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Archive for July, 2010

What I’ve Been Up To

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I spent last weekend with Guin in WV. Friday I had a migraine and she was sick so we spent most of the night just lying in bed. Saturday we ran around her town and Sunday the 25th was our one year sexiversary (The anniversary of our first date and afternoon of wacky coitus happenings, Our monogomy couplehood anniversary is September first.).

Tuesday was meeting our new department director followed by a six hour meeting to learn our new system that I’ll be administrating. Weds and Thursday were two more ten hour days watching people talk like Ben Stein about data bases and content management systems. It was informative but dull as hell. Today was Let’s Dish and the start of an 11 day project I’ll be on that is monotonous as fuck.

The rabbits have barely seen me since last Friday so they were super happy to see I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn to leave them today. The best thing about working from home is sitting on the computer getting work done while Baby crawls onto the couch and sleeps on my back or chewie lies down next to me (but won’t let me pet them). I would hate to have a job that takes me away from them and then to come home with too much shit too do and not be able to play with them.

Tonight is watching Made In Spain season one as I get some work done and playing a hidden object game I have to review. Dull but productive.

Let’s Dish Summary

Friday, July 30th, 2010

For $100 I made

1) Tandoori Chicken with cinnamon couscous (2 sets)
2) Jerk chicken with pineapple salsa (2 servings)
3) Chili-Lime chicken with black bean salsa (2 servings)
4) Mahi mahi tacos (2 servings)
5) Buffalo Chicken burgers)
6) Lemon and Basil Shrimp over pearl couscous
7) four sets of scones (three chocolate and one cinnamon)
8) wild herb couscous (I made a lot of couscous because I know Guin just discovered it through me and it loving it)
9) Berry pastry cake thingies

Fun!

List Your Virtual Console/Wii Ware Contents!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I’ve got a feature I want to write about the VC/WiiWare but in order to do so, I’ll near help from friends, readers, and even complete strangers.

if you own a Wii, leave a message with what Wii Ware and Virtual Console games you have. If you own a Wii and don’t have any games for either, please let me know that too, as it will be an important part of the piece.

Thanks!

Review #363

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Deathspank
Developer: Hothead Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 07/13/2010

If you read me regularly, then you know one of the things I bitch about is that gaming has gotten too angsty-serious and there’s just not enough comedy games these days. Gone are games that are as funny as they are good like Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, and the like. Instead we have first person shooters in drab colours (save for the occasional bit of red) and a lot of anti-heroes with attitudes. Meh. That’s why I’m glad studios like Gust, Nippon Ichi and Telltale Games are still making games with a sense of humour. It’s also why I make sure my staff here at Diehard GameFAN reviews games like Trinity Universe, Sam and Max, Monkey Island and Disgaea Infinite. So that we can all remember that gaming hasn’t devolved into spikey haired protagonists with a tremendous amount of self pity or graphics that only scream, “Grim and gritty.”

Well, enter Deathspank. The name also makes you smile. The developers, Hothead Games, keep describing it as a cross between Diablo and Monkey Island. I have to admit I was skeptical about any game that compares itself to both of those classics, but after seeing a preview video, I knew I had to review this. With a little digging I learned that Ron Gilbert is the Creative Director of Hothead. Now that might not mean anything to a lot of you, but for those of use that are old and grizzled gamers that still play point and click titles on their PC or have entire floors of Wizardry IV memorized, this should make your heart skip a beat as he was the creator and designer of Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. AWESOME.

So I went into Deathspank with a lot of optimism that this would be the first US made RPG in a long time to make me laugh out loud while also providing a quality gameplay experience. How did Deathspank hold up?
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The Next Few Weeks Are Going to Be Insanely Busy

Friday, July 16th, 2010

7/22 - In DC to do an HMIS training
7/23 - All day meetings
7/24 - Drive for five hours to see Guin
7/25 - 7/26 Be in West VA
7/26 - Drive five hours home
7/27 - Bowman Government Data Base meetings from 12pm -6pm
7/28 - All day meetings from 8-5pm
7/29 - All day meetings from 8-4pm
7/30 - Let’s Dish mini session at 3pm

That’s ten days in a row where I’ll be gone all day (or longer) so I’m worried about the bunnies as they are now used to seeing me all day, every day. I might bring them to WV with me.

Help Me Pick Out My New Computer

Monday, July 12th, 2010

After months of fighting with Sony over the shitty VAIO they sent me, I’ve finally gotten a refund and then some. Now it’s time to get a new computer. Below is a list of the 14 I am looking at. Let me know which you think is best and remember, I’ll be using it for PC gaming as well as Internetting.

1. Toshiba - Satellite Laptop / AMD Turion™ II Processor / 17.3″ Display / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive - Helios Gray - $599
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+Laptop+/+AMD+Turion%26%23153%3B+II+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Helios+Gray/1017529.p?id=1218209321808&skuId=1017529

2. Toshiba Satellite A665-S6056 LED TruBrite 16.0-Inch Laptop (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-A665-S6056-TruBrite-16-0-Inch/dp/B003MVZ8CO/ref=sr_1_5?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1278961254&sr=1-5

3. Toshiba Satellite P505D-S8000 TruBrite 18.4-Inch Laptop (Black/Silver)
http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-P505D-S8000-TruBrite-18-4-Inch/dp/B00305HS7U/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1278969087&sr=1-1

Review #362

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Tournament of Legends
Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: Sega
Genre: 3-D Fighting
Release Date: 07/06/2010

Although younger or more casual gamers might know High Voltage as the makers of The Conduit, older gamers know that they have a history reached back to the 16-Bit era and have made games that are as diverse in genres as they are in quality. They’ve made some below average games like Evasive Space and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, some games that received a “thumbs in the middle” from our staff (Such as both Matt and Joel’s reviews of The Conduit and some games we were positive about like Gyrostarr and NBA Inside Drive 2004. Right there, you have two shmups, a first person shooter, an adventure game, and a sports title. You can also throw in a second adventure game and one of the best platformers I have ever played if you include my own reviews of Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law and The Haunted Mansion. Finally, you can also throw in a multiplayer action RPG/Beat ‘Em series with the Hunter: The Reckoning franchise, which are agrubaly the best titles ever put out by the company. If anything it shows that High Voltage likes to make a variety of different games.

Which of course brings us to Tournament of Legends, a 3D fighting game for the Nintendo Wii. Now there aren’t a lot of fight games for the Wii unless you count those on the Virtual Console (and you really need a fight stick for those…). The best of the lot is of course, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, and the worst is Soul Calibur Legends, and then somewhere between the two you have Super Smash Bros. Brawl, TMNT: Smash Up and Castlevania: Judgement. Other than that, there really isn’t much for the system. So has High Voltage filled a niche that the Wii desperately needed filled, or has the Sammy Sega curse struck again, giving us yet another crappy title from a now crappy publisher?
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Farmer’s Market Purchases

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

1. 1 gallon of organic chocolate milk from grass fed, free range cows - $6
2. Organic brocolli - $3
3. Organic green beans - $3.50
4. Cinnamon roll from Bread & Chocolate - $2
5. Organic grape-blueberry soda made with cane sugar - $1.50

Review #361

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Mystery of the Crystal Portal
Developer: Artogon Games
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Genre: Hidden Object
Release Date: 07/06/2010

You know, it’s been a good year for gaming. Out of the thirty-four games I’ve reviewed this year, only six have received a “mediocre” or less rating from me. Meanwhile there have been a dozen games I have deemed “good” or better, which is pretty unheard of for me. In fact, 2010 has had the highest average score I have given to games that I’ve reviewed since 2004, and I only reviewed 40 games that year.

Well if the latter half of 2010 continues to supply me with god awful games like Mystery of the Crystal Portal, expect my feelings to change drastically. I went in to this pretty optimistic. I like adventure games. I like hidden object games. I like puzzle games. The preview on PSN looked neat and so when DJ (Our head of Public Relations) let me know we had a review copy of this, I happily said I’d do it. After all, I may primarily play adventure games on the PC, but 2010 has been a great year for console point and click titles as Disgaea Infinite, Secret Files: Tunguska, and Heavy Rain have shown us. So what made Crystal Portal one of the worst games I’ve sat through all year?
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The Past Week

Friday, July 9th, 2010

This week has been crazy busy. Guin came up for a few days, but her train was late so she didn’t actually get in until 8:30pm. We came home and I made a Thai shrimp and noodles dish and then we fired up the gelato make for the first time, making vanilla chocolate chip gelato. it was pretty good.

Saturday I made cranberry scones for breakfast and Napa Valley burgers for lunch and then we went into Chinatown to see Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which we both liked. We also had gelato and frozen yogurt. Then we came home and had a very late lite dinner at Capitol City Brewing Company.

Sunday was the 4th of July. We got up, saw Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center. We found the songs catchy but didn’t really like the story. Then we played in the pool and saw the fireworks. I slow cooked a pork roast with an asian style sauce for dinner.

Monday I made chicken satay and couscous for Guin as she had never had either. We just loafed around and mainly watched Rune Soldier episodes. I honestly can’t remember what we did Tuesday. I know we had to go out for some reason and then we ended up at a TJ Maxx. I made cholcolate muffins for breakfast and a redo of the thai shrimp thing since Guin loved it and the peanut sauce i made so much. I also remember we were going to go swimming but the pool was closed and we were like “WTF?”

Weds Guin had to go back to WV and I spent from that afternoon until this morning running all sorts of year end reports and statistics for work. Thursday I had to spend the morning in a Homeless charities meeting and then on to a homeless event. Now I’m making chicken cordon bleu for lunch. Yay for working from home!