Sports!

Hey who won the Super Bowl? LOL. I don’t think I’ve been jumping up and down like that since the last time Glen rebooted the server and it worked!

The Club Nintendo massive gaming giveaway is now happening. Some pretty nice deals there – if you can log in.

Speaking of logging in, Madden Mobile sure his hard to login to these days.

 

Okay more later.

Superstorm!

So, welcome to our blizzard. The scene outside is nasty — tough to see out there, lots of snow but we still have power. Yay!

In other news, nice to see that Nintendo’s Hyrule Warriors hit the million sales mark. It was for me an unexpected surprise and well worth checking out.

Don’t forget that Punch-Out for Wii U is marked down to $9.99 through tomorrow, so pick that up for sure.

Anyone want to talk about underinflated balls?

Deep Thoughts Friday!

Hello everyone. Happy friday. I promose this is a delated-ball free zone.

So, if anyone knows where I can get that Majora’s Mask 3DS  please let me know. Didn’t realize it would be so difficult. Even Best Buy has a shipping only rule on the standard device. Yes expedited shipping is free but where the release is a Friday, I want it that day, not the following Monday.

I think I mentioned this already but it bears repeating: it sucks that Club Nintendo is going away. And no more Digital Deluxe program either. You’d think Nintendo didn’t need loyalty programs or something.

As part of the Reading Rainbow kickstarter, I received my Pebble smartwatch a week ago. Why didn’t I buy this sooner. This thing is awesome. I just wish it had more memory so I could upload more apps!

 

 

Club Nintendo, RIP

One of the best things about Nintendo was the Club Nintendo rewards program. You entered codes you received when you purchased the game, took a brief survey, earned points and redeemed for neat rewards: I earned a “real” Game & Watch, a giant 3DS Mii Maker card, some DSi Game & Watch games, and some great 3DS cases, not to mention the very cool calendars (which ended in 2014).

Because it was so awesome, Nintendo naturally decided to end the program as of this year. The new 3DS XL will NOT have a special code and the program will end in North America June 30. Games released after TODAY will NOT earn points.

Boo!

Sunday Thoughts

We’ve been having some slight server issues so that explains the lack of posts :).

So, gaming.

I’m interested in the new 3DSXL, but man could they make it more difficult. Gamestop offers $100 trade in when you bring your old 3DS but first you have to transfer all that data over…also not having an AC Adapter is rather cheap in my mind, especially since when you trade in the console, you have to have an AC Adapter. On the bright side, I won’t need that special Circle pad pro case any more. Yay.

Maybe the AC adapter will be a featured Club Nintendo item. Speaking of Club Nintendo, I got a couple more of those card cases which is one of the best items you can get with all my points.

After Burner 2 3D is worth picking up btw.

In PC gaming news, the game I’ve been playing a lot of is Road Redemption. The game reminds me a lot of the old EA Road Rash series. It’s in Early Access right now and is only $20, you’re on a motorcycle and it’s beat the crap out of the other guys (and police)…so it is very reminiscent. Give it a shot.

Super Mega!

Happy New Year everyone!

The game that is taking up most of my time continues to be Super Mega Baseball. It’s only out on PS3 and PS4 but it is truly one of the most fun sports experiences I’ve had in a long time.

it is missing a true online multiplayer component but you can compare scores on the leaderboard. I know you are thinking who cares if I hit 3 runs..but this is different.

You see every play has the opportunity for you to earn points (outside of the actual score of the game). Striking out your opponent gets you 100 for example. This is then multiplied by a factor of your “ego” – the higher the ego, the more difficult the game is – and the higher the multiplier. An ego of 60 multiplies the score by 8 while an ego of 20 multiplies it by 4 (and the game is harder at an ego of 60). So while your goal is to still win the game traditionally, you can compete with your friends and yourself by aiming for a high score – earn it by having scoreless innings, keeping walks down and so forth.

If you like baseball, it’s worth playing. There’s a league option and you can also hire coaches for performance bonuses (ie +3 to power batting etc).

it has action and strategy. It does not have real players but who cares. Give it a shot.

 

 

 

 

Super Mega Baseball

Have you played Super Mega Baseball yet? This game is fantastic. It proves you can play a baseball game that’s fun and has a new take that enhances the game but doesn’t change the rules (hello earning points in game) — it doesn’t have a license but you won’t notice. And at $20 – it’s a much, much better game than RBI Baseball. Be sure and check it out!

Stuff!

Hi all, we’ve been having some behind the scenes server issues so updates haven’t come fast and furious (no not that wordpress thing)…

 

Anyway, some good deals are out there if you would like to fill your cart:

Super Mega Baseball isn’t on sale but it is cross buy for PS3 & PS4 and only $19.99
NBA Live 15 Xbox One is 35% off ($38.99 for XBox Live Gold subscribers)
PES 2015 Xbox One is $40.19 (same deal)
Power Star Golf (Xbox One) is $10 (again)
The Golf Club (PS4) is $20.99

That should keep you busy…./

Ralph Baer, RIP

On top of a Revs loss (LA Grrr, Extra Time grr…Revs are first to five in MLS Cup losses GRRR), the other sad news I heard today was the death of Ralph Baer. He was the inventor of the world first video game console and lived close by — less than an hour away.

The last time I spoke with him was back in July of this year and he shared with me some behind the scenes detail of a console I owned, the Odyssey 400 system. It was really great stuff – for example Magnavox had TI (Texas Instruments) make the chips for them.

You wouldn’t know from an email he was in his early 90s, He always had told me to come by and see some of his protoypes. Never had the time unfortunately. Thanks for the memories and the video games, Ralph!

Monday thoughts

Now that all the good games have been released we have some gaming to do! Or maybe I just have some downloading to do. The amount of downloads for games are insane and really don’t take into consideration bandwidth caps that many people have in the US — and don’t get me started about Canada because they are even more restrictive.

I want to give kudos to our friends who made Your Turn Football and now Tap Sports Baseball, as according to Glu Games recent financials, recorded $1.7 million in revenue since launch. Not bad…and one of the few games I continue to play on my iPhone!

Happy Monday!

91 miles with my grandpa

It took me 29 days, from the day he passed away, but I was able to run 91 miles, 1 for each year of my grandfather’s life.

Previously, I mentioned that I had not seen much of my grandfather over the last few years of his life, but during this last month I felt more connected to him than at any time than I could recall during my life.  I spent a lot of time thinking about him, the times that I had spent with him, and the fact that I will carry his name for the rest of my life.

I thought about the upcoming Brewers season and thought about the fact that even though we never went to any games together, that I will be taking part of him with me to every game I attend. I thought about how even though he had lost his legs in the last few years of his life, that it didn’t stop him.

My regret is that I just wish that it didn’t take his passing for me to realize that he has always, and will always, be a part of my life.

I know that I’ll keep running with him in the future, smiling while I think of him, and knowing that each step I take will be a bit easier because he is there with me.

Thank you for being a part of my life grandpa.  You’ll always be in my legs, my mind, and my heart.

WWE2K15 impressions (PS4)

When I was in the 10th grade I got really into WWF wrestling.  Being the pasty, and acne laden, young lad that I was, and seeing that people’s of the female persuasion were avoiding me quite adeptly, I needed something to occupy my time outside of my usual video game passions and so wrestling became that vice.

It was something that really only grabbed my attention for about 5 or 6 months, but I loved every minute of the matches that I caught on Fox 47 every Saturday or via video tape rentals from Woodman’s grocery store.  Along with that, I spent a good deal of time playing Pro Wrestling for the NES and started to find that this a sport/game that could be a tremendous amount of fun to play.

Sadly, not many wrestling games could live up to the greatness of Pro Wrestling for a long time until I found WCW/nWo Revenge for the Nintendo 64 and I became enamored with the sport again for a spell.  Revenge had an absolutely wonderful control system and the matches were tactical and entertaining to play, and the multiplayer on the system was chaotic and exciting every time.

For the last few years, I’ve dabbled with wrestling games trying to find that one that would draw me back again, and while last years WWE2K14 came close due to the vast amount of historical content that you could play through, this years version of the game just doesn’t quite do enough for me either.

In my initial time with the game, there are definitely some fun elements to the game, but there are also some pretty frustrating components that prevent me from saying that this is a game that you should run out and purchase.

Let’s start with the My Career mode.  Once you have designed your wrestler, you are dropped into a tryout for the NXT, and even though I lost my first match I was still signed over the, vastly superior, CPU opponent who thoroughly dominated me in every way.  Once you are signed you are sent to the WWE Performance Center to work on working on your skills, but even though you would think it would be more of a tutorial, they give you almost no feedback about how to get better at the game in these training matches.  A brief explanation is given to the new “chain wrestling” mini-game, but beyond that, you’re kind of thrown into the game play without any real instruction as to how to pull off any specific attacks or special abilities even though certain matches report that they will give you bonuses for aerial attacks and such, but without any way of knowing how to do the special moves you have to press buttons at random until you can try to figure out what you are trying to do.  The game could really use a true training gym feature where you could go against a defenseless CPU to get acclimated to the game controls and button configurations, but perhaps that feature will come up next year.

Along with those issues, there is no in game manual, but there is a “manual” section of the options, which when selected gives you a url for the WWE2K15 website.  I appreciate them saving the paper and not printing out an actual manual along with the game, but having a small menu where it showed you button configurations would have been a nice touch.

As for the good in the game, I have enjoyed playing with the 2K showcase where you have a chance to play through two story arcs from the recent past (CM Punk vs. John Cena and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels.)  While the story segments are fun and you are rewarded with unlockables by mirroring certain segments of the actual matches, it is disappointing to only have 2 story lines presented with the retail version of the game, and to get more stories, you have to pick up the season pass (which unlocks 3 additional showcase segments.)   Also, if you manage to lose any of the matches in the Showcase, which can easily happen if you’re trying to accomplish all of the unlockables, you are subjected to virtually the same commentary over and over for the matches with very little variation.  Again, the mode is fun, but it has some issues that just prevent it from being great.

Speaking of the commentary, even though the game touts that the commentary has been improved, you will still hear a great deal of the repetition from the Jerry “The King” Lawler and WWE announcer, Michael Cole.  This is something that 2K has struggled with in both their WWE and NBA titles and I’m not sure what they can do to make it feel more organic, but it is definitely not a plus for the game.

If you want to know the best feature of the game, it has to be the customization capabilities that are included.  You can modify almost every single element of the WWE universe, from who holds what championship belts to the complete modification of the broadcast calendar for the next year, and along with that, you can adjust sliders for just about every aspect of the matches as well.  If you struggle with the reversal timing elements, there is a slider for that.  If you think that the AI is too good at reversing foreign object attacks, you can adjust those rates.  Want to make the wrestlers bleed when severely injured? Done!  Nearly every aspect of the game can be customized to your own personal preferences and that is a huge plus.

Along with that there is a very rich character creation suite that allows you to modify everything from the words written on your headwear to the placement of various tattoos on your body.  Different outfits, masks, arm and legwear are all available and allow for you to create a very diverse and different wrestlers, which allows you to really personalize the game to make it feel like it is “your WWE.”

To paraphrase a line from an NBC sitcom intro song, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have WWE2K15.”  This is a game with a balance of good and bad elements, but based on my time, I would only be able to recommend the game as a rental.

Now I just have to wait for the moving truck to get here so I can dig out my copy of WCW/nWo and make Sting’s head bleed.

Quick Wednesday notes

Hello again, all.

– Things are finally proceeding on the family front and, if everything goes to plan, they will be moving down here by the end of the month.

It’s been incredibly hard to be alone for this much time (with some flights home every few weeks) and I’ll be very glad to have the company.  You can only talk to yourself for so long before you start to run out of things to say.

When this process started, I thought it would be like when I was single before my wife and I moved in together, but after living with someone for 18 years, I can safely say that it’s pretty hard to go back to being alone.

Once the family is here, I’ll post a bit more about my last few months, but for now, I’m just trying to not to jinx the house selling process.

– By the end of the week, I should have my thoughts on Football Manager 15 on the site  along with some early impressions of Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 for the PS4.

– It seems like site issues are beginning to stabilize, but we are continuing to see brute force attacks on the site for whatever reason.  Hopefully they will go away in time, but it seems like this is just part of running a WordPress site.

– Lastly, through 20 days I’ve run 71 miles.  The last 20 will be a bit more interesting as I’ve got some pretty good blisters on my feet, some pretty good hip and knee stiffness, and I’ve lost 2 toenails.  Without a doubt this is the most I’ve ever run in such a short period of time, culminating with last week where I ran almost 30 miles in 4 runs.  I have to say that it has been very rewarding and has given me a lot of time to think about my grandfather and because of that, it has all been worth it.

 

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