So this is not for everyone – but for those friends who have played Call of Duty 4, this video review is priceless. This guy is notorious for his brutal take on games – a guy who goes by the moniker ‘No Punctuation.’ If you play COD4 or any online shooter games (one of my weaknesses), do not wait – go watch this video. Note – adult language, drugs and other language not appropriate for the kiddies featured in this video. You’ve been warned.
Fudgehogs. Horstachios. Seedos. Doc Patchingo.
These are but a few of the characters Sam has grown to talk about pretty much incessantly since I bought and began to play the very addictive (and very kid friendly) Viva Pinata game for the Xbox 360, recipient of a ‘great’ 8.3 rating from Gamespot.com. I read a piece in Parents Magazine praising the games “”excellent production values, universal human values, appeal to children, and age appropriateness.” Well, I don’t know about all that, but it’s innocent, colorful, and has appealing gameplay for yours truly and entertains the heck out of Sammy. And it has it’s own TV show. Anyway, Sam sits beside me with a controller (sans batteries) and ‘plays’ along with Dad. If you have kiddies in the house, I highly recommend this one.
So today will feature a fast update as I’ve been too darn busy with work to post any updates for some time now. Please check out these galleries, and I promise to be back soon with more and more frequent content posts.
In my most recent photo set, we headed out for a walk to the neighborhood playground with Sam in tow this past Sunday. More pictures here.
We hosted a small get-together for the Super Bowl, and Sam was gung-ho for all the action. He, like dad, is sad that we have at least another six months before we can watch football on the tube again. Click here for more photos.
We also finally renewed our membership to the Georgia Aquarium. The pass now allows us to get in without a reservation, and is a big improvement over last year’s system. Sam and Amy have already gone several times during the day – perfect for the cold months here. Anyway, we had a great time on this visit – photos here.
Here’s a cute picture of Kate and Jay Sandhaus’ little guy, Alex. We got together for dinner a few weeks back at the local kid-friendly hangout Dakota Blue. Alex slept most of the time, but his parents were much more alert, even at the end of a long week on a Friday night. More pics here.
Finally, there is this picture from early January and a few others when Sam decided he wanted to play along with Daddy on the Xbox360. Smart little guy – I look forward to years of getting my butt kicked by his much better reflexes than my own!
Not since playing the original Wizardry, the seminal adventure game for the Apple II back in the early 80s have I found an adventure-type game to be so engrossing – The Elder Scrolls Oblivion on the Xbox 360. Seriously, this game has everything – amazing graphics, an intriguing script, and superb gameplay. It’s so open-ended, I’ve been playing for a total of some 60+ hours and haven’t gone beyond 20% game completion. Oh – and Sam loves to watch me riding the horse through the forests! I keep trying to convince Amy that watching the gameplay is at least as good as most of what’s on tv these days, but she’s not buying it, sadly.
I’m playing a sneaky-magic-thieving character, and it’s tons of fun to lurk about, trying to save the land – while making a nice income as well. Also fascinating about this game is the approach of offering downloadable ‘extras’ for the game. After a mistart with a lame piece of horse armor (yawn), I’ve been jazzed about their add-ons for mages (the Wizard’s Tower) and now, just released, the Thieves Den. Obviously for your sneaky types, this add-on offers a Captain Jack-style cave/ghost pirate ship hideaway, and allows you to hire a band of thieves, fences and other experts to support your Dark Brotherhood/Thieves Guild lifestyle.
It’s an interesting model where an already massive game with hundreds of individual missions can sell small add-ons like this for $2 a pop to extend the life and playability of a game just a few weeks after release. It’s likely the shape of things to come where big ‘point’ releases may come around, but the games themselves become more of a structure for future add-ons. It’s certainly all the rage in Korea where some cartoon-esque racing games have huge sales around car customizations, as well as for the burgeoning e-economy of Second Life. Micro-payments are in some areas already changing the nature of gaming. Let’s just hope companies don’t publish cripple-ware, hoping that users will be suckered into buying content that should have shipped with the title in the first place.
The game has gone so far as to spawn a fascinating podcast about the game, the Rough Guide to Cyrodill. Recorded by two amusing Brits, the ‘cast takes users through the nooks and crannies of the game. It was a helpful ‘fix’ last week when I was on a road trip and couldn’t get my daily dose. Sigh. The intervention for myself and poolagah can’t be far off….