April 28, 2009

New system?

As I mentioned last week, I am in a gaming funk.  I think I am worn out on FPS Shooters, 3D Adventure games, and just about any game that requires you to move with the left analog stick and aim with the right.  I need a change.
 
So, I am considering buying either a Wii or a DS.
 
As Gabe will tell you, I love Nintendo.  Which is why it boggles my mind that I don't already own both these systems.  Nintendo is my favorite developer.  I consider Shigeru Miyamoto to be an absolute genius and I feel confident purchasing any game he creates without even seeing a screenshot first.  And yet I have been gaming sans-Nintendo since the last time I fired up my Gamecube about 5 years ago.  How'd that happen?
 
I probably got swept up in the technological aspects of this "new" generation.  I was dumbfounded when Nintendo released the specs for the Wii.  It seemed more like the Gamecube 1.5.  Worst of all, I was just getting in the wonderful world of high-definition and the fact that the Wii would only output 480p video seemed ridiculous (I still think Nintendo dropped the ball by not having HD video output for the Wii.  Fine, it won't be pushing millions of bump-mapped polygons, but everything looks better in HD!).  And then of course, there was the controller.  In hindsight, Nintendo knew what they were doing, but c'mon, you know that the first time you saw the Wiimote you thought Nintendo had lost it.  I know I sure did.
 
So, even though I knew the Wii was the only place I could continue my Mario and Link adventures, I allocated my gaming funds to my 360 and PS3, both of which could feed my corneas the HD goodness they were craving.
 
The DS was never really an option for me.  Prior to the PSP, the only other handheld I owned was the very first gameboy.  Handheld gaming was not something I did much of.
 
But fast forward to today and that DS is looking pretty sweet.  It can offer two things I am looking for, Nintendo games and something completely different from what I am getting now.  The Wii also offers that, but for some reason, I am really leaning towards the DS.  I already have a list of DS titles that I would love to play.
 
I'm going to hold off for now.  I have some credit card bills to pay off first (that iMac wasn't free!) but once I am done, I definitely see myself finally getting some Nintendo back in my life.
 

April 27, 2009

Weekend notes

- Well, the Marlins suck now all of a sudden.  After starting the season 11-1 and coming off series sweeps of the Braves and Nationals, we have now lost 6 in a row, getting swept ourselves by the Pirates and the Phillies.  Ouch.
 
Maybe we're just not that good after all.  In fact, thinking back to that Nationals' series, we could easily be in a 9 game losing streak right now, since we won all three of those games by coming from behind in the final innings.  They could have easily been loses.
 
Here's hoping things pick up.  We start a tough series against the Mets tonight.
 
- On the gaming front, I played some Rock Band for the first time in months on Saturday.  Well, actually that is not accurate, I should say I played drums for the first time in months, since I purchased Pearl Jam's Ten album when it was released last month and I have sung Jeremy and Black many times.  :)
 
But I hadn't played the drums ever since breaking my third bass pedal a while back.  My buddy brought over his pedal on Sat. night and we jammed.  Man, I was extremely rusty.  Still a lot of fun though.
 
- Gabe and I played 18 holes of Hot Shots golf on Saturday.  It was a lot of fun.  I was on fire too and ended up finishing 14 under par I think.  Gabe didn't stand a chance!  lol.  Rematch!
 
Speaking of Hot Shots golf, it is time for another Sony rant.
 
Sony's PS3 does a lot of great things.  As a piece of technology, I love it.  Bluray playback is top notch and it offers a lot for tech heads (web browser, slide shows, SACD playback, dvd upconversion, etc.).  One the gaming side it has proven to have plenty of horse power and games designed specifically for the system have really shown what it can do (Uncharted, MGS 4, Killzone 2, MLB: The Show).
 
That being said, the system does a lot of things terribly.  I've previously commented how un-user friendly it can be, especially with game or system updates (especially compared to how the 360 handles things).  But on Saturday, Gabe and I were struggling with what is the systems biggest weakness by far.  The entire online network/infrastructure.
 
It is TERRIBLE!
 
First of all, you cannot send Friend Invites.  I've taken for granted how convenient this is on the 360.  Want to pay an online game with a friend on the 360?  Just send him an invite.  Once he accepts, he is automatically placed in your lobby.  Simple.  Easy.  Convenient.
 
Can't do that on the PS3 (unless the game itself offers the feature).  So, here is what we have to do to get into a match of HS Golf.  I call his cell phone.  Yes, I have to call his cell and say "Hey Gabe, ok, I am going to be in the 1st Clubhouse, 2nd floor, 1st lobby.  Go in there and then look for the match that I will create."
 
That is all types of fail right there.
 
We've also played for about 3 weekends in a roll now and only one time have we been able to play with voice chat.  Now, this is not a Sony problem as much as it is a Hot Shots problem, but hey, if you could do a private chat like you can on the 360, this wouldn't even be a problem.
 
This is the main reason why I always choose the 360 version of a game over the PS3.  As a "gamer", the 360 does just about everything better.
 
The PS Network may be free, but I'll gladly pay for my Live service and get a fully functioning network.
 
Ok, rant over.
 

April 22, 2009

Marlins

The Marlins have lost two straight to the Pirates after going on a 7 game winning streak, sweeping both the Braves and the Nationals on the road.  We're now 11-3.
 
I guess going 161-1 was just wishful thinking on my part.
 

April 21, 2009

Gaming notes

I'm in a weird gaming funk at the moment.  Even though I have several games left unfinished, I'm not in the mood to play any of them.  Fallout 3, Prince of Persia, Little Big Planet, FEAR 2, Far Cry 2, CoD: WaW, Ninja Gaiden 2, Lost: Via Domus, Condemned 2, GTA IV, I have yet to finish any of those titles.  But the thought of popping them in my disc tray is not very appealing for some reason.
 
My gaming for the last 2 weeks has consisted of MLB: The Show 09 and CoD4 multiplayer.
 
Maybe I am getting tired of the type of games I normally play and need something fresh.  Of those 10 incomplete games, 5 use firing a gun as their main gameplay mechanic, 5 are played from the 1st person perspective, 8 use combat as at least 50% of their gameplay (I'm thinking Lost doesn't require too much combat and I don't considering jumping on enemies as "combat" for LBP).  I also could just be tired of sequels.  Only LBP and Lost escape the sequel category.
 
Yet, I am clearly drawn to these type of games, since I've come close to purchasing both Riddick and Fable II to fill my gaming "void", both of which are sequels, and both of which fall in some of the other various categories I've just mentioned.
 
And on the horizon, here are the games that I know I am interested in:
 
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Mafia II
- Lost Planet 2
- Madden 2010 (not sold yet, but this new team seems to be heading in the right direction)
- Modern Warfare 2
- Halo: ODST
 
Again, practically all sequels, and more shooting and combat.  lol.  I need to get addicted to a new genre!!!  I'm in a gaming rut!
 
Any suggestions of quality titles that don't conform to the usual gaming trends are appreciated.
 

April 13, 2009

Weekend Notes

- Well, the Marlins are 5-1 after sweeping the Nationals and taking 2 of 3 from the Mets.  Hell of a game yesterday.  Santana vs. Johnson looked like a great pitching match-up on paper, but the real thing was even better.  Both pitchers were at the top of their game.  Santana probably had better stuff than Josh (even though Josh took a no hitter into the 6th) and the Marlins were just lucky that the Mets' error resulted in a couple of runs in their favor.
 
We begin a 3 game series against the Braves in Atlanta tomorrow.  Should be a great series considering both teams are tied for the best record in the majors.
 
- I am once again addicted to CoD4 multiplayer.  I played until 2am on Saturday night and have been playing every time I turn on my 360, even though I have Fallout 3 and Prince of Persia sitting there incomplete (well, I actually have a ton of games incomplete).  On the PS3 front I am loving The Show (as always).  Played some Hotshots and Killzone with Gabe this weekend too.
 
- Looks like my A/C is broken.  That is never a good thing when you live in Miami.  Fun.
 

April 08, 2009

Marlins baby!!!!

The Marlins are 2-0.  I think we might go undefeated this year.
 

April 03, 2009

Completely random post

For no reason whatsoever, other than I was just thinking about this, here is a list of all of Pixar's full-length movies in order of my favorite to lease favorite.
 
Finding Nemo
WALL-e
The Incredibles
Ratatouille
Toy Story 2
Toy Story
Monster's Inc.
Cars

April 01, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum

I have been thoroughly impressed by all the media I have seen on Batman: Arkham Aslylum, especially the latest first glimpse of actual gameplay.  Batman is a great character and there has never been a good Batman videogame to my knowledge.  I really hope Rocksteady comes through and delivers a satisfying game.
 
Visually, the game looks solid, running on the Unreal III engine.  They have the proper voice-talent, so I just have to hope that the story and gameplay comes through.  I am glad that it looks like it won't just be a standard beat 'em up, since stealth and gadgets seem to be a major factor in the game.  I am hoping the game plays semi non-linear and lets players explore Arkham island as they see fit.  I wouldn't mind some Zelda-esque backtracking, coming back to previous areas with new gadgets and abilities to access new areas.
 
This is actually the only game I am really looking forward to in the near future.  I have my fingers crossed.