jimkabrhel / Member

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jimkabrhel Blog

Will My Son Like Video Games?

We'll find out in a few years.

Joshua, born 12/12/12, 8 lbs 3 oz, 21 inches.

:D

I guess for the time being, I won't be playing games much, but this is a great tradeoff. The best.

Nerdgasm Business: Google Doodle and the Nerdist

I know it's not easy to be late to some things, but I would consider myself a nerd in most cases of the word, but it's only until now that I found The Nerdist website.

What did I listen to today on my way home from work? Chris Hardwick interviewing Patrick Stewart and his son David, with lots of old TNG shennanigans. Sweet joy.

In addition, we have the sheer nerdly goodness of the Google Doodle, which takes advantage of the 46th anniversary of the original Trek to:

[spoiler] abuse the red shirt once again. Special kudos to including the gorn [/spoiler]

Don't read the spoiler, just go to Google and click for yourself.

Gaming IDs

In case anyone wishes to have more friends:

PSN: kabphillie

Apple Gamecenter: kabphillie

Steam: kabphillie

If you are adding please mention you are from GS.

A Full Gaming Weekend

Mass Effect 2. It's been ages since I spent a full weekend playing video games most of the day and night. Thankfully, we had a quiet Labor Day weekend without plans, and since it was the last true free time before the start of the school year, I thought I would dive into Mass Effect 2.

I did play a little of it early in the year, right after purchase, but work got in the way, and when I lost my first PS3, I lost my save file. So I began again. I didn't intend to play through the game in three days, but that is exactly what happened. Word of warning: I'm playing the PS3 version, so some of the issues I found with the game are technical, and I'm sure don't exist in the 360 and PC versions.

The music is stellar, though the sound in the game was choppy, and there were some frame rate issues that also seemed to effect the sound. The game play is stellar. I have never been one for TPS games (RE4 excluded), but this felt smooth and comfortable.

I did find an incredible number of references in the game, from Babylon 5, to Star Trek, to Dune. I know that when you make a scifi epic, there are the standards and derivatives, but it came together into a very powerful story. I only wish now I could go back and play ME1, but without a 360, adequate PC, and limit resources, I'll have to satisfied with the Dark Horse comic.

I may even go back and play through again, to finish up some trophies, find a romance, and be a nasty Renegade for a bit.

8.5/10

2.5 Years

That's how long my PS3 lasted, with heavy useage from games, BluRays and Netflix. Today I got the "Red Screen of Death" meaning some kind of hard drive malfunction. Instead of sending it out for repair, it's time to get a new one, thanks to the price drop.

I went to Gamestop to buy one, and the rather iditoic salesperson said," I have no idea what youa re talkng about, the price is still $299."

I'll go tomorrow to buy one, but it won't be from that store. How useless can you be? The Gamestop website had already lowered the price, along with the rest of the world.

Just when I had rented some games to play, before the semester got into full swing: Alice Returns and Lego Pirates.

Birthday Travels

On the road visiting family, staying in a decent hotel, and watching HGTV while playing on Steam. Not bad I guess. Oh yeah, it's my 32nd birthday. I just got a giftcard for Amazon and have no idea what to use it on. I have a backlog of movies and games.

What shall I do? :)

Meanwhile I've added Swords and Soldiers HD and Nyxquest to my Steam library. I'm pretty happy with both so far.

Christmas and Level 40

Surprisinglythis year, there aren't really many games on my Christmas list. I have a pretty decent backlog, and the one game that I truly interested in this year is Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and I'll have to wait until afte Christmas and my birthday for that. Once the semester is finally over, I'll be diving into Dragon Age: Origins.

I know, a year late on that game, and I'm not exactly sure I'll really enjoy it. A friend suck 120 hours into it, and I trust his judgement when it comes to games that I'll enjoy, so I'm giving it a shot.

A quick game suggestion: Tidalis on Steam. A great puzzler, and a bit of a departure from the "Match 3" type. I'm really enjoying it.

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This is just for my fellow GUFU members, but I'm happy to say at level 40, I've attained virgin status. :) Next up: 10000 posts.

Thanksgiving Madness!

Well, not really.

I wish Dave Chapelle was still on the air. One of the funniest men out there in my opinion. Along with Craig Ferguson.

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a post about comedians. I had the opportunity over the weekend, with my wife away shopping, to catch up on some gaming.

First, I rented Transormers: War for Cybertron. I can't say that I really enjoyed it, and the constant movement and dark colors were a bit jarring for me. I've always had some issue with 3rd and 1st person shooters giving me motion-sickness (look at me - WEAK GAMER), and it showed up again. No doubt this is a well crafted game, particularly for an old franchise. Just not for me. Thankfully, it was a half-price rental, so only $3.50 was wasted.

I also purchased Katamari Forever. The jury is still out on this one. I haven't actually played much in this series before, just a little with the PSP Katamari game, which no doubt suffered from a lack of a second analog stick. I've played Noby Noby Boy and loved it, so I wasn't surprised by the art or Japanese humor. Rolling up a Katamari can be fun, but I don't know if I'll stick around to finish the game.

I finished Valkyria Chronicles this week and I think I work on a full review during my Thanksgiving travels. It was a worthy sequel, though somewhat lacking in story compared to the first. I can't wait for the 3rd game to be localized, hopefully for next summer.

With VC2 finished, I picked up two new PSP RPGs: Knights in the Nightmare and Ys Seven. After playing a bit of both, I decided to put my focus on Ys Seven. I knew from the start the KitN has a steep learning curve, and I wanted something a little easier to pick up. So far, I'm not disappointed. Also, a free copy of Yggdra Union came with KitN. We'll see if I get around to playing it. A free game is a free game.

The next bit here is me eating a bit of crow. My last blog stated undeniably that I was disappointed in Sonic 4. I take it back. I spent quite a few hours over the weekend getting several of the trophies, including managing a time of less than a minute on the first level. It was satisfying to get that time, and I feel compelled to do better. I've realized that Sonic really only reveals good level design if you try each level a few times, see the different pathways and areas. I even managed to get all 7 Chaos Emeralds (though the last one gave me a bit of trouble). Sonic 4 certainly isn't my favorite Sonic game, but it's better than I originally expected.

For my boring work times (don't tell my superiors), I've been on Kongregate, and I've been playing Elements, which is a free (Sweet!) Magic: the Gathering knockoff. I don't think Elements hides that it's gameplay is derived from M:tG, but there is enough difference to set it apart. You can make a donation to get special cards, but otherwise, it's free. Since M:tG wasn't ported to Mac, I'll have to be satisfied with it. Anyone who gets on and wants a PvP battle, just let me know.

I have Enslaved started now, and I think I'll end up finishing it before Christmas. Mass Effect 2 is looking just after and I want to have a free backlog to really dig into it over my break.

General Update

With the wind storm of the decade upon us, and no way to clean up the leaves and debris, it's finally time to update the blog. I've been very busy at work, but that doesn't mean I haven't been able to grow the game library.

Recent purchases:

PS3: Dragon Age - Origins, Enslaved, Lego Harry Potter

PSN: Sonic 4 - Episode 1, Astro Tripper, Space Invaders - Infinity Gene, Costume Quest

Wii: Muramasa

PSP: Ys Seven

A lot of money spent, and I haven't been able to play everything I've purchased, but here are my impressions of what I have tried.

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Sonic 4 - This game is not worth the 15 dollars. I have loved Sonic since the original release and have played through the first three multiple times. While there were some challenging and frustrating sections in the original trilogy, Sonic 4 has made me scream at the television. This doesn't even go into the way Sonic moves, which seems far less fluid than before. I do like the homing attack, but twitching the button can cause some unfortunate moves. No doubt plaforming specialist would tell me I'm not just getting the controls or practicing, but a platformer should feel fluid and easy, even through challenging sections. I'll finish it, but reluctantly.

Space Invaders:InfinityGene - this game more than makes up for my disappointment of Sonic 4. I have always loved simple vertical or horizontal shooters and SI:IG is just dripping with style and great game play. Taking the original idea, and growing it through the idea of evolution is a simple, yet amazing way to develop. The controls are smooth, and while the classic main mode is relatively easy on normal level, the higher difficulties are really challenging, and there are other modes to play. I highly recommend this one.

Lego Harry Potter: I have only had about an hour with this game, but after playing some of the more recent Lego Star Wars and Batman games, this to me is a return to what made the original Lego games great. Funny takes on the stories, exploration and immersion. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Enslaved: I did try the demo and that's what lead to purchase. It felt like Prince of Persia (2008) just with more involved combat.

Muramasa: I had rented this before, and found it cheap.

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There's not much else that I'll be buying this fall. We'll probably get Wii Party, and I'm really interested in Kirby's Epic Yarn.

Cheers.