11 Goals for 2011

   Last year I set nine goals for myself at the beginning of the year. By 31 December 2010 I had completed five of those nine. Three of the four I did not hit because I just gave up on, like finishing Final Fantasy XII, while I tried hard to hit 300 films watched, mistakes made earlier in the year prevented that from happening. However the goals I did accomplish were massive and kind of crazy.

Seriously finishing 53 games in a year (I hit 60) and writing 52 reviews (I wrote 66). I don't think I can outdo myself with those numbers so this year I want to mix it up a bit.

1. Read 20 books. - I hit 15 books read by the end of 2010 and I think I can hit 20 with a little more effort. (this does not include graphic novels)

2. Finish 12 RPGs - I love the RPG genre, specifically the JRPG genre. So this year I want to complete 12 of them. It will be a mix of WRPGs and JRPGs. I already have a solid list going (Final Fantasy IX, Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age: Origins, Final Fantasy XIII, Icewind Dale, Shadow Hearts, Xenosaga, Rouge Galaxy etc...) and while it may not be 61 finished games, these are going to take up some time.

3. Play at least 20 hours of Dungeons & Dragons Online or Lord of the Rings Online and if I like it, give World of Warcraft a try
– I've been interested in WoW for a while but I don't know how I am going to like the MMORPG world, so what better way than to try it out with a pair of fairly good free ones.

4. Reach Lt. Colonel in Halo: Reach – As if I needed another reason to play more Halo.

5. Reach Level 22 in Battlefield: Bad Company 2
– I'm at level 11, with Vietnam out now, this should be doable.

6. Prestige once in Call of Duty: Black Ops – The level cap is 50 this time around, I'm at level eight. I think I can do it this time.

7. Play my backlog – I have about 30 games in my backlog and I want to play them to the point where I am done with them, that may not mean finished with them but at least done with them.

8. When I buy a game, finish it before buying a new one – While there will be certain times this won't be totally feasible (as in a great deal comes along and I'd be stupid to pass it up), I'd mostly like to avoid situations like I had with Castlevania:LoS and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit last year.

9. Play my systems more evenly – Last year I played a lot of games on my 360 but I mostly (at least up until the last month or so of 2010) neglected my PS3. Sure some of this is because of how I choose to game but I had PS3 games I could have played but I chose not to. So this year if I finish a 360 game, the next one has to be on the PC or PS3 and the same applies for my handhelds.

10. Watch the Star Wars, Aliens, Matrix and Lord of the Rings series this year – I haven't actually sat down to watch these in quite some time and while it may not be an ambitious goal (ala try to watch 300 films) it is one I want to do for myself.

11. Write a weekly post on what films I've been watching to chronicle my year in movies
– While I don't have the big ambitious number to shoot for this year, I think that the potential of not having any pressure to watch films may actually increase my viewing somewhat and I'd like to have a chronicle of what I've been watching.

So there you have it, 11 goals for 2011. We'll see how it goes.






On a somewhat related note, for those that have asked how I keep track of my gaming time. I keep a notebook by my side almost always. I measure game time from the time I sit down with a controller to play to the time I shut it down. Idle time, as in I am not with a controller in my hand, does not count. However I don't break down each match of Halo, so load time and incidental idle time not related to me, is counted as play time. I also only measure in ¼ hours. It may not be precise but it is a pretty good ballpark for time spent playing.

------------

ALL NEW: The Perfectly Sane Show: Volume 2 - Episode 20 - get it at Vagary.tv or iTunes.


Hit up my friends Game Over and TeaBagRadio.

Coming Tomorrow: Things I Just Don't Understand
------------

Currently Playing: Final Fantasy IX (PSOne on PSPGo)
Currently Listening To: nothing in particular
Currently Reading: The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
Currently Anticipating: Little Big Planet 2
Halo Rank: Captain Grade 3
Bad Comapany 2 Rank: 11
CoD: Black Ops Rank:
Start the Conversation

My 2010 Recap

  Back on New Year's Day 2010 I put down a list of goals for the year and this is how I did with them.

1. Read 12 books this year. - I finished The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove in December and that pushed me to 14 books finished during the year. RESULT: COMPLETED.

2. Hit the 300 films viewed threshold this year. - I watched 31 films in December which brings to a total of 243 on the year. RESULT: FAIL

3. Finish Final Fantasy XII before playing Final Fantasy XIII. - I got bored with XII early on in the year and it kind of soured me towards any JRPGs all year long. RESULT: FAIL

4. Give Shadow of the Colossus and Rogue Galaxy a shot. I finished Shadow of the Colossus and I played a bit of Rouge Galaxy (enough to know that I want to play more of it) RESULT: COMPLETED

5. Hit 75,000 Gamerscore and hit 500 PS3 Trophies. - GS: 75316 Trophies: 550 RESULT: COMPLETED

6. Finish Dragon Age: Origins on the PC. - I gave it a go but it never happened. RESULT: FAIL

7. Prestige twice in Modern Warfare 2. - Yeah... RESULT: FAIL

8. Complete more games than last year (52). - I finished four games in December for a total of 60 on the year. RESULT: COMPLETED

I love stats and lists so here are my statistics for December and 2010 in general.

Games Completed:

Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360)
Front Mission Evolved (PS3)
Alpha Protocol (X360)
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3)

Games Ranked By Play Time (December):

Alpha Protocol (X360) - 12 hours
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (X360) - 10.75 hours
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3) - 8.5 hours
Front Mission Evolved (PS3) - 7.25 hours
Gran Turismo (PSPGo) - 5.75 hours
Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360) - 5.5 hours
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) - 5 hours
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (PS3) - 4 hours
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (X360) - 4 hours
Halo: Reach (X360) - 3 hours
Pokemon: HeartGold (NDS) - 2.5 hours
Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam (X360) - 2.25 hours
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (X360) - 2 hours
Dead Nation (PS3) - 1.75 hours
Napoleon: Total War (PC) 1.5 hours
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (PC) - 1.25 hours
Kinectamals (X360) - 1 hour
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus (PS3) - 1 hour
Puzzle Quest (PSPGo) - 1 hour
Kinect Sports (X360) - 1 hour
Harms Way (X360) - 1 hour
Doritos Crash Course (X360) - 1 hour
Rock Band 3 (X360) - .75 hours
The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road (NDS) - .5 hours
Plants vs. Zombies (PC) - .25 hours

Top 25 Games Ranked By Play Time (2010):

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (X360) - 14.75 hours*
Dante's Inferno (X360) - 15 hours
Medal of Honor (X360) - 15 hours
Dragon Age: Origins (PC) - 16.75 hours
Split/Second (X360) - 17.5 hours
Guitar Hero 5 (X360) - 18.5 hours
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - 18.5 hours
StarCraft II (PC) - 19.25 hours
NHL 10 (X360) - 19.5 hours
Deadly Premonition (X360) - 19.75 hours
Rock Band 3 (X360) - 19.75 hours
Green Day: Rock Band (X360) - 21.25 hours
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (X360) - 21.25 hours
Modern Warfare 2 (X360) - 24 hours
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (X360) - 25.5 hours
Borderlands (X360) - 25.75 hours
Pokemon: HeartGold (NDS) - 26.5 hours
NHL 11 (X360) 29.5 hours
Mass Effect 2 (X360) - 30.5 hours
Red Dead Redemption (X360) - 33 hours
2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa (X360) - 39.25 hours
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (X360) - 40.5 hours
Forza Motorsport 3 (X360) - 42 hours
Final Fantasy XII (PS2) - 49.25 hours
Halo: Reach (X360) - 103.75 hours
 
  *I played Pac-Man CE DX on both the 360 and PS3, if you were to add in the PS3's play time the game would jump into the top 20. 

Movies Watched in December (seen in theaters in bold):

Suspicious River
Faster
Allan Quartermain and the Temple of Skulls
The Invincible Iron Man
Sleeping Beauty
Pompeii: The Last Day
The Black Hole
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Lookout
The Keep
Gamers: The Dorkness Rising
Blood In, Blood Out
Die Hard
Tyson
True Romance
Virgin Witch
Bitch Slap
Tron: Legacy
The Condemned
Winter's Bone
Restrepo
The Road
Easy A
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Family Christmas
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Die Hard 2
The Incredibles
Starship Troopers 2
Dirty Harry
Persepolis

And that was my December and my year in general. How did your 2010 go?

------------

ALL NEW: The Perfectly Sane Show: Volume 2 - Episode 20 - get it at Vagary.tv or iTunes.

Hit up my friends Game Over and TeaBagRadio.

Coming Tomorrow: Goals for 2011
------------

Currently Playing: Final Fantasy IX (PSOne on PSPGo)
Currently Listening To: nothing in particular
Currently Reading: The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
Currently Anticipating: Little Big Planet 2

Start the Conversation

My Weekend With Kinect

I am sore. I would like to be able to tell you that I am sore because I ran in the New York Marathon over the weekend but that would be entirely untrue. Instead I am sore because I spent the weekend playing video games and I will be damned if it was not some of the most fun I have had playing games this year.

In case you have not figured it out yet, I spent the weekend playing Microsoft’s newest piece of hardware, Kinect. Since the system launched, with much fanfare, this past Thursday I have spent time playing a trio of launch titles, making my self sore, and while resting, watching my wife and kids actually play a video game for the first time in months. Let me not understate the last part of my weekend, my wife, whom hardly ever plays games was doing so of her own volition but more on that later.

First off let us talk about the hardware. I was mighty skeptical of the hardware and how well it would work and surprisingly it works, quite well in fact. While Minority Report styled controlling of the dashboard isn’t quite there, it is pretty cool to maneuver through the menus by moving your hands instead of a controller. It does require some space, roughly six to eight feet out from the camera with a three to six foot wide swatch in the play area and it also requires some solid lighting for facial recognition. However if you can accommodate the space, using the Kinect is like stepping into the future, more so than anything Nintendo or Sony has done to this point.

One of my biggest skepticism with the Kinect prior to launch was that as a gamer, I am used to having something in my hand. I felt comfortable playing the Wii, even if it was Wii Sports because I had something in my hand. The thought of not having something in my hand, not having a button to press to control my input was a giant mental barrier for me. After getting some time with the hardware and a few of the games though, I can now say that the controller is a limitation, at least for the types of games that I spent my time with.

While Kinect Adventures comes packed in with the hardware, it was not the first title I tried out with Kinect. That honor goes to Dance Central. Dance Central, which was developed by Harmonix, the industry leader in music / rhythm games, is a full fledged game. In fact it is the only full game out of the three titles I sampled on Kinect this weekend, all the rest are mini games. Dance Central is the logical evolution of Dance Dance Revolution and it requires you to get your whole body into the mix. What you will notice with Dance Central is how precise the Kinect can actually be as Dance Central, especially on harder songs and difficulties, requires a level of precision that I for one was not expecting the system to require. This precision can cause the game to be very difficult but learning the moves, via an in game training mode called Break It Down, is highly rewarding if physically demanding. If you know multiple people with the game, dancing the routines may take on a competitive edge with some Step Up like smack talk. As much fun as I had with Dance Central though, this is not going to be a game for everyone even if it is the best of the bunch thus far.

No less competitive but potentially more fun, especially if you have small kids, is the pair of Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports. Both titles are mini-game compilations that show off the functionality of the system quite well. As mentioned Kinect Adventures comes packed in with the hardware and on some levels it kind of shows. The games in Kinect Adventures seem specifically designed to showcase what the tech can do, unfortunately some of these games just aren’t all that fun. However there are games that are not only fun but will have you sweating up a storm, specifically I refer to the Reflex Ridge mini game. Reflex Ridge places you on a mine cart/roller coaster type platform where you have to duck, sidestep and jump over obstacles. These courses can get pretty intensive and are some of the most fun I’ve had with the system. Other games, like a bubble popping game in space are less impressive but overall as a pack in game it works remarkably well and it is not just your standard sports title.

The standard sports title, Kinect Sports, is a stand alone game and one that anyone who has had fun with Wii Sports needs to give a chance too because in a manner of speaking, it is better. Kinect Sports, developed by Rare, has six different sports to play and a variety of different mini-games to play in those sports. There is Soccer, Track & Field, Volleyball, Ping-Pong, Boxing and Bowling. Obviously the two that will be compared the most to Wii Sports will be Boxing and Bowling. In my personal opinion, Bowling is infinitely better than its Wii Sports counterpart while Boxing is about the same. The Track & Field events were some of the most fun in the title and by the same token the most fun to play with another person. For me personally, soccer was somewhat of a let down but my son seemed to love it, so take that for what you will.

Speaking of my kids, all three of them were able to play Kinect Sports effectively. My seven year old daughter bowls in Kinect just like she does in real life (awfully), my five year old son is able to throw things left handed, without any special set-up needed, and the system was even able to track my three year old daughter and mimic her crazy antics onto my screen. Even better than all of that though is the fact that without a controller my wife is able to sign in and jump into a Kinect game. She never did that with the Wii. The Kinect is easy to use and there are no additional parts required.

So the early verdict on the Kinect is that it works, is easy to use and is fun. Is the Kinect going to take the world by storm? Quite possibly but the real question is if the Kinect is going to be able to hold people’s interest after the initial infatuation with the tech wears off? I suppose the answer to that question lies in the court of the developers and publishers and we will just have to wait and see. 
 
Originally published at Vagary.tv


Start the Conversation

The Perfectly Sane Show – Volume 2 Episode 12: TIE Fighter


Boom! Midterm Elections happened and Fozzy and Chris danced all over them using Kinect and Dance Central. This week the crew talks The Walking Dead, Saw 3D, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Dance Central, Kinect, murder, freedom of speech, mid term elections, Christopia, and they read the entries for the Direct 2 Drive sponsored contest for Medal of Honor. We were a bit tired towards the end but all in all, another fine episode from the Perfectly Sane Boys. Also, Jeff is a dirty, dirty whore.  Get it at Vagary.tv.

Jeff does a strip tease for everyone on TinyChat (0:00)

The Walking Dead Impressions (2:55)

Jeff pulls a Fozzy (14:05)

Games We have been playin/Fozzy rants about New Vegas (16:25)

IT’S A ME MAAAARIO (33:50)

Kinect Impressions (34:20)

News! (50:30)

Chris explains how he would run things on his island (60:30)

Jeff bores everyone with his liberal talks about the Mid Term Elections (89:05)

NFL Picks (100:00)

Listener Mail/Winner of the Direct 2 Drive Contest! (108:00)

We talk about the glorious TIE Fighter Game (137:00)


Music in this episode:

Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
Your Love by TOPMODELZ
Winning It All by The Outfield
My Paradise by The Outfield

E-mail comments (or questions) to perfectlysane@vagary.tv or follow us on Twitter.

Tony – iamnapoleon1066
Jeff – JustSomeDude899
Cyrus – FozzyTehGamer
Chris – kariyanine
Perfectly Sane Show

Start the Conversation

The Perfectly Sane Show – Volume 2 Episode 11: Candy Corn. Bitch!


This week we have some major issues, like the first segment going to the Phantom Zone, but we still manage to pull it together enough to give you our NFL picks for the week, go into our favorite Halloween things and answer some listener mail, giving out a copy of Deadly Premonition on the XBOX 360 to one lucky listener.  Get it here.


Music in this episode:


Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
Halloween Theme by John Carpenter

E-mail comments (or questions) to pefectlysane@vagary.tv or follow us on Twitter and send in your favorite PC games (and why) for a chance to win Medal of Honor courtesy of Direct 2 Drive.

Tony – iamnapoleon1066
Jeff – JustSomeDude899
Cyrus – FozzyTehGamer
Chris – kariyanine
Perfectly Sane Show

Start the Conversation

The Perfectly Sane Show – Volume 2 Episode 9: Doing the Brett


This week we whip it out and show you what we’ve got via your digital media device, just like Brett Favre did. This week we talk about Medal of Honor, Sonic 4, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Get Him to the Greek, Gamestop’s new reward program, NPD going radio silent, Top Gun 2, and a bunch of other stuff that could probably will offend your ears.  Get it here.


Music in this episode:

Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
She’s My Heroin by doublethink*

*Licensed music provided by Magnatune.

E-mail comments (or questions) to pefectlysane@vagary.tv or follow us on Twitter and send them there.

Tony – iamnapoleon1066
Jeff – JustSomeDude899
Cyrus – FozzyTehGamer
Chris – kariyanine
Perfectly Sane Show

Start the Conversation

The Perfectly Sane Show – Volume 2 Episode 8: Bread Toppings

This episode is all over the place. First Fozzy isn’t there then like some sort of magic rabbit he appears. Jeff shares his desire to eat a bodily fluid on bread instead of having to watch a new Superman movie. There is also commentary on Castlevania, Enslaved, zombies, the classic rock band Chicago, football, Fozzy’s inability to pay attention, Jeff’s love of Beyond Good and Evil, Emma Stone, and of course no real conversation is complete without the subject of acid spewing vaginas and silver condoms coming up. Get it at here.

As was said previously the episode is all over the place and so is the editing. There are lots of long pauses and the show has a general lack of focus. But then again you weren’t expecting anything less than pure insanity from this crew were you?

*Bonus content, stay tuned after the show ends to get an unedited listen into what generally doesn’t make it into the show.


Music in this episode:

Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
Tension by iNTROSPEKT*
Visual Break by iNTROSPEKT*

*Licensed music provided by Magnatune.

E-mail comments (or questions) to pefectlysane@vagary.tv or follow us on Twitter and send them there.

Tony – iamnapoleon1066
Jeff – JustSomeDude899
Cyrus – FozzyTehGamer
Chris – kariyanine
Perfectly Sane Show

Start the Conversation

Charity Event - Extra Life

I don’t normally do this (that being charity work) as it is more my wife’s thing (you know to help people and stuff) but I was asked to participate in an event next Saturday (October 16th) and it is right up my alley so I couldn’t pass it up. The event is called Extra Life and it is for the benefit of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and in my case specifically for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). As some of you know CHOP is where my youngest daughter Lea was sent when at a month old (and a hefty six pounds), her body decided she should go on a diet and blocked off her stomach almost killing her. The doctors and nurses at CHOP did a great job in not only making Lea better but making sure my wife was taken care of as well. Besides curing babies of strange diseases like on an episode of House, they also do a lot of long term care for kids with terminal illnesses and they have a helicopter too (not that that has anything to do with anything but it is cool, right?).

Anyway you are probably sitting there going, hey Chris that’s great about CHOP but what actually is the Extra Life event and what are you doing for them? Well as you know I’m not the most outdoorsy person around, I hate the sun, the heat and all things that would require for an event outside. I also hate people. Mind you, not all people, I like you (I say that now as I ask you to donate money) but in general though I don’t like people. So, as I said before this event is right up my alley. Not only is it inside but it is also at my house. Now I see you scratching your heads thinking, wow Chris has reached a new all time low and he expects us to believe that this “charity” event takes place in his house… Well it does, really. Not only that but it gets more absurd. So not only does this event take place in my house, without other people around, but it also tasks me with the awesome “responsibility” to play video games for 24 hours straight starting at 8AM on October 16th. I’m looking to find a way to live stream the event and I’ll probably have people over to “help” me out (mostly by bringing me beer, chicken wings and maybe a pot of coffee at 3AM but also by playing games with me).

In any case, if you would be interested in donating $1 or more please check out http://bit.ly/dpCDYr and sponsor me. My current goal is $250 but that is just a conservative goal that I put in because I knew I could personally cover it (well my wife could as I am not allowed to have money) if I failed to entice anybody to help out. So help out if you can, don’t feel bad if you can’t and look out for news on the live stream or how to bring me chicken wings

Thanks,

-Chris

Start the Conversation

If You Were a Seven Year Old Girl...

 My daughter turns seven this Wednesday and for the lat year has been asking me for a DS.  Buying her a DS is no problem whatsoever, I can probably even get her a nice little pink one.  Where the problem arises is in which game to get her for it.  As a DS owner myself I have a nice little collection of JRPGs and Mario titles and while I know she will enjoy New Super Mario Bros., I also know I'm not willing to drop another $35 on a title I already own and that she can play.

I'm currently leaning towards Pokemon Soul Silver because I already have Heart Gold and while I don't love (or particularly like) the game, it is something that I feel is simple enough for her to grasp as a video game n00b but also complex enough that I won't be insulting her intelligence by getting it for her.  It would also be a title that the two of us could play together and maybe I will find some reason to actually play it.  However there are a ton of DS titles I probably don't even know about (I'm not the biggest handheld gamer on the planet after all) and that is where you all come in.

If you were a seven year old girl, receiving her very first serious gaming device what game would you want?  Let me know and I'll maybe take your suggestions into account when I take her to buy the DS on Wednesday.

9 Comments

The Perfectly Sane Show Volume 2 – Episode 7: Giladouche

This week the crew sit down to talk about zombies in Vegas, the rankings system in Reach, Nintendo’s moronic solution to its Metroid: Other M glitch problem and we make our NFL picks for the week. Also Fozzy babbles in a foreign language about college football and we answer your questions, like what do we think about UFO’s and if we’ll have a sleepover with you. (Hey don’t look at us, you sent them in).

Special thanks to Fozzy’s cousin who opens the show yet again, this time with a giant sized slam of our furry Persian comedian.


Music in this episode:

Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
Losing Control by Sophia Marie*
The Devil’s Wrath by Sophia Marie*

*Licensed music provided by Magnatune.

**The TeaBagRadio clip is used completely without permission but those boys can suck it until they man up.

E-mail comments (or questions) to pefectlysane@vagary.tv or follow us on Twitter and send them there.

Tony – iamnapoleon1066
Jeff – JustSomeDude899
Cyrus – FozzyTehGamer
Chris – kariyanine
Perfectly Sane Show

Start the Conversation