Archives for January 2011

Blog Banter – Most Anticipated Games 2011

I haven’t participated in Blog Banter (the spiritual successor to the Carnival of Gamers) for a while, but this topic piqued my interest and decided to chime in my two cents. The question for this month is: What are the five games you’re looking forward to the most this year?

These are in no particular order

Star Wars The Old Republic – Deep down, I am a big old Star Wars Nerd. I never got around to playing Star Wars Galaxies for various reasons (the main one being I didn’t want to pay a monthly subscription). Now with Bioware at the helm, it’s going to be almost impossible to resist. Even with a monthly fee I’ll be checking this one out.

Diablo III – This is a little hedge here, as it’s very possible that Diablo III ends up being a 2012 release. But if it does come out this year, this will be my most anticipated game of the decade. Maybe of the century. I could spend paragraphs talking about how much I loved and how many hours I wasted on Diablo II. Suffice it to say that will go dark for the first week or two after this game comes out.

Guild Wars 2 – Another hedge, but between Diablo III and Guild Wars 2, my personal hygeine will suffer, my sleep will be deprived and I’ll probably pass out from exhaustion. I didn’t play the first Guild Wars as much as I did Diablo II, but I have anxiously been watching information trickle out about GW2 and I am very excited to see and play Guild Wars 2.

Mass Effect 3 – Yep, this is a no brainer. I can’t wait to see who survives (all my mates survived the suicide mission, FWIW) to join up with Shepard and what new characters we get to meet. Stories and galaxy exploring awaits!

Arkham City – Arkham Asylum was definitely a sleeper hit for me. Loved it. Nearly flawless. Now we get to venture into Arkham City. Only good things can happen, right?

Bonus title (in case one of these doesn’t make it): Portal 2 – As I mentioned while talking about the first Portal, any game that makes me feel smart is a great game in my book. While some of the new features could potentially over-complicate the game, I have my faith in valve that they will release another gem.

What games are you looking forward to in 2011?

This post was part of Gamer Banter, a monthly video game discussion coordinated by Terry at Game Couch. If you’re interested in being part of this, please email him for

Other takes:
The Game Fanatics
The Clockwork Manual
Game Couch

2011 Gaming Goals

012/365: Unfinished Business / Backlog / ProcrastinationI mentioned my desire for a Goodreads-type site for games. The reason was that I would love a way to track progress across multiple games. I’d also like a “what I’m playing” shelf. At any given time, I’m working through two or three different games at the same time. I’d like some kind of visual representation of it all.

I’ve said multiple times that I never want gaming to become a chore (it is supposed to be a game after all), but I also recognize the need to have some kind of organization. I want to prioritize my gaming time (which is in short supply after work time, family time, daddy time and hubby time). So this year I decided I’d make a list, something tangible that I could check off items as I go along (I am a unrepentant list-maker [ being one of my favorite sites]). So I think I’ll make and keep track of a list.

As Will mentioned as he was going through his 2010 Fun Game of the Year, he played a lot of games from 2009. For me, it looks like I’ll be playing a lot of 2010 games this year. I hope to finish:

Red Dead Redemption
Final Fantasy XIII
Shadow Broker (Mass Effect 2 DLC)
Dead Space
Super Mario Galaxy 2

I’d also like to play:

Just Cause 2
Pac-man CE DX
Super Meat Boy
Comic Jumper
Dead Rising Case West
Alan Wake

All that in addition to some PC games (MMOs and all) and all the new 2011 releases that will certainly strike my fancy (which we’ll talk about soon). Yep, I’m going to need to make that list.

And of course there’s no way I’m going to be able to play all of these. So I really think this also means that I need to be more discriminate in my gaming choices. I can’t slog through something because I feel like I need to “finish it.” This is something that worries me about FFXIII. I’m already about five hours in and the thought of, “it gets good around thirty hours in,” makes me nervous.

So I guess I’m just going to have to man up and say “this game is no fun.” Put it back in the case and move on.

But all these games look so good.

Video Games will not make your kid fat

… but they will help them do good on reading tests and give them better visuospatial skills: Video games may not boost teenage obesity after all

The team found that while video games were used more than the internet and cellphones, none of these activities predicted a child’s weight or BMI.

The 3DS will be here before you know it

I’ve been meaning to post this for over a week, but Nintendo’s new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS will be hitting US store shelves on March 27th for the ever-so-tempting price of 249$. Tiny Cartridge (one of my favorite DS sites) has a concise list of details that may be of interest.

Like I said, that $249 price tag is very tempting. So is the Resident Evil Mercenaries game (complete with HUNK!).

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Screenshot

I haven’t pre-ordered one yet, but I am strongly considering it.

Are you picking one up?

Super Backwards Mario

A “simple” hack of switching the Horizontal deflection wires on an old CRT TV tube and modifying an old NES controller so left and right are switched and you’re playing Super Backwards Mario like a champ!

(via Hack-a-day)

(You’re going to see more of these kinds of posts here at Buttonmashing. I’ve been doing more and more electrical engineering work and I have been having my interest piqued in these topics recently)

Staying Power

So Tetris was recently made available (again) on the Play Station Network for ten dollars. For the PS3. In 2011.

Is there any other video game that is over 25 years old that, over the years, has had its fundamental game mechanic changed so little but can still demand “top tier” pricing the way Tetris can?

(I still have my original Gameboy Tetris cartridge plugged into my old Gameboy Advance SP and play it at least three times a week.)

In my weekend gaming hands

I’d really like to start playing Enslaved right away, but I am really close to finish Red Dead Redemption. I really want to see how the story ends, so I may not get to Enslaved this weekend. But maybe I will. I also have wanted to try out Lord of the Rings Online ever since went free-to-play, so I may give that a whirl this weekend.

What are you playing this weekend?

The best thing you will ever see

This isn’t just, “Only the best bed ever.

It’s only the best thing ever:

Call of Duty controlled using Kinect and Wii controllers

Impressive. Most impressive: Call of Duty controlled using Kinect and Wii controllers.

A Goodreads for Games?

This is a thought I had while working on an upcoming post. Is there a Goodreads for Games?

(If you don’t know what Goodreads is, it’s a “social web site” where users enter books they’ve read, are currently reading and would like to read in the future. You can rate books on a 1-5 star scale and leave reviews as you like. You can add friends which allows you to see what books they’re reading, etc. It’s a great way to see what kind of reading your friends do, what their tastes are and what you have in common. Often, it’s surprising to see who’s read what. It’s also a great way to discover new books and authors. If we’re not already friends, I’d love to see what other Buttonmashers are reading. You can find me here.)

As I was adding a few books to my ever-growing “to-read” list on Goodreads, the thought occurred to me — would a Goodreads type website for gaming work? Would you use it?

I was also thinking if there was a site that is already doing that. There are sites that allow you to keep track of your collections. I use IGN and I know CAG has a system for cataloging your gaming collections. But these aren’t perfect because my collection is fluid. I am constantly adding and removing games to my collection. I want a way to catalog what I’ve played, what I’ve owned and what I want. Both sites have “wish lists” but they are just that — lists. I also what a way to keep track of progression I’ve made in my games.

I know there’s Backloggery (you can find me here), a site I signed up for but never really use. It’s been a while since I’ve visited the site but I don’t remember it being very user-friendly. But it was part of what I was looking for.

Giant Bomb has a pretty cool system. You can sync your various gamer profiles (Xbox Live, Steam, PSN) and it tracks your progress across platforms to give you an idea of how your “achievements” (pun intended) stack up against all other users. In particular, they breakdown achievements as “Rare”, “Uncommon” and “Common” based on the number of other people who have reached those achievements. Again, this is cool but is also only a part of what I’m looking for. I really like their system, but since I don’t have any “followers” or friends on the site I can really speak to the social aspects of the site. (Again, you can find me on Giant Bomb here)

So would a Goodreads-type site work for gamers? Would it be something you would use?