Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Gaming Addendum

Bekki not-so-subtly reminded me that I missed a game in yesterday’s post.

We’ve been playing LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 on the Wii, we’re up to year 4. There’s been a smattering of New Super Mario Bros Wii in there as well, but Bekki claims her platforming skills aren’t up to snuff, so it’s been mostly Harry Potter. (=

August Gaming Roundup

A non-toddler related post for a change. (=

Carnage Blender — This is a free web-based, non-graphical strategy PvP fighting RPGish sort of game. Not a MUD or a MOO for you old schoolers, basically just the fighting and character management (items, training) aspects of RPGs without the questing etc. I played the previous incarnation of it for a while back in 2003 and recently stumbled across it again. Let me know if you join, as there’s a pretty steep learning curve. Not for everyone, but it’s fun if you get into it. It’s got a great community around it, albiet considerably smaller than it was back in the day (primarily due to the lack of pretty graphics and aforementioned learning curve). And, blasphemy of blasphemies, the chat and forums there are PG-only, so there is far less retardedness than your typical online game.

Borderlands — Grabbed this a while ago on super sale on Steam and have been enjoying it thoroughly. It’s basically Diablo in FPS form. On Playthrough 2 with my level 48 hunter currently. Next up will probably be Fallout 3 if I can catch it on sale again; I spaced and missed it a couple weeks ago.

Puzzle Quest 2 — Recently picked this up for the DS (it’s out on Steam now too), rivals the original for the best of this genre of game. The integration of different puzzle types is much better in this one, but it’s missing a few things that were nice in the first one too. It blows Galactrix out of the water, but that wasn’t too hard to do.

Everyday Genius: SqaureLogic — Another Steam purchase, a fun little logic game, sudoku-esque but with a lot of variety as well. Not cheap at $15 but the demo hooked me and I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes — I started this a while back but Puzzle Quest 2 has taken over the DS as of late. An interesting twist on the match-3 puzzle RPG genre. A little tedious at times but overall pretty fun. One of these days I’ll finish it; I’m right near the end.

Game On!

Between marathon hours at work and chasing hyperactive toddlers around, I’ve gotten a little bit of gaming in the past couple months (usually in that elusive midnight to 3am time slot). It’s been a while since I’ve posted (and even longer since I’ve posted something other than photos), so I figured I’d throw something out here. (=

Torchlight — This is a great action RPG (think Diablo II) by an indie company out of Seattle. $20 gives you a great holdover until Diablo III comes out and is a great game in its own right. I’ve put quite a few hours into this and even done some light modding. Check it out, it’s a ton of fun if this is a genre you like.

Plants vs. Zombies — I’ve had this for a while, and even gotten Bekki into it. (We actually splurged on the whole PopCap collection on Steam.) This is a fantastic game,  potentially my Game of the Year. It’s sort of a tower defense style game, but very accessible and a lot of fun. PopCap does it once again. (=

Gyromancer — I picked this up a few weeks ago, it’s not bad. It’s similar to Puzzle Quest (which is a fantastic light RPG type game with a Bejeweled-like match 3 battle system), but it uses a Bejeweled Twist system instead, and is much lighter on the RPG side.  It’s no Puzzle Quest, but it’s been amusing for the cheap price via Steam.

Carcassonne — I got this board game for my birthday, and have actually only played it with Bekki once, but I think it’s a lot of fun. Hopefully it’ll get some more attention over Christmas…

Poker — If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you already know that I randomly decided to download the FullTiltPoker app last night and ended up in a freeroll (tournament that is free to enter) for an eventual spot in the National Heads-Up Championship ($20,000 buy-in event). Somehow I ended up beating 359 other people to win an entry into a round 2 tournament on Thursday. I am not having any delusions of getting into the top 27 there (or winning the round 3 tournament), but I thought it was interesting nonetheless, especially since I’ve only played poker once or twice since moving up here and leaving behind a semi-regular home game.

There’s been a smattering of Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero Van Halen, The Beatles Rock Band and Rock Band 2 here and there.

Oh yeah, and toilet solitaire.

Weekend Wrapup

It’s been a week and the internet demands fresh content. First a couple random updates, then some book reviews. Because this is my blog, and “I do what I want!”

  1. I finally started drums on Guitar Hero: Metallica. Pretty fun, though my thumb threatens to blister every session now. Preventative taping will commence, but the hockey tape I have is kinda sticky on the outside too.
  2. The boys have branched out from squash to sweet potatoes and avocado. So far so good. And messy.
  3. Frickin’ Sharks.
  4. Still playing Unreal World, a wilderness survival rouge-like. Yes, I’m weird.
  5. Future Sailors by The Mighty Boosh. Too bad Adult Swim is butchering the episodes, and they started on season 3 for some reason.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

I’ve been meaning to read this ever since the A&E miniseries came out last year. I DVR’d it and have been sitting on it for months. Well, I finally got around to it, and the verdict is: okay. I wasn’t aware that it was written in 1969, though that didn’t necessarily detract from it. Actually, I thought the science held up fairly well, 40 years on. It read smoothly and kept my interest, but here are my gripes:

  1. It seemed that a full third of the book was descriptions of scientific tests and the machines that ran them. It wasn’t boring, but it wasn’t exactly gripping, either.
  2. The ending was… anti-climactic. ‘Nuff said without spoilers.

Now I can finally watch the 4 hour miniseries and see what they did with it.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

While poking around on that internet thing, I came across a message board thread where people were talking about which books had a profound influence on them as kids or teens. I noticed that A Wizard of Earthsea came up on many people’s lists, so I snagged it from the library. It is apparently an acclaimed novel and frequently compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Well, I was underwhelmed to say the least. The writing seemed flat and just not that interesting. The story itself was fine as a whole, but I guess I wasn’t hooked by her writing style. I will not be reading anything else by her voluntarily. I do not care what happens to Ged going forward.

Bonus Review: Just After Sunset by Stephen King

I finally finished this Christmas present recently as well. Some really good stories in this collection, I highly recommend it, if you like Stephen King’s style. Inlcuded is “N.”, which was made into a comic book and a downloadable narrated comic book-like video series. Overall a great read!

Random Musings 2009-04-03

A number of quickies, since we haven’t posted in a while.

  1. Our last-minute trip to the Bay Area went pretty well. The flights weren’t too bad, aside from sore arms from holding babies. The boys are sleeping much better now that we’re back home, though. They picked up the sniffles along the way as well.
  2. Andrew’s Law: The moment you realize there is not a burp cloth nearby is the moment that he will decide to throw up. Exhibit A: My still-wet shirt sleeve.
  3. Guitar Hero: Metallica, which I pre-ordered in February, showed up on Tuesday. I’m about 33% through it on guitar (on expert, naturally). Two thumbs up so far. We’ll see how the drums go.
  4. Taco Nachos at Jack in the Box are just that — two tacos cut up with nacho cheese and jalepenos on a bed of lettuce. They deliver what they promise. Add two regular tacos and some mini churros and you’re good to go!
  5. The server knows what time it is, but either WordPress or PHP thinks it’s an hour earlier. Hooray for DST. I will have to look into that. (=
  6. The Prodigy AND The Crystal Method in concert on May 30th? Awesome!


I now own 7 plastic video game guitars and two plastic video game drum sets. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix and the Spree

If there is one game for the Nintendo DS that is digital crack (for me at least), it is Puzzle Quest (also available for the PSP, Windows and as a download from Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network). It’s basically a light RPG with a Bejeweled/match 3 battle system, but it is damn addicting. Every now and then I get the itch and have to play through it again. I think I’ve gone through it 6 or 7 times now, maxing my character out at level 50 each time.

I’ve been excited ever since the “sequel” was announced. (Sequel is in quotes because it was initially under development independent from the Puzzle Quest title, and because the puzzle mechanic is more complicated than the original match-3 system.) Puzzle Quest: Galactrix looks to be just as addictive but with a lot more strategy, as the pieces are hexagons and can move in six directions instead of four. Additionally, it takes place in space and the lack of gravity affects the game board, so pieces don’t just fall down, they fall from the direction you made your move in. Definitely a lot more to think about this time around.

A demo was made available last week, and it seems to live up to my hype. I had minor issues on both my desktop and my laptop (which is one of the reasons I’m getting it for the DS), but it prompted me to pre-order it, so I guess that sums it up.

To top it off, I went on a bit of a spree (mostly with my SanDisk rebate card) at I got Final Fantasy 4 and 5 for the Game Boy Advance, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 for the DS. I decided a while back that I wanted to play all the Final Fantasy games in order. Square/Enix had started releasing GBA (then DS) ports of the games, so I started there. I finished FF3 up last year, then played through Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (which I had started a few times but never quite finished).

Then I found out that Toys’R’Us had a great deal on Guitar Hero: World Tour ($50 off [$139 for the full bundle] with free shipping), which I’ve put off getting since we’re still having tons of fun with Rock Band/2, so I went ahead and got that too. Which reminds me, I need to go pre-order Guitar Hero: Metallica from GameStop so I get the free second bass pedal. (=

And, yes, I’m aware that I will have a plethora of plastic video game instruments. And I don’t care.

Then, to ease my pain, I got the latest Buckethead release, Slaughterhouse on the Prarie.

February is going to rule.