Well, maybe not but I'm officially one year closer to the end, whenever "the end" happens. Yes, today is my birthday, and it's easy enough to figure my age by my GS name, assuming you know how to subtract. I've said this before but I'll say it again, I think my Dad (the WW2 veteran) was somehow able to convince my Mom to have me on Veteran's Day:P Hard to believe I'm only 3 years away from 50. I remember awhile back I was posting on some Union and a guy replied by saying, "Dude, you're old!" But, as my favorite saying goes, "You don't stop playing games when you get old, you get old when you stop playing games" and Lord knows I've never stopped playing games. My parents always had a youthful attitude and I believe I've carried on that tradition. Of course having kids keeps you young as well, and my 3 do a good job of that. Speaking of which, I should mention that Dylan hasn't been around GS very much but it's because he has his first fulltime job, he now works at a brand-newLowe's that's only about 2 miles from us, so congrats to him. Also should mention that the people at my work know how to treat me right, they gave me a Gamestop giftcard for a birthday present! Since I bought a PS3 last month I have a lot of catching up to do with PS3 games so that will definitely help. Lastly, let me mention how much I appreciate all of my GS friends, you've all become like an extended family and I'd say you people do a good job of keeping me young (at least in spirit) as well :)
Alright, Jude may have opened up a big can of worms when he listed all of the RPGs he's completed. Randy followed with his own impressive list and naturally that got me to thinking how many haveI done in the past 20 years? I'm sure there will be some that I'll forget about but here's an attempt at it. Some of these are debatable as to their RPG status (Zelda andDeus Exfor example) but I'lll go ahead and list anything that can at least be considered RPG material.
Dragon Warrior 2
Dragon Warrior 3
Dragon Warrior 4
Ultima: Quest of the Avatar
Legend of Zelda
Breath of Fire
Final Fantasy 2
Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Illusion of Gaia
Zelda: A Link to the Past
Baldur's Gate & Tales of the Sword Coast expansion
Baldur's Gate 2
Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
Final Fantasy VII
Knights of the Old Republic
System Shock 2
Vampire: The Masquerade -Redemption
(PS1) - As you can seeI was pretty much just playing PC games during this era
Final Fantasy IX
(GC) - There would have been a lot more on this list if the Cube had a decent amount of RPGs!
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
Dragon Quest VIII
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy XII
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Shadow Hearts: FTNW
Y's: The Ark of Napishtim
Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Shivering Isles expansion
Fallout 3 plus Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt DLC's
Rise of the Argonauts
Tales of Vesperia
Finally, a few thatI never finished - Fable for the Xbox, Suikoden 4, Valkyria Profile 2and Grandia 3 for the PS2, Tales of Symphonia for the GCand Lost Odyssey and Star Ocean for the 360. For one reason or another these games just lost my interest at some point and there were other gamesI wanted to play so these were never completed:( Well, I think that covers it but I bet there's a few that I've forgotten about. Just don't want to thionk about what this comes to in total hours:P
OK, good ol Randy was kind enough to tag me to do one of these so let's get it over with:P I'll try to keep it short and sweet.
1. First car I ever owned was a 67 Buick GS-400 back around 1979. It didn't handle very well but it was incredibly fast. I'm fortunate I didn't get killed with the way I used to fly that thing!
2. I'm not into reality TV but the one show I watch is Ghosthunters, mainly because these guys come from Rhode Island, where I spent most of my life.
3. The one big trip I went on was about 16 years ago when Shannon and I toured castles throughout southern England and Wales. Also spent one afternoon in Paris frantically trying to see as much as we could before the boat went back to England!
4. Favorite all-time movie - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It's also ranked as #4 all-time on IMDB.com. Hard to believe this movie is 42 years old! I'm not really into Westerns but this movie is incredible. Great action and actors that were born to play these parts.
5. While we're on the subject, my all-time favorite actor would be Christopher Lee. I admit he gave me nightmares as a kid with his portrayal of Dracula, but this guy is the epitome of cool. He continues to be a powerful actor plus he was a Special Operations Executive during WW2, which he can't talk about since it's cl***ified, but during filming of Lord of the Rings he did explain to director Peter Jackson the accurate way someone would die if they were knifed in the back:P
6. I've been a major WWE/WWF fan for 25 years and have gone to many shows. Still prefer the oldschool and the Hulkster and HBK are my favorites.
7. Played defensive end in highschool football. Got the nickname of "Head Hunter" since I would sack the QB by jumping on their back. Really not the most effective way to tackle but it looked cool:P
8. The weekend before I got married Shannon and I spent the day at the beach and got horrible sunburns. I couldn't even walk for a couple of days because my legs and feet were so swollen. I still remember limping to City Hall to get our license. Fortunately by the wedding day we had recovered but it was close!
9. My all-time favorite cereal was Pink Panther Flakes, which unfortunately hasn't been available since the 70's.
10. At the time of this blog I had just passed 12,000 posts on Gamespot. Nothing really significant about that but I've always had a fascination with numbers, guess that goes with being an accountant.
I haven't been on GS very much over the past week as last Wednesday morning I received a phone call that my Father passed away. It wasn't a complete shock as he was 92 (he was 46 when I was born) and had been in failing health for awhile. I actually got a call Tuesday night that he had been taken into the hospital as he had kind of reached a point where he was just shutting everything down (wasn't eating or responding to much of everything). Still, when you get the final news it's never easy. Thankfully he passed away peacefully.
I've mentioned him in past blogs, he had quite a life. Apparently he was a wild and crazy guy that kept hounding my Mom but she kept him at bay as she was a pretty conservative Christian. Not sure what to do with his life he joined the Army in the late 30's and went into the Armored corps. He then volunteered to fight with the British in North Africa in WW2 and had the experience of fighting under General Montgomery. He then came back to the US for awhile and eventually went back to Europe, serving under General Patton in France and then into Germany. He had many great stories to tell and I still have vivid memories as a boy sitting on his knee as he talked about fighting the Nazi's as a tank commander in his Sherman tank. Anyways, serving in the Army seemed to give him more direction in his life and after the war he became a Christian, went to college and became a minister. Did he do all that just so my Mom would marry him? We'll never know:P
Anyways, he had a great career as a Minister that had several churches throughout New England and I'll always remember him as a man that had incredible energy. Of course, if you have a kid when you're 46 you better have some energy! He was also a school teacher on the side and was an avid reader. Both of my parents really stressed the importance of education and certainly influenced me to get my college degree. To any of you that have actually read through this entire blog, I appreciate it and I'm glad I have a place like Gamespot where I can share some of this with my friends. For anyone that's interested here is a link to my Dad's obituary - Rev. Oakley E. Woodward.Will I look like that when I'm 92? Will I make it to 92, that's the main question:P Anyways, thanks again for letting me share all this with you.
Check out the "User Reviews" on the Gamespot Community Blog, as they mention my review of Tales of Vesperia (a great JRPG, btw). No big deal, but it's nice to see that they recognize greatness.
Also, you may recall in my last blog (back in November!) talking about going to a Celtic Thunder concert. Well, my wife Shannon and oldest daughter Darrah had the opportunity to go to a second show in Orlando, and they got there early enough to meet two of the five singers. That's Ryan from Ireland on the left and George from Scotland on the right. Surprisingly enough Shannon still came home to me after hanging out with these guys, guess it was a good thing Darrah was there to keep her in line.
Ryan, Darrah, Shannon and George
Ryan, Darrah and George
As some of you from my Unions may already know, Last Monday my wife and my oldest daughter and I went to Tampa to see Celtic Thunder. You can get a little more info on them here. They do a mix of traditional Irish songs along with more recent music. Now understand I'm really more of a hard rock - metal fan so usually this wouldn't be something I'd be interested in but when my wife convinced me to check out their DVD I was very impressed. They put on a great show, very entertaining and we had great seats as well, very close to the stage. Needless to say they have most of their songs on youtube as well, check out "Heartland" if you get a chance.
The other news is that yesterday was my birthday. It worked out well since I was going to take the day off of work anyways because I'd be coming home late Monday night from the concert. So I basically slept in and spent the day being a couch potato and playing videogames - a perfect day:P Been mostly playing Fallout 3, have put in around 25 hours so far. Definitely feel that any opinions you may have towards Oblivion will apply towards Fallout as well. Certainly some differences but the basic gameplay has many similarities, which is OK by me:)
Got a few things to catch up on here. First of all, I recently received two great gifts from my wife. First was a Tom Brady Patriots jersey she gave me for Father's Day. Here's Shannon and I showing it off:
Next came our 20th Anniversary, which we celebrated last Wednesday. I gave her an Irish Claddagh ring with a sapphire:
And she gave me an awesome official Red Sox jacket, just like the players and managers wear. Here I am showing it off with my daughter Darrah:
So, last week turned out very nice indeed! On a side note I noticed Gamespot gave me a new emblem for Top 100 Community Reviewers:
"Those who rank amongst this hallowed 100 greatly benefit those searching for critical information about games. These individuals' thoughtful, analytical reviews tend to be much more detailed and sophisticated than most of the so-called professional game reviews you could find elsewhere. Sure enough, the top 100 tend to be prolific writers and avid game players."
Sounds nice. I have been doing a fair amount of reviews and if I got this emblem based on your recommendations then I thank you all!
I'm a bit late in posting this blog thanks to some trouble I had with photoshop, but better late than never! A week ago last Saturday my friend Jude, known to many of you as Lightfellower from the RPG Temple, was down here in Florida checking out the sites before he made his trip back to Edmonton and then finally back home to Singapore. My family and I had the pleasure of getting together with Jude and spending an afternoon with him. That's my son Dylan (Nelo100) on the left, and yes, he's already taller than me:evil: Anyways, despite the 90+ temperatures we had a great time! Jude is a very polite, thoughtful and intelligent young man who has a great future - reminds me of myself 23 years ago, where did I go wrong:P My 12 and 8 year old daughters really took to Uncle Jude and were feeling pretty low when we took him to the bus terminal (he headed for Miami the next day) but now we have a reason to visit Singapore!
Last weekend I finally got the HDTV. Ended up going for the big one that all of us can enjoy for movies as well as gaming. It's a 50" plasma with 15,000 contrast. It's an Insignia, which is made by LG. I know, it's not on the level of Sony but I did a lot of research and just about every customer was very happy with this TV, which I got on sale for $1,100. And I must say I'm quite pleased as well. I did get the 4 year extended warranty just to be safe:) I tell ya, this digital camera cannot do justice as to just how good the image really is. I'm amazed at my games for the 360. Playing Mass Effect and Gears of War, wow! I'm clearly seeing enemies in the distance that just used to be blobs on my SDTV. Of course that's my version of Shepard from Mass Effect, about as close as I can get it to look like me:P Also picked up an "upconverter" DVD player which is a huge improvement over a regular DVD player for the HDTV. And Dylan just got his copy of DMC 4, so now he can play it in all its glory. Basically need to go back and replay all of my games for the 360 now. Hope everyone has a great weekend, you can imagine where I'll be spending my free time for the next couple of days!
OK, I was tagged by my good friends xwest06 and phoenyx9 so here we go, but I'm telling you - these are deep dark secrets so horrible, so terrifying, so disgusting that you'll probably go mad! You've been warned!:shock:
1. I'm of Irish, Scottish and Welsh decent - hence the name Celtic
2. My wife Shannon and I use to see each other literally every summer of our lives growing up. Our parents use to rent a cabin at the same lake in Maine at the same time every summer and we were playmates from the beginning. When we were older we went a few years w/o seeing each other but back in the summer of 87 we both happened to be there and the first thing I noticed was "Shannon's all grown up!" We were engaged about a month later and then married in June of 88. Now we're approaching our 20th anniversary! Isn't that just the sweetest thing you've ever heard?:roll:
3. I grew up in Newport, RI. If you're a fan of Family Guy then you'll know that's where Peter Griffin's in-laws live. It's true that Newport has many mansions, yachts and rich people. I sold my mansion 13 years ago and sailed my yacht down to Florida, where I now live. OK, part of this is not true, I'll let you try to figure out which part:P
4. My father was a tank commander in WWII. He first served as a volunteer with the British in North Africa under General Montgomery, then later in the war fought in Germany under General Patton, and spoke with Patton many times.
5. Have spent most of my career as an accountant but I did try my hand in retail for awhile and was an assistant manager at a Wal-Mart store. I can't recommend that to anyone that wants to have a life outside of their job.
Well that's it. Hopefully everyone that read this survived, but I did give a warning:lol:
Oh, almost forgot - I'm tagging my son Nelo100 - you're way overdue for a blog so get cracking!