Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Working hard and other tales of woe

Seems like my musings are becoming more of a weekly event now, maybe I was just being overly dull by spamming up a new topic everyday or maybe I've just run out of things to say. I know a number of my special topics have fallen by the wayside but that is mainly because of how busy I've been with both my real job and also the stuff I do over at x360a.

I was lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view, ha ha) enough to be made a moderator over at x360a recently, which is a nice compliment though one that is more time consuming than I thought. Trying to keep a handle on spam, flame wars and general idiocy is a full time job and I'm glad there is such a good team of guys on hand to cover my back.

What I didn't expect was to have people just be plain stupid for nothing. My initial thought was that everytime I closed a thread, deleted/edited a post or generally made alterations - I would let the poster know what I had done and why. Just friendly like. As I assumed this would stop people from raging over things being chopped without their knowledge and generally let them know how we worked as mods and what was/wasn't accceptable.

I had to give this practice up within days of starting it though, as one particularly irate guy refused to accept the fact I had edited his posts and persisted in saying he was right to swear at other people. When I didn't agree he then laid into me instead and claimed I was a bad human being, he also claimed I had said things I hadn't and generally acted as obnoxiously as he could.

............I hadn't even infracted him in the first place, just removed some cussing from one post and told him about it.


He got an infraction in the end and it made me stop trying to be so friendly for fear of it happening agin. Human nature can be a terrible thing. Still other, than that I've had some nice polite responses and generally positive vibes from people so long may it continue.

Alongside the mod side of the site I've also been working on a couple of reviews, editing The Bigs 2 (which should be up soon) and writing a review for the Ashes 2009. A decent game of cricket indeed and one that is a very easy 1k for those that are interested. It has been a bit quiet on the review front to be honest but things should pick up from August onwards as the inevitable holiday rush begins. Some good stuff to look forward to even amongst all of the big name delays.

On a purely gaming front I have been fairly low key. Finally got around to finishing off Lips after a couple of marathon co-op sessions with my lovely lady, so that is completion number 140 in terms of retail games. I also rushed through Ms Pacman, Pacman: CE and Xevious plus picked up the last Dig Dug achievement. My arcade completions are a lot less impressive with only about 14 or so but I'm really not interested in that many games.

Cru and I have finally started our run through of Damnation on Insane difficulty, so hopefully it won't take too long. We did the first couple of levels in an evening - with Cru moaning about the badness of the game the whole way through, ha ha! We still have the crappy multiplayer to deal with too. Oh the joys.

I'm also making great progress on the Rainbow Six front as I'm now up to Lt Colonel, so only two ranks to go until I'm done with the boosting. Hopefully I'll be up to Colonel in the next day or so and that will just leave me with the final slog to Elite. I will then need to finish up the game in co-op mode - which will make me one of the very few people NOT to have Elite as the last achievement unlocked, ha ha! The Ashes is also proving to be remarkably simple so I hope to have that sewn up in the next couple of days too - only four achievements left for me to snag.

After that it will be back to NBA Ballers and I may also seriously consider some GOW as well - it is the only lengthy online game left on my card now after I've managed to tick off Army of Two, COD 3 and Rainbow Six. Am I ready for such a marathon effort so soon though? We shall see.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Live Arcade - rip off of the century?

Anyone that knows me will know of my disdain for arcade games in general. Other than Geometry Wars (back in the day) I just feel that the standard has generally not been high enough to justify the costs. Paying over the odds for games like Yie Ar Kung Fu (which I had on the Spectrum 128k about twenty years ago) et al just feels like a real kick in the nuts when such games can probably be found for free all over the internet.

Hopefully things have started to pick up recently. Games like Castle Crashers, Monkey Island (is know its just and old game made anew), Splosion Man and the like have given me hope. The quality of original games seems to be on the rise while the older remakes are actually adding something new rather than just being a straight port. This can only bode well for the future. Though I have noticed that the prices have crept up too - 400 point games seem to be dead now, while 800 is becoming increasingly rare. Can you honestly say that such short games are worth as much as 1200 or 1600 points? I think not, but I'm sure many would disagree.

What I did pick up on the cheap was a copy of the Namco Museum disc, which includes nine arcade games for a fraction of the price it would have cost me to buy them seperately. I haven't exactly gotten over my hatred of so many cash in games, but the chance to snag an easy 1400 points in just a few days seemed too good to miss.

I got stuck in over the weekend and managed to get the full 200 in Pacman, Galaga and New Rally X. I'm also one achievement away from completing Dig Dug (just need to clear the whole screen on one level and then I'm done). Next up will be Ms Pacman, Pacman CE and Xevious - all of which seem to be a nicely attainable 200. The only two games in the collection that I'll be giving a miss are Galaga Legions and Mr Driller, Legions is meant to be a rough game to polish off and I have to admit that my shoot 'em up skills will probably not be up to the task while Mr Driller has a bunch of online achievements that seem like a bit of a drag to get done. I don't want to invest too much time in a mere 200 points. Though I did slog through Puzzle Quest but at least that was enjoyable.

On the retail game front most of my time is being taken up with Rainbow Six Vegas, as I claw my way up to Elite rank. I've also been dabbling in the few achievements I am currently missing outside of the online mode - as I finished up all of the co-op terrorist hunt missions and am now working my way through the story in co-op too. I'm hoping to get the whole thing done by the end of the month.

I'm also hoping to get back into NBA Ballers this week and hopefully get close to polishing it off. The game is a rough one to play but I think I should be able to get through it relatively easily - having to play through the story twice is the most unappealing aspect of the whole thing. Still I have suffered through worse.