Category Archives: Gaming

Tuesday notes

- Now that I have started to use my rehab equipment things are a good deal more painful than yesterday, but the meds are helping to take some of the edge off.  The fun part will be sitting in bed for 4 hours every day, for the next 2 weeks, while my leg gets lifted up and down over and over again. 

One of the biggest challenges that I have found out about, post surgery, has to be the fact that I can’t carry anything while using my crutches.  Making a meal becomes a much more complicated task once you realize that you can’t easily carry food from a microwave to the table.

Oh, well.  I guess it is all part of the process to getting back to”normal” though.

- Out of the Park Baseball 15 released yesterday and Dan and I should be posting some thoughts on the game over the next few days. Also, we are efforting an interview with them to talk about this version of the game and all of the new features contained in it.  I hope to be able to bring that to you by the end of the week as well.

- Dan mentioned Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball for the 3DS over the weekend and I highly recommend all 3DS owners give it a look.  I have already bought 3 of the mini games and have enjoyed playing each of them quite a bit.  I highly suggest looking for some of the online guides into the haggling process in the game so that you don’t have to pay full price for any of the mini games though.  If you play it right, you can pay $16 instead of $40 for the whole collection of games by the time you finish it.  Plus, you get to enjoy more of the games story that way.

- OK.  Back to bed for me.  Have a good day.

Monday notes

- Sports On Earth does a much better job of summing up what is going on with the Brewers right now than I ever could, as they detail what has been happening with the team during their 10-2 start (including winning their last 9 in a row.)

It’s hard to think about big series in April, but with 3 against Pittsburgh (already completed,) 3 against St. Louis, then another 4 at Pittsburgh, there is a lot of interesting games in the NL Central early.

Also, while it’s impossible for the Brewers can keep playing like they have, it’s been sure been fun to see how many interesting ways they can win games of late.

- Dan was giving me grief for not mentioning the Brewers lately, but I have been paying as much attention, if not more so, to Crystal Palace’s play over the last few weeks.  Getting 9 points over the last three weeks has pushed them from 17th place (and in serious danger of relegation) to 12th place and 7 points clear of 18th (with 1 game in hand) with 5 games to play.

While I still have so much to learn about the Premier League, and soccer in general, I just love the passion that the Palace fans show at every game, whether at home or on the road.  I’m glad that I picked the Eagles to support as this season has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

- The other thing that I’ve been watching was the end of yet another Islanders season.  That organization frustrates me to no end.  Maybe next year they’ll sell the team and fire Snow… maybe…

- FIFA World Cup 14 is due to release tomorrow for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and while I loved the previous game, I really couldn’t get into the game based on the demo.  The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA play incredibly well and are very fluid, but the older version of the game engine just doesn’t seem to hold up very well after having experienced the new versions of the FIFA game engine.

- Konami has released their own World Challenge DLC for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and while it doesn’t have the full presentation that the EA Sports game costs, you could get Pro Evolution and the DLC for just over half the price ($29.99 for the game at Amazon – $4.99 for the DLC) of picking up FIFA World Cup 2014.

Something to think about.

 

Wednesday notes

- Hopefully you’re all able to get your brackets in.  I have mine completed, not that it will be any good (I’m pretty bad at them traditionally,) but it is done in time.

- Picked up a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and you should have seen how excited my daughter was to be able to visit the village I made in my game.  It really is the simple things that amaze them sometimes.  Of course, as soon as I got the game, I had plans for the next two evenings so she couldn’t come and visit my village again.  It’s tough being a parent (and having a life outside of home.)

- I have to admit that I’m a bit curious and jealous of the tech writers that are getting a chance to try out Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift at GDC, but the good thing is that it is going to be a few years before the headsets come out for the Playstation and PC.  Still, the tech looks cool and they could make for some interesting gaming experiences.

- Lastly, I’m very excited to start playing inFamous: Second Son over the weekend.  The first two games were two of my favorites in the previous generation and I look forward to being an truly evil bastard who will be destroying large parts of Seattle very soon.

Thursday notes

- Long time, no see.  Work=crazy.  Moving on.

- Front Office Football 7 now has a Steam Greenlight page.  Do Jim a favor and give it a thumbs up to get it onto Steam.  Steam really needs more of these types of sports games on it and Jim’s game is one of the best.

- Yesterday my copy of Titanfall showed up via Gamefly and all I was able to do was to install it. (I had hockey last night and I’m trying to do as much of that as I can before my surgery.)  I’ll give the Xbox One version a go before deciding whether or not I want the game or not (for either consoles or PC.)  I’ve read some reviews that state it is a First Person Shooter for people who don’t usually play those sorts of games.  I guess I’ll find out if it works for me….

The Xbox One has been a huge buyers remorse device for me since I purchased it, so I’m really looking for something that makes me use it more because I haven’t found much to do with it to this point other than letting my kids watch Amazon Instant Video in the living room while yelling “XBOX SELECT” at it.

- When a feature is removed from Madden, it’s a good guess that it’s because the NFL wanted it out.

- So, plenty of details are out there now about the new RBI Baseball and there is good and bad there.

Good:

Simplistic Gameplay

Season Mode

No Pay to Win

Unlockable Jerseys via Season Mode

Bad:

Few Gameplay modes

First console game from MLB AM

To this point, the Good outweighs the bad, but we’ll have to wait and see if it the game turns out to be a fun and entertaining sports product.

- Lastly, I think I’m going to be buying a second copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the next week or so.  My daughter ended up taking my copy when I gave her my old 3DS at Christmas and she has become completely addicted to the game.  I’m still a bit sad that I had to erase my village to let her take over as mayor in her own game, so I guess her enthusiasm for the game has got me interested in playing it again as well.  Gotta love the kids.

Friday notes

- So, I gave South Park: The Stick of Truth a good hour of my time before I decided that I didn’t care for the game.  I’m sure that devoted fans of the show will love how they were able to make a game that really feels like an extended South Park episode, but I just couldn’t see how it was going to keep me interested enough to play through the entire 10 to 15 hour campaign.  If you are interested, there is a segment where you can create excrement that you can throw at enemies in the game to distract them…. so there is that.

Again, I pretty much knew what I was getting into with the game, but I wanted to take a look at the game and found that it just really isn’t for me.

- Probably the highlight of my week happened when someone stopped by my office at work and taught me how to tie a bow-tie.  I’ve been annoyed at how difficult that process was every time that I’ve tried to learn how to tie one and now I think I finally have it figured out.

I’m sure after a good 15 or 20 minutes tonight I’ll have it dialed in and I will complete one of my goals of looking like I’m the whitest guy in the room.

- Have a great weekend

Thursday notes

- As a small percentage of sports fans would know, yesterday was the NHL trading deadline and the Islanders moved Thomas Vanek to Montreal for a 2nd round pick and a prospect who is playing in the Swedish junior leagues.   The bummer in this was the fact that they had acquired Vanek for Matt Moulson (a fan favorite player) along with a 1st and 2nd round pick for an upcoming draft (they can defer this years 1st to next year from what I’ve read,) so they essentially lost a high draft pick (they are in the bottom five in league standings at the moment) to rent Vanek for a lost season and only gained a player who may never make it to the NHL.

It’s been a frustrating season as an Islanders fan, and who am I kidding… it’s been pretty disappointing to be an Islanders fan for the last 20 some years (1993 was the last time they were in the finals for their conference and 1984 was the last time they were in the Stanley Cup finals.)

It’s really hard to see what they’re trying to accomplish, as they have done almost nothing to try and acquire the goaltending help that they need, along with a large need now for a forward to replace the scoring that Moulson/Vanek were providing.  Sigh… it’s tough being an Islanders fans some days and lately there are a lot of these kinds of days.

- Last week, I was really struggling to find a game to play to fill the gaps until some of the bigger titles for this month came out (South Park: The Stick of Truth, Titanfall, and inFamous: Second Son.)  After a few failed attempts at finding a game that would really grab my attention, I took a look at my Wii library and grabbed Super Mario Galaxy 2, which had been sitting unopened since 2010.  It’s moments like that where I realize that I have a serious problem with buying too many games (which I am really trying to address via Gamefly, rather than buying games new.)  Even though I knew that the game would be terrific and that I would love to play it, I consistently allow myself to get distracted by things varying from other games to random woodland creatures running around outside of my home.

I can safely say that my time with the game has been terrific though.  Waiting a few years to play it doesn’t make it any less great, and it has been tremendous fun to play through.  Also it has the nice bonus of being a game that I don’t mind my daughters walking in on watching me play.

Pro Evolution 2014 Data Pack 3 is out

Thanks to Paul2478, I see that Data Pack 3 is out for Pro Evolution 2014 is now out for the PS3.  I’m actually grabbing it at 1:15 in the morning, since I just got home from playing hockey late on Wednesday night.

Paul will also be updating his option files in the next day or so as well so that you can get all of his kit and player changes once he uploads the files.

After a few months of time comparing FIFA and Pro Evolution, it’s quite easy to say that I prefer the gameplay of Pro Evo over FIFA.  Both are fine games, but Pro Evolution has got to be my pick for the better soccer game to play right now.

MLB 14: The Show Quick Counts and Player Lock

Sony has announced some of the details today about the new Quick Counts and Player Lock features that have been implemented in MLB 14: The Show.

I have to say that I’m torn about such a feature.  While it’s great that they will have a way that might actually allow people to play through an MLB season without having to sim a great deal of games, I would be curious to know how much statistical analysis has been done to know how accurately they could put forth those kinds of counts in the game play.  If it’s being completely at random, without any knowledge of the strengths (or weaknesses) of the hitters or pitchers, then it really becomes just a time saver and nothing else.  If, on the other hand, they would be backing it up with historical count information for each player, then it could be pretty interesting.  (Of course, this says nothing about how it would be handled for new players that enter the game.)

It’s safe to say that I’m thinking about this a bit too much.  Probably just way too geeked up for baseball season to start.

Tuesday notes

- Typically with a basketball arena, you don’t want these sorts of things happening

Gotta figure that the person in that seat is a bit unhappy with things right now (and feeling pretty damn lucky right now.)

- Finished up Tomb Raider last Friday night and was entertained throughout.  $60 entertained?  Ehhhh…. I’d have to say no.  Considering you have been able to pick up the game on the PC for $5 over the last few months, I would have to say that the graphical additions to the game wouldn’t have been worth the price difference for me.  Thankfully, I rented it and didn’t have to deal with the post-purchase guilt.

- Tomorrow morning is my meeting with the orthopedist at which point I will be finding out what they want to do to address the labrum tear, arthritis, and bone spurs, on my right hip.  At this point I’m hoping for a surgical plan just so I can get the damn pain resolved and start  training for the marathon that I want to run at the end of the year.  The person in charge of my hockey group has different plans and he just wants me to play through pain for the rest of my life (he just doesn’t want to find a sub for 6 or 8 weeks.)

Either way, we should have a plan tomorrow.

 

Thursday notes

- As a person who doesn’t really mind winter (other than my wife talking about moving us to Minnesota at some point in the future… it’s much colder up there,) it has been nice to have a bit of a warm up (32 degrees today!) over the last few days.

Also, I think that a law just passed so that it’s homicide is justified in cases where someone says, “See?  Global warming is total crap.  It’s so cold and snowy here.”  Sigh…

- NBA2K14, for the PC, is down to $14.99 at Amazon right now.  There seems to be such an awesome modding community for that version of the game with things ranging from college basketball mods to Space Jam mods.  Almost worth picking it up just to be able to see all of the stuff that people are doing with it.

- Pitchers and catchers report in 2 days for the Brewers.

- One of the things that I love about following the Premier League now is the time difference.  Getting to watch games first thing in the morning and then be able to have the rest of my day free has been awesome.

That also works out well for the Winter Olympics this time around as I was able to get up at 6:30 this morning and catch the first period of the USA/Slovakia hockey game before even getting into the shower to go to work.

Based on one day of watching hockey, here are my thoughts.

NBCSN’s coverage?  Great.  No commercials during the period that I saw and they had their best NHL announcers there.

Streaming?  It sucked.  Same coverage, but every time there was a stoppage in play there were 10 to 15 second commercials.  Half of the time, you were  missing part of the game action because the commercials took longer than the set up to drop the puck.

I guess it’s time for me to try and get a Slingbox set up again at my house just to avoid all of that crap.

Wednesday notes

- The pond hockey tournament in Eagle River was terrific last weekend even though there we were skating in wind chill temperatures as low as -20 below zero.  I did grab some video from a home-made camera mount on my chest protector, so I’ll see if I can grab that in the next few days and get some of the “highlights” posted.  The weekend went far too quickly and I’m already looking forward to the tournament next year.

- Not that I got a chance to see much of him when I was growing up, but Pete Maravich was one of my favorite basketball players when I was a kid.   Watching the videos of some of his highlights on Youtube show you some of the amazing things that he was doing almost 40 years ago, and it is very easy to picture a player like himself being in today’s game without any issues.  If you get a chance, take a look at the story that was written over at Sports on Earth about the relationship that Pete’s two boys had with the game after he passed away.

- Last week, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 showed up from Gamefly and it is one of the most fun games that I’ve played in recent memory.  It pulls very heavily from the Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed style games, but doesn’t have all of the machismo that those games provide.   While there are some disconnects in the story as Lara transitions from a simple researcher to a stone cold killer, the cut scenes at least give you the feeling that violence isn’t the action that she wants to take but that it is put upon her out of necessity.  I can highly recommend that people rent the game, at the very least, as it is a beautiful game to watch as well as play.

- Anyone else as geeked up as I am to watch men’s Olympic hockey start up?  Canada, Russia, and the US all take the ice tomorrow.

- Lastly, I’m really excited to see Crystal Palace play against Everton today as the new additions to the squad really made a big difference in their offensive play style during last Saturday’s game against West Brom.  It’s asking a lot, but if they can steal 3 points on the road today, they can push themselves up to 10th in the league table and the chances of getting relegated become greatly diminished.

Thursday notes

- Currently, I am on the road on the way up to Eagle River to the USA Hockey Pond Hockey championships.

I really look forward to this trip every year as it is a great weekend of hanging out with friends and now that i am getting a chance to play, that just makes it that much better.

Now I just have to hope that my hip holds up for the three games, but I am sure that it will be fine.

I will try to post some pictures from the tournament, either over the weekend or when I get back, to give you an idea of what the environment is like.  It is pretty damn cool, in my book.

- In a curious development, EA Sports announced FIFA World Cup 2014 today.  In and of itself that isn’t too surprising, but what was interesting was the fact that it is only being released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and is skipping the PS4 and Xbox One.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14 were good upgrades of the previous generation software and the new engine offered some nice changes to the old FIFA engine and it is too bad that they are being passed over for this game.

I am anxious to play this when it comes out though as FIFA World Cup 10 was one of my favorite sports games on the PS3.  Hopefully the features this time around are as good or better than that version to justify the 59.99 price point. 

- Have a good weekend.

Tuesday notes

- For the first time (out of only 3, so far) I will be passing on the “free” Playstation 4 title that comes as part of my Playstation Plus subscription.  For the month of February, it’s Outlast, a horror title ported from the PC version that was released in September of last year.

I’ve never liked the horror genre in either movie or game format, and can’t recall a time where I ever really wanted to be scared intentionally.  Just not my cup of tea, I guess.

- In Steam streaming news, I keep trying out new games via the beta and last night Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien was up.  Again, I was surprised by the lack of latency issues with the game as I was able to play the game without any issues, which is pretty impressive considering how time sensitive you need to be with your button presses.   At this point, I’m still very impressed with the beta.

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