Arcade Madness

May 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm (Games)

With company for the past month, my gaming time has been severely compromised.  So with that in mind, the arcade games are what I’ve been messing around with in the hopes that I can still make progress instead of playing the same 10 minutes of a game every day.

While on vacation I was introduced to Apples to Apples.  Lo and behold, the Live Marketplace had said game ready for download in exchange for a few Microsoft Points.  It’s an interesting game and may be the first game to get me out on Live to actually play with other people.

RISK:  Factions was also out there in the marketplace for some time and I’ve been meaning to pick it up and finally caved in.  Unfortunately it’s a little much for the short time I have to play so I have yet to unlock any achievements.  What I have played so far seems entertaining.  I’ll revisit that once I have more time to invest.

A third game I just picked up a couple of days ago is Minecraft.  I’ve never played this game before but being an ultimate sandbox game I had to give it a try.  I believe I may be addicted to it now.  The tutorial world is interesting as it gives you a taste of what you need to do and once you accomplish that you can check out what things *could* look like.  I spent some time wandering around what was built there and then decided to attempt creating my own world.  I died rather quickly on the easy difficulty.  But then I found a small island to put my shelter on and actually survived for a couple of ingame days.  Now I can leisurely discover the resources I need like coal (I really need some light) and hopefully I can get some wheat grown because my health is at the minimum.

What I’m really, REALLY waiting for though comes out tomorrow on Friday.  Dragon’s Lair!  I can’t tell you how many of my hard earned quarters were spent playing this game and now I can play it again – not only with a controller… but with the Kinect!  Maybe now I’ll be able to make it through to the end  :p

All that takes care of my points, so now I’ll have to think about getting more for future arcade games that I may want to get.


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Back Home

April 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm (Travel)

After two weeks, I’m finally back home from the trip across the country.  I wish I could say it was all fun and games, but driving (even if it IS a new car) is very uncomfortable especially when you have to keep stopping to take care of three dogs.  Oh well, now I have one day to rest before having to go back to work.  I would be a little more verbose if I didn’t feel like I’ve displaced several joints in my body, but I guess I felt like I should wave out there into the inky blackness of the internet to prove I’m still okay.


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Planning a Trip

March 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm (Games, Travel)

By the end of the month, the wife and I (along with our three dogs) will be hitting the road for a 2,000 mile trip to the midwest state of Illinois.  “Why?”, you may ask.  Well, it has been a couple of years since we’ve visited my wife’s family and we were unable to get down there for Christmas due to the wonderful world of Vacation Wars at work.  Of course, it does make it difficult when we’ve been running a skeleton crew for quite some time now.  Anyway, I’m not looking forward to the drive.

The funny thing is that due to, this month has been dubbed racing month so I’ve pulled out a couple of racing games I’ve had collecting dust on the shelve and have finally started playing such as DiRT.  So, even though I hate driving in the real world, I do like to drive in a racing game.  Weird, huh?

But wait!  It gets even weirder.  Over the weekend I finally caved in and purchased a new car, trading in my car of 15 years in the process.  I guess that means I’m back to having car payments.  Hmm?  Oh!  you want to know what kind of car I am now driving.  It’s a red one.  Okay, okay… the 2012 Dodge Avenger is what I’ve got in the driveway now.

It’s got a pretty smooth ride, and now I have to break it in with a trip to Illinois.  >sigh<  I’m still not looking forward to the drive though.


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Dealing With the Fallout

February 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm (Entertainment, Games)

It may have taken me 70 some odd days, but I have finally completed the first playthrough of Fallout:  New Vegas.  I really enjoy this game and only disliked one of the add-ons (Dead Money).  Anyway, it’s really strange to see that even though I thought I did good, a lot of things didn’t fair so well upon the telling of what happened after the battle at Hoover Dam.  But hey,  whatcha gonna do?  For me, I’m getting ready to run through on Hardcore mode and see if I’m still able to survive the ordeal.  After that, I will have even more to do since there are several endings in which one can choose.  I guess that’s part of the charm of Fallout, you can always create your character different…  but it only works if you can play that character like you built him/her.

Other games I’ve been playing is Quarrel, because I enjoy word games… though I tend to play horribly when I don’t have a lot of sleep (I blame the 14 hour work night and not being able to catch up on my sleep!).  I have also played the kinect game Haunt which I finished fairly quickly.  To tell the truth though, Fallout is the main game I’ve been playing.

The question now is, continue playing Fallout or start something new while kinda working on Fallout on the side?  I guess there’s always the bean dive… but the fallout from that would mean destroying my completion percent and learning different controller layouts and remembering which one goes to which game.  I’ll worry about it in the morning, because right now… I’m tired and need some sleep.

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Looking Towards 2012

December 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm (General)

With the year almost over, it’s time to look at what’s coming over the horizon.  Actually, looking at what’s coming up is an anytime thing to do.  I guess it’s just sounds better when you preface it with “The new year”.  Many people are making those resolutions, others are hoping this is when they find that job, and most everyone is kind of hoping this is the year that the economy starts its recovery.

I’ve never been a big fan of waiting for the new year to start a resolution.  I figure it you want to do something, start it when you think of it.  I haven’t thought of anything yet so I’m just going to keep working hard and doing my best in the things that need to be done.  Of course, since I work hard, I should be able to relax when I’m not busy which is why gaming is always going to be a subject matter here on my quiet little blog here.

So, looking at the milestones I see that the car has been paid off (hurray!), a little more than 5 years left until retirement, and two or three cards should be paid off this year.  Granted, that sounds like the money thing should be under control, but all that means is the extra money will be used to pay off the cards used for the big stuff.

I’ve been getting fewer and fewer games, but since I have a big stack of games I haven’t played yet, I still have “new” games to start playing.  In fact, the thing I’ve been doing is waiting for games on demand to show up for 20 bucks or cheaper before considering it for purchase.  With a couple of memory sticks, I can keep a few full games (or several arcade) on one and not fill up my hard drive, though I keep current games I’m working on handy on the hard drive.  I still keep a couple bucks out of each paycheck (well, out of what I budget for myself) just in case there’s a game that I just have to get.  There are a couple games I want, but I want to pay off my cards more.  Sure, I’ll get the games…  it’s just going to take me a few months to get them.

Well, it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a start.  Now if I could just figure out a way to convince the wife we don’t need 1,000 t.v. channels. . .

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Returning to Fitness

November 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm (Games, Health and wellness)

An interesting thing happened just the other day when I was looking around to games section to see what was sitting on the shelves.  Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 was sitting there.  Since I enjoyed the first one I thought I would grab this one and get back on the track to fitness.

There are a few differences and from I can tell, they’re all good!  The most interesting is the addition to some floor exercises that make this a more complete workout.  More classes were added as were some warm-ups to help cool down a little or to loosen up before tackling a workout.

The first day I got it I was checking it out to see what all was in the “game” when I heard the little chime that meant my console was shutting down.  What?…  I look down and see my dog has wandered over and touched the button with her nose!  So I turn it back on and start doing some stuff like running through New York and missed the challenge.  Oh well, I see what the exercises have to offer and see you can focus on different groups now.  I try the arms and find it interesting.  I then go and see what the classes are all about and check one of those out.  I’m still miffed I missed the challenge on the run and go back to that and do it again.  This time I get the challenge and shortly afterwards hear that chime again as my dog decided to check it out again.  I mean… really?  9 months at the house and she’s never messed with the console ever and now she’s curious about it.  I think I may have yelled a little bit.  Now I’m mad and not thinking straight so I turn the console back on and wait a little while to catch my breath.  I’m determined to complete this run one way or another.  Someone should have been there to tell me that I should go for it again the next day because after I made it through that run, I felt horrible.  I had to go lay down for a few minutes just so the nausea would go away.   After that I stuck to my goal and the dog hasn’t messed with the button anymore.  At least, for the week I’ve been playing.

There is still a lot that I haven’t done yet, but since some of those achievements have a burn 100,000+ calories, I should be doing this for some time.  Who knows, by then it should be a habit.  :)

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Taking it Easy

October 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm (Games, Health and wellness)

Instead of keeping things on track at work, I have started my first day of a 5 day weekend.  That’s right, Out of my 90 hours of use it or lose it time, 16 hours are being used. . .  “But, wait a minute,”  I hear you ask, “Wouldn’t three days equal 24 hours?”  Yes, you are correct.  Monday is not being taken on annual leave – instead one of those pesky furlough days are being used.  So what, pray tell, did I do today and subsequently have planned for this extended weekend?

Today found me doing my best to take it easy and even though the dogs prevent me from sleeping in I did very little except for zone out a bit watching mindless television.  Mostly Sports Center just to see if anything interesting was going on.  Very little football news going on other than the stuff they’ve been rehashing for the last couple of days, but hey, at least you don’t have to think much about it.  After a couple of hours of this I did plug in the ol’ Xbox and decided to see what I could do with a couple of games.

Mercury Hg has turned out to be a fun little game that I can easily lose some time on.  Taking a virtual drop of mercury on a trip though some puzzles that include color changes, splitting apart and subsequently putting back together does use a little thinking power at times.  After completing the first group of elements (gotta love the periodic chart being the selection process of which puzzle to work out) I have two more groups opened up and even got a challenge unlocked (which took me a couple tries to complete).  Bonus levels are also interesting since you have to collect the mercury as you go along, but only three of those have been unlocked so far.  But not to worry, I work at the game a little every day.

The Maw has been a pleasant distraction as well.  I think I’m almost done with this game however.  Two more levels to go (would have been one but I got caught in a glitch on a level that left me stuck with the camera looking off in some weird corner of the world.  I’ll have another go at it tomorrow more than likely.

Jericho has been sitting in the drive for a few weeks now and I gave the disc a spin to get me through the crusades and into Rome.  Most of the achievements left in this game is to get through levels on hard difficulty and some with the added difficulty of not being incapacitated.  I really like the ghost bullet, but I think in Rome I need to use a different character because those shield guys just don’t give you the shots.

Meanwhile, the rest of the weekend is hopefully a lot like today.  Well, I might just go and see if there’s anything interesting in the stores as far as games are concerned. . .

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All Work and No Play…

September 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm (Health and wellness)

I can sure use a little time off from work.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean I don’t like my job, it’s just my energy levels are at a low point.  Blame it on September.  I reached 44 years old this month and seem to have been running around just to keep up with everything.  Add to that, we are two people short at work and for two weeks another person is off which leaves me holding down the fort by myself.

Two of the last three weekends have been booked solid with things that HAVE to be done, and this weekend will see at least one day working.  I shouldn’t complain because let’s face it, no one wants to hear someone whining about how life is so unfair!  So when I can, I have been playing my 360  (I know!  such a shocker!) and working on games that I have given up on like Clive Barker’s Jericho.  Strange game that had me scratching my head on several occasions…

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting past September and maybe an opportunity to take a few days off from work (I do have 90 hours I HAVE to burn or else I lose them) and maybe. . . just maybe get myself in a better frame of mind.

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Hand Me Some Dice!

August 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm (Games)

I think one of the things I miss the most  is taking an old board game out and setting it up to play.  That and card games.  I’m pretty much saying this now because I’ve been playing some of these games on the 360.

Hasbro Monopoly Streets brings all the fun things and leaves out the clutter of the paper money and losing the little pieces.  Sure, it also brings that time it takes to complete just one game.  Luckily there are a few options you can tweak to shorten the game a little bit as well.  Biggest drawback is that each token is associated with a character… so it’s hard to pick a token that feels right, because you are more concerned about picking the character more than the token.

Hasbro Family Game Night was a strange one.  It’s like Game Room in the respect that you get the base game for free, but then you have to spend 800 points for each game.  Yahtzee and Scrabble were it’s selling point for me and Boggle is a fun word game (played with dice at that!).  Not so sure about connect 4 (two versions?!), but I tried out Jenga, Pictureureka and Sorry.  Jenga just doesn’t play well as a console game.

The last one I played was Trivial Pursuit where I keep getting reminded just how little I know about a lot of things.  And then suprise myself by knowing some of the weirdest things…  All in all I think I answer on average 38% of the questions correctly.  Yeah, that means a lot of missed questions  :p

Aside from the dice and board games, I finally checked out a Lego game… Indiana Jones:  The Original Adventures to be exact.  I had a lot of fun with this game, especially when I started finding the parcels and the mailbox.  One of the few games I’ve completed 100%.  I might have to look at some of the other Lego adventures now. . .

Anyway, I still think there’s no replacing the actual rolling of the dice in games. It’s more fun to control the way the dice are thrown and for the most part I’ve always had a particular touch with real dice.  It’s strange to think I have a whole bag of dice somewhere. . .  I just can’t remember where they are.  :s

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Fake Musical Instruments and Books

July 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm (Books, Entertainment, Games)

For some reason I’ve gotten hooked on playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band games this month.  I’m STILL playing after all this time.  More specifically I have played three games, moving from one to another once I wanted a change.

Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock was the first title I focused on as I concentrated on the “storyline” until I made it all the way through twice (dominating the game!).  An interesting approach at having each “warrior” using a different power and then using all 8 powers on the second playthrough.

Rock Revolution was the second title and I still don’t think too highly on this title.  Once I calibrated though, I was able to do a little bit better and made it through to get a “platinum” rating on each stage.  I really don’t know if expert difficulty is going to see the light of day on this game.

Rock Band 3 is the one I just started and it’s just kinda weird.  I don’t think there is a career path anymore, but there are Road Challenges that seem to unlock as you get further along.  I really need to get a keyboard for this game since I like the piano and even though I haven’t played in many many years, I think I’ll feel more comfortable playing that than the guitar, drums or vocals.  Who knows, sometime in the future I may even get the guitar and see if I can’t learn a little something on how to actually play. . . but this old dog may not be able to learn  :p

Another arena I have stepped back into is reading.  Yeah, books have caught my attention again especially with a new author I’ve decided to give a try.  Kate Griffin has a couple of books called “Madness of Angels” and “Midnight Mayor”.  These books reminded me of how much some writers can capture my imagination and keep me reading even when I need to be doing other things.  Now to wait fore “Neon Court” to come out in paperback.

Now I should go back to my gaming and reading. . . or maybe I should watch the new episode of Deadliest Warrior to see how Joan of Arc and William the Conqueror turned out…

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