Finishing my PS3 Backlog
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 September 2015, 10:00 am

I realized that I only had a couple more games on my PS3 that were part of my backlog.  My PS3 has been moved to a different room than my other consoles ever since I got my PS4.  I haven't touched it much since then.

I thought I could try out the games, see if any of them grab me, and if not then I could retire my PS3 to my game storage in my closet.  It feels like it's usefulness is almost at it's end.  So, I did.  The other day I talked about Lightning Returns.  That was the second to last game on my PS3 backlog.

The last game on my PS3 backlog was Ni No Kuni.  I tried it out, and that game has style in spades.  It's impressive what they've done visually and with the art style.  But the gameplay and setting ultimately failed to pull me in.  For me to commit to a super long RPG I need to either love the overall series or absolutely love the game within the first few hours.  Ni No Kuni failed to grab me in any meaningful way.  But don't get me wrong, the art in that game is amazing.

I also had gotten all three Uncharted games with my PS3 bundle back when I bought it.  I thought I would get around to playing them but I never did.  Now we're only about a month out from getting all three games as a single remastered version on PS4.  So, if I end up compelled to play them that's where it'll happen.

After finishing up the games on my PS3 I also spent some time transferring downloaded PSP games from my PS3 to my PS Vita.  There are some games that can only be moved to the Vita this way, and I already had them downloaded.  For some reason I had just never gotten around to transferring them.  But now I have.

And with that, I think I can retire my PS3.

It served me well, but it was never my main console of last generation.  I had a Xbox 360 almost from day 1, but I didn't pick up a PS3 until almost the end of last generation.  I ended up only playing PS3 exclusives on the system, but I definitely feel like I got my money's worth.

If I ever get a gaming room or a huge home theater setup my PS3 will assuredly get hooked up with all of my other retro consoles.  Hopefully I get to do that someday!


Movies Galore
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2015, 10:00 am
After catching you up on my Sci-Fi movie kick yesterday I thought I'd touch on some non Sci-Fi movies today!

500 Days of Summer - This is a movie I've seen before, but I remember liking it.  I rewatched it for the first time in years and still like it a lot.  It's a relationship movie without being a relationship movie.  At times it almost feels like a rom-com, but it definitely isn't.  It's a movie about different people's perception of the same relationship.  It feels a lot more grounded in reality than most Hollywood relationships movies.  That's probably why I like it so much.

Wreck it Ralph - I completely missed this one in theaters but I'm glad I got around to it.  Wreck-it-Ralph is an animated Disney movie that stars arcade game characters in an old-school arcade.  I loved the premise and the visual style of this movie.  And come on, it's a video game movie that doesn't suck, of course that appeals to me.

Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall - I went back and rewatched all the Daniel Craig Bond films.  I think he's probably my favorite Bond at this point.  I still love Casino Royale even having seen it a bunch.  Quantum of Solace is the weakest of the three films and it actually manages to diminish Casino Royale because it's a direct sequel.  Skyfall I had only seen once in theaters and I was very happy that it still holds up to my memories of it.  Skyfall is an amazing Bond movie.  It might actually be my favorite now.

It's been fun playing movie catch-up lately.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, movies fell off the priority list when my first kid was born.  Now that both of them are beyond toddler age I'm finally getting back to it.

So please, if you have any movie recommendations from about 2009 to 2015 let me know.  I'm not even sure what I've missed.


PAX Thoughts: Most Played Game of the Show
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 10:23 pm

And the winner of my most played game of the show award goes too.... *drumroll*.... HEARTHSTONE!

Surprise!  Or not.

I played Hearthstone every morning and every night that I was in Seattle for PAX.  I would have played it in lines on the show floor too, but the network connection in the middle of the convention center was horrible.

I'm still loving Hearthstone.  I've been doing my daily quests and climbing my way up slowly in ranked mode.  It's been fun seeing how the new expansion is throwing the meta into disarray too.

The best part of Hearthstone is still how many devices I have it on.  It's always within an arm's length from me.  I typically play a couple games throughout my day.  It's great for waking up, taking breaks, and going to sleep.

I expect I'm at the peak of my Hearthstone hype at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is an evergreen game that I consistently play in one form or another for a long time.


PAX Thoughts: Mini Metro
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 4:00 pm

One of the really cool things about PAX was getting to actually chat with the developers of the games either immediately before or after playing them.  That in itself was an amazing experience.

One of my favorite interactions with a developer came from the Mini Metro booth.

I started to talk to a guy that was standing near the booth about how I loved the game and I've had it for awhile in early access on Steam.  I told him I was super excited to see an iPad version of the game on the PAX show floor because I think that's the most natural platform for the game.

Then I realized that the guy I was talking to wasn't someone waiting in line to try the game, he was the lead developer!

He was a great guy and it was really fun to talk to him casually for a few minutes.

Like I said, I'm super excited for the iPad version of this game to come out.  He said he's hoping to have it out in the next few months!  I'll be sure to pick it up once it releases.


PAX Thoughts: Square Enix Games
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 2:00 pm

I walked by the Square Enix booth a bunch during PAX because of where it was located by one of the main entrances.  Over the course of the convention I watched a bunch of live gameplay from Square Enix games on the floor and got some hands on time myself.

Quick impressions of their offerings in no particular order:

  • Final Fantasy Explorers - I got hands on time with this one.  It's one of the only games they showed off that's releasing soon.  It's shaping up to be a fun little handheld action RPG.  I'll probably pick it up when it comes out.
  • Just Cause 3 - If you're a fan of Just Cause games then you're going to love this one.  Otherwise it's kinda generic and meh.  I fall more into the later group, but I know people will be nuts for this one.
  • FFXV - Still looking good, but it seemed like they just had the demo on the floor that I had already played at home... twice.
  • FFXIV - They had a special Revana fight set up where you could win a t-shirt.  I heard some of my Free Company members took it on and won the fight.  Good job guys!
  • Dragon Quest Heroes - I wasn't giving this game much attention before but now I will.  It looks like it's diverged enough from the Dynasty Warriors / Hyrule Warriors formula to be interesting in it's own right.  I'll need to look into this one further.
They had a couple other games too, but none that I spent any time watching or playing.

It seems like the immediate future for Square Enix is looking light on releases aside from Final Fantasy Explorers.  But, the future holds a lot of potential.



PAX Thoughts: Blogger Lunch
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 3:00 pm
Liore organized a blogger get together over lunch for a bunch of us that interact through blogs and Twitter.  It was awesome getting to meet people face to face!

Thanks for the great conversation everyone and thanks a ton to Liore for organizing everything!

One of the weirdest parts for me was finally putting faces with voices and Twitter icons.  I mostly chat with these people over Twitter and know them by their screen names.  But a few of them are on podcasts I listen to so I know their voices too.

It was an interesting mix of people.  It's awesome to see how diverse we are as a community.


PAX Thoughts: D&D Sword Coast Legends
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 12:00 pm

D&D Sword Coast Legends was another game I had never heard of before PAX.  My brother had heard a little bit about it and wanted to check it out.

We finally got to the game on the last day of the convention and it ended up being a cool experience.  You could be forgiven for thinking this is a generic action RPG set in the D&D world.  I certainly thought so until we got half way through the line.  Then we were made into groups of 5 and asked who in our group wanted to be the Dungeon Master.  No one else jumped at the chance so I volunteered... and I'm so glad I did.

I think I might have been bored being one of the players, but being a DM was amazing.  I got to control the dungeon and tweak it on the fly.  I could add things and take them away.  I made their first encounter easier which got me some DM currency to make a later encounter much more challenging.  I laid traps in tricky places.  I dropped monsters in behind them when they thought they had completed an encounter.  I changed the mood lighting on the fly.  I even took direct control of the final boss in the dungeon and duked it out with the players.

D&D Sword Coast Legends jumped from a game I had never heard about to a game where I want to dive in and make dungeons.  I would love to sit down with the DM tools and craft intricate encounters for players.  Tweaking the dungeon on the fly was a cool touch, but I think the real power is in sitting down without players and creating the dungeon for the first time.

This is a game I'm going to be watching closely.  If a good community forms around it I will be very interested to see what kind of things they come up with.




PAX Thoughts: Some Flops
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 1:00 pm
I played a ton of new games that I liked at PAX.  I found new games that I had never heard of that are now very much on my radar.  I saw games that I know and love being played.  I saw games that I've known I'm going to buy on day one for a long time.

I also saw some letdowns.

In no particular order:

  • World of Warships - It didn't click with me at all.  Slow and clunky.  The controls and playstyle were much more annoying than even world of tanks.  At least I got a sweet pinny arcade pin.
  • Some Indie Games - Most of the indie sections were awesome but some had games that looked super derivative and generic.  I'm not going to pick on any one in particular, but some sections of the indies were a letdown.
  • AAA Lines - We decided not to wait in any super crazy 3+ hour lines for the triple A games.  I'm looking at you For Honor, Halo 5, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Battleborn, Rainbow Six Siege, and a few more.  I pretty much already know what these games will but, but it was still a letdown.
  • Bethesda - They had a huge side of one of the big expo halls and all they had were trailers and life size statues to take pictures with.  Lots of ads for Fallout 4, Doom, and Dishonored, but no hands on experience for the players.  It seemed like a waste of space at a convention that's supposed to be about the players.  But, they did manage to cram in a merch booth.  I guess they're still willing to take our money.
  • Hidden Tabletop Gaming - It was my first PAX, but I still expected a bigger tabletop gaming presence than I saw.  I suppose PAX is just much more about video games, but I would have loved to see more board games around.
Nothing too bad and nothing that can't be forgiven.  I just thought that after so much praise for these new games I've been writing about I should talk about the other side of it.

Either way, now I have a much better idea about what to expect if I ever go to a PAX again!



Lightning Returns
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 10:00 am

Lightning Returns opens with some beautiful cutscenes.  Square still knows how to make some gorgeous pre-rendered stuff.

After that the game almost immediately becomes incomprehensible.  Throwing around a bunch of terms that don't have any relevance to a new player.  Final Fantasy XIII had this problem too, but in different ways.  Lightning Returns uses words that we know but in ways that are obvious different in the game.  God, Chaos, Ark, Savior.  They're used in a specific way in-game that doesn't actually map to the real-world terms.

I actually hate that they're using these characters from FFXIII but they aren't actually the same characters at all.  They've changed so much that they might as well have been wiped clean and replaced with all new characters.  Snow is a king or something.  Lightning calls herself a savior un-ironically.  Hope is here too but he's some kind of coordinator for Lightning's adventures and he's young again... even though he was older in FFXIII-2.  It's all just kind of weird.

The battle system is the most interesting part of the game.  It falls somewhere between the Dress Sphere's of FFX-2 and the Paradigms of FFXIII.  You can have multiple sets of equipment that you change between in the middle of battle.  They are essentially different classes.  The cool part is that each set has it's own ATB bar that charges up while you're using the other sets.  Battles consist of constantly switching sets and choosing from the abilities within those sets.  It's fast and really fun.

With a new set of characters and a different story I think I could have bought into this game.  I like the battle system, the gear system, and the idea of an open world exploratory Final Fantasy game.  But at this point I can't deal with these characters and storyline from FFXIII anymore.  They jumped the shark after the first game and it's just been incomprehensible since then.

I'm done with Lightning Returns after only a few hours.  I'm glad I tried it and got to see it's redeeming features but I won't be coming back to it.

Final Fantasy Project Article List





PAX Thoughts: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 11:00 am

Defusing a bomb with my brother was one of my absolute highlights of PAX.  Let me explain.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game where one person (me in this case) wears an oculus rift and is put into a room with a virtual bomb.  The other player (my brother) sits next to them with a bomb defusal manual.  You have five minutes to defuse the bomb or else you explode.  GO!

We didn't quite know what to expect but it ended up being amazing.  We were communicating back and forth so much.  I had to relay what I was seeing and answer questions for him about the bomb.  He had to make sure he found the correct instructions for the correct bomb modules I was dealing with.

What I didn't realize (because I was in the oculus) was that a crowd was slowly forming while we were playing.  We had a lot of trouble with our second bomb module.  We used two of our strikes (three strikes and you go BOOM) on the second module before deciding to leave it and move on.  We defused the rest of the modules and came back to module two with just over 30 seconds on the clock.  In a race against time he started rapidly iterating through the possiblities while I looked at the bomb and said, "No, No, No, maybe... No, No, No, Yes? Yes!  I think.  I'll try it."  And with that we defused the bomb.... with 7 seconds left!  The crowd let out a huge cheer!  I took off the oculus and there were at least 25 people standing there watching us do our bomb defusing attempt.  It was awesome!

The developer said Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is slated to finally release in October on Steam.  If you have a second player that's willing to try it with you... you absolutely should.  It was such an amazing experience!


PAX Thoughts: Star Wars Uprising
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 9:00 am

Star Wars Uprising is the first game to officially add to the new Star Wars canon universe since the old expanded universe was wiped out last year.  That alone has me excited.

Uprising takes place between Star Wars Episode VI and Episode VII.  It's part of the media push to span the gap in time between the original trilogy and the new trilogy that is being released this December.  I'm really interested to see where the story takes us as players.

While I think I'll like the game, the PAX floor demo kinda fell flat for me.  It seemed like it was just the first 10 minutes of the game.  There was a tutorial and then I got one special ability and defeated an easy boss.  It wasn't nearly enough time to figure out how engaging the full game will be.

On the other hand, it was enough time to see the influences Uprising pulls from.  It's a beat em up game in the style of Diablo or Torchlight, adapted for mobile controls, and with a touch of KOTOR flavor thrown in.  I could definitely see the KOTOR flavor in the UI and inventory systems.  I hope more of KOTOR has ended up in this game than can be glimpsed in the first 10 minutes of play.

There's no question in my mind that I will play this game when it releases.  You all know how much I love Star Wars.  I devour all the new Star Wars media that I can, especially when it contains key story moments or worldbuilding.

This game has potential with it's gameplay, but it's impossible to say if it will live up to that potential.  Here's hoping it does when it releases later this month!


PAX Thoughts: Cosmic Star Heroine
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 12:20 am

Cosmic Star Heroine was a game I almost kickstarted.  I don't remember why I didn't pull the trigger and jump into the Kickstarter but now I regret my decision.

On the floor at PAX I was taking a shortcut through the middle of the Sony booth and Cosmic Star Heroine was sitting there... playable on a TV... with only one person at the controller and no line.  I instantly remembered the Kickstarter and jumped over to check it out.



I love the way this game is turning out.  The moment to moment gameplay feels like the best parts of Chrono Trigger mixed with modern gaming sensibilities and a Sci-Fi setting.  In the first few moments of playing I knew that I would buy this game on release day.  I love a good RPG and I love Chrono Trigger and I love Sci-Fi.

A few minutes was all it took to convince me that I'll like this game.

If you're a fan of Chrono Trigger or miss the golden days of classic RPGs you should really check out Cosmic Star Heroine.

Now, I suppose, we just need to wait for an official release date.


PAX Thoughts: Eon Altar
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 September 2015, 12:09 am

Eon Alter was a game I heard a bunch about from my blogger/twitter friend Talarian.  That's because he's a member of the dev team!

I had heard a bunch but I hadn't ever seen the game in action or gotten hands on time until PAX.

It's a really cool concept.

Eon Alter is a multiplayer simultaneous turn based RPG that you control with whatever phone or tablet you have on hand.


My brother and I played it together, me with my iPhone and him with his Android phone.  All your controls are on your smartphone/tablet screen but the action is actually taking place on the main computer monitor.  All the enemies simultaneously take a turn, and then the players all get to take their turns simultaneously too.  That means that even though it's turn based you're never waiting long for the next thing to happen.

It's obviously still in early access since it's a bit rough around the edges but it's easy to tell the core hook of the game is there and working well.  We had a bunch of fun plowing through waves of enemies in combat mode on the show floor.  For playing the game we got Steam early access keys, so I tried story mode when I got home too.  Every player has their own secret objectives displayed on their personal screens.  It's a really cool design decision and I'm excited to see what they do with it.

While it's way too early to make a ruling on Eon Altar it is most definitely a game to keep on your radar going forward!




PAX Thoughts: Dreadnought
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 September 2015, 8:43 pm

Dreadnought was one of the highlights of the show for me.  I had never heard of this game before PAX and we wandered by it the first day.  I saw gigantic spaceships duking it out in real time action combat and I knew I had to try it.

We got into a deceptive line.  It looked really long but it moved really fast.

Dreadnought is slated to possibly be a spaceship action MMO, but for the moment they were showing off 5v5 deathmatches.  After about three minutes of play I was hooked.

You control a HUGE lumbering spaceship with crazy amount of firepower.  Because of the speed and firepower involved it becomes a game about positioning and strategy, not a game of twitch reflexes.  Think about something along the lines of World of Tank or World of Warships... only way more fun... and with awesome spaceships... and no permadeath.

I loved this game so much that I went through the line three more times during the course of PAX, even with all the other amazing games on the show floor.

I'm really looking forward to this one, even though it probably won't be out for at least a year.

Keep Dreadnought on your radar.




PAX Thoughts: Gigantic
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 September 2015, 9:00 pm

Gigantic was another surprise hit for me.  Like Dreadnought, it caught me off guard.  I had heard of Gigantic from Belghast since he had played it at PAX South.  But, I knew almost nothing about the game.

Gigantic is a 5v5 third-person shooter MOBA and it's a ton of fun!  Instead of having lanes, creeps, towers, and last hitting like a traditional MOBA... instead you get two gigantic monsters that square off against each other.  You need to protect your gigantic Guardian and kill theirs.

Basically, any time you help your team or hinder the enemy team you generate power for your Guardian.  When your Guardian's power is full they take off across the map to do battle with the enemy Guardian.  If they successfully knock down the other Guardian you and your teammates need to close ranks on it and wound it.  Three wounds on the enemy Guardian will win you the game.

I wish I could have gotten to play Gigantic more, but after the first day the lines on the floor got.... gigantic.

Near the end of the show we discovered a little theater away from the show floor with almost no waiting and 10 Gigantic stations set up.  So, we did get to play again.  But I want more.

Luckily I scored a beta key by playing it at the show.  It looks like it's Windows 10 only (boo) so it might get me to actually upgrade a bit earlier than I expected to.

I'll report back more if I successfully get Windows 10 and Gigantic up and running.




Blaugust Conquest!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 September 2015, 12:00 pm

Blaugust Conquest!

Belghast released the final results for Blaugust today and gave out some fancy graphics (see above) to everyone who participated, did half the challenge, or finished the whole challenge.

As you can see from my flair up there, I completed the whole challenge!

I was moving steadily at about 5 posts per week before this challenge, but moving up to 7 days per week was a cool way to push myself.

It was awesome to see all the content from everyone who participated this year!  Good job everyone!


More Sci-Fi Movies!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 September 2015, 10:00 am
I'm still on a Sci-Fi movie kick.  I feel like I'm playing movie catch-up lately.  I've been behind on my movie watching ever since my first kid was born and now I'm finally working through my backlog.  It just happens that a lot of my backlog is Sci-Fi.  Here we go with more impressions:

Oblivion - Tom Cruise is the last repair man on earth, maintaining drones until the automated machines have enough fuel to launch the last of humanity to our new home on Titan.  Until things start to go wrong.  I really liked this movie.  I could say more but it would start giving away the plot.  Overall, it's a good Tom Cruise sci-fi/action movie.  But, I like most of his stuff.

Jumper - The premise of this one was good.  A teenager learns he can teleport, starts using it to rob banks, and creates a new life for himself where he jumps around the world.  The first half was a lot of fun.  Then the second half jumped the shark and got stupid, predictable, and boring all at the same time.  I can't recommend Jumper.

Looper - A bunch of really good actors in a time travel movie where a present day character has to kill a future version of himself.  If I say any more of that it will give away too much of the plot.  But, this is a really good movie.  I recommend it.

Transformers Age of Extinction - Bad.  So, so bad.  I know last time I was checking out Sci Fi movies I said Jupiter Ascending was bad.  This is so much worse.  I couldn't finish it.  Avoid at all costs.

Elysium - In the future all the rich people have moved to a giant space station orbiting the earth while life on Earth keeps getting worse.  Matt Damon is a resident on Earth who gets screwed over by corporate safety standards, gets a huge dose of radiation, has fives days to life, and decides he has to make it to the space station (Elysium) to use their advanced technology to heal himself.  The first half of the movie took awhile to set up.  Probably too long.  The rest was just a Matt Damon action romp.  Overall it was ok, but not great.  If you love Matt Damon it might be worth your time.

Godzilla (2014) - This one was really good for a Godzilla movie.  But, it was still a Godzilla movie.  I enjoyed it once but I don't see myself ever watching it again.

Divergent - There's a huge Hunger Games vibe to this film.  But, that being said, it was good.  I liked it a lot.  In the far future humanity has been divided into 5 factions.  Everyone fits into one of these factions and it determines the course of their life.  Divergent is about the people who don't neatly fit into just one faction.  It's a cool setup and premise.  I liked the way they executed it.  This is another one that's definitely worth seeing once.


Unpacking PAX
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 September 2015, 8:55 pm

I got back home from PAX late last night and my mind has just been unpacking everything since then.  I'm mentally worn out from the long weekend, but it was a ton of fun!

It was my first PAX and I didn't know what to expect.  The show floor spanned multiple expo halls, all sorts of nooks and crannies, and offsite theaters.  We visited the expo floor every day and we got out to a few panels too.

Some of my highlights:

  • Watching Acquisitions Inc live on stage.
  • Hunting down the Talent Pipe pin for my wife.  That took so much effort and I'm super happy that I found it in the end.
  • Defusing a bomb with my brother in Keep Talking and No One Explodes.
  • Playing Dreadnought a bunch of times even though I hadn't heard of it before the show.
  • Getting hands on time with Gigantic, and winning both times.
  • Trying out Eon Alter which my blogger/Twitter friend Talarian is developing.
  • Hands on time with the new Star Wars mobile game.
  • So much more
I'm sure there's a ton I'm not even listing there.  It's hard to get everything out of my head and down on the page.  There was so much to see and do in the 4 days we spent in Seattle.

I think I'm going to randomly post thoughts about the various games over the next few days to help me mentally unpack my PAX experience.  So, expect posts on top of my normal posts.



Back to 5 Days a Week
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 September 2015, 10:00 am
Blaugust was awesome, but seven days per week of posts feels like too much for me at the moment.

I'm going to move back to my regularly scheduled posts on weekdays only.  Knowing I have 2 days off each week in nice, especially because I'm sampling less games at the moment.

This is just a quick post after all the awesome content creation that was Blaugust.  Regularly scheduled posts begin now!


The End of Blaugust
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2015, 1:01 am

Wow, what a month.  Blaugust was awesome!

31 posts in 31 days is a tall order, but so many bloggers have risen to the challenge.

I ended up working ahead and scheduling posts out in advance, but I know there are a lot of the bloggers who diligently wrote posts every day.

Congrats everyone!  We made it!  We made so much content and had a great time building our community!

This was a fantastic event.  Thanks so much to Belghast for organizing it and helping it along throughout the month.  It wouldn't have happened without him.

Thanks everyone who participated.  We made it!  You guys all rock!


Gaming To-Do List Update
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2015, 1:01 am
Earlier in the month I was inspired to make a gaming to-do list because of a great post by Izlain.  Now that we're nearing the end of the month and the end of Blaugust I thought it would be a good time to check in on the status of my list.

Here's where we stand:
  • Persona 4 Golden - Still playing and enjoying!  I plan on playing more.
  • Hearthstone - Succeeded in getting to at least rank 20 by the end of the month.  Kept up with the Tavern Brawl's every week for card packs.  Will continue to play for now
  • FFXIV Heavensward - I did daily trial roulettes until they stopped being fun.  Now I have the game on hold until the next content update.[removing from list]
  • KOTOR II - Tried and found it wanting.  Done with this game.[removing from list]
  • Valkyria Chronicles - I got back to the game and have been playing it.  Still not complete.  Will keep playing
  • Dirty Bomb - I tried it and didn't like it.[removing from list]
  • Fire Emblem Awakening - I still haven't gotten back to this game, but I want to.  It was a fantastic SRPG.
  • Lightning Returns - I plan on getting to it soon.  I want to spend more time with Final Fantasy spin-offs.
  • FFX-2 - Another Final Fantasy spin-off that I already own.  I liked playing it through when it first released.  I want to try the remaster! [added to list]
There we go.  A few games removed and one game added!  Lots of progress being made this month as I work toward the end of my gaming backlog.

Next month, September, is typically when games start releasing for the upcoming holiday season.  We'll see how that impacts my gaming intentions heading into the new year.  There are a few games I'm really excited about, but they're all scheduled to release in November or December.

It looks like I get to keep working on my backlog for another month!



Evergreen But Not as Welcoming
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 August 2015, 1:01 am
Exploring and revisiting some of my evergreen games this month has been interesting.  I'm finding that more of them have fallen off the evergreen playlist than I thought.

Two that are still "evergreen" in my mind are Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike Global Offensive.  But, I'm finding them much less welcoming than they once were.

It seems like all the casual fans of the game, including me, have drifted away from them.  All the players that are left are the players that never stopped playing the games.

Whenever I go online in either game I just get destroyed.  It's not as fun as it used to be.  I played both of these games a ton when they released and there were players of all skill levels.  Now, most of the players are very highly skilled and will destroy me.

They're not as welcoming as I wanted them to be.  It almost makes me afraid to even try some of the "higher skill" games that I've liked in the past, such as StarCraft II.  I feel like that one would be even worse.

I'm not a teenager and I haven't been for awhile.  I don't have hours every day to devote to getting good at one particular game.  I'll probably not have that kind of time again until both of my kids leave for college, and that's quite a ways off.

For now I'll just have to play these games less, else I get discouraged and give up on them forever.

It just makes me hold out hope for a Team Fortress 3 or a new Counter-Strike.  I would love to jump into a new game with a vibrant player base of all skill levels.


KOTOR II
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2015, 1:01 am

KOTOR II recently got it's first patch in years to make it run better on modern hardware.  That, along with a community pack of bug fixes and content restoration on Steam inspired me to revisit the game.

I had played a handful of hours of KOTOR II when it first released.  I loved the original KOTOR but I never got beyond the first few hours of the sequel.  It was a buggy mess that wasn't worth the effort.

Fortunately, with the updates available, it's a much more stable game.  And seeing it run at 1080p was pretty cool too.  Good job patches!

Again I found myself tired of the game after only the first few hours.  This time not because of bugs but because of old gaming sensibilities.  This game just feels clunky.  It doesn't hold up to modern ease of use and control standards.  There are menus upon menus and lots of un-intuitive control schemes.

Once again I find myself done with this game without fully experiencing it.  But, that's ok.  I still have great memories of KOTOR that will always be with me.

The truth of the matter is that this really makes me want a modern KOTOR game.  Bioware would knock it out of the park.  They've learned so much about game making since KOTOR and KOTOR II were released.

A modern KOTOR on modern hardware would be simply amazing.


What I'm Looking Forward to at PAX
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 August 2015, 1:01 am

By the time you're reading this I should (hopefully) already be in Seattle at PAX.  I'm super excited for my first (for fun) convention experience.  Here are a couple of the things I'm most excited for.
  • Spending time with my brother.
  • Thornwatch.
  • Wandering the floor and people watching.
  • Acquisitions Inc.
  • Discovering new games.  Video games or board games, I don't care.
  • Possibly getting to meet online friends face-to-face.
I can't wait to report back after the trip and let you know how it went.  Expect a couple regularly scheduled posts between now and then to tide you over.



Who's Going to PAX?
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 August 2015, 1:01 am

I mentioned it earlier this month, but it's worth saying again.  I'm going to PAX!  And I'm super excited about it!

I realized that it would be awesome to meet up with some of the blogging community that I regularly interact with.  If any of you dear readers plan on attending you should totally let me know.  I'd love to meet up on the show floor and say hi in person!

Honestly, the best way to get in contact with me will be on Twitter.  It's my primary social media these days.

I also still have no idea how to attend a convention for fun, so any tips and tricks are 100% welcome.

I'm heading out to Seattle tomorrow, so feel free to hit me up @grnmushroom if you're interested!  I should be around for the whole show.


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