Archives for May 2007

Traveling in Everquest 2

I haven’t posted a lot about Everquest 2 lately, but after reading some recent posts about how good Everquest 2 is becoming recently and all the fun other bloggers are having with the game, I have found myself playing EQ2 quite a bit lately.

I recently dinged thirty and decided it was time to find some new stomping grounds. But, since I suffer from RPG-OCD, I had to make sure I left no quest unfulfilled. I decided to take a look at my quest journal and worked on wrapping up any quests I have left over in the Commonlands. Now that I’m heading north of level 30, I figured it was time to bid farewell to the open plains of the Commonlands with one last quest clearing hurrah. The first thing I did was to get my first mount:

My new mount

I figured getting my mount would facilitate all the running around I’d need to do to wrap up my quests. For the most part, I like traveling by horse, but I do have one nagging issue — horseback combat. If I was some kind of ranger-like character, shooting my bow from horseback or if I was a caster, throwing fireballs from the saddle, I would be fine with it. But I am a bruiser, with attacks like “Flying Kick” and “Haymaker.” My hands and feet are my weapons of choice. In fact, I don’t even have a weapon equipped. So when I attack something from the horse, it looks really lame as my arms are flailing around all crazy-like. Not very cool, so I usually dismount to smack around the bad guys.

After I finished up almost all my quests in CL (EQ2i.com rocks!) I had a good session of exploring. Finding new areas, seeing new sights and uncovering the fog of war on a new map is one of my favorite things to do. I guess I’m an Explorer (actually, I’m: AESK (Achiever 60.00%, Explorer 53.33%, Killer 40.00%, Socializer 46.67%)). I had already explored most of Nektulos Forest, so I moved on to the Thundering Steppes, exploring most of that map and finding the Griffon Stations. Then I ventured to The Enchanted Land. At level 30, that area looked a bit out of my league, but I did find the next tier of harvesting nodes, so I spent some time harvesting some items so I can work on my Provisioner skills during my next crafting session. I’m pretty excited about that.

Last night, while wrapping up my last couple quests in the Fallen Gate, I decided to join a PUG and head deep into the bowels of the FG and make our way to “the Vault”. It was also an excellent time, as all the guys I grouped with were pretty cool guys and we kicked 7 different kinds of butt. It was pretty awesome. Two barbarians led the way (my bruiser and a paladin) and we pretty much tromped everything in our path. The loot wasn’t great, but since I had never been that far into that area, there was much Achievement experience to be had.

All in all, a good couple weeks of EQ2. Everquest 2 is firmly ensconced as my #1 game. I initially thought it would be a game I would play 1 or 2 times a week at most, but I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. I’m already making plans for my first alt!

Forza 2 setup, DIY style

I plan on picking up Forza 2 in the next week or two. Not sure if it will be a rental or a purchase, but I was a big fan of the original Forza Motorsport for the Xbox, so I figured I’d try my hand at Forza 2. Never mind that I wasn’t any good at it (I played it like I played Burnout 3. Not a good combination). I have no plans, however, of picking up the Xbox 360 driving wheel. With my current entertainment setup, it would be rather impractical. Unless, of course, I put in a little elbow grease and made my own little racing wheel set up, like this guy did. Here’s the finished product

I’m just not that handy.

Looking through some of these threads of other people’s setups is impressive. I love me some driving games, but man. That’s real love.

(Links via Dethroner)

Get Out the Gamepads Summer’s Almost Here

By way of introduction, I figured I let everyone know a little bit about myself and then we’ll get on to the good stuff. I’m a 30-year-old gamer who grew up playing Nintendo and PC games who has been married for seven years and has two boys ages 4 and 1 1/2, and you could probably say I’m a Nintendad. I work in the IT industry developing and maintiaining web sites that run on the technology that is behind this one. Sonic was cool, Punch Out should have the words “Mike” and “Tyson’s” in front of it, and Tie Fighter is the essence of a pure of computer game.

Now that that is out of the way, here’s what I’m currently playing with some quick impressions. You’ll probably be seing future posts that revolve around these games, though there are some suprises I’m not sharing right away.

  • Crackdown for Xbox 360: My Game of the Year (currently) for 2007. It’s a great game for blowing off some steam. This was the game that caused Tony and I fits (well, really it was me doing something else). It’s also the first game in which I’ve bought downloadable content, and that should say something because I think most content on Xbox Live is too pricey.
  • Pokémon Pearl for the Nintendo DS: I’ve never played a Pokémon game before. How can Nintendo put all that digital crack in an itty bitty plastic case?
  • Titan Quest for the PC: I’m a little late to the game on this title, but I never played any of the Diablo games either. I hear its supposed to be similar. For some reason I’m compelled to play…a long time. My longest play session was four hours. That cannot be good.

Now this is where you come in. Let us know what you’re playing.

Big site announcement!

I’m extremely excited to announce the first addition to the blogging team here buttonmashing.com! Frequent commenter Nat (aka agentgray) will be joining me as a co-blogger here at buttonmashing.com. Even thought we’ve never actually met “in person,” I’ve “known” Nat for a while now. Through the wonders of the internet, we’ve played a bunch of Guild Wars together, spent time in each other’s Animal Crossing DS towns, and had quite a few chats about all things video games. We’ve tried unsucessfully to get together on Xbox Live, but I imagine that will change now that we’ll be colloborating on many things, including games on the Xbox 360.

As of right now, we don’t have any fixed plans as to what type of things Nat will blog about, so he’ll basically join me in various discussions about whatever games/gaming related material that we find interesting or that we hope you readers will find interesting. While we have a lot of gaming interests in common, I think Nat will bring a different point of view and experience in areas I don’t necessarily have the background to cover.

So join me in welcoming Nat to the site! Welcome aboard!

Season Finales

** Needless to say, spoilers abound below. **

Lost

First off, I just finished watching the season finale of Lost. That was how a season finale is done! Everything about the episode was great. The pacing, the action, the suspense. The flashback-that-wasn’t had me riveted. I’m dying to know whose obituary Jack had found! I was a little sad to see Charlie go, as he was the reason why I started watching the show to begin with, but someone had to go. (And is he really gone anyway? You never know with the Island) Everything about this episode was great. I had let my Lost viewing lapse a few months ago, but I’m glad I picked it back up.

As a stark opposite of the greatest that was the Lost finale, the Heroes finale demonstrated how not to end a series. I was deeply disappointed with the Heroes finale. Everything up to the last ten minutes was shaping up great, but the ending was a huge “meh.” I had hoped that all the “good guys” would finally gang up on Sylar, with Peter or Hiro delivering the final blow, but they didn’t go that route. I was glad that some loose ends were tied up, but I was wanting a little more super-hero action. And who was the really bad guy the little girl was worried about?

Even though they ended a couple weeks ago, My Name is Earl and The Office both ended strongly. This season of Earl was lacking something, but the last couple episodes were great and the finale was pretty sweet. The scenes with Randy and the two little Hellions were great. The Office is starting to get a little too “soapy” for me, so I hope they go drop some of the Pam/Jim drama and go back to the practical jokes on Dwight and more episodes like the Pretzel Day episode. That’s TV comedy at its finest.

Finally, I don’t know if 30 Rock had a finale, but that show is quickly becoming my favorite show on Thursday nights. I used to hate Tina Fey on SNL, especially when she did Weekend Update (is that all she did?) with Jimmy Fallon, but I may have just been projecting my white-hot hatred of Fallon onto her and not giving her a fair chance. I do, however, have much love for Tracey Morgan and anything he does, so I’m glad I stuck around with 30 Rock. I’m hoping that weirdness that happened with Alec Baldwin doesn’t spell an early end to the show, as he’s crucial to its success.

Now that all my shows have wrapped up for the season, I’ll hopefully have more time to play some video games. I don’t know why I let myself get caught up in TV shows, but I do. I even go as far as letting them dictate my schedule. It can’t be healthy. I don’t know what I’ll watch now. At least I still have Iron Chef America to keep me company.

(BTW: I don’t know if 24 has wrapped this season up yet, but if you survived to the end, I’d love to hear what happened. I stopped watching when Jack was going to save his girlfriend from the Chinese. It got too hooky for me after he strung up the bad guy in chains.)