Personal gaming journal #1

Wow, I’ve had such a busy week this week with work, friends, and chores it almost seems impossible to get some free time to play any of my favorite games.

When I was able to sneak a little time here and there, I look back and am surprised that I broke out some of my older games that I never finished.  Sometimes it’s true that “everything old is new again”, and it was refreshing not to be tempted so bad to purchase yet another game when I have plenty of solid hitters that had been collecting dust.

First up, Metal Gear Acid 2, for my PSP.  It really was shocking that when I booted it up, I noticed my last save game file was just over a year old.  Wow.  A whole year since I played it last, but after a few practice rounds, I jumped right back in and on my way to moving the story along.  Complete turn based, strategy card game I forgot how much I enjoyed.

Over at XBox Live Arcade I downloaded two demo’s: Too Human (see earlier post this week on my thoughts) and Go Go Break Steady (music rythym game set in a break dance world).  It’s animations were cute and its beats kinda cool, but after playing the demo for a while I won’t be unlocking the full game.  I also noticed there has been an expansion released for Puzzle Quest.  I’ll end up getting that later as I still have a way to go on the original, not to mention my wife is already addicted to the core game without getting the expansion.

Back over at my Nintendo Wii, I’ve been unlucky in getting my hands on a Wii Fit.  I have a good line on where to get one….a store of the beaten path that a coworker told me about where he walked in earlier this week and got their last one without even trying.  Anyway they told me to call back Monday, so perhaps if I am extremely lucky I’ll have one soon and hopefully trim my figure a bit. (Note to self: I should play both boxing and tennis this weekend as my cardio exercise).

I also broke out Battalion Wars 2 and I really like that game.  I finished about 30% of the game so far, and even on the easy levels, I can’t seem to get past a ‘C’ grade right on the missions right now.  My technique is always great, usually 100% or just under….it’s the speed that hampers me.  I can clear a level in five minutes, but apprantley, they would like to see me do it under four which can be a little tough for me.  It reminds me of a real time and vamped up version of Advance Wars.  It’s been quite a while since I played this last as well, clearly more than six months, and again I’m really looking forward to playing it this weekend.

Same for WoW.  My alliance Pally is now lvl 66, and I’d like to play a good dungeon this weekend and maybe level up to 67 in preparation for Lich King expansion.  I also played about an hour last Sunday my lvl 46 undead Warlock in Hinterlands.  I like that zone.  One zone I am bored to tears with though is Astranaar.  I have my lvl 30 Shaman and lvl 29 Priest stuck there now, grinding away for money to buy some better item so I can move beyond this infernal place.

Lastly my best news of the week is bittersweet.  I finally completed my first pass through of Mass Effect yesterday which is pretty monumental for me….to complete a single play through…and I loved every minute of the game.  The last boss battle was much easier than I thought it was going to be, but the ending left me a little jaded.  What?  I can’t go back and tie up the few loose ends?  Ahh man….  Plus I was so close to lvl 50 and the associated achievement unlock.  I was literally under 200 XP away from lvl 50 and I also never got the ‘Paramour’ achievement either in which I feel a little cheated on.  Overall a great game, though I’m a little dissapointed with the lack of DLC support that was promised for it.  One ‘episode’ is a far cry on what was promised.  Now, I may have to replay again on the next diffiuclty level and work on my sniper and shotgun achievements as well since I got assault rifle and pistol completed.

Games: Wifey plays & WoW Withdrawls

Not really the best of ways to start a new blog, but to go on vacation for almost a week a few days after the initial launch is kinda what the wife ordered.

In anticipation of being somewhat bored while the wife hangs at the pool or casino, I brought a Star Wars book (Exile) and my PSP.  I figured when I was at the pool, I could finish the book and when I was in the room waiting for her to get ready or do what ever she was going to do, I’d work on Patapon, Hot Shots Golf or even J’eanne D’Arc.

Well, I at least finished the book and started the next in ther series, Sacrifice, but alas never touched my PSP.

Once when we flipping channels at night in the hotel, we saw a commerical for Civilization Revolution for the 360 and I was pleasantly surprised that my wife said she’d like to play that.  I’m not sure if you can do a split screen screen or two player mode at home.  I know you can play multiplayer via Xbox Live, but I need to check out local modes.  I’m a bit skeptical to but it though, especially at the $59 price right now.  I love to play games with my wife, but she’s very simple when it comes to games.  She’s more of the UNO or Bejeweled variety than she is of mammoth conquest strategy games.  I can’t even get her to play Risk at home because she says she has to think to much.

So I just can’t see her playing CR.  I told her to play the demo first and see if she truly likes it.  If so, then I’ll buy it.  I may buy it anyway because I like strategy games of that sort.  My fear is I’ll crush my wife early on in the game, and once she realizes how complex it is, she’ll never want to play again.  I hate to admit this, but sometimes I purposely throw a game by making blatant stupid moves just so she has a fighting chance and I’ll even let her win on occasion.  Sometimes she does indeed win a game by blind luck, but when it comes to straegy genres, I’m pretty tough.

Speaking of bejeweled type games, when we got home from vacation yesterday I was more interested in doing a load of laundry, cleaning up a bit, and hitting the gym.  My wife instead grabbed her pink controller and played Puzzle Quest from about 5:30pm to midnight.  Yes, you heard me right.  She played about 6.5 hours of Puzzle Quest solo.  Her druid character is a few levels beyond mine and at about 8pm she hit level 31 (I think I’m about level 26), but I couldn’t watch her anylonger because the moves she was making were lazy and ill thought out.  That would doom our gaming career together if I pointed out her wrongs moves or tried to interject too much so that she felt I was actually player her game instead of her herself.

But it was driving me crazy.  There was clearly some moves should make that would speed her advancement or defeat the enemy quicker, but she didn’t catch many of those.  I wondered how long it was actually taking her to level up at this pace.  I feel that if we started at the same time and locked us in seperate rooms, I’d out level her much faster.  But since she plays the game more than me, I figure she’d be better with the practice.

It’d be interesting to see how her level 32+ charcter now would fare against my level 26.  I think it’d be close, but I’d give her a run for her money and possibly even defeat her even at my gimped level.

So what did I do while she was on her 6 hour solo streak?  Heck, I played Wow!  I figured with Lich King just a few months away, why not work on my lvl 65 Palladin?

I played almost two hours, and while I made some progress, the crawl/grind at higher levels can be excruciating for a casual player like myself.  I fully planned on hanging near Ironforge and working on my cooking and blacksmithing skills and then sending some of my lower level alts some gold and weapons they can use, but instead I stayed in Zangermarsh and Trekkor Forest most of the time and increased my XP by almost one-third towards 66.

To be honest, I’m not the best PvP’er out there.  I play too much solo-casual to be qucik on the trigger to react once the Horde decide to get me.  In all fairness, (and it wasn’t too fair to begin with), I got ganked pretty hard in a cave yesterday by a lvl 63 and lvl 70 when I was already in combat.  Once I was done for, they camped me for a while and I noticed their whole party was actually comprised of 4-5 players ranging from 62, 63, 65, 70 and 70.  No way I was gonna rez just be taken down again in 5 seconds.  I waited until they got slighty bored and high tailed it to Shatterath City.

Once in Shatterath I was able to score 2 enchantments to my gear.  A +15 strength to my bracers and a +15 power to my fist plate armor.  From there I made my way out into Trekkor and did some local quests, mined some Adamanite, and ended up in the Boneyard Wastlands for some good solo PvE.

What I find really weird is that in some areas, opposing players will do anything and wait forever to get in that gank on me, and places like Boneyard, all these 65’s-70’s just left me alone.  It’s like there was an unspoken understanding that “Hey, don’t mess with me….and I won’t mess with you”…and it seemed to work out pretty good.  I was just grinding my way through some local quests, and it appeared everyone else was as well.  I gained enough gold where if I log in tonight I’ll send my level 27 Dranei Shammy some love.

My shammy is in Astranaar right now, and talk about a grind.  I can’t raise enough money to buy stellar weapons or armor,and since I still get confused with all the totems, I end up dying a lot there.  Doesn’t help that Astranaar is like the western Tarren Mill/South Shore….local defense is interupted every 30 seconds with attack messages.  The place crawls with PvP, usually higher levels or groups ganking each other.  I hate the area, but it’s the only place I can grind right now, and grind I do.