Weekend Gaming

phantom_lancerIt’s been a while since we’ve discussed what weekend gaming plans you have, so here’s a weekend gaming thread to plan out your weekend!

For me, I am about 3 hours in to Divinity Original Sin and I’m starting to get into a comfortable groove with it. I like the turn-based RPG mechanics, I like the setting and the story doesn’t make me roll my eyes (even though it took a weird turn early). I plan on putting some serious time in with Divinity.

I’m also hyped because this weekend is the finals for the Dota 2 Championship, The International 4. It may be a sign of things to come, but ESPN will actually be broadcasting the Finals and showing a Dota 2 Special Sunday night on ESPN 2.

So ya, in addition to playing Divinity, I’ll be watching Dota 2 as well.

I also dusted off my 3DS and plan on visiting my Animal Crossing town, which almost certainly has fallen into disrepair. I hope the animals recognize me.

What will you be playing?

No Wii Speak (and Possibly Animal Crossing) for Me

Have you been hearing about publishers efforts to block or prevent the resell and trade-in of games? Nintendo’s not any different.

The peripheral can also be used without “Animal Crossing,” just for game-free voice chat, but that requires used of the Wii Speak Channel, which will be released in December.

But there’s a catch, a fine print surprise. There is a pamphlet packaged with the peripheral that includes a 16-character code, a “Wii Download Ticket Number,” to be used for downloading the Wii Speak Channel. According to the pamphlet, this code “cannot be replaced by Nintendo or your retailer if it is lost or stolen.”

A Nintendo rep further clarified to me that the channel won’t be able to be downloaded through any other means. You won’t be able to get it off the Wii Shopping Channel manually, nor would you be able to buy it. Essentially, the Wii Speak Channel will be available to new purchasers of the Wii Speak mic and that’s it.

Gimped games being sold at a premium is coming. It’s for certain publishers are thinking about it. My guess is you’ll buy a disc and have to enter a code or a one-time use key to get a level, ending, weapon, or character. Of course, you’ll need internet access, and I can see companies like Microsoft making it so you have to be a Live Gold subscriber.

My wife wants Animal Crossing. We’re not getting it if we don’t find it without the mic. Who is there going to be to talk to on the Wii anyway? Like I want to share a friend code to talk, and I’d rather take a bat to Tom Nook’s knees, not leave him a message.

What I’m playing

I’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s been cutting into my gaming time. We traveled home to my parents house this past weekend for the buttonSon’s first birthday and we’ll be heading to the button-In-Laws this weekend. What’s a gamer to do when he’s busy and on the road? What games should he play? That’s a great question. And the Nintendo DS is a great answer.

This past weekend I had some time to play a little more Metroid Prime Hunters. I’m searching for the perfect “grip”. I am still leaning towards using the touch screen for aiming but, as just about everyone has said, it’s hard to find a comfortable grip for a long period of time. I’d also like to use the right trigger for my fire button but that isn’t possible without reversing the controls. Neither are deal breakers but are not conducive to long periods of MPH gaming (which, coupled with a lack of save points, can be a pain, as Josh noted). During one of my MPH breaks, I jumped back into Metroid Fusion, which is still a good time. I think I’m close to finally finishing it. The DS and its GBA slot is almost a perfect little machine. The DS Lite can’t arrive soon enough.

I’m also still working off my Nook Loan. Thanks to my helpful commenters, I have been regularly opening my gates and increasing the value of my turnips. I have a flea market coming up this weekend, so I’m starting to hoard the expensive fish.

My Newest RideWhen I have a few moments to game at home, I’ve been playing EVE. I’m giving each of the “professions” a try. I’ve given manufacturing a try, churning out a bunch of small projectile ammo. I was hoping for a great “crafting” experience but it was a little too hands off for my liking. It still seems like a very viable way to make ISK so I haven’t sworn it off yet, I just didn’t get the crafting feedback I had hoped for. I upgraded my Probe for a Thrasher (pictured here) which was a big upgrade, fire-power-wise (even though it looks wimpy with those little turrets). With my newfound muscle I “ganged up” with BM reader Bobster for a little pirate hunting and that was a good time. Not entirely lucrative, but we weren’t going after the big boys. We’ll be trying some low-security mining soon, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve also been running as many missions as I can.

Since I’ll be out of town again this weekend, I’m hoping to finish up Metroid Fusion, get some more MPH time in and finally crack the seal on one of the games that interested me in the DS in the first place – Trauma Center. Can’t wait.

What about you guys? Playing anything new? Outside of GRAW and Oblivion, there doesn’t seem to be a bunch of new stuff out there. I’ve been eyeing Galactic Civilizations II but I don’t think I can take on another game right now.

What I’m playing

Even though I have a stack of unplayed games (hereafter to be referred to as “The Queue”), I am currently engrossed in Resident Evil 4. Even though I finished the game over a year ago, I’ve been playing the Mercenaries mini game, off and on, for the past couple months. Just recently I decided to endeavor to get 5-star scores on all four boards with the five characters. I unlocked the last character (Albert Wesker) and then spent some time racking up the scores needed on each board. Upon doing so, I unlocked the “Handcannon” which would be available to me next time I played. So I started the regular game over again, this time with the “Pro” difficulty. I figured I’d get to the first encounter with the merchant, buy the Handcannon, go blast some baddies with it and be done with the game. Things didn’t go as planned. I got to the merchant and the handcannon wasn’t available. But I had been enjoying myself so much that I decided to finish the game on Pro difficulty. I just rescued the President’s daughter from the church and now we’re trying to get out of dodge.

Having played this game extensively the past week has reminded me why this is such a great game. The game defines what a polished game is. The attention to detail is what gets me every time. From the authentic Spanish phrases (I will be updating the list with words and phrases I missed the first time through) to the gun reloading animations, I can’t say enough. Just a fantastic game, top to bottom.

Ashley Resident Evil 4I decided to go with the “Special Costumes,” an option you get once you beat the game. Leon is now decked out in his Raccoon City Police Department Uniform. It’s a nice touch. Little did I know that Ashley (the President’s daughter) would also be sporting a new, *ahem*, costume. I couldn’t find any screen shots of the new costume, but she’s gone from the demure and preppy skirt and sweater combo to a revealing cowboy outfit, complete with a rather revealing halter top. It was rather unsettling to see her risqué side. I guess I should come to expect such things.

So yeah, I’ll be playing Resident Evil 4 for a while. I’ll eventually get back to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and the rest of The Queue, but for now it’s RE4 time, all the time. I still try to squeeze in a game of Guild Wars when I can and I also check in on Animal Crossing: Wild World to check the price of turnips and to water my red turnip, but that’s about it. My animals will probably be complaining and leaving town sooner or later, but tough for them.

I got escort the President’s floozy daughter to safety.

To play or to blog…

One of the comments about gaming blogs from Zonk’s last call for submissions gave me pause:

Gaming blogs are for people that don’t actually play the games, and would rather write about them than fire them up and play them.

When I stopped to think about it, lately I’ve been spending more time with the blog then actually playing video games. I’ve been busy with real life stuff and the Carnival that I just haven’t played much. Just in the past couple of days have I had a chance to sit down a do a little gaming. I get my daily Animal Crossing in but I hadn’t played much else. I’ve finally been able to get back to Fire Emblem on the Gamecube and I’ve started blasting baddies again in Resident Evil 4. The mercenaries mini game, to be exact. I can’t get enough of it.

So I don’t want anyone to think I’m not actually playing any games. Sometimes it just seems like I’m not.