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Looking to visit towns in Animal Crossing

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If anyone is still active on Animal Crossing New Leaf (3DS) I'd like to visit some other towns. I also have a lot of extra items to give away. You can see some of my ACNL pics on twitter (Scar5x).

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Also, I picked up FFXIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3) awhile back. Honestly, MMORPGs are new to me but I'm enjoying it so far. It seems I came in after the server issues were fixed so that's cool. I've only had one case where I had to wait and that was well under a minute at that. Early on I was starting to wonder if I would get bored by the fetch quests but it seems the further you go the more interesting and varied things start to get so that has kept me hooked. I wish the font was bigger though, I find it hard to read, is there any way to adjust that? 

Best games to play with your Girlfriend?

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I'm finding it hard to find games to play with my girlfriend. There are just not that many that are actually fun for both of us... but here are some games I've come up with that we both enjoy so far;

  • Little Big Planet (PS3)
  • Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
  • Nintendoland (Wii U)

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Animal Crossing is looking good!

Most Anticipated Games

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Though I kept up with E3 somewhat casually a week or two ago it seems the consensus on the web is that it was rather underwhelming. Would you agree? It seems Nintendo's unveiling of the Wii U left many wanting, particularly since they didn't show much in the way of their usual blockbuster games like Zelda or Metroid. While the controller looks interesting, I wonder how comfortable it is given its size. I'll be keeping a close eye as the launch nears.

I didn't see much in the way of new games. However, two particular games have risen to the top of my most anticipated list; Resident Evil 6 (of course!), and The Last of Us. Since I'm a big NASCAR fan, I'm also looking forward to the new game due out at the end of the year entitled NASCAR the Game: Inside Line (there's currently a voting contest on Facebook to pick the driver who will be on the cover!). So let's first take a look at how RE6 is coming along.

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Talk about action packed. RE6 is scheduled for release on October 2, 2012. Here's a trailer of The Last of Us. Anyone remember the movie The Road? Has a very similar vibe. Looks like this one wont be out until sometime next year. Well, for me, those are the two heavy-hitters I'm looking forward to.

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Here is a short trailer on the NTG: Inside Line and their vote for the cover tournament.

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Back to the Wii U for a second, since I got rid of my Wii over a year ago I figure if I get the Wii U I will catch up on a few good titles I have missed; specifically Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Last Story, and Xenoblade. That would help tie me over until they actually get some good games released on that system. A few other games on my 'keep an eye on' list include:

  • Gears of War: Judgement
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Theathrhythm Final Fantasy
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Story
  • New Super Mario Brothers 2

I'll keep an eye out for reviews and see how these turn out. Some of these franchises have been falling off in innovation lately. So there's my most anticipated games, what game(s) are you looking forward to most?

Finally, I won a race!

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I've been running with the Championship Racing League (NASCAR 2011: The Game) for awhile now, since about the beginning of the year. I ran a couple of races there last year (best of 2nd in their Daytona 500 to Oddball1791). Tuesday I finally broke through to victory lane (in my 10th race)! Best of all, I did it in dominating fashion in my custom-made #25 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet (based on the #5 Farmers Chevrolet driven by Kasey Kahne in real NASCAR, obviously I'm a fan) at Infineon (a road course btw). It started with winning the pole (qualified first for the start of the race) with a lap of 1:14.97.

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My Hendrick Motorsports teammates (#5 deanglo321, #25 LIRR2415, and #88 JOHN3YxB) all ran well during the race. At one point deanglo held a 2 second gap steadly running in second behind me before fading late in the race and finishing 3rd. Johnny started on the outside pole but ran into problems early in the race with the handling of his race car. However, he made substantial progress mid-race and rebounded to the lead on the final caution before getting passed with two to go, finishing a strong 2nd about three seconds back. LIRR also struggled somewhat during the early part of the race but started to get the handle on his machine as well, finishing a strong 4th and giving the team its first 1-4 finish. Particularly interesting, all four of us ran a best lap in the 1:14.XXs. I ran the fastest lap of the race at a 1:14.06, just missing the 1:13.XXs.

My race started off strong leading most of the first half of the race. At halfway a caution bunched the field up and on the restart going up the hill to turn 2 contact from another driver sent me on a ride through the grass. I was able to regain control and get back on track rather quickly, but losing all track position in the process at that point. It took 15 laps but I was able to drive my way back to the front from 8th spot before the next caution flew. From there on I restarted 2nd a couple of times but was eventually able to resume the lead and solidify the victory! I also lead the most laps at 45/66.

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The finishing order for Infineon was:

  1. (#25) Scarecrow-1941
  2. (#88) JOHN3YxB
  3. (#5) deanglo321
  4. (#24) LIRR2415
  5. (#11) sureshot1982
  6. (#29) JJFurr29
  7. (#3) MW3-beast-11
  8. (#14) KnappRacing


UPDATE: The following race occurred at Dover. Though JJFurr29 led the most laps and had the fastest lap, deanglo321, in his #5 Tax Slayer Chevrolet, proved the fastest car doesn't always win by rebounding from 4 laps down (due to technical woes or what some like to call the "loose glitch") to steal the victory! Congrats! I managed to follow-up my first win with a solid 3rd place finish as well.

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The finishing order for Dover was:

  1. (#5) deanglo321
  2. (#11) sureshot1982
  3. (#25) Scarecrow-1941
  4. (#24) LIRR2415
  5. (#29) JJFurr29
  6. (#88) JOHN3YxB

And here are the CRL standings as of 04/17/2012:

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Reviews for RE:Revelations and FFXIII-2

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A bit of an update to my last couple of blogs, Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS) has been reviewed rather early (considering it doesn't actually hit store shelves until 02/07/12) by several game sites. Typos aside, the game has received very good reviews (8.5 on IGN and GS). It seems the main downside is the over-arching plot is rather weak. However, the gameplay, mood, and graphics are superb.

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More Resident Evil Revelations Videos

The response to FFXIII-2, however, is much more mixed it seems; with GS giving it a 7.5, IGN an 8.0, and GT an 8.8. Generally they all agree the battle system has been enhanced and the issue of linearity addressed. However, there seems to be some disagreement on the quality of the plotline. GS and IGN suggests there's really not one, yet GT suggests otherwise (presumably reflecting in the higher score). I guess we will all get to judge for ourselves soon.

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More Final Fantasy XIII%2D2 Videos

Get More: GameTrailers.com, Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Review, PC Games, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

PREVIEW: The Year of Resident Evil

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RER

The demo of Resident Evil: Revelations is out on the Nintendo eShop for those who own a 3DS. It's the first of hopefully many more demos that will be hitting the eShop from now on. The demo is very brief but quite impressive. If you've seen the gameplay trailers on various sites you'll feel somewhat familiar already with what transpires. You're on a creepy cruize ship with some unknown creepy-humanoid creatures that would assume bite you as to look at you. The creatures have a somewhat zombie-esque swagger as they crawl out from various hideaways or obscure hallways. However, once within attack range they tend be quite aggressive. There appear to be a few variations as well including a self-detonating creature and another with extended arms that can attack from afar. Interestingly Jill can be knocked down and continue shooting from the ground (or alternatively you can tap Y repeatedly to get up as fast as you can). Though controls are reminiscent of RE4/RE5, there are a couple of options on aiming including first-person or third person angles. Personally, I prefer the third-person variation which feels just like playing RE4 again (one of my all-time favorite games!). One of the items I'm really into after playing the demo is the scanner. This allows you to locate additional supplies as well as document those bio-terrors you run into. I can't help but get that isolated, but strangely tranquil, feeling I got from playing the Metroid games back on the GC. Plotwise there's not much to get into, and I think that's probably intentional here. Graphically, the game looks incredible, can't wait for the full game next month.

RE Revelations

Just announced a few days ago, Resident Evil 6 will be coming out on November 20, 2012!

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IGN has done a nice job of breaking down the bits and pieces of the video in their theater rewind already so check that out if you want to get an in-depth look at the trailer. One thing I'm noticing about RE, it seems to be going back to survival/horror and away from the "action" seen in RE5.

Most Anticipated Games of Early 2012

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There are a lot of games to look forward to in 2012. I'm really excited for FF XIII-2 [PS3] (I have a feeling it will be much improved over the former), RE: Revelations [3DS] (videos suggest this is the real deal, no quick cash in here), Tales of Abyss [3DS] (I was a big fan of Symphonia on GC, this port will give me a chance to play one of the subsequent entries in the series), Mass Effect 3 [PS3] (With multiplayer, I can only imagine, can't wait!), and RE: Operation Raccoon City [PS3] (may turn out to be a good year for RE fans!).

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UPDATE: There are many other games out there and these just represent a sample of my personal picks. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, soon to-be-released with the PSVita in February, is worth mention also.

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Hush404 also mentioned Bioshock Infinite, Gotham City Imposters, Soul Calibur V, Twisted Metal, and more. It seems 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for gamers!

Now Playing!

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I'm really loaded up with games this winter, probably the most in years. I recently completed the main campaign of Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and Super Mario 3D Land. Speaking of which, I have to give Game of the Year (GOY) to Batman: Arkham City. As a total package, it simply outdoes every other game out there that I have had the opportunity to play (unfortunately I don't have a X360 or Wii right now so I can't judge Gears of War 3 or LOZ:Skyward Sword). The only real missing link in B:AC is the lack of some sort of cooperative multiplayer. Imagine if a guest could come in as Robin and fly around within your game beating up baddies and helping you solve Riddler puzzles?

Anyway, I picked up a few games recently (Disgaea 4, Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, & Mario Kart 7). Several of them are older games that I wanted to play but never got around too, with a little vacation time coming up soon I thought why not. Speaking of which, I got Disgaea 4 for free at Best Buy while they were doing a buy-2-get-1-free sale. Really digging the whole Prinny instructor/ underworld prison nonsense and the vampire that refuses to drink human blood (choosing instead to supplement his diet with... sardines!?).

Heavy RainL.A. NoireRDRDisgaea 4

The Gamer-Stigma

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Am I too old for games? There seems to be a stigma to being a gamer. Those who grew up before gaming was mainstream have this erroneous perception that gamers are lazy, irresponsible, and socially inept (i.e., nerdy/geeky). Despite the greater variety of mature games many still seem to associate videogames with a pasttime suited solely for childhood and adolescence. Some have even argued videogames increase a youth's propensy for violence and crime (see NCPC, 2008). While initial research findings (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007) have since been disputed (see Ferguson, Olson, Kutner, & Warner, 2010) and the appreciable impact of videogames on violence legally reprimanded (Brown v. EMA, 2011), there continues to be an apprehension to the medium and its many fans by the former generation (much like their reluctance to technology in general). Perhaps this is merely a part of a larger gap in generations; the baby boomers and the millennials (see Keeter & Taylor, 2009). However, some are starting to realize that video games have many positive attributes that can be integrated into the educational and business realms resulting in improved motivation, performance, and outcomes (see Smith, 2010).

Supreme Court

*See Gamespot's special news feature on the "Games' Day in Court" here.

So it would seem that despite stark opposition and a plethora of half-baked stereotypes, gaming is the future. One of the common mistakes that non-gammers make is that they tend to take a few examples of popular video games and generalize the attributes of those to all games. Are there violent, gorey, and offensive video games? Yep, there's a bunch (e.g., God of War, Grand Theft Auto). Are there games that provide positive depictions of human interaction, justice, and compassion? Yes! (e.g., Hotel Dusk, Final Fantasy, Xenogears, Mass Effect, Valkyria Chronicles, Uncharted). Games can be brutish, but they can also be intellectually stimulating, you just have to know where to look. It seems politicians, in their attempt to villify videogames, have focused their sights primarily on the offenses of a few racey games. So I don't think I'm too old for games, and I don't think there's an age limit, but what do you think? Am I in denial and need to grow up already!?

Just completed Final Fantasy XIII!!!

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Vanille

- I know, I can't believe it either!

So it took what seemed like an eternity but I finally completed Final Fantasy XIII. I took a hiatus from it at least twice, where I basically gave it a rest for several months each time, but managed to regain my motivation to play it again and, after putting in 50+ hours over probably a year, I made it to the end credits. So excited I had to blog about it! I honestly have no idea what was going on at the end, this game has to be one of the most abstract I have ever played (and I don't want to give out any spoilers). Behind all the fluff though it was still your typical goodguy-badguy scenerio and we all know what that means - conflict. Surprisingly, I beat all three versions of the final boss on the first attempt. For a game that has been known to halt my progress at just about every boss I was surprised. That said, I was prepared - maxing out each characters primary three roles - so that was what made the difference I'm sure.

So I previously reviewed this game awhile back and if I recall correctly I gave it a 7.5. Unfortunately my opinion hasn't changed much even after beating, it's still overall maybe between a 7.5 and 8.5 tops in my book (as such I bumped up my rating to 8.0 btw). While the graphics are the best I have ever seen, the gameplay is just lacking and feels rather uninspired. The difficulty is also very unbalanced, going from a cakewalk to frustratingly difficult with little in-between. That said, it's still a good FF game so I have to give it some credit; it kept me coming back long enough to finish it! Perhaps Final Fantasy XIII-2 will improve the overall experience. This is the first of the main numbered FF entries I have completed in awhile (not counting remakes of previous entries released on later systems), FFX was the last time I stepped into the Final Fantasy universe.

- Do you have a permit for that thing? FFXIII-2 is slated to be released in early 2012.

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