At the pace things are going, it's almost going to be the end of February before I get to do my monthly blog for January! It's good to be back after quite a while though.
January in General
The good news is that we all survived the silly season regardless of countless over-indulgences and a general lack of gainful activities.
The bad news is of course, that down here in the Southern hemisphere, most of us take our major vacation for the year over the December period, or so called "Festive Season" if you will, simply because it is mid summer then. No white Christmas for us, with temperatures ranging between 28 and 34 degrees Celsius all the time.
What this really boils down to, is that over and above the bouts of excessive money spending, eating, drinking, lazing on the beach and picking up light forms of radiation poisoning from over exposure to sunlight, the beginning of January tends to become a rather ugly picture. By the time we start working again, towards the middle of January, the bank account is just about to implode on itself, not to mention the fact that a heap of work has piled up since the beginning of December!
To make things worse, my daughter (the youngest of two) has her birthday on 30 December (yes, she couldn't hang on for another day-and-a-half), which means that from 24 December to 1 January, the "festive activities" in our household just don't stop.
Now that we've all managed to regain our composure, the reality of life is starting to kick in as we already approach the middle of the first quarter of 2008!
While explicitly trying to do as little as possible, I did manage to spend a few hours browsing about GameSpot during December/January, and funny enough, I actually managed to level up twice since I last blogged! I have apparently moved up to the ranks of Master Blaster (giving myself a pat on the back now).
I received one extra emblem for all my voting efforts as well (another pack on the back is coming up - I can feel it).
Gaming in General
So, I finally got out of the box! Yes - for Christmas, this old relic decided that it's time to indulge the younger generation and finally get rid of my PC Aficionado image by moving into the Xbox scene (I'm actually lying - it wasn't only for the kids!).
So far, so good and I must say, I'm actually enjoying my first tentative steps into the console world. It almost brings back memories of my arcade gaming days back in the 1980's! The bad thing (look at my Gamer Tag) is to be a complete noob at this at my age!
So, have new Xbox - will get new games!
For the kids, I got Eternal Sonata, Dancing Stage Universe and Shrek III. The funny thing is that my wife ended up spending most of the time on the dancing carpet with Dancing Stage Universe, instead of the kids!
For the kids (yeah right), I also got Mass Effect and Call of Duty 3 - wow - that Mass Effect is really a good game. Trust BioWare to deliver the goods as always.
Rant of the Month
I would like to get some idea from some of the folks on my friends list what games cost in their respective countries. From what I gather, one of the ladies on my friends list works for a games store in the USA. Perhaps that's a good starting point.
The reason I'm raising this as a rant, is that I get the distinct impression that someone somewhere is making a lot of money out of games down here in South Africa ever since the end of last year.
To put things in perspective:
- Any recent release for the Xbox will cost around R600.00, which at today's exchange rate, equates to approximately $87.00 US! Is that normal or completely insane?
- New releases for the PC are not far behind, with the average new release costing in the region of around R450.00 = $64.00 US!
- At these rates, I should perhaps consider taking my entire collection to the local "cash for goods" store - I will probably end up making a profit considering what I paid for some of them only a year ago!
Is this an international phenomenon or am I just becoming a real "relic"?