Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back in April I started a new job. For a couple of weeks I worked both, then I left my old job and started working full time, 40 hour work weeks. That has unfortunately eaten up precious time that I could be playing video games. Or so I thought.

I use a program called Raptr to track my game playing time. I have no way of explaining why other than I just like to know what I've played and for how long. I rarely use Raptr for anything else honestly. One feature is I get a weekly email that tally's up my total time played and which games I spent that time playing.

When I saw this past week's summary, I was kind of blown away at how many hours I spent gaming.To be fair I had an extra day off this week thanks to having to work six days a week for the next month. Total time spent playing was 51 hours and 8 minutes. If you are wondering, yes, that is almost twenty more hours gaming then I spent at work.

I went back to the second week in April when I started work both jobs and was kind of surprised at how much time I have blown playing games. The past three weeks are not ordinary because I have had a couple of extra days off from work and I had this obsession with Dragon Age Origins. But after looking at all the numbers I would say my average game time falls somewhere between 20-25 hours a week.

Again, that is quite surprising. What that is telling me is that I am playing way too much on my days off when I probably could be doing something a bit more constructive, like working on the honey-do list. But, from this time forward I will not complain about having no time to play games, because it's obviously not been the case!

Friday, July 11, 2014

It's A Cornucopia of Games.

Holy cow, this working full time is kicking the crap out of me. I work all day, go home and play games, then when I have a couple of days off I do whatever chores I need to and try to play as much on the computer as I can before having to go back to work. I really don't know how those of you who have full time jobs have been able to live like this for so long.

But like I said, I have been playing games in the evening when I get home from work. For most of June it has been Marvel Heroes, not only at night but on days off as well. I am really loving that game! I love the combat, I love the loot, and most of all I love how different each hero plays from one another. That is unless you play Taskmaster who plays like four different heroes! Oh yeah, I also love that there are soooooo many different heroes to play.

Before my massive ingestion of Marvel Heroes I decided that I wanted to play Splinter Cell Blacklist, but before I do that I wanted to play Splinter Cell Conviction again, a game that I think is underrated and really quite good.

It's not like I needed to play Conviction again, I had already finished the game twice before. No, it was the fact that Blacklist, a game I bought during the winter holiday on sale for about twenty-five bucks, was now on sale for a mere ten bucks. TEN BUCKS!!!! The game sat on a virtual shelf for nearly seven months. So after a couple more rounds with Conviction I finally moved on to Blacklist.

What a frustrating game for the first couple of hours. I'm pretty sure the A.I. is broke for the first couple of missions. That and the change in controls from one game to another really gave Blacklist this difficulty spike that I was not enjoying. But, once I finally got a grasp on the controls and picked up a few gadgets the game turned out to be really good. Not only does it look good, the story and voice acting are quite good as well. But once I finished that it was back to Marvel Heroes for more one year anniversary goodness.

That is till this past weekend. With Dragon Age Inquisition coming in October I had this crazy thought that maybe I'd play through Dragon Age 1 &2 again, especially DA2 since I love that game! Honestly I didn't think I would actually play DAO again; I find the combat to be tedious, it doesn't look all that great, and it's way too freaking long.

Yet after about an hour of checking out mods I fired up a new Human Noble and now I can't stop playing. I feel that DA2 has better combat, looks better, better characters and interactions, but the story in DAO is really good. Add in a few mods that improves the combat and speeds it up a bit and now I'm hooked!

This weekend will be all Marvel Heroes thanks to an increase in XP event, but I am eager to get back into DAO, because Ferelden needs its Grey Warden hero!

Friday, June 20, 2014

I Spread Butter Like Parkay...

Wow, I can't believe how long I've neglected the blog for, and only four posts all year, that's pretty bad. Well to everyone's dismay I am still around, I've just been too lazy to write anything.

So what's been going on lately you might ask? Back in April I started a new job. I went from working a 32 hr work week with three days off to a full time 40 hr, five days a week job with some crappy commuting on a few days. Needless to say it's been a challenge adjusting to not having so much free time. I still play games when I get home, just not for as long as I used too.

I've pretty much conceded to the fact that I have a difficult time using my free time wisely and now I have even less time to use. I feel the problem is World of Tanks. On most nights I still like the game. However, it's a time sink. Sure, you can play WoT casually, but if you want to get good and be competitive you need to invest the time and effort into it. Basically it's a game that takes time away from the myriad of games I wish I could or should be playing.

But even with less time I have been able to play games. There's been quite a bit of WoT, but also Marvel Heroes. I am in love with this game! It's Diablo with super heroes, what's there not to love! Speaking of Diablo, I did beat D3 with a monk in preparation for Reaper of Souls, then promptly finished that as well. Let me tell you, Reaper is amazing! I love the changes the expansion brought with it, so good!

I did play some Elder Scrolls Online as well, but not very much. The game just hasn't grabbed me like I thought it would. It looks good, the combat is fun, but I just don't like the classes. I actually get annoyed when I think about ESO's classes. Maybe some day I'll be able to put into words exactly what I don't like about the classes.

So that's about it I guess, maybe I won't neglect the blog as much going forward.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Outdated Shadows

So a couple of weeks ago I decided impulsively to pre-order Thief 4 from Green Man Gaming. The game was already discounted by ten percent and GMG were kind enough to send me a coupon for another thirty percent on top of that! Why? I don't really know. I have a fondness for the franchise even though I've only played just a portion of one game out of the three. I guess it's my love of stealth games coupled with a nice heavy discount.

So in preparation for Thief 4 I decided to give Thief Deadly Shadows a spin, a game I've only played a few hours of back a number of years ago. The first thing after installing the game via Steam was look for John-P's Collective Texture Pack - a mod that replaces quite a few things, mainly up-scaling the textures in the game to look less better. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the name of the mod and after about an hour I was able to download, install and start playing.

Here's where things sort of fall off this Thief bus - the game is just butt ugly even with the mod. Honestly the graphics didn't bother me all that much, it's the awful controls that really ruined the game for me more. It's unfortunate that for me, TDS just doesn't hold up well in 2014. When you consider the more recent Splinter Cell games, Assassin's Creed and Dishonored, there are just better options to satiate one's need for stealth action over a game that is so dated.

Don't get me wrong, TDS isn't a bad game and I'm sure there are many who will not have any issues with the game like I do, after a few hours I just wasn't having much fun. At one point I went and searched out some old reviews to see how well the game was received back in 2004, and surprisingly they were pretty good. I seem to remember TDS not being as well received from gamers because it was consolized unlike the previous two games. Funny how after ten years people still use that argument for multiplatform games that release on the PC.

So in short, I've decided to forgo Thief Deadly Shadows and instead fill my time with a replay of Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut till Thief 4 is released later this month.

Monday, February 3, 2014

AC4 Is Mine!

For someone who has wanted to curb his spending habit, I have sure been loose with the purse strings this month. First I bought Sim City, then I reserved Thief 4, and the other day I picked up Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. To be fair, each game was discounted quite substantially.

I don't have a clue as to when I'll get to AC4, I kind of want to marathon through all the previous games first, but I do know that I will curb my World of Tanks addiction enough to play Thief when that comes out at the end of the month. With Sim City I'm just waiting for the big patch that removes the online only aspect of the game, which is the only reason why I bought the game.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Add Two More To The Pile.

I don't know what was my first digital purchase nor when I began making digital my primary method for purchasing games. I do, however, know that I started saving my emails for digital purchases on 6/22/2010. After making my list of games purchased in the year 2013 I went back to look through 2012 and noticed that a lot of those games I have actually played and many of them I finished. That means nothing to anyone else, but does tell me that World of Tanks has eaten quite a bit of my gaming time this past year. I don't think that will change this year.

As for 2013 I noticed that I pre-purchased two games: Space Hulk and Shadow Run Returns. Why do I bring that up? Well because Green Man Gaming had a sweet deal on a pre-order for Thief which comes out in February. I was sent a code for 30% off of the game that was already discounted by 10%. I love stealth action games and was kind of interested in the new Thief so I decided to be impulsive and make the pre-order.

I also picked up Sim City on a nice discount from Amazon as well. And here I thought I was going to slow down on the impulse buys. Oh well, I love sales.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Have Game, Will Buy!

I've come to learn that I don't do well with resolutions for a new year. I really wanted to make more time for posting on my blog and here it's almost the end of January and I've done nothing. Personally I blame World of Tanks. But enough of that.

Game of the Year Awards are nothing new, every gaming website, publication and even blogs do something these days. I myself have considered doing some sort of GOTY post the past few years, but let's be honest, I've just been way too lazy when it comes to the blog.

So when I began to think about doing a GOTY post I came to the realization that I couldn't remember what if any game I've played this year actually released in the 2013 calender year. I've become such a frugal game shopper that I have stopped make day one purchases almost entirely. There are a couple of reasons for this - I tend to impulse buy games and not play them and games tend to go on sale much quicker these days now that digital distribution has become so popular. Lucky for me I keep every email of all the digital purchases I make. I decided to write down the date and name of every game I made in the year 2013.

Here is a number that kind of surprised me: I've purchased 89 games and pieces of DLC in the year 2013. That sound you hear is my wallet that just cried out in sadness. 89 games? That is honestly way too many purchases. I also realized that only two games I purchased were day one releases: Shadow Run Returns and Space Hulk.

Back at the end of August I did make a conscious effort to curb my impulse buying and did pretty well if I do say so myself. Between September 1st and November 27th when I made my first purchase of the Autumn Steam sale, I bought only two games! That was NASCAR the Game and Ultima 7 Complete Edition which was less than a dollar, so it almost doesn't count. Of course the Autumn Sales and Winter Sales I went a bit bonkers.

So to reel this all back in, I may just have to do something like favorite game I played this year since I'm guessing that most the games I've played and finished this year were not actually released in 2013.