Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Gaming in July '08

1 - Got in about 1/2 hour of Zelda PH. Really amazing how much they have packed into that little cartridge. Downloaded (but didn't install) patches for Diablo 2 that should make it CD-free. That's always nice.

2 - Some more Zelda at lunch. Damn, why did they make that sail-through-the-fog sequence so hard?? Played some GW:N with John. Tried a demo of Carnival Games DS...and it sucks as bad as the Wii version. (Big surprise, I know.) Note to self: Guitar Hero is not real gaming. It's just rhythmic button pressing. Played some more Zelda late into the night as I had a hard time relaxing after some junior terrorist popped our main circuit breakers around 11pm.

3 - Oh, rapture! I finally made it through that @#$% fog! Mario Kart Wii with John. Di's getting better after her Time Trial workout to open Birdo.

4 - A little Zelda here and there, and several hours of GW:N. Running joke: John says we have to play 12 hours of GW. I say that if those are FFXI hours, we'll be done in 2.

5 - Some more Zelda. I can't believe I didn't figure out that I needed to "blow" on the windmills to make them turn! Wow! What a dummy! Guess I don't "get" these new fangled gaming machines (*grumble*). Tried Super Smash Bros and can't say it was a hit. Same button mashing of the previous games. Did an interesting test with John - Mario Kart wheel vs Wavebird. On open racing, there didn't seem to be much difference. But on close maneuvers and coin or balloon courses, the advantage seemed to be with the gamepad. Also played quite a bit of GW:N. Good game. Update: Serious late night session playing (finally) Second Sight for Cube. An hour and a half of the first section and training (in that order lol) and I remember why I have mountains of games to catch up on before worrying about anything on the 360. It's truly sad to see how much detail was poured into a game like this that had a short shelf life and was, almost certainly, considered a financial disappointment. It's that legacy of poor performance that has caused the piles of corporate and focus group approved titles we see today. Cherish the past.

6 - A nice long GW:N session with John. Good fun.

7 - Aside from changing the DVD drive in my second-hand Xbox (the patient lived!), I tried Red Steel and I think I'll keep it - since it only cost about $9. Not the easiest to control, but I do like the style of the game. Also did 9 holes of Tiger. On the easy setting, it reminds me of Wii Golf, which isn't a bad thing at all. Late night run on the newly refurbished Xbox playing Conker's Bad Fur Day. This title was a good test as there are lots of loading screens early on (with progress bars) and the old drive could barely even make the game run. That old drive was (HOLY CRAP, I BETTER MAKE SURE MY HALO DISC ISN'T STILL IN IT!) in very bad shape. Why it could read Halo ok but not other games, I don't know. Might have to see about getting one more, just to have a spare around. As for the game, it's a funny and crude platformer. Not easy, but fun.

8 - Some Mario Kart Wii with John. Di has a gold wheel now! (And yes, I did leave my Halo disc in the old drive. Fortunately, taking the top off the drive gave me access to it. Good thing as I didn't find a release button.)

9 - Only about 15 minutes of Zelda at lunch. New chargers for Wii-motes came. It's going to be nice to not have to feel bad about running down batteries.

10 - Mario Kart Wii with John to test out the new Wii-mote chargers. Looks pretty good so far. After 1 1/2 hours, one showed 4 bars and the other 3. Downloaded, but not yet played, the new Trauma Center 2 demo.

11 - Off-Friday day off! Tried the TC2 demo. Lame! It was just a quick tumor removal process. Same thing I did during my short stint on the first one. Not sure what I was expecting. Maybe brain surgery!...Loaded L.A. Rush into the Xbox for a spin. A strange merging of Burnout (fast driving and crashing around the streets of LA - complete with automatic "Crashbreaker" explosions) and GTA (race from one yellow beam to the next; even had the stars in the upper right corner when you pissed off the cops; easier to lose stars however). Overall not bad. I'm disappointed with the graphics for an Xbox game. Looked like Burnout 1 stuff. Wish I could lose the crap rap music. Very much a barrio theme to the story mode...Wow! Two white dots in one day. Got some time in with Area-51 for PS2. Good shooter if a bit repetitive. Alien-mutated humans with guns! And LOTS of them. I'm still mostly crap with the aiming, but, thankfully, my teammates make up for it. Actually, there were times when I thought that if I just sat in a corner, they would do all the killing for me. Lazy, I know....GW:N with John. Knocked off 2nd mission.

12 - Enough Zelda:PH to get past the Gust Island boss (yeah!)....GW:N with John.

13 - Decided to take the wrapper of Super Mario Galaxy, if for no other reason that to open a new character in Mario Kart Wii. Very cool game, but I don't know if it was making me nauseous or not. Have to try it again....Mario Kart Wii with John. Yep, Rosilina was opened!....Late night Zelda:PH session. Damn strat guide was wrong about getting the key on the 2nd level of the Ocean King Temple. You don't have to pull the switch, but you do have to hit both orbs to get the key to fall. Still working on getting through the lower levels. Ran out of sand on my last run.

....and this is where the log ends. Sorry, folks. That wasn't working.

I had gone back and re-read some of my old posts, ones I was doing before and during my "Game-a-Week" period. What I found is that I was writing much more informative and interesting entries then; something more like mini-reviews. This "diary" format wasn't providing much more than "good game" or "seems interesting" (note: may not be actual quotes, but close enough). And face it: keeping a record of nightly play isn't something I'm going to want to read again in a month or a year. It's boring and tedious.

There is one more reason to stop this format. Originally, I was trying to convince myself I didn't need a game system from the "next/new generation" beyond my DS or Wii. Well, I will soon (very soon) have a 360 to add to my stable of gaming platforms. Birthdays and sweethearts have a way of changing things. So, I will now have to add another page to my videogame database and my count of unplayed games will jump up by 5 to just under 400. I guess I'm destined to be surrounded by virtual worlds I still need to visit.

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