September 2010 Recap

  Three fourths of of the year is nearly behind us. September marks the start of holiday season in the games industry so I did a lot of that this month. In anycase lets look back on what I've "accomplished" in the past 30 days.

Back on New Year's Day I put down a list of goals for the year, let's see how I'm doing.

1. Read 12 books this year. - I finished Mass Effect: Ascension by Drew Karpyshyn which put me at 14 books completed for the year. I'm currently working on The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove. Prognosis: COMPLETED.

2. Hit the 300 films viewed threshold this year. - I watched 27 films in September which brings me to a total of 188 on the year. I made some headway and still think this is a doable goal. Early prognosis: POSSIBLE

3. Finish Final Fantasy XII before playing Final Fantasy XIII. - I didn't play either this month again, so... Early prognosis: FAIL

4. Give Shadow of the Colossus and Rogue Galaxy a shot. - Played and finished Shadow of the Colossus this past month, Rogue Galaxy is in the on deck circle. Early prognosis: POSSIBLE

5. Hit 75,000 Gamerscore and hit 500 PS3 Trophies. - GS: 68260 Trophies: 467 Early prognosis: POSSIBLE

6. Finish Dragon Age: Origins on the PC. - Working on it. I'm about halfway through now. Early prognosis: POSSIBLE

7. Prestige twice in Modern Warfare 2. - Yeah... Um.... Stupid Goal anyway. Early prognosis: FAIL

8. Write 52 reviews (games, films, albums, books, what-have-you) . - I am currently at 44 of 52. I think I will hit this mark. Early prognosis: POSSIBLE

9. Complete more games than last year (52). - I finished four games in September and that brings me to a total of 48 on the year. I think it is going to happen. Early prognosis: VERY POSSIBLE

So far so good. We'll see how it all rolls out.

In anycase I love stats and lists so here are my statistics for September 2010.

Games Completed:

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (X360)
Forza Motorsport III (X360_
House M.D. (PC)
Halo: Reach (X360)


Games Ranked By Play Time:

Halo: Reach (X360) - 61 hours
NHL 11 (X360) - 20 hours
Guitar Hero 5 (X360) - 13.25 hours
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (X360) - 9.5 hours
Metroid: Other M (Wii) - 8 hours
Forza Motorsport 3 (360) - 6.5 hours
House M.D. (PC) - 4.5 hours
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (X360) - 3.5 hours
Scene It? Bright Lights Big Screen (X360) - 3.5 hours
Mafia (PC) - 1.75 hours
FIFA 11 (X360) - 1.25 hours
Modern Warfare 2 (X360) - 1 hour
Rock Band 2 (X360) - 1 hour
New Super Mario Bros. (NDS) - .75 hours
DJ Hero 2 (X360) - .5 hours
Beat Hazard (X360) - .25 hours
Guitar Hero (iPhone) - .25 hours
LEGO Harry Potter (X360) - .25 hours
Pokemon: HeartGold (NDS) - .25 hours
Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (iPhone) - .25 hours
Vanquish (X360) - .25 hours


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


I Stand Alone
Solarbabies
The Karate Dog
The Last Exorcism
The Andromeda Strain
Wrong Side of Town
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Machete
Jaws
Jaws 2
Jaws 3
Jaws: The Revenge
The Net
Strip Nude for Your Killer
Registered Sex Offender
Train
Road of No Return
Decade of Disturbed
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Asylum
The Wizard of Gore
Mountain of the Cannibal God
April Fool's Day
The Insatiable
Wizard of Gore (2007)
I Spit on Your Grave
Chaos

And that was my September 2010. How did your month go?

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Price Points

 

So Nintendo announced the release date and pricing for the 3DS in Japan. February seems a good spot for it but the $300 price tag conversely seems mighty steep. Now a lot of people are defending the pricing stating that the tech is more than worth the price. That is debatable being as many people (including me) do not have the ability to see 3D very well and for us the 3DS is really just an upgraded version of the DS. Yes the games look fantastic but $300 fantastic? I’m not so sure about that. The other argument that people are making is that Nintendo will release at the $300 price point and allow their rabid fans to flock to the hardware like flies on fecal matter and then drop the price to what the general masses will support. Now I am by no means a Nintendo fanboy but I know some and priced at $300 this is not an early lifetime purchase for them, this is a major problem for the 3DS regardless of if people want to admit it or not.

$300 is not a mass market price tag for this device, just like $600 was not a mass market price tag for the PS3. There are going to be some that point to the iPhone or iPad and state that those devices are priced outside the mass market price point yet they sell like hotcakes. However there are two things to remember here. 1) Apple products are notoriously high priced and 2) the core base of Apple products understands point 1. The core base of Nintendo is used to having Nintendo price their products at a reasonable price. Pricing your new handheld over what your home system costs is a risky move no matter how one wants to look at it.

Another thing that many defenders of the price point seem to forget is that the core user base of the DS (at least in the US) is children. I have three kids, three kids that want a DS (my oldest daughter is going to get her first DS next week in fact). I can justify getting my kids DS Lights at $130 and splurging for a DSi for me. All four of those systems would cost me half of what it will cost for me to outfit my kids with 3DSes. How many parents are going to be in the same position? For the 3DS to be successful it needs to be able to get its core base (my kids) to get one in their hand. At $300 they won’t, at least not from me.

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Don't Make Me Promises You Can't Keep

I like to use Amazon to buy my games.  It saves me a trip to Gamestop and I generally pay less money for my games than I would if I walked into a store and bought them on release day.   The only thing that has been holding me back exclusively is the fact that despite offering Release Day Delivery they are highly inconsistent in regards to actually fulfilling that promise.   When Metroid: Other M released it was supposed to be here on release day because I had paid the extra money to have it delivered then yet instead in showed up two days later.  Whilee Metroid: Other M could be chalked up to a one off, today they lost a lot of my confidence in their service.  
 
I have committed to doing the Hooked Gamers review of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and so I ordered it from Amazon selected release day delivery and today I have no game.  In fact the game has not even shipped yet.  What I have gotten from Amazon is a sorry, we're going to refund your shipping money and send it out to you soon.  Soon?  When is soon?  Will I get it tomorrow?  How about the next day? 
 
This puts me in a bind because I am now going to have to rush my playthrough of the game to write up the review.  Amazon, you have failed me.  I have no trust in you anymore you dirty traitorous bitch.  OK, maybe that is a little harsh but still I have little to no confidence that they are going to have Medal of Honor to me on release day and I need it that day to run a community night.  Has anyone else had issues with Amazon's supposed release date delivery?

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Tuesday Night Battlefield - 9/28

 Have a hankering to get your teabagging on tomorrow night?  If so join The Perfectly Sane Show cast tomorrow night as we teabag our way through the planet Reach in Halo: Reach for Tuesday Night Battlefield.  This will be the last Reach themed TNB for the next few weeks so if you want to show off your skills, talk some games/movies/sports, or just plain have a good time with some fellow gamers then enlist for tomorrow night.  As always leave your gamertag down below and I will send you an invite around 9PM EST.

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I iz a Director Nowz

 Ok so not really and do people actually talk like that?  In anycase being a director is something I have always wanted to do and while I am in no position to make feature length films, or even shorts at this time I am able to mess around a bit with Bungie's rendering service on Bungie.net and then edit them together with my video editing software and that is exactly what I did this afternoon.  My first attempt is below.
 
I had some problems using the free floating camera and ended up using the above the shoulder cam for 99% of it and obviously it is vary amateurish but that is where anyone reading this can come in.  I'm hoping to get better at it and make some interesting and cool clips using Bungie's service.   Does anyone have any tips on how to record, edit and produce video content like this? And does anyone have any expertise in video recording inside Halo (be it 3, ODST or Reach)?
 
 
 


  
I hope to use the service to record some of Tuesday Night Battlefield (The Perfectly Sane Show community night) and to record the eventual match up between The Perfectly Sane Show and TeaBag Radio in the coming weeks, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old School

 Last night I did something I haven't done in quite some time, I played split screen multiplayer.  At one point in time this was a regular occurrence for me but as my friends and I have gotten older it happens less and less frequently.  There is something that is special about having your friends in a room as you pass around controllers from one to the other, something that you just don't get when you play with your friends online.

Its funny how we have progressed as gamers though in the past 10-15 years.  When my friends would get together to play games like Goldeneye or Mario Kart 64 we did so on a 13 inch television situated atop the dresser in my bedroom at my parents' house.  Last night we sat down to play Halo: Reach in my living room on my 60 inch television.  The split screen portion for each player last night was bigger than my television at my parents' house.

Its also funny how much has stayed the same.  Those that were good at the games back in the day are still good at the games today, the trash talking is just as bad as ever, people are still looking up porn as we play (although it used to be on my PC but is now on their cell phones), and we still had to tone it down a bit as the night went on although now it was for fear of waking my kids instead of my Mom.

A lot of people grow apart from their childhood friends as they get older and I count myself lucky to have a core group of friends that has been with me for nearly two decades now.  They are the best dudes in the world and I wouldn't exchange them for anyone.  I hope that I can still say this in ten, twenty, thirty years because while it doesn't get to happen as often as I'd like, I enjoy it just as much now as I did in high school.

Special shout out to whoever was the kid who randomly friend requested my friend Reid last night and then endured 40 minutes of me and Andy screaming insanely into the mics ultimately culminating in my telling him to go to bed.  My wife swears our collective IQ drops to just above retardation when we get together to play games like Halo and I think our conversation with you certainly proved that but you were a good sport and for that one has to be grateful.

Anyway go play some games with your friends kids and keep doing it.  It keeps me sane and I'm sure it will do the same for you.  

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The Perfectly Sane Show Volume 2 – Episode 6: Drunker Than Usual

OK that is a lie as Jeff is the only drinking but everything seems less coherent as Fozzy and Chris are both sick. This week the guys quickly mourn the sudden loss of Tony to a lightning strike, talk more about Halo: Reach, touch on Sonic the Hedgehog, Beat Hazard, cover some news, make their NFL picks and answer a questions about bad game titles and hallucinogenic drugs. Enjoy it here.

Special thanks to Fozzy’s cousin who opens and closes the show with some of the most unearthly noises we’ve ever heard.


Music in this episode:

Strike of the Devil’s Axes OC ReMix by CarboHydroM & LuIzA
The Path to Glory by Sixto Sounds
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals ‘The Very End’ by Nekofrog

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

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TNB Returns

The last couple days I have been focusing pretty heavily on Halo: Reach so I suppose there is no need to change it up just yet.  As some of you know, over the summer I ran an event called Tuesday Night Battlefield, it only lasted a couple weeks but not because of a lack of interest, just a lack of time.  Well its back and guess what game we are going to be playing tomorrow?  If you guessed Plants vs. Zombies you were close.  That's right we will be playing Halo: Reach tomorrow night, starting at 9PM EST with a tentative run time until 11PM EST.  TNB's have run well into the night in the past though so don't worry if you were looking for more play time with everyone.  Everyone from the Perfectly Sane Show except Fozzy (Persian internet doesn't work with XBOX Live) will be participating tomorrow night and we hope to see a good number of you as well.  

So how do you hook up with us?  Well first off leave your gamertag down below so I can add you to my friends list for tomorrow's festivities and if you are already a friend, leave your tag anyway so I know to send you an invite.  We'll try to get as many people with us as the system will allow and if we have to we'll rotate people in and out.

We hope to see some of you tomorrow night for the relaunch of TNB and a scrotum to the face shield.

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They Challenge Me to Play More

  As some of you know I like my achievements and trophies but despite my gamerscore, I'm not exactly the prototypical achievement whore. I just play a lot of games, which in turn turns into a lot of achievement points. The thing I love about them is the sense of accomplishment, the sense that someone is there patting you on the back for doing something in the game. They don't really mean something but they give me that extra little motivation to keep playing through games.

Where am I going with all this? Well as some of you know by now, Halo: Reach has a daiily challenge system. It is very similar to an achievement system except when you accomplish it you don't get any additional GS. What you do get though is some bonus credits and a message that pops up on your screen telling you you've finished it. In fact (much like Gears of War II and Left 4 Dead) the challenges keep track of your progress throughout the day and will give you little in game updates as you move towards completing your goal. The other night I played 4 hours of multiplayer chasing down the challenges for that day and all I really went on to do was play more of the campaign. And the challenges are not just linked to competitive multiplayer, depending upon the challenges for the day it could be campaign or firefight related as well. Its an ingenious system that will keep me coming back over and over again.

Today's challenges:

More than a Handful
- Kill 125 enemies in multiplayer Matchmaking.

Where There's Smoke...
- Kill 50 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking.

The T.G. Opposition
- Kill 20 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking with the Shotgun.

I'm Rubber, You're Glue
- Earn 1 sticky grenade Kills in a multiplayer Matchmaking game.

These seem directly primed towards the way I enjoy playing the game. The first two are pretty standard (play a lot of firefight and competitive multiplayer today) but the last two are exactly how I play the game. I love to get right up on the enemies in Firefight and oftentimes have myself equipped with a shotgun and in competitive multiplayer the sticky grenades are one of my favorite tools. I guess I know what I will be doing later today (after football). 

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It's Funny The Reach This Thing Has

  While Halo: Reach was certainly one of the most anticipated titles scheduled for release this fall I am honestly surprised by the adoption rate of the title. A lot of people on my friends list are guys that have previously said they have little interest in playing more Halo, yet here we are less than a week after release and nearly all of the 58 people on my friends list has been playing the game. The other night I logged into find 19 people online and 16 of them playing Reach. So I've been thinking to myself why the sudden change of heart?

I'm sure some of it is that some people have the impulse control of small children. I myself have said I have little desire to get a game (RDR for instance) yet still ended up purchasing the title shortly after release so I can relate to that but some of these people have adamantly told me how they think Halo is a "lame" franchise and how they hate it. So why are these people playing it and playing mass amounts of it at that?

The only thing I can come up with is that Halo is a title that has an appeal that few can resist. Its the community fever, the well designed levels, the balance of play and ultimately its an excessively fun game play. For me personally I've put a bit of time into the title this week (less than many, more than some) and I've found it to be the best online Halo game I've played to date. If one were to ask me today what my game of the year would be I am about 99% positive that I would say Reach and considering the amount of games I've played this year, that is really saying something.

How has your Halo: Reach experience been rolling so far or are you one of the few that can avoid the pull of the Halo?

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