Did your pile become less of a mountain? - 2011 in review

trueheart78 wrote:
Higgledy wrote:
trueheart78 wrote:

Watched the credits roll on Burnout Paradise and consider beating it on both consoles a victory in and of itself.

Would you recommend it on 360? It's one of those games I have a little dance with every time I see a cheap copy. I haven't taken the plunge yet.

It's worth the cheap copy. I mean, I bought it twice and beat it twice, I'm a little bias...

I bought it once for cheap on the PC and play using a 360 pad via USB (on screen prompts show 360 buttons when it's plugged in) and I'd say it's fully worth it. I've got a class A license now, I think, with about 10 more events to the next level. Plus exploring around the city is so much fun. I also wasn't aware of the function to restart your current event or the last event that was active until I was well into my B license. Since the events are all point to point, that was a huge help in getting specific events done around the city.

The only caution with Burnout Paradise is if you like racers, this will take getting used to. The camera is very low behind the vehicles and thus the ability to see upcoming turns, etc, is really limited. Also, it has a 1.2GB patch - tons of awesome updates (day/night cycle, bikes, etc), just be wary.

trueheart78 wrote:

The only caution with Burnout Paradise is if you like racers, this will take getting used to. The camera is very low behind the vehicles and thus the ability to see upcoming turns, etc, is really limited. Also, it has a 1.2GB patch - tons of awesome updates (day/night cycle, bikes, etc), just be wary.

I think it's the low view point that's put me off before. I may try the demo again.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I started Baldur's Gate again, as a mage this time. Going to try to make actual progress this time. I took TheHipGamer's advice from last month's thread and did not install BG Trilogy. There are few issues with this engine that I don't think the BG2 engine has, but most of them are not that big of a deal. However, the Journal, while fine for a journal, is horrible a quest log. I guess I'll have to keep a notebook handy.

Keep me in the know, brother. I'm nearly finished with Durlag's Tower, and once I complete TOSC I'm off to finish the game. Happy to provide moral (or practical) support if you lose your way.

Picked up an iPad this week. Will be adding Infinity Blade and Back to the Future - Episode 1 for iOS.

Infinite Space (DS) goes down. That's my first unplanned purchase of the year which I've also knocked off.

Impressions here.

Now for the "bad" news - I picked up Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri from GoG.com, rectifying a mistake I made 10+ years ago when I decided to not buy it at its $15 asking price.

trueheart78 wrote:

Picked up an iPad this week. Will be adding Infinity Blade and Back to the Future - Episode 1 for iOS.

What is your take on the device. We received some unexpected money back on taxes, and I may just be able to swing one.

I am looking at 2 models at present. The base model WiFi iPad2 or an official Apple refurbished iPad gen1. WiFi model, and 64GB. Camera is not important. It's just an update to the iPod touch that has just seen a resurection from WiFi being installed in the house.

Primary functions: browsing, posting, and casual gaming when away from the consoles.

This was my 3 day review with the baseline 16GB iPad2:

Okay, after 3 days with the iPad I can honestly say I'm completely sold on it. It's streamlined so much I have to deal with, from some quality apps to being much better to work remotely with than my small-screen-in-comparison smartphone. The autocorrect is much rarer because of the enlarged keys, the email/google integration has been great all around, and the resolution is perfect for the screen size. I can have it with me in the server/machine room with little hassle, it's easy to carry around in comparison to the laptop I use for development. I can be connected without being weighted down or having to squint.

I love having dropbox integration with GoodReader so I can use my important documents on-the-go.

The iPad has nearly obliterated my smartphone go-to time. I really think I'm going to dive on the first near-free Verizon 4G LTE device and consider tethering for non-wifi scenarios, since my smartphone OS is nearly irrelevant now.

Is this thing magical? No, but man it's smooth.

Addendum: I'm an IT manager, so while it has great benefits for the home, I've found it becoming invaluable at work already. Spent a few bucks on apps and untethered myself from my development machine when I don't have to code.

Also, I'm totally not an Apple fanboy. The Previous IT manager I worked under was a complete and utter Apple fanboy, and loved every minute of it. He wanted me working on a Mac, the webservers we self-hosted were Apple-based, the year the iPhone came out he bought it day 1 and I got one as a bonus from him and the company come Christmas time. So I owned the first and second iPhones and used a MacBook Pro for 2 years before my then IT manager was let go (this was 2009). I promptly requested a PC laptop and sold my iPhone 3g to fund an Android device. The level of dependency and trust he had on Apple products was not good for a technology leader that had business security concerns to consider, as he tended to trust them implicitly. He lack of tech-savvy-ness played a big role in his departure.

So for me, buying an iPad may seem out of place, and it takes some explaining to people. When my smartphone was my only mobile device, OS and App support and call-quality were huge factors. When developing, being in an environment that I've been comfortable with was huge.

After moving to Vista, I couldn't go back to XP. After using Win7 I requested a license so I wouldn't have to go back to Vista. After having a smartphone for a few years and seeing all they can do and how they fit into my life, I couldn't go back to something less. When it came to considering a tablet, a friend of mine let me play with his Xoom and I was completely not sold. Things that annoyed me on the iPhone aren't issues now, and the quality of apps available is much better on the iOS side. The user experience and the weight on the Xoom were my turnoffs, and competitively, Apple is way ahead of the competition right now.

So, as a PC user with an Android phone that has a bad taste from Apple in his history, I'd completely recommend getting the iPad 2. Memory-wise, 16GB is more than I will use for a long time, as I stream my music via Amazon's cloud player in Safari, and my video from Netflix/Hulu. ITunes will be the least used app on my device. Also, 3g would be nice, but is completely unnecessary and can be handled via wifi tethering. So, if finances don't merit it, opt for a used one via a local buy n sell magazine/craigslist. I used a CC to pay for mine, and so I had no choice but to buy retail.

I really couldn't see myself giving this device up now that I've integrated it into my life and how I work and play. It's been wonderful.

5 stars.

I've been bad at updating the pile. Even worse, I've been atrocious at clearing it. I never beat Steel Diver, but I'm going to cross that off anyway. I don't see any reason to beat it, considering the only fun gameplay has nothing to do with the campaign.

trueheart78 wrote:

Just what I needed to know.

Thanks for that. As a Graphic Designer I can't get anything BUT fanboy perspectives of Apple from my peers. I use a Mac desktop at work, I have an iMac at home, and an iPod, but to me, PC/Apple fanboyism makes about as much sense as a carpenter getting all crazy over which brand of hammer he buys. It's a specific tool I use to complete a specific task, end of story.

So many people came up to me around the launch of both the iPhone and the iPad asking if they could see mine, and were really put out that I didn't have one. I am still using an old Nokia "unsmart" phone, and it's primarily just for txt messaging people (which they think is quaint).

I had just about convinced myself to go back and get a Gen1, but the 16GB, rather than the 64GB, thinking the money saved could be put to better use, but it looks like eveyone thought the same and they're all gone. I now have the choice of the Apple Refurb Gen1 64GB WiFi for $609 or a Brand New Out of the Box Gen2 WiFi 16GB for $579. The Gen2 will serve me better in terms of future proofing, gives me twice the storage I have now on the 8GB touch, and has video capailities in case the kids do something that needs capturing while it's handy. I can also spend the extra to get a case to protect it (from said kids).

Thanks again for the sober enabling, one non-fanboy to another.

I was going to put "/derail", but being as I'll be adding iOS titles to my pile, I guess it's all related

Spoiler:

No Angry Birds though, I'm only declaring meaty games I want to sit down and really play, not just time nibblers.

Glad to help.you will be buying the biggest digital camera you never needed - it's great for 720p video but not for the mediocre 0.93 megapixel photos.

Well, at least I wasn't enabling you on a game, just a platform I mean, by focusing on your pile you will be able to afford the iPad... Yeah, that's what I mean...

I've caved and set up an account on Backloggery. My pile is accurately tracked now, although I continue to plug away at Baldur's Gate this month.

Spoiler:

Nearing the end of Durlag's tower in Baldur's Gate, and am now fighting the Demon Knight. Very, very hard -- I felled him once with help from the Mirror Fiends, but they took me out seconds later. Next time, I'm switching Khalid to his sword, hasting everyone, and launching in with both Minsc and Khalid via haste, potions of heroism, and potions of frost giant strength.

I'm trying to clear some quick and easy XBLA titles, and wow, is there anything about Dead Space Ignition that doesn't suck? Also, am I just bad at them or are the little races just controller-breaking bullsh*t?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm trying to clear some quick and easy XBLA titles, and wow, is there anything about Dead Space Ignition that doesn't suck? Also, am I just bad at them or are the little races just controller-breaking bullsh*t?

Hmm -- I actually kind of liked it.

Progress on the buying front... Uncharted 2 finally.

Spreadsheet updated.

SallyNasty wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm trying to clear some quick and easy XBLA titles, and wow, is there anything about Dead Space Ignition that doesn't suck? Also, am I just bad at them or are the little races just controller-breaking bullsh*t?

Hmm -- I actually kind of liked it.

I feel like I could enjoy it more if the minigames weren't so frustrating. I'm not an alpha gamer and so recognize that what's hard for me is easy for others, but the tower defense and racing games are taking me a dozen tries each before I get them. I feel like there's some secret to them I'm just not getting, but I don't know what that is. Unfortunately, the story is so rote and the animation frankly so ugly, that I don't feel like I'm pushing onward for much.

I beat Nier this weekend. I borrowed the PS3 version from a friend, then gave it back and got the 360 version from Gamefly because I wanted the achievements. Considering the reviews, I expected it to be kind of meh, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is extremely good. After beating it, I decided to keep it, because I wanted to go for the additional endings, and knock some of the other achievements (just not yet). I kind of rushed through because I was trying for the achievement to beat it in 15 hours, which I ended up missing by 2.5 hours.

Since I gamefly'd it, and beat it before buying it, I guess it was never on the pile to start with, but whatever. If anyone currently has this sitting on their Pile, you should totally play it.

Next up is finishing up L.A. Noire (just started the last desk), then Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, which is my actually pile game for the monthly thread. After that, I need to get back to Baldur's Gate.

TheHipGamer wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

I started Baldur's Gate again, as a mage this time. Going to try to make actual progress this time. I took TheHipGamer's advice from last month's thread and did not install BG Trilogy. There are few issues with this engine that I don't think the BG2 engine has, but most of them are not that big of a deal. However, the Journal, while fine for a journal, is horrible a quest log. I guess I'll have to keep a notebook handy.

Keep me in the know, brother. I'm nearly finished with Durlag's Tower, and once I complete TOSC I'm off to finish the game. Happy to provide moral (or practical) support if you lose your way.

Yeah... I haven't played any BG since that last post about it. I suck.

Kirby's Adventure on the NES is done. Impressions here.

Synopsis: If you have never played it, you're really missing out on one of the NES' finest offerings.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm trying to clear some quick and easy XBLA titles, and wow, is there anything about Dead Space Ignition that doesn't suck? Also, am I just bad at them or are the little races just controller-breaking bullsh*t?

Hmm -- I actually kind of liked it.

I feel like I could enjoy it more if the minigames weren't so frustrating. I'm not an alpha gamer and so recognize that what's hard for me is easy for others, but the tower defense and racing games are taking me a dozen tries each before I get them. I feel like there's some secret to them I'm just not getting, but I don't know what that is. Unfortunately, the story is so rote and the animation frankly so ugly, that I don't feel like I'm pushing onward for much.

Weirdly, the next evening I went back and finished the rest of the game without any problems. Maybe I was just having an off night?

In all fairness - I did use guides for the challenges, so that probably helped me to not hate it.

Updated my profile:

Color-coded games that I'm playing playing (green), finished (blue), finished to completion (purple), and gave up on (red).

I've finished Kane & Lynch 2 and a near complete play-through of the infamous path in Infamous (300~/350 shards). My problems with K&L2 were with the Hard difficulty, but I think most of those would still persist otherwise. Infamous was an absolute joy and my favorite game I've played this year.

I gave up on Penumbra: Requiem because it's not really a Penumbra game, mainly a tech demo/puzzle game. There's a possibility I might want to finish it one day, but, "I doubt it."

Listing BioShock 2 and Deus Ex as my current games. I've only played an hour into BS2, and I believe my last save on Deus Ex was getting on a train.

I think I'm almost done with Bad Company 2's SP, but I've been thinking that for over an hour as the "end" seems to really be dragging on.

Updated the other tab sections for once.

The reason I put Duke Nukem Forever on my 2011 buy list was because I expected it to at least be a decent game. Apparently it's not at all, so unless it's $5 by the end of 2011, I doubt I'll even consider picking it up. I'll replace DNF with Alice: Madness Returns, but also when it is $35 or less.

Also, a planned, but forgot-to-list purchase: Beat Hazard - Ultra

----

I've begun working on Bioshock for the PC and hope to have that done by month's end, but it is very slow going since it is one of those games that makes my display driver crash very frequently. Unlike in Ghostbusters and some other games, which would recover and I could play again for a short while, in Bioshock this always results in me having to kill the game's process and restart. Occasionally it even BSOD's. In other words I'm manually saving about every 30 to 60 seconds. Obviously this ruins the atmosphere a bit, but the game is still amazing so far.

Also begun working on Dragon Quest IX for the DS - another 2011 purchase. Apparently my 55 hour sometimes-ponderous journey through Infinite Space wasn't enough ultra-long DS RPG-ness for me.

I'm teetering on the edge of not playing Dead Space through to completion and writing it off as incomplete. I like survival horror games like Resident Evil and Dead Space in theory but in practice there is something about the slowness and deliberate awkwardness of the controls that I just don't enjoy. I'm a couple of hours in and the rest of the game feels like an enormous chore.

Finished Bad Company 2's Campaign.

I've just finished Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time. Best game of the series so far. I'll probably go back to work towards 100%, but I'm moving on for now.

What? No of course I didn't add to the pile today with Monday Night Combat as part of a 4-pack for less than $3... why would I buy a game I never read a review of or barely even heard of on a whim... and add to the pile, when it's not on the list?

I would never...

I was able to take Kane & Lynch: Dead Men off the pile with a win about a week-and-change ago. So that's a plus. Updated the Spreadsheet with such.

I swear, the only way I'll keep the pile from regrowing is to sell my consoles.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I swear, the only way I'll keep the pile from regrowing is to sell my consoles.

You will come to love your pile. See it as a solid 'Plan B' for when none of the new shiny tempts you.

I know that barring a complete loss of electricity, I will always have gaming options. There is something nice about being spoilt for choice.

Finished off Gotcha Force last night. Overall, about a couple steps too simplistic. The camera was too rigid as it would auto-focus on the targetted enemy, even if they were directly above you, so you couldn't see any of the terrain around you. The presentation was way too saturday morning young kid style, even for me. Otherwise a fun arena mech battle game like Custom Robo and Virtual On.

Sadly, I've added, Red Faction Guerrilla, my two PSN welcome back games (Super Star Dust HD and Dead Nation) 3D Dot Game Heroes (through Goozex), and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (Goozex) since I last updated.

Granted, the goozex ones should have been declared earlier since I figured I'd get them eventually, and the 2 from PSN were free.

So I only paid for 1. I feel better now.