It felt great to go back to Eau Claire for a weekend and hang out with my girlfriend and my roommate (both are at UWEC for winterim classes). It had been a long time since I'd seen Stefan, who spent the prior semester studying abroad in Spain, and I hadn't talked to my girlfriend since the end of finals week. We went and saw The Spirit, and in the evening ordered Toppers and watched Resident Evil: Degeneration on the big TV in our dorm.
I must say, Degeneration is much better than I expected it to be. It's got the same insanely high-quality animation Final Fantasy: Spirits Within had, as well as Advent Children, but is about 100x better than either of those. While Advent Children was a steaming piece of poo that gorgeous animation couldn't save (due to horrible writing, and anything involving Sephiroth in that movie is a load of BS), Degeneration has a PLOT. It's a novel concept for a movie based on a video game, I know, but I was glad to see it. My only issue with the movie is that plot relies a little too heavily on closing the threads and making sense of everything at the end, instead of spreading revelations throughout. Besides intense action with Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, the DVD packs some hilarious voice bloopers and a long and satisfyingly detailed making-of featurette on the movie. It ain't a fluff "making of," they really show a lot of what went on to make it. I'd highly recommend renting it at least, if not buying it. Great movie.
Stefan and I spent some time playing Warriors Orochi 2, since he's been eager to play that game like a junkie looking for their next fix (I kid you not). On Sunday, we spent a lot of time playing Dynasty Warriors 6 when we weren't watching football, and I came out about 100 points ahead for our efforts. He's made me promise not to play DW6 before I move back in, so we can keep working on it. Since I still have a ton of other games on my "to-improve" list, it should be an easy enough promise to keep.
To change the subject for a minute, I must say I kinda feel a little bad for my girlfriend's Xmas haul. She really wanted Dead Space and Left 4 Dead for Christmas (you know you have the right girl if those are the top two items on her list). Instead, she got Jumper: Griffin's Story and Final Fantasy XI. Yup, the Worst Game Ever and a shotty MMO port, which requires subscription fees... I'm not sure she'll even play it. At least they gave her 3 months of Xbox Live, so I should be able to shoot zombies with her online soon (she went and got L4D with her own cash). I'm sure her parents tried, and $60 a game is expensive, but perhaps asking store employees what is good would have turned out better suggestions than Jumper... I don't mean to sound materialistic here and suggest that it should be expected that people get awesome games for Christmas... but Jumper is just wrong... I was able to score Devil May Cry 4 and Beautiful Katamari for under $30 total, and I know she loves them both, so she does have a few games she likes.
Returning to my achievement progress, after returning home from that relaxing weekend, I spent some time with Argonauts. I was hoping to finish the game, so I could start the review first thing tomorrow, but the game locked up on me after a good stretch without saving (not sure if that's the game's fault or my Xbox) and that killed my desire to play it anymore today. I should finish it and get cranking on the review tomorrow. With Condemned, I was able to make it to the end, picking up several achievements for completing all objectives, and I rushed through the first 5 missions of the game in FPS mode. With guns and unlimited ammo, the game is really, really easy. Since I took the time to read the reports earned for collecting all the metal pieces in the first Condemned, I knew what was going on going into the second, and didn't find the story confusing at all, unlike what several reviews claim. It's a great game, and you can probably get it for under $20 now, so it's worth checking out.
STATS TIME (it's been 5 days since the last update):
Lead over x Ducky Dan x in race to 100k: 5,146 (largest ever... want to make it big enough that he would NEED 360GSL.com's first league to catch me =P)
Completion percentage: 59.31%
Distance to goal: 18,732 points
Points needed for 1% badge on 360voice: 5,470 more points...