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Resident Evil 6 Incoming

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Went ahead and ordered a copy from Wallyworld, and it should arrive next Friday (hate the wait). Honestly, I hadn't been anticipating its release (much like with Dark Souls), but mprezzy (through a recent blog) reminded me it was out. I was excited by the announcement of it a while back, but I tend to forget about these things, since these big games are hyped for so long before they actually come out.

Anyway, the reviews didn't scare me off. If anything, they piqued my curiosity. Call me morbid, but that's often how I respond to the big, AAA titles. If they get panned and they're a premise I'm already interested in, I'm that much more curious to see what's what. And though I never really stopped to think about it, I'm actually a pretty huge RE fan. Every time a game for the series comes out, I'm pretty much there, including the 3DS Mercs game. I did pass on ORC, though, as even in the remotest sense, I have trouble viewing it as an RE game. Looks like DLC for SOCOM if you ask me.

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The expression on Helena's face (woman on left) was pretty much my response to some of the reviews for RE6. I was surprised, to be honest. I mean, everyone's favorite RE protagonist, Leon, was back in action. So, I downloaded the demo, which made me feel less confident about the game's quality. Then, I played some more, fooled around with the huge number of mechanics, and I realized: Capcom married Onimusha and Godhand and they had a Resident Evil story as offspring. I kinda got massively interested all of sudden.

But that's not completely accurate. After watching more walkthrough footage than I probably should have for someone not wanting to spoil the entire experience, I realize there's still something inherently Resident Evil about this game. Either way, I can't wait to sink my teeth into the full experience. I love the RE universe, and if I can adjust to the tank controls of the older games, I think I can overcome whatever technical changes this game throws at me. Love the idea of the skill system, and more Mercs? Oh yeah...

Hit me up next weekend if you want to co-op some of the game with me.

-GD

The reviewing process?

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Technically, this is in participating with the latest GS Chalk Talk, but for me personally, it's an excuse to ramble on about how I approach writing a review. Like most things I write about, I like to offer a brief introduction to the topic. Since we're talking shop about reviews, I'll begin with the most important task: playing the game.

You'd be surprised how few reviewers give a game enough of their time. Heck, to be perfectly candid, I've worked for sites that have made it clear I am only required to play through an hour or two of a game before moving on to writing up my critique.

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To be fair, as of late, I have been focused on iOS titles and Facebook games, and they actually require little more, if that, than an hour of play to fully evaluate. But generally speaking, I like to cover my a** and know what I'm talking about. There have been occasions where I haven't completely finished a campaign, but I always try to make it my business to fully discover all the ins & outs of a particular game.

This, of course, is referring strictly to my past professional (freelance) reviews. When it comes to reader reviews, I feel a player has the right to chime in at any point in their progress, so long as they intend to offer something of meaning to the community and how it relates to a game.

Once I'm done running a game through its paces -- and hopefully I've had some fun with it -- I like to focus on introducing the game, usually by way of a brief tour of said genre and/or the publisher/developer who has created the title. But this isn't a set pattern. I'll discuss anything relevant. I want to keep things brief, however, and by my second paragraph, I'm usually on to a description of the game's presentation and/or story.

After setting up some basics regarding what the player can expect in terms of progression, I tend to let the rest come naturally. I discuss whatever comes to mind, and that's usually the key elements of a game that have impacted me the most, whether it be the controls, leveling system, visuals, story, etc.

The one thing I try not to do is overstay my welcome. I know folks are after the meat, and once I've covered the gameplay, I usually wrap up by covering the visuals and audio. There are rare cases where graphics and such demand a bit more focus, but typically you know I'm headed for home around this time.

At which point I bring the whole thing full circle round, summing up what I've expanded upon earlier and giving a nod as to whether I think the game's worth your time and money. Sometimes, I have to leave all of the decision making up to you, expounding on the pluses and minuses without clearly settling one way or the other.

And that's pretty much my review process. A GS buddy I knew from the NSider forums landed me my first reviewing gig, and after finding my feet, I've been approaching it this way pretty much ever since. Sometimes my reviews read like Shakespeare, sometimes they read like ****. In either case, I always try to do my best to inform and offer something entertaining to read. The score always represents that which I cannot put into words.

Stuff

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Still gaming, doing some work here & there, and keeping the yard looking good when I can. It's the end of September (already -- gee whiz!), and so far, I have to go with Rayman Jungle Run as my iOS GotY.

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Leave it to Michel Ancel to figure out how to make a magnificent platformer on iOS. Finally.

All directional control is handled by very intelligent A.I., but hold on, it's not a simple "runner" game. Truly, this is a platformer, and one of the best I've played in a good long while. The level design is masterful, and you're still going to need precision and skill to best this game. And if you want to collect all of the lums throughout all of the levels, it's gonna take a while.

Three bucks, awesome game!

And...

iPhone 5 just came out. Can't afford one. Want one. Hope to get a 4S for Christmas. That's plenty good enough for me.

Latest Gaming Addiction

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People on GAF are even nicknaming it Puzzle Crack, but Puzzle Craft is my latest iOS fixation.

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Imagine (if you're an iOS gamer and familiar with the games) Dungeon Raid, Triple Town, and The Settlers rolled into one -- you get Puzzle Craft. You play through Dungeon Raid-style matching to gather resources and build up your settlement, and well, the implementation is so pitch perfect, it's just one of those all-consuming games. Another buck well spent.

First Time With First Final Fantasy Tactics

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Played FFT A2, was addicted to Tactics Ogre (PSP) a while back, and some of you may remember just how ga-ga I was over Covenant of the Plume. Finally got around to checking out Final Fantasy Tactics (the PSP port of the original to iPhone -- LOL), and I loves it!

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For those of you who have already played it, I just finised the infamous Wiegraf battle -- argh! I'll be honest, it was the only real rough spot along the way thus far, as the only way to really win is to kinda break the game. But I will say this, they sure do reward you nicely afterward with some huge, meaty story bits. I was already in love, but the end of Chapter III and the beginning of Chapter IV sent me over the edge.

Absolutely fantastic SRPG.

Anyone home?

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Our Gamespot blogisphere isn't completely a barren wasteland yet, but it feels like just a few of us straglers are left blogging. And well, it's been a phenominal week for iOS gamers, so I'm gonna write about that.

The week started off for me with the release of two awesome games: Squids: Wild West and the iPhone version of Kingdom Rush, both a freakin' buck -- get out! Squids: WW is a sequel, and though it's mostly "more of the same," there are some cool, new additions, and it's pretty much a console-quality game (in terms of depth and presentation) for your phone. Kingdom Rush, well, it's just the best damned Tower Defense game you'll ever play -- period!

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Of course, another fairly high-profile game released the very same day, though I ignored it until I had gotten my fill of Kingdom Rush. Dead Trigger is a first-person zombie shooter, and it had received such polarizing opinions over on the Touch Arcade forums. For a buck, I had to try it. Personally, I love it. It's an arcade shooter, but instead of the same "endless" model, it doles out gameplay in nice, bite-sized missions. You earn cash and "gold fingers" to unlock new weapons and gear, and it's just plain addictive.

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And then this morning Shadowgun, another game by the folks who made Dead Trigger, went on sale for a buck, and I nabbed that. So, for under $5, I've a boatload of entertainment for the week. I may never go back to console gaming again. :P Nah, still playing Demon's Souls pretty regularly. But I really am having a great time gaming on my phone. Takes some getting used to -- that I know -- but there's a gaming renaissance going on on this platform.

Nintendo did not disappoint

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I was expecting total failure, and they did not disappoint. I've watched a lot of these now over the years, and this has to be the worst press conference from Nintendo in memory.

Moved and Settling In

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Today marks the second week in our new home. It was no small feat. We closed on May 10 and moved the following Saturday. My wife and children are absolutely amazing. My wife was (and still is) going nonstop, and our three children worked that Saturday from sun up until the wee hours fully participating in the move. As hard as the work was, both moving and the intense clean-up afterward, we were blessed with how everything fell into place. I could spend paragraphs going into detail, but I truly do mean blessed.

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And now I get to enjoy that view every morning when I drink my coffee.

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This is what our family fell in love with. It's not a huge piece of land, but it's definitely our little slice of heaven. The backyard is separated into a traditional lawn area and a beautiful wooded area populated by pines and other lovely trees. The storage building (which is a little obscured on the right) was a nice, little bonus. It's practically brand new and is structured similar to the house, rather than a mere shed.

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I'm a so very thankful for my family and this wonderful home we can now enjoy. Yet sadness continues to color life, and the new house wasn't the only major life change. I won't go into detail, as it's quite personal, but we are all safe and healthy in spite of great emotional shifting that has recently taken place in our lives.

Peace, folks.

A home of our own

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I'm taking a break from taking apart our bed.

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That's our exact bed. That, of course, isn't our bedroom -- that's a modeling room -- but that's the monster I have to take apart and...ready for our move.

We closed on our house yesterday, and since things were delayed by about two months, we've been ready to move for a while now -- everything's packed pretty much and ready to go. So, tomorrow's the big day, and tonight I'll be signing off for a bit. We're excited, exhausted, and relieved. We had many hurdles to negotiate along the way, but we're finally ready to start, well, a new life. My youngest son was born in the duplex we now live in, and this is going to be his first time in a new home.

Talk to y'all soon. Peace & love!