Oh my. It's been quite a while hasn't it? So long that I almost forgot how to get to the "New Blog Post" screen. Yeesh.
It's been at least three months since my last blog post. "Where have I been", you ask? I've been around. I log onto GameSpot just about every 2-3 days. Some of you may have noticed that I comment in your blogs (when I have time and when I have something to actually say) and that I actually do post in some forums (again, when I have time and actually have something to say). I just haven't blogged. But don't feel like you, my GameSpot friends, are getting the short end of any sort of stick. I haven't posted anything in ANY of my blogs (3 in total). I really just haven't had the time, sadly.
So I'm here to update you on my life and.....well, games. So here we go. Grab some coffee and perhaps some reading glasses. I have no idea how long this entry is going to be.
The Alive By '85 Union
Since my last entry, the Alive By '85 Union has opened for business. Lucky for me, a majority of the officers and recruits have taken great initiative in keeping the union active during my frequent absense.
The union is slowly growing. We have around 30 members at this time and I'm receiving more applications to join everytime I log on. Sadly, most of the people applying are brand new accounts and have left their entire profile blank. Typically, I'll send those prospects a message letting them know I got their application to join and then I'd request some info from them (their date of birth being the most important). If I don't get a response from them in a week, I simply reject their application; citing an attempt to infiltrate the union.
Hopefully, I'll be able to return to more active duty on this site after the holidays and work to make the union what I've envisioned from the start. But so far, so good in my humble opinion.
Yes. I have a new job. I am now working in the sales division at Century Tile. It's a tile (ceramic, natural stone, glass, marble, etc..) store centralized here in Illinois. So far, I like it. As a newbie, I already have an upper hand in the business since I have over 3 years of sales under my belt and I've been working in the tile industry for over 12 years (and come from a family that's worked in the industry for over 80 years). Logistically, I stand to bring in over $80,000 USD in 2007, not counting bonuses.
With this new job, however, comes some longer hours. In order to make decent money at Century, I must gain a loyal client base. And in order to make good money, I need that loyal client base to consist of wealthy, busy building firms and contrators.
I'm also still co-running DesignCraft remodeling. Only now, I do all of the companies paperwork instead of field work. Ahhh. What we do for a good pay check, aye?
New Computer On The Horizon
When I moved in with my girlfriend, my computer became the office computer for the remodeling firm and her existing computer became our home computer (the same one I'm using now to communicate with you fine folks). However, this computer.......well.....it sucks.
That's the skinny of it, really. It's slow and doesn't do what either of us need it to do. These days, you can only do so much with 512MB of RAM and integrated everything. So it's time to step up and get something bigger, better, and capable.
Since I'm far from a computer genius, I have to go the route of store bought versus home built. However, I can and will go the route of customizable. I looked at Alienware since I've always heard good things about them. But they are far too expensive for what I need. And really, I don't NEED a gaming computer. Most PC games that I'm interested in are playable on the Xbox 360. I need to get on the internet and make music (recording). My girlfriend wants to use the computer for school (Powerpoint, Excel, etc..), websurfing, and those PC adventure games she loves so much.
So we're going with HP this time around. They offer the most bang for the buck, in my opinion. And they've received great reviews across the board. For those of you who are tech savvy, here is what I plan to order after the holidays:
Windows XP Media Center Edition
Intel Core 2 Duo processor E6600 2.4GHz
250GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
LightScribe 16x DVD+/-R/RW and 16x max. DVD-ROM (secondary)
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT graphics card
Sound Blaster Audigy X-Fi (24-bit Xtreme Fidelity)
We're also getting a 22 inch widescreen monitor.
On The Gaming Front
SmackDown Vs Raw 2007 (360)
As you may recall, I originally chose not to purchase this game. But after a big sale at GameStop, I took the plunge. And for the most part, I'm not sorry I did.
At the core, it's a very well made game. Sure, it's wrestling. Sure, I don't watch wrestling. But I also don't go around a shopping mall killing zombies; yet I enjoy the heck out of Dead Rising. Okay. Bad comparison.
As good as the core gameplay is in SDvsR07, I can't get over some of the oversights made in the programming and overall design. While I can let some collision detection issues and boring in match color commentary slide, there are some things that are just inexcusable.
Why, when I do a running strike to the front of my opponent, do I get this huge **SMACK** sound; but yet when I hit them with the same move from the back, they hit the ground, but with no sound at all? Why does The Undertaker's hair clip all the way through his jacket during his entrance? Why do I walk on air after being knocked down near the left of the casket in the Buried Alive Match? How did Triple H suddenly appear ontop of the ladder after I fell off it when the last time I saw him, he was motionless on floor, outside of the ring (there is no way he's "that damn good")? Why does Hulk Hogan always have that stupid bandana on throughout his match? Why does my 99 rated CAS take 5 minutes to get up after falling from the Cell in a Hell in The Cell match, but yet Mickie James gets up after about a minute? Why did Michael Cole call me Hardcore (Holly) when I am clearly Mr. Perfect? Why is General Manager mode such a completely boring joke of an add-on?
It just seems like they spent so much time working on the extras in this game (the locker room, voice over work, the season mode storylines, the cleavage sweat.....hahaha) that they didn't have time to look over some of the things they left out. The in-match commentary consists of about 12 lines for each commentator which is repeated at least 10 times during a match.
The Xbox Live! feature is decent. It'd be better if the people that played on Live! weren't such whiny, disconnecting crybabies. What's worse is that some folks on Live! expect you to play as if it were some sort of telivised event. Who exactly are we putting on a show for? If you want storylines and 20 momentum shifts during a match, then watch it on TV. Keep it for my ranked matches. If I've got you bloody with 2-3 parts of your body in the red, you better believe I'm going for the pin. Just because I don't use my finisher on you right before I pin you doesn't make me a lamer.
Overall, it's a decent game. It's not the be all, end all of wrestling games. No Mercy still owns that title in my book. But it's fun when you have nothing else to do and just want to beat people up. And I have to admit, it's fun to hear my 14 year old opponent cry through my television when I toss his overpowered John Cena look alike through a table.
No Wii for Mii
Not yet, anyway. I didn't feel like camping out in the Chicago cold just to get my hands on a system that currently only has two games that I'm remotely interested in playing currently available.
I'm not downing Nintendo here or anything, but the hype didn't do much for me. Right now, I have a working NES and a perfectly good illegal emulator running on my computer. While it'd be cool to play those Virtual Console games on my HDTV, I just don't see the point is looking all over the place for a Wii at the moment. Not when the holidays are quickly approaching (I finished all of my Christmas shopping over three weeks ago, by the way). I'd rather see the Wii I'd purchase go to some kid rather than to me. Perhaps it'll keep that kid off of Xbox Live! or a bit. I'll be looking for a Wii after the New Year.
Werewolves of Hyrule
The one con of not owning a Wii at launch was the fact that I had to wait until mid-December to play The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Of course, I had to buy it for Gamecube. Which honestly, I didn't mind at all. Twilight Princess wasn't built from the ground up for the Wii, so I didn't mind not being able to utilize the Wiimote for all of my sword slashing needs.
I'm only about 2 hours into the game so far. What a great game. If I were to score it right now, I'd give it a 9/10. I get the same feeling I had when I first played Ocarina Of Time; and let me tell ya, it's a great feeling. If you've got a Cube, do yourself a favor and pick up this bad boy. It's not to be missed.
To PSP, or not to PSP?
Is that even a question? Well, it is for me.
I'm thinking about picking up a PSP. Mostly for the roleplaying games. I already own an MP3 player. I don't need to watch movies while I'm on the go. I just want games. But it's $200 for the PSP itself. That's a lot of dough for a little handheld system. Especially one with horrible batter life.
I still love my DS, but it seems like there is a shortage of fun games coming out for it. So I'm thinking about taking the plunge shortly after Christmas.
And recommendations? Good games? Good add-ons? Is there a better battery out there? Let me know.
Well, that's about it for now. I hope you've all been doing well.
Take care of yourselves. And......
Thanks for still reading.