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mfp16 Blog

Gaming Brilliance This Generation, No Doubt!

I have been a gamer almost my entire life. I've really enjoyed games in the past, some of the best hours of my life were sitting in front of my television playing Lunar Silver Star Story, Vay, Half Life, Counter-Strike, Knight of the Old Republic, and too many other superb games to mention. (kudos to you if you are familiar with Lunar and Vay from back on the Sega-CD).

I'm a very nostalgic guy as far as my hobbies go, playing the games of old always brings me back to the days where my life was so much simpler.

Since I tend to pine for the old days quite a bit a few games this generation really surprised me. I've played 3 games in particular this generation that are simply brilliant, better than any game I have ever played in my life.



#1 Portal: Games just aren't funny, they are rarely witty, and I've never actually laughed out loud during a gaming experience in my life before Portal. As if a truly funny game that goes perfectly with my sense of humor wasn't enough to make this a great game for me, I must say the game play is twice as good as the dialog.


#2 Braid: Such an amazing game, perfect in so many respects. Developers hide the best puzzle game I've ever played in a platformers package. The way the puzzles are designed are solved using simple platform mechanics is a testament to the genius of the game. The soundtrack is masterfully chosen and fits the game perfectly. Finally, the most impressive aspect of Braid, it's story. You will do yourself a great disservice by not reading all the books along the way. They set up the best game ending I've ever played. I won't spoil anything for anyone as far as the ending goes. I was pretty awestruck at the end.



#3 Limbo: Another puzzle platformer (a genre I didn't know existed before Braid). The game play doesn't get much better than this. Imagine a game where you will die probably 1000 times, but the game isn't frustrating. The puzzles are crafted perfectly, not too difficult, not too easy. The symbolism is where Limbo shines. You are given no tangible story at all, but the game is full of metaphors and symbols to clue players in on what is going on. Nothing is ever spelled out to the player but the ending is quite good and helps make sense of what you just experienced. Probably the best $15 I've ever spent.


If you have not played these games there is no reason you shouldn't go out right now and pick them up. They are some of the most thought provoking titles I've ever played, and probably the top 3 games I've ever played since I first got my NES quite a few years ago.

This generation has simply been amazing as far as game quality goes. Something else important to note, these aren't big budget blockbusters:

Portal - $20

Braid - $15

Limbo - $15

That will be some of the best $50 of entertainment money you very spent!

My Rig Is Complete (Part II) - A lack of patience costs me approximately $1000!!

Rig

So, my lack of patience and low tolerance for frustration has once again cost me a lot of money!

I was upgrading my CPU cooling to an all copper heat sink in preparation for dabbling in overclocking my CPU. The heatsink I bought was huge... I had a really difficult time getting the heatsink properly attached to the motherboard, I got frustrated and starting forcing things... lo' and behold upon firing up the PC when I got everything into place a hear a faint pop, a tiny wisp of smoke, and the telltale smell of burnt silicon.


So, after my mistake a new CPU/MB/Ram were in order. Here is the current RIG:

Case: Antec NineHundred Two (not pictured)

CPU: Intel i7 950 @3.03 GHz

MB: Intel Extreme Series DX58SO

Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600 Crucial Ram

Video Card: Nvidia GTX295 1792MB (running the center monitor)

Nvidia GeForce 9500 512 (running the left and right monitors)

HDDs: 1TB Main Drive, 2x500GB Data drives

Keyboard:Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

Mouse:Logitech G7

Monitors:3x 22" LCD Flat Panel Displays (Total resolution: 5040x1050)

I've got the Xbox 360 and PS3 hidden behind the monitors set as the HDMI input of my left monitor.


Lesson learned... take your time!!!

The new CPU/MB/RAM cost me $999.98 over at newegg, this was by far the most costly PC building mistake I've made over the years of dealing with hardware. After building dozens of PCs I should certainly know better!

My Rig Is Complete!

My Rig

So I've got my Gaming Set-Up Complete. The final monitor got added in this week.


The Gaming PC:

Processor: Intel Quad Core Q9550 @2.83Ghz

Motherboard: Asus P5N-D

Ram: 8GB Mushkin Ram

Video Cards: GeForce GTX295 1792MB - Running the Center Monitor

GeForce 9500GT 512MB - Running the Left and Right Monitors

Hard Drives: 1000GB Main Drive

2x 500GB Backup and Data Drives

Keyboard: Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: Logitech G7

Monitors: 3x 22" LCD Flat Panel Displays (Total resolution: 5040x1050)


I've got my PS3 and XBOX 360 tucked in behind the three monitors out of sight. (I turn them on using the controllers), and they are connected to the right monitor by HDMI (1080p). I have a nice little HDMI switch box that allows me to cycle between the outputs from the computer, xbox, and PS3 on that monitor.

I'm really proud of the setup I've got going, most of it was bought in bits and pieces over the past 6 months.

Woo Hoo.... another one down!

So, this week I finally finished my last masters class. It's my third degree and I think I'm about done with school for a while. I might go back and get another masters degree somewhere down the line. But I'm so exicted to be done for a while... looking forward to just working...

Haven't been this addicted to a game in a long long time...

Dawn of Discovery

So I was stubborn and refused to buy it due to the ridiculous DRM sceme. Against my better judgement (and I still kinda feel this way) I went ahead and bought it anyway.

WOW... I can't stop playing this game, its just amazing. The level of complexity is unmatched. You absolutely must go out and buy it. The amount of game hours you can sink into this game rivals any game I've ever played. There are literlly 100s of hours here.

Anyway, I'm going back to play... if you are a PC gamer... buy it..

PS3 Exclusives!!!!

So... I finally was able to get a PS3, as I have mentioned in my blog earlier. I've been gaming non-stop this entire generation on my xbox 360 and my Wii (well, I guess not my wii... it collects dust pretty well though), so I've missed out on basically all the PS3 esclusives so far.

Last week I finished Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and this weekend I've been working on Infamous. I've also been mixing in a few PSN exclusives I've been waiting to try (trash panic, elefunk, pixeljunk monsters, and the last guy). I really should have gotten a PS3 sooner. Uncharted was probably the best game I've played this year, and if Infamous keeps up being as awesome as it's been in the first 5 hours it might replace it.

Plus, I've got Metal Gear Solid 4 sitting on the desk just taunting me (but I've never played a Metal Gear game before, so it's not really high on my list of exciting games). Thank god school is almost over (I'm a teacher), because I have a busy summer planned!

Uncharted

I wasn't even planning on playing Uncharted, but it came budled with my new PS3... man what an awesome game. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Truly a masterpiece, I must go out and reserve Uncharted 2 this weekend.

Just ordered a PS3...

So my wife finally allowed me to order a PS3 this weekend. I've been really aching to play Metal Gear Solid 4 and Little Big Planet. Anxiously awaiting it's arrival from Dell.

If anyone has any suggestions for exclusive games that I should look into I would appreciate your opinions (especially PSN exclusives), so feel free to comment.