jekyll / Member

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Lots of Games... and a new TV

I've let over two months go by again between entries. Last time I was partly through Resident Evil 6 and pretty much enjoying it. It was a very fun game, but certainly not like you want an RE title to play like. If it weren't an RE title it would've gotten better reviews for sure. Final stats were 775/1000GS.

I think after that was Dishonored. It really was an excellent game. I was a rare one I played through twice, in this case so I could get the never detected, don't kill people but targets, and no power ups achievements. The game really shined then because you really did get to see other ways to do things and routes to take. Certainly worthy of GOTY consideration, at least. (860/1000GS)

Up next was Halo 4. Another great game with a fun and challenging new class of enemy, the Prometheans. Honestly, it was still just another Halo game, though. I don't get as rabid over Master Chief as a lot of other people, and frankly I don't care about Cortana at all. I will say I took to the multiplayer far better than in any other Halo title, but not having standard free-for-all is a major buzzkill. There is the near free-for-all of Regicide, and I also love Oddball, so not all is lost. (740/1000GS)

Then I got my assassination on in Hitman: Absolution. This was a great game. So many ways to do things, often both lethal and non-lethal. They did screw up disguises, in that they were often useless. This game they work that others in your 'costume' can detect you're an imposter, but others can't. If you're in an area with only policemen and that's your only disguise, you can see how it's not much help. Conversely, some levels have only one person with a particular disguise you can 'liberate' them from, and if you can get that you're gold. Still, it makes little sense that henchmen or run-of-the-mill electricians or stir-fry cooks could tell you're in disguise by seeing you from 50' for two seconds. And the sound was great; if you have a surround sound set-up, going into the open air Chinese market is a treat for the ears. (910/1000GS)

Lastly of completed games is the one I wanted the most this holiday season, Far Cry 3. It could have had a better story, and the supernatural/hallucinatory angle I could have done without, but it was still very fun. Lots to explore and taking over compounds never stopped being fun, especially if they had a tiger caged that you could shoot the door off from afar and let the tiger do some of the work for you. Multiplayer was a mess, though. I played a bit Saturday for kicks and it just wouldn't give me xp after my first rank-up. I'd finish and none of my kills or deaths were registered on the leaderboard. Tack on playing one of the co-op missions and having it freeze at the end and screwing me out of my achievement and I'm done. I'm hoping the pre-owned copy of Tale of Graces f I saw is still at the GameStop to trade this in towards. (865/1000GS)

So, I just printed out an achievement list and am ready to start Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I'm hoping for another fun experience and after I do some multiplayer I'll decide whether to stick with that or Halo 4. I also just started Katamari Forever. It's a lot of repetition from previous games, but it's still so simple and fun (and I got it pre-owned for $15) that you don't care. It's got great re-mixed versions of series songs and still feels very 'Japanesey', in a wholly good way. And it's just beautifully rendered.

Also, I tried the first episode of The Walking Dead after it got GOTY. I don't know that it deserved the award, but I couldn't put it down. I did the whole thing in about two-and-a-half hours yesterday afternoon, and for $5 it's not bad. I'm definitely downloading the next episode today.

Other than that I have a new TV. I was forced into it by my 73" Mitsubishi DLP dying after just four-and-a-half years. It needed a new blub, but after replacing it I noticed a bug to swat off the screen after about two weeks. But it wasn't a bug; it was a dead spot. A little research revealed these DLPs have a common fatal flaw. After replacing the bulb, the mirrors in the light engine fail, one by one. Sure enough, in a few days I had another dead spot. Then another. Then two more. Then another. Even though it was out of warranty, I found out Mitsubishi would still send a replacement part free due the defect being so pervasive, leaving you on the hook for just the labor. But between that and a scratch on my screen (which was now much more prominent with the brightness from the new bulb) I was looking at $500-600 to fix it, likely.

If your TV is dying, there's not much better time than the holidays. HH Gregg had a very highly rated 60" LG plasma for just $900 (on sale from $1,400). For comparison, the 61" Hitachi I got in 2001 was $5,000 and the Mitsubishi I got in early 2008 was about $2700. Soon a 60" TV will be just $500. The LG model on display was one digit different model number and priced higher than the one that was in the paper; the salesman told me it had better motion blur reduction, especially for Blu-ray watching. I still could have opted for the one in the paper, but I went with the one on display. Then at checkout, he manually changed the price to that of the lesser model; it was my first time at HH Gregg, and needless to say I'm very happy with the service.

Anyway, the picture is gorgeous and the slightly smaller size fits better in the living room where I live now. I sit a little closer to the TV here, so it's a little easier to see the whole screen now. It's amazing that it's barely more than an inch thick. The small profile does make my large speakers (which I bought when I got the giant Hitachi that was a massive console on wheels and was as big as a china hutch) look out-of-place, but that's a minor issue. And as it happens, Mitsubishi announced that same week that they were no longer making DLP sets, so who knows how long decent support would have been around for. It also means no one makes projection TVs anymore. It's all LCD, LED, and plasma anymore.

So, that's my entertainment news in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading, everybody!