Achievements

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I think they were an ingenious innovation. I think they're great for gamers and retailers alike. A gamer wants achievements because they play to what gamers inherently love, numbers going higher for completing more things in a game. It's almost like adding an RPG to element to your overall gameplay. Not only this, but it adds a lot of replayability to a game. It's great for retailers because achievements push more copies of games. I read a poll, I believe on Joystiq, where owners of both the 360 and PS3 overwhelmingly chose to get GTAIV on the 360 simply because of achievements.

I also think, as long as people don't get too competitive with achievements, they can be a great bonding point for gamers. They can instill friendly competition, and also encourage gamers to work together to get the same achievement. I've even sometimes worked with someone to help them get an achievement, say in Guitar Hero 3, and then had that person help me get the same achievement (or a different one) in exchange.

My question, then, is why do I constantly see people in forums dissing achievments and saying if you have a lot of achievement points you have no life? If you want to integrate achievements into your gameplay, great, you get all the advantages mentioned above. If you don't, great. It doesn't really matter. Why do you have to berate people who like working toward difficult achievement points in games?

Mario Kart and more

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Mario Kart Wii came out yesterday and I played it a whole lot. It's extremely fun, and I know I will be playing it forever. I definitely have a few gripes, including the four player split-screen graphics, but most of them hardly detract from the fun. The online is awesome, and I love being able to choose between control schemes. So far, my favorite is the Wiimote and Nunchuck, but the Wii Wheel is extremely fun. I think it may be my control scheme of choice once I get used to it.

In other news, I've been playing a lot of Super Smash Bros. Brawl as well, and while I've never been into a Smash game before (gasp), I've been loving this one. The sheer amount of things to do besides just Brawl with your friends is amazing, and I've finally gotten good enough that I can pull off quite a few wins as Toon Link against three of my friends who have been playing Smash forever.

Aside from Smash and Mario Kart, I will always be playing the 360. Guitar Hero and Rock Band alone will always keep me coming back, not to mention Halo, Burnout Paradise, and Call of Duty. Plus, I still have Orange Box and Mass Effect to beat... oh goodness.

About a week and a half ago, my friends and I were going to play the endless setlist in Rock Band, but that very day our Les Paul guitar broke, and the drums broke. I really enjoy music games, but seriously, when will they make peripherals that actually work? If the standard 360 remote broke as much as any music game conroller does, consumers would not stand for it, so why do we sit back and deal with it when music game controllers bite the dust? Just for Guitar Hero and Rock Band, every music game contoller I've had has encountered some sort of problem. The Xplorer's whammy bar will not stay in place, the Les Paul completely stopped registering notes (which we fixed with this: http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/01/low-fi-fix-for-malfunctioning-guitar-hero-iii-les-paul/), the Rock Band Strat we first had broke when the strum bar stopped working, and every single drum set we've had out of four has had some sort of problem (with this last one's blue button completely breaking). Despite all this, I still want to play the endless setlist. Let's just hope nothing breaks halfway through or worse, on the last song.

It's happening again

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Halo is taking over my life. Well, not my life, but my gaming life. I sit down to play video games, and what do I do? I play Halo. I'm in the middle of Gears of War, Metroid Prime 3, and God of War, but it doesn't matter, all I want to do is play Halo. All three of those other games are awesome, I just can't seem to pull myself away from playing matchmaking or the meta-game in Halo. It's like a drug...

Gaming Overload

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Well, after getting an HDTV, everything just spiraled, and even though I just got an Xbox last Christmas, I started really wanting a 360. I knew I would almost certainly get one once Halo 3 came out, so we broke down and got one last month. We also got the HD DVD player with it. After about a month of having it, I think I can safely say it was a very good purchase. We constantly use the HD DVD player... I don't even know how we watched regular DVDs on our HDTV before, and we have already played many great games on the 360. The only problem is now there are even more games I want, when I already have tons of original Xbox games, DS games, and GBA games to play (not to mention some Wii games). It's alright though, I will never be bored :-)

Right now I'm playing Metroid Prime 3, and we picked up Viva Pinata yesterday. Metroid is a great game, as always. For some reason I can't play for too long though, because my hands will start to hurt. Viva Pinata is very strange and different, but I think that is a good thing. It's refreshing and I think it will be a good game to come to when I'm overwhelmed with how intense most of the other games I play are. In fact, I did that just yesterday after fighting an epic boss in Metroid. So, for now, I'm very happy playing all the games I have, and even though I'm excited about Halo coming out, I'm almost dreading it because I know it will take away a lot of time from all the other games I'm playing or have to play.

It's been awhile

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Well it's been forever but that doesn't mean I'm not playing games anymore. In fact, I'm probably playing games more than ever now. I got an original Xbox for Christmas and I've been enjoying the heck out of it. Buying a system a year after the successor comes out is awesome. You can get all the games for super cheap. The only problem with that is, well, I get all the games for super cheap. Now I have 20-something Xbox games and I've only had it for two months!

Anyway, as of this moment I've been playing a lot of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. What a fun game! I never realized before how much I really love RPGs. I've also been playing Fire Emblem after a very long sabattical from it. That game takes some serious dedication, but I am 100% sure I will eventually beat it.

Ahh, video games. I love them so much :-)

Summer gaming

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Usually the summer is my biggest time for gaming, but this summer has been a lot different. I went to Germany for two weeks and while I was there I let my friend borrow my Gamecube, because of course I wasn't going to play it and I wanted someone to get use out of it. Well, I didn't think about the fact that we would both be busy when I got back, so now I've been back for two weeks and still haven't gotten my Cube back. :(

Besides that, I've been very busy with work so I haven't even been playing what I have (my GBA) very much. Right now I'm playing Fire Emblem though. I have to say, that game is really a lot of fun and I'm not usually a fan of the strategy type games. Right now I'm on a difficult chapter. I've already lost one character and I promised myself I wouldn't lose any more, but in the chapter I'm on one of my characters (a different one each time) keeps dying. It's very frustrating because each time a character dies, I think "Ok, my strategy isn't working, let me try something else," but of course none of the strategies I'm trying are working. I'm going to keep at it though, because that's the only way you ever beat games! :)

Tales

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So I've been playing Tales of Symphonia lately, and it's a great game, but I'm not even that far into it yet and I keep dying in the dungeon I'm in. Now I may not be the best gamer in the world, but I normally don't think of myself as bad at video games. I really must be doing something wrong. What is going on?! :evil: