Friday, August 24, 2012

Week in Review - 8/24/2012

  • Final Fantasy XIV

New Aurora/Meteor Shower weather!
I still haven’t finished unlocking Paladin or Dragoon, but I did finally get my Alchemy to Level 50. I’ve turned my attention and my leves (daily quests) to grinding Goldsmith. I’m also working on Botany. Ultimately, I’m trying to rebuild my Linkshell, Resolution, but it’s a slow and kind of painful process. I don’t want a large group, but my small group is almost never on at the same time. I’m hoping to get something done tomorrow night with Resolution. The daunting task of Hamlet Defense looms. 

Playstation 3
  • Renegade Ops

Tropical Vehicular Mayhem!
This is a top-down shooter that I got when I joined Playstation Plus. I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I gave it a try and it’s honestly a lot of fun like an old arcade shooter. You pick a driver, each with a unique vehicle, and take on missions to defeat some evil terrorist or invader or something. Honestly, I don’t really care about the story or try to understand what’s going on. I just hop in my combat jeep and start shooting tanks and helicopters. It’s good mindless fun when I only have a few minutes to sit down and play. 

  • The Walking Dead - Episode 2: "Starved for Help"

There's nothing creepy to see here.
This interactive graphic novel does not fail to disappoint. I’ve only seen the first 6 episodes of the TV show, but I happen to think this game does a much better job of building up tension and drawing the player into an exciting climax. Because I’m connected to the playable character, I am invested more in his well being (because he’s a projection of myself, my decisions, my actions) than I am a TV character that often does stupid things I would never do. Therefore I even find the rampant inter-personal dramas much more compelling than they are on television or in the comic. 

  •  Warhammer 40,000 - Space Marine

Human on Orc action!
This is another game I grabbed from Playstation Plus program. It’s a third person action/shooter. If you don’t know “Warhammer 40,000,” it’s basically a fantasy game set far into the future, where humans and orcs can fight each other over planets and star systems rather than forests and gold mines. I played through the first chapter of this game, but I wasn’t drawn in. In fact, it rather bored me. I plan to give it another go to suck me into the gameplay or story, but so far I wasn’t really amused. I turned my attention back to Renegade Ops

  • The Last Story 
Content > Graphics
This game came out the day my son was born, so I was at the hospital all weekend instead of tearing through it. However, I’ve played about 10 hours or so over the week and I’m fully drawn into this story and gameplay combined. After spending several hours playing through the game, I decided to take the fight online into Deathmatch. I am not usually into such things, but this is one of those rare cases where I felt the online competitive mode was amazingly fun, and rewarded me with clever items and color additions for my main story. It’s great fun.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week in Review - 8/17/2012

I'm post dating this to yesterday for my Friday column. My life has been a bit chaotic lately. Lots of things changing have made it difficult to sit down and write out a good, quality article in a while. I have a lot of things on my mind that I want to share with the world, but really just lack the time and peace of mind to sit down and write about them.

Just a brief taste of the things that have changed in the past few weeks, at 9:50AM on 8/17/2012 my third child, and second son, was born. We're still working out the details of his name, but he's real cute. I am home now with my other two kids for a few hours and I miss that little guy like crazy.

Anyway, I did get a chance to play a few games over the week while preparing for the big day.

  • Final Fantasy XIV
Shai with Cid & Merlwyb
I haven’t had a lot of time to play XIV this week, but I’m working on finishing up the quests and missions that sum up all the story of “Version 1” which will be ending soon. The evil Empire has summoned one of the world’s moons to come crashing down into the land we protect in order to wipe out the Primals who oppose their dominance. It’s something like that. I haven’t sorted out all the details. I’m now a Chief Storm Sergeant of the Maelstrom and working on getting my commission to 2nd Lieutenant. I’ve also unlocked all jobs except Paladin and Dragoon. It’s been fun so far. 

  •  Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
My family was watching TV so I popped on something quick, fun and easy by the name of Recettear. The game is about a girl who wakes up to find herself in serious debt and turns her home into an item shop to make ends meet. You have an ever-growing quota of money to pay to your loan shark partner. I made it to the final week, but couldn’t come up with the 500,000 pix to finally pay off my loan. I only came up with 250,000. I’m now in a New Game + where I kept all my items and merchant skills. It’s much easier to make ends meet.

  •  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Arch-Mage Neeka the First
Determined to actually accomplish something worth note in this game, I decided to dive back into Skyrim. I haven’t come up with the money to buy “Dawnguard” yet but it’s on my Wishlist. I decided to make a new character that is focused on Illusion, Stealth, and a touch of Destruction. I’ve never played such a true mage before and I’m delighted to find that it’s extremely fun. My sneaky Khajit has already amounted to Arch-Mage of the College at Winterhold, and marks the first faction I’ve actually completed!

Playstation 3
  • Cross Edge
This game has vexed me for a few years now. It’s possibly the hardest role-playing game I’ve ever tried to conquer and I’m constantly finding myself hitting brick walls where I’m left with the option to grind (age old solution to RPG difficulties) or change my tactics drastically. It’s safe to say that I’ve spent enough time in the last week (thanks to some Record of Agarest failures) getting to know and understand the basics of the combat system (which they share). So I decided to give it another go, and on Hard mode! I find myself farther than I’ve ever made it before and still going strong.

  • The Walking Dead - "Episode 1: Brand New Day"
FYI: I love cel-shaded graphics.
I decided to sink some money into the Playstation Plus program in order to get access to some free games for a nominal cost. In fact, just when I signed up for $50, there was over $250 worth of games available to download and play for free. Not games I’d necessarily buy, but they tide me over. As such I decided to give The Walking Dead a try and found the term “video game” not necessarily accurate. I’d call it an “interactive graphic novel” but as such it was extremely fun and interesting. I hope the rest end up being free to play for PS+ members, because I like where it’s going.