Archives for January 2005

Moving shop

Well, after I hit “Publish Post” on this quick post, I will be packing up all things gaming and computing into boxes. Tomorrow, I will be loading them into a Budget Rental Moving Truck and moving my family about 2 miles down the road to our new home. I will be incommunicado until at least Friday, when Time Warner comes by to jack me back into the net. Until then, I am looking forward to the evenings disconnected from the world of blogging and reconnected with what matters most, video games. (Okay, okay, family matters most, video games second most).

The time down will give me a chance to actually play games instead of blabbering about them here. If you miss me, there’s plenty of other good stuff going on in the gaming blogosphere, I’m sure you’ll make do.

Until then, good gaming.

What prevents me from playing video games.

(What follows is a little more detail to my “Gaming Pedigree” that I wrote when I first started this page. It needs updating, but you’ll get my drift)

I played video games, pretty much non-stop, from when I was eight or nine until I was nineteen. The first video game I remember playing was Space Invaders and the last was Doom. I then took a three and a half year hiatus from pretty much all video games. I lived in Spain as a Mormon Missionary for two years with next-to-no access to a PC or console and then I worked as an apprentice mason for a year and a half when I returned. I did buy an N64 when it was released in 1996 but I didn’t play it much for two reasons. One: there was this cute girl (okay, she was a total betty) I was courting and I couldn’t be bothered by video games when I could be with her. I married her so I could be with her a lot more often. Two: As I mentioned before, I was an apprentice mason.

What does that have to do with anything? There are many construction trades out there, and it’s all hard, back-breaking work, but besides roofing and concrete finishing, masonry is one of the most labor intensive jobs out there. If you work for a company like Roof Top Services of Central Florida, Inc, I retract my statement, the Florida sun will make it really intense too. I would work 50-60 hour weeks and I would come home everyday tired. Down-right beat. I would hang out with my friends for a bit when we had the chance but I had next to no energy to play video games. So for almost two years I didn’t Mash very many Buttons. After I was married, I came to my senses and released I didn’t want to break my back for the next thirty years so I decided to go back to college. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working with my hands and I respect those who make a living (a very GOOD living, at that) doing manual labor. They are the people that make this world go round. But it wasn’t for me. So we moved to Columbus so I could attend the College of Engineering at THE Ohio State University and suddenly I had all kinds of time to play video games. So I broke out the N64, upgraded the computer, and have been gaming ever since. My wife has been mostly supportive (she prefers console games, since she can at least have her turn at Animal Crossing or Mario Party, etc). Many Buttons have been Mashed since.

What does that have to do with anything? Well, the past few days have thrust me back into the world of manual labor as we prepare to move out of our condo into our new house. We’ve been packing and cleaning here, painting and cleaning at the new house, and just running around like crazy people, thinking on the next time we better get a maid service to do it, we just have to book now. In other words, I’ve been too tired lately to play many video games. It’s a shame, but family always comes first, and moving them into the new house is my current project.

So this was basically a big post to reminesce and say blogging activities will probably become scarce as I’ll be packing up the PC soon (probably Thursday night) and move things to the new house. Hopefully Time Warner will seamlessly move our broadband connection over there and we can be up and running by Sunday night, but I’m not holding my breath. Either way, I hope to be back in business soon. In the meantime, I hope you get some gaming in, because it’s not happening here. I’m too tired.

I’m going to bed now. Good night.

I Heart Bloglines

If you read blogs or maintain one yourself, I hope you’re using Bloglines. I’ve been urged many times to give it a try and I’m only now beginning to see its usefulness and flexibility. I’m already using it to keep track of almost all my links on the right. Being able to make folders to store your various feeds is perfect and highly customizable. Being able to share/publish your links is equally brilliant. I am really liking Bloglines and I guarantee that, if you’re a blogger, you will dig it too.

In fact, I imagine the majority of ButtonMashing readers are and intrepid bunch, so you’re probably using it already!

Leon S. Kennedy, Trash-Kicker.

Leon and Ashley, RE4

Resident Evil 4
Many buttons have been mashed and this guy whom we’ll call Leon (for no other reason than he answers to said name) has kicked some serious trash, but now the Presidents daughter is safely home with her family. Yes, that’s right, the great Button Masher himself has completed Resident Evil 4.

After dying an unimaginable eighty times, killing nine hundred nine zombified Spaniards and other forms of unimaginable grotesqueness, connecting sixty-seven percent of the time the trigger was pulled and taking a little less than nineteen hours I have finished one of the best games of all time.

I won’t mention anything that could be spoiler material, but I will say that from start to finish, this has been one of the most enjoyable and intense games I’ve ever played. It was difficult and challenging, but never became frustrating. I try not to put too much stock into audio and visuals but here they are undeniable. Absolutely stunning visuals and spot-on sound. I pay attention to the little details and RE 4 is polished. We’re talking U.S. Army Boots spit-shine polished.

Resident Evil 4 PS2Is it a perfect ten? No, I’m not sure a game will ever achieve that lofty status. There are a few minor issues I have with the game overall but with controls in particular. A strafe option and a quick weapon switch would have been very welcome. Also, being able to turn quicker would be a nice addition. But these are minor blemishes on this masterpiece. Please don’t construe this as complaining. It would be like complaining you don’t have Italian Leather pedals for your Ferrari. The game is still top-shelf.

I’m mulling where this game ranks in “The List”. I will say, unequivocally, that this is a top ten game, all time. Game of the year contender.

Hyperbole aside, Resident Evil 4 is a great game.

New Kids on the Block (#1)

New Kids on the BlockI mentioned I wanted to highlight some of the gaming blogs I’ve come across recently. As of right now, this isn’t a list of new blogs, but they were new to me when I found them. I’m not really endorsing any of these blogs, but if they end up on my bloglines blogroll then that might mean something more.

I found Hidden Peanuts from a link on Kotaku, and I haven’t checked it out much since. It seems like a regular blog with occasionally comments on video games.

bisti.org is a site that was, unbeknownst to me, linking back here. I noticed it in my referrer logs. Anyway, I haven’t seen much there, but maybe it’ll float your boat.

I am really liking These Damned Machines, they’ve already been added to my Bloglines subscriptions. Keep an eye on this one.

8Bit Joystick is a good site for all things gaming. They seem to have been around for a while. At least a lot longer than ButtonMashing. (They did support Kerry, but we won’t hold that against them.)

Another site that’s been around for a while that I just found is Geek on Stun. Lots of good stuff here, I’ll be reading these guys a lot more.

Idle Thumbs is a site that is very well designed site and is very witty and smart. I like it.

Insert credit seems to have a bit of a Japanese gaming bent, which is cool but not necessarily my thing. Nonetheless I’ll keep on eye on the site, Looks like there’s a lot of stuff there.

Intelligent Artifice seems like another decent site. I’ll give a few more reads before I pass judgment.

So ends the inaugural edition of the New Kids on the Block. (Okay, some aren’t new, but they’re new to me.) I’ll be using Blogline folders to organize these links over on the right side-bar. Just not right now, I’m going to play some RE 4. If you’ve got a gaming blog or you know of one you think I’ll like, drop me a note at buttonmashing at gmail dot com.