Thursday, December 31, 2009

Towards 10 More Years of Epic

It's the end of a decade, and what an interesting one it has been. For me personally, this has been the decade of education, as I spent 4 years in high school and 4 in college. 2010 will be the beginning of my first decade in the "real world." It's been a great decade for entertainment, with dozens classic games released, and noteworthy movies released. Hell, just the release of District 9 and Avatar makes 2009 the best year for sci-fi movies this decade, I'd wager.

Tonight I'm not going to bore you with a long introspective post about my life, or recount ten years of facts about the gaming industry you already know. Instead, I'm thinking to the future, and what the next 10 years will bring. What will happen between my 23rd (2009) and 33rd birthdays (9/12/2019)?

This isn't an episode of ThrawnOmega Predicts the Future, and I'm not concerned about the gaming industry. We'll continue to have our faces melted by at least 4-5 incredible titles every year, and plenty of other great games. But what can I expect to be doing during this time?

1. For as long as x360a continues to exist, I will be writing reviews for them. I'm going to assume that the admin Scooby Gang is going to update the site to stay relevant with the release of the next xbox (since we already know the achievements system will continue on), so barring some obscenely unlikely site buyout or total admin fallout (both of which could happen in theory but most likely won't) I will continue to work for the site. I've proven writing abilities, and demonstrated a good work ethic and willingness to help others as much as I can, so I don't anticipate being "fired" unless I became a total douchbag... and I don't see that happening either.

2. I will be getting FAR more serious about my writing. Everything you've seen from me, whether it be this blog or my reviews (or the rare few who have read my research or scholarly essays), is all "side projects" to me. Creative writing is my bread and butter, and 2009 was actually an incredibly slow year for me in that regard. I only wrote two short stories, both for a college class, and haven't gone back yet to retool them to publishable quality or try to send them out. Both stories have a hell of a lot of potential, so I will be revisiting them. One was a horror story based on Japanese Urban legends, with an emotional/psychological bent to it and themes of alienation. The other was a sci-fi satire of the modern obession with having "do-it-all" devices like the iphone.

Besides retooling those stories, my major new years resolution is to write a minimum of 3 pages a day, or spend at least two hours writing, on each of my off days. (It's simply not a good idea to try to write quality after a 12 hour work day... take this post as an example LOL). In 2010 I will finish the world building I'm doing for my sci-fi universe, and start my novel idea with the goal of getting significantly close to completion by years end. How can I ever achieve my dream of being a published novelist if I never put in the work to write, right? Since I'm unpublished and under no contractual obligation to hurry, I may work on two projects at once, since I have another novel idea that's pretty compelling to me too.

As I go, this blog will likely become a space for more discussion of writing, and posting excerpts of my projects, as I go. This may not interest everyone, or have anything to do with gaming, but hey, the gaming content will still be there, and I'm going to do what makes me happy. (And what I think will keep this blog an interesting and diverse place).

3. Who knows where I'll be in 10 years? Hopefully I'll be married. Maybe I'll have a kid or two. Maybe my gamerscore will be over 400,000 by 2019. The thing I'm most certain of, beyond anything else I've said here, is this blog will still be around. The frequency of posts may change. The nature of the beast may change, but I'll still be here. Blogging is way too damn fun to stop.

One this New Years Eve, I hope you're all having fun with friends or family (I'm actually relaxing alone since I worked 12 hours and will do so again tomorrow, but that's beside the point). I wish you all the best. Lets raise our glasses, celebrate all that is good in life, and look forward to 10 more years of EPIC.

See you next decade!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Entertainment Overload

It happens every year after Christmas. Whether it be from presents or overspending on oneself, there's always too many fun things to do, and you want to do them all RIGHT NOW. I find myself in this predicament. Having overspent the last two months, I'm now sitting on:

2 Seasons of Stargate Atlantis
Dragon Age Origins
MagnaCarta 2
Secret of Monkey Island
District 9 on Bluray
300 on Bluray
Stargate Continuum DVD
Currently reading Stephen King's "Under the Dome"
Last Remnant
Need for Speed Undercover

It's going to take a long time to digest all of that. To that end, I'm cutting entertainment spending to as close to absolute zero as I can while still not cutting back my social life for the next THREE MONTHS, minimum. Why buy more stuff when I'm still working through this new stuff, and all the older stuff I haven't finished yet? I'll be picking up Mass Effect 2, but literally EVERYTHING else is getting relegated to Gamefly (1 game plan) or Family Video rentals for my off days, or getting put on hold.

While in this spending freeze on items that are nice to have but I don't really NEED, my #1 priority for gaming will be to make aggressive progress on my Hit List for 2010. I posted it before, but here's my revised list for completions that will fall next year:

1. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel.
2. Eternal Sonata.
3. Lost Odyssey.
4. Blue Dragon.
5. Infinite Undiscovery.
6. Last Remnant.
7. Red Alert 3
8. Halo Wars
10. Mass Effect 2
11. Dragon Age Origins
12. Ninety Nine Nights
13. Magna Carta 2
14. EDF 2017
15. Gears of War 2

The list of 12 has balooned to 15, with MagnaCarta added since I own it, and Gears 2 added for the LOL factor. Anyone offering prizes if I actually run 15 for 15 on this list? That's a really hard list! So, I'm breaking it down into tiers:

Bronze: 5 completions from this list.
Silver: 9 completions
Gold: 12 Completions
Platinum: 15 for 15

If I should work my way into the Gold or Platinum levels, I'll be doing something significant to reward myself for the patience and dedication. I may special order a real-life trophy. Yes, that's dorky as hell. No, I don't care.

WIth the help of the Hand of Thrawn Boosting Alliance, I'll still see some regular Gamerscore progression next year, so my GS won't come to a complete standstill. I'll also be working on polishing up some easier games while I bounce around between this list.

I'm adding a new text box on the right of this blog to chronicle my progress on this quest.

Now, time to hang up blogging for the night and play some more Dragon Age! I'm NOT using the saving trick on this game, opting to truly enjoy the experience and get the most from the game over taking the fastest route to completion, so my time to completion for Dragon Age could be over 100 hours... we'll see.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry X-Mas, Thrawn Style

Merry Christmas everyone! It's been wonderful to have some time off from work and spend time with family, many of whom I haven't seen in months. Tonight is Christmas with my Dad's side of the family, which promises to be loud and hilarious.

I didn't get much gaming related for christmas, but I hadn't asked for much anyway. I'm not going to bore you with everything I gave/received, but I'll say it was a very good x-mas. One notable gift I received I've known was coming for a while, but didn't know it would be done so soon. Since it has to be seen to be fully appreciated, I'll have pictures of it up in the next few days. For now, I'll leave you in suspense on what the Mystery Gift was.

Today is mostly about relaxing and having fun, but I'd hate to leave you empty handed here at ThrawnOmega's Blog on the Gaming Life. Since my video camera is AWOL and I can't do a video blog today, I'll leave you with some quality Christmas songs to mark the Holidays... and not the ones you've heard 100,000 times.

Watch them all... they're hilarious LOL.


and finally... a hilarious Robot Chicken clip courtesy of Seth Green.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Blog!

+10,000 Awesome points to Bionik Kommando for noticing BEFORE I even had the magic birthday post up.

Yes, today marks the first anniversary of the most prolific achievement blog on the internet (I think... the internet is a big place). It's been a fantastic year, with 193 total posts, giving me an average of one post every two days. Now that's consistency! It's been fun commenting on achievements, gaming, and other randomness, all of which have earned me a small (but very consistent and faithful) readership of about 60 people a day. All that has generated over 12,000 hits for the year. Thank you all!

I've had a blast writing special topics when I have time, and will certainly do more of them in the coming year, as well as more episodes of ThrawnOmega predicts the future. Every established blog feature will continue, and I'm toying the idea of having some more guest posts. Remember that short-lived gem that was the "Ask Silva" column? Maybe I can get Silva back for a monthly or bi-monthly episode. There's a few other people I'm planning on getting in contact with for features.

What would you like to see in the coming year? I'm always open to suggestions.

Year 2 will see the escapades of the Hand of Thrawn Boosting Alliance, more Video Blogs, and more. With a minimum of 150 posts coming (this is #1), you can look forward to at least 10 quality posts =P

Thanks again for making this so much fun. To show my appreciation, I'm going to have another video blog up around Christmas time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ThrawnOmega Predicts the Future: Avatar Edition

My crystal ball has sat dormant for too long. In fact, I haven't offered any future predictions since June, over six months ago! So, I figured after having my face melted by the epicness of Avatar (see yesterday's post), I thought I'd look at how this revolutionary movie is going to ultimately change hollywood.

First though, I'd like to say one of my future predictions has come to pass, sooner than I had anticipated. Back in June, I predicted:

12. Say goodbye to the file-size limit for XBLA games. There won't be one.

That was in reference to XBLA for the next Xbox. Turns out since I made that prediction Microsoft killed the size limit for the 360. So. while not a direct correlation, this almost 100% guarantees this prediction will pan out. Why would they backpedal on a good decision for their next system? I'm going to chalk this down as my 2nd correct prediction. The first being:

FFXIII will not be exclusive to the PS3.

I had that one nailed down a year before the official announcement.

ThrawnOmega Predicts the Future: Episode IV: Avatar Edition

Avatar is the most expensive movie ever made, with a cost of over $300 million to make and another $200 million in distribution, marketing, etc. costs. No worries though, Avatar will make it all back and more, helped in part by a higher than average number of people who see the movie multiple times. Put me down for a total box office take of $730 million worldwide before leaving theaters.

3D is the way of the future. Within the next 10 years, we're going to see a huge surge in the number of 3D movies, as Avatar's proprietary camera technology becomes more commonplace. Come 2019, most, if not all, major hollywood releases will be in full 3D.

Both George Lucas and Stephen Speilberg were shown the technology during the production of Avatar. Lucas is impossible to predict, but I promise you Speilberg will use the technology... probably sooner rather than later. Look for a Speilberg 3D movie using Avatar tech within the next 3 years. Jurassic Park 4, if it ever gets made, will be in 3D.

Avatar is actually 40% Live action, 60% photorealistic CGI. By 2015, Avatar Tech (including the new motion capture technologies) will be used to produce a 100% CGI movie, but it will look so damn good you wouldn't believe it.

Avatar wins every award know to man for visual effects. No contest. Don't even bother nominating anyone else. It may also win best musical score, Cameron has a shot at director (will be nominated at minimum for Oscar), and Zoe Salanda will be considered for her role as Neytiri. I'd like to see Avatar in the run for best picture, but it wouldn't win it.

Cameron is on record as saying if Avatar is successful, he'd like to do two sequels. My prayer to whatever celestial entity oversees the universe is that Avatar will indeed become a trilogy. The world of Pandora is far too captivating to be limited to one movie. Fictional or not, the Na'vi culture fascinates me, and I'd like to see more of it. (I do have a Sociology degree, so a lot of interesting cultures appeal to me). All good things come to those who wait... and wait we must, because Avatar 2 won't be out until winter 2013 or summer 2014.

Like Star Wars, the Avatar universe will expand beyond the movie. Besides the obvious toy lines and already released tie-in game, a novel line or comic line would not surprise me in the least. Look around... Game franchises Starcraft, Warcraft, Gears, Halo, Mass Effect, Rwsident Evil... they all have related novels. In movies, Aliens and Predator have some, as does Terminator, and there are more. Tie in novels have come out for TV shows Stargate SG-1, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek (which like Star Wars has spawned a huge novel line). Avatar will get the novel treatment, and you bet I'll read 'em.

Earlier this year, I thought to myself, "District 9 is the movie I'm buying a Bluray player for." Well, now I'm thinking... "Avatar is the movie to make me buy the biggest LED TV I can possibly afford in order to watch it in full splendor." I'm already saving.

Time to put the crystal ball away for a month (or six...) have a great night everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar Melted My Face

What an incredible day Friday was. I drove over to a friend's house on Thursday night to hang out and spend the night. Besides gaming a little, we watched an episode of the laughably cheesy show Legend of the Seeker, and Christmas episodes of SOuth Park.

Since they both had to work during the day Friday, I was left to chill and enjoy their 55'' TV with surround sound (way better than my own setup) for the day, and made the most of it, completing Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran. I'm now up to 950 in that game, with only collectables and a few other things to go back for for the full 1k.

When my friends came back, we had a Rock Band party for a couple hours. As much as I enjoy that game, it was exponentially better when playing with friends.

Of course, the highlight of the day was seeing Avatar in 3D at the Minnesota Zoo's IMAX theater. Oh my god that film is epic. In 3D, it's a true sight to behold, and the special effects are by far and away the best ever seen in film. While the story isn't really innovative, it tugs at the heartstrings nonetheless (or maybe I'm just a sucker for these types of stories). While I can review games pretty well, I just don't know how to review movies, other than to say that Avatar is 160 minutes of EPIC, and so well paced that it doesn't feel like a long movie. I didn't want it to end. I've had the movie on my mind nonstop since it ended last night.

For people who know anything about me, I'll say this: No movie has inspired my imagination this much since I first watched Star Wars when I was a kid. In fact, the awe factor here puts Star Wars to shame. I don't think I can bestow higher praise upon a movie.

While paying $16 for a movie ticket was pretty spendy, I'm almost foaming at the mouth to get a group together to go see this in IMAX 3D again. Yes, I'd pay $16 again and not think twice about it. If that falls through, I can always go to a regular movie theater an watch it. I assure you I'll be watching it again before it leaves theaters, and a third viewing in a couple weeks isn't out of the question. Bluray purchase on release day is a given. What an awesome, awesome movie.

Of course, the movie didn't start until 8:45pm, so I didn't get back to my friends place until midnight. Then, the drive from St. Paul to Hutchinson took me until 1:40am, so I wasn't asleep until 2am, meaning I got just 5 hours of sleep before having to go to work. Somehow those were the worst 5 hours of sleep I've had in a long time, with a constant strobing in and out of sleep... That made for one incredibly long 12-hour shift today... And I had Avatar on my mind the whole damn time.

EDIT: In other news, my review for Rogue Warrior has been released at last. It's linked on the right side of this blog. Now you can read in more detail just how horrible that game is.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thrawn vs. Bionik Kommando

So, first of all, I thought I'd announce that the 8-man roster for our boosting group is now filled. Officially, it's:

1. ThrawnOmega
2. BL4CK SiLv4
3. Derek1337
4. Bishop024
5. DarkTharen
6. Sabre x360a
7. Xylofreak03
8. Blind Ragee

Not a surprising roster, I know. It's essentially 100% of last season's Hand of Thrawn (an utterly awesome 6-person set already) plus Blind and Xylo. I'm looking forward to the boosting come January. With the right people, boosting can be a hell of a lot of fun, and I can guarantee you these party chats will be happening. Wolfenstein is the game for January. Let's rock it!

Announcement #2. I'm going to the IMAX theater at the Minnesota Zoo tomorrow night to see Avatar. I'm going with a couple friends, and I'm planning on having my face melted. Hope that movie is as epic as the trailers make it seem.

Now, for the title's topic... On a whim (which is how a lot of things happen in my world) I decided to compare my tag against my bro, Bionik Kommando, to see who is better at completing games. I'm not using a global completion percentage here, simple a tit-for-tat comparison of game's we've both played on who has more points.

an * denoted the winner of each matchup.

755* --- Modern Warefare 2 --- 690
625* --- Sacred 2 --- 505
820* --- Unreal Tournament III --- 750
1750* --- Halo 3 --- 1740
975 --- Rainbow Six Vegas 2 --- 1000*
200* --- 1 vs. 100 --- 145
1000* --- Halo 3 ODST --- 935
1125* --- Borderlands --- 1045
1035* --- Left 4 Dead --- 885
1365 --- Gears 2 --- 1535*
1000* --- Call of Duty 4 --- 650
290 --- Perfect Dark Zero --- 480*
100 --- Magic: The Gathering --- 170*
1060* --- Resident Evil 5 --- 1025
900* --- Armored Core 4 --- 50
300 --- EDF 2017 --- 500*
40 --- Banjo-Tooie --- 115*
915* --- Banjo-Kazooie: N & B --- 760
1000 --- Fallout 3 --- 1550*
20 --- Undertow --- 65*
140* --- Assault Heroes --- 90
1010* --- Crackdown --- 470
525* --- Army of Two --- 440
290* --- Dead or Alive 4 --- 10
800* --- Rainbow SIx Vegas --- 650
210 --- Marvel Ultimate Alliance --- 935*
265 --- Timeshift --- 1200*
185 --- The Force Unleashed --- 925*
90 --- Puzzle Quest --- 250*
210 --- Dead Space --- 1000*
1160* --- Gears of War --- 990
885 --- Mass Effect --- 1200*
650* --- The Orange Box --- 515
960 --- Bioshock --- 1000*
110 --- Guitar Hero 2 --- 560*
145 --- Uno --- 200*
460 --- Assassin's Creed --- 485*
65 --- Doom --- 115*
370* --- The Darkness --- 105
430* --- Shadowrun --- 340
20 --- Lost Planet --- 135*
550 --- Call of Duty 3 --- 570*
70 --- COndemned --- 970*
250 --- Rayman Raving Rabbids --- 550*
460 --- Viva Pinata --- 740*
80 --- Dead Rising --- 100*
750 --- Prey --- 1000*

Overall record:

ThrawnOmega: 26 wins, 21 losses
Bionik Kommando: 21 wins, 26 losses

Total Score:

ThrawnOmega: 30,140
Bionik Kommando: 26,415

Difference: Thrawn by 3725

What does all this mean? Not much really. We both have a few games on our tag that we borrowed from the other and didn't get very far in, and both have games where one is clearly farther than the other (he has Crackdown, I have Fallout 3). I just thought it'd be interesting to see how we compare.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Honor Roll

As I ease into my recent fixation for getting more completions from the tough or long games, I thought I'd take a look at what's already on my card for motivation, as a reminder that I do have the dedication to take down those games when I want to. While the list isn't nearly as long as I'd like it to be, I have some satisfying accomplishments.

Condemned 2: 25+ hours, very limited boosting. I had a blast with this game, though it took several playthroughs to pick up everything. I'm proud of it.

Dead Space: 24+ hours. There's a few challenging achievements in there, but hacking off limbs is sweetness. Can't wait for the sequel next year.

Warriors Orochi 2: 80-100 hours, most of which was spent in an insufferable grind. That grind was extensively documented in this blog. It's not a 1k for the faint of heart, which is why very few people have it.

Oblivion: 130 hours for 1250/1250. Not a tough game, but a very huge one. It was also my first regular 1000, and largely responsible for getting me into gamerscore in the first place.

Virtua FIghter 5 (985/1000): Okay, so that's not a completion, but very few people have the dedication to get as far as I did in that game. I love VF5 to death, and happily logged long hours playing it. Every time I play, I have fond memories of Japan come back. I played the game quite a bit in the arcades there prior to its US release.

Puzzle Quest (250): Over 50 hours logged for that arcade completion, and I loved every minute of it. The final boss was a real bastard, but fun to finally take out.

Fallout 3: Approx. 65 hours logged for my 1550 here.

Mass Effect (1200): Probably 50-60 hours across five playthroughs of the game. Can't wait for the sequel!

Rainbow Six Vegas 2: Over 40 hours invested for the 1k. I'm a legit elite, and only boosted the Attack and Defend achievements. I still consider the Rainbow Six games my favorite to play in coop.

Considering how many games I've played, the list of ones I truly take pride in is rather short. Here's to hoping I can double it in the next year =P

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boosting Group Update

There's been a good amount of interest in joining the boosting group, so I thought I'd give everyone an update. Here's my 100% confirmed roster at this point:

1. ThrawnOmega
2. Bishop024
3. Sabre x360a
4. DarkTharen

I will be getting in contact with a few more people over the next week (give me a little time... it's a crazy busy work week) to access the possibility of joining the group. I want to be careful to add enough we can easily boost but not so many that organizing sessions becomes a logistical nightmare. To that end, I have a strong preference for people located in North or South America, due to little time zone differentials. No offense to my overseas friends, but a 6+ hour time difference really limits everyone's options.

So, while I'm here, let me try to flesh out more specifically how I'd like to see this work. A social group on x360a will be our primary means of communication, because of the ease of access and that everyone can see it. The first game we play will be decided by group concensus. After that, selection would be made on a rotating basis, from the person with the highest gamerscore to the person with the lowest gamerscore, as of JANUARY 1, 2010. At that time, I'll lock in the rotation so if one person should pass another, the rotation isn't messed up.

What game we play from month to month is open for discussion, but the person whose turn it is gets the final say, and may choose a game others have already completed, if they so choose. Games will be selected at least one month in advance to give everyone time to secure their copy and to plan sessions. That may not be the case this first month or two, but for example, a game to be boosted in April should be selected during the first week of March.

I'd prefer not to boost a game the month it comes out, for example, selecting a game that releases in February to be boosted that month. My reasoning for this is that the newest games can be the toughest to locate if Gamefly-ing or regular renting, and I dont want to push anyone into buying a game they may not want to. So, I would suggest that we only boost games in their release month if there's group concensus we want to do it.

As we rotate who picks the game, we'll also rotate who is in charge of running the boosting sessions. Basically, if you picked the game, it's your job to do any necessary research on how to best boost and give directions during our sessions.

I hope this doesn't sound rule-heavy, but I figue some structure will make life easier for us all. Considering who is currently in the group, I don't anticipate any problems. We've all gamed together. We know each other. It'll be easy as cake.

So, what do we pick for our inaugural game? My first nomination would be Wolfenstein, since I own it and I know Bishop has it coming from Gamefly, so 1/2 of our current roster would already be ready for it.

You guys ready for a great 2010?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rogue Warrior, New & Sealed, $30

Want to buy a new and sealed copy of Rogue Warrior from a trustworthy source for HALF its current retail price? My promo copy of the game arrived in the mail today, and I'm selling it. I rented the game using my own cash to jump start the review process while I waited for the review copy to arrive, and it turns out my turnaround time was better that the USPS's in this instance (the disc getting returned to sender the first time didn't help them any). Now, I finished the review, and have the full 1k, so I no longer have any use for the game, and am therefore selling it.

I love those rare instances where I can make a little money (indirectly) for my reviews. Let me make it clear I never have nor will I ask to be paid for my work for the site, and I've put down cash out of my own pockets multiple times to help out with reviews... and promo copy reviews make up less than 1/3 of my total reviews. After all, I purchased Gears, Fallout, RE5, Onechanbara, most of the Fallout DLC, rented Jurassic, and more. So, I don't feel bad at all about selling an unopened promo copy to pay my electric bill this month. It's all cosmic balance.

So, if anyone is interested in a new, NTSC Rogue Warrior for $30, let me know and we can work out the details. I accept paypal.

Hit List 2010

Since I've already shifted into my 2010 playing mode of going for tougher/longer completions to make my gamertag more respectable, I thought I should work up the hit list of my prime targets. If I make good headway at finishing many of these off, more will be added. I'm looking to make some significant progress with RPGs, and make a showing for myself in strategy games. I'm no Creech, I have no ambition of tackling all that genre has to offer, but I do want to do better in the real heavy hitters. So, here's the current list:

1. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. Not too hard, but it will take over 150 hours to complete.
2. Eternal Sonata. I'm still stonewalled in my 2nd playthrough.
3. Lost Odyssey. Going through the list to find the two seeds I missed will be the worst part of finishing this one off.
4. Blue Dragon. I dread the button mashers, and the possibility of missing one item or monster, so I'm being very, very careful here.
5. Infinite Undiscovery. Another 150+ hour project, and one that takes some skill.
6. Last Remnant. Have not started yet.
7. Red Alert 3: Most reasonable strategy game to complete.
8. Halo Wars
9. FFXIII: We don't know the achievements yet, but I'm sure completing it will be hard.
10. Mass Effect 2
11. Dragon Age Origins
12. Ninety Nine Nights

There's an even 12... a lofty goal of one tough/long game per month. (with the rest of this month as a slight head start)

While working on those heavy-hitters, I'll be bouncing around completing other games I haven't finished, enjoying the occational new title, and hopefully boosting with the dedicated group I'm forming (see yesterday's post). If I manage to get through the majority of this list, I've got some bonus objectives:

1. Magna Carta 2
2. Tales of Vesperia
3. Dynasty Warriors 6
4. EDF 2017

It'll be a challenging year, and I'm looking forward to it after so many easy games. You'll see this list come up again as I chronicle my progress.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I need a dedicated boosting group...

All the super elite achievement whores have one. You know, that same little group of people they always hang out and boost games with. I want something like that, but not nearly as hardcore. I've never cared about being near the top in the world leaderboards (though a couple genre boards would be sweet), nor does it matter to me to rattle out completions for a game the week it comes out.

What I'd like to do is get a group of people together who would agree to plan for and take down one game a month, two if we're in agreement on it. This group would be 4-8 members strong. We would each take turns selecting the next month's game on a rotating basis, so everyone gets to choose a game they want to boost, and everyone knows what the current and next month's games will be. This would give everyone time to buy the game or rent it, with plenty of time to schedule boosting sessions around people's schedules.

This structure would allow us to knock out some of the crap that requires boosting while still having a lot of time to pursue our separate gaming interests. With the right people, I actually enjoy a good boost every now and then.

Of course, I already have enough reliable friends to set this up, if they're willing to go for it and work around this structure. So, how about it, current and former GSL teammates? Other established achievement hunters I know? Interested?

Group activity would begin in January. I'm thinking the first game will be decided by open discussion/vote. After that, we'll rotate around in order from highest GS to lowest GS for picking games. Everyone remains free to make requests/suggestions, but the person whose turn it is would get the final say.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Red Alert 3 Anyone?

I'm waving the white flag on the GSL. We're 20k back from first place. Essentially, we've got 4th place wrapped up and there's little hope of changing that. Frankly, I'm realizing I work too hard to spend my days off playing crappy games and not having fun with them. While I'll still play junk from time to time to boost my score, I think my GSL days are over. I can do some challenges, but 8 sustained weeks is more than I'm into.

So, since I'm tapping out on agressive scoring, I'm shifting into my 2010 play style of chasing completions, upping my overall completion percentage, and playing more of the games I own. To that end, I'm looking for a good coop partner for Red Alert 3, which I picked up new for $10 but haven't played yet (though I'm cracking it open tonight). I need a good coop buddy to complete the campaigns with, preferably on Hard to kill two birds with one stone. Any takers? Game's cheap! Someone with some strategy skills is preferred. I'll be blunt (and honest) enough to say I'd rather not game with someone who can't pull their weight (strategy games can be a cold bitch sometimes), but if you think you can hack it, give me a shout. I'm also bouncing through other games I own, snagging points as I go.

In other boosting news, if anyone wants to play waves 1-40 on Memorial or 1-50 on Nowhere in Gears 2, boost Wolfenstein, Command and Conquer 3, or Shadowrun, let me know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Dangerous Phrase

"This review is going to be fun."

Watch out for those words. It's true I like gaming, and enjoy the review writing process. Seeing one's name in print before an audience the size of x360a is always satisfying. However, as a few of you have perhaps noticed, the phrase "this review is going to be fun" is reserved for a very special class of game.

If I'm picking out a specific review as 'fun' it's because it's that rare class of game where I get to see how creative I can be in fairly and articulately give it the justice it deserves by ripping it to pieces. Only the worst of the worst bring out the real biting side of my writing capabilities, and it's great fun from time to time. I cite Onechanbara, and parts of Darkest of Days and Warhammer Battlemarch as examples.

Rogue Warrior, prepare to weep. The wheels of my brain have been spinning for days on ways to write the literary equivalent of a SAW-movie trap for this game. I have more time yet as with my work schedule I'm not going to get too far into the draft tonight.

If anyone tells you Rogue Warrior is alright, ok, or decent, punch them in the mouth. It's a horrible lie. I'm going to stop there for fear of letting any zingers fly early.

This review is going to be FUN!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Overdue Update

What a month it's been. I've been so busy with work, and trying to relax and unwind when at home, that writing for this blog fell by the wayside. My scoring has slowed down considerably lately, cause I just can't bring myself to whore points after a 12 hour work day. We're also so far behind the top three teams, that I just can't see us getting back into it. The numbers those 3 teams are putting up is simply too good, and I don't have the motivation for a chase. If I knew 100% everyone on my team would absolutely bust their balls chasing the lead, I'd join in, but I don't see that happening.

I'm still working on scoring, just not as hard core. I have Mini Ninjas, The Clone Wars, Brave, GI Joe, and Rogue Warrior that I'm working through for points. At the same time, I've been slowly shifting gear into what my MO for next year will be. 2010 is all about completion, and adding more impressive points to my card. I'd like to have a better completion percentage, and actually finish more of those games I've already paid for. I'm also hoping to save up some cash by buying fewer games so I can buy a nice sound system for my TV, with a new TV around Black Friday next year (maybe).

One the completions front, I'm closing in on the 1125 in Borderlands. I only need to get to level 50, and get the Siren and Hunter achievements. I've also completed all the Special Ops achievements in Modern Warfare 2. One of the Firefight achievements I had left in ODST went down too. I could cross 200k without ever putting a new game on my card, so that's the goal I'm chasing. Of course, with all the good games coming out in 2010, I'll have to pick up some of the new stuff. However, since my local Family Video is so incredible about getting new releases, I probably won't have to purchase most of them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ThrawnOmega Taints His Tag... Again

Enjoy the new video folks! I find it funny that these actually take 5x as much time as just typing up a blog. Oh well. They're fun. I have no problems making fun of myself. Those who can't make fun of themselves have no right to make fun of anyone else =P

Monday, November 16, 2009

Episode 1

Here it is. Video. Something I haven't done before, but would be up for doing as I think of worthy topics/ideas. Future posts will be more structured (and professional, I hope). Consider this a laid back experiment.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unique Post Coming Tomorrow

I've started to fall off the blogging wagon lately, due mostly to tiredness, not any lack of desire. To make up for the lapse, I'm rolling out a very special blog post tomorrow. It's something I've never done before in this blog. Some of you will love it. Others will think I'm brain damaged (but a few people think that already =P)

We'll see how this goes. If my readership isn't utterly repulsed (LMAO) this could become an on-again, off-again addition to the random shenanigans I call a blog.

Ok, enough talking without saying anything. You'll find out everything 11/16.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Modern Warfare-itis

The Hand of Thrawn has been afflicted with Modern Warfare-itis. Three of the four of us have been afflicted. Scoring has slowed to a crawl. The gap between us and the top three teams grows wider. Only Patches stands tall, playing crap like Madagascar Kartz and Space Chimps.

It's hard to say how long the affliction will last. For me, until I finish the review. For Bishop and Sprinkles, who can say? MW2 is an incredible game. Far better than the other crap we play, so I can't blame them. I'm writing the review tomorrow for a probable Friday release. Once that's done, it's back to the whoring. Let's all enjoy the quality while it lasts... then it's back to the drudgery.

EDIT: Checked my friends list... even Patches has fallen. I'll give everyone a week to enjoy it before I actually start pushing everyone back to whoring =P

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ThrawnOmega: Dinosaur Hunter

So, GSL 8 is under way, and contrary to some naysayers (We know who you are), this is a real GSL, and there's been some heated competition early. Team Montana has surprised me by throwing down almost 19,000 points thus far with just three people. It will be interesting to see how they fare as the season goes on. Hand of Thrawn is sitting in 4th at the moment with 11,775 points. Of course, all these numbers become outdated hourly, but you get the general picture. You can follow the GSL action HERE. I'm not sure if that link will work for nonsubscribers, but it's worth a shot.

Team numbers as of 11pm tonight:

1 Bishop024 -- 3325
2 Sprinkles x360a -- 3025
3 ThrawnOmega -- 2830
4 patches4711 -- 2595

I doubt the accuracy of my number, because all I've played so far is Up, Night at Museum, and Jurassic, for a combined total of 2,910... not 2830. At least everyone's start scores are right, so rectification of totals closer to the end will be easy.

I celebrated my first full day off of the GSL by finishing off the incredibly easy Night at the Museum, then went to my local Family Video to find a new target. Family Video rocks. This store has 3x the game selection my old blockbuster did, and game rentals are much cheaper. Plus, since I'm a new member, I get half price rentals for the next 30 days. I'll be raiding the crap out of that place, trust me. They had 1 copy of Jurassic: The Hunted, so I picked that up, reasoning I should go for the easy games they have the most limited stock of whenever they are available.

For a budget shooter, Jurassic is surprisingly fun. Hundreds of dinosaurs fell before me, and the 1000 points without too much fuss, though there were a few parts on the Hard playthrough that were a complete pain in the ass. If you come into it with modest expectations, it's an enjoyable weekend rental, though I wouldn't pay $40 for it. I believe this is the first game I completed in one calander day that is not Avatar or a 2k6 sports game... It's kind of funny how much the game 'borrows' ideas from Jurassic Park. Dilophosaurs have crests around their necks and spit venom, raptors sound very familiar, and there's one dino-on-dino confrontation that looks like a stripped-down rendition of a scene from JPIII. The plot it straight up B-grade fare, like something you'd see late at night on the Sci-Fi channel. I'll try to write up a full review tomorrow, but I'm planning on renting and blowing through Terminator first, then stepping out of the apartment for a while for a little fresh air and a social life. Gotta have that every once in a while, right?

GSL Goal: 20,000+ points
Currently: 2,910 (actual total)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Superboost Engaged

This weekend is a double XP weekend in Gears 2, and I'd originally meant to use the tedious horde grinding on Security, and as luck would have it, I got networked into a seriously hardcore group of guys who are boosting their way up to level 100 by using multiple accounts and boosting in public matches. Yes, I realize this technique is considered shady by many, but I'm not hacking, or doing anything on my end that violates the terms of use, so why not take the most effective route.

A couple of the guys are from my fair state of Minnesota, so the conversations have been pretty entertaining so far... which is what you need when you've agreed to boost together for six hours in one evening. I'll definitely pass rank 50, and I'm going to keep riding this pony for as long as I can. I'd never seriously considered shooting for level 100, but I might as well do everything I can for it while this opportunity presents itself. In our first 45 minutes or so, I gained 74,000 xp. In our second session, I picked up another 97,000 getting me to rank 46, and finally putting me over the XP total I had before I lost everything to the glitch. I might hit rank 50 tonight.

Thanks Lonnie for the hook up.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun With Hecklers

I've been away for a few days, you know, working 12-hour shifts, having an actual job, making money, that sort of thing. What everyone who doesn't get paid to write game reviews does. So I wasn't around to see any recent blog comments until today, at which point I saw the following comment to my prior post:

No offence but what is even the point of writing a review if it is not out day in date or within a day or two of a games release. No one is interested in reading a review of a game that came out a week ago. Anyone who is interested or wanted to get Borderlands has already read reviews on other sites. Either that or they just went and picked up the game anyways. I just don't see a point in writing a review when it is a week late and people are already done Borderlands and looking to games coming out this week.

It's the classic "Why do you even bother" post. Well, many large internet and print outlets get review copies of games weeks before street date, giving them the benefit of having the time to play the game and review it. They often have more than one person playing the title at the same time. x360a rarely has that. We usually have to get our games on street date like everyone else. Then, like everyone else, we play through them and offer our thoughts on the game. So, considering we're not paid for our services, and we actually have lives (WOW!) expecting us to plow through a game and write a quality review for it in that time frame suggests to me you have no idea how the process works, or the amount of time inolved. If a game comes out on a Tuesday (as Borderlands did) and I'm working 12-hour shifts that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, am I really going to turn a review around it two days?

Then, of course, not everyone out there buys every game the day it comes out, plows through it in three days, and then goes on the the next game. By the way, I love how 9/10 bullshit comments like this are

A: Anonymous
B: Start with the phrase "No offense"

You'd be surprised the amount of hits my reivews get. That's a lot of "nobodys" out there. Of course, I'm fully capable of turning out a review within a few days of release, if that release happens to coincide with my off days, or I get a prerelease copy. I cite Dead Space
as evidence.

Okay, I've wasted enough time on a blog "nobody" reads so I'll get back to writing a review "nobody" is going to read.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On the Fields of Pandora

My next review for x360a is going to be Gearbox's "RPS" (Roleplaying shooter) Borderlands, which I picked up on day 1 like many others. Due to some long hours and general tiredness, I fell behind schedule, so I've been working double time to get this game to the point where I can write the review in the near future. I'm taking time off to watch the Vikings game, but otherwise I'll be around Pandora all day.

I've done enough co-op to get an understanding of it, but at this point I'm too pressed for time to do much more coop until I get through the game. Unless, that is, players are willing to join into my session so I can keep making story progress, and are close to my level (or higher). I'm not trying to be a jerk, but this review has to get done, which means I need to keep making forward progress.

The reports of achievements glitching on people are unsettling, but I've been fortunate enough to be unlocking everything without a problem so far.

I don't want to throw out too many comments about this game with the review forthcoming, but I'll say really quick that this game has the best gunplay of any game that's tried to blend these two genres... and the weakest story. From a narriative standpoint, this game can't come close to the titans of Deus Ex or Mass Effect (which was 3rd person POV, but I'll count it). I'm waffling between whether I think the RPG aspect are a little shallow or if they're perfect the way they are. That's a topic I'm going to need to think about before I commit anything to the official review.

I doubt I'll have the time to 1k this game before the GSL starts, so once the dust settles on that baby, I'll be eager to coop my way to the finish line. That reminds me, the GSL starts a week from today... I've been pretty absent as a captain thus far... shame on me. Well, at least my team has experience. As always, the pre-show talk is all about another team winning it... I've heard that before. We'll see how things so down.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

98 Seed Sorrow

I knew this was going to happen. Crap like this always happens to me in JRPGS. I need to collect a lot of something, and end up missing one despite my vigilence and have to run the list again to find what I missed. Such is the problem in Lost Odyssey, where I discovered to my infinite dismay yesterday that I have only 98 of thr 99 Seeds I need to redeem for an accessory, so I'm eventually going to have to run the list to find it. I have a short list of places to start, but if those don't pan out, I'm going to be a very unhappy camper. Without that last seed, I can't get the achievements for teaching the immortals every skill, and there's 80 points up in smoke.

The better news is I took out the Blue Dragon and Holy Beast side bosses yesterday. Both are total pushovers if you have everyone with nullify elements and All-Barricadus in effect. I also got Tolten's Ultimate Hit ability, and cleared the Middle class in the backyard, making for a total of 40 points in that game for the day.

In Gears 2, I suffered through flaming Bloodmounts solo for that 25 pointer, and played a little of the MP to help my bro make progress toward the Annex achievement. After that, I was gamed out for the day and watched the first disc of season 9 of Stargate SG-1.

Nothing special planned for today, but after my next three-day work stretch, I'm off to Tomah, WI (a five-hour drive away) to spend a few days with a couple good friends of mine. I'm looking forward to that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

110k Crossed and Gaming Ramblings

Yesterday was my first of 3 straight days off, and I enjoyed it by sacking out and playing a lot of video games. Since there's about two inches of fresh snow on the ground, and we're not even half way through October yet, I've lost all motivation to go out and will probably just be doing a lot more gaming today. I really hate winter. Isn't Fall supposed to come first? We skipped right passed that one. But I digress...

While I watched the Vikings cruise to 5-0 against the Rams, I was slowly picking up wins in Magic: The Gathering, so I need about 25 more to have every card for every deck. That's a nice improvement form the over-40 that it was a week ago. I also made some progress in Banjo-Tooie, though I did not gain any new achievements.

Later in the afternoon, with Silva and my bro online, we got together to do some Horde action in Gears 2. Silva pretty much has all the Dark Corners horde achievements already, but was kind enough to roll with us. We completed the horde objectives on 5 of 7 maps, with only the 40 and 50 wave tasks remaining. Say what you will about Gears, I still enjoy Horde, particularly with friends. When Sabre logged on for the first time in what seems a year, we brought him in and continued the good times. Silva rambled on how much he hates Facebook and Twitter, Bionik Kommando racked up half the kills between the 4 of us, and I struggled to hit anything while watching Secret Girlfriend on Comedy Central on the second screen. That show is just... I don't even know what to say.

The Horde achievements put me above 110k, marking my first 10k on the road to 200. Based on statements of many who've hit these marks before me, I expected it to not really seem like much, but I'm not to that point yet. True, 110k isn't a significant overall number in itself, but I still enjoy hitting 10,000 point marks, especially since this 10,000 was all done outside of a GSL and done without easy trash (except Darkest of Days, which was played to review, not explicitly for points).

When my bro and I have time, we're continuing to boost the RE5 multiplayer stuff that can be done with just 2 people. I really hate these MP achievements, as winning 30 games takes forever. Eventually we'll need two dedicated partners to go through the team stuff, but I'm not looking into that seriously yet.

If you're still with me, can I ask if I'm the only one not horribly excited for this holiday season's games? I've never seen a holiday season so stripped of things I actually want to play. I'm picking up Borderlands, and I'll eventually get Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age, but that's it. Assassins Creed 2 is a rental for some other time. Most of what is coming out over the next few months is liscenced or budget junk, and I'm sure I'll do my part for God and Country by reviewing the lion's share of it. So, if you see things like reviews for "Ben 10" going up alongside "Modern Warfare 2," you'll know which one I probably wrote lol. If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm really not. The points will be rolling, and it's due Karma for snagging a pre-release Dead Space, and getting to review AAA games like Gears 2 and Fallout 3 last year.

Really, 2009 is mostly the buffer year between the excellence of 2008 and the Mind-Shattering Awesomeness that will be 2010. I'll be playing Alpha Protocol, Aliens vs. Predator, Bioshock 2, Lost Planet 2, FRONT MISSION EVOLVED (OMG Yes!!!), Mass Effect 2, and possibly Final Fantasy XIII next year. That lineup beats the stuffing out of everything this year's produced. RE5 and Batman are ths highlights of what has come out thus far in 2009. I really haven't purchased many new games this year, but I can tell you I'm budgeting like mad for next year, because all the games I listed are shaping up to be Day 1 purchases.

But until that mass of great games arrives, I have a GSL to pass the time...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Banner Entries / Month in Review

After losing the original post showing the entries, I've been very lazy about remaking it, but here we are. The banner contest pitted Silva against a friend of mine, Tim Keller. Silva is your winner of the contest; his banner is currently up at the top. Now Tim's efforts will at last receive their fair recongition.


This first one here is my favorite of Tim's banners, with a beautiful simplicity to it. I love the star destroyer blueprint background, and the color transition in the letters around Thrawn. This one will certainly see some use.

I'm a poor art critic, but I like to see a different Thrawn pic is in use here, and the shadow effect on the text.

I like the scrolled-back look to the text, like the opening scrolls of Star Wars movies. I'm not so much a fan of the way Thrawn was integrated into this pic though.
The fade effect against the black background doesn't look too good.

I'd like to thank Tim for his hard work. These will find their way into the rotation of blog banners as well. Of course, their can only be one winner, and Silva's a wizard at this stuff. Great looking text, flawlessly integrated Thrawn, and the colors just pop out. Well done sir.

Month in Review: September

I finally hopped on my 3 on, 3 off work schedule, which has been nice so far. Since my store had to wrap up our remodel, I ended up putting in some long hours, including a 70 hour work week. I squeezed in gaming as much as I could, getting a lot done in ODST, and worked some reviews. The rule of four made a comeback, and will remain in effect until the GSL starts.

Reviews Written:
Section 8
Darkest of Days

Special Topics:
None for the second month in a row... I need to get back on those.

Completed Games:
Darkest of Days

Gamerscore Progression:
Sept. Start: 106,094
Sept. End: 109,649
Change: 3,555... not too shabby.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grinding In Style

My God, I should have done this months ago. Earlier today, I purchased a second TV for my apartment. It's nothing elaborate, just a 19'' LCD 720p HDTV that was under $200. Amazingly, this little TV has much better built-in speakers than my bigger TV. Since this TV sits on the coffee table right in front of me, the small size of the screen really doesn't matter.

I'd been debating this purchase for a while because, and decided to go for it since I end up spending a lot of time grinding achievements, or boosting. During GSLs, I play a lot of crap that is so easy it doesn't require my full attention. Now, I can grind away on the small TV while leaving the larger screen for TV or DVDs. Multitasking for the win. (My god, I wish I had a setup like this for ALL of the Warriors Orochi 2 days, not just the last quarter of it...)

This evening I got to break in the "Grinding TV" by armor grinding in EDF 2017 while watching the epic 1-game Twins/Tigers playoff game, which my Twins took in 12 innings. If you know the proper way to armor grind in EDF 2017, you barely even need to look at your screen, so I was able to rack up over 1,500 armor points before getting sick of that and working on Magic: The Gathering wins. I'm now at nearly 10,000 armor in EDF 2017. My brother and I are aiming to get together to complete the game in January, but since I'm in a GSL for Nov. and Dec, I need to get my armor grinding done this month. I think I'll load up EDF again tomorrow to grind more armor while I watch the Twins take on the Yankees.

Tomorrow I'm totally downloading South Park Lets Go Tower Defense Play, and continuing to keep an eye on Bishop as he works through Saw. He'll let me know if it's GSL material. I've watched all 5 Saw movies in the last week, so I'm ready to play the game, and go see Saw VI.

On the blog front, I need to finally show all the Banner contest entries... You've seen the winner for a few days now, but my friend Tim needs props for his hard work too. I'm also overdue for a review of September, so look for a combo post tomorrow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Month Before A GSL...

... is a pain in the ass. Mostly because I know that, unless I'm tasked to review a game that's actually good, most of what I'll be seeing the next two months will be trash. I have one month to enjoy good games and try to pick up a completion or two before the GSL starts. On the reviews side, I plan on writing a review for every game I play during the GSL, if that game needs one and we're relatively near its release date. It would be nice to do a few AAA game reviews this holiday season, but I'm felxible. Before the month is out, I'll have the review up for Borderlands, but I'm not sure what else is in store for October.

Right now, I'm working on enjoying Batman as much as I can, and hopefully I'll complete my first playthrough of the game. I still need a few more achievements in ODST, and I'm working Banjo-Tooie with the help of the old N64 strategy guide. I also picked up the achievement for 10 ranked wins (all 100% legit, non-boosted) in Magic: The Gathering. If you discount the games where players quit to deny me a win, I earned that achievement in 12 matches. Thank you very much.

When I'm not enjoying the good stuff, I'm preparing for the GSL. The Hand of Thrawn social group will be reactivated tomorrow (meaning I'll be using it again) for preseason planning, and invites will be extended to Patches and Sprinkles. To my former teammates, if you're looking to offer support and advice, you're always welcome to pop in. It's your group too. I need to check out my local Gamestop to see what their inventory looks like, and find out the same about my Family Video.

Since I know what the end of the year is going to look like for gaming, I'm already thinking ahead to 2010. I've passed my goal for the year of 100,000 by a good sum, and will blast it away before the GSL ends. So, where do I go next year? I'm making no numerical goals for 2010. That will be the year of Operation Jedi, where success is measured by completions and completion percentage. It will be difficult with reviews, but that's where I want to spend the most effort, considering I'm over 25,000 points short of that goal.

The other thing I can say is I'm taking GSL 9 (if it happens) off. After 3 in a row, it'll be time. I can work on completions and let the easy junk stack up for a future day.

Enough thinking on Gamerscore for the day... That Vikings / Packers game wore me out. Hurray for 4-0 Minnesota!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Storm Approaches

The Hand of Thrawn is back for another GSL, and we're looking to win. While we won't sacrifice our lives, we're going to score extremely well. We do have a reputation to uphold afterall =P

Brtas Zowes (Sprinkles x360a)

I'm not going to make any Wreckon~esque proclamations of inevitable victory, but I will say we're clearly the team to be gunning for here. There are 1-2 teams so far that could be competetion, so I'm excited to see how things shake out. Let's take a look at why the Hand of Thrawn is in a position to dominate:

1. GSL Experience: We certainly have more GSL expereince than any other team, with a total of 9 GSLs between us (Thrawn 2, Bishop 2, Sprinkles 2, Patches 3). We know better than any other team what it's like to compete, how to pace ourselves, and how to plan and execute the plan to score serious points.

2. Scoring Experience: Sure, we may not have the easiest of the easy at our disposal, but we know how to score points. 3 of us have scores over 100k. In this instance, I see it as an advantage. We've all been at this a long, long time.

3. Access: Sprinkles works for Gamestop, and can borrow games whenever. Patches has no issues acquiring games. Bishop and I have rental plans (kind of a necessity for these, but still...). I have a 10% Walmart discount, and the Mount Tantiss stash at my disposal. I have no worries about this team's ability to keep our Xboxes fed.

4. Communication: This can't be underrated. Communication is EVERYTHING for success, along with proper planning. I'm not revealing techniques here, but we know what's going down, and what to expect from ourselves, so we can adapt as needed.

5. BL4CK SiLv4: Yes, I'm serious. Whether he's scoring or not, SIlva is a competative advantage. He's ours, and you can't have him. The "X" factor, Silva is the life of the party chat, providing a motivational force to keep us going as the weeks drag on.

It's going to be a good season. I've got 3 goal ranges for the team:

64,000 Mission Accomplished
80,000 Exceptional
100,000 Gods of Gamerscore

I'm not expecting the top marks... that's more than Hand of Thrawn could pull in GSL VII, though we came damn close. Who knows... with no breaks in the action, perhaps it's possible. An average of 25,000 points a person is quite the ambitious goal.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm Still Alive

FYI: I'm aware that the changes to the blog's formatting look terrible. I'm working on changing around the whole layout, and it's a Work In Progress. Should have the final changes tomorrow to go with that day's post.

If I had the time and creative energy, I'd write you a version of the "Still Alive" song from portal with Retail job appropriate lyrics. Due to the demands of getting everything finalized for our grand re-opening after the end of a remodel, I've worked 58 hours in the last 5 days, including 16 hours across two of my "days off." Such is the nature of the beast. Don't really want to say more on it than that, just that I've been really, incredibly busy.

Tomorrow will be a total crash and relax day, as it's my only true day off before I work 3 more 12 hour days. I'm thinking of trying to watch Saw III (I'm trying to work my way through all of the Saw movies before VI comes out), and play some Batman and Banjo-Tooie. If I can get the people together, I'd like to play some Firefight is ODST.

Due to peer pressure, I purchased Crash Course for L4D, and I'm rather wishing I hadn't. The last piece of DLC I saw that was in such a poor state on release for The Pitt for Fallout 3, and they were smart enough to pull that off the marketplace. Crash Course is littered with graphical glitches, which are consistent throughout. My brother and I kept seeing them in the same spots. Even worse, Valve's servers seem to be having tantrums. Every time we tried to play online, we got disconnected, and that never, ever, ever happens for the two of us. Gotta blame Valve on this one. If you haven't purchased the DLC yet, wait on it. This current version is unacceptable. Others can love on Valve all they want, but their star is starting to dim in my eyes, but that's a tangent for another day.

Today, I had the opportunity to watch Saw and Saw II, gained one Firefight achievement with my brother and Bishop (normal isn't hard at all; don't be a pussy and play on easy... I'm NEVER doing that again LOL... once was enough), and completed the campaign in Magic: The Gathering. I'll take the 50 as a welcome back to the joys of gaming.

I'm going to attempt to get back into completing (or at least pushing above the 75% mark) two games before adding a new one to my card. Of course, my failure rate for gaming goals is pretty close to 100%, so we'll just see how THAT goes lol.

The current Four are (since I myself had forgotten):

1. Batman
2. Halo 3 ODST (need 3-4 people for almost everything left at this point)
3. Lost Odyssey (temporarily shelved until I'm more relaxed and have time)
4. Banjo-Tooie

Side Projects:

1. Magic: The Gathering (48 wins for 100% unlocked, 2-3 more ranked wins)
2. EDF 2017 armor grinding
3. Section 8, because I should probably enjoy the MP as much as I can while people are still playing it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yes, I Just Spent 1200 Microsoft Points on a Movie Rental

No, I don't regret it. You see, for a few rare titles Microsoft has had this deal where you can pay a king's ranson to download a "rental" of a movie before it hits theatres. It's 800 points for standard def, 1200 for HD. Yes, I'm aware I could have bought a new DVD with that money.

What movie could get me so riled up I'd be willing to fork over $15 to watch it in HD RIGHT NOW? Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, the sequel to my favorite action movie of all time, starring none other than Tony Jaa. If you've never seen Onk Bak: The Thai Warrior or heard of Tony Jaa, shame on you. Tony Jaa makes Jason Statham look like a total pussy. Tony Jaa does stunts in his sleep that would make Jet Li curl up into a ball and cry at the thought of. If you're an action fan, and you haven't discovered Thai action movies yet, you need to. Unlike American action movies which rely on jerky camera action and stunt doubles, Thai action movies are much more straigh-up brutal. Watch Ong Bak and Born to FIght and you'll know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

I've been drooling over the thought of this sequel since it was announced over 2 years ago, and it's really here. Still waiting for it to download enough to watch, but I'm planning on watching it two nights in a row, to get the most of my money. Sorry SUnday Night Football, you've just been 1-upped.

Here's a trailer to show you what I'm freakin' talking about (embedding has been disabled on it, click for the official HD trailer):

And here's a really well done fan video that shows you what you can expect from a Tony Jaa movie. If you seriously haven't seen Tony Jaa, I forgive you. I'm big on educating the masses here at ThrawnOmega's Blog on the Gaming Life.

For you more budget-conscious movie fans out there, mark you calenders: October 23rd.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Paging any Firefighters... Um... Hi?

Do I smell bad? I shouldn't; I showered this morning. Thing is, I can't find a soul to play some Serious Firefight in ODST with. Everyone's playing it with someone else, already has the achievements and isn't interested, or doesn't feel like playing. Kinda makes me feel left out, doubly so since this is clearly the best part of the ODST package. (And the only reason I'd keep it after 1k) Since Bungie in their infinite wisdom deigned to NOT include any matchmaking for this, I'm at the mercy of having friends around who want to play.

Bishop has tried more than anyone else, but his connection has been pretty bad lately, lagging the game to a crawl, and disconnecting him. Not really his fault, but annoying nonetheless. (Hopefully that gets fixed soon buddy =P) And that brings me to Bungie's second Firefight failure... If one person leaves, the game ends. How is that fair to the remaining players? It sucks to suddenly have the plug pulled on a long battle. Players should be able to continue playing a man down if they so choose. If the host quits, change hosts... you do that already in the multiplayer... so why not here?

Firefight is the best part of ODST, and I have yet to have much fun in it. I'm almost foaming at the mouth to get a good 4-person team together and work on some of those map achievements. So, if you want to play some Firefight, send me a message. I want in on some of that action. Badly.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Thank you, Penny Arcade. (Click the image to enlarge it if you're having trouble reading all 3 panels.)

My review for Darkest of Days has been posted on x360a, and is linked on the right. As you will see, I really wasn't a fan. In my tenure with the review team, only Onechanbara has recieved a lower score from me...

Day 2 of my current 3 day off stretch was a mostly effective scoring day. I say mostly because of L4D... but I'll get to that.

In ODST, I'm to the point where almost everything I have left to do is Firefight related, and I haven't been able to scrape a full 4 person team for it yet. Hopefully tomorrow. Instead, I managed to get enough people together for a major Halo 3 boosting session. Where we lacked people, we added guest accounts. At one point, my guitar hero controller was a character, though that thankfully didn't last long. The idea was to build a group equal to a play list's max, so it would be just us and no randoms. Using our complete veto power, we were able to rip through and get all the online achievements with a high degree of efficiency. It really helped that EVERY ACHIEVEMENT FOR A LEGENDARY MAP CAN BE UNLOCKED ON MYTHIC MAPS. If you didn't know that, you now do. A major time saver, that was. I'm now up to 1740/1750, with only 5 achievements left. I really don't want to go for the vidmasters, and getting a ranked overkill may take a century, but I'll probably suck it up and chase them eventually for the sake of completion.

With jackanape, Bishop, and Omega Deez, I went after some of the Expert campaigns in L4D, succeeding in only 1. The trick is to play on easy until the finale, then return to the lobby and switch to expert. After winning the finale, you'll get Expert credit. We had a cheap way to get on top of the plane for Dead Air, and a rock exploit for Death Toll. Problem is, I still died on Death toll, so I never got credit for it. I'll take the 30 points for 1 expert complete, since I really never expected to get that achievement anyway, but finishing Death Toll would have nice too. Oh well. I truly think I'll never max out L4D, so I'm not too broken up about it.

SInce I managed to find the strategy guide for Banjo Tooie, I loaded up my save on that and picked up a few jiggies. Eventually I'll get the 200 in that arcade title.

My days off have been extremely kind to my gamerscore, but I feel like I'm playing to damn much. My other hobbies need some love too, so I'm going to try to scale back the gaming tomorrow to get make some progress on a few other projects I have going on.

Silva, Bishop, Buck, Bionik... It was a pleasure boosting with you all as always.

By the way, I've noticed this for a couple days now, but you see that hit counter on the right? IT'S OVER 9000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But seriously, thanks for the support and positive feedback everyone has provided since this blog started. It's been a blast to write, and I'm glad you've found some small measure of entertainment from it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surrendered to Temptation

I wasn't planning on it, but I broke down and bought ODST on day one. I figured, despite my brother's reticence to spend the cash, he'd be picking it up too, since he's 100x the Halo fan I am. Hopefully Firefight, which I have yet to try, lives up to the positive word-of-mouth surrounding it. I cooped the campaign on Legendary with my bro and some of his friends last night, and wasn't long, nor was it that challenging. I think the 4 of us cleared it in around 4.5 hours.

This morning, I went back and picked up all the audiofiles, so I have the collectables achievements. I also suffered through the Vidmaster: Classic achievement, which isn't as easy as everyone says it is. That first section sucks, but once you get beyond the first two Wraith tanks, it's managable. As I type this, I'm being a good samaritan and helping xRogue 5x get the 0 pointers in brothers in arms, while I basically sit here and type. No real effort from me, since I have everything.

Once this wraps up, I'm going to return to ODST and try to wrap up the 5 point achievements that litter the campaign, so the only thing left to do is Firefight and the Vidmasters. I'd also like to try to get a 6-person party together some time to try to boost as much as possible of the Halo 3 MP achievements in Ranked Lone-Wolves. Unless Firefight blows me away, I'll probably be pushing for all the achievements and selling ODST for as much a return as I can. Firefight may make me retract my words, but ODST just doesn't feel like a $60 value right now.

Can't complain too much about an easy 825 gamerscore so far, I suppose.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gamestop is Great... when they take my Junk

SO, I finished the full 1000 in Darkest of Days (my 51st completion according to my dashboard), and will be working on the review draft tomorrow. Unfortunately, I had to "enjoy" that game almost 2 full times to get all the points. Not too tough a 1k, but aggrivating.

I was incredibly eager to pitch this thing, since its trade value is as high as it'll ever be. Called Gamestop, they said they'd give me $15. I'm thinking, "I'll pass, I can do better on EBAY." But the guy wasn't done yet. They had this deal going where if you trade in for games, you get another $20. Games have to be worth just $2 to qualify. Well, I've got a lot of old GSL crap that probably won't fetch $2 anywhere, even EBAY, so this was a chance to snag some extra money for dumping my trash. Yes, I had to have an Edge card, but I actually think Game Informer is worth the $15 a year, so what the hell. Ended up getting $48 credit after that cost, so I'd say I did pretty good for loosing a lot of utter crap games.

With that credit, I got Night at the Museum for $10... I'll take the 1000 points, thank you. As for the quality section of my purchase, I was debating between Halo Wars, which would have cost me nothing, Mini Ninjas, or Batman. My love of Batman won out, so I picked that one up for just $20 cost to me. I thought it was a good deal for my trash. Of course, they also tried a million times to get me to preorder stuff, which was kind of hilarious. I have a Wal-Mart Associate discount card. I can get new games day one for at least $6 off the regular price, so why would I want to preorder? Can't complain too much though... Gamestop is notorious in my books for poor customer service, but this guy was actually pretty good. The only times I go into Gamestops are when I can take advantage of deals like this.

As much as I'm dying to pop in Batman, I'm currently working on boosting more RE5 with my bro. We both popped "Bring the Pain" tonight, and are hopefully closing in on 30 Slayer wins each, so we can move on to Survivors. We'll need 2 more for the team versions, but that's a problem for another day.

@JJB; all I can say is never try to select all and copy in blogger... everything goes to hell, and it then has to autosave right after, so you're screwed. Jurassic Parks posts were never deleted, that was a corrupted file, which amounts to about the same, I'll admit. I have those largely done, I've just been too lazy to finish them. Next time I hit my 3-off cycle, I'll look into finishing off some old projects.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm a Server

So, today is 9/17, the day to log into brothers in arms for a free 50 points... I've also been working on getting the last of the flipping 0 point MP garbage... I picked up this game on the cheap to complete it, so I have a bit of an obsession with getting it done. Well, I had the opportunity to team up with Deez Apples and none other than Stallion83 to try to knock some of them out, and was able to get "The Draft." For whatever reason, a few of the achievements bugged out on them, so I couldn't help them get a few that should have worked for them.

When we realized it really is only the host who seems to get credit for completing games, the lost interest and we parted ways. I WILL FINISH THIS B**ch. So, I made a game as host, and eventually got enough to get it started. Now, I've reached critical mass, where I have a regular 10 or so players, even if people quit. Problem is, the everyone is playing, nobody is into boosting, so I'm getting 20 games the really slow way. The achievement for 5 DID unlock after 5 hosted games, so I'm hoping 20 will as well. I'm currently at 8 matches. I just play hard enough to convince people I'm trying, then I get killed and find something else to do until the next round starts.

This isn't how I wanted to spend my afternoon, but people are actually playing this today. Tomorrow, the may all vanish, leavig me up a creek to get this stupid achievement. I still have Darkest of Days to suffer through for the review, and I may be boosting some of Section 8 tonight. So, it's going to be a long night of gaming ahead for me.

FYI to silva and Tim. I worked on the Banner Winner bost for an hour earlier today, then blogger deleted it, so I have to start all over. It'll be a few more days, sadly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

REMINDER! 9/17 Brothers in Arms Boosting

This is a reminder that Brothers in Arms boosting will be on 9/17, starting at 8pm central time. You need to log in on this day for the 50 point dated achievement, so I figured since people will be popping it in, let's try to get some people for the 0-point MP achievements, to knock those out for the sake of true completion. (100% completion means every ACHIEVEMENT, not all the points. There is a major difference).

So far, I know Bishop is in. To unlock the achievements, a minimum of 4 people are required. Do I have 2 other takers?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chasing War Hero

While I brought back the Rule of Four, I haven't been playing any of them that much, except for maybe Section 8, because I was reviewing it. These last few days, I've been working through Resident Evil 5 with my brother on Professional, so we can get the War Hero achievement. It's the last of the basic 1000 that I need for that game, then it will be time to boost the lame MP achievements. With both of us rolling with infinite Rocket launchers, magnums, and shotguns, plus the money to purchase all the first aid sprays we could ever need, Professional hasn't been that hard, except for a few checkpoints. You need to roll with the big guns because a single hit can send you from full health to dying, and there's little time for your teammate to come to the rescue. Bosses are a joke thanks to the rockets.

I don't know if this is in the Achievement Guide, but my bro showed me the best way to grind exchange points for characters, infinite ammo, etc. Simply play chapter 5-2 (the one that ends with the giant crab boss) on Professional over and over. Properly equipped, you should be able to S rank that chapter, and get 2500 exchange points, in 3-4 minutes. That'll come in handy since I still need almost 70000 exchange points for the last 2 MP characters I don't have yet.

It feels good to go back to the unfinished games and make some progress in them. For financial goals and my desire to shorten my back catalogue if possible, I'm probably going to be as cheap as possible from now until year's end on buying new games, though not so much that I forsake helping out the x360a review team. I won't be picking up Halo ODST until my brother does, since co-oping it with him is the main reason I'll be buying it anyway. Borderlands is a day 1 purchase, but there's nothing else of the top of my head that can't wait... even Modern Warfare 2 does not have to be purchased day 1 for me. The real killer aps, Bioshock 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Mass Effect 2... they don't come until 2010.

Once Darkest of Days arrives in the mail, all other games get shelved until that review is done. That should probably be here by Wednesday. That will be review # Twenty-something... I've lost count already. On October 3rd, I'll actually go back and count them all... I have that day's post planned already.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Case of the Missing GSL 6 Award

Color me baffled and irritated. I just noticed on my x360a profile today that my GSL 6 Champion award is gone. Not only that, but if you look at the awards listing, you'll see GSL 5 and 7 awards, but the GSL 6 Champ and MVP awards are gone. Why only this GSL's awards? When did they disappear, and why? In the grand scheme of things, it's not life shattering, but when you spend that much time in a competition, it would be nice to have the award you earned, there there was no doubt we won, no cheating. I sent PMs to Webb and jackanape about it, so hopefully they'll be good enough to look into restoring it, though I know they probably have larger priorities.

Silva, Ducky Dan, Derek, Buck, Daywalker, HAK, your awards are gone. We all lost 'em.

I just don't see how something like that happens by accident, but I don't know why anyone would want to delete our award. I just thought I'd put the word out there. The deletion has been noticed.

Let's see what comes of this...

In other news, I'm still working on the Section 8 review, and will be doing Darkest of Days next. It's back-to-back review feature from yours truly!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rule of Four Resurrected

Wolfenstein review posted at last! See the link on the right. In other news...

While no idea I've come up with to hone in on more game completions has ever been 100% effective, the Rule of Four was by far the best of my ideas. With 3 days on, 3 days off scheduling in effect on Saturday, I'll have more time to game and have a social life when I'm not working. As I'm finally settling into some regularity after months of transition, I think its time to give the Rule of Four a second chance. The four selected games will be what I focus most of my attention on, but I'll naturally switch to something else as boosting or co-op opportunities arise, or I'm working on a more long-term side project.

Due to my love of shooters and RPGs, and that I want more completions in both genres, it's highly likely that at least one slot of the four will at all times be taken up by a representative of one of those genres. Here's a look at the current gaming lineup:

1. Lost Odyssey

I've been working on this one for quite a while, and I'm pretty much nearing (or at) the late/end game. I've taken out a couple of the side bosses, and I'm now in the process of grinding up most of the abilities for all the immortals, to get close to the skill achievements, and to make the remaining bosses a heck of a lot easier.

2. Section 8

The newest game I've received for review purposes, I came into this one with low expectations, and have been quite surprised. This is one of my favorite multiplayer games for the 360. Problem is, I'm not sure how well it has sold, and how large the community will be for it in a couple months. If the MP in this one dies off, that would be a real shame, as I've had a blast. (Like UT3, this could be a great game that nobody plays online...) Sadly, some of the achievements have glitched on me... They owe me 3 achievements for 45 points so far. The devs say they are aware of the problem and working on a fix... which will hopefully show up soon. I'll be starting on the draft for this game tomorrow.

3. Prince of Persia

Picked up a new copy for $20, but I have yet to play it since the purchase. I rented it once and got a little over 200 of the points. Will probablhy put this in when I need a break from Section 8 and Lost Odyssey.

4. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Mmmmm... hack and slash RPG.

Side projects:

1. Magic the Gathering
2. Gears 2 (really not to 100, methinks)
3. EDF 2017 (armor grinding, want to try to finish this for real in January, but can start prepping for it early)

We'll see how well it holds up when I start getting blitzed with more reviews, and want to start picking up new games. Not sure how long I can hold out on playing Batman... I want it so bad. Then there's Alpha Protocol, Borderlands... I'm going to stop myself now. Best to just focus on what I've got instead of thinking of what's coming down the pipe.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big Post, Boosting Announcements

Rather than spread this across multiple posts to pad my post count, I thought I'd get it all down today, so buckle up. This is a multi-part post.

First, I've received the submissions for the banner contest, and will make the post for the entries on Thursday. I'd do it sooner, but I'm feeling lazy today.

Grind of War

t's another double XP weekend in Gears, and I'm STILL trying to restore the rank I had when everything got reset. I've spent a good amount of time boosting XP by replaying wave 1 of horde on Security on Hardcore. It's 500 XP per wave, then jump into the lasers on wave 2 and start over. With that method, I've gained over 170,000XP that way. I've gone from rank 29 to 38 so far, and I'll be playing some more Gears today. I won't get to 50 this weekend, but I've gotten quite a bit closer. Watching movies on my PC while grinding the XP helps pass the time.

Lost Odyssey Points

Progress towards the elusive completion in LO continues. I've finished all of the story I can before returning to Grand Staff, so I'm now running around completing all the late-game side quests. Persona has gone down, more treasures have been plundered. I've hunted down most of the invisible treasure chests. Not much else to report.

Operation Jedi Impossible?

I've wondered if Operation Jedi is possible while I continue to review for x360a. Of course, I could play review games on my trash tag, but I like getting points for my efforts. I also don't feel like paying another $50 a year for another Gold account I'd rarely use so I could review MP games on that tag. Since new games come at me to review faster than I can complete them, as long as I continue to write reviews, 75% completion may be a pipe dream for me.

Boosting Plans

emember, remember, the 17th of September. That's the day you need to boot up Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway for that dumb annual achievement. Since you have to put the game in that day anyway, why not boost the 0-point achievements for the sake of completion while you're at it? Right now, I'm thinking 9pm Central time on 9/17 as the boosting time. Let me know if you want in.

If anyone wants to boost Resi 5 or Soulcalibur 4 on thursday night (this week) let me know.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Banner Deadline and Month in Review

REMINDER! The Banner contest's deadline is FRIDAY AT NOON. Remember, 1600 MSP is up for grabs. Click here for the rules.

So far, I have yet to receive a single entry! Come on you procrastinators! =P I know a few of you out there were planning on submitting something, so don't forget LOL.

August was a month where gaming was very much on the backburner. While finishing job training, starting in my store for real, and moving into my new apartment, I had too much going on to game very much. The only new game added to my card was Wolfenstein, the review for which I should be wrapping up pretty soon. I made some progress in Lost Odyssey, and played a little Gears and Splosion Man, but that's about it. Nothing too earth shattering.

In September, I finally switch to my 3 days on, 3 days off schedule, which will make it easier to both game more and have a social life while still making a living. I'll probably pick up Halo ODST, but I'm not that excited about it. It's more of a "because everyone else will be getting it" purchase. The plan is to spend this weekend playing a ton of Gears once I finally have Live access (double XP), and work on more Wolfenstein and Lost Odyssey.

Reviews Written:
Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta

Special Topics:
none... was too busy.

Completed Games:
Fallout 3 (1550) <--- It's finally complete!

Gamerscore Progression:
August start: 105,264
August end: 106,094
Change: 830... one of my slow months.

TrueAchievements has my completion percentage at 62.78%... still well away from anointing myself an Operation Jedi survivor.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Don't Wanna Stop

First of all, let me share with you an AWESOME bit of news. As part of upcoming changes to the management structure with Wal-mart, everyone will be shifting departments we're over, and that includes me. I got shifted away from Hardlines areas (Toys, sporting goods, hardware, automotive) to be hand-picked to be our ELECTRONICS ASSISTANT MANAGER. I now get to work with a fantastic HDTV wall and game case on a daily basis. Naturally, it's my favorite area of the store, I've spoken with many of the people who work there already, and I'm really looking forward to it.

The major thought for this post is all the "Gamerscore retirements" I've heard about over the last several months. Hayden, Hammer, Fro... I'm quite certain the list is longer, and includes individuals with less gargantuan gamerscores, but they're the first three I remember. What promps this? For everyone it is different. I think Hammer felt pressured to stay high in the rankings and wanted to get away from that. Fro didn't see any point to it any more (based on his most recent blog post). After you've walked away from a hobby (I won't call it obsession LOL) that has eaten up so much time and money, are there regrets? Does the gamerscore itch go away? What comes next?

When the hobby becomes a second job is where the burnout and retirement seems to happen. Feeling compelled to be near the top of a leaderboard, that you must always whip through one game to get started on the next, keep a near-perfect completion percentage, or any number of things could possibly cause people to think it's no longer worth doing. Frankly, I'm actually surprised I haven't heard about MORE retirements. Players get burned out on MMOs wike World of Warcraft all the time, and that has a strong community aspect that keeps players into the game at a level the (relatively) solitary affair of achievement whoring can't match. Sure, there are forums and game discussions, and score leagues and challenges, but the level of interaction isn't even close. So, I would have anticipated more 100k+ gamers in particular calling it quits. Maybe they have and I'm just not hearing it.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that the only way I'll retire from gamerscore is if the system is discontinued. I've never had any desire for a perfect completion percentage (though I'd still like 75%), I don't care if I'm the world's best, or in the first 30 to cross whatever multiple of 100k club (seems like after 30-50, that clique thinks "everyone's done it"). I simply want to play games, even the crappy ones from time to time, and get all the points I can. I'm in no hurry about it. Being the first to complete a game means nothing to me. While looking at leaderboards can be fun, keeping up with the joneses something I care about. Day in and day out, I'll keep plugging away at the pace that feels fun, and will allow me to still have a life. (Life > GS) There will be no "Retiring" messages from me.

I don't wanna stop.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Heart of the Empire

Fellow x360a review team member Waggly Bean brought it to my attention that point cards are region locked, so overseas people could not receive the prive for winning the banner contest. Thankfully, I realized I have a new, sealed, PAL copy of Sacred 2 to give away, so that will be the prize if the winner is from PAL territories.

Also note on banners that any colors are OK. I'll change the background of this blog to work with quality banners. I haven't seen any submissions yet, but the deadline isn't until September 4th, so there's still plenty of time.

I've basically completed my move to my new apartment, though I'll still be making trips back home for a while to grab more stuff. My power is set up, I've got renters insurance, and all that necessary but unexciting business. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get cable/internet in my place until September 4th, so I won't be on Live until then (though I can still get on the internet from the main office building). By Friday, I'm really going to be missing the party chats. I'll have some pictures of the place up when its in a more finished state.

When I'm not at work, I've been working like a demon to get Wolfenstein done so I can write the review, but I don't see it being done until next week due to work obligations. Thankfully, since my move is now complete, and I'm settling into a routine, this is the last time a review turnaround will be this slow on my end. It chafes my work ethic to take so long, but I just can't go faster right now.

That will due for an update for today. Blog posts will probably be infrequent until 9/4, when I hope to "relaunch" the blog and get back into things full-bore at last. This "transition period" is mostly over!