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wavey_gravey Blog

Leaving... on a jet plane

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Sunday is fast approaching. What is the significance of Sunday I hear you cry?

Well, that is the day that me and my family board a jet plane bound for sunnier climes to the state of Florida. 2 weeks of running around like idiots chasing fictional characters for their signatures, riding thrill rides and eating more food than is conceiveably possible - CANNOT WAIT!

This will be my third time to Orlando, the first when I was a mere bairn at the tender age of 22; it was the culmination of a 4 month working vacation after I finished my degree. Back then I visited the place on my own and did as much as I could in the 4 days I had there. The last time I went was 2 years ago with my then 6 year old son. It was wonderful watching his face as he ran around everywhere. Say what you will about Disney and other parks in Orlando, either love 'em or hate 'em, there is no denying it is a magical place for kids. This year my son is 8, and a little taller than he was two years ago so I am hoping that he will be big enough to come with me on some of the bigger thrill rides, the only one he could do last time was the Everest Expedition ride in Animal Kingdom - he loved it so much we went on it 3 times in total in one day! I hope to be able to introduce him to Manta at Sea World, The Hulk in Islands of Adventure and a few others that I can't actually recall at the moment.

So, in short... see you soon suckers!

:D

Yup... definitely need an intervention

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I need to get a grip, since I downloaded Minecraft the other week I have not been able to pull myself away. I would not be surprised if I returned home one day after a trip out to find all my nearest and dearest sat waiting for me with serious faces saying "We need to talk Nicola". Arrrgghhh, someone help!

But...my Pyramid crypt is coming along nicely... :P

Pyramid Crypt

Gulp... so I have an addiction...

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Following on from my last blog, I eventually caved in and purchased the Xbox version of Minecraft and boy, am I glad I did. Before purchasing I really did not understand the appeal, now I do. I love it.

I really didn't understand how you could spend your time in a massive "Lego-inspired" world with seemingly no real end game to it. I also thought that you needed to have some sort of creative bent to you to fully enjoy it. The idea that it was just a massive sandbox, level creator kind of game turned me off a little bit. I likened it to the level creator tools in Little Big Planet - I can appreciate the appeal to those inclined to create their own levels and there are some seriously imaginative people out there in the LBP community, but it really didn't appeal to me at all. Minecraft was bundled in to that.

Oh how wrong I was! It is fantastic. I absolutely adore it. My 8 year old son is currently building in his own world. I was out all day yesterday on some training for my business and when I returned he had transformed the world that we had been working on split-screen (the ease of the multi-player element of this game BTW is super smooth, and a MASSIVE plus for me), he had created a huge castle around a mine he had been digging from. He had also created a little wooden shack base with a huge tree house structure above it. When I returned he was fashioning some leather chaps for his character so it seems I returned at precisely the right moment:P

I am finding myself imagining more and more outlandish things to build, in one of the Worlds that I jump in to with a friend we (mostly him) have built a huge pirate galleon in a secret lagoon which looks AWESOME, and I am currently building a huge observatory tower in my world so that I can spec out where I want to dig next. I am seriously addicted, I haven't touched Skyrim for days and I started Deus Ex about 3 days ago which also hasn't been touched since.

All this game needs is the ability to take screenshots and be able to push them up to Facebook or something to share and I think my life would be complete :lol:

Debating...

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I have been debating on what to do recently with my GS account. I am finding that I am spending less and less time on the site apart from visits to the Union I belong to and reading people's blogs, however recent events with the changes to the comments section of the blogs, the constant bugs that litter the site and a spat that I had with a fellow Gamespotter have made me re-think whether I should just start to use my time more wisely. I really want to push my business to the next level this year with a plan to open a nutrition club in my local community and I am really not sure I have time to spend on here anymore. The decline in the number of people I like to follow, and more and more suggesting that they might be about ready to throw in the towelis making that decision easier and easier.

In other news, I am also debating whether I try out Minecraft on Xbox. I honestly am not sure that I "get it", however it has been such a phenomenon that I am wondering whether I should at least give it a go...who knows, I might be inspired to create something :P

Colour me undecided :(

So, my degree was a complete and utter waste...

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Some of you (none) of you may know that I have a degree in English Literature & Language, and although I have no desire to be a writer or anything like that I do have quite an extended vocubulary...or at least I thought I did.

Last night I decided to make an "on a whim" purchase of Quarrel. I was not familiar with the game at all, although I do tend to like word games quite a bit, Boggle & Scrabble being some of my favourites. I really quite liked the strategy element of the game, and it was very funny playing against my friend online. It seems though, that I am not particularly good at seeing possible words when I am under pressure. There is nothing more humiliating than seeing your opponent with a fancy 8 letter word and the only one you could fashion out of those same letters is "bum".

Oh the shame:cry:

Now playing: Dead Island...

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I got Dead Island for Christmas, and over the weekend I started it. I am still nowhere near finished on Skyrim, but I felt like I needed a break, besides my co-op partner in crime was ready to play it as well.

I have to say, I am not sure what all the hate for it was. There are a few things that aren't working properly, namely the breadcrumb trail for quest markers, and there are some pretty puerile quests (seriously, there is a zombie apocalypse going on and you need me to get you "some f***ing champagne" (sic.)), but other than that I think it is pretty solid. I am not sure if the fact that I am playing it in co-op is making a difference to my enjoyment of it, in much the same way I think Borderlands was a significantly more enjoyable game played with friends than on your own, but either way I am pretty pleased with it. Besides, kicking bikini clad zombies up the chuff never gets old for me :lol:

A budding photographer...

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It was my son's birthday the other day, he turned 8. I am really not sure how this happened to be honest, as last time I checked he was only a baby, well that isn't strictly true, and makes me seem like I am an absent parent, but hopefully you get my meaning. Time really does fly, and having a child makes you realise that more acutely. My boy is still very much a child, however when I look at him I do sometimes get flashes of what he will look like as a grown man and it fills me with equal amounts of joy and sadness. Joy that I produced him and sadness that he won't always be my little boy.

Any hoo, I digress. As my son is growing up, he is starting to get more grown up presents. My parents purchased him a camera, only a cheap thing, low res, old fashioned view finder and no image of what you have just taken...pretty much like an old fashioned film camera where you take the picture and just hope it is good, only to find out that your hand shook, or you stuck your finger over the lens or you forgot to put the flash on etc. - each picture is a mystery.

We went to London for his birthday, took him to see a show in the West End (Shrek: The Musical) and a trip to the Natural History Museum. We stayed in a hotel in Westminster, just off Westminster bridge, you could see the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye from out hotel so we were really central...plenty of photo opportunities.

I post a few here for your viewing pleasure because they amuse me so much and I hope that you will find them amusing too. Remember, my son is 8, this is his first camera and there is no way to view what he has just taken :lol:

Big Ben

Big Ben

London Eye

The Eye

Hard to tell I know, but this is Buckingham Palace

Buck Palace

And my personal favourite...my Hub and me outside Buckingham Palace

Mum and dad

Awww bless him, I think he needs some practice.

Uncharted 3, the curse of expectation?

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In between my frequent visits to Skyrim, I have started playing Uncharted 3. I was really looking forward to playing it after the supreme Uncharted 2, however a few hours in and I am a little underwhelmed to be honest.

I am not sure what it is, but there are bits of it that are really infuriating me. I know that the combat has always been a little flaky, but I put up with it in the first one, must have forgotten about it in the second one, but now in the third it is really grinding my gears. The cover system is bad, I am constantly locking on to the wrong cover, and the aiming system is all over the place.

I am also encountering problems with the pacing of some of the slower moments in the game, particularly those parts where you are expected to resolve a puzzle. I click to look at my journal, see the partial puzzle solution and am then expected to interact with the environment to find the solution. All goes well, but there seems to be a lag of a few minutes between me finding the solution and the game actually realising I have found it. The most recent example of this was in Syria where I was using my telescope to look at the big and little dippers - I followed the instruction but then had to wait 2 minutes wondering WTF was going before the game decided that the doorway I was looking at was the doorway I was looking for! The same can be said of the AI, they keep getting stuck in places, not moving, then something happens and I die for no reason and when I respawn all of a sudden the AI are moving again! It just seems so buggy.

Having said all that, I am still enjoying the game, it is certainly a lot better than most of the games out there in the marketplace, however I think the burden of expectation that I have placed on it is starting to show. It just all feels a little samey.

What did you guys think? I vaguely recall some blogs from some of you about the game when it first came out, but I resisted reading them because I didn't want spoilers.

So...yeah... I started Skyrim

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Ugh, after my last blog listing all the games I got in the fire sale at the GAME/Gamestation going bankrupt party, I "foolishly" decided to start Skyrim. I don't know what I was thinking!

Don't get me wrong it is a fantastic game and I am really loving it, the problem is it is just so HUGE! My goodness, I have spent about 25 hours playing so far and I have hardly scratched the surface. I keep trying to get to Winterhold to join the Mages guild and have yet to get there because of all the side quests and miscellaneous tasks I keep coming across.

I knew the game would be like this having spent well over 150 hours in both Fallout 3 and Oblivion before that...I guess I just forgot :lol:

In other news, I took my son to see the new Aardman animation movie, Pirates: An adventure with Scientists. I thought it was hilarious, and absolute joy. I am interested how the movie is doing in America TBH as it struck me as a particularly British sense of humour movie.

Any ways, see you around, I have a Daedric artefact to retrieve :P

Surfacing for air...

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Can you see me? I am surprised if you can as I am currently floundering under a MOUNTAIN of games. For all the non-UK folks that read my blog, a national retailer of games is in dire trouble. The Game group which has hundreds of stores across the UK under their brands GAME & Gamestation is filing for bankruptcy. So what? I hear you ask...well I did have a large amount of credit with Gamestation which I desperately needed to use up before the plug was completely pulled. Over the past few weeks I have been spending that credit, and now have in my grubby mitts the following:

Deus Ex

Uncharted 3

Dragon Age 2

Dead Island

Skyrim

Flower

With Mass Effect 3 not leaving my machine for the past few weeks, and Deus Ex, Dragon Age 2 AND Skyrim to play, it looks like I won't be coming up for air any time soon. See all next year :lol:

EDIT: I completely forgot that I got Bulletstorm in the fire sale as well... Yup, I had a lot of credit!