good to buy one if I don’t have a TV to play it on.  I’m hoping to take care of the TV part by next weekend.  The X1 might have to come a little later because I have some other plans I’m trying figure out that will definitely put a crimp in my finances. 

Specifically I’m trying to find and buy a new computer.  I would love a laptop, but realized that I could get something cheaper if I got a desktop instead.  I want it to be a gaming PC so that I can get back to gaming on the PC which is something I haven’t done in a VERY long time (X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter anyone?).  Depending on how much I spend for the computer depends on how much I have left over for the X1 system.  Plus there’s other things factoring in to my decision but I can’t divulge those plans just yet.  You’ll just have to stay tuned and see what happens next.

So, I consider my drawing plan to be a success.  I played a game and got an achievement.  It don't know if it is enough to get me out of the funk, but it's a start.  Hopefully I'll re-find that gaming spark and pull myself out of this funk when I pick a game.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Man, I've got a lot of games

I did a count of how many video games I own a while ago and I was a little bit shocked.  These are only console and hand-held systems.  I don't have my PC games counted because my current PC sucks and can't play them.  I'm hoping to fix that sometime in the next couple of weeks.  More to come on that . . . I hope.

My game counts by system are:

Playstation: 60
Playstation 2: 129
Playstation 3: 13
Xbox: 41
Xbox 360: 138
Xbox Arcade: 189
Game Cube: 25
Wii: 11
PSP: 21
SNES: 23
N64: 12
DSLite: 14
GameBoy: 10
GameBoy Color: 6
GameBoy Advance: 44

If you've done the math right, that's 736 total games.  No wonder why I can't finish a game because I've got so many to play.

My latest acquisitions were Dark Souls II, Metal Gear Rising Revenge, Serious Sam Collection, Sacred 3, Blades of Time and Thief.  All for the Xbox 360.  What can say?  Amazon was having a sale.  Most of those were new copies for less than $8 each. 

I guess I should mention that Thief was the free game on PS3 last month.  I downloaded it and played it for awhile but as I was doing so I realized that I would rather play it on the Xbox than on the Playstation.  Don't know why, just felt like it.

Also, I own all the Arcade Serious Sam games but I got the Serious Sam Collection anyway.  I was hoping that the Arcade games would be a separate set of achievements from the retail copy, but that's not the case.  When I put the disk in and started The First Encounter my achievements for the Arcade title came up.  Oh well, at least now I can delete the Arcade games from my system and just play them off of the disk.

And boy do I need to delete them. 

I got down to 0.69 GP left on my Xbox 360 hard drive.  I have a bunch of the Games with Gold free games, even if I own the disk copy.  Why?  Just in case something happens to the disk, or I get robbed again I can still play the game.  I also have a bunch of games installed on my hard drive.  And, of course A LOT of arcade titles.  I've previously moved some of the Arcade titles to a thumb drive for storage but I was still out of room.  Plus there's all those DLC add-ons for all my games.  And some music videos I've downloaded.  Now, you can see why I was running out of space.

I had to do something drastic . . . and soon.  I went through my storage and started deleting things.  Anything I didn't think I would need and/or use anytime soon.  I deleted DLC add-ons for games that I won't play yet because they're sequels and I haven't played the original games yet (I'll just download them again when I do play the game).  I deleted game update files.  I figure those will be re-installed if/when I play that game again.  And I deleted other stuff I didn't really want any more.  I was able to free up just over 30GB of space on my hard drive which allowed me to download the patches (about 2.9GB worth) for Defiance, which allowed me to finally play the game.  Whoo Hoo!

I have wonder if I should get rid of some of my older games and/or systems.  But I just can't do it.  Partly for sentimental reasons but also because I have a hard time giving up on a game once I start it and like it.  I just don't want to leave anything unfinished.  I'm just having a hard time finding the time to play anything. 

I have been playing games, as you can see from my list of recent achievements on the side panel.  I've received all of those within the last week or so.  I think I've made some nice progress in my gamer score . . . even if it's not a whole lot of progress in a single game.  But if I have 736 games to get through I should find time to play games more often.  Sleep is overrated, right?  Man, I've got a lot of games.