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Title: Recent purchases...
Posted: September 19, 2009 (05:01 PM)
I made two purchases recently and I felt bad doing it when I'm trying to put away money to pay off debts, but at the same time I consider them necessary. They are:
1) External hard drive. I now have a 320GB hard drive that was on super sale where I work (so I got a discount on top of that, too). It's a Toshiba brand and it was necessary because my laptop had gotten to the point where I couldn't even browse the Internet for long without the temporary files filling up the last bit of my hard drive. Not a good way to operate, methinks. Plus I couldn't back up the site's image and guide files because I had no room. Now I do and that intolerable condition can stop.
2) iPod Touch. I've wanted a proper iPod for a long, long time... one that's not the old iPod shuffle a customer literally threw at me when he came into the store where I worked to get it repaired. It was named "piece of crap" and he swore it didn't work, but of course it was an excellent iPod and worked just fine.
I need more, though, specifically because I'm tired of turning down iPod games that we could be reviewing (some of which even looked somewhat interesting). Now I can safely accept games from publishers because I know that if no one else can review them, I can. Though... I'm not sure most of the available reviewers even have an iPod Touch.
I got the new iPod on a clearance price at the local Wal-Mart, possibly because of a corporate error, so the cost for the iPod and the external hard drive together came to... well, more than I wanted to spend, but a lot less than they could have been.
Of course, those purchases set me back a bit and I now need to sell off a few more games so I'm not in the hole at the end of the month, but I expect that I will get a metric ton of use out of both items so it's justified. Knowing that if the site server crashes I can still have a backup is peace of mind that justifies everything, anyway, plus now I can listen to music while I work on the site, my fiction or guides without conflicting sound issues on my laptop. Good times, all around...
Anyway, now it's time to see what games I feel like selling. I think there are a few good candidates and a few I'll definitely miss, but I did the right thing.
Title: I'm still enjoying Section 8...
Posted: September 16, 2009 (05:13 PM)
After writing a guide for the game's single-player campaign for IGN, I spent more time with the game--specifically online--so that I could produce a well-rounded review for the site. That full review is newly available right here:
It's just shy of 1400 words, which might be a longer read than some have in mind, so here's the short version: Section 8 is a pretty nice way to pass the time online if you had to sell your copy of Call of Duty 4 and you got a copy of Section 8 for free.
There's no doubt in my mind that Call of Duty 4 is the better game, but I do quite enjoy my time with Section 8. It's better than, say, Halo 3. Then again, what isn't better than Halo 3? The list is pretty short, I'd wager.
Title: Concerning the Beatles...
Posted: September 11, 2009 (04:28 PM)
What's your favorite album? You already know that 09-09-09 marked the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, the first rhythm game to incorporate Beatles music, but of course that game is missing a lot of their music despite having a generous track list.
You probably already know (or maybe not) that they've digitally remastered all of the albums from the group and are releasing them individually or as part of a box set throughout North America (and, I would presume, other regions nearer and dearer to the hearts of many Beatles fans). This looks like the best time in the last 30 years or so to collect and enjoy Beatles music.
My personal hope is to own all 14 releases (the 14th is a two-disc collection of Beatles music that didn't make it to albums, as far as I can tell), but that'll be awhile yet. I am a man of limited resources. Thanks to terrific sales locally and some coupons I had lying around, I have most of the discs and will be going through them over the next few weeks, most likely. There's no point in rushing things.
As I get ready to do that, I wondered what some other folks here are doing, if anything. Will you be buying some of the remastered releases--which come with original cover art and liner notes, by the way--or do you already have the Beatles music you care about? Do you have a favorite record? I'd love to hear!
Title: CrispyGamer doesn't agree with New York Times game writer
Posted: September 10, 2009 (07:04 PM)
So, some guy who writes for The New York Times in its "Games" section wrote a review of The Beatles: Rock Band that is possibly the worst review ever written. CrispyGamer comments on such things here:
I read through the whole article and, if you're serious about games criticism, I suggest that you do the same. After you've done so, I hope that you'll come back here to share your thoughts. I'm interested in hearing what some of you think.
Title: Review number 500 is posted...
Posted: August 25, 2009 (02:02 PM)
Well, I've now officially posted my 500th review on the site, excluding old reviews that I deleted a long time ago. I find it fitting that the game I reviewed was Nintendo-published, since Nintendo is the company that ignited my passion for games and my desire to write about them more than 20 years ago. I'd hoped that the 500th game would be something special, but I wasn't going to go out of my way to make that happen. Fortunately, Nintendo managed to make it happen for me. Metroid Prime Trilogy arrived here a week ago and enjoying its content these past few days has been a real treat.
I announced awhile back that I would be cutting back on my reviewing, and that's still the plan... but first you can look forward to a bunch more reviews spaced out over the next several weeks. I may have psyched myself out a bit regarding the magical 500th review. Now, for better or worse, it's written. Anything I write now is just a bonus and hopefully I can fall into a comfortable groove again where every new review doesn't feel like pulling teeth.
Unless at some point in the distant future I find myself within spitting distance of 1000 reviews, I've probably passed the last benchmark in that regard that I'll ever set. Maybe now I can just go back to having fun with it. :-)
Title: Just what I needed...
Posted: August 24, 2009 (12:30 AM)
So, I'm apparently coming down with a cold again. Two nights ago, I felt it starting and I drank a lot of echinacea tea and orange juice. It seemed to fight it off and last night I felt just fine. Today, I felt the cold coming back and I drank some tea and orange juice but to no avail. It managed to get a hold. Tonight at work, I could feel the cold getting worse by the minute and now it's a full-blown cold. I've made myself soup and I'm drinking OJ and tea, but I think for the first time in something like 15 years, I'm destined to have two miserable colds in a single year. Crap...
Title: Waiting in my inbox tonight was some fan mail...
Posted: August 21, 2009 (12:22 AM)
How the hell could you give hunk of garbage like Wild Arms 4 and Disgaea series a 10, but Persona 3 a 9 ?
Here is Electronic Gaming Monthly's review of Persona 3
An AAA title apparently.
Here is GamePro's review
RPGFan made list of the best RPG on 6th generation console.Look which title made the top.
I don't fucking get most of you RPG fans . Just when an RPG title is genuinely good and got praises from critics, you all duck to your dark corners and resort to your shitty niche titles due to your insecurity,just like Smeagol cherishing the One Ring . Where is Nocturne , Wild Arms 4, or Disgaea on that RPGFan list ? There is a huge difference between 'honest gamer' and 'uninformed, ignorant gamer'. You seem to be the second one.
Title: I hate my day job with a fiery passion...
Posted: August 20, 2009 (02:42 AM)
I hate my day job with a fiery passion. I'm rather confident that I will soon either walk out in a fit of complete and utter disgust... or I'll get fired. The latter could happen whether I screw up or not, as several long-time employees have recently been let go for minor infractions that elsewhere probably wouldn't even warrant a frown from a manager. It's absurd, really.
So anyway, the only reason I'm still working at the job is that I need the money and the prospect for other jobs around here is virtually non-existent given my skill set. I have a lot of back debts and I've been paying them down, but it can't happen fast enough to please me. So I've decided to sell some games that I can maybe do without. I'll miss many of them, but not in any extreme way. Perhaps parting with them will keep my sanity secure, so it's a sacrifice worth making.
While deciding what to sell, I figured it was time to finally let go of original Xbox games that won't run on the Xbox 360, since my brother-in-law borrowed my original Xbox and it never quite came back due to circumstances not entirely within his control. The list of games I'll be selling for that reason is as follows:
Beyond Good & Evil
Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Everything or Nothing
The Godfather: The Game
Kung Fu Chaos
Metal Slug 3
Pirates of the Caribbean
Samurai Shodown V
I don't expect any of those to go for much on eBay and definitely I'll miss them, but I'm not about to buy another Xbox--bulky beast that it is--and most of the above games I probably won't go back to even though I like them. The hardest loss to take will be Pirates of the Caribbean, a game that almost no one seems to know about or care about except for me. Many of the others are at least available on other systems.
With any luck, I'll make a few hundred on eBay as a result of my upcoming sales. That can go a long way toward paying off another credit card and yes, there's an up side to all of this: I'll have more room on my shelves for any new games that join my library in the months and years ahead... games that I'll likely have a better chance of actually playing from time to time. Hey, every cloud has a silver lining!
Title: Weezer's seventh album...
Posted: August 16, 2009 (05:11 PM)
So, today I heard part of one of the less over-played Weezer songs on the radio and when I got home, I decided to check out the official site to see how things are going for the band.
Apparently, they're going pretty good. Last Wednesday, they just announced that a seventh studio album is officiallyin the works and will be releasing on October 27, 2009. There's no name and the only detail so far is that the first single will release in August and is called "(If you're wondering if I want you to) I want you to".
So that's all good news and such, but I still don't have the red album. I've been procrastinating and spending my money on other things... like food. Looks like I need to act alive. I hate falling behind on albums from favorite bands and Weezer is right near the top of my list. Of course, I'm behind on Collective Soul, too...
Title: Stumbling toward burnout
Posted: August 15, 2009 (02:06 PM)
Currently, the front page of the site lists the most recent 8 reviews from staff and freelancers and I wrote 4 of them. That's a lot of output from one person and I'm starting to feel it. My reviews are probably suffering, too.
Anyway, I'm now at 499 reviews posted on the site and there are around 4 more that I plan to write over the next month or two. I'll probably take my time with those because the truth is that I'm getting burnt out on reviewing. I don't want to force myself to some sort of breaking point and then never review again. That would be far too melodramatic and I'm no good at posting about retirement.
In the weeks ahead, around the occasional review for recent releases, I plan to do more database work, more editorial work and more of just about everything else on the site. I think I've been churning out reviews at a frantic pace for long enough that I can start to take things a bit easier on myself and hopefully help other writers to expand their roles on the site.
500 reviews feels like a tremendous milestone and producing new reviews right now is getting more difficult each time around, not easier the way it used to. I think I just need to give my brain time to refuel, so that's what I hope to do now. But like I said... more reviews should be coming soon. I have some time-consuming RPGs to play and review. Watch for that...