PyreofKoL / Member

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PyreofKoL Blog

July '14 (New purchases and a new addition to my profile)

I'm gonna try and keep this shorter than the last post I made. First off, work is going well. This week was a litmus test to determine whether I or my co-worker was the better candidate for a managerial position and I feel like I came out on top, but only time will tell for sure. If I can get this manager position, this will be a huge step forward in my long term plans. I'll spend a few years getting experience in managing people and running a store and then, hopefully, open up a restaurant down the line that combines gaming (both table top and video) and food.

As far as new purchases go, I've got a fair few. For any Xbox 360/One owners who read this and don't know, Microsoft implemented a Free Games with Gold initiative last summer. It's included free downloads of both retail and XBLA titles including Dark Souls, Crackdown, Dust: An Elysian Tale and others. It only came to the One last month, but it's given free access to Halo: Spartan Ops, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, and the excellent Guacamelee so far. The free games update twice a month on 360 and monthly on the One. I've grabbed all the mentioned titles plus Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, Fable III and Iron Brigade. Spartan Ops is good but suffers from a lack of local co-op (good memories of Smash TV), Dust is a pretty entertaining Metroidvania style beat-'em up but the voice acting is bad and the art was ripped off of from the NeoPets browser game, Crackdown is as ridiculous and awesome as ever, Dark Souls squanders a great atmosphere with horribly unbalanced gameplay, Max is a great brain teasing platformer with excellent art, Clash of Heroes is a super addicting cross between turn-based strategy and puzzle game, and Guacamelee is hilarious and one of the best Metroidvania style titles in recent years. Only two Xbox games I've purchased, both on the 360: Crimson Alliance and Battleblock Theater. Crimson Alliance is free, but the three playable characters have to be purchased for either $10 a piece or $15 for all three. The story and dialogue aren't much to look at, but the game is a blast to play in co-op thanks to great combat spread across three diverse classes and some really fun puzzles. Battleblock Theater is from the same brains that came up with Castle Crashers and it's absolutely brilliant. Ingeniously wicked level design requires pin-point platforming but never feels unfair or frustrating. If it does get frustrating, you'll be laughing in short order as all your actions are narrated by the hilariously douchey main antagonist.

On my Nintendo systems I got Mario Kart 8 and Wind Waker HD for the Wii U and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 for my 3DS. Mario Kart 8 is simply the best in the series. The visuals are jaw-dropping, the track design is exceptional and the new power ups are awesome. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was a polarizing title on the GameCube, but regardless of all the debate surrounding it it's an excellent entry in the series. The HD rerelease is simply marvelous. The gameplay and story still hold up and it looks gorgeous in high definition. FFTA 2 was a huge favorite of mine when I had my DS Lite and it's still as addicting and deep as it ever was.

One last game related note: my Star Wars table top RPG is going extremely well! We're still in character creation/general pre-planning phase, but the game starts one the 7th of next month. I've got five players and they're all as excited as I am to be part of this. Even better, it looks like it'll be a mixed group of Dark and Light side characters!

Finally, I intend to use the new Stacks functionality of the website to create monthly top 10 lists. I'd love it if you guys would check 'em out!

Overdue (or, Playing Catch Up: A Wall of Text)

It's been seven months since I last posted a blog, and a lot has happened. I don't know if anybody actually read any of my previous blogs, but I kept posting them primarily because they were a good way for me to vent. The last seven months have been hectic but good. In mid-September of last year I was hired at GameStop into the last year-round position they had. I quit Bojangles' in late October and have yet to go back (though I really should soon; the post holiday hours haven't been stellar). I love my job despite all the insanity of Black Friday and Christmas. It gives me a lot of glimpses of insight into the industry and I love helping the uneducated learn about video games and helping the educated become better educated still.

I've picked up a long list of interesting things over that period of time, too. We'll start with the electronics. I've picked up two new consoles: the Xbox One and the PSP. I got the PSP so I could play through the copy of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions my younger brother left me before he moved. I played through it twice when he had his PSP and I've been enjoying this third playthrough. The Xbox One is a console that I was going to wait to get until my tax refund arrived, but...I just couldn't stop myself at release time. I, like every other Xbox fan on the planet, was furious during E3 and only mildly appeased thereafter. Microsoft nearly buried the system before it released and the sound-barrier breaking back pedaling they did only barely saved it. The sales numbers tell that tale more accurately than I ever could. That being said, I really love my Xbox One. The Kinect 2.0 is a bit unreliable, but it's still fun to manipulate your console with voice commands. The OS is sleek and the process of navigating the Xbox is very stream-lined. The first game I got for it was Call of Duty: Ghosts. I got it the day I got my console, and I have to say that I was mostly disappointed in it. The multiplayer had some fun new perks and other unlockables, and larger maps were a nice change. However, the maps seemed too big thanks to the match sizes being reduced to 6v6. The local multiplayer was the biggest disappointment for me, though. You can only play with two people locally in this iteration of the series, and that's hugely frustrating for me. I specifically chose Ghosts as my first game with the express hope of being able to show off the console to my friends by engaging in four player games of Call of Duty with them. I will say this, though: the Extinction mode is the best co-op mode in series. If you get the game for any reason, let it be that. Find a good friend and settle in on the couch for a marathon of that mode. It's hard to put down. Since then I've only purchased three other games for the system: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Strider and Titanfall. PvZ is ridiculously fun. The gameplay is addicting and the unlockables are many and varied. Strider is one of the best games I've played this year. The combination of Shinobi-like combat and Metroid-like exploration make it really hard to put down. Titanfall is my current front-runner for game of the year (until SSBU drops). I was lucky enough to get in on the beta, and it left me drooling until release day. I've had plenty of time with the finished product and I love it. The base shooter gameplay is the love child of Quake and Call of Duty. It has the progression system and gunplay of CoD, but the pace and physics of Quake or Unreal Tournament. You have a number of parkour inspired moves at your disposal for navigating the large and detailed maps and the battles move at a frantic, highly entertaining pace. The Titans are the star of this show, though. Titans are mechs that function as a kind of killstreak reward. Your titan is on a timer which can be reduced by getting kills. Once the timer is up, you can drop it into battle and unleash all sorts of havoc. Titans are equipped with powerful weapons and abilities of their own, and each of them are a blast to use. You can choose to manually control your titan or set to follow you around as a massive body guard. As a fun side note, once you get to a high enough level you unlock custom Titan loadouts, so you can mix and match pilot and titan combinations to your heart's content. On the 360 I've picked up Crimson Alliance (great co-op dungeon crawler RPG), Grand Theft Auto V (awesome game), Puzzle Quest 2 (love the first, but this one has a lot more depth), the Streets of Rage collection (I love that whole series), and South Park: The Stick of Truth (great timing based combat, tons of stuff do and hilarious story and dialogue).

I got a couple new games for my Nintendo consoles too. For the Wii U I picked up Super Mario 3D World. I can't say enough about that game. They took all the best parts of the previous Mario platformers and formed it into a glorious 3D Mario experience. The level design is fantastic, the controls are flawless and the new power ups are a blast. I'm particularly fond of the catsuit myself. Oh, and the music. Love the music. I wish Nintendo would release a multi-disc album with some of the best Mario music over years, but performed with actual instruments. Maybe get an orchestra and have Koji Kondo conduct! I've also reserved my copy of Mario Kart 8, and I can NOT wait for Super Smash Bros U to be up for pre-order. I picked up Pokemon X, Project X Zone, Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds and Legend of Zelda: Four Swords for my 3DS. Pokemon X is the upgraded Pokemon game fans have been waiting for since Diamond/Pearl. The Gold/Silver rereleases were great, but the Black/White series just fell flat. Personally, I only played the originals so I could snag legendaries to aid in completing my X/Y dex (and so I had a Pokemon game for my 3DS when I first got it). X/Y is fantastic, though. The new region is one of the biggest in the series, the new visuals are gorgeous, and the soundtrack is great. The post-game content is not, perhaps, as fleshed out as previous entries, but there's still plenty to do, and the online community and functionality are as robust as ever. Oh, and a new type was introduced. Fairy type was a monkey wrench (particularly to the powerful Dragon type), but the Fairy-type play style is a lot of fun to learn. Project X Zone is a tactical RPG which, while lacking in strategic depth, more than makes up for it in nostalgia and nice visuals. The core of the game is that's a massive crossover between Sega, Capcom and Namco. The worlds of characters ranging from Tekken to Darkstalkers to Shining Force are merged together due to dimensional shenanigans perpetrated by villains from each of the three companies. The roster is great, though Sega's contribution is highly disappointing. A lot of their roster choices are head scratchers. A number of them are from obscure DreamCast games or Genesis/Saturn games that never released state side, and some of them were just plain dumb. I sincerely wish that Sega had drawn from the old school Genesis or Saturn Shining Force games rather than the mediocre and ill-received Shining Force EXA (which was released on the PS2, for the record). The combat is fun, but the overall strategy element is a bit diluted. Positioning doesn't really matter unlike most TRPGs, but the abilities can really affect battle in a number of ways. The actual combat takes place in a side view (rather than the top down view) and is essentially like a fighting game. Also like a fighting game, you can build up a gauge and unleash some crazy powerful and crazy flashy super moves. Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds is simply amazing. It deserved the GotY award it won from GS. It's beautiful, the music is a loveletter for your ears, the dungeons are brilliant and the sheer volume of story line and side content will ensure that you're glued to your 3DS for a while. Four Swords came attached to the GBA rerelease of a Link to the Past and was the first ever Zelda mutliplayer experience. Despite the complication involved in setting up a four player match, it was a lot of fun and was briefly released as a freebie on the 3DS eShop. It's quite challenging and really enjoyable to play.

On the PC I picked up...hrm. I've picked up a lot.This is gonna be a long list. Here we go: from Steam I got Shadowrun Returns (the turn based combat was an adjustment after playing so much Neverwinter Nights, but I've been enjoying the story), Age of Empires II HD (Wololo), Terraria (Christmas present from my brother; been trying to make sense of it), Trine 2 (great physics based puzzles, but the combat is too infrequent), Borderlands 2, and CoD 4 (got both of these last two so I could play them with some friends); from GoG I got Stargunner, Tyrian 2000 (both excellent shoot 'em ups; Tyrian is my favorite of the two), Treasure Adventure Game (great combination of point and click adventure and action/platformer) and Warsow (a decently fun arena shooter, but the servers are barely populated); finally, I also picked up Diablo III and League of Legends. Diablo III went on sale for $20 just recently so I decided to grab it, and I've been loving it. I've been rolling with a Monk, and the addictive combat and loot whoring are in full form. League of Legends was a long overdue pick up. Awesomenauts got my friends and I into the MOBA scene, but League has been our game of choice ever since we downloaded it. We've had a lot of fun learning the ropes of a real MOBA and we've been getting online and enjoying ourselves despite the horror stories that circulate about the community. On that note, I'd like to announce that I have a Twitch channel. I've been using it to stream the PC games that I play, and I also have the app on my Xbox One, which means I'll be using it for Titanfall, Destiny and whatever else strikes my fancy. So, feel free to hit it up and take a peek at my friends and I as we game. One more MOBA related note: I'm super psyched about Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm MOBA. I'm hoping that Raynor and/or Kerrigan will be playable, and I'm hoping a release date is announced soon.

Wow, that's a lot of text. I sincerely appreciate it if you made it through all that and I hope that it was a least a little interesting. I'll probably start posting regularly again hereafter, so thank to anybody that read my blogs before and thanks in advance to anybody to starts reading them now.

(PS Just a quick note. I realized that I forgot to mention the interesting non-electronic stuff I've acquired, so here's a list: a 3rd edition boxset of the Champions table top RPG that I found in a thrift store for $15; two new board games: one a Cthulhu Mythos based game called Elder Sign and a Risk-esque strategy game called Smallworld; finally, I picked up six new books thanks to some gift cards I got at Christmas: two collections of short stories inspired by Lovecraft called The Book of Cthulhu and Lovecraft Unbound, a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories and three Stephen King novels: Dreamcatcher, Doctor Sleep, and Lisey's Story)

August '13

August has been long, but good. On the first weekend of the month my family and I took one last little vacation. We went down to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. It was a pleasant end to the summer and a fun time all around. My new camera got put through its paces this summer with a total of some 400 pictures between the Georgia Aquarium, Charleston and the zoo. Fall seems to have come out of no where. It's even been abnormally cool here in South Carolina (though still warm). The passing of August has brought about the start of football, something I enjoy a lot. I've found a downside to this thanks to working at a fried chicken joint, however. People down here are religious about the local college teams and tailgate every home game. Instead of cooking out they work me to death by buying copious quantities of deep fried poultry for the events. This requires me to come in earlier on Saturdays (the usual gameday for college football) and thus has rendered me even more tired. At least I've been getting Sundays off, and that means that I'll be able to catch some full Bills games this year, so that's cool. In gaming news this month I picked up seven new games. Most of these came through the excellent Humble Bundle promotion. For $10 I got Burnout Paradise, Command & Conquer 3 Red Alert: Uprising, Crysis 2, Dead Space 3, Mirror's Edge and a few others. C&C 3 RA is an entertaining RTS, but unfortunately I've been spoiled by SC II and thus feel that I'm not really getting the full experience of this game. I had Burnout Paradise on my 360, and, though I'm awful at racers with a bent toward the realistic such as this one, it's been fun revisiting it. I've been pleasantly surprised by Crysis 2. My laptop has been able to run it at surprisingly high quality and the great gameplay has made it worth pushing through the somewhat poorly voice acted dialogue and bland story. I have yet to fire up Mirror's Edge but I can't wait to play it. My brother borrowed it for 360 from a friend a while back, but ended up giving it back before I had a chance to try it. Dead Space 3 has been great, if a bit less unsettling than the first two games. I've been enjoying finishing up the saga of Isaac Clark. The other game I got was Neverwinter. Thinking it was an MMO take on BioWare's Neverwinter Nights games I tried it out during beta. I love Champions Online (another Cryptic MMO) and found this game easy to get into as the gameplay was quite similar but not terribly impressed elsewise. A friend of mine encouraged me to try it some time after it came out so he and I could hang out and I'm glad he did. I made a healer and got her to level 33 (the current level cap is 60) in about two weeks. The leveling goes faster than in any MMO I've played, mostly due to the desire to unlock new powers as you go as each one is unique and really well animated. I've also been quite impressed with Cryptic's attention to detail as far as the setting is concerned. The atmosphere seems like the generic fantasy atmosphere, but if you pay attention and find the books, papers and the like that are scattered throughout story areas you'll find that Cryptic did a good job utilizing the lore of the Forgotten Realms setting and some of its most beloved locales, like Neverwinter and Baldur's Gate. Finally, I've been amusing myself by perusing the Halloween decorations and costumes that have already appeared in retailers like Wal-Mart and holiday specific stores like Halloween Express. A lot of people are annoyed by this, but I'm looking forward to another creepy, fun filled Halloween and ensuing holiday season. That's it for this month.

July '13

What a month his has been. Once again I had the absolute joy of vacationing in Charleston, SC. We went to two different beaches: Folly Beach, which we went to the last two times we were in Charleston, and Isle of Palms. Folly was nice as usual, but Isle of Palms was awesome. The actual beach wasn't much different than Folly's, but the little beach town attached to it was really cool. After a few hours of swimming and sun we changed and then explored the shop-filled boardwalk. We ended up eating lunch in this awesome little dive called Banana Cabana and then hit the gift shops. The next day we explored downtown Charleston. I never tire of the beautiful old buildings on King street. The shopping was pretty great, too. I found a hat store run by an apparently famous hat maker called Goorin Brothers. The hats were insanely expensive, but after a bit of research I found out that a lot of a celebrities wear their hats. We also ran into a great mom and pop book store. The icing on the cake was that the owner had a cat that lazed about the store. We also had the unexpected pleasure of wandering into some kind of fair in the park dowtown. It showcased craftsmen of all sorts from all over Charleston. I found a booth for the South Carolina spice company and picked up an excellent spice blend called Charleston 10-Spice. Later that day my mom, dad and one of my sisters went on a tour of the tea plantation, and then that evening my brother, other sister and I went on two haunted tours. The first one took us through several haunted locations in Charleston as well as the old provost dungeon. The locations included a secluded cobblestone back alley where 200 deaths occurred, mostly by way of duels and a factory-cum-restaurant in which a man killed himself. The second tour was through the old city jail. That place was creepy as hell but the tour was so cool and intense. On the final day we hit Folly for a few hours and then reluctantly returned home. I've got an ache in my heart that can only be made by Charleston but...I'll push through. Gaming wise this month I picked up three games: Arkham City for the WiiU, Civilization V and Crackdown. Arkham City was long overdue and incredibly enjoyable. The atmosphere and story were immersive as ever and the combat and gadgets were ridiculously fun. My brother has been pestering me to get Civ V for a while now and since it was super discounted on Steam I went for it. I've been hooked on it. The game is incredibly addicting and the soundtrack is fantastic. Crackdown is one of the latest games to be part of Xbox's free games for gold initiative. I loved the game when I bought it years ago and have been enjoying playing it again. Work is going alright. My hours are still good but they've still been skimping on time off on the weekends for me. I also joined a gym. My grandfather recently went through some pretty harsh physical problems because he didn't take care of himself and I don't intend to repeat his mistakes. I've had one session with my trainer and that went well, so hopefully the rest will go well, too. Finally, my gf had surgery this month but is recovering well despite an infection. She was able to get back to her gym today so she's pretty happy. That's it for this month.

June '13

June was a great month. I got to go to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA and it was amazing. The whale sharks were particularly breath-taking. I got four games this month (well, five, I suppose). The first was Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I don't particularly care for The Sims and other games in that sub-genre, but it's hard to go wrong with Animal Crossing. The series doesn't have any concrete goals to strive for and so allows the player to play as intensively or casually as they want. It's probably the most relaxing video game you could possibly play, which is especially nice when coming home from a high stress job like mine. The music in particular is very soothing. The next three came about courtesy of yet another sale from Sega, specifically through Xbox Live Arcade. I picked up Sonic CD, Guardian Heroes and NiGHTS into Dreams, three games I've been meaning to get for a while. Sonic CD is a lot of fun, but the level design and difficulty are a little inconsistent. Guardian Heroes is really deep for a side-scrolling beat 'em up. The difficulty is quite high and the story is cheesy, but it's a lot of fun. NiD is a weird one. It's beautiful visually and the soundtrack is neat, but the gameplay is a true oddity. You don't ever fully understand what's happening in the game but it's fun all the same. The fifth game I picked up is Fable III. I bought it when it came out, but I traded it in after I beat it as I was unemployed and dirt poor at the time. It was recently offered as a freebie on XBLA for Gold members so I figure, why the hell not? Work has been stressful. The promised help and subsequent time off on the weekends has not materialized and I'm getting really frustrated, but at least I'm getting decent hours. The girlfriend hunt keeps running into walls. I keep meeting really cute geek girls who aren't interested in dating. I'm sure most of you would recommend patience, but I feel that I'm a little too old to wait too much longer. That's it for this month.

May '13

Ah, it's that time of the year again. Another birthday has come and gone (27 this year; man I feel old) and the last vestiges of South Carolina's beautiful spring weather have faded into the heat of summer. Gaming wise I picked up only one recent game and three old school favorites. My brother got himself a 3DS and a copy of Mario Kart 7, so I picked up the game too. The racing is solid as ever (although the drifting feels a little nerfed) and the track design is fantastic. The classic titles I picked up are Super Metroid on the Wii U and Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Ages on the 3DS. Super Metroid was just thirty cents on the Wii U e-Shop so I figured, "Why not?" I played it once a long time ago, and it's still a lot of fun and really makes you want to explore every nook and cranny. The two Zelda games I mentioned originally came out on the Gameboy Color back in 2001. I picked up Seasons originally not too long after it came out and just fell in love with it. I played it so much that I had every side quest and puzzle memorized. My brother got Ages a little later on and the sheer wealth of content that the connectivity between these two games opened up was simply incredible for a pair of GBC games. I browse the 3DS and Wii U e-Shops regularly and when I saw that these were getting a rerelease I just had to get them. I've also had the opportunity to see the first three big movies of the summer. Iron Man 3 was a bit of a mind screw. The previews did a good job of misdirection and the story caught me off guard a bit. The Great Gatsby was simply wonderful. The cast was fantastic and acted their hearts out, and the stylized production was slick and dazzling all at once. Star Trek: Into Darkness is currently my top movie of the summer. The story is a brilliant reimagining of a classic Trek story line and is brimming with great humor and all sorts of fan service. The returning cast was a delight and Benedict Cumberbatch was just fantastic. Work is going ok. We're short staffed which has given me a lot of hours, but we've hired a bit of summer help and I'll be getting some relief on the weekends, now. As for my gf...well...we ran into a rather difficult problem a few weeks ago. It wasn't something she could help, but we knew it might happen and knew that if it did it'd spell problems for our relationship. That being said, for the first time in three years I find myself a free agent, and I have no idea what to do. My last few relationships have been long, steady ones and I feel kind of lost right now.

April '13

So, spring has been good thus far. I've been getting good hours at work, which is tiring but certainly good. My girlfriend and I are doing well too, so there's that. Gaming wise it's been a pretty big month. I've picked up Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 (thanks to an excellent sale on GOG.com), and Zen Pinball 2 on my Wii U. SC II was long over due. My brothers, myself and a few friends of ours have been holding a weekly PC gaming night on Sundays. Mostly we played L4D 2 and Team Fortress 2, but we decided to branch out and add RTSs to our roster. SC has been our RTS of choice and it's been a lot of fun, but it also reminded me that I've wanted SC II since it came out three years ago, so I got both in a package deal from Blizzard. These games are still way too much fun. I've also been meaning to get the Neverwinter Nights games for a while, too. They're just as amazing as BioWare's other D&D titles, and getting all the expansions along with both games for a total of about $20 was a pretty good deal. As for Zen Pinball 2...what can I say? I love pinball and pinball video games. I tried a few of the demo tables and just got hooked and downloaded the game (which is free) and bought a few of the tables. It's a great time killer and nerve relaxer and the design of the various tables is awesome. Also, I finally started playing LoZ: Skyward Sword. My brother preordered it when it came out, but I never played it until just recently. I've beat the first dungeon, and I really like what I've seen of the story so far. The graphics are my favorite in the series, especially on the artistic end. My only issue is the controls. My arm is still sore and it's kind of annoying that a couple of combat scenarios (and more to come, I'm sure) require precise swings that are difficult to manage, even with the Wii Motion Plus. They also over use the motion controls a bit. I thought it was sort of dumb that I had to manipulate the boss key with the Wiimote to fit it into the door.

March '13

It's been a pretty good month. I got three games: BioShock Infinite, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 (for PC; I already had it for 360). Infinite is amazing. It's an excellent reminder of why we all loved the original BioShock so much and I have to recommend to everybody on my friend's that they buy this whenever they can if they haven't already. Tekken Tag 2 was a long overdue purchase, but it's been worth the wait. The fighting is on point and the sense of humor that's always pervaded the series is even goofier. I picked up L4D2 for PC so I could pla y with my brother who moved up to Buffalo last summer. The game is as great as it was on 360, but the mods add an entirely new layer of fun to the package. I was also finally able to finish the Forerunner trilogy. Silentium came out just a few weeks ago and it was a fantastic read. I had to force myself to stop reading and go to bed a couple of nights. Work is going great. Fast food still sucks, but I did get a raise yesterday, so now it sucks marginally less :P Things with my gf are a bit better. As usual she's dealing with Herculean amounts of homework and the like. That's it for this month.

February '13

The month of love has been a weird one. As gaming goes I picked up the original Mass Effect, Dead Space 2 and Fire Emblem: Awakening. Mass Effect is an established classic in the RPG world, and of course it didn't disappoint. I know I'm way behind on the series, but I just don't care. The game is fantastic. Also, I know I'm late to the Dead Space 2 party as well. I picked it up just three days ago and have already beaten it, but I love it just as much as the first. Isaac's added character depth felt perfectly natural and the story was atmospheric and intense. Fire Emblem: Awakening is really good, but honestly it's only for masters of the tactical RPG genre. It really makes you work to win each and every battle and the myriad things to do in and out of battle plus the great DLC make this an absolute must own for 3DS owners, expert or no. Work has been steadily plugging along and doing it's best to break my brain. We're also about to have a massive reduction in hours, so there's that. Here's hoping that I can get that job at GameStop since it's been put on the table again. Finally, things are a little iffy between me and my girlfriend right now.

January '13

The big news for me this month was the long overdue start of the NHL season after an infuriating lock out. The NHL's leadership is in incompetent hands. My Sabres have been really depressing to watch. They started out 2-0, but are now currently 3-4-1. They've lost to several awful teams, including a couple of blow outs, and it's been really hard to watch. Else wise, I got a new laptop, which has been able to run my games much, much better than my desk top. The main reason I got it was to help in the running of my Star Wars table top RPG campaign, which has under gone some exciting developments. First, and most importantly, my player pool went from 2 to 8 literally over night thanks to a pic I posted on FaceBook showing my recently expanded collection of supplement books for the game. Second, as I said, I got a bunch of new books, and have a lead on well over a hundred SW minis for me to use for the game. As video games go, I finally picked up Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed for my WiiU and have been loving it. Sega really dug deep into their past and came up with a great character roster and race courses. I also did something I never thought I'd do: I reserved a copy of a Fire Emblem game. Historically the infamous perma-death mechanic has always kept me from getting into the series, but then I saw the four page ad in GameInformer for Awakening and was intrigued. After I played the demo on my 3DS I was sold. The ability to turn off the perma-death feature coupled with great graphics, writing and voice acting make me extremely excited for this game. Work is going ok. There's a lot of schedule experimentation going on right now due to a high labor cost, but they've not screwed me on hours, thankfully. My gf is working hard and it's made communication between us slim, but we do still talk when we can and she's doing amazing job keeping up with her heavy class load. That's it for this month.