SabotFox / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
782 123 169

SabotFox Blog

Mostly Kinected!

I'm fortunate to have some great friends in the Marine Corps. I've noticed that more often than not, when one of us picks up a new toy, we can't wait to show it off to someone we work with. For that reason, when a Staff Sergeant got bored with his Kinect while waiting for Star Wars to come out, he asked if I wanted to borrow it. I've been eager to get my hands on a Kinect ever since I first heard of Project Natal, but wasn't impressed by the look of such games as Adventures, Kinectanimals,etc. My main thought was, "Man, kind of disappointing," but I can see why this would appeal to kids. However, my Staff Sergeant outranks me, so he convinced me to at least give it a try.

I'm glad he did! The Kinect takes the Wii and pretty much kicks the stuffing out of it. My nine-year-old daughter used to like the Wii until she realized that she had to be at a perfect angle in order to use it. With the Kinect, all she has to do is be near the screen! And the games are way too fun. I've played with the Fun Labs entries Kinect Me and Googly Eyes, animating a couple stuffed toys that the girls have so that I can put on a brief puppet show. And Adventures has been way too addictive! Finally, a game my wife and I can both play that also is extremely active! The final game I've tested is Dance Centralwhich is probably Harmonix's best rhythm entry to date.

I'll share more about these later, but my initial impression is that I have to get my hands on my own Kinect before my Staff Sergeant asks for his back!

3 Months Later ...

Wow, once again neglecting the blog. Sorry about that. :/

Even though I sat down with the intention of writing a full blog, I'm mostly staring at the screen and wondering what to write. A lot has certainly happened in the past three months, but I've mostly used this as a sounding block for my feelings about games ...

Anyway, currently working on Beyond Good and Evil on XBLA. I chased this elusive title for a while back on the PS2 and GameCube and could never get my hands on it. It's good to finally put this ghost to rest as rumors of a sequel start being noised about. At least I'll be prepared for it if it shows up! It's a fun game, very remniscent of the old-school platform games, plus it gives me a break from the run of over-the-top violent games I've been running through lately, such as New Vegas, Prison Break, and Mafia II.

While I plan on delving back into Mass Effect for yet another playthrough and the climb to Level 60, I've also got Epic Mickey on the way from GameFly. That should be another light title before I delve back into any blood&violence titles.

I'm not big on the whole "video games promotes violence" culture, but at the same time, I don't like playing M-rated games around my 8-year-old daughter, and some of my work weeks makes it impossible to want to stay up past 9:30 playing. Such is the life of the responsible adult, I guess. :D

Anyway, maybe I'll remember to update this more often in the weeks to come, at least to give my impressions of Mickey when I start it this week!

Spider-Man, Spider-Man

In an effort to increase my game completion ratio, I re-rented Spider-Man 3 from GameFly. I last played this game in 2008, while I was serving my second tour in Iraq, and I remember being thoroughly unimpressed by it. However, I unlocked an achievement, so the 42 unearned achievements was dragging me down. I figured I could give it another chance, and at least hit my goal of 50% by at least going through the story missions.

I got the game today, played it for about two hours (which is probably about an hour longer than I tolerated it in Iraq), and I'm once again sending it back. I'm just going to have to take this one on the nose.

For those who have managed to avoid this game since it's release for a myriad of reasons, most likely because movie-based games tend to suck or maybe the fact that this was the latest entry in a poor run of Spider-Man games (I think Web of Shadows was the first solid entry for Spidey!) or maybe because any game ported over to a next-gen system from the PS2 is doomed to failure, by all means continue to avoid this game.

Spider-Man 3 is narrated by Bruce Cambell, who gives the majority of the game's tutorials. This is the best part of the game, hands down. Graphics didn't port well, controls are sluggish, swinging through the city gave me motion sickness, trying to avert crime is near impossible, due to little yellow dots appearing on a fuzzy GPS screen that gives no sense of perspective in the NYC skyline. Missions are stupid beyond imagination, activities are near-impossible to complete, and this game needs to be scrubbed from existence.

I'm heading back to New Vegas.

Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year, gamers!

Travel Plans

Never a dull moment. I recently learned that I will be traveling to Quantico, VA at the end of this month to attend a month and a half school that will teach me all about how to be a sergeant in the Marine Corps. The irony is that I've been a sergeant for over two and a half years now, and I'm actually going to be "in the zone" to pick up staff sergeant next month. Better late than never, I guess. Anyway, when I fade out here for a while, that's where I've gone. :D

I finished my first playthrough of Alan Wake and actually got the majority of the achievements in the process. They were pretty easy to snag, and only required a bit of extra exploration. Now I'm working my way through Nightmare mode, which is a little more intense. I've found that the easiest thing to do is just blaze through areas and not worry about fighting as much, otherwise I'll just get swarmed beneath the shadows. At the same time, I'm trying to snag the remaining pages of the manuscript, just to flesh out the rest of the story.

I have The Signal DLC pending, and The Writer gets released on the 12th, so hopefully I'll be able to get this game to 100% before I send it back.

Games I'm working on while at Quantico: ME (playthrough 2), Oblivion (to completion!), and ME2. That should keep me busy in what little off time I'll have available!

Writer's Block

It's been a small gap since the last time I blogged, mostly because I've been tied up with work, and also because I've been partly infuriated at the Internet in general as TrueAchievements lost its server control last week. It's still moving slowly as it tries to get itself back up and running, and I've been poking around at some other games in the meantime.

For starters, I wound up sending Dark Messiah back to GameFly unfinished. I made it a lot farther than my first foray, but after a while I had a "What the heck am I doing?" moment when I died in the same area over and over again as a giant Worm slammed me into a wall as soon as I spawned. The game just ... wasn't fun, and in my quest to get (nearly) 100% in this title, I lost sight of what I really enjoy about gaming: following a great story.

So, I went to GameStop and picked up two awesome titles: Mass Effect and ME 2. I'd played the first one while in Iraq, but no longer had my save file, so rather than play the new game, I returned to the world of Commander Shepherd and embarked on this awesome space odyssey, intent on picking up some achievements I'd missed the first time around in the process (since, like Bioware's other massive title, Dragon Age, this requires a few playthroughs to get 100%.) I completely missed the ally achievements my first go around, so this time I'm concentrating on two party members, and using my character as an Adept so I can snag the biotic achievements. With Ashley and Tali as my party members, I've got a pretty well rounded crew. Also, while I didn't have my save game, my profile must have saved some data, because I was able to launch a game on the Hardcore setting right off the bat. Very nice!

Of course, a GameFly rental always puts my owned game on pause, and I was happy to set aside Mass Effect in favor of Alan Wake. This game is completely awesome, a true psychological thriller on par with a Dean Koontz novel. Alan travels to a small town in the mountains to cure his insomnia and writer's block, but soon becomes the target of a Dark Presence that takes control of him, makes him lose a week, and all sorts of chaos starts to erupt. This is just a fun game! I've made some good progress on it, and may wind up keeping it around until the new DLC gets released for it later this month.

I also went back to Borderlands as the final DLC got released for that game. Unfortunately, the main campaign was a little short, and I'm down to just a bunch of collection sidequests that are - at the moment - bugged, until Gearbox releases a patch later this month. Apparently, if you collect things out of a certain order, you can't get the rest of the achievements, which is total skag chow.

Anyway, that's been my gaming life in a nutshell. Hope everyone's doing well and enjoying the change of weather! Nice and cool here in OK, while I see the East Coast got slammed by that tropical storm! Thanks for reading, GameSpotters!

Combating the Dark Messiah! (Whatever that is!)

So I returned to the world of Might and Magic with Dark Messiah, and discovered that it's not as horrible as I remember it. I'm trying to imagine the different factors at work here, and the major culprit seems to be that I'm now playing it on an HDTV. The 32 inch blarg-screen I was using in TQ, Iraq was definitely not the same quality, and I seem to remember these monsters looking 2D, and I wasn't able to get through Chapter 3. Add to that some buggy problems - such as inexplicable being told "You Lost" while wandering around the town in Chapter 1, and it wasn't all that impressive.

Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a sleeper hit. It's very much a cookie cutter game, with an magician's apprentice being sent to find some artifact that will be used to summon a Dark Messiah, in accordance with prophecy, and some Necromancer cult is out to steal the artifact so they can ... I don't know, summon it themself I guess. Everyone is VERY SERIOUS about it all, and this guy is just caught in the middle.

Still some issues I don't like. There's no captioning, volume is an issue, so some dialogue - despite my settings - gets drowned out by the ominous music. I should just turn it off so I can hear what everyone's muttering about. Also, the chapter's end abruptly, and a rolling text during load screens explains what has happened between screen fadeouts. The issue is that there are a couple transitions where my XBox loads so quickly that it cuts off the text before it finishes. Not really a big deal, since it's just telling me where I can look for relics and treasure, but it's still jarring, especially since there are whole scenes that are just ... missing in between transitions. This may be a story element more than anything else, because a couple cutscenes are revealing that everything may not be transpiring as the apprentice initially sees.

I'm not going to be able to get 100% on this, since multiplayer is nonexistant, but I've already managed to snag quite a few achievements just by progressing to Chapter 5. Onward and upward!

One Goal Achieved!

Well, after getting LEGO Batman to 100% and working on Crackdown a little more, I snagged my 50% completion ratio, only to knock it down a bit by starting DR2: Case Zero. Jekyll sold me on this Arcade prelude to Dead Rising 2, and I finally felt like killing a couple more zombies. I will admit to overreaching a little in the game, and wandered too far without saving, but just like with Dead Rising, you're given the option to just restart, keeping all of your stats and unlockables. So now, with a level 2 character, I'm ready to venture forward and try again. :D

It's a good bit of fun, and I'll be interested in seeing how much of this carries over into the real game when it's released next month. I imagine the gameplay will be identical, although you probably won't have to rebuild a bike.

I also picked up Mass Effect 1 & 2 for my birthday, which will allow me to 1) Replay ME and have a save file to import into 2 and 2) Actually venture into the sequel. This is a terrific Bioware title, and I'm looking forward to venturing back through it.

Also in from GameFly, I have Dark Messiah, the Heroes of Might and Magic disaster. I figured I'd give this game another shot. Maybe my perception of this game was skewed in Iraq. At any rate, it's one of the games that's dragging my percentage down, since I only have one achievement for it. Every game deserves a second chance this year!

Running on Edge

Yesterday, I started Mirror's Edge, a rather unique title that has all the features of a platform game such as Prince of Persia or Tomb Raider, but conducted from a first-person view. You play as Faith, a "Runner", basically a high speed courier that races packages about the city. There's no telling what's IN these packages, because shortly after the tutorial, Faith is at the center of some large conspiracy that deals with elements of the plot not even revealed. Hopefully the story gets more in depth; for now, I'm just zooming through the campaign and enjoying a departure from the more serious titles I've been sloughing through lately.

(Notice that Lego Batman has reappeared on my queue. Yet more evidence that I'm trying to enjoy myself again instead of just kill zombies/save the world, etc.)

I also zoomed through Limbo! This was a fun little puzzler, although a lot shorter than I was expecting, and the end - while a bit of a relief - didn't really bring any sort of closure. Without a clear soundtrack, dialogue, or concrete story elements, Limbo still manages to draw you into a surreal world and lets you draw your own conclusions about what the motive is behind everything. I was reminded a lot of Ico while playing through this title.

In FF XIII, I made a little bit more progress here in the aftermath of the game, finishing out the demanding Titan Trial's. I sitll have a number of weapons to forge before I can even begin to work on finding out what accessories I'm missing in order to earn the demanding Treasure Hunter achievement. This is a game that I work on in bits and pieces, otherwise I get frustrated by the lack of progress a couple hours will give me. :D So, the next major goal here is to complete the Hunt missions, of which I have roughly 15 left to attempt, now that my characters are a little further developed. I came a big closer to dropping one of the massive Adamantoises that lumber throughout Pulse, but they're still a bit out of my league. I would definitely benefit from picking up an ultimate weapon, but I'm quite a few gil shy of purchasing the component needed to do the upgrade.

Anyway, that's my gaming in a nutshell. Thanks for reading!

Previously on LOST ... (No Spoilers)

Back in 2008, while I was twiddling my thumbs in Iraq during a seven-month excursion, I restarted my GameFly account and started playing video games to pass the time. One of the first games I received was LOST: Via Domus. I'd seen this game at the Exchange, and being a LOST fan thought it might be worth picking up, even at a $50 pricetag. I have never been more thankful that I didn't buy a game.

All in all, Via Domus took me all of 3 hours to beat, and that included getting my butt handed to me by the smoke monster on one particular level over and over again. While it added another layer of mystery to the island, it jumbled certain story elements around and was all in all not a worthwhile entry into the LOST chronicles, but more of an act of fan fiction than a finely calibrated story.

Since I was in Iraq at the time, I wound up missing 5 secret achievements.

The time has come to unlock those achievements. Back in CONUS with the full power of TrueAchievements backing me, I'm going to snag these last few snapshots that I missed the first time around, bringing another game to 100% completion. (My 17th, believe it or not!) I doubt that will take me to 50% (I'm at 49.20 according to TA), but it will make me feel better not to have these 5 just floating around.

EDIT: Wow, that was quick. My profile inexplicably had saved my progress, even though I didn't have a Save Game file, so I was able to bounce into the episodes I was missing the achievements for, snap a quick picture, and snag the achievment. Took me an hour. 17 games complete.

49% and Fallout 3 DLC Madness

I've been plugging away at Fallout 3, and only have two DLC packs to complete before I complete this game at 100%! My progress with this, and my 100% of Web of Shadows (and a little Borderlands madnes for good measure) have pushed my achievement ratio up to a nice 49%. Hopefully, finishing Fallout 3 will give me the 50% that's my current goal. If not, I have Lost: Via Domus coming in the mail from GameFly so I can snag the last 5 achievements I'm missing from that game, and waiting in the wings I have Crackdown. I played this game shortly before I deployed to Iraq back in 2007, and have always wanted to revisit it, not only because the sequel looks like a good ride, but because I only have one achievement unlocked for it. :P

At any rate, enough about numbers. Here's my thoughts on Fallout 3.

The main campaign had an awesome finale, from a surprise encounter with the Enclave right up until the final moments battling for control of a water purifier. I was very impressed. In terms of DLC, Guns of Anchorage was almost a let down. The mission itself was a departure from the normal gameplay, thrusting the Vault Dweller into a simulation of the battle at Anchorage, Alaska, and playing out similiar to a Medal of Honor game. The end of the campaign seemed to give out some meager rewards, although I was excited to don my first set of Power Armor. Or at least I was until I found another set in Fort Constantine with slightly better stats. But then, after doing some more wandering about, I learned something very interesting about my DLC armor: the condition never went down! That made it worth keeping around!

Mothership Zeta was a fun little ride, and had a great deal of content in it. I netted some awesome rewards here, although the weapons I pulled down may have outlived their usefulness as I run out of the alien ammo that they require. Maybe I can go back to the ship and scrounge some more, but since there's no shop onboard, it's unlikely that I'll be able to obtain more ammo than I already found. :(

I just started Into the Pitt, which looks like it's going to be a refreshing challenge. The game warns you before you start that you'll be unable to return to the Wasteland for a while. What I wasn't fully expecting was that I was going to lose all my gear in the process! Now I'm level 30, but without my awesome assortment or armor and weaponry, so I'm back to the basics, scrounging for survival in a truly hostile area. This may turn out to be my favorite of the DLC, unless Broken Steel pulls out some amazing stops!

Let's find out. 100%, here I come!