Blogs, eh? Let's see if I still know how to do one of these...
After some not so subtle "geez, lady, do a blog already" hints from Wesker, here I am. Why? Not quite sure - a temporary bug I'm sure. For the one person out there reading this, I've been keeping myself busy over the last *looks at last blog date* year and some odd months (FUCK) with Gamer's Intuition - yes, I still write reviews for the occasional free game - and my two paying jobs, both of which are in the industry, but on the casual/social side. I know it's likely stereotypical for a girl to be writing about / working in the social and casual gaming space, but hey, it's damn good money, and enjoyable for me (yes, I would play FarmVille, Bejeweled and the like even if I wasn't being "paid to," as it were), so I'll gladly look like the stereotype where that's concerned. What exactly do I write about? Check out Games.com and Gamezebo for that (some reviews, previews, and guides, but mainly news posts over - wait for it - Facebook games). If you don't think there's a lot of money or merit in that industry, think again. I've virtually met so many housewives that are downright obsessed with FarmVille (and pour hundreds of dollars into it) that it puts Zynga's entire business strategy in the "why didn't I think of that?" category.
This isn't to say that hardcore gaming has fallen by the wayside, mind you. Far from it, actually. I even finished the storyline in Crysis 2 this morning (holy shit, what a great game). Right now, I would consider myself to be playing more games "simultaneously" than I have been in a very, very long time. It started with a 40+ hour run through the original Dragon Age over the past month or so (finally found the Ultimate Edition for a price that was acceptable to my still cheap ass - $25 at Kmart). Right now, I'm in the beginning stages of my second playthrough, as I'm trying to earn all of the other "choice" achievements, for those who are familiar - that and the romance achievements. At any rate, I'm looking to get 100% of the achievements in both Origins and all of the bonus content, just as I did with Mass Effect in the past. In addition to that, I picked up de Blob 2 (have finished the first three levels in it over the past week), and have a playthrough of 007 Blood Stone waiting for me to finish as well (Amazon had it on sale for $20). Also picked up WWE All Stars this morning, but Wesker will spend much more time with that than I.
That's enough from me for now. Let me quickly duck my head back into the shadows before anyone notices.
Yes, I am posting a blog. Feel free to express your shock
After my buddy Darro did a list like this last year, I decided to make one of my own, chronicling which games I completed in the year of 2009. While I had no set goal in mind like Darro did (his was beating 40 games in 2008), I still thought it would be interesting to see how many games I casually beat in a year.
While I know it may seem like cheating, if you will, to include the same game on the list more than once for different endings or different difficulty levels, those endings and difficulty settings often create an entirely different gameplay experience when all is said and done (not to mention require just as much time, if not more, than the initial playthrough), so yeah. Here's the list:
1) Jan 1 – PS1 – Crash Team Racing (trophies only) 2) Jan 2 – PS2 – Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 3) Jan 14 – Wii – Guitar Hero III on Medium Difficulty 4) Jan 16 – Wii – Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek 5) Feb 9 – Wii – Coraline 6) Feb 12 – Wii – Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers – Aya’s Storyline 7) Feb 18 – Wii – Nascar Kart Racing (story mode only / didn’t unlock everything) 8) Feb 19 – Wii – Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers – Saki’s Storyline 9) Feb 20 – Wii – Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers – Reiko’s Storyline 10) Feb 20 – Wii – Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers – Misery’s Storyline 11) Feb 27 – PS3 – Flower 12) Feb 27 – PS3 – Need for Speed: Undercover 13) Mar 2 – PS3 – Zuma 14) Mar 11 – PS3 – Killzone 2 15) Mar 13 – Wii – House of the Dead: Overkill 16) Mar 24 – 360 – Beautiful Katamari 17) Mar 26 – 360 – Feeding Frenzy (XBLA) 18) Apr 1 – 360 – Mirror’s Edge 19) Apr 9 – Wii – Cate West: The Vanishing Files 20) Apr 27 – 360 – Mass Effect (Female Paragon Vanguard) 21) May 8 – 360 – Prey on Difficulty 22) May 10 – DS – Grand Theft Auto: Wars 23) May 14 – 360 – Prey on Cherokee Difficulty 24) May 17 – 360 – Mass Effect (Male Soldier Renegade) 25) May 17 – 360 – Guitar Hero: Aerosmith on Easy Difficulty 26) May 27 – 360 – PGR3: All medals at least at bronze level 27) May 28 – 360 – Mass Effect (Male Paragon Adept) 28) Jun 11 – 360 – Mass Effect (Female Paragon Engineer) 29) Jun 20 – 360 – Guitar Hero: Aerosmith on Medium Difficulty 30) Jun 24 – 360 – Dash of Destruction (XBLA) 31) July 1 – 360 – Prototype 32) July 2 – 360 – Guitar Hero: Aerosmith on Hard Difficulty 33) July 4 – 360 – Prince of 34) July 28 – 360 – Madballs in… Babo Invasion (XBLA) 35) Aug 1 – 360 - Guitar Hero: World Tour – Guitar on Medium Difficulty 36) Aug 25 – 360 - Guitar Hero: World Tour – Bass on Hard Difficulty 37) Sept 2 – 360 – Guitar Hero: World Tour – Vocals on at least Medium Difficulty 38) Sept 3 – 360 – Guitar Hero: World Tour – Drums on Easy Difficulty 39) Sept 25 – PS3 – Mini Ninjas 40) Oct 8 – Wii – Dead Space: Extraction 41) Oct 14 – 360 – Tornado Outbreak 42) Oct 16 – 360 – Axel & Pixel (XBLA) 43) Oct 28 – 360 – Fairytale Fights 44) Nov 2 – Wii – MySims Agents 45) Nov 9 – 360 – Mirror’s Edge (Hard Difficulty) 46) Nov 18 – 360 – Mass Effect (Hardcore Difficulty – for achievement) 47) Nov 19 – 360 – Mass Effect (Insanity Difficulty – 1200/1200 GS) 48) Nov 21 – 360 – Dead Space 49) Nov 28 – 360 – LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga 50) Dec 4 – 360 – Silent Hill: Homecoming (1000/1000 GS on Dec 6) 51) Dec 8 – 360 – Left 4 Dead 2 52) Dec 13 – 360 – Guitar Hero 5 Career Mode 53) Dec 23 – 360 – Modern Warfare 2 Single Player
In the process of less than five months (late November to mid March), I went from completely last-gen to owning all three current gen consoles, something that I never expected would happen, and I know that I am incredibly lucky to be in such a position where dedication on my part and the support of those in the industry proper allowed things to fall into place.
With Q1 of 2010 looking to be one of the best first quarters ever, it’ll be interesting to see if my total is topped next year. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading guys – hope everyone has a very Happy (and safe) New Year’s!
Bought some games at GameCrazy's going out of business sale - Gears of War, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero II. Supposedly stuff goes 50% off today, so I might make another trip out there. Doubt there will be much of anything left, but I like shopping regardless (which is considerably more odd now that I have become an even cheaper penny-pincher than I ever thought possible).
Sister asked me to make a Christmas list so she could start shopping for me, and I came up with about... five ideas. Normally I'd ramble off pages and pages of things I want, but I've become far more particular nowadays. All but one of the items that I did name were old 360 games that I need to catch up on - stuff like GTA IV and Bioshock. Figured I'd mention this to ask you all what you think I should ask for... what 360 games, past or present, are so good that I simply can't (or rather, shouldn't) live without them for any longer?
So, I got a review code for Zombie Apocalypse, and while the single player is rather lacking, the multiplayer is a lot of fun. Figured I'd make a note here that if anyone else downloads it and wants to play (up to four players can go at once), let me know and we can kill some zombies together!
Also, if anyone's interested, I have reviewed Mini Ninjas.
No lame excuses as to why I haven't posted - I'll just come right out and admit that I don't have the drive for blogging that I used to (started back in 2005, so I guess it's understandable for an interest to die away over that long of a stretch *shrug*). It's not that I don't care about all of YOU, but I talk to most of you on Skype, MSN, Live, or Facebook anyhow (and if not, I apologize - let me know and I'll add you), so I talk to a lot of you on a semi-daily basis anyhow. But, while the mood has struck me, here's some bullets to catch us up.
Went to Gen Con - got some hands on time with Dante's Inferno (awesome), and Dragon Age (disappointing). Also got a peak at Champions Online (the only interesting thing here, at least in my non-MMO mindset, was the insanely complex character creation), and some lesser known games (Odd Society, for one - which... well.. sucked).
Got a 120GB Zune for $100, as opposed to the regular price tag of $250. Bargains like that are always awesome. :-) Was definitely time to retire the <1GB version I had been relying on in the past.
Got back from Gen Con, then turned around and went to Myrtle Beach on a regular vacation. Was alright.... I'm not a sun-worshiper, so I got bored pretty easily when all my travel party wanted to do was lay on the beach, and I was stuck with a lack of nearby technology.
Am trying to catch up on old 360 games, so I spent some GS trade-in credit on GRAW and Condemned. Figure I'll pick up games like the first Gears, Bioshock and Oblivion, and maybe Bully or Dead Rising the next time they have their "buy 2 get 1 free" sale, but for right now, these little $7.99 games will do just fine.
I'm in the middle of Mini Ninjas on the PS3, which I'll be reviewing in the coming days, but other than that, it's been a bunch of shovelware coming my way. Site traffic at Gamer's Intuition is downright atrocious (that's a long, LONG - and annoying - story), so some companies aren't supporting us with review copies like they used to, adding to my overall "meh" feeling at the moment.
Other than that, my life is pretty basic.. and boring. Still doing a lot of writing, which I DO thoroughly enjoy, but offline, it's a mess of job applications and a feeling of "blah" over not knowing when I'll finally have a standard income coming in.
Didn't mean to turn this into a bitching blog... I'm not depressed, REALLY, I'm not, so please don't think this is some outcry for help. Guess it's just one of those days...
Thought I had found a rhythm with more frequent blog posts, but we can see how long that lasted. *shrug*
Had a yard sale yesterday, with my sister and mom's stuff thrown in (ie: thing was MASSIVE). Made $157 selling mostly DVD's and games, along with the expected junk items that I just didn't need anymore. Was amazing that people were actually willing to buy old Xbox and PS2 sports games from like 2001 (granted, I had them marked at bargain prices of under a dollar, but still). I also sold some newer titles that I knew GS would screw me over on. Prey, for example, I sold for $5, after having paid around $7 for it to begin with. Also sold Sega Superstars Tennis for the Wii (the game had some REAL issues) for a profit - you might remember me purchasing it just a few weeks ago for three bucks and some change on clearance at Target - sold it for $5. While this extra $157 might seem like perfect splurge money for new games, an MP3 player or something, I'm probably going to put most of it in the bank, or spend a small chunk of it at Gen Con in three weeks. Yeah, yeah, I know I have 360 games to catch up on... Blame my frugality.
My mom bought me the Guitar Hero World Tour band kit a couple of weeks ago. Long story short, she felt sorry for me for having to watch my sister's kids all summer, which I believe I've told you before. Found the band kit for $74.99 at Meijer, down from $189. Hell of a bargain, if you ask me. I suck at the drums, but I've heard that's not uncommon at the beginning. The guitar on Medium is a lot easier than in GHIII or Aerosmith, but the bass is SO easy that I've had to jump straight to Hard to find anything even resembling a challenge (and that's only present in certain songs). Not complaining though, as I really like the set list... except for Tool. Ugh.
Got some new games - the trio of new Overlord titles (links are my reviews): Overlord II for the PS3, plus the Wii spin-off and Overlord: Minions on the DS. Also got Flower, Sun, and Rain for the DS, which was oddly intriguing, even if fairly long-winded, and downright ugly in appearance. Lastly, I received Little King's Story for the Wii a couple of days ago, and a code for Madballs in... Babo Invasion on the 360 a few days before that. Haven't tried the former yet, but the latter is pretty fun, and challenging.
First, Happy 4th of July to all of my American buddies out there! Hope you all enjoy your cookouts, fireworks displays, and (more likely than not) booze! :-P Now, on to the bullets!
Remember how I mentioned buying a 360 Guitar Hero bundle from Gamestop.com? Well, turns out their business practices are even more shady than I already thought/knew, as not only was the product I received not new (I specifically ordered a "new" product - was marked that way online, and described as being such), but the guitar was banged all to hell, covered in stickers, and the game case didn't even include the disc! So... a long battle with customer service on the phone led to them giving me a 10% off next purchase coupon and a refund slip to send the thing back, but I just took it down to my local brick-and-mortar and had them give me a disc, and exchange guitars. I still wasn't able to get a new guitar, but the manager gave me the best looking used guitar that I've ever seen, plus called someone apparently fairly high up the GS food chain and proceeded to tell them how idiotic the mistake was, to which he was told that corporate was aware of the mistake and are offering refunds to everyone who was affected - that being a lot of people. If you read the thread on CAG (that's Cheap Ass Gamer), you'll see a ton of people who were in my same situation, or who bought Rock Band 2 and received Rock Band 1 instruments and so on. So yeah, lesson learned - I'm never ordering from their website again, regardless of the price.
Last blog I also expressed my love for Prototype, which I actually completed just a couple of days ago. I need just a handful of achievements to have them all (namely finding the collectibles scattered throughout NYC and getting a gold rating - and subsequently a platinum rating - on all side events). While the game still is fun, it's not as mind-blowing as I first made it out to be, as the novelty of slicing twenty people in half at a time wore off after the first few hours with the game. Like I said though, it's still a good game, that is, one that is definitely worth playing, but there's no need to punish yourself if you haven't picked it up yet.
I'm still slowly making my way through Prince of Persia and WWE SvR 2009, but have been more than a bit sidetracked with 1vs100, since I bought a hard drive in the time since we last spoke. I picked up the 60gb Live bundle that also included three months of Live, a headset, and an Ethernet cable. Don't need the cable, but the price was right (regardless of how I may bash GS, I have no other option when it comes to trade-in credit, so... there ya go). I debated between that and the 120 GB option, but I don't plan on installing any disc-based games, so I think I'll be alright.
Been doing a LOT of gaming over the last two weeks, mostly because I'm watching my niece and nephew over the summer (and I hate kids, btw...please explain to me how this makes sense), and one of the only ways to keep them quiet (they are, to put it bluntly, quite evil) is to play games. At any rate, they all but demanded that I play Mass Effect for them to watch (my nephew is obsessed with Wrex and Garrus), so I finished it for the fourth time. Three more achievements to go: The two difficulty setting ones, and getting a character to level 60.
I picked up two 360 games on clearance at Target on Sunday: Prince of Persia and WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, both for around $10 a piece, after using a "$5 off a $25 purchase" coupon and my 10% discount. Prince of Persia is a fairly good game (so far), but is incredibly repetitive. Smackdown vs. Raw is also quite enjoyable, even though I'm generally terrible at wrestling games. I find this one to be really intuitive though; I'm not having to memorize a bunch of button combos, rather, just flinging the right stick in various directions tends to pull off moves that get the job done. I started on John Cena's story first - shut it Denis :-P - and actually can't wait to get it done so I can see the other storylines in the game (since that's the main reason I watch anyhow - not for the wrestling, but for the soap opera...ness of it all).
Many of you 360 owners might remember that Wendy's contest they had going a few weeks ago. You know, the one where you had to download an avatar to be entered to win 1600 Microsoft Points. Well, I was one of the lucky 1250 gamers that won said 1600 MS Points, so I'll probably use that to download whatever Beautiful Katamari and/or Mirror's Edge content I can afford. Yay!
Bought a GHIII 360 guitar bundle off of Gamestop's website on Sunday, after trading in 10 games for almost $90. I already have a stand-alone copy of GHIII for the 360, but after doing some research, I figured out that the cheapest guitar that I would be comfortable buying from them was $29.99, but since the bundle (with a better guitar) was also $29.99, it would be a better bet for me to buy that, and then sell the extra copy of the game (either to GS or to a friend or something), and come out ahead on the whole deal. Can't wait for the guitar to arrive - I also have GH: Aerosmith for the 360, and I am getting so tired of playing both games with a standard controller. :-P
Received Prototype (360) today - played for a little over an hour and WOW! What a game! Am still waiting for my copy of inFamous to arrive (I did sort out the shipping situation with Sony, btw), so I can't compare the two as of yet, but if the two games are as similar as lots of people are saying, I'm going to love inFamous too! But yes, Prototype. I've spent most of my time in Free Roam, simply scaling tall buildings and jumping off of them, or running down a crowded sidewalk shoving people out of the way (another way to keep my niece and nephew entertained), but the missions that I have played have been fun as well. That'll probably be the game I focus most on in the upcoming days [that and Prince of Persia, since I am (I think) around 2/3 of the way done].
E3 impressions (normally this comes with a wall of text, but I'll refrain from that this year), and some general game "updatey" goodness.
E3 ----- I want so badly for Project Natal to deliver what it claims, and for Project Milo to be released as an actual product (that is, not remain solely a tech demo). From what I've read, I'm one of the few who would actually use said Milo software, but I think it would be badass. ----- Facebook, Twitter AND last.fm all coming to the box? YES PLEASE! ----- The Saboteur looks badass ----- HEAVY RAIN! ----- Will try my best to get both Need for Speed Nitro and Shift ----- BRANDY WANT ALAN WAKE ----- Mass Effect 2 - Shepard swoon!!! ----- Hilarious that Nintendo thinks Style Savvy is perfect for people in my age group; about spit my drink all over my screen when Cammie said "twenty something's" ----- I <3 Jack Tretton ----- FFXIII looks to go back to the battle systems of old, thank goodness ----- Great to hear Claudia Black (Stargate SG-1, among others) doing voice work in Uncharted 2.
Finished my third runthrough of Mass Effect, and the first mission of the fourth run (now as a Tech). Probably won't get the full set of achievements on that one for some time though - the thought of doing all of those side-missions again isn't very appealing (at least, not currently... give it a week and my mind may change; I'm that fickle).
Finished reviews for both Henry Hatsworth and Excitebots, and have now started on the Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. Am in the middle of Butcher Bay, which is a lot harder than I expected it to be (keep in mind that I'm still a bit new to this whole FPS business). But , I do love listening to Vin Diesel's voice. So that, and trophies will keep me playing, even if I eventually get tired of the game proper. :-P
Was supposed to have inFamous by now, but no such luck. Waiting a few days before I ask Sony what's what - give them a chance to settle down after E3. Really want that game though.
Finally passed 1000 submission points on here. I doubt my activity level will suddenly skyrocket now that I can update things at will, but it's a nice accomplishment all the same.
Since Sparky_Buzzsaw copied the format of my last blog for his use, I figured I'd copy the title format he uses for my own. What comes around goes around, my friend. ;-) Only joking, of course.
Since the last blog, I broke through my "meh" wall with Mass Effect and am now towards the end of my third playthrough (just finished Virmire - have already completed every sidequest other than the last few Citadel ones that only open up after finishing it). I'm going for the full 1050/1050 points on this one (have access to the DLC - just haven't downloaded it yet), so game-wise, that goal is the biggest item on my plate right now.
In an effort to not let myself become too burnt out on the above however, I've been mixing in short spurts of games like PGR3, and beat the career mode (all trophies on at least bronze) yesterday. Like I said in a previous blog, I really thought the game would be more comparable to Need for Speed than it was, but I'm nowhere near as drawn in by this one as I have been by even games like Need for Speed: Undercover, which is a lackluster entry in the NFS franchise to say the least, and should really give you an idea as to my opinion of PGR3. Let's just say, if the game didn't have achievements, I probably wouldn't have finished it at all (achievement whores unite!).
Another time waster has come in the form of Viva Piñata, which I got via a trade with my buddy Greeno. Gave him Rhythm Heaven, which I was incredibly disappointed by for VP, and have been having a blast so far. Have half of the achievements, but am now having more fun actually playing the non-achievement portions of the game (decorating my gardens for instance) than stressing over converting certain sour piñata species to good, or accumulating a certain amount of funds, as examples. I always knew from watching previews for the game when it was first released that it would be right up my alley - I just didn't think it would take this long for me to actually pick it up. Ah well, better late than never, no?
I've also made a lot of progress on my backlog of review games, finishing Avalon Code, Virtual Families and Pokémon Platinum, just to name a few, since we last spoke. I'm in the middle of Henry Hatsworth & The Puzzling Adventure right now, which is turning out to be a lot more entertaining than I thought. After that comes Texas Cheat 'Em (PSN), Excitebots (Wii), Help Wanted (Wii), The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (PS3), and hopefully inFamous, which I SHOULD be getting soon (am really looking forward to that one - along with games like Prototype and the Conduit, which should also be headed my way around the time of their launch).