The Road to Mel is Paved with Games 05:02


This Week in Gaming!

So besides the ever-present Bejeweled 3, which is my go-to when I'm completely bored, I've had a short attention span for my games lately.  Over the last week I tried out a few different demos, and here were my impressions:

This was a lot more fun than I expected.  I thought it was along the same lines as Portal - a puzzle game that forces you to be creative to get past the task at hand.  I didn't complete the entire demo, but according to steam, I played it for almost three hours.  The little goo balls reminded me of the minions from Despicable Me.  I may go back and purchase this game.

Magicka (demo)

This game peaked my interest mostly because it's an RPG, but also because you play as a caster no matter what.  And I love my finger-wagglers.  Even more interesting was the idea of combining spells to create new ones.  So I tried it out.  Sure enough, the combining spells was pretty cool.  But for me, the interface of a game is very important too, and if I'm not feeling it within the first short while, that may well kill the game for me.  This was the case in Magicka.  Our normal WASD keys are actually spell keys, along with a few others.  You have to remember which one is which element so that you combine them properly, as some elements do not mix.  The other thing that kept tripping me up was having to pre-load every spell.  So it would be click a letter, or a few letters, then mouse click.  Melee is a different mouse click.  AOE is a different mouse click.  I just think that while the game itself was great, the implementation could have vbeen better.

Dungeons (demo)

So again, sorting through Steam demos, I came across Dungeons. Basically, it was described as a Diablo-type dungeon crawler, where you're actually the dungeon boss, and you get to kill heroes that come into the dungeons that you build.  I was intrigued, so I downloaded it.  This was definitely interesting.  I think I'd have to call it a strategy game, as there were various things to strategically deal with.  You had to build your dungeon, make sure heroes don't make off with your gold, and keep monsters away from the heart of your dungeon.  The heroes spawned about every minute.  The game had a bit of an Overlord feel to it, which was fine as I enjoyed that game too.  I think I'd like to play the demo more before I decide on a purchase or not.  So far I'd only spent a little over an hour on it.

Non-gaming stuff

What an awesome weekend!  Usually in the Puget Sound area, the nice days are during the week when everyone's working, and then we get the crap weather during the weekend.  But this past weekend was the opposite.  Yesterday we got up to at least 65 degrees, maybe higher.  I know it felt pretty damn warm while I was out there mowing the lawn and pulling weeds!  Here's to hoping we get more weekends like that.

The Law School Saga

So my financial aid packet came in.  After federal student loans, I still need to come up with $10,000 to cover tuition costs (not including all the nickel and dime costs like parking, books, etc).  It seems I didn't qualify for any grants, and am going in with no scholarship money.  My credit sucks thanks to being out of a job for two years and coming close to losing my home at one point.  Somehow, in the next month, I need to find money.  I'm stressed, but I know that it will work out somehow.  Most likely I'll have to get a cosigner for a private student loan.

On the bright side, I found out that I got in under regular admission, and not access admission.  The access admission program was a program that looked at things besides the student's GPA and LSAT scores, and is more for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.  I was told at one point I was being considered for access admission.  Why is this good?  Because I can now be proud that I got in under my own merits, and was not given special considerations.

The OBL Situation

I'm not going to go into all that crap.  Yay, we got him.  He had already gotten to a point of irrelevancy though.  And of course, Obama takes credit, like any politician in office would have done.  The only reason I bring up the OBL situation is this:  My 11 year old, 6th grade daughter had no idea who he was.  When I said he was responsible for the 9/11 attack, she still seemed confused.  A lightbulb finally went off when I said the Twin Towers.  WTF are they teaching these kids in school?  She doesn't know what 9/11 is, or why it's called the 9/11 attack?  She had no idea who OBL was?  I mean, he was big figure even before 9/11 thanks to previous acts and attempted acts of terror.  How disappointing.


I guess that's it for now.  Really should actually get some work done!
9 Comments
10 Comments
Posted by melcene

This Week in Gaming!

So besides the ever-present Bejeweled 3, which is my go-to when I'm completely bored, I've had a short attention span for my games lately.  Over the last week I tried out a few different demos, and here were my impressions:

This was a lot more fun than I expected.  I thought it was along the same lines as Portal - a puzzle game that forces you to be creative to get past the task at hand.  I didn't complete the entire demo, but according to steam, I played it for almost three hours.  The little goo balls reminded me of the minions from Despicable Me.  I may go back and purchase this game.

Magicka (demo)

This game peaked my interest mostly because it's an RPG, but also because you play as a caster no matter what.  And I love my finger-wagglers.  Even more interesting was the idea of combining spells to create new ones.  So I tried it out.  Sure enough, the combining spells was pretty cool.  But for me, the interface of a game is very important too, and if I'm not feeling it within the first short while, that may well kill the game for me.  This was the case in Magicka.  Our normal WASD keys are actually spell keys, along with a few others.  You have to remember which one is which element so that you combine them properly, as some elements do not mix.  The other thing that kept tripping me up was having to pre-load every spell.  So it would be click a letter, or a few letters, then mouse click.  Melee is a different mouse click.  AOE is a different mouse click.  I just think that while the game itself was great, the implementation could have vbeen better.

Dungeons (demo)

So again, sorting through Steam demos, I came across Dungeons. Basically, it was described as a Diablo-type dungeon crawler, where you're actually the dungeon boss, and you get to kill heroes that come into the dungeons that you build.  I was intrigued, so I downloaded it.  This was definitely interesting.  I think I'd have to call it a strategy game, as there were various things to strategically deal with.  You had to build your dungeon, make sure heroes don't make off with your gold, and keep monsters away from the heart of your dungeon.  The heroes spawned about every minute.  The game had a bit of an Overlord feel to it, which was fine as I enjoyed that game too.  I think I'd like to play the demo more before I decide on a purchase or not.  So far I'd only spent a little over an hour on it.

Non-gaming stuff

What an awesome weekend!  Usually in the Puget Sound area, the nice days are during the week when everyone's working, and then we get the crap weather during the weekend.  But this past weekend was the opposite.  Yesterday we got up to at least 65 degrees, maybe higher.  I know it felt pretty damn warm while I was out there mowing the lawn and pulling weeds!  Here's to hoping we get more weekends like that.

The Law School Saga

So my financial aid packet came in.  After federal student loans, I still need to come up with $10,000 to cover tuition costs (not including all the nickel and dime costs like parking, books, etc).  It seems I didn't qualify for any grants, and am going in with no scholarship money.  My credit sucks thanks to being out of a job for two years and coming close to losing my home at one point.  Somehow, in the next month, I need to find money.  I'm stressed, but I know that it will work out somehow.  Most likely I'll have to get a cosigner for a private student loan.

On the bright side, I found out that I got in under regular admission, and not access admission.  The access admission program was a program that looked at things besides the student's GPA and LSAT scores, and is more for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.  I was told at one point I was being considered for access admission.  Why is this good?  Because I can now be proud that I got in under my own merits, and was not given special considerations.

The OBL Situation

I'm not going to go into all that crap.  Yay, we got him.  He had already gotten to a point of irrelevancy though.  And of course, Obama takes credit, like any politician in office would have done.  The only reason I bring up the OBL situation is this:  My 11 year old, 6th grade daughter had no idea who he was.  When I said he was responsible for the 9/11 attack, she still seemed confused.  A lightbulb finally went off when I said the Twin Towers.  WTF are they teaching these kids in school?  She doesn't know what 9/11 is, or why it's called the 9/11 attack?  She had no idea who OBL was?  I mean, he was big figure even before 9/11 thanks to previous acts and attempted acts of terror.  How disappointing.


I guess that's it for now.  Really should actually get some work done!
Posted by EuanDewar

You played the World of Goo demo for 3 hours and still didn't complete it? Jesus christ what is in that demo? Oh and the OBL situation is a fantastic title for the recent events. Another great blog!

Posted by melcene
@EuanDewar:  Honestly I think it was a back and forth at the computer night, where I would just leave the game running while I wasn't at the computer.  But Steam logged it as 2.7 hours I think.
Posted by Marcsman

These Road to Mel are always a good read. Keep it up Melcene
Posted by JJWeatherman

To be fair, I think grade school is a little early to be working terrorists and terrorist attacks into the curriculum.


Good luck with the money situation though. I'm sure everything will work out for you. Go kick law school's ass.
Posted by KaosAngel

All three of those games sucks.  I'm sorry but World of Goo is not good, and I own it on Steam...I paid 5 cents for it during the Humble Bundle (i'm joking...don't kill me).  If you wanna play something that's simple and sweet, pick up Revenge of the Titans, the music is good too.


In your daughter's defense, she was 1 year old when Osama had his run...you can't blame her when Pokemon, Hannah Montana, and Twilight are over her news.
Posted by SeriouslyNow

Nice blog. Gratz on getting into Law School. :)

Posted by melcene
@JJWeatherman: @KaosAngel: I understand, and I'm not necessarily saying I'm looking for coverage of the war on terror for little kids.  But covering current events would be handy.  She came home from school yesterday, and not a single teacher mentioned anything about OBL.  You'd think at least the humanities/history teacher might have said something.

And it had gotten me to thinking - I've seen videos where people, adults even (though the linked one is college kids), are asked who the current VP, Speaker, etc are.  And they have no idea.  People go to court every day have no idea how the court system works.  People VOTE without actually understanding how legislation works.  All this, they should have learned before they left school.  Current events should have been important too.  No wonder why, as a society, we get dumber and dumber.  The schools won't even teach the most basic things about how the country runs.

But this may be a rant for another time.

I did think the comment about Pokemon, Hannah Montana, and Twilight being my daughter's news was funny though.
Posted by Claude

I purchased and played World of Goo on the Wii. Absolutely loved it, especially the soundtrack. Fantastic little package and it takes a while to complete.

Posted by phish09

I don't get the love for World of Goo.  It's an alright puzzle game and the style is kind of neat.  It makes for a decent $1 iPhone game since I never want to spend more than 5 minutes with it at a time, but it's not even close to being my favorite iPhone game, let alone being anywhere near my favorite PC or Wii game.

Magicka looks cool, but have they patched some of the multiplayer and checkpointing issues that people were having?