Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are Video Games Worth 60 Bucks?

Face it nobody likes to pay full price for anything. For years I've wasted tons of cash on things that entertain me. I spent thousands of dollars on music, movies, and video games alone. Don't even get me started on how much I've spent on all of the electronic devices that enable me to entertain myself. It's sickening. If I had saved all of that money I could be living in a decent house or be driving a kick ass car. To day I started thinking about the money I've spent on games in the past couple of years and thinking that a lot of those games weren't worth 60 bucks. For some reason I always feel the need to buy games the day or the week they are released instead of waiting for the prices to drop. I have puchased quite a few games used at Gamestop, but even those games were a bit too high priced.

There are definitely some games that I feel are worth the 60 dollar price tag. I know that a lot of people won't even buy a game these days unless it has online multiplayer modes. I'm not a huge fan of online multiplayer games unless I can play with friends or cool people. Playing with decent people isn't the easiest thing to do on Xbox Live though. I know that there are also people who base the 60 dollar price on how many hours of gameplay they'll get out of a game. I've often payed 60 bucks for very short single player campaign games. As fun as some of them were in the end I must say that I felt cheated.

I must say that out of all of the games I've ever bought I've never felt cheated with hockey games. I've always had a ton of fun with an 82 game schedule plus all of the playoff games. I also feel like I get my money's worth with most RPG's that I've played. FALLOUT 3 and FABLE 2 are both great examples. Both games were lengthy and totally addictive. At the opposite end I've played some FPS games where I finished the single player campaign in 7 hours. While I enjoy shooters I find that 7 hours of gameplay doesn't justify a 60 dollar price tag. I want to support game developers, but at the same time I don't want to spend 60 bones on an experience that only lasts 7 hours.

I don't see myself never buying a game again, but I also don't see myself buying 30 games a year anymore either.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saints Row 2 & Some Christmas Gifts

It's funny how certain games pull you in when you never expect them to. I own the first Saints Row game, but it's so buggy that I stopped playing it. For example I'll be driving down the road and my car will disappear while my guy sits there like he's holding an invisible steering wheel while floating in mid air. Then of course the game locks up. This pissed me off enough that I quit playing it. Recently I rented Saints Row 2 expecting to play it for a few hours and declare it a shitty game. That has NOT been the case. Saints Row 2 is sooooo fun. I like pretty much everything about it. With side missions where the object is to drive a sewage truck spraying crap all over buildings to cause thousands of dollars in damage the game definitely doesn't take itself seriously. This is a good thing. After renting and re-renting SR2 I should really just go buy it. I'm definitely addicted to playing it. I'm not Fallout 3 addicted, but addicted nonetheless. I gotta say that I really do enjoy a good "sandbox" type game like this. This one is worth a rent at the very least, so check it out.

I'm calling Christmas 2008 the Christmas where my wife finally got it right! This was an awesome X-mas in the gift department. She bought me an officially licensed Dallas Stars jersey (pictured above) with my favorite player's name and number. That player is of course Mike Modano. I already own several Stars jersey's, but this one is by far my favorite. I also got a Stars calendar, license plate, license plate frame, static sticker, flag, stars logo wave suction cup thingamabob for my truck, a Marty Turco puck, and Rambo on blu-ray and regular dvd. It was a Dallas Stars Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis The Season To Play Games & Watch Movies

Well, I'm on vacation right now. I really haven't done much though I still jump on my treadmill so as to not be totally lazy. I've been playing video games and watching some movies on Netflix. Oh, and I even started a Gamefly account.

The first game I finished while on vacation was CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR. It didn't take long to finish, and I knew it wouldn't because I have heard from several sources that it wouldn't. I think there might have been about 6 hours of gameplay or maybe 7. There were times where I found myself getting bored with the game. There were also times where I was having quite a bit of fun. I loved the sections of the game where I was able to use the flame thrower and mortars. Watching enemies scream in pain while on fire was a blast. That's sounds sadistic, but I'm just being honest. I also enjoyed manning the machine guns while on the fighter plane to take down enemy ships and other planes. This was easily the best looking WW2 game I've played. The graphics are just beautiful. There were some frustrating moments in certain sections, but that's to be expected. I don't want a shooter that's a walk in the park. I found myself having to take breaks after playing for an hour or so. Then when I came back refreshed I had an easy time getting through irritating parts. I already mentioned how the game is short, but I really didn't mind that because I felt like I had played all that I wanted to when it was over. That's not really the sign of a great game, but whatever. It's a fine enough game. It's just that I've been in the WW2 genre for too long. I'm tired of it now. I haven't played any multiplayer, and I don't think I will either. If I want my multiplayer shooter fix I'll go play COD4 or FRONTLINES: FUEL OF WAR. I can't recommend this for a buy, but it's a definite rent if you're a fan of shooters. I rented it because I knew going in that it would be a short experience. Just based on the single player campaign this game is worthy of a 7.8/10

I'm also playing SAINTS ROW 2. It's a poor mans version of the GTA series. At this point I'm renting it, but depending on how I feel after putting some time into it I may end up buying it if the price is right. I'm definitely having some fun with it, but my attention span isn't the greatest, so who knows how long it will keep me entertained. Right now I'm doing a bunch of side missions like spraying sewage all over buildings and doing tons of property damage with various cars and rocket launchers. It's all just mindless fun really. It also has it's fair share of bugs that can be really annoying such as getting stuck on objects and console lock ups. Not a bad game so far.

As I said earlier I finally signed up with Gamefly. I chose to only get a game at a time. I figure I already have a bunch old games to play that I own. I also don't want to be renting two games at a time and having to pick between the two. I'll just play the one game they send me and finish it if I like or send it back if I don't. Of course this may change later on. I'll probably end up wanting two at a time. By the way they are sending me Mercenaries 2 which I have played, but haven't finished. It was probably the fifth game on my list, so I'm not thrilled about that, but I do want to play it more. It would have been nice to get Prince Of Persia or a couple of the PS3 games that I wanted above it. Oh well.

Finally, I watched a couple of movies through Netflix on my Xbox 360. First I watched NOBODY'S FOOL with Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy. I've been in the mood for serious dramas lately. Anyway I really enjoyed it. Paul Newman is/was an incredible actor. 8/10

I also watched THE BASKETBALL DIARIES which I've only ever seen bits and pieces of. For some reason I just love watching movies where people are destroying their lives with drugs. It's fascinating to me how addiction can take over a person and make them do insane things. Damn good film. I enjoyed it. 8.5/10

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Legendary Not So Bad, And An Old Dinner Sauce

From all of the game reviews for LEGENDARY you'd think the game was absolute crap or even broken. It has a total metacritic.com score percentage of 49%! 49%...seriously? Did the guys who created this game over at Gamecock Media piss a bunch of people off or something? I really don't get it. I'm not alone on this issue either. I decided to check out this game based on some comments that "Shipwreck" made on his CAG FOREPLAY Podcast. I feel exactly the way he does. This game has gotten a bad rap. With that being said I'm not saying this game is perfect or even close to a 10. I think it probably hovers around a 7 rating though. I think one reason why this game got such terrible reviews is the time it was released. It was released at the same time that a bunch of triple a titles like GEARS OF WAR 2, FABLE 2, and FALLOUT 3 were released. Is it as good as those games? Hell no it's not, but it's definitely not a 4.9 either!
I will say that some of the gameplay is dated and linear, but it's a good time imo. It's not breaking any new ground and it's not as pretty as all of the triple a titles that were released this winter, but it's worth a rent or even 20 bucks in the bargain bin.

Now for something totally unrelated. Today before work I was thinking about what I'd eat for dinner that night after I got home. I decided on having chicken. Then I broke into that cheezy commercial jingle for Chicken Tonight sauce. It just goes to show you how deep in your brain an old jingle can bury itself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Life After Finishing A Great Game

As you know I finished FALLOUT 3 recently. I've commented on how it's one of my favorite games ever created. I pretty much worship it at the almighty video game altar. OK, so I'm laying it on a bit thick here, but damn was it incredibly fun. Now the dilema is finding a game that is as fun an experience as FALLOUT 3. I don 't think it's going to happen for a while. I know that this is the time of the year for all of the best triple a games, but I just don't see myself having the kind of experience that I just had with FALLOUT 3.

Yesterday I took a trip to my local Hollywood Video to rent a couple of games. I went in with at least 6 games in mind for possible rentals. I picked up two games because I had a coupon to get two rentals for the price of one. One of the games that I picked up was not on the list in my mind. That game being LEGENDARY. I've heard mostly bad things about LEGENDARY, but of course I have to see for myself. If I listened to what everyone had to say Overkill wouldn't be my favorite band. Anyway, I haven't played it yet because at the moment I'm playing the other game that I rented. That game being DEAD SPACE. DEAD SPACE has gotten tons of good/great reviews. It currently has an average review score of 89.1% at gamerankings.com. Thus far it's a good game, but it's not wowing me. It looks nice. The gameplay is good, and the story isn't bad so far. Compared to the high that I just got from FALLOUT 3 it's weak though. It's kinda like that rebound g/f you end up with after a bad breakup with a girl that you loved with every fiber of your being. The new g/f is hot and all, but you just don't have that deep connection that you had with the girl before her. I'm sure I'll get over the fact that I'm done with FALLOUT 3 in time. I know a lot more video games will come and go, but none of them will equal the greatness of FALLOUT 3. I will have a few more flings with FALLOUT 3 when dlc is released next year, so at least I have that to look forward to.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Home" Could Be A Good Thing For The Right People

I checked out Sony's HOME last night. Right now it's basically a virtual chat room. I could see how a certain group of people would like this. I'm not in this group, but again I could see how certain people could like it. To be honest I didn't really do a whole lot even though I probably spent an hour and a half screwing around. In this virtual world what I noticed was a lot of people walking around aimlessly, virtual guys chasing after the very few virtual girls, and tons of dancing. Right now HOME is a total sausagefest. I think the guys to girls ratio is about 100 to 1. I noticed that when a girl character was around about 10 or 15 guys would make a beeline to that girl. These guys would either type dirty things, say dirty things through their headsets, or just try to pick up on said girl character. The funny thing is that sometimes a girl character would actually be a guy messing with the other guy characters. I must admit that I was having a fun time just laughing at all of the idiocy going on.

I also checked out the virtual mall where a bunch more people were hanging out and being just as stupid as they were outside the mall. I went into a few stores where you could buy (with actual money that gets charged to your credit card) outfits for your character and furniture for your house. I saw stuff as cheap as $.49 and I believe as high as $4.99! Who in their right mind is going to shell out money for virtual clothing and furniture? I think the only half way decent thing I saw in the virtual mall was a huge screen where they were showing promo stuff for the PS3.

There were other things you could do in HOME, but I honestly had no desire at all to bother with the rest of it. I'm just surprised that it took Sony this damn long to release something this lackluster. I'm not sure Sony will ever get with it for the PS3. Maybe they'll get their shit together when they release the PS4.

I can't see any diehard gamers enjoying HOME, but I can see a bunch of juvenile potty mouthed kids loving it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Injured & Struggling Dallas Stars Team Beats The Redwings!

I'm sure not a single person reading this cares, but damn it I do! Anyone who has known me longer than a month knows I hate the Redwings with a passion. Going into tonight's game I predicted a 5-1 Stars loss. I was thankfully proven wrong. It's been a shitty season to say the least mostly due to injuries to top Stars players. Tonight an overconfident and cocky Redwings team got beat by a hard working Stars team who probably had no business winning. It's quite impressive when you can beat the Redwings with a team with 1/3 of your players belonging in the minors. Turco played exceptional tonight. This is something that he pretty much never does against the Redwings. The final score was 3-1 and I couldn't be happier. EAT IT REDWINGS FANS!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Various Crap Floating Around Inside My Head

First I'd like to give a huge kiss my ass to the holidays. I really hate this time of year. A long time ago when I was a kid I loved it. Of course I did. I got tons of upon tons of presents from Santa and my parents. These days I couldn't care less if I got a single present from anyone. My wife will be irritated if she reads that sentence or any of this part of the blog. She loves Christmas. The holidays were fun when my daughter was younger. She's 14 now. She opens her gifts and disappears into her room. At least I think that's what she did last year. Who could blame her? I'd like to disappear on that day as well. Now where was I? Oh yeah my hatred of the holidays. It's basically one huge cash grab for big business. I hate how the holidays try and make people feel obligated to buy a bunch of people a gift. Of course I don't feel obligated because well...I just don't. I hate the ordeal of shopping for people too. I never have a clue what to buy anyone. I never know what to buy my wife. When asked what I want for Christmas I usually say that I don't want anything. When I want something I go to a store and buy it myself. I honestly think my dislike for the holidays goes much deeper than gift giving though. That's a place I'm not willing to go right now though.

As much as I hate new years resolutions I plan on having one, though I would never call it a new years resolution. I'm going to start saving a shit ton of money next year for a down payment on a new Ford Mustang. Maybe it's midlife crisis time? No, of course not. I just like the look of later Ford Mustangs, and I want one. I want one bad. Real bad. For the past year I've been driving people crazy talking about it. I obsess over it actually. Mark my words I will have one. I'm paying my truck off in 2009, so I figure either late 2009 or early 2010 I will be the owner of a Ford Mustang.

To save money means to stop buying games and start renting them. That's where Gamefly comes in. I really have no idea why in the hell I've never signed up for Gamefly. Actually I still haven't, but I will very soon. I'm beyond tired of paying 60 bucks a pop for new games. I'm sure I'll buy a few games, but I'll make sure I get a deal on the games I buy.

After finishing Fallout 3 my gaming life feels empty. I still have a bunch of games I need to finish, but I know that none of them will be quite as good as Fallout 3. It looks like I'll be finishing my NHL 09 season as well as killing a bunch of zombies in Left 4 Dead.

Remember how I talked about how much I hate the Holidays? Well, there are a bunch of Christmas songs that I like. That's kinda odd isn't it? I love all of those cheezy Christmas songs that normal people hate with every fiber of their being. Here are just a few examples GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER by Elmo & Patsy, WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME from Paul McCartney, CHRISTMAS IN HOLLIS by RUN DMC, BLUE CHRISTMAS by "Porky Pig" Bob Rivers, CHRISTMAS IS A TIME TO SAY I LOVE YOU by Billy Squire, and JINGLE BELL ROCK by Hall & Oates just to name a few. I really am one screwed up individual.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Only Took 106 Hours

Last night...no early yesterday morning I finished Fallout 3. This was the most addicted I've probably ever been to a video game. Well, it ranks high on the list anyway. It may not be as massive as Oblivion, but it sure felt like it. I haven't played every newly released game this year, but I feel safe saying that this is definitely my game of the year as well as my favorite game ever. It ranks up there with other favorites of mine such as Super Mario Bros 3, Resident Evil 4, Shadow Of The Colossus, Manhunt, Super Punch Out, and Crackdown just to name a few. As far as RPG's go I've never played a better one. I can't even imagine the man hours Bethesda put into creating this game. They did everything right with this game. I honestly don't have a single complaint EXCEPT for maybe the way the game ends, but as good as this game is I can overlook the ending. I found the exploration to be incredbly fun. The lock pick mini games were fun and addictive. The computer hacking mini games were a bit strange, but even that got addictive. The creatures and enemies were great. Bethesda could have thrown in a few more different enemies, but that's a minor complaint. The dialogue between your character and others was really good, and funny a lot of the time. I really enjoyed most of the side quests. I even had fun with the collection side quests. Collecting all 20 bobbleheads was a challenge, but felt rewarding after I got that last one. I definitely didn't mind finding all of that Nuka Cola Quantum for that hot little blonde chick with the nice little ass.

I thought about reviewing this game properly, but I just have so many things to say, and not enough time, so my above comments will have to do. Fallout 3 is a perfect 10 out of 10. It was well worth the 60 bucks I paid for it and then some. If you own a 360, PS3, or a decent PC you really need to play this game.

Monday, December 8, 2008

At Least Microsoft's Customer Service Is Top Notch

Just about anyone who has ever owned an Xbox 360 and played it for a long enough period of time knows that the console is far from perfect. Last year the dvd drive in my first Xbox 360 died. Instead of jumping on the phone and dealing with Max I decided to just use the online support by telling Microsoft what the problem was by typing instead of talking. They sent me a "coffin" for my Xbox straight away. I think it was gone for a couple of weeks. Then they sent it right back to me with a free month of Xbox Live as well. The day I sent out my first 360 I went out and bought a backup 360. Well, a few weeks ago I was having issues with that 360, so I sent that one in. I was getting dirty disc errors and freezes. It was even giving me dirty disc errors when I was trying to install games to my HDD. On top of that my 360 was also having a tough time interacting with my controller on start ups. I went the same route this time as well as far as the way I dealt with customer service. Again it was smooth sailing, but this time Microsoft replaced this console with a new one. Of course they also gave me another free month of Xbox Live.

I've heard horror stories about having to wait on the phone and having some dumbell run you through all of the steps to figure out what's wrong with your 360. I refuse to go through a trouble shooting rundown with someone from India who barely speaks english. No offense to anyone from India, but damn at least learn how to speak english before you decide to be a customer service rep.

Again, it's not the 360 console that's incredible because it's far from it. It is honestly the worst piece of electronic hardware I've ever owned. It's the great games and superior Xbox Live online service as well as customer service that keeps me using this piece of junk that Microsoft has named Xbox 360. Here's hoping that the Xbox 720 doesn't have any of these issues!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Season Blahs

Let me just start by saying that for some reason depression and the blahs always hit me this time of year. I have no idea why, but it happens every time this year. I generally just try to keep my mind off of the holidays by playing video games, watching movies, or whatever. Fallout 3 is doing a decent job at keeping me busy. I am now 96+ hours into it. I figure I have about 5-10 hours left to play. Not really sure. I'm glad to report that Sac (net friend and blog reader) also seems to be addicted to Fallout 3. I check out his progress on my friends list often. The last time I checked he was a level 10.

I think as soon as I finish Fallout 3 I'm going to sign up for Gamefly. There are a ton of games I want to play that just aren't worth buying for 60 bones. Truthfully I should have signed up a long time ago. Going to my local Hollywood Video to rent a game for 8 bucks for 5 days is just a ripoff.

Now for some food discussion. Food is basically my favorite part of the holidays. There are two things I plan on checking out. The first thing I want to try is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Bread from The Great Harvest Bread Co. Sounds delicious! I also need to try Bubblicious Candy Canes. There's real gum in the center of the candy cane!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm happy to say that I'm on vacation the week of X-mas. Maybe I'll get to try some of those candy canes that week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Movies I Should Have Watched, But For Some Reason Haven't

There is this small list of movies that for some reason or another I should have seen by now, but haven't. I'm not talking about recent movies. I'm talking about older classics...or at least movies that everyone has seen a million times. A few of these will probably shock you.

Ghost Busters. Yeah, That's right Ghost Busters. I've seen bits and pieces, but have never sat and watched it from beginning to end. With that being said I've never watched Ghost Busters 2 either. This really makes no sense to me either. I'm a big Bill Murray fan. I've seen pretty much everything he's ever done. It also makes no sense because 1984 was a big go to the movies year for me, but for some strange reason I never went to see it in the theatre that year. I vow to watch this movie soon via Netflix.

A Fish Called Wanda. This movie gets glowing reviews yet I've probably only ever watched about 15 minutes of it. No idea why. I just haven't seen it. This is also getting added to my Netflix queue.

Blazing Saddles. It's probably a crime that I've never watched it. I haven't even watched bits and pieces of this one. You can add YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 to this list.

There are also a couple of Monty Python movies that I haven't seen like LIFE OF BRIAN,and THE MEANING OF LIFE.

Robocop. I wouldn't call it a classic, but again it's a movie that I've only seen bits and pieces of.

I realize that most of these are probably movies that I should have seen already. I plan on watching them all before I kick the bucket, but you never know. Oh, and I just remembered that I do have a dvd-r copy of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

Ghost Busters Video In All OF It's Cheezy 80's Glory

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Few Random Thoughts

I just watched IGN's video review for the new PRINCE OF PERSIA game. One word that comes to mind is WOW! This game looks amazing. I love the art style they chose. It's a beautiful looking game. For a game that wasn't even on my radar this looks like it's worth a buy. It's getting some really good reviews too. As soon as I can tear myself away from FALLOUT 3 I'll probably pick it up.

Speaking of FALLOUT 3 it's been a while since I've enjoyed a game this much. I'm 75+ hours into it and I'm still left wanting more every day. At this point I gotta say it may be my favorite video game ever. I've played a lot of games, so that's gotta tell you something.

Well, the New Xbox Experience is now the old Xbox experience. I'm finding that I'd rather just hit the guide button to do everything versus looking through all of the panels or whatever the hell they are called. It's a bit of a pain to cycle through all of your friends with the panels as well. Let's not even talk about avatars. I don't hate em, but I don't love em either. For me the best features of NXE are installing games on my HDD and Netflix.

I've watched a few movies through Netflix on my Xbox 360 now. I haven't had a single problem with streaming. It's been flawless. So far I've watched Dan In Real Life, Cool Hand Luke, One Crazy Summer, Cashback, Comedians of Comedy: Live at the El Rey, and the first episode of The Office. If you like movies with quite a bit of hot naked women you should probably go watch Cashback. One of the most beautiful women I've ever seen is in this movie. Just watch the for the scene with the Swedish exchange student who walks up the stairs after getting out of the shower. That's all I'm gonna say.

My Thanksgiving holiday was enjoyable for the most part. I got a lot of gaming in. I finished Gears Of War 2 with my nephew. See Phil, I do finish games. :)GOW2 is one of the best looking games I've ever seen graphically. It was a lot of fun as well. Horde mode is also a blast, but with only two people it's a bitch. Me and my nephew couldn't get past wave 18. If we had a couple more people playing I'm pretty sure we would have gotten much farther.

My Dallas Stars are having a crap season mostly due to injuries to top players. I'm talking top line players here. Injuries suck. What the hell can you do though? It looks like they may be turning things around though because they've won their last two games.

Watch This Review For Prince Of Persia
Games I'm Playing:

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)

About Me

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Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
I'm 38. I'm addicted to Xbox 360 gaming and Dallas Stars hockey. I make a decent living at a boring job where I run two autoclaves and do various other tasks. My escape from this boring as hell life is video games, hockey, and music. I generally listen to Metal music, but I also love 80's tunes as well as 70's tunes. I have an unusual love for the band Overkill. They do it for me for some reason. Blitz is GOD!

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