Friday, November 15, 2013

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Done and Dusted

 I finished the single player campaign on Ghosts and it is your typical storyline. You are a bad ass and must seek out the enemy and kill him. Granted, this does have a tiny twist to the story but all in all, it follows the formula.

Unlike Modern Warfare 2, this campaign offered a little challenge on veteran. MW2 was a waltz and nothing compares to the difficulty of the veteran campaigns for World at War and Modern Warfare (don't get me started on Mile High. Only achievement I do NOT have). Still, it wasn't that hard. 

I did enjoy the graphics but being from San Diego, I was partial to the opening mission. Yes, that is in fact what the inland area of San Diego looks like. All Spanish style, housing developments with houses that all look similar. Swimming underwater was interesting as well as the space missions. It lent a different feel to the game and helped break up the monotony of military bases and cruisers. 

It ended with a "surprise" (not really) and left the door open for Ghosts 2. 

Multiplayer is a big disappointment. There are bugs, serious bugs. The whole multiplayer experience feels lacking and ranking/unlocks have become rather complicated, further detracting from the game mode itself. Lobby hacking is in full force. You can find yourself thrown into a boosting lobby or one where someone is "out of the map" thus invincible. Then there are the spawn points. Those need to be randomized. More often than not, you will find yourself the victim of a spawn death, spawning behind/in front of an enemy or my favorite, spawning in the middle of the whole team. It's easy for teams to camp one side of a map and know where the other team will appear death after death.  The dogs are a real problem. You can hit them with a grenade, a rocket and fire bullets at them only to have them survive it all and kill you. 

Some of the game modes are fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed Blitz and Squad and the Extinction mode can be great with a good team of friends. Though it really is a Firefight/Zombies knock-off. Infinity Ward is definitely trying to appease fans of Treyarch's zombie mode. 

A real patch is needed, not the small patch IW released earlier this week. They didn't address all the problems. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I am back...again

I have been remiss in my postings but the last couple of months went from hectic to OMFG!

Things have calmed down now, so I can get back to boring everyone with the random crap that pops into my brain. Aren't you pleased? lol

Let's see...I finished Far Cry 3. Fantastic game. The voice acting was superb and there was enough tedious side quests to thrill me but not so many I wanted to club a baby seal. I got go to hang gliding. How cool is that?! Honestly, if you have picked this one up yet, go get it now. It'll give you hours of enjoyment.

I started Dragon Age Origins (again). Having fun with this one too. If Alistair was a real man, in my real life, I'd so date him. I love his snarky humor. Plus he comes off as a little awkward. Sorry hubby, you have competition.

I also started Dark Souls. Now having played Demon's Souls, I knew it was going to be rough but at this point in the game, I have died so often, I have completely lost the plot. No really. I have absolutely no idea what the story is anymore. I'll trudge through some more and see if I can pick up the story again.

On a sad note, my PS3 has died. I need to get it repaired but that's $130 I don't have right now. Yes, I will repair it. It's an original 60GB, 100% backwards compatible model. So not giving it up.

My 3 yr old is potty-trained now, thankfully, but requires an audience for every bathroom trip. Sorry but whomever coined the phrase "Terrible Twos" should have waited a year. The threes are far worse. Now I have to get to quit crawling into bed with me at night. I have no idea how someone 2 ft tall and around 30 lbs can take up 90% of a queen size bed.

I finally quit my job. Yes, it's true. I am done with my night job. As awesome as it is to be back at home with my kids full time, I am finding it a difficult adjustment. My body clock is not fully on daylight hours and I am finding the demands of the house to be exhausting - more so than they should be. I am suffering from some loneliness too. I got used to interacting with people on a daily basis (face to face). Now? Not so much. Plus I have Christmas and a move to Colorado looming in the future. I'll adjust though. It'll just take time.

Well that's all in a nutshell, so far. :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Mother's Dilemma

 A weirdness has taken hold of my life and today it came to a head. First, I will remind you all that I have five children with ages ranging from 22 to 3. It's odd to have one child graduate from college while you are attempting to potty train another. Believe me, it is super surreal. 

 Today all that strangeness came full circle, I guess. My oldest daughter moved into her own apartment in Cleveland today. So here we were packing the car to take some of her things to her new place (we have more that needs to go) and I am trying to coax the 3 year old into "pooping on the potty". When I stopped to think about it, it gave me pause. I am proud of the fact my daughter felt "ready to launch" and start her life on her own but I do admit it makes me a little sad. I will miss having her around to talk to. My 3 yr old is crushed. She adores her big sisters and now, the last one has moved (my 19 yr old went off to college and never came back home). Poor Lily is left with her two older brothers now. 

 I have never let my kids growing up bother me. Both girls are about an hour away from me, in different directions. However, when I finally get moved to Colorado, I think I will feel the separation more keenly. I won't be able to just drive over to see them and they won't be able to call up and say they are coming over. It'll be a two-day drive or a hefty ticket price to visit. My younger kids will miss both their sisters too. I have no idea how I am going to handle helping the youngest two to grasp the distance but I know they will adjust. 
Skype will get a workout in the future. 

 I also came to the realization that when I start packing the house up totally for the move to Colorado, I will be doing it alone since the Spousal Unit will already be in Colorado. That is a daunting thought and I have no idea how I am going to manage it. I have a 4-bedroom home with a garage and basement to deal with. I have less than a year to purge and pack. I need a dumpster. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Up to 18 Now on Xbox 360

I have managed to finish two more games on the Xbox 360 to 100% completion in the past couple of days. Number 17 was Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 and number 18 was Borderlands 2. I am feeling very proud of myself at this point, especially Borderlands 2. Of course that 100% will change when Gearbox drops the next two DLC packs later this year. It also means I will be forced to try that much harder to keep the 100% standing.

 I am not sure what game I am going to move onto now. Not sure I want to start another Lego game, actually. I do have quite a few games I own but have never played though I do not think I will even attempt to get all the achievements in those. I do not try to 100% every game I own. I know I cannot, especially the games that have multiplayer achievements. I hate MP achievements.

You know, I have a few games on the Playstation 3 I have 100% on as well. Maybe I will finish Flower and Unfinished Swan. I think I need to sit down and figure out my complete game total, Xbox 360 and PS3. 

 On a more personal note, Monday we find out exactly how badly the new company is going to screw us and we will have a better idea of when we will be moving. I loathe the idea of leaving my lovely home for an ugly ranch-style in Colorado but I know we must go. It makes the best financial sense. I am shooting to be out of my job by the end of September so I can start the whole packing and sorting project full force. 

I have no idea what the future will bring but I must face it head on and look it straight in the eye. I am positive there is a reason why fate is playing this hand and I will just have to see it through. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Magical Lego Action

 I have been playing Borderlands 2 and now that they are going to raise the level cap again, I am not in a big hurry to fight through Ultimate Vault Hunter. I am already a 61 so I am not gaining any experience points at all. I have a inventory full of Legendary, Pearlescent and even a couple Seriph weapons. I have yet to find a single Seriph Crystal and I can't get any of the Invincibles to drop any heads/skins (the ones that are supposed to drop them). So, I am taking my time.

 I was burnt out on intense games so I popped Lego Harry Potter 2 into my Xbox 360. I already have 100% in the first one and had thought I had finished the second one. However, once I started it up I realized I hadn't even gotten very far, the first two areas at best. My oldest daughter had borrowed it and taken it back to college with her so I hadn't even looked at it for a long while.

 Needless to say, this game fit the silly-but-fun bill and I have just completed the main story. Now to get some freeplay in and earn 100% in this one too. I think I am going to try to get 100% in every Lego game released on the 360.

Besides, I am trying to potty train a 3 year old so playing a game I can pause and walk away from at a moments notice is rather valuable at this time.

Tomorrow, it's fun in the sun at our friends' home so very little gaming tomorrow for me.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Little Bit of Country

I have pretty much been stuck on playing Borderlands 2. I am down to needing two achievements and I'll need to get two characters up to level 31 before I can even attempt to unlock them - so play I must. I am also having a bitch of a time getting Terramorphous to drop the siren skin and head. It dropped once when I beat him but the head glitched and it couldn't be picked up. Haven't seen it since. The whole thing pisses me off really. I really need someone to create an app that has a list of heads and skins that will allow a person to check off what they have and give information on how to obtain each one. GO!

So on to the real reason for this post: a young lady I have watched grow, and has an amazing voice, has released a single through a record company. Apparently, this song was supposed to be done by Faith Hill but it was cut from her album so our little Candy got to record it instead. The recording was released on YouTube and it is going to be on iTunes (if it isn't already). I want to help give her a boost so I am posting the YouTube link here.

The song is "No Greater Love" and this singer is Candy Campana. Give it a listen and feel free to share it.

On a side note, I know for a fact she had a cold when she recorded this. not bad for a sick person. LOL

Monday, July 15, 2013

A New Goal (Or Two)

 Recently, I have been spending a lot of time playing games. Yes, more than usual. Don't judge me. Anyway, I am about to write up my 2 second review for the week and start my third review game. However, I have been trying to take some time out to play games just for fun. Enter Borderlands 2. 

 My dear friend Dave C. works at a camp in the summer and Borderlands is that series we love to play together and with out other friend Chris R. We have a ridiculous amount of fun whenever we are all together. Even if we are just dicking around and goofing off. Anyway, enter my nefarious plan -- I plan on having 100% of the achievements in Borderlands 2 before Dave gets back from camp. I know, I am truly evil. He hasn't even seen the new DLC because he's been away. I am down to needing three achievements, all character based so I had better get busy and get these knocked out. 

 My 3 year old has decided potty training is a good thing. My next goal is to get her to grasp the concept of pulling her panties down BEFORE peeing in the potty. She just doesn't seem to get that part. I am proud of her for understanding the idea of the potty so quickly but damn, I am tired of washing tiny undies. 

I really need to start going through my embroidery and getting more serious about packing stuff up. This move to Colorado will come quicker than I think and even though we are in limbo right now as to when, it's better to be ready than not. 

This heatwave we are having isn't helping my motivation to do anything. It's hot and not just hot, it's bloody humid. I swear I am living in Hell's sauna right now. The kids refuse to play outside, not that I blame them, and would rather sit in the air conditioned house. I was going to go for a run but decided to forget about it. I don't think it's safe to be running in this heat. The last thing I need is to end up with heatstroke or worse. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chaos, Inc.

My life has turned from nearly normal, for me anyway, to sheer chaos. The move date for Colorado is still up in the air and all this instability is making me crazy. I hate being "held hostage" by a company that hasn't released all the details to its employees. IT and other departments know what is going on for them but labor does not. Labor has a union contract to contend with and while I know that is making things far more difficult for the negotiations--can we get some information PLEASE! My needs are simple: I want to know when I can expect the new company to take over, are the other regions locking out hires from Ohio and when do I need to plan to move. Is it really that difficult to tell me these things?

My anxiety and stress levels have been so high, I actually dreamed my bed was trying to eat me. Of course that led me to not be able to sleep since every time I dozed off, it felt like I was sinking into my bed and it was trying to swallow me. Crazy, I know but I can't help what my subconscious gets up to. Next time, I sleep on the couch.

 On the home front, my poor college graduate daughter can't find a job. She's frustrated beyond belief and I do not blame her one bit. She has experience but no one wants to give her a break. She's now looking in the Cleveland area for a job in the hopes she has a better chance there. If she gets one, we will be saying goodbye to her much sooner and she won't have a car so we won't see her often. She really needs a car just so she can travel to Akron to visit her younger sister. I made them promise to stay close and see each other even though we (their parents) have moved to another state. They both have the option of moving with us but they are just starting their lives here and aren't ready to move. I get that.

 I am attempting to get my now 3 year old to potty train. I would probably have better luck teaching a cat to love water. She is so damned stubborn. She has the basic concept down but doesn't want to take the time to use the potty. My washer is getting worked over that's for sure.

 As for gaming; I am working on getting all the achievements in Borderlands 2 before my friend Dave gets back from his summer job in the Poconos. I just want to see his face when he has to catch up to me. *giggle* Yeah, I know, I am pure evil.

 I just finished a review for The Last Door. If you are a fan at all of point-and-click games, grab this one. It's pretty awesome. It's being done in chapters and the devs are asking for donations so they can keep making it. Please fund them if you like the game at all. On a side note, I saw people griping about the "terrible graphics" and I think those people missed the point of the game. It's a throw back to the old days of 80's adventure games so they went with 80's graphics. It's supposed to look like that. Not sure why some people think the only way a game is good is if it has the most realistic graphics ever. Hell, that's probably why most of these great companies are now closed or bankrupt. They are trying to meet the demands of an unreasonable community when a game can be fantastic with a good story and gameplay. Borderlands 2 is a perfect example. When the first Borderlands was released there were people bitching and moaning about graphics. I am not kidding. But, the game was amazing and the second one built upon the things that made the first one so fun. See? It doesn't have to look real to be good. Geez.

 I have two more games I am reviewing, a couple of JRPGs so my gaming time has been taking up by that. Anyone that has played a JRPG knows how time consuming this genre is. My PS3 is getting a workout. Installing these games has convinced me I need a bigger HDD for my old 60GB. I guess it's time to upgrade to a 500GB. I am still trying to save some money for a 3DS XL and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I'd like to get it before the move since I will be stuck in a hotel and I will have 3 kids with me.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gearbox is Brilliant

So I have gone back and restarted the new Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC for Borderlands 2. This time with the goal of doing all the side missions. From the few that I have done, I can safely say the guys over at Gearbox are maniacal geniuses.

You would have to be to pull of poking fun at the people that buy your games and yet have them stop at laugh at themselves. Be warned, this will contain light spoilers from this point on.

So one of the side missions has you searching for some poor guy's souls. Apparently there is a big bad player that keeps killing him (spawn killing?) while he's trying to open chests. Once you find his souls, you now have to take on the bad guy...with the gamertag "noob_killer". This made me make the most unattractive snorting noises. How many times have you been in a multiplayer game and came across someone with a gamertag like this?

The next "poke fun at gamers" moment I came across involved a team of other gamers. You are required to kill a monster and you have to be the one to kill it but these three tools keep stealing your kill. Now it's up to you to make them rage quit. Each player has a typical douchey gamertag and each one requires you to humiliate them in some way. One you must melee kill twice, the second one you have to get two headshot kills on but it's the third one that made me must teabag his body twice. Yes, teabag!  I admit, I got way too much pleasure from doing this. I think it is left over hostility from when I started playing online. I began my Xbox 360 MP gaming life with Halo 3. Halo 3 is the teabagging-est game on the planet. Granted, I learned to be a better player because I would revenge kill anyone that would teabag my body, revenge kill them over and over....and over.

Now those two missions make me wonder who at Gearbox decided that this was the best way to get back at all those annoying online players we all hate so much? I would like to shake that hand of this person(s) and buy them a beer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Little Lego Batman 2 and Borderlands 2 DLC

I finally finished Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and I mean completely. I decided to do a little achievement hunting and managed to suss them all out.

This was the first of the Lego games to have voice acting. It was well done though I do think that Lego Lord of the Rings improved upon it. Granted, they were using sound bites from the actual LotR movies so that made the whole thing funnier. Serious movie acting mixed with legos can only equal fun.

But I digress, Lego Batman 2 is HUGE. It's really big. After I completed the story last year I didn't realize I had only completed about 25% of the game. It took a few days and several hours to get to 100% but it was worth it. I think that makes 15 or 16 games I have managed to complete 100% on Xbox 360. It took an untold number of hours to get it all done so this game will keep you busy for quite a good stretch. Impressive for a Lego game.

Oh if you plan on picking this game up, fly around as Superman. It's awesome to fly around Gotham listening to the Superman theme song.

The Borderlands 2 DLC was released yesterday, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep. A friend of mine and I decided to play through the main story really quickly to get a feel for it before we tried it on a harder difficulty. I am of the opinion that you will definitely need friends to do it on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. The main story can be blown through in a couple of hours but that isn't bad considering it's DLC. I haven't done the side missions yet so I know I have a couple more hours to invest in it.

Anyway, it was awesome and I am not just saying that because I used to play D&D way back when. The whole DLC was based on a D&D-esque game called Bunkers and Badasses. I won't spoil it for you but I about pee'd my pants when I saw who was playing the Queen. *giggle* If you haven't played Borderlands 2 yet....why not? It's a solid game, solid series and the DLC packs are all worth owning. Gearbox probably does their best work on the Borderlands games. I need to go back through and grab achievements I don't have yet but I don't mind. Playing through the game never gets old.

Borderlands 2 is the perfect mix of the serious and ridiculous. Tiny Tina's DLC does not change that formula. There is a moment when you can almost feel your heart going out to Tina and then a switch flips and it goes back the raucous, silliness fans love.

The summer is here! Why not spend a little time treating yourself to games inside the house and beat the heat?

On a side note: I have been thinking about recording some of my game time. Is that something you all would like to see? Me die...a lot?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Microsoft Has Listened

Yes, it's true. Microsoft has done a complete reversal on their check-in/used games policies. While this is a relief for most of the gaming world, there are people still bitching and complaining.

It is wonderful Microsoft listened but I think it is far greater that the consumers spoke out, with their wallets that is.

Here is all the information that was released regarding the new policy:

Now while I am happy to read this, I am still not going to pre-order the XB1. I was burned too often with the 360 and the RROD. I will wait to make sure hardware bugs are worked out plus, I will be broke trying to move to Colorado. However, it does mean that I will get an Xbox One in the future....maybe even two.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

PS4 and Xbox One - Which Gets My Money?

We can all admit that E3 got off to a rollicking start with the Sony and Microsoft pressers.

Microsoft showed us some games for the Xbox One and told us all how cool it will be to have a system that will do everything we need, entertainment wise. We can now have 1000 friends, though I worry this will be linked to Facebook and count them as friends too. We can watch TV, watch movies, do other things while waiting for a game to start (though most games only give you a minute or two between rounds) and even use Skype (yeah no, not yelling at my TV).

While I admit that the Xbox One is a great system, very solid and very "future", I am not impressed with the lawyer-ese they continue to use, putting the control in the publishers hands when it comes to MY games and just how out and out rude they are being to the people they are supposed to be selling their system to.

Most of the restrictions don't really bother me much. I am always online (unless a storm knocks my internet out) and I rarely buy used games. However, as I stated before, I have 5 kids and generally have two consoles. I have yet to get a solid answer about this "Family Shared Library", how it will work exactly, how it will work within a multi-console family and are publishers going to be allowed to decide their games cannot be shared within this family library. Nope, just more double talk and answer ducking.

People are rejoicing about the age restrictions being enforced because the all-knowing, all-seeing Kinect won't allow it. I hate to disappoint you but....

  • Kids lie about their ages when they register(ed) on Xbox Live. Sometimes with parental permission because the parents do not want to deal with parental controls or upgrading them to an adult account when they turn 18. 
  • I do not think it is legal for them to tell a parent that they cannot allow their child to play a game if the parent allows it. There will be an out, like now, called parental controls. Parents will probably still be allowed to give permissions for games. Sorry but it is true. 
Then there is the Kinect. They have said owners will have the option to decide what it "sees" and what is doesn't but you are still required to have HAL since the Xbox One won't work without it. Personally, I find the current Kinect creepy enough, now it's positively scary.

Okay, you have to let E.T. phone home every 24 hours or no gaming for you. That is just a crappy way to treat your consumers. "I am sorry but you are all liars and cheats so to prevent you from being the pirates we know you ALL are, you need to register with us every 24 hours." I didn't realize that Microsoft was going to be my probation officer. Plus, no vacations with the Xbox One to my family's cottage in Canada. No internet there. 

I think the biggest slap in the face has come from the spokesmouths at Microsoft. The newest doozy fell out of the mouth of Don Mattrick,  "We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360." 

To be fair, I am sure he didn't mean it to sound the way it came but wow, just wow. From insulting those who worry about living in areas without a stable internet connection, or a lack of broadband, to telling those same people that they don't matter, Microsoft is really showing the consumers they couldn't give a rat's ass about them. It is the worst kind of PR and I have no idea why someone doesn't tape their mouths shut or teach them to think before speaking.

Oh and by the way, the Xbox One will cost $499. Why the $100 more than the PS4? That stupid Kinect. Think about it. The original Kinect was a $149 purchase (separately) so it makes sense that now that it is required, the system would be pricey.

If you get a Day One Xbox One, you will get an achievement! Really? An achievement? That really isn't enough to entice most people to buy a system that is going to have a ton of features they are never going to use, restrict their game ownership, have a Kinect that is always staring at them and that they cannot play without being attached to a broadband service.

***Addendum, PS4 will also be region free. Imported game love***

Sony waltzed in and claimed all the gaming love. They showed spectacular games, announced there would be no change in the "used" game market, no change in the DRM at all and now indie developers can self publish on the PS4. They also hinted at some sort of PS3 backwards compatibility in the future using their Cloud system. I know Sony will support the PS3 for an ungodly amount of time. They have always done that in the past and I have no reason to think any differently now.

The new issue is online, muliplayer gaming. Now you will have to have a PS+ membership to play a multiplayer game but that didn't surprise me when you look at all the stuff they have done to improve the online experience. The money had to come from somewhere. A year of PS+ is $49.99 (Xbox Live Gold $59.99) but if you don't have a PS+ account you can still use any of the online features like Netflix and Hulu+. PS+ members get free games every month, free themes, free items and as long as they remain members they have access to those free games. The PS4 is also a very solid system and the specs are not that different from Microsoft. Sure they didn't show a whole lot of "new" tech at the E3 presser but they didn't have to. They showed it at the original PS4 reveal.

Both systems are not very attractive but I really don't care what they look like. I just need them to play my games, do what I want and fit on my television stand.

So who is getting my money? Well, I will admit that I will eventually own both but....

Sony is going to get my money first. Though I game mostly on my 360, the PS4 makes more sense to own first. I won't have to worry about whether or not my kids can play my game. I use my PS3 for Netflix over my 360 because the interface is far friendlier and easier (and I don't get buffering errors/issues like I do on the 360). Most of the time I play games on the 360 because of my friends. I moved from California to Ohio and that is how I "visit" with them. None of them are getting and Xbox One and since the Xbox One is no way compatible with the 360, I really do not have any inclination to own one right off the bat. Microsoft stated they will support the 360 for 5 years so maybe in the next 5 years I'll buy an Xbox One. They didn't show me a single thing during the presser that made me say, "I have to have an Xbox One NOW." 

They did show me a ton of reasons why I should wait.

So true!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And That is Another 100% Done....Lego Pirates of the Caribbean

To clarify, my backlog consists of games I have not finished, have no started or have not gotten 100% on (well, games I think I can actually get 100% on) and today I added my 14th game to that 100% completion list.

 I finally did everything in Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. I love the Lego game from Traveller's Tales. They are funny, challenge the brain and are easy enough to play with my kids. Plus, they take beloved stories/movies and put a new twist on them while maintaining the original story. The only one I haven't finished nor gotten 100% on is Lego Indiana Jones 2. It's just so...boring. I think, in part, because I played the first one and playing through the second one feels like a rehash. Plus, let's be honest, Indiana Jones 4 was the lamest excuse for a movie ever.

 Honestly though, if you have kids or maybe you just want a game to play that is easy on the blood pressure, check out the Lego games by TT Games. You would be hard pressed to find fun, challenging games that are good for the kids. Even my 2-year-old will get on and run around breaking bricks. Sure, she does not understand the goal part of it but sh has fun just doing what she is doing. The rest will come to her soon enough.

 Anyway, just wanted to make this quick post to announce my Lego game prowess and state I can check this one off my list of games I needed to finish. So now what? Dual game? Maybe finish Lego Batman 2 and Alan Wake at the same time?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Podcast with GameEnthus

Shhh I stole GameEnthus' artwork for the Podcast. :-) See? I am giving credit.
 I got to be a guest on another fun, and long, podcast with the GameEthus crew. Okay, this time it was Aaron and a bunch of guests like me.

 We discussed some hopes and fears for E3, the Xbox One fiasco from yesterday and the Trope vs Women in Video Games series. Everyone should have a listen!

 I always enjoy hanging with GameEnthus and I sure hope they have me on again and again...and again. That sounds rather stalker-ish, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

House vs Home...or Big Changes are Coming (TL;DR)

Old pic of my family

 My life has been changed in the past few days. We were informed that my husband's branch of the company he works for had been sold. This means we will need to either take what the new owners are offering, which doesn't appear to be that attractive, or move to another region to stay with his current company. So, it looks like we will be moving to Colorado.

 You are probably asking yourself why we'd choose to move if the new company is willing to keep him. First, his company still offers the traditional pension. The years of service you put in plus reaching a certain retirement age guarantees you your pay plus medical until you die. No need to put your own money into it. It a reward for loyalty and a job well done. Most places now offer 401Ks or some other retirement plan the employee pays into and and losing money is possible. Right now, my husband makes far more than the average LPN/PVN does per hour and we get full medical/dental for the family for free. Add to that paid sick, vacation and various other paid days off and it becomes hard to walk away. He has worked for the company for 15 years now too.

Daughter's friend and her father at my house

 Now for the reason why I am not exactly thrilled with the idea of moving; my home. Notice I didn't say " my house". That is because this is more than just a house to me. It really is my home and I love my home. It will be 100 years old next year and the age on it is part of the reason why I love it so. The charm and character of the place is endearing and it's my very first "home".

 Yes it is the first house I have ever purchased but it's more than that, it really is the first place I have ever lived I felt was home. From the moment I walked into it, I fell in love with it and had to own it. We had run our poor realtor ragged trying to find us a home. She was shocked when we said we wanted an older home. Most people here don't, but we do march to a different beat than most people. Our needs were simple; 3 bedrooms with an attic we could finish into a 4th, a yard and cosmetic fixer. We looked at just about every house for sale in the area. In fact, we looked at the house that was for sale 2 doors down from this one. It was while walking out of that house that we spotted this one for sale and asked to see it. It was like coming home.

Oldest's high school graduation

 This house is so much a home, that we have taken in (and raised) three kids that weren't ours. We have always had an open door policy with friends and family and all are welcome. Now I am leaving the boys we raised and worry about them. Who will they turn to when they need help? Where will they go when they just need a place to relax for a night. Sometimes we all just have to get away and having a home to go to for a break from life is always nice. A home is that safe place to land. Where will their homes be now?

 I spent my childhood in rentals, mostly apartments but punctuated with duplexes and the occasional roommate situation in houses. We never owned a house and we moved so often I attended a new school almost every year until I reached the 6th grade. Once I attended 2 new schools in one year. Mostly because my mother did not like the school I was in and lied about our address to get me put in the other school. It was a good choice because I was miserable in the first school.

Youngest son's 2nd birthday

 My childhood was divided, for a time, between my family's place on Camano Island (WA) and wherever we happened to be living in California (mostly San Diego but a stint in Barstow). I was born on Whidbey Island (WA) and being able to spend my free time in WA was a blessing. Being able to be in a small town and have that Mayberry experience was a wonderful way to grow up. I wanted something similar for my children but in San Diego, they were growing up as apartment dwellers. Houses were far too expensive to buy for the average family. We decided to move to Ohio.

 My children have had that "Mayberry" life for the past 11 years. My younger kids do not know any other way to live and now, I am looking at the stark reality that I will be forced to sell my home and rent again. I will be forced to live in something that is serviceable, providing shelter but not really our home. It is very possible we may be forced back into a more citified existence. Add to that the fact I will be leaving my two oldest girls in Ohio, I feel like I am breaking up my family.

Younger daughter's Senior Prom

This house has seen so many firsts, aside from being my first house. We've had first dates, first dances, first kisses, first proms, first teeth, first lost teeth, first steps, first laughs, first smiles, first tears, first casts, first...everything. It's hard to walk away from this house and all it's memories. Sure we can make new ones but it isn't easy to find a house that actually feels like home. I know there are people that will agree with me.

I guess what I am trying to say in this TL;DR post is that I am finding the whole idea of moving extremely difficult. I am trying to be positive but my heart is breaking and it's hard to see the bright side. Don't worry, I have faith everything will turn out the way it's meant to though there might be a time when my husband may have to live in Colorado while I live here in Ohio. It's going to be a rough transition but we will all make it through unscathed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Little Backlog Detour

I know, I know...I was supposed to be finishing Fallout 3 but I was detoured. I finished the Call of Duty Black Ops II campaign, on veteran, instead. I am a storyline person. A great multiplayer is an added bonus but all in all, I am far more interested in single player. I refuse to pay $60 for a multiplayer game.

 The Call of Duty franchise has not disappointed me much when looking at storyline, except for Modern Warfare 2. Really Infinity Ward? I walked through that campaign on veteran like I was playing on easy. Anyway, I rather enjoyed Treyarch's story in Black Ops 2, more than I thought.

 However, there are some elements I absolutely hated. Let's talk about those Strike Force missions for a moment...what in the Hell were the devs thinking? They were awful. Here I am trucking along, playing the story, enjoying the action when all of a sudden I have to switch to an RTS mode. Did I mention I hate the RTS genre? If I wanted an RTS game, I would have purchased one.

 Having to switch into this RTS game mode really yanked me out of the main story. It was jarring and disruptive. I found myself resenting having to play that section. Resenting it enough I didn't care of I was successful or not. To add insult to injury; the AI in those missions were completely worthless. I mean the AI was stupid and thoroughly useless. I am sure Treyarch felt they were adding a new and exciting element (read: innovation) into the Call of Duty franchise but please...DO.NOT.DO.IT.AGAIN.

I will probably try playing through again, on easy, so I can grab some achievements but I guarantee I am not looking forward to those stupid Strike Force missions. I'd almost rather play Amy again....almost.

P.S. - If you want a great story in a military themed shooter, pick up Medal of Honor Warfighter. I was literally tearing up at the end. It really pulled at the heartstrings. If you want to play the entire story, grab Medal of Honor: Tier One and play it first.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dear Microsoft, We Are Not All Single Males

I have been chewing on the Xbox One Reveal from yesterday and while I understand they plan on releasing more information about the gaming aspect of the new "device" at E3, I am left with some serious questions. Questions that are not really being answered satisfactorily by the various press releases.

 First, let's talk about the reveal. They did offer up a ton of information but if you sit back and really look at it, they didn't reveal much of anything. We know that sports (NFL) will play a significant role in the entertainment side of the Xbox One. We know a new style of Kinect will be packaged with each console and will be required to use the console. We know it will have multitasking and Skype. At this point, we are assured it is a giant, voice activated TV remote. I think it's cool to be able to transition to live TV without fumbling for my remote but I am also not assured it will be compatible with my cable box/company.

 No really, that is what it is. I get that consoles are no longer just about games anymore but there is a huge portion of population that does not want to yell at their TVs. They are tired of have apps and features they never use but essentially are paying for. People do not want a Kinect that is always watching, lurking, waiting...stalking them like some creeper ex. Sure it's cool it can monitor my heart rate when I am exercising but I don't want it to keep track of when I happen to be in the room. Hal = Do NOT want. I unplug my Kinect now when I am not using it because the red light and way it follows me is unnerving. I am ready for the next generation of consoles to offer a wide variety of entertainment options. I have watched the evolution of gaming since the 1970's.

I don't care about backwards compatibility. I own 4 Xbox 360s so I will have one around for years to come and will use it to play my old games. I still have an NES, SNES, Genesis, etc, etc. You get the idea. I like retro gaming and will not dump and old console just because the newest thing has hit the market.

 Then there is the new rules for game ownership. You will be required to install a disc onto the hard drive to be able to play. That game will now be registered to you (your gamertag). Anyone in your household can play that game on that console so long as you are logged in. Guess what that implies? If you have a family and had planned on owning more than one Xbox One console (like me) then you will most likely have to buy two of Why you ask? Well, if you have to be logged into the main console so your family can play the game you bought (new) then you cannot go and play a game on that second console. Conversely, unless your family buys a game and registers is with their gamertag, you will not be able to play that game unless they are logged in. This kills the idea of multi-console households. My husband and I tend to buy 2 consoles because we both game, like to game together and we have kids. Now, this doesn't seem likely to happen since having to buy 2 of everything is a financial nightmare. Granted this problem could be easily solved by requiring the disc to boot up the game but Microsoft has stated that once it's installed, the disc is no longer required.

 Well  Microsoft, I think you have forgotten a tiny detail; the average gaming household no longer consists of a single male (15-30yrs old) with only one device. (Don't get your undies in a twist about my saying male. The industry is still geared towards marketing to men. It's a fact.) Gamers' ages have gone up. They have gotten married, had kids and now own more than one console. This idea you have to prevent borrowed or trading games without getting your nickel and dime has screwed us. Yes, screwed us. We want to share gaming with our families but are being told we will most likely have to pay twice as much as those single guys to do so. Sure, we have more disposable income but we are not independently wealthy either.

 Microsoft, you have 18 days to wow me with the gaming information and 6 months to figure out how to fix this problem for the multi-console household. Otherwise, you will cut your sales to these homes in half, or more. Isn't the bottom line all about the almighty dollar? Than why punish people for wanting to spend more on your hardware, online subscriptions and apps?

Your move, Microsoft.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Backlog Gaming: Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta

This is the last piece of DLC I need to complete to finally finish Fallout 3, well the story aspect at least. I do plan and doing some achievement hunting when it's all said and done.

Anyway, so far this is a fun little romp through a spaceship. However, holy crap but some of the aliens are hard to kill. I have stopped using their weapons and gone back to mine. Hopefully my ammo holds out because my stimpaks are dwindling.

Now my love for Fallout 3 runs deep. It's one of my favorite RPGs ever. The story is original and well written. The RPGs aspects are not overly complicated and the "perks" you can choose from are hilarious. It has a little bit of everything and is rather engrossing. Sure there are programming glitches but thing I have come across has rendered my game unplayable or forced me to go back to a previous save.

So here I am on this spaceship and I am getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis. I am finding others that have been kidnapped by the aliens. Who are these people? Seriously.  Let's see how long it takes me to finish this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

College and Your Parents

I am now that mother of a college graduate and I am really not sure how I feel about it. Part of me is elated that one of my children took the step of continuing their education and now stands a better chance of earning a nice income. The other side of me is panicking and not just about the cost I incurred to send her, but also about her future.

 When my oldest daughter (now 22 years old) announced she had found the college she wanted to attend, her father (my ex...for good reason) told her that he was withdrawing his offer of helping with tuition because "that place is too expensive". The real reason, in my opinion, was the fact she was not interested in going to a college in Florida near where he lived. I found my daughter in tears and she told me that he had stated she "was not allowed to attend that school".

 Now there are a few things that people who know me will tell you. First, I am very generous, sometimes to a fault. Second, you either like me or hate me. There really isn't a gray area though people that dislike me generally do because I am too open-minded and not judgmental. Lastly, one of the best ways to tick me off is to "forbid" me to do something. I don't take kindly to being forbidden. I didn't like it when I was 5 and I don't like it at 40. So when he forbade her from going to College of Wooster, I took it as a challenge. I would send her there, with or without him.

 She was able to get her Bachelor's Degree in four years. This is not something people can say anymore. Most colleges are overcrowded so completing all your required classes can take 5-6 years. Add to that cost and the fact most people have to work and go to school (which really kills your GPA) are easily adding time.

 My daughter managed to rack up scholarships and grants. We were able to take her $200,000 (for 4 years) college and cut it down to $70,000. That's a pretty awesome discount. Of course this also means I will be paying for this "fancy" education for the next 20 years or so and it is a huge expense, especially when I am looking at my 15 year old, 6 year old and 2 year old still needing to go to college. However, I felt it was worth it to give her the best education I could and the college she worked so hard to get into. My ex's daughter is going to attend a state school, that will cost nearly $21,000 a year if she doesn't get any free money and I will bet it takes her longer than 4 years. So in the long run, he will probably pay as mush or more than I did, negating his reasons for not helping with our daughter's education like he promised.

 Granted, she feels awful about the cost but there is something all you kids need to remember, we parents are willing to do this for you. We want you to have a better start at life than we did. We want you to live better than we did. We are willing to make sacrifices in the hopes that the next generation has it better than we did. No I am not talking about recycling and conservation, I am talking about starting "adulthood". Being an adult is hard enough but it is made more difficult when you are not prepared for it. An education is one of those steps you can take to make adulthood a little easier.

 Now graduates, go forth and do great things. I know you aren't sure what your next step is exactly. Many of you are not sure if you want to go to grad school or find jobs. I know that jobs are tough and the great, wide world is a scary place but just try to remember, you have wonderful parents that are standing behind you, acting as that stable force, rooting for you and ready to cushion your fall if they need to. They are willing to do all this because they love you and are proud of you. They took on the expense of raising you so that you could become a better person than they themselves are. Now smile...and take on the world.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Well Crap!

So I didn't get to game at all these past 10 days. My mom was visiting from California and she is so anti-video game, it is amazing. Especially since she had played just about every Legend of Zelda game in existence. So there's that...

 My oldest child graduated from college this past Monday as well and in stereotypical, college graduate form; she's moved back home. I am trying to sort out bedrooms and storage as we speak. I am happy to have her home and she got her degree in 4 years, not the average 6-7 years. Everyone gave me grief for sending her to a small private college but in the long run, I will get off cheaper since I won't be paying for more than those 4 years. Now she needs to figure out her next step. I am voting for grad school but she might go to work. She is also toying with the idea of joining the Peace Corp. I am good with that too.

 In other news, I think I will be skipping PAX Prime this year. I will put my husband's passes up for sale in July when I know for sure. My decision is based on a few things, though #1 is the cost. The money could be better used for something else and I just cannot bring myself to pay to go. The problem with writing for a small site is the fact no one pays your travel expenses...or you. So with the time off work, the $1000 for plane tickets, $1000 for hotel plus food; not going to happen. This is a big disappointment for me because Seattle is my hometown. I have not been back since my grandmother died and I would love to see it again. It would be therapeutic and almost like a balm for my soul just to smell that ocean air. I will miss seeing all those people I enjoy spending time with at PAX conventions but maybe next year.

Well, I need to get rooms sorted and then I am going to try to get on Fallout 3. However, if the spouse gets home first it will be Black Ops 2 multiplayer. It's Double Weapons XP Weekend.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fallout 3 Has Been Replaced

I looked everywhere for Fallout 3 and couldn't find the disc so I broke down and headed to my local GameStop. Fortunately, they had the non-GOTY edition so it only set me back $6.29. Yes, I know I could have downloaded it from but that would have set me back $15 and I don't need the DLC from the GOTY edition because I already own it all.

So later today, I will start trying to finish Fallout 3. It shouldn't take me too long because I am already on the last DLC, Mothership Zeta, making my way off the ship. Maybe a few hours worth of playtime.

Happy gaming!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Having Trouble Choosing

Found this on Memebase

I was all set to pick Fallout 3 back up and finish it. Hell, I was pretty excited by the prospect as well, but when I reached for the case and opened it...the disc was gone.

Now I just played Fallout 3 about a month ago and the disc was there. The small people (kids) in my house claim innocence and have no knowledge of the disc's location. I find this extremely irritating, which in my mind is perfectly reasonable. I am face with the prospect of having to purchase a new disc. My old disc was starting to crack in the center.

Let's be real for a minute, the game case designs are kind of lame. The way you have to push the center, and the pressure to hold it in place rest in that center, isn't the best thing for those delicate discs. We bought Fallout 3 at launch so this is not a new disc by any stretch of the imagination. If you bought a game in a "steelbook" case, like Mass Effect 3, then you know those are even worse. I literally had to clip the plastic tabs to get the discs out without snapping the disc in half. Who came up with those? Can't we have a sleeve or something inside the cases instead? Just a thought.

Anyway, my big question now is; do I buy and download game from Xbox Live ($14.99) or do I attempt to find a used, non-GOTY edition (I already own all the DLC) for $10 or under...somewhere in my area?

What do I play until then? Which backlog game should I start or finish? I have so many. I am leaning towards Assassin's Creed or Kingdoms of Amalur. Though I haven't finished Black Ops 2 campaign nor have I even started Halo 4 campaign. There is all Fallout New Vegas staring at me.  I am stuck on Halo: Reach but my disc cracked (thanks kids) and needs replacing. I probably have a list of 30-40 games between downloadables and disc copies. Then there are the Playstation 3 games and some Wii one too. You can sprinkle the odd DS in there too.

Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, April 29, 2013

BioShock 2 Wrap-up - Finally Finished

After an extremely stressful weekend, I finally managed to sit down and finished the Minerva's Den DLC. I can honestly say, I preferred the DLC story, as short as it was, to the main story...overall. It was a little more emotional; it tugged at the heartstrings a bit. Yes there will be spoilers but if you haven't played this by now, you probably won't ever play it.

You are Subject Sigma, an Alpha series Big Daddy, and are being asked to help Mr. Porter get out of Minerva's Den. Minerva's Den holds the control center for Rapture and a supercomputer named The Thinker. Reed Wahl has lost his mind, as so many have done in Rapture, and taken control of The Thinker. All events are taking place at the same time as the events in the main BioShock 2 storyline.

As you wander about the various areas of Minerva's Den, the usual voice recordings will tell you Porter's story. He had wanted to utilize The Thinker to create a machine that would actually think for artificial intelligence. You also get a peek into Reed Wahl's descent into madness.

Combat is the same but you do get access so some pretty sweet exclusives, like the Ion Gun. Let me assure you that this gun would have been my "go to" weapon in the main story. It is that awesome. Essentially, it's a damned laser gun. I probably used it 80-90% of the time. There are a few more exclusives like the Gravity Well plasmid, and variations on the usual fare of enemies. I really hated the Fiery Brute Splicers. They were a pain in the ass to take out.

As you run around, completing the tasks that Porter has set for you, you learn who you used to be. Who is that? Well, Porter of course. You were taken away and punished as a traitor. Your punishment was to be turned into a Bog Daddy. I will bet you are wondering who has been giving you orders this whole time then. Turns out your experiments in making The Thinker more of an artificial intelligence were successful and it's been the machine guiding it's "father" since the beginning. The Thinker wants to escape Rapture as much as you do.

The emotional part of the story does not come from knowing you are Porter but from the recordings of Porter. While he was trying ti imprint an "personality" program into The Thinker, Porter had his wife doing voice recordings and such to use. She is killed in a bombing in London and when Porter is ready to test this work, it's his "wife" that The Thinker evolves into. Can you imagine how hard that must be for a man? You will get an idea when you listen to that voice recording. You can hear the pain and stress in Porter's voice.

In all seriousness though, this story felt more thought out than the main story. Granted, I had guessed what was going on before the end in both story arcs but,  Minerva's Den conveyed a better since of "humanity lost" than the main story.

I am not going to play the Protector Trials DLC. I know you are all disappointed but even though they refer to it as "single player" DLC it is essentially just a horde survival mode and it does not contribute to the story in any way. I just don't see the point in spending the 400 points to buy it. If I come across it for free in the future, I'll consider playing it.

Now what to play next? I suppose I should finish off Fallout 3. I am near the end of the last DLC so I may as well take the plunge.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Let me preface this whole post with a little autobiography. I grew up as a tomboy and I mean a real tomboy. Not a girl that just hung out with the boys and maybe played video games with them. I climbed trees, shot BB guns, fished, rode dirt bikes, went hunting for snakes and frogs, played football at the park and all those other things that are considered unfeminine. I wore jean and t-shirts, no make-up and never bothered with hairdos. I spent most of my time with dirt under my nails, sutures and bruises. I have scars. Dudes dig scars. Growing up like this naturally evolved into working in an all male environment. It was never awkward and I even became the boss of all the guys.

I have always found it easier to be "one of the boys" rather than one of the girls. It made middle and high school a little rough, especially after puberty, because if a girl hung out with guys she must be screwing all those guys too, right? I was never the "pretty" one so I guess in the minds of the pubescent it meant I was desperate and willing to sleep around. If you put me in the group of girls, I was the smart one or the shy one, in short...the awkward one. Girls compete with one another, even if they are friends. Each one wants to be the cute one, the one all the boys desired to be with. I have never felt the need to be competitive in that way. I couldn't compete so why even bother? It would have just knocked my self-esteem into a pit. I learned to be content with being the buddy to all the guys and being smart. It took many years but I achieved that sense of self and came into my own.

One of the things that happens when you do become "one of the guys" is you get treated like one of the guys.  What does that entail? Well, if you have ever seen a movie, or been around a group of guys, you know they make cracks on each other...many times in regards to their sex lives or sexual preferences. As a female, you either roll with it and dish it back, or get offended and flounce off. For the record, I am not a flouncer, so I dish it back (I have a quick wit and a razor sharp tongue always at the ready). Being part of this inner sanctum of manhood means that I often get to enjoy a certain degree of ribbing and sexual harassment that is not at all creepy, scary or obligatory to "taking things further". In fact, at my last job you basically had to accept being harassed or go work somewhere else. I was the boss and these guys respected me, even if we gave each other shit all the time. They'd the first ones to put a new guy in his place if he crossed the line and treated me like a sex object or they felt he was being disrespectful. It was a manly job, with a manly atmosphere, the type of atmosphere I thrive in. It's very comfortable for me. I am at home in that "male" environment, as long as I am treated like one of the guys.

For the record, there is a difference between disrespect and friendly banter, a huge difference. The difference is palpable when that line is crossed. You can feel the tension in the room. You can almost taste it in the air. Telling me I belong to the itty bitty titty committee after I called you the poster child for penile enhancement products is teasing. Asking me to show you my tits or offering to give me a money shot is disrespectful.

To look at me in person, especially now that I am more feminine, you'd probably be surprised to know that I have the dirty mind of a guy and will giggle like a 12 year old boy when someone says the word boner. I can also curse like a longshoreman. I can't help it. My maturity level dips dramatically from time to time. Love it or hate it, you just have to accept it if you want to be my friend. It does often lead to hilarity, so that's something. I have only felt out of place when my gay male friends start making fun of each other about liking vagina because, well, that's just weird because I happen to have one. I tend to stick to telling them they have bad taste in clothes or remarking on the fact they fart glitter. One of my friends often teases me by calling me "whore" and I refer to him as "homo" on a regular basis. It's just a thing we do and neither of us are offended because it's done out of affection. See? There is that line I was talking about.

I make friends easily. I consider everyone as friendly until I am proven otherwise. I don't subscribe to the idea that someone has to earn my friendship first. All they have to do is prove that my faith in them is warranted and be friendly back. If you have any intimate knowledge of my formative years growing up, you know how remarkable this character trait in me really is. I have been known to help people out regardless if I have known them long or met them in person. I am there for anyone I feel is in need and within my circle of friends (again it's a large circle). If I give you my phone number to use for texts or calls, you know you are someone I do not feel even remotely threatened by. It also means you have permission to use that number at any time, day or night, without worry. I know you are not out to ruin my life, marriage, family, etc. You are someone I think is pretty awesome. Maybe you just make me laugh or will send me a text when I am feeling out of sorts. Hey, maybe I think you need, or will need me in the future. I have talked nearly perfect strangers off a ledge, so to speak, when they feel like their lives are falling apart around them.

Okay enough background about me. I'll get to the point.

Today was a prime example of how many of my friendships work, be it with male or female friends. Yes, I said female. My girlfriends and I make lesbian jokes or toss sexual innuendos at each other. Try not to die from the shock. Anyway, there were messages sent back and forth riddled with innuendo and jokes. The usual fare and definitely the stuff that makes me want to pee my pants laughing, all in good fun. This is a newer friendship so this person hasn't quite gotten to really know me yet and I think they are a little afraid of offending me or giving the wrong impression. At any rate, they apologized for being pervy. Now I am a very difficult person to shock or rattle, but this took me aback a bit. I didn't want my friend to feel uncomfortable or that they were making me feel uncomfortable. If someone crosses a boundary, I always let them know. I am pretty straightforward and have little problem finding my voice if I need to. I am not afraid. I learned to not live in fear when I was very young. It has served me well.

To me, being a true pervert is someone that does thing to hurt others against their will, like sticking them in a well and lowering a basket with lotion in it. Another example would be peeping in a window at night while masturbating, basically violating the person without their knowledge. Sexual predators are perverts. They are out to overpower and hurt their victims. Joking around with a friend and lacing those jokes with winks and nudges is about as far from pervy as you can get. It's friendly banter and something that amuses me to no end. I take none of the jokes to heart nor do I think that a friend that is joking around in this manner is doing it out of a desire seduce me into their bed. It's just adults being silly and acting like kids. We all have to act like kids sometimes or else we'd be crushed under the pressures of adulthood.

I sometimes wonder if society has spent too much time dividing the sexes or dictating what is proper and acceptable. Why can't men and women enjoy an easygoing friendship with all the ribbing and teasing that goes along with it? He shouldn't feel he has to treat me any differently then he'd treat one of his guy friends. Okay, maybe he'd have to help me lift heavy items when helping me move but he shouldn't have to edit his personality to try to be more palatable to me. Why should he have felt the need to apologize to me, if I was dishing it all back at him...jab for jab? It seems silly. I should be able to be friends with guys (and girls) without someone thinking I am sleeping with them or that I am trying to bed them.

 I feel we all have our own moral compass and we should all listen to that compass, be guided by it, and screw what those outsiders (society) think. I am not a perfect angel but honestly, who is? (Leave Mother Teresa out of this. Not a fair example. lol) Regardless of my obvious flaws, I am a good person that would never do anything to hurt anyone, intentionally. I am giving and kind. Morally, I might not be up to the standards of the nuns that tried to control how my personality developed, but I think I have done pretty well following my own feelings and ideals.

Yes this was long but this is my blog and sometimes I just have to sort through my thoughts here, no matter how incomplete or disjointed they are. Deal with it. <3 p="">

Yours Truly was on a Podcast

I had the good fortune of being asked to be a guest on the GameEnthus podcast. I will admit I was very nervous since I had only done a handful of other podcasts, some a little on the stuffy side, but the crew at GameEnthus are my type of people.

Aaron, Mike, Tiny and Big Rob made me feel right at home though after listening to it I realized that A. I meant to say South American Horned Frog and B. I really do sound like a young girl. No wonder guys online tell me to come back when my balls drop. *snicker*

I really enjoyed the relaxed way they handled the cast. Basically, we sat around and just chatted, like you would do with friends on a Friday night. It ran the gamut from games to stabbings to movies. Sure some of the early conversation was edited out but that was more of a "get to know you" part of the cast you wouldn't have wanted to hear anyway.

I hope to get the opportunity to do it again. Heck, I'd love to be a regular guest on their podcast. The guys are really amazing and hysterically funny. Maybe someday we will all be at the same place, at the same time, and we really can sit around and b.s. together like friends...face to face.

Here's the link. Go listen and be sure to give these guys your support.

GameEnthus Podcast Episode 138

Now I had better get busy on BioShock 2: Minerva's Den DLC. I have slacked off. I have been engrossed with Dead Island: Riptide.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yet More BioShock 2

I beat the game, finally, and started on the DLC - Minerva's Den. I had planned on typing this up a few days ago but in light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, it didn't seem prudent to do so.

BioShock 2, what am I going to do with you?  The story's end was fairly predictable though I am still not sure if Dr. Lamb was my ex-wife or if she was a "baby mama". At any rate, she has your daughter, Eleanor, kidnapped and brings her to Rapture. She is experimenting Eleanor to create this "Utopian being" and Eleanor is a "Little Sister" all grown up, well as grown up as she could be. I'd guess her to be in her late teens.

So you decide to find her and somehow discover Rapture. The guess what happens? You are forced into the "Big Daddy" program and become a Big Daddy. At some point, Eleanor is taken from you and you become aware...aware enough to want to go find Eleanor.

Long story short, Eleanor really is your daughter and Dr. Lamb tries to kill you, repeatedly. How it all ends exactly depends upon some decisions you made within the game. Since I spared those that did not attack me  or where I was given a choice, Eleanor spares her mother death by drowning and saves her. I also chose to rescue the Little Sisters so they were available to help Eleanor and I escape from Rapture. Ultimately I am fatally injured trying to escape and die. Eleanor basically finishes me off by drawing out my Adam and saving it to keep me with her always. Yeah, just a little creepy.

It was a decent game and challenging but the story was too predictable. I had figured out I was Eleanor's real daddy as soon as I heard the recording about traveling to Rapture to find my daughter. I really would have liked to have wandered under the sea in a more, like I could do in areas of Rapture.

It really was a decent game but it could have been more epic. I think having to revisit Rapture after the first BioShock really killed the awe and wonder of this title. And the multiplayer? Yeah that could have, and should have, been skipped. It was unbalanced and completely annoying from the start. I tried playing it when it came out and detested it. Sorry but that was a bad move by Irrational Games.

Oh well, off to Minerva's Den.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Still on BioShock 2

I have finally reached the point in the game where I had stopped playing, out of sheer boredom. I think I have the ending all figured out already, to some degree. I, the Big Daddy, was a real father of one of the Little Sisters...most likely Eleanor. My daughter had been kidnapped while playing near the ocean and I hijacked a sub and found Rapture all on my own. Aren't I special? Once I reached Rapture, I was a threat so I was used in the Big Daddy experiments/development and made into a Big Daddy.

Anyway, I am now facing new enemies that are rather annoying, almost as annoying as the Houdini Splicers: the Alpha Daddies. These suckers will show up when I place a Little Sister next to a body to gather Adam. So now I am fighting the onslaught of Splicers and one Big Daddy that is near to my strength. Now the upside to these guys, they can keep the Big Sisters busy from time to time. A Big Sister appeared (predictably) after I had rescued the final Little Sister on a level and there happened to be an Alpha Daddy coming towards me too. While they fought it out, I took them out. I don't think this was meant to happen but it worked out for me.

I have noticed a few programming issues. Nothing major or game breaking though. Once I entered a room with a Gather's Garden and there was a gift from my group of rescued Little Sisters. I picked it up. When I left the room  the voice over told me there was a gift waiting for me at the Gather's Garden. Ummm no...I already got that, but okay.

I am beginning to enjoy the game a little more and it will say it is a heck of a lot harder than BioShock Infinite when it comes to combat. In Infinite, I never had that anxiety over what was waiting around the corner for me. The only enemy that caused me any significant issue were the impossible Handymen and those were few and far between. With the first BioShock and this sequel, I am continually anxious about what might be hiding behind that door I need to go through. Battles are chaotic and sometimes overwhelming. I have died more often just trying to kill another Big Daddy that I died my entire playthrough on Infinite.

I am not sure how many more hours I have before I reach the end of BioShock 2 but I am glad I picked it back up. Maybe after this I'll finish Fallout 3.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Backlog Gaming: BioShock 2

I said I would plow through my backlog of games and I never go back on a promise. I started playing BioShock 2 last night. Don't look so shocked, I never finished the game.

Let me explain; I never finished BioShock 2 because I was less than impressed by it. I got bored and wandered off. I played BioShock and loved every scary, freaky, dark, demented moment of it. So when BioShock 2 was launched I was super excited, like piddle on the floor excited...then I started playing it.

It felt like an expansion, not a whole new game. Sure you were a Big Daddy this time (not as cool as it sounds honestly) and the story was different but I think because I was still wandering around the limited pace of Rapture, it just felt like a rehashing of the same ole game.

Now that BioShock Infinite has been released and yes, I completed it, I felt I needed to revisit BioShock 2. To give it another chance as it were and so far...this game is hard. I have died multiple times already and it's always due to other Big Daddies or those stupidly overpowered Big Sisters. I am only playing on Normal too. Lord have mercy on my blood pressure if I were playing on Hard. I will get through this though.

The graphics are just as appealing as they were when it was released and I do enjoy the twisted stories you find along the way through the various recordings. Being able to walk around outside Rapture, in the ocean, is a nice touch though they could have made it a little more "open world" and not so "here is the only path and you must go that way". I wander off inside Rapture all the time looking for hidden goodies and I would have liked to have done that in the ocean.

Oh and have I ever mentioned how much I detest escort missions? I'd rather wear a suit of poison ivy than do escort missions and BioShock 2 has so many escort missions it makes me want to punch someone, anyone. By escort missions I am referring to the need to protect those darling Little Sisters while they suck Adam out of dead bodies. *sigh* I will get through this too, I swear.

I have yet to make it back to the point in the game when I stopped playing. That will take a few more hours I am sure. I am combing the remains of Rapture for all the hidden secrets so that maybe, just maybe, I won't have to come back.

Friday, March 29, 2013


What did you think when you first saw me?
Did it feel as though a bolt of lightning ran through you?
Was I everything you had imagined?
What would you do if I lightly touched your shoulder, drawing your eyes to mine?
Could you lose yourself in their dark, green depths?
Are you willing to drown within them?
Are you afraid of where it might lead you?
Are you worried I will tempt you to abandon yourself?
Am I so dangerous that I could possess you?
Did you wonder what it would be like to kiss me, deeply, gently?
Did you imagine burying your face in my neck and breathing in deeply the scent of me?
Did you long to stroke my cheek, to caress my neck, to taste my lips?
Did I walk away leaving you wondering, imagining the paleness of my skin against yours?
Did you long to run your hands across my silken, moon-pale skin?
Did you picture us locked in an embrace, forgetting everything else?
Do you wonder how my hair gently brushing against your bare chest would feel?
Do you think of me during moments of quiet?
Do you allow your imagination to undress me?
Do you go that far?
Are you picturing us, together, stripped of everything but each other?
Do you find yourself wishing I had pressed myself against you, negating that small space between us?
Do you desire feeling the pressure and warmth of my body against yours?
Did you want to feel my breath, fast and lustful, against your cheek?
Can you forget me?
Do you really want to?
Are you curious about how I saw you?
Does wondering whether or not I desire you, eat at your soul a little?
Do you regret not taking the risk?
Are you worried about the complication of love?
Did you desire me for a tiny moment?
Do you want me still?

I can picture you standing there, smiling down at me.
Your eyes dancing, glistening, unaware of the fire burning within me.
I can still remember the way you smelled when you leaned in close.
I wish I was courageous and bold, I would have made you look at me.
I wish you knew I would have gladly spent one night with you and not shared the moment with the world.
It would have been a gift for you to notice me.
One I would have remembered fondly for all my days.
I would not have felt shame.
I would have basked in the delight of your touch.
I imagine how the warmth of your fingers would feel as they trail across my skin.
Dreaming of it brings a flush to my face and makes my heart skip a beat.
Images of what could have been flood my mind and my body aches with desire.
I try to imagine the flavor of your skin.
My lips still hunger for your kisses, both fierce and gentle.
I wanted to feel your weight upon me.
I craved but a moment with you, not your love.
I wish I were attractive enough for you to see me standing before you.
I wish you had not just glanced and looked away.
I wish you had taken that first step and made me yours for a single night.
I regret not revealing my longing.
I wish I had told you.

I am back!

Did you miss me? I am still writing for the website, now called DigitalNoob and partnered with EGM, but I needed to come home. I have such a huge backlog of games that this is the perfect place to vent my frustrations, or love, of the older games I am playing.

Everyone just loves to listen to me ramble on, right? So starting next week, after I recover and catch up from PAX East, I will be blogging my games again. I know you're excited.

I may also start doing some creative writing here. Not sure yet. I may start another page for that. See you next week! ~Miss Carly