One of my favorite kinds of Groupons is the kind that gives you discounts to food. I’ve gotten tons of them over the years and it is this fact that makes me feel that it is too bad that Groupon seems to get less and less restaurants to ante up for them as time goes by. However, a few weeks ago, I did notice one new groupon that didn’t really get advertised much but seems to be rather awesome. And that is Plated. The idea behind Plated is that they get chefs to provide them with fairly easy to cook recipes and then send those recipes to you along with everything you need to cook it. What a great idea! Continue reading
So on this Thanksgiving Day, I am going to post a summary of my earnings from various money earning websites. I figure it is good for me to post this sort of thing somewhere just so that I can look back and see how I did versus previous goals. I know that usually happens closer to New Years, but that will likely be taken by other yearly stuff that this doesn’t entirely fit with. Plus, to be honest, I really am thankful for these sites as they have helped me get by some hard times! Continue reading
I’ve been in online gaming for over 15 years now. As you can imagine, I have a lot of former guildmates. If ind this somewhat humorous because I haven’t been in an MMO regularly for about a year now. Therefore, I don’t have any current guildmates. The funny thing about someone who was in one of my guilds, unless we split on bad terms, I would almost always consider them my brother or sister regardless of how long it has been since we had even spoken to each other.
And so it goes that last night, one of my former guildmates did reach out to me for in aid in the form of an indiegogo campaign they started to help her raise money in order to go to an independent art show as she was now designing jewelry. The show is one which allows her to go sell her wares with no cut being taken and also issues best of show awards for those artists who have done a particularly good job. All in all, even if she did not win it is a good opportunity to get word out about her wares and network which is always good for business. I gladly put in money, not a ton, but what I felt I could afford. Continue reading
I definitely have the feeling that there are too many Lego games at this point. Lego Star Wars was an amazing game. It made you say FINALLY, there is a good Star Wars game. But it also made you say, OMG this is a good Lego Game. Traveler’s Tale Studios did what any good company should… they made more… a lot more. At first it was just a couple of sequels to Star Wars, but then they started branching out. And now we have lego versions of Indiana Jones, Batman, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and now Marvel. The problem is that though they have changed licenses and the graphics have advanced. The formula has maintained largely the same. Break some bricks, build some stuff by holding “a” and find secret areas to unlock secret characters for freeplay. It has gotten old to be sure. Continue reading
Pokemon X has a very strong Red/Blue vibe to it that makes me think back about Pokemon of yore. I really feel that there are a number of Pokemon who have long needed new members to their evolutionary chains. This seems particularly true now that Game Freak has added Mega Evolutions, which are essentially a forth line of evolution, albeit temporary. I think one of the things that many people liked about Gold & Silver was how it brought new evolutionary chains to the old Pokemon, this is something that hasn’t been done as much since. With that, I thought I’d come up with 10 pokemon that are in pretty big need of new evolutions, most of which are older, but there might be a couple newer ones as well. Continue reading
Good job Greg Jennings. 1 reception for 9 yards. Way to prove my point. Boykin, btw had 5 receptions for 89 yards. The chase is on.
Greg Jennings has spent the entire offseason talking smack about the Packers. Tomorrow he finally gets to put his money where his mouth is when the Packers play in Minnesota. It should be an interesting game to say the least. I don’t really want to talk to much about Jennings big mouth and even bigger ego, though it does seem to me that his constant talking about the Packers and Rodgers has more to do with the fact that he made a mistake in turning down the Packers offer which was bigger than what he got than anything else. What I really would rather talk about is how Jennings has been doing ON the field. Continue reading
It has been a week since Pokemon X first made its worldwide launch. I have played with it a little, but I’ll be honest that my opportunities to play has been limited until this weekend. So while it has been out for a long time, I just got past the second gym leader. With that, I figured it was time to put up something about the latest in the Pokemon series.
First off, to my credit on just getting the second badge is that, this version of Pokemon is HUGE. I mean Black & White were noticeably bigger than previous versions of Pokemon, but this one makes that one look small. I’d say on average there are 4.5 routes per badge, and each of those routes are probably about 50% longer than previous routes. The fact that you now have a base speed that is much faster due to roller skates, is very well necessary. Without them, I feel like the pace of the game would likely be far too slow. So while it is much more immense in size, there is a good balance being met to make you feel like you are accomplishing things.
With the size, it would be easy to sit there and say, well that must be boring with looking at the same pokemon over and over again for such a long distance. But Game Freak has decided with this one to truly utilize their back catalog of Pokemon. With this series, there are about 750 total Pokemon to catch, and they don’t leave a lot of them out of the loop. Ignoring Black & White which was weird because it had only pokemon from that series in its main area, most of the time in a new pokemon game, any particular route has about 4 to 6 old pokemon and 2 to 3 new pokemon in it. This one seems to average about 7 to 8 old pokemon with 1 to 2 new pokemon in it. Yes this means that this series has probably fewer new entries into it than any previous entry into the game, but it also makes each area feel like it is a completely wild area with loads of different Pokémon every time you walk into the brush which I really loved. Continue reading
With Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD for the Wii U now out in stores. I feel the need to reflect on the zelda games that I prefer. This list is in order from least favorite to favorite, and is also only including console Zeldas, not portables, and does not contain versions I have not played.
Legend of Zelda – Original
Ok, so I really enjoy this version of Zelda, but I will be honest in saying that this enjoyment mostly comes from nostalgia. I remember as a kid going to a friends house and seeing it for the first time and thinking it was amazing that my friend owned this game and wishing I could somehow get it (which never happened). However, the game itself is not easy to figure out what you are going to do. I like the exploration within the game but the level of which it just throws you into the game with little to no direction is difficult to muster. Other games that left it open in the series like this one weren’t so harsh in this manner.
Ocarina of Time
I would guess this would surprise anyone reading this blog. Most people find Ocarina the best of the series and one of the best games of all time. Don’t get me wrong, this game at the time was extremely good, without a doubt. However, I feel anyone who plays it now and actually still thinks it is the best in the series is letting the nostalgia get to them. The reason this game was so good was because it really was the first of its kind. It did things no other game had done, and reinvented Zelda in a way that is still overpowering the series (much to reviewers dismay). However, I personally don’t feel the game has aged overly well. This might be because every game that has occurred since Ocarina in the series has copied it so heavily. The sad fact is, of all the Ocarina-like Zelda, Ocarina of Time is the worst. Nintendo refined the series so much after this point that it put this game to shame. Continue reading
It has been a big week for you Valve. You have announced the new Steam Operating System, the long rumored steambox and even a controller meant for Steam. You are quickly finding yourself on your way to the home console market. But l want to put out a few requests…
First, don’t compete with the X-box, Playstation or Wii consoles. Instead, compete with Boxee, XBMC, Apple TV, and the Google Box. Make an HTPC, a good one. The HTPC market has long struggled to do games correctly, and though Microsoft and Sony continue to try to give you a home entertainment solution, to say they have much to be desired is an understatement. You already have the games down and you have more potential than most to get the movies and internet down too because you come from a PC environment.
Second, do a better job with letting the user customize the User Interface. Right now the interface of Steam is ok. But for television it is god awful. Sorry to say. I mean you made a good attempt with the Big Picture stuff, but all I got out of that experiment was not to use Steam on the Big Screen and instead download games separately and then go ahead and create my own screens with a real HTPC setup. Right now you can make categories, change the small banner, and change the faded background images in an indirect route. I want to change the layout more, I want to change the description, the links, I want to be able to add slideshows if I want. I want more customization with the visuals. I want to make subcategories!!!!
Third, get good partnerships. We all know that you are going to partner with Netflix, Hulu and probably Pandora. Everyone does. But get Twitch, Google (Youtube), and Spotify on board too just to name a few. The more like a real HTPC you can get the more successful you will be.
Lastly, Do better with the controller. It looks like ass. You indicate that games that work better with keyboards, like turn-based strategy games, should be great for this. I for the life of me don’t see how. I looked at it and thought that would be terrible for Civ. The only real nice thing about it is the touchpad that allows you to customize areas in it to be buttons. I thought that was a nice touch. Now I’m willing to give it a try, but I’m not overly optimistic. I was really hopeful you’d do better than that.
Now overall, I am quite excited by the Steambox. For the simple reason that I’ve been looking for a way to stream games to my television well and thus far I haven’t really found any good solutions. Steambox is promising to do just that and it is free software at that which is really cool. I also like the concept of the new sharing deal, though I’ll be interested to see just how many companies sign on to allow people to share. I assume at the very least Portal will be sharable, but I imagine no games that just get launched will have them. I am also curious as to what hardware requirements all this is going to take because I probably will build my own box and am curious at the cost of it. But I do think just on the base Valve has a very good start. They just need to correct some things from past iterations of Steam Big Picture.
Good Luck Guys.