Cars, Settlements, and Colorful Blocks

The wily gamers among you can tell from the title that my gaming rotation is still consisting of Forza Motorsport 2, Catan, and Puzzle Quest. My love of the latter two has been well-documented on this blog and I continue to play them both each and every day. In fact, I just collected another win in ranked play on Catan several minutes ago and continue to look forward to a quick 15-minutes with PQ every night before falling asleep. It's going to be hard not to buy this game a second time when it comes out on Xbox Live Arcade.

Forza, on the other hand, did not receive the same glowing praise from me that the others did, yet I continue to play it daily. Actually, I typically reach for the controller at least two to three times a day. There's a Pokemon-like "collect 'em all" thing going on with the 200 cars in the game and although I readily admit that I don't totally enjoy playing the game, I nonetheless cannot stop. Whenever I'm playing Forza I'm thinking of turning it off and playing Catan (or getting back to work) but whenever I'm not playing it, I can't stop thinking about racing a couple more events to try and level up my driver some more.

I just reached Level 29 (of 50) this morning and I need to hit Level 30 before some more events become unlocked. I don't know how much more I'll continue playing the game, what with DiRT coming out next week, but I do want to reach Level 35 so I can finally at least complete a few more leagues. I have about 13 hours of driving time invested in the game so far, yet the way the game is structured, I haven't yet been granted permission to the final two events in the "Amateur" league. Go figure. I'm totally torn with this game, in case you can't tell, as I have such a profound respect for it technically, and want to finish it, but at the same time I can't play it for more than 15 minutes or so at a time without wanting to play something else. This game is like work. It's a grind. But it's rewarding so I continue to play it. I don't know why.

Oh, and before I forget, let me downshift back to Catan for a moment. There's a new "expansion pack" available today but all it adds is a few more historical personalities such as an AI version of Joan of Arc for use when playing single player matches. It costs 200 points ($2.50) and adds about a half-dozen or so AI characters. I think this is a fine addition for those who play the single player mode, but the game has gotten popular enough that both ranked and un-ranked multiplayer games seem to fill quickly. Right now I'm only playing ranked matches as I find people less likely to quit mid-game and because the points go towards the final Achievement that I haven't earned yet. I'm currently sporting a 21-52 record in ranked play and figure I need to play another 45 or so games to get the Chancellor of Catan Achievement. Once I do, I'll probably continue playing or wait for another expansion pack to be released.

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