Back to the Games

I apologize to those of you who find your way over to my blog in hopes of reading something about gaming, as I have been doing very little of it lately other than that which is required for work (and you all know I can't write about that). The past few weeks have been pretty stressful for me between working on the guidebook for Lost Planet and with getting my TransRockies training underway and then the dreaded bike-buy decision. But all of that has finally come to a head: the book is done, training is going very well (another 31 mile mtn bike ride today, by the way), and the bike has been ordered.

Yesterday I woke and for the first time in nearly a week, I flipped on my Xbox 360 to play some Gears of War. I'm halfway through Act 4 on Hardcore mode and want to finally just finish it up and resume occasional multiplayer gaming, or just move on to something different. But first I want the Achievements. Which actually touches on one of the unfortunate aspects of my job -- pre-release copies of games don't work with real profiles and Achievements. So far, I've authored guidebooks for four of five X360 games and probably have earned at least 750 Gamer Points for each of them, but it doesn't carry over. If I want to show for them, I have to buy a retail version of the game like everyone else and play them all over again. Hence, my pedestrian pace of going through Gears of War. As much as I enjoy the game, even great games lose their luster when you've played it a half-dozen times. The only other game that I wrote the guidebook for then played again once it released was Full Auto, which I really enjoyed. Until the copy I rented from Gamefly crashed and erased my game save data. So, yep, I'm stuck on the 560 Gamer Points for Full Auto and sorry to say that I'm not buying the sequel. There's just no excuse for having your game save deleted. And I really liked that game too. Sucks.

So this brings me back to the other morning. I flipped on Gears of War, played for about ten minutes and decided I wasn't in the mood. So I popped in Test Drive Unlimited to try and finish up a few of the boring Hitchhiker missions I still had left to do. Lost interest three minutes later. I thought about popping in Fight Night Round 3 or Ninety-Nine Nights, both of which I've had sitting in my drawer care of Gamefly for several months, but I didn't want to start anything new up. I really ought to cancel my Gamefly membership as I never play the games they send me.

What I really want to play is Viva Pinata, but I'm holding off buying that one to see if I get it for Christmas. I doubt I will, as I've told everyone I know that I need cycling clothing/equipment and training DVDs this year. We'll see....

Anyway, my point is that I'm in a gaming funk. Which is probably natural by this time of year for those of us who work in the industry. The fall is chaotic. I had nary a day off between working on the guidebooks for Prey, Okami, Dirge of Cerberus, and Gears of War. And the only reason I had some time off before Lost Planet was due to a debug machine crapping out on me.

My next project is for the PS2 game, Dawn of Mana which releases in Japan on 12/19. Since I'll be playing the Japanese import version for a while, I'll actually be able to post about it. It's a pretty big title, especially on a personal level as I normally don't handle the large-scale RPG guidebooks, but I've been wanting to do one for a while so here I go. At least it's an action-rpg and not a turn-based one.

But until then, I'm primarily going to be dabbling with Enchanted Arms some more and working on the slideshows I'm putting together. I'm finally finishing up the slideshow for my wife's family (I was given 40 rolls of negatives from the 1950s to scan in, touch up, and create a slideshow) and I'm also making one for the trip to Costa Rica I did earlier this year with my friends. That one will be a bit easier to do as they all sent me a DVD with their individual photos on them and I just have to pick and choose the ones I want. No scanning. Thank God. About time I get to that CR one too considering I bought some Tico and Nicaraguan music CD's when I was down there to use as background music for this very project. Time to get busy.

Oh, and if you're playing either of the new Live Arcade games, Small Arms or Roboblitz, please write and let me know how they are.

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