October Gaming Weekend ’14

The weekends come and go – we look forward to them all week, and they’re gone too soon.

Yet truly great weekends find a way to last longer, a way to stay with us more than the two and a half days they officially take up.

I point to Exhibit A – a recent weekend (10/10-11/14) – as my latest example of Continue reading →

Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 5)

This Modcast was originally broadcast on 12.1.11

The “Modcast #5” achievement*** has been unlocked, and it was totally worth it!

As with the last Modcast, there were too many good things said to record quotes in here so that will be a separate post … enjoy!

Appreciated points:

Updated visuals take you there – CruelLEGACEY brought out the point that the updated Continue reading →

The guts of a Lizard King and other stories

Originally posted at GameSpot on October 22, 2010

I don’t remember where she got the idea, but after breezing through the latest Professor Layton and Puzzle Quest my wife mentioned she might like Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story.

Come to think of it, maybe she got the idea from me – I had heard good things, great reviews, and I’m sure I would have mentioned it at least once. What ever the case, I bought it for her (and me, in the future) on March 26, 2010.

Since that time, she’s played the game it a bit – but it hasn’t grabbed her like the others I mentioned above. This is the next step – as I see it – for her in the world of RPGs, so we’ll see what happens. And hey, I’m planning on playing it as well!

This ended up being a bigger day for games then I would have thought – that night was at a friend’s house and several things of comment happened:

  • Finally saw Burnout Paradise in action. I’ve wanted this one for a while; Burnout 3 may have been my favorite racing/destruction/I-can’t-believe-the-sense-of-speed-I’m-feeling games of all time
  • Final Fantasy XIII – graphics were nice, but I’ve just never gotten into the series. That’s my excuse for not really being impressed. Still, I’m sure if I had played through the series – even a few of them – I would be more qualified to actually say how the game looked I think
  • My wife and I remembered the good times of Capture the Flag on Halo: Combat Evolved – she the sniper, I the rocket
  • My friend’s wife watched him play through Lost Odyssey – I thought this one looked good, and that’s solid proof in my book

Post tenebras lux

Wednesdays are for Rocket Launchers

Originally posted at GameSpot on June 13, 2008

Over the past two Wednesdays (June 4th & 11th) my wife and I have had the privilege of playing someHalo: Combat Evolved with some friends and the multiplayer experience continues to deliver.

Each Wednesday was unique; the 4th had a little Need for Speed: Most Wanted mixed in, and this most recent middle day of the week saw everyone’s “team-ees” improved. Hey, practice makes perfect, right?

We even mixed in some new maps, with Chiron TL-34 making an appearance. I still don’t think this is one of the best maps, but it was a nice change. And honestly, as long as a map layout includes a rocket launcher I’ll always be game for it.

Post tenebras lux

From Crisis Cores to Lockout scores

Originally posted at GameSpot June 2, 2008

Mondays are always a bit of a downer. But to ease the pain of the work week ahead, I like to think back on the weekend, especially if it was a particularly good one – and this past weekend was.

A lot of good things happened, but for this blog we’ll stick with the gaming highlights. In chronological order:

Friday, May 30, 2008, 11:00-2:40 a.m. – My in-laws had a cookout for some friends who came in out-of-town, and as the party died down my brother-in-law and I tried to get in some Battlefield 2125. I saytried, because he needed to download a rather large patch for the game, and it just took too long.

But we made the best of the situation, watching the pilot for “Arrested Development” and playing someHalo: Combat Evolved. He slaughtered me on two games of Slayer on Hang’em High, but I was able to leave with a bit of pride with a 25-23 victory in Damnation.

Something I almost forgot to mention: My brother-in-law just bought Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for his PSP. Like him, I have never played a Final Fantasy game (gasp!), but the title was nothing short of impressive. The graphics and music were first rate, and even from the short game play and boss fight he showed me the game looked like it had a lot of depth. And the cut scenes! Wow.

This may be a series I could get into in the future – I could tell this game points to a rich tradition, and I know it’s one many people cherish.

Sunday, June 1, 2008, 10:45-1:30 a.m. – My brother-in-law came over with his girlfriend and while she and my wife did their thing, we played some tennis and then headed to the basement for someNeed for Speed Most Wanted and Halo 2.

I had been talking up Most Wanted for a while, so I was glad to be able to finally show him the game – and things worked out better then I had planned. Nothing is worse then wanting to show off a game but having it somehow fall flat on its face. NFSMW delivered, however, and we had some of the greatest police chases I’ve seen in the game.

One in particular had a cruiser we just smashed through in a roadblock and rolled over and over, upwards of at least five times. It was nothing short of awesome, seeing in roll in front and them hitting the back view only to see it keep going. How can you not love it?

Next was Halo 2, and we had three of the greatest matches I’ve had in a long time. Did I win either any of them? No – but they were epic none the less. Rifles for the first and third, rockets for the second; 25 kill count on Lockout all three times – it was fantastic.

They were just what multiplayer FPS should be about – great confrontations, amazing (or not) shots, close calls, intense grenade battles, logic-defying comebacks (by me), and loud shouts of “Yes!” and “Noooooo!”

An excellent night, capping of a great weekend. Let’s hope it pulls me through the week!

Post tenebras lux

Recent happenings on ringed orbital installations

Originally posted at GameSpot on April 24, 2008

Halo has been happening around me lately, with two recent examples proving yet again why this game is fun.

Last Tuesday night (April 15th) we went over to family’s house for a cook-out; burgers on the grill, fresh-baked cookies for dessert, etc. – a really great night. What capped if off, however, was the fact that my brother-in-law recently hooked up Xbox Live again.

So after a long day at the office and a fun night with family, I went home and went to bed – right? Wrong! I did my duty and after tucking everyone in to bed at our place, drove back to the in-law’s house and played some slayer! It was a blast to be back on live again; even at the late hour there were still plenty of people playing Halo 2. There were even new maps I hadn’t seen yet, which is always a bonus. I was definitely a little rusty, but got back into the groove pretty quick.

Many thanks to my brother-in-law who not only extended the invite, but let me hang out until 2:30 a.m.

If that wasn’t enough, we had friends over the next night (April 16th) – and a certain game was played for roughly four hours. That certain game? Halo: Combat Evolved. This is the couple my wife and I had introduced to Halo, and they couldn’t wait to play. Rockets on Derelict, Slayer on Prisoner, even some sniping on Boarding Action – very cool.

The girls did great in their own right, with a certain someone getting to know and loving the red B button. We all had a great time, and finished up past midnight.

All this to say, Halo is still pulling its weight when many other games have out-lived their fun. Hail the Maser Chief!

 Post tenebras lux

For England, James?

Originally posted at GameSpot on March 26, 2008

This is the third entry into a series about great moments from my gaming past. These wrinkles in time refuse to go away in my conscience, and I want to get them down before all the details are lost. The events are not in chronological order.

This wrinkle deals with the hours and hours I’ve spent playing GoldenEye 007 for the N64. It was Halo before there was Halo, and this game was the first to really show me that playing with others was fun.

My first year of college saw me play some games – and even systems – I never had before (a baseball game for the Sega Saturn comes to mind). But what kept me up at night, what kept me late for (or even missing) lectures was multiplayer on GoldenEye.

With a list of great and varied maps, fun weapons (I enjoyed the Moonraker laser), and cool modes (no guns, just a hand slap to the back of the head!), the game had everything needed to keep half the guys on the top floor of the dorm playing all day.

Whoever won the match got the pick the map and weapon, and everyone had their specialties – whether proxies, rocket launchers, etc. In GoldenEye, as in Halo today, I still vote for the bigger stuff – evens the playing field a bit.

Believe me, I needed all the help I could get – those guys were merciless, and I rarely found myself at the top of the heap. Losing is an art, one I’d like to think I’ve mastered.

Still, while I occasionally got sick of being pummeled, it wouldn’t take long before I was back for more – the game was just that good.

Post tenebras lux