Author Archives: Glen

Thursday notes

- So, we put in an offer on a house down in Georgia yesterday.  Hopefully we’ll hear something back on it shortly.  One week until I make my way down there.

- Dan beat me in the twitter race.  He hit 100 followers last week, while I’m still at 92.  This makes me sad in some way, but Dan rants about the NE Revolution a lot, so people probably enjoy that sort of thing.

- I started playing Fez this week, due to it being available for every Sony platform under the sun via Playstation Plus and I have to say that it is a very charming puzzle/platforming title.  The cross-save capabilities for the game are awesome as I can transition from the PS4 to the Vita version without any issues.  I love that feature and pray that Nintendo can put something like that together eventually for the WiiU and 3DS, but I won’t hold my breath on that happening (since there is only one Cross-buy title available at this point for Nintendo.)

- Tomorrow is my last day at work, so I’ll probably do a bit more posting next week as I have some more time during the days, but I am sure that I will end up sitting around eating Bon Bon’s and watching “my stories” instead.

Madden 15 deal at Best Buy (starts on 8/10)

Stick with me on this one kids, it does involve a few steps.

Next week, Best Buy will be offering $25 in trade-in credit for Madden 25 (for the PS4 and Xbox One versions,) plus a $10 coupon to be put towards Madden 15.

So, if you already have a copy, you can acquire Madden 15 for $25.  Good deal, huh?  It gets better if you do a few other things.

If you pre-order Madden 15, you can receive a $10 reward certificate when you pick up the game, so that takes it down to only paying $15 for the newest version of Madden for the PS4 or Xbox One.  If you have Gamers Club Unlocked, you get the game for $48 (after the automatic 20% off,) plus the $10 reward certificate, so you get the new version for only $3 after the trade-in, coupon, and reward certificate are all factored in.

Probably the best deal I’ve seen for getting a new version of a sports title in a while.

Monday notes

- Well, it continues to be a bit of a whirlwind for my family as we attempt to buy a home in Atlanta and sell our place in Wisconsin.  As a result, gaming time has been greatly diminished for me, although I have been able to spend some time playing a few WiiU games with my daughters.  It has been fun watching them grow into little gamers and hope that they continue to enjoy the hobby as much as I have throughout the years.

- In site news, I think I finally have resolved the server issues with the site.  It took a long time to figure out what was happening, but I think I have the specific circumstances that cause the issues that bring the database down.  It hasn’t been fun to troubleshoot, but I’m happy that I seem to have finally gotten the site up and stable.

- For game stuff, we have Madden releasing at the end of the month, and while I’m curious about how the tackling cone feature will work out, most of the game improvements seem to be solid ones.  I’m hoping to be able get a developer interview before the game releases, so we’ll see how everything lines up for that.

- After that, we’ll have NHL and FIFA releasing less than a month after Madden.  Should be a pretty busy month.

- Have a good week!

EA Access for Xbox One

So, EA has decided to launch an updated version of Season Access on the Xbox One where for $4.99 a month (or $29.99 a year) where you get access to their “Vault” which at the launch of their beta will include Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, and FIFA 14 along with 10% discounts on digital purchases on the Xbox One.

For a moment I thought this was a good deal, and could possibly see myself purchasing a single month rental from time to time just to play some old games, but when I look at the fact that I would be spending $30 a year to only get a 10% discount, why wouldn’t I just get the Gamer’s Club Unlocked at Best Buy (which has been down to $60 lately) which gets you 2 years where you get all games, for all platforms, for 20% off.

Sure, the “Vault” titles offer some incentives, but for me, I just can’t see a great benefit from this deal.

Thoughts?

Reboot

Well, I’ve held back on posting this for a while here, but I’m just letting everyone know that I’ll be moving to Atlanta, Georgia in a few weeks.

Craig, you know Craig, he sort of posted here once or twice, mentioned a job opportunity to me about a month ago and it looked to be a perfect match for my skills.

One month later, I had my offer letter and today I accepted the job.

It’s going to be a whirlwind to move the family almost 1,000 miles across the country to a new city where we really don’t know anyone, but it just seemed like an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.

I know that my new job will be very hectic for a while, but I don’t see any reason why the site can’t keep going the way that it has, and who knows, we might even be able to get Craig on for a podcast or two as the things go.

I’ll be posting more about the move and all of the other stuff that goes along with it in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Thursday notes

- Hey look, the site has been up for 2 days.  (Of course, that probably just jinxed the whole thing.  Damnit.)

- Not that I have bought the album yet, but I have been loving the new Weird Al videos that he is releasing daily.  How someone has been able to stay consistently funny all while working with different styles of music throughout the last 30 years is absolutely amazing to me.  I sincerely hope that he makes his way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at some point, as he truly deserves it.

- The Destiny beta launches today on the PS3 and PS4.  I will have 2 extra keys for the PS4 version, so send me a shout or a tweet if you want one of them.

-  Life has been pretty crazy of late (and next week will be no exception as almost zero downtime in the next week and a half.)  I’ll be posting updates as I can throughout though, because you know I love you all.

NHL 15 Physics

For the past few years, I’ve not been the biggest fan of the EA’s NHL series on consoles and I’ve never really been able to state definitively what my reason was for feeling that way.  The game is well designed and I know that a lot of people have a great deal of fun playing it, but as a person who actually plays hockey, it’s never really felt right for me.

Having said that, it is good to see that in their first edition of the game for the PS4 and Xbox One (please EA… get the game back on the PC as well) that they’re revamping the physics engine for the game.  Seeing pucks rolling on their sides and jumping over sticks, seeing players colliding in realistic ways, and seeing goals scored in new ways all look very good to me.

Maybe this will be the year that I really start to love the game again.  Time will tell.

FIFA World Cup 14 (PS3) – $24.99 or $14.99 (PS Plus)

Considering the fact that Gamestop is still selling the 2010 FIFA World Cup title for $39.99, it’s a huge deal to see the newest edition of the World Cup games for $14.99 via the Playstation Store (if you have PS Plus ($24.99 if you don’t,) which you just should at this point.)

Most of the online reviews state that it’s more of a “fun” soccer simulation than FIFA 14 was, so it might be worth a go to hold you over until FIFA 15.  Of course this is all predicated on the fact that you might be interested in taking on the tournament for yourself.  If not, then please disregard.

Monday notes

- Grr.  Stupid database errors.  Database just keeps crashing.  Linux is not my friend sometimes.  Oh, well.  Learning as I go.

- The Brewers season has been a bizarre one, to be sure.  They played lights out in April and June, average in May, and terrible so far in July.  Still, they enter the All Star break with a 1 game lead on the division.

My heart goes out to the family of Jean Segura though.  I can’t imagine losing your child, especially at an early age like that, and I wouldn’t fault him if he decided not to come back to playing the game.  Just an absolutely heartbreaking ordeal for him to have to handle.

- Seeing as how it was my first World Cup where I truly paid attention to it throughout, I was sad to see it end.  I was able to find heroes and villians throughout and loved the entire thing.  Really hope that the U.S. gets a chance to host it again in 2022 (if and when they pull it from Qatar, like they should.)

- Lastly, I have confirmed my tickets to take my daughters to see Crystal Palace play the Columbus Crew next Wednesday night in Columbus.  My oldest daughter desperately wants to see Chamakh now that he has resigned with the team, but I’m trying to impress upon her the fact that usually it isn’t too easy to meet an athlete at a match.  Still, I’m glad that she’s so excited about going to the match (as am I.)

Friday notes (What I’m playing edition)

- Woohoo!  The site has been up for 2 days without crashing.  Gotta love memory leaks in applications that cause database crashes. Or something.

- Dan has been bugging me to pick up Sniper Elite 3 and I just wanted to put forth a script to summarize almost every conversation that I have with him.

(Enter Glen.  A man, who even as he is approaching middle age, is still dashingly handsome.)

(Enter Dan.  A very strange individual.)

Dan: Hey! You should buy <insert game that came out in the last week.>

Glen: Why should I buy it?

Dan: Because it new and it’s a game.

And scene!

Seriously, this happens almost every single week.  It doesn’t have to be new games either.  Last night he was telling me that I should buy Bases Loaded on WiiU, because I should.

I think that living inside Dan’s mind would be one of the scariest places in the history of the world to be.

- Having said all that, I did try out Sniper Elite v2 (due to the fact that Steam had the game for free a few months ago) and have found that while playing it on the easiest setting that it is quite good.  It is certainly incredibly violent, but it does let you do something like this.  My best to this point is 2 kills with one shot, but it is fun to try and line up those kinds of shots and then pull them off.

I can imagine that the new version of the game has improved some of the aspects of the controls and graphics, but I’m definitely enjoying this game for the $0 that I paid for it.

- Also on the playlist of late is Assassin’s Creed IV for the PS4 and what has been interesting for me is that, for the most part, I’m completely ignoring the story (except to unlock the capability to complete certain events) and just cruising around from island to island wrecking the Caribbean and blowing up forts with the big-ass cannons on my ship.

I have absolutely zero interest in the multiplayer side of the game, but boarding ships and killing random Spanish and British sailing crew has been a blast for me.

- With my Club Nintendo rewards points, (I have far too much Nintendo stuff, and am still pissed about missing out on the Mario Bros shoelaces that they offered in the past) I picked up Kid Icarus 3D for the 3DS.

I don’t know if I was some sort of gaming savant in my earlier days or if my skills have faded that much, but the game kicked my arse when I played it last night.

There seems to be a great deal of nostalgia about making games hard again and I feel that eventually we’re going to reach a point where someone will create a game that punches you in the face every time you make a mistake just to make it “hardcore.”

Having said that, there is still something to completing a massive achievement in a game.  I still remember the feeling that I got when I beat Mike Tyson in Punch Out (had to use the cheat code to face him, as I could never beat him after defeating everyone else in the game.)  There is just something special about the challenge that was in some of those old games, so I will stick with Kid Icarus for a while and see if I can find some of my old skills, rusty as they are.

 

Site issues

Sorry for all of the issues that we’ve been having over the past few weeks.  It looks as though we’ve run into a memory bug with Amazon ec2 hosting that has to do with the mysql database that I have configured for the site.

I have implemented a fix and hopefully it will resolve the issues, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the site for the next few days to make sure that the issues are resolved.

Sorry again for the problems.

Quick movie reviews

- Earth to Echo

I have incredibly fond recollections of seeing  movies such as E.T., Flight of the Navigator, and Explorers as they helped foster my love of space when I was a kid and when I saw this movie coming out, I couldn’t help but to think that it would be a decent fit for my girls.

They did enjoy it, but then again, they have liked some of the Barbie cartoon movies that they have seen.  Nothing terribly wrong or offensive (other than gaping plot holes throughout) but I was hoping that it was going to be less of a kids buddy picture and contain more that might foster some sort of interest in learning about space.  Oh, well.  Only out the $15 for the 3 of us for the matinee.

- Snowpiercer

Damn.

Ever since hearing of the film about a year ago, I had been anxiously awaiting the U.S. release of it and I was not disappointed at all.  There were quite a few spectacular performances throughout, but those of Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton really stand out in my mind.  I have to say that Evans monologue in the final 3rd of the film was one of the most uncomfortable moments that I’ve had watching a movie in quite some time.

Visually, the film is quite stunning as well, as the train becomes the star of show during many segments of the 2 hour run time.

I really recommend that you take a chance on the film if it is playing at any of your local theaters.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

Thursday notes (TV and movie version)

- Good news for those of you that are Sherlock fans (and seriously, everyone should have seen or should be watching this show by now) as there is a Christmas special set for next year and season 4 should be airing at some point in 2016.

All three series are on Netflix if you haven’t caught the show to this point, so you can get all caught up with the show there.  I won’t blame you if you skip the Hounds of the Baskerville episode as that’s the weakest of the lot, but the rest are all spectacular.

- It’s not very often that I have an evening planned out 3 years in advance, but I’ve already locked down April 7th, 2017 to be a movie night for me (and hopefully at least one of my daughters.)

Pacific Rim has become one of my favorite movies from the past few years and I was desperately hoping that a sequel would be made.  Now I can spend the next few years re-watching the original and waiting to see what other Yaeger’s and Kaiju that Guillermo Del Toro can throw into the next film.

- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks pretty damn good from what I’ve seen thus far, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as Rise of the Planet of the Apes was an impressively good film. I guess I just had such low expectations considering how bad the Tim Burton version was just a decade earlier.  This week 3 short films have been released detailing the 10 year gap that takes place between Dawn and Rise and all of them are quite good.  This is the kind of viral marketing that I really enjoy and it makes the film universe that much more rich.

- If things work out this weekend, I will be checking out Snowpiercer at one of the local theaters here and will report back with a brief review on it.  Hopefully it lives up to the reviews that I have seen for it to this point.  I’ve been waiting to see it for the better part of a year now and am happy that it has finally arrived in theaters.

Things for the U.S. to take from the 2014 World Cup

- First off, Tim Howard was a stud yesterday.  The fact that someone changed the Wikipedia entry for the Secretary of Defense and replaced the position with Tim Howard was a testament to how great he was in net yesterday.  The game could have been over before reaching extra time without his efforts.

- The U.S. needs Premier League/La Liga/Bundesliga level talent on their squad if they are going to expect to complete on the world stage.  While they might be able to get out of the group stage with the MLS talent that we have been sending, it’s clear that Belgium had a different level of players on the pitch and it showed in extra time.

Sidenote: When Belgium brought in Lukaku late in the game the only thing that I could think to myself is, “Holy crap, how deep is this team that he was on the bench until this point?”

- Julian Green is the future.  The U.S. needs to start developing more players like him, or create a time machine to have more American servicemen father children back in the late 80′s, if they really want to compete beyond the round of 16 in Russia in 2018 (or in 2022, wherever that World Cup might be as Qatar is in doubt at this point.)

- Don’t listen to anything that the grizzled old sports-writers say, soccer has arrived in the U.S.  The amount of enthusiasm for this World Cup was tremendous and people were talking about it everywhere you went.  When my parents and sister wanted to come over to the house for a match-watching party, that was a great indication of how far the game has come in the last few years.  If the U.S. would have pulled off an upset yesterday, the country would have gone ballistic on Saturday for the game against Argentina.

The game is incredibly popular for children and will continue to be so for as long as the NFL and Football struggle with the issues of head injuries that swirl around that sport.

- The future looks bright for American soccer and it should be fun to watch going forward.

 

 

 

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