"I Have No Wish To Labour The Obvious"

So let's get down to business. I've been playing loads of games lately. I mean loads. I don't think I've had this many on the go for quite a while. Usually, I would go to the trouble of paragraphing this kind of information, but I've just noticed that lists can be imported into blog posts, and I'm quite curious to see how that works. Let's see how this pans out... 

Now Playing

...Wow, it worked! Ok, here's what I'm playing right now:

1. Forza Motorsport 2

For a more detailed explanation on why Forza 2 continues to occupy my 360's disc drive, I'd recommend checking out this blog. It's starting to get a little laborious now, but at present my stats sheet indicates I'm at Driver Level 48, with a career completion percentage of 89% All that's left to take care of are two Factory Spec championships, five Professional Series championships, and four Endurance Races. To be honest, though, I'm kinda burned out on Forza. I think I'll be steering clear of it in favour of...  

2. Gran Turismo

I'm not entirely sure why, but I impulse-downloaded Gran Turismo for my PSP yesterday. After some extensive playtime last night and earlier today during a two-hour gap in my university schedule, I've formulated enough of an opinion on the game to write this review of it. As I've only just started, I currently only own seven of the game's database of 830 cars. From what I've played so far, I like it, and I think it's the best way GT could have possibly gone portable.

3. Lost Odyssey

To be honest this is the only game on the list that I haven't played much of recently. I'm still really enjoying it, it's just gotten a little lost at the bottom of this monstrous pile. On the off chance you're looking for a more detailed account of my opinion of Lost Odyssey, you'll find in the blog linked above. I'm at pretty much the start of Disc 3, working my way through the Ice Canyon, with a party at the average level of 32. I'm hoping to put a little more time into this over the weekend while my girlfriend's away.

4. Pokémon Crystal

I played Pok émon Yellow earlier this year and loved the hit of nostalgia it gave me. Inspired to continue on the Pok émon train, I picked up a copy of Crystal and began my journey through Johto. Right now I'm training my team before I take on the Gym Leader at Olivine City. I have five badges, and according to my Pok édex I've caught 92 different kinds of Pok émon.

5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

This is probably the most on-and-off game on this list. I've opted not to pick up a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 just yet, preferring to spend some extra time with PES2009 and actually complete the Master League. The plan's not going too smoothly though - I'm playing it so sparingly that I'm still in my first season, about halfway up the table in Division 2.

6. Rock Band

I bought this along with a drum controller in a bid to keep drumming while I'm at university, so I don't completely forget myself the next time I'm behind a drum kit. It looks like it's going to serve that purpose. Being a big rock fan, the song list is great and features a lot of awesome tracks, including some that my band covers, so I feel right at home playing them. The drums are surprisingly similar to the real thing, despite the limitations of four pads. As long as it prevents me from losing my sense of timing and keeps my arms loose, It'll have served its purpose. The huge amount of fun is a definite bonus.

7. Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

This is probably the game I've spent most time playing over the last week or so. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's taking over my life. The quirky characters and cute characters have an uncanny ability to draw you in, and the gardening gameplay is surprisingly addictive. It even managed to grip my girlfriend, so much so that I had to convince her to buy the DS version so I could get my 360 back. I think I'm going to be contending with Professor Pester for quite a long time to come. 

So that's what's been going on game-wise. In other news... 
  • I'm back at university proper now, studying for my second year of an English Language and Literature course. I'm studying some really awesome texts this year for the literature component, some of which I really can't wait to read. Right now I'm reading Thomas More's Utopia (as referenced in the title of this blog), and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Later in the year I'll be looking at texts like John Milton's Paradise Lost, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and (this is the one I'm looking forward to most) Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveller. The language component is looking pretty interesting too; I've chosen to focus on phonology and semantics this year.
  • On Tuesday I bumped into a guy from my hometown on campus. This would be shocking enough on its own, given I was the only person from my hometown at Essex last year, but it's made even more freaky by the fact that I used to be pretty good friends with this guy. Very scary stuff.
  • My girlfriend continues to be awesome. On Monday (my busiest day), I came home to find the flat clean. She then cooked me dinner, did all the washing up, and encouraged me to spend the evening on my 360. I genuinely believe I'm the luckiest guy on the planet.  If you're reading this, Karen, you need to stop being so amazing. You're making me look bad.
  • I got The Black Crowes' new album, Before The Frost.../...Until The Freeze, last week, and I think it's safe to say that my award for Album of the Year is signed, sealed and delivered. Also of note were The Enemy's Music For The People and Kasabian's West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. To be honest, a lot of the music I was looking forward to this year has disappointed me greatly (here's looking at you, Muse and Editors), so it's nice to have something solid by one of my favourite bands to restore some of my faith in modern music.
I think that pretty much covers it all. I'm going out in about half an hour with my girlfriend to an alternative night on campus. I'm not particularly looking forward to it, given that most of the music they play at these nights tends to be awful, but considering I'm a student it's been far too long since I last tasted beer so I intend to rectify that. Take it easy, guys. I'll see you around. 
Currently playing - Gran Turismo (PSP)