Monday, August 26, 2019

The Working Girl's Game Review: Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7)

So I finished this game a while ago and I'm finally getting to the review.

Game: Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7)
Genre: Platformer

System: Xbox 360

Developer:  TT Games

This follows along the story of Harry Potter from the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows 1 and 2.  Since Harry is only at the school for the first 2 years there are some more areas to explore as they travel around to find the Horcruxes.  If you're read the books or seen the movies than you're familiar with the challenges that Harry, Ron and Hermione face as they grow closer to facing Lord Vordemort.  There are some scenes that feel a little weird because they might be very small, or non-existent, in the books/movies but have some decent game play involved.

Story Score:

The characters are the same as the books/movies with a small new ones thrown in.  There seems to be a lot more muggle characters to find than in the first game which is frustrating because muggles can't do any helpful magic spells.  One draw back that became very frustrating was that there was only one "key" character.  That meant that you couldn't access any of the key spots until you've found the character and unlocked it.  Since you don't get the opportunity to find that character token until about half-way through the story there's a lot of key boxes that you have to come back to.  The other thing I found while playing was that there was only about 5 characters that I actually played with.  There wasn't any reason to play with a lot of the characters that you unlocked.  And when you finally get to play in the Free Play the game seemed to pick the same characters every time . . . and quite a lot of them.  There seemed to be a lot of characters to choose from while playing in Free Play.  Too many in fact that is was annoying trying to pick the one character that you wanted.

Character Score:

Game Mechanics:
The spell wheel is the same as the first Lego Harry Potter but there's a new spell this time.  Aquamente allows you to shoot water at things and make them grow or fill-up a container.  The downside to this spell is that you can't see the places that you need to use it on unless you have that spell as your active spell.  If you do then water drop icons show up where you need to use it.  If you have another spell active you can't see those water drops.  It got annoying switching between spells and suddenly have to fight someone but have the water spell active (which doesn't help in a fight) so I just pick one character to have always have that spell active and then I would just switch characters instead of moving around the spell wheel for another spell I needed at the moment.  I found having to remember to check for water drops annoying and there were several places that I missed around Hogwarts that I had to go back for because of that.

There were waystations to move between Hogwarts, the streets of London and the campsites.  Sometimes it was confusing which waystation you needed to get to where you wanted to go.  I also had problems with the waystation to go to Hogwarts that is in the tent.  Sometimes it didn't want to work for me so I would have to go back to London and then take the train to Hogwarts which was a lot of running around just to get to someplace.

Game Mechanics:

Art Design:
There seemed to be a lot more details on the screen and things to look at while exploring around.  The art style was still the blocky Lego look.  I think there are way too many versions of the main characters.  Do we really need 11 versions of Harry (or some amount like that)?  While there was a lot to look at on each level the play area in each level sort of felt smaller than the previous game.  There just didn't seem to be a lot of areas to explore and look for things.

Art Design Score:


Overall Impression:
While I enjoyed playing this game I found it a little bit more annoying than the first one.  The thing with the Aquamente spell and the small number of characters that I ended up using because they would do almost everything in the level made it not feel as engaging as the previous game.  While it was nice to look at there also seemed to be more scenes included in the game that were not a big part (or any part at all) in the books or movies.  I know it's hard to get everything in either the books/movies into the game but this game felt a little more disconnected from the source material than the previous game.

Overall Impression:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dabble, Binge, Wait or Pass

I'm two games behind on my Working Girl Game Review and I promise to get to those as soon as I can.  But in the meantime I've been thinking.  If I wait until I finish a game before I give my impressions of it those reviews are going to be few and far between.  It also doesn't help that I'm trying to get through some older back log games that are not exactly current.  So I came up with an idea.

Dabble, Binge, Wait or Pass

What does that mean exactly?  Well, if I've played a game for a couple of hours and have gotten a good sense of what the game is I'll write up my first impressions.  It won't be an in depth look at the game overall just a DBWP assessment of how I feel about it at that time.  What does those words mean?

This is for games that you can pop in and out of and not have to worry about trying to follow a story thread or relearn game controls.  It's an easy in and out type of game.  Something that you can play for a couple of minutes and than not come back to for days and still be okay when you pick the game back up again.

This is a game that needs to be played in long sittings.  Taking any time away might make you feel confused and lost when you come back to the game.  Like not remembering where you need to head next in the story.  Or maybe be frustrated having the relearn all the game mechanics and controls when you come back after being gone a while.  This is  game that needs to be focused on and given your full attention if you want to follow along.

This is game that is okay to play . . . just not right now.  It's the game to pick up when you have no other games to play or don't want to focus and get involved in a game.  That doesn't mean it's a bad game; just one that will give you a good experience but not a whole lot of depth.  The type of game where you skip the cut scenes because you just want to get to the action and don't really care about the story.

Should be self-explanatory.  These are games that are not worth your time.  That's there's more important things you can do instead of playing this game.  Like having all your toenails ripped out at once.  That kind of game.

These will be my Working Girl First Impressions and I hope it helps me get reviews and impressions up for a lot more games.  There will be older games and new games in the mix.  I've got a lot of games that I haven't played and maybe this will help me (and you) figure out what games I enjoy playing and can focus on.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Working Girl's Game Review: Band of Bugs

I finished this game over a year ago including all the DLC but I haven't done a review on it until now because the game left me with a sour taste in my mouth from the DLC.  I think enough time has past that I an objectively look at the game and give it my honest assessment of what I think.  I will be adding a new section to review the DLC separately and if I play any games with DLC in the future I'll be doing thing that way from now one.

Game: Band of Bugs
Genre: Tactical RPG/Tactical Battle Map (see below)

System: Xbox 360 Live Arcade

Developer: NinjaBee

It's been so long that I don't remember much of the story.  There's something about bugs being born in goo but you're a special bug because you weren't (or something like that).  There's a rival bug clan that wants to take over the area which includes breeding grounds or something.  The main game is broken up into 20 levels that don't really have much of a continuing story.  They give you the basics of why you're fighting in this area but the connections between battles is barely there.  That being said, for this type of game (tactical RPG) I really don't need story.  I just want to fight things and level up and get to the next battle.  Story in these types of games is secondary to me.  The only Tactical RPG game that had a story I was interested in was Final Fantasy Tactical Advance on GBA.  But for this game story wasn't very important to me so I didn't pay too much attention to the what and why of what was going on.  That's not to say that it didn't have a story, I just didn't feel like it was necessary to pay attention to the story in order to enjoy the game.

Story Score:

On of the interesting things about this game is that you can use your Avatar in place of the main character.  This means it looks a little weird to see yourself fighting alongside some large bugs but also helps to make you feel more involved in the game.  Each character type is the same class of character.  So a grasshopper is going to be an archer whether they are on your team or the enemy's team.  A butterfly is a magic user and a beetle is a tank.  That's very useful in helping to instantly identify which enemies you need to stay away from or out of range and which ones you need to attack and try to get rid of as soon as possible.  Since you know who/what everyone on the enemy side is and what they are capable it helps to focus your attack on the enemies that you think we'll do the most damage to your team to try and eliminate them first.  Knowing all of this by just looking at the enemy makes the battles easier when they are just "kill the other team" but require a little more strategy when the game type is something else.  I liked knowing my enemy and being able to plan accordingly without having to wait until they attack me to see what type of character there were.

Character Score:

Game Mechanics:
The Game Mechanics of a Tactical RPG are pretty basic and simple.  The battlefield is a grid and your character can move so many squares around that gird and different squares might be at different heights.  If your character is a good jumper they can move from one lower square to one that is 2-3 higher next to it.  If not, then you have to take the long way around and climb up gradually.  One of the strategies of moving is to try and get around behind the enemy because you will do more damage if you hit them from behind than you would if you hit them head on.  Also, there's bonuses if you are flanking the enemy with one of your teammates and combo moves available as well.  In addition to decided where you're going to move you then can choose from a menu of actions.  Those could be attacking, using magic, using a item or changing your weapon.  Once you've moved and taken your action your turn is over.

Everybody on both sides as the ability to go once in a round.  But instead of having a set order of which character is going to go next, on your turn you can select which person you want to move, attack or heal.  But once they have done their action they will not be allowed to move again until everyone else on both teams have moved and a new round has started.  So plan wisely.

The turn order is also not one for one.  You take a turn and then your enemy takes a turn, wash, rinse, repeat.  You'll have an indicator up in the top right that shows you what the turn order is.  Your color is blue, the enemy red.  So there could be 3 red squares in a row before you get to a blue square.  That means 3 enemies will take their turn before you will get one.  Always keep on eye on that or you could find yourself in trouble.  As characters die you'll lose one of those blocks per turn which means if you still have 5 characters left but the enemy is down to 2 players, you'll get to attack 5 times in a round but they will only attack twice.  Makes battle cleanup pretty easy . . . except on maps when enemies will continuously spawn in.

I've played several tactical RPGs and while I love this genre there was one thing that I didn't like about how it played.  You had to move first and then attack.  Other games will let you attack and then move.  This would allow you to attack and then run away to safety.  In this game you could only move first and then attack.  So if you have a melee character you need to get right up on someone but since you can't move again until the next round starts there's a good possibility that your character could get surrounded and be in trouble and there's nothing you can do about it.  I would love the ability to attack and then run away.  Not that I'm a coward, I just want to get to safety.  Definitely not a coward.

Game Mechanics score:

Art Design:
I like how this game looked.  Very bright and colorful and easy on the eyes.  Once a character has taken their turn in a round they turn a grayish color so you know you can't use them again until the next round.  There were some character models that were a lighter color, or next to a lighter environment, that made it a little difficult to see whether they had turned gray because you already used them in that round.  And this could be very importation since some maps need you complete an object before the end of a particular round.  The art was cartoony and fun and very enjoyable.  When speech boxes came up a little portrait of the character would be displayed with a facial expression matching what they were saying.  Because the graphical style was more cartoony than realistic (and I don't want to be looking at realistic bugs) I think the game will age well and you could play it 10 years from now and still enjoy how it looks.

Art Design score:

Overall Impressions:
I love this game type and really enjoyed playing the game on the initial play through.  Trying to perfect the game was a different matter entirely.  There were a variety of battle types.  You have just kill the other team before they kill you, escort missions, get to a specific point on the map before the end of a specific round, kill the leader (where you don't have to kill all their henchmen), and defend a section from incoming enemies.  This provided a good variety of what you needed to do so no one particular battle mission was boring or repetitive.  The environments were all different too.  It could be lush and green on one map and a snowy ice field on another and another could be filled with poison traps.  You can use the environment to your advantage in battle too.  If you can get a couple of enemies to bunch up on some ice blocks and then have your butterfly use a fire spell he can melt the ice and all those enemies will fill into the water and die.  If you can take out 3-4 enemies in one action that just might be enough to turn the tide of battle.

While I enjoyed the regular play through I wanted to perfect the achievements; and they all seem reasonable to get.  One of the achievements was to get a gold rating in all of the main story levels.  There are 20 of them and some where so easy you would bumble your way through the level and get that gold.  Others, where much tougher.  The medal are bronze, silver, gold or platinum and who you do in the battle determines what medal you get.  Depending on the object for that level depends on what stats are most important.  You could lose several members of your team but if you killed the enemy boss early you could get enough point to get a gold (you get negative point for each member of your team that dies).

There was one level in particular on an icy map that even though I meet the objective before the end of the required round and had all my players still alive, I wasn't getting enough points for doing enough damage that I couldn't get the gold.  I had to play that map over and over again before I finally figured out what I needed to do to get the gold (and I just barely got it).  And that was something I didn't like.  There were a couple of maps that seemed to have a very set order of what you needed to do to get the gold ranking.  If you deviated from that set order of things, even if you completed everything beautifully, you wouldn't get the gold.  Those maps became a trial and error trying to figure out what the game wanted you to do to get gold instead of letting you play it out how you wanted to.

One thing with RPGs is that if you are having problems with a particular enemy or area you can go somewhere else and grind a little bit to level up and go back to fight them when you're stronger and have better items or equipment.  That's not the case in this game.  If you go back to play a previous level, because you're trying to get a gold ranking, you don't take your levels or current items with you.  Whatever level you were and whatever items you had on that level are what you've got to work with, no matter when you go back to play that level.  There's no easy cake walks through previous levels to get a better ranking.  Maybe because of that I shouldn't call this a Tactical RPG but instead a Tactical Battle Map game.  Progression is not backwards compatible.

Overall I liked the base game and I'm glad I played it.

Overall Impression score:

There were several DLC expansions to this game.  They were Ninja Sticks of Fury, Red Kingdom and Tales of Kaloki.  Ninja Sticks of Red Kingdom were very much in the same vein as the base game.  Same characters, same battle system, etc.  I did like the humor in the Ninja Sticks of Fury and a new character that was introduced.  Unfortunately you really didn't get to play with that new character very much so that was disappointing.  But now we've got to talk about Tales of Kaloki.

That DLC was set in space.  Yep, space.  It's the bugs sitting around a campfire telling stories and you play out one of those stories.  You're main character is a rooster who happens to be space pilot and you relive his heroics in space.  This DLC felt very jarring even though you know it's the original bugs telling a story.  You're thrown in with a whole new bunch of ships without any training or help to figure out what anyone does.  Because of that you've got to click on each ship to see how they move and then see how they attack before you can decide what to do.  And it's not just 2-3 different ships.  You've get much more than that.  I think in one mission there was probably about 6-7 different ships you had on your team that you've got to figure out how they move and what they do.

The map was difficult to navigate at first as well.  Since you are in space there's no up and down you have to worry about but there are a lot of obstacles in your way along with bombs and flowing rivers that will move one square in their direction each turn . . . which usually ends in bad spot or on a bomb.  The general game play was still the same as the main game but everything else had changed and it was too jarring and left a sour taste in my mouth once I had finished it.  The achievements for the DLC wasn't anything exciting either. 

DLC score:
Ninja Sticks of Fury and Red Kingdom

Tales of Kaloki

I hated that this DLC was affecting my overall feelings about the game.  That's why I didn't want to write a review when I finished because I figured my impressions would be tainted by this last impression I had.  Now time has passed and I feel comfortable giving this game my honest review without being tainted by that final DLC.  If you want to play this game I would recommend it and the Ninja Sticks and Red Kingdom DLC but I would stay away from the Tales of Kaloki DLC . . . or at least know what you're getting into before playing.  If you want to see my play through of the game and all the DLC check out my Band of Bugs YouTube playlist.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Upcoming absence . . . maybe

I thought I would give a heads up a little early about something that's coming up in my life that might take me away for a while.  I am scheduled to have eye surgery on April 29th and I'm probably not going to be staring at a computer for a while after that.

After meeting with a corneal specialist it has been determined that I need a new corneal transplant and while they are doing that they can also put a new lens in my eye.  Fixing 2 problems at once.  It's good news and I'm excited at the possibility of seeing out of my left eye again.  There are a couple of things that make me nervous and the closer it gets to that time I'm sure I'll get more nervous but it's manageable now.

The first thing I'm nervous about is the cost.  My last surgery was at the end of the year and I didn't have to shell out too much money before I met my out of pocket maximum for the year.  Since this is happening earlier in the year I'll have to pay more because I'm no where close to reaching that maximum.  It sucks because I had such great plans for my tax refund but I'll get through this.

The other thing that I'm worried about is actually a good thing.  I'm worried about seeing again.  I know that sounds weird but after not being able to see really anything out of the left eye for 7 months and then (hopefully) being able to see things again is going to send my brain into overload and I'm imaging I'll have a VERY bad headache for a couple of weeks while my brain adjusts to the new inputs.

I've got my next game all recorded and I'm starting to edit it.  I'll start posting that game next week as tomorrow is my last video for Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7).  I'm not going to tell you what game it is but I hope you like it as it's my favorite game of that particular genre.  I've also finished filming the whole things so I know how long it will take to post videos.  It will run from next week through most of June.

Now I'm sure you're thinking that that would give me plenty of time to film new things (or finish up filming old thing) between the date of surgery and the end of June but like I said before I probably won't want to do that due to the eye strain of staring at a computer screen or TV screen for a while.  I'll try to film some things in games I have in progress but I also have to have time to edit what I've already got done.

I think I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with my YouTube channel going forward.  I started the channel to force myself to finish games and it has certainly helped me to do that.  But unfortunately it's a lot of work to film, edit and post videos while working a full time job and trying to spend time doing my other hobbies. 

And there's the rub.  I haven't had a whole lot of time to do my other hobbies.  I can't remember when the last time I read a book.  I know I'm in the middle of one (The Book Thief) but with all the eye drama it's just been too hard to read at times.  I also like to cross stitch and I'm working on a large project for my dad.  I've told him that he can't die until it's finished and at the rate I'm going it's going to be another 15-20 years before it's done.  He turns 80 this year.

I guess what I'm getting at is that while I love to play games and make videos and post them to YouTube, I love to do other things as well.  I just don't have the time to everything that I use to before I started YouTube.  Every time I look at the analytics and what I want to do with my life I think it's not worth the effort any more at the expense of my other hobbies.  But then someone comments on a video, or I get a new subscriber and I feel guilty about walking away . . . especially with some games unfinished. 

It's a problems I'm going to be thinking a lot about while I'm out of commission for a month or so.  So even though videos should be going up while I'm out there might be a lag before other videos get posted once the next game is done.  If you can think of reasons to keep on posting . . . or reasons to quit let me know.

(and yes, I know I need to post a Working Girl's review of Band of Bugs and Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Eye update and current life evaluation

So I was out on disability for 2 months after the accident.  I returned to work the week after Thanksgiving full time and it took a while to get back in the swing of things.  The good news is that I was already working from home 3 days a week so my boss just let me work from home full time until I felt comfortable driving in the office.  It's an hour commute each way looking directly in to the sun both ways.  In January I started coming in on Fridays (traffic's lighter) and in February I'll start back on my 2 days a week in the office.

Speaking of driving, I HATE IT.  I have no depth perception and it's really scary when there's moving vehicles all around you.  I'm having the hardest time with the side to side perspective.  If I'm in the inside lane, all the traffic coming from the other direction look like they are coming straight at me.  I know they're not (at least I hope they're not) but it still looks that way to me.  I only drive when absolutely necessary.  And I might be like that for a long time.

The doctor wants to see if I can keep my original corneal transplant.  It got cloudy with the trauma but has been clearing up gradually since then.  I've been seeing my eye doctor every 2 weeks since the accident.  If it continues to clear up I won't have to have another transplant.  If it doesn't . . . then I'll have to have my name put back on the transplant list and wait my time until it comes up.  Whether my name will come up faster because I've already had one or slower . . . because I've already had one, I don't know.  They won't fix the inside of my eye until they know what the outside (cornea) is going to do.

So, if everything continues to heal and my cornea clears up I might need just one surgery to put another lens in my eye.  It's going to be more complicated than a regular cataract surgery but essentially the same type of surgery since I don't have the little sleeve pocket that the lens usually sits in so they'll have to improvise something to make sure the lens stays in place and doesn't move around in my eye.

Either way, no matter what happens any surgery is still going to be months away for me.  I've been trying to find my "new normal" and get back in to a regular swing of life.  That mostly consists of me sitting at home doing very little after work because my eyes are so tired by the time I'm done.  i also sleep a lot on the weekends (which messes up my sleep schedule during the week for work).

I have started playing video games again but most of the time my heart isn't in it.  I've started posting again this month but only 2 days a week instead of 3.  But I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  I've begone to question if I should continue recording and posting to YouTube.  There's so much time, and vision, involved that my current circumstance is only making more difficult.

I started my YouTube channel to help force me to finish games.  I figured if I took the time to post of video of a game I was making a commitment to actually finishing the game.  But since it's so much harder to play the game, and then edit the video for a game, I'm starting to think it's not worth it for me anymore.  And that makes me sad.

I've actually finished a bunch of games because of my YouTube videos.  I'm afraid if I stop posting then my finish rate will just go down.  But on the other hand it's just so labor intensive for me right now when I'm already struggling to do normal things.  And while I'm proud of each and everyone of the people who have subscribed to my channel my analytics tell me that's not who's watching my videos (and they don't watch for very long).  If I'm putting all that strain on my eyes I really have to think if it's worth it to continue.

I might be healing physically from the accident, but the emotional, psychological and mental process of healing and coming to grips with the fact that I'm now temporarily (hopefully) half blind and will be for possibly another year or more is progressing much slower.  I cry and small stupid things.  If I miss something because I couldn't see it I cry even more.  It's a process and it will take time and I know I'll get there but I have to look at all the things in my life and see what things are helpful to me and what things might actually be harmful to me. 

Spending a lot of time and effort to do a simple thing like play a video game and edit the video might be more than I can handle.  I've told myself that I will finish the games I currently have in rotation (i.e. whatever I'm in the mood to play at that time) and see how I feel after that.  Some of those games are long (like Lost Odyssey) and I might have to make a decision about those earlier than that.  The problem is I don't like to leave things half finished.  If I stopped posting videos in the middle of a play through of a game, even if I continued to play it "off line" from YouTube, it would still feel unfinished.

I've got a lot of decisions in my life and things I've got to deal with now.  I'm not an optimist.  I'm a realist.  But I know things will be better because I want them to and I will work towards that to try and make that happen.  It's just that this is where my life is now and I've got to deal with it the best way that I can for the time being.  If anything changes, I'll let you all know.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Out of Commission

So . . . I'm going to be out of commission for a while.  Possibly 1-3 months.  And all because of an innocent accident.

I was sitting on the floor folding laundry on Saturday afternoon (9/29) when I decided to give my dog a hug who was laying in front of me.  I put my hands behind her front legs and started to pull her up.  Apparently she didn't want a hug at that time and flipped out and slammed her head directly on to my open left eye.  She didn't hit cheek or nose or eye brow.  Just a straight hit to my open eye.  It happened so fast I didn't have time to blink.

If you've been following my blog for some years now you know I don't have a good history with my eyes.  Especially my left one.  The one she hit.  And this time it's not any better.  It's worse.  Much worse.

She knocked my contact lens out and my artificial lens I had implanted when I had cataract surgery.  When I got to the hospital they said I had ruptured my eye.  They took me by ambulance to another hospital where they had people trained for this type of injury.  I was only at the other hospital a little less than an hour before they wheeled me in to surgery.

The doctor said that I had lost my pupil, the little pocket that holds the lens and obviously the lens itself.  I had also lost a bunch of other stuff in my eye which I don't remember what he called it.  My corneal transplant was barely hanging on by a little flap.  The surgery that I had that day was just to see if they could reconstruct it to be a eyeball again.  I'll have to have additional surgeries to see if/what help they can do to restore any vision in that eye.

After surgery the doctor said he would be happy if I saw light and shadow and movement.  I could.  It looks like very bad shadow puppets on a very dimly lit wall.  I couldn't see enough to tell how many fingers he was holding up and I couldn't see colors or shapes.  If everything heals and is okay in a month they'll refer me to a specialist to what they can do for vision.

I will have to have another transplant surgery.  Right now I think the only reason I still have an eye is that they could use the existing transplant to close up the eye.  The doctor said they didn't have any corneal tissue at the hospital so if they didn't have that to close up the now ruptured hole in my eye I don't know what they would have done. 

I don't know know what they are going to do about the lens you normally have in the eye.  Not only did I lose the lens, I lost the pocket that the lens sits in.  They're going to have to MacGyver something in order to get that to work.

Needless to say I have a long road of surgeries and recoveries ahead of me.  This all happened about a week and a half ago so I've had time to calm down, accept my fate and get past the worst of the pain for now.  It hasn't been easy.  Even typing this is hard and I'm going to have to rest for a long time afterwords to recover. 

As for playing video games that's out of the question for now.  I do have videos in the can that I could edit and post to my YouTube channel but it hurts to much to look at the screen and those will only last so long and I'm not recording any more.  So for the time being I'm taking it easy and contemplating a lot of my life.  That's about all I can do at this point.  If things change, I'll make another post.  Right now my bad eye is watering like crazy and it's making it harder for my good eye to focus. 

So, I guess I'm out of commission for while.  This is the life for the next several months for this gamer girl.  Play on!

Friday, August 31, 2018

50,000 and counting

I did it. My gamer score is finally at 50,000.  Well . . . actually it's at 50,011 but I still finally crossed that threshold. 

It's been 11 and half years in the making.  As best as I can tell I got my first achievement on January 6th, 2007.  I actually got 3 achievements on that day.  All of them in Hexic HD which came free with the Xbox 360.  I got Flower Child, Cluster Buster and Star Gazer.  And thus my journey began.

I remember the beginning of that journey.  I was not an early adopter of the Xbox 360.  All the stories of Red Rings of Death and such made we want to wait until Microsoft got their act together.  The Xbox 360 was out for more than a year before I finally got one.  I sat and watched all my friends rack up their gamer scores and I couldn't wait to start earning mine.  Unfortunately I was big in to playing on my PS2 and didn't play much on the Xbox 360 for quite awhile.  That all changed once I got Gears of War and found a great group of guys to play it with.

I was always lamenting how fast their scores seemed to increase versus how slowly mine was inching up.  But now, for some reason, getting over 50,000 seems a decent amount.  Of course I have several friends with gamer scores over 100,000.  But they don't have much of a life outside of video games (sorry guys, but you know that's true).

I had a goal of getting to 50,000 by the end of the year.  Getting it this early was a bit of a surprise.  What achievement was the one that pushed me over the edge?  It was in Minecraft (the new version).  Delicious Fish.  Catch and cook a fish.  It was just enough to put me over the edge.  And since that version is different than the Xbox One version I have the chance to double up on the achievements and get my gamer score even higher.

I wonder if it will take me another 11.5 years to get to 100,000.  I don't think so, but stay tuned.  You never know.