Picking at the bloated carcass of geek culture...occasionally!!!

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Dance Central = My House

In Video Games on November 11, 2011 at 12:41 am

This feels like a good time to be a late adopter. Why? The last month or so I started doing things that I either thought about doing or was recommended to do in the past. My sword-fighting class is a good example. Or how I started the Insanity workout on Kettner’s advice from the summer (stop yelling at me Shaun T, I’m trying!). But the best example is this new-fangled XBox 360 Kinnect, which my sister was almost begging me to try months and months ago. In the past week, my home has been transformed into a dance studio of the most rockingest, booty-danciest variety.

Last Friday, my wife called me at work and said: “I want to buy a Kinnect.” A Kinnect, for those whom do not know, is a piece of XBox 360 hardware that can read what your body is doing with no controller. It apparently works using a combination of Hermetic sorcery with a pinch shamanic dreamspeaking and a touch of good, old fashioned witchcraft. Nina’s idea was an odd one because: A) My wife had never shown too much interest in this product in the significant time it had been on the market, B) It’s not a particularly inexpensive thing to buy on an impulse, and C) We have no room in our TV nook for the required space for this device. Stunned by this illogical turn of events, I agreed it was a good idea.

So, sure, we needed to re-arrange furniture to the point that we moved the TV and XBox of out the TV room. Now we have a crowded and studio and a separate “couch-facing-an-empty-entertainment-center” room. Now our cable box and DVR attached to a wire connected to what seems to be nothing (but I leave it open to the possibility of it being attached to an invisible ghost TV that I cannot see or hear.) But man, was it worth it. Why? Dance Central 2.

Dance Central 2 is the reason why Nina wanted the Kinnect. If life demands exercise, I suppose dancing it out to a ridiculous assortment of music is a potential better choice than being yelled at via DVD by a muscular, shirtless man (I’m kidding Shaun T, I know you’re attitude comes from a place of love). So Nina has been dancing almost daily for hours at a time. And tonight, after moving the TV to the larger room, I joined her.

Fedoras are optional. You hear me, Maria Bello! We get it! You're a tough lady working hard to earn respect in misogynist police force. Lose the Timberlake cover!

And I cannot recommend it enough. It’s super-fun, a nice workout, and a great way to spend time with Nina. And while my dancing skill are comparable to a combination of Frankenstein’s monster, Herman Munster, and Frankenberry, it does not deter me from trying to look like Lady Gaga in the Bad Romance video. Shit, I had the outfit anyway.

Video Game Anticipation

In Video Games on November 9, 2011 at 1:24 am

So, it’s been awhile. And this isn’t to say that I’ve been slacking. I am currently playing in three regularly-scheduled roleplaying games. I been getting caught up on my slacking comic book reading. I’ve been making tremendous progress in the management of my fantasy football (again, the geekiest thing I have ever done). Hell, I’ve started taking a samurai sword class (okay, maybe fantasy football is the second geekiest thing I have ever done). So I have been busy, just not with writing. I intend to attempt to try to maybe remedy that…if possible.

Anyway, what’s been bugging me recently is a shortage of new games that I want to play. I know there have been good games released, such as Arkham City (which I decided to hold off as to play until I receive the game as a Christmas present…Yes, I know that was a dumb move), I am really waiting for some of the big roleplaying games. This week I finally get to play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Next month I get the Bioware Star Wars MMORPG, The Old Republic. Relatively early next year I get the Mass Effect 3. I am dying to play these games, as I have been dying to play them for the years they have been in development.

In the meantime, however, I have been looking to satiate my gaming fix…yet none of the games I have been playing have really scratched the itch. This is the first part of a frustrating though not-actually-that-vicious-but-bear-with-me cycle. It involves me buying video games that I don’t actually want because I am impatient for the games I actually do want.

For instance, I knew Skyrim was coming in November. So, instead of of just waiting for it to be released, I start looking at games to tide me over, using a few different justifications:

1) This games in on sale on Steam (or Direct2Drive, or XBox Live, or GoG) and I would be a fool, A FOOL, to let this opportunity pass me by: This one doesn’t bother me too much because it has yielded some really pleasant experiences at a very low cost. Borderlands (the stylized action-shooter-loot collector) and Sequence (the indie, rhythm-action, RPG) stand out in this category.

2) Let’s buy a game kind of like the one I want to play because something is better than nothing: Hello Dungeon Siege 3. I wanted a game that involved me developing a character and swords and magic and shit, so I talk myself into a solidly average game with middling reviews because I…I just wanted to play it. This is less justifiable because it costs full, retail price despite not being what I really wanted.

3) Shit, a big game just came out and while it has been eagerly awaited by some, it was barely on my radar. For some reason, on launch day I decide it must be mine and drop full price…and immediately feel regret: Rage and Battlefield 3 come to mind. While big games to some, I couldn’t have cared less about them when they were in development. Yet, for want of the actual game I desire, I picked both these games up and immediately regretted it. Not because they’re bad games (they’re not) but they were ill-fitting substitutes for what I wanted to play. And I knew it when I bought them. And I did it anyway.

Finally...the novel experience of playing a soldier in war-torn region of the world. What a fresh and new experience.

Oh, boo hoo. Mr. Disposable Income bought a game he didn’t weally wuv or want but he made to pway them anyway. Yes, but the thing is…my income is certainly much less disposable than this behavior reflects. And these numerous small financial expenditures made me that much poorer…and didn’t scratch my video game itch. It just feels pointless and hollow in retrospect. Oh, well. At least the holiday season approaches so most of the games I’ve been anticipating are starting to manifest. Thank Odin for that.