Posted on Nov 25th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, review

I recently played all the way through a game that was really outside of my comfort zone. My regular listeners and readers will know that I tend to see gaming as a relaxing, leisurely activity. I am not a fan of difficult games. Life has enough difficulties and although I don't mind a challenge here or there, I'm usually not looking to get my ass kicked. I recently signed myself up for a swift ass kicking, but I did not realize it when I first started River City Girls. I thought I was starting a run of the mill beat 'em up in the vein of Turtles in Time, and although I quickly realized this isn't that kind of game, I stuck with it through the end and I'm glad I did.

Continue reading River City Girls

Posted on May 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, review

If you have ever been playing a Call of Duty game and thought "I wish I could just whip out a katana and slash through these fools up close!" then boy do I have a game for you! Devil's Third is an obscure title only available on the ill-fated Wii U, but fans of schlocky action games should take note.

Continue reading Devil's Third

Posted on Apr 22nd 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming

I am a huge fan of "to do" lists. I use them at work and in my personal life. There is nothing quite as satisfying as lining up chores and knocking them down until your entire list is obliterated. Why then, have I never used a backlog for video games until this year? Throughout my life as a gamer, as a child, teenager, or adult, I have never so much as jotted down what games I wanted to play or even prioritized what I wanted to play in any way. I play whatever I feel like. I've noticed in the last few years that I fall prey to the FIFO principle, where I end up playing the most recent incoming titles to my collection rather than enjoying a game I have owned for years.

In past years I have made gaming resolutions of all kinds of different types. Whether it was my life-changing resolution of 2012 to finish every game I started, or my 2017 resolution to not spend any of my income on video games, I always find it fun and sometimes challenging to think outside the box and adjust my habits with some kind of goal in mind. This year, I decided to create my first backlog. I'd like to share it here and give an initial status report, as well as give a little insight into how I chose the titles or categories that I did.

Continue reading My First Backlog

Posted on Dec 24th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, collecting

I planned to make this post a review of the original Xbox version of Dead to Rights. I picked up a copy after I saw it was part of Xbox One's backwards compatibility list. I started to playing the game and immediately was blown away by how good it looked on a modern television. When you put a compatible original Xbox or Xbox 360 game in your Xbox One, it doesn't play the game off the disc but rather downloads the game to your hard drive and uses the disc itself as a form of DRM. Sure, it's just an up-rezed game from the sixth generation, but Dead to Rights looked so clean and sharp it made me really excited to play it. Not to mention, the main gimmick of the game is the main character's dog Shadow, who can be used in certain sequences to rip the throats out of the hapless thugs who were stupid enough to mess with you.

Continue reading Take this Game and Shelve it!

Posted on Dec 22nd 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, collecting

*pic from*

Towards the end of 2011, I had a discussion with my late friend Jesse about gaming in general, as this was typically all we ever talked about. We were talking about the age old balance of gaming versus collecting. At the time, I was all about collecting and spent way too little time actually playing games. I was persuaded and inspired by Jesse to start enjoying my collection for more than pieces of plastic that look nice on the shelf. I decided to lay down and follow some "rules" for myself for the year of 2012. I would play no more than two games at a time (this allowed me to play one console game and one handheld game concurrently). I would finish every game I started. Lastly, I would remove at least one game from my collection for every new one that came in. The last rule helped me trim a lot of fat in collection, but it's not something I strictly adhere to anymore. However, I still try to follow the first two rules to this day.

Continue reading A Year of Unfinished Games

Posted on Sep 23rd 2015 at 11:54:16 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, zeitgeist, budget

It's rare for me to be on the cutting edge of new video game releases. They're so expensive first of all and as a collector I'm never short of other things to play. There are rare instances where a game comes out and I just can't resist the urge to be an early adopter. In recent memory I did it with Mass Effect 3, and I quite enjoyed being part of the discussion going on in the media about the game and of course, the ending.

I recently broke down again and purchased Metal Gear Solid V. At first I intended to wait until I owned a Playstation 4 to play it, but I don't know when that will be. After months of pre-release hype and the explosion of information coming out about the game after its release, I decided to purchase and download the Playstation 3 version of the game.

Metal Gear Solid V is an astoundingly good game, but that's only part of the excitement at this point in history, just after its release. There are pros and cons to being in the mix, but on the rare occasions where I get into the fray with a new game, I tend to find an added layer of enjoyment to my overall experience.

First of all, I find it more fun to learn, discover, and share tips and gameplay tactics with the community as other people are doing the same thing. It's more exciting than pulling up an FAQ and looking up what you need. It's fun when there are things in a game that haven't been figured out yet. It's great to read forums where the other members are trying to figure the same thing out as you are, and no one is really an expert on the game yet.

Further, if the game is highly visible like MGSV, there will be constant news about it coming from gaming news sources, and sometimes even mainstream news outlets. It's nice looking in my social media feeds and seeing story after story about the game. From a psychological perspective, it's one of those things that helps reinforce a buying choice.

There's also the fact that publishers will support the their games closer to the release day, and one can expect diminishing returns from that point on. The servers will only be viable for a finite amount of time, so why not get in while they're being supported wholeheartedly by the publishers?

Of course there are drawbacks too, the main one being story spoilers. At a certain point, many people will have finished the game and the internet is full of people who really don't care that you haven't yet. In the case of MGSV, I was listening to a podcast recently where the hosts were about ten story missions ahead of me. As much as they tried to be spoiler free, there were times where I had to put my fingers in my ears and say "La la la la la" to drown them out until I could press fast forward. On the other hand, this encouraged me to push forward with the story missions and progress further into the game. Those aforementioned social media feeds can be a minefield (pun intended) of spoilers as well, with some outlets putting them right in their headlines.

So as much as classic games and overlooked hidden gems are my bread and butter, it is rewarding on occasion to jump in with the mainstream and join the meta-game of interacting with the gaming community at large. It's expensive, but rewarding. I probably won't do it again until Persona 5 is out...or maybe Fallout 4.

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