Gearing up for the holiday gaming season

December 19, 2008

Well, it’s that time of year again – the holiday season is upon us. Along with the normal joys of the season, I am blessed to have a job that affords me a lot of vacation. Accordingly, today will be the last day I work in 2008 (WOOT!).

In the absence of work, I plan on playing an absurd amount of games. As much as the wife aggro will allow at least. I thought I’d put together a list of my gaming goals/planned fun for the next couple weeks.

1. In WAR, level my archmage to at least 34. As I just hit 32 and fully plan on leveling a couple more alts with friends, I think this is a reasonable goal. Sieging a couple keeps and seeing another fortress would be nice as well.

2. Purchase Left 4 Dead on the PC and mow through the zombie menace.

3. Purchase or rent Gears of War 2 and play through the co-op campaign.

4. Play a game of NBA 2k9 with my brother without spewing a stream of profanity.

5. Not playing any Call of Duty 4. No amount of good intentions will stop my profanity while playing that accursed game.

6. Finish the Red Alert 3 campaign with my buddy, and dominate an unsuspecting online opponent in a 1v1v1 game that is in reality 2v1.

7. I recently bought Lost Odyssey for cheap off half.com, so I want to sink a few hours into that to see if I want to invest more time in that.

I think those are attainable goals to mix in with all the sleeping, eating, and not-working I’ll be doing over the next two weeks. Undoubtedly some of them won’t get finished, but that’s what goals are for. What goals do you guys have for the holiday break?

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Tonight was not fun

December 15, 2008

Those weren’t my words exactly.  More specifically, “Tonight was one of the least fun nights of game playing that I have had in a long time.”.  That’s what I told my brother tonight after we followed up a game of NBA 2k9 with several rounds of Call of Duty 4 on the Xbox 360.

I love my brother, and I miss being able to play games with him in person, so it’s nice to have Xbox Live around to still allow us to play games from 120 miles away.  Unfortunately playing Call of Duty brings out the worst in me.  Why you ask?  Well, I get frustrated easily.  Especially when I spawn and die within less than 5 seconds.  Think how frustrating that would be.  Then repeat it thirty or forty times in the next 10 minutes.  That’s what my COD4 experience was like tonight.  Why, oh why, did they put the planes and the helicopters in the game?  I’ve never understood why the team who is leading gets a bonus in the form of superweapons that come onscreen and mop the floor with the already underpowered opposition.  If the Bulls are beating the Lakers by 20, do their field goals suddenly count for 4 points instead of 2?  It just does not make sense to me.  The other problem with COD4 is that almost everybody online now has been playing for over a year and are utter badasses.  They looked like they were playing with us out there.  Luckily we were in party chat so we didn’t have to deal with the annoying laughter of 13 year-olds, which was nice.

The problem with me getting frustrated is it stresses me out and makes me start cussing like a sailor.  I like to reign in the mouthiness around my brother because he’s got a young son, and I know he tries to watch what he says around him, which equates to pretty much doing it all the time.  I’m thinking of starting a policy of $1 per word, given straight to my brother as an incentive program for me to stop.  Maybe we’ll start a college fund for his son.  At this rate, he’ll be going to Harvard.  It would probably be better for all involved if I would never play Call of Duty 4 again.  I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  Unfortunately, it’s the main game he plays.  I need to get him something else.

The other game we played was NBA 2k9, which I’m not quite as bad at, but still get frustrated with because he’s pretty solidly better than I am.  I never play that game unless I’m playing him or someone else in our “league”.  The quotes are because we’ve each played about two games worth in over a month.  Not that it’s not fun, it’s just not fun when you’re losing by thirty.  It’s actually a pretty good  game, and it’s realistic as well as far as I can tell.  I used to follow the NBA, but can’t name any players now except some of the stars, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage.  I had hoped getting this game would encourage me to watch some more highlights and get back into following basketball.  It hasn’t.  WAR may be partly to blame for that.  Very fun though – I would recommend it for people that know who they’ll be playing with/against.  The game seems to reward those who know what they’re doing.  Which is probably why I lose pretty consistently.

So all in all, very frustrating night.  Especially the Call of Duty 4 section, which was unfortunately the longer of the two.  I need to get rid of that game.  And I wonder why most of my time is dedicated to WAR.