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Posted: September 11, 2011 (08:37 PM)
During the summer I didn't think I'd be able to say this, but football (of the American variety) is back. And just in time too because the past week has been extremely painful to be a Red Sox fan as they slowly implode in on themselves. So here are my predictions/commentary on some teams.
Steelers & Ravens - The Ravens really beat the Steelers bad. The media seems to be championing the Ravens predicting that they'll take the division. If today's game was any indication, then maybe they're on to something. Regardless I'm sure you'll see both teams in the playoffs, but I don't think this is going to be Flacco's year. Especially when he'll likely have to go through the Patriots and/or Jets to get to the Super Bowl.
Colts - If you're a football fan, you've likely heard about Peyton Manning's impending neck surgery that will likely make him miss the season. This pretty much effectively tanks the Colts and makes them a non-threat.
Eagles - I don't pay as much attention to the NFC, but the Eagles are an interesting team to follow. Not only is Michael Vick extremely talented, but there's all the hype about the 'Dream Team' they've created. I think this team is only going to get better as the season progresses.
Packers - The Packers want to be the next Patriots but they're forgetting that the Patriots are still the Patriots. They looked good in their opener, and I think it's very possible they'll be back at the Super Bowl if not repeat a win.
Jets - Honestly pretty surprised with how tonight's game is going. 17-7 in the 3rd with the Cowboys winning. I don't know if Dallas has good defense or their offense just sucks. I figured the Jets would be even better this year, but hey whenever the Jets lose, that's a good day.
Giants - This will be the year Tom Coughlin gets fired, but hey Eli Manning will have a better season than his brother at least.
Patriots - Tom Brady will do his best being Tom Brady and that will win a lot of games. Wes Welker & co will do their best catching some balls and that will win games to. Chad Ochocinco will be living with a fan or something. At some point Randy Moss will make a shocking announcement that he is coming out of retirement to play football with his buddy Tom. The Patriots will have an undefeated season and beat the Eagles/Packers 100-0 in the Super Bowl (700-0 if Bill Belichick suits up and plays left tackle). Jokes about the Patriots being the Boston team to go the longest without a title will be deferred to the Red Sox.
On a side note, I'm starting a new job tomorrow, but that's misleading to say because I've been doing per diem work for the same position at the same hospital (same floor and unit too) since July. The only difference is now I have a guaranteed 40 hour work week and I'll have my own caseload instead of covering for other therapists, which in some ways is easier and some ways harder. I'm kinda surprised I found full time this quickly in this economy but that's healthcare I suppose.
Title: What games are you guys looking forward to?
Posted: September 10, 2011 (10:39 AM)
all 2011 games
01) Zelda: Skyward Sword - Zelda has been one of my favorite video game series since my childhood - the other being Final Fantasy which hasn't held up as well. I've loved every major installment in the franchise. Though Wind Waker was a bit of a low point to me, I still enjoyed it a lot. Twilight Princess was extremely good, and I hope Skyward Sword doesn't falter by comparison.
02) Assassin's Creed: Revelations - It would be difficult to imagine after playing the first Assassin's Creed that this series would become a stellar franchise of sandbox games. I loved II & Brotherhood, and I'll be happy as long as this one ends up being 'more Assassin's Creed with some gameplay improvements' as Brotherhood was. I just hope the game does enough unique things to tide me over until the proper sequel without making the series' formula feel stale.
03) Skyrim - I finally got around to playing Oblivion this summer. I sunk way too many hours into the game. I loved parts, hated other parts, got completely bored by the end of the main quest. Even if the main quest sucks in this one, dicking around in the game world for 30-40 hours will be really fun until I become overpowered.
04) Gears of War 3 - Gears is pretty fun. Guess I'll be playing this soon.
05) Rage - This looks more up my alley than Modern Warfare 3 & Battlefield 3. It's like The Road Warrior & Fallout meets Doom!
Dark Souls - Never played Demon's Souls so I don't really know what to think. What I've seen of both games frankly doesn't look all that fun, though I'd imagine it feels different factoring in the tension of nearly being killed by everything.
Batman: Arkham City - I liked Arkham Asylum, but I don't feel like I need this one right away. I'll likely own it before the year is over, but I'm just not that excited about it.
Halo Anniversary Edition - I want to get this some day, but $40 for an HD remake of a game I've already played a lot seems steep.
Modern Warfare 3 - Last Christmas, I received both Black Ops & Halo Reach. Black Ops was fun for a couple days before it was shelved. Reach got a lot more play time out of me. CoD is losing its appeal. Even before Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2 didn't enthrall me as much as Modern Warfare did. I doubt a 2011 edition of the game from 2 years ago pieced together by 3 studios is going make me satisfied with a $60 purchase.
Battlefield 3 - Looks pretty, but not really interested.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record - Same game as last year but with Frank West. For $40. I can't believe this is going to exist.
Silent Hill Downpour - This series should have ended after part 3. Downpour is going to suck.
Xenoblade - Being touted as one of the best JRPGs in some time but Nintendo of America doesn't want me to play it. Thanks, jerks.
Title: Game Stuff
Posted: August 24, 2011 (12:30 PM)
Games I've played since last time:
Catherine (Xbox 360) - I enjoyed the game a lot. I put 20 something hours into getting all 8 endings. Very unique puzzle-adventure game with an intriguing story until the last act - then it gets pretty dumb. Definitely recommend it though.
Silent Hill: Homecoming (Xbox 360) - I only bought this because I've finished every 360 game I own, I had 3 days off ahead of me and it was the only thing at GameStop that wasn't horribly overpriced. Not wholly unfun, but disappointing to say the least. Not scary - too focused on grotesque imagery rather than the psychological horror 1-3 played with. Everything good about the game was lifted from the previous games, everything original was vanilla. Should have been called 'Silent Hill: Hit Guys With Pipes'
Silent Hill 4: The Room (Xbox) - Curiosity got the better of me and I spent some chump change on a copy of this. Wow, this fucking sucked. It's not even a Silent Hill game and it was never intended to be. It didn't have those two words in the title, no one would give a shit because it's a terrible, generic survival horror with only a few noteworthy moments. The combat is clunky, the camera sucks and the ally AI is bad. Also, the ghosts made me laugh.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360) - This game is pretty good.
Also: I ordered a Wii (the Mario Kart bundle) finally after thinking about it for the past 2 months. I'd picked up No More Heroes 1 & 2 last month, but I also snatched up Madworld for $7 and pre-ordered the $20 Super Mario Galaxy reprint. I'm working the next 6 days though so I'll have to wait before I can play with my Wii :(
Title: Question about buying a Wii.
Posted: August 04, 2011 (10:07 AM)
I've been trying to look this up but I haven't really found a definitive answer. So I've read up on that the Wii Motion Plus was originally an accessory that attached to the Wiimote to essentially improve its accuracy, sensation whatever you want to call it, but now it's built in to new Wiimote controllers.
As far as I can tell the Wii Mario Kart bundle is the only bundle in production for the Wii. Originally the Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort bundles advertised that it came with a Motion Plus controller packaged with the console, however, the new console with Mario Kart does not. I'm guessing it's because the controllers all have built in standard? Just wondering if anyone can confirm if buying a new Wii will get me a Motion Plus controller (Venter?)
Title: Catherine Initial Impressions
Posted: July 27, 2011 (11:51 AM)
Just finished Nightmare 4 on Normal. So far I'm enjoying it quite a bit. The story is intriguing and the visuals are great. I was pretty hesitant about the block-puzzle oriented gameplay but I've been liking it so far. It has some pretty interesting mechanics and the boss encounters have been frantic and intense. A couple stages have given me trouble - namely the boss of Nightmare 3 & stage 4-1 - and it felt very rewarding to overcome its challenge. However it's clear to me the game is definitely easier than the Japanese version. For one thing, the patch that makes the game easier is on the disc and can't be toggled off. You can easily exploit this to rack up 99 retries at certain points on Normal & Easy. The other thing is I believe the 'Undo' option was only available in the Japanese version's Easy. Either our Normal is their Easy (because I don't see Super Easy mode listed) or the patch added the feature to every difficulty. The Undo option lets you take back up to something like 10 block pushes - it also puts time back on the clock. I figured out quickly you can basically exploit it to give yourself infinite time and it also saves you from dying after a bad push. On the other hand, its helpful if you want to just take back a mistake because the controls sometimes aren't the best.
I don't mean to sound so negative, but it kinda feels like some of the bite was taken out of the game in localization. That said though, I'm still liking it a lot, and I believe it's supposed to become a lot tougher late in the game. I kinda hope so because I'm concerned that I'll plow through the game quickly at this rate.
Title: Gaming stuff
Posted: July 21, 2011 (07:02 PM)
Shadows of the Damned - I just finished my third playthrough and got every achievement a couple days ago. Still my favorite game of the year until Deus Ex 3 is released probably (though I do need to catch up on Bulletstorm, Crysis 2 & Dead Space 2). Also, I'm really looking forward to Lollipop Chainsaw now.
Mortal Kombat 9 - Borrowed this and played it for a bit. Didn't really enjoy it that much. It's a huge love letter to MK1-3. I don't really like MK though. I played through Arcade mode as a couple characters and got bored. Gave it back.
I ended up pre-ordering Catherine. I'm lucky to have three days off when it comes out, and I'm looking forward to playing it.
I went to my backlog for something to tide me over so I've been playing God of War II. This is pretty much the last AAA core title from last gen that I never got around to playing. And I guess there was a reason because I'm not really enjoying it. I've always preferred Devil May Cry & Ninja Gaiden (and now Bayonetta) over God of War. The double-bladed chain combat always felt clunky and shallow by comparison. God of War II is even worse thanks to awful puzzles and occasional frustrating control issues & bad camera angles. The scenario design is sometimes uninspired too. The game just feels artificially extended (like I've already fought the same Rock Minotaur boss 3 times). I have 1/4th of the game left and I'm looking forward to having it done. That is probably not a good sign. God of War was shorter and less varied, but it was better.
Also, you may recalled I was considering picking up Marvel vs Capcom 3. I decided to wait and see what they announce at Comic Con and I'm glad I did. I figured the Ultimate edition wouldn't be until 2012, but if it's only 4 months away and retailing at $40, then fuck it, I'll just buy that day 1.
Title: Commentary on the games I have played this year.
Posted: July 12, 2011 (10:18 AM)
Fallout: New Vegas - With the patch, this is easily one of the best games this gen and essentially renders Fallout 3 obsolete in my mind. Far better quests & characters and a far more interesting and varied game world. No more 30+ identical office buildings & subway tunnels! I got pretty hooked on New Vegas. I ended up playing it for 2 months while interning, did 4 playthroughs (one on Hardcore). Fantastic game.
Alpha Protocol - I spent $12 for a new copy of this game and I'm glad I didn't spend any more. I had a love-hate feel with this one. At first the game just flat out sucks. The shooting & stealth is pretty much neutered at the start of the game until you improve your stats and buy better equipment. Once that happens, the game turns out to be a fun yet clunky shooter RPG. I enjoyed the story & the game did good at making it feel like your choices mattered. I tried replaying the game with the Veteran background, but I lost interest quickly due to the sloppy mechanics.
LA Noire - Basically a niche adventure game with some sandbox & action elements thrown in that got a ton of hype thanks to being published by Rockstar. I actually enjoyed LA Noire a lot in spite of its repetition & complete lack of difficulty. I was pretty glued to my seat because of the fantastic presentation, writing, and acting. I liked it a lot, but I can see why the fan reaction was so mixed. It's essentially a graphic adventure only if you can't solve the "puzzles" you get to move on. I got every achievement in this game because I am insane.
Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands - I got this for $11. I love this series, but I'd been hesitant with Forgotten Sands due to the lukewarm response it had. It feels like a PS2 game with better textures and it's surprisingly glitchy and rushed feeling near the end. Despite that, I had a ton of fun with it, and it reminded me of how I missed the PS2 era POP when I played the 2008 installment. I'm hoping for a sequel that plays more like this but doesn't feel so half assed.
Shadows of the Damned - I just finished this last night. I could easily see it being one of my favorite games of the year. Loved the mixture of RE4/5 style action with Suda51 weirdness. Humorous characters & dialog, excellent soundtrack by Akira Yamaoka, awesome game environments. Pretty much my only complaints are the game's relatively short length (it took me about 7 hours and 40 minutes my first playthrough) and the inability to skip cutscenes. I think the game only sold like 40,000 worldwide in its first week, so I'd highly recommend this when it inevitably drops price.
Not sure what I'll be playing next. I'm replaying Shadows now to finish up the achievements. I'm tempted to pick up Vanquish or MVC3, but I've got my eye on Catherine for the immediate future.
Title: Is the Wii worth buying?
Posted: July 07, 2011 (03:15 PM)
I was thinking of getting a PS3 sometime this year, but after replaying Twilight Princess, I feel like maybe a Wii might be a better purchase for Skyward Sword. Honestly both consoles don't have a huge line up I'm interested in. For the PS3 I primarily want Demon's Souls (which for all I know may be considered "obsolete" when Dark Souls comes out) and Yakuza 3 & 4, while the Wii only really has Zelda & No More Heroes 1 & 2 to make me want the console. Of course both consoles have other games I'd play too but nothing to really make me want to sacrifice $150-300 that I could spend on 360 titles.
With the Wii I have predominately 3 concerns:
-Will Zelda even come out this year? Miyamoto said it's finished, but I find it disheartening that the game doesn't have a set release date yet and the Wii U isn't too far away. I can't help but feel like there could be sudden delay in Fall to push it to Wii U's launch considering what happened with Twilight Princess.
-Not HD. I've heard the Wii U will upscale Wii games. If that's the case, perhaps it'd be best to wait. On the other hand, the Wii U sounds like it's going to retail for more than a PS3.
-Little on the way. It's sounds doubtful that Xenoblade, The Last Story or Pandora's Tower will be released in America. So basically after Zelda and going through the relatively small core game backlog for the Wii, I'm going to have something that will get very little use.
Anyone who wants to throw in their thoughts is welcome to. I probably won't be picking up a new console for some time while I save up money from working.