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cprmauldin Blog

I've been gaming, but at a disappointing rate. The future looks bright though.

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So, my last blog was like four months ago, and I finally found a little bit of free time, so here is an update:

Personal Life: My new job is going absolutely fantastic. I finally got off training recently and I am loving it. I still have so much to learn, but to finally be working in my field is fantastic.

Gaming Life: Unfortunately, up to this point the new job hasn't increased my free time as much as I thought it would. During training, I was working 12 hour days just to come home and try and study for the next day. Luckily, after about 3.5 months, training is over and I am on my own. Though I am working a ton of overtime, I am already starting to see my levels of free time go up. Plus, things at work are going more smoothly, so I spend less time at home stressing about work, and more time enjoying gaming.

During all of this, the time that I have found to game has mostly been spent playing Kindgoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Kingdoms of Amalur is a fantastic representation of a good ol' RPG. There was an interesting main questline surrounded by a massive world filled with side-quests, factions, crafting and more. I finally finished the game today at about 70 hours. I don't think I did everything there was to do, but I know I did a majority of the extra content. I am very pleased with my experience with the game, and would love to go back to it one day.

Towards the end of my time with Kingdoms of Amalur, I started playing Rogue Galaxy on my PS2. I have had the game forever, but for some reason never got around to firing it up. With Amalur taking up most of my time, I've still barely gotten to see Rogue Galaxy, but from what I have seen the game seems to be quite epic.

In keeping with the trend of having way more gaming to do than I have time for, I ordered three more RPGs from Amazon today: Dragon Age II, Golden Sun Dark Dawn, and Final Fantasy IX.

All in all, my average game time per-week has been 6-10 hours. I would really like to see that go up so I can enjoy the great games I've got to play.

As always, thanks for reading, and hopefully it wont be another 4 months before I post a blog.

-Coop

 

New Job in Law Enforcement, The Scheduling Should Allow For More Gaming

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So once again, it had been a rather long time since I've written a blog, or written anything on this site for that matter. I've been busy preparing for my new job. I have been working for a short few months as a full time Loss Prevention Agent at a retailer, but recently, a law enforcement agency has decided that based on my skills, experience, and education, that they are going to hire me into a sworn officer position. As of December 1st, 2012, I will be a Correctional Officer at the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, working primarily in the county jail. My training will last about 4-6 months, and I will be on probation for about a year. After the first year, I will be promoted to Correctional Officer II, at which point I will be issued a firearm that I can carry everywhere except in the jail.

How this applies to my life as a gamer is as follows: For the past two years or so I have been working full-time (5 days or more a week) and going to school part-time (3-5 days a week for 2-4 hours at a time). On top of this I am required to do assignments for my college classes, etc, which take up even more of my time. In addition, I prefer to stay physically fit, which requires a total of about 5 hours of my free time per week and am constantly looking for work in law enforcement which takes up about 2-3 hours a week.

Now, I have found a job that pays decently enough that I can reduce the classes I am taking (probably 1-2 online classes a semester). I have found a job in my desired field (Law Enforcement), so I wont be throwing away 3-4 hours a week applying, testing, or interviewing for LE jobs. And best of all, my scheduling will be working four 12 hour days on followed by 3 days off, then three 12 hour days on, followed by 3 days off. I will only be working 14 days/nights a month, and only be going to school online.

Altogether, I believe this new career will bring about all kinds of free time to get back into the game.

Around finishing up my old job, and getting my new one, I have managed to get a few hours of gaming in:

Pokemon Platinum

I saw my DSiXL sitting in a drawer last week, and felt bad that I have been neglecting it, so I picked it up and looked for something to play. I couldn't resist popping pokemon in seeing as I'm a few games behind and I never got around to finishing this one. I started a new campaign and am about six hours in. I'm having a lot of fun over-leveling my party so far, and will post more details as my adventure develops.

Mass Effect 2

I haven't played this one in a couple weeks, but I still consider myself to be playing it. I'm off for the next couple days, so I'll probably throw a few hours at it. I believe I've got 15-16 hours logged.

After I get settled into my new schedule hopefully I'll power through the couple games I am playing and be able to buy some new titles (I'm so behind)...But to be honest I am as happy as I've ever been setting off into the career that I will be in for the rest of my life.

Wish me luck, and thanks for reading,

Cooper

Been out for a while.

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Been away from GS for a while. In the middle of a move and getting a new job. I've been missing out on gaming too. I expect to be back to normal gaming by the middle of next week and will be back to normal gamespot activity soon after that.

Wish me luck in finishing this move up and getting started a new job!!

Dragon's Dogma, First Impressions

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So, having been craving a new game for a while, I picked up Dragon's Dogma today.

I just got done with a fairly lengthy first session with the game, and I have definitely developed some first impressions:

Character Creation-

Love it. I am a huge fan of being able to create and customize my RPG characters, and having about a gazillion different options, this game fits the bill perfectly. Also, the ability to customize my main pawn is an added bonus as I got to spend time putting a whole different character together.

Graphics-

Very nice. The visuals in the cinematics, as well as during gameplay are great.

Pawn System-

The word "Woah" pretty much sums up the pawn system in Dragons Dogma. The concept is so unique and creative. I absolutely love it so far. The fact that my Pawn is taking on adventures with other players while I go about my business is absolutely amazing. The ability to hire pawns right out of the worlds of other players is pretty fantastic too.

At first, when hearing about the "Pawn System" I thought that it was just going to be a weird little thing that you have the option to toy with. I was dead wrong. Careful management of one's team of pawns is pretty much what makes or breaks his or her quests in Gransys.

I freaking love the pawn system. So. Damn. Cool.

Gameplay-

Its good. The battle system works well, the AI is great. It all makes for good gameplay.

Overall

I am very, very impressed with how this game grabbed me. I expected a fun game, but I had no idea that I was getting into such a fantastic world. Though I've only put a few hours in, it seems like the freedom in this game is immense. I've already spent far more time doing side-quests, upgrading equipment, and finding the tactics, than I have playing the main quest. For me, the ability to get so lost in a game is what makes it a masterpiece, and though I've played far too little to be able to form a full opinion, I feel like I've gotten myself into something awesome.

It's Been Forever, Now Playing Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption.

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Like the title said, it has been FOREVER since I last posted a blog, but my life has been rather busy, and my gaming had been very limited (about 4-7 hours a week), up until the past two weeks. Anyways, having gotten my Xbox 360 repaired and reclaimed some free time. I swapped out some of what I was playing before my hiatus, and switched in some addictive 360 goodies.

Skyrim-Logo-Small.jpeg


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: As badly as I wanted to create a new character when I came back to the game. I held back and hopped back into the world with my Orc Warrior. Though figuring out my current tasks and such was tedious at first, after a few hours I remembered what I liked about the character, and my addiction to questing returned. Being my 2nd character, I have yet to use my Orc to complete much of the main quest, opting instead to explore options and routes that I may not have taken during my first run through the game. Also, I am becoming quite the smith with this character, something I failed to do my first time around.

All that being said, I am having an absolute blast with Skyrim.

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Red Dead Redemption: As many of you well know, I don't explore much outside the RPG genre. Red Dead, however, has caught my eye since the moment it was released, only being pushed out of my purchase list by other games and lack of funds. With my 360 repaired though, I wanted something a little different to take the edge off of the deep RPG experience I am having with Skyrim. Set in the Wild West, and filled with shooting and drinking and other nonsense, Red Dead is the perfect game to pick up here and there and mess with for hours on end.

Messing around isn't all that can be done in the game though, and that was made clear to me very quickly by the branching plot and interesting characters. Both filling the role of fun title and serious experience make Red Dead Redemtion a great title to play on the 360.

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Dragon Warrior VII, Mass Effect 2, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: All three of this titles are on the top of my 'to play' list, simply waiting for playtime to become available. Amalur is the only title of the three that is not already in my library.

...Well, that all I got for now.

Thanks for reading

Cooper

What I've Beaten, Been Playing Lately: Dragon Warrior VII, Justice League Heroes

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Hey Friends,

It's been well over a month since I last posted, so here is an Update on whats been going on with my gaming life:

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride: I finished this game up a few days ago and was very pleased with it as a whole. The length was perfect (though short compared to the other Dragon Quest games I've played), and I enjoyed every minute I spent playing it. I recommend it to any fans of Dragon Quest or fans of turn-based RPGs. Have a look at my review for more elaborate thoughts of the game.

Dragon Warrior VII- Like I said before, this game has been on my wanted list for quite a long time, and just after I finished my last blog, I took the leap and bought it. Though I didn't really throw myself at the game until I was finished with Dragon Quest V, I've made up the time fairly quickly and I'm about 20 hours into it. Though I know I've barely scratched the surface of the game, the 20 hours I've put into have given me some decent first impressions. Firstly, the game is a total blast to play and extremely addicting. It is one of those games I intend to pick up for 45 minutes and end up playing for 3 hours. The only negative attribute I've found at this point are the visuals. The developers could have pushed the game further. Having played Dragon Quest IV, V, and VI on the DS though slightly numb me to the 2D/3D graphics, which allows me to furthter enjoy the game that I'm already having a blast with. I'm looking forward to my grand adventure with this title.

Justice League Heroes (PSP)- I was browsing around PSN last night, looking for good deals and I came across this one at $9.99. Having had fun with similar Super Hero games, and being a fan of the justice league, I picked it up figuring It would be fun to pick up and play here and there. I played the game for about an hour today, and it is quite fun, just like I thought it would be. It feels like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which I also enjoyed on my PSP. Though it's not like the other deep, intricate RPGs I enjoy, this Beat 'em up/RPG hybrid will be a fun little title to have on the side while I keep my primary focus on Dragon Warrior VII.


If you're wondering where the other games that I was playing went, they've been pushed aside at the moment. I'll get back to them eventually.


As for what's next, here's a guess (though I can't guarantee accuracy):


Rogue Galaxy- I've had this one in my collection for a while, and hear it's quite the epic RPG, I'll give it a go once I finish Dragon Warrior VII.

Dragon Warrior I, II, and III (GBC)-Big Surprise Huh? Yep, more DQ games to add to the collection. Having these will finish my I - IX collection of DQ games. Plus I'm sure I wont mind playing them. (Lets just hope the batteries for the memory havent died).

Well, as always, my games are subject to change and probably will. Feel free to comment below and tell me what you think!

Thanks for reading,

Cooper


Time For an Update: Tactics Ogre, Dragon Quest V, and God of War

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It's been a while, and I've been getting a decent amount of game-time in, so I figured it was about time for an update. Here is what I've been playing:

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together- I've been a lot more addicted to this game in comparison with my first run of it. I'm in Chapter 3, and instead of taking the more noble route, I've been a bit sinister this time around. Though, not really evil, as the game does a great job of making you "heroic" either way. I am trying to level my party as often as possible, and spending lots and lots of time and gold on ensuring that I have all of the best equipment. Such stubborness in the "being the best" department is probably slowing my progress toward the end of the game, but I'm having a lot of fun anyhow. I am looking forward to continuing my journey through this game, and experiencing all that it has to offer.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride- As an avid Dragon Quest fan, I'm obviously having a lot of fun with this game. Aside from that fact that it is from my favorite series though, it is also a fantastic RPG in its own right. Initally, my fears going into the game were that there was going to be a lack of customization and personal experience. The fact that I can create my own party by recruiting, training, and equipping monsters, however, reversed such fears and is leading into a very personal, enjoyable, and insanely addicting experience. The story provided by the game is also proving to be quite fun and interesting, and I am looking forward to playing this game and exploring its content for a good while.

God of War- I bought God of War for a couple bucks a while back at gamespot, hoping to play through the series one day, and with nothing really going on the PS2, I decided to give it a whirl. To be honest, with my time being dominated with two great RPGs, this game has kinda taken a back seat. It's a fantastic action game, filled with lots of hack n' slash fun, but for the moment it's really only acting as a filler when I'm not playing Tactics Ogre or Dragon Quest.

Donkey Kong Country Returns, Mario Kart Wii, Cabelas's Survival, Wii Party- The fiance and I got quite a few wii games for xmas, and have been playing them together here and there. The only one's I see myself spending any serious time with are Donkey Kong and Mario Kart. The others, of course, are still much appreciated and will provide lots of fun when we had family and friends over.

Coming up:

Dragon Warrior VII- I know the fact that I'm yearning for another Dragon Quest game wont surprise those who read my blogs, but this is one I've been wanting for a long time. A $25 gift certificate for amazon served as the catalyst for my decision to finally splurge on the expensive PS1 game, and though I haven't ordered it yet, I'll pick it up quick when I get my bills payed and make sure I've got the cash. I really can't wait to get playing this one. From the community of core DQ fans, I've heard its a massive game, and loads of fun.


Well, thats about it for now, I'm loving the games I'm playing, and will continue to do so, I look forward to reading your comments.


Thanks,

Cooper

Dragon Quest VIII, Skyrim, Tactics Ogre, Dragon Quest V

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It's been about a month, here is what going on in my gaming life:

Dragon Quest VIII:Journey of the Cursed King- I finally beat this one, and though I'm sad that it is over, I am happy to be moving on to other games. I have to say, my second run was much more fun than my first, having had more experience with the world and knowledge of skills, gear, etc. I have to say too, that the final boss was much easier thanks to my patience in level and skill advancement before taking him on. In the end, I am happy that I have enjoyed this game so much over two playthroughs, and have a feeling that this wont be my last time in the world of DQ VIII.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Since my last blog, I have to admit, Skyrim has by far gotten the majority of my attention. The first Character I created, Coopson, was a Dark Elf Rogue-Mage. I finished the main quest with him, along with becoming the Master of both the Theives Guild and the College of Winterhold. Though I am far from finished playing Coopson, after his finishing of the main quest I created another character, the Orc Barbarian Coop Ba Kaag. I put about 12 hours onto this character, whilst still playing my Dark Elf when my Xbox got the Red Ring of Death. I have since made arrangements for repair, which will likely not happen for another 2 weeks or so, and have put Skyrim on hold (obviously) until my xbox gets back from the doctor.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together- I started playing this again when my Xbox went down to fill up the time that I wasn't playing DQ VIII. Though I had a somewhat significant amount of time put into my first order of knights, I decided to start anew. I am enjoying this game a lot, possibly more than the first time I played it, and I am looking forward to it taking the primary spot now that I am done with Dragon Quest VIII. The customization and depth of this game is, of course, terrific, and I am loving every bit of playing it.

Up Next:

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride- As an avid Dragon Quest Fan, I have played IV, VI, VIII, IX, and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. I am looking forward to adding one more to that list, and enjoying another great RPG. I ordered this from Amazon today and will likely try to squeeze it in as a 'now playing' title as soon as I get it.

Well, that's what I'm playing. Thanks for reading.

Cooper

Skyrim and DQ VIII (Yes...Still)

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Dragon Quest VIII- Yes, this game is still on my now playing list, and has well over 60 hours on my current playthrough. I am very near the end, but Skyrim came and delayed my finishing it, so I will probably jump back in for a day or two next week and get it done. I'm still, of course, having a great time getting lost in this game, and appreciate even more on this second playthrough.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: My time is limited, so I will wait to go into full detail about what a fantastic title Skyrim is. However, I will note that since I obtained the game at 12:06 am on 11/11/11, I have not for a second had any emotion but complete love for this game. I am currently about 20 hours in, playing a Dark Elf Spellsword-Type, and I have oh so barely scratched the surface of the amazing game that is skyrim.

Thats all for now, I'll try and get another blog up soon.

Thanks for Reading,

Cooper

Just A Quick Update.

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Yet again, it's been forever since I've posted a blog. So here is whats up with me:

Currently Playing

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King- Like I said before, I'm not rushing through the game this time, and instead taking my time to explore and enjoy the extra content. I'm realizing that I missed a ton of good gear last time around, as well as some interesting sub-plots. I'm also being a lot more strategic with my skill point placement and it seems to be paying off.


Pokemon Platinum- Though I've been spending way more time with DQ then with this title, a recent work trip allowed me to shift my focus a bit. I'm hoping to have a far more versatile team this time around. I want to dominate the game this time and not just skim through it. I'm also trying to get into the more strategic core aspects of the pokemon games, as, despite my status as a pretty core RPGer, I've always been a bit casual with my pokemon games.

Mass Effect 2- Just got this one in the mail. I'm only a little ways in, but so far it seems as good, if not better than the first one.

Street Fighter IV- This one came in the same package as Mass Effect. I suck at fighters, seriously. That's all.

Despite my lack of posting, I have been gaming quite a bit. The next few titles I want to get my hands on are Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, Dead Island, and Skyrim.

Thanks for reading,

Cooper

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