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Well, just because I’m doing most of my writing elsewhere doesn’t mean that I can’t occasionally post about the comings and goings of my gaming world!

  • I took a trip to Gamestop yesterday and preordered a few more games, mainly, the collector’s edition of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (which looks, absolutely amazing, btw), as well as Battlefield 3. Both were PC preorders, which is a first for me, as I’ve never preordered any PC games before in my life. I suppose it’s just a transition as I slowly move towards PC gaming more and more, and leaving the console gaming for the high end exclusives. This brings the running total of preorders to 4 this fall season, including a Collectors for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the Epic Edition of Gears of War 3.
  • Most people by now should have heard about Nintendo’s 3DS Ambassador Program (i.e., a major 3DS price drop so early in its life and the games announced that Nintendo will use to make it up to the early adopters). Personally, I knew what I was getting into when I picked up the thing, and while I’m surprised at the price drop happening so soon, that really is the fate of the early adopter. I’m actually pretty excited about the games though, so I’m looking forward to it.
  • Most of the games I reviewed for Touch Arcade this week were not that good, although my most current one in the works, a game called Companions, looks to break that mold. Stay tuned in a few days as at TA as I get that one written!
  • Oh yeah, Final Fantasy Tactics, on iOS. ‘nuff said.
Game on folks.

Taking a Hiatus

I know that I had just started utilizing this again, but I’m probably going to cut down on the reliable blog post, unfortunately. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I’ve picked up a sweet gig working as a freelance journalist writing reviews for Touch Arcade, my favorite iOS gaming site. I already have a few reviews under my belt, and I have to say, it’s a blast finally doing something that I’ve been working towards for a long while.

So, in the meanwhile, look for my articles on there!

Occasionally I do leave the confines of my technological hub and venture out into the world of Ventura County. Unfortunately, my current residence of Port Hueneme is small enough that we hardly have any big “gathering events” (SeaBee Days notwithstanding). This usually leaves the adjacent Oxnard and Ventura cities as the primary places to participate in community activities. This weekend I decided to check out one such activity, the Oxnard Salsa Festival, an annual event that features a plethora of salsa tasting, spicy food, as well as just a general excuse to get together and spend money on curios and quasi-fair food. 

I wish I could say that my review begins upon my arrival at the festival grounds, but that’s far from the case. In reality, my review begins with my excessive parking search. The Salsa Festival takes place in Downtown Oxnard, which has little street parking to begin with. An inefficient (but still useful, I suppose) 3-story parking structure is also located near the downtown area, but that was completely full. Furthermore, the small public parking lots littering the outskirts of downtown were also all completely full. At this point, I decided to extend my parking search to the neighborhoods near downtown, and found a parking spot near a church approximately 5 blocks away. I suppose it would be unfair to blame the ridiculous parking situation on the Festival, but I can imagine that there were quite a few people that wanted to go but just couldn’t find a space. In any case, after a brief jaunt past local residents and some downtown shops, I finally made it to the festival.

The Festival primarily takes place at a city park in the middle of the downtown area. In addition, adjoining streets are also closed down to make room for the approximately 75 food and boutique booths that comprise the majority of what to see. Finally, a grandstand stage was located near the back of the festival grounds with perpetual music, dance contests, and other competitions taking place. On the opposite end of the grandstand is the famous Salsa Tasting tent, and the primary reason for my interest in coming.

The Salsa Tasting tent is the only area of the festival that actually costs money to enter. Pay five bucks and you get a generous bag of tortilla chips, salsa tasting “tickets,” as well as a salsa cup holding paper container. Once you’re inside, about 20 different tables are set up with a multitude of salsas of different flavours, heat, and overall variety. As mentioned before, this is why I come to the Salsa Festival, and it did not disappoint. I tasted about 10 – 12 of the available salsas, and each were as different as could be. In fact, I even discovered an amazing local salsa that has won several awards over the last few years. In addition to these indie salsa gems, various local restaurants set up tables in the tasting tent sampling their house salsas. While the majority of these weren’t particularly exciting, mostly in part to their necessity of appealing to the general public as well as the fact that I’ve been to most of these places already, some booths did introduce me to places that I hadn’t gone yet. After tasting these salsas, however, I think I’ll make an attempt to actually check them out. One silly portion of the tasting tent were the local grocery stories “sampling” their store-bought salsa. Not only were their quality far inferior compared to the other, more locally grown salsa, but I just thought it was a pretty thinly veiled advertising attempt. However, it didn’t detract too much from the overall experience. Also, it’s important to note that if you are a heat seeker, there were plenty of hot salsas utilizing habaneros, bhut jokia, and other exotic plants. A competition to eat “the world’s hottest pickle” was also taking place in the tent. Overall, I spent a good hour just in the tent alone, and I would come to the festival just for that.

Outside the tent, you’ll find the usual local festival fare as far as food. Roasted almonds and pecans, BBQ, a plethora of Mexican food, kettle corn, and bakery treats were some of the food booths out there. In addition, boutique shops sold everything from elaborate temporary tattoos to agricultural centers selling pepper plants (my favorite booth), and everything in between. These sort of booths never appealed to me too much, but they must have for the rest of the festival crowd; the entire market section was wall-to-wall people with very little breathing room occasionally.

Overall, the festival experience was pretty good. Sure, the parking sucked, and there were a ton of people that occasionally made it a hassle to get to where you wanted to go, but the primary draw, the salsa, was superb and made it worth it in my opinion. At the very least, these sort of local community events provide me with the opportunity for checking out new local businesses and putting my money towards locally made fare as opposed  to whatever generic salsa that’s sold at big grocery stores. In that regard, I think the salsa festival succeeds. Also, it’s just a good place to have fun.

Week in Gaming is what I hope to be a quasi-regular post regarding games I’ve been playing recently, and perhaps random stories that have occurred that I find interesting.
  • In what may be the fastest (and steepest) drop in a new video game system ever, Nintendo has announced that it will significantly drop the price of the 3DS — from $250 to $169.99 for the upcoming fall and holiday season. This has, undoubtedly, made quite a few early adopters very angry. However, Nintendo appears to want to make amends, and has also announced that everyone who buys a 3DS before the price drop will be bestowed the status of “Nintendo 3DS Ambassador” and will receive 20 free downloadable classic games from the NES and GBA era. Personally, I know the price of early adoption, but I didn’t think it would hit this hard, this fast. Then again, free games are nice.
  • In my never-ending quest to find more and more information about my deepest crush, the Razer Switchblade concept, I’ve learned that Razer has partnered with Intel to eventually include an Intel Atom Z690 processor into its machine. From what I understand, this processor is a mini-portable beast, and should allow for even more performance. That’s all well and good, Razer, but hurry up and let me pre-order the damn thing!
  • Gaming has been relatively light this week. Although I have fallen in love with Groove Coaster, an awesome rhythm based game from the makers of Space Invader Infinity. Sure, it’s your standard tap/hold/tap fast/scrub the screen type of game, but the music is awesome and the graphics and visuals are some of the best I’ve seen in awhile. Plus, it’s only 99 cents (for a limited time)! I highly suggest you pick it up.
  • Finally, as a follow up to the DNA11 kit I ordered last week, I finally got my DNA collection kit and swabbed the hell out of my cheek cells. I’ll be sending that in today and should get a mini DNA portrait in a month or so!

Mac OS 10.7 Lion: A Personal Review

I don’t claim to know anything more than my fellow techies when it comes to writing silly reviews about games or software. Obviously, I’m not good enough to actually write for something legit or else I’d be doing that right now instead of my beloved blog. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t post my own personal opinions (whether or not they actually ‘jive’ with those ‘professional’ reviewers). I mean to do exactly that with Lion in this post.

Lion actually fell into my lap this weekend when I decided to go purchase a Mac Mini to replace my dead Mac Pro. Of course, if I actually had a working Mac, I would have probably picked it up on release day. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, so I’m glad I was able to play with Apple’s newest OS with my Mac Mini. After checking it out for a few days, I’m happy to report that Lion is an excellent upgrade with the understanding that Apple is trying to make some major changes to the UI that are definitely radical. Embrace the change (and have the right hardware), and you’ll quickly fall in love. For folks that abhor change, Lion is still a recommended upgrade, but it’ll lose much of its luster with most of its bigger features turned off. I’ll talk about some of its biggest changes below.

Launchpad

One of Lion’s more interesting features is Launchpad. Essentially, Apple has taken the barebones iOS operating system, and transplanted it onto Mac OS. Click on Launchpad, and you enter into a world with no windows, menus, scroll bars, or any other GUI effects. Essentially it’s just you and your apps, and a quick click will launch any. Users can organize apps into folders that look very much like the iOS iteration of folders, and off course, users can click through multiple pages of Apps a la the iOS Springboard.

The whole thing looks and feels very much like Apple’s classic At Ease GUI of the pre-OS X days. In essence this is a simple method to look at, and launch apps without going through the hassle of folder/finder navigation. Does it work? When you don’t have a lot of apps, it does do a decent job. However, I can imagine it becoming quite hectic with more Mac apps, thus creating the need to create folders and additional pages. At that point, I don’t understand why people couldn’t just use the standard finder method of locating apps, or better yet, just using spotlight to find what you’re looking for. Out of all the iOS functions that Apple was hoping to bring to Mac OS, this is one of the most blatant, and truthfully, not the most useful, in my opinion.

Mission Control

Now this is more like it. In essence, Mission Control is Expose, Spaces, and Dashboard on steroids and all rolled into one. With a click of a shortcut, users can easily get a glimpse of all their windows, desktops, full screen apps, and dashboard widgets all on one screen. The organization of each window is clear, well-defined, and easy to navigate to. Folks that enjoyed expose before should find this upgrade to be even more useful. In addition, heavy users of Spaces should find this method of organizing desktops to be even better. Now, depending on how many desktops and apps a user has open, there could definitely be some clutter, but so far I haven’t found any with my normal usage of apps.

Full Screen Apps

This is one of the more interesting additions. Apple has incorporated UI into all its native applications (as well as providing code for 3rd party apps) that allow programs to easily extend out to the entire screen, thus basically bringing back the full screen applications made so popular by early Mac OS and Windows OSes. Granted, I’ve only had time to play with Apple’s full screen apps, but I have to say that they do a pretty good implementation. However, having full screen apps is only as good as a method of organizing and controlling them. Thankfully, Mission Control does a decent job of providing that control. I imagine that full screen apps will have a definite following as well as a definite group that abhors them, simply because in some ways it does away with the information deluge and multitasking obligations of today’s society. However, when combined with other aspects of Lion (see below), it, in actuality, opens up the information overload to new and amazing heights.

Multi-Touch Gestures

I kid you not, this is Apple’s secret weapon. A few days after picking up my Mac Mini, I went to Best Buy and bought a Magic Trackpad. After setting it up and using it for a few days, I’m convinced that this is the only way to use Lion, as it transforms the operating system into a fluid OS that offers nearly all its information to you at a multi-touch gesture away.

In addition to the normal tap to click, two tap secondary click, and two finger scroll, Lion incorporates a bunch of other unique gestures that I absolutely love. A four finger swipe to the left or right cycles through Dashboard, all full screen apps, as well as all virtual desktops (Spaces) that are open. The GUI is also so fast, smooth, and seamless that there is extremely little lag while cycling. Also, a four finger swipe up brings up Mission Control for quick switching (if the swipes to the left or right are too slow for you), while a four finger “grab” (definitely the most complicated gesture) brings up launchpad. In addition, a three fingered tap instantly brings up a dictionary for any word you tap on.

I never imagined that I would want to use a trackpad with a desktop OS, but Lion has managed to convince me otherwise. I honestly don’t think I could ever go back to a mouse at this point. It’s that good, and the primary reason to switch to Lion in my book.

Other Improvements

Other things of note I saw were Mail improvements (looks more like iOS versions… not too bad), AirDrop, which allows other Lion users to easily transfer files on a LAN, Auto Save, which I haven’t had time to experience yet (I’m more of a consumer than a creator on my Mac), as well as auto-resume for all Applications upon shut down and startup. These are all decent upgrades, but the major improvements are the ones I mentioned above, with multi-touch gestures taking the cake.

Conclusion

As I’ve mentioned before, if you pick up a Magic Trackpad, and use it with Lion, you will have a completely different, amazing experience navigating Mac OS. If you’re not a fan of trackpads or multi-touch, Lion still has enough features for the price (can’t go wrong with $20), but the rest seems to be more graphical flourish or iOS ideas brought to Mac OS, which may or may not appeal to the users of Mac OS. Either way, Lion is here, and if you have twenty bucks around, it’s time to dive in and explore.

This weekend I had the opportunity to pick up a Mac Mini to supplement my computer mania

and finally bring a Mac back into my life. For a brief history, I also own a 2008 Mac Pro. However, the video card in that dear machine went kaput about two or three months ago, and I didn’t quite feel like spending a few hundred dollars to pick up a card that may or may not actually fix it (I’m 99% sure that’s the issue, but there’s still that 1% chance it’s a waste of money). So instead I spent even more money picking up the $799 model  that was released last week. After a few days with this insanely small Mac desktop, I’m happy to report that this is an awesome, somewhat inexpensive Mac for those that (like me) no longer need a Mac for games or powerhouse applications, and simply want one to preserve the Mac experience.

Design

I can't believe my whole Mac is under my monitor!

I’ve never owned a Mac Mini before, so the first thing I noticed when I opened up its extremely small box was how compact and svelte this machine is. Its dimensions are 7.7/7.7/1.4 inches, which makes it almost the same size as the original Apple TV, and definitely the smallest full feature computer I’ve ever owned. In fact, the damn thing sits on my desk underneath the side of the 23 inch LCD display that it’s attached to. It looks less like a computer and more like an elaborate paper weight, which means it looks absolutely awesome on my desk. I seriously can’t believe that I no longer need a giant Mac tower underneath my desk and that instead this thing sitting on the back of my desk can do it all. I know I’m late to the game as far as the general aesthetic of a Mac Mini, but Apple’s really outdone themselves with this design.

Specs

Of course, looks aren’t everything, and the Mac Mini has more than enough power under the hood to keep me going. This model comes with a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge Processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 6630 M discrete video card with 256 MB of VRAM, and a 500 GB HD. In addition, there appears to be enough room in that shell for an additional hard drive for future expansion purposes.

Port-wise, you get an HDMI port, an HDMI-DVI adapter, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and the new Thunderbolt output for high speed data as well as Apple’s insane $1000 27 inch LED display. Firewire 800, an ethernet jack and, interestingly enough, an SD card slot round out the rest of the Mac Mini’s backside. I was pleasantly surprised with the 4 USB ports, and the SD card slot just seems odd to me, considering Apple’s relative apprehension of expansion ports on the iPad and iPhone. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself using Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt at this moment, but it’s nice to have nonetheless. Otherwise, the processor specs have so far worked very well for me, without the machine chugging at all.

There are some things missing in this latest iteration, mainly the lack of a optical disk drive (in order to make the Mac Mini even slimmer). Interestingly enough, with the advent of the Mac App Store and Steam, combined with the fact that I don’t plan on playing too many games on this thing at all, I don’t seem to care about the missing disk drive. However, that’s not to say that I don’t doubt that others would very much like to have one, so plan accordingly.

Setup

Interestingly, setup wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be. The Mac Mini wouldn’t recognize my already owned Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, and I needed to unplug my PC USB Keyboard and plug that into my Mac Mini in order to get through the setup system. Otherwise, everything seemed pretty smooth. Setting this machine up initially is as easy as taking it out of the box, plugging in the power, and then plugging in your preexisting monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Software

This latest version of the Mac Mini came with Lion preinstalled, and I have to say, they both work together beautifully. Lion is a pretty neat operating system, and I hope to write some more on it in a separate post. Otherwise, as I mentioned earlier, the Mac Mini seemed content to run everything I threw it at with ease.

Overall Value

I absolutely love this machine, but you have to understand why.

  1. I already own a gaming PC that does all my heavy lifting for me.
  2. I really like Mac OS X and love having it around for doing my non-gaming activities.
  3. I already had a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse due to previously having a Mac.
  4. It’s cheap, but runs OS X well.
  5. I get blown away by small and sleek electronics.
If this sounds like you, then I highly suggest you pick up a Mac Mini.
Week in Gaming is what I hope to be a quasi-regular post regarding games I’ve been playing recently, and perhaps random stories that have occurred that I find interesting.

 

  • Like many folks this morning, I took the liberty of  pre-ordering the Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I thought it might have been a good idea to pre-order it as soon as I woke up, and I even redeemed my pre-order code from Amazon before I went to work. Sure enough, I read later on int he day that most online retailers had already sold out of the Collector’s Edition. Apparently, it looks like Bioware is actually treating the Collector’s Edition like…. a rare thing (what a concept!), so I am pleased that I managed to snag a copy this morning. By the way, this looks to be a pretty decent CE, with an included authenticator, a lore book, an art book, a ton of in-game items, a 7-day ‘early access’ to the game, possible preference for the weekend beta, and a supposed “Collector’s Store” that will let folks with the CE purchase special items in-game. Can’t wait for its eventual release!
  • In non-PC gaming news, I picked up Sid Meyer’s Pirates for iOS this last night. As a fan of the NES version, as well as the several iterations throughout the year, I’m looking forward to checking it out (and maybe posting an actual review about it here).
  • By the way, the Star Wars themed Xbox 360 announced today at Comic-Con is one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen. I need to figure out a way to pick that up somehow this fall (in addition to the Star Wars Blu rays, a new iPhone, possibly a new iPad, and so many other damn expensive electronic toys.
  • Finally, in geek news, I picked up a DNA11 Mini-Portrait a few days ago. I actually won a 100 dollar gift card in a sweepstakes, so I decided that the gift card was enough of a subsidization to check out the mini-portrait. My DNA (aka Cotton Swab) kit is in the mail, so hopefully I get it soon so I can send it back and get my awesome ‘unique’ art piece.

Razer’s Switchblade

Folks, gather around as I tell you a tale of a netbook most awesome, made by a company that has a reputation of releasing some kickass (albeit expensive) peripherals for all those wannabe gamers out there (myself included).

I give you, the Razer Switchblade.

(Oooooooh)

The Razer Switchblade was annoucned earlier this year at CES 2011 as a “gaming netbook concept” that I fell in love with the moment I laid eyes upon it. It is important to note that this fine piece of gaming machinery is still considered a concept design, meaning that there are no specs, no price and, alas, no release date. One silver lining to this despair, however, is that there have been some actual units, folks have actually been able to use it, and the hands-on reviews have been phenomenal.

With the Switchblade, it appears that Razer is looking to set itself apart from the rest of the netbook crowd with a few distinct changes. First off, as you can obviously see, this netbook caters to gamers. The slick black outer shell with the distinctive Razer logo oozes with design. Hands-on previews have mentioned that the build quality seemed very good, although, most concept designs are made with good quality material since it’s not being mass produced and thus more money can typically be spent on it.

Second, Razer looks to integrate some pretty impressive technology into this beast. Although specs haven’t been announced, interviews that took place at CES indicated that they were planning on using the most advanced atom processors and graphics (available when the thing is actually sent to production). In addition, the Razer plans on having the Switchblade include a multi-touch screen, and a “dynamic tactile keyboard” which looks like a mini version ofArt. Lebedev Studio’s Optimus keyboard. Essentially, the keyboard has OLEDs on its face and, depending on what you’re doing with the machine, will change to different keys with different icons. For example, if you’re chatting with friends the keyboard will show the traditional key layout. Switch over to World of Warcraft, and the keys switch to a set of shortcuts with icons for each spell and ability you’re currently using. Pretty nifty technology. In addition, Razer plans on having built-in wifi and 3G for its models, along with the usual mini-HDMI and USB ports.

Normally, I wouldn’t gush about something that probably isn’t coming out for a very long time, but I have to admit that this is the perfect netbook that I’ve been looking for since I started PC gaming. The size, power, and cool technology would complement my iPad, which does the majority of my non-gaming portable antics at this point. I think that if Razer succeeds at releasing a netbook that not only caters to gamers, but does it in the powerful, portable manner that they claim they’re looking for, I smell a big winner.

When Apple announced earlier this year that they would launch an iTunes Music

Matching system for a small annual fee, I was pretty stoked. I, like most folks, had accumulated a good deal of my music collection before digital distribution had really taken off, and I thought that it would be a good experiment to see if I could get my songs “matched” which would give me more options for all my cloud enabled devices. However, with the launch of Spotify, I’m not even sure if I care anymore.

Spotify is a music subscription service that has been available in the UK for quite awhile, but has just made its U.S. debut this

week. Simply put, Spotify provides instant access to over 15 million songs, including playlist creation, music sharing, and more. Furthermore, Spotify has a free subscription plan that provides access to all of its music on your computer with an ad-based revenue stream (although currently this free plan is on an invite only basis). For folks looking to have access to all this music on more than your computer, Spotify offers several paid subscription plans.

I took the plunge and picked up the Premium ($9.99/month) plan. In addition to eliminating ads, the main features for the premium plan include access to Spotify’s mobile app meaning that, assuming you have data access, you can stream and create playlists for all the songs they offer right off your phone. Want to save on data? The premium plan also has an  “offline” mode which allows you to designate certain playlists for offline mode, and then Spotify will push those songs to your device (through either USB or Wifi sync) and they are instantly available for listening even if you don’t have an internet connection. In addition to access to its own library, Spotify also works with any local files on your PC through its music player/manager, which looks very much like a carbon copy of iTunes (except without most of the fluff).

All this sounds wonderful, but how well does it work? Well, it works pretty good. There are definitely some kinks to work out — the mobile app seems to not want to play certain songs, and you aren’t sure if it’s because Spotify doesn’t have access to it, or if because it’s timed out. The former issue seems to happen a bit because, like all screwed up music licenses, you’re going to find that some songs you would think would be part of their “15 million tracks” aren’t actually there. For example, don’t bother looking for the Beatles, and even some of Pink Floyd and other classic rock artists had some tracks greyed out. It does seem, however, that they have most of the newer stuff, which should make it a must-have for newer generations of music lovers.

Wifi sync is pretty amazing. Granted, we know that iOS 5.0 will have it as well, but Spotify did it first, and it does a decent job of it. Creating ‘offline playlists’ are a breeze and the UI is pretty decent. One big complaint is that they don’t have a rating system like iTunes does, in fact all I seem to see is a “favorite” option which puts a star next to a song you like which helps you find your favorites later on. That’s all well and good, but I actually did appreciate the robustness of having multiple stars to use as ratings in iTunes.

Speaking of which, you won’t find any smart playlists here, which I suppose makes a 5 star rating system moot since you can’t automatically organize anything. Playlist creation is barebones and requires users to manually drag each (or groups) of songs to their respective playlists. Thankfully, Spotify does import iTunes and WMP playlists, so you can easily just use those instead of having to create new Spotify-only playlists. It really is interesting how integrated Spotify tries to be. They want to make it as easy as possible to ditch iTunes, import all your files and playlists, and just use their service to acquire new songs to add to your playlist. I think they’re very close to making that possible for a lot of people. One last thing that’s important to note is that I don’t think Spotify intends for users to replace their entire music library with ‘cloud songs.’ Rather, this is a new, supplemental service to songs you already have. Keep what you have, use them for the future, and keep it all integrated.

So far, I’m pretty pleased with Spotify. I don’t believe the monthly subscription is too expensive, and I think I will try using it for a bit. I encourage anyone with a penchant for music collection to give it a try, as you might like what you discover.

 

Week in Gaming 07/15/2011

Week in Gaming is what I hope to be a quasi-regular post regarding games I’ve been playing recently, and perhaps random stories that have occurred that I find interesting.

  • Unfortunately, not a lot of time for gaming this week. I did manage to spend a decent amount of time with Shadows of the Damned. A new title out for the PS3 and Xbox 360. I’m really not sure how to even begin to describe this game. The story is based on a Spanish demon hunter that seriously antagonizes a top demon (known as ‘Fleming’) at the beginning of the game. Fleming subsequently kidnaps the latin lover’s girlfriend and takes her back to hell. The demon hunter (Garcia Hostpur) then jumps into the hell portal to get back his girl. Oh yeah, and Garcia’s partner is a former demon that is now just a skull but can turn into a variety of weapons and defaults to a flaming torch for Garcia to explore with. Gameplay is the standard third person shoot-em-up with some remnants of Resident Evil controls. Personally, the controls and gameplay are satisfactory, but the music, presentation, and out of control story are going to keep me coming back at least for a bit. Anyone even remotely interested in a game like this just needs to check it out.
  • On the iOS front, I’m still playing Tiny Tower mostly, and returns somewhat to Baseball Superstars II, which deserves its own post sometime.
  • An interesting title I started playing this week that I picked up from the Steam Sale is Recettear. This game is half rogue-like combat and half item shop simulator. That’s right, you play a young girl who must pay off her missing father’s debt by owning and operating an item shop. You can make the game as mundane as buying items from locals and whole sale shops, and then selling them with a markup at your own store, or as exciting as hiring an adventure to take you into a dungeon and pick up all the treasures that are dropped as he takes down all the baddies. It is definitely one of the stranger games I’ve ever played, but it’s also addicting.
  • It looks like Rift is allowing former players to come back for a week and check out the updates. I’m thinking of diving back into it maybe for a little bit.
That’s it for this week! Enjoy “Carmegeddon” if you live in LA.
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